GAINESVILLE — In a season in which very little has gone its way, Florida ended on a high note in its final regular-season game at the O'Connell Center.
The Gators avenged an earlier loss to Texas A&M with a 66-62 victory Tuesday night. The Aggies (20-9, 11-6 SEC) came in as the No. 3 team in the conference.
The Gators close the regular season at 2 Saturday at Kentucky, which remained undefeated Tuesday with a tough 72-64 win at Georgia....
PALM HARBOR — After playing in the Lake Mary Invitational three weeks ago, Palm Harbor University's softball team was 2-2, with both losses coming against non-area opponents.
Since then, the Hurricanes have been on a roll, winning six straight against Pinellas County teams. That streak was extended to a county-best seven games after Tuesday's 6-4 win over East Lake that put PHU (9-2) at the top of the North Division in the Pinellas County Athletic Conference standings....
03/03/15 TV and Radio
Baseball, spring training Phillies at Yankees 1 p.m. MLB College baseball USF at Florida State 4 p.m. 1040-AM College basketball ACC women's tournament: Boston College vs. Wake Forest 1 p.m. Sun Sports ACC women's tournament: North Carolina State vs. Virginia Tech 3:30 p.m. Sun Sports Ohio State at Penn State 6 p.m. Big Ten ACC women's tournament: Georgia Tech vs. Clemson 6:30 p.m. Sun Sports UCF at USF 7 p.m. ESPNU; 1010-AM SEC women's tournament: Florida vs. Auburn 7 p.m. SEC Alternate Notre Dame at Louisville 7 p.m. ESPN2 Tennessee at LSU 7 p.m. SEC Providence at Seton Hall 7 p.m. FS1 La Salle at St. Joseph's 7 p.m. CBSSN Purdue at Michigan State 8 p.m. Big Ten Houston at Tulane 8 p.m. ESPNews USC at UCLA 9 p.m. ESPN2 TCU at Oklahoma State 9 p.m. ESPNU Mississippi State at Vanderbilt 9 p.m. SEC St. John's at Marquette 9 p.m. FS1 Cincinnati at Tulsa 9 p.m. CBSSN Nebraska at Illinois 10 p.m. Big Ten Oregon at Oregon State 11 p.m. ESPNU San Diego State at UNLV 11 p.m. CBSSN Golf LPGA: HSBC Champions 11 p.m. Golf High school softball Orange City University at Oviedo Hagerty 7 p.m. BHSN NBA Suns at Magic 7 p.m. FSF Lakers at Heat 8 p.m. ESPN Trail Blazers at Clippers 10:30 p.m. ESPN NHL Rangers at Red Wings 8 p.m. NBCSN Soccer Women, Algarve Cup: United States vs. Norway 2 p.m. FS1 EPL: Chelsea at West Ham 2:30 p.m. NBCSN German Cup: Eintracht Braunschweig at Bayern Munich 2:30 p.m. ESPND Mexican Cup: Toluca at Puebla 8 p.m. ESPND CONCACAF Champions League: Alajuelense at D.C. United 8 p.m. FS2 Mexican Cup: UNAM at Chiapas 10 p.m. Galavision Mexican: Coras Tepic at Necaxa 10 p.m. ESPND CONCACAF CL: Saprissa at America 10 p.m. FS2
If you believe the excitable West Tampa crowd crammed into a side room at Montauro’s Ristorante Tuesday night, then second place was a win.
Because finishing second kept Guido Maniscalco alive to face Jackie Toledo in a runoff on March 24. The crowd was vocal in its relief that Maniscalco, who raised less than $43,000, managed to hang on against Toledo, who had raised about $138,000....
LARGO — A pedestrian on Seminole Boulevard was struck and killed by a driver who then fled the scene Tuesday night, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Cheryl Lynn Small, 36, of Largo was walking or standing in the roadway south of Caribbean Way "for unknown reasons" around 8 p.m. when the car hit her, the FHP said. She died at the scene.
No information was available about the car or driver involved in the crash. ...
03/03/15 Lightning Strikes
TAMPA — After goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy and the Lightning both struggled in their last games, Tuesday night's 3-0 win over the Sabres was the kind of bounce-back victory they both needed.
Vasilevskiy starred, rebounding from the five goals he allowed in a defeat on Feb. 22 at Colorado to earn the first shutout of his NHL career, in only his ninth start.
"He bounced back," Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman said. "We knew he was going to do that. That's what he's all about."...
03/03/15 Lightning Strikes
TAMPA — A day after an early-morning deal sent him from Philadelphia to the Lightning, D Braydon Coburn was still coming to terms with a rollercoaster 24 hours.
"It feels a little different," Coburn said. "I'll adjust quickly."
The Lightning is counting on it.
Coach Jon Cooper said he believes in his team's ability to score, and Tampa Bay's 3.25 goals a game are the most in the league. But defense is always at a premium, so acquiring a top-four defenseman pleased Cooper, even if it meant losing injured D Radko Gudas, a first-round pick and a third-rounder....
03/03/15 The Heater
PORT CHARLOTTE — Rays officials didn't know what to expect when they raised the idea of putting DH John Jaso, who has spent most of his career as a catcher, in the outfield. And, to be honest, neither did Jaso.
But, after a week of slow-paced drills, the experiment has gone better than anyone could have expected.
"He's looked really good," manager Kevin Cash said. "He was reading balls off the bat (in batting practice) and he looked great, and (Monday) the outfielders did their first kind of light throwing, and every ball he threw was right on the line. I think from speaking with him, he's been comfortable with it....
USF vs. UCF
When/where: 7; Sun Dome
TV/radio: ESPNU; 1010-AM
Records: USF 8-21, 2-14 AAC; UCF 12-16, 5-12
Notable: UCF won 73-62 in Orlando three weeks ago. … The Bulls will play their second straight game without top rebounder Chris Perry (unspecified health issue) and top scorer Corey Allen (suspension). As a result, PG Anthony Collins will be called on to transition from distributor (5.1 assists per game) to rim attacker. The Bulls also could use another sparkling night from freshman Troy Holston, who had a career-best 22 points (including five 3-pointers) in Sunday's 72-55 loss at Houston. … UCF, loser of three in a row, will try to attack the basket with its guard-heavy lineup. The Knights' top three scorers are guards....
JIM DAMASKE | Times
Volunteers with the Clearwater Audubon Society's Eagle Watch program released a rehabbed bald eagle Tuesday afternoon in a vacant lot next to Tampa Bay in Oldsmar.
The eagle was found in November with a broken humerus near Tower Lake in Oldsmar.
Dr. Peter Black and Dr. Dominique Keller of Busch Gardens repaired the bone in a three-hour surgery and the eagle was taken to the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey, where it was rehabbed until it could be released....
03/03/15 The Heater
Taking their swings
The Rays will leave the fields early today to hit the fairways as all 40-man rostered players and staff will take part in the team's annual charity golf tournament at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club. With David Price traded and Jake McGee sidelined, the field seems wide open, with C Curt Casali, RHP Matt Andriese and C Rene Rivera considered among the Rays' best, though they compete with teams of corporate and community partners. "Since David's not here I think I have a good chance to win it," Casali said. "I'm looking forward to having some fun out there."...
Tommy Emmanuel: The two-time Grammy-Award winner and acoustic guitarist returns to the historic theater for two performances. 8 p.m. $45. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. (727) 791-7400.
Other Desert Cities: A woman returns to Palm Springs after a six years to celebrate Christmas with her family, announcing she will publish a memoir dredging up a tragic event in the family's history. Through March 22. 8 p.m. $19. West Coast Players Theatre, 21905 U.S. 19 N, Clearwater. (727) 437-2363....
LARGO — An overturned vehicle on the Belleair Beach Causeway Bridge blocked traffic Tuesday night and almost cost one young man his life.
Bobby Stoychev, 19, was driving to work at a gas station Subway around 5 p.m. when he saw a black Mustang hurtling toward him on its side at 40 or 50 mph, he said.
When the sliding car slammed into his Toyota Camry, Stoychev blacked out for a second, he said, and his car ricocheted to the other side of the bridge. He regained consciousness and, with bleeding knees, got out of his car, now totaled....
TAMPA — Former FSU quarterback Jameis Winston, potentially the Bucs' choice as the No. 1 pick next month in the NFL draft, spent Tuesday at One Buc Place for a one-day, face-to-face meeting with team officials.
Winston, who met with the Bucs two weeks ago in Indianapolis during the NFL combine, spoke about his interest in becoming the top pick and showing the Bucs he's the right man to lead their franchise in a video posted on the team's official site....