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
"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
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
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
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
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
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
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
"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
"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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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