Thursday Sports in Brief | AP News

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

MINNEAPOLIS, AP — Aliyah Boston dominated women’s college basketball on both ends of the court this season.

The junior forward helped South Carolina go wire-to-wire as the No. 1 team in the country, putting up an SEC-record 27 consecutive double-doubles, and she has helped put the Gamecocks two wins away from the program’s second national championship .

Boston was honored as The Associated Press women’s basketball player of the year on Thursday. She is the second player from South Carolina to be recognized with the award, joining former Gamecocks great A’ja Wilson.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Kim Mulkey knew she had a rebuilding project when she took over as coach of LSU this season.

The longtime Baylor coach quickly was able to orchestrate an incredible turnaround for the Tigers, who won 26 games — 17 more than last season.

Mulkey was honored Thursday as The Associated Press women’s basketball Coach of the Year, the third time she has won the award. Geno Auriemma and Muffet McGraw are the only other coaches to have accomplished the feat.

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. (AP) — South Dakota women’s basketball coach Dawn Plitzuweit, who took the Coyotes to a surprising run to the Sweet 16, was hired Thursday as coach at West Virginia.

Plitzuweit replaces Mike Carey, who retired two weeks ago after 21 seasons.

South Dakota beat Ole Miss and No. 2 seed Baylor in the NCAA Tournament before losing to Michigan, 52-49. The Coyotes finished the season 29-6.

MLB

NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball finalized the rules change Thursday to bring back automatic runners in extra innings for a third straight season.

Despite an easing of pandemic restrictions, MLB and the players’ association agreed to keep the controversial rule that starts each team with a runner on second base during extra innings for the 2022 regular season.

The agreement regarding on-field rules modifications also includes expanding active rosters from 26 players to 28 from opening day on April 7 through May 1 this year, due to the delayed start of spring training.

NCAA

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — NCAA President Mark Emmert said investigations into allegations of major violations against several high-profile men’s college basketball programs — including 2022 Final Four participant Kansas — have taken “way too long.”

What solutions might be on the table to speed it up, Emmert did not say, but there appears to be increasing acknowledgment that the current process is broken.

The Independent Accountability Resolution Process was created out of proposals from the commission led by former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in 2018 to reform the sport. He began looking into allegations against Kansas, Arizona, LSU, Louisville and North Carolina State on the heels of a federal investigation into corruption in college sports that resulted in convictions of shoe company executives, a middle man who worked with them and some assistant college coaches .

SOCCER

LONDON (AP) — Premier League teams will be able to use five substitutions per game beginning next season in a change announced following Thursday’s shareholders meeting.

The switch to five subs — up from three — brings the Premier League in line with other major competitions in Europe.

The league had used five subs as a temporary measure when play resumed in 2020 following the league’s mid-season suspension because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

SHORT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former minor league pitcher ran a major league illegal sports betting operation in California that used other former pro athletes to take bets and took wagers from players still in the game, federal prosecutors said Thursday.

Wayne Nix, who threw for Oakland Athletics farm teams, used his connections to recruit three former Major League Baseball players and a former pro football player as fellow bookies, prosecutors said.

The MLB began looking into the matter when it learned of it Thursday, but was unaware any of those involved other than Nix, a spokesman said.

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