USC Aiken falls to Ole Miss in OT
In Oxford, Miss., USC Aiken took Mississippi into overtime on Friday night in an exhibition basketball game before falling 75-70.
The NCAA Division II Pacers, who made it the Elite Eight last season for the first time, threw a scare into the Southeastern Conference Rebels.
USC Aiken outscored Ole Miss 32-27 in the second half to force the overtime period.
DeVontae Wright had 14 points and seven rebounds for the Pacers, who were making their 2013-14 debut.
Paul Larsen and Shane Porchea came off the bench to score 13 and 12 points, respectively. Larsen also had seven rebounds.
Derrick Millinghaus led the Rebels with 15 points.
Earlier on Friday, the Pacers were picked to win the Peach Belt Conference in the preseason coaches’ poll.
Georgia Regents was picked to finish second, along with Montevallo.
USC Aiken received 11 of a possible 13 first-place votes to finish with 167 total points. The Jaguars and Montevallo had 150 each.
North Georgia was fourth and UNC Pembroke fifth, followed by Georgia Southwestern, Francis Marion, Columbus State, Lander, Young Harris, Armstrong, Flagler, Clayton State and Georgia College & State.
• In Auburn, Ala., KT Harrell had 25 points and Chris Denson added 24 as Auburn beat Paine College 101-64 in an exhibition game on Friday night.
Sean Morgan had 18 points to lead the Lions. Darius Smith added 14 points.
Djokovic to meet Federer in semis
In Paris, Novak Djokovic won his 15th consecutive match and Roger Federer avenged last week’s loss to Juan Martin del Potro, setting up a semifinal match between the two at the Paris Masters.
Djokovic beat Stanislas Wawrinka 6-1, 6-4, while Federer defeated Del Potro 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.
Top-seeded Rafael Nadal also moved into the semifinals with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Richard Gasquet and will play either defending champion David Ferrer or Tomas Berdych.
• In Sofia, Bulgaria, Ana Ivanovic wasted a 5-2 lead in the third set to lose 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (1) to Elena Vesnina in their last group match at the season-ending Tournament of Champions, but still advanced to the semifinals at the expense of her opponent.
Samantha Stosur and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova also secured spots in the semis. They join Simona Halep, who has already qualified.
Vesnina’s victory meant both she and Ivanovic finished round-robin play with 2-1 records, but Ivanovic advanced because of more sets won.
• In Cagliari, Sardinia, seventh-ranked Roberta Vinci will take on Alexandra Panova and Sara Errani will face 18-year-old Irina Khromacheva today to open the Fed Cup final between Italy and Russia.
Russia has won the tournament four times in the past 10 years. But the team is missing top players, with most competing in the season-ending Tournament of Champions.
Argentine team to include Messi
Lionel Messi has been included in a strong Argentina roster for exhibition games against Ecuador and Bosnia-Herzegovina in the United States.
Already qualified for next year’s World Cup, Argentina announced a 22-man group Friday that includes its top four forwards: Messi, Angel Di Maria, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain.