---- — Shurn leads unbeaten USF over Taylor
UPLAND — Former Kokomo standout Skylarr Shurn had a monster game to lead the unbeaten Saint Francis women’s basketball team to an 84-71 victory at Taylor on Wednesday.
Shurn connected on 14 of 19 shots in uncorking a 34-point night for the Cougars. Shurn hit her only 3-pointer of the game and was 3 of 8 from the free-throw line. Akyah Taylor added 23 points for USF, which improved to 11-0 overall and 2-0 in the Crossroads League.
On the other side, former Tipton standout Taylor Degenkolb scored eight points off the bench for Taylor (3-6, 0-2 CL).
Saint Francis’ women are back in action on Saturday with a huge matchup atop the NAIA women’s rankings. The No. 2-ranked Cougars host top-ranked Indiana Wesleyan at 1 p.m.
Stewart wins Myers Brothers award
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Tony Stewart thought he was making a whirlwind trip to Las Vegas to play the role of supportive team owner.
After missing the final 15 weeks of the season with a broken leg suffered in a sprint car accident in August, the three-time NASCAR champion had no official reason to attend Thursday’s annual Myers Brothers awards ceremony.
So as the ceremony was winding down, Stewart began to alert his pilots it was almost time to make the trip back to North Carolina.
Instead, he heard National Motorsports Press Association President Kenny Bruce describing Stewart in his introduction of the 2013 recipient of the prestigious Myers Brothers Award for contributions to the sport. He made the long walk to the front of the ballroom without the use of a cane as the audience of industry participants rose to give Stewart a standing ovation.
Stewart needed assistance climbing the stairs, but it was the only help he required as he collected his surprise award and warned his competitors he’ll be ready for the season-opening Daytona 500 in February.
The Myers Brothers award was given to Stewart for his role as owner of Eldora Speedway, the half-mile dirt track that hosted the first national NASCAR race on dirt in 43 years when the Truck Series raced there in July.
“It was a lot of fun for us,” Stewart said about the Eldora event. “I’m aging in dog years now. It takes a lot of time and effort. You probably won’t ever hear me give too many of the promoters in NASCAR a hard time anymore because I know what it’s like firsthand.
“To host an event takes a lot of time and effort and work and it takes a great staff to do that. I am very fortunate and blessed to have a good staff at Eldora and just very surprised by this [award]. This is very humbling, to be perfectly honest.”
• In other NASCAR news, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won the 2013 Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year award Thursday, beating girlfriend Danica Patrick for the title.
Also, Dale Earnhardt Jr. set a record Thursday with his 11th consecutive win as NASCAR’s most popular driver.
Johnson takes lead at World Challenge
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Zach Johnson birdied four of the par 5s and shot a 5-under 67 to take a one-shot lead Thursday over Matt Kuchar in the World Challenge.
Only five players in the elite 18-man field managed to break par at Sherwood Country Club. One of them was tournament host Tiger Woods, who had a new driver in the bag and missed only two fairways. The problem was his putter, including a short birdie attempt that missed on the last hole. He had a 71.
Kuchar hit his approach to 2 feet on the final hole for a 68.
Hunter Mahan and Bubba Watson were at 70. They are among seven players who have yet to win a tournament this year, even though everyone at Sherwood is among the top 30 in the world.