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The Sports Report: UCLA loses to Texas in women’s basketball tournament

UCLA forward Michaela Onyenwere
(Associated Press)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

Thuc Nhi Nguyen on the UCLA women’s basketball team: Tears welled in the corners of Michaela Onyenwere’s eyes from her seat on the sideline.

This wasn’t the ending the UCLA All-American envisioned.

The senior’s storied UCLA career ended Wednesday with a 71-62 loss to No. 6 seed Texas in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Onyenwere had 23 points and five rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to will the third-seeded Bruins (17-6) to their fifth straight regional semifinal. Instead, the Longhorns (20-9) will advance to face No. 2 seed Maryland.

Onyenwere, UCLA’s first-ever two-time All-American, moved into fourth place on UCLA’s all-time scoring list with 1,890 career points, but watched the final seconds of her collegiate career tick by from the bench after fouling out with 3:23 remaining in the fourth quarter with the Bruins down by 12.

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Texas, which forced 17.5 turnovers per game entering Wednesday’s matchup, flustered the Bruins into eight first-half turnovers. It outnumbered their made shots of six.

The Longhorns shot 50% from the field in the first half and took a 21-point lead into halftime, even though likely No. 1 overall pick Charli Collier was held to five points on two shots.

NCAA MEN’S TOURNAMENT

Ryan Kartje on the men’s tournament: While the college hoops world slept on the Pac-12, dismissing its NCAA tournament hopes before its five tickets were even punched this March, Etop Udo-Ema knew better than to doubt those Magic Boyz.

As the founder and CEO of Compton Magic, one of the most successful AAU programs in the nation, Udo-Ema had seen his share of stellar summer hoops teams. But there was something special about that 17-and-under squad from 2018, how they yearned for the biggest of stages, and here, waiting for their own March moments, were four of the team’s starting five, each destined for major roles on Pac-12 teams few expected to last past Sunday.

Sure enough, as Oregon State opened its Cinderella run and UCLA clawed its way from the First Four and USC beat down blue-blooded Kansas, putting the Pac-12 on an unlikely pedestal ahead of this week’s Sweet 16, those Magic Boyz made an indelible mark on the conference’s early success. The Mobley brothers, Evan and Isaiah, carried USC to its first Sweet 16 since 2007. UCLA’s Johnny Juzang poured in 67 points over three games, the best scoring stretch of his collegiate career to date. And Oregon State’s Jarod Lucas, the least touted of the four, proved essential in upsets over Tennessee and Oklahoma State, scoring 29 combined and pacing the Beavers from three-point range.

“We were playing the best teams in the country every weekend [in 2018] and beating the [bleep] out of everybody,” Udo-Ema said. “Those kids are all in college now. So why would anyone think that’s going to change?”

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Darryl Polk Jr. had 19 points and five steals, and Pepperdine romped past Coastal Carolina 84-61 for the College Basketball Invitational championship.

Victor Ohia Obioha added 16 points for the Waves (15-12). Colbey Ross had 15 points and seven assists, and Jade’ Smith scored 11. Kessler Edwards had nine points, six rebounds and four blocks.

Edwards was named the most valuable player after scoring 22 points in the first round, and securing 28 points, seven rebounds, five blocks and three steals in the semifinals.

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Check out the men’s bracket here

March Madness: How to watch, stream every 2021 NCAA tournament game

UCLA parents’ love penetrates the bubble in Indianapolis

Pac-12 disrespected? Yes, but Larry Scott — like Bill Walton — saw a breakout coming

CLIPPERS

Andrew Greif on the Clippers: The roster used by the Clippers was unstoppable to start Wednesday’s first quarter, clinical to end the second and dominant in the second half during a 134-101 victory against San Antonio.

There’s no guarantee that roster will look the same when these teams meet again Thursday night.

With two open roster spots and championship ambitions, the Clippers are expected to remain active leading up to Thursday’s noon PDT deadline for trades, even if the team has been said to feel largely content with the team’s makeup as is. Their front office has made two trades the day of the deadline each of the past two seasons and this year, league observers have said help beyond the perimeter has been the primary target. Their search could extend beyond the deadline based on options available in the buyout market.

Any looming possibility of changes, however, certainly did not distract the players in the first of their two matchups against the Spurs.

The Clippers followed an 11-2 start with a 12-2 run, and after their 18-point lead was trimmed to five in the second quarter, their 7-0 finish to the second quarter pushed their buffer to 14 at halftime. The Spurs never cut their deficit to less than 10 again en route to a third consecutive loss.

Even with Paul George missing all six of his three-point attempts, the Clippers, who have won three in a row, still made 53% of their shots from deep, with Marcus Morris making five of his seven on his way to 20 points. It marked a league-high ninth time this season the Clippers have made more than 50% of their three-point tries.

Kawhi Leonard scored 25 points and Lou Williams scored 16 points to reach 15,000 points for his career.

LAKERS

Broderick Turner on the Lakers: The Lakers could really use the big body of Marc Gasol, but there is no timetable for the center’s return despite him being out of the health and safety protocols.

With Montrezl Harrell as the Lakers’ only true center left, the Lakers don’t actually have a backup and they are smaller with the 6-foot-11 Gasol still sidelined.

Gasol has missed nine games since entering the protocols. He hasn’t played in just over three weeks and his conditioning is still an issue.

Coach Frank Vogel, who is down LeBron James (high right ankle sprain) and Anthony Davis (sprained right calf), said they will not rush Gasol back until he’s ready.

The Lakers play the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night at Staples Center.

“Yeah, that’s on the medical team to keep working with him and his build back up to return to play,” Vogel said after the Lakers were defeated 128-111 by the Pelicans on Tuesday night in New Orleans. “So, we’ll see. Until they tell me he’s cleared, this is the group that we got, and we gotta go win a game.”

DUCKS

Jared Spurgeon had two goals, and Nico Sturm scored the tiebreaker as the Minnesota Wild beat the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 on Wednesday night and swept the teams’ two-game set.

Cam Talbot made 28 saves for the Wild, who extended a franchise record with their 10th straight home win. Ryan Suter had two assists for Minnesota, becoming the fifth active NHL defenseman to reach 600 career points.

Derek Grant and Max Comtois scored for the Ducks, who have lost seven of eight. Ryan Miller made 23 saves in his sixth straight start with John Gibson out for his fifth game with a lower-body injury.

DODGERS

Mike DiGiovanna on the Dodgers: A 20% capacity crowd of about 11,000 fans will be socially distanced in pods of two, three, four, five or six seats when Dodger Stadium opens to fans this season, the team announced as part of its COVID-19 safety protocols Wednesday.

Single-game tickets are expected to go on sale by the end of March, following the completion of the re-seating process for season-ticket holders. Fans can register for the opportunity to purchase limited ticket pods for the April 9 home opener against the Washington Nationals at dodgers.com/openingday.

All fans ages two and older must wear appropriate face coverings except when eating or drinking in their ticketed seats. Gaiters, bandanas and masks with valves are not considered appropriate.

All tickets will be issued digitally via the MLB Ballpark app, ensuring a touchless entry to the park. Fans can carry clear bags the size of a one-gallon freezer bag, but no backpacks, coolers or large purses will be allowed. Purchases of food and merchandise will be contactless and cashless.

U.S. MEN’S SOCCER

Kevin Baxter on soccer: The U.S. and Mexico have faced each other in soccer 70 times, turning the rivalry into one of the fiercest and most passionate in the sport.

By that standard, the countries’ Olympic teams are just getting acquainted, meeting Wednesday in the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament for just the fourth time in 30 years.

The competitive fires, however, burn no less intensely. In a game with nothing more at stake than pride and seeding in Sunday’s semifinals, for which both teams have already qualified, Mexico rode a first-half goal from Uriel Antuna to a spirited and hard-fought 1-0 win in Guadalajara. The win was Mexico’s 14th straight in Olympic qualifying.

“Mexico’s obviously a very good team,” U.S. coach Jason Kreis said. “We competed very well. I’m really pleased with the effort. I’m really pleased with the fight that we had.

“And ultimately it’s really difficult to lose the game on an individual error.”

The U.S. conceded its only goal of the tournament just seconds before halftime when Antuna intercepted a lazy pass from Sebastian Soto deep in the American end. The former Galaxy winger dribbled to the top of the box, cut to his right to create space, then beat U.S. keeper David Ochoa inside the left post.

The goal came on Mexico’s ninth shot of the first half. The U.S., meanwhile, had just seven shots on the night and tested backup goalkeeper Sebastian Jurado only once. Jurado came in in the 39th minute for starter Luis Malagon, who left the field on a stretcher.

The real prize comes Sunday, with the winners of each semifinal earning a spot in the Olympics, a tournament the U.S. has played in just once since 2000.

GALAXY

Kevin Baxter on the Galaxy: The compacted MLS season has left the Galaxy facing an exhausting 34-game schedule in 2021, one that will see them play three games in stretches of eight or fewer days six times before closing the season with six matches in the final 22 days.

The Galaxy will kick off their 26th MLS season on the road against Inter Miami on April 18 and finish up at home with Minnesota United on Nov. 7. The mid-April opening weekend is the latest in MLS history.

In between, the Galaxy will face cross-town rival LAFC three times, at home May 8 and Oct. 3, and at Banc of California Stadium on Aug. 28.

Galaxy schedule

April 18: at Inter Miami; 25: vs. New York Red Bulls.

May 2: at Seattle; 8: vs. LAFC; 15: vs. Austin; 22: at Portland; 29: vs. San Jose.

June 19: vs. Seattle; 23: at Vancouver; 26: vs. San Jose at Stanford Stadium.

July 4: vs. Sporting KC; 7: vs. Dallas; 17: at Vancouver; 21: at Real Salt Lake; 24: at Dallas; 30: vs. Portland.

Aug. 4: vs. Real Salt Lake; 8: vs. Vancouver; 14: at Minnesota; 17: vs. Colorado; 20: vs. San Jose; 28: at LAFC

Sept. 11: at Colorado; 15: vs. Houston; 18: at Minnesota; 26: at Austin; 29: at Real Salt Lake.

Oct 3: vs. LAFC; 16: vs. Portland; 20: at Houston; 23: vs. Dallas; 27: at Sporting KC.

Nov. 1: at Seattle; 7: vs, Minnesota.

LAFC

Kevin Baxter on LAFC: Major League Soccer’s unbalanced schedule will see LAFC playing 32 of its 34 games against Western Conference opponents this season, beginning with its April 17 opener at home with expansion Austin FC.

The mid-April opening weekend is the latest in MLS history. The regular season concludes on Nov. 7, a day earlier than last year, with LAFC playing Colorado on the road.

Austin is one of eight conference foes LAFC will face three times. The others are Seattle, Sporting Kansas City, Portland, Vancouver, San Jose, Real Salt Lake and the Galaxy. The three cross-town El Tráfico matches with the Galaxy will be played May 8 and Oct. 3 in Carson, and Aug. 28 at Banc of California Stadium.

LAFC schedule

April 17: vs. Austin; 24: vs. Seattle.

May 1: at Houston; 8: at Galaxy; 16: at Seattle; 22: vs. Colorado; 29: vs. NYCFC.

June 19: vs. Houston; 23: vs. Dallas; 26: at Sporting KC.

July 3: at Real Salt Lake; 7: at Austin; 17: vs. Real Salt Lake; 21: at Portland; 24: at Vancouver; 28: vs. Minnesota.

Aug. 4: vs. Sporting KC; 8: at San Jose; 15: at Atlanta; 21: at Vancouver; 28: vs. Galaxy.

Sept. 3: vs. Sporting Kansas City; 12: vs. Real Salt Lake; 15: at Austin; 19: at Portland; 25: at San Jose; 29: vs. Portland.

Oct. 3: at Galaxy; 16: vs. San Jose; 20: at Dallas; 23: at Minnesota; 26: vs. Seattle.

Nov. 1: at Vancouver; 7: at Colorado.

NCAA MEN’S TOURNAMENT RESULTS, SCHEDULE

All times Pacific
Saturday’s schedule
Third round

Midwest Regional
No. 8 Loyola of Chicago vs. No. 12 Oregon State, 11:40 a.m., CBS
No. 2 Houston vs. No. 11 Syracuse, 6:55 p.m., TBS

South Regional
No. 1 Baylor vs. No. 5 Villanova, 2:15 p.m., CBS
No. 3 Arkansas vs. No. 15 Oral Roberts, 4:25 p.m., TBS

Sunday’s schedule
Third round

West Regional
No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 5 Creighton, 11 a.m., CBS
No. 6 USC vs. No. 7 Oregon, 6:45 p.m., TBS

East Regional
No. 1 Michigan vs. No. 4 Florida State, 2 p.m., CBS
No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 11 UCLA, 4:15 p.m., TBS

NCAA WOMEN’S TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE, RESULTS

All times Pacific
Wednesday’s results
Second round

Alamo Regional
No. 2 Louisville 62, No. 7 Northwestern 53
No. 6 Oregon 57, No. 3 Georgia 50
No. 5 Missouri State 64, No. 13 Wright State 39

Mercado Regional
No. 2 Texas A&M 84, No. 7 Iowa State 82
No. 3 Arizona 52, No. 11 BYU 46
No. 4 Indiana 70, No. 12 Belmont 48

Hemisfair Regional
No. 2 Maryland 100, No. 7 Alabama 64
No. 6 Texas 71, No. 3 UCLA 62

Saturday’s schedule
Third round

River Walk Regional
No. 1 Connecticut vs. No. 5 Iowa, 10 a.m., ABC
No. 2 Baylor vs. No. 6 Michigan, Noon, ABC

Mercado Regional
No. 1 North Carolina State vs. No. 4 Indiana, 3 p.m., ESPN2
No. 2 Texas A&M vs. No. 3 Arizona, 5 p.m., ESPN2

Sunday’s schedule
Third round

Hemisfair Regional
No. 1 South Carolina vs. No. 5 Georgia Tech, 10 a.m., ABC
No. 2 Maryland vs. No. 6 Texas, 6 p.m., ESPN

Alamo Regional
No. 1 Stanford vs. No. 5 Missouri State, Noon, ABC
No. 2 Louisville vs. No. 6 Oregon, 4 p.m., ESPN

Check out the women’s bracket here

THIS DATE IN SPORTS

1934 — Horton Smith wins the first Masters golf tournament by one stroke over Craig Wood.

1947 — Holy Cross, led by George Kaftan, beats Oklahoma 58-47 in the NCAA basketball championship.

1958 — Sugar Ray Robinson regains the middleweight title for a record fifth time with a 15-round decision over Carmen Basilio.

1961 — Cincinnati ends Ohio State’s 32-game winning streak with a 70-65 win in the NCAA basketball championship. In the third-place game, St. Joseph’s beats Utah 127-120 in quadruple-overtime.

1967 — UCLA, led by sophomore Lew Alcindor’s 20 points, beats Dayton 79-64 for the NCAA basketball championship.

1972 — Bill Walton scores 24 points to lead UCLA to an 81-76 victory over Florida State and the NCAA basketball title. The Bruins finish with a 30-0 record and increase their winning streak to 45 straight.

1972 — Maryland beats Niagara 100-69 in the NIT championship, becoming the first team to score 100 points in the finals of the tournament.

1990 — Pat Bradley becomes the first LPGA player to reach $3 million in career earnings with a one-stroke victory in the $500,000 Turquoise Classic. Bradley, with career earnings of $3,059,768, makes a 2-foot par putt on the final hole to beat Ayako Okamoto.

1995 — Mike Tyson is released from a Plainfield, Ind., prison after serving three years for rape.

1995 — Scotty Bowman gets his 900th regular-season coaching victory as the Detroit Red Wings beat the Canucks 2-1 in Vancouver.

1999 — Geno Carlisle, just 3-of-17 from the field, came through with a three-point play with 4.7 seconds left, to give California a 61-60 win over Clemson and the NIT championship.

2004 — Auburn’s Fred Bousquet breaks the world record in the 50-meter freestyle at the NCAA men’s swimming and diving championships. Teammate George Bovell of Trinidad & Tobago also shatters the world record for the 200 individual medley in 1:53.93.

2006 — Following the tradition of teenage American women pulling off big upsets, 16-year-old Kimmie Meissner uses the performance of her life to soar to the World Figure Skating Championships title. U.S. champion Sasha Cohen falls apart again in the free skate, winding up third overall behind Japan’s Fumie Suguri.

2008 — Tennessee gives coach Pat Summitt her 100th NCAA tournament win, a 78-52 rout of host Purdue. The win sends the Lady Vols to the NCAA regional semifinals.

2010 — Daisuke Takahashi gives Japan its first men’s title at the World Figure Skating Championships and he does it with flair, attempting a rare quadruple flip. Canada’s Patrick Chan wins the silver for a second straight year and France’s Brian Joubert takes the bronze.

2011 — The Southwest regional is the first in NCAA men’s basketball history with three double-digit seeded teams in the semifinals. Virginia Commonwealth, an 11th seed beats 10th seed Florida State 72-71 in overtime and the top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks beat No. 12 seed Richmond 77-57 in the region’s other semifinal.

2012 — In the NBA’s first quadruple-overtime game since 1997, Joe Johnson scores 37 points and Josh Smith adds 22 as the Atlanta Hawks beat Utah 139-133. The four overtimes tie for the third-longest game in NBA history.

2013 — The Miami Heat extend their winning streak to 27 games with a 108-94 win over Orlando.

And finally

Vin Scully recalls a story about Pearl Harbor. Watch it here.

Until next time...

That concludes today’s newsletter. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.


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