Prince scores season-high 17 to lead Vols past Middle Tenn.
Tyler Smith knew J.P. Prince was ready for a breakout game after watching him hit jumpers during the shootaround. Prince followed through by scoring a season-high 17 points Friday night, and No. 9 Tennessee showed off its depth in beating Middle Tennessee 75-54 in the first game of the Sun Belt Classic doubleheader in Nashville. It was a nice turnaround for the senior guard, who hadn't scored more than eight points this season and found himself coming off the bench.
"It was great to see him come out and play with confidence, play effectively at both ends of the floor," Tennessee Coach Bruce Pearl said. "I'd like to see him get on the boards some, but I was really happy for J.P. He just hasn't been as productive. It's been talked about a little bit, was written about a little bit. It was all fair and right. We've been talking about it, and so he'll feel better about himself now."
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Babineaux arrested for pot possession
Falcons Coach Mike Smith said Jonathan Babineaux's arrest Thursday night for felony possession of marijuana will not affect his struggling team. Babineaux was arrested during a traffic stop on Interstate 85 at 10:45 p.m. Thursday. Babineaux practiced Friday, but refused interview requests after the 1-hour workout. Smith declined to say whether Babineaux, whose five sacks lead the team, would play Sunday when the Falcons host New Orleans.
Restraining order granted against Suggs
A judge granted a protective order Friday that bars Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs from contact with the mother of his two young children, a decision that Suggs agreed to without admitting any wrongdoing. Candace D. Williams, 26, accused Suggs of hitting her in the chest, pushing her to the floor and sitting on her while holding her neck with one hand and a bottle of bleach with the other, according to court documents. Williams alleged that Suggs threatened to drown her with the bleach and that some of it splashed on her and their toddler son, the documents showed. The alleged scuffle began with an argument over tickets to the Ravens' Nov. 29 game against the Steelers. Suggs, 27, has not been charged with a crime and denies any wrongdoing. Williams filed a lawsuit against Suggs on Tuesday, accusing him of assault and battery and seeking $70 million in damages. She also sued for custody and child support.
Harrison's mother charged with assault
Police in Ohio said the mother of Steelers star James Harrison has been charged with assault following a brawl at a game-watching party in a community hall. Akron police said 62-year-old Mildred Harrison was one of three people cited after the fight at a Veterans of Foreign Wars post Thursday. Police say it's not clear why the party turned violent about 10 p.m., during Cleveland's 13-6 upset of division foe Pittsburgh. Victims have told police they were pushed, punched and struck with beer bottles.
■ Patriots quarterback Tom Brady returned to practice on Friday after missing the previous two sessions with right finger, right shoulder and rib injuries.
■ Carolina quarterback Matt Moore will make his second straight start this weekend when the Panthers play at New England. Jake Delhomme was declared out for Sunday's game and missed his third straight day of practice Friday with a broken right finger.
■ Redskins defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth (ankle) and cornerback DeAngelo Hall (knee) will miss his Sunday's game against the Raiders.
■ Cowboys tight end Martellus Bennett won't play Sunday against San Diego because of concussion-related symptoms.
■ Vikings receiver Percy Harvin missed his third straight practice Friday with migraine headaches and is questionable for Sunday's game against Cincinnati.
Braves deal reliever Soriano to Rays
The Rays completed a trade with the Braves on Friday, acquiring right-handed pitcher Rafael Soriano and agreeing to a $7.25 million, one-year contract with the reliever. The deal sent right-hander Jesse Chavez to the Braves, who weren't willing to give Soriano a long-term contract and recently signed free agent relievers Billy Wagner and Takashi Saito. The Rays were searching for bullpen help after the lack of a proven closer contributed to the 2008 AL champions failing to reach the playoffs. Soriano had a career-best 27 saves in 31 opportunities for the Braves. In 752⁄3 innings, he struck out 102 while walking 27.
■ Jason Kendall agreed Friday to a $6 million, two-year contract with the Royals and is expected to become their everyday catcher. The 35-year-old was an All-Star in 1996, 1998 and 2000 but hit just .241 with two homers and 43 RBI last season with Milwaukee.
■ Reliever J.J. Putz agreed Friday to a one-year, $3 million contract with the White Sox and will fill a setup role in the bullpen. Putz was 1-4 with a 5.22 ERA with the Mets last season in 29 appearances before undergoing arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone spur in his right elbow on June 9, causing him to miss the remainder of the season.
Two teams tied atop Shark Shootout
The two teams that tied for the lead of the Shark Shootout arrived there different ways during Friday's first round. Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly were hot on the front nine, while Justin Leonard and Scott Verplank caught fire on the back. The end result was the same: 6-under 66s at Tiburon Golf Club at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples, Fla. Steve Flesch and Dustin Johnson were in third place, one shot back at 5 under, along with Tim Clark and Chad Campbell.
■ In-Kyung Kim shot a 5-under 67 Friday to take a three-stroke lead, while Michelle Wie dropped into a tie for fourth after three rounds of the Dubai Ladies Masters. Kim, who stands at 202 overall, leads Anna Nordqvist (65) by three shots and Maria Hjorth (67) by four at the Emirates Golf Club. Wie, who was in second place after Thursday's round, had a 71 and is six shots behind the leader.
■ Pablo Martin shot 9-under 63 on Friday, taking a four-shot lead over Ernie Els and Edoardo Molinari after two rounds at the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa.
Rosario rides six winners at Hollywood
Joel Rosario rode six winners at Hollywood Park on Friday, tying a track record originally set by Hall of Fame jockey Bill Shoemaker in 1953. Rosario rode five consecutive winners on the card, sat out the seventh race, and then won the eighth with Stockings to tie the mark Shoemaker set on June 20, 1953. Shoemaker repeated the feat in 1970. Laffit Pincay Jr. equaled it in 1968 as did Kent Desormeaux in 1992. Rosario, 24, finished second in the first race and his mount in the seventh was scratched.
Akron, Virginia will play for College Cup
Top-seeded Akron eliminated North Carolina on penalty kicks Friday night in the semifinals of the men's College Cup in Cary, N.C. Blair Gavin sent a shot into the lower left-hand corner of the net to give the Zips a 5-4 shootout win after neither team scored in regulation or the two 10-minute overtime periods. Akron (23-0-1) will play Virginia (18-3-3) for the championship Sunday, after the Cavaliers defeated Wake Forest 2-1 in overtime. The result for Akron goes down as a tie, leaving the school tied with Indiana's 1997 team for the NCAA record for most consecutive wins in a season.
The last word
LeBron James said Friday that he was a fan of UK freshman John Wall. When James was told that Wall was once cut from his high school team, mainly because of his attitude, the Cavs star replied:
"He won't be cut again. Unless he's in a barber's chair."