Latest Washington, Oregon and Alaska sports



Richard Sherman says message of anthem protests getting lost

RENTON, Wash. (AP) — Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman says the public isn’t listening to the message NFL players are trying to send with their actions during the national anthem.

While some fans are obsessing about whether players take a knee, raise a fist or lock arms during the national anthem before games, Sherman said they should be talking about the reasons why players are protesting.

Sherman did not take questions during his media availability on Wednesday. Instead, he walked to the podium, said a few words about this week’s opponent San Francisco and then gave a two-minute statement about what players have wanted to accomplish.

Sherman’s message came after a pair of police shootings this week, one in Charlotte, North Carolina, another in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

“More videos have come out of guys getting killed, and I think people are still missing the point,” Sherman said. “The reason these guys are kneeling, the reason we’re locking arms is to bring people together to make people aware that this is not right. It’s not right for people to get killed in the street.”


Seahawks optimistic injured offensive stars will play Sunday

RENTON, Wash. (AP) — The Seattle Seahawks are optimistic injured offensive starters Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett and Thomas Rawls will be able to play Sunday against San Francisco.

Coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday that all three have a chance of being available after suffering injuries in the Seahawks’ Week 2 loss at Los Angeles. Baldwin and Lockett suffered minor knee injuries, while Rawls has a muscle strain in his left leg. Carroll seemed most pessimistic about Rawls, whom he said would be limited in practice early in the week.

Carroll said quarterback Russell Wilson was ahead of where he was at this point a week ago in his recovery from a sprained right ankle suffered in the season opener. He said guard Germain Ifedi had a chance of returning this week. Ifedi sprained an ankle days before the opener.


Cano’s sacrifice fly lifts Seattle past Toronto 2-1 in 12

SEATTLE (AP) — Robinson Cano delivered a sacrifice fly in the 12th inning as the Seattle Mariners avoided a sweep with 2-1 victory over Toronto on Wednesday, preventing the Blue Jays from extending their wild card lead.

Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (10-15), who pitched five scoreless innings in his last start on Friday, came in on the 12th for his first relief appearance after 29 starts.

Guillermo Heredia reached on a two-base throwing error by third baseman Josh Donaldson to open the 12th. Ben Gamel followed with an attempted sacrifice bunt, and first baseman Ryan Goins appeared to have Heredia at third, but the ball popped out of Donaldson’s glove on the tag.

Cano then followed with a run-scoring fly to left, quieting the decidedly pro-Blue Jays crowd, bolstered for the third straight game by thousands of fans from western Canada.


McCoughtry scores 37, Dream beats Storm in WNBA 1st round

ATLANTA (AP) — Angel McCoughtry scored 37 points and the Atlanta Dream beat the Seattle Storm 94-85 on Wednesday night in a single-elimination WNBA playoff game.

McCoughtry scored seven straight points — on a 3-pointer, bank shot and pull-up jumper — to cap Atlanta’s 19-5 run to start the fourth for an 85-71 lead. She collided with Breanna Stewart on Seattle’s next possession and stayed on the ground before being helped to the bench by the Atlanta staff. She later returned.

Bria Holmes added 21 points for Atlanta, which will face the Chicago Sky on Sunday. Atlanta was without its second leading scorer Tiffany Hayes, who was serving a one-game suspension after picking up her seventh technical foul. The Dream’s second leading rebounder, Sancho Lyttle, did not play due to a foot injury.

McCoughtry, who picked up her fourth foul early in the third, made two free throws with 1:11 left in the quarter to give Atlanta a 66-64 lead — its first since 21-20.

Jewell Loyd scored 24 points and Stewart added 19 points in their first career playoff games for Seattle. Stewart had 15 points in the first half and Loyd scored 12 as Seattle held a 45-37 halftime lead.

The game was played at Georgia Tech, where the Dream will play for the next two seasons.


Lightbourn, Foltz successor at Nebraska, adjusts and excels

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska’s Caleb Lightbourn has taken the punting job he didn’t want yet and run with it.

Lightbourn expected to spend this season as the understudy to one of the nation’s best punters in Sam Foltz. But Foltz was killed in a car crash in Wisconsin in July, and Lightbourn was named his successor following a five-day competition in preseason practice.

After up-and-down performances the first two games, Lightbourn was named Big Ten freshman of the week for shutting down Oregon’s powerful return game in last week’s 35-32 victory in Lincoln.

“You could always see the upside with this kid,” special teams coach Bruce Read said. “I thought if we could play him, he could get better and better. He has a great mindset, he’s a very determined young man, he’s a pretty mature kid. He does a nice job of being able to focus and block out the distractions.”

Foltz was another in a long line of small-town kids who walked on at Nebraska and made it big. He was beloved by fans, and his death continues to be mourned statewide and throughout the college football community.

Lightbourn, from Washougal, Washington, is the first Nebraska punter since 1995 to come in on scholarship, so there were going to be high expectations no matter when he made his debut.


Sixteen-team PK80 tournament set for next year in Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A 16-team tournament featuring some of college basketball’s elite teams will be staged next year in Portland to honor Nike co-founder Phil Knight before his 80th birthday.

The PK80, or more formally the Phil Knight Invitational, will be played at Portland’s Moda Center and Memorial Coliseum on November 23rd through 26th, 2017.

Participating teams include Arkansas, Butler, Connecticut, Duke, Florida, Georgetown, Gonzaga, Michigan State, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Portland, Portland State, Stanford and Texas.

They will be divided into two groups of eight teams and each group will compete for a bracket title. All the games will be broadcast on ESPN.

Only two teams from each conference were allowed, and Knight holds degrees from Oregon and Stanford, so that did not allow room for Oregon State or Arizona.


Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.