Sports briefs: April 7

April 7, 2014 

UK sports

Softball sweeps Texas A&M

UK third baseman Nikki Sagermann hit a three-run home run in the first inning as Kentucky claimed a 5-3 victory over visiting Texas A&M on Sunday afternoon.

Freshman Meagan Prince tossed a strong 52⁄3 innings to earn her seventh win of the season, before fellow rookie Shannon Smith earned her first career save by getting the final four outs of the game.

• The Kentucky men's tennis team used four singles wins from Beck Pennington, Jerry Lopez, Nils Ellefsen and the clinching match from senior Grant Roberts to earn a 4-2 win over Vanderbilt at home.

Golf

Thompson outplays Wie for win

Lexi Thompson left Michelle Wie behind Sunday — off the tee and on the leaderboard in the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

The 19-year-old Thompson closed with a bogey-free 4-under 68 at Mission Hills for a three-stroke victory over Wie. Thompson birdied four of the first nine holes to open a five-stroke lead and parred the final nine.

Wie birdied the final hole for a 71. She used her driver only four times, choosing to hit fairway-metal stingers on the other 10 driving holes — leaving her as much as 60 yards behind Thompson. When both hit 3-woods, Thompson also had the advantage.

Thompson became the second-youngest major winner in LPGA Tour history at 19 years, 1 month, 27 days. Morgan Pressel set the record in her 2007 victory at Mission Hills at 18 years, 10 months, 9 days.

Matt Jones earned his first trip to the Masters with a remarkable 42-yard chip-in on the first playoff hole, outdueling Matt Kuchar on his way to winning the Houston Open.

The win is the first on the PGA Tour for the Australian, who made a 46-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to reach the playoff. He ended it one hole later, chipping over the right front bunker on the 18th and watching it roll in.

Kuchar, who bogeyed the final hole of regulation, then missed his bunker shot to give Jones the win — earning him nearly $1.2 million and a trip to Augusta National.

Jones, who began the day six shots back of Kuchar, shot a final-round 66 and ended the tournament 15 under overall.

Marco Crespi of Italy won his first European Tour title Sunday after carding a 3-under 69 in the final round for a two-shot victory at the inaugural edition of the NH Collection Open.

Playing in his 25th European Tour event, the 35-year-old Crespi had five birdies to overcome a pair of bogeys on the final day for a 10-under total of 278. Jordi Garcia of Spain carded a 66 to climb into a tie for second with Richie Ramsay of Scotland, who shot 68.

NBA

Rockets prevail in overtime

James Harden had 32 points and Chandler Parsons scored eight points in overtime to lift the Houston Rockets to a 130-125 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Sunday night.

Denver led by one in overtime when Houston made three consecutive three-pointers to make it 130-122 with less than two minutes left. Parsons made the last two and high-fived with fans on the front row as he ran down the court after sinking the second one.

The Rockets trailed by eight late in regulation before using a 9-1 run, capped by a three-pointer by Harden under heavy pressure from Randy Foye, to tie it at 117 with 7.1 seconds remaining.

Terrence Jones added 17 points for the Rockets. Kenneth Faried had 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Nuggets.

LeBron James scored 38 points, Mario Chalmers added 15 and the host Miami Heat survived a three-point barrage from New York's J.R. Smith on the way to dealing the Knicks' playoff hopes a big blow with a 102-91 victory on Sunday.

Chris Bosh added 14 points and Ray Allen had 12 for the Heat, who remain atop the Eastern Conference standings.

Smith made a Knicks-record 10 three-pointers, on an NBA-record 22 attempts, and finished with 32 points. Raymond Felton scored 14 for New York and Carmelo Anthony managed only 13, on 4-for-17 shooting.

Anthony had two points after halftime, while James had 22.

Blake Griffin and Chris Paul scored 23 points apiece, and the Los Angeles Clippers hung another rout on the Lakers, winning 120-97 Sunday to take three of four games this season from their beleaguered Staples Center co-tenants.

The injury-plagued Lakers were down to just eight players after guard Kent Bazemore got hurt in the second quarter. Jordan Hill led them with 22 points and Nick Young added 18 points off the bench, where there were plenty of empty seats. Jodie Meeks had 17 points.

Jeff Teague scored 25 points in the Atlanta Hawks' 107-88 rout Sunday of the reeling Indiana Pacers, who were held to a franchise-low 23 points in the first half of an embarrassing performance on their home floor.

Monta Ellis scored eight of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and the Dallas Mavericks kept their playoff position with their third straight win, a 93-91 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Sunday. Rudy Gay had 32 points and tied a career high with eight assists for the Kings, and DeMarcus Cousins added 28 points and 10 rebounds.

• Police have arrested Minnesota Timberwolves forward Dante Cunningham for the second time in three days.

Medina police say the 26-year-old Cunningham was arrested Sunday on preliminary charges of making terrorist threats. He declined to go into detail about the allegations but said police would release more information about the arrest on Monday.

Cunningham was arrested early Thursday and charged with felony domestic assault. A criminal complaint filed in Hennepin County District Court says his girlfriend told police that during an argument at Cunningham's suburban Minneapolis home, he slammed her against the wall and choked her for 15 to 20 seconds. Police say she didn't require medical treatment.

Auto racing

Rainout at Texas first of season

On a day when the weather was more suitable for ducks than racing, the Sprint Cup Series at Texas Motor Speedway became NASCAR's first rainout of the season.

The Robertson family from Duck Dynasty had prominent roles at Sunday's race, called the Duck Commander 500, but Uncle Si never got to give the command to start engines. NASCAR pulled the plug after a delay of about four hours.

The race will be run Monday at 11 a.m., nine hours before the start of the NCAA national championship game in nearby Arlington. Tony Stewart, making a comeback this season after missing the final four months of last year with a broken leg, will start on the pole.

It's the third time in seven Sprint Cup Series races this season that rain has hampered the event. The season-opening Daytona 500 was stopped for more than six hours, and the race at Bristol Motor Speedway had two delays totaling more than five hours.

The last word

SMU Coach Larry Brown, Kentucky Coach John Calipari and Connecticut Coach Kevin Ollie were together as head coach, assistant and 28-year-old point guard during the 1999-2000 season for the Philadelphia 76ers. Calipari and Ollie face off Monday in the NCAA Tournament championship. Said Brown:

"When you've been able to coach as long as I have and then you see people that have been part of your life get in the position John and Kevin are in, I don't know how it could get any better than that."

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