SPORTS DIGEST || YSU cross country ranked No. 14 in region

YSU cross country ranked No. 14 in region

The Youngstown State men’s cross country team has moved up to 14th in the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCA) Great Lakes Region poll as both the Penguins men’s and women’s teams head to the Auto Owners/Playmakers Spartan Invitational hosted by Michigan State on Friday.

Senior Alan Burns led the men’s team to the program’s first victory at the Tommy Evans Invitational last Saturday. Burns paced the team with a second-place finish with a time of 19:54. The Penguins defeated the likes of regionally-ranked Akron and Kent State.

Freshman Mackenzie Scott led the women’s team to a fourth-place finish last weekend at the Tommy Evans Invitational. Scott paced the Penguins with a 10th-place time of 18:45 and sophomore Nicole Squatrito was 16th with a time of 18:51.

Stewart leads Storm to WNBA title


Breanna Stewart led the Seattle Storm to their WNBA title Wednesday night, scoring 30 points in a 98-82 victory over the Washington Mystics in Game 3 of the best-of-five series.

Stewart was the league MVP and was selected the Finals MVP after averaging 25.6 points in the three games. She scored 17 points in the first half as the Storm raced to a 47-30 lead.

Natasha Howard added career-high 29 points and 14 rebounds for the Storm and first-year coach Dan Hughes.

Sue Bird, also a member of a Seattle’s championship teams in 2004 and 2010, had 10 points and 10 assists.

Elena Delle Donne scored 23 points for the Mystics. Kristi Toliver had 20 points.

Predators forward suspended 27 games


Predators forward Austin Watson has been suspended without pay for the entire preseason and first 27 games of the regular season for domestic abuse.

Commissioner Gary Bettman handed down the suspension Wednesday after an investigation and a hearing with Watson last week. Watson pleaded no contest in July to a charge of domestic assault stemming from an incident in June, and the NHL found Watson engaged in unacceptable off-ice conduct.

Bettman says he has determined Watson engaged in a physical confrontation with his domestic partner. The commissioner added the league cannot and will not tolerate this and similar types of conduct.

The NHL does not have a written domestic abuse policy and has chosen to judge each incident separately. Slava Voynov is currently still suspended indefinitely for a 2014 incident.

Tortorella signs 2-year deal with Blue Jackets


The Columbus Blue Jackets have given coach John Tortorella a two-year contract extension.

The team announced Wednesday that Tortorella, who has led the Blue Jackets to the playoffs in his first two full seasons, has been signed through the 2020-21 season. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

The 60-year-old Tortorella is the franchise’s all-time leader in wins, guiding Columbus to a 129-87-23 record since being named coach in October 2015. His current $2 million-a-year contract runs through this season.

He won the Jack Adams Trophy as the NHL’s coach of the year after Columbus posted the best record in franchise history with a 50-24-8 mark in 2016-17.

Russell Westbrook has knee surgery


Thunder All-Star guard Russell Westbrook underwent an arthroscopic procedure on his right knee on Wednesday, putting his availability for the season opener against the Golden State Warriors in doubt.

The team says Westbrook decided after suffering from inflammation in the knee this past weekend that he’d have the procedure. He’ll be re-evaluated in approximately four weeks, close to the season opener at Golden State on Oct. 16.

Westbrook was the league MVP in 2016-17 and averaged a triple-double last season for a second straight season.

Staff/wire report