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Whitworth men take over No. 1 in Division III basketball poll

Men’s basketball: Whitworth University, the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Division III men’s basketball tournament that starts Thursday, also moved back into the No. 1 spot in the final regular- season Top 25 poll.

The Pirates (26-1) spent two weeks atop the poll early last month before suffering their only loss of the season to Northwest Conference rival Whitman.

The Bucs, who were awarded an opening-round tournament bye and second-round home game Saturday against the winner of Thursday’s Redlands- Chapman first-round matchup, were No. 2 in last week’s rankings but moved up after previously top-ranked Williams lost to Middlebury in the title game of the NESCAC tournament.

Steve Bergum

WSU’s Bland faces charge

College football: Washington State linebacker Louis Bland was arrested early Saturday morning and charged with assault in a domestic dispute.

Bland, who missed the 2010 season with a knee injury after starting off and on for two seasons, was charged with second- degree assault, which is a Class B felony.

Bland’s status for spring football, which begins Monday, is still to be determined according to a WSU spokesman, though he is not allowed to take part in team activities as the coaching staff looks into the incident.

Bland, 21, was arrested and booked into Whitman County Jail. A Class B felony can result in a prison sentence of up to 10 years and a $20,000 fine.

Vince Grippi

Engel goalie of the month

WHL: Mac Engel has proven to be more than a fill-in.

The Spokane Chiefs’ backup goalie, pressed into service when James Reid was injured in January, has been named the Western Hockey League goaltender of the month for February.

Not a bad replacement when the team’s all-time leader in wins isn’t available.

The 17-year-old from Red Deer, Alberta, posted a 9-2 mark for the month. His 1.83 goals-against average lowered his season mark to 2.41, second in the league. He also stopped 93 percent of the shots he faced and seven of his nine wins came against U.S. Division rivals.

Dave Trimmer

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