Digest: Blast fall on road to Eastern Division-leading Utica City FC, 6-3

The Blast fell to Utica City FC, 6-3, on Sunday at Adirondack Bank Center in Utica, N.Y.

Mauricio Salles scored the opening goal for Utica City (5-1) from a set piece, and Utica City extended its lead to 2-0 with three minutes remaining in the half on a goal from Slavisa Ubiparipovic. A minute later, Joey Tavernese scored his seventh goal of the season to put Utica City FC up 3-0 heading into halftime.

The Blast (3-2) scored two goals in the first 45 seconds of the second half from Adriano Dos Santos and Vini Dantas to cut the deficit to 3-2. Jonatas Melo got his sixth and seventh assists on the season on the goals.

Utica City extended its lead to 4-2 with a goal from Salles, but Juan Pereira scored to cut the lead back to one. Liam Callahan answered with a goal to make it 5-3. With minutes remaining, the Blast put six attackers on the field, but Andre Braithwaite scored to seal the 6-3 victory for Utica City, which leads the season series 2-1 and sits atop the Eastern Division standings.

The Blast travel to Mississauga on Thursday to take on the MetroStars at 7:35 p.m.

Men’s college basketball

William & Mary goes to 2-0 in CAA with 71-61 win over Towson

Matt Milon made four 3-pointers and scored 19 points and William and Mary defeated Towson, 71-61, on Sunday. Justin Pierce added 18 points and a team-high six rebounds and Nathan Knight and Chase Audige scored 13 each for the Tribe (6-8, 2-0 Colonial Athletic Association), who converted 15 Towson turnovers into 22 points and made 11 of 28 from the arc to just 2 of 14 for the Tigers (5-9, 1-1). Brian Fobbs and Jakigh Dottin scored 12 points each for Towson with Jordan McNeil adding 10 and Dennis Tunstall nine with 10 rebounds.

More: Daniel Oturu recorded his fourth straight double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds to lead Minnesota (11-2) past Mount St. Mary's, 71-53. Minnesota also got 15 points from Dupree McBrayer and 13 from Amir Coffey. Vado Morse scored 18 points and Dee Barnes added 13 for the Mountaineers (3-10), which rallied midway through the second half before fading.

Women’s college basketball

No. 4 Terps host Rutgers for ‘Noon Years Eve’ event

The fourth-ranked Maryland women’s basketball team (12-0, 1-0 B1G) will host Rutgers (8-3, 1-0) today for a “Noon Years Eve” matchup at Xfinity Center. The game will feature party hats, and Maryland-themed 2019 glasses. The Terps won at Penn State, 77-61, on Friday night. Today’s matchup is the 37th all-time between Maryland and Rutgers. The Terps lead the series 25-11 and have won all six meetings since joining the league in the 2014-15 season.

More: Ciani Byrom scored 19 points, but visiting UMES (3-9) fell, 70-49, to George Mason (7-5).

Horse racing

W. Hamilton contender for apprentice Eclipse Award

Weston Hamilton, who turned 20 on Nov. 19, rode for the last time as an apprentice Dec. 21, winning two of his five mounts at Laurel Park to give him 118 victories this year with the weight allowance, tops in the country. His $3.43 million in purse earnings ranked second. His success has Hamilton in position to become the 11th Maryland-based rider to earn the Eclipse Award as champion apprentice, following future Hall of Famers Chris McCarron (1974) and Kent Desormeaux (1987) as well as Ronnie Franklin (1978), Alberto Delgado (1982), Allen Stacy (1986), Mike Luzzi (1989), Mark Johnston (1990), Jeremy Rose (2001), Ryan Fogelsonger (2002) and Victor Carasco (2013), who remains part of the current jockey colony. “It’s such a blessing and an honor to be riding, and I want to thank everyone that’s given me a shot and all the trainers and good horsemen that I’ve been around and have pushed me to get better,” Hamilton said. “It means the whole world to me to be leading right now.” Hamilton is the youngest son of Steve ‘Cowboy’ Hamilton, a popular and successful rider in Maryland over three different stints dating to the early 1990s.

More: Laurel Park will wrap up its fall meet with a special nine-race program today featuring mandatory payouts in the 20-cent Rainbow 6, 50-cent Late Pick 5 and $1 Super Hi-5. First race post time is 12:30 p.m. ... Jockey Jevian Toledo registered a riding triple, winning aboard Knock Out Kid ($4.60) in the third race, Hall Pass ($28.80) in the sixth and Setubal ($8.20) in the ninth.

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