Briefs: Former Indiana (Pa.) Player Signs with Xplosion

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The Pittsburgh Xplosion signed former Indiana (Pa.) guard and CBA rookie Lawrence Baker for the remainder of the season. The team also released three players, including Penn Hills native and former West Virginia star Drew Schifino.

NBA leading scorer Carmelo Anthony was picked by commissioner David Stern yesterday as an injury replacement and will make his first All-Star game appearance on Feb. 18 in Las Vegas. Stern also added Dallas forward Josh Howard to the Western Conference team.

Cycling

Discovery Channel will drop its sponsorship of former Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong's team after this season.

College football

Former University of Maine associate head coach Bobby Wilder was hired as the second football coach ever at Old Dominion, which will field a team in 2009 for the first time since 1940.

Wisconsin football coach Bret Bielema was rewarded yesterday for his highly successful first season with a new five-year, $7.5 million contract.

Golf

Tiger Woods didn't enter the Nissan Open at Riviera next week, putting on hold his seven-tournament winning streak on the PGA Tour until the Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona.

Motor sports

A group of investors led by Boston Red Sox owner John Henry has completed a deal to buy a 50 percent stake in the Roush Racing NASCAR team, a person familiar with the negotiations said yesterday.

Tennis

Defending champion Amelie Mauresmo and top-seeded Justine Henin advanced to the Open Gaz de France semifinals yesterday. …