National sports briefs: Former NCSU golfer wins Par 3
AUGUSTA, Ga. ó Former N.C. State star Tim Clark already faced 80-to-1 odds of winning the Masters.
Those odds surely grew longer Wednesday when he made an ace on the last hole to win the Par 3 Contest. No winner has ever gone on to capture the green jacket.
Clark finished at 5 under par.
CHARLOTTE ó Aric Almirola became NASCAR’s latest casualty of the economic crisis when Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing was forced to park the No. 8 car because of a lack of sponsorship.
Yates Racing closed its No. 28 team last month when it couldn’t find sponsorship for Travis Kvapil.
* CHARLOTTE ó AJ Allmendinger picked up a sponsor that will keep his Richard Petty Motorsports entry running at least through Sept. 12. Hunt Brothers Pizza will sponsor six races and the All-Star event, ensuring the No. 44 will stay on the track through the race in Richmond, Va.
EAST LANSING, Mich. ó Michigan State guards Korie Lucious and Chris Allen will undergo surgery this week after each broke his right foot during Monday’s championship game.
* PITTSBURGH ó All-American center DeJuan Blair of Pitt will declare for the NBA draft and has begun hiring representatives, ending any possibility of returning for his junior season.
* TEMPE, Ariz. ó All-America guard James Harden is leaving Arizona State. The 6-foot-5 sophomore will hire an agent.
“He’s been an amazing ambassador for our university,” coach Herb Sendek said. “He’s been a great player for our team. He’s been a terrific friend and a real gentleman. We couldn’t be prouder of him and certainly we couldn’t be more grateful for all that he’s helped us with, all that he’s brought to our table.”
* TUCSON, Ariz. ó Arizona forward Jordan Hill will forgo his senior year.
* LEXINGTON, Ky. ó John Calipari’s coaching staff at Kentucky will have familiar faces.
Former Memphis assistants John Robic and Orlando Antigua and director of basketball operations Rod Strickland have been hired.
Kentucky’s Michael Porter will not return to the team. He said being married, with a daughter on the way, has changed his priorities.
* ALBANY, N.Y. ó Siena coach Fran McCaffery, formerly of UNCG, has reportedly signed a new eight-year contract.
* LYNCHBURG, Va. ó Former assistant Dale Layer is returning to Liberty as the new head coach.
Layer, who has been a head coach at Colorado State and Queens near Charlotte succeeds Ritchie McKay, who joined Tony Bennett’s staff at Virginia.
Layer returns to Liberty after serving there as an assistant during the 2007-08 season. He was an assistant at Marquette last season.
* BOSTON ó Patrick Chambers, a former Villanova associate coach, was introduced as the head coach at Boston University.
CLEVELAND ó LeBron James scored 21 points before spending the fourth quarter playing air guitar on the bench as the Cavs beat Washington 98-86 to improve to 38-1 at home.
With the win, the Cavs became the first team in NBA history to have two 15-game winning streaks at home in the same season.
* NEW YORK ó Richard Hamilton scored 22 points, Rasheed Wallace had 14 points and 12 rebounds, and Detroit rolled into a tie for seventh place in the East by beating the New York Knicks 113-86. Detroit will be back in the postseason with its next victory or one more loss by Charlotte.
* BOSTON ó Rajon Rondo had 31 points and nine rebounds as the Celtics edged New Jersey 106-104. Vince Carter had 22 points and 12 rebounds for the Nets, who were eliminated from the playoff race.
* SAN ANTONIO ó Brandon Roy scored 26 points in Portland’s 95-83 victory over the Spurs.
Clawing back from an early 19-point deficit, Portland won in San Antonio for the first time since 2002 and moved into a three-way tie with the Spurs and Houston for the third-best record (50-28) in the West.
* INDIANAPOLIS ó Danny Granger scored 29 points as Indiana beat Toronto 130-101. Josh McRoberts had his first career double-double with career highs of 12 points and 11 rebounds.
* ORLANDO, Fla. ó Hedo Turkoglu scored 20 points, Dwight Howard added 14 and the Magic beat Memphis 81-78. J.J. Redick had all nine of his points in the fourth quarter to spark a 19-7 run.
* MILWAUKEE ó Joe Johnson had 30 points and made a pair of big shots down the stretch in Atlanta’s 113-105 win over the Bucks.
* NEW ORLEANS ó Steve Nash had 24 points and 17 assists as Phoenix won 105-100 over the Hornets. Chris Paul had 29 points and 16 assists.
* CLEVELAND ó Cavaliers rookie J.J. Hickson will miss two to three weeks with a sore lower back. He underwent an MRI, and the club said the test revealed a “stress reaction.”
Hickson has had his minutes reduced as fellow rookie Darnell Jackson has gotten more time.
* SACRAMENTO, Calif. ó The Kings waived guard Will Solomon after just 14 games with the club.
* Marvin Webster, a shot-blocking center who helped lead the SuperSonics to the 1978 NBA finals, was found dead in a hotel bathtub in Tulsa, Okla. He was 56.
Foul play is not suspected and the death apparently stemmed from an illness, police spokesman Jason Willingham said.
TORONTO ó Ryan Miller made 32 saves to help Buffalo keep its slim playoff hopes alive, and Toronto’s Curtis Joseph tied the NHL record for losses in the Sabres’ 3-1 win over the Maple Leafs.
Joseph was tagged with the 452nd loss of his career, tying him with the late Gump Worsley for most in NHL history. With Martin Gerber expected to get the start when Toronto completes its schedule Saturday, the 41-year-old Joseph probably started his last game for the Maple Leafs.
* OTTAWA ó The Senators are keeping Cory Clouston as their oach, removing his interim tag and signing him to a two-year deal.
* SAN JOSE, Calif. ó Sharks captain Patrick Marleau and high-scoring forward Ryane Clowe expect to return to San Jose’s lineup tonight for the NHL-leading club’s regular-season home finale.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. ó Michigan receiver Darryl Stonum has been sentenced to a year’s probation for driving while impaired.
ASHBURN, Va. ó Veteran linebacker Robert Thomas has signed with the Washington Redskins.
Thomas has spent seven season in the NFL with St. Louis, Green Bay and Oakland. He played only two games with the Raiders last year before a hamstring injury forced him onto injured reserve.
* INDIANAPOLIS ó The Colts re-signed linebacker Tyjuan Hagler.
* BATAVIA, Ohio ó An Ohio State Highway Patrol spokesman says Bengals cornerback Leon Hall was arrested in southwest Ohio and charged with drunken driving.
* WAUKEGAN, Ill. ó A woman pleaded not guilty to fatally shooting the pregnant girlfriend of former Bears safety Shaun Gayle.
Marni Yang is charged with nine counts of first-degree murder and three counts of intentional homicide of an unborn child in the shooting death of Rhoni Reuter.