U.S. Loses in Women's Basketball

Friday, September 22, 2006

Russia beat the two-time defending champion United States, 75-68, in the semifinals of the Women's World Basketball Championship last night in Sao Paulo, Brazil, snapping the Americans' 26-game winning streak in the event.

Russia advanced to tomorrow's gold medal game against Australia, which beat Brazil, 88-76, in the other semifinal.

The United States' last loss in the world championship was to Brazil, 110-107, in the semifinals in 1994. The Americans had won 51 straight games in world championship and Olympic play since, including a 90-80 win over Russia in the first round.

Diana Taurasi led the United States with 21 points.

· COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Senior flanker David Clowney , Virginia Tech's leading receiver, was taken to the hospital yesterday and underwent an emergency appendectomy. He will be out two to four weeks, meaning he'll miss at least tomorrow's game against Cincinnati and next week's game against Georgia Tech.

Clowney has 13 catches for 182 yards this season, 120 of them coming last Saturday at Duke. . . .

A leading group of black football coaches is pleased Division I schools are considering more minorities for coaching jobs, but it says improvement is too slow and applying civil rights laws might be a way to speed progress.

"I think we'll have to put a magnifying glass on searches," said Floyd Keith , executive director of the Black Coaches Association. "Change is not something that has been as quick as we'd like to see it."

There are now only 10 minorities serving as head coaches at the more than 200 NCAA Division I-A and I-AA schools that are not historically black institutions.

The BCA, in its report card, says universities must appoint more minority coaches and more diverse search committees. The group says evidence shows more diverse committees lead to more consideration of minority coaches.

And if that means applying Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which makes it illegal for employers to discriminate on the basis of race, so be it, Keith said. . . .

Texas Tech basketball coach Bob Knight said Oklahoma football fans now know how he felt after his team lost a game at Oklahoma three years ago when a late-starting clock gave the Sooners extra time to score a game-tying basket.

Knight called for Oklahoma to forfeit its basketball game with Texas Tech on Jan. 20, 2003, when the Sooners won, 69-64 in overtime. Video replay showed the game clock started late after the Sooners inbounded the ball on the game-tying possession.

"Had Oklahoma forfeited that game against us like I suggested, they would have gotten far more positive publicity out of that than if they had gone to the Final Four that year," Knight told the Oklahoman for yesterday's editions. "Now I guess the 'duck' is swimming in the other pond."

Two blown calls went against Oklahoma in its 34-33 loss to Oregon's Ducks on Saturday.

· COURTS: A federal judge dismissed the last claims in a defamation lawsuit filed two years ago by Jim Harrick and his son after the basketball coaches were fired by the University of Georgia.

U.S. District Judge Richard Story made his ruling Wednesday, having already tossed out most of the suit in March. That decision did away with all the Harricks' claims except one -- that the younger Harrick was defamed by the NCAA.

· TENNIS: Marat Safin , ranked 72nd, was picked ahead of fifth-ranked Nikolay Davydenko and will open against Andy Roddick today when Russia plays the United States in the Davis Cup semifinals. The winner of the best-of-five series will face Australia or Argentina in the final.

· CYCLING: Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland won the time trial at the world road championships yesterday in Salzburg, Austria, while David Zabriskie finished second to give the United States its third medal at the competition.

· BASEBALL: Two months after surgery to remove his stomach, Japanese home run king Sadaharu Oh left the hospital again following a long rehabilitation. Oh, 66, had surgery July 17 for stomach cancer.

· PRO BASKETBALL: Atlanta Hawks guard Speedy Claxton is questionable for the beginning of the season after breaking a bone in his left hand. Claxton, 28, expected to be Atlanta's starting point guard, signed a four-year, $25.5 million deal in July.

· SOCCER: Two players in Italy's top soccer league -- Sampdoria's Francesco Flachi and Atalanta's Moris Carrozzieri -- were suspended for two months by the league for illegal betting.

· HIGH SCHOOLS: Bullis named Ron Perrell its new girls' basketball coach. Perrell replaces Marcus McKinney , who led the Bulldogs to a 19-8 record in one season as coach.

· HOCKEY: Brian Savage retired after a 12-year NHL career that included stops in Montreal, Phoenix, St. Louis and Philadelphia.

-- From News Services and Staff Reports

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