NW Sports from the AP

Date: 02/12/2013 05:29 AM

Here is the latest Washington, Oregon and Alaska sports news from The Associated Press


SEATTLE (AP) – When the Seattle Mariners report for spring training today, they’ll immediately start trying to answer whether their starting rotation has enough depth and how exactly they will shuffle a glut of players between left field, first base and designated hitter. And why there was a delay in an expected new contract for ace Felix Hernandez. Seattle’s pitchers and catchers will report today, likely the first time Hernandez will be available since news broke last week of the Mariners working on a new deal.

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) – Gonzaga is ranked No. 5 in the latest Associated Press college basketball poll. The Zags also received two first place votes in the poll that was released yesterday. This is their highest ranking since December 2008. Indiana retained first place in the poll, followed by Duke, Miami, and Michigan. Gonzaga plays at rival Saint Mary’s on Thursday.

BEAVERTON, Ore. (AP) – Nike co-founder Phil Knight has issued a statement blasting the Freeh report’s characterization of Penn State coach Joe Paterno in the child sex abuse scandal involving assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. Knight is now calling the Freeh report findings unjustified and unsubstantiated. That, after a new report by former U.S. Attorney General and Pennsylvania Gov. Dick Thornburgh that was commissioned by the Paterno family. Knight also criticized the NCAA’s subsequent sanctions on Penn State’s football program as unwarranted. Knight had previously said that he was saddened at Paterno’s apparent missteps.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) – The Vancouver Canucks have passed an adversity test as the quarter point of the lockout-shortened NHL season approaches. Heading into tonight’s home game against the Minnesota Wild, the Canucks have fashioned a five-game win streak – matching their best run of a season ago – even though some questions concerning things like the lineup and goaltending remain unanswered. Coach Alain Vigneault says Roberto Luongo will start in goal against Minnesota.


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.