Sports Briefs

Men's Basketball

TEMPE, Ariz. — Danielle Orsillo scored 17 points and Arizona State held the Pac-10's highest scoring team to its second-lowest point total of the year in a 73-68 victory over Oregon on Thursday night.

Becca Tobin added 12 points for the Sun Devils (10-6, 2-3), who won their second straight after losing three in a row and dropping out of the Associated Press Top 25.

Micaela Cocks scored 15 points for Oregon (12-4, 3-1), which came into the game averaging 87 points. The Ducks had scored less than 78 points only once all season under first-year coach Paul Westhead, who has brought his run-and-gun style to Eugene.

Taylor Lilley added 14 points and three steals for Oregon, which had won four of its last five games. The Ducks' lowest-scoring game was a 58-57 loss to Wisconsin on Nov. 28.

Tobin scored 10 of her points in the second half when the Sun Devils began to break the Ducks' full-court press. ASU took advantage of a pair of Oregon turnovers to run off seven straight points and break a 37-37 tie early in the second half.

A jumper by Orsillo gave Arizona State a 55-41 lead with 9:11 left.

TUCSON, Ariz. — Soana Lucet scored 18 points, including the go-ahead free throw, to lead Arizona to a 62-53 win over Oregon State on Thursday night.

Lucet, who sank a pair of free throws with about three minutes left to tie the game and then take the lead, also grabbed six rebounds for the Wildcats (8-7, 2-3 Pac-10).

Davellyn Whyte finished with 14 points for the Wildcats, while Reiko Thomas added 12.

The Beavers (9-5, 1-3) led by as many as seven points early in the second half, but missed all six of their free throw tries in the period and went just 4-for-6 from the free-throw line.

Haiden Palmer led the Beavers in scoring with 15 points, while Talisa Rhea added 13 points and El Sara Greer pulled down 14 rebounds.

College Football

HOUSTON — Boise State coach Chris Petersen happily concedes that Alabama is college football's national champion.

He's just glad his Broncos are mentioned in the debate.

Petersen won the Paul "Bear" Bryant Award on Thursday night, the second time in four years he's earned the honor recognizing the nation's best coach.

The Broncos finished a 14-0 season with a 17-10 win over previously unbeaten TCU in the Fiesta Bowl.

Petersen, the first two-time winner of the award, beat out Alabama's Nick Saban, who led the Crimson Tide to a 37-21 win over Texas in the BCS championship game and an undefeated season. Saban won the Bryant Award in 2003, when he coached LSU to the BCS national title.

Petersen smiled when asked if he would've liked to play the Tide in a winner-take-all showdown after the teams won their bowl games.

LUBBOCK, Texas — Tommy Tuberville is cleaning house at Texas Tech in the wake of the Mike Leach's firing.

The school said Thursday that Ruffin McNeill, the defensive coordinator and interim head coach after Texas Tech suspended and then fired Leach last month, is leaving the program. McNeill came to Texas Tech with Leach in 2000 and was the only other candidate for the head coaching job that was filled by Tuberville.

LOS ANGELES — Norm Chow declined the chance to switch teams again in Los Angeles' fierce football rivalry.

Chow said Thursday he'll stay at UCLA for his third season as offensive coordinator, rebuffing overtures from Lane Kiffin to return to Southern California.

After a couple of uneasy days during which the Trojans openly courted Chow, UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel was grateful to learn his widely respected offensive mastermind had passed on a lucrative contract offer at USC.

"It's an exciting time to be at UCLA," Chow said. "I certainly understand the challenges, but I'm looking forward to what lies ahead at UCLA."

USC athletic director Mike Garrett acknowledged Wednesday he hoped to lure Chow to Kiffin's new staff, joining defensive guru Monte Kiffin and top recruiter Ed Orgeron. But the rumblings began to circulate through the media before USC had even made contact with Chow, who was on vacation in Florida when his imminent departure from UCLA was being reported as fact.


NEW YORK — Chris Johnson didn't get any votes for MVP. He didn't miss any for The Associated Press 2009 NFL All-Pro team.

The 2,000-yard rusher from the Tennessee Titans was the only unanimous choice for the squad, announced Thursday. He's joined in the backfield by Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, who won an unprecedented fourth Most Valuable Player Award last week, when only quarterbacks received votes.

"That'd be a good thing," said Johnson, who won the Offensive Player of the Year award Wednesday. "Because I feel like if you put a season out there, out of those dudes who got votes or the dudes who won, I wouldn't feel they had a better season than I had, and broke as many records in one season that I had."

For setting the league mark for yards from scrimmage and becoming the sixth 2,000-yard rusher in NFL history, Johnson got all 50 votes from a nationwide panel of sports writers. One other player, San Francisco inside linebacker Patrick Willis, came close with, appropriately, 49. Cornerbacks Charles Woodson of Green Bay, the Defensive Player of the Year, and Darrelle Revis of the New York Jets each got 48, as did Oakland punter Shane Lechler.

"I just think Patrick is a very unique guy," 49ers coach Mike Singletary said. "He's a guy who's always going to be around the ball. He has the instincts. He has the speed. He can be where he wants to be."

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Dean Pees is leaving after four seasons as the New England Patriots' defensive coordinator.

Four days after the Patriots lost to the Baltimore Ravens 33-14 in the first round of the playoffs, Pees said he told team owner Robert Kraft and coach Bill Belichick that he would not seek a new contract after his current one expires at the end of January.

"I enjoyed my time in New England, but feel this is the right time to pursue other opportunities," Pees said in a statement issued by the club on Thursday.

He gave no further details about his decision.

ALAMEDA, Calif. — Tom Cable planned to meet with Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis on Thursday to discuss his status as head coach.

Raiders senior executive John Herrera said the two men could meet again today. Cable has been spending the 10 days since the season ended evaluating the team with his assistant coaches.

Cable's status is in question after he went 5-11 in his first full season as coach and failed to develop JaMarcus Russell into a legitimate NFL quarterback. Cable is 9-19 since replacing Lane Kiffin early in the 2008 season, leading the Raiders to their NFL-worst seventh straight season with at least 11 losses.

— The Associated Press

Cable has pointed to the team's improvement after Russell's midseason benching as proof that he deserves another year to get the Raiders back to the playoffs.

Cable provided some positives this season by beating playoff teams in Cincinnati and Philadelphia and knocking off contenders Denver and Pittsburgh on the road in December.


HONOLULU — The first full-field event of the PGA Tour season produced quite a log jam, with Robert Allenby and John Merrick the latest to join the six-way tie for the lead Thursday at the Sony Open.

Allenby was among the many surprises, having twisted his ankle so badly on Monday that he would have withdrawn had he not traveled so many miles to get to Oahu. For Davis Love III, it was his first time competing in two months.

And perhaps the most stunning name in the lead was Troy Merritt, who had never played a PGA Tour event in his life until he calmed his nerves, stuck a tee in the ground and shot a 5-under 65.

They were joined by defending champion Zach Johnson and Ryan Palmer, while 10 other players were one shot behind.

Share This Story