Sports Briefs

Gopher gridders end boycott

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The University of Minnesota football team’s boycott started with a bold demand for apologies and a threat to skip a bowl game if 10 teammates suspended after a sexual assault investigation weren’t reinstated.

It ended less than 36 hours later, the university leadership never blinking, and the players backing down amid pressure from many who read details of the allegations.

The Golden Gophers players announced Saturday morning that they planned to play in the Holiday Bowl, rescinding their boycott after two exhausting days of meetings with attorneys, school President Eric Kaler and athletic director Mark Coyle.

“As a team we understand that what has occurred these last few days and playing football for the University of Minnesota is larger than just us,” receiver Drew Wolitarsky said.

The school declined the players’ request to reinstate the suspended players.

Canada beat US in hockey opener

PLYMOUTH (AP) — Rebecca Johnston scored three times to help Canada beat the United States 5-3 on Saturday night in a women’s hockey exhibition game.

The rivals meet again Monday night in Sarnia, Ontario.

Johnston started the scoring 6:37 into the game and had two goals in the third, including one into an empty net with 32.4 seconds to go.

Canada goaltender Ann-Renee Desbiens appeared to get hurt during a goal-mouth scramble midway through the first after making two saves. Desbiens, a senior standout at Wisconsin, kept weight off her left skate as she was helped off the ice. Shannon Szabados made 32 saves for the Canadians.

Alex Rigsby made 17 saves for the Americans, who led 3-1 early in the second after Brianna Decker scored her second goal of the game.

Monk leads Kentucky past NC

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Malik Monk scored a Kentucky freshman record 47 points and hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 16.7 seconds left to lead the sixth-ranked Wildcats past No. 7 North Carolina 103-100 on Saturday in a thrilling showdown of traditional powers.

North Carolina’s Justin Jackson nearly outshined Monk with 34 points, and his basket with 45 seconds left put the Tar Heels (10-2) ahead after trailing much of the second half.

Monk responded with a right-wing 3 in transition to put Kentucky up 101-100 after it led much of the second half. After Isaiah Hicks only hit the backboard at the other end, Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox hit two free throws with 1.9 seconds left.

North Carolina got the ball in the front court with less than a second left. But Kenny Williams’ desperation 3 at the buzzer got lodged between the rim and backboard.

Monk hit 18 of 28 shots, including 8 of 12 3-point attempts, scoring in various ways in an electric performance that was the most points in Division I this season.