Update on the latest sports
T25 MEN’S BASKETBALL-SCHEDULE
Liddell’s 19 points power No. 4 Ohio St over Indiana 78-59
UNDATED (AP) — E.J. Liddell scored 19 points and Justin Sueing had 16 as No. 4 Ohio State pulled away to rout Indiana 78-59 for its sixth consecutive victory.
The Buckeyes have won nine of their last 10. They shot 48% against Indiana and had 21 points on the Hoosiers’ 15 turnovers.
Trace Jackson-Davis scored 23 points and Jerome Hunter added 10 to pace Indiana, which saw a two-game winning streak snapped.
In other top 25 games:
— Austin Reaves scored four points in the final minute of the second overtime and No. 12 Oklahoma held off No. 14 West Virginia 91-90. The Sooners have won seven of their last eight games, including five against ranked opponents. Reaves led the Sooners with 28 points and Umoja Gibson added 21. Derek Culver had his 10th double-double of the season with a career-high 29 points and 14 rebounds for West Virginia.
— RaiQuan Gray scored 24 points and pulled down 12 rebounds as No. 17 Florida State defeated Wake Forest 92-85 in overtime. Gray made all 10 free-throw attempts and scored the Seminoles’ first four points in overtime. The redshirt junior forward scored in double figures for the sixth straight game and had his second double-double in a month for the Seminoles, who were playing their first game in two weeks.
— No. 22 Loyola Chicago rolled to an 81-54 victory against conference rival Drake. Aher Uguak led the Ramblers with 20 points by shooting 8 for 10 from the field. Loyola took control of the game with an 18-2 run to start the second half. The Ramblers moved into first place in the Missouri Valley standings.
— Cade Cunningham scored 15 points to help No. 23 Oklahoma State defeat Kansas State 67-60. Rondel Walker scored 10 points in his first start of the season and Bryce Williams added 10 for the Cowboys. The Wildcats lost their 12th in a row. They haven’t won since Dec. 29.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL-NCAA-INITIAL SEEDS
Gonzaga, Baylor top NCAA committee’s initial rankings
UNDATED (AP) — Gonzaga, Baylor, Michigan and Ohio State are the top seeds in the initial rankings for the committee that will ultimately select the field of 68 for the NCAA Tournament.
The Bulldogs were the top overall seed followed by the Bears in rankings released Saturday by the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee as a snapshot of the top 16 seeds with a month to go before Selection Sunday.
Gonzaga and Baylor have been 1-2 in The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll all season. Illinois, Villanova, Alabama and Houston were the No. 2 seeds in the four brackets.
NASCAR-DAYTONA 500-FINAL PRACTICES
Rain washes out NASCAR’s final practices for Daytona 500
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Rain has washed out the final two practices before NASCAR’s season-opening Daytona 500. It’s a potential setback for the nine drivers switching cars before “The Great American Race.”
Former Cup Series champions Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr. as well as front-row qualifier William Byron are among those forced into backup cars because of issues in the 150-mile qualifying races Thursday night. Erik Jones, Chase Briscoe, Kaz Grala, Anthony Alfredo, Cole Custer and Ross Chastain also switched cars and will have to start Sunday’s race from the back of the 40-car field.
The practice sessions would have provided two hours of seat time for drivers who have gotten little since the start of the coronavirus pandemic last year, a final chance for crews to fine-tune engines and check for fluid leaks and vibrations before NASCAR’s signature event.
Mets’ Lugo needs elbow surgery, will miss start of season
UNDATED (AP) — The Mets’ pitching staff has taken a hit before the start of spring training. The team says right-hander Seth Lugo needs elbow surgery.
A bone spur will be repaired in his pitching shoulder and he will miss the start of the season. His operation is scheduled for Tuesday at the Hospital for Special Surgery. Lugo will not throw for six weeks, then will be assessed and transition to a throwing program. He won’t be game ready until well into the season. Lugo moved into the rotation in mid-August last season. He was one of the most durable relievers in 2019.
The Mets also say they have invited Tim Tebow to big league spring training. He’ll take one of 75 spots after Major League Baseball limited spring roster sizes as a coronavirus precaution. The 2007 Heisman Trophy winner returned to baseball in 2016 for the first time since his junior year of high school and played 77 games at Triple-A in 2019 before the pandemic wiped out the 2020 minor league season. A lefty-hitting outfielder, the 33-year-old Tebow batted .163 with four homers and 19 RBIs two years ago with Syracuse.
In other MLB news:
— A person with knowledge of the negotiations tells The Associated Press that the Arizona Diamondbacks have agreed to a $1.75 million, one-year deal with veteran infielder Asdrúbal Cabrera. The agreement was reached on Friday and confirmed to the AP on condition of anonymity Saturday because the deal is pending a physical. Cabrera can earn up to $1.05 million in performance bonuses. The 35-year-old is a two-time All-Star who was with the Washington Nationals in 2020, batting .242 with eight homers and 31 RBIs in the pandemic-shortened season.
— Matt Harvey will try to revive his career with the Baltimore Orioles. The 31-year-old right-hander has agreed to a minor league contract. He would get a $1 million, one-year contract if added to the 40-man roster and would have the chance to earn performance bonuses. Harvey was 0-3 with an 11.57 ERA in four starts and three relief appearances for the Kansas City Royals. His fastball averaged 94.5 mph, down from 97 mph in 2013. An All-Star with the Mets in 2013, Harvey was derailed by Tommy John surgery in October 2013 and a 2016 operation to correct Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.
— A person familiar with the deals tells The Associated Press that pitchers Rich Hill and Collin McHugh have agreed to one-year contracts with the Tampa Bay Rays. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the agreements are pending physicals by the players and have not been announced. Hill is a 40-year-old left-hander who has pitched for nine others teams over portions of 16 major league seasons. He was 2-2 with a 3.03 ERA with the Minnesota Twins during the 2020 pandemic-shortened season. McHugh is a 33-year-old right-hander who has been both a starter and reliever during parts of eight seasons with the New York Mets, Colorado Rockies and Houston Astros. He signed with Boston in 2020 but opted out of the shortened season while recovering from an injury.
— Outfielder Jay Bruce has agreed to a minor league contract with the New York Yankees and will try to win a job at big league spring training. The 33-year-old has an opportunity as a left-handed bat in a primarily right-handed lineup. The Yankees outfield features switch-hitter center fielder Aaron Hicks and a right-hander in right fielder Aaron Judge. Brett Gardner became a free agent and is talking to the Yankees, but the team and the 37-year-old left-handed hitter have been apart on money. Bruce hit .198 with six homers and 14 RBIs for Philadelphia in 96 at-bats during the pandemic-shortened season.
Oilers’ Jesse Puljujarvi off COVID list
UNDATED (AP) — Edmonton Oilers forward Jesse Puljujarvi (pool-YAHR’-vee) is eligible to resume all team activities after being placed on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list Thursday. The team said Saturday he has met all requirements.
A player on the protocol list does not necessarily have the coronavirus.
Following medical clearance, Puljujarvi returned to Edmonton alone by charter plane. He is to be on the ice for practice Sunday.
Puljujarvi has three goals and two points in 15 games this season.
In other pandemic-related news:
— The University of Maine men’s basketball team has opted out of the remainder of the season. The team had not been cleared for practice or competition since Jan. 17. University President Joan Ferrini-Mundy and athletic director Ken Ralph supported the decision. The Black Bears played nine games this season, going 2-7, 2-6 in America East.
— Cross-country World Cup races in the Czech Republic planned for next weekend have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The announcement comes after Germany decided to temporarily reinstate border controls and impose entry restrictions for anyone traveling from the Czech Republic. The measure becomes effective on Sunday. Germany designated the Czech Republic a “mutation area” due to its high number of variant coronavirus cases.
Day 7 preview
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Serena Williams continues her quest for a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title when she plays No. 7 seed Aryna Sabalenka in the fourth round. Williams’ last Grand Slam singles title came at the 2017 Australian Open, her seventh championship at Melbourne Park.
In other action Sunday, Garbiñe Muguruza (GAHR’-been moo-gah-ROO’-thuh), winner of the French Open in 2016 and Wimbledon in 2017, faces Naomi Osaka, whose three Slam titles include the 2019 Australian Open. Reigning French Open champion Iga Swiatek meets two-time major champ Simona Halep.
In men’s play, eight-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich) is scheduled to play Milos Raonic (MEE’-lohsh ROW’-nihch) at night. But it’s unclear whether Djokovic will be able to play after injuring a side muscle in his five-set win over American Taylor Fritz on Friday. The No. 1-ranked Djokovic is trying to win a ninth Australian Open championship and third in a row, which would give him a total of 18 Grand Slam singles titles.
U.S. Open champion Dominic Thiem (teem) will take on Grigor Dimitrov (GREE’-gohr DIH’-mih-trahv). Twenty-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime goes up against Russian qualifier Aslan Karatsev, who is making his Grand Slam singles debut. Alexander Zverev, who lost to Thiem in last year’s U.S. Open final, plays Dusan Lajovic to complete the fourth-round matches in the top half of the men’s draw.
SKIING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS-LIGETY
Bad back forces Ligety to move up retirement
CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy (AP) — Two-time Olympic champion Ted Ligety (LIHG’-eh-tee) has had to move up his retirement by six days due to a bad back.
The American announced this week that the giant slalom at the skiing world championships would be the final race of his career. But he writes on Instagram that on Friday he “woke up to the worst sciatic pain of my life.” He adds that an MRI revealed his back is “herniated to the point it’s not safe to ski right now.”
Ligety’s final race had been slated for Friday. He says that “now it’s time to get my back healthy to support a lifetime of playing and skiing with my kids.”
SKIING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS-WOMEN’S DOWNHILL
Suter wins downhill for her 1st gold at worlds
CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy (AP) — Corinne Suter has ended Switzerland’s 32-year wait for a women’s downhill world title. She won her fourth straight medal at a major championship Saturday, but her first gold.
Teammate Lara Gut-Behrami led for most of her run but dropped to third. Gut-Behrami had beaten Suter to gold in Thursday’s super-G. Kira Weidle finished a career-best second for silver to win the second medal for Germany this week.
American Breezy Johnson finished ninth after nearly skiing out early in her run. Sofia Goggia missed the race with a knee injury after dominating the World Cup downhill season. Mikaela Shiffrin sat out the race to train for upcoming events.
BOBSLED WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Humphries in contention midway through monobob title race
ALTENBERG, Germany (AP) — Kaillie Humphries is headed into the final day of the major international sliding season with a chance at another world championship. Humphries is in second place midway through the inaugural women’s monobob world championship race. Humphries began racing for the U.S. two years ago after getting her release from her native Canada’s national team. She trails Germany’s Stephanie Schneider by 0.04 seconds after Saturday’s first two runs in Altenberg, Germany. The final two runs are Sunday.