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Minnesota tops Seattle to advance

Wed., Oct. 3, 2012, midnight

WNBA: Seimone Augustus scored 21 points, Maya Moore had 20 and the Minnesota Lynx held off the Seattle Storm 73-72 Tuesday night at Minneapolis to advance to the Western Conference finals.

Minnesota will host Los Angeles in the opener of the West finals Thursday night. The Sparks swept San Antonio in their series.

Sue Bird scored 19 points and Camille Little had 17 for Seattle.

The Storm had a chance to win it in the final seconds, but Lauren Jackson’s turnaround jumper went off the rim.

Minnesota never led by more than six points in the second half.

Trailing by four points, Bird made a 3-pointer to get the Storm to 73-72 with 35 seconds to play.

After Lindsay Whalen missed a leaner for the Lynx with 10.4 seconds to play it took Seattle 7 seconds to call a time out, leaving just 3.3 seconds to execute a final play.

• Indiana advances: Katie Douglas scored 24 points and Erlana Larkins had 16 points and 20 rebounds to help the Indiana Fever beat the Atlanta Dream 75-64 in Indianapolis and advance to the Eastern Conference finals.

Tamika Catchings added 16 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks and Lewis and Clark High School product Briann January also scored 16 points for the Fever.

Indiana will face Connecticut in the opener of the East finals on Friday night.

Heyward-Bey returns to Raiders’ practice

NFL: Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey practiced for the first time since being hospitalized by a helmet-to-helmet hit as the Oakland Raiders worked on fixing their problems during the bye week.

Heyward-Bey took part in individual drills as the Raiders held their first of two practices this week before getting four days off for their bye this weekend. He ran some routes and caught some passes in his first step back.

“We’re kind of at that stage, just trying to take the necessary steps,” he said. “We’ve got a plan for me, and today was step No. 1 and I feel pretty good.”

Hilliard signs with Jets: The New York Jets have signed fullback Lex Hilliard, a former University of Montana standout, and waived wide receiver Patrick Turner.

Hilliard was a sixth-round pick of the Dolphins in 2008 and played under current Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano when he was Miami’s head coach.

Hockey: The financial losses are starting to pile up as a result of the NHL lockout.

In speaking to reporters after talks finished up for the day between the NHL and the NHLPA, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly estimated that the league has lost $100 million in revenues from the canceled preseason.

“Today,” he said, “was not overly encouraging.”

And though they can pick up at any time, for the moment, there are no further talks scheduled. That only further increases speculation that regular-season games could be lost, with an announcement expected sometime this week. The season was slated to begin Oct. 11.

Tuesday’s bargaining session focused on the definition of hockey-related revenue, and featured NHLPA head Donald Fehr, his brother, Steve, the special counsel to the players’ association, and Winnipeg Jets defenseman Ron Hainsey.

“They have made some incremental moves,” said Donald Fehr, who expects to informally talk with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman by Wednesday. “It’s clear that the players have made substantial moves towards the owners and the owners have made substantial moves away from the players.”

NDSU football players plead guilty

College football: Ten North Dakota State University football players pleaded guilty to misdemeanor election fraud and were sentenced to community service for faking signatures ballot measure petitions that they were hired to collect.

Among the players on the nation’s top-ranked Football Championship Subdivision team who pleaded guilty Tuesday were starters Samuel Ojuri, Joshua Colville, Marcus Williams and Brendin Pierre. Players Lucas Albers, Aireal Boyd, Demitrius Gray Bryan Shepherd, Antonio Rogers, and Charles Smith III also pleaded guilty.

Each of the players was ordered to serve 360 days of unsupervised probation, complete 50 hours of community service and pay $325 in fees. All of the sentences were deferred.

South Dakota head coach Craig Bohl has said the team might discipline the players but won’t suspend them.

The No. 1-ranked Bison play No. 3-rated Youngstown State Saturday at the Fargodome.


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