February 28, 2012 in Sports

Notre Dame women wrap up Big East

 
Associated Press photo

Notre Dame’s Brittany Mallory (22) celebrates with teammates after her team’s 72-59 victory over Connecticut.
(Full-size photo)

Women’s basketball: Natalie Novosel scored 21 points and Skylar Diggins added 20 to help No. 3 Notre Dame beat fourth-ranked Connecticut 72-59 on Monday night at Hartford, Conn., and win the Big East regular season championship.

It’s Notre Dame’s first outright conference title. The Fighting Irish shared the regular-season championship with UConn in 2001 before going on to win the national title.

The Irish (28-2, 15-1 Big East) had already clinched the top seed in the Big East tournament that begins Friday by virtue of the conference’s tiebreaker. The Huskies fell to third in the conference, losing the tiebreaker to St. John’s, which ended UConn’s 99-game home winning streak on Feb. 18.

Tiffany Hayes scored 22 points and Stefanie Dolson added 18 for UConn (26-4, 13-3), which has now lost consecutive games at home for the first time in 19 years.

The Irish swept the season series from the Huskies and have won three straight overall against UConn, including last season’s victory in the national semifinals. North Carolina was the last team to win three in a row from UConn, doing so from 2004-07.

This was the first time in six seasons that UConn didn’t win or share the Big East regular season title.

No. 1 Baylor edges Texas A&M: Brittney Griner and Odyssey Sims scored 25 points each and top-ranked Baylor used a late run to hold off No. 17 Texas A&M for a 69-62 win at College Station, Texas.

The Lady Bears have matched the 2009-10 Nebraska team for the best start in conference history and have their second straight 30-win season.

No. 11 Georgetown victorious over Irish

Men’s basketball: Playing at home for the last time, Jason Clark and Henry Sims combined for 25 points, 12 rebounds and six assists on “Senior Day,” helping No. 11 Georgetown beat No. 20 Notre Dame 59-41 at Washington, in a key game for Big East tournament seeding.

Clark finished with 13 points and six rebounds, while Sims had 12 points and five assists. While they have led the way all season for Georgetown (22-6, 12-5) on a roster with 10 freshmen and sophomores, there was plenty of help from the youngsters, as usual.

Greg Whittington contributed 15 points on 5 of 6 shooting, including 3 of 3 on 3-pointers, and another freshman, Otto Porter, had 10 rebounds.

Notre Dame (20-10, 12-5) lost its second straight following a school-record, nine-game Big East winning streak. It made 3 of 17 3-point attempts, after going 4 of 31 in a loss at St. John’s on Saturday.

Kansas clinches Big 12 title: Tyshawn Taylor scored 27 points, Thomas Robinson added 17 points and 11 rebounds and No. 3 Kansas claimed the Big 12 title outright by beating Oklahoma State 70-58 at Stillwater, Okla.

Taylor scored 10 straight points in the final 5 minutes to close it out, ensuring that the Jayhawks (25-5, 15-2) wouldn’t suffer a similar fate as in their last two visits to Gallagher-Iba.

Keiton Page hit seven 3-pointers and scored 29 points in his final home game for the Cowboys (14-16, 7-10).

Lundqvist leads Rangers past Devils

NHL: Henrik Lundqvist knows all about 30-win seasons.

He already held the NHL record by hitting the mark in each of his first six seasons. With yet another shutout, King Henrik is now a perfect 7 for 7.

Lundqvist had a relatively quiet night, but he had the slimmest of margins to work with. Carl Hagelin scored late in the first period, and Lundqvist stopped all 13 shots New Jersey fired in the New York Rangers’ 2-0 victory.

Lundqvist (30-12-4), who entered with the league’s lowest goals-against average in February, dropped it even further as he posted his NHL-best eighth shutout of the season and the 43rd of his career. He made a lunging glove snare with 2:26 left to rob Ilya Kovalchuk and secure the milestone victory.

“It means that things have been going well, but it also means that I played for a club that’s given me an opportunity to play a lot,” Lundqvist said. “I have a pretty good team in front of me, as well. I’m happy I reached it again.

Predators stay hot with win over Kings: Pekka Rinne made 30 saves in leading the Nashville Predators to a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings at Nashville, Tenn.

Roman Josi and Patric Hornqvist scored for Nashville, which has won four of its last five.

Dustin Brown had the lone goal for Los Angeles. The sliding Kings have lost five of six. They had defeated Nashville in their three previous trips to Music City.

Rinne’s 35 wins this season are a career high and lead the NHL. The Predators have won 17 of their last 21 home games and are 10-0-2 in their last 12.

Bryant’s nose to be further evaluated

NBA: The Los Angeles Lakers say Kobe Bryant has a “nasal fracture” after he was smacked in the nose by Dwyane Wade during the NBA All-Star game on Sunday.

The team said on its website that a CT scan revealed the extent of the injury, and the star guard will be re-evaluated by an ear, nose and throat specialist when he returns to Los Angeles.

Wade told reporters “I obviously didn’t try to draw no blood, but I took a foul. Kobe fouled me two times in a row, so he’s still got one up on me. But I’m glad that everything was cool and we got back to being competitive and having fun.”

Bryant had 27 points and passed Michael Jordan as the highest-scoring player in All-Star games. He has 271 career points.

Philadelphia’s Hawes out: Center Spencer Hawes will miss at least the next two weeks because of a strained left Achilles that has forced him to sit out the Philadelphia 76ers’ last nine games.

The Atlantic Division-leading Sixers have lost five straight games. They are 12-2 with Hawes in the lineup, 8-12 without him. The 7-footer is averaging 10.5 points and a team-high 8.3 rebounds.

Sounders women sign Morgan

Soccer: Two weeks after signing U.S. national team goalkeeper Hope Solo, the Seattle Sounders women have added another national star to their roster.

The Sounders women announced they have signed star forward Alex Morgan for the 2012 season.

The Sounders are part of the W-League and affiliated with the United Soccer Leagues (USL). Seattle plays in the Western Conference of the 27-team league. Morgan’s signing is still pending approval.

The 22-year-old Morgan has 32 appearances and 16 goals for the national team since making her debut in 2010. She played for the Western New York Flash in the Women’s Professional Soccer league a year ago.

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