No. 3 Villanova beats Irish, perfect in Big East
Scottie Reynolds and Corey Fisher each scored 17 points to help No. 3 Villanova get off to the best start in school history with a 90-72 victory over Notre Dame on Wednesday night in Philadelphia.
The Wildcats are 19-1 for the first time and are the only Big East team unbeaten in conference play (8-0). Led by Reynolds, Fisher, Antonio Pena and Co., Villanova has won 10 consecutive games and is in the mix for the top spot in the Associated Press poll next week.
Reynolds and Notre Dame’s Luke Harangody were expected to state their cases for Big East player of the year. Harangody delivered for the Irish (15-6, 4-4) with 21 points and nine rebounds in 37 minutes. Reynolds scored nine consecutive points during Villanova’s 11-0 run in the final four minutes.
† David Lighty scored 20 points, including 18 in the second half, and No. 20 Ohio State rallied past Iowa 65-57 in Iowa City for its fourth consecutive Big Ten win. Evan Turner added 16 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists for the Buckeyes (15-6, 5-3), who closed the game with a 20-7 run. Eric May tied a career high with 18 points for Iowa (8-13, 2-6).
† Kenny Lawson Jr. scored 16 points, and Creighton (11-10, 6-4 Missouri Valley) never trailed in a 73-68 victory over Bradley (10-10, 5-5) in Peoria. Taylor Brown led the Braves with a double-double of 19 points and 12 rebounds.
† Clevin Hannah scored 22 points to lead Wichita State (18-4, 7-3 Missouri Valley) to a 74-66 victory over Illinois State (14-7, 5-5) in Wichita, Kan. Lloyd Phillips scored a season-high 22 points to lead the Redbirds.
† D.J. Cooper scored a careerhigh 29 points and Armon Bassett 25 to lead Ohio (11-9, 2-4 MidAmerican) to a 99-84 victory over Northern Illinois (8-10, 4-2) in DeKalb, Ill. Xavier Silas led the Huskies with 31 points.
Serena-Henin in Aussie final
Serena Williams advanced to her fifth Australian Open final, beating China’s Li Na 7-6 (4), 7-6 (1) for her 50th match win at Melbourne Park.
Williams has a perfect record in Melbourne Park finals, having won titles in 2003, 2005, 2007 and last year. She will face Justine Henin, who beat China’s Zheng Jie 6-1, 6-0.
Henin, returning to the tour after a 20-month retirement, last played in a major at the 2008 Aussie Open, where she lost in the quarterfinals to eventual champ Maria Sharapova.
Nets claim fourth victory
Kris Humphries scored a career-high 25 points, and the host New Jersey Nets avoided the worst 44-game start in league history with a 103-87 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Nets (4-40) were tied with the 1993-94 Dallas Mavericks for the NBA’s worst record after 43 games. They snapped an 11-game losing streak.
Wild keeps Wings on skids
Antti Miettinen scored two firstperiod goals to spark the host Minnesota Wild to a 5-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings, who fell to 1-3-3 in their last seven games.
Josh Harding made 26 saves for the Wild, which improved to 6-0-1 in its last seven home games. Miettinen, who has 15 goals this season, had his third two-goal game in his last seven games.
Fire adds Polish defender Krol
The Fire has come to terms on a loan deal for Polish defender Krzysztof Krol, shoring up a defensive line in need and giving the club its first Polish player since 2008. Krol, 22, joins the team from Jagiellonia Bialystok. He’s a candidate to replace Gonzalo Segares, who signed with Greek club Apollon FC.
† U.S. speedskating star Shani Davis won’t compete in all five individual races at the Vancouver Olympics. Davis had planned to become the first American since Eric Heiden to skate in every individual event, but he backed out of the 10,000 meters before a Jan. 17 deadline for final entries.
† The Wolves won their seasonhigh eighth in a row at home, beating the Houston Aeros 5-2 at Allstate Arena. Brett Sterling had two goals and Jason Krog a goal and two assists for the Wolves (27-17-0-2). Kari Lehtonen made 25 saves in the second outing of his conditioning stint from the Atlanta Thrashers.
The Nets’ Keyon Dooling goes up for a shot against the Clippers’ Al Thornton during the Nets’ fourth victory of the season.