In Sports from United Press International

Aug. 25, 2002 at 12:46 AM
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Seminoles escape opening scare

KANSAS CITY, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- Kendyll Pope tackled quarterback Seneca Wallace at the one-yard line on the final play of the game Saturday night, allowing Florida State to preserve its high national ranking with a thrilling and unexpectedly difficult, 38-31 victory over Iowa State.

The fourth-ranked Seminoles built a 31-7 lead only to see the Cyclones rally on the arm of Wallace, who completed 23 of 34 passes for 300 yards.

Wallace hit Jamaul Montgomery with a 40-yard touchdown pass with 2:40 to play to complete a 90-yard drive and bring the Cyclones within seven.

After forcing a punt, Iowa State took over at its own 45 yard line with 1:22 remaining and moved to the Florida State 21 with 28 seconds to go.

Wallace scrambled on a first-down play and dashed down the right sideline in a bid for the tying touchdown. He lunged for the goal line and it appeared he might have scored, but the officials ruled he stepped out of bounds at the one.

With four seconds to play, the Cyclones ran an option play to the right side, but Pope played the potential pitch man perfectly and when Wallace kept the ball and tried to reach the end zone, Pope lunged over and teamed with fellow linebacker Jerel Hudson to make the tackle.

The Seminoles scored the game's first 24 points on a five-yard run by Nick Maddox, a 60-yard interception return by Alonzo Jackson, a 35-yard field goal by Xavier eitia and a two-yard pass from Chris Rix to Anquan Boldin.

Other college football results: Ohio State 45, Texas Tech 21; Nebraska 48, Arizona State 10; North Carolina State 34, New Mexico 14.

Oakland wins 11th straight

OAKLAND, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- Tim Hudson went the distance and three players homered Saturday night as the Oakland Athletics extended their winning streak to 11 games with a 12-3 rout of the Detroit Tigers.

It is the longest winning streak in the American League this season and each game has been won by Oakland's starting pitcher -- the longest such run since the Milwaukee Braves accomplished the feat in June 1956.

The first-place A's have a two-game lead over Seattle and Anaheim in the American League West.

Hudson (11-9) allowed eight hits, struck out seven and walked one en route to his third complete game of the season. He improved to 4-0 in five August starts.

Ray Durham sparked Oakland's 14-hit attack in the first inning with a leadoff triple against Tigers starter Jose Lima (4-6) and scored on Scott Hatteberg's sacrifice fly. Miguel Tejada doubled and, after Eric Chavez lined out, Jermaine Dye drove in Tejada with a single and David Justice hit a 1-2 offering over the right field wall to stake Hudson to a 4-0 lead.

Detroit halved the deficit in the bottom of the frame on a two-run single by Robert Fick, but Oakland added four runs in the second on an RBI single by Tejada and a three-run homer by Chavez.

Durham made it 10-2 with another triple in the third, chasing Lima. Hatteberg greeted Kyle Farnsworth with an RBI single, giving Hudson a nine-run advantage.

Other American League results: Cleveland 5, Seattle 3; Minnesota 6, Kansas City 5; New York 3, Texas 2; Anaheim 2, Boston 0; Chicago 5, Tampa Bay 2. Toronto swept a day-night doubleheader from Baltimore, 4-1 and 8-3.

Mets end 12-game losing streak

DENVER, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- Timo Perez hit a go-ahead two-run homer with two outs in the top of the ninth inning Saturday night as the New York Mets ended their 12-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies.

New York was suffering through its longest losing streak in 20 years and managed just one run and seven hits through eight innings. The Mets were winless in 60 games when trailing after eight innings this season, and the Rockies handed the ball to closer Jose Jimenez to start the ninth with a 2-1 lead.

Jimenez (2-9) got Mo Vaughn and Edgardo Alfonzo on groundouts before Joe McEwing singled through the left side of the infield. Perez crushed a 1-1 offering deep over the right field fence to give New York the lead.

Jimenez, who was charged with his fifth blown save, hit pinch hitter John Valentin with an 0-1 pitch and promptly was ejected by plate umpire Lance Barksdale. Manager Clint Hurdle raced out to argue and also was tossed by Barksdale.

Other National League results: Cincinnati 5, Houston 3 in 11 innings; Chicago 4, Arizona 0; Montreal 7, San Francisco 2; Los Angeles 4, Atlanta 3; Pittsburgh 17, Milwaukee 10; Philadelphia 4, St. Louis 0.

Parry, Allenby share lead

SAMMAMISH, Wash, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- Craig Parry, still looking for his first victory in the United States, rushed from out of the pack with a 5-under 66 Saturday that moved him into a share of the lead with fellow Australian Robert Allenby after three rounds of the NEC Invitational.

Parry began playing on the PGA Tour a decade ago and has often challenged for a victory, most notably at the 1992 Masters when he had the lead going into the final round.

But he faded to 13th in that tournament and has had to settle for four second-place finishes on the tour, most recently at the 1996 Buick Classic.

Allenby, who set a course record Friday at the Sahalee Country Club with a 63, shot an even-par 71 Saturday that left him tied with Parry at 10-under 203.

Fred Funk, who threatened to pull off a major triumph last week at the PGA Championship, shot a 68 Saturday to move into third place by himself at 204. Ernie Els, Matt Gogel, Jim Furyk, Steve Lowery and Tiger Woods were all at 205.

Woods began the day six shots out of the lead and rushed to the top with seven birdies in the first 15 holes. But he bogeyed both the 17th and 18th holes to complete his round on a down note.

Phil Mickelson turned in a typically wild round with three birdies, three bogeys, a double bogey and an eagle to finish tied for ninth at 206 along with Justin Rose and Vijay Singh, who won the PGA on this course four years ago.

Gordon ends victory drought

BRISTOL, Tenn., Aug. 25 (UPI) -- Pole-sitter Jeff Gordon did a little bump-and-run with veteran Rusty Wallace with less than three laps to go Saturday night and ended a 31-race NASCAR Winston Cup winless drought at the Sharpie 500.

Wallace took the lead from Kevin Harvick with 18 laps remaining at Bristol Motor Speedway and had only Gordon in his rear-view mirror the rest of the way. With time running out, Wallace seemed to slow and get a little loose in turn 2, which was all Gordon needed -- in addition to a small bump on the rear.

It was Gordon's 59th career win and first since last September at Kansas Speedway. The four-time Winston Cup champion recorded his fifth career win at Bristol's short track and first under the lights. He led 235 of 500 laps in ending the longest drought of his career.

Wallace, the winningest active driver at Bristol with nine, has not been in victory lane since April 2001 at California Speedway.

Both drivers made their final pit stops with 128 laps to go. Wallace's crew got his Ford Taurus out ahead of Gordon's Chevrolet Monte Carlo with fresh tires and fuel.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. led the first 131 laps but finished third in a Chevrolet. He was followed by Harvick, Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch. In addition to Johnny Benson, who made it to the front on a pit cycle and finished 12th, the top six were the only drivers to hold the lead.

Redskins win with defensive effort

TAMPA, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- Sparked by a dominating defensive performance, the Washington Redskins rolled to a 40-10 exhibiton whipping of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Saturday night.

In Steve Spurrier's first season as coach, the Redskins had been all about offense in their first three preseason games. On Saturday night, it was the defense that took center stage.

The Redskins forced six turnovers and their defense scored twice.

Defensive end Gregory Scott recovered a fumble by Tampa Bay quarterback Rob Johnson on his own 34 with 6:19 remaining in the third quarter and rambled 66 yards for a touchdown to give the Redskins a 23-10 advantage.

Linebacker Donte Curry intercepted third-string quarterback Shawn King and scampered into the end zone from 20 yards with 2:31 left in the fourth, making it 40-10.

Starting in place of Danny Wuerffel, who was out with an illness, Washington quarterback Shane Matthews threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Rod Gardner in the first quarter.

Other NFL exhibition results: Pittsburgh 34, Detroit 22; Indianapolis 19, Buffalo 10; New Orleans 31, Cincinnati 23; Atlanta 21, Dallas 19; Miami 24, Houston 3; New York Jets 28, New York Giants 7; Oakland 17, San Francisco 10.

Sparks reach WNBA Finals

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- Lisa Leslie scored 25 points and DeLisha Milton added 19 Saturday as the Los Angeles Sparks returned to the WNBA Finals with a 103-77 rout of the Utah Starzz.

Los Angeles swept the Western Conference finals with its fifth straight victory over Utah and improved to 4-0 this postseason. The defending champions will begin the WNBA Finals on Thursday at New York or Washington.

The Sparks are gunning for the fifth title in the last three years for the city of Los Angeles as the NBA's Lakers have won three straight. The Lakers have won all three titles since moving to the Staples Center in 1999 and the Sparks won last year in their first season at the facility.

The game was close early and Utah guard Marie Ferdinand made two foul shots for an 18-18 tie with just over a minute to go before halftime. Leslie responded with a basket and Tamecka Dixon converted a three-point play to trigger a 16-0 Sparks run.

In New York, Tari Phillips scored 23 points and Vickie Johnson made all five of her three-pointers as the New York Liberty avoided elimination with a 96-79 victory over the Washington Mystics in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals.

The decisive third game will be played Sunday night at Madison Square Garden, where New York is 3-0 in the postseason. The Liberty are 9-3 all-time when facing elimination.

Phillips scored 21 points in Thursday's series opener but did not attempt a shot over the final 9 1/2 minutes as Washington held on for a 79-74 victory. She again asserted her dominance inside and made 11 of 13 shots Saturday as New York never trailed after surrendering the game's first basket.

Venus wins another Pilot Pen

NEW HAVEN, Conn., Aug. 25 (UPI) -- Venus Williams captured her fourth consecutive Pilot Pen Tennis hardcourt title Saturday, completing preparations for the defense of her U.S. Open crown.

The top-seeded Williams beat fellow American and second seed Lindsay Davenport for the third time in the final at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale, 7-5, 6-0, and collected the top prize of $93,000 in the $585,000 event.

The 22-year-old Williams became the first player to win the same WTA event four straight times since Monica Seles took the Canadian Open title from 1995-98. She also became just the ninth woman in the Open Era (since 1968) to capture the same title four consecutive years.

The second seed at the U.S. Open, which starts Monday, Williams likely will have confidence that she can lift the trophy for the third straight year at Flushing, N.Y. She will enter the final Grand Slam event of the year with a 13-match winning streak.

Mahan, Barnes to play for U.S. Amateur title

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich., Aug. 25 (UPI) -- Hunter Mahan and Ricky Barnes each posted 1-up victories Saturday to advance to the final of the U.S. Amateur Championship.

Mahan defeated Dustin Bray in a battle of 20-year-olds and the 21-year-old Barnes got past 20-year-old Bill Haas, the qualifying medalist and son of PGA veteran Jay Haas.

Mahan, a native of McKinney, Texas, will take on Barnes, a Stockton, Calif. native, in Sunday's 36-hole final.

The winner will gain an exemption into next year's U.S. Open at Olympia Fields Country Club and both finalists will receive an invitation to the 2003 Masters.

Mahan is attempting to join Tiger Woods as the only players to win a U.S. Junior and U.S. Amateur championship. Mahan, entering his junior year at Oklahoma State, captured the U.S. Junior title in 1999.

Mahan and Barnes have played each other once in match play, with Mahan posting a 3 & 2 victory in the second round of the 2000 U.S. Amateur at Baltsurol Golf Club.

Medaglia d'Oro wins Travers Stakes

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y., Aug. 25 (UPI) -- Medaglia d'Oro made his first Grade I victory one to remember Saturday, holding off Repent in the slop to win the Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.

A 9-5 favorite, Medaglia d'Oro took the lead from long shot Shah Jehan on the backstretch and exploded down the stretch before holding off the fast-closing Repent to win the 1 1/4-mile race for 3-year-olds in 2 minutes, 2 2/5 seconds.

The victory marked a bit of redemption for Medaglia d'Oro, who received plenty of attention in the Triple Crown races before finishing fourth in the Kentucky Derby and eighth in the Preakness. The son of El Prado was much better in the Belmont Stakes, finishing one-half length behind 70-1 upset winner Sarava.

A commanding 13 3/4-length win in the Jim Dandy Stakes caught the attention of the oddsmakers and the decision of trainer Bob Baffert to keep Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner War Emblem in California to run in Sunday's $1 million Pacific Classic only increased Medaglia d'Oro's chances.

Burn reclaims second place

DALLAS, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- Bobby Rhine scored an overtime goal Saturday night to give Dallas a 1-0 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy and put the Burn back into second place in the Western Conference.

Dallas trails San Jose by two points for the league lead.

The Burn pressed Los Angeles defense from the opening whistle and had most of the good chances.

Dallas goalkeeper Matt Jordan avoided most of the pressure of the game until the fourth minute of the first overtime period. Alex Bengard ripped a tough cross-goal shot to the far post, but Jordan punched the ball clear with a diving save.

The winning goal was set up by defender Paul Broome, who ran the ball down the left hand side of the field. He drew the defense to him before dishing it to Jason Kreis at the top of the box. Kreis slipped the ball forward to Rhine inside the penalty area and he put it underneath the arms of Kevin Hartman for the game-winner.

Other MLS results: Colorado 3, San Jose 0; New England 2, Chicago 1.

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