Friday Sports in Brief

April 2, 2022 GMT

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — South Carolina and UConn are headed to the women’s NCAA championship game.

Aliyah Boston had 23 points and 18 rebounds to back up her AP National Player of the Year award and carry South Carolina past Louisville 72-59 in the semifinals on Friday night.

Brea Beal matched her season high with 12 points and helped hold Cardinals star Hailey Van Lith to nine points on 4-for-11 shooting as the Gamecocks (34-2) delivered another stifling defensive performance.

The Dawn Staley-led Gamecocks will face Connecticut on Sunday night at Target Center. Staley will try to win her second national championship, eight months after the Hall of Famer led the U.S. Olympic team to a gold medal in the Tokyo Games.

In the other semifinal, Paige Bueckers scored 14 points and UConn (30-5) beat defending champion Stanford 63-58.

It’s UConn’s first trip to the title game since 2016, when the Huskies won the last of four straight championships.

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MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Oscar Tshiebwe of Kentucky is The Associated Press men’s college basketball player of the year.

The 6-foot-9, 255-pound junior received 46 of 60 votes from a national media panel.

Wisconsin’s Johnny Davis was second with 10 votes. Tshiebwe averaged 17.4 points and a national-best 15.1 rebounds for the Wildcats. He also led the country for the regular season with 28 double-doubles and had a 28-rebound game this season.

Iowa sophomore Keegan Murray and Illinois big man Kofi Cockburn also earned votes for the award.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Arizona’s Tommy Lloyd has been named The Associated Press men’s basketball coach of the year after leading the Wildcats to the Sweet 16 in his first season.

Lloyd received 28 votes to edge Providence’s Ed Cooley, who got 21 votes.

Lloyd spent 22 seasons at Gonzaga and took the lessons he learned to Arizona. The Wildcats went 34-3 and swept the Pac-12 season and tournament titles to earn a No. 1 in the NCAA Tournament.

Lloyd joins Indiana State’s Bill Hodges and Drake’s Keno Davisin earning AP coach of the year in their first season as a head coach.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Butler fired coach LaVall Jordan on Friday after two straight losing seasons and a second consecutive finish near the bottom of the Big East Conference.

The Bulldogs were 14-19 this season and tied for ninth in the Big East at 6-14.

Jordan played for the Bulldogs from 1998-2001, and Collier was his coach his first three years. Jordan was a starting guard his last two seasons, earning all-conference honors, and he made four coaching stops over a decade before Collier hired him as head coach in 2017.

The Bulldogs played in the 2018 NCAA Tournament and were expected to make it back in 2020 before the tournament was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

SOCCER

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DOHA, Qatar (AP) — The most controversial World Cup ever will feature in Qatar the most politically charged matchups.

Just like in 1998, the United States will play Iran with diplomatic relations yet to be restored between the nations. Throw into the mix in Group B, England, whose government has endured tense relations with Tehran.

The group could yet be completed by Ukraine, whose ability to qualify for the World Cup has been postponed by being invaded by Russia. The Ukrainians will have to overcome Scotland and then Wales in the playoffs to make the tournament in November.

What is known is that Qatar will open its first-ever World Cup against Ecuador on Nov. 18 after qualifying for the first time as host.

HORSE RACING

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Court of Appeals on Friday rejected trainer Bob Baffert’s motion for emergency relief from a 90-day suspension.

As a result of the order signed by Acting Chief Judge Allison Jones, the Hall of Fame trainer’s suspension is scheduled to begin on Monday.

Signage outside Baffert’s barn at Santa Anita was removed as part of a California Horse Racing Board rule that mandates any trainer who is suspended for 60 days or more be banned from all CHRB-licensed facilities.

COURTS

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Former U.S. women’s national team star goalkeeper Hope Solo was arrested after she was found passed out behind the wheel of a vehicle in North Carolina with her 2-year-old twins inside, police said.

A police report said Solo was arrested on Thursday in a shopping center parking lot in Winston-Salem and charged with driving while impaired, resisting a public officer and misdemeanor child abuse. She has been released from jail and has a court date of June 28, the report indicated.

According to an arrest warrant, a passerby noticed Solo passed out behind the steering wheel for more than an hour with the vehicle’s engine running and the two children in the backseat. A responding officer could smell alcohol, and the warrant said that Solo refused a field sobriety test and her blood was drawn instead.

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