Kansas City 31 Indianapolis 13
LA Rams 30 Dallas 22
Detroit 109 LA Clippers 104
Miami 112 Memphis 108
Orlando 105 Boston 103
Minnesota 110 New Orleans 106
Oklahoma City 122 San Antonio 112
Phoenix 102 Denver 93
Sacramento 104 Charlotte 97
Utah 110 Chicago 102
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
#1 Duke 80 #13 Florida State 78
#3 Tennessee 78 Florida 67
#4 Virginia 63 Clemson 43
#5 Gonzaga 96 San Francisco 83
#7 Kansas 73 Baylor 68
#8 Texas Tech 68 Texas 62
#10 Nevada 74 Fresno State 64
#11 Auburn 93 Georgia 78
Louisville 83 #12 North Carolina 62
Ole Miss 81 #14 Mississippi State 77
#15 North Carolina State 86 Pittsburgh 80
Iowa 72 #16 Ohio State 62
#17 Houston 79 Wichita State 70
#18 Kentucky 56 Vanderbilt 47
#19 Buffalo 88 Miami Ohio 64
Kansas State 58 #20 Iowa State 57
#21 Marquette 70 Seton Hall 66
#23 Oklahoma 76 #25 TCU 74
DePaul 79 #24 St. John 71
Earlham 79 Franklin 77
IU East 98 Carlow University 57
Cincinnati 74 Connecticut 72 OT
Minnesota 88 Rutgers 70
Youngstown State 82 IUPUI 76
Ohio 70 Ball State 52
Eastern Michigan 95 Kent State 61
Toledo 85 Western Michigan 77
Northern Illinois 73 Akron 56
Bowling Green 97 Central Michigan 87 OT
WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
#4 Baylor 79 TCU 55
#9 Maryland 83 Michigan 69
#11 Texas 64 #20 Iowa State 62
#14 Gonzaga 97 Portland 71
Earlham 69 Franklin 66
IU East 51 Carlow University 43
Penn State 62 Illinois 48
Wright State 61 Northern Kentucky 55
Buffalo 66 Miami Ohio 59
Akron 74 Bowling Green 71
Kent State 58 Toledo 47
Central Michigan 89 Northern Illinois 66
Eastern Michigan 64 Western Michigan 61
Ohio 90 Ball State 75
South Dakota 69 Purdue Fort Wayne 51
New Jersey 3 Philadelphia 2
NY Rangers 2 NY Islanders 1
Tampa Bay 5 Buffalo 3
Boston 3 Toronto 2
Montréal 3 Colorado 0
Columbus 2 Washington 1
Detroit 5 Minnesota 2
Vegas 4 Chicago 3
St. Louis 3 Dallas 1
San Jose 4 Ottawa 1
Arizona 3 Edmonton 2
Los Angeles 5 Pittsburgh 2
Chiefs roll past Colts 31-13 to reach AFC title game
The Kansas City Chiefs’ defense had heard the chorus of critics all season long, the ones that claimed their sieve-like line and shaky backfield would spoil young superstar Patrick Mahomes and cost them a chance to chase their first Super Bowl appearance in decades.
Well, that defense is a big reason why the Chiefs are one step away.
With persistent snow turning Arrowhead Stadium into a winter wonderland, the Chiefs successfully shut down Andrew Luck and the potent Indianapolis Colts on Saturday.
Mahomes and the rest of their own high-powered offense took care of the rest, rolling to a 31-13 victory in the divisional round to end 25 years of playoff frustration.
“We’re such a different team,” said Mahomes, who threw for 278 yards while running for a score. “We have such young players. We have such confidence we’re going to win every single game.”
Damien Williams ran through snow and muck for 129 yards and another score, and Tyreek Hill had 72 yards receiving and a touchdown run, as the Chiefs beat Indianapolis for the first time in five playoff meetings to earn their first AFC title game appearance since January 1994.
The AFC West champions will play the winner of Sunday’s game between the division-rival Los Angeles Chargers and the New England Patriots next weekend for a spot in the Super Bowl in Atlanta.
“We wanted to light up the city,” Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones said. “We didn’t want to take the road down memory lane.”
Andrew Luck was held to 203 yards passing for the Colts, while Marlon Mack was a non-factor on the ground. He had 46 yards rushing before leaving late in the fourth quarter with a hip injury.
“Was not expecting it to end today,” Colts coach Frank Reich said. “We knew we were going up against a very good team, a very well-coached team. It’s hard to lose. It’s hard to lose when you’ve come this far with the team that we have and the guys that we have, so credit to the Chiefs.
“They outcoached us, they outplayed us,” Reich said. “We just gave them too many opportunities.”
The Chiefs set out to change history from the opening minutes, when they forced a three-and-out and then waltzed right over a Colts defense that nearly shut out the Texans a week ago. Mahomes and Co. scored on their first three possessions , then again just before halftime, to take a 24-7 lead.
If there was any question whether this would be Kansas City’s day, it was answered when Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri missed a 23-yard field-goal try off the upright just before halftime. It was the first time in 22 postseason attempts that he’d missed from that close.
Not that the Chiefs thought they had it wrapped up.
They’ve had bigger playoff meltdowns against the Colts.
There was the 10-7 loss in which Lin Elliott missed three field goals when the Chiefs were the No. 1 seed, and the loss at Arrowhead Stadium in 2003 in which nobody punted. Five years ago, they blew a 38-10 second-half lead against Luck and the Colts to spoil Andy Reid’s first season.
Not this time.
Not with this Kansas City quarterback.
After shattering nearly every franchise passing record, Mahomes picked up right where he left off in his regular-season finale. He led the Chiefs on touchdown drives of 90 and 70 yards to open the game, quickly identified a favorite target in Travis Kelce, and shook off a banged-up knee to scramble for a touchdown late in the first half to give his team a big cushion.
Of course, the Chiefs (13-4) didn’t need it the way their defense was playing.
The Colts (11-7) went three-and-out on their first four possessions, were outgained 185-12 in the first quarter, and Luck didn’t complete a pass until he found T.Y Hilton early in the second.
Their lone bright spot came when Zach Paschal recovered a blocked punt for a touchdown .
Even when the Colts caught a break and Sammy Watkins fumbled the ball to them late in the third quarter, they were quick to give it back. Dee Ford stripped Luck and fellow linebacker Justin Houston plopped on the ball, ruining another red-zone opportunity.
“It seemed like the rushers were getting there all night,” Chiefs cornerback Kendall Fuller said. “Guys sticking coverage, playing good technique, good eyes and things like that.”
The Colts finally scored an offensive touchdown with 5:31 left in the game. But in the perfect summation of their lousy afternoon, their erstwhile star kicker missed the extra point.
By that point, the party in the stands already had begun.
The Chiefs had lost six straight home playoff games, including heartbreakers to Pittsburgh and Tennessee the past two years. But a proud franchise that won its only Super Bowl title with Len Dawson in 1970, and last played for a spot behind Joe Montana, is once more one step away.
“I’m just happy for these guys in this locker room,” Kelce said. “Playoff wins are hard to come by, let alone wins in the NFL. So, I mean, it’s just exciting for us to be able to play next week.”
Rams rush past Cowboys, advance with 30-22 playoff victory
With 1 yard between the Los Angeles Rams and the Dallas end zone on fourth down midway through in the fourth quarter, Sean McVay decided to go straight ahead.
No clever plays for this high-flying offense. No elaborate schemes from their inventive coach.
C.J. Anderson ran directly into the left side while his line cleared a path. He tumbled into the end zone with 7:16 left for the Rams’ final points in their first playoff victory in 14 years, 30-22 over the Cowboys on Saturday night in the divisional round.
“We always talk about attacking success, never fearing failure,” McVay said of his reasoning behind the simple call. “We wanted to come out here and try to play fearless tonight.”
Los Angeles’ ground game is something to be feared after racking up a franchise playoff-record 273 yards rushing from the opening drive to Anderson’s final first-down run.
Anderson rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns, and Todd Gurley ran for 115 more yards and another TD to send the second-seeded Rams (14-3) to the NFC championship game for the first time in 17 years.
That’s also the most ever allowed in the postseason by the five-time Super Bowl champion Cowboys, who were playing in their NFL-record 63rd postseason game.
“Feels great, just running the ball the way we did,” quarterback Jared Goff said after his first career playoff victory. “Two 100-yard rushers, that’s rare, and it starts with those five guys up front.”
Next weekend, the Rams will face the winner of the other divisional playoff game in New Orleans between the top-seeded Saints and the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.
The long-struggling Rams had won only one postseason game since their last trip to the Super Bowl in February 2002, but the 32-year-old McVay has added his first playoff victory to his spectacular two-season franchise turnaround . Los Angeles is one win away from another Super Bowl trip after McVay largely stuck to old-time football basics with his unlikely running back tandem and an offensive line determined to assert its superiority.
With the Rams’ veteran offensive line cutting holes in the Cowboys’ defense, Gurley and Anderson became the fourth set of teammates in NFL history to rush for 100 yards apiece in a postseason game, an improbable development just a few weeks ago. Gurley is the Rams’ offensive centerpiece and one of the NFL’s elite running backs , but Anderson is a well-traveled veteran playing only his third game with the Rams after signing last month when Gurley was struggling with a knee injury.
“It’s scary,” Anderson said of his new partnership with Gurley. “We’ve got two different styles, and we can keep teams off balance. … Playing on the field with Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliott, I’m just trying to make my statement and make my stamp in this game, too.”
The Cowboys (11-7), who largely shut down Seattle’s league-best rushing attack last week, hadn’t allowed two 100-yard rushers in a playoff game since the NFL-AFL merger. Los Angeles racked up more yards than the Cowboys had allowed on the ground all season.
“We got beaten,” Cowboys defensive end Tyrone Crawford said. “Like I said in (the locker room), it’s a scar that you’re going to wear for the rest of your life. You can either look at your scar and run from it, or you can look at your scar and remember it, and punch somebody in the face because of it. So hopefully our guys use this as ammunition for next year.”
Elliott rushed for a TD and Amari Cooper caught an early TD pass for the Cowboys, who still haven’t won a playoff game on the road in 26 years. After winning the NFC East and beating Seattle last week, Dallas lost in the divisional playoff round for the sixth consecutive time and fell short of its first trip to the NFC championship game since January 1996.
Dak Prescott passed for 266 yards and rushed for a TD with 2:11 to play , but the Cowboys couldn’t climb out after falling into a 23-7 hole midway through the third quarter. Elliott managed only 47 yards on 20 carries as Dallas lost for just the second time in its last 10 games.
“They’re a physical football team,” Dallas coach Jason Garrett said of the Rams. “There is a little bit of a misperception of how the Rams play offensive football with the run. They do an outstanding job.”
Goff passed for 186 yards and spent much of the night handing off, but the gangly quarterback improbably scrambled 11 yards for a first down with 1:51 to play, essentially wrapping up his breakthrough win. It was also the first postseason victory for the anchor of that line, 37-year-old left tackle Andrew Whitworth, and veteran defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh.
Anderson and Gurley ran with equal verve while Dallas gave up 200 yards rushing in a playoff game for the first time since Eric Dickerson did it for the Rams in 1986. Anderson became the third Rams player with more than 100 yards and two rushing TDs in a game, joining Dickerson and Marshall Faulk.
The Rams chewed up the ground and the clock on four lengthy scoring drives in the first half. Anderson reached the end zone seven minutes before halftime on a 1-yard plunge – and just 3 1/2 minutes later, Gurley broke through the middle and went 35 yards for his first career playoff touchdown , putting the Rams up 20-7 at halftime.
Elliott scored on a 1-yard plunge and the Cowboys got a 2-point conversion to trim the Rams’ lead to 23-15 in the third quarter, but the Rams made a decisive 12-play, 65-yard drive in the fourth capped by Anderson’s bold 1-yard TD plunge on fourth down.
Earlham Basketball Recap
RICHMOND, Ind. – A balanced scoring attack and some clutch shooting down the stretch combined to lift Earlham College men’s basketball to a 79-77 win over visiting Franklin College, in a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference clash on Saturday afternoon at the Druley Performance Gym.
Six Earlham players finished in double figures, the most for the Quakers in a single game this season.
Sophomore guard Jamel Barnes paced the starters with 16 points, his 10th double-digit scoring performance of the season, while senior swingman Darrell Hutchison Jr. tacked on 15 points for his 11th effort in double figures. Freshman guard Anthony Phillips contributed a career-best 10 points on a 4-of-7 effort from the floor and a 2-of-3 mark at the charity stripe.
Junior Thomas Sanborn came off the bench to chip in a season-high 13 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field and a 3-of-4 mark from three-point range. Junior Qawi Rucker and junior guard Blake Bonin added 11 and 10 points respectively.
Rucker also hauled down a game-high eight rebounds, leading an Earlham squad that outrebounded Franklin, 34 to 30, including a 17-10 advantage on the offensive glass that resulted in 17 second-chance points for the Quakers.
Earlham (4-11, 3-5 HCAC) started off hot outpacing Franklin by 10 points over the first five minutes. During that time span, Franklin turned the ball over four times, and Earlham’s defense only let the Grizzlies get off three shots – all of which they missed.
After getting on the board, Franklin’s offense began clicking and the Grizzlies inched back into the game. A layup by Payton Mills capped a Franklin scoring run that gave the Grizzlies their first lead at 19-17, with 6:57 remaining in the opening half.
A combination of turnovers and missed shots allowed Franklin’s lead to widen, but the Quakers quickly regained their offensive momentum at the end of the first half, scoring five points straight to bring the deficit within two,30-28, going into the intermission.
Franklin (4-11, 2-6 HCAC) fiercely attacked the rim to open the second half, and Earlham had trouble defending it without fouling the Grizzlies and giving them extra points. The combination of points in the paint and fouls on Earlham allowed Franklin to extend its lead until they were up by 11, 47-36, with 13:26 to play in the game following an “and-one” on a Sam Gutierrez three-pointer.
Sanborn was the spark from the bench to shift the momentum within Earlham’s favor. The junior forward ran the floor on back-to-back possessions scoring consecutive three-point jump shots. Hutchison immediately scored two more off a fast break layup to bring Earlham within three of Franklin, 47-44, at the 12:12 mark of the second half.
Momentum swung back-and-forth between the two teams over the next 10 minutes of play with four ties and a pair of lead changes, before the Grizzlies extended their lead to three points, 69-66, with 2:19 left on the clock.
Barnes drained a three to tie the game with almost two minutes left, but Franklin answered with a pair of layups around a pair of Barnes foul shots to retake a slim 73-71 lead. Sanborn again answered from behind the three-point arc, putting the Quakers back up 74-73 with one minute left.
Hutchison was called for fouling Franklin’s Gutierrez in the act of shooting a three-pointer, and Gutierrez connected on his second and third attempts to give the Grizzlies a one-point lead, 75-74, with 39 seconds left.
Earlham remained calm through the adversity, and on the next play Qawi Rucker drove to the basket, backed down Mills and drew the foul for an “and-one” play. Rucker made the free throw, giving Earlham the 77-75 lead. While setting up its offense, Franklin was called for an illegal screen that gave possession back to Earlham, up two with 13 seconds left.
The Quakers matched the Grizzlies foul shot-for-foul shot the rest of the way to hold on for the two-point victory.
Earlham will face another in-conference foe on Wednesday, Jan. 16, on the road at Defiance College. Tip-off will be at 7:30 p.m.
RICHMOND, Ind. – Junior guard Kyndall Spears sealed the deal with a late three to give Earlham College women’s basketball its third conference win of the season with a 69-66 victory over Franklin, in a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference matchup on Saturday afternoon at the Druley Performance Gym.
One of the strategies Earlham (5-10, 3-5 HCAC) had coming into this matchup was to beat Franklin (5-10, 3-5 HCAC) during the transition. They managed to get ahead but when they got to the rim they had difficulty finishing. Franklin’s ball security in the first quarter was lacking, and the Grizzlies turned the ball over nine times. Earlham did a great job of playing on Franklin’s turnover frustrations by drawing fouls in order to earn some points from the three-throw line. That advantage had Earlham up 23-16 at the end of the first quarter.
Earlham’s Camryn White carried the scoring load earning seven of Earlham’s 15 points in the second quarter. Franklin capitalized on Earlham turnovers and was able to pull within two halfway through the quarter. An “and-one” by White sparked the Earlham offense, and the Quakers pulled away to end the half leading by eight, 38-30.
After the half, the intensity of play on the court skyrocketed. Franklin tried a new offensive strategy and found success in attacking the rim, which Earlham had trouble defending mostly due to the size difference. Earlham had a hard time adjusting to the intensity, resulting in bad possessions which gave Franklin the opportunity to come back within striking distance.
Late in the fourth quarter, Franklin went on a 10-point run capped by a three by Mallory Cast to tie up the game, 66-66. With 1.2 seconds left in the game, Acacia Tenette pushed the ball out to Spears who sealed the game with a perfectly floated three-point shot.
Spears had a standout game scoring 16 points, 12 of them being scored in the second half. She went a season-high 4-of-7 from three-point range. Camryn White’s efforts cannot be understated; she scored a career-high 23 points. White was 6-of- 20 from field goal range and a perfect 11-of-11 from the free throw line. The team was almost automatic from the charity stripe with a 19-of-21-mark – a 90.5 free-throw percentage.
Earlham Assistant Coach Maise Elston recapped the game by saying, “We started off strong in the first half getting the ball to the rim and making out free-throws. We had some defensive let ups in the second half, but stayed composed and Kyndall brought it home for us. It was a great team win.”
Women’s basketball is facing a favorable in-conference stretch beginning with Defiance College on Wednesday at home at 7:30 p.m.
IU EAST BASKETBALL RECAP FOR JANUARY 12
IU East Release
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Bishop Smith joined the Indiana University East men’s basketball
1,000 points club and Brady Smith scored a career-high 22 points as the Red Wolves
won 98-57 at Carlow University on Jan. 12.
NAIA Division II No. 17 IU East is 14-6 and is tied with WVU Tech for first place in
the River States Conference East Division with a 6-1 league record. Carlow (1-18,
0-6) is winless since its season opener.
Rece Henneman scored 20 points for Carlow.
IU East hosts No. 31 Indiana University Kokomo on Jan. 15. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m. in
the second game of a women’s-men’s doubleheader on Lingle Court.
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – The Indiana University East women’s basketball team picked up the
100th win in program history with a 51-43 victory at Carlow University on Jan. 12.
IU East is 8-11 overall and is tied with WVU Tech for first place in the River
States Conference East Division with a 6-1 league record. Carlow is 5-11 overall and
2-4 in the conference.
IU East is now 100-53 in four-plus NAIA seasons.
Addie Brown scored a team-high 19 points for IU East.
Emma Stille tallied 15 points and 14 rebounds for Carlow.
IU East hosts River States Conference West Division leader Indiana University Kokomo
on Jan. 15 in a matchup of RSC division leaders. Tipoff is at 5:30 p.m. in the first
game of a women’s-men’s doubleheader on Lingle Court.
IU East Track
FINDLAY, Ohio – The Indiana University East track and field teams began 2019 at the
University of Findlay Open on Jan. 12.
The Red Wolves established four new school records in the event at the Malcolm
Although this was the third meet of the indoor season, it was the first for the
distance runners, who competed in cross country last fall.
Will Mundy was the top finisher for IU East as he was second in the 300 meters with
a school record time of 36.18.
Seth Reynolds was third in the 400 meters as he also set a new standard of 50.64.
Edmalie Cruz Sanchez established a new mark in the mile at 5:44.90 as she was eighth.
Savannah Hart broke the IU East record in the 3,000 meters with a time of 11:43.82
to finish eighth.
Abby Bittner finished third in the 400 meters with time of 1:02.65.
Matthew Paterson posted a 1:29.15 in the 600 meters to finish third.
Dustin Reynolds took third in the 800 meters with a time of 2:02.73.
Sarah Hornak was fifth in the 800 meters with a 2:30.28.
Nick Gilmore won his flight in the men’s shot put and finished sixth overall with a
distance of 13.20 meters (43-03.75 feet).
The Red Wolves compete in the Tiffin University Dragon Invitational on Jan. 19.
Reddish hits 3 that lifts Duke past Florida St. 80-78
Cam Reddish had struggled for more than a month, searching for any kind of consistency with his shot.
With Zion Williamson on the bench in the second half and suffering from double vision after getting poked in the eye, Reddish made all the shots on Saturday – including the game-winner.
The freshman forward hit a 3-pointer with 0.8 seconds left to lead No. 1 Duke past No. 13 Florida State, 80-78 on Saturday.
Reddish caught the ball on the wing off the inbounds pass and made a wide-open 3-pointer to ensure that Duke (14-1, 3-0 ACC) would win its ninth straight game. Two freshmen carried the load for Duke as RJ Barrett scored 32 points on 10 of 19 shooting and Reddish finished with 23 points on 9 of 15 shooting.
“It was great,” said Reddish, who scored 16 second-half points. “I was working really hard to get back to who I was. Trusting God. Praying every day to be who I was. It was a big shot for us. My coaches and teammates have helped me with my confidence. I’m glad I made the shot.”
It was a clutch shot at a critical moment for Duke, which hasn’t had many close games this season and has won 13 of 14 games by 10 or more points. The Blue Devils have just one loss, 89-87 to No. 5 Gonzaga on a neutral court.
Duke was certainly on the ropes on Saturday, especially playing in the second half without Zion Williamson. The star freshman left the game after getting poked in the eye late in the first half. He didn’t return and had 11 points and eight rebounds in 17 minutes.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski wasn’t sure what to expect from the Blue Devils, who were without one of their top players and were facing a top-15 team on the road. Barrett and Reddish “kept us in it,” Krzyzewski said.
“They rose,” Krzyzewski said. “They rose to the different occasion. An occasion that we hadn’t been in this year.”
Florida State nearly pulled off an upset, which would have matched what happened eight years ago. The Seminoles knocked off No. 1 Duke 66-61 on Jan. 12, 2011. And this time they fell just short.
“Coming close just doesn’t count,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. “Maybe it does in horseshoes but not in basketball.”
P.J. Savoy made a pair of free throws with 15.8 seconds left, just seconds after forcing a turnover, to put Florida State ahead 78-76.
Louisville hands No. 12 UNC worst home loss under Williams
Louisville went from suffering a confidence-jarring loss against a long-struggling Atlantic Coast Conference program to handing Roy Williams his worst home loss in 16 seasons with North Carolina.
Tough to explain? Even the Hall of Famer had a hard time with that.
“We never really got into the game,” Williams said after Saturday’s 83-62 defeat to the Cardinals. “I’d like to give you a brilliant answer as to why, but I can’t give you that brilliant answer.”
It was as mystifying a performance from No. 12 UNC – which had started league play with two road wins – as it was a strong effort from Louisville following Wednesday’s overtime loss to Pittsburgh.
First-year coach Chris Mack said there was “some soul searching” after that setback, which snapped Pitt’s 23-game losing streak in ACC regular-season games. The Panthers had lost by 25 points at home to the Tar Heels a few days earlier.
Louisville (11-5, 2-1) responded by strolling into Chapel Hill, jumping on UNC early and turning a 43-34 halftime lead into an unexpected rout.
“I’ve been around the game enough to know you can be humbled on any given night and then erase a bitter feeling a few nights later,” Mack said. “I don’t know how football coaches do it, they get one game a week.”
Connecticut transfer Steven Enoch had season highs of 17 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Cardinals, causing all kinds of matchup problems with his 6-foot-11 frame and strength to post up deep in the paint. Dwayne Sutton added 17 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists to flirt with a triple double, helping the Cardinals shoot 52 percent while hitting 11 3-pointers.
More importantly, the Cardinals controlled the glass (40-31) against one of the nation’s best rebounding teams, keeping the Tar Heels from getting loose in transition (four fast-break points) with solid defense.
Guy, No. 4 Virginia stay perfect with 63-43 win over Clemson
Kyle Guy is happy for any win. He savors it just a bit more, though, when it comes on the road.
Guy and undefeated No. 4 Virginia have had plenty to celebrate on that front lately.
Guy had 13 points, De’Andre Hunter scored 12 and the Cavaliers improved to 15-0 with a 63-43 victory at Clemson on Saturday. It was also Virginia’s 12th straight ACC road win, the fourth best such run in league history.
“It’s not easy or everyone would be doing it,” Guy said. “But we’re bred a little bit differently. We train for this. Yeah, our legs are tired, but we’ve practiced for this endurance.”
Clemson started the day with a national championship football parade and party just a few steps away at Death Valley. The basketball Tigers (10-6, 0-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) had hoped to add to the good feelings with their first win over Virginia since 2012.
Instead, the Cavaliers (3-0 ACC) turned up their trademark defense to make it a long afternoon for Clemson and keep their status as the only undefeated team left in the conference this season.
Virginia coach Tony Bennett preaches “road ball” to his players throughout the year, knowing how important it is to get your share of wins on the road in a competitive and difficult league like the ACC.
“If you’re sound and your game doesn’t change, regardless of the environment, it can allow you, if you’re home or on the road, to stay true to that,” Bennett said. “This team, they don’t get outside of themselves.”
That was a big reason the Cavaliers didn’t flinch when Clemson cut a double-digit lead to 29-27 early in the second half on Marcquise Reed’s driving basket. Virginia followed with an 18-5 run when it made five 3-pointers to restore the lead and cruised to its ninth straight victory over the Clemson.
Williams scores 20, No. 3 Tennessee holds off Florida 78-67
Grant Williams did just about anything he wanted to against Florida.
He even called for – and delivered – one of his more precise passes of the season in crunch time.
Williams scored 20 points and found Admiral Schofield for a clinching 3-pointer in the corner with 41.3 seconds remaining to help No. 3 Tennessee beat Florida 78-67 on Saturday for the team’s 10th consecutive victory.
“We knew we were going to get Grant the ball at the elbow and we knew they would collapse probably,” Volunteers coach Rick Barnes said. “He told those guys, `You get where you’re supposed to be and I’ll make the right pass.’ He found Admiral, and that was big shot obviously.”
It was the biggest shot, although it came after Williams appeared to get away with a travel in the lane.
Jalen Hudson misfired on the other end, and the Gators (9-6, 1-2 Southeastern Conference) committed two turnovers in the waning seconds to turn a one-possession game into a lopsided final score.
“One of those games where every possession was a critical one,” Barnes said.
Jordan Bowden added 17 off the bench for Tennessee (14-1, 3-0), which last enjoyed a double-digit win streak in 2008.
Bowden accounted for 14 consecutive points late in the second half with Schofield on the bench with four fouls. He made five free throws, two driving layups and a 3-pointer. He also dished to John Fulkerson for another layup.
Equally huge for the Vols were two second-half baskets that each came after two offensive rebounds. Williams scored on both.
Griffin has 44 points in return against Clippers
Blake Griffin kept his emotions to himself in his return to Staples Center for the first time against his old team.
After scoring 44 points in the Detroit Pistons’ 109-104 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday, he allowed himself a trip down memory lane.
“The best thing to be a part of is something that is bigger than yourself and that is what that was,” he said in a crowded hallway outside the Pistons’ locker room. “I don’t look at what I did.”
Griffin was greeted with cheers during pregame introductions and received a standing ovation after a first-quarter video tribute from the team that drafted him first overall in 2009.
“There was a lot of hype coming into this game and I was looking forward to it, but I’m glad that it’s over,” he said. “The next time I come it won’t be as crazy.”
Griffin stuck his right arm in the air and then brought his raised hands together in a thankful gesture without smiling. He clearly wanted to beat the team that stunningly traded him last January after he had signed a $171 million, five-year extension.
It showed from the start.
Griffin scored 15 points in the opening quarter when he got razzed by superfan Clipper Darrell during free throw attempts. He had 26 points in the first half to help Detroit to a 65-54 lead.
“Hey Blake, we miss you but enough for tonight, OK?” a Clippers fan implored.
Griffin wasn’t done.
His 3-pointer to start the third and a basket by Andre Drummond pushed Detroit to a 16-point lead. Griffin had a one-hand slam reminiscent of his old Lob City days.
Towns has 27-27 game to lead Wolves past Pelicans, 110-106
With the Minnesota Timberwolves badly needing to win after blowing it the night before and the game hanging in the balance, Karl-Anthony Towns took over.
Towns did so against one of his most daunting opponents, too, furthering his place as the franchise leader.
With 27 points and a career-high 27 rebounds, the most in the NBA this season, Towns helped the Timberwolves fend off Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans for a 110-106 victory on Saturday night, the first at home for interim head coach Ryan Saunders.
“I just want to be the energy my team needs on a nightly basis,” Towns said, “and if they need more I’ve got to be able to bring it.”
Towns swished a top-of-the-key 3-pointer to make it 106-103 with 2:55 left, giving the Timberwolves the lead for good. Then Towns blocked a 3-point try by Davis on the other end, triggering a fast break that Tyus Jones finished with a layup.
“We need him to set the tone for us, and we’ve got to follow his lead,” said Jones, who took the final 17 1/2 minutes at point guard for the ailing Jeff Teague.
Davis had 30 points and 14 rebounds for his 13th consecutive double-double. Jrue Holiday added 25 points and seven assists for the Pelicans, who pulled within 108-106 on Holiday’s three-point play with 2:23 remaining.
But Towns blocked another 3-point attempt by Davis with 1:37 left that would have put the Pelicans in front, and the Timberwolves took it from there. Jones and Dario Saric each added 14 points on 2-for-3 shooting from 3-point range off the bench to help offset a 7-for-33 performance behind the arc by the rest of the team.
The Pelicans shot 20 for 29 from the floor over the final three minutes of the first half through the third quarter to take an 89-87 lead, but they faltered late.
“They were better coached. They played harder. They did everything they had to, to win the game, and we didn’t,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. “That’s the bottom line. We didn’t rebound the basketball, we turned it over, and I’m as much to blame as anybody.”
This was a critical game for the Wolves, coming off a four-point loss to Dallas here the night before and facing some serious catching up to do in the relentless Western Conference race in order to return to the playoffs. The Mavericks, Pelicans and Wolves all entered the evening tied for 11th place, 2 1/2 games below the cut.
Mavs guard J.J. Barea sustains season-ending Achilles tear
The Dallas Mavericks have lost an important piece in their push for a return to respectability with guard J.J. Barea’s season-ending Achilles injury.
Barea tore his right Achilles tendon in the fourth quarter of a 119-115 victory at Minnesota on Friday night. The team said Saturday that Barea was weighing his options for surgery.
The 34-year-old Barea was averaging 10.9 points and a team-high 5.6 assists as a key part of the second unit for Dallas. The injury is likely to mean a significant increase in playing time for rookie Jalen Brunson, a two-time NCAA champion at Villanova and second-round draft pick.
Barea is in his second stint with the Mavericks after being a catalyst for Dallas’ rally from a 2-1 deficit in the 2011 NBA Finals against Miami. The Mavericks won the franchise’s only title in six games.
Boosted by a sensational rookie season so far from third overall pick Luka Doncic, the Mavericks are seeking a return to the playoffs after falling out of the race early and finishing near the bottom of the Western Conference the past two seasons.
Losing the trusty veteran presence of Barea won’t help. He was a big part of what made Dallas deeper than it has been in several years, with his pick-and-roll ability and playmaking in the lane helping the offense’s efficiency.
Barea was technically the backup to starting point guard Dennis Smith Jr., although the 21-year-old in his second season has missed 14 games, mostly with a right wrist sprain.
Smith’s absence has made the versatile 19-year-old Doncic the starter at the point. Once Smith is healthy, Barea’s injury could increase his presence in the rotation.
Columbus beats Washington in OT, Holtby suffers eye injury
Artemi Panarin flapping his arms to mimic Evgeny Kuznetsov’s goal celebration for the final insult, but the defending Stanley Cup champions were more concerned about a potentially significant injury.
Panarin scored in overtime for the second consecutive game to give the Columbus Blue Jackets a 2-1 victory over the Washington Capitals on Saturday night. Panarin’s goal came after Washington lost All-Star goaltender Braden Holtby to an eye injury.
Holtby took a stick to the left eye from Cam Atkinson through his mask in the second period, left the game and did not return. Coach Todd Reirden was “very concerned” and remained uncertain about Holtby’s status afterward.
“He’ll be getting evaluated later tonight still,” Reirden said. “Our initial discussions with our trainer and doctors, that’s a serious thing. He wasn’t able to return to the game, and we’ll get some more evaluation tonight and know a little bit more tomorrow and have a better update for you guys then.”
Panarin’s goal 3:30 into overtime came on the 4-on-3 power play against Washington backup Pheonix Copley, who stopped the first 10 shots he faced in relief to help his team pick up a point. Panarin, known as “Bread” to teammates, also won the Blue Jackets’ game Thursday against Nashville in overtime.
“I loved the way we found a way to get the job done in overtime,” Columbus captain Nick Foligno said. ‘”Bread,’ that’s what he brings to this team. It’s a great sign for our confidence right now.”
The Blue Jackets let a regulation victory slip away when Kuznetsov tied the score with 1:06 left. They had led since the one-minute mark of the first period when Cam Atkinson beat Holtby on a breakaway for his team-leading 25th goal of the season.
Columbus goaltender Joonas Korpisalo stopped 32 of the 33 shots he faced in his second consecutive start in place of Sergei Bobrovsky, who backed up after being scratched Thursday for disciplinary reasons. Coach John Tortorella did not commit to starting Bobrovsky in the second half of his team’s back-to-back this weekend.
NFL PREVIEW: Los Angeles Chargers (AFC West – 13-4) at New England Patriots (AFC East – 11-5)
Sunday, January 13, 2019 | 1:05 PM ET | Gillette Stadium | Referee: Ron Torbert
SERIES HISTORY INCLUDING PLAYOFFS:
LEADER: Patriots lead all-time series, 24-15-2
STREAKS: Patriots have won past 4
LAST GAME: 10/29/17: Chargers 13 at Patriots 21
LAST GAME AT SITE: 10/29/17
PLAYOFF SERIES HISTORY:
LEADER: Patriots lead all-time series, 2-1
STREAKS: Patriots have won past 2
LAST PLAYOFF: 1/20/08: Chargers 12 at Patriots 21
LAST PLAYOFF AT SITE: 1/20/08
PLAYOFF RECORD 12-17
LAST WEEK W 23-17 at Baltimore
VS. COMMON OPP. 4-1 (Buf 1-0; KC 1-1; Pit 1-0; Ten 1-0)
PTS. FOR/AGAINST 26.8/20.6
PASSING Philip Rivers: 347-508-4308-32-12-105.5
RUSHING Melvin Gordon: 175-885-5.1-10
RECEIVING Keenan Allen: 97-1196-12.3-6
SACKS Melvin Ingram: 7
INTs Derwin James (R), Desmond King: 3
TAKE/GIVE +1 (20/19)
PR Desmond King: 13.8
KR Desmond King: 23.7
PUNTING (NET) Donnie Jones: 42.3 (38.0)
KICKING Michael Badgley (R): 72 (27/28 PAT; 15/16 FG)
CHARGERS recorded 1st postseason win since 1/5/14 (2013 AFC Wild Card) last week. Had 12 wins, most since 2009 season (13). • LOS ANGELES ranked 3rd in yards per play (6.3) & tied for 6th in points per game (26.8). • LOS ANGELES had 7 players named to 2019 Pro Bowl: WR KEENAN ALLEN, RB MELVIN GORDON, DE MELVIN INGRAM, rookie S DERWIN JAMES, ST ADRIAN PHILLIPS, C MIKE POUNCEY & QB PHILIP RIVERS. • QB PHILIP RIVERS passed for 4,308 yards & is 1 of 4 QBs (TOM BRADY, DREW BREES & PEYTON MANNING) with 10 season of 4,000+ pass yards. Ranks 6th in NFL history in TD passes (374) & 8th in passing yards (54,656). Ranked 2nd in AFC with 105.5 passer rating in 2018. Aims for his 4th postseason start in row with 0 INTs. • RB MELVIN GORDON had rush TD last week. Had 1,375 scrimmage yards & joined HOFer LA DAINIAN TOMLINSON (2001-08) as only Chargers with 3 straight 1,300+ scrimmage yard seasons in franchise history. Since 2016, is 1 of 2 RBs (TODD GURLEY) with 4,000+ scrimmage yards (4,372) & 35+ TDs (38). Has 12 TDs (9 rush, 3 rec.) in his past 9 on road (incl. postseason). • WR KEENAN ALLEN led team with 97 catches for 1,196 yards. Has 199 catches since 2017, most in 2-year span in franchise history. WR MIKE WILLIAMS led team with 10 rec. TDs. Has 3 TD catches in his past 4 on road (incl. postseason). • DE MELVIN INGRAM had 2 sacks, FF & FR last week. Led team with 7 sacks. DE JOEY BOSA had 1st-career playoff sack last week. Has 6.5 sacks in his past 7 (incl. postseason). Rookie S DERWIN JAMES led team with 105 tackles & is 1st rookie in franchise history with 100+ tackles. Was 1 of 2 in NFL with 100+ tackles, 3+ sacks (3.5) & 3+ INTs (3).
PLAYOFF RECORD 34-20
LAST WEEK Bye (Wk. 17: W 38-3 vs. New York Jets)
VS. COMMON OPP. 3-2 (Buf 2-0; KC 1-0; Pit 0-1; Ten 0-1)
PTS. FOR/AGAINST 27.3/20.3
PASSING Tom Brady: 375-570-4355-29-11-97.7
RUSHING Sony Michel (R): 209-931-4.5-6
RECEIVING James White (RB): 87-751-8.6-7
SACKS Trey Flowers: 7.5
INTs Duron Harmon: 4
TAKE/GIVE +10 (28/18)
PR Julian Edelman: 7.7
KR Cordarrelle Patterson: 28.8
PUNTING (NET) Ryan Allen: 45.1 (39.5)
KICKING Stephen Gostkowski: 130 (49/50 PAT; 27/32 FG)
PATRIOTS won AFC East for 10th consecutive season (2009-18), longest streak in NFL history. • NEW ENGLAND ranked 4th in scoring offense (27.3 ppg), 5th in total yards of offense (393.4 ypg) and tied for 6th in scoring defense (20.3 ppg allowed). • BILL BELICHICK has most playoff experience (39 games) & postseason wins (28) among HC in NFL history. Is 1 of 4 HC in NFL history with 5+ Super Bowl victories (5). • NEW ENGLAND had 2 players named for 2019 Pro Bowl: QB TOM BRADY & CB STEPHON GILMORE.
QB TOM BRADY is all-time postseason leader in game played (37), wins (27), completions (920), pass yards (10,226) & TD passes (71). Has 14 playoff games with 300+ pass yards, most in NFL history. Has 1,982 pass yards (396.4 per game) & 13 TDs vs. 1 INT for 108.4 rating in his past 5 postseason games. Aims for his 4th home playoff start in row with 2+ TDs, 0 INTs & 100+ rating. • RB SONY MICHEL had 564 scrimmage yards (94 per game) & 5 rush TDs in 6 home games in 2018. RB JAMES WHITE tied for 1st among RBs in TD catches (7), ranked 2nd in rec. yards (751) & 3rd in catches (87) in 2018. Has 7 TDs (5 rush, 2 rec.) in his past 4 postseason games. Aims for his 5th playoff game in row with rush TD. • TE ROB GRONKOWSKI has 12 career playoff TD catches, tied with HOFer JOHN STALLWORTH (12) for 2nd-most in postseason history. WR JULIAN EDELMAN ranks 3rd in postseason history with 89 receptions. Aims for his 4th in row at home in postseason with 100+ rec. yards & 6th in row at home in playoffs with 8+ catches. WR CHRIS HOGAN has 3 TD catches in his past 3 at home in postseason. • DL TREY FLOWERS led team with 7.5 sacks. Has 3.5 sacks & 5 TFL in his past 4 in postseason. S DURON HARMON led team & tied career-high with 4 INTs. CB STEPHON GILMORE had career-high 20 PD, 2nd-most in NFL. Has 2+ PD in each of 1st 3 career playoff games.
- The Patriots have won seven of the last eight meetings between the teams, including a pair of postseason victories, and are 11-1 in home games against the Chargers since 1971. The Chargers’ last win in New England came on October 2, 2005, with Drew Brees at QB.
- Los Angeles improved to 9-1 on the road in the extended season with last week’s 23-17 Wild Card victory at Baltimore. The Chargers held the Ravens to 90 rushing yards — 62.6 under their season average — and have gone three straight games overall without allowing a rushing touchdown.
- The Patriots have won eight consecutive home playoff games, during which they have averaged 34.9 points per game and have a plus-9 turnover differential (15-6). The Pats have also won 15 straight home games — combining regular season and playoffs — since losing to Carolina on October 1, 2017.
- Philip Rivers is 1-4 in divisional playoff games; his only appearance in a conference championship game came in the 2007 season, when the Chargers lost at New England. He has gone 89 straight postseason passes without an interception and has a 68.7 completion percentage in his last four playoff games.
- Tom Brady enters the weekend with NFL all-time career records of 27 postseason wins (27-10) and 71 TD passes; the next-highest totals are 16 wins and 45 touchdown passes – both by Joe Montana. Brady’s 19 career home wins in the postseason are more than any other QB’s career postseason total.
- Philip Rivers has started seven games against Tom Brady in his career, including a pair of postseason contests, and lost all seven. To date, Brady has started 14 divisional playoff games (12-2) against 14 different quarterbacks; Rivers will be the first QB to face Brady twice in this round (also met in 2006).
ON THE AIRWAVES
TV: CBS (1:05 PM ET): Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson, Jay Feely, Gene Steratore
WESTWOOD ONE: Ian Eagle, Tony Boselli, Hub Arkush | SIRIUS: 88 (WW1), 82 (LAC), 83 (NE) | XM: 88 (WW1), 226 (LAC), 225 (NE)
NFL PREVIEW: Philadelphia Eagles (NFC East – 10-7) at New Orleans Saints (NFC South – 13-3)
Sunday, January 13, 2019 | 4:40 PM ET | Mercedes-Benz Superdome | Referee: Carl Cheffers
SERIES HISTORY INCLUDING PLAYOFFS
LEADER: Eagles lead all-time series, 17-14
STREAKS: Saints have won 4 of past 5
LAST GAME: 11/18/18: Eagles 7 at Saints 48
LAST GAME AT SITE: 11/18/18
PLAYOFF SERIES HISTORY:
LEADER: Saints lead all-time series, 2-1
STREAKS: Saints have won past 2
LAST PLAYOFF: 1/4/14: Saints 26 at Eagles 24
LAST PLAYOFF AT SITE: 1/13/07: Saints 27, Eagles 24
PLAYOFF RECORD 23-21
LAST WEEK W 16-15 at Chicago
VS. COMMON OPP. 6-5 (Atl 1-0; Car 0-1; Dal 0-2; LAR 1-0;
Min 0-1; NYG 2-0; TB 0-1; Was 2-0)
PTS. FOR/AGAINST 22.9/21.8
PASSING Nick Foles: 141-195-1413-7-4-96.0
RUSHING Josh Adams (R): 120-511-4.3-3
RECEIVING Zach Ertz (TE): 116-1163-10.0-8
SACKS Fletcher Cox: 10.5
INTs Rasul Douglas: 3
TAKE/GIVE -6 (17/23)
PR Darren Sproles: 8.3
KR Corey Clement: 25.6
PUNTING (NET) Cameron Johnston: 48.1 (42.7)
KICKING Jake Elliott: 111 (33/35 PAT; 26/31 FG)
EAGLES earned playoff berth for 2nd consecutive season. • PHILADELPHIA is seeking to become 1st back-toback SB champions since 2003-04 NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (Super Bowls XXXVIII-XXXIX). • DOUG PEDERSON is 4-0 in playoff coaching career, including Super Bowl LII victory. • EAGLES had 3 players named to 2019 Pro Bowl: G BRANDON BROOKS, DT FLETCHER COX & TE ZACH ERTZ. QB NICK FOLES passed for 266 yards with 2 TDs vs. 2 INTs last week. Is 4-1 with 1,432 pass yards (286.4 per game) with 10 TDs vs. 3 INTs for 105.2 rating in 5 career postseason starts. Is 10-2 as starter since 2017 (including postseason). Completed 23 of 33 (69.7 pct.) for 195 yards with 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 105 rating in only career playoff meeting (1/4/14). • RB JOSH ADAMS (rookie) led team with 511 rush yards this season, 1 of 8 rookie RBs with 500+ rush yards in 2018. RB DARREN SPROLES has 3 TDs (2 rec., 1 rush) in his past 6 (incl. playoffs). In 11 career playoff games, has 750 scrimmage yards (68.2 per game) & 7 TDs (4 rush, 3 rec.). • WR ALSHON JEFFERY led team with 6 catches for 82 yards last week. In his past 3 postseason games, has 14 receptions for 240 yards (80 per game) & 3 TDs. Has TD catch in 2 of his past 3 playoff games. In 3 career meetings, has 18 catches for 329 yards (109.7 per game) & 2 TDs. WR GOLDEN TATE had go-ahead TD catch in 4th Q. last week. Rookie TE DALLAS GOEDERT had rec. TD last week, his 1st-career postseason TD. • DE MICHAEL BENNETT had sack last week. Aims for his 4th playoff game in row with sack. In only career playoff meeting (1/11/14 with Sea.), had 6 tackles, .5 sack, FF & FR. CB RASUL DOUGLAS led team with 8 tackles last week. DT FLETCHER COX has 8 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 FFs & FR in his past 2 vs. NO.
PLAYOFF RECORD 8-10
LAST WEEK Bye (Wk. 17: L 33-14 vs. Carolina)
VS. COMMON OPP. 8-3 (Atl 2-0; Car 1-1; Dal 0-1; LAR 1-0;
Min 1-0; NYG 1-0; TB 1-1; Was 1-0)
PTS. FOR/AGAINST 31.5/22.1
PASSING Drew Brees: 364-489-3992-32-5-115.7 (1L)
RUSHING Alvin Kamara: 194-883-4.6-14
RECEIVING Michael Thomas: 125 (1L)-1405-11.2-9
SACKS Cameron Jordan: 12
INTs Many tied: 2
TAKE/GIVE +8 (24/16)
PR Alvin Kamara: 6.8
KR Taysom Hill: 24.9
PUNTING (NET) Thomas Morstead: 46.4 (43.2)
KICKING Wil Lutz: 136 (52/53 PAT; 28/30 FG)
SAINTS won NFC South in consecutive seasons for 1st time in franchise history. • NEW ORLEANS were 1 of 3 teams in NFL to average 30+ points per game (31.5) in 2018. • SEAN PAYTON has a 7-5 postseason record as head coach, including a SB XLIV victory. • SAINTS had 5 players named to 2019 Pro Bowl: T TERRON ARMSTEAD, QB DREW BREES, DE CAMERON JORDAN, WR MICHAEL THOMAS & C MAX UNGER.
QB DREW BREES had 74.4 completion pct. (364 of 489), highest single-season percentage in NFL history & led league with 115.7 rating in 2018. Ranks 1st in NFL history in career pass yards (74,437) & completions (6,586) & ranks 2nd in TD passes (520). In 13 career postseason games, has 4,209 pass yards (323.8 per game) with 29 TDs vs. 9 INTs for 100.7 rating. Aims for his 5th home playoff game in row with 2+ TDs & 100+ rating. • RB ALVIN KAMARA ranked 2nd in NFL with 18 scrimmage TDs (14 rush, 4 rec.) & 7th with 1,592 scrimmage yards in 2018. Had 105 scrimmage yards (62 rec., 43 rush) & TD catch in last postseason game (1/14/18). Aims for his 3rd playoff game in row with TD. RB MARK INGRAM rushed for 97 yards & TD in only career postseason meeting (1/4/14). • WR MICHAEL THOMAS led NFL with 125 catches this season & had franchise single-season record 1,405 receiving yards (JOE HORN, 1,399 in 2004). In 2 career playoff games, has 15 receptions for 216 yards (108 per game) & 2 TDs. Aims for his 3rd postseason game in row with 7+ catches & 85+ rec. yards. WR TED GINN, JR. has 187 rec. yards (93.5 per game) & TD in his past 2 playoff games. • DE CAMERON JORDAN had 12 sacks in 2018, his 4thcareer 10+ sack season. Has 3.5 sacks & 2 PD in his past 4 postseason games. LB DEMARIO DAVIS led team with 110 tackles, his 2nd consecutive season with 100+ tackles.
- The Saints handed the Eagles a beatdown in New Orleans in Week 11, 48-7. That is tied for the third-largest victory in Saints’ history and the fourth-largest defeat for the Eagles in the Super Bowl era. The only team to avenge a 40-plus point regular-season loss in the postseason is the 2010 Jets (vs. NE).
- Eagles coach Doug Pederson has won his first four playoff games. Three coaches in NFL history have won their first five-plus playoff games: Joe Gibbs (6 — Was, 1982-83); Brian Billick (5 — Bal, 2000-01) and Tom Flores (5 — Oak, 1980-82).
- The Saints finished the season with the best point differential in the league (+151) for the third time in team history. The other two were the 2011 Saints (lost in the divisional round at SF, 36-32) and the 2009 Saints (won Super Bowl XLIV against Ind, 31-17).
- Drew Brees is 5-0 in playoff games at the Superdome, tied with Russell Wilson (CenturyLink Field) for the highest postseason win percentage in a single stadium in NFL history (min. five starts). Brees is 2-0 against Philadelphia in the postseason, though both wins were by three points or fewer.
- Nick Foles has a career 105.2 passer rating in the postseason, highest in NFL history (min. 150 attempts). His postseason passer rating on third down is 141.9, completing 76.0 percent (38/50) of his passes with 5 TDs and no INTs. Foles’ only playoff loss was to the Saints in the 2013 Wild Card game, 26-24.
- The Saints allowed 80.2 rushing yards per game this season, second fewest in the league behind the Bears (80.0). Including the Wild Card game at Chicago, the Eagles have faced four of the top five rush defenses this season (Chi, NO, Hou and Dal — twice) and have averaged 52.4 yards per game in those five contests.
ON THE AIRWAVES
TV: FOX (4:40 PM ET): Kevin Burkhardt, Charles Davis, Pam Oliver, Peter Schrager
WESTWOOD ONE: Kevin Harlan, James Lofton, Ross Tucker | SIRIUS: 88 (WW1), 82 (Phi), 83 (NO) | XM: 88 (WW1), 226 (Phi), 225 (NO)
TODAY IN SPORTS HISTORY-JANUARY 13, 1982
NEW YORK-Nine has always been an important number in baseball. Nine players. Nine innings. And now another nine has emerged, the nine members of the Baseball Writers Association who did not vote for Henry Aaron on this year’s Hall of Fame ballot.
Henry Aaron was elected, of course, along with Frank Robinson, but somehow the nine votes that Henry Aaron did not receive seem more significant than the 406 he did receive. To think that nine presumably responsible voters would deem Henry Aaron unworthy of the Hall of Fame is, in a word, preposterous. Almost scandalous. “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to be unanimous,” Henry Aaron was saying yesterday, “but I realized that nobody had ever been a unanimous choice. I was happy to come in second.”
Henry Aaron meant second to Ty Cobb in the Hall of Fame election percentage. Back in 1936 when Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson were chosen as the Cooperstown shrine’s charter members, Ty Cobb collected 222 of a possible 226 votes, a 98.2 percentage. With 406 votes out of 415 ballots, Henry Aaron’s percentage was 97.8.
But that still doesn’t answer the question -how could nine voters not mark the square next to Henry Aaron’s name on their ballot? “If a player deserves to be in the Hall of Fame by a unanimous vote,” Henry Aaron said, “he should be rewarded with it.”
Henry Aaron deserved it. Of all the players in more than 100 years of majorleague baseball, he had the most home runs (755), the most runs batted in (2,297), the most total bases (6,856) and the most extra-base hits (1,477). He appeared in the most games (3,298), he accumulated the most official times at bat (12,364) and he had the most seasons with 100 or more games (22). But his home-run total is his monument. To put it in perspective, consider that if anyone is to approach it, he must average 35 homers for 20 years just to hit 700.
And yet nine voters chose to ignore Henry Aaron. Historically, of course, it wasn’t surprising. Three years ago 23 voters chose to ignore Willie Mays; in 1966 there were 20 who ignored Ted Williams; in 1969 there were 23 who ignored Stan Musial; in 1955 there were 28 who ignored Joe DiMaggio. In this year’s election there were 45 who ignored Frank Robinson, too. With 312 votes necessary for election, he received 370 votes, a landslide by Hall of Fame standards.
Jack Lang, a baseball writer for The New York Daily News and the secretary-treasurer of the B.B.W.A.A., would not divulge the names of the nine brethren in keeping with the tradition of a secret ballot. But he did describe some of the ballots, each of which permits a voter to select as many as 10 of the 42 candidates.
“One ballot was from a Latin-American writer who voted only for Luis Aparicio,” Jack Lang said. “Another was from a writer in a Midwestern city who voted only for Juan Marichal.”
One or two ballots omitting Henry Aaron would be understandable. Perhaps a member of the brethren was weary. Or hungover. Or in a hurry. Understandable, but not excusable. But nine votes? Never.
1905 – Team Ottawa Silver Seven plays team Dawson City (Yukon) for the Stanley Cup in the National Hockey Association. Ottawa wins 23-2, with Frank McGee scoring 14 goals.
1908 – Montréal Wanderers sweep Ottawa Victorias in two for the Stanley Cup of ice hockey.
1911 – South Africa’s first cricket win over Australia, at Adelaide.
1922 – Former Chicago White Sox player Buck Weaver, involved in Black Sox scandal, applies unsuccessfully for reinstatement.
1957 – Mickey Wright wins Sea Island Golf Open.
1957 – NFL Pro Bowl: West beats East 19-10.
1962 – Wilt Chamberlain of Philadelphia Warriors scores NBA-record 73 points versus Chicago Bulls.
1963 – AFL Pro Bowl: West beats East 21-14.
1963 – NFL Pro Bowl: East beats West 30-20.
1968 – Minnesota North Stars’ center Bill Masterton fatally injured (dies on 15th).
1972 – Former umpire, now housewife Bernice Gera wins her suit against baseball, initiated on March 15, 1971 to be allowed to umpire.
1973 – Efskind skates world record 1000m (1:17.6).
1974 – Super Bowl VIII: Miami Dolphins beat Minnesota Vikings, 24-7 in Houston, Texas; Most Valuable Player: Larry Csonka, running back.
1981 – New York Islanders’ Mike Bossy’s 15th career hat trick-4 goals.
1982 – Both Henry Aaron and Frank Robinson are elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
1983 – Quebec Nordiques play 251st NHL game without being shut out.
1983 – American Medical Association urges ban on boxing, cites Muhammad Ali’s deteriorating condition.
1985 – 23rd Tennis Federation Cup: Czechoslovakia beats USA in Nagoya, Japan (2-1).
1985 – 99-year-old Otto Bucher scores a hole-in-one at Spanish golf course.
1985 – Chicago Blackhawks’ Doug Wilson fails on 12th penalty shot against New York Islanders.
1988 – Los Angeles Dodgers’/San Diego Padres’ Steve Garvey retires.
1991 – Phil Mickelson wins PGA Northern Telecom Golf Open.
1991 – A fight and stampede at a pre-season exhibition match between South African football teams Chiefs and Pirates in the town of Orkney near Johannesburg, South Africa leaves 42 dead.
1992 – Excavation of new ballpark at Gateway (Jacobs Field) Chicago begins.
1994 – Tonya Harding’s bodyguard Shawn Eric Eckardt, and Derrick Brian Smith are arrested and charged with conspiracy in attack of skater Nancy Kerrigan.
1995 – 26 NHL teams unanimously ratify agreement to end NHL strike.
1998 – CBS pays US$4 billion to televise AFC games for eight years.
1999 – After 13 years of playing NBA basketball, superstar Michael Jordan announces his second retirement from basketball.
2002 – In the AFC Divisional Playoffs the New England Patriots defeat the Oakland Raiders 16-13 in overtime at their home finale Foxboro Stadium.
2005 – American Major League Baseball and the Players Association agree in principle on a stricter steroid-testing policy. The new program will randomly test players year-round.
2005 – Milwaukee Brewers owners unanimously approve the US$223 million sale of the baseball franchise to Los Angeles investor Mark Attanasio.
2006 – Johnny Estrada agrees to a US$2 million, one-year contract to catch for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
THIS DAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY:
1922 Buck Weaver applies unsuccessfully for reinstatement in professional baseball, one of six attempts to clear his name. The Black Sox infielder remained banned for life due to allegations of throwing the 1919 World Series to the Reds, although he batted .324 and played errorless ball in the Fall Classic.
1958 On the eve of conferences to discuss the impact of major league telecasts on minor league attendance, Senator Kenneth Keating urges baseball to proceed with caution. The Republican legislator representing New York believes broadcasting big league games in out-of-town markets could doom the existence of the minor leagues, which have already formally appealed to Congress about their ‘desperate plight.’
1959 State Senator Joe Cowgill introduces a bill to build an eight-million-dollar stadium in Delaware Township, dependent on the decision of the nearby Phillies to move to southern New Jersey. The proposed legislation is the result of team owner Bob Carpenter threatening to leave Philadelphia if the City of Brotherly Love doesn’t build a new ballpark for the team.
1972 Bernice Gera, barred for five years due to gender discrimination, wins her landmark lawsuit against the National Association of Baseball Leagues (NABL). The Ernest, New York housewife will become the first female umpire in a professional game when she makes her debut in June at Geneva, N.Y., arbitrating a New York-Penn League contest.
Amazon1967 Press Photo Bernice T. Gera
1978 At the age of 90, Hall of Fame manager Joe McCarthy dies of pneumonia in a Buffalo hospital. The former Cubs (1926-30), Yankees (1931-46), and Red Sox (1948-50) skipper compiled a 1460-867 (.627) record, winning nine pennants and seven World Championships during his 24-year tenure in the dugout.
1982 The BBWAA elects Hank Aaron (Braves, Brewers) and Frank Robinson (Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Angels, Indians) to the Hall of Fame in the player’s first year of eligibility. Hammerin’ Hank, the all-time home run leader, falls just nine votes short of being the first player to be selected unanimously by the baseball writers.
1988 After hitting a meager .211 last season and not being offered a new contract by San Diego, former National League Most Valuable Player Steve Garvey decides to retire. The perennial All-Star first baseman for the Dodgers and Padres ends his 19-year career with a lifetime .294 batting average
1996 Cuban defector Livan Hernandez agrees to a $4.5 million four-year deal, which includes a record $2.5 million bonus, to pitch for the Marlins. The 20 year-old right-hander, known as ‘El Duque,’ will post a mediocre 24-24 record during his four years with the club, but will play a pivotal role in the team’s 1997 World Championship, winning both of his World Series starts.
2005 The owners unanimously approve the $223 million sale of the Brewers to Mark Attanasio, a Los Angeles investor. The purchase of the team, formerly owned by the family of commissioner Bud Selig, ensures Milwaukee will keep their team due to a 30-year lease to play in newly built Miller Park.
2005 Marvin Miller, 88, the former executive director of the Major League Players Association who helped to change the nature of the player-owner relationship forever, receives the Fuchs Award from the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. The honor, named for Judge Emil E. Fuchs, who owned the hometown Braves from 1929 through 1935, is given for “long and meritorious service to baseball.”
2005 At the owners meeting in Scottsdale, AZ, major league baseball and the players association agree in principle on a stricter drug-testing policy, including steroids but not amphetamines, that will randomly test players year-round, having first-time offenders suspended for ten days with a fourth violation resulting in a one year ban for the offending player. The new program, a response to the scrutiny of national lawmakers, addresses a problem largely ignored for years.
2005 Hoping to sway the veterans’ committee, North Dakota’s House of Representatives approves House Concurrent Resolution 3006 proclaiming native son Roger Maris (Indians, A’s, Yankees, Cardinals) should gain election to the Hall of Fame. The lawmakers’ action, which was sponsored by Rep. Andy Maragos, orders the Secretary of State to send a copy of the resolution to the 85 members of the baseball veterans’ committee, which includes the 60 living members enshrined in Cooperstown.
2006 Johnny Estrada, who filed for arbitration after being traded from the Braves for relievers Lance Cormier and Oscar Villarreal, agrees to a $2 million, one-year contract to catch for the Diamondbacks. The former All-Star backstop had limited playing time after a mid-season home plate collision with Angels’ center fielder Darin Erstad.
2006 The much-anticipated trial to determine if Angels owner Arte Moreno violated a ten year-old contract with Anaheim, in which the city claims to have lost $100 million in tourism and merchandising revenue, when the franchise’s name changed from the Anaheim Angels to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, begins in California’s Orange County. Some of the people in the crowded courtroom wear Angel-colored red T-shirts imprinted with the words, “We Are Not L.A.” to show their displeasure with the Halos’ new identity.
2009 Appearing on Larry King Live, President George W. Bush makes it very clear he doesn’t have any interest in becoming baseball’s commissioner when Bud Selig leaves the post. The former owner of the Rangers, who leaves office in seven days, tells the CNN talk show host he isn’t looking to get back into the game in any capacity.
2009 After the all-time career saves leader passes a physical, the Brewers announce their $6 million, one-year deal with free-agent reliever Trevor Hoffman. The 41 year-old right-hander, a fixture in the Padres bullpen since 1993, has compiled 554 saves in 930 relief appearances during his 16-year tenure in the major leagues.
2010 The Royals hire former Milwaukee manager Ned Yost to be a special advisor for the team. The 54 year-old is selected by Kansas City GM Dayton Moore, who met the former major league catcher when they both worked in the Braves organization.
2010 Ryan Church and the Pirates come to terms on a $1.5 million, one-year deal. The 31 year-old left-handed hitting outfielder, who batted .273 with the Mets and Braves in an injury-plagued season last year, is expected to be the Bucs’ fourth outfielder, backing up Brandon Moss, Andrew McCutchen, and Lastings Milledge.
1892 – Birth of Paul Smart; US yachtsman (Olympics-gold-1948).
1941 – Birth of Meinhard Nehmer in Germany; two man bobsledder (Olympics-gold-1976).
1947 – Birth of Peter Sundelin in Sweden; yachtsman (Olympics-gold-1968).
1948 – Birth of Kenia Jayantilal; cricket player (5 at Kingston 71 his only innings for India).
1957 – Birth of Christina Seufert in Sacramento, California, USA; diver (Olympics-bronze-1984).
1957 – Birth of Mark Francis O’Meara in Goldsboro, North Carolina, USA; PGA golfer (1984 Greater Milwaukee).
1961 – Birth of Kelly Hrudey in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; NHL goalie (Los Angeles Kings).
1961 – Birth of Kent Hull; NFL center (Buffalo Bills).
1962 – Birth of Brett Maxie; NFL safety (Carolina Panthers, Green Bay Packers).
1962 – Birth of Kevin Mitchell; US baseball outfielder (New York Mets, San Francisco Giants, Cincinnati Reds).
1963 – Birth of Dirk Tazelaar; cricket player (Queensland and Surrey left-arm pace bowler).
1963 – Birth of Felita Carr in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA; dance skater (and Komarov-1995 Pacific Champion).
1966 – Birth of Joseph Harper in Ventura, California, USA; canoe (alternate-Olympics-1996).
1966 – Birth of Marcus Turner; NFL cornerback/safety (New York Jets).
1968 – Birth of Kelly Boucher in Calgary, Alberta, Canada; basketball forward (Olympics-1996).
1969 – Birth of Andre Cason; US runner (world record 50 indoor).
1969 – Birth of Dan Footman; NFL defensive end (Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts).
1969 – Birth of John Flannery; guard/corner (Dallas Cowboys).
1969 – Birth of Katarzyna Nowak in Lodz, Poland; tennis star (1994 Futures France).
1969 – Birth of Kevin Foster; US baseball pitcher (Chicago Cubs).
1969 – Birth of Orlando Miller in Changionola, Panamá; infielder (Houston Astros).
1969 – Birth of Robert Wilson; NFL running back (Miami Dolphins).
1970 – Birth of Frank Kooiman; soccer player (Sparta).
1970 – Birth of Nachi Abe; WLAF tight end (Scotland Claymores).
1971 – Birth of Elmer Dessens in Hermosillo, Mexico; pitcher (Pittsburgh Pirates).
1972 – Birth of Byron “Bam” Morris; NFL running back (Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers).
1972 – Birth of Richard Woodley; NFL cornerback (Detroit Lions).
1973 – Birth of Nikolai Khabibulin in Sverdlovsk, Russia; NHL goalie (Winnipeg Jets).
1974 – Birth of Matt Lepsis; NFL tackle (Denver Broncos-Super Bowl XXXII).
1974 – Birth of Sergei Brylin in Moscow, Russia; NHL center (New Jersey Devils).
1975 – Birth of Angela Holbeck; Australian rower (Olympics-1996).
1976 – Birth of Gary Brent; cricket player (Zimbabwe ODI pace bowler 1996).
1976 – Birth of Vaclav Batlik in Costa Mesa, California; canoe (alternate-Olympics-1996).