COLLEGE FOOTBALL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

Clemson 44 Alabama 16

 

NBA SCOREBOARD

San Antonio 119 Detroit 107

Boston 116 Brooklyn 95

New Orleans 114 Memphis 95

Houston 125 Denver 113

Milwaukee 114 Utah 102

LA Lakers 107 Dallas 97

Portland 111 New York 101

Sacramento 111 Orlando 95

 

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

#17 Iowa 71 Wisconsin 53

 

NHL SCOREBOARD

Nashville 4 Toronto 0

St. Louis 3 Philadelphia 0

Minnesota 1 Montréal 0

Calgary 4 Chicago 3

San Jose 3 Los Angeles 1

 

ASSOCIATED PRESS MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL POLL

1 Duke

2 Michigan

3 Tennessee

4 Virginia

5 Gonzaga

6 Michigan State

7 Kansas

8 Texas Tech

9 Virginia Tech

10 Nevada

11 Auburn

12 North Carolina

13 Florida State

14 Mississippi State

15 North Carolina State

16 Ohio State

17 Houston

18 Kentucky

19 Buffalo

20 Iowa State

21 Marquette

22 Indiana

23 Oklahoma

24 St. John’s

25 TCU

 

ASSOCIATED PRESS WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL POLL

1 Notre Dame

2 Louisville

3 Connecticut

4 Baylor

5 Oregon

6 Stanford

7 Mississippi State

8 North Carolina State

9 Maryland

10 Oregon State

11 Texas

12 Syracuse

13 Tennessee

14 Gonzaga

15 Marquette

16 Kentucky

17 Iowa

18 Minnesota

19 Arizona State

20 Iowa State

21 South Carolina

22 Florida State

23 Michigan State

24 California

25 Indiana

 

INDIANA BOYS IBCA POLL

1 Warren Central

2 Carmel

3 Lawrence Central

4 Cathedral

5 Floyd Central

6 Zionsville

7 Lawrence North

8 Ben Davis

9 Center Grove

10 Brownsburg

11 Mishawaka Marian

12 Hamilton Southeastern

13 Indianapolis Attucks

14 Penn

15 Homestead

16 Pike

17 Delta

18 Valparaiso

19 Plainfield

20 Bloomington South

 

INDIANA GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL POLLS

4A

1 Hamilton Southeastern

2 Homestead

3 Penn

4 Warren Central

5 Crown Point

6 N. Central

7 Brownsburg

8 Center Grove

9 Bedford North Lawrence/Lawrence North

 

3A

1 Northwestern

2 Norwell

3 Mishawaka Marian

4 Benton Central

5 Salem

6 Danville

7 Bellmont

8 Vincennes Lincoln

9 Lawrenceburg

10 Fort Wayne Concordia

 

2A

1 Central Noble

2 Oak Hill

3 Triton Central

4 Winchester

5 North Judson

6 Hammond Noll

7 Tipton

8 Eastern Pekin

9 Lafayette Central Catholic

10 Cloverdale

 

1A

1 Michigan City Marquette

2 Vincennes Rivet

3 University

4 Northfield

5 Tecumseh

6 Loogootee

7 Jac-Cen-Del

8 Springs Valley

9 Waldron/South-Central (Union Mills)

 

HIGH SCHOOL GYMNASTICS (Richmond Release)

Richmond 96.825, Shelbyville 79.125

Freshman Kinsey Bosell wins the dual with an AA score of 32.0. Teammate Kayla Zaleski (junior) was right behind her placing second.

Freshman Lizzy Ruger places first on vault (9.525), first on bars (8.925), and first on floor (8.0).

Senior Eva Bosell finished second on bars (8.3), and tied for 3rd on vault (8.2).

other gymnast placements for this evenings competition:

Suniah Parsons- 5th on vault (8.0)
Breighlyn Chambers- 5th on beam (6.275)
Katelyn Evans- 3rd on beam (7.15)
Aubrey Uhte- 2nd on vault (8.5) and 4th on floor (7.65)

 

Indiana and Michigan State Earn Weekly Men’s Basketball Honors

Player of the Week

Nick Ward, Michigan State
F – Jr. – 6-9 – Gahanna, Ohio – Lincoln

  • Averaged 21.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks while connecting on 60.9 percent of his shots (14-of-23) and 70.0 percent from the free throw line (14-of-20) in a 2-0 week for the Spartans
  • Scored all 21 of his points in the first half in a win over Northwestern
  • Finished with 21 points, eight rebounds and three blocks, hitting 5-of-7 field goals and 11-of-14 free throws in a battled victory at No. 14 Ohio State
  • Earns the third Big Ten Player of the Week honor of his career and the first this season
  • Last Michigan State Player of the Week: Cassius Winston (Dec. 31, 2018)

Freshman of the Week

Romeo Langford, Indiana

G – 6-6 – New Albany, Ind. – New Albany

  • Averaged 22.5 points, six rebounds and 2.5 assists in a win over Illinois at home and a loss at #2/4 Michigan
  • Shot 54.2 percent from the field (13-of-24) and 81.0 percent from the free throw line (17-of-21) throughout both games
  • Against the Illini, scored a career-high 28 points to help the Hoosiers erase a 10-point first half deficit in an eventual 73-65 win
  • Versus the Wolverines, despite early foul trouble, scored 17 points, 11 in the second half, grabbed six boards and made all six free throw attempts
  • Earns his third Freshman of the Week honor
  • Last Indiana Freshman of the Week: Romeo Langford (Dec. 10, 2018)

 

Iowa and Nebraska Earn Big Ten Weekly Women’s Basketball Awards

Player of the Week

Megan Gustafson, Iowa

F/C – Sr. – Port Wing, Wis. – South Shore

  • Recorded her NCAA-leading 12th double-double of the season on Jan. 3 against Nebraska, collecting game highs of 28 points, 17 rebounds and five blocks to help No. 19/20 Iowa to the victory
  • Scored 16 of her points in the second half as the Hawkeyes held off the Huskers’ fourth-quarter rally
  • Her season-high five blocks were also one off her career best
  • Selected for Academic All-Big Ten honors in 2017-18
  • Earns her 17th career Player of the Week award, tying Penn State’s Kelly Mazzante (2001-04) for second-most in Big Ten history, and collects her seventh of the season
  • Last Iowa Player of the Week: Megan Gustafson (Dec. 24, 2018)

 

Big Ten Women’s Basketball Weekly Honor Roll

Ali Patberg, Jr., G, IND: Averaged 19.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game last week, leading the Hoosiers to wins over Penn State and No. 15/17 Michigan State

Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanah, Sr., F, NU: Tallied 14.5 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game with two double-doubles last week in the Wildcats’ victories over Illinois and No. 15/17 Michigan State

Stasha Carey, Sr., F, RU: Collected 11.7 points and 6.0 rebounds per game with a .571 field goal percentage last week in RU’s 3-0 week, highlighted by 18 points and six rebounds in a Dec. 31 win at No. 4/4 Maryland

 

Freshman of the Week

Leigha Brown, Nebraska

G/F – Auburn, Ind. – DeKalb

  • Came off the bench to average 19.5 points per game with a .526 field goal percentage and .556 three-point percentage last week as Nebraska won at Ohio State and dropped a six-point decision at No. 19/20 Iowa
  • Posted career-high scoring totals in both games last week, including 20 points on Jan. 3 at Iowa
  • Registered 19 points in the victory at OSU on Dec. 31
  • Receives her first Freshman of the Week award
  • Last Nebraska Freshman of the Week: Kate Cain (Dec. 26, 2017)

 

BIG TEN MEN’S BASKETBALL WEEKLY

Big Ten action continues Tuesday with a pair of match-ups as Maryland travels to Minnesota at 7 p.m., on BTN while #6/5 Michigan State hosts Purdue at 9 p.m., on ESPN2. There are two Big Ten games each day from Tuesday through Sunday. • Of the first 26 conference games, 58 percent (15 games) of the match-ups have been decided by 10 points or less including six games separated by two points or less including Maryland and Northwestern wins coming in the final seconds last week. • Big Ten programs are playing a 20-game conference schedule for the first time this season. Each team will play seven opponents both home and away and six teams once. The 2019 Big Ten Tournament will be held from March 13-17 at the United Center in Chicago for the 10th time in conference history, equaling the number of events also held in Indianapolis. • Non-conference play wrapped up for Big Ten schools as the conference’s 14 programs compiled a 121-30 overall record in non-conference games for a 79.1 win percentage. The Big Ten totaled 33 wins against power conference opponents. • Five different Big Ten programs are ranked in the Associated Press or USA Today Coaches polls this week. Overall, 10 Big Ten programs are ranked or receiving votes in a poll this week: Michigan (No. 2 AP/No. 4 USAT), Michigan State (No. 6/5), Ohio State (No. 16/17), Indiana (No. 22/24) and Iowa (RV/No. 25). Wisconsin, Minnesota, Purdue, Nebraska and Maryland are among others receiving votes in the one of the two polls. • For a seven-week span from Nov. 19-Dec. 31, at least six Big Ten programs were ranked in each poll. A season-best eight Big Ten teams were ranked in the Dec. 3 USA Today/Coaches Poll. Seven teams were ranked in the AP Poll in four different weeks (most recently Dec. 31), the most for the Big Ten since the 1998-99 season. • Michigan (15-0, 4-0) is one of three undefeated teams in the nation. The Wolverines are off to their best start since opening 2012-13 with 16 consecutive victories. Michigan has wins over each of the last two NCAA Champions, defeating Villanova, 73-46, in a rematch of the 2018 NCAA Championship Game and 2017 champ North Carolina, 84-67, in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Wolverines lead the Big Ten and rank third in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 55.6 points per game. • Michigan State (13-2, 4-0) has won 16 consecutive Big Ten conference games dating to last season. The Spartans earned Big Ten Player of the Week for the second consecutive week as Nick Ward (21.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 2.5 bpg) was recognized on Monday following Cassius Winston winning the honor last week. Winston leads the Big Ten and ranks fourth nationally in assists per game (7.6). Michigan State leads the nation in assists per game (21.3). • Indiana (12-3, 3-1) tops the Big Ten and stands third in the nation in team field goal percentage, making 51.9 percent from the floor. Romeo Langford earned his third Big Ten Freshman of the Week honor on Monday after averaging 22.5 ppg and 6.0 rpg last week. Langford is the leading scoring among Big Ten freshman at 20.5 ppg. • The Badgers (11-4, 3-1) are led by Ethan Happ, who is tied for third in the nation in double-doubles with 10. Happ is the only individual in the Big Ten to rank among the Top 4 in scoring (19.3 ppg/third), rebounding (10.3/second) and assists (4.7/ fourth). Happ, a four-time Big Ten Player of the Week this year, stands 14th in career rebounds in Big Ten history with 1,030. • Maryland (12-3, 3-1) is fifth in the nation in rebounding margin (+11.2) and 19th in blocks per game (5.3). Bruno Fernando is fifth in field goal percentage (67.8%), 18th nationally in rebounds per game (10.1 rpg), posting seven double-doubles. • Seven active Big Ten coaches have posted 200 or more career wins, including four with at least 400 wins. Michigan’s John Beilein (814-461) earned his 800th career coaching win against Norfolk State in the Wolverines’ 2018-19 opener. Michigan State’s Tom Izzo has 587 career victories, all with the Spartans. Nebraska’s Tim Miles is nine wins from the 400-win plateau in his career and won his 100th game with the Huskers on Nov. 14 against Seton Hall. Iowa’s Fran McCaffery and Maryland’s Mark Turgeon both surpassed 400 career wins in 2017-18. Purdue’s Matt Painter won his 300th game as Purdue’s head coach on Nov. 23 vs. Robert Morris. Rutgers’ Steve Pikiell also has more than 200 career wins.

 

TOP HEADLINES

Orange Crush: Clemson topples No. 1 ‘Bama for national title

With stunning ease – and a freshman quarterback – Clemson toppled college football’s greatest dynasty again to become the first perfect playoff champion.

Trevor Lawrence passed for 347 yards and three touchdowns and the second-ranked Tigers beat No. 1 Alabama 44-16 on Monday night in the College Football Playoff national championship game.

In the fourth consecutive playoff meeting between the Tigers and Tide, Clemson evened the series and beat `Bama for the national championship for the second time in three seasons. Clemson is the first team in the AP poll era, dating back to 1936, to finish 15-0.

“We’re gonna enjoy this one. We’ve got a nice spot to put it in our facility, right next to that other one,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. “We’ve got twins!”

Alabama coach Nick Saban and the Tide (14-1) were looking for a sixth national championship in 10 years, trying to add to an already unprecedented run in the sport. Instead, Clemson crushed Alabama, becoming the first opponent to beat the Tide by more than 14 points since Saban became coach in 2007.

Swinney’s Tigers sealed their status as a superpower, no longer just 1A to Alabama’s 1.

“We’re 15-0, we beat the best team ever, nobody’s taking that away from us,” Clemson All-America defensive tackle Christian Wilkins said.

Two seasons ago it was Deshaun Watson dethroning the Tide with a last-second touchdown pass. Clemson’s new star quarterback didn’t need the late-game heroics. The long-haired Lawrence cut though Alabama’s defense with the help of another fabulous freshman. Justyn Ross made a juggling grab, a one-handed snare and broke a 74-yard touchdown about midway through the third quarter that made it 37-16 and had Swinney high-stepping down the sidelines.

Ross, who scored two touchdowns in the semifinal rout of Notre Dame, had six catches for 153 yards against his home-state team.

Swinney takes a different approach than Saban, running a more fun-loving program than Alabama’s all-business organization. But the results have been every bit as good. And on Monday night at Levi’s Stadium, in a championship game played more than 2,000 miles away from Clemson’s South Carolina campus, the Tigers were way too much for an Alabama team that had spent the season mauling its opposition by an average of 31 points per game.

Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa threw two crucial interceptions in the first half, the first returned 44 yards for a touchdown by A.J. Terrell to put Clemson up 7-0. The Tide came in scoring 48 points per game, but were shut out over the final 44 minutes by an opportunistic Clemson defense that stiffened in key spots.

Tagovailoa, the sophomore who came off the bench to win the championship game last year for the Tide, went 22 for 34 for 295 yards and two touchdowns.

“Good is not good enough,” Tagovailoa said.

 

Clemson is No. 1 for 3rd time in AP poll, ‘Bama 2, Ohio St 3

Clemson finished No. 1 in The Associated Press poll for the third time after routing Alabama in the national championship game.

The Tigers received all 61 first-place votes. The Crimson Tide, which was trying to become just the third team to go wire-to-wire as the No. 1 team in the country, finished second. Clemson beat Alabama 44-16 in the College Football Playoff national championship Monday night. Clemson also finished No. 1 in 2016 and 1981.

Ohio State finished third. Oklahoma, which lost to Alabama in the Orange Bowl semifinal, was fourth. Notre Dame, which lost to Clemson in the Cotton Bowl semifinal, was fifth.

LSU was sixth and Southeastern Conference rivals Florida and Georgia were tied for seventh.

 

Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins declares for NFL draft

Dwayne Haskins is NFL bound after one spectacular season as Ohio State’s starting quarterback.

The third-year sophomore who rewrote the school record book had been expected to enter the draft and is a projected first-round pick.

Haskins said on Twitter on Monday he would forgo his final year of eligibility “after many thoughts and prayers with family and close friends.” He wrote that just as it was a boyhood dream to play for Ohio State, he also dreamed of being an NFL quarterback.

His sturdy, 6-foot-3, 220-pound frame, quick release and exceptional accuracy make him a top prospect. He smashed most Ohio State and Big Ten passing records, throwing for a nation-leading 50 touchdowns. He finished third in Heisman Trophy voting behind Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray and Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa.

The announcement came on a busy day for the Buckeyes. New coach Ryan Day hired a pair of new defensive coordinators – one of them from hated rival Michigan. Greg Mattison, who spent the past four years as defensive line coach under Jim Harbaugh, joined Day’s staff along with veteran NFL assistant Jeff Hafley. Greg Schiano, the defensive coordinator for the past three seasons under Urban Meyer, is out of a job.

The Rose Bowl win over Washington on Jan. 1 turned out to be the last game for both Haskins and Meyer. Haskins was named MVP after completing 25 of 37 passes for 251 yards and three touchdowns in the finale for Meyer before retirement.

Day, who worked with Haskins as quarterbacks coach, likened him to Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and former Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford. Day coached both in the NFL.

“Those are the two guys I’ve been around that are in that same category right now – their anticipation, their accuracy, the way the ball comes off their hand,” Day said. “I’d compare him to those two guys.”

 

Vince Young, Rocket Ismail highlight Hall of Fame class

Texas quarterback Vince Young and Notre Dame speedster Raghib Ismail have been selected for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, along with 11 other players and two coaches.

Young was the Heisman Trophy runner-up and led the Longhorns to the 2005 national championship with a memorable performance in the Rose Bowl against Southern California. Ismail, better known as Rocket, was an electric receiver and kick returner for the Fighting Irish and the Heisman runner-up in 1990.

The rest of the players to be enshrined at the National Football Foundation’s award banquet in December include Arkansas running back Darren McFadden, Oklahoma defensive back Rickey Dixon, John Carroll linebacker London Fletcher, Texas A&M defensive lineman Jacob Green, North Carolina State receiver Torry Holt, Arizona State quarterback Jake Plummer, USC defensive back Troy Polamalu, Wisconsin offensive tackle Joe Thomas, Florida State defensive back Terrell Buckley, Michigan State running back Lorenzo White and Mississippi linebacker Patrick Willis.

Dennis Erickson, who coached Miami to two national championships, and Joe Taylor, who won 233 games at historically black colleges, were selected for induction as coaches.

Young was the first FBS player to pass for more than 3,000 yards and run for more than 1,000, leading Texas to an undefeated season in 2005. Against USC in the Rose Bowl, Young passed for 267 yards, ran for 200 and scrambled for a game-winning touchdown on fourth down with 19 seconds left in a 41-38 victory.

Ismail was part of Notre Dame’s 1988 national championship team and had six return touchdowns in his career, including five on kickoffs. He is best remembered for taking two kicks back for touchdowns against Michigan in 1989.

McFadden was a two-time Heisman runner-up, coming in second behind Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith in 2006 and Florida quarterback Tim Tebow in 2007.

 

Presidents, commissioners put brakes on CFP expansion talk

The College Football Playoff is not close to expanding.

After a month of chatter about possible changes to the four-team playoff, the conference commissioners and university presidents who constitute the playoff brain trust met Monday at the Fairmont Hotel in downtown San Jose and quelled the speculation.

“As far as expanding the number of teams in the playoff, it’s way too soon – much too soon – to know if that is even a possibility,” Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum, the chairman of the CFP board of managers, said in a statement.

The playoff is in its fifth season. No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Clemson will play the national championship game Monday night at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.

Expansion talk perked up last month when Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany told The Athletic he was ready to begin talking about an eight-team format after his conference was left out of the playoff for a second consecutive season.

Delany was a longtime and staunch playoff opponent during the days of the Bowl Championship Series, so having him and some of the athletic directors in the Big Ten come out in favor of looking at expansion caused a stir.

American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco, buoyed by UCF’s performance the last two seasons, also has begun making a case for a bigger field.

But those statements conflicted what other conference commissioners have said about expansion. On Monday, they spoke with one voice.

“I’m not going to say everyone, (but) a consensus is very pleased with the four-team format and the success, most importantly, that we’ve had over the past five years with the system that we have,” Keenum told reporters. “There was discussion about what we can do to improve upon our current system. As a practice in my tenure on the board, we annually look at ways we can improve and make it even more successful. And that’s what we agreed to this morning. To look at how we can maybe improve upon the current success that we have.

“We’re going to look at every aspect of how we can make our playoff system even better. But we all acknowledge it’s very good as is.”

 

AP source: LaFleur accepts offer to become Packers coach

The Green Bay Packers are turning to fast-rising offensive whiz Matt LaFleur to aid Aaron Rodgers and end a two-year absence from the postseason.

LaFleur accepted Green Bay’s offer Monday to become the next head coach of the Packers, according to a person familiar with the decision.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither the Packers nor the Titans had announced the decision.

LaFleur takes over after Mike McCarthy was fired during the season following a stunning home loss to Arizona. Offensive coordinator Joe Philbin went 2-2 to close out the season as the Packers failed to reach the playoffs for the second straight year. The 6-9-1 record was the second straight under .500 for the storied franchise.

The 39-year-old LaFleur spent this past regular season as offensive coordinator for the Titans, his first season calling plays in the NFL. He was offensive coordinator with the Los Angeles Rams in 2017, leading a group that paced the NFL in scoring and was 10th in total offense. Rams coach Sean McVay called the plays on offense.

LaFleur was the quarterbacks coach in Atlanta for two seasons, including when Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was the NFL MVP in 2016. LaFleur also has coached with Washington and Houston, and was the quarterbacks coach for Notre Dame in 2014.

He will be charged with returning the Packers to the playoffs on a regular basis. McCarthy’s tenure of 12-plus seasons was by and large successful, highlighted by the 2010 Super Bowl season and nine playoff appearances.

A once potent offense that could make up for other deficiencies slowed in 2018, a tumultuous year that began with Rodgers leading a stirring comeback victory in the opener over the Bears.

 

NFL rules Cody Parkey’s missed field goal was blocked

Cody Parkey got an excuse he probably won’t use.

Parkey’s missed 43-yard field goal in the final seconds that gave the Philadelphia Eagles a 16-15 upset win over the Chicago Bears in Sunday’s wild-card playoff game was officially ruled a block by the NFL.

Video showed Philadelphia’s Treyvon Hester tipped the ball, which bounced off the upright and hit the crossbar.

Parkey was booed by Bears fans as he ran off the field after kneeling down with teammates and opponents for a postgame prayer. He accepted responsibility for the loss afterward.

“There’s really no answer to it,” Parkey said. “I thought I hit a good ball. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it. I feel terrible, 100 percent take that loss on me. It is what it is. Sun is going to shine tomorrow. Life is going to go on. Unfortunately, it’s going to sting for a while.”

Eagles coach Doug Pederson on Monday praised Hester, who began the season on the practice squad, for having “a big hand in the game” and the team posted on Twitter it was the first blocked field goal in the franchise’s postseason history.

The Eagles took a one-point lead when Nick Foles threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Golden Tate with 56 seconds remaining. Mitchell Trubisky drove the Bears into position to win it, but Parkey’s kick didn’t go through. Philadelphia plays at New Orleans next Sunday.

Hester’s block should absolve Parkey from blame, though Bears fans certainly won’t let him forget it anytime soon. Parkey’s teammates stood by him after the game and players around the country quickly expressed their support on social media.

NBA star Dwyane Wade wrote on Twitter: “Most of you have no idea how hard this is to do. Cody Parkey way to face the media like a true professional. I’m a fan!”

Eagles kicker Jake Elliott wrote: “This is a standup guy that a lot of young players can look up to. This is how you handle adversity like a pro. Cody is a heck of a kicker and will be for a long time. No reason to be taking the heat he is especially when that ball was tipped. (hash)ClassAct”

The Philadelphia Flyers poked fun at Parkey during Monday night’s game against St. Louis. Gritty, the team’s googily-eyed mascot, kicked a field goal blindfolded in the stands during a “Cody Parkey Challenge” and fans roared, breaking into the “Fly! Eagles! Fly!” fight song when the missed kick was shown on the video screen.

 

NFL wild-card round ratings up 12 percent over last year

The NFL’s strong regular season of TV ratings continued into its opening weekend of the postseason.

The league said on Monday that there was an average of 28.4 million viewers for the four wild-card round games, which is a 12 percent increase over last year.

The Philadelphia Eagles game against the Chicago Bears on NBC averaged 35.89 million, making it the network’s most-watched wild-card game on record. NBC’s previous best was the Jan. 3, 1988, game between Seattle and Houston at 35.86 million. The audience for Sunday’s game peaked at 45.1 million viewers during the final nine minutes.

Sunday’s first game between the Los Angeles Chargers and Baltimore Ravens on CBS averaged 25.4 million.

Fox’s telecast of Saturday night’s Seattle Seahawks-Dallas Cowboys game averaged 29.5 million while the weekend’s first game between the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans averaged 22.8 million on ESPN and ABC.

Digital streaming also increased 139 percent with an average minute audience of 496,000.

 

Chargers add tight end Hunter Henry to active roster

The Los Angeles Chargers have added tight end Hunter Henry to the roster, less than eight months after he suffered a knee injury during an offseason workout.

Henry, the team’s second-round pick in 2016, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee while running a route during a non-contact drill on May 22, the first day of organized team activities. He had surgery two weeks later and had been on the physically unable to perform list since the start of training camp.

Henry returned to practice on Dec. 17 and took part in team drills last week as the Chargers prepared for their AFC wild-card game at Baltimore. Monday was the deadline for the Chargers to decide whether to place him on the roster or injured reserve. Teams have a 21-day window to make a decision once a player on the PUP list starts practicing.

Over his first two seasons, Henry has 81 receptions for 1,057 yards and 12 touchdowns. Even if Henry plays in Sunday’s divisional-round game at New England, coach Anthony Lynn said Henry’s participation would be limited.

 

David Wright to become New York Mets special adviser

Former New York Mets captain David Wright is becoming a special adviser to chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon and general manager Brodie Van Wagenen.

In making the announcement Monday, the Mets said the 36-year-old third baseman would be placed on unconditional release waivers on Tuesday. His contract called for New York to pay him salaries of $15 million this year and $12 million in 2020, with $2.5 million annually deferred without interest.

Sidelined with leg, back and neck injuries, Wright did not play for the Mets from May 2016 until the final week of last season, when he announced his retirement. Wright made three plate appearances during the season’s final series against Miami.

Wilpon called Wright “an iconic Met” and said he “will be forever remembered for his contributions on the field as well as his numerous charitable endeavors.”

Wright attended last month’s winter meetings as a member of the Mets’ front office.

“We are thrilled he will remain close to the Mets family and will be a great asset in this new role,” Wilpon said.

A seven-time All-Star, Wright set Mets records for hits (1,777), doubles (390), runs (949) and RBIs (970).

“I will always be tremendously grateful for the way the fans treated me because playing in this city and for this team was a dream come true,” Wright said in a statement issued by the team. “I look forward to contributing and taking on the challenges of this new role.”

 

SPORTS EXTRA

TODAY IN SPORTS HISTORY-JANUARY 8, 2000

NASHVILLE – The play was the most familiar and folksy of backyard, old-school calls-the old across-the-field lateral on a kickoff with 16 seconds remaining-and it left the Buffalo Bills in shambles and lifted the Tennessee Titans to a dramatic, thumping, 22-16 wild-card playoff victory before 66,782 fans today at Adelphia Coliseum.

Many who saw it still cannot believe it. “What a play!” said Tennessee’s Bruce Matthews. What a game. What a show. What a victory. What a loss. “What can you say?” asked Tennessee’s Eddie George.

Plenty. Tennessee won the game with three seconds left on a 75-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by receiver Kevin Dyson. In a fourth quarter that featured four lead changes, Tennessee thought it had the game won when it kicked a 36-yard field goal with 1 minute 48 seconds left to lead by 15-13. Buffalo thought it had it won when Steve Christie made a 41- yard field goal with 16 seconds left to lead by 16-15.

But then Christie kicked off, Lorenzo Neal gathered the short boot near the Tennessee 25, ran toward his right and then handed the ball off to teammate Frank Wycheck. Wycheck, a tight end, spun and threw the ball across the field to Dyson. Dyson caught the low toss and took off down the left sideline with a convoy of blockers. Buffalo was completely fooled, its players a few steps behind Dyson, and he raced 75 yards into the end zone. The play took 13 seconds, but the big question-did Wycheck throw a forward pass to Dyson?-would be answered by instant replay.

Referee Phil Luckett studied the play at his sideline replay booth while players and coaches from both teams stood and paced on the field, waiting. The clock said :03. It seemed as if Luckett was taking three days to decide. What would he rule? “I was talking to No. 25 on their team while we waited,” said the Titans’ Anthony Dorsett of Buffalo’s Donovan Greer. “We both were saying: ‘This is crazy. What if it’s our way? What if it’s your way?’ Nobody knew what to expect.”

The Bills’ owner, Ralph Wilson, said he did. “When it went from the replay booth into the hands of the officials on the field, I knew we were through-and you can print that,” Wilson said.

Luckett finally appeared and said the play stood as called. Touchdown. Tennessee (14-3) wins. Buffalo (11-6) loses. Tennessee marches on in the playoffs. The Buffalo season is finished.

Three weeks later in the Super Bowl in Atlanta, the Titans came from 16 points down to tie the Rams in the fourth quarter. But Kurt Warner connected with Isaac Bruce for a touchdown with 1 minute 54 seconds left for a 23-16 victory.

  • 1897 – Michael Eagan wins first US national amateur handball championship.
  • 1902 – First National Bowling Championship held (Chicago, Illinois, USA).
  • 1931 – Philadelphia Quakers set NHL record of 15 straight loses.
  • 1938 – Donald Bradman scores 107 for South Australia versus Queensland (first innings).
  • 1947 – Toronto Maple Leafs’ rookie Howie Meeker scores five goals in a game.
  • 1953 – Cleveland Indians bar night games with Cleveland Browns (who refuse to share TV receipts).
  • 1955 – Furman sets NCAA basketball single-game scoring record with 154 points.
  • 1955 – Georgia Tech ends Kentucky’s 130-game home basketball win streak.
  • 1955 – Louise Sugg wins LPGA Los Angeles Golf Open.
  • 1962 – Golfer Jack Nicklaus, age 21, makes his first professional appearance, comes in 50th.
  • 1972 – NCAA announces freshman can play on teams starting in fall.
  • 1973 – Greg Chappell’s best Test bowling, 5-61 versus Pakistan at Sydney Cricket Ground.
  • 1980 – NCAA decides to sponsor women’s championships in five sports.
  • 1980 – New York Islanders’ Glenn Resch’s 20th shut-out opponent-Vancouver Canucks 3-0.
  • 1981 – India all out 63 in one-day international versus Australia.
  • 1981 – Cincinnati Reds become last team to sign a free agent (Larry Biitner).
  • 1984 – NHL Washington Capitals’ Bengt Gustafsson scores five goals.
  • 1984 – NCAA announces that basketball tournament will have 64 teams.
  • 1986 – Willie McCovey is 16th elected to Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year.
  • 1988 – 9th largest NBA crowd 38,873-Chicago Bulls at Detroit Pistons.
  • 1988 – US female Figure Skating championship won by Debi Thomas.
  • 1991 – Gaylord Perry, Ferguson Jenkins, and Rod Carew elected to Baseball Hall of Fame.
  • 1991 – Tamás Darnyi swims world record 400m medley (4:12.36).
  • 1993 – Chicago Bulls’ player Michael Jordan scores his 20,000th career point.
  • 1994 – Rintje Ritsma skates world record 1500m (1:51.60).
  • 1994 – US male Figure Skating championship won by Scott Davis.
  • 1995 – Mike Schmidt is elected to Baseball’s Hall of Fame.
  • 1996 – For first time in 25 years no one is elected to Baseball Hall of Fame.
  • 1998 – New York Giants’ general manager George Young resigns to accept NFL position.
  • 2002 – Juan Gonzalez agrees to a $24 million, two-year deal with the Texas Rangers.
  • 2010 – The Togo national football team is involved in an attack in Angola, and as a result withdraws from the Africa Cup of Nations.

 

SPORTS BIRTHDAYS

  • 1909 – Birth of Bruce Mitchell; cricket player (South African bat, their top run-scorer (3471)).
  • 1913 – Birth of Horace Smith; cricket player (New Zealand, only Test wicket off his first ball (Paynter)).
  • 1923 – Birth of Johnny Wardle; cricket player (Yorkshire and England left-arm bowler of 1950s).
  • 1930 – Birth of Doreen Wilber; American archer (Olympics-gold-1972).
  • 1934 – Birth of Jacques Anquetil in France; Tour de France bicycle racer (5-time winner).
  • 1946 – Birth of Elaine Cheris in Dotham, Alabama, USA; fencer-epee (Olympics-1996).
  • 1949 – Birth of Lawrence Rowe; cricket player (prolific West Indies batsman, 302 versus England 1974).
  • 1952 – Birth of Norm Jarvis in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada; golfer (1984 Chilliwack).
  • 1953 – Birth of Bruce Sutter; pitcher (Chicago Cubs, Saint Louis Cardinals, Atlanta Braves).
  • 1959 – Birth of Michael Harwood in Sydney, New South Wales; Australasia golfer.
  • 1961 – Birth of Shoaib Mohammad; cricket player (son of Hanif Patient and prolific batsman).
  • 1963 – Birth of Hiromi Kobayashi in Fukushima, Japan; LPGA golfer (1993 JAL Big Apple).
  • 1964 – Birth of Virgil Hill in Missouri, USA; middleweight boxer (Olympics-silver-1984).
  • 1965 – Birth of Champaka Ramanayake; cricket player (Sri Lankan opening bowler).
  • 1965 – Birth of Eric Wohlberg in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada; cyclist (Olympics-1996).
  • 1966 – Birth of Darryl Hall; Canadian Football League linebacker (Calgary Stampeders).
  • 1967 – Birth of Hollis Conway in Chicago, Illinois, USA; high jumper (Olympics-silver/bronze-1988, 1992).
  • 1967 – Birth of Kent Jones in Portales, New Mexico, USA; golfer (NM State Amateur-1990-91).
  • 1967 – Birth of Roger Rowland in Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Nike golfer (1990 Macon Open-second).
  • 1967 – Birth of Willie Anderson; American NBA guard (New York Knicks, Olympics-bronze-1988).
  • 1968 – Birth of Alexander Alexeev; NHL defenseman (Belarus, Olympics-1998).
  • 1968 – Birth of Brian Johnson in Oakland, California, USA; catcher (San Diego Padres).
  • 1968 – Birth of Mark Duane Croghan in Akron, Ohio, USA; 3k steeplechase (Olympics-5th-1996).
  • 1968 – Birth of Paul Carey; US baseball infielder (Baltimore Orioles).
  • 1969 – Birth of Brian Boehringer in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA; pitcher (New York Yankees).
  • 1970 – Birth of Jon Klemm in Calgary, Alberta, Canada; NHL defenseman (Colorado Avalanche).
  • 1971 – Birth of Billy Joe Hobert; NFL quarterback (Oakland Raiders).
  • 1971 – Birth of Branislav Janos; hockey forward (Team Slovakia 1998).
  • 1971 – Birth of Darren Langdon in Deer Lake, Newfoundland, Canada; NHL left wing (New York Rangers).
  • 1971 – Birth of Jason Giambi in West Covina, California, USA; infielder (Oakland Athletics).
  • 1971 – Birth of Roosevelt Potts; NFL running back (Indianapolis Colts).
  • 1971 – Birth of Stephane Barin; hockey forward (Team France 1998).
  • 1972 – Birth of Brandie Burton in San Bernardino, California, USA; LPGA golfer (1993 du Maurier Ltd).
  • 1972 – Birth of Devlin Murphy in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA; canoe (alternate-Olympics-1996).
  • 1974 – Birth of Arjan Blaauw; Dutch soccer player (FC Groningen).
  • 1974 – Birth of Brian Roberson; wide receiver (New York Giants).
  • 1975 – Birth of Vitali Yachmenev in Chelyabinsk, Russia; NHL right wing (Los Angeles Kings).
  • 1976 – Birth of Brad Snyder in Ontario, Canada; shot putter (Olympics-1996).