The WNBA Washington Mystics on Wednesday added free-agent forward-center Laura Harper, who started on Maryland's national championship team in 2005-06. Harper, the 10th overall pick in the 2008 WNBA draft, has played for the Sacramento Monarchs and San Antonio Silver Stars. She is averaging 13.6 points and 10.3 rebounds this season for Antakya in Turkey. The Mystics also added free-agent post player Ashley Walker and re-signed forward Kerri Gardin.
Mount's Burke on administrative leave
Mount St. Mary's placed men's basketball coach Robert Burke on paid administrative leave Wednesday and named assistant Matt Henry the team's acting coach. According to a news release from the school, Burke requested the leave after conversations with university officials Tuesday. "Decisions like these are never easy, and certainly more difficult while our season is in progress," Mount athletic director Lynne Robinson said in the release. "We wish Coach Burke well and we are hopeful he is able to resolve these matters quickly." Burke was named coach in May 2010 and has a 17-40 record overall. The Mountaineers are 6-19 this season and 4-10 in the Northeast Conference. Henry is in his second year as an assistant; he spent the previous six seasons on the staff at Georgetown.
Loyola men: The Greyhounds will participate in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame 2012 Tip-Off Tournament Nov. 16-18 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. Also scheduled to participate are Norfolk State, Ohio State, Seton Hall, Albany, Missouri-Kansas City, Rhode Island and Washington.
JuCo men: Warren Wright (Northwestern) scored 15 points as No. 4 and host Baltimore City Community College (18-9) earned a 68-63 victory over No. 13 Harford CC in the first round of the Maryland JUCO Tournament on Tuesday night. The Panthers will play in a quarterfinal Friday at 1 p.m. against No. 12 CCBC-Catonsville, which escaped on the road with an 85-81 win against No. 5 Southern Maryland. Also advancing were No. 1 Hagerstown, No. 2 Cecil, No. 3 Allegany, No. 6 Prince George's, No. 7 Chesapeake and No. 8 Rockville.
JuCo women: No. 8 CCBC-Dundalk edged Baltimore City, 53-52, in the first round of the Maryland JUCO Tournament on Tuesday night and will face No. 1 Rockville at 5 p.m. today at Frederick. No. 7 Cecil got 34 points from Brianna Thomas to take down Harford, 71-59, and will face No. 2 Chesapeake. Other teams to advance were Hagerstown, Allegany, Prince George's and Frederick.
Noon's third goal gives Navy 13-12 lacrosse victory
Kaleigh Noon completed her hat trick by scoring the game-winning goal with 2:03 left to play, lifting host Navy (1-1) to a 13-12 women's lacrosse victory over William & Mary (0-3). Jasmine DePompeo had four goals and two assists for the Mids.
More women's lacrosse: 2011 finalist Katie Schwarzmann of Maryland is among 11 players from colleges in the state to be named to the watch list for the Tewaaraton Award, which goes to the nation's top player. Maryland's Brittany Dipper, Karri Ellen Johnson and Iliana Sanza; Loyola's Ana Heneberry, Marlee Paton and Kerry Stoothoff; Johns Hopkins' Taylor D'Amore and Alyssa Kildare; Towson's Alexa Demski; and Navy's DePompeo also made the list, which includes 2011 winner Shannon Smith from Northwestern and two former All-Metro Players of the Year, Schwarzmann, a Century graduate, and Vanderbilt's Ally Carey, a John Carroll graduate.
Men's lacrosse: Johns Hopkins junior goalkeeper Pierce Bassett and junior midfielder John Ranagan and Navy senior midfielder Nikk Davis and sophomore Sam Jones are on the Tewaaraton Award's preliminary pool of candidates. Others include Loyola junior attackman Mike Sawyer, Maryland junior faceoff specialist Curtis Holmes, UMBC senior midfielder Rob Grimm and Salisbury senior midfielder Sam Bradman. The list of players with ties to the area includes Princeton senior goalie Tyler Fiorito (McDonogh), Providence sophomore midfielder Andrew Barton (St. Paul's), St. John's junior goalkeeper Jeff Lowman (Severna Park), Villanova junior attackman Jack Rice (Boys' Latin) and Virginia senior attackman Steele Stanwick (Loyola). The winner will be announced in June. Stanwick was last year's recipient.
Football: Four Maryland players were named to the Academic All-Atlantic Coast Conference team. Junior defensive lineman A.J. Francis was honored for the third time in his career, junior offensive lineman Bennett Fulper picked up his second selection, and freshman fullback Tyler Cierski and sophomore defensive back Dexter McDougle each made the team for the first time.
Animal Kingdom to run Saturday at Gulfstream
Animal Kingdom, the 2011 Kentucky Derby winner, will make his first start of the year Saturday at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Fla. Fair Hill-based trainer Graham Motion entered last year's Eclipse Award champion 3-year-old in a $60,000 turf allowance. Motion is using the race as a prep for a scheduled start in the $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 31.
More horse racing: Laurel Park-based trainer Dale Capuano, 49, earned his 2,999th career victory with Angels Concerto ($4.60) in the seventh race at Laurel. Capuano will have four chances to reach the milestone today at Laurel with Truc's Love (2-1, race 4), Irish Idol (6-1, race 6), Tartan Sky (5-1, race 8) and Maple Leaf Racer (7-2, race 9) scheduled to run.
Mark Teixeira O.J. Brigance
—From Sun staff and news services