Aliyah Boston had 22 points and 15 rebounds as the top-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks women’s basketball team held the No. 2 Huskies to three points in the final 10 minutes of a 73-57 victory in the championship game of the inaugural Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in Paradise Island, Bahamas. “Our players are determined. They are resilient,” said Dawn Staley, South Carolina’s Hall of Fame coach. “We knew exactly what we had to do especially on the defensive side of the ball. We had to disrupt. UConn’s a team that’s a well-oiled machine. If you allow them to run their stuff, they’ve made teams look stupid. We had the personnel to disrupt and force them into contested shots.” This was the 61st meeting between the top two teams in The Associated Press women’s college basketball poll and the sixth time it has happened in November. The No. 1 team holds a 38-23 advantage. The last meeting of the top two teams before Monday was between these same squads back in February. UConn was the No. 2 team and won 63-59 in overtime. The Gamecocks (6-0) wouldn’t let the Huskies (3-1) beat them in the Bahamas, outscoring them 16-3 in the final quarter, setting off a postgame celebration that had South Carolina swaying alongside a Bahamian dance group. Evina Westbrook hit a 3-pointer from the wing with 5 minutes left — UConn’s only points of the fourth — as the Huskies trailed 63-57. Paige Bueckers, UConn’s sophomore sensation, had 19 points to lead the Huskies, who had won nine of the 10 previous meetings between the schools. “I liked 30 minutes of what we did; it was great,” said Huskies coach Geno Auriemma, also a Hall of Famer. “We got tired; our transition game was great in the first half.”
Gonzaga, UCLA 1-2 in AP men’s poll
Gonzaga (4-0) and UCLA (4-0) continued their hold on the top two spots in the Associated Press Top 25 men’s college basketball poll, setting the stage for their highly anticipated showdown Tuesday night in the Good Sam Empire Classic in Las Vegas, a Final Four rematch of a game the Bulldogs won in overtime
Thunder to lift restrictions on fan attendance
The Oklahoma City Thunder announced beginning Dec. 1, fans attending games in person will no longer be required provide proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or a negative coronavirus test. “We have decided to lift our vaccination/testing requirements,” citing a decline in coronavirus cases and an increase in COVID-19 vaccinations in Oklahoma County, according to a team statement. “Since we announced the protocols in September, the Oklahoma Department of Health reports the percentage of Oklahoma County residents 12 and older who are fully or partially vaccinated has risen to 85 percent.” The requirements remain in place for games scheduled for Wednesday and Friday. The NBA suspended the 2020 season in March that year after two Utah Jazz players tested positive for the virus prior to a scheduled game in Oklahoma City . . . Celtics legend Bill Russell and 76ers legend Wilt Chamberlain headlined a Hall of Fame starting five selected by the AP to the NBA’s 1960s All-Decade team. They were joined by Elgin Baylor, Oscar Robertson and Jerry West.
Yankees trade INF/OF Tyler Wade to Angels
The New York Yankees traded speedy utility player Tyler Wade to the Los Angeles Angels for a player to be named or cash. Wade was designated for assignment Friday when the Yankees needed roster spots to protect prospects ahead of the winter meeting draft. The 26-year-old infielder and outfielder hit .268 (34 for 127) with five doubles, one triple, five RBIs and 17 stolen bases in 103 games last season . . . The Chicago Cubs acquired outfielder Harold Ramirez from the Cleveland Guardians for cash. The 27-year-old Ramirez, a native of Cartagena, Colombia, batted .268 with seven home runs and 41 RBIs in 99 games for Cleveland last season. He was designated for assignment on Friday . . .The Milwaukee Brewers acquired righthanded pitcher J.C. Mejia from the Cleveland Guardians for a player to be named or cash, announced Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns. Mejia, 25, was 1-7 with an 8.25 ERA in 17 games this past season, including 11 starts, and struck out 47 and walked 24 in 52⅓ innings.
Toronto FC parts ways with GM
Ali Curtis is out as general manager of Toronto’s Major League Soccer team after three seasons. The Toronto FC announced Curtis’s departure, four months after the team fired Chris Armas, the coach Curtis brought with him from the New York Red Bulls. Toronto finished its season on Sunday with a 1-0 loss to Montreal in the Canadian Championship . . . Bundesliga powerhouse Bayern Munich had five unvaccinated players in quarantine and two more in isolation after contracting COVID-19. A spat is reportedly brewing behind the scenes with the club planning to dock pay from the unvaccinated players — Joshua Kimmich, Serge Gnabry, Jamal Musiala, Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting and Michael Cuisance — because their reluctance to get the shot puts them at greater risk of missing games. Despite being vaccinated, Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann missed four of the team’s games after contracting COVID-19. After a surprising setback at Augsburg on Friday, there are fears the unvaccinated players could also miss a potentially decisive clash Dec. 4 with the fully-vaccinated Borussia Dortmund team, which is only a point behind Bayern in the Bundesliga standings.
Nebraska’s QB to miss season finale
Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez will miss the Cornhuskers’ season finale against Iowa because of a shoulder injury, coach Scott Frost announced. Frost said redshirt freshman Logan Smothers would start Friday against the 17th-ranked Hawkeyes (9-2, 6-2 Big Ten). Martinez’s right (throwing) shoulder was hurt in the first half of a 35-28 loss at No. 15 Wisconsin on Saturday when he was hit by a defender as he threw a pass. Although he was able to finish the game, Martinez reported hearing clicking in the shoulder and told the staff he didn’t think he would be able to throw with enough velocity to be effective, Frost said Martinez has played through numerous injuries in his four years as the starter for the Cornhuskers (3-8, 1-7), including a broken jaw he sustained in September. “I feel terrible for him, but appreciate him, and we’re going to have to be without him Friday,” Frost said.
US figure skating champ Alysa Liu switches coaches
Two-time US figure skating champion Alysa Liu is making a coaching change less than three months before the Winter Olympics. The 2019 and 2020 US champ will begin training in Colorado Springs, Colo., with Christy Krall, Drew Meekins and Viktor Pfeifer. She previously trained in Oakland, Calif., under Massimo Scali and Jeremy Abbott. The women’s squad for the February’s Beijing Games will be selected in early January at the national championships in Nashville, Tenn., where Liu is a favorite to make the team . . . Defending Olympic curling champion John Shuster is going back to the Winter Games for a fifth time. The 2018 gold medalist skipped his team to victory over Team Dropkin at the US trials on Sunday night in Omaha, Neb., winning 5-4 to take the best-of-three finals two games to one and earn a spot in Beijing. John Landsteiner and Matt Hamilton will also return to the Olympics after winning it all in Pyeongchang. Chris Plys joined the foursome to replace Tyler George, who retired . . . The ski jumping World Cup event in Klingenthal, Germany, will take place without spectators from Dec. 9-12, and soccer teams Leipzig, Dynamo Dresden and Erzgebirge Aue will all have to play their home games in empty stadiums as the nation deals with a spike in coronavirus cases. Christian Heidel, the sporting director of soccer club Mainz, slammed politicians on Sunday for what he called “populism” for suggesting mandatory vaccines for players. “The vaccination rate in politics is not nearly as high as in soccer,” Heidel said.\