Legendary women’s basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer announced her retirement on Saturday, concluding a Hall of Fame career that saw 1,055 wins, four Final Four appearances and 28 NCAA tournament berths during stops at Cheyney State, Iowa and Rutgers. “My life has been defined by coaching, and I’ve been on this journey for over five decades. It is rare that someone gets to do what they love for this long, and I have been fortunate to do that,” Stringer said in a statement released by Rutgers. “I love Rutgers University for the incredible opportunity they offered me and the tremendous victories we achieved together.” Stringer’s retirement is effective on Sept. 1. Rutgers will name its home court at Jersey Mike’s Arena after her. The 74-year-old Stringer became coach of the Scarlet Knights in 1995, and went on to lead Rutgers to the Final Four twice, in 2000 and 2007. The 2000 run elevated Stringer into exclusive territory, making her the first basketball coach, men’s or women’s, to take three different programs to the Final Four. The 2007 trip produced Rutgers’s first appearance in the national championship game. That game, a loss to Pat Summitt’s Tennessee Lady Volunteers, was Stringer’s second appearance in the title game; she also guided Cheyney State — a historically Black school now called Cheyney University — to the first NCAA women’s championship game in 1982. In 2018, Stringer surpassed 1,000 career victories, making her the first Black Division I coach to reach that mark in men’s or women’s college basketball. She concludes her career ranked fourth in all-time Division I wins, behind Summitt, Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer and Geno Auriemma of Connecticut.
Halep prevails at Madrid Open
Simona Halep played some of her best tennis at the Madrid Open again in defeating home crowd favorite Paula Badosa in straight sets to reach the last 16 on Saturday for the seventh time in 11 appearances. The two-time Madrid Open champion had 21 winners as she defeated No. 2-ranked Badosa 6-3, 6-1 on the Caja Mágica center court. Badosa, at a career-high ranking, converted only one of her seven break points against Halep, ranked No. 21. The Spaniard broke through on home soil last year with a run to the Madrid semifinals as a 62nd-ranked wild card. Halep won consecutive titles in Madrid in 2016 and 2017, and was runner-up in 2014 and 2019. Another former No. 1, Victoria Azarenka, rallied past Tamara Zidansek 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 in 2 hours, 20 minutes in her first match since the third round in Miami, when she retired for personal reasons. Azarenka hadn’t won consecutive matches since the Australian Open. The two-time Grand Slam champion, seeded 15th in Madrid, last made it to the round of 16 in 2016.
Manchester City still atop EPL
It’s still advantage Manchester City in the English Premier League title race after the league leader and Liverpool won tricky away matches at in-form teams. First up was Liverpool, which won at Newcastle, 1-0, despite resting several players, and was briefly atop the table. Then City won at Leeds, 4-0, a few hours later to move back above Liverpool by one point and also move to within one of Liverpool’s goal difference, which is the first tiebreaker in England There are four rounds left in their compelling title fight. “We stuck together and we reduced the goal difference. I don’t know if it is important — but it is in our hands,” City coach Pep Guardiola said. “We know exactly what we have to do . . . We win, we will be champions. We draw, they [Liverpool] will be champions.” Both sides also have the second legs of their Champions League semifinals next week: Liverpool travels to Villarreal with a 2-0 lead, and City plays at Real Madrid having also won the first leg 4-3 . . . Sebastian Driussi scored his MLS-leading seventh goal of the season — finding the net in the 66th minute — to spark Austin FC to a 2-1 victory over the Houston Dynamo. Sebastian Ferreira staked the Dynamo (3-3-3) to a 1-0 lead in the 5th minute when he scored from near midfield after catching Houston keeper Brad Stuver off his line. Stuver was injured on the save attempt when he crashed into the back of the net. He left the match on a stretcher. Austin (6-1-2) pulled even in the 39th minute when Dani Pereira took a crossing pass from Ethan Finlay and finished for his first career MLS goal.
Berry wins NASCAR Xfinity race at Dover, Del.
Josh Berry led a dominant outing for JR Motorsports and won his first NASCAR Xfinity Series race of the season Dover (Del.) Motor Speedway. Berry had tears in his eyes and hoisted his daughter in the air after he took the checkered flag in the No. 8 Chevrolet for his third career Xfinity win in 39 starts. Berry finished second in last year’s Dover race. JR Motorsports, owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr., put four drivers in the top five on the one-mile concrete track. Justin Allgaier was second, Noah Gragson was fourth and 18-year-old Sam Mayer was fifth. Ty Gibbs interrupted the JR Motorsports run with a third-place finish . . . Rinus VeeKay led an upset in IndyCar qualifying to position himself to race for the win at Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Ala. VeeKay turned a lap at 1 minute, 6.2507 seconds in the “Fast Six” round of qualifying to edge Pato O’Ward, last year’s pole-winner, for the top starting spot. It’s the second pole of his career, first since the road course at Indianapolis late in his 2020 rookie season. The Dutchman was the surprise pole-winner for Sunday’s race following a qualifying session that saw most of IndyCar’s top names fail to advance through the rounds. Will Power, a two-time winner at Barber, and six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon were bounced from the first round on qualifications. Both struggled around the picturesque permanent road course that is considered one of the most physical tracks on the circuit . . . Denny Hamlin is headed to NASCAR-mandated sensitivity training after the driver posted an anti-Asian meme from the television comedy “Family Guy” to criticize the driving of Kyle Larson, who is half Japanese, last weekend on the last lap at Talladega Superspeedway, where Larson moved up the track multiple lanes in an aggressive move that caused a wreck. Hamlin deleted the tweet Monday night and apologized.