Sports briefs: Feb. 20

February 20, 2013 

Major League Baseball Newcomer Revere looks to spark Phillies' offense

There are plenty of question marks in the outfield for the Philadelphia Phillies. Ben Revere has no plans on being one of them.

While the next six weeks will be an open audition for both corner outfield spots, the former Lexington Catholic standout plans on using spring training to show Manager Charlie Manuel the team didn't give up too much to trade for the speedy 24-year-old.

Philadelphia acquired the former first-round pick last December in exchange for starter Vance Worley and reliever Travis May.

When Revere swings a bat, he exudes control. He made contact 92.2 percent of the time during the last three seasons, a rate exceeded by only three players. "I guarantee you the fans will like him if he gets on base," Manuel said.

That is the dilemma. Revere is gifted with unparalleled bat control. He swings fewer times than the average major-league player. He hit a career-high .294 with Minnesota in 2012.

But he reached base at a .333 clip, which ranked 78th among qualified hitters. No one who hit at least .294 in 2012 had a lower on-base percentage than Revere.

Revere said he wants to walk more. Three players with at least 500 plate appearances in 2012 — Ruben Tejada, Alcides Escobar, and Dayan Viciedo — had fewer walks than Revere.

Only three times has a Phillies player stolen more than 50 bases in the last 113 years. That would be Sherry Magee (55 in 1906) and Juan Samuel twice (72 in 1984 and 53 in 1985). Revere, who had 40 last season, is taking aim at that feat, too.

One would beget the other. If Revere raises his walks, he would reach base more often as a constant stolen-base threat.

"I think to get on base he'll have to improve his stroke some," Manuel said of Revere. "But I think he can do it because he's a strong little guy. And just playing the game more might help him, because his speed definitely shows up. I don't know exactly where he'll hit (in the batting order) because I haven't seen him enough."


College basketball

No. 1 Indiana outlasts No. 4 Michigan St.

Victor Oladipo's go-ahead putback, dunk and free throws in the final minute lifted top-ranked Indiana to a 72-68 win over No. 4 Michigan State on Tuesday night at East Lansing, Mich. Indiana (24-3, 12-2 Big Ten) broke a first-place tie in the conference. The Hoosiers had lost 17 straight — since 1991 — on the road against the Spartans.

The Spartans (22-5, 11-3) blew opportunities at the line. Trailing by three with 3.7 seconds left, Gary Harris was fouled on a three-point attempt. He missed the first one and then after making the second, missed the third on purpose. Indiana got the rebound and Oladipo hit two free throws to seal the win.

Reggie Johnson made a tie-breaking layup with 5.7 seconds left, and the No. 2-ranked Miami Hurricanes overcame a ragged offensive performance for the second game in a row to beat visiting Virginia 54-50 and remain unbeaten in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Durand Scott added two clinching free throws with 4.1 seconds to go for the Hurricanes, who earned their 14th consecutive victory

Jordan McRae scored a career-high 34 points and led Tennessee's torrid three-point attack as the host Vols defeated LSU 82-72 for their fourth straight victory. Trae Golden added 20 points and eight assists. Jarnell Stokes had 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Ethan Spurlin (Lincoln County) scored 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead host Transylvania to a 75-57 victory against Mt. St. Joseph in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament. Tate Cox (Knott Co. Central) scored a game-high 21 points and Brandon Rash (Montgomery County) had 13 points and five assists. The Pioneers will play Hanover in the semifinals at 6 p.m. Friday at Rose-Hulman in Terre Haute, Ind.


NBA

Davis has double-double in Hornets' loss

Luol Deng scored 20 points and the Chicago Bulls snapped a two-game skid with a 96-87 victory over the host New Orleans Hornets on Tuesday night. The Bulls took the lead for good late in the first quarter, but didn't put the Hornets away until Deng's clutch jumper from the top of the key with 44.8 seconds left.

Anthony Davis had several highlight-reel plays and finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds, four steals, three assists and a blocked shot for New Orleans, which saw its two-game winning streak snapped.

Mike Conley scored 19 points, Zach Randolph had his 31st double-double and Memphis won its fourth straight game Tuesday night, 105-91 at Detroit. Randolph had 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Former Piston Tayshaun Prince had four points and three rebounds in his first game at The Palace since being traded to the Grizzlies. The starter on Detroit's 2004 NBA championship team drew a loud ovation from the crowd of 13,481. "I wish I would've played a little better," he said. "You always want to play well against your old team."


High school basketball

Madison Central boys, girls cruise to wins

44th District boys: No. 4 Madison Central jumped out to a 32-7 lead after one quarter and went on to defeat Berea 83-36 in district play on Tuesday night. Ken-Jah Bosley scored a game-high 18 points for the Indians, who forced 23 turnovers.

47th: Taylor Gover scored a game-high 28 points in No. 20 Pulaski County's 94-66 victory against Casey County.

Girls' highlights:

44th District: Ashton Feldhaus scored 18 points and had four rebounds, five assists and three blocked shots in No. 12 Madison Central's 64-36 win against Berea. Shadae Bosley added 14 points and 11 rebounds.

27th: No. 24 Sacred Heart's DaiJia Ruffin had 21 points, six rebounds and five steals in a 68-38 victory against Atherton.

33rd: Jessica Jones scored 14 points to go with 15 rebounds and six steals in Boone County's 59-57 overtime victory against Conner. Jordan Scott had 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Lady Cougars.

40th: Sandra Skinner had 22 points and 12 rebounds, and Clark County defeated Bourbon County 61-43.


UK Sports

Softball team moves up in rankings

Kentucky's softball team moved up in both major softball polls after going 4-1 this past weekend. The Cats (8-3) moved up three spots to 21st in the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association poll and improved two spots to 20th in the ESPN.com/USA Softball top 25. UK's losses have come to Oklahoma, ranked second in the coaches' poll, No. 3 Arizona State and unranked Portland State.

■ Junior diver Greg Ferrucci finished second in 1-meter springboard at the SEC Swimming and Diving Championships on Tuesday at College Station, Texas. Ferrucci earned a season-best score of 389.4, finishing behind Missouri's David Bonuchi (401.5).

"Great job by Greg tonight," UK diving coach Ted Hautau said. "He hit his last three dives to close a pretty big gap and made a good run to finish second. He looked relaxed and confident in the finals and I see a lot of improvement in his mental game."

■ After reaching base in 15 of 18 plate appearances during opening weekend, Kentucky baseball's J.T. Riddle was named a Southeastern Conference co-player of the week. The Western Hills graduate went 11-for-14 in the Cats' three wins.


The last word

Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Ben Revere wasn't surprised the Minnesota Twins traded him during the off-season, but he said he was shocked that he was acquired by a team with World Series aspirations. Revere said:

"The Phillies came in and just swooped me up out of nowhere and my agent was like yeah, 'They came in and pretty much beast-moded it.'"

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