TAMPA BAY 38 INDIANAPOLIS 31
CINCINNATI 41 PITTSBURGH 10
NY JETS 21 HOUSTON 14
ATLANTA 21 JACKSONVILLE 10
MIAMI 33 CAROLINA 10
NEW ENGLAND 36 TENNESSEE 13
NY GIANTS 13 PHILADELPHIA 7
DENVER 28 LA CHARGERS 13
GREEN BAY 36 LA RAMS 28
SAN FRANCISCO 34 MINNESOTA 26
BALTIMORE 16 CLEVELAND 10
NFL SCHEDULE WEEK 13
THURSDAY, DEC. 2
DALLAS COWBOYS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS, 8:20 PM (FOX, NFL NETWORK, AMAZON)
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 5
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AT ATLANTA FALCONS, 1 PM (FOX)
ARIZONA CARDINALS AT CHICAGO BEARS, 1 PM (FOX)
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS, 1 PM (FOX)
MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT DETROIT LIONS, 1 PM (CBS)
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT HOUSTON TEXANS, 1 PM (CBS)
DENVER BRONCOS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS, 1 PM (CBS)
NEW YORK GIANTS AT MIAMI DOLPHINS, 1 PM (FOX)
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES AT NEW YORK JETS, 1 PM (CBS)
WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM AT LAS VEGAS RAIDERS, 4:05 PM (FOX)
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT LOS ANGELES RAMS, 4:25 PM (CBS)
BALTIMORE RAVENS AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS, 4:25 PM (CBS)
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS, 8:20 PM (NBC)
MONDAY, DEC. 6
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS AT BUFFALO BILLS, 8:15 PM (ESPN)
WEEK 14 SCHEDULE
THURSDAY, DEC. 9
PITTSBURGH STEELERS AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS, 8:20 PM (FOX, NFL NETWORK, AMAZON)
SUNDAY, DEC. 12
ATLANTA FALCONS AT CAROLINA PANTHERS, 1 PM (FOX)
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS, 1 PM CBS)
BALTIMORE RAVENS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS, 1 PM (CBS)
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT HOUSTON TEXANS, 1 PM (FOX)
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS, 1 PM (CBS)
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT NEW YORK JETS, 1 PM (FOX)
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT TENNESSEE TITANS, 1 PM (CBS)
DALLAS COWBOYS AT WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM, 1 PM (FOX)
DETROIT LIONS AT DENVER BRONCOS, 4:05 PM (FOX)
NEW YORK GIANTS AT LOS ANGELES CHARGERS, 4:05 PM (FOX)
BUFFALO BILLS AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS, 4:25 PM (CBS)
CHICAGO BEARS AT GREEN BAY PACKERS, 8:20 PM (NBC)
MONDAY, DEC. 13, 2021
LOS ANGELES RAMS AT ARIZONA CARDINALS, 8:15 PM (ESPN)
WEEK 15 SCHEDULE
THURSDAY, DEC. 16
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS AT LOS ANGELES CHARGERS, 8:20 PM (FOX, NFL NETWORK, AMAZON)
SATURDAY, DEC. 18
TBD, 4:30 PM NFL NETWORK
TBD, 8:15 PM NFL NETWORK
CAROLINA PANTHERS AT BUFFALO BILLS, TBD
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS, TBD
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS AT INDIANAPOLIS COLTS, TBD
NEW YORK JETS AT MIAMI DOLPHINS, TBD
WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES, TBD
SUNDAY, DEC. 19
GREEN BAY PACKERS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS, 1 PM (FOX)
ARIZONA CARDINALS AT DETROIT LIONS, 1 PM (FOX)
HOUSTON TEXANS AT JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS, 1 PM (CBS)
DALLAS COWBOYS AT NEW YORK GIANTS, 1 PM (FOX)
TENNESSEE TITANS AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS, 1 PM (CBS)
CINCINNATI BENGALS AT DENVER BRONCOS, 4:05 PM (CBS)
ATLANTA FALCONS AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS, 4:05 PM (CBS)
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT LOS ANGELES RAMS, 4:25 PM (FOX)
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS, 8:20 PM (NBC)
MONDAY, DEC. 20
MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT CHICAGO BEARS, 8:15 PM (ESPN)
WEEK 16 SCHEDULE
THURSDAY, DEC. 23
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AT TENNESSEE TITANS, 8:20 PM (NFL NETWORK)
SATURDAY, DEC. 25 (CHRISTMAS)
CLEVELAND BROWNS AT GREEN BAY PACKERS, 4:30 PM (FOX, NFL NETWORK, AMAZON)
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT ARIZONA CARDINALS, 8:15 PM (NFL NETWORK)
SUNDAY, DEC. 26
DETROIT LIONS AT ATLANTA FALCONS, 1 PM (FOX)
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AT CAROLINA PANTHERS, 1 PM (FOX)
BALTIMORE RAVENS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS, 1 PM (CBS)
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS AT HOUSTON TEXANS, 1 PM (CBS)
LOS ANGELES RAMS AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS, 1 PM (FOX)
BUFFALO BILLS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS, 1 PM (CBS)
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT NEW YORK JETS, 1 PM (CBS)
NEW YORK GIANTS AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES, 1 PM (FOX)
CHICAGO BEARS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS, 4:05 PM (FOX)
PITTSBURGH STEELERS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS, 4:25 PM (CBS)
DENVER BRONCOS AT LAS VEGAS RAIDERS, 4:25 PM (CBS)
WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM AT DALLAS COWBOYS, 8:20 PM (NBC)
MONDAY, DEC. 27
MIAMI DOLPHINS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS, 8:15 PM (ESPN)
WEEK 17 SCHEDULE
SUNDAY, JAN. 2
ATLANTA FALCONS AT BUFFALO BILLS, 1 PM (FOX)
NEW YORK GIANTS AT CHICAGO BEARS, 1 PM (CBS)
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS, 1 PM (CBS)
ARIZONA CARDINALS AT DALLAS COWBOYS, 1 PM (FOX)
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS AT INDIANAPOLIS COLTS, 1 PM (CBS)
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS, 1 PM (CBS)
CAROLINA PANTHERS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS, 1 PM (FOX)
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AT NEW YORK JETS, 1 PM (FOX)
MIAMI DOLPHINS AT TENNESSEE TITANS, 1 PM (CBS)
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES AT WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM, 1 PM (FOX)
DENVER BRONCOS AT LOS ANGELES CHARGERS, 4:05 PM (CBS)
HOUSTON TEXANS AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS, 4:05 PM (CBS)
LOS ANGELES RAMS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS, 4:25 PM (FOX)
DETROIT LIONS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS, 4:25 PM (FOX)
MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT GREEN BAY PACKERS, 8:20 PM(NBC)
MONDAY, JAN. 3
CLEVELAND BROWNS AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS, 8:15 PM (ESPN)
WEEK 18 SCHEDULE
SATURDAY, JAN. 8
TBD, 4:30 PM, ESPN, ABC
TBD, 8:15 PM, ESPN, ABC
SUNDAY, JAN. 9
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT ATLANTA FALCONS, 1 PM (FOX)
PITTSBURGH STEELERS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS, 1 PM (CBS)
NEW YORK JETS AT BUFFALO BILLS, 1 PM (CBS)
CINCINNATI BENGALS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS, 1 PM (CBS)DA
GREEN BAY PACKERS AT DETROIT LIONS, 1 PM (FOX)
TENNESSEE TITANS AT HOUSTON TEXANS, 1 PM (CBS)
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS, 1 PM(CBS)
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS AT MIAMI DOLPHINS, 1 PM (CBS)
CHICAGO BEARS AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS, 1 PM (FOX)
WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM AT NEW YORK GIANTS, 1 PM (FOX)
DALLAS COWBOYS AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES, 1 PM (FOX)
CAROLINA PANTHERS AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS, 1 PM (FOX)
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT ARIZONA CARDINALS, 4:25 PM (FOX)
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS AT DENVER BRONCOS, 4:25 PM (CBS)
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AT LOS ANGELES RAMS, 4:25 PM (FOX)
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS AT LAS VEGAS RAIDERS, 4:25 PM (CBS)
TBD, 8:20 PM(NBC)
AP COLLEGE FOOTBALL POLL
|1||GEORGIA (12-0)||1550 (62)||1|
|5||OKLAHOMA STATE (11-1)||1291||7|
|6||NOTRE DAME (11-1)||1264||5|
|7||OHIO STATE (10-2)||1147||2|
|8||OLE MISS (10-2)||1105||8|
|11||MICHIGAN STATE (10-2)||877||12|
|18||WAKE FOREST (10-2)||485||21|
|19||SAN DIEGO STATE (11-1)||416||22|
|21||NORTH CAROLINA STATE (9-3)||310||24|
|24||TEXAS A&M (8-4)||117||14|
COLLEGE FOOTBALL COACHES POLL
|1||GEORGIA (12-0)||1550 (62)||1|
|5||OKLAHOMA STATE (11-1)||1285||7|
|6||NOTRE DAME (11-1)||1250||5|
|7||OHIO STATE (10-2)||1133||3|
|8||OLE MISS (10-2)||1097||8|
|13||MICHIGAN STATE (10-2)||840||13|
|18||WAKE FOREST (10-2)||531||21|
|19||SAN DIEGO STATE (11-1)||396||22|
|20||NORTH CAROLINA STATE (9-3)||334||24|
|23||TEXAS A&M (8-4)||202||14|
OTHERS: WISCONSIN (100) , UTSA (36) , APPALACHIAN STATE (30) , AIR FORCE (16) , MINNESOTA (13) , PURDUE (11) , UTAH STATE (8) , COASTAL CAROLINA (8) , PENN STATE (5) , UCLA (3) , FRESNO STATE (3) , MISSISSIPPI STATE (2)
COLLEGE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
FRIDAY, DEC. 3
CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP GAME (ALAMODOME IN SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS) | 7 P.M. | CBSSN
PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME (ALLEGIANT STADIUM IN LAS VEGAS, NEVADA) | 8 P.M. | ABC
SATURDAY, DEC. 4
BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME (AT&T STADIUM IN ARLINGTON, TEXAS) | 12 P.M. | ABC
MAC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME (FORD FIELD IN DETROIT, MICHIGAN) | 12 P.M. | ESPN
MOUNTAIN WEST CHAMPIONSHIP GAME | 3 P.M. | FOX
APPALACHIAN STATE AT LOUISIANA (SUN BELT CHAMPIONSHIP GAME | 3:30 P.M. | ESPN
GEORGIA VS. ALABAMA (SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME AT MERCEDES-BENZ STADIUM IN ATLANTA) | 4 P.M. | CBS
AAC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME | 4 P.M. | ABC
ACC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME (BANK OF AMERICA STADIUM IN CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA) | 8 P.M. | ABC
BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP GAME (LUCAS OIL STADIUM IN INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA) | 8 P.M. | FOX
USC AT CAL | 11 P.M. | FS1
SATURDAY, DEC. 11
ARMY VS. NAVY (METLIFE STADIUM IN EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY) | 3 P.M. | CBS
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
# KANSAS 96 IONA 83
#7 Villanova 72 LaSalle 46
#10 Alabama 96 Miami, Florida 64
#13 Arkansas 76 PENN 60
#21 Seton Hall 84 BETHUNE COOKMAN 70
#23 Florida 84 Troy 45
WESTERN MICHIGAN 81 SE. LOUISIANA 77
BOWLING GREEN 75 CHICAGO STATE 57
DEPAUL 101 EASTERN MICHIGAN 63
EVANSVILLE 70 EASTERN ILLINOIS 54
DAYTON 63 BELMONT 61
FLORIDA GULF COAST 85 PURDUE FORT WAYNE 78
WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
#10 LOUISVILLE 71 COLORADO STATE 56
#13 IOWA STATE 76 MASSACHUSETTS 71
#19 UCLA 73 ST. JOHN’S 65
LIBERTY 76 BOWLING GREEN 72
COLORADO 67 WISCONSIN 51
LOYOLA CHICAGO 69 MIAMI OHIO 52
CENTRAL MICHIGAN 56 MARIST 50
MICHIGAN STATE 85 MARSHALL 75
NORTHERN ILLINOIS 69 MILWAUKEE 50
BALL STATE 73 ST. JOSEPH’S 67
MINNESOTA 81 TEXAS SAN ANTONIO 52
IUPUI 80 BUTLER 47
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS EDWARDSVILLE 68 PURDUE FORT WAYNE 56
KENT STATE 81 PENN STATE 74
MILWAUKEE 118 INDIANA 100
GOLDEN STATE 105 LA CLIPPERS 90
BOSTON 109 TORONTO 97
MEMPHIS 128 SACRAMENTO 101
LA LAKERS 110 DETROIT 106
WASHINGTON 4 CAROLINA 2
MINNESOTA 4 TAMPA BAY 2
NY ISLANDERS AT NY RANGERS POSTPONED
BOSTON 3 VANCOUVER 2
NEW JERSEY 5 PHILADELPHIA 2
SAN JOSE 2 CHICAGO 0
TORONTO 5 ANAHEIM 1
REAL SALT LAKE 2 SPORTING KC 1
PHILADELPHIA 1 NASHVILLE 1 (PHILADELPHIA WINS SHOOTOUT 2 – 0)
(TOP NATIONAL HEADLINES AND RELEASES)
MIXON RUNS FOR CAREER-HIGH 165 YARDS, BENGALS CRUSH STEELERS
CINCINNATI (AP) Bengals cornerback Mike Hilton, who played for the Steelers for his first four years, got his first pick-6 at any level of football against his former team late in the first half Sunday.
Hilton’s interception of Ben Roethlisberger put Cincinnati up 31-3 and seemed to serve as a symbolic turning point in the Steelers’ longtime domination of the Bengals and the AFC North.
“To do it against those guys in a big division game, it couldn’t be any sweeter,” Hilton said as his teammates shouted and the music thumped in the locker room next door.
The 41-10 win by the Bengals (7-4) on Sunday followed a double-digit win in September, making it Cincinnati’s first season sweep of the Steelers since 2009.
A 27-17 upset by the Bengals last Dec. 21 broke an 11-game winning streak by Pittsburgh in the series.
“Beating these guys, for me twice and for some of those other guys three times straight, is a big change of the guard in our opinion,” said Hilton, who signed with Cincinnati as a free agent before the season. “It’s given us a lot of confidence, and guys are excited to see how the rest of the season plays out.”
Joe Mixon rushed for a career-high 165 yards and two touchdowns, Joe Burrow scrambled for a score and passed for another one as the Bengals crushed the Steelers (5-5-1) and kept them winless in their past three games.
And the Bengals stamped themselves as a legitimate playoff contender.
Mixon, coming off a rugged 123-yard, two-TD performance in a win over Las Vegas last week, pounded away for 117 yards in the first half.
“To be honest I feel like I’m starting to reach that point, my prime, like starting to get there,” said Mixon, who was slowed by a foot injury last season. “I know what type of speed the defense comes with, I know how to slow the game down myself. As much as it comes down to me making plays, that has to do with my teammates.”
Cincinnati scored on its first four drives, and then Hilton jumped James Washington’s route and ran it back 24 yards for a touchdown with 30 seconds left in the half.
“It was a big moment, it was an emotional moment,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor said. “For Mike to turn around and go the other way with it really kind of catapulted us to what we wanted to do the rest of the day.”
The Bengals defense kept Roethlisberger from getting any real traction until it was too late. He was picked off twice and sacked three times, finishing with 263 yards. His 15-yard TD pass to Pat Freiermuth came late in the game.
“Not a lot to be said,” Roethlisberger said. “You get your butt kicked – it happens. These things happen.”
Burrow was 20 for 24 for 190 yards, throwing a 32-yard touchdown pass to Tee Higgins, and dived for an 8-yard TD to open the scoring in the first quarter for the Bengals.
Higgins had six catches for 114 yards and a TD.
“I felt like we were rolling the whole day,” Burrow said.
Burrow said flipping the script on Pittsburgh is nice, but he’s not dwelling on it.
“We’re 2-0 against them, but we got higher aspirations than beating the Steelers right now,” the second-year quarterback said.
“Really, just the way I look at it right now, to be 3-1 (in the division, that’s the position we wanted to be in,” Taylor said. “It’s not about dominating anybody.”
HE SAID IT
“We’ve got a lot of work in front of us,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “We make no excuses. We see no comfort. It is what it is – we stunk it up today.”
Steelers: LB Robert Spillane suffered a knee injury and didn’t return. … CB Joe Haden was ruled out (foot). … OL J.C. Hassenauer (pectoral) and TE Eric Ebron (knee) were put on injured reserve on Saturday.
Bengals: OL Riley Reiff suffered an ankle injury in the third quarter. … OL Trey Hopkins left in the third quarter with an ankle injury.
Steelers: Host Baltimore next Sunday.
Bengals: Host the Los Angeles Chargers next Sunday.
WILSON RETURNS, JETS END SKID WITH 21-14 WIN OVER TEXANS
HOUSTON (AP) Zach Wilson wasn’t satisfied with his game against the Houston Texans in his return from injury Sunday.
The rookie is, however, glad he’ll get to work on getting better this week with another win under his belt after his team picked him up to lead the New York Jets to a 21-14 win.
Wilson threw for 145 yards and ran for a touchdown in his return from a sprained right knee, helping the Jets snap a three-game skid.
“I wasn’t happy with how I performed, the ups and downs of it all,” he said. “But I’ve got to keep going. This is all part of the process. It feels really good having a win. That’s the goal is to win the game. I’m really happy we were able to pull it out.”
Wilson, the No. 2 overall pick in April who missed the last four games, was rusty early and threw an interception but put the Jets (3-8) on top with a 4-yard scamper in the third quarter.
“Obviously, there’s a little rust there after a month,” coach Robert Saleh said. “I thought he managed the game well. The offense was running the heck out of the football. He was doing a good job on third downs. It was just a good day of managing the game.”
Wilson wouldn’t use rust as an excuse for his performance, but did say he tweaked his knee a couple of times on runs during the game.
“It’s not fully healed, and we understand that, but I feel good to play, so that’s why I’m playing,” he said. “I understand that sometimes it’s going to shift and stretch a little bit, but there’s no damage that could come from that. You have to walk it off and move on.”
The Jets converted two fourth-down attempts on a drive that ended with a 37-yard field goal by Matt Ammendola that made it 21-14 with about 3 1/2 minutes to go.
The Texans (2-9) hoped to build on an upset of Tennessee last week that ended an eight-game skid and looked good early. Tyrod Taylor threw two touchdown passes in the second quarter to give Houston 14-3 lead, but the Texans couldn’t do anything offensively after that.
Houston had a chance to tie it after Ammendola’s field goal, but Bryce Hall knocked down a pass intended for Nico Collins on fourth-and-2 to give New York the ball back. The Jets worked the clock down and the Texans didn’t get the ball again until there were just 20 seconds left.
“We just didn’t play well consistently offensively,” coach David Culley said.
Taylor threw for 158 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
The Jets took an 18-14 lead with about eight minutes left in the third quarter, thanks in part to a pair of huge penalties by Houston defensive tackle Ross Blacklock.
The first came when he got a leverage penalty on a field goal attempt to give the Jets a first down at the 8. Wilson was sacked for a loss of 6 on the next play, but Blacklock was offside to give the Jets a first down at the 4.
“Very disappointed,” Culley said, “We talked about not having critical penalties, but that’s part of it. … He’s just got to get better with that.”
Wilson scrambled for the score on the next play to put New York on top.
The Jets had a chance to pad the lead early in the fourth quarter, but Ammendola’s 42-yard attempt sailed wide left.
The Texans got great field position on their next drive after the Jets punted out of the end zone. But they couldn’t move the ball and came away empty when Ka’imi Fairbairn missed a 55-yard field goal with about 10 minutes to go.
Houston played without top defensive player safety Justin Reid, who was inactive because of a coach’s decision related to a violation of team rules.
John Franklin-Myers batted down a pass by Taylor and intercepted it on Houston’s first drive. He returned it 32 yards to the Houston 37. Jacob Martin sacked Wilson for a 9-yard loss on third down and the Jets settled for a 31-yard field goal to make it 3-0.
Wilson threw a short pass into Ty Johnson’s back and Tavierre Thomas snagged it just before it hit the ground for the first interception of his career later in the first quarter.
Houston took advantage of the miscue when Taylor connected with Brevin Jordan on a 13-yard touchdown pass that made it 7-3 early in the second quarter.
The Texans extended the lead to 14-3 when Brandin Cooks hauled in a 40-yard reception in the end zone with about 10 1/2 minutes left in the second quarter.
Austin Walter scored on a 2-yard run with about a minute left in the first half. Backup quarterback Josh Johnson, who was called up from the practice squad for the game with Mike White and Joe Flacco on the COVID-19 list, took a direct snap and ran for the 2-point conversion to cut the lead to 14-11.
Jets: DL Sheldon Rankins injured his knee in the fourth quarter. … LB Quincy Williams injured a calf in the fourth. … TE Trevon Wesco had a knee injury late.
Texans: OL Justin McCray left in the third quarter to be evaluated for a concussion. … DT DeMarcus Walker left in the fourth quarter with a hamstring injury.
THEY SAID IT
Saleh on Franklin-Myers, who was signed to a four-year, $55 million contract extension last month: “He’s worth his weight in gold, JFM is. Much given, much expected, right? He knows the standard that he has.”
Jets: Host Philadelphia next Sunday.
Texans: Host Indianapolis next Sunday.
FALCONS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF JAGUARS’ MISTAKES IN 21-14 VICTORY
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) The Atlanta Falcons finally found some room to run, just enough to help them stay on the fringe of the NFC playoff picture.
Cordarrelle Patterson ran for a career-high 108 yards and two touchdowns in his return from an ankle injury, and the Falcons found the end zone and the win column for the first time in three weeks in a 21-14 victory over woeful Jacksonville on Sunday.
Atlanta (5-6) finished with a season-high 149 yards on the ground, its most since October 2020.
“That’s what good teams have to do,” Falcons coach Arthur Smith said. “We felt good about it, about the run game, regardless of what statistics and situations (say). Whatever. We kept chipping away. …
“Obviously, having CP back adds an element. He’s a warrior. He’s a big, physical presence that can do a lot for us. And that’s clear. Good to have him back.”
The Falcons managed just a field goal in their previous two games, lopsided losses to Dallas and New England in which they turned over the ball seven times and failed to score a touchdown in consecutive games for the first time since 1987.
They put an emphasis on playing “smarter football” against Jacksonville, and it paid off. It surely helped that the Jaguars (2-9) made all the early mistakes.
Trevor Lawrence threw an interception on Jacksonville’s second series. James Robinson fumbled on the team’s next drive.
Atlanta initially turned Robinson’s turnover into a field goal, but Jaguars defensive lineman Roy Robertson-Harris was flagged for putting his hands on the center to gain leaping leverage. That gave the Falcons a new set of downs, and Patterson found a gaping hope up the middle for a 12-yard TD run.
“That just shows you (if) we put our mind to it, we can’t be stopped,” said Patterson. “We’ve just got to keep building that confidence each and every week.”
Patterson also had a 7-yard score on Atlanta’s second possession.
“He was just taking the hole that was open,” Jaguars linebacker Josh Allen said. “He did a good job finding those holes and making the best of them.”
The Falcons led 14-0 and then 21-3 on Matt Ryan’s TD pass to Russell Gage, but the Jags clawed their way back into the game late. Lawrence found Tavon Austin for a score and connected with James O’Shaughnessy for a 2-point conversion. Matt Wright added a 34-yard field goal in the fourth period to make it a one-score game.
Jacksonville forced a punt and got the ball back with 2:14 remaining, but Lawrence threw incomplete on four straight downs.
“It’s frustrating,” Lawrence said. “Our defense two times has put us in a situation to go win the game and haven’t been able to do it. So we’ve just got to get better and go make those plays in the biggest moments. I know we can do it, but we’ve got to go do it and that starts with me.”
The Jaguars lost TE Dan Arnold (knee) and LB Damien Wilson (ankle) during the game. Jacksonville did get C Brandon Linder (knee/ankle) and O’Shaughnessy (ankle) back after extended stays on injured reserve, and both played well.
Falcons tight end Keith Smith potentially turned a 10-yard gain into a memorable photo. Smith caught a short pass in the flat in the third quarter and bowled over Jaguars safety Andrew Wingard with a combination of his 240-pound frame and a vicious stiff arm.
The move drew a raucous celebration from Atlanta’s sideline. Wingard responded by slapping his hands together in disgust. Adding to Smith’s moment, Fox replayed the posterization three times from varying angles.
Dante Fowler got to perform his sack routine in his return to Jacksonville. The third overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft, Fowler took down Lawrence for a 10-yard loss in the second quarter and forced a fumble.
Fowler beat tight end Chris Manhertz on a speed move around the edge and slapped the ball out of Lawrence’s right hand. Although Manhertz recovered the loose ball, Fowler got to stand in the backfield and take a huge bow in which he swipes the ground. Jaguars fans got to see it often in his 3 1/2 years with the franchise.
Falcons: Atlanta returns home to host defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay next Sunday.
Jaguars: Jacksonville travels cross-country to play the Los Angeles Rams and faces 2016 first-round draft pick Jalen Ramsey for the first time since he was traded early in the 2019 season.
DOLPHINS WIN 4TH STRAIGHT, ROLL PAST PANTHERS 33-10
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) Tua Tagovailoa was nearly flawless. Cam Newton endured his worst statistical day as a pro. A blocked punt was returned for a touchdown.
In all three phases, the Miami Dolphins had all the answers.
Jaylen Waddle had nine catches for a season-best 137 yards and a touchdown, and the Dolphins feasted off five sacks and three interceptions on the way to beating the Carolina Panthers 33-10 on Sunday.
“We look like the team that we kind of wanted to be at the beginning of this year,” Tagovailoa said.
Myles Gaskin had two short rushing scores for Miami (5-7), which became the sixth team in NFL history to immediately follow a 1-7 start with four consecutive wins. Duke Riley blocked a punt that led to a score for Miami.
The quarterback matchup was totally one-sided. Tagovailoa completed 27 of 31 passes for 230 yards and a score. Newton was pulled in the fourth quarter after completing just five of 21 passes for the Panthers (5-7), who lost for the seventh time in their past nine games.
“As it evolved, or devolved I should say … I purely believe Miami outplayed us today, outcoached us today,” Panthers coach Matt Rhule said. “They were better than us today. Pretty simple to me.”
Newton finished with 92 yards passing, no touchdowns and two interceptions. It all added up to a quarterback rating of 5.8, by far the worst of his career. He did have Carolina’s lone touchdown, a 1-yard spin in the first quarter.
It was the lone hurrah for the Panthers.
“Nothing that they did was out of the ordinary,” Newton said. “It wasn’t like we weren’t prepared. It just comes down to execution.”
Jaelan Phillips had three of the Dolphins’ five sacks, and Nik Needham, Xavien Howard and Jevon Holland had interceptions for Miami.
The Panthers are 0-7 when allowing 21 or more points this season, 5-0 otherwise. And the Dolphins had 21 on the board by halftime, thanks to a blocked punt and two scoring drives.
Justin Coleman grabbed Riley’s blocked punt and plowed in from 2 yards to get Miami on the board. Waddle had a touchdown catch from Tagovailoa after one of Newton’s interceptions set up a 9-yard drive – punctuated by Waddle actually doing a waddle in the end zone – and Gaskin scored on a direct snap to make it 21-7.
When Miami’s lead got to 27-10 in the third quarter, Panthers defensive end Brian Burns lit into teammates on the sideline, a tirade captured by television cameras.
If he was hoping it would provide a spark, it didn’t.
“Nobody comes out and thinks they’re going to lose or prepares to lose a game,” said linebacker Haason Reddick, who was flagged for a costly taunting penalty on the drive where Miami went up 27-10 on Gaskin’s second TD run. “The fact that we lost is probably what caused that.”
Newton was long gone by the end, and the Dolphins’ resurgence after the disastrous eight-game start continues. They’ve allowed 46 points in their past four games, and are now 16-7 in games played in November, December and January in coach Brian Flores’ three seasons.
“Credit to the players, first and foremost,” Flores said. “I think those guys are communicating well, tackling well, executing. I think the coaching staff has done a nice job putting them in positions to have success. But yeah, credit to the players.”
Panthers: RB Christian McCaffrey rolled his ankle in the first half. G John Miller was held out of the game with an ankle injury.
Dolphins: Miami was without S Brandon Jones, held out with knee and elbow injuries.
LEADS AND DEFICITS
When Miami went up 30-10 in the fourth quarter, it was the Dolphins’ first time enjoying a lead of 20 points or more since Nov. 1, 2020, against the Los Angeles Rams. Carolina trailed by 22 points against the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys earlier this season.
The Florida Panthers and Miami Heat were both off on Sunday, with no games or practice for either team. That meant it was a football day; Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau was in the front row of seats at one end and wearing a Dolphins jersey, while Heat center Bam Adebayo – a North Carolina native – also was at the game and in a Dolphins hat.
Panthers: Bye week, then host Atlanta on Dec. 12.
Dolphins: Host the New York Giants on Dec. 5.
JONES THROWS 2 TD PASSES, PATRIOTS ROLL PAST TITANS 36-13
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) Mac Jones threw two touchdown passes, New England’s defense forced four turnovers and the Patriots earned their sixth straight win, rolling past the undermanned Tennessee Titans 36-13 on Sunday.
The victory snapped New England’s two-game skid against the Titans. The Patriots hadn’t beaten Tennessee since former Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel took over as coach in 2018. New England (8-4) improved to 6-1 against AFC opponents this season.
Rookie Jones completed 23 of 32 passes for 310 yards. Kendrick Bourne had both of the Patriots’ TD receptions, finishing with five catches for 61 yards.
The Titans (8-4) stayed close early, but couldn’t survive a bevy of errors that included three fumbles by their running backs and an interception by Ryan Tannehill. He finished 11 of 21 for 93 yards and a touchdown.
Playing without star Derrick Henry (foot surgery) for the fourth straight game, the Titans had mixed results from their rushing attack. They also were missing several other starters, notably top receiver A.J. Brown (chest), guard Nate Davis (concussion) and linebacker Rashaan Evans (ankle).
Dontrell Hilliard and D’Onta Foreman became the first Tennessee backs other than Henry to rush for 100 yards since 2018. Hilliard carried 12 times for a career-high 131 yards and a 68-yard TD. But he also a fumble in the second quarter that set up a Patriots field goal.
Foreman rushed 19 times for 109 yards and broke free for a 34-yard rush in the third quarter. But it, too, ended in turnover after he was stripped from behind by J.C. Jackson.
New England led 16-13 at the half, scoring on its first four possessions.
The Patriots took an early lead following a disastrous start by the Titans. It included a penalty on their kickoff return, a 1-yard run loss on their first play from scrimmage and giving up a sack on third down. Tennessee then had to punt twice after being penalized for an illegal shift.
It all added up to a short field for the Patriots, who started on the Titans 37. New England needed only nine plays to go up 7-0 following a 4-yard TD pass from Jones to Bourne.
The Titans bounced back on their second series, eating up more than eight minutes on a 14-play, 74-yard drive that culminated with a 1-yard touchdown reception by Nick Westbrook-Ikhine. Randy Bullock missed the extra point, but the TD ended a streak of 77 consecutive points the Patriots had scored against opponents.
Trailing 13-6 in the second, Tennessee was driving when Davon Godchaux stripped Hilliard, causing the ball to roll free. Kyle Dugger fell on it, giving the Patriots another short field.
Jones had a chance to turn the turnover into a touchdown but missed a wide-open Hunter Henry just outside of the end zone. Nick Folk connected on his third field goal of the half to make it 16-6.
Tennessee took over with 58 seconds left in the half and opted not to take a knee. It proved worthwhile three plays later when Hilliard found a gap in the middle of the field, juked safety Devin McCourty and sprinted for a 68-yard touchdown. It was the longest score allowed this season by New England.
Titans: TE Tommy Hudson walked off on his own power with an ankle injury in the second quarter. … LB Monty Rice was helped off the field with an ankle injury later in the period and did not return. … CB Jackrabbit Jenkins was shaken up in the third quarter. … David Long (hamstring), running back Jeremy McNichols (concussion) and defensive lineman Teair Tart (ankle) were also all out.
Titans: After their bye week, they host Jacksonville.
Patriots: at Buffalo on Dec. 6.
GIANTS’ DEFENSE SMOTHERS EAGLES 13-7, GETS 3 PICKS
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) On a day the team retired the No. 92 jersey of Hall of Famer Michael Strahan, the New York Giants’ defense appropriately make life miserable for the Philadelphia Eagles.
The defense intercepted Jalen Hurts three times, forced four turnovers overall and held Philadelphia to a season-low in points in beating the error-prone Eagles 13-7 Sunday.
It was worthy of Strahan, who had 21 1/2 of his 141 1/2 career sacks against the Eagles, his most against any team.
“Anytime that something like this happens, we want to make the players that played before us proud,” said safety Xavier McKinney, who had the last of the interceptions. “That’s how we play. We’re going to fight on every down. It was something we saw (the ceremony) and we wanted to go out and dominate.”
The game was the first for the Giants’ offense since the firing of coordinator Jason Garrett on Tuesday. With former Browns coach and senior assistant Freddie Kitchens calling the plays, the offense was held to 264 yards but had the ball 32:02, and did just enough.,
Daniel Jones hit Philadelphia native Chris Myarick with a 1-yard score and Graham Gano kicked field goals of 35 and 39 yards as the Giants (4-7) ended the Eagles’ two-game winning streak.
The Eagles (5-7) were their own worst enemy. In addition to hurts miscues, running back Boston Scott lost a fumble that Julian Love recovered at the New York 40 with 1:34 to play.
The Eagles, who had their third straight 200-yard game rushing with 208 yards, had one more chance in the final 1:11. They got a first down at the Giants 27 and had to spike the ball.
Hurts. who ran for a team-high 77 yards, threw three passes and nearly had Jalen Reagor for a TD on second down with a sideline pass the receiver got his hands on before dropping. A pass to Reagor at the goal line on fourth-and-10 also was incomplete.
“Just two drops that I would say is very uncharacteristic,” Reagor said. “Just got to go through the highs and lows on go on to next week and make the plays.”
Hurts had thrown five interceptions all season until finding cornerback Darnay Holmes, linebacker Tae Crowder and McKinney. The one by Crowder hurt most, a goal-line pick on the final play of the first half.
“Today, I put us in a bad situation with those turnovers I had in the first half, especially going in with the opportunity to get points before halftime,” said Hurts, who was 14 of 31 for 129 yards and finished with a dismal 17.5 quarterback rating. “It’s something we have to overcome and we will.”
Scott had scored on a 1-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter to get Philadelphia within 10-7. However, the player who has seven career TDs against the Giants had the big miscue later on.
Giants coach Joe Judge said he spoke to the team about the Strahan jersey retirement.
“When you get a guy being honored like that you don’t want to go out there and lay an egg,” Judge said.
Gano added his longer field goal on a possession lasting 7:22 preceding the Scott fumble for the 13-7 lead.
The Giants built a 3-0 lead on Gano’s 35-yarder in the first quarter. Myarick, who played at Temple, made his first career catch a very productive one midway through the third quarter for the margin of victory.
The defense, which did little against Tom Brady and the Bucs on Monday night, got the team’s first opening-half shutout since December 2018 when it intercepted Hurts twice in the half. It marked the first time the Eagles had not scored in the opening half this season.
Gano also missed from 51 yards, ending a success streak of 12 in a row.
Eagles center Jason Kelce missed the second quarter with a knee injury and returned in the third. He made his 117th consecutive regular-season start. Two holding penalties by backup Nate Herbig hurt on the last drive of the half, including one that nullified a 21-yard TD run by Scott.
The Giants saw DBs Adoree Jackson (quad) and Holmes (chest) leave the game. Holmes had the first interception.
ALL IN WHITE
The Giants wore their all-white uniforms, similar to what they wore from 1980-1999. It consists of white jerseys and pants with blue and red stripes, a “GIANTS” helmet decal instead of the familiar “ny,” and white facemasks replacing the customary gray.
Eagles: return to MetLife Stadium next Sunday to face the Jets.
Giants: travel to Miami to play the Dolphins on Sunday, the first of two straight on the road.
SURTAIN’S PAIR OF PICKS LEADS BRONCOS PAST CHARGERS 28-13
DENVER (AP) Pat Surtain II showed off not only his sticky hands but his swift feet.
The rookie from Alabama picked off Justin Herbert twice, returning the second one 70 yards for a touchdown and sparking the Denver Broncos’ 28-13 win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.
Surtain reached a top speed of 22.07 mph on his pick-6, according to Next Gen Stats, the fastest by a defensive back with the ball in his hands in the last five years.
“I’ve always known I was fast,” said Surtain. “I used to run track, so I would say that little track background helped me a lot.”
The Broncos’ big win sets up a showdown for the AFC West lead next weekend in Kansas City, where the game between Denver (6-5) and the Chiefs (7-4) already was flexed to Sunday night.
“No matter what happens,” said safety Justin Simmons, “we’ve got to find a way to leave Arrowhead with a win,” something the Broncos haven’t done since 2015.
Surtain’s first interception came in the end zone on a pass intended for tight end Jared Cook early in the fourth quarter. The Broncos converted that takeaway into a touchdown when Teddy Bridgewater hit tight end Eric Saubert from 9 yards to make it 21-7.
His second one came off the hands of Austin Ekeler, who watched helplessly as Surtain sprinted past him and down the Broncos’ jubilant sideline to push Denver’s lead to 28-7 with 7:28 left.
“Those are two big swings in the game and big, big plays,” Broncos coach Vic Fangio said.
“They do a great job of disguising everything and they’re really well coached,” said Herbert, who finished 28 for 44 for 303 yards and two TDs with two interceptions and three sacks. “When you put together a really good coach like that with some pretty exceptional players, you get a really good defense.
“We can’t expect to win if you turn the ball over like that.”
Featuring four rookie starters in Surtain, safety Caden Sterns and linebackers Jonathon Cooper and Baron Browning, Denver’s defense came up big on a day the injury-riddled offense lost Bridgewater temporarily to a lower right leg injury, left tackle Calvin Anderson (knee), and left guard Dalton Risner (back).
Bridgewater returned after halftime and the Broncos closed out the win by running the ball behind a makeshift line, finishing with 147 yards rushing against the league’s leakiest run defense.
The Chargers’ first two drives of the second half consisted of two dozen plays and ate up 14 minutes, 15 seconds. Both were fruitless.
Dustin Hopkins missed his first field goal attempt with the Chargers, hooking a 52-yarder wide left after an 11-play opening drive that took 7:06.
The Broncos went three-and-out and the Chargers ate up the rest of the clock in the third quarter, when Denver had the ball for just 75 seconds. But on third down from the Broncos 23, Surtain got his first interception of Herbert.
Drew Lock replaced Bridgewater in the first half and was picked off by Derwin James Jr. when he tried to fit in a pass to a bracketed Kendall Hinton in the closing minutes of the first half. That led to Herbert’s 12-yard touchdown toss to Ekeler with 31 seconds left before halftime, cutting the Chargers’ deficit to 14-7.
Cook outjumped several defenders and even a teammate or two to get both feet down on a 16-yard touchdown catch that made it 28-13 with 4:34 remaining. But the Chargers inexplicably went for 2 and the pass was incomplete.
Before getting hurt, Bridgewater’s 11-yard scramble to the right pylon put Denver ahead 7-0. When the Broncos began their next drive, they replaced Risner with Netane Muti. Bridgewater was injured when James swept through untouched on a blitz and blindsided the quarterback.
It was originally ruled a strip-sack with teammate Kyzir White recovering the loose ball for Los Angeles, but that turnover was overturned on review. Lock led the Broncos’ offense back on the field while Bridgewater was tended to on the sideline.
Joey Bosa got a strip-sack on Lock’s second snap, but receiver Tim Patrick recovered the loose ball for a first down. The Broncos went ahead 14-0 on rookie running back Javonte Williams’ 9-yard burst up the middle.
Denver’s win means every team in the division has a winning record after 12 weeks.
“The AFC is still wide open,” James said. “We’re 6-5 right now and everyone in the AFC pretty much has the same record as us. Everything we want is still there.”
Running back Melvin Gordon gained 83 yards on 17 carries against his former team and Williams gained 54 yards on 14 runs, adding 57 yards on three catches.
Broncos OLB Bradley Chubb returned from ankle surgery to log his first minutes since Week 2. … Netane Muti replaced Risner and practice squad call-up Quinn Bailey filled in for Anderson.
Chargers: visit the Cincinnati Bengals on Dec. 5.
Broncos: visit the Chiefs on Dec. 5.
TOE INJURY CAN’T STOP RODGERS AS PACKERS DEFEAT RAMS 36-28
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) Aaron Rodgers isn’t letting his toe injury lower his expectations even as it limits his practice time.
Rodgers threw two touchdown passes and also ran for a score in the Green Bay Packers’ 36-28 victory over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. Not bad for someone who hadn’t practiced all week.
“When I step on the field, I expect greatness,” said Rodgers, who says he fractured his pinky toe while working out during his quarantine after a positive COVID-19 test. “Anyone who’s a great competitor feels the same way. I don’t lean on excuses: not practicing, a little toe injury.”
Rodgers went 28 of 45 for 307 yards as the Packers bounced back from a 34-31 loss at Minnesota. The reigning MVP threw touchdown passes of 7 yards to Randall Cobb and 5 yards to A.J. Dillon.
His injury had caused him to practice just once in the week leading up to his 385-yard, four-touchdown effort at Minnesota.
“It definitely isn’t the ideal situation not to practice,” Rodgers said. “But if I can go out there, take mental reps, go through the plan and my preparation and feel good about what I’m doing, and when I get out there, I’ve just got to rely on my instincts. The beauty is it’s an 11-person-a-side game, and I really feel the offensive line allowed me just to settle in.”
The Rams outscored Green Bay 11-0 in the fourth quarter, but their comeback attempt ended when Adrian Amos recovered an onside kick with 17 seconds left.
Green Bay (9-3) has never lost consecutive games within the same season during Matt LaFleur’s three-year coaching tenure. The Packers head into their off week with a 3 1/2-game lead over Minnesota (5-6) in the NFC Central.
“We’ve just got to keep stacking wins and ride this momentum,” Packers defensive tackle Kenny Clark said.
The Rams (7-4) dropped their third straight game and continually made mistakes to create scoring opportunities for Green Bay, which scored 16 points off three Los Angeles turnovers.
“Pretty self-explanatory, kind of a lot of the same narratives,” Rams coach Sean McVay said. “We turn the ball over too many times. You can’t get behind against a good football team like that. I do love the way that our guys continue to battle.”
Matthew Stafford went 21 of 38 for 302 yards with three touchdown passes. But he also lost a fumble to set up a touchdown and had an interception returned for a touchdown. Stafford has thrown a pick-6 in each of the last three games.
Odell Beckham Jr. had five catches for 81 yards with a 54-yard touchdown in his second game as a Ram.
Rodgers opened the scoring and put the Packers ahead for good with a 1-yard touchdown to cap a drive that began at the Rams 6-yard line. Green Bay’s Rashan Gary, coming back from an elbow injury that sidelined him last week, sacked Stafford and hit the quarterback’s elbow to cause a fumble that Preston Smith recovered to give the Packers first-and-goal.
In the third quarter, Los Angeles’ J.J. Koski was returning a punt when Dominique Dafney forced a fumble that Krys Barnes recovered at the Rams 27. That turnover set up Mason Crosby’s 29-yard field goal that extended Green Bay’s lead to 30-17.
“We’re going to continue to learn from these things, that’s the only thing that you can do,” McVay said. “But we’ve got to stop with some of these self-inflicted wounds.”
Later in the third, Rasul Douglas made it 36-17 by stepping in front of Stafford’s pass to NFL receiving leader Cooper Kupp and scoring his first career touchdown on a 33-yard interception return.
“Cooper Kupp, don’t he got like 10,000 yards receiving already in like eight weeks?” Douglas quipped after the game. “We know that’s his guy. We know a lot of balls get thrown to him and he makes a lot of plays.”
This time, Douglas and the rest of the Green Bay defense made all the biggest plays.
Rams: Koski hurt his hamstring in the second half.
Packers: Cobb didn’t play the second half due to a groin injury. Cobb caught four passes for 95 yards in the first half. … Packers CB Kevin King didn’t play because of injuries to his knee and hip. … S Darnell Savage walked slowly to the sideline after taking a hard hit on the onside kick.
The Packers honored former defensive back Charles Woodson during a halftime ceremony. Woodson’s name has been placed on the Lambeau Field facade to honor his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Woodson played for the Packers from 2006-12 and was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2009.
MOMENT OF SILENCE
A moment of silence was held before the game to remember the victims of the parade crash in the Milwaukee suburb of Waukesha, Wisconsin. Six people were killed and more than 60 were injured when an SUV crashed into a Christmas parade on Sept. 21. Darrell Brooks Jr., 39, has been charged with five counts of first-degree intentional homicide.
Rams: host Jacksonville next Sunday.
Packers: off next week before hosting Chicago on Dec. 12.
49ERS BEAT VIKINGS 34-26 FOR 3RD STRAIGHT WIN
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) The midseason skid that looked as though it could derail the San Francisco 49ers season is firmly in the past.
After getting back to a successful formula of dominating on the ground, the Niners have won three straight games and again look like a contender in the NFC.
Deebo Samuel ran for two touchdowns before leaving with an injury and Elijah Mitchell rushed for 133 yards and a score, leading the 49ers to a 34-26 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.
“We’re all excited to be back in the mix and have the season in our control,” defensive end Nick Bosa said. “We all knew we were a really good team. We had to execute better and now we’re starting to execute at the right time.”
The matchup between two .500 teams fighting for wild-card spots was a highly entertaining one with six scores in the third quarter alone, including a 99-yard kickoff return score by Minnesota’s Kene Nwangwu.
But the 49ers (6-5) made just enough plays, including a fourth-down stop near the goal line midway through the fourth quarter to win their third straight following a stretch of five losses in six games.
“I think both of us are playing really good ball these last couple of weeks,” Niners coach Kyle Shanahan said. “We have ground to make up and that’s why we believed it would be like a playoff game. When two teams are playing inspired and have everything on the line, that’s why it’s a good football game for people to watch. It’s not always the most fun tense-wise for everybody. But I’m proud of our guys and how they handled it.”
Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 230 yards and a TD, but the Niners once again did more of their work on the ground with Samuel’s two scores making him the first receiver since the merger to run for five TDs in a season. Samuel had six carries for 66 yards and also caught one pass for 15 yards before leaving with a groin injury that he hopes is not serious.
San Francisco finished with 208 yards rushing on 39 carries.
“They came with it,” Vikings linebacker Erick Kendricks said. “We knew that their run game was really good. Very complex, very confusing. They have a lot of people to block and open up for it. It was about eliminating that and we didn’t do it.”
Kirk Cousins threw for 238 yards and two TDs to Adam Thielen for the Vikings (5-6). But he also had an interception that set up a short San Francisco scoring drive in the third quarter and couldn’t connect with Justin Jefferson on the fourth down from the 3 after burning a timeout when he lined up under the guard instead of the center.
The Niners drove down into field-goal range, but Robbie Gould missed from 42 yards with 1:56 left and a chance to put the game away.
Minnesota drove to the San Francisco 38 before turning it over on downs when Cousins missed Jefferson on fourth-and-8.
The 49ers scored twice in a 22-second span of the third quarter starting when Samuel capped the first drive of the half with a 3-yard run.
Azeez Al-Shaair got an interception on the next play from scrimmage, capping Cousins’ streak of 212 straight passes without an interception.
Mitchell ran it in from 6 yards on the next play.
The Niners used an 87-yard drive to tie the game late in the second quarter on Garoppolo’s 3-yard pass to Jauan Jennings with 18 seconds left in the half.
The Vikings have allowed 66 points in the final two minutes of the first half, the most for any team through 11 games since at least 2000.
PLAYING FROM AHEAD
The Vikings scored on their second drive of the game when Cousins hit Thielen on a 2-yard pass on fourth-and-goal to take a 7-0 lead. That made Minnesota the 17th team in the Super Bowl era to take a lead of at least seven points in each of the first 11 games.
The first 16 teams to do it combined for an .852 winning percentage. The Vikings are the only team to do it and have a losing record.
Vikings: RB Dalvin Cook (shoulder) left after getting hurt in the third quarter when he lost a fumble. Cook will have an MRI on Monday. … LB Anthony Barr (hamstring) also left in the third quarter.
49ers: LB Dre Greenlaw (groin) and RB Trey Sermon (ankle) left the game with injuries in the first half and didn’t return. Greenlaw was back for his first game since injuring his groin in the season opener. … LB Fred Warner (hamstring) left in the second half.
Vikings: Visit Detroit on Sunday.
49ers: Visit Seattle on Sunday.
RAVENS OVERCOME JACKSON’S 4 INTS, BEAT BROWNS 16-10
BALTIMORE (AP) Lamar Jackson provided one brilliant highlight during an otherwise subpar performance and his 13-yard touchdown pass to Mark Andrews in the third quarter was enough to lift the Baltimore Ravens to a 16-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday night.
Jackson threw a career-high four interceptions in this mistake-filled game, but the only touchdown for Baltimore was memorable. Dogged by Cleveland’s pass rush all night, Jackson scrambled all the way back to about the 35-yard line before lofting a pass over the middle to a remarkably open Andrews in the end zone.
That made it 13-3, and the Ravens (8-3) held on to take over the top spot in the AFC standings.
“Got to move on to the Steelers,” Jackson said. “Six games left in the season.”
Cleveland (6-6) never could get its running game – which entered ranked No. 1 in the league – going against the Baltimore defensive front. Nick Chubb managed only 16 yards on eight carries, and Kareem Hunt had 20 yards on seven attempts.
“Our run game has been very good and we’ve run against loaded boxes like that,” Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said. “As a run offense, we’ve done better than that.”
Ravens coach John Harbaugh improved to 18-2 in prime-time games at home and 23-4 overall against the Browns.
Baker Mayfield threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to David Njoku late in the third quarter, but Cleveland didn’t score again. Up 13-10, the Ravens took over with 6:28 remaining in the game and nearly ran out the rest of the clock. A holding call on guard Ben Powers helped stall that drive, and Justin Tucker’s 49-yard field goal pushed the lead to six with 1:10 to play.
The Browns never got a first down on their final drive.
This was a far cry from December, when these teams played one of the most exciting games of the 2020 NFL season – a 47-42 Ravens victory in Cleveland. This time, a quiet first half devolved into a series of mistakes toward the end of the second quarter, including five turnovers in the final 3:04.
The Ravens used up 8:41 off the clock on a 17-play drive, but settled for a field goal and a 6-0 lead after guard Kevin Zeitler committed a false start on fourth-and-goal from the 1. The Browns drove into Baltimore territory, but gave the ball away on a trick play. Receiver Jarvis Landry took a shotgun snap and moved around as if to throw, but he was hit and fumbled.
The Browns answered quickly with a takeaway of their own, when a pass by Jackson caromed to Denzel Ward for an interception. Cleveland turned that turnover into a field goal.
Jackson was intercepted again, giving the Browns the ball at the Baltimore 28 with 56 seconds left. Two plays later, Mayfield lost the ball – nobody was even credited with a forced fumble – and the Ravens recovered near midfield.
Jackson threw his third interception of the quarter with 21 seconds left in the half.
Cleveland’s mistakes weren’t confined to the end of the first half. Chase McLaughlin missed a 46-yard field goal in the first quarter, and then the Browns kept a Ravens drive alive when they were called for too many men on the field as Baltimore lined up to go for it on fourth-and-2 from its own 33.
What was remarkable about that was that Cleveland had just called a timeout after appearing to have substitution issues on that fourth down. Then the Browns came out of the timeout and were called for too many men on the field anyway.
Tucker made a 52-yard kick at the end of that possession to give the Ravens a 3-0 lead.
Hunt was in his first game back from a calf injury. … Ravens DT Calais Campbell (concussion) missed the game. … Cleveland T Jack Conklin, who returned from an elbow injury for this game, hurt his knee in the first quarter. He tried to walk off gingerly, but then his right knee seemed to give out.
Browns: Off next weekend, then face the Ravens again in their next game in a scheduling quirk. That game is Dec. 12 in Cleveland.
Ravens: Play another division rival next Sunday when the Ravens are at Pittsburgh.
USC HIRES COACH LINCOLN RILEY AWAY FROM OKLAHOMA
(AP) — Southern California desperately wanted a marquee head coach after more than a decade of underachievement and embarrassment.
The Trojans landed one of the biggest, brightest names in the game.
USC hired Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley on Sunday in a stunning and rare move of one traditional college football powerhouse swiping another’s highly accomplished coach.
Riley went 55-10 in five seasons leading the Sooners, winning four Big 12 titles and making three College Football Playoff appearances in his first head coaching job. USC sold the 38-year-old Texan on the chance to return the Trojans to their glory days as an annual national championship contender and the West Coast’s premier program.
“USC has an unparalleled football tradition with tremendous resources and facilities, and the administration has made a deep commitment to winning,” Riley said in a statement. “I look forward to honoring that successful tradition and building on it. The pieces are in place for us to build the program back to where it should be and the fans expect it to be.”
Riley “will immediately transition to USC,” according to the school’s statement. Interim coach Donte Williams will lead the Trojans (4-7, 3-5 Pac-12) in their season finale at California on Saturday night.
Bob Stoops is returning as Oklahoma’s interim head coach to lead the Sooners in their bowl game, the school announced. Riley took over the program in 2017 when Stoops retired, and the Sooners have dominated the Big 12 in the half-decade since.
“Leaving OU was probably the most difficult decision of my life,” Riley said. “OU is one of the best college football programs in the country, and it has been forever. That’s not going to change. It’s not going to change in the SEC, it’s not going to change with another head coach. It’s stood the test of time and it’s going to continue to do so. This was a personal decision solely based on my willingness to go take on a new challenge, and I felt like it was the right opportunity for me and my family to do that.”
USC fired Clay Helton in September after the second game of his seventh season in charge, and the school has been searching for a game-changing head coach to revive a program that has had meager success since a dominant run through the 2000s under Pete Carroll that included two national titles.
Since Carroll left for the Seattle Seahawks in late 2009, the Trojans have struggled under three former Carroll assistants and Helton, who brought stability and professionalism to USC, but not nearly enough on-the-field success while going 46-24. With one game left, USC is 87-48 with one Pac-12 title, one Rose Bowl victory and no College Football Playoff berths in 12 years under Lane Kiffin, Ed Orgeron, Steve Sarkisian, Helton and Williams.
The Trojans have been a sleeping giant on the college football landscape for over a decade – and Riley is expected to wake them up.
After being connected to several top candidates for jobs in this hiring cycle, USC athletic director Mike Bohn managed to land an even more impressive name than all but his most starry-eyed fans imagined.
“His successes and offensive accolades as a head coach the past five years are astonishing,” Bohn said of Riley. “Lincoln will recruit relentlessly, develop his players on and off the field, and implement a strong culture in which the program will operate with the highest level of integrity and professionalism. Lincoln is universally considered one of the brightest and most talented football coaches in the nation, and the fact that he chose USC is a testament to the strength of our brand, the power of the Trojan Family, and the leadership of our university.”
Riley was Oklahoma’s offensive coordinator when he was anointed successor to Stoops, who led the Sooners to 190 wins and a national championship in 17 seasons. The Sooners have owned their conference ever since the move, with Riley producing two Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks – Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray – and some of the most prolific offenses in college football history.
While Riley doesn’t have major ties to the West Coast, he has recruited well in California’s talent-rich areas, and the Sooners currently have several commitments from elite California high schoolers over the next two recruiting classes. In the hours after Riley’s move, Malachi Nelson – the Orange County high school quarterback considered one of the top prospects in the 2023 recruiting class – decommitted from Oklahoma, as did receiver Brandon Inniss and running back Treyaun Webb from Florida.
“One of the things that attracted me to OU, other than the rich history and amazing fans, was the stability in the coaching staff and their ability to develop the QB position,” Nelson wrote in his social media post.
Riley led the Sooners to yet another 10-win season this year, but Oklahoma’s string of Big 12 titles was snapped when the Sooners (10-2) narrowly lost to Oklahoma State on Saturday night. With Oklahoma out of contention for the College Football Playoff, USC dived in to make a splash.
Rumors connecting Riley to the opening at LSU had been persistent for several weeks, but he shot them down after the Oklahoma State game.
“I’m not going to be the next head coach at LSU,” he said. “Next question.”
He said nothing about USC.
The last big-name coach to make such a seismic move was Jimbo Fisher, who left Florida State for a 10-year, guaranteed contract at Texas A&M at the end of the 2017 season. Riley was already making over $7 million per year in Norman, so he is likely to have received a significant increase from USC’s deep-pocketed boosters.
Oklahoma will be forced to conduct its first head coaching search since 1999 when the school hired Stoops, who is scheduled to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame next week.
“First and foremost, I’m a program guy, and whatever I can do to help OU and to support the players, of course I’m glad to do it,” Stoops said. “I’ll do everything I can to help them finish the season in a strong and successful way and I look forward to that.”
Riley is the first OU coach to leave for another job since Jim Tatum left for Maryland after the 1946 season – but the Sooners hired Bud Wilkinson and became a dynasty.
“Oklahoma is one of the premier football programs and jobs in the country,” OU athletic director Joe Castiglione said. “Our storied history, annual pursuit of conference and national championships, tremendous fan support, beautiful facilities and quality of life combine to make this an incredible place to recruit to and coach, and we have begun the search for our next great leader.”
New leadership will be yet another big change coming at Oklahoma, which is moving to the Southeastern Conference along with Texas. The move is currently set for 2025, but could very well come sooner.
The Trojans still have one game left to play this season, and they must beat the Golden Bears to avoid their first eight-loss season since 1991. Riley will already be at work recruiting the next class of elite talent to a school whose recruiting successes were inconsistent under Helton.
Williams, Helton’s cornerbacks coach and top recruiter, has gone 3-6 as the interim head coach alongside offensive coordinator Graham Harrell and defensive coordinator Todd Orlando. Coincidentally, Harrell and Riley are both former Texas Tech quarterbacks who played for Mike Leach in the Red Raiders’ Air Raid offense.
OKLAHOMA LOSES COMMITMENT FROM 5-STAR QB, OTHERS AFTER RILEY’S DEPARTURE
Oklahoma lost commitments from three notable 2023 recruits, including No. 3 overall prospect Malachi Nelson, following head coach Lincoln Riley’s departure.
“In light of recent events and changes, my family and I believe it’s best if I decommit from (Oklahoma) at this time,” Nelson said in a statement.
He added: “I’m not opening up my recruitment, I just want to see how everything transpires.”
A five-star quarterback, Nelson was the Sooners’ top prospect from their 2023 class.
Four-star wide receiver Brandon Inniss also announced Sunday that he won’t be a part of the Sooners’ recruiting class. Inniss is the No. 29 overall prospect for 2023, according to ESPN.
“After a long talk with my family, I have decided to decommit from the University of Oklahoma and open up my recruitment to all schools,” Inniss posted in a statement on Twitter.
Treyaun Webb joined Nelson and Inniss in hopping out of the 2023 class, citing “recent changes” at Oklahoma. Webb, a four-star running back, is the No. 152-ranked prospect for 2023, per ESPN.
The Sooners also lost a big commitment from their 2022 class, with four-star linebacker Kobie McKinzie announcing his departure due to uncertainty with the team’s coaching situation.
Meanwhile, 2023 four-star wide receiver DeAndre Moore Jr. reaffirmed his commitment to the Sooners amid the departures.
USC announced Riley as its new head coach Sunday. Riley served as Oklahoma’s head coach since 2017, putting up a 55-10 record.
AP TOP 25: MICHIGAN RISES TO NO. 2; OKLAHOMA STATE UP TO 5TH
(AP) — Michigan jumped to No. 2 in The Associated Press college football poll on Sunday and Oklahoma State joined the top five for the first time since 2015.
Georgia was a unanimous No. 1 in the AP Top 25 presented by Regions Bank for the eighth consecutive week. For the fourth straight week, there is a different No. 2 team behind the Bulldogs.
Michigan has its highest ranking since it peaked at No 2. in 2016. The Wolverines moved up four spots after emphatically beating Ohio State on Saturday to break an eight-game losing streak in the rivalry.
Cincinnati moved up to No. 3, flip-flopping with Alabama at No. 4. The Crimson Tide slipped after beating Auburn in overtime.
Oklahoma State moved up two spots after beating Oklahoma for the first time since 2014. The Sooners fell three places to No. 13.
Notre Dame dropped a spot to No. 6 and Ohio State tumbled five spots to No. 7 a week after it peaked at second last week.
The week before the Buckeyes were No. 2, Alabama held that spot. The Tide had replaced Cincinnati the week before.
Mississippi, Baylor and Oregon rounded out the top 10.
The longest streak of weeks as unanimous No. 1 was Alabama’s run of nine in 2018.
There are two more polls left this season, after next week’s championship games and then after the College Football Playoff national title is decided on Jan. 10.
If Georgia can beat Alabama in the Southeastern Conference title game next weekend and make a run through the playoff, it could break Alabama’s record.
But something to keep in mind for the Bulldogs: Alabama’s run of unanimous No. 1 rankings ended in a national championship game loss to Clemson and the Crimson Tide finished No. 2.
– No. 22 Clemson (9-3) is back in the Top 25 after falling out after the last weekend of September. The Tigers have climbed back, winning seven of their final eight games.
– No. 25 Kentucky returns after routing rival Louisville on Saturday. The Wildcats had a run of five weeks in the rankings.
– Wisconsin dropped out after its seven-game winning streak was snapped by Minnesota.
– UTSA tumbled out of the rankings after its first loss of the season. The Roadrunners were thumped by North Texas on Saturday to end their unbeaten regular season, but they will still host the Conference USA title game next week.
SEC – 6 (Nos. 1, 4, 8, 23, 24, 25).
ACC – 4 (Nos. 17, 18, 21, 22).
Big Ten – 4 (Nos. 2, 7, 11, 15).
Big 12 – 3 (Nos. 5, 9, 13).
American – 2 (Nos. 3, 16).
Pac-12 – 2 (Nos. 10, 14).
Mountain West – 1 (No. 19).
Sun Belt – 1 (No. 20).
Independents – 2 (Nos. 6, 12).
RANKED vs. RANKED
No. 1 Georgia vs. No. 4 Alabama, SEC championship.
No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 15 Iowa, Big Ten championship.
No. 3 Cincinnati vs. No. 16 Houston, American Athletic Conference championship.
No. 5 Oklahoma State vs. No. 9 Baylor, Big 12 championship.
No. 10 Oregon vs. No. 14 Utah, Pac-12 championship.
SABAN: RB BRIAN ROBINSON SUFFERED PULLED MUSCLE IN IRON BOWL
(AP) — Alabama tailback Brian Robinson Jr. has a pulled muscle that makes his status for the Southeastern Conference Championship Game against No. 1 Georgia uncertain.
No. 4 Alabama’s coach Nick Saban said Sunday that Robinson sustained a “lower body pulled muscle” in Saturday’s four-overtime victory over Auburn. Robinson was holding his left leg on the ground after a 37-yard carry in the fourth quarter of the 24-22 Iron Bowl win.
“We’ll just kind of see how he progresses during the course of the week and see where he’s at,” Saban said. “I can’t tell you any more than that right now.”
Robinson didn’t return in the game. Trey Sanders took over in the backfield.
Alabama was already down to three healthy scholarship tailbacks with injuries to Jase McClellan, Roydell Williams and freshman Camar Wheaton.
Robinson easily leads the team in rushing with 1,016 yards and 14 touchdowns. Sanders has 50 carries for 221 yards and two TDs.
Alabama has already moved several players from other positions to shore up the backfield in emergency roles.
Defensive back Jalyn Armour-Davis missed the Auburn game with a hip injury. Saban called him day to day.
FLORIDA HIRES LA-LAFAYETTE COACH NAPIER TO REPLACE MULLEN
(AP) — Florida hired Louisiana-Lafayette’s Billy Napier on Sunday to be the Gators’ next football coach.
The move ends a quick process that landed Florida its top target one week after it fired Dan Mullen.
The 42-year-old Napier will remain with the Ragin Cajuns (11-1) this week as they prepare to host Appalachian State (10-2) in the Sun Belt Conference championship game Saturday. He is 39-12 in four seasons in Lafayette, including 32-5 the past three years.
“We are humbled and honored to accept this incredible opportunity to be the head football coach at the university of Florida,” Napier said in a statement. “Our team, staff and entire organization will work daily to establish a program with integrity and class that we all can be proud of.
“We embrace the expectations and are excited about the challenge ahead.”
Florida scheduled an introductory news conference with Napier for Dec. 5.
Mullen was fired last Sunday after the Florida’s fourth loss in five games. He was let go less than a year after leading the Gators to a third consecutive New Year’s Six bowl.
Mullen’s stunningly swift downfall ended a tumultuous two seasons that included mounting losses, numerous public relation missteps and NCAA sanctions.
Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin moved quickly to land Napier, a former receivers coach at Alabama under Nick Saban and a former offensive coordinator at Clemson and Arizona State.
“We felt confident he would be an excellent leader for the Gators, which is why he was the only candidate I met with about the job,” Stricklin said in a statement.
Napier has been one of college football’s rising stars and hottest names in recent years. He was in the mix for current openings at Virginia Tech and TCU.
He also turned down Mississippi State after the 2019 season and backed away from South Carolina and Auburn following the 2020 season. His name has been connected to other Southeastern Conference openings, too, including Mississippi and Missouri.
He takes over a Florida program that’s been in disarray for more than a year but is close to opening an $85 million football facility that could help the team catch up in recruiting. And that could help the Gators close the gap on the superpower such as Georgia and Alabama.
Florida had lost nine of their last 11 games against teams from the Football Bowl Subdivision before beating rival Florida State on Saturday. The 24-21 victory in the Swamp made Florida (6-6) bowl eligible.
Stricklin surely hopes Napier will help Florida continue the offensive success it enjoyed in much of Mullen’s four seasons while also providing a better culture and more accountability on and off the field.
Napier is known for having detailed organization skills that he adopted during his time with Saban. Napier’s approach has carried the Ragin’ Cajuns to unprecedented success.
Louisiana had not been ranked since 1943 until Napier arrived. The team had never won 10 games until Napier arrived , and now he’s done it in three straight seasons. He beat Iowa State in the 2020 season opener.
Napier, a native of Cookeville, Tennessee, was a former quarterback at Furman in South Carolina. His coaching career took a a big step forward while coaching receivers at Alabama (2013-16), where he worked with stars Amari Cooper and Calvin Ridley.
He parlayed that into a job as Arizona State’s offensive coordinator in 2017 under Todd Graham, whose Sun Devils averaged 31.8 points before ULL hired away Napier.
Napier’s contract calls for a $3 million buyout to be paid to Louisiana-Lafayette.
CURRY HAS 33 POINTS, WARRIORS BEAT CLIPPERS FOR 8TH STRAIGHT
LOS ANGELES (AP) Stephen Curry scored 13 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter and the Golden State Warriors extended their winning streak to eight with a 105-90 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday.
Otto Porter Jr. added 18 points, and Jordan Poole had 17 for the Warriors. They improved their NBA-best record to 18-2 heading into a showdown Tuesday night in Phoenix against the streaking Suns – 17-3 after winning 16 straight.
Paul George led Los Angeles with 30 points, and Eric Bledsoe and Marcus Morris added 13 apiece. The Clippers came into the game with wins in eight of their last 10 home games. The Warriors are 7-0 on the road.
The Clippers played the Warriors tough in a 115-113 loss during the opening week of the season, but they could not keep pace this time in the second half.
Golden State led 44-42 at halftime before starting the third quarter on an 11-2 run. Curry scored seven points during the spurt and Draymond Green had four as the Warriors took a 55-44 advantage four minutes into the second half.
The Clippers slowly chipped away and got it down to 60-59 with 2:50 remaining on a pair of free throws by Terance Mann. But Golden State seized control with a 26-9 run over an eight-minute span late in the third quarter and most of the fourth.
Curry applied the dagger shot with an off-balance 3-pointer from the right corner with 5:20 remaining.
Warriors: Set a season high with 19 steals, including six by Curry. … Golden State has gone over the century mark in points in all of its games. … Klay Thompson and James Wiseman were assigned to Santa Cruz of the G-League to begin working their way back.
Clippers; Bledsoe reached 10,000 career points with a 3-pointer during the first quarter. … LA tied a season high with 15 offensive rebounds. … Clippers committed 25 turnovers that led to 31 Golden State points.
Warriors: At Phoenix on Tuesday night.
Clippers: Host New Orleans on Monday night.
CELTICS BEAT SHORT-HANDED RAPTORS FOR 4TH WIN IN 6 GAMES
TORONTO (AP) Marcus Smart scored 21 points, Al Horford had 17 points and 11 rebounds and the Boston Celtics beat the short-handed Toronto Raptors 109-97 on Sunday night to snap a two-game losing streak.
Josh Richardson scored 18 of Boston’s 32 bench points. Jaylen Brown added 16 points, and Grant Williams had 15 to help the Celtics improve to 11-10.
Jayson Tatum shot 2 for 16 and scored eight points, but added seven rebounds and a season-high 10 assists.
“He didn’t have the greatest shooting night, obviously, but 10 assists, we’ll take that every time,” Celtics coach Ime Udoka said.
Boston bounced back after losing at San Antonio on Friday night, when it allowed the Spurs to score the final 15 points.
“The way we lost that game was definitely tough,” Smart said. “To be able to come back and respond the way we did just shows growth. I know we get up here and say that a lot, but it’s true.”
Fred VanVleet led Toronto with 27 points, Scottie Barnes had 21, Pascal Siakam 18 and Svi Mykhailiuk 12. The Raptors lost for the sixth time in eight games to fall to 9-12.
Already without forwards OG Anunoby (left hip) and Khem Birch (right knee), who each sat for the sixth straight game, Toronto was also without guards Gary Trent Jr. (bruised right calf) and Goran Dragic. The Raptors released a statement Sunday afternoon saying Dragic had been granted leave to deal with a personal matter, with no definite timeline for his return.
VanVleet credited the remaining Raptors for trying to overcome the absences, even if the result didn’t go their way.
“I thought guys played with intensity for the most part, but not enough to get the win,” VanVleet said.
Boston was without guard Dennis Schroder. He sat because of a sprained right ankle.
With Schroder sidelined, Udoka said Richardson’s performance was all the more meaningful.
“To get 27 minutes and 18 points of production from him is huge, obviously, especially with Dennis being out,” Udoka said.
Richardson had missed the previous three games because of flu-like symptoms.
“I was itching to be back,” he said.
The Raptors were called for 24 fouls, compared to 19 for Boston.
“They made some plays and we didn’t quite make the defensive plays, but I’m pretty proud of the effort,” Toronto coach Nick Nurse said.
Celtics: Made 19 straight free throws to begin the game before Tatum missed with just over a minute left in the second quarter. Boston finished 29 for 31 at the line.
Raptors: Mykhailiuk started for Trent. . Acquired from Miami in the trade that sent Kyle Lowry to the Heat, Dragic is averaging 8.0 points and 1.8 assists in five games with Toronto. He’s played just once since Oct. 25. . After making five 3-pointers in his first 20 games, Barnes had four against Boston, including three in the third quarter.
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Toronto began a seven-game homestand and, including Sunday’s game, will close out 2021 by playing 12 of 15 at home.
LAST GAME BY THIS NAME
Enes Kanter, who announced earlier Sunday that he will change his name to Enes Kanter Freedom when he becomes a U.S. citizen Monday, played under his birth name for the final time.
Celtics: Host Philadelphia on Wednesday night.
Raptors: Host Memphis on Tuesday night.
BROOKS, BANE LEAD GRIZZLIES PAST POOR-SHOOTING KINGS
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) Dillon Brooks scored 21 points, Desmond Bane added 18 and the Memphis Grizzlies took advantage of Sacramento’s poor shooting to beat the Kings 128-101 on Sunday night.
Jaren Jackson Jr. added 17 points and nine rebounds, and Brandon Clarke had 15 points to help Memphis snap a two-game losing streak.
Buddy Hield led the Kings with 14 points, but was 5 of 17 from the field, including missing eight of his nine 3-pointers. Terence Davis had 13 points, and De’Aaron Fox added 12, but was 4 of 12 from the field, all part of the Kings shooting 34% for the game – including 9 of 42 from outside the arc.
“We shot the ball atrociously,” Kings interim coach Alvin Gentry said.
Memphis was playing its first game without scoring leader Ja Morant, who sprained his left knee Friday night in a loss to the Atlanta Hawks. That put the Memphis scoring onus on others to pick up the slack. It was Bane and Brooks early with an assist from the Grizzlies bench, which connected on 16 of its 21 shots in the first half.
“I think this was a perfect game to go back on and see what we did and what was beneficial,” said reserve guard De’Anthony Melton, who had 14 points for Memphis. “It’s always a blessing that we had to move the ball and we are all sharing and everybody’s getting involved.”
For the first half, Sacramento managed only 35% shooting and connected on only five of 34 3-pointers. The 76-52 halftime lead was the most points by Memphis in a half this season.
“Early in the game, the first half, the duress a lot of those 3s were under was really good,” Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said. “The urgency to defend the 3-point line was really good.”
Memphis kept up the pressure offensively in the second half. Jackson scored 11 points before the midway point of the third as the Grizzlies shooting remained above 57% at that point.
Through three quarters, the Kings managed only 32% shooting, were only 6 of 33 from outside the arc and trailed 106-74.
Gentry did make a direct correlation to a poor shooting night affecting the defense but said the Grizzlies accuracy was a byproduct of the Kings’ off-the-mark shooting.
“When you’re not making shots, and teams are running out off of misses, it takes you longer to set your defense, and it takes you longer to get matched up in transition,” Gentry said.
Kings: Sacramento played without forwards Harrison Barnes, Maurice Harkless and Richaun Holmes, all who sat out with various ailments. . Sacramento is 2-2 under Gentry since he took over when Luke Walton was fired last week.
Grizzlies: Tyus Jones started his first game of the season in place of Morant. Morant was on the bench for the game. . The previous high for a half was 74 points against the Rockets on Nov. 15. . Steven Adams had 12 rebounds.
The Grizzlies were relieved when tests on Morant showed only a sprain to the left knee. And while he was on crutches for practice Saturday, indications are the damage was not significant, and his return is measured in weeks, not months. Jenkins said there is no set timeline. “He’ll be out for a few weeks, and each week, we’ll have a better idea as (things) unfold,” Jenkins said. “We expect a full recovery, and this is nothing long-term that we’re worried about.”
A Memphis fan along the sidelines was ejected from his seat in the second half at the urging of Gentry. It was unclear what the man said. “I think you pay for a ticket, you’ve got a right to boo guys. You’ve got a right to cheer for your team,” Gentry said. “But inappropriate things should never be what anyone should say or have an opportunity to say in an NBA game without being removed.” Asked about the context of the comments, the Sacramento coach would not be specific. “It’s not anything I’m going to tolerate people saying to my player, I know that, not without intervening and asking that (the fan) be removed.”
Kings: Host Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night.
Grizzlies: At Toronto on Tuesday night.
LEBRON HAS 33 POINTS, LAKERS BEAT PISTONS IN CALM REMATCH
LOS ANGELES (AP) LeBron James had 33 points, nine assists and no confrontations with Isaiah Stewart in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 110-106 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night.
Russell Westbrook had 25 points and nine assists, and Anthony Davis added 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers. They returned to .500 with their second win over Detroit in eight days.
Los Angeles once again failed to pull away from a struggling opponent, but still beat the Pistons at Staples Center for the fifth straight time.
Stewart was booed repeatedly and zealously by the Lakers’ crowd, but he appeared to have no significant interactions with James after both players were ejected from the teams’ meeting in Detroit a week earlier for an ugly altercation.
James was assessed a Flagrant-2 foul and ejected when he hit Stewart in the face while they jockeyed for rebounding position. An infuriated Stewart repeatedly attempted to charge at James in the aftermath, earning his own ejection. James served a one-game suspension and Stewart got a two-game ban.
Stewart kept the pot stirring Friday by saying he didn’t think James’ blow had been accidental, as James claims it was. The 20-year-old Stewart is 3 1/2 years older than James’ oldest son, Bronny.
Jerami Grant scored 32 points and No. 1 pick Cade Cunningham had 15 points and 11 rebounds in the Pistons’ sixth straight loss. Detroit followed up its 11-point loss to the Clippers at Staples Center on Friday by being more competitive against Los Angeles’ other team, but falling short again.
Stewart had five points and six rebounds in 27 minutes in the rematch.
The Lakers pulled out to a 19-point lead in the third quarter with a 16-0 run, the most consecutive points they’ve scored this season. But Los Angeles has rarely sustained any significant stretch of good play this season, and the Pistons got to 97-91 with 5:48 left with a 13-2 run.
Grant’s free throws cut the lead to 108-104 with 16.7 seconds left, but the Lakers hung on.
Pistons: Kelly Olynyk missed his 10th straight game with a left knee sprain. … Frank Jackson scored 17 points.
Lakers: Austin Reaves got his first action since Nov. 8, going scoreless in six minutes. The rookie missed 10 games with a hamstring injury. … Wayne Ellington scored five points on his 34th birthday. The Lakers have five players older than him.
Pistons: At Portland on Tuesday night.
Lakers: At Sacramento on Tuesday night.
AP SOURCE: RANGERS AGREE WITH SEMIEN (7 YRS), GRAY, CALHOUN
(AP) — The Texas Rangers have reached an agreement on a seven-year contract with Gold Glove second baseman and potential shortstop Marcus Semien, according to a person familiar with the deal, and the team has also come to terms with right-handed starter Jon Gray and outfielder Kole Calhoun.
That person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Sunday night, when all the deals were pending physicals and not finalized. ESPN, which first reported the Semien agreement, said it was worth $175 million.
Semien was a shortstop in his six seasons with Oakland from 2015-20 before starting 147 games at second base and playing all 162 games for Toronto this year. He signed an $18 million, one-year deal with the Blue Jays in free agency last offseason.
The 31-year-old Semien hit .265 and set career highs with his 45 homers, 102 RBIs and 15 stolen bases in his only season in Toronto. The 45 homers were an MLB record for a second baseman. He finished third in the AL MVP voting, like he did in 2019 when he played all 162 games for the Athletics and hit .285 with 33 homers and 92 RBIs.
Semien could play shortstop or second base for the Rangers, depending on what other moves might be made this offseason.
Gray agreed to a four-year deal with Texas worth $56 million after spending all seven of his big league seasons with Colorado, which drafted him third overall out of Oklahoma in 2013. The 30-year-old Gray is 53-49 with a 4.59 ERA in 152 career games. In 29 starts this year, he was 8-12 with a 4.59 ERA – the same as his career mark – and had 157 strikeouts in 149 innings.
The 34-year-old Calhoun, whose one-year deal is reportedly worth $5.2 million and includes a team option for 2023, played for Arizona the past two seasons. He previously played in the AL West with the Los Angeles Angels from 2012-19.
After a 102-loss season, the Rangers had indicated they were willing to spend as needed and could be active in free agency this offseason to improve the team. They went into the offseason with only about $28 million committed to salaries for 2022.
Texas this year used a club-record 26 rookies, with at least four or five of them routinely in the lineup.
The Rangers had their fifth consecutive losing season since last winning the AL West in 2016. They finished 29th in the majors with their .232 team batting average and were shut out a majors-high 15 times while scoring an AL-low 625 runs, their fewest in a full 162-game season since 613 in 1994.
Semien has a .256 batting average with 160 homers and 482 RBIs in 1,020 career games over nine seasons with the Chicago White Sox (2013-14), Oakland and Toronto.
In 1,071 career games over 10 seasons, Calhoun is a .248 hitter with 161 homers and 508 RBIs.
AP SOURCE: BLUE JAYS REACH DEAL WITH PITCHER KEVIN GAUSMAN
TORONTO (AP) The Toronto Blue Jays have reached an agreement with right-hander Kevin Gausman on a five-year, $110 million contract, pending a physical, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press late Sunday.
The 30-year-old Gausman was 14-6 with a 2.81 ERA and 227 strikeouts in 192 innings for San Francisco last season. He has a 64-72 record and 4.02 ERA in his career with Baltimore, Atlanta and San Francisco.
The Blue Jays had been interested in Gausman last offseason but he elected to bet on himself and stay with the Giants on a one year deal. It paid off.
The Blue Jays also signed right-hander Jose Berrios to a seven-year, $131 million deal this offseason after acquiring him at the trade deadline. The two deals are the largest pitching contracts in team history.
Toronto has an emerging young core and can add major contracts before younger players such as Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. earn a lot more. Toronto’s rotation also includes Hyun-jin Ryu and Alek Manoah.
The Blue Jays gave veteran outfielder George Springer a six-year, $150 million contract last offseason.
Second baseman Marcus Semien left the Blue Jays earlier Sunday to sign a seven-year deal with the Texas Rangers.
REPORT: RANGERS, GRAY FINALIZING 4-YEAR, $56M DEAL
The Texas Rangers are finalizing a four-year, $56-million deal with former Colorado Rockies right-hander Jon Gray, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
Once Gray passes his physical, he’ll join an inexperienced rotation in Texas expected to feature Dane Dunning, Taylor Hearn, A.J. Alexy, and Spencer Howard.
The Rangers won’t have to forfeit a draft pick to sign Gray because the Rockies didn’t make him a qualifying offer.
Colorado made Gray a competitive offer, according to Rockies general manager Bill Schmidt.
Gray posted an 8-12 record with a 4.59 ERA and 4.22 FIP last season while making half his starts at Coors Field – one of the toughest parks for pitchers. The 30-year-old put up a better ERA and WHIP in 14 outings in Colorado than on the road.
REPORT: METS HAVE OFFERED SCHERZER MORE THAN $40M PER YEAR
New York Mets owner Steve Cohen is ready to open up his wallet to acquire three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer.
The Mets have offered the 37-year-old more than $40 million per year, sources told SNY’s Andy Martino. The length of a potential deal is unknown, but it could be for either three or four years.
Contract talks are ongoing and considered minute-to-minute, Martino adds. The winner of the Scherzer sweepstakes is expected to be determined by Monday at the latest, according to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman.
Scherzer has also generated interest from the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, and Los Angeles Angels. He posted a 15-4 record with a 2.46 ERA, 2.97 FIP, 0.86 WHIP, and 11.8 strikeouts per nine during an impressive 2021 campaign.
The hard-throwing hurler was also a perfect 7-0 with a 1.98 ERA in 11 starts for the Dodgers after they acquired him from the Washington Nationals at the trade deadline.
If the Mets manage to sign Scherzer, he’d give them a dominant duo atop their rotation alongside fellow Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom. As it stands, New York is also expected to use Carlos Carrasco and Taijuan Walker in the rotation.
The Mets have already been busy this winter, agreeing to multi-year deals with infielder Eduardo Escobar, as well as outfielders Starling Marte and Mark Canha, on Friday.
REPORT: TWINS, BUXTON AGREE TO 7-YEAR, $100M EXTENSION
The Minnesota Twins and outfielder Byron Buxton agreed to a seven-year, $100-million contract extension Sunday, a source told The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.
Buxton’s extension include a full no-trade clause.
The oft-injured 27-year-old was one of baseball’s top performers last season when he was on the field, posting a .306/.358/.647 slash line with 19 home runs, 32 RBIs, and nine steals in 61 games. Buxton missed a large chunk of the campaign with a fractured hand and hip strain.
He’s played more than 100 games in a season only once in his career, appearing in 140 contests in 2017.
Buxton has spent his entire seven-year career with the Twins after they selected him second overall in the 2012 draft.
The native of Georgia has been terrific for the Twins over the past three seasons, slugging .575 with a 135 wRC+ while amassing 8.1 WAR in 187 games, according to FanGraphs.
The one-time Gold Glover has also played tremendous defense for Minnesota, generating 60 defensive runs saved throughout his career, including 10 last season.
(TOP INDIANA SPORTS NEWS AND RELEASES)
FOURNETTE SCORES 4 TDS, BRADY RALLIES BUCS PAST INDY 38-31
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Tom Brady came to Indianapolis in a new uniform.
He followed the same old script – turning mistakes into points and leading his team on another decisive last-minute scoring drive.
This time, Leonard Fournette broke the tie with a 28-yard scoring run with 20 seconds left to give Tampa Bay a critical 38-31 come-from-behind win for Brady’s first win over the Colts since joining the Buccaneers.
“Not a lot of love lost, I think,” Brady said, referring to the rivalry he’s had with the Colts. “It was good to win.”
For Brady, it seemed as if nothing changed.
He improved to 16-4 all-time against the Colts, leading the Bucs (8-3) to a second straight victory while relying on his supporting cast to do most of the heavy lifting.
Fournette carried 17 times for 100 yards and three scores and caught Brady’s only TD pass of the game, a career-high four touchdowns. Ronald Jones II gave the Bucs their first lead, 28-24 on a 1-yard TD run late in the third quarter and Rob Gronkowski caught seven passes for a season-best 123 yards.
Yet when Brady got the ball with 3:29 left and the score tied at 31, he again proved to be the maestro that makes Colts fans cringe.
The difference Sunday was turnovers. Indy (6-6) had five and Brady made them pay every time except for the interception on the game’s final play.
And somehow despite all the errors, the Colts still had a chance to force overtime when Isaiah Rodgers returned the final kickoff 71 yards to the Bucs 32-yard line with 20 seconds left. But Carson Wentz’s first pass fell incomplete and the second was picked off near the goal line.
“It is frustrating,” Wentz said after going 27 of 44 with 306 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. “I don’t know how many times we can turn the ball over against a good team like that, that many times, and still score that many points. It’s not going to happen.”
Indy led at halftime, but the Bucs swung the momentum when Shaquil Barrett sacked Wentz early in the second half, ripped the ball out and recovered it at the Bucs 35. Six plays later, Fournette scored on a 4-yard TD run.
Antoine Winfield outfought Michael Pittman Jr. for the ball on Indy’s next series and Brady wasted no time converting that mistake into Jones’ go-ahead score. Tampa Bay settled for a short field goal after Nyheim Hines fumbled a punt return.
Indy finally tied the score on Jonathan Taylor’s 4-yard TD run with 3:29 remaining – more than enough time for Brady & Co. to create another perfect ending in Indy.
“It was great capping off the game like that with a punch,” Fournette said. “It got scary at the end, but it’s a team sport. We came together and made it happen.”
Taylor ran 16 times for 83 yards and caught four passes for 14 yards – finishing 3 yards short of a NFL record-breaking ninth consecutive game with 100 or more yards from scrimmage and a rushing TD.
Buccaneers: Linebacker Devin White played despite being listed as questionable with a quadriceps injury and returned in the second half after hurting his hip in the first half. Defensive tackle Vita Vea left briefly after losing a tooth and starting cornerback Jamel Dean did not return after injuring right shoulder in the first quarter.
Colts: Defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, a 2020 All-Pro, left late in the first half with a right knee injury but returned at the start of the third quarter. Coach Frank Reich said there were no other injuries to report.
Buccaneers: Brady’s streak of consecutive regular-season games with two or more TDs against the Colts ended at eight. … Fournette also caught seven passes for 31 yards. … Barrett was credited with two sacks.
Colts: Jack Doyle caught six passes for 81 yards and one TD. … Ashton Dulin scored on a 62-yard pass and T.Y. Hilton scored on a 4-yard catch. … Darius Leonard had 15 tackles and become the sixth player in Colts history to reach 500 in his career.
JOINING THE CLUB
Former Colts defensive end-linebacker Robert Mathis finally was inducted into the Colts Ring of Honor on Sunday. He was supposed to join the club last year, but the ceremony was delayed because team owner Jim Irsay wanted a capacity crowd to celebrate with Mathis, who finished his career as the Colts all-time sacks leader (123). He’s a 2022 Pro Football Hall of Fame semifinalist.
“I’m so humbled, so honored,” Mathis said, thanking the fans for making him feel at home in town. “I am not leaving. I am Indy, Indy is me.”
Buccaneers: Visit Atlanta next Sunday.
Colts: Head to Houston next Sunday, seeking a season sweep of the Texans.
COLTS TEAM NOTES
- The Indianapolis Colts fell to 6-6 following a loss against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Lucas Oil Stadium, 38-31.
- Indianapolis scored a touchdown on the ensuring series after its second takeaway. The Colts lead the NFL in points off turnovers (105).
- The Colts scored on the opening drive for the fifth consecutive game.
- Quarterback Carson Wentz completed 27-of-44 passes for 306 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions.
- He threw three touchdown passes in the first half. It marks the first time he has accomplished that feat since Week 14 of 2017.
- He found Ashton Dulin for a 62-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. It was his longest pass since Week 5 at Baltimore (76).
- Running back Jonathan Taylor led the team in rushing with 16 carries for 83 yards and one touchdown. He also added four receptions for 14 yards.
- He has at least one rushing touchdown in nine consecutive games and joins Lenny Moore (11) as the only players in team history to accomplish that feat. It also is tied for the 10th-longest streak in NFL history.
- Taylor tied Eric Dickerson (14 in 1988) for the second-most rushing touchdowns in single-season team history.
- He also joined Lenny Moore (18) and Lydell Mitchell (10) as the only Colts to tally at least one touchdown from scrimmage in nine consecutive games in team history.
He eclipsed 3,000 career scrimmage yards. Taylor is just the third player in team history to reach that plateau in their first two seasons.
- Taylor passed Marshall Faulk (2,360) for the second-most rushing yards by a Colts player in their first two seasons.
- He eclipsed 1,500 scrimmage yards this season and is just the 10th player in team history to accomplish that feat. He also passed 1,200 rushing yards this season and is just the fifth player in team history to reach that plateau.
- He passed Joseph Addai (15 in 2007), Eric Dickerson (15 in 1988), Marvin Harrison (15 in 2001 and 2004), Lydell Mitchell (15 in 1975) and Lenny Moore (15 in 1961) for the fourth-most total touchdowns in single-season team history.
- Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton tallied four receptions for 28 yards and one touchdown.
- He reached 9,500 career receiving yards.
- Hilton caught a four-yard touchdown reception from Carson Wentz on fourth-and-one near the end of the first half. He passed Jimmy Orr (50) for the fourth-most receiving touchdowns and Marshall Faulk (51) for the eighth-most total touchdowns in team history.
- He tied Jimmy Orr (92) for the fifth-longest streak of consecutive games with a reception in team history.
- Wide receiver Ashton Dulin had a career-long 62-yard touchdown reception. It marked the first receiving touchdown of his career.
- Running back Nyheim Hines registered one carry for three yards as well as three receptions for 26 yards.
- He passed Joseph Addai (1,448) for the 10th-most receiving yards by a running back in team history.
- Hines reached 200 career receptions. He became the eighth running back in team history to reach that plateau.
- Tight end Jack Doyle tallied single-game season highs in receptions (six) and receiving yards (81) while also adding one touchdown.
- It was his third-highest receiving yardage total in his career and his most since Week 12 of 2017 (94).
- The Colts tallied two takeaways. Dating back to last season, Indianapolis has now forced a turnover in 13 consecutive games, which is tied for the longest active streak in the NFL.
- Indianapolis forced a three-and-out on Tampa Bay’s opening drive. The Colts haven’t allowed an opening-drive score since Week 7.
- Indianapolis held Tampa Bay to 2-of-8 (25 percent) on third down. It is the second-lowest mark the defense has allowed all season (9.1 percent in Week 7 at San Francisco).
- Linebacker Darius Leonard compiled a single-game season-high 15 tackles (12 solo), one pass defended and one forced fumble. His tackles and solo tackles are the most in a single game by any Colts player this season.
- He reached 500 career tackles and became just the sixth player in franchise history to reach that plateau (since 1994).
- Leonard passed Gary Brackett (23) for the most 10-plus tackle games in franchise history (since 1987).
- In the first quarter, he forced a fumble on Chris Godwin that was then recovered by Andrew Sendejo. Since 2018, he is tied for the second-most forced fumbles among linebackers (14). Leonard now has five forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and two interceptions in 2021.
- His 12 solo tackles are tied for the fourth most by an NFL player in a single game this season.
- Cornerback Isaiah Rodgers registered two solo tackles, one pass defended and one interception. He also had a season-long 72-yard kickoff return.
- Defensive end Kwity Paye tallied two solo tackles, 1.0 tackle for loss and 1.0 sack.
- He has registered at least one sack in three consecutive games and is the first Colts rookie to accomplish that feat since Darius Leonard from Weeks 2-4 of 2018.
- Defensive tackle DeForest Buckner recorded three solo tackles, 1.0 tackle for loss, 1.0 sack and one pass defended.
INDIANA PACERS BASKETBALL
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Giannis Antetokounmpo had 26 points and 13 rebounds and the Milwaukee Bucks extended their winning streak to seven, routing the Indiana Pacers 118-100 on Sunday night.
The Bucks led by five at halftime and pulled away with a 39-27 third quarter. Guard Jrue Holiday scored 11 of his 23 points in the quarter.
“We’re playing together and everybody is contributing,” Holiday said. “It’s been fun.”
Much like the surging Bucks, who improved to 13-8, Holiday has been hot in averaging 19.7 points in the last four victories. He also had nine assists and seven rebounds against Indiana.
“Being able to go through the things we went through last year was huge,” Holiday said of winning the NBA title. “We know we can make a run at any time.”
Bobby Portis scored 15 points, Khris Middleton and Pat Connaughton each had 14, and Indianapolis native George Hill added 13 for the Bucks.
“We didn’t have enough in the tank tonight,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. “We just had a very difficult night.”
Caris LeVert led the Pacers with a season-high 23 points. Malcolm Brogdon had 16.
“They’re the champions,” said the Pacers’ Justin Holiday. “It’s going to be a tough game against them every time.”
CHAMPS SEEK INSIDE HELP
In reference to multiple reports that the Bucks have signed veteran center DeMarcus Cousins, coach Mike Budenholzer acknowledged a lack of depth at center because Brook Lopez has played only one game due to a back injury.
“When you look at the depth chart and look at how we’re subbing, depth at the big position is something that we could use,” Budenholzer said.
Bucks: Extended series winning streak against Pacers to six games … Antetokounmpo has led the team in scoring in 17 games and in rebounding in 16 games.
Pacers: After a season-high 12 assists Friday night in a home win over Toronto, Brogdon had just two. … Domantas Sabonis scored a season-low four points on 1-of-8 shooting.
Bucks: Host Charlotte on Wednesday night.
Pacers: At Minnesota on Monday night.
INDIANA FOOTBALL: FIRES OC NICK SHERIDAN
Nick Sheridan is out of a job. The former Michigan quarterback was fired after five seasons on Indiana’s staff according to a release from IU Athletics.
INDIANA finished last in the conference in scoring averaging just 10.4 points per game and scoring a total of 10 touchdowns.
“I want to thank Nick for his work and commitment to our football program,” Indiana coach Tom Allen said in the release. “He is a good football coach and a man of tremendous character, but we are in the need of a reset on the offensive side of the ball. We will begin our search for Nick’s replacement immediately.”
Sheridan was under contract through 2023 at $500,000 per year and is owed a buyout of around $950,000. According to the release, Allen has restructured his contract to make the change. His salary will decrease by $200,000 each year from 2022-2025, his total compensation falling from $4.9 million per year to $4.7 million per year. His contract will still run into the 2027 season.
IUPUI HITS 16 3-POINTERS IN WIN OVER BUTLER WBB
INDIANAPOLIS – The IUPUI Jaguars (2-3) tied a school record by making 16 3-point field goals against the Bulldogs on Sunday afternoon. Their spectacular shooting display led to an 80-47 victory against Butler (0-6) in their 2021 home opener.
How It Happened
The Bulldogs picked the wrong day to visit The Jungle. After missing three-straight games due to COVID-19 issues within the program, the IUPUI Jaguars put up 80 points against the Bulldogs to notch their second win of the season. IUPUI shot 52 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3-point range.
Rachel Kent opened up the contest with back-to-back made 3-pointers and the Jags would go on to hit their first four from long range to get an early 12-6 lead. The first six points of the day for Butler belonged to freshman Sydney Jaynes. The ‘Dawgs were down three starters on Sunday so Jaynes filled in at one forward spot. She scored 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting. Butler was led in scoring by fellow forward Celena Taborn. The Furman transfer scored 17 points on 8-of-10 shooting.
Butler was working the ball inside to get production, but the Jags were letting it fly from downtown to secure their lead. IUPUI made six of their first seven 3-point field goal attempts and would not take a two-point field goal until the second quarter.
Four of IUPUI’s five starters hit a three before the first media timeout of the game. The ‘Dawgs trailed 18-6 early and would end the first quarter facing a 24-8 deficit.
IUPUI averages 8.5 made 3-pointers per game and they hit eight over the first 10 minutes of action. Butler shot seven triples in the first quarter, but didn’t hit any. They ended the game just 2-of-21 from 3-point land.
The second quarter opened up with IUPUI hitting another 3-pointer. BU didn’t want to see that trend continue so they called an early timeout with 8:24 to play in the first half. At that time, IUPUI had pushed their lead to 27-10.
Three-time Horizon League Player of the Year Macee Williams would finally get involved for IUPUI after the stoppage. The first 2-pointer of the day for IUPUI came from Williams with 8:03 to play in the second. She scored again on her next touch to give the Jags some balance on offense.
The second quarter opened with IUPUI going on a 14-2 scoring run and any chance of a comeback would be eliminated in the third with IUPUI opening the second half on a 13-0 scoring run. Butler trailed 50-21 at the half and would take their sixth loss of the season with the scoreboard showing 80-47.
Stat of the Game
Sydney Jaynes jumped into the starting five for the first time in her career and provided BU with 12 points in 23 minutes. 10 of her season-best 12 points came in the first half.
Inside The Box Score
– Butler played without three starters (Parker, Richard, Wingler)
– The Bulldogs shot just 2-for-21 from 3-point range
– Celena Taborn only missed two shots to net her team-high 17 points
– Tenley Dowell led BU with four rebounds
– Zoe Jackson dished out a team-best six assists for BU
– Butler only took one free throw at The Jungle
– BU won the points in the paint battle 38-26
The Bulldogs will prepare for the DePaul Blue Demons next weekend. Head Coach Doug Bruno has a team receiving votes in the national poll. The 8 PM tip Friday night will be followed quickly by a Sunday matinee at Marquette.
AGUSTSDOTTIR, CLEPHANE, RAUCH LEAD WBB TO BOUNCE-BACK WIN OVER ST. JOSEPH’S 73-67
KATY, Texas – The Ball State women’s basketball team went on a 16-3 run in the last four minutes of the game and shot 8-of-9 from the field. The Cardinals bounced back for a 73-67 victory over Saint Joseph’s Sunday afternoon at the Merrell Center in their final game of the Van Chancellor Classic.
Even though the Cardinals (3-2) had to play catchup pretty much the entire contest against Saint Joseph’s (1-6) after falling behind by a 14-point (24-10) margin in the opening quarter. That deficit never really concerned Ball State 10th-year women’s basketball coach Brady Sallee. Sallee said after the game that “he thought his team had a sense of calmness about them and he wasn’t sure if it was because his team was tired, or they weren’t all with it but there was definitely a calmness throughout the game which he thought was a good thing.”
Saint Joseph’s held onto the lead for 36:23 of today’s 40 minutes of playing time and it seemed as if they would go home with the W until junior Annie Rauch who came off the bench would give Ball State back the life it needed to fight back.
After the game Sallee said, “Rauch was huge for them because she got the rebounds they needed and played well for them. It was really good to see her presence on the court make such an impact.”
At the 2:39 mark in the final quarter, junior Sydney Freeman nailed a 3-point basket to give Ball State its first lead of the contest (64-62). Redshirt junior Anna Clephane followed by making a layup off the dish from Freeman.
Senior Thelma Dis Agustsdottir then put the icing on the cake by draining one from behind the arc to give the Cardinals a 69-62 advantage with just a little over a minute remaining.
The Hawks were stunned of course and tried to recuperate but Rauch went 2-for-2 from the free throw line which pretty much sealed the win for the Cardinals, shattering all hopes of a Saint Joseph’s comeback.
For the game, Agustsdottir led the squad with 13 points while Clephane and Rauch each had 12 points apiece. Defensively, Agustsdottir pulled down six boards while Rauch finished with five.
The Ball State women’s basketball team returns home Saturday to Worthen Arena when it hosts Pitt for a 1 p.m. ET tipoff.
MASTODONS DROP NON-LEAGUE GAME AT SIUE
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Riley Ott and Shayla Sellers both scored in double-figures on Sunday (Nov. 28), but the Purdue Fort Wayne women’s basketball team fell to SIUE 68-56 on the road.
SIUE jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead before Ryin Ott scored the first Mastodon points of the night. Audra Emmerson and Amellia Bromenschenkel made free throws before the end of the first quarter, but the Cougars led by a dozen at the first break.
The Mastodons out-scored the Cougars in the second quarter 18-16 thanks to an 8-of-14 period. Sellers, Ryin Ott and Sylare Starks were perfect from the floor for 12 combined points.
Midway into the third quarter, Jazzlyn Linbo laid in a layup off a Cougar turnover, then Sellers made a pair at the free throw line to bring it back within eight. After a quick push from SIUE, Valerie Clark drained a triple with 31 seconds left to cut the lead to nine.
Riley Ott scored all 11 of her points in the fourth quarter, with eight points coming from the free throw line, where she was perfect.
The Mastodons forced SIUE into 17 turnovers, but committed 21 themselves. The ‘Dons also held SIUE to 14.3 percent (2-of-14) from beyond the arc. The difference in the game came on the glass, as SIUE out-rebounded Purdue Fort Wayne 50-33.
The ‘Dons were 13-of-15 from the free throw line. Linbo finished with eight rebounds, a season-best for the freshman.
Purdue Fort Wayne falls to 3-2, while SIUE improves to the same record. The Mastodons will return to the court again on Friday (Dec. 3) when they visit Wright State.
JAGS WIN HOME OPENER OVER BUTLER, 80-47
INDIANAPOLIS – The IUPUI women’s basketball team defeated the Butler Bulldogs in the Jags’ home opener on Sunday, 80-47. The Jags made 16 three-pointers to tie the school record previously recorded on Nov. 26, 2016, against Georgia Southern. Sophomore transfer Rachel Kent led the Jags with 16 points, all from behind the arc. Red-shirt senior Destiny Perkins followed with 12 points and four assists.
IUPUI, finally back on the court after three games were cancelled due to Covid-19, started the game off strong and took the lead early scoring 24 points in the first quarter and held the Bulldogs to only 8 points. Butler never took the lead as the Jags held a dominating lead throughout all four quarters. IUPUI took their largest lead of 43 in the beginning of the fourth quarter.
“It felt really good to just be out there with each other again,” said Perkins. “It was really hard for us to go on a break after being around each other for so long and trying to get prepared in two days was really tough but it felt really good to be back.”
Starters, Natalie Andersen added 11 points with three three-pointers and Madison Wise scored three points with six assists. Macee Williams added eight points and three assists. The Jags starting five, Perkins, Wise, Kent, Andersen and Williams, sat out the entire fourth quarter to let some fresh Jags on the court.
Junior Alli Berg and sophomore Anna Mortag came off the bench for the Jags to add a total of 17 points, Berg with nine and Mortag with eight. Jaci Jones added five points and three assists and freshman Jacquel Bronaugh scored six points with two rebounds.
Even though the Lady Jaguars had not played since Nov. 14, they finished the game at 52.7 percent from the floor and 50.0 percent (16-for-32) at the three-point line while holding the Bulldogs to 9.5 percent (2-for-21) beyond the arc. The Jags totaled 37 rebounds with 24 assists.
“It shows what kind of team we are. It shows that even though we were in quarantine we still shot on our own and a lot of teams might not do that. We were making sure we were focusing on getting back and being prepared for when the time came.”
IUPUI will travel to Detroit, Michigan to take on Horizon League foe Detroit Mercy on Thursday, Dec. 2 at 7:00 PM ET. Game coverage with be on ESPN+.
GIVANCE SETS CAREER MARK IN WIN AT EIU
CHARLESTON, Ill. – Shamar Givance recorded a career-high 26 points while the University of Evansville men’s basketball team led from start to finish in a 70-54 road win at Eastern Illinois on Sunday inside Lantz Arena.
Givance posted a 10-of-13 day from the field and converted three of his four outside tries. His stat line also included 5 assists, 5 steals and 5 rebounds. Just four days after recording the first double-double of his UE (3-6) career, Jawaun Newton made it two in a row, finishing with 13 points while setting a new career mark with 12 caroms.
“I thought we played some pretty good basketball today. We moved the ball so well and our guys made shots,” UE head men’s basketball coach Todd Lickliter said after the win. “We did what we needed to do with getting the lead and extending it.”
Blaise Beauchamp tied his top UE mark with 12 points while Antoine Smith Jr. scored 10, his third double figure outing in the last four games. Eastern Illinois (1-6) was led by Sammy Friday IV, who led the Panthers with 12 points and 8 rebounds.
Hitting 12 of its first 18 attempts from the field while starting 8-for-10 from outside, the Purple Aces took a 32-10 lead to begin the game. Shamar Givance hit a pair of early triples to wrap up an 8-0 run to open the game. After a Panther layup made it 11-5 at the 16:14 mark, Evansville responded with a 12-0 run. Jawaun Newton and Antoine Smith Jr. hit triples during the stretch as the first half hit the midway point.
After Noah Frederking connected from downtown, Blaise Beauchamp drained back-to-back triples to push the lead to 32-10 with 7:38 left in the half. Facing its largest deficit, Eastern Illinois clamped down on the defensive end, holding the Aces scoreless for over four minutes while scoring seven in a row to get within 15. Beauchamp, who matched his career scoring mark in the first 20 minutes with 12 points, ended the drought with a basket. EIU continued to rally, getting as close as 12 points (36-24) before UE registered the final score of the half to enter the break with a 38-24 advantage.
EIU connected on a triple in the opening minute of the second half to make it a 39-27 game before Evansville got back on track to take its largest advantage of the day. Following a Panther miss, Antoine Smith Jr. hit a pair of free throws that were the first of 11 points in a row for UE. Newton picked up seven in a row during the rally. With 10:21 remaining, it was Givance getting the job done on both ends of the floor, hitting a driving layup before forcing a turnover and converting another basket that put the Aces up 56-31.
From there, the Aces held strong to take the 70-54 win, its first on the road since an 84-72 win at Southern Illinois on Dec. 28, 2020. Evansville shot 41.5% for the game with EIU finishing at 38.0%. A big difference in the game came from long distance with the Aces hitting 11 triples and EIU finishing 3-of-10.
Wednesday will see the Aces back inside the Ford Center for the Missouri Valley Conference opener against Southern Illinois. Game time is 6 p.m.
KNIGHTS TAKE FIFTH-STRAIGHT WITH 67-39 ROUT OF REINHARDT
Kingsport, Tenn. – The No. 10 Marian women’s basketball team won their second game in as many days on Sunday, blasting past Reinhardt 67-39 in the NAIA “The Show” Classic. The Knights have rattled off five straight wins and move to 7-2 overall on the season.
Marian opened the game with the lead after an Allison Bosse three-pointer on the Knights’ first possession. Imani Guy scored next to keep Marian’s lead at three points, but Reinhardt would hold Marian to five points over the next seven minutes. Guy made another layup to keep Marian’s lead at 7-6 midway through the quarter. Reinhardt kept Marian at bay over the rest of the quarter as the Eagles went on a 7-0 run, pulling ahead 13-7 with 2:25 remaining. Abby Downard cashed in Marian’s second three-pointer to make the score 13-10 in favor of Reinhardt after 10 minutes.
The Knights took over in the second quarter, rallying for the lead and then pulling away right before halftime. Reinhardt scored first and opened up their lead, but three-straight layups made by Ella Collier, Kinnidy Garrard, and Guy put Marian back in front. Reinhardt and Marian traded baskets in the middle of the quarter with the Eagles tying the game at 20-20 with 4:38 remaining before the half. Marian’s perimeter shooting propelled the Knights on an 11-0 run to close the half, with Bosse and sophomore Jayla Wehner nailing triples to put the Knights up by six points. After two straight Reinhardt turnovers, Guy finished with a jump shot and Bosse converted her third three-pointer of the half to put Marian up 31-20 at the break. Guy had a double-double after just one half, scoring 10 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. Bosse also had nine points, going 3-of-3 from beyond the three-point arc.
Marian continued their run into the second half, taking their lead to 19 points a few minutes into the third quarter. Collier and Guy teamed up to score the first eight points of the second half with Guy’s layup giving the Knights a 39-20 advantage with 7:20 left in the third quarter. Reinhardt ended a scoring drought that last over seven minutes with a layup at the 6:50 mark. Marian increased the lead throughout the quarter, eating up the clock and looking for the best shot on each possession. Bosse made a layup to give Marian a 43-22 lead halfway through the quarter. She made another three-pointer to keep Marian up by 20-plus points at the 3:02 mark. Majestic Sales hit the final shot of the quarter, giving the Knights a 51-28 lead heading into the final quarter.
Another night with a solid lead heading into the fourth quarter allowed head coach Steve Brooks an opportunity to empty his bench down the stretch. Wehner made another three-pointer with just over seven minutes left, and Sales also added another basket to keep Marian’s lead at 25 points with five minutes remaining. Aliyah Evans cracked the scoring column for the second-straight night, adding a layup with two minutes left. Alexa McKinley also scored for the Knights, making a pair of free throws in the closing moments as Marian took a 67-39 victory.
Guy tied a career-high in rebounds, grabbing 20 boards for the first time since February 3rd vs. Bethel last season. She also scored 18 points to lead the Knights in scoring. Bosse scored 14 points, knocking down four three-pointers. Downard scored five points and managed five assists in her efforts. The Knights shot 45.5 percent from the floor and made eight three-pointers, shooting 44.4 percent behind the arc.
The Knights will put their unbeaten Crossroads League record on the line in their next contest, hosting Bethel on Wednesday night. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 PM at MU Arena.
MEN’S BASKETBALL: FREED-HARDEMAN 90, IU EAST 78
KINGSPORT, Tenn. – The Indiana University East men’s basketball team concluded its stay at “The Show” with a 90-78 setback against Freed-Hardeman University on Nov. 28 at MeadowView Conference Resort & Convention Center.
IU East (4-6) got 15 points apiece from Bryce Long and Colt Meyer – a season-high for both players.
Kortland Martin scored 21 for Freed-Hardeman (6-2). IU East’s losses this season have come against NAIA teams with a combined 33-12 record.
The Lions ended the first half on an 11-5 surge and started the second half with a 9-3 spurt. Add it up and you have a 20-8 Freed-Hardeman run that matched the eventual margin of victory.
For the second game in a row, IU East was without the services of its top two scorers for the majority of the contest.
The games at “The Show” ended a month’s worth of games away from home for IU East. The Red Wolves return to Lingle Court on Dec. 2 for a River States Conference matchup against Point Park University. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m.
QUAKERS FALL AT KENYON
GAMBIER, Ohio — The Earlham College women’s basketball team came out of the Thanksgiving break with a 77-35 loss to Kenyon College on the road.
The Quakers fell to 0-3 while the Ladies improved to 2-5.
Janaiya Bright led the offense with nine points and one offensive rebound. The Quakers were strong under the rim with 40 boards as a team, being led by Alexis Gibson and Kinzi Brooks with seven each.
The Quakers scored first in the contest but relinquished their lead early in the first quarter and struggled to keep pace with the high-powered Kenyon offense. The visitors recorded just one 3-point score out of 15 attempts from distance.
Earlham will be back in action on Tuesday as Wilmington College comes to Druley Performance Gym for the Quaker Bowl at 7 pm.
RECAP | MEN’S HOOPS TANGLES WITH DIVISION I BELLARMINE ON SUNDAY
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – In their first contest following the Thanksgiving break, the Franklin College men’s basketball team traveled to Freedom Hall for a scheduled exhibition contest against NCAA Division I opponent Bellarmine.
Facing off against a Division I opponent for the first time since 2014, the Grizzlies played the Knights tight in the early going before a lengthy Bellarmine run to close out the first half paved the way for a 75-37 Knights victory.
The Grizzlies took the game’s first lead and held an early 6-2 advantage on threes from Ty Wright and TJ Deere. Bellarmine would take the lead before the first media timeout, but Franklin would get within 23-19 with eight minutes to go in the opening half when Deere knocked down threes on back-to-back possessions. The rest of the half was all Knights, with Bellarmine closing out the opening 20 on an 18-2 run.
The second half saw both sides empty the benches with each team getting valuable minutes to all members of the roster.
Deere led the way in scoring for Franklin with nine points on 3-of-4 shooting from long range. Ten different Grizzlies recorded buckets in the game with Cody Samples, Logan Hudgins and Reece Sherrill recording their first career points. Sherrill was one of two Grizzlies to make their career debuts, with Hunter Bruce also making his first appearance in the blue and gold.
Up next for the Grizzlies is their third straight trip to Kentucky, which comes on Wednesday (Dec. 1) night in their Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) opener against the Transylvania Pioneers. Tip-off from the Beck Center is set for 7:30 p.m.
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL BATTLES #10 DEPAUW BEFORE FALLING SHORT 64-54
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology women’s basketball team gave No. 10 ranked DePauw University a four-quarter battle before falling 64-54 to the unbeaten Tigers on Sunday in the championship game of the Midwest Challenge.
Rose-Hulman trailed 18-13 after the first quarter, but rallied to take the lead late in the first half. A score from Nola Wilson, two free throws from Rose Burnham and a basket from Jamie Baum put Rose-Hulman ahead 27-25 with 1:10 left in the second quarter. DePauw rallied to knot the score at 27-27 at the intermission.
Three points from Rowan Hein helped draw Rose-Hulman within 38-34 at the 1:01 mark of the third quarter. Baum brought the Engineers back within 47-42 with a three-pointer at the 7:25 mark of the fourth quarter.
DePauw pushed its lead to 12 points, but Hein scored four straight points to bring the Engineers back within 61-54 in the final minute. DePauw hit three free throws down the stretch to secure the victory.
Jordan Barlow led Rose-Hulman with 16 points and 6 rebounds. Hein added 13 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists. Baum also reached double figures with 10 points.
Kahlan Jester contributed 7 points and 3 rebounds, and Rose Burnham had 4 points and a team-high 8 rebounds for the Engineers.
Mya Shannon led the DePauw effort with 21 points and was joined in double figures by Ava Hassel with 10 points.
DePauw improved to 6-0 on the season, while Rose-Hulman dropped to 2-3 and earned runner-up honors at the Midwest Challenge. The Fightin’ Engineers picked up an overtime semifinal victory over Illinois Wesleyan on Saturday to advance to the matchup with DePauw.
Rose-Hulman returns to action next Saturday December 4 at 1 pm against another nationally ranked foe in Transylvania University.
MEN’S BASKETBALL EDGED OUT BY DEPAUW AT HOME
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology men’s basketball lost their first game of the season on Sunday to DePauw University 72-66. Rose-Hulman fell to 3-1 on the season, while DePauw improved to 3-2.
DePauw head coach Bill Fenlon has announced his retirement at the conclusion of the 2021-22 season after 30 years in Greencastle. Fenlon previously served as head coach at Rose-Hulman from 1989-91, leading the 1989 team to the NCAA Division III Tournament. Fightin’ Engineer head coach Rusty Loyd presented Fenlon with a framed varsity “R” letter prior to his final visit to Hulbert Arena to commemorate his time at Rose-Hulman.
DePauw used a 8-0 run in the final four minutes of the game to secure the victory. The Tigers also outscored the Engineers 37-26 and made 10-of-11 from the foul line in the second half to complete their rally.
Rose-Hulman never fell behind in the first half, and eventually powered to a 12-point lead before DePauw battled back to close the deficit to five points at the break.
Terry Hicks led the offensive attack for the Fightin’ Engineers. He finished with 16 points and eight rebounds on 7-for-12 shooting from the field.
Dillon Duff tied Hicks in scoring with 16 points and added five rebounds. Duff scored 10-straight points in the second half for Rose-Hulman to turn a 59-54 deficit into an 64-59 lead for the Fightin’ Engineers with 4:07 remaining.
Trey Wurtz was the third Engineer to end in double figures with 11 in 17 minutes.
Other offensive scorers include Jackson Kabrick (8), Vuk Djuric (6), Max Chaplin (5), and Bradley Harden (4). Djuric chipped in six rebounds.
Rose-Hulman travels to Wabash College on Wednesday December 1 to battle the Little Giants. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 pm.
LAST SECOND SHOT BY BOWMAN SINKS BALDWIN WALLACE
ANGOLA, Ind. – The Trine University men’s basketball team needed a basket in the final second to upend the previously unbeaten Baldwin Wallace University on Sunday afternoon by a score of 72-70.
After surrendering a game-tying three-point field goal with eight seconds remaining, the Thunder came down to the offensive end of the floor and called on their senior All-American Nick Bowman [Angola, Ind. / Hamilton Southeastern] to make a play on a pick-and-roll action. Bowman strolled down the lane and beat the help defender to the rim to score with 0.6 remaining on the clock.
The win pushes Trine to 5-1 on the season and Baldwin Wallace suffers their first setback of 2021-22 at 4-1.
Mitchell Geller [Huntington, Ind. / Huntington North] scored on the first possession of the game, but from there, it was a low-scoring defensive battle through the first eight minutes of play. The Thunder defense held the Yellow Jackets without a score from the 16:37 mark to 10:22 remaining in the first period.
It was during that time where Trine went on a 10-0 run, highlighted by a pair of jump shots by Aiden Warzecha [Milford, Mich. / Milford]. Bowman was able to knock down a shot from long range off a find by Hayden Jones [Kendallville, Ind. / East Noble] to double up Baldwin Wallace at 18-9 just under halfway in the period.
Emmanuel Megnanglo [Cotonou, Benin / Amelia Academy] rocked the rim on a dunk following his own offensive rebound with seven minutes left to make it 22-12 and give the Thunder their first double-digit lead of the game. The largest lead of the game came off of a foul on a Bowman three-point attempt. The senior calmly drained all three from the charity stripe to go ahead 25-13.
A 16-5 run by the Yellow Jackets brought them right back into the fray, including four made shots from distance. Another make from three with 1:13 to go in the first half tied the game at 32 for the first time since tip-off. Following a made free throw by Baldwin Wallace with six ticks left, Hayden Jones dribbled down and connected on a three as the buzzer sounded to go into the half up 37-33.
“If you didn’t look at our roster, you would look at him (Jones) and think he’s a senior,” Bowman said of the freshman guard postgame. “Making the plays he does and knowing he’s a freshman and his basketball IQ, poise and confidence is a huge asset to the team.”
Three-point shooting kept the Yellow Jackets afloat early in the second half. Each time the Thunder would get a basket inside, Baldwin Wallace was countering with a three-point shot of their own. A steal by Warzecha, one of his five in total, led to a Bowman dunk to give Trine their biggest lead of the second half, 47-40.
Eight straight by the Yellow Jackets allowed the visiting team to take their first lead of the game at 13:40 remaining 48-47. Their largest lead of six came right at halfway with a three-point shot to take a 56-50 advantage.
The Thunder scored on three consecutive possessions to tie the game at 56 and regained the lead 60-58 on a Geller lay-up with 6:27 to play. Bryce Williams [Archbold, Ohio / Archbold] connected on a three with three minutes to go to take a 68-62 lead.
Baldwin Wallace scored five straight points and kept the Thunder off the board to get it to within one at 68-67 with less than one minute left.
Bowman was fouled and went to the free throw line with 19 seconds to play. The moment was not too big for the senior as he connected on both, but the Yellow Jackets nailed a three to tie the game with eight seconds left.
Baldwin Wallace called a timeout to go over their defensive gameplan, but ultimately it would not work out well for the visitors. Head Coach Brooks Miller dialed up the leading scorer on a pick-and-roll and Bowman got all the way to the rim for the deuce to sink the Yellow Jackets with 0.6 on the clock.
“Mason Loeffler [Swanton, Ohio / Evergreen] coming in today after not getting an opportunity all year, his minutes were key,” Coach Miller described afterwards. “When you get solid minutes from a guy like him coming off the bench to rest Nick and our other guards, it’s huge, that plays into later in the game. Nick has the energy to go finish that shot over two guys, maybe it has to do with Mason coming in and being +11 in the first half.”
Bowman was the team’s leading scorer with 23 points, including 10 made free throws. Geller (13 points) and Hayden Jones (12 points) were other scorers in double figures. Warzecha dished out a team-high three assists and recorded the most steals with five. Megnanglo was able to block three shots. As a team, Trine won the paint battle 34-20.
It will be more than a week before the Thunder men are in action once again. It is a road game against Heidelberg University on Wednesday, December 8 at 7 pm.
TWO-GOAL FIRST NOT ENOUGH FOR WOMEN’S HOCKEY
BOSTON, Mich. — The Trine University women’s hockey team scored a pair of goals in the first period to take a lead into the first intermission, but ultimately fell in the contest by the score of 3-2 to Stevenson University.
The Thunder struck first in the contest. Following a successful clear by the Mustangs, senior Kirsten Vandenheuvel (Denfield, Ontario) carried the puck back toward center ice before passing it off to freshman Payton Hans (Johnson Creek, Wis.) who carried it into the offensive zone. After a quick back and forth with senior Brandi Wilson (Fenton, Mich.), Hans returned the puck to the point where Vandenheuvel fired a shot true for the power play goal.
The team added to their lead in the final seconds of the period. After the puck went back and forth between freshman Madison Toor (Hartland, Mich.) and freshman Lea Connor (Huntington Beach, Calif.) the puck ended up in the hands of Wilson who went the rest of the way and beat the goalie for the goal.
Trine would head into the intermission with the 2-0 lead. The second period, however, was not kind to the Thunder, as Stevenson tallied three goals to take the lead in the 15th minute. The score would hold for the rest of the game and Trine would take the 3-2 loss.
Trine falls to 1-9 overall following the loss. They will travel to face Marian University in their next competition. The return to Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA) play is schedule to start at 8 p.m. ET on Friday, Dec. 3.
#10 DEPAUW WINS MIDWEST CHALLENGE AND MOVES TO 6-0
Bloomington, Ill. – DePauw fell behind 10-1 to Rose-Hulman in the opening four minutes of the Midwest Challenge championship game, but the 10th-ranked Tigers rallied for a 64-54 victory over the Fightin’ Engineers. The Tigers improved to 6-0, while Rose-Hulman dropped to 2-3.
After DePauw scored the first point of the game, Rose-Hulman put up the next 10 to grab a 9-point lead in the opening 3:37. The Tigers quickly came back with a 10-2 run to cut the deficit to 12-11. Rose-Hulman led at the quarter break, 16-13. DePauw evened the score twice in the second and entered the intermission tied, 27-27.
Maeve Summerville hit two free throws in the opening two minutes of the third quarter to give DePauw a lead that it wouldn’t relinquish. The Fightin’ Engineers were within four at 38-34, but the Tigers closed the period on Lydia Stullken’s bucket and a free throw from Ava Hassel to extend the lead to 41-34.
DePauw’s lead was five at 47-42 with 7:25 left before Ainsley Boras knocked in a three. Rose-Hulman countered with a free throw before Stullken hit a jumper and Mya Shannon nailed a trey to push the lead to 55-43 with 5:29 remaining. The Fightin’ Engineers were as close as seven in the final minute, but Summerville’s 3-point play wrapped up the win.
Shannon paced DePauw with 21 points, while Hassel added 10. Stullken posted career highs with 11 rebounds and six blocked shots and Grace Kinsey handed out six assists.
Jordan Barlow paced Rose-Hulman with 16 points with Rowan Hein scoring 13 and Jamie Baum 10. Rose Burnham hauled down a team-high eight rebounds.
The Tigers shot 38.2 percent from the field to Rose-Hulman’s 33.3 percent and DePauw held a slim, 38-36, edge in rebounds. DePauw committed 13 turnovers to the Fightin’ Engineers’ 16 and held a 15-2 advantage in points off of turnovers.
DePauw opens North Coast Athletic Conference play on Saturday, Dec. 4, with a 1 p.m. game at Wooster.
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL RALLIES TO DEFEAT CENTRE
HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover Panthers erased an 11-point first quarter deficit to defeat Centre in non-conference action on Sunday afternoon, 69-65.
With the win, Hanover moves to 3-1 overall while Centre falls to 2-3 overall.
The Panthers saw four players finish in double figures, paced by freshman Katherine Benter (Brownstown, Ind.) with a team-best 12 points. Senior Liz Tynan (Columbus, Ind.), sophomore Reese Sexton (Louisville, Ky.), and junior Keaton Chastain (Paoli, Ind.) netted 10 points apiece.
After falling behind 24-13 in the opening frame, the Panthers came charging back as they were able to string together a 12-0 run led by Sexton. The sophomore connected for a three-pointer at the 4:27 mark in the second quarter before drawing a foul and sinking a pair of free throws.
Hanover claimed the lead moments later as sophomore Kiara Crabtree (Franklin, Ind.) hit a fastbreak layup to push HC on top 34-33 before a Colonel last second attempt gave them the halftime advantage.
The second half saw Hanover fall behind when a Benter layup and a sophomore Addie Gardner (Anderson, Ind.) jumper pushed HC out front 41-40. The Panthers continued to apply the pressure late into the frame as a freshman Grace Bezold (Covington, Ky.) free throw sent HC to the 53-50 advantage.
The Colonels looked to make one final charge in the fourth quarter but were combated by back-to-back blows from Chastain. The Panthers never slowed down as a pair of Benter free throws sealed the home opening victory.
Hanover returns to action on Monday, Nov. 29 when they travel to Spalding. Game time is set for 7:00 PM.
CAPITAL USES FAST START TO BLOW PAST SPARTANS
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Manchester University men’s basketball team suffered a 95-59 setback in non-conference play against the Capital University Comets on Sunday November 28.
Capital began the game with an 18-0 run and never trailed in Sunday’s game. The Comets built as large as a 44-point lead.
Capital shot 53.5 percent (38-71) from the field and 52 percent (13-25) from three-point territory. Manchester was held to 33 percent (18-54) from the field and 28.6 percent (6-21) from three-point territory.
Ian Snelling (Erlanger, Ky./Dixie Heights) led Manchester with 11 points. Mitch Mendenhall (New Haven, Ind./Woodlan) added 10 points.
Manchester (1-5) will begin Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play on Wednesday December 1 at Defiance College. Game time against the Yellow Jackets from Ohio is scheduled to for 7:30 p.m.
Capital (4-2) will open Ohio Athletic Conference play next Saturday against the Cardinals of Otterbein University.
MEN’S BASKETBALL EXTENDS WIN STREAK TO THREE WITH WIN OVER WASHINGTON ADVENTIST
KINGSPORT, Tenn. – The Indiana University Kokomo men’s basketball team extended its win streak to three games with a 56-44 victory over Washington Adventist University on Sunday afternoon. The Cougars are now 8-2 on the season and are just one win away from tying their longest winning streak of the season.
IU Kokomo’s offense struggled in the opening minutes of the game, falling behind 6-0, forcing head coach Eric Echelbarger to call his first timeout of the game. Trequan Spivey got the Cougars on the board at the 15:13 mark, scoring his only points of the first half.
A layup by the Shock made it 10-4 with 13:28 left in the half but a shot 7-0 burst from the Cougars capped off by a layup from Julien Hunter off the Hunter White steal gave IUK their first lead of the contest. With 8:26 to go in the half, Allante Harper knocked down one of his two triples to put the Cougars up by four, their largest lead of the half. With things knotted at 16 with just over six minutes to play in the opening frame, Washington Adventist outscored the Cougars 15-7 to close out the half and take a 31-23 lead into the intermission.
Harper and Desean Hampton each scored eight points for the Cougars in the half. Hampton was 4-of-6 from the floor and had two assists, two rebounds, and a steal.
The Cougars continued to trail for the first eight minutes of the second half but a 10-0 run gave them the lead back with 10:59 left in the game. Harper and Chris Chin each had four points during the run while White had the final bucket of the run to put IUK up by three.
IU Kokomo led 48-41 with five minutes to go and the Cougars’ defense picked up its intensity, holding the Shock to one bucket for the remainder of the game, a three that came after Spivey converted an old fashion three-point play with 2:10 left to put the Cougars up by 15, their largest lead of the game.
Hampton added six points in the second half for a game-high total of 14 in the win to go along with four blocks, three assists, and six rebounds. Spivey led the Cougars in scoring in the second half with eight points to finish with 10, the senior was a perfect 3-for-3 from the floor in the final 20 minutes.
The Cougars will return to River States Conference action on Tuesday as they host Oakland City at the Student Activities & Events Center. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
|AMERICAN FOOTBALL CONFERENCE|
|W||L||T||PCT||GB||PF||PA||HOME||ROAD||VS. CONF||VS. DIV||STREAK|
|NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS||8||4||0||.667||0.0||336||190||3-4-0||5-0-0||6-1-0||2-1-0||6 W|
|BUFFALO BILLS||7||4||0||.636||0.5||326||182||3-2-0||4-2-0||5-4-0||3-0-0||1 W|
|MIAMI DOLPHINS||5||7||0||.417||3.0||234||279||3-3-0||2-4-0||4-5-0||2-2-0||4 W|
|NEW YORK JETS||3||8||0||.273||4.5||199||334||2-3-0||1-5-0||3-6-0||0-4-0||1 W|
|W||L||T||PCT||GB||PF||PA||HOME||ROAD||VS. CONF||VS. DIV||STREAK|
|KANSAS CITY CHIEFS||7||4||0||.636||0.0||281||250||4-2-0||3-2-0||2-4-0||1-1-0||4 W|
|LOS ANGELES CHARGERS||6||5||0||.545||1.0||273||293||3-3-0||3-2-0||4-3-0||2-1-0||1 L|
|LAS VEGAS RAIDERS||6||5||0||.545||1.0||259||295||3-3-0||3-2-0||4-3-0||1-2-0||1 W|
|DENVER BRONCOS||6||5||0||.545||1.0||228||196||3-3-0||3-2-0||3-4-0||1-1-0||1 W|
|W||L||T||PCT||GB||PF||PA||HOME||ROAD||VS. CONF||VS. DIV||STREAK|
|BALTIMORE RAVENS||8||3||0||.727||0.0||263||240||5-1-0||3-2-0||5-3-0||1-1-0||2 W|
|CINCINNATI BENGALS||7||4||0||.636||1.0||309||226||3-2-0||4-2-0||5-2-0||3-1-0||2 W|
|PITTSBURGH STEELERS||5||5||1||.500||2.5||224||267||3-2-1||2-3-0||3-4-0||1-2-0||2 L|
|CLEVELAND BROWNS||6||6||0||.500||2.5||254||267||4-2-0||2-4-0||3-5-0||1-2-0||1 L|
|W||L||T||PCT||GB||PF||PA||HOME||ROAD||VS. CONF||VS. DIV||STREAK|
|TENNESSEE TITANS||8||4||0||.667||0.0||304||290||4-2-0||4-2-0||5-3-0||3-1-0||2 L|
|INDIANAPOLIS COLTS||6||6||0||.500||2.0||340||283||3-4-0||3-2-0||5-3-0||2-2-0||1 L|
|HOUSTON TEXANS||2||9||0||.182||5.5||164||292||1-4-0||1-5-0||2-6-0||2-1-0||1 L|
|JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS||2||9||0||.182||5.5||173||283||2-5-0||0-4-0||2-5-0||0-3-0||3 L|
|NATIONAL FOOTBALL CONFERENCE|
|W||L||T||PCT||GB||PF||PA||HOME||ROAD||VS. CONF||VS. DIV||STREAK|
|DALLAS COWBOYS||7||4||0||.636||0.0||326||250||4-2-0||3-2-0||5-1-0||2-0-0||2 L|
|PHILADELPHIA EAGLES||5||7||0||.417||2.5||304||273||1-4-0||4-3-0||4-4-0||0-2-0||1 L|
|WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM||4||6||0||.400||2.5||212||267||2-3-0||2-3-0||4-2-0||1-0-0||2 W|
|NEW YORK GIANTS||4||7||0||.364||3.0||202||253||3-3-0||1-4-0||3-5-0||1-2-0||1 W|
|W||L||T||PCT||GB||PF||PA||HOME||ROAD||VS. CONF||VS. DIV||STREAK|
|ARIZONA CARDINALS||9||2||0||.818||0.0||310||202||3-2-0||6-0-0||5-2-0||4-0-0||1 W|
|LOS ANGELES RAMS||7||4||0||.636||2.0||299||263||3-2-0||4-2-0||5-3-0||1-2-0||3 L|
|SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS||6||5||0||.545||3.0||280||248||2-4-0||4-1-0||5-4-0||1-3-0||3 W|
|SEATTLE SEAHAWKS||3||7||0||.300||5.5||194||209||1-4-0||2-3-0||1-5-0||1-2-0||2 L|
|W||L||T||PCT||GB||PF||PA||HOME||ROAD||VS. CONF||VS. DIV||STREAK|
|GREEN BAY PACKERS||9||3||0||.750||0.0||283||242||5-0-0||4-3-0||7-2-0||2-1-0||1 W|
|MINNESOTA VIKINGS||5||6||0||.455||3.5||281||276||3-2-0||2-4-0||4-3-0||2-0-0||1 L|
|CHICAGO BEARS||4||7||0||.364||4.5||179||254||2-3-0||2-4-0||2-4-0||2-1-0||1 W|
|DETROIT LIONS||0||10||1||.045||8.0||174||289||0-5-0||0-5-1||0-7-0||0-4-0||2 L|
|W||L||T||PCT||GB||PF||PA||HOME||ROAD||VS. CONF||VS. DIV||STREAK|
|TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS||8||3||0||.727||0.0||347||253||5-0-0||3-3-0||5-3-0||1-1-0||2 W|
|ATLANTA FALCONS||5||6||0||.455||3.0||199||302||1-4-0||4-2-0||2-5-0||1-2-0||1 W|
|NEW ORLEANS SAINTS||5||6||0||.455||3.0||257||249||2-3-0||3-3-0||4-4-0||1-2-0||4 L|
|CAROLINA PANTHERS||5||7||0||.417||3.5||236||253||2-4-0||3-3-0||3-5-0||2-0-0||2 L|
|NEW YORK||11||9||.550||3.0||5-6||6-3||3-1||8-8||5-5||1 W|
|OKLAHOMA CITY||6||13||.316||6.5||4-6||2-7||0-2||6-6||3-7||5 L|
|GOLDEN STATE||18||2||.900||—||11-1||7-1||4-0||10-1||9-1||7 W|
|LA CLIPPERS||11||9||.550||7.0||9-5||2-4||0-2||8-7||5-5||1 L|
|LA LAKERS||11||11||.500||8.0||8-6||3-5||0-3||5-7||4-6||1 W|
|SAN ANTONIO||5||13||.278||5.0||3-6||2-7||0-3||1-10||3-7||1 W|
|NEW ORLEANS||5||17||.227||7.0||3-7||2-10||1-1||4-9||4-6||1 L|
|TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS||23||16||6||1||33||16||66||49||9-3-1||7-3-0||9-1-0|
|TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING||20||12||5||3||27||10||64||56||7-3-2||5-2-1||7-2-1|
|DETROIT RED WINGS||22||10||9||3||23||10||61||71||7-2-2||3-7-1||5-4-1|
|NEW YORK RANGERS||20||13||4||3||29||12||60||54||5-1-1||8-3-2||7-2-1|
|COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS||19||12||7||0||24||10||67||59||8-3-0||4-4-0||6-4-0|
|NEW JERSEY DEVILS||19||9||6||4||22||8||57||58||6-3-2||3-3-2||5-3-2|
|NEW YORK ISLANDERS||17||5||10||2||12||5||32||52||0-4-0||5-6-2||2-8-0|
|ST. LOUIS BLUES||21||11||7||3||25||10||71||59||6-3-1||5-4-2||3-5-2|
|VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS||21||12||9||0||24||11||66||64||7-5-0||5-4-0||6-4-0|
|SAN JOSE SHARKS||21||11||9||1||23||11||55||58||5-4-1||6-5-0||5-5-0|
|LOS ANGELES KINGS||20||9||8||3||21||8||53||54||6-5-1||3-3-2||5-3-2|