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Weekend Sports in Brief

March 29, 2021 GMT

NCAA

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The chairman of the NCAA’s Board of Governors gave President Mark Emmert a vote of confidence Saturday, saying the association’s top governing body was satisfied with how he has addressed inequities in the college basketball tournaments and with his leadership through a tumultuous 10 days.

Georgetown University President Jack DeGioia told The Associated Press the board met Friday, along with the Division I Board of Directors, to hear from Emmert and discuss issues that have in some ways overshadowed the women’s games in San Antonio and men’s tourney in Indianapolis.

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BA

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Andre Drummond is joining the Los Angeles Lakers for the playoff push.

The Lakers announced the signing of the two-time All-Star center less than an hour before Sunday night’s game against the Orlando Magic. Drummond announced his decision with a post on his Instagram account earlier in the day, writing “Back to work” underneath an illustration of himself in a Lakers uniform.

Drummond agreed to a buyout Friday from the Cleveland Cavaliers, who acquired the four-time NBA rebounding champion last year after nearly eight seasons in Detroit.

NHL

DALLAS (AP) — Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad was taken off the ice on a stretcher with a left leg injury midway through the second period against the Dallas Stars on Sunday.

An aircast was applied to Ekblad’s left leg. Minutes earlier, Ekblad got caught up with Stars defenseman Esa Lindell in the corner following a hit from Lindell.

Ekblad has 11 goals this season, tied for the most among NHL defensemen.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana will hire former star player Mike Woodson as its new coach, a person with knowledge of the decision confirmed to The Associated Press on Sunday.

The person requested anonymity because no official announcement had been made.

Woodson has spent 22 of the past 23 seasons coaching in the NBA. He was head coach of the Atlanta Hawks from 2004-10 and the New York Knicks from 2012-14. He went 315-365 in those nine seasons.

—By AP Sports Writer Michael Marot.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah has hired Utah State’s Craig Smith as its men’s basketball coach.

The school announced Saturday that Smith will replace Larry Krystkowiak, who was fired this month.

Smith turned Utah State into one of the nation’s best mid-major programs in a short span, leading the Aggies to the NCAA Tournament twice in three years. Utah State won the Mountain West Conference Tournament title in 2020, but didn’t get a chance to play in the NCAA Tournament because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Utah State won the MWC Tournament again this season and won 20 games before losing 65-53 to Texas Tech in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.

AUTO RACING

BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) — NASCAR will try to run its first Cup Series race on dirt since 1970 on Monday after heavy rain swamped Bristol Motor Speedway.

The converted track already was facing challenges before torrential overnight rain flooded the grounds surrounding the speedway. The Goodyear tire provided for the Cup cars doesn’t seem suited for the dirt surface and NASCAR is worried about multiple tire failures when the event finally goes green.

The muddy track currently is too thick to avoid caking driver windshields. But the dirt has taken on enough water that thick dust may not be a problem Monday.

SAKHIR, Bahrain (AP) — World champion Lewis Hamilton just managed to hold off Max Verstappen to win the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix and clinch the 96th Formula One win of his career on Sunday.

The race was effectively decided when Verstappen overtook Hamilton on Lap 53 of 56 but went too wide on a turn and off track limits. He was told by his team to give Hamilton the position back, as he risked a time penalty.

GOLF

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Billy Horschel had just enough left in the tank to win the Dell Technologies Match Play on Sunday with plenty of help from Scottie Scheffler in a sloppy end to the longest week in golf.

Horschel made only one birdie in the championship match, chipping in from 40 feet on the fifth hole, and left the big mistakes to the 24-year-old Scheffler in winning 2 and 1.

Horschel, who had never reached the weekend in four previous appearances at this World Golf Championship, won six out of the seven matches over 122 holes he played at Austin Country Club. He won $10.5 million for sixth PGA Tour victory and fifth individual title.

CARLSBAD, Calif. (AP) — Inbee Park opened her LPGA Tour season with a wire-to-wire victory in the Kia Classic on the eve of the first major championship of the season.

The Hall of Famer finally put it all together at Aviara Golf Club, winning her 21st LPGA Tour title after finishing second on the scenic course in 2010, 2016 and 2019. She tied LPGA Founder Marilynn Smith for 25th place on the victory list and moved within four of matching Se Ri Pak for the South Korean mark.

PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic (AP) — Joel Dahmen won the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship for his first PGA Tour victory, avoiding a playoff when the wind pushed playing partner Rafael Campos’ final birdie try to the left.

Dahmen closed with a 2-under 70 on the windswept seaside course.

The 33-year-old Dahmen finished at 12-under 276. He didn’t get into the Masters with the victory because the tournament was played opposite the WGC Match Play event in Texas, but did wrap up a PGA Championship berth and a spot at Kapalua in the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Canadian Adam Svensson won the Club Car Championship for his second career Korn Ferry Tour victory, beating Max McGreevy with an 8-foot birdie putt on the second hole of a playoff.

Svensson birdied the final hole of regulation and shot 6-under 66 to match McGreevy at 17-under 271 at The Landings Club. McGreevy, the leader after each of the first two rounds, also birdied the late two holes in a 70.

MMA

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Francis Ngannou claimed the UFC heavyweight championship on Saturday night, stopping Stipe Miocic with ferocious punches early in the second round at UFC 260.

Ngannou (11-2) avenged his blowout loss to Miocic in 2018 by demonstrating everything he has learned in the ensuing three years during a dominant victory. The first UFC heavyweight champion from Africa flattened Miocic (21-3) twice early in the second, finishing the fight 52 seconds into the round.

The fight ended quickly after Ngannou won the first round. Miocic recovered from his first knockdown in the second round and even landed a right hand that stung Ngannou, but the challenger replied with a picture-perfect left hook, depositing Miocic roughly on the canvas again for the finish.

TENNIS

MIAMI (AP) — Daniil Medvedev could barely walk, much less run. He could still serve, though.

The top-ranked Medvedev held his final two service games despite being hobbled by cramps and beat Alexei Popyrin 7-6 (3), 6-7 (7), 6-4 in the third round at the Miami Open.

Medvedev said the victory brought a special sort of satisfaction.

CYCLING

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Adam Yates won the 100th edition of the Tour of Catalonia on Sunday, finishing ahead of his Ineos-Grenadiers teammates Richie Porte and Geraint Thomas.

Thomas De Gendt clinched the 133-kilometer (82-mile) seventh and final stage that ended in Barcelona.

Yates finished the seven-day race 45 seconds ahead of Porte and 49 seconds in front of Thomas.

WOMEN’S HOCKEY

BOSTON (AP) — Lexie Laing and Taylor Wenczkowski scored power play goals and the Boston Pride became the first two-time winner of the Isobel Cup with a 4-3 win over the defending champion Minnesota Whitecaps on Saturday night.

It was a NWHL championship the Pride, regular-season champions, had hoped to win a year earlier, before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the championship game between these same two teams just two days before the faceoff.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Senior goaltender Aerin Frankel of Northeastern University won the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award on Saturday as the top top player in Division I women’s hockey.

Frankel helped lead the Huskies to a 22-2-1 record and a national runner-up finish and led the nation in nearly every statistical category, including goals-against average (0.81), save percentage (.965), goalie winning percentage (.891) and shutouts (9). She also was honored as Hockey East player and goaltender of the year.

HORSE RACING

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Known Agenda ran away from the field in the Florida Derby on Saturday, and might keep on going all the way to Churchill Downs to start the Triple Crown season.

Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. guided Known Agenda to the win in the Grade 1, $750,000 race at Gulfstream Park, picking up 100 Kentucky Derby standings points — which will be more than enough to qualify him for that race in five weeks.

Trainer Todd Pletcher won the Florida Derby for the sixth time, and Known Agenda covered the 1 1/8 miles on the dirt in 1 minutes, 49.45 seconds. He returned $12.80 for the win, $6.60 to place and $3.20 to show.

OBITUARY

MIAMI (AP) — Howard Schnellenberger, who revived football at the University of Miami and Louisville and started the program at Florida Atlantic during a coaching career that spanned a half century, died Saturday. He was 87.

FAU announced his death and said he recently had been in a care center in South Florida.

Schnellenberger had a career record below .500, but when it came to building, he was a winner. His legacy includes campus stadiums at Louisville and Florida Atlantic.

He led the Miami Hurricanes to the first of their five national championships in 1983, and coached Louisville to a Fiesta Bowl win over Alabama to cap the 1990 season. He then founded the program at Florida Atlantic and retired as coach after 11 seasons there highlighted by back-to-back bowl victories.

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