EAST LANSING (AP) — Annalise Pickrel had 17 points, 11 rebounds and six assists as No. 25 Michigan State rolled to a 70-49 victory Saturday over Ohio State.
Michigan State closed the first half on a 17-2 run, taking a 42-21 lead into the break and led by double digits the rest of the way. Becca Mills scored 17 points for Michigan State. Aerial Powers added 15 points and tied a career-high with five assists.
The Spartans (17-8, 9-3 Big Ten) have won five of their last six games, bouncing back after losing to Nebraska 76-56 last Saturday. Michigan State is one game back of No. 11 Penn State for the top spot in the conference and holds a half-game lead over No. 21 Nebraska.
PETTY STANDS BY COMMENTS: Richard Petty stood by his comments that Danica Patrick can’t win a Cup race and the Hall of Famer said it was unfair he has been labeled a sexist.
Petty, the seven-time champion, took some heat when he said Patrick only gets attention because she’s a woman, but added that publicity is good for NASCAR.
He said the only way Patrick, the first woman to win the Daytona 500 pole, could win a Sprint Cup race was “if everybody else stayed home.”
Petty said Saturday night that no one would make a fuss about his remarks if he was talking about a male driver.
“What’s unfair is the sexist part,” Petty said at Daytona International Speedway. “If her name had been Danny, OK, nobody would have said anything about it. So y’all are bringing up the sexist part of it, not me.”
NASCAR’s career victory leader, Petty added, “It was definitely not sexist, OK? Hey look, I’ve been married 55 years to the same woman. So I am not a sexist by any ways. I love women.”
Patrick declined to fire back at Petty during Daytona 500 media day, politely stating that he was entitled to his opinion.
CMU: Kellon Thomas was 8 of 10 from the free throw line in the final 2:18 as Kent State held off Central Michigan in a conference cross-over game Saturday night. Down by nine at intermission, Central Michigan, with just one win in 12 Mid-America Conference games, took the lead midway through the second half.
Mark Henninger’s layup with 13:11 to play tied the game at 41-41 and sparked Kent State to a 20-9 run that gave them an 11-point lead with 6:25 left. John Simons (Cadillac) scored 11 points for CMU.
WMU: Austin Richie and Shayne Whittington combined for 38 points as Western Michigan easily defeated Miami (Ohio) 68-57. Western Michigan moved into a tie with Toledo atop the Mid-American Conference West Division after Eastern Michigan drubbed Toledo 65-44 Saturday. Western Michigan and Toledo both are 9-3 in the MAC. Richie, who finished with 20 points, made 10 free throws in the final two minutes to seal the win for the Broncos. Whittington had 18 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks. Tava Connar added 10 points for the Broncos, who now are 16-8. Geovonie McKnight and Will Felder had 12 points apiece to lead the Redhawks (9-14, 5-7).
MISSOURI: Michael Sam received a standing ovation when he appeared on the arena video boards during Missouri’s basketball game against Tennessee on Saturday.
The All-America defensive end who could became the first openly gay player in the NFL, later blew a kiss to the student section and shook hands with fans. Sam and football team were honored at halftime for their Cotton Bowl over Oklahoma State.
MIAMI: A former Miami Dolphins lineman identified as one of the targets of harassment in the racially charged bullying scandal said Saturday that he has no problem with the team in a statement released by his agent. Andrew McDonald, Player A in an NFL-ordered report released Friday by lawyer Ted Wells, said in the statement that he is “disappointed his name has become associated” with the revelations about the reported harassment.
The report of Jonathan Martin’s allegations that he was harassed by teammate Richie Incognito, states that Dolphins offensive line coach Jim Turner didn’t attempt to stop the behavior and even took part in some of the taunting of Player A.
ANGELS: Los Angeles Angels pitcher Mark Mulder tore his left Achilles tendon Saturday, cutting short his comeback and possibly bringing his career to an end.
Mulder last pitched in the majors in 2008 for St. Louis. The 36-year-old left-hander was hoping to make the Angels’ rotation after being invited in January to spring training, but team spokesman Eric Kay said Mulder felt a pop during agility drills.
Mulder will wait for the swelling to go down before surgery is scheduled. He then faces a six- to eight-month recovery, meaning his career could be over.