Duke dominates in showdown
DURHAM, N.C., Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Jason Williams scored 34 points Thursday night as the No. 1 Blue Devils responded to the challenge of their coach with a resounding 99-78 victory over No. 3 Maryland in a battle of Atlantic Coast Conference powers.
After seeing its 22-game winning streak end with a 77-76 loss at Florida State on Jan. 6, Coach Mike Krzyzewski took away the nameplates and chairs from the locker room and stated he would not talk to the media except for his weekly ACC conference call and post-game news conferences.
The Blue Devils (15-1, 4-1 ACC) then posted blowout victories over Georgia Tech and North Carolina State, but clearly were pointing toward this game. Maryland played four classic games with Duke last season, including a 95-84 loss in the national semifinals. But the Terrapins had won their previous two visits to Durham.
Mike Dunleavy triggered a 7-0 run with a basket and a three-pointer and Williams dunked for an 80-70 advantage with 9:23 remaining. A three-point play by Maryland's Chris Wilcox briefly stemmed the tide, but Dunleavy scored the next five points for an 85-73 advantage with 8:11 remaining.
Dunleavy finished with 21 points and seven steals, helping the Blue Devils force 20 turnovers.
Maryland (13-3, 3-1) was led by Lonny Baxter, who scored 24 points before fouling out.
The first half featured 25 lead changes and Maryland shot 54 percent to take a 49-48 edge to the locker room. The team that has led at halftime has lost the last five meetings.
Lots left to do in baseball
PHOENIX, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Baseball owners completed two days of meetings Thursday with much business left undone.
With just a few weeks remaining before the start of spring training, the owners failed to make a final decision on contraction, left the status of several franchises in limbo and failed to make any significant strides toward creating a collective bargaining agreement with the players.
Nevertheless, Commissioner Bud Selig attempted to put a happy spin on things.
"I've had the two best days I've had in a while," Selig said after the owners concluded the meetings by getting together with union chief Donald Fehr.
While there were no formal negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement, the presence of Fehr was at least a small step.
Selig added to the goodwill by saying the owners do not plan to lock out players when spring training starts. Fehr also implied that the players do not intend to strike this season.
Williams battles on at Australian Open
Williams, plagued by a sore knee, overcame a sluggish start to survive against Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia, 3-6, 6-0, 6-4. And in the first match at Rod Laver Arena, Seles got past Francesca Schiavone of Italy, 6-4, 6-4.
If both Williams and Seles win in the round of 16, they will meet in the quarterfinals next week.
As the first of two days of third-round action unfolded, most of the early matches involved the women's draw.
Adriana Serra Zanetti of Italy defeated 11th-seeded countrywoman Silvia Farina Elia, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4; Magdelena Maleeva of Bulgaria ousted American Lisa Raymond, 7-5, 6-1; and Martina Sucha of Slovakia was a 6-0, 6-4 winner over Asa Svensson of Sweden.
In the first of the eight men's matches on the schedule, Jiri Novak of the Czech Republic coasted past Francisco Clavet of Spain, 6-3, 6-4, 6-1.
Most of the attention was expected to be focused on the evening matches, in which Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski were scheduled to meet. Martina Hingis of Switzerland also had a match scheduled in the evening against Germany's Barbara Rittner.
The Henman-Rusedski match will mark the first time in the open era that two British players have faced each other at the Australian Open.
Hornets owners visit New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- The owners of the Charlotte Hornets visited their prospective new city Thursday, saying they would succeed in New Orleans where other NBA franchises have failed.
On the day they applied to the NBA to relocate the Hornets to New Orleans starting next season, George Shinn and Ray Wooldridge reached an agreement with Louisiana Gov. Mike Foster that would have the team move into the New Orleans Arena next season.
Shinn and Wooldridge both vowed to make the transition work, despite the relatively small market and the city's past apathy toward basketball.
"We're committed to make this thing work," said Shinn, the team's embattled majority owner. "I've heard a lot of people say it's going to be hard. My response is, 'we're gonna show you.'"
"We are so happy to be here," Wooldridge added. "We will not let you down. We need your support."
The memorandum of understanding will make it easier for Shinn and Wooldridge. It calls for a 10-year lease, with the Hornets paying $2 million per year and receiving revenues from premium seating, advertising, naming rights, concessions, novelties and parking.
Duncan paces Spurs
SAN ANTONIO, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Tim Duncan had 35 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks and made numerous huge plays down the stretch Thursday night to lead the San Antonio Spurs to their seventh straight win over the Utah Jazz, 102-98.
Duncan is often mentioned as one of the league's elite players for good reason and continually showed why against the Jazz. San Antonio and Utah battled evenly for three quarters, but Duncan was the difference in the closing minutes.
The teams were locked in a 77-77 tie with 10:09 remaining before the Spurs went on a 10-1 run highlighted by a pair of three-pointers by Stephen Jackson. Duncan capped the run with a pair of free throws and scored 10 points in the fourth quarter.
Utah rallied behind John Stockton, who scored seven of his 13 points in the fourth quarter. His layup with 3:57 to go pulled the Jazz within 90-89.
The Spurs were clinging to an 100-98 lead with 16 seconds left when Antonio Daniels missed the second of two free throws. Duncan beat Scott Padgett to the rebound and was fouled. He made both free throws, capping a perfect 17 of 17 night from the line.
The Jazz missed three three-pointers on their final possession, including two by Padgett.
Other NBA results: Philadelphia 93, Charlotte 68; Chicago 94, Atlanta 91; Dallas 108, Memphis 97; Miami 92, Portland 90 in overtime.
Lemieux records four points
CALGARY, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Mario Lemieux had a four-point game, setting up three goals by Aleksei Morozov and capping the scoring with an empty netter Thursday night as the Pittsburgh Penguins downed the Calgary Flames, 6-4.
Morozov completed his second career hat trick with just over three minutes left in the second period. The 24-year-old Russian took a cross-ice pass from Lemieux at the right side of the crease and tapped the puck into an open net, giving Pittsburgh a 4-2 lead.
The Flames responded with third-period goals by All-Star Jarome Iginla and defenseman Igor Kravchuk. But the Penguins regained the lead with 2:44 left as Jan Hrdina tipped a wrist shot by Alexei Kovalev between goaltender Roman Turek's pads.
Kovalev enjoyed his first three-assist night since April 8.
Other NHL results: Philadelphia 6, Atlanta 3; Montreal 1, Carolina 1; Boston 5, Ottawa 2; New Jersey 6, New York Rangers 4; Colorado 3, Phoenix 2 in overtime; Nashville 3, Toronto 2 in overtime; St. Louis 5, Vancouver 5.
Parcells among Hall of Fame finalists
CANTON, Ohio, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Bill Parcells is a finalist for the Pro Football of Fame -- at least for now.
Parcells, who coached the New York Giants to Super Bowl titles in 1986 and 1990 and guided the New England Patriots to the Super Bowl in 1996, was one of 15 finalists for the Hall of Fame announced Thursday.
Quarterback Jim Kelly, Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell and punter Ray Guy were among the other finalists for the Class of 2002, which will be announced Feb. 2 in New Orleans.
Hall of Fame rules require that a coach be retired in order to be inducted, and various reports claim that Parcells will soon end his sabbatical and be named the coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, replacing the fired Tony Dungy.
Parcells said he would never coach again after resigning as coach of the New York Jets following the 1999 season, but all indications are that he plans to return.
Senden leads Hope Classic
LA QUINTA, Calif., Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Australian John Senden, who made it through the PGA Tour's qualifying tournament last month, holed a bunker shot for an eagle at his final hole Thursday to grab the lead after two rounds of the Bob Hope Classic.
Among those at 132 was last season's rookie of the year, Charles Howell III.
Blackhawks acquire Joe Reekie
CHICAGO, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Already off to their best start in a decade, the Chicago Blackhawks bolstered their defense Thursday with the acquisition of veteran Joe Reekie from the Washington Capitals for a 2002 fourth-round draft pick.
Reekie, 36, is a 17-year veteran who spent parts of the last nine seasons with Washington and has two goals and four assists with a minus-7 rating in 38 games in 2001-02. The 6-3, 221-pound blue liner has had a positive plus-minus rating each season since 1987-88.
"We were looking for a defensive defenseman that would improve our core defense," Blackhawks general manager Mike Smith said. "We also believe we need to get bigger as we go forward. Reekie also provides us with that size we were looking for."
Reekie was selected by Hartford in the seventh round of the 1983 draft, but did not sign and was taken two years later by Buffalo in the sixth round. He also has played for the New York Islanders and Tampa Bay and has 25 goals, 137 assists and 1,298 penalty minutes in 885 NHL games.