Sports Digest for May 17


Liddell sits in ninth in Decathlon

HOT SPRINGS — Dollarway sophomore Joshua Liddell is in ninth place after the first day of the 2012 Arkansas Decathlon.

Liddell has 3,147 points and is 372 points behind Fayetteville’s Brad Culp, the leader. Liddell was fifth in the 100-meter dash (11.46 seconds), second in the long jump (21 feet, 4.75 inches), 28th in the shot put (32-6.5), 16th in the high jump (5-4.25) and fifth in the 400-meter dash (52.23).

Star City’s Quin West is in 14th place with 2,897 points and had the third-best 100 time (11.34). Star City’s Lavonta Gardner is in 19th place (2,817), Pine Bluff’s Chris Foster is in 34th (2,471), Dollarway’s Darius Robinson is in 36th (2,428) and Patrick Grady is in 40th (2,271). Sheridan’s Sean-Michael Stubbs and Daniel Woods are in 41st (2,260) and 46th place (1,747) respectively.

Warren’s Ty’Shina Smith is in 37th place in the Heptathlon with 1,436 place.

Razorbacks slated for Vegas tournament

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas basketball coach Mike Anderson has said several times he wants to improve the Razorbacks’ nonconference schedule.

It appears he’s accomplishing his goal.

Arkansas will be on the road over Thanksgiving weekend, playing in the 2012 Las Vegas Invitational on Nov. 23-24. The Razorbacks will join a field that includes Wisconsin, Arizona State and Creighton. The matchups have not been set, but Arkansas will play two games in Orleans Arena.

Nevada-Las Vegas, North Carolina, South Carolina and Southern Cal participated in the 2011 Las Vegas Invitational. UNLV won the championship.

Arkansas’ trip to Las Vegas will be its first since the Dec. 30, 1989, when Nevada-Las Vegas beat the Hogs 101-93 during its national title season.

Abron transfers to Texas Christian

Arkansas announced forward Devonta Abron had been granted his release on Tuesday. A day later, Texas Christian announced Abron had joined the program.

Abron will transfer to TCU to play for new coach Trent Johnson, who was at LSU last season. The sophomore hopes to be eligible to play immediately.

Abron is the fifth player to leave Arkansas since Anderson was hired last spring. He joins Rotnei Clarke (Butler), Jeff Peterson (Florida State) and Glenn Bryant (Eastern Michigan) as players to transfer elsewhere. Guard Julysses Nobles also left Arkansas, but his next school is not yet known.

Pacers’ Bird selected Executive of Year

Indiana Pacers president and former Boston Celtic great Larry Bird was voted the NBA’s Executive of the Year on Wednesday. With the honor, Bird became the first person to win that award, plus the MVP and Coach of the Year honors.

Bird was a three-time MVP for the Celtics and was Coach of the Year with the Pacers in 1988 following his first season.

Garnett powers Celtics past 76ers

PHILADELPHIA — Kevin Garnett scored 13 points during Boston’s 32-point second quarter as the Celtics handled Philadelphia in Game 3 107-91 on Wednesday.

Garnett finishes with 27 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as Boston has a 2-1 lead in the series. Rajon Rando added 23 points and 14 assists and a banged-up Paul Pierce had 24 points and 12 rebounds.

Thaddeus Young led Philadelphia with 22 points and Jrue Holliday chipped in 15 points.