Playing with the Nos. 1 and 3 players in the world to open the WGC-Cadallac Championship, Tiger Woods made nine birdies in shooting a six-under 66 to tie for the first-round lead with four others.None of that quartet was named Rory McIlroy, the top-ranked player who struggled with a 73, or No. 3 Luke Donald, who shot a 70. Woods, despite three bogeys, dusted his playing partners, and attributed making four putts beyond 15 feet to tips he received from Steve Stricker.Woods and Stricker, one of the game’s best putters, spent a lot of time on the practice green on Wednesday. Stricker pointed out posture issues with Woods’ putting and straightened him out.“Whatever he says, I’m going to do,” Woods said. “He’s one of the best putters who has ever lived.”Starting on the 10th hole, Woods made birdies at the 11th and 12th, followed by bogeys at the 13th and 14th. He finished the back side with birdies at Nos. 16 and 18, then added two more at the first and second holes. After a bogey at the third, Woods birdied three of the last six to ascend to the top of the leaderboard..Meanwhile, McIlroy, who quit out of frustration with his game last week in Palm Beach, continued to seek his game. McIlroy could not find his game and the frustration mounted. But he did have two birdies to close his round, which should bolster his confidence.He’s going to need to to contend with Woods and co-leaders Bubba Watson, Sergio Garcia, Graeme McDowell and Frederik Jacobson.“It was a bit of a struggle, to be honest,” McIlroy said. “Hit some good shots, hit some not-so good shots. As I’ve been saying, this is a work in progress and I’m working at it and I’m staying patient. … I just had to play each hole as it come. Just shoot the best score possible.”Woods said he shot better than he what he thought would be needed to be in the mix. “I felt we needed to shoot at least a couple under on each side to be right there,” Woods said. “I got a few more.”Over the course of day, Woods showed the form that will make him a viable threat all year, if he can maintain close to this level of play.
LeBron James scored 35 points with 11-of-14 shooting, contributing to the Miami Heat’s 107-92 defeat over Phoenix Suns on Monday, the defending champions’ seventh straight win.Dwyane Wade added 21 points and 12 assists, Michael Beasley, who was cut by the Suns in the offseason, threw down an alley-oop dunk among his eight points. Ray Allen scored nine of his 17 points in a fourth quarter.Mario Chalmers sat out due to a strained hip flexor.Channing Frye led the Suns with 16 points and eight rebounds, Goran Dragic contributed 14 points, nine assists and eight boards but knew his team efforts were futile.“They have so many weapons,” Dragic said of the Heat. “They have a feeling they can do anything.”The Suns were pumped coming off their two consecutive road wins over Charlotte and Orlando, and kept it a game early on with Miami gaining the respect of The Heats’ head coach Erik Spoelstra.“We had to work for this one,” Spoelstra said. “They’re a good, young basketball team.”The Suns were unable to halt production of the Heat’s supporting cast, which led to Chris Andersen being able to score most of his points on layups or putbacks and Allen, Beasley and Shane Battier able to score faily unchallenged. James and Wade combined to shoot 20 of 27 from the field.
What’s more, the shots are now falling for Sexton, who had an effective field goal percentage of just 44 through the end of January2The league average for effective field percentage is 52.3., but now is closer to a 54 percent effective field goal mark since then. And of the 56 players attempting at least five three-pointers a game3In at least 15 games played. since the break, Sexton ranks third in the NBA, at 44.8 percent from the arc. He recently pieced together an impressive streak of seven consecutive games in which he scored 23 points or more, becoming the first rookie since Tim Duncan, in 1998, to do so. And it’s clearly not a coincidence the team has played its best basketball of the season over the past two months, as Sexton’s play has vastly improved and Love has rejoined the lineup.“Sometimes I try to get a rise out of him, and will tell him, ‘Collin, that was great — you made the play, you got it back, and got into the lane to get your shot,’ and he’ll just kind of sit there and say, ‘That’s what I’m supposed to do,’ ” Love told me — the sort of encouragement that marks a night-and-day shift from the yelling or anonymous criticisms thrown the rookie’s way earlier in the season. “He’s been a lot more vocal lately … and I think it’s helped his confidence.”The sweet shooting has been easiest to notice. But that part of Sexton’s game was never really the one in question. Whereas many young players struggle early on to find the basket, Sexton has been above average from deep for the majority of the year. If anything, his fledgling advanced metrics were weighed down by a number of factors that pointed to a lack of balance.Two clear areas of weakness stand out. He’s often a mess on defense and allows an NBA-worst4Among players who’ve guarded at least 600 direct screens. Direct screens are ones that produce a shot shortly after the pick is set. 1.07 points per possession when guarding pick-and-roll ball-handlers, according to data from Second Spectrum. (Yes, at 6-2 and 190 pounds, he’s small. But it’s sometimes a lack of on-court IQ as well. At 1.2 points per possession, Sexton also surrenders more points per play5Among those who’ve gone under at least 100 direct screens this season when he dives under screens than any other NBA guard — a sign that he’s not identifying which players he can’t leave open yet.)Because of that, Cleveland’s league-worst defense allows a whopping 117 points per 100 possessions when Sexton is on the floor, up from a far more respectable 109.86Which would only be slightly worse than league average when he’s off, according to NBA Advanced Stats.The other shortcoming is Sexton’s lack of table-setting ability. Many remember the game in 2017, when Sexton’s Alabama team was forced to play 3-on-5 for the final 11 minutes because of multiple ejections stemming from a brawl with Minnesota. Sexton dropped 40 and the Crimson Tide came up just short in a thrilling comeback bid, outscoring the Gophers, 30-22, with a two-man disadvantage. During that contest, Sexton showed how much he could score when forced to score. But sometimes he plays that way even when he has four other teammates on the court.Aside from sometimes pulling the trigger too early or in heavily contested situations, Sexton also fails to consistently set up fellow Cavs compared to how often he calls his own number. In fact, you have to go back a full 30 years to find the last time a rookie point guard7Rex Chapman, who many would have considered a shooting guard, primarily with a usage rate of 25 percent or higher who had an assist percentage worse than Sexton’s 15 percent mark this season, according to Basketball-Reference.com’s Play Index8Among players who logged at least 1,500 minutes in a season..All of which could raise an interesting question for Cleveland’s front office in the near future: Is Sexton a true point guard, or does it make sense to use him as more a shooting guard and pair him with a Jrue Holiday-type, who can distribute and defend big lead guards more dependably?Given how much his game has grown in the last two months alone, it’s probably too soon to tell.But whatever Sexton’s shortcomings are, working through them probably feels like far less of a challenge when he can hang his hat on real, tangible progress from these past two months. And it certainly beats potentially going down as having had the worst season in modern NBA history. CLEVELAND — It was less than a month into the season when a fairly harsh criticism found its way into the local media: Cavs’ veterans were quoted anonymously by a beat writer, saying the team’s first-round draft pick, point guard Collin Sexton, didn’t “know how to play.”Of course that concern was just one of many problems for Cleveland at the time, as the team was trying to compete after losing the best player in the world. The Cavs opened the season 0-6 and swiftly fired coach Tyronn Lue. Kevin Love sustained a toe injury a week into the campaign and would miss the next three-plus months rehabbing after surgery.When those issues were either accepted or pushed to the sidelines, Sexton’s struggles became front and center. And merely calling them “struggles” would be putting it lightly. By one metric, Box Plus-Minus, the 20-year-old Sexton was posting the worst season in modern NBA history1Among players who’d logged at least 2,000 minutes in a season. Sexton’s BPM — which measures a player’s value through his box-score contributions — on March 5 was -6.3. In a sign of his improved play lately, it now stands at -5.2. as recently as March 5.But that was then, and this is … three weeks later. And now Sexton somehow looks like a completely different player from the one he was before the All-Star break, not only better and far more efficient but also wired differently in terms of where he will and won’t shoot from.That ability to know when and where to pull the trigger was a factor in his teammates’ opinion of his game. Sexton said as much when asked what prompted the seemingly overnight shift in his play. “They scream and yell at me for pump-faking, taking the one dribble and shooting a midrange [jumper],” said Sexton, who’s taken 128 contested two-point jumpers, hitting just 34 percent.Whether or not that peer pressure was the catalyst for change, the difference has been stark as of late. Sexton 1.0 (before the All-Star break) was taking 39 percent of his attempts from midrange — a far higher share than that of the San Antonio Spurs as a team, which takes an NBA-high 28 percent of its shots from that range. Just 48 percent of Sexton’s shots before the break fit the Moreyball definition, coming either in the restricted area or from behind the arc.Sexton 2.0 has been a completely different player. Since mid-February, more than 70 percent of Sexton’s shots have been from Moreyball areas — shot selection that resembles the analytics-friendly Atlanta Hawks.
Middle Blue1314,8274,5973735-5 Gold2659,4497,9443630-16 At the Super Bowl, the cheapest tickets come at the highest added cost. Tickets for the worst seats — in the nosebleed dark-green sections — are selling at 48 times the average resale price for a regular-season 49ers home game. That’s a Super Bowl multiplier higher than anywhere else in the stadium. During the season, those seats retailed for $85 or $106, depending on the game. They resold on SeatGeek for an average of $78. For the Super Bowl, they’re reselling at an average of $3,727.The other most relatively expensive sections are also bad seats — purple (slightly closer but way behind the end zones) and light green (dark green’s marginally better counterpart). Tickets in both those sections are going for 42 and 38 times what they did during the season, respectively.Real “deals” can be found in the gilt-edged red, gold and black sections — close to the action and near midfield. While the average tickets in those sections are going for $9,326, $7,944 and $6,836, respectively, they’re a mere 30, 30 and 31 times more expensive than they were for a regular-season 49ers game. (One exception to this pattern are the über-elite gray “VIP” section tickets, but they’re a small sample — only eight gray tickets are listed on SeatGeek as I write.)This is either a clear case of “you gotta spend money to make money” or a regressive tax that the Bay Area certainly does not need.Over the past week, average resale prices for Super Bowl tickets have fallen in all sections, one by as much as 22 percent. This is evidence that buyers won’t suffer through another “short squeeze” like the one that plagued prices last year for the game at University of Phoenix Stadium. A short squeeze, which is rare for a Super Bowl, can happen when brokers sell speculative tickets early, when prices are high, hoping to cash in when prices dip right before the big game. “We’ll just never allow that to happen again,” a StubHub spokesman told Bloomberg. AVG. TICKET RESALE PRICESUPER BOWL IS X TIMES MORE EXPENSIVE Purple1064,7424,4714542-6 Dark Green$78$3,989$3,7275148-7% Light Green1054,6864,0384538-14 Yellow1716,6895,1983930-22 To a human, ticket prices to sit in various parts of that stadium Sunday look something like this over the past week, according to data provided to me by SeatGeek: Red30610,0679,3263330-7 Light Blue1675,7175,1313431-10 Gray51321,40219,3974238-9 Source: SeatGeek Black2247,4396,8363331-8 SECTION COLOR49ERS HOME GAMESUPER BOWL ON JAN. 27SUPER BOWL ON FEB. 2ON JAN. 27ON FEB. 2∆ FROM JAN. 27 TO FEB. 2 Super Bowl tickets are expensive Super Bowl 50 will be played Sunday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, the regular-season home of the San Francisco 49ers. To a bird, Levi’s Stadium looks something like this: Dark Blue1435,2314,4193731-16
OSU cheerleaders lead coach Urban Meyer and the rest of the Buckeyes onto the field before the Buckeyes game against Maryland on Nov. 12. OSU won 62-3. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo Editor The Ohio State Buckeyes dominated offensively for the second-straight week with a 62-3 victory over the Maryland Terrapins on Nov. 12.
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton is sacked by Miami Dolphins defense end Cameron Wake during a game at Sun Life Stadium Oct. 31. Miami won, 22-20 in overtime. Credit: Courtesy of MCTThe Cincinnati Bengals enter week 10 of the NFL season first place in the AFC North, but many questions are left unanswered.The Bengals (6-3), lost All-Pro defensive tackle Geno Atkins for the season in a week nine loss to the Miami Dolphins. Quarterback Andy Dalton struggled mightily, throwing three interceptions and getting sacked in overtime in the end zone to end the game. The loss ended a four-game winning streak, but Cincinnati looks to get back on track Sunday when it heads to Baltimore.The Ravens (3-5), meanwhile, have struggled all season after losing key members of last year’s Super Bowl winning team. They have lost three straight games and now sit third in the division behind Cincinnati and the Cleveland Browns (4-5). Quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco has thrown almost as many interceptions (nine) as he has touchdown passes (10) and running back Ray Rice is averaging only 2.7 yards per carry.Against the Bengals, the Ravens will face a defensive line that still does not have a clear rotation. While second-year defensive tackle Brandon Thompson will take Atkins’ place in the lineup, rookie defensive end Margus Hunt may get more playing time and even move inside in order to generate the type of pass rush the Bengals have grown accustomed to from Atkins.Cincinnati’s best cornerback, Leon Hall, is out for the season with an Achilles injury leaving 35-year-old Terence Newman as their most reliable corner. Newman was exposed for his lack of speed when he got beat by Dolphins receiver Mike Wallace in overtime. The play would have been a game winning touchdown catch of 86 yards, but Newman wisely pulled Wallace to the ground resulting in a pass interference penalty and the Dolphins punting shortly after. But he may not be so fortunate when facing the Ravens’ fleetfooted wide receiver Torrey Smith (36 receptions, 701 yards).The Bengals have the weapons to outscore most opponents, but Dalton must first learn to settle down in pressure situations. Now that the Bengals are no longer feared on defense, Dalton and the offense must step up and take advantage of whatever opportunities they are given in order to leave Baltimore with a victory.Kickoff between the Ravens and Bengals is scheduled for 1 p.m. at M&T Bank Stadium.
Senior midfielder Jesse King (19) carries the ball during a game against Denver on March14 in Columbus. OSU won. 13-11.Credit: Molly Tavoletti / Lantern reporterDuring its three-game series over spring break, the Ohio State men’s lacrosse team went 2-1 and broke into the Inside Lacrosse top 20 at No. 15, but immediately returned to the Woody Hayes Athletic Center for what the players call “truth day.”The truth is the team is not sugarcoating its 9-0 loss to No. 2 Notre Dame last Saturday, but rather using it as motivation heading into the Buckeyes’ first-ever Big Ten game Sunday against Penn State, coach Nick Myers said.“There’s a lot we can grow from,” Myers said. “People will make more of the shutout than it was. And obviously it’s something you don’t want to see, but the defense played its tails off. We were 3-0 at the half against a team that averages 14-15 goals a game. So we don’t make anything more of it than what it is.”While OSU’s defense held it together against the Fighting Irish, its offense failed to capitalize on five extra-man opportunities. But junior midfielder Kacy Kapinos said the team does not play the blame game, even after a shutout loss.“You can’t really blame one side or the other, it was a team loss,” he said. “We’re a very tight group, and we never point fingers when something goes wrong. If someone makes a mistake, we’re there for them.”A mere seven days before the loss against Notre Dame, OSU defeated then-No. 3 Denver, 13-11, in a victory Myers called “one of the greatest top-five wins in program history.” Myers said his team “played tired” against Notre Dame, but the physical and mental exhaustion is expected and something to push through.“At this point in the year, no one is 100 percent fresh or feels perfect, but your ability to stick together and continue to grind it out, that’s what separates good teams from great teams,” he said. “I’m not sure any team played two top-five opponents with a top-20 team in between in seven days, but we want to challenge our young men.”And for the players, that challenge continued this week at practice, returning to the drawing board in preparation for conference play this weekend in State College, Pa.Though the team prepares similarly each week, its loss to Notre Dame marked the conclusion of non-conference play. So with a conference tournament spot in its sights, OSU has added motivation heading into this week’s first-ever Big Ten matchup, Myers said.“To be on the edge of history on Sunday is something that re-energizes you through the rest of the season,” Myers said. “For all of us, it’s wide open now. You kind of throw the records out the window … These are two very hungry teams trying to get that first league conference win.”The Buckeyes recognize the challenges the Nittany Lions present, but attitude and preparation give them the confidence to bring home a win, senior midfielder and Dublin, Ohio, native Ryan Borcherding said.“We’re the most positive team I’ve been on since I’ve been here and we prepare better than anyone,” he said. “We’re not gonna let anything from the season so far affect how we play against Penn State. Growing up in Columbus, just about every kid’s dream is to put on that Buckeye jersey, so to play in the first game in the Big Ten with this team, it’s a blessing.”The game against the Nittany Lions is set for 3 p.m.
Ohio State redshirt junior guard Kam Williams attempts a shot in the first half against Maryland at the Schottenstein Center on Jan. 31. Credit: Ashley Nelson | Sports DirectorOhio State guard Kam Williams is refuting a report from CBS Sports that said he was returning to Columbus for his redshirt senior season. In a tweet early Monday afternoon, Williams said “I have not withdrawn anything,” a clear response to CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein, who reported Monday morning that OSU coach Thad Matta told him Williams planned to withdraw from the 2017 NBA draft. A team spokesman was unable to confirm CBS Sports’ report at this time. Williams’ name had previously been on the list of early entrants for the 2017 NBA draft, which was released early last week. Since Williams has not hired an agent, he is able to return to school after receiving feedback from teams about his draft prospects. Williams, who averaged a career-high 9.4 points per game last year on a career-low 39 percent shooting, is unlikely to be drafted if he turns professional. He has not received an invite to the NBA combine. If Williams’ does return to school, it would provide a boost for Matta and the Buckeyes, who struggled last season. They finished 17-15 and missed both the NCAA Tournament and the NIT. OSU lost redshirt junior forward Trevor Thompson to the NBA draft, as well as senior forward Marc Loving to graduation. A 6-foot-2 guard known for his ability to catch fire offensively, Williams would provide the team with an experienced player and a scoring threat. Consistency on both ends of the court has been one area during his career where he has struggled. Williams, who typically came off the bench during his first two seasons, started 29 games in the 2016-17, mostly in place for the injured Keita Bates-Diop. The public rebuttal from Williams calls to mind a saga which took place earlier in the offseason between Oregon forward Jordan Bell and Yahoo! Sports’ Shams Charania. Charania reported that Bell intended to enter the NBA draft, but Bell — much like Williams — took to Twitter to say he had yet to make a decision and that Charania’s report was “#fakenews.”One day later, on April 18, Bell officially declared for the draft. Ohio State’s Kam Williams will return to school for his senior season, per Thad Matta. Entered 2017 NBA Draft process without an agent.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) May 1, 2017https://twitter.com/kd__will/status/859063806307303425Editor’s Note: The original article posted said Williams had withdrawn from the NBA draft. The updated article includes Williams’ refuting comments.
The number of prosecutions brought for sexual offences has risen to its highest level ever, jumping 22.5 per cent on last year.In total 11,995 defendants were prosecuted in 2015-16 for sexual offences other than rape, up from 9,789 the year before. The figure has steadily increased since 2012, but never as steeply as in the past year.Sexual offences range from non-consensual sexual touching to serious sexual assault.The vast majority of defendants were men, with women accounting for just 2.7 per cent, and of those prosecuted 78 per cent were convicted.The Crown Prosecution Service’s Violence Against Women and Girls report showed that convictions for rape, domestic abuse, sexual offences and child abuse have reached a record level. The use of the internet, social media and other forms of technology to humiliate, control and threaten individuals is risingAlison Saunders, Director of Public Prosecutions Use regions/landmarks to skip ahead to chart.Defendants prosecuted for sexual offencesLong description.No description available.Structure.Chart type: column chart.column series with 2 columns.The chart has 1 X axis displaying categories.The chart has 1 Y axis displaying Values.Chart graphic.Defendants prosecuted for sexual offencesDefendants prosecuted for sexual offences – Highcharts CloudValuesDefendants prosecuted for sexual offencesSeries 12014/20152015/201602k4k6k8k10k12k14kHighchartsChart context menu Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. The Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders said the internet had contributed to the overall rise in cases of offences against women, up nearly 10 per cent to 117,568.Ms Saunders warned of a “growing trend” of offences perpetrated on or through social media.”The use of the internet, social media and other forms of technology to humiliate, control and threaten individuals is rising,” she said.Contributing to the total were 206 revenge pornography prosecutions, after new laws to tackle the crime were introduced in April last year.The offence of disclosing private sexual images without consent carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison. Ms Saunders said the internet had also enabled other offences, with defendants in controlling or coercive cased relying on “tactics such as GPS tracking and monitoring phone or email messages”.The conviction rate for rape cases rose to 57.9 per cent of the 4,643 cases brought.However in recent months the CPS has been criticised for prosecuting cases than have ended in collapse.In May a judge criticised a police officer and the CPS for their handling of accusations of gang rape against four agricultural students, which fell apart just as the trial was due to start. He said they bore responsibility for failing to disclose “game-changing” evidence to the defence teams of the men.At the time, the police force said they and the CPS would review the judge’s comments “to learn the lessons of this case.”CLARIFICATION: This article reports the finding of the VAWG report that the conviction rate for rape rose in the year 2015-16 to 57.9 per cent of prosecutions brought. We wish to clarify that though these cases were initially flagged as rape, CPS data show that the majority were eventually prosecuted in the principal offence category of ‘sexual offences including rape’. A breakdown of outcomes in this category is not available.