Harris lead Virginia past No. 19 Wolfpack, 58-55

Harris lead Virginia past No. 19 Wolfpack, 58-55

Mark Gottfried acknowledged that North Carolina State's latest victory was a considerable step in his program's resurgence. To take another big stride, Gottfried's team will likely need to start winning consistently away from home.

In their next attempt to improve on the road, the 19th-ranked Wolfpack, the ACC's top scoring team, will try to get past the league's stingiest one, Virginia, on Tuesday night.

North Carolina State owns two NCAA titles and a combined 17 ACC regular-season and tournament championships. The Wolfpack, though, haven't won the league tournament since 1987 and last finished atop the conference standings in 1988-89.

Until Gottfried arrived last season, the program experienced a number of lackluster finishes in recent seasons, but the new coach got its fortunes heading quickly in the right direction by ending a six-year NCAA tournament drought last year.

NC State appeared to gain another meaningful bit of progress Saturday by ending a 13-game skid to rival North Carolina. Lorenzo Brown had 20 points and 11 assists in that 91-83 win, and freshman T.J. Warren contributed 19 points off the bench.

"It's a significant win for us," Gottfried said. "To get where you want to be as a program, you have to take certain steps to get there. This was a big one for us."

The Wolfpack (16-4, 5-2), who are undefeated at home, are also trying to get back on top of the conference but trail Miami by 1 1/2 games. Their two losses have come in each of their last two league road contests, and they might have a challenge in their next visit in trying to overcome a clash of styles.

Virginia's attempt to slow opponents down has worked well so far, evident by the 51.1 points per game its allowed on 36.8 percent shooting. The Cavaliers (14-5, 4-2) have held two of their past seven opponents under 40 points, including a 56-36 home win over Florida State on Jan. 19.

"They're very good at what they do, and we feel that we're pretty good at what we do too. We really like to get out and run," Gottfried said.

The Cavaliers have used their defense to overcome the league's least prolific offense (62.8 ppg). The Wolfpack, meanwhile, are averaging a league-best 79.8 points on 50.9 percent shooting but rank 11th in points allowed per game at 70.2.

"They've got experience. They know how to score," Virginia junior forward and North Carolina native Akil Mitchell told the school's website. "We've got to tighten down and be ready for a good one Tuesday. I'm excited about the competition."

The Cavaliers won their third straight and 11th in a row at home Saturday, 65-51 over Boston College, by limiting the Eagles to 36.2 percent shooting. Virginia converted at a 56.3 percent clip at its end, but Mitchell and Justin Anderson were the only two players in double figures with 16 points apiece.

Leading scorer Joe Harris (14.8 ppg) was held to seven points, ending a string of eight consecutive games in double figures.

Harris is one of the top 3-point shooters in the ACC at 46.7 percent but was 1 of 4 on Saturday. He's 8 for 16 from beyond the arc in three games against NC State and has averaged 16.3 points.

NC State snapped a four-game skid to Virginia with a 67-64 win in last season's conference tournament. The Wolfpack shot 54.0 percent in that game after being held under 41.0 in each matchup during the skid, and C.J. Leslie led the way with 19 points and 14 rebounds.

They've averaged 56.8 points on 40.4 percent shooting in four consecutive losses at Virginia.

Trimble, Turgeon comment on guard's decision to return to Maryland

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Trimble, Turgeon comment on guard's decision to return to Maryland

Maryland guard Melo Trimble has withdrawn his name from the NBA Draft and will return to College Park for his junior season, the program confirmed officially after reports from CSN and others late Wednesday night.

After partaking in the NBA Combine in Chicago earlier this month, Trimble went through a series of workouts with teams but retained the opportunity to return to Maryland because he had not signed with an agent. 

“I am really excited to return for my junior season at Maryland,” Trimble said in a release from the school. “It’s truly special that I get to continue to play in front of my family, friends and our amazing fans. I’m looking forward to working out with my teammates this summer and I am excited for what we can accomplish.

"I learned a great deal through this experience and I am committed to working hard in getting better each day. I’m appreciative of all the support that I have received from Coach Turgeon, my family and my teammates throughout this process. I look forward to continuing my education and building upon the success that we have had at Maryland.”

MORE TERPS: FUTURE MARYLAND GUARD GETS INVITE TO TEAM USA CAMP

Trimble will be the lone returning starter from last season's Terrapins team that made the program's first Sweet 16 appearance since 2003. Rasheed Sulaimon and Jake Layman have both exhausted their eligibility. Robert Carter, Jr. and Diamond Stone both chose to forgo their remaining seasons of college eligibility and sign with agents prior to the NBA Draft.

With Trimble back, Maryland will shift from a team centered around big men to a guard-heavy team next season. Freshman point guard Anthony Cowan gives the team an opportunity to run lineups with multiple ball handlers on the floor at the same time -- which head coach Mark Turgeon has said in the past is an idea he likes. 

In addition, guard Dion Wiley returns from knee surgery, wing Jared Nickens is back, plus Jaylen Brantley and freshman Kevin Huerter. 

Turgeon commented on Trimble's return in a release Wednesday night.

“Melo informed me tonight that he has decided to return to Maryland for his junior season,” Turgeon said. “After gathering information throughout this process, I agree that this is the best decision for him.

"Melo is a very special person. He is a winner and his impact on our program has been immeasurable. Melo has an extremely bright future ahead of him both on and off the basketball court. We are excited that he will continue to pursue his degree and build upon his legacy in College Park.”

NL East: Barry Bonds wouldn't take picture with Dodgers star Pederson

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NL East: Barry Bonds wouldn't take picture with Dodgers star Pederson

Apparently being an MLB All-Star and home run derby runner-up is not enough for Marlins hitting coach Barry Bonds to take a picture with you.

That's according to Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson, a 2015 NL All-Star. He said he tried to take a picture with Bonds before a Marlins-Dodgers game last month and got rejected.

Ouch. Pederson described the interaction on Fox Sports Live and it sounds like he was pretty surprised by Bonds' reaction. Then again, who wouldn't be? It seems like a simple request.

Many athletes current and former take pictures with fans all the time and those are just fans. It would seem even more likely to get that picture if you are part of their fraternity as a pro ball player.

Here is Pederson describing the exchange on FS1:

[Via Sports Illustrated]

Orioles tie team record with 18 strikeouts in 4-3 loss

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Orioles tie team record with 18 strikeouts in 4-3 loss

Astros 4, Orioles 3 

Winner: Neshek (2-0)
Loser:    Wilson (2-3)   
Save: Gregerson 10 

WHAT WENT WRONG: The Orioles equaled their single game record for most strikeouts in a game, 18. They struck out 19 times in 13 innings on Tuesday night. 

WHAT WENT RIGHT: The Orioles came from behind to tie the score at 3 in a two-run sixth. Unfortunately, they gave the lead away in the bottom of the sixth when Tyler Wilson allowed a home run to Luis Valbuena, his second in as many nights. 

OOPS: The Orioles committed four errors, two by Manny Machado and two by Wilson, all in the first four innings. The last time the Orioles made four errors was on Sept. 30, 2015.

MACHADO ERRS: Machado made two errors for the fourth time in his career. 

MORE BAD STATS: The Orioles were just 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position and left 12 runners on base. 

LOSING: The Orioles are in the midst of their second three-game losing streak. 

SHAKE IT UP: Machado was put in the leadoff spot and Jonathan Schoop batted second for just the second time in his career. The move immediately paid off when they began the game with doubles. 

WIETERS HITS: Matt Wieters had two more hits. He’s had five consecutive multi-hit games—two three-hit games and three two-hit games. 

KIM DOUBLE: Hyun Soo Kim, who started for the first time in 11 days, had his first game with multiple extra-base hits. He had two doubles a single. It was his second three-hit game. 

THERE HE GOES: Joey Rickard, who didn’t start ran for Kim in the eighth inning and stole second. He has three of the Orioles’ eight stolen bases. 

UP NEXT: Kevin Gausman (0-1, 2.70) faces Lance McCullers (0-1, 5.91) on Thursday night in the final game of the three-game series.