NCAA

Stanford beats Oklahoma St. at the Garden

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Stanford beats Oklahoma St. at the Garden

BOX SCORENEW YORK (APCSN) Josh Owens made his first nine shots from the field and finished with 21 points to lead Stanford to an 82-67 victory over Oklahoma State on Wednesday night in the semifinals of the NIT Season Tip-Off at Madison Square Garden.Owens, a 6-foot-8 senior forward, was 10 of 12 from the field as the Cardinal had their best game of the season from beyond the 3-point line. Stanford (5-0) will play the winner of the game between No. 5 Syracuse and Virginia Tech for the championship on Friday night.Chasson Randle added 17 points and Aaron Bright had 15 for the Cardinal, who took control with an 18-0 run that spanned both halves.Stanford scored the last six points of the first half to take a 46-35 lead and the Cardinal opened the second half on a 12-0 run. They hit four of their nine 3-pointers during the spurt.Le'Bryan Nash had 16 points and Markel Brown added 11 for the Cowboys (3-1), who had their four-game winning streak at Madison Square Garden snapped.This was Oklahoma State's first game since women's basketball coach Kurt Budke and his assistant, Miranda Serna, were killed along with two others in a plane crash last week. The players all had the number 4 on the left shoulder of their uniforms.Stanford came into the game shooting 32.8 percent from 3-point range and the most 3s the Cardinal had in one game was seven against UC Davis. The Cardinal were 5 of 10 from long range in the first half, with Bright going 3 for 5. Randle matched his effort in the second half and Stanford was 9 of 19 from beyond the arc in the game.It was another solid defensive effort by the Cardinal, who hadn't allowed an opponent to reach 60 points in their first four games.Stanford's lead reached as much as 28 points, the last time at 74-46 on a basket by Randle with 7:46 to play.Oklahoma State, which won this tournament in 1991, is 18-10 at Madison Square Garden.
Stanford is the only remaining unbeaten team in the Pac 12, having won their first five games by a combined score of 382-279.

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.