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    By Bob Putnam, Times Staff Writer
    Saturday, January 26, 2013

    PHU wrestlers repeat at PCAC

    PALM HARBOR — Palm Harbor University won its second straight Pinellas County Athletic Conference wrestling title Saturday, scoring 321.5 points to beat Dixie Hollins by 149.5. The Hurricanes had 14 place-winners, including six weight-class champs: Tim Sakow (106 pounds), Jared Prince (120), Connor Prince (126), Mike May (132), Josh Kampmann (145) and Aaron Hartman (160). Jared Prince won his 100th career bout and Hartman won his 200th.

    Largo's Derrick Doss, the 182-pound champ, was named the event MVP.

    Dunedin's Clarence Arrington, undefeated at 126, was suspended for rough horseplay earlier in the week. He is expected back for districts.

    Bob Putnam, Times staff writer


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  • 01/26/13--18:25: Super Bowl news and notes
  • Times wires
    Saturday, January 26, 2013

    By the number

    $5,000 Amount the owners of Saxon's Diamond Center in Maryland says they will refund on purchases made before kickoff if the Ravens shut out San Francisco. FYI: There has never been a Super Bowl shutout.

    eBay item of the day

    Autographed Super Bowl game-worn cleats by former 49ers LB Bill Romanowski. $550 or best offer.

    Super bet: Who will win MVP?

    • 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick, 7-4

    • Ravens QB Joe Flacco, 5-2

    • Ravens LB Ray Lewis, 6-1

    • 49ers RB Frank Gore, 17-2

    • Ravens RB Ray Rice, 12-1

    Super list

    Teams with the most Super Bowl wins:

    6 — Pittsburgh Steelers

    5 — San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys

    4 — N.Y. Giants, Green Bay Packers

    If money is no object …

    Ultimate Super Bowl hotel & air package:

    Price: $140,433

    What: 10-person VIP package

    Includes: Luxurious round-trip private jet flights from most major U.S. cities; four nights deluxe accommodations at the Wyndham Garden Barone Plaza Downtown New Orleans or St. James Hotel French Quarter; lower-level game tickets; admission to the Maxim party on Saturday night featuring A-list celebrities, premium food, open bar and live entertainment; admission to the Ultimate Super Bowl pregame party featuring premium open bar, upscale food, live entertainment and chalk talk with host Michael Strahan.

    Don't touch it, that's not yours

    The Ravens are treating the Lombardi Trophy like, well, the Stanley Cup. In other words, matching an old hockey superstition: Don't touch it unless you win it. While shooting pictures in preparation for its broadcast, CBS brought the Super Bowl trophy as a prop. The players were to gaze at it, maybe cradle it like a newborn. But the Ravens had it removed from the building. "Like I told my team, don't ever take pictures with nothing that's not yours, nothing that you haven't earned," said LB Ray Lewis, the lone Raven left from the Super Bowl XXXV team.

    Time to cash in

    Shawn Smith, the marketing agent for Colin Kaepernick, said she has had at least 50 inquiries in the past three weeks from companies wanting to sign the 49ers quarterback. Others have been talking to Smith for months. But Kaepernick isn't all over TV yet. His rise to stardom has been so fast that there has been no time for him to focus on anything but football, Smith says.

    Times wires

    "Our home was destroyed by water. … There is a tremendous sense of pride to showcase our city (for those who) may have not been here since (Hurricane) Katrina."

    — Doug Thornton, 54, senior VP of Superdome management, on hosting first Super Bowl since Katrina


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    By Andy Warrener, Times Correspondent
    Saturday, January 26, 2013

    TAMPA — Eleven of 12 Brandon wrestlers won their finals bouts and the Eagles ran away with the Hillsborough County Championships on Saturday.

    The Eagles scored 385.5 points, well ahead of second-place Robinson (162), and have won the event every year since its inception in 2002.

    Brandon state title defenders James Flint (120 pounds), Dylan Lucas (126), Kevin Norstrem (138) and Jacob Haydock (160) cruised to decisive wins, but perhaps the most impressive of the Eagles was senior Travis Berridge (170). He improved to 52-2 by blanking defending Class 1A runnerup Luis Peguero of Robinson 5-0 in the final. Berridge pulled a 360-degree spin move to open the match and scored a takedown that took Peguero by surprise and set the tone.

    "It's just one of those funky moves that they don't expect," Berridge said. "I can almost never pull it off in practice, but against guys that aren't expecting it — it's actually one of the first times I've pulled it off."

    Aside from the expected Eagles rout, there were unexpected thrills. The 113-pound final was a clash of defending state champs in Brandon freshman Kyle Norstrem and Armwood sophomore Donoven Hough, who won 7-5 on an overtime leg takedown.

    "That kid (Norstrem) is tough as heck, one of the best in the state but when it came down to it, it was about who wanted it more," Hough said. "I worked my butt off to get that last takedown."

    In the 182 final, Durant senior Keith Watford scored a reversal in the second period then held on to Robinson senior Christopher Rodriquez throughout a furious third to win 2-1.

    "Coach said, "Short time, short time,' so I knew if he got out it was over," Watford said. "It was time to just toughen up and squeeze tight."

    Middleton's Emanuel Rivera, who has had only eight matches this season, faced Brandon heavyweight Darren Lester, who had pinned all four of his opponents at the event in the first round.

    "I went in there with the mind-set that I was not going to get pinned," Rivera said. "I was either going to go all six minutes with him or I was going to pin him."

    Rivera went the distance in losing an 11-3 major decision.


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    Times wires
    Saturday, January 26, 2013

    MOBILE, Ala. — EJ Manuel's January couldn't have gone much better on the field. He hopes for a similarly happy February for his family.

    The Florida State quarterback passed for a touchdown and rushed for another on the South's first two drives in a 21-16 victory over the North in the Senior Bowl on Saturday, and was named Most Outstanding Player.

    Now, he can try to be the MOS — Most Outstanding Son. His mother, Jackie Manuel, diagnosed with breast cancer before the season, has been recovering from her final round of chemotherapy, and Manuel said she has scheduled for surgery Feb. 1.

    "That's kind of been my motivation," Manuel said. "I call my mom every single day and tell her I love her. I never miss a day.

    "They'll be sending that award home to her. I won that award for her. I went out there and played well for her. I'm happy I was able to do it."

    And he is even happier to return to her side in Virginia for a few days, instead of just squeezing in Skype and Facetime sessions.

    For Manuel, it was a great finish to a month that began with a 291-yard performance in FSU's Orange Bowl victory over Northern Illinois.

    Manuel and running backs Stepfan Taylor and Mike James combined to put away the game for senior NFL prospects on the South's final drive. Stanford's Taylor carried five times for 32 yards and caught a 6-yard pass from Manuel.

    Manuel converted on fourth and 1 on a sneak to set up a 5-yard touchdown run for Miami's James with 2:41 left. Manuel was 7-of-10 for 76 yards with a 20-yard touchdown to Alabama tight end Michael Williams. He also scored on a 2-yard run.

    Former Florida tailback Mike Gillislee contributed 46 rushing yards on 10 carries.

    BYU defensive end Ezekiel Ansah was named Most Outstanding Player on defense for the South team and Purdue defensive lineman Kawann Short was the North's top player.

    Miami (Ohio) quarterback Zac Dysert hit Oregon running back Kenjon Barner for a 3-yard touchdown with 23 seconds left for the North. The 2-point try and onside kick both failed.

    Arkansas' Tyler Wilson was 8-of-11 for 40 yards for the South. Landry Jones of Oklahoma was 3-of-9 for 16 yards. Dysert (10-of-16 for 93 yards, one interception), N.C. State's Mike Glennon (8-of-16, 82 yards) and Syracuse's Ryan Nassib (4-of-10, 44 yards, one interception) played quarterback for the North.

    On his touchdown pass, Manuel lofted an over-the-shoulder pass to Williams in the end zone.

    "The corner played the flat, and big Mike ran a great route and got leverage on the linebacker," Manuel said. "I thought it was a great matchup, and I just threw the ball up there, and he made a great catch."

    Former Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson, transitioning to receiver, turned a screen pass from Nassib into a 14-yard gain late in the third quarter and added a 7-yard catch in the fourth.


    Associated PressAssociated Press

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    By Marc Topkin, Times Staff Writer
    Saturday, January 26, 2013

    Even with deals to bring back DH Luke Scott and Kyle Farnsworth set to be completed this week, and spring training opening in just more than two weeks, the Rays are still on the lookout for help. Maybe another bat and another bullpen arm.

    In the Rays' current configuration, there seems to be a need for another right-handed hitter, whether to spell lefty James Loney at first base, Matt Joyce in the outfield or Scott at DH. Sean Rodriguez is one option; Brandon Guyer may be another.

    So, too, is Shelley Duncan, signed last week to a minor-league deal. Duncan, 33, has shown power and plate discipline in limited big-league opportunities with the Yankees and Indians, and with the ability to play first and the outfield, he could end up battling for a final spot.

    The Rays also could use another reliever, even more so if either Jeff Niemann or Alex Cobb isn't in the rotation and free-agent signee Roberto Hernandez (the former Fausto Carmona) is.

    Brandon Gomes, Josh Lueke and Dane De La Rosa will get looks. But so will veteran Jamey Wright, also signed to a minor-league deal. Wright, 38, could be a good fit, especially with his ability to keep the ball on the ground, a benefit given the Rays' infield defense.

    Also interesting will be how the Rays clear space for Farnsworth and Scott on the 40-man roster, which has five catchers, including Robinson Chirinos and Stephen Vogt, and a surplus of middle infielders, including Elliot Johnson and Reid Brignac.

    PRICE CHECK: As only David Price would, he "named" his American League Cy Young Award "Clarence," saying he names everything and "Cy starts with C so I just figured Clarence would do." … The award will be on display at Saturday's Dinner with David and Friends, featuring the Ted Williams Hitters Hall of Fame inductions of Lou Piniella, Ryne Sandberg, Darrell Evans and the Alomar family, plus an award for Jack Morris. For tickets ($125), see raysbaseball.com (Fans section) or call (727) 534-5343. … Price also will bring the award to the Feb. 16 FanFest at the Trop.

    MINOR MATTERS: Merit was the reason for the minor-league staff shuffling, with promotions for managers Brady Williams (from Class A Bowling Green to advanced Class A Charlotte), Jared Sandberg (short-season Class A Hudson Valley to Bowling Green) and Michael Johns (rookie-league Princeton to Hudson Valley), farm director Mitch Lukevics said. "We have a couple of young managers that have earned the opportunity to manage at the next level," he said.

    RAYS RUMBLINGS: Closer Fernando Rodney will pitch for the Dominican Escogido team in the Caribbean Series, starting Friday in Mexico. … There has been a multiyear extension of the radio deal with WDAE-AM 620 and parent Clear Channel, senior VP Mark Fernandez calling them "great partners." … The funky 1970s-style retro uniforms debuted last year will be back for a game or two. … Ben Zobrist was ranked sixth among current rightfielders by MLB Network (and second by stats analyst Bill James), the 2012 bullpen ninth best all time by ESPN's Buster Olney. … New batting practice caps with the burst logo are available (including youth sizes) Feb. 22 in Port Charlotte, March 1 at the Tampa team store and the Trop. Also, a new clubhouse (interview) cap. … Expect 15 spring games (nights and weekends) on radio, three or four on TV. … Congrats to Rodriguez, and wife Giselle, on the birth of their third child, named by sister Sofia, Vanelope Grace. … RHP Chris Archer teamed with the Good Sports organization to donate $58,000 worth of sports equipment to the Wake County Boys and Girls clubs in Raleigh, N.C. … Excerpts of former RHP Dirk Hayhurst's rough draft of a Rays book are posted on dirkhayhurst.com.


    Photo courtesy of David PricePhoto courtesy of David Price

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    Times wires
    Saturday, January 26, 2013

    SAN DIEGO — Tiger Woods is going to have to wait to pursue another win at Torrey Pines.

    A thick fog shrouded the course along the Pacific bluffs on Saturday and essentially wiped out the entire day at the Farmers Insurance Open. Woods, a six-time winner of this tournament, had a two-shot lead and never even bothered going to the course. Three players completed one hole, and that was after a three-hour delay.

    Players were to resume the third round this morning and go as long as daylight allowed, then finish Monday.

    And that's a best-case scenario.

    In a bizarre twist, PGA Tour officials hoped for rain and a little wind this morning, two elements that most golfers dread. That's what is needed, however, to keep the fog away from Torrey Pines and allow the tournament to resume.

    "When Mother Nature doesn't want you to play, you can't play," said Mark Russell, the tour vice president of competition.

    They did just about everything else. Lucas Glover warmed up three times and at one point passed the time with a little trickery. He lined up two balls in the direction of the range and hit them with a wedge so one went straight in the air, and Jerry Kelly took a baseball swing with an inverted club and made contact.

    Through four tournaments this year, the PGA Tour has had its share of weather problems. This will be the second tournament that doesn't finish on the scheduled day. The season-opening Tournament of Champions at Kapalua, Hawaii, didn't even start until Monday, the day it was supposed to end, because of 40 mph gusts. It had to be reduced to 54 holes and was completed on Tuesday.

    Woods was at 11-under 133 and didn't need to go to the course because he was in the last group with Billy Horschel and Casey Wittenberg. Horschel spent part of his day getting advice through text messages on how to play with Woods.

    PGA EUROPE: Chris Wood eagled No. 18 to win the Qatar Masters in Doha for his first European Tour victory, overtaking Sergio Garcia (66) and George Coetzee (65), who finished a shot back. The 142nd-ranked Englishman finished the final round at 3-under 69 for 18-under 270.


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    Times wires
    Saturday, January 26, 2013

    OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Ray Lewis has made it clear that he will play his last game Feb. 3 in Super Bowl XLVII.

    But what about Ed Reed, the Ravens' venerable safety? Could this be his finale after 11 seasons, a chance to cap a remarkable career by winning a Super Bowl near where he grew up?

    Sorry, no dramatic exit here.

    Asked Saturday how he'll feel about his career if the Ravens earn a ring in New Orleans, Reed smiled and said, "I will be playing next year, if that's what you're asking. So, next question."

    All right, then.

    "It's not my last ride," said Reed, who broke into the NFL with the Ravens in 2002, two seasons after they won Super Bowl XXXV in Tampa. "I just bought a bike not too long ago."

    All joking aside, Reed, 34, was the most definitive he has been about his plans. Even if he can't come to terms on a new contract, the former consensus All-American at Miami said he will play a 12th NFL season.

    In the meantime, he's enjoying every moment as he prepares for his first trip to the Super Bowl.

    "I'm speechless when it comes to talking about going home for this Super Bowl," he said. "It's amazing to me. … I'm just soaking it up, just really enjoying it, every minute, every second, being around my teammates."

    Reed was born in St. Rose, La., and raised in Destrehan, both about a 30-minute drive from New Orleans. He regularly returns to visit family. In January 2011, his brother, Brian Reed, died at 28 after jumping into the Mississippi River, reportedly to avoid police.

    "You're going to bring me to tears," Reed told reporters after the Ravens clinched a Super Bowl berth with a win over the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. "My family has been going through some things. I just lost my brother two years ago."

    After one final practice at their training facility, the Ravens will take today off before heading to New Orleans on Monday.

    COWBOYS HIRE EX-VOL: The Cowboys hired Derek Dooley as wide receivers coach, ESPN reported. Dooley comes from the college ranks, where he was fired after three seasons as coach at Tennessee.

    TITANS ADD SUSPENDED COACH: Gregg Williams, the former Saints assistant suspended as part of the league's bounty investigation, agreed to become assistant head coach with the Titans, cbssports.com reported. He needs the league to lift his suspension first; ESPN said that could be next week.


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  • 01/26/13--19:19: Sports in Brief
  • Times wires
    Saturday, January 26, 2013

    Baseball

    Musial mourned by baseball community

    ST. LOUIS — Stan Musial was remembered during a funeral and memorial outside Busch Stadium on Saturday as a Hall of Famer and a St. Louis icon embraced by generations of fans who never had the chance to watch him play.

    Broadcaster Bob Costas, his voice cracking at times during a two-hour Mass, noted that even though "Stan the Man" who died at 92 on Jan. 19, was a three-time MVP and seven-time batting champion, he lacked a singular achievement. Joe DiMaggio had a 56-game hitting streak. Ted Williams was the last major-leaguer to hit .400.

    "What was the hook with Stan Musial other than … the role of one of baseball's best hitters?" Costas said. "It seems that all Stan had going for him was more than two decades of sustained excellence as a ballplayer and more than nine decades as a thoroughly decent human being."

    Among those in attendance were commissioner Bud Selig, ex-Cardinals star Albert Pujols and Hall of Famers Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, Ozzie Smith, Bruce Sutter, Whitey Herzog and 90-year-old Red Schoendienst, once a roommate of Musial.

    Horses

    Shanghai Bobby upset

    Itsmyluckyday won the $400,000 Holy Bull Stakes, a Grade 3 Kentucky Derby prep, in Hallandale Beach. He passed heavily favored Shanghai Bobby down the stretch and finished in 1:41.81, a record at Gulfstream Park for 11/16 miles. It was the first loss for Shanghai Bobby, who won the Eclipse Award as 2-year-old champion last week after winning his first five races.

    Tampa Bay Downs: Smartys Emperoress, which went off at 16-1, won the $75,000 Lightning City Stakes by a nose in Oldsmar. Ridden by Angel Serpa, Smartys Emperoress ran 5 furlongs in 55.50 seconds. Trippin' Along and Christina d'Oro were second and third, respectively.

    50,000th race: Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze rode the 50,000th race of his career late Friday at Golden Gate Fields near San Francisco. The rides for Baze, 54, and his 11,839 victories are North American records.

    Et cetera

    Figure skating: Ashley Wagner became the first woman since Michelle Kwan (1998-2005) to win consecutive U.S. championships, edging Gracie Gold by 2.27 points in Omaha, Neb. She won despite falling twice and two-footing one jump. Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir won their first pairs title. The two had a big enough lead after the short program to overcome Shnapir catching a toe pick during side-by-side spins that resulted in him standing as Castelli finished. Lindsay Davis and Mark Ladwig, who train in Ellenton, took fourth. A day after routing the field in the short program, Meryl Davis and Charlie White won their fifth consecutive dance title.

    Skiing: Lindsey Vonn beat rival Tina Maze on the Slovenian's home snow and in her best discipline to win a World Cup giant slalom. Third after the first run, Vonn won by 0.08 seconds.

    Don Jensen, Times correspondent; Times wires


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    By Damian Cristodero, Times Staff Writer
    Saturday, January 26, 2013

    5 questions G Anders Lindback

    When a goalie does well, they say he stands on his head. Can you do that?

    Yeah.

    Actually on your head?

    More on my hands.

    When did you learn that?

    In school at wresting practice we used to walk on our hands.

    Why?

    It's like training in hockey, just for your core (muscles) and to get stronger.

    Is that something you break out at parties?

    Not really.

    Fish story

    There's nothing better, D Keith Aulie said, than finding a place of solitude to fish. Aulie and some buddies did just that over the summer for five days at Lloyd Lake in northern Saskatchewan.

    "It's way up," Aulie said. "I can't even explain to you how far north it is. It's way up where there is not many people and it's just you and the wilderness. I love that."

    An avid fisherman, Aulie said walleye, lake trout and northern pike were most abundant, and he caught a couple of pike that neared 20 pounds. But the solitude is really what draws him.

    "Just being out there with nature and being away from civilization, cellphones and TVs. I just love that feeling being away from everything," he said.

    Home team

    Former Lightning W Jussi Jokinen, now with the Hurricanes, said playing for his hometown team, Karpat, in Finland during the lockout, was crushing, especially because he owns 1 percent of the team.

    "It made the pressure to do good even more than here," Jokinen said. "It's a lot of attention. Everybody is looking at you, but it was fun."

    First-timers

    LW Cory Conacher on Jan. 19 against the Capitals became the sixth Lightning player to score in his NHL debut:

    Player, Opponent, Date

    Alex Selivanov, Penguins, Jan. 20, 1995

    Paul Mara, Panthers, April 17, 1999

    Jimmie Olvestad, Islanders, Oct. 5, 2001

    Ryan Craig, Red Wings, Dec. 17, 2005

    Mike Angelidis, Blue Jackets, Jan. 24, 2012

    Cory Conacher, Capitals, Jan. 19, 2013

    Damian Cristodero, Times staff writer

    Quote to note

    "He's doing it all right now. He's dedicated to the winning things, not the flashy things. He's leading as a captain. He definitely is."

    — Coach Guy Boucher, on C Vinny Lecavalier


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    By Damian Cristodero, Times Staff Writer
    Saturday, January 26, 2013

    First, Anders Lindback had the puck, then he didn't, and then he had it again.

    With the score tied 4-4 in the third period Friday, the Lightning goaltender hugged the post as Ottawa tough guy Chris Neil repeatedly tried to whack the puck past him as if he were sledgehammering through a wall. Finally, the puck squeaked through and for a second sat on the goal line.

    Lindback, cat quick, turned and covered the puck with his glove, a crucial moment in Tampa Bay's 6-4 victory.

    It was an instructive moment, too, as we evaluate where Lindback stands as the team's future No. 1.

    Bottom line, he is not quite there yet; he has allowed at least one soft goal per game in his three games. On the other hand, Lindback knows how to raise his game when the moments matter most.

    Friday was a prime example.

    Lindback, like his teammates, was not good during a second period in which Ottawa scored four goals. Two were bad. Jason Spezza scored unscreened from the left faceoff circle, and Erik Karlsson scored from almost the blue line. Yes, on the latter, the puck deflected off Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman, but if Lindback is farther up in the crease, that goal doesn't happen.

    In the third period, though, Lindback stopped all 13 Senators shots to give the Lightning's league-best offense a chance to fire back.

    Not to dismiss the second period, but is there anyone who doesn't believe that last season, given Tampa Bay's sievelike goaltending, Ottawa scores at least one in the third and Tampa Bay loses?

    Lindback also made a huge save in the first period on Peter Regin's short-handed breakaway.

    So, think of Friday's second period as part of Lindback's learning curve. Remember, the 24-year-old, 6-foot-6 Swede played just 38 games in two previous NHL seasons as backup to Nashville's Pekka Rinne, so not surprisingly, there still are growing pains to endure and a maturation process to take hold as his 3.67 goals-against average and so-so .900 save percentage illustrate.

    That is why Lindback gets the call tonight against the Flyers; the Lightning doesn't want Lindback to believe every mistake will cost him ice time. And that is why Mathieu Garon, the steady veteran, is crucial as a safety net.

    That the Lightning can score in bunches is another great equalizer.

    Make no mistake. The Lightning believes Lindback can be a No. 1. It loves his quickness, athleticism and ability to rise to big moments. It's just going to take him some time to get there.


    DIRK SHADD   |   TimesDIRK SHADD | Times

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    By Damian Cristodero, Times Staff Writer
    Saturday, January 26, 2013

    . TONIGHT

    Lightning vs. Flyers

    When/where: 6; Tampa Bay Times Forum

    TV/radio: Sun Sports; 970-AM

    Key stats: Lightning D Sami Salo entered Saturday a league-best plus-8. … LW Cory Conacher led all rookies with seven points and five assists. … Tampa Bay is 3-0-1 at home against the Flyers the past two seasons. … G Anders Lindback is 0-2-0 in two games against the Flyers, with a 3.50 and .893 save percentage.


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    Times staff
    Saturday, January 26, 2013

    . TONIGHT

    FSU at No. 25 Miami

    When/where: 6; BankUnited Center, Coral Gables

    TV/radio: ESPNU; 1040-AM

    Records: FSU 11-7, 3-2 ACC; Miami 14-3, 5-0

    Notable: The Hurricanes are on a high after one of the biggest wins in program history, Wednesday's 90-63 pulverizing of No. 1 Duke. It was the school's first win over a top-ranked team. … Miami has size and experience on its frontline in 6-foot-11 senior Kenny Kadji, 6-10 senior Julian Gamble and 6-10, 292-pound senior Reggie Johnson. … The 'Canes had held six straight opponents to fewer than 60 points before the Blue Devils scored 63. They have allowed 35.3 percent shooting from the field during their six-game winning streak. … The Seminoles are breathing a little easier after rallying from 13 points down to beat Clemson 60-57 on Thursday and avoid a three-game skid. … They're 0-2 against ranked teams after winning an ACC-high six such games last season.

    Times staff


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  • 01/26/13--19:37: USF women down Marquette
  • By Greg Auman, Times Staff Writer
    Saturday, January 26, 2013

    TAMPA — So much of USF's success has been sparked by senior twins Andrea and Andrell Smith, but the Bulls showed Saturday night in the Sun Dome that they can win without the usual production from their top two scorers.

    The Bulls (14-5, 3-3 Big East) played stifling defense in a 58-48 win over Marquette. They held the Golden Eagles to 23 percent shooting until the final four minutes and 2 for 13 3-point shooting, and forced 23 turnovers. Guard Inga Orekhova led USF with 15 points.

    Andrea Smith finished with seven points and Andrell 11.

    "We've been working our press defense for a while in practice. That's what gets us going," Orekhova said. "Andrea and Andrell are our main scorers, and we depend on them, but we all have nights off where we don't score, and we have other people that have to step up."

    BARRY 64, TAMPA 60, OT: The host Buccaneers erased an 11-point deficit against the Spartans (12-4, 3-4 Sunshine State).

    ECKERD 62, P.B. ATLANTIC 51: Krystal Charles had 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead the visiting Tritons (8-7).

    SAINT LEO 52, ROLLINS 48: The host Lions (10-8, 5-3 SSC) beat the Tars for the first time since the 1997-98 season.

    Top 25

    NO. 1 BAYLOR 82, NO. 20 OKLA. 65: Brittney Griner set the NCAA career record for blocks with 665 and had 15 points for the Bears (18-1, 8-0 Big 12), who won their 50th straight home game.

    NO. 2 NOTRE DAME 89, PROVIDENCE 44: Skylar Diggins had 21 points, and the host Irish (18-1, 7-0 Big East) won their 13th straight game.

    NO. 3 UCONN 67, CINCINNATI 31: Stefanie Dolson had 15 points, and the visiting Huskies (18-1, 5-1 Big East) allowed nine points in the first half.

    NO. 12 OKLA. ST. 65, KANSAS 52: Toni Young had 15 points and 15 rebounds, and Lindsey Keller scored 14 for the visiting Cowgirls (15-3, 4-3 Big 12).

    NO. 24 IOWA ST. 53, W. VA. 49: Hallie Christofferson had 23 points and seven rebounds as the visiting Cyclones (14-4, 5-3 Big 12) snapped a two-game losing streak.

    Information from Times wires was used in this report.


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    Times wires
    Saturday, January 26, 2013

    STARKVILLE, Miss. — Florida already has a reputation as one of the nation's premier defensive teams.

    The Gators offense doesn't look too bad these days, either.

    Kenny Boynton and Erik Murphy had 18 points each, and No. 8 Florida poured in a season-high 14 3-pointers in an easy 82-47 victory over Mississippi State on Saturday night.

    Boynton said the reason for Florida's shooting success wasn't a fancy scheme. It was simply good decision-making.

    "We took open shots," Boynton said. "Patric Young did a great job finding us when they doubled him on the post. He found shooters, and we did a good job knocking them down."

    Scottie Wilbekin and Young had 13 points each for the Gators (16-2, 6-0 SEC), who have won eight straight games. They were never challenged in this one, bolting out to a 20-6 lead in less than eight minutes and a 41-19 advantage by halftime.

    Boynton and Murphy led the Gators with four 3-pointers each. Boynton made 7 of 11 shots from the field and 4 of 8 3-pointers.

    The Gators are known as an elite defensive team, giving up an average of about 51 points per game. But their offense was just as efficient against the Bulldogs. Florida made 31 of 56 shots (55.4 percent) from the field and 14 of 31 3s (45.2 percent).

    Murphy made 6 of 8 shots, including 4 of 6 3-pointers, and Young made all six shots and had four offensive rebounds. Florida had 23 assists on 31 field goals.

    "I thought we were really unselfish," Florida coach Billy Donovan said. "We moved and passed the basketball, and really got good looks throughout the course of the game."

    Fred Thomas led Mississippi State (7-11, 2-4) with 19 points. The Bulldogs have lost four straight games.

    "I think Florida is by far the best team in the SEC, and I'd venture to say they're probably playing better than anyone else in the nation at this point in time," Mississippi State coach Rick Ray said.


    Associated PressAssociated Press

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    Times wires
    Saturday, January 26, 2013

    DAYTONA BEACH — Ozz Negri was slow only getting in and out of his race car.

    Negri returned to his car Saturday for the Rolex 24 at Daytona with a noticeable limp from his still-healing broken right leg. He was injured last month during offseason training when he fell off a mountain bike, and the cast was removed six days before the start of the biggest race on the Grand-Am schedule.

    He drove one stint — about 50 minutes — for defending race champion Michael Shank Racing, the team he races for full time in the Grand-Am Series.

    "We are taking it conservative 'cause we've got all the season ahead of us," Negri said. "We don't want to overdo it and mess up the rest of the championship. It was a bummer. It was something that nobody was expecting to happen."

    Negri and Grand-Am teammate John Pew teamed with NASCAR driver AJ Allmendinger and IndyCar driver Justin Wilson last year to win the Rolex 24 for the first time for Shank. It was MSR's only win of the season, and Negri and Pew finished ninth in points.

    Shank this year had NASCAR driver Marcos Ambrose test the car this month in place of Negri, and Ambrose is part of the official lineup this year. He'll likely get a good deal of time in the car because Negri doesn't want to do too much too soon.

    He starts rehabilitation on his leg Monday.

    "Whatever they need, I will be there for them," said Negri, who admitted the month on the sideline was difficult. "The hardest thing is you keep positive. It's like a roller coaster, really. There were days I was feeling great. I never broke any bone (before), so it's all new to me. Anything I felt different, I felt a little setback.

    "But my beautiful wife and my family supported me all throughout. And I'm a fighter. I wouldn't miss being here, so I did everything I could plus to get it the way it is right now so I could go on the gas."

    The injury was to the leg he uses for braking, so Negri had to use his left foot Saturday.

    "I hardly drove the car until the race; we were saving me as much as we could," he said. "I didn't have much time to gauge how much brake pressure to apply with the left foot. It's totally different."

    Allmendinger fell way behind in the first hour after breaking a left-front tie rod on the team's No. 60 Ford Riley. The part affected steering and suspension, and left the car seven laps back. But by 11:30 Saturday night the car had made up three laps.

    Scott Pruett, seeking his record-tying fifth victory in the event, led after eight hours in the No. 01 BMW Riley Daytona Prototype for Chip Ganassi Racing. He is teaming with NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Juan Montoya, IndyCar's Charlie Kimball and his regular Grand-Am teammate, Memo Rojas. The other Ganassi car, the No. 02, was second.

    The No. 2 DP, co-driven by St. Petersburg resident and IndyCar driver Sebastien Bourdais, was fifth. The Grand-Am opener concludes this afternoon.


    Getty ImagesGetty Images

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    Times wires
    Saturday, January 26, 2013

    PHILADELPHIA — Ryan Arcidiacono took the inbounds, heaved the ball and ducked.

    Hundreds of Villanova students trampled the court like a bull rush, and the game-saving point guard was the target.

    One overzealous fan tried to strip him of his No. 15 jersey.

    Hey, it's not every day the Wildcats knock off a Top 5 team. Though they sure are trying to make it that way.

    Arcidiacono hit a tying 3-pointer with 2.2 seconds left in regulation and James Bell hit consecutive 3's in overtime to send Villanova to its second win over a Top 5 team in a week, 75-71 over No. 3 Syracuse on Saturday.

    The Wildcats defeated No. 5 Louisville 73-64 on Tuesday and became the first unranked team to beat two Top 5 teams in the same season since Florida State in 2011-12, Stats LLC said.

    "What a week for us," coach Jay Wright said.

    Arcidiacono's 3-point attempt to tie with about 25 seconds left in regulation was off the mark. Syracuse's Michael Carter-Williams missed a 1-and-1, and the Villanova's JayVaughn Pinkston grabbed the rebound.

    Bell missed a 3, and Mouphtaou Yarou grabbed the offensive rebound. Syracuse decided not to foul, giving Yarou time to kick it out to Arcidiacono. He let go a leaner from just beyond the 3-point line to tie it at 61.

    "I just put it up, and luckily it went in," Arcidiacono said. "I think we're having fun."

    With the Orange (18-2, 6-1 Big East) down two in overtime, Brandon Triche made one free throw with 46.5 seconds left. Bell followed with a layup for a 71-68 lead, and the Wildcats held on from the line.

    Hoyas stun Louisville

    WASHINGTON — Aaron Bowen, who has 49 points total in three seasons at Georgetown, contorted his body enough to tip in the ball after a missed layup by D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera with 3½ minutes to play, giving the Hoyas a 53-51 victory that handed No. 5 Louisville its third straight loss.

    "I tell him all the time that he's probably one of the most athletic people on this planet, and when the shot went up, he just came out of nowhere," guard Markel Starks said. "And he just, I don't know, he just … it was unbelievable."

    The Cardinals (16-4, 4-3 Big East) are on their longest skid since January 2010. They're the first team to start three-game losing streak when ranked No. 1 since Duke in January 1989.

    NO. 1 DUKE 84, MARYLAND 64: Freshman Rasheed Sulaimon had a season-high 25 points for the host Blue Devils (17-2, 4-2 ACC), who bounced back from a 90-63 loss at Miami.

    NO. 3 KANSAS 67, OKLA. 54: Ben McLemore had 18 points for the Jayhawks (18-1, 6-0 Big 12), who won their 17th straight game overall and 33rd straight at Allen Fieldhouse.

    NO. 6 ARIZONA 74, USC 50: Nick Johnson had 14 points and the host Wildcats (17-2, 5-2 Pac-12) used a stifling defense to bounce back from a home loss.

    NO. 9 BUTLER 83, TEMPLE 71: Rotnei Clarke had 24 points after missing two weeks with a severely sprained neck, and the host Bulldogs (17-3, 4-1 Atlantic 10) won for the 14th time in their past 15 games.

    NO. 10 GONZAGA 66, SAN FRANCISCO 52: Kelly Olynyk had 13 points and the Bulldogs (19-2, 6-0 West Coast Conference) made 8 of 20 3-pointers in their 24th straight home win.

    IOWA ST. 73, NO. 11 KANSAS ST. 67: Will Clyburn had 24 points and 10 rebounds as the host Cyclones handed the Wildcats (15-4, 4-2 Big 12) their second straight loss.

    WISCONSIN 45, NO. 12 MINNESOTA 44: Traevon Jackson hit a 15-foot jumper from the right side with 4 seconds left as the host Badgers handed the Golden Gophers (15-5, 3-4 Big Ten) their fourth straight loss.

    NO. 14 OHIO ST. 65, PENN ST. 51: Sam Thompson had 16 points, and the visiting Buckeyes (15-4, 5-2 Big Ten) held the Nittany Lions without a field goal for 11-plus minutes in the first half.

    SDSU 55, NO. 15 NEW MEXICO 34: The host Aztecs held the Lobos (17-3, 4-1 Mountain West) to season lows for points and shooting (25 percent).

    NO. 16 OREGON 81, WASH. 76: E.J. Singler had 18 points for the Ducks (18-2, 7-0 Pac-12), who stayed undefeated at home.

    NO. 18 N.C. STATE 91, UNC 83: Lorenzo Brown had 20 points and 11 assists for the host Wolfpack (16-4, 5-2 ACC), which ended a 13-game losing streak in the rivalry.

    LA SALLE 69, NO. 19 VCU 61: Ramon Galloway had 31 points, 12 during an 18-4 second-half run, and the visiting Explorers beat a ranked team for the second game in a row and handed the Rams (16-5, 4-2 Atlantic 10) their second loss in three days.

    NO. 20 WICHITA ST. 73, BRADLEY 39: Nick Wiggins fueled a 16-0 second-half run with three 3-pointers as the Shockers (19-2, 8-1 MVC) won their 19th straight home game.

    NO. 22 MISSOURI 81, VANDY 59: Jabari Brown had 21 points for the host Tigers (15-4, 4-2 SEC), who blew it open early with a 32-2 run.

    NO. 23 OLE MISS 63, AUBURN 61: Marshall Henderson hit two free throws with 7 seconds left, and the visiting Rebels (17-2, 6-0 SEC) won their ninth in a row.

    FUTILITY MARKS: Northern Illinois broke its Division I record by scoring four points in the first half of a 42-25 loss to host Eastern Michigan. The Huskies also broke the record for worst field-goal percentage in a half of the shot clock era and tied the mark for fewest field goals, hitting 1 of 31 attempts for 3.2 percent.

    BAT DAY: A bat caused some anxious moments during Marquette's home game against Providence, dive-bombing coaches, players and referees, and causing several delays.

    State

    UCF 74, SMU 65: Isaiah Sykes had 21 points and 10 rebounds for the host Knights (14-5, 4-1 C-USA), who held the Mustangs scoreless over the final 1:49.

    DELAWARE ST. 68, B-CU 52: Marques Oliver had a career-high 24 points as the Hornets pulled away from host Bethune-Cookman (7-14, 2-4 MEAC).

    FAMU 55, MD.-EASTERN SHORE 54: Jamie Adams had 18 points, and the host Rattlers (6-14, 3-3 MEAC) held on.

    BARRY 75, TAMPA 66: The host Buccaneers handed the Spartans (13-6, 1-6 Sunshine State) their sixth loss in seven games.

    ECKERD 68, P.B. ATLANTIC 60: Freshman guard E.J. Moody had 16 points to lift the visiting Tritons (11-4).

    SAINT LEO 79, ROLLINS 54: Jerrel Harris had a career-high 26 points for the host Lions (13-4, 6-4 SSC), who made 14 of 24 3-pointers.


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    By Steve Lee, Times Correspondent
    Saturday, January 26, 2013

    HUDSON — According to River Ridge coach Mitch Geier, the general consensus had defending champion Fivay and perennial challengers Gulf and Pasco ranked as the favorites to win Saturday's Sunshine Athletic Conference Championship meet.

    That was just fine with Geier and his Royal Knights, who appeared to have slipped ahead to win the team title before a scoring discrepancy was discovered as teams, coaches and fans were filing out of the Hudson gym.

    Fivay's Nicco Lightfoot won the 170-pound final 7-5 over Gulf's Spencer Baxter but somehow Baxter got the credit for a win in team scoring. After the team finish had been announced, Lightfoot heard his name being called as the runnerup for his weight class, and he corrected meet officials, who then confirmed with the match scoring table that he had won. Then coaches, some who were walking out, were recalled and the team scores were recalculated.

    So instead of River Ridge edging Gulf 166-165 with Fivay and Pasco close behind, the new cores resulted in the Falcons defending their championship with 168 points. River Ridge wound up second at 166, Pasco third at 164.5 followed by Gulf at 161.

    "I was on my way out the door and somebody called me back and said we won," Fivay coach Andy Medders said. "I don't want to take a trophy away from anybody if it wasn't earned. It's amazing how close it was. All it takes is one mistake and it changes who wins the tournament."

    Geier's earlier assertion — "One point, 100 points; it's still a win" — held true in the aftermath as well.

    Added Gulf coach Travis Dewalt, "It was pretty exciting. It came down to the wire."

    Fivay was the only team with four champions. Aside from Lightfoot, Andrew Scherer (145 pounds) defeated Anclote's Jonte Scott 11-5. Collin Hahn (182) scored an 18-1 technical fall over Gulf's Jarred Kruse, and Kelly Meus (285) beat River Ridge's Hayden Krautner 4-2.

    The finals started with an upset. Land O'Lakes' Dominick Telesco, who had lost four straight times to Fivay's Cole Manion, took the 106 title with an 8-3 decision. "I finally beat him and it felt great," said Telesco, a sophomore.


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    By Doug Hemmer, Times Correspondent
    Sunday, January 27, 2013

    What's hot: We have been working the drop-off on the edge of the flats. The best time is during a strong incoming tide. Look for areas with a mixture of grass and sand. Most of the fish are lying in the sand next to the grass. Trout, ladyfish and flounder have been striking jigs worked close to the bottom. A slow retrieve will draw the most strikes. Water clarity is important. When the water is clear and you can see the grass coming out of the sand, the fish won't feel safe and will move to deeper water. Look for areas where the grass looks like a dark spot. Most of these spots will be in 3-4 feet.

    Tackle: Use light tackle, from 6-10 pounds. A braided line will help you feel the strikes. Use 2-3 feet of fluorocarbon leader in front of the jig. The best colors are root beer, motor oil and strawberry. A 7- to 8-foot rod will allow you to cast farther. Close the bale by hand before the jig hits the water. This will help keep the line on the reel tight. If it gets loose, it will cause wind knots that have to be cut out and tied again.

    Tips: Super glue the tails to the jig head. This will keep the tail from being ripped off the jig head. Squeeze the barb down with pliers. This will make releasing undersized fish easier on you and the fish.

    Doug Hemmer charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 347-1389.


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    Times wires
    Sunday, January 27, 2013

    DAYTONA BEACH — Humbled a year ago when its two cars failed to make the podium, Chip Ganassi Racing returned to the Rolex 24 at Daytona determined to pick up another victory watch.

    An eyebrow-raising lineup change that involved Juan Montoya led to victory Sunday, the team's fifth in 10 appearances in the prestigious sports car race.

    Scott Pruett tied Hurley Haywood's record for 24-hour wins at Daytona International Speedway with his fifth in the Grand-Am opener.

    "Having gotten to know Hurley real well over the years by racing with him and just as a friend, and to have him there at the end was pretty special," Pruett said.

    The winning team was three-time defending Grand-Am champion drivers Pruett and Memo Rojas, along with Montoya and IndyCar driver Charlie Kimball.

    The No. 10 Corvette team of Max Angelelli, defending IndyCar champion Ryan Hunter-Reay and Jordan Taylor finished second, 22 seconds back in a race sometimes settled by several laps.

    There were a record 77 lead changes, with the final two coming in the last 10 minutes. Montoya stopped for a splash of fuel, handing the top spot to Angelelli. But he stopped for fuel minutes later, settling the race in favor of Ganassi's No. 01 BMW Riley.

    "It was a lot of pressure; I thought we have a decent lead, we're just going to go out there and ride for 21/2 hours," Montoya said, adding that a couple of cautions made things interesting.

    For this race Montoya was moved from the No. 02 Ganassi "star car" featuring fellow Indianapolis 500 champions Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon and former Daytona 500 winner Jamie McMurray. The No. 02, with Joey Hand as the fourth member, fell out with a mechanical failure with four hours left.

    St. Petersburg resident and IndyCar driver Sebastien Bourdais and his team were sixth; Tampa's Anthony Massari was 47th. In the GT class, Charles Espenlaub of Lutz was 24th and Patrick Long of Belleair 25th.

    An Audi R8 driven by Filipe Albuquerque, Oliver Jarvis, Edoardo Mortara and Dion von Moltke won in GT.


    0 0

    Times wires
    Sunday, January 27, 2013

    MELBOURNE, Australia — No shirt ripping or bare-chested flexing this time.

    Novak Djokovic completed his work before midnight Sunday, defeating Andy Murray in four sets for his third consecutive Australian Open title and fourth overall.

    It was the second time in three years Djokovic had beaten his longtime friend in this final. So the celebration was muted: A small shuffle, raised arms, a kiss for the trophy. No histrionics.

    "Winning it three in a row, it's incredible," Djokovic said after his 6-7 (2-7), 7-6 (7-3), 6-3, 6-2 victory. "It's very thrilling. I'm full of joy right now. … It's definitely my favorite Grand Slam, my most successful Grand Slam. I love this court."

    Nine other men had won consecutive Australian titles in the Open era, but none three straight years. Only two other men, American Jack Crawford (1931-33) and Australian Roy Emerson (1963-67), have won three or more consecutive championships here.

    A year ago, Djokovic began his season with an epic 5-hour, 53-minute five-set win over Rafael Nadal at the Australian, the longest Grand Slam final. He tore off his shirt to celebrate, the TV replays repeated constantly at this tournament.

    Born a week apart in May 1987 and friends since their junior playing days, Djokovic and Murray played like they knew each other's game very well in a rematch of last year's U.S. Open final, when Murray had his – and Britain's — Grand Slam breakthrough at last.

    Murray, the Serb's onetime doubles partner, knows Djokovic's strengths as well as anyone. He shares many of them, but after holding his own early he gradually faded — suffering from a toe blister and a surprising inability to break serve.

    What seemed grindingly difficult — the first two sets required 2:13 — looked much closer to routine by the end as Djokovic won in 3:40, which qualified as a middle-distance final in this age of marathons.

    The difference might have been as light as a feather.

    Preparing for a second serve at 2-2 in the second-set tiebreak, Murray was set to toss the ball when he stopped, paused and tried to grab a small white feather that was floating in his view. He went back to the baseline, bounced the ball another eight times and served too long.

    After that double fault, Murray didn't get close for the rest of the tiebreaker and was the first to drop serve in the match — in the eighth game of the third set. Djokovic broke him twice in the fourth.

    "It was strange," said Djokovic, adding that it swung the momentum his way. "It obviously did. … He made a crucial double-fault."

    Murray didn't blame his loss on the one distraction.

    "I mean, I could have served. It just caught my eye before I served. I thought it was a good idea to move it," he said. "…You know, at this level it can come down to just a few points here or there."

    MIXED DOUBLES: Australians Jarmila Gajdosova and Matthew Ebden, a wild-card entry, won the title 6-3, 7-5 over Czech pair Lucie Hradecka and Frantisek Cermak.


    Associated PressAssociated Press

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