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Wednesday, 09 October 2013 13:43

Drummond leads Pistons to rout of Maccabi Haifa

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) - Andre Drummond had 17 points and nine rebounds to lead the Detroit Pistons to a 91-69 exhibition victory Tuesday night over Maccabi Haifa, the reigning Israeli Basketball Super League champions. David Cubillan scored 20 points for Maccabi. Drummond and the Pistons dominated inside with 54 points in the paint - just 15 points fewer than Maccabi scored all game. Detroit newcomer Brandon Jennings scored 15 points on 4 of 8 shooting, while fellow newcomer Josh Smith added 12 points, including three 3-pointers. Chauncey Billups, making his first appearance in a Detroit uniform since being traded to Denver in 2008, started at shooting guard and went 0 for 4 from the field in 19 minutes played.

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) - Matthew Stafford says the Detroit Lions' offense can still perform without Calvin Johnson. It didn't look that way in Sunday's 22-9 loss at Green Bay. Stafford was sacked five times by the Packers after being sacked a total of just three times in the first four games in part because Detroit's receivers couldn't get open. Johnson was inactive because of an injured right knee and No. 2 receiver Nate Burleson was out because he broke his left arm in a car accident. Stafford says he and his teammates have to play better if Johnson can't play Sunday at Cleveland. Johnson couldn't say Tuesday whether he would be healthy enough to be active against the Browns.

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) - Detroit Lions center Dominic Raiola has apologized to the University of Wisconsin band director for remarks the player made to musicians during his team's game with the Green Bay Packers. The Lions said Tuesday that Raiola called band director Michael Leckrone "to apologize for his actions on Sunday that involved band members." The team says Raiola also promised "a significant donation" to the band. The band was at Lambeau Field to perform during and after Sunday's game, won by the Packers. Band members say Raioloa verbally abused them. The 13-year veteran is the longest-tenured member on the Lions roster. Lions president Tom Lewand says the team is "pleased that he has taken ownership of his actions and admitted those actions were wrong and unacceptable."

UNDATED (AP) - Penn State is in a funk, and so is coach Bill O'Brien. He was in no mood Tuesday to break down the loss at Indiana last Saturday. Or talk about how lost scholarships impact the program and how sanctions have hurt the Nittany Lions. And don't ask why the Nittany Lions haven't developed a No. 2 receiver. Just don't. Still smarting over losing to the Hoosiers, O'Brien wanted to keep the focus on Penn State's game Saturday against No. 18 Michigan--kick off at 5 p.m. O'Brien has good reason to run from rehashing the past. The Nittany Lions are coming off a 44-24 loss to Indiana, ending a 16-game winning streak against what had been one of the conference's worst programs.

Wednesday, 09 October 2013 13:40

Rushing offense, defense still key in Big Ten

UNDATED (AP) - With a full week of league play in the books, a familiar trend has emerged in the Big Ten. Running the ball - and stopping others from doing likewise - will likely be huge for teams hoping to contend in the conference this season. Five Big Ten teams rank in the top 25 nationally in rushing offense, the most of any conference in the country. The Big Ten is also first with six teams ranked in the top 20 in rushing defense, and four of them; Michigan State, Ohio State, Iowa and Michigan, are among the top 10. By contrast, Indiana is the only league team in the top 30 in passing offense. 

Tuesday, 08 October 2013 09:58

Michigan loses DT Pipkins for season

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Michigan defensive tackle Ondre Pipkins will miss the rest of the season after tearing an anterior cruciate ligament in one of his knees during Saturday's win over Minnesota. The team announced the loss Monday. Pipkins, a sophomore, had appeared in all five games, totaling seven tackles. The 18th-ranked Wolverines play at Penn State on Saturday. Michigan is allowing opponents to convert 41 percent of their third-down plays, ranking them just 78th among Bowl Subdivision teams. In Michigan's 42-13 win against Minnesota last weekend, the Golden Gophers were 8 of 15 on third-down conversions and put together scoring drives of 16, 11 and nine plays that ate up more than 20 minutes of game time.

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) - The Lions say they are investigating whether center Dominic Raiola verbally abused members of the University of Wisconsin marching band during Detroit's game at Green Bay over the weekend. The team said Monday the reports "are extremely inconsistent with the standard of behavior we expect from our players and from every member of our organization." The band was at Lambeau Field to perform during and after Sunday's game, won by the Packers. Wisconsin officials say they have heard from Lions President Tom Lewand, who apologized. Raiola, a 13-year veteran, is the longest-tenured member on the Lions roster. Detroit coach Jim Schwartz said he did not hear or see Raiola talking to band members, but he would be disappointed if the reports are true.

Tuesday, 08 October 2013 09:56

Lions missed WR Calvin Johnson vs. Packers

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) - The Detroit Lions didn't have All-Pro receiver Calvin Johnson for Sunday's 22-9 loss at Green Bay and they didn't play like a team that ranks in the top 10 in yards from scrimmage. Coach Jim Schwartz said there was a lot more to the loss - the Lions' first against an NFC North opponent this season - than the missing superstar. "We didn't get the job done," he said Monday. "It wasn't because Calvin didn't play in the game. There were a lot of other times we could've executed a little better. "Calvin wasn't the reason we didn't have any turnovers on defense."

DETROIT (AP) - Brandon Moss, Josh Reddick and Seth Smith homered for the Oakland Athletics, who chased Anibal Sanchez in the fifth inning and beat the Detroit Tigers 6-3 on Monday for a 2-1 lead in their AL division series. Moss broke a 3-all tie in the fifth with a solo shot, and Smith's two-run drive later in the inning ended Sanchez's day. It was an impressive offensive show after the teams split two tense, low-scoring games in Oakland. Oakland can close out the series Tuesday in Detroit. Pre-game at 4:40 p.m. on 97.7 WTGV-FM. Sanchez, the American League's ERA leader, allowed six runs - five earned - and eight hits in 4 1-3 innings. Jarrod Parker gave up three runs in five innings for Oakland, and the Tigers couldn't rally against the bullpen.

Tuesday, 08 October 2013 09:53

MLB: Rays rally, Cards stay alive

UNDATED (AP) - The Los Angeles Dodgers are the first team to reach this year's League Championship Series, thanks to a dramatic home run. Juan Uribe belted a two-run shot in the bottom of the eighth to give the Dodgers a 4-3 victory over Atlanta in Game 4 of the division series. Uribe's blast came one inning after Jose Constanza hit an RBI single to put the Braves ahead 3-2. Carl Crawford hit solo homers in the first and third innings to give LA an early 2-0 lead. Clayton Kershaw blanked the Braves over the first three innings while pitching on three days' rest for the first time in his career. But he began to wilt in the fourth as Chris Johnson and Andrelton Simmons nicked him for RBI singles to knot the score. Yasiel Puig had two of the Dodgers' 11 hits and ignited the game-winning rally with a leadoff double. The Dodgers now await the winner of the St. Louis-Pittsburgh series. Los Angeles will host the first two games if the Pirates beat the Cardinals.
 
The Redbirds managed to stretch their series to a deciding fifth game. Michael Wacha carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning and Matt Holliday hit a two-run homer as the Redbirds beat the Pirates 2-1. Wacha was masterful until Pedro Alvarez homered with one out in the eighth, the Bucs' lone hit. Wacha struck out nine over 7 1/3 innings before the St. Louis bullpen tossed hitless ball the rest of the way. Losing pitcher Charlie Morton allowed just three hits over 5 2/3 innings, but the big blow was Holliday's blast in the sixth. The two clubs combined for just four hits, tying a postseason record set by the Astros and Cardinals in the 2004 NLCS. Game 5 is Wednesday in St. Louis, where Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright will take the mound against rookie Gerrit Cole. 

The Tampa Bay Rays have extended their season by at least one game. Jose Lobaton belted a two-out, walkoff solo homer in the bottom of the ninth to complete the Rays' comeback in a 5-4 win over the Boston Red Sox. The blast allowed Tampa Bay to pull within two games to one in the American League Division Series and force a Game 4 on Tuesday in St. Petersburg. The Red Sox scored runs on an error, a wild pitch and an RBI single by David Ortiz to go ahead 3-0 by the fifth inning. But the lead vanished on one swing as Evan Longoria launched a three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth. Pinch-hitter Delmon Young poked an RBI grounder in the bottom of the eighth to give the Rays a brief 4-3 lead. Dustin Pedroia (peh-DROH'-uh) extended the game with his own RBI grounder in the ninth before Lobaton went deep off Koji Uehara. James Loney went 3-for-3 for the Rays, who limited the Red Sox to seven hits after surrendering 19 runs in the first two games of the series. Jeremy Hellickson will start for Tampa Bay on Tuesday against Jake Peavy.

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