PURDUE BEATS SPARTANS 62-47 FOR BIG TEN TITLE: Drey Mingo couldn't help but think about her coach's vow. Now, consider it a promise kept.
Mingo scored 24 points, and Purdue won its second straight Big Ten tournament championship, beating Michigan State 62-47 on Sunday.
The Boilermakers (24-8) led by as many as 23 points in the first half and were up 19 at the break before things got a little tense down the stretch. The Spartans (24-8) pulled within nine, but back-to-back 3-pointers by Courtney Moses and a key turnover helped preserve the win for Purdue, giving the Boilermakers a league-best nine tournament titles.
A big reason for this one was Mingo.
She scored as many points in the first half as Michigan State did, setting the tone as Purdue took a 33-14 lead, and she finished with eight rebounds and three blocks in the game.
HOWARD LEADS LAKERS OVER BULLS, 90-81: Kobe Bryant was asked what it felt like to be a "playoff team," his Lakers having just moved into the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference after a 90-81 victory over the Bulls on Sunday.
Bryant, who had 19 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, let out a less-than-enthusiastic "yippee."
The win improved the Lakers to 33-31, the first time they've been two games over .500 all season. They are one-half game ahead of Utah for the final playoff spot.
Lakers center Dwight Howard scored 16 points on 8 of 14 shooting, blocked four shots and grabbed 21 rebounds, the fourth time this season he's had 20 or more rebounds.
HEAT ROLL PAST PACERS: Mario Chalmers scored 26 points, Chris Bosh added 24 and the Miami Heat won their 18th straight game, easily topping the Pacers 105-91 on Sunday night.
The 18-game streak ties the seventh longest in NBA history, and is the league's best since the Boston Celtics won 19 straight during the 2008-09 season. Miami will try for No. 19 when it hosts Atlanta on Tuesday night.
Dwyane Wade scored 23 points for the Heat, who controlled the game despite a season-low 13 points from LeBron James. Ray Allen added 11 for Miami.
David West scored 17 of his 24 points in the first half for the Pacers, who fell nine games behind Miami in the Eastern Conference standings. Roy Hibbert scored 15, D.J. Augustin had 14 and Paul George scored 10 for Indiana.
SORIANO, NAVARRO GET KEY HITS FOR CUBS: David DeJesus took the jeers in stride, placed the winning bunt just so and posed with the championship belt a few minutes later.
The Cubs' center fielder defended his title in the team's annual 64-man bunt tournament before Sunday's 9-3 win over the San Diego Padres.
This is the second year that manager Dale Sveum ran the event. It was a way to work on the craft in a fun way, setting point values based on where bunted balls came to rest.
SSC ADVANCES TO NJCAA NATIONAL TOURNEY: Michael Lee (T.F. South) led three players in double figures with 24 points Saturday, as South Suburban College defeated Kishwaukee 91-72 for the NJCAA Region IV A championship. The Bulldogs (30-3) advance to the national tournament for the fifth time in seven years, and the event starts March 19 in Danville.
Michael Harris (E.C. Central) added 19 points and six assists, while Bryce Walker (E.C. Central) had 16 points and nine assists.
Harris was also voted the tourney MVP, while Lee and Walker joined him on the all-tournament team. John Pigatti was named Region IV A Coach of the Year for the fifth time in seven seasons.
CREIGHTON BEATS WICHITA STATE 68-65, WINS MVC TOURNEY: Creighton repeated as Missouri Valley Conference tournament champion without much production from its star.
"I didn't have my best game, but my teammates stepped up and it feels great," said Valley player of the year and tournament MVP Doug McDermott, who missed six of his first seven shots in a 68-65 victory over Wichita State on Sunday. "It couldn't get much better than this."
Jahenns Manigat scored a season-best 16 points and hit a layup with 11.5 seconds to go that gave top-seeded Creighton just enough. Reserve Ethan Wragge made five 3-pointers for 15 points while McDermott, who averages 23 points, was held to 14 on 5-for-14 shooting.
CRUSADERS DROP USF: Karch Kowalczyk had a three-run double and Cole Webb )2-2) allowed just five hits over seven innings as Valparaiso (4-9) downed South Florida 5-2 on Sunday in Tampa. Tanner Vavra registered three hits, three stolen bases and three runs for the Crusaders, while Michael Morman singled and doubled.