Sports briefs for Feb. 26, 2013

By BDN Staff and Wire Reports, Special to the BDN
Posted Feb. 26, 2013, at 7:40 p.m.

UMFK women to play in USCAA national tourney Wednesday

UNIONTOWN, Pa. — The University of Maine-Fort Kent women’s basketball team will play in its first-ever United States Collegiate Athletic Association national tourney when the eighth-seeded Bengals take on top-seeded Daemen College at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

UMFK and Daemen met twice during the regular season with Daemen taking both games. The game will be streamed live with ESPN radio play-by-play by the USCAA and can be found on the UMFK Athletics women’s championship web page at: http://athletics.umfk.maine.edu/championship/

UMFK is led by junior guard Jenn Colpitts, who stands just 12 points away from career point 1,000. She is joined by fellow Maine natives Taylor Boucher, Samantha Carapellucci, Kayla Richards and Brooke Harris in the regular starting lineup.

The tourney is being by Penn State Fayette and runs through Saturday.

Coach K squelches report he will return as US coach

Mike Krzyzewski said on Tuesday his successor as coach of the gold-medal winning U.S. Olympic basketball team will likely be named later this year, underlining his earlier decision to leave the job.

The Duke University coach, speaking to ESPN Radio, denied a report that he might stay on with the U.S. national team after a seven-year run that included two Olympic gold medals and a world championship.

“My stance hasn’t changed,” Krzyzewski said in the telephone interview. “I’ve loved, loved, loved, and it’s been an honor being with the USA Basketball team.

“And to coach the team and work with (chairman and president Jerry Colangelo) these seven years have been marvelous.”

According to Krzyzewski, whose U.S. team beat Spain in consecutive Olympic finals, his successor will likely be named by mid-2013 in preparation for the 2014 world championship in Madrid.

Flyers acquire Gagne from Kings

The Philadelphia Flyers have brought back popular left wing Simon Gagne in a trade with the Los Angeles Kings, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren announced Tuesday.

The Flyers sent a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, previously acquired from Phoenix, to Los Angeles.

“Simon is an experienced veteran who will help us in a lot of areas,” Holmgren said in a statement. “We are glad to have him back.”

Gagne, who will turn 33 on Thursday, returns after two years. He was dealt to the Tampa Bay Lightning on June 19, 2010 for D Matt Walker and a fourth-round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, which become current Phantoms LW Marcel Noebels.

He posted 40 points in 63 games during the 2010-11 season with the Lightning. He joined the Kings as a free agent last season, and appeared in 34 regular-season games and four playoff games to help them to a Stanley Cup championship.

Report: Summitt describes issues with Auriemma

In a soon-to-published book about her career, former University of Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt said her relationship with Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma and the Huskies’ program ended over recruiting practices, according to SI.com.

The two schools had a fierce rivalry from 1995-2007, and played twice during the regular season from 2000-02, with Connecticut holding a 13-9 edge. Summitt wrote that she eventually stopped the rivalry over complaints that she didn’t elaborate on in the book.

The website published an excerpt on Tuesday.

“Over the course of about a year, I became increasingly upset with a couple of UConn’s tactics in recruiting,” Summitt wrote in “Sum It Up: 1,098 Victories, a Couple of Irrelevant Losses, and a Life in Perspective,” co-authored with Washington Post columnist Sally Jenkins. “I didn’t itemize my complaints publicly then, and I’m not going to now. I went through the appropriate channels and that’s how it will stay. I made my concerns known to UConn through our athletic director, Joan Cronan, and the Southeastern Conference. UConn responded that they saw nothing wrong with what they were doing. I made my concerns known again. Same response. I was finished. I didn’t see any other choice.”

Summitt wrote that her relationship with Auriemma has improved recently. When she formed the Pat Summitt Foundation to fight Alzheimer’s, Auriemma was among the first to respond.

“He wrote out a check on the spot — for $10,000,” she wrote.

Valentine says he did well in Boston

Former Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine was announced Tuesday as the athletic director of Sacred Heart University, where he will focus on larger issues like fundraising, and being the voice and face of the collegiate program.

At the press conference introducing him, he said he thought he did a “helluva job in Boston.”

“I thought what had to be done there was done except for winning a pennant,” Valentine told reporters. “But Connie Mack wasn’t going to win with that team.”

The Red Sox went 69-93 in Valentine’s only season, the worst single-season mark since 1965. The team finished in last for the first time since 1992.

Valentine, 62, will face new challenges at Sacred Heart. He has no college administrative experience. The school has more than 700 student-athletes in 31 Division I varsity sports, including 17 women’s and 14 men’s programs.

The idea that he was hired as a joke was broached at his introduction.

“If it’s a joke, it’s an inside joke,” Valentine said. “I’m very serious about everything I do in my life. I deal with passion and commitment and I deal with excellence. I really didn’t think I’d be insulted with the first question, but what the hell. … I feel like I’m in the middle of my life. I’m a guy who loves challenges. … I opened a restaurant in 1980 and I never flipped a hamburger before. I do things that are presented to me so that I can be challenged and I can strive for excellence.”

Woods, McIlroy meet for private match-play duel

When the scenario of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy playing in the finals of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona on Sunday didn’t materialize, the top players improvised.

Woods and McIlroy, who had both eliminated in the first round, met for a friendly competition Sunday, on the same day Matt Kuchar beat Hunter Mahan in the final.

“We thought we would play our own match play final, expect it was over 36 (holes),” McIlroy told reporters Tuesday at PGA National.

McIlroy said the two played at the Medalist Golf Club, Woods’ home course in Hobe Sound, Fla.

“It was good,” McIlroy said. “It was the first time I’ve actually been up at the Medalist. It’s nice. We teed off at about 8 a.m. and I was home by 1:30 p.m. We played quick. He (Woods) putts with the pin in. It was speed golf. It was good. It was really enjoyable.”

McIlroy left out most of the details, but said there were two matches. Woods won the first 18 holes and McIlroy took the second.

Beginning Thursday at the Honda Classic, McIlroy will try and defend the championship he won by two strokes last year ago over Woods.

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/02/26/sports/sports-briefs-for-feb-26-2013/ printed on December 20, 2014