Digest for 1-29-13


STATE

Arkansas tops NCBWA preseason poll

FAYETTEVILLE — The Arkansas baseball team is on top of one more preseason poll.

The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association placed Arkansas No. 1 in its preseason rankings Monday. The NCBWA poll is the final preseason poll to be released before the 2013 season begins next month.

Arkansas also is ranked No. 1 in the USA Today Baseball Coaches and Collegiate Baseball preseason polls, which were released earlier this month. The Razorbacks are No. 2 in Perfect Game’s preseason poll and No. 3 in Baseball America’s poll.

The NCBWA poll has four Southeastern Conference teams among its top six. It includes LSU (No. 3), Vanderbilt (No. 4) and South Carolina (No. 6). Kentucky (No. 12), Florida (No. 15), Mississippi State (No. 16), Texas A&M (No. 24) and Ole Miss (No. 25) also is in the NCBWA’s top 35 preseason poll.

Arkansas opened preseason practice last Friday. The Razorbacks open the 2013 season against Western Illinois on Feb. 15 in Baum Stadium.

Arkansas picked fourth in SEC West softball

FAYETTEVILLE – The Arkansas softball team was selected to finish fourth in the Southeastern Conference’s Western Division by the league’s coaches on Monday. Points for the poll were awarded on a 1-2-3-4-5-6 basis for the Eastern Division and a 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 basis for the Western Division. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team.

Alabama was picked to win the SEC after being ranked No. 1 in the preseason USA Today/NFCA poll. The Crimson Tide received eight of the 13 first place votes with Tennessee garnering the other five. Alabama finished 60-8 last season and won the first national championship in SEC history. The SEC features 11 NCAA tournament teams from last season. Arkansas will face eight of those tournament teams in 2013.

Razorback women fall short at S. Carolina

FAYETTEVILLE — The Arkansas women’s basketball team had two chances to tie the game in the final seconds at Bud Walton Arena, but dropped a tight battle to No. 18 South Carolina 43-40. Jhasmin Bowen led the Razorbacks with 13 points, and Calli Berna had a career high 10 rebounds.

Arkansas had two three-pointers fall just short in the last 10 seconds, and fell to 14-6, and 2-5 in the SEC. South Carolina improves to 18-3 and 6-2 in conference play.

Against the SEC leader in points allowed per game, Arkansas recorded some solid performances while battling a stout defense. Bowen scored 13 points, her highest total in conference play. Berna’s 10 rebounds surpassed her previous career high of seven, and Quistelle Williams also recorded double digit rebounds for the fourth time this season.

NATIONAL

Woods records 75th Tour victory, 8th at Torrey Pines

SAN DIEGO – Tiger Woods built an eight-stroke lead during Monday’s final round and held on to win the Farmers Insurance Open by four strokes at Torrey Pines.

Woods shot 14-under for the tournament, four strokes better than Brandt Snedeker and Josh Teater. The victory is Woods’ 75th of his career and eighth at the same golf course, setting a tour record. It’s also the seventh time Woods won the tournament.

One of his wins at Torrey Pines came in the 2008 U.S. Open.

WORLD

Djokovic sinks Murray in Australian final

MELBOURNE, Australia — Novak Djokovic rebounded from his first-set tiebreaker loss to beat Andy Murray in four sets for the Australian Open men’s championship on Sunday.

Djokovic won 6-7(2), 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-2 for his third consecutive championship in the tournament. He became the first man to win three straight Australian Opens since Roy Emerson won the 1963-67 titles.

On Saturday, Victoria Azarenka beat Li Na in three sets for the women’s title.