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March 22, 2021
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March 22, 2021
AP Sports



Update on the latest sports


Loyola Chicago ousts first No. 1 seed
UNDATED (AP) – Loyola Chicago made a surprising run through the NCAA Tournament as an 11th seed three years ago, and the Ramblers are at it again.
Loyola Chicago became the first team to knock out a No. 1 in this tourney as Cameron Krutwig had 19 points and 12 rebounds in a 71-58 victory over Illinois. Lucas Williamson chipped in 14 points and helped the Ramblers build a 14-point lead late in the first half.
Kofi (KOH’-fee) Cockburn had team highs of 21 points and nine rebounds for the Illini, but Ayo Dosunmu (EYE’-oh doh-SOO’-moo) was held to nine points and Trent Frazier added just two on 1 of 10 shooting.
Meanwhile, Oral Roberts became just the second No. 15 seed in NCAA Tournament history to advance to the round of 16. Kevin Obanor (oh-BAN’-ur) and Max Abams carried the Golden Eagles out of an 11-point deficit to knock off No. 7 seed Florida, 81-78. Obanor scored 28 points and Abmas finished with 26.
The Golden Eagles closed the game on a 25-11 run to overcome the 11-point lead Florida held with less than 10 minutes remaining.


Also in the NCAA Tournament:
– Buddy Boeheim (BAY’-hym) carried his father, Jim, to the Hall of Fame coach’s 20th Sweet 16 appearance, scoring 22 of his 25 points after halftime to lead 11th-seeded Syracuse past No. 3 West Virginia, 75-72. Boeheim finished 6 of 13 from deep and 8 of 17 overall, and he helped put the game away with three late free throws. Joe Girard III scored all 12 of his points before halftime, steadying the Orange while Boeheim struggled.


– No. 12 Oregon State continued its surprisingly good postseason as Ethan Thompson delivered 26 points in an 80-70 victory over fourth seed Oklahoma State. Jarod Lucas and Maurice Calloo each had 15 points for the Beavers, who never looked back after building a 44-30 halftime lead. Cowboys guard Cade Cunningham had 24 points in what’s expected to be his final college game.


– Davion Mitchell scored 16 points, dished out eight assists and spearheaded a dominant defensive first half that propelled top seed Baylor to a 76-63 win over Wisconsin. Matthew Mayer was high man for the Bears with 17 points and Jared Butler added 16 while Baylor didn’t allow a single Badger to score more than 12. Wisconsin cut an 18-point deficit to seven in the second half before Baylor advanced to the Sweet 16 for the fifth time under Scott Drew.


– Justin Smith had 20 points and helped No. 3 Arkansas secure a final-play defensive stop to beat Texas Tech 68-66, securing the Razorbacks’ first trip to the Sweet 16 in a quarter-century. Star freshman Moses Moody added 11 of his 15 after halftime for Arkansas. Terrence Shannon Jr. scored 20 points to pace the sixth-seeded Red Raiders, but Mac McClung was limited to nine points.


– Quentin Grimes dropped in 22 points and Tramon Mark converted a soaring three-point play with 24 seconds left in Houston’s 63-60 decision over Rutgers. DaJon Jarreau overcame a series of bumps and bruises to score a key bucket down the stretch and finished with 17 points for the second-seeded Cougars. The 10th-seeded Scarlet Knights still had a chance after Mark’s free throws, but Geo Baker turned the ball over and Marcus Sasser made two more to extend the lead.


– Fifth seed Villanova fell behind early before cruising to an 84-61 rout of No. 13 North Texas. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl scored 18 points and Jermaine Samuels Jr. had 15 for the Wildcats, who knocked down 15 3-pointers. Nova went 9 for 15 from 3-point range in the first half and finished the first 20 minutes on a 34-6 run after falling behind, 21-13.


LAS VEGAS (AP) – UNLV has announced that Kevin Kruger is the new men’s basketball coach.
Kruger spent the past two seasons as an assistant at UNLV after returning to his alma mater in 2019. He will replace T.J. Otzelberger, who left to become the head coach at Iowa State.
The former Runnin’ Rebels point guard is the son of Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger, who led UNLV to four NCAA Tournament appearances between 2004-11.


76ers continue dominance over Knicks
UNDATED (AP) – The Philadelphia 76ers stayed in sole possession of the NBA’s Eastern Conference lead by beating the New York Knicks for the 15th straight time.
Tobias Harris made two free throws with 5.3 seconds left in overtime to send the Sixers past the Knicks, 101-100. Shake Milton had a team-high 24 points and Harris added 20 as Philadelphia improved to 30-13 with its eighth win in its last 10 games.
Julius Randle scored 24 points, but his last shot rimmed out just before the buzzer as New York dropped to 21-22.
The Nets stayed a game behind the Sixers by bouncing back from Friday’s loss at Orlando.
Kyrie Irving scored 28 points and James Harden had 26 to lead the Nets to a 113-106 victory over the Wizards.
Blake Griffin made his Nets debut and dunked for the first time since December 2019. Nicolas Claxton added 16 points, including two three-point plays down the stretch to help hold off the Wizards.
Russell Westbrook had 29 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists for Washington.


Checking out Sunday’s other NBA action:
– Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton both had 26 points and the Suns won for the 17th time in their last 21 games by thumping the LeBron-less Lakers, 111-94 , Chris Paul had a triple double with 11 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds as Phoenix climbed within two games of West-leading Utah. The Lakers were playing without 17-time All-Star LeBron James, who suffered a high ankle sprain in Saturday’s 99-94 loss to the Hawks and is expected to miss significant time.


– The Mavericks hammered the trail Blazers, 137-92 as Luka Doncic (DAHN’-chich) scored 37 points in three quarters. Doncic made his first eight 3-point shots and finished with 8-for-9 shooting from long distance. Josh Richardson scored 21 points, DorianFinney-Smith added 13 and Kristaps Porzingis 12 for Dallas.


– Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson each scored 30 points and the Pelicans overcame another triple-double by Nikola Jokic (nih-KOH’-lah YOH’-kihch) to beat the Nuggets, 113-108. Nickeil Alexander-Walker added 20 points as New Orleans won the finale of a road trip after dropping its first two games in Portland. Jokic had 29 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his 52nd career triple-double, including 11 this season.


– Justin Holiday scored 15 points and hit consecutive 3-pointers in overtime to lead the Pacers to a 109-106 win over the Heat. Myles Turner finished with 16 points and five blocks as Indiana completed a two-game sweep in Miami. Doug McDermott scored 17 points and Domantas Sabonis had 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Pacers, who swept their two-game set in Miami.


– Boston’s three-game skid is over after Jaylen Brown scored 34 points and Jayson Tatum added 23 in a 112-96 decision over the Magic. The Celtics made 23 3-pointers in the game, one short of the franchise record. Brown was 10 for 18 from the distance and one short of Marcus Smart’s team record.


– The Rockets’ team-record losing streak has reached 20 games with a 114-112 setback against the Thunder. Lu Dort had a team-high 23 points and Moses Brown added 13 with 14 rebounds for Oklahoma City. Houston fell despite 27 points from Christian Wood, 24 from John Wall and 23 from Victor Oladipo (oh-lah-DEE’-poh).


– Collin Sexton scored 23 of his 36 points in the second half to help the Cavaliers deal the Raptors their eighth loss in a row, 116-105. Jarrett Allen had 17 points and 15 rebounds as the Cavs won for just the second time in seven games. Dean Wade scored 16 points and Darius Garland had 15 points and six assists for Cleveland.


– Laurie Markkanen had 16 points and eight rebounds for the Bulls in a 100-86 win over the Detroit Pistons. Zach LaVine scored 18 points for the Bulls, who had lost two straight. Daniel Galford added eight points and 11 rebounds as Chicago held Detroit to 16% shooting on its 25 3-point attempts.


Raptors coach fined for outburst
UNDATED (AP) – The NBA has fined Toronto coach Nick Nurse $50,000 for throwing his facemask behind the scorer’s table and toward the stands, plus for directing profanity toward game officials before leaving the floor at the end of a game Friday night.
Nurse was upset at the end of Toronto’s 115-112 loss to the Utah Jazz, a game in which the Jazz took 41 free throws, compared with the Raptors’ 14.
The 27-shot difference in free throw attempts between the teams was the second largest in the NBA this season.


Bolts top Cats
UNDATED (AP) – The Tampa Bay Lightning have widened the game in the NHL’s Central Division.
Tyler Johnson broke a tie on a power play midway through the third period to help the Lightning beat the Florida Panthers, 5-3.
Yanni Gourde (YAH’-nee gohrd) and Brayden Point each had a goal and an assist as Tampa Bay opened a four-point lead over Florida in the division.
Alex Killorn (kih-LOHRN’) and Mathieu Joseph also scored, and Curtis McElhinney stopped 29 shots to improve to 3-3-1.


Elsewhere on NHL ice:
– Jesper Bratt ran his point streak to four games by scoring on a wraparound at 2:50 of overtime, giving the Devils a 2-1 win over the Penguins. Sami Vatanen also scored and Mackenzie Blackwood stopped 35 shots in his first game since aggravating an upper-body injury during warmups on Thursday. Sidney Crosby scored his 12th of the season for the Penguins, who have dropped three of four since a six-game winning streak.


– The Kings ended the Golden Knights’ five-game winning streak as Sean Walker and Dustin Brown scored 51 seconds apart in the second period of a 3-1 victory by Los Angeles. Cal Petersen made 41 saves and fell just short of his second career shutout as the Kings avenged the Knights’ 4-2 win at Staples Center on Friday. Captain Anze Kopitar had two assists.


– Calle Jarnkrok (KAL’-ee YAHRN’-krahk) scored in the fifth round of the shootout and the Predators finished a franchise-record eight-game road trip the same way they started it, with a 4-3 shootout victory over the Stars. Eeli Tolvanen had the tying goal with six minutes remaining in regulation and two assists for his first career three-point game. Ryan Johansen had a power-play goal in the first period and Filip Forsberg pulled Nashville to 3-2 late in the second.


Perez becomes rich Royal
UNDATED (AP) – The Kansas City Royals have given six-time All-Star catcher Salvador Perez the richest contract in club history.
The four-year, $82 million deal begins in 2022 and includes a club option worth an additional $13.5 million, with a $2 million buyout for 2026.
The deal surpasses the four-year, $72 million contract the Royals gave to outfielder Alex Gordon in 2016.
Perez is coming off a season in which he hit .333 with 11 homers and 32 RBIs to win his third Silver Slugger.


Also around the majors:
– Diamondbacks relief pitcher Tyler Clippard has a sprained right shoulder and won’t throw for at least the next six weeks. Clippard said the injury was diagnosed as a “capsule sprain” and his shoulder will be re-evaluated at the end of six weeks of rest.


– The Pirates have signed 26-year-old knuckleballer Steven Wright to a minor league deal that includes an invitation to big league camp. The right-hander last pitched in the majors in 2019, when he was limited to six appearances with Boston after serving an 80-game suspension following a positive test for human growth hormone. Wright is 24-16 with a 3.86 ERA in 81 career appearances, with 44 starts.


– Indians center fielder Oscar Mercado has been optioned to the minor leagues, continuing his slide after a promising rookie season. Mercado’s batting average plummeted to .128 in 36 games last season after he hit .269 with 15 homers and 54 RBIs in 115 games as a rookie in 2019.


CB Kyle Fuller signs with Broncos after being released by Bears
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) – Former All-Pro cornerback Kyle Fuller is reuniting with coach Vic Fangio in Denver.
Fuller quickly agreed to a one-year, $9.5 million contract with the Broncos on Saturday following his release from the Chicago Bears.
Fuller was an All-Pro in 2018 when he tied for the NFL lead with seven interceptions. That was Fangio’s last season as Chicago’s defensive coordinator before he became head coach in Denver.
Chicago replaced Fuller by signing cornerback Desmond Trufant to a one-year contract Saturday.


Six races, six different winners
HAMPTON, Ga. (AP) – Ryan Blaney became the sixth different winner in as many races to start NASCAR’s Cup season.
Blaney surged to the front with nine laps to go after Kyle Larson’s dominant performance at Atlanta Motor Speedway fell apart on a fading set of tires. Larson easily won the first two stages and led 269 of 325 laps on the 1.54-mile trioval. But his tires failed him following his final pit stop with 56 laps to go, leading to a runner-up finish.
Alex Bowman was third, followed by Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch.


Jones wins in a rout
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) – Matt Jones won the Honda Classic by five shots, a final round of 2-under 68 good enough to finish the week at 12-under 268 at PGA National. The margin matched the largest in tournament history, tying the mark set by Jack Nicklaus in 1977 and matched by Camilo Villegas in 2010.
Jones started the week with a course record-tying round of 9-under 61.
Brandon Hagy closed with a 66 to finish 7 under and alone in second on his 30th birthday. Chase Seiffert, Brendan Steele, C.T. Pan, Denny McCarthy and Russell Henley tied for third at minus-6.


Serena Williams latest star to withdraw from Miami Open
MIAMI (AP) – Serena Williams is the latest Grand Slam champion to withdraw from the Miami Open.
Williams pulled out Sunday, citing recent oral surgery. Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich), Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer announced earlier they would skip the tournament, which begins Tuesday.



AP-WF-03-22-21 1045GMT