In Sports from United Press International

Jan. 1, 2003 at 12:56 AM
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Purdue keeps Big Ten unbeaten

EL PASO, Texas, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- The Purdue Boilermakers kept the Big Ten unbeaten in bowl action Tuesday, rallying to a 34-24 victory over Washington in the Sun Bowl.

Purdue became the third underdog from the Big Ten to win a bowl game, joining Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Linebacker Gilbert Gardner's 19-yard fumble return for a touchdown late in the third quarter highlighted the comeback as Purdue roared back from a 17-0, first-quarter hole with 34 straight points.

The Big Ten improved to 3-0 in bowl play and has four more teams in action, including No. 2 Ohio State, which faces top-ranked Miami in the national championship game on Friday in the Fiesta Bowl.

The Pac-10 Conference, meanwhile, dropped to 1-4 in bowl play. The Pac-10 has two teams -- Southern California and Washington State -- involved in BCS bowls.

Making its second straight Sun Bowl appearance, Purdue (7-6) avenged a loss to Washington in the 2000 Rose Bowl and defeated the Huskies for just the second time in 10 all-time meetings (2-7-1).

In other bowl action Tuesday, much of it affected by weather, TCU's defense lived up to its reputation by shutting down Colorado State in the Liberty Bowl, 17-3; Boise State whipped Iowa State in the Humanitarian Bowl, 34-16; Fresno State defeated Georgia Tech in the Silicon Valley Classic, 30-21; and Maryland whipped Tennessee in the Peach Bowl, 30-3.

TCU had the second-ranked defense during the regular season and the Horned Frogs became the first team during the current bowl campaign to keep an opponent out of the end zone. Maryland repeated the feat against Tennessee later in the evening.

The Frogs reached the 10-win mark for the sixth time in school history by consistently shutting down the Rams in a game plagued by a steady rain.

Brock Forsey, the nation's leading scorer, rushed for 78 yards and three touchdowns in Boise State's win over Iowa State.

Forsey, who has not been invited to any of the postseason all-star games, scored his 30th, 31st and 32nd touchdowns of the season, extending his school and Western Athletic Conference records.

It is the second-highest total in NCAA Division I-A history, topped only by Barry Sanders, who scored 38 touchdowns for Oklahoma State in 1988.

The avalanche of bowl games continues with six contests on New Year's Day.

The action begins with Texas and LSU meeting in the Cotton Bowl and Florida taking on Michigan State in the Outback Bowl. Both of those games begin before noon EST.

North Carolina State will meet Notre Dame in the Gator Bowl and Auburn tackles Penn State in the Capital One Bowl. Washington plays Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl and the night will end with the Sugar Bowl between Georgia and Florida State.

Wizards overcome Tim Duncan

WASHINGTON, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- Larry Hughes scored 16 of his 22 points in the second half Tuesday night to help Washington hold off San Antonio, 105-103.

The Wizards overcame a big game from Tim Duncan, who scored 35 points and had 13 rebounds. But he did not get enough help from his teammates as the Spurs lost to the Wizards for the first time in eight meetings.

The Spurs trailed, 73-71, entering the final period and Duncan scored their first 10 points.

Hughes hit three foul shots with two minutes left to give the Wizards a 96-86 lead, their largest of the game.

San Antonio responded with five straight points on a jumper from Bruce Bowen and a three-pointer by Steve Smith. But Christian Laettner hit an open baseline jump shot with 1:08 left to give the Wizards a 98-91 lead and Hughes added two more free throws.

Tony Parker, who scored 21 points to lead the Spurs to a 92-81 victory over the Wizards on Dec. 21, fouled out on the play that set up Hughes' three free throws. He had nine points and four assists in 27 minutes.

Other NBA results: Boston 96, Memphis 89; Chicago 102, Portland 87; Indiana 89, New Orleans 86; Philadelphia 83, Los Angeles Clippers 75; Houston 103, Milwaukee 80.

Red Wings rough up Blues

DETROIT, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- The Detroit Red Wings extended their season-best unbeaten streak to n ine games Tuesday night with a 5-1 win over the St. Louis Blues.

Brendan Shanahan scored twice and Curtis Joseph stopped 29 shots.

First-year coach Dave Lewis had challenged the defending Stanley Cup champions to start the new year atop the Western Conference. Detroit did its coach one better. By going 10-1-4 in December, the Red Wings assured they will finish 2002 exactly where they started it -- atop the entire NHL.

Shanahan did his scoring in the third period, after Detroit used three deflections to take the lead.

Sean Avery tipped a puck past goaltender Brent Johnson with 6:47 to go in the first period and linemates Darren McCarty and Kirk Maltby did the same in the second to help the Red Wings improve to 6

3 in their last nine games.

In his first season with Detroit, Joseph gave up a power-play goal to Keith Tkachuk 4:20 into the opening period but nothing else. He gave up 24 goals while going 8-1-2 in December.

Other NHL results: Minnesota 4, Anaheim 1; New York Islanders 1, Buffalo 0 in overtime; Columbus 5, Pittsburgh 2; Ottawa 6, Tampa Bay 3; New York Rangers 2, Carolina 0; Montreal 1, Calgary 1; Dallas 4, Edmonton 1; Toronto 5, Vancouver 3.

Panthers suffer first loss

ATHENS, Ga., Jan. 1 (UPI) -- Ezra Williams scored 20 points and Jarvis Hayes added 18 Tuesday as Georgia handed the second-ranked Pittsburgh Panthers their first loss, 79-67.

Williams made just five of 14 shots, but all of his baskets came from nine attempts from beyond the arc. Georgia offset Pittsburgh's interior dominance by shooting 57 percent from three-point range.

Hayes scored 11 points in the first half, during which Georgia (8-3) built a 37-28 lead that it never relinquished. The Bulldogs had seven steals in the first 20 minutes and Pittsburgh committed 15 turnovers.

Rashad Wright added 12 points and seven assists for Georgia, which has won seven straight since a 72-69 defeat at Minnesota on Nov. 30. Wright also did an excellent defensive job on Brandin Knight, limiting the Big East co-Player of the Year to four field goals in 17 tries.

Carl Krauser and Onterrio Lett each scored 14 points for Pittsburgh (9-1), which had won the first nine games of the season for the first time since 1987-88.

In a matchup of top 25 teams, No. 19 Xavier nipped No. 15 Creighton, 75-73. It was Creighton's the first loss of the season.

Holmgren gives up GM duties

KIRKLAND, Wash, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- Seattle Seahawks Coach Mike Holmgren agreed Tuesday to relinquish his general manager duties with the team.

"We wanted to free up Mike to do more coaching," said club president Bob Whitsitt. "I just think there's so much to do. There's only so many hours in a day."

Holmgren apparently did not fight to keep his GM job -- a position he insisted on having when he left the Green Bay Packers to join the Seahawks in 1999.

Holmgren had a winning team with the Packers as well as Brett Favre as his quarterback, but left because Ron Wolf had no intention of stepping down as the team's general manager.

However, Holmgren finally may have realized how difficult it is to build a team and coach it. He has had particular problems assembling a defense and owns a disappointing 31-33 record with one playoff appearance in four years with Seattle.

After allowing 369 points this season, Holmgren fired defensive coordinator Steve Sidwell, line coach Larry Brooks, linebackers coach Johnny Holland, secondary coach Ken Flajole and offensive assistant Jerry Colquitt on Tuesday.

"They were my friends. It was not a fun thing to do," Holmgren said.

Clarett still upset with Ohio State

TEMPE, Ariz., Jan. 1 (UPI) -- Maurice Clarett refused to back down Tuesday on his statement that Ohio State would not help him fly home to attend a friend's funeral.

The freshman running back insisted he filed the necessary paperwork that would have given him the funds to fly home to Youngstown, Ohio to attend the funeral of Juan Bell.

According to police reports, Bell was shot on Dec. 21 in what has been termed a drug-related incident.

Tuesday was Media Day at the Fiesta Bowl, where Clarett and the Ohio State Buckeyes will battle Miami for the national championship Friday night. Clarett was the center of attention because of his claim Monday that school officials prevented him from attending the funeral.

"I filled out the paperwork. They can't lie about that," Clarett said in front of a crowd of reporters at Sun Devil Stadium. "But it doesn't make make much difference right now."

Later in the day, Ohio State issued a statement that Clarett did not file the form -- Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFFSA) -- with the Department of Education. All student athletes are encouraged to file the form, which would enable players from poor families such as Clarett to receive funds in addition to their athletic scholarship.

Had Clarett filed the form in time, the school would have had the leeway to pay for a plane ticket and not be subject to NCAA sanctions.

Cowboys await word from Parcells

IRVING, Texas, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- The unlikely marriage of Bill Parcells and Jerry Jones did not take place Tuesday.

The two-time Super Bowl-winning coach, however, is not expected to jilt the Dallas Cowboys at the altar.

The Dallas Morning News has reported that Parcells has reached agreement on a four-year, $18 million deal with the Cowboys.

An announcement was expected Tuesday, but the team and Parcells' agent Jimmy Sexton denied an agreement has been reached. There were reports that the question of who will be retained from Dallas' coaching staff could be hanging up the deal.

The 61-year-old Parcells confirmed to the New York Daily News that he has had productive conversations with Jones, the owner and general manager of the Cowboys, but "nothing is imminent."

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, meanwhile, have claimed they are entitled to compensation if Parcells signs with Dallas. The Bucs insist Parcells signed a four-year contract with them before he changed his mind. The NFL has yet to make an announcement on the issue, but will likely not grant Tampa Bay compensation if a contract with Parcells was not formally filed to the league.

Parcells, who has been out of coaching for the last three years, met with Jones on Dec. 18 and again on Dec. 27.

Parcells left the New England Patriots after leading them to the Super Bowl in 1997 because he demanded final say in personnel decisions, prompting a quote for which he has become known -- "If they're going to ask you to cook the meal, they ought to let you buy the groceries."

Kirk Ferentz named Walter Camp Coach of Year

NEW HAVEN, Conn., Jan. 1 (UPI) -- Kirk Ferentz has been named Coach of the Year by the Walter Camp Foundation.

Ferentz led Iowa to a share of the Big Ten title and a berth in the Orange Bowl.

Ranked third nationally, Iowa finished 11-1 overall and 8-0 in the Big Ten under Ferentz, three years after compiling a 1-10 mark in Ferentz's first season.

The Hawkeyes will meet fifth-ranked Southern California in the Orange Bowl on Thursday in Miami.

Led by quarterback Brad Banks, the Heisman Trophy runner-up to USC quarterback Carson Palmer, Iowa averaged a conference-best 38.9 points per game. In addition, the Hawkeyes ranked second in the nation in rushing defense.

Ferentz was named Iowa coach in December 1998 after spending six years as an assistant and offensive line coach of the Baltimore Ravens. He served as an assistant under Hayden Fry at Iowa from 1981-89.

NBA suspends two

NEW YORK, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- The NBA announced Tuesday New York's Clarence Weatherspoon and San Antonio's Kevin Willis had been suspended one game each.

The suspensions were handed out after they fought during Monday night's contest.

Weatherspoon also was fined $20,000 and will miss New York's game against Toronto on Wednesday. Willis, who was disciplined for retaliating with a punch, will sit out Tuesday's contest at Washington.

Late in the third quarter of a won by the Knicks, 96-85, Weatherspoon held onto Willis after New York's Michael Doleac made a jumper. Weatherspoon finally shoved Willis into the stands, the two players exchanged shoves and were ejected.

After Willis left the court, Weatherspoon had to be restrained from going after the San Antonio player.

Mironov returns after walkout

CHICAGO, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Boris Mironov has decided to return to the team following his 28-day walkout.

General Manager Mike Smith said Mironov, 30, will begin a conditioning stint with the Blackhawks and no timetable has been set for his return to the active roster.

Suspended indefinitely by the club on Dec. 5 after leaving the team, Mironov had three goals, one assist and 22 penalty minutes in 20 games this season.

The Blackhawks acquired the 6-3, 223-pound Russian from the Edmonton Oilers in a seven-player trade in March 1999. He has appeared in 220 games with the Blackhawks, recording 21 goals, 69 assists and 231 penalty minutes.

In his career, Mironov has 70 goals, 209 assists and 771 penalty minutes in 605 games with Winnipeg, Edmonton and Chicago.

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