Weekend Sports Briefs
Mississippi’s first loss dropped the Rebels four spots to No. 7 on Sunday in The Associated Press college football poll and left Mississippi State, Florida State, Alabama and Auburn in the top four as the College Football Playoff selection committee prepares its first rankings.
No. 1 Mississippi State (46 first-place votes) and No. 2 Florida State (14) are the only unbeaten team left in the Big Five conferences.
Alabama, which lost 23-17 at Ole Miss earlier this month, moved up a spot, as did No. 4 Auburn, No. 5 Oregon and No. 6 Notre Dame.
Ole Miss was beaten 10-7 at LSU on Saturday night. The Tigers moved up eight spots to No. 16, the largest jump after a weekend when only two ranked teams lost.
The first selection committee top 25 will be released Tuesday night. The pairings for the College Football Playoff will be revealed Dec. 7.
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) Oscar Taveras, the St. Louis Cardinals’ outfielder regarded as one of the majors’ top prospects, died Sunday in a car accident in his native Dominican Republic. He was 22.
Taveras was driving a 2014 Chevrolet Camaro at the time of the crash on a highway between the beaches of Sosua and Cabarete in Puerto Plata, about 215 miles north of the capital of Santo Domingo, said Col. Diego Pesqueira of the Metropolitan Transportation Agency.
National police spokesman Jacobo Mateo Moquete said he was told by the mayor of Sosua that Taveras lost control of his vehicle and went off the road. Edilia Arvelo, 18, who was in the car with Taveras, also died in the accident, Pesqueira said.
Taveras made his major league debut this year. He hit .239 with three homers and 22 RBIs in 80 games for the NL Central champions.
MARTINSVILLE, Va. (AP) – Dale Earnhardt Jr. won for the first time at Martinsville Speedway in an emotional victory a week after he was eliminated from the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.
Jeff Gordon was second, giving Hendrick Motorsports a 1-2 finish on the 10-year anniversary weekend of the fatal plane crash that killed owner Rick Hendrick’s son and nine others aboard.
Earnhardt has four victories this season.
On Saturday, Darrell Wallace Jr. won the Truck Series race, a year after he won at the track to become the first black driver to win a national NASCAR race since Wendell Scott in 1963.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. (AP) – Robert Streb won the McGladrey Classic on Sunday for his first PGA Tour title, beating Brendon de Jonge with a birdie on the second hole of a playoff.
Streb rallied from a five-shot deficit in the final round with a 7-under 63, matching de Jonge (65) and Will MacKenzie (68) at 14-under 266. MacKenzie was eliminated on the first extra hole.
The victory sends Streb to the Masters in April.
HAINAN ISLAND, China (AP) – South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace won the rain-shortened Blue Bay LPGA on Monday for her first LPGA Tour title and second worldwide victory in nine days.
Four strokes ahead with five holes left when play was suspended Sunday because of darkness, Pace finished off a 5-under 67 for a three-stroke victory over Germany’s Caroline Masson. Pace won the South African Women’s Open last week for her ninth Ladies European Tour victory. She finished at 16-under 200.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) – Michael Allen shot a 6-under 66 for a two-stroke victory Sunday in the Champions Tour’s AT&T Championship, and Bernhard Langer wrapped up the Charles Schwab Cup title.
Allen finished at 15-under 201 for his second victory of the season and seventh overall on the 50-and-over tour. Langer closed with a 69 to tie for sixth at 10 under. The top 30 on the money list qualified for the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship next week in Scottsdale, Arizona.
PERTH, Australia (AP) – Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen won the Perth International, closing with a 1-under 71 for a three-stroke victory over France’s Victor Dubuisson. He finished at 17-under 271.
SINGAPORE (AP) – Serena Williams won the WTA Tour Finals for the third straight year and fifth time overall, beating Simona Halep 6-3, 6-0 on Sunday.
Halep easily beat Williams four days earlier during the group stage of the tournament.
Williams won 11 of the last 12 games in the match to join Martina Navratilova and Steffi Graf as the only players to have won five titles in the season-ending championship.
BASEL, Switzerland (AP) – Top-seeded Roger Federer won his sixth Swiss Indoors title, topping David Goffin of Belgium 6-2, 6-2 in his hometown tournament. Federer lost the 2012 and 2013 finals to Juan Martin del Potro.
VALENCIA, Spain (AP) – Andy Murray saved five match points before fighting back to beat Tommy Robredo 3-6, 7-6 (7), 7-6 (8) in the Valencia Open final Sunday.
CHESTER, Pa. (AP) – Abby Wambach scored four goals and the World Cup-bound United States beat Costa Rica 6-0 on Sunday night for its fifth CONCACAF Women’s Championship title.
The U.S. women had already secured a trip to next year’s World Cup in Canada with a victory over Mexico in the semifinals of the eight-team, four-city tournament.
Wambach has 18 goals in World Cup qualifying, breaking Michelle Akers’ team record of 17. Wambach already has the career record for goals with 177.
JOHANNESBURG (AP) – South African goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa was fatally shot Sunday night when armed men broke into the house where he was staying.
The national police force said on its Twitter account that the 27-year-old national team captain was killed after two gunmen entered a house in Vosloorus township near Johannesburg while an accomplice waited outside. The three assailants then fled on foot, according to the police service.
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (AP) – Two-time world junior champion Elena Radionova of Russia won the Skate America women’s competition Sunday, overtook countrywoman Elizaveta Tuktamysheva in the free skate.
The 15-year-old Radionova, who was too young to compete at the Sochi Olympics in February, finished with 195.47 points. Tuktamysheva was second at 189.62.
Yuka Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov of Russia won the pairs competition.
On Saturday night, Japan’s Tatsuki Machida was a runaway winner in the men’s competition, and Americans Madison Chock and Evan Bates took the ice dance title.
SOELDEN, Austria (AP) – World Cup overall champion Marcel Hirscher of Austria opened the season with a giant slalom victory Sunday, winning by a massive 1.58-second margin.
Hirscher held on to his first-run lead to finish in a total of 2 minutes, 28.09 seconds. Germany’s Fritz Dopfer was second. American Ted Ligety faltered in the second run to finish 10th.