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Thursday, Jan. 28 sports updates: Thorns extend defender Menges; Ducks hire new DC; OSU men lose. UP women win in hoops.

COURTESY PHOTO - Emily Menges agreed to a new three-year contract with the Portland Thorns.Thorns re-sign Menges — The Portland Thorns have signed defender Emily Menges to a three-year contract.

Menges, 28, joined the Thorns in 2014 out of Georgetown and is second in career games (117), starts (116) and minutes played (10,334) for the Thorns.

The center back was a National Women's Soccer League Best XI selection in 2016 and a Second XI choice in 2017 and 2018.

"Emily continues to evolve as a center back, exhibiting consistent quality in possession and a commitment to shutting down every team we play," Thorns coach Mark Parsons said in the club's announcement. "She is a caring person, exceptional teammate and selfless leader who has been key to our success and will play a critical role in our future."

The Thorns are scheduled to open training camp next week.

The 2021 NWSL season is slated to begin April 9 with a monthlong Challenge Cup in home markets, followed by a 24-game regular season beginning May 15 and ending Oct. 30 (not taking a break for the Olympics).

College men's basketball — Oregon State's three-game winning streak was halted Thursday as USC avenged a Jan. 19 loss to the Beavers by beating OSU 75-62 at the Galen Center in Los Angeles.

The Beavers (8-6, 4-4 Pac-12) cut a 16-point lead to seven with three 3-pointers in a row to make 75-68, but could get no closer.

Ethan Thompson had 20 points and Jarod Lucas 18 for OSU.

Evan Mobley led USC (13-3, 7-1) with 14 points and 13 rebounds. It was the Trojans' eighth win in their last nine, the exception being their loss at Oregon State.

Ducks hire new DC — Oregon made official on Thursday the hiring of Tim DeRuyter as its new defensive coordinator. He replaces Andy Avalos, who became the new head coach at Boise State.

DeRuyter, who will coach linebackers and coordinate the defense, has been a defensive coordinator in 20 of his 31 seasons coaching college football. The last four seasons he has been the defensive coordinator at Cal.

"He is a proven difference maker with a track record for developing players to their full potential, and he has accelerated significant improvement in all of his stops as a defensive coordinator," Oregon coach Mario Cristobal said in a press release.

WHL Central Division to play — The province of Alberta has given permission for Western Hockey League teams in Alberta to begin playing on Feb. 26.

The other three divisions, including the U.S. Division that includes the Portland Winterhawks, are awaiting approval from their state and provincial governments to begin the season.

The Central Division teams — Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Red Deer — will play a 24-game schedule with games only on weekends and without fans.

A weekly PCR testing program is part of the protocol. If a club has a positive test among players or staff, the team must suspend operations for two weeks.

Trail Blazers' schedule change — Portland will play at Washington at 5 p.m. PT on Tuesday, Feb. 2. The teams originally were scheduled to meet in the second half of the NBA schedule. The Blazers' game at Charlotte now will be played in the second half of the schedule.

College women's basketball — The Portland Pilots survived a sloppy finish to win 69-68 at Saint Mary's as the Gaels' Brianna Simonich missed a contested shot from the key in the closing seconds.

Alex Fowler and Haylee Andrews led the Pilots with 18 points apiece and Emmas Shearer scored 16. Andrews also had nine assists for Portland (8-6, 5-3 WCC).

Portland led by as many as 14 points in the third quarter. A Shearer layup put the Pilots up three in the final minute. Saint Mary's scored and then forced the Pilots into a turnover to earn the chance for the final possession.

• Portland State 59, College of Idano 37 — In a Wednesday nonconference game at Viking Pavilion, Portland State (5-6) beat NAIA College of Idaho. The Vikings scored the first 13 points of the fourth quarter to pull away from the NAIA Yotes.

Desirae Hansen led the Vikings with 15 points and Morgan Baird had 12 points and nine rebounds.

PSU announced the addition of nonconference games against Simpson on Feb. 8 and Northwest on Feb. 15.

College basketball schedule changes — The Portland Pilots Thursday men's basketball game at Saint Mary's was postponed. The Pilots Saturday home game against Santa Clara already had been postponed. As of Thursday, Portland's next scheduled game is Feb. 4 at home against BYU.

• Portland State's Friday nonconference men's basketball game against Simpson University has been canceled because the closure of I-5 south of Ashland prevents the team from Redding, California, from getting to Portland.

Oregon volleyball adds McClellan — Daley McClellan, who was the Three Rivers League volleyball player of the year in 2019 for Canby High, will join the Oregon Ducks in the fall. An outside hitter, McClellan is the third Class of 2021 freshman to sign with the Ducks.

College men's golf — Oregon finished sixth and Oregon State 10th at the season-opening Arizona Intercollegiate, which ended Jan. 27 at Sewailo Golf Club in Tucson, Arizona. Oregon's Owen Avrit, a sophomore transfer from Long Beach State, and Oregon State senior Spencer Tibbits, finished tied for 10th at 3-over-par 216 for the 54-hole tournament.

Ducks on spring watchlists — Oregon senior outfielder Haley Cruse and junior pitcher Brooke Yanez have been named to the 50-player watchlist for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award. Cruse also is a second-team preseason All-America according to D1 Softball.

On Jan. 25, Oregon baseball designated hitter/pitcher Kevin Yovan was named to the D1 Baseball preseason All-America third team.

The schedules for Oregon's diamond sports have not yet been released.

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