#SportsReport: Russian Athletes Allowed To Compete Without National Flag Or Anthem

Dec 6, 2017

IOC-RUSSIAN-DOPING

The International Olympic Committee says Russians will be allowed to compete at the upcoming Olympics in South Korea as neutral athletes, despite orchestrated doping at the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia.

The IOC today ruled that some Russians will be invited to compete under the designation "Olympic Athlete from Russia," but without their national flag or anthem.

Russia could still refuse the offer and boycott the games.

EMPIRE STATE WINTER GAMES

LAKE PLACID, N.Y— The Empire State Winter Games are expanding. A ski and snowboard rail jam with $8,000 in prize money, a winter bike competition and speed tubing for spectators are being added for the 38th edition of the games, which will be staged from Feb. 1-4. The competition is projected to draw a record-breaking 2,500 athletes and have an economic impact of $3.5 million.

T25-ST.FRANCIS-DUKE

Syracuse defeated UConn 72 to 63.

Niagara beat University of New Hampshire 78 to 70.

Vermont lost to Marquette 91 to 81.

And on the women’s side:

Dartmouth defeated University of New Hampshire 57 to 49.

Freshman Marvin Bagley III had 21 points and 11 rebounds, and No. 1 Duke scored 71 points in the first half of its 124-67 rout of St. Francis (Pa.) on Tuesday night.

Marques Bolden had 17 points and 10 rebounds, Wendell Carter Jr. had 15 points and Gary Trent Jr. and Grayson Allen both finished with 14 points for the Blue Devils (11-0).

They dominated every line in the box score — setting a school record with 34 assists, shooting 60 percent and building a 61-25 rebounding advantage over a St. Francis team that has only one player taller than 6-foot-9.

The Blue Devils needed just over 10 minutes to build a 30-point lead and hit the 100-point mark on Bagley's layup with 8 1/2 minutes remaining.

In other Top 25 action Tuesday evening:

—After blowing out its last six opponents, including highly regarded North Carolina and Notre Dame, No. 3 Michigan State was due for one of those off nights.It almost cost them against Rutgers. Miles Bridges scored 21 points and the Spartans (8-1, 2-0 Big Ten) overcame their worst offensive performance of the season with a 62-52 victory over the surprising Scarlet Knights (6-3, 0-2).

— Mikal Bridges had his coming out performance as one of top players in the nation, scoring a career-high 28 points to lead No. 4 Villanova to an 88-72 victory over No. 12 Gonzaga tonight in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden.

—Landry Shamet had 21 points and eight assists, Shaquille Morris added 20 points and No. 6 Wichita State rallied to beat scrappy, hot-shooting South Dakota State 95-85. Conner Frankamp added 16 points, setting the school record by hitting a 3 in his 30th straight game, and the Shockers (7-1) slowly dug out of a 13-point second-half hole.

— Deandre Ayton had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Arizona held on to beat No. 7 Texas A&M 67-64. Arizona (6-3) picked up a big win against UNLV on Saturday and notched an even bigger one in front of a pro-Wildcats crowd that made Talking Stick Arena feel like McKale Center west.

—Tayler Persons hit 3-pointer from the left wing with 1.7 seconds remaining and Ball State shocked No. 9 Notre Dame 80-77 at Purcell Pavilion in South Bend, Indiana. Persons scored 24 points, Tahjai Teague added 13 and Sean Sellers had 11 as Ball State knocked off a nationally ranked opponent for the first time since downing No. 4 UCLA 91-73 more than 16 years ago.

—Freshman Lonnie Walker IV scored a season-high 26 points and No. 10 Miami surged in the second half to beat Boston University 69-54. Walker, making his first career start, shot 9 for 15, went 5 for 7 from 3-point range and added seven rebounds in a season-high 28 minutes.

— Glynn Watson Jr. scored 20 of his 29 points in the second half and Nebraska opened up a 16-point lead early in the second half en route to a 76-68 win over No. 14 Minnesota. Watson scored seven straight points to open the second half, and Duby Okeke's dunk put Nebraska (7-3, 1-1 Big Ten) up 48-32 with 15:35 left.

—Jevon Carter had 23 points and 10 rebounds, Lamont West scored 22 points and No. 18 West Virginia beat No. 15 Virginia 68-61, sending the Cavaliers to their first loss. Daxter Miles Jr. added 12 points for the Mountaineers (8-1).

— Kenrich Williams had 27 points to lead five TCU players in double figures, and got tackled after a steal and breakaway toward the basket as the 20th-ranked Horned Frogs extended the nation's longest winning streak to 14 games with a 94-83 victory over SMU.

—Keenan Evans scored 25 of his career-high 32 points in the second half and overtime and Texas Tech rallied from 11 points down in the second half to beat No. 22 Nevada 82-76. Caleb Martin scored a season-high 28 points and twin brother Cody Martin matched his best of the season with 22 in the Wolf Pack's first game as a ranked team since 2007.

NHL-ISLANDERS-LIGHTNING

Yanni Gourde scored two of Tampa Bay's three goals late in the second period and the Lightning beat the New York Islanders 6-2.

After the Islanders dominated the first 16 minutes of the second, Gourde had a power-play rebound goal at 16:22 and then gave Tampa Bay a 4-2 lead 1:34 later on another rebound effort. The Lightning's top-ranked power play extended the advantage to three when Vladislav Namestnikov scored 50 seconds after Gourde's second of the game.

Tampa Bay also got goals from Brayden Point, Andrej Sustr and Chris Kunitz, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 29 saves. The Atlantic Division leaders are 11-2-1 at home.

In other NHL action:

— Stefan Noesen, Taylor Hall and Jesper Bratt each had a goal and an assist, and Cory Schneider stopped 41 shots to lift the New Jersey Devils over the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-1. Travis Zajac also scored and rookie Nico Hischier had two assists for the Devils, one of several teams tussling with Columbus for first place in the rugged Metropolitan Division with a third of the season in the books. Schneider was outstanding in earning his 100th win with New Jersey during his fifth season with the franchise.

—Ondrej Pavelec stopped 41 shots while filling in for late scratch Henrik Lundqvist to help the New York Rangers to a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Boo Nieves, Jesper Fast, Mats Zuccarello and Pavel Buchnevich scored in support of Pavelec, who drew the spot start because Lundqvist had the flu. Buchnevich provided the game-winner when his centering pass deflected off Pittsburgh's Kris Letang and by Tristan Jarry 11:12 into the third period.

—Justin Abdelkader and Gustav Nyquist scored in a dominant first period for Detroit, and the Red Wings snapped a seven-game slide with a 5-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. Fresh off a 10-1 loss at Montreal on Saturday, the Red Wings outshot Winnipeg 16-3 in the opening period and took a 2-0 lead. They put the game away with three more goals in the third.

— Brayden Schenn scored three goals as the St. Louis Blues ended a three-game winless streak with a 4-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. Scottie Upshall also scored for St. Louis, which outshot the Canadiens 30-25 and had the edge in play for most of the game.

— Juuse Saros made a career-high 43 saves and his Nashville teammates scored four times in the second period as the Predators cooled off the Dallas Stars 5-2. Nashville has won three in a row and is 8-1-1 in its last 10 games. The Stars had won five straight and seven of eight.

— Jack Eichel had a goal and two assists, Evander Kane broke a third-period tie and the Buffalo Sabres beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-2. Benoit Pouliot and John McCabe each had a goal and an assist for Buffalo. Robin Lehner stopped 35 shots to help the Sabres end a four-game skid.

— Alex Tuch scored the game-winning goal in the first shootout at Vegas, and Malcolm Subban stopped all three attempts he faced during the tiebreaker as the Golden Knights topped the Anaheim Ducks 4-3. The expansion Golden Knights improved to 6-1 in overtime games, including 5-0 at home.

— Marian Gaborik scored two third-period goals to lead the Los Angeles Kings past the Minnesota Wild 5-2 for their sixth straight victory. His second goal gave Gaborik 400 for his career. It came off an assist from Anze Kopitar, the 500th of his career. Jake Muzzin, Adrian Kempe and Kopitar also scored for Los Angeles. Jonathan Quick made 19 saves.

— Jacob Markstrom made 30 saves for his first NHL shutout and the Vancouver Canucks blanked the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0. Derrick Pouliot had a goal and two assists. Nikolay Goldobin and Thomas Vanek also scored for the Canucks (14-10-4), who have won three straight.

NBA-JAZZ-THUNDER

Russell Westbrook scored 34 points in his seventh triple-double of the season, and the Oklahoma City Thunder rallied from 17 points down in the second half to defeat the Utah Jazz 100-94.

Westbrook finished with 14 assists and 13 rebounds. Paul George scored 21 points, Steven Adams had 20 points and nine rebounds and Carmelo Anthony added 14 points and eight rebounds for the Thunder, who won their third straight.

Rookie Donovan Mitchell scored 31 points and Joe Ingles added 16 for the Jazz, who had won six straight and scored at least 106 points in each game.

In other NBA action:

— Russell Westbrook scored 34 points in his seventh triple-double of the season, and the Oklahoma City Thunder rallied from 17 points down in the second half to defeat the Utah Jazz 100-94. Westbrook finished with 14 assists and 13 rebounds. Paul George scored 21 points, Steven Adams had 20 points and nine rebounds and Carmelo Anthony added 14 points and eight rebounds for the Thunder, who won their third straight.

— Bradley Beal scored a career-high 51 points, and the Washington Wizards bounced back from a demoralizing loss the night before to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 106-92 on Tuesday night. Beal made 21 field goals, also a career high, and the Wizards led by as many as 23 points. He hit five 3-pointers.

GRONK SUSPENDED

The NFL has denied Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski's appeal of a one-game suspension for a late, gratuitous hit to the head of Bills defensive back Tre'Davious White.

The league announced the decision of appeals officer Derrick Brooks today.

White was face down on the sideline after intercepting a pass in Buffalo on Sunday when Gronkowski body-slammed him, driving his forearm into White's back and head. Gronkowski was called for unnecessary roughness, but not kicked out of the game. White went into the concussion protocol.

Gronkowski, who apologized for the hit, will serve his suspension against Miami next Monday night.

NFL-STEELERS-BENGALS SUSPENSIONS

Pittsburgh Steelers rookie wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and Cincinnati Bengals cornerback George Iloka have been suspended one game each by the NFL for violating league safety rules.

Smith-Schuster was flagged for unnecessary roughness and taunting after a blindside hit on Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict in the fourth quarter of Pittsburgh's 23-20 victory Monday night. Iloka was penalized for unnecessary roughness for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown.

Jon Runyan, the NFL's vice president of football operations, ruled that Smith-Schuster "delivered a violent and unnecessary blindside shot to (Burfict's) head and neck area." Burfict left the game on a stretcher and did not return.

Runyan suspended Iloka for striking a defenseless receiver in the head and neck area. Brown, who caught the game-tying pass on the play, remained in the game.

NFL-STEELERS-SHAZIER

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier remains in a Cincinnati hospital with a back injury.

Coach Mike Tomlin offered no update on Shazier's condition or his prognosis on Tuesday, more than 12 hours after Shazier left on a stretcher in the first quarter of Pittsburgh's 23-20 victory over Cincinnati after tackling Bengals wide receiver Josh Malone. Shazier underwent a CT scan and an MRI late Monday.

The team says Shazier will not require surgery "at this time," but Tomlin said he would wait until hearing from the medical team attending to Shazier before releasing more information.

Tomlin says he spoke to Shazier before leaving Cincinnati and that Shazier was in good spirits. Tomlin says Shazier challenged his teammates to "move on."

The first-place Steelers host division rival Baltimore on Sunday night.

MLB-ROYALS-PERALTA

Right-hander Wily Peralta and the Kansas City Royals have agreed to a one-year contract worth $1,525,000, a deal that includes a club option for 2019.

The 28-year-old gets a $1.5 million salary next year and the chance to earn $1.25 million annually in performance bonuses. The option is for $3 million with a $25,000 buyout. If the Royals decline the option, he would be eligible for salary arbitration.

Peralta went 5-4 with a 7.85 ERA in 19 appearances for Milwaukee this year and was designated for assignment in July. He is 47-52 with a 4.88 ERA over his six-year big league career, all with the Brewers. His best season was 2014, when he went 17-11 with a 3.53 ERA as a starter.

Elsewhere in the MLB:

__Right-hander Miles Mikolas is returning from Japan, agreeing to a $15.5 million, two-year contract with the St. Louis Cardinals. The 29-year-old's agreement was announced Tuesday. He bolsters a Cardinals' rotation that could lose Lance Lynn, who became a free agent.

—The Texas Rangers have another starting option with free agent left-hander Mike Minor closing on a multiyear contract. Minor, who will turn 30 the day after Christmas, was 6-6 with a 2.55 ERA in 65 relief appearances last season with Kansas City. The Rangers will be looking to use him as a starter, like he was previously in Atlanta.

__Indians reliever Dan Otero has agreed to a $2.5 million, two-year contract with Cleveland that includes a 2020 team option and could be worth $3.9 million plus bonuses over three seasons. Otero agreed to a $1.3 million, one-year deal on Friday as the deadline approached for teams to offer contracts to unsigned players on their 40-man rosters. The agreement announced Tuesday.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL-FLORIDA STATE-JAMES

Derwin James has announced that he is leaving Florida State and will enter the NFL draft.

The redshirt sophomore safety made his announcement via Instagram on Tuesday and also said that he will not play in the Seminoles' Dec. 27 Independence Bowl game against Southern Mississippi.

James said last week that he planned on playing in the bowl game, but that was before coach Jimbo Fisher resigned to take the Texas A&M coaching job.

James was the only FSU player to earn a first-team, All-ACC selection. He had 84 tackles, which was second on Florida State, two interceptions (which included a Pick Six) and one sack after missing most of 2016 with a knee injury.

He is projected to be among the first defensive backs taken in next April's draft and would likely be among the top 15 overall players selected.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.