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North Carolina spoils college coaching debut for Isiah Thomas

No. 6 Tar Heels beat Florida International, 88-72.

November 10, 2009|Dylan Hernandez | Staff and Wire Reports

Deon Thompson scored 20 points to help No. 6 North Carolina spoil Isiah Thomas' college coaching debut and beat Florida International, 88-72, Monday night in the 2K Sports Classic at Chapel Hill, N.C.

Ed Davis added 13 points for the defending national champion Tar Heels, who had little trouble in their opener with the undersized Golden Panthers. North Carolina shot 56% and led by double digits much of the way.

Thomas was on the sideline despite the fact his 86-year-old mother had open-heart surgery in Chicago earlier Monday.

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Jerome Randle scored 18 points and Patrick Christopher sparked a key second-half run that helped No. 13 California open its season with a 75-70 victory over Murray State in the 2K Sports Classic at Berkeley.

Theo Robertson added 14 points, Christopher had 13 and Jamal Boykin scored 12 for the Golden Bears.

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Evan Turner recorded only the second triple-double ever for Ohio State with 14 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists in the 16th-ranked Buckeyes' 100-60 victory over Alcorn State in the 2K Sports Classic in Columbus, Ohio.

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Jim Boeheim of Syracuse became the eighth Division I coach to reach 800 wins with the milestone coming against Albany, 75-43, in the 2K Sports Classic in New York.

BASEBALL

Matsui files for free agency

World Series most valuable player Hideki Matsui became a free agent along with New York Yankees teammates Johnny Damon, Eric Hinske, Jose Molina and Xavier Nady. Matsui and Damon each said after the Yankees' six-game victory over Philadelphia last week that they would like to stay with New York.

Phillies third baseman Pedro Feliz also filed, as did teammates Matt Stairs, Chan Ho Park and Paul Bako.

Also among the 31 players filing were Minnesota Twins shortstop Orlando Cabrera, New York Mets outfielder Gary Sheffield, Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Mike Cameron and Colorado Rockies pitcher Jose Contreras.

The Boston Red Sox prevented Victor Martinez from filing by exercising a $7.7-million option on the catcher-first baseman. The Red Sox declined options on shortstop Alex Gonzalez and Jason Varitek, and the catcher must decide whether to exercise a $3-million player option.

Rather than exercise its $4-million option on Tim Wakefield, the Red Sox agreed to a $5-million, two-year contract with the 43-year-old knuckleballer.

Tampa Bay exercised its $10-million option on All-Star outfielder Carl Crawford.

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Manager Joe Torre's entire coaching staff will return next season, the Dodgers said.

In addition to hitting coach Don Mattingly, third base coach Larry Bowa, bench coach Bob Schaefer, first base coach Mariano Duncan, pitching coach Rick Honeycutt and bullpen coach Ken Howell, the Dodgers are retaining Manny Mota and hitting instructor Jeff Pentland.

The role of Mark Sweeney, an assistant coach this year, is yet to be determined but a club spokesman said he would be back in some capacity.

Infielders Juan Castro, Mark Loretta and pitcher Will Ohman filed for free agency.

-- Dylan Hernandez

ETC.

Another setback for skater Cohen

Sasha Cohen's comeback has taken another setback. The Olympic silver medalist withdrew from Skate America in Lake Placid, N.Y., saying she is still battling the tendinitis in her right calf that forced her to drop out of last month's Trophee Eric Bompard in France before the event.

As a reigning Olympic medalist, Cohen has a bye into the national championships Jan. 15-23 in Spokane, Wash. Though she said Monday she still hopes to compete there, she now would seem to be a long shot for the Vancouver Games.

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Marat Safin extended his career by at least one more round, saving three match points to beat French qualifier Thierry Ascione, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (3), at the Paris Masters. The 29-year-old Russian, a three-time winner in Paris, plans to retire after this tournament. He will face U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina in the second round.

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Pittsburgh Penguins President David Morehouse is recovering from a heart attack in San Jose, where the team played its last game. Tom McMillan, vice president of communications, said Morehouse, 48, became ill as the team was preparing to fly out of San Jose on Sunday.

McMillan said Morehouse had a "minor procedure" after the heart attack, and is expected to make a full recovery.

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Calgary forward Curtis Glencross was suspended three games by the NHL because of a high hit he put on Chris Drury of the New York Rangers. Glencross caught Drury with a shoulder to the head Saturday.

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