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Friends, ex-players pay Majerus respects

– Hundreds of friends and fans gathered at Marquette University on Saturday to remember Rick Majerus, the impassioned college basketball coach who died of heart failure at 64.

Al Jensen, who played for Majerus at Utah and coached with him at Saint Louis University, recalled the portly man who loved food as much as basketball as a demanding coach and loyal friend.

“There wasn’t a man as unique as Coach. You can’t compare him to anyone else,” Jensen said.

Majerus was 517-216 over a 25-year career in which he had 15 seasons with at least 20 wins, plus two 30-win seasons. He led Utah to the NCAA championship game in 1998 and also coached at Marquette, Ball State and Saint Louis.

Majerus died of heart failure Dec. 1 in a Los Angeles hospital.

The funeral was at the Church of the Gesu at Marquette, the Jesuit school where Majerus began his coaching career as a student assistant to Al McGuire.

Saint Louis’ 15 current players were listed as official pallbearers. About a dozen former Utah players attended the funeral, including Keith Van Horn, Andre Miller and Michael Doleac.

Also attending was Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers. Majerus gave Rivers his nickname.


Rockets coach rejoins team

Houston coach Kevin McHale rejoined the Rockets after almost a month away from the team, and two weeks after the death of his daughter.


Hoosier wins national prep race

Sophomore Anna Rohrer of Mishawaka High overcame an early fall in San Diego to win the 5,000-meter Foot Locker National High School Cross Country Championships girls’ title in 17:25 and finish 4 seconds ahead of Catarina Rocha of Peabody (Mass.) Veterans Memorial High. Edward Cheserek, a senior at St. Benedict’s Prep School in Newark, N.J., successfully defended his title by winning boys race in 14 minutes 59 seconds.


Jets tight end out

Jets tight end Dustin Keller, a Purdue product, will miss New York’s game at Jacksonville today because of a sprained left ankle.


Around the links

In Sydney, Australian John Senden had an eagle and two birdies on the back nine to finish at 2-under 70 for a 7-under 209 total and a two-stroke lead over Justin Rose after three rounds of the Australian Open. …

In Chon Buri, Thailand, Charl Schwartzel of South Africa had a third-round 68 for a 18-under 198 to extend his lead over Daniel Chopra of Sweden to five shots at the Thailand Golf Championship. …

In Naples, Fla., Kenny Perry and Sean O’Hair took a two-stroke lead in the Franklin Templeton Shootout, birdieing the final six holes in better-ball play for an 11-under 61. Perry and O’Hair were 19 under overall, two strokes ahead of first-round leaders Davis Love III and Brandt Snedeker, who shot a 65. …

In Durban, South Africa, Morten Orum Madsen made a late charge to match Tim Clark’s 5-under 60 at the rain-delayed Nelson Mandela Championship. …

In Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Shanshan Feng of China won the Dubai Ladies Masters by five strokes after shooting a 3-under 69 for a 21-under 267 total to capture her second Ladies European Tour title.


Fehr maintains deal was close

Union chief Donald Fehr is sticking to his belief that the NHL and the players’ association were close to a deal before talks broke off Thursday night. Fehr repeated his stance during a speech to the Canadian Auto Workers union in Toronto. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman disputed the claim Thursday night. Fehr said no talks are scheduled.


Vonn wins super-G

Lindsey Vonn won a World Cup super-G in St. Moritz, Switzerland, to stay unbeaten in four speed races this season. The American racer timed 1 minute, 2.71 seconds, beating World Cup overall leader Tina Maze of Slovenia by 0.37 seconds.


U.S. beats China

Carli Lloyd and Sydney Leroux scored in the second half, and the U.S. women’s team beat China 2-0 in Detroit to remain unbeaten on its post-Olympic tour.