Pitch clock violation costs the Braves a walk-off walk
Baseball’s new rules designed to improve pace of play are coming fast at everyone, particularly the players. The most dramatic moment of the new pitch clock era arrived on the first full day of spring games. Cal Conley of the Atlanta Braves thought he had won the game with a two-out, bases-loaded walk-off walk. He took a few steps toward first base with bat in hand when umpire John Libka indicated strike three. Conley wasn’t set in the box as the clock wound under eight seconds. The penalty is an automatic strike,
Arizona State stuns No. 7 Arizona 89-88 on Cambridge’s heave
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Desmond Cambridge Jr. hit a 60-foot shot at the buzzer and Arizona State rallied from a 10-point deficit to beat No. 7 Arizona 89-88. The Sun Devils went up 86-85 on Warren Washington’s layup with just a minute left, but Pelle Larsson put Arizona back up on a layup with 29 seconds left. Arizona State’s DJ Horne missed a jumper with 4 seconds left and the Sun Devils had a final shot after Oumar Ballo hit 1 of 2 free throws. Cambridge left the fans at McKale Center stunned, launching a shot from beyond half court that sent his teammates charging onto the floor in celebration.
Miller leads No. 2 Alabama following pregame pat-down intro
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Brandon Miller scored 24 points and Mark Sears made 7 of 8 free throws over the final 1:04 to help No. 2 Alabama secure an 86-83 victory over Arkansas. Miller delivered his second straight huge game for the Crimson Tide since police alleged in testimony that Miller brought a gun to former teammate Darius Miles, who is charged with capital murder in a fatal shooting. Arkansas freshman Nick Smith Jr. led the Razorbacks with 24 points.
Westbrook goes from Lakers’ bench to being Clippers’ starter
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Russell Westbrook not only switched locker rooms at Crypto.com Arena. He went from being on the bench to a return to the starting lineup. Los Angeles Clippers coach Tyronn Lue didn’t waste much time seeing how well Westbrook would mesh with his new team. The eight-time All-Star signed after he cleared waivers on Wednesday and was the starting point guard for Friday night’s game against the Sacramento Kings. Westbrook’s Clippers debut was overshadowed in what ended up being the second-highest-scoring game in NBA history. He had 17 points, 14 assists and five rebounds in 39 minutes during the Clippers’ 176-175 loss in double overtime.
Kirk battles, takes 2-shot lead into final round at Honda
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Chris Kirk’s last win on the PGA Tour was nearly eight years ago. He has put himself in a position to change that at the Honda Classic. Kirk battled his way to a 4-under round of 66 on Saturday, putting him at 13-under 197 for the week and giving him a two-shot lead over Eric Cole (66) through three rounds at PGA National. His last win on tour was at Colonial in 2015 — 180 tournaments ago. He’s a four-time winner on tour, played in the Presidents Cup in 2015, and has been waiting to hoist a trophy again since.
Dixon leads Villanova past No. 19 Creighton 79-67
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Eric Dixon scored 18 of his career-high 31 points in the first half, Cam Whitmore added 17 and Villanova defeated No. 19 Creighton 79-67. Dixon also set a career high with six 3-pointers for Villanova, which has won five of six. Arthur Kaluma scored 19 points and Ryan Kalkbrenner had 18 for Creighton. The Bluejays have lost three of four following an eight-game winning streak.
FSU rallies from 25 down, stuns No. 13 Miami 85-84
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Matthew Cleveland’s 3-pointer as time expired capped Florida State’s comeback from a 25-point second-half deficit and the Seminoles stunned No. 13 Miami 85-84. Jordan Miller had given Miami the lead on a 3-pointer with 4.9 seconds left. But Cleveland let fly from about 25 feet, and the ball swished to give the Seminoles their best moment of the season. They ended Miami’s seven-game winning streak and denied the Hurricanes a perfect season at home; Miami was 15-0 at the Watsco Center entering Saturday.
No. 8 Utah beats No. 3 Stanford to share 1st Pac-12 title
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Gianna Kneepkens scored 28 points to lead No. 8 Utah to an 84-78 victory over No. 3 Stanford that gave the Utes a share of their first regular-season Pac-12 Conference title. Alissa Pili finished with 14 points and Kennedy McQueen had 10 for Utah, which shares the conference title with Stanford. Hannah Jump led Stanford with 24 points. Cameron Brink had 14 points, 12 rebounds and six assists for the Cardinal, while Haley Jones added nine points and eight rebounds.
MLBPA’s Tony Clark says rising payrolls good for game
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — A handful of free-spending owners in Major League Baseball have made some of the game’s other owners a little nervous. Tony Clark doesn’t mind that development one bit. The players’ union head said “baseball is doing well” on Saturday at the union’s new facility in Scottsdale, Arizona. Clark’s perspective isn’t shared by all. There’s a group of MLB owners who believe that a recent jump in free agent spending has hurt smaller market teams, like the Pirates, remain competitive. It’s one of the reasons MLB recently formed an economic reform committee.
Cardinals’ Marmol says umpire C.B. Bucknor ‘has zero class’
JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — St. Louis Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said umpire C.B. Bucknor “has zero class” for refusing to shake his hand during the lineup card exchange at home plate before a game against the Washington Nationals. Marmol was seeing Bucknor for the first time since being ejected in a contentious dispute Aug. 21 in Arizona. Marmol called it a matter of respect.