Timberwolves shut down Lakers
MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Kevin Garnett scored 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead a balanced attack Tuesday night and carry Minnesota past the Los Angeles Lakers, 96-80.
The Timberwolves used a 24-8 run spanning the first and second quarters to put away Lakers, who came no closer than 10 points thereafter.
Other NBA results: Washington 109, Atlanta 99; New York 101, New Jersey 99; Toronto 122, Milwaukee 117 in overtime; Dallas 118, Indiana 97.
Modano injured in Flyers-Stars tie
PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- The Philadelphia Flyers knocked out Mike Modano in the first period Tuesday night, then rallied to tie the Dallas Stars, 2-2.
Philadelphia scored a pair of power-play goals 59 seconds apart in the third period.
In the first meeting between the teams since Flyers Coach Ken Hitchcock was fired by the Stars last season, Modano was sent head-first into the boards by Olympic teammate Jeremy Roenick 5:20 into the game.
Modano, who began the night sixth in the NHL in points and opened the scoring 29 seconds into the game, needed the help of Dallas' trainer and four teammates to make it off the ice after he laid motionless for several moments. He was diagnosed with a concussion.
The Stars had a 2-0 lead after 11 minutes, but Mark Recchi set up Keith Primeau's power-play goal and scored another in a 59-second span as the Flyers took advantage of a lack of discipline by the league's best team.
Dallas, which collected its NHL-best 44th point, was called for six penalties in the third period, including a pair of double-minors.
Other NHL results: Detroit 2, New York Islanders 2; San Jose 3, Montreal 1; Minnesota 4, Edmonton 3 in overtime; Calgary 3, Nashville 0; Chicago 3, Vancouver 2; Phoenix 5, Pittsburgh 2.
North Texas wins in bowl opener
NEW ORLEANS, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Kevin Galbreath rushed for 131 yards and a touchdown Tuesday night to power North Texas past Cincinnati in the New Orleans Bowl, 24-19.
North Texas intercepted five passes, four of them in the first half, for its first bowl victory in 56 years.
The Mean Green (8-5), who closed their season with seven straight victories and claimed the Sun Belt Conference title, converted four first-half interceptions of Gino Guidugli into 17 points to take a 10-point advantage into the break.
But after Galbreath scored on a 35-yard run 2:02 into the second half to give the Mean Green a 24-7 advantage, the Bearcats (7-7) chipped away.
Cincinnati climbed within 24-19 on two third-quarter field goals by Jonathan Ruffin and a 43-yard fumble return by safety Franklin Callicott with 5:15 to play. Callicott stripped Patrick Cobb of the football and sprinted toward the end zone.
LaDaris Vann dropped Guidugli's ensuing two-point conversion pass, however, and Galbreath picked up two key first downs down the stretch to help the Mean Green run out the clock.
The opening bowl game of the postseason was one of only two non-BCS contests that brought together conference champions.
Cincinnati was co-champion of Conference USA. Texas Christian, which shared the league title with Cincinnati, will meet Mountain West Conference champion Colorado State in the Liberty Bowl on New Year's Eve.
Duke coasts to victory
GREENSBORO, N.C., Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Second-ranked Duke overcame a slow start Tuesday night to remain unbeaten with a 91-57 decision over North Carolina A&T.
After eight minutes, the Blue Devils (6-0) trailed, 16-9, but quickly took control with a 28-3 run that included nine points from senior forward Dahntay Jones.
Jones scored 18 points and sophomore guard Daniel Ewing added 16 to lead Duke. Ewing had seven of the Blue Devils' first nine points.
Duke is undefeated in eight meetings with North Carolina A&T (0-5) and is 17-0 against teams from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
The Blue Devils have cruised through a soft schedule this season, steamrolling their opponents by an average of 24.6 points.
In a major surprise, junior college transfer Tony Bobbitt scored a career-high 29 points to boost Cincinnati past the fifth-ranked Oregon Ducks in the Jimmy V Classic, 77-52.
Bruce Arena signs contract extension
CHICAGO, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- The United States Soccer Federation announced Tuesday that national team coach Bruce Arena had agreed to a contract extension.
Terms were not disclosed, but Arena will reportedly receive $3 million.
"Bruce was the only candidate for the job," said U.S. Soccer President Dr. Bob Contiguglia. "In our mind, there was never a question that Bruce Arena was going to be the man to guide our program in preparation for the 2006 World Cup.
"He was the right man for the job when we hired him in 1998 and he is the right man for the job today."
Arena has been the most successful coach of the national team, leading the United States to an unprecedented quarterfinal appearance in the World Cup this year. The Americans then lost a competitive match to Germany, 1-0. He led the Americans to upset wins over Portugal and Mexico and a tie against co-host South Korea.
Arena has a World Cup record of 34-18-14, including a 12-6-2 mark in 2002.
Also Tuesday, the FIFA executive committee gave CONCACAF a chance to send a fourth team to the 2006 World Cup in Germany, establishing a playoff between the confederation's fourth-place qualifier and Asia's fifth-place qualifier.
CONCACAF was considered perhaps the weakest of all regions receiving automatic bids to the 2002 World Cup in Korea/Japan. But the three teams from the confederation -- which includes North and Central America and the Caribbean -- enjoyed strong showings in Asiasummer.
The United States reached the quarterfinals, Mexico won Group G before falling to the Americans in the round of 16 and Costa Rica was edged out of a second-round berth on goal differential.
In addition, Brazilian striker Ronaldo, who returned from injury to register a tournament-best eight goals and help his country win the 2002 World Cup, was named Tuesday as the FIFA World Player of the Year.
Rix ineligible for Sugar Bowl
TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Florida State will be without starting quarterback Chris Rix when it faces Georgia in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1.
The school declared Rix ineligible Tuesday for failing to take a final exam. The sophomore will accompany the team to New Orleans, but will not play against the Bulldogs.
It is another blow for the Seminoles (9-4), whose season has been filled with turmoil. Fellow sophomore Adrian McPherson, who led the Seminoles to a 3-1 record, was dismissed from the team on Nov. 25 for his involvement in a theft of a check. The following week, McPherson was arrested on felony and misdemeanor charges.
Coach Bobby Bowden has not named a starter, but without Rix and McPherson, sophomore Fabian Walker is the only other quarterback on the Florida State roster with experience. Walker played in three games this season, but completed just five of eight passes for 74 yards.
In high school, Walker set Georgia state records for career passing yards (8,231 yards) and touchdowns (81).
Cubs suing their neighbors
CHICAGO, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- The Chicago Cubs are accusing their neighbors of stealing.
Lawyers for the Major League Baseball club have filed suit in U.S. District Court against the owners of 13 businesses overlooking historic Wrigley Field they say use the team's product but pay nothing, siphoning off millions in revenue.
"The free ride is over," said team President Andy MacPhail after negotiations with the rooftop club owners failed to produce a revenue-sharing agreement acceptable to both sides.
Gone are the innocent days of apartment dwellers inviting a few friends over to go up on the roof and drink beer while the Cubbies played across the street.
Television sports directors always showed local color of fans sunbathing on roofs, barbecuing or watching the games in lawn chairs with a beverage in hand across from the 88-year-old ballpark during the idyllic summer months.
The scene surrounding the most famous of the urban ballparks became part of the once gritty neighborhood's charm.
Morten Andersen's streak ends
KANSAS CITY, Mo., Dec. 18 (UPI) -- The Kansas City Chiefs announced Tuesday they had placed kicker Morten Andersen, the second leading-scorer in NFL history, on injured reserve.
By not playing again this season, Andersen will have his streak of consecutive games stopped at 248, which is 34 shy of Jim Marshall's NFL record.
A 21-year veteran, Andersen suffered a right knee injury in warmups prior to a game Oct. 6 against the New York Jets. There were indications that Andersen would not make it through the season after the Chiefs signed Michael Husted last week.
Andersen, 42, had another big season, making 22 of 26 field goals and missing one extra point in 51 tries for 117 points. It was his 14th straight season with at least 100 points.
Andersen has 2,153 career points, 54 behind Minnesota's Gary Anderson, who is still active.