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The Daily Tar Heel

Tough Away Crowds\Don't Faze Tar Heel

UNC's men's basketball team \ignored insults and taunts from N. C. State's crowd \to capture a victory Sunday.

The Tar Heels defeated Maryland at Cole Field House on Jan. 10 and knocked off N.C. State at the Entertainment and Sports Arena on Sunday.

Part of the reason for UNC's success is the ability of its players to accept the abuse they get from opposing fans.

Wolfpack fans repeatedly chanted "Brenda" at center Brendan Haywood, insinuating that Haywood is a soft player in the post. They went a step further with Kris Lang, leaving basketball out of the equation. Multiple signs popped up at the ESA calling Lang "ugly."

Amusing? Yes. Distracting? No.

"Last year they did the same thing," Lang said. "They had the mouthpiece thing going and the whole ugly bit. I was looking forward to it. I find it very amusing, actually."

Lang should have loads of fun Thursday night. The Tar Heels visit

No. 2 Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium, home of what might be the toughest crowd in college basketball.

Forte Nears 1,000-Point Mark

Sophomore guard Joseph Forte continues to ascend the UNC scoring charts. After scoring 21 points on 8-for-19 shooting against N.C. State, Forte has 993 points in 55 games in his career.

He has the opportunity to reach the 1,000-point plateau more quickly than any UNC player since freshmen became eligible to play in 1972-73. Phil Ford (57 games) holds that status now.

Forte continues to take the most shots on the team by far -- he has fired 102 more than Lang, who is second -- but it hasn't created a problem.

"Joe had 19 shots," UNC coach Matt Doherty said. "I don't care if he takes 50 as long as they're good shots."

'Pack Snaps Offensive Streaks

N.C. State stopped some impressive streaks by Lang and forward Jason Capel.

Lang had scored in double figures five consecutive games -- and eight of nine -- but he finished with eight points.

Capel walked into the ESA having hit at least one 3-pointer in 10 straight games. He missed both of his attempts behind the arc Sunday and scored just two points on 1-for-6 shooting.

"I never really got into a flow," said Capel, who was bothered by foul trouble. "It was tough to get into a steady rhythm."

UNC had similar trouble as a team. The Tar Heels made just one 3-pointer for the game (in six attempts), a bomb by Forte late in the second half.

The trey extended UNC's streak of games with a 3-pointer to 117 games. The last time the team failed to make at least one was a 50-42 win against Princeton on Dec. 13, 1997.

The Sports Editor can be reached at sports@unc.edu.

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