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University of California, Los Angeles Sports News - Football, Basketball And More

Feb 23

Bonsignore: Making the Rams roster moves as GM for a day

The offseason the Rams face in 2018 is dramatically less urgent and daunting than what they encountered a year ago.

A new coaching staff was just getting settled in and questions and concerns were lurking around every corner for a franchise that hadn’t had a winning season since 2003. An upgrade at left tackle and center were badly needed and a mediocre wide receiver corps required urgent care. A culture needed to be changed and a locker room needed to be saved and restored.

As for young running back Todd Gurley and quarterback Jared Goff, uncertainty was rampant. Were they franchise caliber players or first-round whifs?

It was, to say the least, an ominous time.

A year later, it can safely be said nearly every concern and task at hand were decisively addressed. If the Rams weren’t hitting home runs — dynamic head coach Sean McVay, Pro Bowl left tackle Andrew Whitworth and dependable wide receiver Robert Woods come to mind — they were driving screaming line drives to the outfield wall with the drafting of Cooper Kupp and additions of center John Sullivan wide receiver Sammy Watkins. Gurley was restored as one of the best running backs in the NFL and Goff made a gigantic leap from rookie worry to second year Pro Bowler.

All of which helped the Rams make one of the most dramatic turnarounds in NFL history, their offense going from the worst in the league to the best while surging to a 10-6 record — their first winning season since 2003 — while claiming their first division title since 2004.

Clearly it makes for a much less anxious offseason this year. But make no mistake, they have a lot of work ahead of them simply to remain as good as they were last season. Let alone close the gap between themselves and upper echelon.

So we’re putting on our general manager and capologist caps to lend a helping hand.

Here’s what we’d do if we were in the G.M. chair:

RESIGN FREE AGENT CB TRUMAINE JOHNSON AND SAFETY LAMARCUS JOYNER

Seven months ago it seemed inevitable the Rams and Johnson would be parting ways at the end of the season. Johnson, who the Rams utilized their franchise tag on for the second straight year, even conceded as much at the opening of training camp.

But two things happened that have changed the dynamics. Johnson played better than anyone could have expected while emerging as a valued locker room leader, and fellow cornerback Kayvon Webster, who the Rams signed last March, went down with a torn achilles tendon in early December.

With Webster’s status for next year uncertain it seems illogical the Rams would surrender their best cover corner in Johnson and their most versatile defensive back in Joyner, who can slide back to corner to replace Webster, if needed, or remain at safety after turning in a fabulous season his first year on the job.

The Rams have roughly $46 million available under the salary cap, and likely more if they part ways with veterans Tavon Austin, Mark Barron and Robert Quinn. Getting their two best defensive backs under new contracts is absolutely a must.

FRANCHISE TAG WIDE RECEIVER SAMMY WATKINS

There are valid arguments to be made for either bringing Watkins back or letting him walk as an unrestricted free agent. On one hand, he represents the kind of dynamic home-run hitter the Rams have lacked for years at wide receiver. On the other, he simply did not statistically live up to the hype after they traded for him near the end of training camp.

Woods finished with 39 catchers for 593 yards and eight touchdowns. Good but not great numbers for No. 1 caliber wide receiver.

That’s where the franchise tag comes in so handy.

If, as some suggest, Watkins’ numbers were merely the result of him arriving late in camp and not having a full year to work with Goff, bringing him back on a one-year deal buys time to figure out whether he’s part of the long-range plan. Without, of course, commiting long-range money.

Yet.

If he rebounds with a big year they can revisit a multi-year deal next year. If not, they can simply walk away no harm done.

RELEASE TAVON AUSTIN

The Rams can create $3 million of cap space by releasing Austin, who is due $8 million in 2018. It’s not necessarily a lot of money — although every dollar counts working with a hard cap — but his departure also helps in other ways. It would open a door for the younger, more dynamic Pharoh Cooper to replace him.

Cooper is potentially a better receiver than Austin and likely more dangerous working out of the back field and on jet sweeps. Sean McVay did an admirable job figuring out a way to get production out of Austin, now imagine what he can do with Cooper in that role.

SIGN DETROIT FREE AGENT DE EZEKIEL ANSAH

CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 24: Ezekiel Ansah #94 of the Detroit Lions sacks Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals during the first half at Paul Brown Stadium on December 24, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
How would Detroit Lions free agent pass rusher Ezekiel Ansah fit into the Rams’ defensive front? (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)

Anash is hitting free agency coming off a 14.5-sack season with the Lions and would be a welcome pass rusher either lining up as a defensive end or at outside linebacker, a position he played in college. The Rams need to create more pressure up front, and Ansah, a true four-down defender, can do just that.

SIGN BENGALS TE TYLER EIFERT

When healthy Eifert is an absolute beast and one of the best Red Zone weapons in the NFL. The problem is, he hasn’t played a full 16-game season over five years while dealing with various injuries. He played only two games last year – 10 over the last two seasons – but would be an ideal candidate to sign a one-year prove it deal in search of a bigger deal down the road.

The Rams have made it clear they want more production from their tight ends, and a healthy Eifert is talented enough to provide it. From his perspective, the Rams represent a perfect situation with an up-and-coming quarterback, a bevy of weapons around him, and a head coach in McVay whose offense relies heavily on tight end production.

KEEP OLB ROBERT QUINN

The Rams face an intriguing decision with their veteran pass rusher, as releasing him would free up $11.4 million in cap space. But Quinn made a strong case for himself over the second half of the season while finishing with 8.5 sacks. The Rams did an excellent job managing Quinn’s body following two straight years of reduced games because of injury, utilizing a mindful weekly practice and game schedule that resulted in a much more fresh and productive Quinn late in the season. Between his pass rush ability and the leadership he brings to the locker room, bringing him back is more beneficial than the cost effectiveness of releasing him.

RELEASE MARK BARRON

Barron had a good but not great season in 2017, and while he was second on the team in tackles with 85, his $10 million price tag, coupled with injury concerns, are legitimate factors in deciding whether to bring him back. By releasing him the Rams will create $7 million in cap space. It would mean the Rams looking to the draft or open market to find a replacement, although third-year LB Corey Littleton is certainly a candidate to replacement.

TIME TO HOOK UP AARON DONALD

The price tag for the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year is going up by the minute, and while he and the Rams came to an accord last year after a lengthy offseason and training camp holdout, it’s hard to imagine each side going through that again.

Donald is entering the final year rookie contract, and while the Rams could kick the can further down the road by utilizing the franchise tag in 2019 and 2020, the sense is they are eager to wrap Donald up.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/23/bonsignore-making-the-rams-roster-moves-as-gm-for-a-day/

Feb 23

Los Angeles Chargers offseason analysis: Linebackers

More Chargers position-by-position analysis: Quarterbacks | Running backs | Wide receivers | Tight ends | Offensive linemen | Defensive linemen

In nine games without linebacker Denzel Perryman, the Chargers surrendered 1,278 rushing yards. Through the seven games he played, they gave up just 820.

That’s a difference of nearly 25 yards per game. In other words, the difference between one of the worst run defenses in the NFL and a top-10 unit. Even league-average performance could have pushed this team into the playoffs. When the Chargers held opponents to fewer than 110 yards on the ground, they had a 6-1 record.

Not all of these struggles should be blamed on the absence of Perryman, who tore an ankle ligament in the preseason opener. The interior defensive line could have performed better. Players at most positions could have tackled more consistently.

But heading into 2018, a healthy season by the 5-foot-11, 240-pound defender represents the quickest and easiest way for the Chargers to patch up one of their most glaring weaknesses.

2017 STARTERS: Denzel Perryman (37 tackles, 1 fumble recovery), Kyle Emanuel (34 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 1 interception), Hayes Pullard (74 tackles, 1 fumble recovery, 1 interception)

RESERVES: Korey Toomer (48 tackles, 1 interception, 2 forced fumbles), Jatavis Brown (79 tackles, 1 fumble recovery), Nick Dzubnar (21 tackles), James Onwualu (8 tackles).

PENDING FREE AGENTS: Korey Toomer, Nick Dzubnar (restricted).

GRADING 2017

No Chargers linebacker started more than 11 games last season, a symptom of both injuries and lack of depth.

Perryman, the best of the bunch, sat out two months recovering from ankle surgery. After briefly leading the league in tackles, Jatavis Brown fell down the depth chart, totaling just 85 defensive snaps in the final six games. Hayes Pullard, claimed off waivers days before the season opener, had a starting job by Week 2.

Which is to say that, outside of Perryman, the Chargers don’t have blue-chip talent at the position. Kyle Emanuel, drafted three rounds later in 2015, rarely played on passing downs. Brown has impressive athleticism, but regressed during his transition to Gus Bradley’s 4-3 defense. Pullard might be better in specific packages rather than as a full-time starter.

GRADE: C-

ANALYZING 2018

Few areas on the roster need as much help as this one, with only Perryman flashing anything resembling star potential. But the former second-round pick has also missed 15 games as a pro, and is entering the final year of his contract. A significant injury this fall could throw his long-term future with the team in doubt.

Even if Perryman is healthy, he could use some help next to him. If the Chargers opt to dip into free agency, they could go after names like Tennessee’s Avery Williamson, Philadelphia’s Nigel Bradham or Buffalo’s Preston Brown.

General manager Tom Telesco preaches drafting the top player available over filling specific roster needs, but the two criteria sometimes coincide. The best linebackers in this year’s class, Georgia’s Roquan Smith and Virginia Tech’s Tremaine Edmunds, both have top-10 potential. If either one slips, the Chargers could trade up from No. 17. LEVEL OF NEED: HIGH

Coming next: Rams defensive backs

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/23/los-angeles-chargers-offseason-analysis-linebackers/

Feb 23

USC’s Bennie Boatwright, Chimezie Metu named in FBI college basketball probe, per Yahoo report

The FBI’s investigation into bribery and corruption in college basketball continues to envelop USC.

Junior forwards Bennie Boatwright and Chimezie Metu are the latest focus of the probe, several months after Trojans associate head coach Tony Bland was arrested and subsequently fired and guard De’Anthony Melton essentially lost his entire sophomore season while his involvement was investigated.

Federal documents obtained, reviewed and published Friday in an exclusive report by Yahoo Sports link Boatwright and Metu in the wide-ranging scandal to aspiring agent Christian Dawkins, an associate of NBA agent Andy Miller and his ASM Sports agency.

According to the report, Dawkins filed expense reports with ASM Sports seeking reimbursement for payments made to dozens of current and former college basketball players and their families.

Among those reported to have received thousands of dollars were Boatwright and Metu. Boatwright and/or his father, Bennie Boatwright Sr., received at least $2,000. Metu and/or an adviser, Johnnie Parker, received $2,000.

It was not clear if the players received the alleged payments or knew about them. Yahoo reported it reviewed hundreds of pages of documents as part of the case, but not all of them.

Dawkins in September was among 10 men arrested in the corruption case. Weeks later, he was charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office with three counts of wire fraud and one count of money-laundering conspiracy.

A USC spokesman said Friday morning the school was aware of the newly published report, but deferred comment.

The Trojans are vying for a third consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament and face Utah on Saturday in Salt Lake City. They improved to 20-9 overall with a win Wednesday at Colorado.

Metu’s immediate status is unclear. He finished with 21 points against the Buffaloes. Boatwright is already out for the season due to a partially torn patellar tendon in his left knee.

Both players could be in violation of NCAA amateurism rules if the alleged payments occurred. It has been expected that Metu and Boatwright will declare for the NBA draft after this season.

Melton was the Trojans’ first player linked in the FBI probe in September and was withheld from the season after the university declared him ineligible. Melton on Wednesday announced he was withdrawing from USC and plans to enter the draft.

Federal prosecutors alleged Dave Elliott, a close family friend of Melton, received a $5,000 bribe from Dawkins in August in exchange for directing the player to retain his services once he turned pro. It did not allege wrongdoing by Melton.

A university investigation found Elliott at least received airfare and a hotel room from Dawkins in order to attend a summer basketball tournament in Las Vegas and cited the impermissible benefits in its decision to suspend Melton for the duration of the season. Melton remained on scholarship and practiced with the team, but did not play in games nor travel with the team since December.

Bland was first put on administrative leave in September in the aftermath of the FBI’s published report after he was alleged to have facilitated the payments between Dawkins and Elliott and accepted bribes.

Bland was fired by USC in January, two months after he was among four college basketball assistant coaches indicted by a federal grand jury in New York City on four counts of conspiracy to commit bribery, honest services wire fraud conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy and travel act conspiracy.

USC hired former FBI director Louis Freeh’s firm, Freeh Group International Solutions, to examine its men’s basketball program.

In an interview with the Southern California News Group earlier this month, Athletic Director Lynn Swann said the review by the Freeh Group found no institutional neglect.

Other current and former players named in the report include Lakers rookie Kyle Kuzma, who allegedly received $9,500 while playing at Utah, according to the report.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/23/uscs-bennie-boatwright-chimezie-metu-named-in-fbi-college-basketball-probe-per-yahoo-report/

Feb 23

Retail-restaurant roundup: iSno debuts in Irvine; Spectrum carousel on the move; Ground House opens at TRADE; new furniture at SOCO

  • iSno Cafe, a new dessert concept, has opened in Irvine at Culver Plaza. The shop is co-owned by Paul Zhu, an Irvine native. The shop’s signature dessert, the Snö-ya (think: shave ice made with lactose-free milk), can be topped with fruit or treats like brownies and whipped cream. (Photo courtesy of iSno)

    iSno Cafe, a new dessert concept, has opened in Irvine at Culver Plaza. The shop is co-owned by Paul Zhu, an Irvine native. The shop’s signature dessert, the Snö-ya (think: shave ice made with lactose-free milk), can be topped with fruit or treats like brownies and whipped cream. (Photo courtesy of iSno)

  • Burger lovers can find a new way to slake their hunger for beef patties on lush buns with the debut of Ground House at TRADE, the Irvine food hall. The concept, which opens March 3, was created by the same food entrepreneurs behind GD Bro Burger and Pig Pen Delicacy. (Courtesy of Ground House)

    Burger lovers can find a new way to slake their hunger for beef patties on lush buns with the debut of Ground House at TRADE, the Irvine food hall. The concept, which opens March 3, was created by the same food entrepreneurs behind GD Bro Burger and Pig Pen Delicacy. (Courtesy of Ground House)

  • On Feb. 26, the carousel at Irvine Spectrum Center will be relocated and will debut with a fresh look this spring near Target. The carousel’s last day of operation in its current location is Feb. 25. (Courtesy of Irvine Co.)

    On Feb. 26, the carousel at Irvine Spectrum Center will be relocated and will debut with a fresh look this spring near Target. The carousel’s last day of operation in its current location is Feb. 25. (Courtesy of Irvine Co.)

  • Cilek Kids’ Room is opening at SOCO in Costa Mesa. The shop will be in the former Granola Babies space and is the company’s first brick-and-mortar showroom. The brand is known for creating spaces inspired by a child’s imagination (think; princess canopies, race car beds and pirate themes). A teen lineup includes shabby chic styles, modern “mocha” lines and a classic “Ruby” style with red padded headboards and sleek white lacquered furniture. (Photo courtesy of Cilek Kids’ Room)

    Cilek Kids’ Room is opening at SOCO in Costa Mesa. The shop will be in the former Granola Babies space and is the company’s first brick-and-mortar showroom. The brand is known for creating spaces inspired by a child’s imagination (think; princess canopies, race car beds and pirate themes). A teen lineup includes shabby chic styles, modern “mocha” lines and a classic “Ruby” style with red padded headboards and sleek white lacquered furniture. (Photo courtesy of Cilek Kids’ Room)

  • Rendering of the Irvine Spectrum Center expansion shows a 2-story H&M. (Courtesy the Irvine Co.)

    Rendering of the Irvine Spectrum Center expansion shows a 2-story H&M. (Courtesy the Irvine Co.)

  • A rendering of the new alfresco paseos under construction at the Irvine Spectrum Center. (Courtesy the Irvine Co.)

    A rendering of the new alfresco paseos under construction at the Irvine Spectrum Center. (Courtesy the Irvine Co.)

  • A nearly 140,000 square foot expansion of the Irvine Spectrum Center is being built where Macy’s used to stand. The new space will occupy 30 tenants, including a two-story H&M and several restaurants. (Rendering Courtesy the Irvine Co.)

    A nearly 140,000 square foot expansion of the Irvine Spectrum Center is being built where Macy’s used to stand. The new space will occupy 30 tenants, including a two-story H&M and several restaurants. (Rendering Courtesy the Irvine Co.)

  • The Irvine Company announced Jan. 11 that it plans to add 30 new stores and restaurants as part of a $200-million reinvestment in the Irvine Spectrum Center. Hello Kitty Cafe (shown) will get a permanent spot in the new addition, show behind the temporary cafe. (Nancy Luna, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Irvine Company announced Jan. 11 that it plans to add 30 new stores and restaurants as part of a $200-million reinvestment in the Irvine Spectrum Center. Hello Kitty Cafe (shown) will get a permanent spot in the new addition, show behind the temporary cafe. (Nancy Luna, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Irvine Company revealed a round of new tenants expected to open at the $200-million addition at the Irvine Spectrum Center. (Nancy Luna, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Irvine Company revealed a round of new tenants expected to open at the $200-million addition at the Irvine Spectrum Center. (Nancy Luna, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A Rubios Coastal Grill that was heavily damaged in a fire last summer will reopen March 1 in Placentia. (Courtesy of Rubio’s)

    A Rubios Coastal Grill that was heavily damaged in a fire last summer will reopen March 1 in Placentia. (Courtesy of Rubio’s)

  • A Rubios Coastal Grill that was heavily damaged in a fire last summer will reopen March 1 in Placentia. Seen here is one of the restaurants more popular dishes, the chipotle orange salad with shrimp. (Courtesy of Rubio’s)

    A Rubios Coastal Grill that was heavily damaged in a fire last summer will reopen March 1 in Placentia. Seen here is one of the restaurants more popular dishes, the chipotle orange salad with shrimp. (Courtesy of Rubio’s)

  • A Rubios Coastal Grill that was heavily damaged in a fire last summer will reopen March 1 in Placentia. (Courtesy of Rubio’s)

    A Rubios Coastal Grill that was heavily damaged in a fire last summer will reopen March 1 in Placentia. (Courtesy of Rubio’s)

  • In additon to the Sno-ya, iSno Cafe sells the Cro-ya and the Bru-ya, stuffed croissants and coffee and tea drinks, respectively. (Courtesy of iSno Cafe)

    In additon to the Sno-ya, iSno Cafe sells the Cro-ya and the Bru-ya, stuffed croissants and coffee and tea drinks, respectively. (Courtesy of iSno Cafe)

  • In additon to the Sno-ya, iSno Cafe sells the Cro-ya and the Bru-ya, stuffed croissants and coffee and tea drinks, respectively. (Courtesy of iSno Cafe)

    In additon to the Sno-ya, iSno Cafe sells the Cro-ya and the Bru-ya, stuffed croissants and coffee and tea drinks, respectively. (Courtesy of iSno Cafe)

  • iSnö Café sells the Sno-ya, a snowy, milk-based treat made with organic, lactose-free, low-fat milk. Customers can choose from a host of toppings of signature combinations. (Courtesy of iSno Cafe)

    iSnö Café sells the Sno-ya, a snowy, milk-based treat made with organic, lactose-free, low-fat milk. Customers can choose from a host of toppings of signature combinations. (Courtesy of iSno Cafe)

  • iSnö Café sells the Sno-ya, a snowy, milk-based treat made with organic, lactose-free, low-fat milk. Customers can choose from a host of toppings of signature combinations. (Courtesy of iSno Cafe)

    iSnö Café sells the Sno-ya, a snowy, milk-based treat made with organic, lactose-free, low-fat milk. Customers can choose from a host of toppings of signature combinations. (Courtesy of iSno Cafe)

  • iSnö Café sells the Sno-ya, a snowy, milk-based treat made with organic, lactose-free, low-fat milk. Customers can choose from a host of toppings of signature combinations. (Courtesy of iSno Cafe)

    iSnö Café sells the Sno-ya, a snowy, milk-based treat made with organic, lactose-free, low-fat milk. Customers can choose from a host of toppings of signature combinations. (Courtesy of iSno Cafe)

  • iSnö Café sells the Sno-ya, a snowy, milk-based treat made with organic, lactose-free, low-fat milk. Customers can choose from a host of toppings of signature combinations. (Courtesy of iSno Cafe)

    iSnö Café sells the Sno-ya, a snowy, milk-based treat made with organic, lactose-free, low-fat milk. Customers can choose from a host of toppings of signature combinations. (Courtesy of iSno Cafe)

  • In additon to the Sno-ya, iSno Cafe sells the Cro-ya and the Bru-ya, stuffed croissants and coffee and tea drinks, respectively. (Courtesy of iSno Cafe)

    In additon to the Sno-ya, iSno Cafe sells the Cro-ya and the Bru-ya, stuffed croissants and coffee and tea drinks, respectively. (Courtesy of iSno Cafe)

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Burgers at TRADE food hall

Burger lovers can add one more way to satiate their beef cravings when Ground House debuts March 3 at TRADE, the Irvine food hall.

The concept was created by the same food entrepreneurs behind Pig Pen Delicacy and GD Bro Burger (also at TRADE and SteelCraft in Long Beach, respectively) and Afters Ice Cream.

“Ground House’s objective is to create a simple, affordable and reliable option that our patrons can enjoy multiple times per week, without breaking the bank,” Ground House said in a statement.

Ground House’s menu also includes burgers without meat, including its Ono Burger (with pineapple and teriyaki sauce), the Basic Beyond vegan burger, fresh cut fries and onion rings.

The first 100 customers in line on Saturday will receive a $20 gift card to Ground House. The eatery opens at 11 a.m. Address: 2222 Michelson Drive.

iSno in Irvine

iSnö Café is open at Culver Plaza in Irvine. An official grand opening will take place Saturday, March 3.

The concept was created by Paul Zhu, an Irvine native and part owner of the shop. His partners include Jimmy Hu and Luke Cheon. The shop features a milk-based “snow-based” dessert and options such as the Crö-ya (stuffed croissant pastries ) and Brü-ya (coffee and tea drinks).

According to Zhu, iSno’s signature dessert, the Sno-ya, is made with organic, lactose-free, low-fat milk.

While the shop offers lots of toppings, the most popular, Zhu said, is the Cardinal Gold, which includes fresh cut strawberries and mangos topped with strawberry and mango purees.

Another favorite? Very Berry with fresh blackberries, blueberries and raspberries. For those with more of a sweet tooth, iSno has a Choco Loco version and S’Moreo for that camp-site nostalgia. Customers can build it their way, too.

Prices for the Sno-ya range from $7 to $9 depending on the topping combinations, he said.

Zhu, who has 15 employees at his first shop, said he’d like to grow the concept.

“Our goal is to establish iSnö Café into a mainstream, mass-market brand,” he said. A second location is in the works, but Zhu isn’t ready to share that info quite yet.

Address: 15333 Culver Drive, Ste. 360; 949-861-8488.

Rubios rises from ashes

A Rubios Coastal Grill that was lost to a fire last summer will reopen March 1 in Placentia.

To celebrate the reopening, Rubio’s will donate 50 percent of sales (or a maximum of $2,500) to the Boys & Girls Club of Placentia.

“This new restaurant opening is particularly special to us after the fire last year, and we’re incredibly grateful to the OCFA and the Anaheim and Fullerton-Brea fire departments for their efforts,” Ralph Rubio, co-founder of Rubio’s, said in a statement. “We’re excited to reopen the new Rubio’s Coastal Grill and offer Placentia residents another location to enjoy our food and coastal ambiance.”

Address: 127 East Yorba Linda Blvd.

Szechuan Sauce returns

This is not a good time to be spending $250 on eBay for McDonald’s Szechuan Sauce.

The fast-food giant will bring back its legendary condiment on Monday, Feb. 26 to go with its semi-new menu item, Buttermilk Chicken Tenders. The tenders are the chain’s bid to compete with Chick-fil-A, Wendy’s and Raising Cane’s in the sizzling fried chicken market.

The company is distributing 20 million packets of the stuff, and it’s up to store managers to decide how many each customer can get, according to McDonald’s representatives. McDonald’s has more than 14,000 locations in the United States.

Szechuan Sauce, launched in 1998 as part of a promotion of the Disney’s animated film “Mulan,” became a pop culture phenomenon when it was featured in an episode of the Adult Swim cartoon series “Rick and Morty.”

McDonald’s capitalized on it with a stunt on Oct. 7, but the sauce was only available for one day at a few locations.

Now McDonald’s says it wants to make amends, and it has launched a website, www.wewantthesauce.com, explaining the product’s whole, cartoonish history.

— By Fielding Buck, staff writer

New furniture at SOCO

Two furniture merchants have opened at SOCO in Costa Mesa — one aimed at children, the other at adults with sustainable creations in mind.

Cilek Kids’ Room (located in the former Granola Babies space) is the company’s first brick-and-mortar showroom.

The brand is known for creating spaces inspired by a child’s imagination (think; princess canopies, race car beds and pirate themes). A teen lineup includes shabby chic styles, modern “mocha” lines and a classic “Ruby” style with red padded headboards and sleek white lacquered furniture.

Natuzzi Italia is for shoppers who want a modern look with sustainable construction. The store is part of Natuzzi Group, founded in 1959 by Pasquale Natuzzi and considered Italy’s largest furniture house.

The store is near Room & Board and the Paul Mitchell school.

SOCO is a hipster enclave, known for its edgy furniture merchants and upscale food. Other tenants include C.S. Wo & Sons, Boconcept, HD Buttercup, Gear Coop, Taco Maria, We Olive & Wine Bar, and ABC Food & Libations.

Address: 3303 Hyland Ave.

Kids clothes

Families who frequent the Tustin Market Place wing with Ross, Old Navy and T.J. Maxx have one more kid-friendly retailer to add to their shopping list. Carter’s | OshKosh B’gosh, a children’s clothing store, has opened next door to Justice for Girls and Ross.

Carousel move

On Feb. 26, the carousel at Irvine Spectrum Center will be relocated and will debut with a fresh look this spring near Target. The carousel’s last day of operation in its current location is Feb. 25.

The retail center is in the middle of a $200 million expansion. In January, the Irvine Co., the property owner, revealed 14 of the 30 retailers and restaurants slated to open this year and 2019 in the space once dominated by Macy’s. Tenants range from local retail and food hotshots to international brands such as Hello Kitty Cafe, H&M, Sephora and 85°C Bakery Café.

The first wave of restaurants and retailers are slated to open by mid-August with the rest coming in 2019, including a Sephora beauty store.

The center is Irvine Co.’s most popular mall. Roughly 17 million people visit the center annually, about 1 million more than the developer’s 50-year-old luxury retail center, Fashion Island – and 5 million fewer than tourist-driven South Coast Plaza.

Send your food news tips to Anne Valdespino at avaldespino@scng.com. Retail news can go to Samantha Gowen at sgowen@scng.com.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/23/retail-restaurant-roundup-isno-debuts-in-irvine-spectrum-carousel-on-the-move-szechuan-sauce-returns-new-furniture-shops-at-soco/

Feb 23

Trump imposes new sanctions on North Korean shipping, trade

By ZEKE MILLER

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Friday imposed sanctions on more than 50 vessels, shipping companies and trade businesses in its latest bid to pressure North Korea over its nuclear program.

The administration billed it as the largest installment of North Korean sanctions to date.

While the number of companies from North Korea and other nations was high, the economic impact was likely to be less than previous measures that have targeted much larger financial and business networks in China and Russia that deal with the North.

The United Nations Security Council has imposed three sets of sanctions on North Korea in the past year to deprive it of revenue and resources for its nuclear and ballistic missile development. Those weapons pose an emerging threat to the U.S. mainland. The U.S. is particularly concerned about exports of North Korean coal that are prohibited by the U.N. sanctions and ship-to-ship transfers of imported oil and petroleum products.

The Treasury Department said it was barring U.S. business transactions with nine international shipping companies from China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Panama, and nine of their vessels. It also blacklisted 16 North shipping companies and 19 of their North Korean-flagged vessels.

Additionally, department designated a Taiwanese citizen, Tsang Yung Yuan, and two companies he owns or controls. Tsang was said to have coordinated North Korean coal exports with a Russia-based North Korean broker, and attempted $1 million oil deal with a Russian company sanctioned for dealing with the North.

President Donald Trump was set to call it “the largest-ever set of new sanctions” on the North in a speech Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference, according to a senior administration official who wasn’t authorized to publicly discuss the sanctions before Trump’s remarks.

The announcement comes as South Korea hosts the Winter Olympics, an occasion the two Koreas have used as an opportunity to ease tensions and restart talks. Although South Korea is a close U.S. ally, animosity between Washington and Pyongyang is still running high.

Friday’s action comes two weeks after Vice President Mike Pence, who attended the Olympics opening, promised the “toughest and most aggressive” economic sanctions against North Korea.

Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and adviser, arrived in South Korea on Friday to attend the closing ceremony this weekend. At a dinner with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, she reaffirmed “our commitment to our maximum pressure campaign to ensure that the Korean Peninsula is denuclearized.”

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Associated Press writer Matthew Pennington contributed to this report.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/23/trump-to-announce-new-nkorea-sanctions/

Feb 23

Shooting at Southeastern Louisiana University leaves 2 injured

HAMMOND, La. — Two people were injured after gunshots were fired early Friday on a college campus in Louisiana, school officials said.

Southeastern Louisiana University spokeswoman Erin Cowser said the incident happened at 3 a.m. Friday near an assembly hall where basketball games and other sports events are held.

Cowser said the shooting apparently stemmed from a fight or altercation involving students and people who aren’t enrolled in the school.

She said the incident hasn’t forced any closures or cancellations on Friday, a day when the school doesn’t have a full schedule of classes.

“The incident is over and done,” she said.

It was unclear whether the two people injured were students. They were taken to a local hospital with injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

Cowser says no suspects are in custody. Police are investigating.

The school is located in Hammond, about 56 miles northwest of New Orleans.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/23/shooting-at-southeastern-louisiana-university-leaves-2-injured/

Feb 23

Freeze watch to come as cold weather continues in Southern California

A winter weather advisory indicating perilous travel conditions is in force in the San Gabriel Mountains in Los Angeles and Ventura counties until 10 this morning.

The snow level will range between 2,500 and 3,500 feet, and between 1 and 3 inches of snow are expected amid north-to-northwest winds of between 20 and 35 miles per hour with 50-mph gusts, according to the National Weather Service.

“Plan on slippery road conditions,” warned an NWS statement. “Be prepared for snow-covered roads and limited visibility, and use caution while driving.”

But an upper trough will exit the region this morning and scattered snow showers in the mountains will end, the NWS said. Otherwise, it will be cool and breezy today.

Additionally, northwest winds of about 15-25 mph are expected today in metropolitan Los Angeles and the San Fernando, Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys. Gusts of 35 mph are forecast in the San Fernando Valley, 40 mph in the Santa Clarita Valley and 45 mph in the Antelope Valley, where a wind advisory will be in effect until 9 tonight, forecasters said.

In the Santa Monica Mountain Recreational area, a freeze watch will be in effect from late tonight through Saturday morning, when temperatures will be between 29 and 32.

The NWS forecast a combination of partly cloudy and sunny skies in L.A. County today and highs of 42 degrees on Mount Wilson; 48 in Lancaster; 49 in Palmdale; 54 in Saugus; 57 in Avalon; 59 in San Gabriel; 60 in Pasadena and Burbank; 61 in Woodland Hills; and 62 in Downtown L.A., Long Beach and at LAX. Little change in temperature is expected in the coming days, but showers are in the forecast for Tuesday and rain for Thursday.

Sunny skies were forecast in Orange County today along with highs of 55 in San Clemente; 56 in Mission Viejo; 57 in Laguna Beach; 58 in Newport Beach; 60 in Irvine and Yorba Linda; and 61 in Fullerton and Anaheim. Temperatures will be mostly in the low sixties over the next several days but spike Monday, when it will reach 70 in Fullerton and Anaheim on Monday.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/23/freeze-watch-to-come-as-cold-weather-continues-in-southern-california/

Feb 23

‘The King and I’ waltzes into Segerstrom Center

It’s been more than 150 years since King Mongkut ruled Siam (now Thailand), but Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1951 Broadway musical “The King and I” virtually gave him immortality.

Based on Margaret Landon’s 1944 novel “Anna and the King of Siam,” the show provided a breakout role for Yul Brynner as the King, and in portraying Englishwoman Anna Leonowens, an independent, strong-minded schoolteacher and single mom, Gertrude Lawrence earned a Tony Award for best actress in a musical.

The character of the King, though Brynner’s signature role, has been essayed by actors as diverse as Herbert Lom, Darren McGavin, Farley Granger and Lou Diamond Phillips. The list of Annas is even more extensive, including Angela Lansbury, Celeste Holm, Eileen Brennan and Stefanie Powers.

Arriving on Tuesday, Feb. 27 for a two-week run at Segerstrom Center in Costa Mesa, the current U.S. tour of this perennial hit is headed by Jose Llana and Laura Michelle Kelly, who’ve earned high marks for their individual performances as well as their scenes together.

The duo originated their roles in the 2012 production at The Muny (St. Louis Municipal Opera Theatre).

Bartlett Sher’s 2015 staging, the show’s fourth Broadway revival at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater, won four Tony Awards, including best revival of a musical. When it was time to launch that production’s U.S. national tour in September 2016, director Sher tapped Llana and Kelly for the leads.

Hollywood Reporter’s review lauded Llana as “a force,”saying “his tormented, relatable King is another reason this evening is so dreamy.” The Boston Globe said “his portrayal of the king gives us a figure both complicated and compelling.”

Of Kelly’s performance, the Boston Globe reported that she “brings a graceful, luminous presence and a vocal style both crystalline and warm to the role of Anna,” while Hollywood Reporter said “Kelly’s brave Anna brims with grace and grit.”

Kelly said her first time playing Anna, at The Muny, “was amazing” and that she “fell in love with the role.”

In 2014 she originated the role of Sylvia Llewelyn Davies in the world premiere of the musical “Finding Neverland,” then reprised it in the 2015-’16 Broadway production. She had just completed the run when she was asked to join the national “King and I” tour.

  • Miss Anna Leonowens delights in becoming acquainted with her students, all children of the King, in the song “Getting to Know You.” (Photo by Matthew Murphy)

    Miss Anna Leonowens delights in becoming acquainted with her students, all children of the King, in the song “Getting to Know You.” (Photo by Matthew Murphy)

  • Stars Jose Llana and Laura Michelle Kelly have earned popular and critical acclaim for their portrayals of the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, the lead roles of the U.S. touring production of “The King and I,” which arrives at Segerstrom Center Feb. 27. (Photo by Matthew Murphy)

    Stars Jose Llana and Laura Michelle Kelly have earned popular and critical acclaim for their portrayals of the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, the lead roles of the U.S. touring production of “The King and I,” which arrives at Segerstrom Center Feb. 27. (Photo by Matthew Murphy)

  • Laura Michelle Kelly admires the “female progressiveness” of her character, Englishwoman Anna Leonowens, a teacher hired by the King of Siam in the 1860s to provide modern education for his many children at a classroom in his palace. (Photo by Matthew Murphy)

    Laura Michelle Kelly admires the “female progressiveness” of her character, Englishwoman Anna Leonowens, a teacher hired by the King of Siam in the 1860s to provide modern education for his many children at a classroom in his palace. (Photo by Matthew Murphy)

  • Joan Almedilla plays Lady Thiang, the king’s chief wife, in the touring production. (Photo by Matthew Murphy)

    Joan Almedilla plays Lady Thiang, the king’s chief wife, in the touring production. (Photo by Matthew Murphy)

  • “Shall We Dance?” is one of the show’s most famous musical numbers, allowing Anna and the King to express forbidden feelings of love – part of what Laura Michelle Kelly (pictured with Jose Llana) calls the duo’s ongoing “dueling partnership.” (Photo by Matthew Murphy)

    “Shall We Dance?” is one of the show’s most famous musical numbers, allowing Anna and the King to express forbidden feelings of love – part of what Laura Michelle Kelly (pictured with Jose Llana) calls the duo’s ongoing “dueling partnership.” (Photo by Matthew Murphy)

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The native of Totton in Hampshire, England, said she had to carefully mull the decision to take the role. “I didn’t want to leave the comforts of home,” she said, adding that she knew it would be hard to deal with the rigors of life on the road.

Kelly said that “in addition to the challenges of the role itself,” traveling every Monday “tests your endurance. The only time you can really rest is during the day.”

Other elements of the fatigue factor? “Going from city to city to city, environmental changes, and facing a different stage set-up with each new theater.”

Once the tour was underway, though, Kelly assessed it was worth the risk.

“It’s physically demanding, but that’s one of the reasons I love it,” she said. “One reason I took the role was to help me grow as an actor. It’s an incredible experience working with the same group of people, and a very different one from being in a Broadway cast. You become closer. You become friends.”

Having five weeks for rehearsal was a luxury, she said.

“What’s also so nice about the tour is that every single week, you have an opening night, which sharpens your focus and makes it a new experience. I feel sharper in a way that I never knew, and that keeps things fresh.”

Director Sher, Kelly said, “challenges your immediate ideas about a role by coming at it from a different angle. I’m used to offering a lot of suggestions myself and I come at (each new role) with a lot of ideas, but he completely inspired me.” Sher, she added, is “very hands-on,” a director who “doesn’t abandon his actors” amidst the rehearsal process.

All things connected to “King and I” earn effusive praise from Kelly, from the show itself to everything and everyone connected with the touring production. The show, she said, is “an amazing commentary on humanity. It gives us a healing perspective on the world, which I think we all need right about now.”

Regarding the story: “Anna has a ‘dueling partnership’ with the King from beginning to end. It’s the story of two different people meeting (who are) from two different backgrounds.”

Of co-star Llana’s performance, “You get to see the fear behind some of the decisions the King is making, but also his passion about retaining and not losing touch with Siamese tradition.”

 

Kelly admires the “female progressiveness” of Anna: “She has a line where she says, ‘You think women are more lowly than men, but I don’t believe that. Women are just as good as men, just as important, just as significant.’”

 

Kelly’s vocal turns include the joyous “Getting to Know You,” the immortal “Shall We Dance?” and the wistful “Hello, Young Lovers.” Kelly said, “Each time I sing the show’s songs, I discover something new. That’s the beauty of Rodgers and Hammerstein.”

 

She also revels in “The King and I” as a fan, calling Act Two’s 20-minute “Small House of Uncle Thomas” ballet “one of the most beautiful moments of theater I’ve ever seen. It moves me each time – and every day I get to watch it, like a member of the audience.”

 

For Kelly, who lived in Burbank for three years, bringing a touring show to Costa Mesa feels a lot like coming home. She unabashedly states “I love California.”

Kelly describes “The King and I” as “one of the greatest shows I’ve ever done, and one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had. Every person I’m working with is incredible. The costumes are incredible. It’s an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

‘The King and I’

When: Tuesday, Feb. 27-March 11. 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays, 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sundays

Where: Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa

Tickets: $29-$125

Information: 714-556-2787, www.scfta.org

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/23/the-king-and-i-waltzes-into-segerstrom-center/

Feb 23

See what Knott’s Berry Farm is serving up for its 2018 Boysenberry Festival

Knott’s Berry Farm is poised to honor its origins with the Boysenberry Festival March 16-April 8. The annual event will celebrate the berry with more than 75 dishes, treats and beverages, as well as themed entertainment, activities and shopping.

Named after its originator Rudolf Boysen, the boysenberry is a cross between a loganberry, red raspberry and blackberry. It was first successfully harvested and sold by the Knott family on the land that is now Knott’s Berry Farm.

Food is the festival’s focus

The Boysenberry Festival is aimed squarely at the tastebuds with a selection of new and returning items. Some of the new dishes include quesadillas, pierogies and elote (Mexican street corn),  graced by the berry in various ways.There will also be slow cooked short ribs smothered in boysenberry hoisin sauce, chicken wings doused in boysenberry barbecue sauce and a grilled sausage on a roll topped with boysenberry ketchup, relish and mustard. Nibbles will include boysenberry hummus with pita bread and bite-sized boysenberry coconut macaroons dipped in a chocolate ganache.

  • Enjoy boysenberry beer, wine and cider during the Boysenberry Festival at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park March 16-April 8. (Photo courtesy of Knott’s Berry Farm).

    Enjoy boysenberry beer, wine and cider during the Boysenberry Festival at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park March 16-April 8. (Photo courtesy of Knott’s Berry Farm).

  • Executive chef Bobby Obezo has been creating special dishes with his team for the Boysenberry Festival at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park March 16-April 8. (Photo courtesy of Knott’s Berry Farm).

    Executive chef Bobby Obezo has been creating special dishes with his team for the Boysenberry Festival at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park March 16-April 8. (Photo courtesy of Knott’s Berry Farm).

  • Treats like Fun Buns, deep fried cinnamon rolls topped with boysenberry icing, will be available during the Boysenberry Festival at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park March 16-April 8. (Photo courtesy of Knott’s Berry Farm).

    Treats like Fun Buns, deep fried cinnamon rolls topped with boysenberry icing, will be available during the Boysenberry Festival at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park March 16-April 8. (Photo courtesy of Knott’s Berry Farm).

  • Snoopy the Easter Beagle and Charlie Brown will meet families during the Boysenberry Festival at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park March 16-April 8. (Photo courtesy of Knott’s Berry Farm).

    Snoopy the Easter Beagle and Charlie Brown will meet families during the Boysenberry Festival at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park March 16-April 8. (Photo courtesy of Knott’s Berry Farm).

  • Classic boysenberry pie will be abundant during the Boysenberry Festival at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park March 16-April 8. (Photo courtesy of Knott’s Berry Farm).

    Classic boysenberry pie will be abundant during the Boysenberry Festival at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park March 16-April 8. (Photo courtesy of Knott’s Berry Farm).

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Knott’s will be vending a new boysenberry boba tea, plus its boysenberry beer, wine and cider will be available.

Park guests may purchase a tasting card with 8 food options for $30 or buy items à la carte.

Related: Are Disneyland and Knott’s making food and wine festivals permanent additions to the theme parks?

The festival will include shows, exhibits and more

There are two ways guests at the Boysenberry Festival can learn about Knott’s history. In Ghost Town’s Town Hall there will be an exhibit about the boysenberry and the creation of Knott’s Berry Farm and “Tied Up in Knott’s!,” an art show charting Knott’s from farm to theme park, will be on display in the Wilderness Dance Hall. Many of the art show pieces, as well as prints, will be available for purchase.

Related: Historic 141-year-old church to leave Knott’s Berry Farm

Perhaps the biggest news is Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies will be returning to the park with a show on the Wagon Camp stage. This bluegrass band has a strong fan base and has become one of the most popular acts at Knott’s.

There will also be a musical comedy melodrama, country music from the Ghost Town Miners and a show starring the Peanuts Gang. Families can snap photos with Snoopy as the Easter Beagle and spend some time meeting horses, sheep, goats and other animals at the Old MacDonald Petting Zoo.

Shopping abounds at the festival

Park guests can take a little of the Boysenberry Festival home with a range of merchandise available throughout the park. The Craft Fair will be back with boysenberry cashew nut brittle, pie-shaped home accessories and other items. In addition to park shopping favorites, Knott’s will have some new items just for the festival, including a boysenberry bath and body line with soaps, bath bombs, lip balms and candles, Knott’s sugar-free boysenberry concentrate to make its popular punch and boysenberry Jelly Belly candies. There will also be boysenberry versions of its chocolates, barbecue sauce and other edibles.

Knott’s Boysenberry Festival

When: Open 10 a.m. daily March 16-April 9.

Where: Knott’s Berry Farm, 8039 Beach Blvd., Buena Park.

Tickets: $43-$79, includes venue entrance, tasting card $30.

Information: 714-220-5200, www.knotts.com.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/23/see-what-knotts-berry-farm-is-serving-up-for-its-2018-boysenberry-festival/

Feb 23

Law-abiding gun owners caught in the crosshairs: Political Cartoons

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Check out our daily cartoon gallery featuring some of the best cartoonists from around the world, and across the political spectrum, covering current issues and figures.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/23/law-abiding-gun-owners-caught-in-the-crosshairs-political-cartoons/

Feb 23

Coach’s change of heart leads to Alina Zagitova’s Olympic victory

  • Karen Chen of the United States reacts as her scores are posted following her performance in the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

    Karen Chen of the United States reacts as her scores are posted following her performance in the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

  • Karen Chen of the United States performs during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    Karen Chen of the United States performs during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Karen Chen of the United States falls during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

    Karen Chen of the United States falls during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

  • Karen Chen of the United States performs during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    Karen Chen of the United States performs during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Karen Chen of the United States falls during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    Karen Chen of the United States falls during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Mirai Nagasu of the United States reacts as her scores are posted following her performance in the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

    Mirai Nagasu of the United States reacts as her scores are posted following her performance in the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

  • Mirai Nagasu of the United States performs during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

    Mirai Nagasu of the United States performs during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

  • Mirai Nagasu of the United States performs during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    Mirai Nagasu of the United States performs during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Mirai Nagasu of the United States performs during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    Mirai Nagasu of the United States performs during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Karen Chen of the United States falls during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

    Karen Chen of the United States falls during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

  • Evgenia Medvedeva of the Olympic Athletes of Russia performs during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    Evgenia Medvedeva of the Olympic Athletes of Russia performs during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Evgenia Medvedeva of the Olympic Athletes of Russia reacts as she leaves the ice following her performance during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

    Evgenia Medvedeva of the Olympic Athletes of Russia reacts as she leaves the ice following her performance during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

  • Evgenia Medvedeva of the Olympic Athletes of Russia reacts as her scores are posted following her performance in the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

    Evgenia Medvedeva of the Olympic Athletes of Russia reacts as her scores are posted following her performance in the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

  • Evgenia Medvedeva of the Olympic Athletes of Russia reacts as her scores are posted following her performance in the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

    Evgenia Medvedeva of the Olympic Athletes of Russia reacts as her scores are posted following her performance in the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

  • Evgenia Medvedeva of the Olympic Athletes of Russia reacts as her scores are posted following her performance in the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

    Evgenia Medvedeva of the Olympic Athletes of Russia reacts as her scores are posted following her performance in the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

  • Alina Zagitova of the Olympic Athletes of Russia performs during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    Alina Zagitova of the Olympic Athletes of Russia performs during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Alina Zagitova of the Olympic Athletes of Russia reacts after her performance during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    Alina Zagitova of the Olympic Athletes of Russia reacts after her performance during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Alina Zagitova of the Olympic Athletes of Russia performs during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

    Alina Zagitova of the Olympic Athletes of Russia performs during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

  • Alina Zagitova of the Olympic Athletes of Russia reacts following her performance during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

    Alina Zagitova of the Olympic Athletes of Russia reacts following her performance during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

  • Alina Zagitova of the Olympic Athletes of Russia reacts as her scores are posted following her performance in the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

    Alina Zagitova of the Olympic Athletes of Russia reacts as her scores are posted following her performance in the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

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GANGNEUNG, South Korea—In many waygas the first real step toward Russia’s Alina Zagitova’s golden moment Friday began with a bouquet, a parting gift, and a goodbye to a coach and a skating career that appeared over almost before it really started.

Around three years ago Zagitova, then 12, had been kicked out of Sambo 70, the vaunted Moscow skating academy, by coach Eteri Tutberidz. The coach said Zagitova was not willing to work hard enough to be a champion.

Zagitova was planning to return to her hometown of Izhevsk, 750 miles from Moscow in the Ural mountains. She and her grandmother stopped by Sambo to give Tutberidz a bouquet of flowers and to say thank you and goodbye.

Tutberidz had a change of heart.

“’No, let’s try it again,’” Zagitova recalled Tutberidz saying. “’Let’s give it another try.’”

“If it wasn’t for that moment I might not be here,” Zagitova said earlier this week.

Friday here was atop the medal podium as the second youngest Olympic champion in history.

Zagitova, now all of 15. won Russia’s second consecutive women’s figure skating gold medal, and the nation’s first in these Games, by edging training partner Evgenia Medvedeva in one of the most compelling women’s skating competitions in Olympic history.

Zagitova and Medvedeva’s 1-2 finish at the Gangneung Ice Arena was the first by a nation at the Olympics since Tara Lipinski and Michelle Kwan at the 1998 Games in Nagano and further demonstrated the width of the gap between the pair–and the Russian system—and the rest of the world.

Zagitova shattered the Olympic record for overall score with a 239.57 mark, more than points clear of the previous mark (228.56) set by South Korea’s Yuna Kim in the 2010 Games in Vancouver. Medvedeva also surpassed the old mark at 238.26 as did Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond, the bronze medalist at 231.02.

Japan’s Satoko Miyahara was fourth at 222.38 followed by Italy’s Carolina Kostner, competing in her fourth Olympics (212.44).

To put the gap between the Russians and the U.S. into perspective consider that

Bradie Tennell, at ninth place the highest U.S. finisher on the worst day ever for the American women at the Olympics, finished more than nearly 50 points behind Zagitova (192.35)

Indeed the next challenge to Zagitova and Medvedeva’s isn’t likely to come from the Americans, Japanese or Canadians but from within their own rink. Alexandra Trusova, a 13 year old who also trains under Tutberidz at Sambo 70 reportedly landed a quad salchow recently in a Russian competition.

“We have a lot of young talent that provide you a lot additional drive to go on,” Zagitova said.

But the driving force behind Russia’s global domination in Tutberidz. The 43-year-old former ice dancer has reputation as one of the sport’s most innovative coaches, especially when it comes to maximizing scoring opportunities in the scoring system implemented after the 2002 Salt Lake City judging scandal. Under the post-Salt Lake City system jumping elements in the second half of programs are given bonus points. All 11 of Zagitova’s jumps Friday were in the back half of a program designed by Tutberidz.

Tutberidz also has a reputation driving her skaters hard, sometimes too hard. A recent documentary showed Zagitova and Medvedeva breaking down in tears during training.

Three years ago, Zagitova reached her breaking point. Skating in a competition with a broken leg, she suffered a broken leg. Zagitova said she had to re-learn how to walk again. She decided to quit the sport when she was expelled by Tutberidz. Friday, however, she seemed to echo her coach.

“I personally think that in figure skating that you must love and completely devote yourself to it,” Zagitova said.

Mededeva also had her trials on the way to South Korea. The Moscow native was undefeated for more than two years, winning the 2016 and 2017 World titles and setting a series world records in breaking one scoring barrier after another.

But she suffered a stress fracture in the fall. In her absence Zagitova won the Grand Prix final and the Russian Championships before knocking off Medvedeva at the European Championships last month.

Medvedeva set a short program world record in the team competition earlier in the Games and then raised it again in Wednesday (only to be broken 10 minutes later by Zagitova). By Friday Medevdeva was ready reclaim her throne.

“I felt like a bird who finally got to spread its wings,” she said.

She could not, however, quite reach her friend and teammate.

Medvedeva had personally lobbied the International Olympic Committee not to ban Russia from the Games after investigations by the IOC and commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency revealed a widespread, systemic doping program with Russian Olympic sports. The doping program  included an operation straight out of a James Bond novel in which drug test lab officials covered up positive results by Russian athletes at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.

She has also criticized the IOC decision to only allow Russian athletes who passed a vetting system to compete in South Korea as “Olympic Athletes from Russia” and under the Olympic flag.

Medvedeva was asked Friday how she would feel when the Olympic flag, not the Russian, was raised over her Zagitova’s medal ceremony. She shrugged.

“It doesn’t matter what the circumstances are,” she said. “People know who we are. Today, we proved ourselves here.”

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/23/coachs-change-of-heart-leads-to-alina-zagitovas-olympic-victory/

Feb 23

Pac-12 basketball roundup: No. 14 Arizona beats Oregon State 75-65 in OT

Deandre Ayton had 19 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks, helping Arizona to the road win without guard Allonzo Trier.

Rawle Alkins had 16 points and eight rebounds for the Wildcats (22-6, 12-3 Pac-12), and Dusan Ristic scored 14 points.

Trier was declared ineligible by the NCAA after a trace...

Permanent link to this article: http://www.latimes.com/sports/ucla/la-sp-pac-12-roundup-20180222-story.html

Feb 23

Irvine housing: How many million-dollar ZIPs in the city?

Homebuying in Irvine in the October-to-December period outpaced countywide sales activity.

Using CoreLogic data, we compared recent sales patterns for all residences vs. results the year-ago period.

Sales in Irvine sales rose as 1,242 residences were purchased in the latest period vs. 1,187 a year earlier. That’s a gain of 4.7 percent vs. a decline of 1.3 percent countywide. Prices were up in five of eight Irvine ZIP codes, including two with million-dollar medians.

Neighborhood trends in Irvine for year-end from CoreLogic’s report …

Irvine ZIP code 92602 — 112 homes sold in the period vs. 153 a year earlier. That’s a sales loss of 26.8 percent. Median selling price of $1,242,000 vs. $1,016,367 a year earlier, a gain of 22.2 percent.

ZIP 92603 — 65 homes sold vs. 54 a year earlier. That’s a sales gain of 20.4 percent. Median of $1,410,000 vs. $1,063,348 a year earlier, a gain of 32.6 percent.

ZIP 92604 — 62 homes sold, same as a year ago. Median of $700,000 vs. $702,811 a year earlier, a loss of 0.4 percent.

ZIP 92606 — 32 homes sold vs. 45 a year earlier. That’s a sales loss of 28.9 percent. Median of $763,000 vs. $772,267 a year earlier, a loss of 1.2 percent.

ZIP 92612 — 96 homes sold vs. 93 a year earlier. That’s a sales gain of 3.2 percent. Median of $717,000 vs. $640,179 a year earlier, a gain of 12 percent.

ZIP 92614 — 55 homes sold vs. 57 a year earlier. That’s a sales loss of 3.5 percent. Median of $615,000 vs. $590,211 a year earlier, a gain of 4.2 percent.

ZIP 92618 — 514 homes sold vs. 435 a year earlier. That’s a sales gain of 18.2 percent. Median of $803,000 vs. $845,263 a year earlier, a loss of 5 percent.

ZIP 92620 — 306 homes sold vs. 288 a year earlier. That’s a sales gain of 6.3 percent. Median of $945,500 vs. $859,545 a year earlier, a gain of 10 percent.

See full-year 2017 CoreLogic results by ZIP …

Beach ZIPs | North O.C. | South O.C. | Mid-county

From 2017’s fourth quarter, eight countywide trends to ponder:

1. At the neighborhood level, prices were up in 66 of 83 Orange County ZIP codes compared to the previous year.

2. Sales rose in 38 of 83 Orange County ZIPs.

3. Builder sales were 1,544 — up 4.2 percent from a year earlier. Median selling price was $869,000 — up 0.2 percent from a year earlier.

4. In the cheapest third of the county’s market — the 27 least expensive ZIPs, median of $622,500 and below — 2,540 homes sold. That’s down 0.9 percent compared to a year earlier.

5. In the 27 priciest ZIPs — median of $789,050 and higher — 3,236 homes sold. That’s down 0.2 percent.

6. In the 11 Orange County ZIPs with medians above $1 million, sales totaled 720 homes, down 1.9 percent in a year. There were 10 seven-figure ZIPs a year earlier.

7. In the county’s 16 beach-close ZIPs, 1,484 homes sold in the latest period, down 0.6 percent vs. a year earlier.

8. As for relative bargains, there were six ZIPs with medians under $500,000 with total sales of 440 homes. A year earlier, 14 ZIPs had medians under $500,000 with 1,039 sales, or a drop of 58 percent in a year.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/23/irvine-housing-how-many-million-dollar-zips-in-the-city/

Feb 23

Westminster business damaged in fire

WESTMINSTER – A Westminster business sustained moderate damage in a fire Thursday night, Feb. 22.

The blaze was reported around 10:30 p.m. at Wholesale Signs & Printing, 14861 Moran St., Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Larry Kurtz said.

The cause of the fire that began inside the front of the business remains under investigation, he added. The business was unoccupied and no one was injured.

Damage estimates were not immediately available. Twenty-eight OCFA and Garden Grove firefighters responded.

 

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/23/westminster-business-damaged-in-fire/

Feb 23

Tyler Seguin’s goal in third lifts Stars past Kings

  • Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick makes a glove save during the third period of the team’s NHL hockey game against the Dallas Stars, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. The Stars won 2-0. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick makes a glove save during the third period of the team’s NHL hockey game against the Dallas Stars, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. The Stars won 2-0. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Kings center Tobias Rieder, left, of Germany, and Dallas Stars right wing Alexander Radulov, of Russia, battle for the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    Los Angeles Kings center Tobias Rieder, left, of Germany, and Dallas Stars right wing Alexander Radulov, of Russia, battle for the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Kings center Nate Thompson, left, and Dallas Stars left wing Jamie Benn skate behind the net during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    Los Angeles Kings center Nate Thompson, left, and Dallas Stars left wing Jamie Benn skate behind the net during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick stops a shot during the first period of the team’s NHL hockey game against the Dallas Stars, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick stops a shot during the first period of the team’s NHL hockey game against the Dallas Stars, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, right, stops a shot by Dallas Stars center Radek Faksa, left, of the Czech Republic, as defenseman Christian Folin, of Sweden, helps Quick during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, right, stops a shot by Dallas Stars center Radek Faksa, left, of the Czech Republic, as defenseman Christian Folin, of Sweden, helps Quick during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick sprays his face with water before the team’s NHL hockey game against the Dallas Stars, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick sprays his face with water before the team’s NHL hockey game against the Dallas Stars, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Kings right wing Dustin Brown, right, slides into the boards as he goes after the puck along with Dallas Stars defenseman Greg Pateryn during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    Los Angeles Kings right wing Dustin Brown, right, slides into the boards as he goes after the puck along with Dallas Stars defenseman Greg Pateryn during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Kings center Tobias Rieder, right, of Germany, passes the puck as Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg, of Sweden, trails during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    Los Angeles Kings center Tobias Rieder, right, of Germany, passes the puck as Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg, of Sweden, trails during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Dallas Stars center Tyler Seguin, right, celebrates his goal with defenseman Greg Pateryn during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. The Stars won 2-0. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    Dallas Stars center Tyler Seguin, right, celebrates his goal with defenseman Greg Pateryn during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. The Stars won 2-0. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, left, dives to make a save as Dallas Stars center Devin Shore tries to score during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. The Stars won 2-0. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, left, dives to make a save as Dallas Stars center Devin Shore tries to score during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. The Stars won 2-0. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Dallas Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen deflects a shot by Kings right wing Dustin Brown during the third period of Thursday’s game at Staples Center. The Kings couldn’t get anything past Lehtonen in a 2-0 loss. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    Dallas Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen deflects a shot by Kings right wing Dustin Brown during the third period of Thursday’s game at Staples Center. The Kings couldn’t get anything past Lehtonen in a 2-0 loss. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

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LOS ANGELES — Fighting for a playoff spot with several other teams, the Kings made two trades over an eight-day span ahead of taking on the Dallas Stars on Thursday at Staples Center.

The trade deadline is Monday, so there might be more moves. But with 22 games left in the regular season and a stretch of 10 of 12 at home, the Kings need to be focused on one thing – making the postseason after not doing so last season.

Things did not go well for the Kings in their first game back after a seven-game trip as Tyler Seguin scored his 30th goal of the season at 11:33 of the third period and Alexander Radulov scored an empty-net goal with time winding down to lift the Stars to a 2-0 victory over the Kings before a sellout crowd of 18,230 at Staples Center.

The Kings (33-23-5, 71 points) had their three-game winning streak snapped and remained two points behind third-place Anaheim in the Pacific Division. Dallas (35-22-4, 74 points) came in having lost two in a row and three of four. The Stars, also battling to make the postseason, moved into third place in the Central Division.

Afterward, Kings forward Anze Kopitar wore the look of defeat on his face. His team had just returned from a long trip that culminated with a big victory Tuesday at Winnipeg. He didn’t buy the notion his team had no legs, even though it was out-shot 13-5 in both the second and third periods after it out-shot the Stars 8-2 in the first.

“No, I don’t think so,” Kopitar said. “I think our legs were there. We just didn’t manage the puck, for whatever reason that was. Obviously, the second period, we spent a lot of time in our zone and it’s tough to defend all the time.

“Quickie was really, really good in the second period, made some huge stops. We just didn’t create enough. We didn’t spend nearly enough time in their zone.”

Kings goalie Jonathan Quick stopped 26 shots, making several fine saves to keep his team in the game. But like Kopitar said, the Kings did not have good puck management. That’s why it might have looked like the team was fatigued, defenseman Jake Muzzin said.

“I thought we did a lot of good things,” he said. “Our start was good. Coming off the road is always tough after a long road trip like that. One day off and we’re right back into it. … We played a lot of the (second) period in our own zone, so it’s tiring.

“That’s our puck management I was talking about earlier. We allowed them to play in our zone and it’s hard work playing in your zone.”

Kings coach John Stevens gave Dallas the credit.

“There wasn’t a lot of room out there,” he said. “I thought every puck was contested. Second period they made a big push, probably cost us a little bit, spent a little too much time in our end because we didn’t manage the puck well enough against their checking.

“So not only did we spend a little too much time in their zone, we didn’t generate enough offensively.”

At the morning skate, Stevens was asked his thoughts about the front office trying to do all it can to help the team reach the playoffs with the aforementioned trades.

“I think Blakey and his staff, Blakey and all those guys – including the development staff in there – their efforts have been tremendous,” Stevens said, referring to vice president/general manager Rob Blake. “Not only in trying to help us now, but making sure that they have the eye on the future, too.”

The top three teams in each of the four divisions are guaranteed a playoff spot. There will also be four wild-card spots available, two each in the Western and Eastern conferences. The Kings and Stars are in that mix, too.

The Kings next host the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night at 7. Then it will be the first game of a back-to-back against the Pacific Division-leading Vegas Golden Knights on Monday at Staples Center and Tuesday in Las Vegas.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/22/tyler-seguins-goal-in-third-lifts-stars-past-kings/

Feb 23

Steph Curry scores 44 as Warriors hold off Clippers

  • The Clippers’ Austin Rivers, bottom, is fouled by the Warriors’ Steph Curry on a drive to the basket during the first half of Thursday’s game in Oakland. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    The Clippers’ Austin Rivers, bottom, is fouled by the Warriors’ Steph Curry on a drive to the basket during the first half of Thursday’s game in Oakland. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Golden State Warriors’ Steph Curry (30) makes a 3-point buzzer-beater over Los Angeles Clippers’ Austin Rivers (25) and Tyrone Wallace (12) to end the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    The Golden State Warriors’ Steph Curry (30) makes a 3-point buzzer-beater over Los Angeles Clippers’ Austin Rivers (25) and Tyrone Wallace (12) to end the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Clippers’ Austin Rivers (25) dribbles next to Golden State Warriors’ Steph Curry (30) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    The Clippers’ Austin Rivers (25) dribbles next to Golden State Warriors’ Steph Curry (30) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan (6) and Milos Teodosic (4) defend against Golden State Warriors’ Steph Curry, center, during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    The Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan (6) and Milos Teodosic (4) defend against Golden State Warriors’ Steph Curry, center, during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry (30) celebrates with Draymond Green (23) after Curry hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry (30) celebrates with Draymond Green (23) after Curry hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green left, grabs a rebound in front of teammate JaVale McGee, center, and Los Angeles Clippers’ Milos Teodosic (4) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green left, grabs a rebound in front of teammate JaVale McGee, center, and Los Angeles Clippers’ Milos Teodosic (4) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr yells from the bench during the first half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr yells from the bench during the first half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Golden State Warriors’ JaVale McGee, right, grabs a rebound next to Los Angeles Clippers’ Tobias Harris during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    Golden State Warriors’ JaVale McGee, right, grabs a rebound next to Los Angeles Clippers’ Tobias Harris during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Los Angeles Clippers’ Austin Rivers (25) scores over Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    Los Angeles Clippers’ Austin Rivers (25) scores over Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Los Angeles Clippers’ Austin Rivers, center, shoots against the Golden State Warriors during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    Los Angeles Clippers’ Austin Rivers, center, shoots against the Golden State Warriors during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Los Angeles Clippers’ Danilo Gallinari (8) shoots over Golden State Warriors’ Shaun Livingston, center, during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    Los Angeles Clippers’ Danilo Gallinari (8) shoots over Golden State Warriors’ Shaun Livingston, center, during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Warriors’ Steph Curry celebrates after making a deep 3-point basket at the buzzer to end the first quarter of Thursday’s game against the Clippers in Oakland. Curry finished with 44 points in a 134-127 Golden State victory. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    The Warriors’ Steph Curry celebrates after making a deep 3-point basket at the buzzer to end the first quarter of Thursday’s game against the Clippers in Oakland. Curry finished with 44 points in a 134-127 Golden State victory. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Los Angeles Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan (6) grabs a rebound next to Golden State Warriors’ JaVale McGee during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    Los Angeles Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan (6) grabs a rebound next to Golden State Warriors’ JaVale McGee during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Golden State Warriors’ Andre Iguodala dunks against the Los Angeles Clippers during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    Golden State Warriors’ Andre Iguodala dunks against the Los Angeles Clippers during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant (35) shoots against the Los Angeles Clippers during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant (35) shoots against the Los Angeles Clippers during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant (35) celebrates after making a 3-point basket against the Los Angeles Clippers during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant (35) celebrates after making a 3-point basket against the Los Angeles Clippers during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry (30) shoots past Los Angeles Clippers guard Austin Rivers (25) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry (30) shoots past Los Angeles Clippers guard Austin Rivers (25) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers argues a call during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers argues a call during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Golden State Warriors’ David West dunks against the Los Angeles Clippers during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    Golden State Warriors’ David West dunks against the Los Angeles Clippers during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant, left, celebrates after a basket by teammate Stephen Curry, right, during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant, left, celebrates after a basket by teammate Stephen Curry, right, during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

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OAKLAND — Steph Curry swished a beautiful buzzer-beater from way back early and hit another timely 3-pointer late on the way to scoring 44, and the Golden State Warriors returned from the All-Star break and had to hold off the Clippers 134-127 on Thursday night.

Kevin Durant had 21 points and eight assists, Klay Thompson added 19 points, and Draymond Green contributed 13 points, seven rebounds, six assists and two steals.

Curry shot 14 for 19, including 8 for 11 from 3-point range, in his third 40-point game of the season.

Coach Steve Kerr challenged the defending champions to begin games better on the defensive end, which they did. Then the Clippers nearly came back with a surge down the stretch in what became an entertaining back-and-forth in the closing minutes.

The Warriors led 104-93 on David West’s two free throws with 11:31 to play before a 9-0 Clippers run cut it to two.

Curry let it fly from nearly halfcourt to end the first quarter, both his furthest 3-pointer of the season and first as time expired. Those have been his signature shots in recent seasons, so the sellout crowd went crazy.

The two-time NBA MVP made another 3-pointer just before halftime, then the Clippers’ Danilo Gallinari drained a 47-footer at the buzzer to get the Clippers within 70-58 at the break.

Tobias Harris scored 22 points, Gallinari wound up with 15 and DeAndre Jordan had 14 points and 14 rebounds for the Clippers, who had won five of six.

The Warriors are now 7-1 this season in the next game against an opponent after losing the first meeting. The Clippers beat Golden State 126-106 behind 50 points from Lou Williams on Jan. 10 at Oracle Arena.

Thompson made two quick 3-pointers to become the 10th Warriors player to reach 10,000 career points in the regular season, and his first 3-pointer moved him past Joe Barry Carroll (9,996 points) for 10th place on the franchise’s career scoring list.

Golden State lost at Portland before the break but improved to 13-1 following a loss this season.

The Warriors, who shot 66.7 percent in the first quarter to take charge, have dropped back-to-back games only seven times in Kerr’s four seasons.

TIP-INS

Clippers: Williams had a season-high 11 assists. … The Clippers shot just 11 for 31 from 3-point range. … The Clippers lost for only the sixth time in their last 19 games.

Warriors: Center JaVale McGee earned his fifth start of the season for the Warriors and had six points and four rebounds in place of Zaza Pachulia. … Kerr spent four nights in Hawaii for the All-Star break with his wife and two of his three kids. … The Warriors had gone into the All-Star break with the best winning percentage the past three seasons until Houston held that spot this year. … Patrick McCaw missed his second straight game with a sprained left thumb, while Jordan Bell sat out a 13th in a row with inflammation in his left ankle.

ANALYTICS ASSIST

Kerr used the resources of analytics guru Sammy Gelfand throughout the break to determine the Warriors aren’t defending nearly as well in the first five minutes of games as they were a year ago.

“Sammy Gelfand did not get an All-Star break,” Kerr said, explaining the biggest issue as, “We’re just not trying hard enough.”

UP NEXT

Clippers: Visit Phoenix on Friday.

Warriors: Host Oklahoma City on Saturday after the Thunder won at Golden State 125-105 on Feb. 6.

More to come on this story.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/22/steph-curry-scores-44-as-warriors-hold-off-clippers/

Feb 23

UC Irvine routs UCSB to sit alone atop Big West standings

  • UC Irvine forward Tommy Rutherford, center, goes up for a basket over UC Santa Barbara forward Jarriesse Blackmon, left, and UC Santa Barbara forward Alex Hart during a Big West Conference game at Bren Events Center in Irvine on Thursday, February 22, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    UC Irvine forward Tommy Rutherford, center, goes up for a basket over UC Santa Barbara forward Jarriesse Blackmon, left, and UC Santa Barbara forward Alex Hart during a Big West Conference game at Bren Events Center in Irvine on Thursday, February 22, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • UC Irvine guard Eyassu Worku, bottom, makes a pass after he fell on the floor during a Big West Conference game against UC Santa Barbara at Bren Events Center in Irvine on Thursday, February 22, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    UC Irvine guard Eyassu Worku, bottom, makes a pass after he fell on the floor during a Big West Conference game against UC Santa Barbara at Bren Events Center in Irvine on Thursday, February 22, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • UC Irvine forward John Edgar Jr. celebrates his 3-pointer during a Big West Conference game against UC Santa Barbara at Bren Events Center in Irvine on Thursday, February 22, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    UC Irvine forward John Edgar Jr. celebrates his 3-pointer during a Big West Conference game against UC Santa Barbara at Bren Events Center in Irvine on Thursday, February 22, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • UC Santa Barbara forward Alex Hart, right, loses the handle of the ball as UC Irvine forward Tommy Rutherford defends during a Big West Conference game at Bren Events Center in Irvine on Thursday, February 22, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    UC Santa Barbara forward Alex Hart, right, loses the handle of the ball as UC Irvine forward Tommy Rutherford defends during a Big West Conference game at Bren Events Center in Irvine on Thursday, February 22, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • UC Irvine guard Eyassu Worku, right, and UC Santa Barbara forward Jarriesse Blackmon fight for a loose ball during a Big West Conference game at Bren Events Center in Irvine on Thursday, February 22, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    UC Irvine guard Eyassu Worku, right, and UC Santa Barbara forward Jarriesse Blackmon fight for a loose ball during a Big West Conference game at Bren Events Center in Irvine on Thursday, February 22, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • UC Irvine center Brad Greene, left, denies the shot by UC Santa Barbara guard Eric Childress, center, during a Big West Conference game at Bren Events Center in Irvine on Thursday, February 22, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    UC Irvine center Brad Greene, left, denies the shot by UC Santa Barbara guard Eric Childress, center, during a Big West Conference game at Bren Events Center in Irvine on Thursday, February 22, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • UC Irvine head coach Russell Turner shows his disappointment on a foul call by a referee during a Big West Conference game against UC Santa Barbara at Bren Events Center in Irvine on Thursday, February 22, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    UC Irvine head coach Russell Turner shows his disappointment on a foul call by a referee during a Big West Conference game against UC Santa Barbara at Bren Events Center in Irvine on Thursday, February 22, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • UC Irvine guard Eyassu Worku, left, goes up for a basket over UC Santa Barbara guard Marcus Jackson during a Big West Conference game at Bren Events Center in Irvine on Thursday, February 22, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    UC Irvine guard Eyassu Worku, left, goes up for a basket over UC Santa Barbara guard Marcus Jackson during a Big West Conference game at Bren Events Center in Irvine on Thursday, February 22, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • UC Irvine forward John Edgar Jr., center, shoots under pressure as UC Santa Barbara guard Gabe Vincent, left, and UC Santa Barbara forward Ami Lakoju during a Big West Conference game at Bren Events Center in Irvine on Thursday, February 22, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    UC Irvine forward John Edgar Jr., center, shoots under pressure as UC Santa Barbara guard Gabe Vincent, left, and UC Santa Barbara forward Ami Lakoju during a Big West Conference game at Bren Events Center in Irvine on Thursday, February 22, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • UC Irvine guard Max Hazzard shoots a 3-pointer during a Big West Conference game against UC Santa Barbara at Bren Events Center in Irvine on Thursday, February 22, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    UC Irvine guard Max Hazzard shoots a 3-pointer during a Big West Conference game against UC Santa Barbara at Bren Events Center in Irvine on Thursday, February 22, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • UC Irvine guard Max Hazzard, right, shoots a 3-pointer over UC Santa Barbara guard Eric Childress during a Big West Conference game at Bren Events Center in Irvine on Thursday, February 22, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    UC Irvine guard Max Hazzard, right, shoots a 3-pointer over UC Santa Barbara guard Eric Childress during a Big West Conference game at Bren Events Center in Irvine on Thursday, February 22, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • UC Irvine forward Jonathan Galloway, left, shoots a floater over UC Santa Barbara guard Eric Childress during a Big West Conference game at Bren Events Center in Irvine on Thursday, February 22, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    UC Irvine forward Jonathan Galloway, left, shoots a floater over UC Santa Barbara guard Eric Childress during a Big West Conference game at Bren Events Center in Irvine on Thursday, February 22, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • UC Irvine guard Eyassu Worku, left, goes up for a basket while under pressure from UC Santa Barbara forward Alex Hart during their Big West Conference game on Thursday night at Bren Events Center. Worku had 11 points and five assists in a 69-49 victory that leaves UCI alone atop the league standings. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    UC Irvine guard Eyassu Worku, left, goes up for a basket while under pressure from UC Santa Barbara forward Alex Hart during their Big West Conference game on Thursday night at Bren Events Center. Worku had 11 points and five assists in a 69-49 victory that leaves UCI alone atop the league standings. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

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IRVINE — It was a long, arduous climb that took almost four months and 30 games.

But UC Irvine finally reached the top edge of its season to date. The Anteaters jumped on UC Santa Barbara from the start Thursday night at the Bren Center and never let up in a 69-49 victory that puts them atop the Big West Conference regular-season standings with two games to go.

The win was the ninth in its last 11 games for UCI, which improved to 15-15 overall against a rough schedule and 10-4 in league play, a half-game ahead of the Gauchos (20-7, 9-4) and UC Davis (18-9, 9-4). The Anteaters play at Hawaii on Saturday then host the Aggies in the season finale at home.

Max Hazzard scored 16 points off the bench including four 3-pointers, Evan Leonard scored 13 and Eyassu Worku had 11 points and five assists. Elston Jones had 10 rebounds on a night the Anteaters smothered UCSB on the boards, 47-35. Gene Vincent led UCSB with 17 points.

“I was real pleased,” UC Irvine coach Russ Turner said. “We were ready for the challenge and we executed well, especially on defense.

“It has been a long climb and that speaks to the resilience of this team. We have guys who want to be good and they’ve shown they understand what it takes to get there.”

The Anteaters played 12 of their first 15 games on the road against a schedule that ranked in the national top 10 in difficulty. They were 5-11 when conference play began, and got off to a 1-2 start.

Turner noted that the climb isn’t over. They have a quick turn-around for Saturday’s game in Hawaii, and they lost at UC Davis when the teams met earlier this season. All this is prep for the Big West Tournament, where the mandate is to win three games to earn the conference’s only guaranteed spot in the NCAA Tournament.

“We win our last two (and) we at least get a share of the (regular-season) title, and that’s something to be proud of,” he said.

Seven Anteaters scored in the first 11 minutes of the game, Evan Leonard scoring seven points and Max Hazzard and John Edgar five each as the Anteaters raced to a 15-point lead, at 28-13, with 8:30 left in the first half.

“We had a great start and got a big early lead and never let them get into the game,” Leonard said. “Vincent is a great player and we didn’t play him very well in the first game. He was our highest priority tonight.”

All but two of UCSB’s first 13 points came from Vincent, a senior guard. The Gauchos scored just six more points in the half as the Anteaters extended their lead to 18 points (37-19) by halftime. UCI avoided the early fouls that have been their tendency all season and UCSB attempted just three free throws. Hazzard had 12 points in the first half.

UCSB had a hot streak early in the second half with five 3-point field goals in a span of seven baskets, closing the gap to 13. But the Gauchos went cold thereafter, UCI going on an 11-2 run to extend its advantage to 22 points.

“We started the season with the goal to win the conference,” Hazzard said. “Over time we started to come together as a team and got better. It’s not easy to learn in those situations, but it’s what we’ve done.”

The Anteaters hop on a plane for a game Saturday at Hawaii (9 p.m. PT), which upset UCI 62-61 last week at the Bren Center. UCI hosts UC Davis on March 3 in the regular-season finale.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/22/uc-irvine-routs-ucsb-to-sit-alone-atop-big-west-standings/

Feb 23

Russians dominate women’s figure skating; Americans struggle

  • Karen Chen of the United States reacts as her scores are posted following her performance in the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

    Karen Chen of the United States reacts as her scores are posted following her performance in the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

  • Karen Chen of the United States performs during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    Karen Chen of the United States performs during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Karen Chen of the United States falls during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

    Karen Chen of the United States falls during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

  • Karen Chen of the United States performs during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    Karen Chen of the United States performs during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Karen Chen of the United States falls during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    Karen Chen of the United States falls during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Mirai Nagasu of the United States reacts as her scores are posted following her performance in the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

    Mirai Nagasu of the United States reacts as her scores are posted following her performance in the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

  • Mirai Nagasu of the United States performs during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

    Mirai Nagasu of the United States performs during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

  • Mirai Nagasu of the United States performs during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    Mirai Nagasu of the United States performs during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Mirai Nagasu of the United States performs during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    Mirai Nagasu of the United States performs during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Karen Chen of the United States falls during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

    Karen Chen of the United States falls during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

  • Evgenia Medvedeva of the Olympic Athletes of Russia performs during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    Evgenia Medvedeva of the Olympic Athletes of Russia performs during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Evgenia Medvedeva of the Olympic Athletes of Russia reacts as she leaves the ice following her performance during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

    Evgenia Medvedeva of the Olympic Athletes of Russia reacts as she leaves the ice following her performance during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

  • Evgenia Medvedeva of the Olympic Athletes of Russia reacts as her scores are posted following her performance in the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

    Evgenia Medvedeva of the Olympic Athletes of Russia reacts as her scores are posted following her performance in the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

  • Evgenia Medvedeva of the Olympic Athletes of Russia reacts as her scores are posted following her performance in the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

    Evgenia Medvedeva of the Olympic Athletes of Russia reacts as her scores are posted following her performance in the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

  • Evgenia Medvedeva of the Olympic Athletes of Russia reacts as her scores are posted following her performance in the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

    Evgenia Medvedeva of the Olympic Athletes of Russia reacts as her scores are posted following her performance in the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

  • Alina Zagitova of the Olympic Athletes of Russia performs during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    Alina Zagitova of the Olympic Athletes of Russia performs during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Alina Zagitova of the Olympic Athletes of Russia reacts after her performance during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    Alina Zagitova of the Olympic Athletes of Russia reacts after her performance during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Alina Zagitova of the Olympic Athletes of Russia performs during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

    Alina Zagitova of the Olympic Athletes of Russia performs during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

  • Alina Zagitova of the Olympic Athletes of Russia reacts following her performance during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

    Alina Zagitova of the Olympic Athletes of Russia reacts following her performance during the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

  • Alina Zagitova of the Olympic Athletes of Russia reacts as her scores are posted following her performance in the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

    Alina Zagitova of the Olympic Athletes of Russia reacts as her scores are posted following her performance in the women’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

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GANGNEUNG, South Korea — At end of the worst day the American women have ever had on Olympic ice, Mirai Nagasu found a bronze lining.

Nagasu finished 10th in the women’s competition Friday sandwiched between U.S. teammate Bradie Tennell in ninth and Karen Chen in 11th on a day when the American women failed to crack the top six at Olympic Games for the first time since figure skating was introduced to the Games in 1908.

“F it all, I’m taking home a medal and that’s all that matters for me,” said Nagasu.

Well not quite all.

“I thought of this as my audition for ‘Dancing with the Stars,’” Nagasu said.

Russia’s Alina Zagitova won the gold medal, edging training partner Evgenia Medvedeva 239.57 to 238.26. Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond took the bronze with 231.02.

Nagasu’s post-skate performance was almost as baffling as her program on the ice at the Gangneung Ice Arena.

“I would like to be on the ‘Dancing With The Stars’ because I want to be a star and I made history here by landing the first triple axel for a U.S. lady and third at the Olympics,” Nagasu said. “So I think that’s a big deal.”

The Arcadia native indeed played a leading role the U.S. bronze medal finish in the team competition. Nagasu became the first American woman, and only the third ever, to successfully land a triple axel at the Olympic Games.

“We’re about to lose our medal so today I put my medal in my pocket. Here she is,” Nagasu said pulling the bronze medal out of her pocket after Friday’s free skate. “I said, ‘Mirai you’ve done your job already. And this is all just icing.’”

But Nagasu’s Games unraveled after that. She fell on the triple axel in her short program Wednesday and then popped the jump in Friday’s free skate. Later in the program she also popped a jump in triple-triple combination, finishing with a free skate program of 119.61, nearly 20 points under her season’s best, giving her an overall score of 186.54.

“Like I already have a medal and so it was about the performance today and when I didn’t land my triple axel in the short, my mom told me who cares if you get last place?” Nagasu said. “This is the Olympics, making it is the hard part.”

The Games were no easier for Tennell or Chen.

U.S. champion Tennell followed up a disastrous short program by struggling through the free skate, finishing with an overall score of 192.35. Chen, the 2017 U.S. champion, was even worse, her mistake-filled routine giving her a 185.65 mark.

“I’m disappointed,” Chen said. “I’m not going to lie. I trained myself to skate better than that”

Chen blamed boot issues and inexperience for her poor showing.

“I mean, there’s a lot of pressure,” Chen said. “For Bradie and me, this is our first time at the Olympics. To be honest, when I first came here I didn’t know what to expect. I knew it was going to be big, it was going to be grand. I didn’t know what the media was going to be like, I didn’t know what the ice was going to be like, what the village was going to be like. It was all so brand new and different.”

The demands of having to skate in the team event was common thread through Nagasu’s defense of her performance in the individual competition. It’s worth pointing out that seven of the eight skaters who finished ahead of Tennell and Nagasu Friday also took part in the team event, including Zagitova, 15 and Medvedeva, 18, who like Tennell and Chen were skating in their first Olympics.

“It has been so emotionally draining but this is what I wanted and I’ve been crying every day since the team event because I was so happy but then we had to keep training, and training and training and we’re just exhausted and it’s a lot to go out there and represent our country and I’m proud of what I did here and maybe, maybe it wasn’t, it won’t be enough for another person or maybe someone else could have done a better job but I didn’t back down and although I got zero points for my attempt at the triple axel in my mind I went for it,” she said starting to laugh. “It’s unfortunate that I hit a rut today but I’m proud of what I did.”

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/22/russians-dominate-womens-figure-skating-americans-struggle/

Feb 23

Utah edges UCLA in matchup of Pac-12 bubble teams

  • Utah guard Kolbe Caldwell, left, defends against UCLA guard Prince Ali (23) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    Utah guard Kolbe Caldwell, left, defends against UCLA guard Prince Ali (23) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

  • UCLA guard Aaron Holiday (3) lays the ball up as Utah forward Tyler Rawson (21) defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    UCLA guard Aaron Holiday (3) lays the ball up as Utah forward Tyler Rawson (21) defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

  • UCLA forward Gyorgy Goloman (14) goes to the basket as Utah guard Gabe Bealer (30) defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    UCLA forward Gyorgy Goloman (14) goes to the basket as Utah guard Gabe Bealer (30) defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

  • UCLA forward Gyorgy Goloman (14) dunks over Utah guard Gabe Bealer (30) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    UCLA forward Gyorgy Goloman (14) dunks over Utah guard Gabe Bealer (30) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

  • UCLA guard Aaron Holiday (3) shoots as Utah’s Parker Van Dyke (5) and David Collette, right, defend during the first half during an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    UCLA guard Aaron Holiday (3) shoots as Utah’s Parker Van Dyke (5) and David Collette, right, defend during the first half during an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

  • UCLA guard Aaron Holiday defends against Utah guard Justin Bibbins during the first half of Thursday’s Pac-12 game in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    UCLA guard Aaron Holiday defends against Utah guard Justin Bibbins during the first half of Thursday’s Pac-12 game in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

  • UCLA guard Jaylen Hands (4) passes the ball as Utah’s David Collette (13) and Tyler Rawson (21) defend during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    UCLA guard Jaylen Hands (4) passes the ball as Utah’s David Collette (13) and Tyler Rawson (21) defend during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

  • Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak shouts to his team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against UCLA on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak shouts to his team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against UCLA on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

  • UCLA coach Steve Alford watches during the first half of the team’s NCAA college basketball game against Utah on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    UCLA coach Steve Alford watches during the first half of the team’s NCAA college basketball game against Utah on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

  • Utah forward Chris Seeley (11) shoots as UCLA forward Alex Olesinski (0) defends during the second half during an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    Utah forward Chris Seeley (11) shoots as UCLA forward Alex Olesinski (0) defends during the second half during an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

  • Utah forward Tyler Rawson (21) shoots as UCLA forward Gyorgy Goloman (14) defends during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    Utah forward Tyler Rawson (21) shoots as UCLA forward Gyorgy Goloman (14) defends during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

  • Utah forward David Collette (13) dunks the ball as UCLA forward Gyorgy Goloman (14) watches during the first half during an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    Utah forward David Collette (13) dunks the ball as UCLA forward Gyorgy Goloman (14) watches during the first half during an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

  • UCLA center Thomas Welsh wipes his face during the second half of the team’s NCAA college basketball game against Utah on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. Utah won 84-78. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    UCLA center Thomas Welsh wipes his face during the second half of the team’s NCAA college basketball game against Utah on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. Utah won 84-78. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

  • Utah guard Justin Bibbins (1) slaps hands with fans following the team’s 84-78 win over UCLA in an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    Utah guard Justin Bibbins (1) slaps hands with fans following the team’s 84-78 win over UCLA in an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

  • Utah forward Tyler Rawson celebrates with fans following the team’s 84-78 win over UCLA in an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    Utah forward Tyler Rawson celebrates with fans following the team’s 84-78 win over UCLA in an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

  • UCLA coach Steve Alford looks on late in the second half during an NCAA college basketball game against Utah Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. Utah won 84-78. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    UCLA coach Steve Alford looks on late in the second half during an NCAA college basketball game against Utah Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. Utah won 84-78. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

  • UCLA forward Alex Olesinski (0) fouls Utah forward David Collette during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    UCLA forward Alex Olesinski (0) fouls Utah forward David Collette during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

  • Utah guard Gabe Bealer (30) goes to the basket as UCLA center Thomas Welsh (40) defends during the second half of the team’s NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    Utah guard Gabe Bealer (30) goes to the basket as UCLA center Thomas Welsh (40) defends during the second half of the team’s NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

  • UCLA guard Aaron Holiday, right, shoots as Utah guard Parker Van Dyke (5) defends during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    UCLA guard Aaron Holiday, right, shoots as Utah guard Parker Van Dyke (5) defends during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

  • UCLA guard Aaron Holiday (3) shoots as Utah forward Tyler Rawson, right, defends in the second half during an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    UCLA guard Aaron Holiday (3) shoots as Utah forward Tyler Rawson, right, defends in the second half during an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

  • UCLA guard Aaron Holiday (3) lays the ball up as Utah forward Tyler Rawson (21) defends in the first half during an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    UCLA guard Aaron Holiday (3) lays the ball up as Utah forward Tyler Rawson (21) defends in the first half during an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

  • Utah cheerleaders perform as the Utah players are introduced for an NCAA college basketball game against UCLA on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    Utah cheerleaders perform as the Utah players are introduced for an NCAA college basketball game against UCLA on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

  • Utah forward Chris Seeley (11) shoots as UCLA forward Alex Olesinski (0) defends in the second half during an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    Utah forward Chris Seeley (11) shoots as UCLA forward Alex Olesinski (0) defends in the second half during an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

  • UCLA guard Kris Wilkes (13) drives as Utah guard Kolbe Caldwell, right, defends in the first half during an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    UCLA guard Kris Wilkes (13) drives as Utah guard Kolbe Caldwell, right, defends in the first half during an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

  • UCLA guard Aaron Holiday (3) brings the ball up court in the first half during an NCAA college basketball game against Utah Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    UCLA guard Aaron Holiday (3) brings the ball up court in the first half during an NCAA college basketball game against Utah Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

  • Utah forward David Collette (13) shoots as UCLA forward Gyorgy Goloman (14) defends in the first half during an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    Utah forward David Collette (13) shoots as UCLA forward Gyorgy Goloman (14) defends in the first half during an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

  • UCLA forward Gyorgy Goloman (14) shoots as Utah forward Tyler Rawson, left, defends in the first half during an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    UCLA forward Gyorgy Goloman (14) shoots as Utah forward Tyler Rawson, left, defends in the first half during an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

  • UCLA guard Aaron Holiday (3) goes to the basket as Utah forward David Collette (13) defends in the first half during an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    UCLA guard Aaron Holiday (3) goes to the basket as Utah forward David Collette (13) defends in the first half during an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

  • Utah forward Tyler Rawson (21) pulls down a rebound as UCLA guard Kris Wilkes (13) defends in the first half during an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    Utah forward Tyler Rawson (21) pulls down a rebound as UCLA guard Kris Wilkes (13) defends in the first half during an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

  • UCLA forward Alex Olesinski (0) defends against Utah guard Kolbe Caldwell (2) in the first half during an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    UCLA forward Alex Olesinski (0) defends against Utah guard Kolbe Caldwell (2) in the first half during an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

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SALT LAKE CITY — David Collette scored 21 points and Justin Bibbins totaled 17 points and 10 assists to help Utah edge UCLA 84-78 in a matchup of Pac-12 teams trying to get off the NCAA Tournament bubble on Thursday night.

Parker Van Dyke scored a career-high 18 points and Tyler Rawson added 12 for the Utes. Utah (18-9, 10-6 Pac-12) won its fifth straight game.

Aaron Holiday scored 23 points and Thomas Welsh added 15 to lead the Bruins. UCLA (19-9, 10-6 Pac-12) rallied from a double-digit deficit, but could not overtake the Utes in the final two minutes.

Utah torched the nets in the first half, making eight of its final nine shots and shooting 18 of 28 (64 percent) from the field in the first 20 minutes. That included 7-of-13 shooting behind the arc. Utah needed it to rally for a 47-40 lead after UCLA took an early lead.

The Bruins made five consecutive shots to jump in front and eventually went ahead 22-15 on back-to-back baskets from Prince Ali and Alex Olesinski. Utah reclaimed some momentum by forcing three straight turnovers. The Utes finally took their first lead at 29-26 when Donnie Tillman buried a 3-pointer and followed up with a dunk.

Tillman’s baskets were the first ones in a string of six consecutive field goals for Utah. He capped things with a layup that put the Utes ahead 40-32.

UCLA whittled the deficit to a single basket on back-to-back 3-pointers from Jaylen Hands and Holiday. Utah boosted its lead when Bibbins, a former Bishop Montgomery High standout who transferred from Long Beach State, buried a 3-pointer and drove for a layup in the final seconds before halftime to spark a 12-0 run spilling over into the second half. Gabe Bealer finished the spurt with a 3-pointer that gave the Utes a 54-40 lead.

The Bruins rallied after Utah missed nine of 10 shots over a five-minute stretch. UCLA trimmed the lead to 70-69 on a corner 3-pointer from Welsh with 2:50 left. Van Dyke answered with a pair of 3-pointers over the final two minutes to keep the Bruins from going ahead.

Holiday cut it to 80-78 on a 3-pointer with nine seconds left, but Bibbins and Van Dyke each made a pair of free throws to seal the win.

BIG PICTURE

UCLA: The Bruins’ inability to win on the road might end up knocking them out of the NCAA Tournament picture. UCLA fell to 2-6 in true road games after shooting just 28 of 66 (42 percent) from the field against Utah. The Bruins endured too many cold stretches to capitalize on a 16-6 advantage on the offensive glass.

Utah: The Utes took another step closer to strengthening their NCAA Tournament at-large resume with a critical home win. Utah did it with defense. Besides forcing UCLA to struggle with its shot, the Utes scored 17 points off 13 Bruin turnovers.

UP NEXT

UCLA: The Bruins visit Colorado on Sunday.

Utah: The Utes host USC in a crucial game for both teams on Saturday.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/22/utah-edges-ucla-in-matchup-of-pac-12-bubble-teams/

Feb 23

UCLA’s tournament hopes take a hit with a 84-78 loss to Utah

March is quickly approaching for UCLA. The madness may have already begun.

Four months and 28 games into the season, the Bruins can’t always count on a full game’s worth of effort defensively.

Repeated failures to contest shots or get in the way of penetrating guards more than offset a spirited...

Permanent link to this article: http://www.latimes.com/sports/ucla/la-sp-ucla-utah-20180222-story.html