Sports Briefs: Diggins leads Irish past UConn, into title game

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DENVER — Skylar Diggins scored 19 points, Brittany Mallory hit two big 3-pointers in overtime and Notre Dame beat Connecticut 83-75 Sunday night to reach the national championship game for the second straight year.

The Fighting Irish (35-3) also beat the Huskies (33-5) in the semifinals last year, before losing to Texas A&M in the title game in Indianapolis.

The game was tied at 67 after regulation following an 8-2 run by UConn, which was led by Stefanie Dolson’s 20 points.

The Irish will face either Stanford or Baylor for the title.

TENNIS

Djokovic downs Murray for third Sony Ericsson title

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. — Top-ranked Novak Djokovic won his third Sony Ericsson Open title Sunday, holding every service game to beat Andy Murray 6-1, 7-6 (4).

Djokovic also won in 2007 and last year. Only six-time champion Andre Agassi has won more men’s titles at Key Biscayne.

The lone break point Djokovic faced came in the fifth game, and he erased that. In the tiebreaker, he lost only one service point, went ahead to stay when Murray double-faulted to make it 3-2, and closed out the victory when the Scotsman sailed his final forehand long.

Djokovic improved to 90-8 since the start of 2011. He has won five Grand Slam titles, including the past three in a row.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Mississippi State hires Clemson assistant Ray

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Mississippi State has hired Clemson assistant Rick Ray to be its next men’s basketball coach.

The 40-year-old Ray has been the top assistant at Clemson for the past two seasons. The Tigers won 22 games and went to the NCAA tournament in 2011. He also spent four years as an assistant at Purdue under Matt Painter and seven seasons as an assistant at Indiana State. Ray replaces Rick Stansbury, who announced his retirement in March after 14 seasons leading the program.

• College of Charleston officials have chosen former Tulsa coach and Navy assistant Doug Wojcik to lead the men’s basketball program at the South Carolina school.

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