Sports briefs: Jan. 22

January 21, 2014 

College football

Mumme bringing revamped Air Raid to NAIA's Belhaven

Hal Mumme's head coaching career started at a small, private NAIA school. Now he hopes it will end at one, too.

The 61-year-old Mumme — best known as one of the architects of the prolific Air Raid passing offense — was introduced as Belhaven's new football coach on Tuesday afternoon.

It's a big-name hire for the small school, which has about 1,200 undergraduates on its main campus in downtown Jackson. Mumme's coaching tree includes other prominent Air Raid disciples such as Mike Leach (Washington State) and Dana Holgorsen (West Virginia). Mumme spent the past season as the passing game coordinator at SMU under June Jones. The move to Belhaven was a stunner for some, but Mumme said he likes the idea of coming back to a smaller school.

"The people who know me in this business were not surprised at all," Mumme said. "They know how I am and how much I enjoy small college football."

This will be Mumme's seventh head coaching job. His most high-profile job was at Kentucky from 1997 to 2000, where he led the Wildcats to back-to-back bowls and coached quarterback Tim Couch, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft.

He resigned in 2001 amid an NCAA investigation that eventually led to sanctions.

Most of his success has come at relatively small schools. He got his start at Iowa Wesleyan in 1989 and also led Valdosta State (Ga.), Southeastern Louisiana, New Mexico State and most recently McMurry (Texas), a Division III school.

Coaching at a small school "is probably the most gratifying coaching you can do," Mumme said. "All the jobs I've had below the Division I level were really fun and we're going to have fun here."

Mumme said his time with Jones at SMU — which uses a variation of the run and shoot that also put up big offensive numbers — gave him the opportunity to tweak his Air Raid philosophies. He said Belhaven would run the Air Raid II, though he was coy about details.

"You've got to buy a ticket for that," Mumme said with a grin.


NBA

Kings cruise to win against Pelicans

Rudy Gay tied a career high with 41 points, DeMarcus Cousins posted his 15th straight double-double and the Sacramento Kings rolled to a 114-97 victory over the host New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night. Isaiah Thomas had 20 points and 11 assists Cousins had 18 points, 11 rebounds, six assists, four blocks and three steals for the Kings, who've won five of eight.

Anthony Davis had 16 points, six rebounds and three blocked shots for New Orleans.

LeBron James scored 11 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter, Chris Bosh added 16 and the Miami Heat blew an 18-point lead before rallying to beat the visiting Boston Celtics. Chris Andersen scored 13 points and made all five of his shots for Miami, which ended the game on a 9-0 run.

Rajon Rondo, still coming around after returning from knee surgery, missed all eight of his shots, plus missed a pair of free throws with the Celtics down four with 44.4 seconds remaining. He had five assists in 26 minutes.

Kevin Durant scored 11 of his 46 points in the final 3:23 to help the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the visiting Portland Trail Blazers 105-97. Durant has scored at least 30 points for eight consecutive games, the longest such streak of his career.

Andray Blatche came off the bench and had a team-high 18 points and reserve forward Mirza Teletovic added 14 points as the Brooklyn Nets continued their resurgence with an eighth win in nine games, beating the visiting Orlando Magic 101-90.

Brooklyn completed a trade for former University of Kentucky point guard Marquis Teague from the Chicago Bulls for Toko Shengelia. The Bulls announced the move Tuesday after reports surfaced over the weekend. Teague was drafted by the Bulls in the first round (29th overall) in the 2012 draft. In 68 regular-season games, he has averaged 2.1 points and 1.3 assists per game.


Tennis

Djokovic, Azarenka latest in run of upsets

Novak Djokovic continued an upsetting trend at the Australian Open. The three-time defending champion joined Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova as unexpected early departures from the season's first major with a quarterfinal loss Tuesday night to Stanislas Wawrinka. Djokovic came into the match with 28 consecutive wins since losing last year's U.S Open final to Rafael Nadal, and 25 in a row at Melbourne Park since 2010.

The 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 9-7 win by Wawrinka put Roger Federer's sometimes Swiss doubles partner in the semifinals of a Grand Slam for the first time.

Victoria Azarenka's 18-match winning streak at the Australian Open ended in a 6-1, 5-7, 6-0 quarterfinal loss to Agnieszka Radwanska. Fifth-seeded Radwanska ended a streak of three consecutive quarterfinal defeats at the Australian Open with a stunning display of versatile shot-making that confused the big-hitting defending champion.

She next plays No. 20 Dominika Cibulkova, who won the last eight games in a one-hour, 6-3, 6-0 quarterfinal rout of No. 11-seeded Simona Halep. The diminutive Cibulkova, among the shortest women on the WTA tour at 5-feet-3, pounded Halep from the back of the court to progress to her first Grand Slam semifinal since the 2009 French Open.

■ Kentucky's ninth-ranked men's tennis team defeated Indiana 6-1 at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center. The Cats won the doubles point and five of the six singles matches played. The Cats' Tom Jomby, ranked No. 68 in singles, took care of No. 80 Sven Lalic 6-3, 6-0.


Baseball

Reds Caravan in Lexington on Jan. 25

This season's Reds Caravan stop in Lexington will be in Alltech Arena at Kentucky Horse Park from 4 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25. There will also be stops in Louisville (Jan. 23), Bowling Green (Jan. 24), Nashville (Jan. 25) and Cincinnati (Jan. 26). The caravan stops are free to the public and Lexington's Reds visitors will include pitcher Sam LeCure, catcher Corky Miller, minor-league outfielder Ryan LaMarre, broadcasters Thom Brennaman and Jim Day, and mascot Mr. Redlegs.


Winter Olympics

Three potential suicide bombers sought

Russian security officials are hunting down three potential female suicide bombers, one of whom is believed to be in Sochi, where the Winter Olympics will begin next month. A U.S. congressman who was in Sochi on Tuesday to assess the situation said he was impressed by the work of Russian security forces but troubled that potential suicide bombers had gotten into the city, despite all of the extraordinary security measures.

"We know some of them got through the perimeter," Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee, said. "She's for real. What we don't know is how many more black widows are out there."


The last word

Jay Farner, president and chief marketing officer of Quicken Loans, on his company's "Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge," a contest for correctly predicting the outcome of every game in this year's NCAA men's basketball tournament:

"We've seen a lot of contests offering a million dollars for putting together a good bracket, which got us thinking, what is the perfect bracket worth? We decided a billion dollars seems right for such an impressive feat."

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