WWAY’s Wednesday night sports – March 6


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — We have scores and notes from Wednesday’s high school action.


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GREENVILLE, NC (AP) – East Carolina has hired Jeff Compher from Northern Illinois as its athletic director.

The school announced his hiring Wednesday and says he agreed to a five-year contract worth $415,000 annually plus performance bonuses and will begin May 1.

Compher is a former assistant AD at North Carolina State and athletic director at Western Carolina who is in his fifth year at Northern Illinois.

He will oversee the Pirates’ transition from Conference USA to the Big East in football in 2014. The destination for their other sports has not been determined.

He is replacing Terry Holland, the school’s AD since 2004 who said in December that he would become an athletic director emeritus once a successor was found. He will stay in that position until his contract expires in December 2014.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


RALEIGH, NC (AP) – C.J. Leslie had 19 points and 10 rebounds to help North Carolina State beat Wake Forest 81-66 on Wednesday night in its final home game.

T.J. Warren added 15 points as the Wolfpack (22-8, 11-6 Atlantic Coast Conference) pushed to a double-digit lead in the first half and coasted after halftime. N.C. State has won three straight and six of seven entering Saturday’s regular-season finale at Florida State, keeping the Wolfpack in the chase with Virginia for the final first-round bye at next week’s league tournament in Greensboro.

The Wolfpack took charge with a 13-0 first-half run and held the Demon Deacons (12-17, 5-12) without a basket for 7½ minutes to build a 15-point halftime lead. N.C. State quickly pushed that lead past 20 points and never let Wake Forest even flirt with cutting it to single digits on the way to avenging a January road loss.

In that game, Wake Forest rallied from 16 down to win 86-84 in an early sign that the preseason ACC favorite Wolfpack would have a tougher time climbing the standings than expected. It was a huge win for the Demon Deacons at the time, right up there with the later upset of then-No. 2 Miami on Feb. 23, but it’s been an otherwise frustrating run to the finish for third-year coach Jeff Bzdelik.

His team had to play without starting point guard Codi Miller-McIntyre, who didn’t travel due to strep throat. The Demon Deacons missed their floor leader, especially once the Wolfpack woke up from an early slumber and picked up the pace to take control.

Wake Forest has lost nine of 11 since beating N.C. State on Jan. 22. Worse, the Demon Deacons fell to 1-24 on the road in ACC games under Bzdelik, including an 0-9 mark this year.

Freshman Devin Thomas had 13 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Demon Deacons, who shot 47 percent but never seriously threatened to stop their road woes after the opening 10 minutes. N.C. State shot 48 percent , scored 22 points off turnovers and had 22 second-chance points to maintain firm control.

It was a quiet night for N.C. State seniors Richard Howell and Scott Wood. Howell finished with nine points and five rebounds, while Wood scored eight.

N.C. State’s 13-0 run started with an ominous sign for Wake Forest. With the Demon Deacons snoozing, Wood quickly inbounded the ball to Warren, who threw home a dunk before anyone wearing black and gold could react – a play that drew a frustrated yell from Bzdelik.

Warren capped the run with a jumper for a 28-16 lead with 4½ minutes left before halftime. A few minutes later, Wood got in on the act too, faking Travis McKie off his feet and burying a 3-pointer while drawing contact for a four-point play.

Things didn’t get any better after the break, either. Lorenzo Brown found Leslie unguarded under the basket for a dunk on the Wolfpack’s first possession of the second half, prompting an angry Bzdelik to immediately gesture for a timeout. He spent the entire stoppage on an animated rant that included slamming his clipboard on the court.

Minutes later, Bzdelik fired off another timeout after back-to-back transition baskets – the second an alley-oop dunk from Brown off a feed from Leslie – pushed the lead to 21 points before the first media timeout of the second half.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) – Deron Williams had 20 points and eight assists, Joe Johnson added 22 points, and Brooklyn Nets got a needed win over the Charlotte Bobcats, 99-78 Wednesday night.

The Nets trailed by 10 at the half, but opened the third quarter with a 21-6 run led by Williams and Johnson, and never looked back. The Bobcats managed just nine points in the third quarter on 3-of-19 shooting and were outscored 56-25 in the second half to lose their eighth straight game.

Reggie Evans grabbed 16 rebounds and Brook Lopez had 16 points and five rebounds for the Nets.

Brooklyn had lost two straight and four of its last five.

Rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 17 points and Ben Gordon added 16 for the Bobcats, who are 6-43 since starting the season 7-5.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


COLLEGE PARK, MD (AP) – P.J. Hairston scored 22, Reggie Bullock had 19 points and 12 rebounds, and North Carolina coasted past Maryland 79-68 Wednesday night for its season-high sixth straight victory.

The Tar Heels never trailed after closing the first half with a 10-0 run that made it 34-27. North Carolina solidified its hold on third place in the Atlantic Coast Conference and can move into a tie for second by beating Duke in the season finale Saturday night.

James Michael McAdoo scored 10 for the Tar Heels (22-8, 12-5), who have won six in a row against Maryland, including the ACC tournament last year.

Dez Wells led Maryland (20-10, 8-9) with 18 points and Nick Faust had 16. The Terrapins missed 20 of 23 attempts from 3-point range.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


WILMINGTON, NC (UNCW)-– Towson strung together a 11-3 spurt midway through the second half to hold off UNCW, 66-57, in the women’s basketball home finale for the Seahawks Wednesday night at Trask Coliseum.

The Tigers won their third straight contest to improve to 12-17 overall and 6-12 in the CAA. The Seahawks lost their fifth in a row and stand 3-25 and 2-15.

CAA Player-of-the-Week Tanisha McTiller scored 13 points to lead a balanced scoring attack for the Tigers, who swept the regular season series after winning, 55-53, in late January in Maryland. The slippery McTiller added 11 rebounds, while senior forward Michelle Peebles scored 14 points and junior guard Nyree Williams had 10.

Senior guard Tawanna Lee paced three Seahawks in double figures with 16 points. Sophomore guard Kelva Atkins added 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists and senior forward Karneshia Garrett finished with 10 points and 11 boards for her 13th double-double of the season.

With the loss, the Seahawks closed 2-11 at home in Adell Harris’ first season with the club. UNCW defeated N.C. Central and Georgia State on its home floor this year.

UNCW also set a school record for three-point field goal attempts in Wednesday’s defeat, going 10-of-31 behind the arc, eclipsing the old record of 28 set against Northeastern on Jan. 26, 2012.

In the rematch with Towson, the Tigers scored eight of the first nine points in the second half to extend their six-point halftime lead to 39-36. A jumper on the right baseline by reserve forward Markell Smith pushed the advantage to 39-26 with 16:47 remaining.

Still trailing 45-33 with just under 14 minutes left to play, the Seahawks sliced the deficit to 47-41 when Lee heated up. The senior from St. Rose, La., sank a trey from the left wing and then added a layup at 10:39 to close the gap to six points.

But Smith scored on a putback to start the decisive rally and two minutes later the Towson lead ballooned to 56-44 when Dominique Johnson banged in a triple from the left side of the court at 7:10.

UNCW made two more runs at the Tigers and narrowed the lead to 62-57 on Jessica Freeman’s trifecta with 59 seconds remaining, but Towson closed out the game by sinking four consecutive free throws – two each by McTiller and Johnson – in the final 51 seconds to seal the road win.

UNCW jumped out to a quick 9-3 lead after connecting on five of its first eight field goal attempts. A layup by Atkins gave the Seahawks a six-point lead out of the gate.

The Tigers, behind Alliyah Berger, dialed long distance and used a 9-0 run to pull ahead, 15-11. Berger drained all three of her trey attempts and scored her only points of the game in a four-minute stretch as Towson capitalized on eight consecutive misses by the Seahawks to gain control.

Towson registered its largest lead of the opening period when Williams sank a pair of free throws and added a layup at 3:03 for a 29-20 advantage.

Towson then took a 31-25 lead into the break behind 10 points and five rebounds from Williams and seven boards by McTiller.

The Seahawks travel to Boston on Saturday for a rescheduled game with Northeastern at 2 p.m.

GAME NOTES: UNCW leads the all-time series with Towson, 13-9…The Seahawks stand 7-3 against the Tigers in Wilmington…Redshirt junior guard Brittany Gamby played the first 10 seconds of the contest and drained a triple from the right corner…UNCW had just 10 turnovers…It was the final home appearance for seniors Karneshia Garrett and Tawanna Lee…The Seahawks shot 37.1 percent on 23-of-62 field goals…Towson owned a 38-31 edge on the glass…Towson ended up 4-10 on the road this season…Garrett and Lee finished with four personal fouls apiece…UNCW attempted just four free throws and made one…Towson outscored UNCW at the free throw line, 14-1…Garrett recorded a double-double for the ninth time in the last 12 outings.


WILMINGTON, NC (UNCW) – A self-proclaimed “water baby” in her younger days, Carly Tanner never really enjoyed competing as a preschooler. Boy, how times have changed.

The bubbly senior from UNCW punched her ticket to the 2013 NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships late Wednesday, becoming only the second women’s swimmer in the school’s history to reach the pinnacle of collegiate swimming.

She will compete in the 50 Freestyle, 100 Freestyle and 100 Breaststroke on March 21-23 at the IU Natatorium/IUPUI Sports Complex in Indianapolis, Ind. The spectacular venue will serve as the site of the 2013 Phillips 66 National Championships and World Championship Trials later this summer.

Heading into the meet in Indy, Tanner is ranked 20th in the 100 Breaststroke, 38th in the 50 Freestyle and 68th in the 100 Freestyle.

“Without a doubt, Carly’s one of the top female swimmers we’ve ever had in the program,” said 36-year veteran coach Dave Allen, a 15-time CAA Coach-of-the-Year honoree. “She certainly has to rank up there near the very top.

“She’s a very talented swimmer who has worked hard and improved every year. She’s done everything she’s needed to do, inside and outside the pool, to get better.”

Tanner cleared her path to the NCAA meet by raking in five medals at last week’s CAA Championships, earning Co-Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet honors with Towson’s Kaitlin Burke. She joins Caitlin Kirsteier (2010) as UNCW’s only female swimmers to reach the NCAA’s.

“I never would have guessed this would happen,” said Tanner, who hails from Manassas, Va. “It’s such an honor to represent our program, the university and our conference.”

Tanner will continue to train over the next three weeks after making a big splash at the CAA meet. She won three gold medals in the 50 Freestyle (22.79), 100 Freestyle (49.91) and 100 Breaststroke (1:00.01). She also captured a silver in the 200 Freestyle Relay and a bronze in the 200 Medley Relay.

Tanner’s impressive performance at George Mason’s McKay Natatorium began last Friday with the fastest race – the 50 Free. “There was so much pressure,” Tanner recalled. “I won the 50 Free last year, so I was pretty confident, but I knew the 100 Breast and the 100 Free were going to be a challenge. I wanted to go in and just have the meet of my life.”

That she did, scoring every day and totaling 60 points as the UNCW women came in fourth overall behind Towson, James Madison and William & Mary.

“I didn’t do as well as I was hoping to do in the 50 Free in the finals,” Tanner said. ““I was pretty fussy after the 50 Free. I was a tenth off the school record. I medaled, which was great, but my time wasn’t the school record and that’s what I really wanted. But I led of the relay, and I was able to go faster and get the school record, which I was really happy about.

“The second day was the 100 Breaststroke and breaststroke has always been my thing. I’ve been a breaststroker my whole life. I was never a sprint freestyler until I came to college. I was nervous because it meant the most. I started to get choked up on the podium. I’ve never been the best. I’ve always been second or third. That was definitely the most meaningful event.

“The 100 Freestyle was on the last day. The last day just comes down to who wants it the most because everyone is so toasted. Your body is starting to give out with fatigue. The morning swim was hard and I just wanted to get my hand on the wall first at night and do the best I could.”

Tanner came to UNCW as a breaststroke specialist, but developed into a premier sprint freestyler for Allen’s successful program.

“The 100 Breaststroke has always been my baby,” she said. “It’s also the event that gives me the most headaches. I always worry about how I’m going to do. If I don’t do well, it’s the end of the world.”

Allen also said Tanner arrived in Wilmington as a breaststroker, but her versatility was too good to pass up. “She came here to swim the breaststroke, but after the first year, we learned that we could use in other events such as relays. After she developed in those, we decided to use her in the other events in meets. Her times were higher than in some of the individual events in the conference.

“She accepted it because she’s all about the team doing well. We didn’t have a big supporting cast around her this year because of the graduation of 13 seniors, so we looked at what we could do to make Carly more successful and, in turn, make the team better.”

Like many student-athletes, Tanner approached last week’s CAA meet with the usual routine, including embedded superstitions.

“I’m extremely superstitious,” she said. “My teammates make fun of me because of it. I have a ritual that before every race I have to crack all my knuckles, make sure my goggles are clear and I can’t sit on the sidelines too long before the races because I get too nervous

“Before the meet I have to have all my bags packed perfectly, the same way every time. It just helps me relax going into the meet knowing I have everything where it should be.”

Tanner called the last four years “very rewarding” after a slow start to her swimming career at a young age. “I started swimming around six and I used to cry during the swim meets because I never wanted to swim in the meets. My Mom just let me swim in practice and not in the meets for a couple years.”

Tanner has made up for lost time, though. She leaves UNCW with school records in the 50 Freestyle (22.45) and 100 Breaststroke (1:00.01).

“I fell in love with UNCW during my recruiting trip,” she recalled. “I came down and called my Mom and told her I loved the people, the atmosphere, the campus and everything about here. I didn’t get that anywhere else. Everyone here was a family and very welcoming.”

Tanner celebrated her CAA run with, what else? Sleep. That will have to do for now as preparation for the NCAA meet calls.

“It’s going to be a mini-season in three weeks. I’ll spend this week on aerobics, next week on power and sprint work and then rest up before the meet. It’s going to be a grueling three weeks, especially since everyone else on the team is enjoying their time off. I wouldn’t trade it for anything, though. It’s definitely worth it.”

When Tanner graduates in early May, she leaves a legacy that will not soon be forgotten.

“I just want everyone to understand that hard work pays off. I was never really the most talented swimmer. I was never the best in high school and never THAT girl. I just worked my butt off and it paid off. It’s a good lesson to learn for an athlete.”

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