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Sports briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 8, 2001


Arizona student loses sight in eye after riot

An Arizona student trying to escape a riot lost an eye that he said was damaged by a police projectile during violence after the NCAA men's basketball championship.

Jeffrey Knepper told fraternity brothers he was hit in the left eye Monday night. The 19-year-old student lost the vision in his eye Friday.

"The medical people know what hit him because it was still in his eye socket," said Rob Scherillo, president of Delta Tau Delta.

Scherillo said Knepper, a business and public administration student, was not engaged in vandalism or criminal behavior and was simply "trying to get out of the area."

Police spokeswoman Sgt. Judy Altieri confirmed Knepper was not cited for misconduct. Police Chief Richard Miranda said detectives interviewed Knepper on Thursday.

"I feel really bad about this individual that got hurt," Miranda said. "The training that the officers received is designed to minimize injury, but whenever force is used there is a potential risk."

Tucson police fired wooden and rubber bullets among other projectiles while trying to clear the avenue after the loss to Duke.

BC needs overtime to take hockey title

Boston College finally got it right. And of course, it wasn't easy.

Krys Kolanos scored at 4:43 of overtime as the Eagles beat defending champion North Dakota 3-2 on Saturday night for Boston College's second NCAA hockey title and first in 52 years. It was BC's first title in any sport since the Eagles won their first hockey championship in 1949.

The victory at Albany, N.Y., erased a mountain of frustration that had built over the past three years for the Eagles (33-8-2), who got their first win in four straight trips to the Frozen Four. After blowing a two-goal lead in the last five minutes of regulation, it looked like another heartbreaker in the making.

"Our first reaction was -- I can't believe this is happening again," said Mike Lephart, whose goal midway through the second period had given BC its two-goal lead. "But we regrouped."

North Dakota (29-8-9) was seeking to become the first repeat champion since Boston University in 1971-72. Instead, the Fighting Sioux's five-game winning streak in title games ended.

MORE HOCKEY: Cammi Granato and Katie King each scored two goals as the United States beat Russia 6-1 to advance to the final of the IIHF Women's World Championships at Minneapolis. The United States will play Canada, an 8-0 winner over Finland, today.

NFL: Saints running back Ricky Williams has contacted the Texas Rangers about returning to baseball. A representative of the player made a call to general manager Doug Melvin during the last week of spring training, Rangers spokesman John Blake said Friday. Williams has not played baseball since spending 12 games with Batavia of the Class A New York-Penn League in 1998. Tommy Maddox passed for 164 yards and a touchdown as host Los Angeles beat San Francisco 24-0 to wrap up the XFL's Western Division title. The Xtreme (7-3) will open the playoffs next week at home against the second-place team in the Eastern Division. San Francisco (5-5) will play at Eastern Division champion Orlando. ... Ronald Sams, an offensive lineman with the Packers and the Vikings in the 1980s, was sentenced to six months' home detention for failing to make child support payments. He also was sentenced to five years' probation and ordered to pay more than $113,000 in child support. He and his former wife, Laura Rae Sams, have four children -- ages 9, 10, 12 and 14.

TENNIS: The Netherlands made another strong showing in the Davis Cup, defeating Germany in doubles to reach the semifinals for the first time. After ousting defending champion Spain in the opening round, the Dutch were joined in the semifinals by Sweden, which clinched its series with Russia. The other two semifinalists will be determined today when Brazil-Australia and Switzerland-France complete their quarterfinals with two singles. Top-seeded Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario will meet No. 3 seed and Spanish compatriot Magui Serna in today's final of the Porto (Portugal) Open after the doubles partners won their semifinal matches. Monica Seles (her mother is sick), Jennifer Capriati (injured foot) and Anna Kournikova (injured foot) withdrew from the Amelia Island tournament, which starts Monday. Serena Williams defeated sister Venus 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 in an exhibition at the J.P. Morgan Chase Tennis Challenge in Delray Beach. SOCCER: Celtic won the Scottish league championship with five games left in the season, the fastest title clinching in 26 years. Celtic has won two of the last four Scottish Premier League titles.

BOXING: Frankie Toledo (40-5-1, 15 knockouts) earned a 12-round decision late Friday at Las Vegas, taking the IBF featherweight title from Mbulo Botile.

TRACK AND FIELD: Maurice Greene anchored the HSI team's winning invitational 400-meter relay team at the Texas Relays in Austin. Greene, Jon Drummond, Bernard Williams and Curtis Johnson finished in 37.88 seconds, the fastest time in the world this year and 0.48 seconds off the world mark of 37.40 set by the U.S. Olympic team in 1992. ... Olympian Lawrence Johnson broke the Gatorade Classic pole vault record, clearing 19 feet, 4 1/4 inches at Knoxville, Tenn. He broke the mark of 18-10 1/4 he set last year.

COLLEGES: FSU (38-6) needed a triple play in the bottom of the eighth inning to beat Florida Atlantic 5-4 in softball at the Tar Heel Invitational in Chapel Hill, N.C. ... Florida survived a late Kentucky run for a 10-9 baseball win at Gainesville. The Gators are 24-13, 8-6 Southeastern Conference; Kentucky is 14-19, 3-11. ... UF sophomore Sarah Close of Clearwater and freshman Nicole Bolt qualified for the National Indoor Diving Championships in the 1- and 3-meter springboard events. Close also will compete in platform competition. ... Cincinnati scored six runs with two outs in the eighth inning to pull away from host South Florida for an 11-5 victory at Florida Power Park. The teams play at 1 p.m. today at Florida Power Park. ... Tampa (33-4, 7-1 Sunshine State) swept Eckerd 11-1 and 7-6. Sam Figueroa and Kris Sutton picked up the victories. Eckerd is 19-23, 3-9. ... The USF women's golf team was in sixth place, 30 strokes behind leader and host LSU at the LSU/Cleveland Golf Classic in Baton Rouge, La. ... The UF men's golf team dropped to a tie for seventh place after two rounds at the U.S. Collegiate Championships in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. ... Ohio State, spurred on by a boisterous crowd at Columbus, stunned top-ranked Oklahoma in the NCAA men's gymnastics final late Friday. Ohio State had 218.125 points, followed by the Sooners with 217.775. ... Florida Tech's varsity eight edged Barry in the final event to capture the fifth annual SSC women's rowing championship at Tampa. Florida Tech scored 75 points, followed by Barry, the two-time defending conference champion, at 68, Tampa (30) and Rollins (21). ... Four Gators provisionally qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships during the Yellow Jacket Invitational in Atlanta: Stephen Jones (110-meter hurdles), Geno White (400 meters), Matt Vincent (high jump) and Maurice Lewis (long jump). At Austin, Texas, UM's Kareen Clarke and Antonnikka Owens provisionally qualified in the triple jump. ... UCF defeated host Samford 7-5 and 6-1 in a Trans America Athletic Conference baseball doubleheader. ... The UM men's tennis team improved to 16-3 with a 5-2 win over visiting Alabama-Birmingham. ... UM was in 15th place at the Bryan National Collegiate Women's Golf Tournament in Browns Summit, N.C. ... Barry's softball team swept a doubleheader against visiting Eckerd 2-0, 3-2. The Buccaneers are 23-14, 10-6 SSC; the Tritons are 11-27, 0-15. ... Lynn defeated Tampa 2-1 in 11 innings in the first game of a softball doubleheader; Tampa won the second game 4-0.

STEEPLECHASE: Red Marauder won the British Grand National in driving rain, with only two of the 40 starters finishing without losing their jockeys. Richard Guest rode the 33-1 shot on a muddy 41/2-mile course, followed by Smarty, Blowing Wing and Papillon. ETC.: Sweden's Team Surprise won its second world title in synchronized ice skating at Helsinki, Finland. Finland's Rockettes were second, Canada's Black Ice team third. The United States finished fifth. ... Colleen Jones and her Canadian rink beat Anette Norberg's Swedish foursome 5-2 to capture the Curling World Championship at Lausanne, Switzerland.

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