COLUMBIA, Mo. -- The University of Missouri says it has wrapped up an internal investigation of its softball program and Ehren Earleywine will remain its coach.The school announced the development in a statement Friday without disclosing the reasons for the inquiry by the athletics department and its Office of Title IX and Civil Rights. Missouri called it a personnel matter it cant discuss publicly.Earleywine says in a statement that while hes relieved the investigation is over, he regrets the attention it drew to the program and school. He added without elaborating that he recognizes his need to improve in certain areas and is committed to doing so.Earleywine has coached at Missouri for 10 years and has two seasons left on his contract. He makes $155,000 a year. [url=https://www.cheapairmax1store.com/]Nike Air Max 1 2022[/url] . "I wrote 36 on my sheet at the beginning of the game," the Cincinnati coach said, referring the yard line the ball would need to be snapped from. 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You saw the moment: Los Angeles had cut Minnesotas lead to two points with about 7? minutes left in Tuesdays much-anticipated matchup. This game, which might well have been a preview of the WNBA Finals, was living up to its billing. The Sparks, who had lost just once at Staples Center all season -- to Minnesota back in June -- were one stop away from a chance to tie it up or take the lead.One stop away. Sounds so close, doesnt it? Except if the person you have to stop is Lynx center Sylvia Fowles.In a battle of the top two teams in the league, the visiting Lynx prevailed 77-74. It didnt look like it would end up that close, until a last-second scoring surge by the Sparks. That was the kind of thing that might have Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve waking up in a cold sweat reliving it, kind of like that dream where you havent been to class all semester and then have to take a final. And you say to yourself, How the heck did this happen?But that little stumble before the finish line actually didnt hurt the Lynx (25-5). They won. They have secured one of the top two seeds in the playoffs. And they know theyll be in the best-of-five semifinals.Los Angeles (24-6) is pretty close to nailing down a bye to the semifinals too. But the Sparks know that if they are to make a title run, the Lynx are probably going to be in the way. And Fowles, who was last seasons WNBA Finals MVP after a 3-2 series win over the Indiana Fever, is helping make the Lynx seem just as hard to topple this season.So back to that moment on Tuesday. With the Lynx protecting a two-point lead, Fowles got the ball at the top of the lane on a pass from Seimone Augustus. At that juncture, Fowles had 17 points, and the Sparks tried to collapse on her. Everybody on the team -- and a few of the Sparks fans, it seemed -- got between the 6-foot-6 Fowles and the basket.OK, actually, it was only three Sparks defenders who attempted to stop her. You know, just three terrific players 6-2 or taller: Candace Parker, Jantel Lavender and Nneka Ogwumike. Fowles had to turn around, put the ball on the floor, step to the basket, not lose the ball and make a shot while closely guarded.She did just that. At which point, if youre one of the Sparks, you had to say, Theres just not much we can do about that.That is usually the case with Fowles when she gets the ball where she can do damage. You cant really prevent it, no matter how good your defense. Fowles finished with a gamee-high 21 points on 9 of 11 shooting and added nine rebounds, three assists and three blocked shots.ddddddddddddAs great as the Lynx are collectively -- which is very, very great -- Minnesotas individual star power also displayed its wattage on Tuesday. Maya Moore -- who definitely should not be overlooked in the regular-season MVP race -- was outstanding with 20 points and seven rebounds. She followed Fowles big basket by pulling down a rebound off a missed Sparks shot, bringing the ball down the court and pulling up for a 3-pointer that swished.If that were the only one-two punch the Lynx could throw at teams, it would be devastating enough. Add in Augustus offense, Lindsay Whalens court savvy, Rebekkah Brunsons defense and rebounding, the benchs ability to give the Lynx dependable depth at every position -- and it can seem Minnesota is an insurmountable force.Yet the Sparks -- thanks in part to an unexpected but good-to-see 20 points from reserve guard Chelsea Gray -- were able to take it to the wire. Still, they and every other potential challenger to the Lynx have to look at Fowles as a particularly vexing problem.Shes a seasoned veteran and an Olympian. She has great strength, touch, footwork and resolve. And shes tough. Fowles took a fall in the opening moments of Tuesdays game that looked wincingly painful and no doubt felt a lot worse. But after a brief time on the sidelines, she was right back in the game.It was a little over a year ago that Fowles joined Minnesota after the organizations lengthy negotiations to obtain her from the Chicago Sky. Her first Lynx game, after sitting out the season to that point, was against the Sparks on July 29, 2015. She had 11 points and five rebounds that night. And while it did take some adjustments for the Lynx to fully integrate Fowles, it all worked out exactly as planned, culminating with the franchises third WNBA title.Since coming to Minnesota, Fowles has been nothing but a joy for the Lynx staff to coach, so genuine is her desire to do things just as they want them done.It seems odd to say the Lynx are back in the drivers seat in regard to the 2016 championship, because they never really seemed to be out of it. Nonetheless, it should be clear to everyone now: Minnesota is the favorite to win it all, and Fowles is a big reason why. ' ' '