October 29, 2004

Bush and Kerry in Dead Heat - Reuters Poll

Democratic Sen. John Kerry moved into a dead heat with President Bush but Bush took a lead in the key state of Ohio four days before a cliffhanger White House election, according to Reuters/Zogby polls released on Friday.

Whistleblower Says Halliburton Contract Abuse Blatant

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' top contracting official on Friday called the government's grant of multi-billion dollar contracts to oil services giant Halliburton the worst case of contracting abuse she has ever seen.

Holdsclaw suffering from depression

WASHINGTON -- Mystics star Chamique Holdsclaw says she left the team in the middle of the WNBA season because of depression.

Holdsclaw, then the league's second-leading scorer, stopped playing for the Mystics in July to deal with an undisclosed medical issue. She felt afraid and ashamed to discuss what was wrong with her, she told The Washington Post in her first interview since her departure.

``Depression, people just don't realize how it can take over your mind,'' said Holdsclaw, the WNBA's No. 1 overall pick in 1999. ``Yes, I was walking around and looked fine.''

She has been under a psychiatrist's care since becoming increasingly withdrawn, alienated from teammates and family and even her oldest confidantes, she said. She changed her cell phone number so that Washington general manager Pat Summitt, her former coach at Tennessee, couldn't reach her.

``I just kind of had to break away from all that,'' said Holdsclaw, who added that she slept a lot. ``I was just doing my own thing, just living without all of the expectations.''

The Mystics went on an improbable playoff run in her absence, winning five of their last six regular-season games before losing to Connecticut in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Holdsclaw said she never watched her teammates or any other sports on TV. She sat on the couch in her apartment just a block from the MCI Center.

``Everything was negative,'' she said. ``Dark.''

One Mystics fan confronted her in public about her absence, she said.

A passing motorist rolled down his window and began berating her, telling her, ``You need to get it together! You need to get back on the court!''

Holdsclaw responded angrily.

``Do you know me?'' she shouted ``You don't know me!''

Holdsclaw missed seven of the Mystics' final eight games. The forward refused to discuss the reason for her absence, other than to rule out cancer, pregnancy and drug addiction.

In a statement issued last month by the team, Holdsclaw said her condition is not life-threatening or career-threatening.

She failed to show up for a game against Charlotte on July 24. Holdsclaw played in the next game, against Detroit as a reserve, and didn't play the rest of the season. She was placed on the injured list Sept. 1.

Holdsclaw was averaging 19 points per game. She opted out of the U.S. national team for the Athens Olympics, and missed the WNBA All-Star game.

McCarville breaks hand, expected to miss four weeks

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota senior center Janel McCarville broke her left hand at practice Thursday and is expected to miss four weeks.

McCarville averaged 16.1 points and 10.8 rebounds per game last season, leading the Gophers to their first Final Four. Her 75 rebounds were an NCAA tournament record.

McCarville is also the preseason Big Ten Player of the Year for 2004-05.

Minnesota opens its season Nov. 14 against UNLV in Seattle.

McCarville out four weeks with hand injury

MINNEAPOLIS - Attempting to follow up on their first trip to the Final Four last season, the Minnesota Golden Gophers women's basketball team has already suffered a setback.

Senior center Janel McCarville, who averaged 19.4 points and set a women's NCAA tournament record with 75 rebounds in five games, suffered a broken hand in practice Thursday and is out at least four weeks.

McCarville, the pre-season Big Ten Player of the Year and a national player of the year candidate after averaging 16.1 points and 10.8 rebounds last season, broke the third metacarpal bone of her left hand.

Along with guard Lindsay Whalen, who starred for the Connecticut Sun this season in the WNBA, McCarville led the Gophers to the Final Four last season. They lost to eventual champion Connecticut in the semifinals.

The Golden Gophers open their season on November 14 against UNLV in the WBCA Classic in Seattle.

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