Digest for 08-14-13


LOCAL

Berna MVP in Arkansas Win

MESTRE, Italy — Calli Berna scored 11 points and had nine assists earning MVP honors leading the University of Arkansas women’s basketball team to an 87-28 win over Vicenza All-Star team just outside of Mestre, Italy, Tuesday.

Arkansas, now 2-0 on the Italy trip, controlled the game from the opening tip taking a 10-0 lead and forcing a quick timeout by their opponent. The Razorbacks kept up the blistering pace of play, pressed and trapped as they shut down the All Stars’ offense for three quarters of play.

Kiera Peak paced Arkansas for the second night in scoring with 14 points and nine rebounds while Joey Bailey and Melissa Wolff had 12 points each. Wolff led the team with a14 rebounds as well. Arkansas got nine points each from McKenzie Adams and Kelsey Brooks.

REGIONAL

Rangers release Ramirez

Arlington, Texas — The Texas Rangers released Manny Ramirez from his minor league contract on Tuesday.

“Based on our evaluation, there was not a spot for Manny on the club at this time,” Rangers GM Jon Daniels said. “We released him so he could pursue other opportunities if he so chooses.”

The 41-year-old slugger hit .259 with three homers and 13 RBI in 30 games with Triple-A Round Rock since early July.

NATIONAL

Clowney returns to practice

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney returned to practice Tuesday after missing Monday’s session with a bruised shoulder.

Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier had indicated Monday night that Clowney could miss the team’s season opener on Aug. 29 against North Carolina because of the issue, but gave no such impressions on Tuesday.

Spurrier had said Monday that if Clowney’s shoulder didn’t “come around real soon we may play without him the first game.”

Clowney is already considered the top NFL Draft prospect heading into his junior year. He is the reigning Hendricks Award winner as the nation’s top defensive end and last year finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy balloting.

NFL bans ‘grill-style’ face masks

RICHMOND, Va. — Washington Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo said Monday he finds it “disheartening” that the league will not permit him to wear a customized face mask on his helmet during games.

Orakpo confirmed that he and other NFL players were informed by the league they cannot wear such “grill-style” face masks.

Orakpo, the Indianapolis Colts’ Mathis, the Arizona Cardinals’ Dockett, the New York Giants’ Justin Tuck and the Dallas Cowboys’ DeMarcus Ware are among the players who have tried the new face masks. The league reportedly will allow players to wear such nonstandard face masks if they have a medical reason for doing so. Tuck and the Baltimore Ravens’ Chris Canty reportedly have received medical clearance to wear their nonstandard versions.

Steelers put WR Burress on IR

Latrobe, Pa. — The Pittsburgh Steelers placed Plaxico Burress on the injured reserve list Tuesday, one day after the veteran wide receiver turned 36.

Burress injured his shoulder last week during practice and underwent surgery Monday to reportedly repair a torn rotator cuff.

The Steelers drafted the Michigan State product in the first round (eighth overall) of the 2000 NFL Draft. Burress spent the first five years of his career with Pittsburgh and returned to the franchise late last season.

For his career, Burress has caught 553 passes for 8,499 yards and 64 touchdowns in 148 games with the Steelers, New York Giants and New York Jets.

The Steelers filled the roster spot by signing wide receiver Tyler Shaw.