Monday’s Sports in Brief
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) —Led by De’Andre Hunter and his NBA-ready game, Virginia turned itself into a national champion, holding off tenacious, ferocious Texas Tech for an 85-77 overtime win — a scintillating victory that came 388 days after a crushing setback that might have sunk a lesser team for years.
But Virginia was better than that.
A season after becoming the first No. 1 seed to lose to a 16 — the one thing that had never happened in a tournament where anything can — the Cavaliers watched a 10-point lead turn into a 3-point deficit before Hunter came to the rescue. The sophomore made the game-tying 3 with 12.1 seconds left in regulation, then made another 3 with 2:07 left in the extra period to give the Cavs the lead for good.
After going scoreless for the first 18 1/2 minutes, Hunter finished with a career-high 27 points, and if he leaves as a lottery pick — well, what a way to go out.
He helped the Cavs bring home the first NCAA title for a program with a colorful, star-crossed and, now, very winning history.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee coach Rick Barnes will be back with the Volunteers next season.
Volunteers athletic director Phillip Fulmer issued a statement saying “I’m thrilled that (Barnes) will remain a part of our Tennessee Athletics family.” The statement came after reports that linked Barnes to the coaching vacancy at UCLA.
Fulmer’s statement didn’t specifically mention UCLA but noted that “one of the nation’s most tradition-rich college basketball programs identified what we here at Tennessee already knew — that Rick Barnes is one of the game’s elite coaches and a program changer.”
Barnes has gone 88-50 in four seasons at Tennessee. Tennessee went 31-6 this year with an NCAA regional semifinal loss to Purdue.
Fulmer said Tennessee’s leadership “stepped up to show Rick how much he is valued and appreciated” without offering further details. Barnes’ contract called for him to make $3.25 million this season.
WACO, Texas (AP) — Baylor junior post Lauren Cox has a sprained MCL with bone bruising in her left knee and won’t need surgery after getting hurt in the national championship game.
Cox had an MRI and an examination after Baylor’s on-campus celebration of its third national title.
The school said there is no timetable for the return of the 6-foot-4 player.
But Cox not needing surgery is good news after the gruesome look of the injury late in the third quarter of an 82-81 win over Notre Dame on Sunday night in Tampa.
Baylor led by 12 points when she got hurt and was taken off the court in a wheelchair. She was on crutches when she returned to the bench for the end of the game.
Cox was still wearing a big brace at the victory celebration Monday, but was walking without the aid of crutches.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Purdue guard Carsen Edwards will give up his final year of eligibility and enter the NBA draft.
The 6-foot-1 shooting guard also plans to hire an agent. He made the announcement on Twitter .
Edwards was the leading scorer for the Boilermakers this season, averaging 24.3 points. It was the highest average of any Big Ten Conference player since Shawn Respert of Michigan State had 25.6 points in 1994-95.
It was during the NCAA Tournament where Edwards broke out. He averaged 34.8 points in four games, nearly carrying the Boilermakers into the Final Four. They came up just short of Virginia in the Elite Eight. Edwards’ performance drew comparisons to NBA All-Star Steph Curry.
NEW YORK (AP) — Notre Dame guard Jackie Young will skip her senior season and enter the WNBA draft.
She announced her decision on Twitter nearly a day after the Irish lost a heartbreaking game to Baylor for the NCAA championship.
“After much consideration I would like to announce that I will be following my heart and living out my childhood dream of playing in the WNBA. I have waited for this day all my life and I can’t wait to continue this journey.”
Young had four points, nine rebounds and six assists Sunday night in the 82-81 loss to Baylor. She was 1-for-8 from the field.
BALTIMORE (AP) — Chris Davis went 0 for 5 to set a major league record for the longest hitless streak by a position player, extending his drought to 49 consecutive at-bats in the Baltimore Orioles’ 12-4 rout of the Oakland Athletics.
Davis hit three flyballs before striking out in the seventh and eighth innings, leaving him 0 for 28 this season and 0 for 49 since hitting a double early in a game Sept. 14. The previous longest drought by a non-pitcher was 46 at-bats, by Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Eugenio Vélez.
Davis has heard plenty of boos from the home crowd this season, but many among a meager crowd of 6,585 at Camden Yards offered him encouragement with every trip to the plate. The announced attendance was the lowest in the history of the ballpark, with the exception of a game in 2015 that was closed to the public at a time when the city was plagued by rioting.
The highlight of Davis’ night was an opposite-field liner to the edge of the warning track in left field on his record-setting 47th straight fruitless at-bat.
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Panthers have hired Joel Quenneville as their coach.
The Panthers introduced Quenneville on Monday. Quenneville is second on the NHL’s all-time coaching wins list with 890 victories. He also won three Stanley Cups as coach of the Chicago Blackhawks.
The hiring also reunites him with Panthers general manager Dale Tallon, who brought Quenneville to Chicago.
Quenneville replaces Bob Boughner, who was fired Sunday after two seasons.
Quenneville becomes the 16th coach in Florida history, and will be asked to be the coach who ends the team’s playoff drought. Florida has missed 16 of the last 18 postseasons and has not won a playoff series since 1996.