No. 10 Nevada stumbles vs. Utah St.

first_imgChaz Spicer hit two free throws with 2.5 seconds left and Utah State took advantage of an intentional foul call to hold off No. 10 Nevada 79-77 in the semifinals of the Western Athletic Conference tournament Friday night in Las Cruses, N.M. Utah State (23-10) beat Nevada for the second time in a week to move into today’s championship game against the winner of the New Mexico State-Boise State semifinal late Friday. Nevada (28-4) is assured of its fourth straight NCAA tournament bid, but the loss could hurt the Wolf Pack’s seeding. Spicer, whose two free throws with 3 seconds left in overtime beat Nevada 79-77 last week in Logan, did it again. He was fouled by Nevada’s Matt LaGrone on a drive to the basket in which it looked like he might have traveled. With the Nevada crowd yelling for a travel call, Spicer calmly hit both free throws. Nothing new for Spicer, who went 6-for-6 at the line in the game, has hit 30 of his last 32 free throws and has won four games for the Utah State guard Jaycee Carroll led the Aggies with 24 points. BIG TEN TOURNAMENT No. 1 Ohio State 72, Michigan 62 center_img Greg Oden scored 22 points – 15 in the second half – and the Buckeyes (28-3) won their 15th in a row in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament in Chicago. The Buckeyes advance to a semifinal today against Purdue, which beat Iowa 74-55. The 7-foot Oden was 8-for-12 from the field and 6-for-10 from the free throw line to go with eight rebounds and four blocks. It was Ohio State’s third win in as many tries this season against Michigan (21-12), which is hoping to make the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1998. No. 3 Wisconsin 70, Michigan State 57 Alando Tucker, held to three free throws in the opening half, made four 3-pointers in the second half to lift the Badgers (28-4) in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals. Tucker, the league’s player of the year, finished with 21 points – his 39th straight game in double figures – and the Badgers advanced to a semifinal today against Indiana or Illinois. BIG 12 TOURNAMENT No. 2 Kansas 64, Oklahoma 47 Brandon Rush scored 16 points and ignited the Jayhawks (28-4) after an uninspired first half in the quarterfinals in Oklahoma City. Rush started Kansas’ 18-2 second-half run with a reverse layup, and added a 3-pointer and a pair of free throws. The Jayhawks advance to a semifinal today against Kansas State, which beat Texas Tech 66-45. Oklahoma State 57, No. 7 Texas A&M 56 Mario Boggan scored from the right block with 11.5 seconds left to give the Cowboys (21-11) a win in the Big 12 quarterfinals. No. 15 Texas 74, Baylor 69 Kevin Durant rebounded from a dismal first half to score 29 points and grab 13 rebounds for the Longhorns (23-8), who advanced to the Big 12 Conference semifinals. BIG EAST TOURNAMENT No. 9 Georgetown 84, No. 20 Notre Dame 82 Jeff Green had a career-high 30 points, including the winning basket with 13 seconds left, and 12 rebounds to lead the Hoyas (25-6) in the semifinals of the Big East tournament in New York. DaJuan Summers added 18 points and Patrick Ewing Jr. tied his career high of 15 as the Hoyas face Pittsburgh in today’s final. No. 13 Pittsburgh 65, No. 12 Louisville 59 Antonio Graves scored 10 of his 23 points during a 20-2 run for the Panthers (27-6) against the Cardinals (23-9) in the Big East semifinals. SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT No. 6 Florida 74, Georgia 57 The Gators (27-5) scored the first 17 points of the game, built a 25-point lead before halftime and romped in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament in Atlanta. CONFERENCE USA TOURNAMENT No. 5 Memphis 71, Tulane 49 Chris Douglas-Roberts scored 17 points and the Tigers (29-3) extended the nation’s longest winning streak to 21 straight by winning in the tournament semifinals on their home court. ATLANTIC COAST TOURNAMENT No. 8 North Carolina 73, Florida State 58 Wayne Ellington scored 18 points and Ty Lawson had 14 to lead the Tar Heels (26-6) in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Tampa, Fla. Tyler Hansbrough, whose nose was broken in North Carolina’s victory over Duke last Sunday, wore a protective mask and scored six points on 3-for-7 shooting before fouling out late in the game. MOUNTAIN WEST TOURNAMENT No. 23 BYU 96, Wyoming 84 Trent Plaisted tied his career high with 27 points as the Cougars (25-7) advanced to the Mountain West final for the first time since 2001. BYU will face No. 25 UNLV, an 88-72 winner over Colorado State late Friday. – From News Services 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Crews gain on fire as winds let up

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m. Despite Wednesday’s progress, none of the major blazes in San Diego County was more than 40 percent contained, and those fires threatened more than 8,500 houses. The top priority was a fire in San Bernardino County that threatened 6,000 homes and continued to rage out of control. Overall, 28,000 homes remained threatened across the region, the state Office of Emergency Services said Wednesday night. As the fire threat diminished during the day, authorities began letting tens of thousands of people go home. “The vast majority of the city is now open for people to return,” San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders told a news conference late Wednesday afternoon. Some who did saw hulking, blackened piles of concrete and twisted metal where their homes once stood. “I’m just sick to my stomach,” said Patty Thompson, 50, as she surveyed the remnants of a home that once offered a view of the valley and the mountains in the distance. The improving weather did allow for a greater aerial assault on the most destructive blazes. Within hours of returning to the sky, helicopters and air tankers dropped more than 30 loads of water on two fires that have burned hundreds of homes and about 12,000 acres in the San Bernardino Mountains, near Lake Arrowhead. “They’re taking it down considerably,” said Dennis Bouslaugh of the U.S. Forest Service. Already, about 1,500 homes have been destroyed since the fires started late Saturday, triggering the largest evacuation in California history. The flames have burned about 717 square miles, across five counties, from Ventura in the north all the way into Mexico. Property damage has reached at least $1 billion in San Diego County alone. President Bush, who signed a major disaster declaration for California, was scheduled to visit the region Thursday. Federal agents joined the search for evidence in the brush-covered hills where an arsonist may have ignited one of the wildfires devastating Southern California. Elsewhere, a man suspected of starting a small fire was arrested and another man was shot to death by police after he fled officers who approached to see if he might be trying to set a fire. The number of victims may increase as authorities return to neighborhoods where homes turned to piles of ash, but displaced homeowners and authorities were relieved that early reports were so low. The San Diego County medical examiner officially listed six deaths connected to the blazes, but he included five who died during the evacuation who were not directly killed by the fire. In 2003, all but a handful of the 22 dead succumbed to flames. Terry Dooley, who was ordered out of his home with his wife and three sons Monday, said authorities learned important lessons from Hurricane Katrina and the 2003 California fires that wiped out 3,640 homes and blackened 750,000 acres over two weeks. Unlike many of the poor neighborhoods flooded by Hurricane Katrina, California’s hardest-hit areas were filled with upscale homes, with easy access to wide streets. “They learned how to get things done more quickly,” Dooley said as he waited at a roadblock to return home to San Diego’s Rancho Bernardo area. In 2003, only 50,000 people were evacuated in San Diego County. This week, more than 500,000 people were ordered to evacuate in San Diego County alone. In addition to the reverse-911 system, authorities also shut down schools, halted mail delivery and urged people to stay home if they were not in danger. On Wednesday, about two dozen people gathered at a police barricade in Rancho Bernardo, which was one of the hardest-hit areas, hoping to retrieve medications and belongings – or simply to see whether their homes were intact. What awaited was an apocalyptic scene: House after house, 29 on one street alone, reduced to piles of blackened concrete with only chimneys left standing, charred hulks of metal that once were cars sitting in driveways. At one point, police officers lifted a barricade only to turn residents away several hundred yards down the road at a second barricade. Some of the homeowners cursed at the officers. “You let us in just to send us back out,” one angry man yelled from his car. Six of San Diego County’s 42 evacuation centers were full, but there was plenty of space at Qualcomm Stadium, home to the NFL’s Chargers. People rested on cots that lined covered walkways circling the bleachers and quietly watched television. There were no bathroom lines. Some displaced homeowners complained that the evacuations went too far. Ron Morris, 68, saw smoke but no flames Sunday night when he was ordered to leave a motor home park in Ramona, northeast of San Diego. He drove his home to Qualcomm Stadium’s parking lot. “It’s good that everyone got out, but they did it too early in my opinion,” he said. Authorities made no apologies. “All but the most unlucky people can see the fire coming,” Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Wednesday in an interview. “There’s no reason you should have loss of life, certainly for civilians.” The only confirmed death from the flames was Thomas Varshock, 52, of Tecate, a town this side of the U.S.-Mexico border southeast of San Diego, the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office said. Authorities had told him to evacuate, but he didn’t leave and authorities left to take care of other evacuations, the medical examiner’s office said. Firefighters returned to save two people trapped at his home Sunday but were unable to rescue Varshock, said Rick Hutchinson, a deputy incident commander for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Four firefighters were overcome by flames. One was in critical condition Wednesday; another was in serious condition. Another 25 to 30 homeowners ignored orders Tuesday to leave unincorporated Deerhorn Valley southeast of San Diego, forcing firefighters to return to save them, Hutchinson said. Homeowners who stayed behind knew firefighters were overwhelmed and figured their lives were safe, said Al Guerin, a San Diego County assistant sheriff. “They say, ‘Yeah, OK,’” he said, “and then they call you later and say ‘Help! Help! Help!’”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SAN DIEGO — A merciful easing of the winds fueling Southern California’s sprawling wildfires finally offered a chance to fight back against some blazes Wednesday, and weary residents could take solace in an overriding sign of hope: Just one person has died from the flames. That contrasts to 22 dead from a fire of similar magnitude four years ago, and while the final toll has yet to be tallied from this week’s fires, officials were crediting an automated, reverse 911 calling system that prompted the orderly evacuation of more than half a million people. That was 10 times the number evacuated four years ago. “On the call, it was like, ‘This area, go! This area, go!’” said Steve Levstik, who got his call 15 minutes before flames swept through his upscale, densely populated Rancho Bernardo neighborhood. “In 2003 there was less guidance. It was like, ‘Just pay attention to the news and if it looks bad, leave.’” On Wednesday, winds dropped to 21 mph to 36 mph – still strong, but nothing like the gusts of up to 100 mph that raked fire zones earlier in the week. That helped firefighters fully contain the three major blazes in Los Angeles County by nightfall.last_img read more