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FILE - In this Jan. 18, 2016, file photo, Tennessee head coach Holly Warlick reacts as her team falls behind during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, in South Bend, Ind. Tennessee is one of the signature programs in women's college basketball, yet the Lady Volunteers haven't reached a Final Four since 2008. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin, File)
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Robert Franklin

FILE - In this Jan. 18, 2016, file photo, Tennessee head coach Holly Warlick reacts as her team falls behind during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, in South Bend, Ind. Tennessee is one of the signature programs in women's college basketball, yet the Lady Volunteers haven't reached a Final Four since 2008. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin, File)

Panthers struggling to close games

By STEVE REED

The Associated Press

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CHARLOTTE — The Carolina Panthers’ problem has not been building big leads this season, it has been keeping them.

Four times the Panthers have led by 17 points or more in the second half, only to have an opponent storm back. All four games the Panthers have escaped with wins, but far too often it has been too close for comfort.


Coach Ron Rivera said he is “concerned” about his team’s struggles closing out games, but refused to dwell on it as the Panthers stepped up preparations for Sunday’s NFC championship game against the Arizona Cardinals.

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