Sports News-December 4, 2013

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A person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press the New York Yankees have worked out a seven-year, $153 million contract with center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, a deal that's pending a physical.  Ellsbury helped the Boston Red Sox win the World Series this year, batting .344 with six RBIs, four doubles and six stolen bases in the postseason after posting a .298 average with a major league-leading 52 stolen bases during the regular season.

Steve Sarkisian has returned to Southern California with plans to lead the Trojans back to immediate national title contention.  USC introduced Sarkisian yesterday as the replacement for Lane Kiffin and interim coach Ed Orgeron, who led the Trojans to a 9-4 regular season.  Sarkisian had three stints at USC as an assistant coach under Pete Carroll.  Sarkisian says he's better prepared to take over a program of USC's profile after the last five seasons at Washington, where he turned the moribund Huskies into a perennial bowl team.  Offensive coordinator Clay Helton will coach the Trojans in their bowl game next month, and Sarkisian plans to focus on recruiting and hiring a staff.  Sarkisian says he knows emotions are running high with his new players.  Many Trojans strongly supported Orgeron.

Ethan Wragge scored 15 points in his first start since 2010, and Creighton defeated Long Beach State 78-61 last night.  The Bluejays had just dropped out of the Top 25 after consecutive losses to close out the Wooden Legacy Tournament and they responded with a dominating effort in the last game of an eight-day West Coast trip.  Creighton was 10-17 from three-point range in the first half to take a 48-28 halftime lead.  They opened the second half on an 11-2 run to go ahead 59-32, and cruised from there.  Doug McDermott scored a game-high 21 points to lead four players in double figures.  Wragge was only a freshman the last time he started and Dana Altman was the Bluejays head coach.  Wragge finished 5-10 from three-point range.  Creighton improves to 6-2 while Long Beach State drops to 1-8 and have now lost eight straight.

CJ Carter scored 15 points and Devin Patterson added 14 as Nebraska-Omaha rolled past Waldorf 100-66 last night.  The Mavericks shot 55% from the field and dished out 26 assists.  They jumped out to an early 20-4 lead capped by three-pointers from Carter and Marcus Tyus, and coasted to a 52-29 advantage at the break.  Former Norfolk Panther Jalen Bradley had eight points and two steals in 13 minutes.  Nebraska-Omaha is now 6-3 while Waldorf drops to 3-3.      

Nebraska senior Kelsey Robinson led three Husker volleyball players who earned All-Big Ten honors from the league's coaches yesterday.  Robinson became the first Husker to earn Big Ten Player-of-the-Year accolades.  She paces a Husker contingent that also includes freshman Kadie Rolfzen and junior Mary Pollmiller.  Nebraska saw Robinson and Rolfzen earn All-Big Ten honors, while Pollmiller earned honorable-mention accolades.  Rolfzen was also named to the All-Freshman Team as a unanimous pick.  In addition, senior Morgan Broekhuis was selected as Nebraska's Sportsmanship Award honoree.  The Huskers open the NCAA Tournament on Friday when they face Fairfield at 7:00 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.

The Wayne State women's basketball team is ranked 22nd in this week's USA Today Sports Division II Top 25 Coaches' Poll released yesterday by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association.  It's the first time this season the 8-0 Wildcats have been ranked in the Top 25.  They went 4-0 last week and return to Northern Sun Conference play this weekend, visiting Sioux Falls Friday evening at 6:00 and Southwest Minnesota State Saturday at 5:00.

The Omaha World Herald & Lincoln Journal Star have posted their preseason high school girls basketball rankings.  In the Omaha World Herald, Bellevue West is ranked first in the 'Nebraska Top 10' & Class 'A' while defending state champion Grand Island Northwest is ranked first in Class 'B'.  In Class 'C-1', Minden is first, Pierce is ranked second, and Norfolk Catholic is eighth.  In Class 'C-2', two-time defending state champion Crofton is ranked first, Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family is third, Homer is ranked fourth, Pender is fifth, and West Point Guardian Angels is ranked eighth.  In Class 'D-1', O'Neill St. Mary's is first, Emerson/Hubbard is ranked fourth, Howells/Dodge is fifth, and Chambers/Wheeler Central is ranked seventh.  In Class 'D-2', Falls City Sacred Heart is ranked first, Wynot is fourth, Ewing is ranked fifth, Bancroft/Rosalie is ninth, and Osmond is ranked tenth.  In the Lincoln Journal Star, Bellevue West is ranked first and Norfolk High is sixth in Class 'A'.  Defending state champion Grand Island Northwest is ranked first in Class 'B'.  In Class 'C-1', Minden is first, Pierce is ranked second, Wayne is fourth, and Boone Central/Newman Grove is ranked eighth.  In Class 'C-2', two-time defending state champion Crofton is ranked first, Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family is third, Pender is ranked fifth, Homer is sixth, and West Point Guardian Angels is ranked seventh.  In Class 'D-1', O'Neill St. Mary's is first, Emerson/Hubbard is ranked third, Howells/Dodge is sixth, and Randolph is ranked seventh.  In Class 'D-2', Falls City Sacred Heart is ranked first, Wynot is second, Bancroft/Rosalie is ranked fifth, Ewing is sixth, and Stuart is ranked seventh.

The Omaha World Herald & Lincoln Journal Star have released their preseason high school girls basketball rankings.  Norfolk High is ranked sixth in Class 'A' in the Lincoln Journal Star and unranked in the Omaha World Herald.  The Lady Panthers were 16-9 a year ago and open their season tomorrow when they visit Bellevue East.  Norfolk Catholic is ranked eighth in Class 'C-1' in the Omaha World Herald and unranked in the Lincoln Journal Star.  The Lady Knights reached the State Tournament a year ago and finished 15-10.  They open their season Friday when they play either Sandy Creek or Kearney Catholic at Sandy Creek as part of the Grand Island Central Catholic Tournament.

Local Schedule:  NECC at Cloud County CC at Concordia, KS (WBB-6:00); Miami at Nebraska (MBB-8:30); Nebraska at North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC (WBB-5:00).

Thursday Evening:  The Norfolk High girls & boys basketball squads visit Bellevue East in their opener starting with the girls game at 5:30.  The boys game will follow at approximately 6:45.  Pregame coverage at approximately 5:10 on Newstalk WJAG 105.9 FM & WJAG.com.

Local Scores:  NECC 97 Dordt JV 61 (MBB); Creighton 78 Long Beach St. 61 (MBB); Nebraska-Omaha 100 Waldorf 66 (MBB). 

     NATIONAL  BASKETBALL  ASSOCIATION
    
      Final  2OT    Philadelphia      126    Orlando          125
      Final            Denver                  111    Brooklyn          87
      Final            Detroit                107    Miami                97
      Final            Boston                  108    Milwaukee      100
      Final            Memphis                110    Phoenix            91
      Final            Dallas                    89    Charlotte        82
      Final            Oklahoma  City      97    Sacramento      95
      Final            Golden  State      112    Toronto          103
    
    
          NATIONAL  HOCKEY  LEAGUE
    
      Final            Carolina            4    Washington            1
      Final  OT      Pittsburgh        3    N-Y  Islanders      2
      Final            San  Jose            4    Toronto                  2
      Final            Columbus            1    Tampa  Bay              0
      Final            Ottawa                4    Florida                  2
      Final            Dallas                4    Chicago                  3
      Final            Vancouver          3    Nashville              1
      Final            Phoenix              6    Edmonton                2
      Final  2OT    Los  Angeles      3    Anaheim                  2
    
    
          TOP-25  COLLEGE  BASKETBALL
    
      Final    (  2)  Arizona        79              Texas  Tech                  58
      Final    (  4)  Syracuse      69              Indiana                        52
      Final    (10)  Duke              79    (22)  Michigan                      69
      Final    (18)  UCLA              89              UC  Santa  Barbara      76
      Final    (21)  UMass            69              E.  Michigan                57
      Final    (23)  Iowa              98              Notre  Dame                  93
    
    
          TOP-25  WOMEN'S  COLLEGE  BASKETBALL
    
      Final    (  7)  Louisville      91    Missouri  St.        49
      Final    (  9)  Baylor            113    San  Jose  St.        73
      Final    (13)  LSU                    83    Indiana  St.          66
      Final    (23)  Texas  A&M        72    San  Diego  St.      35

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