Sports News-April 12, 2013

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Spain's Sergio Garcia and Australia's Marc Leishman, a pair that has compiled exactly zero major titles between them, are the surprise first-round leaders at the 77th Masters.  Garcia posted a bogey-free 6-under 66 playing in the afternoon to grab a share of the lead with Leishman, who ran off a string of four straight birdies on the way to the 66 he posted early yesterday.  Long-hitting Dustin Johnson, another player without a major to his name, finds himself just a shot back after a 67.  Four-time champ Tiger Woods posted a 2-under 70.  That's only two shots off the best first-round score Woods has ever posted at Augusta, where he is seeking his fifth green jacket.  Woods has not won a major in five years.
Thirteen was lucky enough for the New York Knicks, but getting the 14th was harder to do.  The Chicago Bulls have done it again.  Two weeks after ending the Miami Heat's 27-game streak, the Bulls snapped the Knicks' 13-game win streak, 118-111 in overtime.  Tiny Nate Robinson came up big, pouring in a season-high 35 points.  Jimmy Butler added 22 points and Luol Deng added 16 for the Bulls.

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke broke his left collarbone in a bench-clearing brawl with the San Diego Padres during Los Angeles' 3-2 victory last night.  Quentin and Greinke have a history.  The right-hander now has hit Quentin three times with a pitch, with the last before yesterday coming in 2009.  Quentin is the only batter Greinke has hit three times, according to ESPN Stats & Information.  Greinke lowered his left shoulder into Quentin and took the brunt of the blow as they collided.  The right-hander, who had his wife and in-laws in the stands, joined the Dodgers as a free agent in the offseason, signing a $147 million, six-year contract.

The outline of the state of Nebraska is back at center court in the Huskers' new home for basketball.  The court at Pinnacle Bank Arena will feature the state outline in a darker shade, with a red, block "N" in the middle and a star for Lincoln according to the Lincoln Journal Star.  Nebraska also had a state outline as its center court design from 1986-1996, a period that featured a program-record four straight NCAA Tournament appearances.  The court will also feature a darker stain between the key and the three-point line, with the Big Ten logo at both foul lines.  First National Bank will have logo recognition on the court as fulfillment of its  sponsorship agreement with Nebraska's media rights holder, IMG College.  Nebraska Athletics owns the naming rights for the court, which have not yet been awarded.  In other Husker basketball news, assistant coach Ben Johnson appears to be leaving to join new coach Richard Pitino’s staff at Minnesota.

Nebraska basketball redshirt guard Deverell Biggs was sentenced to nine month’s probation yesterday after he entered a no contest plea in a driving under the influence case according to the Omaha World Herald.  Biggs also received a $300 fine and a 60-day license suspension, and Judge Jeffrey Marcuzzo ordered him to attend alcohol-education classes and to avoid alcohol for six months, all for the first-offense DUI.  Biggs was arrested last December near 30th and Lake Streets in Omaha with a blood-alcohol content above the legal limit.  He had left the scene of an accident in which he backed into a Mercedes.  Biggs was a two-time first-team All-Nebraska point guard at Omaha Central.  In junior college at Seward County Community College of Kansas, he was a first-team All-American.  When he accepted an NU scholarship in April 2012, he became the first in-state player to sign with the Huskers in eleven years.  Nebraska head coach Tim Miles said that Biggs will be suspended for an undetermined number of games next season as punishment.

New England Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard was sentenced yesterday to 30 days in jail, beginning on March 1, 2014, and two years of probation for assaulting a police officer outside a Lincoln bar last year.  In court, Dennard apologized to his coaches, supporters, police and his family and promised to abide by the terms of the probation.  He declined comment after leaving court.  A jury in February found Dennard guilty of the felony charge and a misdemeanor count of resisting arrest.  The former Nebraska player was acquitted of third-degree assault against another man.  Dennard faced up to five years in prison for the officer assault and up to a year for resisting arrest.

Nebraska's Lindsey Moore is one of twelve collegiate women's basketball players invited to attend the WNBA Draft at the ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn..  Moore, a 5’9 senior point guard from Washington, received her official invitation from the WNBA yesterday to attend the league's 2013 draft, which will be televised live by ESPN2 on Monday at 7:00.  Moore becomes the second Husker in the past four years to be invited to the WNBA Draft as a potential first-round pick, joining former NU All-American forward Kelsey Griffin in 2010.  Moore closed her career as Nebraska's all-time leader in assists, games started, minutes played and victories.  As a senior, she averaged 15.1 points, 5.7 assists, and 3.6 rebounds.

The Bob Gibson Heritage Project unveiled a statue of the Major League Baseball Hall of Famer at Werner Park yesterday according to the Omaha World Herald.  On Wednesday night, former teammates Tim McCarver, Joe Torre and Bill White spoke at a banquet honoring the St. Louis great in advance of yesterday’s ceremony unveiling the statue in Papillion.  Gibson said Wednesday night that the hometown recognition is humbling.  In 17 major-league seasons Gibson won 251 games, struck out 3,117 batters, won two Cy Young Awards and a Most Valuable Player trophy, and set a modern record with his 1.12 ERA in 1968.  Before attending Creighton, Gibson was a star at Omaha Tech High School.  Later he pitched professionally for the Omaha Cardinals in parts of the 1957, 1958 and 1959 seasons.  He also spent some time with the Harlem Globetrotters.

The Wayne State baseball team won a snow-shortened Northern Sun Conference doubleheader yesterday at the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota.  The Wildcats won the first game 7-3 and captured the second game by an 8-6 score in a game that was called in the bottom of the sixth inning due to snow showers in the Bismarck area.  The games were played in temperatures in the mid 30’s until snow showers arrived shortly before 6:00 that forced the stoppage of the second game with Wayne State declared the winner since the second game went past the fifth inning.

Lincoln Northeast football coach Justin Smith has resigned to take a similar job in Sergeant Bluff, Iowa according to the Lincoln Journal Star.  He is making the move to be closer to family in Iowa.  Smith won championships in 2006 & 2007 for the Wakefield Trojans before leaving for Lincoln Northeast.  His teams at Northeast were 17-19 in four years.  Smith leaves with an 85-60 career record.

Local Schedule:  Nfk High at Fremont Inv. (T&F-12:30); Nfk High at Kearney Inv. (G Tenn.-11:30); Ohio St. At Nebraska (Bsbl-4:05); Creighton at Indiana St. At Terre Haute, IN (Bsbl-5:30); Nebraska-Omaha at Western Illinois at Macomb, IL (Bsbl-3:00); Nashville at Omaha Storm Chasers (Bsbl-7:05).

Local Scores:  WSC 7-6 Univ. Of Mary 3-6 (Bsbl DH); Albuquerque 3 Omaha Storm Chasers 2 (Bsbl); Columbus at Nfk High (Bsbl DH-Ppd.); Lincoln High at Nfk High (G&B Socc.-Ccd.).

      Final    Washington      7    Chi  White  Sox      4
      Final    Detroit          11    Toronto                  1
      Final    Baltimore        3    Boston                    2
      Final    Oakland            8    L.A.  Angels          1
      Final    Texas                4    Seattle                  3
        N-Y  Yankees    at    Cleveland    (7:05  p.m.,    postponed,  Rain)
      Final    San  Francisco      7    Chi  Cubs        6
      Final    L.A.  Dodgers        3    San  Diego      2
      Final  OT    Chicago                118    New  York            111
      Final          Oklahoma  City    116    Golden  State      97
      Final            Washington            3    Carolina              1
      Final            Montreal                5    Buffalo                1
      Final            N-Y  Islanders      2    Boston                  1
      Final            Ottawa                    3    Philadelphia      1
      Final            Pittsburgh            6    Tampa  Bay            3
      Final  2OT    San  Jose                3    Detroit                2  (SO  San  Jose  2-1)
      Final            Winnipeg                7    Florida                2
      Final            St.  Louis              2    Minnesota            0
      Final  2OT    Los  Angeles          3    Colorado              2  (SO  Los  Angeles  3-1)

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