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Elizabeth Smart praises Penn State for conference

Elizabeth Smart praises Penn State for conference

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) Rescued kidnapping victim Elizabeth Smart said Tuesday that Penn State's inaugural conference on child sexual abuse is a way to promote discussion about crimes that drew more attention after the molestation scandal involving former university assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

Smart, after recounting her sexual abuse by a kidnapper during months of captivity at age 14 starting in 2002, called the conference an ``incredible opportunity to not only change the community but change the nation ... to change how we do things, how we look at victims and how we work around them.''

Smart was the keynote speaker on Tuesday, the final day of the three-day conference on child sexual abuse's impact and prevention, held nearly a year after Sandusky's arrest last Nov. 5 on charges he abused several boys plunged the university into turmoil.

University leaders have pledged that the university will become a leader in issues of child abuse prevention, research and treatment. The conference was sold out, with 500 registered attendees, but about 70 people didn't show up with the superstorm wreaking havoc on East Coast travel.

The university plans to hold the conference annually, president Rodney Erickson said in thanking attendees.

Smart applauded everyone who fought the elements to attend ``because you realize the conference can be the stage and turning point for how we treat future abuse, kidnappings and all sorts of heinous crimes against children.''

Smart, of Salt Lake City, was kidnapped at knifepoint from her bedroom, was held for nine months and was raped repeatedly. The expansive search for her riveted the country, as did her improbable recovery while walking with her captor on a suburban street in March 2003.

A onetime itinerant street preacher was convicted of Smart's kidnapping and sexual assault and is serving a life prison sentence. Smart testified during his trial, calling her ordeal, which she said involved daily rapes and forced use of drugs and alcohol, ``nine months of hell.''

Since her rescue, Smart has become involved in advocacy work including the formation of the Elizabeth Smart Foundation, which focuses on protecting and educating children from falling victim to violent and sexual crimes. She champions a program called radKIDS, which teaches children how to protect themselves from sexual predators.

The Associated Press doesn't normally publish the names of accusers or victims in sexual-assault cases unless they agree to be named or identify themselves publicly, as Smart has done.

Sandusky, 68, was arrested on charges he abused several boys at his home and on Penn State's campus. He was convicted of dozens of criminal counts and was sentenced to at least 30 years in prison but insists he's innocent.

Eight young men testified against him in June, describing a range of abuse they said included fondling and sex when they were boys.

Smart, asked what advice she could draw on from her own recovery to pass on to the accusers, told reporters at a news conference: "Life is never over. You can only live once. ... Never feel like because of someone else's actions, never feel like you're less than what you are.''

A positive from the Sandusky abuse scandal is that the issue has gained national attention, she said.

``Maybe,'' she said, ``it's starting to talk about what we can do to prevent it instead of picking up the pieces afterward.''

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Wizards' 122-105 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night...

1. This was a tough one for the Wizards. For the third time this season, they got beaten by the Hornets and for the second straight time it was in a blowout.

They still had their moments, though, including this alley-oop from Tomas Satoransky (11 points) to Markieff Morris (13 points, eight assists, six rebounds). It was the second alley-oop connection for those two in as many games:

PODCAST: WHAT THE SESSIONS SIGNING MEANS FOR SATORANSKY

2. This was a play that encapsulated the Wizards' night. Jodie Meeks drew a flagrant foul on Michael Carter-Williams, but took a hard shot to the head:

3. Kelly Oubre, Jr. had a solid game with 11 points, including this big dunk:

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4. Speaking of Oubre, he helped the Wizards close the first half with a late surge. The real highlight was Bradley Beal stealing the ball and hitting a corner three at the buzzer:

5. Beal ended up with 33 points, six assists and six rebounds. Here's an and-1 he got to go down in the second half:

All in all, it was an ugly performance for the Wizards. To cheer you up, we'll leave you with this young fan who had a great time at Capital One Arena despite the result:

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Wizards suffer lopsided loss against Hornets, who have had their number this season

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Wizards suffer lopsided loss against Hornets, who have had their number this season

The Washington Wizards lost to the Charlotte Hornets 122-105 on Friday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Bad matchup: Despite their poor record, there is something about this Charlotte Hornets team that gives the Wizards trouble. The Wizards lost to the Hornets (26-33) for the third time in three tries this season on Friday night and, aside from a push in the third quarter, they were never really in it.

All in all, it was a dud of a game for the Wizards who were probably due for one. They had won three straight games and eight of 10 since John Wall got injured. They were also coming off a huge road win the night before in Cleveland, a game that started an hour later than usual.

It was a tough turnaround and the Wizards sure looked like it. It was evident in their defense and unforced errors. They did, however, have a decent shooting night. They shot 49.4 percent from the field 16-for-17 from the free throw line.

The Wizards' second unit didn't provide a lift outside of Kelly Oubre, Jr. (11 points). Mike Scott, one of their best bench options, was held scoreless.

PODCAST: WHAT THE SESSIONS SIGNING MEANS FOR SATORANSKY

Ugly first half: The Wizards only trailed by 12 points at halftime, but that score was skewed by a five-point push in the final seconds. The Hornets dominated for much of the first two quarters and did so by hitting threes and forcing turnovers. Those mistakes dug the Wizards a hole they never recovered from.

The Wizards had 10 turnovers in the first half, the same amount they had in their entire game the night before. Limiting mistakes was a big reason they beat the Cavaliers, yet the script was flipped by Charlotte.

The Hornets capitalized with 23 points off those 10 first-half turnovers. The Wizards had 14 giveaways for the games that led to 28 total points. 

Charlotte was 7-for-11 from three at one point in the first half and finished 17-for-39 (43.6%) for the game. That is very uncharacteristic for the Wizards, who entered the night second in the NBA in opponents three-point percentage.

Again, though, the first half ended well as Oubre and Bradley Beal gave the Wizards a jolt in the final seconds:

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Bad defense: The Wizards have played some great defense in recent weeks, but they just didn't have it on Friday night. Most surprising were the guys that hurt them most.

Dwight Howard was limited to 11 points and six rebounds and Kemba Walker didn't score his first points until the final minute of the first half. But others like Frank Kaminsky (23 points), Marvin Williams (15 points) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (14 points) got pretty much anything they wanted.

For Walker, it was a tale of two halves. He was held in check by Tomas Satoransky in the first half, but broke out in the third quarter and finished with 24 points and seven rebounds. Maybe it was tired legs on the Wizards' part, but Walker just kept dribbling until he got space and once he did, he knocked down shots.

Much like Kyle Lowry did a few weeks ago, Walker made adjustments to find success against Satoransky. We haven't seen that happen much since Wall went out, but those two have given him some trouble. Both guys are considerably smaller than Satoransky and very quick. Maybe there's something to that.

Add it all up and this was one of the worst defensive games of the season for the Wizards. They allowed their most points in a game since Jan. 17 against, you guessed it, the Hornets. Only three times this year have they given up more than what they allowed on Friday.

No Sessions: The Wizards did not debut their newest player on Friday night, which was probably to be expected given Ramon Sessions has not had any practice time yet. That is part of why he didn't play, but it's also another indication that he is unlikely to play much with the Wizards. Sessions is on a 10-day contract and is not expected to supplant either Satoransky or Tim Frazier at point guard. Frazier would seem to be the guy in danger of losing minutes, but it was business as usual for him against the Hornets.

Up next: The Wizards are off Saturday before returning to action at home against the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night. Tipoff is at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.

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