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College Basketball

USC Aiken plans to honor military

The USC Aiken basketball program will hold a Military Appreciation Day on Jan. 4 at the convocation center.

The Pacers will take on Columbus State in a Peach Belt Conference doubleheader, with the women’s game starting at 5:30 p.m. and the men’s contest slated for 7:30.

All retired and active-duty military personnel will receive free admission with a military ID or by wearing their uniform.

Tennis

Stephens, Isner earn win for US

In Brisbane, Australia, Sloane Stephens and John Isner won their singles matches to give the United States a winning start at the Hopman Cup on Monday and virtually end Spain’s chances in the international mixed team competition.

Stephens, who beat Serena Williams en route to the 2013 Australian Open semifinals, won nine of the last 10 games in a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Anabel Medina Garrigues before Isner, a former standout at Georgia, defeated Daniel Munoz-de La Nava 6-3, 6-4 to clinch winning a 2-0 lead ahead of the mixed doubles.

• In Brisbane, Australia, Maria Sharapova beat 74th-ranked Caroline Garcia 6-3, 6-0 in her competitive return from an injury layoff to advance to the second round of the Brisbane International.

• In Beijing, second-seeded Sara Errani and third-seeded Klara Zakopalova advanced to the second round of the Shenzhen Open on Monday.

Errani beat Chinese wildcard Zheng Saisai 6-0, 3-6, 7-6 (3), and Zakopalova defeated 17-year-old Donna Vekic 6-3, 7-5.

• In Doha, Qatar, fourth-seeded Tomas Berdych lost his first match of the season Monday, falling to Ivo Karlovic 7-6 (6), 7-6 (4) at the Qatar Open.

Top-seeded Rafael Nadal will play his opening singles match today against Lukas Rosol, while No. 3 Andy Murray faces Qatari wild-card entry Mousa Shanan Zayed.

• In Chennai, India, fifth-seeded Vasek Pospisil beat wild-card entry Kyle Edmund 6-3, 7-5 on Monday to reach the second round of the Chennai Open.

The 23-year-old Pospisil saved all four break points he faced and converted two of the ones he created to wrap up the win in 81 minutes.

Major League Baseball

Rangers, Pirates swap prospects

The Rangers acquired right-hander Miles Mikolas from Pittsburgh in exchange for first baseman Chris McGuinness.

The deal Monday came three days after Texas designated McGuinness for assignment to clear room on its roster after free-agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo signed a $130 million, seven-year deal.

Mikolas spent most of 2013 at Triple-A Tucson, going 4-2 with 26 saves and a 3.25 ERA in 54 games. He was designated for assignment by the Padres in November, then traded to Pittsburgh.

McGuiness hit .176 with one RBI in 10 games for Texas last season. He hit .246 with 11 home runs, and 63 RBI in 104 games at Triple-A Round Rock.

Boxing

Burns schedules fight for March

Scottish boxer Ricky Burns will make a mandatory defense of his WBO lightweight title against American challenger Terence Crawford in Glasgow on March 1.

Burns has not fought since his draw against Raymundo Beltran in September, when he suffered a broken jaw in the second round.

Crawford, who has never fought outside the U.S., is unbeaten in 22 professional bouts with 16 knockouts.

– From staff and wire reports


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