BASKETBALL

Jaden Springer hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 1:05 remaining, lifting the Delaware Blue Coats to a 111-107 win Thursday night against the Maine Celtics at the Portland Expo.

Braxton Key led Delaware with 30 points and 13 rebounds, and Springer finished with 25 points.

All five starters scored in double figures for Maine, paced by Deonte Burton with 26 points and Sam Hauser with 24. Luke Kornet had 19 points, 12 rebounds and six assists, and Brodric Thomas had 14 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists.

SNOWBOARDING

OLYMPICS: Shaun White all but wrapped up a spot in his fifth Olympics when he qualified for the finals of a contest in Laax, Switzerland, and his nearest American pursuer failed to move on.

White finished fifth in the qualifying round, and Chase Blackwell failed to make it to Saturday’s 12-man final.

It means White, who went into the event as the fourth-ranked American in the World Snowboard Points List, cannot fall further down in that ranking, while Blackwell, who was fifth, cannot move up. The U.S. has four spots on the men’s halfpipe team and is expected to use those rankings to fill out the team.

Taylor Gold has already secured a spot with a podium finish at a qualifying event in Colorado last month. Chase Josey and Lucas Foster are also in line to earn spots.

White is in pursuit of his fourth Olympic gold medal. However, his lead-up to the Beijing Games has been rough. He was diagnosed with COVID-19, the lingering effects of which forced him to pull out of last week’s qualifier in Mammoth Mountain, California. Earlier, a broken binding hampered his run at the Dew Tour in Colorado.

GOLF

PGA: More than a quarter-century after Jim Furyk first won the Sony Open, he made a hole-in-one on the 17th hole to cap a big run late in his opening round for an 8-under 62, giving him a one-shot lead among early starters at Honolulu’s Waialae Country Club.

Kevin Chappell, down to his last five tournaments on a medical exemption stemming from back surgery, past Sony Open winner Patton Kizzire and Michael Thompson were at 63.

Cameron Smith, who won last week at Kapalua with a record score to par at 34 under, was among those playing in the afternoon as he tries to join Justin Thomas (2017) and Ernie Els (2003) as the only player to sweep the Hawaii swing.

BASEBALL

MINORS: The Atlantic League is restoring its pitching mound to 60 feet, 6 inches from home plate and returning strike zone judgement to umpires after experimenting with moving the rubber back a foot and using an automatic ball-strike system.

The independent league announced the changes as part of its partnership with Major League Baseball. The sides have been paired since 2019, with the Atlantic League agreeing to test rules and equipment that might one day reach the majors.

Neither the data nor feedback from players or coaches in the Atlantic League last season suggested there was much effect on moving the mound to 61 feet, 6 inches.

The league will continue to use larger, 17-inch bases; anti-shift rules; and a change to extra innings that puts runners at first and second to begin the first inning after regulation, then loads the bases for innings after that.

MAJORS: Travis Snider says he has retired after eight major league seasons.

Snider, who turns 34 on Feb. 2, last played in the major leagues in 2015 with Pittsburgh. He spent last season with the Atlanta Braves’ Triple-A farm team at Gwinnett and hit .174 with four home runs and 15 RBI in 138 at-bats.

Snider was the 14th overall pick by the Blue Jays in the 2006 amateur draft. He had a .244 average with 54 homers and 212 RBI for Toronto (2008-12), Pittsburgh (2012-15) and Baltimore (2015).

SOCCER

ENGLAND: Liverpool failed to take advantage of Granit Xhaka’s 24th-minute red card and was held to a 0-0 draw at home by Arsenal in the first leg of the English League Cup semifinals.

With star forwards Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane at the African Cup of Nations, Liverpool lacked a cutting edge up front against an already-depleted Arsenal team that lost two more players – Cedric Soares and Bukayo Saka – to injury during the game.

The winner of this semifinal will meet Chelsea in the title match at Wembley Stadium next month. The second leg is at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium next week.

BRAZIL: Coach Tite announced his squad for two upcoming World Cup qualifier matches, leaving out injured star Neymar and noting that defender Renan Lodi wasn’t selected because he hasn’t been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Neymar is still recovering from an ankle injury suffered in late November.

AUTO RACING

FORMULA ONE: Formula One’s governing body started a detailed analysis into last season’s title-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where Max Verstappen overtook Lewis Hamilton on the last lap in one of the most controversial finishes in F1 history.

The FIA said all teams have been consulted and that a discussion with drivers will now follow. Details will then be provided to the F1 commission next month before “final decisions” are announced when the season-opening Bahrain GP begins on March 18.

• The Alpine Formula One team said Marcin Budkowski has left his role as executive director.

A team statement said Laurent Rossi will take temporary charge “to allow everyone to focus on the next season’s preparation.”

The 2022 season begins in Bahrain on March 20.

Budkowski became executive director in 2018 when Alpine was racing as Renault before being rebranded.

SKIING

WORLD CUP: Emerging Swiss star Marco Odermatt beat Norwegian rival Aleksander Aamodt Kilde by 0.23 seconds in a super-G at Wengen, Switzerland.

Matthias Mayer, the 2018 Olympic champion, was 0.58 behind in third place for his third podium place of the season in a discipline dominated by Odermatt and Kilde.

Once crowned the world’s best all-around men’s Alpine skier, Swiss racer Carlo Janka announced the end of his injury-hit racing career at his home country’s most storied venue.

Janka’s career peaked in 2010 when he was the overall World Cup champion in a stacked lineup that included Bode Miller, Aksel Lund Svindal, Ivica Kostelic and Marcel Hirscher.

He was also the gold medalist in giant slalom at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and winner of that year’s Lauberhorn downhill at Wengen that is mythic in Switzerland’s sports history.

Janka is entered in downhill races on Friday and Saturday that will mark the end of a career that included 11 World Cup race wins and a gold medal in giant slalom at the 2009 world championships.

FIGURE SKATING

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS: Kamila Valieva broke her own world-best score in the women’s short program to take the lead at Tallinn, Estonia.

The 15-year-old Russian, widely considered to be a favorite for the Olympics title next month, landed four triple jumps, including a triple axel, and scored 90.45 points to lead by 14.

Skating to “In Memoriam” in a program dedicated to her late grandmother, Valieva beat the previous best of 87.42 she set at the Russian round of the Grand Prix series in November.

Loena Hendrickx of Belgium took a surprise second place with 76.25 points to stop Russia from taking the top three spots, as it did in the men’s and pairs short programs on Wednesday. The free skate is Saturday.

Alexandrova Trusova is in third place with 75.13 points after recovering from a fall on her opening triple axel, and Anna Shcherbakova scored 69.05 for fourth after a costly fall on the first jump of what should have been a triple-triple combination.

TENNIS

SYDNEY CLASSIC: Ons Jabeur retired from the quarterfinals because of a lower back injury, allowing Anett Kontaveit to advance.

The fourth-seeded Kontaveit advanced after the seventh-seeded Tunisian lost the opening set 6-4 and decided to stop soon after.

Kontaveit will next face third-seeded Barbora Krejcikova, who beat Caroline Garcia 6-0, 6-2.

Second-seeded Garbine Muguruza was upset by Daria Kasatkina 6-4, 6-4 in the quarterfinals. The Russian will next face fifth-seeded Paula Badosa, who defeated Belinda Bencic 7-6 (6), 3-6, 6-3.

In the men’s tournament, former No. 1 Andy Murray advanced to the semifinals when eighth-seeded David Goffin retired at the start of the second set. Murray took the first set 6-2.

Murray will next face Reilly Opelka. The fourth-seeded American beat Brandon Nakashima 7-6 (4), 6-2.

Top-seeded Aslan Karatsev also advanced by beating Lorenzo Sonego 6-2, 3-6, 6-2. The Russian, who last year reached the Australian Open semifinals as a qualifier, will next play third-seeded Dan Evans, who beat Maxime Cressy 6-4, 7-6 (5).

ADELAIDE INTERNATIONAL: Former U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic beat Tommy Paul 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 and reached the semifinals for the second straight week.

In a match of strong servers, Cilic served 14 aces to Paul’s eight and won 84% of his first-serve points.

He will next face Thanasi Kokkinakis after the Adelaide native beat Aleksander Vukic 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-2.

Third-seeded Karen Khachanov, runner-up at the first Adelaide International last week, lost to 58th-ranked qualifier Arthur Rinderknech of France 7-6 (7), 7-5.
Rinderknech’s semifinal match will be against Corentin Moutet, who beat Thiago Monteiro 6-4, 6-4.

In the women’s draw, third-seeded Coco Gauff beat Ana Konjuh 6-3, 6-4. She will next face Madison Keys, who defeated eighth-seeded Liudmila Samsonova 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

Fourth-seeded Tamara Zidansek beat Lauren Davis 7-6 (4), 7-6 (7) to set up to a semifinal match against Alison Riske, who advanced when Madison Brengle retired at 3-3 in the first set of their match.


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