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Shock wins its third title in six years

October 06, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Katie Smith sat out nearly the entire second quarter because of foul trouble, but the Detroit Shock still defeated the San Antonio Silver Stars, 76-60, in Game 3 on Sunday at Ypsilanti, Mich., to win its third WNBA title in six seasons.

Detroit swept the league's best regular-season team, winning the clincher at Eastern Michigan University's Convocation Center instead of at the Palace of Auburn Hills because of a scheduling conflict.

For Smith, the most valuable player of the finals, the victory meant a league championship less than two months after she and her U.S. teammates won the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics.

"Everybody battles on this team," she said.

Smith left the game with time running out as Coach Bill Laimbeer made wholesale substitutions to the delight of the crowd.

Detroit became the second WNBA team to win a third championship. The Houston Comets won titles in the league's first four seasons, 1997 to 2000.

San Antonio led Sunday by six points several times, but the Shock pulled ahead, 49-45, after three quarters and extended the lead to 55-47 on Taj McWilliams-Franklin's shot off the glass three minutes into the fourth quarter.

Two free throws by McWilliams-Franklin less than a minute later gave the Shock its first double-digit lead. Then Smith sealed it.

She made a long jump shot and then a high-arching three-point basket that put Detroit ahead, 62-47.

The Silver Stars had the league's best regular-season record thanks in part to a 14-0 mark against the East. They powered their way through the conference playoffs, but lost to the Shock by eight points twice on their home court before the series shifted to Michigan.

San Antonio's top scorer Becky Hammon was held in check for much of the series and managed only five points on one-for-10 shooting in Game 3. Center Ann Wauters led the Silver Stars with 19 points, and forward Sophia Young scored 15 points.

It was an especially sweet win for the Shock, which let the 2007 title slip away, losing to the Phoenix Mercury in Game 5 at the Palace.

"Last year was brutal. Last year was discouraging and we lost the championship, and I thought about moving on," Laimbeer said. "At some point, I'll move on, but I don't necessarily think it is right now."

TENNIS

Jankovic wins Porsche Grand Prix

Jelena Jankovic won her second title in two weeks, defeating Nadia Petrova, 6-4, 6-3, in the final of the Porsche Grand Prix at Stuttgart, Germany.

Jankovic had been assured of taking over the top ranking today from Serena Williams regardless of the outcome of the final. Jankovic held the No. 1 spot for one week in August.

"I feel that every day I am getting better and better. I am really working on my game, I want to reach my full potential," Jankovic said.

Ninth-seeded Tomas Berdych won the Japan Open for his first singles title in 16 months, beating Juan Martin Del Potro, 6-1, 6-4, in Tokyo.

Berdych relied on strong serves and solid ground strokes to secure the victory.

"At this level of tennis, it's important to be consistent," said Berdych, who had 11 aces. "I was able to do that all week and am thrilled to win the title."

In the women's event, top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki defeated fifth-seeded Kaia Kanepi, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1, for her third singles title in three months.

Dmitry Tursunov won the Open de Moselle by beating Paul-Henri Mathieu, 7-6 (6), 1-6, 6-4, at Metz, France.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Nebraska's Pelini looks into charge

Nebraska Coach Bo Pelini said he would try to contact Missouri Coach Gary Pinkel to discuss Chase Daniel's comments about the Cornhuskers being a dirty team.

The Tigers quarterback said a Nebraska player spit on him before Saturday night's game, which Missouri won, 52-17. Daniel also told reporters after the game that Nebraska players threw footballs at the Tigers as they were warming up.

Pelini said he didn't hear about Daniel's comments until after he woke up Sunday.

"Usually, you'd know about something like that," Pelini said. "But I'm going to investigate it and find out because that's unacceptable if something like that happened. And I would hope that the opposing coaching staff would let me know if something like that happened."

Miami linebacker Colin McCarthy is out for the season because of a shoulder injury suffered in practice last week, Coach Randy Shannon said.

McCarthy did not play in Miami's 41-39 loss to Florida State on Saturday.

Shannon said defensive end Eric Moncur's status for the remainder of the season is unknown because of a leg injury.

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