BC-AP Sports Digest
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. —Arrowhead Stadium was already emptying by the time Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers jogged to the locker room, triumphantly waving his hand as a satisfying cascade of boos washed over him. He had finally beaten the Kansas City Chiefs. It sounded perfect. By Dave Skretta. SENT: 970 words, photos.
— FBN--CHIEFS-DEFENSIVE COLLAPSE — By Dave Skretta. 670 words, photos.
HOUSTON — The Houston Rockets were clinging to a small lead over the Los Angeles Lakers in the fourth quarter on Thursday night when James Harden told coach Mike D’Antoni he needed to come out for a bit to rest — something the reigning MVP never does. D’Antoni was perfectly happy to fulfill Harden’s request, and the move could not have worked better for the Rockets. By Kristie Rieken. SENT: 870 words, photos.
LAS VEGAS —Carlos Santana and Jeurys Familia found friendly landing spots, Edwin Encarnacion took off for a more uncertain future. Joe Kelly joined the team he helped beat in the World Series, the Milwaukee Brewers boosted their imposing bullpen. The winter meetings wrapped up Thursday with a three-team trade involving Cleveland, Seattle and Tampa Bay, plus a couple more relievers reached free-agent deals. By Baseball Writer Ben Walker. SENT: 760 words, photos.
— BBN--DODGERS-KELLY — By Baseball Writer Ronald Blum. SENT: 260 words.
— BBO--RULE 5 DRAFT — SENT: 340 words.
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas is finally getting another shot at Villanova, though with far less on the line this time. The Wildcats ended the Jayhawks’ season in the Final Four in April before routing Michigan to win their second national championship in three years. Both teams have much different rosters this season, and the game Saturday will be played at Allen Fieldhouse rather than the Alamodome in San Antonio. By Dave Skretta. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 3 a.m.
FBC--EASTERN MICHIGAN-BEHIND THE SCENES
YPSILANTI, Mich. — Eastern Michigan’s football team has stepped out of the shadows created by the neighboring University of Michigan and four professional teams just down the road in the Motor City. The Eagles will face Georgia Southern in the Camellia Bowl on Saturday, earning a spot in postseason play for the second time in three years and just the third time in school history. Coach Chris Creighton grants The Associated Press behind-the-scenes access to see how he, his staff and players have taken the program to unprecedented heights. By Larry Lage. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by 3 a.m.
FBN--NFL THIS WEEK
If the Dallas Cowboys are for real, they will win their sixth straight game and clinch the NFC East at Indianapolis on Sunday. If the Colts are for real, they will knock off the Cowboys and stamp themselves as true contenders for the AFC playoffs. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. SENT: 1,700 words, photos. For weekend use.
— FBN--STEELERS-THE GRONK PROBLEM — By Will Graves. SENT: 880 words, photos.
— FBN--TITANS-FIRSKER — By Pro Football Writer Teresa M. Walker. SENT: 730 words, photos.
— FBN--SAINTS-HILL’S CLIMB — By Brett Martel. SENT: 980 words, photos.
— FBN--COWBOYS-BUILDING DEFENSE — By Pro Football Writer Schuyler Dixon. SENT: 860 words, photos.
MEXICO CITY —The Bulls had the fans, but Nikola Vucevic and the Magic got the win. Vucevic scored 26 points, including a tiebreaking jumper with 28 seconds remaining, and Orlando snapped a three-game losing streak with a 97-91 victory over Chicago on Thursday night in its first of two games in Mexico. By Carlos Rodriguez. SENT: 800 words, photos.
— BKN--MAVERICKS-NOWITZKI — By Bob Baum. SENT: 490 words, photos.
— BKN--HORNETS-JORDAN — By Steve Reed. SENT: 450 words, photos.
TAMPA, Fla. —Andrei Vasilevskiy delivered a record-setting performance after sitting out a month. Tampa Bay’s goalie made a career-high 48 saves in his return from a broken left foot and the Lightning beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 on Thursday night in a matchup of the NHL’s top two teams. SENT: 660 words, photos.
AUSTIN, Texas — Texas freshman Jaxson Hayes is on a meteoric rise from raw talent to early buzz as a potential 2019 NBA draft pick. At nearly 7-feet tall, Jackson is averaging 10 points and nearly five rebounds for the Longhorns. He’s twice been named Big 12 newcomer of the week. All from a player who didn’t start a game in high school until his senior season. By Jim Vertuno. UPCOMING: 960 words, photos.
BKC--T25-ARIZONA ST-DORT’S DOMINANCE
TEMPE, Ariz. —Luguentz Dort is a freshman in name and age only. At 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, he’s built like linebacker on the Arizona State football team, not some scrawny teenager disdainfully bumped out of the lane on a basketball court. By Basketball Writer John Marshall. SENT: 810 words, photos.
FBC--AP DIVISION III ALL-AMERICA TEAM
Mary Hardin-Baylor and Mount Union place three players each on the AP Division III All-America team before they play for national title. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 170 words. With list.
FBC--T25-ROSE BOWL-OHIO STATE
Urban Meyer isn’t easing into retirement, not while there’s a Rose Bowl to win. The Ohio State coach is still sweating the small stuff with the intensity that made him one of the greatest college football coaches, but also hastened his exit from the game. By Mitch Stacy. SENT: 700 words, photos.
US Soccer’s Young Player of the Year Tierna Davidson saw her national team debut season cut short by an ankle injury while playing for Stanford. Now well on the road to recovery, the savvy defender is working toward the ultimate prize. She wants to earn a spot on the roster for the Women’s World Cup in France next year. By Anne M. Peterson. SENT: 830 words, photos.
— SOC--FRANCE-MATCHES POSTPONED — SENT: 130 words.
— SOC--EUROPA LEAGUE ROUNDUP — By Karel Janicek. SENT: 900 words, photos.
— SOC--QATAR-2022 WORLD CUP — By Global Soccer Writer Rob Harris. SENT: 450 words, photos.
— SOC--SPAIN SPOTLIGHT-REUS’ DEMISE — By Tales Azzoni. SENT: 450 words.
(NCAA Women’s Semifinals at Minneapolis)
— VOL--NCAA-BYU-STANFORD — SENT: 520 words, photos.
— VOL--NCAA-NEBRASKA-ILLINOIS — SENT: 510 words, photos.
— GLF--ALFRED DUNHILL —SENT: 200 words.
— SWM--SHORT-COURSE WORLD RECORD — SENT: 100 words, photos.
— BKN--NBA CAPSULES
— HKN--NHL CAPSULES
Friday Time Schedule (EST)
Atlanta at Boston, 7 p.m.
New York at Charlotte, 7 p.m.
Indiana at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.
Milwaukee at Cleveland, 7:30 p.m.
Washington at Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m.
Miami at Memphis, 8 p.m.
Golden State at Sacramento, 10 p.m.
Oklahoma City at Denver, 10 p.m.
Toronto at Portland, 10 p.m.
Vegas at New Jersey, 7 p.m.
Boston at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.
Arizona at N.Y. Rangers, 7 p.m.
Ottawa at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.
Washington at Carolina, 7:30 p.m.
Colorado at St. Louis, 8 p.m.
Winnipeg at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.
Philadelphia at Edmonton, 9 p.m.
TOP 25 BASKETBALL
No. 5 Mississippi State at Southern Mississippi, 7 p.m.
No. 8 Oregon State vs. Eastern Washington at the Lahaina (Hawaii) Civic Center, 12:30 a.m.