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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Zags draw Oklahoma State in San Diego

West Coast Conference regular-season and tournament champion Gonzaga will be playing its NCAA tournament opener in San Diego on Friday as the No. 8 seed in the West Region.

Marcus Smart suspended 3 games for shoving fan

STILLWATER, Okla. – Marcus Smart was quiet and subdued as he apologized at a podium, a demeanor in stark contrast to the one that sent shockwaves through Oklahoma State’s basketball program hours earlier. Smart was suspended three games Sunday by the Big 12 for shoving a fan in the closing seconds of the Cowboys’ loss at Texas Tech on Saturday night. The conference acted swiftly in banning the All-America guard, saying in a statement the penalty was handed down for “inappropriate conduct with a spectator.”

OSU star Smart shoves fan in loss to Texas Tech

Oklahoma State star Marcus Smart shoved a fan underneath the basket in the waning seconds of Texas Tech’s 65-61 win over the 19th-ranked Cowboys on Saturday night. Smart (pictured, right) tried to block Jaye Crockett’s dunk attempt from behind with 6.2 seconds to go and tumbled into the front row of the crowd. He was helped to his feet by one man but then got in the face of another fan in a black shirt. The man appeared to say something to Smart, who then shoved him with two hands. The fan stumbled backward a bit but didn’t fall. Smart was called for a technical foul but was not ejected. Crockett scored 21 points with 12 rebounds to lead Texas Tech, which handed the Cowboys their fourth straight loss. The game was tied at 61 when Crockett hit the go-ahead shot with 41 seconds remaining. – AP

In Brief: Bryan brothers keep U.S. alive in Davis Cup

Tennis: Bob and Mike Bryan beat Dominic Inglot and Colin Fleming 6-2, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 Saturday in San Diego to pull the United States to 2-1 against Britain in the first round of the Davis Cup. The match will be decided today in reverse singles, when Wimbledon winner Andy Murray of Britain faces Sam Querrey and James Ward of Britain faces Donald Young. Murray won the opening singles match in straight sets against Donald Young on Friday while Ward rallied to beat Querrey in five sets.

In brief: Thunder weather Heat in Miami

NBA: Kevin Durant remained sizzling with 33 points, Serge Ibaka added 22 and the Oklahoma City Thunder roared back from an abysmal start to embarrass the Heat 112-95 on Wednesday night in Miami, erasing an 18-point deficit by outscoring the two-time defending champions by 43 points over a 33-minute span. The Thunder led by as many as 25, and shot 16 for 27 from 3-point range. Miami was 3 for 19 from beyond the 3-point line.

No. 9 Missouri beats No. 13 OSU 41-31 in Cotton Bowl

ARLINGTON, Texas – Henry Josey ran for 92 yards and three touchdowns, the last a 16-yarder with 3:08 left, and No. 9 Missouri beat No. 13 Oklahoma State 41-31 in the Cotton Bowl on Friday night. The former Big 12 and Big Eight rivals traded points on six consecutive possessions in the fourth quarter, until Oklahoma State quarterback Clint Chelf was sacked and fumbled with a minute left. Defensive lineman Shane Ray picked up the ball and rumbled 73 yards down the sideline in front of the stunned Cowboys bench to score.

Freshman QB Knight guides Sooners past Tide

NEW ORLEANS – Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops declined to announce a starting quarterback before the Sugar Bowl, and when freshman Trevor Knight took the field on the Sooners’ first possession, Alabama’s defenders couldn’t have anticipated what was in store. Knight completed a Sugar Bowl-record 32 passes for 348 yards and four touchdowns, and No. 11 Oklahoma took down third-ranked Alabama 45-31 on Thursday night.

Oklahoma expects the best from ’Bama in Sugar Bowl

NEW ORLEANS – Whatever Bob Stoops may have said about the overall strength of the Southeastern Conference, that apparently doesn’t apply when it comes to the challenge he sees before 11th-ranked Oklahoma in tonight’s Sugar Bowl. The Sooners’ coach made that clear on the eve of a matchup with No. 3 Alabama.

Westbrook out until All-Star break

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook had arthroscopic knee surgery Friday and will be sidelined until after the All-Star break. Westbrook will miss at least 27 games. “He will be missed,” coach Scott Brooks said before Oklahoma City’s game Friday night against the Charlotte Bobcats. “Obviously we are a very good team with him, and without him we’re still going to be a very good team.” General manager Sam Presti said in a news release earlier in the day that Westbrook has been playing pain-free, but “recently had experienced increased swelling” in his right knee. Brooks said Reggie Jackson, who is averaging 12.5 points, will start. Jeremy Lamb will also see increased playing time in Westbrook’s absence. – Associated Press

Durant, Thunder roll over Anthony-less Knicks

NEW YORK – Not only was there no Kevin Durant-Carmelo Anthony showdown, there wasn’t much of a game, either. The Oklahoma City Thunder made sure of it with the most dominant performance ever by a road team on Christmas.

GU women prepare for biggest challenge at Stanford

Having returned triumphantly from a road trip that toppled two Big 10 powers, Kelly Graves and the Gonzaga women’s basketball team now face their biggest test of the season as the team travels to play Stanford at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Petty leads No. 5 Baylor over Oklahoma

WACO, Texas – Bryce Petty threw for three touchdowns and ran for two more, Shock Linwood ran for 182 yards and fifth-ranked Baylor stayed undefeated by passing its first big test with a 41-12 victory over No. 12 Oklahoma on Thursday night. Baylor (8-0, 5-0 Big 12) scored twice in the final minute before halftime and stretched its school-record winning streak to 12 games since a loss at Oklahoma last November. The Bears are 8-0 for the first time.

Thunder replacing courts

MOORE, Okla. – The Oklahoma City Thunder will rebuild the outdoor basketball courts at the sites of three schools destroyed in the May 20 tornado. The NBA team said Sunday before its Blue and White Scrimmage at Westmoore High School that it will rebuild courts at Briarwood Elementary, Plaza Towers Elementary and Highland East Junior High School with Thunder branding.

Sooners visit South Bend

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops says he is focused on his 14th-ranked Sooners trying to beat No. 22 Notre Dame this season, not the fact that the Fighting Irish have won nine of the 10 games between two of college football’s most successful programs. But several Oklahoma players say revenge will at least be a bit on their minds when the teams meet today ( 12:30 p.m., NBC), remembering the Irish scored 17 points in the final 6 minutes a year ago to turn a close game into a blowout and help Notre Dame get to the BCS title game. Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly says the Irish believe they can do it again. Associated Press

Hux: Militia’s misses get hands-on experience

North Idaho’s fringe, right-wing groups captured another 15 minutes of fame, courtesy of the New York media. On Thursday, the New York Daily News featured a photo essay of the Light Foot Militia, snapped by Reuters photographer Matt Mills McKnight. The article showed North Idaho and Spokane militia members drilling and bonding at their third annual retreat near Priest River – some 73 in all, at peak time.

Spotlight: Local musicians hope to help tornado victims

Area musicians will perform a concert to benefit victims of last week’s powerful tornado in Moore, Okla. The lineup features Mark Schirtz, winner of the 2011 Spokane’s Got Talent contest and Dawghouse Entertainment recording artist, Tommy G, a two-time Spokane’s Got Talent finalist, rock and country guitarist Kicho Forrest, and the hippie-groove rock band the Angela Marie Project.

Teachers credited with saving students in Okla.

MOORE, Okla. — The principal’s voice came on over the intercom at Plaza Towers Elementary School: A severe storm was approaching and students were to go to the cafeteria and wait for their parents to pick them up. But before all of the youngsters could get there, the tornado alarm sounded. The plan changed quickly.

Crews dig through night after deadly Okla. twister

MOORE, Okla. — Search-and-rescue crews worked through the night after a monstrous tornado barreled through the Oklahoma City suburbs, demolishing an elementary school and reducing homes to piles of splintered wood. At least 24 people were killed, including at least nine children, and those numbers were expected to climb.

Tornado hits home for sports world

The massive tornado that ripped through a handful of Oklahoma City suburbs and killed at least 50 people grabbed the attention of the sports world on Monday, especially the players and coaches with ties to the area. Kevin Durant, a three-time scoring champion for the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder, posted on his Twitter account that he was praying for everyone involved. He added: “Everybody stay safe!”