In Brief

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Paterno leaves hospital after
undergoing cancer treatments

Joe Paterno has been released from a State College, Pa., hospital and has shown improvement after being treated for lung cancer, a person close to the former Penn State football coach’s family said Monday.

Paterno’s tumor was showing substantial reduction after radiation and chemotherapy. He was released Sunday.

Paterno, who turns 85 on Wednesday, was admitted last week after breaking his pelvis again in a fall at home. Doctors kept him hospitalized to make it easier to administer cancer treatments while he recovered from the fracture.

He initially injured his pelvis and right shoulder in August after getting blindsided accidentally by a receiver during preseason practice.

Also: College football analyst Craig James, a tailback at Southern Methodist and with the New England Patriots in the 1980s, has left ESPN and entered the Republican race for the open U.S. Senate seat in Texas.

BASKETBALL

Thompson leads Lady Rebels
to rout of North Dakota State

Kelli Thompson scored 18 points to lead the UNLV women’s basketball team to a 76-57 victory over North Dakota State in the BTI Invitational at Cox Pavilion.

Lenita Sanford had 16 points for UNLV (9-3), and Sandrine Nzeukou added 13. The Lady Rebels wrap up the tournament tonight at 7:30 against Kansas State.

Also: Ohio State star forward Jared Sullinger, who missed most of Saturday’s win at South Carolina because of a sore foot, will play tonight when the No. 2 Buckeyes host Lamar, coach Thad Matta said.

Forward Bismack Biyombo, the seventh pick in the NBA Draft, signed a rookie contract with the Charlotte Bobcats, hours after agreeing to pay a buyout clause to release him from his pact with Spanish club Fuenlabrada. The 19-year-old will join the team today and play in Thursday’s preseason game at Atlanta.

The Denver Nuggets agreed to a five-year deal with restricted free-agent guard Arron Afflalo, who averaged 12.6 points last season. The deal could be worth up to $43 million.

Free-agent guard Nick Young signed a one-year contract to return to the Washington Wizards. He led the Wizards last season with a career-high 17.4 points per game, more than doubling the 8.6 he averaged in the 2009-10 season.

The Sacramento Kings voided Chuck Hayes’ $21.3 million, four-year contract, saying the free-agent forward/center failed a team physical. The Kings announced last week that a heart exam on Hayes, 28, showed an abnormality that would require further testing.

Antonio McDyess was waived by the San Antonio Spurs, clearing a path to retirement for the 17-year NBA veteran, who indicated at the end of last season that his playing days were over.

MISCELLANEOUS

AL champion Rangers win right
to pursue star Japanese pitcher

The Texas Rangers submitted the winning bid for Yu Darvish, earning the right to negotiate a contract with the Japanese pitcher.

Major League Baseball announced that the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters of Japan’s Pacific League informed the U.S. commissioner’s office that they have accepted the top bid for Darvish.

The Rangers, who have won the past two American League pennants, now have 30 days to sign Darvish to a contract. The 25-year-old right-hander is considered the best pitcher in Japan, and several of baseball’s biggest spenders were thought to be interested in him.

Also: The Arizona Diamondbacks reached agreement on a two-year, $15 million contract with free-agent outfielder Jason Kubel. The left-handed hitting Kubel, 29, had 104 home runs and 429 RBIs in seven seasons with the Minnesota Twins. He was limited to 99 games last season because of injuries, batting .273 with 12 homers and 58 RBIs.

Ernie Els and Retief Goosen enter the 2012 PGA Tour season without any assurances of playing in the Masters.

The field for the Masters took shape after the final official week of golf tournaments around the world. Among the criteria for an invitation is to be among the top 50 in the world ranking at the end of the season.

Els, a three-time major champion, fell to No. 56 in the final ranking. Goosen, a two-time U.S. Open champion, is 53rd.

Els and Goosen still can get in by winning a PGA Tour event before the Masters (except those tournaments held opposite World Golf Championships), or by getting into the top 50 in the world ranking published the week before the Masters.

The UNLV men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams took the team titles in the three-day Winter Invitational at Buchanan Natatorium. The men’s team won three events on the final day and finished with 920 points, with Fresno State second at 600. The women’s team scored 836 points, far outpacing second-place Northern Arizona (447).

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