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Monday, January 31, 2011

UConn gets a fast start, dumps first loss on Duke

Posted By on Mon, Jan 31, 2011 at 9:57 PM

Duke went to Connecticut trying to make a statement, and instead ended up living a nightmare. File photo by Al DragoUConn's Geno Auriemma, shown with UNC coach Sylvia Hatchell before their game on Jan. 17, completed a sweep of the Triangle ACC powers with Monday's win over Duke.No. 2 UConn got out to a 21-point lead early in the first half and never lost control, blasting the previously unbeaten No. 3 Blue Devils 87-51 in the teams’ first meeting in Storrs. There are no unbeaten teams left in women's Division I basketball. The win marked the first home-court victory for...

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All-Star Game is more about smiles and cheers than shots and saves

Posted By on Mon, Jan 31, 2011 at 7:54 AM

RBC CENTER, RALEIGH—A giant hand settled on my shoulder. "Sorry, I don't want to step on you." Photo by Lalitree DarnielleCanes fans celebrated hockey the way only they do. And the rest of the hockey world joined in for All-Star weekend.The hand belonged to Zdeno Chara, the one-faced Mount Rushmore of a defenseman, gently moving me out of the way to get to Alexander Ovechkin. Laughing, they put their hands to each other's chests and signed each other's jerseys like kids on the last day of summer camp. One could imagine their parents waiting nearby to retrieve them, awkwardly leaning...

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Blue Devils try to make some history tonight at Connecticut

Posted By on Mon, Jan 31, 2011 at 12:27 AM

It’s a pretty rare occurrence in college basketball when a defending NCAA champion plays the only remaining unbeaten Division I team this late in the season. File photo by Al DragoDuke guard Karima Christmas dribbles on a breakaway during the Blue Devils' win over No. 4 Xavier.But that’s exactly what’s going to happen tonight at 7, when No. 3 Duke (20-0) visits No. 2 Connecticut (20-1) in a highly anticipated women’s matchup in Storrs, Conn. The game will be shown live on ESPN2. “Anything that brings women’s basketball attention is always great, but as a player it’s wanting the best...

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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lucas, Tar Heels get expected rout of Hokies

Posted By on Sun, Jan 30, 2011 at 5:15 PM

Italee Lucas’ 19 points led four players in double figures as No. 15 UNC clobbered visiting Virginia Tech 76-51. Photo courtesy UNC athleticsUNC guard Italee LucasLaura Broomfield had 14 points and 10 rebounds while Cetera DeGraffenreid also had 14 points for UNC (19-3, 5-2 ACC), while Waltiea Rolle chipped in 12 points and 11 rebounds. Tierra Ruffin-Pratt had 10 rebounds. The Tar Heels played again without Jessica Breland, who has missed three straight following arthroscopic knee surgery. Chay Shegog was back in the lineup after missing one game with a concussion....

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Seminoles hold on late to foil Wolfpack in Hoops 4 Hope game

Posted By on Sun, Jan 30, 2011 at 4:42 PM

REYNOLDS COLISEUM/RALEIGH There’s a very big crowd in the house and plenty of emotion today, as N.C. State hosts its annual “Hoops 4 Hope” game promoting breast cancer awareness and raising money for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. And the Wolfpack is sorely in need of a win as it takes on No. 21 Florida State. Kellie Harper’s club has lost four straight games — although without a “bad loss” in the bunch — and is two games below .500 with 10 certain games remaining. The Wolfpack leads the series 24-10, but lost 74-71 in Tallahassee last season. NCSU is...

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Hockey's SuperSkills competition has its moments

Posted By on Sun, Jan 30, 2011 at 6:39 AM

RBC CENTER, RALEIGH—If you ever see Zdeno Chara bearing down on you, duck behind something immediately. Like a sofa. Or a continent. Photo by Lalitree DarnielleDustin Byfuglien, Henrik Sedin, Daniel Briere, Evgeny Dadanov, and Phil Kessel mill about at the SuperSkills competition.The Boston Bruins blueliner defended his hardest-shot title for another year, extending his league record with a 105.9mph blast to best Nashville Predator Shea Weber and providing the jam-packed house one of the few genuine thrills of hockey's All-Star SuperSkills competition. The All-Star Game itself is Sunday afternoon. Rookie New York Islander forward Michael Grabner won fastest skater and...

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Wolfpack hosts Hoops 4 Hope while UNC looks for revenge against Hokies

Posted By on Sun, Jan 30, 2011 at 12:41 AM

N.C. State will play a women’s basketball contest that is always very special to the program today at 1 p.m., whenFile photo by Al DragoBonae Holston drives to the hoop agains Old Dominion earlier this season. No. 21 Florida State visits Reynolds Coliseum for the annual “Hoops 4 Hope” game. The day is dedicated to breast cancer awareness with proceeds going to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. As always for breast cancer awareness contests, fans are encouraged to wear pink. It’s the sixth edition of the annual event, in which the Wolfpack is currently 4-1. The other ACC women’s game...

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Breakout Barnes helps Heels batter Wolfpack

Posted By on Sat, Jan 29, 2011 at 6:06 PM

File photo by Arianna HoffmannBarnes enjoyed a career day against the Wolfpack CHAPEL HILL/SMITH CENTER — How do you know it was a good day for North Carolina? Harrison Barnes was smiling. The typically reserved freshman enjoyed his finest outing of the season as the Tar Heels routed N.C. State 84-64 in front of a boisterous home crowd. Barnes scored nine of his career-high 25 points in the opening three minutes, drilling a three, scoring in transition and working hard on the offensive glass. He finished shooting 10-for-16 from the field, adding six rebounds and an assist with only one...

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Staal picks Ward first in entertaining All-Star fantasy draft

Posted By on Sat, Jan 29, 2011 at 9:07 AM

RALEIGH CONVENTION CENTER—Wardo is numero uno. Logo courtesy NHLTeam captain Eric Staal won the inaugural puck flip at the first-ever All-Star Fantasy Draft and picked his teammate and goaltender Cam Ward first overall, to raucous cheers from the partisan crowd. Interviewed live at the podium, Ward didn't miss a beat, quipping "I was the best player available, I guess." Other notable moments included twin brothers Daniel and Henrik Sedin, teammates in Vancouver, being split up with consecutive choices in the third round; Steven Stamkos being drafted number one by Nicklas Lidstrom's team over Alexander Ovechkin (who Staal nabbed immediately); Chicago's...

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Tar Heels blow past Virginia despite injured front line

Posted By on Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 10:16 PM

CARMICHAEL ARENA/CHAPEL HILL UNC looks to get its season back onto a solid winning track as long-time rival Virginia visits for a televised ACC game. Photo courtesy UNC athleticsUNC forward Laura BroomfieldThe No. 15 Tar Heels (17-3, 3-2 ACC) have lost three of their last six games — albeit to some very strong opposition with Connecticut winning here on Jan. 17 — while Virginia (12-9, 1-4) in an expected rebuilding year. The one oddity on the slate is how the teams performed against Maryland. UNC was on the wrong end of an 88-65 blowout on Sunday, while the Cavaliers fell...

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Duke dominates Boston College, remains perfect at home

Posted By on Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 8:28 AM

File photo by Jeremy M. LangeNolan Smith dropped 28 Thursday night.DURHAM/CAMERON INDOOR STADIUM—Prior to tonight's contest, the Boston College Eagles had traveled to Cameron Indoor Stadium five times and returned home as double-digit losers in all five games. Make it six. That doesn't mean the Eagles (14-7, 4-2 in ACC) haven't gone down in history here. The team's 1990 visit to Durham, 316 Duke home games ago, was the last time Cameron wasn't sold out. On this night, though, a packed house witnessed the Blue Devils (19-1, 6-1 ACC) lay down a balanced beat-down, 84-68. Nolan Smith, continued to make...

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Tonight's the night for Staal, et al

Posted By on Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 7:49 AM

RALEIGH—Nobody knows what will happen. Logo courtesy NHL.The players elected and selected to hockey's All-Star pool don't know who will be chosen first, last, and in between in the first-ever fantasy draft tonight at 8pm in the Raleigh Convention Center. The fans have been perched on the edge of bar stools in watering holes, and tweeting back and forth in their cubicles when they should actually be working, taking turns with buddies in one speculative mock draft after another. Heck, the players not participating have been doing the same thing, often hilariously and on-air. The team captains—hometown Carolina Hurricane Eric...

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Tar Heels look to bounce back tonight against Virginia

Posted By on Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 1:31 AM

UNC will be looking to get the ship righted tonight at 6:30, as the No. 15 Tar Heels take on long-time ACC women’s basketball rival Virginia. The game will be shown live on FSN South.Photo by Rob RoweUNC's Italee Lucas pops a jumper against Connecticut. The Tar Heels (17-3, 3-2 ACC) are 3-3 over their last six games including an 88-65 loss at then No. 15 Maryland on Sunday. Virginia (12-9, 1-4) is in an expected rebuilding season under veteran coach Debbie Ryan. Virginia beat the Tar Heels 82-78 last season in double overtime, snapping a 13-game losing streak in...

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wolfpack plays tough but comes up short in Miami

Posted By on Thu, Jan 27, 2011 at 9:53 PM

N.C. State made a good run on the road at No. 16 Miami on Thursday night, but ACC scoring leader Riquna Williams responded with 27 points as the Hurricanes won 84-77. Photo courtesy NCSU athleticsN.C. State forward Bonae HolstonShenise Johnson added 19 points and Morgan Stroman 18 for the Hurricanes (19-2, 5-1 ACC), who have won 18 of their last 19 games. Bonae Holston led the Wolfpack (9-11, 1-5) with 22 points. Marissa Kastanek added 14 points and Brittany Strachan and Kody Burke 11 each for State, which has lost four straight....

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Swoops felled: RailHawks selling mascot, name, everything on eBay, Craiglist

Posted By on Thu, Jan 27, 2011 at 7:30 PM

File photo by Jeremy M. LangeSwoops in 2009As suspicions grew that the very existence of the Carolina RailHawks was in doubt, the team’s owners (whoever they were) and North American Soccer League (NASL) officials made themselves ever sparser, refusing to comment on the record. Today, without talking to the media, the club made the biggest statement it could. They put the “Carolina RailHawks” trademark for sale on eBay and posted all of their other assets—jerseys, desks, computers, TVs, memorabilia, even the mascot’s uniform—on Craigslist and eBay. (The Craigslist posting seemed to be down Friday morning. You can also try here.)...

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After poor start, Tar Heels slide past Hurricanes

Posted By on Thu, Jan 27, 2011 at 12:19 PM

UNC Athletic CommunicationsBullock has found his shooting touch ESPN2 — North Carolina had to lose to Miami on Wednesday night. That’s because Miami had to beat the Tar Heels. The Hurricanes, a snake-bitten 1-4 in the ACC heading into the game against UNC, desperately needed a victory to become competitive in the conference. But despite Miami’s fevered intensity and a hostile road environment, Carolina shrugged off a couple of poor offensive stretches to prevail over the ‘Canes 74-71 to improve their own conference record to 4-1, and 14-5 overall. Continuing the season’s strange pattern, freshman Harrison Barnes played very poorly...

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Wolfpack continues the gauntlet with a visit to Miami tonight

Posted By on Thu, Jan 27, 2011 at 12:09 AM

N.C. State’s killer January schedule in women’s basketball continues tonight, when the Wolfpack visits No. 16 Miami for a 7 p.m. contest. Photo courtesy NCSU athleticsN.C. State forward Bonae HolstonMiami, coached by Duke alumna Katie Meier, is smarting from Monday night’s 66-59 loss at Florida State that ended the Hurricanes’ 17-game winning streak. Meanwhile the Wolfpack is recovering from some major heartbreak, having seen a 20-point second half lead disappear in a 65-64 loss to visiting No. 3 Duke on Sunday. N.C. State has won all but one of 10 meetings with Miami, prevailing 66-64 last season in the Wolfpack’s...

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Duke demolishes visiting Clemson to improve to 20-0

Posted By on Wed, Jan 26, 2011 at 10:59 PM

CAMERON INDOOR STADIUM/DURHAM Duke will take on rebuilding Clemson tonight in another ACC contest, and the big test for the No. 3 Blue Devils will be to avoid “looking ahead.” Duke is coming off the sixth biggest comeback in NCAA women’s basketball history, recovering from a 20-point second-half deficit to knock off N.C. State 65-64 on Sunday in Raleigh. And the next game after tonight is the Blue Devils’ nationally televised game at defending national champion Connecticut on Monday. Photo by Al DragoDuke freshmen Haley Peters (33) and Chloe Wells surround Clemson's Quinyotta Pettaway.Tonight the Blue Devils (19-0, 5-0 ACC)...

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Skinner promoted to All-Star Game roster, McBain to rookies team

Posted By on Wed, Jan 26, 2011 at 1:17 PM

RBC CENTER, RALEIGH—The rest of the hockey world now knows what Carolina Hurricanes fans have known all season. Jeff Skinner is an All-Star. File photo by Jeremy M. LangeJeff Skinner will play in the All-Star Game in Raleigh on Sunday afternoon.The odds-on favorite to win the Calder Trophy as best first-year player, Skinner had been one of twelve rookies selected to participate in Saturday’s SuperSkills competition in Raleigh. But the NHL announced today that he will take the place of injured veterans in the All-Star Game itself. And on Wayne Gretzky's fiftieth birthday, to boot. It's been on Skinner's mind,...

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Duke goes for 20-0 start against visiting Tigers tonight

Posted By on Wed, Jan 26, 2011 at 1:22 AM

File photo by Al DragoDuke's Kathleen Scheer, Chloe Wells, Allison Vernerey and Jasmine Thomas get ready to rebound against Xavier.Duke will attempt to become the nation’s only Division I women’s basketball team to start this season 20-0 tonight, when underdog Clemson visits Cameron Indoor Stadium in an ACC battle. If the No. 3 Blue Devils can prevail, it will be their fourth 20-0 start in the last nine seasons. Duke has won 19 straight home games and 17 straight home conference games. The series is tied 32-32, but Duke has won 13 straight games against the Tigers. Former Clemson player...

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Should Gleason have punched Kulemin? Hockey world says: Yes

Posted By on Tue, Jan 25, 2011 at 9:19 PM

RALEIGH—Tim Gleason threw the punch heard 'round the hockey world last night. Here's how it went down. WikiMedia CommonsTim Gleason didn't deserve a game misconduct penalty for punching Nikolai Kulemin in Monday's 6-4 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs in Raleigh.The first period had just ended. The Maple Leafs had scored with eight seconds left to tie the game at one. There was a scrum against the boards in front of the Canes' bench—a mass of players from both teams, jawing at each other, clutching handfuls of each others' jerseys. Pretty run-of-the-mill slight boiling over of tempers. Kulemin initiated contact...

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Canes on playoff doorstep after 6-4 win over Toronto

Posted By on Tue, Jan 25, 2011 at 6:17 AM

RBC CENTER, RALEIGH—Shhhhh. Don't jinx it. File photo by Rob RoweTim Gleason broke Nikolai Kulemin's nose with an uppercut after the first period of a 6-4 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs Monday night.The Carolina Hurricanes pulled to within a point of the playoff eight last night with a wild 6-4 triumph over the Toronto Maple Leafs in an operatic game that featured almost everything hockey has to offer. There were goals—seven of them in the third period alone, and two each by Brandon Sutter and Toronto's Tim Brent. Goals can be scored five ways in the NHL, and this...

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Tar Heels fall hard on their trip to Maryland

Posted By on Sun, Jan 23, 2011 at 8:51 PM

UNC had a long evening in Maryland in women’s basketball Sunday night. Photo courtesy UNC athleticsUNC guard Italee LucasAlyssa Thomas’ 16 points led the way for the No. 15 Terps as they routed the visiting No. 11 Tar Heels 88-65, allowing no payback for their first-round ousting of UNC from last season’s ACC Tournament. Diandra Tchatchouang added 13 points, Lynetta Kizer and Alicia DeVaughn 12 each and Laurin Mincy added 10 points for the Terps (16-3, 3-2 ACC). Italee Lucas led all scorers with 17 points for UNC (17-3, 3-2), which is 3-3 over its last six games. Tierra Ruffin-Pratt...

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Duke overcomes a 20-point deficit before Gray's late layup tops Wolfpack

Posted By on Sun, Jan 23, 2011 at 7:53 PM

Photo by Al DragoDuke Coach Joanne P. McCallie briefs Chloe Wells on the next play in the second half.REYNOLDS COLISEUM/RALEIGH N.C. State will have its biggest home crowd in women’s basketball so far this season, and there are several good reasons for it. Visiting today is Triangle ACC rival Duke, which is ranked No. 3 and the only remaining unbeaten Division I women’s team in the country. It’s a rematch of last season’s ACC championship game. And tickets are on sale for just $1, with anyone holding a stub from the men’s basketball win over Miami at the RBC Center...

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Pack men avert disaster, 72-70 over Miami

Posted By on Sun, Jan 23, 2011 at 5:29 PM

Rich Howell scores inside against Miami It was very nearly a disaster. N.C. State, up 17 at home midway through the second half, blew the lead, trailed by one with a minute left, but rallied to beat lowly Miami 72-70 thanks to heroics by Tracy Smith, Ryan Harrow and C.J. Williams and another solid all-around performance by Rich Howell. Howell led State scorers with 17 and had five rebounds. Smith had 16 points and seven rebounds. Harrow missed some easy shots and finished with just five points, but he had seven assists and three steals, including a critical theft in...

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