South African chefs are coming into their own, dominating teams in international cook-offs, winning places in posh restaurants – and some of them starting their own restaurants.Local chefs are coming into their own. (Image: Brand South Africa)Brand South Africa reporterIt was not so long ago that all the top-level chefs in South Africa were imported from the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and France. But local chefs are coming into their own now, dominating the teams in international cook-offs, winning places in posh restaurants – and some of them starting their own restaurants.There are a number of South African chefs who can boast a high profile among South Africans. Among them:In Cape Town: Garth Stroebel at the Mount Nelson; Barak Hirschowitz at Tides at The Bay Hotel; Garth Shnier at the Arabella Sheraton Group’s Western Cape Hotel and Spa at Kleinmond; Graeme Shapiro at The Restaurant; and Janet Telian at the Savoy Cabbage.In Johannesburg they include Bruce Burns at Lutyens; Stefano Strafella at the Saxon; Michael Broughton at Broughtons in Sandton; Steven Benson at the Sandton Hilton; and Gaetano Sgroi at the Park Hyatt.The team of Daniel and Karine Leusch at La Madeleine in Pretoria win awards year after year. Marc Guebert at the Ile de France in Johannesburg was one of the first celebrity chefs in the country. The executive chef at Linger Longer in Johannesburg, Walter Ulz, has just celebrated his 25th anniversary at this finest of restaurants.Master chef Lucas Ndlovu still draws the gourmets to the Coach House in Agatha in the Northern Province, 12 years on. Paula Nel is guest chef presenter on Top Billing, while Citrum Khumalo of the Compass group performs the same function on Radio Metro.The country’s best-known chef is Bill Gallagher, current chairman of the South African Chefs Association, past president and honorary life president of the World Association of Cooks Societies, and food and beverage director of the Southern Sun group.The Association puts together national teams which compete at international culinary competitions. The South African team has won medals in every international competition, both individual and team events, since its debut in 1980, when the team won five individual gold medals in the IKA Culinary Olympics.At the IKA Hoga Culinary Olympics in Frankfurt, the team walked away with 15 medals and in the Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg, golds in both the hot and cold competitions.A local chef, Eric van Dam, achieved second place in the Chaine des Rotisseurs Young Chef of the Year competition in 1987 in Spain, and a year later won second place in the Masterchef Junior World Challenge. For a full list of achievements by South African chefs, see below.The South African professional culinary scene goes beyond honours and celebrity. In keeping with the country’s history, and the remaining gap between rich and poor, it was Bill Gallagher, before his tenure as president of the World Association, who suggested a World Cooks Tour for Hunger – now a mainstay of World Association activities.The first tour, in August 1993, brought 118 chefs from five continents to Johannesburg at their own expense to train hotel and restaurant staff and to host fund-raising events, from demonstrations and competitions to street parties for underprivileged children. The chefs also cooked for shelters for street children. The tour and a special book commemorating it raised a good deal of money for South African non-governmental organisations Operation Hunger and the Valley Trust.The concept has continued, with subsequent tours elsewhere. In 1999, for example, the World Association staged its Tour for Hunger in Scotland to benefit Save the Children. The South African team was among international chefs who arrived to do their part.International competitionsSouth Africa has a much-decorated history of participation in international competitions, both at individual and team levels.TEAM EVENTS1980 (South Africa’s debut) – IKA Culinary Olympics – five individual gold medals and an overall fourth placing in the hot competition1983 – Torquay Gastronomic Festival – Won team trophy, two silver medals and two bronzes and were placed fourth out of eight teams1984 – Hotelympia – Two gold medals, a silver and a special merit award1984 – IKA Culinary Olympics in Frankfurt – 11 gold medals, three silvers, two bronzes and overall prize for best junior chef of the entire competition1987 – American Culinary Classic in Chicago – A silver medal behind Canada in the cold display and a gold in the hot event1988 – IKA Hoga – Three teams sent; the junior team won five bronzes, the city team won four golds and the national team won five golds and two bronzes1989 – Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg – Six gold medals in the hot kitchen and six silvers in the cold kitchen1990 – Gastroprag cooking competition in Czechoslovakia – Six silver medals and 14 gold medals1991 – American Culinary Classic – Silver medal in the hot kitchen and gold medal in the cold kitchen1992 – IKA Hoga Culinary Olympics in Frankfurt – 15 Olympic medals and world champions in the Hot Kitchen (alias Restaurant of Nations)1993 – International Culinary Competition: Taste of Canada – Bronze in the hot competition and three silvers and a bronze in the individual cold events1994 – Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg – Golds in the hot and cold competitions1995 – Malta Open Cookery Championships – Eight individual and two team events brought three golds, three silvers, a bronze and two trophies1997 – World Culinary Grand Prix (Scothot) in Glasgow – Three medals and a diploma1998 – Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg – Silver medals in the hot and cold competitionsINDIVIDUAL EVENTS1986 – Mary Taylor achieved fourth place in the Salon Culinaire in Germany1987 – Eric van Dam achieved second place in the Chaine des Rotisseurs Young Chef of the Year in San Sebastian in Spain, achieving second place, a single point behind Germany. This is the best result to date by any South African in this competition1988 – Masterchef Junior World Challenge, held in South Africa – Eric van Dam awarded second place, earning him a stint in Lyon working under Paul Bocuse1989 – Gordon Fraser placed fourth in the International Culinary Grand Prix Auguste Escoffier in Lisbon1989 – Heinz Brunner placed third, winning six trophies and a win for his dessert in the Concours Auguste Escoffier in Nice1990 – Bill Gallagher placed third in the Concours Auguste Escoffier in Nice1992 – Manfred Reinhard placed fourth in the Concours Auguste Escoffier in Nice1997 – World Junior Chef Challenge – Gregg Oosthuizen awarded second place1998 – Individual World Championship in Melbourne – won by Steven BensonBibliographyRainbow Cuisine by Lannice Snyman (S&S, 1998)Flavours of South Africa by Peter Veldsman (Tafelberg, 1998)Funa: Food from Africa by Renata Coetzee (Butterworth & Co, 1982)The South African Culinary Tradition by Renata Coetzee (Struik, 1977)Indian Delights edited by Zuleikha Mayat (Women’s Cultural Group, several editions between 1961 and 1996)Traditional Cookery of the Cape Malays by Hilda Gerber (AA Balkema, 1957)Cooking from Cape to Cairo: A Taste of Africa by Dorah Sithole (Tafelberg, 1999)Cass Abrahams Cooks Cape Malay (Metz Press, 1995)Treat the Troops (no editor credited, CUM books, Roodepoort, 1983)Simply South Africa by Elaine Hurford (Struik, 2000)Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa compiled by Eric Rosenthal (Frederick Warne & Co Ltd, London, 1970 – fifth edition)Originally published March 2002Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
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Touch Football Tasmania has introduced a new tournament to its state program in 2011, with the Club Championships to be held on Saturday, 19 November at Prospect Park, Launceston. The Club Championships is a new initiative designed to increase participation and create an opportunity for both a high standard of competition, as well as social participation. The event will see teams compete across three divisions – Men’s division one, Women’s Open and Men’s division two. Sunday will see the 2011 Junior State Cup take place again at Prospect Park, with six divisions competing in the event. Teams at the Junior State Cup will be eager to take to the fields on Sunday, following last year’s event being cancelled due to bad weather. The under 18’s Girls division has been added to the line-up and will join the 12’s Girls, 16’s Girls, 12’s Boys, 14’s Boys and 16’s Boys at the event. There will also be a focus on referee and coaching development across the tournament, with Touch Football Australia National Referee Panel member Ian Matthew in attendance at the event. To keep up-to-date with all of the latest news and information from the 2011 Club Championships and Junior State Championships, please visit the following website:www.tastouch.com.au
The ‘A New Path’ project, which began in January 2015, was scheduled to end in January 2017, but has been extended until September 2019. National Security State Minister, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., has hailed the ‘A New Path’ initiative as a movement that not only transforms the lives of beneficiaries but also guides them along a course of economic independence. ‘A New Path’ targets young people drawn from juvenile remand centres, State care facilities and the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP). Story Highlights National Security State Minister, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., has hailed the ‘A New Path’ initiative as a movement that not only transforms the lives of beneficiaries but also guides them along a course of economic independence.‘A New Path’ targets young people drawn from juvenile remand centres, State care facilities and the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP).It aims to provide hope to marginalised young people who have come into conflict with the law by providing them with the requisite skills for reintegration in the society.Senator Charles made the remarks at the closing ceremony of the first Organization of American States (OAS) ‘Pitch It!: Learning and Investing in Your Future’ initiative at The Knustford Court Hotel in New Kingston on September 5.‘Pitch It!: Learning and Investing in Your Future’ is a part of the OAS ‘A New Path’ Initiative.Senator Charles urged the participants to be agents of change in their communities and not to be daunted by naysayers, while encouraging each youngster to “challenge yourself to always be better for yourself, your communities, for Jamaica and the world”.He lauded the sponsors, adding that the Ministry will continue to provide the requisite support to transform the lives of the participants.For her part, President, Junior Achievement Jamaica, Alphie Mullings-Aiken, said while the initiative focused solely on those in State care facilities and remand centres, the project aims to empower youth to own their personal economic success.She indicated that 111 youth were engaged in a two-day training exercise, after which 51 were assessed during a week-long residential programme at the University of the West Indies. Additionally, she said they benefited from the Junior Achievement Company of Entrepreneurs training.“Each of the 51 attendees pitched their (business) proposal to a panel of judges. As the dust settled, 21 were awarded through the generous support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Organisation of American States, the Trust for the Americas and Jamaica Money Market Brokers (JMMB) with an opportunity to start their own business,” she said.Mrs. Mullings-Aiken further informed that the other 30 participants received three-month work internships with local companies, adding that many are still employed.In her remarks, OAS Country Representative for Jamaica, Jeanelle van Glaanen Weygel, urged the participants to use their experiences to inspire others.The young people, drawn from juvenile remand centres, State care facilities and CSJP were awarded start up grants to begin their business ventures.Those established included engagements in photography, food and beverage and clothing retail, electrical and computer repair, tailoring, poultry farming and entertainment.The ‘A New Path’ project, which began in January 2015, was scheduled to end in January 2017, but has been extended until September 2019.The programme offers and facilitates weekly counselling, the implementation of educational and vocational training, conflict-resolution programmes as well as opportunities for apprenticeship and internship.It also includes a music programme in collaboration with the National Youth Orchestra, and a sports aspect facilitated by the Youth for Development Network.
TORONTO – Canada’s largest stock index nose-dived Tuesday while U.S. stocks slumped as the price of oil saw its biggest single-day drop since October.The S&P/TSX composite index retreated 113.13 points to 15,913.13, with the energy sector leading the broad-based decline as the December crude contract fell US$1.06 to US$55.70 per barrel.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 30.23 points to 23,409.47. The S&P 500 index edged back 5.97 points to 2,578.87 and the Nasdaq composite index lost 19.73 points to 6,737.87.“We’re seeing continuing weakness in global markets. We’ve seen that all the major markets have kind of retreated from the highs that were set earlier in the month,” said Todd Mattina, chief economist and strategist at Mackenzie Investments.“The decline in oil prices is really weighing on energy sectors in global markets, which of course is very important for the Canadian market.”Mattina said a dovish report on Tuesday from the International Energy Agency has played a role in softening energy prices. The report said that growth in U.S. oil outputs is supposed to be very strong, with very rapid growth expected between now and 2025.“We’ve seen a very impressive rally in oil prices recently which has been driven by hopes of continued OPEC production cuts as well as the uncertainty around the political drama in Saudi Arabia,” Mattina said.“But today we’re seeing a step back from that as there’s been a forecast of warmer than normal weather as well as very robust production in the U.S. over the coming years.”In currency markets, the Canadian dollar was trading at 78.54 cents US, down 0.31 of a U.S. cent from last Friday.Elsewhere in commodities, the December gold contract was up US$4.00 to US$1,282.90 an ounce. The December natural gas contract gave back seven cents to US$3.10 per mmBTU and the December copper contract declined five cents to US$3.07 a pound.Follow @DaveHTO on Twitter.
New Delhi: Reliance Infrastructure Ltd Thursday said it will sell its entire stake in Delhi-Agra Toll Roadway to Singapore-based Cube Highways for Rs 3,600 crore, following which the Anil Ambani led company’s debt will be reduced by 25 per cent to less than Rs 5,000 crore. Reliance Infrastructure (RInfra) has entered into a pact with Cube Highways in this regard. Cube Highways and Infrastructure III Pte Ltd is a Singapore-based company formed by global infrastructure fund – I Squared Capital and a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepThe transaction is in line with Reliance Infrastructure’s strategic plan of monetising non-core business and focus on major growth areas like engineering & construction (E&C) business. RInfra on Thursday announced the signing of Definitive Binding Agreement with Cube Highways and Infrastructure III Pte Ltd for the sale of its 100 per cent stake in Delhi-Agra (DA) Toll Road Private Limited, the company said in a statement. “The total deal enterprise value is over Rs 3,600 crore. In addition, NHAI claims of Rs 1,200 crore to be filed by DA Toll Road Pvt Ltd will flow directly to Reliance Infrastructure,” the company added. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsRInfra said, it will utilise the proceeds of this transaction entirely to reduce its debt. “After the completion of the transaction for Delhi-Agra Toll Road, the debt of Reliance Infrastructure will reduce by 25 per cent to only less than Rs 5,000 crore,” the company said. The transaction is subject to all requisite permissions and approvals, it added. Reliance Infrastructure’s special purpose vehicle (SPV) DA Toll Road Private Limited operates the 180-km long six-lane road that connects the national capital Delhi with Agra on National Highway (NH) 2. “The profitable project has witnessed impressive revenue growth of 25 per cent in FY18,” the company said. The tolling operation for the heavily-trafficked project started in October 2012 and has a concession period till 2038. RInfra is one of the largest infrastructure companies, developing projects through various Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) in several high growth sectors such as power, roads and metro rail in the infrastructure space and the defence sector. Also, it is a major player in providing Engineering and Construction (E&C) services for developing power, infrastructure, metro and road projects. The company through its SPVs has executed a portfolio of infrastructure projects such as a metro rail project in Mumbai on build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) basis; and eleven road projects with total length of about 1,000 kms on build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis.
Kolkata: A huge quantity of firearms were seized from Baruipur on Wednesday and an arms racketeer has been arrested in this connection.According to police sources, on Wednesday morning sleuths got a tip-off that one Barkatulla Laskar is running a firearms racket at his house at Bakultala in Baruipur. Immediately, police raided his house. During the search , sleuths found one double barrel pipe gun, one six chamber revolver, one 9 mm pistol along with magazine, one 7 mm pistol along with two magazines, one single shoter pipe gun, 12 live bullets of small fire arms, 13 bullets of three rifles, 10 kg explosives and 4 crude bombs from his house. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaDuring the preliminary investigation, sleuths came to know that Laskar used to import illegal firearms from Munger in Bihar and sell them to local people. It is suspected that he had recently imported the firearms to use during the polls. It is suspected that apart from Laskar many more persons are involved in the racket. Sleuths have launched an extensive search operation to nab other connected with the racket. Last month, huge quantity of fire arms were seized from Kultali and Diamond Harbour. An arms factory was busted at Napitkhali in Kultali. Police had raided a house and found huge numbers of fire arms. In the factory, mainly small firearms were being manufactured. Sleuths had found the fire arms, which were already packed and ready to be delivered. Two persons were arrested in this connection.
2014-159.855.1360.53 FIELD GOALS ON DRIVESTRUE SHOOTING ON DRIVES DeAndre JordanLAC51338474.973.4 Myles TurnerIND26519172.174.3 Montrezl HarrellHOU24118275.578.6 2016-179.562.4165.22 There are players in this group who shoot about as well down low as LeBron does, but generally, the most successful shooters within 3 feet are traditional bigs who need to be fed the ball in advantageous spots to get those looks. Most on this list were assisted anywhere between 60 percent and 80 percent of the time on such shots. That’s the tradeoff that the league has long made with its star big men — they provide efficient scoring and floor-spacing from the post but are reliant on other players to get them the ball. Not so for LeBron.James combines competent play out of post-ups with his utter dominance driving to the hole to provide the same impact on a game that once came from star centers. It isn’t just the scoring consistency and spacing, either: LeBron also piled up more and-one opportunities than anyone in the league this season. Some of the value of those and-ones is already captured in James’s impressive true shooting percentage. But the ability to keep pressure on a defense, inch it closer to the penalty and generate extra opportunities for 3-pointer shooters, all at the same time, is something no other player in the league has. T.J. WarrenPHX24617972.856.4 2015-169.254.5460.55 Tyson ChandlerPHX20514570.760.7 David LeeSA25417870.174.2 LeBron JamesCLE59546177.5%42.5% FIELD GOALS WITHIN 3 FEET Clint CapelaHOU44932271.783.2 Karl-Anthony TownsMIN57340170.058.1 Hassan WhitesideMIA44832773.060.2 PLAYERTEAMATTEMPTSSUCCESSFULPERCENTAGEASSISTED LeBron drives, 2013-present SEASONDRIVES PER GAMEPERCENTAGELEAGUE RANKPERCENTAGELEAGUE RANK Giannis AntetokounmpoMIL64044970.251.2 Nene HilarioHOU25718672.487.1 2013-147.663.0%167.5%3 Rudy GobertUTA54139172.373.4 Kevin DurantGS27421879.661.9 LeBron doesn’t need much help at the rim Richaun HolmesPHI20214873.377.0 Kristaps PorzingisNY20914770.371.4 Minimum 200 attempts and a 70 percent field-goal percentage during the 2016-17 regular season.Source: Basketball-Reference.com Dwight HowardATL47434372.465.3 Marcin GortatWAS35825170.172.5 Willie Cauley-SteinSAC22715970.076.7 James scores 135.2 points per 100 plays when he drives to the basket off of pick-and-rolls, according to data from Synergy Sports Technology. That number barely budges when he drives off of isolations — typically regarded as a low-efficiency play, the domain of hero-ball icons like Carmelo Anthony and DeMar Derozan — where he gets 128.1 points per 100. Now compare those numbers to the efficiency of a Stephen Curry spot-up jumper, which is just about the most feared play in the game today: Curry scored 132.5 points per 100 on spot-ups this season, right around the midpoint between a LeBron drive off the pick-and-roll and the “inefficient ones” off isolation.Of course, LeBron doesn’t drive just to score: There’s also the matter of finding all those open shooters. When James passes to spot-up shooters out of the pick-and-roll, his team scores 120.3 points per 100 plays — best in the NBA among players who made at least three pick-and-roll passes per game. That’s due in part to the Cavs simply having better shooters than other teams, but it’s LeBron’s vision and ability to hit teammates from anywhere on the floor that makes the whole thing hum. Kyrie Irving is a very good point guard, but in comparison with LeBron, the offense scores 7 fewer points per 100 plays when Irving passes to spot-up shooters on those drives; Irving also shot 11 percentage points worse on drives this season than James did, 51.4 to 62.4. And so the difference between James barreling into the lane and Irving doing so is not only the daylight between those two sets of numbers, but also the shift in the split-second calculations that opposing defenders must make.Splitting the pick-and-rollEven when opponents know what’s coming — that James is going to get a high screen and be asked to navigate the defense from there — the 32-year-old still manages to pull a rabbit out of his hat from time to time, befuddling defenders who’ve technically done everything by the book. Perhaps no play exemplifies this better than when James splits a pick-and-roll.When Cleveland sets up a high pick-and-roll for James, two defenders align themselves in a way that — they hope — keeps him from going to the basket with the ball. But James is often able to spot the slightest bit of daylight, ducking between the two defenders and beginning an unstoppable, downhill sprint toward the rim anyway.The play — which generally involves James crossing the ball over from his right hand to his left — has ended in a dunk a third of the time this season. While he only pulls this particular rabbit out of his hat occasionally — it only happened 15 times during the regular season — James averaged 1.87 points per play and scored on a blistering 87 percent of his possessions when he split the pick and roll, both rates that easily ranked as the highest in the NBA among players with at least 10 plays, according to Synergy Sports. (Interestingly, Irving had the league’s second-best rate in each category.)In those plays (a number of which came against Golden State and the Eastern Conference finalist Boston Celtics), James capitalizes on defenders not “closing the chain” to stop him from weaving between them with a dribble. Trying to prepare for James’s violent drive to the basket, the second defender generally comes out too wide, allowing James to take the inside track toward the paint, where few players want any part of being in his way.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/lebronmagic.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/lebronboston.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/lebronwarriors2.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.The impact of the big man — without the big manThe thing to note through all of this is that James isn’t simply a brawnier version of other drive-and-kick maestros like Westbrook or James Harden. A critical difference is that James provides not only efficient offense, but also the collateral benefits typically associated with a star big man — only without the limitations.Here’s a list of players who shot 70 percent or better from inside of 3 feet this season,4On 200 or more attempts. ranked by the percentage of their close-range baskets that stemmed from an assist: Just about every NBA team has its signature play, the clip that flashes into your head when you think about how they do what they do. It’s Steph Curry pulling up for a transition three, or Chris Paul tossing a lob off of the high pick, or Russell Westbrook catching a whisper of daylight, changing speeds and dunking the seams off the ball.For the Cleveland Cavaliers, the signature play is also the foundational one: LeBron James driving to the hole. Steph pulling up for that 30-footer on the run is the shiniest piece of the Warriors system, but there’s a whole team of clicking, whirring parts underneath that make it work. LeBron attacking the rim is different. It might seem like mere brute force, reinforcing the image of the Cavs playing un-Warriors-like Riley-ball, but it’s the linchpin, the whole system tied up in one player’s ability to do everything at once while doing the one thing he does better than anyone else.It starts with the shootersLeBron is the engine that powers everything, but the rest of the Cavs’ offense is built around 3-point shooters. Going back to the days when James lobbied the team to sign Donyell Marshall or made his playoff runs flanked by Boobie Gibson and Wally Szczerbiak, he has always been surrounded by as much shooting as possible.This season’s Cavs might be James’s most talented shooting team yet, with premium sidekicks such as Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving and Kyle Korver, as well as a handful of castoff shooters such as Derrick Williams and James Jones. During the regular season, 13 Cavaliers played in at least 20 games and shot at least 35 percent (the NBA average) from three. That’s an uncommon amount of firepower, even among contenders: The Warriors had only six such players; the Spurs had nine; the Rockets five.1In the playoffs, the Cleveland rotation has shrunk some, but the number of shooters exceeding 35 percent is holding relatively steady at nine — and doesn’t yet include a slumping Irving, who has shot just 28 percent from 3 in the postseason after hitting 40 percent during the regular season.Shooting and driving have a symbiotic relationship, and their effect on the game is obvious: Good outside shooting spaces the floor for drives; better drives cause the defense to collapse, creating more open 3-pointers. But the effect for the Cavs is even greater than normal, because LeBron James going to the rim is still the most dangerous play in basketball.In the four seasons the NBA has collected player-tracking data, LeBron has been driving far ahead of the pack. He has led the league in field-goal percentage on drives2Minimum four drives per game. twice, and even that doesn’t quite convey how far removed he really is from most of his peers. Year in and year out, James shoots about 5 to 10 percentage points better on his drives than the players who drive most frequently.3Specifically, players with a minimum of seven drives per game. JaVale McGeeGS25318372.379.8
Facing an eight-point deficit, in one of the conference’s most hostile environments, it was a pair of freshmen that ignited a second-half comeback and gave the undefeated Buckeyes a 73-68 win against Illinois on Saturday. Freshman Jared Sullinger scored 27 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, both game-highs, despite giving up several inches to both of Illinois’ seven-foot-plus big men. But it was freshman Deshaun Thomas’ eight points off the bench, all of which came in a four-minute span in the second half, that sparked the Buckeyes to their 20th win of the season. After leading for most of the first half, OSU gave up a 7-0 Illinois run to end the first 20 minutes and the Illini led 34-33 at the break. Another Illinois run in the second half, this time 12-4, gave the Illini their biggest lead of the game, eight points, with just less than 12 minutes to go. But when Thomas entered the game, the Buckeyes came roaring back. Two free throws apiece from Sullinger and senior Jon Diebler and one from freshman Aaron Craft cut the lead to three. After a defensive stop, the never-shy Thomas took and made his first shot of the game, a 3-pointer, to tie the game at 50 with 9:30 remaining. Two more threes, one from Diebler and another from Thomas, completed a 14-0 run and gave the Buckeyes a six point lead, their first lead since late in the first half. After OSU held a steady lead for the next several minutes, a Demetri McCamey basket and a pair of Mike Tisdale free-throws cut the lead to four with less than a minute to go. Sullinger made one of two free throws on the ensuing possession to give the Buckeyes a four-point lead with 30 seconds to go. Tisdale then hit a 3-pointer, giving OSU the ball with 16 seconds to go and a one-point lead. The Illini fouled Craft after he caught the inbounds pass and the freshman knocked down both free throws to put the Buckeyes up three. On the ensuing Illinois possession, Diebler tipped a pass, forcing a crucial Illini turnover. Sullinger called a timeout after he recovered the loose ball on the floor and a pair of free throws from junior William Buford ended the suspense. Although several Buckeyes struggled from the field all afternoon — Buford and senior David Lighty were a combined 5-22 shooting the ball — OSU was as good as it has been all year from the free throw line. Led by Sullinger’s 13-of-15 effort, the Buckeyes shot a combined 24-of-27 from the stripe. Diebler scored 15 points on 4-of-8 shooting. Despite his shooting woes, Lighty finished with nine points, five rebounds and five assists. Saturday’s game was the first of a stretch of eight games that will see the Buckeyes play six teams currently ranked in The Associated Press Top 25 poll. That stretch continues Tuesday at home against No. 14 Purdue.
Sophomore first baseman Zach Ratcliff (34) jumps to catch the ball during a game against Xavier March 19 at Bill Davis Stadium. OSU won, 10-3.Credit: Sam Harrington / Lantern photographerAfter three games, three runs were all that separated the Ohio State baseball team from Big Ten foe Nebraska.Those three runs proved costly though, as the Buckeyes (18-13, 2-7) dropped each of three games of a weekend series in Lincoln, Neb., to the Cornhuskers (19-13, 4-2) by a one-run margin.The Buckeyes found themselves with a lead in each game, but just could not seal the deal down the stretch. Two losses were walk-offs while the other saw the Cornhuskers take the lead in the eighth inning.“We just have to finish games. We were right there,” redshirt-sophomore infielder Ryan Leffel said after Sunday’s 2-1 loss. “One play can make the difference … we know that we’re really, really close to being a really good team.”Sunday’s tilt saw the Buckeyes jump out to a quick lead as redshirt-junior first baseman Josh Dezse hit an RBI groundout in the first to score sophomore second baseman Troy Kuhn.That was all the Buckeyes could muster against the Cornhuskers’ junior pitcher Aaron Bummer, however, only picking up three more hits.The Cornhuskers got on the board in the fourth off OSU sophomore pitcher Jake Post. With two outs and men on first and third, Nebraska junior catcher Tanner Lubach hit an RBI single to tie the game.Bummer and Post controlled the game from there as both starters went all nine innings and things stayed tied at one until the ninth.Again with Lubach up to bat and men on first and second, Post gave up an RBI single to give the Cornhuskers the sweep.On Saturday, the Buckeyes held a 3-0 lead until the eighth behind an RBI single from Leffel and two runs scored in the fifth after two errors by Nebraska.Meanwhile, freshman pitcher Tanner Tully started on the bump for the Buckeyes and flirted with a no-hitter until Lubach lined a single to center to begin the seventh.After giving up another single to begin the eighth, redshirt-senior reliever Tyler Giannonatti came in for Tully and allowed one run in the inning off a sacrifice fly from Nebraska senior outfielder Michael Pritchard.Freshman relief pitcher Travis Lakins came on in the ninth with a two-run lead, but things quickly went south.With two outs and the bases loaded, Lakins walked sophomore infielder Jake Placzek to draw the Cornhuskers within one.Junior closer Trace Dempsey came on but allowed a single to Pritchard that scored two and gave the Cornhuskers the series clinching 4-3 win.Friday night saw both starting pitchers dominate the beginning of the game. The Buckeyes’ senior pitcher Greg Greve went six innings without allowing a run.Once again, the Buckeye offense scored first, but this time it was in the fifth when Kuhn singled off Cornhusker senior pitcher Chrsitian DeLeon to score the first run of the series.The Buckeyes scored another off DeLeon in the seventh on an RBI single to center from Wetzel.Lakins came in and pitched a scoreless seventh, but allowed RBI singles from Pritchard, junior infielder Pat Kelly and freshman pitcher/infielder Ben Miller in the eighth to give the Cornhuskers the 3-2 lead.Outside of a single from sophomore infielder Jacob Bosiokovic, the Buckeyes couldn’t get anything in the ninth off DeLeon, preserving the Cornhuskers’ win.The line for the Buckeyes’ starting pitchers for the weekend was 22 innings pitched and only two runs, but it wasn’t good enough.Despite the rough road trip, Greve seemed confident that the Buckeyes would get it turned around.“We played tough, played well, competed well. There’s no need to be alarmed or concerned,” Greve said after Sunday’s game. “We were very close to beating a very good team. We easily could’ve won all three games this weekend. We just have to stick to what we’re doing and keep preparing the way we’ve been doing and learn from the mistakes.”The Buckeyes have a quick turnaround as they are scheduled for two mid-week games against Eastern Michigan on Tuesday and Dayton on Wednesday.Tuesday’s game against the Eagles is set for 6:35 p.m. at Bill Davis Stadium at Nick Swisher Field.