Sports in brief

Published Mar 11, 2014 at 12:01AM

Winter sports

Alaska mushers close in on Iditarod finish — In a year marked by injuries and dangerous conditions, the final stages of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race were coming down to either a record-tying number of wins or the first woman to claim victory in 24 years. One of those appeared to be the likely outcome of this year’s nearly 1,000-mile race across Alaska, as the first two mushers arrived at the second-to-last checkpoint Monday morning. They were Jeff King, 58, and Aliy Zirkle, 44, both of Alaska. King, a four-time champion, is attempting to become the race’s second five-time winner. He arrived at 7:02 a.m. at the White Mountain checkpoint, 77 miles from the finish line in Nome, and left at 3:02 p.m. AKST, fulfilling exactly the eight-hour rest requirement there. Zirkle, 44, who has finished second in the last two Iditarods, arrived at 7:59 a.m. She began the chase for King on the Bering Sea ice when she left the checkpoint at 4 p.m. A winner could reach the finish line as soon as early today, with mushers on what appears to be a record pace despite poor trail conditions.

Basketball

Delaware beats William & Mary for CAA title — Carl Baptiste scored a career-high 24 points, including a go-ahead layup with 10 seconds left, and top-seeded Delaware squeezed past William & Mary 75-74 Monday night to win the Colonial Athletic Association championship and earn a berth in the NCAA tournament for the first time in 15 years.

Manhattan wins MAAC title over rival Iona — George Beamon scored 16 points Monday night and Manhattan held off rival Iona 71-68 for the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title and a berth into the NCAA tournament. Beamon was one of four players to score in double figures for Manhattan (25-7), which earned its first NCAA bid in a decade.

Wofford tops W. Carolina 56-53 for SoCon title — Karl Cochran scored 23 points, and Wofford beat Western Carolina 56-53 on Monday night to capture the Southern Conference championship and a spot in the NCAA tournament. Cochran, the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, was 8 of 16 from the field and had five 3-pointers. He made two big free throws with 5.3 seconds left to give Wofford a three-point lead.

— From wire reports