Sports briefs for Nov. 14, 2012

Posted Nov. 14, 2012, at 10:07 p.m.
Last modified Nov. 14, 2012, at 10:34 p.m.

Husson men host Keene in basketball opener

BANGOR — The Husson University men’s basketball team will entertain Keene State (N.H.) in its opener Thursday night in a battle of teams picked to win their respective conferences. Game time at Newman Gymnasium is 7.

Husson is coming off a 15-13 season and is the North Atlantic Conference’s preseason pick thanks to the return of 10 players, including three starters. The Eagles return three players who averaged double figure points a year ago in Marc Zaharchuk (12.4 points per game), Eric Modica (11.4) and Daeshawn McMorrin (10.2).

Keene State went 19-11 a year ago and was chosen the Little East Conference favorite thanks to former Maranacook of Readfield star Ryan Martin (17.3 ppg), who is a preseason NCAA Division III All-American.

Celtics assign Melo, Joseph to Red Claws

BOSTON – The Boston Celtics announced today that they have assigned forward Kris Joseph and center Fab Melo to their NBA Development League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws.

Melo, a 7-foot center, appeared in all eight preseason games for the Celtics and averaged 1.3 rebounds in 5.9 minutes per game. Melo was drafted by the Celtics with the 22nd pick in the 2012 NBA Draft out of Syracuse University where he averaged 7.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.9 blocks and shot 56.6 percent from the field in his sophomore season before entering the draft.

Joseph, a 6-7 forward, made his NBA debut against the Milwaukee Bucks and recorded one rebound and one assist in three minutes of action on Nov. 2. He had averaged 4.6 points and 1.9 rebounds in 10.8 minutes during the eight preseason games. Joseph was drafted by the Celtics out of Syracuse with the 51st pick in the 2012 draft. During his senior season, he averaged 13.4 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.

Roethlisberger has rib injury too, out vs. Ravens

PITTSBURGH — Right arm tucked into a black sling, weary eyes betraying a decided lack of sleep, Ben Roethlisberger tried to stay positive after the worst — and by far the most harrowing — injury of his career.

The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback believes he can return this season despite spraining his right shoulder and suffering what he called a dislocated rib in Monday night’s overtime win against Kansas City.

He’s just not sure when he’ll be ready. And his medical team appears nowhere close to figuring out how exactly to get him there.

All Roethlisberger knows for certain is that doctors are concerned the rib — which he injured while getting sacked by a pair of Kansas City linebackers in the third quarter on Monday — could puncture his aorta if jostled around.

He also knows he’ll be a spectator indefinitely while the surging Steelers (6-3) try to track down AFC North-leading Baltimore (7-2). The rivals meet twice over the next three weeks, with the first showdown coming Sunday night at Heinz Field. Veteran backup Byron Leftwich will take the snaps in Roethlisberger’s place, looking for his first win as a starter in six years.

AP source: Hunter agrees with Tigers

DETROIT — Free agent outfielder Torii Hunter has agreed to a $26 million, two-year deal with Detroit, giving the Tigers a capable corner outfielder coming off an impressive season at age 37.

A person with knowledge of the negotiations, speaking on condition of anonymity Wednesday because no announcement had been made, confirmed the deal and said Hunter has a physical scheduled for Friday. Hunter hit a career-best .313 last season for the Los Angeles Angels with 16 home runs and 92 RBIs.

Acquiring a corner outfielder was a major offseason priority for Detroit, and Hunter won nine consecutive Gold Gloves from 2001-09 before gradually switching from center field to right. With the exception of Austin Jackson in center field, the Tigers were largely unimpressive defensively last season.

Detroit went into 2012 hoping for solid production from outfielders like Brennan Boesch and Ryan Raburn, but by the time the postseason started, the Tigers were primarily using Andy Dirks, Quintin Berry and Avisail Garcia alongside Jackson. Dirks had a fine season, hitting .322, but Hunter has a longer track record.

Hunter is also a .289 career hitter against left-handers. The Tigers hit a pedestrian .253 vs. southpaws in 2012.

Detroit is chasing its first World Series title since 1984. The Tigers were swept by San Francisco in this year’s series.

Injured Magic cheerleader in stable condition

ORLANDO, Fla. — A cheerleader and stunt team member is in stable condition after falling on her head during a performance at an Orlando Magic game.

In a statement released by the Magic on Wednesday, the family of 31-year-old Jamie Woode says she suffered three vertebrae fractures and a broken rib. But there were no signs of neurological damage and she’s expected to make a full recovery.

Woode lost her footing and fell to the floor during a routine between the first and second quarter of the Magic’s 99-89 loss to the New York Knicks on Tuesday night.

She was carted off on a stretcher, but waved her hands as she was wheeled away.

The Magic Stunt Team is comprised mostly of former UCF cheerleaders and is contracted for performances by the team.

Jets’ Ryan angered by anonymous rips of Tebow

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Rex Ryan doesn’t mind his New York Jets players saying what’s on their minds. Just as long as they put their names to their comments.

An angry Ryan addressed his team Wednesday for some anonymous quotes by players and members of the organization ripping backup quarterback Tim Tebow in a newspaper report.

“If you’re not going to put your name to it, I think that’s about as cowardly of a thing there is,” Ryan said. “I don’t want to get into specifics of what I said, but I did address it with our football team. If you’re searching for things to try to drive a wedge through the team, my thing is, I believe in this team.”

A report in the Daily News on Wednesday said that more than a dozen players and members of the Jets organization believe there’s no chance Tebow could overtake Mark Sanchez for the starting quarterback job — with one saying of the backup: “He’s terrible.”

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