Latest South Carolina sports


Gortat, Wizards roll to 95-69 victory over Hornets

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Marcin Gortat scored 20 points and the Washington Wizards rolled to a 95-69 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Monday night.

John Wall added 15 points and nine assists, Bradley Beal had 14 points and Kevin Seraphin scored 12 for the Wizards, who snapped a nine-game road losing streak.

Mo Williams scored 19 points for the Hornets, who shot just 32.5 percent (25 of 77) and committed 16 turnovers to tie their lowest-scoring game this season and end a five-game winning streak.

Al Jefferson added 14 points and Lance Stephenson 12 for Charlotte, which led twice in the first 2½ minutes, the last at 9-8 on Williams’ three-point play with 9:21 left.

But Washington took command with a flurry of shots, hitting seven straight field goals and 12 of 13 over the next 6½ minutes to pull ahead 26-15 on Nene’s dunk with 5:25 left.


AP Source: Ginn agrees to 2-year deal, returns to Panthers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A person familiar with the situation says the Panthers have agreed to a two-year contract with Ted Ginn Jr., bringing the wide receiver/returner back to Carolina.

The person spoke to The Associated Press Monday on condition of anonymity because the deal hasn’t been announced. Financial terms were not immediately available.

Ginn, 5-foot-11 and 185 pounds, helped the Panthers go 12-4 and win the NFC South in 2013 before signing with the Cardinals as a free agent last offseason. However, Arizona cut the 29-year-old Ginn after just one year.

The eight-year pro enjoyed one of his better seasons with Carolina, catching 36 passes for 556 yards and a career-high five touchdowns. He averaged 23.8 yards per kickoff return and 12.2 yards per punt return.


Citadel fires men’s basketball coach Chuck Driesell

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Citadel has fired men’s basketball coach Chuck Driesell after five losing seasons with the Bulldogs.

The school said in a statement Monday it would not renew Driesell’s contract, which ends in April.

Driesell, the son of college coaching great Lefty Driesell, finished with an overall record of 42-113 at Citadel. His teams went 22-66 in Southern Conference play. The Bulldogs were 12-18 this season, posting their most victories in Driesell’s tenure.

Citadel athletic director Jim Senter says Driesell did well instilling the military college’s core values on his players. But Senter added that the program’s won-loss record did not meet expectations.

Citadel’s last winning season was 2008-09 when it went 20-13.

The school said in the statement it would not comment on the search process until a replacement is found.


Wofford holds off Furman to win SoCon title 67-64

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Lee Skinner scored 17 points, Eric Garcia added 15, and top-seeded Wofford held off 10th-seeded Furman 67-64 to capture the Southern Conference championship on Monday night and earn its fourth trip to the NCAA Tournament in six seasons.

The Terriers (28-6) ended the Paladins’ unlikely run to the championship and won despite Furman shooting 52 percent from the field.

Karl Cochran added 11 points, and Spencer Collins had 10 for the Terriers.

Furman (11-22), the tournament’s lowest seed, but pulled off three straight upsets over The Citadel, Chattanooga and Mercer to reach the title game. However, the Paladins didn’t quite have enough to complete what would have been a remarkable run to the NCAA Tournament.

Geoff Beans had 15 points on five 3-pointers, and Stephen Croone had 14 to lead the Paladins, who don’t have a senior in their rotation.


Duke’s Okafor named ACC player of year by league coaches

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Atlantic Coast Conference coaches have picked Duke freshman Jahlil Okafor as their player of the year and Virginia’s Tony Bennett as their coach of the year.

The league released the coaches’ picks Monday, a day after the media also selected Okafor and Bennett for their top awards. Okafor was named freshman of the year by coaches and media voters.

The coaches’ all-ACC picks nearly mirrored the media teams, with Duke’s Okafor, Notre Dame’s Jerian Grant, Syracuse’s Rakeem Christmas, Virginia’s Malcolm Brogdon and Boston College’s Olivier Hanlan making the first team.

Virginia’s Mike Tobey was the coaches’ pick for top sixth man, while Brogdon and Christmas shared defensive player of the year honors.


No. 3 Virginia goes for 2nd straight ACC tournament title

UNDATED (AP) – For the second straight year, Virginia enters the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament aiming to follow a regular-season title with another championship.

The No. 3 Cavaliers (28-2, 16-2) became the first league team from outside the state of North Carolina to win the regular-season race outright in consecutive years.

This year’s team comes in after a loss at Louisville, though coach Tony Bennett says that highlighted “a few little holes” for his team to fix. Bennett says it’s unclear whether starting guard Justin Anderson will play this week after suffering a finger injury earlier this season and an appendectomy last week.

The tournament starts Tuesday in Greensboro, North Carolina, with the lowest-seeded teams. Virginia doesn’t play until Thursday, along with No. 2 Duke, No. 11 Notre Dame and No. 14 Louisville.


SEC coaches praise Kentucky before final shot at Wildcats

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Kentucky this. Kentucky that. The talk leading up to the Southeastern Conference tournament is all about the undefeated, top-ranked Wildcats.

Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings says John Calipari has one of the best teams he has ever seen. South Carolina’s Frank Martin calls it comical that some believe the Wildcats are struggling because of a few close league games.

To Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy, someone needs an “unbelievable” game to knock off the Wildcats.

Well, the SEC tournament this week offers teams in the league a last chance to hand Kentucky its first loss this season before the Wildcats head on into the NCAAs.

Kentucky’s Big Blue Nation is expected to turn Bridgestone Arena into Rupp South but Martin said Monday the beauty of the postseason is anything can happen.


3 UConn players in running for women’s John R. Wooden Award

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Teammates Moriah Jefferson, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Breanna Stewart of top-ranked Connecticut are among the nominees for the women’s John R. Wooden Award as college basketball’s player of the year.

They were among 15 players on the ballot released Monday by the Los Angeles Athletic Club. Voting runs from March 16-24 and takes into consideration the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament. National media members vote on the award.

Tiffany Mitchell and A’ja Wilson of No. 3 South Carolina and teammates Brittany Boyd and Rashanda Gray of No. 25 California are on the ballot. Ohio State freshman Kelsey Mitchell, who leads the nation in scoring with a 24.8 average, and Jillian Alleyne of Oregon, the nation’s No. 2 rebounder at 15.2, joined them.

Others on the ballot are Nina Davis of Baylor, Samantha Logic of Iowa, Jewell Lloyd of Notre Dame, Kelsey Plum of Washington, Elizabeth Williams of Duke and Amanda Zahui B. of Minnesota.

The nominees will be cut to five finalists during the week of the Final Four.

The Wooden Award for the top men’s and women’s players will be presented April 10.