Digest for 12-08-13


REGIONAL

Southern works overtime to win SWAC championship

HOUSTON — The West worked overtime again to stay the best in the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

Lee Doss’ 16-yard touchown reception from Dray Joseph in the second overtime was the deciding margin in Southern’s 34-27 victory over Jackson State in the SWAC Championship Game at Reliant Stadium on Saturday.

The win was the sixth straight by the West Division champion over the East champion. In winning, Southern (9-4) reversed a 19-14 loss at home to Jackson State (8-4) in the regular season on Sept. 28.

Joseph, the SWAC co-offensive player of the year and first-team quarterback, threw for 337 yards and three touchdowns.

Southern improved to 3-1 all-time in the SWAC Championship Game.

Jackson State, which fell in overtime for the second straight year and to 1-4 all-time in the game, was led by quarterback Clayton Moore’s 262 yards and two touchdowns through the air. He threw two interceptions.

Auburn rewards Malzahn with 6-year contract

AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn has rewarded head football coach Gus Malzahn with a new six-year contract worth a total of $26.85 million.

The deal, which came on the eve of Auburn’s SEC Championship Game appearance against Missouri, will pay him $3.85 million next season with raises of $250,000 each year following.

The new contract, announced Friday, replaces the five-year pact Malzahn signed last December.

“As I’ve said before, we want Coach Malzahn to be at Auburn for a long time,” Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs said.

The Tigers finished 3-9 last season without Malzahn, but this season are 11-1 as SEC West champions. That includes two dramatic wins against Georgia and Alabama over the past couple weeks.

NATIONAL

Booker’s buzzer-beater sends Colorado over Kansas

BOULDER, Colo. — Askia Booker’s 3-pointer as time expired gave Colorado its first win over Kansas in 10 years, a 75-72 decision over the sixth-ranked Jayhawks at Coors Events Center.

Booker finished with 15 points and Spencer Dinwiddie also had 15 along with seven assists for Colorado (9-1), which had dropped 19 straight meetings to its former Big 12 rival since a 60-59 victory in Boulder on Jan. 22, 2003.

Josh Scott and Xavier Johnson both added 14 points in the triumph, the ninth in a row for the Buffaloes since a season-opening setback at Baylor.

Kansas (6-2), playing its first true road test of the season, received 22 points on 7-of-11 shooting from freshman sensation Andrew Wiggins, but committed 14 turnovers to be dealt a second setback in its last three games.

Yankees finalize Ellsbury, Kuroda deals

BRONX, N.Y. — The New York Yankees finalized two deals on Saturday, signing outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury to a seven-year pact and veteran pitcher Hiroki Kuroda to a one-year contract.

Ellsbury’s contract is believed to be worth $153 million and includes a club option for 2021, while Kuroda will reportedly be paid $16 million in 2014.

The 30-year-old Ellsbury finished last season with a league-best 52 stolen bases, along with nine home runs, 31 doubles, 53 RBI and a .298 average for the World Series champion Boston Red Sox.

Ellsbury, who gained his only All-Star selection three seasons ago, a year in which he finished second in AL MVP voting to Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander, is a lifetime .297 hitter who has collected 65 homers, 155 doubles, 241 stolen bases and drove in 314 runs over 715 games with Boston since 2007.

Kuroda was the Yankees best starter for most of last season, going 11-13 with a 3.31 ERA in 32 starts. However, he lost his final six decisions of the season and pitched to a 6.56 ERA over his last eight starts.

Dodgers make it official with Brian Wilson

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Dodgers made it official on Saturday and re-signed pitcher Brian Wilson to a one-year contract with a player option for 2015.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but the Los Angeles Times said the deal is for $10 million in 2014 with the option set at $8.5 million plus incentives that could also make the 2015 package worth a total of $10 million.

After missing nearly all of the 2012 season with an elbow injury that eventually required surgery, Wilson signed with the Dodgers last year after spending his first seven major league seasons with the rival San Francisco Giants.

The 31-year-old right-hander appeared in 18 games down the stretch for the Dodgers and was a valuable bullpen arm for the NL West champions, going 2-1 with a 0.66 ERA. He also pitched six scoreless innings in six postseason appearances and hasn’t allowed an earned run in 17 2/3 career postseason innings.

Sporting KC tops RSL in shootout to win MLS Cup

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Aurelien Collin buried the go-ahead penalty kick and Jimmy Nielsen made one huge save on Saturday as Sporting Kansas City won its second-ever MLS Cup in spectacular fashion, topping Real Salt Lake, 7-6, in a shootout at Sporting Park.

After an exhausting 90 minutes of regulation plus 30 minutes of extra time in frozen conditions, it all came down to strikes from 12 yards out as Sporting’s Claudio Bieler opened proceedings with a goal.

The clubs remained even into the decisive 10th round of the shootout when Collin, who scored the equalizer in the 76th minute of normal time, smashed it home with authority to give the hosts the lead.

Substitute Lovel Palmer stepped to the spot for RSL needing to score to keep his club alive, but his strike banged off the crossbar, handing Sporting its second-ever MLS Cup title and first since 2000.

The visitors had the better of the play to open the second half and took the lead in the 52nd minute through a spectacular piece of play from Kyle Beckerman and Alvaro Saborio.