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Florida State tops Clemson 77-68 behind Kabengele

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Mfiondu Kabengele scored 12 of his 17 points in the second half and David Nichols added 16 points as Florida State halted a three-game slide with a 77-68 win over Clemson on Tuesday.

Nichols made four 3-pointers for the Seminoles (14-5, 2-4 Atlantic Coast Conference).

Florida State came into the game shooting 31.3 percent from beyond the 3-point arc but made 10 3-pointers against Clemson. That's the most for the Seminoles in an ACC game and one short of the season high.

The Seminoles had a lead in the final three seconds against No. 1 Duke on Jan. 12 but lost 80-78. They then dropped back-to-back road games against Pittsburgh and Boston College.

"This is a very important victory for us - to stop the bleeding," Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. "We were two seconds away from defeating the No. 1 team in the country and then all of a sudden we had an emotional setback.

"You have to learn how to handle victories but you also have to learn how to handle losses, too. I think we showed a little of our immaturity."

The Seminoles' veterans as well as the newcomers showed their fight on Tuesday. After they trailed for most of the game, Florida State used a 13-0 run to take a 63-55 lead with 6:50 left. The run was sparked by consecutive 3-pointers from RaiQuan Gray, Devin Vassell and Nichols and the Seminoles were in control the rest of the way.

Aamir Sims scored 15 of his 18 points in the first half for Clemson (11-7, 1-4), which has lost four of its last five games. Elijah Thomas also had 17 points and 11 rebounds, his fifth double-double of the season.

"Disappointed with the way we defended in the second half," Clemson coach Brad Brownell said. "I thought our offensive struggles affected our defense. We just didn't play the way we needed to play."

Kabengele scored 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting in 25 minutes. The sophomore forward came off the bench to score in double figures for the 11th time in 19 games this season.

Nichols, a graduate transfer from Albany, made a season-best four 3-pointers. He shot 6 of 10 from the floor.

The Seminoles shot 45.5 percent (25 of 55) from the floor and 45.5 percent (10 of 22) from beyond the 3-point arc.

Clemson shot 44.8 percent (26 of 58) from the floor, but made just 1 of 9 shots from beyond the arc in the second half.


Clemson: The Tigers have rarely had much luck in Tallahassee, going 8-23 all-time on the road in the series.

Florida State: Playing without star senior forward Phil Cofer, who has a foot injury, the Seminoles won their fourth straight at home against Clemson.


The Seminoles' bench contributed 45 points on Tuesday. Florida State's reserves have outscored opponents 204-70 in its six ACC games.

"Everybody is important," Kabengele said. "The way our bench responded today was outstanding."


Florida State is now 40-3 at home since the beginning of 2015-16 season. The Seminoles are 9-1 at the Donald L. Tucker Center this season.


Clemson plays at NC State on Saturday.

Florida State travels to Miami on Sunday. The Seminoles defeated the Hurricanes 68-62 on Jan. 9.

Woods diving again, another sign he's back at full strength

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Tiger Woods is feeling stronger than ever with his fused back, and the evidence goes beyond the speed of his swing or how hard he can go after a shot out of deep rough.

Woods says he is diving again.

He says he was doing free dives and spearfishing during his time off, and even went diving with a tank, which he had not done in years.

"I just can't afford to have that weight on my back and compressing my disk, and my disk was already screwed up," said Woods, who had fusion surgery in April 2017. "So whenever you put any weight on it, it made it worse. I (hadn't) tank dove in years, and to be able to do that again, to be able to get in the water and free drive, put the fins on and load the body up and drop down like that ... that was something I truly missed. I love being in the water."

Woods has been certified as a master diver, according to the National Association of Underwater Instructors.

Long before surgeries on his knee and his lower back, he once regaled Darren Clarke and Thomas Bjorn about his diving adventures. Years ago, he was explaining to Clarke that it was best to witness ocean life without a regulator because bubbles can scare off the fish. The flip side, Woods told them, was that more sharks are apt to come around. This got Bjorn's attention.

"Just be careful down there," Bjorn told him. "Our future earnings depend on you."


Three weeks into the year on the PGA Tour, one new rule might be put to the test on the greens at Torrey Pines.

And it has nothing to do with leaving the flagstick in the cup.

Rules 13.1c allows players to repair damage on the putting green to restore it as nearly as possible to its original condition. That includes fixing ball marks, scrapes and indentations caused by equipment or the flagstick and shoe damage.

It wasn't an issue on the Bermuda greens of Hawaii or the overseed in the California desert. But Torrey Pines, Pebble Beach and Riviera have poa annua greens, which can get bumpy in the soft conditions of California in the winter.

One of the questions that arose was just how much damage players can repair, without creating a line to the hole.

"At Kapalua, I fixed ball marks, but I was only tapping them down because it was Bermuda," Xander Schauffele said. "Out here, you might do a little more than a simple tap down. ... This place, late in the day, it feels like you're playing a game of Plinko."

Schauffele was quick to note one part of the new rule: Damage can be repaired without unusual delay.

"It could, depending on how these players take the rule to heart ... if you're trying to fix a 40-foot putt, it's going to be tricky with pace of play," Schauffele said. "Rules officials will be on us. The time clock hasn't changed. If you want to spend 35 seconds tapping down the line, you're going to have to pull the trigger in less than what you normally do."

Jason Day, a two-time winner at Torrey Pines, doesn't think it will be an issue. His only experience this year was at Kapalua, which featured only a 33-man field.

"Before the rule was changed, you would have maybe two or three times a year where you're like, 'Oh, there's a spike mark there in front of your ball,' so you just kind of worry about the spike mark," Day said. "I don't necessarily think you're going to be tapping it the whole way and trying to make a line. I think there's going to be a few taps. Other than that, I think they're going to putt. I don't necessarily think it's going to be a time-consuming thing."


Torrey Pines has Tiger Woods in the field, along with an inaugural appearance by Rory McIlroy and the return of Jordan Spieth for the first time since 2015.

Missing will be Phil Mickelson, who said last week he would skip his hometown tournament for the first time in 28 years. Mickelson is a two-time winner, but not since the South Course was overhauled by Rees Jones ahead of the 2008 U.S. Open.

"That's one of the hardest courses we play," Mickelson said last week. "It's 7,600 yards, the fairways are tight, there's a lot of rough and unless I'm playing my absolute best, that's not really a great place for me."

In the last 10 years, Mickelson has only one top-10 finish, when he was runner-up in 2011. He missed the cut three times and withdrew another year. He said in a tweet that he will "try to make it up to the great community of SD!"

He gave early indications in October when he said there would be some tournaments he misses "that people will be upset about, but I'm not going to worry about it."

He also said he would not be playing the Genesis Open at Riviera, where he won in 2008 and 2009 and finished four shots behind last year.


Atthaya Thitikul of Thailand was the low amateur at the ANA Inspiration last year, the first major on the LPGA Tour schedule, with a 5-under 283 that tied for 30th along with Michelle Wie and Cristie Kerr.

This year, she'll be at the Augusta National Women's Amateur.

Atthaya, NCAA champion Jennifer Kupcho of Wake Forest and former Junior PGA champion Lucy Li were among 66 players who have accepted spots in the inaugural Augusta National Women's Amateur this year. Six spots remain for the 72-player field.

The opening two rounds of the 54-hole event will be April 3-4 at Champions Treat Golf Club, with a cut to 30 players after 36 holes. One day of practice at Augusta National has been set aside for April 5, followed by the final round at the home of the Masters.

"Receiving an invitation to the Augusta National Women's Amateur is representative of a remarkable amateur career, and so much more," Masters and club chairman Fred Ridley said.

The tournament is the same week as the LPGA major, which typically invites leading amateurs.

The 66 players who have confirmed invitations to Augusta include eight of the 16 players from last year's Junior Ryder Cup team, along with Ladies British Open Amateur champion Leonie Harm of Germany.

Atthaya was exempt as the Women's Amateur Asia-Pacific champion.


The Latin America Amateur Championship moves next year to El Camaleon Golf Club at Mayakoba in Mexico, site of a PGA Tour event. ... The Evian Championship is creating a special exemption for the winner of the Women's Amateur Asia-Pacific. The winner also is exempt into the Women's British Open. ... Ken Tanigawa has been voted as the PGA Tour Champions rookie of the year. The Jack Nicklaus Award for player of the year went to Bernhard Langer for the fifth straight year, and the eighth time since the German turned 50. ... Rickie Fowler has signed an endorsement deal to play the TaylorMade Golf ball this year. He had been with Titleist.


Phil Mickelson has held the 54-hole lead four times in the last six years. His only victory from ahead was the Phoenix Open in 2013.


"Ten years longer than you've been alive." - Tiger Woods to Jordan Spieth, who asked him how long he has been coming to Torrey Pines.


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Column: Tiger Woods' biggest moment didn't last very long

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Rarely in sports has such a big moment had such a short shelf life.

Even one involving Tiger Woods.

With respect to Brooks Koepka and his two majors, or Francesco Molinari with his claret jug and 5-0 mark in the Ryder Cup, no moment last year captivated golf as much as Woods finishing off his improbable comeback by winning the final PGA Tour event of the season at the Tour Championship.

And then it was time to move on.

Twelve hours later, Woods and the American team arrived in Paris for the Ryder Cup. That week was all about team and trying to win on European soil, both ultimately failures. And then Woods was out of public view for two months, returning only for a pair of exhibitions in Las Vegas and the Bahamas.

Publicly, the moment was gone. Privately, Woods took time to reflect.

First, it was the reaction from his family and friends, those who had seen him at the lowest of low points when he was searching for answers to his ailing back through four surgeries, and when a reliance on pain medications led to the public embarrassment of his arrest on a DUI charge.

"I got back home and I got a chance to be around my friends and my family, to hear some of the stories of how nervous they were and how emotional they were," Woods said Tuesday. "Players, friends, people who saw what I went through at home, saw the difficult times and just to see that I made it that far back, that was touching to me because I didn't really expect that, because I'm inside the ropes.

"I know what it took for me," he said. "But I didn't know it would have affected anyone else like that."

Then, it was seeing the final round on a video screen.

The highlights of that Sunday at East Lake were so much like the Woods of old. He had a 54-hole lead, mapped out what it would take to win and was so methodical in his execution that he never gave anyone else much of a chance.

"It's about the grind, and that's what I did," he said. "I didn't really have it in drive, I just had it in neutral all day."

What made his spine tingle was what everyone remembers about that day.

Was there a more indelible image than Woods walking up to the 18th green, red shirt blazing, as thousands of fans rushed under the ropes and followed him down the fairway to create a stage worthy of the occasion?

"It gives me chills almost every single time I see it," Woods said. "At the time, it didn't seem like that because I didn't really look back. I only looked back a couple times over my right shoulder. ... I got on the green, I looked and I'm like, 'Holy cow, there's a lot of people out there.'

"But the rush and the commotion that happened ... I've experienced things of that nature, but not that energy."

It was like that at the Western Open in 1997, the year he changed the face of golf. It was like that when he won the British Open both times at St. Andrews. That was when he was expected to win all the time. And maybe that's why he says East Lake had "its own aura and its own energy."

It was so great that Woods isn't sure he'll ever feel that again.

"Maybe one day it might, who knows?" he said. "All I know is that it was really loud and very special."

Tommy Roy won't forget it for other reasons, mostly an interview that nearly brought him to tears.

Roy is the lead golf producer at NBC, and the network usually asks three or four contenders after the third round for a quick interview with host Dan Hicks, which then would be aired at appropriate moments during the Sunday telecast.

For the better part of two decades, NBC asked Woods to come in for the brief interview, and Woods always politely declined.

"Except for Saturday night," Roy said. "Dan ended up doing this quick interview, and Tiger was unbelievable. He's usually so guarded, but this included a sound bite about wanting to win again for his kids. I got tears in my eyes it was so powerful."

Roy wanted to save it for the right moment, when Woods was assured of winning.

Billy Horschel made a late run to get within two shots, and Woods was in trouble on the 17th hole, enough to make Roy wait. But then Woods saved par, and he cleared the last trouble with an approach on the par-5 18th over the water and into the bunker.

Roy gave the order to cue the tape and for Hicks to set it up.

But then he saw on his monitor the chaotic celebration unfolding, and he urgently shouted, "Stop!" To play the minute-long interview clip about winning for his two children would have meant losing images of fans' reaction to a moment they weren't sure they would ever see again.

"We never aired the sound bite," Roy said.

Roy couldn't think of big moments with so little bounce, except for perhaps the Olympics. Gold medalists are celebrated for their greatest feats, and then largely forgotten for the next four years.

Four months is better than four years.

Woods makes his 2019 debut this week at Torrey Pines.

Expert: Hurricane-hit timber industry needs years to recover

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - It could take a decade or more for Florida's timber industry to recover from Hurricane Michael's devastation, and the countless downed trees pose an immediate wildfire threat, Forida Forest Service Director Jim Karels told a Senate committee Tuesday.

Karels told the Senate Agriculture Committee that about 1.4 million acres had severe or catastrophic tree loss, meaning 75 to 95 percent of the pine trees were damaged or destroyed. He said a 20-mile (32-kilometer) swath from the Gulf of Mexico to the Georgia border was the worst hit area. More than 16,000 private landowners were affected overall, including moderate damage far beyond the storm's eye, he said.

Karels recommended the state provide $20 million to help landowners clear fallen trees and start replanting the forests. He also recommended spending nearly $9 million for equipment and programs to help reduce the fire threat.

"It would help landowners remove their debris," he said. "It's really geared towards getting that rural economy back on its feet (and) reducing the fire threat."

The timber industry suffered about $1.3 billion in damage during the storm.

Democratic Sen. Bill Montford said he represents many of those communities and timber is one of the largest employers after schools and prisons.

"You're at the point where what was an asset is now a liability," Montford said. "This is more than a timber issue here, this is a long-range financial stress we're looking at."

Karels said landowners in hard-hit areas will have to pay about $1,000 an acre to clear the debris from their land.

"That timber you're looking at there was probably (worth) $2,000 an acre, and possibly they will get zero dollars for it right now, and then they have the liability," he said.

Montford worried that some landowners won't be able to recover.

"I'm not sure if many of these people can afford $500 to $1,000 an acre to clear, prep and reseed," he said.

Karels said there could be a shortage of contractors available to clear the land, as well as a shortage of seedlings to replace the trees that were lost.

Lawmakers seek to limit constitution amendments to 1 subject

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida's Constitution Revision Commission would no longer be able to place items on the ballot that contain more than one subject under a bill approved by a Senate committee.

The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the bill Tuesday after senators complained about several items the commission placed on last November's ballot.

The commission meets every 20 years to suggest changes to the state constitution, which require approval from 60 percent of Florida voters.

Bill sponsor and Republican Sen. Rob Bradley said five of the proposed amendments the commission placed on the ballot bundled subjects. He said that frustrated voters who might have liked one part of the proposal but not another.

An example includes a measure voters approved that banned oil drilling in state waters and also banned vaping in places where smoking was already banned.

Judge hearing testimony on 2020 census citizenship question

GREENBELT, Md. (AP) - A federal trial began Tuesday for lawsuits challenging the Trump administration's addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census, a plan that a different court blocked last week.

Former U.S. Census Bureau director John Thompson, the first plaintiffs' witness for the bench trial in Maryland, testified Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross disregarded "long established" Census Bureau protocols in adding the citizenship question. Thompson, who oversaw the bureau from 2013 through June 2017, said he doesn't think officials properly tested the question for the 2020 census.

"It's very problematic for me," Thompson said of Ross' decision.

The trial before U.S. District Judge George Hazel in Greenbelt, Maryland, began one week after a federal judge in New York barred the Trump administration from adding a citizenship question to the census for the first time since 1950. The Justice Department is appealing that ruling by U.S. District Judge Jesse M. Furman, who concluded Ross acted in an "arbitrary and capricious" manner before deciding to add the citizenship question.

A trial for a separate suit over the same issue, filed by the state of California, began in San Francisco on Jan. 7. A judge finished hearing testimony in that case on Jan. 14 and is scheduled to hear closing arguments Feb. 15.

The plaintiffs for the case being tried in Maryland include residents of Texas, Arizona, Nevada and Florida. Attorneys from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund also sued on behalf of more than two dozen organizations and individuals. The court agreed to consolidate the claims in December.

In a court filing, plaintiffs' attorneys say Ross communicated with former White House Chief Strategist Steve, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other administration officials before issuing the March 2018 directive "to further the unconstitutional goal of diluting the political power of non-white immigrant communities." The Census Bureau's own analysis shows the citizenship question would lead to a lower response rate to the 2020 census by households with at least one non-citizen member, the lawyer said.

"Consistent with numerous other statements and actions of President Trump and Trump Administration officials, these efforts were driven by racial animus against non-white immigrants," they wrote.

The Census Bureau began collecting citizenship data through the annual American Community Survey in 2005. Ross decided to use the same wording from that "well-tested question" on the ACS for the citizenship question on the 2020 census, government lawyers said in a court filing.

"Secretary Ross carefully considered, but was ultimately unpersuaded by, concerns that including a citizenship question would reduce the self-response rate for non-citizens," they wrote.

Plaintiffs' attorneys had urged Judge Hazel to proceed with the Maryland trial as scheduled since the judge's ruling in the New York case could be reversed on appeal. The clock is ticking for all of the cases: The Census Bureau has said the "drop-dead" date for changes to the 2020 census questionnaire is June 30, 2019, according to the plaintiffs' lawyers.

Denise Hulett, an attorney for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said the Los Angeles-based group's lawsuit is the only one to allege that the citizenship question on the 2020 census is a "product of a conspiracy that began in the early days of the Trump administration."

"It allows us to talk about the motives of a large group of people instead of the motives of just Secretary Ross," she said during a break in the trial.

Florida bill seeks fines, jail time for lying to lawmakers

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Lying to Florida lawmakers could become punishable by a $1,000 fine and 90 days in jail under a bill unanimously approved by a Senate committee.

The Senate Judiciary Committee gave its approval to a measure Tuesday that would make "disorderly or contemptuous conduct" while appearing before a legislative committee a second-degree misdemeanor.

The bill says that includes deliberately making false statements while testifying before a committee.

No House companion bill has been filed.

Former Kings executive pleads guilty to defrauding team

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A former top Sacramento Kings executive has pleaded guilty to siphoning $13.4 million from the team to buy Southern California beachfront properties, according to court records.

The records show former chief revenue officer Jeffrey David pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal charges of wire fraud and identity theft. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison when he is sentenced April 15.

David was charged last year with forging the team president's signature to divert sponsorship payments to a bank account he controlled.

Prosecutors say the scheme was uncovered soon after David left the Kings in June and accepted a similar post with the Miami Heat. The Heat said in September that the team and David parted ways.


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2 people died in western Michigan in extreme cold

DETROIT (AP) - Authorities say two people have died in separate incidents after being exposed to extreme cold in western Michigan.

The Mason County Sheriff's Office a 77-year-old Ludington woman was found in the snow about 9 a.m. Monday after she apparently fell while walking to her car. Investigators believe the woman fell around 7 p.m. Sunday. She died after being taken to a hospital.

The Van Buren County Sheriff's Office says a 22-year-old man from Wimauma, Florida, has been found dead in a car that became stuck in a field. It says another 22-year-old man from Wimauma was found unresponsive with the other man Monday morning and was hospitalized in critical condition.

The victims' names were not immediately released.

Temperatures Monday morning were below 0 in western Michigan.

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