NCAA

Saint Mary's takes bad loss to LMU, 75-60

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Saint Mary's takes bad loss to LMU, 75-60

BOX SCORE
MORAGA -- Drew Viney scored 17 points, Anthony Ireland had 16 and Loyola Marymount bounced back from one of its most lopsided losses of the season to beat No. 21 Saint Mary's 75-60 on Wednesday night.Jarred Dubois added 15 points and Ashley Hamilton had 11 for the Lions (17-10, 10-4 West Coast Conference), who silenced a capacity crowd at McKeon Pavilion with a huge road win that significantly tightened the conference race.The 10 conference wins are the most by Loyola Marymount since the 1989-90 Bo Kimble-led Lions made it to the regional finals of the NCAA tournament.

It was the first loss in 17 home games for the first-place Gaels (23-4, 12-2), who saw their lead over No. 24 Gonzaga trimmed to one game.Rob Jones had 25 points and 15 rebounds for Saint Mary's, which lost starting guard Stephen Holt to a right knee injury in the first half.The game was reminiscent of the Gaels' late-season conference loss to unranked San Diego a year ago, which prevented Saint Mary's from clinching the outright conference title.Some also believe it was the pivotal factor in the Gaels not receiving an at-large invitation to the NCAA tournament, something that has to weigh on coach Randy Bennett's mind with only three games left on the schedule.Loyola Marymount, on the other hand, is riding high only less than a week after losing to No. 24 Gonzaga by 19 points.The Lions snapped their 11-game losing streak to Saint Mary's with an aggressive, effective defense that kept the Gaels from getting any kind of interior game going and an offense that repeatedly scored off offensive rebounds to keep the overflow crowd silent.Saint Mary's shot just 6 of 28 from 3-point range, including 1 of 13 in the second half.Ireland got the Lions going early but it was Viney, the team's leading scorer, and Hamilton who came up big in the second half. Viney made a 3-pointer to give Loyola Marymount a 52-42 lead with 9:24 left then later put an emphatic stamp on the win with a soaring one-handed dunk from the baseline while Hamilton scored six points in the final 5 1-2 minutes.That helped the Lions improve to 9-3 on the road this season, a big accomplishment for a team that has been beset by injuries to several key players this season.Even when Ireland went to the bench because of foul trouble late in the second half, Loyola Marymount didn't flinch.Saint Mary's could have clinched an automatic spot in the semifinals of the conference tournament by beating Loyola Marymount. Instead it was the Lions who improved their postseason outlook while trimming the Gaels' lead in the WCC to one game over Gonzaga.It was a rough night all around for Bennett's squad.Holt left the game and needed to use crutches after the game while Matthew Dellavedova rolled his ankle and was limping noticeably.Dellavedova finished with 10 points and six assists.The Gaels missed five of their first six shots but came back to take a 13-11 lead on Jones' 3-pointer with 12:25 left that had the standing room only crowd at McKeon Pavilion roaring.Officials called a timeout to review Jones' shot and the brief delay seemed to bother Saint Mary's, which fell back into its offensive funk over the next 6 minutes.Loyola Marymount, which hadn't beaten the Gaels since the semifinals of the WCC tournament in 2006, scored the next 10 points and went ahead 30-20 on Ashley Hamilton's free throw.The conference leader in steals, Holt limped off the court shortly after getting caught in a pile while scrambling for a loose ball and spent the second half on the end of the bench with his right knee wrapped in a thick bag of ice.Without one of its top defenders and the team's third-leading scorer, Saint Mary's struggled to find any consistency on either end of the court.The Gaels made two brief runs in the second half but couldn't get closer than five points.

Louisville has 'effectively fired' head coach Rick Pitino

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AP

Louisville has 'effectively fired' head coach Rick Pitino

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville has placed coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich on administrative leave amid a federal bribery investigation.

Jurich is on paid leave, while Pitino is on unpaid leave. The coach’s attorney, Steve Spence, told the Courier-Journal Wednesday that Louisville has “effectively fired” Pitino.

Pitino’s exit comes after the school acknowledged on Tuesday that the men’s program is part of a federal investigation into alleged bribery of recruits. The 65-year-old coach was not named in the indictment that resulted in the arrest of 10 people including four assistant coaches at other schools and an Adidas executive.

It is the latest black eye for the Cardinals program. Pitino and Louisville are in the middle of appealing NCAA sanctions following an embarrassing sex scandal.

Jurich has supported Pitino through his transgressions during the athletic director’s nearly 20-year tenure at the university.

Cal fights USC into fourth quarter, can't complete the upset

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AP

Cal fights USC into fourth quarter, can't complete the upset

BOX SCORE

BERKELEY -- Stephen Carr ran for a fourth-quarter touchdown two plays after Southern California's defense forced one of its six turnovers and the fifth-ranked Trojans won their 13th straight game, 30-20 over California on Saturday.

USC (4-0, 2-0 Pac-12) has dominated the series with its in-state rival by winning 14 straight against the Golden Bears (3-1, 0-1), but this was one of the tightest matchups in years as the game was tied early in the fourth quarter.

Sam Darnold threw for 223 yards and two touchdowns for the Trojans but also had an interception and was under pressure for much of the day.

It was the defense that stepped up for USC, intercepting a pass from Ross Bowers in the first quarter to set up a field goal and then delivering the big play early in the fourth quarter after Chase McGrath gave the Trojans a 16-13 lead with his third field goal of the game.

Josh Fatu knocked the ball out of Bowers' hand and Uchenna Nwosu recovered the fumble at the 3. Carr ran it in two plays later from the 2 to make it 23-13.

Ykili Ross then intercepted Bowers' pass on the next possession, setting up Darnold's 4-yard TD pass to Deontay Burnett that put away the game.

Bowers finished 22 for 50 for 303 yards with one touchdown, four interceptions and two lost fumbles.

THE TAKEAWAY

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: The Trojans struggled for much of the game without starting RB Ronald Jones (ankle) and WR Steven Mitchell (groin) but managed to pull away late in their first road game of the season.

CALIFORNIA: The Bears used an improved defense to start 3-0 under first-year coach Justin Wilcox but this was supposed to be the test of how far they had come. Cal showed plenty by sticking with a national title contender for three quarters. A sequence on the opening drive of the second will haunt the Bears. Patrick Laird dropped a potential TD in the end zone and Matt Anderson then missed a 29-yard field goal that kept the game tied at 13.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

A win against an unranked team should do little to alter USC's poll position.

UP NEXT

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Visits No. 18 Washington State on Friday.

CALIFORNIA: Visits No. 24 Oregon on Saturday.