AP Sports SummaryBrief at 4:58 p.m. EST

Sports

Scandals highlight lack of women coaches at top of US soccer

Few women are coaching at the top of American soccer — a result of how the sport offers scarce opportunities for female players and imposes a high price on coaching licenses. The shortage of qualified women was highlighted by a glut of vacancies created by men who were pushed out of the sport. When scandal rocked the National Women’s Soccer League in 2021, five male coaches were dismissed or forced to resign because of misconduct or harassment. Today, just three women hold head coaching jobs in the 12-team league. Five coaches, all men, are embarking on their first season with their teams this year.

Chiefs’ Reid: Mahomes ‘going to play’ vs Cincy for AFC title

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Monday that Patrick Mahomes will play in the AFC championship game against the Bengals. He also said the high ankle sprain that the All-Pro quarterback sustained over the weekend against the Jaguars is less severe than the one he played through during the 2019 season opener. Mahomes was hurt in the first quarter of Saturday’s win over Jacksonville when pass rusher Arden Key landed heavily on his right ankle. Mahomes finished off the drive but was hobbling badly, and Reid and the training staff forced him to get an X-ray that came back negative. He had an MRI on Sunday that revealed the extent of the injury.

Analysis: Defense still wins in the NFL playoffs

Defense stills wins in the NFL playoffs. The San Francisco 49ers and Cincinnati Bengals advanced to the conference championship games with excellent defensive performances on Sunday. The Philadelphia Eagles also had a standout defensive effort Saturday night. While high-flying offenses led by star quarterbacks get most of the attention, defense matters. It was evident in the NFL divisional round this weekend. The Bengals will meet the Chiefs again in a rematch of last year’s AFC championship game that was won by Cincinnati. Burrow is 3-0 against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. Next up for the 49ers is a trip to Philadelphia to face one of the league’s most well-rounded offenses in the NFC championship game.

Rolen could become just 18th third baseman in Hall of Fame

NEW YORK (AP) — Scott Rolen could become just the 18th third baseman elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame, the fewest of any position. A seven-time All-Star who retired after the 2012 season, Rolen is one of the top contenders among 28 players in this year’s Baseball Writers’ Association of America vote that will be announced Tuesday night. The three leading contenders in this year’s vote are first baseman Todd Helton at 79.6%, Rolen at 79% and reliever Billy Wagner at 73.5%, according to Ryan Thibodaux’s Hall of Fame Ballot Tracker.

AP source: Lakers acquiring Rui Hachimura from Wizards

A person familiar with the negotiations says the Los Angeles Lakers are acquiring former lottery pick Rui Hachimura from the Washington Wizards in exchange for Kendrick Nunn and a package of second-round draft picks. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade has not been finalized and approved by the NBA. The person said the teams are working under the expectation that the deal will be completed later Monday. Hachimura and the Wizards didn’t agree on a rookie extension before the season started. That prompted speculation that the Japanese power forward wouldn’t be in their long-term plans.

With Djokovic’s leg OK, he sees Australian title realistic

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — It took about a week for Novak Djokovic to go from worrying about whether he simply could play a match at all on his injured left hamstring to thinking he can win the Australian Open. And one pain-free, nearly perfect performance in the fourth round has made a world of difference. Djokovic now says he thinks he “can go all the way” to a 10th championship at Melbourne Park and 22nd Grand Slam trophy overall. He beat 22nd-seeded Alex de Minaur 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 to reach the quarterfinals. The 35-year-old from Serbia looked like his usual flexible, court-covering, dominant self at Rod Laver Arena and said he felt “fantastic.”

Purdue back at No. 1 in AP Top 25, Alabama right behind

Purdue is back at No. 1 in the AP Top 25. Alabama is right behind the Boilermakers. Purdue returned to the top spot in The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll, moving up two spots after Houston’s loss to Temple. The Boilermakers received 39 first-place votes after a volatile week where just two teams kept the same spot from a week ago. Alabama climbed two spots to No. 2, its highest ranking since reaching No. 1 in 2002-03. Houston, Tennessee and Kansas State round out the top five.

In a first, women’s AP Top 25 has no teams from Texas

For the first time in the 47-year history of The Associated Press women’s basketball poll no team from Texas is in the Top 25. That ends a 835-week run dating to the first poll in 1976. South Carolina remained a unanimous No. 1. The Gamecocks were followed by Ohio State, Stanford, LSU and UConn to round out the top five. Middle Tennessee entered the poll for the first time since 2014, coming in at No. 23. Florida State also entered at No. 24. Oregon and Texas fell out of the rankings.

Georgia football transfer Thomas arrested on felony charge

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — A wide receiver who recently transferred to Georgia from Mississippi State has been arrested on felony and misdemeanor charges. Clarke County jail records show that Rodarius “Rara” Thomas was booked early Monday on a felony charge of false imprisonment and a misdemeanor count of family violence battery and was later released on $1,850 bond. Thomas was arrested by University of Georgia police. Other details were not immediately available. Thomas was Mississippi State’s leading receiver last season, with 626 receiving yards on 44 catches and seven touchdowns. He announced his transfer to Georgia in December shortly before the Bulldogs won their second straight national championship.

49ers defense steps up in divisional-round win

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers defense hadn’t been playing up to its usual high level in recent weeks, allowing a few too many big plays. On a day when the offense struggled to produce, the Niners defense responded with a signature performance that sent them back to the NFC championship game. Fred Warner had one of San Francisco’s two interceptions against Dak Prescott and the Niners allowed only one touchdown in a 19-12 divisional-round win over the Dallas Cowboys. The 49ers will try to build on that performance when they visit Philadelphia for the NFC title game.