College Football


Hatcher is expected to land Southern job

In Statesboro, Ga., Georgia Southern will announce its new football coach today, with all indications that Valdosta State's Chris Hatcher is getting the job.

The Eagles wasted no time lining up a replacement for Brian VanGorder, who stepped down on Tuesday after only one season.

VanGorder left to become linebacker coach for the NFL's Atlanta Falcons after going 3-8 in his lone season - the first losing record since 1996 for a program that has won six NCAA Division I-AA titles.

Hatcher has a 76-12 record in seven years as Valdosta State coach, leading the school to its first Division II national championship in 2004.

- Defensive tackle Jonathan Williams of Augusta has enrolled at South Carolina for the spring semester, Gameecocks coach Steve Spurrier said.

Williams, a Glenn Hills High School graduate, is one of seven newcomers who will join the squad this spring.

"Jonathan Williams is a junior college transfer who should be able to help us immediately on the defensive line this season," Spurrier said.

The 6-foot-4, 275-pound Will-iams played at Mississippi Delta Community College, where he was a first-team all-state selection this past season.

- West Virginia has named Ron West offensive line coach and assistant head coach. West joins the Mountaineers from Clemson, where he spent eight seasons.

College Basketball

Jags put an end to Pirates' win streak

In Savannah, Ga., Augusta State defeated nationally-ranked Armstrong Atlantic State 83-74 Wednesday in a Peach Belt Con-ference game to snap the Pirates' 13-game home winning streak.

In the women's game, Jasmine Herron hit two free throws with 3.7 seconds left to give Armstrong Atlantic a 73-71 win.

The Armstrong Atlantic men entered the game ranked 21st in NCAA Division II.

Tyrekus (AJ) Bowman led Aug-usta State with 22 points and seven rebounds. Daniel Dixon added a career-high 18 points. Ben Madgen had 17 and Garret Siler chipped in 12.

In the women's game, Augusta State was led by Tiffany Paschal's 13 points and 10 rebounds. Brittany Jarrard also scored 13.

- In Florence, S.C., USC Aiken faltered down the stretch and lost 85-78 to Francis Marion in a Peach Belt Conference game.

It was the fourth loss in a row for the Pacers.

The Patriots built a 13-point halftime lead and shot 63 percent from the field in ending a 10-game losing streak.

Casey McMasters hit seven 3-pointers en route to a game-high 25 points for USC Aiken.

In the women's game, USC Aik-en failed to score from the field over the final 5:26 and fell 68-64.

Francis Marion snapped a nine-game losing streak by handing USC Aiken its ninth consecutive road loss in conference play.

USC Aiken's Avonte Williams led all scorers with 18 points.


Braves reach terms on deal with Wilson

The Atlanta Braves agreed to terms with free-agent outfielder/first baseman Craig Wilson on a $2 million, one-year contract.

Wilson spent his first five seasons with Pittsburgh before splitting the 2006 season between the Pirates and New York Yankees. His combined totals last season included a .251 average with 17 home runs and 49 RBI. He hit a career-high 29 homers with Pittsburgh in 2004 before being sidelined for most of the 2005 season with two separate injuries.

Wilson will primarily platoon at first base with Scott Thorman. When he isn't playing first, he will ease into the left field logjam with Matt Diaz and Ryan Langerhans.

- In Phoenix, Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell warned baseball owners that a lack of cooperation with his investigation into steroid use will "significantly increase" the chances of government involvement.

- Sammy Sosa and the Texas Rangers kept up negotiations on a minor league contract, working their way toward a deal. The Rangers and Sosa's agent, Adam Katz, have exchanged a couple of proposals.



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