#SportsReport: Oregon Routs Iowa; Lakers Great Elgin Baylor Dies
The PAC-12 continues to push teams into the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, while the Big Ten stumbles. Chris Duarte scored 23 points and seventh seed Oregon showed no signs of rust after a long layoff, beating No. 2 seed Iowa 95-80. LJ Figueroa hit five 3s while scoring 21 points for the Ducks, who were playing for the first time since the conference tournament and advanced to the second round when their game with VCU was canceled due to COVID-19 issues. Will Richardson added 19 points for an Oregon attack that shot 56% and hit 11 3-pointers. Hawkeyes center Luka Garza played like a two-time All-American, delivering 36 points and nine rebounds in his final college game.
Another Pac-12 squad advanced. UCLA started strong and only got better in a 67-47 rout of Abilene Christian. Johnny Juzang carried the 11th-seeded Bruins' offense with a game-high 17 points, while Cody Riley added 12 points and 12 rebounds. The Bruins are the third school from the lightly-regarded Pac 12 to reach the regional semifinals and could be joined by conference member Southern Cal. UCLA is the first First Four team to reach the Sweet 16 since Syracuse in 2018.
USC's 85-51 dismantling of third seed Kansas gives the Pac-12 four teams in the Sweet 16. Isaiah Mobley hit four 3-pointers and scored 17 points, while All-American big brother Evan added 10 points and 13 rebounds. Isaiah White added 13 points and Tahj Eaddy had 12 for the Trojans, who more than doubled the worst margin of defeat for the Jayhawks in 49 trips to the NCAA Tournament.
Top-seeded Michigan is now the Big Ten's only hope for tournament glory after getting 21 points each from Chaundee Brown and Eli Brooks in a a roller-coaster 86-78 victory over LSU. In a game full of big runs, the Wolverines used a 14-1 spurt midway through the second half to pull away and preserve a glimmer of hope for a conference that has mostly tanked these four days in Indianapolis. Brown did the most-lasting damage, making six free throws and a 3-pointer during the decisive stretch that gave the Wolverines a 72-64 lead with 5:55 left.
Michigan became the last Big Ten team standing when Alabama crushed Maryland, 96-77. Jaden Shackelford pumped in 21 points and John Petty broke out of a shooting slump to score 20 for the second-seeded Crimson Tide. Shackelford made five of Alabama's 16 3-pointers as the second-seeded Crimson Tide advanced to their first Sweet 16 since 2004.
In other second-round action:
Drew Timme poured in a career-high 30 points and had 13 rebounds as unbeaten Gonzaga dumped Oklahoma, 87-71 to advance to the NCAA regional semifinals. The Bulldogs improved to 28-0 on the season and won their 32nd straight game in their quest to be the first undefeated champion since Indiana 45 years ago. Corey Kispert and Jalen Suggs each finished with 16 points for the 1st overall seed, who were tied before closing the first half on an 18-6 run.
Anthony Polite scored a career-high 22 points and No. 4 seed Florida State pulled away in the second half to beat Colorado, 71-53 and advance to the Sweet 16 for the third straight NCAA Tournament. Polite had never scored more than 15 points in a game before hitting 8 of 12 shots, including 4 of 7 3-pointers. Raiquan Gray and Malik Osborne each had 11 points for the Seminoles, who shot 51% from the floor.
Creighton is in the Sweet 16 for the first time in 47 years after Marcus Zegarowski scored 20 points to guide the Bluejays past Ohio, 72-58. Zegarowski finished 7 for 16 from the field with four 3-pointers and came up with some key late plays to keep Creighton in control. Damien Jefferson added 15 points for the fifth-seeded Bluejays, who led by 15 at halftime and never let the Bobcats get closer that nine points the rest of the way.
In the first round of the women's tournament, No. 2 Louisville whipped No. 15 Marist 74-43, and likewise No. 3 Arizona took down No. 14 Stony Brook 79-44. There were a couple surprises: No. 13 Wright State topped No. 4 Arkansas 66-62, and No. 12 Belmont defeated No. 5 Gonzaga 64-59.
Ja Morant had 29 points and nine assists for the Grizzlies in a 132-126 overtime victory versus the Celtics. Dillon Brooks added 24 points, seven rebounds and seven assists as the Grizzlies won for the third time in four games. Jonas Valanciunas had 16 points and 19 rebounds in the win.
The Rockets ended their team-record, 20-game losing streak as John Wall had his first triple-double in five years in a 117-99 victory over the Raptors. Houston's skid was tied for the ninth-worst in NBA history and the longest since Philadelphia's record-setting, 28-game losing streak across the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. Wall had 19 points, 10 assists and 11 rebounds in his first triple-double since Feb. 5, 2016.
In other NBA action:
With Giannis Antetokounmpo out with a sprained ankle, Jrue Holiday had 28 points and 14 assists to help the Bucks breeze past the Pacers, 140-113. Pat Connaughton made his first start of the season in place of the Greek Freak, delivering 20 points and nine rebounds while shooting 6 of 7 from 3-point range. Khris Middleton had 25 points, eight rebounds and six assists in Milwaukee's seventh win in a row.
Donovan Mitchell dropped in 30 points and Rudy Gobert almost had a triple-double as the Jazz crushed the Bulls, 120-95. Gobert finished with 21 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high nine blocks to help the Western Conference leaders roll to their second straight win after losing five of eight. Mitchell made five 3-pointers, one shy of his season high.
Kawhi Leonard scored 25 points and the Clippers erased an 88-66 deficit to beat the Hawks, 119-110. Terance Mann added a season-high 21 to help Los Angeles end Atlanta's season-high, eight-game winning streak. Luke Kennard made all eight of his shots and scored all of his season-high 20 points in the second half for the Clippers.
The Hornets knocked off the Spurs, 100-97 as Gordon Hayward scored 27 points and Terry Rozier added 24 in Charlotte's first game since losing LaMelo Ball to injury. Ball sustained a fractured right wrist Saturday after a hard fall against the Clippers. The leading candidate for Rookie of the Year honors is expected to miss the remainder of the season.
De'Aaron Fox scored 30 points, Tyrese Haliburton had a career-high 28 and the Kings completed their longest road trip of the season with a 119-105 victory over the Cavaliers. Buddy Hield added 19 points and Richaun Holmes had 17 with 16 rebounds for the Kings, who went 3-3 on their 10-day trip. Harrison Barnes made a late run at a triple-double with nine points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 31 points and the Thunder relied on hot 3-point shooting to defeat the Timberwolves 112-103. The Thunder set a season high with 21 3-pointers in just 37 attempts. Eight of the nine players who entered the game for Thunder hit at least one 3-pointer. Only center Moses Brown didn't convert from beyond the arc, but he contributed 17 rebounds.
In NBA news:
Former Lakers great Elgin Baylor died Monday at age 86. Baylor was among the very best NBA players of his era, averaging 27.4 points and 13.5 rebounds during a 14-year career spent entirely with the Lakers. His greatness occurred before the league gained a hold on television exposure. With a silky-smooth jumper and fluid athleticism, He played a major role in revolutionizing basketball from a ground-bound sport into an aerial show. Baylor was outstanding in the Lakers' first three seasons after leaving Minneapolis, averaging 35.3 points, 17.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists from 1960-63. However, the 11-time All-Star never won a scoring title and went 0-7 in NBA Finals series, eclipsed in points by Wilt Chamberlain and beaten six times by the Boston Celtics. Injuries limited him to 11 games over his final two seasons and caused him to retire during the 1971-72 campaign, the season the Lakers finally won a championship in Los Angeles.
All-Star guard Kyrie Irving will miss the Brooklyn Nets' three-game road trip this week while dealing with a family matter. Brooklyn has already been playing without fellow All-Star Kevin Durant because of a strained left hamstring but has won 15 of its last 17 games. Irving missed seven games in January after leaving the team for personal reasons.
Derrick Rose has rejoined the Knicks, though it's unclear when he will play again as he recovers from COVID-19. Rose detailed his struggles Monday, saying his kids also had gotten sick and they all quarantined together. Rose hasn't played since Feb. 28, missing eight games.
The New York Islanders have regained sole possession of the NHL's East Division lead. Anthony Beauvillier scored in overtime to complete the Islanders' 2-1 win at Philadelphia. The Islanders trailed 1-0 until Oliver Wahlstrom scored 4:06 into the third period. Beauvillier's goal puts the Islanders two points ahead of Washington, although the Capitals have two games in hand. Rookie Ilya Sorokin was terrific in making 36 saves in his eighth consecutive win. Sorokin helped the Islanders kill off a penalty that spilled into OT.
Chris Kreider scored twice, including the tiebreaking goal in the third period of the Rangers' four win in six games, 5-3 versus the Sabres. Kaapo Kakko also scored twice and Adam Fox had a goal and two assists as New York dealt Buffalo its franchise record-tying 14th consecutive loss.
Elsewhere in the NHL:
The Hurricanes stopped a three-game losing streak as Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 19 shots in a 3-0 win against the Blue Jackets. Goals by Martin Necas, Brady Skjei and Jesper Fast supported the second career shutout by Nedeljkovic.
Keegan Kolesar scored his first NHL goal and Robin Lehner faced just 16 shots in the Golden Knights' 5-1 win over the Blues. Mark Stone scored twice for Vegas, which is tied with the Lightning and Islanders for the league lead with 13 home wins.
Mikko Rantanen scored his 18th goal of the season and the Avalanche won their seventh game in a row by dumping the Coyotes, 5-1. Philipp Grubauer played in his 200th NHL game and stopped 31 shots while setting a career high with his 19th victory of the season.
The Sharks held on for a 2-1 win over the Kings after Ryan Donato scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third period. Logan Couture also scored and Martin Jones made 41 saves as the San Jose snapped a season-high four-game losing streak.
Ryan Suter and Nick Bjugstad scored, Cam Talbot made 24 saves and the Wild returned home with a 2-1 win over the Ducks. Bjugstad scored his fifth goal of the season 3:42 into the third period to break a 1-1 tie as Minnesota set a franchise record with its ninth straight win on home ice. Troy Terry scored for Anaheim, which has lost six of its past seven games.
The Jets spanked the Canucks, 4-0 as Adam Lowry had two goals and Connor Hellebuyck stopped 22 shots for his first shutout of the season. Blake Wheeler opened the scoring midway through the first period and Paul Stastny closed it with a goal late in the third.
Chris Tierney's first goal in 30 games was the tiebreaker with 2:26 left in the Senators' 2-1 decision over the Flames. Filip Gustavsson stopped 35 shots in earning the win in his first NHL start.
The NHL postponed Edmonton's game in Montreal after two Canadiens players were placed in the league's COVID-19 protocol. Forwards Joel Armia and Jesperi Kotkaniemi became Montreal's first players to enter the protocol since the season began on Jan. 13. The postponement was the 38th overall this season for coronavirus-related reasons, and first to involve the seven-team all-Canadian North Division.
The Texas Rangers are expecting to be without one-time closer José Leclerc for an extended time because of right elbow soreness. General manager Chris Young says Leclerc reported soreness after a recent outing, and the right-hander has returned to Texas to be evaluated by the team physician Young said the length of Leclerc's absence will depend on the diagnosis.
Also, Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zac Gallen is being evaluated for soreness in his right forearm and might not be ready for the start of the regular season on April 1. The 25-year-old Gallen said he first felt the injury when he was jammed during batting practice about 10 days ago. He said he can feel it when he throws his curveball.
Six more women have filed lawsuits accusing Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson of sexual assault and harassment. The new suits brings the total number against the NFL player to 13. The new claims are similar those in the earlier cases. One of the latest lawsuits was filed by a woman who alleges Watson assaulted her on March 5 in Atlanta and that his behavior "is part of a disturbing pattern of preying on vulnerable women." All of the women who have sued Watson are either licensed massage therapists or worked in a spa or similar business.
In other NFL news:
The court-appointed lead lawyer for thousands of retired players suing the NFL has pledged to try to remove race as a factor in dementia testing. However, lawyers for Black players demanded he release the data on payouts by race in the $1 billion concussion settlement. They argue that Black men are being denied awards that average more than $500,000 because of testing methods that assume Black people have lower cognitive function than white people. That makes it harder to show they've suffered neurological damage linked to NFL concussions.
A person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press the team reached a three-year deal with former Tennessee Titans cornerback Adoree Jackson. Jackson started 41 of 46 games for the Titans, recording 33 pass deflections, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries but just two interceptions.
The Titans have agreed to terms with cornerback Kevin Johnson, outside linebacker Ola Adeniyi and offensive tackle Ty Sambrailo. Johnson is the second cornerback the Titans have added since releasing starters Malcolm Butler and Adoree Jackson. The six-year veteran has started 25 of 64 games and has 188 tackles, an interception and 22 passes defensed.
The Steelers are bringing back defensive lineman Chris Wormley on a two-year deal. Wormley appeared in 13 games for the Steelers last season after Pittsburgh acquired him from AFC North rival Baltimore.
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