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North Carolina sweeps Duke to take ACC title

North Carolina’s Wayne Ellington, left, and Tyler Hansbrough pressure Duke’s Gerald Henderson (15) during the second half at Chapel Hill, N.C. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
North Carolina’s Wayne Ellington, left, and Tyler Hansbrough pressure Duke’s Gerald Henderson (15) during the second half at Chapel Hill, N.C. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)

Tyler Hansbrough got the send-off he wanted in his final home game at North Carolina, thanks in part to Ty Lawson.

Hansbrough scored 17 points in his final home game to help the No. 2 Tar Heels beat No. 7 Duke 79-71 and win the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title at Chapel Hill, N.C.

Lawson added 13 points and several key plays late for the Tar Heels (27-3, 13-3 ACC), who earned the top seed for next week’s league tournament in Atlanta.

North Carolina shot 53 percent and led most of the second half for its sixth win in seven meetings with Duke.

Jon Scheyer scored 24 points for the Blue Devils (25-6, 11-5), while Kyle Singler added 23. But they never could overtake the Tar Heels once they fell behind midway through the second half, falling short in their bid to clinch at least a share of the league’s regular-season crown for the first time since 2006.

North Carolina, which beat Duke 101-87 at Cameron Indoor Stadium last month, swept the Blue Devils for only the second time in the past 13 years. The Tar Heels also won the ACC outright for the third time in five seasons.

Charleston puts Davidson on bubble: Tony White Jr. scored 17 points and Andrew Goudelock added 12 points in the second half as College of Charleston beat Davidson 59-52 in the Southern Conference tournament semifinals at Chattanooga, Tenn.

Davidson (26-7) reached the Elite Eight of last year’s NCAA championships, and would have assured itself a tournament berth with the SoCon title. Now, the Wildcats will have to wait and see.

•Oklahoma handles Texas: Danielle Robinson scored 17 points for No. 3 Oklahoma, and the Big 12 champions ended the regular season with a 74-62 win over No. 15 Texas at Austin, Texas.

Courtney Paris added 16 points for the Sooners, but had just six rebounds to miss her 124th career double-double in 130 games.


Parker scorches Suns

Tony Parker scored 12 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter and the Spurs sent the sliding Phoenix Suns home winless on their four-game road swing with a 103-98 victory at San Antonio.

Parker punctuated his fourth 30-point game in his past seven outings with a win-cinching runner with 26.2 seconds left. The Suns dropped further back in the Western Conference playoff picture with about a month remaining in the regular season.

Tim Duncan scored 17 points and helped hold Shaquille O’Neal to 14, his lowest total in his past five games. Shaq had averaged nearly 30 in his previous four outings.

•Magic hold off Celtics: Dwight Howard scored 18 with 15 rebounds, making a pair of free throws with 13.9 seconds left to ice it after Boston cut a 22-point deficit to three, and the Orlando Magic held on to beat the Celtics 86-79 at Boston.

Ray Allen had 17 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter, scoring nine straight to make it 82-79 with 1:22 to play. But Allen hit the back of the rim on a 3-point attempt from the left side that would have tied it with 41 seconds to play.

Rashard Lewis hit a pair of free throws to make it a two-possession game, but Eddie House missed his 3-point try and Howard iced it with his free throws.

•Jazz win 11th straight: Deron Williams had 25 points and nine assists, Mehmet Okur had 19 points and 11 rebounds, and the Utah Jazz beat the Raptors 109-101 at Toronto for their 11th straight win.

Utah matched its longest winning streak since an 11-game run from April 1-18, 1999.


Avery returns to MSG

Sean Avery reminded the Madison Square Garden crowd just what it was missing while he was away.

The NHL’s premier pest returned to New York in his first home game with the Rangers in nearly a year and provided plenty of energy in a 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins. Nikolai Zherdev scored the go-ahead goal with 6:22 left to give the Rangers their first three-game winning streak since Jan. 10-16.

New York is 3-1-1 since John Tortorella replaced fired coach Tom Renney.

Avery landed a hit on his first shift and drew the ire of Milan Lucic, Marc Savard and Mark Recchi during an eventful first period in which he nearly scored and almost set up a goal.

Crosby lifts Pens over Ovechkin’s Caps: Unlike their last meeting, Sidney Crosby avoided any face-to-face confrontations with fellow MVP Alex Ovechkin, instead producing a goal and assist in regulation, then the shootout winner to help Pittsburgh edge the Capitals 4-3 at Washington— the Penguins’ sixth consecutive victory and the Capitals’ fourth consecutive loss.


Rescuers find lost biker

A 53-year-old Australian cyclist survived four nights in the howling cold of the Alaskan wilderness after getting lost and falling into a stream.

Yair Kellner built snow caves to block the chilling wind and hunkered down in his sleeping bag once he dried himself off and warmed up after crashing through the ice.

Rescuers on snowmobiles carried Kellner to safety Saturday after he was spotted by a pilot.

Kellner was last seen by another competitor in the 350-mile Iditarod Trail Invitational from Knik to McGrath at the Finger Lake checkpoint about 130 miles in.

•Iditarod gets under way: The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race has begun with 67 teams entered in this year’s 1,100-mile race from Anchorage to Nome.

The restart, where the real racing begins, was held in Willow, about 50 miles from Anchorage.

Two-time defending champion Lance Mackey is looking for his third consecutive win. He will have to go up against the likes of four-time winners Jeff King and Martin Buser, who are trying to match Rick Swenson’s record five titles.

King finished second last year.

Bartoli wins Monterrey Open: Marion Bartoli won her first WTA title in more than two years by beating Li Na 6-4, 6-3 to at the Monterrey Open at Monterrey, Mexico.

Bartoli, 13th in the world, was playing in her ninth career final.

•Celski skates to victory: J.R. Celski of the United States won the 3,000-meter title and finished third in the 1,000 at the Short Track Speedskating World Championships at Vienna.

South Korea’s Lee Ho-suk won the 1,000 in 1:33.060, ahead of American Apolo Anton Ohno, who finished in 1:33.262.

•Barnes defends Buckeye title: Chris Barnes successfully defended his title in the PBA Tour’s Don Johnson Buckeye State Eliminator, snapping a five-game television losing streak with a 258-172 victory over Mika Koivuniemi in the final at Columbus, Ohio.


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