UK women hosting Ohio St. in first round of NCAA tourney
Kentucky's women's soccer team was selected to host Ohio State in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the UK Soccer Complex. This is the first time in program history that Kentucky (13-6-1) has made the NCAA Tournament for three straight seasons, and also the first time that UK has hosted for three straight seasons.
"If you would have told me before the season started, the injuries that we would have had in the spring, over the summer and during the season, and we would be sitting in this spot, I would have told you that there is absolutely no way," UK Coach Jon Lipsitz continued. "I am so proud of this group."
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Tickets for Friday's match will be available beginning 9 a.m. Tuesday at the UK Ticket Office or by calling 1-800-928-2278.
Kentucky is 4-0-1 all time against Ohio State, with the two sides having last met in 2006. The Cats won 3-0 in Lexington.
Ohio State is 10-6-3 and finished 4-5-2 in the Big Ten. Lipsitz was an assistant coach for the Buckeyes from 2001-04.
"Ohio State is a tremendous team," he said. "I talked to their coaches last night, and I told them that they were in. They have a tremendously talented team and it seems that every time they have played a great team they have hit the post and completely dominated the match."
■ Transylvania women's soccer earned an at-large berth into the NCAA Division III tournament and will face Illinois Wesleyan Titans in the first round on Saturday in Bloomington, Ill.
"Honestly, we weren't expecting this at all," said senior co-captain Abby Felthaus. "As a senior, we thought our careers were over (last) Saturday. It's awesome. I don't want that feeling we had again, so I'm ready to go out there and win."
Transylvania lost 2-1 in the Heartland Conference finals against top-seeded Hanover.
Tale of two halves for Kidd-Gilchrist
Former Kentucky star Michael Kidd-Gilchrist scored 16 points in the first half, but none in the second in the Charlotte Bobcats 103-94 loss to the visiting Atlanta Hawks. Kidd-Gilchrist was ahead of pace to break his single-game scoring mark of 24 points, but he only took one shot in the second half after going 6-for-10 in the first half.
"His energy dropped. Our team's energy dropped," said Bobcats Coach Steve Clifford, who was in his first game back since undergoing a heart procedure. Clifford missed Charlotte's game last Friday night against the New York Knicks after having two stents placed in his heart.
Shelvin Mack, a former Bryan Station standout, had six points and two assists in eight minutes off the bench for the Hawks.
■ Derrick Rose had 16 points before leaving in the fourth quarter with a right hamstring injury, and the Chicago Bulls pulled away from the Cleveland Cavaliers for a 96-81 victory.
■ Steve Nash will be out of the Los Angeles Lakers' lineup for at least two weeks with nerve root irritation.
The Lakers announced the latest injury setback for the two-time NBA MVP on Monday after Nash consulted with a back specialist.
Nash is the NBA's oldest player at 39.
Women's College basketball
No. 5 Louisville cruises past Quinnipiac
Sara Hammond had 20 points and 11 rebounds and No. 5 Louisville forced 28 turnovers in a 100-82 victory over Quinnipiac in a second-round game of the pre-season WNIT on Monday night. Hammond's energy on both ends of the court and 7-for-9 shooting helped the junior forward from Rockcastle County post her second consecutive double-double. This time, Hammond was critical in helping host Louisville (2-0) stay safely ahead of a Quinnipiac squad that always seemed to be on the brink of mounting a run.
Antonita Slaughter, a former Louisville Christian standout, had 19 points and Jude Schimmel added 16 for the Cardinals.
Louisville will host No. 14 LSU in Thursday night's semifinals.
College basketball recruiting
Okafor, Jones to pick schools on Friday
Top-five prospects Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones announced that they will reveal their college decisions Friday afternoon.
Okafor and Jones said Monday night that they will announce their college destinations Friday at 4 p.m. Eastern from their respective high schools. Both players were recruited by Kentucky, but Jones dropped UK from his list following the commitment of point guard Tyler Ulis. Okafor had UK in his final four, but he has long planned to attend the same school as Jones and has seemingly cut the Wildcats from consideration. The three schools still remaining on both players' lists are Duke, Kansas and Baylor. Okafor and Jones accompanied each other for official visits to all three campuses. Duke and Kansas are considered the leaders.
Cumberlands No. 1 in NAIA for 1st time
Cumberlands' football team, which could complete a perfect regular season this weekend with a win at Bluefield, was ranked No. 1 in the NAIA poll for the first time in school history.
The Patriots (9-0, 5-0 in the Mid-South) earned the top spot after a 38-0 victory this past weekend against Kentucky Christian.
"I am so proud of our team for this accomplishment because it shows their hard work they have put in and is huge for our program," Coach John Bland said. "I have said it before though, although this is great, it is where we finish not where we are."
Djokovic defeats Nadal in ATP Finals
Novak Djokovic remained the man to beat on indoor courts.
The defending champion made quick work of top-ranked Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-4 to win the ATP World Tour Finals on Monday in London, extending his winning streak to 22 matches and claiming the elite season-ending title for the third time.
Djokovic, who has not lost a match since his defeat to Nadal in the U.S. Open finals, returned superbly from the start to move his Spanish rival around the court and prevent him from dictating the points. Nadal hit only nine winners and was broken three times.
Nadal and Djokovic have been dominant this season. Nadal replaced Djokovic for the No. 1 ranking last month, but the Serbian player proved again he still has the upper hand on hard courts by extending his head-to-head winning record to 13-7 on that surface.
Thomasson earns SEC's top weekly honor
Following her record-breaking performance against LSU on Sunday, freshman Anni Thomasson was named the Southeastern Conference's player of the week. Thomasson became what is thought to be the first freshman in program history and just the second overall at UK to get 30 or more kills and 20 or more digs in a single match. Molly Dreisbach had 33 kills and 26 digs against Duke on Nov. 26, 1994.
The freshman from Newark, Ohio, got her 30th kill on the match-clinching point. She was previously the league's freshman of the week on Sept. 16.
The last word
Dallas Mavericks Coach Rick Carlisle is impressed with Washington Wizards point guard John Wall's speed. Carlisle said:
"There's nobody faster. There may be guys as fast, but not many. End to end, you wouldn't put much wear on a stopwatch."