COLLEGES

The 3-point line is moving back in men’s college basketball.

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel announced Wednesday that the arc will be moved to 22 feet, 1 3/4 inches for the 2019-20 season, matching the international distance.

The change will not go into effect in Division II and III until 2020-21 due to the potential financial impact on schools.

The committee said the line was moved to make the lane more available for drives from the perimeter, to slow the trend of making 3-pointers so prevalent and to create more offensive spacing by requiring the defense to cover more of the court.

The international line was used on an experimental basis in the National Invitational Tournament the past two seasons. Teams attempted 23.1 3-point shots in the 2019 NIT compared to 22.8 in the 2018-19 regular season. The 3-point shooting percentage also dropped 2.2 percent to 33 percent.

The 3-point line was last moved in 2008-09, extending a foot to 20 feet, 9 inches.

BASEBALL

NECBL: The Sanford Mainers dropped their season opener 13-0 against the North Adams Steeplecats, at North Adams, Massachusetts.

The Mainers were hitless through the first 5 1/3 innings by Tyler Hays, who was relieved by Jacob Abbott. Shane Marshall then got a single off Abbott.

For the Steeplecats, Sam Punzi had four RBI, going 2 for 4.

The game was called with one out in the sixth inning due to rain.

HOCKEY

NHL:  San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson had groin surgery before becoming eligible for free agency this summer.

The Sharks said Karlsson had the operation last week and has already started rehabilitation. The team says Karlsson is expected to recover fully in the offseason and be ready for the start of the 2019-20 season.

The big question surrounding Karlsson now will be where he plays next season. The Sharks acquired the two-time Norris Trophy-winning defenseman from Ottawa just before the start of the season. Karlsson is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent July 1 and has given no indication whether he wants to return to San Jose or find a new team.

The 29-year-old Karlsson initially injured his groin in January and missed 27 of the final 33 regular-season games for San Jose. Karlsson returned in the final regular-season game and played in the postseason despite being visibly hampered by the injury.
• Buffalo Sabres GM Jason Botterill remains confident that 40-goal-scorer Jeff Skinner will re-sign with the team.

Contract talks began in January. Botterill says negotiations continue and both sides are focused on having a contract completed before the NHL’s free agency period opens July 1.

Skinner, 27, is a nine-year NHL veteran who has topped 30 goals four times and been considered a key piece for a rebuilding team since Buffalo acquired him in a trade with Carolina in August.

RUSSIA: Pavel Datysuk has signed for his hometown Russian club in the Kontinental Hockey League, ending speculation of a possible return to the NHL.

The 40-year-old center has signed a one-year deal with Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg, the successor to the team where he began his pro career in the 1996-97 season.

Datysuk left the NHL in 2016 to return to Russia with SKA St. Petersburg after 953 games for the Detroit Red Wings. He won an Olympic gold medal last year with the Olympic Athletes from Russia after the NHL did not allow its players to take part.

He left SKA last month after three KHL seasons.

SOCCER

NATIONS LEAGUE: Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat trick as Portugal defeated Switzerland 3-1 at Porto, Portugal, to reach the final of the inaugural UEFA’s tournament.

Ronaldo converted a first-half free kick then scored two late goals to give the hosts a spot in Sunday’s final.

Portugal will play either the Netherlands or England, which meet in the other semifinal on Thursday in Guimaraes. Switzerland will face that game’s loser in the third-place game, also on Sunday.


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