OMAHA, Neb. (AP) Justin Simmons scored a season-high 32 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, helping Nebraska-Omaha hold off NAIA program Benedictine for a 74-70 victory Tuesday night.
Simmons, who scored 36 points in a game last season for Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kan., also assisted on Caleb Steffensmeier's only basket of the game, a 3-pointer with 1:59 left that put the Mavericks (3-10) ahead for good, 70-68 - UNO's first lead of the second half. Simmons added a layup and two free throws in the final seconds to seal the win.
John Karhoff chipped in 17 points off the bench for UNO, and CJ Carter scored 10. The game was the Mavericks' first at home since a 96-86 loss to Saint Mary on Nov. 11, and UNO was 1-9 on the road since then.
Charlie Wallrapp scored 18 points to lead the Ravens, who treated the game as an exhibition.
Ravens fourth-round pick Willie Henry is going from one coach Harbaugh to another. After playing defensive tackle for Michigan’s Jim Harbuagh, Henry will play for John Harbaugh, after the Ravens selected him with the 132nd overall selection.
Clearly, the Ravens received inside information on Henry, and were impressed enough to take him. During a conference call, Henry was asked about playing for another coach named Harbaugh.
“It’s going to be great,” Henry said. “Two great coaches who know what they’re talking about and have great schemes…I can’t wait to go play for another coach Harbaugh. Right now, I’m just ecstatic.”
The Ravens are fairly well stocked at defensive tackle, starting with Brandon Williams and Timmy Jernigan. However, the Ravens like rotating tackles to keep them fresh, and Henry will be given an opportunity to play his way into the rotation. Henry was particularly strong against the run at Michigan, and he also brought consistent pressure up the middle on opposing quarterbacks.
The Ravens hope they got a fourth-round steal in running back Kenneth Dixon of Louisiana Tech, who ran for a school record 4,480 yards and 72 touchdowns during his college career at Louisiana Tech. By taking Dixon, the Ravens became the first team in NFL history to make five fourth-round picks.
Not only was Dixon a prolific runner, he averaged 10.4 yards per pass reception. At 5-foot-10, 215 pounds, Dixon also showed plenty of elusiveness avoiding tackles in tight spaces, or in the open field. He will join a crowded running back group with the Ravens that includes Justin Forsett, Buck Allen, Lorenzo Taliaferro, Terrance West, and Trent Richardson. Clearly, carries will be hard-earned next season.
Some scouts thought Dixon would be gone by the third round, and when he was still available at pick No. 134, the Ravens thought the time was right to get him. Even if Forsett remains the Ravens’ starter, they want to make sure he remains fresh all season. Running back is one of the easier positions to make the transition from college to the NFL. Dixon will be given a chance to show that he should earn some touches.
Ravens’ fourth-round pick Alex Lewis did not take the smoothest path to the NFL.
Lewis began his college career at the University of Colorado, but in 2013, he was arrested in Boulder, Colo. for an altercation with an Air Force cadet. According to the police report, the cadet was knocked unconscious after having his head repeatedly slammed into a wall by Lewis.
Lewis faced two felony charges and has his Colorado scholarship withdrawn. He eventually served 28 days in jail for a conviction of third-degree assault.
By many accounts, Lewis has been a changed man since that incident. Obviously, the Ravens have done their research on Lewis and felt comfortable enough to take him. He became a team captain at Nebraska, where he started 26 games at left tackle.
Looking for more offensive line depth, the Ravens selected tackle Lewis with the 130th pick, their third pick in the fourth round. Lewis could be more suited to play right tackle in the NFL. where Rick Wagner is currently the Ravens’ starter.