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Pacers post win despite slow start

In St. Leo, Fla., senior guard Kinley Branch came off the bench to lead the USC Aiken men to a 70-59 basketball victory over Rollins in the first day of the St. Leo Tournament on Friday.

Branch had 14 points for the Pacers (5-1), who trailed 37-30 at halftime.

Paul Larsen added 13 and six rebounds.

USC Aiken connected on 54.5 percent of its shots from the field, but hit just 14 of its 23 free-throw attempts.

Mitch Woods had 19 points for the Tars (1-4).

The Pacers take on host St. Leo at 4 p.m. today in the doubleheader event.

• In Atlanta, cold-shooting cost the Georgia Regents women’s basketball team in a 65-59 loss to Clark Atlanta in the Clark Atlanta Classic.

The Jaguars hit just 34.4 percent of their shots from the field and 45.8 from the free-throw line.

Senior Becky Newhouse led Georgia Regents (0-2) with 18 points.

• In Florence, S.C., sixth-seeded USC Aiken beat third-seeded Francis Marion 3-2 in the Peach Belt Conference volleyball tournament to advance to the semifinals today.

The Pacers (18-12) will take on second-seeded Flagler at 2 p.m. today. The finals are Sunday.

In Friday’s victory over Francis Marion, the game scores were 14-25, 25-20, 23-25, 25-18 and 15-8.

For the Pacers, Taylor Stratton had 17 kills and Sheila Walsh recorded 22 assists.

Emry Tsitouris, a 5-foot-11 forward from Monroe, N.C., has signed a national letter of intent to play basketball for USC Aiken women’s basketball team next season.

Tsitouris averaged 19.3 points and 15.3 rebounds last year as a junior at Parkwood High.


Krywulycz makes Web.com finals

In Plantation, Fla., Augusta’s Mitch Krywulycz made a clutch par on his final hole, and will be advancing to the finals of the Web.com Tour Qualifying Tournament.

The former Augusta State golfer shot 2-over-par 73 in the final round of a second stage event at Plantation Preserve Golf Course and Club to finish in a five-way tie for 19th place.

The top 20 players and ties advanced to the finals, which begin Dec. 12 in La Quinta, Calif.

Krywulycz started the final round in tie for 13th place after rounds of 71-66-68. But he failed to make a birdie in the final round after making 14 in the first three rounds, and had two bogeys.
One of those bogeys came on the 17th hole, which meant he needed to par the 18th hole to finish in the top 20.

Taylor Floyd, another former Augusta State golfer, tied for 24th place, one shot out of making the finals. He shot 75-66-70-68.


Cooper is hired to coach the Dream

The Atlanta Dream have hired former NBA star Michael Cooper as head coach, hoping he can lead the team to a WNBA championship after three winless trips to the finals.

Cooper takes over for Fred Williams, who was relieved of his coaching duties after Atlanta was swept by Minnesota in this year’s championship series.


Vonn could return in early December

Lindsey Vonn will skip the World Cup races next week in Beaver Creek, Colo., as she recovers from a downhill training crash, but is not ruling a possible return the following week, her personal publicist, Lewis Kay, said.

– From staff and wire reports

The Sochi Games are less than three months away and it’s unclear whether Vonn’s crash earlier this week will affect her Olympic aspirations.

The four-time overall World Cup champion fell during a training run at Copper Mountain, hurting the same knee she injured in a high-speed crash at the world championships in February. She also suffered minor facial abrasions and a bruised shoulder blade, which are on the mend.


Agudelo’s planned move is blocked

American forward Juan Agudelo has been denied a work permit in Britain, a decision that blocks his planned move in January to Stoke of the Premier League.

Agudelo signed a preliminary agreement in August to join the English club when his contract with the New England Revolution expires. However, Stoke chief executive Tony Scholes told British media this week that the forward’s application for a work permit had been turned down.

Stoke manager Mark Hughes told Sky Sports News on Friday that “we are really disappointed with the decision,” but that Agudelo had not played the required amount of international matches.

The 20-year-old, who was born in Colombia, has played 17 games for the United States national team.

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