Other Sports

Sports briefs: Jan. 24

UK sports

Cox leads men's tennis to sweep of tripleheader

The 12th-ranked Kentucky men's tennis team started its spring schedule with three convincing wins in a tripleheader against Toledo, Xavier and Cumberlands at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex on Sunday.

"What we wanted to get out of today's matches was to introduce our freshman to the collegiate dual-match format," Coach Dennis Emery said. "I think that we accomplished that today. I am happy with the results and look forward to taking the team on the road this week against a quality Indiana squad before we return home for a big weekend here at Boone next weekend."

Kentucky (3-0) won 17 of 18 singles points in the three matches. Senior captain Brad Cox won all three of his matches while several other Wildcats went 2-0 on the day.

NBA

Anthony scores 36 in Nuggets' win

Carmelo Anthony gave the home crowd nothing to boo about Sunday night, scoring 36 points in the Denver Nuggets' 121-107 victory over the Indiana Pacers, which lost its fifth straight.

Anthony had been subjected to jeers by the home crowd as trade talk intensified last week, but on this night, the Denver fans showed him plenty of love, especially when he was raining threes from all over the court as he put on a spectacular 23-point show in the third quarter.

Anthony's career-best six three-pointers all came in the third period as the Nuggets turned a close game into a laugher — a reversal of their game in November when the Pacers made their first 20 shots of the third quarter and rolled to a 144-113 win in Indianapolis. Anthony's previous high was five three-pointers in 2003, his rookie season.

Nene added 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Nuggets, who led by 25 and improved to 20-5 at the Pepsi Center, where they haven't lost consecutive games all season. Tyler Hansbrough had 27 points and 10 rebounds for Indiana, which trailed 59-51 at halftime.

Soccer

U.S. women win warmup for World Cup

The United States defeated Canada 2-1 at the Four Nations tournament in Beijing, a warmup for this summer's Women's World Cup in Germany. In Sunday's other game, China defeated Sweden 2-1.

The top-ranked Americans won on a long shot by Lindsey Tarpley in the 70th minute. Lauren Cheney of the U.S. opened the scoring in the 53rd minute. Canada tied it two minutes later on a hard shot by Melissa Tancredi after a solo run.

On Tuesday, China plays the U.S., and Canada faces Sweden.

Teal Bunbury converted a penalty kick in the 75th minute for his first international goal, giving a young United States team a 1-1 exhibition tie against Chile on Saturday night in Carson, Calif., in the Americans' first game of the year. Estaban Paredes, the only player on either roster to play at last year's World Cup, put Chile ahead in the 53rd minute with a 7-yard volley inside a post, off a cross from Felipe Seymour after defender Marvell Wynne overcommitted.

Hockey

Nabokov says he won't play for Islanders

Goalie Evgeni Nabokov failed to report to the New York Islanders on Sunday, one day after he was claimed off waivers from the Detroit Red Wings, who hoped to add the veteran to their roster for the playoff drive. The Islanders nabbed the former Kentucky Thoroughblade to provide insurance to oft-injured goalie Rick DiPietro and young backups Nathan Lawson — who is out with a knee injury — and 20-year-old Kevin Poulin.

Nabokov told ESPN.com on Sunday that his decision to spurn the Islanders is not personal. He merely intended to hook on with a title-contending team and not an also-ran club such as the Islanders, who own the third-fewest points in the NHL.

"I think I'm going to stay home for now, I'm sticking with my decision," Nabokov said. "It's nothing against the Islanders and their organization. It's nothing to do with that. It's just that I'm at the point in my career where I want to help a team win in the playoffs. I don't see how I could help the Islanders or what I could do for them. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me. And I hope they understand that. ... I was surprised they picked me up. I was like, 'Wow, what's the point?'"

Nabokov, who played with the San Jose Sharks for parts of 10 seasons and for the Thorougblades in parts of three seasons from 1997 to 2000, had spent this season with SKA St. Petersburg of the Russian KHL and hadn't played for Detroit. The NHL's collective bargaining agreement states that anyone who plays in a professional league before signing an NHL contract must clear waivers.

"I understand the rules," Nabokov told ESPN.com. "We're not stupid. We knew what was going on before we made the decision. But I made this decision because the goal was to play with Detroit."

Etc.

Armstrong 67th in last international race

Lance Armstrong accepted a gift onstage and thanked the cheering fans in Adelaide, Australia, for an "unbelievable event." But after finishing 67th Sunday in what he says is his final race outside the United States, Armstrong again had nothing to say about the latest round of drug allegations.

The seven-time Tour de France champion rode in the back half of the main pack for most of the last stage of the Tour Down Under. He crossed the line as the 103rd rider and wound up more than six minutes behind overall winner Cameron Meyer.

■ Right-hander Darren O'Day and the Texas Rangers agreed to terms on a $1.25 million, one-year deal, avoiding salary arbitration for the side-arming reliever. O'Day was 6-2 with a 2.03 ERA in a club-high 72 appearances for the AL champion Rangers last season.

Kenny Jones scored 20 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead the Bluegrass Stallions to a 99-89 victory against the Halifax Rainmen in a Premier Basketball League game at Georgetown College. Jones, who starred at Kentucky State, had eight offensive rebounds. Jason McLeish (Eastern Kentucky) and Aubrey White (Henry Clay and Georgetown College) added 18 and 17 points, respectively.

It Tiz beat Lilly Fa Pootz by a half-length to win the $79,150 Megahertz Stakes at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif. Ridden by David Flores for trainer Mark Glatt, It Tiz sat fourth for most of the turf mile for fillies and mares, moved up to third at the top of the stretch and took the lead from Lilly Fa Pootz in the final yards to win in 1:34.83. It Tiz paid $18, $6.40 and $4.60. A Kentucky-bred daughter of Tiznow, It Tiz earned $47,490 for the win, her fifth in 14 career starts, for a lifetime total of $259,295.

Stradivinsky held off Great Attack by 1¼ lengths in the $60,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint in Hallandale Beach, Fla. Ridden by Julien Leparoux and trained by trainer Richard Dutrow Jr., the 8-year-old gelding ran 5 furlongs in 56.690 seconds for his 14th victory in 35 starts. Stradivinsky, claimed for $50,000 in May by Dutrow for owners Michael Dubb, Jack Mandalo and Bethlehem Stables, hadn't raced since finishing 13th in November in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs.

The last word

Andrea Petkovic, who defeated former No. 1 Maria Sharapova 6-2, 6-3 Sunday in the Australian Open, has been winning over the crowd with her bright smile, upbeat attitude, and the courtside dance that has become known as "The Petko." Said Petkovic:

"It started off as a bet with my coach. At the U.S. Open I was playing terrible. I got to the first round and he said, 'OK, if you win this you have to do something special.' I won 7-6 in the third (set) and I wanted to flee the court. But my coach said, 'Hey, the dance.' ... It became so famous. Also, I am superstitious — I have played much better since I do the dance. So, everybody, if something is not going his way or her way, they should start dancing. It helps."

  Comments