Ivory Latta scored 22 points to lead three Washington players in double figures, but it wasn’t enough Friday night against Diana Taurasi and host Phoenix, which won, 90-82.
Taurasi and the host Mercury got up early, outscoring the Mystics 20-14 in the opening quarter en route to a 10-point advantage at halftime. Taurasi scored 31 points and rookie Brittney Griner added 21 points as Phoenix (4-4) won for the fourth time in five games.
Washington (4-3) rallied in the second half, but couldn’t cut the lead to fewer than four points. Matee Ajavon and Monique Currie had 18 and 17 points for the Mystics, who dropped their second in a row. . . . In other WNBA action, Camille Little had 23 points and 10 rebounds to lead the visiting Seattle Storm past the San Antonio Silver Stars, 91-86.
Hunter Renfroe hit a three-run homer off the back wall of the left field bullpen, and Mississippi State advanced to the finals with a 4-1 victory over Oregon State in Omaha.
The Bulldogs (51-18) beat the Beavers (52-13) for the second time in the CWS and will play in the best-of-three championship round that starts Monday vs. UCLA, which ousted North Carolina with a 4-1 win.
Renfroe’s homer off freshman left-hander Andrew Moore (14-2) put the Bulldogs up 4-0 in the fifth. In the nightcap, Pat Valaika drove in two runs for the Bruins.
At least one company yanked an endorsement deal from New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez as puzzled family members of a friend found slain a mile from Hernandez’s Boston-area home sought answers about how he died.
Police have searched in and around Hernandez’s sprawling home in North Attleborough, not far from where the Patriots practice, but a court clerk said no arrest warrants had been issued in the case. The Bristol County district attorney has not released any information, other than the death of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd being treated as a homicide.
A jogger found Lloyd’s body in an industrial park Monday. Family members said Lloyd had been dating Hernandez’s fiancee’s sister for about two years. They said the two men were friends who were together the night Lloyd died. . . .
In Cincinnati, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league accepts and is taking a leadership role in improving sports safety at all levels. He spoke to the National PTA convention. The Parent Teacher Association has urged its members to seek improved head-injury reporting and training in schools, and Goodell said they should push for trained coaches and safe equipment.
“It is our job to lead the way,” Goodell said, adding that the NFL is in the position to have a wide impact. “We recognize that people watch our athletes on the field, watch everything we do. And we have to do what we can to make our game safer.”
Just a few weeks after he was fired by the Vancouver Canucks, Alain Vigneault took over as coach of the New York Rangers.
Vigneault edged out former Rangers captain Mark Messier, longtime former Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff and others in landing the job as New York’s new bench boss.
“I was thinking about the opportunity to coach the New York Rangers, one of the Original Six teams,” said Vigneault, 52, who was given a five-year deal. “There is not a chance I could pass that up.” . . . Ruff, meantime, is the new coach of the Dallas Stars. He coached the Sabres for 15 seasons before being fired in February. . . .
The Phoenix Coyotes have agreed to a long-term extension with Coach Dave Tippett.
Roger Federer could face Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon — their earliest meeting in any Grand Slam. The draw for the grass-court Grand Slam placed the third-seeded Federer and No. 5 Nadal in the same half. Andy Murray, who is seeded No. 2, is also in the same bottom half and could meet Nadal or Federer in the semifinal.
In the women’s draw, top-seeded Serena Williams will open against Mandy Minella. Second-seeded Victoria Azarenka has a first-round match against Maria Joao Koehler. . . .
American qualifier Jamie Hampton reached the first final of her career when she defeated Caroline Wozniacki, 6-7 (10-8), 7-5, 6-3, at Eastbourne. . . .
New Jersey state police said a mechanical problem is to blame for the dirt-track racing crash that killed NASCAR driver Jason Leffler last week. . . .
Mercedes and drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were cleared to keep chasing the Formula One championship after the team was given a reprimand by FIA for violating rules on tire testing. . . .
In Istanbul, Spain showed why it is favored to win the Under-20 World Cup, beating the United States, 4-1, behind two goals each from star strikers Jese and Gerard Deulofeu.
— From news services