Kang, Gonzalez win starting jobs in Pirates’ infield

BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) — Jung Ho Kang and Erik Gonzalez have won starting jobs in the infield with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
General manager Neal Huntington said Monday that Kang has beaten out Colin Moran at third base and Erik Gonzalez has won the shortstop competition over Kevin Newman.
“It was not an easy decision because all four guys, in their own way, had legitimate claims to be the regular,” Huntington said.
Kang is just 5 for 28 (.185) with 13 strikeouts this spring but all five hits have been solo home runs. Moran was 6 for 28 (.214) with a double and a homer through the weekend.
Moran, however, had committed four errors while Kang had two.
“The power has been real,” manager Clint Hurdle said of Kang. “It’s spring training, but it’s five homers. We don’t have anybody else that’s hit five homers.”
Kang missed the entire 2017 season and the beginning of 2018 because he was unable to secure a work visa to travel from his native South Korea following a third DUI arrest. He then underwent wrist surgery last year before returning to the Pirates for the final three games of the season.
The Pirates beat the Rays 4-2 on Monday behind a strong start from Nick Kingham, who made his final bid for the fifth starter job. Kingham retired his first 11 batters, struck out five and allowed two hits over five scoreless innings.
Charlie Morton allowed two runs over five innings for Tampa Bay against his former team.
MORE FROM AROUND SPRING TRAINING
YANKEES 7, BRAVES 4
Looking to bolster their ailing rotation, the Yankees signed left-hander Gio Gonzalez to a minor league contract. The two-time All-Star was 10-11 with a 4.21 ERA last season for Washington and Milwaukee, which acquired him on Aug. 31.
Luke Voit, trying to beat out Greg Bird for New York’ first base job, hit his fourth homer of the spring. Aaron Judge hit a two-run triple. Judge has four doubles, a triple, six homers and 14 RBIs.
In his next-to-last tuneup for opening day, Masahiro Tanaka allowed one run and two hits in five innings, giving up a homer to Nick Markakis.
RANGERS 3, DODGERS 1
Ross Stripling will begin the season in the starting rotation for Los Angeles, with ace Clayton Kershaw unlikely to be on the active roster.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced Kershaw won’t start on opening day because of the left shoulder inflammation that’s slowed him at spring training, ending his streak of pitching eight straight openers. Kershaw is scheduled to throw live batting practice Wednesday, but there are no plans in place after that.
Increasingly, it appears left-hander Rich Hill will get the ball against the Arizona Diamondbacks on opening day.
Rougned Odor had three hits and Shin-Soo Choo added two for Texas. Mike Minor tossed 3 1/3 shutout innings.
Brad Miller homered for Los Angeles, and Stripling gave up two runs and five hits in 4 2/3 innings.
MARINERS 6, YOMIURI GIANTS 5
Mitch Haniger hit a tying, two-run homer in the seventh inning and David Freitas homered in the eighth to give the Mariners their second straight exhibition win over the Giants in Tokyo. Dee Gordon and Omar Narvaez each had two hits. Felix Hernandez allowed five runs in four innings in his final regular-season tuneup.
BLUE JAYS 3, TIGERS (SS) 2
Teoscar Hernandez homered in the first inning and Clayton Richard pitched six solid innings for Toronto. Richard allowed two runs and three hits while striking out six. Dalton Pompey added three hits.
Daniel Norris allowed three runs in three innings for Detroit. Gordon Beckham had a solo homer in the first.
MARLINS 7, NATIONALS (SS) 1
Caleb Smith struck out seven in five innings of one-run ball for Miami. Peter O’Brien had two hits and five RBIs, and Austin Dean had three hits.
Patrick Corbin allowed five runs and nine hits in five innings, striking out five. Ryan Zimmerman singled and scored for Washington, which had just three hits.
ORIOLES 14, TIGERS (SS) 1
Dwight Smith Jr. homered and had three hits to lift Baltimore. Trey Mancini and Jonathan Villar each tripled, and Chance Sisco had two hits. Andrew Cashner opened with five innings of one-run ball.
Nick Castellanos hit a first-inning home run for the Tigers, who were held to just three hits. Jordan Zimmermann pitched 4 1/3 innings, allowing five runs and five hits.
TWINS 4, RED SOX 1
Eddie Rosario hit a two-run home run for the Twins. Jose Berrios pitched 4 2/3 innings and limited the defending World Series champions to a run, three hits, and three walks while striking out four.
Nathan Eovaldi pitched four innings of two-run ball for Boston. J.D. Martinez was 2 for 2.
CARDINALS 4, PHILLIES 1
Dakota Hudson firmed up his bid for a rotation spot by striking out eight over five scoreless innings. The 2016 first-round pick allowed four hits and walked one, dropping his spring ERA to 1.72. Paul Goldschmidt hit his first homer with St. Louis, and Tyler O’Neill went deep for the fifth time.
With Bryce Harper getting a day off, Philadelphia had just six hits.
NATIONALS (SS) 6, METS 5
Spencer Kieboom homered and had two hits and three RBIs for the Nationals, and his brother, Carter Kieboom, also had two hits. Joe Ross allowed two hits in three innings.
Jeurys Familia struck out two during a perfect first inning, and Kyle Dowdy followed with three scoreless innings. Michael Conforto hit a two-run homer. Mets aces Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard squared off in an intrasquad game and combined to strike out 24 batters. New York used them on the back fields instead of against Washington to avoid giving the NL East rivals any extra looks.
GIANTS 5, WHITE SOX 2
Tyler Beede struck out three in two innings, allowing two runs and four hits for San Francisco. Steven Duggar had two hits and Donovan Solano drove in two.
Yonder Alonso hit his fourth home run of the spring and Adam Engel had two hits for the White Sox. Manny Banuelos allowed two runs and three hits over 4 1/3 innings.
PADRES 3, INDIANS 1
San Diego pulled rookie and possible opening day starter Chris Paddack was scratched hours before the game and will instead pitch in a minor league game Tuesday. Robbie Erlin pitched instead and delivered two scoreless innings. Wil Myers hit his first homer of the spring and Josh Naylor hit his second.
Trevor Bauer struck out nine over 5 2/3 innings but also allowed three runs and four hits, including two home runs. Eric Stamets had two of Cleveland’s three hits.
ROCKIES 5, REDS 2
Trevor Story homered and Ryan McMahon had a homer and a double. Kyle Freeland allowed two runs and seven hits over 4 2/3 innings.
Tyler Mahle allowed four runs in four innings for the Reds. He’s expected to take the season-opening roster spot left open by Alex Wood, sidelined with a back ailment. Scott Schebler homered and had two hits to lift his average to .429.
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Some lawmakers worry about allowing sports bets on phones

By JENNIFER McDERMOTT and GEOFF MULVIHILL Associated Press
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — For states looking to profit off the new world of legal sports betting, there’s an app for that. The question for state lawmakers: Should they allow it?
As state legislatures across the U.S. decide whether to authorize sports gambling, lawmakers are debating whether the bets — like almost everything else in daily life — should be allowed to happen online or made only in-person.
Among their concerns is that the accessibility of online betting, especially on mobile devices, could be a pathway for minors to start gambling and make sports betting more addictive.
The debate was on display this past week in Rhode Island, where the Legislature sent a bill to the governor that expands the state’s sports betting law by allowing wagers to take place online.
Rep. Teresa Tanzi, who voted against the bill, said she worries about giving people unlimited access to an activity that can be highly addictive.
“We know cellphones are addictive and gambling is addictive,” said Tanzi, a Democrat. “It’s two corrosive elements together, and we don’t know what those two things together will exponentially produce. I just don’t see that there’s adequate caution moving forward.”
She wants the state to launch a public awareness campaign to educate people about the signs of gambling addiction and to dedicate sports betting revenue to help problem gamblers. Tanzi also said that any mobile app designed to take sports bets should include information about how people can get help if they are developing an addiction.
Rep. Anastasia Williams, who supported the addition of mobile sports bets, said Rhode Island needs to embrace technology. If it doesn’t, she warned that gambling revenue will go to other states.
“Change is here to stay,” she said.
A U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year opened the door to sports betting outside Nevada, which previously had been the only state where it was legal. Since then, seven more states have legalized it and it has been approved but not yet taken effect in Arkansas, New York and Washington, D.C. Bills are under consideration this year to legalize it in roughly two dozen states.
Whether to allow sports betting on mobile devices is being considered in at least 14 states and has been a contentious issue in some of those, including Indiana.
State Sen. Jon Ford wants bets to be taken online as well as at Indiana riverboat casinos and racetracks.
“Everybody’s using mobile to do all kinds of things we weren’t 10 years ago,” said Ford, a Republican. “It’s the future. It’s inevitable.”
He co-authored a bill passed by the Senate that now must pass a House committee, but the committee chairman is cool to the idea of allowing sports bets to be placed on mobile devices.
Republican state Rep. Ben Smaltz said he views mobile betting as a significant expansion of gambling and major policy shift. He fears it could lead to more problem gambling and traditional casino games moving online.
“If you’re allowing sports gaming on a mobile device, what kind of expansion does that lead us to?” he said. “I’m comfortable with it in on the properties now, and I’m going to hear the bill. But it would be difficult to imagine a scenario where I, or certainly a large number of people in Indiana, would think it’s a good idea to put mobile out there right now.”
In Arizona, state Sen. Sonny Borrelli is leading the legislative push to legalize sports betting, but his bill would confine it to tribal casinos and the bars and social clubs that partner with them.
The Republican lawmaker said he is not planning to include mobile betting. Among other concerns, he said he’s not confident in the technology to guarantee that gamblers playing online are over 21.
Expanding sports betting will likely increase gambling addiction unless states adopt stronger regulations and companies adopt higher standards, said Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling. For example, he said states should require that messages about responsible gambling be sent to people’s phones as they’re placing bets.
In several states, the debate has included questions about whether lawmakers even have the authority to allow betting on mobile devices.
Some lawmakers contend that it represents a major expansion of gambling and requires amending state constitutions. That disagreement has led the Rhode Island Republican Party to threaten a lawsuit over the bill passed last week. It says expanding sports betting to mobile devices should have gone to the voters in a referendum.
“I support this type of gaming. I don’t support moving ahead when there are substantial questions about its legality,” said Republican Rep. Blake Filippi, the House minority leader. “I think we should be asking for an advisory opinion from the Rhode Island Supreme Court before we build our budget around it and invest in the technology.”
Some New York lawmakers, noting that New Jersey already is making money after legalizing sports gambling last year, want mobile betting included in a bill that would authorize in-person sports bets at Madison Square Garden, Yankee Stadium and other venues.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration maintains that it requires a constitutional amendment that ultimately would have to go before voters.
Some lawmakers in Cuomo’s own party disagree. The state Senate’s Democratic majority this past week proposed an expansion of legalized sports betting, including on mobile devices, as part of next year’s budget. They see it as way to generate money to help close a projected $3 billion deficit.
The companies pushing legalized sports gambling say allowing the bets on mobile devices is a way to get rid of the existing black market.
James Chisholm, a spokesman for the online fantasy sports and sports betting company Draft Kings, said the company’s app offers protections that include age verification, limits on how much time people can spend on it and caps on how much money gamblers can deposit.
“I promise you that the offshore sportsbook in Costa Rica is not going through an age-verification process,” he said.
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Mulvihill reported from Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
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Associated Press writers Jonathan J. Cooper in Phoenix and David Klepper in Albany, New York, contributed to this report.

Kansas beats West Virginia 88-74 to reach Big 12 finals

By DAVE SKRETTA AP Basketball Writer
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Dedric Lawson transferred to Kansas in part to win championships.
He’ll have that chance Saturday night.
The former Memphis standout scored 24 points and the No. 17 Jayhawks, who failed to win a share of the Big 12 regular-season title for the first time in 15 years, roared into the conference tournament title game with an 88-74 victory over West Virginia on Friday night.
“It wasn’t our best game,” Lawson said, “but looking forward to going out there and playing for a championship. Looking forward to going out there and winning something meaningful.”
Quentin Grimes added 18 points before leaving late with cramps, Devon Dotson had 13 and Marcus Garrett 11 for the third-seeded and reigning champion Jayhawks (25-8). They advanced to the final for the third time in four years and will face fifth-seeded Iowa State.
“We need to learn how to close something out, and we get that opportunity tomorrow,” Jayhawks coach Bill Self said. “They have the same opportunity. It’s going to make for a great game.”
The 10th-seeded Mountaineers (14-20) led much of the first half and hung tough early in the second, but three games in three days finally caught up to them. Tough wins over Oklahoma and No. 8 Texas Tech left them with tired legs — probably minds, too — and the Jayhawks eventually went on a 13-2 run midway through the second half to seize control.
The lead reached 20 with 7 1/2 minutes to go, and the Jayhawks cruised the rest of the way.
Lamont West led West Virginia with 16 points. Derek Culver had 14.
“I don’t want to blame fatigue,” Culver said. “Just lack of paying attention to what is going on around you. I’ll be the first one to blame. We just got to go back to the drawing board.”
Kansas has won the tournament 11 times, and Iowa State is unbeaten in four championship trips, but the two teams have met in the finals just once: The Cyclones won 70-66 in 2015.
Grimes has struggled with his shot most of the season, to say nothing of living up to his five-star status out of high school. But the freshman guard found his stroke from the opening minute, when he buried the first of five first-half 3-pointers to get the Jayhawks off and running.
West Virginia pulled ahead midway through the half, but Grimes added three more 3s to regain the lead, then hit a buzzer-beater from 30 feet to give the Jayhawks a 48-40 advantage.
“He was the reason for the run,” West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said. “He was very good.”
Lawson fueled their clinching run, getting it started with an easy basket and added another bucket and a 3-pointer during the 13-2 charge. By the time Garrett finished it off, a crowd heavily in favor of Kansas was buzzing about the opportunity to face the Cyclones.
“I bet Iowa State has 70 percent of the building tomorrow,” Self said. “You play that first game and you win, you can hustle the tickets off the team that doesn’t win. And they’re pros at hustling tickets in Kansas City. It’ll be the first time in a long time we haven’t had a comparable home court, I’d predict. It should be a fun game.”
OOPS MOMENT
The Jayhawks were ahead 75-58 with 6:33 left when West hit a pair of free throws. Freshman big man David McCormack gathered the ball while standing out of bounds and tossed it to Garrett for the inbounds. But when Garrett stepped over the out-of-bounds line, it wound up being a turnover, and Self immediately called timeout to lay into his team on the bench.
BIG PICTURE
West Virginia lost four players to injuries, transfers and dismissals, and it left them with very little depth. That appeared to play a factor in the second half, when the Jayhawks began to get up and down the floor and the Mountaineers were unable to keep up.
Kansas has played this week with a chip on its shoulder after failing to win a share of the regular-season title. Now, the Jayhawks have a chance to match the 1999 team by winning the tournament as a No. 3 seed, and perhaps help their NCAA Tournament seeding on Selection Sunday.
UP NEXT
Kansas plays the Cyclones for the championship Saturday night.
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West Virginia beats No. 7 Texas Tech 79-74 in Big 12 Tourney

By AVERY OSEN Associated Press
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Two down, two to go.
That’s the mindset of West Virginia coach Bob Huggins after his Mountaineers upset No. 7 Texas Tech 79-74 on Thursday night.
The Mountaineers are 80 minutes away from making the NCAA Tournament as the 10th seed in the Big 12 Tournament.
“We’re playing to be in the NCAA Tournament, that’s what we’re doing,” Huggins said. “We had a meeting and sat down and talked about it and this is our chance.”
West Virginia (14-19) advances to the semifinals on Friday night against No. 17 Kansas (24-9), which defeated Texas 65-57.
The Mountaineers were led in scoring by Emmitt Matthews, who had a career-high 28 points. This is only the fourth game this season he’s scored in double figures.
“I think my teammates do a really good job of getting me the ball,” Matthews said. “Without them I would be nothing. Coach Huggins does a really good job of getting me in the good spots to get the right shots off.”
Jarrett Culver scored 26 points, Tariq Owens had 14, and Matt Mooney had 12 for Texas Tech (26-6).
Matthews hit a corner 3 to give West Virginia a 16-point lead with nine minutes to go in the game, but Texas Tech scored 16 of the next 18 to get within four.
The Red Raiders took a 69-68 lead on a basket by Culver, their first lead since it was 7-5. But the Mountaineers scored seven of the next nine to regain the lead, 75-71.
Culver missed a 3 with 20 seconds left and Tech trailing 77-74, and Matthews sealed the victory with two free throws.
“If you can take a quick two, you do, but I thought it was an open look at three,” Red Raider head coach Chris Beard said. “I thought it was a good look by Jarrett, and I would want him to take that shot again if we are in the same position.”
The Mountaineers went on an 11-2 run early and led by 10 just eight minutes into the game.
“The story today was all about West Virginia,” Beard said. “Give them credit. They played great and have three of their last five games. They’ve got chemistry.”
The Red Raiders, co-regular season champs, trailed 28-11 in the first half before switching to a zone defense and thwarting the Mountaineer offense as they began to mount a rally.
“Well, it’s better than a slow start,” Huggins said. “They were really looking forward to this game, having gotten beaten up pretty good in Lubbock.”
The Red Raiders, one of the hottest teams in the country entering the game, were outrebounded 44-30 and West Virginia scored 22 second-chance points.
The Mountaineers have won three of their last five games and seem to be hitting their stride.
“We’ve had so many injuries and we basically lost four starters and these guys have been great,” Huggins said. “They believe in what we’re doing and are coachable. They believe we can win and it seems like every game somebody different steps up.”
BIG PICTURE
West Virginia: Mountaineers live to see another day and sit two wins from a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
Texas Tech: The loss hurts the resume and is the worst of the year for the Red Raiders. It was also their first defeat since a Feb. 2 loss at Kansas.
UP NEXT
The Mountaineers will take on the winner of Kansas and Texas on Friday night.
Texas Tech will find out its NCAA Tournament berth on Sunday.
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West Virginia beats Oklahoma 72-71 in Big 12 tourney

By DAVE SKRETTA AP Basketball Writer
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Jermaine Haley thought West Virginia was only up two when Oklahoma’s Christian James knocked down what appeared to be a buzzer-beating 3-pointer in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament.
Turns out the Mountaineers were up by three.
And that 3-pointer that would have forced overtime? James’ foot was on the line, and a brief but tense review by the officials at the courtside monitors ensured they got the call right.
The No. 10 seed Mountaineers escaped with a 72-71 victory Wednesday night.
“I was on the ground thinking we lost,” Haley said. “Luck was on our side, I guess.”
Lamont West had 15 points, Haley finished with 14 and Jordan McCabe had 12 for the Mountaineers (13-19), who advanced to the quarterfinal round and a date with No. 2 seed Texas Tech.
Regardless of what happens Thursday, the victory over the seventh-seeded Sooners was uplifting for a team that has been through a lot. Two starters have been kicked off the squad, another announced his plans to transfer, and rim protector Sagaba Konate hasn’t played in months because of injury.
None of which seemed to matter much Wednesday night.
“It feels good any time you win,” Mountaineers coach Bob Huggins said. “When you’ve done this as long as I have, winning is kind of a relief. Losing is like a near-death experience. So I’m relieved.”
Brady Manek had 22 points and Kristian Doolittle had 18 for the Sooners, who are now poised to give the NCAA Tournament selection committee an intriguing test case on Sunday.
They have four quadrant-1 wins and a strong resume against quality opponents, but they are also just 19-13 overall and went 7-11 in the league. And with a loss to the Mountaineers, they won’t have an opportunity to add to their win total in Kansas City.
“It’s in God’s hands whether we get in or not,” James said. “I hope.”
The Mountaineers, who have played in the past three title games, raced to an early lead against the Sooners, only to watch coach Lon Kruger’s team slowly claw back into the game.
They did it old-school, too. Oklahoma hit just one 3-pointer — James’ in the closing seconds for a 35-33 halftime advantage — and never made it to the foul line. Instead, the Sooners kept getting open looks in the middle of the Mountaineers defense for layups and short jumpers.
Manek hit a couple of quick 3-pointers out of the locker room to extend the lead, but McCabe soon caught fire. He drained four of them in quick succession as West Virginia pulled ahead.
West added a 3 of his own to make it 58-54 with 8 1/2 minutes to go.
Oklahoma kept it close the rest of the way, and Doolittle’s two free throws pulled the Sooners within 70-69 with 2:10 to go. But Derek Culver’s putback with just over a minute left extended West Virginia’s lead to 72-69, and Doolittle missed everything at the other end for Oklahoma.
It set up a dramatic final minute that ultimately sent the Mountaineers into the next round.
“We’ve been talking about it since midseason, where we were in the standings,” McCabe said. “The only way to make the postseason, the NCAA Tournament, is this tournament right here.
“We knew we had nothing to lose.”
MCNEACE HURT
The Sooners lost center Jamuni McNeace with 12 1/2 minutes left when he appeared to hurt his right ankle on a scrum under the bucket. McNeace had to be helped off the floor without putting any weight on his leg. He was scoreless with two rebounds.
BIG PICTURE
West Virginia is still alive, at least for another day. The Mountaineers get the hottest team in the tournament — maybe the nation — in coach Chris Beard’s Red Raiders.
Oklahoma has a long wait until Selection Sunday. The Sooners beat West Virginia a couple weeks ago, and a win over Kansas down the stretch also helps. “The parameters are that all 30 games count the same. It doesn’t matter whether they’re conference or non-conference,” Kruger said. “Our guys won a lot of ballgames, but we’d have liked to win a couple more.”
UP NEXT
West Virginia plays the seventh-ranked Red Raiders on Thursday night.
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Texas Tech’s Culver AP Big 12 top player, Beard top coach

By STEPHEN HAWKINS AP Sports Writer
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Texas Tech sophomore guard Jarrett Culver is The Associated Press Big 12 player of the year after helping lead his hometown Red Raiders to a share of the regular season conference title.
Chris Beard was named coach of the year after his third season with the Red Raiders, who are 26-5 after going to their first NCAA Elite Eight last year. Seventh-ranked Texas Tech won its first Big 12 regular-season title, sharing the crown with No. 15 Kansas State.
Culver is averaging 18.3 points and 6.2 rebounds a game, and is one of three unanimous picks for the AP All-Big 12 first team released Tuesday.
Kansas junior forward Dedric Lawson, the league’s top scorer and rebounder (19.1 ppg, 10.6 rpg), and Kansas State senior guard Barry Brown Jr. (15.1 ppg, league-leading 2.0 steals a game) were the other players listed on all 18 ballots from a panel of journalists who regularly cover the Big 12 in the league’s five states.
Iowa State senior guard Marial Shayok and Kansas State senior forward Dean Wade were the other first-team picks.
Culver got 14 votes for AP player of the year. The remaining four votes went to Lawson, the former transfer from Memphis who got 12 of 18 votes to be named Big 12 newcomer of the year.
Beard was picked as coach of the year on 15 ballots.
Makai Mason, the first graduate transfer ever to play for Baylor, led the AP second-team picks. The other second-teamers were Texas freshman forward Jaxson Hayes, Texas Tech sophomore guard Davide Moretti and TCU teammates Desmond Bane and Alex Robinson.
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The 2019 AP All-Big 12 team, with players listed with school, classification, height, weight, class and hometown (“u-” denotes unanimous selections):
FIRST TEAM
u-Barry Brown Jr., Kansas St., Sr. 6-3, 195, St. Petersburg, Florida.
u-Jarrett Culver, Texas Tech, So., 6-6, 195, Lubbock, Texas.
u-Dedric Lawson, Kansas, Jr., Jr. 6-9, 235, Memphis, Tennessee.
Marial Shayok, Iowa St., Sr., 6-6, 198, Ottawa, Ontario.
Dean Wade, Kansas St., Sr., 6-10, 228, St. John, Kansas.
SECOND TEAM
Desmond Bane, TCU, Jr., 6-5, 215, Richmond, Indiana.
Jaxson Hayes, Texas, Fr., 6-11, 220, Loveland, Ohio.
Makai Mason, Baylor, Sr., 6-1, 185, Greenfield, Massachusetts.
Davide Moretti, Texas Tech, So., 6-2, 175, Bologna, Italy.
Alex Robinson, TCU, Sr., 6-1, 180, Fort Worth, Texas.
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Coach of the year — Chris Beard, Texas Tech.
Player of the year — Jarrett Culver, Texas Tech.
Newcomer of the year — Dedric Lawson, Kansas.
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AP All-Big 12 Voting Panel: Eric Bailey, Tulsa World; Tommy Birch, Des Moines Register; Tom Bragg, Charleston Gazette-Mail; Chuck Carlton, Dallas Morning News; Paul Catalina, ESPN Central Texas; Mark Cooper, Tulsa World; Brian Davis, Austin American-Statesman; Drew Davison, Fort Worth Star-Telegram; Matt Galloway, Topeka Capital-Journal; Justin Jackson, The Dominion Post; Joe Mussatto, The Oklahoman; Randy Peterson, Des Moines Register; Soren Petro, Sports Radio 810; Kellis Robinett, Wichita Eagle; Nathan Ruiz, The Oklahoman; Carlos Silva Jr., Lubbock Avalanche-Journal; Matt Tait, Lawrence Journal-World; John Werner, Waco Tribune-Herald.
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W.Va.’s Derek Culver Named 2nd Team All-Big 12

DALLAS (AP) — Texas Tech star Jarrett Culver has been voted Big 12 player of the year and coach Chris Beard has been honored as coach of the year after the Red Raiders shared the regular-season title with Kansas State.
The league announced its awards Sunday.
The Wildcats’ Barry Brown was voted defensive player of the year and Dedric Lawson of Kansas was the newcomer of the year. Jaxson Hayes of Texas was freshman of the year, Lindell Wigginton of Iowa State was the best sixth man and Kristian Doolittle of Oklahoma was the most improved player.
Culver, Brown and Lawson were unanimous first-team All-Big 12 selections in voting conducted by the league’s coaches. They were joined by Kansas State’s Dean Wade and Iowa State’s Marial Shayok.
Hayes was joined on the second team by Texas Tech’s Matt Mooney, West Virginia’s Derek Culver, Makai Mason of Baylor and Desmond Bane of TCU.
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Waters has 19, leads Oklahoma State over W. Virginia 85-77

By MICHAEL KINNEY Associated Press
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — In their final game of what has been an obstacle-filled season, Oklahoma State pulled out an 85-77 victory over West Virginia Saturday.
When the game was over, OSU coach Mike Boynton addressed the fans at Gallagher-Iba Arena and told them, despite not having the season they wanted, one day they will be hosting a banner in the rafters.
When junior guard Lindy Waters was told what his coach said, his response was “next season.”
That is the confidence Oklahoma State has been playing with the past month despite losing three members of their basketball team for disciplinary reasons in January.
“I just remember Jan. 17, because it was my birthday and I was here holding tryouts,” Boynton said. “On that date, everybody is telling our team it’s over. Go do something else and we’ll see you next year. I’m sitting in front of them and telling them, ‘guys, we can still get the job done.’ At some point, they started to believe that.” With only a seven-man rotation and a group of walk-ons, the Cowboys have taken teams such as Texas Tech and Kansas to the wire before losing. But they didn’t allow that to happen against the Mountaineers.
WVU’s Lamont West drained a 30-footer to cut Oklahoma State’s lead to 76-74 with 2:59 left in the game. But Waters came right back and hit his own 3-pointer in front of the Cowboy’s bench.
WVU had a chance at a layup, but Yor Anei blocked fellow freshman center Derek Culver’s attempt. It was his eighth blocked shot of the game.
“I try to block everything,” Anei said. “It just felt like normal, natural instincts.”
Anei then sprinted down court and caught an alley-oop pass and dunked to give OSU an 81-74 advantage.
After a pair of free throws from OSU’s Isaac Likekele, WVU’s Jermaine Haley hit a 3-pointer. Oklahoma State’s Cameron McGriff missed a free throw and WVU got the board.
However, Culver came up short on a layup attempt and Likekele put the game away with a pair of free throws.
Waters scored 19 points to lead five players in double-figure scoring as OSU pushed its record to 12-19 on the season and 5-13 in the Big 12.
To go with his freshman record of eight blocked shots, Anei scored 16 points and grabbed six rebounds while Thomas Dziagwa added 15 points.
The Mountaineers were led by Culver, West and Haley with 16 points each as WVU dropped to 12-19 and 4-14 in conference.
Culver added 21 rebounds, including six on the offensive end.
“I don’t know who is better,” WVU coach Bob Huggins said when he was asked if Culver was the best freshman in the Big 12. “I don’t know if anybody is better.”
With both teams sitting at the bottom of the conference standings, they were also playing for seeding in the upcoming Big 12 Tournament March 13-16 in Kansas City. With the win, Oklahoma State locked itself into the ninth seed and will take on TCU in the opener. West Virginia will face No. 7 seed Oklahoma.
“I don’t think anybody is excited about playing us,” Huggins said.
Boynton also likes his team’s chances when they head to Kansas City for the conference tournament because of how his squad has responded to adversity.
“We know we are a team that has to play well as a unit. The whole is better than the parts in a lot of ways,” Boynton said. “So when we have everybody doing what they do well for our team, then we have a chance. We think we can play with, and on most nights be really competitive, with anybody. We’ve shown that in the last two weeks. The response from this group has been inspiring to me.”

Kansas State women top W Virginia 72-59 in Big 12 quarters

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Peyton Williams scored 22 points, Rachel Ranke added 21 and fifth-seeded Kansas State won its sixth-straight, defending West Virginia 72-59 in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Conference tournament on Saturday.
Williams and Ranke both had critical 3-point plays in the fourth quarter, when Christianna Carr had two 3-pointers and the Wildcats’ defense limited the Mountaineers to 3-of-8 shooting and seven turnovers.
Kansas State faces top-seeded and top-ranked Baylor in Sunday’s semifinals.
Carr finished with 12 points for Kansas State (21-10), which split with West Virginia (20-10) in the regular season. The Mountaineers won the first meeting in late January 60-30 before K-State bounced back with a 90-79 win less than two weeks ago.
The Wildcats closed the first quarter with a 16-3 run to lead 21-8, but the Mountaineers scored the last nine points of the second quarter to cut the deficit to 35-29.
Naomi Davenport had a 3-pointer and 3-point play for West Virginia early in the third quarter to make it a one-point game. After the teams swapped baskets, K-State scored six straight and took a seven-point lead into the fourth quarter.
Davenport scored 14 and Kari Niblack 13 for West Virginia, which had 25 turnovers.

Penguins end Bruins’ 19-game point streak in 4-2 win

By WILL GRAVES AP Sports Writer
PITTSBURGH (AP) — For the first time in nearly two months, the Boston Bruins ran out of time. It tends to happen when the Bruins play in Pittsburgh, no matter how hot they are.
Jared McCann scored twice, Matt Murray finished with 39 saves and the Penguins handed the Bruins their first regulation loss since January with a 4-2 victory on Sunday night.
Boston came in 15-0-4 in its last 19 games for the franchise’s longest point streak since 1940-41. A goal by John Moore with just over a minute to go got Boston within one, but McCann’s empty-netter with 21 seconds left made the Bruins regulation losers for the first time since Jan. 19 against the New York Rangers.
“I think we can be proud of that, but not satisfied,” Moore said. “There’s no reason we can’t get back to work on Tuesday. That’s the special part about this group. Guys really push each other. We expect a lot out of each other.”
Then again, so do the Penguins, who won for the fifth time in seven games to strengthen their position in the race for a playoff spot. Pittsburgh rose to third in the Metropolitan Division with 13 games to go thanks in part to another steady performance by Murray and another jolt from McCann and Nick Bjugstad, who have thrived since arriving in a trade with Florida on Feb. 1.
McCann’s two goals — a short-handed breakaway in the first and his flip from near center ice in the waning seconds — gave him 16 goals on the season, eight of them coming in his 19 games with Pittsburgh. Bjugstad added his fifth with Pittsburgh, matching the total he put up in 32 games with Florida.
“They’re two real good players and they’ve embraced the roles we put them in,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said.
Jake Guentzel collected his team-high 34th goal for Pittsburgh, which kept Boston winless at PPG Paints Arena since December 2015 by jumping out early and then holding on late.
David Krejci picked up his 19th for the Bruins and Jaroslav Halak made 33 stops, but Boston was on its heels for most of the first period while falling into a two-goal deficit from which it couldn’t recover.
“We were light on all the battles in the first,” coach Bruce Cassidy said. “You could tell they were better prepared to win the pucks. It cost us a couple of goals.”
The Bruins used the franchise’s longest point streak in nearly eight decades to rise above the muddled portion of the Eastern Conference playoff race. Their six-week stretch included flashes of dominance and a flair for the dramatic. Boston arrived in Pittsburgh coming off a 6-0 homestand, one that culminated with last-minute victories over Florida and Ottawa.
Boston’s run came to an end against a team that seems to be gaining some momentum late in a bumpy and wildly uneven season, at least by Pittsburgh standards. Things appear to be evening out thanks in large part to Bjugstad and McCann’s fresh legs.
Bjugstad needed just 93 seconds to give the Penguins the lead, fighting for position at the far post and redirecting a centering pass from Zach Aston-Reese.
McCann made it 2-0 at 13:54 when he took a lead pass from Teddy Blueger and broke in alone on Halak before deking from his forehand to his backhand. Halak could only stretch out his glove in vain as McCann slipped home Pittsburgh’s 10th short-handed goal of the season.
“I feel like the harder you kind of fake it the more he has to respect it,” McCann said. “I just try to fake it as hard as I could and he bit on it.”
Krejci got Boston on the board early in the second when the puck emerged from a scrum in front of the Pittsburgh net and ended up on his stick in the left circle. He flipped it over a sprawled Murray to get the Bruins within one.
Pittsburgh’s potent power play has been a bit of a mess of late — just as likely to give up a goal as score one — and was a lifeless 0 for 4 when Sullivan put Guentzel on the top unit with Sidney Crosby. It paid immediate dividends.
Crosby raced into the zone down the left side and sent a perfect cross-ice pass to Guentzel, who quickly went backhand to forehand and lifted it by Halak to restore the two-goal cushion.
NOTES: Boston D Matt Grzelcyk left in the second period after his right arm was pinned awkwardly against the boards when he got hit by Pittsburgh F Patric Hornqvist. Cassidy said X-rays on Grzelcyk’s arm were negative … Both teams went 1 for 5 on the power play. … Pittsburgh C Evgeni Malkin did not score and remains two points shy of 1,000 for his career. … Aston-Reese exited with a lower-body injury.
UP NEXT
Bruins: Visit Columbus on Tuesday.
Penguins: Host Washington on Tuesday. Pittsburgh is 2-1 against the reigning Stanley Cup champions this season.
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