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Published: Saturday, 11/10/2012

Ohio State men's game postponed, women able to play, lose to Notre Dame

ASSOCIATED PRESS

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. — The game be­tween No. 4 Ohio State and Mar­quette aboard the USS York­town at the Car­rier Clas­sic on Fri­day night was can­celed be­cause of mois­ture on the court.

After a wait of about an hour, ref­eree John Cahill said the con­den­sa­tion on the con­verted flight deck could not be dried. He said it was in the best in­ter­est of the teams to call off the game.

The game was part of the sec­ond Car­rier Clas­sic. Ear­lier in the day, the No. 7 Notre Dame women de­feated No. 19 Ohio State 57-51. There was no prob­lem with the court dur­ing that game.

The con­test raises money for sev­eral groups that help troops and vet­er­ans. It was a show­case for Veter­ans Day week­end.

Cahill said the de­ci­sion was made in agree­ment with both coaches and ath­letic di­rec­tors.

Play­ers on both teams saw wet spots on the court dur­ing pre­game warm­ups. Of­fi­cials met with Ohio State coach Thad Matta and Mar­quette coach Buzz Wil­liams sev­eral times as work­ers and vol­un­teers grabbed any­thing they could to dry the sur­face.

After about a half-hour de­lay, Cahill and his crew put 20 more min­utes back on the clock and play­ers warmed up again. Still, the hard­wood was moist and wet and all sides agreed it would be too dan­ger­ous to play.

Most of the 4,000 seats at the make­shift arena were full, many of them ser­vice­men and women who re­ceived do­nated tick­ets. Ohio State's play­ers put on a dunk con­test, guard Aaron Craft sky­ing high for a jam as spec­ta­tors snapped pic­tures on their cellp­hones.

After the game was can­celed, the Buck­eyes and the Golden Eagles came out to sign au­to­graphs and greet fans.

The con­test was sup­posed to be one of the mar­quee events of col­lege bas­ket­ball's open­ing week­end. Ohio State reached the Final Four last sea­son while Mar­quette ad­vanced to the NCAA's round of 16 be­fore los­ing to Flor­ida.

Wil­liams came to the court in Army style com­bat boots and both sides wore uni­forms to honor the mil­i­tary and those who've served their coun­try.

"It is dis­ap­point­ing," Wil­liams said. "But the health of our play­ers is mon­u­men­tal."

Ath­letic di­rec­tors from both schools said they'd con­tinue dis­cus­sions about mak­ing up the game down the road, though not likely this sea­son. Ohio State re­turns home to play Al­bany on Sun­day while Mar­quette be­gins its home sea­son the same day with Col­gate.

Mo­rale En­ter­tain­ment's Mi­chael Whalen said the Notre Dame women's prac­tice on Thurs­day morn­ing was moved to warmer af­ter­noon con­di­tions be­cause of con­den­sa­tion. Thurs­day night, or­ga­niz­ers found lit­tle wrong with the court and thought things would be fine.

Matta said his play­ers were ex­posed to troops who made sac­ri­fices and war­riors wounded in bat­tle.

"Yeah, we didn't get to play," he said. "But maybe the pur­pose was served."

WOMEN

NO. 7 NOTRE DAME 57,

NO. 19 OHIO STATE 51

Sky­lar Dig­gins may not have had the most points, but Notre Dame coach Muf­fet McGraw knows why the Fight­ing Ir­ish came out on top at the Car­rier Clas­sic.

Natalie Achonwa had 17 points and 10 re­bounds to lead Notre Dame.

Dig­gins, though, got the Ir­ish off to a quick start in the sec­ond half, fun­nel­ing the ball to Achonwa and Kayla McBride to build a 35-25 lead over the first four min­utes of the pe­riod that Notre Dame would not give up.

"She's the one who di­rects us, man­ages the game, gets us in the of­fense," McGraw said. "She did a lit­tle bit of ev­ery­thing to­night."

McBride fin­ished with 16 points and Dig­gins 11 as the Fight­ing Ir­ish moved to 23-3 in sea­son open­ers un­der McGraw.

The first women's game on an air­craft car­rier wasn't easy for ei­ther team. The York­town was bathed in bright sun­shine at the start, leav­ing play­ers on both teams squint­ing. Once the sun set on Char­les­ton Har­bor, the con­verted flight deck turned down­right chilly.

"I'm look­ing for­ward to get­ting back to play­ing in­doors," Ohio State coach Jim Foster said with a smile.

Tay­ler Hill scored 15 of her 18 points in the sec­ond half for the Buck­eyes.

Stokes added 10 points for Ohio State, which had won 17 straight sea­son open­ers be­fore this one. Ash­ley Adams fin­ished with 10 points and 11 re­bounds for the Buck­eyes.

Ohio State's Foster and McGraw both ea­gerly ac­cepted the op­por­tu­nity to open the sea­son on the car­rier, which served in World War II, Vi­et­nam and re­cov­ered the as­tro­nauts of Apollo 8 in 1968 be­fore she was de­com­mis­sioned in 1970.

Both teams paid trib­ute to the mil­i­tary in their uni­forms, the Buck­eyes wear­ing a cam­ou­flage de­sign while the Fight­ing Ir­ish had camo ac­cents down the sides with a red-white-and-blue USA on the back where their names are.

"This to all the women's troops," McGraw said. "There are a lot of women out there" in the mil­i­tary.

"It was great to play this game for some­thing big­ger than us," Dig­gins said.

Ohio State's Tayler Hill, left, drives around Notre Dame's Jewell Loyd during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Carrier Classic onboard the USS Yorktown in Mount Pleasant, S.C., Friday, Nov. 9, 2012.  (AP Photo/Mic Smith) Ohio State's Tayler Hill, left, drives around Notre Dame's Jewell Loyd during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Carrier Classic onboard the USS Yorktown in Mount Pleasant, S.C., Friday, Nov. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)
AP Enlarge
Military personnel and volunteers wipe off condensation in an attempt to dry the damp court before the start of the game between Ohio Sate and Marquette aboard the USS Yorktown. Officials called off the game because of the damp court. Military personnel and volunteers wipe off condensation in an attempt to dry the damp court before the start of the game between Ohio Sate and Marquette aboard the USS Yorktown. Officials called off the game because of the damp court.
ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge



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