Digest for 01-03-14


LOCAL

WC junior high girls top Camden Fairview

Watson Chapel opened the 2014 portion of the season with a 40-25 home win against Camden Fairview on Thursday in junior high girls basketball.

Cayla Trotter led Watson Chapel (5-4) with 18 points and Yasmin Jackson added 12. The game does not count toward conference standings in junior high.

In eighth-grade girls action, Jerica Bell scored six points in leading Watson Chapel to a 23-7 win against Camden Fairview.

STATE

South Carolina hands Arkansas women first loss

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas’ rally from 16 points down came up short Thursday as South Carolina escaped with a 55-51 victory to open up SEC women’s basketball play.

Keira Peak scored a team-high 14 points for Arkansas (13-1, 0-1), which pulled within 49-45 with 1:13 left on a Jessica Jackson three-point basket but came no closer.

Kelsey Brooks added nine points and six rebounds and Jhasmin Bowen had a career-high 12 rebounds for Arkansas. Jackson also had 14 points.

A-State earns first No. 1 ranking in bowling

JONESBORO — For the first time in school history, Arkansas State is ranked atop the National Tenpin Coaches Association Media Poll for women’s bowling.

Arkansas State (31-11) earned 218 points and six first-place votes to edge Maryland-Eastern Shore’s 207 points and three first-place votes. Central Missouri, Stephen F. Austin and Fairleigh Dickinson round out the top five.

Arkansas State’s previous high since the Media Poll began in the 2011-12 season was second.

The Red Wolves will host the Mid-Winter Invitational at the Jonesboro Bowling Center on Jan. 17-19.

REGIONAL

Grizzlies knock off short-handed Suns

PHOENIX — Zach Randolph led six Grizzlies in double figures with 20 points and 15 rebounds and guided Memphis to a 99-91 win over the short-handed Phoenix Suns from U.S. Airways Center.

The Grizzlies got a major boost from their reserves, with Jerryd Bayless scoring 17 points and Ed Davis totaling 16 points with 11 boards off the bench. Mike Miller also started the game on the pine and contributed 11 points, seven boards and four assists, while starters Mike Conley and Kosta Koufos added 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Phoenix was without second-leading scorer Eric Bledsoe, who sprained his right knee in a 107-88 rout of the Clippers on Monday. The Suns had won five of six entering Thursday’s clash.

Goran Dragic made 13-of-22 shots for a career-high 33 points in the setback, while Channing Frye netted 14 and Miles Plumlee pulled down a team-high 12 rebounds.

NATIONAL

Penn State names elder Johnson interim coach

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Larry Johnson has been named the interim head football coach at Penn State after Bill O’Brien officially informed the university of his decision to take the head coaching vacancy with the NFL’s Houston Texans.

O’Brien spent the past two seasons at Penn State and compiled a record of 15-9 while dealing with severe NCAA sanctions in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. The Nittany Lions were 7-5 in 2013.

Johnson is in his 19th season as a Penn State coach and has been the defensive line coach for 15 years. His son, Larry, played for the Nittany Lions and became just the ninth player in NCAA history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season in 2002.

Texas A&M’s Evans declares for draft

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Mike Evans, who set multiple receiving records during his two years at Texas A&M, is declaring for the NFL Draft.

Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin announced Thursday that the sophomore wideout would forego his final two seasons of eligibility to turn pro.

He had a school-record 1,394 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns on 69 catches this season and twice broke the program record for most yards receiving in a game, gaining 279 against Alabama and 287 against Auburn.

Nuggets suspend Miller for outburst

DENVER — The Denver Nuggets have suspended guard Andre Miller for two games following the veteran’s altercation with head coach Brian Shaw during Wednesday’s loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Miller, upset with being designated as a healthy inactive for the contest, began yelling at Shaw while on the bench during the second half of the Nuggets’ eventual 114-102 home setback to the Sixers.

The defeat was the eighth in a row for the struggling Nuggets, who currently own a disappointing 14-17 record in Shaw’s first season at the helm.

— Staff and wire reports