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South Carolina, Creighton triumph into Elite 8

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GREENSBORO, N..C — Aliyah Boston had 28 points and 22 rebounds, and top-seeded South Carolina moved on to the Elite Eight with a 69-61 victory over North Carolina on Friday night in the NCAA Tournament.

The Gamecocks (32-2) will take on 10th-seeded Creighton in the Greensboro Region for a spot in the Final Four on Sunday.

The Tar Heels cut South Carolina’s 13-point fourth-quarter lead to five down the stretch. But each time, Boston got her team back on track with her 27th straight double-double. The All-American also scored her team’s final 13 points.

Deja Kelly led North Carolina (25-7) with 23 points.

GREENSBORO REGION

CREIGHTON 76, IOWA STATE 68

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Morgan Maly scored a career-high 21 points to help 10th-seeded Creighton beat Iowa State, matching the lowest ever seed to reach a women’s NCAA Tournament regional final.

Tatum Rembao added 19 for the Bluejays (23-9), who entered the Greensboro Region semifinals savoring the program’s first run to the Sweet 16. Now, Creighton has joined Lamar in 1991 and Oregon in 2017 as 10-seeds that pushed to the Elite Eight.

Creighton shot 55 per cent after halftime with six 3-pointers.

Emily Ryan had 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists to lead Iowa State (28-7), which shot just 38 per cent. Ashley Joens had 14 points but made just 3 of 11 shots and got much of her production at the line (7 of 7).

SPOKANE REGION

STANFORD 72, MARYLAND 66

SPOKANE, Wash. — Lexie Hull scored 19 points in her hometown, Haley Jones added 17 points and 10 rebounds, and top-seeded Stanford rolled into the women’s NCAA Tournament regional final with a win over No. 4 seed Maryland.

Meeting in the NCAAs for the first time since the schools played in the same building in the 2008 Elite Eight, the defending national champion Cardinal (31-3) dominated the Terrapins for the first three quarters. Maryland (23-9) trimmed the deficit to 68-59 with 1:41 left, but couldn’t get much closer.

Stanford will face No. 2 seed Texas in the regional final on Sunday night. It’s Stanford’s 21st Elite Eight under coach Tara VanDerveer.

Angel Reese led Maryland (23-9) with 25 points. Diamond Miller added 11 points but picked up two quick fouls early in the third and fouled out in the fourth.

Stanford will play No. 2 seed Texas on Sunday.

TEXAS 66, OHIO STATE 63

SPOKANE, Wash. — Joanne Allen-Taylor scored 17 points, and Texas beat Ohio State to advance to the Elite Eight.

Aliyah Matharu added 10 points for Texas (29-6), which will make its second straight appearance in the Elite Eight. The second-seeded Longhorns have won 14 straight games since their last loss on Feb. 6 — the second-longest active streak behind Stanford.

Taylor Mikesell scored 19 points and Jacy Sheldon had 17 for sixth-seeded Ohio State (25-7), which has not advanced beyond the Sweet 16 since 1993.



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Chelsea boss Emma Hayes demands change as ‘mental’ calendar sets up stop-start WSL season

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C

helsea boss Emma Hayes has warned that the current international calendar in women’s football is putting player welfare at risk.

It is less than two months since England won Euro 2022 but players are already preparing for their second international break of the new season.

After the Euros in July, the final round of Women’s World Cup qualifiers took place in the first week of September. Clubs have played a maximum of three WSL matches and there is now another international break after this weekend’s round of League Cup games.

The WSL returns on October 15 for four rounds of matches before another break for international fixtures in November, when the Lionesses will face Japan and Norway in Spain as part of a training camp ahead of next year’s World Cup.

Former USA World Cup-winning coach Jill Ellis is working with FIFA on ways to improve the international calendar in the women’s game, and Hayes said: “It is good they are looking at the calendar because I do not think it is right for players, clubs or countries.

“It makes no sense that you are playing three games and then there is an international break, and three international breaks seems mental.

“Long-term, I know international breaks are being looked at and they absolutely have to because for player welfare I do not think it is healthy.”

Hayes was speaking after Chelsea came from behind to beat West Ham 3-1 in the WSL on Wednesday night.



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Cameron Norrie books place in Korea Open quarter-finals with win over Kaichi Uchida | Tennis News

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Cameron Norrie is through to the quarter-finals of the Korea Open after seeing off Kaichi Uchida 6-2 6-2.

The British No 1 took a little over an hour to see off Uchida in straight sets and progress into the last eight in Seoul.

Norrie, the No 2 seed for the tournament, now faces Jenson Brooksby in the quarter-finals as he aims for his third tournament win of the year.

America’s Brooksby overcame Korean No 1 Kwon Soon-woo in their last-16 meeting, triumphing 6-3 6-4 over the home favourite.

Norrie has already won the Delray Beach Open and Lyon Open so far this year, and the Wimbledon semi-finalist’s performances have seen him move into the top 10 in the ATP rankings for the first time.

The 27-year-old is now aiming for a strong finish to the season which would ensure he finishes in the top eight on the Race to Turin and qualifies for a place in November’s ATP World Finals.





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Marlins RP Richard Bleier called for 3 balks in 1 at-bat

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Richard Bleier takes...issues with being called for three balks.

Richard Bleier takes…issues with being called for three balks.
Image: Getty Images

Is Marlins’ reliever Richard Bleier the first Jewish pitcher to be called for a balk on Rosh Hashanah? I don’t know. What is a stone-cold fact is coming into Tuesday’s game against the Mets, Bleier had made 572 professional baseball appearances over the course of 15 years — never in his seven big league seasons. He had committed nine balks before facing Pete Alonso at Citi Field with two outs in the eighth inning. His career total after facing Alonso: 12.

Yup, he gained a third of his prior career total in one at-bat, with all three being called by the game’s first-base umpire John Tumpane. Bleier is a lefty, so the closest jump to his pitching hand would be Tumpane. What move did the 35-year-old use to blatantly deceive the hitter? He was deemed to have not fully stopped his pitching motion with the ball in his glove.

Bleier was confused and a tad upset the first time it happened. He’d just faced three batters with the exact same motion and no balk had been called. When Tumpane called a balk loud enough where the field mics picked it up two pitches later, Bleier was visibly upset. When it happened for a third time, Don Mattingly, willingly got ejected — as well as Bleier, who was perturbed as he couldn’t comprehend what he was doing wrong while Jeff McNeil scored without the ball reaching the outfield. After an infield single, there were three easy 90-foot trots to score him.

The inning ended with an Alonso groundout and the Marlins ended up winning the game by the exact scoreline that lit up the scoreboard after McNeil crossed the plate, 6-4. Bleier became the seventh pitcher to be called for a balk three times in the same inning and the first to do it since Jim Gott in 1988, per the Elias Sports Bureau. He’s the only pitcher to do it three times in the same at-bat since 1900.

Umpiring quartets and teams bump into each other all over MLB’s circuit, so it’s hard to believe Tumpane and friends hadn’t seen Bleier throw before. And if he made the same motion facing the first three batters of the eighth inning, was Tumpane not paying attention? These were the first three MLB walks for Bleier, who’ll also represent Team Israel at next year’s World Baseball Classic.

[email protected]: Capps’ hop-step delivery analyzed

Punishing Bleier for a unique delivery is atrocious and comical. Look at how former Mariner and Marlin Carter Capps pitches the ball, with a hop-step similar to a javelin thrower than pitcher. His foot leaves the rubber with the ball in his hand. He’s literally closer to the mound and has a better chance at a strikeout. Isn’t that an unfair advantage? And Capps committed a balk zero times in his 129 career MLB appearances. If Bleier hadn’t been called for a balk in his MLB career before Tuesday, he’s not the one that has to adjust. Tumpane needs to keep himself in check. 



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