In Sports from United Press International

By United Press International  |  Dec. 1, 2001 at 1:13 AM
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Hurricanes seek spot in title game

BLACKSBURG, Va., Dec. 1 (UPI) -- The top-ranked Miami Hurricanes can wrap up a spot in the national championship game today if they can get past No. 13 Virginia Tech.

That game is one in a series of contests that could impact the NCAA title chase as teams battle for one of the top two spots in the Bowl Championship Series rankings. The top two teams in the BCS will play for the national crown on Jan. 3 in the Rose Bowl.

No. 2 Florida will host Tennessee while No. 3 Texas will meet Colorado in the championship game of the Big 12 Conference.

Miami will put its unbeaten season and a 20-game winning streak on the line against Virginia Tech.

Kings win overtime thriller

SAN ANTONIO, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Hedo Turkoglu scored five of his season-high 23 points in overtime Friday night and Mike Bibby finished with 22 as the Sacramento Kings handed the San Antonio Spurs their first home loss, 109-106.

San Antonio's Tim Duncan scored a season-high 38 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, but had little help down the stretch after David Robinson fouled out with 1:17 remaining.

Duncan dominated the final minutes of regulation, completing a three-point play with 1:06 left before sending the game to overtime on a bank shot with 13 seconds left.

He scored the first basket of the extra session, but the Spurs missed their next five shots and committed a 24-second violation while Sacramento pulled away.

Turkoglu hit a running bank shot to forge a 99-99 tie with 3:25 left in overtime and Bobby Jackson made a layup to give the Kings the lead for good with 2:40 left.

Turkoglu made three free throws in the final 2:01 and Peja Stojakovic added a pair while San Antonio struggled to score and fell to 7-1 at the Alamodome.

Other NBA results: Detroit 110, Charlotte 105; Washington 84, Miami 75; Memphis 102, Houston 85; Denver 96, Los Angeles Clippers 93; Phoenix 98, Utah 76; Portland 101, Milwaukee 95; Los Angeles Lakers 107, Seattle 92.

Red Wings unbeaten in nine games

DETROIT, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Manny Legace made 36 saves and four different players scored Friday night as the Detroit Red Wings extended their unbeaten run to nine games with a 4-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils.

A little-used backup to Dominik Hasek, Legace improved to 7

0 this season and extended a personal unbeaten stretch that began in January to 19 games (17

It does not seem to matter which goaltender is in net for the Red Wings, who lead the NHL at 22-3-1-1. They have earned a point in each of their last 12 games and are 8

1 during their unbeaten run.

The Devils look nothing like the team that has gone to the Stanley Cup Finals each of the last two seasons. They are 1-6-1-1 in their last nine games and are 13th in the Eastern Conference with 22 points.

Other NHL results: Washington 6, Carolina 2; Toronto 2, Chicago 1; Colorado 5, Vancouver 2; San Jose 5, Anaheim 2.

Davie denies he is on the way out

SOUTH BEND, Ind., Dec. 1 (UPI) -- A newspaper that covers Notre Dame athletics reported Friday that coach Bob Davie would be fired after the Fighting Irish's game Saturday against Purdue, a report Davie promptly denied.

Blue and Gold Illustrated said Davie would be dismissed and that there already is a list of candidates to replace him that includes Oklahoma's Bob Stoops and NFL coaches Jon Gruden of the Oakland Raiders and Tom Coughlin of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Davie appeared in a television interview, however, and said the report is erroneous.

"It's the first I've heard of it," he said. "It's not true. I believe in Notre Dame and its integrity and honesty. It might happen somewhere else, but not here. It's the first time I've been confronted with it. That story is not true."

At 4-6, the Fighting Irish will not be competing in a bowl for the second time in five seasons under Davie. They also missed the postseason in 1999 and were embarrassed in last season's Fiesta Bowl by Oregon State, 41-9.

Toledo wins MAC title

TOLEDO, Ohio, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Toledo became the first school other than Marshall to win the MAC championship game Friday night, rallying from a 23-point, second-quarter deficit to shock the 18th-ranked Thundering Herd, 41-36, on Chester Taylor's eight-yard touchdown run with 6:34 remaining.

Moments after the final gun sounded, Toledo fans Marshall poured onto the field in celebration of the Rockets' 14th straight home victory.

This was the first time the Thundering Herd (10-2) had been forced to play the MAC title game on the road. And despite exploding for 20 points in the opening 8 1/2 minutes, they were unable to hold on for another crown.

The Rockets (9-2) put up 25 points in the third quarter and grabbed their first lead with 4:28 to play in the period when Todd France scored on a 16-yard run. Quarterback Tavares Bolden rushed for the two-point conversion and a 32-29 lead.

Marshall grabbed a 36-35 edge just over three minutes into the fourth quarter as Byron Leftwich hit Denero Marriott for an 18-yard score, but Taylor put the Rockets ahead for good 5 1/2 minutes later.

Postseason destinations for the two teams did not hinge on Friday night's game. Marshall is headed to the GMAC Mobile Alabama Bowl on Dec. 19 and Toledo will play in the Motor City Bowl 10 days later.

Pat Perez leads Qualifying Tournament

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Pat Perez, who finished 32nd on the Tour money list this year, made two eagles Friday and shot the low round of the week, a 9-under 63, that put him in the lead halfway through the six-round PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament.

Gary Nicklaus and former amateur star Luke Donald also made big moves Friday at the Bear Creek Country Club.

The low 35 players and ties from the 167-man field will earn playing privliges on the 2002 tour.

Perez put himself in excellent position to grab one of those spots by reaching 18-under 198 for 54 holes. He had a two-shot lead over tour veteran Tommy Armour III, who got to 200 by firing a 67.

Tied for third at 202 were Ben Crane, Kevin Durkin and second-round leader Hidemichi Tanaka, who shot a 70 Friday.

Nicklaus, who failed to earn enough money in 2001 to keep his tour card and was forced to re-enter the grueling qualifying event, moved into a tie for seventh at 204 by firing a 65. Nicklaus began the day tied for 33rd.

Former tour winners Blaine McCallister and Robert Gamez were among the large group tied for 12th at 205.

Donald, from England, turned pro this year after the Walker Cup matches and he opened the tournament with two rounds of 71. But he shot a 65 Friday that vaulted him from a tie for 73rd to a tie for 26th at 207.

Contraction court case slowed

ST. PAUL, Minn., Dec. 1 (UPI) -- The Minnesota Supreme Court refused Friday to hear an immediate appeal on a county court's decision that would force the Minnesota Twins to play its games in the Metrodome next season, but did urge the state's Court of Appeals to expedite the case.

Justices on the Supreme Court said attorneys for baseball, "have not demonstrated that this case requires the extraordinary procedure of immediate determination."

Hennepin Country District Judge Harry Crump issued a temporary injunction on Nov. 16, ordering the Twins to compete in 2002 and barring any person or organization from trying to stop them.

That order is one of the major obstacles that stands in the way of baseball reducing its number of teams, which commissioner Bud Selig has said it will do. Although Selig has not announced which teams will be disbanded, it has been widely reported that Minnesota and Montreal are the top candidates.

The normal span of time for the Court of Appeals to hear a case is about six to eight months. Baseball's spring training is less than three months away.

Doleac out five weeks

CLEVELAND, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Cleveland Cavaliers starting center Michael Doleac will be sidelined at least five weeks after an examination Friday revealed a stress fracture in his left ankle.

The 6-11, 262-pound Doleac had missed the last four games with the injury, which has not prevented him from standing or walking -- just running. He will be in a cast for two weeks, followed by a week in a walking boot. Once the boot is removed, he is expected to need three weeks of rehabilitation.

In his fourth NBA season, Doleac started the Cavaliers first 12 games this season, averaging 7.2 poings and 6.3 rebounds per game. He has career averages of 6.6 points and 3.8 rebounds in 219 games, all but the final 12 with the Orlando Magic.

He was acquired from the Magic on June 27 for the draft rights to Brendan Haywood.

Dozen Air Force players suspended

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Saturday's game against Utah may be Senior Day for Air Force, but for a dozen members of the football team, ceremonies are all that will take place.

Air Force coach Fisher DeBerry suspended 12 members of the team Friday for violating team rules when the squad was in Honolulu playing Hawaii last week. Among the 12 players punished were five seniors, who will be allowed to take part in pregame festivities but not in the game.

"We had some kids that violated our curfew policy and we've always had a rule in Falcon football that the team comes first," DeBerry said. "These young men put themselves first and we cannot and will not tolerate that."

Kostner wins second straight downhill

LAKE LOUISE, Alberta, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Italy's Isolde Kostner continued her domination in the Canadian Rockies Friday, blitzing to victory in a World Cup downhill to open the season with back-to-back wins.

Kostner, who opened defense of her World Cup downhill crown by winning the first race of the doubleheader Thursday, charged to victory on the 2,741-meter Olympic course in 1 minute, 38.13 seconds.

In the last seven downhills staged at this Canadian resort, Kostner has finished no worse than second, winning for times.

Switzerland's Sylviane Berthod was second in 1:38.19 while downhill world champion Michaela Dorfmeister of Austria was third in 1:38.35.

After crashing out within sight of the finish line Thursday, Canada's Melanie Turgeon delighted the home supporters, taking fourth in 1:38.36. American Picabo Street was fifth in 1:38.64 after finishing sixth on Thursday.

World Cup draw set for Saturday

PUSAN, South Korea, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- The draw for the 2002 World Cup will be held today and on the eve of the much-anticipated ceremony, soccer's governing body made the surprise announcement that the defending champion will no longer be exempt from qualifying.

After more than 700 matches in a two-year qualifying process around the world, the last of the 32 teams that will compete for soccer's top prize was decided on Sunday when Uruguay bested Australia.

The 32 nations will be drawn into eight groups of four at the traditional ceremony Saturday with the eight top seeds having already been announced. They are defending champion France, co-hosts Japan and South Korea, Italy, Spain, Germany, Brazil and Argentina.

At the conclusion of the draw, each team will know its opposition and the time and place for each of its three preliminary matches. The top two from each of the eight groups will advance to the knockout phase of the competition.

The World Cup will begin May 31 in Seoul with the championship match taking place June 30 in Yokohama.

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