NCAA

Stanford to play for NIT title after 74-64 win over UMass

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Stanford to play for NIT title after 74-64 win over UMass

BOX SCORE

NEW YORK (AP) Anthony Brown scored a season-high 18 points and Josh Owens had 15 points and 12 rebounds to help Stanford advance to the NIT championship game with a 74-64 win over Massachusetts on Tuesday night.The Minutemen took their first lead since early in the game with about 8 minutes left, but Brown hit a 3-pointer to push the Cardinal back on top, then later scored seven points during an 11-3 run that put Stanford in control.Third-seeded Stanford (25-11) will meet Minnesota or Washington in the NIT final Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.Brooklyn native Chaz Williams led fifth-seeded UMass (25-12) with 19 points.Stanford leading scorer Chasson Randle picked up his fourth foul with 13 12 minutes left, and the Cardinal really missed his defense on Williams.UMass tied the score on an alley-oop from Williams to Maxie Esho with 8 12 minutes to go. After Josh Huestis scored inside to put Stanford back up, Freddie Riley hit a 3 for the Minutemen's only lead of the second half.Brown answered with a 3, but Williams tied it with a drive to the basket. After Owens missed a dunk, Aaron Bright made a more difficult shot, hitting a long jumper.With Stanford up 56-54 and about 5 minutes left, Randle drove to the basket and collided with Terrell Vinson. A charge would have ended Randle's night; instead, Vinson was called for a blocking foul, giving Randle a chance at a three-point play. He missed the free throw, but the Cardinal led 58-54 and still had their leading scorer in the game.Williams was saddled by foul trouble in the first half, then hobbled off the court with more than 12 minutes to go in the second. A trainer massaged his right calf on the bench, and he returned with 10:47 remaining. Williams was averaging 22.7 points in the NIT.With former Stanford player Landry Fields of the Knicks cheering the Cardinal on, Owens again looked right at home at Madison Square Garden. He scored a season-high 21 points on 10-of-12 shooting against Oklahoma State in the NIT Season Tip-Off semifinals in November.

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.