Macumber wins NCAA regional
Cally Macumber continued to show scintillating form when she won her second-straight race, the NCAA Southeast Regional at McAlpine Creek Park on Friday.
Macumber crossed the 6,000 meter course in 20:10.98, a time less than two seconds off her season-best time at that distance.
Chelsea Oswald also enjoyed a banner day with a second consecutive third-place performance to give the Wildcats a pair of podium finishers for the second time in a row. The senior lowered her previous best 6K time by 14 seconds.
Both Macumber and Oswald qualified for the NCAA Championships by virtue of finishing inside the individual top four.
Macumber, a junior in cross country, has now won three races this season, and she has finished in the top 10 at every meet she has entered.
Despite getting the first career goal from senior Cameron Wilder and a goal from senior Gabriel Conelian, No. 19 SMU outlasted Kentucky men's soccer in a penalty kick shootout to claim the Conference USA semifinal and advance to the championship round.
Kentucky (10-8-2) battled SMU in a 2-2 draw, with the game decided in a drama-laced penalty kick shootout, with the Mustangs outscoring UK 4-1 after a scoreless pair of golden goal overtime periods. Kentucky now awaits a potential NCAA Tournament at large berth, announced on Monday at 5:30 p.m.
Kentucky volleyball could not overcome its own errors on Friday in a four-set loss to Alabama. The Tide earned a 3-1 (25-23, 15-25, 25-18, 25-20) home victory over UK.
With the loss, Kentucky falls to 17-9 on the season and 11-5 in Southeastern Conference action. Alabama improves to 16-12 overall and 5-11 in league action. The Wildcats committed 25 hitting errors, 13 service mistakes and seven blocking errors in the match. UK posted just a .176 hitting clip in the match.
Louisville squeaks past Texas A&M
Jude Schimmel's steal and layup with 24 seconds remaining gave No. 9 Louisville a 47-45 victory over No. 15 Texas A&M Friday night. With the game tied at 45, A&M tried to inbound the ball at midcourt and Schimmel swooped in to grab it and put Louisville ahead.
Kelsey Bone had a chance to tie it but missed a layup with 11 seconds remaining. Sara Hammond got the rebound for the Cardinals, drawing a foul.
The sophomore missed the front end of a one-and-one and the Aggies got the ball, but Alexia Standish missed a shot in the lane in the final seconds and the Cardinals tied up the loose ball to seal the victory.
Hammond had 20 points and 13 rebounds for Louisville, while senior center Monique Reid added 10 points in her first game since sustaining a season-ending knee injury last December.
Shoni Schimmel added eight points for the Cardinals, who shot 39.6 percent and improved to 21-17 in season openers.
No. 13 UCLA took a big loss before its season even began on Friday night. The NCAA ruled freshman Shabazz Muhammad is ineligible to play basketball after violating amateurism rules, leaving the Bruins without their highly touted recruit to start the season.
Busch takes pole at Phoenix
Kyle Busch set a track in winning the pole at Phoenix International Raceway, where Brad Keselowski got a jump on Jimmie Johnson in their tight championship race.
Busch ran a lap of 138.766 mph in Friday's qualifying session to win the pole in his Toyota. It broke the track record of 137.279 set by Carl Edwards in 2011.
Martin Truex Jr. qualified second and Denny Hamlin was third to give Toyota the top three starting spots for Sunday's race.
But all eyes are on title contenders Johnson and Keselowski, who are separated by seven points in the standings with two races remaining heading into one of Johnson's best tracks. Only it was Keselowski who had the better qualifying effort. He'll start 14th on Sunday, Johnson 24th.
Tony Stewart has reportedly signed Kevin Harvick to drive for his team beginning in 2014. Stewart would not comment Friday on the report by ESPN.com, which said Harvick has signed a multi-year agreement to drive for Stewart-Haas Racing when his contract expires after next season. Asked about the report at Phoenix International Raceway, Stewart said he doesn't discuss business until he's got something official to announce.
"When we have something to tell you guys, we'll tell you," Stewart said. "I've always said, you guys can throw darts, but when we've got something to tell you that's different from what we've got going on, we'll obviously tell you."
Stewart, a three-time series champion, is expanding SHR to three cars next year when Danica Patrick moves to the Sprint Cup Series full-time. Stewart and Ryan Newman have driven for the team since Stewart became a co-owner in 2009, and Patrick is driving her 10th and final race of the season Sunday at Phoenix.
Djokovic, Murray advance to ATP semis
Needing only one set to join Novak Djokovic in the semis at the ATP finals, Andy Murray delighted the adoring home crowd by winning two.
The U.S. Open and Olympic champion beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-2, 7-6 (3) Friday to reach Sunday's semifinals, hours after Djokovic advanced by beating Tomas Berdych 6-2, 7-6 (6).
The ATP finals is the last tournament of the season, and only for the top eight players in the world. In Group B, six-time champion Roger Federer has already qualified for the semifinals and will face Juan Martin del Potro in his final group match on Saturday.
Sports in the courts
Abuse charges dropped on Fine
Federal authorities have dropped their investigation into one of the sexual abuse claims that cost a Syracuse University assistant basketball coach his job, threw a top-ranked team into turmoil and threatened the career of Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim.
After a probe spanning nearly a year, U.S. Attorney Richard Hartunian said Friday there was not enough evidence to support a claim that Bernie Fine had molested a boy in a Pittsburgh hotel room in 2002.
It's unclear whether Fine, 66, could get his job back.
Lawyers for the daughter of University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban are seeking records from dozens of doctors, hospitals, schools and others about the one-time sorority sister who filed suit accusing the coach's daughter of injuring her in a drunken brawl.
Court records show attorneys for Kristen Saban have issued more than 40 subpoenas as they try to obtain otherwise private information about Sarah Grimes, who sued the coach's daughter in June alleging injuries from a fight that occurred in August 2010.
The coach's daughter contends Grimes was the aggressor in the fight and argues she acted only in self-defense.
Medical records are important in the lawsuit, filed in Tuscaloosa County, partly because Kristen Saban's lawyers argue in court documents that Grimes — who claims to have suffered a busted nose, a concussion and increased migraine headaches — alleged similar injuries after a car wreck in 2005.
The last word
Five-time Olympic medalist Missy Franklin certainly hasn't burned out on swimming, nor is she ready to turn professional just yet. She plans to swim for the University of California in Berkeley next fall.
"Someday, I would love more than anything to be a professional swimmer, but right now I just want to do it because I love it."