Tickets for UK-Connecticut game go on sale today
Tickets for some of the Big East-SEC Invitational games, including the Kentucky-Connecticut game in Madison Square Garden, go on sale at 10 a.m. Tuesday. The game will be part of a double-header on Dec. 9. Georgia will play St. John's in the first game at 7 p.m.
Fans can buy tickets online at www.Ticketmaster.com or by calling (866) 858-0008. Prices are $70, $60 and $30. College students and groups of 20 or more can buy tickets for $15 each.
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■ Kentucky golfer Jordan Blann shot a 73 and a 70 on Monday and is tied for third after two rounds of the University of Akron's Firestone Invitational. Blann, at 1-under for the tournament, trails Western Carolina's Ricky Stout by four shots. UK's Derek Oldham followed a 69 with a 75 and is at even-par, five shots back. Ben Fuqua, Joseph Barr and James Kania are at 2-over, 3-over and 4-over, respectively.
■ Kentucky women's soccer goalie goalie Sydney Hiance was named the Southeastern Conference's Defensive Player of the Week. Hiance, a Ft. Thomas native, had back-to-back shutouts for the Wildcats over the weekend, helping UK to a 1-0 upset over 13th ranked Louisiana State on Friday and a 0-0 tie against Arkansas on Sunday. Hiance has seven shutouts this season.
■ Kentucky volleyball middle blocker Gretchen Giesler was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week. Giesler had 10 blocks in seven sets this weekend in Kentucky's two wins. Her presence at the net also helped force 33 errors by UK's two opponents.
Mine That Bird a go for Classic
Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird will remain at Santa Anita and point to the Breeders' Cup Classic on Nov. 7.
Trainer Chip Woolley said Monday he and the gelding's owners were disappointed with Mine That Bird's sixth-place finish in the Goodwood Stakes on Saturday. But they've decided to try the $5 million Classic, and Calvin Borel will remain as Mine That Bird's rider.
Woolley said Mine That Bird jogged a mile Monday and will have two or three breezes before the 1¼-mile Classic.
■ Miss Catalyst held off a late rally by Pull Dancer and the previously unbeaten Maram in the $100,000 Pebbles Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on the turf at Belmont Park on Monday. Sent off at 7-1, Miss Catalyst took charge in midstretch and finished a neck in front of Pull Dancer with Maram, who had won four straight races including last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, another nose back. The time was 1:34.18 for one mile on a firm course.
Players criticize ATP's long season
Rafael Nadal and Andy Roddick complained Tuesday that the ATP season is too long and that tennis players need a proper offseason. Both players, who are in China for the Shanghai Masters, reiterated criticism of the sport's punishing schedule.
"It's impossible to play 1st of January and finish 5th of December," said the 23-year-old Nadal, who did not defend his title at Wimbledon because of a knee injury. "It's impossible to be here playing like what I did the last five years, playing a lot of matches and being all the time 100 percent without problems."
Roddick, a veteran at 27, said players need a longer off-season to recover, and noted that both Roger Federer (fatigue) and Andy Murray (wrist injury) are skipping the Shanghai tournament.
"It's ridiculous to think that you have a professional sport that doesn't have a legitimate off-season to rest, get healthy, and then train," Roddick said. "I just feel sooner or later that common sense has to prevail."
■ Justine Henin was granted a wild card entry to the Australian Open, her target for her comeback to Grand Slam tennis. Henin, who won the 2004 Australian Open among her seven major singles titles, announced last month she was returning to the women's tour after more than a year in retirement.
Thurman Thomas statue missing
A chain saw carving of former Buffalo Bills running back Thurman Thomas is missing from a parking lot across from Ralph Wilson stadium, a day after it was unveiled.
The project's creator, Therese Forton-Barnes, says the 81/2-foot statue carved from a fallen pine tree weighs more than 1,000 pounds and it took a crane to get it set up for Sunday's event. She says it would have taken several strong people with a flatbed truck to remove it. It's unclear when it disappeared.
Orchard Park, N.Y., police are investigating.
The statue was unveiled before Sunday's Bills game against the Browns. It's the 34th in a fundraising series that grew out of a 2006 snowstorm that toppled thousands of trees. The carvings feature celebrities, animals and historical figures.
Rough shooting night for Meeks
Former University of Kentucky star Jodie Meeks went 2-for-8 from the floor, including 1-for-2 from three-point range in the Milwaukee Bucks' 96-92 pre-season victory over the Houston Rockets on Monday night. Meeks also had one rebound and one assist in almost 19 minutes of play. Ex-UK forward Chuck Hayes had two points, three rebounds and two assists for the Rockets.
■ Rookie Jeff Teague had 17 points and seven assists, leading the Atlanta Hawks to a 107-90 victory over the visiting Charlotte Bobcats in a pre-season game Monday night. Former UK center Nazr Mohammed had eight points and nine rebounds for the Bobcats. Another ex-Cat, Randolph Morris, had two points and four rebounds for the Hawks.
Former big-league pitcher Jansen dies
Larry Jansen, the winning pitcher for the New York Giants in the 1951 playoff game decided by Bobby Thomson's "Shot Heard 'Round the World," has died. He was 89. The San Francisco Giants said Jansen died at his home in Verboort, Ore., on Saturday.
Jansen spent nine years in the major leagues, making his biggest mark with the Giants during their pennant-winning season. He won 23 games in 1951, including one of the biggest in team — and baseball — history. Jansen, in relief of Sal Maglie, struck out two batters in the top of the ninth before the Giants rallied with three runs in the bottom half of the inning to beat the Brooklyn Dodgers 5-4 in the third and deciding playoff game.
Jansen won 21 games as a rookie in 1947 and finished with a 122-89 career record and 3.58 ERA. He spent eight seasons with the Giants before pitching briefly for Cincinnati in 1956.
The last word
The NFL schedule makers served the Minnesota Vikings dessert before the main course this season. After wolfing down cupcakes like the Browns, Lions and Rams during the team's first 5-0 start since 2003, the Vikings' road gets more difficult. They host the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, followed by road games at Pittsburgh and Green Bay. The Ravens (3-2) will bring their notoriously nasty defense into the Metrodome on Sunday, and Ray Lewis and Co. will probably be as ornery as ever after two straight losses. Said tight end Visanthe Shiancoe:
"We're getting a lot of pats on the back. But 5-0 can turn into 5-11 and we play a lot of good teams coming up. We can't get content or relax because Baltimore's coming up. It's like hitting a bee's nest, rustling them up a little bit, they're going to be pretty mad coming in here."