NASCAR

more stats

 
      === News Summaries from The Sports Network - Friday, April 18th ===
 
 
                     === Haith leaves Mizzou for Tulsa ===
 
 Tulsa,  OK (SportsNetwork.com)  - Tulsa has named Frank Haith as its new men's
 basketball coach.
 
 Haith decided to leave his position at Missouri after three successful seasons
 and  will replace Danny Manning, who spent two years with the Golden Hurricane
 and departed earlier this month for the vacancy at Wake Forest.
 
 "What  a  whirlwind," said  Haith at his  introductory news conference Friday.
 "This  happened really quick. When I looked at the Tulsa job and looked at the
 past  at  this program --  guys like  (former coaches) Nolan Richardson, Tubby
 Smith and Bill Self -- this is why I took this job."
 
 Haith  guided  Missouri to  a record of  76-28 with a  pair of NCAA Tournament
 appearances,  but the Tigers missed this year's NCAA tourney after a record of
 23-12.  There  had been  speculation that Haith  was looking for  a way out at
 Missouri,  which  just this  week  granted  Tulsa  permission to  discuss  its
 position with Haith.
 
 "That was the toughest thing for me, to leave those kids (at Missouri)," Haith
 said.  "It was really tough for me to leave Missouri. I had a great experience
 there."
 
 Haith  also  spent seven  seasons as  head coach at  Miami-Florida. He led the
 Hurricanes  to  a  record  of  129-101, then  left  for  Missouri  and  almost
 immediately came under scrutiny for alleged violations at Miami.
 
 Last  October,  the NCAA  issued  Haith  a  five-game  suspension as  part  of
 sanctions  for a  booster-related issue. The NCAA determined he failed to meet
 his responsibilities as a head coach when he did not monitor the activities of
 his  assistant  coaches, and  attempted to  cover up  the booster's threats to
 disclose incriminating information.
 
 "That was the most taxing time in my career," said Haith on Friday. "It lasted
 three  years. I take full responsibility for the things that happened under my
 watch.  I  served my five  games. I wanted  to appeal, but  we chose not to in
 order to move forward."
 
 Haith  will  take over a  program that went 38-29  under Manning and this past
 season  won the Conference USA Tournament to reach the NCAA Tournament for the
 first time since 2003.
 
 "We're  looking  forward to doing some  special things at Tulsa," Haith added.
 "Danny  and his team won the conference championship last year and our goal is
 to  be  a  program  that  wins championships.  Tulsa  has  enjoyed  tremendous
 basketball  success over  the years  and we  look forward  to continuing  that
 tradition."
 
 The  Golden  Hurricane will move from  Conference USA to the American Athletic
 Conference next season. Haith has experience in that type of transition, as he
 was  the coach at  Miami when the Hurricanes left the Big East for the ACC and
 was  also at the helm when Missouri left the Big 12 after his first season and
 moved into the SEC.
 
 
                     === Duke's Hood entering NBA Draft ===
 
 Durham,  NC  (SportsNetwork.com)  -  Duke sophomore  forward  Rodney  Hood  is
 following teammate Jabari Parker to the NBA Draft.
 
 The 6-foot-8 Hood announced his intention to turn pro on Friday, one day after
 the freshman star made public he was leaving Duke.
 
 Hood  played  just one  year  for  the  Blue  Devils after  transferring  from
 Mississippi  State. He  averaged 16.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists per
 game this past season.
 
 "Rodney  had two terrific years here at Duke," head coach Mike Krzyzewski said
 in  a statement. "He was an integral part of our team two years ago because he
 was  such a great practice player and this year he was one of the best players
 in  the country. So  consistent and a great young man on and off the court. He
 will  do really well in the NBA and obviously he will always be a part of what
 we do and we wish him the best."
 
 Projected  to  be a first-round  pick, Hood made  the SEC all-freshman team in
 2011-12. He sat out the next season because of NCAA transfer rules.
 
 
                === Georgia State extends Hunter's contract ===
 
 Atlanta, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - Coming off an appearance in the NIT, Georgia
 State  extended the contract of head men's basketball coach Ron Hunter for two
 years on Friday.
 
 Hunter's contract will now run through April 30, 2020.
 
 "It  was an  absolute pleasure to extend coach Ron Hunter's contract," Georgia
 State  athletic director Cheryl Levick said. "Ron epitomizes what we want in a
 coach,  a leader  and a role model for the Georgia State athletics department,
 and he has all the characteristics needed to build a powerhouse program in the
 Sun  Belt Conference. We have made a commitment to each other through 2020 and
 look forward to many championship celebrations in the coming years.'
 
 The  Panthers went 25-9 last season, winning a school-record 14 straight games
 at  one  point, and  17-1 in  the Sun  Belt Conference.  Georgia State lost in
 overtime  to  Louisiana in  the conference tournament  title game before being
 ousted by Clemson in the opening round of the NIT.
 
 "This  is  something that my  family and I are  excited about. We love Georgia
 State,"  said Hunter, who  has amassed 62 wins in his first three years at the
 helm  of the  program. "It  has  become an  extended  family to  us more  than
 anything   else.  We  are  excited  to  be  here,  we  are  excited  to  bring
 championships  to  Georgia  State  and  we are  excited  to  bring  postseason
 opportunities to this great university and its incredible students, alumni and
 fans."
 
 Prior  to joining Georgia State, Hunter served as the head coach at IUPUI from
 1994-2011.
 
 
           === Northern Illinois extends Montgomery through 2018 ===
 
 DeKalb,  IL  (SportsNetwork.com) - Northern Illinois University rewarded men's
 head  basketball coach Mark Montgomery with a two-year contract extension that
 runs through the 2017-18 season.
 
 This  past  season, Montgomery led  the Huskies to their largest single-season
 win  turnaround in  program  history with  a 15-17  overall  record, a  10-win
 improvement from 2012-13.
 
 "We  made  many positive strides  this past season and  I am excited about the
 future  of  NIU basketball," Montgomery said.  "We look forward to raising the
 bar and reaching new heights in years to come."
 
 Montgomery has a 25-68 record during his three seasons as head coach.
 
 
                      === Elijah Brown leaving Butler ===
 
 Indianapolis,  IN (SportsNetwork.com)  - Elijah  Brown is  leaving the  Butler
 basketball program.
 
 The  university  announced Friday that  the freshman  guard has been granted a
 release so he can seek a transfer to another school.
 
 "We  appreciate Elijah  and all  of his  efforts throughout  his time  here at
 Butler,"  said head coach Brandon Miller. "(Elijah) and I have had discussions
 about his decision and we wish him nothing but the best."
 
 Brown,  the  son of  Cleveland Cavaliers  head coach  Mike Brown, averaged 6.8
 points and 2.2 rebounds in 30 games this past season.
 
 
             === Blackhawks coach Quenneville fined $25,000 ===
 
 New  York, NY  (SportsNetwork.com)  -  The National  Hockey  League has  fined
 Chicago  Blackhawks  head coach  Joel  Quenneville  $25,000 for  inappropriate
 conduct.
 
 The  incident took  place during Thursday's Game 1 of their Western Conference
 playoff series against the St. Louis Blues.
 
 At  6:51  of the  second overtime,  officials met to  decide whether St. Louis
 should  be called  for a  delay  of game  penalty  that would  have given  the
 Blackhawks a two-man advantage.
 
 No  penalty was  called and cameras caught Quenneville grabbing his crotch and
 yelling at the officials.
 
 "I  was definitely excited, disappointed [in] the call, but I'll apologize for
 my  behavior,"  Quenneville said on Friday.  "It wasn't appropriate at all. It
 was a bush-league move on my part."
 
 The  Blackhawks  ended up losing  in the third  overtime and trail the playoff
 series 1-0.
 
 
                        === Saints retain WR Meachem ===
 
 Metairie,  LA (SportsNetwork.com)  -  The New  Orleans  Saints re-signed  wide
 receiver Robert Meachem to a one-year contract on Friday.
 
 Meachem  has spent  all but one of  his seven NFL seasons with the Saints, who
 used  a first-round  pick  on the  Tennessee  product in  the  2007 draft.  He
 returned to New Orleans last season after playing for San Diego in 2012.
 
 The  29-year-old  veteran  has  caught  171 passes  for  2,800  yards  and  27
 touchdowns in 92 career games. He had 16 catches for 324 yards with two scores
 in 15 games last year.
 
 
                       === Mets ship Davis to Pirates ===
 
 Pittsburgh,  PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Ike Davis' turbulent tenure with the New
 York Mets has officially come to an end.
 
 The  Mets  traded the  struggling first  baseman to  the Pittsburgh Pirates on
 Friday  in exchange for minor league pitcher Zack Thornton. New York will also
 receive a player to be named later as part of the deal.
 
 Davis  was  once considered to  be one of  the Mets' up-and-coming stars after
 batting  .264 with 19 home runs and 71 RBI during a promising rookie season in
 2010. He finished fifth in the National League with 32 homers two years later,
 but  hit just  .227 with 141 strikeouts before enduring a highly disappointing
 2013 campaign.
 
 The  former first-round  pick's  average dipped  to .205  last  season and  he
 managed  just  nine homers in  317 at-bats, earning  a demotion to Triple-A at
 midseason and ending the year on the disabled list due to an oblique injury.
 
 Davis  had been sharing  time with Lucas Duda at first base this season, going
 5-for-24 with one homer and five RBI in 12 games.
 
 The  27-year-old  should get  more  of  an  opportunity in  Pittsburgh,  where
 journeyman  Travis Ishikawa  has been serving as the regular first baseman and
 owns just a .212 average with three RBI in 14 games.
 
 In  454 career major league games, Davis has recorded 68 homers, 224 RBI and a
 .241 average.
 
 Thornton, who turns 26 in May, went 7-3 with a 2.63 ERA and five saves over 42
 games  at three  minor-league levels last season. The right-hander has allowed
 one  earned  run over 7  1/3 innings in  four relief appearances with Triple-A
 Indianapolis thus far in 2014.
 
 
         === Rangers' Scheppers goes on DL with elbow inflammation ===
 
 Arlington,  TX  (SportsNetwork.com) - The  Texas Rangers placed pitcher Tanner
 Scheppers on the 15-day disabled list Friday with right elbow inflammation.
 
 Scheppers  has  struggled during his  first stint as  a starter in the majors,
 going 0-1 with a sky-high earned run average of 9.82 over four outings. He has
 allowed 20 runs and 27 hits in 18 1/3 innings.
 
 The  27-year-old  was 6-2  with a  1.88 ERA  in 76  relief appearances for the
 Rangers last season.
 
 To fill Scheppers' place on the active roster, the club purchased the contract
 of  pitcher Aaron  Poreda from Triple-A Round Rock. Infielder Andy Parrino was
 designated for assignment to clear a spot for Poreda on the 40-man roster.
 
 
                      === Athletics extend P Doolittle ===
 
 Oakland,  CA (SportsNetwork.com)  - The Oakland Athletics agreed to terms with
 pitcher Sean Doolittle on a new five-year contract on Friday.
 
 The  contract  will run through  2018 with club options  for both the 2019 and
 2020 seasons.
 
 Doolittle,  who  was converted from  a first baseman to  a pitcher late in the
 2011 season, has appeared as an effective late-inning reliever for the A's. He
 has  registered  a 7-6  record and  a 3.10 ERA  with four  saves in 122 career
 appearances.
 
 The  left-hander has earned  one save and a 3.12 ERA while allowing three runs
 on seven hits with nine strikeouts across eight games this season for Oakland.
 
 
           === Phillies and Braves to make up rainout on June 28 ===
 
 Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The postponed April 15 game between the
 Atlanta  Braves  and Philadelphia Phillies  will be made up  as part of a day-
 night doubleheader at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday, June 28.
 
 The  regularly scheduled 3:05 p.m. ET game will now begin at 2:05 p.m. and the
 rescheduled contest will start at 7:35 p.m.
 
 
                       === Diamondbacks activate Ross ===
 
 Los  Angeles,  CA (SportsNetwork.com)  -  The  Arizona Diamondbacks  activated
 outfielder Cody Ross from the 15-day disabled list on Friday.
 
 Ross  will make  his season debut in  left field against the Dodgers on Friday
 after  suffering a dislocated right hip while trying to outrun a groundball to
 first base last August.
 
 The  33-year-old  played in 94  games for Arizona  last season and batted .278
 with eight home runs and 38 runs batted in.
 
 Ross has spent 10 seasons with the Tigers, Dodgers, Reds, Marlins, Giants, Red
 Sox  and D'Backs, compiling  a .264 batting average with 130 home runs and 490
 RBI in 981 games.
 
 In  other  roster moves,  the Diamondbacks outrighted  pitcher Alex Sanabia to
 Triple-A Reno and designated pitcher Ryan Rowland-Smith for assignment.
 
 
                 === Memphis G Calathes suspended 20 games ===
 
 New  York,  NY (SportsNetwork.com)  - Less  than 24  hours before the seventh-
 seeded  Grizzlies open their playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder,
 the  NBA  announced they will  be without the  services of reserve point guard
 Nick Calathes.
 
 The  25-year-old  rookie out  of  Florida  has  been  suspended 20  games  for
 violating the terms of the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program. The suspension kicks in
 immediately  and will  carry into  the 2014-15  season, depending  on how  far
 Memphis goes in the playoffs.
 
 Calathes  tested  positive for Tamoxifen, a  substance that has been banned by
 the  league. The drug  is typically used to reduce the side effects of steroid
 use and help with the production of testosterone.
 
 The  loss  is a  big blow to  Memphis, as Calathes  established himself as the
 primary  backup to  Mike Conley. He averaged  4.9 points and 2.9 assists in 71
 games.
 
 Calathes   was  drafted  by  Minnesota  in  2009  but  never  played  for  the
 Timberwolves,  instead opting  to spend  three seasons  in Greece  and one  in
 Russia -- winning the Eurocup MVP in 2013 -- before joining the Grizzlies.
 
 Beno  Udrih, who  was acquired in a  midseason deal from New York, will likely
 be tasked with running the Grizzlies' second unit.
 
 
           === Clifford, Joerger claim top coach honors for April ===
 
 New  York,  NY (SportsNetwork.com)  - Charlotte's  Steve Clifford and Memphis'
 Dave  Joerger  have been named  the NBA's Coaches of  the Month for April, the
 league has announced.
 
 Clifford  guided a  Bobcats team to a league-best 7-1 record during April. The
 Bobcats went 3-0 in overtime games and had three wins over three playoff-bound
 teams.
 
 Charlotte,  which  earned the No. 7  seed for the Eastern Conference Playoffs,
 enters the postseason with three straight wins.
 
 Joerger  directed the  Grizzlies to a 6-2  record in April, while going 4-0 at
 home. The Grizzlies defeated the Heat on April 9th to kick off a five-game win
 streak to end the regular season, and obtained the seventh seed in the Western
 Conference  after  defeating Dallas,  106-105,  in  overtime to  conclude  the
 regular season.
 
 Charlotte  will face  Miami while Memphis will play Oklahoma City in the first
 round.
 
 
            === Jefferson, Curry named NBA Players of the Month ===
 
 New  York, NY  (SportsNetwork.com) - Charlotte Bobcats center Al Jefferson and
 Golden  State Warriors  guard Stephen  Curry  were named  Eastern and  Western
 Conference Players of the Month, respectively, for games played in April.
 
 Jefferson  averaged 24.5 points and 14.3 rebounds while leading the Bobcats to
 the  league's  best record in April  at 7-1. He posted a point-rebound double-
 double  in  each of Charlotte's  eight games, and  grabbed 15 or more rebounds
 five times.
 
 Curry averaged 26.4 points, a league-leading 9.9 assists and 2.38 steals while
 appearing  in eight of nine games Golden State played in April. In addition to
 scoring in double figures in each contest, Curry handed out 10 or more assists
 five times.
 
 
            === Carter-Williams, Burke named April's top rookies ===
 
 New  York,  NY (SportsNetwork.com)  - Point  guards Michael Carter-Williams of
 Philadelphia and Trey Burke of Utah were named Rookies of the Month for April.
 
 Carter-Williams  was named  the Eastern Conference's top rookie for the fourth
 time  in six  months after averaging 17.6 points, 7.5 rebounds and 6.4 assists
 in the last eight games of the season.
 
 A  front-runner  to be named  NBA Rookie of  the Year, Carter-Williams led all
 first-year players this season in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals.
 
 Burke  earned the Western Conference award after averaging 15.6 points and 9.0
 assists in seven April games.
 
 
                === TNT's Sager to begin leukemia treatment ===
 
 (SportsNetwork.com)  - Longtime  Turner Sports  sideline reporter  Craig Sager
 will  start treatment for leukemia on Friday and will not work for the network
 during the early stages of the NBA Playoffs.
 
 Sager's son, Craig II, revealed his father's illness on his Twitter account on
 Thursday.
 
 "My  Dad's 3-4-week  acute leukemia treatment starts [Friday]," Craig Sager II
 tweeted. "Be thinking of him & let's get him back on the sidelines soon."
 
 Known  for wearing  flamboyant suits  during his  broadcasts, the  62-year-old
 has  spent  nearly  20 years  covering  NBA  games  for  TNT and  also  worked
 several  Olympics for  NBC.  He has  also  been part  of  sister station  TBS'
 coverage  of  the MLB Playoffs  and previously served  as studio host for both
 Atlanta Braves and Hawks telecasts.
 
 
      === Ferrer ousts Nadal; Djokovic, Federer reach Monte Carlo SFs ===
 
 Roquebrune-Cap-Martin,   France   (SportsNetwork.com)  -  David Ferrer stunned
 eight-time  champion  Rafael Nadal, while  reigning titlist Novak Djokovic and
 three-time  runner-up Roger  Federer avoided quarterfinal upsets Friday at the
 $4 million Monte Carlo Masters tennis event.
 
 The  sixth-seeded 2011 Monte Carlo runner-up to Nadal, Ferrer, upset the world
 No.  1 great 7-6 (7-1), 6-4 on the red clay at Monte Carlo Country Club, where
 Nadal had won a record eight straight titles before losing to Djokovic in last
 year's blockbuster finale.
 
 Nadal piled up 44 unforced errors and was broken four times, while Ferrer lost
 his own serve three times in the 2-hour, 13-minute affair on Day 6.
 
 This marks Nadal's earliest exit here in 11 years.
 
 Ferrer  exacted a  bit of  revenge  on Nadal,  who prevailed  between the  two
 Spanish stars in last year's French Open finale. Ferrer hadn't beaten Nadal on
 clay  since  2004 and is  now 6-21  overall against the brilliant left-hander,
 including wins now in two of their last three matchups.
 
 Nadal,  who is the all-time leader with 26 Masters titles, is now 50-3 overall
 in Monte Carlo, including losses in two of his last four matches here.
 
 The  27-year-old  superstar was  the Miami Masters  runner-up to Djokovic last
 month  and  had reached the  final in four of  his first five tournaments this
 season.
 
 On  Thursday, Nadal became just the 11th man in the Open Era to reach 300 wins
 on clay.
 
 Meanwhile, the second-seeded former world No. 1 Djokovic needed all three sets
 to  cool  of surging Spaniard  Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.  Garcia-
 Lopez  was riding  an eight-match winning streak that included a clay title in
 Casablanca last week.
 
 The  red-hot Djokovic has now won his last 14 matches overall, having not lost
 since  succumbing to Federer in a semifinal in Dubai back in February. The two
 superstars will meet again in Saturday's semifinals.
 
 Djokovic,  who's also  a  two-time runner-up  in Monte  Carlo  in addition  to
 winning  last year's edition, recently captured back-to-back Masters titles in
 Indian  Wells  and Miami, beating  Federer and Nadal, respectively, in marquee
 finals.
 
 The  26-year-old Djokovic and the reigning French and U.S. Open champion Nadal
 currently  hold all nine Masters titles between them, as well as the ATP World
 Tour Finals.
 
 The  fourth-seeded former world No. 1 Federer fought back to beat ninth-seeded
 French crowd favorite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 2-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-1.
 
 It  took Federer 16 break points before he finally broke Tsonga for a 2-0 lead
 in  the  third set. The  Swiss icon  went on to  break Tsonga once more before
 claiming victory in 2 hours, 26 minutes.
 
 Federer  was two points  away from defeat, trailing 5-6, love-30 at the end of
 the  second set,  but four points later  he forced a tiebreak, which he won to
 force what turned out to be a lopsided third.
 
 The  32-year-old  Federer, who  is now  11-4 lifetime  against Tsonga, lost to
 Nadal in three straight finals here from 2006-08.
 
 Federer is second to Nadal with 21 career Masters shields. He was last month's
 Indian Wells Masters runner-up to Djokovic.
 
 Djokovic and Federer will meet for a 34th time on the ATP World Tour, with the
 Swiss  great  currently holding  a  17-16  lifetime  edge. They've  split  two
 meetings so far this year. Federer is 2-0 versus the Serbian stalwart in Monte
 Carlo.
 
 Also  on  Friday, third-seeded  Australian  Open  champion Stanislas  Wawrinka
 took  care  of eighth-seeded Canadian  slugger Milos  Raonic 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 to
 setup  a semifinal  date with Ferrer at  the first clay court Masters event of
 the year.
 
 "I know I am supposed to be among the favorites, but every time I play a match
 I  am in the  state of mind of a challenger who is trying to win an additional
 match," Wawrinka said.
 
 The 2014 Monte Carlo winner will collect $760,000.
 
 
             === Italians, Czechs set for Fed Cup semi showdown ===
 
 Ostrava,  Czech Republic  (SportsNetwork.com) - Two nations that have combined
 to win the last five Fed Cup titles will square off this weekend when reigning
 champion  Italy takes on  the 2011 and 2012 champion Czech Republic in a best-
 of-five semifinal in Ostrava.
 
 The  much-anticipated tie  will commence  Saturday  when world  No. 11  former
 French  Open runner-up Sara Errani takes on Czech Lucia Safarova and that will
 be  followed by  a rubber between sixth-ranked former Wimbledon champion Petra
 Kvitova and rising young Italian Camila Giorgi.
 
 Sunday's  action  will feature reverse  singles between Kvitova and Errani and
 Safarova  and Giorgi, followed by a potentially deciding doubles match between
 Italians  Roberta Vinci  and Karin Knapp and Czechs Klara Koukalova and Andrea
 Hlavackova.
 
 The  Italians are  5-4 lifetime  against the  Czechs, including  a win  in the
 semifinal  stage this  time a year ago  in Palermo. Italy first met the former
 Czechoslovakia  in  1981 and has  faced the  Czech Republic seven times, going
 5-2 since 1993.
 
 Team  Italy is  captained by Corrado Barazzutti, while the Czech Republic will
 be guided by Petr Pala on an indoor hardcourt at CEZ Arena.
 
 The  winner  in Ostrava will face  the Australia-Germany victor in the Fed Cup
 final in November.
 
 Italy  beat Russia in  last year's Fed Cup final to capture its fourth Fed Cup
 championship in eight years. The Czech Republic owns two titles and the former
 Czechoslovakia was a five-time winner.
 
 
        === Stosur-Petkovic Fed Cup bout on tap Saturday in Brisbane ===
 
 Brisbane,  Australia  (SportsNetwork.com)  -  The Fed  Cup  semifinal  between
 host  Australia and  Germany  will  commence Saturday  with  a singles  rubber
 between  former U.S.  Open champion  Samantha  Stosur and  former top-10  star
 Andrea Petkovic.
 
 The  best-of-five  tie will  be staged  on an  outdoor hardcourt at Queensland
 Tennis Center.
 
 Stosur-Petkovic  will  be followed  by  a  bout  between  world No.  7  German
 Angelique Kerber and Aussie Casey Dellacqua.
 
 On  Sunday, reverse singles will pit the 19th-ranked Stosur against Kerber and
 Petkovic  versus  Dellacqua and a doubles  affair has a German tandem of Julia
 Goerges  and  Anna-Lena Groenefeld  taking on  an Aussie  duo of Dellacqua and
 Ashleigh Barty.
 
 Australia  is 8-4  all-time against  Germany, including  a win  in their  last
 meeting in a World Group Playoff in 2012. The two nations first met in 1966.
 
 The  seven-time champion Aussies are captained by Alicia Molik, while the two-
 time winner Germans are led by Barbara Rittner.
 
 The  winner  in Brisbane will meet  the Czech Republic-Italy victor in the Fed
 Cup final in November.
 
 
                === Cibulkova sneaks into Kuala Lumpur semis ===
 
 Kuala  Lumpur, Malaysia  (SportsNetwork.com) -  Top-seeded world  No. 10  star
 Dominika  Cibulkova  was  a  hard-fought quarterfinal  winner  Friday  at  the
 Malaysian Open tennis event.
 
 The  diminutive  Australian Open  runner-up from Slovakia  came from behind to
 beat  game  sixth-seeded Zarina Diyas,  of Kazakhstan,  4-6, 6-2, 6-4 at Bukit
 Kiara Equestrian and  Country Resort.
 
 Cibulkova's  semifinal opponent on Saturday will be third-seeded and defending
 Kuala  Lumpur champion Karolina Pliskova, who doused Turkey's Cagla Buyukakcay
 6-4, 6-4.
 
 The Czech Pliskova beat American Bethanie Mattek-Sands in last year's finale.
 
 Also  in the  round  of  eight, second-seeded  Chinese  Zhang  Shuai held  off
 Poland's  Magda Linette  6-2, 2-6,  6-1 and  seventh-seeded Croat  Donna Vekic
 upended  fourth-seeded Austrian Patricia Mayr-Achleitner 6-4, 7-5 to reach the
 final four. Zhang will battle Vekic in the other semi.
 
 This week's winner will collect $43,000.
 
 
             === Stephens will open for U.S. in Fed Cup playoff ===
 
 St.  Louis, MO  (SportsNetwork.com) - Sloane Stephens will be first up for the
 United  States when  it battles visiting France this weekend in a best-of-five
 Fed Cup World Group playoff.
 
 The  world  No. 17 Stephens will  be opposed by 20-year-old Caroline Garcia in
 Saturday's  opening singles  match on an indoor hardcourt at Chaifetz Arena on
 the  campus  of Saint Louis University.  Stephens-Garcia will be followed by a
 rubber  between  American  Madison  Keys and  last  week's  Katowice,  Poland,
 champion Alize Cornet.
 
 On  Sunday in  St.  Louis,  reverse singles  bouts  will  pit the  21-year-old
 Stephens  against  Cornet  and  Keys  versus Garcia,  while  a  doubles  match
 tentatively  pits an  American tandem  of  Christina McHale  and Lauren  Davis
 against a French pairing of Virginie Razzano and Claire Feuerstein.
 
 Team USA is captained by Mary Joe Fernandez, while France is piloted by former
 world No. 1 star Amelie Mauresmo.
 
 The  17-time Fed  Cup champion Americans are 11-1 all-time versus the two-time
 titlist  French, including  a 4-1 win in  their last meeting four years ago in
 France.  The lone  French win  in  the series  came  in the  2003 final,  with
 Mauresmo leading the way that year.
 
 This week's winner will rejoin the Fed Cup World Group next year.
 
 
             === Choi leads with play suspended at Harbour Town ===
 
 Hilton  Head  Island, SC  (SportsNetwork.com) -  K.J. Choi  shot 4-under 67 on
 Friday  and held the  lead when the second round of the Heritage was suspended
 due to inclement weather.
 
 Choi  finished  36 holes  at 5-under-par  137 before the  worst of the weather
 moved in.
 
 Robert  Allenby was 2-under  after five holes and was alone in second place at
 minus-4.
 
 Scott  Langley,  who shared the first-round  lead with Matt Kuchar and William
 McGirt,  tripped to a 2-over 73 to slip to 3-under-par 139. Langley was joined
 there by Luke Donald and Billy Hurley III, who both posted 69s in round two.
 
 Bo Van Pelt and Ben Martin also stood at minus-3, but had only played five and
 four holes respectively.
 
 Former  U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy managed a 3-under 68 to end two rounds
 at  2-under 140.  Nicholas Thompson and former Masters winner Charl Schwartzel
 both posted 1-under 70s to end alongside Ogilvy. Four more players were on the
 course at minus-2.
 
 Kuchar  was  4-over par through  six holes to  slide to minus-1 overall, while
 McGirt struggled to a 5-over 76 to end two rounds at even-par 142.
 
 Heavy  rain  at Harbour Town  Golf Links halted played  for the day. The round
 will resume at 8 a.m. ET on Saturday.
 
 "We  can't play  anymore. It's pretty bad  out there right now," PGA Tour Vice
 President  of Rules  and Competition  Slugger White  said. "We  have a  little
 drying  trend  between 4 a.m.  and 2  p.m. if all  goes well. We probably have
 about four hours left of golf to finish round two and if we can start tomorrow
 at  8 a.m. we'll try to turn it around and get the third round in and get back
 on track Sunday somewhere."
 
 Choi  started  his round  with a 14-foot  birdie effort on  the second. At the
 fifth,  he made a 5-footer on the fifth to move to 3-under. He poured in a 24-
 footer for birdie on the eighth, but 3-putted for bogey on No. 9.
 
 Around  the turn,  Choi chipped in for  birdie on the 11th and followed with a
 short  birdie effort on  the 13th. He missed a short par putt on the 15th, but
 atoned for that mistake with a 23-foot birdie effort on the 16th.
 
 That  gave Choi the  lead at minus-5. He ended there with pars on the last two
 holes.
 
 "Some  of the holes  played very long with the wind. You had to be imaginative
 with your shots," Choi said.
 
 Allenby  got off to a fast start with birdies on one and two, both from inside
 eight feet. He parred the next three holes before play was called for the day.
 
 Kuchar  found water off  the tee on the par-3 fourth and made double-bogey. He
 again  found water off  the sixth tee and again walked off with a double-bogey
 that dropped him to minus-1.
 
 NOTES:  The entire afternoon wave has to finish their second round on Saturday
 ... Choi is making his fourth start at this event, and his only previous round
 in  the 60s was an opening-round 64 in 2010 ... Jordan Spieth posted rounds of
 69-74  and  was tied for  36th when  play was called.  He played the first two
 rounds  with current  U.S. Ryder  Cup captain  Tom Watson  and 2012  Ryder Cup
 captain  Davis Love  III, who  are both  outside the  cut line  ... Bill  Haas
 withdrew before the second round with a wrist injury.
 
 
                  === Westwood extends Malaysian Open lead ===
 
 Kuala  Lumpur, Malaysia (SportsNetwork.com) - Lee Westwood carded a 6-under 66
 on Friday to extend his lead to four strokes at the Maybank Malaysian Open.
 
 Westwood,  who won this event in 1997 when it was a part of the co-sanctioning
 Asian  Tour,  finished 36  holes at  13-under-par 131. He  is seeking his 23rd
 victory on the European Tour, but first since the 2012 Nordea Masters.
 
 "I  played well  in Houston, last week  at the Masters I started playing a lot
 better  and this  week I am gradually  grinding it back in," said Westwood. "I
 have always played well in Asia, my strike rate is really good. It must be the
 heat or rice or something, I can't put my finger on it."
 
 Antonio  Lascuna fired the low round of the day at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country
 Club  with  a 7-under 65  to vault  into a share  of second place with Nicolas
 Colsaerts (69) at 9-under 135.
 
 Danny  Willett  (66) is alone in  fourth at minus-8, while Julien Quesne (69),
 Andy Sullivan (67) and Eduardo Da le Riva (68) are tied for fifth at 7-under.
 
 Westwood  held  a one-stroke  lead at the  end of the  first round and quickly
 added to his advantage with birdies on two of his first three holes.
 
 He  added back-to-back birdies at the fifth and sixth to move to 11-under, and
 followed  a  pair of pars with  another set of gains  at the ninth and 10th to
 reach minus-13.
 
 He  then found  the water off the tee  at the par-3 11th en route to a double-
 bogey,  but got those  strokes back with birdies at the 14th and 16th to again
 reach 13-under.
 
 "I  got a  little unlucky at 11 I thought,  it was one of the best shots I hit
 all  day  and the wind just  gusted on me and  it came up short in the water,"
 said Westwood. "But I rallied after that and ended up shooting 66."
 
 Lascuna raced out of the gate with three birdies over his first four holes and
 stayed  hot with  back-to-back birdies at the  sixth and seventh to jump to 7-
 under  at  the turn. He added  another birdie at  the 10th and after trading a
 bogey for a birdie from the 13th, Lascuna birdied the 17th to reach 9-under.
 
 Colsaerts  did all of  his scoring on the front nine, recording birdies at the
 third,  fourth,  fifth and seventh  to move to  10-under. He then surrounded a
 bogey at the 16th with eight pars during an inward 37 to also end at minus-9.
 
 In  a strange  turn  of events  on  the course  Friday,  Pablo Larrazabal  was
 attacked  by  a swarm of hornets  on the fifth  hole, his 14th. He escaped the
 attack  by  jumping into a nearby  water hazard and received medical treatment
 for multiple stings.
 
 "So  I'm walking along  and suddenly I felt something on my nose. I swatted it
 away  and suddenly  ... they were not  bees, they were three times the size of
 bees,"  Larrazabal said of  the incident. "They were huge and like 30 or 40 of
 them  started to attack  me big time. I didn't know what to do. My caddie told
 me  to  run, so I start  running like a crazy  guy, but the hornets were still
 there, so the other players told me to jump in the lake."
 
 He  was seemingly unfazed  by the attack, though, as he went on the birdie the
 fifth  and added another birdie at the seventh to close out his 4-under 68. He
 is currently tied for 25th place at 2-under-par 142.
 
 NOTES:  The first  round was completed on Friday morning after a weather delay
 led  to  a suspension of  play on Thursday ...  Twelve of Westwood's 40 career
 victories have come in Asia ... Lascuna is playing in just his second event of
 the  season. He tied  for 57th place at the Hong Kong Open ... Colsaerts' best
 finish  this season  was  a tie  for  19th  place at  the  PGA Tour's  Farmers
 Insurance  Open.  He had missed two  cuts and withdrawn from the Shell Houston
 Open in his last three starts.
 
 
                    === Jimenez leads by 3 in tour debut ===
 
 Duluth,  GA  (SportsNetwork.com) - Miguel Angel  Jimenez fired a 7-under 65 in
 the rainy opening round Friday to grab a 3-stroke lead at the Greater Gwinnett
 Championship.
 
 Jimenez,  who is making his Champions Tour debut, is coming off a fourth place
 finish last week at the Masters.
 
 Bernhard Langer, the defending champion, posted a 4-under 68 and he was joined
 in second place by Kenny Perry and Steve Pate.
 
 Fred  Couples and  Jeff Sluman  are  tied for  fifth at  minus-3, while  Colin
 Montgomerie,  P.H.  Horgan III, Rod  Spittle and  Jeff LeMaster are one stroke
 back at the TPC Sugarloaf at 2-under 70.
 
 Jimenez  did most of  his damage on the back nine, where he started. He opened
 with a birdie on No. 10, then parred his next two holes. He converted a birdie
 effort on the 13th and made it two in a row as he also birdied No. 14.
 
 The  Spaniard followed with his third consecutive birdie on the 15th. Jimenez,
 who  was  already leading, jumped  to minus-6 when he  made eagle on the par-5
 18th.
 
 Jimenez  dropped in  a birdie  effort on  the second  to move  to 7-under.  He
 finished there as he capped his round with seven consecutive pars.
 
 "It was not easy. Not hard rain, but it kept coming, coming, coming, sometimes
 a  little  bit thicker," Jimenez  said. "I  had a hard  time trying to keep my
 hands  dry, and the grips dry and especially trying to get the clubface of the
 driver  dry because  the ball likes to  skip from the driver and that happened
 several times today."
 
 Langer  birdied the  10th, then parred his  next five holes. He made birdie on
 the par-3 16th and like Jimenez, made eagle at 18 to make the turn at minus-4.
 
 Around  the turn,  Langer traded  a  bogey for  a  birdie from  the third.  He
 finished his round with five pars in a row.
 
 "It was as cold and ugly as it can get. Never stopped raining for two minutes.
 Played  very nicely, I was very happy with my ball striking," Langer admitted.
 "Hit a lot of greens, just didn't make the putts I would have liked to make. I
 had a lot of close shaves burning the edges."
 
 Perry opened with birdies at 12 and 14. He made birdie on the 18th to make the
 turn  at minus-3. On  the second nine, Perry parred his first six holes before
 sinking  a birdie chance  on No. 7. He parred the last two to share second and
 close out a bogey-free round.
 
 "Just  kind of played  like the rain, very steady. You know, the rain was just
 more  aggravating than  anything. I mean it  was chilly out there a little bit
 and  the rain was aggravating," Perry said. "So I drove the ball nicely, I hit
 my irons good and made some key putts at the right time."
 
 Pate  was  the opposite of the  others with most  of his scoring on the second
 nine.  He parred three  in a row from the 10th before dropping in a birdie try
 on the 13th. Pate parred the next five before making a birdie on No. 1.
 
 He  gave that shot back on the par-4 third. Pate soared into a share of second
 with three straight birdies from the fifth.
 
 NOTES:  If  Jimenez wins, that  would make it  two straight players winning in
 their Champions Tour debut, after Jeff Maggert won the Mississippi Gulf Resort
 Classic  ... The first-round  leader has won one of the first five tour events
 this year ... Langer's 68 was his 17th straight under-par round ... Mark Wiebe
 and D.A. Weibring both withdrew during the first round.
 
 
                      === Stanford cruising in Hawaii ===
 
 Oahu,  HI (SportsNetwork.com)  - Angela Stanford carded a 5-under 67 on Friday
 and  extended  her lead to  four strokes after three  rounds of the LPGA LOTTE
 Championship.
 
 Stanford,  who  will go  for her sixth  LPGA Tour title  on Saturday, ended 54
 holes at 13-under-par 203.
 
 Local favorite Michelle Wie posted a 2-under 70 and was joined in second place
 by  Hyo-Joo Kim,  who shot 69 in  round three. They are tied at minus-9, while
 Cristie Kerr (70) is one stroke back at 8-under-par 208.
 
 Women's  world No.  1 Inbee Park (72),  So Yeon Ryu (72) and Amy Anderson (68)
 share fifth place at 6-under 210 at Ko Olina Golf Club.
 
 Stanford,  who played alongside Wie and Kerr in round three, opened with three
 pars in a row. Stanford birdied three of four holes from the fourth to jump to
 11-under, where she was three clear of the field.
 
 Around  the  turn, Stanford stumbled to  a bogey on  the 10th to trim her lead
 over Wie to one. Stanford erased that mistake with a 4-foot birdie putt on the
 11th, but Wie also birdied that hole.
 
 Stanford  came right  back with a birdie  from eight feet out on the 12th. She
 chipped her third on the par-5 13th to two feet and kicked that in for a third
 straight birdie.
 
 She  led  by three at that  point. Stanford closed with  five pars in a row to
 maintain her lead.
 
 "I  just knew it  was just hard, it was hard for everybody. You really have to
 be  patient.  Just another windy day  in Texas, right?" joked Stanford, who is
 from  Texas. "I kind of found something (on the greens), and for some reason I
 just  have really good feel on these greens and I'm seeing the breaks well. It
 has been a lot of fun seeing the ball go in the hole."
 
 Wie  started  with a birdie  on the  third. After a  pair of pars, she wrapped
 birdies  at six and  eight around a bogey on the seventh. She parred the ninth
 to make the turn at minus-9, where she was two back.
 
 The  Hawaiian matched  Stanford's birdie  on the  11th. Wie  reeled off  seven
 consecutive  pars from the  12th. At the last, she came up well short with her
 approach, then chipped to 15 feet.
 
 Wie 2-putted for a closing bogey to fall four back.
 
 "My club just got stuck in the ground and my ball just went straight right and
 went  nowhere, but  there's really nothing you  can do about that. I just left
 myself a really hard shot," Wie explained of her second and third shots on the
 18th.  "I'm proud  of the  way I  hit  the ball,  but it  was kind  of a  head
 scratcher  kind  of day. A lot  of putts did not  break the way I thought they
 were going to, but I'm glad I have one more day."
 
 Kim,  who is playing on a sponsors exemption, birdied the first, but gave that
 shot back when she bogeyed the par-4 third. She moved to 8-under with back-to-
 back birdies at five and six.
 
 After  four  straight pars around  the turn, Kim birdied  the 11th. She got to
 minus-10  with  a birdie on  the 14th,  but like Wie,  Kim bogeyed the last to
 finish four behind.
 
 NOTES:  Stanford has  won five of the  10 times she has led entering the final
 round. She has won three times in seven times when holding the 54-hole lead in
 a  72-hole event ...  Wie is looking for her first win since the 2010 Canadian
 Women's Open, while Kim is searching for her first tour victory.
 
 04/19 00:03:27 ET

Other Stories

  • NASL: RailHawks vs. Ft. Lauderdale

    Today at 7:30 am on WRAL-2

  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Today at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Tomorrow at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MLB: Atlanta Braves at NY Mets

    Tonight at 7:05 on 99.9 The Fan

  • MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox

    Tomorrow at 7:05 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
NOR 0
DUR 3
 
7:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR
 
Final
CHC 1
CIN 4
Final
PIT 3
MIL 5
Final
WAS 3
STL 1
Final
CLE 2
TOR 3
Final
DET 6
ANA 11
Final
NYM 0
ATL 6
Final
BOS 4
BAL 8
Final
TAM 11
NYY 5
Final
MIA 8
SEA 4
Final
TEX 12
CWS 0
Final
KAN 5
MIN 0
Final
COL 12
PHI 1
Final
OAK 11
HOU 3
Final
LOS 2
ARI 4
Final
SDP 2
SFG 1
1:05pm Today
WAS
STL
 
1:05pm Today
CLE
TOR
 
1:08pm Today
DET
ANA
 
1:35pm Today
BOS
BAL
 
2:10pm Today
KAN
MIN
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
CIN
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
HOU
 
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
MIL
 
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
ATL
 
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
NYY
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
SEA
 
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
CWS
 
8:10pm Tonight
LOS
ARI
 
8:10pm Tonight
COL
PHI
 
8:40pm Tonight
SDP
SFG
 
12:30pm Today
TOR
BRK
3:30pm Today
LAC
GSW
7:00pm Tonight
IND
ATL
9:30pm Tonight
OKC
MEM
Final
TAM 1
MON 4
Final
BOS 0
DET 1
Final
ANA 3
DAL 2
3:00pm Today
STL
CHI
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
CLB
9:30pm Tonight
COL
MIN
Final
NOR 0
DUR 3
 
7:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR