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#2 NORTH CAROLINA STATE 89 PITTSBURGH 54

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#23 OREGON STATE 72 MONMOUTH 58

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MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

TENNESSEE STATE 70 IUPUI 44

DEPAUL 62 LOUISVILLE 55

MURRAY STATE 74 MEMPHIS 72

LOYOLA CHICAGO 69 VANDERBILT 58

COLORADO 65 MILWAUKEE 54

BOISE STATE 97 PRAIRIE VIEW A&M 60

KANSAS CITY 64 GREEN BAY 55

NBA SCOREBOARD

INDIANA 106 DALLAS 93

CHARLOTTE 124 SACRAMENTO 123

BROOKLYN 113 ATLANTA 105

TORONTO 90 NEW YORK 87

NEW ORLEANS 109 DETROIT 93

MILWAUKEE 123 HOUSTON 114

CLEVELAND 123 MINNESOTA 106

LA LAKERS 116 OKLAHOMA CITY 95

PHOENIX 111 BOSTON 90

NHL SCOREBOARD

NY RANGERS 2 BUFFALO 1

PITTSBURGH 4 WASHINGTON 2

NASHVILLE 3 NEW JERSEY 2

COLORADO 7 DETROIT 3

FLORIDA 3 ARIZONA 1

VANCOUVER 4 WINNIPEG 3

PHILADELPHIA 4 VEGAS 3

TOP NATIONAL HEADLINES/NEWS

ATLANTA FALCONS (5-7) AT CAROLINA PANTHERS (5-7)

SUNDAY, DEC. 12, 2021 // 1:00 PM ET // BANK OF AMERICA STADIUM // REFEREE: SHAWN SMITH

LEADER: Falcons lead all-time series, 33-20

STREAKS: Panthers have won 2 of past 3

LAST GAME: 10/31/21: Panthers 19 at Falcons 13

LAST GAME AT SITE: 10/29/20: Falcons 25, Panthers 17

QB MATT RYAN passed for 297 yards & 93.2 rating last week. Needs 86 pass yards for 12th-straight 3,000-yard season & needs 4 TD passes for 13th-straight 20-TD season. Has 275+ pass yards in 4 of his past 5 at Car. • RB CORDARRELLE PATTERSON had 96 scrimmage yards (78 rush, 18 rec.) last week & reached 1,000+ scrimmage yards (1,007) for 1st time in career. Has career highs in rec. yards (518), rush yards (489), rec. TDs (5) & rush TDs (4). Had TD catch in Week 8 meeting. Has 130+ scrimmage yards in 2 of his past 3 on road. RB MIKE DAVIS had 69 scrimmage yards (37 rec., 32 rush) & 2nd rush TD of season last week. Had 5 catches in last meeting. Had 1,015 scrimmage yards & 8 TDs (6 rush, 2 rec.) w/ Car. last season. • WR RUSSELL GAGE led team & set career highs with 11 receptions & 130 rec. yards last week. Has 5+ catches in 4 of his past 5 & aims for his 4th in row with 5+ catches. TE KYLE PITTS ranks 3rd among rookies & 3rd among all TEs with 709 rec. yards. Has 60+ rec. yards in 3 of his past 4 on road. • LB FOYESADE OLUOKUN led team with 15 tackles last week & is 1 of 2 players (ERIC KENDRICKS) with 2 games of 15+ tackles in 2021. Had 16 tackles in last meeting. Ranks 2nd in NFL with career-high 135 tackles. LB DEION JONES had 2 PD last week & is only LB with 5+ PD in each of past 6 seasons. Had 14 tackles & FF in Week 8 meeting. Has 101 tackles, his 3rd-straight & 5thcareer 100-tackle season.

QB CAM NEWTON has rush TD in each of his 3 games this season & can tie career-long streak with rush TD (4 games in 2011). Had 3 TDs (2 pass, 1 rush) & 120.5 rating in only home start this season (Week 11 vs. Was.). Has 14 TDs (11 pass, 3 rush) in 7 career home starts w/ Car. vs. Atl. Leads QBs all-time in rush TDs (73) & ranks 2nd in rush yards (5,463). • RB CHUBA HUBBARD (rookie) had 91 scrimmage yards (82 rush, 9 rec.) & rush TD in Week 8 meeting. Has 50+ scrimmage yards in each of his 5 starts this season. • WR DJ MOORE led team with 103 rec. yards in Week 12, his 12thcareer game with 100+ rec. yards. Has 50+ rec. yards in 6 of 7 career games vs. Atl. & aims for his 6th in row vs. Atl. with 50+ rec. yards. Has 5+ catches in 7 of his past 8 at home. WR ROBBY ANDERSON had 5 catches in last home meeting & has 5+ catches in 3 of his 4 career games vs. Atl. • LB HAASON REDDICK had sack in last meeting. Is 1 of 2 (T.J. WATT) with 5+ games (5) with 1.5+ sacks in 2021. Has 6.5 sacks & 7 TFL in 6 home games this season. Is 1 of 4 with 10+ sacks in each of past 2 seasons. DE BRIAN BURNS aims for his 3rd in row overall with sack & his 7th in row at home with TFL. LB SHAQ THOMPSON led team with 13 tackles in Week 12. Had 10 tackles & INT in last meeting. CB STEPHON GILMORE had INT in last meeting. S JEREMY CHINN aims for his 3rd in row at home with 11+ tackles. Is 1 of 3 DBs (DERWIN JAMES & JAYRON KEARSE) with 75+ tackles (78) & 5+ TFL (5) in 2021.

BALTIMORE RAVENS (8-4) AT CLEVELAND BROWNS (6-6)

SUNDAY, DEC. 12, 2021 // 1:00 PM ET // FIRSTENERGY STADIUM // REFEREE: BRAD ROGERS

LEADER: Ravens lead all-time series, 34-11

STREAKS: Ravens have won past 4

LAST GAME: 11/28/21: Browns 10 at Ravens 16

LAST GAME AT SITE: 12/14/20: Ravens 42, Browns 40

QB LAMAR JACKSON passed for 253 yards & TD & rushed for 55 yards last week. Aims for his 7th in row vs. division & 3rd in row overall with 50+ rush yards. Rushed for 68 yards in Week 12 meeting. Has 0 INTs & 115+ rating in 3 of his past 4 starts vs. Cle. Leads QBs with 762 rush yards & is 1 of 5 in NFL with 750+ rush yards in each of past 3 seasons. • RB DEVONTA FREEMAN had season-high 97 scrimmage yards (52 rush, season-high 45 rec.) & rush TD last week. Aims for 6th in row with 50+ scrimmage yards. Aims for 3rd in row on road with rush TD. Rushed for 52 yards in Week 12 meeting. • WR MARQUISE BROWN aims for his 6th in row with 5+ catches & 3rd in row with 50+ rec. yards. Had 8 catches for 51 yards in Week 12 meeting. Has TD catch in 3 of his past 4 on road vs. division. Is 1 of 2 in AFC (TYREEK HILL) with 6+ rec. TDs in each of past 3 seasons. WR SAMMY WATKINS had 1st rec. TD of season in Week 13. TE MARK ANDREWS aims for his 5th in row with 50+ rec. yards. Has TD catch in 4 of his past 5 vs. Cle. Ranks 2nd among TEs with 64 catches & 811 rec. yards this season & is 1 of 2 TEs (TRAVIS KELCE) with 700+ rec. yards in each of past 3 seasons. • DT BRANDON WILLIAMS led team with career-high 11 tackles & had TFL last week. Aims for 3rd in row with TFL. DT CALAIS CAMPBELL had 1st full sack of season in Week 13. LB JUSTIN HOUSTON had 1st PD of season last week. Has sack in 3 of his past 4 on road. LB TYUS BOWSER has sack & PD in 2 of past 3.

QB BAKER MAYFIELD passed for 247 yards & TD in Week 12 meeting. Passed for 343 yards & 2 TDs in last home meeting. Aims for his 5th start in row vs. division with 0 INTs. Needs 87 pass yards to become 1st player in franchise history with 2,500+ pass yards in each of 1st 4 seasons. • RB NICK CHUBB has 140+ scrimmage yards & TD in 2 of past 3. Had 103 scrimmage yards (82 rush, 21 rec.) & 2 rush TDs in last home meeting. Has 100+ scrimmage yards & rush TD in 3 of his past 4 at home vs. division. Needs 27 scrimmage yards to become 1st player in franchise history with 1,000+ scrimmage yards in each of 1st 4 seasons. RB KAREEM HUNT had 110 scrimmage yards (77 rec., 33 rush) & 2 TDs (1 rush, 1 rec.) in last home meeting. Chubb (6) & Hunt (5) only pair of RB teammates each with 5+ rush TDs this season. • WR JARVIS LANDRY set season highs in catches (6) & rec. yards (111) in Week 12 meeting. Aims for his 10th in row vs. Bal. with 5+ catches & 8th in row with 50+ rec. yards. TE DAVID NJOKU had TD catch in Week 12 meeting. Has rec. TD in 2 of past 3 vs. Bal. • DE MYLES GARRETT had sack & PD in Week 12 meeting & has sack in 7 of past 8 overall. Aims for 6th in row with TFL. Ranks 2nd in NFL with career-high 14 sacks & can become 1st player in franchise history with 15 sacks in single season. S RONNIE HARRISON led team with career-high 14 tackles & had 1st INT of season in Week 12 meeting. Has TFL in 2 of past 3. S JOHN JOHNSON had 3rd INT of season in Week 12 meeting.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (4-8) AT HOUSTON TEXANS (2-10)

SUNDAY, DEC. 12, 2021 // 1:00 PM ET // NRG STADIUM // REFEREE: ADRIAN HILL

LEADER: Seahawks lead all-time series, 3-1

STREAKS: Seahawks have won past 2

LAST GAME: 10/29/17: Texans 38 at Seahawks 41

LAST GAME AT SITE: 9/29/13: Seahawks 23, Texans 20 (OT)

QB RUSSELL WILSON completed 30 of 37 atts. (season-high 81.1 pct.) for 231 yards & 2 TDs vs. INT for 99.4 rating last week. Has 0 INTs & 110+ rating in 4 of his 5 road starts this season. Aims for his 3rd in row with 2+ TD passes & 95+ rating. Passed for career-high 452 yards & 4 TDs vs. INT for 123.2 rating in last meeting. Has 26 TDs (25 pass, 1 rush) vs. 9 INTs for 108.2 rating in 10 career starts vs. AFC South. • RB ADRIAN PETERSON had rush TD in Sea. debut last week. Has 126 career TDs, tied with HOFer JIM BROWN for 5th-most TDs by RB & 10th-most TDs overall in NFL history. Rushed for 40 yards vs. Hou. in Week 11 (w/ Ten.). • WR TYLER LOCKETT led team with 7 catches for 68 yards & had 4th rec. TD of season last week. Had 6 catches for 121 yards in last meeting. Ranks tied-5th in NFL with 32 rec. TDs since 2018. Needs 119 rec. yards for 3rd-straight 1,000-yard season. WR DK METCALF had 5 catches for 60 yards last week. Ranks 5th in NFL with 25 rec. TDs since 2019 & is 1 of 3 (MIKE EVANS & TYREEK HILL) with 7+ rec. TDs in each of past 3 seasons. Rookie WR D’WAYNE ESKRIDGE had 1st-career rec. TD last week. • LB BOBBY WAGNER had 11th-career INT last week. Leads NFL with 137 tackles, his 10th-straight 100-tackle season. Had 11 tackles in last meeting. LB JORDYN BROOKS ranks 4th in NFL with career-high 123 tackles. Aims for his 5th in row with 11+ tackles. LB CARLOS DUNLAP had sack last week. Has 7th-career season with 5+ PD (5).

QB TYROD TAYLOR completed 27 of 38 atts. (71.1 pct.) for 289 yards & TD for 90.8 rating & rushed for 43 yards & TD in only career start vs. Sea. (11/7/16 w/ Buf.). Has 6 TDs (5 pass, 1 rush) vs. INT for 98.6 rating in his past 3 starts vs. NFC West. Has 2+ TD passes & 90+ rating in 2 of 3 home starts this season. Rookie QB DAVIS MILLS has 6 TDs vs. INT & 113.9 rating in 3 home starts this season. • RB DAVID JOHNSON has 633 scrimmage yards (105.5 per game) & 4 rush TDs in his past 6 vs. Sea. Has 50+ scrimmage yards in 2 of his past 3 at home. RB REX BURKHEAD had 45 scrimmage yards (30 rush, 15 rec.) last week. Had 47 rec. yards in his last game vs. Sea. (9/20/20 w/ NE). RB ROYCE FREEMAN rushed for 71 yards in only career game vs. Sea. (9/9/18 w/ Den.). • WR BRANDIN COOKS has TD catch in 2 of his past 3 at home. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. NFC West with 5+ catches. Is 1 of 4 WRs with 550+ rec. yards in each of past 8 seasons. WR CHRIS CONLEY had 54 rec. yards in only career game vs. Sea. (12/23/18 w/ KC). TE PHARAOH BROWN had 4 catches last week. • LB KAMU GRUGIER-HILL had sack & career-high 19 tackles in Week 13, the 2nd-most tackles by a player in a single game this season. Aims for 3rd in row with sack & 5th in row with 7+ tackles. Leads team with career-high 86 tackles. LB ZACH CUNNINGHAM aims for his 4th in row with 8+ tackles & 3rd in row with TFL. LB CHRISTIAN KIRKSEY had 7 tackles, FR & PD last week. Has PD in 2 of his past 3 at home.

LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (6-6) AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (8-4)

SUNDAY, DEC. 12, 2021 // 1:00 PM ET // ARROWHEAD STADIUM // REFEREE: BRAD ALLEN

LEADER: Chiefs lead all-time series, 67-53-2

STREAKS: Chiefs have won past 2

LAST GAME: 11/14/21: Chiefs 41 at Raiders 14

LAST GAME AT SITE: 10/11/20: Raiders 40, Chiefs 32

QB DEREK CARR completed 28 of 38 atts. (73.7 pct.) for 249 yards & 90.8 rating last week. Aims for 5th in row with 90+ rating & 3rd in row with 0 INTs. Aims for his 4th in row vs. KC with 70+ comp. pct., 2+ TD passes & 95+ rating. Has 100+ rating in 2 of past 3 on road. Ranks 2nd in NFL with 3,663 pass yards & can reach 4,000 pass yards for 4th-consecutive season. • RB JOSH JACOBS had career-high 9 catches with 90 scrimmage yards (52 rush, 38 rec.) & rush TD last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 90+ scrimmage yards & rush TD. Has rush TD in 2 of his past 3 vs. KC. Is 1 of 2 in NFL (DERRICK HENRY) with 7+ rush TDs in each of past 3 seasons. • TE DARREN WALLER has rec. TD in 2 of past 3 vs. KC. Has 50+ rec. yards in 5 of his past 6 vs. division. Is 1 of 4 TEs (MARK ANDREWS, TRAVIS KELCE & GEORGE KITTLE) with 600+ rec. yards in each of past 3 seasons. WR HUNTER RENFROW aims for 3rd in row with 8+ catches & 100+ rec. yards. Had rec. TD in Week 10 meeting. Has rec. TD in 2 of past 3 vs. division. WR BRYAN EDWARDS had 88 rec. yards & rec. TD in Week 10 meeting. • LB DENZEL PERRYMAN led team with 12 tackles & had TFL last week. Had 11 tackles in Week 10 meeting. Has 7+ tackles in 12 games this season, most in NFL. Ranks 3rd in league with career-high 133 tackles. DE YANNICK NGAKOUE has sack in 2 of past 3. Had sack in his last game at KC (10/7/18 w/ Jax.). Rookie DE MALCOLM KOONCE had sack in NFL debut in Week 13. Rookie CB NATE HOBBS had 9 tackles, TFL & 1st-career INT last week.

QB PATRICK MAHOMES set season highs in pass yards (406) & TD passes (5) & had 127.6 rating in Week 10 meeting. Aims for his 4th in row vs. LV with 340+ pass yards & 2+ TD passes. Has 3+ TD passes in 2 of past 3 vs. division. Has 2+ TD passes in 8 of past 9 on road. Is 1 of 3 all-time (HOFers PEYTON MANNING & DAN MARINO) with 25+ TD passes in at least 4 of 1st 5 seasons. • RB CLYDE EDWARDS-HELAIRE had 82 scrimmage yards (54 rush, 28 rec.) last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 75+ scrimmage yards. Rushed for 2 TDs in his last game vs. LV (11/22/20). Has TD in 3 of his past 4 vs. division. RB DARREL WILLIAMS had 80 scrimmage yards (60 rec., 20 rush) in Week 13. Has 75+ scrimmage yards in 4 of past 5. Had career-high 144 scrimmage yards (101 rec., 43 rush) & rec. TD in Week 10 meeting. • TE TRAVIS KELCE has 5+ catches & 65+ rec. yards in 3 of past 4. Aims for his 4th in row vs. LV with 100+ rec. yards. Has 53 catches for 781 yards (111.6 per game) & 5 TDs in his past 7 vs. Raiders. Has 100+ rec. yards in 4 of his past 5 vs. division. Leads TEs with 70 catches & 848 rec. yards. WR TYREEK HILL has 7+ catches & 75+ rec. yards in 2 of past 3. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. LV with TD catch & 4th in row with 75+ rec. yards. • S TYRANN MATHIEU led team with season-high 9 tackles last week. Had FR & PD in Week 10 meeting. S DANIEL SORENSEN had 75-yard INT-TD last week, his 4th-career INT-TD & 1st this season. Has INT in 2 of past 3. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. LV with INT. S JUAN THORNHILL had 1st INT of season in Week 13.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (5-7) AT NEW YORK JETS (3-9)

SUNDAY, DEC. 12, 2021 // 1:00 PM ET // METLIFE STADIUM // REFEREE: LAND CLARK

LEADER: Saints lead all-time series, 7-6

STREAKS: Saints have won 3 of past 4

LAST GAME: 12/17/17: Jets 19 at Saints 31

LAST GAME AT SITE: 11/3/13: Jets 26, Saints 20

QB TAYSOM HILL totaled 365 total yards (264 pass, 101 rush) & 2 TD passes in Week 13. Is 1 of 3 QBs (JUSTIN FIELDS & LAMAR JACKSON) with 100+ rush yards in single game in 2021. Has 2+ total TDs in each of his 1st 5 career starts at QB. Aims for his 3rd start at QB on road with 2+ TD passes & 100+ rating. QB TREVOR SIEMIAN has 2+ TD passes in 3 of his 4 starts in 2021. • RB ALVIN KAMARA had 6 catches & 89 scrimmage yards (45 rec., 44 rush) & TD catch in last meeting. Needs 1 catch to surpass ROGER CRAIG (358) for most receptions by RB in 1st 5 seasons. Aims for his 4th in row on road with 115+ scrimmage yards & TD. Since 2017, leads NFL with 65 scrimmage TDs. RB MARK INGRAM aims for his 3rd in row on road with 100+ scrimmage yards. Had 2 TDs (1 rush, 1 rec.) in his last game vs. NYJ (12/12/19 w/ Bal.). Had 151 scrimmage yards (77 rec., 74 rush) & 2 rush TDs in last meeting. • WR MARQUEZ CALLAWAY has 5 rec. TDs in his past 5 on road & aims for his 3rd in row on road with TD catch. WR LIL’JORDAN HUMPHREY has rec. TD in 2 of his past 3. • DE CAMERON JORDAN had career-high 4 PD in last meeting. LB DEMARIO DAVIS Is 1 of 2 (T.J. WATT) with 10+ TFL in each of the past 5 seasons. Had 467 tackles, 31 TFL & 11.5 sacks in 80 games with NYJ (2012-15, 2017). CB MARSHON LATTIMORE had 3 PD & 12th-career INT last week. Is only player with 50+ tackles & 10+ PD in each of past 5 seasons. Had 3 PD & INT in last meeting. CB BRADLEY ROBY had season-high 2 PD last week.

QB ZACH WILSON (rookie) completed 23 of 38 atts. (60.5 pct.) for 226 yards & 2 TDs vs. INT & rushed for TD last week. Aims for 3rd in row with rush TD. Aims for 4th home start in row with 200+ pass yards & 3rd home start in row with 2+ TD passes. • RB TEVIN COLEMAN had season-high 77 scrimmage yards (58 rush, 19 rec.) last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 70+ scrimmage yards. Has TD catch in 3 of his past 4 vs. NO. • WR JAMISON CROWDER had 62 rec. yards last week. Had 55 rec. yards in his last game vs. NO (10/8/18 w/ Was.) & aims for his 4th in row vs. Was. with 50+ rec. yards. Rookie WR ELIJAH MOORE led team with 6 catches for 77 yards & TD in Week 13. Has rec. TD in 4 of past 5 & 75+ rec. yards in 2 of past 3. Aims for his 4th in row at home with TD catch. Ranks 3rd among rookies with 5 rec. TDs, most by NYJ rookie since 1996 (KEYSHAWN JOHNSON – 8). TE RYAN GRIFFIN had 2nd rec. TD of season in Week 13. Had 4 catches for 72 yards & TD in only career game vs. NO (11/29/15 w/ Hou.). • LB C.J. MOSLEY tied for team lead with 13 tackles last week. Aims for 4th in row with 8+ tackles. Has 25 tackles (12.5 per game), 3 TFL & sack in 2 career games vs. NO. Leads team with 101 tackles, his 5th-career season with 100+ tackles. LB QUINCY WILLIAMS tied for team lead with 13 tackles in Week 13. Aims for 4th in row with 7+ tackles. Has TFL in 2 of past 3. S ELIJAH RILEY had career-high 7 tackles & 1st-career sack last week. Aims for 4th in row with 5+ tackles.

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (2-10) AT TENNESSEE TITANS (8-4)

SUNDAY, DEC. 12, 2021 // 1:00 PM ET // NISSAN STADIUM // REFEREE: BILL VINOVICH

LEADER: Titans lead all-time series, 32-21

STREAKS: Titans have won past 4

LAST GAME: 10/10/21: Titans 37 at Jaguars 19

LAST GAME AT SITE: 9/20/20: Titans 33, Jaguars 30

QB TREVOR LAWRENCE (rookie) completed 16 of 28 atts. (57.1 pct.) for 145 yards with 0 INTs last week. Aims for his 3rd in row on road with 0 INTs. Passed for 273 yards & TD with 92.1 rating in Week 5 meeting. Ranks 2nd among rookies in completions (247), pass yards (2,514) & TD passes (9) this season. • RB JAMES ROBINSON had career-high 149 rush yards & TD in Week 5 meeting. Has 100+ rush yards & rush TD in 2 of 3 career games vs. Ten. Aims for his 4th in row vs. Ten. with 80+ scrimmage yards. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. division with rush TD. Needs 113 scrimmage yards to become 2nd player in franchise history (MAURICE JONES-DREW) with 1,000+ scrimmage yards in each of 1st 2 seasons. RB CARLOS HYDE rushed for 1st TD of season last week. • WR MARVIN JONES had 10 catches for 112 yards & TD in only career game at Ten. (12/20/20 w/ Det.). Has 110+ rec. yards in 2 of 3 career games vs. Ten. WR LAVISKA SHENAULT has 5+ catches in 2 of past 3. Had 58 rec. yards in Week 5 meeting. Has 50+ rec. yards in 3 of his past 4 vs. division. WR LAQUON TREADWELL aims for 3rd in row with 50+ rec. yards. • LB MYLES JACK aims for 4th in row with 7+ tackles. Has 10+ tackles in 2 of his past 3 vs. Ten. DE/LB JOSH ALLEN had 7 tackles & PD in Week 5 meeting. DE ROY ROBERTSON-HARRIS has sack in 2 of past 3. DE DAWUANE SMOOT had season-high 1.5 sacks in Week 5 meeting. S ANDREW WINGARD led team with 8 tackles in Week 13. Aims for 4th in row with 5+ tackles.

QB RYAN TANNEHILL has 11 TDs (9 pass, 2 rush) vs. 0 INTs for 140.7 rating in his past 4 starts vs. Jax. Aims for his 5th in row vs. Jax. with 0 INTs & 105+ rating. Has 90+ rating in 6 of his past 7 vs. division. Needs 226 pass yards for 6th-career season with 3,000+ pass yards. • RB DONTRELL HILLIARD rushed for career-high 131 yards & 1st TD of season in Week 12. Aims for 3rd in row with 80+ scrimmage yards. RB D’ONTA FOREMAN rushed for career high 109 yards in Week 12. Has 75+ scrimmage yards in 2 of past 3. Foreman & Hilliard only pair of teammates to each rush for 100+ yards in same game this season. • WR NICK WESTBROOK-IKHINE had 3rd TD catch of season in Week 12. Has rec. TD in 2 of his past 3 vs. division. Aims for his 3rd in row at home vs. division with 50+ rec. yards. TE MYCOLE PRUITT had TD catch in Week 5 meeting. • S KEVIN BYARD led team with career-high 12 tackles & had 1st sack of season in Week 12. Aims for 4th in row with 5+ tackles. Had 11 tackles, 2 PD, INT & FR in Week 5 meeting. Aims for 3rd in row vs. Jax. with 11+ tackles. Has INT in 2 of past 3 vs. division. LB JAYON BROWN had 8 tackles & 1st PD of season in Week 12. Aims for his 5th in row with 7+ tackles. LB HAROLD LANDRY has TFL in 2 of past 3. Had 7 tackles & 2 sacks in Week 5 meeting. Has sack in 2 of his past 3 vs. division & 3 of his past 4 at home. LB DERICK ROBERSON had 2 TFL & 0.5 sacks in Week 12. DT JEFFERY SIMMONS aims for 3rd in row with 5+ tackles.

DALLAS COWBOYS (8-4) AT WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM (6-6)

SUNDAY, DEC. 12 2021 // 1:O0 PM ET // FEDEXFIELD // REFEREE: ALEX KEMP

LEADER: Cowboys lead all-time series, 73-45-2

STREAKS: Washington has won past 2

LAST GAME: 11/26/20: Washington 41 at Cowboys 16

LAST GAME AT SITE: 10/25/20: Washington 25, Cowboys 3

QB DAK PRESCOTT had TD vs. INT last week. Has 17 TDs (13 pass, 4 rush) vs. INT for 111.2 rating in 8 career starts vs. Was. Aims for his 4th in row vs. Was. with 2+ TD passes & 120+ rating. Ranks 5th in pass yards per game (288.2) in 2021. • RB EZEKIEL ELLIOTT has 880 scrimmage yards (97.8 per game) & 9 TDs (8 rush, 1 rec.) in 9 career games vs. Was. Needs 5 scrimmage yards for 6th-straight 1,000-yard season. Is only player with 6+ rush TDs in each of past 6 seasons. RB TONY POLLARD had 2nd rush TD of season last week. Has career high 861 scrimmage yards (602 rush, 259 rec.) in 2021. Ranks 3rd among RBs with 5.6 yards per rush (min. 100 atts.) in 2021. • WR CEEDEE LAMB led team with 7 catches & 89 rec. yards last week. Has 6+ catches & 80+ rec. yards in 5 of his 6 road games this season. WR AMARI COOPER had 6 catches for 112 yards & rec. TD in last meeting. Aims for his 4th in row vs. Was. with 80+ rec. yards. Is 1 of 8 players all-time with 5+ rec. TDs in each of 1st 7 seasons. TE DALTON SCHULTZ ranks 2nd among NFC TEs in receptions (52) & 5th in rec. yards (580). • CB TREVON DIGGS leads NFL with career-high 9 INTs & ranks tied-2nd in PD (14). Had 2 PD in last road meeting. LB MICAH PARSONS leads all rookies with 10 sacks & ranks tied-1st in NFL with 16 TFL. Can become 1st rookie since JEVON KEARSE (1999) with sack in 6 straight games. S JAYRON KEARSE is 1 of 2 (JALEN RAMSEY) with 8+ TFL (8) & 8+ PD (8) in 2021. Aims for his 3rd in row on road with INT.

QB TAYLOR HEINICKE completed 23 of 30 atts. (76.7 pct) & had 2 TDs vs. INT for 101.5 rating last week. Since Week 10, ranks 3rd among QBs (min. 75 atts.) in comp. pct. (77.3) & rating (110). Has 100+ rating in 3 of his past 4 starts. Aims for his 5th in row with 70+ comp. pct. • RB ANTONIO GIBSON had 5 catches & 111 scrimmage yards (88 rush, 23 rec.) & 2nd-career rec. TD last week. Aims for his 3rd in row with 5+ catches & 100+ scrimmage yards. Has 264 scrimmage yards (132 per game) & 4 rush TDs in 2 career games vs. Dal. & aims for his 3rd in row vs. Dal. with 125+ scrimmage yards & rush TD. RB J.D. MCKISSIC has 50+ scrimmage yards in 5 of his past 6. Since 2020, leads all RBs in receptions (123) & ranks 2nd in rec. yards (986). • WR TERRY MCLAURIN has 19 receptions for 244 yards (81.3 per game) & 2 rec. TDs in 3 career games vs. Dal. Aims for his 3rd in row at home vs. Dal. with rec. TD & 4th in row vs. Dal. overall with 5+ catches. • LB COLE HOLCOMB led team with 10 tackles & had career-high 2 PD last week. Is 1 of 2 (DEION JONES) with 100+ tackles (102) & 5+ PD (5) in 2021. Had 10 tackles in last meeting. Had sack & INT in last home meeting. DT JONATHAN ALLEN has 5 TFL & 3 sacks in 5 career games vs. Dal. Had FR in last meeting. CB KENDALL FULLER has 7 PD in his past 5 at home & aims for his 6th in row at home with PD. S KAMREN CURL has 7+ tackles in 2 of his past 3 at home.

DETROIT LIONS (1-10-1) AT DENVER BRONCOS (6-6)

SUNDAY, DEC. 12, 2021 // 4:05 PM ET // EMPOWER FIELD AT MILE HIGH // REFEREE: JOHN HUSSEY

LEADER: Broncos lead all-time series, 8-5

STREAKS: Broncos have won past 2

LAST GAME: 12/22/19: Lions 17 at Broncos 27

LAST GAME AT SITE: 12/22/19

QB JARED GOFF passed for 296 yards & 3 TDs vs. INT for 97.2 rating last week. Aims for his 3rd in row with 2+ TD passes & 95+ rating. Has 1,201 pass yards (300.3 per game) & 10 TDs (9 pass, 1 rush) vs. 2 INTs for 103.7 rating in 4 career starts vs. AFC West. • RB D’ANDRE SWIFT ranks 3rd among RBs in rec. yards (429) & tied-3rd in receptions (56). Has TD in 3 of his past 4 on road. Aims for his 5th in row on road with 100+ scrimmage yards. RB JAMAAL WILLIAMS rushed for 71 yards last week. Has 50+ rush yards in 3 of his past 4 on road. Had 86 scrimmage yards (59 rush, 27 rec.) in his only career game vs. Den. (9/22/19 w/ GB). • TE T.J. HOCKENSON had 12th-career rec. TD last week & aims for his 3rd in row with TD catch. Has 6+ catches in 2 of his past 3 on road. Leads NFC TEs in receptions (61) & ranks 4th in rec. yards (583). Rookie WR AMON-RA ST. BROWN set career highs in receptions (10) & rec. yards (86) & had 1st-career TD catch last week. Became 3rd rookie since 2000 with 1st career rec. TD coming with no time remaining in 4th Qtr. WR JOSH REYNOLDS aims for his 3rd in row with 65+ rec. yards. • CB AMANI ORUWARIYE had TFL last week & ranks tied-3rd in NFL with career-high 5 INTs. LB CHARLES HARRIS had careerhigh 2 sacks & 2nd-career FF last week. Has career-high 6 sacks in 2021. LB JULIAN OKWARA had 3rd sack of season & 1st-career FR in Week 13. S TRACY WALKER had season-high 11 tackles last week.

QB TEDDY BRIDGEWATER completed 25 of 35 atts. (71.4 pct.) for 316 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 118.3 rating in his last start vs. Det. (10/25/15 w/ Min.). Aims for his 3rd start in row vs. Det. with 0 INTs & 115+ rating. Aims for his 4th home start in row with 0 INTs. Needs 225 pass yards for 3rd-career 3,000-yard season. • RB MELVIN GORDON has 85+ scrimmage yards in 2 of his past 3 & TD in 4 of his past 5. Is only RB in NFL with 750+ scrimmage yards in each of past 7 seasons. Rookie RB JAVONTE WILLIAMS had career-high 178 scrimmage yards (102 rush, career-high 76 rec.) & TD catch last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 110+ scrimmage yards & TD. Ranks 3rd among rookies with 939 scrimmage yards (670 rush, 269 rec.) this season. • WR JERRY JEUDY led team with season-high 77 rec. yards last week. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. NFC with 6+ catches. WR COURTLAND SUTTON had 5 catches for 41 yards in last meeting. Aims for his 4th in row vs. NFC North with 5+ catches. WR TIM PATRICK had 5 catches for 48 yards in last meeting. Has 60+ rec. yards in 2 of his past 3 vs. NFC. • S JUSTIN SIMMONS has PD in 5 of past 6. Had 5 tackles in last meeting. Aims for 4th in row at home with 6+ tackles & PD. Has 35 PD since 2019, most among safeties. Rookie CB PAT SURTAIN II aims for 3rd in row with INT. Has PD in 8 straight games, longest active streak in NFL. Leads rookies with 12 PD & 4 INTs & can become 1st Den. rookie with 5 INTs in SB era. DE DRE’MONT JONES had sack last week & has sack in 2 of past 3.

NEW YORK GIANTS (4-8) AT LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (7-5)

SUNDAY, DEC. 12, 2021 // 4:05 PM ET // SOFI STADIUM // REFEREE: TONY CORRENTE

LEADER: Chargers lead all-time series, 7-5

STREAKS: Chargers have won past 4

LAST GAME: 10/8/17: Chargers 27 at Giants 22

LAST GAME AT SITE: 12/8/13: Chargers 37, Giants 14

QB DANIEL JONES has 90+ rating in 4 of his past 5 starts & is 1 of 7 NFC QBs with 8+ games (8) with 90+ rating in 2021. QB MIKE GLENNON passed for 187 yards in 1st start of season last week. QB JAKE FROMM can make 1st career start in Week 14. • RB SAQUON BARKLEY had 6 catches & 74 scrimmage yards (55 rush, 19 rec.) in Week 13. Aims for his 3rd in row on road & 4th in row overall with 50+ scrimmage yards. RB DEVONTAE BOOKER has 50+ scrimmage yards in 3 of his past 4 on road. Had rush TD in his last game at LAC (11/8/20 w/ LV). • TE EVAN ENGRAM led team with 61 rec. yards last week. Needs 5 catches for 5th-straight 40-catch season. WR KENNY GOLLADAY had 8 catches for 117 yards & TD catch in his only career game vs. LAC (9/15/19 w/ Det.). WR STERLING SHEPARD has 9+ catches & 75+ rec. yards in 2 of his past 3 on road. • LB TAE CROWDER led team with 9 tackles last week. Is 1 of 4 LBs (COLE HOLCOMB, DEION JONES & DARIUS LEONARD) with 85+ tackles (85) & 5+ PD (5) in 2021. Aims for his 11th in row with 6+ tackles. DB LOGAN RYAN aims for his 4th in row with 8+ tackles. Is 1 of 2 NFC DBs (HARRISON SMITH) with 7 games with 8+ tackles in 2021. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. LAC with 2+ PD. LB AZEEZ OJULARI had sack last week & ranks 3rd among rookies with 6.5 sacks. CB JAMES BRADBERRY is only player with 10+ PD in each of past 6 seasons. S XAVIER MCKINNEY ranks tied3rd in NFL with career-high 5 INTs. CB JULIAN LOVE aims for his 4th in row with PD.

QB JUSTIN HERBERT completed 26 of 35 atts. (74.3 pct.) for 317 yards & 3 TDs vs. INT for 118.4 rating last week, his 18th-career game with 2+ TD passes & 11th-career game with 3+ TD passes, both 2nd-most ever by player in 1st 2 seasons. Aims for 4th in row with 300+ pass yards & 2+ TD passes. Has 2+ TD passes in 4 of his past 5 at home. Ranks 3rd in NFL with 27 TD passes & is 3rd QB ever with 25+ TD passes in each of 1st 2 seasons. • RB AUSTIN EKELER had 104 scrimmage yards (59 rush, 45 rec.) & rush TD last week, his 6th game with 100+ scrimmage yards & TD this season, 2nd-most among RBs. Aims for 5th in row with TD & 4th in row with 95+ scrimmage yards. Has 115+ scrimmage yards in 5 of 6 home games this season. Ranks 2nd in NFL with career-high 15 TDs (8 rush, 7 rec.). • WR KEENAN ALLEN had season-high 2 rec. TDs last week, his 7th-career game with 2 TDs. Aims for 11th in row with 5+ catches. Aims for 5th in row at home with 75+ rec. yards. Had 67 rec. yards in last meeting. Is only player in NFL with 900+ rec. yards in each of past 5 seasons. WR MIKE WILLIAMS had 5 catches for team-high 110 yards last week. Has 95+ rec. yards in 2 of past 3. Allen (929) & Williams (854) only pair of teammates each with 850+ rec. yards this season. • LB UCHENNA NWOSU had career-high 2 sacks, FF & 1st FR of season last week. Has sack in 2 of past 3. CB MICHAEL DAVIS had 1st INT of season last week. Aims for 3rd in row with PD. CB CHRIS HARRIS had 1st INT of season in Week 13.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (6-6) AT CINCINNATI BENGALS (7-5)

SUNDAY, DEC. 12, 2021 // 4:25 PM ET // PAUL BROWN STADIUM // REFEREE: CRAIG WROLSTAD

LEADER: 49ers lead all-time series, 10-4

STREAKS: 49ers have won 3 of past 4

LAST GAME: 9/15/19: 49ers 41 at Bengals 17

LAST GAME AT SITE: 9/15/19

QB JIMMY GAROPPOLO passed for 299 yards & 2 TDs vs. 2 INTs for 93.6 rating last week. Has 100+ rating in 4 of his 5 road starts this season. Since Week 8, ranks 2nd in NFL with 106 rating (min. 50 atts.). Passed for 296 yards & 3 TDs vs. INT for 131 rating in last meeting. • RB ELIJAH MITCHELL (rookie) had 84 scrimmage yards (66 rush, 18 rec.) & had 5th rush TD of season last week. Leads all rookies with 98.3 scrimmage yards per game & has 50+ scrimmage yards in each of 1st 9 career games. RB JEFF WILSON had 2 rush TDs in last meeting. • TE GEORGE KITTLE had season-highs in catches (9) & rec. yards (181) & had career-high 2 rec. TDs last week, his 3rd-career game with 175+ rec. yards. Has 12 games with 100+ rec. yards, tied-2nd most among TEs since 2017. Has 5 rec. TDs in his past 5 & aims for his 3rd in row on road with TD catch. WR DEEBO SAMUEL had 86 rec. yards & TD catch in last meeting. Ranks 4th in NFL in scrimmage yards (career-high 1,209) & is 1 of 2 (AUSTIN EKELER) with 5+ rec. TDs (5) & 5+ rush TDs (5) in 2021. Aims for his 4th in row with rush TD. • DL NICK BOSA had career-high 12th sack of season & 5thcareer FF last week. Aims for his 5th in row overall & 7th in row on road with sack. Ranks tied-1st in NFL with 16 TFL. LB FRED WARNER needs 8 tackles for 4th-straight 100-tackle season. LB AZEEZ AL-SHAAIR had career-high 16 tackles in Week 13. DL ARIK ARMSTEAD had sack last week & sack in last meeting.

QB JOE BURROW passed for 300 yards & had 2 TDs (1 pass, 1 rush) last week, his 8th-career game with 300+ pass yards. Aims for 3rd in row with rush TD. Has 90+ rating in 2 of past 3. Aims for his 5th in row vs. NFC with 2+ TD passes. • RB JOE MIXON aims for 10th in row with TD, 2nd-longest active streak in NFL. Has 2 TDs & 110+ scrimmage yards in 3 of past 4. Ranks tied-3rd in NFL with career-high 14 TDs & can become 1st Cin. RB with 15 TDs in single season since ICKEY WOODS (15 in 1988). Ranks 2nd in NFL with 978 rush yards & can record 3rd-career season with 1,000+ rush yards (2018-19). • WR JA’MARR CHASE (rookie) had 5 catches for 52 yards last week. Has 5+ catches in 5 of 6 home games this season. Leads rookies with 958 rec. yards & 8 rec. TDs & can become 3rd Cin. rookie ever with 1,000+ rec. yards (A.J. GREEN & CRIS COLLINSWORTH). WR TEE HIGGINS set career highs in catches (9) & rec. yards (138) & had rec. TD last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 6+ catches, 110+ rec. yards & rec. TD. WR TYLER BOYD had 5 catches for 85 yards in Week 13. Has 5+ catches in 2 of past 3. TE C.J. UZOMAH has career-high 5 rec. TDs this season. • DE TREY HENDRICKSON aims for 9th in row with sack, longest active streak in NFL. Has FF in 2 of past 3. Is 1 of 3 in NFL (MYLES GARRETT & T.J. WATT) with 11+ sacks in each of past 2 seasons. S VONN BELL had 6 tackles & 1st sack of season last week. Had 12 tackles & sack in last meeting. CB CHIDOBE AWUZIE had 2 PD & 2nd INT of season in Week 13.

BUFFALO BILLS (7-5) AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (9-3)

SUNDAY, DEC. 12, 2021 // 4:25 PM ET // RAYMOND JAMES STADIUM // REFEREE: SCOTT NOVAK

LEADER: Buccaneers lead all-time series, 7-4

STREAKS: Bills have won 2 of past 3

LAST GAME: 10/22/17: Buccaneers 27 at Bills 30

LAST GAME AT SITE: 12/8/13: Buccaneers 27, Bills 6

QB JOSH ALLEN aims for 3rd in row on road with 2+ TD passes & 115+ rating. Has 993 pass yards (331 per game) & 13 TDs (12 pass, 1 rush) vs. 2 INTs for 132.5 rating in his past 3 starts vs. NFC. Is 1 of 3 in AFC (JUSTIN HERBERT & PATRICK MAHOMES) with 3,000+ pass yards (3,216) & 25+ TD passes (26) this season. • RB DEVIN SINGLETARY leads team with 495 rush yards & can become 1st Buf. player with 500+ rush yards in each of 1st 3 seasons since TRAVIS HENRY (2001-03). RB MATT BREIDA has 50+ scrimmage yards in 3 of past 4. Aims for 3rd in row on road with TD catch. Has 177 scrimmage yards (88.5 per game) in 2 career games vs. TB. • WR STEFON DIGGS aims for 3rd in row with 50+ rec. yards. Had 8 catches for 173 yards & 2 TDs in only career game vs. TB (9/24/17 w/ Min.). Has rec. TD in 2 of his past 3 vs. NFC South. Has 60+ rec. yards in each of 6 road games this season. Needs 102 rec. yards for 4th-straight 1,000-yard season. WR EMMANUEL SANDERS has TD catch in each of 3 career games vs. TB. Has 5+ catches in 2 of his past 3 vs. NFC South. • S JORDAN POYER led team with 8 tackles last week. Aims for 3rd in row on road with INT. Has PD in 5 of 6 road games this season. Had 5 tackles & PD in last meeting. S MICAH HYDE had 4 tackles & TFL in Week 13. Has 3 PD in 2 career games vs. TB. LB MATT MILANO aims for 7th in row with TFL & 3rd in row with 2+ TFL. Has 6 TFL in 5 road games this season. Had 2 TFL & INT in last meeting.

QB TOM BRADY passed for 368 yards & 4 TDs vs. INT for 112.2 rating last week. Leads NFL in pass yards (3,771) & TD passes (34) in 2021. Is 32-3 in 35 career starts vs. Buf. with 72 TDs (70 pass, 2 rush) vs. 25 INTs for 97.9 rating. Has 39 TDs vs. 13 INTs for 100.2 rating in 13 career home starts w/ TB. • RB LEONARD FOURNETTE had 7 catches & 92 scrimmage yards (48 rec., 44 rush) & TD catch last week. Has 1,067 scrimmage yards, his 3rd-career 1,000-yard season. Leads all RBs with 58 receptions in 2021. Had 108 scrimmage yards (95 rush, 13 rec.) & 2 rush TDs in his only career game vs. Buf. (11/25/18 w/ Jax.). • WR MIKE EVANS had 99 rec. yards last week. Had 7 catches for 88 yards & rec. TD in last meeting. Has 8 rec. TDs in his past 4 at home & aims for his 5th in row at home with TD catch. WR CHRIS GODWIN had career-high 15 receptions for 143 yards last week, most catches by player in single game this season. Has 6 rec. TDs in his past 6 at home & aims for his 3rd in row at home with TD catch. TE ROB GRONKOWSKI had 20th-career game with 2+ rec. TDs in Week 13, 2nd-most by a TE in NFL history. Brady & Gronkowski have connected on 90 reg. season TDs, 2nd-most reg. season TDs by QB-receiver duo all-time. • LB LAVONTE DAVID has 8+ tackles in 7 of his past 8 at home. Had 2 INTs & sack in last home meeting. LB DEVIN WHITE has 2nd-straight 100-tackle season (100). DT NDAMUKONG SUH & DT VITA VEA each had 2 sacks in Week 13. CB CARLTON DAVIS had 3 PD & 1st FR of season last week.

CHICAGO BEARS (4-8) AT GREEN BAY PACKERS (9-3)

SUNDAY, DEC. 12, 2021 // 8:20 PM ET // LAMBEAU FIELD // REFEREE: RONALD TORBERT

LEADER: Packers lead all-time series, 101-94-6

STREAKS: Packers have won past 5

LAST GAME: 10/17/21: Packers 24 at Bears 14

LAST GAME AT SITE: 11/29/20: Packers 41, Bears 25

QB ANDY DALTON had 2 TD passes last week. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. GB with 70+ comp. pct., 2+ TD passes & 100+ rating. QB JUSTIN FIELDS (rookie) had TD vs. INT & 43 rush yards in Week 6 meeting. • RB DAVID MONTGOMERY had 8 catches & season-high 141 scrimmage yards (90 rush, 51 rec.) & 4th rush TD of season last week. Has 50+ scrimmage yards in 14 straight games, longest active streak in NFC. Had 143 scrimmage yards (103 rush, 40 rec.) & rec. TD in last road meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. GB with 130+ scrimmage yards & TD. Rookie RB KHALIL HERBERT rushed for 97 yards & TD in Week 6 meeting. • WR DARNELL MOONEY had 5 receptions last week & aims for his 4th in row with 5+ catches. Had rec. TD in last meeting. WR ALLEN ROBINSON had 8 catches for 74 yards & 2 rec. TDs in last road meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row at GB with 7+ catches. WR JAKEEM GRANT had 5 catches & team-high 62 rec. yards with 1st rec. TD of season last week. TE JIMMY GRAHAM had 84th-career rec. TD last week, 4th-most by TE all-time. • LB ROQUAN SMITH led team with 8 tackles & had TFL last week & had 12 tackles in Week 6 meeting. Aims for his 6th in row on SNF with 5+ tackles. Has 100+ tackles (121) for 4th-straight season. LB ROBERT QUINN had 2 TFL last week. Has 11 sacks in 2021, 5th-career season with 10+ sacks. Aims for his 3rd in row on road with sack. Has 4.5 sacks in 5 career games on SNF. DT AKIEM HICKS had sack in last meeting.

QB AARON RODGERS passed for 307 yards & 2 TDs vs 0 INTs for 97.2 rating & had 3rd rush TD of season in Week 12. Ranks 4th in NFL with 105.5 rating in 2021. Had 3 TDs (2 pass, 1 rush) vs. 0 INTs for 128 rating in Week 6 meeting. Has 32 TDs vs. 4 INTs for 110.1 rating in 13 career home starts vs. Chi. Has 13 TDs vs. INT for 129.7 rating in his past 4 on SNF & aims for his 5th in row on SNF with 2+ TD passes & 120+ rating. • RB AARON JONES had 110 scrimmage yards (76 rush, 34 rec.) & TD catch in Week 6 meeting. Has 3 rush TDs in 3 career home games vs. Chi. Aims for his 5th in row on SNF with 85+ scrimmage yards. Needs 138 scrimmage yards for 3rd-straight 1,000-yard season. RB AJ DILLON had 2nd rec. TD of season in Week 12. Aims for his 5th in row with 90+ scrimmage yards. • WR DAVANTE ADAMS is 1 of 3 (JUSTIN JEFFERSON & COOPER KUPP) with 5+ games (5) with 100+ rec. yards in 2021. Has 6 rec. TDs in his past 5 at home vs. Chi. Leads NFL with 63 rec. TDs since 2016. Has rec. TD in 10-straight SNF games, longest streak on SNF all-time. WR RANDALL COBB had 5th rec. TD of season in Week 12. • LB DE’VONDRE CAMPBELL has 5th-straight 90+ tackle season (98). LB PRESTON SMITH had 2 FRs in Week 12. LB RASHAN GARY had sack in Week 12 & aims for his 4th in row with sack. DL KENNY CLARK had sack in Week 12. Had 2 sacks in last meeting. CB RASUL DOUGLAS had career-high 4 PD & 7th-career INT in Week 12. Aims for his 4th in row at home with PD.

LOS ANGELES RAMS (8-4) AT ARIZONA CARDINALS (10-2)

MONDAY, DEC. 13, 2021 // 8:15 PM ET // STATE FARM STADIUM // REFEREE: CARL CHEFFERS

LEADER: Rams lead all-time series, 44-39-2

STREAKS: Rams have won 8 of past 9

LAST GAME: 10/3/21: Cardinals 37 at Rams 20

LAST GAME AT SITE: 12/6/20: Rams 38, Cardinals 28

QB MATTHEW STAFFORD passed for 295 yards & 3 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 117.8 rating last week. Ranks 2nd in TD passes (30) & 3rd in pass yards (3,611), his 3rd-career season with 30+ TD passes. Passed for 280 yards & 2 TDs vs. INT in Week 4 meeting. Has 14 TDs vs. 6 INTs for 102.1 rating in 6 road starts this season. • RB DARRELL HENDERSON had 116 scrimmage yards (89 rush, 27 rec.) in last meeting. Has 7 TDs (4 rush, 3 rec.) in 6 road games this season. RB SONY MICHEL had season-high 121 rush yards & 2nd rush TD of season last week. • WR COOPER KUPP became 1st player ever with 100+ catches (100) & 10+ rec. TDs (11) in team’s 1st 12 games of season. Can become 3rd player in SB era with 90+ rec. yards in 9 straight games. Leads NFL with 7 games with 100+ rec. yards. Has 5+ catches in 16 straight games, longest active streak in NFL. WR ODELL BECKHAM JR. aims for his 3rd in row with rec. TD. Had 5 catches for 79 yards vs. Az. in Week 6 w/ Cle. WR VAN JEFFERSON aims for his 3rd in row with TD catch. Had 90 rec. yards & rec. TD in Week 4 meeting. • DL AARON DONALD had 7th sack of season last week & can become 4th player since 1982 with 8+ sacks in each of 1st 8 seasons. Has 9 sacks in his past 5 at Az. Aims for his 6th in row at Az. with sack & 8th in row at Az. with TFL. LB VON MILLER has 4 sacks, 2 FF & FR in 2 career games vs. Az. & aims for his 3rd in row vs. Az. with 2+ sacks. CB JALEN RAMSEY aims for his 3rd in row vs. Az. with 2+ PD.

QB KYLER MURRAY became the 4th-youngest player (24 years, 120 days old) with 10,000 pass yards in NFL history. Became 3rd QB (JOSH ALLEN & CAM NEWTON) with 20+ rush TDs (20) in 1st 3 seasons in SB era. Has 13 games with both pass & rush TD, tied-3rd most by QB in 1st 3 seasons all-time. Leads QBs with 72.7 comp. pct. in 2021. Had 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 120.3 rating in Week 4 meeting. • RB JAMES CONNER has TD in 6 straight games, 3rd-longest active streak in NFL. Leads NFC with 12 rush TDs & has careerhigh 14 TDs in 2021. Rushed for 2 TDs in Week 4 meeting. RB CHASE EDMONDS had 120 rush yards in Week 4 meeting. • WR DEANDRE HOPKINS had 8th rec. TD of season last week. Had 8 catches & rec. TD in last home meeting. Has 10,527 career rec. yards, 4th-most all-time by player prior to 30th birthday. WR A.J. GREEN had 67 rec. yards & TD catch in last meeting. TE ZACH ERTZ had 5 catches in his last game vs. LAR (9/20/20 w/ Phi.). • LB CHANDLER JONES needs 1.5 sacks for 7th-career 10+ sack season. Since 2016, ranks 2nd in NFL in sacks (69.5). LB MARKUS GOLDEN leads team with 10 sacks, his 3rd-career 10-sack season. Had FF in last meeting. LB JORDAN HICKS had seasonhigh 13 tackles & 2 sacks last week. Needs 5 tackles for 3rdstraight 100-tackle season. S BUDDA BAKER had 5th-career INT last week. Had FR in last meeting. CB BYRON MURPHY had 4th INT of season last week. Had INT in Week 4 meeting.

INDIANAPOLIS RB JONATHAN TAYLOR CONTINUES TO LEAD PRO BOWL FAN VOTING

Indianapolis running back JONATHAN TAYLOR, with 168,222 votes, leads all players in balloting for the 2022 Pro Bowl presented by Verizon. 

Kansas City tight end TRAVIS KELCE (158,633 votes) ranks second overall, while Los Angeles Rams wide receiver COOPER KUPP (156,176 votes), Tampa Bay quarterback TOM BRADY (151,305 votes) and Cleveland defensive end MYLES GARRETT (150,268 votes) round out the top five. 

Two of the top five vote-getters – Taylor and Garrett – are age 25 or younger while six first- or second-year players currently lead their conference in votes received at their respective positions. 

The DALLAS COWBOYS lead all clubs in total votes received. The NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTSKANSAS CITY CHIEFS, LOS ANGELES RAMS and SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS round out the current top five. 

Pro Bowl Vote presented by Panini Trading Cards will continue online and on web-enabled mobile phones at NFL.com/ProBowlVote until Thursday, December 16. 

Through the end of the voting period on December 16, fans will also be able to vote directly on Twitter. To cast such a vote, fans should tweet #ProBowlVote along with the first and last name of the player, the player’s official Twitter handle, or a hashtag including the player’s first and last name. Voting via Twitter is in addition to the online ballot at NFL.com/ProBowlVote, which will be available throughout the entire voting period. 

Roster selections are determined by the consensus votes of fans, players and coaches. Each group’s vote counts one-third toward determining the 88 All-Star players. NFL players and coaches will cast their votes by Friday, December 17. 

Pro Bowl rosters will be announced on Monday, December 20 live on NFL Network’s Pro Bowl special “NFL Total Access: Pro Bowl Players Revealed” at 7:00 PM ET and integrated in ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown and ESPN/ABC’s Monday Night Football. The NFL is the only sports league that combines voting by fans, coaches and players to determine its All-Star teams. It was also the first professional sports league to offer online all-star voting in 1995. 

The 2022 Pro Bowl presented by Verizon will be played at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Sunday, February 6, at 3:00 PM ET and will be televised on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and simulcast on ABC. Tickets are available now on ProBowl.com and will allow fans special benefits on gameday including access to the Pro Bowl Red Carpet and other family friendly activities. 

Leading up to the game, the NFL will host a series of Pro Bowl Week festivities, bringing free experiences and activities to fans in Las Vegas. A number of events will also be focused on celebrating football at all levels. Pro Bowl Week festivities will include:

  • Pro Bowl Practice
  • Play Football Opening Night
  • NFL FLAG Championships presented by Subway
  • East-West Shrine Bowl – televised on NFL Network
  • Pro Bowl Skills Showdown – televised on ESPN
  • Community Day

More details around how fans can get involved with Pro Bowl Week festivities will be announced at a later date. Visit ProBowl.com for the latest event details. 

NFL PRO BOWL TOP-FIVE VOTE-GETTERS

POS.NAMETEAMVOTES
RBJonathan TaylorIndianapolis Colts168,222
TETravis KelceKansas City Chiefs158,633
WRCooper KuppLos Angeles Rams156,176
QBTom BradyTampa Bay Buccaneers151,305
DEMyles GarrettCleveland Browns150,268

NFL PRO BOWL MOST VOTES BY TEAM

TEAM
Dallas Cowboys
New England Patriots
Kansas City Chiefs
Los Angeles Rams
San Francisco 49ers

AFC & NFC LEADING VOTE-GETTERS BY POSITION

POS.CONF.NAME, TEAMVOTESPOS.CONF.NAME, TEAMVOTES 
QBAFCJosh Allen, Buffalo110,498DEAFCMyles Garrett, Cleveland150,268 
QBNFCTom Brady, Tampa Bay151,305DENFCNick Bosa, San Francisco136,682 
RBAFCJonathan Taylor, Indianapolis168,222DTAFCJeffery Simmons, Tennessee110,850 
RBNFCEzekiel Elliott, Dallas87,717DTNFCAaron Donald, L.A. Rams130,991 
FBAFCPatrick Ricard, Baltimore90,800OLBAFCT.J. Watt, Pittsburgh144,693 
FBNFCKyle Juszczyk, San Francisco135,670OLBNFCHaason Reddick, Carolina79,820 
WRAFCJa’Marr Chase, Cincinnati125,516ILBAFCDenzel Perryman, Las Vegas73,553 
WRNFCCooper Kupp, L.A. Rams156,176ILBNFCDevin White, Tampa Bay99,629 
TEAFCTravis Kelce, Kansas City158,633CBAFCJ.C. Jackson, New England116,640 
TENFCKyle Pitts, Atlanta118,118CBNFCTrevon Diggs, Dallas144,228 
TAFCOrlando Brown, Kansas City54,126SSAFCTyrann Mathieu, Kansas City73,982 
TNFCTerron Armstead, New Orleans82,555SSNFCHarrison Smith, Minnesota80,934 
GAFCJoel Bitonio, Cleveland78,509FSAFCMicah Hyde, Buffalo115,751 
GNFCZack Martin, Dallas55,929FSNFCQuandre Diggs, Seattle72,279 
CAFCDavid Andrews, New England77,148PAFCCameron Johnston, Houston58,329 
CNFCTyler Biadasz, Dallas55,324PNFCMichael Dickson, Seattle88,557 
KAFCJustin Tucker, Baltimore109,318STAFCOla Adeniyi, Tennessee59,017 
KNFCGraham Gano, N.Y. Giants51,490STNFCNick Bellore, Seattle59,987 
RSAFCRay-Ray McCloud, Pittsburgh51,904LSAFCJoe Cardona, New England66,174 
RSNFCDeAndre Carter, Washington69,297LSNFCCamaron Cheeseman, Washington55,408 
Vote totals through Wednesday, December 8 at 12:00 PM ET

ROOKIE MILLS WILL START AT QB FOR TEXANS FOR REST OF SEASON

HOUSTON (AP) The Houston Texans have benched veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor in favor of rookie Davis Mills and coach David Culley said Mills will start for the rest of the season, beginning Sunday against Seattle.

Culley benched Taylor for Mills in the third quarter of last week’s defeat with the Texans (2-10) trailing 21-0 in what ended up a 31-0 loss to the Colts. Culley evaluated the position this week before announcing his decision Friday.

“He gives us the best chance to win,” Culley said of Mills.

Mills, a third-round pick from Stanford, threw eight interceptions with seven touchdowns in 6+ games filling in when Taylor was injured. Taylor has five interceptions with just two TD passes in the four games since returning from a strained hamstring.

Taylor opened the season as Houston’s starter with Deshaun Watson sitting out amid a trade request and 22 lawsuits alleging sexual harassment or assault. Taylor led the Texans to a win in the opener against Jacksonville before injuring his hamstring on a touchdown run in the second quarter of a loss to Cleveland Sept. 19, and Mills took over after halftime.

MICHIGAN’S JIM HARBAUGH IS AP COACH OF THE YEAR, FICKELL 2ND

(AP) — Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh is The Associated Press college football coach of the year after leading the Wolverines to their first Big Ten title in 17 years and a berth in the College Football Playoff.

Harbaugh is the first Michigan coach to win the AP Coach of the Year Award presented by Regions Bank, and the first from the Big Ten since Penn State’s Joe Paterno in 2005.

“It’s a tremendous reflection on the entire staff, players,” Harbaugh told the AP. “Everybody shares in it. A rising tide lifts all ships.”

He received 22 of 53 first-place votes and 103 points from a panel of AP Top 25 voters to finish ahead of Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell, who had 16 first-place votes and 88 points.

Baylor’s Dave Aranda was third and Michigan State’s Mel Tucker was fourth. Kirby Smart was fifth with a first-place vote and Utah State’s Blake Anderson was sixth, receiving three first-place votes.

Alabama’s Nick Saban and Wake Forest’s Dave Clawson also received first-place votes.

Harbaugh came into his seventh season as coach of his alma mater on a hot seat after going 2-4 in the Big Ten’s abbreviated schedule in 2020. After his first losing season with Michigan, Harbaugh took a pay cut and had his buyout reduced, putting the school in better position to make a coaching change if this season didn’t go well.

Harbaugh also made staff changes on the defensive side of the ball in the offseason.

Everything came together for the Wolverines this season. They beat Ohio State to snap an eight-game losing streak in the rivalry and reached the Big Ten title game for the first time, where they routed Iowa.

No. 2 Michigan (12-1) faces No. 3 Georgia (12-1) in its first College Football Playoff appearance on Dec. 31 at the Orange Bowl.

“I love this team. I love this ’21 team,” Harbaugh said. “They’ve got a bounce in their step every day. They’ve got a smile on their face. They’ve worked incredibly hard.”

AP Coach of the Year

Jim Harbaugh, Michigan – 103 points (22 first-place votes).

Luke Fickell, Cincinnati – 88 (16).

Dave Aranda, Baylor -47 (5).

Mel Tucker, Michigan State – 22 (4).

Kirby Smart, Georgia – 13 (1).

Blake Anderson, Utah State – 11 (3).

Nick Saban, Alabama – 9 (1).

Dave Clawson, Wake Forest – 6 (1).

Jeff Traylor, UTSA – 6.

Pat Narduzzi, Pitt – 4.

Kyle Whittingham, Utah – 4.

Sam Pittman, Arkansas – 2.

Mike Houston, East Carolina – 1.

Billy Napier, Louisiana – 1.

Kalani Sitake, BYU – 1.

NOTRE DAME’S HAMILTON, WILLIAMS OPT OUT OF FIESTA BOWL, DECLARE FOR NFL DRAFT

Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton is skipping the Fiesta Bowl to prepare for the 2022 NFL Draft, he announced on Friday.

Running back Kyren Williams also announced that he will forgo the postseason and declared for the draft.

“First off, I want to say thank you,” Hamilton wrote on social media. “Thank you for allowing me an opportunity to attend the greatest university in the world. The relationships I have made the past three years are invaluable and remind me that my decision as a 17-year-old to commit to the University of Notre Dame was the best decision of my life.”

Hamilton is expected to be a top-10 selection next spring. He finished his Fighting Irish career with 34 tackles and three interceptions in seven contests.

The 2020 All-American suffered a season-ending knee injury in Notre Dame’s 31-16 victory over USC on Oct. 23. He’s expected to be healthy as he begins the process of going pro.

Meanwhile, Williams led Notre Dame with 1,005 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns this season, adding 42 receptions for 359 yards and three receiving scores.

FAKE SLIDES NOW AGAINST RULES AFTER PICKETT’S TRICK VS WAKE

(AP) — The fake slide Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett used to help clear his path for a long touchdown run in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game is against the rules in college football – effective immediately.

National coordinator of officials Steve Shaw has instructed all officials to blow a play dead at the spot where a ball carrier fakes a slide to cause defenders to back off from making a tackle.

“As far as the fake slide play from the ACC Championship Game, there is concern that QBs could be rehearsing their `fake slide’ for their post season game,” Shaw wrote in an email to The Associated Press on Friday.

Shaw said a rule change was not needed and a new rule was not implemented. The change is a new interpretation of the existing rules regarding when to call a play dead.

“I know people think the rule book covers every imaginable scenario, but it does not,” Shaw said. “In a season I will typically have one, two or maybe three of what we call play interpretations.”

“It just usually doesn’t happen this publicly,” Shaw added.

Shaw noted the intent of the slide rule was to protect sliding ball carriers who are deemed defenseless. The ball is spotted where the ball carrier starts the process of the slide.

“Defenders have learned to hold up and back off,” Shaw said. “If we allow the fake slide, the defense may now not hold up, and we could see many unnecessary and dangerous hits to our QBs.”

Shaw said conference coordinators of officials and all officials were notified of the new interpretation and told to inform teams playing in bowl games.

The ban on fake slides is the result of Pickett’s 58-yard touchdown run against Wake Forest last Saturday. Pickett dropped back as if to pass, took off running and at the Wake Forest 40 dipped his right knee as if he were going to slide to end the play. The move caused a defender in front of Pickett to pull up and briefly stop his pursuit of the quarterback. That allowed Pickett to continue to the end zone.

Pickett acknowledged after the Panthers’ 45-21 win that his fake slide was intentional. Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson said after the game the NCAA needed to review its rule on slides.

NCAA PUTS AUBURN HOOPS ON 4-YEAR PROBATION, SUSPENDS PEARL

(AP) — The NCAA has placed the Auburn men’s basketball program on four year probation for unethical conduct involving former associate head coach Chuck Person and imposed a two-game suspension on coach Bruce Pearl for failing to monitor his assistant and adequately promote compliance.

An NCAA Committee on Infractions panel issued its findings Friday but mostly accepted Auburn’s self-imposed penalties in the case dating back to September 2017, when FBI agents arrested Person as part of a wide-ranging investigation into corruption in college basketball.

Pearl will be suspended the next two games for the 18th-ranked Tigers starting Saturday against Nebraska in Atlanta.

The report released by the infractions committee panel said Pearl “violated head coach responsibility rules because he did not adequately monitor the associate head coach and failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance.

“Further, when the head coach became aware of potentially problematic situations involving the associate head coach, he failed to ask reasonable and pertinent questions. These shortcomings allowed violations to go undetected.”

Pearl has had a previous run-in with the NCAA. Tennessee had fired Pearl in 2011 after the NCAA charged him with unethical conduct and then additional violations surfaced.

“We respect the NCAA peer evaluation process and appreciate the panel recognized we took meaningful and contemporaneous penalties,” Pearl said in a statement. “It is time to put this behind us. As part of our penalty, I will begin my two-game suspension (Saturday) against Nebraska.”

The NCAA panel found that Person violated ethical conduct rules by accepting $91,500 in bribes from a financial advisor to steer prospects Austin Wiley and Danjel Purifoy to Auburn. The NCAA release didn’t name the coaches or players.

“The associate head coach violated the trust of his student-athletes and their families,” the panel wrote in its decision. “Rather than protect them, he intentionally brought opportunists into the Auburn men’s basketball program and, using his influence, introduced them to the student-athletes and their families.”

Person, who was fired by Auburn after his arrest, avoided prison time when a federal judge ordered him to do 200 hours of community service in July 2019.

Person, a former Auburn star and NBA player and assistant, received a 10-year show cause penalty while another assistant, Harris Adler, received a one-year show cause for allegedly paying a walk-on player’s tuition. During that period, any NCAA member school that hires them would have to restrict them from duties related to athletics or show why the restrictions shouldn’t apply.

The committee didn’t add to last season’s self-imposed postseason ban and other recruiting restrictions already enforced in previous seasons. Auburn also cut one scholarship in the 2020-21 season and will lose two more during the probation period.

The NCAA fined Auburn $5,000 plus 3% of the program’s budget. Auburn will vacate any wins during which the athletes played while ineligible.

Auburn held out both Wiley, a five-star recruit whose parents once starred for the Tigers, and Purifoy for the entire 2017-18 season.

“We are pleased that a conclusion has been reached in this case,” Auburn said in a statement. “For the last four years, Auburn has been proactive and cooperative with the NCAA enforcement staff and Committee on Infractions.

“We have been and will continue to be committed to NCAA rules compliance. As such, we accept all penalties and are ready to move forward.”

VIRGINIA NAMES CLEMSON’S TONY ELLIOTT AS NEXT FOOTBALL COACH

(AP) — Virginia didn’t have to extend its search for a new football coach beyond the Atlantic Coast Conference as the Cavaliers announced Friday they had tabbed longtime Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott to fill their vacancy.

Cavaliers athletic director Carla Williams announced Virginia was hiring Elliott, who will be introduced at a news conference next week. No details of his contract were released though Elliott earned about $2 million a year at Clemson.

“Coach Elliott is a winner, in every sense of the word. He is known for his character, humility, work ethic, skill set and passion for education,” Williams said in a release. “Coach Elliott is an exceptional leader of young men and he is highly regarded across college football as a talented teacher and coach. He is an outstanding recruiter who has been responsible for recruiting, signing and developing scholar-athletes while competing for and winning championships.”

Elliott will replace Bronco Mendenhall, who stunned the school on Dec. 2 by announcing he is stepping down after Virginia’s bowl game. In six seasons, Mendenhall has led the Cavaliers to four bowl games – they opted out after last season – and their first ACC championship berth in 2019. Virginia lost 62-17 in that matchup against Elliott and eventual national champion Clemson.

The 42-year-old Elliott has been the Tigers’ sole offensive coordinator since 2019. He was co-offensive coordinator from Clemson’s 2014 bowl game until Jeff Scott, with whom he shared the role, left to become the head coach at South Florida.

A recipient of the prestigious Frank Broyles Award as the top assistant coach in college football in 2017, Elliott oversaw an offense led by future No. 1 overall NFL draft choice Trevor Lawrence at quarterback and All-American tailback Travis Etienne.

This past season has been less impressive as the Tigers transitioned to sophomore DJ Uiagelelei at quarterback. Clemson finished the regular season ranked 78th nationally in scoring, averaging 26.8 points. They also dropped out of the Top 25 and missed the College Football Playoff for the first time in seven seasons.

Elliott is the Tigers’ second coordinator to leave this offseason. Defensive coordinator Brent Venables was hired Sunday as the new head coach at Oklahoma.

The Tigers played for four national championships in the past six years, winning in 2016-17 and 2018-19. Each time they bested previously unbeaten Alabama.

Elliott was a walk-on who played four years at Clemson. Despite modest career numbers of 34 catches for 455 yards and two touchdowns, he was voted a team captain his senior season while all winning All-ACC academic honors.

DUKE HIRES TEXAS A&M COORDINATOR MIKE ELKO AS FOOTBALL COACH

(AP) — Duke is turning to Texas A&M defensive coordinator Mike Elko to turn around its football program after a two-year slide and a winless Atlantic Coast Conference record.

The school announced Elko’s hiring Friday night, ending a nearly two-week process to hire the replacement for David Cutcliffe. The school announced Nov. 28 that Cutcliffe wouldn’t return following the first winless league mark of his 14 seasons. Yahoo! Sports first reported that Duke had reached an agreement with Elko.

Elko, 44, has spent the past four seasons as defensive coordinator and safeties coach at Texas A&M, he has also worked as a coordinator at Notre Dame, Wake Forest and Bowling Green in the past decade. This will be his first college head-coaching job.

In a statement, athletic director Nina King said Elko possesses “an innovative football mind and a natural ability to connect with both players and coaches around him.”

“The university has excelled in everything they’ve ever tried to do, whether that’d be in academics or athletics,” Elko said in a statement. “I’m excited to get to work.”

Elko’s stop in Winston-Salem with the Demon Deacons gave him experience working through similar challenges to what he’ll face in Durham, from working at an elite private university to relying on player development to compete in the ACC instead of repeatedly reloading with five-star prospects.

Wake Forest, led by coach Dave Clawson, won the league’s Atlantic Division and played in last weekend’s ACC championship game.

Elko led this year’s Aggies to rank third in the FBS in scoring defense (15.9 points per game) and No. 20 in total defense (327.5 yards). His defensive experience could be particularly valuable in helping Duke stabilize after a wobbly few years, which included surrendering 46.6 points per game against ACC opponents in 2021.

Duke was last out of 130 FBS teams in total defense (518 yards per game) and 127th in scoring defense (39.8 points).

But the defensive troubles were only part of what became a steep, and rapid, decline from the past two-plus seasons. That has returned Duke to the bottom of the ACC after Cutcliffe had transformed the program from one of the nation’s worst performers into a regular bowl contender and even an ACC division champion in 2013.

Duke won 77 games in Cutcliffe’s 14 seasons with six bowl appearances and three postseason wins, the program’s first since 1961. But the Blue Devils struggled amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with Duke having lost 23 of 29 games – including 21 of 23 in the ACC – dating to midway through the 2019 season. That includes 13 straight in league play since beating Syracuse in October 2020.

Still, Elko will inherit a program with better infrastructure than when Cutcliffe arrived in December 2007. That includes renovations to Wallace Wade Stadium to remove the track and add the Blue Devil Tower of suites, meeting space and media areas, as well as the construction of an indoor practice facility.

This marks the second major hire for King in her first year as athletic director. Shortly after King’s predecessor Kevin White retired, Duke announced that Hall of Fame men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski would retire after the 2021-22 season, with associate head coach and former Blue Devils player Jon Scheyer named his successor.

NEW OKLAHOMA COACH VENABLES HIRES LEBBY, ROOF AS ASSISTANTS

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) New Oklahoma coach Brent Venables hired Jeff Lebby as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach and Ted Roof as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach on Friday.

No. 14 Oklahoma made the announcement a few days after Venables replaced Lincoln Riley.

Lebby is a former Oklahoma offensive lineman who put together high-scoring units as offensive coordinator at Ole Miss (2020-21) and Central Florida (2019). He was a semifinalist in 2020 for the Broyles Award, which is presented to the nation’s top assistant coach.

“We’re thrilled to welcome to our staff maybe the hottest offensive coordinator in college football,” Venables said in a statement. “The more thoroughly we scouted Jeff, the more we became convinced that he has the character and ability we need and want at OU.”

Lebby was on staff at Baylor from 2008 to 2016. He coached running backs from 2012 to 2016 and was the passing game coordinator and offensive recruiting coordinator for the 2015 and ’16 seasons.

Roof is a former head coach at Duke who won a national championship as defensive coordinator at Auburn in 2010. He was a defensive analyst at Clemson this season after a number of stops around the country.

“Ted is one of the most experienced coordinators and one of the best teachers in all of college football, and he’s done it in some of the premier conferences in the sport – the SEC, Big Ten and ACC,” Venables said.

Venables also announced he is retaining assistants Cale Gundy, Bill Bedenbaugh, DeMarco Murray and Joe Jon Finley. Interim head coach Bob Stoops will coach the Sooners against No. 15 Oregon in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29.

KINGS’ FOX MISSES 2 FREE THROWS TO GIVE HORNETS 124-123 WIN

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) A confident De’Aaron Fox stepped the foul line for two shots with 2.4 seconds left and his team trailing by one.

After making his first eight free throws of the game, Fox said he was thinking “I’m going to make these two and we’re going to get out of here” with a win.

Then the unthinkable happened.

A 74.1% free-throw shooter coming into the game, Fox sent the first shot off the back rim, the crowd screaming and waving trying to distract him. They got louder on the next try, and Fox tried to overcompensate for the first miss by taking something off his second shot. The ball bounced off the front rim.

Marvin Bagley III tried for a tip-in, but it didn’t fall, and the Charlotte Hornets escaped with a wild 124-123 win over Sacramento on Friday night, snapping the Kings’ three-game win streak.

“I’m very disappointed because I wanted the ball in my hands,” said Fox, who finished with a game-high 31 points – including two free throws to tie the game with 20.2 seconds left. “They took the foul and you want to punish a team for making a mistake like that. But I missed them and there is nothing I can do about it now.”

Rookie James Bouknight, the 11th pick in the 2021 NBA draft, poured in a career-high 24 points on six 3-pointers lead the Hornets, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Miles Bridges added 23 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, and Kelly Oubre had 22 points. The Hornets had seven players out due to illness and NBA health and safety protocols.

Fox’s misses capped a wild final 5.5 seconds. With the game tied and the shot clock off, the Hornets were looking for one shot.

However, a frantic final possession turned into a what appeared to be an and-one after Cody Martin made a reverse layup on the baseline. But Kings coach Alvin Gentry challenged the play and won, and the basket was waived off. Martin went to the line for two shots – missing the first and making the second.

Then, Martin made a critical mental error, fouling Fox near midcourt as he was bringing the ball up the floor with 2.4 seconds left.

“I was just trying being too aggressive and I have to learn from that,” Martin said.

Martin said he knew the Kings were in the bonus and didn’t try to foul Fox intentionally, thinking the Hornets had a foul to give.

“The basketball gods were with us tonight,” Martin said.

Gentry said the team wouldn’t have been in that position without “Foxy (DeAaron Fox) and the way he played up until that point.

“It’s a tough loss for us to take, but we’ve got to take it and move on.”

BOUKNIGHT’S BREAKOUT

For Bouknight, Friday had been a long time coming.

He hasn’t seen much playing time since being drafted, in large part because of how well Martin has played. But he said he has remained confident and continued to focus in practice without getting down on himself.

Before the game, Bouknight told Hornets coach James Borrego, “I’m ready.”

“Miles Bridges has been telling me all year my time is going to come – and tonight it came,” said Bouknight, who finished 6 of 8 from 3-point range.

A PROUD COACH

Borrego said after the this game that this is the proudest he has ever been of a team after a win since his arrival in Charlotte four years ago.

“Just the resiliency of this team, to never give in, the fight, the perseverance and just the buy in of this group is just, I love this group,” Borrego said. “They never give up. We had seven of our top 10 rotation players out and those guys in that locker room deserve all the credit. They battled until the last second and they deserve all the credit.”

TIP INS

Kings: Alex Len got the start at center for Richaun Holmes, who did not play due to a right eye injury. Holmes came in averaging 14 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.

Hornets: P.J. Washington and Nick Richards didn’t play Friday night, and LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier, Mason Plumlee, Jalen McDaniels and Ish Smith were still out due to NBA health and safety protocols. … Amoldas Kulboka, a 2018 second-round draft pick by the Hornets, saw his first action with the team.

UP NEXT

Kings: At Cleveland on Saturday night.

Hornets: Open a six-game trip at Dallas on Monday night.

DURANT’S 31 POINTS POWER NETS PAST YOUNG, HAWKS 113-105

ATLANTA (AP) Kevin Durant and James Harden carried the heavy scoring load for the Brooklyn Nets, as usual.

Coach Steve Nash also credited his “bullpen” for closing out New Jersey’s win over Atlanta.

Durant scored 31 points, including a go-ahead jumper midway through the fourth quarter, and the Nets proved to be resilient once again, beating the Hawks 113-105 on Friday night.

New Jersey trailed 91-89 before outscoring Atlanta 24-14 in the final period.

Rookie Cam Thomas sank three 3-pointers while scoring 11 points off Brooklyn’s bench. Another backup, Nic Claxton, added four points and four rebounds while providing valuable defense as most of his minutes came in the final quarter.

“They’re both so versatile,” Nash said of Thomas and Claxton. “It really gives us a great bullpen, so to speak. … I think it just elevates our level of play at that end of the floor so much.”

With the 6-foot-11 Claxton sharing the defensive load on Atlanta point guard Trae Young, the Hawks made only 6 of 22 shots in the final period.

“It was just a good lineup to finish the game,” Durant said. “I’m glad the defense won it for us.”

Young led Atlanta with 31 points but made 2 of 7 shots from the field in the fourth.

“We both played good defense,” Young said. “They played better defense in the fourth. I’ve got to do a better job of making shots in the fourth.”

Harden had 20 points and 11 assists for Brooklyn, which is 2-0 against Atlanta this season.

The Nets, protecting their slim lead over Chicago for the best record in the Eastern Conference, improved to 8-0 following losses this season. Durant and LaMarcus Aldridge, who had 15 points, were rested in Wednesday night’s 114-104 loss at Houston.

John Collins had 20 points and Kevin Huerter added 19 for the Hawks.

There were three ties early in the final period, including at 95-all. Durant’s jumper sparked an 8-0 run that gave the Nets a 103-95 lead. Harden had four points in the run.

Atlanta answered with seven straight points, including a 3-pointer and another basket by Young, to pull to within 103-102. The Hawks couldn’t complete the comeback.

The Hawks led 73-62 early in the third period.

Thomas, coming off a season-high 18 points against Houston, had three 3s in the period, including one that tied it at 86-all.

Thomas added another 3 to give Brooklyn its first lead of the half, 89-88. Danilo Gallinari answered with a 3 to give Atlanta the lead entering the final period.

TIP-INS

Nets: Nash acknowledged he worries about the toll of excessive minutes logged by the 32-year-old Harden. He played 41 minutes, his fifth game in the last six logging at least 39. … Aldridge set a season high with three blocked shots. Durant also had three blocks.

Hawks: Clint Capela posted his 16th double-double of the season with 14 points and 16 rebounds. … Huerter opened the game by making two 3-pointers. The Hawks didn’t make another 3 in the period but they closed the half with another 3 from Huerter. He made 5 of 7 3s.

REDDISH RETURNS

Hawks forward Cam Reddish scored four points in his return after missing four games with a sprained left wrist. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot remained in the starting lineup, but did not score.

Reddish scored all his points on free throws. He was 0 for 6 from the field.

“He didn’t get his shot to fall tonight, but he’ll get back into it,” Young said. “When he’s in a groove, it’s a lot better for our team.”

Reddish adds important depth on the wing. The issue became more critical with Wednesday’s announcement that Solomon Hill is expected to miss the remainder of the season with a torn right hamstring tendon.

Atlanta also is without De’Andre Hunter, who is recovering from surgery on his right wrist, and Bogdan Bogdanovic, who missed his fifth consecutive game due to a sprained right ankle.

STRENGTH VS. STRENGTH

One game after setting a franchise record by making 25 3-pointers in a 121-110 win at Minnesota on Monday, the Hawks made 11 of 34 3s. Entering the game, Atlanta led the NBA in 3-point shooting, making 38.6%, while Brooklyn led the league in 3-point defense, allowing 30.5%.

ALL GOOD

Durant and Young each drew technical fouls for a brief skirmish in the final period. The two were separated and downplayed the incident after the game.

“He wanted me to get out of his space and I understand that,” Durant said.

UP NEXT

Nets: Wrap up a four-game trip at Detroit on Sunday night.

Hawks: Play Houston on Monday night.

TRENT JR. SCORES 24, RAPTORS BEAT STRUGGLING KNICKS 90-87

TORONTO (AP) Gary Trent Jr. scored 24 points, Fred VanVleet had 17 points and 11 assists, and the Toronto Raptors won their 10th straight home meeting against New York on Friday night, beating the Knicks 90-87.

Scottie Barnes had 12 points and a career-high 15 rebounds and Pascal Siakam had 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Raptors, who let a 20-point first quarter lead slip away but held on to win their third in four games.

Toronto has held its opponent below 100 points in four of its past five games.

“Coach has been harping on defense,” Trent said. “We’ve been working at it, we’ve been getting after it. Every day when we come in, we’re putting the pieces together, slowly but surely figuring it out.”

The Knicks’ Obi Toppin scored a career-high 19 points and added 10 rebounds, Julius Randle had 13 points and 14 rebounds, and RJ Barrett scored 19 points.

New York trailed 30-10 less than 10 minutes into the game and lost for the sixth time in their past eight.

“It’s a shame not to come out of here with a win, but the way we started the game really hurt us,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said.

The Knicks also fell behind by double digits in the first half of Wednesday’s loss at Indiana.

“We’ve got to have our intensity going from the beginning of the game,” Barrett said. “We can’t let teams come in and hit us first before we decide to wake up and play.”

Barrett’s 3 with 2:48 remaining brought the Knicks to within three at 86-83, and his driving shot on the next possession made it a one-point game with 2:05 to go.

After Trent committed an offensive foul, Derrick Rose made a jump shot to give the visitors an 87-86 lead, but Trent’s 3 with 1:11 left put Toronto back on top, 89-87.

Trent’s big shot came after Barnes grabbed the rebound on VanVleet’s miss. Toronto finished with 48 rebounds to New York’s 55.

“We outrebounded them but we gave up costly ones when it counted the most,” Thibodeau said.

Both teams missed shots before Randle’s potential game-winning 3 rimmed out with 3.2 seconds to play. Trent was fouled and made one of two, putting Toronto up 90-87 with 0.6 seconds to go. Barrett got a shot off before the buzzer, but it fell short.

“Definitely a great look for what we had on the clock,” Barrett said.

Siakam shot 3 for 13 in the first half, and finished 3 for 18, but went 7 for 8 at the line.

“Just one of those nights for him, not quite knocking them down,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. “But I thought he played a really good game.”

The Raptors led 31-14 after one, with five of their nine made baskets coming from 3-point land. Things changed in the second, and Immanuel Quickley’s 3 with 4:43 left in the half capped a 29-9 Knicks run over two quarters that tied the score at 39-39. Siakam scored the final four points of the half, and Toronto led 50-42 at the intermission.

The Raptors took a 69-65 lead to the fourth.

CHECK YOUR HEALTH

One day after Raptors president Masai Ujiri announced he was among those to test positive for COVID-19 after attending his charity gala Sunday, Toronto Public Health asked anyone at Sunday’s sold-out game against Washington to self-monitor for symptoms for 10 days. The Raptors have announced capacity crowds of 19,800 at all 14 home games this season.

ISOLATION PLAY

Raptors super fan Nav Bhatia missed a home game for the first time in franchise history, staying home to isolate because he was at the Ujiri’s charity gala. “My heart is breaking right now,” Bhatia wrote in an Instagram post. Bhatia gave his baseline ticket to actor Kal Penn, who intends to produce and star in a movie about Bhatia, the first fan inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

DRAWING A CROWD

The Toronto-born Barrett had almost 1,000 friends and family at the game, his second in Toronto. Barrett had 300 friends and family in the crowd for his first pro game there in November 2019.

TIP-INS

Knicks: New York’s most recent road win against Toronto was a 111-109 victory on Nov. 10, 2015, when the referees missed Knicks star Carmelo Anthony step out of bounds on a pivotal play late in the game. . Knicks starters Noel and Alec Burks went scoreless in the first half. . Rose scored 11 points.

Raptors: New York’s bench had 20 points in the second, outscoring Toronto’s entire team (19 points). . All five Raptors starters scored 10 or more points. … Toronto was without forward OG Anunoby (left hip) and center Khem Birch (right knee) for the 11th straight game. Center Precious Achiuwa (sore right shoulder) missed his second straight.

UP NEXT

Knicks: Host Milwaukee on Sunday.

Raptors: Host Sacramento on Monday.

INGRAM SCORES 26, PELICANS EXTEND PISTONS’ SKID TO 11 GAMES

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Brandon Ingram scored 26 points and the New Orleans Pelicans defeated Detroit 109-93 on Friday night, extending the Pistons’ losing streak to 11 games.

Ingram has averaged nearly 22 points in his past five games, including a 40-point outing.

“He’s getting into a groove,” Pelicans first-year coach Willie Green said. “He’s starting to see different defenses and know how to pick them apart.”

Jonas Valanciunas had 17 points and 11 rebounds for New Orleans, which trailed by as many as 15 points in the second quarter but led by as many as 27 in the second half.

Josh Hart had 14 points and 13 rebounds, and Nickeil Alexander-Walker also scored 14 for the Pelicans, who took the lead for good in the third quarter, when they outscored the Pistons 29-12.

“We got some stops. I think that’s what it came down to,” Ingram said. “Guys just pushed the pace and we got the best shot for our offense and we just continued to do it over and over again.”

Trey Lyles scored 18 on 7-of-8 shooting and rookie Cade Cunningham added 16 points for Detroit, but the Pistons missed 19 of 24 shots in the decisive third quarter.

“We collapsed. We totally gave in to adversity,” Detroit coach Dwane Casey said. “You should know the team is going to come out and make a run.

“We can’t continue to come out after halftime and not be ready to compete,” Casey added. “There were a lot of little breakdowns we had defensively. There were things we didn’t do on offense. We missed about six layups.”

With both clubs struggling early this season, the Pistons opened the game seemingly sensing that their stop in the Big Easy represented a good chance to end their skid.

Cunningham scored 11 of his points in the first half and Detroit led by as many as 15 points in the second quarter when Hamidou Diallo’s soaring dunk, set up by Cory Joseph’s no-look bounce pass, made it 43-28.

But Ingram scored 11 of his 24 first-half points in the final 4:38 of the second quarter, including his 3 while being fouled by Saddiq Bey for a 4-point play. Soon after, Ingram hit two more free throws to briefly put New Orleans in front before Stewart’s 16-foot pull-up put the Pistons ahead 55-54 at halftime.

Ingram said he was aggressive shooting the ball in the first half because he “knew this was a game where Detroit wanted to come in and hit us first.”

New Orleans then opening the third quarter with a 10-0 run that included 3s by Devonte’ Graham and rookie Herbert Jones. The Pelicans’ lead ballooned to 18 points later in the period when Alexander-Walker made a 3 and layup in succession.

TIP-INS

Pistons: Diallo and Jeremi Grant each scored 11 points … Pistons reserves combined for 46 points. … Detroit shot 39.6% (36 of 91).

Pelicans: Jones scored 10 points for New Orleans while Graham and Garrett Temple each scored nine on three 3-pointers apiece. … Green said he expects to give more playing time to guard Tomas Satoransky in the wake of Kira Lewis Jr.’s major knee injury. “He’s earned it. He’s been playing better,” Green said of Satoransky. “He’s a guy that’s done it for a number of years. He’s proven, but everybody has to step up.” Lewis, a 2020 first-round draft choice, tore an ACL during Wednesday night’s loss to Denver. … Valanciunas accidentally elbowed official Bill Kennedy in the face while going up for a jump ball, knocking Kennedy to the floor.

RISING OPTIMISM

The Pelicans have improved in recent weeks while awaiting star forward Zion Williamson’s return from an offseason foot fracture. Since starting 2-14, New Orleans has won six of 12.

“The fight and the competitiveness has been great and I still feel like we gave a couple games away,” Hart said. “So 6-6 is a step in the right direction. That realistically could have been 8-4, 9-3, and that’s something that comes with growing, comes with learning. … For the most part, I’m definitely happy with where we are and where we’re going as a team.”

UP NEXT

Pistons: Host Brooklyn on Sunday.

Pelicans: Visit San Antonio on Sunday.

MILWAUKEE ENDS HOUSTON’S 7-GAME STREAK WITH 123-114 WIN

HOUSTON (AP) Giannis Antetokounmpo had 41 points and 17 rebounds, and the Milwaukee Bucks snapped the Houston Rockets’ seven-game winning streak with a 123-114 victory Friday night.

“I was just looking to be aggressive,” he said. “Last game I wasn’t as aggressive as I wanted.”

Houston hadn’t fallen since ending a 15-game losing streak No. 24. The Rockets led by 10 at one point Friday and hung around until the Bucks pulled away in the fourth.

Eric Gordon’s 3-pointer got Houston within 1 before Khris Middleton scored the last five points of a 7-0 stretch to extend Milwaukee’s lead to 117-109 with about four minutes to go.

Houston scored the next three points, with a layup by Christian Wood. But Jrue Holiday intercepted a bad pass by Garrison Mathews and dished it to Antetokounmpo for a dunk that made it 119-112 with less than a minute left and sent fans toward the exits.

Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer was asked about the play of Antetokounmpo and Middleton down the stretch.

“When you have a good team and have players like that, you’re fortunate to put the ball in their hands and let them make plays,” he said.

Mathews led the Rockets with a season-high 23 points and made a career-best six 3-pointers. Wood and Armoni Brooks had 21 apiece for Houston.

Jae’Sean Tate had six points for Houston with nine assists and a steal.

“He’s very much the pulse and heart and soul on what we have going on,” coach Stephen Silas said.

Bobby Portis and Middleton added 21 points each for Milwaukee as the Bucks won for the 11th time in 13 games.

Budenholzer raved about the defense of Wesley Matthews, who was signed less than a week ago.

“He just has that focus that I think you need,” he said. “He’s delivered early in a good way and we’re excited that we have everything he brings to the table. I thought he was huge tonight.”

Milwaukee trailed by eight early in the fourth quarter before scoring the next 10 points, capped by a 3 from Antetokounmpo, to take a 100-98 lead with about 8 1/2 minutes remaining.

Gordon ended Houston’s scoring drought a few seconds later when he made a 3.

Houston led by seven at halftime, but the Bucks opened the third quarter with a 10-3 run to tie it at 68 with about 9 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter.

The game was tied again about two minutes later when a dunk by Antetokounmpo put the Bucks up 75-73.

Holiday made two free throws to get Milwaukee within two late in the third quarter, but Josh Christopher hit a 3 for Houston to extend the lead to 95-90 entering the fourth quarter.

TIP-INS

Bucks: Budenholzer received a technical in the second quarter for yelling at officials about a foul call. … G George Hill missed his fourth straight game with a hyperextended right knee. … Holiday scored 12 points with seven assists.

Rockets: G Jalen Green was out for the seventh consecutive game with a strained left hamstring. … G Kevin Porter Jr. missed a third straight game with a bruised left thigh. … F Danuel House sat out for a second game with a sprained left ankle.

BLOCK PARTY

Antetokounmpo had two blocks to give him 805, passing Alton Lister (804) for most in franchise history.

He set the record when he stuffed a layup by rookie Alperen Sengun midway through the second quarter.

“It’s big time, a great compliment to my career, but I’ve got to keep getting better, keep defending better,” Antetokounmpo said.

SENGUN’S NIGHT

Sengun scored a career-high 15 points for Houston, but Silas kept him on the bench for the last few minutes of the game.

“I wanted to figure out a way to keep him in the game, but when they have Giannis at the 5, it was hard,” Silas said.

UP NEXT

Bucks: Visit the Knicks on Sunday.

Rockets: Visit Memphis on Saturday night.

7 CAVS SCORE IN DOUBLE DIGITS FOR 123-106 WIN OVER WOLVES

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Jarrett Allen scored 21 points and added 10 rebounds, Darius Garland and Kevin Love also had double-doubles, and the Cleveland Cavaliers used a fast start to cruise 123-106 over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night.

Love scored 18 points and had a season-high 13 rebounds off the bench against his former team, and Garland scored 12 points to go with a career-high tying 12 assists. All told, Cleveland had seven players score in double digits: Lauri Markkanen (19), Isaac Okoro (season-high 16), Cedi Osman (13) and Evan Mobley (11).

Winners of two straight and six of eight, Cleveland is one of the surprise teams in the NBA this season at 15-12.

“We come into every game with that dog mentality, the underdog,” Okoro said. “I feel teams are starting to respect us now and we got to keep on fighting.”

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 12 of his 21 points in garbage time, Malik Beasley had 15 points off the bench and Anthony Edwards scored 13 for Minnesota, which shot 39.1% from the field and again missed too many layups and other close shots. The Wolves are a combined 60 for 128 on attempts in the paint the past three games.

“The start was poor, and the rest of the game was wholly unacceptable. In this league, if you don’t set the tone early, everybody has a good and comfortable night,” coach Chris Finch said.

The Cavaliers shot 54.1% from the floor, including 61.5% in the first half in opening a 26-point lead before the break. Cleveland also outrebounded Minnesota 47-40.

The Timberwolves have lost five straight. Minnesota averages the second-most 3-point attempts in the league with 42.3 a game, but went a mere 11 of 39 Friday, including 1 of 10 in the opening quarter and 3 of 19 in the first half.

Towns is frustrated at his team’s struggles.

“The last three games, we’re getting spanked. We’re not losing, we’re getting spanked,” he said. “You can have those little moral victories we’ve been talking about for seven years since I’ve been here. We play well, we just don’t win. We’re the better team, we just didn’t hit shots. That’s not the case. We come in here and getting beat. It’s as simple as that.”

Taking advantage of a decided size advantage, Cleveland used a 14-0 run – four dunks and a pair of 3-pointers – for a 20-4 lead less than five minutes into the game. The lead grew to as much as 26 before intermission. Minnesota got within 18 midway through the third quarter but trailed 92-71 heading to the fourth.

“We understand the NBA is a league where a 20-point lead might not be that big actually because teams go on runs,” Markkanen said. “We talked at halftime . that we needed to win the third quarter and have a big start. We can’t start messing around with the game.”

TIP-INS

Cavaliers: Since Nov. 1, Cleveland is 7-2 away from home, a 77.8% winning percentage. Only Phoenix (8-1, .889) and Brooklyn (9-2, .818) have better road records in that span. . Former Timberwolves’ G Ricky Rubio had six points and eight assists. . Playing in just his eighth game of the season and first since Nov. 18, 7-foot-6 Tacko Fall scored with 2:55 left to provide one of the biggest roars of the night from the crowd.

Timberwolves: Minnesota starters were a combined minus-117. . Although he worked out on the court pregame, PG D’Angelo Russell (right ankle soreness) missed his third straight game.

UP NEXT

Cavaliers: Host Sacramento on Saturday to open a three-game homestand.

Timberwolves: At Portland on Sunday, the first of two straight road contests.

LEBRON SCORES 33, LAKERS ROLL PAST THUNDER 116-95

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) The Los Angeles Lakers were ready for the Thunder this time. Having LeBron James on the court was a big reason why.

James scored 33 points on 13-of-20 shooting, and the Lakers rolled past Oklahoma City 116-95 on Friday night.

James – who sat out the Lakers’ first two games against the Thunder this season, both losses – had six assists and five rebounds. Avery Bradley added a season-high 22 points for the Lakers, who moved one game above .500.

“There’s teams that we should have beaten that we didn’t beat,” Lakers center DeAndre Jordan said. “And we don’t want to look back in April, whatever it is and, `Oh wow, we could have had home-court advantage. We could have did this, we could have done that if we would have finished a game out an extra eight minutes.'”

Rookie Tre Mann scored a season-high 19 points for Oklahoma City. He brought the crowd to its feet with a powerful right-handed jam over Wayne Ellington seconds after James had dunked on him on the other end.

Mann got a confidence boost matching up against some of the league’s best.

“It’ll help out a lot going out there and knowing I can go out there and play against the best players. But that was something that I was telling myself before the game, that when I got in, I was going to go in there and try to go at them,” Mann said.

Thunder scoring leader Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who came in averaging 21.9 points per game, finished with 11 points on 5-of-12 shooting.

The Lakers led by 25 points in the second quarter, but the Thunder cut it to 12 before the Lakers re-asserted themselves and led 64-45 at the break. James had 23 points in the first half on 9-for-10 shooting. The Lakers shot 54% from the field and 59% from 3-point range before the break.

The Lakers led 93-68 at the end of the third quarter.

“It’s not about who’s going, it’s about the ball finding the open man,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “Everybody out there can score, and I try to try to give a message that … it’s going to come down to everyone trusting each other and not worrying about who’s performing at a high level on a given night.”

TULSA SURVIVORS

Two survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre attended their first-ever NBA game. Viola Ford Fletcher, 107, and her brother, Hughes Van Ellis, 100, received a standing ovation from the crowd when they were shown on the big screen.

INJURY UPDATE

Lakers star Anthony Davis sat out with a sore left knee. Vogel didn’t have many details.

“I don’t really know exactly what the next steps are other than the medical team just said we want to find out exactly what it is before we put him out there,” Vogel said.

RISING ROOKIE

Former University of Oklahoma star Austin Reaves, a rookie, scored a season-high 13 points for the Lakers. He had been hampered by a hamstring issue.

“He’s looked like he’s still a player coming back from injury in his first couple of games back until tonight,” Vogel said. “And I think tonight was what you see with what he’s capable of and what he does on both sides of the ball. And you know, that’s the performance I was I was looking for from him.”

MILESTONE

Jordan became the 41st player to grab 10,000 rebounds in the NBA. The 14th-year player has 10,002 in his career.

TIP-INS

Lakers: Bradley made 6 of 8 3-pointers. … Former Thunder guard Russell Westbrook finished with eight points, nine rebounds and eight assists.

Thunder: Missed all 11 of their 3-point attempts in the first quarter. They made 10 of 44 overall. … Wore their gray and white City Edition uniforms and played on their alternate court. … Lu Dort made 4 of 17 shots. … Rookie Josh Giddey had 12 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.

UP NEXT

Lakers: Host Orlando on Sunday.

Thunder: Host Dallas on Sunday.

McGee scores 21, Suns roll past Celtics 111-90

PHOENIX (AP) JaVale McGee always brings the energy. On Friday night, he also brought the buckets.

The 7-footer had season highs of 21 points and 15 rebounds, Chris Paul added 12 assists and the Phoenix Suns rolled to a 111-90 win over the Boston Celtics.

The Suns won for the 20th time in 21 games despite missing starters Devin Booker (hamstring) and Deandre Ayton (non-COVID illness). Booker has missed four games in a row, while Ayton was a late scratch because he didn’t feel well at the morning shootaround.

McGee picked up the slack, shooting 9 of 16 from the field and even knocking down a 3-pointer, just the 11th in his 14-year career. The big man was one of Phoenix’s most important pickups during free agency, and he’s quickly become a fan favorite because of his hustle.

“Big time,” Suns forward Jae Crowder said. “We’re down men right now and to get that out of him in a starting role was crucial for us tonight. He did a great job.”

Coach Monty Williams said: “JaVale was the catalyst tonight.”

The veteran is on pace to average more than 10 points per game for just the fourth time.

“There’s a lot of things on this team that work for the center position if you’re doing it the right way,” McGee said. “I pride myself on being extremely efficient with the minutes they give me.”

Seven Suns scored in double figures. Cam Payne had 17 points while Jae Crowder and Cameron Johnson both added 16.

The Celtics have lost three straight, fell to 13-14 and lost four of five games during their West Coast road trip. This one was particularly rough. Boston’s offense looked disjointed all night, and nobody could shoot.

Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 24 points but went just 10 of 25 from the field. Marcus Smart was 1 of 13. The entire team was 4 of 26 (15%) from 3-point range.

“It was kind of like a snowball effect,” Tatum said. “One turnover, one miss, it just built and built. Instead of moving on to the next play, we kind of let it carry over. We let our offense affect our defense and then they got rolling.”

Phoenix took an 84-69 lead after the third quarter and pushed that advantage to 20 points by early in the fourth to cruise to the win.

Boston was without Jaylen Brown (hamstring) and Josh Richardson (COVID-19 protocol) and, unlike the Suns’ absences, the Celtics appeared lost. Celtics coach Ime Udoka said it’s a problem, but certainly not the only one.

“You still have to play with proper respect and effort,” Udoka said. “We didn’t do that the last two games.”

JALEN’S CHANCE

Suns second-year forward Jalen Smith got the rare chance for extended playing time since Ayton wasn’t in the lineup. The 6-foot-10 backup finished with seven points and nine rebounds.

The No. 10 overall pick in the 2020 draft has had a disappointing start to his career and barely played during the team’s run to the NBA Finals last season.

He’s still awkward at times but did have some good moments Friday. He made a 3-pointer and threw down a powerful dunk after a smooth pass from Paul, as well as adding a steal and two blocks.

TIP-INS

Celtics: C Bruno Fernando (back spasms) also didn’t play. … Smart missed his first 11 shots before knocking down the 12th attempt in the third quarter.

Suns: Ayton missed his seventh game of the season. He joined Booker, F Abdel Nader (knee) and F/C Frank Kaminsky (knee) on the injured list. … The feisty Suns picked up three technical fouls – one each for Bridges, Paul and Crowder. It was Bridges’ first career technical in four seasons.

UP NEXT

Celtics: Begin a five-game homestand against the Bucks on Monday.

Suns: Travel to face the Clippers on Monday.

REPORT: KERR SET TO BE NAMED TEAM USA HEAD COACH

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr is expected to be formally named head coach of the U.S. senior men’s national basketball team in the near future, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Kerr’s staff will include the New Orleans Pelicans’ Monty Williams, Miami Heat bench boss Erik Spoelstra, and Gonzaga head coach Mark Few.

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich guided Team USA to a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics. His contract with USA Basketball ended at the completion of the Summer Games.

Kerr, who played for Popovich while with the Spurs as part of a 15-year NBA career, was an assistant on his former mentor’s staff at the 2019 FIBA World Cup and 2020 Olympics.

Appointing Kerr will be new USA Basketball managing director Grant Hill’s first major decision.

BETTMAN: NHL STILL PLANNING TO HAVE PLAYERS GO TO OLYMPICS

(AP) — The NHL is sticking to its plan to allow its players to compete in the Beijing Olympics.

For now.

Speaking at the conclusion of the board of governors meeting in Florida, Commissioner Gary Bettman said Friday the league will continue to honor its commitment to giving players the opportunity to compete for gold in February.

But there is still no clarity on what happens if an NHL player tests positive for COVID-19 in China, including the length of a potential quarantine and if the individual will be allowed to leave the country during that period. Any significant disruption to the NHL schedule also could alter the league’s thinking on the Olympics.

“We made a promise,” Bettman said during a news conference at the Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa following the board’s first face-to-face meeting since 2019. “It’s not like we haven’t expressed our concerns. But in the final analysis, subject to some caveats, with all of the issues that are being raised … the players, for the most part, seem to continue to be saying they want to go.”

The league made that promise to the NHL Players’ Association when the extension to the current collective bargaining agreement was signed ahead of pandemic-delayed 2019-20 season. The two parties then inked a deal with the International Ice Hockey Federation on the Games in September.

“Our concerns have only been magnified,” Bettman said of going to Beijing. “But ultimately, we made a commitment.”

Vegas Golden Knights goalie Robin Lehner became the first player to opt out earlier this week.

“We have concerns, and we’ve expressed those to the players’ association,” Bettman said. “We’ve seen that a number of players are now expressing concerns. We’ll have to see how this ultimately plays out.”

Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the league could pull out of the Olympics at any point because of COVID-19, but Jan. 10 is the deadline to nix the plan without financial penalty.

The NHL went to every Olympics from 1998 through 2014 before declining to send its players to the 2018 Games in South Korea.

Owners have always been lukewarm on the showcase even under perfect health and safety conditions for a number of reasons, including the disruption to the league calendar.

“I don’t think that this is going to be the ideal Olympic experience in terms of the lockdowns in the Olympic Village and everything else that’s going on,” Bettman said. “But again, we made a promise to the players, and I’m going, to the best of our ability, adhere to it, understanding that there may be consequences that nobody’s gonna like.

“But we made a promise.”

The other big topic Friday was the evolving Arizona Coyotes situation.

The City of Glendale informed the team this week it intends to lock the club out of Gila River Arena by Dec. 20 if all outstanding debts to the city and the building’s management company were not paid.

Glendale city manager Kevin Phelps sent a letter Wednesday informing the Coyotes they owed $1.3 million in taxes, including $250,000 to the city.

“There’s no issue with the Arizona Coyotes,” Bettman said. “It’s clear that the City of Glendale has either an agenda or an edge in the way they’re dealing with the Coyotes. I think there was a miscommunication.

“All of the outstanding obligations had been brought current.”

When the Coyotes first moved from Winnipeg in 1996, the team shared America West Arena with the NBA’s Phoenix Suns in downtown Phoenix. The team moved to Gila River Arena in 2003, but faced near-constant relocation rumors as ownership changed hands.

The team has submitted a bid for a tract of land in Tempe – another Phoenix suburb – in what could be its first step in landing a permanent home. Bettman, meanwhile, said there are venue options for the Coyotes next season if their current home remains off the table.

“The Coyotes aren’t going anywhere. … They’re going somewhere else other than Glendale, but they’re not leaving the greater Phoenix area,” Bettman said.

Bettman said the salary cap, which has remained stagnant at $81.5 million during the pandemic, will rise by $1 million next season. He added league revenues are expected to hit $5.2 billion in 2021-22 – a return to pre-pandemic levels.

TOP INDIANA SPORTS NEWS/RELEASES

GAME REWIND: PACERS 106, MAVERICKS 93

Game Recap

Despite losing head coach Rick Carlisle to health and safety protocols, the Pacers (12-16) knocked off the Dallas Mavericks, 106-93, in front of a raucous crowd at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. The victory clinched Indiana’s first three-game winning streak of the season.

Indiana brought a bit of everything to the matchup for acting head coach Lloyd Pierce. After ending the first quarter on 9-of-25 shooting, the squad turned it around in the second by finishing 12-of-22 with six 3-pointers. When Dallas threatened down the stretch, the Pacers’ defense forced the Mavs’ offense into a 4:30 scoring drought. Leading 98-93 with 2:33 left, Caris LeVert and Malcolm Brogdon both hit dagger threes to put the game away for good. LeVert finished with a team-high 26 points, six boards, five assists, and two steals in the win.

“I think, for us, we tried to do it for Rick (Carlisle) tonight,” LeVert said postgame. “We know how much this game meant to him.”

Three others finished in double figures for Indiana. Domantas Sabonis (24 points, 10 rebounds) and Myles Turner (17 points, 10 boards) both finished with double-doubles, and Brogdon finished with 12 and eight assists. The Blue & Gold also got big minutes from Kelan Martin and Oshae Brissett off the bench, finishing with +/- ratings of +14 and +12, respectively.

“I just thought our guys were locked in,” Pierce said. “This could have gone in any way. These situations are always tricky. Someone’s out — especially a head coach — you’re playing at home against a team with a lot of emotion…I thought we just tried to be Indiana and play Indiana basketball.”

Dallas (12-13) earned an early lead behind the hot hands of its 3-point threat, Kristaps Porzingis. The 7-3 power forward started 3-of-4 from the floor, including 2-of-3 from deep, to take a 10-4 lead at the 8:03 mark.

The Blue & Gold used a small 6-0 spree to knot things up at 10 after Chris Duarte sank a pair of free throws. Later, with 3:54 to play, Turner earned Indiana’s first lead of the game, 15-14, on a deep three from the top of the key.

However, the Mavs quickly regained a lead using an 8-2 rally. A baseline trey by Brogdon after three-straight offensive boards brought Indiana back to within two with 33.8 seconds left. Yet, the visitors kept a 26-22 advantage after one.

The visitors stretched their lead to eight before Indiana caught fire. The squad rattled off seven straight, including five quick ones from Brissett on consecutive possessions, to cut the lead to 30-29 with 10:00 to play.

Later, Brissett continued to provide the fireworks. After LeVert nailed a three to earn a 36-34 lead, the former Syracuse forward powered home a Karl Malone-esque, one-handed slam in transition to stretch the lead to four.

Then, consecutive triples by LeVert and Martin concluded a streak of nine straight makes as Indiana stretched its lead to 44-36 with 6:18 to play. The Mavs managed to cut the lead to four, but the Pacers went right back to work after a timeout.

Hustling for a putback dunk, Duarte earned a trip to the charity stripe for a pair of free throws. Then, Sabonis added five more to extend the Pacers’ lead to 51-42 with 3:34 to play.

The Pacers then went cold, tallying just two points in a 3:29 span. The Mavs threatened to take the lead into the half. However, Turner knocked in his second trey with 5.0 seconds left to give Indiana a 56-54 advantage at the break.

The Pacers methodically picked apart the Mavs’ defense in the early moments of the third. Three of the squad’s first four buckets of the frame carried an assist, including LeVert’s dish for a Sabonis layup that gave Indiana a 65-59 lead with 8:33 to play.

Over the next few minutes, the story remained the same. Indiana patiently found several buckets in the paint to maintain a steady lead over the midway mark of the third. Sabonis was the primary beneficiary, notching eight, including a pair of free throws at the 4:44 mark to grab a 73-67 lead.

However, Dallas quickly responded with a run of seven unanswered to earn a one-point edge with 3:27 left. Turner ended the spree with a massive driving dunk, pushing the Pacers back in front, 75-74.

The Mavs used another small spurt of 6-0 to regain a five-point edge. However, the Pacers quickly flipped the script to end the frame.

The Blue & Gold tallied seven straight – five from LeVert – over the final 1:04 to grab an 82-80 edge entering the fourth. LeVert’s spurt included an ice-cold three with 2.4 seconds left to excite the crowd.

The Pacers’ frontcourt crashed the offensive boards to extend their lead early in the fourth. Brissett and Martin hustled for putbacks on consecutive possessions to give the Pacers an 87-80 lead with 10:11 remaining.

But Dallas came roaring back, responding with seven straight to knot the score at 87 on Doncic’s layup with 8:40 left.

Utilizing their tough defense, the Pacers clung to a slim lead. The squad held Dallas scoreless for a 4:30 span. Meanwhile, Brogdon muscled in two reverse layups to stretch Indiana’s lead to 94-89 at the 4:51 mark. LeVert added four more to give Indiana an eight-point edge.

Leading 98-93 with 2:33 to play, Brogdon and LeVert drilled back-to-back threes in 36 seconds to stretch the lead to double-digits. The buckets shut the door for good and capped another stellar performance from the Blue & Gold.

Indiana rounds out its six-game homestand with a tough matchup against Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors on Monday night.

Inside the Numbers

Indiana dished out 28 assists tonight while committing just 12 turnovers.

The Pacers won the rebounding battle, 43-38, while snagging 12 offensive boards.

Four Pacers finished with a +/- rating in double figures tonight: Sabonis (+23), LeVert (+16), Martin (+14), and Brissett (+12).

You Can Quote Me On That

“For me, I think he is not afraid of the moment. I think he’s always looking for the moment. I thought he took one bad shot in the fourth quarter — about the three-minute mark — in, kind of, a way guys are looking for those big plays. You have to live with that. That shot led to the three at the end because he’s not afraid of the moment, and it doesn’t rattle him. Really, some guys have an ‘it factor,’ and I think he has a little bit of that. That shot was huge at the end.” –Pierce on LeVert’s play

“For someone who hasn’t really been playing like that, to come in and have the impact he’s had over the last couple games, it’s extremely hard to do. I think that just speaks to who he is as a person, his energy level, and his ability to stay locked in.” –LeVert on Brissett’s play as of late

“It’s great. I’’s big. We know Rick (Carlisle) wanted to be here. We know he really wanted to go against them and get this win. We’re glad we got this for him.” –Sabonis on the win tonight

Stat of the Night

The Pacers’ defense limited Dallas to 13 points on 6-of-22 (27 percent) shooting in the fourth quarter.

Noteworthy

As of Friday night, Indiana holds claim to the longest winning streak in the Eastern Conference at three wins.

Indiana improves to an even 20-20 all-time against the Mavericks at home.

The Blue & Gold have won eight games this season by 10 points or more.

Up Next

The Pacers wrap up their six-game homestand on Monday, Dec. 13 at 7:00 PM ET, when they host Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

CINCY BESTS INDY IN FRIDAY NIGHT MATCHUP

CINCINNATI – ​​The Indy Fuel fell to the Cincinnati Cyclones 6-2 on Friday night. This was the fifth of 13 matchups between the two teams during the 2021-22 season.

The Fuel outshot the Cyclones 16-10 throughout the first and were awarded four of the period’s seven total power play opportunities but were unable to get anything past Cincy goaltender Sean Bonar. The Cyclones’ Jack Van Boekel and Yushiroh Hirano both scored equal strength goals and Lukas Craggs notched a power play goal to end the first period 3-0.

It didn’t take long into the second for the Cyclones to give themselves some insurance with an equal strength goal from Johnny Coughlin. Each team was given four power play chances throughout the period, although neither were able to convert.

A little over three minutes into the third period, the Cyclones had a two-man advantage after the Fuel’s Riley McKay was given four minutes for roughing and Cedric Lacroix was given two for high-sticking. Cincy’s Dajon Mingo made the score 5-0 with a power play goal, but less than a minute later Brent Gates finally got the Fuel on the board. Cincinnati would solidify their lead with a Kyle Thacker goal late in the third. However with just seven seconds left in the game, Indy’s Spencer Watson knocked in a power play goal to give the game a final score of 6-2, Cincinnati.

Various ticket options are now on sale for the Fuel’s 8th season at Indiana Farmers Coliseum! Lock up your seat for every second of the action at Indiana Farmers Coliseum with a Fuel Ticket Plan – grab yours by heading to IndyFuelHockey.com or by calling the Fuel front office at 317-925-FUEL. Don’t forget to follow the Fuel on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (IndyFuel) for news, updates, contests and much more throughout the 2021-22 season.

INDY ELEVEN

INDIANAPOLIS (Friday, December 10, 2021) – Indy Eleven continued to make progress on its roster building effort ahead of the 2022 season with today’s confirmation of three player signings. The club announced that veteran defender A.J. Cochran will return to Indiana’s Team for a second season and added Grenada National Team defender Alex McQueen and former Real Monarchs SLC forward Aris Briggs. The trio of signings are pending league and federation approval and, per club policy, contract terms will not be made public.

“A.J. Cochran knows what it takes to succeed in the USL Championship and brings more continuity back to our defensive corps, so I’m thrilled to have his services again here in Indianapolis for next season,” said Lowry. “Alex McQueen is a dynamic player who brings valuable club and international experience as well as versatility, while Aris Briggs showed glimpses that he can perform as a skilled target forward in our league last season. These players are ready to buy in to our culture of competing day in and day out, and I look forward to working with them all in 2022.”

Cochran comes back to the Circle City after starting 18 of 21 appearances in 2021 – numbers that could have been higher if not for a concussion suffered in early September. Despite the missed time, the Saint Louis native and University of Wisconsin product was one of the squad’s most productive backline members with 19 blocks (T-1st on the team), 69 clearances (2nd), and 35 interceptions (3rd, one behind team lead). The 2022 campaign will mark the 28-year-old center back’s eighth season in the USL Championship (3G/8A in 139 USLC matches), which followed a stint with Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo to start his pro career across 2014-15.

The Romford, England-born McQueen will come stateside after notching seven goals and 11 assists in 92 appearances in the English National League across the last four seasons between Dagenham & Redbridge F.C. (2018-20) and Barnet F.C (2020-21). Prior to that, the Tottenham Hotspurs Academy and U-21 side performer made his professional debut at League Two Carlisle United from 2015-17 and bridged his English stints with a half-season at Finnish side VPS in 2018. The versatile 26-year-old has also made 11 appearances for the Grenada Men’s National Team since his senior debut in November 2017, including all three of the Spice Boys’ Group Stage outings in the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup and two of the country’s four FIFA World Cup qualifying matches for Qatar 2022 during the first half of 2021.

Briggs comes to Indiana’s Team from Real Monarchs SLC, where he bagged three goals and added two assists in 19 appearances. The 25-year-old striker did all his damage on the scoresheet during a torrid month-long stretch last summer, scoring in three straight matches and assisting in two consecutive games across a six-game run. Prior to being selected by the Monarchs’ MLS parent club, Real Salt Lake, last January in the MLS SuperDraft, Briggs was a standout for Georgia State University, where he tallied 27 goals in 53 appearances, leading to consecutive nods as the Sun Belt Conference’s Offensive Player of the Year in 2019 and 2020.

Indy Eleven will continue to make additional announcements surrounding its roster and coaching staff leading up to the 2022 preseason beginning in February. Following is the club’s 2022 roster as it currently stands:

Goalkeepers: Bobby Edwards

Defenders: A.J. Cochran, Mechack Jérôme, Alex McQueen, Karl Ouimette, Jared Timmer

Midfielders: Ayoze, Neveal Hackshaw, Nicky Law, Bryam Rebellón

Forwards: Manuel Arteaga, Aris Briggs

DAVID BELL NAMED TO FWAA ALL-AMERICA TEAM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The All-America honors keep coming in for David Bell. After being named First Team All-America by the Walter Camp Football Foundation earlier this week, the Purdue wide receiver was selected to the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) All-America Team Friday afternoon.

Since 1945, the FWAA All-America Team has been among the five teams used to formulate the NCAA’s annual consensus All-America team, which will be announced next week. Since the 2002 season, the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), The Associated Press, The Sporting News and the Walter Camp Football Foundation have joined the FWAA as the five designated selectors by the NCAA.

A first team selection, Bell became the fourth wide receiver in program history to earn FWAA All-America honors. He joined Larry Burton (1974), Taylor Stubblefield (2004) and Rondale Moore (2018). Moore was named to the 2018 team as an all-purpose selection.

As the Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year, the best receiver in the Big Ten, Bell’s accolades continue to add up from a stellar junior campaign. Bell was one of the best receivers nationwide, becoming a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award. The Indianapolis native leads the Big Ten in catches per game (8.5) and receiving yards per game (116.9), ranking second and fourth in the country, respectively. With 1,286 receiving yards on the year, Bell’s total sits second in program history, just 21 yards shy of the school record for a single season.

Bell announced earlier this week that he will forego his senior season and declare for the 2022 NFL Draft. He ranks in the school’s all-time Top 10 for receptions (4th), receiving yards (5th) and receiving touchdowns (T-5th). Bell has averaged an FBS-leading 101.6 receiving yards per game for his career, the only active receiver in triple digits. His 8.0 receptions per game is currently the 2nd-most for an active NCAA career. Eclipsing the 100-yard plateau in seven of his 11 games in 2021, Bell set a new Purdue record with 17 career 100-yard receiving games.

Bell torched No. 2 Iowa (Oct. 16) with 11 catches for 240 yards, the 2nd-most receiving yards ever by a Boilermaker in a single game. He added another 200-yard day against No. 3 Michigan State (Nov. 6), hauling in 11 receptions for 217 yards and a touchdown to lead Purdue to another Top-5 win. With the pair of performances, Bell joined Brian Alford as the only Boilermakers with multiple 200-yard receiving games in a season.

Bell started his 2021 campaign with a 134-yard, eight-catch effort vs. Oregon State (Sept. 4) before following it up with a 121-yard, six-catch, three-touchdown outing at UConn (Sept. 11). His three touchdowns versus the Huskies matched a career high, and he became only the second Purdue wide receiver to record multiple games with three receiving touchdowns.

The FWAA All-America Team was first selected in 1944, three years after the organization was formed. The FWAA’s All-America Committee selected the 78th annual team based on nominations from the entire membership. This is the ninth season in the modern era (post-1950) that the FWAA has named a second team.

Bell’s Honors (As of Dec. 10, 2021)

Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year

Biletnikoff Award Finalist

First Team All-America (Walter Camp Football Foundation, FWAA, CBS Sports, ESPN)

Second Team All-America (The Athletic)

All-America Honorable Mention (PFF)

First Team All-Big Ten (Coaches, Media, AP)

Second Team All-Big Ten (PFF)

NO. 6 SEED PURDUE POISED FOR REGIONAL FINALS BATTLE AT NO. 3 PITT

PITTSBURGH – The No. 6 seeded Purdue Boilermakers (26-6, 15-5 B1G) are set to take on the No. 3 Pittsburgh Panthers (29-3, 15-3 ACC) tomorrow for the NCAA Regional Finals at 4 p.m. ET on ESPNU. The match will take place in Pitt’s own Fitzgerald Field House.

The Boilermakers are primed for their fifth overall and second consecutive NCAA Regional Final appearance. Coming off a pair of history-making comeback victories, Purdue is no stranger to playing at top-5 opponent locations and have won five matches over top-8 opponents this season (both at home and on the road).

A LOOK AT THE #3 SEEDED PITT PANTHERS

Pitt is averaging a .310 attack % in the NCAA tournament and is holding opponents to an average of .200.

Leading the team in efficiency is Chiamaka Nwokolo, who owns an errorless .609 attack %, with 14 kills on 23 attempts during NCAA postseason action.

Getting the most offensive looks in the postseason are Leketor Member-Meneh, who owns a team-high 43 kills over the Panthers’ NCAA run, averaging 4.30 kills per set, and 101 attempts. With the second-most attempts is Chinaza Ndee, with 68 attacks with 3.40 kills per set pace, second only to Member-Meneh.

Nwokolo and Serena Gray lead the defensive effort at the net, combining for 24 total blocks in the NCAA tournament.

PURDUE IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT

The Boilermakers lead opponents in virtually every statistical category, including attack % (.309 vs. .128), aces (18 vs. 13), blocks per set (3.0 vs. 1.4) and digs per ste (14.2 vs. 12.2). Of the teams remaining in the tournament, Purdue’s block assists rank second-most.

Purdue’s 16 blocks vs. Dayton in the Second Round are the second-most in a match during the NCAA tournamnet (most: 17 by UCF vs. UCLA).

Defensively, libero Jena Otec set a Purdue in the NCAA tournament record with 27 digs vs. Dayton. Meanwhile, Hayley Bush was three assists shy of tying the record for assists in an NCAA match (record: 59).

Five Boilermakers are averaging at least a .375 hitting % in the tournament, including freshman Raven Colvin (.528),  Jael Johnson (.400), Taylor Trammell (.714), Grace Cleveland (.398) and Emma Ellis (.375).

Otec is averaging 4.38 digs per set and Caitlyn Newton is averaging 3.92 kills per set.

THE COMEBACK KIDS

Despite No. 11 seed BYU having four straight match points, Jena Otec took to the service line at 10-14 and served up two straight aces and another two serves to power the Boilermakers to victory, 18-16.

The 18-16 fifth set victory over #11 seed/#5 AVCA-ranked BYU marks the second time in Purdue history the Boilermakers needed extra points to decide the fifth set.

After trailing Dayton 0-2 in the Second Round, Purdue stormed back to take the final three sets and win 25-27, 19-25, 25-15, 25-6, 15-5.

Purdue hit just one error over the final three sets vs. Dayton to win the match (lone error came in set 5).

Purdue’s 25-6 fourth-set win vs. Dayton ties a program-record for most-decisive set win, a feat accomplished three times, which all came this season (vs. Purdue Fort Wayne, 9/17 and vs. Rutgers, 10/2).

BUTLER MBB RETURNS TO HINKLE FOR SATURDAY AFTERNOON TIP WITH EASTERN ILLINOIS

Butler (6-3) vs. Eastern Illinois (2-8)

Saturday, Dec. 11;  4PM

Hinkle Fieldhouse; Indianapolis, Ind.

TV:  FS1 – @MattSchumacker_ & @JessSettlesHoop

Radio:  1430AM – @MarkMinner & Nick Gardner (@n_gardner)

Varsity Network Radio App, XM380, SiriusXM App 970

Full Notes (PDF) (PDF)

The Bulldogs return to Hinkle Fieldhouse for a Saturday afternoon tip with Eastern Illinois. Butler is 6-3 on the season and comes off an overtime win on the road at Oklahoma Tuesday night as part of the BIG EAST-Big 12 Battle.

THE SERIES: The Bulldogs were scheduled to host Eastern Illinois last season, but the game was canceled due to COVID issues within Butler’s program at that time. The two programs have met six times with Eastern Illinois holding a 4-2 advantage in the all-time series. The teams haven’t met since the 2000-01 season opener (Nov. 18). Butler won that contest at Hinkle Fieldhouse by a score of 90-73. That was Thad Matta’s lone season as the head coach of the Bulldogs; LaVall Jordan was the captain and Team MVP of the 2000-01 Bulldogs, a team that would advance to the second round of the 2001 NCAA Tournament.

Eastern Illinois Leads, 4-2

Streak: Butler, W1

At Hinkle:  Butler Leads, 2-1

LaVall Jordan (at BU) vs. EIU: 0-0

First Meeting: Butler, 86-71 (12/23/77, at BU)

Last Meeting: Butler, 90-73 (11/18/00, at BU)

• Butler is allowing only 58.8 points per game so far this season, a mark that is 21st nationally.

• Butler owned a 43-30 rebounding advantage in the win at Oklahoma Tuesday.

• Chuck Harris scored a season-high 26 points in the win at Oklahoma.

• Bryce Golden has led the Bulldogs in rebounding in three straight games.

• Butler committed only five total turnovers during the second half and overtime periods combined at Oklahoma.

• Butler’s opponents are shooting only 28 percent from three-point range this season, which is 42nd nationally.

• Aaron Thompson is now third on Butler’s career assists list (474).

• Freshman DJ Hughes had career-highs of six points and six rebounds at Oklahoma in a career-best 23 minutes.

• Christian David has 12 rebounds over his last two games.

• Jair Bolden is shooting 43.6 percent from three-point range this season, a mark that is 49th nationally.

• Myles Tate (torn ACL 3/11) has been cleared to return to game action.

• Butler’s 10 turnovers vs. Saginaw Valley State Nov. 30 matched the team’s season-low.

• Jayden Taylor scored a career-best 21 points in Nov. 24 win over Chaminade.

• Ty Groce scored 18 points on 8-of-9 shooting in the win over Chaminade; the eight made field goals tied a career-high.

• Butler made 12 three-pointers Nov. 13 vs. Troy, the most by the team since hitting 12 against Nebraska in the 2019 NIT.

• Butler was picked to finish sixth in the BIG EAST Preseason Poll by the conference’s head coaches.

• Sophomore Chuck Harris was an honorable mention selection to the Preseason All-BIG EAST team by the conference’s head coaches.

• Butler’s 2021-22 roster includes six players who are entering their fifth or sixth season of college basketball.

• The Bulldogs return 10 of their 11 top scorers from a season ago.

• Butler’s roster returns 97.2 percent of its scoring and 96.2 percent of its minutes played from last season.

HOME SWEET HINKLE: Butler is 52-15 at Hinkle Fieldhouse in LaVall Jordan’s five seasons as head coach of the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs have won 63 of their last 65 games at Hinkle Fieldhouse against non-conference opponents.

QUITE THE BATTLE: As part of the annual BIG EAST-Big 12 Battle, the Bulldogs picked up a 66-62 overtime road win Tuesday night at Oklahoma. Chuck Harris led the Bulldogs with 26 points. Butler trailed by 10 points at the half and by 13 early in the second half before clawing all the way back. After Oklahoma forced overtime with a three-pointer with two seconds remaining in regulation, the Sooners took a 62-58 lead in overtime before Butler scored the game’s final eight points.

ON THE DEFENSIVE: Butler is allowing its opponents only 58.8 points per game so far this season, a mark that is 21st nationally. The Bulldogs’ opponents have combined to shoot only 28.2 percent from three-point range, which is 42nd nationally.

BEHIND THE LINE: Butler is shooting 38 percent from three-point range, averaging 8.6 makes per game. The Bulldogs’ three-point percentage is 50th nationally. Butler shot only 32 percent from behind the arc a season ago.

YOUNG GUNS: Both Jayden Taylor and Simas Lukosius got the start in the regular season opener against IUPUI Tuesday night. Freshmen starting in their first Butler game is a rarity. Multiple freshmen starting their first collegiate game at Butler was last done in 2008 (Gordon Hayward, Shelvin Mack, Ron Nored). The only other freshman to start his first Butler game between 2008 and 2021 was Myles Tate in 2020.

TOUGH SLATE: In addition to a true round-robin format that has Butler playing all 10 BIG EAST foes both on the road and at home, the Bulldogs challenged themselves significantly with this season’s non-conference schedule. The slate included Michigan State Nov. 17 in the annual Gavitt Games and a road game at Oklahoma Dec. 7 in the annual BIG EAST-Big 12 Battle. The Maui Invitational (in Las Vegas) featured an opening-round match-up with 2021 Final Four team Houston. Butler and Purdue, which is No. 1 in this week’s AP poll, will meet Dec. 18 in the Crossroads Classic.

HAPPY RETURNS: Butler returns 10 of its top 11 scorers from last season. In all, Butler’s roster returns 97.2 percent of its scoring and 96.2 percent of minutes played from the 2020-21 season. Butler returns five double-digit scorers from a season ago and adds Ty Groce, a graduate transfer from Eastern Michigan. Groce led the Eagles in scoring last season, the sixth player on the Butler roster to average double figures in 2020-21. Butler has six players who will play their fifth season of college basketball during the upcoming campaign — Aaron Thompson, Bryce Nze, Jair Bolden, Christian David, Bo Hodges, and Ty Groce. Of that group, Nze, Bolden and Groce are in their sixth year of college after previously redshirting and now taking advantage of the additional season of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

PRESEASON PICKS: The BIG EAST head coaches picked the Bulldogs to finish sixth in the league standings in the preseason poll that was announced as part of BIG EAST Media Day in New York City in October.

WHAT WILL HE DO FOR AN ENCORE?: Butler’s Chuck Harris was recognized as an honorable mention selection to the 2021-22 All-BIG EAST preseason team. Harris was one of three unanimous picks on the 2020-21 All-BIG EAST Freshman Team, joining Posh Alexander of St. John’s and Marquette’s Dawson Garcia (Garcia has since transferred to North Carolina). Harris led the Bulldogs in scoring during the 2020-21 season, becoming the first freshman to lead the team in scoring since the 1979-80 season (Tony Warren). Harris led the team in scoring in 17 of his 24 games played, scoring 20 or more points six times.

Harris became the third Bulldog to earn a spot on the BIG EAST All-Freshman Team since Butler joined the BIG EAST prior to the 2013-14 season. Kamar Baldwin was also a unanimous selection in 2016-17 and Andrew Chrabascz earned a spot on the 2013-14 team.

ON THE WAY: Connor Turnbull, a 6-10 forward/center from Missouri, has signed a national letter of intent to join the Bulldogs beginning with the 2022-23 season.

Turnbull, from Saint Paul, Mo., stars for Fort Zumwalt North High School, where he earned Missouri Basketball Coaches Association All-State honors for Class 6. As a junior, Turnbull averaged 14.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.0 blocks per game, leading the team to a 27-4 record and the Class 6 state semifinals. He shot 34 percent from three-point range. Turnbull helped Brad Beal Elite to a runner-up finish at the 2021 Peach Jam as part of the Nike EYBL circuit.

BULLDOGS ANNOUNCED AS PART OF 2022 BATTLE 4 ATLANTIS FIELD: The Bulldogs will participate in the Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis for the third time as the 2022 bracket has been announced. Celebrating its 11th year of elite collegiate tournament play, the 2022 field will include Butler, BYU, Dayton, Kansas, North Carolina State, USC, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. Butler was previously part of the Battle 4 Atlantis field in both 2014 and 2018. The Bulldogs went 2-1 in each event.

DENVER DEFEATS @BUTLERUWBB IN FOURTH OVERTIME 100-96

INDIANAPOLIS – Butler and Denver took part in the longest women’s college basketball game of the season on Friday night inside Hinkle Fieldhouse. After four overtime periods, the Pioneers would outlast the Bulldogs to win 100-96.

How it Happened

Indeya Sanders hit a 3-pointer just before the buzzer with one second remaining in the third overtime to keep Denver alive. The Pioneers would ride that momentum into the fourth overtime and outscore Butler 14-8 during that five minute stretch to claim their fifth win of the season.

Sanders had 16 points on the night, but Denver was led in the scoring column by forward Uju Ezeudu. She scored a team-high 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting. In order for Denver to reach 100 points, the team had to have five players score in double figures. Anna Jackson had 17, Cheyenne Forney had a double-double off the bench with 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Makayal Minett would drop 10 points and five boards.

Butler’s offense came inside from Celena Taborn and Sydney Jaynes. Taborn scored game-high 33 points. She ended the game just four points shy of tying the single-game scoring record at BU. 33 points also ties her career-high.

Jaynes scored 14 points off the bench on 7-of-11 shooting. Trinity White added 16 before fouling out with 4:24 to play in the second overtime. Zoe Jackson also hit double figures with 10 points. The BU point guard also led the team in minutes played (54:15).

Stat of the Game

Celena Taborn was the player of the game for Butler with 33 points and 10 rebounds. It marked her second consecutive game with a double-double.

Inside the Box Score

– That was the first four overtime game in program history

– There were 21 lead changes and 17 ties in the contest

– Denver hit 10 3-pointers compared to eight from Butler

– Butler connected on 24 of their 30 free throw attempts

– Zoe Jackson contributed with four steals and four assists

– Tenley Dowell had seven points, three boards and two assists

– Denver won the rebound battle 55-48. They had 19 offensive rebounds

– Sanders dished out a game-high 10 assists

– Ezeudu almost had a triple-double by adding eight assists and 14 rebounds

– Butler didn’t commit a turnover until the 5:52 mark of the second quarter. They ended the game with 15

Up Next

Butler will head to Champagne, Ill. on Sunday to face Illinois at 3 PM. This will be the fourth meeting between the two programs.

HAMILTON NAMED FWAA ALL-AMERICAN

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — University of Notre Dame football safety Kyle Hamilton was named a First Team All-American by the Football Writers Association of America Friday afternoon. It is the second first team All-American honor this season for Hamilton after being named an All-American by Walter Camp on Thursday. This is the second-straight season Hamilton has been named an All-American by the FWAA.

Hamilton leads the Irish with three interceptions and has 35 tackles and four pass breakups in seven games this season. Earlier in the season, he was named a First Team Midseason All-America selection by the Associated Press, Sporting News, CBS Sports, ESPN.com, The Athletic and Athlon Sports.

Hamilton opened the season with two interceptions in Notre Dame’s road-overtime win over Florida State. He was the first Irish player to have two interceptions in a game since Alohi Gilman in 2018 against Syracuse. For his efforts against the Seminoles, he earned LOTT Impact Player of the Week honors.

In the Irish’s home win over Purdue, Hamilton tied a career high with 10 tackles, including one to halt a Purdue fourth down conversion attempt in the first half. Later in the fourth quarter, Hamilton recorded his third interception of the season in the red zone to thwart a Purdue comeback attempt. Following his performance against the Boilermakers, he garnered player of the week awards from Walter Camp, Athlon, Pro Football Focus and was named the Bednarik Award Player of the Week.

Prior to the season, Hamilton was named a preseason first team All-American by Walter Camp and Associated Press.

POSTSEASON RUN COMES TO AN END IN THE COLLEGE CUP SEMIFINAL

CARY, N.C. — The No. 4-seed Fighting Irish battled until the final moments of the match before falling to the Clemson Tigers in penalty kicks in the semi-finals of the College Cup. The two teams battled to a 1-1 draw at the end of overtime as Clemson advanced in a penalty kick shootout.

Jack Lynn led the Irish attack with five shots during the competition, scoring Notre Dame’s lone goal of the contest in the 21st minute. Ben Giacobello and Tyler Shea each added a pair of shots as five others added a shot. Overall, the Irish outshot the Tigers 14-7 with four shots on frame.

Bryan Dowd notched a pair of saves in net, playing the full time. 

HOW IT HAPPENED 

The Irish had the first look as Shea took a counter attack across midfield in the fourth minute of play. He weaved into the middle of the field and fired a shot from 25 yards out that connected with the crossbar and deflected away.

Clemson took the lead on their first shot of the game in the 11th minute of play. Luis Felipe Fernandez-Salvador gained possession at the top of the 18-yard box. He fired a shot just over the outstretched arms of the Irish keeper that deflected off the bottom of the cross bar and crossed into the net for the early 1-0 lead.

Dawson McCartney attempted to find the equalizer in the 21st minute, as he fired a shot off the far post. In the ensuing scramble, freshman Matthew Roou drew a foul in the box and the Irish were awarded a penalty kick. Lynn stepped to the spot and hammered a shot low and to his right that found the net and equaled the game at one each. Lynn’s goal was his 10th of the season, tying his season-high and it marks the 31st goal in his Irish career.

The Tigers looked for the go-ahead goal the 37th minute. Clemson had a chance inside the Irish box, but the Notre Dame backline held strong, deterring a quality look and Clemson was called for a foul that extinguished the threat. The Tigers had two more shots over the final eight minutes of the half, but none crossed the line. The three shots for Clemson in the first half was their second-lowest total in a half this season.

Clemson started the second half with a renewed energy, immediately taking the ball into the attacking third. The Tigers served a ball from the far side of the goal that found Justin Malou’s head. His shot was wide of the near post, but set up a Tiger corner. After the corner was played in, the Irish backline cleared the chance without allowing a shot.

Dowd came up big in the 72nd minute. Clemson played a ball over the Irish backline that found the head of Callum Johnson. His header attempt was thwarted as Dowd caught the attempt to preserve the tie.

Mohamed Omar had an opportunity to end the game in regulation as a cross from McCartney found him at the far post. His header attempt hit short and bounced over the net in the 89th minute.

The Irish had two corners in the final seconds of regulation, but couldn’t connect and the match when to overtime tied at one.

Notre Dame had a quality look in the first minute of action in the overtime. Kyle Genenbacher’s throw-in from the near sideline found Lynn in the box. Lynn’s header attempt was deflected away by the Clemson keeper. Just four minutes later, McCartney found Genenbacher on the right side of the goal who had a one-on-one opportunity with the keeper. Clemson was equal to the task, blocking the shot attempt and sending it back to the middle of the field

It was Lynn who almost found the net in the 97th minute. After Dowd punched out a Clemson corner, Lynn found the ball in the scramble and went the other direction. He dribbled through the Tiger defense and got a look inside the 18-yard box but his shot was just wide.

In the second overtime, Clemson had a chance in the 104th minute, but the shot from just outside the 18 sailed over the crossbar and into the packed crowd behind the goal.

Clemson gained the advantage in the shootout. The two teams each converted their first three attempts before the Tiger keeper made a diving stop on the fourth Irish attempt. Clemson converted its fifth and final shot to advance to the College Cup Finals Sunday afternoon.

#8 IRISH COMEBACK TO DEFEAT SPARTANS 3-2

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Eighth-ranked Notre Dame came back from an early 2-0 deficit to defeat Michigan State 3-2 on Friday night at the Compton Family Ice Arena (4,046) in game one of their weekend series.

Senior defensemen Spencer Stastney and Nick Leivermann provided the scoring, with Stastney scoring a pair of goals in the second period and Leivermann adding the third period game-winning goal.

Graduate student Matthew Galajda earned the win in net by making 22 saves as Notre Dame improved to 12-4-0 on the season (6-3-0-2-0-0 B1G).

The Irish power play was 1-for-4 on the night, while the penalty kill held the Spartans to a 0-for-3 mark.

Pierce Charleson of Michigan State (9-7-1, 4-5-0-0-0-0) finished with 25 saves as the Irish outshot the Spartans, 28-24.

How It Happened

The Spartans got off to a quick start, building a 2-0 lead in the game’s first two minutes on goals by Tanner Kelly at 1:04 and Dennis Cesana at 1:51.

The Irish were able to create a few chances at the other end as the period progressed, but Pierce Charleson made eight stops in the first 20 minutes.

Late in the first, Notre Dame killed off overlapping Spartan power plays, including a 24 second 5-on-3, to keep it a two-goal game.

Notre Dame had its first power play of the night early in the second period but could not get on the board, with Chase Blackmun’s one-timer from the slot marking the best look.

Spencer Stastney did get the Irish on the board at 7:57 of the second when he finished off a tic-tac-toe passing play from Hunter Strand and Jesse Lansdell at the back post, marking the senior’s first goal of the season.

Stastney then tied it up with a power-play goal at 12:35 of the second for his first career two-goal game. Stastney’s shot from the far boards along the ice eluded Charleson, with Lansdell providing the screen in front. Jack Adams and Blackmun assisted on the play.

Cam Burke won an offensive one faceoff back for Nick Leivermann at the point, who skated along the boards before cutting in below the goal line and letting a wrist shot fly that he banked off Charleson’s back and in for his fifth goal of the season at 8:14 of the third.

Notes

With a pair of goals in the second period, Spencer Stastney posted his first career multi-goal game (seventh career multi-point game).

With a goal, Nick Leivermann extended his point streak to seven games (3-7-10).

The Irish are now 8-2-0 at home this season.

After sustaining an injury during offseason training, senior captain Jake Pivonka returned to the lineup for the first time this season.

Next Up

Notre Dame and Michigan State close out the first semester with a 7 p.m. game tomorrow/Saturday, Dec. 11 at the Compton Family Ice Arena (tickets).

The game will be Notre Dame’s last appearance on NBCSN before switching to Peacock for the second semester home schedule.

After the game there will be a teddy bear toss to benefit the Saint Joseph’s Health System.

OFFENSIVE WOES CONTINUE AS JAGUARS FALL AT TENNESSEE STATE, 70-44

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The IUPUI basketball team’s offensive woes continued on Friday night (Dec. 10) as the Jaguars fell on the road at Tennessee State, 70-44. The Jaguars committed 19 turnovers and shot just 35.4 percent from the floor as the hosts surged out to a large early lead and never let the Jaguars fully back in the contest.

Freshman KJ Pruitt tallied a season-high 10 points in the loss and B.J. Maxwell and Dimitar Pandev scored eight apiece. Bakari LaStrap added seven points on a perfect 3-of-3 shooting off the bench. Dedric Boyd paced Tennessee State (2-6) with 20 points off the Tigers’ bench and Christian Brown contributed 11 in the victory.

“We knew (TSU) was going to come out and be aggressive – at times run and jump – and be physical with us,” head coach Matt Crenshaw said. “This was a game where you’ve got to go out and play basketball and when you’re one-on-one, go and make a play.”

It was TSU making the plays early, getting loose in transition to capitalize on IUPUI (1-8) miscues in the opening minutes. The Tigers built a quick 13-2 lead before IUPUI stormed back with a 7-0 run on four straight from Maxwell and a Boston Stanton III three. However, TSU scored the game’s next five points and ultimately regained its double-digit lead as IUPUI made just 6-of-26 (23.1 percent) first half field goal attempts and committed nine turnovers. The Tigers cashed in the nine turnovers for 13 points as Boyd tallied 12 off the bench on 5-of-6 shooting.

The Jaguars never truly threatened after halftime, although a late 10-0 run showed a glimmer of life. Pandev, who had scored just 13 points in the season’s first eight games, scored all eight of his points during the run and Pruitt also scored in close. TSU ended the rally with back-to-back threes from Marcus Fitzgerald Jr. and Boyd to extend the lead back beyond 20.

TSU finished with 30 points off the 19 IUPUI turnovers while IUPUI scored just five points off nine Tiger miscues. The Jaguars also struggled from beyond the arc, hitting just 3-of-17 (17.6 percent) attempts.

Pandev, Pruitt and Nathan McClure all grabbed a team-high five boards as IUPUI outrebounded TSU 32-29. McClure came off the bench for the first time this season and finished with two points, five boards and a team-high four assists in 29 minutes of work. 

With the win, TSU avenged a loss to the Jaguars in Indianapolis last season as each team held serve on their home floor in the home-and-home series.

IUPUI will return home to host Chicago State on Thursday night (Dec. 16) at 7:00 p.m. inside Indiana Farmers Coliseum. That game will be broadcast on ESPN+

SYCAMORES, HUSKERS TO SQUARE OFF IN SATURDAY MATINEE

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State women’s basketball begins a stretch that sees the Sycamores play three of the next four games on the road, starting Saturday afternoon at (RV/RV) Nebraska. Tipoff between the Sycamores and Cornhuskers is set for 2 p.m. from Pinnacle Bank Arena and will be carried on Big Ten Network+ and 105.5 The Legend.

Last Time Out

Mya Glanton set career highs with 22 points and 16 rebounds Saturday evening, but a late Sycamore rally fell one point short inside the Hulman Center as Western Michigan defeated Indiana State, 68-67.

Glanton’s double-double was the first of her career, and also marked the first 20-point scoring performance of her career. Del’Janae Williams had 15 points and also matched her career high with seven steals.

Western Michigan led by as many as 15 in the third quarter before the Sycamores chipped away at the deficit. ISU closed the game on an 8-0 run that spanned the final 1:47 of the contest. The Sycamores had a chance to take the lead on their last offensive possession but a late turnover in the closing seconds proved costly.

A Closer Look at Nebraska

Nebraska enters the weekend at 9-0 overall and 1-0 in the Big Ten Conference after defeating Minnesota on the road in the conference opener for both teams. The Cornhuskers are receiving votes in both the AP Poll and the WBCA Coaches Poll, making Saturday’s contest the first for the Sycamores against a team that is either ranked or receiving votes.

The Cornhuskers enter the weekend as one of just 13 remaining undefeated teams and are one of two 9-0 teams this season, joining top-ranked South Carolina.

Jaz Shelley and Bella Cravens led the Cornhuskers with 15 points apiece in their 70-67 win over Minnesota. Cravens also led the team with seven rebounds against the Golden Gophers.

Shelley leads a balanced Nebraska offense with 15.0 points, 6.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game. Isabelle Bourne also averages double-figures for Nebraska with 11.0 points per game, while four other Cornhuskers average at least seven points per game for a team that averages nearly 85 points per contest. Cravens is the team’s leading rebounder with 8.0 boards per game.

Series History Against Nebraska

Indiana State and Nebraska have met just once on the hardwood prior to Saturday’s contest, a neutral-site game in Durham, North Carolina, during the 1994-95 season. The Sycamores won that game, 86-76.

Twenty-Point Scorers

Indiana State has had at least one 20-point scorer in each of the last three games following Mya Glanton’s career-high 22 points in Saturday’s game against Western Michigan.

Del’Janae Williams had back-to-back 20-point performances earlier this season, notching a career-best 26 points in a win over Georgia Southern and scoring 24 in a win over Chicago State.

Williams leads all active Sycamore players with three 20-point games in her career, while Caitlin Anderson and Adrian Folks have each posted two in their career. Glanton and Essy Latu each have one 20-point outing.

Indiana State Active 20-Point Scorers

Del’Janae Williams – 3

Caitlin Anderson – 2

Adrian Folks – 2

Mya Glanton – 1

Essy Latu – 1

Thievery

The Sycamore defense has been one of the best in all of Division I this season when it comes to forcing turnovers. Indiana State ranks inside the top 25 in steals per game (17th, 12.2) and turnovers forced (24th, 22.38), while also ranking inside the top 40 in total steals (36th, 98). The Sycamores lead the Missouri Valley Conference in all three statistical categories.

Indiana State made its mark early in the season with a 21-steal contest against Stephens (Mo.) to open the year. Since then, ISU has recorded at least 10 steals in six of the last seven contests, including 13 in back-to-back games against Georgia Southern and Chicago State. Overall, it’s been a team effort by Indiana State with four players posting double-digit steals on the year and 10 players overall recording multiple steals.

In addition to getting their hands on the ball, ISU has been constantly harassing the opposition and has posted five games with at least 20 forced turnovers on defense. The Sycamores forced a season-high 36 turnovers against Stephens (Mo.) and carried on with 26 forced turnovers against Saint Louis, 21 against Georgia Southern, 21 against Chicago State and 24 against Western Michigan.

No Fly Zone

Indiana State’s contest against Georgia Southern marked the second time in the 2021-22 season that the Sycamores held an opponent scoreless from behind the arc. ISU limited the Eagles to a 0-for-14 performance behind the three-point line to shut down Georgia Southern in the 71-67 win.

The Sycamores previously limited Stephens (Mo.) to a 0-for-12 mark behind the arc to open the year and have held opponents under .300 from the three-point line on four separate occasions this year. ISU has also held opponents to just a .283 three-point percentage on the year.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL RETURNS TO WORTHEN ARENA SATURDAY AGAINST UTAH STATE

Game 9 | Ball State vs. Utah State

Dec. 11 | Muncie, Ind. | Worthen Arena  | 1 p.m. ET

Watch: ESPN+ | Listen: Muncie Sports Station (102.9 FM/1340 AM) | Live Stats

Game Notes: Ball State (PDF) | Utah State

Opening Tip:

This will be the first-ever meeting between the Ball State Cardinals and the Utah Stater Aggies.

Both teams enter today’s contest with an overall record of 5-3. The Cardinals are coming off of a in-state rivalry win over IUPUI after defeating the Jaguars on the road by a score of 73-67. Utah State also comes to Muncie hot off a 66-65 victory Wednesday night against Arkansas State.

Redshirt junior Anna Clephane led the Cardinals in scoring against IUPUI Wednesday turning in an 18-point performance. It marked the third-straight contest Clephane has led the Cardinals in points. Clephane has scored in double figures in all of the Cardinals eight games this season with her season best being 21 points at Butler (11/16/21). Clephane currently ranks first in scoring for Ball State averaging 16.3 points per contest.

The Cardinals are 1-0 on this date under head coach Brady Sallee. The last time Ball State played on Dec. 11 was at Oakland in 2016 resulting in a 66-59 victory for the Cardinals.

In 10 years, Brady Sallee owns a 33-21 (.611) record in the month of December with his best season being a 5-1 ledger in 2017-18.

Fun fact about today’s game former Ball State men’s basketball player and alum Jauwan Scaife makes his return to Worthen Arena as an assistant coach for Utah State. Scaife played for the Cardinals from 2009-13. He ranks 17th on the Cardinals all-time scoring list with 1,326 points. Scaife is also the cousin of former Ball State and NBA standout Bonzi Wells. He is also from Muncie and went to high school at Muncie Central.

Agustsdottir Nearing 1,000 Points:

Ball State senior crasher Thelma Dis Agustsdottir is nearing the 1,000 career point plateau. Agustsdottir currently has 961 points and needs 39 to become the 30th member of the 1,000 point club and the ninth under head coach Brady Sallee.

Backs, Crashers and Keys:

This year, the Cardinals are forgoing “traditional” positions and using their own such as backs, crashers, and keys, to bring a sense of team unity. That system proved to be the lift Ball State needed, especially with so many new faces on the court. BSU started the season 2-0 for the first time since 2017.

Ball Control:

In the Cardinals last two contests Ball State has been able limit its turnovers against its opponents. Against Purdue Fort Wayne, the Cardinals only committed  12 turnovers and then mimicked that type of performance against Pitt with a season low nine miscues. Currently the Cardinals turnover margin is +4.9.

Next Game:

After today’s contest, the Cardinals will enjoy a little time off from competition for finals week as Ball State’s 2021 fall semester comes to a close. Ball State returns to the court for its final non-conference game on Dec. 20 versus Bellarmine in Worthen Arena at 6:30 p.m. ET. The game against the Knights will only be the second-ever between the two schools. Ball State and Bellarmine first faced off last year in Louisville, Ky. on Dec. 14, 2020 resulting in a 98-42 victory for the Cardinals.

BALL STATE RETURNS TO WORTHEN ARENA FOR MATCHUP WITH IU KOKOMO

MUNCIE, Ind. – The Ball State men’s basketball team will be back in action on Sunday from the friendly confines of Worthen Arena as IU Kokomo makes the trip to Muncie. The Cardinals enter Sunday’s contest with a 3-5 record, while the Cougars boast an 11-2 mark. The fourth meeting in the series is scheduled for a 1 p.m. tip.

BSU looks to snap a two-game losing streak against an opponent that the Cardinals have seen three times previously. Ball State holds a 3-0 series lead over IU Kokomo, including a 92-52 win on Nov. 29, 2016, in Worthen Arena. The Cardinals look to continue a streak of scoring 90 or more points against the Cougars, as BSU has scored 90 or more in the previous meetings.

Last time out, Ball State fell to Xavier, 96-50. Tyler Cochran tied for the team lead in points with 10 and added a team-high four steals. Luke Bumbalough chipped in with 10 points as well. Demarius Jacobs and Basheer Jihad led the team with four rebounds each. Bumbalough and Jacobs tied for the team lead in assists with a pair each. Jihad had the team’s lone block of the contest.

Bumbalough leads the team averaging 13.3 points per game and has a team-best 3.3 assists per game. Payton Sparks paces the Cardinals on the glass with 5.6 rebounds per game. Cochran has a team-high 14 steals and is second on the team with 21 assists. Miryne Thomas and Jihad are tied for the team lead in blocks, with four each.

The Cougars are led by Trequan Spivey, who averages 16.8 points per game and is the leader with 3.5 assists per game. Desean Hampton is second on the team with 12.0 points per game, while Allante Harper rounds out the double-digit averages with 10.8 points per game. Hampton has an average of 10.7 rebounds per game to lead the team.

All of BSU’s games are presented on the Ball State Gainbridge Radio Network as well as Woof Boom Radio’s 96.7 FM, 102.9 FM, 104.9 FM, WLBC HD2, and the stream of 967BlakeFM.com as well as WERKFM.net.

‘DONS HOST SEMO IN FINAL HOME NON-LEAGUE GAME

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – It will be the fifth meeting between Southeast Missouri State and Purdue Fort Wayne when the Redhawks come to Fort Wayne on Saturday (Dec. 11).

Game Day Information

Who: Purdue Fort Wayne (4-5) vs. Southeast Missouri State (5-4)

When: Saturday, December 11 | 1:00 p.m. ET

Where: Fort Wayne, Ind. | Allen County War Memorial Coliseum

Listen: 1380 The Fan

Live Stats: Link

Watch: ESPN+

Game Notes: Purdue Fort Wayne (PDF) | SEMO

Series History: Series tied 2-2

NOTE:

// Masks are required at all times for spectators at the Gates Sports Center and the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.

// A clear bag policy is in effect for all games at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.

TICKET PROMOTION:

// Fans can buy one ticket and get one free for the contest at this link.

KNOW YOUR FOE:

// Leading scorer: Eric Reed Jr. (16.3 ppg)

// Head coach: Brad Korn (2nd season)

// The Redhawks have wins over Missouri State, Missouri Baptist, Incarnate Word, Webster and Evansville.

// SEMO earned a 75-73 win over Evansville on Wednesday evening in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Eric Reed Jr. did not play in the game. Phillip Russell recorded a career-high 24 points in the contest.

// Saturday’s game starts a stretch of five-straight on the road for SEMO.

// The all-time series is knotted up at 2-2. This will be the first time since 2004 the two teams play in Fort Wayne.

DONS AND ENDS:

// The Mastodons have two single-digit turnover games this season. The ‘Dons turned it over only nine times in an overtime loss to Western Michigan and only eight times at home against Wright State.

// The Mastodons are forcing a league-best 16.56 turnovers per game, 50th best in the nation.

FROM THE LINE:

// Over the last four games the Mastodons are 66-of-73 (90.4 percent) from the free throw line.

        at Florida Gulf Coast (17-of-21)

        vs. Wright State (16-of-16)

        vs. Northern Kentucky (14-of-16)

        at SIUE (19-of-20)

// The Mastodons shot 16-of-16 from the free throw line on Dec. 2 against Wright State. It stands as the most free throws the Mastodons have made in a Division I contest while connecting on 100 percent of their attempts. It is the fourth time they’ve done it while making at least 10 in a game. The last time they made all 10 or more attempts was Feb. 26, 2011 at UMKC (14-of-14).

// The ‘Dons are 24th in the nation in free throw shooting (78.1 percent).

BILLUPS BUCKETS:

// Deonte Billups is shooting a team-best 43.8 percent (21-of-48) from three on the season. He is second in the Horizon League in made 3-pointers. Billups has improved his 3-point shooting each season. As a freshman he shot 32.4 and last season he shot 38.5 percent.

// Looking like the leader for Horizon League Sixth Man of the Year, Deonte Billups leads the league in scoring among players without a start this season thanks to his 9.9 points per game.

// Deonte Billups has scored in double-digits in three of the last four games.

‘DONS WENT TO JARRED:

// Jarred Godfrey owns 1,271 career points, 10th most in program history. Up next is ninth place Bryson Scott. Scott scored 1,278 in three years for the ‘Dons from 2015-18. Eighth place is Kason Harrell (1,349, 2015-19).

// Jarred Godfrey is third in the league in steals per game (2.00) and fourth in assists per game (4.6).

// Jarred Godfrey is averaging 17.9 points per game, which would be his best average for a season. He averaged 15.6 as a sophomore and 16.2 last season.

// Jarred Godfrey entered the season averaging 2.7 assists per contest. This season he is averaging 4.4 assists per game.

// Jarred Godfrey scored 35 points against Western Michigan (Nov. 27) on 13-of-18 shooting. His 13 field goals tied a career high

// Jarred Godfrey has 40 assists on the season to only 22 turnovers.

THE K IS SILENT, HIS GAME IS NOT:

// Ra Kpedi is having the best season of his career, averaging 11.4 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.

// Ra Kpedi is 12th in the nation in offensive rebounds per game (3.67).

// Ra Kpedi picked up his first career double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds at Florida Gulf Coast.

MEET DAMIAN CHONG QUI :

// Damian Chong Qui joined the Mastodons this season. He helped Mount St. Mary’s to an NCAA Tournament berth last season. He averaged 15.1 points per game for The Mount last year on his way to All-NEC First Team honors.

// Damian Chong Qui is the second Mastodon to join the ‘Dons after playing at Mt. Saint Mary’s. Bobby Planutis spent his freshman season of 2017-18 at The Mount.

// Damian Chong Qui scored 14 points against Florida Gulf Coast (Nov. 28) and went over 1,000 career points. He scored 950 points at Mount St. Mary’s before transferring to Purdue Fort Wayne this season.

MATCHUP WITH #22 NOTRE DAME UP NEXT FOR MASTODON WBB

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Purdue Fort Wayne will face its first its first ranked opponent in nearly two years on Sunday (Dec. 12), when they visit No. 22/23 Notre Dame for a 2 p.m. tip in South Bend.

Game Day Information

Who: Notre Dame Fighting Irish

When: Sunday, December 12 | 2 PM

Where: South Bend, Ind. | Purcell Pavilion

Live Stats: Link

Watch: ACCNX

Game Notes: Purdue Fort Wayne | Notre Dame | Horizon League

Know Your Foe

Notre Dame is 8-2 this season, with the Fighting Irish’s only losses coming to Georgia and UConn, who are both in the AP Top 25. The Fighting Irish are coming off a 73-56 win over Valparaiso. Maddy Westbeld is leading Notre Dame with 14.3 points per game, but three other players are also averaging double-figures: Sonia Citron (12.1), Dara Mabrey (11.6) and Olivia Miles (11.1).

The Series

The series between Purdue Fort Wayne and Notre Dame dates back to 1977, in which the two teams played three times. The ‘Dons took two of the three that year. Notre Dame has taken the last four meetings, including both in the Division I era for Purdue Fort Wayne.

A Win Would be…

• The first win over Notre Dame since 1977, first in Division I era

• The third win over Notre Dame all-time

• The first win over a ranked team since 2013

• The second win over a ranked team in the Division I era

• The second non-league win for the Mastodons this season

• The first win over a Power 5 school since 12/1/2013 – at Michigan State – 81-76

Shooters Shoot

Purdue Fort Wayne has the third-best shooting percentage in the Horizon League, recording a 41.7 percent clip from the floor. The Mastodons also have the second-best 3-point shooting percentage in the League at 35.3 percent. This is 52nd in the country. The 35.3 percent rate would rank just outside the top 10 in program history. Last season, the ‘Dons were last in the league in both shooting percentage categories.

In a League of Their Own

Purdue Fort Wayne has three of the top 15 scorers in the Horizon League: Sylare Starks (14.7 ppg), Shayla Sellers (10.4 ppg) and Ryin Ott (10.3 ppg). Purdue Fort Wayne is the only team in the League to have three scorers in the top 15.

Pretty Good From the Line

Purdue Fort Wayne is third in the Horizon League and 52nd in the country in free throw percentage. The ‘Dons are making 75.9 percent from the line, which ranks in the top 10 in program history for a season mark. Purdue Fort Wayne has four players shooting over 80 percent from the line, led by Aubrey Stupp, who is averaging 88.9 percent.

Sharp-Shooting ‘Dons

Purdue Fort Wayne has four Mastodons shooting over 40 percent from 3-point range with at least 10 attempts. Last year, the Mastodons had no one shoot over 31 percent.

Mastodons Against the Ap Top 25

This is the Mastodons’ 14th game against a team ranked in the AP Top 25 since the ‘Dons moved to Division I in 2001.

• at #17 Minnesota – 11/23/2002 – L, 116-73

• at #11 Notre Dame – 11/21/2003 – L, 82-54

• at #14 Purdue – 11/21/2004 – L, 107-39

• at #9 Purdue – 2/9/2006 – L, 76-52

• vs. #21 South Dakota State – 1/3/2009 – L, 71-48

• at #25 Iowa State – 1/7/2009 – L, 84-57

• at #19 South Dakota State – 2/2/2009 – L, 83-56

• at #24 Michigan State – 11/13/2010 – L, 90-62

• at #21 Michigan State – 12/1/2013 – W, 81-76

• at #16 Purdue – 12/8/2013 – L, 91-70

• at #23 West Virginia – 12/13/2014 – L, 82-48

• at #23 Michigan – 11/16/2017 – L, 77-45

• at #24 South Dakota – 1/24/2020 – L, 79-25

Last Time Out

Purdue Fort Wayne fell to Southeast Missouri 68-51 despite 12 points from both Amellia Bromenschenkel and Sylare Starks.

Coming Up

The Mastodons have one more non-league games before returning to Horizon League play for good: a home game with Indiana State on December 20. League play starts on December 30 with Youngstown State.

Volleyball Sweeps UConn In Front Of Raucous Crowd; Advances to NIVC Title Match

The Valpo volleyball team, buoyed by tremendous fan turnout and support Friday evening at the ARC, swept three closely-contested sets from UConn (28-26, 27-25, 26-24) in the semifinals of the 2021 NIVC to advance to the tournament championship match. Valpo will host UNLV for the crown on Sunday night at 7 p.m. at the ARC.

How It Happened

All three sets featured at least nine tie scores, as all three went right down to and beyond the 25-point wire.

UConn led by as many as five points in the first set, hitting the halfway mark up 13-8. An 8-1 Valpo run, featuring two kills apiece by Maddy Boyer (Batavia, Ill./Batavia) and Elise Swistek (LaPorte, Ind./New Prairie) turned the deficit into a two-point lead.

Three straight points by the Huskies returned the lead to them, but a four-point spurt later in the frame from Valpo — including two Bella Ravotto (Mishawaka, Ind./Marian) — gave the Beacons a 22-19 lead.

UConn rallied to tie the frame at 23-all before a kill by Haley Hart (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) made it set point Valpo at 24-23.

Valpo had three set point chances at 24-23, 25-24 and 26-25, but all three times UConn sided out to even the frame. Finally, with a fourth opportunity at 27-26, Hart came through with another kill to send the crowd into a frenzy as Valpo claimed the opening set.

The second set was a set of runs, with the Beacons putting together the first spurt. Three service aces — one from Victoria Bulmahn (McCordsville, Ind./Mt. Vernon) and two by Brittany Anderson (East Chicago, Ind./Bishop Noll) — sent Valpo out to a quick 10-4 advantage.

Just as quickly, the Huskies returned the favor, scoring six in a row as part of a larger 10-1 run to claim a 14-11 lead.

The teams traded sideouts before Valpo put together a four-point spurt, which included a kill and a solo block for Peyton McCarthy (Cincinnati, Ohio/Seton), to edge back ahead, 16-15.

Each side put together a mini-run as the battle for control continued. Valpo seemingly had the upper hand with a three-point spurt — including a kill and a block by Boyer — to go up 23-20, and after the teams traded sideouts, Valpo had three set points at 24-21.

UConn extended the set, however, thanks to a pair of blocks and a Valpo error. Another kill by Boyer gave the Beacons another opportunity, but the Huskies answered with a kill of their own to make it 25-all. A fifth chance was in the cards following a McCarthy kill, and this time Valpo finished, as McCarthy combined with Kara Cooper (LaPorte, Ind./LaPorte) on a block to make it a 2-0 lead in the match.

UConn seemingly had the edge in the first half of the third set, but every time the Huskies extended their lead to three points, Valpo responded to keep the deficit from getting out of hand.

The Beacons took their first outright lead of the third set at 16-15, as a kill from McCarthy capped a three-point mini-spurt.

With the score 20-20, Valpo strung together three points in a row — two of which came on kills by Boyer and McCarthy — to go ahead 23-20. UConn picked up a kill on the next point, but a kill by McCarthy moved the Beacons to within one point of closing out the sweep.

Just as in the second set, however, UConn held off three Valpo match points, as a Beacon error and a block and a kill from the Huskies made it 24-24.

Valpo went back to its fifth-year middle once more and McCarthy converted with yet another kill for a fourth match point opportunity at 25-24. This time, the fourth chance was the charm, as Bulmahn converted a setter dump to finish out the sweep and set off a memorable celebration, complete with a court storming from a packed student section.

Inside the Match

Valpo will play for a national championship for just the second time in the history of Valpo Athletics. The 2015-16 men’s basketball team advanced to the championship game of the NIT. That year’s men’s basketball team is also the only other team in Valpo Athletics history to win four postseason contests in one season.

Valpo is looking to be the first non-Power Five team to win the NIVC since Cal State Northridge won the title in 1994.

Friday’s victory came in front of a tremendous crowd of 1,267 fans at the ARC, the highest-attended match in Valpo Volleyball history.

All four of Valpo’s NIVC wins have come via the sweep, the program’s first stretch of four consecutive sweeps since September 2018.

Valpo improved to 12-1 at home this season, the program’s second-best home record in the 20-year tenure of head coach Carin Avery, trailing only the 13-0 mark by the 2005 squad.

This is the eighth time in program history that Valpo has won 26 or more matches in a season, seven of which have occurred in Avery’s tenure.

As has been the case recently, the balance of the Valpo attack was noteworthy, as Anderson and Bulmahn distributed the volleyball to the Beacons’ six attackers, all of whom tallied between 21 and 29 attacks.

Leading the way on the finishing end offensively were Boyer and McCarthy, who picked up 12 kills apiece to tie for team-high honors. Boyer did so on a team-best .360 hitting clip.

McCarthy’s 12 kills moved her past Lauren Moulton into eighth place in program history in career kills, with 1,206 as of the end of play Friday.

Cooper added nine kills as well and was part of a team-best four blocks.

Anderson dished out 18 assists and Bulmahn handed out 17. The setter duo also combined for five service aces, as Valpo posted six aces against just four service errors, versus one ace and eight errors by UConn.

The advantage in the service game more than offset a 64-point advantage for the Huskies in hitting percentage (.243-.179).

Valpo’s outside hitters did tremendous work keeping points alive defensively on Friday, as Swistek tallied a match-best 19 digs and Ravotto contributed 18 digs.

Rylee Cookerly (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) added 14 digs and now has 3,165 career digs, just 11 away from tying and 12 away from breaking the NCAA career record in the category.

Next Up

Valpo (26-9) will go for the NIVC title on Sunday night at the ARC against UNLV. First serve is slated for 7 p.m., and the match can be seen live on ESPN+ and heard live on WVUR (95.1 FM, Valparaiso). Links for all the live coverage are available at ValpoAthletics.com.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: RIO GRANDE AT IU EAST PREVIEW

The River States Conference East Division lead is on the line when the Indiana University East women’s basketball team hosts the unbeaten and nationally ranked squad from the University of Rio Grande on Dec. 11.

Tipoff is at 3 p.m. in the second game of a men’s-women’s RSC basketball doubleheader on Lingle Court.

IU East is 9-2 overall and 2-0 in the conference. No. 19 Rio Grande is 13-0 overall and 4-0 in the league.

FOLLOW THE GAME

General admission for IU East basketball is $7. IU East students, faculty and staff are admitted free with their university ID.

With guidance from the university’s medical and public health leaders as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Indiana Department of Health, all students, faculty, staff and visitors on all IU campuses are instructed to wear a mask indoors, including at IU East basketball home games on Lingle Court. This guidance will allow IU campuses to keep in-person classes, events and activities while also maintaining health and safety.

The GPS address for Lingle Court is 2325 Chester Boulevard in Richmond.

Live video is scheduled to be available.

Live stats also are scheduled to be available.

Monitor iueredwolves.com for the game recaps and results.

YOU OUGHT TO KNOW

* IU East is 3-0 in the conference play for the first time since the 2016-17 season after a 77-46 win at Carlow University on Dec. 4.

* IU East is 7-0 when it gets to the free throw line more than 20 times and 6-0 when it makes 30 or more field goals.

* IU East is 15th in the nation in defensive 3-point field goal percentage allowed (.239)

* IU East is 4-0 at home this season.

* IU East seeks its first win against a Top 25 opponent since November 2018.

* IU East is 7-6 all-time against Rio Grande. The teams split two seven-point decisions in 2019-20, with both schools winning on their home court.

* Addie Brown (14.3 points per game), Kennedy Griffin (13.4), Bethany Mackin (13.3), and Kami McEldowney (11.7) all average double digits in scoring for IU East.

* Kennedy Griffin has been IU East’s top scorer in the last three Red Wolf games.

* Tia Tolbert (5.9 rebounds per game), Bethany Mackin (3.3 assists per game), Marissa Quiroz (1.3 blocks per game) and Kami McEldowney (2.3 steals per game) are IU East’s leaders in the other standard statistical categories.

MEN’S BASKETBALL: RIO GRANDE AT IU EAST PREVIEW

The Indiana University East men’s basketball team tips off a three-game homestand with a River States Conference matchup against the University of Rio Grande on Dec. 11.

Tipoff is at 1 p.m. in the first game of a men’s-women’s RSC basketball doubleheader on Lingle Court.

IU East is 6-6 overall and 2-0 in the conference. Rio Grande is 5-4 overall and 3-1 in the league.

FOLLOW THE GAME

General admission for IU East basketball is $7. IU East students, faculty and staff are admitted free with their university ID.

With guidance from the university’s medical and public health leaders as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Indiana Department of Health, all students, faculty, staff and visitors on all IU campuses are instructed to wear a mask indoors, including at IU East basketball home games on Lingle Court. This guidance will allow IU campuses to keep in-person classes, events and activities while also maintaining health and safety.

The GPS address for Lingle Court is 2325 Chester Boulevard in Richmond.

Live video is scheduled to be available.

Live stats also are scheduled to be available.

Monitor iueredwolves.com for the game recaps and results.

YOU OUGHT TO KNOW

* IU East has won two in a row. The Red Wolves’ most recent result is a 102-44 victory at Carlow University on Dec. 4. Bryce Long scored a career-high 27 points for IU East.

* IU East is one of three RSC teams without a league loss. WVU Tech and Alice Lloyd College are the other two.

* IU East is 4-0 when it limits the opponent to a .429 shooting percentage or lower.

* IU East is 12-0 in NAIA meetings against Rio Grande, but half of the games have been decided by 10 points or less.

* IU East is fifth in the nation with 5.7 team blocks per game.

* Justin Williams (15.0 points per game), Jehu Lafeuillee (6.9 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game along with 8.5 points per game) and Jamisen Smith (2.9 assists and 1.7 steals along with 8.2 points per game) are IU East’s leaders in the other standard statistical categories.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL HOSTS MSJ ON SATURDAY AT 1 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology women’s basketball team hosts Mount St. Joseph in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference action on Saturday at 1 pm.

ROSE-HULMAN GAME NOTES:

* Rose-Hulman relied on balanced offense to defeat Earlham 75-42 on Wednesday. 

* Jordan Barlow (12), Rowan Hein (11), Nola Wilson (11) and Ashley Black (10) were in double figures in scoring, and Jamie Baum (13) and Allie Fults (11) had double-figure rebounds in the win.

* Rowan Hein scored 27 points in an overtime win over Illinois Wesleyan in November, the most by a Rose-Hulman player since Ally Bromenschenkel in January 2019.

* Rose-Hulman has 2 losses to NCAA Division III nationally ranked top 12 teams – a 10-point loss to then No. 10 DePauw and a 7-point loss to then No. 12 Transylvania.

* Jon Prevo crossed the 200-win plateau in his career in November.  Coach Prevo holds women’s basketball school records for wins (202) and winning percentage.

MOUNT ST. JOSEPH GAME NOTES:

* Mount St. Joseph stands 3-3 on the season and is 1-1 in HCAC play. The Lions defeated Anderson in league action and earned non-league wins over Spalding and Heidelberg.

* Maddie Haberthy has been named a 2nd-team D3hoops.com Preseason All-American and has backed up the accolades this season.  Haberthy averages 23.2 points per game.

* Chloe Jansen (12.3), Anyiah Murphy (11.8) and Shelby Turner (11.3) are also double figure scorers for Mount St. Joseph.

SERIES HISTORY:

* Overall Record: Rose-Hulman leads 26-7

* Current Streak: MSJ won 2

* Last Meeting: MSJ 77, RHIT 62 – 2/1/2020

* Last RHIT Win: RHIT 72, MSJ 33 – 1/23/2019

MEN’S BASKETBALL HOSTS MSJ ON SATURDAY AT 3 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology men’s basketball team hosts Mount St. Joseph in HCAC action on Saturday at 3 pm.

ROSE-HULMAN GAME NOTES:

* Rose-Hulman hosts Mount St. Joseph in a 3 pm Saturday afternoon HCAC matchup.

* Rose-Hulman won the John Mutchner Cup for the 9th consecutive year by defeating Earlham 64-57 on Wednesday. 

* The John Mutchner Cup is awarded one time per year in the Earlham game, and this year’s contest was played on Wednesday.

* Rose-Hulman won another trophy earlier this season by winning the Marymount Invitational in Virginia.  The Fightin’ Engineers defeated Washington & Lee and Marymount in November to win the crown.

* Rose-Hulman has 3 players averaging double figures in scoring.  Max Chaplin (13.4), Terry Hicks (12.1) and Dillon Duff (11.4) are each in double figures.

* Rose-Hulman has a 12-2 record against HCAC competition over the last two years.

* Head coach Rusty Loyd enters this contest with a career NCAA coaching record of 110-70.  Loyd has led Rose-Hulman to one regular season HCAC title and three appearances in the HCAC Tournament Championship Game.

MOUNT ST. JOSEPH GAME NOTES:

* Mount St. Joseph stands 3-3 overall and 0-1 in HCAC play.  The Lions have wins over Wilmington, Bethany and Asbury.

* Devin Young is one of the top all-around players in the HCAC with averages of 15.5 points and 8.7 rebounds per game.

* David Luers (11.2 ppg) and Brady Thomas (10.8 ppg) join Young as double figure scorers for Mount St. Joseph

SERIES HISTORY:

* Overall Record: Rose-Hulman leads 17-15

* Current Streak: Rose-Hulman won 7

* Last Meeting: RHIT 58, MSJ 50 – 1/30/2021

* Last MSJ Win: MSJ 84, RHIT 68 – 12/6/2017

HOT OUTSIDE SHOOTING SENDS WILDCATS PAST BLUE RAIDERS

COLUMBIA, KY. – No. 13 Indiana Wesleyan women’s basketball defeated RV Lindsey Wilson 81-69 to end their road trip to Kentucky this weekend.

After starting off the game exchanging baskets, Wildcats went on a 9-0 run to create some cushion midway through the quarter. Wildcats led 21-14 after the first ten minutes of play.

Three minutes into the second quarter, Blue Raiders tied the game before Wildcats responded with a 15-2 run to end the half leading 38-27.

The second half of play opened up with back-to-back possessions of Wildcats knocking down shots before the Blue Raiders responded with back-to-back three pointers. IWU connected on five three-pointers in the quarter with two from Kelli Damman, Rylie Parker back-to-back, and Lilli Frasure ending the quarter with one.

Blue Raiders came within six early in the fourth quarter but the Wildcats never let up. Jordan Reid connected on the final three Wildcat baskets of the night two of which were critical offensive rebounds and put backs.

15 – first half IWU points off of LWC 11 turnovers

75% – Wildcat’s season-high three-point percentage in the game

56% – Wildcats season-high field goal percentage

14 – all Damman’s points came in the second half

Lilli Frasure – 18 points

Jordan Reid – 16 points, 7 rebounds

Kelli Damman – 14 points, 4-6 from the arc

Klair Merrell – 9 points, eight rebounds

Wildcats return home after a week off for final exams. They will host Miami University (Hamilton) on Monday, December 20 at 7pm.

TAYLOR ATHLETICS | TAYLOR SCORES THRILLING VICTORY ON 24TH-ANNUAL IVANHOES #TUSILENTNIGHT

UPLAND, Ind. – After a one-year layoff, one of the best traditions in college athletics made its return to Odle Arena on Friday, as the Taylor men’s basketball team hosted the 24th-Annual Ivanhoes Silent Night Game and turned away Lincoln Christian by a 79-75 score to improve to 23-1 all-time on Silent Night.

The sold-out crowd had to wait just 123 seconds to end its silence, as Jackson Lewis assisted on three-straight Kaden Fuhrmann treys to start the night, before Lewis took it himself and rolled in a runner for an 11-4 TU lead at the 17:57 mark. Lewis became the first freshman to score TU’s 10th point on Silent Night since Evan Crowe in 2015.

The bucket sent the crowd into a frenzy that helped the Trojans build a 26-17 lead on 13 points from Fuhrmann, who connected on five of his first six looks from the field to open the contest.

Lincoln Christian (3-8) kept pace however, weathering the early onslaught and battling back to within single point at 31-30, before five-straight points from Aaron Hahn pushed the margin to 38-33 and helped TU take a 40-35 lead to the break.

The second stanza provided more drama, as Taylor’s lead ranged from one to eight points throughout with the two squads trading short bursts and thrilling the crowd over the final 20 minutes of action.

Fuhrmann continued to put on a shooting clinic, drilling three-straight triples once again to help open a 68-61 lead with 6:07 remaining in the game. Gavin Yoon took a brief turn with five-straight points to protect the Taylor lead, before another Fuhrmann hoop gave the Trojans a 75-68 edge with 3:27 showing on the clock.

Taylor withstood a stretch of five-straight points from LCU and held off the Lions down the stretch to lock down the four-point victory.

Fuhrmann ended the evening with 34 points on career-highs of 12-of-18 shooting and eight-of-14 from beyond the arc. The sophomore guard also added a personal-best eight rebounds and two steals in his 34 minutes of work.

Hahn followed with a career-high 20 points on a personal-best seven-of-10 shooting and added seven rebounds, three steals and one block.

Yoon joined Fuhrmann and Hahn in double figures with 10 points and Grant Niehaus added seven, while Lewis and Jakeb Kinsey combined for 12 assists. Lewis set a career-high with seven helpers and Kinsey dished out a career-high five.

Taylor shot 51.7 percent from the floor and sank a season-best 13 three-point shots in 30 attempts for a 43.3-percent rate from downtown.

TU (5-8) will return to action on Thursday, December 16 at 7:00 pm, when it hosts Northwestern Ohio (3-8), following the TU women’s team hosting Lourdes in a 5:00 pm start.

NFL STANDINGS
AMERICAN FOOTBALL CONFERENCE
EAST DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS940.6920.03502003-4-06-0-07-1-03-1-07 W
BUFFALO BILLS750.5831.53361963-3-04-2-05-5-03-1-01 L
MIAMI DOLPHINS670.4623.02542884-3-02-4-04-5-02-2-05 W
NEW YORK JETS390.2505.52173672-4-01-5-03-6-00-4-01 L
 
WEST DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS840.6670.03032595-2-03-2-03-4-02-1-05 W
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS750.5831.03143153-3-04-2-05-3-02-1-01 W
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS660.5002.02743123-4-03-2-04-3-01-2-01 L
DENVER BRONCOS660.5002.02372183-3-03-3-03-5-01-2-01 L
 
NORTH DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
BALTIMORE RAVENS840.6670.02822605-1-03-3-05-4-01-2-01 L
CINCINNATI BENGALS750.5831.03312673-3-04-2-05-3-03-1-01 L
PITTSBURGH STEELERS661.5002.02723224-2-12-4-04-4-02-2-01 L
CLEVELAND BROWNS660.5002.02542674-2-02-4-03-5-01-2-01 L
 
SOUTH DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
TENNESSEE TITANS840.6670.03042904-2-04-2-05-3-03-1-02 L
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS760.5381.53712833-4-04-2-06-3-03-2-01 W
HOUSTON TEXANS2100.1676.01643231-5-01-5-02-7-02-2-02 L
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS2100.1676.01803202-5-00-5-02-5-00-3-04 L
 
NATIONAL FOOTBALL CONFERENCE
EAST DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
DALLAS COWBOYS840.6670.03532674-2-04-2-06-1-02-0-01 W
WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM660.5002.02462973-3-03-3-05-2-01-0-04 W
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES670.4622.53372911-4-05-3-04-4-00-2-01 W
NEW YORK GIANTS480.3334.02112733-3-01-5-03-5-01-2-01 L
 
WEST DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
ARIZONA CARDINALS1020.8330.03432243-2-07-0-06-2-04-0-02 W
LOS ANGELES RAMS840.6672.03362704-2-04-2-05-3-01-2-01 W
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS660.5004.03032782-4-04-2-05-5-01-4-01 L
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS480.3336.02392492-4-02-4-02-6-02-2-01 W
 
NORTH DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
GREEN BAY PACKERS930.7500.02832425-0-04-3-07-2-02-1-01 W
MINNESOTA VIKINGS670.4623.53443334-2-02-5-04-4-02-1-01 W
CHICAGO BEARS480.3335.02012872-4-02-4-02-5-02-1-01 L
DETROIT LIONS1101.1257.52033161-5-00-5-11-7-01-4-01 W
 
SOUTH DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS930.7500.03772705-0-04-3-06-3-02-1-03 W
CAROLINA PANTHERS570.4174.02362532-4-03-3-03-5-02-0-02 L
ATLANTA FALCONS570.4174.02163321-5-04-2-02-6-01-3-01 L
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS570.4174.02742762-4-03-3-04-5-01-2-05 L

NBA DIVISION STANDINGS
EASTERN CONFERENCE
ATLANTIC DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
BROOKLYN188.6928-510-34-014-57-31 W
PHILADELPHIA1412.5384.05-69-60-59-75-51 L
BOSTON1314.4815.56-47-103-38-84-63 L
TORONTO1214.4626.05-97-54-310-85-51 W
NEW YORK1214.4626.05-87-63-38-123-72 L
 
CENTRAL DIVISON
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
CHICAGO179.6548-49-52-210-66-41 L
MILWAUKEE1710.6300.59-48-65-012-78-21 W
CLEVELAND1512.5562.56-79-52-110-66-42 W
INDIANA1216.4296.09-63-101-37-125-53 W
DETROIT421.16012.52-102-111-53-120-1011 L
 
SOUTHEAST DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
MIAMI1511.5777-48-73-19-54-61 W
WASHINGTON1511.5778-37-83-410-94-61 W
CHARLOTTE1513.5361.08-47-95-210-85-51 W
ATLANTA1313.5002.08-55-83-27-86-41 L
ORLANDO521.19210.02-83-130-52-161-93 L
 
WESTERN CONFERENCE
NORTHWEST DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
UTAH187.7209-49-35-010-28-26 W
DENVER1213.4806.07-45-92-27-73-71 L
MINNESOTA1115.4237.57-94-60-27-94-65 L
PORTLAND1115.4237.510-41-111-26-113-74 L
OKLAHOMA CITY817.32010.04-84-90-26-102-81 L
 
PACIFIC DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
GOLDEN STATE214.84014-27-25-112-38-22 W
PHOENIX214.84012-29-23-214-49-12 W
LA CLIPPERS1412.5387.510-74-51-410-105-52 W
LA LAKERS1413.5198.09-75-61-47-96-41 W
SACRAMENTO1115.42310.55-86-74-38-115-51 L
 
SOUTHWEST DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
MEMPHIS1511.5779-66-52-212-67-31 W
DALLAS1213.4802.56-66-77-210-63-71 L
SAN ANTONIO915.3755.05-74-80-34-115-51 W
HOUSTON817.3206.57-61-111-24-127-31 L
NEW ORLEANS820.2868.04-94-112-36-125-51 W

NHL DIVISION STANDINGS
EASTERN CONFERENCE
ATLANTIC DIVISION
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
FLORIDA PANTHERS2618444017997214-1-04-3-47-2-1
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS2818823818887111-4-17-4-16-3-1
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING261754381589708-3-29-2-28-1-1
DETROIT RED WINGS2813123291278969-3-24-9-15-4-1
BOSTON BRUINS231382281265607-4-16-4-15-3-2
BUFFALO SABRES26815319771946-8-12-7-21-8-1
MONTREAL CANADIENS28619315661984-10-12-9-22-7-1
OTTAWA SENATORS24716115663934-9-03-7-13-7-0
 
METROPOLITAN DIVISION
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
NEW YORK RANGERS261853391779678-2-110-3-28-2-0
WASHINGTON CAPITALS271656381594699-2-47-3-26-3-1
CAROLINA HURRICANES251861371881557-3-011-3-15-4-1
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS261385311279705-5-28-3-37-2-1
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS2513111271181829-3-14-8-04-5-1
NEW JERSEY DEVILS251010525972827-5-33-5-23-5-2
PHILADELPHIA FLYERS25912422960854-6-25-6-21-8-1
NEW YORK ISLANDERS22611517646680-5-26-6-31-6-3
 
WESTERN CONFERENCE
CENTRAL DIVISION
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
MINNESOTA WILD26196139161017410-2-09-4-18-1-1
NASHVILLE PREDATORS2716101331580758-5-08-5-17-3-0
COLORADO AVALANCHE2415723214106828-2-17-5-17-2-1
ST. LOUIS BLUES261484321290759-3-15-5-35-3-2
WINNIPEG JETS271395311282769-4-14-5-44-5-1
DALLAS STARS241392281268689-2-14-7-17-3-0
CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS261014222758815-6-15-8-15-5-0
ARIZONA COYOTES26519212545962-8-13-11-13-6-1
 
PACIFIC DIVISION
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
CALGARY FLAMES271566361385584-2-411-4-26-3-1
ANAHEIM DUCKS281585351391799-4-26-4-35-3-2
EDMONTON OILERS251690321489779-4-07-5-05-5-0
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS2615110301489819-6-06-5-06-4-0
SAN JOSE SHARKS2714121291473766-5-18-7-06-4-0
LOS ANGELES KINGS2511104261068677-6-24-4-23-5-2
VANCOUVER CANUCKS281115224870846-7-15-8-15-5-0
SEATTLE KRAKEN26915220973936-8-03-7-25-4-1