Arizona selects Pennell as interim head coach

Arizona on Friday selected assistant basketball coach Russ Pennell as the interim replacement for retired head coach Lute Olson.

Pennell, 47, is a former assistant to Rob Evans at Arizona State and served last year as a Sun Devils radio analyst. He joined the Arizona staff May 5.

The university turned to Pennell, who never has been a college head coach, after Olson’s top assistant, Mike Dunlap, said he preferred to remain an assistant. Dunlap will remain on the staff, along with Reggie Geary.

Also: Authorities were called to the home of former New York Knicks coach Isiah Thomas, where police said a 47-year-old man was taken to a hospital and treated for an accidental overdose of sleeping pills.

Police would not identify the man, except to give his age. But reached on his cell phone, Thomas, 47, told the New York Post he had not been treated for a sleeping pill overdose, and that it was his 17-year-old daughter, Lauren, who had a medical issue.

Harrison Police Chief David Hall refuted Thomas’ claim about his daughter to the New York Times.

“I understand that this person claims it was his daughter; he is lying,” Hall told the newspaper. “It was definitely not his daughter; it was a male. We know the difference between a 47-year-old black male and a young black female.”

Kobe Bryant, coming back from a knee injury, made a brief appearance at the start of Los Angeles’ final preseason game and appeared to be moving fine in the Lakers’ 105-94 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Bryant played the first 7:55, went 2 of 3 from the floor and had one rebound.

The Chicago Bulls exercised contract options for the 2009-10 season on forward Tyrus Thomas, guard Thabo Sefolosha and center Joakim Noah.

Forward Keith Van Horn, who had not appeared in an NBA game since the 2005-06 season, was among four players the New Jersey Nets waived in reducing their roster to the 15-man limit.

Guards Eddie Gill and Julius Hodge and forward Brian Hamilton also were released.


Yost, Riggleman on list to be Mariners’ skipper

New Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said recently fired Milwaukee Brewers manager Ned Yost and former Seattle interim manager Jim Riggleman are two candidates to be Seattle’s new skipper in 2009.

Riggleman was hired as the bench coach of the Washington Nationals on Friday, but the Mariners say he remains in the running to return to Seattle.

Also: The Toronto Blue Jays acquired two of the top four selections in the 2002 draft, signing converted pitcher Adam Loewen to a minor league contract and claiming right-hander Bryan Bullington off waivers.


Ballesteros’ surgery ‘better than expected’

Seve Ballesteros underwent a third operation for a cancerous brain tumor, a six-hour procedure that went “better than expected.”

Doctors removed the rest of the tumor and reduced brain swelling. The 51-year-old Spanish golf great was in stable condition in the intensive care unit at Madrid’s La Paz Hospital.

“The operation went better than expected,” the hospital said in a statement.

Also: Arron Oberholser shot a 6-under-par 64 for an 11-under 129 total and a one-stroke lead over Steve Allan after two rounds of the Open in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Laura Diaz shot a 9-under 63 to take a three-stroke lead over South Korea’s Seon Hwa Lee after the first round of the Grand China Air in Haikou, China.

England’s Mark James birdied the first six holes on the back nine and shot an 8-under 63 to take a one-stroke lead over Dan Forsman after the first round of the AT&T Championship in San Antonio.

Tournament host Sergio Garcia shot a 6-under 65 for a share of the second-round lead with England’s Richard Finch and Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen in the Castello Masters in Castellon, Spain. The three are at 11-under 131.


Women’s soccer team settles for tie with TCU

Niki Connolly scored in the 57th minute, but the Rebels women’s soccer team couldn’t muster any additional offense in settling for a 1-1 double-overtime tie with Texas Christian in a Mountain West Conference match in Fort Worth, Texas.

The tie left UNLV (11-5-2 overall) and TCU (11-3-2) with 3-2-1 league records.

Also: The Rebels doubles teams of Kristina Nedeltcheva-Katy Williams and Anna Maskaljun-Alisa Razina advanced to round-of-16 play in the ITA Women’s West Regional in San Diego.

In main draw singles, Nikol Dimitrova lost to Southern California’s Amanda Fink in the round of 32.

The Rebels women’s swimming and diving team dropped its season and conference opener to Colorado State 174-134 at Buchanan Natatorium.

UNLV had double-event winners in Bailey Kuestermeyer (1,000- and 500-yard freestyle) and Marva Harpak (200 and 100 freestyle).


Wolverines’ Rodriguez finally signs contract

One day before his struggling football team’s eighth game of the season, first-year Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez is finally under contract with the school.

Rodriguez signed a six-year deal worth at least $2.5 million annually, an amount that was agreed upon when he left West Virginia for Michigan in December.

Also: David Beckham said he will be back with the Los Angeles Galaxy for the start of the 2009 Major League Soccer season.

Beckham added on his Web site he is in negotiations for a loan to AC Milan.

Venus Williams clinched one of the final two berths in next month’s season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships in Dohar, Qatar. Vera Zvonareva claimed the other.

Blues goalie Manny Legace suffered a minor hip injury when he slipped on a carpet placed on the ice for Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin to drop the puck before St. Louis’ game with the Los Angeles Kings.

Philadelphia Flyers center Daniel Briere will be sidelined up to a month because of a torn abdominal muscle.

Florida Panthers defenseman Bryan Allen will have surgery on his left knee Monday and be out indefinitely.

Giacobbe Fragomeni, competing in front of his hometown fans in Milan, Italy, became a world champion at age 39 when his fight with Rudolf Kraj for the vacant WBC cruiserweight title was stopped in the eighth round.

Chris John of Indonesia kept his WBA featherweight title with a unanimous decision over Hiroyuki Enoki of Japan in a fight in Tokyo.

Lucian Bute nearly collapsed in the final round and was saved by the bell as he retained his IBF super middleweight title with a 12-round unanimous decision over Librado Andrade in Montreal.

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