Li beats Bouchard to reach third Australian Open final
Tennis: Li Na has advanced to her third Australian Open final and will have to beat Dominika Cibulkova to win her first title at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia.
No. 4-seeded Li had a 6-2, 6-4 win over 19-year-old Canadian Eugenie Bouchard in the first semifinal Thursday before No. 20-seeded Cibulkova trounced 2012 Wimbledon finalist Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1, 6-2.
Li, the 2011 French Open champion, was the only major winner and the highest-ranked player in the semifinals after the fourth-round upsets of Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova and defending champion Victoria Azarenka’s quarterfinal loss to Radwanska.
Cibulkova has been the biggest surprise of the tournament, reaching the first Grand Slam final of her career. The diminutive Slovakian has won all but one of her matches in straight sets – her upset fourth-round win over Maria Sharapova went to three.
Red Wings outshoot Blackhawks
NHL: Darren Helm scored on Detroit’s sixth attempt in the shootout and Jonas Gustavsson stopped Andrew Shaw’s shot, lifting Detroit to a 5-4 win over the visiting Chicago Blackhawks.
Chicago captain Jonathan Toews scored on his team’s first attempt in the shootout and Patrick Sharp scored on the second before Patrick Kane was stopped with a chance to win the game.
Gophers take down No. 9 Badgers
Men’s basketball: DeAndre Mathieu and Mo Walker each scored 18 points to push Minnesota (15-5, 4-3 Big Ten) to an 81-68 victory over No. 9 Wisconsin (16-3, 3-3) in Minneapolis, the Badgers’ third straight loss.
Malik Smith added 14 points, including the exclamatory, shot-clock beating 3-pointer with 39 seconds left. Austin Hollins had 11 points and four steals for the Golden Gophers.
• Richmond upends UMass: Kendall Anthony scored 21 points, including his first four 3-point attempts, and the Richmond Spiders (13-6, 3-1 Atlantic 10) hung on in the final minute for a 58-55 win over the No. 13 Massachusetts Minutemen (16-2, 3-1) in Richmond, Va.
Sampson Carter had 15 points to lead UMass. • Saint Louis holds off Duquesne: Mike McCall scored 13 points, including two free throws with 13 seconds remaining, as the No. 19 Saint Louis Billikens (18-2, 5-0 Atlantic 10) avoided an upset by holding on to a 76-72 victory over the Duquesne Dukes (8-9, 1-5) in Pittsburgh.
• Michigan beats Iowa; remains perfect in Big Ten: Nik Stauskas scored 26 points, and the No. 21 Michigan Wolverines (14-4, 6-0 Big Ten) held on for a 75-67 win over the No. 10 Iowa Hawkeyes (15-4, 4-2) in Ann Arbor, Mich.
The Wolverines face third-ranked Michigan State (18-1, 7-0) Saturday in East Lansing.
NBA: Gerald Wallace made a driving layup with 2.5 seconds left in overtime and the Boston Celtics broke a 10-game road losing streak with a 113-111 win over the Wizards in Washington.
Jeff Green scored a season-high 39 points, including career-highs in 3-pointers attempted (16) and made (8), and rookie Phil Pressey added a career-high 20 points for Boston. The Celtics blew a 19-point first-half lead before winning for the second time in 14 games.
• Thunder top Spurs; reclaim west’s best record: Kevin Durant had 36 points to offset Tony Parker’s season-high 37, and the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder (33-10) survived a testy 111-105 victory over the San Antonio Spurs (32-10), reclaiming the West’s best record with their third win this season over the defending Western Conference champions.
• Bulls shut down Deng, Cavs: D.J. Augustin scored 27 points in a start for Kirk Hinrich and Taj Gibson matched a career high with 26 filling in for Carlos Boozer as the Chicago Bulls improved to 7-2 since trading Luol Deng with a 98-87 win over the Cavaliers at Cleveland.
Deng went just 2 of 11 from the field in his first game against Chicago.
• Kings lose Gay, Cousins: The Sacramento Kings struggled in a 119-98 loss to the Houston Rockets after losing top scorers Rudy Gay (left Achilles tendon) and DeMarcus Cousins (left ankle) to injuries before halftime.
Ski jumping teams announced
Miscellany: 29-year-old Lindsey Van, who won the inaugural 2009 world championships, joins Olympic Trials winner Jessica Jerome, 26, and Sarah Hendrickson, 19, on the U.S. women’s ski jumping team that will debut in Sochi.
The men’s team includes first-time Olympian Nick Fairall, who won the Olympic Trials in Park City, Utah, in December, as well as Nick Alexander, Peter Frenette and Anders Johnson.