Sports Update

Oct. 31, 2001 at 12:32 AM
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In Sports from United Press International

NY Yankees cut Series deficit to 2-1

NEW YORK, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- Roger Clemens and Mariano Rivera combined on a three-hitter and Scott Brosius snapped a sixth-inning tie with an RBI single as the New York Yankees took advantage of sloppy play by the Arizona Diamondbacks to post a 2-1 triumph Tuesday night in Game Three of the World Series.

Leading two games to none, Arizona had a chance to put a stranglehold on the series with a win.

The Diamondbacks got a great outing from starter Brian Anderson but committed three errors, saw their pitchers throw three wild pitches and ran themselves out of the opening inning.

The Yankees again struggled offensively. They got only seven hits, including a home run by Jorge Posada in the second inning, but Clemens and Rivera throttled an Arizona attack that scored 13 runs in the first two games.

Clemens improved to 3-0 in five career World Series starts, allowing a run, three singles and three walks in seven innings. He struck out nine and lowered his World Series ERA to 1.59.

Pitching for the first time in eight days, Rivera struck out four of the final six batters for his record eighth career World Series save.

No team ever has erased a three games to none deficit in the postseason and Arizona may look back at this effort as the turning point. New York improved to 17-3 in its last 20 World Series games and sends postseason ace Orlando Hernandez to the mound in Game Four on Wednesday.

The loss clouds Arizona's plans for Game Four as the Diamondbacks appeared set to bypass Miguel Batista in favor of Game One winner Curt Schilling. No matter who gets the call, the Diamondbacks have surrendered momentum to the three-time defending champions.

President Bush, in attendance with his wife, pitched out the first ball Tuesday night.

Michael Jordan scores 19 in return to NBA

NEW YORK, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- Michael Jordan scored 19 points Tuesday night in his eagerly anticipated comeback but made just 7-of-21 shots and showed signs of three years of rust as the Washington Wizards were beaten by the New York Knicks, 93-91, in the season opener for both teams.

Despite Game Three of the World Series being played a few miles away at Yankee Stadium, Madison Square Garden was abuzz as Jordan returned to the league he dominated for 13 seasons.

In the first NBA game ever televised by the BBC, Jordan came out of the owner's box and played 37 minutes at the somewhat unfamiliar position of small forward. He was 5-of-6 from the foul line, adding six assists, five rebounds and four steals.

But he missed an open 3-pointer from the right side in the final 20 seconds that would have lifted the Wizards into a tie.

Coach says White has sprain

NORMAN, Okla., Oct. 31 (UPI) -- Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops confirmed Tuesday that quarterback Jason White will miss Saturday's game against Tulsa with a sprained left knee. But Stoops refuted a claim in Monday's Daily Oklahoman that White would be sidelined for the remainder of the season with a torn ACL.

"From what I got from the doctor last night, it's a sprain," Stoops said. "From the way Jason threw the ball last night, I believe there's a chance he could play next week and throughout the season. If that's not the case, I will say so. He won't play this week."

White's status has developed into a controversy as some have accused Stoops of covering up the injury, but the coach denied those claims.

"I have never said anything that is not true to the media or the public," he said.

Nate Hybl, Oklahoma's starter for the first six games of the season, will start against the Golden Hurricane.

Making his second career start, White suffered the injury in the second quarter of last week's 20-10 loss to then-No. 3 Nebraska after landing awkwardly following a pass attempt. He returned to the contest for a brief time in the fourth quarter.

The loss ended the Sooners' 20-game winning streak while dropping them to fourth in the latest coaches poll and second in the Bowl Championship Series standings.

Hypl was benched prior to Oklahoma's game against Baylor on October 20 due to inconsistent play. He has completed 105-of-195 passes for 1,180 yards with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Kuerten wins, Hewitt upset in Paris

PARIS, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- Gustavo Kuerten has the edge in the year-end battle for the No. 1 ranking with Lleyton Hewitt, who was upset in the second round Tuesday at the $2.95 million Tennis Series event in Paris.

Kuerten rolled to a 6-2, 6-4 victory against Bohdan Ulihrach of the Czech Republic while the second-seeded Hewitt was ousted by Nicolas Lapentti of Ecuador, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. Both players received first-round byes.

Kuerten halted a five-match losing streak and improved to 5-1 against Ulihrach. The Brazilian is trying to pull a sweep of Paris titles after taking the French Open this summer.

The victory allowed the top-seeded Kuerten to open a lead of 133 points over Hewitt, who needs to win the Tennis Masters Cup in November to have a chance to overtake the top spot.

In other second-round matches, No. 3 Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain advanced with a 6-3, 6-4 win over countryman Albert Portas. Belgian qualifier Christophe Rochus eliminated ninth seed Alex Corretja of Spain, 5-7, 7-6 (7-1), 6-4.

Wimbledon champion and No. 12 seed Goran Ivanisevic of Croatia also was upset, losing to Sweden's Andreas Vinciguerra, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (8-6).

Six first-round matches also were completed Tuesday. Albert Costa of Spain defeated French wild card Michael Llodra, 7-6 (7-3), 6-1, and Slovakian Dominik Hrbaty held off Belarussian Max Mirnyi, 6-2, 7-6 (7-4).

Also, Frenchman Julien Boutter was winning, 6-4, 3-1, against Andrei Pavel when the Romanian retired with an injury; Sjeng Schalken of the Netherlands had no trouble against Italian qualifier Frederico Luzzi, 6-4, 6-2; Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia beat Carlos Moya of Spain, 7-5, 6-1; and 1996 champion Thomas Enqvist of Sweden beat Frenchman Nicolas Escude, 6-2, 6-3.

Vikings waive veteran safety

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., Oct. 31 (UPI) -- Unable to make an impact with the Minnesota Vikings, Pro Bowl strong safety Henry Jones was waived by the team on Tuesday.

Jones signed with the Vikings on September 25, two days after starting safety Robert Griffith went down with a fractured ankle. Jones played in two games with Minnesota, recording one tackle on special teams.

The Vikings, who have a bye this week, are expecting Griffith to return for their next game at Philadelphia on November 11.

Jones, 33, was one of the last links to the Buffalo Bills' Super Bowl teams from the 1990s before getting released by the club at the end of training camp. Last season, the 6-foot, 200-pounder started 16 games and collected 131 tackles. A 1991 first-round pick of the Bills, Jones stepped in as a starter the following season and has started 128 of 145 games in his career, recording 790 tackles and 16 interceptions. He went to the Pro Bowl following the 1992 season when he recorded eight interceptions and 92 tackles.

Capriati a first-round winner

MUNICH, Germany, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- Jennifer Capriati opened the season-ending Sanex Championships on Tuesday with a victory and held on to her No. 1 ranking.

In the first match of this $3 million indoor event, the top-seeded American rallied past Magdalena Maleeva of Bulgaria, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3.

Had Capriati lost, Lindsay Davenport would have moved past her countrywoman into the No. 1 spot. Davenport, seeded second this week, has won three titles in as many weeks to move within 61 points of Capriati in the WTA Tour rankings.

Capriati, who won the Australian and French Opens this season, took the top spot away from Martina Hingis of Switzerland in October to become the ninth woman to hold the No. 1 ranking.

Capriati's win over Maleeva--her seventh in nine meetings-- was her first in this event since she reached the quarterfinals in 1992. She lost in the first round in 2000 after an eight-year absence.

This is the first year the tour championship is being held in Munich after a 23-year stint at Madison Square Garden in New York. The event features an elite 16-player field but is without some of the WTA's top stars.

Hingis, the reigning champion, is out after undergoing ankle surgery two weeks ago, and Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion Venus Williams of the United States has a wrist injury.

In addition, American Monica Seles, last year's runner-up and a three-time winner, has vowed not to play in Germany since the country's courts released the man who stabbed her with a knife in 1993.

In a faceoff between Frenchwomen, Sandrine Testud overcome a first-set loss to fifth seed Amelie Mauresmo of France to prevail 5-7, 7-5, 6-1.

Seventh seed Serena Williams of the United States made a successful debut at the Sanex Championships with a convincing 6-0, 6-2 victory over Silvia Farina-Elia of Italy. Williams qualified in 1999 and 2000 but pulled out with a back injury and a foot ailment, respectively.

A two-time winner this season, Williams has not played since the U.S. Open, preferring to stay close to her family after the terrorist attacks on the United States in September. She lost the championship match in New York against her older sister, Venus, marking the second time ever and first since 1884 that sisters squared off in a Grand Slam final.

Eighth seed Nathalie Tauziat of France lost, 6-3, 6-4, to another veteran, Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario of Spain. Tauziat dropped to 6-9 at this event and 1-12 lifetime against Sanchez-Vicario. Her lone win against the Spaniard was at the 2000 U.S. Open.

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