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Sports briefs for Friday, July 4, 2014

By Wire Service reports, Special to the BDN

Women’s basketball player suspended for fighting with football player

Texas Tech suspended women’s basketball guard Amber Battle for a month at the start of next season after fighting with a football player.

Battle, who led the Red Raiders in scoring last season with a 16.4-point average, acknowledged that she made the first contact with freshman defensive back Nigel Bethel II during a pickup basketball game last weekend at the university’s recreation center. The school announced the disciplinary action on Friday.

A senior, Battle will not be allowed to play until December. She led Texas Tech in rebounds and assists last season en route to second-team All-Big 12 honors.

“During a pickup basketball game on June 28, I was involved in an incident with Texas Tech football player Nigel Bethel,” Battle said in a statement. “I initiated the first contact and I take full responsibility for my actions. I want to take this time to apologize to Nigel, the Texas Tech community, my teammates, coaches and fans.”

Bethel, an incoming freshman from Miami who was the football team’s highest ranked recruit in 2014, retaliated and caused serious bodily injury to Battle. He faces assault charges and is no longer with the team.

Senators, Legwand agree to $6 million deal

EditorsNote: Update 1: adds Gryba signing Senators, Legwand agree to $6 million deal

The Ottawa Senators agreed to a two-year, $6 million contract with free agent center David Legwand on Friday.

Legwand will make $2.5 million this season and $3.5 million in 2015-16.

The Senators also re-signed defenseman Eric Gryba to a two-year deal.

Legwand, 33, spent 15 seasons with the Nashville Predators after he was the franchise’s first-ever draft pick in 1998. He was traded to the Detroit Red Wings at the deadline last season.

Legwand had 14 goals and 51 points overall last season between the two teams.

Ginobili has stress fracture in right leg

The San Antonio Spurs told the Associated Press that guard Manu Ginobili has a stress fracture in his lower right fibula.

Because of the injury, Ginobili’s status for the FIBA World Cup of Basketball is uncertain.

Ginobili, a top reserve for the Spurs, represents Argentina.

Ginobili wrote on his Facebook page Tuesday that his status for the tournament will depend on how he feels in three weeks. The World Cup begins in late August in Spain.

It is not clear when Ginobili was injured. He averaged 14.4 points in the NBA Finals in helping the Spurs win the NBA championship over the Miami Heat.

Rockets’ backup plan includes Bosh

The Houston Rockets will shift their focus to Miami Heat power forward Chris Bosh if they are unable to land New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, according to ESPN.

The Rockets still hope Anthony will choose them in signing a free agent contract after meeting on Wednesday in Houston. Thursday’s reports that Miami Heat forward LeBron James has been in Cleveland this week accepting sales pitches from several teams is an indication that the Heat’s Big Three of James, Bosh and guard Dwyane Wade could break up.

The Rockets reportedly are prepared to make Bosh an offer he cannot refuse in the event Anthony decides to return to the Knicks or sign with the Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks or Los Angeles Lakers.

Canucks sign three

The Vancouver Canucks signed three restricted free agents — forward Zack Kassian, defenseman Yannick Weber and goalie Joe Cannata — on Friday.

Kassian’s two-year deal is for $3.5 million, the Vancouver Sun reported. Weber’s contract is for one season at $850,000, according to TSN.

Kassian, 23, had career highs of 73 games, 14 goals, 15 assists, 29 points and 124 penalty minutes with the Canucks last season. Weber had six goals and four assists in 49 games with the Canucks last season. Cannata spent last season with the Utica Comets of the AHL, with a record of 11-12-1, a 2.83 goals-against average, and a .907 save percentage in 28 games.


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