Originally created 03/28/04

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College Football

Ball shines during first spring practice

In Atlanta, Reggie Ball completed 11 of 19 passes for 89 yards and a touchdown, and Chris Woods had a 77-yard touchdown run in Georgia Tech's first scrimmage of spring drills.

Ball, Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Year in 2003, also rushed seven times for 41 yards. Starting tailback P.J. Daniels saw limited action, but Woods, a transfer from Morris Brown, gained 99 yards on five carries. Redshirt freshman Rashaun Grant added 50 yards on 10 carries.

Even though the Georgia Tech running game seems to be intact, coach Chan Gailey thought the offense could be more consistent. The Yellow Jackets return seven starters from last year's offense.

"I thought the offense did some good things early, but the consistency is not there," Gailey said. "I think we dropped two touchdown passes, and that hurt us."

  • In Clemson, S.C., Clemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst threw for 108 yards and a touchdown to lead the offense in a two-hour scrimmage for the Tigers on Saturday.
  • Whitehurst hit nine of 14 passes during the session, the first of three straight for coach Tommy Bowden's team. The team finishes drills in two weeks with the annual spring game at Death Valley on April 10.

    Whitethurst hit on five passes for 52 yards to sophomore Kelvin Grant, including a 7-yard touchdown throw that finished a 50-yard drive. Converted quarterback Chansi Stuckey caught three passes for 61 yards.

    Freshman Brandon Nolen led the ground game with 44 yards on 10 carries, while North Augusta's Reggie Merriweather had 32 yards and two short touchdown runs. C.J. Gaddis also had a 21-yard touchdown run.

  • North Greenville College rehired Mike Taylor to be its head football coach.
  • Taylor was the coach of the Crusaders from 1988-91. He replaces Brian Smith, a former Strom Thurmond coach, who left North Greenville to be the head coach at Seneca High School.

    Cycling

    Armstrong finishes 65th after first stage

    In Charleville-Mezieres, France, Lance Armstrong finished in the lead pack in the opening stage of the Criterium International.

    Armstrong, preparing to go for his record sixth straight Tour de France victory in July, finished 65th in the 116.2-mile stage in 4 hours, 58 minutes, 15 seconds, the same time as stage winner Jean-Patrick Nazon of France.

    Nazon, of the AG2R Prevoyance team, won the leg from Sault-Les-Rethel to Charleville-Mezieres in a sprint, just ahead of Markus Zberg of Switzerland and Peter Wrolich of Austria.

    Defending champion Laurent Brochard finished 28th.

    Basketball

    American women escape with victory

    In Pecs, Hungary, Tina Thompson had 27 points and 12 rebounds to lead the U.S. women's team to a 67-59 victory over EuroLeague Final Four competitor MiZo Pecsi VSK on Saturday night.

    Swin Cash added 13 points and 12 rebounds for the U.S. team, which overcame a 12-point, first-quarter deficit. The Americans will complete their six-game European tour today against the Hungarian national team in Budapest.

    Allison Tranquilli led MiZo Pecsi VSK with 13 points.

    Softball

    Armstrong Atlantic sweeps Lady Jags

    Armstrong Atlantic State's Katya Eronina tied the Peach Belt Conference record for consecutive victories by winning both games of a doubleheader against Augusta State, 6-1 and 6-0.

    Eronina has won 24 consecutive starts, tying her with Kennesaw State's Kelly Rafter for the league record.

    Eronina pitched five shutout innings in Game 1, striking out nine Jaguars. In Game 2 she hurled a four-hit shutout.

    The Pirates (31-2, 9-1 PBC) have won 21 straight. The Jaguars (11-25, 2-10) got two hits from Shelli Sirmons in Game 2. Sirmons (4-14) and Erin Cown (6-8) took the losses.

    Soccer

    Tunisia, Morocco gain Olympic spots

    In Dakar, Senegal, Tunisia and Morocco gained men's soccer berths for the Athens Olympics with victories at an African qualifying tournament.

    Tunisia defeated Nigeria 2-0 to win Group A ahead of Nigeria, Senegal and Egypt. Morocco beat Angola 2-1 to jump from third place in Group C to the Olympics.

    The other two groups will be decided today when defending champion Cameroon takes on Mali in Group B and Zambia hosts Ghana in Group D.

    The four group winners at the under-23 tournament will play at the Olympics in August.