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Field goal pushes Tar Heels past Hokies

October 30, 2009|Mike Hiserman | Staff and Wire Reports

Casey Barth kicked a 21-yard field goal on the final play and North Carolina stopped No. 14 Virginia Tech all game in a 20-17 victory on Thursday night at Blacksburg, Va.

The Tar Heels (5-4, 1-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) got their first conference win after forcing a fumble by Ryan Williams at his own 24-yard line with 2:02 left and turning it into the winning drive.

The Hokies (5-3, 3-2), who until losing to No. 11 Georgia Tech 12 days ago were in the national championship picture, lost their second straight.

Virginia Tech lost for the first time in six meetings with North Carolina since joining the ACC in 2004.

The Tar Heels held Virginia Tech to 95 yards rushing and limited Williams, the nation's No. 7 runner, with an average of 119 yards, ineffective for most of the game.

MOTOR RACING

Allmendinger faces DUI charge

NASCAR put driver AJ Allmendinger on probation following his arrest Thursday on a charge of drunk driving.

Mooresville, N.C., police said Allmendinger failed a field sobriety test after he was pulled over. Late Thursday afternoon, Allmendinger was put on probation until the end of the year by NASCAR for actions detrimental to stock car racing.

Allmendinger, who drives the No. 44 car for Richard Petty Motorsports, said in a statement he had drinks with dinner and made a mistake by driving afterward.

TENNIS

Serena Williams reaches semis

Serena Williams became the first player to clinch a spot in the semifinals of the WTA Sony Ericsson Championships at Doha, Qatar, defeating Elena Dementieva, 6-2, 6-4, for her third straight win in the tournament's round-robin group phase.

Her sister Venus, the defending champion, stayed alive by beating Svetlana Kuznetsova, 6-2, 6-7 (3), 6-4, for her first win in three matches. She needs Kuznetsova to beat Dementieva today to have a chance of advancing to the semifinals.

GOLF

Kim wins twice in match play

American Anthony Kim won two round-round robin matches in the Volvo World Match Play Championship at Casares, Spain, and fourth-ranked Paul Casey lost twice to drop out of contention for a semifinal spot.

Kim topped the Seve Ballesteros Group with four points after beating Casey and Retief Goosen, both 3 and 2, at Finca Cortesin Golf Club. Scott Strange beat Casey, returning from a rib injury, 1-up. Goosen beat Strange, 1-up.

COLLEGES

Long Beach is Big West favorite

Long Beach State was chosen as the overwhelming favorite in Big West Conference men's basketball in a poll of 24 media members.

The 49ers, who return four starters, received 17 first-place votes. They were followed in the poll by UC Santa Barbara, which got six first-place votes; Cal State Northridge, which has won or shared the last two Big West titles; UC Riverside, and Pacific, which got the other first-place vote. UC Davis, Cal State Fullerton, UC Irvine and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo rounded out the poll.

The nation's longest home unbeaten streak in college women's soccer will be on the line tonight at 7 when UCLA hosts USC at Drake Stadium.

The Bruins have not lost in their last 62 home matches, a streak that includes a record 57 victories.

UCLA comes in ranked No. 3 in the nation; USC is 18th. Both teams trail Stanford in the Pacific 10 Conference standings.

-- Mike Hiserman

SOCCER

Blanco is leaving Chicago, MLS

Mexico star Cuauhtemoc Blanco will leave the Chicago Fire and return home to rejoin second-division Veracruz.

Blanco said he won't renew his three-year contract with Chicago when it ends in December, and will rejoin Veracruz in January.

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