Sports briefs 2/19/05
Saturday, February 19, 2005
* Carmelo Anthony took advantage of his only on-court appearance of this All-Star weekend, scoring 31 points Friday night to lead the sophomores to a 133-106 victory over the rookies in an exhibition between the top stars from the two classes.
* Bernard Hopkins, 40, will make his 20th middlweight title defense tonight against Howard Eastman. The defense puts him in rare company among some boxing greats. He'll match Larry Holmes, who defended the heavyweight title 20 times, and draw closer to the great Joe Louis, who had 25 defenses.
Hopkins (45-2-1, 32 knockouts), who beat Oscar De La Hoya in his last bout, is a 6-1 favorite to retain his undisputed 160-pound titles when he meets Eastman in a scheduled 12-round bout at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
* Prosecutors filed tougher charges Friday against former Iowa basketball player Pierre Pierce in connection with an alleged assault on his former girlfriend last month.
The new charges, which supersede six previous counts filed last week, include two counts of first-degree burglary, one count of assault with intent to commit sexual assault and one count of fourth-degree criminal mischief.
Police say Pierce, a 21-year-old from Westmont, Ill., choked his former girlfriend at her town house, threatened her with a knife and stripped her after an argument over her new boyfriend. Pierce also is accused of causing damage to her apartment and stealing a laptop and camera.
The amended charges mean Pierce now is charged with three felonies, instead of one, and could face up to 56 years in jail if convicted.
* Dale Earnhardt Jr. has his work cut out for him if he is going to win a fourth straight NASCAR Busch Series race at Daytona International Speedway.
While "Front Row Joe" Nemechek was winning the pole for Saturday's Hershey's Take 5 300, Earnhardt qualified 26th in the 43-car field.
Nemechek, a regular in the Nextel Cup Series who runs a handful of Busch races, got around the 2 1/2-mile, high-banked oval at 182.452 mph. It was the 18th pole of his Busch career and the fourth at Daytona. He also has eight Cup poles.
Kyle Busch took the outside spot on the front row at 182.216.
* Bobby Hamilton was standing on pit road and Jimmy Spencer was celebrating in Victory Lane.
Then they switched positions.
Hamilton was awarded a victory in the wreck-filled Florida Dodge Dealers 250 on Friday night at Daytona International Speedway after Spencer initially took the checkered flag and drove into the winner's circle.
It was the perfect ending for a wild race that included countless lead changes, several major crashes and two flipping trucks.
Hamilton took the lead after a restart with one lap to go, but Spencer was back in front when an eight-truck wreck started. However, before the caution flag came out, Hamilton moved back in front.