Tuesday's Sports In Brief

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Associated Press

Posted on February 27, 2013 at 3:00 AM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 27 at 6:00 AM

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The attorney for three NASCAR fans injured last weekend during a race the day before the Daytona 500 says they are exploring a possible lawsuit, but some experts say they could face tough obstacles in winning damages.

Matt Morgan, the Orlando-based lawyer for the fans, said at a news conference than any suit would focus on the safety fence used along the track at Daytona International Speedway. He said he hopes to reach a settlement with NASCAR to avoid a lawsuit.

More than 30 people were injured last Saturday after a horrific wreck in a second-tier NASCAR series race sent chunks of debris, including a heavy tire, into the stands. Morgan declined to provide the identities of his clients, but said two of them were seated directly in front of the crash and sustained injuries ranging from a fractured fibula to abdominal swelling. All have been released from the hospital.

NEW YORK (AP) — With Danica Patrick starting from the pole, the Daytona 500's television ratings were much higher than last year's.

Sunday afternoon's race earned a 9.9 rating and 22 share on Fox, the network said. That's up 24 percent from 2012, when rain pushed the event to a Monday night. It was the highest rating since 2008.

Jimmie Johnson won the race while Patrick was eighth, the best finish by a woman at the Daytona 500.CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — NASCAR driver Michael Annett has a fracture and dislocation of his sternum that will require surgery. Aric Almirola will replace him in the Nationwide Series this weekend at Phoenix.

Annett was injured in a wreck during the Nationwide Series race Saturday at Daytona.

TRACK AND FIELD

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Even if Oscar Pistorius is acquitted of murder, firearms and legal experts in South Africa believe that, by his own account, the star athlete violated basic gun-handling regulations and exposed himself to a homicide charge by shooting into a closed door without knowing who was behind it.

Particularly jarring for firearms instructors and legal experts is that Pistorius testified that he shot at a closed toilet door, fearing but not knowing for certain that a nighttime intruder was on the other side. Instead of an intruder, Pistorius' girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was in the toilet cubicle. Struck by three of four shots that Pistorius fired from a 9 mm pistol, she died within minutes. Prosecutors charged Pistorius with premeditated murder, saying the shooting followed an argument between the two. Pistorius said it was an accident.

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Oscar Pistorius planned a personal memorial service on for Reeva Steenkamp, the 29-year-old model he shot at his home on Valentine's Day.

The evening service would be at the Pretoria home of his uncle Arnold, where the Olympic athlete has been staying since he was released on bail awaiting trial on a premeditated murder charge.

Pistorius' public relations firm said he had requested the service "as he remains in deep mourning for the loss of his partner Reeva," whom he says he shot by accident assuming an intruder had entered his home on Feb. 14.

Exactly a week ago, a memorial service was held for Steenkamp in the southern coast city of Port Elizabeth, where her body was cremated following a private service.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

DALLAS (AP) — The Big 12 says officiating errors were made at the end of regulation before No. 6 Kansas outlasted Iowa State in overtime on Monday night.

The league said that "appropriate measures will be taken" against the two officials involved, including an adjustment of "the number of future assignments."

The Big 12 did not identify the officials or the plays in question.

Kansas's Elijah Johnson drove into the lane and got tangled up with Iowa State's Georges Niang with less than 10 seconds left. No foul was called, and Niang was then whistled for fouling Johnson on the floor. Johnson sank two free throws to force OT with 4.9 seconds left.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — C. Vivian Stringer fought back tears as her Rutgers women's basketball players celebrated their coach's entrance to the exclusive 900 win club.

The fifth time was the charm for Stringer, who became the fourth women's college basketball coach to reach 900 wins as Rutgers cruised past South Florida 68-56 Tuesday night.

Stringer, a Hall of Famer in her 42nd season as head coach, reached the milestone thanks to Erica Wheeler, who scored 24 points to help the Scarlet Knights (15-12, 6-8 Big East) snap a four-game losing streak.

GOLF

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy faced off Sunday in match play, just like so many golf fans wanted to see.

Only hardly anyone saw them. And it didn't even count.

After both were eliminated in the first round of the Match Play Championship, No. 1 and No. 2 in the world played two rounds Sunday morning at The Medalist.

"We thought we'd play our own Match Play final," McIlroy said Tuesday at the Honda Classic.

McIlroy said Woods won the first 18 holes, and he won the second match.

The Medalist is Woods' home club. McIlroy said former NFL receiver Ahmad Rashad joined them.

SOCCER

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo got the better of Lionel Messi, scoring twice to lead Real Madrid to a 3-1 win at Barcelona and a spot in the Copa del Rey final.

After salvaging a 1-1 draw in the first leg, Madrid neutralized Barcelona's passing game and counterattacked to perfection at the Camp Nou to hand its archrival its first home loss in any competition since last April.

YOUTH SPORTS

RICHMOND, British Columbia (AP) — A Vancouver pee-wee hockey coach has been sentenced to 15 days in jail for tripping a player during a postgame handshake.

Martin Tremblay swept out the leg of an opposing player while the teams were going through the typical hockey ritual of lining up to shake hands after the game. Two players, a 10-year-old and a 13-year-old, fell to the ice. The move was caught on video and worked its way around the Internet.

TENNIS

ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) — Rafael Nadal needed just over an hour to beat Diego Schwartzman of Argentina 6-2, 6-2 to advance to the second round of the Mexican Open.

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Top-seeded John Isner got past feisty Jesse Levine 7-6 (3), 5-7, 6-4 to advance to the second round of the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships.

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