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In Sports from United Press International

March 2, 2003 at 11:39 PM   |   Comments

Woods holds off Toms

CARLSBAD, Calif., March 3 (UPI) -- Tiger Woods fought off the challenge of a weary David Toms Sunday and won the Accenture Match Play Championship for the first time.

Woods moved into the top 10 on the PGA Tour's all-time victory list.

He took a 4-up lead after the morning 18 holes of the 36-hole title match and then hung on for a 2 & 1 victory -- his second of the season in three appearances.

Golf's No. 1 player won for the 36th time on the American tour in a career that spans only 6 1/2 years. That ties him for 10th place on the all-time win chart with Lloyd Mangrum. He needs two more to tie Gene Sarazen for ninth place and has 45 more to go to reach the record set by the late Sam Snead.

Toms was fortunate to have reached the final, having suffered food poisoning early in the week that brought about a four-hour stay at a local hospital. Toms, the 2001 PGA Championship winner, still managed to win his quarterfinal and semifinal matches Saturday and battled back against Woods Sunday.

But Toms was obviously fatigued at the end of the day as he walked slowly between shots in an attempt to conserve strength.

The top seed and world's No. 1 player also became the first man to win all four events in the World Golf Championships series.

Two weeks into the 2003 tour season, Woods became the third player to win twice, joining Ernie Els and Mike Weir. There have not been three different two-time winners this early in a tuor season in 48 years.

In the 18-hole consolation match between a pair of Australians, Adam Scott opened a 6-up lead in the first eight holes and then held on to edge Peter Lonard, 1-up.


Kentucky wins 18th in a row

ATHENS, Ga., March 3 (UPI) -- Second-ranked Kentucky played stifling defense late in the second half Sunday to its 18th straight game, 74-66 over No. 22 Georgia.

For the first time during their winning streak, the Wildcats trailed for more than 30 seconds during the second half. Ezra Williams, who scored 14 points, put the Bulldogs up, 54-53, on a turnaround follow shot in the lane with 6:27 left.

That was the last lead for the Bulldogs (17-8, 9-5 SEC East). They did not make another basket until Williams hit a three-pointer with 45 seconds remaining. In the meantime, five different players scored for the Wildcats (24-3, 14-0) during a 15-6 run.

Marquis Estill led Kentucky with 16 points. Chuck Hayes added 15 for the Wildcats, including a key follow shot with 3:30 left that made it 58-54. Cliff Hawkins had steals on consecutive possessions Hawkins and set up a layup by Keith Bogans on the next trip.

Kentucky pulled into a 54-54 tie when Erik Daniels made one of two free throws with 5:39 left and moved ahead to stay on a pair of free throws by Estill 41 seconds later.

Wildcats coach Tubby Smith improved to 10-2 against his former team, which played its first game since a scandal broke earlier in the week involving assistant coach Jim Harrick Jr.'s possible violation of NCAA rules.

The day's biggest upset came in New York, where Marcus Hatten stripped Chris Duhon at midcourt and sank a free throw with no time remaining to give St. John's a 72-71 win over No. 5 Duke.

St. John's scored the game's final 12 points.

Duke had a chance to hold the ball for a final shot, but Duhon lost control of his dribble and Hatten came away with it after the two made contact.

Breaking straight to the basket, Hatten attempted a finger roll as Duhon cut in front. The ball bounced off the rim, but Duhon was called for a foul.

With no one else on the court, Hatten cleanly sank a foul shot before sprinting to the St. John's bench as his teammates ran to greet him.


Rookie leads Spurs to victory

HOUSTON, March 3 (UPI) -- Rookie Emanuel Ginobili scored a season-high 20 points Sunday to lead San Antonio past Houston, 97-88, the Spurs' 13th victory in 14 games.

Tim Duncan added 17 points, Tony Parker and Malik Rose had 16 apiece and David Robinson 14 and 10 rebounds for San Antonio, which has won four in a row and nine of its last 10 road contests.

Parker scored 10 points and Duncan and Stephen Jackson eight apiece in the first quarter as the Spurs opened a 30-18 lead. San Antonio shot 70 percent (14-of-20) in the opening 12 minutes and limited Houston to 36 percent.

San Antonio held a 12-point advantage at the half and by as many as 22 points early in the third quarter. The bulge was 17 midway through the fourth before Houston made a late run, pulling within 94-88 on a three-pointer by Glen Rice with 52 seconds left.

Steve Francis collected 21 points, eight rebounds and eight assists before fouling out in the final minute and Rice added 19 points for the Rockets, who lost for the ninth time in 13 contests.

Other NBA results: Orlando 102, Cleveland 76; Utah 91, New Jersey 90; Toronto 104, Boston 92; Milwaukee 120, Atlanta 93; Minnesota 99, New York 90; Miami 93, Washington 83; Philadelphia 97, Denver 94; Portland 103, Detroit 86.


Red Wings streak reaches five games

DETROIT, March 3 (UPI) -- Pavel Datsyuk scored a pair of goals and recorded a career-high four points Sunday night to carry Detroit past Phoenix, 5-2.

It was the Red Wings' fifth straight win.

Datsyuk recorded points on each of Detroit's first four tallies, setting up Brett Hull and rookie Henrik Zetterberg during a three-goal second period and scoring goals of his own in the second and third.

Defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom also scored for the Red Wings, who have totaled at least five goals in each of their last five games. They have earned at least a point in nine straight (8


0-1).

Detroit played without its captain, Steve Yzerman, who was held out of back-to-back contests. He is expected to play Monday in Columbus.

Defensemen Teppo Numminen and Drake Berehowsky scored for the Coyotes, who remained six points behind Edmonton for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Western Conference.

Other NHL results: Washington 2, Carolina 0; Atlanta 4, Anaheim 1; Colorado 3, Chicago 2 in overtime; Dallas 3, Pittsburgh 1.


Kenseth claims NASCAR race

LAS VEGAS, March 3 (UPI) -- Matt Kenseth had a perfect final pit stop with 40 laps to go and drove to victory Sunday at the NASCAR UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400.

On lap 227, Kenseth's pit crew needed just 13.6 seconds to put four tires on his Ford Taurus and fill it with enough fuel to last him the rest of the way. Kenseth never looked back en route to his seventh career Winston Cup checkered flag and the fourth for Roush Racing in six events at this track.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. and DEI teammate Michael Waltrip followed closely in Chevrolet Monte Carlos, finishing second and third.

Pole sitter Bobby Labonte and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Tony Stewart rounded out the top five, also in Chevrolets.

There was an incident on the final lap between Jimmie Johnson and veteran Sterling Marlin, who were battling for eighth. Marlin tapped Johnson from behind, sending the second-year driver spinning onto the infield grass.

Johnson momentarily lost his temper and was looking to perhaps bump Marlin on pit lane before crew members warned him via radio that NASCAR officials were closely watching.


Sugiyama works overtime for title

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., March 3 (UPI) -- After winning a semifinal match that lasted more than two hours, Ai Sugiyama defeated Kim Clijsters Sunday to win the State Farm Classic.

Due to rain on Saturday, Sugiyama and American Alexandra Stevenson had to play their semifinal match early Saturday. Sugiyama needed to stave off three match points before recording a 6-7 (2-7), 6-2, 7-6 (9-7) victory in a match that took 2 hours, 12 minutes.

After just 90 minutes of rest, Sugiyama came back to the Fairmont Princess Hotel center court to upset the second seed and third-ranked player in the world, 3-6, 7-5, 6-4, in 2 hours, 4 minutes.

Sugiyama claimed her fourth WTA Tour singles title -- her first at a Tier II event. She picked up $93,000 for her first tournament victory since winning the Japan Open in 1998.

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