Lady Pacers win their 10th in row
In Aiken, the 14th-ranked USC Aiken women roared to a huge halftime lead en route to their 10th consecutive victory, 68-47, over Columbus State on Saturday.
The Lady Pacers (11-1), who led 42-18 at halftime, improved to 4-0 in Peach Belt Conference play.
Sophomore forward Kayla Harris scored 21 points for USC Aiken, which hit 55 percent of its shots from the field in the first half.
The Lady Pacers limited Columbus State (7-6, 2-2) to 31 percent in the opening half.
• In the men’s game, USC Aiken (10-2, 4-0) stopped Columbus State 76-61 for its ninth victory in its past 10 games.
Ronald Zimmerman had 17 points to lead USC Aiken. Sterling Council added 16 points and Jeremiah Pojah had 11 rebounds and 10 points for his second double-double of the year.
• In Frankfort, Ky., Kentucky State rallied past Paine College 69-67 in a Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference game.
The Lions led 37-33 at halftime, but lost it in the second half because of poor free-throw shooting.
The Lions hit 11 of 22 shots from the line while Kentucky State was 15 of 20.
Geno Green had 19 points and seven rebounds to lead Paine (6-3, 5-2). Kedric Taylor added 16 points. Green hit seven of 10 shots from the field.
• In the women’s game, Paine couldn’t recover from a deep first-half hole and lost to Kentucky State 76-71.
Paine (4-6, 4-4) trailed 47-34 at halftime. Jasmine Davis led the Lady Lions with 20 points.
Tsonga prevails in Qatar Open
In Doha, Qatar, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga shrugged off a slow start and beat Gael Monfils 7-5, 6-3 in an all-French final at the Qatar Open, giving himself a confidence boost for the Australian Open.
The sixth-ranked Tsonga, who reached the final when Roger Federer withdrew with an injury, fell behind 3-1 before finding a rhythm, coming to the net more often and reeling off the final four games to win the first set.
• In Chennai, India, Milos Raonic beat second-seeded Nicolas Almagro 6-4, 6-4 to advance to the final of the Chennai Open.
The fourth-seeded Raonic had 17 aces, including three in the final game, when he saved four break points to reach the third final of his career.
Raonic, the ATP Newcomer of the Year in 2011, will play top-seeded Janko Tipsarevic in the final today. Tipsarevic ended qualifier Go Soeda’s run with a 6-1, 6-4 victory.
• In Brisbane, Australia, Kaia Kanepi won her second WTA title with a dominating performance over Daniela Hantuchova at the Brisbane International.
Kanepi won all but one point in the first four games of the second set and went on to beat Hantuchova 6-2, 6-1.
On the men’s side, Andy Murray is one victory away from his 22nd career singles title with new coach Ivan Lendl in his corner.
Murray beat teenager Bernard Tomic 6-3, 6-2 and will play today against third-seeded Alexandr Dolgopolov, who swept aside second-seeded Gilles Simon 6-3, 6-4.
Americans help Fulham’s cause
In London, Clint Dempsey scored the first hat trick of his career, Brad Guzan saved a penalty and Landon Donovan had an assist on a successful day for Americans in the third round of the FA Cup.
Dempsey made it 12 goals for the season by scoring in the eighth and 61st minutes, then converting a penalty kick in the 81st of Fulham’s 4-0 win over Charlton, which is top of the third tier in English soccer.