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March 31, 2021
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March 31, 2021
AP Sports

 

 

Update on the latest sports

 

 

NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
Unbeaten Zags reach Final Four
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Gonzaga’s bid for a perfect season will continue into the Final Four of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Meanwhile, UCLA’s unexpected run through the tournament continues.
Drew Timme (TIH’-mee) provided 15 of his 23 points while the Bulldogs outscored Southern Cal, 49-30 in the first half of an 85-66 win over the Trojans. Jalen Suggs just missed a triple-double for the 30-0 Zags, delivering 18 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists as Gonzaga captured the West Region.
All-American Corey Kispert had 18 points and eight boards on an “off” night, hitting just six of his 19 shots from the floor. Gonzaga still finished at 50% shooting despite Kispert’s struggles.
Isaiah Mobley delivered 19 points and seven rebounds for the Trojans, who finished the year 25-8.
UCLA survived a series of nail-biting misses by top-seeded Michigan in the closing seconds for a 51-49 victory that made the Bruins the fifth No. 11 seed ever to reach the Final Four.
Johnny Juzang (JOO’-zang) poured in 28 points despite playing most of the second half on a sore ankle.
Tyger Campbell added 11 points for the Bruins, who will Gonzaga in the national semifinals.
Franz Wagner missed a pair of 3-point attempts over the final 19 seconds, including one at the buzzer to bounce the top-seeded Wolverines from the tournament.
Hunter Dickinson had a team-high 11 points for Michigan, which shot 39% overall and was 3-for-11 from beyond the arc.

 

NCAA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
Gamecocks reach Women’s Final Four
SAN ANTONIO (AP) – The Stanford and South Carolina women’s basketball team will be spending the weekend in San Antonio.
Zia Cooke scored 16 points and the Gamecocks used their stifling defense to advance to the Final Four for the third time, shutting down Texas, 62-34.
Top-seeded South Carolina blocked 14 shots, nine by Laeticia Amihere. The Gamecocks also held the sixth-seeded Longhorns to 23% shooting and outscored them, 10-0 in the fourth quarter.
Destanni Henderson and Victaria Saxton each scored 12 for the Gamecocks.
Lexie Hull scored 21 points and Stanford reached the Final Four by rallying for a 78-63 victory over Louisville. Stanford trailed by 12 midway through the third quarter before scoring 13 consecutive points to take its first lead since early in the game.
Kiana Williams finished with 14 points for the Cardinal, including a pair of big 3-pointers while Stanford pulled away.
The Cardinal have reached a 14th Final Four as they seek their third national championship and first since 1992.

 

NBA-SCHEDULE
Magic trip up Clippers
UNDATED (AP) – The Los Angeles Clippers’ six-game winning streak has been stopped by an unlikely source.
Chuma Okeke (CHOO’-muh oh-KEE’-kee) scored 18 points and the rebuilding Orlando Magic rallied in the fourth quarter to defeat the Clippers, 101-96.
The Magic didn’t have the lead until late in the fourth quarter and went on a 16-3 run to close the game. Kawhi Leonard made a pair of free throws to give the Clippers a 93-86 lead with 2:36 remaining before the Magic scored 11 straight points to take the lead.
Leonard had 28 for the Clippers, who led 51-37 at halftime.

 

Checking out the rest of Tuesday’s NBA action:
– The Nuggets raced out to a 25-point lead on their way to a 104-95 win over the slow-starting 76ers. Murray scored 30 points, Michael Porter Jr. added 27 while Denver played in front of a home crowd for the first time since last March. Nikola Jokic (nih-KOH’-lah YOH’-kihch) added 21 points for the Nuggets, who dropped Philadelphia in a first-place tie with Brooklyn in the Eastern Conference.

 

 

– Devin Booker contributed 21 points, Dario Saric added 20 and the Suns held on in the final minutes to beat the Hawks, 117-110. Phoenix’s Jae Crowder added 19 points and made 5 of 8 of his 3-point attempts. The Suns have won six of their past seven games, while the Hawks have dropped four of five.

 

– Terry Rozier scored 27 points and Gordon Hayward added 26 with a season-high 11 rebounds in the Hornets’ fourth win in five games, 114-104 at Washington. The Hornets went on a 16-2 run to take a 50-39 lead midway in the second quarter. After Washington got within 98-95 with 4:12 to play, Charlotte pulled away and improved to 24-22.

 

NBA-JAZZ-CHARTER FLIGHT
Jazz charter turns back after striking birds on takeoff
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – The Utah Jazz have confirmed that their charter flight headed to Memphis had to return to Salt Lake City after the plane struck a flock of birds on takeoff.
No injuries were reported, and several players expressed gratitude for the safe landing. Donovan Mitchell posted a praying hands emoji on Twitter, while Rudy Gobert (goh-BEHR’) wrote “It’s a beautiful day!”
The Jazz were scheduled to play the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night.

 

NHL-SCHEDULE
Panthers grab piece of Central lead
UNDATED (AP) – Just one point separates the top three teams in the NHL’s Central Division following Florida’s victory and losses by Tampa Bay and Carolina.
Carter Verhaeghe (vur-HAY’-gee) scored twice and Brett Connolly netted his 100th NHL goal as the Panthers dumped the Red Wings, 4-1. Jonathan Huberdeau (HOO’-bur-doh) also tallied and Sergei Bobrovsky (boh-BRAHV’-skee) made 35 saves in Florida’s third win in a row.
The Panthers moved into a first-place tie with the Lightning at 50 points, one ahead of the Hurricanes.
The Bolts have their first three-game pointless streak of the season following a 3-1 loss to the Blue Jackets. David Savard scored his first goal in two years to help Columbus snap a four-game winless streak.
Oliver Bjorkstrand and Cam Atkinson also scored for the Jackets to support Elvis Merzlikins (murz-LEE’-kihns), who stopped 37 shots.
Dylan Strome (strohm) and Alex DeBrincat (deh-BRIHN’-kat) scored in a 3:33 span early in the second period to send the Blackhawks past the Hurricanes, 2-1. Kevin Lankinen made 31 saves and Chicago ended Carolina’s three-game winning streak. Andrei Svechnikov (SVEHCH’-nih-kahv) scored for Carolina, which fell to 11-2-2 in its last 15 games.

 

Elsewhere on NHL ice:
– Artemi Panarin (ahr-TEH’-mee pah-NAH’-rihn) had a goal and two assists while the Rangers scored five straight to beat the Capitals, 5-2. Kaapo Kakko, (KAH’-poh KAH’-koh) Adam Fox, Filip Chytil (HEE’-tul), and Pavel Buchnevich (booch-NEH’-vihch) also scored for the Blueshirts, who prevented the Caps from expanding their two-point lead in the East. Igor Shesterkin (shehs-TUR’-kihn) made 30 saves as New York handed Washington just the third loss in its last 14 games.

 

– Charlie Coyle and David Pastrnak (PAHS’-tur-nahk) each scored in the shootout to cap the Bruins’ rally in a 5-4 triumph over the Devils. Brad Marchand, Charlie McAvoy, Nick Ritchie and Matt Grzelcyk (GRIHZ’-lehk) scored in regulation for the Bruins, who rallied with two goals in the final 9:38 of the third period. Jaroslav Halak stopped 31 shots as the Bruins beat the Devils for just the second time in six games this season.

 

– Eeli Tolvanen (EH’-lee TOHL’-vah-nehn) scored at 1:29 of overtime to give the Predators a 3-2 victory over the Stars. Calle Jarnkrok had a goal and an assist as Nashville stretched its winning streak to a season-best six games. Juuse Saros (YOO’-see SAH’-rohs) stopped 33 shots in winning for the fourth consecutive start.

 

– Brendan Gallagher and Artturi Lehkonen (ahr-TOOR’-ee LEH’-koh-nehn) each had a goal and an assist for the Canadiens in a 4-0 shutout of the Oilers. Carey Price stopped 16 shots in his first shutout of the season and 49th of his career. Montreal was playing for the first time since March 20, two days before two Canadiens went on the COVID-19 list to force the postponement of four games.

 

NHL-FLYERS-GOSTISBEHERE
Flyers place Shayne Gostisbehere on waivers
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) – The Philadelphia Flyers have placed defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere (GAHS’-tihs-behr) on waivers.
The surprising move comes as the Flyers are attempting to stay in the playoff hunt. Gostisberhere has five goals and six assists in 25 games and was benched for a three-game stretch two weeks ago.
The 27-year-old’s production has dropped off since scoring 13 goals and adding 52 assists for a career-best 65 points in 78 games in 2017-18.

 

NFL-OWNERS MEETING
NFL season will be 17 games
UNDATED (AP) – The NFL is increasing the regular season to 17 games and reducing the preseason to three games.
Team owners on Tuesday approved the 17th game, marking the first time in 43 years the regular season has been increased. It went from 14 to 16 games in 1978.
The Super Bowl now will move back a week to Feb. 13, which places it directly in the middle of the Winter Olympics in Beijing. Coincidentally, NBC has the broadcast rights to both.
Each extra NFL game will be an interconference matchup based on where teams finished in the previous season. AFC teams will be hosting the 17th game in 2021.

 

In other NFL news:
– The Raiders have agreed to a contract extension with left tackle Kolton Miller that will keep him locked up through the 2025 season. ESPN first reported the deal and said it includes $42.6 million in guarantees and averages more than $18 million a year from 2023-25. Miller is the first member of the 2018 draft class that included quarterbacks Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson to get an extension.

 

-The San Francisco 49ers have signed wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (sah-NOO’) for a second stint with the team. Sanu played three games for San Francisco last season with one catch for nine yards.

 

-The Bills have signed offensive lineman Bobby Hart to a one-year contract. Hart is a sixth-year player who spent the previous three seasons starting at right tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals.

 

-The Minnesota Vikings have re-signed left guard Dakota Dozier. He was the sixth starter at left guard in six seasons for the Vikings.

 

-The Seattle Seahawks have signed veteran interior offensive lineman Gabe Jackson, who was deemed expendable by the Raiders after seven seasons. Jackson has started 99 of 100 career games and played in all 16 last season for the first time since 2016.

 

– The Titans have agreed to terms with safety Matthias Farley on a one-year contract. The five-year veteran has started 18 of his 66 NFL games and has 158 tackles, three interceptions, two forced fumbles and 28 special teams tackles.

 

– Veteran tight end Marcedes Lewis is staying with the Packers, who also re-signed defensive end Tyler Lancaster. The 36-year-old Lewis has spent the last three seasons in Green Bay after playing 12 seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Lancaster has made 18 starts over the last three seasons.

 

MLB-NEWS
Jays plan more home games for Florida
UNDATED (AP) – The Toronto Blue Jays will play their third homestand of the season at their spring training ballpark in Dunedin, Fliorida, because of COVID-19 restrictions. Toronto had already announced that its first two homestands will be at TD Ballpark, and now it’s added 10 games from May 14-24 against Philadelphia, Boston and Tampa Bay. Twenty-two of 81 home games have been switched to Florida from the Rogers Center. Toronto hopes to return home at some point in 2021. The TD Ballpark seats about 8,500 fans and had a major renovation in 2019-20. The Blue Jays intend to limit capacity to 15%.

 

In other major league moves:
– Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Ji-Man Choi will have arthroscopic surgery on his right knee and is expected to be sidelined at least three to five weeks. Manager Kevin Cash says the extent of the injury will be clearer after Wednesday’s operation.

 

– Pitcher Brandon Kintzler and outfielder Matt Joyce were selected to the major league roster by the Phillies. The 36-year-old Kintzler had a 1.86 ERA in 10 spring training games, striking out 11 and walking two in 9 2/3 innings. Joyce hit .310 with one homer and four RBIs in 29 spring training at-bats.

 

– Spring training took its toll on some of the Cincinnati Reds and some players won’t be ready for opening day. Outfielder Shogo Akiyama and pitchers Sonny Gray and Michael Lorenzen will miss the opener Thursday but aren’t expected to be sidelined for long after that.

 

OLYMPIC MEDALIST-SEXUAL ABUSE CHARGES
Olympic gold medalist charged with child sex abuse in Utah
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – A sledding gold medalist at the 2002 Winter Olympics has been charged with sexual abuse of a child in Utah. Court documents show James “Jimmy” Shea made his first court appearance Monday.
Shea’s attorney said Tuesday that the charges are a result of a family dispute and a misunderstanding about what his client contends was loving and affectionate touching. The attorney says the 52-year-old Shea plans to plead not guilty. The Associated Press isn’t identifying the relationship of the alleged victim to Shea to protect the child’s identity.

 

 

AP-WF-03-31-21 1045GMT