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BC-AP Sports Digest

January 24, 2019

The supervisor is Bob Lentz, followed by Fred Lief at 9 a.m. The New York sports desk can be reached at 800-845-8450, ext. 1630. Sports photos, ext. 1918; graphics, ext. 7636; agate, ext. 1635. For up-to-the-minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at https://newsroom.ap.org For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477. All times EST.

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Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray is considering a football career instead of baseball, but what kind of NFL prospect is the undersized quarterback? On the latest AP Top 25 College Football Podcast, ESPN’s Tom Luginbill joins AP’s Ralph Russo to discuss Murray’s choice.




NEW YORK — James Harden inched past Wilt Chamberlain and didn’t stop his latest one-man show until he’d tied Kobe Bryant. On another spectacular night for the NBA’s most sensational scorer, Harden not only notched his career high with 61 points, but tied Bryant’s record for a visiting player at the current Madison Square Garden. By Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney. SENT: 830 words, photos.


MELBOURNE, Australia _ Two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova is headed to the women’s singles finals against either U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka or seventh-seeded Karolina Pliskova. The first of the men’s semifinals will be in the night session, when 17-time major winner Rafael Nadal takes on 20-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas. By Howard Fendrich. UPCOMING: 960 words, photos by 11 a.m.


_ TEN--AUSTRALIAN OPEN-THE LATEST _ Real-time updates throughout day.

_ TEN--AUSTRALIAN OPEN GLANCE. SENT: 500 words, photos.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. _ Grant Williams had the game of his life and the best free throw shooting performance by a college player in six decades. Tennessee needed every last point in its first outing this season as the nation’s top-ranked team. By Teresa M. Walker. SENT: 920 words, photos.


NEW YORK _ A person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press that Major League Baseball has proposed going back to a 15-day disabled list and increasing the time optioned players usually must spend in the minor leagues. The moves are aimed at reducing the use of relief pitchers and reviving offense. By Baseball Writer Ronald Blum UPCOMING: 820 words, photos by 4 a.m.


ATLANTA _ Legions of police and federal agents will be protecting fans inside and outside the Atlanta stadium hosting Super Bowl 53. Authorities won’t discuss specifics of their security plan, but they say they will safeguard areas beyond Mercedes-Benz Stadium and make officers visible across the city. Attacks around the world have taught security experts they must be prepared to defend more than the obvious targets. By Jeff Martin. SENT: 770 words, photos, video.



BORDEAUX, France _ A child rape and sex abuse trial in France has highlighted again how sports officials can use the lure and power of athletics to hurt children. Vincent Leroyer used his status as a former national swimming champion and as manager of one of France’s most successful ice hockey clubs to befriend families and abuse their children, aged six to 14. He was sentenced Wednesday to 12 years in prison. By Sports Columnist John Leicester. UPCOMING: 940 words, photos by 3 a.m.


_ EU--FRANCE-CHILD RAPE TRIAL _ Former French swimming champ sentenced for child rape, sexual abuse. SENT: 250 words, photo.



SailGP, the new sailing league founded by tech billionaire Larry Ellison of Oracle Corp. and five-time America’s Cup winner Russell Coutts, goes from concept to reality next month with the inaugural regatta on Sydney Harbor. It will feature the world’s fastest sailboats, 50-foot catamarans that will fly across the tops of waves at more than 50 mph, and some of the world’s most accomplished sailors. It’s not the prestigious America’s Cup, and that’s OK with these sailors, who are eager to get racing in the supercharged F50 cats. Six teams will compete at five tour stops, with the finale being a winner-take-all, $1 million match race between the top two teams to crown the 2019 champion. By Bernie Wilson. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by 3 a.m.



THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. _ One year ago, general manager Les Snead and the Los Angeles Rams’ front office decided they had to jump through the championship window that had suddenly, shockingly appeared before them. Now that they’ve landed on their feet in Atlanta, Snead has zero regrets about writing the checks and making the commitments necessary for his Super Bowl-bound team to make that leap. By Greg Beacham. SENT: 900 words, photos.


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. _It took an entire regular season and some tough losses, but the Patriots defense finally likes where it is at heading into its Super Bowl matchup with the Los Angeles Rams. By Kyle Hightower. SENT: 790 words, photos.


PHOENIX _ That Hall of Fame slot will have to stay vacant for a while. Larry Fitzgerald isn’t ready to hang up the cleats just yet. The receiver, whose career statistics rank among the best ever to play the game, has signed a one-year contract to return for a 16th season with the Arizona Cardinals. By By Bob Baum. SENT: 830 words, photos.


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. _ He didn’t get invited to the NFL combine and wasn’t selected in the draft. Then, an injury threatened to keep Phillip Lindsay from the spoils of his sensational season, the Pro Bowl. Although he won’t be playing, the Denver Broncos rookie running back is attending the league’s annual all-star game as a social media correspondent for the league. By Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton. SENT: 650 words, photos.


^AP Sports Extra: Super Bowl<

A paginated preview of Super Bowl 53 is available in AP Newsroom by searching for “Sports Extra” under the Graphics tab. Three page sizes are available – full broadsheet, half broadsheet and tabloid – with space for local advertising or content. The pages take a look at the matchup between the Rams and Patriots as well as keys to the game and other Super Bowl facts and figures. Please contact Barry Bedlan at bbedlan@ap.org with any questions.




NEW YORK _ Baseball has transformed at dizzying speed since Edgar Martinez took his final swing and Mike Mussina, Mariano Rivera and Roy Halladay threw their final pitches. By Baseball Writer Ronald Blum. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.


_ BBO--HALL OF FAME-HALADAY-MUSSINA CAPS _ By Baseball Writer Ronald Blum. SENT: 440 words, photos.

_ BBA _ MARINERS-SUZUKI _ By Tim Booth. SENT: 370 words, photos.



WASHINGTON _ In the doldrums of an 82-game season, the two-time defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors are getting what players call a big jolt and a new challenge in integrating All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins into the mix after he missed a year with a ruptured Achilles tendon. By Stephen Whyno. UPCOMING: 700 words, file photos, video by 3 a.m.


MIAMI _ Erik Spoelstra still vividly remembers getting a short speech from his father, a sage piece of advice that came about a year into his time in the employ of the Miami Heat. “Don’t screw it up,” Jon Spoelstra said. Almost 25 years later, the mantra still applies. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 580 words, photos.



TORONTO _The cheers coming from the Toronto Maple Leafs’ locker-room could have easily been swapped out for sighs of relief. Nazem Kadri recorded the fifth hat trick of his career and added an assist as the Maple Leafs defeated Washington 6-3 on Wednesday night and dealt the defending Stanley Cup champion Capitals their seventh straight loss.. SENT: 850 words, photos.


The Edmonton Oilers have fired general manager Peter Chiarelli amid another season that has failed to live up to expectations. The team announced Chiarelli’s dismissal after losing 12 of its past 16 games going into the All-Star Break. He took over the Oilers in 2015. President and CEO Bob Nicholson says Keith Gretzky will assume more responsibilities as the Oilers look for a full-time GM. By Stephen Whyno. SENT: 680 words, photos.


_ HKN--IMPROVING RANGERS _ By Vin A. Cherwoo. UPCOMING: 720 words, photos by 3 a.m.



RALEIGH, N.C. _ Kiara Leslie and eighth-ranked North Carolina State stand alone as Division I’s last unbeaten team. Not Coach K and Duke’s much-ballyhooed freshmen. Not the mighty UConn women. It’s the Wolfpack. The 6-foot wing’s all-around improvement has helped the Wolfpack women go 18-0 for the best start in program history. N.C. State also has the program’s highest ranking since November 2001. By Aaron Beard. SENT: 750 words, photos.


_ BKC--BIG 12 THIS WEEK _ By Luke Meredith. UPCOMING: 470 words, photos by 3 a.m.

_ BKC--BIG TEN THIS WEEK _ By Noah Trister. UPCOMING: 450 words, photos by 3 am.



Last year, a high-profile overhaul of NCAA transfer rules stopped short of creating free agency in college sports. A much quieter change, however, helped quarterback Shea Patterson play for Michigan and will determine whether Justin Fields is eligible this fall at Ohio State. The modification to the waiver process can be seen as something of a compromise that has cleared the way for more athletes to switch schools and play right away. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 770 words, photos.


MOBILE, Ala. _ John Cominsky has more people watching Senior Bowl practices this week than he figures would typically attend his games at Division II Charleston. By John Zenor. SENT: 970 words, photos.



SAN DIEGO _Rory McIlroy had a week to remember his first trip to San Diego. He carried Northern Ireland’s flag during the opening ceremony of the Junior World Championship and later had a picture taken at Torrey Pines with a certain Mr. Woods. That was 20 years ago. And it was Earl Woods, the father of Tiger. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. SENT: 850 words, photos.



TOKYO _ An investigation by French prosecutors into alleged vote-buying connected with Tokyo winning the 2020 Olympics has raised questions about one of Japan’s most powerful companies, the giant advertising and marketing agency Dentsu Inc. By Stephen Wade. SENT: 990 words, photos.


_ OLY--RUSSIAN DOPING _ SENT: 280 words.



Lindsey Vonn isn’t quite done yet. The most successful female skier in World Cup history says she remains “hopeful” she can fix her ailing knees and race again. She just doesn’t know when _ or if _ that will be possible. While Vonn ponders her future, her ski technician has set up shop in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, where World Cup downhill and super-G races are scheduled for this weekend. By Andrew Dampf. SENT: 700 words, photos.





DETROIT _ For Madison Hubbell and her family, this week’s U.S. Figure Skating Championships are a title defense, a homecoming and a winter sports party all rolled into one. By Noah Trister. SENT: 700 words, photos.


_ FIG--EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS _ SENT: 330 words, photos.



LONDON _ The search to find missing Argentine soccer player Emiliano Sala and his pilot resumes with authorities in the Channel Islands looking at whether the pair may have landed safely and been unable to make contact. By Rob Harris. SENT: 245 words, photos.


_ SOC--ENGLISH ROUNDUP _ By Steve Douglas. SENT: 460 words, photos.

_ SOC _ DONOVAN-SOCKERS _ SENT: 120 words.







Thursday Time Schedule (EST)


Golden State at Washington, 8 p.m.

New Orleans at Oklahoma City, 8 p.m.

Portland at Phoenix, 9 p.m.

Minnesota at L.A. Lakers, 10:30 p.m.



No. 4 Gonzaga at Santa Clara, 11 p.m.

No. 6 Michigan State at No. 19 Iowa, 7 p.m.

No. 21 N.C. State at No. 23 Louisville, 8 p.m.


No. 1 Notre Dame at Tennessee, 7 p.m.

No. 4 Louisville at No. 22 Florida State, 7 p.m.

No. 7 Mississippi State at Florida, 7 p.m.

No. 8 N.C. State vs. Clemson, 7 p.m.

No. 11 Maryland at Ohio State, 8 p.m.

No. 15 Kentucky vs. No. 25 Missouri, 6:30 p.m.

No. 18 Gonzaga vs. San Francisco, 9 p.m.

No. 23 Michigan State vs. Illinois, 7 p.m.

No. 24 Texas A&M at Auburn, 8:30 p.m.

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