No matter the outcome, Jim Boeheim needed this. Three days after the Hall of Fame coach of the Syracuse Orange struck and killed a pedestrian on a darkened highway that leads out of town, he returned to the bench Saturday night. Boeheim's first public appearance since the Wednesday night accident that killed 51-year-old Jorge Jimenez came in a 75-65 loss to top-ranked Duke and coach Mike Krzyzewski, a close friend. The 74-year-old Boeheim, in his 43rd season as head coach at his alma mater, had addressed the team Thursday but did not take part in practice. Although he returned for practice Friday, he had not appeared in public until he made his way into the Carrier Dome to a big ovation from a record crowd. Head down, Boeheim made his way to center court and acknowledged the crowd with a brief wave before giving Krzyzewski a heartfelt hug. The accident happened after the Orange's 20-point victory over No. 18 Louisville. Police say Jimenez was a passenger in a car that apparently skidded out of control on a patch of ice and hit a guardrail. Police say Jimenez was trying to get to safety when he was struck by Boeheim's SUV. Boeheim had swerved to avoid the disabled car, which was resting perpendicular across two lanes. Jimenez was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Another man in the car suffered minor injuries. A moment of silence was observed before the game for Jimenez and his family. Police say Boeheim has cooperated and sobriety tests administered to Boeheim and the unidentified driver of the other vehicle were negative for any signs of impairment. No tickets have been issued and the investigation is continuing. Police Chief Kenton T. Buckner said Thursday night at a news conference there was 'no reason to believe that there are criminal charges that will be coming for anyone.' Once the game started, it seemed like just another tilt featuring the two winningest coaches in NCAA Division I history, except for the massive record crowd that made the dome's walls shake every time the Orange scored. The top-ranked Blue Devils (24-3, 12-2) improved to 7-0 on the road in the Atlantic Coast Conference. In the first game between the teams, the Orange (18-8, 9-4) pulled off the upset, 95-91 at Cameron Indoor Stadium, as Tyus Battle scored a season-high 32 points and Syracuse used its 2-3 zone defense to rattle Duke in overtime. Swingman Cameron Reddish was out with an illness and point guard Tre Jones suffered a shoulder injury roughly 5 1/2 minutes in to put Duke down two starters in that one. It was a completely different team, just like it was on Saturday without injured freshman star Zion Williamson, who had a season-high 35 points in that first game. Freshman forward RJ Barrett, who had a triple-double and double-double in Duke's previous two games, scored 30 points to lead Duke and Alex O'Connell had 20. Tyus Battle led Syracuse with 16 points on 4-of-17 shooting, Elijah Hughes had 12, and Marek Dolezaj and Frank Howard had 10 apiece. O'Connell's four-point play early in the second half gave Duke a two-point lead and neither team led by more than four over the ensuing five minutes. O'Connell's fifth 3-pointer of the game, a career high, and Barrett's layup gave the Blue Devils a 58-52 edge with 9:16 to go. Two free throws by Hughes narrowed the lead to two, but Barrett drained a 3, O'Connell followed with a steal and dunk, and Barrett converted a lob from Jones to give the Blue Devils a 65-56 lead with 4:45 left and the Orange never got closer than five the rest of the game. Syracuse led nearly the entire first half and went into the locker room with a 34-29 lead. Barrett kept the Blue Devils in the game with 17 points in the opening period. ATTENDANCE RECORD The game set a record for an on-campus basketball game. The crowd of 35,642 eclipsed the mark of 34,446, twice against Duke. SHOW OF SUPPORT Several former Orange stars attended the game, including Sherman Douglas, Derrick Coleman, John Wallace, Todd Burgan and Billy Owens. New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, wearing a No. 4 Syracuse jersey, also attended and sat just to the right of the Syracuse bench as a guest of businessman Adam Weitsman, a friend of the Boeheim family. BIG PICTURE Duke: Williamson is recovering from a sprained knee. Duke was crushed at home, 88-72, on Wednesday night by No. 8 North Carolina after Williamson was hurt on the game's first possession. The Tar Heels scored 62 points in the paint without having to worry about the imposing presence of the 6-foot-7, 285-pound Williamson, who has blocked 48 shots and is second in the ACC in scoring (21.6) and third in rebounding (8.8). Barrett has come on strong in Williamson's absence. Syracuse: Just being with the players and coaching them will help Boeheim cope with the tragic accident as the season winds down. The Orange displayed solid, hustling defense in the lopsided win over Louisville and getting that intensity back is key going forward with only four games left in the regular season. UP NEXT Duke: At No. 20 Virginia Tech on Tuesday night. Syracuse: At No. 8 North Carolina on Tuesday night. ___ More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
Felix Hernandez says he's all set for a bounce-back season. Now pitching entirely from the stretch, King Felix made his spring training debut Saturday, giving up four runs in 1 1/3 innings as the Seattle Mariners lost to the San Diego Padres 6-4. The six-time All-Star allowed four hits, only one of them solid. He didn't walk anyone, but hit a batter and threw just 23 strikes in 42 pitches. 'The most important thing is that my arm and my body feel good,' Hernandez said. 'The pitches were moving, the curveball was really good.' Hernandez turns 33 in April and is entering his 15th season in Seattle — and the final year of his seven-year, $175 million contract. The Mariners hold a team option for 2020. Long the ace of the Seattle staff, he is coming off the worst year of his career, posting a 5.55 ERA in 155 2/3 innings and being removed from the rotation for the first time in his career. During the offseason, Hernandez decided to work from the set position. 'I feel good from the stretch. I just feel like I'm going straight to the plate,' he said. 'Not too much movement. From the windup, I got to do a lot of stuff.' AROUND THE GRAPEFRUIT AND CACTUS LEAGUES RED SOX 8, YANKEES 5 Gleyber Torres hit a solo home run for the Yankees. Rafael Devers had two hits for Boston and top prospect Michael Chavis hit a three-run homer. METS 4, BRAVES 3 Robinson Cano hit a go-ahead single for the Mets and highly touted Pete Alonso homered on the first pitch he saw this spring. Touki Toussaint started for Atlanta, allowing two runs on two hits. CARDINALS 11, MARLINS 1 St. Louis ace Miles Mikolas pitched two perfect innings. Sandy Alcantara threw two scoreless innings for Miami. PIRATES 3, PHILLIES 2 Jean Segura went 1 for 3 in his first game with Philadelphia while fellow newcomers Andrew McCutchen and J.T. Realmuto were both hitless in two trips. ORIOLES 7, TWINS (SS) 2 Chance Sisco hit a three-run homer for Baltimore and rotation hopeful Yefry Ramirez allowed a run on two hits and two walks in two innings. Jake Cave had two hits for Minnesota's split squad. TIGERS 4, BLUE JAYS 0 Detroit starter Matt Moore pitched two scoreless innings and Niko Goodrum had a two-run homer. Teoscar Hernandez had two of Toronto's four hits. ROCKIES 7, DIAMONDBACKS 3 David Dahl doubled twice for Colorado. Colton Welker, drafted by the Rockies in 2016 out of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, hit a home run. Steven Souza Jr. homered for Arizona. CUBS 8, BREWERS 4 Kris Bryant hit a home run in his first spring at-bat and also singled for Chicago. The former NL MVP worked over the winter to strengthen the left shoulder that robbed him of his typical power last season. Corey Ray, Milwaukee's first-round draft pick in 2016, homered and doubled. INDIANS 3, REDS 3, 9 INNINGS Matt Kemp hit a two-run homer in his Cincinnati debut. Tyler Naquin homered for Cleveland. ROYALS 9, RANGERS 1 Alex Gordon doubled and singled for Kansas City and Jorge Soler added an RBI single. Matt Davidson, signed to a minor league contract by Texas, started at third base and had a hit. He is slotted to work as both an infielder and a pitcher this spring. DODGERS 7, WHITE SOX (SS) 6 Russell Martin marked his return to the Dodgers with an RBI double. He caught five seasons for LA and returned in a trade with Toronto. Joc Pederson homered for the Dodgers and Rich Hill pitched a fast inning. D.J. Peterson homered for Chicago. ANGELS 10, GIANTS 3 Taylor Ward hit a grand slam for the Angels and Peter Bourjos had a two-run single. ATHLETICS 6, WHITE SOX (SS) 5 Stephen Piscotty homered for Oakland. Yoan Moncada had two hits for Chicago, driving in a run and scoring once. PADRES 6, MARINERS 4 Jose Pirela doubled and singled for San Diego. Shed Long, a former Reds prospect acquired in a three-team trade with the Yankees, homered for Seattle.
James Harden is sitting out the Houston Rockets' game against the Golden State Warriors because of flu-like symptoms. While Harden also has a strained neck, coach Mike D'Antoni said the reigning MVP and league scoring leader probably could have played through that. Harden hurt the neck when he got hit during a practice leading up to Thursday night's road loss to the Lakers and woke up sore the next day. 'He might've played even with a sore neck, he had a little touch of the flu. It was a combination of everything,' D'Antoni said. In the Rockets' last visit to Oracle Arena, Harden hit a contested 3-pointer with 2.7 seconds left in a 135-134 overtime victory Jan. 3 in which he finished with a triple-double and his fifth straight 40-point game. He was 13 for 32 with 10 3s. Harden, who missed three games in the season's first month with a strained left hamstring, is averaging an NBA-best 36.5 points. Houston entered Saturday's game 1-2 in games without him. Also Saturday, Harden was fined $25,000 by the NBA for criticizing the officiating after the loss to the Lakers. ___ More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports