HIGH SCHOOL BOYS BASKETBALL – NCC/AREA

Lafayette Jeff 70 Lafayette Central Catholic 47

Northeastern 60 Centerville 25

HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS BASKETBALL – NCC/AREA

Cowan 42 Hagerstown 30

McCutcheon 53 Clinton Prairie 37

Jay County 50 Tri 31

Union County 41 Batesville 27

Blackford 58 New Castle 49

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL – TOP 25

Temple at #12 Villanova postponed

#3 Iowa 99 Western Illinois 58

#7 Kansas 89 Washburn 54

#16 Virginia Tech 64 VMI 57

St. John’s at #17 Texas Tech canceled

#25 Arizona State 70 California 62

ELSEWHERE

Eastern Illinois 78 Chicago State 56

Northern Kentucky 74 Tennessee Tech 65

Bowling Green 88 Purdue Northwest 67

Citadel 78 North Carolina A&T 70

Liberty 78 St. Francis PA 62

Connecticut 61 USC 58

Marshall 80 Wright State 64

Louisiana Tech 78 Louisiana Monroe 62

Drake 87 Omaha 66

Eastern Washington at Northern Arizona postponed

Oklahoma 105 Texas San Antonio 66

TCU 74 Northwestern State 68

Syracuse 75 Niagara 45

UCLA 78 Seattle 52

Southern Utah 64 Montana 63

Sacramento 77 Idaho 55

Florida 90 Boston College 70

St. Mary’s 82 Texas Southern 70

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL – TOP 25

#8 North Carolina State 54  #1 South Carolina 46

#11 Kentucky 60 Kansas State 49

#13 Indiana 71 Samford 26

#14 Maryland 112 Towson 78

#16 Arkansas 103 Louisiana Monroe 50

#17 Oregon State 89 San Francisco 80

#24 Michigan 76 Notre Dame 66

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Louisiana Tech 42 N. Texas 31

Friday, Dec. 4

No. 25 Louisiana at Appalachian State | 8:30 p.m. | ESPN

Boise State at UNLV — CANCELED

Southern Miss at UTEP — CANCELED

Saturday, Dec. 5

No. 4 Ohio State at Michigan State | 12 p.m. | ABC

No. 5 Texas A&M at Auburn | 12 p.m. | ESPN

Texas at Kansas State | 12 p.m. | FOX

No. 15 Oklahoma State at TCU | 12 p.m. | ESPN2

Nebraska at Purdue | 12 p.m. | Big Ten Network

Western Carolina at No. 17 North Carolina | 12 p.m. | ACC Network

Penn State at Rutgers | 12 p.m. | FS1

Arkansas at Missouri | 12 p.m. | SEC Network

Kansas at Texas Tech | 12 p.m. | FS2

Rice at No. 21 Marshall | 12 p.m. | ESPN+

Memphis at Tulane | 12 p.m. | ESPN+

Toledo at Northern Illinois | 12 p.m. | ESPN3

Bowling Green at Akron | 2 p.m. | ESPN3

Eastern Michigan at Western Michigan | 2 p.m. | ESPN+

Troy at South Alabama | 2 p.m. | ESPN3

Ball State at Central Michigan | 2 p.m. | ESPNU

Syracuse at No. 2 Notre Dame | 2:30 p.m. | NBC

UL Monroe at Arkansas State | 3 p.m. | ESPN3

No. 6 Florida at Tennessee | 3:30 p.m. | CBS

West Virginia at No. 9 Iowa State | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN

No. 12 Indiana at No. 16 Wisconsin | 3:30 p.m. | ABC

No. 19 Iowa at Illinois | 3:30 p.m. | FS1

Boston College at Virginia | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN3

Buffalo at Ohio | 3:30 p.m. | CBSSN

No. 24 Tulsa at Navy | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN2

Stanford at No. 22 Washington | 4 p.m. | FOX

Vanderbilt at No. 8 Georgia | 4 p.m. | SEC Network

Georgia Tech at NC State | 4 p.m. | ACC Network

No. 13 BYU at No. 18 Coastal Carolina | 5:30 p.m. | ESPNU

San Jose State at Hawai’i | 6 p.m. |  Spectrum Sports

Florida Atlantic at Georgia Southern | 6 p.m. | ESPN+

No. 23 Oregon at Cal | 7 p.m. | ESPN

Colorado State at San Diego State | 7 p.m. | CBSSN

Colorado at Arizona | 7 p.m. | FS1

No. 3 Clemson at Virginia Tech | 7:30 p.m. | ABC

South Carolina at Kentucky | 7:30 p.m. | SEC Network

No. 1 Alabama at LSU | 8 p.m. | CBS

No. 10 Miami at Duke | 8 p.m. | ACC Network

Baylor at No. 11 Oklahoma | 8 p.m. | FOX

UCLA at Arizona State | 10:30 p.m. | FS1

Oregon State at Utah | 10:30 p.m. | ESPN

Wyoming at New Mexico | 10:30 p.m. | CBSSN

Fresno State at Nevada | 10:30 p.m. | FS1

No. 14 Northwestern at Minnesota — CANCELED

FIU at Charlotte — CANCELED

Florida State at Duke — POSTPONED

Houston at SMU | 9 p.m. | ESPNU — CANCELED

Kent State at Miami (Ohio) — CANCELED

Maryland at Michigan — CANCELED

Sunday, Dec. 6

Western Kentucky at Charlotte | 12 p.m. | ESPN3

Washington State at No. 20 USC | 7:30 p.m. | FS1

UAB at Middle Tennessee State — CANCELED

PURDUE MEN’S BASKETBALL PREVIEW VS. VALPO

Purdue Closes Out Brief Homestand Friday vs. Valparaiso

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue wraps a brief two-game homestand with a Friday night battle against Valparaiso at Mackey Arena. Tip time is scheduled for 7:03 p.m. ET, on the Big Ten Network with Wayne Randazzo and Ben Brust on the call remotely.

Purdue is coming off a dominating 93-50 win over Oakland on Tuesday afternoon after the Boilermakers shot 55.0 percent from the field, made 17 3-pointers, outrebounded Oakland by 19 rebounds and had 27 assists on 33 made field goals. Purdue is aiming for its sixth straight non-conference home win, spanning over a full calendar year.

THE KEY TALKING POINTS

1) Purdue has started at least 2-1 in 14 of the 16 seasons that Matt Painter has been in charge of the Boilermakers (2012-13, 2019-20).

2) Purdue ranks eighth nationally in 3-point percentage (.493) and 14th in 3-pointers per game (11.7). According to KenPom.com, Purdue is 12th nationally in offensive efficiency (110.3).

3) The Boilermakers have dominant rebounders on the both ends of the floor. Trevion Williams ranks second nationally in defensive rebounding percentage (.464), while Zach Edey is fourth nationally in offensive rebounding percentage (.271).

4) Purdue has won 11 straight games against Valparaiso, tied for the longest active winning streak against a single opponent. Valpo’s last win over Purdue came on Dec. 22, 1965.

5) Purdue has had nine players make at least one 3-pointer this year. The school record for most players to make a 3-pointer in a season is 11 set three times (2013-14, 2009-10, 1997-98).

6) Opponents have made more free throws (35) than Purdue has attempted (33). Purdue has had 11 free throw attempts in each of the first three games of the season, making 19-of-22 (.864) from the stripe over the last two games.

7) Purdue is outscoring its opponents 35-13 in second-chance points and 83-50 off the bench.

8) Zach Edey (16.3 PPG) and Brandon Newman (15.3 PPG) rank first and second among Big Ten freshmen in scoring average. Jaden Ivey is 6th.

9) Purdue is 43-1 since the start of the 2017-18 season when shooting at least 48 percent from the field (Virginia; 2019 Elite Eight).

10) Purdue is looking for its 300th non-conference win all-time at Mackey Arena (299-38; .887 winning percentage).

11) In its two wins this year, Purdue is shooting 56.6 percent from the field and 52.0 percent from long distance.

12) Purdue has won 102 straight games when scoring at least 90 points, spanning over 33 years (last loss: Nov. 24, 1987, to Iowa State).

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

No spectators will be allowed at the Rose Bowl for the College Football Playoff semifinal on Jan. 1 because of COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the state, county and city of Pasadena.

The Tournament of Roses said Thursday that it requested special permission to allow for a limited number of spectators or a select number of guests of players and coaches at the 90,888-seat stadium but was denied.

Los Angeles County is under a stay-home order that took effect this week and runs through mid-December. Pasadena has its own public health department and can set its own rules, but has mostly followed the county’s lead during the coronavirus pandemic.

“While we are disappointed that the Rose Bowl Game will not be played in front of spectators, we are pleased that we are still able to hold the game this year, continuing the 100-year plus tradition of The Granddaddy of Them All,” said David Eads, executive director and CEO of the Tournament of Roses. “We continue to work closely with health department officials and the Rose Bowl Stadium to provide the safest possible environment for our game participants.”

The Rose Bowl is hosting one of the playoff semifinals; the other is at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. The CFP selection committee will set the pairings for the semifinals on Dec. 20. The national championship game is set for Jan. 11 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.

The Fiesta Bowl also announced Thursday that no fans would be allowed at the Jan. 2 game in Glendale, Arizona, though the immediate families of players will be able to attend.

The first Rose Bowl was played on Jan. 1, 1902, beginning the tradition of postseason college football games. In 1942, the game was moved to North Carolina because of fears of an attack by Japan on the U.S. West Coast after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The Rose Parade, traditionally held the morning of the game, is off, too. It had previously been canceled only during World War II.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Central Florida quarterback McKenzie Milton has decided to enter the transfer portal and attempt a comeback elsewhere from a serious right leg injury two years ago, the school said Thursday.

Milton’s injury caused nerve damage and required reconstructive knee surgery. He was hurt against South Florida in November 2018 and hasn’t played since.

With sophomore Dillon Gabriel playing well for the Knights (5-3), Milton decided he needed to transfer to have a chance to start again.

Milton threw for 8,683 yards and 72 scores in three years with the Knights, and led them to a 13-0 record in 2017.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Word came to Coastal Carolina on Wednesday that the most significant home game in the history of the program was in serious jeopardy.

The 14th-ranked Chanticleers were scheduled to face No. 25 Liberty on Saturday in an unexpected Top-25 matchup that persuaded ESPN to send “College GameDay” to Conway, South Carolina, for the first time.

But COVID-19 had crept into the Liberty program. Coastal Carolina needed a Plan B – as in BYU. Coach Kalani Sitake’s eighth-ranked Cougars have been primed to pounce on short notice if the opportunity arose to bolster their chances to reach a major bowl.

“Last week I said: ‘Kalani, it’s kind of like when there’s a married couple about ready to have a baby and you have your bag packed by the door, that’s how it’s going to be maybe,'” BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe said. “You might have to pick up your bag and go.”

With ESPN and the Sun Belt Conference’s assistance, Coastal Carolina and BYU finalized a deal Thursday morning to play a game about 56 hours later.

The upstart Chanticleers (9-0) and barnstorming Cougars (9-0) meet Saturday in maybe the most intriguing game of the college football weekend, one that could position the winner for a multimillion-dollar postseason payday.

Coastal Carolina athletic director Matt Hogue said Liberty officials reached out Wednesday to say the Flames might not be able to play. Holmoe said a friend reached out the same day to tell him to keep an eye on the Liberty situation.

“Once you’re in that situation this year, you know we’re all kind of playing by a different book,” Hogue said. “We obviously have a lot invested in this weekend so we wanted to start exploring what opportunities might be out there.”

Kurt Dargis, director of college football for ESPN, said he got a call from Sun Belt Conference officials Wednesday afternoon informing him of the potential problem with what the network had turned into a showcase game.

ESPN owns the television rights for both the Sun Belt and BYU, and has been helping the independent Cougars rebuild a schedule that fell apart when Power Five conferences decided to play mostly league games during the pandemic.

Dargis called Holmoe and asked if BYU was interested. Holmoe said he needed to run it by Sitake, but it only took the AD about 45 minutes to get back with the news: If Liberty could not play, BYU would.

“It was really a whirlwind and went very quickly,” Dargis said.

Even though the Cougars did not have a game scheduled for Saturday, they had practiced Monday and Tuesday as if they might. No set opponent, only possibilities.

“I’m grateful to our coaches,” Holmoe said. “They’ve watched a lot of film this week.”

BYU’s next scheduled game is Dec. 12 at San Diego State.

Holmoe has been trying to add games for weeks. Washington called the week before Thanksgiving, but the Huskies couldn’t guarantee they wouldn’t have to pull out if another Pac-12 team became available. BYU wanted to see where it stood in the College Football Playoff rankings before it committed to a game that ultimately would not have happened anyway.

On Wednesday, BYU quickly transitioned to Coastal Carolina prep in practice and coaches pulled long nights at the office with no assurance the game would be played. Early Thursday, even before getting the final word, Holmoe said he sent BYU’s equipment truck on the 2,200-mile trip from Provo, near the foot of Utah’s Wasatch mountains, to Coastal’s campus about 10 miles from the Atlantic Ocean.

At Coastal Carolina, where the Chants are having their best season since moving to the highest level of Division I football in 2016, the transition from prepping for Liberty to BYU went into overdrive. Coach Jamey Chadwell said they’ll have to keep it simple.

“When it’s this short of a timeframe, you got to go back to things that you hope you can do well and see if it will hold up against a really quality opponent that’s coming in here,” Chadwell said.

Kickoff for Saturday’s game was pushed back 3 1/2 hours to 5:30 p.m. EST because, well, every little bit helps.

What’s at stake?

BYU is currently 13th in the College Football Playoff rankings. That is not only way too far back to be considered a playoff contender, it also means star quarterback Zach Wilson and the Cougars need to climb at least a couple spots to have a chance to earn a bid to a New York’s Six bowl game.

An appearance in the Fiesta or Cotton bowls would be worth $4 million to BYU. If the Cougars can’t crack the top tier of postseason games, it would likely mean no highly ranked opponent and a fraction of the payout.

Coastal Carolina is No. 18 in the CFP, even farther out of range for a major bowl bid – though the Chants have two paths. They could work their way into the top 10 or so and pick up an at-large bid. They could also earn a spot as the highest ranked conference champion from outside the Power Five leagues, though they would probably need some help in the form of a loss or two by No. 7 Cincinnati from the American Athletic Conference.

Coastal has already clinched a spot in the Sun Belt title game on Dec. 19 against No. 20 Louisiana-Lafayette.

For college sports fans, this game probably feels like a Bracket Buster, those made-for-TV matchups of mid-major basketball teams looking to improve their March Madness resumes.

That kind of scheduling flexibility is unheard of in college football, where nonconference games are usually set years in advance. In the spring of 2019, Clemson and Oklahoma announced a home-and-home series for 2035 and ’36.

But there has been nothing typical about 2020.

“It’s exciting. And it’s fun,” BYU offensive lineman James Empey said. “Everybody’s just kind of been riding the wave and trying to prepare the most they can.”

NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL GAME NOTES VS. SYRACUSE

BY THE NUMBERS:  .906 QB Ian Book is 29-3 (.906) as a starter, making him one of only two FBS quarterbacks to boast a .900 or above win rate (min. 20 wins), even as Book ranks 12th overall in total QB career starts (32). His 29 wins are tied for third among all FBS quarterbacks. 2 The Irish were ranked No. 2 in the AP Poll beginning November 8, their highest ranking since 2012. Through the Brian Kelly era (11 seasons), the Irish have been ranked in the AP Top 10 at least one week in each of the last seven seasons, and eight of the last nine. 3 Of the five longest regular-season winning streaks in college football history, Notre Dame has single-handedly ended three of those streaks: Oklahoma’s 45 (1953-57), Miami’s 36 (1985-88) and Clemson’s 36 (2017-20). 4 Since the start of 2018, Notre Dame is 32-3 (.914). That rate ranks fourth among all teams who have made an appearance in the College Football Playoff since its inception in 2014. Among those teams, Notre Dame is one of just four teams that have totaled three or fewer losses (Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State) since the start of 2018. 9 Notre Dame’s victory over No. 1 Clemson was Notre Dame’s ninth win over an AP No. 1 opponent, which ties for second-most all-time (Miami). Only Alabama has more (10). 11 The Irish have won 11-straight ACC home games. 14-0 QB Ian Book is currently 14-0 as a starter in Notre Dame Stadium. A win vs. Syracuse would give him a perfect record at home. He is also 18-0 as a starter against ACC teams. 15 The Irish boast a current win streak of 15 games, the longest among all FBS teams. 16.7 The defense has yielded just 16.7 points/game through the first nine games of the season. That figure ranks tied for third among all Power 5 teams. 17 In the win vs. No. 1 Clemson, K/P Jonathan Doerer matched the Notre Dame record for kicking points in a game (17), which ties for the most kicking points in a single game by any FBS player this season. He made four field goals, matching his previous career high in the 2019 Camping World Bowl vs. Iowa State. 23 Notre Dame has won 23-consecutive games at home, setting the modern-era record for longest home win streak. Only one Power 5 program has a longer streak. 32 Notre Dame has held 32-of-35 opponents during Clark Lea’s tenure as defensive coordinator to 30 points or less. That includes ranked opponents LSU, Michigan, Stanford, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, Clemson, Georgia, Virginia, Navy and North Carolina. 34.2 Of the Top 10 rushers in the ACC, which includes Notre Dame’s Kyren Williams, the Irish have faced five: Louisville’s Javian Hawkins, North Carolina’s Javonte Williams and Michael Carter, Clemson’s Travis Etienne and Duke’s Mataeo Durant. Notre Dame’s defense has limited those five Top-10 running backs to an average of 34.2 yards (171 yards total on 57 carries) and just one total touchdown among the five. None of those backs accumulated more than 57 rushing yards. Hawkins, who leads the ACC with 102.8 rushing yards per game, was held to just 51 at Notre Dame. By comparison, against those four teams, Notre Dame’s Kyren Williams has averaged 125.8 yards (503 yards total on 90 carries), with a total of eight touchdowns. 38:10 The Irish have only trailed for 38:10 minutes out of a total 540:00 minutes of regulation. 101 Dick Corbett Head Football Coach Brian Kelly notched 101 ˆ wins in his Notre Dame career with the victory over North Carolina. His 101 wins pass Lou Holtz to claim sole possession of second all-time in program history in career wins at Notre Dame. 120 Notre Dame has outscored opponents 120-28 in the second quarter this season.

The Irish rank third in the ACC in total offense (464.0 yards per game) and second in rushing offense (229.7). • Tthe Irish maintained their lead in the ACC in third-down percentage this season (52.5 percent). • Notre Dame continues to lead the ACC in average time of possession (34:11 per game), besting the next closest average by more than two minutes per game. The Irish have won the time of possession battle in eight of nine games this season, and the Irish have controlled the ball for at least 36 minutes in three games. • Notre Dame is one of five Power 5 teams to post three performance of 36:15 or more possession time this season. No other Power 5 teams have produced more than three games this season with at least 36:15 in possession time (Wisconsin, Louisville, Charlotte, Liberty, Penn State and Indiana have also marked three such performances, while Coastal Carolina has turned in four). • Through UNC, the Irish have only trailed for 38:10 total minutes this season out of a total 540:00 minutes. • The Irish scored 45 or more points in two-consecutive games for the first time since 1996 (vs. Pitt 60-6, vs. Rutgers 62-0). Entering BC, Boston College’s scoring defense ranked fourth in the ACC, allowing 24.6 points per game. Notre Dame surpassed that mark in the first half alone with 31 points in the first 30 minutes. • Notre Dame has outscored opponents 120-28 in the second quarter this season. • Boston College also entered the game allowing 373.0 yards of offense per game. Through the first half alone, the Irish racked up 327 yards, and ended the day with 561 yards. • Scoring on the first official play of the game’s opening drive vs. Clemson, the Irish posted a one-play, 75-yard drive, marking the fewest plays and shortest amount of time in an Irish scoring drive this season. Taking just 0:33 seconds, it is the fastest Notre Dame scoring drive since the 2019 Camping World Bowl, when Tony Jones Jr. broke off an 84-yard rush for a one-play, 00:15 second drive.

SYRACUSE NOTES:

ORANGE SET FOR SEASON FINALE ON SATURDAY • Syracuse will play its season finale on Saturday when the team faces Notre Dame to conclude the 2020 campaign. • The game will air on NBC with Syracuse alum Mike Tirico ’88 (PxP), Tony Dungy (analyst) and Kathryn Tappen (reporter) on the call. DECEMBER FOOTBALL • Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic altering the ACC’s football schedule, Syracuse will tee it up for a rare December regular season game. It’s the latest in the year ‘Cuse has played a regular season game since facing Notre Dame at home on Dec. 6, 2003. • Including bowl games, Syracuse enters Saturday’s game riding a three-game win streak in the month of December, most recently winning the 2018 Camping World Bowl. In total, Syracuse is 17-7 in the month of December. HACKETT TO THE HOUSE • TE Aaron Hackett is tied for the Syracuse record in career touchdown receptions by a tight end, one shy of becoming the program’s all-time record holder. • Hackett enters Saturday’s contest tied with Nick Provo (9) for the most TD catches by an Orange tight end. • Six of his scores were tallied during the 2019 season, which was the second-most TD catches by a tight end in the ACC, trailing only Louisville’s Marshon Ford (7).

SERIES HISTORY • Saturday’s game will be the 10th all-time meeting between Syracuse and Notre Dame, but first as conference foes after the Fighting Irish joined the ACC for the 2020 season. • The series dates back to 1914, but six of the previous nine meetings have come since 2003. • Four of those prior meetings have been neutral site games, twice playing at Yankee Stadium and twice at MetLife Stadium. • Notre Dame leads the all-time series 6-3, including three-straight neutral site victories, but Syracuse won its most recent trip to South Bend in 2008. • Last time SU played at Notre Dame stadium (2008), with less than one minute to play QB Cameron Dantley hit WR Donte Davis with an 11- yard TD pass as the Orange won 24-23. LAST TIME VS. NOTRE DAME • It was a battle of top-12 teams when No. 12 Syracuse played No. 3 Notre Dame at Yankee Stadium in 2018. • QB Eric Dungey was injured early in the first quarter, and Notre Dame jumped out to a 20-0 lead that it wouldn’t relinquish, winning 36-3. • PK Andre Szmyt registered Syracuse’s lone points on a field goal. WR Taj Harris led the way through the air with five receptions for 78 yards. • Notre Dame went on to face Clemson in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Cotton Bowl, while the Orange capped a 10-win season at the Camping World Bowl.

NOTRE DAME

The Fighting Irish are coached by Brian Kelly, who is in his 11th season at the helm in South Bend. Kelly has a 92-37 record at Notre Dame and led the Irish to the College Football Playoff in the 2018 season. • Last week, Notre Dame beat North Carolina in Chapel Hill to remain undefeated on the season. The win was the Irish’s 15th-straight victory dating back to last season. • Against the Tar Heels, graduate student quarterback Ian Book went for 279 yards through the air and 48 yards on the ground. The California native ranks 16th in the country with 2,097 passing yards on the year. • Sophomore running back Kyren Williams leads Notre Dame with 901 rushing yards on the campaign, good for second in the ACC and seventh in the nation. His 12 rushing touchdowns rank eighth in the country. • Graduate wide receiver Javon McKinley finished with a career-best 135 yards against UNC last week. McKinley leads the Fighting Irish with 30 catches and 549 receiving yards this year.

BALL STATE FOOTBALL NOTES VS. CENTRAL MICHIGAN

CARDS NOTES:

Ball State and Central Michigan are both 3-1, one game behind MAC West Division leading Western Michigan with two games left. A win would keep the Cardinals in control of their own destiny for a division title and a spot in the MAC Championship game (BSU hosts WMU next week in the regular season finale). CMU’s only loss came to WMU, 52-44.  Nine of Ball State’s past 12 games, including all four this season, have been decided by a touchdown or less. BSU is 5-4 in those nine games, including single-score wins in each of the past three weeks. The Cardinals held off Toledo, 27-24, last week.  Ball State limited a Toledo team averaging 221 yards on the ground to just 42 yards on 28 carries last week. The Cardinals racked up 12 tackles for loss, their most in game since the GMAC Bowl against Tulsa after the 2008 season (15) and their most against a MAC opponent since Nov. 24, 2006 against Kent State (13). Ten different BSU players were involved in a TFL against Toledo, led by senior OLB Christian Albright with 3.0. Albright also recovered the game-clinching fumble forced by grad OLB Anthony Ekpe.  BSU now faces a Central Michigan team that ranks 12th nationally in rushing offense (239.2 ypg) behind RBs Kobe Lewis (97.8) and Lew Nichols III (84.3). On defense, the Chippewas feature the league’s top tackles-for-loss duo in DL Mohamed Diallo (9) and LB Troy Hairston II (8).  The FBS active leader with 235 career catches, senior WR Justin Hall is 10 receptions away from breaking Ball State’s career record. He is currently third on the list behind KeVonn Mabon (244 from 2012-16) and Dante Ridgeway (238 from 2002-04).   Senior RB Caleb Huntley, who missed last week’s game to injury, has the FBS’ longest active streak of 100-yard rushing games with a school-record seven straight. He also has a seven-game touchdown streak (13 TDs in that stretch). Fourth nationally with 145.7 yards per game, Huntley needs 98 yards to become the seventh back in BSU history to reach 3,000.  With Huntley and No. 2 RB Will Jones both sidelined last week, redshirt sophomore RB Tye Evans had a career-high 101 yards on 25 carries, extending BSU’s team streak to eight consecutive games with a 100-yard rusher.

SERIES NOTES: Five of the past six games between these teams have been decided by three points or fewer, including the past two matchups — a 24-23 BSU victory in Mount Pleasant in 2018 and last year’s 45-44 CMU win in Muncie.  Ball State has won five of its past six visits to Mount Pleasant. The past two of those victories came via field goals in the final minute — a 55-yarder by Scott Secor with 17 seconds left in 2014 for a 32-29 win and a 36-yarder from Morgan Hagee with 47 seconds left in 2018 for a 24-23 win.  Last year’s matchup, a 45-44 Central Michigan victory, was the second-highest scoring game in series history with 89 total points. The only higher scoring game between the teams was the 2007 matchup, a 58-38 CMU win, with 96 total points.  Senior ILB Jaylin Thomas had a career-high 14 tackles in last year’s game against Central Michigan and is averaging 9.7 tackles over three career contests against the Chippewas. Senior OLB Christian Albright has registered at least half a sack in all three of his career appearances against CMU.

MIAMI REDHAWKS FOOTBALL GAME NOTES VS. KENT STATE

MIAMI NOTES:

REDHAWKS WELCOME KENT STATE TO TOWN Fresh off its best performance of the season, the Miami University football team welcomes Kent State to town for a Saturday afternoon tilt. The contest is slated to begin at noon. TELEVISION The matchup with Kent State will be carried live on CBS Sports Network. Dave Ryan will handle play-by-play duties, while Corey Chavous will serve as the color analyst

FIRST AND TEN • Miami football ranks first all-time in the Mid-American Conference in wins (700), conference wins (301), MAC Championships (16) and bowl wins (7). The RedHawks also captured the 2019 MAC Championship with a 26-21 win over Central Michigan. • Although Miami was 4-26 in Coach Martin’s first 30 Mid-American Conference games, the RedHawks are 25-9 in the last 34 games versus schools from the MAC, the best record in the conference during that span. • The RedHawks clinched the MAC East Division Championship with a 6-2 record in 2019. This was the third time in four years the RedHawks finished the regular season with a 6-2 conference record. • Martin, in his seventh year leading the RedHawks, has had many of the same coordinators in the previous six seasons. Eric Koehler and George Barnett, both in their seventh years with Miami, handle the offense and Spence Nowinsky (third year) and John Hauser (seventh year) manage the defense. • Since 2014, Miami Athletics has added nearly $40 million in facilities for the football program. The Dauch Indoor Sports Center was opened in 2015 and the Athletic Performance Center was added in early 2017. Both facilities are located in the north end zone of Yager Stadium. • Miami was 5-0 last season in one-score games and has won eight-straight one-score games dating back to the 2018 campaign. This includes the season opening 38-31 win over Ball State. • Miami had a streak of 23 straight games with a lead snapped versus Buffalo. Prior to Buffalo, the last time Miami trailed for an entire game was Sept. 15, 2018, at Minnesota. • Miami competed in the 2020 LendingTree Bowl, its third bowl eligible season in the last four years. From 2006-15, Miami was bowl eligible just twice. • Miami’s defense has forced a turnover in 29 of its last 41 games and is 19- 10 in contests when it forces a turnover. The RedHawks’ defense has also recorded a sack in 31 of its last 41 games.

LAST MEETING:

The Miami University football team turned in a stellar defensive performance in a 23-16 win over Kent State, forcing a pair of turnovers and blocking a fourth-quarter field goal as the RedHawks outlasted the Golden Flashes in a rainy MAC battle at Dix Stadium. The Golden Flashes entered the contest averaging 42.0 points and 536.0 yards per game in three Mid-American Conference contests. The Miami defense held KSU to just 336 yards on 84 plays, including limiting KSU quarterback Dustin Crum to 23- of-44 passing for 209 yards. Crum came into the game averaging 243.3 passing yards per game. The RedHawks registered 13 tackles for loss against the Flashes, including three sacks of Crum. Miami’s rushing attack served as a nice sidekick to the defensive effort, rushing for a season-high 289 yards. Freshman Tyre Shelton led all rushers with 148 yards on 14 carries and junior Jaylon Bester added 67 yards, including a game-clinching 47- yard touchdown run with 3:19 left in the contest.

QUICK HITS – MIAMI DOMINATES AKRON, 38-7 • Akron came into last Saturday’s contest averaging 352.3 total yards and 186.3 yards on the ground. The Miami defense held the Zips to 145 total yards and four yards rushing on 28 attempts. • The defense controlled the line of scrimmage throughout, recording 7.0 sacks and 10.0 tackles for loss. The pressure helped lead to Miami’s lone interception as well (a 62-yard pick-6 for Emmanuel Rugamba). • Kameron Butler led the way with 2.5 sacks and was joined by Ben Kimpler (1.5), Cecil Singleton (1.0), Ryan McWood (1.0) and Matthew Salopek (1.0). • Brett Gabbert arguably had his best game of his young career, completing 18-of-27 passes for 308 yards (first career 300-yard game) and four touchdowns. • Jack Sorenson recorded eight catches for a career-high 177 yards and four touchdowns in the win. • Mac Hippenhammer, playing in his first career game, had five receptions for 77 yards. CONNECT FOUR In the 38-7 win, Brett Gabbert threw four touchdowns, all to Jack Sorenson, matching a school record for receiving touchdowns in a game. The last time a player had four receiving touchdowns in a game was Sam Martin’s performance back in 2014 versus UMass. Gabbert was also named a Manning Award “Star of the Week” following his performance. 700 CLUB The win over the Zips was the 700th win all-time in Miami football history. The 700 wins is tops in the MAC and ranks 28th among Division I teams in NCAA history. BUTLER NAMED MAC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK Kameron Butler finished the contest with Akron with five tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks as the Miami defense rattled Akron’s quarterback all afternoon long. Butler was part of a defensive unit that recorded 10 tackles for loss and 7.0 sacks as the RedHawks held Akron to just four rushing yards on 28 attempts. ABOUT KENT STATE Kent State is 3-1 on the season, but is coming off of a 70-41 loss at Buffalo last Saturday. Quarterback Dustin Crum leads a high-powered offensive attack, an offense that is averaging 49.8 points and 606.5 yards per contest. SERIES VS. KENT STATE Miami is 50-17 all-time versus the Golden Flashes, which includes a 31-6 win in 2018 and a 23-16 victory last year. Miami has won each of its last three home contests versus the Flashes, with its last home loss coming back in 2012. HOME COOKING Miami finished a perfect 5-0 at home during the 2019 season and has won nine straight at Yager Stadium. Miami’s last home loss was on Sept. 29, 2018. In all, it has been 798 (when the KSU game takes place) days since Miami’s last loss at home.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

The College Football Playoff Selection Committee will likely face its toughest task to date this year, and SEC commissioner Greg Sankey does not approve of what he views as rival conferences trying to manipulate the system.

The ACC announced on Tuesday that it is eliminating the final regular season game for both Notre Dame and Clemson in order to “preserve the integrity” of the ACC Championship Game, which is scheduled for Dec. 19. Many, including Sankey, believe the ACC canceled the games to give Notre Dame and Clemson, which are currently ranked No. 2 and No. 3 in the country, a better shot at getting into the College Football Playoff.

“I was surprised to see the announcement [Tuesday],” Sankey told Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports on Wednesday. “It begs one question: If their two most highly ranked teams were, for instance, [ranked] five and six in the CFP Rankings, would this decision have been made?”

Notre Dame will face Wake Forest on Saturday in what is now its final game of the regular season. Clemson closes out the year against Virginia Tech. If both teams win and 9-1 Clemson ends up beating 10-0 Notre Dame in the ACC Championship Game, both teams would have one loss that came against a top-five opponent. They could make a strong case that they both deserve to be in the CFP if things play out that way.

The SEC could do something similar to increase the chances of No. 1 Alabama and No. 6 Florida both making the playoff, but Sankey says that is not being considered.

“We committed to playing a 10-game schedule, which is certainly unique to see some other decisions this week, where they indicated one direction and they changed at the last minute,” Sankey said.

Sankey was also asked if he feels conferences that played fewer games than the SEC should be viewed differently, to which he replied, “Decisions have outcomes, right?”

The CFP could end up being a complete mess. Ohio State is considered one of the strongest teams in the country, and the Buckeyes may end up being ineligible for the Big Ten championship. In a year that has truly been unlike any other, people are sure to be more divided than ever about which teams deserve a spot in the playoff.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

LSU head coach Ed Orgeron announced Thursday that TJ Finley will start at quarterback for the Tigers’ battle with No. 1-ranked Alabama on Saturday, according to Wilson Alexander of The Advocate.

Freshman quarterbacks Finley and Max Johnson each saw time under center in LSU’s 20-7 loss to Texas A&M last weekend. Finley started the game and went 9-for-25 for 118 yards and two interceptions. Johnson came on in relief and completed 14 of 22 passes for 113 yards and a touchdown.

Orgeron suggested Johnson would also see time in the rivalry game, reports Glen West of Sports Illustrated.

LSU has struggled this season, particularly since starting quarterback Myles Brennan went down with an injury in November. Since then, Finley has completed 58% of his passes for four touchdowns and five interceptions, while Johnson has completed 63% of his throws with two touchdowns.

The Tigers are 3-4 this season, a far cry from their national-title winning season in 2019. The Crimson Tide roll on at 8-0.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Nick Saban will be back on the sidelines Saturday.

Alabama’s football coach confirmed Thursday he cleared the SEC’s protocols and will be with his team for its matchup with rival LSU on Saturday.

“Yeah, I’ll be there. I’m good,” Saban said on his weekly radio show, according to Michael Casagrande of AL.com.

“I think my time is up, so I’m ready to get back into the swing of things even though I’ve been there for every possible thing. It’s just been a little different, but now I can get back in person and do all the things we need to do without an issue or a problem.”

Saban missed last week’s Iron Bowl against Auburn after testing positive for COVID-19. Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian called the game in his absence.

Saban also tested positive ahead of Alabama’s game against Georgia in October, but it turned out to be a false positive and he was allowed to coach against the Bulldogs.

This time around, Saban experienced mild symptoms. He isolated for 10 days and has since cleared conference protocols.

“I’m clear tomorrow to travel with the team,” he said.

NFL

Cris Collinsworth apologized on Wednesday for a comment he made about female Steelers fans during NBC’s broadcast of the Steelers-Ravens game.

Collinsworth was raving during the game about how passionate Steelers fans are. To illustrate his point, he said on air that he was particularly impressed by the in-depth questions he received from female fans in the city.

“Everybody’s a fan,” Collinsworth said of the people of Pittsburgh. “In particular the ladies I met. They had really specific questions about the game. I’m like, ‘wow.’ You’re just blown away by how strong the fans are here in this town.”

Some took offense to his comment and some labeled it as sexist.

The NBC analyst intended to compliment the fans but ended up apologizing for what he later termed an insult.

“Today on our broadcast I made reference to a couple of women that I met in Pittsburgh who so impressed me with their football knowledge that I wanted to tell their story on the air. I know the way I phrased it insulted many. I’m so sorry,” Collinsworth wrote in a note posted on Twitter.

“What I intended as a compliment to the fans of Pittsburgh, became an insult. I’m sick about insulting any fan, but especially female fans and journalists. I know firsthand how much harder they have to work than any of us in this industry. I was wrong and I deeply apologize.”

Collinsworth, 61, was an NFL wide receiver from 1981-1988 and made three Pro Bowls. He has been an NFL broadcaster since 1990 and served on “Sunday Night Football” since 2009. He has apologized for other errors made during broadcasts before, but he is also recognized for his sharp observations and analysis.

NFL

Cincinnati Bengals rookie quarterback Joe Burrow had knee surgery and is expected to make a full recovery, the team said Thursday.

The Bengals said Burrow’s procedure on Wednesday “went as planned and he is expected to make a complete recovery.”

Burrow’s season ended Nov. 22 when he was hit by Washington pass-rushers and his leg was bent severely. The structural damage in his left knee required surgery, and he has extensive rehabilitation ahead.

Coach Zac Taylor has said he expects Burrow to be ready to play again at some point next season.

Burrow led LSU to the 2019 national championship and won the Heisman Trophy. He was the top overall draft pick by Cincinnati.

He threw for 2,668 yards and 13 TDs and five interceptions in his rookie year.

In the first game with former practice squad QB Brandon Allen replacing Burrow, the Bengals lost to the Giants 19-17 last week. They face the Dolphins on Sunday.

NFL

Josh Gordon was conditionally reinstated by the NFL on Thursday and can begin the process of joining the Seattle Seahawks’ roster as early as Friday.

Commissioner Roger Goodell reinstated Gordon after nearly a one-year suspension following his latest off-field transgression for violations of the league’s substance abuse policies. Gordon was suspended in December 2019 for violating the league’s drug policy. He tested positive for performance enhancers and “substances of abuse,” the league said in a statement at the time.

It was the eighth time overall Gordon had been suspended by either his team or the NFL, including six times since 2013, mostly for violating the league’s policies on banned substances.

But his time in Seattle last season was mostly positive and the Seahawks signed Gordon in September knowing there would be no guarantee that Gordon would be reinstated during the 2020 season.

The league said Gordon can begin COVID-19 testing on Friday and may begin attending team and individual meetings next Wednesday should his tests come back negative. He can also begin individual workouts and strength and conditioning.

Gordon cannot practice with the team until Dec. 21 following Seattle’s Week 15 game at Washington. Gordon would be eligible to play in Seattle’s final two regular-season games.

Gordon posted a video to Instagram shortly after his reinstatement was announced showing some of the work he’s been doing on his own in the Seattle area while waiting for his chance to return.

The former All-Pro signed with Seattle midway through last season after he was released by New England. He made a strong impression in the Seahawks’ locker room even with limited production on the field. Gordon had seven catches for 139 yards over five games. But he found an advocate in quarterback Russell Wilson, who bonded with Gordon during his short time on the roster.

Wilson said Thursday he heard about Gordon’s reinstatement as he was coming off the field following Seattle’s walkthrough. Wilson said he’s checked in with Gordon periodically during the wait to see if and when he’d return.

Wilson said one of the more impressive aspects of Gordon’s arrival last year was how quickly he acclimated to a new team.

“He did a tremendous job of really bonding with the guys, fitting in the right way. He was about the approach, he was studying his playbook, he was ready to roll,” Wilson said. “He make great plays for us too at the same time, but he fit in the right way.”

A 2012 second-round draft pick by the Cleveland Browns, Gordon was also suspended for the first two games of the 2013 season for a substance-abuse policy violation, yet still caught 87 passes for nine touchdowns and a league-leading 1,646 yards and was voted to the All-Pro team.

NFL

Myles Garrett passed the practice test.

Cleveland’s defensive star was welcomed back with open arms by the Browns this week after he missed two games with COVID-19.

Garrett practiced Wednesday for the first time since he became infected with the virus, and defensive coordinator Joe Woods even hinted that he might have bent the intensive coronavirus protocols by hugging his best player.

“Maybe,” Woods said Thursday with a laugh. “It’s definitely good to have him back. It was good to see his face out on the field and he looks good.”

Garrett had been sidelined since testing positive for the virus on Nov. 20. He sat out wins over Philadelphia and Jacksonville, but the Browns (8-3) are excited to have back one of the NFL’s top defenders, who was leading the league in sacks when he got sick.

Before Thursday’s workout, Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said Garrett was able to make it through Wednesday’s session as the team practiced in advance of this week’s matchup against the Tennessee Titans (8-3).

Barring any setbacks, Stefanski said Garrett will play Sunday.

“He was out there yesterday and looked good to me,” Stefanski said. “We are going to make sure that we are smart about how we get him back out there. Checking in with him yesterday, he looked really good and then see how he looks today and just keep an open dialogue with him.”

The Browns coaching and training staffs will closely monitor Garrett over the next two days. By Saturday, they’ll have a better idea of how much he’ll be able to play.

“He feels good,” Woods said. “I just think it’s the process of bringing him back the right way, so we’ll monitor his reps each day in practice and see where he’s at. But we do know that he’ll be available to play. We’ll just have to see how many reps we can give him.”

The Browns will need Garrett as close to full strength as he can be as they take on Titans running back Derrick Henry, the league’s reigning rushing champion who has 1,257 yards this season.

Fullback Andy Janovich also returned this week after missing two games with coronavirus.

“Andy looked great,” Stefanski said. “He’s excited to get out here.”

NFL

It was a coach-player union that made the New York Jets excited about what could be.

Adam Gase was the hotshot offensive guru, and Sam Darnold the young gun quarterback and face of the franchise.

Instead, the Jets can only lament what should have been.

“It’s on me to get him to play better than what he’s played,” Gase said Thursday. “And so far, I haven’t done a good enough job.”

The fallout from that will likely be significant this offseason. With the Jets sitting at 0-11, Gase is almost certainly gone after the regular-season finale. And, with Darnold struggling to progress in his third season, New York will likely move on from him, too.

The Jets currently hold the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft in April and it’s looking increasingly more likely that Clemson star QB Trevor Lawrence will be there for them to make a franchise-changing pick. That would mean Darnold will be out the door at some point, too, leaving behind him a trail of unfulfilled potential.

Some of that is on him, of course, for not being able to raise his game and overcome the constant adversity around him. But Gase recognizes he is also at fault for what has transpired – or, hasn’t – the past two years.

“I came here to help him, help him develop his career,” Gase said, “and we haven’t been able to do that.”

Darnold has thrown just three touchdown passes this season and none in his past four games, spanning 19 quarters. He has also been intercepted eight times, making decisions many would argue a third-year QB shouldn’t make. And his 64.0 quarterback rating ranks last in the NFL among players who have started four or more games.

“First of all, I take full responsibility for the way I’ve played,” Darnold said. “I haven’t played well enough. … For me personally, I’ve just got to play better and put the team in the right positions to be able to win games and make it close at the end.”

The 23-year-old Darnold has also had two separate two-game stints on the sideline because of shoulder injuries. Add that to him missing three games last year because of mononucleosis and three games as a rookie with a foot injury, and the quarterback has only now played the equivalent of just over two NFL seasons at 33 games.

“Yeah, I mean, it’s frustrating for both of us,” Gase said. “I think he’s trying to do everything he could possibly do. It’s hard to control the injury situation this year and last year. Also, like, mono? I mean, if you’re in Vegas, that’s not one you’re probably betting on. No offseason, short training camp (this summer) – would’ve loved to have had a lot of that time to work with him on a lot of different things.

“And then, things didn’t go quite the way we wanted them to go early in the year, and it just kind of snowballed on us.”

It wasn’t until last Sunday that Darnold played with all three of his starting wide receivers – Jamison Crowder, Breshad Perriman and Denzel Mims – on the field at the same time because of various injuries.

Still, it didn’t change the result. Darnold looked rusty in the 20-3 loss to Miami and made some of the same mistakes that have overshadowed the sometimes – but not often enough – brilliant plays that have flashed.

“That’s why every game’s so important to just keep trying to help him grow, keep trying to help him develop and see things the way he needs to see them and play the way he’s played in certain games,” Gase said. “At the same time, that’s what’s frustrating sometimes about the quarterback position is you need 10 other guys to do their jobs as well.”

Still, Gase has been impressed by Darnold’s work ethic – “it’s phenomenal” – and the youngster’s ability to tune out the outside chatter. The talk that he’s not good enough, and the hype surrounding Lawrence and the potential of him becoming the next Jets quarterback.

“We’ve had conversations about just focusing on the moment and not worrying about two weeks from now, five weeks from now, four months from now,” Gase said. “Control what you can control, which is preparing for the game on Sunday and performing well. I think that’s probably easier said than done. At 23, he can say, `Yeah, I’ve gotcha.’

“It’s probably way harder than what he portrays.”

Added offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains: “This kid is the most mentally tough kid I’ve ever been around and there’s going to be a really bright future for Sam Darnold.”

To his credit, Darnold never flinches or appears flustered when speaking to reporters. He has shown time and again that he has the mental ability to handle the spotlight of playing in New York – and for a franchise that hasn’t seen a Super Bowl since the glory days of Joe Namath in 1969.

That’s 51 years and counting.

Many fans hoped – and believed – Darnold could be the quarterback to lead them back atop the NFL. Instead, he and Gase are stuck looking up at the rest of the league from rock bottom.

NOTES: LB Blake Cashman was placed on IR for the second time this season, both for hamstring issues. … RB Frank Gore sat out for his usual rest day. … DL John Franklin-Myers and LG Alex Lewis also didn’t practice for non-injury reasons. Lewis didn’t play Sunday and Gase, who has not gone into details, was uncertain if he’d play this week. Franklin-Myers was a new addition to the injury report. … OL Pat Elflein (shoulder), RT George Fant (knee/ankle) and WR Breshad Perriman (shoulder) were limited. Fant was an upgrade after sitting out Wednesday. … C Connor McGovern (elbow) was a full participant after being limited.

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Four Score In Double Figures As No. 13 Indiana Defeats Samford

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Behind 13 points each from junior guard Grace Berger and sophomore forward Mackenzie Holmes, No. 13 Indiana improved to 2-0 after a 71-26 win over Samford.

KEY MOMENTS

In a first half of runs for the Hoosiers, Samford (0-3) would score first in the game on the opening possession. However, IU (2-0) would respond with a 14-0 run to extend its lead to 15-4 at the end of the first 10 minutes of play.

It was the same story in the second quarter, as the Bulldogs would go without a field goal in the final 8:09 of the quarter and took an 18-0 run into the locker room at halftime, leading 33-7.

Senior guard Jaelynn Penn and Berger led the way in the first half, scoring eight points each, as Samford was limited to a combined 10.3 percent from the field.

The Hoosiers would cruise in the final two quarters of play, combining to outscore the Bulldogs 38-19 en route to the victory.

NOTABLE

The 26 points scored by Samford was the fewest by an Indiana opponent in the Teri Moren era. The previous low was 32 vs. Oakland in the 2018 season.

The 26 points is the fifth fewest points by an opponent in program history. It is the 17th time in program history the Hoosiers have held an opponent under 30 points. It is the fewest points allowed since a 62-25 win over Ball State during the 1973-74 season.

Indiana held Samford to 11-of-53 shooting (20.8 percent) for the game.

After Samford scored the opening basket at the 9:55 mark of the first quarter, Indiana went on a 14-0 scoring run to go up 14-2. Indiana held Samford scoreless for a period of 7:26 in the quarter.

After Samford scored the first three points of the second quarter, the Hoosiers used a 18-0 scoring run to go into halftime with a 33-7 lead. The Hoosiers held the Bulldogs to 3-of-29 (10.3 percent) from the field in the first half. Samford did not score the final 8:22 of the second quarter.

The Hoosiers had four players score in double figures, with Mackenzie Holmes and Grace Berger each recording 13 points, Ali Patberg with 12 and Aleksa Gulbe with 11. Gulbe added nine rebounds. Berger added six rebounds and six assists.

Jaelynn Penn scored eight points and grabbed eight rebounds.

The Hoosiers have outscored their first two opponents of the season by over 40 points (49 vs. EKU, 45 vs. Samford).

Indiana has shot over 50 percent in each of their two games and are 69-of-131 (52.7 percent) from the field this season.

Indiana forced 26 Samford turnovers and converted that to 27 points off turnovers.

The Hoosiers held a 27-8 advantage in points off turnovers and 38-18 edge on points in the paint.

NHL

The NHLPA is looking into potential countermeasures if the NHL opts to scrap the 2020-21 campaign, reports TSN’s Rick Westhead.

NHLPA lawyers are mulling two courses of action should the league cancel the season, according to Westhead. One would be filing an unfair labor practice complaint with the U.S. National Labor Relations Board, and the other would be a grievance through an arbitrator.

The players’ union would be seeking to ensure its members get paid if no games are played.

Talks between the NHL and the NHLPA reportedly stalled recently after the league made a pair of proposals asking the players to defer at least twice the amount of salary they agreed to in July’s updated CBA.

Some players felt angry and betrayed in response to the NHL’s latest offers, and agent Andy Scott said they shouldn’t have to renegotiate an agreement both sides consented to four months ago.

On Wednesday, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the league wasn’t trying to do that and expressed disapproval with the offers’ portrayal.

The CBA’s terms could ultimately benefit either side. Article 5 states the league can “determine when, where, how and under what circumstances it wishes to operate (or) suspend” a season, as Westhead notes. However, Article 7 says, “Neither the league nor any club shall engage in a lockout during the term of this agreement.”

The NHL has long targeted Jan. 1 as the 2020-21 start date, but that’s looking less likely now because teams would need several weeks for training camps and it’s doubtful that players would want to open those over the holidays.

BASEBALL

The Staten Island Yankees, a former minor-league affiliate of the New York Yankees, are suing the Bronx Bombers and Major League Baseball after shutting down operations, the club announced Thursday.

The team is seeking a legal remedy for false promises after New York announced in early November that Staten Island is no longer part of its affiliation structure following a 21-year partnership.

The lawsuit is for $20 million, a source told Ken Davidoff of the New York Post.

Staten Island said it would be challenging to field a proper team without using minor leaguers from the Yankees’ system. Business operations, such as payroll for players, coaches, and staff, would also be hampered significantly without New York’s connections.

“The best thing we can do for the community is to step aside and let others try to save baseball in Staten Island,” the former Single-A affiliate said. “While we have invested considerable resources into the development of the North Shore, and hoped to remain a piece of that renewal, we have not been offered support to create a sustainable business entity.”

The team said a portion of any settlement or jury verdict will go to local charities, and all ticket purchases will be fully refunded.