Sports Digest: Clemons scores 41 as Maine Celtics crush Greensboro Swarm, 144-107

BASKETBALL

Chris Clemons scored 41 points as the Maine Celtics crushed the Greensboro Swarm 144-107 Tuesday night in a G League game at The Fieldhouse in Greensboro, North Carolina.

The Celtics, who won their second straight, scored 47 points in the first quarter to take a 20-point lead.

The 144 points were one shy of the season high set on March 20 against Delaware.

Matt Ryan added 20 points for Maine, which has two games remaining in its schedule – Thursday at Greenboro and Saturday at Lakeland, Florida.

GOLF

LPGA: Already in the World Golf Hall of Fame, Lorena Ochoa now gets a spot in the LPGA Hall of Fame alone with eight of the LPGA’s founders.

The LPGA announced modifications to its Hall of Fame criteria, which includes lifting the requirement that players complete 10 years on tour.

LPGA players earn two points for a major and one point for a win or major award. The requirement for its Hall of Fame is 27 points, 10 years on tour and one major or award. Ochoa had 37 points, but played only seven years before retiring to start a family.

The Mexican star was inducted into the 2017 World Golf Hall of Fame.

The LPGA is also inducting the remaining eight founders – five previously made it into its Hall of Fame – through the honorary category. They are Alice Bauer, Bettye Danoff, Helen Dettweiler, Helen Hicks, Opal Hill, Sally Sessions, Marilyn Smith and Shirley Spork, the one still alive. The LPGA was founded in 1950.

Smith was previously inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

The LPGA’s Hall of Fame committee also decided to award a point for an Olympic gold medal retroactive to the 2016 Olympics. Inbee Park, already in the LPGA Hall of Fame, won in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro and Nelly Korda won last summer in Tokyo.

TENNIS

MIAMI OPEN: Nick Kyrgios lost his cool, then a point, then a game and then the match.

The all-too-familiar trend that has often overshadowed the super-popular, super-talented and super-perplexing Australian’s career path continued as he was ousted in the fourth round by No. 9 seed Jannik Sinner of Italy 7-6 (3), 6-3.

How the match was won probably won’t be remembered. Kyrgios’ meltdown will be, his afternoon replete with racket throws and smashes, plenty of heated words with chair umpire Carlos Bernardes and even a fan somehow trying to get a selfie when tensions were at their peak.

But Kyrgios insisted that Bernardes should bear some blame for what transpired, adding that he believed the umpire disrupted his play by talking during a serve.

“When everyone in that crowd is booing an umpire, and he’s becoming the center of attention, that’s not his job,” Kyrgios said. “Because no one in that entire stadium bought a ticket to see him talk or play or do what he does.”

When the match was over, Kyrgios was gracious with his opponent, shaking his hand at the net and exchanging a few pleasantries. Sinner then shook hands with Bernardes, as is tradition, but Kyrgios passed by him and got in a few more words before packing up his racket bag and walking off the court.

“He’s not even going to get a slap on the wrist for his dreadful umpiring performance today,” Kyrgios said. “He was horrendous.”

Kyrgios was in such a hurry to leave that he departed without grabbing the red-white-and-black Nike sneakers that were next to his seat. He teamed with Thanasi Kokkinakis to win a doubles match later, then explained his side of what had gone on in singles a few hours earlier.

“I have never been a part of a match where an umpire was hated that much,” Kyrgios said. “Today, he made it about himself, like his feelings got hurt apparently from what I said, from what the crowd’s feeling. You can’t be like that if you’re an umpire. I’m sorry. ”

Sinner didn’t know much about what made Kyrgios so upset. “I just tried to stay in my zone, and, yeah, I think that was the right choice,” Sinner said.

• Shaking off a slow start, the top-seeded Medvedev reached the quarterfinals by defeating Jenson Brooksby of the US 7-5, 6-1.

Medvedev has yet to drop a set in his three Miami matches. He’ll face either No. 8 seed and defending Miami champion Hubert Hurkacz or unseeded Lloyd Harris in the quarters – and if Medvedev prevails there, he’ll be assured of supplanting Novak Djokovic and returning to No. 1 in the world rankings.

SOCCER

WORLD CUP: Ghana became the first team from Africa to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar after a 1-1 draw with Nigeria in the second leg of their playoff on to advance on away goals.

Thomas Partey scored for Ghana in the 10th minute in Abuja. William Troost-Ekong equalized for Nigeria with a penalty in the 22nd but Nigeria could not use its home advantage to get a winner.

• The United Arab Emirates beat South Korea 1-0 to advance to a World Cup qualifying playoff against Australia in June.

The winner of UAE vs. Australia will progress to a playoff final against a team from South America for a ticket to Qatar.

• Cristiano Ronaldo, the all-time top scorer in the men’s international soccer, will get to play in his fifth World Cup in Qatar after Portugal defeated North Macedonia 2-0 in the European qualifying playoffs.

• Sadio Mane sent his country to the World Cup at the expense of Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah as Senegal beat Egypt 3-1 in a penalty shootout after their playoff ended 1-1 on aggregate.

Senegal’s victory, with Mane hitting the winning spot-kick, was a repeat of the African Cup of Nations final last month when he clinched a first major title for his country by also scoring the winning penalty in a shootout against the Egyptians.

• Poland is heading to the World Cup – and of course Robert Lewandowski helped send his team there.

The prolific Bayern Munich striker converted a penalty in the 50th minute to set Poland on its way to a 2-0 win over Sweden in one of the European playoff finals for a place in this year’s tournament in Qatar.

• Iran blocked women from attending the country’s last 2022 World Cup soccer qualifying match, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported.

ISNA said 12,500 tickets were sold online, of which 2,000 had been reserved for women. Iran defeated Lebanon 2-0 in the match. A victory in January over Iraq assured the team a spot in the World Cup in Qatar.

A video circulating on social media shows hundreds of female soccer fans chanting “we have an objection” in response to the decision to ban them from attending the match in the northeastern city of Mashhad.

It was not immediately clear who made the decision to block the women from attending the match.

US WOMEN: Trinity Rodman was among the young players named to the US women’s national team roster for a pair of matches next month against Uzbekistan.

Coach Vlatko Andonovski left veterans including Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Christen Press and Tobin Heath off the squad as he continues to evaluate players ahead of the World Cup qualifying this summer.

The team has just four matches to prepare for the CONCACAF W Championship in Monterrey, Mexico, in July. The tournament will determine the region’s four berths in the 2023 World Cup and one spot in the 2024 Olympics.

Among the 23 players on the roster are 14 players with 15 or fewer national team appearances. Three players, goalkeepers Bella Bixby and Aubrey Kingsbury and defender Naomi Girma, have yet to play in a game for the United States.

DENMARK: Christian Eriksen marked his emotional return to Parken Stadium with a brilliant goal as the playmaker captained Denmark to a 3-0 win over Serbia on the same ground in Copenhagen where he suffered a cardiac arrest nine months ago.

It was Eriksen’s first appearance at Parken since his near-fatal collapse there during a match against Finland at the European Championship, and he was given a rapturous welcome by fans as he led the Denmark team out for the friendly. He was warmly embraced by Serbia captain Dusan Tadic before kickoff.

PREMIER LEAGUE: Everton announced losses of more than 100 million pounds ($ 130 million) for the third straight year.

Figures released by the club showed a deficit of 120.9 million pounds ($ 158 million) for the year ending June 2021 after another season affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

That followed losses of 111.8 million pounds ($ 146 million) and 139.8 million pounds ($ 183 million) for the previous two seasons.

Premier League rules state a club is in breach of profit and sustainability regulations if it makes an adjusted loss of more than 105 million pounds ($ 137 million) over a three-year period.

MLS: An independent investigation into the Portland Timbers’ handling of domestic abuse accusations leveled at midfielder Andy Polo concluded that the team’s offers to help his estranged wife were not meant to persuade her to drop charges.

The investigation by the law firm Proskauer Rose LLP concluded the Timbers should have informed Major League Soccer when the sheriff’s deputies were called to the Polo home in May 2021. The team was fined $ 25,000 for failing to report the incident. The investigation was commissioned by MLS and made public.

Polo was cited but never charged in the case and he denies Genessis Alarcon’s claims ..

Polo’s contract was terminated by the league last month after Alarcon accused Polo of abuse on Peruvian television, and the incident report by the Washington County Sheriff’s Department surfaced.

SWIMMING

US OLYMPIC TIME TRIALS: USA Swimming announced its trials for the 2024 Paris Games will be held at Lucas Oil Stadium, the massive home of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts.

The decision marks the end of Omaha’s long run as host of the event. The last four US trials, beginning in 2008, were held in the Nebraska city’s downtown arena, which seated about 14,500 after the temporary pool was installed.

Local organizers have proposed a seating arrangement that would allow up to 35,000 fans – by far the largest ever for the trials.

The exact dates for the eight-day trials have not been set but will probably be in mid- to late June, roughly a month before the Paris Olympics begin on July 26, 2024.

BIATHLON

RUSSIA: After most Olympic sports banned athletes and teams from Russia and Belarus, biathlon stepped up the isolation by banning its member federations from the countries.

Russia and Belarus “have violated the humanitarian obligations for member federations,” the International Biathlon Union said in a statement.

The IBU also noted the Russian military invasion “has stopped the activities of the Ukrainian Biathlon Federation” so it would be unfair for the “attacking countries” to enjoy membership rights while biathlon in Ukraine is disrupted.


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