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Around & About / News and notes

Duke scores in ACC opener

Nolan Smith scored a season-high 28 points to help No. 1 Duke beat Miami 74-63 on Sunday night in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams.

Reserve guard Andre Dawkins added 16 points for the Blue Devils (13-0, 1-0), who have won 23 straight games dating to last season's run to the ACC and NCAA tournament championships. Kyle Singler added 14 points on a night when the Blue Devils didn't shoot all that well but still maintained a comfortable lead for much of the game.

Smith had a run of 13 straight points in the first half that gave Duke its double-digit lead, though the Hurricanes (11-4, 0-1) played the reigning national champions basically even the rest of the way.

Elsewhere, Corey Stokes scored 23 points, Corey Fisher had 19 and No. 8 Villanova (12-1, 1-0 Big East) won its seventh straight game, 81-65 over Rutgers (9-4, 0-1).

Also, Markieff Morris had 20 points and twin brother Marcus Morris added 18 to help No. 3 Kansas (13-0) cruise past Miami of Ohio (5-9), 83-56.


Orioles' reliever murder suspect

Baltimore Orioles reliever Alfredo Simon is the main suspect in a fatal shooting New Year's Eve in the Dominican Republic, police said.

The pitcher is suspected of killing 25-year-old Michel Castillo Almonte and wounding his 17-year-old brother during a celebration in the northeast coastal town of Luperon, police said in a statement.

Felipe Alou Jr., a Dominican representative for the Orioles, said he spoke with Simon on Saturday and the player insisted he was not involved in the shootings. The 29-year-old pitcher went 4-2 with a 4.93 ERA last season. He had 17 saves before Orioles manager Buck Showalter made Koji Uehara the closer.



*Defending champion Carlos Sainz won the first stage of the Dakar Rally in Argentina, covering the 138-mile course in 2 hours, 18 minutes, 32 seconds.

*The designers of the logo for the 2016 Rio Olympics insist any similarities to one from a U.S. foundation is a coincidence. The designers defended their logo after Brazilian media noted similarities with the logo of the Telluride Foundation in Colorado.

From News and wire service reports.