Update on the latest sports


Noel Acciari gets hat trick as Panthers beat Predators 6-2

UNDATED (AP) — Noel Acciari scored three goals for his third career hat trick, and the Florida Panthers beat the Nashville Predators 6-2 for their second straight victory.

Acciari, who began the day with no points in 14 games this season, scored twice in a three-goal second period as the Panthers took the lead for good. He finished off the hat trick with an unassisted goal with 3:02 left.

Aaron Ekblad and Frank Vatrano each had a goal and an assist as the Panthers improved to 8-1-1 on the road this season.

Elsewhere on NHL ice:

— Jared McCann beat Brian Elliott with less than 10 minutes to go and the Pittsburgh Penguins held on to beat Philadelphia 4-3. The Penguins took two of three from the Flyers during Philadelphia’s extended stay in Pittsburgh. Zach Aston-Reese, Bryan Rust and Evgeni Malkin also scored for Pittsburgh. Tristan Jarry finished with 19 saves as the Penguins pulled back into a tie with the Flyers in the cramped East Division.

— Ryan Strome scored twice Rolling Rangers sweep Devils 6-3 and hand NJ their 5th straight loss and eighth in nine games. Adam Fox, Kevin Rooney Libor Hajek and Filip Chytil also scored as the Rangers won their third straight and sixth in eight games. Alexandar Georgiev had 24 saves while filling in for the injured Igor Shesterkin.

— Mathew Barzal and Scott Mayfield each had a goal and an assist, and the New York Islanders beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-2 for the fifth straight time this season and for their fourth straight win. Semyon Varlamov made 20 saves as the Islanders improved to 9-0-2 at Nassau Coliseum this season and 14-6-4 overall.


Predators center Matt Duchene put on IR, out 3-5 weeks

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Nashville Predators placed Matt Duchene on injured reserve Saturday with a lower-body injury that is expected to sideline the veteran center for three to five weeks.

Duchene becomes the fourth Nashville player placed on IR since Tuesday. Duchene has eight points in 23 games this season along with a minus-11 rating. He is under contract with Nashville for $8 million a year through the 2025-26 season.

Elsewhere in the NHL:

— The St. Louis Blues have activated Vladimir Tarasenko from injured reserve. The forward has not played this season after undergoing surgery on his left shoulder last August, his third surgery in three years. Tarasenko is expected to be in the lineup when the Blues face the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.


Silver: NBA may return to normal in ’21-22, virus permitting

UNDATED (AP) — NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says the league is expecting arenas to be filled again next season. It’s also looking to return to its normal calendar. But those plans are dependent on continued progress in the ongoing fight against the coronavirus.

There are no plans for the league to travel overseas next season for exhibitions or regular season games, meaning recent preseason trips to foreign markets such as China, Japan or India won’t be repeated until 2022 at the earliest.


Dosunmu’s return powers No. 4 Illinois over No. 7 Ohio State

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ayo Dosunmu (EYE’-oh doh-SOO’-moo) returned after missing three games with a concussion and facial injuries to score 19 points, and No. 4 Illinois rallied late to beat No. 7 Ohio State 73-68.

Andre Curbelo also had 19 points as Illinois got its second straight road win over a top 10 team after routing No. 2 Michigan on Tuesday. The Illini have won 11 of 12 and enter next week’s Big Ten Tournament with a double-bye.

E,J. Liddell led the Buckeyes with 19 points, and Duane Washington Jr. and Justice Sueing each had 15.

Elsewhere in college basketball:

— Sam Hauser scored 24 points, Trey Murphy III added 17 and No. 21 Virginia beat Louisville 68-58 to claim the ACC regular season championship. Assured of least a No. 2 seed entering the regular season finale, the Cavaliers received a huge opening for bigger things when first-place and No. 11 Florida State lost 83-73 earlier in the day at Notre Dame. Virginia then methodically took care of the Cardinals to leapfrog the Seminoles despite a blowout loss at FSU on Feb. 15. David Johnson had 14 points and Jae’Lyn Withers 12 for Louisville, which shot 37% and was beaten 32-22 in the paint.

— Prentiss Hubb scored 22 points, Dane Goodwin had 15 and Notre Dame beat No. 11 Florida State 83-73. The Fighting Irish had five players score in double figures. They also went 28 for 34 at the free-throw line, compared to 15 for 20 for the Seminoles.

— Herbert Jones had two baskets in a 9-0 run to open the second half that gave No. 8 Alabama the lead, and the SEC champion Crimson Tide beat Georgia 89-79. Jahvon Quinerly led five Alabama scorers in double figures with 18 points. John Petty Jr. had 15 and Jaden Shackelford finished with 14. Alabama matched its school record for Southeastern Conference wins in the 1986-87 season.

— David Duke made a tiebreaking tip-in with 2.8 seconds left and Providence held on after blowing a 20-point lead to beat No. 10 Villanova 54-52. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl had an open look at a 3-pointer after a long inbounds pass but the shot hit the front of the rim, and the buzzer sounded before Jermaine Samuels tipped it in.The Big East champion Wildcats lost backup Justin Moore to an ankle injury in the first half.

— Sophomore Avery Anderson III scored a career-high 31 points to lead No. 17 Oklahoma State to an 85-80 victory over No. 6 West Virginia. Oklahoma State made up for the loss of two starters including Cade Cunningham by shooting 58% from the floor and outhustling West Virginia for rebounds. The loss denied Bob Huggins his 900th coaching win in West Virginia’s final home game.

— Cameron Krutwig had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and No. 22 Loyola Chicago beat Indiana State 65-49 to advance to the Missouri Valley Conference tournament final.

— Zach Edey scored 20 points and Jaden Ivey added 17 to help No. 23 Purdue beat Indiana 67-58. The Boilermakers have won nine straight in the in-state rivalry for the first time since 1929-35, which came during John Wooden’s playing career. Down by nine at halftime, they closed to 47-42 with 6 1/2 minutes left. The Boilermakers sealed the win at the free throw line.


Pitcher Sam Dyson banned 1 yr under domestic violence policy

UNDATED (AP) — Yankees manager Aaron Boone returned to the dugout Saturday, three days after surgery to have a pacemaker inserted after the 47-year-old cleared COVID-19 protocols saying he feels great. He watched ace Gerrit Cole cruise through a simulated game at the team’s spring training facility in Tampa, then joined the team in nearby Bradenton for a rain-delayed exhibition game against the Pirates. New York lost 3-2.

In other MLB news:

— Seattle Mariners top prospect Jarred Kelenic will be sidelined due to a strained adductor muscle in his left knee. No timeline was given for the outfielder’s return.

— Pitcher Sam Dyson has been suspended for the 2021 season by Major League Baseball under the domestic violence policy of the league and the players’ association. The Athletic reported that a woman provided photos showing bruises on her arms she said were caused by Dyson. MLB said Dyson will participate in a confidential evaluation and treatment program supervised by its joint policy board.


Kansas places Miles on administrative leave after LSU report

UNDATED (AP) — Kansas football coach Les Miles has been placed on administrative leave. The move Friday came hours after a report released by LSU revealed school officials there considered firing him in 2013 because of his behavior with female student workers.

The 67-year-old Miles has denied allegations he made sexual advances toward students and has said he merely sought to serve as a mentor for students who expressed an interest in pursuing careers in sports.

Miles is entering his third year as Kansas coach, and coming off a winless 2020 season. He was coach at LSU for 11-plus years before being fired four games into the 2016 season.


Kupcho eagles 18th to cut Ernst’s LPGA Tour lead to stroke

OCALA, Fla. (AP) — Jennifer Kupcho made a 12-foot eagle putt on the final hole to cut Austin Ernst’s lead to a stroke Saturday in the LPGA Tour’s Drive On Championship.

Kupcho shot a 2-under 70 at Golden Ocala, setting up the eagle with a fairway wood that just cleared the rocks and water fronting the green on the par-5 18th.


Westwood has career-low at Bay Hill and takes 1-shot lead

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Lee Westwood takes a one-shot lead into the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Westwood first came to Bay Hill in 1998 and he’s still going strong. He turns 48 next month. He turned back the clock on Saturday with eight birdies and an eagle. That led to a 65, his lowest score ever at Bay Hill. He has a one-shot lead over U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau and Corey Conners.

Jordan Spieth made a hole-in-one with a 5-iron on the second hole. He was two shots behind. Rory McIlroy shot 72 but still was within four shots.