Here is the latest Mid-America sports news from The Associated Press
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Logan Couture scored two goals and the San Jose Sharks held off the St. Louis Blues 5-4 on Saturday night. After the Blues overcame deficits of 3-0 and 4-1 to tie it during a wild second period, Couture scored on a wrist shot with 8:09 left in the third. The puck deflected off goalie Jordan Binnington's back and in. The Sharks entered 0-7-1 in their previous eight against the Blues dating to the 2019 playoffs. Brayden Schenn, Zach Sanford, Ryan O'Reilly and Jordan Kyrou scored for St. Louis. The Sharks also got goals from Evander Kane, Rudolfs Balcers and Patrick Marleau.
AMES, Iowa (AP) — Austin Reaves scored 20 points to lead No. 9 Oklahoma to a wild 66-56 victory over Iowa State. The Sooners earned their third straight win since a 57-52 loss at No. 15 Texas Tech. But the lowly Cyclones provided a stiff test. Iowa State trailed by as many as 21 in the first half before rallying to a 46-45 lead on Tre Jackson's 3-pointer with 11:29 remaining. The Sooners then responded with a 16-4 run to grab the lead for good. De'Vion Harmon and Umoja Gibson each made a 3-pointer before Reaves capped the decisive stretch with a free throw, making it 61-50 with 4:38 left.
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Christian Braun hit a corner 3 with 24 seconds left, David McCormack scored 17 points and No. 23 Kansas beat No. 15 Texas Tech 67-61. Ochai Agbaji had 14 points and Jalen Wilson added 11. Braun's 3 made it a two-possession game and essentially locked up the win for the Jayhawks. Braun and Marcus Garrett each finished with 10 points. Marcus Santos-Silva and Kevin McCullar each scored 12 points, Mac McClung had 11 and Micah Peavy had 10 for Texas Tech, which played its first game in 10 days but has dropped two straight.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Dru Smith and Mark Smith helped No. 20 Missouri build a large first-half lead and snap a three-game losing streak with a 93-78 victory over South Carolina. Dru Smith scored 17 points and Mark Smith 13. Both were instrumental in the Tigers pulling away from the Gamecocks, who lost their fifth consecutive game. Missouri finished with five players in double figures. Jeremiah Tilmon had 17 points, Xavier Pinson 16 and Kobe Brown 12, all in the first half. AJ Lawson had a game-high 22 points to lead South Carolina.
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Mike McGuirl scored 16 points, grabbed nine rebounds and distributed five assists and Kansas State ended it's 13-game losing streak by beating TCU 62-54. Following Mike Miles' three-point play giving TCU a 51-46 lead with 5:01 left to play, the Wildcats scored 10 straight and never looked back. The game marked the the first time in February that K-State faced an unranked opponent, snapping a streak of five straight against a Top-25 team. RJ Nembhard led TCU with 14 points and Miles scored 13.
CHICAGO (AP) — Emma Ronsiek scored 27 points, Temi Carda added 18 and eight assists and Creighton became the first unraked team to beat No. 19 DePaul this year, winning 83-72. Ronsiek was 9-for-12 shooting and Carda, one of the few players to wear a mask while playing, was 6 of 9 as the Bluejays went 29 of 50, including 8 of 15 from 3-point range. For good measure they made their first 16 free throws, going 17 of 18. Lexi Held and Sonya Morris scored 17 points apiece and Jorie Allen had 16 with seven rebounds for the Blue Demons. Their other losses were to current top five teams Texas A&M, Louisville and UConn twice.
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Jaden Ivey scored 15 points, Sasha Stefanovic added 14, and Purdue beat Nebraska 75-58. The Boilermakers pulled away with a 19-4 run to lead 67-53 with about six minutes left. Stefanovic made consecutive 3-pointers during the stretch and Ivey capped it with a dunk. Nebraska cut the deficit to 10 points but didn't get closer. Purdue (15-8, 10-6 Big Ten) has won consecutive games for the first time since a four-game winning streak ended with a 17-point loss to then-No. 7 Michigan on Jan. 22. Shamiel Stevenson scored 10 points off the bench to lead Nebraska (5-15, 1-12).
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Brice Calip scored 17 points, Abby Hipp had 12 points and 10 rebounds, and No. 25 Missouri State beat Bradley 75-62 for its 11th straight win. Sydney Wilson added 13 points and Jasmine Franklin had 10 for Missouri State (15-2, 11-0 Missouri Valley Conference), which is off to its best MVC start since going 11-0 in 2004. The Bears had a 12-0 conference start in 1996. The Bears opened the third quarter on a 11-0 run and closed it with consecutive 3-pointers from Sydney Manning for a 54-39 lead. Gabi Haack scored 24 points to lead Bradley (12-10, 8-7).
Update on the latest sports
Heat top Lakers in L.A.
UNDATED (AP) — The Los Angeles Lakers have been held under 100 points in two straight home games while playing without starters Anthony Davis and Dennis Schröder.
Kendrick Nunn scored 27 points and the Miami Heat won a rematch of last year's NBA Finals by downing the defending champs, 96-94. Jimmy Butler had 24 points and eight rebounds for the Heat, who managed to hang on despite scoring just 15 in the fourth quarter.
LeBron James had 19 points, nine assists and nine rebounds for the Lakers. James also stole the Heat's inbounds pass with 8.4 seconds left to create one last chance for L.A. However, the 17-time All-Star passed off to Alex Caruso, who missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Checking out Saturday's other NBA action:
— Devin Booker nailed five of the Suns' franchise-record 24 3-points and finished with 23 points in a 128-97 romp over the Grizzlies. Mikal (mih-KAYL') Bridges and Cam Payne each had 19 points as Phoenix won for the eighth time in nine games.
— The Wizards ended the Trail Blazers' six-game winning streak as Russell Westbrook registered a triple-double of 27 points, 13 assists and 11 boards in Washington's 118-111 victory at Portland. Bradley Beal poured in 37 points for the Wizards, who outscored the Blazers 30-12 in the second quarter and 29-19 in the fourth en route to their fourth straight win.
— The Hornets pulled out a 102-100 win over the Warriors on Terry Rozier's off-balance jumper as time expired. Rozier scored 20 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter, including a pair of free throws to tie it.
— Zach LaVine (lah-VEEN') pumped in 38 points to lead six Bulls in double-figures during a 112-114 win against the Kings. Coby White contributed 19 points and Thaddeus Young added 18 off the bench in Chicago's third win in four games.
TOP 25 MEN'S BASKETBALL-SCHEDULE
Tide nears conference crown
UNDATED (AP) — Eighth-ranked Alabama is on the verge of clinching at least a share of its first SEC regular-season title in 19 years.
Jaden Shackleford scored a season-high 27 points as the Crimson Tide downed Vanderbilt, 82-78. Jahvon Quinerly made a late 3-pointer and a clinching free throw with two seconds left to help Alabama quell the upset bid. Quinerly finished with 15 points for the Tide, who made just 10 of 39 3-point attempts and still improved to 13-5 overall.
The Tide are 13-1 and one win away from clinching the conference crown.
In Saturday's other top-25 men's finals
— Drew Timme (TIH'-mee) scored 17 of his 21 points in the first half of top-ranked Gonzaga's 26th consecutive win, a 106-69 dismantling of San Diego. Jalen Suggs added 17 points and Corey Kispert chipped in 16 as the Bulldogs ran the nation's longest home winning streak to 49 games.
— Ayo Dosunmu (EYE'-oh doh-SOO'-mee) recorded his second triple-double of the season and Kofi (KOH'-fee) Cockburn scored 22 points in 24 minutes as fifth-ranked Illinois coasted to a 94-62 rout of Minnesota. Dosunmu delivered 19 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, three games after becoming just the third Illini player to post a triple-double.
— Freshman Jaemyn Brakefield scored the go-ahead basket on a reverse layup with 1:58 left and Duke came up with a final-possession stop to complete a 66-65 upset of seventh-ranked Virginia. Matthew Hurt scored 22 points for the Blue Devils, who have won three straight to pad their hopes for an NCAA Tournament berth.
— Austin Reaves scored 20 points and ninth-ranked Oklahoma coughed up a 21-point, first-half lead before earning a wild 66-56 victory over Iowa State. The Cyclones took a 46-45 lead on Tre Jackson's 3-pointer with 11:29 remaining, but the Sooners responded with a 16-4 run to grab the lead for good.
— Collin Gillespie finished with 20 points and 10th-ranked Villanova allowed just 30% shooting in the second half of a win against UConn, 68-60. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl had 17 points and 11 rebounds for Villanova, which was playing first the first time since a poor defensive effort in a loss at Creighton last Saturday.
— Sean McNeil and No. 13 West Virginia erased a 19-point deficit in the second half, then withstood a flurry of last-second misses to hold off No. 12 Texas, 84-82. McNeil scored all 16 of his points in the second half, but he also committed two turnovers in the final 11 seconds to help the Longhorns stay in the game.
— Southern California's seven-game winning streak is over after James Akinjo scored 20 points in Arizona's 81-72 decision over the Pac-12 leaders. Jordan Brown had 19 points and 13 rebounds. Azuolas Tubelis added 16 points and a career-high 15 boards to help Sean Miller get his 300th victory as the Wildcats' head coach.
— Raiquan Gray had 16 points and eight rebounds in helping No. 16 Florida State pick up its third win in a row, 79-72 versus Pittsburgh. Malik Moore contributed 12 points and a team-high nine rebounds for the 13-3 Seminoles, who led for over 35 minutes of the game but never by more than 11 points.
— Isaiah Jackson provided 16 points and Kentucky matched a season high with its third straight win, using an early 15-0 run to top No. 19 Tennessee, 70-55. Davion Mintz was accurate from the perimeter, hitting all five of his 3-point shots in the first half and finishing with 15 points.
— Dru Smith furnished 17 and Mark Smith 13 as No. 20 Missouri dumped South Carolina, 93-78 to end a three-game losing streak. The Smiths fueled a 25-12 run that helped the Tigers build a 19-point lead in the opening half.
— Christian Braun hit a corner 3 with 24 seconds left and David McCormack scored 17 points to guide 23rd-rated Kansas past No. 15 Texas Tech, 67-61. Ochai Agbaji (OH'-chay ahg-BAH'-zhee) had 14 points and Jalen Wilson added 11 as the Jayhawks dealt the Red Raiders their second straight loss.
— Jordan Schakel drained four 3-pointers by halftime and finished with 14 points as No. 25 San Diego State earned its eighth straight win, 75-57 versus Fresno State.
Canes blank Bolts to claim division lead
UNDATED (AP) — The Carolina Hurricanes have taken over first place in the NHL's Central Division by downing the defending Stanley Cup champions.
The Canes are 5-0-1 in their last six games after rookie Alex Nedeljkovic (nuh-DEHL'-koh-vihch) made 24 saves in his first NHL shutout to lead a 4-0 shutout of the Lightning.
Vincent Trocheck (TROH'-chehk), Sebastian Aho (AH'-hoh), Cedric Paquette and Andrei Svechnikov (SVEHCH'-nih-kahv) scored for the Hurricanes in the first of four consecutive games between the teams.
Tampa Bay has yet to score in two meetings, with the Hurricanes this season.
Carolina now paces the Central by one point over Florida.
The Red Wings bounced back from Friday's 7-2 loss to the Panthers by winning 2-1 at Florida. The Wings trailed 1-0 until Mathias Brome (BROH'-may) and Patrik Nemeth scored in the second period. It was Brome's first NHL goal.
Jonathan Bernier (BURN'-yay) stopped 38 shots and was perfect after Alex Wennberg beat him on a power play 14:43 into the game.
Meanwhile, it took a lot longer than expected to finish the outdoor game in Lake Tahoe. The game had to be stopped after one period and was delayed for eight hours due to bright sun and temperatures that hovered around freezing, leading to poor ice conditions.
The wait was worth it for Devon Toews (deh-VAHN tayvz) and the Colorado Avalanche. Toews set up Nathan MacKinnon's go-ahead goal and delivered the eventual game-winner with 6:49 left as the Avs downed the Golden Knights, 3-2.
Elsewhere in the NHL:
— Sidney Crosby had two assists in his 1,000th NHL game, and the Penguins erased a 2-1 deficit in thei third period to beat the Islanders, 3-2 on Saturday night. Kris Letang (leh-TANG') scored twice, including a tiebreaking goal in Pittsburgh's fourth win in five games.
— Alexis Lafreniere (lah-FREHN'-yehr) ended an eight-game goal drought by providing the eventual game-winner in the Rangers' second consecutive win, 4-1 at Washington. Lafreniere made it 2-0 late in the second period, 59 seconds before Ryan Strome (strohm) padded New York's lead.
— Rudolfs Balcers scored his first two goals of the season, including the tiebreaker midway through the third period of the Sharks' 5-4 win over the Blues. San Jose squandered a 4-1 lead before Balcers tipped a shot by Logan Couture with 8:09 left in the third.
— Sam Reinhart scored twice and the Sabres snapped a four-game losing streak with a 3-2 win over the Devils. Defensemen Colin Miller also tallied and Linus (LEE'-nuhs) Ullmark made 25 saves in Buffalo's first victory since Jan. 30 against New Jersey.
— Calle Jarnkrok (KAL'-ee YAHRN'-krahk) provided a pair of goals and Pekka Rinne (PEH'-kuh REE'-nay) made 21 saves to send the Predators past the Blue Jackets, 4-2. The game was tied 2-2 until Jarnkrok and Filip Forsberg scored in the first 45 seconds of the final period.
— Alex Iafallo (eye-ah-FAH'-loh) scored twice and Cal Peterson stopped 22 shots as the Kings doubled up the Coyotes, 4-2. Trevor Moore also scored as Los Angeles won its fourth in a row.
— The Wild skated to a 5-1 win over the Ducks as Kevin Fiala (fee-A'-lah) provided two goals and an assist. Joel Eriksson Ek, Victor Rask and Mats Zuccarello (zoo-kah-REH'-loh) also scored for the Wild, who swept a two-game set in Anaheim.
— Auston Matthews leads the league with 18 goals after netting two more while setting up two others in the Maple Leafs' 5-3 verdict over the Canadiens. Mitch Marner had a goal and two assists and Frederik Andersen stopped 30 saves to help the NHL leaders improve to 14-3-2.
— Connor McDavid set up two goals before scoring a natural hat trick in the Oilers' 7-1 pounding of the Flames. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had two goals and Mikko Koskinen (MEE'-koh KAHS'-kih-nehn) made 43 saves for Edmonton.
Osaka beats Brady to claim 4th Slam trophy
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Novak Djokovic (NOH'-vak JOH'-kuh-vich) has beaten Daniil Medvedev (DAN'-ihl MEHD'-veh-dehv) in three sets to win his ninth Australian Open championship and 18th Grand Slam title.
The No. 1-seeded Djokovic has won the trophy three years in a row at Melbourne Park. He has won six of the last 10 major tournaments overall and his total of 18 Slams moves him within two of the men's record of 20 shared by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Medvedev was trying to collect his first Grand Slam title. But Djokovic used superb serving and his usual baseline excellence to end the Russian's 20-match winning streak.
Burns' lead shrinks at Riviera
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sam Burns remained the leader at Riviera Country Club when the third round of the PGA's Genesis Invitational was halted by darkness.
Burns has seen his five-stroke lead shrink to two over Matt Fitzpatrick. Burns went 31 consecutive holes with a bogey, a streak that ended on No. 8. He carded back-to-back bogeys that dropped him to 10-under par before play was stopped.
Dustin Johnson, Max Homa and Wyndham Clark were another shot behind.
The round was held up for four hours due to high wind that was strong enough to move golf balls around and off the green.
Indians ace Bieber reports to camp after COVID-19 bout
UNDATED (AP) — American League Cy Young winner Shane Bieber has reported to training camp in Arizona with the Cleveland Indians after recovering from COVID-19.
The right-hander took part in drills Saturday. The Indians will hold their first full-squad workout in Goodyear, Arizona, on Sunday.
The 25-year-old Bieber was baseball's best pitcher during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, earning pitching's Triple Crown by pacing the majors in wins, ERA and strikeouts.
In other developments related to the pandemic:
— The Columbus Blue Jackets have received permission from state authorities to allow a limited number of fans at games starting next week. Nearly 2,000 fans — 10% of Nationwide Arena's capacity — may attend the last 16 home games, beginning March 2 against Detroit.
— North Carolina has found another nonconference schedule addition. The school announced that the Tar Heels will host Marquette on Wednesday, which comes after they had a fourth game postponed in Atlantic Coast Conference play.