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Big Ten

  • Wildcats’ coach urges ‘no’ on union
    Northwestern football coach Pat Fitzgerald sided with his university against the formation of a players union in his first public comments Saturday, repeating what he already told his team: “I believe it’s in their best interests to vote no.
  • Badgers set the pace in blowout of Bears
    Ben Brust and his Wisconsin teammates got oodles of open shots while they sliced and diced Baylor’s vaunted zone defense. When the Bears had the ball, 7-foot Frank Kaminsky always seemed to be right in their way.
  • Labor board says college athletes can form union
    In a stunning ruling that could revolutionize a college sports industry worth billions of dollars and have dramatic repercussions at schools from coast to coast, a federal agency said Wednesday that football players at Northwestern University can

Mastodons women halt 3-game slide

– Because Erin Murphy did what she does late in the game, and the rest of the Mastodons made their contributions at one time or another, IPFW recovered from a 12-point deficit in the second half to beat Oakland 57-55 at the Gates Center on Saturday.

Murphy took off on a determined drive to the basket from 16 feet away, scored a layup, got fouled, made the free throw – all with 17.8 seconds remaining – to push the Mastodons (7-13, 3-5) past the Grizzlies (8-12, 2-6) in a game that ended a three-game IPFW losing streak.

Trailing 55-54, the Mastodons got a timeout with 25.8 seconds left in the game and 25 seconds left on the shot clock.

“We told Erin, ‘Just do what you do,’ ” IPFW coach Chris Paul said. “She caught it at the top. And I told her in the locker room that’s the best job I’ve seen her finish since she’s been here. The gap wasn’t real wide. She found a way to get in there, but not only did she find a way to get in there, she went strong, took the contact, finished and hit a huge free throw.”

Hanging onto the two-point lead, IPFW wasn’t out of the scary woods yet. Oakland got a point-blank look at the basket two feet away from Elena Popkey with 4.2 seconds left, but IPFW’s 6-foot-1 freshman Courtney Ogle blocked the shot from behind.

Still hoping for something with the 4.2 they had left, the Grizzlies got off two more shots, neither of which fell.

“Erin made the play offensively, Courtney made the play defensively, and we win a close game,” Paul said.

Even though IPFW got off to a chilly beginning, going scoreless for nine minutes to fall behind 11-3, it got the halftime lead, 22-18, only to go scoreless for six more minutes to trail 39-27 with 10:05 remaining.

But on the heels of two Amanda Hyde buckets that got it within eight, IPFW caught a break when Oakland’s Peyton Apsey was called for a foul, then a technical. Hyde dropped the two technical free throws, then another one due to the foul, and what was a 12-point deficit a minute and a half ago was down to five, 39-34.

And then Murphy, whose 11 points backed up Hyde’s 17 and 13 from Stefanie Mauk, did her thing.

“I just took it as this is what I like to do,” Murphy said. “I did what I could, and it worked out the way we wanted it to. But honestly in the end, I know a lot of people are going to remember that last play, but it was everybody. It was those last four seconds we got that stop. It was Stefanie Mauk and Amanda Hyde – big threes toward the end.”