INDIANA BOYS BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD

BARR-REEVE66ROBINSON (ILL.)48 
CHICAGO LONGWOOD (ILL.)40GARY WEST31 
HOBART67SOUTH CENTRAL (UNION MILLS)48 
LAPEL74ELWOOD39 
LEO85FORT WAYNE WAYNE55 
NORTHFIELD69SOUTH ADAMS50 
SETON CATHOLIC62HAGERSTOWN27 
CASS COUNTY INVITATIONAL
LEWIS CASS64CASTON43R1

INDIANA GIRLS BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD

ANDREAN48HAMMOND MORTON22 
BOONVILLE41NORTH POSEY29 
EASTBROOK55SOUTHWOOD24 
EVANSVILLE CENTRAL53EVANSVILLE HARRISON26 
EVANSVILLE MATER DEI76EVANSVILLE REITZ49 
FISHERS50HAMILTON HEIGHTS45 
FLOYD CENTRAL42MADISON39 
FRANKTON57EASTERN (GREENTOWN)9 
GARY WEST77CALUMET20 
HARRISON (WEST LAFAYETTE)48LAFAYETTE CENTRAL CATHOLIC23 
HERITAGE32FREMONT25 
INDIANA DEAF67IRVINGTON PREP ACADEMY17 
INDIANAPOLIS SCECINA38INDIANAPOLIS HERRON28 
JAC-CEN-DEL65HAUSER40 
JEFFERSONVILLE44LAWRENCEBURG24 
KOKOMO62LAFAYETTE JEFF23 
LAWRENCE CENTRAL70INDIANAPOLIS CHATARD41 
MARQUETTE CATHOLIC61OREGON-DAVIS54 
MONROE CENTRAL70UNION CITY60 
NOBLESVILLE66HAMILTON SOUTHEASTERN64 
NORTHWESTERN51MACONAQUAH38 
RANDOLPH SOUTHERN45DALEVILLE35 
ROCHESTER58CULVER23 
SOUTH ADAMS48FORT WAYNE CANTERBURY17 
SULLIVAN70SOUTH KNOX67 
TIPTON60TAYLOR39 
TRI-CENTRAL47WES-DEL32 
TRITON40LAVILLE34 
WINCHESTER69DELTA19 
CASS COUNTY INVITATIONAL
CASTON51LEWIS CASS28R1

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD

#5 UCLA 73 COLORADO 61

#6 VILLANOVA 71 PENN 56

#10 ARKANSAS 97 CENTRAL ARKANSAS 60

UTAH VALLEY 72 #12 BYU 65, OT

OKLAHOMA 74 #14 FLORIDA 67

GEORGIA 82 #18 MEMPHIS 79

#19 IOWA STATE 83 ARKANSAS PINE BLUFF 64

#20 USC 93 UTAH 73

#21 AUBURN 85 CENTRAL FLORIDA 68

#22 MICHIGAN STATE 73 LOUISVILLE 64

#23 WISCONSIN 70 GEORGIA TECH 66

NORTH CAROLINA 72 #24 MICHIGAN 51

#25 SETON HALL 85 WAGONER 63

XAVIER 78 CENTRAL MICHIGAN 45

DAYTON 93 ALABAMA STATE 54

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS 54 EVANSVILLE 52

CINCINNATI 59 MIAMI OHIO 58

WESTERN ILLINOIS 93 BALL STATE 80

VIRGINIA TECH 62 MARYLAND 58

NORTH CAROLINA STATE 104 NEBRASKA 100 4OT

LOYOLA CHICAGO 88 INDIANA STATE 76

LSU 66 OHIO 51

NORTHERN ILLINOIS 55 EASTERN ILLINOIS 45

MIAMI, FLORIDA 63 PENN STATE 58

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD

#11 TENNESSEE 76 TENNESSEE TECH 48

#15 TEXAS 78 JACKSON STATE 64

#16 KENTUCKY 83 WEST VIRGINIA 60

#17 TEXAS A&M 65 LITTLE ROCK 50

SYRACUSE 97 #18 OHIO STATE 91

UC DAVIS 64 #18 OREGON 57

PRINCETON 58 #22 FLORIDA GULF COAST 55

#23 OREGON STATE 76 PACIFIC 72

PURDUE 53 GEORGIA TECH 52

PITTSBURGH 58 RUTGERS 50

INDIANA STATE 59 CHICAGO STATE 58

BUFFALO 95 NIAGARA 55

CINCINNATI 59 CENTRAL MICHIGAN 54

NEBRASKA 86 WAKE FOREST 60

VIRGINIA TECH 70 WISCONSIN 60

NORTH CAROLINA 82 MINNESOTA 76

NBA SCOREBOARD

ATLANTA 114 INDIANA 111

ORLANDO 108 DENVER 103

WASHINGTON 115 MINNESOTA 107

BOSTON 88 PHILADELPHIA 87

CLEVELAND 111 MIAMI 85

DALLAS 139 NEW ORLEANS 107

MILWAUKEE 127 CHARLOTTE 125

HOUSTON 114 OKLAHOMA CITY 110

SACRAMENTO 124 LA CLIPPERS 115

NHL SCOREBOARD

NY RANGERS 4 PHILADELPHIA 1

TORONTO 8 COLORADO 3

VANCOUVER 6 OTTAWA 2

DETROIT 4 SEATTLE 3

EDMONTON 5 PITTSBURGH 2

ANAHEIM 6 VEGAS 5

NFL SCHEDULE WEEK 13

THURSDAY, DEC. 2

DALLAS COWBOYS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS, 8:20 PM (FOX, NFL NETWORK, AMAZON)

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 5

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AT ATLANTA FALCONS, 1 PM (FOX)

ARIZONA CARDINALS AT CHICAGO BEARS, 1 PM (FOX)

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS, 1 PM (FOX)

MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT DETROIT LIONS, 1 PM (CBS)

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT HOUSTON TEXANS, 1 PM (CBS)

DENVER BRONCOS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS, 1 PM (CBS)

NEW YORK GIANTS AT MIAMI DOLPHINS, 1 PM (FOX)

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES AT NEW YORK JETS, 1 PM (CBS)

WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM AT LAS VEGAS RAIDERS, 4:05 PM (FOX)

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT LOS ANGELES RAMS, 4:25 PM (CBS)

BALTIMORE RAVENS AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS, 4:25 PM (CBS)

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS, 8:20 PM (NBC)

MONDAY, DEC. 6

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS AT BUFFALO BILLS, 8:15 PM (ESPN)

WEEK 14 SCHEDULE

THURSDAY, DEC. 9

PITTSBURGH STEELERS AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS, 8:20 PM (FOX, NFL NETWORK, AMAZON)

SUNDAY, DEC. 12

ATLANTA FALCONS AT CAROLINA PANTHERS, 1 PM (FOX)

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS, 1 PM CBS)

BALTIMORE RAVENS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS, 1 PM (CBS)

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT HOUSTON TEXANS, 1 PM (FOX)

LAS VEGAS RAIDERS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS, 1 PM  (CBS)

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT NEW YORK JETS, 1 PM (FOX)

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT TENNESSEE TITANS, 1 PM (CBS)

DALLAS COWBOYS AT WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM, 1 PM (FOX)

DETROIT LIONS AT DENVER BRONCOS, 4:05 PM (FOX)

NEW YORK GIANTS AT LOS ANGELES CHARGERS, 4:05 PM (FOX)

BUFFALO BILLS AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS, 4:25 PM (CBS)

CHICAGO BEARS AT GREEN BAY PACKERS, 8:20 PM (NBC)

MONDAY, DEC. 13, 2021

LOS ANGELES RAMS AT ARIZONA CARDINALS, 8:15 PM (ESPN)

WEEK 15 SCHEDULE

THURSDAY, DEC. 16

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS AT LOS ANGELES CHARGERS, 8:20 PM (FOX, NFL NETWORK, AMAZON)

SATURDAY, DEC. 18

TBD, 4:30 PM NFL NETWORK

TBD, 8:15 PM NFL NETWORK

SATURDAY/SUNDAY TBD

CAROLINA PANTHERS AT BUFFALO BILLS, TBD

LAS VEGAS RAIDERS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS, TBD

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS AT INDIANAPOLIS COLTS, TBD

NEW YORK JETS AT MIAMI DOLPHINS, TBD

WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES, TBD

SUNDAY, DEC. 19

GREEN BAY PACKERS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS, 1 PM (FOX)

ARIZONA CARDINALS AT DETROIT LIONS, 1 PM (FOX)

HOUSTON TEXANS AT JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS, 1 PM (CBS)

DALLAS COWBOYS AT NEW YORK GIANTS, 1 PM (FOX)

TENNESSEE TITANS AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS, 1 PM (CBS)

CINCINNATI BENGALS AT DENVER BRONCOS, 4:05 PM (CBS)

ATLANTA FALCONS AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS, 4:05 PM (CBS)

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT LOS ANGELES RAMS, 4:25 PM (FOX)

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS, 8:20 PM (NBC)

MONDAY, DEC. 20

MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT CHICAGO BEARS, 8:15 PM (ESPN)

WEEK 16 SCHEDULE

THURSDAY, DEC. 23

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AT TENNESSEE TITANS, 8:20 PM (NFL NETWORK)

SATURDAY, DEC. 25 (CHRISTMAS)

CLEVELAND BROWNS AT GREEN BAY PACKERS, 4:30 PM (FOX, NFL NETWORK, AMAZON)

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT ARIZONA CARDINALS, 8:15 PM (NFL NETWORK)

SUNDAY, DEC. 26

DETROIT LIONS AT ATLANTA FALCONS, 1 PM (FOX)

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AT CAROLINA PANTHERS, 1 PM (FOX)

BALTIMORE RAVENS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS, 1 PM (CBS)

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS AT HOUSTON TEXANS, 1 PM (CBS)

LOS ANGELES RAMS AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS, 1 PM (FOX)

BUFFALO BILLS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS, 1 PM (CBS)

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT NEW YORK JETS, 1 PM (CBS)

NEW YORK GIANTS AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES, 1 PM (FOX)

CHICAGO BEARS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS, 4:05 PM (FOX)

PITTSBURGH STEELERS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS, 4:25 PM (CBS)

DENVER BRONCOS AT LAS VEGAS RAIDERS, 4:25 PM (CBS)

WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM AT DALLAS COWBOYS, 8:20 PM (NBC)

MONDAY, DEC. 27

MIAMI DOLPHINS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS, 8:15 PM (ESPN)

WEEK 17 SCHEDULE

SUNDAY, JAN. 2

ATLANTA FALCONS AT BUFFALO BILLS, 1 PM (FOX)

NEW YORK GIANTS AT CHICAGO BEARS, 1 PM (CBS)

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS, 1 PM (CBS)

ARIZONA CARDINALS AT DALLAS COWBOYS, 1 PM (FOX)

LAS VEGAS RAIDERS AT INDIANAPOLIS COLTS, 1 PM (CBS)

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS, 1 PM (CBS)

CAROLINA PANTHERS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS, 1 PM (FOX)

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AT NEW YORK JETS, 1 PM (FOX)

MIAMI DOLPHINS AT TENNESSEE TITANS, 1 PM (CBS)

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES AT WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM, 1 PM (FOX)

DENVER BRONCOS AT LOS ANGELES CHARGERS, 4:05 PM (CBS)

HOUSTON TEXANS AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS, 4:05 PM (CBS)

LOS ANGELES RAMS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS, 4:25 PM (FOX)

DETROIT LIONS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS, 4:25 PM (FOX)

MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT GREEN BAY PACKERS, 8:20 PM(NBC)

MONDAY, JAN. 3

CLEVELAND BROWNS AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS, 8:15 PM (ESPN)

WEEK 18 SCHEDULE

SATURDAY, JAN. 8

TBD, 4:30 PM, ESPN, ABC

TBD, 8:15 PM, ESPN, ABC

SUNDAY, JAN. 9

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT ATLANTA FALCONS, 1 PM (FOX)

PITTSBURGH STEELERS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS, 1 PM (CBS)

NEW YORK JETS AT BUFFALO BILLS, 1 PM (CBS)

CINCINNATI BENGALS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS, 1 PM (CBS)DA

GREEN BAY PACKERS AT DETROIT LIONS, 1 PM (FOX)

TENNESSEE TITANS AT HOUSTON TEXANS, 1 PM (CBS)

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS, 1 PM(CBS)

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS AT MIAMI DOLPHINS, 1 PM (CBS)

CHICAGO BEARS AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS, 1 PM (FOX)

WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM AT NEW YORK GIANTS, 1 PM (FOX)

DALLAS COWBOYS AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES, 1 PM (FOX)

CAROLINA PANTHERS AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS, 1 PM (FOX)

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT ARIZONA CARDINALS, 4:25 PM (FOX)

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS AT DENVER BRONCOS, 4:25 PM (CBS)

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AT LOS ANGELES RAMS, 4:25 PM (FOX)

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS AT LAS VEGAS RAIDERS, 4:25 PM (CBS)

TBD, 8:20 PM(NBC)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

WEEK 14

FRIDAY, DEC. 3

CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP GAME (ALAMODOME IN SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS) | 7 P.M. | CBSSN

PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME (ALLEGIANT STADIUM IN LAS VEGAS, NEVADA) | 8 P.M. | ABC

SATURDAY, DEC. 4

BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME (AT&T STADIUM IN ARLINGTON, TEXAS) | 12 P.M. | ABC

MAC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME (FORD FIELD IN DETROIT, MICHIGAN) | 12 P.M. | ESPN

MOUNTAIN WEST CHAMPIONSHIP GAME | 3 P.M. | FOX

APPALACHIAN STATE AT LOUISIANA (SUN BELT CHAMPIONSHIP GAME | 3:30 P.M. | ESPN

GEORGIA VS. ALABAMA (SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME AT MERCEDES-BENZ STADIUM IN ATLANTA) | 4 P.M. | CBS

AAC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME | 4 P.M. | ABC

ACC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME (BANK OF AMERICA STADIUM IN CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA) | 8 P.M. | ABC

BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP GAME (LUCAS OIL STADIUM IN INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA) | 8 P.M. | FOX

USC AT CAL | 11 P.M. | FS1

WEEK 14

SATURDAY, DEC. 11

ARMY VS. NAVY (METLIFE STADIUM IN EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY) | 3 P.M. | CBS

(TOP NATIONAL NEWS AND RELEASES)

MLB OWNERS LOCK OUT PLAYERS, 1ST WORK STOPPAGE SINCE 1995

IRVING, Texas (AP) Major League Baseball plunged into its first work stoppage in a quarter-century when the sport’s collective bargaining agreement expired Wednesday night and owners immediately locked out players in a move that threatens spring training and opening day.

The strategy, management’s equivalent of a strike under federal labor law, ended the sport’s labor peace after 9,740 days over 26 1/2 years.

Teams decided to force the long-anticipated confrontation during an offseason rather than risk players walking out during the summer, as they did in 1994. Players and owners had successfully reached four consecutive agreements without a work stoppage, but they have been accelerating toward a clash for more than two years.

“We believe that an offseason lockout is the best mechanism to protect the 2022 season,” baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred wrote in a letter to fans. “We hope that the lockout will jumpstart the negotiations and get us to an agreement that will allow the season to start on time. This defensive lockout was necessary because the players’ association’s vision for Major League Baseball would threaten the ability of most teams to be competitive.”

Talks that started last spring ended Wednesday after a brief session of mere minutes with the sides far apart on the dozens of key economic issues. Management’s negotiators left the union’s hotel about nine hours before the deal lapsed at 11:59 p.m. EST.

MLB’s 30 controlling owners held a brief digital meeting to reaffirm their lockout decision, and MLB delivered the announcement of its fourth-ever lockout – to go along with five strikes – in an emailed letter to the Major League Baseball Players Association.

“This drastic and unnecessary measure will not affect the players’ resolve to reach a fair contract,” union head Tony Clark said in a statement. “We remain committed to negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement that enhances competition, improves the product for our fans, and advances the rights and benefits of our membership.”

This stoppage began 30 days after Atlanta’s World Series win capped a complete season following a pandemic-shortened 2020 played in empty ballparks.

The lockout’s immediate impacts were a memo from MLB to clubs freezing signings, the cancellation of next week’s annual winter meetings in Orlando, Florida, and banishing players from team workout facilities and weight rooms while perhaps chilling ticket sales for 2022.

The union demanded change following anger over a declining average salary, middle-class players forced out by teams concentrating payroll on the wealthy and veterans jettisoned in favor of lower-paid youth, especially among clubs tearing down their rosters to rebuild.

“As players we see major problems with it,” New York Mets pitcher Max Scherzer said of the 2016 agreement. “First and foremost, we see a competition problem and how teams are behaving because of certain rules that are within that, and adjustments have to be made because of that in order to bring out the competition.”

Eleven weeks remain until pitchers and catchers are to report for spring training on Feb. 16, leaving about 70 days to reach a deal allowing for an on-time start. Opening day is set for March 31, and a minimum of three weeks of organized workouts have been required in the past.

Management, intent on preserving salary restraints gained in recent decades, rejected the union’s requests for what teams regarded as significant alterations to the sport’s economic structure, including lowering service time needed for free agency and salary arbitration.

“We offered to establish a minimum payroll for all clubs to meet for the first time in baseball history; to allow the majority of players to reach free agency earlier through an age-based system that would eliminate any claims of service time manipulation; and to increase compensation for all young players,” Manfred wrote. “When negotiations lacked momentum, we tried to create some by offering to accept the universal designated hitter, to create a new draft system using a lottery similar to other leagues.”

Many clubs scrambled to add players ahead of the lockout, committing to more than $1.9 billion in new contracts – including a one-day record of more than $1.4 billion Wednesday.

Two of the eight members of the union’s executive subcommittee signed big deals: Texas infielder Marcus Semien ($175 million) and Scherzer ($130 million).

“This is actually kind of fun,” Scherzer said. “I’m a fan of the game, and to watch everybody sign right now, to actually see teams competing in this kind of timely fashion, it’s been refreshing because we’ve seen freezes for the past several offseasons.”

No player remains active from the 232-day strike that cut short the 1994 season, led to the first cancellation of the World Series in 90 years and caused the following season to start late.

The average salary dropped from $1.17 million before the strike to $1.11 million but then resumed its seemingly inexorable rise. It peaked at just under $4.1 million in 2017, the first season of the latest CBA, but likely will fall to about $3.7 million when this year’s final figures are calculated.

That money is concentrated heavily at the top of the salary structure. Among approximately 1,955 players who signed major league contracts at any point going into the regular season’s final month, 112 had earned $10 million or more this year as of Aug. 31, of which 40 made at least $20 million, including prorated shares of signing bonuses.

There were 1,397 earning under $1 million, of which 1,271 were at $600,000 or less and 332 under $100,000, a group of younger players who shuttle back and forth to the minors.

A union statement claimed the lockout “was specifically calculated to pressure players into relinquishing rights and benefits, and abandoning good-faith bargaining proposals that will benefit not just players, but the game and industry as a whole. … We have been here before, and players have risen to the occassion time and again – guided by a solidarity that has been forged over generations.”

The union has withheld licensing money, as it usually does going into bargaining; cash, U.S. Treasury securities and investments totaled $178.5 million last Dec. 31, according to a financial disclosure form filed with the U.S. Department of Labor.

Some player agents have speculated that management’s credit lines already may be pressured following income deprivation caused by the coronavirus pandemic, but the clubs’ finances are more opaque publicly than that of the union, making it difficult to ascertain comparative financial strength to withstand a lengthy work stoppage.

Manfred succeeded Bud Selig as commissioner in 2015 following a quarter-century as an MLB labor negotiator. He was unusually critical publicly of the union’s stance.

“They never wavered from collectively the most extreme set of proposals in their history,” he said, “including significant cuts to the revenue-sharing system, a weakening of the competitive balance tax, and shortening the period of time that players play for their teams. All of these changes would make our game less competitive.”

CUBS GIVE STROMAN $71M, 3-YEAR DEAL TO IMPROVE ROTATION

CHICAGO (AP) Marcus Stroman rushed to the airport and caught a flight from Los Angeles to Chicago as soon as he got the word from his agent.

The right-hander arrived just in time with a lockout looming to complete a $71 million, three-year contract. And the Cubs landed one of the top remaining starting pitchers on the free agent market on Wednesday.

“It’s one of the best franchises in all of sports and fan bases as well, so it’s extremely appealing to me,” Stroman said. “It sells out every single night. To pitch in front of that electric crowd is something that kind of draws me.”

Stroman gets $25 million in each of the next two seasons and has a $21 million player option for 2024. His option price could increase by $2 million each for 160 innings in 2022 and ’23.

Stroman announced he was leaving the New York Mets for Chicago in a series of tweets hours before the labor contract between players and owners was set to expire. The Cubs later confirmed the deal.

Stroman said the deal came together “really fast” and his “senses were kind of heightened” once agent Broderick Scoffield told him the Cubs were interested. He’s also looking forward to pitching at Wrigley Field for the first time. He toured the famed ballpark on Wednesday after completing his physical and medical tests.

“The city has been incredibly welcoming on socials, and I’m excited. This fan base is incredible, so I can’t wait to pitch here,” Stroman said.

Improving the Cubs’ pitching was a priority for president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer after the team ranked among the worst in baseball with a 4.87 ERA. The 30-year-old Stroman figures to give the rotation a huge boost. He went 10-13 with a 3.02 ERA and tied for the major league lead by making 33 starts for the Mets this year.

Stroman was an All-Star with Toronto in 2019 before getting traded to New York that season, then sat out the 2020 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He is 61-60 with a 3.63 ERA over seven seasons with the Blue Jays and Mets.

Stroman figures to anchor the Cubs’ rotation along with Kyle Hendricks and newcomer Wade Miley. Alec Mills, Adbert Alzolay, Justin Steele and Keegan Thompson are also in the mix for starting spots.

The Cubs are retooling after going 71-91, their first losing record since 2014. They claimed Miley off waivers from Cincinnati on Nov. 7.

Chairman Tom Ricketts said in an October letter to fans that the Cubs would “be active in free agency and continue to make thoughtful decisions to bolster our team this offseason.” Stroman said his deal shows the team is serious about winning again soon.

“I think they’re definitely in not a full rebuild,” Stroman said. “I think they definitely want to win now. Obviously, this is a city that’s an incredible fan base and baseball’s a competitive sport. You never know what you’re going to get going into any year.”

Chicago also announced contracts with catcher Yan Gomes and outfielders Clint Frazier and Michael Hermosillo on Wednesday.

Gomes agreed to a $13 million, two-year deal that includes a club option for 2024. Frazier and Hermosillo got one-year contracts.

The Cubs also have Willson Contreras behind the plate, but he is eligible for free agency after next season and the team could decide to trade him if the sides can’t reach a long-term deal this winter. Chicago also could use Gomes to provide more rest for Contreras, who turns 30 in May.

The 34-year-old Gomes played for Washington and Oakland this year, batting .252 with 14 homers and 52 RBIs in 103 games.

Frazier batted .186 with the Yankees last season. The No. 5 overall pick in the 2013 amateur draft, he hit .239 in five seasons for New York.

Hermosillo spent most of last season at Triple-A Iowa and appeared in 16 games with the Cubs, going 7 for 36 with three homers. He missed the final 3 1/2 weeks because of a strained left forearm.

LA ANGELS RE-SIGN CLOSER RAISEL IGLESIAS TO $58 MILLION DEAL

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Closer Raisel Iglesias agreed to a four-year, $58 million deal Wednesday night to stay with the Los Angeles Angels.

Iglesias was outstanding in his first season with the Angels after they acquired him in a trade with Cincinnati a year ago. The Cuban right-hander had 34 saves while going 7-5 with a 2.57 ERA and 103 strikeouts with only 12 walks in 65 appearances.

His 8.58 strikeout-to-walk ratio was the best of his career, and he finished 11th in the AL Cy Young voting while repeatedly going multiple innings for the Angels, including eight saves longer than three outs.

Iglesias was the best thing to happen to the Angels’ annually beleaguered bullpen in several years, and his team didn’t take it for granted. He will make $10 million in 2022 and $16 million in 2023, 2024 and 2025.

Angels general manager Perry Minasian said Iglesias was “obviously one of our top priorities, if not our top priority internally.”

The Angels declined to trade Iglesias at the deadline because they saw him in their long-term plans. When Iglesias turned down an $18.4 million qualifying offer last month, Minasian said he remained confident they could reach a deal.

Minasian also got some help from Mike Trout, manager Joe Maddon and several Angels who all called Iglesias in recent weeks, reminding him how much they wanted him back at Angel Stadium.

“Competition was fierce,” Minasian said. “He’s one of the more talented guys out there. We feel like he’s one of the better pitchers, not just relievers, in the game. We felt there was going to be significant competition, and there was.”

Iglesias, who turns 32 next month, was likely the most desired reliever on the free agent market after his strong performance for the Angels on the back of six solid seasons for the Reds, who signed him in 2014, several months after he defected.

Iglesias has a career ERA of 3.06 with 140 saves, including at least 28 saves in each of the past four full major league seasons despite playing for four teams that finished with losing records.

Minasian is focused on rebuilding the Angels’ pitching staff after they finished 22nd in the majors in ERA during the latest season in a decade of mostly poor mound performance.

Iglesias will be joined in the Angels’ bullpen by Aaron Loup, who agreed to a two-year, $17 million contract as a free agent last month. The veteran left-hander also was one of the majors’ most effective relievers last season for the New York Mets.

Los Angeles signed right-hander Noah Syndergaard to a one-year, $21 million contract to join Shohei Ohtani in their rotation. The Halos also added right-hander Michael Lorenzen, a versatile former teammate of Iglesias in Cincinnati who could contribute in the rotation or the bullpen.

Minasian confirmed that the Angels’ initial plan is for Lorenzen to compete for a spot in their six-man starting rotation. Lorenzen, who agreed to a $6.75 million deal with his hometown team Tuesday, has been “dying to start,” the GM said.

Lorenzen also played the outfield and hit .233 with a respectable .710 OPS with Cincinnati, and Minasian didn’t rule out Lorenzen remaining a two-way player in Anaheim alongside Ohtani.

“We have a creative manager who isn’t afraid to experiment,” Minasian said.

The Angels also acquired utility player Tyler Wade from the Yankees in a trade last month.

To make room on their roster for Iglesias, the Angels designated right-hander Sam Selman for assignment.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF EXPANSION TALKS INCH FORWARD

DALLAS (AP) The latest meeting on expanding the College Football Playoff wrapped up without a resolution Wednesday as the people involved agreed to keep talking.

CFP Executive Director Bill Hancock said there remains a strong consensus among the management committee, comprised of the 10 major college football conference commissioners and Notre Dame’s athletic director, to expand the four-team playoff field.

But how and when? A proposed 12-team model remains at the heart of the discussions and there is still hope it can be implemented for the 2024 season. Which conferences would be ensured access to the field is still up for debate.

“I thought there was a chance we’d get to the end today,” Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said. “We didn’t and there were good and appropriate reasons why we didn’t. There are people in the room that are differently situated and they therefore have different perspectives. And they were healthy discussions. I think we made good progress, but we aren’t done.”

The next scheduled meeting is January around the College Football Playoff championship game in Indianapolis, but it is possible the commissioners could meet sooner.

Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson said there are still some who would rather expand only to eight teams. Others are adamant eight won’t work.

“I was part of a group that brought forward a recommendation of six conference champions and six best remaining teams – or you can stay at four,” said Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey, one of four members of the subcommittee that worked for two years on the 12-team model put forth nearly six months ago.

Where do things stand with that original proposal?

“Well, it’s certainly not been approved,” Sankey said. “Otherwise, we wouldn’t be having this conversation today.”

The seven-hour meeting at a hotel at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport was the sixth in-person gathering of the management committee since the subcommittee’s proposal was unveiled in June.

In the morning, a room was prepared for the possibility that a news conference could be held to announce the commissioners had reached consensus on an expansion model. A podium was set up in front of a backdrop of College Football Playoff logos, facing about a half dozen chairs for reporters in attendance.

By early afternoon, that setup was being broken down.

Instead of making big news, a short statement from Hancock was released at the conclusion of the meeting. Thompson, Bowlsby and Sankey then took turns informally speaking with reporters outside the meeting room on their way to the elevators.

Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren, Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner Jim Phillips and Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff did not speak with reporters.

Those commissioners, all relatively new to playoff talks, were skeptical of the process from the start and became even more leery of how quickly it was moving toward 12 teams after it was revealed the SEC would be adding Oklahoma and Texas to the league in the next few years.

They pushed to revisit the possibility of expansion to only eight teams, though the obstacles to getting agreement on that were plentiful.

Since then, the road to expansion has become bumpy.

“I wish we had finished in September,” said Bowlsby, who was also a member of the expansion subcommittee with Sankey, Thompson and Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick.

At the last meeting in November, the possibility was raised of tweaking the 12-team proposal to ensure Power Five conference champions have automatic qualification, while only the top-ranked champion from the other five conferences would be guaranteed a spot.

That was met with strong opposition from American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco.

In the original 12-team proposal, the six highest-ranked conference champions would make the field with no distinction between the leagues.

Hancock tried to place a deadline on the process in early October, saying consensus from the commissioners needed to come in the next three or four months.

“We were directed to develop a format and if possible, implement early,” Sankey said. “So is it still possible to implement early? I think so.”

The presidential oversight committee must approve whatever proposal the management committee lands on. The university presidents and chancellors usually attend the CFP meeting around the championship game, which is set for Jan. 10.

If the commissioners can’t agree on a new model soon, Hancock has said the CFP would continue as is with four teams through the end of the current 12-year television rights deal that expires after the 2025 season. And now?

“I wouldn’t say there’s any hard deadline at this point,” Bowlsby said.

“This was a hard day, and I think all of us are tired and we came away from it with the feeling that we made enough progress to keep moving forward and that the expansion of the playoff, we’re very near consensus that we believe it ought to get larger,” Bowlsby said. “And there are details to work out.”

NFC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK – WEEK 12

Running back LEONARD FOURNETTTE of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, cornerback RASUL DOUGLAS of the Green Bay Packers and punter THOMAS MORSTEAD of the Atlanta Falcons are the NFC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week for games played in Week 12 (November 25, 28-29).

OFFENSE: RB LEONARD FOURNETTE, TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

Fournette totaled seven receptions, 131 scrimmage yards (100 rushing, 31 receiving) and a career-high four touchdowns (three rushing, one receiving) in a 38-31 win at Indianapolis.

This is the first Offensive Player of the Week award for Fournette and he becomes the first Tampa Bay running back to earn the honor since Bobby Rainey (Week 11, 2013).

He joins punter Bradley Pinion (Week 1), safety Mike Edwards (Week 2) and quarterback Tom Brady (Week 5) as the Buccaneers to earn a Player of the Week award this season.

Fournette is the fourth former LSU player to win Offensive Player of the Week this season, joining quarterback Joe Burrow (Week 4) and wide receivers Ja’Marr Chase (Week 7) and Justin Jefferson (Week 11). He joins Joseph Addai (Week 8, 2007 and Week 12, 2006) and Dalton Hilliard (Week 7, 1989 and Week 9, 1987) as the only former Tiger running backs to earn the honor.

DEFENSE: CB RASUL DOUGLAS, GREEN BAY PACKERS

Douglas recorded five tackles, four passes defensed and a 33-yard interception-return for a touchdown, the first touchdown of his career, in a 36-28 win over the Rams.

This is Douglas’ first Defensive Player of the Week award and is the first Packer to earn the award since linebacker Za’Darius Smith (Week 4, 2020). He is the first Green Bay cornerback to win since Charles Woodson (Week 4, 2010).

Douglas is the first former West Virginia cornerback to win Defensive Player of the Week and the first former Mountaineer to win the award since Raiders linebacker Bruce Irvin (Week 15, 2016).

SPECIAL TEAMS: P THOMAS MORSTEAD, ATLANTA FALCONS

In his Falcons debut, Morstead pinned three of his five punts inside the 20-yard line in a 21-14 victory at Jacksonville. He ended the game with an average of 44.8 yards per punt (35.0 net), with a long of 55 yards.

This is the sixth career Special Teams Player of the Week award for Morstead and first with the Falcons.

2009 (with Saints): Weeks 11, 17

2019 (with Saints): Weeks 3, 6

2020 (with Saints): Week 1

2021 (with Falcons): Week 12

He joins Matt Bosher (Week 16, 2014) as the only Atlanta punters to earn the award.

Morstead is the only former Southern Methodist player to win a Player of the Week award.

AFC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK – WEEK 12

Running back JOE MIXON of the Cincinnati Bengals, cornerback PAT SURTAIN II of the Denver Broncos and kicker DANIEL CARLSON of the Las Vegas Raiders are the AFC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week for games played in Week 12 (November 25, 28-29).

OFFENSE: RB JOE MIXON, CINCINNATI BENGALS

Mixon rushed for a career-high 165 yards on 28 attempts (5.9 average) and two touchdowns in Cincinnati’s 41-10 win over the Steelers. His 165 rushing yards led all players in Week 12 and are the fourth-most of any AFC player in a single game this season. 

He is the first player to rush for two touchdowns in four consecutive games within a single season since 2006 (Steven Jackson).

This is the second Offensive Player of the Week award for Mixon (Week 4, 2020) and he becomes the third Bengal to receive the honor this season, joining quarterback Joe Burrow (Week 4) and wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase (Week 7).

He joins Adrian Peterson (nine) as the only Oklahoma running backs to win the award multiple times.

DEFENSE: CB PAT SURTAIN II, DENVER BRONCOS

Surtain recorded five tackles and two interceptions, including a 70-yard interception return for a touchdown, in Denver’s 28-13 win over the Chargers. He is the only rookie this season to record two interceptions and an interception return for a touchdown in a single game this season.

This is the first Defensive Player of the Week award for Surtain and he is the first Denver player to earn the award since Kareem Jackson (Week 14, 2019).

Surtain is the fourth Broncos rookie to ever win the award, joining Dre’Mont Jones (Week 16, 2019), Von Miller (Week 11, 2011) and D.J. Williams (Week 16, 2004).

Surtain joins Dallas’ Trevon Diggs (Week 4) and the New York Giants’ Xavier McKinney (Week 9) as former Alabama defensive backs to earn the honor this season.

SPECIAL TEAMS: K DANIEL CARLSON, LAS VEGAS RAIDERS

Carlson totaled 18 points, connecting all five field goals (22, 46, 30, 56 and 29 yards) and all three point after attempts. His final field goal clinched an overtime victory for the Raiders on Thanksgiving.

He is the second AFC kicker to make five field goals in a single game this season.

This is the second Special Teams Player of the Week award for Carlson this season (Week 2) and the fourth of his career (Week 11, 2018 and Week 1, 2020). He is the second Raiders player to earn the award at least four times, joining Sebastian Janikowski (seven).

Carlson’s four Special Teams Player of the Week awards are the most among former Auburn players.

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL CAPSULE

DALLAS COWBOYS (7-4) AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (5-6)

LEADER: Cowboys lead all-time series, 17-13

STREAKS: Saints have won 2 of past 3

LAST GAME: 9/29/19: Cowboys 10 at Saints 12

LAST GAME AT SITE: 9/29/19

QB DAK PRESCOTT passed for 375 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 106.3 rating in Week 12. Has 12 games with 375+ yards since 2016, tied-most in NFL. Needs 68 pass yards for 5th-career 3,000-yard season. Has 75.4 comp. pct. (46 of 61) & 95.8 rating in 2 career starts vs. NO. Aims for his 5th in row on Thursday with 300+ pass yards. • RB EZEKIEL ELLIOTT had 8th rush TD of season last week. Has 8 TDs (7 rush, 1 rec.) in 9 career Thursday games. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. NO with TD. Leads NFL with 9,289 scrimmage yards since 2016 & needs 52 scrimmage yards for 6th-straight 1,000-yard season. RB TONY POLLARD aims for his 4th in row with 65+ scrimmage yards. • WR AMARI COOPER aims for his 4th in row vs. NO with 5+ catches. Aims for his 4th in row on Thursday with rec. TD. WR CEEDEE LAMB has 100+ rec. yards in 3 of his 5 road games this season. WR MICHAEL GALLUP had season-high 106 rec. yards last week, his 7th-career 100-yard game. TE DALTON SCHULTZ had 4th rec. TD of season in Week 12. Ranks 2nd among NFC TEs wtih 537 rec. yards. • LB MICAH PARSONS had sack & 2 TFL last week & leads all rookies in sacks (9) & TFL (15). Can become 1st rookie since JOEY BOSA (2016) with sack in 5 straight games. CB TREVON DIGGS leads NFL in INTs (8) & ranks tied-2nd in PD (13). S JAYRON KEARSE had career-high 11 tackles last week & aims for his 5th in row with PD. • QB TAYSOM HILL has 8 TDs (4 pass, 4 rush) in 4 career starts at QB. QB

TREVOR SIEMIAN had TD pass vs. INT last week. Has 2+ TD passes in 3 of his 4 starts this season. • RB ALVIN KAMARA has 14 TDs (11 rush, 3 rec.) in his past 8 at home. Aims for his 3rd in row at home with rush TD & 7th in row at home with 75+ scrimmage yards. Needs 1 catch to surpass ROGER CRAIG (358) for most receptions by RB in 1st 5 seasons. RB MARK INGRAM aims for his 3rd in row with 100+ scrimmage yards. Leads all active RBs & is all-time franchise leader with 7,823 rush yards. • WR MARQUEZ CALLAWAY has career-high 6 rec. TDs in 2021 & has TD catch in 3 of his past 4. TE NICK VANNETT had 1st rec. TD of season in Week 12. • DE CAMERON JORDAN has sack in 2 of his past 3 at home. Has 15.5 sacks & 18 TFL in 11 career games on Thursday. Needs 1 sack for his 10th-consecutive 5+ sack season. LB DEMARIO DAVIS led team with 10 tackles, his 3rd 10+ tackle game of 2021. Is 1 of 2 (T.J. WATT) with 10+ TFL in each of the past 5 seasons. Aims for his 4th in row vs. Dal. with 9+ tackles. CB MARSHON LATTIMORE had 2 PD in last meeting. Is 1 of 3 (JAMES BRADBERRY & MARLON HUMPHREY) with 10+ PD in each of the past 5 seasons. CB BRADLEY ROBY had 1st INT of season last week. S MARCUS WILLIAMS has season-high 9 tackles in Week 12. Had INT in last meeting. S MALCOLM JENKINS aims for his 5th in row vs. Dal. with 5+ tackles.

REPORT: COOPER EXPECTED TO RETURN FOR TNF VS. SAINTS

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper is expected to play Thursday against the New Orleans Saints after missing the last two games with COVID-19, a source told ESPN’s Ed Werder.

Cooper, who is unvaccinated, missed losses to the Las Vegas Raiders and the Kansas City Chiefs after testing positive.

Thursday’s matchup will mark the third time the Cowboys’ star receiver trio of Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, and Michael Gallup will all be on the field together this season.

While Cooper will provide a boost, Dallas won’t have head coach Mike McCarthy after he tested positive for COVID-19. Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn will serve as interim coach for the Cowboys.

Cooper is second on the team in receiving yards (583) and touchdowns (five) and third in catches (44).

REPORT: SAINTS TO START HILL FOR TNF VS. COWBOYS

Taysom Hill will start at quarterback for the New Orleans Saints in their Thursday Night Football matchup against the Dallas Cowboys, sources tell ESPN’s Mike Triplett.

Hill took first-team reps in Wednesday’s practice, and New Orleans has removed him from its injury report. The 31-year-old has missed the last two games with a foot injury.

Saints head coach Sean Payton said Tuesday that the team wanted to see how Hill’s foot responded to Wednesday’s activities before announcing a starter.

Trevor Siemian has filled in since Nov. 14 with Hill and starting quarterback Jameis Winston both sidelined, throwing for 377 yards, four touchdowns, and three interceptions in a pair of losses.

MURRAY AND D-HOP AT CARDS’ PRACTICE, GAME STATUS UNCERTAIN

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) Quarterback Kyler Murray and All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins were both at practice for the Arizona Cardinals on Wednesday in a sign the team’s top two playmakers might be ready to return after a three-game absence.

Even defensive end J.J. Watt was seen on the practice field, doing conditioning work off to the side despite a shoulder injury that could keep him out for the rest of the season.

Arizona (9-2) has the NFL’s best record and has regained some relatively fresh legs after a long-awaited bye week. The Cardinals hope the Thanksgiving break will allow them to work with a healthier roster when they play at Chicago on Sunday.

Coach Kliff Kingsbury said Murray and Hopkins were both “limited” during Wednesday’s workout.

“We want to make sure they feel good and ease them back into the week,” Kingsbury said. “Tomorrow, we’ll have pads on and hopefully they can do a little more.”

Murray is dealing with a sprained ankle while Hopkins has a hamstring injury. The third-year quarterback said his ankle feels good and he’s “hopeful” he’ll play against the Bears, adding that he didn’t feel the missed games would hurt his timing.

“Practice today, the first couple of lob reps, it felt like I’ve been doing it the past three, four weeks,” Murray said.

Murray, who didn’t miss a game during his first two NFL seasons, was one of the league’s top MVP candidates before his injury near the end of a loss to the Green Bay Packers. He’s thrown for 2,276 yards and 17 touchdowns and also run for three touchdowns in eight starts.

The forecast in Chicago is for wet and cold conditions Sunday, but Kingsbury said he didn’t expect weather to factor into Hopkins’ availability.

“I don’t think weather as much, just as much the time he’s been off task,” Kingsbury said. “We’ve just got to be smart with how we use him if he’s able to go. Maximize him the best we can, but make sure we don’t wear him out.”

The Cardinals have performed surprisingly well without Murray and Hopkins with a 2-1 record. Backup quarterback Colt McCoy has played well and the Cardinals have a deep receiver room with A.J. Green, Christian Kirk, Rondale Moore and tight end Zach Ertz.

Arizona’s defense is also much improved, giving up just 18.4 points per game, which ranks fourth in the league.

The unit’s continued its good play even after losing Watt, a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year. It’s unclear how realistic Watt’s return could be during the regular season or potential playoffs, but Kingsbury hasn’t ruled it out.

“He’s a machine and he’s been working like crazy,” Kingsbury said. “I’m never up here when he’s not up here doing some sort of rehab. Then he’s out there on the field doing some running. You never know with him.”

DANIEL JONES PRACTICES ON LIMITED BASIS DESPITE NECK INJURY

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones practiced on a limited basis despite a strained neck and he hopes to play this weekend against the Dolphins in Miami.

“I think it’s just sore,” Jones said Wednesday after a short workout. “Like I said, I’m feeling much better today and expect I’ll continue to feel better and better every day.”

Concern about Jones’ playing status blew up Tuesday night when it was reported he sustained a neck injury in a win over the Eagles on Sunday and there was a chance he might miss a game.

It was somewhat surprising because Jones did not appear to be hurt in the 13-7 win. He didn’t miss any snaps and he also took part in the post-game news conference.

Jones said he woke up early Monday because his neck hurt. Coach Joe Judge added he was not told at any time during the game that Jones was hurt. He found out Monday when he got a copy of the injury report. Players had Tuesday off.

Jones has been the Giants’ starting quarterback since the third game of his rookie season in 2019 when he replaced two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning. Jones has started every game this season. The only action he has missed was when he sustained a concussion just before halftime against Dallas on Oct. 10. He recovered and started against the Rams the following weekend.

Jones did not say on what play he was hurt, although it might have been a run on the second play from scrimmage.

“My focus is to get back this week and do everything I can to prepare to play Sunday,” said Jones, adding he planned to follow the advice of the team’s medical staff. “That’s where my focus is right now.”

Judge rarely says much about injuries. He said it will depend on what happens over the next few days whether Jones plays.

“We expect him to practice tomorrow and Friday, as well,” Judge said Wednesday. “We’ll see what he can do. It’s like any kind of injury coming out of the game, we’ll just see how he does.”

If Jones were unable to play, veteran Mike Glennon would start. He replaced a concussed Jones late in the first half against Dallas and completed 16 of 25 passes for 196 yards and a touchdown.

“We always prepare all of our players. Every week, Mike’s job is to be prepared that if his number is called at any point in time, either before or during the game, he’s ready to go in and run our offense,” Judge said. “We’ll also prepare Daniel to start, as well.”

The Giants added a security blanket, announcing Wednesday they had signed quarterback Jake Fromm off the Buffalo Bills’ practice squad. He was taken in the fifth round of the 2020 draft and was inactive all season.

Fromm completed 21 of 36 passes for 172 yards this preseason. He was released on Aug. 31 and signed to the Bills’ practice squad the following day.

Fromm played in 43 games for Georgia from 2017-19. He completed 621 of 982 passes for 8,224 yards, 78 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. posting a 35-7 record as a starter. Fromm also rushed for 402 yards and scored three touchdowns on 134 carries.

Former Michigan State quarterback Brian Lewerke has spent the season on the Giants’ practice squad. Neither he nor Fromm has played in an NFL regular-season game.

Linebacker Trent Harris (ankle) and cornerback Adoree Jackson (quad) did not practice Wednesday after being hurt Sunday. Fullback Cullen Gillaspia (calf), WR John Ross (illness), TE Kyle Rudolph (ankle), WR Sterling Shepard (quad), tight end Kaden Smith (knee) and receiver Kadarius Toney (oblique/quad) also did not practice Wednesday. Ross is the only member of the group who played Sunday.

TEXANS CANCEL PRACTICE WITH PLAYERS NOT FEELING WELL

HOUSTON (AP) The Houston Texans canceled practice and all other in-person activities Wednesday on the advice of their medical team because some players weren’t feeling well. Coach David Culley said they have not had any positive COVID-19 tests.

Culley, speaking to reporters via Zoom, said that the team would resume normal operations Thursday.

“We’ve got a few players that are under the weather right now, a little sick, and our medical team just felt like that it’d be best for us for precautionary reasons just to keep them home, and then we’ll be back to business as usual (Thursday),” Culley said.

Players were told to stay home Wednesday and all team meetings were to be held virtually.

Houston defensive end Jacob Martin said going through virtual work in the early part of the pandemic made dealing with a situation like this easier.

“We’ve had so much practice at this, that whether you’re virtual or doing in-person meetings, that doesn’t really matter,” he said. “Guys that have played the COVID season last year, we have a pretty good understanding of what needs to be done in terms of routine on Wednesdays and things like that, which would typically be a full-padded day for us.”

The Texans (2-9) host Indianapolis (6-6) on Sunday.

FIELDS PRACTICES FOR BEARS, DALTON GETS FIRST-TEAM SNAPS

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) While Justin Fields returned to practice for the Chicago Bears, Andy Dalton got the first-team snaps on Wednesday.

Whether the prized rookie or veteran will start at quarterback Sunday when the NFC West-leading Arizona Cardinals visit Soldier Field remains to be seen.

“With Andy being able to come out here and get these reps today, it’ll allow us to really continue each day to see, `Justin, where you at?'” coach Matt Nagy said. “`What’s your pain today? How is it when you’re throwing?’ Once you go through the day of practice, however much it is, we’ve got to be able to say, `OK, for us going into it, is this something that we feel that he’s gonna be the best he can be for us to help win us that game, or is it gonna hurt him more or hurt us?’ As the week goes on, we’re working through all that.”

Fields had not practiced since he cracked ribs in the loss to Baltimore on Nov. 21 and was replaced by Dalton. The three-time Pro Bowler led a late go-ahead scoring drive before the Ravens pulled it out and, with a short turnaround, started in a Thanksgiving victory at winless Detroit.

When Fields is healthy, he remains Chicago’s No. 1 quarterback. The No. 11 overall draft pick strung together several solid outings prior to the Baltimore game.

Dalton, who opened the season as the starter, threw for a Bears season-high 317 yards against Detroit. He led an 18-play drive that ate up 8:30 and ended with Cairo Santos’ winning field goal.

“There’s different calls that they like, different checks that they like, different plays that one may like more than the other. So it’s just being able to know, if Andy’s out there he’s probably going to check to this,” receiver Damiere Byrd said. “Or if Justin’s out there, he’s probably going to lean more to this. So being able to be ready for that.”

Whoever starts for the Bears (4-7) on Sunday will face a huge challenge. The Cardinals (9-2) boast the best record in the NFL, including a 6-0 road mark, and one of the top defenses.

The Bears simply have little room for error the rest of the way as they try to stay in a crowded playoff race. Though they’re just one game out of the NFC’s seventh and final spot, they are one of eight teams in the conference with either four or five victories.

They’re also dealing with injuries to key players on offense and defense, with linebacker Roquan Smith joining the list against Detroit. He exited that game after hurting his hamstring and did not practice Wednesday.

Though Nagy said he does not think Smith will wind up on injured reserve, his injury means the defense could be down another top player against the Cardinals. Star pass rusher Khalil Mack suffered a season-ending foot injury this year, and defensive tackle Akiem Hicks (ankle) has missed the past two games.

“I worry about what I can control, and at the end of the day that’s doing my one-eleventh and doing my job and as far as that, that’s hard enough on its own,” cornerback Jaylon Johnson said. “So I mean I’m not too focused on other factors going on around me, just trying to home in on what I can get better at and keep playing ball.”

As for possibly not having Smith available?

“Being able to fill that role, I feel like, isn’t going to be easy in terms of just his leadership, the energy that he brings to the defense,” Johnson said. “And even through his performance, through his ability to make plays that impact the game, I feel like it’s going to be hard to replace. But I mean at the end of the day, the standard is the standard, so whoever fills that spot is going to come in and they’ll have that same impact, hopefully.”

MAC Announces 2021 Postseason Football Awards & All-MAC Teams

Cleveland, Ohio – Today the Mid-American Conference announced the All-MAC Teams & Specialty Award selections for the 2021 football season. All of the awards were voted on by the league’s 12 head coaches.

Kent State quarterback Dustin Crum was tabbed the winner of the 40th Vern Smith Leadership Award as the top player in the MAC. Northern Illinois Head Coach Thomas Hammock was selected as the Head Coach of the Year, while Central Michigan running back Lew Nichols III was named Offensive Player of the Year. Western Michigan defensive end Ali Fayad was tabbed as the Defensive Player of the Year, while Central Michigan’s Kalil Pimpleton was selected as the Special Teams Player of the Year. Northern Illinois running back Jay Ducker earned Freshman of the Year honors, rounding out the specialty award selections.

Crum joins running back Eric Wilkerson who earned the Player of the Year honor in 1987 as the only Kent State players to win the award and took home first-team all-conference honors as well. Crum has had a stellar season in which he has thrown for 2,794 yards and 15 touchdowns against four interceptions while completing 65 percent of his passes. The quarterback has also been a threat on the ground, running for 565 yards, tops amongst quarterbacks, and 11 rushing touchdowns.

NIU head coach Thomas Hammock guided the Huskies to an 8-4 (6-2 MAC) record, completing a “worst to first” regular season with an eight-game improvement in the win column, winning seven games by one score or less. Hammock is the fifth straight NIU head coach to lead the Huskies to ta MAC West Division title and the MAC Championship game. After going 0-6 a year ago, NIU’s turnaround has come with a roster that includes 75 players who finished high school in 2020 or 2021 and 11 more who graduated in 2019; of those 86 players, 53 have seen action for NIU in 2021 and 33 are listed on the two-deep this week.

Nichols, a redshirt freshman running back from Detroit, earned the MAC Freshman of the Year Award in 2020. He leads the nation in rushing with 1,710 yards and in all-purpose yardage with 2,010 yards. Nichols is the sixth Chippewa to be named the MAC Offensive Player of the Year and the first since Dan LeFevour in 2009.

Fayad leads the Conference and is seventh in the nation in sacks with 11.5. He also leads the league in tackles for loss with 15.0, good for 21st in the FBS. Overall, Fayad has 35 tackles and has recorded at least half a sack in nine of 12 games.

Pimpleton, who hails from Muskegon, leads the MAC in average punt return yardage, 20.25 yards, and returned two punts for touchdowns this season. Both of those returns for touchdowns came in a 42-30 victory at Western Michigan; one covered a CMU-record 97 yards and stands as the third-longest punt return in MAC history. It marks the third time in CMU history that a Chippewa has earned the MAC Special Teams Player of the Year Award. Antonio Brown brought home the honor to Mount Pleasant in 2008-09.

Ducker became the first Huskie since Joel Bouagnon in 2015 to record four consecutive 100-yard rushing games and how has run for more than 100 yards in five of the Huskies’ last six games. He needs 112 yards to surpass the 1,000-yard mark for the season and record the 31st 1,000-yard rushing season in school history. He is 156 yards away from the Huskies’ single season freshman rushing record set by Alllen Ross in 1977.

The All-MAC First, Second & Third Teams were also announced and are listed below.

Northern Illinois will meet Kent State in the 2021 Rocket Mortgage MAC Football Championship Game, scheduled for Saturday, December 4 at Ford Field in Detroit. The game will kickoff at Noon EST on ESPN.

2021 MAC Specialty Award Winners

Coach of the Year:  Thomas Hammock, Northern Illinois

Offensive Player of the Year:  Lew Nichols III, RB, Central Michigan

Defensive Player of the Year: Ali Fayad, DL, Western Michigan

Special Teams Player of the Year: Kalil Pimpleton, PR, Central Michigan

Freshman of the Year:  Jay Ducker, RB, Northern Illinois

Vern Smith Leadership Award Winner:  Dustin Crum, QB, Kent State

2021 All-MAC First Team Offense

Quarterback – Dustin Crum, Kent State

Offensive Lineman – Sidy Sow, Eastern Michigan

Offensive Lineman – Bernhard Raimann, Central Michigan

Offensive Lineman – Luke Goedeke, Central Michigan

Offensive Lineman – Bryce Harris, Toledo

Offensive Lineman – Mike Caliendo, Western Michigan

Tight End – Christian Sims, Bowling Green

Wide Receiver – Kalil Pimpleton, Central Michigan

Wide Receiver – Dante Cephas, Kent State

Wide Receiver – Jack Sorenson, Miami

Wide Receiver – Skyy Moore, Western Michigan

Running Back – Lew Nichols III, Central Michigan

Running Back – Bryant Koback, Toledo

Placekicker – Nate Needham, Bowling Green

2021 All-MAC First Team Defense

Down Lineman – Troy Hairston, Central Michigan

Down Lineman – Kameron Butler, Miami

Down Lineman – Jamal Hines, Toledo

Down Lineman – Ali Fayad, Western Michigan

Linebacker – Darren Anders, Bowling Green

Linebacker – James Patterson, Buffalo

Linebacker – Troy Brown, Central Michigan

Linebacker – Ivan Pace Jr. Miami

Defensive Back – Bryce Cosby, Ball State

Defensive Back – Elvis Hines, Kent State

Defensive Back – C.J. Brown, Northern Illinois

Defensive Back – Sam Womack, Toledo

Defensive Back – Tycen Anderson, Toledo

Punter – Nathan Snyder, Ball State

2021 All-MAC First Team Specialists

Kickoff Return Specialist – Justin Hall, Ball State

Punt Return Specialist – Kalil Pimpleton, Central Michigan

2021 All-MAC Second Team Offense

Quarterback – Kaleb Eleby, Western Michigan

Offensive Lineman – Curtis Blackwell, Ball State

Offensive Lineman – Jake Fuzak, Buffalo

Offensive Lineman – Bill Kuduk, Kent State

Offensive Lineman – Nolan Potter, Northern Illinois

Offensive Lineman – Brayden Patton, Northern Illinois

Tight End – Tristian Brank, Akron

Wide Receiver – Konata Mumpfield, Akron

Wide Receiver – Justin Hall, Ball State

Wide Receiver – Hassan Beydoun, Eastern Michigan

Wide Receiver – Trayvon Rudolph, Northern Illinois

Running Back – Marquez Cooper, Kent State

Running Back – Sean Tyler, Western Michigan

Placekicker – Chad Ryland, Eastern Michigan

2021 All-MAC Second Team Defense

Down Lineman – Daymond Williams, Buffalo

Down Lineman – Lonnie Phelps, Miami

Down Lineman – Desjuan Johnson, Toledo

Down Lineman – Ralph Holley, Western Michigan

Linebacker – Jaylin Thomas, Ball State

Linebacker – Matthew Salopek, Miami

Linebacker – Jonathan Jones, Toledo

Linebacker – Zaire Barnes, Western Michigan

Defensive Back – Jordan Anderson, Bowling Green

Defensive Back – Devonni Reed, Central Michigan

Defensive Back – Sterling Weatherford, Miami

Defensive Back – Dorian Jackson, Western Michigan

Punter – Jake Julien, Eastern Michigan

2021 All-MAC Second Team Specialists

Kickoff Return Specialist – Trayvon Rudolph, Northern Illinois

Punt Return Specialist – Devin Maddox, Toledo

2021 All-MAC Third Team Offense

Quarterback – Brett Gabbert, Miami

Offensive Lineman – Jack Klenk, Buffalo

Offensive Lineman – Brian Dooley, Eastern Michigan

Offensive Lineman – Nathan Monnin, Kent State

Offensive Lineman – Logan Zschernitz, Northern Illinois

Offensive Lineman – Vitaliy Gurman, Toledo

Tight End – Thomas Odukoya, Eastern Michigan

Wide Receiver – Quian Williams, Buffalo

Wide Receiver – Dallas Dixon, Central Michigan

Wide Receiver – JaCorey Sullivan, Central Michigan

Wide Receiver – Mac Hippenhammer, Miami

Running Back – Dylan McDuffie, Buffalo

Running Back – Clint Ratkovich, Northern Illinois

Placekicker – Andrew Glass, Kent State

2021 All-MAC Third Team Defense

Down Lineman – Karl Brooks, Bowling Green

Down Lineman – Jose Ramirez, Eastern Michigan

Down Lineman – Dominique Robinson, Miami

Down Lineman – James Ester, Northern Illinois

Linebacker – Lance Deveaux, Northern Illinois

Linebacker – Bryce Houston, Ohio

Linebacker – Dyontae Johnson, Toledo

Linebacker – Corvin Moment, Western Michigan

Defensive Back – Devin Taylor, Bowling Green

Defensive Back – Jordan Gandy, Northern Illinois

Defensive Back – Tariq Drake, Ohio

Defensive Back – Maxen Hook, Toledo

Punter – Matt Naranjo, Bowling Green

2021 All-MAC Third Team Specialists

Kickoff Return Specialist – Ron Cook, Buffalo

Kickoff Return Specialist – Marion Lukes, Central Michigan

UNC ROLLS BY NO. 24 MICHIGAN 72-51 IN ACC/BIG TEN CHALLENGE

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) Caleb Love and Armando Bacot believed North Carolina could play better than it showed in back-to-back losses to ranked teams. The Tar Heels proved it against No. 24 Michigan.

Love scored 22 points to help UNC take control after halftime, and the Tar Heels handled the Wolverines 72-51 on Wednesday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

North Carolina led 29-27 at the half but shot 58% after the break to turn the game into a surprising rout. It was a sign of growth after November losses to now-No. 2 Purdue and against No. 13 Tennessee a day later in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off in Uncasville, Connecticut. First-year coach Hubert Davis said his team’s energy and effort were disappointing in the 17-point loss to the Volunteers.

“We just had to do some soul-searching and we just had to figure out: Do we really want to be a great team or a good team?” Bacot said. “I feel like we took a step in the right direction. I mean, we were all were just pretty upset and (ticked) off about it. And just some of the things that were just said about us as a team, we didn’t like it at all.”

The response? The Tar Heels (5-2) were active defensively and did a better job of establishing their paint presence to get better looks as Dawson Garcia (14 points, two 3-pointers) and Bacot (11 points, 14 rebounds) thrived.

“I felt like our guys wanted another opportunity against a big-time team,” Davis said.

Bacot played aggressively out of the break and was fouled twice in a span of 12 seconds by Michigan’s top big man, Hunter Dickinson, early in the second half. That sent Dickinson to the bench for the next 10-plus minutes with four fouls.

The Tar Heels pounced to take advantage, while the Wolverines (4-3) got nothing going in response and trailed by as many as 25 points.

“I saw that we missed one of our best players during that run,” Michigan coach Juwan Howard said. “From there, North Carolina really took advantage. They scored inside in the paint pretty easy, with less resistance.”

Michigan shot 9 of 27 (33%) after halftime as UNC pushed the margin to double figures and then got back-to-back 3s from Love to make it 59-40 with 6:49 left.

Freshman Moussa Diabite scored 13 points to lead Michigan but missed his last four shots after a 5-for-5 start, while Eli Brooks added 11 points. The 7-foot-1 Dickinson, who entered as the team’s No. 2 scorer (14.8 points) and top rebounder (8.2), finished with four points and five rebounds in 18 minutes.

BIG PICTURE

Michigan: The Wolverines had a preseason No. 6 ranking in the AP Top 25 and spent a week at No. 4 before a two-point home loss to Seton Hall and an 18-point loss to Arizona in Las Vegas. This was another ugly one for Howard’s team, which struggled for second-half stops and never found a consistent rhythm even before the Tar Heels made their move.

“It’s hard to get stops when you’re giving up good looks,” Brooks said.

UNC: The Tar Heels opened at No. 19 for their first season under Davis, but fell out after of the poll after losses to ranked opponents. They could be set to hop right back into the Top 25 after Davis’ first win against a ranked opponent.

CHALLENGE NOTES

This was the fewest points allowed by UNC in an ACC/Big Ten Challenge game, with the previous low mark being 55 at Ohio State in the 2007-08 season. It was the Tar Heels’ largest margin of victory in the Challenge since the eventual national champions beat Michigan State by 35 points in Detroit in December 2008.

This also marked the third time in five seasons that Michigan and UNC met in the Challenge, with the Tar Heels winning at home in 2017 and the Wolverines at home in 2018.

HONORED GUESTS

The UNC crowd honored ESPN announcer Dick Vitale with a standing ovation before the game. Vitale recently returned to work as he receives treatment for lymphoma.

The Tar Heels also honored Antawn Jamison at halftime after the former national player of the year – whose No. 33 jersey is one of eight retired by the program – was recently inducted into the National College Basketball Hall of Fame.

UP NEXT

Michigan: The Wolverines host San Diego State on Saturday before starting Big Ten play next week at Nebraska.

UNC: The Tar Heels play an early Atlantic Coast Conference game at Georgia Tech on Sunday followed by their last four nonconference matchups.

UTAH VALLEY PULLS AWAY IN OT, STUNS NO. 12 BYU 72-65

OREM, Utah (AP) Fardaws Aimaq had 24 points and 22 rebounds, Justin Harmon also scored 24 points and Utah Valley stunned No. 12 BYU 72-65 in overtime on Wednesday night.

Connor Harding added 10 points for the Wolverines (7-1), who beat the Cougars for the second time in school history – the first win was in 2016.

Utah Valley allowed BYU to make just five total baskets during the final eight minutes of regulation and overtime. The Wolverines forced 15 turnovers, including 11 steals.

“We adjusted to how they play,” Aimaq said. “We have a little saying called EFN: energy, fight, nastiness. We brought that tonight and came out with a win.”

Alex Barcello led BYU (6-1) with 17 points and 11 rebounds, Spencer Johnson added 15 points and nine rebounds, and Seneca Knight and Te’Jon Lucas scored 10 points apiece.

The Cougars shot a season-low 32% from the field.

“We have a lot to learn and a lot to grow and some younger guys who need to grow fast and we will,” BYU coach Mark Pope said. “We’re not going to move through this gauntlet without being exposed a couple of times. It’s good for us and it’s helping with what we need to do.”

After Johnson sent the game to overtime with a layup just before the buzzer, Utah Valley took control in the extra period. Aimaq hit a 3-pointer with 2:43 left to put the Wolverines ahead to stay, kicking off a 10-0 run over the next 2 minutes. His free throw made it 67-59 with 43 seconds remaining.

Utah Valley held BYU without a field goal over a 2 1/2 minute stretch.

“We have a group that loves defense,” Wolverines coach Mark Madsen said.

Utah Valley went 12 of 16 from the free-throw line in overtime and attempted only five shots.

Lucas hit a pair of free throws to give BYU its largest lead at 50-43 with 4:13 remaining in regulation. Then the Cougars went cold. Harmon, Aimaq and Tim Fuller scored on three consecutive possessions to put Utah Valley ahead 54-51 with 16.7 seconds left.

UGLY START

Utah Valley missed its first 13 field-goal attempts before Harmon scored back-to-back fast-break layups off steals eight minutes into the first half.

BYU wasn’t much better early. The Cougars missed 14 of their first 18 shots from the field and shot 31% overall in the first half.

BAXTER HURT

BYU lost senior forward Gavin Baxter to another season-ending injury. Baxter played only four minutes before he tore the ACL in his left knee early in the first half.

For Baxter, this is the third consecutive season he has suffered a major injury. He has appeared in 15 games for the Cougars in that stretch.

OVERTIME PERFECTION

Utah Valley moved to 4-0 in overtime games this season. The Wolverines also beat Pepperdine, Long Beach State and Denver in OT.

Utah Valley’s players were confident after time expired in regulation.

“Nothing was discussed,” Aimaq said. “All we said was, `If it’s going to overtime, we’re going to win.'”

BIG PICTURE

Utah Valley: Few shots fell for the Wolverines over 45 minutes, but they hung tough by playing rugged defense and crashing the glass. Utah Valley will be a tough out in the Western Athletic Conference.

BYU: The Cougars started slow on offense for a second straight game. Once again, tough defense gave BYU time to hit a few shots at critical junctures after halftime. The Cougars could not get anything done until Johnson’s tying basket, missing 11 straight shots over an eight-minute stretch, and faltered again in overtime.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

An ugly loss against an underrated Utah Valley team will drop BYU in the AP Top 25.

UP NEXT

Utah Valley hosts Yellowstone Christian on Friday.

BYU visits Missouri State on Saturday.

SEABRON SCORES 39, N.C. STATE TOPS NEBRASKA IN 4 OT

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) Dereon Seabron scored a career-high 39 points with 18 rebounds and N.C. State defeated Nebraska 104-100 in a marathon, four-overtime Big Ten-ACC Challenge Wednesday night.

The 39 points was also a record for the Big Ten-ACC Challenge.

That Seabron, who played 57 minutes, scored four of those points, for the lead and the win, in the last 44 seconds of the wild affair was fitting. He had scored the tying points for the Wolfpack (6-1) in regulation and the the first overtime, and had scored go-ahead points near the end of the second overtime in a game that saw 14 ties and 13 lead changes.

The four-OT game was a first in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge history.

Ebenezer Dowuona scored four points for the Wolfpack but blocked a career-high eight shots. N.C. State had 11 blocks in all.

Alonzo Verge scored 25 points for Nebraska (5-3) before fouling out in the final seconds. He had traded big, last-minute baskets with Seabron throughout the game’s six periods. Freshman Bryce McGowens added 24 points and nine rebounds.

The game saw tempers flare late in regulation when players traded words, bumps and shoves in front of the Wolfpack bench right after Jericole Hellems launched a corner 3 over Lat Mayen as N.C. State erased a 14-point deficit to tie at 61-61.

As the dust settled, Mayen was ejected on a flagrant 2 foul and N.C. State’s Cam Hayes was ejected as well.

The Pack has won 27 consecutive regular season home games against non-conference opponents and has a 34-1 record against non-conference opponents in regular season home games under coach Kevin Keatts.

In the first overtime, the teams combined to miss the first 11 shots, and there was no scoring until there was less than a minute in the period when the Huskers and Wolfpack flew up and down the court trading baskets.

Verge drove for a game-winning basket as time was expiring in regulation only to have it blocked at the rim by freshman Breon Pass, sending the game to overtime.

Nebraska is at Indiana on Saturday to open Big Ten Conference play. N.C. State entertains Louisville on Saturday in an ACC opener.

GROVES SCORES 20, LEADS OKLAHOMA PAST NO. 14 FLORIDA, 74-67

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) As Oklahoma football fans tried to recover from Lincoln Riley’s sudden decision to leave for USC earlier in the week, the basketball team stepped in and gave them something to cheer about.

Tanner Groves scored 20 points to lead Oklahoma to a 74-67 victory over No. 14 Florida on Wednesday night.

Jalen Hill scored a career-high 18 points and Umoja Gibson added 15 for Oklahoma (7-1), which earned its biggest win yet under new coach Porter Moser. He picked up his 300th career coaching win after previous stops at Arkansas-Little Rock, Illinois State and Loyola Chicago.

It was much larger than a typical crowd for a non-conference game, and it was energetic and engaged from the beginning – something that Moser has pushed for since he arrived. He was pleased to see his vision become real.

“I think it was just for us, for our guys, for the fans, for the basketball fans here, for the Sooners,” Moser said. “To get the people in this arena – come on in. This thing could be electric.”

Phlandrous Fleming Jr. scored 17 points and Colin Castleton added 14 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks for Florida (6-1), which shot 42% and made just 4 of 24 3-pointers. The Gators finished with seven assists and 16 turnovers.

“I think that OU was just better than us,” Florida coach Mike White said. “And I think they executed better. They were a little bit more sound defensively. They swarm to the ball. We had we had some careless turnovers. The crowd definitely was a factor, of course. Credit the environment here, but I’d like to give more credit to their staff and players. I thought they were good.”

The Sooners led 9-0 before the Gators scored on a free throw nearly four minutes into the game. The Gators committed five turnovers before making a shot.

“You know, the first five minutes, I thought our guys believed,” Moser said. “They were ready defensively. It set the tone. What great teams do is they punch back, which Florida did. But it seemed like every time, we bounced back. And the crowd helped us bounce back. I think they got behind every good play. They did not relax.”

Florida chipped away throughout the half and took the lead for the first time on three free throws by Tyree Appleby just over a minute before the break. Oklahoma recovered and led 37-36 at halftime.

A 3-pointer by Groves pushed the lead to seven with just under 6 minutes remaining, and Hill followed with a thunderous right-handed jam that gave the Sooners a 65-56 lead and prompted a Florida timeout.

Florida rallied, and a 3-pointer by Appleby cut Oklahoma’s lead to 69-67 with about 2 minutes remaining. But Hill scored, was fouled and made the free throw to push the Sooners’ lead back to five, and Oklahoma remained in control from there.

Moser said he believes the win will help players buy into his plan even more.

“I just think it keeps solidifying us about getting better, that our hard work is – things are adding up,” he said.

BIG PICTURE

Florida: The Gators already have solid wins over Florida State and Ohio State this season – the same Ohio State team that just beat No. 1 Duke on Tuesday. This loss isn’t a resume killer.

Oklahoma: It’s an impressive win for an Oklahoma team that was pieced together with a new coach, a few holdovers, transfer portal additions and talented freshmen. The Sooners were picked to finish seventh in the Big 12, but it appears they might be better than that.

LON KRUGER

Oklahoma honored Lon Kruger, the school’s previous basketball coach who retired at the end of last season. Kruger led the Sooners for 10 seasons and went 195-128 (.604). He led Florida to the Final Four in 1994 and Oklahoma to the Final Four in 2016.

CALEB WILLIAMS

Oklahoma quarterback Caleb Williams got a standing ovation after he was shown on the big screen. Earlier in the week, backup quarterback Spencer Rattler said he would enter the transfer portal and 2023 five-star quarterback Malachi Nelson decommitted from the Sooners.

QUOTABLE

Moser, on Hill’s career night: “He’s just playing aggressive and confident. And that’s the key with him is aggressive and confident. He looked like he was embracing the moment down the stretch, not afraid of it and not running from it, like deferring to somebody else. You know, he wasn’t in the defer mode. He wanted to be a main part of it, and he was.”

UP NEXT

Florida hosts Texas Southern on Dec. 6.

Oklahoma hosts Butler on Dec. 7.

HEAT, BULLS LOSE 2ND-ROUNDERS FOR LOWRY, LONZO SIGN-AND-TRADE VIOLATIONS

The Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls will each forfeit their next available second-round pick for violating free-agency timing rules with their respective acquisitions of Kyle Lowry and Lonzo Ball, the league announced Wednesday.

Lowry and Ball were both acquired via sign-and-trade deals this summer, which tend to require lengthy negotiations. However, both transactions appeared to be agreed upon within minutes of the free-agency window opening in August.

The punishment factored in that both teams “fully cooperated with the investigations,” the league told teams in a memo, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

If the Heat make the playoffs this season, they will surrender the lesser of their incoming 2022 second-round pick from the Philadelphia 76ers or Denver Nuggets, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. If Miami fails to make the postseason, the next available second-rounder it can forfeit is in 2028.

The Bulls don’t outright own a second-round pick until 2026, according to RealGM. They could potentially receive one from the Nuggets as soon as 2023, but that selection is protected for Nos. 31-46.

Miami penned Lowry to a three-year, $85-million contract in a move that sent Precious Achiuwa and Goran Dragic to the Toronto Raptors. Ball joined Chicago on a four-year, $85-million deal in a sign-and-trade that landed Garrett Temple and Tomas Satoransky on the New Orleans Pelicans.

Heat issued a statement, disagreeing with the NBA’s decision.

Chicago also issued a statement, noting that it “cooperated completely” with the inquiry, according to Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic.

“We are glad this process has concluded and look forward to the rest of our season,” the Bulls said.

Neither the Raptors nor the Pelicans are facing discipline.

LILLARD OUT AT LEAST 10 DAYS DUE TO ABDOMINAL INJURY

Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard is out at least 10 days after an MRI confirmed he has a lower abdominal tendinopathy injury, president of basketball operations Neil Olshey announced Wednesday.

Lillard, 31, sat out Tuesday’s contest against the Detroit Pistons and will miss an additional four games due to the injury, including a prime-time matchup with the Golden State Warriors.

The six-time All-Star is averaging 21.5 points, 7.8 assists, and four rebounds over 20 appearances this season. He’s shooting career lows in 3-point field-goal percentage (30.2%) and overall field-goal percentage (39.7%).

Third-year forward Nassir Little will also miss a minimum of one week due to a left ankle sprain sustained Monday versus the Utah Jazz. The North Carolina product is averaging a career-high 8.3 points along with 5.3 boards across 21 games.

Portland sits ninth in the Western Conference with an 11-11 record.

HEAT CENTER BAM ADEBAYO NEEDS THUMB SURGERY, WILL MISS WEEKS

MIAMI (AP) Miami Heat star Bam Adebayo needs surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb and is likely out until at least mid-January.

It’s the first major injury of Adebayo’s five pro seasons. He’s averaging a career-best 18.7 points for Miami this season, along with 10.2 rebounds per game.

Adebayo, an Olympic gold medalist this summer, was injured in Monday’s loss to Denver. He underwent tests Tuesday and Wednesday to determine the full scope of the injury, and it was determined that he tore the ulnar collateral ligament.

He shrugged off the injury after the game, insisting it was nothing.

“I’m all right,” he said.

Turns out, he was anything but.

The timetable for his return isn’t expected to be finalized until after surgery, which has been scheduled for Sunday. The initial prognosis from the team calls for him to miss around six weeks.

Such a timeframe would have Adebayo missing somewhere between 20 and 25 games.

It is a huge blow for Miami, which already is dealing with a depleted frontcourt because of Markieff Morris’ neck injury. Wednesday’s game against Cleveland will be the 12th that Morris misses since he was injured in a dustup with Nikola Jokic in Denver last month, and there remains no timetable for his return.

Dewayne Dedmon is the only other big man on the Miami roster who has logged considerable minutes at center this season. The Heat have others who can play the spot, including 41-year-old Udonis Haslem and power forward P.J. Tucker, who is only 6-foot-5.

Adebayo was one of three players who started all six games for the U.S. at the Tokyo Olympics, where the Americans won gold. He led the team in rebounds, averaging 5.7 per game, plus averaged 6.3 points on 57% shooting at the Games.

NBA HAS 97% VACCINATION RATE, REPORTEDLY URGING PLAYERS TO GET BOOSTER

The NBA has a COVID-19 vaccination rate of 97% among its 450-plus players, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

However, after evaluating antibody tests administered to 2,388 players and staff in a preseason study, the league is urging its players and team personnel to take the booster shot, according to an internal memo obtained by ESPN.

Analysis of the tests revealed the degradation of antibody levels across the board, but especially among those who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Of the 2,388 individuals in the preseason study, antibodies weren’t detected in just over 3.1% (75 total). Meanwhile, among an unknown number of players who took the Johnson & Johnson shot, that figure jumped to 11%.

Through Nov. 19, the NBA was aware of 34 breakthrough cases of COVID-19.

TEAMS SPEND $1B ON DAY MLB, UNION LIKELY HEAD TO LOCKOUT

NEW YORK (AP) Major league teams committed to over $1 billion in salaries in one day for the first time Wednesday, hours before the league was expected to lock out the players following the 11:59 p.m. EST expiration of the collective bargaining agreement.

The Texas Rangers led the spending spree, finalizing deals with shortstop Corey Seager for $325 million over 10 years and infielder Marcus Semien for $175 million over seven years.

The Detroit Tigers locked up Javier Baez on a $140 million, six-year deal, ace Max Scherzer got $130 million over three years from the New York Mets, and right-hander Kevin Gausman landed with the Toronto Blue Jays for $110 million over five years. Twins center fielder Byron Buxton also finalized a $100 million, seven-year contract to remain with Minnesota.

The 17 deals and counting announced Wednesday totaled $1,151,250,000, part of more than $1.9 billion in new contacts handed out in the days ahead of the CBA expiration.

The union and league are likely headed for a protracted labor dispute after the average major league salary fell on opening day in 2021 for the fourth consecutive season.

Among the other deals completed Wednesday:

– OF Avisail Garcia to Miami, $53 million over four years

– LHP Alex Wood to San Francisco, $25 million over two years

– INF Eduardo Escobar to New York Mets, $20 million over two years

– INF/OF Leury Garcia to the Chicago White Sox, $16.5 million over three years

– C Yan Gomes to the Chicago Cubs, $13 million over two years

– RHP Yimi Garcia to Toronto, $11 million over two years

– RHP Corey Knebel to Philadelphia, $10 million over one year

– RHP Corey Kluber to Tampa Bay, $8 million over one year

– RHP Andres Munoz with Seattle, $7.5 million over four years

– C Roberto Perez to Pittsburgh, $5 million over one year

– C Kevin Plawecki with Boston, $2.25 million over one year

DODGERS BRING BACK CHRIS TAYLOR FOR $60M OVER 4 YEARS

LOS ANGELES (AP) The Los Angeles Dodgers are bringing back free agent Chris Taylor, agreeing with the versatile All-Star on a $60 million, four-year deal Wednesday night that includes a club option.

The 31-year-old Taylor was an All-Star for the first time in 2021, when he hit .254 with 20 homers and set career highs with 92 runs and 73 RBIs. He hit a game-ending homer in the NL wild-card game against St. Louis, then batted .476 in the NL Championship Series against Atlanta, with three homers in Game 5.

Taylor has played every position except catcher, first base and pitcher, and is a career .261 hitter with 79 homers. He was the co-NLCS MVP in 2017 and also a key contributor when the Dodgers won the World Series in 2020.

The Dodgers retained Taylor after losing ace Max Scherzer and shortstop Corey Seager in free agency this week. Scherzer signed a $130 million, three-year contract with the New York Mets, and Seager signed a $325 million, 10-year deal with the Texas Rangers.

Taylor will be paid $15 million in 2022 and `23, then $13 million in ’24 and ’25. His club option for 2026 is for $12 million with a $4 million buyout.

Los Angeles designated infielder Sheldon Neuse for assignment to clear space for Taylor on the 40-man roster.

RAISEL RETURNS TO ANGELS, MARLINS GET WENDLE, NON-TENDERS, AND LAST-CHANCE SIGNINGS 

Tuesday on MLBTR:

Angels to Sign RHP Raisel Iglesias ($58M/4yrs)

The Angels extended Iglesias a qualifying offer in early November, likely in the hope that adding draft-pick compensation to his price would hurt his market and increase his chances of remaining in Anaheim. That appears to have worked, as Iglesias returns to the Halos on a four-year deal for just $2 million more than MLBTR predicted. Easily the best reliever on the free-agent market this offseason, Iglesias gives the Angels a much-needed relief ace and continues the building up of their pitching staff that has also included adding Noah Syndergaard to the rotation, lefty Aaron Loup to the bullpen, and righty Michael Lorenzen, who will reportedly get a chance to start, but could end up back in the ‘pen.

Giants Sign RHP Alex Cobb ($20M/2yrs + $10M club option)

The Giants are another team that has been primarily, and appropriately, focused on pitching thus far. Cobb, who has re-established himself as an above-average starter over the last two years, heads to San Francisco for his age-34 and -35 seasons, with an option for age-36. The veteran groundballer was quite good when healthy this year (119 ERA+, 2.92 FIP), but was still limited to 18 starts and 93 1/3 innings by a variety of minor injuries. He last exceeded 100 innings in 2018 and has qualified for the ERA title just once since 2014. In their efforts to flesh out the rotation behind emerging ace Logan Webb, the Giants, have now re-signed Anthony Desclafani and added Cobb, but they likely need two more starters, particularly given Cobb’s attendance problems.

Marlins acquire IF Joey Wendle from Rays

Wendle turns 32 in April but still has two team-controlled seasons remaining. It will be interesting to see how the Marlins use him, and how the Rays fill in behind him. Early word is the Marlins intend to use the lefty-hitting Wendle much like the Rays did: as a platoon regular without a set position. Miami has sophomore Jazz Chisholm Jr. at second, just extended shortstop Miguel Rojas, and has Brian Anderson coming off shoulder surgery at third. The latter two are right-handed hitters, and Wendle, an All-Star in 2021 and a .271/.326/.425 (112 OPS+) hitter over the last two seasons, is a slick fielder who can play all three positions. The Rays, meanwhile, have Wander Franco locked in at shortstop, but can play around with second baseman Brandon Lowe, third baseman Yandy Díaz, infield prospect Vidal Bruján, and displaced shortstop prospect Taylor Walls at second and third.

In return for Wendel, the Rays land outfield prospect Kameron Misner, who was the 35th-overall pick in the 2019 draft and has some potential at the plate, but will turn 24 in January and has played just 14 games above high-A.

White Sox Re-Sign UT Leury García ($16.5M/3yrs)

García has been a valuable utility man for the White Sox over the last five seasons, a switch-hitter who has hit .273/.317/.388 (91 OPS+) over that span while playing all over the diamond with a good glove and speed on the bases. He returns for his age-31 to -33 seasons and, at least for the moment, is the best second-baseman on the team.

Cubs to Sign C Yan Gomes ($13M/2yrs)

Gomes, who is heading in to his age-34 season, was the top catcher on the free-agent market, so it’s strange that he went to a non-competitive team that already has a good young-ish catcher in Willson Contreras. This deal strongly suggests that the Cubs are, or will be, shopping Contreras, who will be entering his walk year in the spring.

Red Sox to Sign LHP James Paxton ($10M/1yr + club option for 2023 and ’24)

Paxton had Tommy John surgery in April and thus will likely miss most of the 2022 season, but the Sox are betting on him contributing in the second half. His option—which is for both the 2023 and ’24 seasons together and, if picked up, would make this a three-year, $35 million contract—gives Boston a chance to keep the Big Maple around if they’re encouraged by how he finishes out the season.

Dodgers Sign RHP Daniel Hudson (~$7M/1yr)

This is the first addition the Dodgers have made since singing Andrew Heaney to the first free-agent deal of the offseason. The Dodgers have announced a one-year deal with Hudson, but his exact salary is still not public. Hudson, who his heading into his age-35 season, struck out 35.7 percent of the batters he faced in 2021 and should pitch high-leverage innings as one of the Dodgers’ top set-up men.

Pirates Sign C Roberto Pérez ($5M/1yr)

Having flipped incumbent catcher Jacob Stallings to the Marlins on Monday, the Pirates replaced him with Pérez on Tuesday. Both are excellent behind the plate, but this is a big downgrade beside it, as Pérez has hit just .198/.287/.353 (69 OPS+) since 2016, and was far worse than even that over the last two seasons. Heading into his age-33 season, Pérez is effectively the new Jeff Mathis.

Nationals Sign 2B César Hernández ($4M/1yr + $1M incentives)

Hernández hit a career high 21 home runs in 2021, but struggled to hit for average, and his bat flatlined after a deadline deal sent him to the White Sox, resulting in his worst full season at the plate. The Nationals hope he’ll rebound in his age-32 season, likely so that he will have some value at the deadline.

Braves Extend UT Orlando Arcia ($3M/2yrs + $2M club option), Pick Up MGR Brian Snitker’s 2024 Option

The two-year guarantee of Arcia’s contract buys out his remaining arbitration years, while the option gives the Braves a chance to keep him around for an extra season. The former Brewer hit .214/.282/.343 (63 OPS+) while expanding into a utility and pinch-hitting role for Atlanta after being acquired in an early April trade. As for Snitker’s option, that was a no-brainer, though it is worth noting that Snitker will be 68 in the 2024 season.

Padres Acquire C Jorge Alfaro from Marlins

Despite telegraphing their intent to non-tender Alfaro, the Marlins still managed to find a taker via trade before last night’s tender deadline, though all they extracted from the Padres was cash or a player to be named later. The Padres would seem to be overstaffed at catcher with Austin Nola, Victor Caritini, prospect Luis Campusano, and now Alfaro. Perhaps there’s another trade yet to come on the other side of the lockout.

Cubs to Sign OF Clint Frazier to Major League Contract

Orioles Sign IF Rougned Odor to Major League Contract

Clint Frazier and Rougned Odor were two of the more interesting players who lost their 40-man roster spots on Friday, when the deadline arrived to set rosters for the Rule 5 draft. Both former Yankees have big-time power, and Odor is just seven months older than Frazier. However, Odor is well-established as a replacement-level killer given his career .234/.289/.433 (88 OPS+) batting line. Frazier still holds the promise of a breakout after hitting .267/.347/.497 (126 OPS+) in 406 plate appearances in 2019 and 2020, combined, but he was awful in his extended opportunity in 2021 and was then sidelined by vertigo and blurred vision, which is alarming given his slow recovery from a concussion in 2018.

Tigers LHP Matthew Boyd, Brewers 1B Dan Vogelbach, and Braves RHP Richard Rodriguez lead list of Non-Tendered Players

Tuesday night was the deadline for teams to tender contracts to their arbitration-eligible players. In total, 32 players were not offered contracts, 10 in the American League, 22 in the National League, though those lists aren’t quite as star-studded as we thought they might be. Boyd, Vogelbach, former Pirates closer Rodriguez, and Mets reliever Robert Gsellman are among the more notable non-tenders who now join this offseason’s free-agent class. Of particular note, the Yankees, showing a keen awareness of the dearth of alternatives, tendered a contract to catcher Gary Sánchez.

Hector Neris’s Two-Year Deal with Houston includes $8.5M Club Option That Can Vest

I shared the news of Neris’s contract with the Astros in Monday’s newsletter, but we have since learned that the deal includes an $8.5 million club option that will vest if Neris reaches certain games-pitched thresholds over the first two years of the deal.

From the Rumor Mill:

Many, myself included, thought that Freddie Freeman would be one of the first big-name free agents to come off the board, doing so by quickly re-signing with the Braves. Instead, he’s still out there, and the Yankees and Blue Jays are showing interest, per the MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.

The Braves, meanwhile, have “checked in” on the A’s asking price for first baseman Matt Olson, reports Heyman, as have the Rangers, per The Dallas Morning News’s Evan Grant.

The Angels, Blue Jays, Dodgers, Mariners, and Nationals are among the teams said to have had recent contact with Chris Taylor and/or his agent, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, and there is some expectation that Taylor will sign today.

Finally, per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, the Rockies reportedly have “real” interest in Kris Bryant, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

1983 AL CY YOUNG AWARD WINNER LAMARR HOYT DIES AT 66

CHICAGO (AP) LaMarr Hoyt, who won the 1983 AL Cy Young Award with the Chicago White Sox, has died. He was 66.

The White Sox announced his death on Wednesday. The team said he died Monday in his hometown of Columbia, South Carolina, following a lengthy illness.

Hoyt went 98-68 with a 3.99 ERA in eight years in the majors. He also had 48 career complete games, including eight shutouts, and 10 saves.

The 6-foot-3 right-hander was the 1985 All-Star Game MVP, pitching three innings of one-run ball in the National League’s 6-1 victory over the AL. That year with San Diego was the only All-Star selection of his career.

“My first impression of LaMarr was, `Here is a pitcher’. He had average stuff but amazing command and tremendous confidence, and he never showed fear,” said White Sox manager Tony La Russa, who returned last season for a second stint in Chicago. “We brought him up to the big leagues in 1979 and nothing bothered him. He had this impressive cool where he believed if he made his pitches, he would get hitters out. He faced teams multiple times in a season but could change up his looks and keep them off balance. What a great competitor.”

Former White Sox pitcher Richard Dotson called Hoyt “a great pitcher and a great teammate.”

“We would sit around and talk pitching for hours,” said Dotson, who won 22 games in 1983 for the Al West champion White Sox. “He really knew how to pitch. His stuff was never great, but he had a great sinker and exceptional command. LaMarr, Britt Burns, Harold Baines and I all came up to the big leagues around the same time and grew up together, which eventually led to that memorable 1983 season. We are all going to miss him.”

Hoyt was selected by the New York Yankees in the fifth round of the 1973 amateur draft, but he never played for them in the majors. He was traded to the White Sox in April 1977 in a multiplayer deal that moved Bucky Dent to New York.

He made his big league debut two years later with two scoreless relief appearances for the White Sox in September.

Hoyt became a key part of Chicago’s rotation in 1982, leading the AL in wins while going 19-15 with a 3.53 ERA in 39 games, including 32 starts.

He followed that up with the best year of his career. He went 24-10 with a 3.66 ERA in 36 starts in 1983, helping the White Sox win the division title. He led the majors in wins and took home the AL Cy Young Award, beating out Kansas City reliever Dan Quisenberry.

Hoyt then made his only postseason appearance, pitching a five-hitter in a 2-1 victory over Scott McGregor and Baltimore in Game 1 of the AL Championship Series. The Orioles followed with three consecutive wins, eliminating the White Sox.

Hoyt played one more year for Chicago before he was traded to San Diego in a multiplayer deal that landed Ozzie Guillen with the White Sox.

In 1985, Hoyt went 16-8 with a 3.47 ERA in 31 starts. He played one more year for the Padres before retiring.

“He genuinely loved being a part of the White Sox organization, and I can say without a doubt those were the best years of his life,” oldest son Matthew Hoyt said. “All he talked about in his final days was baseball, the White Sox and all of his former teammates.”

WOMEN’S TENNIS TOUR SUSPENDS CHINA EVENTS OVER PENG CONCERNS

(AP) — In the strongest public stand against China taken by a sports body, the head of the women’s professional tennis tour announced Wednesday that all WTA tournaments there would be suspended because of concerns about the safety of Peng Shuai, a Grand Slam doubles champion who accused a former government official of sexual assault.

Peng dropped out of public view after raising the allegations about former vice premier Zhang Gaoli in a Nov. 2 social media posting that was quickly taken down by Chinese authorities.

“Unfortunately, the leadership in China has not addressed this very serious issue in any credible way,” WTA Chairman and CEO Steve Simon wrote in a statement distributed by the tour. “While we now know where Peng is, I have serious doubts that she is free, safe, and not subject to censorship, coercion, and intimidation.”

Simon has made repeated calls for what he termed Wednesday a “full and transparent investigation – without censorship” into Peng’s accusations. He said the move to put a halt to his tour’s play in China, including Hong Kong, came “with the full support of the WTA Board of Directors.”

“In good conscience, I don’t see how I can ask our athletes to compete there when Peng Shuai is not allowed to communicate freely and has seemingly been pressured to contradict her allegation of sexual assault,” Simon said. “Given the current state of affairs, I am also greatly concerned about the risks that all of our players and staff could face if we were to hold events in China in 2022.”

China is supposed to be the site of several tennis tournaments next year, including the prestigious season-ending WTA Finals, which are scheduled to be held there until 2030. The nation is a source of billions of dollars in income for various sports entities based elsewhere, from the WTA (whose headquarters are in St. Petersburg, Florida) to the NBA (run out of New York) and the International Olympic Committee (Lausanne, Switzerland).

“I applaud Steve Simon and the WTA leadership for taking a strong stand on defending human rights in China and around the world,” Billie Jean King said. “The WTA has chosen to be on the right side of history in defending the rights of our players. This is yet another reason why women’s tennis is the leader in women’s sports.”

Beijing is set to host the Winter Games beginning on Feb. 4, and IOC President Thomas Bach said on Nov. 21 that he spoke with Peng – a three-time Olympian – on a 30-minute video call. The IOC did not release video or a transcript of the exchange and said only that Bach reported that she said she was well.

The IOC said in a statement that Peng appeared to be “doing fine” and said she had requested privacy. The IOC did not explain how the call was arranged, although it has worked closely with the Chinese Olympic Committee and government officials to organize the upcoming Games.

Critics have suggested that Peng would not have called the IOC if she was truly free to speak.

The European Union said Tuesday it wants China to offer “verifiable proof” that Peng – a 35-year-old who used to be ranked No. 1 in doubles and won titles at Wimbledon and the French Open – is safe.

“Her recent public reappearance does not ease concerns about her safety and freedom,” an EU spokesperson said.

A number of Chinese businesspeople, activists and ordinary people have disappeared in recent years after criticizing ruling Communist Party figures or in crackdowns on corruption or pro-democracy and labor rights campaigns.

Peng wrote in her removed post, in part: “I know that to you, vice minister Zhang Gaoli, a person of high status and power, you’ve said you’re not afraid. With your intelligence, you certainly will deny it or you can even use it against me, you can dismiss it without a care. Even if I’m destroying myself, like throwing an egg against a rock, or a moth flying into a flame, I will still speak out the truth about us.”

Concerns about the censoring of her post and her subsequent disappearance from public view grew into a furor, turning (hash)WhereIsPengShuai into a trending topic on social media and drawing support from tennis stars such as Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Martina Navratilova.

But news of the first (hash)MeToo case to reach the political realm in China has not been reported by the domestic media and online discussion of it has been highly censored.

“If powerful people can suppress the voices of women and sweep allegations of sexual assault under the rug, then the basis on which the WTA was founded – equality for women – would suffer an immense setback,” Simon said. “I will not and cannot let that happen to the WTA and its players.”

BIG TEN ANNOUNCES 2021 VOLLEYBALL POSTSEASON HONORS

ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference announced the 2021 Volleyball All-Big Ten Teams and individual honorees Wednesday, with Big Ten champion Wisconsin earning two individual accolades, according to a vote of the conference’s 14 head coaches. The Badgers’ Sydney Hilley was selected as the Setter of the Year and Julia Orzol was voted Freshman of the Year. In addition, Minnesota’s Stephanie Samedy repeated as Player of the Year, Nebraska’s Lexi Rodriguez was chosen as Defensive Player of the Year and Purdue’s Dave Shondell earned Coach of the Year honors (the lone award that featured separate voting by the conference coaches and a select media panel, both of whom chose Shondell).

Samedy is the sixth two-time Big Ten Player of the Year and the first since Penn State’s Megan Hodge bookended her career with awards in 2006 and 2009. Samedy is also the fourth student-athlete to capture Big Ten Player of the Year honors in back-to-back seasons and the first since 1997-98, when PSU’s Bonnie Bremner pulled off the feat. In addition, she is one of seven Golden Gophers to be chosen Big Ten Player of the Year, with a Minnesota student-athlete now receiving that award five times in the past seven seasons (Daly Santana in 2015; Sarah Wilhite in 2016; Samantha Seliger-Swenson in 2018; Samedy in 2020 and 2021).

A redshirt senior opposite from Clermont, Fla., Samedy leads the Big Ten in kills (4.84/set; also eighth in the NCAA) and points (5.39/set; 10th in the nation), while also recording 21 double-doubles, 12 20-kill matches, three 30-kill outings and five 20-dig contests. During Big Ten play, she led the conference in kills (4.75/set) and points (5.30/set) with 14 double-doubles, seven 20-kill matches, two 30-kill performances and all five of her 20-dig contests.

Along with earning Player of the Year honors, Samedy also joins Wisconsin graduate student middle blocker Dana Rettke in becoming the first five-time first-team All-Big Ten selections in conference history. Both players, who are also in line to garner All-America honors, returned for their final seasons to compete through use of the NCAA waiver process in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rodriguez is just the second freshman to capture Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year accolades and the first since 2002, when Minnesota’s Paula Gentil earned the first of her three consecutive honors. Rodriguez is also the second Nebraska student-athlete chosen as Defensive Player of the Year, joining Justine Wong-Orantes, who was a two-time honoree (2015, 2016).

A libero and defensive specialist from Sterling, Ill., Rodriguez ranks sixth in the Big Ten in digs (4.46/set) with seven 20-dig matches to her credit, including a career-high 28 digs on the road at both Minnesota (Oct. 30) and Purdue (Nov. 27). In conference action, she ranked third in the Big Ten with 4.71 digs per set, with five 20-dig contests.

With Wednesday’s announcement, Hilley cements her place in Big Ten history as the first three-time Big Ten Setter of the Year since the award was created in 2012. The graduate student from Brooklyn Park, Minn., is also the second Badger to earn the honor, following two-time recipient Lauren Carlini in 2014 and 2015. Hilley currently stands second in both the conference and the nation in assists (11.96/set) and was tops during conference play (12.01/set). For her career, she has 5,876 assists, ranking second among active Division I players and seventh in the Big Ten record books.

An outside hitter from Olsztyn, Poland, Orzol is the sixth Wisconsin student-athlete chosen as Big Ten Freshman of the Year and the first since Rettke in 2017. Orzol is averaging 3.01 kills and 2.15 digs per set this season with six double-doubles to her credit.

Shondell has been named Big Ten Coach of the Year for the second time, following his selections by both his conference peers and the media in 2011. Now in his 19th season at Purdue, Shondell has guided the Boilermakers to a 23-5 record this year and a tie for third in the Big Ten standings at 15-5, the program’s best conference finish since 2011. Purdue also has risen as high as a school-record No. 4 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) poll and earned the No. 6 national seed for this year’s NCAA Tournament, also the best in program history.

Samedy, Rettke and Hilley were unanimous first-team All-Big Ten selections this year. They were joined on that squad by Rodriguez, who was also a unanimous Big Ten All-Freshman Team honoree, along with Orzol. The complete All-Big Ten teams can be found by CLICKING HERE.

The Big Ten also recognized 14 Sportsmanship Award honorees. The students chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. These students must also be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting. The complete list of honorees can be found by CLICKING HERE.

Eight Big Ten schools earned berths in this year’s NCAA Tournament, which opens this weekend with first- and second-round matches at campus sites around the country. Five Big Ten teams received top-16 national seeds and will play host to those opening two rounds — No. 4 Wisconsin, No. 6 Purdue, No. 9 Ohio State, No. 10 Nebraska and No. 12 Minnesota. All first- and second-round matches will be televised on ESPN+.

The NCAA Tournament continues with regional play Dec. 9 & 11, with the Final Four slated for Dec. 16 & 18 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, co-hosted by Ohio State and the Columbus Sports Commission. The national semifinals will be televised on ESPN and the national championship match will be broadcast on ESPN, with selected regional matches also being shown on the ESPN family of networks.

TOP INDIANA SPORTS NEWS RELEASES

AP SOURCE: NOTRE DAME SET TO PROMOTE FREEMAN TO HEAD COACH

(AP) — Notre Dame is working on a deal to promote defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman to head coach to replace Brian Kelly, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Wednesday night.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because nothing had been finalized, though the first piece of Notre Dame’s plan to regroup after Kelly left for LSU earlier this week had already fallen into place.

Offensive coordinator Tommy Rees informed Notre Dame he would remain with the Fighting Irish instead of joining Kelly in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Notre Dame released a video on Twitter of Rees telling the team he was staying put.

The next step is elevating the 35-year-old Freeman, who would become the second Black head football coach at Notre Dame after Tyrone Willingham (2002-04).

The person told AP that Kelly also had interest in bringing Freeman to LSU. Kelly left Notre Dame after 12 seasons and with the Fighting Irish still in contention for a spot in the College Football Playoff. He was introduced Wednesday as the Tigers’ coach.

Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, who was scheduled to attend a CFP expansion meeting in Dallas, instead spent Wednesday in South Bend, Indiana, meeting with Rees and Freeman.

The 29-year-old Rees, a former Notre Dame quarterback, returned to the Irish as quarterbacks coach in 2017 and was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2020.

Freeman, 35, joined Kelly’s staff this year after being hired away from Cincinnati. Landing Freeman, who was also being pursued by LSU last offseason, was considered a major victory for Kelly and Notre Dame.

Freeman, a former Ohio State linebacker, is considered a rising star in college coaching and in his short time with the Irish he has played a major role in assembling a recruiting class that’s ranked No. 5 in the country by 247 Sports with two weeks to go before signing day.

On the field, Freeman and Rees have helped the Irish go 11-1 in what was expected to be a rebuilding year after last season’s playoff appearance. Notre Dame is sixth in the CFP rankings.

Freeman spent four seasons at Cincinnati as defensive coordinator for Luke Fickell, helping the Bearcats become a playoff contender.

The Bearcats are fourth in the CFP rankings heading into the American Athletic Conference championship game on Saturday and have a chance to become the first team from outside the Power Five conferences to reach the playoff.

YOUNG MAKES KEY FREE THROWS, LEADS HAWKS PAST PACERS 114-111

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Trae Young made two crucial free throws in the final seconds of a hard-fought victory on Wednesday night, but lamented a turnover that put the Atlanta Hawks in a precarious last-second situation.

The Hawks had a one-point lead when Young lost control of the basketball. Indiana Pacers rookie Chris Duarte came up with the steal, but was unable to convert a contested layup that had his bench and coach Rick Carlisle screaming for a foul.

Young was subsequently fouled with 1.2 seconds remaining and made the final two of his 33 points for a 114-111 road win.

“I could have done better closing it out,” Young said. “I can’t have a turnover at the end to give them a chance to win.”

After the final buzzer, Carlisle continued to yell at referees about the lack of a call on the Duarte drive.

“The last play was unfortunate,” Carlisle said. “Those of you that saw it saw (Kevin) Huerter pull him down, pull the jersey down while he’s going up. That was clearly a foul. I’m not sure why it wasn’t called.”

Huerter disagreed, albeit with a wry grin.

“I never foul,” Huerter said. “I’ve never fouled anybody in my life.”

For much of the night, Carlisle watched his players struggle to stop Young, who also had 10 assists and eight rebounds for the Hawks, who shot 51.2% (44 of 86), including 16 of 33 on 3-pointers. The Pacers made just 10 of 33 from beyond the arc.

“I’m getting to my spots and I’ve worked really hard on making my jumpers,” Young said. “And the other guys are making plays, too If they don’t make plays, I don’t get as many good looks.”

Young found Huerter for several open looks as Huerter finished with 19 points, and John Collins scored 14.

“He operates really well with Trae,” said Hawks assistant coach Chris Jent. “It’s good to see.”

Malcolm Brogdon led the Pacers with 27 points.

“We had defensive breakdowns and they closed the game out,” Brogdon said.

Domantas Sabonis scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Myles Turner had 17 points and nine rebounds.

“I just thought we didn’t play with the force we needed to play with,” Carlisle said.

The Hawks were hot from the outset, hitting 8 of 10 3s, but the Pacers stayed close on 17-of-31 shooting. Atlanta led 45-42 midway through the second quarter, but Turner sank a pair of free throws to make it 51-all with 4:26 remaining in the first half.

The visitors closed the first half with a 12-4 surge to take a 65-57 lead into the break. The last basket punctuated the run as Young fed Collins for an alley-oop dunk in the final seconds.

Atlanta made 25 of 42 shots (59.5%), including 10 of 15 3s, in the first half.

Young hit a step-back jumper to provide the Hawks’ largest lead at 74-62 with 7:45 remaining in the third. The Pacers rallied with a 15-2 run to nudge ahead. Indiana was ahead 88-87 entering the fourth.

MCMILLAN ABSENT

Hawks coach Nate McMillan opted to be isolated – at least temporarily – after his son and assistant coach Jamelle McMillan entered the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols. McMillan said the decision to not coach against his former team was “out of an abundance of caution.”

Despite missing the game, the victory was the 700th of McMillan’s career. He was on the Pacers staff for seven years, the last four as coach, before being fired in 2020.

TIP-INS

Hawks: Improved to 4-8 in road games. … Young has been so successful against the New York Knicks, he received one write-in vote in November’s mayoral election, the New York City Board of Elections reported Wednesday. The point guard delivered clutch performances in a playoff series win over the Knicks last spring.

Pacers: Reserve guard T.J. McConnell exited early with a right wrist injury. … This was the first of six consecutive home games. … Sabonis had his 17th triple-double. Monday’s triple-double at Minnesota included a career-high 25 rebounds, the first time an NBA player has had as many rebounds in a triple-double since Shaquille O’Neal in 1993.

UP NEXT

Hawks: Host Philadelphia on Friday.

Pacers: Host Miami on Friday.

TERRY’S BUZZER BEATER LIFTS PURDUE TO WIN OVER GEORGIA TECH

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – 3.1 seconds on the clock, and Jeanae Terry called bank and game.

Driving the middle of the lane, pulling up and letting a floater go off the backboard and through the rim, Terry lifted the Purdue women’s basketball team to a 53-52 win over Georgia Tech in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Wednesday night at Mackey Arena.

The two clubs battled back and forth with seven lead changes and six ties throughout the 40 minutes.

After Purdue (6-2) took a seven-point lead early in the fourth quarter, Georgia Tech (5-2) rallied to take the lead with 4:39 to play. Never going down by more than one score, the Boilermakers did not allow a field goal in the final 3:07, limiting the Yellow Jackets to a trio of free throws and scoring eight unanswered points.

Following two missed free throws by Georgia Tech with 16 seconds left, Ra Shaya Kyle missed a contested layup with six seconds remaining, forcing Purdue to foul again. Again, the Yellow Jackets failed to convert on both attempts at the line, allowing head coach Katie Gearlds to advance the ball with a timeout with 3.9 seconds left.

Madison Layden inbounded to Terry. The junior from Detroit drove into the lane, leapt from the free throw line and got off a contested floater against suffocating defense. Out of her hand with 1.4 left, the ball hit at the top of the square and dropped through for Purdue’s first buzzer beater since Dominique Oden’s 3-pointer at Wisconsin on Feb. 13, 2020. 

For Terry, easily her most productive outing as a Boilermaker, she finished with nine points, seven rebounds and seven assists. She is just the fifth Boilermaker to hit that line since the 2009-10 season.

The Boilermakers overcame a rough first half shooting and an eight-point deficit in the second half to win a Big Ten/ACC Challenge game for just the fourth time in the event’s existence.

Purdue shot 35.3% from the field and only made two rebounds. Georgia Tech (5-2) dominated on the glass with a 45-27 margin in the rebounding battle. Purdue held the Yellow Jackets to 34.5% shooting and just 10 second-chance points on 14 offensive rebounds.

The Boilermakers struggled to find their offensive rhythm in the first half, battling through multiple lengthy droughts. Despite the shooting woes and foul trouble, Purdue kept the deficit to single digits. Georgia Tech’s largest lead was just eight points in the first quarter.

Rickie Woltman gave Purdue a jolt with back-to-back baskets late in the second, as the hosts made their final four shots of the half to cut the gap to four.

Out of the break, the Boilermakers went on a tear offensively, scoring 20 points to Georgia Tech’s 10. Abbey Ellis converted a traditional 3-point play, while Terry dished out three assists and hauled down three boards in the frame.

After carrying a six-point lead into the fourth, Purdue saw their lead slip away to a one-possession deficit, setting up Terry’s heroics at the horn. Mackey was buzzing.

STAT STUFFER

Terry finished the night with nine points, seven boards, seven dimes, three steals and two blocks. It was just the 26th performance in the nation with at least that stat line over the last four years. Terry stepped up, playing all 20 minutes in the second half without committing a turnover. The junior from Detroit led Purdue in rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, field goals made and minutes played on Wednesday night.

QUOTE

Head coach Katie Gearlds on the final possession…

The possession before, we went into Shay and thought she had a good look. I told her we were coming right back to her. We set her up with a back screen, but Madison didn’t feel comfortable throwing it into her, so she gave it to Jeanae. They denied it back to Madison. The last option was for JT to drive it with her left hand. It was a prayer, but it’s the game of basketball. We missed a lot of open shots. She stepped up and knocked it down.

Jeanae Terry on the final possession…

On those 3.9 seconds, we wanted to get the ball into Shay and get her a post-up. She was doing a great job all night. In my head, I just wanted to get a bucket. I wanted to stay aggressive. That’s what 3.9 seconds was in my head. It worked for us.

I felt good when it left my hand. I felt confident in what our coaches drew up and in myself. I was hoping it went in, so I’m grateful.

NOTES

• Purdue now leads the all-time series with Georgia Tech 3-1.

• The Boilermakers are 4-11 all-time in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

• Purdue is now 3-0 all-time when facing former Purdue head coaches, after the final-second win against Nell Fortner (Purdue – 1996-97).

• Purdue committed 13 turnovers but only gave up seven points on giveaways.

• Terry has recorded 17 assists over the last two games.

• Only Cassidy Hardin and Layden made a 3-pointer on the night, as Purdue won without making seven triples for the first time this season.

• The Boilermakers won a game scoring 55 points or less for the 15th time since the 2009-10 season.

• The four offensive rebounds tied for the third fewest in program history.

• In a tightly called game, eight of Purdue’s nine players recorded a foul, with Hardin fouling out for the first time in her career.

UP NEXT

The Boilermakers will open Big Ten play Sunday when Ohio State comes to Mackey Arena.    

          

SWEET SIXTEEN REMATCH SET FOR THURSDAY NIGHT AS NO. 6 INDIANA FACES NO. 2 NC STATE

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Another Top 10 matchup is on tap for the No. 6/6 Indiana Hoosiers as it faces No. 2/3 NC State in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Thursday night. Tip inside Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall is set for 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

#6/6 INDIANA (5-1) vs. #2/3 NC STATE (6-1)

Thursday, December 1, 2021 • 7 p.m. ET

Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall • Bloomington, Ind.

Broadcast: ESPN2 (Debbie Antonelli, Angel Gray)

Radio: WHCC 105.1 FM (Austin Render)

Live Stats: Statbroadcast

Social Media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Promotion: Postgame autographs with selected players (south lobby)

ABOUT THE COACHES

Indiana NC State

Teri Moren         Wes Moore

Career Record: 352-211 (19th Season)    Career Record: 754-235 (33rd Season)

Indiana Record: 153-81 (8th Season)       NC State Record: 196-66 (9th Season)

ABOUT THE WOLFPACK

NC State went 2-0 in the Pink Flamingo Challenge with double-digit wins over Maryland and Washington State. They are led by senior center and preseason ACC Player of the Year Elisa Cunane (14.4 ppg., 7.4 rgp.) and transfer guard Diamond Johnson (13.3 ppg., 3.1 apg.). The Wolfpack are averaging 80.3 points per game and shooting 48.6 percent from the floor.

SERIES HISTORY

NC State leads 4-1

LAST MEETING

3/27/21 – W, 73-70 (San Antonio)

NOTES

Indiana enters the Big Ten/ACC Challenge with an all-time record of 8-5 and 3-3 in games played at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. The Hoosiers and Wolfpack have met once before in the series, an 84-70 loss in Raleigh in 2017.

Thursday’s matchup will be a rematch of the 2021 NCAA Sweet Sixteen meeting between the two programs where the No. 4 Hoosiers upset the No. 1 seeded Wolfpack 73-70, at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Then senior guard Ali Patberg led in the win with 17 points.

The Hoosiers are coming off a trip to the Bahamas where it split games with then No. 7/5 Stanford and Miami (FL) at the Pink Flamingo Championship in Nassau. Patberg paced the Hoosiers, averaging 16.0 points and went 47.8 percent from the field and 80 percent at the line in the event.

Junior forward Mackenzie Holmes leads the way for IU through six games, averaging a team-high 15.3 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. All five starters are also averaging double figures including 13.8 points per game each from Patberg and senior guard Grace Berger.

UP NEXT

Indiana begins its conference slate on Monday, Dec. 6 when it hosts Penn State. Tipoff on Big Ten Network is set for 6 p.m. ET.

PROGRAM-BEST SIX HONORED IN BIG TEN POSTSEASON AWARDS

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue earned a program-best six All-Big Ten awards, headlined by the Big Ten Coach of the Year, Purdue also received three All-Big Ten First Team accolades, a Second Team honoree and an All-Freshman team nod, announced by the conference office.

Head coach Dave Shondell was named Big Ten Coach of the Year for the second time of his career (last: 2011), while Hayley Bush, Grace Cleveland and Caitlyn Newton received their second straight first team accolades. Meanwhile, Jena Otec was selected as a second team honoree, marking the second straight year the graduate student has been recognized in the league’s postseason awards (last: 2020 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and first team nod). Rounding out the selections was Raven Colvin, who was chosen for the All-Freshman team, marking the second straight year a Boilermaker newcomer has been honored.

Under Shondell’s guidance, Purdue posted a 23-6, 15-5 Big Ten record, its most wins in Big Ten play since 2011. Among the victories, seven came against ranked opponents, a program-best. Additionally, Shondell has led the team to its highest national ranking ever, after reaching No. 4 in the nation earlier this season. Moreover, the Boilermakers have spent 21 straight weeks among the AVCA top-15, dating back to the 2020-21 season. In 2021 alone, Purdue has spent 14 of the season’s 15 weeks ranked among the top-10. The success has culminated in Shondell’s 13th 20-win season, as well as his 400th win at Purdue, becoming just the ninth head coach in Big Ten history to achieve the feat.

Setter Bush earned her second consecutive All-Big Ten First Team honor after posting 14 double-doubles this season, 10.19 assists per set and 2.52 digs per set. Playing in all but one set this season, the Union, Kentucky, native went errorless on the attack in 25 matches on her way to a .351 efficiency. Additionally, her senior campaign saw career-highs in attack % (1.00, twice), total blocks (five vs. Nebraska, 11/7) and attacks (14 at Illinois, 10/6). Throughout the season, Bush has risen through the ranks in Purdue’s history to achieve the third-most assists (4,822) and is on track to become just the second Boilermaker setter to reach 1,000 digs, which will come with her first of the NCAA tournament.

Earning her second straight first team honor, Cleveland went errorless twice, including 18 kills and no errors on 32 swings against Indiana in the final week of conference play (11/26). This season, the senior hit over .400 on eight occasions, including five times over .500. The Bloomington, Illinois, native recorded three or fewer errors in 20 matches this year, including nine straight to open the 2021 campaign. Not only did she set a career-high 10 blocks vs. Illinois (10/1) and at No. 7 Ohio State (10/15), Cleveland also set a best with 11 digs vs. No. 15 Penn State (10/17) and tied the program’s 5th-highest hitting % in a four-set match with her 13 kills, 1 error and 16 attempts at Rutgers (11/7). As one of the team’s best blockers, Cleveland has helped Purdue rank No. 2 in the nation in blocks per set (2.99) and is now third all-time at Purdue with 411 block assists and sixth in total blocks (454).

Newton returned for her fifth year to play the best volleyball of her collegiate career. This season, the Terre Haute, Indiana, product owns a .209 attack %, up from her .169 efficiency last year, which earned her AVCA All-America Third Team and All-Big Ten First Team honors in 2020. While averaging 3.93 kills per set this season and ranking third in the Big Ten with 4.56 points per set, Newton posted six double-doubles and hit double-digit kills in all but five matches this season. Moreover, she owns at least 15 kills in 16 matches, with three matches totaling 20-plus kills. Newton has entered the top-10 in program history this season and has since risen to No. 5 with 1,636 career kills. She is one of just four Boilermakers to register more than 4,000 attempts in their career.

Receiving All-Big Ten Second Team honors is Otec. Otec averaged 4.6 digs per set for the second straight season, and averaged 5.35 digs per set against ranked opponents this season. Otec set a career-best 33 digs in the win vs. Michigan, the most by a Boilermaker in 12 years and one of just five to ever post as many in a match. Not only did Otec surpass 30 digs twice this season, the Crystal City, Missouri native recorded at least 20 digs on 10 occasions this season and finished the regular-season third in the league with 4.55 digs per set this season. Otec has cemented her name as one of the best in program history, ranking third all-time with 1,768 digs and sixth with 159 career aces.

Newcomer Raven Colvin was an All-Freshman Team selection after posting 2.41 points per set, including 1.23 blocks per set and a .331 attack efficiency. The middle blocker went errorless in two matches this season, including a perfect 5-0-5 vs. Jacksonville St. and a .900 attack % (9-0-10) in the following match vs. Purdue Fort Wayne. Just the third freshman since 2009 to post double-digit blocks in a match (joining Taylor Trammell and Anna Drewry), Colvin notched 11 total blocks (1-10) in the victory vs. No. 3 Wisconsin on Halloween.

The Boilermakers were selected as the sixth seed in the NCAA tournament, and are set to host the first and second rounds in the friendly confines of Holloway Gymnasium. Purdue is slated to take on Illinois State at 7 p.m. ET tomorrow, which will be streamed on ESPN+.

BELL BECOMES BIG TEN RECEIVER OF THE YEAR, O’CONNELL NAMED ALL-B1G

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The dynamic duo of David Bell and Aidan O’Connell earned All-Big Ten Conference recognition from the league’s coaches and media, as the league office released the offensive honors Wednesday on Big Ten Network. Along with earning First Team All-Big Ten accolades for the second straight season, Bell was named the Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year, awarded to the conference’s best wide receiver.

Bell became the second Purdue wide receiver to be selected as the Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year, joining Rondale Moore, who won the award in 2018. The honor is named after Big Ten legends Pat Richter (Wisconsin) and Desmond Howard (Michigan).

One of three finalists for the Biletnikoff Award, Bell has been one of the best receivers nationwide. 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 is just 21 yards shy of the school record for a single season.

Eclipsing the 100-yard plateau in seven of his 11 games this season, Bell has set a new Purdue record with 17 career 100-yard receiving games. He also ranks in the school’s all-time Top 10 for receptions (4th), receiving yards (5th) and receiving touchdowns (T-5th). Bell is averaging 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.

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 season.

O’Connell earned second team all-conference honors, the first Purdue quarterback to be named to one of the first two All-Big Ten teams since Kyle Orton in 2004. The fifth-year senior is one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the country, completing 73.5 percent of his passes to lead the Big Ten and rank third nationally. That completion percentage is currently tied for the best in Big Ten history (Dan Persa, Northwestern – 2010) and seven percent higher than the school record (David Blough – 2018).

Despite splitting time at points of the season, O’Connell has thrown for 3,177 yards (17th nationally) and 23 touchdowns (25th nationally). The gunslinger has produced five 300-yard games, the first Purdue quarterback to accomplish the feat since Blough in 2016.

O’Connell’s last five games have been stellar to say the least, averaging 372 yards through the air, completing 76.5 percent of his passes (169-221) and tossing 18 touchdowns without an interception. That includes a pair of 400-yard contests. Against Michigan State (Nov. 6), O’Connell threw for a career-best 536 yards on 40-of-54 passing with three scores to lead the Boilermakers to a 40-29 upset victory. Passing for 423 yards in the win over Northwestern at Wrigley Field two weeks later (Nov. 20), he became just the sixth Purdue quarterback to record multiple 400-yard games in a season.

Five other Boilermakers on the offensive side of the ball earned honorable mention accolades: Payne Durham, Gus Hartwig, Greg Long, Tyler Witt and Milton Wright.

The trio of Hartwig (center), Long (left tackle) and Witt (right guard) has been a staple on the Purdue offensive line all season long.  Hartwig and Witt have started all 12 games for the Boilermakers, while Long has made 11 starts protecting the quarterback’s blindside. With the help of their blocking, Purdue has set a new school record for completions in a single season (381), snapping the 23-year old record of 377 with one game still to play. The three Boilermakers also protect the second-best passing offense in the Big Ten, as Purdue averages 340.4 yards per game through the air.

Also an honoree for sportsmanship around the conference, Durham was tabbed honorable mention. The Purdue tight end has caught 40 passes for 382 yards and four touchdowns, ranking fourth on the team in all three categories. In the season opener against Oregon State (Sept. 4), Durham produced his first career 100-yard game with seven catches for a career-high 120 yards and two touchdowns. He added another 100-yard performance versus Wisconsin (Oct. 23), hauling in a personal-best nine receptions for 112 yards and a score.

Alongside Bell, Wright has had a strong 2021 season of his own. The Boilermaker wide receiver has tallied 732 yards on 57 catches. His seven receiving touchdowns leads the team and ranks fifth in the Big Ten. Wright had a career day against Northwestern (Nov. 20), hauling in eight receptions for 213 yards and three touchdowns to earn career highs in all three categories. The performance was Wright’s first multi-touchdown game of his career, and he joined Bell as Boilermaker wide receivers recording a trio of receiving touchdowns in a game this season. In fact, only four other Big Ten receivers have scored at least three touchdowns in a game during the 2021 campaign.

In total, 14 Boilermakers earned recognition from the Big Ten heading into the postseason.

Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year

David Bell – WR

First Team All-B1G

David Bell – WR

George Karlaftis – DL

Second Team All-B1G

Aidan O’Connell – QB

B1G Honorable Mention

Jaylan Alexander – LB

Cam Allen – S

Brandon Deen – DT

Payne Durham – TE

Mitchell Fineran – K

Jalen Graham – LB/S

Gus Hartwig – OL

Greg Long – OL

Dedrick Mackey – CB

Tyler Witt – OL

Milton Wright – WR

B1G Sportsmanship Award

Payne Durham – TE

NO. 15 WRESTLING HEADS WEST TO CKLV INVITATIONAL

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The No. 15 Purdue wrestling team is set to face some of the nation’s best this weekend, heading to the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, hosted at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Friday and Saturday, December 3-4. The two-day tournament is scheduled to include 12 of the top-25 tournament teams in InterMat’s latest polls, and as many as 122 nationally ranked individuals in the field.

PURDUE LINEUP & RANKINGS

Purdue climbed to No. 15 in the latest NWCA Coaches’ Poll, up two spots from last week, and cracked the top-25 in InterMat’s national tournament rankings as Devin Schroder moved into the top-eight at 125 pounds, Kendall Coleman and Thomas Penola at in the top-12 at 157 and 197, respectively, and seven total Boilermakers hold top-25 marks. 

LAST TIME OUT

Purdue improved to 6-0 in dual competition, sweeping a trio of meets at the 2021 Boilermaker Duals. The squad opened with a 42-0 victory over Brown, the Boilermakers’ largest win over a Division I opponent since 2012, and their first shutout since 2014. Purdue followed with a 28-15 win over Duke and a 28-10 win over Northern Illinois, taking 7-of-10 in each dual. Devin Schroder was 3-0 with two tech falls and a major decision, while Kendall Coleman had a technical fall and two majors, and Thomas Penola had a tech, a major and a decision.

CKLV HISTORICAL NOTES

• Purdue is making its 15th all-time appearance at the CKLV Invitational, returning to Sin City after last year’s tournament cancellation.

• The Boilermakers had their best-ever showing at the event in 2019, placing fifth with a program record 92.5 points as five individuals earned places on the podium.

• Devin Schroder was one of three Boilermakers to reach the finals in 2019, in addition to Dylan Lydy who became the fourth champion at CKLV for Purdue.

• Purdue has had seven top-10 team finishes at the Tournament, including each of the last two trips.

• The Boilermakers have had 38 placewinners all-time at CKLV, with Schroder chasing his third career podium appearance at the event and Kendall Coleman looking for his second.

• Purdue has had four three-time placewinners at CKLV (Logan Brown, Dylan Lydy, Luke Manuel and Ben Wissel), and seven more two-time placewinners (Christian Brunner, Chris Fleeger, A.J. Kissel, Ryan Lange, Nate Moore, Griffin Parriott, Devin Schroder, Doug Withstandley).

PURDUE NOTES

• Head coach Tony Ersland is in his eighth season at Purdue and is 63-50 in dual competition with the Boilermakers.

• Ersland wrestled for the University of Iowa from 1992-97, qualifying for the NCAA Tournament at 177, and competing on the highest scoring team at the NCAA Championships in history (170).

• Purdue has outscored its opponents by 258 points so far in 2021-22 (511-253), accounting for an average margin of 6.7-3.3 per match.

• The Boilermakers’ largest margin for scoring has come in the first period, where they’ve outscored opponents 199-83.

• The Boilermakers are a perfect 5-0 in overtime matches this season.

• Devin Schroder and Max Lyon capitalized on the NCAA’s COVID extension waiver, returning for an extra year of eligibility in 2021-22.

• Schroder ranks second in program history in back points, collecting 478 to date, and is 16th all-time at Purdue with a .728 win percentage (83-31).

• 44 of Schroder’s 83 career wins have come with bonus points (.530), including 24 technical falls, while 34 of his career victories are shutouts (.409).

• Schroder has outscored his opponents 73-6 through six matches this season.

• Matt Ramos won the 2018 Cadet Freestyle World Championship for the U.S., capturing the 51 kg title in Zagreb, Croatia.

• Ramos’s two wins to open the season were his first official folkstyle matches since his senior year of high school at Lockport HS (Illinois) in 2019, winning by technical fall and fall in the two bouts.

• The Boilermakers first three weights are a combined 18-0 through six duals, accounting for two falls, four technical falls and two major decisions.

• Kendall Coleman swept the Boilermaker Duals in impressive fashion, posting a technical fall and two major decisions, while racking up 23 takedowns in three matches.

• Thomas Penola is off to a 6-0 start at 197 pounds, including two technical falls and a major decision. 

• Penola and Coleman rank first and second on the team with 31 and 26 takedowns, respectively, while Parker Filius is third with 21.

• Michael Woulfe is wrestling his first collegiate season since 2016 after serving in the United States Navy for the last five years.

• Woulfe has four pins through his first six matches of the season, giving him 28 for his career.

• In his last 52 career matches, he’s won 37 times, including 24 by fall, and 28 via bonus points.

BUTLER VB TO FACE VALPARAISO IN POSTSEASON PLAY

VALPARAISO, IND. – The Butler volleyball team will play Valparaiso on Thursday night at 8 p.m. in Northern Indiana in the first round of the National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC). The Bulldogs (16-15, 10-8 BIG EAST) meet up with the Beacons (22-9, 12-6 Missouri Valley Conference) for the second time this year after dropping a match to Valpo in three sets during the Spring 2021 season. The winner of this match will go on to play Friday night at 7 p.m. in Valpo against the winner of the match between Indiana State and Toledo.

Bulldog Bites

– Melody Davidson earned BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week honors for her play during the last week of the regular season, posting a combined 4.21 points/set (29.5 total) on 22 kills and 11 blocks (four solo, seven assist).

– Davidson is the only conference player to win both BIG EAST Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week this season, having previously won the Defensive award on Oct. 25.

– Jaymeson Kinley wrapped up her regular season with 19 digs and five assists at UConn and 23 digs and six assists vs. Xavier before being named the BIG EAST Libero of the Year.

– The conference leader in total digs (595) and digs per set (5.41) has four appearances on the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll this season in addition to being named the conference Defensive Player of the Week on Nov. 8.

– The Bulldogs lead the BIG EAST in attacks per set (38.87) and rank second in digs per set (16.95).

– The Bulldog defense has stepped up in recent weeks to now rank fourth in the conference in opponent hitting percentage (.192) this season.

– Butler won both matches in a week of conference play for the second time this season with the wins over UConn and Xavier (also Oct. 23-24 at Seton Hall and St. John’s).

– Butler has outblocked its opponents 240 to 193.5 this season, or 2.18 to 1.76 per set.

– Closest to Home: Lauren Hughes’ hometown of Naperville, Ill., is 60 miles (straight-line distance) from Valparaiso, Ind., or about a 77-mile drive.

SCOUTING VALPARAISO: The Beacons tout a 22-9 record (12-6 Missouri Valley) following a win over Evansville in four sets before falling to top-seeded Loyola in five sets in the semifinals of the conference tournament. Valpo is 8-1 in home matches, which is the program’s best home record since 2009. The Beacons lead the MVC in digs/set (16.92), while 5th-year libero Rylee Cookerly leads the conference in digs/set with 4.88 and has the second-most career digs in NCAA Division I volleyball history with 3,105.

Butler leads the all-time series 27-10 after Valpo won in three sets during the Spring 2021 season.

SCOUTING INDIANA STATE: The Sycamores check in with an 18-12 record (9-9 Missouri Valley) following a 3-0 win over No. 3-seed Bradley and a three-set loss to No. 2-seed Illinois State in the MVC Tournament last weekend. Indiana State ranks second in the conference and No. 36 nationally with 16.51 digs/set, while senior libero Melina Tedrow’s 4.58 digs/set ranks third in the MVC.

Butler leads the all-time series 18-7 after beating the Sycamores in five sets on Feb. 4.

SCOUTING TOLEDO: The Rockets check in with a 19-12 record (10-8 MAC) after a four-set loss to Western Michigan in their first match of the conference tournament. Toledo leads the MAC in blocks/set (2.42), aces/set (1.59) and opponent hitting percentage (0.170). Sophomore OH Taylor Alt is second in the conference in both scoring (518.5 points) and total kills (450).

Butler is a perfect 5-0 all-time against the Rockets, with the last meeting resulting in a sweep for the Bulldogs on Sept. 21, 2013.

DOUBLE-DOUBLES: Mariah Grunze (nine), Madison Friebel (eight) and Marissa McKelvey (five) have each recorded multiple double-doubles in the first 31 contests of the season. Grunze averages 9.3 kills and 8.5 digs, while Friebel has averaged 27.0 assists and 7.9 digs per match.

McKelvey averages 22.7 assists and 7.6 digs in BIG EAST matches this season.

KINLEY PLAYING WITH CONFIDENCE: Libero Jaymeson Kinley finished her regular season with Butler program records in total digs (595) and digs/set (5.41) in a season. She was rewarded with a unanimous selection to the All-BIG EAST Team and named the conference’s Libero of the Year for her performance. She has recorded double-digit digs in every match but two so far.

Kinley has reached the 20-dig mark in 15 matches this season.

DAVIDSON DOMINATES: Melody Davidson also was a unanimous selection to the All-BIG EAST Team after ranking second in the conference in scoring (444.5 points) and total blocks (135) and fourth in total kills (364) and hitting percentage (.333).

Davidson has tallied double-digit kills in 18 of 31 matches and double-digit points in all but five. Her hitting percentage is on pace to be the third-best in a season in Butler volleyball history.

CAN YOU DIG IT: Butler’s defense features five players averaging at least two digs per set, with Kinley (5.41), Grunze (2.41), Friebel (2.21), McKelvey (2.09) and Caroline Cleveland (2.02).

In addition to Kinley, Grunze, Friebel, Cleveland and McKelvey, Bulldogs with double-digit digs in a match this season include Hannah Kelly, Brittany Robinson and Jillian Ziemba.

STEADY SCORING: Robinson (213 kills) and Amina Shackelford (194) have been consistent contributors for the Butler offense. Robinson averages 2.66 points per set, while Shackelford has scored 2.39 per set.

With 10 points in the regular season finale, Shackelford scored in double-digits for the first time since Oct. 29 at Xavier (ninth time overall on the season).

STEPPING UP: Megan Sheridan has provided steady offense in recent weeks for the Bulldogs. Sheridan has posted 112 kills (2.43/set) since the beginning of BIG EAST play.

Sheridan hits at a .256 efficiency in conference matches.

TRIPLE-DIGIT THREATS: Four Bulldogs have posted more than 100 in two major statistical categories, including two in assists and digs, one in kills and digs, and one in kills and blocks.

The group consists of Friebel (729 assists, 212 digs), McKelvey (413 assists, 144 digs), Grunze (289 kills, 263 digs) and Davidson (364 kills, 135 blocks).

POSTSEASON: This will be Butler’s first taste of postseason play not including conference tournaments since Dayton on Dec. 3, 2010 in the NCAA Tournament.

The Bulldogs lost 3-0 at the No. 14 Flyers.

WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL SET TO BATTLE MICHIGAN IN NCAA TOURNAMENT

Match 33: Ball State (29-3) vs. Michigan (18-11)

   Friday, Dec. 3 at 4 p.m. ET – L&N Federal Credit Union Arena

   Live Stats  |  ESPN+

Match 34: Ball State (29-3) vs. Louisville (28-0) or UIC (20-11)

   Saturday, Dec. 4 at 6 p.m. ET – L&N Federal Credit Union Arena

   Live Stats  |  Live Video TBA

THE WEEK AHEAD: The Ball State women’s volleyball program opens play in the 2021 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship with a 4 p.m. ET first serve versus Michigan on Friday, Dec. 3 at Louisville’s L&N Federal Credit Union Arena … The winner advances to play either top-seeded Louisville or UIC at 6 p.m. ET on Saturday, Dec. 4.

SCOUTING THE CARDINALS:

• Ball State earned the program’s 10th all-time berth into the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship by claiming the 2021 Mid-American Conference Volleyball Championship title … Winners of 19-straight matches, the Cardinals earned MAC Tournament victories over fourth-seeded Western Michigan (3-1) in the semifinals and second-seeded Bowling Green (3-2) in the championship match.

• Ball State enters Friday’s match versus Michigan ranked 19th nationally with a .272 attack percentage … The Cardinals have hit .200-or-better in 31 of its 32 matches this season, including above .300 in nine matches … The team’s 1,680 total kills are third in the country, while its 1,570 total assists are second, trailing only UC Santa Barbara’s total of 1,620.

• On defense, Ball State is 19th nationally with 1,926 digs and is holding opponents to a .204 attack percentage.

SCOUTING MICHIGAN:

• Michigan earned an at-large bid into the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship by finishing the regular season with an 18-11 overall record, including an 11-9 record in Big Ten play … The Wolverines finished eighth in the Big Ten regular season race.

• The Michigan roster features one player who might be familiar to Ball State fans, junior defensive specialist Amber Beals is the daughter of Greg Beals who was BSU’s head baseball coach from 2003-10 and guided the program to a 243-202 record and an NCAA regional appearance in 2006 … Greg Beals coached BSU head coach Kelli Miller Phillips’ brother Brad Miller (2003-06) during his Ball State baseball career … Brad Miller is the program’s career hits (304), home runs (50), and RBI (228) leader.

• Michigan enters Friday’s match ranked 38th in the country with a .254 attack percentage, while its 13.18 kills-per-set average is 93rd … The Wolverines are also one of the top serving teams in the Big Ten, ranking second in the league with a 1.53 aces-per-set average.

• On defense, Michigan is holding opponents to a .199 attack percentage which ranks 133rd nationally … UofM also ranks 92nd nationally in blocks per set (2.26) and 162 in digs per set (14.80).

SCOUTING LOUISVILLE:

• Louisville earned the Atlantic Coast Conference’s automatic bid into the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship as the league’s regular season champion with an 18-0 conference mark … The Cardinals are also the top seed in the Championship as the only undefeated team in the nation, at 28-0, and as the top team in the NCAA RPI rankings.

• Louisville enters the tournament as one of the nation’s top attacking teams, ranking fourth in the country with a .303 attack percentage … The Cardinals average 13.67 kills per set, to rank 42nd nationally, and paced the ACC with a 1.73 aces-per-set average.

• On defense, UofL ranks eighth nationally with a .143 opponent hitting percentage, led by a block which ranks fourth nationally at 2.93 blocks per set … Led by the strength of its block, Louisville’s backcourt is only averaging 12.71 digs per set which is 307th among the 332 ranked NCAA Division I programs.

SCOUTING UIC:

• UIC earned the Horizon League’s automatic bid into the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship as the conference’s tournament champion … The fourth-seeded Flames topped No. 5 Green Bay (3-2), No. 1 Milwaukee (3-2) and No. 2 Northern Kentucky (3-2) on its way to the title.

• UIC enters its match versus top-seeded Louisville ranked 49th nationally with a 13.63 kills-per-set average, while its .227 attack percentage is 93rd … The Flames are also one of the nation’s top serving teams, ranking 53rd at 1.66 aces per set.

• On defense, UIC ranks 189th nationally with a 14.37 digs-per-set average, while it’s 1.89 blocks-per-set average is 227th among the 332 ranked NCAA Division I programs … The Flames also allow opponents to connect for a .217 hitting percentage.

BALL STATE DROPS TOUGH ONE TO WESTERN ILLINOIS

MACOMB, Ill. – The Ball State men’s basketball team was back on the hardwood on Wednesday against Western Illinois in Western Hall. The Cardinals were led by Luke Bumbalough with 17 points as BSU had four guys finish in double figures. BSU fell to 3-4 on the year, while WIU improved to 6-2 on the season behind a 93-80 victory.

Bumbalough finished in double digits for the fourth-straight game and led the team with a game-high nine rebounds. Miryne Thomas posted a 14-point performance for back-to-back games in double figures. Jaylin Sellers recorded a career-high 11 points. Demarius Jacobs made it four players in double digits with 10 points.

Western Illinois started the game on a 14-5 run. The Cardinals responded and got hot from 3-point range. Ball State went on a 10-0 run and gained a 15-14 lead with 12:54 left in the first half. During the run, Mickey Pearson Jr. and Sellers each knocked down a 3, while Bumbalough added four points.

The Leathernecks answered with a 14-4 run and took a 28-19 lead with 8:38 left in the first. During the run, all four of Ball State’s points came from the free-throw line, two by Sellers and two by Thomas.

Thomas ended the 5:26 drought from the field, as he made a driving layup and made the score 28-21, with 7:28 left in the half. WIU then went on a 6-0 run and extended its lead to 34-21 with 4:31 left in the first. Ball State followed with an 8-2 run and pulled with seven, 36-29, with 2:34 remaining in the half.

Western Illinois ended the half on an 8-4 run and took a 44-33 lead into the break.

Demarius Jacobs started the second half with a big and-1 and made the score 44-36. After a made basket by WIU, Jacobs drained a 3-pointer on a kickout by Payton Sparks.

Neither team scored again until there was 17:57 left in the game, when WIU made a free throw. Thomas made a layup to cut the deficit to seven, 48-41.

Western Illinois extended its lead to 63-49 with 12:54 left in the game.

The Cardinals went on a run and pulled within 10, 70-60, with 8:51 left as Pearson made a 3-pointer. During the run, Bumbalough converted an and-1 opportunity. A minute later, Jalin Windham was fouled on a 3-point attempt and went to the line for three shots. Windham converted on all three and pulled BSU within seven, 70-63.

The Leathernecks reached their largest lead of 19, 92-73, with 1:53 left in the game. The deficit was too much for Ball State to overcome as Western Illinois went on to win the game 93-80.

Colton Sandage posted a game-high 33 points behind a 7-for-9 performance from long range. Trenton Massner notched 18 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Luka Barisic finshed with 14 points and Tamell Pearson added 13 points.

Ball State will be back in action on Wednesday, Dec. 8, for a trip to Cincinnati, Ohio, and a matchup against Xavier.

From the Coach – Head Coach James Whitford

“We’ve made a lot of strides in three weeks and have to be in position to win this game three weeks from now. I thought Blake helped us coming off the bench with physicality. We had some guys that weren’t at their best today. The back-breaking moment was when they pushed it to 15. We got a little overwhelmed and something bad happen on our end. We didn’t talk on transition, and they got three shots in. Those are the young team mistakes, when we cut it to seven, it would have been four.”

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL WELCOMES PURDUE FORT WAYNE TO WORTHEN ARENA THURSDAY

Game 6 | Ball State vs. Purdue Fort Wayne

Dec. 2 | Muncie, Ind. | Worthen Arena | 6:30 p.m. ET

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

Game Notes: Ball State (PDF) | Purdue Fort Wayne (PDF) | Roster Card (PDF)

Opening Tip:

– Today’s game is a makeup contest from its originally scheduled date of Nov. 12 that was canceled due to breakthrough COVID-19 cases within the Mastodons program. Purdue Fort Wayne is the second of three schools the Cardinals will face from the state of Indiana this season. Ball State already defeated Butler on November 16 by a score of 70-56.  The Mastodons are also the second of three schools that the Cardinals will have faced from the Horizon League. Ball State defeated Milwaukee in overtime 84-75 on Nov. 9. Ball State and Purdue Fort Wayne have met six times, with the Cardinals leading the all-time series record, 6-0.

– Ball State welcomes Purdue Fort Wayne to Worthen Arena for the first time since the 2012-13 season. In fact, that contest on Nov. 19, 2012 would indeed be Ball State 10th-year head coach Brady Sallee’s first career win at the helm of the Cardinals after BSU defeated the Mastodons by a score of 53-46. The last time BSU and PFW met was in Fort Wayne on Nov. 12, 2019 resulting in a 83-52 win for the Cardinals.

– The Cardinals spent their Thanksgiving holiday break at the Van Chancellor Class in Katy, Texas where Ball State played three games. BSU battled against Big 12 foe Texas Tech but fell by a score of 67-71. Ball State also dropped its second contest against Stephen F. Austin (66-87) before coming home with a victory against Saint Joseph’s (73-67). Redshirt junior Anna Clephane led the Cardinals in scoring at the Van Chancellor Classic averaging 14 points per contest.

– After tonight’s contest, the Cardinals will remain in Worthen Arena as Ball State will host ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) foe Pitt on Saturday, Dec. 4 at 1 p.m. ET. This marks the second time under Sallee that Ball State has hosted the Panthers.

Agustsdottir Nearing 1,000:

Ball State senior crasher Thelma Dis Agustsdottir is nearing the 1,000 career point plateau. Agustsdottir currently has 923 points and needs 77 to become the 30th member of the 1,000 point club and the ninth under head coach Brady Sallee.

Backs, Crashers & 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.

Here We Go Again:

Here we go again, the Cardinals are off to a good start with one of head coach Brady Sallee’s favorite statistical categories on the box score. What is that you might ask? well it is points in the paint. Over the course of Sallee’s ten years at Ball State this category is one of his all time favorites. Ball State won the points in the paint over Milwaukee 40-38, Butler 30-18 and Saint Joseph’s 38-26.

Home Sweet Home:

John E. Worthen Arena has been very good to the Cardinals for the past decade. Ball State has a record of 153-83 (.656) at Worthen Arena from 2004-present. In 10 seasons Brady Sallee has compiled a 85-47 (.658)  record in Worthen Arena. His best season at home was in 2017-18 when the Cardinals went 15-3 in Muncie.

Next Game:

After tonight’s contest, the Cardinals return home to Worthen Arena where they will host Pitt for the second time under 10th-year head coach Brady Sallee. The last time Ball State hosted Pitt was on Nov. 14, 2013 resulting in a 58-63 loss for the Cardinals. Ball State and Pitt have faced off a total of three times with the last time being at Pitt in 2014-15. Ball State lost that contest 47-59. Pitt leads the all-time series record, 3-0.

Ticket Information:

Call 888.BSU.TICKET or 765.285.1474 to join the Cardinal Family inside Worthen Arena! Season tickets and groups are on sale now. Single game tickets will be available Monday, October 18, at the numbers listed above and online at Ticketmaster.com.

Series vs. PFW:

2001-2002:  Ball State 94, Purdue Fort Wayne 50 (Muncie, Ind.)

2003-2004:  Ball State 93, Purdue Fort Wayne 75 (Fort Wayne, Ind.)

2006-2007:  Ball State 73, Purdue Fort Wayne 62 (Muncie, Ind.)

2012-2013:  Ball State 53, Purdue Fort Wayne 46 (Muncie, Ind.)

2013-2014:  Ball State 83, Purdue Fort Wayne 75 (Fort Wayne, Ind.)

2019-2020:  Ball State 83, Purdue Fort Wayne 52 (Fort Wayne, Ind.)

QUINTET OF CARDINALS GARNER ALL-MAC HONORS

CLEVELAND, Ohio – After concluding the regular season and securing bowl eligibility for the second consecutive campaign, Ball State placed five on the 2021 All-Mid-American Conference teams, the league office announced Wednesday.

The Cardinals had three representatives on the first team in Bryce Cosby (defensive back), Justin Hall (kickoff return specialist) and Nathan Snyder (punter). In addition, Ball State had three honorees on the second team in Curtis Blackwell (offensive lineman), Jaylin Thomas (linebacker) and Hall (wide receiver).

All five Cardinals have earned All-MAC laurels multiple times, led by Hall, who has been named an all-league player for the fifth consecutive season.

Blackwell served as a catalyst for the offensive line this season. Behind Blackwell, Ball State ran for 1,611 yards and 16 touchdowns during the regular season. The offense as a whole averaged nearly 336 yards per game and had a turnover margin of 0.83, good for ninth-best in the country.

The Uniondale, Ind. native was key in securing positive yardage for the Cardinals as he guided the line to allow only 3.8 tackles-for-loss per game, which was the 13th-best mark in the nation. Blackwell and Co. surrendered just 1.8 sacks per contest, which was among the lowest in the MAC.

Cosby was one of only six defensive backs in the country to amass 100 tackles during the regular season. His 103 stops ranked seventh in the conference overall and second among defensive backs.

The Louisville, Ky. native has 385 career tackles, which stands as seventh among all active players nationally and 10th in the Ball State record books. He is the only player in the country to log multiple games of at least 10 tackles, 1.0 sack and one forced fumble on the year, and he did it in back-to-back games at Western Michigan and Eastern Michigan.

Hall, who is a finalist for the Paul Hornung Award, has seven All-MAC honors to his name – five as a receiver and two as a kick returner. He broke the program record for career all-purpose yards (5,359) and career receiving yards (3,385) and tied the NCAA record with for the most consecutive games catching a pass with 54.

The Douglasville, Ga. native was one of seven players in the country to score a touchdown via rush, reception and kickoff return during the regular season. Hall is responsible for 72 points this season through 12 touchdowns, which is tied for the eighth-most by a wide receiver in the country. His touchdown total is tied for sixth among all offensive players in the MAC. Hall has scored six touchdowns on the ground, five through reception and one by way of a kickoff return.

Snyder led the conference with 28 fair catches forced and 21 punts that were downed inside the 20-yard line. He totaled 2,218 yards on 52 punts, good for an average of 42.7 yards per boot. That mark was fourth-best in the league.

The Marysville, Ohio native boasts a 41.1 career punting average, which stands third in Cardinals history. He also has served as the team’s holder for field goals and extra points and did not have a botched handle during the regular season.

Thomas had 107 tackles during the 12-game regular season, which was the fifth-most in the MAC. His 396 career tackles rank sixth among active players nationally and ninth on Ball State’s all-time tackles list. He had four double-digit tackles games, including each of his last three games during which he totaled 40 stops.

The Lima, Ohio native tied for the most interceptions by a linebacker in the nation with four. That mark is tied for 11th overall among all defensive players.

2021 MAC Specialty Award Winners

Coach of the Year – Thomas Hammock, Northern Illinois

Offensive Player of the Year – Lew Nichols III, RB, Central Michigan

Defensive Player of the Year – Ali Fayad, DL, Western Michigan

Special Teams Player of the Year – Kalil Pimpleton, PR, Central Michigan

Freshman of the Year – Jay Ducker, RB, Northern Illinois

Vern Smith Leadership Award Winner – Dustin Crum, QB, Kent State

2021 All-MAC First Team Offense

Quarterback – Dustin Crum, Kent State

Offensive Lineman – Sidy Sow, Eastern Michigan

Offensive Lineman – Bernhard Raimann, Central Michigan

Offensive Lineman – Luke Goedeke, Central Michigan

Offensive Lineman – Bryce Harris, Toledo

Offensive Lineman – Mike Caliendo, Western Michigan

Tight End – Christian Sims, Bowling Green

Wide Receiver – Kalil Pimpleton, Central Michigan

Wide Receiver – Dante Cephas, Kent State

Wide Receiver – Jack Sorenson, Miami

Wide Receiver – Skyy Moore, Western Michigan

Running Back – Lew Nichols III, Central Michigan

Running Back – Bryant Koback, Toledo

Placekicker – Nate Needham, Bowling Green

2021 All-MAC First Team Defense

Down Lineman – Troy Hairston, Central Michigan

Down Lineman – Kameron Butler, Miami

Down Lineman – Jamal Hines, Toledo

Down Lineman – Ali Fayad, Western Michigan

Linebacker – Darren Anders, Bowling Green

Linebacker – James Patterson, Buffalo

Linebacker – Troy Brown, Central Michigan

Linebacker – Ivan Pace Jr. Miami

Defensive Back – Bryce Cosby, Ball State

Defensive Back – Elvis Hines, Kent State

Defensive Back – C.J. Brown, Northern Illinois

Defensive Back – Sam Womack, Toledo

Defensive Back – Tycen Anderson, Toledo

Punter – Nathan Snyder, Ball State

2021 All-MAC First Team Specialists

Kickoff Return Specialist – Justin Hall, Ball State

Kickoff Return Specialist – Kalil Pimpleton, Central Michigan

2021 All-MAC Second Team Offense

Quarterback – Kaleb Eleby, Western Michigan

Offensive Lineman – Curtis Blackwell, Ball State

Offensive Lineman – Jake Fuzak, Buffalo

Offensive Lineman – Bill Kuduk, Kent State

Offensive Lineman – Nolan Potter, Northern Illinois

Offensive Lineman – Brayden Patton, Northern Illinois

Tight End – Tristian Brank, Akron

Wide Receiver – Konata Mumpfield, Akron

Wide Receiver – Justin Hall, Ball State

Wide Receiver – Hassan Beydoun, Eastern Michigan

Wide Receiver – Trayvon Rudolph, Northern Illinois

Running Back – Marquez Cooper, Kent State

Running Back – Sean Tyler, Western Michigan

Placekicker – Chad Ryland, Eastern Michigan

2021 All-MAC Second Team Defense

Down Lineman – Daymond Williams, Buffalo

Down Lineman – Lonnie Phelps, Miami

Down Lineman – Desjuan Johnson, Toledo

Down Lineman – Ralph Holley, Western Michigan

Linebacker – Jaylin Thomas, Ball State

Linebacker – Matthew Salopek, Miami

Linebacker – Jonathan Jones, Toledo

Linebacker – Zaire Barnes, Western Michigan

Defensive Back – Jordan Anderson, Bowling Green

Defensive Back – Devonni Reed, Central Michigan

Defensive Back – Sterling Weatherford, Miami

Defensive Back – Dorian Jackson, Western Michigan

Punter – Jake Julien, Eastern Michigan

2021 All-MAC Second Team Specialists

Kickoff Return Specialist – Trayvon Rudolph, Northern Illinois

Kickoff Return Specialist – Devin Maddox, Toledo

2021 All-MAC Third Team Offense

Quarterback – Brett Gabbert, Miami

Offensive Lineman – Jack Klenk, Buffalo

Offensive Lineman – Brian Dooley, Eastern Michigan

Offensive Lineman – Nathan Monnin, Kent State

Offensive Lineman – Logan Zschernitz, Northern Illinois

Offensive Lineman – Vitaliy Gurman, Toledo

Tight End – Thomas Odukoya, Eastern Michigan

Wide Receiver – Quian Williams, Buffalo

Wide Receiver – Dallas Dixon, Central Michigan

Wide Receiver – JaCorey Sullivan, Central Michigan

Wide Receiver – Mac Hippenhammer, Miami

Running Back – Dylan McDuffie, Buffalo

Running Back – Clint Ratkovich, Northern Illinois

Placekicker – Andrew Glass, Kent State

2021 All-MAC Third Team Defense

Down Lineman – Karl Brooks, Bowling Green

Down Lineman – Jose Ramirez, Eastern Michigan

Down Lineman – Dominique Robinson, Miami

Down Lineman – James Ester, Northern Illinois

Linebacker – Lance Deveaux, Northern Illinois

Linebacker – Bryce Houston, Ohio

Linebacker – Dyontae Johnson, Toledo

Linebacker – Corvin Moment, Western Michigan

Defensive Back – Devin Taylor, Bowling Green

Defensive Back – Jordan Gandy, Northern Illinois

Defensive Back – Tariq Drake, Ohio

Defensive Back – Maxen Hook, Toledo

Punter – Matt Naranjo, Bowling Green

2021 All-MAC Third Team Specialists

Kickoff Return Specialist – Ron Cook, Buffalo

Kickoff Return Specialist – Marion Lukes, Central Michigan

IRISH HEAD TO BOSTON COLLEGE FOR ACC OPENER

2021-22 FIGHTING IRISH – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

The University of Notre Dame men’s basketball team (3-3) looks to cap its long road trip with a victory at Boston College (5-3) in the ACC season opener for both teams Friday night (6 p.m. ET, ACC Network). The Irish have not played a home game since the win over High Point on November 16. 

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP

#20 | PAUL ATKINSON JR. | Graduate Student | 6-9 | 230 | West Palm Beach, FL

Saw double-digit game scoring streak end at Illinois, still averaging 12.3 ppg and 6.3 rpg in 2021-22 • 2019-20 Ivy League Player of the Year at Yale • did not participate in 2020-21, as the Ivy League cancelled all intercollegiate athletics • ranked by ESPN+ as the fourth-best transfer prospect in  2020-21 • boasts a .661 career field goal percentage – top for any returning NCAA Division I player this year – and led Ivy League in FG% all three seasons in which he competed.

#3 PRENTISS HUBB | Senior | 6-3 | 176 | Upper Marlboro, MD

Preseason All-ACC Second Team • leads all returning ACC players in career assists (462) • led the Irish in  scoring (14.6) and three-point field goals made (65) last season • one of five major conference players to reach 100 assists in league play last season.

#5 CORMAC RYAN | Senior | 6-5 | 195 | New York, NY

Pulled down a season and team-high seven rebounds at Illinois • started 16 of 25 games in his first year with the Irish last season • scored 21 points in the first half in the victory at Duke last year, eventually scoring career-best 28 points • shot .344 from 3FG range last season.

#23 DANE GOODWIN | Senior | 6-4 | 202 | Upper Arlington, OH

Has scored in double figures in all six games this season and leads the team with 15.0 ppg • six-game double-digit scoring streak is the second best of his career (seven straight in 2019-20 – final four games – and 2020-21 – first three games) • averaging 15.0 ppg and 5.7 rpg one of the best free throw shooters on the team, boasting a .831 career average from the stripe (15-16 this season).

#14 NATE LASZEWSKI | Senior | 6-10 | 235 | Jupiter, FL

Scored 13 points with three three-point field goals at Illinois • leads the Irish in rebounding at 9.3 per game • improved FG% 19 percent, 3FG% 11% and RPG by 3.1 last season • scored over 20 points four times last season and has five 20-point games in his career.

OFF THE BENCH

#2 TREY WERTZ | Senior | 6-5 | 192 | Charlotte, NC

Led the Irish with five assists vs. St. Mary’s (CA) and played a season-high 26 minutes • planned to sit out 2020-21 season after transferring from Santa Clara until all underclassmen transfers were given immediate eligibility in December of 2020 • appeared in 21 games making 14 starts, shooting .429 from three-point range • hit the game-winning 3FG at the buzzer vs. WF in 2021 ACC tournament.

#0 BLAKE WESLEY | Freshman | 6-5 | 185 | South Bend, IN

Exploded for 24 points, 18 in the second half at Illinois in the first true road game of his career • has hit double figures in four of his six career games played • first Mike Brey freshman to score 20 points in a career debut (vs. CSUN) since Chris Thomas in 2001 • first South Bend, IN, public school MBB prospect to sign with Notre Dame since 1985 • consensus four-star prospect • athletic backcourt player expected to be an immediate key contributor.

#22 ELIJAH TAYLOR | Sophomore | 6-8 | 242 | Philadelphia, PA

Earned earliest minutes of his career in the first half at Illinois, eventually scored four points in career-high seven minutes • made Irish debut vs. Chaminade and scored his first career field goal • missed CSUN game as a precaution due to minor lower leg injury, then the High Point game with the flu • missed 2020-21 while recovering from ankle surgery • athletic front court player will provide depth on the Irish front line.

#1 J.R. KONIECZNY | Freshman | 6-6 | 195 | South Bend, IN

(pronounced Ko-NEZZ-knee) Saw action in first career game vs. CSUN, scored first career points vs. Chaminade • all-time leading scorer in St. Joseph County history (1,996) • joins classmate Blake Wesley as the first Northern Indiana Conference players to sign with Notre Dame since 2012 (D. Jackson, A. Torres).

IRISH ITEMS – BY THE NUMBERS

1

Since 2000-01 (first year of the Mike Brey era), Notre Dame has led the NCAA in assist/turnover ratio (1.44).

7

Notre Dame will confer an NCAA Division I men’s basketball-best seven degrees in the spring of 2022 – undergraduate degrees to R. Carmody, D. Goodwin, P. Hubb, N. Laszewski, C. Ryan and T. Wertz, along with a graduate degree to P. Atkinson Jr.

9.3

Rebounds-per-game average for Nate Laszewski, which is third in the ACC as of Dec. 1

15.0

There is only one player in the nation averaging 15.0 points while shooting .480 from the field, .500 from 3FG and .930 from the free throw line – Dane Goodwin.

20+

Freshman Blake Wesley has scored 20-or-more points twice off the bench this season. In the Mike Brey era, a bench player has only scored 20-or-more points 16 times and only two other players have done it twice – Chris Quinn (2003, 2004) and David Graves (2001, 2002).

24

Blake Wesley scored 24 points off the bench at Illinois, including 18 in the second half. It was the most points from a bench player since teammate Dane Goodwin scored 27 against Detroit Mercy in 2019. It also was the most against a Power 5 opponent since Bonzie Colson’s 31 at Duke in 2016.

66

Or .661 to be precise – graduate student Paul Atkinson Jr.’s career field goal percentage – which led all returning NCAA Division I players this year. The 2019-20 Ivy League Player of the Year graduate transferred to Notre Dame during the offseason. Atkinson is 13-19 (.684) so far this season.

258

Games won by Notre Dame with Mike Brey and Associate Head Coach Anthony Solomon on the coaching staff. Solomon returns for his third stint with the Irish this season and with him on the sidelines, Mike Brey has won .676 percent of the games he has coached at Notre Dame.

451

Wins at Notre Dame for Mike Brey, the most in school history and the ninth-most for any NCAA coach at his current school. The victory over Chaminade was his 700th game at Notre Dame.

956

Career points at Notre Dame for Dane Goodwin, who will become the 66th Irish player and 24th player recruited by Mike Brey to reach 1,0000 points in a career.

GM 8 PREVIEW: MICHIGAN STATE

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The first week of December typically means one thing for the Notre Dame women’s basketball program – the B1G/ACC Challenge and UConn. First up, a trip north to the Breslin Center to take on Michigan State. That contest will tip off at 6 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network.

AGAINST THE BIG TEN

At the start of the 2009-10 season, the Irish went on to win 22 straight against Big Ten opposition spanning the next 10 years. It wasn’t until the 2019-20 season that they finally dropped a decision to none other than. Since 2009, the Irish are 23-3 against Big Ten foes.

ACC/B1G CHALLENGE

With a 105-71 win over No. 14 Iowa last season, the Irish moved to 6-0 in the ACC/B1G Challenge.

Past Results

2019: Minnesota – lost 75-67

2018: Iowa – won 105-71

2017: at Michigan – won 83-63

2016: at Iowa – won 73-58

2015: Ohio State – won 75-72

2014: Maryland – won 92-72

2013: Penn State – won 77-67

The ACC owns a 9-1-3 all-time advantage in the Challenge, headlined by three outright titles in the last four years the event has been held. Additionally, the ACC stands a collective 94-70 against the Big Ten in the Challenge.

Twelve of the 14 games will air live on a linear television network, including all seven ACC home games.

DOUBLE-DOUBLE DELIGHTS

Notre Dame is the only school in the ACC with three different players with double-double performances. Olivia Miles leads the way with two and she’s done it two different ways. First Miles secured 16 points & 11 rebounds vs Western Illinois. Then against Bryant, Miles dished out a career high 14 assists, to go with her 14 points. It was the first Irish points/assists double-double since Marina Mabrey (12p/12a) vs UConn in the 2019 National Semifinal.

Fellow freshman Sonia Citron earned her first double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds in the win over Fordham on Nov. 18.

Citron and Miles are 2 of just 14 freshman guards in the country who have produced at least one double-double, and just 2-of-3 from a power-five conference (other being Shyanne Sellers from Maryland). However, Miles and Niagara’s Aaliyah Parker are the only two freshmen guards with at least 2 double-doubles.

Lastly, there’s Maddy Westbeld, who notched a 15-point, 18-rebound double-double in game two win over Western Illinois. The 18 rebounds were not only a career high, but also tied the Purcell Pavilion single-game rebounding record.

A PAIR OF SUPER FRESHMEN

The future of the program is bright with freshmen Sonia Citron and Olivia Miles and both their versatile skill sets.

After the first 2 weeks of play, Citron was a 2-time ACC Freshman of the Week award winner. A 6-1 guard at the 3, Citron has been everywhere on the court for Coach Ivey, ranking in the top-5 on the team in points, rebounds, assists and steals. Thus, not only is Citron making early waves for ACC Freshman of the Year but 6th Woman as well.

In addition, Citron is 1-of-7 freshmen guards in the entire country averaging at least 9 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists. She’s also just 1-of-2 in a Power-5, with the other being Olivia Miles.   

Then there’s Olivia Miles, averaging 11.6 points, 6.9 assists and 5.4 rebounds. She is the only player in the country to average at least 11p/5r/6a.

And we are certainly not skipping over Miles 6.9 assist average which ranks third in the entire country. Also for reference, the ND single season record is 8.8 apg by Mary Gavin in 87-88 season.

WHO’S HOT

The obvious answer first – Maddy Westbeld. She has scored in double figures in seven straight games, one shy of tying her career high. Maddy is averaging 15.4 ppg and 7.9 rpg. Both averages rank in the top-10 in the ACC.

Speaking of streaks, she’s made at least one trey in all 7 games, setting a new career high – last season her high streak was set at 6.

Next, Maya Dodson, who was named a Second All-Daytona Beach Invitational Team honoree. She scored in double figures both games averaging 13.5 points and 8.0 rebounds.

SHARING THE WEALTH AND EXECUTING

Currently have 4 starters averaging double-figures with 2 bench players in Sonia Citron (9.1 ppg) and Sam Brunelle (8.2 ppg) honing in. The Irish have done a great job spreading the wealth, leading the ACC and ranking 13th in the nation in assists/game (19.3). They have twice this season dished out 30+.

Notre Dame is also ranked 17th in the nation in shooting percentage (.474), 14th in defensive rebounds (31.1) and 16th in rebounds/game (45.29).

BACK IN THE RANKINGS WITH 1ST RANKED WIN

The Irish were presented with an early-season test in Daytona with a now ranked Georgia squad (were receiving votes at the time of competition) and then No. 16 Oregon State. Notre Dame ultimately split the two, dropping a 71-67 overtime game to the Bulldogs before bouncing back with a 64-62 win over the Beavers. The latter marked Coach Ivey’s first AP ranked win at the helm of the program. Also keep in mind it was very close to a 2-0 Daytona trip as neither team scored in the final three minutes of regulation and then ND later boasted a four-point lead in OT that was swung to a four-point defeat.

All-in-all, the results led to Notre Dame being back in the rankings since earning a 2020 preseason ranking.

JAGS TO OPEN #HLMBB PLAY AT THE COLISEUM ON THURSDAY NIGHT

INDIANAPOLIS – The IUPUI basketball team will officially open #HLMBB play on Thursday night (Dec. 2) when the Jaguars host Detroit Mercy at 7:00 p.m. inside Indiana Farmers Coliseum. The Jaguars are coming off a 61-41 home win over Spalding just before Thanksgiving and are currently amidst a stretch of seven out of eight games at home, capped by the Jan. 1 contest with Purdue Fort Wayne. IUPUI (1-5) opened the season with five straight games away from home before beating Spalding in its home opener.

Head coach Matt Crenshaw’s team is building a strong defensive and rebounding identity, ranking 24th in the country in scoring defense, allowing just 57.5 points per game. In addition, the Jags lead the Horizon League in rebounding margin, outrebounding opponents by 2.7 caroms per contest. The Jags were outrebounded in the season’s first two games, but have since outrebounded four straight opponents by an average of 8.8 rebounds per game.

Graduate transfer B.J. Maxwell, who played for Detroit Mercy in 2019-2020, currently leads the Jaguars in scoring (12.6 ppg), rebounding (5.6 rpg), minutes played (30.5 mpg), field goals made (20) and free throws made (16). Maxwell has been the team’s top offensive threat and is complemented by a group of seven others, all of whom average between four and six points per game. Nathan McClure is second on the team at 5.7 points and 4.8 rebounds per game while Bobby Harvey (5.3 ppg) and Bakari LaStrap (5.0 ppg) are next in line. Against Spalding, IUPUI had just nine players in uniform and five either matched or eclipsed their previous career-highs in the scoring column.

The Jags also have 10 players averaging more than 14 minutes per game with only one, Maxwell, topping 30 minutes per contest.

SCOUTING DETROIT MERCY

Detroit has opened the season at 0-6 with all six losses having come on the road in six different states. The Titans boast the league’s Preseason Player of the Year in Antoine Davis and the 6-foot-1 guard has lived up to the advance billing. Davis leads his team in scoring (23.7 ppg), assists (22), threes made (26) and rarely comes off the floor, playing 38 minutes per contest. South Florida-transfer Madut Akec has provided a strong second option at 14.2 points and a team-high 8.2 rebounds per game while shooting 49 percent from the floor. As a team, Detroit Mercy shoots 41 percent overall and 36 percent from three, but allows opponents to knock down 52 percent overall and 40 percent from three. The Titans are being outrebounded by 3.7 boards per game and have a negative turnover margin at -2.3 per game.

SERIES NOTES

Detroit Mercy leads the all-time series, 4-2, and has won the most recent three games in the series. IUPUI is 2-1 in the three meetings in Indianapolis.

QUOTABLE

“I’m pleased with the win and the overall effort. We still have a lot of work to do. I thought we showed a lot of intensity defensively in the first half, but we got a little sloppy once we got a big lead. We still had way too many turnovers and that’s the area we need to continue to improve the most,” Crenshaw said after the win over Spalding on Nov. 23.

UP NEXT

IUPUI will cap the week with a noon tip-off with Oakland University on Saturday, Dec. 4. Fans can receive a FREE ticket to Saturday’s game by bringing a new, unwrapped toy to benefit the kids of the Ruth Lilly Women’s and Children’s Center.

Game Notes (click here for the full PDF packet)

    DEFENSIVE NUGGETS

    IUPUI has been incredibly stingy all season long, holding four of six foes under 40 percent and ranking No. 24 in the country in scoring defense at 57.5 points allowed per game. They easily lead the Horizon League as Cleveland State is second in the league at 62.7 points allowed per game. In addition, IUPUI is holding opponents to just 38.3 percent shooting, tops in the Horizon League and 47th in the country.

    CLAMPS

    IUPUI held Spalding to just 10 first half points in its 61-41 win over the Golden Eagles on Nov. 23. The 10 first half points matched the fewest by any team in the country this season. Below is the list of the four lowest offensive outputs this season:

    10 – IUPUI vs. Spalding [Non D1] (Nov. 13, 2021)

    10 – Georgia State vs. Brewerton  [Non D1] (Nov. 9, 2021)

    12 – Pacific vs. Chicago State (Nov. 22, 2021)

    16 – Murray State vs. Long Beach State (Nov. 23, 2021)

    The 41 points allowed matched the fewest by an IUPUI opponent in program history, tying the 41 scored by Indiana State on Dec. 23, 2008 in the Jaguars’ 62-41 victory.

    ON THE GLASS

    IUPUI is also tops in the Horizon League in rebounding margin, outrebounding opponents by 2.7 caroms per game. The Jags are one of just three teams in the Horizon League with a positive rebounding margin at this point in the season.

    PLAYING IN FRONT

    Entering tonight’s game, IUPUI has led 76:36 of its last 80 minutes played, which included a wire-to-wire win over Spalding last Tuesday (Nov. 23). Prior to that, IUPUI led virtually the entire game at UTSA before ultimately falling in the game’s closing minutes.

    TRENDS

    IUPUI has outshot four of its six opponents from the field this season and outrebounded four of its six opponents on the season. After being outrebounded by a combined 19 boards in the season’s first two losses at Butler and Evansville, the Jags have since outrebounded their last four foes by an average of 8.8 rebounds per game.

    SPALDING TIP-INS

    In IUPUI’s 61-41 win over Spalding, the Jaguars had a season-high 20 points off turnovers (Spalding had 19 turnovers) and the Jags scored a season-high 30 bench points.

    IUPUI had just nine players in uniform in the Spalding game and five – Bakari LaStrap (10), Jonah Carrasco (8), Boston Stanton III (8), Dimitar Pandev (7) and KJ Pruitt (5) – eclipsed or equaled their previous career-highs in the scoring column.

    BY COMMITTEE

    It’s becoming evident that IUPUI’s offense is going to come by committee this season as the Jaguars lack a true go-to-scorer. Through six games, IUPUI has had just eight double-digit scoring games as B.J. Maxwell has done it four times and four others have tallied 10-or-more once.

    Conversely, IUPUI has eight players scoring more than four points per game.

    Maxwell has led the team in scoring in five of the Jags’ six games while LaStrap paced IUPUI in the win over Spalding.

    TAP INTO THE RESERVES

    With the committee approach being the case, IUPUI is averaging 19.7 points per game off the bench this season. Harvey (5.3 ppg) and LaStrap (5.0 ppg) lead the reserves in scoring this season. 

    MAD MAX

    Graduate transfer and former Detroit Titan B.J. Maxwell has been IUPUI’s top weapon thus far, leading the team in scoring (12.6 ppg) and rebounding (5.6 rpg) and easily pacing the squad in field goal attempts (63), three-point attempts (28) and free throw attempts (20), despite missing a full game due to injury.

    He ranks among the top 20 in the Horizon League in six different categories, including scoring and rebounding. 

    His 63 shot attempts are 22 percent of the team’s tries as Nathan McClure is second on the team with 28 hoists.

GLANTON’S BUZZER-BEATER LEADS SYCAMORES PAST CHICAGO STATE

CHICAGO, Ill. – Mya Glanton rebounded her own missed shot and put the ball in the basket as the buzzer sounded to help lead Indiana State past host Chicago State on Wednesday evening in the Jones Convocation Center, 59-58.

The Sycamores (3-4) took the 57-56 lead on a pair of Del’Janae Williams free throws with 29.8 seconds remaining on the clock setting up a frantic stretch over the final 30 seconds of the contest. Chicago State’s (1-7)in-bounds pass deflected off two Sycamores before Aaliyah Collins scooped up the ball and scored with 7.2 seconds remaining to swing the advantage back to the Cougars, 58-57.

After an ISU timeout advanced the ball in front of the Sycamores’ bench, Natalia Lalic’s pass went to Williams in the corner. The junior guard dribbled it into the lane and found Glanton for an open five-footer that rimmed out. However, the redshirt sophomore forward followed her shot and got the rebound on the left block, putting the final shot off the glass and into the net setting off an Indiana State celebration on the court.

The Sycamores led for just 3:04 in the contest and led just once since the 7:15 mark in the first quarter as Indiana State kept up the pace in a frenetic game against the Cougars. Williams led all players with a game-high 24 points, her second consecutive 20-point game, while Marie Hunter and Glanton both added nine points apiece in the win. Tonysha Curry’s eight rebounds led the Sycamores, while Hunter added six boards and two assists in the ISU win.

Quentarra Mitchell and Collins finished with 13 points apiece to lead three Chicago State players in double-digits in the scoring column. Janiah Newell added 11 points in the loss.

First Half

Indiana State jumped ahead to the early 4-0 lead as Del’Janae Williams scored on a layup on the opening possession, while Mya Glanton converted a pair of free throws to give the Sycamores the lead. The Cougars responded with an 11-0 run over the next four minutes with Aaliyah Collins and Quentarra Mitchell combining to score nine points in the stretch to take the 11-4 lead at the 5:30 mark. The Cougars continued to press in the first quarter with Janiah Newell hitting a jumper with 55 seconds remaining to put CSU ahead 21-10, before a late three-pointer from the corner by Natalia Lalic cut the score to 21-13 at the quarter break.

The start of the second quarter belonged to ISU’s Marie Hunter as the graduate student scored the first three points out of the break and Glanton added a jumper in the paint to cut the CSU lead down to 21-18. The Cougars worked the lead back out to 29-21 on a Collins layup with 4:29 remaining. Williams scored eight of the Sycamores final 10 points as ISU outscored the Cougars 10-4 down the stretch to cut the margin down to 33-31 at the half.

Second Half

It remained a two-possession game throughout the entirety of the third quarter as the teams battled through two ties and two lead changes in the 10-minute frame. The Sycamores tied it up for the first time at 37-37 on a Hunter jumper at the 4:44 mark, while Williams’ jumper put the score at 39-39 with 3:23 remaining. Williams went on to convert a free throw on to give the Sycamores the lead before Newell swung the advantage back to the home team with a layup at the 3:06 mark. A late Ana Haklicka free throw gave CSU the 43-41 lead at the quarter break.

Curry tied the game up at 43-43 with a pair of free throws at the 7:55 mark in the fourth quarter to put the Sycamores back in the game. The Cougars took advantage of an ISU technical foul to go up 47-43, but ISU continued to battle back as Williams converted a three-point play on the ensuing possession to cut the lead back down to one.

The Cougars held a late 56-52 lead with 2:41 remaining on a Newell free throw, but the Sycamores turned to their freshman with Arianna Smith converting a layup to cut the lead back down to two. The Smith basket and a Glanton free throw set up the finish in the Jones Convocation Center.

Inside the Statistics

Indiana State shot 42.2% from the floor, 18.2% from the three-point line, and 79.2% from the free throw line in the win.

Chicago State shot 47.7% from the floor, 30.8% from the three-point line, and 70.6% from the free throw line in the loss.

The Sycamores held the 27-25 rebounding edge and 28-24 advantage on points in the paint.

Indiana State also led the way with 12 second-chance points and seven points off the fast-break.

ISU scored 25 points off 23 Chicago State turnovers.

News & Notes

Del’Janae Williams scored 20 points for the second consecutive game and third time in her career as the junior guard finished with 24 points in the win. Williams was 6-of-12 from the floor and 12-of-14 from the free throw line.

Williams’ 12 free made free throws marked a career-high for the junior guard and tied for the seventh-most made by an ISU player in a single game in program history.

Indiana State ran its double-digit steals streak to three consecutive games and six of the seven contests on the year with 13 in the contest.

Tonysha Curry’s eight rebounds were a season-high.

Indiana State’s defense posted its fourth game forcing at least 20 turnovers in the win.

The Sycamores also limited the opposition under five made three-pointers for the fourth time this season.

Up Next

Indiana State returns home to the Hulman Center on Saturday, December 4 for a 6 p.m. ET tipoff against Western Michigan. The game will be carried live on ESPN+ and 105.5 The Legend.

SYCAMORES UNABLE TO KNOCK OFF LOYOLA IN MVC OPENER

CHICAGO – Indiana State basketball did all it could, but ultimately fell short during its Missouri Valley Conference opener against Loyola, falling to the Ramblers 88-76 Wednesday night at Gentile Arena.

Loyola (6-2, 1-0 MVC) used a strong second half as the home-standing Ramblers outscored Indiana State 49-38 to claim the win. Second Team Preseason All-MVC selection Lucas Williamson led Loyola with 20 points while three other LUC players scored in double-digits.

Making his first career start for ISU, Simon Wilbar drained a long 3-pointer with 7:08 remaining to play to make it a one-possession contest at 66-63 before Loyola went on a 21-13 run to end the game.

Indiana State (3-5, 0-1 MVC) was without one of its key players for much of the game as Cameron Henry battled foul trouble throughout. With eight minutes remaining to play Henry was called for his fifth foul and exited the game with 11 points in just 15 minutes of action.

Overall ISU was called for 24 fouls while the Ramblers were whistled for 15. LUC cashed in on free throw opportunities connecting on 26-of-31 attempts while ISU was 10-for-11 from the charity stripe which ultimately decided the game.

Xavier Bledson led ISU with 16 points, six rebounds and three assists off the bench while Cooper Neese added 15 points and three assists. Cameron Crawford (9) and Wilbar (11) each tallied career highs in scoring while Micah Thomas scored 11 on seven shots for the Sycamores.

Indiana State put together a strong first 20 minutes of play, leading by as many as seven points over the favorites to win the MVC. ISU started the game down 5-0 and rallied back in an all-around effort to take a 23-18 lead. Cooper Neese led ISU with 11 first-half points while Cameron Henry added eight points on 3-of-4 shooting, including two shots from behind the arch.

Crawford, a freshman, put together a strong first half, scoring a career-high six points on a pair of triples off the bench, helping ISU to a 38-32 lead. Just before half before Loyola reeled off seven-straight points to take a 39-39 lead into the locker room. Braden Norris capped off the LUC run with a three from the wing as the clock expired.

Both teams shot 50 percent in the first half with ISU holding a slim lead in 3-point percentage (41 to 36). Marquise Kennedy had a team-high 12 points for the Ramblers while Williamson added 10 points for LUC.

Indiana State finished the game shooting 50 percent (27-54) from the field while Loyola improved on its first-half display, finishing with a 58 percent (26-45) clip from the field.

Loyola edged ISU on the boards 25-23 and converted 14 ISU turnovers to 20 points.

The Sycamores return to action Saturday (Dec. 4) when the team plays host to Miami (OH). Tip is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET from Hulman Center.

SYCAMORE VOLLEYBALL OPENS NIVC POSTSEASON PLAY THURSDAY WITH TOLEDO

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State will head to Valparaiso, Indiana for the first round of the National Invitational Volleyball Championship on Thursday, December 2. The Sycamores face Toledo at 5 p.m. ET on Thursday with the winner advancing to play either Butler or Valparaiso in a second-round matchup on Friday at 7 p.m. ET. All matches throughout the WIVC will air on ESPN Plus.

» The Sycamores won just their second MVC Tournament match in program history with a 3-0 sweep of No. 3 Bradley on Thanksgiving Day. Five players recorded at least seven kills with Kaitlyn Hamilton and Storm Suhre leading the way with nine each. Indiana State then fell to host Illinois State in the semifinal match.

» Indiana State volleyball currently sits at 18-12 on the season which secures a winning record for the first time since 2015 when the team finished 17-16. Its 9-9 finish in league play ties its best finish in program history — a mark also set in 2014. The 18 wins are the most since the 1982 season.

» Melina Tedrow continues to climb the Indiana State record book — her 28 digs in the MVC Tournament moved her into fourth place in program history with 1,692 career digs. Tedrow sits behind Kiya James (1,706) and Cheryl Berg (1,713). Kristy Cox (2005-08) sits as the all-time leader in digs with 1,841 over her career.

» Melina Tedrow was named Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete Honorable Mention by the MVC Tuesday. Tedrow owns a 3.60 GPA while majoring in marketing. It marks the third time of her career that she has earned MVC Scholar-Athlete and being named to the First Team in 2019 and 2020.

» Toledo comes into this match with a 19-12 record while going 10-8 in the Mid-American Conference. The Rockets fell to Western Michigan 3-0 in the opening round of the MAC Tournament. This will be the sixth matchup between the two schools with Toledo leading the all-time series 3-2 over ISU. The last match came in 2019 with the Rockets winning 3-0.

» Illinois State (NCAA), Bradley (NIVC), Evansville (NIVC), Indiana State (NIVC) and Valparaiso (NIVC) will each take part in the 2021 postseason, totaling five Valley volleyball teams in the postseason. The five postseason teams equal the 2018 season when Illinois State and UNI made the NCAA field and Bradley, Drake and Valparaiso competed in the NIVC as the most in league history.

» The latest edition of the NCAA RPI report (Nov. 28) has been released and the Valley has three teams featured in the top-70. Valparaiso leads the league at No. 65, while Illinois State (No. 67) and Loyola Chicago (No. 68) are also among the nation’s top-70. Five other teams rank in the Top 139 (Bradley, Evansville, Missouri State, Indiana State, and UNI). The Valley ranks 8th as a league in RPI.

IUPUI HITS THE ROAD TO FACE CONFERENCE FOE

DETROIT, Mich. – After forfeiting the first two conference games of the season due to Covid-19 implications, the IUPUI women’s basketball team will travel to Detroit, Michigan to take on Horizon League competitor, Detroit Mercy on Thursday (Dec. 2) at 7:00 p.m.

The Jaguars enter the game after an 80-47 victory over Butler on Sunday at the Jungle. Sophomore transfer Rachel Kent led the Jags with 16 points, all from behind the arc to help the Jags tie the IUPUI record of three’s made in a game with 16. Red-shirt senior Destiny Perkins followed with 12 points and four assists. Other starters, Natalie Andersen added 11 points with three three-pointers, Madison Wise scored three points with six assists and Macee Williams added eight points and three assists.

Head coach Austin Parkinson’s team finished the 2020-21 season with a conference record of 11-3 and fell to Wright State in the Horizon League championship game. IUPUI looks for redemption this season and was voted atop the Horizon League Women’s Basketball Preseason Polls for 2021.

IUPUI will face the Titans for their first conference matchup besides the two forfeited games. Detroit Mercy enters the game 0-2 in conference play and 0-6 overall after losing to Akron, 67-60 on Monday. Sophomore Irene Murua leads the Titans, averaging 10 points per game and shooting 54.2 percent from the floor. Murua also leads the team in rebounds with 6.8 per game.

The Jags are 6-0 against the Titans and last faced them on Feb. 6, 2020, when IUPUI defeated Detroit Mercy 95-54. Thursday’s game at Detroit Mercy will be aired on ESPN+ with tip off at 7 p.m.

JAGS TO OPEN #HLMBB PLAY AT THE COLISEUM ON THURSDAY NIGHT

INDIANAPOLIS – The IUPUI basketball team will officially open #HLMBB play on Thursday night (Dec. 2) when the Jaguars host Detroit Mercy at 7:00 p.m. inside Indiana Farmers Coliseum. The Jaguars are coming off a 61-41 home win over Spalding just before Thanksgiving and are currently amidst a stretch of seven out of eight games at home, capped by the Jan. 1 contest with Purdue Fort Wayne. IUPUI (1-5) opened the season with five straight games away from home before beating Spalding in its home opener.

Head coach Matt Crenshaw’s team is building a strong defensive and rebounding identity, ranking 24th in the country in scoring defense, allowing just 57.5 points per game. In addition, the Jags lead the Horizon League in rebounding margin, outrebounding opponents by 2.7 caroms per contest. The Jags were outrebounded in the season’s first two games, but have since outrebounded four straight opponents by an average of 8.8 rebounds per game.

Graduate transfer B.J. Maxwell, who played for Detroit Mercy in 2019-2020, currently leads the Jaguars in scoring (12.6 ppg), rebounding (5.6 rpg), minutes played (30.5 mpg), field goals made (20) and free throws made (16). Maxwell has been the team’s top offensive threat and is complemented by a group of seven others, all of whom average between four and six points per game. Nathan McClure is second on the team at 5.7 points and 4.8 rebounds per game while Bobby Harvey (5.3 ppg) and Bakari LaStrap (5.0 ppg) are next in line. Against Spalding, IUPUI had just nine players in uniform and five either matched or eclipsed their previous career-highs in the scoring column.

The Jags also have 10 players averaging more than 14 minutes per game with only one, Maxwell, topping 30 minutes per contest.

SCOUTING DETROIT MERCY

Detroit has opened the season at 0-6 with all six losses having come on the road in six different states. The Titans boast the league’s Preseason Player of the Year in Antoine Davis and the 6-foot-1 guard has lived up to the advance billing. Davis leads his team in scoring (23.7 ppg), assists (22), threes made (26) and rarely comes off the floor, playing 38 minutes per contest. South Florida-transfer Madut Akec has provided a strong second option at 14.2 points and a team-high 8.2 rebounds per game while shooting 49 percent from the floor. As a team, Detroit Mercy shoots 41 percent overall and 36 percent from three, but allows opponents to knock down 52 percent overall and 40 percent from three. The Titans are being outrebounded by 3.7 boards per game and have a negative turnover margin at -2.3 per game.

SERIES NOTES

Detroit Mercy leads the all-time series, 4-2, and has won the most recent three games in the series. IUPUI is 2-1 in the three meetings in Indianapolis.

QUOTABLE

“I’m pleased with the win and the overall effort. We still have a lot of work to do. I thought we showed a lot of intensity defensively in the first half, but we got a little sloppy once we got a big lead. We still had way too many turnovers and that’s the area we need to continue to improve the most,” Crenshaw said after the win over Spalding on Nov. 23.

UP NEXT

IUPUI will cap the week with a noon tip-off with Oakland University on Saturday, Dec. 4. Fans can receive a FREE ticket to Saturday’s game by bringing a new, unwrapped toy to benefit the kids of the Ruth Lilly Women’s and Children’s Center.

Game Notes (click here for the full PDF packet)

    DEFENSIVE NUGGETS

    IUPUI has been incredibly stingy all season long, holding four of six foes under 40 percent and ranking No. 24 in the country in scoring defense at 57.5 points allowed per game. They easily lead the Horizon League as Cleveland State is second in the league at 62.7 points allowed per game. In addition, IUPUI is holding opponents to just 38.3 percent shooting, tops in the Horizon League and 47th in the country.

    CLAMPS

    IUPUI held Spalding to just 10 first half points in its 61-41 win over the Golden Eagles on Nov. 23. The 10 first half points matched the fewest by any team in the country this season. Below is the list of the four lowest offensive outputs this season:

    10 – IUPUI vs. Spalding [Non D1] (Nov. 13, 2021)

    10 – Georgia State vs. Brewerton  [Non D1] (Nov. 9, 2021)

    12 – Pacific vs. Chicago State (Nov. 22, 2021)

    16 – Murray State vs. Long Beach State (Nov. 23, 2021)

    The 41 points allowed matched the fewest by an IUPUI opponent in program history, tying the 41 scored by Indiana State on Dec. 23, 2008 in the Jaguars’ 62-41 victory.

    ON THE GLASS

    IUPUI is also tops in the Horizon League in rebounding margin, outrebounding opponents by 2.7 caroms per game. The Jags are one of just three teams in the Horizon League with a positive rebounding margin at this point in the season.

    PLAYING IN FRONT

    Entering tonight’s game, IUPUI has led 76:36 of its last 80 minutes played, which included a wire-to-wire win over Spalding last Tuesday (Nov. 23). Prior to that, IUPUI led virtually the entire game at UTSA before ultimately falling in the game’s closing minutes.

    TRENDS

    IUPUI has outshot four of its six opponents from the field this season and outrebounded four of its six opponents on the season. After being outrebounded by a combined 19 boards in the season’s first two losses at Butler and Evansville, the Jags have since outrebounded their last four foes by an average of 8.8 rebounds per game.

    SPALDING TIP-INS

    In IUPUI’s 61-41 win over Spalding, the Jaguars had a season-high 20 points off turnovers (Spalding had 19 turnovers) and the Jags scored a season-high 30 bench points.

    IUPUI had just nine players in uniform in the Spalding game and five – Bakari LaStrap (10), Jonah Carrasco (8), Boston Stanton III (8), Dimitar Pandev (7) and KJ Pruitt (5) – eclipsed or equaled their previous career-highs in the scoring column.

    BY COMMITTEE

    It’s becoming evident that IUPUI’s offense is going to come by committee this season as the Jaguars lack a true go-to-scorer. Through six games, IUPUI has had just eight double-digit scoring games as B.J. Maxwell has done it four times and four others have tallied 10-or-more once.

    Conversely, IUPUI has eight players scoring more than four points per game.

    Maxwell has led the team in scoring in five of the Jags’ six games while LaStrap paced IUPUI in the win over Spalding.

    TAP INTO THE RESERVES

    With the committee approach being the case, IUPUI is averaging 19.7 points per game off the bench this season. Harvey (5.3 ppg) and LaStrap (5.0 ppg) lead the reserves in scoring this season. 

    MAD MAX

    Graduate transfer and former Detroit Titan B.J. Maxwell has been IUPUI’s top weapon thus far, leading the team in scoring (12.6 ppg) and rebounding (5.6 rpg) and easily pacing the squad in field goal attempts (63), three-point attempts (28) and free throw attempts (20), despite missing a full game due to injury.

    He ranks among the top 20 in the Horizon League in six different categories, including scoring and rebounding. 

    His 63 shot attempts are 22 percent of the team’s tries as Nathan McClure is second on the team with 28 hoists.

SEVEN BEACONS SELECTED FOR ACADEMIC ALL-PFL STATUS

The Valparaiso University football team placed four individuals on the Academic All-Pioneer Football League First Team and three more on the Second Team as the league office announced the honors on Wednesday.

The following quartet earned Academic All-PFL First Team status – redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Drew Parrish (New Lenox, Ill. / Lincoln Way Central), redshirt sophomore linebacker Evan Annis (Hilliard, Ohio / Hilliard Davidson), sophomore defensive lineman Kurt Kessen (Shelby Township, Mich. / Utica) and fifth-year senior punter Ben Niesner (Black Diamond, Wash. / Tahoma [Portland State]). In addition, the trio of redshirt junior offensive lineman Aaron Byrd (Bradley, Ill. / Bourbonnais), redshirt junior quarterback Ben Nimz (Waukesha, Wis. / Catholic Memorial) and fifth-year senior defensive lineman Cade Bishop (Lafayette, Ind. / William Henry Harrison) all received Academic All-PFL Second Team nods.

Also named a First Team All-PFL honoree earlier this week, Niesner earned Academic All-PFL First Team for a second straight season. He posted a punting average of 43.2 this fall, a mark that ranked third in program history. The Washington native tied program and PFL records for single-season punting average during the Spring 2021 campaign at 43.6, earning him PFL co-Special Teams Player of the Year recognition for the spring slate. Niesner finished this season with the league’s top punting average, a mark that ranked 16th nationally. He owns a 4.00 grade point average toward his master’s in sports administration after finishing his undergraduate degree in leadership in sport at 3.73.

A team captain, Annis led Valpo in tackles both overall and in PFL play. The Spring 2021 All-PFL Academic All-PFL Second Team honoree was tabbed All-PFL Honorable Mention earlier this week. Following the Spring 2021 season, he won the team’s Koenig Award, which is presented to an individual who displays outstanding sportsmanship and character. Annis owns a 3.74 GPA in bioengineering.

A 3.97 student in electrical engineering, Parrish is an Academic All-PFL first teamer for a second straight season. He is a starter on a Valpo offensive line that helped running back Robert Washington rush for the second-most yards in single-season program history this year and helped running back Nick Orekoya tie a single-game record for rushing touchdowns. Parrish’s play on the line helped Valpo shatter a school record for single-game rushing TDs with eight. The team finished the season with 23 rushing TDs, the third most in program history and most since 1971.

The owner of a perfect 4.00 GPA in electrical engineering, Kessen was a member of a Valpo defensive line that led the PFL in sacks this season and had 80 tackles for loss, the second-most in program history and most since 1984.

A Spring 2021 Academic All-PFL First Team and CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team choice, Bishop won the team’s Most Inspirational Player Award following the spring slate. This spring, the 3.64 GPA student in actuarial science was a member of a Valpo defensive line that led the PFL in sacks and had 80 tackles for loss, the second-most in program history and most since 1984. He was one of the team’s community service liaisons and is a member of Hampshire Honor Society.

Named All-PFL Honorable Mention this week, Byrd repeated as an Academic All-PFL Second Team selection. Last year, he won the team’s Sever Award, which is presented to the team’s top offensive lineman. This year, Byrd was the leader of a Valpo offensive line that helped starting running back Robert Washington rush for the second-most yards in single-season program history. His group helped running back Nick Orekoya tie a single-game record for rushing touchdowns and helped Valpo shatter a school record for single-game rushing TDs with eight. The program finished the season with 23 rushing TDs, the third most in program history and most since 1971. Byrd holds a 3.42 GPA in bioengineering.

A 3.60 student in finance, Nimz came off the bench with 2:39 remaining on Sept. 25 at Drake to lead a game-winning touchdown drive. He completed a 42-yard pass to Ollie Reese on 4th-and-17 and a 30-yard TD pass to Jordan Bingham on 4th-and-10 in the dramatic win over the Bulldogs. Nimz, Valpo’s starting quarterback for the bulk of the season, threw for a career-high 241 yards on Nov. 13 at Butler, passing for three touchdowns and rushing for one while throwing no interceptions.

2021 Pioneer Football League Scholar-Athlete of the Year

Jake Chisholm, University of Dayton

2021 Academic All-Pioneer Football League First Team

(as selected by PFL athletics communications directors)

Student-Athlete School Class. Pos GPA Major

OFFENSE

BJ Byrd (2) Morehead State Sr. WR 3.58 Strategic Communications

Bryan Bystol (1) Butler Jr OL 4.00 Middle/Secondary Education

Jake Chisholm (U) Dayton Jr. RB 3.98 Pre-Medicine

Jack Cook Dayton Sr. QB 3.35 Finance

Dylan Demaison Dayton So. OL 3.83 Mechanical Engineering

Bennett Dondoyano (1) San Diego RSr. WR 3.82 Finance And Marketing

Andrew Holderer Dayton Sr. TE 3.94 Pre-Dentistry

Cam Marriott (1) Morehead State Jr. OL 3.90 Political Science

Drew Parrish (1) Valparaiso RSo. OL 3.97 Electrical Engineering

Colton Ruhland Butler Jr OL 3.90 Computer Science

Jaxsen Spears Morehead State RFr. WR 4.00 Accounting

David Tkatch Dayton So. OL 3.86 Finance

DEFENSE

Evan Annis (1) Valparaiso RSo. LB 3.74 Bioengineering

Cameron Barrett (1) Morehead State Sr. LB 3.80 Marketing

Seth Bickett St. Thomas Sr. DL 4.00 Actuarial Science

Ethan Hull Stetson RSo. LB 3.97 Accounting

Kama Kamaka (1) San Diego Sr. LB 3.60 Accountancy

Kurt Kessen Valparaiso So. DL 4.00 Mechanical Engineering

Jarrett Nagy Presbyterian Lb SR. 3.90 Physics And Medical Physics

Ben Schmiesing Dayton Grad. LB 3.95 Business

Colby Smith Presbyterian So. DB 4.00 English

Vaughn Taylor Jr. Morehead State Sr. DL 3.32 Sports Management

Preston Toner Morehead State RFr. LB 4.00 Exercise Science

SPECIAL TEAMS

Brandon Eickert (1) San Diego Jr. K 3.91 Electrical Engineering And Physics

Andrew Foster (2) Morehead State Grad. K/P 3.50

3.50

Sports Management (Master’s)

Business

Ben Niesner (1) Valparaiso RSr. P 4.00

3.73 Sports Administration (Master’s) Leadership In Sport

Notes in parentheses: U-Unanimous First Team selection; 1-was a first-team selection in 2020; 2-was a second-team selection in 2020.

2021 Academic All-Pioneer Football League Second Team

Student-Athlete School Class Pos. GPA Major

OFFENSE

Aaron Byrd Valparaiso RJr. OL 3.42 Bioengineering

Michael Carner San Diego Sr. WR 3.45 Finance

Michael Gadinis San Diego RSr. TE 3.52 Real Estate And Finance

Rhyle Hanson San Diego RSo. RB 3.77 Environmental & Ocean Sciences

Ben Johnson Marist RJr. OL 3.68 Business Administration: Finance

Ben Nimz Valparaiso RJr. QB 3.60 Finance

Bradyn Oakley Davidson Jr. SLOT 3.90 Psychology

Nick Rice St. Thomas Sr. RB 3.67 Mathematics

Cade Sexauer St. Thomas Sr. QB 3.63 Mechanical Engineering

Eli Turner Jr. Davidson Sr. SLOT 3.55 Interdisciplinary Studies

Mickey Walker Presbyterian RFr. OL 4.00 Business Administration With Data Analytics Concentration

DEFENSE

Cade Bishop Valparaiso RSr. DL 3.64 Actuarial Science

Noah Borgeson St. Thomas Sr. DL 3.93 Political Science

Jonathan Bunce St. Thomas So. LB 3.91 Business Administration

Nolan Defranco Stetson Gr. DE 3.83 MBA

Brandon Easterling Dayton Sr. S 3.46 Management Information Systems

Jonathan Hammond Davidson So. DL 3.37 Undecided

Jahleel Holmes Morehead State So. DL 4.00 Biology

Brent Robley St. Thomas Sr. DL 3.93 Biology

Alex Rogers Drake 5th Yr. DB 3.55 Data Analytics And Computer Science

Elijah Smith Dayton So. CB 3.96 Business Economics

Jack Wiese Davidson So. LB 4.00 Neuroscience

Vincent Winey Morehead State Sr. LB 3.40 English Education

SPECIAL TEAMS

Brady McKnight Morehead State So. LS 3.87 Agriculture Science

Danny Morales Drake Sr. DB 3.85 Health Sciences

Drew Nieman Dayton So. P 3.81 Mechanical Engineering

Evan Pritchard Davidson Sr. P 3.85 Physics

PURDUE FORT WAYNE SET TO VISIT BALL STATE ON THURSDAY

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Purdue Fort Wayne women’s basketball team will visit Ball State on Thursday (Dec. 2) at 6:30 p.m. for a non-league game.

Game Day Information

Who: Ball State Cardinals

When: Thursday, December 2 | 6:30 PM

Where: Muncie, Ind. | Worthen Arena

Live Stats: Link

Watch: None

Know Your Foe

Ball State is 3-2 this year and is coming off a 73-67 win over Saint Joseph’s. The Cardinals also have wins over Milwaukee and Butler and losses to Texas Tech and Stephen F. Austin. Ball State is led by Anna Clephane, who is averaging 15.0 points per contest while hitting 50 percent of her shots. Sydney Freeman is dishing out 4.0 assists per game.

The Series

Ball State has a 6-0 advantage over the Mastodons in the series history, which dates back to 2001. The ‘Dons and Cardinals have split the series at each others’ venues, with Ball State at 3-0 in both arenas. Purdue Fort Wayne’s best outing against the Cardinals was a 53-46 contest in 2012. The most recent game, Ball State took an 83-52 win.

Taking Care of the Basketball

Purdue Fort Wayne has the best turnover margin in the Horizon League this season with a 4.75 clip. The Mastodons have the best turnover per game clip at 16.0 per game.

Long-Range Missiles

Purdue Fort Wayne is 14th in the country in 3-point field goal percentage with a 40.2 percent clip. If extrapolated over an entire season, this would be the second-best 3-point percentage in program history.

Shooters Shoot

Purdue Fort Wayne has the best shooting percentage in the Horizon League, recording a 45.1 clip from the floor. The Mastodons also have the second-best 3-point shooting percentage in the League at 40.2 percent. Last season, the ‘Dons were last in the league in both categories.

Spectacular Shayla

Shayla Sellers has the best assist-to-turnover ratio in the Horizon League. She has dished out 13 assists while committing five turnovers in 133 total minutes. Sellers is also the league’s best in 3-point shooting percentage with a scorching 53.3 percent mark. This is the 13th-best in the nation.

In a League of Their Own

Purdue Fort Wayne has three of the top 12 scorers in the Horizon League: Sylare Starks (14.8 ppg), Shayla Sellers (13.5 ppg) and Ryin Ott (13.0 ppg). Purdue Fort Wayne is the only team in the League to have three scorers in the top 12.

Perfect From the Line

Aubrey Stupp is the only player in the Horizon League with a perfect free throw percentage with at least 2.5 made free throws per game. Stupp is 10-for-10, and is one of four players in the country that meet those criteria.

Double-Double Trouble

In the Mastodons’ 69-63 win over UIC, Purdue Fort Wayne got double-doubles out of Shayla Sellers and Ryin Ott. Sellers had career-highs in both points and rebounds with 23 and 11. Ott went for 14 points and 10 rebounds, the latter of which was a career-high.

3 and Oh So Nice

Maria Marchesano became the second coach in Mastodon women’s basketball history to start 3-0 in their career. Kirk Kavanaugh, who coached the Mastodons from 1982-85, started his career 4-0. This opening four games included a 71-66 overtime win over Indiana Tech, where he was 32-10 as the head coach from 1980-82.

Shayla’s Career Night

Shayla Sellers had her best performance as a Mastodon against UIC on November 18. She scored 23 and grabbed 11 rebounds, both career-highs, while shooting 7-of-11 (63.6 percent) from the floor, 5-of-6 (83.3 percent) from 3-point range and 4-of-4 from the fre. Sellers had only three points and three rebounds at halftime, scoring 20 points and grabbing eight boards after the intermission.

Double-Double Machine

With two-straight double-doubles against UIC and Evansville, Shayla Sellers was the first Mastodon to record two in a row since Sh’Toya Sanders in February 2020. Sellers is one of three players in the Horizon League with two double-doubles this season.

Back 2 Back!

Ryin Ott was selected as the Horizon League Freshman of the Week for the second time in as many weeks on Monday, November 22. Ott helped lead the Mastodons to a 69-63 win over UIC by registering a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Through two weeks of action, Ott averaged 15.0 points per game, more than double of any other freshman in the league. This ranked eighth in the league among all players.

Last Time Out

Riley Ott and Shayla Sellers both scored in double-figures for the Mastodons in a 68-56 loss at SIUE. Ott was 8-of-8 from the free throw line.

Coming Up

Purdue Fort Wayne will get back to Horizon League play when the Mastodons visit Northern Kentucky on Sunday, December 5.

MASTODON MBB OPENS HORIZON LEAGUE PLAY ON THURSDAY WITH WRIGHT STATE

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Wright State comes to Fort Wayne to play the Mastodons in the Horizon League opener for both teams.

Game Day Information

Who: Purdue Fort Wayne (3-3, 0-0 Horizon League) vs. Wright State (1-5, 0-0 Horizon League)

When: Thursday, December 2 | 7:00 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) | Wright State

Series History: Wright State leads 9-2

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.

FIFTH ANNIVERSARY OF HOME INDIANA VICTORY:

// As part of the five-year anniversary of the Mastodons’ home victory over Indiana, Bryson Scott will be in attendance on Thursday and sign autographs at halftime.

// The first 200 fans will receive a commemorative patch of the victory.

KNOW YOUR FOE:

// Leading scorer: Tanner Holden (21.8 ppg)

// Head coach: Scott Nagy (6th season)

// Wright State’s only victory was a season opening win over NCAA Division II Lake Erie 86-53. They have losses to Marshall, Purdue, George Washington, James Madison and Long Beach State.

// The Raiders have had only one home game, the Lake Erie contest to start the season.

// Wright State’s schedule features non-league games against Akron, Tennessee Tech and North Carolina State.

// Wright State was picked second in the league in the preseason poll.

DONS AND ENDS:

// The ‘Dons have held a lead for 11 minutes or more in every game this season.

// The ‘Dons lead the league in scoring (75.7 points per game), field goal percentage (46.7 percent) and turnovers forced (17.0 per game).

// Ra Kpedi entered the season with one game of double-digit points in 62 career games (16 points on Nov. 14, 2018 against Lydon State while at Vermont). He is now averaging double-digits (13.2 points).

// Ra Kpedi has only five turnovers on the season.

// Ra Kpedi is shooting 68.2 percent on the season, best in the Horizon League.

// Ra Kpedi is averaging 3.83 offensive rebounds per game, best in the league and 11th in the nation.

// Jarred Godfrey is averaging 18.0 points per game, which would be his best scoring average. 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 4.2 assists per game.

// Damian Chong Qui has 20 assists on only eight turnovers on the season. This includes a six assist/zero turnover game against Southeastern Louisiana.

NOTES FROM FLORIDA:

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

// Deonte Billups came off the bench to score 14 points with four 3-pointers against Florida Gulf Coast.

// Damian Chong Qui scored 14 points against Florida Gulf Coast, a high as a Mastodon. He also went over 1,000 career points. He scored 950 points at Mount St. Mary’s before transferring to Purdue Fort Wayne this season.

// Ra Kpedi earned his first career double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds against Florida Gulf Coast.

// Jarred Godfrey averaged 22.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists in the three games in Florida.

// Bobby Planutis had his best game of the season against Southeastern Louisiana scoring 16 points with four 3-pointers.

ACES OPEN NIVC ON THURSDAY IN CHICAGO

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The Purple Aces are headed to the postseason for the first time as members of the Missouri Valley Conference, earning a bid to the Women’s National Invitational Volleyball Championship.  UE opens the tournament on Thursday at 5 p.m. CT against Sam Houston on the campus of Chicago State University.  Live coverage of the match will be on ESPN+.

MVC Recognition

– A total of five UE players were recognized with postseason MVC awards last week

– Giulia Cardona picked up MVC Freshman of the Year honors while earning a spot on the All-MVC Second Team and All-Freshman Team

– Alondra Vazquez and Melanie Feliciano were each named to the All-MVC First Team while Taya Haffner joined Cardona on the All-Freshman squad

– Cecilia Thon was named MVC Scholar-Athlete Honorable Mention

– It was the most recognition Evansville has received since joining the MVC in 1994…Cardona was the first Aces player to pick up one of the league’s specialty awards while Feliciano and Vazquez marked the first time UE placed two on the conference first team

Last Time Out

– Advancing to the MVC Championship for the second time in three years, UE dropped its opening contest by a 3-1 final to Valpo

– Facing a 1-0 deficit, UE earned a dominant 25-16 win in the second set, but dropped the final two frames

– Alondra Vazquez picked up a double-double, totaling 17 kills and 13 digs and was named to the All-Tournament Team

– Taya Haffner paced UE with 35 assists and 18 digs

– Melanie Feliciano finished with 11 kills while Giulia Cardona had her own double-double with 10 kills and 10 digs

Top Five

– Alondra Vazquez continues to add to her kill total and currently stands with 1,384 in her Aces career

– She moved into the fifth spot in the final weekend of the regular season, surpassing Ashley Ring’s total of 1,338

– Her next jump will be into the #4 spot, which is currently held by Lisa Sampson with 1,437

– Vazquez also moved into the top ten in career digs with 1,237…9th place is Sarah McClellan with 1,279

All-MVC First Team

– For the second year in a row, Alondra Vazquez was named to the All-MVC First Team after leading the league with 4.21 kills per set

– Entering the final home weekend of the season, Alondra Vazquez was averaging 3.53 kills per set in MVC contests, which was third on the team

– In the five matches since, she has recorded an average of 4.95 per set while helping UE clinch its postseason spot

– She remains on top of the MVC list with 4.21 kills/set while pacing the league in points (4.88/set)…defensively, Vazquez leads her squad with 2.82 digs per frame, 15th in the Valley…she has had 9 or more kills in all but two matches in the fall

– Nationally, Vazquez is 31st in kills average

Freshman of the Year

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

– In one of the top freshman campaigns in program history, Cardona led the MVC with 0.50 service aces per set, a stat ranks in the top 15 in the nation and is the best average among all freshmen

– Over the last 44 sets of work, freshman Giulia Cardona has recorded a total of 26 service aces, an average of 0.591 per set

– She is currently on an offensive streak that has seen her record at least 10 kills in each of the last 17 matches while raising her season average to 3.85 per set

– Aside from leading the Valley in aces, she is second in points per set (4.50) and third with her kill average

Another First Teamer

– A member of the All-MVC Second Team as a freshman in 2019, Melanie Feliciano made the jump as a junior, earning a spot on the league’s First Team

– Entering the contest against Bradley on October 8, Melanie Feliciano stood with a kill average of 3.09 per set while her hitting checked in at .262

– Since that time, the junior has upped her average to 3.36 per set and has picked up 11 or more kills in 12 of the last 15 outings while her hitting has been exceptional, finishing at .300 or higher in 10 out of the last 16 matches

– The MVC Player of the Week on Oct. 11 currently ranks 6th in the MVC with 3.30 kills per set.

MEN’S SOCCER GEARS UP FOR THIRD ROUND OF NCAA TOURNAMENT ON THURSDAY

INDIANAPOLIS – After a full week-long hiatus from competitive action, it is finally time for the University of Indianapolis men’s soccer team to return to the pitch for a NCAA Tournament third round match at Key Stadium. The top-seeded Hounds are set to battle No. 4 seed Illinois Springfield beginning at 6 p.m. on Thursday evening.

Tap here to watch a preview video featuring head coach John Higgins and 2021 GLVC Defensive Player of the Year Makel Rasheed discuss their thoughts on the match tomorrow.

HIGHLY ANTICIPATED REMATCH

The Greyhounds and Prairie Stars met less than a month ago in the GLVC tournament championship match which saw UIndy claim a 2-0 win at Key Stadium. This marked the first time in program history the Hounds were able to claim both the GLVC regular season and tournament championships in the same year.

HOW THEY GOT HERE

Illinois Springfield, who is making its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance, brought home a 2-1 overtime victory over GLVC foe Maryville in the second round. The Prairie Stars were tabbed in ninth place in the GLVC preseason poll, and now sit with a 13-5-2 overall record and are just one of two GLVC teams still fighting towards a national championship.

As for UIndy, the Hounds had no problem taking down Cedarville 3-1 in their second round match at Key Stadium. This marks the second NCAA Tournament in a row the Greyhounds have made it to the third round.

FOLLOW ALONG

-Live video will be available through the GLVC Sports Network. Click the link here for a shortcut.

-Live stats will be available through SideArm Stats. Click the link here for a shortcut.

-No. 6 seed Fort Hays State and No. 2 seed Lake Erie will play at 3 p.m. Live coverage will be available for that match.

GIVANCE RESETS CAREER SCORING MARK AGAINST SIU

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Three days after scoring a career-high of 26 points, University of Evansville senior Shamar Givance recorded 31 points to lead the Purple Aces in a Missouri Valley Conference showdown at the Ford Center.

Trailing by as many as 17 points in the first half, UE (3-7, 0-1 MVC) rallied to tie Southern Illinois (4-3, 1-0 MVC) in the final minute before a last-second shot helped the Salukis edge out a win by a 54-52 final.

Givance drained 11 out of 16 attempts on his way to the new career high of 31 tallies.  He was the only UE player to record double figures.  Jawaun Newton scored 8 points and led the squad with five boards.  Iyen Enaruna along with Givance had two assists apiece.

“Our guys showed a lot of character and heart.  They changed the way they were playing and became more effective,” Aces head coach Todd Lickliter said.  “We had the ball with a few chances to tie it or take the lead but could not quite get there.  It was a great effort that went right down to the wire.”

Marcus Domask led the Salukis with 22 points and 6 rebounds.

The first 13 points of the night belonged to the Salukis before Evansville got on the board when Blaise Beauchamp knocked down a triple.  UE missed its first eight attempts of the night.  On the ensuing possession, SIU got the triple right back before an 8-of-12 start to the game saw them go up 18-3.  After Beauchamp hit the Aces next shot, Shamar Givance scored five in a row to cut the deficit to 10 at 20-10.

SIU continued to pad its lead, going up by a 32-15 score with 2:23 left in the half before a pair of late Givance free throws made it a 32-17 halftime deficit for UE.  Southern Illinois finished the opening period shooting 52.0% while the Aces shot 23.8%.

Over the first three minutes of the second half, the Aces chipped away at the deficit.  Givance opened with three free throws and a layup before Antoine Smith Jr. hit a triple at the 17:16 mark to make it a 34-25 game.  It was the first time since the opening minutes of the game that UE was within single digits.  A pair of triples from Jawaun Newton saw Evansville get even closer with his second making it a 38-31 game at the 15-minute mark.  UE connected on its first three outside attempts to begin the final period.

That is when Shamar Givance absolutely took over, scoring the next 11 UE points to cut the gap to a pair.  The first six points of the run saw him drive to the basket for layups before a triple at the 9:54 mark cut the gap to four.  Following a Saluki miss, Givance drove down the lane once again for a basket that made it a 44-42 game with 8:57 left in the contest.  Over the next four minutes, the Aces had a chance to get even closer, but two misses on the front end of a one-and-one saw SIU keep its advantage.

Marcus Domask hit a pair of free throws with 3:57 remaining to push the lead to 48-44, but it was another Givance basket that got UE back within a pair.  A jumper by Givance with 2:40 left in the game saw him score 15 out of Evansville’s 17 points over a span of nearly 11 minutes.

With Evansville trailing 50-48 entering the final minute, Jawaun Newton converted a turnover into a make to tie the game up.  On the other end, it was Domask hitting a layup to put the Salukis back in front with 33 ticks showing on the clock.  Nineteen second later, Givance hit his 11th basket of the game to tie the score once again, but the winning shot came with 0.6 remaining when Domask hit a jumper just outside the paint to clinch the win.  Evansville made one final heave down the floor but fell just short.

On Saturday, the Aces will be back home for a 1 p.m. game at the Ford Center against Tennessee Tech.

HADLEY DUBBED ALL-SUPER REGION 3

ARKADELPHIA, Ark.—UIndy football’s Clay Hadley was named to the D2CCA All-Super Region 3 Second Team, released Wednesday. The standout offensive lineman was one of just five GLVC student-athletes on the annual list, voted on by the region’s sports information directors.

Now a three-time all-region honoree, Hadley led a unit that ranked eighth in the nation in rushing this fall, as well as 13th in fewest tackles for a loss allowed, 15th in total offense and 16th in fewest sacks allowed.

The Greenwood, Ind., native and three-year team captain was unanimously voted to the 2021 All-GLVC First Team, becoming just the fourth player in program history to earn four first-team nods from the conference. He was also recently named Academic All-District and is a nominee for the Gene Upshaw Division II Lineman of the Year Award.

Additionally, Hadley started every single game since stepping onto campus back in 2017, racking up a program-record 49 consecutive starts on the o-line.

MARIAN DOWNS MIDLAND TWICE TO ADVANCE TO NAIA QUARTERFINALS

Sioux City, Iowa – The Marian volleyball team earned two monumental wins at the NAIA Tournament Wednesday night, defeating Midland twice to extend their season and advance to the NAIA Quarterfinals. The Knights defeated Midland 3-1 in their final match of pool play, forcing a three-way tiebreaker. In the tiebreaker, Marian defeated Midland again in a winner-take-all set 25-19, claiming the pool victory. Marian is 34-2 entering the quarterfinals.

Marian 3-1 Midland (25-19, 18-25, 25-22, 25-21)

The Knights fell down early in the first set going down 4-1, but rallied the troops after a kill from Sarah Spangler. The senior’s spike ignited a 4-0 run, and the run extended to 9-5 giving Marian a 10-9 lead. A pair of errors and a kill from Lexi Spence gave Marian a 15-12 lead, forcing Midland to use a timeout after the three point swing. Marian never yielded their lead as the set wore on, with a kill from Skyler Van Note and back to back blocks extending the lead to six. After Midland used their final timeout, Marian held a 5-4 edge, winning the first set 25-19 on a Spangler swing.

The second set started out competitive with Marian using a 3-0 run to tie the set 5-5 after 10 rallies, but the Warriors took advantage of four different attack errors to build a four-point lead. Midland added to their lead with a three consecutive points to go up 14-8, and after a Marian timeout the Warriors scored three more to lead 17-8. The Knights called timeout after trading blows on four straight rallies, but fell behind by double digits after the break. Trailing 21-11 Marian chipped away and got within six points behind kills from Michaela Hoffa and Van Note, but were unable to completely comeback falling 25-18.

Marian’s late second set rally did not go to waste, as the Knights got off to a hot start in the third set going up 6-1. Jai-Lyn Norwood and Hoffa helped grow the lead to 9-2, but Midland clawed back rattling off four straight points. Marian called for timeout to find composure, finding it in a big way scoring five straight points to go up 14-6. Midland added pressure going on an 8-1 run to tie the set at 17-17, but a kill from Hoffa and Norwood and Spangler block ended the run. The set would go to a 19-19 tie, but four straight Warrior errors put Marian in the driver’s seat, as Marian went on to win 25-22.

Midland responded in the fourth set taking a 6-3 lead behind four kills and a service ace, but a slam into the sport court from Hoffa helped Marian gain momentum. The senior’s kill ignited a 7-1 run, as Marian built a 10-7 lead and forced a timeout. The Warriors would draw closer eventually tying the set at 14, but Marian never gave-in going right back in front with a Hoffa kill. The score would come to a tie twice more, but an Averi Lanman kill helped Marian secure a two-point edge. A block from Van Note sparked a 3-0 run to give Marian a 22-18 lead, and six rallies later the Knights won the match with a triple block, as Norwood, Hoffa, and Madison Brooks formed a wall in the middle of the net to complete the 25-21 win.

Marian hit just .144 in the match and had 42 kills, but dominated in blocking recording 17.5 total blocks to help force 42 Midland attack errors. Van Note had an all-around performance, leading the team with 12 kills and a career-high 27 digs for her second double-double of the tournament. Van Note also had four block assists and four assists. Katie Hardegree had a team-high 19 assists, and Maggie Meyer had 13 digs. Brooks had seven total blocks including the only solo rejection of the match for Marian, and Norwood had nine block assists to go with seven kills. Hoffa had four block assists and 10 kills.

Marian vs Midland (Tiebreaker) | 25-19

Marian rematched with Midland once again in the tiebreaker, 30 minutes after the Warriors defeated Montana Tech. In the set to 25 tiebreak, Marian got off to a lightning fast start going up 5-0, beginning the set with three straight solo blocks from Averi Lanman. A Sarah Spangler kill forced a Midland timeout, and Marian’s lead continued to grow as a Michaela Hoffa kill gave the Knights a 10-5 lead. A service ace from Sydney Schaffer pushed the Knights ahead 12-6, and scoring continued as Jai-Lyn Norwood and Skyler Van Note gave Marian a 16-10 lead.

The Warriors burned their final timeout, and after the stoppage the Knights continued to attack with Hoffa scoring two kills to increase the lead to six. Norwood got a solo block to push the lead to 22-15, and a pair of errors pushed Marian to set point. Midland fought to score two points trailing 24-17, but Van Note put away the win to give Marian a 25-19 win, clinching their pool for the second time in program history.

Marian unofficially had five blocks in the set win, and were led by Skyler Van Note and Michaela Hoffa in kills.

Marian will take on Concordia (Neb.) in the NAIA Quarterfinals on Thursday night. First serve is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. EST in the Tyson Events Center. This is the second time in program history Marian has advanced to the quarterfinals, with the last time coming in 2019 when Marian won the NAIA National Championship.

MARIAN CRUSHES BETHEL 92-47

INDIANAPOLIS – The No. 9 Marian women’s basketball team upended Crossroads League-foe Bethel, leading 58-27 at halftime and cruising to a 92-47 triumph on Wednesday night. The victory puts Marian at 8-2 overall and 3-0 in the Crossroads League.

Marian’s offense was up and running in the first quarter as Imani Guy made the first shot and Ella Collier drained back-to-back threes to put the Knights up 8-3. The Pilots tried to hang around with three three-pointers to start the game, putting Bethel down only five with 6:05 remaining in the opening quarter. The Knights were up eight points when their first scoring run occurred. Guy hit a jumper to put Marian up 24-14 at the 3:53 mark. Collier, Abby Downard, and Jayla Wehner followed with mid-range jumpers to extend the Knights’ lead to 16 points. Bethel made the final basket of the first quarter, but a 10-2 run to close the quarter put Marian up 32-16.

Downard hit a pair of three-pointers to begin the quarter, putting Marian’s advantage to 21 points just 11 minutes in. Guy and Collier took over in the second quarter, with the pair combining to score 16 points in the final eight minutes of the half. Marian’s defense also stepped up in the second chapter, preventing Bethel from making a basket for over five minutes. Allison Bosse’s three-pointer gave the Knights a 51-21 lead with four minutes left in the first half as part of Marian’s 21-4 run. Kinnidy Garrard made a layup to give the Knights a 35-point advantage, but two-straight buckets by Bethel made the score 58-27 at halftime. The Knights shot 61.5 percent from the floor in the first half and make nine three-pointers.

The Knights opened the second half on a 7-0 run as Guy made a pair of shots and Bosse cashed in another three-pointer. The Pilots showed some signs of life with an 8-0 run of their own, holding Marian off of the scoreboard over several minutes. Downard broke the streak with a few mid-range jumpers, making the score 69-35 with four minutes remaining in the third quarter. Majestic Sales and Alexa McKinley notched a few points for the Knights, finishing layups to increase Marian’s huge lead. Aliyah Evans also connected with a jumper to give Marian a 77-36 lead after three chapters.

The fourth quarter was dominated by many Marian bench players, still battling to the very last minute. Sales and Shanyce Makuei snuck their way past defenders and were able to convert on layups. Esther Sevilla scored her first points with 3:41 left, putting the Knights up 88-41. Leah Seib also made a couple of shots and putting Marian past the 90-point mark. Marian outscored Bethel 15-11 in the quarter as they ended the night with a 92-47 win.

It was a great night for the Knights on both ends of the floor. Marian shot 54.2 percent and made 11 three-pointers in the blowout. They also forced 31 turnovers while adding 28 assists as a team. Collier led Marian with 20 points, all of them coming in the first half. Guy finished with 17 points and nine rebounds. Downard made seven of her nine shots for 15 points while also tallying nine assists.

Marian will attempt to start Crossroads League play 4-0 this weekend. Coach Steve Brooks will face his alma mater as the Knights will play at Taylor. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 PM in Upland, Ind.

DAMMAN’S HOT SHOOTING PROPELS WILDCATS TO VICTORY

MARION, Ind. – No. 13 Indiana Wesleyan defeated Goshen College 64-50 behind a hot shooting night from Kelli Damman going 7-11 from behind the arc on the way to her career high 28 points.

Goshen jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead to start the contest but a 13-0 run would force a Goshen timeout with five minutes left in the first quarter. Damman fueled the run shooting a perfect 3-for-3 from long range.

IWU tallied an assist on every made basket in the first quarter. They finished the half with 10 assists on 12 made baskets.

The third quarter had a similar script as the first half as Wildcats knocked down another four from long range.

A late push by Goshen put them within eight points as they owned the glass with a 10-4 advantage.

2 – total number of free throws the red and grey attempted in the first half.

64% – Damman’s three-point percentage in the contest.

3 – total number of shot clock violations IWU forced.

38 – points that Goshen scored in the paint.

Damman led the offense with 28 points.

Lilli Frasure recorded her sixth straight double-digit game with 19 points going a perfect 3-3 from the arc.

Both Damman and Frasure each dished out three assists.

Wildcats travel to Fort Wayne to face Saint Francis at 1pm on Saturday, December 4.

ANDERSON RELEASES 2021-22 TRACK & FIELD SCHEDULE

The Anderson University track and field program released its schedule for the 2021-22 season.

For the 2021-22 season, Anderson is currently scheduled for eight indoor meets and eight outdoor meets, including one home indoor meet. Anderson kicks off the indoor season with the Tiger Opener on Saturday, Dec. 4 at 1 p.m. in Springfield, Ohio. The Ravens host the AU Invite on Saturday, Feb. 5 at 3 p.m. in Kardatzke Wellness Center. Anderson is scheduled to battle in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) Indoor Championships on Saturday, Dec. 19 at 1 p.m. in Defiance, Ohio.

To begin the outdoor season, Anderson is set to compete in the Robert Johnson Invitational on Saturday, March 26 in Crawfordsville. The two-day HCAC Outdoor Championships are slated to begin on Friday, April 29 at 3 p.m. in Hanover.

VOLLEYBALL SEASON ENDS IN NAIA POOL PLAY

SIOUX CITY, Iowa. – No. 20 Indiana Wesleyan volleyball ran into the top seeded No. 1 Jamestown Wednesday in NAIA National Championship Pool Play, falling 3-0. The Wildcats nearly pulled off the win in set one, but fell 27-25. Jamestown would take the final two sets, 25-13 and 25-10.  This marked the 10th season that ended in Sioux City and the NAIA National tournament.

18 – number of Wildcat kills in set one

-.048 – kill percentage in second set

.294 – Jamestown’s third set kill percentage

Martina Demarchi recorded 10 kills and 16 digs.

Ana Collar posted eight kills in her last outing in a Wildcat jersey.

Paige Thibault led the defense with 23 digs.

This concludes the 2021 Volleyball season for the Wildcats.  Wildcats finish with a 24-6 overall record.

MEN’S BASKETBALL: POINT PARK AT IU EAST PREVIEW

After a month of games away from home, the Indiana University East men’s basketball team returns to Lingle Court on Dec. 2 for a River States Conference matchup against Point Park University.

Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m.

IU East is 4-6 overall and 1-0 in the conference. Point Park is 2-3 overall and 0-2 in the league.

IU East completes its first round of games against the RSC’s Pittsburgh-based schools with a trip to Carlow University (1-7, 0-2) on Dec. 4. Tipoff is at 1 p.m. in the first game of a men’s-women’s doubleheader at Oakland Catholic High School.

FOLLOW THE GAMES

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, produced by Whitewater Education Television (WETV), Comcast Channel 20, is scheduled to be available. Live stats also are scheduled to be available.

IU East students can pick up a free t-shirt in the Howl Crowd student section and then stick around for a chance to win a JBL Series 5 speaker in the Howl Crowd halftime contest.

Carlow plays its home games at Oakland Catholic High School, GPS address 144 North Craig Street in Pittsburgh, Pa. Live video and live stats for the IU East-Carlow game are scheduled to be available.

Monitor iueredwolves.com for the game recaps and results.

YOU OUGHT TO KNOW

* This is IU East’s first home game since Nov. 2. The Red Wolves played their last eight games on the road or on neutral courts.

* IU East looks to bounce back from an 0-2 weekend at “The Show” in Kingsport, Tenn. The Red Wolves, who were without two of their top scorers for the majority of the weekend, dropped matchups against Ave Maria University and Freed-Hardeman University.

* IU East is 14-3 all-time against Point Park. The teams did not play last season due to the pandemic-affected schedule. The teams split a pair of meetings during the 2019-20 season.

* IU East is 12-0 all-time against Carlow, with 11 of the games decided by double digits. The Red Wolves also did not play the Celtics last season due to the pandemic-affected schedule.

* IU East is 3-0 when it limits the opponent to a .429 shooting percentage or lower.

* Justin Williams (14.0 points per game) is IU East’s top scorer. Dionte Raines raised his season average to 11.0 points per game with a strong showing at “The Show.”

* Jehu Lafeuillee (6.6 rebounds per game and 1.8 blocks per game), Garrett Silcott (2.5 assists per game) and Jamisen Smith (2.5 assists and 1.7 steals per game) are IU East’s leaders in the other standard statistical categories.

SECOND-HALF COMEBACK FALLS SHORT FOR MBB

CHICAGO, Ill. — The Earlham College men’s basketball team took a 66-63 loss at North Park University on Wednesday evening.

The Quakers fell to 1-3 while the Vikings improved to 3-2.

Jaden Terry and Kolden Vanlandingham led the offense with 17 and 16 points respectively.

Josh Ozanne and Xavier Barbel led in rebounds with five boards each.

The Quakers struggled early and trailed by double-digits for the majority of the first half, and the deficit stretched to as many as 16 points after 12 minutes of play. A pair of plays in the final minute of the half put Earlham within nine points of the lead.

The Quakers steadily worked the score through the second half and after a jumper from Vanlandingham with 7:29 remaining in the half, trailed by just two points.

North Park responded with a pair of jump shots to extend the lead once again. A 3-pointer and a pair of free throws from Tommy Makabu brought the deficit down to one with 2:22 remaining.

The Quakers maintained a close gap but could not string together points efficiently enough to take the lead down the stretch and the Vikings were able to extend their lead off of free throws.

Earlham will be back on the court this Saturday as Manchester comes to Druley Performance Gym for a doubleheader with the women’s team to begin HCAC competition.

HUGHES AND REDMON EARN USCA ALL-REGION HONORS

HANOVER, Ind. – The United Soccer Coaches Association announced the 2021 NCAA Division III Men’s All-Region team earlier this week two Panthers receiving the honor.

Senior, forward, Josh Hughes (Lafayette, La.) was named First Team All-Region, while teammate senior, midfielder, Evan Redmon (Louisville, Ky.) earned Second Team accolades.

Hughes appeared in and started all 22 games for the Panthers with a team-best 12 goals on a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference leading 76 shots. He added six assists for a combined 30 points. The senior was also named a Frist Team All-HCAC selection.

Redmon, the HCAC Defensive Player of the Year, helped anchor a back line that allowed just 22 goals all season. He played 1,609 total minutes, starting all 22 games.

The Panthers concluded their historic 2021 season at 15-5-2 overall and advanced to the round of 16 as part of the NCAA Division III National Tournament for the first time in program history. 

RECAP | O’MARA’S LAST-SECOND SHOT SENDS GRIZZLIES PAST PIONEERS IN HCAC OPENER

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Franklin College men’s basketball team tipped off Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) play on Wednesday (Dec. 1) night, taking on the Transylvania Pioneers in a matchup of last year’s conference tournament championship.

The Grizzlies (3-1, 1-0 HCAC) and Pioneers (3-1, 0-1 HCAC) needed extra time to decide a winner in an absolute thriller. Franklin got their heroics in the end from freshman Mitch O’Mara, who sank the game-winning shot in the final second to send Franklin to a 92-91 win.

How it Happened

An early Franklin lead didn’t last long, as the Pioneers would hold the lead for the majority of the opening half. Transylvania would lead by as many as seven points late in the half, but a late surge from the Grizzlies closed the gap to 34-32 when the teams headed into the break.

The Pioneers stretched their lead to a game-high nine with 13:35 to go in the ball game, but things turned back in Franklin’s favor with an 11-2 run that gave the Griz a 64-63 lead with five minutes to go. Down by five with one minute to play, Franklin forced overtime with back-to-back buckets from O’Mara and Lynn King and contesting a would-be game-winning layup in the final seconds of regulation.

With 2:31 to play in the extra session, Franklin once again found themselves down by five but a bucket from O’Mara and a Ty Wright three brought the Grizzlies even at 87 with 1:45 to play. Two O’Mara free throws with 1:10 to go put FC in front, but the Pioneers converted a three-point play with five seconds left to re-take the lead.

With the length of the floor to go and not much time to do it, O’Mara sent a deep inbound pass to Wright, who gave it right back to the freshman guard. O’Mara made his way into the lane and drained an elbow jumper with 0.4 seconds left on the clock for the deciding bucket.

Inside the Box Score

-The Grizzlies knocked down 49.3% (36-for-73) of their shot attempts, burying a season-high 14 three-pointers.

-Wright led the Grizzlies with 23 points, giving him three straight games with at least 20 points.

-O’Mara set a career-high with 19 points and was joined in double figures by TJ Deere (17 pts) and Ryan Wiggins (16 pts). O’Mara’s six assists were a game-high.

-Franklin finished the night with a 40-32 edge in the rebounding battle, with Matt Krause’s 13 boards leading all players.

Up Next

Franklin returns to their home floor on Saturday (Dec. 4) afternoon to take on the Defiance Yellow Jackets in another big league matchup. Tip-off is set for approximately 4:00 p.m.

RECAP | GRIZZLIES’ UPSET BID FALLS SHORT AGAINST #12 TRANSY IN HCAC OPENER

FRANKLIN, Ind. – The Franklin College women’s basketball team opened Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) play on Wednesday (Dec. 1) night, taking on the No. 12-ranked team in the country in the Transylvania Pioneers inside the Spurlock Center.

The Grizzlies (2-3, 0-1 HCAC) threw everything they had at the nationally ranked Pioneers (6-0, 1-0 HCAC) before falling short 72-62.

How it Happened

Franklin held the better of the matchup through the opening 10 minutes, shooting 8-for-13 from the field while holding Transy to 7-for-20 from the floor to lead 20-16 after a quarter. The Grizzlies’ lead grew to as many as eight when Jessica Nix sank a jumper with 5:02 to play to make it 29-21, but the hosts managed just one point the rest of the half while the Pioneers rallied to take a 34-30 lead at the break.

A bucket from Sarah O’Day with 6:18 to go in the third quarter cut Transy’s lead to three, but the Pioneers rode a big run late in the quarter to lead by as many as 15 and eventually take a 54-45 lead into the fourth quarter. Franklin surged to get back within four early in the final frame, but couldn’t close the gap and closer before the final horn.

Inside the Box Score

-Senior Destinee Cross had a season-high 19 points, going 9-for-13 from the field and swatting two shots.

-Freshman Jasmine Walker reached double figures for the first time in her career, adding 12 points off the bench and grabbing six boards.

-The Grizzlies connected on 41.3% (26-for-63) for their shot attempts while holding the Pioneers to 42.4% (25-for-59) on the night.

-Each team pulled down 40 rebounds, with Bayleigh Torrance leading the Grizzlies with seven boards.

-Franklin held a 42-32 advantage on points in the paint.

Up Next

Franklin is back in action at home for the final time in the calendar year on Saturday (Dec. 4), hosting the Defiance Yellow Jackets in another league contest. Tip-off is set for 2:00 p.m.

ANDERSON FALLS TO HANOVER IN HCAC OPENER

The Anderson University men’s basketball team (4-2, 0-1) fell to Hanover College (4-0, 1-0) by a score of 67-52 during Wednesday’s Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) opener in Hanover.

HOW IT HAPPENED

Hanover jumped out to a 10-0 lead during the first 3 minutes, 7 seconds. Matt Munoz drained two 3-pointers during the run.

The Ravens then kept the Panthers off the board for the next five minutes. Anderson contributed a 7-0 run to cut the lead to 10-7.

Both teams spent five minutes separated by no more than four points. Fred Shropshire knocked down a 3-pointer to cut Hanover’s lead to 18-17 with 5:55 left in the half.

After Hanover went up by four, Shropshire hit another 3-pointer with 4:02 to go in the half.

Hanover closed out the half with an 8-3 run to enter halftime with a 30-24 lead.

As Anderson trailed 41-31 in the second half, Maurice Knight scored the next eight points, bringing the Ravens deficit to 41-39.

Hanover held a 55-49 lead with 6:17 left, then created a 10-0 run during the 4:31 to go up by 16.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

The Ravens finished -10 on turnovers, committing 21 turnovers in comparison to Hanover’s 11.

Hanover held a 13-4 advantage in second-chance points.

Maurice Knight led the Ravens with 25 points.

Fred Shropshire provided eight points for the Ravens.

Francis Uzorh contributed team-highs of eight rebounds and two blocks.

COACH OWEN HANDY’S COMMENTS

First, my hat’s off to Hanover. They played well and out-executed us down the stretch of the game. They got the shots they wanted and were able to take away many of the things we wanted to do on offense.

We dug ourselves a hole early, and fought really hard to get back into it. Overall, I thought we played quite well for the middle 20 minutes or so of the game.

There are some things you simply can’t do and beat a good team on the road. Turning the ball over 21 times is one of them. Giving up 13 second chance points is another one. A third is allowing their two forwards to shoot 14/15 from the floor. We consistently permitted easy catches to their bigs and they made us pay for it all evening.

Maurice Knight was fantastic for us. His ability to consistently produce at a high level is really impressive. He is a joy to coach.

UP NEXT

Anderson battles Mount St. Joseph University (3-2) in HCAC action on Saturday at 4 p.m. in Cincinnati.

WARRIORS FALL TO 14TH IN NAIA RANKINGS

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Indiana Tech women’s basketball team was ranked 14th in the NAIA Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Wednesday.

Tech received 351 points in the second regular season edition of the rankings and fell five spots in the poll. The Warriors have now been ranked for 39 straight polls.

The third regular season edition of the NAIA Coaches’ Top 25 Poll will be released on December 15.

SMITH’S CAREER HIGH HELPS WARRIORS WIN 5TH STRAIGHT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Indiana Tech Warriors men’s basketball team captured their fifth consecutive victory, this time the victims were the Wolverines of UM-Dearborn.

Ted Albert’s crew weren’t messing around tonight, they brought the energy from the jump, kicking things off with a 17-0 lead, holding the Wolverines scoreless for nearly five opening minutes.

Tech shot 52.8% from the floor in the first half, scoring 59 points, their highest total in a half this season, and held UM-Dearborn to a measly 27.3% shooting and 26 total points. The Warriors wouldn’t look back one bit.

Senior Grant Smith had a spectacular night, netting a career-high 30 points on 12-21 shooting to go along with five rebounds and five assists. Josh Kline scored 14 points on an efficient 4-6 shooting. Max Perez had a solid night, scoring 11 points and grabbing six boards. Indiana Tech’s bench played very well with their opportunity tonight, contributing 44 points to UM-Dearborn’s 16. Tech also dominated inside, out-scoring the Wolverines 50-16.

Indiana Tech (8-4, 4-2 WHAC) will look to keep their winning streak alive this Saturday as they host the UNOH Racers (3-7, 2-3 WHAC). Tip-off is set for 3:00 PM at the Schaefer Center.

RHIT MEN’S BASKETBALL – WABASH 67, ROSE-HULMAN 64

CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. — Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer as Wabash College held on for a 67-64 men’s basketball victory on Wednesday night.

Rose-Hulman trailed 67-64 with 5 seconds remaining, and a full-court pass was deflected out of bounds to give the Fightin’ Engineers one last chance to tie the score from in front of the bench.  A contested 3-pointer by Max Chaplin fell out at the buzzer as Wabash improved to 4-1 on the season.

Chaplin and Terry Hicks led the Rose-Hulman offense with 13 points each.  Dillon Duff added 12 points.  Hicks had a team-high 9 rebounds, while Vuk Djuric pitched in with a team-high 3 assists.

Other key contributors included Trey Wurtz with 8 points and Jackson Kabrick with 7 points.

Jack Davidson led the Wabash offense with 16 points.  Ahmoni Jones and Kellen Schreiber also reached double figures with 15 and 13 points, respectively.

Rose-Hulman held a 34-28 advantage at the half, but Wabash hit 6 three-pointers in the second half to rally from an 11-point deficit in the second half to secure the win.

The Fightin’ Engineers stand 3-2 on the season and travel to Transylvania University for the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference opener on Saturday at 3 pm.

TRINE NOTCHES FIRST MIAA WIN AGAINST ADRIAN 80-52

ANGOLA, Ind. – The Trine University women’s basketball team put away Adrian College 80-52 in the opening game of Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) play on Wednesday night.

The Thunder (6-1, 1-0 MIAA) held the Bulldogs (2-5, 0-1 MIAA) to 34.0% from the field for the game at 17-for-50 overall and forced 22 turnovers. 15 different Trine student-athletes got in the scoring column and the Thunder crashed the glass for a season-high 22 offensive rebounds.

On their first five trips down the floor, Adrian turned the ball over on every possession as Trine jumped out to a 9-0 advantage. Makayla Ardis [Lake City, Mich. / Lake City] connected on a pair of two-point jump shots during the scoring spurt.

Another 10-0 scoring run by the Thunder gave the home squad a 19-5 lead. Rachel Stewart [Pekin, Ind. / Eastern] buried a three and scored on a lay-up on two of her first three offensive possessions after entering the game at the 4:37 mark in the first quarter.

Alyssa Argyle [Freeland, Mich. / Freeland] hit back-to-back three-point attempts over the zone defense and assisted Sam Underhill [Grand Rapids, Mich. / Northview] on the final basket in a 26-10 first quarter.

The Bulldogs were able to keep it close in the second quarter, but the Trine post players Underhill and Kelsy Taylor [Louisville, Ky. / New Albany] each burned the Adrian defense for four points in the quarter. The half concluded with the score Thunder, 42 and the Bulldogs, 25.

It was an 11-2 run in the opening four minutes of the third quarter that extended the lead for Trine. Taylor had five points and Kayla Wildman [Rockford, Mich. / Rockford] chipped in with four points, including her second make from long range.

A steal by Underhill and lay-up by Alyssa Argyle off an assist from Sidney Wagner [Warsaw, Ind. / Tippecanoe Valley] at the third quarter buzzer resulted in a 32-point lead at 69-37.

Wagner, Sierra Hinds [Carmel, Ind. / University], Chelsi Giesige [Paulding, Ohio / Paulding], Brooke Brauher [Big Rapids, Mich. / Morley Stanwood] and Kearston Stout [Wabash, Ind. / Northfield] all scored in the fourth quarter for the Thunder in the 80-52 win.

Taylor and Stewart tied for the team lead in points with 11 each and Underhill had 10 points with a team-high six rebounds. Alyssa Argyle dished out five assists to lead Trine on the night and Wildman was a distributor on four made Trine baskets.

League play continues in the team’s next game at Calvin University on Saturday, December 4 at 3 pm.

PILOTS FALL FLAT AT NO. 9 MARIAN

INDIANAPOLIS – Bethel Women’s Basketball were handed their first Crossroads League loss of the season on Wednesday, losing to No. 9 Marian 92-47 on the road. Jazmen Watts was the only Pilot in double figures with 13 points as the Pilots scored their fewest points since their previous trip to Indianapolis last season.

GAME VITALS

Score: Marian def. Bethel 92-47

Records: Bethel (6-5, 2-1) | Marian (8-2, 3-0)

NAIA Top 25 Coaches’ Poll:  Bethel – NR | Marian – No. 9

Location: Physical Education Center | Marian University | Indianapolis, Ind.

STAT TRACKER

Jazmen Watts: 13 pts, 5 reb, 6-9 fg

Maggie Deboy: 5 pts, 5 reb

Abby Williams: 2 pts, 5 reb

INSIDE THE BOXSCORE

The Pilots scored their fewest points in a game since February 3 last season at Marian when they scored just 42.

The Pilots forced a season-low 14 turnovers and only recorded one steal.

The Pilots gave up a 15-2 run spanning the end of the first quarter and the start of the second quarter to go from a modest eight-point deficit to a 37-16 disadvantage 11 minutes into the game. 

NEXT TIME OUT

The Pilots host rival Grace in the Wiekamp Athletic Center on Saturday at 1:00 pm.

DENISON RALLIES FOR WIN OVER DEPAUW

Greencastle, Ind. – DePauw jumped out to a 15-point lead in the first half, but visiting Denison came back and claimed an 83-74 North Coast Athletic Conference victory over the Tigers in Neal Fieldhouse. The Tigers dropped to 3-3 overall and 1-1 in the NCAC, while Denison improved to 2-5 overall and 1-1 in conference play.

The Tigers hit their first seven field goals and 10 of their first 11 in building a 26-11 lead in the game’s first seven minutes. Denison quickly changed the momentum with three-straight 3-pointers and a free throw to trim the deficit to 26-21 at the midway point of the opening half.

Denison was within four at 28-24 before DePauw’s Elijah Hales hit a pair of 3-pointers to push the margin back to double figures. The Big Red scored the next seven to cut the DePauw lead to 34-31 with 5:02 left in the half.

Hales again stopped the run with a three before Grant Niego hit a bucket and Nick Wissel, Camden Brown and Grant Niego each knocked in two free throws to cap an 11-0 run that pushed the Tigers’ lead to 45-31 with just over one minute remaining. The teams exchanged baskets in the final minute and DePauw took a 47-36 lead into the intermission.

The Tigers still held an 11-point lead, 53-42, in the first five minutes of the second half before the Big Red started chipping away. Tyler Miller’s three started a 9-0 stretch that trimmed the Tigers’ advantage to 53-51 with 12:02 remaining.

Denison gained its first lead of the contest at 56-55 when Ricky Radtke hit a trey, The lead went back-and-forth until Scott Dean hit a 3-pointer at the 5:20 mark and Kevin Cheng did the same following a DePauw turnover to give the Big Red a 71-66 lead with 4:42 remaining.

DePauw briefly closed the gap to two at 73-71, but the Tigers managed just three points over the final three minutes and Denison nailed 8-of-11 free throws to seal the win.

Hales matched a career high with 26 points including 19 in the first half. Grant Gohmann added 12. Grant Niego and Nolan Niego each had five rebounds and Grant Niego dished out a career-high seven assists.

Miller paced Denison with 27 points with Radtke adding 13, a game-high 11 rebounds and five assists. Darren Rubin followed with 10 points.

DePauw shot 42.2 percent from the field, but just 32.4 in the second half, while the Big Red his 52.8 percent for the game and 56.0 percent in the second half. The Big Red also held a 35-27 rebounding edge. The Tigers committed just nine turnovers to Denison’s 13.

The Tigers return to action on Saturday, December 4, when they travel to Wooster for a 3 p.m. contest.

MUNOZ NETTED A CAREER-HIGH TO LEAD HANOVER PAST ANDERSON

HANOVER, Ind. – Sophomore Matt Munoz (Indianapolis, Ind.) netted a career performance to pace Hanover past Anderson on Wednesday evening as part of their Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference opener. The Panthers claimed the 67-52 victory.

With the win, Hanover moves to 4-0 overall, 1-0 HCAC while the Ravens fall to 4-2 overall, 0-1.

Munoz finished with a career-high 23 points, while junior Jack Wininger (Elnora, Ind.) added 11 points.

In front of an electric crowd the Panthers dominated early using a 10-0 outburst paced by Munoz to soar past the Ravens. However, Anderson remained poise cutting the difference to 10-7 at the 12:00 minute mark.

The Ravens continued to battle as they pulled within 18-17 when senior Isaac Hibbard (New Albany, Ind.) halted the charge. Munoz handled the rest netting 14 first half points to put HC on top 30-24.

The second half saw the hot shooting continue for Munoz as he delt a three-pointer before a sophomore Max Greenamoyer (Zionsville, Ind.) layup gave Hanover its largest lead to date, 41-31.

The Ravens continued to pester as they strung together an 8-0 run pulling within 41-38 when Hibbard and senior Noah Williams (Jeffersonville, Ind.) sank back-to-back layups stealing the momentum.

The rest was history as Wininger netted a series of blows that propelled HC to the 67-52 win.

The Panthers return to action on Saturday, Dec. 4 when they return to HCAC action with Bluffton. Tip-off is set for 2:00 PM.

SPARTANS OPEN HCAC PLAY WITH 68-58 TRIUMPH OVER DEFIANCE

NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. – The hot start to the season for the Manchester University women’s basketball team continued on Wednesday night. The Spartans knocked off the Defiance College Yellow Jackets by a final score of 68-58 inside of Stauffer-Wolfe Arena to begin Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play.

The Spartans won their fourth straight game and are off to their best start since the 2006-07 season (team began 6-0 that season).

A short-handed Spartans squad overcame some early adversity against the Yellow Jackets en route to the come-from-behind win. Defiance outscored the Black & Gold 22-12 in the opening period after shooting a blistering 64.3 percent (9-14) from the field. The Yellow Jackets shot 3-5 from three over the game’s first 10 minutes, while outrebounding Manchester 12-4.

The Spartans found their groove on both ends of the floor following the first period. Manchester outscored Defiance 17-9 in the 2nd quarter. The Spartans defense limited Defiance to just 25 percent (3-12) shooting in the second frame. Manchester outscored the visiting Yellow Jackets by 17-13 and 22-14 tallies in the 3rd and 4th quarters en route to the 10-point victory. The Black & Gold shot 7-15 (46.7 percent) and 6-12 (50 percent) in the two periods following the intermission.

For the game, Manchester finished 23-54 (42.6 percent) from the field. The Spartans connected on 5 three-pointers while also connecting on 17 of 22 foul shot attempts (77.3 percent).

The Spartans converted 18 Defiance turnovers into 18 points in the win.

Every Spartan that played scored at least one point in the HCAC opener. Senior forward Macy Miller (Huntertown, Ind./Carroll) led Manchester with 17 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. Fellow senior Miranda Bieghler (Plainfield, Ind./South Putnam) added 15 points, 6 rebounds, 5 steals, and 5 assists in 40 minutes of action. Senior Bridget Nash (Carmel, Ind./Bishop Chatard) added 13 points and 5 assists in the win.

Defiance ended Wednesday’s contest shooting 42.3 percent (22-52). DC made 6 three-pointers. McKenzie Cooper led three Yellow Jackets in double figures with 14 points on the strength of 6-7 shooting. Taylor Steinbrunner scored 13 points while Lexie Sparks scored 10.

Manchester (4-1, 1-0 HCAC) will look to extend its win streak this weekend when it travels to Earlham College for an HCAC matchup with the Quakers on Saturday December 4. Game time in Richmond is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Defiance (4-2, 1-1 HCAC) will travel to Franklin College on Saturday December 4.

SPARTANS DROP HCAC OPENER AT DEFIANCE

DEFIANCE, Ohio – The Manchester University Spartans were upended in men’s basketball action at Defiance College on Wednesday night. The Yellow Jackets topped the Spartans in their Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference opener by a final score of 80-74.

Wednesday’s contest was a tight one as there were 18 lead changes and 12 ties. The Black & Gold held a narrow 39-38 lead at halftime before the Yellow Jackets outscored MU 42-35 in the second period.

A three-pointer by sophomore Hunter Perlich (Fort Wayne, Ind./Churubusco) tied the game at 65 with 6:53 remaining in Wednesday’s game. The host Yellow Jackets would regain the lead on their next possession and ended the game on a 15-9 run to seal the win.

Defiance shot 50 percent (33-66) from the field on Wednesday. DC shot 6-20 (30 percent) from beyond the three-point arc. Manchester shot 44.6 percent (29-65) from the floor against the Yellow Jackets. The Black & Gold finished 9-27 (33 percent) from three-point distance.

First-year point guard Quentez Columbus (South Bend, Ind./Adams) led Manchester with 18 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds. Columbus shot 7-16 against Defiance. Bryant Smith (West Lafayette, Ind./Harrison) added 17 points. Smith finished 5-11 from downtown. Brandon Christlieb (Ashley, Ind./Prairie Heights) chipped in 13 points and 6 rebounds, while Hunter Perlich added 12 points off the bench. Fifth-year senior CJ Hampton (Hammond, Ind./Griffith) lined the stat sheet with 8 rebounds, 7 points, and 6 assists.

Defiance was led Marrell Jordan’s 27 points and Dejsani Beamon’s 25 points. No other Yellow Jacket scored more than 8 points in Wednesday’s matchup.

Manchester (1-6, 0-1 HCAC) will travel to Earlham College on Saturday December. Game time against the Quakers is scheduled for 3 p.m.

Defiance (2-4, 1-0 HCAC) will look for its second consecutive win this weekend when it travels to Franklin College on Saturday December 4.

TAYLOR ATHLETICS | FOURTH QUARTER WOES SEND TROJANS HOME WITH A FIVE POINT LOSS TO NO. 21 MNVU

MOUNT VERNON, Ohio. – On Wednesday evening the Taylor University women’s basketball team lost to No. 21 Mount Vernon Nazarene (8-2, 3-0 CL) by a score of 68-63, after losing a long-held lead late in the fourth quarter.

For three quarters a stout Trojan defense helped maintain its stubborn lead, holding the Cougars to just 17 made field-goals on 36.2 percent shooting en route to a five-point lead heading into the fourth.

The defense could not hold, however, as the Trojans shot just 27.8 percent down the stretch while turning the ball over seven times in the fourth quarter alone. Meanwhile, the Cougars increased their shooting percentage to 50 percent in the final frame while shooting a perfect 6-6 from the free-throw line, flipping the script with just 27 seconds left to play.

Sophomore, Taylor Westgate, filled the stat sheet, collecting her sixth double-double of the season with 18 points and 19 boards. Her 18 points, however, were scattered throughout a total of 27 shots taken.

Along with her sophomore teammate, senior, Kayla Kirtley, also scored a double-double, her second of the season, thanks to 13 points in tandem with 11 rebounds.

Nonetheless, the Trojan duo was not able to overcome the team’s fourth quarter woes as the Trojans were outscored 22-12 in the game’s final 10 minutes, losing their second-consecutive Crossroads League game by a score 68-63.

Taylor (5-6, 1-2 CL) will be back in action on Saturday, December 4th, when the Trojans host No. 9 Marian (8-2, 3-0 CL) at 1:00 pm inside Odle Arena.

FREE THROWS TELL THE TALE IN WABASH WIN OVER ROSE

On a night that Jack Davidson broke the Wabash career made free throws record it was two free throws from Tyler Watson that locked up a 67-64 win for the Little Giants over Rose-Hulman at Chadwick Court.

Davidson made a free throw on a three-point play five minutes into the second half for the 536th of his career to break the former Wabash record of 535 held by Chad Tabor ’99.

Watson came into Wednesday evening’s game averaging 18.2 points a game but was held to four points by the visiting Fightin’ Engineers. Two of those points came at the free throw line with five seconds remaining in the game. Wabash (4-2) held an eight-point lead with 2:51 remaining in the contest when Rose-Hulman (3-2) got two free throws from Dillon Duff to cut the lead to 65-59. Rose made another basket with 1:11 remaining, then cut the Wabash lead to one point at 65-64 on a basket by Max Chaplin.

The Little Giants missed their next shot attempt, but Watson snared the rebound and drew a foul with five ticks on the clock. He hit both shots of the one-and-one situation to push the lead back to three points. Rose missed a desperation three at the buzzer to finish the contest.

Wabash won despite a tough shooting night from long range. The Little Giants hit 10-of-33 shots from three-point range for 30.3 percent while going 25-of-62 from the field overall for 40.3 percent.

The Little Giants took an early 6-0 lead only to see Rose score the next 11 points to take an 11-6 edge three minutes into the game. The visitors held a six-point advantage at halftime, 34-28, and stretched the lead to 11 in the first minute of the second half. Wabash ripped off a 19-6 scoring run over the next seven minutes, eventually taking a 47-45 lead on a three-pointer from Jesse Hall.

The two teams traded leads until Watson handed out one of his career-best eight assists by finding Reis Thomas for a layup. Watson followed with his only basket of the game to push the lead to three points ahead of a three-point basket from Ahmoni Jones.

Kellen Scheiber scored with 2:51 remaining to extend the advantage to eight points at 65-57. Duff’s free throws cut the lead to six and set up the last series of plays.

Davidson led Wabash in scoring with 16 points. Jones added 15 points and nine rebounds. Schreiber scored 13 points and snared seven boards.

Chaplin and Terry Hicks each scored 13 points to lead Rose-Hulman on offense. Duff added 12 points and had a team-high seven rebounds.

Wabash returns to North Coast Athletic Conference action on Saturday with a home game against Oberlin College at 2 p.m.

SAU CRUISES PAST HUNTINGTON

SPRING ARBOR, Mich. – Points were hard to come by for the Huntington women’s basketball team Wednesday night at the McDonald Athletic Center and the Spring Arbor Cougars pounced on the opportunity by handing their guests a 71-45 loss.

The Cougars took a 10-0 lead right out of the gate and never looked back to make for the lopsided affair. There were several bright spots for the Foresters as they committed just 12 turnovers, swiped nine steals and tracked down 13 of their misses. Unfortunately, they struggled to consistently put the ball in the hole as evidenced by managing 18 field goals to SAU’s 29.

Maddy Robrock finished with nine points while Alli Vaughn and Konnor Gambrell added six apiece. Emily Seboe was her team’s leading rebounder with eight boards, half of which were of the offensive variety.

Spring Arbor was paced by Alex Long’s 18 points with all but two of those points coming in the opening 20 minutes. Taylor Folkema tossed in 13 points. Grace Shoobridge and Daelynn Jackson each chipped in ten. 

HU (2-8, 0-3) returns to action on Saturday to host #21 Mount Vernon at 1:00 p.m.

The Huntington University Foresters compete in 17 intercollegiate sports for men and women. In the past decade, Huntington has produced 106 NAIA All-America honors and 421 All-America Scholar Athlete honors. Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S. News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest.

NO. 1 COUGARS SUFFER FIRST LOSS OF THE SEASON TO NO. 13 GRACE LANCERS DESPITE STRONG SECOND HALF

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – After a week off, the No. 1 University of Saint Francis Cougars (10-1; 2-1 Crossroads) traveled to Winona Lake, Indiana to face the No. 13 Grace College Lancers (10-0; 3-0 Crossroads) Wednesday evening but suffered their first loss of the season losing 83-69 despite a strong second half.

Right as the game got underway, the Lancers showed they would be a force to be reckoned with as they jumped right out to a 4-0 lead in the first minute, and an uphill battle was immediately underway for the Cougars.

Through the first five minutes the Cougars found themselves in a 10-3 hole and several minutes later it worsened to 14-3. Saint Francis struggled to keep the Lancers off balanced on defense while they managed just nine points through the first 10 minutes.

Now down 33-14 with seven minutes remaining in the first half, the Cougars still couldn’t stop the bleeding on defense as the Lancers put them into their biggest deficit of the season behind by 28 points with under three minutes in the frame.

The Cougars went to the locker room down 49-23 at halftime and faced with their biggest challenge thus far this season.

After a jump shot went in for the Lancers to open the second half, the Cougars began to shift the tide and regain the momentum.

A three-pointer by freshman guard Zane Burke gave the Cougars a spark in the first minute, and although the Lancers extended their lead to 30 points, Saint Francis never lost its composure. They quickly went on to score nine unanswered points to get themselves back in the game now down by 22 and continued to play catch up through the next several minutes.

Halfway through the frame, the Cougars still trailed by 20 points, but continued to surge. They scored eight more unanswered points to pull to within 11 points now down 69-58 with five minutes to go.

Through the game’s final minutes, the Cougars kept chipping away, but the shots would not go in when they needed to, and the Lancers offense proved too formidable as the Cougars were dealt their first loss of the season.

“Tough loss but credit to Grace, they came out and dominated the first half,” Head Coach Chad LaCross said. “We did a lot of things out of character tonight that led to the loss. We have to regroup and be ready to play on Saturday.”

Throughout the game, the Cougars shot 33 percent from the floor, 29 percent from beyond the arc, and 72 percent from the free throw line while outscoring the Lancers 46-34 in the second half. Junior guard Antwaan Cushingberry led the team in scoring with 23 points and nine rebounds, while junior guard Dan McKeeman and Zane Burk each had 14 points to their credit while sophomore forward David Ejah had eight rebounds.

The Cougars resume play on Saturday afternoon when they return home to Hutzell Athletic Center to face the No. 7 Indiana Wesleyan University Wildcats (9-1; 3-0 Crossroads) beginning at 3:00 pm.

DOMINANT FIRST QUARTER SETS THE TONE FOR LADY COUGARS WIN OVER GRACE LANCERS

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – On Wednesday evening, the University of Saint Francis Lady Cougars (5-4; 2-1 Crossroads) traveled to Winona Lake, Indiana to face the Grace College Lancers (5-4; 0-3 Crossroads) and behind a 20-point first quarter prevailed 66-53.

The Lady Cougars set the tone right at the start. Through the first two minutes neither team made a dent in the scoreboard until senior guard Sidney Crowe made the first free throw and point of the game 2:45 into the game.

Saint Francis extended the lead to 8-0 before the Lancers got on the board with a couple free throws. Then the Lady Cougars spent the remainder of the frame playing solid defense and not allowing the Lancers an open shot meanwhile the offense could do no wrong, outscoring Grace 20-3 in the first quarter.

Though the Lancers didn’t get discouraged as they began to find some momentum on offense and began matching the Lady Cougars point-for-point. During the frame, Saint Francis made several turnovers and were outscore by Grace 16-10 in the frame, though they still led 30-19 going to halftime.

Heading into the third quarter, the Lady Cougars got their offense back and running. Seven unanswered points to open the frame put Saint Francis back ahead by 17 points.

However, during the middle part of the frame, the Lancers found momentum on offense and went on a run to close the gap to within five points with a minute left, but a couple layups by junior forward Cassidy Crawford and junior forward Aubrey Dunnuck put the Lady Cougars back up 51-42 heading into the fourth quarter.

Although they were outscored in the last two quarters, the Lady Cougars still held steady despite a late surge by the Lancers.

Grace went on to close to within five points on a couple occasions in the final frame, but the Lady Cougars were able to answer back each time, make the free throws when they needed to, and went on to victory.

“I thought we did a great job in the first quarter of coming out and playing physical,” Head Coach Jason Ridge said. “The physicality kind of set the tone for the game but it also set us up for some foul trouble in the second quarter. Our first quarter defense was some of the best defense we’ve played all year and I thought we were really strong in the fourth quarter as well.”

Throughout the game, the Lady Cougars shot 55 percent from the floor, 50 percent from beyond the three-point line, and 58 percent from the free throw line. Cassidy Crawford led the team in scoring with 20 points and seven rebounds, while junior forward Meleah Kunkel also had seven rebounds, and sophomore guard Reganne Pate scored 14 points.

The Lady Cougars resume play on Saturday afternoon when they return home to Hutzell Athletic Center and face the No. 13 Indiana Wesleyan University Wildcats (7-2; 1-1 Crossroads) beginning at 1:00 pm.

MEN’S BASKETBALL PICKS UP 2ND STRAIGHT CCAC VICTORY; DEFEATS USF WEDNESDAY

GARY, Ind. — The Indiana University Northwest men’s basketball team shook off a slow start and defeated the University of St. Francis (Ill.), 77-59, at the Savannah Center, Wednesday.

RECORDS

Indiana Northwest (6-3, 3-2 CCAC) | St. Francis (Ill.) (6-2, 3-2 CCAC)

IU NORTHWEST LEADERS

Points: Brian Hernandez (19), Jason Peace (14), Marshaud Watkins (11), Tromon Weston (11)

Rebounds: Brian Hernandez (7), Tromon Weston (7)

Assists: Marshaud Watkins (7)

Blocks: Brian Hernandez (2), Tromon Weston (2)

Steals: Marshaud Watkins (3)

HALF BREAKDOWN

1st Half: IU Northwest 41, St. Francis (Ill.) 33

2nd Half: IU Northwest 36, St. Francis (Ill.) 26

Final Score: IU Northwest 77, St. Francis (Ill.) 59

GAME RECAP

USF started out the game on a 7-0 run in the first three minutes. Brian Hernandez responded with a three-pointer to put the RedHawks right back in it.

Moments later, Jason Peace tied it with a three-pointer then Marshaud Watkins gave IU Northwest a 13-11 lead at the 13:55 mark in the first half. The Fighting Saints would quickly regain the lead before the RedHawks bounced back after Tromon Weston and Watkins made back-to-back shots to give IUN a 20-16 lead.

Peace hit another three-pointer then Houston hit a layup to give IU Northwest their biggest lead of the half (35-25) with 2:34 left before the break. USF responded right away with a three but Hernandez got it right back with a three of his own.

On the ensuing possession, the same thing happened the Fighting Saints got a three-pointer then Hernandez hit yet another three-pointer. USF had a second chance basket late in the first half as the RedHawks led 41-33 at the break.

Weston and Watkins started the second half with layups to make it a 12-point lead early. Jerron Tatum hit a huge three-pointer to make it 54-37 with 15:08 left in the game.

The Fighting Saints were looking to fight back into the game but Hernandez connected from deep to make it 57-41 IU Northwest. A few minutes later, Tatum gave the RedHawks one of their biggest lead of the night after making a three-pointer which made it 62-41.

USF responded with back-to-back baskets but IU Northwest was one step ahead of them. IU Northwest went up 75-50 late with 3:09 left for their biggest lead of the night.

St. Francis (Ill.) closed out the game on a 9-2 run but it was not enough. The RedHawks won the contest 77-59.

UP NEXT

IU Northwest will be back in action Saturday, December 4 as the RedHawks host Lincoln Christian for a non-conference matchup at the Savannah Center starting at 3 p.m. CT.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL UPSETS (RV) ST. FRANCIS (ILL.) WEDNESDAY

GARY, Ind. — The Indiana University Northwest pulled off a huge 57-53 victory for their fourth Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference win of the season in an upset against the University of St. Francis (Ill.), who is receiving votes in the latest NAIA Coaches Poll.

TEAM RECORDS

IU Northwest (6-3, 4-1 CCAC) | (RV) St. Francis (Ill.) (8-3, 5-1 CCAC)

QUARTER BREAKDOWN

1st Quarter: (RV) St. Francis (Ill.) 12, IU Northwest 10

2nd Quarter: IU Northwest 14, (RV) St. Francis (Ill.) 12

Halftime Score: IU Northwest 24, (RV) St. Francis (Ill.) 24

3rd Quarter: IU Northwest 18, (RV) St. Francis (Ill.) 12

4th Quarter: (RV) St. Francis (Ill.) 18, IU Northwest 15

Final Score: IU Northwest 57, (RV) St. Francis (Ill.) 53

IU NORTHWEST LEADERS

Points: Michaela Schmidt (18), Karli Miller (17), Sarah Martin (11)

Rebounds: Tiara Jackson (12), Michaela Schmidt (11)

Assists: Sarah Martin (4)

Blocks: Tiara Jackson (2)

Steals: Alyna Santiago (2)

GAME RECAP

St. Francis started the game on a 12-4 run before the RedHawks responded. IU Northwest went on a 6-0 run to close out the first quarter after baskets by Sarah Martin, Tiara Jackson and Samantha Martin.

USF started the second quarter with back-to-back buckets to make it 16-10. The RedHawks cut it back down to one after Jackson made a layup and Sarah Martin hit a three-pointer.

Both teams traded baskets then the RedHawks took their first lead of the game after Michaela Schmidt and Jackson made layups to make it 19-18 with 4:31 left in the first half. Karli Miller was able to make it 24-21 with two minutes left.

The Fighting Saints hit a three towards the end of the half to tie it at 24-all. Both teams went into the break tied at 24 apiece.

IU Northwest started the second half with a 10-0 run to pull ahead 34-24 in the first three and a half minutes of the third. USF fought back and scored six unanswered to make it within four points.

Both teams traded baskets most of the way through the third quarter. Lauren Smolen converted on a huge second chance bucket and Miller made a pair at the line to give IU Northwest a 42-34 advantage late in the third.

USF was able to get a bucket late in the third quarter but that was all. IUN led 42-36 after the third quarter.

The Fighting Saints were able to cut it back down to six again with 6:24 left in the game but IU Northwest stretched it back out to double-digits after Miller made a layup. USF made things interesting after making it a four-point game (53-49) with 1:20 left in the game.

St. Francis (Ill.) made it as close as two a few times late in the game (55-53) but IU Northwest was able to put them away. Schmidt hit a pair of clutch free throws with a few seconds left to ice the game and give the RedHawks a 57-53 victory.

UP NEXT

IU Northwest will be back in action Saturday, December 4 as the RedHawks host Lincoln Christian for a non-conference matchup at the Savannah Center starting at 5 p.m. CT.

TITANS CRUISE TO BIG WIN OVER EAST-WEST

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Behind the team’s best shooting night of the season to date, IU South Bend jumped out early and cruised to a 114-52 win over the visiting East-West (Ill.) University Phantoms on Wednesday night.

Dylan Allen led the way with 22 points on a perfect 9-for-9 shooting performance, including a 4-for-4 night from three-point range. Five players in all finished with double-figures for the Titans (8-2), with Donyell Meredith scoring 17 points in just 19 minutes of work as a starter, and a career-high 15 points from Dane Simatovich after knocking down four three-pointers in the win. Sergio Diaz and Micah Poole each pitched in with ten points apiece on the night.

The Titans came out strong, scoring the game’s first 12 points and building a 26-6 lead midway through the first half. A 17-0 run that included three three-pointers and 10 points overall from Diaz late in the opening period pushed the IUSB lead to 40 just before the break.

The lead continued to grow throughout the rest of the game, with Simatovich pacing the offense with 15 points in the second half.

The win marks the fifth in the row for the Titans, who will step back into conference play on Saturday, Dec. 4 when they travel to Trinity Christian. Tipoff with the Trolls is set for 4:00 p.m. ET.

GRACE TAKES DOWN NO. 1 USF IN RANKED BATTLE

WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Grace’s men’s basketball team continued its perfect start to the season with a statement win on Wednesday.

The No. 13-ranked Lancers (10-0, 3-0 Crossroads League) took down No. 1 St. Francis in convincing fashion by the score of 83-69.

Frankie Davidson was the star. The forward dazzled his way to 35 points, his third straight game with at least 30 points. He was unstoppable using a variety of post-ups and fadeaways, and he accentuated his night with a few highlight-reel dunks.

Grace’s defense locked up the previously unbeaten Cougars (10-1, 2-1 CL). USF was held to 33 percent shooting, and lost the rebounding battle 48-30.

The Lancers shot 52 percent overall from the floor — an impressive number as Grace was just 3 of 17 (18 percent) on 3-pointers.

Grace’s size and strength gave USF issues all evening, and the Lancers outscored the Cougars 46-22 in the paint.

The first half was a master class from Grace. The Lancers led from the first possession and never lost the lead.

Grace scored on its first five possessions, including six early points from Elijah Malone. Back-to-back jumpers from Davidson gave Grace a 14-3 advantage after six minutes of play.

The Lancers refused to slow down. Grace built its lead up to 19 by the midway point of the first half.

Grace’s defense gave USF no breathing room as the first half concluded. USF was held to just four points for a stretch of 7:02, and Grace had no plans to stop scoring.

The Lancers opened up a massive 31-point lead at 49-18 late in the first half. Grace went into halftime comfortably ahead 49-23.

Davidson (19 points) nearly outscored USF (23 points) by himself in the opening half. Grace shot 62 percent from the floor compared to 26 percent for USF.

After three minutes of play in the second half, Grace still led by 30.

But USF showed its mettle and did its best to rally. The Cougars went on a 15-1 surge to pull within 61-45 with 11:43 on the clock.

The teams traded points over the next several minutes, and USF had one final push remaining. The Cougars managed to trim Grace’s lead down to 11, but the Lancers found timely baskets from Davidson, Jake Wadding and Eddie Gill IV down the stretch. Grace cruised to the final 14-point margin of victory.

Davidson shot 15 of 22 from the floor, adding 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 block with just a single turnover.

Malone had a double-double with 12 points, 12 boards and 3 blocked shots, and Wadding added 11 points, 7 boards and 3 assists.

Gill produced nine points and eight rebounds, Ian Scott tallied 7 points, 7 boards and 3 assists, and Brett Sickafoose chipped in five points off the bench.

The Lancers’ big week continues with a road trip to archrival Bethel. Grace and the Pilots will square off at 3 p.m. in Mishawaka.

Grace is currently enjoying its best start to the season (10-0) since the 1991-92 season.

GRACE DEFEATS TIGERS, REACHES SEMIFINALS

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Grace’s women’s soccer team finished top of its pool at the 2021 NCCAA National Championships thanks to a 2-0 win over Central Christian on Wednesday.

The Lady Lancers used goals from JJ Aalbue and Lea Fricke to defeat the Tigers and close out pool play.

As a result, Grace will advance to the national semifinals on Friday. Grace will play either Trinity Christian or Ottawa in the semifinals. With a win on Friday, Grace would play for the national championship on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

It did not take Grace long to get on the scoreboard against Central Christian. After a short corner kick, Lea Moessinger passed to Aalbue in space on the left edge of the penalty box.

Aalbue took care of the rest, blasting a hard rocket that kept CCC’s goalkeeper flat-footed as the ball flew into the back of the net.

Grace continued to apply pressure and kept the Tigers pinned back on their defensive end.

The Lady Lancers moved the ball at will against CCC and racked up nine shots before halftime.

Grace found its second goal after another corner. Aalbue’s corner was headed by Lea Fricke, and the ball looped above the goalkeeper into the net.

At halftime Grace led comfortably 2-0. The Tigers were held to three shots with none being on target.

Grace’s advances continued in the second half. Aalbue and Madison Tuma each tried long-distance shots that threatened.

Aalbue also had two 20-yard free kicks that missed the mark.

Grace possessed the ball fluidly against a determined Tiger defense. CCC had few advances into its attacking end of the field as Grace controlled play throughout the 90 minutes.

But despite Grace taking nine shots in the second half, including five on goal, the Lady Lancers were unable to add to their lead. Grace secured the 2-0 shutout with little trouble.

Libby Stratton recorded the shutout by making five saves for Grace. She was protected well by Amber Meade, Victoria Lucido, Kimberly Aalbue, Aitana Arguis, Anna Kuhl, Erin Crew and Paiton Miller.

DRAMATIC PK SHOOTOUT PUTS GRACE IN SEMIFINALS

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The national championship defense for Grace’s men’s soccer team is still alive after a dramatic evening on Wednesday.

The Lancers lost to Judson 3-1 to close out pool play, missing a chance to win the pool and grab an automatic spot into the NCCAA national semifinals.

But Grace tied with Warner University for the fourth-best finish overall in tournament pool play. As a result, the two fourth-place finishers were sent to a dramatic penalty kick shootout to determine the final semifinalist.

Grace and Warner took to the pitch on Wednesday night to settle the score in PKs. Grace took an early 3-2 lead in the PKs after converting on its first three spot kicks.

But Warner responded by making two in a row, putting the pressure on Grace after a missed shot. Felipe Gruber connected on his kick to send the shootout to extra kicks.

Both teams missed on their next two tries. Matteo Conci came up with two huge saves to keep Grace’s hopes alive.

After another miss by Warner, Ze Maria Goncalves stepped up and converted the final PK to end Warner’s season and send Grace to the national semifinals. Grace won the PK shootout 5-4.

Grace will face a familiar face in the national semifinals. The Lancers will play Campbellsville on Friday at 12 p.m. Incredibly, this will be the third straight year that Grace has played Campbellsville in the NCCAA semifinals. Grace won each of the previous meetings by the score of 1-0.

In Grace’s match against Judson earlier on Wednesday evening, Grace had to battle from behind throughout the match. The Eagles ahead of Grace with a seventh-minute goal.

To make matters worse, the Lancers picked up a red card in the 30th minute which put Grace at an 11v10 disadvantage for the remainder of regulation.

Despite that problem, Grace continued to fight. A few minutes into the second half, Grace was fouled in the penalty box. TJ White stepped up to convert the PK to tie the score.

But Judson wasted little time with its response. The Eagles scored twice over the next six minutes, including a PK of their own, to seize control of the game with a 3-1 lead.

Grace was unable to find a rally and had to settle for the defeat. Grace outshot Judson 5-3 after halftime despite playing with 10 men. Overall Judson held a 15-11 shot advantage.

SECOND-HALF RALLY NOT ENOUGH FOR GRACE

WINONA LAKE, Ind. – A sluggish start for Grace’s women’s basketball team resulted in a 66-53 win for St. Francis on Wednesday.

The Lady Lancers were outscored by 17 points in the opening quarter, and Grace was unable to complete a comeback to fall to 5-4 (0-3 Crossroads League).

Grace struggled out of the gate, allowing USF to grab control of the game. The Lady Lancers did not make a field goal in the first quarter (0 for 9), scoring just three points off free throws.

USF, on the other hand, shot 69 percent in the quarter. The Cougars ended the quarter with a comfortable 20-3 lead.

Grace outscored USF over the next two quarters to make the Cougars sweat.

The Lady Lancers’ defense gave USF fits, forcing the Cougars into eight turnovers in the second quarter.

As a result, Grace outscored the Cougars by six in the period. But USF still held a 30-19 lead at halftime.

The Lady Lancers enjoyed their best offensive quarter in the third stanza, racking up 23 points in the 10-minute frame. Maddie Ryman drilled a pair of 3-pointers, and Kaylee Patton and Kiersten Poor also scored five in the frame.

A jumper from Poor pulled Grace to within five at 47-42 in the third quarter. But two late layups from the Cougars gave USF breathing room and a 51-42 lead entering the final stanza.

Grace’s shooting touch went missing again in the fourth quarter. The Lady Lancers shot 4 of 15 as a team (27 percent), including a 1 of 7 finish from beyond the arc.

Grace scored just two points over the final 6:00, allowing a five-point deficit to grow to the final 13-point margin of defeat.

Ryman scored 14 points to go along with three assists and three steals. Poor had 11 points, and Karlee Feldman added 10 points and six rebounds before fouling out.

Kenzie McMahon grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds to go along with 4 points, 3 assists and 2 steals. Patton and Karissa Lukasiewicz scored five points apiece off the bench.

Grace will end the week at Bethel on Saturday. The game, part of a doubleheader with the men’s teams, will start at 1 p.m.

GOSHEN HANGS AROUND BUT CAN’T UPSET RANKED WILDCATS

MARION, Ind. – “We played hard, played a physical game with them, won the glass, and I thought we guarded hard,” reflected head coach Stephanie Miller, “but we just didn’t take care of business at the three-point line.” The Goshen women’s basketball team still had a lot of fight left in them when down by 15 in the fourth quarter by bringing the lead down to just eight. However, the ranked Indiana Wesleyan Wildcats secured a 64-50 win on their home court.

Taniece Chapman scored the game’s first four points, and Goshen led 4-0 early on. Then the #13 ranked Wildcats team started a 13-0 run, forcing the Maple Leafs to call a timeout. It was over four minutes before either team scored again, but a Sa’Drea Rougeau layup ended IWU’s scoring streak. The Wildcats led by nine after quarter one, and Goshen brought it to within three points in the second quarter. Yet, Indiana Wesleyan had two crucial buckets in the final 30 seconds before halftime, including a three-pointer by Lilli Frasure with just three seconds to go. That extended their five-point lead to a ten-point margin at the break.

In the third quarter, the margin increased to 18 points from a 13-5 IWU run, but the Leafs didn’t give up hope. Goshen had a 7-0 run in the fourth thanks to Syanne Mohamed and Kyla Foster’s baskets and some free throws by Graysen Cockerham. “We spread their defense out a little better and forced them to guard our dribble attack,” said Miller. “When we spread them out, they couldn’t keep us in front as well when we went away from the screen sets.” IWU led 58-50 at this point, and it seemed that the Maple Leafs were in it with less than five minutes to go.

Those would be the last points for the Maple Leafs, though. Neither team scored for nearly two minutes after Goshen’s rally. But when the drought ended, Indiana Wesleyan finished the game with a 6-0 run to win by 14 – 64-50.

Taniece Chapman led GC with 15 points and six rebounds. She couldn’t be stopped in the first quarter, as 11 of the Leafs first 15 points came from her. Cockerham and Mohamed each had eight points, four rebounds, and two steals.

The Wildcats scored 33 points behind the arc, whereas Goshen had six. And while Goshen only had four more turnovers than the home team, IWU had 19 more points off of turnovers than the Maple Leafs. Goshen won the rebound category 26-19 and the points in the paint 38-24.

Indiana Wesleyan (8-2, 2-1 CL) remains undefeated at home this season, now 6-0. Their defense has been terrific as of late. They have not allowed their opponents to score more than 65 points in each of the last six games. Kelli Damman was a surprise performer for the Wildcats tonight. She went off for 28 points tonight, which is more than her previous four games combined. She was 7-11 from distance and 3-3 at the line. “We let [Damman] get in a rhythm early,” Miller remarked. “Most of their early run was generated from the three threes she hit on us even though some may have been contested.”

“If we had done some of the little things better, I thought our approach and competitiveness was enough to win the game tonight. You have to do all the little things to win Crossroads League games and I know we are learning and getting better every game. I like our team’s toughness and I think we can shake things up in our league if we keep learning.”

Goshen (4-6, 1-2 CL) looks to get back to the win column on Saturday, December 4. The Leafs will host Spring Arbor at 1:00 pm, with the men’s portion of the doubleheader to follow.

LADY TRAILBLAZERS RIDE SECOND QUARTER RUN TO WIN OVER LINCOLN TRAIL

VINCENNES, Ind. – The VU Lady Trailblazers opened their Region 24 schedule by hosting Lincoln Trail College at the P.E. Complex Wednesday night and game away with a 76-68 win over the Lady Statesmen.

Vincennes used a 20-3 scoring run to help put the game out of reach early and rode that momentum to the end giving the Lady Blazers the eight-point victory.

VU jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter, leading 10-3 midway through the first period, before Lincoln Trail rallied back with a 9-0 scoring run to take the lead.

Vincennes would then score 20 of the next 23 points in a 20-3 scoring run that stretched from the first quarter to midway through the second quarter to hold a 30-15 lead on the scoreboard.

Lincoln Trail would close out the second half strong by cutting into the deficit but the Lady Blazers still held a 10-point advantage heading into the locker room.

The Lady Statesmen came out of the locker room attacking Vincennes as Lincoln Trail cut the VU lead to two midway through the third quarter as Vincennes held on to a three-point lead heading into the final quarter of play.

Vincennes began to grow their lead back in the fourth quarter, holding a seven-point lead before Lincoln Trail again answered back to cut the VU lead to two points with two minutes to play.

VU answered back with some big shots late from freshman Trinitee Harris (Elkhart, Ind.) as the Lady Trailblazers held on to close out the 76-68 victory on their home floor.

“I think in the final four minutes of the game we handled the ball and handled their pressure, we were able to get to the free throw line and also able to make some shots around the basket,” VU Hall of Fame Head Coach Harry Meeks said. “Trinitee Harris hit two big three’s for us and that was big for us. Lincoln Trail is a good basketball team. They’ve got Zach Loll back coaching the team and he does a good job. They will continue to get better and better, just like I hope our team will as the season goes along.”

“I thought we did a decent job defensively, but I didn’t like giving up the screen and roll in the middle of the floor that they got several times,” Meeks added. “It was a tough game. I congratulated the girls for hanging in there. We need to win this type of game because the league is going to be better this year, so we have to bring our best game when we play.”

Vincennes was led offensively by Trinitee Harris who finished with 16 points on a perfect three of three shooting behind the arc, while also dishing out five assists on the night.

Freshman Kylee Shelton (Bloomfield, Ind.) came off the bench to set a new career-high with 14 points, 11 of which coming in the first half. Shelton also dished out three assists.

Sophomore Nina Blade (Milwaukee, Wis.) nearly finished with a double-double, ending with 10 points and seven rebounds on the night.

Sophomores Macy Michels (Teutopolis, Ill.) and Laila Grant (Derwood, Md.) ended the game with nine points each, with Michels adding a team-high eight rebounds and Grant finishing with six assists and five rebounds.

Freshman Candela Lascorz (Huesca, Spain) nearly had a double-double off the bench for the Blazers, ending with eight points and seven rebounds.

“I’ve been after our post players about blocking out,” Meeks said. “Calling shot when the ball goes up and blocking somebody out, preferably on the weak side, so we can get the rebound. I thought that made a big difference in our rebounding. We started out slow with that, but as the game went along we got better at it. Rebounding is one of those things you have to want to do if you want to be a good player and I think we’ve got a couple of girls on this team that want to rebound. The way we rebounded the ball tonight really contributed to us getting this win.”

The Lady Trailblazers will hit the road this weekend as they travel to Belleville, Ill. to take on Southwestern Illinois College Saturday, Dec. 4. Tip-off time Saturday is scheduled for 2 p.m. eastern.

“We’re going to have to clean up some things,” Meeks said. “I’ve practiced our team a lot of days here, but we’re going to have to be able to continue to push the ball up the floor and be able to run our offense a little more efficiently. We’re basically going to have to put a lot of pressure on the other team’s defense and make them work. We have to avoid getting into foul trouble. We’ve got to work through that and continue to work hard. These girls are doing a good job.”

TRAILBLAZERS FALL TO LINCOLN TRAIL IN OVERTIME THRILLER

VINCENNES, Ind. – The opening day of Region 24 play brought plenty of excitement to the Physical Education Complex Wednesday night as the VU Trailblazers hosted Lincoln Trail College.

Vincennes jumped out to an early lead and rode the momentum to an 18-point halftime lead, before the Statesmen rallied back to erase the deficit and take a lead late in the second half.

VU freshman Grant Brown (Fairmount, Ind.) hit a three-point basket with two seconds remaining on the clock to force overtime, before Lincoln Trail hit a buzzer-beater of their own with 0.8 seconds left in the overtime period to come away with the 65-64 win.

The Trailblazers got their offense rolling early against Lincoln Trail, hitting 50-percent of their shots in the opening half, including hitting seven shots from behind the arc.

Freshman Shilo Jackson (Indianapolis, Ind.) led the way early for the Blazers as he nearly had a double-double at the break with 10 points and eight rebounds on the opening period as the Trailblazers built an 18-point halftime lead at 35-17.

Lincoln Trail made a switch defensively to begin the second half and began to use a full court press that continues to cause the Trailblazers issues offensively.

The Statesmen used an extended 32-7 run to begin the second half to march all the way back and take the lead over Vincennes with just under 10 minutes to play.

Lincoln Trail would gain their largest lead of the game at 53-44 before Vincennes responded with an 8-2 scoring run to cut the deficit to three points.

Vincennes managed to force overtime after back-to-back three-pointers from freshmen Thow James Biel (Calgary, Alberta) and Grant Brown evened the score at 58-all.

In the overtime period the two teams traded baskets with James Biel hitting a mid-range shot with 27 seconds to play giving the Trailblazers a one-point lead.

Lincoln Trail ran down the court and held the ball for the final shot before the Statesmen found room under the basket to hit a layup with 0.8 second left on the clock.

The ensuing half-court heave by Vincennes was off target and the Statesmen came away with the 65-64 win over the Trailblazers.

“I thought, in the first half, we executed well,” VU Hall of Fame Head Coach Todd Franklin said. “It wasn’t anything that we didn’t think we could do. I thought it looked like we had developed a little bit and at halftime I told them Lincoln Trail was going to pressure us. We’ve worked against pressure, we know what we’re supposed to do against pressure, but there is a time when a guy pressures you, we have to be able to hurt him. We just have not shown the ability to do that.”

“We know where the holes are in the pressure but we have continued to throw gasoline onto any spark our opponent has,” Franklin added. “Obviously I haven’t done a good enough job of getting us ready but we’ve tried to cover those things like we have in the past. At some point you have to be strong and execute the play and I thought we had ample opportunities for that, we just couldn’t function enough to get it there and when we did we weren’t able to punish them. Defensively I thought we opened up our gate and started letting them drive to the basket.”

“Then when we got down to the five-minute mark and we were down, now our guys decided they were going to play and we didn’t have much of a problem breaking the pressure. I thought we showed some heart to get us back. The overtime was just back-and-forth. Credit Lincoln Trail, they hit one big three, but the other two buckets we let them drive right to the lane. Offensively I thought we were okay. We got good possessions and I thought we executed well, made the last play to get the lead, we just needed a stop.”

“It just comes down to a play. This game had 45 minutes in it and if we just tried to play during that 15 minute stretch, then this wouldn’t have come down to a play. We feel awful when it’s over, I thought we played really well for 20 minutes and it was things that we have been working on and I don’t think they could have beaten us had we not freaked out against the pressure. The problem is, we freak out. I wish there was something x’s and o’s that would fix it, but we’ve seen pressure at every level, Final Fours, National Championship games, Elite Eights, we’re not seeing anything that is new but I’ve got to find some way to cause us not to freak out under pressure. I don’t know what that is, but I’ll keep trying.”

“We’ve got so many holes to fix and I thought we fixed a good number of them and were really playing decent basketball for a stretch of the game, including the last five minutes of the second half. I didn’t think we played bad in overtime, we just didn’t stop the ball on two possessions. We’re not the most skilled team in the world, so when we freak out, we’ve got a problem. We can’t afford to freak out, it’s the worst possible thing that we can do and that’s what we did tonight.”

Shilo Jackson recorded his sixth double-double of the season as he led the Trailblazers with 17 points and 13 rebounds on the night.

Thow James Biel ended his day with 14 points, while also adding three rebounds and a pair of blocks.

Grant Brown came off the bench to reach double-figures for the first time in his college career, ending his day with 11 points and six rebounds.

Brevin Jefferson (Indianapolis, Ind.) returned to the floor after missing the last three games to be the fourth VU scorer in double-figures, ending with 10 points and a team-high eight assists.

Freshman Darrius Davis (Pittsburgh, Pa.) nearly completed a double-double of his own, finishing with nine points and eight rebounds on the night.

“I thought Shilo was tremendous in the first half,” Franklin said. “He was dominating down in the paint. He didn’t get a tone of touches or shots but he was dominating in what he was doing. Now, when they pressure us it takes him out a little bit because we don’t get down and attack where he should be able to make some plays on the back end when we break it, like most of our bigs have throughout the years. But he can’t make plays in the press because we’re not attacking it the way that we have in the past.”

“We don’t attack well with the wings. Their ball-handling has got to be better to be at a college level and when they are the ones breaking the press we should be able to attack and make them pay and we’re just not,” Franklin added. “We’ve got to get better. Our skills have to get better or it’s going to be a long year.”

The Trailblazers will hit the road this weekend as Vincennes travels to Belleville, Ill. to take on Region 24 opponent Southwestern Illinois College, Saturday, Dec. 4. Tip-off time Saturday is scheduled for 4 p.m. eastern.

“We have so many things to work on, we’ve got to work on handling pressure obviously, but we’ve got so many things to work on with this young team,” Franklin said. “Southwestern is going to pressure us and change defenses because that’s what Coach Harrington does. We’re going to go in and get to work as coaches and do what we can, but our guys have to improve their skills and improve on their ability to mentally handle the pressure because when that other team brings it, we have to be able to respond.”

“It’s very frustrating on my end dealing with it because I don’t know what else to say or do, we’re telling them where to look and where to go, but there is a point of strength and toughness and being able to see down court and executing the play. We’ve been working on that, but we’ll keep working on it because guys are going to have to be able to do it. It’s tough if you want to have success and we’re going to see how tough we are right now.”

“There was improvement across the board tonight. We just have such a glairing problem that takes a little bit of skill but it’s mostly mental and we’ve got to find some guys that can handle that. We’re going to help them so they know what to do, but they have to be able to read and react. There are a number of things that were good tonight, but they all get overrun because our two keys that we’ve been better at than most people for a long time and we’re not now, protecting the ball and stopping the ball. There’s a third part of getting the ball, which we’re fair at, we’re not great but we’re fair. Sometimes we’re not bad at stopping the ball, but protecting the ball is a different story. We turned it over five times in the first half and we were up 18 points. We had 16 turnovers after halftime and most of those were in the first 15 minutes of the second half. That’s where it was, we weren’t protecting the ball and we didn’t stop the ball. Part of it is just gritting your teeth and getting tougher with the ball and we’ll see if we can get there.”

NFL STANDINGS

AMERICAN FOOTBALL CONFERENCE
EAST DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS840.6670.03361903-4-05-0-06-1-02-1-06 W
BUFFALO BILLS740.6360.53261823-2-04-2-05-4-03-0-01 W
MIAMI DOLPHINS570.4173.02342793-3-02-4-04-5-02-2-04 W
NEW YORK JETS380.2734.51993342-3-01-5-03-6-00-4-01 W
 
WEST DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS740.6360.02812504-2-03-2-02-4-01-1-04 W
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS650.5451.02732933-3-03-2-04-3-02-1-01 L
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS650.5451.02592953-3-03-2-04-3-01-2-01 W
DENVER BRONCOS650.5451.02281963-3-03-2-03-4-01-1-01 W
 
NORTH DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
BALTIMORE RAVENS830.7270.02632405-1-03-2-05-3-01-1-02 W
CINCINNATI BENGALS740.6361.03092263-2-04-2-05-2-03-1-02 W
PITTSBURGH STEELERS551.5002.52242673-2-12-3-03-4-01-2-02 L
CLEVELAND BROWNS660.5002.52542674-2-02-4-03-5-01-2-01 L
 
SOUTH DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
TENNESSEE TITANS840.6670.03042904-2-04-2-05-3-03-1-02 L
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS660.5002.03402833-4-03-2-05-3-02-2-01 L
HOUSTON TEXANS290.1825.51642921-4-01-5-02-6-02-1-01 L
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS290.1825.51732832-5-00-4-02-5-00-3-03 L
 
NATIONAL FOOTBALL CONFERENCE
EAST DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
DALLAS COWBOYS740.6360.03262504-2-03-2-05-1-02-0-02 L
WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM560.4552.02292823-3-02-3-05-2-01-0-03 W
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES570.4172.53042731-4-04-3-04-4-00-2-01 L
NEW YORK GIANTS470.3643.02022533-3-01-4-03-5-01-2-01 W
 
WEST DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
ARIZONA CARDINALS920.8180.03102023-2-06-0-05-2-04-0-01 W
LOS ANGELES RAMS740.6362.02992633-2-04-2-05-3-01-2-03 L
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS650.5453.02802482-4-04-1-05-4-01-3-03 W
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS380.2736.02092261-4-02-4-01-6-01-2-03 L
 
NORTH DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
GREEN BAY PACKERS930.7500.02832425-0-04-3-07-2-02-1-01 W
MINNESOTA VIKINGS560.4553.52812763-2-02-4-04-3-02-0-01 L
CHICAGO BEARS470.3644.51792542-3-02-4-02-4-02-1-01 W
DETROIT LIONS0101.0458.01742890-5-00-5-10-7-00-4-02 L
 
SOUTH DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS830.7270.03472535-0-03-3-05-3-01-1-02 W
ATLANTA FALCONS560.4553.01993021-4-04-2-02-5-01-2-01 W
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS560.4553.02572492-3-03-3-04-4-01-2-04 L
CAROLINA PANTHERS570.4173.52362532-4-03-3-03-5-02-0-02 L

NBA STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
ATLANTIC DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
BROOKLYN156.7147-48-24-013-48-21 W
BOSTON1210.5453.56-46-63-38-86-42 W
NEW YORK1110.5244.05-66-43-28-94-61 L
PHILADELPHIA1111.5004.55-56-60-56-73-71 L
TORONTO913.4096.52-87-53-37-83-73 L
 
CENTRAL DIVISON
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
CHICAGO148.6367-47-42-18-56-41 W
MILWAUKEE148.6367-47-44-010-58-28 W
CLEVELAND1210.5452.05-67-41-08-55-53 W
INDIANA915.3756.06-53-101-35-113-73 L
DETROIT417.1909.52-82-91-53-112-87 L
 
SOUTHEAST DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
WASHINGTON148.6368-26-63-49-65-51 W
MIAMI139.5911.06-37-63-17-46-42 L
ATLANTA1210.5452.08-24-83-17-58-21 W
CHARLOTTE1311.5422.07-26-94-29-66-43 L
ORLANDO518.2179.52-83-100-52-162-81 W
 
WESTERN CONFERENCE
NORTHWEST DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
UTAH147.6678-46-34-09-26-42 W
PORTLAND1111.5003.510-11-101-26-86-41 W
MINNESOTA1111.5003.57-64-50-17-87-31 L
DENVER1011.4764.07-43-72-26-63-71 L
OKLAHOMA CITY615.2868.04-72-80-26-81-97 L
 
PACIFIC DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
PHOENIX183.8579-29-13-113-310-017 W
GOLDEN STATE183.85711-17-24-110-28-21 L
LA LAKERS1211.5227.08-64-51-36-75-52 W
LA CLIPPERS1111.5007.59-72-40-38-93-73 L
SACRAMENTO914.39110.03-86-63-37-114-61 W
 
SOUTHWEST DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
DALLAS119.5506-35-66-09-44-61 W
MEMPHIS1110.5240.57-54-51-19-55-52 W
SAN ANTONIO613.3164.54-62-70-31-103-72 W
NEW ORLEANS618.2507.03-83-101-25-104-61 L
HOUSTON516.2386.54-51-110-23-124-64 W

NHL STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
ATLANTIC DIVISION
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS2417613517745210-3-17-3-09-1-0
FLORIDA PANTHERS2215433315826012-1-03-3-35-3-2
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING211254281067607-3-25-2-26-2-2
DETROIT RED WINGS241293271167758-2-24-7-15-4-1
BOSTON BRUINS191180221057537-4-04-4-06-4-0
BUFFALO SABRES22811319764776-6-12-5-23-6-1
MONTREAL CANADIENS24616214655854-7-12-9-13-6-1
OTTAWA SENATORS2041519448793-8-01-7-11-9-0
 
METROPOLITAN DIVISION
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
WASHINGTON CAPITALS231445331482577-1-37-3-27-2-1
CAROLINA HURRICANES211551311567476-2-09-3-15-4-1
NEW YORK RANGERS211443311364556-1-18-3-28-2-0
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS23108525965665-5-25-3-35-4-1
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS201280241067658-3-04-5-05-5-0
NEW JERSEY DEVILS2097422859636-4-23-3-24-4-2
PHILADELPHIA FLYERS2189420850654-4-24-5-22-6-2
NEW YORK ISLANDERS17510212532520-4-05-6-22-8-0
 
WESTERN CONFERENCE
CENTRAL DIVISION
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
MINNESOTA WILD221561311383668-2-07-4-16-3-1
ST. LOUIS BLUES221273271075627-3-15-4-24-5-1
NASHVILLE PREDATORS221291251164637-4-05-5-16-4-0
DALLAS STARS201172241057567-2-14-5-17-3-0
WINNIPEG JETS22108424960617-3-13-5-34-5-1
COLORADO AVALANCHE191171231076647-2-14-5-07-3-0
CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS21712216645675-5-12-7-16-4-0
ARIZONA COYOTES23516212542822-6-13-10-14-5-1
 
PACIFIC DIVISION
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
EDMONTON OILERS211650321482619-1-07-4-07-3-0
CALGARY FLAMES221345311272434-2-39-2-26-2-2
ANAHEIM DUCKS241383291281709-4-14-4-26-4-0
SAN JOSE SHARKS221291251260605-4-17-5-05-5-0
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS2212100241171707-5-05-5-06-4-0
LOS ANGELES KINGS2198422857596-5-23-3-24-3-3
SEATTLE KRAKEN23813218868815-6-03-7-24-5-1
VANCOUVER CANUCKS24814218759763-6-15-8-13-7-0