Other Sports

Sports briefs: March 23

UK sports

Women's golf coach says she won't be back next season

Myra Blackwelder announced Monday that she will resign her position as Kentucky's women's golf coach after the completion of her third season in April.

"This was not an easy decision, and I was honored to be given a chance to serve my alma mater and play a role in the process of rebuilding the program," Blackwelder said. "We have a very talented, young team, and I am confident that they will continue to improve, gain valuable experience, and develop into something special over the coming years. I am looking forward to returning to my teaching career which will allow me to have the flexibility to spend more time with my family."

Kentucky will begin its search for a new coach at the conclusion of the season. "We are committed to having all our programs compete on a conference and national level and that will be our focus moving forward," Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said.

A former member of the women's golf team, graduating from Kentucky in 1978, Blackwelder was the school's first female athletic scholarship recipient in 1975. She won 10 collegiate golf invitational titles as a Wildcat. She also won two Kentucky State Amateur Championships while at UK. She returned to her alma mater in 2007 to become the third coach in program history.

Blackwelder came to Kentucky after a 13-year career on the LPGA Tour. She was the tour's rookie of the year in 1980.

Kentucky basketball signee to play in Derby Festival Classic

Kentucky men's basketball signee Stacey Poole will play in the Kentucky Derby Festival Basketball Classic, which is scheduled for April 10 at Louisville's Freedom Hall.

Derby Festival officials released the full rosters for the game. The rosters also include one McDonald's All-American, guard Ray McCallum), three University of Louisville recruits and one Indiana signee. All 22 players scheduled to participate are ranked among the top 75 nationally by Rivals.com.

Derby Festival officials remain hopeful that another possible UK signee, C.J. Leslie, will play in the game. His former high school coach, Erasto Hatchett, is one of the coaches in the game. But Leslie has not committed to play.

Basketball Classic tickets are $17 and $12 and are available at TicketMaster locations, www.ticketmaster.com, the Freedom Hall Ticket Office, or by phone at (502) 361-3100 or 1-800-487-1212.

UK baseball, softball both play Tuesday

The Kentucky baseball team's lone mid-week matchup comes against Xavier at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Cliff Hagan Stadium. Kentucky (15-5, 1-2 Southeastern Conference) has been led offensively by junior pre-season All-American second baseman Chris Bisson, who returned last week after missing five games due to injury. Bisson leads the team with a .370 (20-for-54) batting average, and he has two home runs and 14 RBI.

The softball team will play a doubleheader at Tennessee, starting at 4 p.m. Tuesday. Sophomore Brittany Cervantes hit .400 with four home runs and 11 RBI last week for the Wildcats (21-7, 3-3 SEC).


Salmons' 32 helps Bucks pull out win

John Salmons scored 32 points, including the tie-breaking free throws with 21.8 seconds remaining, to lead host Milwaukee to a come-from-behind 98-95 victory over Atlanta on Monday night. Salmons, whom Milwaukee acquired from Chicago in February, scored nine straight points midway through the final quarter, including a jumper that gave the Bucks an 89-86 lead with 6:50 left.

Dwyane Wade had 27 points and 12 assists, and the Miami Heat continued their good play in March with a 99-89 victory over the free-falling New Jersey Nets. Jermaine O'Neal added 25 points as the Heat improved to 8-3 in the month that has seen them climb to sixth place in the Eastern Conference. Brook Lopez had 26 points, but the host Nets (7-63) lost their eighth straight as they possibly head toward the worst record in NBA history. New Jersey rookie Terrence Williams had to leave the game in the third quarter after injuring his left foot on a drive to the basket. He finished with nine points, eight rebounds and seven assists.

George Hill scored a career-high 27 points, and San Antonio overcame Kevin Durant's 45 to beat host Oklahoma City 99-96 and forge a tie between the teams for sixth place in the Western Conference standings. Serge Ibaka swatted away Tim Duncan's layup try to give the Thunder a chance with 8.8 seconds left, but Thabo Sefolosha missed a three-pointer from the left wing with five seconds remaining after he was left open because of a double-team against Durant.

Chris Paul played for the first time in 25 games, and Marcus Thornton scored 28 points to help host New Orleans defeat Dallas 115-99. Returning from a left knee injury, Paul started but was limited to 21 minutes and had 11 points.

■ Houston forward Shane Battier missed the Rockets' 98-88 victory against the Bulls and is expected to be sidelined at least 10 days with a sprained left knee. Battier injured his knee in the second quarter of Sunday's victory over New York.

Chris Bosh had 21 points and 10 rebounds to help Toronto hand host Minnesota its 13th straight loss, 106-100.

Rashard Lewis scored 24 points, Dwight Howard added 23 points and 15 rebounds, and the Orlando Magic notched their third straight 50-win season with a 109-93 victory over host Philadelphia.

■ The Golden State Warriors are for sale — and Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison has already made it well known he wants to buy the team. The Warriors said Monday that they have hired Galatioto Sports Partners, or GSP, to handle selling the franchise. Ellison told financial analysts in late January he was trying to buy the team but said, "unfortunately you can't have a hostile takeover of a basketball team."


Orton still Broncos' starter, coach says

Kyle Orton will remain the starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos, Coach Josh McDaniels said Monday. That means new acquisition Brady Quinn will be the backup.

"Yep, no question," McDaniels said during a break from the NFL meetings at Orlando, Fla. Orton has "earned it."

"There are guys that are definitely starters and until someone comes in to knock them off their spot, it's going to be that way," McDaniels said. "Brady's a player who fits a lot of the qualities and characteristics we look for in our quarterbacks. ... It made sense for us to try and improve the competition at that position just like it does when we try to improve our competition at any position."

■ New York Jets wide receiver Braylon Edwards signed his tender and reported for the first day of voluntary off-season workouts. Running back Leon Washington was a no-show Monday, and is one of New York's four restricted free agents who haven't signed their tenders. Edwards, acquired last season from Cleveland, signed the tender worth $6.1 million — which would have required another team to give up first- and third-round draft picks to the Jets.

■ The Philadelphia Flyers' leading goal scorer, Jeff Carter, will miss three to four weeks with a broken bone in his left foot. When he misses Tuesday night's game in Ottawa, Carter will end a streak of 286 consecutive NHL games played. Carter, who has 33 goals, is hopeful he can be back for the playoffs, which start next month.

The last word

The Big East Conference having six of its eight NCAA Tournament teams already eliminated has had some pundits suggesting the league wasn't as strong as previously thought. West Virginia Coach Bob Huggins' response:

"Whoever doesn't think the Big East is a great league shouldn't be writing sports; they ought to do something else, cooking or something. You voted four of us in the top 10 for the majority of the year. So apparently, people thought we were very good then. We've lost some close games and things. But is the Big 12 now not any good because Kansas lost? No. The Big 12 is a great league ... and the Big East is a great league."