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BC-Sports Briefs

March 16, 2019
By The Associated Press

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Zion Williamson had the go-ahead tip-in on his own miss with 30.3 seconds left and fifth-ranked Duke held off third-ranked North Carolina 74-73 in the Atlantic Coast Conference semifinals.

Williamson had 31 points and 11 rebounds and the Blue Devils (28-5) survived a fight with their fierce rival in a classic that went down to the final play. Ultimately Duke hung on, but needed a final stop. After RJ Barrett missed two free throws with 12.4 seconds left, UNC pushed downcourt for Coby White to get a contested long jumper.

The shot rattled around the rim and out as Nassir Little crashed the glass for a desperate tip attempt, sending Duke’s bench into celebration and leaving a disappointed White crouching at midcourt.

Cameron Johnson had 23 points for the Tar Heels (27-6). They shot 40 percent and led by four in the final three minutes but couldn’t hold on.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — David Nichols scored 14 points and No. 12 Florida State knocked off No. 2 Virginia 69-59 to advance to the championship game of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament.

Phil Cofer had 11 points and 7-foot-3 center Christ Koumadje added nine points and nine rebounds for the Seminoles, who will play No. 5 Duke on Saturday night.

The Cavaliers loss comes on the same floor where they became the first No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament to lose to a 16 seed in Maryland-Baltimore County last year. It’s also the same floor where Virginia lost a second-round game as a No. 2 seed to seventh-seeded Michigan State in 2015.

De’Andre Hunter had 13 points for Virginia (29-3), which had its nine-game winning streak snapped and suffered its first loss to a team other than Duke.

Florida State (27-6) was in control from the start.

GOLF

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Rory McIlroy was nearly as good at the end as Tommy Fleetwood was at the start in the second round of The Players Championship.

McIlroy hit a 4-iron to 10 feet for eagle, ran in a 20-foot birdie putt on the island-green 17th and then made a bold play with a towering shot over a tree 20 feet in front of him to secure par. It added to a 7-under 65, and his best start on the TPC Sawgrass in his 10 appearances.

Fleetwood took his good swing from the range to the course and watched it pay off with a birdie-eagle-birdie start that carried him to a 67.

They shared the lead at 12-under 132, three shots clear of anyone else.

And they were nine shots ahead of Tiger Woods, who played solid golf except for one hole — the wrong hole. Woods put two balls into the water on the notorious par-3 17th, leading to a quadruple bogey that wiped out a good start and forced him to settle for a 71.

NBA

MIAMI (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 33 points, and the Milwaukee Bucks rallied from a 20-point halftime deficit to beat the Miami Heat 113-98.

Antetokounmpo also had 16 rebounds and nine assists for the Bucks, who became the first team in NBA history to trail by at least 20 points at the half and win by more than 11. Khris Middleton scored 21 and Eric Bledsoe had 17 for the NBA-best Bucks, who improved to 52-17.

Milwaukee outscored Miami 71-36 in the second half. It matched the biggest halftime deficit overcome for a win in Bucks history — they were down 72-52 at the break against the New York Knicks on Feb. 18, 1977, and won 124-123. They were 0-100 in all other instances, 0-77 on the road.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Doc Rivers has been a part of the NBA for 33 years as a player and coach. He thought he had seen everything.

The Los Angeles Clippers coach and Chicago’s Jim Boylen were both ejected during the third quarter at Staples Center for arguing. It is something so rare that the NBA and Elias Sports Bureau could not recall or track the last time it has happened.

The Clippers led 91-76 with 1:10 remaining in the period when Boylen thought that Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell was too aggressive on an offensive foul and started yelling across the other side of the court at Rivers and the officials.

Both started arguing near their respective benches when official Jason Phillips assessed the first technical. Boylen and Rivers continued to argue, which caused Phillips to assess the second technical and an automatic ejection.

BASEBALL

CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — New Phillies star Bryce Harper sustained a bruised right foot when he was hit by a pitch during a spring training game, but manager Gabe Kapler said the team wasn’t overly worried about the injury.

Initial X-rays were negative, the club said. Harper then left the ballpark for more detailed X-rays.

Many in the crowd at Spectrum Field gasped when Harper was struck by a 96 mph fastball from Toronto rookie Trent Thornton in the sixth inning. The slugging outfielder went down to the dirt, clutched his ankle and stayed on the ground for a few moments.

Harper was checked by a trainer, limped toward the dugout with assistance and soon hobbled toward the clubhouse.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — New York Yankees ace Luis Severino will miss all of April because of right shoulder inflammation.

Severino had been scheduled to start on opening day on March 28 but was scratched from his first planned spring training appearance on March 5. He felt discomfort after throwing his first slider in a pregame bullpen session.

Severino is set to resume playing catch next week.

NFL

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — The Chiefs are investigating an incident in which star receiver Tyreek Hill was involved in a domestic battery episode in suburban Kansas City earlier this week.

The team said in a statement to The Associated Press that it was aware of a police report filed Thursday by the Overland Park Police Department that lists Hill’s address and identifies a juvenile as the victim. Hill’s fiancee, Crystal Espinal, is identified among “others involved.”

The couple has a 3-year-old son, Zev.

Overland Park police Officer John Lacy said the case has been turned over to prosecutors for review. No charges have been filed against Hill, and Johnson County prosecutor’s spokeswoman Kristi Bergeron didn’t immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

MIAMI (AP) — Ryan Tannehill has a new team. Now the Miami Dolphins need a new quarterback.

Miami traded Tannehill to the Tennessee Titans in a deal that also involved draft picks. The Dolphins sent their sixth-round pick this year to the Titans for a fourth-round choice in 2020 and a seventh-round pick in April.

Tannehill’s sports agency tweeted that as part of the trade, he signed a one-year deal with the Titans. He will replace Blaine Gabbert as the backup to Marcus Mariota. General manager Jon Robinson said Gabbert will be released.

TENNIS

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) — It’s Federer vs. Nadal again, only this time it’ll be in the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open.

Roger Federer beat Hubert Hurkacz 6-4, 6-4 and Rafael Nadal got by Karen Khachanov 7-6 (2), 7-6 (2) to set up the old rivals’ 39th career meeting and first in 16 months.

Neither Federer nor Nadal has dropped a set in four matches in the desert. Federer has been broken just once, while Nadal has dropped serve three times, twice against Khachanov.

Nadal stands in the way of Federer’s pursuit of a record sixth title at Indian Wells.

Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu rallied past No. 6 Elina Svitolina 6-3, 2-6, 6-4, winning on her fourth match point to reach the biggest final of her young career. Andreescu became the first wild-card to reach the Indian Wells final.

Andreescu will play two-time major champion Angelique Kerber, who ended 23rd-seeded Belinda Bencic’s run of upsets with a 6-4, 6-2 victory.

The other men’s semifinal Saturday pairs Milos Raonic and Dominic Thiem.