INDIANA SRN BROADCAST SCHEDULE

DateTimeProgramSport
TUE DEC 77:20PCOVENANT CHRISTIAN VS. HERITAGE CHRISTIANBasketball Girls
TUE DEC 77:20PWASHINGTON VS. CHATARDBasketball Boys
THUR DEC 95:50PSHORTRIDGE @ TRADERS PTBasketball Girls
THUR DEC 97:20PGREENWOOD CHRISTIAN VS. COVENANT CHRISTIANBasketball Boys
FRI DEC 105:50PCHATARD VS. HERITAGE CHRISTIANBasketball Girls
FRI DEC 107:20PSOUTH PUTNAM VS. GREENCASTLEBasketball Boys
SAT DEC 111:20PGREENWOOD CHRISTIAN VS. COVENANT CHRISTIANBasketball Girls
SAT DEC 117:20PEVANSVILLE BOSSE VS. CHATARDBasketball Boys
SAT DEC 117:20PBREBEUF VS. COVENANT CHRISTIANBasketball Boys
SAT DEC 117:20PINDPLS LUTHERAN VS. GREENWOOD CHRISTIANBasketball Boys
SAT DEC 117:20PMUNCIE CENTRAL VS. GUERIN CATHOLICBasketball Boys
SAT DEC 117:20PSOUTHMONT VS. GREENCASTLEBasketball Boys
TUE DEC 146:50PINTERNATIONAL SCHOOL VS. CENTRAL CHRISTIANBasketball Boys
TUE DEC 147:20PPENDLETON HEIGHTS VS. GUERIN CATHOLICBasketball Boys

INDIANA BOYS BASKETBALL MONDAY

ALL TIMES EASTERN
BLOOMINGTON LIGHTHOUSEATEMINENCE7:30 PM
BOWMAN ACADEMYATLOOMIS-LONGWOOD (ILL.)8:00 PM
MADISON CHRISTIANATSHAWE MEMORIAL7:30 PM

INDIANA BOYS BASKETBALL TUESDAY

ALL TIMES EASTERN
BARR-REEVEATBLOOMINGTON SOUTH7:30 PM
BENTON CENTRALATFRONTIER7:30 PM
BOONVILLEATEVANSVILLE HARRISON7:30 PM
CALUMET CHRISTIANATWASHINGTON TWP.8:00 PM
CHARLESTOWNATHENRYVILLE7:30 PM
CHRISTEL HOUSE MANUALATBETHESDA CHRISTIAN7:30 PM
CHURUBUSCOATCOLUMBIA CITY7:30 PM
COMMUNITY BAPTISTATTRINITY GREENLAWN6:30 PM
CROWN POINTATEAST CHICAGO CENTRAL8:00 PM
CULVERATNORTH MIAMI7:30 PM
DECATUR CENTRALATBEECH GROVE7:30 PM
DUGGER UNIONATRED HILL (ILL.)6:30 PM
EAST CENTRALATCINCINNATI LASALLE (OHIO)7:30 PM
EASTBROOKATSOUTHERN WELLS7:30 PM
ELKHART CHRISTIANATPRAIRIE HEIGHTS7:30 PM
EVANSVILLE NORTHATEVANSVILLE REITZ8:00 PM
FAITH CHRISTIANATSHERIDAN7:30 PM
FORT WAYNE CANTERBURYATEASTSIDE7:30 PM
FORT WAYNE DWENGERATNORWELL7:45 PM
FORT WAYNE HAWKSATSMITH ACADEMY7:30 PM
GARRETTATFREMONT7:30 PM
GARY WESTATLAKE CENTRAL8:00 PM
GOSHENATELKHART7:30 PM
GREENWOOD CHRISTIANATVICTORY COLLEGE PREP7:30 PM
HAMMOND CENTRALATHIGHLAND8:00 PM
HAMMOND MORTONATMERRILLVILLE8:00 PM
HERITAGEATLAKEWOOD PARK7:30 PM
HOBARTATPORTAGE8:00 PM
INDIANA DEAFATINDIANA MATH & SCIENCE6:00 PM
INDIANAPOLIS HERRONATPURDUE POLY ENGLEWOOD7:30 PM
INDIANAPOLIS WASHINGTONATINDIANAPOLIS CHATARD7:30 PM
LAKELANDATFAIRFIELD7:30 PM
LAKELAND CHRISTIANATTRITON7:30 PM
LAVILLEATARGOS7:30 PM
LEOATFORT WAYNE LUERS7:30 PM
LOWELLATHEBRON8:00 PM
MEDORAATCROTHERSVILLE7:30 PM
MISHAWAKAATMISHAWAKA MARIAN7:30 PM
MISSISSINAWA VALLEY (OHIO)ATUNION CITY7:30 PM
NILES (MICH.)ATSOUTH BEND CLAY7:00 PM
NORTH KNOXATSOUTH KNOX7:30 PM
NORTH POSEYATEVANSVILLE DAY8:00 PM
OLDENBURG ACADEMYATMADISON CHRISTIAN7:30 PM
OWENSBORO CATHOLIC (KY.)ATEVANSVILLE BOSSE8:00 PM
PENNATNEW PRAIRIE7:30 PM
SETON CATHOLICATRANDOLPH SOUTHERN7:30 PM
SOUTH SPENCERATEVANSVILLE MATER DEI8:00 PM
TERRE HAUTE SOUTHATROBINSON (ILL.)6:30 PM
TIPTONATELWOOD7:30 PM
UNION COUNTYATMORRISTOWNPPD.
VINCENNES LINCOLNATEVANSVILLE CENTRAL8:00 PM
WHEELERATLACROSSE8:00 PM
WINAMACATPLYMOUTH7:45 PM
WOODLANATANGOLA7:30 PM

INDIANA GIRLS BASKETBALL MONDAY

ALL TIMES EASTERN
BARR-REEVEATWOOD MEMORIAL8:00 PM
BLOOMINGTON LIGHTHOUSEATCOLUMBUS CHRISTIAN7:30 PM
BLUE RIVERATTRI7:30 PM
CALUMETATBOWMAN ACADEMY8:00 PM
CLINTON CHRISTIANATSOUTH BEND CAREER6:00 PM
HANCOCK COUNTY (KY.)ATCANNELTON7:00 PM
ILLIANA CHRISTIANATRIVER FOREST8:00 PM
INDIANA MATH & SCIENCEATEDINBURGH6:30 PM
INDIANAPOLIS RIVERSIDEATINDIANAPOLIS WASHINGTON7:30 PM
INDIANAPOLIS TINDLEYATINDIANA DEAF6:00 PM
MARQUETTE CATHOLICATHAMMOND CENTRAL8:00 PM
NORTH KNOXATWHITE RIVER VALLEY7:30 PM
SOUTH SPENCERATPIKE CENTRAL8:00 PM
UNIVERSITYATBETHESDA CHRISTIAN7:30 PM
WEST WASHINGTONATPERRY CENTRAL8:00 PM

INDIANA GIRLS BASKETBALL TUESDAY

ALL TIMES EASTERN
ANGOLAATFORT WAYNE SNIDER7:30 PM
BATESVILLEATLAWRENCEBURG7:30 PM
BENTON CENTRALATRENSSELAER CENTRAL8:00 PM
BETHANY CHRISTIANATLAKELAND CHRISTIAN7:30 PM
BLOOMINGTON NORTHATOWEN VALLEY7:30 PM
BREMENATMISHAWAKA7:30 PM
BROWN COUNTYATEASTERN GREENE7:30 PM
BROWNSTOWN CENTRALATSALEM7:30 PM
CASCADEATINDIANAPOLIS RITTER7:30 PM
CENTER GROVEATPLAINFIELD7:30 PM
CENTRAL CHRISTIANATCHRISTEL HOUSE MANUAL6:00 PM
CHRISTIAN ACADEMYATCLARKSVILLE7:30 PM
CLAY CITYATSOUTH PUTNAM7:30 PM
CLINTON CENTRALATATTICA7:30 PM
CLINTON PRAIRIEATTRI-CENTRAL7:30 PM
COLUMBUS EASTATMARTINSVILLE7:30 PM
COMMUNITY BAPTISTATTRINITY GREENLAWN5:00 PM
CONNERSVILLEATNEW CASTLE7:30 PM
COVENANT CHRISTIANATHERITAGE CHRISTIAN7:30 PM
COVINGTONATBISMARCK-HENNING (ILL.)8:00 PM
DALEVILLEATLAPEL7:30 PM
DELTAATMUNCIE BURRIS6:00 PM
EAST CHICAGO CENTRALATMUNSTER8:00 PM
EASTERN (GREENTOWN)ATALEXANDRIA7:30 PM
EMINENCEATCLOVERDALE6:00 PM
EVANSVILLE CENTRALATEVANSVILLE NORTH8:00 PM
EVANSVILLE MATER DEIATMOUNT VERNON (POSEY)8:00 PM
FORT WAYNE CONCORDIAATDEKALB7:30 PM
FORT WAYNE NORTHATNEW HAVEN7:30 PM
FOUNTAIN CENTRALATSEEGER7:30 PM
FRANKFORTATFAITH CHRISTIAN7:30 PM
FRANKLIN COUNTYATRICHMOND7:30 PM
GIBSON SOUTHERNATEVANSVILLE MEMORIAL7:30 PM
GREENCASTLEATDANVILLE7:30 PM
GUERIN CATHOLICATINDIANAPOLIS CATHEDRAL7:30 PM
HAMILTON HEIGHTSATNORTHWESTERN6:00 PM
HAMILTON SOUTHEASTERNATPENDLETON HEIGHTS7:30 PM
HANOVER CENTRALATKANKAKEE VALLEY8:00 PM
HARRISON (WEST LAFAYETTE)ATLOGANSPORT7:30 PM
HIGHLANDATHAMMOND CENTRAL8:00 PM
INDIANAPOLIS HERRONATHORIZON CHRISTIAN6:00 PM
INDIANAPOLIS SCECINAATPURDUE POLY ENGLEWOOD7:30 PM
JAC-CEN-DELATWALDRON7:30 PM
JIMTOWNATELKHART CHRISTIAN5:00 PM
KNIGHTSTOWNATSOUTHWESTERN (SHELBYVILLE)7:30 PM
KOUTSATWESTVILLE8:00 PM
LAKE CENTRALATANDREAN8:00 PM
LAKEWOOD PARKATCENTRAL NOBLE7:30 PM
LEWIS CASSATROSSVILLE7:30 PM
LOOGOOTEEATWASHINGTON7:30 PM
MACONAQUAHATOAK HILL7:30 PM
MANCHESTERATHUNTINGTON NORTH7:30 PM
MARIONATFORT WAYNE WAYNE7:30 PM
MCCUTCHEONATLAFAYETTE CENTRAL CATHOLIC7:30 PM
MICHIGAN CITYATKNOXPPD.
MISHAWAKA MARIANATCULVER ACADEMY7:30 PM
MITCHELLATEASTERN (PEKIN)7:30 PM
MONROE CENTRALATSHENANDOAH7:30 PM
MOORESVILLEATAVON7:30 PM
MOUNT VERNON (FORTVILLE)ATANDERSON7:30 PM
MUNCIE CENTRALATJAY COUNTY7:30 PM
NATIONAL TRAIL (OHIO)ATNORTHEASTERN7:30 PM
NEW WASHINGTONATMADISON7:30 PM
NORTH CENTRAL (FARMERSBURG)ATNORTH DAVIESS7:30 PM
NORTH DECATURATEASTERN HANCOCK7:30 PM
NORTH VERMILLIONATPARKE HERITAGE7:30 PM
NORTHEAST DUBOISATTELL CITY8:00 PM
NORTHRIDGEATWAWASEE7:45 PM
NORTHVIEWATSOUTH VERMILLION7:30 PM
OLDENBURG ACADEMYATRISING SUN7:30 PM
PAOLIATLANESVILLE7:30 PM
PHALEN ACADEMYATINDIANAPOLIS TECH7:30 PM
PRAIRIE HEIGHTSATFORT WAYNE CANTERBURY7:30 PM
SCOTTSBURGATCHARLESTOWN7:30 PM
SEYMOURATJENNINGS COUNTY7:30 PM
SHELBYVILLEATNEW PALESTINE7:30 PM
SOUTH BEND CLAYATCONCORD7:45 PM
SOUTH BEND ST. JOSEPHATNORTHWOOD7:30 PM
SOUTH BEND WASHINGTONATHOMESTEAD7:30 PM
SOUTH CENTRAL (ELIZABETH)ATPROVIDENCE7:30 PM
SOUTHRIDGEATNORTH POSEY8:00 PM
SOUTHWESTERN (HANOVER)ATMILAN7:30 PM
SPRINGS VALLEYATORLEANS7:30 PM
TAYLORATNORTHFIELD7:30 PM
TECUMSEHATFOREST PARK8:00 PM
TRADERS POINT CHRISTIANATINDIANA DEAF6:00 PM
TRI-COUNTYATCARROLL (FLORA)7:30 PM
TRINITY LUTHERANATSOUTH RIPLEY7:30 PM
TRITON CENTRALATGREENWOOD7:30 PM
TRI-WESTATNORTH MONTGOMERY7:30 PM
TWIN LAKESATWEST LAFAYETTE7:30 PM
WABASHATBLUFFTON7:30 PM
WAPAHANIATYORKTOWN7:30 PM
WASHINGTON TWP.ATGARY 21ST CENTURY6:30 PM
WAYNE TRACE (OHIO)ATHERITAGE7:30 PM
WES-DELATCAMBRIDGE CITY LINCOLN7:30 PM
WEST CENTRALATNORTH WHITE7:00 PM
WEST NOBLEATGOSHEN7:30 PM
WEST VIGOATTERRE HAUTE NORTH7:30 PM
WESTERNATKOKOMO7:30 PM
WESTFIELDATCARMEL7:30 PM
WESTVIEWATGARRETT7:30 PM
WHITINGATCOVENANT CHRISTIAN (DEMOTTE)8:00 PM
WINCHESTERATSOUTH ADAMS7:30 PM
MARION COUNTY TOURNAMENT
PERRY MERIDIANATBREBEUF JESUIT6:30 PMR1
SOUTHPORTATPARK TUDOR6:30 PMR1
FRANKLIN CENTRALATINDIANAPOLIS RONCALLI6:30 PMR1
INDIANAPOLIS LUTHERANATDECATUR CENTRAL6:00 PMR1
PIKEATWARREN CENTRAL6:30 PMR1
SPEEDWAYATLAWRENCE CENTRAL6:30 PMR1
NORTH CENTRAL (INDIANAPOLIS)ATBEN DAVIS6:30 PMR1
BEECH GROVEATLAWRENCE NORTH6:30 PMR1

INDIANA SRN BOYS BASKETBALL POLLS

4A

  1. CATHEDRAL
  2. INDIANAPOLIS TECH
  3. LAWRENCE NORTH
  4. ZIONSVILLE
  5. ATTUCKS

3A

  1. MISHAWAKA MARIAN
  2. BREBEUF
  3. SILVER CREEK
  4. NORTH HARRISON
  5. BEECH GROVE

2A

  1. LINTON STOCKTON
  2. SOUTH SPENCER
  3. PARK TUDOR
  4. COVENANT CHRISTIAN
  5. PARK HERITAGE

1A

  1. BARR REEVE
  2. LOOGOOTEE
  3. EDINBURGH
  4. INDIANAPOLIS LUTHERAN
  5. BLOOMFIELD

INDIANA SRN GIRLS BASKETBALL POLLS

4A

  1. NOBLESVILLE
  2. CROWN POINT
  3. FRANKLIN
  4. BEDFORD NORTH LAWRENCE
  5. HOMESTEAD

3A

  1. SOUTH BEND WASHINGTON
  2. SILVER CREEK
  3. MISHAWAKA MARIAN
  4. BENTON CENTRAL
  5. NORWELL

2A

  1. TRITON CENTRAL
  2. WINCHESTER
  3. FRANKTON
  4. FAIRFIELD
  5. TIPTON

1A

  1. TRINITY LUTHERAN
  2. WALDRON
  3. JAC CEN DEL
  4. LANESVILLE
  5. LAFAYETTE CENTRAL CATHOLIC

PLAYOFF SELECTION COMMITTEE FOOTBALL POLL

RANKSCHOOLPREV
1ALABAMA (12-1)3
2MICHIGAN (12-1)2
3GEORGIA (12-1)1
4CINCINNATI (13-0)4
5NOTRE DAME (11-1)6
6OHIO STATE (10-2)7
7BAYLOR (11-2)9
8OLE MISS (10-2)8
9OKLAHOMA STATE (11-2)5
10MICHIGAN STATE (10-2)11
11UTAH (10-3)17
12PITTSBURGH (11-2)15
13BYU (10-2)12
14OREGON (10-3)10
15IOWA (10-3)13
16OKLAHOMA (10-2)14
17WAKE FOREST (10-3)16
18NORTH CAROLINA STATE (9-3)18
19CLEMSON (9-3)20
20HOUSTON (11-2)21
21ARKANSAS (8-4)22
22KENTUCKY (9-3)23
23LOUISIANA (12-1)24
24SAN DIEGO STATE (11-2)19
25TEXAS A&M (8-4)25

AP COLLEGE FOOTBALL POLL

RANKSCHOOLVOTESPREV
1ALABAMA (12-1)1535 (50)4
2MICHIGAN (12-1)1480 (9)2
3GEORGIA (12-1)14081
4CINCINNATI (13-0)1404 (3)3
5NOTRE DAME (11-1)12806
6BAYLOR (11-2)12289
7OHIO STATE (10-2)11777
8OLE MISS (10-2)11018
9OKLAHOMA STATE (11-2)10605
10UTAH (10-3)92914
11MICHIGAN STATE (10-2)89511
12BYU (10-2)86612
13PITTSBURGH (11-2)83817
14OKLAHOMA (10-2)80713
15OREGON (10-3)59410
16LOUISIANA (12-1)49020
17IOWA (10-3)44615
18NORTH CAROLINA STATE (9-3)40421
19CLEMSON (9-3)39522
20WAKE FOREST (10-3)39318
21HOUSTON (11-2)35816
22ARKANSAS (8-4)27923
23TEXAS A&M (8-4)17124
24UTSA (12-1)146NR
25KENTUCKY (9-3)12925

COACHES COLLEGE FOOTBALL POLL

RANKSCHOOLVOTESPREV
1ALABAMA (12-1)1540 (54)2
2MICHIGAN (12-1)1474 (5)3
3GEORGIA (12-1)14201
4CINCINNATI (13-0)1392 (3)4
5NOTRE DAME (11-1)12666
6BAYLOR (11-2)12049
7OHIO STATE (10-2)11707
8OLE MISS (10-2)11348
9OKLAHOMA STATE (11-2)10365
10MICHIGAN STATE (10-2)90313
11UTAH (10-3)89317
12PITTSBURGH (11-2)88615
13OKLAHOMA (10-2)85311
14BYU (10-2)79214
15OREGON (10-3)58910
16IOWA (10-3)56112
17LOUISIANA (12-1)44421
18NORTH CAROLINA STATE (9-3)43620
19WAKE FOREST (10-3)38918
20KENTUCKY (9-3)32722
21HOUSTON (11-2)31516
22CLEMSON (9-3)25224
23TEXAS A&M (8-4)23923
24ARKANSAS (8-4)18525
25UTSA (12-1)146NR

COLLEGE FOOTBALL BOWL SCHEDULE

FRIDAY, DEC. 17

BAHAMAS BOWL

MIDDLE TENNESSEE VS. TOLEDO

NOON, ESPN

TAILGREETER CURE BOWL

NORTHERN ILLINOIS VS. COASTAL CAROLINA

6 P.M., ESPN2

SATURDAY, DEC. 18

ROOFCLAIM.COM BOCA RATON BOWL

WESTERN KENTUCKY VS. APPALACHIAN STATE

11 A.M., ESPN

CRICKET CELEBRATION BOWL

SOUTH CAROLINA STATE VS. JACKSON STATE

NOON, ABC

PUBG MOBILE NEW MEXICO BOWL

UTEP VS. FRESNO STATE

2:15 P.M., ESPN

RADIANCE TECHNOLOGIES INDEPENDENCE BOWL

UAB VS. BYU

3:30 P.M., ABC

LENDINGTREE BOWL

EASTERN MICHIGAN VS. LIBERTY

5:45 P.M., ESPN

JIMMY KIMMEL LA BOWL

UTAH STATE VS. OREGON STATE

7:30 P.M., ABC

R+L CARRIERS NEW ORLEANS BOWL

LOUISIANA VS. MARSHALL

9:15 P.M., ESPN

MONDAY, DEC 20

MYRTLE BEACH BOWL PRESENTED BY TAXACT

OLD DOMINION VS. TULSA

2:30 P.M., ESPN

TUESDAY, DEC. 21

FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL

KENT STATE VS. WYOMING

3:30 P.M., ESPN

TROPICAL SMOOTHIE CAFE FRISCO BOWL

UTSA VS. SAN DIEGO STATE

7:30 P.M., ESPN

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 22

LOCKHEED MARTIN ARMED FORCES BOWL

TBD VS. ARMY

8 P.M., ESPN

THURSDAY, DEC. 23

FRISCO FOOTBALL CLASSIC

NORTH TEXAS VS. MIAMI (OHIO)

3:30 P.M., ESPN

UNION HOME MORTGAGE GASPARILLA BOWL

7 P.M., ESPN

FRIDAY, DEC. 24

EASYPOST HAWAI’I BOWL

MEMPHIS VS. HAWAI’I

8 P.M., ESPN

SATURDAY, DEC. 25

TAXACT CAMELLIA BOWL

GEORGIA STATE VS. BALL STATE

2:30 P.M., ESPN

MONDAY, DEC. 27

QUICK LANE BOWL

WESTERN MICHIGAN VS. NEVADA

11 A.M., ESPN

MILITARY BOWL PRESENTED BY PERATON

2:30 P.M., ESPN

TUESDAY, DEC. 28

TICKETSMARTER BIRMINGHAM BOWL

NOON, ESPN

SERVPRO FIRST RESPONDER BOWL

3:15 P.M., ESPN

AUTOZONE LIBERTY BOWL

6:45 P.M., ESPN

SAN DIEGO COUNTY CREDIT UNION HOLIDAY BOWL

8 P.M., FOX

GUARANTEED RATE BOWL

10:15 P.M., ESPN

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 29

WASABI FENWAY BOWL

11 A.M., ESPN

NEW ERA PINSTRIPE BOWL

2:15 P.M., ESPN

CHEEZ-IT BOWL

5:45 P.M., ESPN

VALERO ALAMO BOWL

OREGON VS. OKLAHOMA

9:15 P.M., ESPN

THURSDAY, DEC. 30

DUKE’S MAYO BOWL

11:30 A.M., ESPN

TRANSPERFECT MUSIC CITY BOWL

3 P.M., ESPN

CHICK-FIL-A PEACH BOWL

MICHIGAN STATE VS. PITTSBURGH

7 P.M., ESPN

SRS DISTRIBUTION LAS VEGAS BOWL

WISCONSIN VS. ARIZONA STATE

10:30 P.M., ESPN

FRIDAY, DEC. 31

TAXSLAYER GATOR BOWL

11 A.M., ESPN

TONY THE TIGER SUN BOWL

12:30 P.M., CBS

BARSTOOL SPORTS ARIZONA BOWL

CENTRAL MICHIGAN VS. BOISE STATE

2 P.M.

CFP SEMIFINAL – GOODYEAR COTTON BOWL CLASSIC

NO. 4 CINCINNATI VS. NO. 1 ALABAMA

3:30 P.M., ESPN

CFP SEMIFINAL – CAPITAL ONE ORANGE BOWL

NO. 3 GEORGIA VS. NO. 2 MICHIGAN

7:30 P.M., ESPN

SATURDAY, JAN. 1

OUTBACK BOWL

NOON, ESPN2

VRBO CITRUS BOWL

1 P.M., ABC

PLAYSTATION FIESTA BOWL

NOTRE DAME VS. OKLAHOMA STATE

1 P.M., ESPN

ROSE BOWL GAME

5 P.M., ESPN

ALLSTATE SUGAR BOWL

8:45 P.M., ESPN

TUESDAY, JAN. 4

TEXAS BOWL

TBD, ESPN

MONDAY, JAN. 10

CFP NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP PRESENTED BY AT&T

8 P.M., ESPN

NFL SCOREBOARD

INDIANAPOLIS 31 HOUSTON 0

TAMPA BAY 30 ATLANTA 17

ARIZONA 33 CHICAGO 22

LA CHARGERS 41 CINCINNATI 22

DETROIT 29 MINNESOTA 27

MIAMI 20 NY GIANTS 9

PHILADELPHIA 33 NY JETS 18

WASHINGTON 17 LAS VEGAS 15

LA RAMS 37 JACKSONVILLE 7

PITTSBURGH 20 BALTIMORE 19

SEATTLE 30 SAN FRANCISCO 23

KANSAS CITY 22 DENVER 9

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

#11 ARIZONA 90 OREGON STATE 65

OHIO STATE 76 PENN STATE 64

NORTHWESTERN 67 MARYLAND 61

WESTERN ILLINOIS 97 CENTRAL MICHIGAN 70

DETROIT 64 ILLINOIS CHICAGO 56

MINNESOTA 81 MISSISSIPPI STATE 76

RICHMOND 60 NORTHERN IOWA 52

SOUTH CAROLINA GEORGETOWN 67

VALPARAISO 71 WESTERN MICHIGAN 60

NORTH CAROLINA 79 GEORGIA TECH 62

EASTERN MICHIGAN 79 NORTHWOOD 57

SAN DIEGO 52 CAL POLY 51

XAVIER 77 OKLAHOMA STATE 71

UTAH 66 CALIFORNIA 58

CINCINNATI 73 BRYANT 58

KANSAS STATE 65 WICHITA STATE 59

ARIZONA STATE 69 OREGON 67

ST. JOHN’S 83 FORDHAM 69

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

#2 NORTH CAROLINA STATE 78 ELON 46

#2 CONNECTICUT 73 #24 NOTRE DAME 54

#MARYLAND 73 RUTGERS 59

#IOWA 88 MICHIGAN STATE 61

#10 LOUISVILLE 80 BELMONT 66

#11 TENNESSEE 64 VIRGINIA TECH 58

#12 MICHIGAN 93 AKRON 54

#14 IOWA STATE 94 LONGWOOD 56

#15 TEXAS 76 #17 TEXAS A&M 60

#16 KENTUCKY 90 MERRIMACK 56

#18 OHIO STATE 70 PURDUE 53

GEORGIA TECH 56 #20 GEORGIA 54

#25 FLORIDA STATE 83 CHARLESTON SOUTHERN 32

DUKE 77 PENN 55

GEORGETOWN 55 PROVIDENCE 47

ARIZONA STATE 91 HARVARD 54

VCU 69 BOSTON COLLEGE 65

BOWLING GREEN 69 VALPARAISO 53

ARKANSAS 84 CALIFORNIA 67

OLE MISS 75 CINCINNATI 63

BUFFALO 69 RHODE ISLAND 55

CLEMSON 48 PRESBYTERIAN 42

CREIGHTON 72 VILLANOVA 58

VIRGINIA 62 GEORGE WASHINGTON 53

MIAMI FLORIDA 70 TULANE 63

NORTH CAROLINA 93 JAMES MADISON 47

SYRACUSE 116 CENTRAL CONNECTICUT 65

ST. JOHN’S 88 SETON HALL 75

FLORIDA 63 TCU 54

ALABAMA 80 CHATTANOOGA 64

NORTHERN KENTUCKY 69 PURDUE FORT WAYNE 60

AUBURN 77 OKLAHOMA STATE 66

ILLINOIS 71 EASTERN KENTUCKY 57

DAYTON 78 ILLINOIS STATE 67

KANSAS 74 VANDERBILT 67

MARQUETTE 59 BUTLER 45

NORTHWESTERN 61 WISCONSIN 49

DEPAUL 103 XAVIER 85

UCLA 112 SAN JOSE STATE 33

NHL SCOREBOARD

TAMPA BAY 7 PHILADELPHIA 1

COLUMBUS 6 SAN JOSE 4

CHICAGO 3 NY ISLANDERS 2

WINNIPEG 6 TORONTO 3

LOS ANGELES 5 EDMONTON 1

VEGAS 3 CALGARY 2

TOP NATIONAL NEWS/RELEASES

PLAYOFF SET: ALABAMA VS. CINCINNATI, MICHIGAN VS. GEORGIA

IRVING, Texas (AP) Cincinnati will play Alabama and Michigan will face Georgia on New Year’s Eve after being selected to the College Football Playoff as a historic field of four was set Sunday.

Fourth-seeded Cincinnati becomes the first team to break through college football’s glass ceiling and reach the CFP from a non-Power Five conference. The Bearcats (13-0) won the American Athletic Conference and head into the postseason as the only unbeaten team in the country.

Previously, no team from a so-called Group of Five conference had ever even come close to making the playoff. Not two UCF teams that went unbeaten in the 2017 and ’18 regular seasons nor Cincinnati last year, when unbeaten was only good enough for a Peach Bowl bid against Georgia.

“All year we’ve tried to avoid saying we’re carrying the flag (for teams outside the Power Five),” Cincinnati coach coach Luke Fickell said on ESPN. “I think you can get lost in a lot things that are going on.”

The Bearcats made history with little debate. Playoff selection committee chairman Gary Barta said there was strong consensus for Cincinnati at No. 4 ahead of No. 5 Notre Dame, which had only one loss – at home against the Bearcats in early October. Ohio State finished sixth.

The Bearcats might not have been so comfortably in the field had things gone differently at the Big 12 championship game Saturday. Oklahoma State, which was No. 5 in the CFP rankings going into the game, came up inches short of scoring a go-ahead touchdown in the final minute against Baylor.

Baylor made the goal-line stand and, after Cincinnati took care of Houston in the AAC title game, the Bearcats were in the clear.

On Sunday, it became official. It is the third time two teams from the same conference are in the CFP and second time it has happened with the SEC. In the 2017 playoff, the Alabama beat Georgia in overtime to win the national title.

The rest of the committee’s final rankings and the matchups for the other four New Year’s Six bowls were to be announced later Sunday. The semifinal winners will play for the national championship on Jan. 10 in Indianapolis.

Cincinnati’s reward will be a matchup with the defending national champions in the Cotton Bowl.

“We certainly think Cincinnati belongs in the playoff,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said on ESPN.

The Crimson Tide is in the playoff for the seventh time in the postseason format’s eight-year history after handing Georgia its first loss of the season in the Southeastern Conference title game Saturday.

Alabama (12-1) seemed to a loss away from being eliminated from playoff contention heading into its game with Georgia. Instead, Bryce Young and the Tide lit up the Bulldogs’ vaunted defense to earn the top seed.

“Not only did Alabama beat Georgia, but the way they beat them – they controlled the game, pretty much from start to finish,” Barta said.

Barta said the committee gave no consideration to avoiding a rematch between the Tide and Bulldogs in the first round when seeding the teams.

Nick Saban’s Alabama dynasty has won three playoff championships to go along with three BCS titles since 2009.

Georgia (12-1) managed to stay in the field as the third seed, becoming the second team to lose its conference title game and make the playoff. Notre Dame did the same thing last season, when it lost a rematch with Clemson in its lone season playing in the Atlantic Coast Conference, a move prompted by pandemic-altered schedules.

The Bulldogs will be making their second CFP appearance when they meet second-seeded Michigan (12-1) in the Orange Bowl. Coach Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines are in the playoff for the first time after winning the Big Ten for the first time since 2004. Michigan, which went 2-4 last season, is also the first team to make the playoff after being unranked in the preseason AP Top 25.

This will be the first matchup of these two historic programs – no team in college football history has won more games than Michigan — since 1965. The Bulldogs beat the Wolverines 15-7 in the Big House.

OKLAHOMA HIRES CLEMSON’S BRENT VENABLES TO REPLACE RILEY

(AP) — Oklahoma hired Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables as its head coach to replace Lincoln Riley on Sunday night, bringing back a former Sooners assistant with a long track record of success.

Venables will be introduced Monday morning on the campus in Norman, the school said.

The 50-year-old Venables was on Oklahoma’s staff under Bob Stoops as co-defensive coordinator from 1999 to 2003 and defensive coordinator from 2004 to 2011. He was co-defensive coordinator when the Sooners won the 2000 national title. He left Oklahoma for Clemson in 2012 and won the Broyles Award in 2016 as the nation’s top assistant. He’s been on the staff of teams that have won three national titles and appeared in eight national championship games.

“He knows the formula to win national championships and has the toughness, the attitude and the fight that I think will elevate our program in a lot of positive ways,” said Stoops, who has been serving as interim coach since Riley’s surprising departure last week for Southern California. “I’ve always loved his energy, excitement and passion for the game – it clearly spills over to his players.”

Venables, who will be a head coach for the first time, said in a statement he’s excited to add to the history of a program that’s won seven national titles and had seven Heisman Trophy winners. He also said he’s embracing the Sooners’ eventual move to the Southeastern Conference, which is set for 2025.

“There’s no question we are equipped to compete at the very highest level and attract the best players from across the country,” he said. “The OU logo has never been stronger.”

Under Venables, Clemson led the nation in scoring defense in 2018, and his 2020 unit tied for the lead in sacks. This season, Clemson ranks second nationally in scoring defense, ninth in total defense, eighth in rushing defense and sixth in pass efficiency defense.

Oklahoma was caught off guard when Riley took the job at USC. Stoops took over on an interim basis to calm things down during recruiting.

Venables quickly emerged as a fan favorite for the job. Many had hoped the Sooners could lure him back from Clemson as defensive coordinator after the Sooners fired coordinator Mike Stoops in 2018. The Sooners chose Alex Grinch, who left to join Riley at USC.

Venables’ first concerns will be to prevent players from transferring and salvage as much of the recruiting class as possible. Several players announced their intentions to enter the transfer portal after Riley’s decision, including quarterback Spencer Rattler. Numerous recruits decommitted, including Malachi Nelson – a five-star quarterback who now says he is heading to USC.

Riley set the bar high. He went 55-10 in five seasons with the Sooners and led them to three College Football Playoff appearances. Quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray both won Heisman trophies and were No. 1 overall picks in the NFL draft.

The Sooners went 10-2 this season and fell just short of competing for what would have been a seventh consecutive Big 12 title. They lost their regular-season finale 37-33 to Oklahoma State.

Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione believes the Sooners are primed to achieve more under Venables.

“There is no doubt in my mind he is the right man to lead OU football into its next great era,” Castiglione said in a statement. “We couldn’t be more excited for Brent to return to OU as our head coach.”

WAKE FOREST COACH: NCAA SHOULD REVIEW RULES ON FAKE SLIDES

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson said the NCAA needs to review its rules on whether quarterbacks should be allowed to “fake slide” after escaping the pocket.

Clawson’s statement came after his team’s 45-21 loss to Pittsburgh in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game Saturday night in which Panthers quarterback Kenny Pickett used a fake slide to freeze defenders and run for a 58-yard touchdown on the game’s first possession.

After Pickett broke containment on a third-down run, he briefly stutter-stepped and pretended to slide after picking up the first down. Two Wake Forest defenders froze, figuring Pickett was giving himself up. Instead, Pickett made a quick cut and raced another 40 yards for a touchdown before blowing kisses to the crowd in the end zone.

While Clawson acknowledged after the game there is no rule preventing Pickett from doing what he did, he said the NCAA should consider such a rule.

“If that is the rule, I will just have my guy fake knee all the way down the field and really, what do you do?” Clawson said. “So it’s something the NCAA is going to have to look at, and you know, you can’t fake a slide.”

Clawson said he’s never seen a play where a quarterback pretended to give himself up, only to keep running.

“You just train your players, as soon as your quarterback starts sliding, you stop because if you touch him it’s going to be a penalty,” Clawson said. “He started his slide and our kids stopped playing. I don’t think he did it intentionally, but if he did he’s brilliant. I just think he reacted as an athlete. But what do you tell your players? The quarterback is protected, and there are two guys there who could have made a play but stopped playing because he started to slide.”

Pickett admitted after the game that he did do it on purpose.

“Yeah, it was intentional,” said Pickett, the ACC player of the year, who accounted for three touchdowns on Saturday night. “I just kind of started slowing down and pulling up and getting ready to slide and I just kind of saw their body language and they just pulled up as well. … I have never done that before. I just kind of kept going after I initially started to slide.”

Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi defended his quarterback.

“I think it was called instincts,” Narduzzi said. “I think it was a heck of a football play by Kenny Pickett. I mean he started to slide, he drug his foot. The closest (defender) might have been four of five yards away. I think (Pickett) thought about it, and there was a little hesitation and he was going to go down and be safe, but then he was like `hold on a second.’ … And then he just took off.”

Narduzzi doesn’t believe Pickett did anything wrong.

“To me, I coach our defensive guys to finish the play,” Narduzzi said. “If (the quarterback) goes down a lot of times we slide over the top of them. It’s just being a football player. You have to finish the play. There’s a thing called a whistle, and when the whistle blows you stop. Until then you have to gather up and if the quarterback slides too late. … We have seen guys slide too late and the quarterback gets scraped up and tattooed a little bit. It’s part of the game.”

Narduzzi added the play isn’t something the coaching staff teaches.

“We never practice it,” he said. “It wasn’t like we said, `Today we’re going to fake slide.’ It was a football play. And Kenny Pickett is the best and that’s why he’s a champion.”

NFL NEWS: SEVEN FROM SUNDAY – WEEK 13

There have been 26 games decided by a game-winning score on the final play this season, the most through Week 13 all-time. Detroit earned their first win of the season, a 29-27 win over Minnesota, as quarterback JARED GOFF threw a game-winning 11-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver AMON-RA ST. BROWN with no time remaining in the fourth quarter.

With two games remaining in Week 13, there have been 37 games with a game-winning score in the final minute of regulation or in overtime this season, the fourth-most at this point of a season all-time. Only 2015 (42), 2013 (39) and 2003 (38) had more. Along with Detroit’s win, Washington extended their win streak to four games with a 48-yard field goal with :37 remaining to defeat Las Vegas, 17-15.

For the first time since 2000, there have been nine games won by teams over an opponent with at least four more victories than them at this point in the season.

Arizona quarterback KYLER MURRAY totaled four touchdowns (two passing, two rushing) in the Cardinals’ 33-22 win at Chicago. The Cardinals improved to 7-0 on the road this season and are the third team ever to win seven consecutive road games within a single season, each by a least 10 points, joining the 1984 SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS and 1968 DALLAS COWBOYS.

Murray has 10,092 career passing yards and became the fourth-youngest player (24 years, 120 days old) to reach 10,000 passing yards in NFL history, surpassing CAM NEWTON (24 years, 191 days). Only DREW BLEDSOE (23 years, 299 days), JAMEIS WINSTON (23 years, 303 days) and Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (24 years, 63 days) reached the mark at a younger age.

Murray has 13 career games with both a passing and rushing touchdown since entering the NFL as the No. 1 overall pick in 2019, tied with DAK PRESCOTT (13 games) for the third-most such games by a quarterback in his first three seasons all-time. Only CAM NEWTON (20 games) and JOSH ALLEN (16) have more.

Murray has 20 career rushing touchdowns and joined CAM NEWTON (28 rushing touchdowns) and JOSH ALLEN (25) as the only quarterbacks with at least 20 rushing touchdowns in their first three seasons in the Super Bowl era.

Tampa Bay quarterback TOM BRADY passed for 368 yards and four touchdowns while tight end ROB GRONKOWSKI had two touchdown receptions in the Buccaneers’ 30-17 win at Atlanta.

Brady and Gronkowski have connected for 90 regular-season touchdowns and surpassed PHILIP RIVERS and ANTONIO GATES (89 touchdowns) for the second-most regular-season touchdowns by a quarterback-receiver pairing in NFL history. Only the Pro Football Hall of Fame combination of PEYTON MANNING and MARVIN HARRISON (112 touchdowns) have more.

Gronkowski recorded his 20th-career game with at least two touchdown receptions and he joined ANTONIO GATES (21 games) as the only tight ends with at least 20 career games with two-or-more touchdown receptions in NFL history.

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback JUSTIN HERBERT passed for 317 yards with three touchdowns in the team’s 41-22 win at Cincinnati.

Herbert, who has 27 touchdown passes this season after recording the most touchdown passes (31) by a rookie in NFL history last year, joined Pro Football Hall of Famer PEYTON MANNING and RUSSELL WILSON as the only quarterbacks all-time with at least 25 touchdown passes in each of their first two seasons.

Herbert has 11 career games with at least two touchdown passes, surpassing PATRICK MAHOMES (10 games) for the second-most such games by a player in his first two seasons in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (13 games) has more.

Herbert has 18 career games with at least two touchdown passes, surpassing DEREK CARR (17 games) for the second-most such games by a player in his first two seasons in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (22 games) has more.

Indianapolis running back JONATHAN TAYLOR rushed for 143 yards and two touchdowns in the Colts’ 31-0 win over Houston.

Taylor became the fifth player all-time with a rushing touchdown in at least 10 consecutive games within a single season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers JOHN RIGGINS (12 consecutive games in 1983), LADAINIAN TOMLINSON (12 consecutive games in 2004) and EMMITT SMITH (11 consecutive games in 1995), as well as PRIEST HOLMES (11 consecutive games in 2002).

Taylor has 30 touchdowns (27 rushing, three receiving) in 28 career games and tied Pro Football Hall of Famer EARL CAMPBELL (28 games) and BILLY SIMS (28) as the third-fastest player to reach 30 touchdowns in the Super Bowl era. Only Pro Football Hall of Famers EDGERRIN JAMES (25) and CURTIS MARTIN (27) reached the mark in fewer games.

Detroit rookie wide receiver AMON-RA ST. BROWN had a career-high 10 receptions for 86 yards and the game-winning touchdown catch – his first career touchdown – with no time remaining as the Lions defeated the Vikings, 29-27.

St. Brown is the third rookie to record his first career touchdown reception with no time remaining in the fourth quarter since 2000, joining K.J. HAMLER (Week 8, 2020) and ERNEST WILFORD (Week 1, 2004).

Minnesota wide receiver JUSTIN JEFFERSON had 11 receptions for 182 yards and one touchdown on Sunday.

Jefferson has 2,609 career receiving yards and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer JERRY RICE (2,497 receiving yards) for the third-most receiving yards by a player in his first two seasons in the Super Bowl era. Only ODELL BECKHAM JR. (2,755) and Pro Football Hall of Famer RANDY MOSS (2,726) have more.

Jefferson, who has 2,609 receiving yards in 28 career games, tied Pro Football Hall of Famer LANCE ALWORTH (28 games) as the fourth-fastest player ever to reach 2,500 receiving yards. Only ODELL BECKHAM JR. (25 games), CHARLIE HENNIGAN (26) and BILL GROMAN (27) reached the mark in fewer games.

Jefferson recorded his 12th career game with at least 100 receiving yards and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer RANDY MOSS (11 games) and JUJU SMITH-SCHUSTER (11) for the second-most such games by a player in his first two seasons in the Super Bowl era. Only ODELL BECKHAM JR. (15) has more.

Miami rookie wide receiver JAYLEN WADDLE registered nine receptions for 90 yards in the Dolphins’ 20-9 win over the New York Giants. The Dolphins are the second team in NFL history to win five consecutive games following a seven-game losing streak, joining the 1994 NEW YORK GIANTS.

Waddle has six games this season with at least eight receptions, tied with ODELL BECKHAM JR. (six games in 2014) for the most games with at least eight receptions by a rookie in NFL history.

Waddle has at least eight receptions in three consecutive games and joins ODELL BECKHAM JR. (four consecutive games in 2014) and SAQUON BARKLEY (three consecutive games in 2018) as the only rookies with at least eight receptions in three consecutive games all-time.

Other notable performances from Sunday include:

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver COOPER KUPP had eight receptions for 129 yards and one touchdown in the teams’ 37-7 win against Jacksonville. He leads the NFL in receptions (100), receiving yards (1,366) and receiving touchdowns (11) this season.

Kupp is the fourth player with at least 100 receptions in his team’s first 12 games of a season in NFL history, joining MICHAEL THOMAS (110 receptions in 2019), Pro Football Hall of Famer MARVIN HARRISON (109 in 2002) and JULIO JONES (102 in 2015). Kupp is the only player with at least 100 receptions and 10-or-more touchdown receptions in his team’s first 12 games of a season all-time.

Kupp is the third player with at least 1,350 receiving yards in his team’s first 12 games of a season in the Super Bowl era, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer CALVIN JOHNSON (1,428 receiving yards in 2012) and TORRY HOLT (1,387 in 2003).

Kupp is the sixth player to record at least 90 receiving yards in eight-or-more consecutive games in the Super Bowl era, joining ODELL BECKHAM JR. (nine consecutive games in 2014), Pro Football Hall of Famers MICHAEL IRVIN (nine in 1995) and CALVIN JOHNSON (eight in 2012), DWIGHT CLARK (eight in 1982) and ADAM THIELEN (eight in 2018).

Seattle running back ADRIAN PETERSON, making his team debut, recorded his 126th career touchdown (120 rushing, six receiving), tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer JIM BROWN (126) for the fifth-most touchdowns by a running back in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famers EMMITT SMITH (175 touchdowns), LADAINIAN TOMLINSON (162), MARCUS ALLEN (145) and MARSHALL FAULK (136) have more.

Pittsburgh linebacker T.J. WATT had a career-high 3.5 sacks in the Steelers’ 20-19 win over Baltimore.

Watt, who has a career-high 16 sacks this season, joined Pro Football Hall of Famer REGGIE WHITE (1985-88; 1990-93) as the only players with at least 13 sacks in four consecutive seasons since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic. Watt had 13 sacks in 2018, 14.5 sacks in 2019 and 15 sacks in 2020.

DYNAMIC DUO: BRADY, GRONK LEAD BUCS PAST FALCONS 30-17

ATLANTA (AP) Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski teamed up for more history Sunday.

Rarely have two guys had such a connection.

Brady threw for 368 yards and four touchdowns – two of them to his longtime favorite target – and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers moved to the brink of clinching the NFC South title with a 30-17 victory over the Atlanta Falcons.

The 44-year-old Brady completed 38 of 51, including touchdowns of 27 and 11 yards to Gronkowski – their first scoring passes since Week 2 against the Falcons.

The prolific duo has combined for 90 regular-season TDs, passing Phillip Rivers and Antonio Gates for No. 2 in NFL history. Only Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison have more, hooking up for 112 scoring passes.

Counting the playoffs, Brady has thrown 104 TD passes to Gronk.

“Tom knows what he’s thinking before he does,” coach Bruce Arians said. “Tom threw a couple of balls before Gronk was ready, because he knew where he was going. There’s great chemistry out there.”

Gronkowski missed four games this season after a devastating hit against the Rams left him with fractured ribs and a punctured lung.

But he’s going to keep catching passes from Brady as long as he can.

“We keep each other going,” Gronkowski said.

Added Brady, “He makes it easy for the quarterback.”

Brady shook off a huge blunder in the final minute of the first half, when 278-pound defensive lineman Marlon Davidson picked off a screen pass and glided 3 yards into the end zone for a touchdown that cut Tampa Bay’s lead to 20-17 at the break.

The Bucs (9-3) won their third straight game and pushed their division lead to four games over Atlanta, Carolina and New Orleans (all 5-7) with five games remaining.

Brady improved to 10-0 in his career against the Falcons, including four straight wins over the last two seasons since moving from New England to Tampa Bay.

“He’s just been on a better team for a long time,” Arians said bluntly.

The Bucs came out throwing. For the first time since 2004, they passed the ball on their first 13 plays of a game – accounting for the entire 75-yard touchdown drive on their opening possession.

Chris Godwin had five catches on the opening drive and finishing with a franchise-record 15 receptions for 143 yards.

Leonard Fournette capped the first drive with a 3-yard touchdown catch, making a slick, one-handed grab. Tampa Bay’s second possession also ended with a 3-yard TD pass, this one hauled in by Cameron Brate.

The Falcons scored what would be their only offensive touchdown on their opening possession, doing most of their damage on the ground.

Cordarrelle Patterson broke off a 39-yard scamper before Mike Davis ran for a 17-yard score.

Trailing 13-7, Atlanta squandered a chance to pull ahead after having first-and-goal from inside the 1.

Matt Ryan lost a couple of yards falling on a bobbled snap, sandwiched around a pair of incompletions that forced the Falcons to settle for Younghoe Koo’s 21-yard field goal.

Brady’s first TD to Gronkowski had the Bucs on the verge of a blowout. But Tampa Bay got greedy near the end of the half, sending the Falcons to a locker room on quite a high after Davidson’s pick-6.

It didn’t carry over. The Falcons were held scoreless in the second half.

Ryan was sacked five times and called for intentional grounding. Russell Gage lost a fumble in Tampa Bay territory when it looked as if the Falcons might be driving for a go-ahead score in the third quarter.

Ryan moaned about the missed opportunities.

“When you’re playing against a really good football team … you know you have to come away with touchdowns,” he said. “That was disappointing for sure.”

GODWIN’S RECORD

The Bucs receiver didn’t realize he had broken the team record for catches until someone told him coming off the field afterward.

“I thought I had 10 or so,” he said with a smile.

Actually, he eclipsed the record of 13 that was shared by James Wilder and Earnest Graham.

“This is the most important time of year,” Godwin said. “I’m trying to do whatever I can to help my team win.”

DAVIS RETURNS

Tampa Bay cornerback Carlton Davis came up with a huge play in his first game back from injured reserve.

Davis, playing for the first time since he sustained a calf injury in Week 4, recovered Gage’s fumble at the Bucs 37 after Pierre Desir punched the ball away from the Falcons receiver.

“When you see the ball move, you’ve got to go get it,” Davis said. “I happened to be in the right place at the right time.”

INJURY REPORT

Buccaneers: CB Jamel Dean was knocked out of the game with a concussion. RB Ronald Jones had to come out because of an illness.

Falcons: S Richie Grant and LB Adetokunbo Ogundeji both hobbled off the field with ankle injuries.

UP NEXT

Buccaneers: Return home next Sunday to face AFC powerhouse Buffalo.

Falcons: Travel to Charlotte next Sunday to face the Carolina Panthers in another NFC South game.

MURRAY THROWS FOR 2 TDS, RUNS FOR 2 AS CARDINALS BEAT BEARS

CHICAGO (AP) Kyler Murray was in prime position following an interception on the game’s opening possession. He fumbled his first snap.

Good thing for him, he made the recovery. Three plays later, he celebrated a touchdown pass to DeAndre Hopkins. And just like that, the Arizona Cardinals were on the way to another easy road win.

Murray threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more in his return from an ankle injury, and the Cardinals beat the struggling Chicago Bears 33-22 on Sunday.

The Cardinals (10-2) got back Murray and three-time All-Pro receiver Hopkins after both players missed three games because of injuries, then rolled to an easy victory over Chicago (4-8). The NFC West leaders, who have the NFL’s best record, intercepted Andy Dalton four times.

“A couple of months before the season, if you’d say `if you had this opportunity’ yeah, we’d definitely take it,” Murray said. “This is all the hard work we’ve put in. We understand what kind of guys we have in the locker room. We understood what we had before the season started. It was just about going and doing it and executing.”

The Cardinals, who were coming off a bye, improved to 7-0 on the road, with each win by 10 points or more.

Jalen Thompson and Budda Baker picked off passes that deflected off the intended target on Chicago’s first two possessions. The Cardinals took advantage, with Murray connecting with Hopkins for a 20-yarder and scrambling 9 yards to the end zone. He also threw a 21-yard TD to James Conner in the second quarter to make it 21-7, sending Chicago to its sixth loss in seven games.

“They understand that it’s OK to be upset, it’s OK to be frustrated after a game, there’s a lot of emotions,” Bears coach Matt Nagy said. “We all want to play better and coach better, they know that. But it is, in these times, you wanna make sure that these guys are understanding that it’s our job, our obligation, to make sure we give it everything we got.”

Murray completed 11 of 15 passes for 123 yards, giving him 10,092 in three seasons, on a cool and soggy afternoon. At 24 years, 120 days, he became the fourth-youngest player with 10,000 career yards passing, according to NFL research. Drew Bledsoe (23 years, 299 days), Jameis Winston (23 years, 303 days) and Dan Marino (24 years, 63 days) are the only younger players to reach it.

Murray also joined Cam Newton as the only players in NFL history with at least 10,000 yards passing and 1,500 rushing in his first three seasons.

Hopkins, back from a hamstring injury, caught two passes for 32 yards. Conner added 75 yards rushing and 36 receiving. Byron Murphy Jr. and Zach Allen had interceptions.

“We knew it’d be grindy, wet, windy, cold,” coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “But I thought our defense played tremendous, creating those takeaways, giving us short fields on offense. We were able to capitalize a few times. Disjointed offensively, we didn’t play as well we probably could have. Couldn’t throw it as well as we would have liked. But I’m proud of the effort, proud that we got the win.”

The Bears were hoping to build on a last-second Thanksgiving win at Detroit. Instead, it was an all-too-familiar result for them.

Dalton, making his second straight start with Justin Fields sidelined because of broken ribs, matched a career high for interceptions. He injured his left hand trying to make a tackle after getting picked off a second time.

Dalton said he didn’t think it affected his throwing, though he will have it checked out this week. He was 26 of 41 for 229 yards and two touchdowns.

“You can’t do that,” Dalton said. “You can’t turn the ball over four times and expect to win the game. That hurt us. There’s a lot of factors that go into it, but you can’t do that and expect to win, especially against a really good team.”

PICK ‘EM

The early interceptions by Thompson and Baker helped put Arizona in control.

Murray and Hopkins connected for a 20-yard touchdown on fourth down after Thompson picked off a short pass in Chicago territory that deflected off receiver Jakeem Grant’s hands.

The Bears were threatening on their next possession, only to have Baker intercept a pass that hit off Cole Kmet’s chest and return it 77 yards to the 15. That led to the 9-yard touchdown scramble by Murray to make it 14-0.

Chicago orchestrated a 77-yard drive that lasted nearly eight minutes, with David Montgomery scoring from the 1. But the Cardinals answered. Conner, aided by Xavier Crawford’s missed tackle, turned a short pass by Murray into a 23-yard touchdown to make it 21-7.

INJURIES

The teams did not report any injuries.

UP NEXT

Cardinals: host the Los Angeles Rams on Dec. 13.

Bears: visit Green Bay next Sunday.

UP-AND-DOWN CHARGERS HOLD OFF BENGALS FOR 41-22 VICTORY

CINCINNATI (AP) Justin Herbert passed for three touchdowns and Tevaughn Campbell returned a Joe Mixon fumble 61 yards for a score, helping the Los Angeles Chargers hold off Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals for a 41-22 victory on Sunday.

Herbert was 26 of 35 for 317 yards as Los Angeles (7-5) bounced back nicely after losing 28-13 at Denver last weekend. Mike Williams had five receptions for 110 yards, and Keenan Allen caught two of Herbert’s TD passes.

Cincinnati (7-5) stormed back after falling behind 24-0 in the second quarter. Mixon’s 7-yard TD run made it 24-22 with 7:10 left in the third. But Mixon was stuffed on the 2-point conversion try and Campbell’s fumble return in the fourth helped close it out for Los Angeles.

The Bengals committed four of the game’s seven turnovers. Battling a hand injury for much of the day, Burrow threw two interceptions and lost a fumble.

After Campbell’s TD, Los Angeles forced Cincinnati to punt. Herbert the directed a four-play, 52-yard drive capped by a 1-yard TD for Austin Ekeler.

The Bengals still had time, but Burrow was intercepted in the end zone by Chris Harris Jr. with 8:07 left. Cincinnati got the ball back again, but Burrow threw short to Tee Higgins on fourth-and-5.

Even after defensive end Joey Bosa went out with a possible concussion, the Chargers’ usually terrible run defense bottled up Mixon, who rushed for 54 yards after recording back-to-back 100-yard games.

Burrow was 24 for 40 for 300 yards. He was sacked six times. Tee Higgins had nine receptions for 138 yards, including a 29-yard touchdown for Cincinnati’s first score of the game.

Allen helped key Los Angeles’ fast start, scoring twice in the first quarter on a 4-yard reception and a 7-yarder. Herbert’s 44-yard TD to Jaylen Guyton made it 24-0 early in the second quarter.

INJURIES

Chargers: Bosa left the game to undergo concussion protocol in the first quarter. … DL Justin Jones suffered a knee injury in the third and was questionable to return.

Bengals: LB Markus Bailey and LB Logan Wilson left in the first half with shoulder injuries. … CB Chidobe Awuzie left with a right-foot injury in the third quarter and was doubtful to return.

UP NEXT

Chargers: Host the New York Giants next Sunday.

Bengals: Host San Francisco next Sunday.

WINLESS NO MORE: LIONS TOP VIKES 29-27 FOR 1ST W IN WEEK 13

DETROIT (AP) Jared Goff dropped back, looked left and let the football loose that Amon-Ra St. Brown squeezed tight as he sat in the end zone.

That set off a roar in Ford Field loud enough it might’ve been heard on Motor City streets.

Detroit finally found a way when Goff threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to St. Brown as time expired, lifting the previously winless Lions to a 29-27 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

“It feels good to stand in front of you now,” Goff said to reporters before answering a question.

Not only was the finish dramatic, it was stunning.

Goff led the Lions on a 75-yard decisive possession without a timeout after Kirk Cousins threw a go-ahead 3-yard touchdown pass to Justin Jefferson with 1:50 left. The Vikings failed on a 2-point conversion for the third time, and those missed opportunities proved costly.

Goff threw two touchdown passes in the first half to put Detroit ahead by 14 points, its biggest lead this season. Then he turned over the ball twice in the second half to help Minnesota rally.

He came through in the end, leading the long drive and delivering a sharp pass without pressure against a three-man rush to a rookie receiver, who took advantage of the Vikings secondary playing too deep in the end zone.

“It was actually crazy,” St. Brown said. “They were 3 or 4 yards in the end zone.”

The Lions (1-10-1) ended a 15-game winless streak that lasted 364 days since winning at Chicago last season, giving first-year coach Dan Campbell his first victory with the franchise.

“You want this so bad for the players because they’re the ones who put in all the hard work, the sweat, the tears,” Campbell said. “When you lose, it hurts, but it’s also why winning is so great, because it isn’t easy to do.”

The Vikings (5-7) hurt their chances of earning a wild-card spot in the playoffs by losing a game they were favored to win by a touchdown.

Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer defended the decision to drop eight defenders on the final snap, but lamented that the secondary didn’t follow the plan on the play.

“We weren’t covering very well, so we felt we needed to get more guys into coverage,” he said.

Minnesota has the dubious distinction of being the first team Detroit beat this year because it missed chances to score more often, and allowed an offensively challenged team to score more than 17 points for the first time since Week 1.

The Vikings, perhaps lulled to sleep in the first half by the Lions’ gray “Color Rush” alternate uniforms that looked like pajamas, woke up with 16 points in the first 18 minutes after halftime.

Red-zone woes, though, will haunt them when they look back at how they let the Lions win. Minnesota had the ball inside the Detroit 20 twice in the first quarter, settling for field goals and a 6-0 lead, and kicked another field goal in the third after a drive stalled at the Lions 12.

“We came out pretty slow and when we did get into the red zone, we only came away with three,” Jefferson said.

Goff finished 25 of 41 for 296 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. He fumbled when Campbell chose to go on fourth-and-1 from the Detroit 28 with 4:08 left and the play-action pass didn’t fool the defense.

“I felt like I needed to be aggressive,” Campbell said.

Goff, drafted No. 1 overall by the Los Angeles Rams in 2016, had lost 12 straight starts for the longest skid for a quarterback taken first in the common draft era that started in 1967.

St. Brown had 10 receptions for 86 yards – and the winning touchdown was his first NFL score, ending Detroit’s nine-game home losing streak dating to last year.

Cousins was 30 of 40 for 340 yards with two touchdowns and a fumble. Jefferson had 11 receptions for a career-high 182 yards, taking advantage of an increased role when Adam Thielen was injured early in the game.

“It’s obviously a tough loss, and I’m going to think about it for years,” Cousins said.

HEAVY HEARTS

The Lions and Vikings paid tribute to the victims of Tuesday’s school shooting in Oxford, Michigan, by wearing a gold “O” on the back of their helmets.

The tragedy took the lives of four high school students, including Tate Myre, a standout football player and wrestler.

Campbell dedicated the game ball to the Oxford community after the game.

NO CIGAR

The Vikings’ eight-point loss last week at San Francisco was their largest margin of defeat. They also have setbacks by seven and four points, by three points in a pair of overtime games, and 34-33 at Arizona.

INJURIES

Vikings: Thielen injured his left ankle on the game’s opening drive and didn’t return. He entered the game tied for the league lead with 10 receiving touchdowns. … RB Dalvin Cook (shoulder) was inactive.

Lions: DT Nick Williams (left hand, wrist) and CB Jerry Jacobs (neck) were hurt during the game, but did return. … RB D’Andre Swift (shoulder) was inactive.

UP NEXT

Vikings: host Pittsburgh on Thursday night.

Lions: play at Denver next Sunday.

STREAK CONTINUES: TUA, DOLPHINS HOLD OFF GIANTS, WIN 20-9

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) It was third-and-goal and Tua Tagovailoa was rolling left, waiting for someone to get open. The play looked as if it was falling apart, until he saw Isaiah Ford create a sliver of space for himself near the side of the end zone.

Touchdown.

Tagovailoa watched Ford catch the ball and began jumping around in celebration, punching the air. He had made something out of nothing – just as the Miami Dolphins have out of what was once a train wreck of a season.

A team that was once 1-7 and falling apart is now 6-7 and brimming with confidence. Tagovailoa threw a pair of short touchdown passes, and the Dolphins extended their winning streak to five games by topping the New York Giants 20-9 on Sunday.

“I’m glad we won, but I think there’s a lot of things that we left out there on the field, a lot of plays that we wish we’d have back,” Tagovailoa said.

Mack Hollins had the other scoring grab for Miami. Jaylen Waddle had nine catches for 90 yards for the Dolphins, and rookie Jaelan Phillips had two more sacks – giving him five in his past two games.

Tagovailoa completed 30 of 41 passes for 244 yards and the two scores.

“We’re just executing better,” Miami linebacker Jerome Baker said.

Mike Glennon started at quarterback for the Giants in place of Daniel Jones, who was sidelined with a neck injury. Glennon completed 23 of 44 throws for 187 yards, and Saquon Barkley had 55 rushing yards on 11 carries.

Glennon finished the game, and the team said he was diagnosed postgame with a concussion.

“We’ve got to do a better job of taking advantage of all opportunities,” Giants coach Joe Judge said. “We have to understand the margin for error in this league is so small.”

New York never found the end zone against a defense that has yielded only 55 points during the five-game winning streak. Graham Gano had three field goals for the Giants, including a 51-yarder with 4:59 remaining to get New York within 17-9.

The Giants had a chance to force a three-and-out about a minute later, but Tagovailoa found DeVante Parker with a 16-yard pass that required an acrobatic sideline catch to keep the drive alive. And on another third down with 3:14 left, Tagovailoa lofted one perfectly for Mike Gesicki for a 17-yard gain.

New York was out of timeouts, unable to do anything but watch the Dolphins run the clock down to 1:16 before sending Jason Sanders on for a 48-yard field goal, pushing the lead to 11 and sealing the outcome.

“We talk a lot about those late-game situations, how important they are and finishing the game off the right way offensively, defensively and the kicking game,” Dolphins coach Brian Flores said. “I thought we did that across the board.”

The Dolphins took the lead late in the first half on a 5-yard pass from Tagovailoa to Hollins, the capper to a 14-play, 89-yard drive. It was quintessential Miami of late, the formula that has worked with Tagovailoa, relying on the short ball to chip, chip, chip away.

He was 11 for 12 on the drive for 77 yards, only one of those throws going for more than 10 yards, six of them going for no more than 6 yards. The only true deep shot in the series came after the Giants jumped offside; Tagovailoa knew he had a free play and let fly with an incompletion that didn’t count anyway.

Ford’s TD catch capped a seven-play, 61-yard drive with 11:13 left, and that’s what Tagovailoa saw reason to celebrate.

“I think Tua does a good job of reading it and he’s also a very accurate passer,” Giants cornerback James Bradberry. “He has a quick release, too. That’s what makes it tough to defend it.”

INJURIES

Giants: WR Kenny Golladay (ribs) left the game in the first half, then returned to the game after halftime. Judge said Jones will be evaluated again Monday, like all players are, before the Giants make a determination on his status for the coming week.

Dolphins: Waddle was shaken up in the fourth quarter, pointing to his left knee after a catch. He limped off the field as fans chanted his name, and as he waved his arm to encourage more volume he started walking more briskly and then began to jog. The Dolphins said he was cramping. … RB Patrick Laird (knee) was lost in the first quarter, on a day when RB Phillip Lindsay was unavailable because of an ankle issue.

WELL BEHAVED

The first penalty of the game came with 1:55 left in the first half, when the Giants’ Leonard Williams jumped offside. The second penalty, and first on the Dolphins, happened with 7:18 left in the third quarter when left tackle Liam Eichenberg was guilty of a false start.

UP NEXT

Giants: visit the Los Angeles Chargers on Dec. 12.

Dolphins: bye week, then host the New York Jets on Dec. 19.

MINSHEW STEPS IN, EAGLES SCORE ON 1ST 7 DRIVES TO BEAT JETS

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Gardner Minshew stepped into the huddle for Philadelphia, kept things light – as he always does – and led the clock-eating Eagles on seven straight scoring drives.

No, there’s no quarterback controversy. But Minshew Mania was back for a day, and the goofy-mustached backup might have helped save the Eagles’ season.

Minshew was 20 of 25 for 242 yards and two touchdowns to Dallas Goedert while starting in place of an injured Jalen Hurts in a 33-18 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday.

“It felt so good, man,” said Minshew, who made his first start since Week 14 last season with Jacksonville. “It’s the best time I’ve had since we won last year. There’s nothing like that feeling. Glad to do it with this group of guys. They made it easy for me.”

Kenneth Gainwell ran for a score, Jake Elliott kicked four field goals and the Eagles (6-7) stayed in the NFC playoff mix by improving to 12-0 all-time against the Jets (3-9).

Hurts insisted during the week he would play despite an ankle injury. But coach Nick Sirianni said Hurts simply wasn’t healthy enough and instead opted to start Minshew.

“I don’t think there was ever a definitive point where I said, `I’m going,'” Minshew said. “I looked around before that first drive and Jalen didn’t dress and I said, `OK, this is it.'”

And he kept going, helping Philadelphia bounce back from a 13-7 loss to the Giants last weekend at MetLife Stadium by slicing through the Jets’ defense drive after drive. The only possession on which the Eagles didn’t score was their last.

“Very proud of him the way he stepped in confidently,” Goedert said of Minshew. “It was everything I expected from him.”

But the win might have come at a cost as Miles Sanders left in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury after running for 120 yards on 24 carries. Center Jason Kelce also limped off the field at the 2-minute warning. The Eagles have a bye-week break coming up, though.

Zach Wilson finished 23 of 38 for 226 yards and two touchdowns for the Jets, and also ran for a score. He was intercepted by Marcus Epps in the fourth quarter – and the Eagles scored on their seventh straight drive with Elliott’s 46-yarder.

It appeared the Jets and Eagles would be in for a slugfest as they both scored touchdowns on their first three possessions. It was the first game since the Elias Sports Bureau began tracking in 1978 that each team scored TDs on their first three drives.

Things slowed considerably after halftime as the Jets held the ball for only 70 seconds in the third quarter – just three plays for 3 yards. Meanwhile, the Eagles had 24 plays for 81 yards over 13:50 in the period. Philadelphia held the overall edge in time of possession: 35:36 to 24:24.

Four plays after Braxton Berrios returned the opening kickoff 79 yards, Wilson found Elijah Moore for a 3-yard touchdown. It was Wilson’s first TD pass since Week 4.

But Alex Kessman – signed Saturday from the practice squad to replace the struggling Matt Ammendola – missed the extra point in his NFL debut.

Minshew and the Eagles answered with a 36-yard TD to Goedert. And Elliott made his extra-point try to give the Eagles a 7-6 lead.

Wilson and the Jets came right back, with the rookie quarterback scoring on a 1-yard run. But Kessman was wide left again on the extra point, prompting boos from frustrated Jets fans.

Minshew connected with a wide-open Goedert for a 25-yard touchdown. And Wilson marched down the field again, getting a 1-yard TD toss to Ryan Griffin on fourth down. The Jets went for 2, but Wilson’s throw to Jamison Crowder was incomplete.

And the Eagles kept the scoring going with Gainwell squirting through the defense on an 18-yard touchdown run.

The back-and-forth TD streak ended on the fourth possession by the Jets, who were forced to punt with just over two minutes left before halftime.

The Eagles didn’t get a touchdown on their fourth possession, either. But they still got points with Elliott’s 31-yarder. Elliott added a 32-yarder on Philadelphia’s first drive of the third quarter, pushing the Eagles’ lead to 27-18.

“They had the ball to finish the first half,” Jets coach Robert Saleh said. “Then they go eight minutes and then it’s a quick drive for us and then they had the ball again for however many minutes it was. So you’re looking at over an hour of real time where our offense was on the field for just a quick minute.”

SPOTTY

The Jets thought they stopped the Eagles for the first time with 1:18 left in the third quarter when they stuffed Minshew on fourth-and-1. But Sirianni challenged the call, and the play was overturned on video review – giving Minshew a 2-yard gain as Saleh voiced his displeasure on the sideline.

That came four plays after the Eagles went for it on fourth-and-3 from New York’s 47 and C.J. Mosley was called for encroachment – a penalty Saleh vehemently argued with officials.

Elliott capped that drive with a 43-yarder that made it 30-18.

“I’m not going to get into all that,” Saleh said of the questionable calls. “You guys saw the game.”

INJURIES

Eagles: LB Patrick Johnson (back) and CB Steven Nelson (shoulder) left in the first quarter and didn’t return.

Jets: WR Corey Davis (groin), CB Michael Carter II (concussion) and RG Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (ankle) all left with injuries.

UP NEXT

Eagles: Have their bye-week break and then return home to take on NFC East-rival Washington on Dec. 19.

Jets: Stay at home next Sunday to host the New Orleans Saints.

WASHINGTON RALLIES FOR 4TH STRAIGHT WIN, 17-15 OVER RAIDERS

LAS VEGAS (AP) Brian Johnson made quite the first impression on his new Washington teammates.

Johnson kicked the go-ahead 48-yard field goal with 37 seconds remaining five days after joining the team and Washington beat the Las Vegas Raiders 17-15 on Sunday for its fifth straight win.

“I didn’t even know his name,” defensive tackle Jonathan Allen said. “We just brought him up.”

Allen and the rest of the Washington offense know it now after he calmly drilled the game-winning kick after Taylor Heinicke drove the team into position after squandering an eight-point lead.

“The vibe and everything, for not being around it, I felt it once I walked in,” said Johnson, who was signed Tuesday to replace the injured Joey Slye. “It’s an awesome locker room to be in. They’re probably still learning my name, but it’s awesome to be here.”

Heinicke threw a 7-yard TD pass to Logan Thomas on the opening drive and a 4-yarder to Antonio Gibson early in the fourth quarter after extending the drive with a key third-down scramble.

But Washington (6-6) then allowed the Raiders (6-6) to score on successive drives to take a 15-14 lead on Daniel Carlson’s 37-yard field goal that was set up by Nate Hobbs’ interception of Heinicke.

But Heinicke responded and drove Washington down the field to set up the kick by Johnson that came three plays after Tre’von Moehrig dropped a potential game-sealing interception.

“It’s literally the same thing that happened against the Giants,” Heinicke said. “I feel like we play really well in the two-minute drill. We practice it a lot. Guys executed really well and we got lucky on that one throw, but that’s football.”

Heinicke finished 23 for 30 for 196 yards and has now led four game-winning drives in his first year as a starting quarterback in Washington.

“What can you say about him?” Allen said. “He just keeps showing why he needs to be our quarterback.”

Coordinator Jack Del Rio’s defense then sealed it to give him the win in his first game against the Raiders since being fired by the team following the 2017 season.

The game ended when Derek Carr’s desperation heave from his 43 fell incomplete, short of the goal line as Washington improved to 4-0 since the bye to get into playoff position.

“We’re not a star-studded roster,” Allen said. “We don’t have those big celebrities. We’re not an L.A. or whatever the case may be, and we just don’t care what anybody says. We believe in ourselves. We went out there and played hard.”

The Raiders were unable to build on a Thanksgiving overtime win at Dallas and lost for the fourth time in five games as the offense has stalled after a strong start to the season.

They were held to just two field goals in the first three quarters as Carr seemed to miss injured tight end Darren Waller and couldn’t connect on the big plays with DeSean Jackson that helped fuel last week’s win.

Las Vegas finally got into the end zone when Josh Jacobs capped a 75-yard drive aided by three defensive penalties with a 1-yard run. Carr missed Bryan Edwards in the back of the end zone on the 2-point try to keep Washington ahead 14-12.

The Raiders then settled for a field goal late when they stalled in the red zone to set the stage for the Washington comeback.

“It’s very frustrating,” Carr said. “Field goals aren’t going to win you games. You have to get touchdowns, especially with the teams we have coming up. We will need touchdowns to win these games.”

SLOW START

The Raiders punted on their first three drives before getting a 52-yard field goal from Carlson in the closing seconds of the first half to cut the deficit to 7-3. It was the fifth time this season Las Vegas failed to score a touchdown in the first half of a game.

Carr struggled to push the ball downfield with his first 18 passes traveling a combined 36 yards downfield, according to NFL NextGen stats.

“It’s definitely very frustrating, annoying really,” running back Josh Jacobs said. “Starting slow every week and taking too long to be who we are is definitely frustrating.”

REUNION

Carr and Del Rio shared a moment together on the field after the game in their first game against each other since Del Rio was fired.

Carr was one of only two players on the active roster who played for Del Rio on the Raiders from 2015-17 and was part of the franchise’s only playoff berth since the start of the 2003 season when the Raiders went 12-4.

“We just expressed our love for one another and how thankful we were for the times that we had,” Carr said. “He said some things to me about this year and it was good. I love the man and he’ll always have a place in my heart for the years that we had together.”

KEY INJURIES

Washington: Thomas left the game in the second half with a knee injury and didn’t return.

Raiders: RB Kenyan Drake (ankle) and LB Nick Kwiatkoski (ankle) left the game in the first half and didn’t return. … LB Denzel Perryman (ankle) left in the second half.

UP NEXT

Washington: Host Dallas on Sunday.

Raiders: Visit Kansas City on Sunday.

LA RAMS SNAP 3-GAME SKID, ROLL OVER JACKSONVILLE 37-7

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) The Jacksonville Jaguars were the cure for just about everything that ailed the Los Angeles Rams throughout November.

Matthew Stafford and the Rams hope they can stay up at this level when their stretch run gets a whole lot tougher.

Cooper Kupp, Van Jefferson and Odell Beckham Jr. caught touchdown passes from Stafford, and the Rams snapped their three-game losing streak with a 37-7 victory over Jacksonville on Sunday.

Stafford passed for 295 yards while Sony Michel rushed for 121 yards and a score for the Rams (8-4), who rebounded from a winless month with a solid all-around effort against a struggling opponent. Kupp had his 100th reception of a remarkable season among his eight catches for 129 yards.

“It’s nice to get a win after three subpar performances,” Stafford said.

Stafford snapped back into his early-season form, playing turnover-free football after giving the ball away six times during the three-game skid that threatened to derail the Rams’ playoff plans. Los Angeles still has never lost four straight in coach Sean McVay’s half-decade in charge.

“We really need to find a way to start playing our best ball in December,” McVay said. “Our guys did a great job just staying steady and trusting the process. … You don’t take any wins for granted in this league. This is good for our team, and now we’ve just got to start stacking blocks.”

Jalen Ramsey made three tackles against his former team and recovered a fumble forced by Aaron Donald on the opening drive for the Rams, who comfortably won what appeared to be the least daunting game remaining on a tough schedule. Los Angeles still must make trips to Arizona, Baltimore and Minnesota along with two NFC West games at home.

“When you get turnovers, you tend to win games,” Donald said. “We need to build off this type of win we had today. … We can’t be satisfied. Got to stay hungry.”

Rookie Trevor Lawrence passed for 145 yards for the Jaguars (2-10), who have lost four straight. With their 16th consecutive loss to NFC teams since September 2018, the Jaguars have lost 10 games for the 10th time in the last 11 years.

“There are some times when you’re at a loss for words, especially in a game like this where we were moving the ball earlier and then can’t get anything going,” said Lawrence, who went 16 for 28. “The turnovers hurt, and when you’re not moving the ball consistently it is pretty much impossible to come back.”

Jacksonville turned the ball over twice and struggled to get anything going offensively against LA’s star-studded defense, managing just 197 total yards. This defeat means Urban Meyer will lose at least twice as many games in his rookie NFL season as he ever did in any of his 17 seasons as a head coach at the college level.

“I don’t mean to be redundant and go into coachspeak, but there’s nothing else I can tell you,” Meyer said. “Is it frustrating for everybody involved? Absolutely. Are we better than that? Absolutely. We have better players and coaches than that. So now it’s time to go produce.”

Michel was the Rams’ featured back with Darrell Henderson in uniform but limited by a thigh injury. Michel capped the Rams’ only TD drive of the first half with a 5-yard run before finishing with the Rams’ first 100-yard rushing performance all season.

Jacksonville’s defense hung in throughout the first half, preventing the Rams from converting any of their six third downs and forcing LA’s Matt Gay to kick three field goals.

“We’re playing excellent pass defense, field position and complementary football there,” Meyer said. “That’s kind of where you want to be on the road against a good team, and then we couldn’t move the ball.”

The Rams’ defense dominated Lawrence’s offense in the first half except for one 73-yard scoring drive culminating in Carlos Hyde’s 1-yard TD run.

The Rams took control after halftime with two long touchdown drives capped by Kupp’s 29-yard TD grab and Jefferson’s 2-yard, toe-tap scoring catch.

STARRY DEBUTS

The Rams’ two prized midseason acquisitions finally got to play at SoFi Stadium for the first time, and both made contributions to the victory.

Beckham made an early 27-yard reception before his 1-yard TD grab early in the fourth quarter, outfighting Nevin Lawson for a jump ball.

Linebacker Von Miller had just one tackle for loss, but he was active in drawing blockers while the Rams’ pass rush kept Lawrence uncomfortable for most of the day.

INJURED

Stafford left for one play after a hard tackle, but returned quickly. “Just a chest shot,” Stafford said. “I feel good now.” … Rams center Brian Allen injured his knee on their first snap from scrimmage and didn’t return. Coleman Shelton took over and played well in the Los Angeles native’s first significant NFL action in two years. … Rams left guard David Edwards injured his foot later in their opening drive, but eventually returned. … Jaguars C Brandon Linder injured his back. … Jags rookie CB Tyson Campbell incurred an abdominal injury in the third quarter.

UP NEXT

Jaguars: at Tennessee next Sunday.

Rams: at Arizona for Monday night game on Dec. 13.

STEELERS TURN AWAY RAVENS 20-19 AFTER FAILED 2-POINT ATTEMPT

PITTSBURGH (AP) If the end is near for Ben Roethlisberger, he’s not telling. Not publicly anyway. The longtime Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback insists he won’t make a final decision about his future until January at the earliest.

Until then, he is intent on savoring each moment as it comes. Moments like the giddy postgame locker room on Sunday night inside Heinz Field, when a surprised Roethlisberger received the game ball following the 39th fourth-quarter comeback of his career, a 20-19 victory over Baltimore that will be remembered for Roethlisberger’s vintage second-half play and a gutsy – if ultimately fruitless – decision by Ravens coach John Harbaugh to go for the win in regulation.

“You should always try to savor moments like this,” Roethlisberger said after throwing for 236 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdowns to Diontae Johnson. “I try and reiterate that to guys. Whether you’re in your first year or your fifth year, your 20th year, you should always appreciate this moment.”

One the Steelers (6-5-1) desperately needed in order to be any sort of factor down the stretch. Pittsburgh ended a three-game winless skid behind a flash of brilliance from Roethlisberger and Johnson and the long arms of linebacker T.J. Watt.

Watt finished with a career-high 3 1/2 sacks despite missing practice all week after being placed on the COVID-19 list, and his presence forced Lamar Jackson’s 2-point conversion throw to tight end Mark Andrews to fall harmlessly to the turf after a 6-yard touchdown catch by Sammy Watkins drew the Ravens (8-4) within a point with 12 seconds to go.

Rather than turn to the NFL’s best kicker to force overtime by going for an extra point, Harbaugh told Justin Tucker to remain on the sideline and asked Jackson to win it in regulation. Jackson took the snap and looked his right, but in an effort to keep the ball out of Watt’s reach, he ended up leading Andrews too far. The pass smacked off Andrews’ outstretched hands and the Steelers escaped.

“I was cool with (the decision),” Jackson said. “I want to win.”

Harbaugh pointed to the play of his injury-depleted secondary – a list that now includes star Marlon Humphrey, who left in the second half with an issue Harbaugh did not disclose – as the main reason to avoid overtime.

The Ravens certainly looked a step slow over the final 15 minutes as Roethlisberger hit a wide-open Johnson for scores of 29 and 5 yards, the last a flip that gave the Steelers a 20-13 lead with 1:48 to go.

Jackson took Baltimore 60 yards and Watkins’ tumbling touchdown grab pulled the Ravens within a point.

“We were pretty much out of corners at that point in time,” Harbaugh said. “It was an opportunity for us to win the game right there. … You saw the play. It’s that close. It’s a game of inches.”

INACTION JACKSON

Baltimore remained in first place in the AFC North despite the loss after Cincinnati fell to the Los Angeles Chargers earlier in the day. Still, the Ravens missed a chance to put away their longtime rivals thanks in part to an inability to protect Jackson.

The Steelers sacked Jackson seven times, including 2 1/2 by former Ravens defensive lineman Chris Wormley, who was traded to Pittsburgh before the 2020 season.

“I told (Wormley) when he got here, I said, ‘Man, when a team trades you within the division, they’re telling you what they think of you,'” Tomlin said. “So I hope he plays like that when he sees (Baltimore).”

LAST CALL?

Roethlisberger declined to get into specifics about an ESPN report on Saturday night – which cited anonymous sources – that he’ll call it a career whenever the 2021 season ends.

“My focus is on (Thursday’s game at) Minnesota and what we have to do to get ready,” he said. “I’ll address any of that stuff after the season. I’ve always been a one game at a time, one season at a time person and I’m going to stay that way.”

Contemplating retirement is nothing new for Roethlisberger. The 39-year-old Roethlisberger has been flirting with it since the spring of 2017.

There has been times this season when he’s looked every bit his age, and moments when he can briefly turn back the clock as he did in the fourth quarter on Sunday, when he completed 9 of 10 for 129 yards with two touchdowns, a 2-pt conversion and a 158.3 passer rating.

HOME ARREST

How did Watt stay in shape during his unexpected downtime? By pulling on his cleats and running around trees at his house in suburban Pittsburgh.

He hardly looked rusty while chasing after Jackson. At one point the two good-naturedly-slapped each other on the helmet as a sign of respect following an 11-yard gain by Jackson.

INJURIES

Ravens: OL Patrick Mekari left in the second half with a hand injury and did not return.

Steelers: G B.J. Finney left in the first quarter with a back injury. Finney was replaced by John Leglue, who made his NFL debut.

Field judge Mike Weatherford left early in the fourth quarter after getting tangled up with Pittsburgh’s Chase Claypool following a 40-yard gain.

UP NEXT

Ravens: Go for a season sweep of the Browns when they travel to Cleveland next Sunday.

Steelers: Face a short week with a visit face the Vikings looming on Thursday night.

SEAHAWKS HOLD ON LATE FOR WILD 30-23 WIN OVER 49ERS

SEATTLE (AP) For all the late-game mistakes and missed opportunities throughout their disappointing season, the Seattle Seahawks continue to believe there is something worth playing for.

They showed the San Francisco 49ers exactly that Sunday.

“No matter how people bash us and say we’re done and all this we always believe,” Seattle safety Quandre Diggs said.

Russell Wilson played his best game since returning from finger surgery, throwing for 231 yards and two touchdowns, and the Seattle Seahawks made a late goal-line stand to beat the 49ers 30-23 on Sunday.

Seattle (4-8) snapped a three-game losing streak but it wasn’t easy as a number of mistakes gave the 49ers a chance for a tying touchdown in the final moments.

With the playoffs still a mathematical possibility, the Seahawks are refusing to fall into the mode of playing out the final weeks. This week, it came at the expense of the Niners’ playoff chase.

“I have some amazing teammates, guys who were super supportive this week, just giving me some good energy, too, and vice versa,” Wilson said. “And let’s just go for it. Let’s just have fun while we do it. And we were able to do that tonight.”

It was far from a clean game for Seattle, though. Gerald Everett was responsible for three turnovers, capped by fumbling at the San Francisco 2 with 4:03 remaining and Seattle on the cusp of a clinching score. Jimmy Garoppolo led the 49ers 95 yards to the Seattle 3. But his third-down pass for Trent Sherfield was broken up by Sidney Jones, and his fourth- down pass was deflected at the line of scrimmage by Carlos Dunlap.

It was the second big play by Dunlap, who sacked Garoppolo for a safety early in the third quarter.

“When given the opportunity to go straight and impact the game in those situations, I like my odds and I’m betting with me every time,” Dunlap said.

Newly signed running back Adrian Peterson moved into a tie with Jim Brown for 10th all-time with 126 career touchdowns, scoring on a 1-yard run in the second quarter for Seattle.

Wilson threw a 7-yard touchdown to Dee Eskridge in the second quarter and his 12-yard touchdown to Tyler Lockett late in the third quarter provided the winning points.

Travis Homer also ran 73 yards for a touchdown on a fake punt on the opening possession of the game for Seattle.

“It’s a pretty cool call to go for that,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said.

San Francisco (6-6) saw its three-game win streak snapped and was swept by Seattle this season. The 49ers were unable to get their run game going as in recent weeks, with Elijah Mitchell rushing for 66 yards on 22 carries. San Francisco had averaged 178.3 yards rushing per game during its three-game win streak but finished with 71 yards against the Seahawks.

Garoppolo threw for 299 yards and two TDs, but also had a pair of interceptions, the second grabbed by Diggs and setting up Seattle’s go-ahead touchdown.

George Kittle had nine catches for 181 yards and two touchdowns, but was shut down in the second half until the final drive.

“Our offense we didn’t really do anything in the second half. And it’s hard to win in Seattle if you don’t do anything the second half,” Kittle said.

On that final drive it took San Francisco five plays to reach the Seattle 30, including completions to Kittle of 29 and 14 yards. Brandon Aiyuk’s 11-yard catch got the 49ers to the Seattle 7, two runs by Mitchell yielded only 4 yards and Garoppolo couldn’t connect on his last two throws.

SCARY START

San Francisco reserve running back Trenton Cannon was taken off the field on a backboard after a scary collision on the opening kickoff against Seattle. Cannon was attempting to make a tackle on DeeJay Dallas when his head hit the leg of a teammate. The 49ers said Cannon had a concussion, was in stable condition at a Seattle area hospital, and would remain overnight for observation.

KITTLE’S DAY

Kittle was just the second tight end in the past five seasons with at least 100 yards receiving and two touchdowns in the first half. Darren Waller also did it last season against the Jets. Kittle had five catches for 121 yards and two TDs in the first half.

INJURIES

The 49ers didn’t have starting wide receiver Deebo Samuel due to a groin injury, starting linebacker Fred Warner (hamstring) and LB Marcell Harris (concussion). CB Emmanuel Moseley suffered an ankle injury in the first quarter and did not return.

Seattle was without starting RB Alex Collins, who had been dealing with an abdominal/core injury for several weeks, and left guard Damien Lewis. Seattle lost safety Jamal Adams to a sprained shoulder injury late in the first half. Adams returned to the sideline in the third quarter in sweats and Carroll said he did not know the extent of the injury. RT Brandon Shell also left in the second half due to a lingering shoulder injury.

UP NEXT

49ers: San Francisco is at Cincinnati next Sunday.

Seahawks: Seattle is at Houston next Sunday.

CHIEFS KEEP AFC WEST LEAD WITH 22-9 VICTORY OVER BRONCOS

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) The Chiefs’ Andy Reid is an offensive-minded coach to his core, so the Kansas City defense must have done something special against the Denver Broncos on Sunday night for him to call its performance “beautiful.”

Three turnovers. Three fourth-down stops. One pick-6 to seal a fifth straight win.

Yep, sounds like a fitting description.

“It was just beautiful to watch,” Reid gushed after the 22-9 victory in chilly Arrowhead Stadium, which kept Kansas City in first place in the crowded AFC West as it chases a sixth consecutive division crown.

Patrick Mahomes had just 184 yards passing with a touchdown run and an interception, and his receiving corps dropped so many passes he probably thought the ball was greased. But despite the Chiefs (8-4) gaining 257 yards of total offense, they managed to keep a one-game lead on the Chargers thanks to the other side of the ball.

“Mostly it’s been about a commitment to each other, believing in each other, not letting outside noise dictate what we feel,” Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu said. “It’s been a total team effort to stay committed to each other.”

Things went haywire for the Broncos early in the game, when a 20-play drive ended with a failed fourth-down play rather than an easy field goal. And they didn’t get much better when Teddy Bridgewater threw a pair of second-half interceptions, including the one that Daniel Sorensen returned 75 yards for a score with 9 1/2 minutes left to put the game away.

“We moved the ball well in certain areas, certain times of the game. Guys stepped up and made plays,” Bridgewater said. “But when you give them opportunities and you don’t maximize your opportunities, it’s a recipe to get beat.”

Bridgewater was held to 257 yards passing for the Broncos (6-6), who have lost 12 in a row to their longtime rival dating to the 2015 season. Javonte Williams started in place of injured running back Melvin Gordon III and had 102 yards rushing along with a touchdown catch late in the fourth quarter.

“The loss makes you feel empty no matter what,” Broncos coach Vic Fangio said.

The Chiefs must have spent their bye working on their opening offensive script, because they effortlessly flew downfield for a touchdown. They even overcame an offensive pass-interference call before Mahomes scampered for the score.

After the Chiefs forced a second consecutive three-and-out, Harrison Butker made a 56-yard field goal.

That was just about the last anyone saw of Mahomes and Co. for a while.

The Broncos answered with a field goal of their own. Then, after forcing a quick punt, they embarked on a 20-play odyssey that carried them 83 yards and chewed up nearly 12 minutes of the second quarter – and resulted in no points.

Denver twice converted on fourth down to keep the drive alive, then went for the hat trick on fourth-and-2 at the Kansas City 8. Williams took the handoff and was stuffed by linebacker Willie Gay Jr. for a turnover on downs, the first time since 2009 that a 20-play driving lasting at least 11 minutes didn’t result in points.

“Frustrating. That’s all I can really say,” Broncos receiver Courtland Sutton said. “It would be nice to get points.”

That wasn’t the end of the Broncos’ woes. They went three-and-out on their first drive of the second half, Bridgewater was picked off by Juan Thornhill on their next, and Caden Sterns ran into returner Diontae Spencer after forcing Kansas City to punt; the Chiefs managed to hop on the muff for a fresh set of downs.

Butker hit his third field goal a few minutes later, extending the lead to 16-3 with 13 1/2 minutes to go, and Sorensen tacked on his pick-6 to put the game out of reach.

“It’s tough to win in this league,” said Reid, who improved to 20-3 coming off a bye, including 7-2 since his arrival in Kansas City. “And to have that opportunity against a good football team, we’ll feel good about ourselves for a minute here until we get ourselves ready for the Raiders come Tuesday.”

STATS AND STREAKS

The Broncos are 3-20 in December when playing at Kansas City dating to the days of the AFL. … Bridgewater had not thrown an interception in four straight games before the Chiefs picked him twice. … The Broncos’ Patrick Surtain II, the reigning AFC defensive player of the week, had an interception. … The Chiefs’ defense has allowed 17 points or fewer in five straight games. … Mahomes needs 73 yards passing to pass Alex Smith (17,608) for the third most in Chiefs history. … Darrel Williams led the Chiefs in rushing (54 yards) and receiving (three catches for 60 yards).

INJURIES

Broncos NT Mike Purcell was a surprise inactive with a thumb injury.

Chiefs CB Chris Lammons left late in the first half with an ankle injury.

UP NEXT

The Broncos host Detroit next Sunday. The Chiefs host Las Vegas the same day.

OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR BRADY RELIEVED OF DUTIES BY PANTHERS

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Carolina Panthers have relieved offensive coordinator Joe Brady of his duties.

The team announced the change Sunday.

“I met with Joe this morning and informed him that I have decided to make a change,” coach Matt Rhule said in a statement. “I’m very grateful to him for his time and effort in helping us get established over this past year and a half.”

Offensive assistant Jeff Nixon will take Brady’s place for the rest of the season.

Brady was considered a major hire by Rhule before the 2020 season. He was the coordinator of LSU’s prolific offense with quarterback Joe Burrow in 2019 when the Tigers won the national title. Then 30 years old, Brady was the NFL’s youngest coordinator.

But the offense has struggled in Carolina. Entering their bye this week, the Panthers (5-7) ranked 28th with 308.7 yards per game, and 23rd in scoring 19.7 points each game. They started the season 3-0, but star running back Christian McCaffrey then was injured and the team has spiraled since. McCaffrey is hurt again and done for the season.

Rhule recently brought in Cam Newton at quarterback with Sam Darnold injured. Neither has done particularly well, but it’s Brady who was let go.

MITCHELL SCORES 35, JAZZ HOLD OFF CAVALIERS 109-108

CLEVELAND (AP) Once the shot left Darius Garland’s hands, the Utah Jazz couldn’t do anything but hope it didn’t drop.

Sometimes, defense comes down to a simple wish.

Garland missed a potential game-winner with 2.9 seconds left as the Jazz, who got 35 points from Donovan Mitchell, survived Cleveland’s late surge for their fourth straight win, 109-108 over the Cavaliers on Sunday.

Rudy Gobert had 20 rebounds and five blocks, Bojan Bogdanovic added 16 points and Rudy Gay had 15 for Utah, which made 20 3-pointers and gave away a 15-point lead in the fourth.

The Cavs had a chance to win, and coach J.B. Bickerstaff put the ball in Garland’s hands. But his 28-footer was long, and Jarrett Allen couldn’t get his tip to drop as Cleveland had its winning streak stopped at four.

“That last possession, I knew it was going to go to him because I’ve known J.B. as a head coach for quite a while,” Jazz guard Mike Conley said. “I just tried to stay up as high as I could and make sure it was contested. I told him (Garland), it was like playing against myself.”

Bickerstaff didn’t second-guess his decision.

“If I could do it over again, I would do the same thing and let him make a play,” he said.

Garland scored 31 points, Allen added 17 points and 11 rebounds and rookie Evan Mobley had 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Cavs, who were back at home after beating Dallas, Miami and Washington. It was the first time since 1975 that the Cavs won three straight on the road over teams with winning records.

“That’s a really good team and they made some shots,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said as his squad opened a four-game trip. “It’s a really good win for us – starting the trip with an early game in the East is not easy.”

Utah opened its 15-point lead in the early moments of the fourth on Conley’s 3-pointer and seemed poised to put the Cavs away.

However, as has been the case all season, Cleveland fought back.

The Cavs reeled off 15 straight points to tie it 97-all on Ricky Rubio’s scoop shot with 8:43 left. Cedi Osman contributed to the flurry with a dunk, 3-pointer and steal.

“We never gave up,” said Rubio, who finished with 15 points. “We’ve been in every single game this season.”

Mitchell had a chance to put the Jazz ahead by three, but Mobley came across the lane and blocked his layup with 22 seconds to go. The Cavs corralled the ball and called time to set up a final shot.

Garland initially drove the lane, but got turned away. He wound up with the ball at the top of the key and launched his deep 3 that was long, and the Jazz survived Allen’s follow attempt.

“I work on that shot every day,” said Garland, who has scored 30 points in consecutive games for the first time. “It felt good. I was open.”

SHORT-HANDED HORNETS LEAN ON 3-POINTERS, TOP HAWKS 130-127

ATLANTA (AP) Miles Bridges scored 32 points and the Charlotte Hornets, without four players, leaned on their best 3-point shooting game of the season and beat the Atlanta Hawks 130-127 on Sunday night.

Bridges made each of his four shots in the fourth quarter, when he scored 13 points.

“I feel like that’s a statement game, let people know that we’re here,” Bridges said.

Kelly Oubre Jr. made six 3s and scored 28 points for Charlotte. The Hornets made a season-high 17 3s.

Hawks coach Nate McMillan said the Hornets, even when short-handed, are “probably the best catch-and-shoot team in the league.”

“We just really weren’t able to get stops when we needed to,” McMillan said. “We scored 127 points. That’s more than enough to win the game. It comes down to defensively being able to stop them and we weren’t able to do that.”

John Collins led Atlanta with a season-best 31 points and 12 rebounds.

Among the four Charlotte players held out after being placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols was leading scorer LaMelo Ball. Also, starting guard Terry Rozier, the third-leading scorer, and two more usual rotation players – center Mason Plumlee and forward Jalen McDaniels – were held out. They’ll be sidelined for at least 10 days.

“It was about who wanted it more and we have some guys on our team who are just dogs and wouldn’t be denied,” Oubre said.

“It was a blessing for us to go out and just compete and hold it down for our brothers.”

Oubre, Ish Smith and Nick Richards moved into the starting lineup.

Bridges’ 3 with 4:26 remaining gave Charlotte a 115-113 lead that it didn’t relinquish. Oubre added another key 3 to push the lead to 122-116.

Trae Young’s jumper with 22 seconds remaining cut Charlotte’s lead to three points. Young scored 25 points and had a season-high 15 assists.

Atlanta’s Kevin Huerter tried to counter Charlotte’s long-distance game by making a career-best seven 3s, finishing with 28 points.

The Hornets made 53.5% of their shots from the field and 17 of 37 3s.

After trailing 74-63 early in the third quarter, the Hawks were boosted by three consecutive 3-pointers, including two by Collins, to cut the Hornets’ lead to two points.

Atlanta led 89-87 before the Hornets regained momentum with a 12-0 run late in the third. Cody Martin had eight points, including two 3s, in the run.

SIAKAM SCORES 31 TO HELP RAPTORS BEAT WIZARDS 102-90

TORONTO (AP) Pascal Siakam scored 31 points, Precious Achiuwa had 10 points and 14 rebounds, and the Toronto Raptors beat the Washington Wizards 102-90 on Sunday night.

Chris Boucher scored 14 points, Scottie Barnes had 11, and Fred VanVleet 10 to help the Raptors win back-to-back games for the first time since a five-game winning streak from Oct. 27 to Nov. 3.

Toronto led by as many as 25 points, and beat Washington for the 11th time in 13 meetings.

The Raptors have held their opponent below 100 points in three consecutive games for the first time this season.

“We don’t have a 7-footer out there, but we have guys that can do multiple things and are great on defense,” Siakam said. “We’ve just got to bring the effort every single night.”

Raptors coach Nick Nurse praised his team for their defensive effort in the first quarter, when Washington shot 5 for 22.

“I thought that group that started set the tone, but I also thought the guys who came off the bench brought the same kind of energy and maybe even a little more,” Nurse said. “That’s kind of what we’re hoping for it to look like. It was a good, all-around team effort defensively.”

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored a season-high 26 points and Bradley Beal had 14 for the Wizards, who couldn’t dig out of a double-digit hole after their rotten first quarter.

“Early on, I thought we generated some pretty good looks, but they didn’t go in,” Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr. said. “That tends to have a snowball effect. It’s demoralizing.”

The Wizards have lost two straight, three of four and seven of 11 since their five-game winning streak ended Nov. 17. Washington also trailed by 25 or more in Friday’s home loss to Cleveland.

“In the early season, we bounced back from these stretches,” Unseld said. “This has kind of been the longest duration where things have been kind of tenuous for us. It’s certainly a test. We have no choice. We have to pull together and we have to dig ourselves out, and we’ve got to find a way.”

Siakam went 10 for 21 from the field, made his lone 3-point attempt, and made a season-high 10 of 12 free-throw attempts. He also had six rebounds and three assists.

Toronto led 23-12 after an opening period in which the Wizards scored 12 points, their fewest in any quarter this season.

“Shots just weren’t falling,” Caldwell-Pope said, “and I feel like we let that dictate our defense. We weren’t really playing hard and they were making everything that they threw up.”

Washington recovered with a 30-point second, shooting 10 for 17, but the Raptors answered with a 40-point effort – their highest-scoring quarter of the season.

“We didn’t help ourselves in that second quarter,” Unseld said.

Siakam scored 17 in the second as Toronto led 63-42 at the half. Caldwell-Pope had 10 points in the third but the Raptors took an 84-68 lead to the fourth, and weren’t threatened after that.

GORDON, WOOD GUIDE ROCKETS PAST PELICANS FOR 6TH WIN IN ROW

HOUSTON, Texas (AP) Eric Gordon and Christian Wood both scored 23 points, and the Houston Rockets beat the New Orleans Pelicans 118-108 on Sunday night for their sixth straight win.

The Rockets have pieced together the run after losing 15 straight games.

“At the beginning, frankly, we didn’t really know what we were doing, we hadn’t been through those experiences,” Rockets coach Stephen Silas said. “We had just had training camp and then game after game. Guys who hadn’t been through those moments and the more we do it, the better we get at it.”

Gordon said the keys to the winning streak were twofold: “Defensively, we’re competing, and offensively, unselfish mentality.”

Brandon Ingram scored a season-high 40 points for the Pelicans – the most since dropping 40 against Brooklyn on Nov. 4, 2019.

“I just got some open looks, got to my spots, getting to the rim and attacking mismatches,” Ingram said. “My teammates found me whenever I was open.”

Jonas Valanciunas finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds and Nickeil Alexander-Walker scored 10, but New Orleans dropped their third game in the last five.

“Just seemed like we couldn’t get into anything with enough force,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said. “Then we just didn’t get enough stops … We tried to pick it up in the second half, it was a little better. Just got to make more shots, that’s what it comes down to. We did a good job of not turning the ball over, our assists could be higher but we’ve got to make some shots out there.”

Houston’s Daniel Theis netted 12 points on 4 of 6 shooting from the field, and Alperen Sengun finished with 10 points.

New Orleans cut Houston’s eight-point halftime lead to five with 10:48 left in the third quarter, but Gordon single-handedly expanded it back to double digits by scoring the Rockets’ next 13 points over a span of 3:46 to balloon the lead to 72-61.

In the fourth quarter, KJ Martin electrified the crowd with a massive putback dunk, which extended the Rockets’ lead to 98-87.

New Orleans clawed their way back to trail 111-103 with 3:04 left capped by a Valanciunas jumper.

Silas then called a timeout, having seen these types of situations where double-digit leads would slip away.

“This was a moment where we had to make sure that we maintained or increased it,” Silas said. “We did a good job. The bench guys were really good.”

Garrison Matthews, who hadn’t scored since the second quarter, buried a corner 3 with 18.1 seconds left to extend the Rockets’ lead to 118-108.

The 3 from Matthews was the 17th of the game for Houston. The Rockets finished 17 of 40 from beyond the arc, which was right at their average per game (17.4) during this streak.

“Having more shooting on the floor and being more confident in shooting the ball,” Silas said of the key to their 3-point shooting success. “Being more intentional about getting to drive and kick and making that extra pass.”

TOP INDIANA NEWS/RELEASES

Taylor’s two-TD day helps Colts rout woeful Texans 31-0

HOUSTON (AP) Darius Leonard and the Indianapolis Colts defense had one goal entering Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans.

“Before we even went out there, I said: `If we don’t shut these guys out, we didn’t do good enough,'” he said.

The star linebacker helped the Colts accomplish that, leading a defense that forced two turnovers in a 31-0 victory. It is the first time Indy has held a team scoreless since beating Dallas 23-0 on Dec. 16, 2018, and the team’s first shutout on the road since a 6-0 victory at New England in 1992.

“The defense was unreal,” coach Frank Reich said. “That’s an epic defensive performance from really start to finish.”

Jonathan Taylor ran for 143 yards and two touchdowns to lead Indy’s offense in the rout.

“The coaches are putting together great schemes,” Taylor said. “A lot of runs they’re opening up like the Red Sea, so I’m not getting touched for a few yards.”

The Texans turned the ball over twice in the first quarter and quarterback Tyrod Taylor was benched in the third quarter as Houston (2-10) lost for the ninth time in 10 games.

“We got outcoached and outplayed,” coach David Culley said.

Jonathan Taylor, who leads the NFL in yards rushing, has 16 rushing touchdowns this season, which ties the franchise record set by Lenny Moore in 1964. It’s the 10th consecutive game in which he’s ran for a touchdown, the longest streak in the NFL since LaDainian Tomlinson did it in 18 straight in the 2004 and 2005 seasons.

The Colts improved to 7-0 this season in games in which the 22-year-old Taylor runs for at least 100 yards.

Carson Wentz threw for 158 yards and a touchdown for the Colts (7-6) before being replaced by Sam Ehlinger with five minutes left in the fourth quarter and the game long decided.

Things went wrong for Houston immediately with Tyrod Taylor throwing an interception on the team’s first play. It was initially ruled an incompletion, but the Colts challenged the call and the review showed that Kenny Moore grabbed it just before falling out of bounds.

The Colts took a 7-0 lead when Jonathan Taylor took the snap out of the wildcat and ran 1 yard for the score.

The second big mistake by the Texans came on the fourth play of the next drive when Pharaoh Brown fumbled after a catch and it was recovered by the Colts.

They failed to capitalize on that mistake when Michael Badgley’s 35-yard field goal sailed wide left.

Indianapolis extended the lead to 14-0 when Wentz found Ashton Dulin in the corner of the end zone for a 2-yard touchdown just before halftime. The Colts kept that drive alive on a sneak by Wentz on fourth-and-1.

Jonathan Taylor’s second TD run came on the opening possession of the third quarter to push the lead to 21-0. It was a 3-yard run that capped a 75-yard drive.

Tyrod Taylor was evaluated for an injury after Houston’s first possession of the third quarter, but the team said he was available to play, and it was Culley’s decision to insert backup Davis Mills in his place. He was 5 for 13 for 45 yards before being replaced.

Culley said after the game that Taylor hyperextended his wrist and the trainers weren’t sure that he could grip the ball, but that he could have played if they needed him.

Culley has been adamant all season that Taylor would be Houston’s starter if he was healthy, but he certainly wasn’t as supportive of the veteran after Sunday’s loss.

“We’re just going to look at the whole situation,” he said. “I’ve got to look at the video to see exactly what happened. … I’ve got to look at Tyrod while he was in there and look at Davis while he was in there and see where we need to go from there.”

After the two early turnovers, the Texans punted on four consecutive drives before Mills entered the game with about four minutes left in the third quarter. The QB change didn’t do anything to help Houston’s offense and the Texans punted twice after Mills took over and turned the ball over on downs on his other three possessions.

Mills was 6 of 14 for 49 yards.

The boos from the sparse crowd began early and grew louder with each terrible offensive possession as the Texans were shut out for the second time this season. It’s their second loss to the Colts this year after they got a 31-3 victory in Indianapolis in October.

The Colts outgained Houston 389-141 and Indianapolis had 26 first downs to just 9 by the Texans.

A 23-yard field goal with about nine minutes left made it 24-0 and rookie Deon Jackson added a 3-yard TD run with two minutes to go.

TAKE IT AWAY

The Colts lead the NFL with 29 takeaways this season and Sunday was the 14th consecutive game in which they’ve forced at least turnover going back to last season. That’s the longest active streak in the NFL.

SUSPENDED

Houston linebacker Zach Cunningham was inactive after being suspended for violating team rules. The move comes after he was suspended for a quarter in a game earlier this season for the same thing. His punishment comes a week after safety Justin Reid was suspended against the Jets for violating team rules.

Culley said he was surprised and disappointed that his team continues to have these issues.

UP NEXT

Colts: Have a bye next week and host New England Dec. 18.

Texans: Host Seattle next Sunday.

Big Ten Play Opens When No. 6 Indiana Hosts Penn State On Monday Evening

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – No. 6 Indiana opens up Big Ten play Monday night when it plays host to Penn State. Tipoff inside Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall is set for 6 p.m. ET on Big Ten Network.

#6/6 INDIANA (5-2) vs. PENN STATE (4-4, 0-0 B1G)

Monday, December 6, 2021 • 6 p.m. ET

Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall • Bloomington, Ind.

Broadcast: BTN (Matt Shumacker, Christy Winters Scott)

Radio: WHCC 105.1 FM (Austin Render)

ABOUT THE LADY LIONS

Penn State is in the midst of a three-game skid, most recently falling at Boston College in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Junior guard McKenna Marisa leads the way with 21.4 points and 5.5 assists per game. Ali Bringham adds double figures with 13.1 points per game and a team-high 5.4 rebounds. The Lady Lions are averaging just under 80 points per game this season and shooting 46 percent.

SERIES HISTORY

Penn State leads 33-17

LAST MEETING

2/10/21 – W, 90-65 (Bloomington, Ind.)

NOTES

Big Ten play begins on Monday for the Hoosiers, who will play its earliest league game in program history. They will play two games before the holiday break as it will travel to Ohio State on Dec. 12.

The Hoosiers are coming off a historic season in conference play in 2020-21, recording a school record 16 wins and finishing second overall. They are picked to finish second in the annual preseason Big Ten poll released in late October with senior guard Grace Berger and junior forward Mackenzie Holmes earning spots on the preseason All-Big Ten team.

While Indiana trails in the all-time series with the Lady Lions, it has dominated the most recent history of the series. IU has won eight of the last nine matchups and are on a four-game win streak in the series.

Looking to bounce back, Indiana is coming off a 66-58 loss to No. 2/3 North Carolina State on Thursday night in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Junior forward Mackenzie Holmes led the way for IU with 24 points. Holmes is leading the program with 16.6 points and 7.0 rebounds through seven games this season.

UP NEXT

Indiana concludes a three-game homestand when it hosts Fairfield in non-conference action on Thursday night. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. ET.

BOILERMAKERS BOUND FOR MUSIC CITY BOWL

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – With its best season in 15 years, Purdue Football has accepted an invitation to play in the TransPerfect Music City Bowl. The Boilermakers (8-4, 6-3 B1G) will battle the Tennessee Volunteers (7-5, 4-4 SEC), Dec. 30, at Nissan Stadium in Nashville. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. ET on ESPN.

The bowl bid marks the 20th bowl game in Purdue history, including the third in five seasons under head coach Jeff Brohm. Purdue has an all-time record of 10-9 in bowl games. The Boilermakers are making their second appearance in the Music City Bowl, having played in the 2018 version against Auburn.

“After the outstanding season our football program has had, we are extremely proud of and excited for Coach Brohm and the Boilermakers to be representing Purdue University in the TransPerfect Music City Bowl.” vice president and director of athletics Mike Bobinski said. “Our fans certainly know what a special and unique place Nashville is, and I’m certain we will have a sea of Old Gold and Black throughout the city and inside Nissan Stadium on Thursday, Dec. 30. We are appreciative of the invitation and look forward to a great game against Tennessee.”

Purdue enters the bowl game with an 8-4 record, the most wins in a regular season since Joe Tiller’s 2006 team captured eight victories. The Boilermakers also went 6-3 in Big Ten play to finish tied for second in the West Division, winning at least six conference game for the first time in 18 years.

“Playing in a game like the Music City Bowl, in the great city of Nashville, is a reward for our team after the season we had,” said head coach Jeff Brohm. “We are excited about the opportunity to compete, especially in an NFL stadium against a very good Tennessee team. Our guys are looking forward to the challenge, and we can’t wait to see our fans join us in the Music City.”

The Boilermakers and Volunteers have met only once in history, and the matchup also occurred during bowl season. In just the program’s second ever bowl appearance, Purdue ended the 1979 campaign by beating No. 12 Tennessee 27-22 in the Bluebonnet Bowl in Houston, Texas. Jim Young’s Boilermakers ended the season with a 10-2 record, the most wins in school history.

Purdue’s 2021 success can be attributed to all three phases. The passing offense is one of the nation’s best, ranking eighth in the country (340.4 yards per game) and second in the Big Ten. The Boilermaker defense is allowing just 20.4 points per game (23rd nationally) and has kept four opponents to single digits for the first time since 1978. For special teams, Mitchell Fineran is just one of three Purdue kickers in history to make at least 20 field goals in a season, converting on 80 percent of his attempts to rank fourth in the conference.

Fourteen Boilermakers earned All-Big Ten recognition, led by Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year David Bell on offense and fellow first team honoree George Karlaftis on the defensive side of the ball. Bell, also a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award (best receiver in college football), leads the Big Ten in catches per game (8.5) and receiving yards per game (116.9), ranking second and fourth in the country, respectively. Second Team All-Big Ten quarterback Aidan O’Connell, the first Purdue QB to be named to one of the first two All-Big Ten teams since Kyle Orton (2004), is one of the most accurate passers in the nation. The fifth-year senior is completing 73.5 percent of his passes to lead the Big Ten and rank third nationally, currently on pace to set a conference record.

SLOW SHOOTING LIMITS PURDUE IN LOSS TO NO. 18/20 OHIO STATE

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue women’s basketball team dropped its Big Ten Conference opener Sunday to No. 18/20 Ohio State, 70-53. The Boilermakers held the national leader in scoring offense to nearly 20 points below its average.

The Boilermakers (6-3, 0-1) struggled to find its rhythm on the offensive end with a 29.6% field goal clip. Purdue was 6-of-36 from behind the arc. Purdue took 21 more shots than Ohio State (6-1, 1-0), but the Buckeyes finished with four more made field goals and shot an even 50% from the field.

Madison Layden paced the Boilermakers with 13 points and a trio of 3-pointers. Abbey Ellis jumped back into double figures with an 11-point outing. In addition to Layden and Ellis both making five shots, only Ra Shaya Kyle and Jeanae Terry made more than one field goal.

Purdue’s defense forced 22 Ohio State turnovers on the night but only converted them into 14 points, compared to 18 points on 16 Boilermaker giveaways. Jeanae Terry notched a season-high 13 rebounds, including four on the offensive end, as Purdue hauled down 13 offensive boards.

The Boilermakers got good looks in the first half but struggled to convert, shooting just 26%. Purdue knocked down just a trio of triples on 17 first half attempts. Despite the cool shooting, Purdue kept the turnovers to just eight in the opening 20 minutes and forced 14 Ohio State giveaways.

Ellis, Layden and Cassidy Hardin each sunk a 3-pointer over the opening 20 minutes, as the Boilermakers took 14 more shots. Defensively, Purdue limited the Buckeyes to their lowest first-half score of the season at 24, including a season-low seven points in the second quarter. Purdue trailed by two at the break.

A slow start to the third saw Ohio State build up a 10-point advantage. Purdue closed the third on a 7-2 run with a buzzer beater by Kyle to pull the Boilermakers within five going into the fourth. The Buckeyes took advantage of just four Purdue points in the first six minutes of the final frame to grow the gap to 17.

Purdue’s press came to life late in the fourth to give Purdue nine straight points and trim Ohio State’s lead to eight. The Buckeyes finished the game on a 9-0 run, as Purdue missed its final nine shots in an attempt to mount a comeback.

QUOTE

Head coach Katie Gearlds …

I think the biggest thing for us is competing all 40 minutes. I think we had an opportunity to cut it down the stretch. That’s the biggest thing you want to take away from our team is that we’ll compete for 40 minutes. We took 21 more shots than they did. We guarded our tails off. In the second half, our frustration showed. We tell them that no matter what we do on the offensive end, we have to lock in defensively.

NOTES

• The Boilermakers are now 31-49 all-time against the Buckeyes.

• Purdue’s 36 3-point attempts surpassed the school record of 33 set against Florida State earlier this season.

• The Boilermakers snagged 10 or more offensive rebounds for the fourth time this season.

• Purdue finished with fewer than seven 3-pointers for the third time this year.

• Purdue’s nine assists were a season low, with eight coming from Ellis, Terry and Layden.

• Kyle, Terry, Layden and Ellis went a combined 16-of-42 from the field (38.1%), while the rest of the roster was 5-for-29 (17.2%)

• Terry hit double figures in rebounding for the eighth time in her career and first as a Boilermaker.

• The Boilermakers were outscored 25-13 in the fourth quarter.

• With her lone triple on the afternoon, Hardin reached the century mark for career 3-pointers.

• Layden set a new career high with a pair of blocks.

UP NEXT

The Boilermakers will hit the road for the first time in the Big Ten this season with a trip to No. 8 Maryland on Wednesday night. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. 

BUTLERUWBB ENDS BIG EAST ROAD TRIP WITH SETBACK AT MARQUETTE

MILWAUKEE – Celena Taborn recorded her first double-double in a Bulldog jersey, but it wouldn’t be enough on Sunday afternoon as the Bulldogs took a 59-45 loss at Marquette. Taborn was terrific for Butler leading the team with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

How It Happened

Celena Taborn came to play against Marquette. The grad transfer from Furman scored the first four points of the game for BU and impacted the game early with six first quarter rebounds. Jordan King would lead Marquette with five first quarter points and the Golden Eagles would own a 14-10 advantage over Butler after the opening 10 minutes.

Purdue transfer Karissa McLaughlin unloaded from distance in the second quarter to hit the first 3-pointer of the game at the 8:30 mark. McLaughlin would add another from behind the arc to spark a 9-2 Golden Eagle scoring run. Action after the hot shooting slowed way down. Marquette scored eight points from the charity stripe in quarter two and Butler was in the scorebook with nine points from the line.

Butler’s first six points of the second quarter were all free throws. Zoe Jackson and Taborn would each add field goals to get Butler to 23 points. BU trailed by 11 at the break with Marquette pouring in 20 points in the second.

Butler played through Taborn at the start of the second half. She scored four points in the paint for the ‘Dawgs then found Trinity White on the opposite wing for a triple. Butler’s 7-0 scoring run at the start of the third made the game 34-30 and forced Marquette into a timeout.

The Butler defense turned it up a notch in the second half. Marquette didn’t score over the first five minutes of the third quarter and Butler would get another bucket from Taborn to get within two at 34-32.

After the media timeout, Alex Richard would move the BU scoring run to 11-0 and tie the game at 34-34. Marquette responded by scoring the final nine points of the quarter to take a 43-34 lead into the fourth. King was responsible for five of the nine points to end the third for the Golden Eagles.

The fourth quarter got off to a slow start for each team. Zoe Jackson hit a triple for BU but it marked the only points for the Bulldogs before the media timeout. The BU point guard scored seven of her 11 points in the fourth quarter. Marquette closed out the game with hustle plays from Lauren Van Kleunen and a few jumpers from McLaughlin. Those two players allowed the home team to score 16 in the fourth and seal the 59-45 win.

Stat of the Game

Turnovers would be huge in Sunday’s result. Butler was responsible for 26 turnovers and Marquette only committed four.

Inside the Box Score

– Sunday’s game was a physical matchup with 34 fouls and 39 free throw attempts combined.

– Butler outrebounded Marquette 40-34, but Marquette won big on the offensive glass 17-8.

– Alex Richard scored eight points, three rebounds and a block for BU.

– Trinity White had five points, six rebounds and a team-high three assists.

Up Next

Butler will return to action on Friday, Dec. 10 when the Bulldogs host Denver. Tip is set for 6 PM at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

#24/25 IRISH FALL 73-54 AT #2/2 HUSKIES

STORRS, Conn.  — The No. 24/25 Notre Dame women’s basketball squad (7-2) was within striking distance heading into the final quarter down seven points to No. 2/2 UConn (5-1), but the Huskies started the fourth on a 13-0 run before earning the final 73-54 victory.

It was Notre Dame’s two freshmen who led the way Sunday inside Gampel Pavilion. Sonia Citron continued her stellar week with a team high 19 points, the lone Irish player in double figures today. Citron shot 5-of-12 from the field and 7-of-8 from the free throw line, to go with her five boards. Then there was Olivia Miles who stuffed the stat sheet with eight points and a team high eight rebounds and eight assists.

How It Happened

Dara Mabrey and Sam Brunelle connected from deep early which gave Notre Dame a 10-9 lead halfway through the first quarter. UConn responded with a 7-0 run over a 90-second span to go up by six before Maya Dodson ended the spree to cut it to 16-12 after the opening period.

Citron did her part in the second quarter, scoring eight of the team’s 13 points. Citron had 10 at the break, followed by Sam Brunelle’s five, thus 15 off the bench. UConn held Notre Dame to without a field goal for the final three minutes, finishing on a 10-2 run to go up 35-25.  

UConn’s Olivia Nelson-Ododa was a problem on the glass in the first half, reeling in nine rebounds (five offensive) to go with her 12 points at the break. Paige Bueckers had 10 points at the half.

Mabrey provided a spark in the third, connecting on a pair of three-pointers along with a two Miles’ layups. Notre Dame later ended the quarter on a 7-2 scoring run to pull within 51-44.

However, the game got out of reach in the fourth when UConn opened it up with a 13-0 scoring run behind three-pointers from Bueckers and Caroline Ducharme to put the home team up 20. Citron added five more points in the fourth to bring her total 19 in the game and 48 for the week. Bueckers led for UConn with 22 points on 9-of-17 shooting.

Ultimately, Notre Dame just couldn’t get its shots to fall on Sunday, shooting 18-for-58 (31 percent) compared to UConn’s 28-for-61 (46 percent).

Up Next

The Irish stay on the road but return to the state of Indiana with a short trip to Valparaiso on Wednesday, Dec. 8. Then, Notre Dame finally returns to Purcell Pavilion on Sunday, Dec. 12 for Muffet McGraw’s Ring of Honor game. The pre-game ceremony is scheduled to begin shortly after 1:30 pm with the game tipping off against Purdue-Fort Wayne at 2 p.m. 

IRISH SELECTED FOR FIESTA BOWL MATCHUP AGAINST OKLAHOMA STATE

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Following its fifth-straight double-digit win season, the fifth-ranked University of Notre Dame football team (11-1) secured a berth in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl against ninth-ranked Oklahoma State (11-2, 8-1 Big-12).

The Fiesta Bowl will be held at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona on Saturday, Jan. 1 at 2 p.m. ET and will be aired on ESPN. This is Notre Dame’s first trip to the Fiesta Bowl since 2016 and its sixth all-time appearance. This will mark the 21st-time the Irish have played a bowl game on Jan. 1 in program history.

This will be the first-ever meeting between the two schools and just the second current Big-12 opponent the Irish have played in a bowl game in school history. The Irish are 1-0 against the Big-12 in bowl games after defeating Iowa State 33-9 in the 2019 Camping World Bowl.

For Notre Dame, it is the 40th postseason bowl appearance (19-20^ record) after the University declined to participate in bowl games from 1925-68.

BALL STATE SELECTED TO PLAY GEORGIA STATE IN TAXACT CAMELLIA BOWL

MUNCIE, Ind. – Ball State is going bowling once again as the Cardinals have accepted an invitation to play in the TaxAct Camellia Bowl against Georgia State. The game is set to take place on Dec. 25 in Montgomery, Ala. with a 2:30 p.m. ET kickoff on ESPN and the Ball State Radio Network.

Ball State is slated to take part in a bowl game for the second consecutive season under head coach Mike Neu, something that has only happened twice before in program history: 2007-08 and 2012-13.

In addition, the matchup carries some significance to Neu as Georgia State was his first opponent as the leader of his alma mater Sept. 2, 2016, which was a 31-21 victory in favor of the Cardinals. The two teams have met one other time previously in series history, which was a 31-19 Panthers win in Muncie on Oct. 17, 2015.

With the invitation to this year’s Camellia Bowl, Ball State will make its 11th bowl appearance and its third in the state of Alabama. The Cardinals also took part in the 2009 GMAC Bowl and 2014 GoDaddy.com Bowl, both of which took place in Mobile, Ala.

Ball State (6-6) won its last game of the regular season in dominating fashion with a 20-3 triumph over Buffalo to secure bowl eligibility. The Cardinals are one of eight bowl-eligible teams from the Mid-American Conference, including the entire West Division.

Georgia State (7-5) won six of its last seven games to close the regular season and finished 6-2 in Sun Belt Conference action.

Serving as the only college football game played this year on Christmas Day, the TaxAct Camellia Bowl has been decided by a total of 32 points in its first seven installments. All seven games have been decided in the fourth quarter, with three games decided on the final play.

VOLLEYBALL HOSTS EVANSVILLE IN NIVC QUARTERFINAL MONDAY

Valparaiso (24-9, 12-6 MVC)

NIVC Quarterfinal – Valparaiso, Ind.

Monday, Dec. 6 – Evansville (21-11, 9-9 MVC) – 7 p.m.

This Week in Valpo Volleyball: The Valpo volleyball team looks to continue its run in the 2021 National Invitational Volleyball Championship on Monday night, as the Beacons host a quarterfinal match at the ARC against fellow MVC program Evansville for a spot in the tournament semifinals.

Previously: Valpo swept its way through the first two rounds of this year’s NIVC, taking down longtime rival Butler in straight sets on Thursday evening in the first round before earning its second win of the season over Toledo on Friday night.

Looking Ahead: On Valpo’s side of the NIVC bracket, North Florida is through to the quarterfinals, while UConn and Boston College will play on Sunday for the other quarterfinal berth.

Following the Beacons: Monday’s match against the Purple Aces will be broadcast live on ESPN+. Links for the live video, as well as live stats for all matches, are available via ValpoAthletics.com.

Head Coach Carin Avery: In her 20th season as head coach at Valparaiso, Carin Avery has won 447 matches (447-216, .674) at the helm of the program and has led Valpo to three league regular season and tournament titles. The program has made five postseason appearances under Avery, including three NCAA Tournament appearances. A two-time league Coach of the Year, Avery has coached 55 All-League recipients over her tenure at Valpo, which has spanned three different conferences. She is Valpo’s all-time leader in both victories and winning percentage, and owns a 502-240 (.677) record overall as a head coach.

Series History: It’s a familiar foe for Valpo in the quarterfinals, as this will mark the fourth meeting of the season with Evansville. The Beacons hold a 14-12 advantage in the all-time series with the Purple Aces, but have dominated under Coach Avery, winning 12 of 14 meetings – including all three so far this year. Peyton McCarthy hit .412 with 3.83 kills/set over the three victories this year, while Haley Hart hit .325 with 3.25 kills/set and 1.17 blocks/set.

Scouting the Opposition: The Purple Aces enter Monday’s quarterfinal match with a 21-11 overall and finished 9-9 in MVC regular season play. In the first two rounds of the NIVC, Evansville swept Sam Houston before defeating Bradley in four sets. The Purple Aces boast the top two players in the Valley in kills/set in First Team All-MVC honoree Alondra Vazquez (4.25 kills/set) and MVC Freshman of the Year Giulia Cardona (4.00 kills/set).

About the NIVC: The NIVC originally existed from 1989-95 to help grow the sport among the college ranks. The NIVC resumed in 2017 as a 32-team single elimination event as the growth of the game in recent years warranted a tournament for those who did not qualify for the NCAA Tournament.

Valpo In the Postseason: This year marks Valpo’s eighth appearance in a national postseason tournament:

1994 – NCAA Tournament Play-in Match – at Idaho – L 3-0

1995 – NCAA Tournament Play-in Match – at UNI – L 3-0

1996 – NCAA Tournament Play-in Match – at Southeast Missouri State – L 3-1

2003 – NCAA Tournament First Round – vs. #9 Nebraska – L 3-0

2004 – NCAA Tournament First Round – vs. Notre Dame – L 3-1

2005 – NCAA Tournament First Round – vs. #16 California – L 3-0

2018 – NIVC First Round – vs. Ball State – W 3-1; NIVC Second Round – at Miami (Ohio) – W 3-0; NIVC Quarterfinal – at Tulane – L 3-1

2021 – NIVC First Round – Butler – W 3-0; NIVC Second Round – Toledo – W 3-0

A Sweep-y Start: Valpo made quick work of both of its first two opponents in this year’s NIVC, taking care of both Butler and Toledo in the minimum three sets. Each of Valpo’s last three postseason victories have come via the sweep. The back-to-back sweeps came after the Beacons had entered the tournament with just one sweep victory in their last 10 matches.

Two Is Better Than One: By winning multiple postseason matches, this year’s Valpo volleyball squad has joined a select group of Valpo Athletics teams with two or more postseason wins in the same year:

Baseball – 1962 (NCAA College Division), 1972 (NCAA College Division)

Men’s Basketball – 1961-62 (NCAA College Division), 1966-67 (NCAA College Division), 1997-98 (NCAA), 2015-16 (NIT)

Women’s Basketball – 2001-02 (WNIT)

Bowling – 2011-12 (NCAA)

Volleyball – 2018 (NIVC), 2021 (NIVC)

Four Of a Kind?: Valpo has the chance to achieve a program first when it takes on Evansville on Monday, as with a victory, the Beacons will have beaten the Aces for the fourth time this season. Valpo’s win over Evansville at the MVC Tournament improved the program’s record under Coach Avery to 10-1 when facing a team for the third time it had beaten twice during the regular season.

Back to December: This year’s NIVC run is Valpo’s fifth venture to playing in the month of December. Valpo previously played in December in the three NCAA Tournament appearances from 2003 through 2005, as well as the 2018 NIVC. The latest Valpo has ever played a match (excepting last season’s COVID schedule shift) came on Dec. 6, 2018 in the NIVC quarterfinal at Tulane, meaning that Monday’s match will be tied for the latest in the calendar in program history.

Defending the Home Court: Valpo has taken full advantage of getting the opportunity to play at home in postseason tournament play for the first time in program history. With the wins over Butler and Toledo to start off the NIVC, the Beacons now own a 10-1 record at the ARC this year – their lone loss coming in four sets to MVC tournament champion Illinois State. It ties the 2009 squad, which also went 10-1 at home, for the program’s best home record since the 2005 NCAA Tournament team went 13-0 at the ARC.

500 Times a Winner: Head coach Carin Avery reached a coaching milestone with the quarterfinal win over Evansville in the MVC Tournament, as that was the 500th win of her collegiate coaching career. Avery now owns 502 career wins, 447 of which have come at the helm of the Valpo volleyball program. Avery is of just 32 active Division I head coaches with at least 500 collegiate wins.

Clinching the Best Finish: The Beacons’ win at Drake on the final day of the regular season secured the program’s best finish since joining the MVC, as Valpo finished in a tie with Bradley for third place at 12-6. Valpo’s 12-6 record is also its best record in conference play since joining the MVC. After opening conference play 4-4 through the first eight matches, the Beacons closed the MVC slate with an 8-2 record over its last 10 matches.

Outperforming the Preseason Poll: For the fifth time in as many seasons as an MVC member, Valpo outperformed its preseason pick in the coaches poll. This year’s squad finished the regular season tied for third place after being picked to finish seventh. Each of the previous two seasons saw the Brown and Gold finish in fifth place after being projected seventh in the preseason. In 2018, Valpo closed the regular season in fourth position after being picked fifth in the preseason. Valpo was picked seventh in its first season as a conference member in 2017 before finishing in a tie for fifth place.

Another Top Half Finish: The Beacons clinched a finish in the top half of the MVC standings on Nov. 13 with their win over Bradley. Valpo has now finished in fifth place or better in each of its five years in the Valley, joining Illinois State as the other two programs who have finished in the top half each of the last four years. Going back further, Valpo has enjoyed a top-half finish in its league standings in 28 of the last 29 seasons.

Looking Back at the Spring: The spring 2021 campaign saw Valpo post an 11-9 record and finish fifth in the MVC standings with a 10-8 mark in conference action. Rylee Cookerly repeated as MVC Libero of the Year, was named the MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Year and was an AVCA All-Region honoree, while Victoria Bulmahn was tabbed the MVC Freshman of the Year. Included among Valpo’s 11 wins were the program’s first victory over Illinois State since joining the MVC and the first wins in program history over traditional power UNI.

Look at the RPI: Valpo came in at #50 in the NCAA’s initial release of the 2021 volleyball RPI on Oct. 4, and the Beacons have maintained a spot in the top-100 ever since. In the most recent RPI release on Nov. 28, Valpo checked in at #65 — tops among all MVC programs.

Standards Maintained: Posting winning records and winning 20 matches in a season have been standards for the Valpo volleyball program under Coach Avery, and this year’s team has maintained those standards. The Beacons secured a winning season with their Oct. 23 win against Southern Illinois, the program’s 18th winning season in Avery’s 20 seasons at the helm. The win at UNI on the final weekend of the regular season was Valpo’s 20th of the year, the 16th time in the last 20 years the program has won at least 20 matches.

Digging Deep: Valpo continued its long tradition of strong back row play in the spring 2021 season, finishing the season ranked third nationally and second in the Valley with 20.37 digs/set. Valpo has ranked among the top-30 nationally in digs/set in each of the last 10 seasons, including leading the nation with 20.03 digs/set in 2017 to go along with a fourth-place rank in 2010 and a sixth-place finish in 2015. Since the move to 25-point scoring, only seven teams have averaged more than 20 digs/set over the course of a season, and Valpo is the only program to have done it twice. 2018 saw Valpo lead the nation with 2,613 total digs – a mark which set a program single-season record and a Division I record in the 25-point era. Valpo currently sits 18th nationally in digs/set with an MVC-best 17.03 digs/set.

Spreading the Ball Around: Over Valpo’s two MVC Tournament matches and two NIVC matches to date, setters Brittany Anderson and Victoria Bulmahn have done a great job spreading the ball around to Valpo’s six attackers offensively. Over the four matches, all six attackers are averaging at least five swings per set, while none are averaging more than 8.3 swings/set (Bella Ravotto).

All-Conference Recipients: Four Valpo players earned All-MVC accolades at the conclusion of the regular season. Highlighting Valpo’s honorees was Haley Hart, who was named a First Team All-MVC selection. Rylee Cookerly and Peyton McCarthy represented Valpo on the Second Team All-MVC, while Elise Swistek was an All-Freshman Team selection. In addition, four student-athletes were named to the MVC Scholar-Athlete teams as well: Cookerly and Brittany Anderson were First Team Scholar-Athlete honorees, while Hart and Bella Ravotto were Honorable Mention Scholar-Athlete choices.

Players of the Week: Valpo had four different players combine for six weekly awards from the MVC office this season. Both Peyton McCarthy and Haley Hart earned a pair of awards — McCarthy was Player of the Week Sept. 7 and Defensive Player of the Week Oct. 25, while Hart was Player of the Week Oct. 4 and Defensive Player of the Week Nov. 22. Meanwhile, Rylee Cookerly was Defensive Player of the Week Oct. 4 and Elise Swistek was Freshman of the Week Nov. 22.

All-Tournament Honors: Seven different Valpo players received All-Tournament Team accolades over its four early-season tournaments this season. Juniors Bella Ravotto (MVP) and Gretchen Kuckkan picked up awards for their play at the SIUE Cougar Classic. Senior Jillie Grant represented the Beacons on the All-Tournament Team at Toledo in the third weekend of action. In the second weekend of play at Tennessee Tech, fifth-year middle Peyton McCarthy was named Tournament MVP (and went on to be named MVC Player of the Week) and was joined on the All-Tournament Team by fifth-year setter Brittany Anderson and sophomore setter Victoria Bulmahn. In the opening weekend at Milwaukee, McCarthy and senior middle Haley Hart earned spots on that All-Tournament Team. Last weekend, at the MVC Tournament, McCarthy picked up her third All-Tournament accolade of the year.

Cookerly Continues to Dig: Fifth-year libero Rylee Cookerly has checked numerous milestones off her lists of things to chase this season. First, she broke Valpo’s career digs record, previously held by Taylor Root, on Sept. 24 at Southern Illinois. One week later, on Oct. 1 against Indiana State, Cookerly surpassed former Illinois State standout Courtney Pence as the MVC’s career digs record holder. Finally, the next night against Evansville, Cookerly moved past Minnesota’s Paula Gentil for second place in NCAA Division I history in career digs. Most recently, the two-time MVC Libero of the Year reached the 3,000-career dig milestone on Senior Night in the win over Bradley. Cookerly currently ranks 29th nationally with an MVC-best 4.92 digs/set and tallied 34 digs in the first two NIVC matches, leaving her at 3,139 career digs entering Monday’s match, just 37 digs shy of the all-time D-I record of 3,176. Last time out, she surpassed the 600-dig mark for this season, making her the first player in program history with four seasons of 600+ digs.

McCarthy Among the Best: Fifth-year middle Peyton McCarthy has had a standout season on both sides of the ball for Valpo this year to cap a stellar career. Offensively, she is swinging at a .289 clip – fifth in the MVC – with a team-high 2.62 kills/set and has improved her career hitting percentage to .253, among the top-10 in program history. McCarthy, who has reached double figures in kills in seven straight matches, has 1,191 career kills, good for 10th in program history and just a few away from moving up to eighth. Meanwhile, on the block, McCarthy ranks 10th in the Valley with 0.94 blocks/set. With 449 career blocks, McCarthy now ranks second in program history in that category as well. She is one of just three players in program history to hold spots in the top-10 in both career kills and blocks.

Hart Racks Up the Points: Whether it’s been on the attack or on the block, senior middle Haley Hart has been prolific at ending rallies this season for Valpo. After entering this year having led Valpo in kills just five times over her first three seasons, Hart has paced Valpo in kills 10 times and has been in double figures in the category 17 times. She also finds herself leading the Beacons with over a block per set. Hart especially stood out within MVC-only play, as she hit .316 with 3.00 kills/set and 1.09 blocks/set – all team-high marks. She was the only player within Valley play to rank among the top-10 in the conference in both kills and blocks.

Moving On Up: Fifth-year setter Brittany Anderson tallied 37 assists over Valpo’s wins in the first two rounds of the NIVC, pushing her career total to 4,562 assists. With one of her last assists in the regular season finale at Drake, Anderson — who ranks third in program history in the category — ascended into 14th place in MVC history in career assists. Last time out, she also cracked Valpo’s all-time top-15 in career digs, as she now has 1,267 career digs.

VALPO ENTERS HOMESTAND ON WINNING NOTE AFTER SUNDAY VICTORY IN KALAMAZOO

When the Valparaiso University men’s basketball team begins the program’s longest homestand since 1994 on Tuesday, it will do so with positive momentum on its side after the Beacons closed a travel-heavy stretch with a solid 71-60 victory at Western Michigan on Sunday afternoon at University Arena in Kalamazoo. Thomas Kithier (Macomb, Mich. / Clarkston [Michigan State]) racked up a game-high 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting to lead the way in a game played in his home state.

How It Happened

Valpo knocked in a pair of early 3s from Kevion Taylor (Milwaukee, Wis. / Whitnall [Winona State]) and Trevor Anderson (Stevens Point, Wis. / SPASH [Wisconsin]) as Anderson scored five early points to help Valpo out to a 10-4 edge over the first four minutes.

The Broncos scored the next eight including two triples to grab a 12-10 lead, and the edge swung back-and-forth throughout the middle of Half 1. Freshman Keyondre Young (Del City, Okla. / Del City) came off the bench to deliver a big 3-pointer that followed his steal on the other end of the court, snapping a 16-all deadlock at the 8:09 mark.

Young’s triple was part of a key 9-0 run that was punctuated by an old-fashioned three-point play from Kithier. That Valpo spurt changed a 16-15 deficit into a 24-16 advantage with 5:45 to go in the half.

A Sheldon Edwards (West Palm Beach, Fla. / Palm Beach Lakes [TLAP Sports Academy]) 3 stretched the edge to 29-18 with 4:20 left before halftime, but the Broncos took a major bite out of the deficit with a key surge over the final four and a half minutes.

A trey by Valpo graduate Mileek McMillan started a 10-1 burst that helped Western Michigan fight to within two. Markeese Hastings beat the buzzer with a jumper to close the half, helping WMU enter the break down just two at 32-30 despite Valpo having led by as many as 11.

Valpo scored the first five points of the second half including a three-point play by Anderson to go up 37-30.

Much like he did in the opening half, Young delivered a crucial 3 at the 11:23 mark to up Valpo’s edge to seven at 45-38. That basket highlighted a 7-0 run that transformed a narrow three-point lead to double figures by the midway mark of the second half.

Anderson assisted on a Trey Woodyard (London, Ohio / International Sports Academy) 3 at the 9:47 mark, and an Edwards steal on one end of the court led to an Anderson jumper on the other to lift the lead back to 11 with 7:47 remaining.

Kithier made several more baskets down the stretch, and Valpo played solid defense throughout en route to the win.

Inside the Game

Kithier matched his most efficient performance of the season, replicating the 8-of-11 shooting showing that he displayed in the Nov. 9 season opener vs. Toledo. He hit double figures for the first time in the last seven games and the third time this season, with all three double-figure outings coming with outputs of 16 points or more. He also corralled six rebounds and swatted a pair of shots.

Edwards reached double figures for the eighth time in nine games this year, posting 15 points to go along with four rebounds, a block, a steal and two assists. The block was his 16th of the season in nine games, already over double his 27-game total of seven from his freshman season. Edwards has both blocked a shot and made a 3 in all nine games this season.

Eron Gordon (Indianapolis, Ind. / Cathedral [Seton Hall]) shared the team lead in assists with Anderson with four apiece. Gordon also contributed four rebounds and a season-high three steals.

Young chipped in eight points off the Beacon bench, while Anderson joined Kithier and Edwards in double figures with 11. Anderson also accrued four rebounds and four assists while reaching double figures for the fourth straight game and the sixth time in nine appearances this season.

Junior Ben Krikke (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada / Jasper Place) squeezed a season-high eight rebounds including three on the offensive glass. Valpo prevailed despite a rare quiet shooting night from their leading scorer as Krikke was held to seven points. Valpo improved to 4-2 since the 6-foot-9 forward returned from missing the first three games of the season with an injury.

McMillan, who played in 121 games over four seasons at Valpo, scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds in 22 minutes before fouling out against his former teammates.

The 11-point margin of victory was Valpo’s largest against a Division-I opponent this season. The Beacons had 15 assists on 25 made baskets and kept their turnover total in single figures for the third straight game.

Defensively, Valpo limited Western Michigan to 60 points, the lowest total by a Beacon foe this season. WMU’s Lamar Norman Jr. was held to just 1-of-8 from 3-point range after he entered Sunday leading the nation in made 3s per game. 

Up Next

Valpo (4-5) will host six straight games at the Athletics-Recreation Center as Sunday’s visit to Kalamazoo marked the team’s final road date until Jan. 5. The homestand begins on Tuesday night at 6 p.m. against East West, a game that will see Kobe King (La Crosse, Wis. / La Crosse Central [Wisconsin]) make his Valpo debut after he sat out the first nine contests before becoming eligible. 

NORTHERN KENTUCKY EVADES MASTODON COMEBACK FOR 69-60 WIN

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – After erasing a 10-point deficit, Purdue Fort Wayne led at Northern Kentucky by one with less than two minutes left, but the Norse took a 69-60 decision from the Mastodons for a home win on Sunday (Dec. 5).

From the 5:00 mark to the 2:17 mark in the third quarter, the Mastodons held NKU scoreless while going on a 6-0 run of their own to take a late lead. Riley Ott knocked in two 3-pointers, including a banked in trey off a feed from JazzlynLinbo. This put the Mastodons up 60-58, a lead which held until NKU’s Emmy Souder dropped a pair of free throws with 1:37 left. This was the start of the 11-0 closing stretch that NKU used to sneak by the Mastodons.

Purdue Fort Wayne trailed 50-40 midway through the third quarter before a furious comeback led by Sylare Starks and Ott. The two combined for 16 points in a 20-8 stretch from 5:49 left in the third to 2:37 left in the game, a 13:31 spell. Starks hit two 3-pointers in the final minute of the third quarter, including one to beat the buzzer.

There was a lot to like from the Mastodons in the first 11:10 of the game, as they built up an 11-point lead to start the contest. Shayla Sellers went on a 10-0 run over her own midway through the first quarter, burying two triples and a driving layup in a 1:02 stretch. To open the second quarter, Riley Ott drained a triple before her sister Ryin Ott knocked in a step-back. 

The Mastodons finished the game shooting 34.6 percent from 3-point land. This was thanks to Riley Ott and Starks, who combined for 7-of-15. Aubrey Stupp and Linbo did the majority of the rebounding work for the ‘Dons, with eight and seven, respectively in less than 23 minutes of work each.

Riley Ott led the ‘Dons with 17 points, while Starks had 16. Sellers had 12, all in the first half. Purdue Fort Wayne had 17 second chance points off eight offensive rebounds.

NKU was led by Lindsey Duvall, who went off for 26 points.

Purdue Fort Wayne falls to 4-4, 3-1 Horizon League while NKU improves to 5-3, 2-2. The Mastodons will take the court again on Thursday (Dec. 9) when they visit a 3-6 Southeast Missouri squad.

NIVC QUARTERFINALS SET FOR MONDAY EVENING

VALPARAISO, Ind. – Postseason play continues for the University of Evansville volleyball team as they take on Valparaiso in the quarterfinals of the Women’s National Invitational Volleyball Championship on Monday evening at 7 p.m.  Live coverage of the match will be on ESPN+.

Making History?

– A pair of single-season records are on the verge of being broken for UE

– With 484 kills in the fall, Alondra Vazquez is just nine kills away from tying the single season record of 493, which was set by Genesis Miranda in 2015…ten more will break the mark

– Giulia Cardona has 456 kills on the season, which tied Melanie Feliciano’s freshman record from 2019…one more will give Cardona the record and put her 4th on the all-time UE single-season list

Recapping rounds 1 & 2

– Sam Houston marked the opening-round opponent for UE in its inaugural trip to the NIVC on Thursday

– Behind 21 kills by Giulia Cardona and 18 from Alondra Vazquez, the Aces earned a 3-0 win

– Friday’s second round saw UE face MVC foe Bradley where Cardona set a new career mark with 23 kills in a 3-1 victory

– Melanie Feliciano and Vazquez had 15 kills each while Taya Haffner had 53 assists

– Blakeley Freeman notched 23 kills, the top tally of her freshman career

Finishing Strong

– Over her last five matches, Blakeley Freeman is averaging 4.05 digs per set, including a new career high of 23 in the NIVC contest versus Bradley

– The recent streak has seen her season average jump to 2.73 per set, which is second on the team

– Freeman came in off the bench to contribute 8 digs in the Aces first-ever road win at UNI

Freshman of the Year

– Giulia Cardona became the first player in program history to earn one of the MVC specialty awards when she was named the 2021 MVC Freshman of the Year

– In one of the top freshman campaigns in program history, Cardona leads the MVC with 0.51 service aces per set, a stat ranks 11th in the nation and is the best average among all freshmen

– Over the last 51 sets of work, freshman Giulia Cardona has recorded a total of 32 service aces, an average of 0.627 per set…her numbers have jumped even higher in the NIVC with 0.857/set

– She is currently on an offensive streak that has seen her record at least 10 kills in each of the last 19 matches while raising her season average to 4.00 per set

– Cardona set a new career record with 23 kills against Bradley in the NIVC

All-MVC First Team

– For the second year in a row, Alondra Vazquez was named to the All-MVC First Team after leading the league with 4.25 kills per set

– She has been on an absolute roll over the last eight matches, finishing with at least 14 kills in each contest while averaging 4.75 per set

– Vazquez remains on top of the MVC list with 4.25 kills/set while pacing the league in points (4.89/set)…defensively, Vazquez leads her squad with 2.82 digs per frame, 15th in the Valley…she has had 9 or more kills in all but two matches in the fall

– Nationally, Vazquez is 30th in kills average.

VOLLEYBALL: 3 RED WOLVES EARN ALL-REGION HONORS

RICHMOND, Ind. – Indiana University East’s Jessica Swimm, Teah Barrett Matthews and Reece Shirley all earned American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-Region honors for the recently completed 2021 fall season.

Swimm made the NAIA All-MidCentral Region first team. Barrett Matthews and Shirley appeared on the region’s honorable mention list.

The AVCA announced its all-region teams during the recent NAIA National Championship.’

Swimm led the River States Conference and was 24th in the nation with 3.85 kills per set this past fall.

Barrett Matthews led IU East with a .305 hitting average.

Shirley led the conference and was 37th in the nation with 9.50 assists per set.

Swimm and Shirley repeated as all-region honorees.

The MidCentral Region includes programs from IU East’s own River States Conference and the Crossroads League. Fourteen players made the all-region first team. Eight players earned all-region honorable mention.

Swimm, Barrett Matthews and Shirley helped IU East finish the 2021 fall season with the program’s 11th 20-win season and fourth RSC East Division title in the last five years.

WABASH DOMINATES IN DUAL-MEET WIN AT DEPAUW

Wabash won 13 of the 16 events on the schedule in a dual meet at DePauw University to give the Little Giants a dominating 187-107 victory over the host Tigers Saturday afternoon.

The win was the first for the Wabash team in a standard dual meet over DePauw since claiming a two-point victory over the Tigers on October 30, 2015.

Justin Dusza won the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 54.41. He also scored a first-place finish in the 200-yard backstroke with a winning time of 1:58.11. He picked up the hat trick with a third individual win in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:02.57. Justice Wenz picked up third place with a time of 2:08.87.

Wenz scored a first-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke with a winning time of 1:01.01. Isaac Temores added a second-place finish by touching the wall in 1:01.18. The duo also scored top-three finishes in the 200-yard breaststroke. Wenz placed second with a time of 2:16.74. Temores finished in 2:18.65 to place third.

Daren Glore finished the 1,000-yard freestyle in first place with a winning time of 10:19.76. Jacob Penrose picked up a third-place finish by touching the wall in 10:29.81. Penrose also picked up a second-place finish in the 200-yard butterfly (2:05.21) while Gavin Hill placed third overall (2:05.38). Glore also won the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:59.82. Penrose added a third-place finish with a time of 5:03.97.

 Hill picked up an individual win in the 100-yard butterfly with a first-place time of 53.86.

Ethan Johns took first place in the 200-yard freestyle by finishing in 1:46.08. Ryan Sacco completed the race in 1:50.83 to capture third place for the Little Giants.

Caleb McCarty won the 50-yard freestyle by 1/100th of a second by out-touching DePauw’s James Shorney. McCarty won with a time of 21.72 ahead of  Shorney in 21.73. McCarty added a second-place finish in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 47.80. Johns placed third by finishing in 48.47.

A trio of Wabash divers swept competition on both the one- and three-meter boards Saturday. Williams Morris won the one-meter event with a score of 167.35. Tanner Carver finished second with a total of 153.75 points. Thomas Gaines finished in third place with a score of 133.85. Morris scored 232.20 points to win the three-meter event. Carver finished second with 230.20 points. Gaines placed third with a score of 167.80.

The foursome of Dusza, Temores, Hill, and McCarty took first place in the 200-yard medley relay with a winning time of 1:36.94. Marc Nicholson, Wenz, Ethan Comeyne, and Ethan Johns placed third with a time of 1:41.41. McCarty, Johns, Temores, and Hill closed out the meet by winning the 200-yard freestyle relay with a combined time of 1:27.12. Glore, Nicholas Hakimian, Penrose, and Lucas Daniken combined for a time of 1:30.63 to place third overall in the final relay.

“I’m incredibly proud and honored for our guys to go down to DePauw and get the win,” Wabash head coach Will Bernhardt said. “Any road meet is always going to be difficult, but when it’s against your rival it always becomes a little tougher. To go down and dominate the way we did is truly special. You don’t see a lot of those types of performances through the course of anyone’s career. It’s been a long time since we defeated them in a regular dual meet. I’m proud of everyone’s efforts, especially our seniors. It’s the first time they’ve beaten DePauw in a dual meet. For them to go out this way is phenomenal.

“I’m really excited about the rest of the season and what we have in store after a winter break and get ready to start the 2022 portion of the season.”

LITTLE GIANTS SCORE 21 TOP-EIGHT PLACES AT INDIANA LITTLE STATE TOURNAMENT

Wabash won an individual title as part of 21 top-eight places at the 2021 Indiana Little State Wrestling Tournament held Saturday in the Knowling Fieldhouse.

Maxwell Bishop won the 285-pound weight class with a spotless 4-0 record for the day. He received a medical forfeit in his opening round bout before defeating Braydon Erb from Indiana Tech 3-0 in the quarterfinals. Bishops scored a 12-0 major decision against Jamie Kilmer from West Liberty in the semis before defeating Vernon Wilis in the championship bout to claim the title. Teammate Colin Baker added a fifth-place finish in the heavyweight bracket. Baker picked up four victories including three straight wins to start the tournament. He pinned Austin Lane from Marian University in the first round (2:24) followed by a pair of decisions in the next two rounds.

Three Little Giants captured top-eight spots at 184 pounds. Chase Baczek placed second overall in the bracket. He opened the tournament with a 15-0 tech fall against David Gilbert from Thomas More, then picked up a pin against teammate Trescott Duffy in the opening minute of their second-round bout. Baczek earned a 12-1 major decision in the semifinals. Teo Palubinskas finished in fifth place at 184 pounds with three wins for the tournament. He scored a 10-0 major decision against Jacob Saylor from Indiana Tech and pinned Matt Morris from Ancilla at the 2:44 mark of their finals bout in the weight class. Duffy placed eighth overall in the bracket with a pair of victories, including a pin of Alex Searfoss from Manchester in their consolation round bout.

Wabash earned two top-three finishes in the 174-pound bracket. Ray Arebalo won his first two matches with a 17-2 tech fall against Griffin Bekish from Indiana Tech and a 20-7 major decision versus Andrew Taylor from Thomas More. Arebalo placed second overall after a tough 6-4 overtime loss in sudden victory against Andrew Sams from the University of Indianapolis. Bradley Harrington finished in third place for the Little Giants at 174 pounds. He scored three victories for the tournament, beginning with a pin at 1:57 in his opening match against Trevor Stuyvenberg from Indiana Tech. Harrington advance to the finals with a 19-7 major decision over Bekish before receiving a forfeit in the third-place bout.

Alex Barr scored a second-place finish in the 149-pound weight class. He pinned Julian Johnson from Marian University in 2:18 after winning 7-4 in his first bout of the tournament. Barr scored a 16-0 technical fall against Rusty Craddock from Thomas More in the quarterfinals and advanced to the finals after pinning Jackson Hoover from the University of Indianapolis in 4:36.

Gavinn Alstott captured third place in the 141-pound weight class bracket. He earned three victories in the tournament, winning the third-place match by a score of 11-5 against Hunter Cottingham from the University of Indianapolis. Alstott won 10-2 with a major decision in his consolation semifinal bout against teammate TJ Driessens. Driessens placed fifth at 141 pounds. He scored four wins, including a pin of Nelson Roberts from Ancilla in 2:15 of their opening round bout. Dreissens added a 12-10 sudden victory win against Aundre Beatty from Marian University and a 3-2 win in the consolation bracket. Andrew Sinkovics scored three wins at 141 pounds to finish in seventh place. Sinkovics pinned Samuel Slivka from the University of Indianapolis 2:39  into their opening round bout. Sinkovics pinned Jordan Hoselton from Thomas More at the 3:37 mark of their consolation second-round match and won by a 13-8 score against Marian University’s Jesus Mancera in the seventh-place finals bout.

Blake McGee placed fourth at 133 pounds with a record 2-2 for the day. He picked up an 11-3 major decision in the quarterfinal round against Trey McCartney from Marian University. Rodney Hendricks added an eighth-place finish in the 133-pound bracket. Hendricks scored a pair of wins with a 13-2 major decision in his opening bout of the day along with a pin against Trey Brown from Ancilla at the 1:50 mark of their consolation round match.

Tyson Nisley added a fifth-place finish at 157 pounds with three wins for the day. He scored a tech fall with a 16-0 win against Noah Baker from Marian University Nisley earned a 5-3 victory over teammate Evan Burge in the finals to capture the fifth-place title. Burge took sixth place with two wins in the bracket, including a 16-0 tech fall in the second round. Mawuli Nevis placed eighth in the 157-pound bracket. He scored a pair of wins by decision in the consolation bracket to earn a place in the championship round.

Grant Johnson placed fifth in the 197-pound bracket of the tournament. He earned four wins overall including pins against Levi Lee from Manchester (3:48) and Robby Gentry from Marian (0:58). Jack Heldt finished sixth in the weight class with two wins that featured a pin at 2:33 of his bout against Gentry. Matt Lepper finished in seventh place with three wins in the tournament. One win came with a pin against Ian Daugherty from Thomas More (5:35).

Brady Ester captured seventh place in the 125-pound weight class. He finished 3-2 with one pin for the tournament. Eero Gross finished eighth in the 165-pound bracket with two victories for the day, including a pin of Brett Goff from West Liberty just 33 seconds into their second-round match.

Wabash will compete at two separate events next weekend. The Little Giants will travel to Iowa to wrestle in the University of Dubuque Duals while another group heads to Naperville, Illinois for the North Central College Invitational.

MEN’S SWIMMING COMPETES AS PART OF THE THREE DAY WOOSTER INVITE

WOOSTER, Ohio – The Panther men’s swim team competed as part of the three day Wooster Invitational finishing 8th overall with 186 points.

Senior Will Morgan (Lapel, Ind.) dominated the 100-yard IM capturing a podium finish with a third place mark in a time of 55.72.

Senior James Moll (Tipton, Ind.) paced the Panthers in the 100-yard backstroke taking 11th in a time of 58.91, while teammate freshman William Harkins (Oklahoma City, OK) finished 13th in the event with a time of 59.53.

Moll also turned in a 17th place finish in the 200-yard backstroke in a time of 2:08.74 followed by Harkins in 20th overall.

Sopohomore Dustin Wilson (Richmond, Ind.) found success in the 100-yard freestyle taking 15th in the event with a time of 50.64.

In the 500-yard freestyle, Moll paced the Panthers finishing 22nd overall in a time of 5:14.38, knocking nearly six seconds off his seeded time.

Morgan found success in the 200-yard IM touching the wall in 16th place with a time of 2:08.48, while teammate Wilson finished 22nd in the 50-yard freestyle in a time of 23.03.

The 200-yard medley relay team of Moll, Morgan, Harkins, and Wilson took 10th in the event with a time of 1:45.43. Morgan also tallied a ninth place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke in a time of 1:02.08.

Rounding out the weekend for the Panthers was the 400-yard freestyle relay team of Morgan, Harkins, Moll, and Wilson taking 11th touching the wall in a time of 3:25.33.

Hanover returns to the pool on Saturday, Jan. 15 when they take on Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference foe Manchester.

WOMEN’S SWIMMING COMPETES AS PART OF THE THREE-DAY WOOSTER INVITE

WOOSTER, Ohio – The Hanover women’s swim team turned in an eighth-place finish as part of the three day Wooster Invitational. Hanover finished the weekend with 202 points.

Junior Ilys Anderson (Hebron, Ky.) paced the Panthers on the weekend claiming a top mark in the 100-yard backstroke registering a fifth place finish in a time of 1:02.57. The junior also turned in an eighth place finish in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 55.54.

In the 200-yard freestyle relay, the team of senior Megan Brandt (Guyton, Ga.), sophomore Kelli Brock (Mooresville, Ind.), sophomore Alaina Simmons (Amboy, Ind.), and Anderson claimed a seventh place mark in a time of 1:44.99.

Anderson also found success in the 50-yard freestyle as she finished 14th overall touching the wall in a time of 25.86 while teammate Brock landed 21st with a time of 26.07.

Brock carried the momentum into the 200-yard freestyle capturing a 21st place finish in a time of 2:07.70, knocking nearly two seconds off her prelim time.

The team of Brandt, Brock, Simmons, and Anderson posted a strong mark as part of the 800-yard freestyle finishing ninth in the event with a time of 8:40.0.

In the 1650-yard freestyle, Brandt touched the wall in a time of 21:04.49 taking 20th in the 23-swimmer field while also tallying a 21st place finish in the 200-yard backstroke.

The 400-yard freestyle relay team of Brandt, Brock, Simmons, and Anderson turned in a 10th place mark in a time of 3:53.59.

Hanover returns to the pool on Saturday, Jan. 15 when they take on Manchester in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference action.

NFL STANDINGS

AMERICAN FOOTBALL CONFERENCE
EAST DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS840.6670.03361903-4-05-0-06-1-02-1-06 W
BUFFALO BILLS740.6360.53261823-2-04-2-05-4-03-0-01 W
MIAMI DOLPHINS670.4622.52542884-3-02-4-04-5-02-2-05 W
NEW YORK JETS390.2505.02173672-4-01-5-03-6-00-4-01 L
 
WEST DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS840.6670.03032595-2-03-2-03-4-02-1-05 W
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS750.5831.03143153-3-04-2-05-3-02-1-01 W
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS660.5002.02743123-4-03-2-04-3-01-2-01 L
DENVER BRONCOS660.5002.02372183-3-03-3-03-5-01-2-01 L
 
NORTH DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
BALTIMORE RAVENS840.6670.02822605-1-03-3-05-4-01-2-01 L
CINCINNATI BENGALS750.5831.03312673-3-04-2-05-3-03-1-01 L
PITTSBURGH STEELERS651.5421.52442864-2-12-3-04-4-02-2-01 W
CLEVELAND BROWNS660.5002.02542674-2-02-4-03-5-01-2-01 L
 
SOUTH DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
TENNESSEE TITANS840.6670.03042904-2-04-2-05-3-03-1-02 L
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS760.5381.53712833-4-04-2-06-3-03-2-01 W
HOUSTON TEXANS2100.1676.01643231-5-01-5-02-7-02-2-02 L
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS2100.1676.01803202-5-00-5-02-5-00-3-04 L
 
NATIONAL FOOTBALL CONFERENCE
EAST DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
DALLAS COWBOYS840.6670.03532674-2-04-2-06-1-02-0-01 W
WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM660.5002.02462973-3-03-3-05-2-01-0-04 W
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES670.4622.53372911-4-05-3-04-4-00-2-01 W
NEW YORK GIANTS480.3334.02112733-3-01-5-03-5-01-2-01 L
 
WEST DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
ARIZONA CARDINALS1020.8330.03432243-2-07-0-06-2-04-0-02 W
LOS ANGELES RAMS840.6672.03362704-2-04-2-05-3-01-2-01 W
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS660.5004.03032782-4-04-2-05-5-01-4-01 L
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS480.3336.02392492-4-02-4-02-6-02-2-01 W
 
NORTH DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
GREEN BAY PACKERS930.7500.02832425-0-04-3-07-2-02-1-01 W
MINNESOTA VIKINGS570.4174.03083053-2-02-5-04-4-02-1-02 L
CHICAGO BEARS480.3335.02012872-4-02-4-02-5-02-1-01 L
DETROIT LIONS1101.1257.52033161-5-00-5-11-7-01-4-01 W
 
SOUTH DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS930.7500.03772705-0-04-3-06-3-02-1-03 W
CAROLINA PANTHERS570.4174.02362532-4-03-3-03-5-02-0-02 L
ATLANTA FALCONS570.4174.02163321-5-04-2-02-6-01-3-01 L
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS570.4174.02742762-4-03-3-04-5-01-2-05 L

NBA STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
ATLANTIC DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
BROOKLYN167.6968-58-24-013-57-31 L
BOSTON1311.5423.56-47-73-38-86-41 W
PHILADELPHIA1211.5224.05-57-60-57-74-61 W
NEW YORK1112.4785.05-86-43-28-104-63 L
TORONTO1113.4585.54-87-53-39-84-62 W
 
CENTRAL DIVISON
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
CHICAGO168.6677-49-42-110-56-43 W
MILWAUKEE159.6251.08-47-54-011-69-11 W
CLEVELAND1311.5423.05-78-41-09-54-61 L
INDIANA916.3607.56-63-101-35-123-74 L
DETROIT418.18211.02-82-101-53-111-98 L
 
SOUTHEAST DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
MIAMI1410.5836-38-73-18-55-51 L
WASHINGTON1410.5838-36-73-49-84-62 L
CHARLOTTE1411.5600.57-27-95-210-66-41 W
ATLANTA1212.5002.08-44-83-27-77-32 L
ORLANDO519.2089.02-83-110-52-162-81 L
 
WESTERN CONFERENCE
NORTHWEST DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
UTAH167.6969-47-34-09-28-24 W
DENVER1111.5004.57-44-72-26-63-71 W
MINNESOTA1112.4785.07-64-60-17-87-32 L
PORTLAND1113.4585.510-31-101-26-95-52 L
OKLAHOMA CITY616.2739.54-72-90-26-91-98 L
 
PACIFIC DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
GOLDEN STATE194.82612-27-25-111-38-21 L
PHOENIX194.82610-29-23-213-49-11 L
LA CLIPPERS1212.5007.59-73-51-49-103-71 L
LA LAKERS1212.5007.58-74-51-46-84-61 L
SACRAMENTO1014.4179.54-86-64-38-114-62 W
 
SOUTHWEST DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
MEMPHIS1310.5658-55-52-111-57-34 W
DALLAS1111.5001.56-55-66-29-63-72 L
SAN ANTONIO813.3814.04-64-70-33-104-64 W
HOUSTON716.3046.06-51-111-24-126-46 W
NEW ORLEANS719.2697.53-84-112-36-115-51 L

NHL STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
ATLANTIC DIVISION
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
FLORIDA PANTHERS2417433716936714-1-03-3-37-2-1
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS2617723617806210-3-17-4-17-2-1
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING241554341381658-3-27-2-27-2-1
DETROIT RED WINGS251393291271789-2-24-7-16-3-1
BOSTON BRUINS211281251161567-4-15-4-06-3-1
BUFFALO SABRES24813319770906-6-12-7-22-7-1
MONTREAL CANADIENS26617315659934-8-12-9-22-7-1
OTTAWA SENATORS22615113657864-8-02-7-13-7-0
 
METROPOLITAN DIVISION
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
WASHINGTON CAPITALS251546361588628-1-47-3-26-2-2
NEW YORK RANGERS231643351568578-1-18-3-29-1-0
CAROLINA HURRICANES231661331675527-3-09-3-15-4-1
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS241185271069675-5-26-3-36-3-1
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS2313100261176759-3-04-7-05-5-0
NEW JERSEY DEVILS2299422865766-4-23-5-22-6-2
PHILADELPHIA FLYERS22810420851724-5-24-5-21-7-2
NEW YORK ISLANDERS20510515538610-4-25-6-30-7-3
 
WESTERN CONFERENCE
CENTRAL DIVISION
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
MINNESOTA WILD2417613514927110-2-07-4-17-2-1
WINNIPEG JETS241284281174689-3-13-5-34-5-1
ST. LOUIS BLUES241284281080707-3-15-5-34-4-2
NASHVILLE PREDATORS2413101271268688-5-05-5-15-5-0
COLORADO AVALANCHE211272261185717-2-15-5-17-2-1
DALLAS STARS211272261160588-2-14-5-18-2-0
CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS24913220654755-5-14-8-16-4-0
ARIZONA COYOTES24517212543892-7-13-10-14-5-1
 
PACIFIC DIVISION
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
CALGARY FLAMES251555351381514-2-311-3-27-2-1
EDMONTON OILERS231670321486709-2-07-5-06-4-0
ANAHEIM DUCKS251384301284749-4-24-4-25-4-1
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS2414100281381738-5-06-5-06-4-0
SAN JOSE SHARKS2513111271366685-4-18-7-05-5-0
LOS ANGELES KINGS23109424964636-6-24-3-23-4-3
SEATTLE KRAKEN24913220972846-6-03-7-25-4-1
VANCOUVER CANUCKS25815218760803-7-15-8-13-7-0