Wednesday’s Sports Minute

Wednesday’s Sports Minute

COLLEGE BALL: Duke's Justise Winslow (12) makes a pass against Michigan State's Matt Costello (10) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Nov. 18, in Indianapolis. Duke won 81-71. Photo: Associated Press/Darron Cummings

A look at some of the big sports stories you’ll be talking about today, Wednesday, Nov. 19.


The top-ranked Kentucky Wildcats have passed their first major test of the men’s college basketball season.

The Wildcats are 3-0 after holding Kansas under 20 percent shooting in a 72-40 rout of the fifth-ranked Jayhawks. Dakari Johnson finished with 11 points and Andrew Harrison had 10 in the second game of the Champions Classic at Indianapolis.

The Jayhawks shot just 19.6 percent from the field and were 15 for 27 at the line in their worst offensive performance since a 61-45 loss to Kentucky 16 years ago.

In other top-25 finals:

  • Duke freshman Jahlil Okafor scored 17 points on 8 of 10 shooting as the fourth-ranked Blue Devils beat No. 19 Michigan State 81-71 in the State Farm Champions Classic. Okafor also had five rebounds and Quinn Cook delivered 19 points to help Duke improve to 3-0.
  • Malcolm Brogdon and Justin Anderson scored 17 points apiece and No. 9 Virginia closed the first half on a 22-6 run to beat South Carolina State 75-55.
  • Ron Baker scored 21 points to lead No. 11 Wichita State to a 71-56 win over Memphis, pushing the Shockers’ regular-season win streak to a nation-leading 33 games.
  • JJ O’Brien scored all 12 of his points in the second half and finished with 11 rebounds to help No. 16 San Diego State beat 25th-ranked Utah 53-49.

    The Minnesota Vikings will be without their star running back for at least the rest of this season. That’s after the NFL suspended Adrian Peterson without pay. The player’s union quickly announced an immediate appeal as the Vikings running back remained at the center of an escalating dispute between the league and the NFL Players Association over the player discipline process.

    Commissioner Roger Goodell told Peterson he will not be considered for reinstatement before April 15 for his violation of the NFL personal conduct policy – the first example of a crackdown on players involved with domestic violence.

    Peterson pleaded no contest Nov. 4 to misdemeanor reckless assault in Texas for injuries to his 4-year-old son with a wooden switch. He said he intended no harm, only discipline.

    In other NFL news:

  • San Francisco 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman was scheduled for his first practice of the season today, officially opening a 21-day window during which the team can decide whether to activate him or place him on injured reserve. The three-time All-Pro sustained a major injury to his left knee in last season’s NFC championship game at Seattle.
  • Panthers coach Ron Rivera says he’s “probably” given up hope of Pro Bowl defensive end Greg Hardy playing this season following the NFL’s decision to suspend Vikings running back Adrian Peterson for the remainder of the year. Hardy was placed on the exempt-commissioner’s permission list Sept. 17, two months after being convicted on two counts of domestic violence.
  • The Pittsburgh Steelers have released running back LeGarrette Blount less than 24 hours after Blount left the field early in last night’s win over Tennessee. Blount was in for just one play during Pittsburgh’s comeback 27-24 victory and watched teammate Le’Veon Bell run for 204 yards and a touchdown.
  • The Cleveland Browns have released disgruntled running back Ben Tate, two days after he was given the ball just twice in a matchup against his former team, the Houston Texans. Tate signed a two-year, $6.2 million free agent contract in March with Cleveland.

    The Los Angeles Lakers were able to avoid their 10th loss in 11 games this season by pulling out a victory in Atlanta.

    Kobe Bryant poured in 28 points and Carlos Boozer added 20 as the Lakers got past the Hawks 114-109. Bryant converted a three-point play that put the Lakers ahead 108-102 with 71 seconds remaining.

    Paul Millsap had a game-high 29 points in the Hawks’ first home loss of the season.

    Also in the NBA:

  • Milwaukee is above .500 for the first time in 20 months after Ersan Ilyasova had 20 points and Zaza Pachulia had a double-double in a 117-113 downing of New York. Pachulia added season highs of 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Bucks, who saw a 26-point lead cut to 115-113 before improving to 6-5.
  • Anthony Davis dropped in 28 points and had nine boards as New Orleans beat Sacramento 106-100. Ryan Anderson finished with 22 points and Tyreke Evans added 18 to help the Pelicans improve to 6-4.
  • Utah beat Oklahoma City 98-81 as Alec Burks had 20 points and a career-high 14 rebounds. Enes Kanter added 16 points and a season-high 15 boards for the Jazz.

    The Nashville Predators tied a team record for goals in a game while continuing their strong start to the NHL season.

    Taylor Beck scored twice and had an assist in the Predators 9-2 dismantling of the Maple Leafs in Toronto. Shea Weber collected three assists, five other Predators had a goal and an assist and nine Nashville skaters produced multi-point games.

    It was the third nine-goal game for the Predators, and their first since Mar. 18, 2006 against Calgary. They are 12-4-2 under new coach Peter Laviolette and one behind the Western Conference-leading Anaheim Ducks.

    The Ducks squandered a 2-0 lead in the third period of a 4-3 shootout loss at Calgary. Dennis Wideman scored twice in regulation before Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan funished the Flames’ shootout tallies.

    Also on ice:

  • Montreal had won six straight before Beau Bennett collected a goal and two assists in Pittsburgh’s 4-0 shutout of the Canadiens. Marc-Andre Fleury posted his league-high fourth shutout of the season with a 27-save effort.
  • The Isles bounced back from Saturday’s 5-2 loss at Tampa by downing the Lightning by the same 5-2 score at Nassau Coliseum. Cal Clutterbuck tied it with a short-handed goal before Mikhail Grabovski and Ryan Strome scored 63 seconds apart later in the second period.
  • Tomas Tatar, Tomas Jurco and Riley Sheahan each had a goal and an assist as Detroit whipped the Blue Jackets 5-0 in Columbus. Jimmy Howard stopped 28 shots in his first shutout of the season and 19th of his career.
  • Boston also earned a shutout victory as Tuukka Rask turned back 33 shots in a 2-0 win against St. Louis. Patrice Bergeron and Torey Krug did the scoring to back Rask’s 24th career whitewash.

    Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta played against Montreal on Tuesday, two weeks after undergoing surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his thyroid.

    The 20-year-old Maatta underwent surgery at the urging of doctors, who detected the tumor during a preseason physical. Maatta returned to the ice a few days after the procedure. Maatta has one goal and five assists in 11 games for the Penguins.


    Pioneering black golfer Charlie Sifford will receive the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, on Nov. 24 during a ceremony at the White House.

    The 92-year-old Sifford has been compared to Jackie Robinson for finally breaking the PGA’s color line when it reluctantly dropped its “Caucasian only” membership rule in 1961 and issued him full playing privileges on the PGA Tour. Sifford has been credited with opening the doors to other minority golfers. Tiger Woods has long called Sifford his grandfather and has said that were it not for Sifford and other pioneers, he may not have ever played golf.

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