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Associated Press

Posted on March 10, 2014 at 11:03 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 10 at 11:03 PM

P12-USC-OREGON STATE

USC rallies past Oregon St 71-62 for Pac-12 title

SEATTLE (AP) — Kiki Alofaituli scored 12 of her 15 points in the second half, and Southern California earned its first Pac-12 Conference tournament title by rallying for a 71-62 win over Oregon State on Sunday night.

Ariya Crook had 16 points as the Trojans claimed their first Pac-12 title since winning the regular-season crown in 1994. USC (22-12) trailed 34-23 late in the first half and 36-29 at halftime, but used a press defense to quickly make up the deficit in the second half.

Deven Hunter led Oregon State (23-10) with 19 points.

Southern California was already the first team in tournament history to win three games just to reach the final. It capped its four-wins-in-four-days streak with a defensive effort in the second half that flustered the Beavers and took away any doubt about its NCAA tournament status.

TRAIL BLAZERS-ROCKETS

Rockets rally for 118-113 OT win over Blazers

HOUSTON (AP) — James Harden scored 41 points, Jeremy Lin had 26 and the Houston Rockets rallied for a 118-113 overtime win against the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday night.

The Trail Blazers led by 3 in overtime after two free throws by Wesley Matthews. Houston took over from there, using an 8-2 run with a 3 from Harden and four points from Lin to make it 116-113 with 35.4 seconds left. Lin added two free throws after that to help the Rockets secure their fifth straight win.

Harden hit a 3-pointer with seconds left in regulation to send it to overtime.

LaMarcus Aldridge led the Trail Blazers with 28 points and 12 rebounds, but managed just two points in OT.

Dwight Howard added 17 points with 12 rebounds and Chandler Parsons had 16 points for Houston.

RANGERS-MARINERS

Hernandez shaky in Mariners' 9-8 win over Rangers

PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — A shaky Felix Hernandez allowed four earned runs in 2 1/3 innings before the Seattle Mariners rallied late to beat the Texas Rangers 9-8 on Sunday.

Making his second Cactus League start, Hernandez (1-1) allowed four hits and walked one, while striking out four. Hernandez opened the game by issuing a leadoff walk to Jurickson Profar before sandwiching a pair of strikeouts around a flyout by Prince Fielder.

Fielder got the best of Hernandez in the third, though, when he lined a double that scored Elvis Andrus and sparked a four-run inning. Hernandez left the game one batter later after striking out Michael Choice, who reached on a wild pitch.

Texas starter Colby Lewis, also making his second spring appearance, held the Mariners scoreless over two innings.

Seattle's reserves scored six runs in the eighth, erasing Texas' five-run lead.

IDITAROD

King leads super tight Iditarod race in Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Four-time champion Jeff King took a razor-thin lead in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, trading places with his closest rival by departing a checkpoint one minute earlier on Alaska's wind-scoured western coast.

Aliy Zirkle (AL'-ee ZUR'kahl), who's come in second the last two years, led hours before when she arrived at the village of Koyuk (KOY'-yukk), one minute ahead of King on Sunday afternoon.

King rested his 12-dog team at the checkpoint for three hours and 42 minutes, while Zirkle and her 11 dogs took a break for three hours and 44 minutes. King departed Koyuk at 5:50 p.m. Sunday, and Zirkle got back on the trail at 5:51 p.m.

They are on a 48-mile dash to the next checkpoint of Elim on Golovin Bay, 123 miles from the finish line in Nome.

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