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#SportsReport: South Carolina Wins Women's NCAA BB Tournament


Dawn Staley finally has her first NCAA women's basketball championship after coaching South Carolina to a 67-55 victory over Mississippi State at Dallas. Staley had reached the Final Four three times as a player and once previously as a coach without capturing a title. She watched as A'ja Wilson scored 23 points to give the Gamecocks their first championship. 

South Carolina saw a 14-point, second-half lead cut to 54-50 before Wilson following her blocked shot with a short jumper that started a game-clinching, 12-2 run. South Carolina handled a Bulldogs squad that ended Connecticut's 111-game winning streak Friday on Morgan William's buzzer-beating basket in overtime. William was held in check by the Gamecocks, scoring just eight points.

The men’s NCAA tournament starts tonight. Gonzaga faces North Carolina for the NCAA championship. They’ll go head to head at 9:20 p.m. at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III has won the James A. Naismith Trophy as the top college basketball player. Mason led the Big 12 in scoring this year and averaged 20.9 points. The award is presented by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.


Yesterday marked the start of Major League Baseball. Tampa Bay topped the Yankees 7-3, Arizona edged San Francisco 6-5, and it was St. Louis over the World Series Champion Chicago Cubs 4-3. Boston will start its season with an opener against Pittsburgh at 2 p.m. The Mets will see Atlanta at 1 p.m.

In other MLB news:

— The St. Louis Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina have worked out a three-year, $60 million contract extension through the 2020 season. The deal increases the likelihood that the seven-time All-Star will have played his entire career with the Redbirds. The 34-year-old Molina had won eight straight Gold Gloves before the string ended last season.

— Indians catcher Roberto Perez has agreed to a four-year, $9 million contract that includes club options for 2021 and 2022.

— The Braves have set their opening day roster by recalling catcher Anthony Recker and assigning right-handed pitcher David Hernandez to Triple-A Gwinnett.

— The Nationals have optioned starter Joe Ross to Triple-A Syracuse and reassigned right-hander Jeremy Guthrie to minor league camp.

— Right-hander Vance Worley has agreed to a minor league contract with the Marlins, who plan to assign him to Triple-A New Orleans to start the season.

— The Blue Jays have placed closer Roberto Osuna on the 10-day disabled list with a sore neck and released outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. Toronto selected the contract of catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia from Triple-A and designated right-hander Mike Bolsinger for assignment.

— Pitcher Carlos Rodon , right-hander Juan Minaya and outfielder Charlie Tilson have been placed on the 10-day disabled list by the White Sox.

— The Reds have reassigned pitcher Bronson Arroyo to Triple-A Louisville and put right-handed pitchers Anthony DeSclafani, Austin Brice and Nefi Ogando on the 10-day disabled list.

— The Twins have placed left-hander Glen Perkins on the 60-day disabled list.

— Longtime Major League Baseball PR official Katy Feeney has died at age 68, four months after retiring from the sport. Feeney began working for the National League in 1977 and was the 1994 winner of the Robert O. Fishel Award for Public Relations excellence.


In the NBA, Boston won against the Knicks 110-94, Brooklyn topped Atlanta 91-82, Charlotte bested Oklahoma City 113-101, San Antonio beat Utah 109-103, the Lakers defeated Memphis 108-103, Dallas won against Milwaukee 109-105, Denver edged Miami 116-113, Chicago trumped New Orleans 117-110, Toronto bested Philadelphia 113-105, Cleveland won against Indiana in double overtime 135-130, Golden State blasted Washington 139-115, and it was Houston over Phoenix 123-116.


In the NHL, Boston skated by Chicago 3-2, the Islanders doubled up Buffalo 4-2, the Rangers beat Philadelphia 4-3, St. Louis won against Nashville 4-1, Pittsburgh edged Carolina 3-2, Tampa Bay doubled up Dallas 6-3, Minnesota beat Colorado 5-2, San Jose defeated Vancouver 3-1, Anaheim edged Calgary 4-3, and it was Arizona over the Kings 2-1.

Backup goalie Anton Khudobin made 41 saves and the Boston Bruins held off the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 Sunday for their fifth straight victory. Ryan Spooner, Patrice Bergeron and Kevan Miller scored for the Bruins, who jumped over idle Toronto and Ottawa into second place in the Atlantic Division.

Flyers goalie Michal Neuvirth is back home after collapsing in his crease during Saturday's game against New Jersey. Philadelphia general manager Ron Hextall says tests on Neuvirth came back "normal." The 29-year-old Neuvirth has been dealing with an upper respiratory infection for more than a week.


Russell Henley has earned a berth in the Masters with a comeback win in the PGA's Houston Open. Henley overcame a four-stroke deficit with a 7-under 65 that included 10 birdies. His 20-under total was three shots better than Sung Kang. Rickie Fowler and Luke List shared third at 16 under.

Miguel Angel Jimenez made up for a double-bogey on the final hole of regulation by sinking a birdie on the first playoff hole to win the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic title for a second straight year. Gene Sauers entered the final round with a one-stroke lead following a 63 on Saturday, but he shot a 71 before losing in the playoff. Steve Stricker fired a 65 to finish in a third-place tie with Bernhard Langer.


So Yeon Ryu was able to win the ANA Inspiration after third-round leader Lexi Thompson received a four-stroke penalty for incorrect ball placement. Ryu birdied the first playoff hole to take the LPGA's first major of the season under bizarre circumstances. The 22-year-old Thompson had a three-shot lead and appeared to be cruising to her second major championship when Tour rules officials informed her of the penalty with six holes to play. The ball placement error occurred during Saturday's round, and officials were alerted to the infraction by a television viewer during the final round.


Brad Keselowski passed Kyle Busch with 43 laps to go and pulled away for his 23rd Cup victory and first at Martinsville Speedway. Keselowski and Busch swapped the lead several times during a green flag run that began with 64 laps to go. Busch finished second, followed by Chase Elliott, Joey Logano and Austin Dillon. Martin Truex Jr. won the first stage in a three-lap sprint to the finish before Elliott took Stage 2.


Lee Nguyen scored in the 85th minute to pull the New England Revolution into a 1-1 draw with the Portland Timbers Sunday night. Nguyen's goal was the first ever for the Revolution at Providence Park in Oregon.

©2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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