Sports briefs: Northwestern falls in Big Ten Match Play Championships at The Concession

February 9, 2013 

College golf: Northwestern upset in Big Ten event

EAST MANATEE -- Northwestern won't have a chance to go for its fourth consecutive Big Ten Match Play Championship when the final round commences Saturday at The Concession Golf Club.

That's because Michigan State defeated the No. 2-seeded Wildcats in Friday's quarterfinals of the men's golf tournament.The Spartans, seeded seventh, rolled to a 4-1-0 victory.

Also booking spots in Saturday's semifinals were top-seeded Illinois, Ohio State and Iowa. The Illini face the Buckeyes, while Michigan State meets Iowa.

The semifinals begin at 7:30 a.m. Saturday. The final match is slated for 1 p.m.

College athletics: James hired as Miami athletic director

CORAL GABLES -- Blake James was not privy to many details of the NCAA investigation into Miami's athletic compliance practices until he became the Hurricanes' acting athletic director four months ago.

Even after learning what the Hurricanes could be facing, he still wanted the job.

And the school gave it to him on Friday, taking the "acting" tag off his title and formally making him the school's athletic director. He replaced Shawn Eichorst, who left in October for the same job at Nebraska.

"It was an interview process that probably's been longer than most, but one that was a great experience and one that I valued tremendously," James said in an afternoon teleconference. "And obviously I look forward to moving this program forward. I think we have great days ahead, a great staff, great coaches and I'm looking forward to bringing us back to the top."

Tennis: Nadal reaches singles semifinals in Chile

VINA DEL MAR, Chile -- Rafael Nadal won his first of two matches in a test of his sore left knee, defeating fellow Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-1, 6-4 to reach the semifinals of the VTR Open.

Nadal had not played for seven months before he took the court earlier this week in this Pacific coastal resort city. With a doubles match set for later Friday, Nadal will have played five matches in four days.

ELSEWHERE -- Michael Llodra of France and Jarkko Nieminen of Finland advanced to the semifinals of the Open Sud de France in Montpellier, France. ... Top-seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia ousted Blaz Kavcic 6-3, 7-6 (5) in Zagreb, Croatia, to set up a Zagreb Indoors semifinal against defending champion Mikhail Youzhny of Russia. ... Li Na has pulled out of next week's Qatar Open because of the ankle injury she sustained in the Australia Open final.

Skiing: Hoefl-Riesch wins super-combined world title

SCHLADMING, Austria -- Olympic champion Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany bounced back from a disappointing World Cup season to win the super-combined at the skiing world championships.

Hoefl-Riesch was fourth after the downhill portion before posting the second-fastest time in the slalom to finish in 2 minutes, 39.92 seconds. She beat Tina Maze of Slovenia by 0.46.

-- Herald staff, wire reports

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