Mon, Mar 30, 2009 - Page 19 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

■BASKETBALL

Connecticut stay in race

Connecticut held off Missouri 82-75 to stay in the hunt for their third college basketball title, while Villanova upset Pittsburgh 78-76 to reach its first Final Four in 23 years on Saturday. Freshman Kemba Walker scored 23 points as top-seeded Connecticut earned a trip to Detroit as winner of the West Regional. The Huskies will play the Louisville-Michigan State winner in the Final Four. The Huskies blew an early 11-point lead but survived against frenetic third-seeded Missuori, which was denied its first Final Four berth. Connecticut clinched the victory by going 10-for-10 from the line in the final 1:02. The Huskies won their previous national titles in 1999 and 2004. Scottie Reynolds made a half-court dash for the game-winning shot with 0.5 seconds left to lead Villanova back to the Final Four for the first time since its run to the 1985 championship.

■CYCLING

Armstrong training again

Seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong climbed back onto a bicycle on Saturday for the first time since suffering a broken collarbone. Three days after an operation to repair the injury suffered during an event in Spain, Armstrong mounted a stationary bicycle to begin a new phase of his rehabilitation work as he hopes to recover in time to continue his comeback. “I rode for half an hour on a stationary bike,” Armstrong said in a message filed on Twitter. The US cycling star has returned to his home in Austin, Texas, in hopes of getting himself into shape to compete at the Tour of Italy that starts on May 9 and in July’s Tour de France. Armstrong said it could take eight to 12 weeks to complete a full recovery.

■FIGURE SKATING

Kim breaks 200 barrier

South Korean teenager Kim Yu-na emphasized her dominance by becoming the first woman to break the 200 point barrier at a world championships as she skated to individual gold on Saturday. Entering the night with a commanding lead of 8.2 points, the 18-year-old electrified the Staples Center with a stunning free skate that earned her 131.59 points for a combined total of 207.71. Her record haul was far out of the reach of Canadian silver medallist Joannie Rochette, who finished second with 191.29. The 2007 world champion, Miki Ando, leapfrogged her fellow Japanese and defending champion Mao Asada to claim the bronze.

■CURLING

China champs in S Korea

China’s Wang Bingyu won the women’s curling world championship in Gangneung, South Korea, yesterday with a clinical 8-6 victory over Sweden in the final. China stretched its winning sequence to 12 in a championship that featured 12 teams, earning a first world title for an Asian team in either women’s or men’s curling competition. The Chinese exchanged misses with Sweden’s Anette Norberg in the first few ends before scoring the first deuce in the fourth end for a 3-1 lead. Led by impressive Wang, who didn’t know what a curling stone was 10 years ago, drew for another pair in the sixth end when the Swedes missed a runback. Norberg closed the gap to 5-4 when she drew for two in the seventh end. Wang earned two points on measurement in the eighth end for a 7-4 lead before Sweden found its way to wrangle a deuce and closed the gap to one at the end of ninth. Sweden had one buried behind cover in the final end until Norberg’s last stone, which she elected to put into the rings as opposed to guard. Wang elected a takeout, made it perfectly, and China earned its historic win.

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