Reports: Missouri All-American says he is gay
UNDATED (AP) —Missouri All-American Michael Sam says he is gay, and the defensive end could become the first openly homosexual player in the NFL.
In interviews with ESPN, The New York Times and Outsports, Sam says he came out to his teammates and coaches at Missouri in August.
Sam says: "I am an openly, proud gay man."
The 255-pound Sam participated in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., last month after leading the SEC in sacks (11.5) and tackles for loss (19), and he is projected to be a mid-round NFL draft pick.
He says: "It's a big deal. No one has done this before. And it's kind of a nervous process, but I know what I want to be ... I want to be a football player in the NFL."
Gibson, Noah lead Bulls to 92-86 win over Lakers
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kirk Hinrich scored 19 points, Joakim Noah had 18 points and 13 rebounds, and the Chicago Bulls held off the stubborn Los Angeles Lakers 92-86 on Sunday after nearly blowing a 19-point lead.
Taj Gibson added 18 points for the Bulls, who never trailed against an injury-ravaged Lakers squad missing Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Jordan Farmar, Nick Young, Jodie Meeks and Xavier Henry.
Gasol, who had a season-high 19 rebounds the previous time the teams met, missed his fourth straight game because of a groin strain.
Center Chris Kaman scored a season-high 27 points off the bench for the Lakers.
MISS KANSAS-DEER HUNT
Miss Kansas bags buck during bow hunt
Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Miss Kansas traded evening gowns for camouflage when she went out on a deer bow hunt this winter in southeast Kansas.
Theresa Vail joined a December hunt in the Pratt area organized by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, JB Outfitters and Realtree Outdoors, which taped the hunt for a television show.
The Kansas City Star reports (http://bit.ly/1jg2AgM) Vail has been hunting since her dad introduced her to the sport when she was 10. She took part in the hunt to get a chance to shoot a trophy buck and shatter a stereotype.
The National Guard sergeant shot an 8-point buck in the final hour on the third day.
She was scheduled to be a featured speaker at the Hunter's Expo in Overland Park, which ended Sunday.
Nunn's 2nd half lifts Illinois past Penn St. 60-55
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Kendrick Nunn scored 11 of his 19 points in the second half and Illinois halted its eight-game losing streak with a 60-55 victory over Penn State on Sunday.
Nunn, averaging 4.1 points per game, was 7 for 13 from the field and made four 3-pointers for Illinois (14-10, 3-8 Big Ten). Malcolm Hill added 11 and Rayvonte Rice nine for the Illini.
Illinois grabbed a 53-52 lead at the 5:15 mark and hung on.
Penn State (12-12, 3-8), which has lost two straight games after a modest three-game conference win streak, was led by 19 points from D.J. Newbill and 11 from Tim Frazier. The Newbill-Frazier backcourt tandem entered the game ranked fifth in NCAA scoring totals. Frazier also became Penn State's career leader in assists, passing Freddie Barnes (600) with 601.
Illinois' last victory was a 75-55 decision over Penn State Jan. 4.
ILLINOIS ST-LOYOLA OF CHICAGO
Loyola of Chicago knocks off Illinois State 79-69
CHICAGO (AP) — Christian Thomas and Joe Crisman both scored 17 points to pace Loyola of Chicago over Illinois State 79-69 on Sunday.
Loyola (9-15, 4-8 Missouri Valley) raced out to a 15-5 lead, hitting six of its first seven shots, including four treys — two by Thomas. The Ramblers cruised to a 37-20 halftime lead.
A 7-0 run by Illinois State (13-11, 6-6), including a trey by Nick Zeisloft, cut its deficit to nine at the 14-minute mark of the second. But Loyola responded with a 7-0 run of its own and its lead never dipped into single digits again.
Loyola shot 55 percent from the floor and made 8 of 16 from beyond the arc. Nick Osborne and Milton Doyle both added 14 points.
Paris Lee led Illinois State with 14 points and Daishon Knight added 10.
W MICHIGAN-N ILLINOIS
W. Michigan holds on, edges N. Illinois 74-71
DEKALB, Ill. (AP) — David Brown scored 26 points, hitting 5 of 8 from 3-point range, as Western Michigan held on for a 74-71 win over Northern Illinois on Sunday.
Western Michigan (14-8, 7-3 Mid-American) led by as many as 16 in the second half and was up by 12 with less than 6 minutes to play but Northern Illinois went on an 11-1 run to come within 71-69 with 2:04 left.
Missed free throws by Western Michigan gave Northern Illinois (10-12, 4-6) chances to tie the game in the waning seconds but the Huskies missed a pair of 3-pointers, including a potential game-tying 3 at the buzzer by Aaric Armstead.
Shayne Whittington added 15 points and Connar Tava scored 12 for Western Michigan, which shot 52.8 percent from the field and has now won nine straight over Northern Illinois.
Jordan Threloff led the Huskies with 16 points.
Bradley beats Evansville 83-66
PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Walt Lemon, Jr. scored 25 points and Xzavier Taylor added 14 points and grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds to help Bradley roll to an 83-66 win over Evansville on Sunday.
Bradley took the lead for good at the 15:45 mark in the first half. Taylor made a pair of free throws to make it 47-36 with 16:46 to play, and the Braves led by double digits the rest of the way. Lemon scored 16 points in the second half, and finished 10 of 16 from the field. Tyshon Pickett added 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting.
Bradley (11-14, 6-6 Missouri Valley) now sits in a four-way tie for third place in the conference standings.
D.J. Balentine scored 23 points and Blake Simmons 18 for Evansville (10-15, 3-9). Egidijus Mockevicius added 14 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. Duane Gibson did not take a shot, but had eight assists.
As curling alternate, Pottinger scouts competition
(Information in the following story is from: St. Paul Pioneer Press, http://www.twincities.com)
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — As an alternate on the U.S. women's curling team, Allison Pottinger of Eden Prairie knows she might never throw a rock in Russia.
And that's OK with her.
The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports from Sochi, Russia (http://bit.ly/1fVW4bP ) that Pottinger isn't expecting to play. She'll be activated if there's an injury or illness, but she says she doesn't want to disrupt the team's chemistry.
Instead she says she's offering support and scouting the competition to see what they're doing.
U.S. women curlers are still seeking their first medal in the program's fourth Olympics.
Erika Brown of Madison, Wis., is the team's skip. The other team members are Jessica Schultz of Richfield, Minn., Debbie McCormick of Rio, Wis., and Ann Swisshelm of Chicago.
Team U.S.A. opens round-robin competition Monday against Switzerland.