The Sports Report: UCLA has a convincing win over Maryland
Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. The UCLA Bruins’ men’s basketball team, who began the season ranked in the top 10 in the rankings before a couple of losses dropped them down to No. 16, showed that they deserve to be ranked better than that with a convincing rout of No. 20 Maryland on Wednesday. Heck, they also proved they may be as good as the UCLA women’s basketball team. Wins like this one will only help come tournament seeding time.
We also look at the UC Regents approving UCLA’s move to the Big Ten, the Dodgers making a couple of pitching acquisitions and the latest from the World Cup in Qatar.
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From Ben Bolch: It was a special greeting, from one future Big Ten rival to another.
Thanks for inviting us into your home. Now try to be a little better by the time we’re back in a few years.
UCLA ran Maryland off its own court Wednesday night, the boos and restlessness of the fans inside Xfinity Center eventually replaced by quiet resignation.
Eleven turnovers and a 30-point deficit in the first half will do that.
The No. 16 Bruins were tougher, smarter and simply better during an 87-60 rout of the No. 20 Terrapins that showed they’re ready for the alleged rigors of Big Ten basketball. It was such a beatdown that fans started jamming the aisles on their way toward the exits with more than 11 minutes left.
Making UCLA’s dominance even more impressive, the Bruins (9-2) built leads as large as 38 points even after Tyger Campbell missed most of the first half in foul trouble and Jaylen Clark sat out the first nine minutes of the second half after taking a hard fall underneath the basket. Clark made a floating jumper almost immediately after re-entering the game and finished with 19 points on seven-for-11 shooting to go with six rebounds, four steals and three assists.
Clark and Jaime Jaquez Jr. sparked a lockdown defensive effort, combining for eight of their team’s 12 steals as the Bruins forced 16 turnovers while stretching their winning streak to six games. UCLA handled the ball like it was cradling a newborn, committing only four turnovers, including one when it dribbled out its final possession for a shot-clock violation.
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UCLA to BIG TEN
After months of haggling over UCLA’s end-around move to join the Big Ten Conference, the University of California regents are stepping aside and allowing the departure to proceed as planned.
The regents voted during a meeting Wednesday at UCLA to allow the Bruins to leave the Pacific 12 Conference and join the Big Ten provided they pay a hefty tax to UC sister school California-Berkeley and take measures to mitigate travel and improve nutrition and mental-health services for student-athletes.
By joining crosstown rival USC as part of an expanded Big Ten that will include 16 teams, the Bruins will help form the nation’s first coast-to-coast conference as well as a worthy foil to the supercharged Southeastern Conference.
The move slated for August 2024 is expected to secure the financial future of a UCLA athletic department swimming in nine figures of debt while also avoiding the possibility of cutting Olympic sports teams. In just its first year of Big Ten membership, the school is projected to pocket $65 million to $75 million in media rights revenue, roughly doubling what it would have made by remaining in the Pac-12.
From Andrew Greif: When all 7 feet 2 of Rudy Gobert toppled over and into Marcus Morris Sr. underneath the basket late in the fourth quarter, Clippers players all too familiar with injuries instinctively rushed over to their teammate sprawled on the court.
Concern was short-lived once Morris began performing push-ups on the court and the crowd cheered the unexpected twist.
Given the way the Clippers shot from the field to start Wednesday night at a Crypto.com Arena full of empty seats and devoid of energy, there had been reason to check their pulse too.
Instead, they eventually showed signs of life and pushed away Minnesota with ease in the fourth quarter of a 99-88 victory.
Tre White and Reese Dixon-Waters each scored a career-high 20 points on combined 17-of-26 shooting and USC never trailed Wednesday night in its 88-78 win over Long Beach State.
White made 9 of 14 from the field and Dixon-Waters, who also had a career-best five assists, two steals and two blocks, was 8-of-12 shooting. Drew Peterson had 15 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists for USC and Kobe Johnson made 5 of 6 from the field and finished with 14 points.
The Trojans scored the first seven points and took a 20-8 lead when Dixon-Waters made a layup with 12:48 left in the first half. Marcus Tsohonis hit a jumper and then a 3-pointer to spark a 10-4 spurt that trimmed Long Beach State’s deficit to 66-65 — the closest the Beach had been since USC led 2-0 — with 8 minutes to go but the Trojans scored 11 of the next 13 points to take a 10-point lead when White hit a 3-pointer to make it 77-67 with 4:22 remaining.
From Jeff Miller: By consensus projection, the Chargers have a better than break-even shot to make the postseason.
A survey of various outlets Wednesday put their chances — expressed as a collective percentage — in the mid-50s.
A victory Sunday over seemingly playoff-bound Tennessee at SoFi Stadium would boost that number, probably by a significant amount.
As encouraging as this all might sound to the team’s fans, it’s important to remember what happened just a year ago.
At that point, they were 8-5 and held the conference’s No. 1 AFC wild-card spot. The Chargers trailed Kansas City by one game in the AFC West and had the Chiefs coming to visit for a Thursday night showdown.
ESPN put the Chargers’ chances of making the postseason at 84%.
Unfortunately for the Chargers and their fans, reality landed in that remaining 16%.
From Jack Harris: The Dodgers reached an agreement Wednesday with free-agent pitcher Noah Syndergaard on a one-year contract, according to multiple people with knowledge of the situation who weren’t authorized to speak publicly.
The deal will pay Syndergaard $13 million guaranteed and includes another $1.5 million in performance bonuses.
The deal should fill out the Dodgers’ starting rotation for 2023, and gives the 30-year-old Syndergaard an opportunity to build his stock up following a decent but unspectacular 2022 season with the Angels and Philadelphia Phillies.
In 25 outings (24 starts) with those teams, Syndergaard went 10-10 with a 3.94 ERA in 134 2/3 innings.
From Kevin Baxter in Al Khor, Qatar: The glass slipper didn’t fit. The coach turned back into a pumpkin. The dress ball ended without so much as a date.
Just minutes before the clock struck midnight Wednesday in Qatar, Morocco’s Cinderella run to the World Cup semifinals ended — and it didn’t end happily ever after. It ended the way most everybody expected it would, in a victory that sends France to a second straight World Cup final.
The final score was 2-0, with the goals coming from defender Theo Hernández in the fifth minute and from second-half substitute Randal Kolo Muani, who scored on his first touch 44 seconds after coming off the bench in the 79th minute.
All times Pacific
France 2, Morocco 0
Croatia vs. Morocco, 7 a.m., Fox, Telemundo, Peacock
Argentina vs. France, 7 a.m., Fox, Telemundo, Peacock
THIS DATE IN SPORTS
1925 — The first NHL game is played at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The Americans score first, but the Montreal Canadiens prevail 3-1, before 17,000 in attendance.
1929 — The Chicago Blackhawks defeat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-1 in their first game at Chicago Stadium. Vic Ripley scores twice in 35 seconds during the second period to the delight of the 14,212 fans in attendance.
1935 — Detroit Lions win NFL championship with a 26-7 win over the New York Giants.
1946 — Chicago Bears beat the New York Giants 24-14 at the Polo Grounds for the NFL championship. A record crowd of 58,326 attend the game. Sid Luckman’s 19-yard touchdown run in the fourth puts the Bears ahead 21-14. Before the game, New York’s star fulback Merles Hapes is declared ineligible by NFL commissioner Bert Bell for not reporting bribe attempt to throw the game. New York police phone taps produced coversations with gambler Alvin J. Paris and Hapes. The Bears were 10-point favorites.
1964 — San Francisco’s Wilt Chamberlain scores 58 points, including nine in overtime, to give the Warriors a 134-132 victory over the New York Knicks.
1970 — Glenn Hall of the St. Louis Blues becomes the second goaltender in NHL history to reach 400 victories. Hall makes 38 saves in a 2-1 win against the Minnesota North Stars. Hall joins Terry Sawchuk in the 400-win club.
1973 — Tennessee beats Temple 11-6 in the lowest scoring NCAA basketball game since 1938. With 11:44 left in the first half and Tennessee leading 7-5, Temple holds onto the ball without a shot. Tennessee doesn’t take a shot in the second half, but manages four free throws by John Snow.
1973 — Sandy Hawley becomes the first jockey in history to win 500 races in a single year, riding Charlie Jr. to victory in the third race at Laurel Race Course.
1974 — Oakland’s Jim “Catfish” Hunter is ruled a free agent by arbitrator Peter Seitz when A’s owner Charles O. Finley fails to live up to the terms of Hunter’s contract.
1984 — Edmonton’s Wayne Gretzky has five goals and an assist to lead the Oilers to an 8-2 triumph over the St. Louis Blues.
1995 — The Vancouver Grizzlies avoid tying the NBA record for consecutive losses in a season by snapping a 19-game losing streak with a 104-100 overtime victory over Portland.
2000 — Georgia Southern beats Montana 27-25 for a second-straight Division I-AA championship and its a record sixth championship.
2012 — Matt Scott throws two touchdown passes in the final 46 seconds and college bowl season starts with a wild one when Arizona rallies to beat Nevada 49-48 in the New Mexico Bowl. Arizona trails 45-28 entering the final quarter. The teams combine for 1,237 total yards, the second most of any bowl game.
2013 — Jamaal Charles ties a franchise record with five touchdowns in a game as the Kansas City Chiefs beat Oakland 56-31. The Chiefs become the fourth team ever to make the playoffs a year after losing at least 14 games.
2016 — In the biggest Division I women’s basketball rout ever, No. 3 Baylor overwhelms Winthrop 140-32. The 108-point margin of victory surpasses the 102 set by Grambling when it beat Jarvis Christian College 139-37 in 1986.
2017 — Mount Union wins its 13th Division III football national championship with a 12-0 victory over defending champion Mary Hardin-Baylor. The Purple Raiders (15-0) limit Mary Hardin-Baylor to 144 yards. The Crusaders (14-1) had not trailed all season and had their 29-game winning streak snapped.
2019 — Raiders play their final NFL game in Oakland conceding 17 unanswered 2nd half points to go down 20-16 to the Jacksonville Jaguars; team to play out of Las Vegas in 2020
Compiled by the Associated Press
“Highlights” from Baylor’s record-setting rout of Winthrop, 140-32. Watch and listen here.
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