Sports briefs

Bulldogs, Irish vie for women’s title

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Vic Schaefer and his Mississippi State Bulldogs carry a constant reminder of how far they went in the women’s NCAA Tournament last year, and what must still be done.

It’s right there, engraved on the side of their runner-up rings: “ONE MORE.”

A season after losing to South Carolina 67-55 in the title game, Morgan William and the Bulldogs try again to win that elusive first crown. They play Notre Dame tonight in a matchup of teams that both have spoiled perfect seasons for mighty UConn.

“We would say add another one a lot. One More,” Schaefer said. “It came from two Navy SEALs who worked with the kids in the fall — Sam and Brian. One of the things they talk about all the time is one more.”

Schaefer learned a lot from last year’s loss in the title game. He felt his players were tired after practicing the day after the monumental upset of UConn that ended the Huskies’ record 111-game winning streak.

So he’s changed his philosophy the second time around and will be taking it a bit easier on his team.

Docs: Baylor paid Briles $15M

WACO, Texas (AP) — Baylor University paid former football coach Art Briles more than $15 million after firing him in 2016 in the wake of a sexual assault scandal that included allegations against former players and rocked his program, according to newly released tax documents.

Baylor also gave former university President Ken Starr more than $4.5 million after he resigned that same year. His departure followed a scathing report that found that the nation’s largest Baptist university did little to respond to sexual assault accusations involving members of its vaunted football program.

The dollar figures surfaced in annual required tax filings to the IRS and were reported by The Dallas Morning News and Waco Tribune-Herald. The settlement figures had not previously been disclosed.

Former Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw also received $761,059 upon his resignation. McCaw is now the athletic director at Liberty University.

Briles, 61, was fired after an investigation by a law firm found that over several years the school mishandled numerous sexual assault allegations, including some against football players.

Poulter vying for Masters invite

HUMBLE, Texas (AP) — Ian Poulter put himself in position for a last-minute invitation to the Masters after a near miss last week, shooting a 7-under 65 on Saturday to surge into a share of the lead at the Houston Open.

Poulter followed an opening-round 73 that had him packing his bags in anticipation of a missed cut with rounds of 64 and 65 to reach 14-under 202 at the Golf Club of Houston. Beau Hossler birdied the par-4 18th to shoot 69 and match Poulter.

It was the first time since his last PGA Tour victory in 2012 that Poulter had consecutive rounds of 65 or better.

The 42-year-old English veteran made the quarterfinals at last week’s Dell Technologies Match Play to improve his world ranking to 51st — just missing the cutoff to move into the top 50 and earn an invitation to Augusta National, where he has never missed the cut in a dozen appearances. The only way he can get in the field now is to win in Houston.

Rickie Fowler birdied three of the first four holes to move into the lead before he faltered with a double bogey and a triple bogey. He shot 73 and was five shots back.

Bucks come back for Friday win

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Eric Bledsoe scored 11 of his 39 points in overtime, and the Milwaukee Bucks overcame a huge comeback by the Los Angeles Lakers to win 124-122 on Friday night.

Khris Middleton added 28 points and Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 27 for the Bucks, who won their third straight game and second in two nights. They beat the Golden State Warriors on Thursday.

Bledsoe scored nine straight points to start the overtime period and give the Bucks a 121-112 lead with 2:35 remaining.

The Lakers responded with an 8-0 run. Antetokounmpo split a pair of free throws with 16.4 seconds remaining, and Kyle Kuzma missed a shot on the next possession. Bledsoe made two free throws with 2 seconds remaining seal the win for Milwaukee.

Brewers stun Padres Friday night

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Ryan Braun hit a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth and the Milwaukee Brewers rallied for five runs off All-Star closer Brad Hand to stun the San Diego Padres 8-6 on Friday night.

The Brewers trailed 6-3 coming into the ninth and quickly jumped on Hand (0-1) for two runs on three hits, a grounder and his throwing error.

Braun came up with runners on the corners and hit a no-doubter to left on an 0-2 pitch for his first homer this season.

Hand’s shaky performance spoiled a night in which left-hander Joey Lucchesi and reliever Kazuhisa Makita made their big league debuts for the Padres.

Oliver Drake (1-0) pitched one inning for the win and Corey Knebel struck out the side in the ninth for his first save.