Tar Heels women’s team opens with win
After a pair of blowout exhibition wins, the North Carolina women’s basketball team tipped off its regular season on Friday with an 84-54 win over Alabama State. Redshirt sophomore Paris Kea scored 22 points in her UNC debut after sitting out a year per NCAA transfer rules from Vanderbilt.
The Tar Heels and head coach Sylvia Hatchell, who received a two-year contract extension in September, were 14-18 a season ago.
ECU: Kristen Gaffney has been named the first American Athletic Conference women’s basketball Player of the Week for the 2016-17 season. The Cary native averaged 27.5 points, 7 rebounds and 4.5 steals while shooting 24-for-35 (.686) from the field in a 2-0 week for the Pirates. Gaffney is the first Pirate to receive the conference’s top weekly honor since Jada Payne on Dec. 15, 2014.
Campbell: Freshman guard Breanna Foster has been named the Big South Conference women’s basketball Freshman of the Week. It’s Foster’s first career conference honor in her first time eligible for the weekly award. Foster shined in her collegiate debut Friday night, scoring a game-high 19 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the floor, and helping Campbell roll to a 94-39 victory over St. Andrews.
Duke: Frank Jackson was rewarded on Monday for his big opening weekend, earning ACC Freshman of the Week honors in a vote by media members who cover the league. Jackson averaged 19.5 points, 3 assists and 2 steals per game as Duke defeated Marist on Friday and Grand Canyon on Saturday to open the 2016-17 season.
ECU: Senior wide receiver Zay Jones has been named one of 10 semifinalists for the 2016 Biletnikoff Award, the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation, Inc., announced Monday. The Biletnikoff Award annually recognizes the most outstanding receiver in college football. This season, Jones currently leads the NCAA FBS in four categories: receptions (139), receiving yards (1,473), receptions per game (13.9) and receiving yards per game (147.3).
Duke: A pair of redshirt freshmen, linebacker Joe Giles-Harris and quarterback Daniel Jones, earned weekly honors from the ACC following their performances against North Carolina last Thursday night. Giles-Harris was named the league’s Co-Linebacker of the Week along with Pitt’s Matt Galambos while Jones picked up his third conference Rookie of the Week citation. Giles-Harris registered a season-high 16 tackles while Jones completed 22 of 34 passes for 240 yards and one touchdown and running for two more in the 28-27 win over the Tar Heels.
N.C. Central: Senior outside hitter Casey Curran and junior setter Paige Phillips captured MEAC weekly honors for the Eagles after posting a pair of double-doubles in Friday’s five-set road win over rival N.C. A&T. Curran contributed a team-high 19.5 points in garnering Player of the Week acclaim and Phillips posted 41 assists in securing Setter of the Week laurels.
Campbell: Outside hitter Allena Heath has been selected the Big South Conference Freshman of the Week. Heath tallied a match-high 21 kills and hit .220 against Gardner-Webb. She also recorded one block assist during the day, 1.25 digs per set, and 5.38 points per set.
Elon: Senior middle blocker Ally Karle was tabbed the Colonial Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Week. This is the second Defensive Player of the Week award this season for Karle after she led the Phoenix with 18 total blocks during its three matches last week, averaging 1.38 blocks per set played.
Duke: Senior middle blocker Jordan Tucker earned ACC Player of the Week distinction while freshman setter Cindy Marina garnered ACC Freshman of the Week honors. Tucker averaged 4.00 kills per set while hitting .468 and totaling 1.50 blocks per frame while Marina totaled 68 assists over the weekend, averaging 11.33 assists per set, leading the Blue Devils to an ACC weekend sweep.
Wake Forest: After claiming the ACC tournament crown on Sunday, the Demon Deacons have been selected as the No. 2 overall seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament. Earning a first-round bye with the No. 2 seed, the Deacs will host the winner of Coastal Carolina and Radford at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
UNC: The Tar Heels earned the No. 9 seed in the NCAA tournament and will host a second-round match at 7 p.m. on Sunday. The Heels will open their 24th NCAA postseason appearance against the winner of Thursday’s first-round match between South Florida and Florida Gulf Coast.
Duke: Coach Ramsey Smith announced Monday the signing of Sean Sculley to the class of 2021. Sculley will enroll at Duke in August and join the Blue Devils for the 2017-18 season. Sculley is a Hilton Head Island, S.C., product and a blue chip prospect. He has been as high as No. 12 in the TennisRecruiting.net national rankings and currently stands No. 15.
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