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Connie Yori joins Creighton staff 2 years after Nebraska allegations

Former Nebraska coach Connie Yori is returning to women’s basketball as a member of the Creighton staff, Bluejays coach Jim Flanery announced Tuesday.

Several players and support staff members complained to the Nebraska administration about Yori two seasons ago, alleging bullying and disregard for players’ well-being. A number of other players said they never experienced or witnessed any mistreatment.

Yori resigned, saying she wanted to spend more time with her young son and her elderly parents. A separation agreement called for her to be paid about $1.2 million.

Yori graduated from Creighton in 1986 as the school’s leading scorer with 2,010 points, a figure that now ranks third all time. She was an assistant at Creighton from 1986-89 and was head coach at Loras College and Creighton before going to Nebraska.

Jamie Cherry made four free throws in the final minute and scored 22 points with a career-high 13 assists for the Tar Heels (14-6, 4-3 Atlantic Coast Conference). Freshman Leah Church had a career-high 19 points off the bench, including back-to-back 3-pointers in overtime that gave North Carolina an 88-80 lead.

On a day UNC celebrated coach Sylvia Hatchell reaching 1,000 career wins on Dec. 19, 2017, with a pregame ceremony and commemorative posters, the Tar Heels fell behind by 19 points in the second quarter. Kea had the last 10 points of a 13-2 run that pulled UNC with 41-33 at the half.

Kea’s 3 in the first minute of the fourth quarter gave the Tar Heels their only lead of regulation. Duke went back up by eight with 1:35 remaining but Kea had eight points in a closing 10-2 run, forcing OT with a catch-and-shot 3 from the leftwing on an inbounds play.

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Timberwolves star Jimmy Butler sits with sore knee

Jimmy Butler sat out Minnesota’s 115-109 victory Saturday night against Toronto with a sore right knee.

Butler is averaging 21.7 points per game for the revamped Timberwolves, who entered with the fourth-best record in the Western Conference. Minnesota had lost two straight before hosting the Raptors. Nemanja Bjelica started in Butler’s place.

The difference will come with how he relates to the team when things are not going well, Johnson said. He vowed there is nobody working harder to make sure they are physically and mentally prepared.

I feel like I can be a better team leader, Johnson said. This sport is so much about the people, and keeping that energy in the locker room right is key. … It’s a big puzzle with a lot of people.

That’s the part with my experience and seniority at the team that I can help shape that, which would build a better product to make my driving experience easier.

Johnson said he needs to be honest with the team about how it’s doing, but also make sure he is accurate in what he tells them.

So I’m really trying to be right when I speak up. … This year, with all the change that’s going on, we’re going to make a lot of decisions and making sure we make the right ones early are going to set that arc the team goes on.

Johnson spent last season frustrated because it appeared many of the decisions didn’t work.

Through the course of last year, I turned over every stone that I knew of to help me do a better job, help me communicate with the team, using the [racing] simulator in different ways to try to drive different lines, different driving styles, Johnson said. Unfortunately we just couldn’t make anything really work for us.

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Porzingis leads Knicks against Warriors

Stephen Curry gets a first-hand look at a probable All-Star he might have the option of drafting for the Feb. 18 showcase when Kristaps Porzingis and the New York Knicks visit the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night.

The Knicks have alternated wins and losses in their first four outings on a seven-game trip necessitated by The Grammys using Madison Square Garden for rehearsals leading up to the big show Sunday night. They are coming off a 127-107 drubbing at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.

The Warriors have rebounded from their previous nine losses this season with a win each time, with a 17.9-point average margin of victory.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr is well aware his club has been better on the road (21-4) than at home (16-6) this season.

Actually, I feel better on the road than I do at home right now, he said with a smile. But that’ll change.

The Warriors had won 14 in a row on the road — the third-longest streak in NBA history — before completing a five-game trip Saturday with a 116-108 loss at Houston.

The body of the two-time Cy Young Award winner was found in the wreckage.

That’s like the child that’s whining, somebody who’s whining for some attention, Harvick said. I can’t complain about that because of the fact that our sponsors have been so involved with the things that we do. NASCAR has been very open to the things that they’re doing and involving us in it.

I can’t back that up, to be honest with you. You have to have a push for the younger-generation guys as well in order to help introduce them to the fans. In the end, that only works if they have success on the racetrack.

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