#SportsReport: MAAC Championship Kicks Off Tonight
Tonight in men’s college basketball, the MAAC Tournament begins with the No. 10 seed Siena taking on the No. 7 seed Quinnipiac and No. 11 Marist goes against sixth-seeded Fairfield as they vie for a spot in the quarterfinal Friday. The tournament is being held at Albany's Times Union Center.
The women’s America East tournament kicked off last night. UMBC defeated UMass Lowell 73-65 and is headed to the quarterfinals on Saturday against top-seeded Maine. UAlbany, Vermont and Hartford are all in action Saturday.
The Arizona Board of Regents has scheduled a special meeting on Thursday to get legal advice and discuss the men's basketball program at the University of Arizona and the contract of coach Sean Miller.
ESPN reported that federal investigators had recorded the coach in a wiretap talking about a $100,000 payout involving star freshman Deandre Ayton. Miller has said he's confident he'll be vindicated. Ayton and his family have denied the report.
The Houston Rockets now have their second 14-game winning streak of the season following a dominant first quarter in Wednesday's 105-92 win over the Clippers at Los Angeles.
James Harden delivered 17 of his 25 points while the Rockets were outscoring the Clippers 34-12 in the opening period. Clint Capela and Eric Gordon each scored 22 points for the Rockets, who made 13 3-pointers and improved to an NBA-best 48-13.
Tobias Harris had a team-high 24 points for the Clippers, who missed 16 of their first 19 shots and had 11 turnovers in the first quarter.
The outcome keeps the Rockets a half-game ahead of Golden State.
Kevin Durant hit for 32 points and Stephen Curry added 25 as the Warriors earned their seventh victory in eight games, 109-101 at Washington. Klay Thompson finished with 13 points and helped Golden State limit Bradley Beal to eight points after the Wizards guard entered the night averaging 23.7 a game.
Checking out Wednesday's other NBA action:
Kyle Lowry added 17 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds as the Raptors beat the Magic, 117-104. DeMar DeRozan had a team-high 21 points in helping Toronto win for the 11th time in 13 games. The Raptors still top the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division by a half-game over Boston.
The Celtics kept pace with their fourth win in a row as Kyrie Irving dropped in 34 points before resting in the fourth quarter of a 134-106 blowout over the Hornets. Aron Baynes had 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Jaylen Brown scored 15 as Boston ended Charlotte's five-game winning streak.
The Pelicans were 121-116 winners at San Antonio as Anthony Davis contributed 26 points and 15 rebounds to New Orleans' seventh straight win. Jrue Holiday finished with 25 points for the Pelicans, who trailed by 15 before sending the Spurs to their fifth loss in six games. San Antonio finished the game without LaMarcus Aldridge because of a right ankle sprain.
Russell Westbrook scored 30 points, including the go-ahead three-point play in the final minute of overtime to push the Thunder past the Mavericks, 111-110. Westbrook also had 11 rebounds and seven assists, while Paul George added 23 points and 11 boards.
Detroit won for only the second time in eight games as Andre Drummond's 15 points and 16 rebounds carried the Pistons to a 110-87 thumping of the Bucks. The Pistons outscored Milwaukee 56-34 in the paint and had 15 offensive rebounds in the first half alone as they sent the Bucks to their third consecutive loss.
The Hawks blew most of a 23-point lead before Dennis Schroder scored seven of Atlanta's final eight points in a 107-102 verdict over the Pacers. Indiana dropped its second straight despite 26 points from Bojan Bogdanovic and 22 from Victor Oladipo.
The Suns' 10-game losing streak is over after Devin Booker poured in 34 points and Josh Jackson added a career-best 29 in leading Phoenix past Memphis, 110-102. The Grizzlies committed 20 turnovers and shot 38 percent in their 11th consecutive loss.
TOP 25 MEN'S BASKETBALL-SCHEDULE
Third-ranked Xavier has clinched at least a share of its first Big East regular-season title since joining the league in 2013.
Trevon Bluiett scored 23 points in his final game at the Cintas Center to lead the Musketeers to an 84-74 victory against Providence.
Bluiett will leave Xavier as its second all-time scorer. He made the game's first basket on a driving layup and finished off the Friars with a dunk and a pair of free throws in the final minute.
Quentin Goodin added 18 points for the Musketeers, who opened with a 21-8 run and improved to 14-3 in the conference.
Fourth-ranked Villanova still has a shot at a piece of the Big East crown after Mikal Bridges scored 23 points in a 69-68 overtime win at Seton Hall. Jalen Brunson was 1 of 8 from the field midway through the second half before finishing with 14 points, including two free throws in the waning seconds.
The Wildcats never trailed in OT after Phil Booth and Brunson sandwiched 3-pointers around a free throw by Angel Delgado for a 60-55 lead.
In Wednesday's other top-25 finals:
Marcquise Reed scored 22 points and No. 18 Clemson earned a team-record 11th ACC win by downing Florida State, 76-63. The Tigers had won 10 league games six times in 64 years as ACC members before improving to 11-6 this season.
Cody Martin scored 26 and Jordan Caroline added 22 as No. 21 Nevada hammered UNLV, 101-75.
Kevin Knox had 22 points and Quade Green added eight of his 18 points during a 15-5, second-half run that helped No. 23 Kentucky pull away in a 96-78 downing of Mississippi.
Rob Gray had 19 points and nine assists, while Corey Davis Jr. provided 17 points in No. 25 Houston's 69-56 win over SMU.
The Tampa Bay Lightning were able to expand their lead in the NHL's Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division races, but they did so while losing to the worst team in the East.
Jason Pominville scored on a power play at 1:26 of overtime to push the Sabres past the Lightning, 2-1. Chad Johnson stopped 21 shots and was perfect after Cory Conacher beat him late in the first period.
Pominville set up the tying goal by Evan Rodrigues midway through the third period before sending Buffalo to its second straight win over Tampa Bay.
The Lightning top the East and the Atlantic with 90 points, five more than Toronto and six in front of Boston.
Elsewhere in the NHL:
Jonathan Drouin scored a power-play goal in the second period to break a 1-1 deadlock before the Canadiens completed a 3-1 win over the fading Islanders. Drouin also assisted on Paul Byron's tying goal and Antii Niemi stopped 27 shots as Montreal handed New York its fourth consecutive loss.
The Blues ended their seven-game losing streak as Carter Hutton turned back 35 shots to lead a 2-1 triumph over the Red Wings. Scottie Upshall scored for the first time since Dec. 30 and Alex Pietrangelo made it 2-0 with 5:23 remaining.
The Avalanche knocked off the Flames, 5-2 as Nathan McKinnon and Tyson Barrie each delivered a goal and an assist. Semyon Varlamov made 30 saves for Colorado, which tied Calgary with 73 points and moved within a point of Anaheim and St. Louis for the second wild card in the West.
Henrik Lundqvist stopped a season-high 50 shots and John Gilmour scored 82 seconds into overtime as the Rangers ended a seven-game losing streak, 6-5 at Vancouver. Kevin Hayes scored twice, Ryan Spooner had three assists and Vladislav Namestnikov had a goal and an assist in his first game since coming to New York from Tampa Bay.
The 2019 NHL draft will be held in Vancouver.
The league announced the decision Wednesday and noted it will help the hometown Canucks launch their 50th season later that year. The two-day event will be June 21-22 at Rogers Arena.
Vancouver has twice previously hosted the draft, in 1990 and 2006.
Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel has undergone left hand surgery and is expected to miss the start of the season.
Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow says doctors removed part of the bone broken before Gurriel arrived at camp. Normal recovery time is six weeks, which means Gurriel would miss the first two weeks of the season.
The 33-year-old Gurriel hit .299 with 18 homers and 75 RBIs last year in his first full season in the majors.
In other major league news:
Brewers catcher Stephen Vogt is expected to miss two to three weeks because of a strained right shoulder suffered during a spring training workout last week. The 27-year-old hit .254 with eight home runs and 20 RBIs in 45 games after he was claimed off waivers from Oakland. He missed nearly a month during the season with a sprained left knee and had surgery in the offseason on his right elbow.
The Twins and designated hitter Logan Morrison have finalized a one-year, $6.5 million contract that includes a 2019 club option that can become guaranteed. Morrison hit 38 home runs in 2017 for Tampa Bay.
First baseman Lucas Duda and the Royals have agreed to a one-year contract, giving Kansas City a replacement for Eric Hosmer. The 32-year-old Duda hit .217 with 30 homers and 64 RBIs last year for the Mets and Rays, who acquired him on July 27.
The Red Sox are asking the city of Boston to change Yawkey Way back to its original name, Jersey Street. The name has been under fire for years for its connection to what the team's principal owner has said is the franchise's complicated racial past under Tom Yawkey, a former owner. Fenway Park is on Yawkey Way.
Running back Matt Forte has announced his retirement after 10 NFL seasons. The 32-year-old had one year remaining on his contract with the Jets. Forte, who spent his first eight seasons with Chicago, dealt with knee issues the past two seasons. He had a career-low 381 yards rushing on just 103 carries and ran for two touchdowns last season. With the Bears from 2008-15, Forte established himself as one of the game's most versatile running backs. His 9,796 yards rushing rank him 33rd on the NFL's career list. He also had 554 receptions.
In other NFL news:
Running back Jonathan Stewart has been released by the Panthers. Stewart became the franchise's career rushing leader in 2017, finishing with 7,318 rushing yards. His 1,699 rushing attempts are also the most in franchise history, while his 58 touchdowns are second in franchise history.
The Jets have released defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson, ending the one-time Pro Bowl selection's stint with the team that drafted him in the first round in 2011. The anticipated move clears $11 million in salary cap space.
The Bears plan to part ways with quarterback Mike Glennon. General manager Ryan Pace said the Bears will release him rather than bring him back for a second season after he lost his starting job to rookie Mitchell Trubisky.
Bills coach Sean McDermott says cutting quarterback Tyrod Taylor is not part of the team's current plans, though he won't rule out trading the three-year starter. Taylor helped lead the Bills to a 9-7 record and clinch the team's first playoff berth since 1999.
The Colts have told Frank Gore they do not intend to re-sign him this offseason. The 34-year-old running back is fifth on the NFL's career rushing list with 14,026 yards. He needs 76 yards to pass Curtis Martin for No. 4.
Scott Blackmun is resigning as CEO of the US Olympic Committee, citing health problems as the reason for ending his term after eight-plus years. The 60-year-old CEO was diagnosed with prostate cancer earlier this winter and did not attend the Pyeongchang Games.
Blackmun leaves the federation amid calls for his departure, including from two U.S. senators, who said neither he nor the USOC as a whole has done enough to react to sex abuse cases inside the U.S. gymnastics team.
Board member Susanne Lyons will serve as acting CEO.
Russia's ban from the Olympic movement has been lifted despite two failed doping tests by its athletes at the Pyeongchang Olympics.
Wednesday's decision by the International Olympic Committee appears to be an attempt to draw a line under the state-concocted doping scandal that tarnished the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.
Rafael Nadal's comeback from a hip injury is on hold after the second-ranked Spaniard pulled out of the Mexican Open, saying he needs more time to recover.
Nadal was forced to retire during the Australian Open quarterfinals and hasn't played since.