Ohio State tops URI 69-58 in Tip-Off tournament

PAT EATON-ROBB Associated Press Published:

ASSOCIATED PRESS

n BASKETBALL

Double-double from Thomas leads OSU

UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- Deshaun Thomas scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and No. 4 Ohio State beat Rhode Island 69-58 in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off tournament in Connecticut on Saturday.

Lenzelle Smith Jr. added 15 points, Aaron Craft had 13 points and four assists for the Buckeyes (2-0) who struggled with the Rams (0-3) well into the second half.

Xavier Munford had 16 points to lead Rhode Island, which trailed by just four at halftime.

The Rams were down just six when Craft hit a 3-point shot that bounced around the rim and in with 6:45 left and then stole the ball on the other end of the court.

That led to a technical foul on Rhode Island coach Dan Hurley.

Thomas hit both free throws and the five-point swing gave Ohio State a 55-44 edge, its first double-digit lead of the game, and the Buckeyes held on from there.

Ohio State women rout Winthrop, 78-53

COLUMBUS -- Darryce Moore and Tayler Hill scored 16 points apiece as No. 20 Ohio State cruised to a 78-53 win over Winthrop on Saturday.

Ashley Adams added 14 points, six blocked shots and four assists for the Buckeyes (2-1), who have won 23 consecutive home games, the longest active streak in the Big Ten.

Ohio State jumped out to a 14-2 lead in the first meeting between the two programs.

Ahead 31-20 with 3:43 left until the break, the Buckeyes closed out the half on a 12-0 run.

Ohio State, which has now hit at least one 3-pointer in 122 straight games, was 7-of-14 from long range compared to 4-of-16 for the Eagles (1-1).

The Buckeyes also had the advantage at the free-throw line, making 17-of-26 attempts while Winthrop was only 5-of-6.

Dequesha McClanahan and Diana Choibekova scored 12 apiece for the Eagles.

n AUTO RACING

RPM re-signs pair for 2013 season

HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Richard Petty Motorsports has re-signed Sprint Cup Series drivers Marcos Ambrose and Aric Almirola for the 2013 season.

It will be Ambrose's third season at RPM. He will again be behind the wheel of the No. 9 Ford. It will be Almirola's second season in the No. 43 Ford.

Director of competition Sammy Johns believes "the chemistry that we are developing now with both teams is very strong."

Both drivers changed crew chiefs twice this season while searching for the right combination.

Ambrose, who won at Watkins Glen earlier this season, will be teamed with crew chief Drew Blickensderfer in 2013. Blickensderfer joined the team earlier this season.

Almirola, who has three top-10 finishes this season, will be paired with veteran crew chief Todd Parrott next season.

n ICE HOCKEY

NHL, players association to talk again Monday

NEW YORK -- So much for a two-week break. Just over one week since the last set of failed negotiations, the NHL and the locked-out players' association are returning to the bargaining table Monday.

Conversations that restarted Friday between NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr produced enough positive feeling Saturday for the sides to set up another face-to-face meeting that the sides hope will lead to an agreement to save the hockey season.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman suggested to union executive director Donald Fehr on Thursday the sides take two weeks off from negotiations. The union maintained its desire to keep talking, and now bargaining is back on.

Owners and players met for several consecutive days last week in New York, but made little progress. Negotiations ended in an angry exchange last Friday, but bargaining resumed two days later only to break off again in just over an hour.

n CROSS COUNTRY

Okla. St. men, Oregon women win NCAA titles

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Oklahoma State's top-ranked men and Oregon's women won NCAA cross country titles Saturday.

Oklahoma State placed four runners in the top 20 and five in the top 40 to win its fourth team title in five years.

Texas Tech's Kennedy Kithuka claimed the individual title in a course-record time of 28 minutes, 31.3 seconds, breaking the 10K mark of 29:30.7 set by Liberty's Josh McDougal in the 2007 Southeast Regional.

No. 2 Oregon won its first women's title since 1987. Jordan Hasay and Alexi Pappas finished 2-3 in scoring while placing third and eighth overall.

Four runners broke the year-old 6K course record set by Villanova's Sheila Reid at the Big East Conference championships. Iowa State's Betsy Saina was first in 19:27.9 to lead the 11th-place Cyclones.

n GOLF

Na Yeon Choi takes lead at Titleholders

NAPLES, Fla. -- U.S. Women's Open champion Na Yeon Choi was steady after an early three-putt bogey and finished with a 3-under 69 that gave her a one-shot lead in the Titleholders.

Choi took over the lead early Saturday when Ai Miyazato made double bogey on the par-5 second hole. What kept Choi in the lead was not making many mistakes of her own. It's been that way all week at the LPGA Tour's final event. Choi is the only player to post every round in the 60s at The TwinEagles Club. She was at 12-under 204, one shot ahead of Miyazato, who rallied with four birdies on the back nine for a 71.

So Yeon Ryu, the LPGA rookie of the year, had a 68 and was two shots back.

n FOOTBALL

Tom Osborne leads Huskers out of tunnel before kickoff

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nebraska coaching great Tom Osborne joined Bo Pelini in leading the Cornhuskers from the locker room onto the field before the game against Minnesota.

Saturday has been designated as a "Salute to Tom Osborne" at Memorial Stadium. Osborne is retiring as athletic director Jan. 1, and the game is Nebraska's last at home.

A video focusing on Osborne's coaching career preceded the traditional Tunnel Walk. Osborne and Pelini walked side by side. Pelini pumped his fist to the crowd as he and Osborne, dressed in a red windbreaker and hat, jogged onto the field ahead of the team.

Osborne won 255 games, 13 conference championships and three national titles in a 25-year Hall of Fame coaching career that ended in 1997. He has been athletic director since 2007.

D.J. Williams returns to Denver's roster

DENVER -- Linebacker D.J. Williams is on track to make his 2012 debut Sunday against San Diego after the Denver Broncos put him on their 53-man roster Saturday.

Williams returned to practice this week after serving two NFL-mandated suspensions that cost him nine games and about $4 million.

On Friday, coach John Fox said Williams had looked good in practice all week "and he's a guy we would definitely consider to be active for the game."

If he plays Sunday, he'll likely play in sub packages and on special teams.

Williams was suspended six games for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs and three games for an alcohol-related arrest.

Ball ties major-college TD record at 78

MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin running back Montee Ball has tied the major college career touchdown record, scoring on a 7-yard run against No. 6 Ohio State on Saturday.

It was the 78th touchdown of Ball's career, matching the mark set by Travis Prentice of Miami (Ohio) in 1999. Ball already has a share of the FBS single-season touchdown record, matching Barry Sanders' long-standing mark of 39 last year.

Taking a handoff from Curt Phillips, Ball ran hard up the middle. He cut to the left and banged off Ohio State safety Christian Bryant before tumbling into the end zone and setting off raucous cheers at Camp Randall.

Ball's TD cut Wisconsin's deficit in half, leaving the Buckeyes ahead 14-7.

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