Other Sports

Sports briefs: Nov. 24


Ochoa wins top-player awardon last hole of Tour Championship

Lorena Ochoa and Jiyai Shin's duel for LPGA Player of the Year fittingly came down to the final hole of the season. Anna Nordqvist won the LPGA Tour Championship on Monday in Richmond, Texas, and Ochoa finished second to earn the top player title for the fourth consecutive year. Nordqvist, 22, shot a final-round 65 to finish 13 under. Ochoa was two strokes back and won the top-player honor when Shin couldn't chip in for birdie from the front of the 18th hole.

"I always say that I want to stay on top as long as I continue playing, so this is just a great year for me," Ochoa said. "It's been tough in many different ways, but the important thing is, I'm at the top."

Shin led Ochoa by eight points (156-148) in the race entering the tournament. Once Ochoa secured second place, Shin had to finish no worse than seventh to win the player of the year award. Point totals are based on top-10 results.


McGrady returns to practice

Tracy McGrady is back at practice with the Rockets for the first time since microfracture surgery in February, but the seven-time All-Star doesn't know when he'll get to play. McGrady says he can play now, but Rockets Coach Rick Adelman has said he's not ready. Adelman missed practice Monday to attend to a personal matter and was not available for comment. McGrady was set to undergo an MRI late Monday. He said the test is "irrelevant," but the team wants to review it before any decision on his return is made.

■ Warriors Coach Don Nelson has pneumonia and isn't traveling with the team for two games in Texas. The 69-year-old second-winningest coach in NBA history missed practice Sunday and again Monday.

Spurs 112, Bucks 98: Tim Duncan had 24 points and 12 rebounds, and host San Antonio halted Milwaukee's three-game winning streak. Matt Bonner had 23 points off the bench, and the Spurs won consecutive games for only the second time this season. Former Kentucky star Jodie Meeks played seven minutes and scored seven points to go with a steal and a rebound.

Sports in the courts

Steelers fan kicks puppy to death

Police say a western Pennsylvania man told them he kicked his girlfriend's puppy to death because he was upset that the pit bull wouldn't behave before the start of the Pittsburgh Steelers game. William Woodson, 22, of Bridgeville remained jailed Monday on a charge of animal cruelty. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that a witness told police that Woodson was kicking the dog down the street shortly after 1 p.m. Sunday, which is when the football game began. Police say Woodson was supposed to be taking the pit bull for a walk, but the animal resisted. By the time police arrived, the puppy was dead. Police say Woodson didn't like the dog and was upset that his live-in girlfriend bought it.

■ An Illinois insurance executive accused of secretly making nude videos of ESPN reporter Erin Andrews pleaded not guilty Monday to interstate stalking. Michael Barrett, 48, entered the plea in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

College football

Pike set to start for Cincinnati

Barring a problem in practice, quarterback Tony Pike will start for fifth-ranked Cincinnati against Illinois on Friday. Coach Brian Kelly said Monday that the Bearcats' bye week helped Pike get ready to start his first game since damaging a plate in his non-throwing arm during a win at South Florida on Oct. 15. Pike needed to have the plate replaced, and doctors made a foot-long incision for the surgery.

■ North Carolina State offensive coordinator Dana Bible has been diagnosed with leukemia and won't coach the Wolfpack's season finale against No. 23 North Carolina. Head coach Tom O'Brien said Bible will remain in a Chapel Hill cancer center for 30 days of treatment. The school said Bible has been diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia.

Tim Tebow and Colt McCoy are set for at least one showdown off the field. The quarterbacks for No. 1 Florida and third-ranked Texas were chosen finalists Monday for two of the biggest post-season awards outside the Heisman Trophy. Tebow, McCoy and Alabama running back Mark Ingram are the finalists for the Maxwell Award that goes to the best all-around player in college football. Tebow won the past two Maxwells. Houston's Case Keenum joins Tebow and McCoy as finalists for the Davey O'Brien Award given to the best quarterback.

■ Georgia cornerback Brandon Boykin said the hip injury that forced him out of last week's game against Kentucky should not keep him from playing at No. 7 Georgia Tech this week. And Coach Mark Richt said he hopes receiver A.J. Green and safety Bacarri Rambo also can return from injuries for Saturday night's game.

■ Northeastern is ending its football program after 74 seasons because the investment required to make it competitive was too high.


Germany restores Jewish woman's record

Germany has restored the 1936 high jump record to the woman who was stripped of the mark because she was Jewish. Gretel Bergmann also had been banned from that year's Berlin Olympics by the Nazis because of her religion. Germany's track and field association said the act of restoring Bergmann's record jump of 5 feet, 3 inches, "can in no way make up" for the past. But it called the decision an "act of justice and a symbolic gesture." The track group also requested the 95-year-old Bergmann be included in Germany's sports hall of fame. Bergmann emigrated in 1937 to the United States, where she still lives.

■ A former national Golden Gloves boxing champion died two days after collapsing following a bout in Philadelphia. Boxing promoter Dominic Pesoli said 25-year-old Francisco Rodriguez died Sunday night after losing a USBA super bantamweight bout against Teon Kennedy on Friday night. Philadelphia promoter J. Russell Peltz said Rodriguez began to lose consciousness as the Chicago boxer sat in his corner after the fight was stopped in the 10th round. Pesoli said Rodriguez underwent emergency brain surgery at Hahnemann University Hospital.

Rafael Nadal lost to Robin Soderling for the second straight time, falling 6-4, 6-4 Monday in their opening round-robin match at the ATP World Tour Finals. Soderling handed the Spaniard his first loss on clay at the French Open this year. Novak Djokovic rallied from a poor start to beat Nikolay Davydenko 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 and move a step closer to the semifinals of the season-ending tournament for the top eight players in the world. The second-ranked Nadal can still reach the semifinals of the season-ending tournament for the top eight players. He can also capture the year-end No. 1 ranking from Roger Federer, but Monday's loss hasn't helped his chances.

■ The expected image of David Beckham and Landon Donovan holding the championship trophy of Major League Soccer for the league's marquee franchise will have to wait. The upstarts from Real Salt Lake outlasted the stars from Los Angeles late Sunday night. Robbie Russell scored in the seventh round of penalty kicks, and the scrappy underdogs from RSL beat the star-studded Galaxy 5-4 for its first MLS title. Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando made two saves during penalties, and Donovan, the Galaxy's sure-footed league MVP, missed badly over the crossbar giving RSL a chance in the extra rounds.

The last word

Shaquille O'Neal asked for a shot. The Cavaliers gave him 10 days off instead. The team wouldn't comply when O'Neal asked for a cortisone injection to make his ailing shoulder feel better, choosing to treat it with rest and rehab. O'Neal returned to practice with the Cavaliers on Monday and is hopeful he can play in Cleveland's game at Detroit on Wednesday:

"You can tell it's a great organization. I was cursing and screaming and trying to make them shoot me up, but they wouldn't do it."