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No. 23 NC State tops UNC Greensboro, 89-68

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No. 23 NC State tops UNC Greensboro, 89-68

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) C.J. Leslie scored 21 points and No. 23 North Carolina State pulled away to beat UNC Greensboro 89-68 on Monday.

Scott Wood and Lorenzo Brown added 15 points apiece, and the Wolfpack (11-2) kept UNC Greensboro off the boards after halftime while using a timely run to break open a surprisingly tight game.

Richard Howell had 11 points and 13 rebounds, and the nation's most accurate shooting team shot 53 percent in matching its longest winning streak since 2008.

Freshman Kayel Locke had 21 points for the Spartans (2-9). The Southern Conference's top 3-point shooting team was just 2 of 17 from beyond the arc, and leading scorer Trevis Simpson - who averages 20 points - was out with an ankle injury.

Wood hit three 3-pointers in his second big New Year's Eve against UNC Greensboro. He had a then-career-high 15 points against the Spartans on the final day of 2009.

His 3 roughly 90 seconds into the second half of this one gave N.C. State its first double-figure lead at 49-38. That came during the 17-4 run that put the Wolfpack comfortably ahead for the first time.

When T.J. Warren's three-point play with 13:43 left pushed the lead to 60-42, N.C. State was well on its way to its longest winning streak since the 2007-08 team also reeled off seven straight in Sidney Lowe's second season.

Derrell Armstrong finished with 16 points and Kelvin McNeil had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Spartans, who lost their fourth straight, fell to 1-48 against Atlantic Coast Conference opponents and remained winless against them since 2007.

Still, at least early on, the Wolfpack - who entered shooting a Division I-best 53.5 percent - were rather imperfect in wrapping up a perfect six-game homestand that served as a tune-up for ACC play. The league favorites begin Jan. 5 at Boston College.

A depleted UNC Greensboro team, which at full strength was beaten by ACC rivals Wake Forest and Virginia Tech, gave N.C. State fits for virtually the entire first half.

Locke had 12 points in the opening 20 minutes while picking up the scoring slack for Simpson, after a team spokesman said he injured his right ankle earlier in the day.

The Spartans pounded the glass to keep N.C. State within sight throughout the half. The Wolfpack never led by more than eight and had zero second-chance points.

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Steelers will require fans to wear a mask at Heinz Field, should they be allowed

Steelers will require fans to wear a mask at Heinz Field, should they be allowed

If fans are permitted to attend Pittsburgh Steelers home games this fall, there's one item they can't forget: a mask.

Steelers' director of communication, Burt Lauten, explained the decision to require fans to wear a mask in a statement on Tuesday.

"Our goal is to still have fans at Heinz Field this year with the understanding that social distancing, as well as all fans being required to wear masks, will play a role in the capacity to ensure a safe atmosphere," Lauten said, via ESPN. "We will continue to work with the NFL and public health officials to finalize plans for fans to attend our home games."

Pittsburgh was one of the first franchises to alter its ticketing plans this season, as they decided in May to trim half of their individual game ticket sales due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The news comes just hours after their AFC North rival, the Baltimore Ravens, announced that M&T Bank Stadium will be capped at less than 14,000 fans this fall, should fans be allowed to attend games.

RELATED: NFL PROPOSED PAY CUT FOR PLAYERS

In June, The Athletic reported that the NFL will not place a limit on capacity at games, allowing each individual team to make the decision themselves.

"Attendance will be a state-by-state, county-by-county thing," an anonymous NFL source told The Athletic. "It will not be a one size fits all."

Additionally, the NFL has said that the first 6-8 rows of lower bowl sections, including field-level suites, will be blocked off this fall to help slow the spread of the virus. Those sections will be covered with tarps, which teams can use to sell advertising, similarly to what the Premier League in England has done.

With training camp still a few weeks away, there are a lot of virus-related questions the NFL must answer beforehand.

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Howard is a finalist for 2021 five-star defensive end Korey Foreman

Howard is a finalist for 2021 five-star defensive end Korey Foreman

The Howard University football program has moved a step closer to landing perhaps its highest-ranked recruit in years, if not ever.

Five-star defensive end Korey Foreman trimmed his college choice to seven on Wednesday evening, and the Howard Bison were on the list. The other six schools were Southern California (USC), LSU, Alabama, Oregon, Clemson, and Georgia.

In Foreman's tweet, he explained why Howard, a historically Black college (HBCU), was included in his list.

"I am a young black man that is happy and proud of my race," he wrote. "The Black Lives Matter movement is and forever will be powerful and definitely never forgotten. These are the schools I will now be focusing on the most. Set the standard and .. be different."

The news comes just a week after the Howard basketball program landed five-star Makur Maker, who chose the Bison over Division I schools UCLA, Kentucky and Memphis. Maker was the highest-ranked recruit Howard basketball has landed in its history. Mikey Williams, a top-five basketball recruit in the 2023 class, has already hinted about potentially playing at an HBCU as well.

Foreman, a 6-foot-4, 235-pound defensive end, is projected to commit to USC, according to 247Sports. Foreman is ranked the No. 2 overall prospect on 247Sports recruiting rankings for the 2021 class.

However, if the last few weeks are any indication, Howard can't be ruled out.

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