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    By Tom Jones, Times Sports Columnist
    Saturday, January 19, 2013

    tom jones' two cents

    These Te'o jokes are all very funny, but let's all try and remember that a person who never existed is dead.

    Seth Meyers, head writer for Saturday Night Live



    "The were calling this the biggest hoax at Notre Dame since they were ranked No. 1 in the nation.''

    Letterman's top 10 list

    Top 10 signs you have an imaginary girlfriend, from the Late Show With David Letterman on CBS:

    10. You describe her to friends as "a non­descript female with eyes and hair."

    9. Photo of girlfriend looks suspiciously like Sun-Maid raisin lady.

    8. You keep referring to her in the first person.

    7. Have a patent pending for a machine that gives you a hickey.

    6. Someone says, "Tell me about your girlfriend," you say, "Hmm, let me think of something."

    5. Your imaginary friend is dating her sister.

    4. Everyone can tell you're arguing on the phone with Siri.

    3. She's never upset when you forget her imaginary birthday.

    2. Always pressuring you to pretend to buy engagement ring.

    1. Said she's too shy to meet your friends … your family … and you.

    That didn't take long

    First we heard the bizarre story of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o. His "girlfriend," Lennay Kekua, "died" in the fall of leukemia. Yeah, well, she never existed. As media outlets work to sort out the truth, and as Te'o and others talk about the apparent hoax, the whole thing is either incredibly cruel or disturbingly devious.

    And, given just a day or so, it's completely hilarious.

    Let's face it, we humans are not exactly the sensitive kind. We make jokes not long after real people die. Imagine what we do when fake people die. Well, imagine no more. Here are some of the jokes making the rounds about the Te'o hoax:

    In the Spirit

    You just know some ad executives are sitting around waiting to jump on the latest news, scandal or bizarre story. Usually it's minor-league baseball teams that try to drum up some fans with a goofy promotion involving something in the news. (One team had Watergate Night, giving out Richard Nixon dolls and allowing anyone with the last names of Woodward or Bernstein to get in free.)

    Someone already has come up with a promotion on this case: Spirit Airlines.

    The airline has an online ad made to look like the famous Notre Dame locker room sign that players touch for good luck that says, "Play Like A Champion Today." Except the Spirit ad says, "No Hoax! These fares are really low!"

    And, oh, this just in:

    The Florence Freedom, an independent minor-league baseball team in Kentucky, has announced Manti Te'o Girlfriend Bobblehead Day for May 23. The first 1,000 fans will be handed an empty bobblehead box, and there will also be a pretend Kiss Cam where fans can kiss any imaginary friends or girlfriends with them. Also, the team will have an imaginary food fight and air guitar contest.

    Cover model

    Just last week, Miss Alabama USA Katherine Webb became an overnight sensation while watching her boyfriend, University of Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron, play in the BCS title game. ESPN announcer Brent Musburger commented on her attractiveness and, whammo, she's supposedly going to be in Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue.

    It didn't take long for a fake SI cover with Webb in her bathing suit, standing next to an invisible woman — that would be Kekua — in hers.

    Tweets

    Some of the jokes making the rounds on Twitter:

    • I had a fake girlfriend like Manti Te'o in college, but at least I had the decency to use the picture that came with my wallet.

    • Manti Te'o's girlfriend was the Mayan calendar's playmate of the year.

    • AJ McCarron's girlfriend will be featured in an SI swimsuit issue. Manti Te'o's girlfriend will be featured on MythBusters.

    • I'm glad Manti Te'o's fake dead girlfriend isn't around to see this.

    • Manti Te'o will meet even faker girls once he's an NFL millionaire.

    • If you having girl problems I feel bad for you son. Manti Te'o has 99 problems but a girl ain't one.

    • Taylor Swift is already writing a song about Manti Te'o and his fake girlfriend.

    • At least my girlfriend, Halle Berry, is real. It's just the relationship that's imaginary.

    • Te'o just changed his Facebook status to "It's complicated."

    Best headline

    From the website Deadspin:

    No Such Dame

    Ha, dame … Notre Dame … get it?

    Trash talk

    It wasn't bad enough that Alabama, a school from the SEC, blasted Notre Dame for the national title, but now the SEC is rubbing it in. On a poster with Alabama QB AJ McCarron (near right) and Texas A&M QB and Heisman winner Johnny Manziel standing with their girlfriends, there's this message:

    The SEC. Real Football. Real Girlfriends.

    Late night

    The professionals got in on the Te'o act as well. The late-night talk-show hosts had a field day with his imaginary girlfriend.

    "It could open up an entirely new branch of Fantasy Football."

    "They were calling this the biggest hoax at Notre Dame since they were ranked No. 1 in the nation."

    "Apparently Te'o … was in a relationship with a woman he met online. But it turned out that — and I might not have the exact details here — the woman was Bruce Willis and he was dead the whole time, something like that."

    "I demand the U.S. government give anyone in America a fake Twitter girlfriend."

    "In (Te'o's) defense, Brent Musburger said she was really hot."


    Associated PressAssociated Press

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    Associated Press
    Saturday, January 19, 2013

    First shunned, then vilified by Lance Armstrong, Mike Anderson had to move to the other side of the world to get his life back.

    Now running a bike shop outside of Wellington, New Zealand, Armstrong's former assistant watched news reports about his former boss confessing to performance-enhancing drug use with only mild interest. If Anderson never hears Armstrong's voice again, it would be too soon.

    "He gave me the firm, hard push and a shove," Anderson said in a telephone interview with the Associated Press. "Made my life very, very unpleasant. It was an embarrassment for me and my family to be portrayed as liars, to be called a disgruntled employee, implying there was some impropriety on my part. It just hurt. It was completely uncalled for."

    Anderson is among the dozens, maybe hundreds, of former teammates, opponents and associates to receive the Armstrong treatment, presumably for not going along with the party line — that the now-disgraced, seven-time Tour de France cyclist didn't need to cheat to win.

    The penalties for failing to play along were punitive, and now that Armstrong has admitted in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that he's a doper, a liar and a bully, many of those who saw their lives changed, sometime ruined, are going through a gamut of emotions.

    Some feel vindicated, others remain vengeful. Some are sad, others simply wrung out.

    "He's damaged a lot of people's lives," said Betsy Andreu, whose husband, Frankie, was culled from Armstrong's team for not agreeing to dope. "He has damaged the sport of cycling. Frankie was fired for not getting on the program. I never thought this day would come but it's so incredibly sad."

    Before his interview with Winfrey aired, Armstrong reached out to the Andreus to apologize but the planned reconciliation did not work. In fact, Armstrong's interview only made things worse, when he refused to confirm what the Andreus testified to under oath — that they had heard the cyclist admit to doping while meeting with doctors treating him for cancer at an Indiana hospital in 1996.

    There's no denying that life for the Andreus changed when they refused to go along with the Armstrong line.

    "Frankie's career was definitely cut short. His career was ruined early," Betsy Andreu said. "You have riders out there whose careers never happened" because of Armstrong.

    And some whose careers were cut short.

    Filippo Simeoni was a talented young rider who dared admit to doping and told authorities he received his instructions from physician Michele Ferrari, who also advised Armstrong during his career.

    After that 2002 testimony, Armstrong branded Simeoni a liar.

    "When a rider like me brushed up against a cyclist of his caliber, his fame and his worth — when I clashed with the boss — all doors were closed to me," Simeoni said.

    Anderson can relate.

    In a story he wrote for Outside Magazine in August, Anderson detailed a business relationship with Armstrong that began in 2002 with an email from Armstrong promising he would finance Anderson's bike shop when their work together was done. Anderson, a bike mechanic working in Armstrong's hometown of Austin, Texas, essentially became the cyclist's personal assistant, his responsibilities growing as the years passed. One of his tasks was making advance trips to Armstrong's apartment in Spain to prepare it for his arrival.

    Anderson says the relationship began to sour after he came upon a box in Armstrong's bathroom labeled "Androstenedione," the banned substance most famously linked to Mark Mc­Gwire, the former baseball player. The box, Anderson wrote, was mysteriously gone the next time he entered the apartment.

    Time passed. Anderson bore witness to more and more things that didn't feel right. Armstrong, sensing his employee's discomfort, became more and more distant. Finally, Anderson wrote, Armstrong severed ties, asking Anderson to sign a nondisclosure agreement "that would have made me liable for a large sum of money if I even mentioned ever having worked for Armstrong."

    Anderson's refusal to do that led to lawyers and lawsuits. The cases were eventually settled for undisclosed terms.

    But Anderson took his share of hits along the way.

    "Austin was not a comfortable place for me after that," he said. "It had been my home for some years. I had enjoyed a very good reputation. I couldn't get a job in the bicycle business."

    He ended up in New Zealand, where his wife's brother has roots, and is doing fine, now.

    Stories such as these — about the havoc Armstrong unleashed on people's lives — come from seemingly every corner: bike mechanics, multimillionaire businessmen, trainers, masseuses, wives, cyclists both at the front and back of the pack.

    Tyler Hamilton was among Armstrong's key teammates during his first three Tour de France victories. His tell-all interview on 60 Minutes in 2011, combined with his testimony and a book he wrote last year, played a key part in the unraveling of the Armstrong myth.

    Hamilton watched Armstrong's confession with little emotion but with a modicum of hope.

    "It's been a sad story for a lot of people," Hamilton said. "But I think we'll look back on this period and, hopefully not too far down the road, we can say it was, in the end, a good thing for the sport of cycling."


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    By Antonya English, Times Staff Writer
    Saturday, January 19, 2013

    GAINESVILLE — It was billed as such a big game between brand new SEC foes No. 10 Florida and No. 17 Missouri that members of Florida's Rowdy Reptiles student section camped out all night to get into the game, part of the Gators' first sellout this season.

    They were rewarded well for that dedication.

    The Gators put on a defensive clinic and balanced that with 59 percent shooting from the field to defeat Missouri 83-52 in front of 12,597 at the O'Connell Center on Saturday afternoon, win No. 400 for Donovan at Florida.

    It was the worst loss for Missouri (13-4, 2-2 SEC) since a 100-63 defeat to Kansas in 2008. The Gators and Ole Miss are the lone teams with undefeated SEC records.

    "A 30-point victory against one of the best teams in the SEC?" Florida center Patric Young said. "It was a great victory. I'm sure nobody expected that. I know they thought they were going to come in here and upset us, but we were prepared so well for this game and we really wanted this win."

    They played like it from the opening tip, when Young tapped the ball to junior guard Scottie Wilbekin, who went in for a layup and a lead the Gators never relinquished. Florida led 40-23 at halftime, holding the Tigers (13-4, 2-2) to 33.3 percent shooting from the field, forcing 21 turnovers and outscoring Missouri 22-6 in the paint.

    Missouri, which played without leading scorer Laurence Bowers for the third straight game because of a sprained ligament in his right knee, was ranked No. 1 nationally in rebounding, but the Gators outrebounded the Tigers 35-25, only the fourth team this season to accomplish that.

    "Florida is an outstanding ballclub," Missouri coach Frank Haith said. "They beat us in every phase of the game. We didn't play the way we needed to play to come in and beat a team like Florida."

    Wilbekin was given the daunting task of defending Missouri's star guard Phil Pressey, who finished 1-of-7 from the field with two points, six assists and 10 turnovers. The Gators scored 34 points off the Tigers' turnovers.

    "He's (Pressey) a great player, one of the best in the SEC, so it was great going up against him," said Wilbekin who had 13 points and 10 assists for the first double double of his career. "I like that competition like that, it's great."

    The postgame celebration included a surprise dumping of the ice bucket on Donovan, but the longtime Gator coach insisted the milestone victory wasn't about him but past and present players.

    "Like I've said before, I think all those individual things as it relates to coaching, it's much, much more of a reflection on the players I've had a chance to coach here," Donovan said. "That's really what it's about. For me to be here and to be a part of 400 wins, I don't look at them as my wins, I look at them as University of Florida wins. … Overall there's a lot of people that were not here that played a significant role in it."

    Antonya English can be reached at english@tampabay.com.


    Getty ImagesGetty Images

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    By Seth Leto, Times Correspondent
    Saturday, January 19, 2013

    What's hot: As winter conditions return, small schools of redfish should remain around oyster bars along the inland shoreline. These bars are home to small baitfish and crustaceans, a major source of food for predator fish. The bars also get hot in the sun, which keeps the surrounding water temperature a few degrees warmer.

    Tactics: Find a bunch of oyster bars grouped in a small area. Scout for areas during the extreme low tides of winter. Fish these bars during the end of an incoming tide and the start of an outgoing tide. Work each bar until the bite shuts down, then move to the next. Use live shrimp, fresh-cut bait or your favorite redfish lure (shrimp imitation jig, gold spoon or topwater plug).

    What else: Ladyfish, aggressive feeders and a good fight on light tackle, are schooled up along deeper channels. Look for fish breaching the surface or diving pelicans. Use live bait or drift with artificials.

    Seth Leto runs Pristine Fishing Charters out of Tarpon Springs. Call (727) 385-0382.


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    Times wires
    Saturday, January 19, 2013

    CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Consecutive lousy performances on the road had Virginia eager to get home, even if it had to wait a week.

    The Cavaliers took their frustration out on Florida State on Saturday in a 56-36 victory that featured a fast start and stifling defense throughout.

    Joe Harris scored 17, Akil Mitchell had 13 and the Cavs (12-5, 2-2 ACC) ended a seven-game losing streak against the Seminoles. They took command with a 22-4 first-half run, during which they held the Seminoles scoreless for nearly nine minutes.

    "That week off really helped us, got some guys focused," senior point guard and team captain Jontel Evans said. "We came out on fire and clicking on all cylinders, on both ends, but I really feel like our defense was what made the difference."

    The Cavaliers led 33-15 at halftime, the fifth time this season they have held an opponent under 20 first-half points. It was the first time they have done it in an ACC game since they led Clemson 28-14 on Feb. 10, 1996. They have kept a team under 40 points four times this season.

    Michael Snaer scored nine to lead the Seminoles (10-7, 2-2), who shot 37 percent and made 1 of 15 3-pointers.

    "Normally we would knock those shots down, but tonight we couldn't and it changed the game," Snaer said.

    FSU's Terrance Shannon was carried off the court on a stretcher late in the game. Team doctor Bill Hamilton said the redshirt junior forward appeared to have suffered a neck sprain and would be held overnight in a hospital as a precaution.


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    Times wires
    Saturday, January 19, 2013

    SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco WR Michael Crabtree voluntarily met with police in their investigation of a sexual assault allegation, his attorney said Saturday.

    "Michael fully cooperated with the inspectors and will continue to do so throughout this investigation," Joshua Bentley said in an email to the Associated Press.

    The statement came a day after San Francisco police said they are investigating an incident at a San Francisco hotel room early the day after the 49ers win over the Packers in a Nov. 12 division game. Crabtree wasn't detained or arrested.

    49ers GM Trent Baalke said the team is aware of the allegation and Crabtree traveled to Atlanta with the team for today's conference title game with the Falcons.

    Stadium game: The 21-year-old Georgia Dome hosts its first NFC title game today. The Falcons hope not be too many more will be played there. Owner Arthur Blank wants to build a $1 billion retractable-roof stadium in downtown Atlanta.

    One proposal calls for the Falcons to contribute $700 million and the state, via bonds, the remainder. That would require the Legislature to raise the state debt limit, so Blank could face an uphill battle in the Republican-controlled Legislature. And polls show less than a third of state residents support the proposal.

    "The Falcons have a strong case in favor of a new stadium," Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican, said in a statement. "I think it's incumbent on them to educate the public on all the facts."

    Good call: The NFL fined 49ers S Dashon Goldson $10,000 for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Packers RB DuJuan Harris. Goldson said he was in the wrong. "It was a good call by the ref," said Goldson, who was penalized. "If it was helmet-to-helmet, good call. But it wasn't late." Goldson has five unnecessary roughness penalties this season. He said he isn't dirty: "I just play football. I don't try to hurt anybody."

    Quotable: "Keep questioning. Don't give us the respect until it's all said and done and we've earned it." — Falcons CB Asante Samuel, on being a four-point underdog today.


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    By Marc Topkin, Times Staff Writer
    Saturday, January 19, 2013

    Normally, this is doodling time. Spring training is less than a month away, and it's time to scribble lineups, plot batting orders, sort out final roster battles.

    But not yet with the Rays, who look a hitter or two short of having a team to put down on paper.

    They still need a DH. Maybe another outfielder. Conceivably both.

    The DH spot is wide open, and a free agent seems likely, though the money, of course, will be a factor as the payroll is already in the $55 million range (plus incentives) and thus unlikely to go much higher.

    The list of candidates has obviously been thinned, but there are still some interesting options, topped by two familiar names: Luke Scott and Delmon Young.

    Scott, a 34-year-old lefty who was with the Rays last year, was somewhat productive in 2012, hitting .229 with 14 homers, 55 RBIs and a .724 on-base plus slugging in the 96 games he played. His $6 million option was declined, and he got a $1 million buyout.

    Young, a 27-year-old righty whom the Rays traded in November 2007, did a little more for the 2012 AL champ Tigers, hitting .267 with 18 homers and 74 RBIs, though with a .707 OPS, in 151 games (118 as DH given his declining defense). The Tigers let him go after paying $6.75 million, and he is coming off November ankle surgery.

    Neither, in theory, should be in a position to demand too much money. And both offer some — some — positional flexibility.

    Other candidates? Ex-Ray Dan Johnson is still out there. So is Aubrey Huff, for that matter. Old pros Jim Thome and Carlos Lee. Injury risks such as Travis Hafner and Juan Rivera.

    The outfield is even harder to figure. With Desmond Jennings set to move to center (the price on Michael Bourn isn't coming down enough), there seem to be two primary options:

    a) Playing Matt Joyce in left and Ben Zobrist in right, with Ryan Roberts or Sean Rodriguez the primary second baseman; or

    b) playing Zobrist at second and Joyce in right and using a platoon in left of Sam Fuld and Brandon Guyer, or a more experienced right-handed hitter to be added (Ben Francisco?).

    Sometime in the next week or two, there should be an addition or two. And then the doodling can begin.

    HATS OFF: The Rays' new batting practice/spring training cap — all teams have 'em — features the sunburst logo (rather, conspiracy theorists, than TB), with a royal blue top and lighter bill. There's an alternate with light top and dark bill. All teams will also have an optional "interview" cap that looks a bit like a trucker hat.

    NUMBERS GAME: New SS Yunel Escobar gets No. 11, 1B James Loney 21, RHP Jake Odorizzi 23, LHP Mike Montgomery 31, RHP Roberto Hernandez 40. OF Wil Myers, who isn't on the 40-man roster, will wear 60 in spring. C Jose Lobaton switches from 21 to 59, Guyer 11 to 10. Nos. 2 (B.J. Upton), 33 (James Shields) and 39 (J.P. Howell) likely won't be used this season, a classy nod by equipment/home clubhouse manager Chris Westmoreland to the tenure of the departed veterans.

    RAYS RUMBLINGS: After looking at some play-by-play opportunities, Todd Kalas will return for his 16th season as TV pre-/postgame host. SunSports colleague Laura McKeeman, meanwhile, made it to the semifinal round of the Miss America pageant. … Interesting that MLB bought (for a reported $1.2 million) the domain name rockies.com; rays.com remains property of a Seattle seafood restaurant. … Myers, INF Tim Beckham and LHP Frank de los Santos were sent to MLB's rookie career development program in Washington. … Minor-league coaching staffs should be announced this week. … Westmoreland's staff packs the equipment truck for Port Charlotte Jan. 30. … Andy Freed and Dave Wills launch the weekly Countdown to Opening Day radio show Feb. 7.

    Marc Topkin can be reached at topkin@tampabay.com.


    Paul Bereswill   |   Special to the TimesPaul Bereswill | Special to the Times

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    By Stephen F. Holder, Times Staff Writer
    Saturday, January 19, 2013

    AFC: Ravens (12-6) at Patriots (13-4)

    Give the Ravens credit. After losing four of their final five regular-season games, they've recaptured the magic from their 9-2 start and are peaking at just the right time. No small factor is the play of reinvigorated quarterback Joe Flacco and the inspiration provided by retiring linebacker Ray Lewis. The Patriots went 9-1 down the stretch and are primed to reach the Super Bowl for the sixth time since 2001. Now quarterback Tom Brady and his team look to defend their home turf, where the Patriots are 14-3 in the postseason.

    Time: 6:30 tonight TV/radio: Ch. 10; 98.7-FM, 1010-AM

    Coaches: Ravens — John Harbaugh (54-26, 7-4 playoffs); Patriots — Bill Belichick (151-57, 17-6 playoffs at New England; 187-101, 18-7 overall)

    Stat pack

    Breaking it down

    Ravens game-breaker: Linebacker/defensive end Terrell Suggs has recorded a sack of Brady in three of his past four meetings with the Patriots.

    Patriots game-breaker: The play of former Bucs cornerback Aqib Talib will go a long way toward determining whether the Patriots win. He will be matched against Torrey Smith or Anquan Boldin, having responsibility for a key Ravens target in either case.

    Why the Ravens will win: Flacco and his receivers have been playing some of their best football this season in the playoffs, giving the Ravens the ability to keep pace with the high-octane Patriots offense.

    Why the Patriots will win: Winning consecutive road games in the playoffs is a very tall order. And the Ravens are up against an experienced Patriots team motivated by a loss in last year's Super Bowl.

    Look out for: Patriots (and former Florida) tight end Aaron Hernandez could play a bigger role with Rob Gronkowski out for the season because of a broken left arm. Hernandez was targeted nine times during last week's win over the Texans, several times after Gronkowski left the game.

    Prediction

    Patriots 30, Ravens 28

    Stephen F. Holder, Times staff writer

    Rushing yards

    passing yards

    total yards

    Rushing yards allowed

    passing yards allowed

    total yards allowed

    ravens

    Patriots

    * Final regular-season stats











    118.8 (11th)

    136.5 (7th)

    233.7 (15th)

    291.4 (4th)

    352.5 (16th)

    427.9 (1st)

    350.9 (17th)

    373.3 (25th)

    228.1 (17th)

    271.4 (29th)

    122.8 (20th)

    101.9 (9th)


    Getty ImagesGetty Images

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  • 01/19/13--18:20: NFL seeks more diversity
  • Times wires
    Saturday, January 19, 2013

    The NFL said it's disappointed in the lack of diversity in its new coaches. All eight hired are white despite the Rooney Rule requiring a minority to be interviewed.

    "The Rooney Rule has been a valuable tool in expanding diversity and inclusion in hiring practices," Robert Gulliver, the NFL's executive vice president of human resources, wrote in an email to profootballtalk.com. "But there is more work to do, especially around increasing and strengthening the pipeline of diverse candidates."

    It has been since 2007 that an African-American was hired from outside an organization (the Steelers' Mike Tomlin). And as of Saturday, only two African-Americans will call offensive plays next season, the Ravens' Jim Caldwell and Colts' Pep Hamilton. (The Cardinals hired Harold Goodwin on Saturday, but coach Bruce Arians said he plans to call plays.)

    "I guess more than being upset by the 2013 results, I am more concerned about the trend," NBC analyst and ex-Bucs coach Tony Dungy told profootballtalk.com. "I don't know if owners are really looking at minority candidates — unless they already know them."

    Jags hire Hurricanes' offensive coordinator

    Jacksonville hired University of Miami offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch for the same position. Fisch, a Florida graduate and graduate assistant under Steve Spurrier from 1999-2000, ran a pro-style offense at Miami for the past two seasons. He and new Jags coach Gus Bradley worked together on Seattle's staff in 2010.

    Also, Jacksonville hired Bears linebackers coach Bob Babich as defensive coordinator.

    Draft: A record 73 underclassmen were approved by the league. They include four from Florida (safety Matt Elam, defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, linebacker Jelani Jenkins and tight end Jordan Reed), four from Florida State (corners Greg Reid and Xavier Rhodes, right tackle Menelik Watson, and defensive end Bjoern Werner), and UCF defensive tackle Jose Jose.


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    Times wires
    Saturday, January 19, 2013

    FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — As Lee Evans awaits another chance, he'll root for the Ravens in today's AFC title game against the Patriots.

    With 27 seconds to go in last season's AFC title game against New England and Baltimore down by three, Ravens QB Joe Flacco saw Evans in the right corner of the end zone. Evans got two hands on the ball, but CB Sterling Moore knocked it to the ground.

    Soon after, Billy Cundiff missed a 32-yard field goal try.

    Evans said in an email to the Associated Press, he "wishes he made the touchdown catch but is thankful for the overall journey. You play the game to win and celebrate the joy with your teammates."

    He said he has not been depressed about the play. "Give (Moore) credit for the play he made."

    Evans sat out this season after the Jaguars cut him during training camp. He said his goal is to return to the NFL.

    Much better: Baltimore allowed 180-plus rushing yards in three straight regular-season games, including a team-record 227 in a win over Dallas on Oct. 14. It allowed 181 in losing to Houston the next week, then regrouped during the ensuing bye week.

    "I was just thinking (during the bye week), 'Get away. Get away as far as possible,' " said DE Arthur Jones, part of a unit that averaged 107.2 yards allowed over the final nine games. "I want to clear my mind; just really getting some rest and getting away from it a little bit. I started watching a little film at the end of the bye week. Guys did that and came back fresh and ready to fight."

    Big matchup: In the Ravens-Patriots regular-season matchup, Ravens DT Haloti Ngata had a season-high nine tackles and a half-sack. LG Logan Mankins likely will face him on most snaps. "He's a great player," Ngata said. "I've always said he's probably one of the better offensive linemen in the league."

    'Cane in: The Patriots promoted rookie DE Marcus Forston from the practice squad to take the roster spot of injured TE Rob Gronkowski. Forston went undrafted out of Miami but made the team and debuted Sept. 23 against the Ravens. A few days later he went on the practice squad.


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    By Antonya English, Times Staff Writer
    Saturday, January 19, 2013

    GAINESVILLE — It was billed as such a big game between brand new SEC foes No. 10 Florida and No. 17 Missouri that members of Florida's Rowdy Reptiles student section camped out all night to get into the game, part of the Gators' first sellout this season.

    They were rewarded well for that dedication.

    The Gators put on a defensive clinic and balanced that with 59 percent shooting from the field to defeat Missouri 83-52 in front of 12,597 at the O'Connell Center on Saturday afternoon, win No. 400 for Donovan at Florida.

    It was the worst loss for Missouri (13-4, 2-2 SEC) since a 100-63 defeat to Kansas in 2008. The Gators and Ole Miss are the lone teams with undefeated SEC records.

    "A 30-point victory against one of the best teams in the SEC?" Florida center Patric Young said. "It was a great victory. I'm sure nobody expected that. I know they thought they were going to come in here and upset us, but we were prepared so well for this game, and we really wanted this win."

    They played like it from the opening tip, when Young tapped the ball to junior guard Scottie Wilbekin, who went in for a layup and a lead the Gators never relinquished. Florida led 40-23 at halftime, holding the Tigers (13-4, 2-2) to 33.3 percent shooting from the field, forcing 21 turnovers and outscoring Missouri 22-6 in the paint.

    Missouri, which played without leading scorer Laurence Bowers for the third straight game because of a sprained ligament in his right knee, was ranked No. 1 nationally in rebounding, but the Gators outrebounded the Tigers 35-25, only the fourth team this season to accomplish that.

    "Florida is an outstanding ballclub," Missouri coach Frank Haith said. "They beat us in every phase of the game. We didn't play the way we needed to play to come in and beat a team like Florida."

    Wilbekin was given the daunting task of defending Missouri's star guard Phil Pressey, who finished 1-of-7 from the field with two points, six assists and 10 turnovers, nearly half of the Tigers' total for the game. The Gators scored 34 points off the Tigers' turnovers.

    "He's a great player, one of the best in the SEC, so it was great going up against him," Wilbekin, who had 13 points and 10 assists for the first double double of his career, said of Pressey. "I like that competition like that, it's great."

    The postgame celebration included a surprise dumping of the ice bucket on Donovan, but the longtime Gator coach insisted the milestone victory wasn't about him but past and present players.

    "Like I've said before, I think all those individual things as it relates to coaching, it's much, much more of a reflection on the players I've had a chance to coach here," Donovan said. "That's really what it's about. For me to be here and to be a part of 400 wins, I don't look at them as my wins, I look at them as University of Florida wins. … Overall there's a lot of people that were not here that played a significant role in it."


    Getty ImagesGetty Images

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    By Marc Topkin, Times Staff Writer
    Saturday, January 19, 2013

    Normally, this is doodling time. Spring training is less than a month away, and it's time to scribble lineups, plot batting orders, sort out final roster battles.

    But not yet with the Rays, who look a hitter or two short of having a team to put down on paper.

    They still need a DH. Maybe another outfielder. Conceivably both.

    The DH spot is wide open, and a free agent seems likely, though the money, of course, will be a factor as the payroll is already in the $55 million range (plus incentives) and thus unlikely to go much higher.

    The list of candidates has obviously been thinned, but there are still some interesting options, topped by two familiar names: Luke Scott and Delmon Young.

    Scott, a 34-year-old lefty who was with the Rays last year, was somewhat productive in 2012, hitting .229 with 14 homers, 55 RBIs and a .724 on-base plus slugging in the 96 games he played. His $6 million option was declined, and he got a $1 million buyout.

    Young, a 27-year-old righty whom the Rays traded in November 2007, did a little more for the 2012 AL champion Tigers, hitting .267 with 18 homers and 74 RBIs, though with a .707 OPS, in 151 games (118 as DH given his declining defense in the outfield). The Tigers let him go after paying $6.75 million, and he is coming off November ankle surgery.

    Neither, in theory, should be in a position to demand too much money. And both offer some — some — positional flexibility.

    Other candidates? Former Ray Dan Johnson is still out there. So is Aubrey Huff, for that matter. Old pros Jim Thome and Carlos Lee. Injury risks such as Travis Hafner and Juan Rivera.

    The outfield is even harder to figure. With Desmond Jennings set to move to center (the price on Michael Bourn isn't coming down enough), there seem to be two primary options:

    a) Playing Matt Joyce in left and Ben Zobrist in right, with Ryan Roberts or Sean Rodriguez the primary second baseman; or

    b) playing Zobrist at second and Joyce in right and using a platoon in left of Sam Fuld and Brandon Guyer, or a more experienced right-handed hitter to be added (Ben Francisco?).

    Sometime in the next week or two, there should be an addition or two. And then the doodling can begin.

    NUMBERS GAME: New SS Yunel Escobar gets No. 11, 1B James Loney 21, RHP Jake Odorizzi 23, LHP Mike Montgomery 31, RHP Roberto Hernandez 40. OF Wil Myers, who isn't on the 40-man roster, will wear 60 in spring. C Jose Lobaton switches from 21 to 59, Guyer 11 to 10. Nos. 2 (B.J. Upton), 33 (James Shields) and 39 (J.P. Howell) likely won't be used this season, a classy nod by equipment/home clubhouse manager Chris Westmoreland to the tenure of the departed veterans.

    RAYS RUMBLINGS: After looking at some play-by-play opportunities, Todd Kalas will return for his 16th season as TV pre-/postgame host. Sun Sports colleague Laura McKeeman, meanwhile, made it to the semifinal round of the Miss America pageant. … Interesting that MLB bought (for a reported $1.2 million) the domain name rockies.com; rays.com remains property of a Seattle seafood restaurant. … Myers, INF Tim Beckham and LHP Frank de los Santos were sent to MLB's rookie career development program in Washington. … Minor-league coaching staffs should be announced this week. … Westmoreland's staff packs the equipment truck for Port Charlotte on Jan. 30. … Andy Freed and Dave Wills launch the weekly Countdown to Opening Day radio show Feb. 7.

    Marc Topkin can be reached at topkin@tampabay.com.


    PAUL BERESWILL   |   Special to the TimesPAUL BERESWILL | Special to the Times

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    By Derek J. LaRiviere, Times Correspondent
    Saturday, January 19, 2013

    HOLIDAY — Dixie Hollins, preparing for a postseason that is only two weeks away, capped a dominant tournament run with a 46-33 championship match victory over Gulf at the Anclote Challenge Duals on Saturday.

    State-ranked Rebels wrestlers Luis Aldana (170 pounds) and Andre Matthews (285) went undefeated at the event.

    But the finals appearance for Gulf was a step in the right direction. At their home tournament a month ago, the Buccaneers were unable to get past Nature Coast, but with another shot at the Sharks on Saturday, Gulf scored a 48-26 victory during round-robin pool matches.

    At 160 pounds, Gulf's Spencer Baxter, third at state last year, avenged a previous loss this season to Nature Coast's Brandon Vovan with an 8-4 decision.

    And Gulf 182-pounder Jared Kruse pinned Nature Coast's Dylan Savoury in 4:55.

    The Sharks were not satisfied with how the regular-season finale played out, but now they will prepare for the postseason, Nature Coast coach Mike Lastra said. "The whole team is fatigued," he said. "Everyone seemed tired. The next couple of weeks will be important for us to get rested for (district)."

    Nature Coast's Sean Nguyen, a state runnerup who was wrestling at 112 earlier this season, made weight at 106 pounds for the first time this year and went 5-0 Saturday without being tested to run his record to 36-1.

    Anclote finished fourth, losing 57-18 to Nature Coast in the consolation final, but the host team's performance was highlighted by Dmitri Gravas (145). The four-year wrestler won his 100th career match as he went 5-0 in the event, including a win over Dixie Hollins' Adam Lovell.

    Ippolito: Springstead (155 points) was third behind host and champion Brandon (371) and North Port (160.5) at the Ippolito Memorial. Springstead sent two to the finals but both Matthew Landgraff (106 pounds), Michael McDonald (113) settled for second. The Eagles' had three consolation final winners: Joseph Russo (152), William Swift (160) and Conor Ross (170). Pasco was ninth (91).


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    By Stephen F. Holder, Times Staff Writer
    Saturday, January 19, 2013

    NFC: 49ers (12-4-1) at Falcons (14-3)

    Both teams seek their first Super Bowl berth since the 1990s. The 49ers have great balance. They have a hard-nosed defense that makes moving the ball tough and an offense that can make plays through the air and on the ground, led by quarterback Colin Kaepernick who stunned the NFL with 181 yards rushing and 444 total yards in last weekend's division win over the Packers. The Falcons present problems with their litany of playmakers, led by their core stars of quarterback Matt Ryan, receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones, and tight end Tony Gonzalez. They combine to give the Falcons perhaps their best offense in franchise history.

    Time: 3 p.m. today TV/radio: Ch. 13; 98.7-FM, 1010-AM

    Coaches: 49ers — Jim Harbaugh (24-7-1, 2-1 playoffs); Falcons — Mike Smith (56-24, 1-3 playoffs)

    Stat pack

    Breaking it down

    49ers game-breaker: Fourth-year receiver Michael Crabtree is enjoying a breakout season, living up to his status as the 10th overall draft pick in 2009. He is finishing strong, with three 100-yard games over his past six outings, including 173 in the regular-season finale against the Cardinals.

    Falcons game-breaker: Michael Turner's 98 yards rushing against the Seahawks in Atlanta's division win last weekend was one of his best games this season. If the Falcons, who haven't run well this season, get him going, it changes the complexion of today's game.

    Why the 49ers will win: Their offensive balance and unpredictability will put too much strain on a much-improved Falcons defense that hasn't faced this kind of attack.

    Why the Falcons will win: The defense learns some important lessons from previous games against dual-threat quarterbacks (Cam Newton, Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson) and shows the discipline necessary to make Kaepernick one-dimensional.

    Look out for: Falcons defensive end John Abraham is a key to slowing Kaepernick. He has a sore ankle and might not be himself, but the Falcons need everything he can muster.

    Prediction

    49ers 28, Falcons 23

    Stephen F. Holder, Times staff writer

    Rushing yards

    passing yards

    total yards

    Rushing yards allowed

    passing yards allowed

    total yards allowed

    49ers

    falcons

    155.7 (4th)

    87.3 (29th)

    206.1 (23rd)

    281.8 (6th)

    361.8 (11th)

    369.1 (8th)

    294.4 (3rd)

    365.6 (24th)

    200.2 (4th)

    242.4 (23rd)

    94.2 (4th)

    123.2 (21st)

    * Final regular-season stats


    Associated PressAssociated Press

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    Times wires
    Saturday, January 19, 2013

    BALTIMORE — Earl Weaver penned his own epitaph.

    "On my tombstone just write, 'The sorest loser that ever lived,' " he once said.

    The Orioles' irascible, chain-smoking, umpire-baiting manager who led the team to four American League pennants and the 1970 world championship in 17 years, died Friday night while on a baseball-themed cruise.

    The Hall of Famer was 82.

    Mr. Weaver piloted the Orioles from 1968-82 and in 1985-86, earning nicknames like "the little genius" and "the Earl of Baltimore." He finished 1,480-1,060, and his lifetime winning percentage (.583) ranks ninth all-time and fifth among managers in the modern era who managed 10 years or more. Five times, Baltimore won at least 100 games for Mr. Weaver, who stood 5 feet 7 but was a legend to his players.

    "Having Earl gives us a four-game lead on everybody," pitcher Sammy Stewart once said.

    Mr. Weaver's death came on the eve of the team's FanFest.

    "It's a sad time, but at the same time Earl would say, 'I hope it won't mess up FanFest,' " Orioles manager Buck Showalter said at the event, where Mr. Weaver's No. 4 hung from behind the stage. "Every time I look at an Oriole now, it's going to be missing a feather without Earl."

    The Orioles failed to post a winning record under Mr. Weaver only once (1986). His career was defined by an affinity for the three-run homer and a long-running feud with superstar pitcher Jim Palmer that both jokingly played to when together.

    It was also defined by his temper. He was ejected 91 times, including once in both games of a doubleheader.

    Former umpire Don Denkinger said he called one of Mr. Weaver's last games.

    "He comes to home plate before the game and says, 'Gentlemen, I'm done.' He told us the only way he'd ever come back is if he ran out of money," Denkinger said. "I told him that if he ever ran out of money to call the umpires' association and we'd take up a collection for him. We'd do anything, just to keep him off the field and away from us."

    Mr. Weaver was always a fan favorite, and the Orioles faithful got several opportunities to let him know that during the course of the club's uplifting 2012 season. He returned to Baltimore repeatedly to take part in the special series of statue unveilings in the centerfield plaza at Oriole Park, including the one that was dedicated to him on June 30.

    He showed his softer side during his acceptance speech, applauding all the great Orioles who also are immortalized in bronze there and many more of the players who helped him become a managerial legend.

    "What comes to mind is, 'Thank God those guys were there and thank God we won 100 games three years in a row so I could come back for a fourth,' " Mr. Weaver said. "And thank God for the fourth that won enough games for me to come back for the fifth and on to 17."

    Mr. Weaver won six AL East titles in those 17 years and was known as one of the games great strategists. He was selected by the Hall of Fame Veterans Committee for induction in 1996.

    Palmer said he heard of Mr. Weaver's death at 3:30 a.m. Saturday from former Orioles pitcher Scotty McGregor. McGregor was on the same Orioles-theme cruise with Mr. Weaver. "I didn't get much restful sleep after that," Palmer said.

    "There weren't any gray areas with Earl," he said. "We had a love-hate relationship. Earl was going to tell you what he expected, and there wasn't a lot of room for error with him. Earl was about winning and that was what he did."

    CUBS: The team announced a five-year, $300 million plan to renovate Wrigley Field.

    INDIANS: Free agent outfielder Ryan Raburn, a former Durant High standout, is close to agreeing to a minor-league contract.


    Associated Press (1979)Associated Press (1979)

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  • 01/19/13--18:45: Rose in control at Abu Dhabi
  • Times wires
    Saturday, January 19, 2013

    ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Justin Rose extended his lead at the Abu Dhabi Championship on Saturday, shooting 4-under 68 for a two-shot advantage over Jamie Donaldson of Wales and Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark.

    A day after top-ranked Rory McIlroy and second-ranked Tiger Woods missed the cut, the fifth-ranked Rose made his third round look easy with seven birdies. After three-putting on the first for bogey, the Englishman had a stretch of six birdies over nine holes — including an approach shot on the ninth that rolled to 4 feet from the hole for birdie — for an overall 12-under 204.

    "Delighted about the day," said Rose, who has been at the top of the leaderboard all week. "I strengthened my lead, if you like, one to two shots. I guess that's always good."

    Rose cooled down on the back nine, hitting errant drives on Nos. 13 and 17 that led to bogeys and reduced a four-shot lead to two. After Olesen (69) and Donaldson (69) birdied No. 18, Rose nearly chipped in on the same hole and finished with his seventh birdie.

    "I was a little bit mad about the bogey at 17 because I didn't feel I did an awful lot wrong there," Rose said. "I've been very resilient and bounced back well."

    Olesen and Donaldson struggled to make putts early but finished satisfied to be in the mix going into today.

    "Very happy with the score, 3-under was great," Donaldson said. "A little bit scrappy at the start but (I) recovered really well in places."

    Olesen, chasing his second PGA Europe win, said Rose would be tough to catch.

    "It looks like he's playing really well but, if I can get some birdies in quickly, I think it can be exciting," said the 52nd-ranked Dane who is paired with Rose for the final round. "I'm going to try to be aggressive (today). I thought I was pretty aggressive (Saturday), but I didn't hole the putts I needed to."

    Rose's playing partner Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano of Spain closed to within a shot of the leader after a birdie on the second. But he had trouble hitting the greens after that and fell back. He showed signs of recovery when he sank a 40-foot putt on the seventh, but his drive on No. 16 hit a cart path and bounced into the water for a costly bogey.

    Fernandez-Castano finished four shots back and tied for fifth with Richie Ramsay (67) of Scotland and David Howell (68) of England at 208.

    PGA: Scott Stallings opened a five-stroke lead in the Humana Challenge in La Quinta, Calif., holing a 20-foot downhill putt on the par-5 eighth hole for his second eagle of the round.

    Stallings shot 9-under 63 to reach 22-under 194 after three days in perfect conditions in the Coachella Valley. The two-time PGA Tour winner played PGA West's Jack Nicklaus Private Course after opening with 66 on the Arnold Palmer Private Course — the site of today's final round — then shooting 65 at La Quinta Country Club.

    John Rollins, Stallings' playing partner, was tied for second with Stewart Cink, Roberto Castro, Charles Howell and Charley Hoffman.

    CHAMPIONS: David Frost shot 7-under 65 to take a two-stroke lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship in Ka'upulehu-Kona, Hawaii. Frost had seven birdies to move to 14-under 130. John Cook sank a long chip for eagle on the par-4 18th to grab sole possession of second.


    Associated PressAssociated Press

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    By Andy Warrener, Times Correspondent
    Saturday, January 19, 2013

    TAMPA — Nastasia Asgedom and Charsley Greiwe scored second-half goals as Plant beat Newsome 2-0 in the Class 5A, District 7 girls soccer final Saturday.

    Plant advances to the region quarterfinals at 7 p.m. Wednesday against visiting Palm Harbor University. Newsome plays at East Lake.

    Plant's breakthrough goal came when senior Caroline Bado played the ball in to junior Abby Sanchez who sent it across to Asgedom, who banged it into the keeper and cleaned up the rebound in the 54th minute.

    As the nearby fireworks show from the Children's Gasparilla Parade reached its climax, Bado again sent the ball into the 18-yard box, where Sanchez tipped it to senior Greiwe, who put it in the opposite corner of the net.

    "It was a grand finale for that second goal, a South Tampa extra," Panthers coach Pamela Smith said.

    Greiwe had pressured the left side of the Wolves defense all night.

    "They (Newsome) did a good job of stopping us (on offense)," Greiwe said. "They really made it difficult."

    Newsome senior Taylor Decaire marked Plant's Bado relentlessly for possession and position.

    "It's a tough battle every time you go up for a header against her (Decaire)," Bado said. "She's a tough competitor."

    The Panthers still never let up. After the first score, they refused to sit back, pounding away at Newsome most of the second half. The Panthers outshot the Wolves 12-9.

    "You got to keep pushing," Smith said. "We could have had a third or fourth goal there at the end."

    Plant continued to fire away even after the second goal and nearly scored a couple more times as Bado took a header off a free kick and Asgedom slipped away on another run but pushed her shot wide.


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    Times wires
    Saturday, January 19, 2013

    TAMPA — Devon Kane hit three free throws with 0.3 seconds left, lifting Villanova to a 52-49 victory over USF on Saturday.

    The Bulls' Andrea Smith missed a jumper with eight seconds left and the score tied at 49. After Taylor Holeman's rebound for Villanova, Kane's 3 from about 25 feet on the right wing missed, but officials called a foul, saying she was hit on the hand by Sasha Bernard.

    "It's tough. You have to move on," USF coach Jose Fernandez said.

    Andrell Smith had 20 points for the Bulls (12-5, 1-3 Big East) but fouled out with 5:18 left. Andrea Smith shook off an 0-for-12 performance in the first half to score 10, and Inga Orekhova had 10 points.

    USF shot 26 percent against Villanova, which went in allowing an average of 48 points per game.

    "We went in some big-time lulls offensively, and that just hurts you," Fernandez said.

    Laura Sweeney had 16 points and 11 rebounds to help Villanova (15-2, 4-0) win for the sixth straight time.

    USF visits Seton Hall at 7 p.m. Tuesday, then returns to the Sun Dome on Jan. 26 to take on Marquette at 6 p.m.

    NOVA SE 68, TAMPA 61: The host Spartans (11-3, 2-3 Sunshine State) went scoreless for nearly five minutes early in the second half and lost for the second straight time.

    ECKERD 72, BARRY 68: Taylor Bestry had 19 points for the host Tritons (7-6, 4-2 SSC), who held off a late rally.

    FLA. TECH 74, SAINT LEO 62: Kayk Wilson had 21 points for the visiting Panthers, who hit their free throws down the stretch to hold off the Lions (8-8, 3-3 SSC).

    State

    NO. 1 BAYLOR 76, W. VA. 58: Brittney Griner had 26 points, 15 rebounds and nine blocks for the host Bears (16-1, 6-0 Big 12), who won their record 28th consecutive regular-season conference game.

    NO. 3 UCONN 87, SYRACUSE 62: Stefanie Dolson scored a career-high 25 and became the 36th player for the host Huskies (16-1, 4-1 Big East) to reach 1,000 career points.

    NO. 16 OKLAHOMA 69, TEXAS 56: Aaryn Ellenberg scored 22 for the host Sooners (15-3, 5-1 Big 12), who never trailed.

    TEXAS TECH 70, NO. 23 KANSAS 63: Chynna Brown scored 20 for the host Raiders, who improved to 15-5 against the Jayhawks (11-5, 2-3 Big 12).


    MCTMCT

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    By Greg Auman, Times Staff Writer
    Saturday, January 19, 2013

    TAMPA — In the span of a second Saturday night, four USF players had a hand on the ball, and the result was the Bulls' first Big East win of the season.

    The Bulls were up one against Georgetown, but the Hoyas had the ball coming out of a timeout with 12 seconds left, the Sun Dome as loud as it has been since reopening with what seemed like all of an announced 6,189 on their feet.

    The Hoyas' Otto Porter went to his right, and as the Bulls switched off on defense, the ball caromed off the back of point guard Anthony Collins. Victor Rudd tipped the loose ball, then Toarlyn Fitzpatrick had a hand on it, and as it looked to go out of bounds, Martino Brock dived and kept the ball in play, where Collins got it and was fouled. His free throws with three seconds left clinched the Bulls' 61-58 win against the Hoyas, a huge win for a USF squad that had opened 0-4 in Big East play.

    "Our backs were against that wall. It was a gutsy performance from our team," said coach Stan Heath, whose team got home from a loss at Rutgers at 4 a.m. Friday. "When you're 0-4 in the league and you're not feeling great about yourself … you kind of say, 'Are we going to have some resolve, have some toughness, are we going to fight back?' I thought we saw a lot in our basketball team. They were willing to battle, to fight, to scrap."

    The Bulls (10-7) went 1-for-14 on 3-pointers in the first half, fortunate to be trailing just 31-23 at the break. Georgetown (12-4, 2-3 Big East) built the lead to 11 early in the second half, but then USF caught fire. Fitzpatrick, Rudd and Jawanza Poland hit 3s on consecutive possessions, and after a miss, Collins and Rudd hit 3s for an improbable 15-2 run and a 38-36 lead.

    USF closed out the win with defense; the Bulls didn't hit a field goal in the final 6:30, and after leading 59-54 with 3:40 left, they didn't score until Collins' free throws with three seconds remaining. Heath cited the team's lack of turnovers — just five for the game, and just one in the final 19 minutes — while it forced 15 by the Hoyas.

    USF's offense was balanced, with Poland getting 15 off the bench and freshman JaVontae Hawkins getting a season-high 12, including eight of his team's first 10.

    Collins said he didn't see the ball come loose on the final play — it went off his back, after all — but he credited his teammates for keeping the ball alive, especially Brock, who went flying to get the ball in the hands of USF's most sure-handed free-throw shooter in the closing seconds.

    "That was awesome, a smart play to throw the ball inbounds," Collins said.

    Georgetown coach John Thompson III had praise for Collins, who had all 14 of his points in the second half while playing all 20 minutes.

    "He's terrific, down the stretch, in the beginning, in the middle," he said. "He puts pressure on your defense. It's easy to say, 'Let's keep him out of the lane.' No one's kept him out of the lane yet. … We had planned on trying to. He gets in there, he's finding guys to kick it to. We ended up watching him too much instead of knowing where our guys were once he got penetration to the middle."

    USF has a game Wednesday at Seton Hall (12-6, 1-4), then returns home to face Notre Dame on Saturday afternoon.


    DANIEL WALLACE   |   TimesDANIEL WALLACE | Times

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    By Bryan Burns, Times Correspondent
    Saturday, January 19, 2013

    ST. PETERSBURG — Perhaps highlighting the lack of a can't-miss quarterback in this year's NFL draft class, those playing the position for both teams were off the mark in Saturday's 88th annual East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field.

    Kansas State's Collin Klein, a one-time frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy this past season and the most ballyhooed of the six quarterbacks in the game, completed 5 of 13 passes for 43 yards with an interception. Colby Cameron (Louisiana Tech) and Nathan Stanley (Southeastern Louisiana) didn't fare much better for the East. Cameron was 3-for-6 for 33 yards, and Stanley had 19 yards on 2-of-5 passing. Each threw an interception.

    West starter Seth Doege (Texas Tech) finished 4-for-8 for 30 yards and a pick. Doege's teammates fared a bit better. Alex Carder (Western Michigan) completed 9 of 11 for 95 yards, though he threw an interception on his third pass of the game. Arizona's Matt Scott was the best of the bunch, connecting on 3 of 4 passes and completing the game's only touchdown pass, a 57-yarder to Mississippi State wide receiver Chad Bumphis.

    FAMOUS AMOS: A former walk-on at Middle Tennessee State who didn't earn a scholarship until the beginning of his senior year, Anthony Amos, had a breakout season for the Blue Raiders, catching 72 passes for 992 yards and nine touchdowns and earning first-team All-Sun Belt honors.

    At the Shrine Game, Amos continued his rapid rise.

    After a week of practice in which the 6-foot, 185-pound receiver showed an ability to make difficult catches look routine, Amos excelled in the West offense, tying Bumphis for a game-high four catches and averaging nearly 15 yards a reception.

    "My mind-set coming out here was to work hard and do my best," Amos said. "Everything else will fall into place."

    He also displayed versatility, taking a reverse handoff on the 3-yard line and outracing the East defense to the corner pylon for the game's first touchdown.

    "It was just a little something to let the scouts know what I can do," he said.

    MISCELLANY: The West leads the East 47-36 all-time and is on a two-game winning streak. … Bumphis was named the outstanding offensive player, joining tight end Donald Lee (2003) as the only Mississippi State players to win the award. Kansas State corner Nigel Malone was named the outstanding defensive player; he had a 30-yard interception return for a score. … Dade City native Josh Johnson (Purdue), a Pasco High graduate, had a 29-yard kickoff return for the East in the fourth quarter.


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