In Sports from United Press International

Hingis reaches Australian final

MELBOURNE, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Martina Hingis of Switzerland outlasted Monica Seles today to reach the championship match of the Australian Open for the sixth straight year.


Hingis prevailed, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, and will take on either Jennifer Capriati or Kim Clijsters for the first Grand Slam title of the year. Capriati and Clijsters, who met in the finals of last year's French Open with Capriati winning, played the second semifinal match of the afternoon.

Seles, 28, was seeking to win her fifth Australian Open title, having won the last of her four crowns in 1996. She reached her first Grand Slam semifinal in more than two years on Tuesday with a 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 6-3 victory over third-seeded Venus Williams.

The loss dropped Seles' career mark at this tournament to 42-3. Seles had won her two previous encounters with Hingis, but the Swiss star owns a 13-4 record in their all-time series. Hingis had only 12 unforced errors in the match, but still had to hang on at the end after building a 5-1 lead in the third set.


Hingis won the Australian Open three straight years beginning in 1997. Her bid for a fourth straight title failed when she lost in the final to Lindsay Davenport in 2000 and then lost to Capriati in the championship match a year ago.

Knicks break losing streak

TORONTO, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Latrell Sprewell scored 15 of his 35 points in the fourth quarter Wednesday night as the New York Knicks snapped their longest losing streak in 15 years with a 92-92 victory over the Toronto Raptors.

The Knicks had lost eight straight games, their longest skid since February 1987. On Monday, they suffered an embarrassing 111-68 loss to Charlotte, the worst home loss in club history.

Sprewell showed up 45 minutes late for that game and was held scoreless for just the second time in his 10-year career, going none for nine from the field. He responded with one of his best games of the season, making 13 of 25 shots and seven of nine free throws.

Sprewell dominated his matchup with Vince Carter. In the final period, he outscored his fellow All-Star, 15-3, including a runner over him for a three-point play that sealed it at 95-88 with 1:18 remaining.


Other NBA results: Boston 98, Indiana 94; Charlotte 111, Seattle 101; Detroit 104, Minnesota 83; San Antonio 98, Utah 92; Golden State 107, Memphis 95; Los Angeles Clippers 95, Los Angeles Lakers 90.

Lemieux records five points

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Mario Lemieux continued to make up for lost time with his 36th career five-point game Wednesday night, scoring two goals and setting up the other three to carry the Pittsburgh Penguins past the Tampa Bay Lightning, 5-1.

Pittsburgh won its season-best fourth straight game.

Since returning from a hip injury on Jan. 12, Lemieux has four goals and 10 assists in six games. He added his first five-point game since March 26, 1997 to a pair of four-point efforts and quickly has moved into fourth on the team in scoring despite missing all but 17 games.

Lemieux got the primary assist on the Penguins' first three goals, setting up tallies by defenseman Janne Laukkanen, Robert Lang and the resurgent Aleksey Morozov.

Lemieux struck 3:34 into the third period to make it 4-0 and shook his head in disbelief when his pass for Lang was deflected by Tampa Bay defenseman Mathieu Biron and found the net to cap the scoring with 5:43 remaining.


Only a goal by Ben Clymer with 7:29 to play spoiled the shutout bid of Johan Hedberg, who stopped 26 shots for his fourth straight win.

Other NHL results: St. Louis 5, Buffalo 2; Nashville 2, Carolina 2; New York Rangers 8, Boston 4; Montreal 5, Washington 3; New Jersey 3, Florida 1; San Jose 2, Detroit 2; Phoenix 4, Chicago 1; Vancouver 4, Dallas 2; Colorado 4, Edmonton 2.

Kansas sweats out win over Iowa St.

AMES, Iowa, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Jeff Boschee's three-pointer snapped a tie with 36 seconds remaining Wednesday night, propelling No. 2 Kansas to an 88-81 victory over Iowa State.

It was Kansas' first win over the Cyclones in six tries.

Benched for most of the second half as Kansas (16-2, 5-0 Big 12) employed a bigger lineup, the 6-1 Boschee made his jumper from the left side for an 84-81 edge. Kirk Hinrich added two foul shots 16 seconds later as the Cyclones (9-11, 1-5) went scoreless over the final 2:23.

Kansas appeared to be headed to an easy win as the Jayhawks took a 62-50 lead on a basket by freshman Wayne Simien with 14:10 remaining.


But Jake Sullivan capped a 20-4 run by the Cyclones with two free throws for a 70-66 lead with 6:39 to go.

Sullivan's long three-pointer gave Iowa State its final lead at 81-79 before Drew Gooden tied the game with a pair of foul shots 14 seconds later. Gooden notched his 14th double-double of the season with 23 points and 10 rebounds.

Dungy introduced as Colts coach

INDIANAPOLIS, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- New Indianapolis Colts Coach Tony Dungy said Wednesday he needed only one phone conversation with franchise owner Jim Irsay to know he wanted the job.

The Colts introduced Dungy at a news conference Wednesday, his first appearance since being hired to replace Jim Mora. Terms of Dungy's contract were not disclosed, but the Indianapolis Star reported he received a five-year deal worth $13 million.

"I really felt wanted by the Colts," said Dungy, who was dismissed earlier this month by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. "After I got off the phone with Jim (Irsay), there was no doubt they wanted me. It was really the right fit."

Dungy's contract terms would be about half of what Steve Spurrier received over five years to be coach of the Washington Redskins.


"I just wanted him to know from the start that there was no other coach on the planet I wanted to coach my football team," Irsay said. "Not Spurrier. Not (Bill) Parcells."

Dungy's biggest problem in Indianapolis is a defense that yielded an NFL-high 486 points this season and cost Mora his job. Dungy said he wants to develop a defensive unit with an emphasis on speed.

"I would like to see us become a very fast team, a very aggressive team that forces a lot of turnovers," he said. "In most places I've been, we've been able to do that."

NFL fines Douglas again

NEW YORK, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Another week, another fine for Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Hugh Douglas.

The NFL Wednesday fined Douglas $35,000 for an illegal block on Chicago Bears' quarterback Jim Miller in last Saturday's divisional playoff game.

Miller suffered a separated right shoulder after he was intercepted by safety Damon Moore and driven into the ground by Douglas. The Eagles went on to a 33-19 victory and will face the St. Louis Rams on Sunday in the NFC Championship game.

Douglas drew a $5,000 fine for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Tampa Bay quarterback Brad Johnson during a 31-9 victory in the wild card round.


Howard Griffith retires

ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Howard Griffith, starting fullback on the Denver Broncos' Super Bowl-winning teams in 1997 and 1998, announced his retirement Wednesday.

Griffith, 34, is the only fullback in NFL history to block for five different 1,000-yard rushers. In Denver, he opened holes for Terrell Davis, Olandis Gary and Mike Anderson.

Griffith started 56 of the 59 games he played for the Broncos, but spent the entire 2001 season on injured reserve after suffering a neck injury in training camp. His retirement becomes official following the Super Bowl.

Griffith scored two touchdowns in Denver's 34-19 win over Atlanta in Super Bowl XXXIII.

Drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in 1991, he rushed for 351 yards and three touchdowns in 121 NFL games, including 87 starts. He also caught 123 passes for 850 yards and nine touchdowns.

The other 1,000-yard rushers for whom Griffith blocked were Jerome Bettis with the Los Angeles Rams and Anthony Johnson of the Carolina Panthers.

Zimmerman signs with Rangers

ARLINGTON, Texas, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Texas Rangers reliever Jeff Zimmerman, who took over as closer last season and saved 28 games, agreed to a three-year contract Wednesday.


Financial terms were not disclosed for Zimmerman, who was eligible for arbitration.

An All-Star as a middle reliever in 1999, Zimmerman took over as closer for the injured Tim Crabtree last season and was 4-4 with a 2.40 ERA in 66 games. He had saves in 10 straight appearances at one point in July.

Zimmerman, 29, will be part of a restructured bullpen that has added John Rocker, Todd Van Poppel and Jay Powell over the winter.

In other baseball transactions, Minnesota signed workhorse righthander Mike Jackson and San Diego signed veteran reliever Steve Reed, who joined his third team in seven months.

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