East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, February 18, 2017, WEEKEND EDITION, Page Page 3B, Image 17

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

    SPORTS
Saturday, February 18, 2017
East Oregonian
Page 3B
Women’s College Basketball
Oregon State beats Colorado
Associated Press
BOULDER, Colo. — Sydney
Wiese had 14 points, Kolbie Orum
added 10 and No. 11 Oregon State
used a late push to get past Colorado
54-49 on Friday night.
The Beavers (24-3, 13-2 Pac-12)
closed the game on a 6-2 run with
Marie Gulich’s layup making it
50-47 with 1:17 left, Weise adding
a pair of free throws, and Gabriella
Hanson and Mikayla Pivec each
splitting a pair in final 31 seconds.
It was the Beavers’ second win
in a row and ninth in the last 10.
The Buffaloes (14-12, 4-11)
opened the fourth quarter with a
12-4 run to cut a 44-35 deficit to
within one.
Kennedy Leonard had 18 points
to lead Colorado, which opened the
but she sure helped
game on a 7-0 run.
Pac-12
as UCLA won its
Oregon State ended
26th
consecutive
the quarter with a
home game, dating
17-4 run and pushed
to last season.
to their largest lead Oregon State Colorado
Monique Bill-
at 33-21 late in the
ings added 19 points
half.
and Nicole Kornet
Colorado missed
all 14 of its 3-point attempts. 15 for the Bruins.
Washington’s Kelsey Plum, the
Oregon State made 5 of 20.
nation’s leading scorer, scored 39
No. 18 UCLA 90, No. 9 WASH- points in the loss. Chantel Osahor
INGTON 79 — At Los Angeles, had a double-double with 16 points
Jordin Canada scored 22 points to and 10 rebounds. Plum is closing
lead UCLA to a 90-79 upset victory in on second place on the NCAA’s
over No. 9 Washington on Friday career scoring list. Jackie Stiles is
No. 1 with 3,393 career points and
night.
The Bruins (19-7, 10-5 Pac-12) Britney Griner second with 3,283,
weren’t even sure if Canada would while Plum is at 3,280 — just three
play since she left the previous from tying Griner.
game with a neck injury and didn’t
Washington (24-4, 12-3) saw its
practice all week. She didn’t start, four-game win streak snapped.
54
49
Cliff Grassmick/The Daily Camera via AP
Oregon State’s Sydney Wiese collides with Colorado’s Makenzie
Ellis during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Fri-
day, Feb. 17, 2017, in Boulder, Colo.
NBA
Westbrook, Durant All-Star reunion off to awkward start
By BRETT MARTEL
Associated Press
AP Photo/Ben Margot, File
In this Nov. 3, 2016, file photo, Golden State Warriors’
Kevin Durant, right, celebrates in front of Oklahoma
City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) during the
first half of an NBA basketball game, in Oakland, Calif.
NEW ORLEANS —
Russell Westbrook and Kevin
Durant had plenty to say at
their first All-Star appearance.
Just not about one another.
Reunited on the Western
Conference All-Star team,
the former Oklahoma City
Thunder teammates — until
Durant left for Golden State
last summer — will have to
practice together on Saturday
and play together on Sunday.
If either of them expects it
to be awkward — particularly
after the way they jawed at
one another in a recent regular
season game — they weren’t
discussing it on Friday.
Westbrook smirked and
responded to questions
about any potential awkward
interaction with Durant
and or the other Warriors
with thoughts on New York
City’s Fashion Week.
“Man, you know what?
Fashion week has been great.
You seen fashion week?
You been paying attention to
fashion week?” Westbrook
responded to a question about
Durant. “Man. There’s a lot of
great-looking things at fashion
week, man. I’m looking
forward to new collections.
It’s been good, man.”
Two questions later came
this gem from Westbrook:
“Man, you see the new
Public School clothing? Crazy,
dog. They got like the new
Jordan hoodie. ... It’s crazy
man. A lot of new, great things
at fashion week I’ve seen, man.
“What other designers?
Gucci? The new Gucci stuff
is dope. Good stuff, man.”
Later came another, more
general question about playing
with four members of Golden
State on the West team, and
Westbrook shot back:
“What’s your favorite
fashion brand? What you like?”
For his part, Durant was curt,
or vague or sometimes critical
of the media for obsessing over
things that aren’t important, not
to him anyway.
Durant used a total of five
words to respond to his first
question about the opportunity
to play with Westbrook again:
“I’m excited to be here.”
Later, Durant said more
directly, “I don’t want to talk
about it.”
At other times, Durant
became philosophical, mini-
mizing the significance of
contract talks, trades or when
stars change teams.
“It’s not real-life prob-
lems,” Durant said, so he
prefers to “just block it out.”
He added: “Stuff you guys
may think is important, I
don’t really think is important
at all, so when I look at it that
way, it’s pretty easy to me.”
Ultimately, which five
players are on the court at any
given time will be up to West
coach Steve Kerr .
So far, Kerr has been coy
about how he’ll handle his
rotations.
Of course, the coach used
to work in TV, so he knows
as well as anyone how to
maintain intrigue.
“The only thing I want is
for our players to enjoy the
weekend,” Kerr said. “It’s
a hectic weekend for all of
them. It’s a great honor to be
here. I want everybody to be
comfortable and happy. This
should be an enjoyable time.
So I don’t want anybody to
feel uncomfortable.
“I’m just going to try to
create a very comfortable
environment for the players
and hope that everyone just
relaxes and enjoys them-
selves — and I’m pretty
confident that they will.”
Little big man: Isaiah Thomas plays into MVP discussion
By TIM REYNOLDS
Associated Press
NEW ORLEANS — Isaiah
Thomas isn’t even average.
The Boston Celtics list their
two-time All-Star point guard at
5-foot-9 — even that is believed
to be a bit generous — and 185
pounds. That means Thomas actu-
ally is slightly shorter and even a bit
lighter than the typical male in the
United States, at least based on the
latest federal data that tracks such
things.
So in society, he’s obviously not
a big guy.
But in the NBA, he’s the little
big man right now.
Averaging 29.9 points per game
and leading Boston to the No. 2
spot in the Eastern Conference so
far, Thomas is being mentioned
by reigning two-time NBA MVP
Stephen Curry of the Golden State
Warriors as someone worthy of
consideration for the league’s top
individual honor this year.
“Nobody in their right mind
would have thought that,” Thomas
said of his MVP hopes. “At one
point I might not have even thought
I was going to be the MVP. But now
I do. I’m going to keep going. I’m
not trying to play for MVP — if it
happens it happens, if it doesn’t it
doesn’t. But that’s definitely a goal
of mine in my career at some point.”
It might come sooner than he
thinks.
All-Star Media Day was Friday
in New Orleans, and LeBron James
and Carmelo Anthony both missed
the Eastern Conference session for
personal reasons. Their absences
likely drove a few more people
over toward the riser where Thomas
took questions for a half-hour or
so, though he seemed genuinely
In this pho-
to released
by the Iran
Newspaper,
United States’
wrestler
Jordan Ernest
Burroughs,
red, competes
against Irani-
an wrestler
Peyman Yarah-
madi during
the men’s 74-
kg freestyle
wrestling
competition
at the 2017
world cup
final match in
Kermanshah,
Iran, Friday.
Naeim Ahmadi, IIPA
via AP
AP Photo/Charles Krupa
Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) passes the ball as he is covered by the Philadelphia 76ers
during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. The Celtics
defeated the 76ers 116-108.
surprised when he arrived and saw
plenty of reporters awaiting his
arrival.
Curry wasn’t. He’s a Thomas
fan.
“He’s doing amazing things,”
Curry said. “I don’t think that
confidence (was any) different now
than when he was a rookie or what-
ever. You go through each year,
gain experience, get the right guys
around you, good things happen.
He’s having an amazing year. It’s
been fun to watch.”
Thomas’ path is well-chronicled.
He was the 60th and last pick in
the 2011 NBA draft, taken behind
seven guys who have not — and
probably never will — score their
first NBA point. Of those selected
that year, only Klay Thompson has
more career points, only Kemba
Walker has more career assists,
and no one from the 2011 group
who remains in the NBA has a
better free-throw percentage than
Thomas.
Put simply, a lot of teams whiffed
on him coming out of Washington,
some multiple times. And those
snubs are a big part of what makes
Thomas tick.
The Celtics could have drafted
Thomas twice that night and passed,
but atoned for that when they swung
a three-team deal to land him. The
second anniversary of that trade is
Sunday, when Thomas appears in
his second All-Star Game — one in
which he’ll be playing on a team led
by his Celtics coach, Brad Stevens.
“Everything fuels him,” Stevens
said. “I think that’s the thing we’ve
all learned about Isaiah. Everybody
knew he had a chip on his shoulder.
Now you realize he’s hungry for
more. Success fuels him, too, just
the same. He’s an incredible guy
because he just wants to get better,
because he just wants to keep
getting better whether he’s getting
accolades or getting criticism.”
These days, the criticism is in
short supply.
He has a chance to become the
first player in Celtics history to
average 30 points a game. Larry
Bird averaged 29.93 in 1987-88;
Thomas, right now, is at 29.87.
Such comparisons make even
Thomas shake his head.
“It means everything,” Thomas
said. “To be mentioned with such
great players like Larry Bird, like
all the legends that played before
me in a Celtics uniform, means a
lot.”
No one who stands 5-foot-any-
thing has won an NBA MVP award;
Allen Iverson was the shortest
to win it, doing so while listed at
exactly 6 feet. Short people just
don’t usually thrive at the highest
levels of basketball. There hasn’t
been a WNBA MVP under 6 feet
since 5-10 Cynthia Cooper won the
first two such in that league in 1997
and 1998.
Yet here Thomas is, back on the
game’s in-season showcase stage,
and feeling like he belongs now
more than ever.
“No doubt,” Thomas said. “Last
year I didn’t know what to expect.
Everything was coming at me so
fast. This year I kind of know what
to expect, and hopefully it’s for
many more years to come.”
Wrestling
Iran defeats US freestyle world cup
Associated Press
TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s
wrestling team Friday defeated
the United States wrestling
team to secure the gold medal
at the Freestyle World Cup.
During the final matches,
Iranian wrestlers sealed a 5-3
victory against their American
guests in the western Iranian
city of Kermanshah. State TV
broadcast the matches live.
The Iranians won at the 57,
61, 65, 70 and 125 kilogram
divisions, while the American
wrestlers won 74, 86 and 97
kilogram divisions.
The U.S. wrestling team
reached the final matches after
defeating Russia, Georgia and
Azerbaijan in group A of the
competition. Iran defeated
Turkey, India and Mongolia in
group B over two days to reach
the final.
Following
their
win,
hundreds of Kermanshah resi-
dents poured into the streets,
with drivers honking their cars
horns, to celebrate the victory,
Iranian media reported.
Iranian President Hassan
Rouhani also issued a statement
to offer his congratulations, the
official IRNA news agency
reported.
During the competitions,
Iranian
spectators
warmly
welcomed the American wrestlers,
and many took selfies with them.
Earlier in February, Iran
reversed its position and
allowed U.S. wrestlers to
participate in the competition
following an earlier U.S. travel
ban, now frozen, by President
Donald Trump on nationals
from seven Muslim-majority
countries, including Iran.
American and Iranian
wrestlers have frequently
hosted each other in similar
competitions.