Jordan’s heroics lift Lions on road
In Fort Valley, Ga., Mario Jordan scored 23 points, including four of the team’s final five points, as Paine College edged Fort Valley State 72-70 on Thursday night.
Jordan’s basket with 1:02 left gave Paine a 71-67 lead. Detrius McCall cut it to 71-70 with 52 seconds to play with a 3-pointer, but that was the last time the Wildcats scored.
Paine’s Kedric Taylor, who had 16 points, added the final point with a free throw with seven seconds to go.
The victory moved Paine above the .500 mark (7-6) in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The Lions are 9-12 overall.
• In Fort Valley State, Ga., the Paine College women couldn’t withstand Fort Valley State’s hot shooting in the second half and lost 79-68.
The Wildcats of Fort Valley State, down 35-33 at halftime, outscored Paine 46-33 in the second half by hitting 60 percent of their shots from the field (18 of 30), including 6 of 8 3-pointers.
Ashley Watts led Paine with 30 points on nine of 20 shooting from the field, including six 3-pointers. Watts, who made all six of her free-throw attempts, added six assists and three steals.
Paine drops to 9-13 overall and 7-5 in the conference. Fort Valley State is 11-10 and 7-5.
Celtics handle Lakers at home
In Boston, Paul Pierce scored 24 points and led a third-quarter surge as the Boston Celtics routed the Los Angeles Lakers 116-95 on Thursday night.
Kobe Bryant scored 27 to lead the Lakers, who suffered their worst loss of the season despite the return of Dwight Howard (nine points, nine rebounds before fouling out) after he missed three games with a sore right shoulder.
• Atlanta Hawks guard Lou Williams had reconstructive surgery on his right knee and will begin a long rehabilitation period that could leave his status in question for the start of next season.
Williams tore the anterior cruciate ligament in the knee in the Hawks’ game at Brooklyn on Jan. 18, ending his season.
• Ricky Rubio was added to the player pool for the rising stars game on Feb. 15 in Houston as part of the All-Star weekend festivities.
Ramsey to play in LPGA major
Former Martinez resident Ashlan Ramsey is among nine amateurs to receive an exemption into the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the LPGA Tour’s first major championship of the season.
The tournament runs from April 4-7 at Mission Hills Golf Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
Ramsey, 17, who now lives in Milledgeville, Ga., where she attends John Milledge Academy, was ranked fourth on Golfweek’s Top 10 Junior Girls of 2012 and is a two-time First-Team Rolex Junior All-American (2011, 2012).
She has signed a letter of intent to attend Clemson, which is introducing a women’s golf program starting with the 2013-14 season.
• In Johannesburg, Maximilian Kiefer and Richard Sterne shot 8-under-par 63s on Thursday to share the lead after the first round of the Joburg Open.
Kiefer, who finished second at the Dubai Desert Classic, and Sterne had bogey-free rounds on the West Course at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club.
Bryce Easton had a 7-under-par 65 on the East Course that included a hole-in-one on the par-3 12th. Peter Uihlein was one of eight players tied for fourth at 6-under.
Former Augusta State golfer Jamie Elson opened with 68 on the West Course.