ZELLOUS LEADS FEVER PAST SKY IN SERIES OPENER: Shavonte Zellous scored 20 points to lead the defending-champion Fever in an 85-72 victory over the Sky in the opener of their Eastern Conference semifinal series Friday.
Elena Delle Donne scored 20 points to lead Chicago after receiving the league's Rookie of the Year award before the game.
BRAVES BEAT CUBS TO REDUCE MAGIC NUMBER TO 1: Chris Johnson went 3 for 4 with a home run, and the Atlanta Braves beat the Cubs 9-5 on Friday to reduce their magic number to clinch the NL East to one.
David Carpenter (4-1) pitched a scoreless eighth to get the win. Kevin Gregg (2-5) took the loss for the Cubs, who wasted three home runs.
IRISH, STILL SEEKING IDENTITY, FACE SPARTANS: Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly is looking for more from the defense when the 22nd-ranked Fighting Irish face Michigan State today.
Kelly says the defense needs better communication and more leadership coming from its inside linebacker position, where three players are sharing two spots.
The Spartans (3-0) have looked more like the Irish of last season than Notre Dame has, depending on the nation's No. 1 defense to win games.
IU, MISSOURI READY FOR FAST-PACED SHOWDOWN: Indiana coach Kevin Wilson already has a pretty good sense of what to expect tonight.
He and Missouri coach Gary Pinkel have matched wits and recruited against one another in two other conferences, and they subscribe to similar offensive philosophies. So expect a good, old-fashioned wide-open shootout — just like these coaches used to have in the Big 12. Except, of course, this time Wilson represents the Big Ten and Pinkel the SEC. On paper, it looks relatively even, as Missouri (2-0) travels to Indiana (2-1).
GORDON, NO. 24 BADGERS LOOK TO RUN PAST BOILERS: Wisconsin is ready to take off in the Big Ten. Sophomore Melvin Gordon leads a stable of running backs for the 24th-ranked Badgers (2-1) in the conference opener against Purdue (1-2) at Camp Randall Stadium.
Boilermakers coach Darrell Hazell says his team will try to stop the run and make the Badgers as one-dimensional as possible.
NEWMAN WINS POLE AT NEW HAMPSHIRE: Ryan Newman turned a track record lap of 136.497 mph to win the pole at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and headline a top 12 loaded with Chase drivers for Sunday's race.
Chase for the Sprint Cup championship drivers filled 10 of the top 12 spots Friday. Kasey Kahne was second, Jeff Gordon third, and Kurt Busch was fourth for what will be the second Chase race.
STENSON BUILDS 4-SHOT LEAD AT EAST LAKE: Henrik Stenson made three early birdies to seize control at the Tour Championship on Friday.
Stenson quickly expanded his one-shot lead at East Lake with three birdies on the opening four holes and stretched his lead to four shots over Adam Scott with a 4-under 66.
LAPORTE ADVANCES TO REGIONAL: Host LaPorte carded a 392 and finished second at Friday’s girls golf sectional at Beechwood, advancing to the Lafayette Jeff Regional on Sept. 28.
Culver Academies won the team title with a 349, and the Eagles’ Tavia Maurovic was medalist with an 80. Delanie Alcorn had a team-low 93 for the Slicers. Also, Michigan City’s Elizabeth Smith (99) and Tara Seizys (100) were individual regional qualifiers.
Around the horn
Left fielder Adam Klein, who helped lead the RailCats to their third championship in franchise history and was named Championship Series MVP, announced his retirement Friday. He finished his playing career with more than 600 games played, 441 runs and a career .408 on-base percentage. ... Thursday's opening games of the Home Field Advantage Senior League tournament at U.S. Steel Yard were postponed by the weather. Gary Metro vs. Miller, and Portage vs. South Haven will now play Sunday morning, with the semifinals to follow in the afternoon. The championship is scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday. ... Colts Pro Bowl safety LaRon Landry is listed as out because of an ankle injury for Sunday's game at San Francisco. Indy also could be without linebacker Pat Angerer, who has a knee injury. He is listed as doubtful. ... San Francisco 49ers All-Pro linebacker Aldon Smith was released from jail Friday after his pickup truck apparently struck a tree and he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and marijuana possession, authorities said.