Two days after shocking the best women’s basketball team in the world, the top-ranked Oregon Ducks easily won their season opener. Ruthy Hebard had 21 points and 12 rebounds and Oregon easily downed Northeastern, 89-47, on Monday in Eugene, Ore. All-America guard Sabrina Ionescu added 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists for the Ducks, who led by as many as 38 points. The Ducks opened the second quarter with a 16-0 run to take a 32-9 lead. Junior Stella Clark led Northeastern (0-2) with 12 points. Northeastern also lost its season opener to South Dakota on Tuesday, 80-76. ‘‘I think it was a great experience for us,’’ Huskies coach Kelly Cole said about facing the Ducks. ‘‘It’s an eye-opener for us. Everybody talks about wanting to run with the big dogs. When you get a chance to do it, you get your eyes opened. We’re trying to take that step to the next level ourselves and it’s a good test.’’ The Huskies went 20-12 last season (9-9 Colonial Athletic Association) and earned their first ever appearance in the WNIT. The Ducks downed the US women’s national team, 93-86, in an exhibition game Saturday, handing the Americans only their second loss ever to a college program. So it wasn’t surprising that the Ducks remained a solid No. 1 in the Associated Press poll, receiving 28 of 30 first-place votes. Baylor was second in the women’s AP Top 25, claiming the other two first-place ballots. The Lady Bears were followed by Stanford, Connecticut, and Texas A&M. It’s the first time the Aggies were ranked in the top five since they were fifth on Dec. 29, 2014.
Kentucky back on top
Kentucky is back in a familiar position under John Calipari: No. 1 in the Associated Press men’s poll. The Wildcats rose one spot after winning a 1-vs.-2 matchup with Michigan State to open the season in the Champions Classic, followed by an easy win against Eastern Kentucky. They earned 64 of 65 first-place votes to finish ahead of No. 2 Duke. It marks the first time the Wildcats (2-0) have reached No. 1 in the AP Top 25 since spending two weeks there early in the 2016-17 season. Yet it’s the seventh of Calipari’s 11 seasons that the Wildcats have spent at least one week atop the AP Top 25. That includes 10 weeks during the 2011-12 season on the way to the national championship and a start-to-finish stay in 2014-15 as the Wildcats carried an unbeaten record to the Final Four, where they lost to Wisconsin. The same five teams were at the top of the poll, just in reshuffled order: Duke climbed two spots to No. 2 after winning a top-four matchup against Kansas at the Classic. The Blue Devils were ranked second on 48 ballots, third on 13 more and no lower than fifth on any ballot.
Pitino has plans for Greece
Greece coach Rick Pitino is planning on trying to qualify for the 2020 Olympics without Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo. Pitino, 67, officially took over as coach of the Greek national basketball team Monday. He said he would leave a roster place open for Antetokounmpo in qualifying games, but is not sure if he will be able to rely on his best player. Greece will try to reach the Tokyo Olympics by winning a qualifying tournament, but the dates could clash with the NBA schedule, probably ruling out Antetokounmpo. Pitino said he hoped to meet Antetokounmpo and his brother, Milwaukee teammate Thanasis Antetokounmpo, in March when the Bucks travel to Miami . . . Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton is expected to be sidelined for up to a month after suffering a left thigh contusion. Middleton was hurt during Sunday night’s 121-119 win at Oklahoma City.
Zverev puts away Nadal
Defending champion Alexander Zverev pulled off another big win at the ATP Finals in London, beating top-ranked Rafael Nadal, 6-2, 6-4, for his first career victory over the Spaniard., who had an uncharacteristically mistake-filled performance at O2 Arena. Nadal, in his first match since pulling out of the Paris Masters semifinals with an abdominal injury nine days ago, dropped his serve three straight times, didn’t force a single break point, and his normally powerful forehand was responsible for more than four times as many unforced errors (13) as winners (3). The whole thing was over in just 83 minutes. Earlier, Stefanos Tsitsipas earned his first career win over Daniil Medvedev, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 . . . Canada will not have Milos Raonic for the inaugural Davis Cup Finals next week in Madrid because of a back injury. He missed the US Open because of a back injury and has played just three official matches this fall. Brayden Schnur will replace the 31st-ranked Raonic. Canada faces Italy on Nov. 18 and the United States on Nov. 19 in group play. The winners of the six groups and the next two best teams advance to the quarterfinals.
Foligno to sit after hit
The NHL suspended Columbus forward Nick Foligno for three games for a hit that leveled Colorado Avalanche forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare. Foligno dropped Bellemare with the open-ice hit with his elbow to Bellemare’s jaw at 17:15 of the second period Saturday. Foligno said he hadn’t intended to hurt Bellemare and ‘‘felt sick to my stomach when I saw that I hit him in the head.’’ Foligno was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for charging. He said he traded text messages with Bellemare after the game to make sure he was OK. The NHL said the suspension will cost Foligno $88,709.67 . . . Penguins star Sidney Crosby will miss Tuesday night’s game against the Rangers because of an undisclosed injury. Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said Crosby will not travel with the club to New York. The Penguins also play Friday at New Jersey, but Sullivan did not explicitly say the 32-year-old Crosby would miss both games. The two-time MVP left a 3-2 shootout win over Chicago on Saturday in the third period. Crosby got tangled up with Blackhawks defenseman Erik Gustafsson and moments later took a shot from Gustafsson that smacked off his right foot. He then headed to the locker room.
WR Rogers dead at 38
Former Michigan State star and Detroit Lions wide receiver Charles Rogers has died at the age of 38. A woman who identified herself as his mother, Cathy Rogers, confirmed the death Monday in a phone call from the Associated Press. Other details were not immediately known. Marshall Thomas, Rogers’s former basketball coach at Saginaw High School in Michigan, told MLive.com that Rogers died Monday of liver failure and also had cancer. At Michigan State, Rogers was an All-America wide receiver who had 135 receptions for 2,821 yards in two seasons. He was college football’s top receiver in 2002 and the second overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft. He scored twice in his NFL debut, but suffered a broken collarbone that ended his rookie season and suffered the same injury a year later. Rogers failed a drug test in 2005 and was cut entering the next season. He had 36 career receptions for 440 yards receiving and four touchdowns in 15 NFL games. Rogers is Michigan State’s all-time leader in touchdown catches (27) and ranks third in school history in receiving yards and eighth in catches, all in just two seasons . . . Two horses have been euthanized after suffering injuries during races at Del Mar, ending the California track’s stretch of safe competition. Both Ghost Street and Prayer Warrior suffered front leg injuries about 90 minutes apart Sunday at the seaside track north of San Diego. The deaths were the first in races at Del Mar since the 2018 fall meet, when there was one fatality. Del Mar was the safest major track in the United States last year, according to the Jockey Club Equine Injury Database. Last July, two horses died at Del Mar when they collided in training. Del Mar’s fall meet began Nov. 6 and runs through Dec. 3. Santa Anita has had 37 deaths since last December, including seven at its recently concluded fall meet. The highest profile was Mongolian Groom, who was euthanized after injuring his leg in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic shown on national television.