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College Basketball

Knights cruise to victory at home

In Central, S.C., Keith Crump scored 16 points to lead Aiken Tech to a 78-54 victory over Southern Wesleyan on Saturday.

Maurice Strong added 15 points for the Knights, who had 11 players score and led 31-20 at the half.

Aiken Tech (6-9) returns to action at 7:30 p.m. Monday, playing host to American Basketball Institute.

• Syracuse has benched senior forward James Southerland indefinitely for an unspecified eligibility matter, the Orange said in a statement Saturday morning.

Southerland ranks second for No. 7 Syracuse in scoring averaging with 13.6 points per game and is fourth in rebounding with a 5.2
average.

“Due to an eligibility matter, senior James Southerland will not participate in competition until further notice,” the news release said.

“Given university policy and federal student privacy laws, we are unable to provide any further details at this time.”

The move is reminiscent of Fab Melo’s suspension last season by Syracuse.

Melo, a 7-foot center, left Syracuse after being suspended for the NCAA tournament for an unspecified eligibility issue.

He had missed three games earlier in the regular season for an academic issue.

NHL

Players give OK to the labor deal

In New York, NHL players have ratified the new labor deal but the lockout still goes on.

The union says Saturday that players voted in favor of the agreement reached with the NHL last week, however the sides still haven’t finished a necessary memorandum of understanding regarding the terms of the deal that would allow training camps to open and for the schedule to be released.

The league’s board of governors unanimously ratified the contract on Wednesday. Training camps are slated to open today, but voluntary physicals and medical exams were permitted to begin on Friday.

The remaining transition rules, such as when players can go on the ice and for how long, were still being finalized.

Brian Burke wishes the Toronto Maple Leafs had won more games – and he’d seen his firing coming.

At a news conference three days after he was let go as president and general manager, Burke said Saturday he was surprised the release came just as the NHL resolved its lockout.

“There’s sometimes when you get fired and you see the vultures circling and you understand it’s coming,” Burke said. “You’re not sure when you’re going to drop dead in the desert, but it’s coming and you can see the vultures.

“This one here was like a two-by-four upside the head to me.”

Burke was fired after four years in Toronto and no playoff appearances.

Tennis

Aussie captures his first ATP title

In Sydney, Bernard Tomic, of Australia, won his first ATP title, beating South Africa’s Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-3 in the Sydney International final.

The 20-year-old Tomic dominated the first set, but the big-serving Anderson won 24 of 26 points on his serve in the second and played more aggressively than his opponent as he tried to get back into the match.

• In Melbourne, Australia, Lleyton Hewitt warmed up for his 17th Australian Open with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Juan Martin del Potro in the final of the Kooyong classic invitational exhibition tournament.

– From staff and wire reports


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