Sports briefs: Dec. 3

December 3, 2012 


Davis to miss another week

New Orleans Hornets rookie Anthony Davis is expected to be sidelined for another week because of a stress reaction in his left ankle that has forced him to miss seven consecutive games, Coach Monty Williams told The Times Picayune.

"If I have to guess, I think he's a week away from us thinking about him ramping up his conditioning; let alone playing,'' Williams told the newspaper. "So I just think it's still far off."

Davis has not played since a Nov. 17 road game against the Milwaukee Bucks. Without the former Kentucky star, the Hornets have lost nine of 10 games.

Rasheed Wallace delivered a hard whack to Luis Scola, then some hard words to the referees. These New York Knicks won't let anybody have it easy at Madison Square Garden, not even the officials.

Carmelo Anthony scored 34 points and the Knicks ran their best home start in 20 years to 7-0, withstanding Wallace's ejection after a mere 1:25 of playing time to beat the Phoenix Suns 106-99.

Phoenix had won its last two at MSG but the Knicks have finally figured out under Coach Mike Woodson that home-court games are not to be wasted. They are 18-1 in the regular season here since he took over last March.

"His whole thing when he came in is we're going to protect our home floor. We're going to win every game at home, or we're going to try to win every game at home, and we're going to go out on the road and compete," center Tyson Chandler said. "So his whole thing is we've got to protect our house. Teams coming in got to feel like they've got to go somewhere else to get a win."

Raymond Felton had 23 points, seven assists and no turnovers for the Knicks, who last won seven straight at Madison Square Garden to open a season when they started 9-0 in 1992-93.

■ The Chicago Bulls said veteran guard Richard Hamilton has torn tissue in his left foot. The team said an MRI on Sunday confirmed he tore the plantar fascia tissue and will return "as his symptoms permit." Hamilton left Saturday's game against Philadelphia in the third quarter and returned to hit three of four free throws in the final 20 seconds, clinching a 93-88 win. He said afterward that he felt something pop on the bottom of his foot. Injuries limited him to 28 games last season — his first in Chicago.

College basketball

McDaniels leads Clemson past S. Carolina

K.J. McDaniels had 16 points, Rod Hall had 15 and Clemson took control with a 21-6 run in the second half to defeat rival South Carolina 64-55 on Sunday in Columbia, S.C.

The Tigers (5-2) had lost the past two in the series and had squandered a 12-point lead to trail 31-28 early in the second half. That's when McDaniels and Devin Booker got going for Clemson.

McDaniels had four foul shots and a three-point play while Booker added eight points in the game-breaking run. When Booker hit a pair of free throws with 9:08 to play, Clemson was on top 49-37.

South Carolina (5-3) closed to 51-47 on Bruce Ellington's basket. But Damarcus Harrison made a three-pointer to restore Clemson's edge.

Booker ended with 13 points and eight rebounds. McDaniels had seven boards and five of Clemson's eight blocked shots.

Dez Wells scored a career-high 25 points, and Maryland overcame 19 turnovers and poor outside shooting to pull away in the final minutes for a 69-62 win over suburban rival George Mason in the BB&T Classic in Washington. The Terrapins (6-1) won despite making only four jump shots — and none in the second half.

Langston Hall and Travis Smith each sank a pair of free throws in the final 23 seconds to lift Mercer to a 61-56 upset over defending Atlantic Coast Conference champion Florida State in Tallahassee, Fla. It was the Bears' first win over Florida State since 1954, but their second win in as many seasons over an ACC team. They defeated Georgia Tech Forest last year.


North Carolina women win NCAA title

North Carolina scored three goals in the second half to beat Penn State 4-1 in San Diego and win its 21st women's soccer title. The Tar Heels (15-5-3), which were making their 26th appearance in the final four College Cup, won the title for the first time since 2009.

Penn State, which was playing in its first women's soccer championship game, finished its season at 21-4-2.

With the game tied 1-1, Hanna Gardner scored 48 seconds into the second half when she converted Katie Bowen's corner kick with a header past Penn State goalkeeper Erin McNulty. It was Gardner's second goal of the season.

Satara Murray, who had set up the Tar Heels first goal early in the opening half, made it a 3-1 match in the 64th minute when she put home a rebound of a shot by Kelly McFarlane. It was her first goal of the season.


Bowditch leads PGA Tour qualifying

Australia's Steven Bowditch shot an 8-under 64 on Sunday on PGA West's Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course to take a one-stroke lead after the fifth round of the PGA Tour qualifying tournament in La Quinta, Calif. Bowditch was at 23 under in the six-round event. The final top 25 and ties will receive 2013 PGA Tour cards and the next 50 and ties will earn Tour cards.

Kris Blanks was second after a 66, and Derek Ernst (66), Steve LeBrun (67) and Edward Loar (68) followed at 21 under. They also played the Nicklaus course.

Two-time heart transplant recipient Erik Compton was tied for 15th at 17 under after a 67. Tom Pernice, the oldest player in the field at 53, also was 17 under after a 68.

Graeme McDowell closed with a 4-under 68 and won the World Challenge in Thousand Oaks, Calif., for his first title in two years. McDowell held off Keegan Bradley with a couple of key short-game shots on the back nine and finished with one last birdie he didn't need. It was the 10th time in 12 rounds that he has shot in the 60s at Sherwood Country Club, and he now has two wins and a runner-up finish in his three appearances at this tournament.

Tiger Woods, the tournament host and defending champion, didn't make birdie until the 13th hole and closed with a 71 to tie for fourth.

Rebecca Lee-Bentham shot a 5-under 67 to tie Moriya Jutanugarn for the top spot in the LPGA Tour qualifying tournament in Daytona Beach, Fla., leading the 20 players who earned full status. Lee-Bentham and Jutanugarn finished the five-round event at 13-under 347 at LPGA International.

Martin Kaymer shot a 3-under 69 to earn his first title of 2012, holding on for a two-shot victory over Charl Schwartzel in rainy conditions at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City, South Africa. Kaymer was in trouble twice toward the end, pulling his tee shoot deep into the rough on the par-5 No. 14. He blasted out and made a brilliant birdie. He bogeyed No. 15 to allow Schwartzel to get within one shot, but recovered through the last three holes to close out his first win since November 20, 2011.

Horse racing

Smiling Tiger ends his six-race skid

Smiling Tiger ended a six-race losing streak with a one-length victory over Private Zone in the $100,000 Vernon O. Underwood Stakes at Hollywood Park in Inglewood, Calif. Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Smiling Tiger ran 6 furlongs on Cushion Track in 1:11.24 in the Grade III race. Smiling Tiger was coming off a third-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Sprint last month at Santa Anita.

The last word

Adrian Peterson's big day wasn't enough to carry the Minnesota Vikings. He had a career-long 82-yard touchdown run and finished with 210 yards, his most since blowing out his knee almost a year ago. But the Green Bay Packers won 23-14. Peterson said:

"As we walked into the tunnel, Everson Griffen was behind me talking. He was like, 'Why does it feel like we won? But we're leaving here with a loss.' That's the type of feeling it was. We know that it's things that we did that cost us the game."

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