Sports Digest: Samardzija likley to start Cubs' spring training opener

2014-02-21T22:00:00Z 2014-02-24T15:16:05Z Sports Digest: Samardzija likley to start Cubs' spring training opener nwitimes.com
February 21, 2014 10:00 pm

Pro basketball

AUGUSTIN LEADS BULLS PAST DENVER: D.J. Augustin had 22 points and eight assists, and the Bulls routed the Denver Nuggets 117-89 Friday night for their fifth consecutive victory.

Rookie Tony Snell added a career-high 20 points as the Bulls put seven players in double figures. Taj Gibson had 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Joakim Noah finished with 14 points, 11 boards and five assists.

Women’s track

VALPO’S DROZDOWSKI WINS AT GVSU TUNE-UP MEET: Valparaiso’s Sarah Drozdowski placed first in the weight throw (60 feet, 7 1/2 inches) at the Grand Valley State Tune-Up Meet. She was also ninth in the shot put (41-4 1/4). Jazmin Taylor placed second in the high jump (5-5), while Sarah Peters tied her school record in the pole vault (11-7 3/4) to place eighth.

Men’s track

VALPO WINS 1,600 RELAY AT GVSU-TUNE UP: Valparaiso’s 1,600-meter relay team of Antwon Hatchett, Josh Carow, Tyler Crum and Chad Brooks (Hobart) placed first in 3:25.29 at the Grand Valley State Tune-Up Meet. Also, Elijah Owen (LaPorte) was third in the high jump (6 feet, 1 1/4 inches); Justin Zosso (Chesterton) was fifth in pole vault (14-5 1/2, and Trace Ostergren (LaPorte) was ninth in the 5,000 meters (15:36.26).

College baseball

JACKSONVILLE STATE CRUSHES VALPARAISO: Andy Burns was 2-for-4, but Valparaiso amassed just three hits in 10-0 loss to Jacksonville State. Ray Bartolomucci had the other single for the Crusaders (2-2).

Women's tennis

VALPARAISO FALLS TO TEXAS-PAN AMERICAN: Paige Heuer (Munster) picked up the lone win for Valparaiso in a 6-1 loss to Texas-Pan American. Heuer won 7-6 (8-6), 2-6, 10-7 at No. 3 singles for the Crusaders (1-9).

Winter Olympics

TEAM USA FALLS TO CANADA IN MEN'S HOCKEY SEMIFINALS: Jamie Benn scored in the second period; Carey Price made 31 saves, and Canada beat the United States 1-0 Friday in the semifinals of the Olympic men's hockey tournament.

Canada advanced to the gold-medal match Sunday against Sweden, which beat Finland 2-1 in the earlier semifinal at Bolshoy Ice Dome. The Canadians are on the brink of their third gold medal in four Olympics.

After its first loss in Sochi, the U.S. will face Finland for bronze today.

U.S. TEEN MIKAELA SHIFFRIN WINS OLYMPIC SLALOM GOLD: Mikaela Shiffrin made Alpine skiing history Friday as the youngest ever winner of an Olympic slalom gold medal after making an astonishing recovery midway through her second run.

The 18-year-old American showed impressive balance and agility to protect her lead from a near-flawless first run to win in 1 minute, 44.54 seconds.

She finished 0.53 seconds faster than veteran Marlies Schild of Austria, one of Shiffrin's childhood favorites.

Shiffrin took the record for youngest Olympic slalom champion, male or female, from Paoletta Magoni of Italy, who won gold at the 1984 Sarajevo Games when she was 19.

In speedskating, the U.S. team won silver in the 5,000 relay, ending a medal drought for the American speedskaters.

Auto racing

KWASNIEWSKI WINS NATIONWIDE POLE AT DAYTONA: Dylan Kwasniewski led a Turner Scott Motorsports sweep of the top three spots in qualifying for the Nationwide Series opener at Daytona International Speedway.

The 18-year-old rookie will make his series debut today starting from the pole. He topped the speed chart with a lap at 192.078 mph to grab the top starting spot in the rain-shortened qualifying session.

Kyle Larson qualified second with a lap at 192.074, and Danica Patrick was third.

Around the horn

Jeff Samardzija, a Valparaiso product, is likely to be the Cubs' starting pitcher in Thursday's Cactus League opener at the new stadium at Riverview Park in Mesa, Ariz., manager Rick Renteria said Friday. ... Western Michigan freshman Nate Schneider has been added to the NWI Oilmen's roster. ... No. 15 Iowa and Indiana have settled on the makeup date for their game that was postponed this week after an 8-foot piece of metal fell from the ceiling at Assembly Hall in Bloomington. The teams will play Thursday at Indiana in a game that will air on ESPN at 8 p.m. The March 1 Purdue at Iowa game will now be played on March 2 at 1 p.m.

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