National Sports briefs

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Associated Press

LUBBOCK, Texas — Texas Tech chancellor Kent Hance walked into a convenience store in Lake Placid, N.Y., last summer, 1,658 miles from his campus. The clerk looked up, noticed the Tech logo on his T-shirt and said: “Bobby Knight, Bobby Knight.”

“I don’t know that you can put a price on a lot of national exposure he’s brought to Texas Tech and Lubbock,” said Hance, a former U.S. congressman and the only politician to defeat George W. Bush in an election. “If coach Knight were walking through LaGuardia Airport with Mack Brown and Bob Stoops, the people in the airport would say, ‘Who are those two people with Bob Knight?’ ”

Knight gets his first shot at his 880th victory tonight, and a win at home against UNLV will make him the winningest Division I men’s coach in history.

For his part, the 66-year-old Knight has played down the march to overtaking former North Carolina coach Dean Smith’s mark of 879 victories. He said the record won’t “have any impact whatsoever” on the basketball program or the school.

Smith, who had no plans to travel to Lubbock for Thursday night’s game, said he’ll be in touch once No. 880 is in the books.

“I’ll sure be one of the first to call and congratulate him,” Smith said. “He knows that.”


CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina coach Roy Williams said Wednesday that the Tar Heels are still evaluating the foot injury that has sidelined Bobby Frasor for the past four games.

Frasor has been suffering from a sore right foot and was questionable for tonight’s game against Rutgers.


NEW YORK — As the Yankees kept talking about trading Randy Johnson, they finalized their $20 million, five-year contract with Japanese pitcher Kei Igawa on Wednesday.

The Yankees had until Thursday to complete an agreement with Igawa after bidding $26,000,194 last month for the right to negotiate with him. The left-hander went 14-9 with a 2.97 ERA and 194 strikeouts for the Hanshin Tigers last season.

* ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Los Angeles Angels agreed to a one-year, $6.5 million contract with free-agent first baseman Shea Hillenbrand.

* HOUSTON — Chris Brown, an All-Star third baseman who played six seasons in the majors in the 1980s, died Tuesday, nearly a month after he was burned in a fire at his home outside Houston. He was 45.


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Jason Kidd was fined $20,000 by the NBA on Wednesday for a postgame rant in which he referred to officials Jim Clark, Tom Washington and Eric Lewis as “three blind mice.”

The New Jersey Nets’ star was angry about the officiating during a 92-91 loss at Detroit on Tuesday night.


SAN FRANCISCO — Bobby Bowden has his 30th straight winning team at Florida State after the coach’s most frustrating squad put a fierce finish on a wild Emerald Bowl.

Lorenzo Booker ran for 91 yards, caught five passes for 117 more and scored two touchdowns, leading the Seminoles to a 44-27 victory over UCLA on Wednesday night.

The Seminoles (7-6) still finished with their least impressive record since going

7-4-1 in 1986, but the 77-year-old Bowden still hasn’t coached a club with a losing record since going 5-6 in his first season in Tallahassee.


PITTSBURGH — Slava Kozlov scored the decisive goal in the third period to beat Pittsburgh 4-2 Wednesday night.

Kari Lehtonen stopped 35 of 37 shots and has turned away 162 of 173 during the current winning streak.

Senators 2, Islanders 0

OTTAWA — Ray Emery stopped 18 shots in his second shutout of the season and Mike Fisher and Chris Kelly scored to leading Ottawa.

Canadiens 4, Capitals 1

WASHINGTON — Mathieu Dandenault and Aaron Downey scored first-period goals and Montreal beat Washington.

Panthers 3, Flyers 1

SUNRISE, Fla. — Rostislav Olesz had a goal and an assist.

Red Wings 3, Wild 1

DETROIT — Dominik Hasek made 32 saves and Johan Franzen had a goal and an assist to lift Detroit to a win.

Stars 5, Avalanche 4

DENVER — Jeff Halpern and Jere Lehtinen each had a goal and two assists and the depleted Dallas Stars beat Colorado.