Two committo Penguins hoops
YOUNGSTOWN -- John Robic, the Youngstown State men's basketball coach, announced Monday that Jonathan Mends of Miami, Fla., and Derrick Harris of Cambridge, Mass., will attend YSU next season and play basketball for the Penguins.
Mends is a 5-foot-11, 175-pound guard who averaged 15.5 points, 9.5 assists and seven rebounds as a junior at Carol City High School in Miami.
Harris (6-2, 188) played at Proctor Academy in Andover, Mass., as a junior where the team went 23-3 and won the New England Prep School championship. He averaged 20 points, nine assists, six rebounds and four steals a game.
Women's teamgets two more
YOUNGSTOWN -- Two more women basketball players have signed National Letters of Intent to play for Youngstown State University.
Coach Ed DiGregorio says Nicole Neila of Manchester, Ohio, and Aliyah Sabree of Detroit have signed.
Neila is a 6-foot-2 center who led her team to a 60-14 record the past three seasons. She was picked third-team all state as a junior.
Sabree (5-8 guard) averaged 12 points, six assists and five rebounds last year at Renaissance High School.
Last week, Boardman's Ashlee Russo, a 5-7 guard who scored 17.1 points and handed out 4.1 assists as a junior, signed with YSU.
Boxing eventhas tickets
YOUNGSTOWN -- Reserved tickets are sold out for Wednesday's professional boxing card at the Holiday Inn Metroplex in Liberty Township, but general admission tickets are available.
The doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the bouts begin an hour later. In the main event, Youngstown's Kelly Pavlik (10-0 with 10 knockouts) will take on Rob Bleakley (77-22-2) of Mitchellville, Ind.
E.T. Whittaker (22-5) of Warren will fight Kenny Snow (34-13). For more information, call (330) 788-4157 or (330) 792-6976.
Illini fansare missing
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Illinois football fans rarely have much to cheer about. Now that their team is on the verge of a Big Ten title, Fighting Illini rooters are nowhere to be found.
When Northwestern (4-6, 2-5) visits No. 10 Illinois (9-1, 6-1) on Thursday, 70,900-seat Memorial Stadium won't even be half full. Adding insult to emptiness? The game isn't on TV -- not even locally.
"I know that they would like to have a big crowd out there," Illinois coach Ron Turner said. "But if not, if there are 10,000 people out there, we've got to go out and play well and not get caught up in it."
The Illini are in the Top 10 for the first time in a decade.
Packers safetygoes on IR
NEW YORK -- The Green Bay Packers placed safety LeRoy Butler on injured reserve, ending his season, and signed free agents Billy Jenkins and Keith Thibodeaux to bolster their decimated secondary.
Butler, a 12-year veteran and All-Pro, broke his left shoulder blade in a loss to Atlanta on Sunday. His streak of 128 consecutive starts will end Thursday at Detroit.
Eagles releasesafety Carroll
PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Eagles released safety Terrence Carroll, three days after he was arrested on marijuana possession charges.
Lions linebackerplaced on IR
DETROIT -- Detroit Lions Pro Bowl linebacker Stephen Boyd's season ended when he was placed on injured reserve. Boyd, who struggled with a back injury last season, has been out since reaggravating the injury Oct. 14 in Minnesota.
Turek signswith Flames
CALGARY, Alberta -- Calgary Flames goalie Roman Turek passed up a chance to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, signing a four-year contract.
The 31-year-old Czech, an NHL-best 13-0-2-2 with a 1.62 goals-against average, will receive a reported $19 million.
Flame beginstrip to Utah
ANCIENT OLYMPIA, Greece -- The Olympic flame began its journey to Salt Lake City, carrying hopes that the Winter Games can bring solace to a nation in mourning and at war.
The flame was displayed in a traditional ceremony among the ruins of the ancient birthplace of the Olympics.
Staff/wire reports

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