Latest Georgia sports

METS-BRAVES

Nieuwenhuis has 4 hits for Mets in win over Braves

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) — Kirk Nieuwenhuis went 4 for 4 and scored a run, leading the New York Mets to an 8-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday.

Dillon Gee started for the Mets in their spring opener and allowed two runs in two innings. He also walked two.

Wandy Rodriguez, who came to camp looking for a spot in the Atlanta rotation, allowed run and walked two in one inning. Rodriguez's chances improved when Braves General Manager John Hart said after the game that Mike Minor, who made 25 starts last season, is out indefinitely with tightness in his left shoulder.

Braves newcomers Jonny Gomes and A.J. Pierzynski both had RBIs in their debuts with Atlanta.

ACC-CLEMSON-GEORGIA TECH

Georgia Tech women beat Clemson 80-53 in ACC tourney

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Aaliyah Whiteside scored 23, and Roddreka Rogers had a career-high 20 points and 14 rebounds to lead No. 11 seed Georgia Tech women to an 80-53 win over 14th-seeded Clemson in the first round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament on Wednesday night.

Georgia Tech (18-13) will face No. 6 seed North Carolina in the second round on Thursday.

Clemson (9-21), which lost its 16th consecutive game, led 2-0 before Rogers made a layup and Whiteside hit a 3 and a jumper to take the lead for good.

Georgia Tech closed the first half with a 21-6 run and took a 43-21 advantage into the break.

The Tigers scored 14 of the first 16 points in the second to pull within 10, but got no closer. They made just 18 of 62 (29 percent) field goals overall.

The Yellow Jackets shot 51 percent from the field and made 8 of 14 from 3-point range.

SIAC-CHEERLEADERS FIGHT

Tuskegee, Albany State cheerleaders sent home after fight

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The cheerleaders and dance teams for Albany State and Tuskegee were sent home from the SIAC tournament after fighting.

An SIAC statement Wednesday said the fight happened at halftime of the schools' first-round men's basketball game Tuesday at Bill Harris Arena.

The statement from league Commissioner Gregory Moore says that "the obligation to observe basic principles of sportsmanship and fair play extends to all participants at the SIAC basketball tournament." He said the cheerleaders and dance teams for both Albany State and Tuskegee would be barred from performing for the rest of the tournament and that the schools were sending them back to campus.

Tuskegee won the game 80-63.

Tuskegee said in a statement that it would investigate the incident based on the university's code of conduct policies.

GEORGIA-SPRING PRACTICE

Richt promises open QB competition in spring drills

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Brice Ramsey's edge in Georgia's quarterback competition this spring may not be as big as some believed.

Coach Mark Richt said Wednesday he'll give Ramsey, Faton Bauta and Jacob Park equal chances to win the job when spring practice begins March 17.

Ramsey was the top backup to 2014 senior Hutson Mason. Ramsey, a sophomore, has a strong arm but has had issues with accuracy. In the Bulldogs' Belk Bowl win over Louisville, he completed only four of nine passes with an interception.

Bauta, a junior, played in only two games last season. Park, a redshirt freshman, impressed teammates with his speed and strong leadership style while playing on the scout-team offense last season.

Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Brian Schottenheimer is entering his first spring on Richt's staff.

ACC AWARDS

Notre Dame's Loyd named ACC women's hoops player of year

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Notre Dame's Jewell Loyd is the Atlantic Coast Conference's women's basketball player of the year.

The league on Wednesday announced its individual award winners as determined by a panel of media members and school representatives.

The panel selected Florida State's Sue Semrau as the coach of the year and Notre Dame's Brianna Turner as the freshman of the year.

Shot-blocking Duke center Elizabeth Williams was picked as the league's defensive player of the year for an unprecedented fourth straight year while the Seminoles' Shakayla Thomas was chosen as the top sixth player.

Loyd averages a league-leading 20.7 points while leading No. 2 Notre Dame to the top seed in this week's ACC tournament. Semrau guided Florida State to the No. 2 seed.

NASCAR-PHOENIX-SAFER BARRIERS

Phoenix to install tire barriers before NASCAR visit

AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Phoenix International Raceway will supplement its existing barrier system with packs of tires before NASCAR visits next weekend.

The tire packs will be installed along the interior wall of the fourth turn at Phoenix. The decision Wednesday to use tires in front of the concrete wall was made after a review of the existing barriers.

Phoenix President Bryan Sperber says the track will work "in tandem with NASCAR to expedite the adoption of additional impact-absorbing technologies."

Most tracks are reviewing their current safety measures since Kyle Busch broke his right leg and left foot on Feb. 21 when he crashed into a concrete wall at Daytona. The wall lacked an energy-absorbing SAFER barrier, which often lessens the impact.

Jeff Gordon hit an unprotected wall at Atlanta last week.