Monthly Archives: January 2011

ECU Blasts UCF in Orlando

Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. — Jontae Sherrod scored 21 points and had nine rebounds as East Carolina handed Central Florida its third straight defeat, beating the Knights 74-62 on Wednesday night.

Erin Straughn hit four 3-pointers and scored 12 points for the Pirates (10-8, 2-2 Conference USA).

Isaac Sosa led the Knights (14-3, 1-3) with 16 points, Keith Clanton contributed 12 and Marcus Jordan 11.

Straughn drilled his fourth 3-pointer to cap a 16-4 run that gave East Carolina a 62-45 lead with 10:47 left. The Pirates scored only one point over the next 7:30 of the game, but UCF couldn't take advantage.

The Knights missed several shots in the lane and four of six free throw attempts during the same stretch. They outscored East Carolina 10-1, cutting the deficit to 63-55 on Taylor Young's 3-pointer with 3:46 to play, but that was as close as UCF would get.

Darrius Morrow, who finished with 14 points, stopped the drought with a layup at the 3:17 mark and East Carolina converted eight of 12 free throws the rest of the way to hold on for the win.

East Carolina led 25-14 after hitting its first six 3-point attempts, including three by Straughn. The Pirates turned their attack inside and built the lead to 41-26 on Morrow's layup with 2:17 left in the half.

UCF scored the final 10 points of the half, including a 3-pointer by A.J. Rompza at the buzzer that cut the deficit to 41-36, but the Knights couldn't maintain the momentum in the second half.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

Tar Heels an NCAA-best 55-0 in Chapel Hill against Tigers

Associated Press

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Harrison Barnes hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with about 5 minutes left to help North Carolina beat Clemson 75-65 on Tuesday night, staying perfect all-time against the Tigers at home.

Barnes finished with 13 points and six rebounds for the Tar Heels (13-5, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), who improved to 55-0 all-time against the Tigers in Chapel Hill — an NCAA record for most consecutive home wins against a single opponent. Fellow freshman Reggie Bullock scored 16 of his season-high 18 points in the first half, while John Henson added 14 points and a key tip-in with about 2 minutes to go.

Devin Booker, Andre Young and Demontez Stitt each scored 11 points for the Tigers (13-5, 2-2), who rallied from a 10-point deficit in the second half and headed into the final minutes in a tie game. Clemson didn't score in the final 4½ minutes as the Tar Heels made enough plays to win it late.

Both sides have been hearing questions about "The Streak" for years now, though they each continue to brush them off — North Carolina by saying it had to end sometime, Clemson by saying the past doesn't matter to that current team. The Tigers certainly had a chance to silence all those questions for good, tying the game on a 3 from Stitt with about 7½ left to make it 63-63.

But, as it always seems to happen in this matchup, North Carolina did enough to prolong its torment of Clemson a little longer.

Barnes caught a pass from Bullock and calmly buried a 3-pointer with 4:55 left from near the North Carolina bench to put the Tar Heels ahead to stay. Clemson answered with a layup off an offensive rebound from Stitt to close the gap to one on the next possession, but the Tigers couldn't push ahead or get the one stop they desperately needed.

Kendall Marshall added two free throws to make it a three-point game, then Henson tipped in a missed drive from Larry Drew II to push the margin to 70-65 with 2:04 left.

Drew punctuated the win with a steal and layup with 12.4 seconds left, leading to a familiar chant of "You can't win here!" from the student section on the baseline nearest the UNC bench.

The Tar Heels were coming off a miserable showing in a 20-point loss at Georgia Tech on Sunday night, and coach Roy Williams made a change by starting Marshall over Drew at the point. Marshall had five points and five assists with three turnovers, while Drew had eight points, four rebounds and four steals off the bench.

North Carolina played without Leslie McDonald, its top scoring reserve. The sophomore sat out as a precaution with a back contusion suffered in the loss to the Yellow Jackets.

Both teams lost players to injuries in the first half. Clemson's Tanner Smith suffered a sprained right knee when Barnes fell into his leg on a drive with 9:21 left before the break, while North Carolina's Justin Watts sprained his right ankle with about 2 minutes left.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Associated Press

DURHAM, N.C. — Andre Dawkins' defense led to a highlight-reel dunk. His timely scoring helped prevent one loss from becoming two for Duke.

Dawkins scored 12 of his 14 points after halftime, and the top-ranked Blue Devils bounced back from their first loss in 10 months by pulling away to beat Virginia 76-60 on Saturday.

"We just played really good defense, and turned our defense into our offense, which led to easy buckets," Dawkins said. "Getting easy buckets really makes the basket look bigger from the outside."

Nolan Smith led the way with 29 points, Kyle Singler finished with 13 points and Mason Plumlee had a career-high 16 rebounds for the slow-starting Blue Devils (16-1, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), who trailed by 10 late in the first half but outscored Virginia 43-18 over the final 16 minutes to avoid their first losing streak in two years.

"We're a different team. We have to know that going into games — we're not going to walk onto the court and beat anybody," Smith said. "This conference is too good for that, and I think we showed in the second half … how we have to play in every game."

Mustapha Farrakhan and Joe Harris scored 15 points each for the Cavaliers (10-7, 1-2), who were held to one field goal during a late 8-minute stretch and fell to 1-28 against top-ranked teams.

The Blue Devils almost certainly won't have that designation much longer, after Florida State beat them 66-61 three nights earlier. Their first defeat since Maryland knocked them off last March snapped the 25-game winning streak that included the run to the program's fourth national championship.

"There's a part of you that sometimes likes your kid to get stung a little bit — like, 'Don't touch the oven,' " Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "You don't want them to put their whole body there. … [But] as long as they don't get seriously hurt, you know, experience is a hell of a thing, if you can use experience to help you and not hurt you."

Duke kept a few other streaks intact by winning its 30th straight game at Cameron Indoor Stadium, its sixth straight against Virginia and its 14th in a row against the Cavaliers in Durham.

And they have Dawkins to thank for much of it. The sophomore made a series of big plays during the burst that erased a nine-point deficit and put Duke up by double digits for the first time.

"Once we started locking in and really playing defense on those guys, we were able to get easy buckets, and then we were able to knock down some open transition shots," Dawkins said.

First, he put the Blue Devils up to stay by knocking down a hanging jumper through contact from Harris and hitting the free throw that followed to make it 45-44 with 12:15 left.

Seconds later, he stole the ball from Harris and found Smith, who streaked the other way for a pretty slam over Akil Mitchell that sent the Cameron Crazies into delirium. The third of Dawkins' three 3-pointers during the run stretched Duke's lead to 62-52 with just inside of 7 minutes left, and Cavaliers coach Tony Bennett called those shots "the dagger."

Virginia didn't get closer than eight the rest of the way, and remained winless in 14 tries on a No. 1 team's home floor.

"Again, 28, 30 minutes, they played so hard and they executed and they did good things, things to build on in a tough setting against a heck of a team," Bennett said. "Then, the last 10 minutes, I thought we fractured defensively."

It helped Virginia that for about 24 minutes, Duke's 3s weren't falling — a major reason why the ACC's top-scoring offense was being outscored by the league's worst. The Blue Devils average more than 86 points while the Cavaliers score fewer than 64 points per game.

Some of the same problems that plagued Duke against Florida State reappeared early in this one: relying too heavily on — and missing — 3-pointers. The Blue Devils missed 11 of their first 12 attempts from long range, and during one 6-minute stretch, they attempted only one shot inside the arc while hoisting up seven shots from behind it. Duke finished 5 of 20 from 3-point range, 4 of 8 in the second half.

"We weren't hitting shots [in the first half], and we let it affect our defense," Smith said. "When we got down, we just had to do something. Coach decided he was going to open it up and let me go one-on-one, and thank God I was able to make some shots and cut it closer, or it could have gotten ugly."

Virginia led for most of the half, reeling off eight straight points and taking a 27-17 lead on Farrakhan's 3 with 3½ minutes left. The Cavaliers led 31-25 at the break — Duke's largest halftime deficit of the season — and twice led by nine in the second half, the last when Will Sherrill's layup made it 42-33 with 16:13 left.

But just like last week — when Virginia led North Carolina by 11 before losing 62-56 — the Cavaliers couldn't maintain that big advantage.

"We've got to find a way to last," Bennett said. "We were there for most of the game against Carolina, and the same thing here. … That's where you can't beat yourself, and that's where I thought we labored."

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

ESPN NY’s Jane McManus on “The Drive”

ESPN New York's Jane MaManus pays us a visit to talk Jets vs Patriots , LT and more…..Check out some of Jane's most recent work…
Lawrence Taylor pleads guilty

Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor pled guilty to two misdemeanor charges in court Thursday, stemming from a May 6 arrest for felony statutory rape. He will be sentenced to six years' probation but must register as a sex offender.

He also was ordered to pay $1,300 in fees.

Taylor, who was dressed in black from head to toe, pled guilty to one count of soliciting a prostitute and a second count of sexual misconduct in having sex with a woman without consent. Since the victim in the case was 16, by law she was not old enough to give consent….. read more

Video: Expert Roundtable

Watch Jane McManus go back and forth with Herm Edwards and Mike Reiss on Pats-Jets