Sports Report: Unbeaten UConn Has Won It's 73rd Straight Game
In the women’s NCAA tournament, unbeaten Connecticut won its 73rd straight game, routing Texas 86-65 to win the Bridgeport Regional and earn a trip to their ninth straight women's Final Four. The Huskies have won a record 22 straight NCAA tournament games as they seek an unprecedented fourth straight women's title.
Sydney Wiese scored 18 points, including three free throws in the final 34 seconds and Oregon State advanced to the women's Final Four for the first time by beating Baylor, 60-57. Oregon State next plays undefeated UConn. Washington and Syracuse were the first two in the women's Final Four, which starts Sunday in Indianapolis.
Breanna Stewart has already etched her name as one of the best in college women's basketball history. Now, the UConn star has earned The Associated Press All-America honors three times, becoming just the sixth player to do so. Stewart headlined the team announced yesterday, along with teammate Moriah Jefferson, Ohio State's Kelsey Mitchell, Minnesota's Rachel Banham and South Carolina's A'ja Wilson.
UAlbany’s Shereesha Richards is being named an Honorable Mention All-American for the second straight year by the Associated Press.
Malcolm Brogdon of Virginia, Buddy Hield of Oklahoma, Brice Johnson of North Carolina, Tyler Ulis of Kentucky and Michigan State's Denzel Valentine are among 10 players chosen for the John R. Wooden Award All-American team. The others are Grayson Allen of Duke, Kris Dunn of Providence, Perry Ellis of Kansas, Yogi Ferrell of Indiana and Georges Niang of Iowa State.
In the NBA, New Orleans topped New York 99-91, Miami won against Brooklyn 110-99, the Clippers beat Boston 114-90, Portland defeated Sacramento 105-93, Utah blasted the Lakers 123-75, Dallas beat Denver 97-88, Minnesota bested Phoenix 121-116, San Antonio beat Memphis 101-87, Atlanta topped Chicago 102-100, and it was Oklahoma City over Toronto 119-100.
Carmelo Anthony says he was momentarily "shocked" when he felt someone grasping at his thigh as he stood near the top of the key in the final minute of the New York Knicks' 99-91 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans last night. Turns out it was a young boy who'd somehow slipped through courtside security to give him a hug. The boy ran onto the court during a stoppage in play with the Knicks on their offensive end. The boy then was shooed back off the court by game official Kevin Cutler.
In the NHL, Detroit edged Buffalo 3-2, Philadelphia skated by Winnipeg in overtime 3-2, Washington won against Columbus 4-1, Tampa Bay blanked Toronto 3-0, Colorado edged Nashville 4-3, Anaheim beat Edmonton 2-1, Calgary bested Arizona 5-2, and it was San Jose over Los Angeles 5-2.
A report featured in the New York Times cited that in emails, NHL officials have conceded that fighting could lead to concussions and long-term health problems including depression. The exchanges were mostly between current Commissioner Gary Bettman and his lieutenants in 2011, contradicting what league officials have said publicly.
New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey has been scratched from his final spring training appearance and could miss his opening day start at Kansas City on Sunday because of an unspecified medical issue. Mets GM Sandy Alderson says it's a non-baseball related problem and manager Terry Collins emphasized the issue had nothing to do with Harvey's arm, which had reconstructive surgery three years ago.
The New York Yankees beat the Detroit Tigers 3-2 last night. Mark Teixeira hit a solo homer in the seventh inning, and Dustin Ackley had a two-run double in the eighth. Yankees prospect and bullpen candidate Luis Cessa gave up one hit, one walk and struck out four in three scoreless innings.
Masahiro Tanaka's final spring training start today against Philadelphia will likely determine whether he will be the Yankees' opening-day starter. Tanaka has a 7.36 ERA in four starts and gave up seven runs in four innings against Washington on Wednesday. Tanaka had surgery on October to remove a bone spur from his throwing elbow.
Boston celebrated David Ortiz's two decades of spring training in Fort Myers with a pregame ceremony before his final home exhibition game, a 5-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles yesterday. Ortiz announced on his 40th birthday in November that this will be his final season. He trained in Fort Myers with the Minnesota Twins and then since 1993 with the Red Sox.
Red Sox manager John Farrell says right-hander Rick Porcello is "capable of better." Porcello gave up five runs, 10 hits and three walks in 6 2/3 innings in yesterday's loss to the Orioles, striking out five. Boston's Number 3 started allowed three home runs. In four exhibition outings and 15 2/3 innings, Porcello has allowed 17 runs, 29 hits and four walks. He has a 9.77 ERA.
In other spring training news:
— The San Diego Padres have acquired right-hander Dan Straily from the Houston Astros for catcher Erik Kratz. The 27-year-old Straily is expected to open the season in the Padres bullpen, although he has been a starter for most of his career.
— Masahiro Tanaka's final spring training start Tuesday against Philadelphia will likely determine whether he will be the New York Yankees' opening-day starter. Tanaka has a 7.36 ERA in four starts and gave up seven runs in four innings against Washington on Wednesday. Manager Joe Girardi called Tanaka's spring training inconsistent.
— Raisel Iglesias will be the Reds' opening-day starter against the Phillies, taking the top spot in their inexperienced rotation because Anthony DeSclafani is hurt. Manager Bryan Price says that DeSclafani has a strained oblique that will sideline him indefinitely. Iglesias made only 16 starts and two relief appearances last season, going 3-7 with a 4.15 ERA.
— Baltimore has named its opening day pitcher and for the third straight year the honor goes to Chris Tillman. He was 11-11 with a 4.99 ERA last year. In the April 4 opener, the right-hander will oppose Ervin Santana of the Minnesota Twins. The last Baltimore pitcher to start three straight openers was Mike Mussina from 1998 to 2000.
— It could be the end of the line for outfielder Nick Swisher. The veteran has been released by the Braves after hitting just .195 last season with four home runs in 46 games after joining the team in a trade with Cleveland. He's due $15 million this season but the Indians are on the hook for most of that.
— Veteran right-hander Jeremy Guthrie has been released by the Texas Rangers. The 36-year-old Guthrie signed a minor league deal right before spring training. He had a 5.14 ERA in three Cactus League appearances, allowing three home runs with five strikeouts over seven innings.
— The World Series champion Kansas City Royals have released veteran pitchers Brian Duensing and Peter Moylan and infielder Clint Barmes from minor league contracts.
Top-ranked Serena Williams' quest for a tenth Miami Open title has come to an abrupt end, along with her 20-match winning streak at the Miami tourney. The four-time defending champ was ousted by Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-7, 6-1, 6-2 in the fourth round.
Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah has announced his retirement after seven seasons because of concerns for his health. Husain said on Instagram that he sustained his fifth concussion this past season and said there were many factors in his decision with "personal health being foremost."
The Green Bay Packers have taken a surprising dip into the free agent water by signing tight end Jared Cook. He caught 39 passes for 481 yards with the Rams last season. His 12.3-yard per catch average ranked among the league's best at the position.
Vince Boryla, a former player, coach and general manager in the NBA, died Sunday. He was 89. The death was confirmed by the Denver Nuggets and the University of Denver, where he's a member of the school's Hall of Fame.
Boryla played five seasons for the New York Knicks in the 1950s before later taking over as their coach for three seasons. While a general manager with the Nuggets, Boryla orchestrated a blockbuster deal with Portland in 1984 that brought Wayne Cooper, Fat Lever and Calvin Natt to town for Kiki Vandeweghe. Denver made it to the Western Conference finals that season and Boryla was named the NBA's Executive of the Year.
In addition, he was a member of Team USA that won a gold medal at the 1948 Olympics. Boryla is survived by his wife, Mary Jo, and five children, along with numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.
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