AP Wednesday Sports Roundup
Florida Gulf Coast, Wichita State win openers
DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Florida Gulf Coast and Wichita State are play-in winners on the first night of the "First Four" portion of the NCAA tournament.
Marc-Eddy Norelia scored 20 points and Florida Gulf Coast coasted to a 96-65 win over an overmatched Fairleigh Dickinson team in Dayton. The Eagles now move on to play top-seeded North Carolina in an East regional game Thursday.
In the nightcap, Wichita State eliminated Vanderbilt 70-50. Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker each had 14 for the Shockers. Wichita State moves on to play Arizona Thursday.
The second half of the Dayton games is tonight with Holy Cross playing Southern followed by Michigan against Tulsa.
CLEAVES-SEX ASSAULT INVESTIGATION
Cleaves facing chargers
FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Former Michigan State basketball star Mateen Cleaves faces charges after a woman says she was held against her will in a motel room and sexually assaulted.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy says the 39-year-old Cleaves was charged with criminal sexual conduct, sexual assault and unlawful imprisonment.
Cleaves led Michigan State to the NCAA championship in 2000 and played in the NBA.
Gamecocks don't miss a beat
UNDATED (AP) — The once-dominant NIT began with nine games at campus locations.
Laimonas Chatkevicius scored a career-high 30 points on 15-of-16 shooting, Sindarius Thornwell added 20 points and short-handed South Carolina cruised past High Point 88-66 to move into the second round of the NIT.
South Carolina coach Frank Martin had suspended five backup players for "conduct issues."
But the Gamecocks did not miss a beat as they went up by 18 through the first 11 minutes.
Other first-round NIT winners were Saint Mary's, San Diego State, Washington, Florida State, Creighton, Valparaiso, Florida and Ohio State.
The tournament concludes March 31st in Madison Square Garden.
Spurs win 42nd straight regular-season home game
UNDATED (AP) — The San Antonio Spurs ran their home record to 33-0 and extended their regular-season home winning streak to 42 by routing the L.A. Clippers 108-87. The Spurs moved within three and a-half games of idle Golden State in the race for best record in the NBA.
Kawhi Leonard led the Spurs with 20. Fellow frontcourt mate LaMarcus Aldridge added 17.
In other NBA:
— Toronto moved within two games of idle Cleveland for best record in the Eastern Conference after beating Milwaukee 107-89. Kyle Lowry scored 25 and dished out 11 assists. The Bucks rested their leading scorer, DeMar DeRozan, who had played in each of the Raptors' first 65 games.
— Paul George scored 25 points and the Indiana Pacers finished with a strong fourth quarter to beat the Boston Celtics 103-98.
— Evan Fournier scored 30 points and Jason Smith had 25 points and 13 rebounds off the bench to help the Orlando Magic beat the Denver Nuggets 116-110.
— Brooklyn routed Philadelphia 131-114. Bojan Bogdanovic hit for a career-high 44.
__ The Sacramento Kings beat the L.A. Lakers 106-98. DeMarcus Cousins and Darren Collison each had 22 for the Kings.
Caps hit 50, clinch playoff berth
UNDATED (AP) — Alex Ovechkin scored his league-leading 42nd goal in overtime and the Washington Capitals picked up their 50th win of the season and became the first NHL team to clinch a playoff spot as they beat the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1.
Ovechkin scored his seventh game-winner of the season 2:38 into overtime after the Capitals clinched a playoff spot by picking up a point.
It's their eighth playoff appearance in nine seasons.
In other hockey:
—The Los Angeles Kings capped an impressive back-to-back with a 5-2 victory against the Dallas Stars. Anze Kopitar had a goal and an assist for the Kings, who scored 23 seconds in and had a 4-1 lead early in the second period a night after blanking Chicago 5-0 in the Windy City.
— Michael Raffl scored two goals and the Philadelphia Flyers won a pivotal game in their playoff push, defeating the Detroit Red Wings 4-3. The Flyers have 78 points and pulled within one point of the Red Wings for the final Eastern Conference wild-card playoff berth.
— Pittsburgh's Kris Letang scored the only goal of the shootout past New York Islanders rookie goalie Jean-Francois Berube to lift the Penguins to a 2-1 win.
— Ben Smith and Connor Carrick scored their first goals of the season and the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1.
— Vincent Trochek scored a goal and set up one by Jiri Hudler and the Florida Panthers downed the injury-riddled Montreal Canadiens 4-1.
— Toronto scored three goals in the final period and downed Tampa Bay 4-1.
— San Jose edged Boston 3-2. Joonas Donskoi scored a tiebreaking power-play goal with 13:23 remaining after an offensive zone penalty by Boston's Jimmy Hayes.
— Erik Karlsson scored at 4:29 of overtime and the Ottawa Senators rallied to beat the Minnesota Wild 3-2.
Cardinals get Jones from Pats
UNDATED (AP) — Arizona has acquired linebacker/defensive end Chandler Jones from New England for guard Jonathan Cooper and a second round pick. Jones has 12 1-2 sacks last season to rank fifth in the NFL. He's expected to fill Cardinals big need for an edge pass rusher.
Cooper was Arizona's first round pick in 2013, but was injured in his rookie season and has not reached expectations.
— Pacman Jones has signed a new three-year contract with Cincinnati. Jones was Cincinnati's top cornerback in a 12-4 season which ended with a playoff loss to Pittsburgh. Jones' personal foul for bumping an official helped set up the Steelers' winning field goal in the closing seconds.
— Seattle has agreed to a $6.25 million, two-year contract with J'Marcus Webb. Webb started all 16 games last season for Oakland as a guard, but has played tackle in the past and could be an option for Seattle at that position.
— The agent for Will Blackmon says the cornerback has re-signed with the Washington Redskins on a two-year deal. Peter J. Schaffer confirmed multiple reports about Blackmon's signing in an email to The Associated Press. The nine-year veteran had two interceptions and forced three fumbles in 15 games for the Redskins last season, including 10 starts.
— The Patriots have re-signed defensive back Nate Ebner, an unrestricted free agent who appeared in 15 games last season. The 27-year-old has spent the past four seasons in New England after being selected 197th overall in the 2012 NFL draft. Ebner will take some time off from the Patriots to try to make the U.S. Rugby team that will play in the Summer Olympics.
— Denver has matched the Miami Dolphins' front-loaded, four-year, $18 million offer to running back C.J. Anderson. Anderson ran for 720 yards and five touchdowns last season. He had 90 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries in the Super Bowl.
— Free agent receiver Mike Wallace has signed a two-year contract with the Baltimore Ravens. Released by the Vikings on March 8, the 29-year-old Wallace joins his third team in as many years.
— A person familiar with the negotiations says the Jacksonville Jaguars have agreed to terms with former Pittsburgh Steelers left tackle Kelvin Beachum on a two-year contract. The Jaguars are signing Beachum to compete with starting left tackle Luke Joeckel.
__ A person directly involved in the negotiations tells The Associated Press that the Washington Redskins have signed defensive end Junior Galette to a $4 million, one-year contract. Galette missed all of last season with a torn Achilles.
— Backup quarterback Matt Moore has agreed to terms to remain with the Miami Dolphins, his team since 2011 when he started 12 games. The 31-year-old Moore has not started a game since.
LaRoche to retire
UNDATED (AP) — Adam LaRoche has told the Chicago White Sox he intends to retire, leaving $13 million on the table.
The 36-year old signed a two-year deal for $25 million with the White Sox a year ago. But he struggled in last season, batting just .207 with 12 homers.
Over his career, he had a .260 batting average and 255 home runs. In 2010 and 2012, LaRoche drove in 100 runs, and hit a career high 33 homers.
LaRoche has been asked to reconsider his plans, but White Sox brass don't seem to optimistic.
In other training camp news:
—Slugger Edwin Encarnacion of the Blue Jays will be sidelined for at least a week because of a strained side. Manager John Gibbons calls it a "minor oblique problem" and expects Encarnacion to be ready for the April 3 opener at Tampa Bay.
— Rockies' veteran utility infielder Daniel Descalso will be out several weeks with a broken bone in his non-throwing hand. Descalso was hurt Friday when he was hit on the left hand by a pitch from Cleveland's Tom Gorzelanny. Descalso had played some shortstop with the Rockies this spring, looking to replace Jose Reyes, who's on paid leave while he faces domestic violence charges.
No tee time for Arnie this year
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Four-time Masters champion Arnold Palmer will be on the first tee to help start the Masters this year, but without his golf clubs. Every year since 2007 he has hit a ceremonial tee shot to start the Masters. He was joined in 2010 by Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player in 2012.
This year the 86-year old Palmer says he won't be taking part because he can't hit the driver the way he would like.
Nicklaus and Player will continue in the role this year with Arnie watching.