Oliver's buzzer-beat lifts SJSU over Hawaii 75-74


Oliver's buzzer-beat lifts SJSU over Hawaii 75-74


LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Adrian Oliver hit a pull-up jumper with 5 seconds left on his way to 29 points and San Jose State had to sweat out a last-second review to beat Hawaii 75-74 in the first round of the Western Athletic Conference tournament on Wednesday.

San Jose State (16-14), the eighth seed, trailed most of the way before a late run put the Spartans up five with less than 2 minutes left.

Fifth-seeded Hawaii (18-12) rallied to go up one in the closing seconds, but couldn't stop Oliver near the free-throw line. The Rainbow Warriors thought they had the game won when Bill Amis tipped in Jeremiah Ostrowski's desperation shot at the buzzer, but the officials ruled the basket no good after a video review.

"I tried to get to the free throw-line early and to make them guard me," Oliver said. "If I'm not scoring, I'm out there attracting other players toward me."

Oliver managed to score one final time, finishing 9 for 22 from the floor, and Wil Carter added 15 points for San Jose State. The Spartans move on to face No. 4 seed Idaho in Thursday's quarterfinals at Orleans Arena.

"Idaho's an outstanding team. They're going to be waiting for us," San Jose State coach George Nessman said. "Their guards are pretty quick. They can push the ball. They have more weapons than you think. They're playing with confidence, but well be ready for them. We don't think our season's over."

Amis had 23 points, Joston Thomas added 16 and Zane Johnson 14 for Hawaii, which lost its sixth straight WAC tournament game after going 4 for 15 from 3-point range and 18 of 30 on free throws.

"It's been a great year; we weren't expected to be here," Hawaii coach Gib Arnold said. "It was an honor to be here. That's not the way it's supposed to end. We just needed one stop."

San Jose State has one of the nation's most prolific scorers in Oliver and was second in the WAC in scoring as a team.

The problem for the Spartans is defense.

San Jose State was last in the WAC in scoring defense at 73.1 points per game, which led to some not-very-impressive nonconference losses and a 5-11 run through the WAC that included a pair of losses to Hawaii.

The Rainbow Warriors held the Spartans to 31 percent and Oliver to just 10 points after he missed the previous two games in a win in January, then held San Jose State to 37 percent to beat them again in the penultimate game of the season last week.

The third matchup had a similar story line, only with Oliver getting his points.

The crafty senior sliced his way through Hawaii's defense throughout the first half, scoring seven of San Jose State's first 11 points and 16 by halftime.

The Spartans had trouble stopping almost everyone on Hawaii, though, allowing the Rainbow Warriors to hit 17 of 28 shots for a 42-37 halftime lead. Amis, after struggling to fight through double teams early, scored 14 points by halftime and Thomas had 11 despite hitting just 5 of 10 free throws.

San Jose State just wouldn't go away, answering every time the Rainbow Warriors tried to pull away.

The Spartans chipped the lead down to 61-60 with about 8 minutes left on a straightaway bank shot by Keith Shamburger, then tied it when Oliver hit a 3-pointer to beat the shot clock with 5 12 minutes left.

Oliver put San Jose State up four on a pair of free throws a minute later and Justin Graham made it 73-68 with just under 2 minutes left on a pullup jumper.

Hawaii wasn't quite done yet.

Amis hit a pair of free throws, then the Rainbow Warriors forced Oliver into a turnover to set up a breakaway by Johnson that made it 73-72 with about a minute left. San Jose State's Calvin Douglas missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 28 seconds left, then Amis dropped in two free throws to put the Spartans up 1, setting up the final sequence that sent the Spartans out to the court in jubilation and Amis doubled over in disappointment.

"It was a horrible feeling, but I'm proud to have been a part off this team," said Amis, who was 9 for 12 from the field to go with six rebounds and three blocked shots. "We worked hard all year."

Spring training to be slightly shortened starting in 2018

Spring training to be slightly shortened starting in 2018

NEW YORK -- For everyone who thinks spring training is too long, help is on the way - a little, anyway.

Spring training will be shortened by two days starting in 2018, when new restrictions in Major League Baseball's collective bargaining agreement take effect on game times for regular-season getaway days.

The voluntary reporting date for pitchers, catchers and injured players will be 43 days before the major league opener instead of 45, according to a copy of the agreement obtained by The Associated Press. For other players, the date will be 38 days ahead instead of 40.

The change was tied to spreading each team's 162 regular-season games over 187 days, up from 183.

Players' association Assistant General Counsel Matt Nussbaum said the union's goal was to create more days off during the season "in a way that doesn't just chew up offseason days."

"We have heard for years and I'm sure we will continue to hear that spring training is too long, that guys are really ready to go well before opening day, but I think what the commissioner's office would tell you is that there are big challenges for the clubs in substantially shortening spring training because they have various commitments to put on a certain number of games," he said Monday.

Late arrival times ahead of regular-season series openers also were addressed.

Starting in 2018, the latest possible start time on getaway days when either team is traveling to a game in another city the next day or a home off day will be calculated by subtracting the time of the flight over 2½ hours from 7 p.m.

There are cutouts for Sunday night games broadcast by ESPN and games after June 1 at Texas' current home ballpark - where the Rangers avoid afternoons for much of the season because of the heat.

Another new rule for 2018 says no game in the original schedule may be set for before 5 p.m. when a team played the previous night in another city starting 7 p.m. or later. There are exceptions involving flights of 90 minutes or less for home openers and holiday weekends. Current cutouts are carried over for up to six exceptions each season at Chicago's Wrigley Field and rescheduled games involving flights of 90 minutes or less.

"We fully recognize that our players play a very demanding schedule, and we're always looking for ways to ease the burden on players while at the same time scheduling games at a convenient time for our fans to watch them," MLB Chief Legal Officer Dan Halem said.

Sunday night games on holiday weekends followed by afternoon games still seem likely to occur.

"We have contracts with various national broadcast partners that limit our ability to schedule day games in certain instances," Halem said.

Nussbaum said if the players had their way, there would be "a flat rule that says all getaway games are day games" but understand why that would cause difficulty for teams.

"There's still going to be some challenges in the schedule," he said, "but we think what we've done with these two prongs is pare back the most egregious of the travel."

As part of the agreement, one game in the major leagues may be scheduled each year on the Thursday after the All-Star Game starting in 2018.

Ownership of Jazz transferred to Legacy Trust to keep team in Utah

Ownership of Jazz transferred to Legacy Trust to keep team in Utah

Since Larry Miller died back in 2009, there have been some around the league that thought the Jazz might eventually be sold out of the family, most likely to an owner looking to move them out of Utah. The Miller family has denied that vehemently, and there has been not even a step that direction, but it’s easier to kill Freddy Krueger than an NBA rumor.

Monday, the Miller family killed that rumor for good, taking an unprecedented step that will keep the Jazz in Utah for a long, long, time.

Gail Miller has transferred ownership of the Utah Jazz and Vivint Smart Home Arena into a Legacy Trust that will keep the Jazz in Utah for what she said would be “generations.”

“As a family, we have always considered the Utah Jazz a community asset and it has been our privilege to serve as stewards of this team for more than 30 years,” Miller said. “There have been many opportunities to sell and move the franchise, but from the day Larry and I purchased the Jazz our goal was to keep the team in Utah. The Legacy Trust will help to ensure this commitment is kept for generations to come.”

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