Mitchell scores 23, Texas A&M holds off Tennessee 63-58

Wendell Mitchell scored 23 points to lead Texas A&M to a 63-58 victory over Tennessee on Tuesday night.

Mitchell hit a 3-pointer late in the shot clock with 48 seconds left to put the Aggies ahead 56-53 and he followed with a pair of free throws on their next possession.

Quenton Jackson added 11 points for the Aggies (10-9, 4-3 Southeastern Conference), and Emanuel Miller pulled down 12 rebounds. Mitchell was 5-of-20 shooting, including 4 of 14 from 3-point range, but he made all nine of his free throws. Texas A&M shot just 30.4% overall but made 22 of 29 free throws.

The Aggies muscled their way into the paint when their deep shots didn’t fall and outrebounded the Vols 46-21. Twenty-three of those were on the offensive boards, which they turned into 16 points.

John Fulkerson led Tennessee (12-8, 4-3) with 15 points. Jordan Bowden added 13 points, and Yves Pons and Santiago Vescovi both scored 10. Tennessee entered the game ranked 10th nationally in scoring defense at 59.8 points per game.

Source: Astros, Baker working on manager deal

Dusty Baker is working to finalize an agreement to become manager of the Houston Astros, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal has not yet been completed.

The 70-year-old Baker becomes the oldest manager in the big leagues. He takes over from AJ Hinch, who was fired Jan. 13 just an hour after he was suspended for the season by Major League Baseball for his role in Houston’s sign-stealing scandal.

The hiring of Baker is a sign the Astros want to bring an old-school mentality and stern presence to a franchise reeling from the dismissal of Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow. Baker has 22 years of managerial experience, starting in 1993 with the San Francisco Giants.

A three-time National League Manager of the Year, Baker last managed the Washington Nationals, who let him go after a 97-65 season in 2017.

AC Milan pays tribute to Bryant ahead of game

The AC Milan soccer team will wear black armbands and observe a minute’s silence during an Italian Cup game on Tuesday in memory of devout fan Kobe Bryant.

The seven-time European champions host Torino in the quarterfinals at the San Siro.

Bryant, an 18-time NBA All-Star with the Los Angeles Lakers and a lifelong soccer fan, died Sunday with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, in a helicopter crash near Calabasas, California. He was 41.

Bryant grew up in Italy between the ages of 6 and 13 while his father, Joe Bryant, played basketball in the country.

Milan tweeted an interview with Bryant when he visited the club’s training facility a few years ago.

“Watching (Ruud) Gullit, (Frank) Rijkaard, (Marco) Van Basten and (Paolo) Maldini was always a dream for me,” Bryant said in Italian, wearing a Milan jersey. “It’s always been my favorite squad. Back in Los Angeles I have an AC Milan shirt and scarf inside my locker and I see them every day.”

Milan obtained special clearance for the tribute from the Italian league.

Atlanta Dream allowing McCoughtry to test free agency

Atlanta Dream two-time WNBA scoring champion Angel McCoughtry is testing free agency for the first time in her career.

McCoughtry missed last season with a knee injury. She has reached an agreement with the Dream, which will not use its core designation to retain exclusive negotiating rights with the 33-year-old veteran. McCoughtry is an unrestricted free agent.

Other top WNBA players who have received max $215,000 contracts under the core designation are Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury, Tina Charles of the New York Liberty and Skylar Diggins-Smith of Dallas. Diggins-Smith told The Associated Press on Sunday she hopes to play with another team after missing last season.

McCoughtry has returned from torn ligaments in her left knee to play for Dynamo Kursk in Russia in this WNBA offseason. She is on the USA women’s national team roster.

McCoughtry, a two-time Olympian, was the No. 1 overall pick by Atlanta in the 2009 WNBA draft. She has been the face of the Dream her full career and has averaged 19.5 points per game for her career. She led the league in scoring in 2012 and 2013.

The Dream said in a statement released Monday night “The door remains open for Angel to return to Atlanta as she explores other opportunities.”

Perry scores career-high 27, Miss State tops Florida 78-71

Reggie Perry scored a career-high 27 points, Robert Woodard added 16 and Mississippi State beat Florida 78-71 on Tuesday night for its fourth straight victory in Southeastern Conference play.

Tyson Carter chipped in 12, including seven straight points to turn the game in the second half. The Bulldogs (13-7, 4-3) rallied from 16 points down to notch their first road victory of 2020.

Florida (12-8, 4-3) was hot early, shooting 58% in the first half and making 8 of 14 from 3-point range.

But Mississippi State whittled the lead behind Perry and really took over after intermission. The Bulldogs made 12 of their first 17 shots (71%) in the second half to help build a comfortable lead.

Florida had no answer for Perry inside or out. The 250-pound sophomore made 9 of 14 shots, including all three from behind the arc. He also was 6 of 7 from the free-throw line to go along with eight rebounds and seven turnovers.

Perry tied his previous career high (26) last week against Arkansas, but was even better in Gainesville. Nick Weatherspoon also reached double figures for State, finishing with 13 points and eight assists.

Scottie Lewis led Florida with a career-high 17 points, including 10 in the first five minutes of the game. Kerry Blackshear Jr. added 13 points and seven rebounds for the Gators, who have dropped three straight.

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