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U.S. loses to Mexico in Pan American Games basketball semifinals

The United States’ gold-medal drought in men’s basketball at the Pan American Games will last at least another four years after a 71-55 loss to Mexico in the semifinals Saturday at Guadalajara.

The U.S. has not won Pan American gold since 1983.

Mexico last won a medal in basketball in 1991 — a silver — and is guaranteed of at least second place.

Jovan Harris led Mexico with 15 points, while Lorenzo Mata added 12 and Paul Stoll scored eight. Harris and Stoll were born in the U.S. but carry Mexican nationality.

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Leo Lyons scored 13 to lead the U.S., which is using players from the NBA Development League.

Mexico will face Puerto Rico in the final Sunday. The Americans will play the Dominican Republic for bronze.

The U.S. men’s water polo team defeated Canada, 7-3, to win the gold medal and clinch a berth in the 2012 Olympics. Tony Azevedo of Long Beach led the U.S. with three goals.

ETC.

Baylor women ranked No. 1

Brittney Griner and Baylor are ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press’ preseason women’s basketball poll. Baylor started last season at No. 2 before ascending to No. 1 for the first time in school history in early January.

Baylor received 33 of 40 first-place votes. Notre Dame drew six first-place votes and was second, with Tennessee, Connecticut and Stanford rounding out the top five.

UCLA was ranked 22nd, and USC was 23rd. It’s the first time the Trojans have been ranked since 2006.

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Roush Fenway Racing teammates Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth couldn’t have asked for a better scenario than rain washing out qualifying for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia.

Edwards had never qualified better than seventh on the 0.526-mile oval, and Kenseth had never qualified better than 14th. Then came the rain, handing them the front-row spots Saturday.

Edwards will begin the event with a 14-point lead over Kenseth, 18 over Brad Keselowski and 19 over Tony Stewart with four races left in the Chase for the Cup.

Denny Hamlin ducked inside points leader Austin Dillon and Ron Hornaday Jr. after a restart with 14 laps to go and won the NASCAR truck series race at Martinsville. The victory was Hamlin’s first in the series, and it made him the 23rd driver to win a race in the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and truck series.

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Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel topped qualifying for the inaugural Indian Grand Prix at New Delhi, earning his 13th pole of the season. That is one short of Nigel Mansell’s Formula One record set in 1992. Vettel turned a lap in 1 minute 24.178 seconds on the 3.192-mile Buddh International Circuit. The German star has clinched his second season title in a row and has 10 victories this year.

The New York Yankees exercised contract options for next season on second baseman Robinson Cano and right fielder Nick Swisher. The decision on Cano’s $14-million option was a formality, but there was some thought that the Yankees might consider parting ways with Swisher. New York picked up his $10.25-million option rather than pay a $1-million buyout.

Miami running back Daniel Thomas and cornerback Vontae Davis were ruled out of the Dolphins’ game Sunday game against the New York Giants because of nagging hamstring injuries.

U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy shot a seven-under-par 65 and increased his lead to three strokes after the third round of the Shanghai Masters. The 22-year-old from Northern Ireland made seven birdies in another bogey-free round on Lake Malaren’s Masters course and was at 18-under 198. Anthony Kim was second at 17 under after a 65.

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Sergio Garcia shot a four-under 67, taking a two-shot lead after the third round of the Andalucia Masters at Sotogrande, and moving into position for a second European Tour victory in a row. Garcia was at six under for the tournament, ahead of Miguel Angel Jimenez (68) and Christian Nilsson (65).

Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova will play Victoria Azarenka in the WTA Championships final Sunday at Istanbul with the No. 2 ranking on the line along with a $1.5-million paycheck.

Kvitova rallied to defeat U.S. Open winner Samantha Stosur, 5-7, 6-3, 6-3, in the semifinals, and Azarenka defeated Vera Zvonareva, 6-2, 6-3.

Kvitova beat Azarenka in the semifinals en route to winning her first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon this year and has won both the matches they played this season.

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Top-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated Daniel Brands, 6-2, 7-6 (4), setting up a final against Juan Martin del Potro in the Erste Bank Open at Vienna. Del Potro defeated Kevin Anderson, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.

Janko Tipsarevic will play Marin Cilic in the final of the St. Petersburg Open in Russia. Tipsarevic defeated Alex Bogomolov Jr., 6-2, 6-1, and Cilic beat Mikhail Youzhny, 6-3, 6-4.

Russian teenager Elizaveta Tuktamisheva became the youngest women’s singles gold medalist at Skate Canada in 30 years. The 14-year-old claimed the top honor at Mississauga in Canada’s annual senior Grand Prix figure skating event, becoming the youngest gold medalist since Canada’s Tracey Wainman won at 13 in 1981.

Tuktamisheva won the short program Friday and wound up with 177.38 overall points after finishing second to Japan’s Akiko Suzuki in the free skate Saturday. Suzuki was fourth in the short program and had 172.26 points overall to win silver. American Ashley Wagner, 20, won bronze with 165.48 points.

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Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov of Russia won gold in the pairs competition.

Gene Murphy, who guided Cal State Fullerton’s football team to a bowl game appearance and a national ranking in his 13 years as coach at the school, died Saturday at USC University Hospital in Los Angeles. He was 72.

Murphy had undergone surgery Tuesday for cancer of the esophagus.

He coached at Fullerton from 1980 through the program’s demise in 1992, leading the Titans to the PCAA championship in 1983 and ’84 and the California Bowl in ’84. Fullerton, which had not had a winning season at the Division I level before Murphy’s arrival, went 11-1 (12-0 with a forfeit) and was ranked in the top 20 during the 1984 season.

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His proteges included eventual NFL coaches Steve Mariucci, Tom Cable and Hue Jackson. Standout players under Murphy included Damon Allen, pro football’s No. 2 all-time passing yardage leader, and Mike Pringle, the all-time leading rusher in the Canadian Football League.

Murphy is survived by daughter Aileen and her mother, Christine McCarthy, in addition to sons Tim and Mike. Services are pending.

— Ben Bolch


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