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In brief: No. 5 Tar Heels pull away from No. 9 Badgers

North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes, who scored 20 points, controls the ball Wednesday as Wisconsin’s Rob Wilson hits the floor. (Associated Press)
North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes, who scored 20 points, controls the ball Wednesday as Wisconsin’s Rob Wilson hits the floor. (Associated Press)

NBA: Harrison Barnes scored 10 of his 20 points during the decisive second-half surge to help No. 5 North Carolina rally past No. 9 Wisconsin 60-57 on Wednesday night at Chapel Hill, N.C.

Tyler Zeller added 12 points for the Tar Heels (6-1), who had to show plenty of fight and toughness to outlast the Badgers in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Coming off its first loss of the season, North Carolina trailed by five points midway through the second half before going on an 18-5 run that finally put the Tar Heels ahead for good.

Barnes was critical in that run, knocking down two 3-pointers and a jumper. But on a night when their fast-paced attack rarely got out in transition, the Tar Heels only fought off Wisconsin (6-1) after stringing together enough defensive stops and getting enough defensive rebounds to aid their struggling offense.

For the Badgers, almost everything went to plan except for the outcome.

They made the Tar Heels work for their shots. They repeatedly made them defend into the final seconds of the shot clock. And coach Roy Williams grew so frustrated at one point in the second half that he ripped off his suit jacket and yelled at his players.

But North Carolina – which despite the NBA potential on its front line had been outrebounded three times this season – responded by controlling the boards behind John Henson, who finished one shy of a career high with 17 rebounds.

Rebels stop Gauchos in double overtime: Mike Moser scored 34 points and Chace Stanback had all 19 of his after halftime as No. 18 UNLV beat the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (4-2) 94-88 in double overtime at Santa Barbara, Calif.

The Rebels (8-0) won their first game as a Top 25 team.

Bruins complete terrific November

NHL: Milan Lucic scored twice and David Krejci added a goal and two assists for the Boston Bruins, who beat the host Toronto Maple Leafs 6-3 for their 12th win in 13 games.

The defending Stanley Cup champions rebounded from a slow start this season and went 12-0-1 in November, marking the first time since January 1969 that the Bruins (15-7-1) went an entire month without a regulation loss.

Ducks snap skid, fire coach: Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf each had a goal and two assists, Jonas Hiller made 19 saves, and the Anaheim Ducks snapped a seven-game skid with a 4-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens at Anaheim, Calif.

Despite the win, Anaheim fired coach Randy Carlyle after the game and replaced him with former Washington coach Bruce Boudreau.

No. 16 Penn State trumps Tar Heels

Women’s basketball: Zhaque Gray scored 25 points and No. 16 Penn State snapped a three-game losing streak in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge by defeating No. 14 North Carolina 103-84 at State College, Pa.

All five starters for the Lions (6-1) scored in double figures. Leading scorer Maggie Lucas had 21 points despite sitting out most of the second half with four fouls. Brittany Roundtree led the Tar Heels (5-1) with 27 points.

No. 17 Ohio State wins in OT: Tayler Hill had a career-high 31 points, including five in overtime, to lead No. 17 Ohio State (6-0) to a 78-75 win against Florida State (3-5) in the Big/Ten ACC Challenge at Columbus, Ohio.

Top-ranked Baylor stays hot at home: Brittney Griner had 23 points and 14 rebounds for top-ranked Baylor (7-0), which stretched its home winning streak to 27 games with a 91-39 victory over Texas Southern (1-4) at Waco, Texas.

Williams, Mueller top Hall of Fame list

Baseball: Former American League batting champions Bernie Williams and Bill Mueller are among 13 newcomers on baseball’s 2012 Hall of Fame ballot, joining top holdovers Barry Larkin, Jack Morris, Lee Smith and Jeff Bagwell.

Following the election of Robert Alomar and Bert Blyleven last year, a relatively weak field of first-timers could give renewed hope to Larkin and Morris.

Twenty-seven players are on this year’s Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot, including 14 holdovers. A player needs at least 75 percent to gain election, and results will be announced Jan. 9.

A 12-time All-Star and the 1995 National League MVP, Larkin fell 75 votes shy with 62.1 percent last year in his second try, up from 51.6.

Morris, the winningest pitcher of the 1980s but burdened by a 3.90 career ERA, received 53.5 percent on his 12th try, up from 52.3 the previous year and 22.2 percent in his initial appearance. Players are eligible to appear on the writers’ ballot for up to 15 years.

Smith, third on the career saves list with 478, got 45.3 percent last year, down from 47.3 percent. Jeff Bagwell, who hit 449 homers, got 41.7 percent support in his first appearance.

Valentine, Red Sox agree: A person familiar with the negotiations said the Boston Red Sox agreed to terms with Bobby Valentine on a contract that will make him the team’s new manager.

Valentine returned from a trip to Japan and is expected to be introduced at Fenway Park today, said the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not yet been signed.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Valentine, 61, formerly managed the New York Mets and Texas Rangers. He replaces Terry Francona, who led the Red Sox to two World Series titles and also the biggest September collapse in baseball history.

NCAA approves Bruins’ bowl request

College football: The NCAA has decided UCLA can accept a bowl invitation even if the Bruins lose the Pac-12 title game to drop to 6-7.

The NCAA approved UCLA’s bowl waiver petition, clearing the Bruins (6-6, 5-4 Pac-12) for the postseason before they play in Friday’s conference championship game at Oregon.

UCLA is a 31-point underdog against the powerful Ducks. The Bruins fired coach Rick Neuheisel following last weekend’s 50-0 loss to No. 9 Southern California.

Neuheisel will coach the Bruins at Oregon, but offensive coordinator Mike Johnson will take over if the Bruins are selected by a bowl.

SEC fines Kentucky: The Southeastern Conference said it will fine Kentucky $50,000 after fans rushed the field following the Wildcats’ 10-7 victory over Tennessee last Saturday.

The fine is part of the SEC’s seven-year policy that limits access to “competition areas.” The penalties include $5,000 to first offense and up to $50,000 for third and subsequent offenses.