Dimitrijevic scores 17 to carry Mercer past Wofford, 70-68

Djordje Dimitrijevic posted 17 points and seven assists as Mercer edged past Wofford 70-68 on Wednesday night.

Maciej Bender had 18 points and nine rebounds for Mercer (13-13, 7-6 Southern Conference). Jeff Gary added 11 points. Ethan Stair had 11 points and seven rebounds.

Chevez Goodwin had 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Terriers (16-10, 8-5). Storm Murphy added 15 points. Nathan Hoover had 10 points.

Former University Heights Academy Blazer Tray Hollowell finished with five points (2-4 FG, 1-3 3PT), two rebounds and an assist in the loss.

Mercer plays UNC Greensboro at home on Saturday. Wofford takes on Western Carolina at home on Saturday.

No. 19 Butler holds off Xavier, loses Thompson to injury

Sean McDermott scored 14 points to lead No. 19 Butler to a 66-61 victory over Xavier on Wednesday night.

Kamar Baldwin added 11 points and Jordan Tucker scored 10 for the Bulldogs (19-6, 7-5 Big East).

Naji Marshall scored 20 points to lead the Musketeers (16-9, 5-7). Tyrique Jones had 19 points and 10 rebounds for Xavier, his 17th double-double.

Butler shot 47% and Xavier went 44% from the field.

Former University Heights Academy Blazer KyKy Tandy finished with three points (1-3 FG, 1-3 3PT), a rebound and an assist.

Bulldogs guard Aaron Thompson took an elbow to the head and went to the floor with Butler leading 42-25. He left the game and did not return.

Xavier followed with an 11-0 spurt, delighting a vocal contingent of Musketeers fans. Butler’s Derrik Smits finally ended the drought with a basket.

Jordan Tucker’s back-to-back 3s helped Bulldogs rebuild their lead to 14 points at 57-43. Xavier closed the gap to 59-53 with 3:11 left. That’s as close as Xavier got until Marshall’s 3-pointer just before the buzzer.

MLB goes ahead with 3-batter minimum

Major League Baseball went ahead with its planned rules changes for this season, including the requirement a pitcher must face at least three batters or end the half-inning, unless he is hurt.

The changes were agreed to by MLB and the players’ association last March 8, subject to the study of a joint committee. The three-batter minimum will start in spring training games on March 12.

There were 2,162 pitching appearances of three batters or fewer last year, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, but 1,471 of them finished with the end of a half-inning or a game.

Dietrich returns to Reds with minor league deal

Infielder Derek Dietrich agreed to a minor league contract with the Cincinnati Reds and will report to big league spring training, a chance to rejoin a team he helped with a torrid May last season.

Dietrich became a free agent in November after finishing last season with 19 homers, 43 RBIs and a .187 batting average in 113 games. In May, he hit 12 homers, drove in 22 runs and batted .304, helping the Reds get through the loss of second baseman Scooter Gennett.

Dietrich was limited to a backup role when Gennett returned from a severe groin injury on June 28. He managed only two homers in the second half of the season.

The Reds also invited infielder Blake Trahan to camp. He played 11 games for the Reds in 2018, batting .214, and spent last season with Triple-A Louisville. He was a third-round pick in 2015.

Blues’ D Bouwmeester undergoing tests after cardiac episode

St. Louis defenseman Jay Bouwmeester was hospitalized and undergoing tests early Wednesday after suffering a cardiac episode and collapsing on the bench during the first period of the Blues’ game against the Ducks.

The team said in a statement late Tuesday night that the 36-year-old Bouwmeester was conscious and alert. Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said Bouwmeester was awake, alert and moving his arms and legs as he was transported from the arena.

The Blues were supposed to fly to Las Vegas, where they are scheduled to play Thursday, but remained in Southern California over night. The team is expected to provide an update on Bouwmeester’s condition Wednesday morning.

“Thankfully, with the quick response of our medical trainers, Anaheim medical trainers and their team physicians, they were able to stabilize Jay,” Armstrong said.

The hockey community sent tweets of support as word of the episode spread throughout the NHL.

Michigan State rallies to hire Colorado coach Mel Tucker

Michigan State hired Colorado’s Mel Tucker as its new football coach Wednesday, rallying to land a veteran leader with ties to the school who decided to leave the Buffaloes after a single season.

The Spartans lured Tucker away from Colorado with a lucrative contract offer after appearing to be interested in coaches such as Luke Fickell, Robert Saleh and Pat Shurmur. Tucker will replace Mark Dantonio, who retired two weeks ago after 13 mostly successful seasons.

“Mel brings a championship pedigree, NFL experience, connections to our region, success on the recruiting trail and head coaching experience to our program,” athletic director Bill Beekman said.

Michigan State scheduled a board meeting for later Wednesday to formally approve the hire and a news conference with Tucker was scheduled for early evening.

Colorado hired Tucker in December 2018, and gave him an opportunity to run the Pac-12 program after he was Georgia defensive coordinator. He was given a five-year, $14.75 million contract to lead the Buffaloes and they were 5-7 last season to match the program’s record from each of the previous two years.

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