Sports briefs: Dec. 26

December 25, 2013 

Olympics

Former IOC executive Gunnar Ericsson dead at 94

Gunnar Ericsson, a long-time International Olympic Committee executive and former member of the executive committee, has died. He was 94.

The IOC said on its website that the former Swedish parliamentarian died Tuesday but did not provide a cause of death.

IOC President Thomas Bach said Ericsson "personified the Olympic values and was a true Olympic gentleman. The IOC will always remember him with deep gratitude and great respect."

An IOC member from 1965, Ericsson served on the executive board from 1988-92, and headed the inspection team for 2000 Summer Games bidding.

Ericsson became an honorary member in 1996 after resigning to allow compatriot Gunilla Lindberg to become an IOC member.

Lindberg said Ericsson is survived by his wife, Stina.

■ Russia's Cabinet has approved the allocation of nearly $50 million in extra subsidies for the organizers of the Sochi Olympics.

The Cabinet's decision, reported by the RIA Novosti news agency on Wednesday, takes the total number of subsidies for the Sochi Organizing Committee to the equivalent of more than $420 million.

The Cabinet said without elaboration that the extra money would help finance the committee's activities.

The allocations for the organizing committee are a small share of the total Sochi Games costs that amount to $51 billion, making them the most expensive Olympics in history.

The games will take place from Feb. 7-23.


College Football

Reynolds' TDs lead Beavers past Boise

Rashaad Reynolds got to celebrate the end of his college football career with a lei around his neck, an MVP trophy and bragging rights over a possible future NFL player.

"I told him I had more touchdowns than he had," Reynolds said he told Biletnikoff Award-winner Brandin Cooks after returning two fumbles for touchdowns, helping Oregon State beat Boise State 38-23 in the Hawaii Bowl on Tuesday night.

"It's crazy, you know, it's bittersweet," Reynolds said. "That was my last game going out there with my brothers, but also at the same time I was really Johnny on the spot."

Cooks caught eight passes for 60 yards and a touchdown. He extended his Pac-12 single-season record to 128 receptions and broke the conference record for yards receiving with 1,730, passing Southern California's Marqise Lee.

Sean Mannion threw for 259 yards and a touchdown, giving him a Pac-12-record 4,662 yards passing for the season.

"When you win, you'd like to say it's a good ending — a good beginning for the upcoming year," Oregon State coach Mike Riley said.

Oregon State won six of its first seven games of the season. Then a A 20-12 home loss to then-No. 8 Stanford started a five-game slide that came to an end when the Beavers (7-6) set several records in handing Boise State its worst loss in two months.

Reynolds had his first fumble recovery about 12 minutes into the game when Scott Crichton stripped Boise State quarterback Grant Hedrick in the end zone. The ball popped forward to the 3-yard line, where Reynolds picked it up and ran it in.

Reynolds tacked on another fumble return in the second quarter. Troy Ware caught a 6-yard pass near the sideline for Boise State, but Larry Scott punched the ball out as Ware was falling to the ground. Reynolds picked it up and ran 70 yards to the end zone.

"You just can't overcome those — it's very difficult to overcome those versus a Pac-12 team," Boise State interim coach Bob Gregory said. "That's tough when we're not on the field on defense, but we didn't make enough plays on defense either."

Hedrick threw for 382 yards and a touchdown, closing out a difficult stretch for the Broncos. Joe Southwick was sent home by Gregory after the quarterback was accused of urinating off a hotel balcony in Honolulu last week, though he later told a TV station he didn't do it and was unfairly dismissed.

Jordan Lynch will make a run at history Thursday night when he suits up for the final time for No. 24 Northern Illinois in the Poinsettia Bowl against Utah State.

Lynch already owns the major college record for yards rushing for a quarterback with 1,881. With 119 yards, he can become the first player to rush for 2,000 yards and throw for 2,000.

"I'm just really proud of him and wish I had him for about 10 more years but we don't," NIU coach Rod Carey said. "This is the last game we get him. That's the biggest thing with him."

Lynch has passed for 2,676 yards and 23 touchdowns. He's rushed for 22 scores and even caught a touchdown pass in leading the Huskies to a 12-1 record.

■ Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald won a slew of awards this year, including ACC defensive player of the year. The senior is hoping to close the season with a win Thursday night against Bowling Green at the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl to help the Panthers finish with a winning record for the first time since he was a freshman.

Bowling Green (10-3) is favored to top the Panthers (6-6) at Ford Field, where it defeated previously unbeaten and 16th-ranked Northern Illinois in the Mid-American Conference championship game earlier this month.


College Basketball

Cyclones survive Broncos' upset bid

DeAndre Kane scored 23 points, Georges Niang added 16 and No. 14 Iowa State staved off an upset attempt by Boise State in the championship game of the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii on Wednesday.

The Cyclones (11-0) trailed 34-27 at the break, but rallied with a with a 43-point second-half effort. Kane connected on four of his six three-point attempts and added six rebounds, a block and a steal for Iowa State.

Melvin Ejim had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Cyclones. He missed all three of his shots from behind the arc and just 3-for-9 overall, but connected on nine of 10 free-throws.

Duane Notice scored 15 points as South Carolina defeated Akron 69-59 in the third-place game of the Diamond Head Classic on Wednesday.

Sindarius Thornwell, Brenton Williams scored 12 points apiece and Michael Carrera, Tyrone Johnson each added 10 points off the bench for South Carolina (4-6). It was a season high for the freshman Notice.

The Gamecocks took over midway through the second half. Notice's basket started a 14-3 run as South Carolina rallied to take a 53-45 lead with 7:20 remaining.

Isaac Fotu scored 17 points in Hawaii's 79-73 win over Oregon State in the fifth place game of the Diamond Head Classic.

Garrett Nevels had 16, Christian Standhardinger 15 and Brandon Spearman added 14 for the Rainbow Warriors (9-3). Spearman also grabbed 10 rebounds and Keith Shamburger chipped in with nine points, 10 assists and six rebounds.

Patrick Holloway and Bryon Allen scored 15 points each as George Mason rallied to beat Saint Mary's 65-63 in the seventh-place game of the Diamond Head Classic.

Johnny Williams added 14 points for the Patriots (6-6), who trailed the entire game until Allen's jumper with 2:42 remaining.James Walker III and Stephen Holt scored 14 points apiece for the Gaels (9-3) and Brad Waldow scored 10 points.


The last word

By most any measure, the Brooklyn Nets — pegged as an Eastern Conference contender in the pre-season — have failed to live up to expectations, falling to 9-19 after Wednesday's loss to the Chicago Bulls. Three-time All-Star point guard Deron Williams offered his opinion on the disappointing start to the Nets' season:

"I'm surprised at this season, how it's played out altogether. It's like a nightmare the way the injuries have been, the things we talk about every day, the lack of effort, the lack of energy."

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