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Sports briefs

By Times wires and staff reports
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 20, 2002

U.S. basketball team in world quarterfinals

Lisa Leslie scored 16 and had 10 rebounds as the United States clinched a quarterfinal berth in the Women's World Basketball Championship in Changzhou, China, with a 91-53 victory Thursday over South Korea.

Tamika Catchings and Sheryl Swoopes led with 17 points each. South Korea's Jung Sun-min was the game's top scorer with 18.

The Americans went up 28-15 at the end of the first quarter and continued to widen their lead. The United States allowed the Korean team just two points in the fourth.

The victory was the 15th in a row in world championship play for the United States, the defending champion.

"One thing we have to understand is that the games have been very easy up to this point," U.S. forward DeLisha Milton said. "They won't be as easy from here on out. The rest of the world is catching up to us."

MORE BASKETBALL: The Sonics re-signed free-agent forward Rashard Lewis to a seven-year contract. He is believed to have gotten $60-million in guaranteed salary, with a chance to earn $15-million in performance bonuses. ... The Heat won't receive any salary-cap relief for Alonzo Mourning, even though the All-Star center probably will miss the season with a kidney ailment. ... Bucks assistant Tim Grgurich resigned. ... East Tennessee State coach Ed DeChellis agreed to a five-year contract extension.

TENNIS: Defending champion Jelena Dokic struggled through a 6-2, 7-6 win over Lina Krasnoroutskaya to reach the quarterfinals at the Toyota Princess Cup in Tokyo. ... Sixth-seeded Alexandra Stevenson advanced to the quarterfinals of the Bell Challenge in Quebec, beating Rossana Neffa-de los Rios 6-1, 6-4.

CYCLING: Alessandro Petacchi of Italy won the 12th stage of the Tour of Spain in Burgos, and Spain's Oscar Sevilla kept the overall leader's jersey.

SOCCER: Edward Johnson scored in the sixth minute of overtime to give visiting Dallas a 4-3 victory over D.C., eliminating United from MLS playoff contention. ... Landon Donovan, Brad Friedel and Claudio Reyna are finalists for the player of the year award, given annually to the top player on the U.S. national team. ... Phil Wheddon was hired as goalkeeper coach for the U.S. women's national team. ... Chievo's Brazilian midfielder, Luciano, was suspended indefinitely by the Italian league for playing under a false name, Eriberto, and age the past several years.

ARENA FOOTBALL: Quarterback John Kaleo and wide receivers/linebackers Lawrence Samuels and David Saunders head a list of 14 Storm players granted unrestricted free-agent status. Offensive specialist Calvin Schexnayder, defensive specialist Prentice Taylor, wide receivers/defensive backs Alvin Ashley and David McLeod, fullbacks/linebackers Darion Conner, Basil Proctor and David White, lineman Sai Poulivaati, wide receivers/linebacker Sir Mawn Wilson, and kickers Mike Black and Pete Elezovic also are eligible. Former Albany coach Ron Selesky will join the Storm as assistant head coach and director of player personnel. Selesky, a former Tampa Bay assistant, was named af2 coach of the year after leading the expansion Conquest to a 14-4 record and a playoff spot last season.

BOXING: HBO said the 154-pound title fight between Fernando Vargas and Oscar De La Hoya Saturday was bought by 900,000 customers, making it the second-biggest non-heavyweight pay-per-view event ever. The pay-per-view gross was $45.6-million, meaning Vargas, who lost, likely will make far more than the $6-million he was guaranteed. ... A Senate committee approved Sen. John McCain's bill to create a U.S. Boxing Administration that would clean up the sport and protect the health of fighters.

HORSES: Million Dollar Cam won the Little Brown Jug in Delaware, Ohio, in 1:50 2/5, setting a world record for a half-mile harness track and bettering the Jug record of 1:51 1/5 set by Western Dreamer in 1997. ... True Direction came from far back to win the feature at Belmont Park by 11/4 lengths. ... Private Emblem looks for his fifth victory of the year when he takes on seven challengers in the $500,000 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs Saturday.

COLLEGES: Florida tennis players Eleazar Magallan, Janna Holmia, Troy Hahn, Olivier Levant, Jordan Dolberg, Stefan Tell, Trey Johnson and Matt Behrmann advanced to Round 2 in the Seminole Fall Classic at FSU.

OBITUARIES: A Houston high school football player collapsed and died Wednesday in the dressing room after telling teammates he was blacking out. Blaine Omoruyi, a 17-year-old senior offensive lineman was pronounced dead a the hospital. ... Anthony Hilton, a prep football player in Jacksonville who collapsed on the practice field and later died, had an inflammation of the muscular walls in the heart, the Duval County Medical Examiner's Office said.

ET CETERA: Steve Tucker of Mooresville, Ind., qualified for Saturday's lightweight sculling final at the World Rowing Championships in Seville, Spain, finishing second behind Sam Lynch. ... Track and field's World Cup will be staged in the Los Angeles area in 2006, the first time the United States has hosted the quadrennial event. ... A U.S. request to extradite Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov, accused of fixing Olympic figure skating, arrived in Rome.

-- FRANK PASTOR, TIMES WIRES

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