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March 15, 2013 at 11:19 PM   |   Comments

Maryland stuns Duke in ACC tourney

GREENSBORO, N.C., March 15 (UPI) -- A career-best 30 points from sophomore Dez Wells Friday sent Maryland to a shocking 83-74 win over No. 2 Duke in the ACC quarterfinals.

No. 10 Miami survived an upset bid in the opening quarterfinal game and North Carolina State defeated Virginia, but the tournament took on an unexpected look in the first of the evening games when Maryland convincingly downed the Blue Devils.

Wells hit 9-of-13 from the field and all 10 of his free throws. Maryland (22-11) built an eight-point halftime lead and maintained its poise down the stretch to make a strong bid for an NCAA Tournament spot.

Duke will take a 27-5 record into the NCAA tourney, having also lost to Maryland on the Terrapins' home floor in mid-February. The Blue Devils climbed within five points with 45 seconds to go, but Maryland closed out the game with four free throws.

Shane Larkin had five late points that helped Miami escape a challenge from Boston College for a 69-58 win.

Larkin contributed a 3-point shot and a breakaway layup in a spurt that the Hurricanes used to break a 55-55 tie with 3:01 to go.

The win was the 25th for Miami this season, a school record.


Puerto Rico ousts USA from WBC

MIAMI, March 15 (UPI) -- A two-run double by Andy Gonzalez keyed a big sixth-inning Friday and Puerto Rico went on to eliminate the United States from the WBC with a 4-3 win.

The Americans battled back from a four-run deficit to within one in the eighth and had the bases loaded with two away.

J.C. Romero then got Eric Hosmer on a grounder to second, ending the inning and wiping out the United States' last bid to continue in the worldwide tournament.

Romero stayed in the game and retired the Americans in order in the ninth to clinch a spot for Puerto Rico in the semifinals.

Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic will meet on Saturday in a game that will decide their semifinal opponents. The winner will meet the Netherlands in the semifinals on March 18 in San Francisco. The loser of Saturday's game will take on Japan on March 17.

The championship game will be played March 19.

Puerto Rico took a 1-0 lead into the sixth inning, then loaded the bases with two out and scored a run when Carlos Rivera drew a walk from Vinnie Pestano. That brought up Gonzalez, who came through with his double to left that delivered two runs for a 4-0 lead.


Djokovic unbeaten, reaches semifinals

INDIAN WELLS, Calif., March 15 (UPI) -- Novak Djokovic remained unbeaten in 2013 Friday, rolling into the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Juan Martin del Potro then surprised Andy Murray to earn a chance against Djokovic, the world's No. 1 player and the dominant figure in the game since the start of the 2011 season.

Djokovic has won his first 17 matches this year and has a 22-match winning streak working from last October. He still has a long way to go, however, to equal the 43-match win streak he put together to begin the 2011 campaign.

He needed just 54 minutes to dispose of Tsonga, who lost to Djokovic for the ninth straight time.

Djokovic has two championships to his credit this year, including the Australian Open -- his sixth major title.

Del Potro ousted the third-seeded Murray 6-7 (6-8), 6-3, 6-1, downing the 2012 Olympic champion for only the second time in their seven confrontations.

Saturday's other semifinal will send Rafael Nadal against Tomas Berdych. Nadal owns a 12-3 record against Berdych, including a win in the 2010 championship match at Wimbledon.


Stefani stays in lead at Innisbrook

PALM HARBOR, Fla., March 15 (UPI) -- Shawn Stefani, hoping to turn this into the biggest week of his golfing life, maintained a one-shot lead Friday midway through the Tampa Bay Championship.

Stefani, who for the first time earned his way onto the PGA Tour this year at the age of 31, shot a 1-under 70 at the Innisbrook Resort for a two-day total of 7-under 135. In his six previous starts during his rookie season he has missed the cut three times and finished no better than a tie for 39th.

After firing a 65 on Thursday, Stefani made his first two bogeys of the tournament but held things together over one of the more difficult courses on the tour.

"I hope to just keep doing what I've been doing," Stefani said.

Adam Scott and two-time former Tampa Bay champion K.J. Choi shared second place at 136 with Scott firing a 66 and Choi turning in a 67.

Tied for fourth place at 137 were Jason Dufner, Peter Tomasulo, Harris English and Brian Harman.

The day's low round of 65 was turned in by two-time heart transplant recipient Erik Compton, who finished in a tie for 13th at 140.

Defending champion Luke Donald settled for a 72 and an even-par total of 142.

It took a score of 144 to survive the 36-hole cut and among those missing it was John Daly, who needed 10 shots to play the par-4 third hole and eventually shot an 81 for a 153 total.

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