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Sports briefs

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 24, 2002

Americans advance to semifinals

Lisa Leslie had 19 points and six rebounds, and Sheryl Swoopes scored 17 to lead the defending champion United States past Spain 94-55 Monday in the Women's World Basketball Championship quarterfinals in Nanjing, China.

Shannon Johnson scored 20 as the U.S. team advanced to face Australia in today's semifinal.

NBA: The Magic signed free-agent guards Omar Cook and Corey Benjamin and forward-center Obinna Ekezie. Terms were not disclosed. ... Celtics forward Paul Pierce testified at the trial of three men accused of stabbing him two years ago. Pierce did not describe the attack before court adjourned. ... Restricted free agent Michael Olowokandi has accepted the one-year qualifying offer of about $6.1-million extended by the Clippers nearly three months ago. ... The Raptors hired Canadian national team coach Jay Triano and Dick Helm as assistants.

COLLEGES: D.J. Strawberry, the son of former major-league baseball player Darryl Strawberry, has made an oral commitment to play basketball at Maryland. ... Texas forward Chris Wright will miss the 2002-03 basketball season after tearing a ligament in his left knee. ... Guard Michelle Greco, who sat out most of last season because of mild concussions, was cleared by UCLA's medical staff to return to playing basketball. ... Florida State freshman forward Leah Gallegos, who had three goals and an assist, was named the ACC women's soccer player of the week. ... Saint Leo junior defender Dane Fernandez of Lutz was named the Sunshine State Conference men's soccer defensive player of the week. ... The USF men's golf team is in eighth place after two rounds at the Carolina First Intercollegiate in Florence, S.C. The Bulls' Dan Grassman is tied for ninth (143).

OLYMPICS: Switzerland will withdraw its bid to host the 2010 Winter Games after organizers lost a referendum seeking financial help, according to sports minister Samuel Schmid. ... China will expel any athlete caught taking performance enhancing drugs during the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing. ... Fredrick Eugene Greghun, the man who said an airplane was going to crash into Salt Lake City during the 2002 Winter Games, was sentenced to three years of probation for the bogus threat. ... Don Porter, president of the International Softball Federation, met with IOC president Jacques Rogge in Lausanne, Switzerland, to try to keep the sport from being dropped starting in 2008.

HORSES: The U.S. Reining team won gold medals in both team and individual competitions at the World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain. In individual reining, Americans Shawn Flarida and Tom McCutcheon won the gold and silver respectively. The U.S. Four-in-Hand Driving team received the silver medal. Peter Wylde of the U.S. took the bronze in individual show jumping.

FOOTBALL: A day after players from the city's CFL team saved a woman who jumped from a burning apartment building, police in Edmonton, Alberta, charged Ronald James Alexander with second-degree murder in the death of Gary Damstrom. Police said the fire was caused by an explosive device.

SOCCER: Computer errors contributed to ticketing problems at the World Cup, the governing body said. ... France was awarded the 2003 Confederations Cup, beating out the United States, Australia and South Africa. ... Julio Perez, who helped Uruguay win the 1950 World Cup, died from an unspecified illness, Uruguay's federation said. He was 76.

TENNIS: Bohdan Ulihrach beat fourth-seeded Fernando Vicente 6-1, 6-2 in the first round of the Sicilian International in Palermo. ... Daniela Hantuchova and Anastasia Myskina won first-round matches at the Sparkassen Cup at Leipzig, Germany.

GOLF: Three-time champion Ellen Port and defending champion Laura Shanahan-Rowe were among first-round winners at the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur at Eugene Country Club in Oregon.

TELEVISION: ESPN will start a 24-hour Spanish-language sports channel next year.

BOXING: Hana Yasmeen Ali, the daughter of Muhammad Ali, agreed to enter a theft diversion program to avoid facing shoplifting charges in Perrysburg, Ohio.

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