Other Sports

Sports briefs: April 19

UK SPORTS

McDonald's All-American considering UK women's team

One of the top high school basketball players in the nation from a year ago is planning to leave Northwestern and has suggested that Kentucky could be her desired destination.

Scout.com first reported that Morgan Jones, a 6-foot-2 swing player, told her coaches and teammates on Sunday that she's planning to transfer. The 2011 McDonald's All-American confirmed her departure via Twitter on Wednesday night and said she's planning visits soon to Louisiana State, Kentucky and Florida State.

Out of St. Mary High School in Florida, Jones was the No. 11 prospect in the nation, according to ESPN's Hoopgurlz.com.

As a freshman at Northwestern, she started 29 of 30 games and was second on the team in scoring, averaging 13.9 points, six rebounds and 3.3 assists for the Wildcats, who went 14-16 last season.

If Jones were to land at Kentucky, she would become the team's sixth McDonald's All-American. The others on the roster are DeNesha Stallworth, Samarie Walker, Bria Goss and Jennifer O'Neill. UK signee Janee Thompson was a McDonald's All-American this season.

Softball Cats sweep Ole Miss

The Kentucky softball team swept host Mississippi in a doubleheader Wednesday, winning the first game 3-1 and the nightcap 8-0. Freshman Griffin Joiner and junior Alice O'Brien combined for seven hits and six RBI as UK won its fifth consecutive series in the rivalry. UK senior pitchers Chanda Bell and Rachel Riley each went the distance. The Wildcats improved to 23-23, 10-9 in the Southeastern Conference.

■ The 11th-seeded Kentucky women's tennis team will face No. 6 seed South Carolina on Thursday in the first round of the SEC Tournament in Oxford, Miss. The winner will face Georgia in the quarterfinals Friday.

■ The No. 1-seeded Kentucky men's tennis team received a first-round bye in the SEC Tournament in Oxford and will play Friday against the LSU-Vanderbilt winner.

NBA

Bulls send Bobcats to 18th loss in row

Richard Hamilton scored 22 points in just 24 minutes as the visiting Chicago Bulls took a step closer to wrapping up the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs with a 100-68 rout of the dreadful Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night. Despite playing without leading scorers Derrick Rose and Luol Deng, the Bulls sent the Bobcats to a franchise-record 18th straight loss. If the Bobcats lose their final five games they will finish with the worst winning percentage in NBA history.

LeBron James scored 28 points before taking the fourth quarter off, Mike Miller added 13 points and the host Miami Heat continued tuning up for the postseason by pulling away in the second half to beat the Toronto Raptors 96-72. The Raptors tied a franchise-worst with 23 points in the second half.

Jrue Holiday made five three-pointers and scored 19 of his 24 points in the third quarter as the Philadelphia 76ers kept their hold on a playoff spot with a 103-87 win over the host Cleveland Cavaliers. Cavs rookie Kyrie Irving scored nine points in his first game back after missing nine straight with a sprained shoulder.

Jordan Crawford equaled a season-high with 32 points, and former UK star John Wall had 14 points and 10 assists as the host Washington Wizards dealt the Milwaukee Bucks a 121-112 defeat in their bid to make the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Tracy McGrady led six players in double figures and the playoff-bound Atlanta Hawks built a 37-point lead in the first half on the way to a 116-84 rout of the visiting Detroit Pistons.

■ Mavericks guard Delonte West was fined $25,000 by the NBA for jabbing his finger into the ear of Jazz guard Gordon Hayward during a game Monday. The NBA issued the fine Wednesday, calling it a "physical taunt." West had been called for fouling Hayward away from the ball then walked after him to give him what he called a "wet willy."

■ A Bobcats executive confirmed there was an altercation Sunday night in the locker room between Coach Paul Silas and forward Tyrus Thomas. According to a report by Yahoo!, Silas took exception to Thomas for fraternizing with some Boston Celtics players and yelled at him after the game. Shouting ensued and the 68-year-old Silas shoved Thomas toward his locker stall and the two were separated.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Brown interested in SMU job

Larry Brown is serious about getting back to coaching and the vacancy at SMU. Brown said Wednesday that he hasn't yet been offered the job, but had spoken again with SMU athletic director Steve Orsini since they first met on Monday. The 71-year-old Hall of Fame coach said he expected his longtime agent, Joe Glass, to have further conversations with Orsini. SMU, which is moving from Conference USA to the Big East in 2013, fired Matt Doherty last month after six seasons. The Mustangs haven't won an NCAA Tournament game since 1988, the year Brown led Kansas to the national championship in his last season as a college coach.

C.J. Leslie is returning to North Carolina State for his junior season, a decision that will make the Wolfpack one of the favorites in the Atlantic Coast Conference next year. The 6-foot-8 forward averaged a team-best 14.7 points and was second with 7.3 rebounds per game.

■ The Toledo men's basketball team will be banned from next year's postseason because of past academic problems after the NCAA denied the school's appeal. The ban stems from several years of below-standard scores on the NCAA's Academic Performance Rate that a year ago cost Toledo three scholarships.

NHL

Coyote's Torres suspended for Hossa hit

The NHL suspended Phoenix Coyotes forward Raffi Torres indefinitely on Wednesday for knocking Chicago's Marian Hossa out of the game — and maybe the playoffs — with a shoulder blow to the head. Hossa won't play in Game 4 on Thursday with the Coyotes leading the series 2-1. He was at home resting, exchanging texts with his Blackhawks teammates less than 24 hours after he was carried off the ice on a stretcher and taken to a hospital. The hard knock by Torres was the latest in a first round that has been dominated by brawls and violent hits. The NHL scheduled a Friday hearing in New York for a player who has a reputation for big — and some say dirty — hits.

SOCCER

Manchester United worth $2.2 billion

Manchester United's valuation has soared by 20 percent to $2.24 billion as it was ranked football's most valuable club for the eighth year in a row by Forbes magazine. Taking into account income, profitability and debt levels, the English champions remain ahead of Spanish rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona despite exiting the Champions League early this season. United has so far fought off big-spending rival Manchester City to remain on course to defend its Premier League title.

The last word

Former baseball slugger Jose Canseco, on Twitter:

"Would love to host SNL and would donate pay to greenpeace. Does anyone know how to contact Lorne Greene ? Please help me make it happen! Hugs."

(Presumably, he meant Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels. Lorne Greene of Bonanza fame died in 1987.)

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