Review Category : National Sports

Fan Dies at Trail Blazers Game After Collapsing in Stands

Christopher Trotman/Getty Images(PORTLAND, Or) — Tragedy struck the game between the Dallas Mavericks and Portland Trail Blazers last night as a female fan collapsed during the fourth quarter and later died.

Sandra Zickefoose, 67, received immediate medical attention after she fell unconscious in the lower bowl of the arena and was soon rushed to a local hospital.

Zickefoose and her husband had been season ticket holders of the Trail Blazers since 2011, according to the team.

The Trail Blazers released a statement after hearing the news of Zickefoose’s death:

“The Portland Trail Blazers, our players and Rose Quarter staff are saddened to learn of Ms. Zickefoose’s death, and extend our deepest condolences to her husband Michael Cowan, and their family. We are grateful to all on-site medical personnel, other first responders and the medical professionals seated near Ms. Zickefoose who administered treatment and assistance during last night’s emergency. We also thank Trail Blazers fans for their tremendous outpouring of support and concern.”

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No. 12 Baylor Mauls No. 15 Oklahoma

ThinkStock(NORMAN, Ok) — Bryce Petty and the Baylor Bears continued to showcase their dominance this season as they beat down Oklahoma Saturday.

The Bears trailed the Sooners 14-3 after the first quarter. By the end of the fourth quarter Baylor had flipped the scoreboard as they defeated Oklahoma 48-14.

Petty picked apart the Sooners secondary by tossing for 387 yards and one touchdown, completing 32 of 42 passes.

Baylor did its real damage on the ground as their running game gashed the Sooners for five rushing touchdowns. Shock Linwood and Devin Chafin each had a pair of scores and Corey Coleman added another of his own.

Coleman did his real damage through the air as he was on the receiving end of 15 of Petty’s passes. He racked up 224 yards receiving and caught the team’s lone passing touchdown.

A scary moment occurred in the waning moments of the fourth quarter as Sooners quarterback Trevor Knight attempted to avoid a sack. He was being pulled down by his jersey when two other Baylor defended attempted to bring him down and piled him into the ground. Knight lay motionless as medical personnel rushed to his side. He was put on a stretcher and rushed to a local hospital.

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Dodgers Introduce General Manager Farhan Zaidi

Scott Boehm/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — Even though they’ve won the NL West the past two seasons, the Los Angles Dodgers are hoping that new general manager Farhan Zaidi will help take the franchise back to the World Series.

The Dodgers have completely overhauled their front office in recent months, including the hiring of former Rays general manager Andrew Friedman to become the team’s new president of baseball operations.

Zaidi broke into Major League Baseball back in 2005 with the Oakland Athletics. He was assistant general manager/director of baseball operations before accepting his new role with the Dodgers.

While speaking to the media, Zaidi said he’d look to model what the San Francisco Giants, their NL West rival, have built as they’ve won three World Series titles the past five seasons.

“I think any time a team has that kind of success, you really have to study them hard and see what lessons there are to learn,” said Zaidi, who was introduced as the team’s new GM on Friday at Dodger Stadium. “I’m sure that’s something we’ll look at. It’s a fair question. I don’t think you can win three World Series in five years just by being lucky. I think that’s maybe stating the obvious.”

Zaidi earned a bachelor’s degree from MIT in 1998 and his Ph.D. in 2011.

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Byron Scott wants Lakers to Stop Deferring to Kobe Bryant so much

Chris Chamber/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Heading into Saturday, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant is leading the NBA in scoring, but head coach Byron Scott wants the team to stop relying on him so heavily during the course of the game.

The 36-year-old Bryant, who’s in his 19th NBA season, is averaging 27.6 points per game. Despite the scoring, Bryant is shooting only .402% from the field.

Also going against Bryant is that he’s averaging 24.4 field goal attempts per game, which by far leads the NBA.

‘I know how great this guy is, but you guys have got to play basketball,’” Scott told the team after practice Thursday. “‘You can’t look at him every single time and try to give him the ball. You’ve got to take shots that are there. You can’t pass up shots.”

“They can’t be afraid to fail,” Scott said of the team regarding playing with Bryant. “That’s the biggest thing. You’ve just got to be able to go out there and play.”

The Lakers and 76ers are the only team’s in the NBA without a win this season.

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LeBron Powers Cleveland to Win Over Nuggets

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(DENVER) — Behind a near triple-double from LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers snapped a brief two-game skid with a 110-101 win over the Denver Nuggets on Friday. James scored a team-high 22 points while also dishing out 11 assists and pulling in seven rebounds.

Cleveland (2-3) led by 18 after the first quarter, which included nine total assists. The Cavs had just six assists in the their last game, a 100-102 loss to Utah. Despite only scoring two points in the period, James did have six assists by himself. As a team, the Cavaliers dished out 25 assists in the win.

“We were in tune defensively from the beginning and … sharing the ball,” James said. “We were locked in. I was very pleased with that.”

Cleveland led by as many as 21 points in the second half, but the Nuggets (1-4) were able to claw their way back into the game. Randy Foye, who led Denver with 28 points, hit a layup with six minutes left in regulation to cut the deficit to 96-88. Less than 90 seconds later, it was a six point game.

Dion Waiters then stole a pass from Wilson Chandler and dunked it home at the other end, stopping the Denver momentum and giving the Cavaliers a 100-92 lead. Despite being outshot from the floor, Cleveland was 24-of-33 at the foul line while the Nuggets went just 10-of-15.

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Arizona Cardinals Give Three Year Extension to Palmer

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(PHOENIX) — The Arizona Cardinals have signed starting quarterback Carson Palmer to a three-year extension worth $50 million.

Palmer was set to become a free agent after this season and has won all five games he’s played this year, after missing three games with a shoulder injury.

“Carson has played at an incredibly high level and has been a huge part of the team’s success,” general manager Steve Keim said. “When you combine his on-field performance with the leadership, stability and professionalism he brings to our team, there was no question that we wanted to extend the relationship and we are excited he felt the same way.”

The Cardinals acquired Palmer from the Raiders in 2013 in a deal in which Arizona swapped its 2013 sixth round pick for Oakland’s seventh rounder in the same draft. The Cardinals also surrendered a seventh rounder in the 2014 draft after Palmer started at least 13 games for the Cardinals in 2013.

Palmer has won 15 of his 21 starts for Arizona.

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Ducks Ready for Utah Crowd

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images(EUGENE, Oregon) — The fourth-ranked Oregon Ducks (8-1) will look to stay in the College Football Playoff picture this Saturday when they travel to No. 17 Utah (6-2).

Heisman Trophy candidate and Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota is hoping to lead his team to their fifth straight victory.

“The atmosphere is going to be unbelievable,” Mariota said of playing on the road. “Up front defensively they’re very good, they have a couple of the best pass rushers in the country, so we have to be ready for that.”

Ducks head coach Mark Helfrich is preparing his team for a tough crowd at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

“The fans are very smart, very passionate, [and they have a] great student section,” Helfrich said. “You know they’re going to show up and be crazy and be loud. That’s where we’re going to have to be dialed in on our end of it.”

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Arizona State Prepares for Notre Dame

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The Arizona State Sun Devils (7-1) will get one of their biggest challenges this season when Notre Dame (7-1) comes to town on Saturday.

“This is arguably the best football team we’ve seen all year and with that comes great opportunity,” Arizona State coach Todd Graham said. “I don’t have to give our players any motivational speeches this week; they’re going to be pretty fired up to play.”

Arizona State is 3-1 at home this year and is averaging 34.4 points a game.

Meanwhile, Notre Dame has given up 30 or more points for three straight games. Arizona State is hoping to take advantage of their defense.

“I think it’d be silly to say it’s like any other game,” Graham said. “It’s the kind of games you want to coach in. It’s a kind of game our players want to play in and our fans want to see. I’m looking forward to seeing a packed house and creating a memory.”

Notre Dame will be relying on their offense to spark the team on the road. The Irish are 1-1 on the road this season.

“It’s an aggressive scheme,” Irish head coach Brian Kelly said of the Sun Devils defense. “One that is going to try and take away the run, but also try and get the ball away from you.”

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Urban Meyer: MSU Stands in the Way of a Big Ten Title

Kirk Irwin/Getty Images(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — If the Buckeyes are going to take home a Big Ten title this year, they’ll have to beat Michigan State on Saturday.

Both teams come into the game at 7-1 and Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer knows his team is in for a long day.

“They’re a great team and they stand in the way of a Big Ten championship,” Meyer said this week. “They stood in the way last year and we failed. Does that make them a rival? It makes them in the way of something we all want.”

The Spartans have not lost to a conference opponent since November 2012 and Meyer knows his team can get some national respect if they are able to come out of East Lansing with a victory.

“That will be a conversation I have with our players,” Meyer continued. “I think they know that already that this is a game to get the respect that Ohio State deserves and has had in the past.”

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