Bobcats Taylor hopes starting ends shooting slump
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Bobcats small forward Jeffery Taylor is hoping a spot in the starting lineup will help shake his recent shooting slump.
Taylor takes over Friday night against the Philadelphia 76ers after the team's regular starter Michael Kidd-Gilchrist broke his left hand in Tuesday night's loss to the Dallas Mavericks.
Taylor, the team's second-round draft pick in 2012, has scored just 15 points in his last four games on 7 of 21 shooting. He averaged 10 points per game in his first 15 games this season.
Taylor played a season-low three minutes in Charlotte's loss to the Mavericks.
Taylor says, "I've struggled a little bit. I had a stretch where I was playing well and now I haven't played so well. I just need to stay at it."
Hurricanes topple Predators 5-2
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Jeff Skinner had a hat trick to lead the Carolina Hurricanes to a 5-2 victory over the Nashville Predators Thursday night.
Skinner has five goals in his past two games.
Justin Faulk and Riley Nash also scored for Carolina, winners of its past two.
Mike Fisher and Viktor Stalberg scored for Nashville, which completed a four-game homestand 0-3-1.
Faulk scored the game's first goal just 23 seconds after the opening faceoff with a wrist shot from the right faceoff dot that beat Nashville goaltender Marek Mazanec between the pads.
Nashville tied it at 50 seconds of the second on Fisher's goal.
Defenseman Victor Bartley fired a slap shot toward the Carolina net from the left point. Standing just to the left of the slot, Fisher tipped the puck over the shoulder of Carolina goaltender Justin Peters.
France focused on improved on-track product
LAS VEGAS (AP) - NASCAR continues to work on improving its on-track product, an endeavor chairman Brian France takes so seriously he plans to attend Monday's test at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The test at Charlotte will be the second as NASCAR continues to seek a rules package that could enhance the competition.
Once that's complete, a focus could be turned to other areas of the product: France hinted Thursday that NASCAR could place a larger emphasis on winning and make changes to the qualifying process.
France also downplayed an overhaul to the 2015 Sprint Cup schedule, and said he didn't anticipate any "significant changes." NBC takes over the second half of the NASCAR television package in 2015.
NC WESLEYAN-COASTAL CAROLINA
Coastal Carolina roars past NC Wesleyan, 89-54
CONWAY, S.C. (AP) - Josh Cameron poured in 21 points and led six players into double figure scoring as Coastal Carolina used a big second half to cruise past North Carolina Weslyan, 89-54 Thursday night.
The Chanticleers led by nine at intermission, 35-26, but outscored the Battling Bishops by 26 points over the final 20 minutes.
All of Cameron's field goal attempts came from behind the 3-point line, where he was 6 of 10 shooting. El Hadji Ndieguene and Warren Gillis added 14 and 13 points, respectively, with Ndieguene pulling down a game-high 16 rebounds. Elijah Wilson and Colton Ray-St Cyr each scored 11 points and Uros Lieskovic added 10.
Brandon Brown, who finished with 11, was the lone scorer to reach double figures for NC Wesleyan, which shot just 23 of 66 from the field in the game.
Presbyterian beats Montreat 91-58
CLINTON, S.C. (AP) - Reggie Dillard scored a game-high 19 points and three teammates scored in double digits Thursday and Presbyterian rolled over Montreat College 91-58 with a balanced attack.
Presbyterian (3-7) took an early lead and dominated, out-rebounding Appalachian Athletic Conference Montreat 43-32 and outshooting them 53.7 percent from the field to 37.9 percent. All 11 Blue Hose players saw game time an all scored points.
Dillard had nine of Presbyterian's 19 assists, William Truss and Jordan Downing each scored 15 points and Danny Herrera added 14.
Presbyterian took a 7-6 lead on a Herrera free throw at 17:48 and pulled away with short runs, scoring six unanswered points in the final 2:36 to lead 51-37 at the half. William Truss opened the second half with a layup for Presbyterian and the Blue Hose led by as much as 25.
La'Bris Adams led Montreat (7-3) with 17 points and Melvin Irvin added 16.
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