WNBA: Tiffany Hayes scored 23 points, Angel McCoughtry had 18 points and the Atlanta Dream beat the Indiana Fever 84-79 on Thursday night for a 1-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.
Armintie Herrington finished with 16 points, grabbed seven rebounds and had five assists for the Dream. Erika de Souza had 10 points.
Tamika Catchings led the Fever with 21 points, while Erlana Larkins had a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Briann January (Lewis and Clark HS) was held to four points.
It’s the third straight year the teams have faced each other in the East finals.
Game 2 is at Indiana on Sunday. The Dream split their two games at Indiana in the regular season.
• Lynx take advantage over Mercury: Lindsay Whalen and Maya Moore scored 20 points apiece and Seimone Augustus added 18 to lead the Minnesota Lynx to an 85-62 win in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals in Minneapolis.
Diana Taurasi scored 15 and Brittney Griner had 13 points and six rebounds for the Mercury, who now face a must-win situation in Game 2 in Phoenix on Sunday.
Minnesota’s 12-2 playoff record at Target Center is the best postseason home-court advantage in WNBA history, and the Lynx swept Phoenix in the conference finals en route to winning the 2011 league title.
• January, Vandersloot among invitees to Team USA camp: Lewis and Clark HS graduate Briann January (Indiana Fever) and former Gonzaga University standout Courtney Vandersloot (Chicago Sky) were two of 33 players invited to the U.S. women’s basketball national team training camp that will take place the first weekend of October in Las Vegas, joining three-time Olympic gold medalists Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi and Tamika Catchings.
Also among the invitees are WNBA rookies Brittney Griner, Elena Delle Donne and Skylar Diggins.
Joining the veterans are seven college athletes, including four of U.S. coach Geno Auriemma’s own UConn players. Stefanie Dolson, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Bria Hartley and Breanna Stewart are joined by Maryland’s Alyssa Thomas, Notre Dame’s Kayla McBride, and Baylor’s Odyssey Sims.
Hanzel claims USGA Senior Amateur title
Golf: Doug Hanzel won the USGA Senior Amateur, beating Pat O’Donnell 3 and 2 in the championship match at Wade Hampton Golf Club in Cashiers, N.C.
Earlier in the rain-delayed semifinals, Hanzel beat Chip Lutz 3 and 2, and O’Donnell edged Buzz Fly 2 and 1.
• Port wins USGA Senior Women’s Amatuer: Ellen Port successfully defended her Senior Women’s Amateur title for her sixth U.S. Golf Association victory.
Port beat Susan Cohn 3 and 2 on at CordeValle in San Martin, Calif.
• Hall opens Web.com Tour Championship with 63: Down to his last chance to earn a PGA Tour card, Ashley Hall birdied two of his last three holes for a 7-under 63 on the Valley Course at the TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., to take a one-shot lead after the first round of the Web.com Tour Championship.
The Web.com Tour Championship is the last of four tournaments for 25 players to earn PGA Tour cards based on a money list from those events.
Spokane’s Alex Prugh, who has already earned a card but is competing for tour position, shot a 73.
Brown, Ivory lead Poly past Portland St.
College football: Chris Brown threw two touchdown passes to help Cal Poly score 24 straight second-half points and the Mustangs beat host Portland State 38-34 in the Big Sky opener for both teams.
Brown was 6 of 18 for 87 yards and ran for 129 yards on 21 carries. Big Sky rushing leader Kristaan Ivory ran for 184 yards and a touchdown in 32 attempts for the Mustangs (2-2). The Vikings fell to 3-2.
Panthers sold to New York businessman
Hockey: A person familiar with the situation says the Florida Panthers have been sold to New York businessman Vincent Viola.
Viola will be introduced today. He’s paying $250 million to buy the NHL franchise.
Viola is the chairman and CEO of Virtu Financial and the former chairman of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
• Panthers ink Thomas to deal: Stanley Cup-winning goalie, Tim Thomas, signed a one-year contract with the Florida Panthers. Financial terms were not released.
The 39-year-old Thomas took last season off, then decided he was ready to return to hockey. Thomas has played in 378 NHL games, all with Boston.
• Rangers, Stepan agree on contract: Derek Stepan is back in the fold with the New York Rangers, agreeing to a two-year contract that should have him back on the ice in time for the season opener.
He had been seeking $3.5 million per season, while the Rangers were offering around $3 million. The new deal is for a total of $6.15 million – $2.3 million this season and $3.85 million in 2014-15.
• Sharks’ Torres has surgery: San Jose forward Raffi Torres has undergone surgery to repair a torn ACL in his right knee which was injured in a collision with Anaheim forward Emerson Etem last Friday.
General manager Doug Wilson says Torres is expected back later this season.
Venus advances to semifinals in Tokyo
Miscellany: Venus Williams beat Canadian teen Eugenie Bouchard 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-3 to advance to the Pan Pacific Open semifinals in Tokyo.
Williams will face Petra Kvitova in the semifinals. The seventh-seeded Czech beat Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4, 6-1.
Also, fourth-seeded Caroline Wozniacki beat Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 to set up a semifinal with fifth-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany, who ousted second-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 6-4, 6-4.
• Mills returns to Knicks front office: Steve Mills is returning to the NBA’s New York Knicks as president and general manager, replacing Glen Grunwald in a front-office shake-up just days before the start of training camp.
Mills spent a decade as an executive at Madison Square Garden. He left MSG in 2009 after the arrival of Donnie Walsh as Knicks president.
Grunwald replaced Walsh in 2011. The Knicks said in a release that Grunwald will remain with the organization as an adviser.