Fanfare-Colleges: A look at college and other sports news in brief

Jul. 24, 2013 @ 10:38 PM

Duke lands standout QB

DURHAM — Duke received a commitment from athletic quarterback Nicodem Pierre on Wednesday.

Rated a four-star recruit by ESPN, Pierre announced his commitment on his Twitter feed.

“Committed to my dream school! #DUKE” Pierre wrote.

Pierre, at 6-3 and 220 pounds, is a rising senior at Coral Reef Senior High School. He picked the Duke over scholarship offers from Louisville, Clemson, Mississippi State, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Wake Forest, among others. considers him a three-star recruit and the No. 52 quarterback in his class. ESPN ranks him as the No. 7 quarterback in the class.

Pierre spent Tuesday and Wednesday on the Duke campus and committed to the Blue Devils before returning home.

He is Duke’s 12th commitment for the class of 2014.

Duke’s Renfree signs with Falcons

ATLANTA — The Atlanta Falcons on Wednesday signed rookie quarterback Sean Renfree, a seventh-round selection from Duke, to a four-year contract.

Details were not released.

The Falcons open training camp today.

DSA’s Ryan credited with winner

GREENSBORO — Recent Durham School of the Arts graduate Owen Ryan scored the game-winning goal in the East’s 2-1 soccer win in Tuesday night’s N.C. Coaches Association East-West All-Star Game at UNC Greensboro.

Ryan slammed in a loose ball in the box from eight yards out off a deflected corner shot at the 49:22 mark to break a 1-1 tie.

Duke senior golf trio honored

DURHAM — Duke senior golfers Brinson Paolini, Adam Sumrall and Julian Suri were named Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholars by the GCAA Wednesday.

Paolini and Suri were named All-America Scholars for the second straight year, while Sumrall received the honor for the first time in his career.

To be eligible, golfers must be juniors or seniors academically, compete in at least three full years at the collegiate level, participate in 50 percent of the team’s competitive rounds or compete in the NCAA Championships, have a stroke-average under 76 and maintain a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.2.

NCCU’s Olesya Palko nominated

INDIANAPOLIS — N.C. Central University women’s tennis star Olesya Palko, an All-MEAC performer who graduated with a perfect 4.0 GPA, is a nominee for the NCAA’s Woman of the Year award.

The award honors graduating female student-athletes who have distinguished themselves academic achievement, athletic excellence, service and leadership.

A native of Kiev, Ukraine, Palko wrapped up her NCCU tennis career (2010-13) with an overall singles record of 52-31and a doubles record of 48-31.

Blue Devils in Junior World Cup

DURHAM — Three Blue Devils will play in field hockey’s 2013 Junior World Cup Saturday through Aug. 4 in Mönchengladbach, Germany.

Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Lauren Blazing, a Durham Academy graduate, and sophomore midfielder Aileen Johnson will compete for the U.S. while junior forward Jessica Buttinger will play with Canada.

Duke head coach Pam Bustin will serve as an assistant with the U.S. U-21 national team.

Duke’s Alexis Jones stars for U.S.

PANVEZYS, Lithuania — Counting on the play of its veteran leadership, the 2013 USA U19 World Championship Team (6-0) fought off France (5-1) in a 69-63 victory to close second round play here Wednesday.

UConn stars Breanna Stewart and Morgan Tuck had 22 and 16 points, respectively. Point guard Alexis Jones of Duke had nine points, three rebounds, a game-high five assists and two blocked shots.

Team USA is the top seed in Group F and will face Japan (3-3), fourth in Group E, in a quarterfinal game at 1:15 p.m. EDT Friday.

Durant, Love back for Team USA

LAS VEGAS — Oklahoma City forward Durant and Minnesota Timberwolves center Kevin Love announced Wednesday after a Team USA practice in UNLV’s Mendenhall Center that they’ve committed to Team USA for next summer’s 2014 World Cup in Spain.

Durant said he made hs commitment to Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski of Duke late Tuesday night, while Love officially made his announcement during Wedneesday’s news conference.

WNBA: All-Star Delle Donne hurt

WASHINGTON — Everything came crashing down for the Chicago Sky during the second half against the Washington Mystics, including star rookie Elena Delle Donne.

The top All-Star vote-getter suffered a concussion in the Sky’s 82-78 loss Wednesday to the Mystics and is questionable for the All-Star game on Saturday. Delle Donne sustained the concussion with 1:10 remaining in the third quarter and did not return.

Washington coach Mike Thibault said Delle Donne’s head hit the knee of Mystics forward Kia Vaughn while going for a loose ball.

Former UNC star Ivory Latta had 18 points and 13 assists as the Washington Mystics rallied from a 21-point deficit.

LYNX 81, MERCURY 69 — Lindsay Whalen had 18 points and seven assists to lead Minnesota at home past Phoenix.

Seimone Augustus added 16 and Monica Wright 14 for the Lynx (14-3) and Candice Dupree scored 17 points for the Mercury (9-9), who played without an injured Brittney Griner and suspended Diana Taurasi.

DREAM 74, SUN 65 — Angel McCoughtry scored 22 points, Alex Bentley added 17 and Atlanta snapped a four-game losing streak.

Tina Charles finished with 14 points and a season high 16 rebounds for Connecticut (4-12).