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SPORTS LOG

UConn’s Paige Bueckers to miss 6-8 weeks with knee injury

Connecticut's Paige Bueckers (center) is helped off the court by Amari DeBerry (left) and Evina Westbrook (right) in the second half of the game against Notre Dame on Sunday.Jessica Hill/Associated Press

Paige Bueckers, the UConn sophomore who is the reigning national player of the year in women’s college basketball, is expected to miss the next six to eight weeks with a tibial plateau fracture, a left knee injury she suffered Sunday afternoon. Bueckers went down with 38 seconds left in the Huskies’ 73-54 victory over Notre Dame, silencing the crowd at Gampel Pavilion as she grabbed her knee in pain. Teammates Amari DeBerry and Evina Westbrook helped her from the court. “Obviously, we’re all extremely disappointed for Paige and that she suffered this injury,” Coach Geno Auriemma said in a statement released Tuesday. “It would be really hard to describe how much basketball means to Paige and how much her teammates mean to her. Not being able to do the thing that she loves to do, to be there for her teammates, is really difficult for her.” Bueckers had scored 22 points, her fourth 20-point game of the season for the 5-1 Huskies.

Northeastern men defeat UMass

The Northeastern men’s basketball team (6-4) turned it on down the stretch, using runs of 11-2 and 12-2 to overtake UMass (6-4) and earn an 82-76 victory at Matthews Arena. Four Huskies reached double-figures, led by 16 points from Shaquille Walters. Nikola Djogo added 15 points, five assists, and four steals , while Tyreek Scott-Grayson and Vito Cubrilo added 10 points apiece. Noah Fernandes and Rich Kelly led the way for UMass, scoring 25 and 24 points, respectively for the Minuteman ... Jaylan Gainey registered 17 points as Brown routed Merrimack 76-56.

Kobe’s wife fears crash photos could go viral

Vanessa Bryant fears that graphic images of the bodies of Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant taken at the scene of the helicopter crash in which they died will follow her and her other three daughters, saying in a court filing that she has been “taunted online by people threatening to leak the photos or posting fake images of my husband’s dead body.” Bryant is suing Los Angeles County for invasion of privacy, and has accused sheriff’s deputies and firefighters of taking and sharing photos of human remains from the scene of the Jan. 26, 2020, crash in which Bryant, the couple’s 13-year-old daughter, and five other people lost their lives. Her comments came in a six-page district court filing Monday that was in response to a motion by the county to have the case dismissed ... Chicago Bulls star DeMar DeRozan remained in the NBA’s health and safety protocols and did not accompany the team to Cleveland.

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SOCCER

MLS strengthening diversity practices

MLS said it will require clubs to include at least two non-White finalists for coaching and other technical jobs and also specified penalties for organizations that violate that policy. One finalist must be Black, an effort to further diversify a league that scores high in employing Latino coaches but has featured few Black coaches. Entering the offseason, only three of 28 MLS teams have a Black coach: Colorado, Chicago, and Montreal. There are eight Latino coaches. About 25% of MLS players are Black. A diversity policy has been in place since 2007, but clubs were required only to interview at least one non-White candidate. And even then, the rules were rarely, if ever, enforced. Now, the league will issue fines of up to $50,000 for first offenses and $100,000 for second offenses. Penalties for additional violations will be “pursuant to the commissioner’s discretion,” the league said.

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TENNIS

Novak Djokovic will compete in ATP Cup

Novak Djokovic is set to play in Sydney next month.OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images

No. 1-ranked tennis player Novak Djokovic will participate in the ATP Cup in Sydney in January The announcement came after weeks of speculation about whether Djokovic would travel to Australia for the Australian Open Grand Slam because of vaccine requirements. The ATP Cup announced that Djokovic would play on the Serbian team in the tournament, which will take place during the first nine days of the month. The cup is a precursor to the Australian Open, which will be held in Melbourne from Jan. 17-30. It is still unclear if Djokovic will be taking part in that competition, however.

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Ash Barty named WTA Player of Year

Ash Barty’s Wimbledon title and hold on the No. 1 ranking helped her win WTA Player of the Year for the second time. Barbora Krejcikova was selected as Most Improved Player and shared the Doubles Team of the Year award with Katerina Siniakova. Emma Raducanu was picked as Newcomer of the Year after winning the US Open at age 18 and becoming the first player to go from qualifying rounds all the way to a Grand Slam title. Carla Suárez Navarro is the Comeback Player of the Year after returning from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma to play on tour and represent Spain in the Billie Jean King Cup finals.

French Open director stepping down

French Open director Guy Forget, whose contract was to expire at the end of the year, has resigned, citing communication issues with the new head of the French tennis federation. The FFT said Tuesday that Forget’s replacement at the helm of the clay-court Grand Slam tournament will be announced soon. Forget also stepped down as director of the Paris Masters. In an interview with L’Équipe published on the newspaper’s website, Forget said he had received an offer to renew his contract but refused.

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HOCKEY

Jason Spezza suspended six games for kneeing

Toronto's Jason Spezza will sit for a stretch.Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Jason Spezza was suspended for six games without pay by the NHL for kneeing Winnipeg Jets defenseman Neal Pionk. In the third period of Sunday’s game between the Jets and Maple Leafs, Pionk had a knee-on-knee hit on Toronto’s Rasmus Sandin. Sandin skated off the ice after the hit on his right knee. Pionk received a two-game suspension for that hit on Monday. After the hit on Sandin, Spezza drove his left knee into the face of Pionk, who was without a stick and on his knees trying to clear a puck. Spezza will forfeit $22,500 in salary under the players’ labor deal. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

MISCELLANY

Roy Jones Jr., Miguel Cotto headline 2022 Boxing HOF class

The International Boxing Hall of Fame and Museum announced the members of the Class of 2022. Living inductees include champions Miguel Cotto, Roy Jones Jr., and James Toney in the men’s Modern category; and champions Regina Halmich and Holly Holm in the women’s Modern category ... Former SMU running back Eric Dickerson, who played for the Mustangs from 1979-82, was one of 27 players invited to the College Football Hall of Fame’s induction ceremony in Las Vegas. Dickerson was voted into the 2020 class, but the ceremony was canceled due to the pandemic. Other inductees included Heisman Trophy winners Carson Palmer and Eric Crouch, former Eastern Illinois quarterback and current CBS analyst Tony Romo, and longtime Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops ... Statues of Hank Aaron and other local heroes who made the baseball and football Halls of Fame are planned for a public space celebrating the heritage of the city of Mobile, Ala. Aaron, who played for Atlanta and Milwaukee, died Jan. 22 at age 86. The courtyard also will include Mobile’s other baseball Hall of Famers: Willie McCovey, Satchel Paige, Billy Williams, and Ozzie Smith and the city’s only homegrown member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Robert Brazile Jr. ... Ice hockey’s governing body finally put to rest lingering questions about whether China’s woeful team would be allowed to play in the Olympic men’s hockey tournament, confirming less than two months before the Winter Games’ scheduled start that the team would indeed compete in Beijing ... The GMS Racing majority purchase of Richard Petty Motorsports will be called Petty GMS Motorsports going into next season and NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty will be chairman of the new two-car Cup Series team... Heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte has been declared by the World Boxing Council as the mandatory challenger to champion Tyson Fury.

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