Superstitious Mocs? Think Again

Junior Lance Stokes against Samford

Junior Lance Stokes against Samford

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (UTC/The Loop) – Whether it’s Michael Jordan wearing his North Carolina shorts under his uniform or Jason Terry wearing five pairs of socks during every game, athletes are known for their superstitions.

The Mocs men’s basketball team is currently number two in the Southern Conference with a 9-2 record. There is no doubt that they are great athletes, but some of the players have their own good luck charms and superstitions.

Lance Stokes, a 6-foot-7 forward from Orlando, Fla. said, “I like to wear the same shoes during home games and the same tights under my shorts.” He also said that he likes to talk to his dad before games, but plays just as great even if he doesn’t.

The team is focusing on finishing the season in first place and making it to the NCAA basketball tournament.

Director of Basketball Relations Brooks Savage, who works directly with the team, says that he isn’t really superstitious on game days. Savage said, “I think everybody tries to keep things consistent in their preparation, whether it’s listening to the same music, or whatever, I think we all just try to feel comfortable and relaxed leading up to game time.”

With the Southern Conference Basketball Tournament just one month away, the upcoming games are crucial. Staying focused, motivated, and playing well are the top priorities for the team.

Stokes said that, “The team stays motivated by wanting to finish the year number one in the league, wanting to win a ring, and wanting to go to the NCAA tournament.”

The Southern Conference Basketball Tournaments start March 7 and the NCAA Tournament starts March 16 with Selection Sunday. The Mocs, with or without their superstitions, are expected to play great and finish the season strong.

Photos by Dale Rutemeyer

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Frigid Temperatures Don’t Frighten Students

By: Megan Montgomery

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (UTC/The Loop) — Our city has experienced some of the coldest temperatures in years this winter, but even the presence of Jack Frost doesn’t deter the outdoor desire of a true Chattanoogan.

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A student captured this frozen falls on a trail at Lookout Mountain

According to some students, the outdoor culture and opportunities in Chattanooga are part of the allure of UTC. Students are travelling from all across the state to attend school and live in the land of Moon Pies, mountains, and a multitude of Rock Creeks.

Junior Ethan Buyer says he gets outdoors at least once a week. In the last month, he has fought the treacherous temperatures while hiking, climbing, and backpacking.

“Sometimes the weather is the adventure,” says Buyer, who spent the Martin Luther King holiday hiking miles of snow covered paths on the Appalachian Trail.

Freshman Abigale Lawrence especially enjoys hiking when the weather is warmer, but she hasn’t let the cold drive her inside for the season. She embraced the wintry weather with her friends last week when campus was covered in snow.

Junior Luke Johnson hiking a snowy trail

Junior Luke Johnson hiking a snowy trail

The cold conditions call for many different kinds of preparations, but some activities are more enjoyable in the cold according to Junior Luke Johnson. When climbing in warm weather, he says, humidity and sweat can cause more moisture on the rock making it harder to climb. The cold weather creates a natural grip for climbers.

Although, frozen temperatures are not every student’s cup of tea. In this case, the Aquatic and Recreation Center (ARC) and UTC Outdoors offer a range of opportunities to get moving and get outside. Senior Emma Tinius  exercises at the ARC three times a week to stay out of the cold.

“I prefer working out in the ARC when it’s cold outside. It’s just harder to find a machine to use because it’s crowded.” says Tinius.

photo by Joakim Roth

photo by Joakim Roth

UTC Outdoors encourages students to get outside by offering trips all throughout the semester for students to participate in such as:

  • Snowboarding
  • Skiing
  • Mountain biking
  • Caving
  • Kayaking
  • Climbing
  • Hiking
  • Sky Diving

Chattanooga is a natural sanctuary no matter the weather, and UTC students are always diligent to stay active and appreciate the sights and surroundings of our city.

 

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Not just NFL fans are Looking Forward to a “Super Bowl” This Sunday

super bowlSEATTLE (AP) — The way Bryan Weinman sees it, he and his friends already won their Super Bowl bet.

Two weeks ago, the nightclub DJ and a few buddies were sitting at a sports bar in Denver, joking about how funny it would be if the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos — the NFL teams from the two states that have legalized marijuana — made it to the big game.

They decided to plunk down a $44 wager — the fee for registering the Internet domain www.stonerbowl.org — just before the Seahawks and Broncos won their conference championships.

It paid off. They’re now using the site to hawk T-shirts and hats celebrating the coincidence. One shirt features the Vince Lombardi Trophy, reserved for the game’s victors, refashioned into a bong. Another features a spoof of the league’s logo, with the letters “THC” — for marijuana’s active compound — replacing “NFL.”

From weed-themed Super Bowl parties to a Denver company’s “Stoner Bowl” tours of recreational pot shops, this year’s Super Bowl offers a twist on a sporting event better known for its beer commercials. Thanks to the recreational marijuana laws passed by voters in 2012, sales of taxed pot to adults over 21 began at Colorado pot shops Jan. 1 and are due to begin in Washington later this year.

There have been a slew of predictable, ready-made puns, most of which have to do with “bowl” being the part of the pipe where pot goes. Some fans have issued not-quite-serious calls for a cannabis-friendly musician — say, Willie Nelson or Snoop Dogg — to sing the national anthem.

“I’m staying home and will be watching the Super Bowl while I light up my own Super Bowl,” well-known stoner Tommy Chong, of the comedy duo Cheech and Chong, wrote on their Facebook page. The pair released a publicity photo doctored to show Chong in a Seahawks headband and Cheech Marin in a knit Broncos hat.

The Washington chapter of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said it would be rooting on the “THC-Hawks.” It made a friendly bet with Colorado NORML for what they’re calling “Bud Bowl XLVIII.”

If Denver wins, the Washington chapter has to dress in Broncos colors and sing John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High.” If Seattle wins, the Colorado chapter must dress in Seahawks colors and sing “Purple Haze,” by Seattle native Jimi Hendrix. Video evidence is to be posted on the winner’s Facebook page for at least a week.

In deference to the importance of good officiating, High Times magazine offered a guide to spotting “Stoner Bowl” party fouls, including the offense of “holding”: “When the violator takes, two, three, maybe eight hits before passing the joint.”

On Twitter, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals promoted its recipe for vegan “Colorado catnip” brownies, with caveats: “Note: This recipe is for humans only. Also note: This recipe is for legally obtained marijuana. PETA does not condone the purchase or sale of illegal drugs.”

At the sports bar, Weinman, 35, and his friends scribbled down their T-shirt ideas — first on coasters, and then paper. Their motto: “One team and a lot of fans are gonna get smoked.”

“There’s so many easy jokes,” he said. “I hope the average person finds comedy in what we’re doing.”

Even if the average person might, it’s not clear the NFL does. “We do not have any response,” league spokesman Greg Aiello wrote in an email.

Derek Franklin, the president of the Washington Association for Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention, said all the attention about the “Weed Bowl or the Bong Bowl, what have you, it drives home the wrong public health message.”

He noted that Washington NORML’s Facebook page featured a cartoonish version of the Seahawks logo, with bloodshot eyes and a joint in its beak.

“That’s the kind of thing that for kids, it’s going to stick in their heads,” he said. This Super Bowl is “incredible for the ‘Hawks, but tough for those of us in prevention.”

Medical marijuana advocates also suggested the joking over the big game underscores a serious issue: The NFL doesn’t allow its players, even those in states that have approved medical or recreational marijuana, to use it to ease the pain from the beatings they take on the field. Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday the league could reconsider that.

“I’m not a medical expert,” he said. “We will follow science. We will follow medicine. If they determine this is a proper method, we would consider it. Our medical experts are not saying that right now.”

Among those hoping to make a buck on the Denver-Seattle matchup is Matt Brown, co-founder of My 420 Tours in Denver. The company is offering a three-night “Stoner Bowl” package starting at $1,409. It includes tours of local marijuana shops and indoor gardens, lots of free samples, a cannabis cooking class and a private viewing party for the game.

Brown, who grew up in Kansas City and has mixed loyalties between the Chiefs and the Broncos, said he expected about 50 customers.

“We’ve been joking about the ‘Stoner Bowl’ for a couple weeks now,” he said.

___

Follow Johnson at https://twitter.com/GeneAPseattle

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Russian Activist Publishes Sochi Corruption File

Olympic Park in Sochi, Russia

Olympic Park in Sochi, Russia

By:  Andrea Jungels

SOCHI, Russia (AP/The Loop) — An interactive website launched Monday by anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny paints a vivid picture of the suspected cost overruns and conflicts of interest at the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Russia has spent about $51 billion to deliver the Sochi Olympics, which run Feb. 7-23, making them the most expensive games ever even though as a winter event it hosts many fewer athletes than summer games do.

Navalny claims that Russia spent twice as much as necessary to build at least 10 of the Olympic venues — including the Bolshoi Ice Palace, the Fisht Stadium for the opening/closing ceremonies and the speed-skating arena.

Allegations of corruption have dogged preparations for the Sochi Games for years, as reported by The Associated Press and others. Navalny’s new website — Sochi.FBK.info — combines data gathered during his own investigations along with media reports and other activists’ analysis.

Using colorful graphics, the website makes a wide range of data accessible in English and Russian.

“Athletes are not the only people who compete in Sochi,” Navalny, who finished a strong second in Moscow’s mayoral election last year, wrote on the website. “Officials and businessmen also took part in the games and turned them into a source of income.”

President Vladimir Putin has rejected claims about rampant corruption in Sochi, saying the inflated prices were due to the honest mistakes of investors who underestimated the costs.

“If anybody has got this information, please show this to us,” Putin said in a recent television interview. “But so far we haven’t seen anything except speculation.”

A 2012 report by the government’s Audit Chamber found about 15 billion rubles (about $500 million) in “unreasonable” cost overruns in the preparations for the Sochi Olympics.

Auditors found that the work of some staff members at Olympstroi, the state company in charge of Sochiconstruction, between 2008 and 2010 was “conducive to incurring unreasonable cost overruns.” At least three criminal investigations against Olympstroi employees have been opened, but none of them has reached court. Olympstroi has since changed its management.

The Sochi Organizing Committee would not comment Monday on Navalny’s new website.

When asked about it, Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, said the IOC stands “against any form of corruption.”

“Whenever there have been concerns and accusations and information in the past, they have been passed on to the organizing committee,” Bach said.

Navalny does not seem to provide solid evidence of how money was stolen during the many Sochiconstruction projects. This has proven extremely difficult to do, because the games were not covered by Russian laws on tenders and procurement, making officials unaccountable for the money spent.

Olympstroi was given free rein by Putin to “determine the ground rules for selecting investors and contractors” for Olympic venues. This created fertile ground for corruption in the allocation of funds, according to Ivan Ninenko, deputy director of Transparency International in Moscow.

Olympstroi “is even less transparent than companies in (Russia’s) state-owned sector, where corruption is rife,” he told the AP.

The total amount of state contracts overseen by Olympstroi was about 700 billion rubles, or $22 billon, according to Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, the government official in charge of the games.

A website Navalny set up in 2010, called Rospil, has monitored thousands of Russian state contracts and appealed to law enforcement agencies to get the murky ones annulled. Rospil has been successful in overturning nearly 130 contracts worth nearly $2 billion in taxpayer money. Not for the Sochi Games, though.

“Opportunities for public control are very limited” for Sochi contracts, said Konstantin Kalmykov, who works for Navalny. All it takes is a presidential or government decree to award a contract to a specific firm.

“If there were regular public control in place, that would be a big factor in saving funds and increasing efficiency of spending,” Kalmykov said.

Navalny’s new website lists several Sochi construction projects with evident conflicts of interest. In one of the most glaring examples, the Ice Cube curling stadium was built by a company controlled by businessman Alexander Svishchev, the father of Dmitry Svishchev, president of the Russian curling federation, the website said, citing public records.

One of the key beneficiaries of lucrative Olympic contracts was Putin’s childhood friend Arkady Rotenberg. Through a majority-owned subsidiary, Rotenberg holds nearly 39 percent of the Mostotrest company, which amassed a dozen Olympics-related state contracts to build nearly all of the highways in the area.

Mostotrest’s contracts in Sochi amounted to $3.1 billion, including a $1.6 billion bypass for Sochi, as well as tunnels, bridges and railroads, the company confirmed to the AP.

The Russian business daily Vedomosti in 2009 analyzed scores of tenders for Olympic contracts and discovered that the majority of bids were very close to the maximum the state said it would pay and in many cases bidders were barred from running, leaving one company to claim the contract.

Mostotrest won the $1.6 billion bypass contract after firms owned by tycoons Oleg Deripaska and Roman Abramovich dropped out of the competition in 2009. Mostotrest offered to build the road for 59.36 billion rubles, just barely below the maximum state price of 60.9 billion rubles.

__

AP Sports Writer Stephen Wilson contributed to this report from London.

 

For more on the misuse of Sochi funds click here .

For more on top Kremlin critique click here .

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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A Good Career Move For Scott Stallings

Stallings won at Torrey Pines Sunday by a single stroke

Stallings won at Torrey Pines Sunday by a single stroke

By: Cody Dowler

SAN DIEGO (AP/The Loop) — Scott Stallings had ambitions to be a baseball player until the Sunday afternoon he sat down to the watch the 1997 Masters with his father.

He watched Tiger Woods demolish Augusta National and the field to win by 12 shots with the lowest score ever.

For a 12-year-old in Tennessee, it was inspirational.

“At that moment, I quit everything, every sport I was playing, and said, ‘That’s what I want to go do.’ And every one of my friends thought I was crazy,” Stallings said.

On Sunday, he put his name on the same trophy that Woods has won so many times.

It wasn’t a replica of the Augusta National clubhouse or even a green jacket, but it was no less special.

Stallings crushed a 4-iron from 222 yards that barely cleared the water on the par-5 18th green and left him two putts from 40 feet for a birdie that gave him a one-shot victory in the Farmers Insurance Open.

Woods, the defending champion and seven-time winner of this event, wasn’t around to see it. He missed the 54-hole cut on Saturday, an oddity in its own right and especially because Stallings’ biggest win before that was at The Greenbrier Classic, where Woods missed the 36-hole cut.

Stallings’ seventh birdie of the final round gave him a 4-under 68 and capped a wild day in which eight players had a reasonable chance to win in the final hour.

K.J. Choi had the low round of the tournament on the brutal South Course with a 6-under 66 to post the target at 8-under par. Jason Day and Graham DeLaet each made birdie on the last hole for 68s to join Choi.

Pat Perez, the San Diego native who used to pick balls on the practice range during the tournament when he was a kid, watched with a pained expression and a few choice words when a 12-foot par putt on the 16th and a 10-foot birdie putt on the 17th narrowly missed. He made birdie on No. 18 to tie for second.

“It’s great and bad,” Perez said about his runner-up finish. “This is the one I want to win more than anything in the world, and I came up short. … I thought today would have been my day. I would like to be in that position again.”

Marc Leishman of Australia had the last chance to catch Stallings. His drive onto a cart path right of the 18th fairway bounced off a fan and kept him 260 yards from the green — he might not have gone for it, anyway — and his birdie made it a five-way tie for second.

But no one squandered a chance like Gary Woodland. He was one shot behind with two holes to play — one of them the 18th, which he can reach in two easily — only to pull his tee shot on the 17th into a canyon and three-putt from long range for double bogey.

“This will be hard to swallow,” Woodland said. “I felt like I kind of gave one away today.”

Woodland, who had a one-shot lead going into the final round, closed with a 74. He tied for 10th, a testament to how packed it was at the top. Nine players had at least a share of the lead at some point. Nineteen players were separated by two shots on the back nine. One of them was Jordan Spieth, who had bogeys on three of his last four holes for a 75 to tie for 19th.

For all the emphasis on missed opportunities, it was won by a guy was only thinking about winning — but only after remembering a loss.

It was one year and one week ago that Stallings, who had a five-shot lead going into the final round of the Humana Challenge, came to the 18th hole needing a birdie. He hit a 6-iron from 220 yards, not accounting for the ball being slightly above his feet, and he watched it sail left and bound into the water.

That’s what he was thinking about Sunday when he had 222 yards to the front and was between 4-iron and hybrid to clear the water.

“I actually thought about 18 at Humana the whole time on 18 today,” Stallings said. “Not that I was like, ‘Oh, don’t hit it in the water,’ but it was, ‘Just make sure you pay attention to everything that’s going on.'”

And he did. The cool Pacific air. The hanging lie. Knowing that anything too long would make birdie just as hard as if he laid up. Only he wasn’t about to lay up.

“I was playing to win,” he said.

His caddie, Jon Yarbrough (whom Woodland fired late last year), told him to play it a little back in his stance and hit it as hard as he wanted. Stallings worried only about solid contact, and it was enough to clear the water before trickling back just off the green.

Yarbrough told him, “Let’s see what you’ve got.” Stallings had experience from a failure, which he attributes to his win on Sunday.

And he had his name on a list with Woods, the guy who inspired him to get started.

“Having my name close to his in a great event that he’s obviously dominated is pretty awesome,” Stallings said.

Better yet, that win earned him a trip back to the Masters.

See the final leader board here and the PGA Tour 2014 schedule here

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Leave the Biebs Alone, that’s somebody’s daughter.

 

By: Alex Givens
Miami, Florida (AP/Theloop) – MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Justin Bieber’s mug shot hints at the boy-next-door image he’s carefully crafted over the past several years, with a glistening smile and professionally upswept hair.
But the red jail jumpsuit also visible in the photo tells a different story, one about the singer’s recent troubles and emergence as a bad boy. The 19-year-old pop star is facing possible jail time after his arrest in Florida on charges of driving under the influence, resisting arrest and driving with an expired license.

Still, as he has been so many times since achieving stardom at age 15, Bieber was swarmed by crowds of news media and screaming young girls as he left jail Thursday afternoon. He popped through a window of his black SUV in a black hoodie and sunglasses to wave back.

Police said they arrested a bleary-eyed Bieber — smelling of alcohol — after officers saw him drag-racing before dawn Thursday on a palm-lined residential street in Miami Beach, his yellow Lamborghini traveling at nearly twice the speed limit.

He was arrested early Thursday with R&B singer Khalil Amir Sharieff, after police saw them racing two luxury vehicles down the street at 4:09 a.m., with two other vehicles apparently being used to block off the area.

The 19-year-old singer later admitted smoking marijuana, drinking and taking a prescription medication, police said.

Police Chief Ray Martinez said the singer was initially not cooperative when the officer pulled him over. Martinez said the singer also had an expired Georgia driver’s license.

Police said Bieber was driving the Lamborghini and Sharieff was driving a Ferrari. Both cars were towed. Police say Bieber was clocked at nearly double the area’s 30-mph speed limit near a high school, youth center, golf course, city firehouse and small apartment buildings.

According to the arrest report, Bieber “had slow deliberate movements” and appeared to be in a stupor when the officer ordered him to exit his vehicle. Bieber was arrested after repeatedly refusing to put his hands on his vehicle so the officer could pat him down to look for weapons, the report said. It says he cursed several times at the officer and demanded to know why he was being arrested. At one point, Bieber said to an officer: “What the f— did I do, why did you stop me?”

The Biebs resisting arrest.

The Biebs resisting arrest.

Bieber failed a field sobriety test and was taken to the Miami Beach police station for a Breathalyzer, police said. Results haven’t been released.

“I think this case will proceed hopefully as any other case would proceed,” said Bieber’s attorney, Roy Black, whose other celebrity clients have included Rush Limbaugh and William Kennedy Smith.

Under Florida law, people under the age of 21 are considered to be driving under the influence if they have a blood-alcohol content of 0.02 percent or more — a level the 5-foot-9, 140-pound star could reach with one drink.

For a first DUI offense, there is no minimum jail sentence and a maximum of six months, a fine of $250 to $500, and 50 hours of community service. For anyone under 21, there is an automatic six-month license suspension.

A Miami-Dade County judge set Bieber’s bond at $2,500 Thursday afternoon. Sharieff’s bond was set at $1,000 for a DUI charge.

Bieber reportedly spent far more money at a Miami strip club Monday night, when the King of Diamonds club tweeted that Bieber ordered $75,000 in dollar bills. The club’s operator later acknowledged that was an exaggeration and that the singer only stayed about an hour.

Bieber and his large entourage were escorted to a closed-off section of the club. They enjoyed the dancers and ordered a large amount of bottled water, but no alcoholic beverages were sold to them, said Ricky “Disco Rick” Taylor in a statement.

“He had a lot of fun,” Taylor said. “We hope he returns again.”

The Canadian-born Bieber was only 15 when his platinum-selling debut “My World” was released. His brand was clean-cut and charming, earning him an invitation to sing for President Barack Obama and his family at Christmas. But his image tarnished as he got older.

Bieber has been accused of wrongdoing in California but has never been arrested or charged. He is currently under investigation in a felony vandalism case after a neighbor reported the pop star threw eggs at his house and caused thousands of dollars of damage.

A neighbor had previously accused Bieber of spitting in his face, and a paparazzo called deputies after he said Bieber kicked him, but prosecutors declined to file charges in either instance. He was also accused of reckless driving in his neighborhood, but in October prosecutors refused to seek charges because it was unclear whether Bieber was driving.

His arrest in Miami is unlikely to affect the egg-throwing investigation, which included nearly a dozen detectives searching Bieber’s home last week searching for video surveillance and other evidence that could be used to pursue a vandalism charge.

Bieber is also being sued by a former bodyguard who says the singer repeatedly berated him, hit him in the chest and owes him more than $420,000 in overtime and other wages. The case is scheduled to go to trial in Los Angeles next month.

Bieber’s arrival in Florida earlier this week also is under investigation. Authorities in the suburban Miami city of Opa-locka are investigating whether the singer was given a police escort when he landed Monday at the Opa-locka Executive Airport.

Police escorts from the airport are not uncommon, but they must follow procedure because they involve city vehicles, Assistant City Manager David Chiverton said. Administrators had not authorized any escort for Bieber in this case.

Despite all his legal troubles, the charges against Bieber likely won’t put him at risk of being deported or denied entry into the U.S. According to U.S. immigration law, authorities generally do not revoke an individual’s visa unless the person has been convicted of a violent crime or has been sentenced to more than one year imprisonment.

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Kay reported from Miami. Associated Press writers Suzette Laboy and Laura Wides-Munoz in Miami, Tony Winton in Miami Beach, Fla., and Anthony McCartney in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Coach K Gets 900th Win at Duke

 

By Jake Chapman

DURHAM, N.C. (AP/UTC The Loop) — Rodney Hood scored 18 points to help No. 18 Duke beat Florida State 78-56 on Saturday, giving Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski his 900th victory at the school.

Jabari Parker added 14 points for the Blue Devils (16-4, 5-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who won their fourth straight game and extended the nation’s longest active home winning streak to 28 games. Duke used an 11-0 run late in the first half to build a 20-point lead and never let the Seminoles get the margin back to single digits again.

Duke won despite shooting 31 percent, but converted 17 FSU turnovers into 29 points and dominated the offensive glass to score 29 second-chance points against the Seminoles (13-6, 4-3).

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Coach Krzyzewski shows emotion as Duke starts to rally.

Krzyzewski is the all-time leader in career victories in men’s Division I with 973. He joins Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim as the only coaches with at least 900 wins at one program.

Okaro White scored 14 points for Florida State, which shot 50 percent but couldn’t protect the ball or keep the Blue Devils off the boards. Duke finished with a 47-24 rebounding advantage, including 27-7 on the offensive glass.

FSU, which won in its last trip here on a last-second 3-pointer two years ago, led by one point for about 1 minute in the first half. But key scorer Aaron Thomas, who was coming off a 20-point effort against Notre Dame, finished with two points on 1-for-7 shooting before fouling out with 5:13 left.

It wasn’t a vintage Duke performance. Krzyzewski was animated and often unhappy with his team in the early minutes, slamming down a chair during an early timeout and shedding his suit jacket by the 12-minute media timeout.

Then, after Duke looked to be in cruise control, the Blue Devils went nearly 7½ minutes without a basket in the second half. They stayed in control by hitting free throws after FSU got as close as 11 points on Montay Brandon’s layup with 6:51 to play. Quinn Cook ended the drought with a driving basket that made it 71-54 with 3:25 left.

Duke made 34 of 43 free throws for the game, including 20 of 27 after halftime to offset a 6-for-27 shooting performance (22 percent) in the second half.

Hood was a last-second scratch from the starting lineup. Krzyzewski said Hood was sick, though Hood told reporters he had to change after spilling Gatorade on his uniform. Hood missed his first five shots, but he scored 14 points after halftime.

Duke also got a boost from reserve big man Marshall Plumlee, who posted career-highs of seven points and seven rebounds — with each rebound coming on the offensive glass.

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Team Rice Beats Team Sanders 22-21 in 2014 Pro Bowl

By Andrew Carney

HONOLULU (AP/The Loop) — The NFL’s all-stars are defending their effort in the lowest scoring Pro Bowl in eight years — a game that pitted teammates against each other in a contest decided in the final minute.

“The game was as good as an all-star game or Pro Bowl could ever be and it’s been a great week,” said New Orleans tight end Jimmy Graham, who caught an 8-yard touchdown from Saints teammate Drew Brees in the second quarter Sunday en route to a 22-21 victory for Jerry Rice over Deion Sanders.

Dallas running back DeMarco Murray caught a 20-yard touchdown pass with 41 seconds left and Carolina running back Mike Tolbert plunged into the end zone for a 2-point conversion to give Rice the win in the first NFL all-star game to stray from the AFC versus NFC format.

Rice also earned fresh bragging rights on Sanders nearly a decade after both players retired from the NFL.

“They called my number the whole way,” Tolbert said on the field after the game. “Philip (Rivers) told them to give it to me. My old teammate, he told them to give it to me.”

Baltimore’s Justin Tucker missed a 67-yard field goal on the game’s final play after missing a 66-yarder earlier in the game.

Rice’s team came back after Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles threw a 12-yard touchdown to Cleveland tight end Jordan Cameron with less than 5 minutes to play to give Sanders a 21-14 lead.

The touchdowns by Cameron and Murray were the only scores of the second half in a game that had eight turnovers — including six interceptions — and nine sacks.

“It was definitely sloppy. There was a lot of turnovers because of the weather,” said Houston defensive end J.J. Watt, who was a captain on Sanders’ team. “There was a lot of rain, so obviously that factored into it.”

The game was played in consistent rain, but little wind and temperatures in the high 70s.

Foles was the only quarterback of six in the game to not throw an interception. He was named offensive MVP, finishing with seven completions for 89 yards.

Nick Foles named Offensive MVP, passing for 89 yards.

Nick Foles named offensive MVP, passing for 89 yards with seven completions.

Philadelphia wide receiver DeSean Jackson and Carolina quarterback Cam Newton also had touchdowns for Team Sanders. Graham and Cleveland wide receiver Josh Gordon caught touchdowns for Team Rice. Gordon led Team Rice with six catches for 66 yards, while Washington running back Alfred Morris had four catches for 69 yards.

The Pro Bowlers were split up by the NFL greats in a new draft format meant to improve the game. The picks made earlier in the week created matchups that pitted usual teammates against each other and challenged Rice and Sanders to compare the all-stars against one another. That led to plenty of trash talk between Rice and Sanders and some bruised egos among players used to being on top of their sport.

“Great Job Goat!!!!” Sanders tweeted toward Rice after the game. “Enjoy this moment cause u know I’m hot right now.”

The result Sunday was a game that appeared more competitive than in years past, with some big hits — even between teammates — and fewer shenanigans.

“It was crazy, but we had fun with it,” Gordon said. “I loved it and enjoyed it.”

Gordon was flipped by teammate T.J. Ward on one of the biggest hits in the game.

“I don’t think he knew what he was doing, but I’ll give him the benefit of a doubt on that one,” Gordon said. “I’ll get him back in Cleveland.”

Jackson caught the game’s first touchdown pass from Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck. Luck threw the ball 36 yards into double coverage in the end zone on a flea flicker, where Jackson wrestled it away from Titans cornerback Alterraun Verner.

Graham caught an 8-yard fade in the second quarter from Brees, turning around Brees’ slow start. Graham dunked the ball over the crossbar in celebration, but San Diego safety Eric Weddle jokingly defended the attempt.

Newton scored on 1-yard run up the middle for a touchdown, making up for an earlier interception on a ball Cleveland cornerback Joe Haden wrestled away from Jackson.

Kansas City linebacker Derrick Johnson — who had a big hit in the first half on Chiefs teammate Jamaal Charles — was selected as the game’s defensive MVP for Team Rice.

“I didn’t expect it, but he’s out there doing his thing,” said Charles, who was knocked out of Kansas City’s playoff loss to Indianapolis with a concussion. “I can’t get mad at him — it’s just about football and you’ve just got to be ready.”

“If you stand back, he’s going to make you look pretty bad, so I had to go out and really give it to him,” Johnson said. “I would never try to hurt my teammate at all, but compete a little bit.”

Johnson had nine tackles, including eight solo tackles. Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly had 12 tackles, including 11 solo tackles.

Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez caught three passes for 50 yards in his final NFL game. The retiring receiver likely headed to the Hall of Fame was a replacement in the game for 49ers tight end Vernon Davis.

Gonzalez said there is “no chance” he’ll return next year.

“This is it for me. I had the privilege of a nice, long career in this league and I was blessed to have done so,” Gonzalez said. “It was nice to be able to come back to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl one last time and end it out here.”

___

Oskar Garcia can be reached on Twitter at http://twitter.com/oskargarcia

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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Rangers Ice Devils in Outdoor Game

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Devil’s goalie Martin Brodeur tries to make a save in the wintery conditions.

By: Sid Sadler

NEW YORK ( AP/The Loop) — Too much sun forced the boys of winter to wait to play at the ballpark in the Bronx.

Once clouds filled the skies over Yankee Stadium and snow began to fall — hockey weather for sure — Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers got the best of the New Jersey Devils.

Rick Nash scored for the fifth straight game during New York’s four-goal middle period, and the Rangers rallied for a 7-3 victory over the Devils on Sunday.

Sun reflecting off the ice delayed the start of the first hockey game at Yankee Stadium for about an hour. The wait was expected to be longer, so Lundqvist took a nap. Cloud cover took care of that problem more quickly than expected.

Suddenly the All-Star goalie was awakened and told warm-ups would take place in 30 minutes. He put on his pinstripe pads, but still looked groggy in the first period when New Jersey took a 3-1 lead.

“I was half asleep, mentally somewhere else, but then I regrouped and I am happy with how I finished,” Lundqvist said.

“I’m not going to lie, when they scored the third one, I had a bad feeling about it. My first thought was, ‘Am I going to be able to finish this game? Then you kind of regroup and tell yourself, ‘I need to stop the next shot. That’s it. There is no other way to do this.'”

Devils counterpart Martin Brodeur had no such luck. He allowed six goals on 21 shots and was replaced by Cory Schneider at the start of the third.

“You rely a lot on instinct, and poise, and I couldn’t close my glove, it was so cold,” said Brodeur, who along with Rangers coach Alain Vigneault criticized the chippy ice that required repairs.

New York got within one before the first intermission and then swarmed Brodeur.

Dominic Moore and Marc Staal had goals in the first for the Rangers, then Mats Zuccarello scored two straight to put New York ahead for the first time. Carl Hagelin and Nash found the net, too, behind the beleaguered Brodeur, who angrily swatted the puck away after one of the tallies.

“Most of their goals went in off our players, or a stick or skate, and that happens. It was just one of those nights,” Brodeur said.

Nash has seven goals in his streak and 18 this season.

A day after the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks played in 60-degree weather at Dodger Stadium, the NHL returned to conditions more fitting for hockey.

“Within 16 hours, two of the most-revered venues in sports welcomed more than 100,000 fans to sit under the sky and enjoy two of the fiercest rivalries in the National Hockey League,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. “The games were spectacular, the images were unforgettable, and the sheer energy our sport creates was unmistakable.”

Lundqvist settled down and made 19 saves. He hadn’t allowed more than two goals in his previous seven outings.

The Devils took care of that in the first.

Patrik Elias scored twice, Travis Zajac once and Jaromir Jagr had two assists in the first to excite the large number of New Jersey fans who made the trek to the Bronx for what was a Devils home game.

“They changed their game in the second period,” Jagr said of the Rangers. “They were flying into our zone, and we didn’t react to it.”

Jagr past former Pittsburgh Penguins teammate Mario Lemieux for 10th place on the NHL career assist list.

The teams played through the second period as the snow started and increased in intensity, not long after they were forced to wait around an extra hour to drop the pick because of bright sunshine that created a dangerous glare on the ice.

The temperature was 24.9 degrees when the game started at 1:41 p.m. in front of a sellout crowd of 50,105.

Jagr said he and his teammates took in the scene, but perhaps a bit too much.

“I think we all did that in the second period,” Jagr said.

Yankee Stadium’s second hockey game will take place on Wednesday night when the Rangers will again be the road team in a matchup with the New York Islanders.

Zuccarello tied it 3-3 at 2:48 of the second when he redirected in a pass from John Moore, and put New York in front at the end of a 3-on-1 rush with 7:16 left. Benoit Pouliot chipped the puck ahead at center ice to Derick Brassard, who sent a pass from the right side to Zuccarello for his 15th goal.

Hagelin made it 5-3 just 1:09 later when he flipped a shot from the right circle that appeared to hit Devils defenseman Marek Zidlicky before getting through Brad Richards’ screen and by Brodeur.

The Devils netminder was again victimized by an odd-man attack that Nash finished with 28.5 seconds left in the middle frame. Brodeur was serenaded with derisive chants of “Mar-ty … Mar-ty” as Rangers fans in the stands made their voices heard.

He watched the rest of the game from the bench. Schneider, who made only four saves, gave up Derek Stepan’s penalty-shot goal with 9:54 remaining. The seven goals matched the Rangers’ season high.

NOTES: Schneider is 5-1-2 with a 0.96 goals-against average and .961 save percentage in his last eight starts, dating to Dec. 28. Brodeur had played in only two of New Jersey’s previous eight games. … New Jersey had won two straight. New York snapped a two-game losing streak.

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Southern Baptist Leaders To Host Nashville Sex Summit

By: Kelli Findlay

Nashville, Tennessee (AP/Theloop) – Southern Baptist Convention leaders are hosting a summit in Nashville that will focus on sex. The topics will range from pornography, teen sex, homosexuality and how pastors can talk to their congregations about human sexuality. Russell Moore, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission president for the Southern Baptist Convention, said the summit’s theme is a timely one. “So many of the questions that pastors grapple with today deal with situations that would not even have been possible a generation ago,” Moore said in a press statement.

Convention being held April 2014

Convention about sex and pornography being held April 2014

“As technology advances and the culture changes, the questions that we have to grapple with are often increasingly complex.”

Panel topics include discussions on the gospel and homosexuality and the gospel and ministry in a sex-saturated world. The sessions will also focus on how the “gospel shapes a person’s sexual identity, redeems sexual desire and sets free people held captive by sin.”

The summit will be held from April 21-23. The event’s main sessions will be streamed live on the Web for people who cannot attend.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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