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Clijsters Cruises by Pierce to Win Open (AP)
Kim Clijsters of Belgium runs up into the stands after winning her womens final match against Mary Pierce of France at the US Open tennis tournament in New York, Saturday, Sept. 10, 2005. Clijsters won 6-3, 6-1. (AP Photo/Jeff Zelevansky, Pool)AP - Winning a Grand Slam title wasn't so hard for Kim Clijsters, after all. Clijsters, who came up short her first four tries, finally won her first major title Saturday night, cruising to a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Mary Pierce at the U.S. Open. When she hit a service winner on the second championship point, Clijsters dropped her racket and covered her mouth with her hands.


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No. 5 LSU Beats No. 15 Arizona St. 35-31 (AP)
Louisiana State quarterback JaMarcus Russell, center, is sacked by Arizona State defenders Dale Robinson, left, and Jamar  Williams, right, in the second quarter Saturday, Sept. 10, 2005, in Tempe, Ariz.(AP Photo/Darryl Webb)AP - LSU came a long way to start its season, and JaMarcus Russell made the trip worthwhile. Russell passed 39 yards to Early Doucet for a climactic touchdown that handed the No. 5 Tigers a 35-31 victory over No. 15 Arizona State on Friday night, giving coach Les Miles a victory in his LSU debut.


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No. 2 Texas Defeats No. 4 Ohio State 25-22 (AP)
Texas wide receiver Limas Sweed (4), left, makes a touchdown catch in the end zone in the fourth quarter against Ohio State defense Saturday, Sept. 10, 2005, at the Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)AP - Vince Young connected in the clutch and won it for Texas with his arm, instead of his legs — just like a star quarterback is supposed to. Young, best known for his highlight-reel runs, threw a 24-yard go-ahead touchdown to Limas Sweed with 2:37 left and No. 2 Texas defeated No. 4 Ohio State 25-22 Saturday night in the much-anticipated first meeting between two of college football's most storied programs.


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Marlins Beat Phils to Keep Astros in Sight (AP)
Florida Marlins' Jason Vargas pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies in the first inning Saturday, Sept. 10, 2005, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Joseph Kaczmarek)AP - Pinch-hitter Paul Lo Duca's two-run single in the seventh inning helped the Florida Marlins beat the Philadelphia Phillies 7-6 Saturday night.


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Schilling Dominates As Red Sox Beat Yanks (AP)
New York Yankees Hideki Matsui of Japan, drops a fly ball hit by Boston Red Sox David Ortiz allowing Gabe Kapler to score in the fourth inning Saturday, Sept. 10, 2005 at Yankee Stadium in New York. Matsui was charged with an error on the play. The Red Sox scored six runs on the Yankees in the fourth. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)AP - Curt Schilling cruised to an easy win thanks to Manny Ramirez's power and some porous defense by the New York Yankees. Schilling allowed five hits in eight sharp innings for his first victory since returning to Boston's rotation, and Ramirez busted out of a rare slump with a homer and three RBIs to lead the Red Sox past New York 9-2 Saturday.


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Distractions Aside, Owens Set to Play (AP)
AP - The last time the Philadelphia Eagles played Atlanta, Terrell Owens stood on the sideline, waving a towel, flapping his arms, and encouraging the crowd to make more noise.

Offseason Changes Not Worrying O'Neal (AP)
Miami Heat's Shaquille O' Neal helps to load a truck with donations for victims of Hurricane Katrina Saturday, Sept. 8, 2005, in Miami. The truck is expected to be taken early next week to Baton Rouge, La., where O'Neal played college basketball at Louisiana State, and its contents will be distributed from there by various charity organizations. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)AP - His team has been gutted this summer, with two starters going elsewhere, several new faces joining the organization and more moves certain in the coming weeks.


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Schilling shines as Red Sox dump Yankees (Reuters)
Boston Red Sox starter Curt Schilling pitches to the New York Yankees in the eighth inning at Yankee Stadium in New York September 10, 2005. The Red Sox won 9-2. (Ray Stubblebine/Reuters)Reuters - Curt Schilling, back on the mound and in prime post-season form, delivered eight sparkling innings as the Boston Red Sox pounded the New York Yankees 9-2 on Saturday in a top-of-the-table American League east clash.


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DC United Edges Past FC Dallas 2-1 (AP)
AP - Santino Quaranta scored the game-winner in the 72nd minute to lead DC United to a 2-1 victory over FC Dallas on Saturday night.

Penguins Sign Crosby to Three-Year Deal (AP)
Pittsburgh Penguins' number one draft pick Sidney Crosby, left, signs his new contract as team owner and player Mario Lemieux, right, watches at a news conference in Pittsburgh on Friday, Sept. 9, 2005. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)AP - The terms of Crosby's three-year contract, $850,000 in salary each season with the chance to double that with performance incentives, were dictated largely by the league's new labor agreement, making those figures less compelling than Crosby's potential to make Pittsburgh hockey's best team once again.


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Season's greetings
We will finally get the chance to see if T.O. and Donovan McNabb can get along.

Distractions aside, Owens set to play (AP)
The last time the Philadelphia Eagles played Atlanta, Terrell Owens stood on the sideline, waving a towel, flapping his arms, and encouraging the crowd to make more noise. Owens won't be a cheerleader when the Eagles play the Falcons in the season opener Monday night. After a tumultuous offseason, the All-Pro wide receiver will be on the field in his adopted hometown hoping to display his skills --...

Four games for Saints in Alamodome? (AP)
A shortage of hotel rooms, caused by Hurricane Katrina victims who fled the New Orleans area, is the main obstacle to the New Orleans Saints playing three of their home games at LSU's Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, a school official said Friday. The Saints reportedly are negotiating to play four games in San Antonio, where they have set up a temporary home since fleeing Katrina.

Patriots top Raiders 30-20 in NFL opener (AP)
The New England Patriots lost two linebackers and two coaches in the offseason. They still know how to win, thanks in large part to two stars they didn't lose. Tom Brady threw for 306 yards and two touchdowns and Richard Seymour helped make a game-turning defensive play as the Patriots opened their quest for an unprecedented third straight Super Bowl victory by beating Oakland 30-20 on Thursday...

Eagles' Westbrook ends contract talks (AP)
Move over T.O. Brian Westbrook is making his way to the top of the line of disgruntled Philadelphia Eagles. The Pro Bowl running back cut off contract talks with the Eagles because the two sides are far apart on a long-term extension, expressing disappointment management ``hasn't stepped up to the plate.'' ``Me and my agent have told the Eagles' management that we're no longer interested in talking...

Dolphins TE McMichael pleads guilty (AP)
Miami Dolphins tight end Randy McMichael pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three months probation on a charge related to a July argument during which police say he gave his wife a bloody nose. McMichael, 26, of Weston, Fla., entered the plea through his attorney to misdemeanor criminal trespass on Thursday, the Augusta Chronicle reported on its Web site Friday.

Chiefs QB Green says he's ready to go (AP)
Two weeks after undergoing surgery to restore circulation in his leg, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Trent Green pronounced himself 100 percent fit. ``I feel really good,'' he said Thursday. ``It's amazing how quick the turnaround has been, how quickly it came back.'' Doctors implanted a stent in an artery after conducting a battery of tests to learn why he was experiencing numbness in the left leg...

NFL reduces Doss suspension to one game (AP)
The NFL on Thursday reduced the suspension of Indianapolis Colts safety Mike Doss from two games to one game. League spokesman Steve Alic said the decision came after Doss appealed the penalty. The reduction, an unusual move by the NFL, was contingent on Doss' meeting with conditions imposed by the league, but Alic would not elaborate on those conditions.

Giants sign RB Barber to extension (AP)
New York Giants running back Tiki Barber said he signed a two-year contract extension with the team Thursday. The new contract goes through the 2008 season. Barber's agent, Mark Lepselter, did not immediately return a phone message Thursday. Under terms of his previous contract, Barber was scheduled to earn $4.25 million this season and in 2006.

Coroner: Herrion died of heart disease (AP)
The Denver County coroner's report confirmed what Thomas Herrion's family and friends already believed: The San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman died of a heart attack that was unpredictable and probably unstoppable. Herrion had heart disease and evidence of previous heart trouble when he collapsed and died after a preseason game in Denver Aug.

Out of Africa come hoop lessons
Steve sees first-hand how basketball is bridging cultural, racial and religious divisions in South Africa.

Auerbach still hospitalized, improving (AP)
Boston Celtics patriarch Red Auerbach was alert and comfortable after being hospitalized earlier this week for an unspecified ailment, a team spokesman said Friday. The 87-year-old coaching great has been in and out of the hospital over the past month for tests and a successful surgical procedure, Celtics spokesman Jeff Twiss said.

Shaq, wife coordinate relief effort (AP)
Sweat dripping from his head as he worked in the midday South Florida sun, Shaquille O'Neal loaded the last item into a cavernous 18-wheel trailer and pointed to the generous stranger. ``Give the man a hug,'' he urged his children, who quickly obliged. ``Tell him thank you.'' For the last week, O'Neal and his wife have coordinated efforts to help those in Louisiana and Mississippi whose lives were...

Oklahoma City could host Hornets (AP)
NBA representatives toured the Ford Center and met with local officials Friday about the possibility of temporarily moving the displaced New Orleans Hornets to the city. Mayor Mick Cornett said five NBA officials walked around the facility and discussed possible terms of a lease should the team decide to play its 41-game home schedule at the arena, which seats 19,675 for basketball.

Devin Brown officially joins Jazz (AP)
Devin Brown officially became a member of the Utah Jazz on Friday when the San Antonio Spurs declined to match an offer sheet. Brown was in his hometown of San Antonio helping the Salvation Army assist victims of Hurricane Katrina when the move was announced Friday by Jazz president Dennis Haslam. Terms of the multi-year deal were not released.

Jones joins Cavs with four-year deal (AP)
Damon Jones is ready to give the Cleveland Cavaliers something they've needed: a top 3-point shooter. Jones passed his physical Thursday after agreeing to a four-year, $16.1 million contract. In acquiring Jones, who made 225 3-pointers for the Miami Heat last season, the Cavaliers took another step in their effort to avoid missing the playoffs for an eighth consecutive season.

Nets sign forwards Padgett, Murray (AP)
The New Jersey Nets signed free-agent forwards Lamond Murray and Scott Padgett, all but completing the offseason changes to their roster. The 6-foot-7 Murray, 32, averaged 11.9 points and 4.3 rebounds in 10 seasons with the L.A. Clippers, Cleveland and Toronto and shot 44 percent from 3-point range last season for the Raptors.

Nuggets ink G Earl Watson (AP)
The Denver Nuggets signed free agent guard Earl Watson on Wednesday, bringing in the four-year veteran to bolster their backcourt. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. ``Earl is one of the up-and-coming guards in this league and we're happy to have him,'' general manager Kiki Vandeweghe said. The 6-foot-1 Watson joins the Nuggets after three seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies, where he averaged a...

Penguins sign Crosby to three-year deal (AP)
By adding No. 1 overall pick Sidney Crosby to a team already restocked with talented free agents, the Pittsburgh Penguins feel they've turned back the clock to the early 1990s -- when they were two-time Stanley Cup champions and perennial contenders. The terms of Crosby's three-year contract, $850,000 in salary each season with the chance to double that with performance incentives, were dictated...

Al MacInnis retires after 23-year career (AP)
St. Louis Blues defenseman Al MacInnis retired after a 23-year career on Friday, citing the NHL lockout last season and not an eye injury that forced him to miss virtually all the 2003-04 season. ``My health is good and my will is strong,'' MacInnis said at a news conference, his voice breaking several times.

Forsberg, Hatcher to miss most of camp (AP)
Philadelphia's Peter Forsberg and Derian Hatcher will miss most of the Flyers' training camp with injuries that will sideline each about two to three weeks. Forsberg, who signed as a free agent last month, will have surgery Monday to remove an infected bursa in his right ankle. The Flyers said Forsberg is expected to miss at least two weeks.

Leafs sign F Czerkawski to one-year deal (AP)
The Toronto Maple Leafs signed unrestricted free agent forward Mariusz Czerkawski to a one-year contract Friday. Czerkawski had 25 goals and 24 assists with the New York Islanders two years ago. He 15 goals and nine assists in 46 games for Djurgarden in Sweden last season. The 33-year-old native of Radomsko, Poland has played 710 career NHL games for Boston, Edmonton, Montreal and the Islanders...

McKee accepts Sabres qualifying offer (AP)
Buffalo Sabres defenseman Jay McKee accepted his one-year qualifying offer Friday, nearly a month after the NHL-imposed deadline. McKee will earn $1.6 million this season before becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2006. The two sides had decided to extend the deadline twice in the hopes of working out a long-term contract, but were unable to do so.

D Ruslan Salei signs with Mighty Ducks (AP)
Defenseman Ruslan Salei has signed a one-year contract with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. The 30-year-old Salei has 25 goals and 61 assists in 516 NHL games -- all with the Ducks. He ranks third on the team's all-time games played list and is the active leader. Salei spent last season with Ak Bars Kazan in the Russian Elite League.

Sabres D Patrick ends 21-year career (AP)
Veteran Sabres defenseman James Patrick, who spent 21 years in the NHL, retired Thursday and accepted an assistant coaching position with the team. Patrick, who broke into the league with the New York Rangers in 1983, spent the last six seasons with the Sabres. He was hoping to play at least one more year before last season was erased by the lockout.

Time for a crew chief change?
Robbie Loomis addressed speculation he may be leaving as the head of Jeff Gordon's crew.

Jeff Gordon misses "Chase for the Nextel Cup" (SportsTicker)
RICHMOND, Virginia (Ticker) - The sound of defeat echoed from Jeff Gordon's voice as he saw his chance at making the "Chase for the Nextel Cup" come to a screeching halt.

Kurt Busch wins race; Ryan Newman makes the "Chase" (SportsTicker)


Gordon falls out of Chase, Newman and Kenseth make it in after frantic race at Richmond (AP)
The ``Drive for Five'' is alive, but not for Jeff Gordon. Instead, it's Carl Edwards, the surprise Nextel Cup title contender who gives car owner Jack Roush five chances to win the Chase for the championship.

Roush owns half the Chase field (AP)
It took Jack Roush 16 years to win a championship in NASCAR's top stock car series. Now, it looks like he might be a shoo-in to win a third straight title.

Rookie Busch only star for Hendrick at Richmond (AP)
With the pre-race buildup over teams needing to be sharp and drivers on top of their games in the race to set the field for NASCAR's Chase for the championship, Hendrick Motorsports instead stumbled into the 10-race playoffs.

Gordon falters and misses NASCAR playoffs (AP)
Jeff Gordon challenged his team to be almost perfect Saturday night and get him into NASCAR's Chase for the championship. When they faltered, he did, too, and the four-time champion's bid to win his fifth was finished early.

NASCAR's scoring system (AP)
This is the second year of NASCAR's playoff-style system for determining its Nextel Cup champion. Here's how it works:

McCune becomes first woman to win Infiniti pole (AP)
Sarah McCune became the first woman to capture the pole in an Indy Racing League Menards Infiniti Pro Series event, taking the top spot in her first race on the circuit during qualifying on Saturday. The 26-year-old McCune claimed the top spot for Sunday's for the Chicagoland 100, turning a fast lap of 187.795 mph.

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