Other Sports

Sports briefs: Dec. 24

Paul Walther: 1927-2014

Former Vols star played in NBA

Paul Walther, who played six seasons in the NBA in the 1950s after a stellar college career at Tennessee, has died. He was 87.

Son Brian Walther said Tuesday his father died Sunday in an Atlanta hospice.

Walther played from 1949-50 to 1954-55 for the Minneapolis Lakers, Indianapolis Olympians, Philadelphia Warriors and Fort Wayne Pistons. He scored more than 2,800 points for his career. He started for the West in the 1952 All-Star game.

A native of Covington, Walther led Tennessee to an 18-5 record in 1945 before serving in the Navy during World War II. He returned to Tennessee from 1947-49 and was team captain in his final season. After his NBA career, he worked for Merrill Lynch in Chicago for 32 years.

NBA

Pacers best Pelicans in Hill's season debut

Indiana Pacers point guard George Hill made an impactful season debut Tuesday night, leading the Pacers to a 96-84 home win over the New Orleans Pelicans.

After missing the first 28 games with a left knee contusion, Hill had a team-high 15 points, four rebounds and three assists in 21 minutes. With their floor general back at the helm, the Pacers (10-19) had a cohesiveness they haven't had at any point this season.

Anthony Davis, who led New Orleans (14-14) with 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds, was welcomed with a rousing ovation during the introduction of the starting lineups. Rupp Arena, where Davis starred as a Kentucky Wildcat in college, is 188 miles from Indianapolis.

Kevin Love scored 20 points in his first game against Minnesota, Kyrie Irving added 29 and the Cleveland Cavaliers pulled away in the second half for a 125-104 victory over the Timberwolves.

Love's reunion with the team he spent six frustrating seasons with before a summer blockbuster trade was overshadowed by an injury to Cleveland center Anderson Varejao, who had to be helped off the floor in the third quarter. Varejao was unable to put any weight on his left leg as he was assisted to the locker room.

LeBron James added 24 points for the Cavs, now 12-3 since opening 5-7. Rookie Andrew Wiggins scored 27 against the team that drafted him for the Timberwolves, who dropped their sixth straight and have lost 12 of 13.

College Basketball

Stanford upsets No. 9 Texas in overtime

Anthony Brown scored a season-best 25 points and Chasson Randle added 22 to help Stanford knock off No. 9 Texas 74-71 in overtime Tuesday night.

The victory was Stanford's first on the road against a top-10 team since 2008.

Brown gave Stanford (7-3) a one-point lead by making a driving shot with 1:08 left in the extra period. After Texas (10-2) guard Javan Felix missed a 3-point shot, Randle made a jumper with 10 seconds left for the final margin of victory.

High school girls basketballElizabethtown takes second straight Traditional Bank Classic

Erin Boley had 22 points, Darien Huff scored 11 and No. 1 Elizabethtown used a 19-5 first-quarter edge to blow past No. 7 Mercy 59-37 in the championship game of the Traditional Bank Classic at Lexington Catholic.

Boley, a junior who's verbally committed to Notre Dame, had a double-double with 11 rebounds for the Panthers (11-1), who won their second straight Traditional Bank Classic title.

Malerie Martin and Mackenzie Stovall led the Jaguars (5-4) with nine points apiece.

Alexis Robinson had 23 points and 10 rebounds in Ashland Blazer's 40-39 win over East Carter in the third-place game of the Traditional Bank Classic. The Kittens (7-2), up 28-18 at halftime, held on despite a 15-2 third-quarter rally by the Lady Raiders (7-2) which gave East Carter a three-point lead entering the final period.

Katie Moore made a school-record eight three-pointers for Leslie County in its 69-29 rout of Hazard.

NFL

Broncos, Cowboys head Pro Bowl picks

The AFC West champion Denver Broncos led the NFL with nine players selected for the Pro Bowl on Tuesday.

Quarterback Peyton Manning was picked for the 14th time. Joining Manning from the Broncos will be Ryan Clady, Chris Harris, Von Miller, Aqib Talib, Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas, T.J. Ward and DeMarcus Ware. Denver also led the league with five defensive players selected.

The NFC East champion Dallas Cowboys were second with six selections for the Jan. 25 game in Glendale, Ariz., site of the Super Bowl. Tony Romo will be going for the fourth time. Dallas led the NFL with six offensive players chosen.

Other notable players selected included: New England's Tom Brady (10th selection), Cincinnati's A.J. Green (fourth), Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers (fourth), and Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger (third).

■ The division-deciding games at Green Bay and Atlanta will be played late Sunday afternoon.

The NFL moved the Lions-Packers game for the NFC North to 4:25 p.m. It also put the Panthers-Falcons game in that time slot, but switched networks for that showdown for the NFC South crown to CBS. Detroit-Green Bay will be on Fox.

The prime-time game is Cincinnati at Pittsburgh to decide the AFC North. Jacksonville at Houston has been moved from late afternoon to 1 p.m. EST for the final day of the regular season.

SOCCER

CONCACAF awards Wambach, Navas

American forward Abby Wambach has been voted CONCACAF's Female Player of the Year and Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas was honored as Male Player of the Year.

The governing body of soccer in North and Central America and the Caribbean said Tuesday that Wambach won after finishing second to U.S. teammate Alex Morgan last year's inaugural awards. Costa Rican midfielder Shirley Cruz was second and Mexican forward Charlyn Corral third in voting by national team coaches and captains, media and fans.

Navas was followed by Costa Rican forward Bryan Ruiz and American goalkeeper Tim Howard. Howard won his second straight Goalkeeper of the Year award, and Costa Rica's Jorge Luis Pinto was Coach of the Year. Ruiz won Goal of the Year for his shot against Italy during the World Cup, and Mark Geiger was Referee of the Year after becoming the first American to referee a knockout-rounds match at the World Cup.

The last word

While owner Woody Johnson hasn't made his intentions public, there's a strong chance Rex Ryan and perhaps general manager John Idzik could be fired after the New York Jets' season finale against the Dolphins in Miami on Sunday. That possibility has done nothing to chip away at Ryan's confidence that one day he'll be a Super Bowl-winning head coach. Said Ryan:

"I was given some gifts and obviously a lot less in other areas, but I can coach football and I know that. But, it's more based on the people that I'm around and the people that I know. I think that gives me the belief that one day, I'm going to win that thing."

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