Other Sports

Sports briefs: May 16

College basketball

Kennedy leaves Murray State to coach at Texas A&M

Billy Kennedy returned to Texas A&M on Sunday, leaving Murray State to replace Mark Turgeon as the Aggies' basketball coach.

"I think he is the perfect fit for Texas A&M," Athletics Director Bill Byrne said in a statement. "In talking to several people who I respect in college basketball, they mentioned Billy as an outstanding basketball coach, but an even better person."

Turgeon left last week to coach Maryland.

The 47-year-old Kennedy, a former assistant at A&M, will be introduced on the campus Monday. He was the Ohio Valley Conference coach of the year twice in his five seasons with the Racers.

His best season at Murray State came in 2009-10 when the team went a school-record 31-5, won the Ohio Valley regular-season and tournament titles and beat Vanderbilt in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Racers also won the regular-season championship last season.

He takes over a Texas A&M team that has made an impressive turnaround in the last few years, making six straight NCAA Tournament appearances after reaching the event just six times in history before the current run. The Aggies have posted seven consecutive 20-win seasons.

"I have watched with interest the recent success and the NCAA Tournament appearances the past six years," Kennedy said in a statement. "I look forward to meeting the team and working toward a seventh NCAA bid as well as even deeper tournament runs."

Texas A&M's defense has been a hallmark of its recent success and Byrne believes Kennedy can build on that strength.

"His players play hard for him and they play an aggressive style of defense," Byrne said. "He has proven he can recruit nationwide, but I look for him to make more inroads here in the state of Texas."

Track and field

Boevers wins 2nd straight SEC discus title

Senior Colin Boevers led the Kentucky men's track and field team to a seventh-place finish at the Southeastern Conference Outdoor Championships with his second-straight discus title on Sunday at the Spec Towns Track in Athens, Ga. The women's squad finished eighth with 42 points, highlighted by senior Mary Angell's 14 total points accumulated in the discus and shot put.

Boevers used a career-best throw of 196 feet (59.74 meters) to on his opening throw to take the title. Kentucky has won four-straight discus SEC titles — Chase Madison won in 2008, followed by Rashaud Scott in 2009.

softball

Kentucky, Louisville get at-large bids

Both Kentucky and Louisville made it into the NCAA Softball Tournament field with at-large bids.

Louisville will host one of 16 regionals starting Friday. The Cardinals (36-18) will play Illinois-Chicago (25-22) and California (39-10) will play Jacksonville State (39-19).

Kentucky (36-14) heads to Ann Arbor, Mich., to play Notre Dame (45-9) at 5:30 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN2. Host Michigan (51-4) will play Western Michigan (25-28).

Minor-League baseball

Legends' doubleheader starting early

Sunday's game between the Lexington Legends and the Asheville Tourists was postponed due to rain. The Legends and Tourists will play a doubleheader Monday at Whitaker Bank Ballpark. The first of two seven-inning games will begin at 10:05 a.m. The second game will begin about 30 minutes after the completion of the first game.

■ Former University of Kentucky and Henry Clay star Collin Cowgill hit his sixth home run of the season in Triple-A Reno's 14-11 loss to Iowa on Sunday. The Diamondbacks prospect was 2-for-4 and is hitting .313 with 18 RBI and eight stolen bases in 35 games.

NHL

Canucks rally past Sharks in Game 1

Defenseman Kevin Bieksa tied it 7:02 into the third period, Henrik Sedin scored on a power play 1:19 later, and the Vancouver Canucks came back to open their first Western Conference finals in 17 years with a 3-2 victory over the visiting San Jose Sharks.

Maxim Lapierre scored his first of these playoffs, and Roberto Luongo made 27 saves — and a brutal first period giveaway — for the Canucks. Game 2 is Wednesday night in Vancouver.

Auto racing

Rain washes out Indy 500 practice

Rain washed out the second day of Indianapolis 500 practice. Sunday's practice was scheduled to start at noon. But a consistent mist in central Indiana kept the track damp, and with the forecast calling for more rain throughout the afternoon, track workers didn't even bother to try to dry the track. About 75 minutes into the scheduled six-hour practice session, officials called it off. Practice is scheduled to resume Monday through Friday this week. Qualifying will be held May 21-22, with the race scheduled to be run May 29.

The last word

No. 1 draft pick Cam Newton, to the Charlotte Observer, on his NFL prospects with the Carolina Panthers:

"It's not something that's going to be instant, like instant grits. It's more like collard greens that need to sit and wait."

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