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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Brown Satisfies — N.C. State declaws Western Carolina Catamounts 82-55

Posted By on Sat, Dec 31, 2011 at 9:52 PM

www.snickers.comRBC CENTER/RALEIGH — The improved play of Lorenzo Brown has been sweet for the N.C. State point guard and Wolfpack fans alike, apparently in more ways than one. Over the last three games, a team manager has given Brown a pregame Snickers candy bar to eat, which Brown claims calms him down and helps him focus on the task at hand. It isn’t clear whether this demi-tradition began as a search for some psychological trigger or a manifestation of the television commercials that imply eating a Snickers brings out one’s best personality traits. Regardless, Brown was positively ravenous during the...

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Friday, December 30, 2011

Shegog, Gross lead Tar Heels to easy win over scrappy Eagles

Posted By on Fri, Dec 30, 2011 at 10:13 PM

CARMICHAEL ARENA/CHAPEL HILL UNC takes the court against an MEAC opponent for the second straight day, this time with local rival N.C. Central coming to visit. Photo courtesy UNC athleticsUNC center Chay ShegogThe No. 24 Tar Heels (9-2) had a lot of fun Thursday afternoon in a 74-21 rout of Savannah State, as both Laura Broomfield and Waltiea Rolle came back to help Chay Shegog give UNC one of the nation’s most imposing frontcourts. Broomfield had missed four games including the rout loss to South Carolina with a foot injury, while Rolle was in the lineup for the first time...

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Heels celebrate upcoming year with rout over Phoenix

Posted By on Fri, Dec 30, 2011 at 3:00 PM

File photo by Arianna HoffmannBarnes has been playing a more complete game DEAN SMITH CENTER/CHAPEL HILL — Elon University features a beautiful campus and continues to grow in stature as an institution. That’s the university. The basketball team, however, is no match for its neighbor eastward along I-40, as North Carolina proved in a 100-62 beating on Thursday night. The Tar Heels held the Phoenix to 21 percent shooting in the first half and took a 53-19 lead into the locker room, effectively ending the competition in the first frame. Harrison Barnes spent the previous night vomiting due to a...

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N.C. State toes the line, defeats spirited Camels 87-81

Posted By on Fri, Dec 30, 2011 at 8:30 AM

Neil MorrisRichard Howell rises to the challenge in N.C. State's 87-81 win over CampbellREYNOLDS COLISEUM/RALEIGH — With visions of N.C. State’s 55-point thrashing of Campbell University seven years ago — the last meeting between the schools — seemingly still dancing in their heads, the Wolfpack expected a cakewalk over the visiting Camels to close out the third and final game at historic Reynolds Coliseum this season. Instead, the boys from Buies Creek came bound to prove that these dromedaries are no doormat. Buoying the visitors was a boisterous band of orange-clad supporters whose presence was both seen and heard amongst...

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Overtime is Staal's time

Posted By on Thu, Dec 29, 2011 at 9:39 PM

RBC CENTER, RALEIGH—A month ago, the Canes would have folded. But in the last home game of the year, they didn't. And the captain led the way. Photo by Al DragoEric Staal, seen here earlier this season against Ottawa, scored twice and added an assist to lead the Canes over Toronto in the last home game of a largely forgettable 2011.Undaunted by two early third-period goals by the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Hurricanes stormed back from a 3-1 deficit to push the game to overtime. Eric Staal scored a goal and created another for Zac Dalpe before firing in the...

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Bigger Tar Heels hold Savannah State to 21 points

Posted By on Thu, Dec 29, 2011 at 8:30 PM

CARMICHAEL ARENA/CHAPEL HILL UNC will take the floor for the first time this season with a healthy contingent of post players, and that might be tough news for today’s opponent. Photo courtesy UNC athleticsUNC center Waltiea RolleThe visitor is new MEAC member Savannah State (5-8), which is playing the Tar Heels for the first time. The Tar Heels have had a ridiculous rash of injuries and other things keeping players out of the lineup, but today Laura Broomfield and Waltiea Rolle will be able to join center Chay Shegog in the paint. The 6-foot forward Broomfield is averaging a double-double...

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pens' onslaught sinks Canes

Posted By on Wed, Dec 28, 2011 at 8:29 AM

FSN SOUTH (TV)—Justin Peters has some new bruises. Photo by Al DragoChad LaRose's second borderline penalty of the night let the Penguins break through Justin Peters' desperation goaltending in the third period of a 4-2 Pittsburgh win.In his first start of the season in net, Peters faced 52 shots from the Pittsburgh Penguins, holding them to just one goal through two tied periods. But the game is three periods long, and the Penguins broke it open early in the final frame to push their win streak to four games before a sellout crowd in the Steel City, 4-2. Carolina, which...

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Glennon, Wolfpack put the cherry on top with bowl victory

Posted By on Wed, Dec 28, 2011 at 1:02 AM

Photo by Al DragoNC State quarterback Mike Glennon hugs Earl Wolff afer defeating Louisville. BANK OF AMERICA STADIUM/CHARLOTTE N.C. State looks to put some icing on the proverbial cake tonight. The Wolfpack (7-5), which won three of four games in spectacular fashion in November to become bowl-eligible under pressure, will take on Big East co-champion Louisville (7-5) in front of a big partisan crowd in the Belk Bowl. Both teams come in hot, as Louisville has won five of its last six. It’s the second time State has appeared in a bowl game in Charlotte, as the Wolfpack blanked South...

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Monday, December 26, 2011

Wolfpack looks to put cap on dream finish in Charlotte

Posted By on Mon, Dec 26, 2011 at 10:45 PM

The last football game in North Carolina in 2011 will be played Tuesday night, and N.C. State will be looking to put an exclamation point at the end of a solid second half. Photo courtesy NCSU athleticsState cornerback David AmersonThe Wolfpack (7-5), which needed a November miracle to even qualify for a bowl game, will take on an equally hot Louisville (7-5) team in the Belk Bowl at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium. ESPN will show it live at 8 p.m., and it will be the only football on TV at the time. “At a point in the season —...

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Canes enjoy a holiday win over Senators

Posted By on Sat, Dec 24, 2011 at 11:01 AM

RBC CENTER, RALEIGH—Cam Ward was talking, but you couldn’t hear what he was saying. Photo by Al DragoGOOOOOOAL! Carolina deserved this celebration after a 2-1 overtime win over the Ottawa Senators on Christmas Eve Eve.“Get your ice cold beer! Peanuts! We got your hot dogs here!” A sonorous voice boomed up the locker room hallway. A teammate hollering a busker’s patter just to enjoy its echo off the painted cinderblock walls. “Clearly, the guys are excited,” deadpanned the unflappable goalie. The Hurricanes gave themselves an early Christmas present Friday night, topping the Ottawa Senators 2-1 on an overtime goal from...

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Coyotes dumpster-dive for 4-3 win over Canes

Posted By on Thu, Dec 22, 2011 at 11:36 AM

RBC CENTER, RALEIGH—In the past, packs of coyotes hunted the American prairie, swarming their prey. Today, they have adapted to scavenge off the humans who’ve encroached upon their habitat, rummaging dumpsters for suburban food scraps to survive. It’s a lot easier to pick a chicken carcass out of the trash than it is to bring down a deer. Courtesy Greg Carter and CBCThe Phoenix Coyotes rummaged through the Canes for a 4-3 win in Raleigh.The Phoenix Coyotes were much like their namesakes on Wednesday night, feasting upon mistakes, turnovers, and dispassionate play by the home squad to turn a 3-1...

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tar Heels treat visiting Longhorns to a whipping

Posted By on Wed, Dec 21, 2011 at 10:40 PM

Arianna Hoffmann/TOBarnes became borderline confrontational versus UTDEAN SMITH CENTER/CHAPEL HILL — No suspense, no drama. North Carolina welcomed nemesis Texas to Chapel Hill tonight and beat up the Longhorns 82-63 in a spirited performance. The Tar Heels’ starters have enjoyed victories over elite teams the past three seasons, but one they hadn’t overcome was UT. The Longhorns routed Carolina in Dallas two years ago and, in a pivot point for last season, topped UNC in Greensboro thanks to a second half comeback—one in which Roy Williams controversially pulled Kendall Marshall for erstwhile starter Larry Drew—that became a talking point for...

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Vernerey, Liston lead Duke offense in rout of Seahawks

Posted By on Tue, Dec 20, 2011 at 9:51 PM

CAMERON INDOOR STADIUM/DURHAM Duke comes off a nine-day layoff for its only game in a 19-day period as UNC Wilmington comes for its first visit in 19 years. Photo courtesy Duke athleticsDuke center Allison VernereyThe No. 9 Blue Devils (7-2) lead the series 6-2 and will be heavily favored. UNCW (5-4), which has won three straight games, is in its second season under Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, a legendary player for the WNBA’s Houston Comets who was the first inductee into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame solely on the strength of her pro playing career. It turns out to be the...

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Why we watch Duke beat UNC-G by 27 points: Notes from the first act of a movie

Posted By on Tue, Dec 20, 2011 at 8:40 AM

Photo for Triangle Offense by Al DragoTyler Thornton looks for the open man against UNC-G.CAMERON INDOOR STADIUM/DURHAM—There’s a moment in every basketball game when the game is won or lost, and for Duke and UNC-Greensboro, year after year, that moment happens when the game is scheduled. Duke wins. Quinn Cook shines with 14 points and good defense in 18 minutes; the Plumlees grab 13 boards apiece; Duke hits 10 threes; and the final score reads 90-63. There’s a bit of drama here and there, with Duke trailing for most of the first half—at Cameron!—and embarrassing alley-oop dunks by the visitors...

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Heels keep it casual in victory over Colonels

Posted By on Mon, Dec 19, 2011 at 9:36 PM

ESPNU — North Carolina rolled through an extremely over-matched Nicholls State team tonight at the Dean Smith Center, toppling the Colonels 99-49 despite not playing especially well. The Tar Heels held every tangible advantage in the contest, most noticeably on the backboards: Carolina out-rebounded the Colonels 72-35. Some teams don’t reach 72 points in a game, so irrespective of opponent Roy Williams had to be pleased with his club’s effort in what has a been a problem area this season. You can bet that Williams experienced great frustration over his team’s poor free throw shooting, however. Carolina hit just 21-for-41...

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Tar Heels win first of three-game leg, toppling Mountaineers 97-82

Posted By on Sun, Dec 18, 2011 at 3:00 PM

File photo by Arianna HoffmannZeller is beginning to operate more efficiently ESPNU — North Carolina is set to play three games in five days, the first tipping off last night against Appalachian State in Chapel Hill. Historically, these exam week games tend to feature UNC at less than its best, and the ASU contest repeated the pattern. The Heels blew open the game early and made a couple separate massive runs against the outgunned Mountaineers, but they also allowed ASU to make runs of its own and keep the game relatively close for much of the contest. Individually, Tyler Zeller...

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A tale of one half...twice — Top-ranked Syracuse outlasts N.C. State 88-72

Posted By on Sun, Dec 18, 2011 at 12:51 AM

Neil MorrisJim Boeheim muses for the media following Syracuse's 88-72 win over N.C. StateRBC CENTER/RALEIGH — The feeling that permeated the N.C. State locker room following their Nov. 30 loss to Indiana was frustration tinged with anger. After leading the Hoosiers by seven points with less than eight minutes to play, the Wolfpack lost their composure and eventually the game to a team they felt was their equal, at best. The fact that Indiana has since defeated then top-ranked and undefeated Kentucky gave Wolfpack faithful more reason to believe they were approaching the ability to stand toe-to-toe with the best...

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Canes return home with a bang

Posted By on Fri, Dec 16, 2011 at 6:38 AM

RBC CENTER, RALEIGH—Cam Ward didn't just take a goal away from Keith Ballard. He took a piece of his soul. With just over six minutes remaining in the Hurricanes' 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks, Ward flung his glove across the gaping net to snare Ballard's point-blank shot. And he rolled on top of the rebound chance for good measure. File photo by Rob RoweCam Ward's save on Keith Ballard to preserve a 4-3 win over Vancouver was something to see."I needed his help," Ward shrugged afterward, crediting Ballard while standing in the locker room din of a team that...

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Wolfpack's revenge streak ends at two as Richmond rolls

Posted By on Thu, Dec 15, 2011 at 10:13 PM

REYNOLDS COLISEUM/RALEIGH N.C. State is on a special kind of roll, and the Wolfpack has a chance to keep it alive tonight. Photo courtesy NCSU athleticsState forward Bonae HolstonKellie Harper’s club, which finished 14-17 last season and missed post-season play, is on a two-game streak of beating visiting teams that had defeated the Wolfpack last season. State (6-2) won a 55-53 thriller over South Carolina on Dec. 4, then blew away Alabama 79-57 on Sunday. Tonight’s visitor is Atlantic 10 member Richmond, which beat the Wolfpack 81-75 last year. The Spiders (7-2) have two local players on the team in...

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Monday, December 12, 2011

UNC men win national soccer title; winning goal here

Posted By on Mon, Dec 12, 2011 at 9:04 AM

We were out of town and nowhere near a television or Internet connection when the UNC Tar Heels met the 49ers of UNC-Charlotte in Hoover, Ala. for the NCAA championship. While I missed the game, I found myself in an unexpected conversation about it in Sylva, N.C., when I walked into City Lights Bookstore, the town's cozy downtown institution. The proprietor knows me as an occasional, avocational soccer journalist, and he and another store worker struck up a conversation about the upcoming championship game. It turned out that two players at the local high school were driving down to Alabama...

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Duke recovers from Kentucky loss with romp over USC Upstate

Posted By on Sun, Dec 11, 2011 at 6:46 PM

Photo by Chris BairdChelsea Gray defends against USC Upstate's Tyra Smith in the Blue Devils' 93-35 romp.CAMERON INDOOR STADIUM/DURHAM Duke comes home looking for a solid performance after listening to 14,000-plus Kentucky fans in its 72-65 loss Thursday night at Rupp Arena. Today’s opponent is USC Upstate, a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference which is in its first full season in NCAA Division I. Duke (6-2), currently ranked No. 6, has won 28 straight games in Cameron and that isn’t likely to be challenged today. Upstate (1-7) has already lost big guarantee games at Vanderbilt and Auburn in double-the-score...

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Tar Heels (finally) utilize impassioned defense to fend off Long Beach State

Posted By on Sun, Dec 11, 2011 at 12:13 AM

For this guy, the outcome remained in doubt until the bitter end DEAN SMITH CENTER/CHAPEL HILL — Fairly or unfairly, most people don’t associate Roy Williams basketball with stout defense. Tonight for the first 20 minutes of action, the Tar Heels themselves really didn’t associate with stout defense, either. Long Beach State torched UNC en route to shooting above 51 percent from the field in the first half, a totally unacceptable number during any half, but especially in a contest at home against an unranked opponent. Carolina did compete on defense during the second frame, however, and timely play from...

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

UNC men's soccer team rally twice to advance to NCAA final behind Goodwin's heroics

Posted By on Sat, Dec 10, 2011 at 10:59 AM

Speas celebrates his winning PK, as seen on author's laptop.ESPN3—One week after the Duke women fell short of a national title, the UNC men have a chance to bring home a trophy. The Tar Heels were forced to rally twice against UCLA, and after 110 minutes were played between the third-ranked Tar Heels and fourth-ranked UCLA, the score stood knotted at 2-2. But Scott Goodwin smothered the first two Bruin penalty kicks, and Kirk Urso, Drew McKinney and Ben Speas did the rest to send the Heels to Sunday's final. And their opponent will be the unheralded in-state compatriots, the...

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Canes put "Pillowcase" in the wash

Posted By on Fri, Dec 9, 2011 at 2:19 PM

Tomas Kaberle, we hardly knew ye. And even yet, we knew ye too much. Photo by D.L. AndersonThe holiday wishes of Canes fans have been granted. Tomas Kaberle is no longer on the team.The Carolina Hurricanes unloaded the pile of laundry on skates that is Tomas Kaberle on Friday, shipping him off to Montreal in exchange for 37-year-old defender Jaroslav Spacek. Signed to a three-year, $12.75 million deal over the summer, Kaberle lasted just 29 games with the Canes, assisting on nine goals and scoring zero. But the Canes won't even mind if the door hits him on the way...

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Duke men's basketball batters Colorado State Rams

Posted By on Thu, Dec 8, 2011 at 6:00 AM

File photo by Al DragoOld photo, same scene.CAMERON INDOOR STADIUM/ DURHAM—With about a minute left in Duke's 87-64 win over Colorado State last night, Rams head coach Tim Miles formally waved the white flag by putting in Chad Calcaterra, a reserve center. Calcaterra had played eight minutes all season, seeing action in two games—the eight minutes and two games representing the sum total of the redshirt freshman's college basketball career to date. As Calcaterra checked in, a chant of "We want Todd!" rose up from the Duke student section. They were calling, of course, for Todd Zafirofski, the Zephyr, hoping...

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