News Summaries from The Sports Network - Sunday, March 29

Texas and Rick Barnes officially part ways

Austin, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Texas and men's basketball coach Rick Barnes announced a mutual parting Sunday.

Multiple reports Saturday night indicated that Barnes was fired after 17 seasons at the helm, but the university and the coach jointly announced the split Sunday.

"I am so blessed to have spent the last 17 years at the University of Texas," said Barnes in a statement. "This university, the city of Austin and the great Texas fans have been so good to me and my family. I sincerely want to thank (former Texas men's athletic director) DeLoss Dodds and (former Texas chairman of the Board of Regents) Don Evans for their work in bringing me here and providing me with this great opportunity."

Barnes became the winningest coach in program history eight years ago and led Texas to the NCAA Tournament 16 times, reaching as far as the Final Four in 2003.

This year's squad finished 20-14, falling to Butler in its NCAA Tournament opener last week.

"I leave this job with no regrets," Barnes added. "Instead, I look back at our time here and say 'thank you' to all the players, coaches and staff who have worked with our program throughout the last 17 years."

Barnes guided the Longhorns to a record of 402-180 during his tenure, reaching the 20-win plateau 15 times. Texas claimed three Big 12 titles under Barnes, in 1999, 2006 and 2008, and set a school record with 13 consecutive 20-win seasons from 1999-2000 through 2011-12.

"The university owes Rick a great deal of gratitude and respect for all he's done to put Texas on the basketball map," said athletic director Steve Patterson. "He elevated our program immensely and always did it with class. He put our student-athletes first. He won with integrity. We thank Rick for his many years of service to Texas and wish him continued success in the future."

Barnes owns a career coaching record of 604-314 in 28 seasons, with previous stops at George Mason, Providence and Clemson.

Leitao back as DePaul coach

Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - DePaul has re-hired Dave Leitao as its head men's basketball coach, 10 years after the ending of his first tenure as the Blue Demons' leader.

Leitao led DePaul to three postseason appearances from 2002-05, including the NCAA Tournament in 2004, before leaving for Virginia.

"When he left in 2005, we recognized that it is the nature of our business that dynamic coaches get recruited away," said athletics director Jean Lenti Ponsetto. "Now we are pleased to welcome Dave, his wife Joyce and their family back to Lincoln Park with great enthusiasm for his leadership and the future development of our men's basketball program."

In nine seasons as a college head coach, Leitao's teams have gone 143-129. He posted a 58-34 record during his previous stint with the Blue Demons.

Oliver Purnell resigned as DePaul's head coach two weeks ago following a 12-20 campaign. It was the eighth straight season the program lost at least 19 games.

Penguins' Letang out with concussion

Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang sustained a concussion during Saturday's game against the Arizona Coyotes, coach Mike Johnston said Sunday.

Late in the second period, Coyotes forward Shane Doan shoved Letang, who went into the air and crashed into the boards. After staying on the ice for a couple of minutes, Letang was helped off the ice and taken to a hospital.

"He has a concussion, so that's been determined. He's been released from the hospital," said Johnston. "We'll see how he feels over the next few days and go from there."

The 27-year-old Letang has 11 goals and 43 assists in 69 games this season.

Jets activate Perreault

Winnipeg, MB (SportsNetwork.com) - Mathieu Perreault will be back in the lineup when the Winnipeg Jets host the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday.

Perreault, who hasn't played since Feb. 16 due to a lower-body injury, was activated from injured reserve.

The 27-year-old has 18 goals and 18 assists in 56 games this season.

Braves release James Russell

Lake Buena Vista, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Atlanta Braves have released pitcher James Russell.

Russell was acquired by Atlanta last July in a trade deadline deal with the Chicago Cubs and pitched to a 2.22 ERA in 22 games for the Braves. He struggled this spring training, however, allowing 10 runs -- nine earned -- on 10 hits in 7 2/3 innings.

The 29-year-old lefty has a career record of 10-16 with a 3.74 ERA in 338 appearances, all but six coming out of the bullpen.

Clippers sign Hudson to 10-day contract

Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Clippers have signed guard Lester Hudson to a 10-day contract.

Hudson comes to the Clippers from the Chinese Basketball Association, where he is a two-time MVP (2014, 2015) and three-time All-Star (2012, 2014, 2015). Most recently, Hudson played for Liaoning, where he averaged 31.2 points, 7.7 rebounds and 6.9 assists in 50 games.

Originally selected by the Boston Celtics in the second round of the 2009 NBA Draft, Hudson hasn't played in the NBA since the 2011-12 season. The 30-year- old owns career averages of 4.8 points, 1.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists over 52 games with Boston, Memphis, Washington and Cleveland.

Smith replaces Larson for Martinsville race

Martinsville, VA (SportsNetwork.com) - Regan Smith substituted for Kyle Larson in the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet in Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway after Larson was sidelined due to additional medical tests following his fainting spell on Saturday.

Larson, the 2004 rookie of the year in NASCAR's top series, was taken to nearby Martinsville Memorial Hospital for precautionary reasons after he fainted during an autograph session at this half-mile track. He was awake and alert when he was transported to the hospital. On Saturday night, the 22-year- old Larson was sent to the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, where he underwent further testing and consulted with a neurologist.

"Although all tests came back negative and Larson feels completely fine, the doctors felt he should be held for more testing today," Larson's team said in a statement.

Larson's team had put a plan in place if he would not be able to compete in this 500-lap race at Martinsville. The team contacted Smith on Saturday night and sent him to its race shop in Concord, North Carolina to be fitted for a seat in the No. 42 car.

"I pretty much just got wind that something was going on last night," Smith said during a press conference held shortly before the start of the race. "We had a plan in effect that if for some reason Kyle couldn't race today. I didn't know anything until this morning when I woke up. I had a text message when I woke up this morning and headed this way."

Due to the driver change, Smith had to start the race from the rear of the field.

Smith, who drives a full-time schedule for JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series, has nine previous Sprint Cup starts at Martinsville but had not competed here since April 2013. He drove the No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet in place of Kurt Busch in the first three races this season (Daytona, Atlanta and Las Vegas) when Busch was suspended by NASCAR amid domestic violence allegations. Smith has also substituted for Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the past.

Even though Larson missed this race, he remains eligible for the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship since he had qualified seventh for the event on Friday. Larson came to Martinsville ranked 18th in the point standings. He has scored two top-10 finishes in five races this season.

Vettel wins Malaysian GP in just his second start with Ferrari

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (SportsNetwork.com) - Sebastian Vettel claimed his and Ferrari's first win in Formula One since 2013 after finishing well ahead of Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix.

Vettel, in just his second race with Ferrari, started second but took the lead on lap 4 of this 56-lap race when Hamilton, the pole sitter, and Rosberg pitted under the safety car. Sauber's Marcus Ericsson spun into the gravel to force the deployment of the safety car. Vettel took command from there, capitalizing on a two-stop strategy compared to three stops for both Hamilton and Rosberg.

Vettel crossed the finish line 8.5 seconds ahead of Hamilton and 12.3 seconds in front of Rosberg at Sepang International Circuit for his 40th career F1 win but his first since the 2013 season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix (21 races ago). The German won 13 grand prix that season, including victories in the last nine races, to earn his fourth consecutive F1 world championship.

"It's been a while since I've been on the top (podium) step and obviously my first time with Scuderia Ferrari," an emotional Vettel said during the post- race podium ceremony. "I'm speechless. I've only got two races with the team, but I'm very, very happy and proud today. We beat them fair and square. It was a great achievement. I had a great car - so plenty of positives. I guess that's why I'm a bit emotional."

Ferrari's last victory occurred nearly two years ago with driver Fernando Alonso winning the Spanish Grand Prix. Vettel joined the Italian team and replaced Alonso this season after spending the past six years with Red Bull Racing.

"It was a big change, but the team welcomed me from the very first day," Vettel said of his move to Ferrari this year. "When the gate opened at Maranello (Ferrari's factory in Italy), it was like a dream come true."

Vettel won the Malaysian GP for a record fourth time. With the victory, he moved to within three points of Hamilton for the lead in the championship standings. Hamilton scored the win in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix two weeks ago and then placed second in Malaysia to give him 43 points for the season.

"Huge congratulations to Ferrari and to Sebastian. They did an amazing job," Hamilton said. "I gave it everything I could. Ferrari had good pace today. I knew coming into this weekend that they had made a step forward, but I didn't know how big. They were too fast for us today."

A Mercedes driver had won the last eight grand prix, a streak dating back to Sept. 7 in Italy.

"All I can say now on behalf of our team is, 'Game on, Ferrari'," Rosberg said.

Kimi Raikkonen, who is Vettel's teammate, started 11th and then had a puncture of his left-rear tire on the opening lap when he made contact with Felipe Nasr from Sauber, but Raikkonen rebounded nicely for a fourth-place finish.

Williams teammates Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa placed fifth and sixth, respectively, while Toro Rosso driver Max Verstappen, at the age of 17, became the youngest points scorer in F1 history with a seventh-place finish. Verstappen's teammate, Carlos Sainz Jr. was eighth. The Red Bull duo of Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo completed the top-10.

McLaren drivers Jenson Button and Alonso were forced to retire. Button suffered a loss of power after completing 41 laps, while Alonso experienced a technical problem 22 laps into the race. Honda is supplying engines for McLaren this year.

Alonso made his first start of the season after suffering a concussion during an accident in preseason testing last month in Barcelona.

Walker cruises to victory in San Antonio

San Antonio, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Jimmy Walker cruised to a 4-stroke win at the Texas Open on Sunday.

Walker closed with a 2-under 70 to finish at 11-under-par 277. This was his second win this season on the PGA Tour, and fifth of his tour career. He became the first multiple winner on tour this season.

"It's at home and it's cool. You can feel the support ... and it doesn't happen very often, winning in your hometown," Walker said.

The Texan, who lives 30 minutes from the AT&T Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio, stretched his lead to seven shots with seven holes to go. Jordan Spieth made a late rally, but Walker matched Spieth's birdies at 16 and 17 to pick up the win.

Walker snapped a streak of 54-hole leaders failing to win. The last nine 54- hole leaders on the PGA Tour had failed to hang on for the victory.

"It's tough, especially today. I don't know what the scoring average was, but it plays hard and it played hard today. The golf course wasn't giving up much. Sometimes, it was hard to make pars," Walker stated. "I felt like I was leaking a little oil there, I wasn't putting very good and I then made a couple."

Spieth rallied from an up and down opening 10 holes with four straight birdies from the 14th for a closing 70. He ended alone in second place at minus-7.

Reigning FedExCup champion Billy Horschel posted a 1-under 71 to grab third place at 4-under-par 284. Daniel Summerhays (69) and Chesson Hadley (70) shared fourth place at minus-3.

Dustin Johnson closed with his second straight 68 to match the low round of the day. He tied for sixth at 2-under 286 with Ryan Palmer, who also shot 68 on Sunday.

After Spieth inched within three thanks to a birdie at the first, Walker drained an 8-footer for birdie on the second to regain his 4-stroke cushion. Walker missed a 4-foot par effort at the fourth and dropped another stroke at seven.

Walker was still three clear of Spieth. The eighth proved to be the big turning point. Walker blasted from a greenside bunker to four feet and dropped that putt in for birdie.

Spieth made a mess of the hole en route to a bogey, which dropped him five off the pace.

Walker ran home a 16-foot birdie putt at 10, and after Horschel bogeyed the 11th, Walker led by seven shots. He 3-putted for bogey at the 12th and followed that with three pars in a row.

Spieth was even-par for the day through five holes with bogeys at three and four to go with birdies at one and five. He dropped a shot on No. 8 and made the fourth bogey of his round on No. 10.

The Valspar Championship winner was seven back at that point, but started to make a move with a 45-foot birdie putt at the 14th. Spieth made it two in a row as he converted a 10-footer for birdie on No. 15.

Walker rolled in a birdie putt at 16 and Spieth matched him. The same happened at 17. Walker poured in an 18-foot birdie effort to move to minus-11. Spieth tried to keep the pressure on as he made a 7-footer for birdie to remain four back.

Both Walker and Spieth made par at the last to set the final margin.

"It actually looked like I had a chance. I didn't think that would be possible," Spieth admitted. "You're never out of it in this game, but Jimmy shut that down pretty quickly with his made putts."

NOTES: Walker collected $1.116 million for the win ... Bill Haas was the last 54-hole leader to win, and that was in January at the Humana Challenge ... After no wins in his first 187 PGA Tour events, Walker has five wins in his last 37 starts ... Spieth has finished in the top-7 in four of his last five starts ... The PGA Tour shifts to Humble, Texas next week for the Shell Houston Open, where Matt Jones beat Matt Kuchar in a playoff last year.

Ramsay survives wild day, wins Trophee Hassan II

Agadir, Morocco (SportsNetwork.com) - Richie Ramsay had a roller coaster day en route to a 3-under 69 in Sunday's final round, but he was able to hang on and win by one shot at the Trophee Hassan II.

Ramsay, who held a share of the second- and third-round leads, finished the week at 10-under-par 278, one stroke better than runner-up Romain Wattel. The victory is the third of Ramsay's career and his first since the 2012 European Masters.

Wattel held the outright lead at one point Sunday, but he could not hold off Ramsay. Wattel, a third-round co-leader alongside Ramsay and Andrew McArthur, shot a 2-under 70 to finish alone in second at 9-under 279.

Needing a win at Golf du Palais Royal this week in order to earn an invite to the Masters, George Coetzee (70) fell just short and ended in a tie for third at 8-under. Joining him there was Chris Wood (67), Pablo Larrazabal (68), Mikael Lundberg (69), Jaco Van Zyl (70) and Kevin Phelan (70).

By the time Ramsay and the other third-round co-leaders were teeing off, five others joined the group at 7-under, making it an eight-way tie for the lead early on.

Starting on three, Ramsay looked like he was poised to run away with the tournament as he ripped off four straight birdies from No. 3, including a birdie conversion on a putt from just off the green on five.

With Wattel making birdie on three, Ramsay's lead was up to three shots through six holes.

Then the wheels started to come off for Ramsay. His birdie streak came to an abrupt halt as he tripped to a bogey on seven and the Scotsman followed that up with a brutal triple-bogey on eight. Just like that Ramsay's lead was gone and he dropped two shots back to minus-7 as Wattel made a gain on seven to take the lead at 9-under.

"I made six, as simple as that," Ramsay said about the eighth hole. "I just didn't execute the shot the way I wanted to. Hit a poor chip, it came back in the divot, wouldn't come out, chipped on and two putts. Easy six."

Luckily for Ramsay the mess on eight did not discourage him and it was his last blemish of the day. Four holes later Ramsay joined a large group at minus-8 with a gain on 12.

"I stood over the putt on the 12th hole and I just thought my putter feels absolutely great, I could see all the lines," said Ramsay.

Ramsay strung together two more gains on 13 and 14, making it three straight. After blowing his 3-shot lead, Ramsay had come roaring back to take the outright advantage once again.

From there 31-year-old never relinquished his lead again. While Wattel bogeyed 14 and birdied 17 to finish one back at minus-9, Ramsay ended with four straight pars, including a clutch save on 17, to seal his title.

"I thought 'just go for it, this is your time,'" Ramsay stated. "Pretty much took it by the scruff of the neck (on 13 and 14) and the 7-iron on the last is probably one of the best shots I've ever hit in terms of visualization and execution, it was just perfect."

NOTES: Ramsay also won the 2010 South African Open Championship ... This is the first of six events this season that Ramsay even finished in the money. He missed four cuts and withdrew from the Omega Dubai Desert Classic prior to this week ... Wattel was seeking his first career win on the European Tour ... Ramsay earned 250,000 euros with this victory ... The European Tour is off next week and the Masters is the following week as Bubba Watson returns as the defending champion looking for his third career win in Augusta.

Nocera wins by 2 in Morocco

Agadir, Morocco (SportsNetwork.com) - Gwladys Nocera fired a 1-under 70 in Sunday's final round and she went on to win by two shots at the Lalla Meryem Cup.

Nocera finished the week at 13-under-par 271 for her 14th career victory on the Ladies European Tour. Her last win prior to this one was at the Hero Women's Indian Open last year.

After shooting three straight rounds in the 60s, Nocera coasted to the finish as she got going early in her final round at Golf de L'Ocean with back-to-back birdies on two and three.

Following four straight pars from four, Nocera got to 3-under on the day with a gain on eight. She continued to cruise with another birdie on 11, pushing her to 16-under for the week.

A double-bogey on 14 and a bogey on 17 did not come back to bite Nocera as she still parred the last to win by two.

Melissa Reid (66), Felicity Johnson (67) and Nicole Garcia (70) all finished tied for second at 11-under 273, while Nanna Koerstz Madsen (68) was the next- closest competitor at 9-under 275.

Sue Kim wins Symetra title by 3

Lake Wales, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Sue Kim closed with a 2-under 70 to win the Florida's Natural Charity Classic by three strokes.

Kim ended her second Symetra Tour title at 5-under-par 211.

The Canadian bogeyed the third, but came right back with birdies at four and five. Kim repeated that starting at No. 7 at Lakes Wales Country Club.

Kim stumbled to a bogey at the seventh. She followed with birdies at eight and nine to move to minus-5. Around the turn, Kim traded a birdie at the 13th for a bogey on No. 14. She parred the last four to earn the win.

Sisters Brooke and Brittany Henderson shared second place at minus-2. Brooke matched Kim's 70, while Brittany stumbled to a 2-over 74.

Former LPGA Tour winner Silvia Cavalleri shot 74 and ended alone in fourth at 1-under-par 215. Second-round leader Daniela Iacobelli struggled to a 9-over 81 and tumbled into a tie for 13th at 3-over 219.

American Pharoah and Dortmund favored in final Derby Future Wager

Louisville, KY (SportsNetwork.com) - American Pharoah and Dortmund, both trained by Bob Baffert, have closed as the two favorites in the fourth and final Kentucky Derby Future Wager.

The wagering began Friday at noon and closed 6 p.m. ET Sunday. There were 23 individual 3-year-olds in the pool along with the mutuel field of "all others."

American Pharoah, owned by Zayat Stables, finished as the 5-1 favorite after opening at 9-2. The colt, last year's champion 2-year-old, will start in the Arkansas Derby on April 11.

Dortmund, winner of the San Felipe Stakes, is the 6-1 second choice after opening at 5-1 in the morning line. Owned by Kaleem Shah, the colt will start in Saturday's Santa Anita Derby.

The 8-1 third choice in the Future Wager is Mubtaahij, winner of Saturday's UAE Derby at Dubai. The colt is trained by Michael de Kock for Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum of Dubai.

The mutuel field, 8-1 in the morning line, closed at 11-1.

The 141st Run for the Roses will go off on Saturday, May 2.

03/29 20:15:24 ET


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