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Sports briefs


Rules changes are afoot

The NCCA men's basketball rules committee recommended reducing the shot clock from 35 to 30 seconds yesterday, the biggest step in changes aimed at speeding up a game that has reached historic lows in scoring.

The new shot clock will be in place the next two seasons, though the changes still must be approved by the NCAA's playing rules oversight committee, which meets next month.

The committee also recommended expanding the block/ charge semicircle under the basket from 3 to 4 feet, reducing second-half timeouts by one per team and removing timeout calls in live-ball situations, among other changes.

Women make changes, too

The NCAA women's basketball rules committee came up with changes that include playing four 10-minute quarters instead of two halves, advancing the ball to the frontcourt in the final minute after a timeout and shooting two free throws after the fifth foul of each quarter.


Griner, Johnson suspended

WNBA stars Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson were suspended seven games each for their domestic violence arrest last month -- the league's longest ban in its 19-year history. Griner plays for defending champion Phoenix and Johnson for Tulsa. The players got married last week in Phoenix and their teams open camp tomorrow.


McIlroy, Mickelson close

Webb Simpson shot a 5-under-par 67 for a share of the second-round lead at 134 with Robert Streb (69) in the PGA Tour's Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina. Top-ranked Rory McIlroy (67) and Phil Mickelson (66) are three shots back.

Alison Lee shot a 4-under 67 for a 133 total and a two-stroke lead in the LPGA Tour's Kingsmill Championship in Williamsburg, Virginia . . . Kevin Sutherland (66) and Jeff Maggert (67) share the second-round lead at 10-under 134 in the Champions Tour's Regions Tradition in Birmingham, Alabama. -- AP


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