Sports News-January 3, 2013

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The Florida Gators had hoped to finish second or third in the final Associated Press college football poll if they could put together an impressive victory over Louisville in the Sugar Bowl.  Instead, it was the BCS 21st-ranked Cardinals using a dominant performance to roll past the third-ranked Gators 33-23 in New Orleans last night.  The Cardinals took the lead for good when Terell Floyd returned an interception 38 yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage.  Teddy Bridgewater threw for two touchdowns and was 20-32 for 266 yards against a team that ranked among the nation's top three in most passing stats.  Once Jeremy Wright scored a short touchdown run to make it 14-0, it marked the first time all season Florida trailed by more than ten points.  Gators quarterback Jeff Driskel turned the ball over three times on two interceptions and a fumble.  He finished 16-29 for 175 yards after entering the game with just three interceptions all season.  Both teams finish 11-2.

Jim Boeheim notched his 903rd career victory, breaking a tie with Bob Knight for second all-time among Division I men's coaches, and seventh ranked Syracuse rolled past Rutgers 78-53 last night in the Big East opener for both teams.  Boeheim, in his 37th season at his alma mater, trails only Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, who has 940 victories.  The Orange has won 33 straight home games, the longest active streak in the nation, and has beaten the Knights 13 straight times.  Syracuse’s last home loss was to Georgetown, 64-56, on Feb. 9, 2011.  Brandon Triche had a season-high 25 points, hitting five of seven three-point attempts, and added six assists to lead the Orange.  Syracuse improves to 13-1 overall and 1-0 in the Big East while Rutgers is now 9-3 overall and 0-1 in the conference.

Junior forward Ethan Wragge made six of nine shots from three-point range for his 18 points to lead the 16th ranked Creighton men’s basketball team to a 79-72 victory over Illinois State last night.  Teammate Grant Gibbs had 16 points, seven assists, and six rebounds for the Bluejays, while leading scoring Doug McDermott finished with 15 points and nine rebounds.  Tyler Brown and Bryant Allen each scored 15 points to lead the Redbirds.  Creighton led 42-39 at halftime, although Illinois State mounted a furious run that culminated with a three-pointer by Nick Zeisloft with two seconds left to make it a three-point game.  The teams combined for 26 three-pointers in the game, with 17 occurring in the first half.  The Bluejays are now 13-1 overall and 2-0 in the Missouri Valley Conference while the Redbirds are 9-5 overall and 0-2 in the conference.

Deshaun Thomas outscored Nebraska in the first half 18-17 and finished with 22 points to lead the eighth ranked Ohio State men’s basketball team past the Cornhuskers 70-44 last night in the Big Ten opener for both teams.  Lenzelle Smith Jr. added 17 points for the Buckeyes, which won its 15th consecutive Big Ten home opener.  Ohio State led by at least 20 points for almost all of the second half.  How bad was it for Nebraska?  Only 8:27 remained in the game when they finally exceeded the 31 points that their football counterparts scored in a 14-point loss to Georgia in the Capital One Bowl a day earlier.  Ray Gallegos had 14 points to lead the Cornhuskers, which shot 29% from the field.  The Buckeyes are now 11-2 overall and 1-0 in the Big Ten while Nebraska drops to 9-5 overall and 0-1 in the conference.

Coach Bo Pelini sees better days for the Nebraska football team in 2013.  The 10-4 Cornhuskers appeared on the verge of a breakthrough this season, winning six straight to take the Big Ten Legends Division.  But the 39-point loss to Wisconsin in the conference championship game and the 45-31 Capital One Bowl loss to Georgia are fueling speculation about whether Pelini can return the program to elite status.  Pelini said he saw enough positives against the Southeastern Conference runner-up Bulldogs to be optimistic about next season, when the Cornhuskers' schedule gets considerably softer.  The BCS 16th ranked Huskers led seventh ranked Georgia 31-23 midway through the third quarter.  Pelini said Nebraska isn’t far from being able to compete for a national championship.

Lindsey Moore scored 26 points and made five three-pointers and Jordan Hooper added 14 points to lead the 25th ranked Nebraska women’s basketball team to a 70-52 victory against Wisconsin last night.  Teammate Emily Cady had 13 points and 14 rebounds for the Cornhuskers.  Nebraska shot 44% from three-point range by making 12-27 shots.  The Cornhuskers are now 11-3 overall and 1-0 in the Big Ten while the Badgers are now 8-6 overall and 0-1 in the conference.

The Nebraska-Omaha hockey team has slipped in both weekly polls after being swept by Quinnipiac in two games last week.  The Mavericks are ranked 16th in the latest poll from the website USCHO.com and 15th in USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine.  UNO returns to action on Friday and Saturday when they host Colorado College.  Nebraska-Omaha is 11-8-1 overall and 7-4-1 in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

Nebraska sophomore Robert Kokesh earned Big Ten Co-Wrestler-of-the-Week accolades with Northwestern's Jason Welch.  Kokesh took home the Midlands Invitational title at 174 pounds on Sunday, winning six matches to extend his winning streak to 17 and improve his record to 22-1 on the season.  The South Dakota native outscored his opponents 46-7 and added two pins to extend his number to eight on the season.  He won two more of his matches by major decision and one by technical fall in addition to his pins.  Kokesh earned the 50th win of his collegiate career in Saturday's quarterfinals and now has 52 as a Husker.  He led the Nebraska wrestling team to a tie for 15th place at the Midlands Invitational with the individual crown.  Kokesh was the last Husker to win Big Ten Wrestler of the Week when he took home the honor on Dec. 13, 2011.

Jordan Spencer of Wayne State was selected the Northern Sun Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Week.  It’s the first time the 5’11 sophomore forward from Millard West High School has earned the award.  Spencer recorded her fourth double-double of the season with 23 points and 11 rebounds in Monday’s 85-47 win over Chadron State at Rice Auditorium for the Wildcats’ 52nd straight win at home.  Wayne State, ranked 19th in the latest USA TODAY/Sports Division II Top 25 Coaches Poll, is 7-2 overall and 3-2 in the NSIC.

Local Schedule:  Nfk Cath at Wayne (BBB-8:00); Nebraska-Omaha at Oakland Univ. At Rochester, MI (MBB-6:00).

Saturday Morning:  Sportstalk on 106 KIX & 106KIX.com from 9:00-10:00 AM from Hy-Vee West.  Get the lowdown with the coaches.
    
Saturday Evening:  The Norfolk High girls & boys basketball teams visits South Sioux City for a doubleheader starting with the girls game at 5:45.  Pregame coverage at approximately 5:25 on Newstalk WJAG 105.9 FM & WJAG.com.

Local Scores:  (16) Creighton 79 Illinois St. 72 (MBB); (8) Ohio St. 70 Nebraska 44 (MBB); (25) Nebraska 70 Wisconsin 52 (WBB).

     NATIONAL  BASKETBALL  ASSOCIATION
    
      Final          Chicago                96    Orlando                  94
      Final          Toronto              102    Portland                79
      Final          Sacramento          97    Cleveland              94
      Final          Indiana                89    Washington            81
      Final  OT    Miami                  119    Dallas                  109
      Final          Memphis                93    Boston                    83
      Final          Brooklyn            110    Oklahoma  City      93
      Final          Houston              104    New  Orleans          92
      Final          San  Antonio      117    Milwaukee            110
      Final          Utah                    106    Minnesota              84
      Final          Phoenix                95    Philadelphia        89
      Final          Golden  State    115    L-A  Clippers        94
    
    
          TOP-25  COLLEGE  BASKETBALL
    
      Final    (  1)  Duke                        67              Davidson                  50
      Final    (  4)  Louisville            80              Providence              62
      Final    (  7)  Syracuse                78              Rutgers                    53
      Final    (  8)  Ohio  St.                70              Nebraska                  44
      Final              Purdue                    68    (11)  Illinois                  61
      Final    (16)  Creighton              79              Illinois  St.          72
      Final    (17)  Butler                    70              Penn                          57
      Final    (19)  San  Diego  St.      72              CS  Bakersfield      57
    
    
          TOP-25  WOMEN'S  COLLEGE  BASKETBALL
    
      Final          (  2)  Baylor              74              TCU                          35
      Final                    Texas  Tech      64    (13)  Oklahoma  St.        59
      Final  OT    (14)  Purdue              67              Illinois                66
      Final          (17)  Oklahoma          71              West  Virginia      68
      Final          (21)  Kansas              72              Kansas  St.            63

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