AP Thursday Sports Roundup
Oklahoma, Iowa, North Carolina fall short
UNDATED (AP) — It was a tough night for the third-, fourth- and fifth-ranked teams in The Associated Press men's basketball poll.
Aaron Ross scored 17 points and Keenan Evans added 14 to lead Texas Tech's 65-63 triumph over No. 3 Oklahoma. Evans hit three free throws in the final 30 seconds to secure the Red Raiders' third straight win over a ranked team.
The game featured 14 ties and 15 lead changes before the Sooners wasted Jordan Woodard's 26 points.
Donovon Jack scored 19 points on 8 of 9 shooting as Penn State knocked off fourth-ranked Iowa 79-75. Shep Garner and Brandon Taylor had 18 points apiece for the Nittany Lions, who had dropped five of their previous six before beating a ranked team for the second time in two weeks.
The Hawkeyes pulled within three on Peter Jok's 3-pointer in the final seconds, but Penn State clinched the win by going 11-for-12 at the line in the final 1:25. Jok scored a game-high 28 points for Iowa.
In Chapel Hill, Grayson Allen scored 23 points and 20th-rated Duke earned its fifth consecutive victory by downing No. 5 North Carolina, 74-73. Allen put the Blue Devils ahead by hitting a pair of free throws with 1:09 left, but the outcome hung in the balance until Derryck Thornton blocked Joel Berry II's shot in the lane on the final play to secure Duke's 20th win.
The Tar Heels fell to 21-5 despite Brice Johnson's 29 points and 19 rebounds.
In other top-25 finals:
— Jalen Brunson scored a season-high 25 points and top-ranked Villanova improved to 23-3 by earning its sixth straight win, downing Temple 83-67. Daniel Ochefu had 16 points and nine rebounds as the Wildcats captured the Philadelphia Big 5 crown for the third straight year.
— Xavier won a battle of top-25 teams as Trevon Bluiett scored 17 of his 23 points in the first half of the eighth-ranked Musketeers' 85-74 victory against No. 23 Providence. Myles Davis had 11 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists to become the first Xavier player in five years with a triple-double.
— No. 11 Miami is 10-3 in the ACC after overcoming a seven-point first-half deficit and holding Virginia Tech to a season-low 29.6 percent shooting in a 65-49 stifling of the Hokies. Angel Rodriguez scored 14 points for the Hurricanes, who surged ahead with a 14-2 spurt to begin the second half.
— No. 15 Dayton saw its nine-game winning streak come to an end as DeAndre' Bembry delivered 16 points and 13 rebounds in Saint Joseph's 79-70 triumph over the visiting Flyers. Isaiah Miles scored all 12 of his points in the second half and finished with 12 boards and five assists in the Hawks' fourth straight win.
— Damion Lee scored 15 points and 18th-ranked Louisville stopped a two-game skid by shooting 56 percent in the second half of a 72-58 verdict over Syracuse. Chinanu Onuaku contributed 13 points and 15 rebounds in the Cardinals' 20th win.
— No. 20 Arizona clobbered Arizona State 99-61 as Allonzo Trier dropped in 20 points and Ryan Anderson added 15. The Wildcats put together a 29-6 spurt bridging the two halves and cruised to their second-most lopsided victory over their archrivals.
— Troy Williams dropped in 18 points and No. 22 Indiana moved back into a tie for the Big Ten lead by thumping Nebraska 80-64. Robert Johnson chipped in 13 points as the Hoosiers improved to 21-6 overall, 11-3 in the conference.
Hawks blow 2-goal lead, beat Rangers anyway
UNDATED (AP) — The Chicago Blackhawks are back atop the NHL's Western Conference and Central Division standings, one point ahead of Dallas following the Hawks' victory at Madison Square Garden.
Artemi Panarin capped his first career hat trick by scoring the winning and insurance goals to lead Chicago past the New York Rangers, 5-3. Panarin notched a power-play goal to snap a 3-3 tie with three minutes left and added an empty-netter just 1:49 later.
Derick Brassard and Dan Boyle scored in the first 2:17 of the third period to give the Rangers their only lead, but Andrew Shaw knotted the game with one of the Blackhawks' three power-play goals.
The Hawks have won two straight since a three-game skid dropped them into a tie with the Stars for the West and Central leads.
The Rangers lost for only the second time in their last seven games, leaving them four points ahead of the Islanders for second place in the Metropolitan Division.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
— Jarome Iginla's second goal of the night snapped a 2-2 tie with 2:03 remaining in Colorado's 3-2 win over the skidding Mntreal Canadiens. Erik Johnson had a short-handed goal as the Avalanche took over sole possession of seventh place in the West, two points ahead of Nashville. The Canadiens are back at .500 and six points out of an Eastern Conference playoff berth following their third straight loss.
— Jason Pominville and Erik Haula and Mikko Koivu each had a goal and an assist as Minnesota beat Calgary 4-3, leaving the Wild 2-0 under new coach John Torchetti. Jason Zucker and Charlie Coyle also scored to help the Wild climb within two points of the final Western Conference playoff slot. The Flames have dropped three straight since a three-game winning streak put them at .500.
Wideman ban going to arbitrator after NHL upholds punishment
NEW YORK (AP) — Dennis Wideman's 20-game suspension will stand for now.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has upheld the punishment doled out to the Calgary Flames defenseman for cross-checking linesman Don Henderson during a Jan. 27 game against Nashville. It was the second-longest suspension in NHL history for abusing an official.
However, the NHL Players' Association announced after Bettman's ruling that it would further appeal to neutral arbitrator James Oldham.
Wideman was checked hard into the boards by a Predators player and was trying to get back to the Calgary bench when he bowled over Henderson. Wideman said he was in pain and was just trying to get off the ice, adding that he couldn't avoid Henderson.
Bettman said given the "severity of the conduct involved," he saw no basis for a reduced penalty.
Wideman already has sat out seven games.
Heat back at practice, no Bosh
MIAMI (AP) — All-Star forward Chris Bosh was not with the Miami Heat for practice Thursday, and the team says he will not play in their game at Atlanta on Friday. The Heat went back to work after their All-Star break, and the team is not commenting about Bosh going back on blood thinners to combat a blood clot. Bosh missed the final 30 games last season with a similar ailment.
A personal with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press Tuesday that Bosh is starting the medication with hopes of playing again this season.
The team says it has no other information to announce at this point. Meanwhile, Bosh posted an audio-only Snapchat featuring the Kendrick Lamar lyric, "We gonna be all right."
Brazilian to miss Rio Olympics
ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta Hawks center Tiago Splitter is going to miss a lot more than the remainder of the NBA season.
Splitter said Wednesday that he will need eight months to recover from hip surgery, costing him a spot on the Brazilian national team in the upcoming Rio Olympics. His right hip began hurting in late November and failed to respond to treatment. He elected to undergo surgery after missing six games before the All-Star break.
Nats get bullpen help
VIERA, Fla. (AP) — Reliever Matt Belisle has accepted the Washington Nationals' minor league contract offer and an invitation to spring training. The 35-year-old Belisle is a 12-year major league veteran who spent last season with the St. Louis Cardinals, posting a 2.67 earned-run average in 34 appearances. He also pitched for new Nationals manager Dusty Baker in Cincinnati.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Royals have announced that additional netting at Kauffman Stadium is being installed and will extend toward the outfield end of each team's dugout .
The idea is to improve the safety for fans sitting along the foul lines.
Several clubs have considered ways to protect fans from foul balls hit into those seats, and some have suggested that similar netting should be mandatory in major league ballparks.
Tigers lose receiver
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Clemson wide receiver Germone Hopper plans to graduate this summer and then play for another school this fall. Hopper started three games last season, catching 21 passes for 317 yards and a touchdown as Clemson reached the national championship game before losing to Alabama last month.
Hopper had 71 catches for 797 yards in three seasons with the Tigers.
What to do?
CLEVELAND (AP) — When your team has been terrible and the future doesn't look much better, what's a team to do? In Cleveland, the Browns are going back to their past by honoring Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown with a statue outside their stadium.
Brown spent his entire career with the Browns, who drafted him in 1957. The nine-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time league MVP finished with 12,312 yards rushing before retiring in 1965 at the peak of his career. He led the league in rushing in eight of his nine seasons.
Brown has worked as a special adviser to owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam for the past few years.
Blowback for anti-gay statements
UNDATED (AP) — Manny Pacquiao's comments disparaging gays have cost him his contract with apparel giant Nike.
The company says it has dropped the Filipino boxer after he was quoted as saying gay people "are worse than animals."
Nike called Pacquiao's comments "abhorrent" and said the company strongly opposes discrimination of any kind and has long stood up for the fights of gays.
Pacquiao apologized Tuesday for the remarks made a day earlier. He meets Timothy Bradley on April 9 in what could be his last fight.