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Last Update on January 30, 2015 06:31 GMT


SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -- Sean Bergenheim scored the go-ahead goal late in the third period to help the Florida Panthers get a much-needed win over the Columbus Blue Jackets, 3-2 on Thursday night.

Aaron Ekblad and Jonathan Huberdeau also scored for the Panthers, and Roberto Luongo made 30 saves.

Florida snapped a five-game loss streak, won at home for the first time in seven games, and beat Columbus for the first time since a 5-2 road victory on Nov. 21, 2007 -- a span of 11 games.

Alexander Wennberg and Jack Johnson scored for the Blue Jackets and Curtis McElhinney stopped 29 shots.


CLEVELAND (AP) -- Browns receiver Josh Gordon says his latest trouble with the NFL results from having a few drinks with teammates.

Gordon said in an open letter on Medium on Thursday that he accepts responsibility for a failed alcohol test that could bring another suspension from the league. The 23-year-old receiver said he had two beers and two other drinks with teammates on a flight to Las Vegas on Jan. 2, after Cleveland's season ended.

The former Pro Bowler was suspended for last season after testing positive for marijuana, but the penalty was reduced to 10 games. Gordon said that as part of the reduction, he agreed not to drink alcohol. He said he was tested for it when he got off the plane in Las Vegas.

Gordon says he thought the agreement to not drink ended after the Browns' regular season but he should have confirmed it.


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Marc Loving scored 19 points and D'Angelo Russell added 18 points and 14 rebounds to lead Ohio State to an 80-56 victory over No. 16 Maryland on Thursday night.

Jae'Sean Tate, starting his third game in a row, added 16 points and eight rebounds for the Buckeyes (17-5, 6-3 Big Ten), who have won three in a row -- including the last two over ranked opponents at home.

Dez Wells had 12 points and Jake Layman 10 for Maryland (18-4, 6-3), which had won four of five.

Melo Trimble, who came in leading Maryland in scoring at 16.3 points per game, had a forgettable night. He missed all eight shots from the field, including four 3-pointers, and ended up with three points, one rebound and one assist.


CINCINNATI (AP) -- Point guard Troy Caupain scored a career-high 20 points on Thursday night before leaving with his second technical foul, and Cincinnati never trailed during a 70-58 victory over sloppy Connecticut to split the season series.

Cincinnati (15-5, 6-2 American Athletic) won its third in a row overall and improved to 12-1 at home this season.

Caupain wiggled free for layups and made eight of his nine shots. He picked up his second technical for taunting with 2:24 to go and Cincinnati up by 14 points.

UConn (11-8, 4-3) won the teams' first matchup in Connecticut on Jan. 10, with Ryan Boatright scoring 18 points in a 67-60 victory. The conference's stingiest defense clamped down on him in the rematch and held him without a field goal until there was 12:56 left in the game.

UConn turned it over 17 times and shot only 33 percent from the field overall.

National Sports News

Last Update on January 30, 2015 16:21 GMT


CHANDLER, Ariz. (AP) -- Tom Brady's cold continues to be big news in Phoenix as the Patriots and Seahawks gear up for Sunday's Super Bowl. The Patriots quarterback still sounded congested when he said Thursday, "I expect to be 100 percent on Sunday. I'll be ready to go."

He participated fully in practice on Wednesday and said he felt a lot better on Thursday.

On the Seattle side of things, running back Marshawn Lynch actually made some comments to reporters. In short, he simply said he's got nothing to talk about. He left after his mandatory five minutes.

In actual football news, Seahawks' coach Pete Carroll says the referees will use hand signals to indicate clearly when normally eligible receivers check in the Super Bowl as ineligible, a technique the Patriots have used in the postseason. Carroll spoke about conversations he had with league officials after Seattle and New England reached the Super Bowl to get an understanding how those players would be identified.


PHOENIX (AP) -- The NFL says the rate of concussions among players fell 25 percent this season, even as injury reporting and trips to injured reserve lists rose overall.

Data provided to The Associated Press by the NFL ahead of its annual pre-Super Bowl health and safety news conference shows there were 111 concussions in games during the 2014 regular season, down from 148 in 2013, and 173 in 2012. That's a 36 percent drop over that three-year span.

League Senior Vice President of Health and Safety Jeff Miller says the reason things have changed is because the players have changed the way they are tackling.


FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) -- Jurors are hearing grim testimony in the murder trial of former New England Patriots standout Aaron Hernandez, who has been portrayed by his lawyers as a man with "the world at his feet" and no reason to kill.

Two men who worked at a business near where semiprofessional football player Odin Lloyd's body was found described a teenage jogger coming to their office early on the evening of June 17, 2013, to tell them about the body, then leading them to an empty lot.

One of the men, David Swithers, said he stopped about 20 feet away and saw a man on his back, "stiff and motionless."

The 25-year-old Hernandez is charged in the 2013 shooting death of Lloyd, a 27-year-old who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee. Lloyd's body was found in an industrial park near Hernandez's North Attleborough home, not far from Gillette Stadium.

Defense attorney Michael Fee told the jury that Hernandez is an innocent man "targeted" by authorities for his celebrity. Fee saying that Hernandez did not kill Lloyd and did not ask anyone to do so. He said authorities could offer no motive for the killing.


UNDATED (AP) --While most people call it the Super Bowl, Sunday's game between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks is, for many business owners, simply the "big game" or "game day."

Radio hosts are tripping over their tongues and airport signs are carefully worded to keep from referring to it as the Super Bowl, a trademarked name the NFL strictly polices. Mom-and-pop shops and large companies hoping to cash in on the game, but who also don't want to run afoul of league lawyers, have found ways to color inside the lines.

Grocery chain Whole Foods has avoided using "Super Bowl" on in-store signs and social media. The Facebook page for the central Phoenix location offers recipe ideas for "your Big Game party."

Signs at American Airlines ticket counters in Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport greet travelers with "Welcome to the big game."

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy says the league is determined "to protect our valuable intellectual property and the rights we extend to our partners."

McCarthy declined to discuss how many companies have received letters to stop using "Super Bowl" in their ads and promotions.


UNDATED (AP) -- A market research firm says that when the spreads are laid out for the Super Bowl on Sunday, vegetables top the list of the most popular foods.

NPD Group says that while chicken wings are popular, veggie trays have led the list for 30 years.

Retailers say they sell their share of salty snacks and alcohol for the game. Nationally, Pizza Hut alone will have 60,000 drivers delivering 2 million pies. A spokesman says that just before kickoff, the chain expects 1,700 orders per minute.


UNDATED (AP) -- It's a busy Friday for the NBA. Nine games are scheduled.

The Minnesota Wild are in Philadelphia to face the Sixers. Portland is at Atlanta. The Houston Rockets take on the Celtics in Boston. The Brooklyn Nets host Toronto. Sacramento faces the Cavaliers in Cleveland. The L.A. Clippers are in New Orleans to play the Pelicans. Dallas is in Miami, Golden State is at Utah and the Chicago Bulls are in Phoenix to play the Suns.


UNDATED (AP) -- There's a light Friday schedule in the NHL.

The Pittsburgh Penguins travel to New Jersey to face the Devils. St. Louis is at Carolina. The Avalanche host Nashville. Buffalo travels to Vancouver. And the Chicago Blackhawks are in Anaheim to play the Ducks.


NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) -- Athletics Kenya has banned marathon champion Rita Jeptoo (JEP'-too) two years for doping. Jeptoo has won the Boston Marathon three times, and her second Chicago Marathon in October. Traces of the banned blood-booster EPO were found on Jeptoo's out-of competition test in Kenya on Sept. 25.


Sports Director Clay Hall

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