OSU senior guard Ameryst Alston (14) during a game against Illinois on Feb. 21 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Brooke Profitt | Lantern PhotographerThe postseason is upon the Ohio State women’s basketball team. It’s the time of the year that every team plays for. One loss is all it takes to dash a team’s desires. For OSU, that second season begins with the Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse this weekend. No. 9 OSU enters the tournament hungry for wins and a chance to play for the hardware. The Buckeyes are the second seed in the tournament, which earns it a two-round bye. That rest could provide the Buckeyes a little bit of time to regroup after a tough end to their regular season.“We have a great opportunity heading to Indianapolis. It’s going to be a competitive tournament,” OSU coach Kevin McGuff said. “We had a tough week last week, but we control our destiny, and I think we can beat anybody that we are going to play if we have the right mindset and we really compete to win.” The Buckeyes are scheduled to kick off their tournament journey Friday night at 6:30 p.m. against the winner of a game between Rutgers and Nebraska. OSU beat both teams handily during the regular season.The contest between the Scarlet Knights and the Huskers is scheduled for Thursday evening, and the Buckeyes will have their eyes glued to the television to scout their two possible opponents.OSU is not satisfied with completing the regular season on a two-game losing streak, sophomore guard Kelsey Mitchell said. The Buckeyes first lost to Minnesota in overtime and then to Michigan State in triple overtime in the finale. However, Mitchell said they have put the past behind them and have been focused on the task at hand.“We didn’t have the week we wanted to have,” she said. “It’s just one of those things where we have to turn the page. We have to get back to how things were.”Rating RutgersRutgers enters the Big Ten tournament as the No. 10 seed with hope to prove itself to the rest of the conference. Coming off a 72-50 win over Michigan, the Scarlet Knights have a lot of confidence. They lean on senior forward Kahleah Copper, who averages 17.3 points per game and earned second-team All-Big Ten honors. Against the Buckeyes, Copper scored 19 points in the first meeting and 18 the second. The Philadelphia native is known for her ability to drive to the basket and finish with authority. Copper’s counterpart is junior guard Tyler Scaife, who was also selected to the All-Big Ten second team. The speedy Scaife averages 17.6 points per game and has had OSU’s number this season, putting up 27 points when visiting Columbus earlier in the year. When OSU traveled to Piscataway, New Jersey, a couple of weeks later, Scaife contributed 13 points and four assists. If Rutgers is the team OSU plays on Friday, the Buckeyes will likely put their focus on stopping Copper and Scaife in order to come out on top.Nebraska notesNebraska is full of standout players who could potentially give the Buckeyes trouble if the Cornhuskers defeat Rutgers on Thursday. The No. 7 seed enters the tournament on the heels of a 76-67 victory over Northwestern on Sunday afternoon.Nebraska forward Jessica Shepard was awarded Big Ten Freshman of the Year, as she averaged 19.5 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-4 forward is adept at scoring down low and has proven to be one of the top post players in the conference throughout the course of the season. Last time out against the Buckeyes, Shepard dropped 20 points, all of which came inside the paint. All-Big TenOn Monday night, the Big Ten announced its all-conference teams, and four Buckeyes were chosen.Joining Mitchell, a unanimous selection, on the first-team is senior guard Ameryst Alston.Alston is No. 7 in scoring in the Big Ten with 19.5 points per game, while also being tied for 10th in the Big Ten in assists with 3.9 dimes per game.“I appreciate that award,” Alston said. “It’s not something that we really pay attention to, but I am grateful that I was chosen.”The second-team All-Big Ten squad included junior forward Shayla Cooper and sophomore forward Alexa Hart. Hart was also named to the All-Big Ten defensive team. She has been the defensive anchor for the Buckeyes this season, swatting away 2.6 shots per game. Despite the individual accolades that they receive, McGuff said his team is more focused on winning games.“They are into the team stuff and they want the team to do well, and that’s what makes them great kids and great players,” McGuff said.The Buckeyes will look to have a productive Thursday prior to hopping on the bus to Indianapolis. If they win Friday, the tournament semifinal is set for the next day.
The OSU baseball team celebrates during a game against Northwestern on March 27 at Bill Davis Stadium. OSU won 5-4. Credit: Lantern file photoThe Ohio State baseball team is coming off its most successful season in years. For the first time since 2009, the Buckeyes were in the NCAA tournament and won their first Big Ten tournament since 2007.But repeating that success will be a challenge. The Buckeyes’ lineup will be returning just two hitters from that group against Iowa in the final tournament game — senior co-captain Jalen Washington and junior outfielder Tre’ Gantt — and both players are changing positions.The team also will return only two of its regular starting pitchers with redshirt junior Adam Niemeyer and sophomore Ryan Feltner. Friday night starter Tanner Tully, who was drafted by the Cleveland Indians, and Saturday night starter John Havird, who graduated last season, have left the program, leaving big shoes to fill.Replacing impact players like Nick Sergakis and Ronnie Dawson will be a combination of 17 junior college baseball players and freshmen joining the club, making for plenty of uncertainty.“We’re a very talented ball club. I say that with a little caution because we haven’t proven it,” said OSU coach Greg Beals. “There’s a lot of guys that are going to get their first shot to be everyday players here at Ohio State.”Arguably the biggest change for the team comes from behind the dish. Washington, who caught 62 games last season for the team, will leave the role of catcher and shift to shortstop, his natural position. Taking over at catcher will be sophomore Jacob Barnwell, a player Washington has worked with while in preparation for the new role.“We’ve had a lot of dialogue with me and Barnwell, (sophomore catcher Andrew) Fishel a little bit,” Washington said. “Just how to get comfortable, how to handle the pitchers. Majority of the game is understanding the pitchers, making the pitchers comfortable, making their job as easy as possible.”The remainder of the infield appears penciled in with a pair of junior college transfers likely to start on the right side of the infield, and one returning player. Beals said junior transfers Bo Coolen and Noah McGowan are favorites to start at first and second base, respectively, while sophomore Brady Cherry looks to start at the hot corner for the ball club.The outfield, however, is much more in question. Gantt, the primary right fielder last season, will be shifting over to center field to man his natural position. But he is the only player with a potentially guaranteed spot.One outfielder Beals has his eye on is freshman Dominic Canzone, a Louisville Slugger High School All-American praised for his promising hitting ability.“Dom Canzone — just a knack for hitting,” Beals said. “He’s got a hit tool that’s hard to teach. He puts barrel on ball at a high rate.”The pitching staff will see changes occurring within the rotation, but the bullpen figures to remain roughly the same as last season. Junior Seth Kinker, who led the team in appearances, returns to the club as will senior left-hander Joe Stoll, redshirt junior Kyle Michalik and redshirt junior Austin Woodby, who served as a spot starter and reliever.An interesting case is redshirt junior Yianni Pavlopoulos, who served as closer in 2016. He might be headed towards a role as a starting pitcher in 2017.“Yianni Pavlopoulos, we moved out of the closer’s spot into starting rotation potential,” Beals said. “The potential exists for him to be in the rotation, the potential exists for him to go back in the closer’s spot. But we’re training him with an increased pitch count so that he is ready to be a starter if need be.”Though Pavlopoulos will be competing for a spot in the rotation, the only known weekend starters are Niemeyer and Feltner, while the Sunday night starter and weekday starter remain unknown.“I think right now, all the positions are pretty open from a pitching standpoint,” Niemeyer said. “It’s kind of an open competition right now, so we’ll see how all the pieces fit in these next few weeks before the season starts.”The team still has some positions left to fill, but the ball club is optimistic about its chances in 2017. The team is young and lacks experience, but Niemeyer believes this is a club that can compete now.“We want to keep building on that culture we created last year,” Niemeyer said. “I think everyone in this locker room, the coaching staff, everyone expects us to be in the hunt for another Big Ten Championship and we all believe we can accomplish that goal.”
Tonight marks the beginning of the 11th annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge, an early-season series of games pitting teams from two of college basketball’s best conferences against one other.In the first 10 years of the challenge, the ACC has dominated, going 10-0 and winning 62 of the 97 games.Penn State at VirginiaThe Big Ten/ACC challenge tips off tonight with two of the conferences’ weaker teams.Virginia, picked to finish 11th in the conference before the season started, has already lost to South Florida and Stanford this year.Similarly, but perhaps more embarrassingly, the Nittany Lions have two losses of their own early in the season: an 80-69 loss to UNC Wilmington and a 63-60 loss to Tulane.Neither team showcased in the challenge’s opening game will be a true testament to what each conference has to offer.Wake Forest at No. 6 PurduePurdue, last season’s Big Ten Tournament champion, returns four of five starters, including preseason All-Conference forward Robbie Hummel.The Demon Deacons, picked by the media in the preseason as the ACC’s sixth-best team, are led by sophomore forward Al-Farouq Aminu. After five games, Aminu is averaging 18.8 points and 11.2 rebounds.Last week Purdue beat No. 9 Tennessee, proving its Top 10 ranking is no joke. The veteran Boilermakers are one of the best teams in the country.Northwestern at North Carolina StateNorthwestern’s preseason was marred with devastating injuries. Two Wildcat seniors, Jeff Ryan and Kevin Coble, were out for the season with ACL injuries before the team even began the year.Despite its 5-0 record, NC State was picked before the season as the ACC’s worst team. It might struggle in this game, even with the injuries to the Wildcats. The record might be a bit misleading — the Wolfpack has knocked off Georgia State, Akron, Austin Peay, Auburn and New Orleans.No. 21 Maryland at IndianaAfter a disappointing showing in last week’s Maui Invitational, Maryland left Hawaii with more questions than answers.The Terrapins lost to Cincinnati in the semifinals before falling again the following night at the hands of Wisconsin.Greivis Vasquez, Maryland’s point guard and a member of the preseason All-ACC team, has been conspicuously ineffective so far this year, scoring only 11.2 points per game, fourth-best on the team.Indiana’s freshman guard Maurice Creek is averaging more than 16 points a game and will look to lead the Hoosiers to an upset. At 3-3, Indiana already has half as many wins as it reached last season.No. 2 Michigan State at No. 11 North CarolinaThe marquee matchup of the challenge is a rematch of last year’s national championship game. Although the Tar Heels bested the Spartans in April, Carolina has vastly different personnel this year. Michigan State’s roster is basically intact.The Spartans return defending Big Ten Player of the Year Kalin Lucas, who is averaging nearly 17 points per game. There’s no denying that Carolina is talented, but the Heels lack the experience of last year’s team that dominated Michigan State in the title game. The Spartans will be looking for revenge and are much more fit to challenge the Tar Heels this time around.Virginia Tech at IowaThe Iowa Hawkeyes are likely the worst the Big Ten has to offer and, quite frankly, might be one of the worst teams in the entire country.The Hawkeyes have already dropped four games this year: a 62-50 loss to Texas-San Antonio, a 52-50 loss to Duquesne, an 85-60 loss to Texas, and a 74-57 loss to Wichita State.Virginia Tech and preseason All-Conference guard Malcolm Delaney, who is averaging 21.8 points per game, shouldn’t find the task too difficult. The Hokies are off to a 4-1 start.No. 20 Illinois at No. 19 ClemsonPreseason All-ACC forward Trevor Booker leads Clemson in perhaps the most evenly matched contest of the challenge. Booker leads the Tigers in both scoring and rebounding.The Tigers fell to Michigan in the first round of the NCAA Tournament a year ago.Illinois returns three starters from last year’s team, which finished third in the conference, and has four players that average double-digit points.With many of the other games having a clear favorite, the winner of this game could determine which conference will come out on top.No. 22 Minnesota at MiamiWednesday’s game will be the first ever meeting between these two schools.Coach Tubby Smith has rejuvenated the Golden Gopher program and put it on the national radar, a place unfamiliar to Minnesota basketball. Led by senior guard Lawrence Westbrook, Minnesota has begun the season 4-2, including an 82-73 win over No. 12 Butler last week.Miami has put together a fast start of its own, winning seven straight to start the season. Boston College at No. 15 MichiganJust like Duke, Boston College has never lost a game as a part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. However, the Golden Eagles have stumbled out of the gates, losing two of their first six games, including a 12-point loss to Northern Iowa last week.Michigan’s Manny Harris nearly posted his second triple-double of the season in last week’s overtime victory over Creighton but finished one rebound short. He leads the Wolverines with 21.6 points, 9.6 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game.No. 7 Duke at WisconsinThe Badgers and senior guard Trevon Hughes are coming off a third-place finish in last week’s Maui Invitational. After losing to Gonzaga in the semifinals, Wisconsin beat Maryland, an ACC team, in the consolation game.Unfortunately for the Badgers, they will play a different class of ACC team Wednesday.Duke has never lost a game in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, boasting a 10-0 record. Along with preseason All-American Kyle Singler, the Blue Devils have four players that average double-digit points.Florida State at No. 17 Ohio StateOhio State’s Evan Turner has recorded two triple-doubles through six games.Turner is averaging 19.8 points per game, but it is his rebounding numbers that garner the most attention. Through the Buckeyes’ first six games, the junior point guard is grabbing 12.8 rebounds a game, the third-highest average in the country.Florida State is led by sophomore forward Chris Singleton, who averages 11.3 points per game. The Seminoles like to get the ball inside, something that could give the Buckeyes trouble if center Dallas Lauderdale gets into foul trouble.
Though it was the final home game for senior center Jantel Lavender, the biggest ovation of the afternoon might have been for Sarah Schulze. The 80-47 win against Wisconsin on Sunday was the senior forward’s second appearance since Ohio State’s Jan. 16 matchup against Michigan State, when she tore a medial collateral ligament (MCL), meniscus and an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her right knee. At the time, some feared her season — and her career at OSU — might be over. “They gave me the option to play,” Schulze said in the postgame press conference Sunday. “I can never get this back, so even though I’m not 100 percent now, I can still get in and bang a little. It’s totally worth it.” Schulze and Lavender were honored before the game alongside senior teammates, guard Alison Jackson and guard Brittany Johnson. Lavender had to wipe away tears as she embraced her teammates. For Schulze, her first home game since the injury was equally as emotional. “I’m just happy I’m playing and just having a second chance to actually be on the court,” she said. “I was just soaking up today.” After Schulze hit a three from the top of the key with 8:07 left in the first half, the Schottenstein Center crowd gave her an extended ovation. It was her only field goal of the game, and her only points since her injury. Schulze committed three fouls and didn’t attempt a shot in the Buckeyes’ 76-74 victory at Purdue on Feb. 20. She started in 17 games before the injury. In her absence, coach Jim Foster inserted freshman forward Ashley Adams, who has been a mainstay ever since. “With the timing of Sarah’s injury, whether or not Ashley was ready, she was thrown in there,” Foster said in the postgame press conference Sunday. “How she’s progressed on the floor has been a big deal.” Freshman forward Martina Ellerbe started in the first game Schulze missed, Jan. 20 at Illinois, but Adams has been in the starting lineup ever since. Adams averaged 5.9 points and 4.1 rebounds per game coming into Sunday’s game. Schulze played 13 minutes Sunday after only playing four minutes at Purdue. She said her knee injury has caused her to become a more cerebral player. “I’m not as explosive anymore, so I have to really play smarter,” she said. “Whenever I jump, I have to pay attention to how I land. It’s almost like I’m a step behind from where I used to be.” OSU (19-9, 10-6 Big Ten) will travel to the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis to play Iowa on Friday.
Kolkata: State Urban Development minister Firhad Hakim will inaugurate the Mishti Hub in New Town on July 5.The hub, which will give buyers an opportunity to have sweets made by branded manufacturers under one roof, is the only of its kind in Bengal.A high level meeting between the sweet manufacturers and senior officials of Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO), was held on Thursday to fix the integrities.The meeting was chaired by Debashis Sen, chairman of HIDCO. It has been decided that the Mishti Hub will remain open from 12 noon to 9 pm. It is coming up next to Eco Park. The hub will give an opportunity to tourists who want to carry the famous mouth watering sweets back home. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsProper signs will be put up on Biswa Bangla Sarani, to facilitate the airport bound buyers. There will be a car parking facility for the buyers as well. The residents of New Town will get an opportunity to get the best of sweets at their doorsteps. Special steps will be taken by the New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) to issue trade licence to the owners of shops at the Mishti Hub on Monday and Tuesday.The 10 branded shops that will be set up at the Mishti Hub are in the following order: KC Das (shop no. 1), Bancharam (shop no. 2), Gupta Brothers (shop no. 3), Balaram Mullick and Radharaman Mullick (shop no. 4), Ganguram Sweets (shop no. 5), Nalin Chandra Das (shop no. 6), Mithai (shop no. 7), Sweet Bengal (shop no. 8), New Nabakrishna Guin (shop no. 9) and Hindusthan Sweets (shop no. 10). Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedHIDCO had imposed a condition that those opening shops at the hub must have experience of 25 years ormore.A central atrium with glass walls will bring the sunlight inside. There is a driveway and a free parking lot for a limited period of 30 minutes. The construction of the hub has been done as a combination of tradition and modernity.There will be a caretaker on behalf of HIDCO, to look after the facilities. The hub has been built on a shop-in-shop concept. There is a potential market of Bengali sweets both in the country and abroad.