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Winter storm postpones most sporting events

A convoy of New York State Department of

A convoy of New York State Department of Transportation plows clear snow off the eastbound LIE near exit 58 in Islandia on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016. Credit: James Carbone

Even the boys of summer aren’t immune to winter storm Jonas.

The snowstorm, which weather forecasters say could dump as much as 30 inches of snow in parts of New York, handicapped sporting events all along the East Coast on Saturday and led to the cancellation of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America dinner, which was set to hand out hardware to the 2015 season’s award-winners. Although the larger event was canceled, a private ceremony was held for the honorees and their families.

The Islanders postponed Saturday night’s game against the Flyers at Barclays Center and have yet to announce a new date for the game. The Rangers still are scheduled to take on the Senators in Ottawa on Sunday.

The Nets did not practice and the Knicks faced the Hornets on Saturday night in Charlotte, North Carolina.

St. John’s University postponed Saturday night’s men’s basketball game against Marquette at Madison Square Garden to 3:45 p.m. Sunday at Carnesecca Arena. It will begin about an hour after the women’s basketball game between St. John’s and Xavier, set to begin at 1 p.m.

The Hofstra men’s basketball game against William & Mary, originally scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday at Hofstra, now will be played at noon on Sunday. The Hofstra women’s basketball game against Towson will be played 30 minutes after the conclusion of the men’s game.

Stony Brook postponed its men’s basketball game against Maine at Island FCU Arena from 2 p.m. Sunday to 7 p.m. Monday.

The storm hit with such gusto (and such gusts) that even FrancesaCon at Irving Plaza in Manhattan had to be postponed. It was rescheduled for March 12 at Irving Plaza. Now in its third year, FrancesaCon is the annual convention for diehard fans of Mike Francesa, and hundreds of fans were expected to get a visit from the radio icon himself. It would have been the second year Francesa gamely made an appearance (fans like to engage in gentle mocking of his bombastic mannerisms, though it doesn’t seem to faze him), and he said last year that he would be happy to attend again, as proceeds from the event go to charity.

The Philadelphia 76ers postponed their home game against the Celtics to Sunday at 7 p.m., and the Washington Wizards postponed their game against the Jazz. No makeup date was announced. In the NHL, the Washington Capitals’ home game against the Penguins on Sunday was postponed.

The Syracuse men’s basketball game at Virginia on Saturday was postponed to 7 p.m. Sunday.

All local high school sporting events scheduled for Saturday and Sunday were postponed.

According to a CNN report, about 500 vehicles were stuck on the Pennsylvania Turnpike because of snow, state police said. Two of them were the buses carrying the Duquesne University men’s basketball team and the Temple University women’s gymnastics team.

The Duquesne players spent Friday night on the bus and tweeted at 3:20 p.m. yesterday: “It is becoming increasingly unlikely that #DUQMBB will be able to leave the Turnpike tonight. Preparing for another night on the bus.”

“It’s a big stretch of nothing,” Duquesne coach Jim Ferry told USA Today Sports at about noon yesterday. “No other exits. No gas stations.”

Ferry — a former highly successful coach at Adelphi — texted USA Today Sports at about 8 p.m. yesterday to say the team pushed the bus onto the road and that it was on the move about 80 miles from Pittsburgh.

Duquesne was heading home to Pittsburgh after Friday afternoon’s victory over George Mason in Virginia when the bus came to a “dead stop” at about 9:15 p.m., Ferry told CNN.

At one point, he told USA Today Sports, “We haven’t moved an inch in 15 hours.”

He told USA Today Sports: “We’re trying to make a positive out of a negative. We’ve been through a lot as a program. We have two people, [assistant coach] John Rhodes and [senior guard] Derrick Colter, who have both survived cancer. We know how to stick together.”

To pass the time, they posted polls on Twitter on Friday asking who should have to push the bus or who should get voted off the bus in case “desperate times call for desperate measures.” They made angels in the snow and visited a group of middle-schoolers from Iowa on the neighboring bus.

By yesterday, they had run out of food and water as snow continued to pile up around them, but the National Guard and the local fire department delivered water. At about noon, some teammates set off to find their own food. “Walking to HOPEFULLY have dominos drop off pizza from an overpass. 3/4 mile in 2+ feet of snow,” the team tweeted.

“This group has been through a lot together and we’re gonna get through this together,” Ferry said.

Ferry led Division II Adelphi to an 82-11 record in three seasons from 1999 through 2002, taking the Panthers to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2000 and NCAA Elite Eight appearances in 2001 and 2002. Ferry’s Adelphi teams went 62-4 in winning three straight New York Collegiate Athletic Conference championships. His 2001 Panthers won 31 consecutive games. He was named NIT/Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association Division II Coach of the Year all three seasons.

The Temple gymnastics team became stuck while heading to the University of Pittsburgh for a competition. They also were making the best of a bad situation, tweeting: “We’ve hit the 24 hour mark on the bus! Still stuck out here on the @PA_Turnpike but staying warm and positive #Snowzilla”.

With David Lennon, Brian Heyman and Gregg Sarra

New York Sports