Friday's Sports In Brief

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

LOS ANGELES (AP) Frank Mason III of Kansas and Kelsey Plum of Washington won the John R. Wooden Award as national players of the year.

They received their trophies during the third annual College Basketball Awards in a nationally televised show from The Novo in downtown Los Angeles.

Mason also claimed the Bob Cousey point guard of the year award. The senior became the first player in Big 12 history to average 20 points and 5 assists in a season.

''When you step out on court you have to play with toughness. You can't be a punk out there, you have to play with pride,'' Mason said. ''It's been a good year. I wouldn't say great because a great year to me is winning it all.''

The Jayhawks were eliminated by Oregon in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament

PRO BASKETBALL

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Kevin Durant had his moments of feeling down, unable to play the sport he loves while watching his teammates initially struggle then, later, shine without him.

Durant returned to practice and experienced no issues with his left knee, so he is set to play Saturday against New Orleans in his return from injury after more than a month on the sidelines .

''I had to be patient,'' he said. ''It definitely tests your patience. It's about perseverance at the end of the day. Freak injury, freak accident. I could have hung my head over it but I stayed positive and knew at some point I'd get better. The help of the training staff, they did an unbelievable job keeping me sane for these past five weeks. A few days I went over the deep end but that's just a part of it. But they did a great job of every single day just chipping away.''

Durant has been sidelined since he sprained the MCL in his knee and suffered a tibia bone bruise Feb. 28 at Washington but Golden State hoped all along to have KD back before the regular season ended - and now the Warriors are riding a 13-game winning streak and have secured the Western Conference's No. 1 seed.

PHOENIX (AP) - Russell Westbrook joined Oscar Robertson as the only players in NBA history to average a triple-double for a season.

That didn't make him feel much better about his or his team's awful night, when Westbrook failed for the second game in a row to break Robertson's 55-year-old, single-season record for most triple-doubles.

The dynamic Thunder guard fell two assists shy of what would have been his 42nd in the Oklahoma City Thunder's 120-99 loss to the Phoenix Suns.

Of averaging a triple-double for the season, Westbrook said, ''You could never say in a million years that I would think that was even possible.''

And as for not getting 10 assists?

''My main goal since I got here, especially this season, is to win a championship,'' Westbrook said.

BAYLOR SEXUAL ASSAULT INVESTIGATION

WACO, Texas (AP) - A federal judge ruled that allegations can proceed to trial that Baylor University violated Title IX by disregarding women's rape claims against a football player, leaving another female student prey to sexual assault by him.

In a 27-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman of Waco denied arguments by attorneys for Baylor, former athletic director Ian McCaw and former football coach Art Briles for dismissal of negligence and heightened-risk claims made by Jasmin Hernandez.

Trial is currently set to begin in July 2018.

The lawsuit filed by the Orange County, California, woman alleges the largest Baptist school in the country was ''deliberately indifferent'' to rape allegations levied at Tevin Elliott, who was convicted in 2014 of sexually assaulting Hernandez and is now serving a 20-year prison sentence.

PRO FOOTBALL

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The widow of former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith is suing the man who was convicted of fatally shooting her husband after a traffic crash.

Multiple news outlets report that Racquel Smith filed the lawsuit against Cardell Hayes in Orleans Parish Civil District Court

A jury convicted Hayes of manslaughter in Smith's death and of attempted manslaughter for wounding Smith's wife on the night of April 9, 2016. The 29-year-old still awaits his sentencing.

The lawsuit also targets the companies that insured the cars owned by the Smiths and Hayes.

At his trial in December, Hayes argued that he fired in self-defense after inadvertently colliding with Smith's vehicle.

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