INDIANA HIGH SCHOOL BOYS BASKETBALL

CARMEL70ANDERSON45 
DELTA39HARRISON (WEST LAFAYETTE)36 
EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL55FOREST PARK49 
GIBSON SOUTHERN54PIKE CENTRAL50 
INDIANAPOLIS RITTER57SPEEDWAY54OT
INDIANAPOLIS TINDLEY66DECATUR CENTRAL51 
JASPER65EVANSVILLE CENTRAL39 
KOUTS58BRISTOL (OHIO)52 
LAFAYETTE JEFF64INDIANAPOLIS SHORTRIDGE36 
MISHAWAKA MARIAN62ANDREAN31 
NORTHEASTERN50LAPEL36 
OHIO COUNTY (KY.)56CASTLE53 
PLAINFIELD51MCCUTCHEON45 
SHELBYVILLE58FRANKLIN49 
SHENANDOAH45FRANKTON29 
WINCHESTER59BLUFFTON36 
BI COUNTY TOURNAMENT
COVINGTON52FOUNTAIN CENTRAL23 
BISMARCK-HENNING (ILL.) TOURNAMENT
INDIANA MATH & SCIENCE69HERITAGE (ILL.)47 
BOONE GROVE-HEBRON TOURNAMENT
HEBRON62TRI-COUNTY47 
BOONE GROVE72SOUTH BEND CAREER44 
ILLIANA CHRISTIAN68WINAMAC42 
MARQUETTE CATHOLIC74SOUTH BEND CAREER49 
WINAMAC59TRI-COUNTY57 
BOONE GROVE52MARQUETTE CATHOLIC45 
ILLIANA CHRISTIAN70HEBRON51 
CLAY CITY TOURNAMENT
WEST WASHINGTON57BENTON CENTRAL55 
NORTH VERMILLION51RIVERTON PARKE46 
FORT WAYNE NORTH74TRADERS POINT CHRISTIAN54 
MARTINSVILLE54CLAY CITY49 
CLINTON CENTRAL TOURNAMENT
EASTERN (GREENTOWN)56TRI-CENTRAL53 
CARROLL (FLORA)71CLINTON CENTRAL58 
EAST CENTRAL TOURNAMENT
EAST CENTRAL58BOONE COUNTY (KY.)54 
RUSHVILLE63COVINGTON HOLMES (KY.)58 
EAST CENTRAL52RUSHVILLE37 
EDINBURGH TOURNAMENT
LANESVILLE54SOUTH PUTNAM34 
HAUSER59HAGERSTOWN42 
SOUTH DECATUR85NORTH WHITE78 
EDINBURGH60INDIANAPOLIS LUTHERAN48 
HIGHLAND TOURNAMENT
PORTAGE50KANKAKEE VALLEY42 
MUNSTER76LIGHTHOUSE CPA67 
KANKAKEE VALLEY81LIGHTHOUSE CPA63 
PORTAGE42MUNSTER28 
HUNTINGTON NORTH TOURNAMENT
FORT WAYNE SNIDER68HUNTINGTON NORTH66 
FISHERS82NEW HAVEN49 
FORT WAYNE SNIDER70LAKE CENTRAL63 
MERRILLVILLE78NEW HAVEN77 
HUNTINGTON NORTH65LAKE CENTRAL44 
FISHERS74MERRILLVILLE28 
KOKOMO TOURNAMENT
WARREN CENTRAL52GUERIN CATHOLIC50 
BROWNSBURG53SOUTH BEND ADAMS49 
VALPARAISO65SOUTH BEND RILEY42 
KOKOMO63UNIVERSITY61 
LAKELAND CHRISTIAN TOURNAMENT
CLINTON CHRISTIAN51GRANGER CHRISTIAN38 
NORTH JUDSON64COVENANT CHRISTIAN (DEMOTTE)26 
BETHANY CHRISTIAN54LAKELAND CHRISTIAN50 
LAPORTE COUNTY CLASSIC
MICHIGAN CITY79NEW PRAIRIE43 
LEBANON TOURNAMENT
PERRY MERIDIAN48INDIANAPOLIS METROPOLITAN42 
GARY 21ST CENTURY65EVANSVILLE NORTH61 
LEBANON63NEW PALESTINE59 
PERRY MERIDIAN48LOWELL9 
NEW PALESTINE63EVANSVILLE NORTH52 
LEBANON68GARY 21ST CENTURY63 
MIAMI COUNTY INVITATIONAL
CASTON65NORTH MIAMI45 
PERU58MACONAQUAH47 
MONROVIA TOURNAMENT
MITCHELL68MILAN65OT
GREENWOOD CHRISTIAN63MONROVIA25 
TIPTON61SOUTHWESTERN (SHELBYVILLE)47 
TRI-WEST58DANVILLE45 
MORRISTOWN TOURNAMENT
SOUTH DEARBORN66NEW WASHINGTON38 
COVENANT CHRISTIAN61RANDOLPH SOUTHERN48 
CLINTON PRAIRIE54SOUTH RIPLEY49 
MORRISTOWN43NEW WASHINGTON39 
SOUTH RIPLEY64RANDOLPH SOUTHERN51 
COVENANT CHRISTIAN48CLINTON PRAIRIE32 
SOUTH DEARBORN63MORRISTOWN38 
NOBLESVILLE TOURNAMENT
NORWELL49CROWN POINT45 
CHESTERTON64NOBLESVILLE54 
COLUMBUS NORTH57INDIANAPOLIS RONCALLI28 
LAWRENCE CENTRAL61NORTHRIDGE56 
NOBLESVILLE57CROWN POINT50 
CHESTERTON43NORWELL39 
NORTH CENTRAL (OHIO) TOURNAMENT
ONSTED (MICH.)70FREMONT60 
NORTH CENTRAL CLASSIC
FLOYD CENTRAL56AVON55 
NORTH CENTRAL (INDIANAPOLIS)55PARK TUDOR39 
NORTH DAVIESS TOURNAMENT
NORTH DAVIESS33SOUTH KNOX29 
PAOLI62ROCK CREEK ACADEMY54 
FORT WAYNE BLACKHAWK50BARR-REEVE39 
BROWNSTOWN CENTRAL69LOOGOOTEE64 
NORTH DECATUR TOURNAMENT
NORTH DECATUR49RISING SUN45 
INDIANAPOLIS CHATARD48CENTERVILLE16 
INDIANAPOLIS CHATARD55NORTH DECATUR39 
PERRY-SPENCER TOURNAMENT
TELL CITY57VINCENNES LINCOLN49 
BOONVILLE45PERRY CENTRAL34 
HERITAGE HILLS65CORYDON CENTRAL57 
PREBLE SHAWNEE (OHIO) TOURNAMENT
UNION COUNTY68TRI-COUNTY NORTH (OHIO)43 
PROVISO WEST (ILL.) TOURNAMENT
HAMMOND CENTRAL74PROVISO WEST (ILL.)58 
RICHMOND TOURNAMENT
MIAMI VALLEY (OHIO)55VICTORY COLLEGE PREP48 
INDIANAPOLIS HOMESCHOOL55CENTRAL CHRISTIAN35 
SETON CATHOLIC61PURDUE POLY ENGLEWOOD51 
NORTHWOOD51LAWRENCEBURG43 
GREENSBURG53RICHMOND39 
BLOOMINGTON SOUTH47FORT WAYNE NORTHROP33 
CENTRAL CHRISTIAN41VICTORY COLLEGE PREP28 
INDIANAPOLIS HOMESCHOOL49MIAMI VALLEY (OHIO)39 
LAWRENCEBURG75PURDUE POLY ENGLEWOOD36 
NORTHWOOD75SETON CATHOLIC44 
RICHMOND72FORT WAYNE NORTHROP57 
GREENSBURG38BLOOMINGTON SOUTH36 
SILVER CREEK TOURNAMENT
CLARKSVILLE52CHARLESTOWN31 
SILVER CREEK51PROVIDENCE39 
SOUTHRIDGE TOURNAMENT
CHRISTIAN ACADEMY46NORTHEAST DUBOIS26 
SOUTHRIDGE53PRINCETON52 
EVANSVILLE CHRISTIAN58ORLEANS49 
NORTH KNOX52SOUTH CENTRAL (ELIZABETH)37 
WABASH COUNTY TOURNAMENT
SOUTHWOOD45NORTHFIELD41 
WABASH63MANCHESTER49 
WABASH VALLEY TOURNAMENT
CASEY-WESTFIELD (ILL.)68TERRE HAUTE SOUTH58 
GREENCASTLE50MARSHALL (ILL.)27 
NORTHVIEW72SHAKAMAK52 
ROBINSON (ILL.)51SOUTH VERMILLION45 
WEST VIGO55PARKE HERITAGE41 
BLOOMFIELD51CLOVERDALE20 
TERRE HAUTE NORTH50SULLIVAN48 
LINTON-STOCKTON70EDGEWOOD49 
WARSAW CLASSIC
SOUTH BEND WASHINGTON48PENDLETON HEIGHTS47 
FORT WAYNE DWENGER48WARSAW39 
WAWASEE TOURNAMENT
WAWASEE56GARRETT38 
WOODLAN61ROCHESTER34 
ROCHESTER46GARRETT40 
WOODLAN63WAWASEE57OT
UNREPORTED
BLUE RIVERCAMBRIDGE CITY LINCOLNPPD.
PROVIDENCE CRISTO REYINDIANAPOLIS SCECINA7:30 PM
UNION (MODOC)THRIVAL INDY ACADEMYPPD.
BI COUNTY TOURNAMENT
SEEGERATTICA7:30 PM
CENTERVILLERISING SUN6:00 PM

INDIANA HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS BASKETBALL

BEDFORD NORTH LAWRENCE54WARREN CENTRAL43 
CENTER GROVE29BROWNSBURG22 
COLUMBUS NORTH58HENRY CLAY (KY.)53 
COWAN43DELTA36 
DALEVILLE51ELWOOD14 
LANESVILLE43HENRY COUNTY (KY.)11 
OLDENBURG ACADEMY44SWITZERLAND COUNTY39 
TRI53WES-DEL29 
WEST WASHINGTON56CANNELTON15 
WOODLAN56WAYNE TRACE (OHIO)38 
ZIONSVILLE76COLUMBUS EAST59 
BEN DAVIS CLASSIC
BEN DAVIS66AVON54 
JENNINGS COUNTY59MARTINSVILLE28 
JENNINGS COUNTY66AVON42 
BEN DAVIS66MARTINSVILLE28 
BI COUNTY TOURNAMENT
COVINGTON37FOUNTAIN CENTRAL31 
BISMARCK-HENNING (ILL.) TOURNAMENT
NORTH VERMILLION43CISSNA PARK (ILL.)30 
BENTON CENTRAL60SALT FORK (ILL.)26 
EASTERN GREENE TOURNAMENT
BARR-REEVE34SOUTHWESTERN (HANOVER)32 
OWEN VALLEY41BLOOMFIELD372OT
BROWNSTOWN CENTRAL44TRINITY LUTHERAN38 
EASTERN GREENE51LOOGOOTEE27 
NORTH KNOX52SOUTH KNOX41 
EDGEWOOD48PAOLI34 
BLOOMFIELD36SOUTHWESTERN (HANOVER)27 
OWEN VALLEY49BARR-REEVE26 
PAOLI47LOOGOOTEE42 
EDGEWOOD42EASTERN GREENE27 
SOUTH KNOX68TRINITY LUTHERAN56 
BROWNSTOWN CENTRAL46NORTH KNOX44 
FREMONT CLASSIC
FREMONT42STURGIS (MICH.)22 
FREMONT39JIMTOWN25 
GRANT 4 TOURNAMENT
MADISON-GRANT42OAK HILL27 
EASTBROOK54MISSISSINEWA31 
OAK HILL44MISSISSINEWA28 
EASTBROOK41MADISON-GRANT29 
HALL OF FAME TOURNAMENT
WESTFIELD42FRANKLIN40OT
SOUTH BEND WASHINGTON56WASHINGTON28 
FRANKLIN58WASHINGTON47 
SOUTH BEND WASHINGTON52WESTFIELD50 
HOBART CLASSIC
HOBART74HAMMOND NOLL72 
HOBART57HEBRON41 
HAMMOND NOLL44HEBRON33 
LAKELAND CHRISTIAN TOURNAMENT
GRANGER CHRISTIAN44CLINTON CHRISTIAN39 
COVENANT CHRISTIAN (DEMOTTE)28LAKELAND CHRISTIAN27 
LAPORTE COUNTY TOURNAMENT
WESTVILLE66MARQUETTE CATHOLIC45 
NEW PRAIRIE55MICHIGAN CITY33 
MIAMI COUNTY INVITATIONAL
NORTH MIAMI69PERU52 
CASTON56MACONAQUAH48 
NORTH CENTRAL (INDIANAPOLIS) CLASSIC
HAMILTON SOUTHEASTERN65GIBSON SOUTHERN42 
EVANSVILLE NORTH44SPRINGBORO (OHIO)33 
NORTH CENTRAL (INDIANAPOLIS)66BLOOMINGTON NORTH42 
NORTHRIDGE TOURNAMENT
NORTHRIDGE53KNOX39 
ANDREAN43SOUTH BEND ST. JOSEPH34 
RUSHVILLE64NORTHWOOD42 
MERRILLVILLE56FORT WAYNE DWENGER43 
NORTHRIDGE43ANDREAN30 
KNOX79SOUTH BEND ST. JOSEPH69 
FORT WAYNE DWENGER49NORTHWOOD41 
RUSHVILLE54MERRILLVILLE41 
PORTAGE TOURNAMENT
PORTAGE50WINAMAC33 
LAKE CENTRAL41MISHAWAKA MARIAN37 
INDIANAPOLIS CATHEDRAL47WINAMAC12 
MISHAWAKA MARIAN68MCCUTCHEON65 
LAKE CENTRAL66PORTAGE45 
SCOTTSBURG TOURNAMENT
LAWRENCEBURG46BLOOMINGTON SOUTH34 
INDIANAPOLIS CHATARD43SCOTTSBURG36 
EAST CENTRAL49CHARLESTOWN38 
TIPTON TOURNAMENT
CARROLL (FLORA)73COVENANT CHRISTIAN41 
TIPTON57CLINTON CENTRAL18 
EASTERN (GREENTOWN)43WESTERN BOONE32 
CARROLL (FLORA)64TRI-CENTRAL43 
TIPTON60EASTERN (GREENTOWN)24 
TRITON CENTRAL TOURNAMENT
ELKHART49FRANKLIN COUNTY27 
JAC-CEN-DEL51NORTHEASTERN35 
HERITAGE CHRISTIAN55SOUTHPORT25 
DANVILLE67TRITON CENTRAL592OT
TWIN LAKES TOURNAMENT
MOUNT VERNON (FORTVILLE)53CLINTON PRAIRIE41 
PIONEER72LOGANSPORT58 
TWIN LAKES62NORTH WHITE47 
KANKAKEE VALLEY60ROCHESTER53 
ROCHESTER64LOGANSPORT50 
KANKAKEE VALLEY62PIONEER51 
CLINTON PRAIRIE61NORTH WHITE49 
TWIN LAKES48MOUNT VERNON (FORTVILLE)36 
UNION CITY INVITATIONAL
UNION CITY64PURDUE POLY ENGLEWOOD47 
ADAMS CENTRAL46MONROE CENTRAL36 
BLUE RIVER84INDIANA MATH & SCIENCE19 
FORT WAYNE BLACKHAWK58GREENWOOD CHRISTIAN43 
MONROE CENTRAL53PURDUE POLY ENGLEWOOD39 
GREENWOOD CHRISTIAN56INDIANA MATH & SCIENCE13 
VINCENNES LINCOLN TOURNAMENT
VINCENNES LINCOLN69PIKE58 
SILVER CREEK61FRANKLIN CENTRAL44 
PIKE65FRANKLIN CENTRAL43 
SILVER CREEK65VINCENNES LINCOLN45 
VINCENNES RIVET TOURNAMENT
VINCENNES RIVET51JASPER42 
CORYDON CENTRAL57EASTERN (PEKIN)40 
EVANSVILLE MATER DEI44TECUMSEH40 
EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL50LAFAYETTE CENTRAL CATHOLIC42 
WABASH COUNTY TOURNAMENT
SOUTHWOOD61NORTHFIELD50 
WABASH42MANCHESTER41 
WAPAHANI TOURNAMENT
WAPAHANI70MUNCIE BURRIS21 
ALEXANDRIA63CENTERVILLE14 
CENTERVILLE35MUNCIE BURRIS33 
WAPAHANI61ALEXANDRIA52 
WARREN CENTRAL (KY.) TOURNAMENT
JACKSON COUNTY (KY.)55EVANSVILLE BOSSE13 
WHITEFIELD (KY.) TOURNAMENT
CHRISTIAN ACADEMY44SOUTH CENTRAL (ELIZABETH)28 

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

#3 PURDUE 104 NICHOLLS 90

#6 KANSAS 88 NEVADA 61

#10 MICHIGAN STATE 81 HIGH POINT 68

#11 AUBURN 70 #16 LSU 55

#19 ALABAMA 73 #14 TENNESSEE 68

#21 PROVIDENCE 70 #15 SETON HALL 65

#18 KENTUCKY 83 MISSOURI 56

#24 WISCONSIN 89 ILLINOIS STATE 85 OT

BUTLER 63 DEPAUL 59

INDIANA STATE 107 MIDWAY 51

LEHIGH 70 EASTERN CAROLINA 63

AIR FORCE 49 UTAH STATE 47

MIAMI OHIO 91 BUFFALO 81

CENTRAL MICHIGAN 72 KENT STATE 69

MISSISSIPPI STATE 81 ARKANSAS 68

YOUNGSTOWN STATE 96 DEFIANCE 56

BRYANT 80 CENTRAL CONNECTICUT STATE 76

FURMAN 81 SAMFORD 49

ELON 79 NORTHEASTERN 62

GARDNER WEBB 77 GEORGIA 60

NORTH CAROLINA WILMINGTON 70 DELAWARE 68

SYRACUSE 80 CORNELL 68

WAGNERS 72 ST. FRANCIS PA 64

TOLEDO 83 WESTERN MICHIGAN 56

VMI 80 WOFFORD 73

SACRED HEART 69 LONG ISLAND 65

MERRIMACK 74 ST. FRANCIS NY 64

MOREHEAD STATE 63 EASTERN ILLINOIS 50

LOUISVILLE 73 WAKE FOREST 69

TULANE 85 MEMPHIS 84

TEXAS A&M 85 CENTRAL ARKANSAS 59

SMU 74 TULSA 69

IOWA 92 WESTERN ILLINOIS 71

BYU 65 WESTERN UTAH 53

MIAMI, FLORIDA 91 NORTH CAROLINA STATE 83

WEDNESDAY’S BOX SCORES: http://hosted.stats.com/cbk/scoreboard.asp?conf=-1&day=20211229

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

#10 BAYLOR 86 N. TEXAS 65

#22 S. FLORIDA 70 JACKSONVILLE 57

BRYANT 60 CENTRAL CONNECTICUT 53

BUFFALO 92 CENTRAL MICHIGAN 75

LAFAYETTE 59 COLGATE 37

XAVIER 77 BUTLER 52

GRAMBLING 61 NEW ORLEANS 49

EASTERN ILLINOIS 91 MOREHEAD STATE 64

CHARLESTON SOUTHERN 67 WINTHROP 54

HOLY CROSS 63 NAVY 53

LONGWOOD 76 NORTH CAROLINA A&T 45

RICHMOND 90 COPPIN STATE 50

GARDNER WEBB 64 HIGH POINT 50

WEDNESDAY’S BOX SCORES: http://hosted.stats.com/wcbk/scoreboard.asp?conf=-1&day=20211229

NBA SCOREBOARD

NEW YORK 94 DETROIT 85

CHARLOTTE 116 INDIANA 108

LA CLIPPERS 91 BOSTON 82

CHICAGO 131 ATLANTA 117

MEMPHIS 104 LA LAKERS 99

PHOENIX 115 OKLAHOMA CITY 97

UTAH 120 PORTLAND 105

SACRAMENTO 95 DALLAS 94

WEDNESDAY’S BOX SCORES: http://hosted.stats.com/nba/scoreboard.asp

WEEK 17 NFL 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)

NHL SCOREBOARD

NEW JERSEY 4 BUFFALO 3

FLORIDA 4 NY RANGERS 3

WASHINGTON 5 NASHVILLE 3

ST. LOUIS 4 EDMONTON 2

PHILADELPHIA 3 SEATTLE 2

VANCOUVER 2 ANAHEIM 1

WEDNESDAY’S BOX SCORES: http://hosted.stats.com/nhl/scoreboard.asp

COLLEGE FOOTBALL SCOREBOARD

MARYLAND 54 VIRGINIA TECH 10

#19 CLEMSON 20 IOWA STATE 13

#16 OKLAHOMA 47 #14 OREGON 32

TOP NATIONAL HEADLINES

Rodgers says he won’t drag out offseason decision on future

(AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he won’t drag out any offseason decisions regarding his future with the Green Bay Packers.

Rodgers, 38, said he would make a decision after talking to his loved ones as well as team officials such as CEO/President Mark Murphy, general manager Brian Gutekunst and executive vice president/director of football operations Russ Ball.

“I’m just savoring this year as much as anything,” Rodgers said Wednesday. “It won’t be something where I’ll drag it out for months and months. . I’m not going to hold the team back from anything and once I commit – and if it’s committing to move forward here – it will be a quick decision.”

That would represent a change from the most recent offseason, when Rodgers skipped the Packers’ organized team activities and mandatory minicamp in a standoff with team management before reporting to training camp.

Rodgers said he hadn’t ruled out anything, whether it be returning to Green Bay next year, trying to play elsewhere, or even retiring. Rodgers has spent his entire career with the Packers, who selected him with the 24th overall pick in the 2005 draft.

“I think that I’m just enjoying this season for this season,” Rodgers said.

Rodgers noted he wanted to remain effective as long as he was playing. The reigning MVP certainly has done that by throwing 16 touchdown passes and no interceptions over his last five games while dealing with a toe injury that has limited his practice time.

“Wanting to not be a bum on the way out and to still be able to play, I think, is important to me,’ Rodgers said. “If this year has taught me anything, it’s that I still can play, I still have a love for the game, I’m still super competitive and still enjoy the process of the week. I miss practice and it’s tough to not be out there week after week now, but I still do love competing and I love being out there.”

Rodgers’ contract was restructured last summer, making it likely the Packers will either extend him or trade him before the 2022 season due to salary cap considerations. Wide receiver Davante Adams, a 2020 All-Pro, has an expiring contract and says Rodgers’ situation could factor into his own decision.

“We’ll see how everything plays out,” Adams said. “But to a certain extent, I will be connected with 12. It’s just not like, if he goes, I’m not going to be here, or if he stays, I will. It’s something we’ll have to pay attention to, for sure.”

When Rodgers reported to camp, he discussed at a news conference his issues with the organization. At the time, Rodgers said he wanted to have a voice in the decision-making process and believed the organization didn’t treat departing high-character veterans with enough respect.

Since then, Rodgers has praised moves the Packers have made to improve the team, such as the summer addition of linebacker De’Vondre Campbell and the October signing of cornerback Rasul Douglas off the Arizona Cardinals practice squad. Campbell is the Packers’ leading tackler. Douglas is a Pro Bowl alternate with a team-high five interceptions.

The Packers also reacquired wide receiver Randall Cobb from the Houston Texans at the start of training camp. Gutekunst acknowledged that move was made at Rodgers’ suggestion.

“I do appreciate a lot of the things that I’ve seen from the team that are directly related to conversations we had in the offseason, and that was meaningful to me,” Rodgers said. “I’ve enjoyed being a part of conversations that directly affect my job, which I talked about in the offseason, and Brian’s taken the lead in that, and I do appreciate the way our relationship has grown.”

Rodgers said having Cobb as a teammate again “has made this year exponentially greater for me as far as happiness.”

NOTES: CB Jaire Alexander has been activated from injured reserve, though that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s about to return to action. OT David Bakhtiari was activated from injured reserve Nov. 10 and still hasn’t made his season debut. Alexander hasn’t played since injuring his shoulder Oct. 3. “When he’s ready, then he’ll be available, but I think it’s just more or less making sure that everybody feels comfortable with where he’s at and making sure that he’s good for the long haul,” coach Matt LaFleur said. . S Henry Black, P Corey Bojorquez, TE Tyler Davis and DL Kingsley Keke went on the reserve/COVID-19 list. The Packers signed LB Aaron Adeoye, OT Adrian Ealy, CB Jayson Stanley and RB Kerrith Whyte to the practice squad. Stanley’s on the practice squad reserve/COVID-19 list. OL Cole Van Lanen was moved from the practice squad to the active roster as a COVID-19 replacement.

Lamar Jackson expected to practice for Ravens

(AP) — The Baltimore Ravens were expecting Lamar Jackson back at practice Wednesday after the star quarterback missed two games with an ankle injury.

Coach John Harbaugh said Jackson would likely practice on a limited basis. The Ravens also activated five players from the reserve/COVID-19 list: linebackers Tyus Bowser, Justin Houston, Chris Board and Kristian Welch, as well as safety Geno Stone.

Tyler Huntley, who played two weekends ago in Jackson’s place but missed last weekend’s game after landing on the COVID-19 list, is still on that list. Harbaugh expects him back soon, however.

“He’ll be back here, should be back in here tomorrow,” Harbaugh said.

Josh Johnson started at quarterback for the Ravens last weekend in a 41-21 loss at Cincinnati. Baltimore (8-7) is still in the hunt for a postseason spot, but the Ravens have lost four in a row as injuries and COVID-19-related absences have piled up.

Baltimore hosts the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.

Saleh rejoins Jets after clearing COVID-19 protocols

NEW YORK (AP) New York Jets coach Robert Saleh cleared COVID-19 protocols and returned to the facility Wednesday to run practice for the first time since testing positive for the coronavirus last week.

Saleh sat out the team’s 26-21 victory over Jacksonville last Sunday, forced to watch from a hotel room while tight ends coach Ron Middleton assumed the head coaching duties.

Saleh tested positive last Wednesday after feeling symptoms, but still participated in remote team meetings. He was cleared Tuesday night and thrilled to be back Wednesday at the team’s facility in Florham Park, New Jersey.

“It’s like the first day of school,” Saleh said with a laugh. “I’m ready to go another 18 weeks.”

The Jets had as many as 25 players – on the active and practice squad rosters, and injured reserve – on the COVID-19 list as of Tuesday, and got back nine after they also cleared COVID-19 protocols. The NFL reduced the isolation time for players who test positive for COVID-19 and are asymptomatic, including unvaccinated players, to five days from 10.

The decision made Tuesday by the league and the NFL Players Association came after the CDC changed its guidelines for those who are asymptomatic, recommending a five-day isolation period and masking over the second five days.

The team announced backup quarterback Joe Flacco, tight end Kenny Yeboah, defensive linemen Folorunso Fatukasi, Jonathan Marshall and Tanzel Smart, linebackers Hamsah Nasirildeen and Noah Dawkins, and cornerbacks Michael Carter II and Lamar Jackson were expected to practice Wednesday. Smart, Dawkins and Jackson were restored to the practice squad.

Saleh added the Jets are hopeful wide receiver Vyncint Smith, guards Alijah Vera-Tucker and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, defensive linemen John Franklin-Myers and Hamilcar Rashed Jr., and safety Ashtyn Davis will clear COVID-19 protocols later in the week and be able to play against Tampa Bay on Sunday.

The Minnesota Vikings returned running back Dalvin Cook from the COVID-19 list ahead of their crucial game at Green Bay, but wide receiver Adam Thielen will be out after being placed on injured reserve.

Cook was sidelined for Minnesota’s loss to the Rams last week. He was able to take advantage of the NFL’s new shortened quarantine rule, forcing asymptomatic players to sit out only five days, half of the previous requirement. Cook is unvaccinated and declined to discuss that subject when asked Wednesday before practice.

Thielen sprained his left ankle on the opening drive at Detroit on Dec. 5. He returned against the Rams after missing two games, but aggravated the injury twice and barely played in the second half. Thielen must sit out a minimum of three games, meaning the Vikings would have to make the playoffs and win a first-round matchup for him to have an opportunity to play again this season. The 31-year-old Thielen had 726 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2021.

The Vikings (7-8) play the Packers (12-3) on Sunday night. They’re in eighth place in the NFC, one game behind San Francisco and Philadelphia. The 49ers and Eagles currently hold the final two wild-card spots.

Also:

-Buffalo also had a few key players activated from the COVID-19 list, including two of its top wide receivers in Cole Beasley and Gabriel Davis, right guard Jon Feliciano and defensive end A.J. Epenesa.

-Indianapolis activated standout guard Quenton Nelson, fellow guard Mark Glowinski, defensive end Kemoko Turay and cornerback Rock Ya-Sin from the COVID-19 list. The team also activated tight end Farrod Green from the practice squad list and placed quarterback James Morgan and tight end Eli Wolf on the that list.

Lock preparing for another start with Bridgewater still out

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) Teddy Bridgewater remains sidelined with a concussion, so Drew Lock is preparing to make his second straight start Sunday when the Denver Broncos visit the Los Angeles Chargers.

Lock completed 15 of 22 passes for 153 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions in Denver’s 17-13 loss at Las Vegas last week. It was his first start since losing his job to Bridgewater last summer.

Although he didn’t turn over the ball for just the fourth time in 25 career starts, the Broncos (7-8) faded from the playoff picture with a bungling offense that went 1 for 10 on third downs and rushed for a mere 18 yards.

That ineptitude led coach Vic Fangio to demur when asked what he thought of Lock’s performance afterward. He suggested “it’s hard to say anything good about the offense” when it took just one snap inside the Raiders 30-yard line – which came after Bradley Chubb returned an interception to the Las Vegas 1.

“Well, for one, we took care of the football,” Lock said Wednesday. “No turnovers. And when you have zero turnovers in a game that gives you most of the time the best chance to win the game.”

Since 2019, 120 teams have had a plus-3 turnover margin like the Broncos had Sunday and those teams are 106-13-1. The Broncos are 0-2.

Another positive from his first start since last Jan. 3, Lock said, was he felt comfortable from the get-go.

“I felt like I’d been playing all year and when you get to feel like that as a quarterback that brings a comfort, you get a lot of positive thoughts in the head, so to say,” Lock said. “It felt good to be out there. There was zero nerves, zero anxiety, zero anything.

“So, I’m looking forward to being able to go back out there feeling that way, feeling confident, knowing the game plan extremely well and trying to get these guys the ball, and just making plays when I’m out there.”

Lock said he got a jump-start on his preparation for the Chargers (8-7) through the cameo he had against them in Denver’s 28-13 win at home on Nov. 28 when Bridgewater was briefly sidelined with a bruised shin.

“I’m excited to be able to dive in as a starter again against a really good defense,” Lock said. “There’s a lot that goes into the prep every single week, but it does help to play them a little bit, kind of have a feel for who they are and how to attack them the second time around.”

The Broncos have a less than 1% chance of ending their long playoff drought, but they can halt their four-year run of losing seasons with wins over the Chargers and Chiefs to close out the schedule.

“That’s our No. 1 goal for us is to win these next two games,” Lock said.

They know they’ll have to find their ground game mojo again to finish 9-8.

“I think every team every Sunday has to establish a run game and when you have some trouble with it, it does make it a little difficult,” Lock said. “But if you watch all of our games throughout this year, there’s been minimal times when the run game has not been awesome.”

Rookie Javonte Williams has 1,123 scrimmage yards and seven scores and Melvin Gordon has 943 scrimmage yards and nine TDs. But last week, Williams ran seven times for 12 yards and Gordon had the worst game of his career: minus-4 yards on seven carries.

“It was one of those days, in my eyes,” Lock said. “We’re going to get back on track. We’re going to bust our butt in practice this week and get those guys back rolling. The offensive line is ready to go out there and kind of prove some of the negative things that have been said about them wrong, and I’m excited for them to go out there and show that.”

REMEMBERING MADDEN

Fangio relayed some fond memories of production meetings with John Madden, the Hall of Fame NFL coach and broadcaster who died Tuesday at age 85.

“The thing I always respected about John as a broadcaster was that he did his job without being in attack mode,” Fangio said. “You know, even when he was second-guessing a player or a coach for something they may have done wrong or he disagreed with, he did it with a touch of class all the time and didn’t have venom in his approach. And I think that bought him a lot of friends and respect throughout the league.”

Notes: The Broncos activated C Lloyd Cushenberry III off the reserve/COVID-19 list and placed WR Tim Patrick, T Calvin Anderson and S Caden Sterns on the virus list along with practice squad WR Tyrie Cleveland.

Panthers bench Newton, will start Darnold at QB vs. Saints

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Panthers coach Matt Rhule says Sam Darnold will start at quarterback on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints instead of 2015 league MVP Cam Newton.

Newton is 0-5 as Carolina’s starting quarterback this year and has lost 13 straight starts as the Panthers starting QB dating back to the 2018 season. Newton won seven games in 2020 during a one-year stint with the New England Patriots.

“Sam has been working hard to get back,” Rhule said Wednesday. “He played well in this ballgame the first time (they played the Saints) and I thought he did some good things last week” in a 32-6 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Panthers (5-10) were eliminated from playoff contention last week.

Darnold started the season 3-0 after being acquired from the New York Jets for three draft picks, but has a 1-5 record in his last six starts.

He led the Panthers to a 26-7 win over the Saints in Week 2, completing 26 of 38 passes for 305 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

Rhule said Newton will be ready to play if needed, but wouldn’t commit to using him in two-quarterbacks role as he did last week with both QBs rotating against Tampa Bay.

“We understand the business that we are in,” Darnold said when asked if he has spoken with Newton. “It is what is is and we are both very professional. With that being said, me and Cam are cool with each and I will leave it at that.”

Newton has completed just 54.8% of his passes this season and thrown for 676 yards in his five starts with five interceptions and four touchdown passes. He has also run for 225 yards and five TDs.

When asked how he’s handled the news of his benching, Rhule said Newton has been “the ultimate professional” and added that the 11-year NFL veteran showed “as much energy on the practice field as anyone.”

The Panthers have more committed to Darnold than Newton.

Darnold is under contract for more than $18 million next season because GM Scott Fitterer picked up the fifth-year rookie option in his contract before ever seeing him play a down for Carolina.

Newton, on the other hand, is an unrestricted free agent and it’s not expected he’ll re-sign with Carolina.

Darnold missed five games with a shoulder injury, but said he’s now healthy.

“I got an appreciation for the game,” Darnold said. “It’s a cliche, but you don’t realize what you have until it is gone. When you’re out it sucks to watch and not have anything to do with wins and losses.”

In other quarterback-related news, the Panthers added third QB P.J. Walker to the COVID-19 reserve list. The Panthers now have 11 players on the list.

The news comes one day after Carolina cut quarterback Matt Barkley.

NOTES: Rhule said cornerback Stephon Gilmore has been ruled out for Sunday’s game due to a groin injury. Gilmore is the fourth Carolina cornerback to go down with an injury this season, joining Jaycee Horn, Donte Jackson and A.J. Bouye on the sideline.

NFL PREVIEWS

LOS ANGELES RAMS (11-4) AT BALTIMORE RAVENS (8-7)

SUNDAY, JAN. 2, 2022 // 1:00 PM ET // M&T BANK STADIUM // REFEREE: BILL VINOVICH

LEADER: Ravens lead all-time series, 5-2

STREAKS: Ravens have won past 4

LAST GAME: 11/25/19: Ravens 45 at Rams 6

LAST GAME AT SITE: 11/22/15: Ravens 16, Rams 13

QB MATTHEW STAFFORD ranks 2nd in NFL in pass TDs (36), 3rd in rating (104) & 4th in pass yards (4,339) in 2021. Is 1 of 3 (JOE BURROW & AARON RODGERS) with 9 games of 100+ rating this season. Has 8 games with 3+ TD passes, most in NFL in 2021. • RB SONY MICHEL had season-high 135 scrimmage yards (131 rush, 16 rec.) & 3rd rush TD of season last week. Since Week 13, leads all RBs in scrimmage yards (458). RB CAM AKERS had 1,020 scrimmage yards (846 rush, 174 rec.) & 5 TDs (4 rush, 1 rec.) in 15 games, incl. playoffs, in 2020. • WR COOPER KUPP leads NFL with 132 receptions, 5th-most alltime in single season. Leads league with 1,734 & can become 5th player all-time with 1,800+ rec. yards in single season. Is 1st player in NFL history with 14 games with 90+ rec. yards in single season. Can become 5th player all-time with 5+ catches in 20 straight games. WR ODELL BECKHAM JR. has rec. TD in 4 of his past 5 & aims for his 4th in row on road with TD catch. • DL AARON DONALD has 6 sacks in his past 4 & aims for his 5th in row with sack. Needs 2.5 sacks to become 4th player since 1982 with 100+ sacks in his 1st 8 seasons. LB VON MILLER has 6 TFL in 6 games with LAR in 2021. Has TFL in 3 of his 4 career games vs. Bal. Leads all active players with 111.5 career sacks. LB LEONARD FLOYD needs 1 sack for 2nd-straight 10- sack season. CB JALEN RAMSEY has PD in 7 of his past 8 & aims for his 4th in row with PD. Is only DB with 10+ PD (14) & 8+ TFL (8) in 2021.

QB LAMAR JACKSON completed 15 of 20 atts. (75 pct.) for 169 yards & 5 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 139.4 rating & rushed for 95 yards in last meeting. Has 95+ rush yards in each of his 4 career starts vs. NFC West. Is 12-0 with 26 TDs (20 pass, 6 rush) & 98 rating in 12 career starts vs. NFC & can become 2nd QB ever to win 1st 13 starts vs. one conference (BOBBY HEBERT vs. AFC). QB JOSH JOHNSON passed for 304 yards & 2 TDs vs. INT for 98.3 rating in 1st start of season last week. • RB DEVONTA FREEMAN rushed for 5th TD of season in Week 16, his 4th-career season with 5+ rush TDs. Had 68 scrimmage yards (35 rec., 33 rush) in his last game vs. LAR (10/4/20 w/ NYG). Has 60+ scrimmage yards in 2 of his past 3 at home. • TE MARK ANDREWS had 8 catches for 125 yards & TD last week & became 2nd TE ever (JIMMY GRAHAM) with 100+ rec. yards & TD in 3 straight games. Aims for 8th in row with 50+ rec. yards. Leads TEs with 93 catches & 1,187 rec. yards & tied for lead with 9 rec. TDs. WR MARQUISE BROWN aims for 9th in row with 5+ catches. Had 2 rec. TDs in last meeting. WR JAMES PROCHE set career highs in catches (7) & rec. yards (76) last week. • LB PATRICK QUEEN had 9 tackles & had TFL & PD in Week 16. Aims for 3rd in row with 9+ tackles. Has TFL in 3 of his past 4 at home. LB JOSH BYNES aims for 5th in row with 6+ tackles. Has PD in 3 of his past 4 vs. LAR. DT BRODERICK WASHINGTON had 1st-career sack last week. S TONY JEFFERSON tied for team lead with 9 tackles & had 1st sack & PD of season in Week 16.

ATLANTA FALCONS (7-8) AT BUFFALO BILLS (9-6)

SUNDAY, JAN. 2, 2022 // 1:00 PM ET // HIGHMARK STADIUM // REFEREE: LAND CLARK

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

STREAKS: Bills have won 4 of past 5

LAST GAME: 10/1/17: Bills 23 at Falcons 17

LAST GAME AT SITE: 12/1/13: Falcons 34, Bills 31

QB MATT RYAN completed 18 of 24 atts. (75 pct.) for 215 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs for 115.8 rating last week. Has 366 career pass TDs, tied with ELI MANNING for 9th-most all-time. Needs 1 TD pass to become 5th QB with 20+ TD passes in 13-straight seasons all-time. Aims for his 3rd in row on road & 5th in row overall with 90+ rating. • RB CORDARRELLE PATTERSON has career-highs in rush yards (579), rec. yards (523) & scrimmage TDs (6 rush, 5 rec.). Is 1 of 2 (AUSTIN EKELER) with 500+ rush yards, 500+ rec. yards, 5+ rush TDs & 5+ rec. TDs in 2021. Has 3 rush TDs in his past 3 on road. RB MIKE DAVIS has 600+ scrimmage yards (677) for 3rd time in past 4 seasons. • TE KYLE PITTS is 2nd rookie TE all-time (HOFer MIKE DITKA) with 900+ rec. yards (949) & 4th rookie TE ever (EVAN ENGRAM, KEITH JACKSON & JEREMY SHOCKEY) with 60+ receptions (64). Had 102 rec. yards last week & became 3rd rookie TE (HOFer MIKE DITKA & CHARLE YOUNG) with 100+ rec. yards in 3+ games (3). WR RUSSELL GAGE has rec. TD in 2 of his past 3 on road & aims for his 4th in row on road with 60+ rec. yards. • LB FOYESADE OLUOKUN led team with 14 tackles last week & ranks 2nd in NFL with career-high 166 tackles. Is 1 of 4 with 10 games with 10+ tackles in 2021. LB DEION JONES had 10 tackles last week & has 100+ tackles (123) for 5th time in 6 career seasons. CB A.J. TERRELL has 12 PD in 7 road games in 2021 & aims for his 4th in row on road with PD.

 QB JOSH ALLEN completed 30 of 47 atts. (63.8 pct.) for 314 yards & 3 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 104.4 rating & rushed for 64 yards last week, his 5th-career game with 300+ pass yards & 50+ rush yards, 2nd-most all-time. Aims for 3rd in row with 3+ TD passes & 4th in row with 2+ TD passes. Is 1st player ever with 100+ TD passes (101) & 20+ rush TDs (29) in 1st 4 seasons. • RB DEVIN SINGLETARY had 78 scrimmage yards (39 rush, 39 rec.) & rush TD last week. Aims for 4th in row with 75+ scrimmage yards & 3rd in row with rush TD. • WR STEFON DIGGS had 7 catches for 85 yards & TD in Week 16. Aims for 3rd in row with rec. TD. Has 50+ rec. yards in 4 of past 5. Has TD catch in 3 of past 4 at home. Leads team with 1,092 rec. yards & is 2nd player in franchise history (STEVIE JOHNSON) with 1,000+ rec. yards in consecutive seasons. WR ISAIAH MCKENZIE set career highs in catches (11) & rec. yards (125) & had 1st rec. TD of season last week. TE DAWSON KNOX had career-high 9th rec. TD of season in Week 16, tied-most among TEs & most-ever by Buf. TE. • S MICAH HYDE had 6 tackles & 2 INTs last week, his 2nd-career game with 2 INTs. Aims for 3rd in row with PD & 4th in row with 6+ tackles. Had 2 INTs & TFL in last meeting. S JORDAN POYER had TFL in Week 16. Has 6+ tackles in 3 of past 4. LB TREMAINE EDMUNDS led team with 8 tackles last week. Aims for 10th in row with 7+ tackles. DT ED OLIVER had 1st full sack of season last week. Has TFL in 4 of his past 5 at home.

NEW YORK GIANTS (4-11) AT CHICAGO BEARS (5-10)

SUNDAY, JAN. 2, 2022 // 1:00 PM ET // SOLDIER FIELD // REFEREE: SHAWN HOCHULI

LEADER: Bears lead all-time series, 30-21-2

STREAKS: Bears have won past 2

LAST GAME: 9/20/20: Giants 13 at Bears 17

LAST GAME AT SITE: 9/20/20

QB MIKE GLENNON completed 17 of 27 atts. (63 pct.) & had TD vs. INT last week. Completed 24 of 37 atts. (64.9 pct.) & had 2 TDs vs. 2 INTs in his last start vs. Chi. (12/27/20 w/ Jax.). • RB SAQUON BARKLEY has 234 scrimmage yards (78 per game) in 3 career games vs. Chi. Has 50+ scrimmage yards in 3 of his past 4 on road & 50+ scrimmage yards in 5 of his past 6 overall. Is 1 of 7 RBs to average 100+ scrimmage yards per game (101.6) since 2018. RB DEVONTAE BOOKER has 50+ scrimmage yards in 4 of his past 6 on road. Has 789 scrimmage yards (533 rush, 256 rec.) & needs 89 scrimmage yards for new career high (877 in 2016). • TE EVAN ENGRAM had 3rd rec. TD of season in Week 16. Had 6 catches for 65 yards in last meeting. Is 1 of 3 TEs (TRAVIS KELCE & GEORGE KITTLE) with 40+ receptions in each of past 5 seasons. Rookie WR KADARIUS TONEY has 4+ catches in 3 of his past 4. • LB LORENZO CARTER had sack, FF & PD in Week 16 & aims for his 3rd in row with sack, FF & PD. Aims for his 3rd in row at Chi. with sack. LB AZEEZ OJULARI ranks 3rd among rookies with 8 sacks. DB LOGAN RYAN had 2 PD last week. Had FF in last meeting. Ranks 4th among DBs with 105 tackles. S JULIAN LOVE had INT in last meeting & aims for his 3rd in row vs. Chi. with INT. Has career-high 7 PD in 2021. CB JAMES BRADBERRY had 4 PD & INT in last meeting. Aims for his 4th in row with PD. Is only player with 10+ PD in each of past 6 seasons. • QB JUSTIN FIELDS (rookie) has 80+ rating 2 of his past 3 starts at home. Has TD pass & 30+ rush yards in 4 of his past 5 starts. Ranks 4th among QBs with 420 rush yards in 2021.

QB NICK FOLES completed 24 of 35 atts. (68.6 pct.) for 250 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs for 98.5 rating in 1st start of season last week. Has 8 TDs vs. 2 INTs for 102.7 rating in 3 career games vs. NYG. • RB DAVID MONTGOMERY had 7 catches & 106 scrimmage yards (61 rec., 45 rush) with 5th rush TD of season in Week 16. Aims for his 5th in row with 5+ catches & 80+ scrimmage yards. Needs 10 scrimmage yards for 3rd-straight 1,000-yard season. Had 127 scrimmage yards (82 rush, 45 rec.) & TD catch in last meeting. Rookie RB KHALIL HERBERT had 2nd-career rush TD in Week 16. • WR DARNELL MOONEY had 5 catches & 57 rec. yards last week. Had rec. TD in last meeting. Has 5+ receptions in 5 of his past 6 & aims for his 9th in row at home with 5+ catches. TE JIMMY GRAHAM had 85th-career rec. TD last week, 4th-most by TE all-time. • LB ROBERT QUINN ranks 2nd in NFL with 17 sacks. Aims for his 8th in row with sack & 11th in row with TFL. Had sack & FF in last meeting. LB ROQUAN SMITH led team with 9 tackles & 2 TFL last week. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. NYG with TFL. Ranks 4th in NFL with career-high 149 tackles. DT AKIEM HICKS has 3 sacks in his past 3 at home & aims for his 4th in row at home with TFL. Had sack & 2 TFL in last meeting.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (11-4) AT CINCINNATI BENGALS (9-6)

SUNDAY, JAN. 2, 2022 // 1:00 PM ET // PAUL BROWN STADIUM // REFEREE: JOHN HUSSEY

LEADER: Bengals lead all-time series, 15-14

STREAKS: Bengals have won 4 of past 5

LAST GAME: 10/21/18: Bengals 10 at Chiefs 45

LAST GAME AT SITE: 10/4/15: Bengals 36, Chiefs 21

CHIEFS clinched AFC West for 6th consecutive season. • QB PATRICK MAHOMES completed 23 of 30 atts. (76.7 pct.) for 258 yards & 3 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 135.1 rating last week. Aims for 4th in row with 2+ TD passes & 105+ rating. Passed for 358 yards & 4 TDs vs. INT for 123.7 rating in last meeting. Aims for 3rd in row on road with 400+ pass yards & 3+ TD passes. Has 90+ rating in 5 of 6 road starts in 2021. Is 2nd QB ever (HOFer PEYTON MANNING) with 4,000+ pass yards in 4 of 1st 5 seasons. • RB DARREL WILLIAMS had 85 scrimmage yards (55 rush, 30 rec.) last week. Has 50+ scrimmage yards in 4 of his past 5 on road. RB CLYDE EDWARDS-HELAIRE had rush TD last week & has rush TD in 2 of past 3. RB DERRICK GORE had career-high 104 scrimmage yards (61 rec., 43 rush) in Week 16. • TE TRAVIS KELCE had 5 catches for 95 yards in last meeting. Aims for his 9th in row vs. AFC North with 75+ rec. yards. Is 1st TE ever with 1,000+ rec. yards in 6 straight seasons. WR TYREEK HILL had 7 catches for 68 yards & TD in last meeting. Aims for 3rd in row in road with 80+ rec. yards & TD catch. WR BYRON PRINGLE led team with season-high 6 catches for 75 yards & career-high 2 TDs last week. • CB CHARVARIUS WARD had TFL & 2nd INT of season in Week 16. Has PD in 4 of past 5. CB L’JARIUS SNEED had TFL & PD last week. DE FRANK CLARK had sack last week. Has 0.5+ sacks in 2 of past 3. DT TERSHAWN WHARTON had sack & FF in Week 16. Aims for 3rd in row with FF. Has sack in 2 of past 3.

QB JOE BURROW completed 37 of 46 atts. (80.4 pct.) for career high 525 yards & 4 TDs vs. 0 INTs for career-high 143.2 rating last week, the 4th-most passing yards in a single game in NFL history. Has 3 career games with 400+ pass yards, tied with HOFer DAN MARINO for most-ever by player in 1st 2 seasons. Aims for 4th in row with 100+ rating. Has 300+ pass yards in 3 of past 4. Leads AFC & ranks 2nd in NFL with 105 rating. • RB JOE MIXON had 135 scrimmage yards (season-high 70 rec., 65 rush) & 2 TDs (1 rush, 1 rec.) last week, his 5th game with 2+ TDs this season, tied-most in NFL. Rushed for 50 yards in last meeting. Has rush TD in 8 of his past 9 at home. Ranks 2nd in NFL with 1,159 rush yards & 3rd with career-high 13 rush TDs. • WR JA’MARR CHASE (rookie) had 7 catches for 125 yards last week, his 4th game with 100+ rec. yards, most among rookies. Aims for 4th in row at home with 5+ catches & 50+ rec. yards. WR TEE HIGGINS set career highs in catches (12) & rec. yards (194) & had 2 rec. TDs in Week 16. Has 100+ rec. yards in 4 of past 5. Chase (1,163) & Higgins (1,029) 1st pair of teammates ever each under age of 23 with 1,000 rec. yards each. WR TYLER BOYD aims for 3rd in row with 85+ rec. yards & TD catch. • DE TREY HENDRICKSON had sack last week & is 2nd player since 1982 (CHRIS JONES in 2018) with 0.5+ sacks in 11 straight games within single season. Had 2 sacks & FF in only career game vs. KC (12/20/20 w/ NO.). S VONN BELL had 2 PD & 1st INT of season last week. Aims for 5th in row with 5+ tackles.

LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (8-7) AT INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (9-6)

SUNDAY, JAN. 2, 2022 // 1:00 PM ET // LUCAS OIL STADIUM // REFEREE: BRAD ROGERS

LEADER: Raiders lead all-time series, 9-8

STREAKS: Colts have won 2 of past 3

LAST GAME: 12/13/20: Colts 44 at Raiders 27

LAST GAME AT SITE: 9/29/19: Raiders 31, Colts 24

QB DEREK CARR completed 20 of 25 atts. (80 pct.) for 201 yards & TD vs. INT for 96.8 rating last week. Has 70+ comp. pct. in 3 of past 4. Has 12 TDs (10 pass, 2 rush) vs. 2 INTs for 108.9 rating in 4 career starts vs. Ind. Aims for his 5th in row vs. Ind. with 2+ TD passes. Ranks 3rd in NFL with career-high 4,363 pass yards, his 4th-straight season with 4,000+ pass yards. • RB JOSH JACOBS tied career high with 129 rush yards last week. Aims for 6th in row with 70+ scrimmage yards & 3rd in row with 90+ scrimmage yards. Had 108 scrimmage yards (79 rush, 29 rec.) in last road meeting. Needs 4 yards to join HOFer MARCUS ALLEN as only players in franchise history with 1,000+ scrimmage yards in each of 1st 3 seasons. • TE DARREN WALLER had 7 catches for 75 yards in last meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Ind. with 7+ catches & 50+ rec. yards. TE FOSTER MOREAU aims for 3rd in row with 65+ rec yards. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Ind. with TD catch. WR ZAY JONES aims for 4th in row with 5+ catches & 3rd in row with 50+ rec. yards. HUNTER RENFROW had TD catch last week & has rec. TD in 2 of past 3. Had 5 catches in last meeting. • LB DENZEL PERRYMAN had 5 tackles last week & has 5+ tackles in each of his 13 games this season. Had 9 tackles & sack in only career game at Ind. (9/25/16 w/ SD). DE MAXX CROSBY had 2 TFL & 6th sack of season in Week 16. Has TFL in 3 of past 4. Had 2 TFL in last meeting. Had FF in last road meeting. DT QUINTON JEFFERSON had sack last week. Aims for 4th in row with TFL.

QB SAM EHLINGER (rookie) expected to make 1st-career start. Was selected in 6th round of 2021 NFL Draft out of Texas. • RB JONATHAN TAYLOR aims for 4th in row with 100+ rush yards. Has rush TD in 11 of past 12. Aims for his 7th in row at home with 95+ scrimmage yards & rush TD. Rushed for 150 yards & 2 TDs in last meeting. Leads NFL with 19 TDs (17 rush, 2 pass) & 1,962 scrimmage yards (1,626 rush, 336 rec.) & can become 1st player in franchise history with 20+ TDs & 2,000+ scrimmage yards in single season. RB NYHEIM HINES had 75 scrimmage yards (58 rush, 17 rec.) in last meeting. • WR MICHAEL PITTMAN had 8 catches for 82 yards last week. Has 6+ catches & 75+ rec yards in 2 of past 3. Has 50+ rec. yards in 4 of his past 5 at home. WR T.Y. HILTON had 51 rec. yards & TD catch in Week 16. Had 5 catches for 86 yards & 2 TDs in last meeting. Had 85+ rec. yards in 2 of past 3 vs. Raiders. WR DEZMON PATMON had 1st-career TD catch last week. TE MO ALIE-COX had 42 rec. yards in Week 16. • LB DARIUS LEONARD has 10+ tackles, FF & PD in 2 of his past 3. Had 11 tackles & TFL in last meeting. Is only player since 2000 with 15+ FFs (15) & 10+ INTs (10) in 1st 4 seasons. LB E.J. SPEED led team with career-high 9 tackles & had PD last week. CB KENNY MOORE has 2 PD in 2 of past 3. Had 5 tackles, INT & FF in last meeting. Has PD in 2 of 3 career games vs. Raiders. S KHARI WILLIS had 50-yard INT-TD, only career TD, in last meeting. Has TFL in 2 of his past 3 at home.

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (2-13) AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (9-6)

SUNDAY, JAN. 2, 2022 // 1:00 PM ET // GILLETTE STADIUM // REFEREE: ADRIAN HILL

LEADER: Patriots lead all-time series, 7-1

STREAKS: Patriots have won 7 of past 8

LAST GAME: 9/16/18: Patriots 20 at Jaguars 31

LAST GAME AT SITE: 9/27/15: Patriots 51, Jaguars 17

QB TREVOR LAWRENCE (rookie) completed 26 of 39 atts. (66.7 pct.) for 280 yards & rushed for 37 yards last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 0 INTs. Aims for 4th in row with 200+ pass yards. Leads rookies with 319 completions & ranks 2nd with 3,225 pass yards. Needs 47 pass yards for most pass yards in season ever by Jax. rookie. • RB DARE OGUNBOWALE had season-high 72 scrimmage yards (57 rush, 15 rec.) & 1st rush TD of season last week. • WR MARVIN JONES had season-high 8 catches for 74 yards in Week 16. Has 6+ catches in 2 of past 3. Had 4 catches for 69 yards & TD in his last game vs. NE (9/23/18 w/ Det.). Aims for his 3rd in row on road with 70+ rec. yards. WR LAQUON TREADWELL aims for 6th in row with 50+ rec. yards. WR TAVON AUSTIN had season-high 6 catches & 89 scrimmage yards (68 rec., 21 rush) last week. TE JAMES O’SHAUGHNESSY aims for 3rd in row with 45+ rec. yards & 4th in row with 4+ catches. • DE JIHAD WARD had 2nd sack of season last week. Has sack in 2 of past 3. Aims for his 3rd in row on road with sack. Had sack in his last game vs. NE (11/3/19 w/ Bal.). LB CHAPELLE RUSSELL tied for team lead with career-high 7 tackles last week. LB DAMIEN WILSON had PD last week. CB SHAQUILL GRIFFIN had PD in Week 16. Has PD in 2 of his past 3 on road. Rookie CB TYSON CAMPBELL tied for team lead with 7 tackles last week. Ranks tied-3rd among rookies with 9 PD this season. Ranks 2nd among rookie DBs with 61 tackles.

QB MAC JONES (rookie) has 2+ TD passes & 100+ rating in 5 of his past 6 home starts. Has 0 INTs in 3 of his past 4 at home. Leads rookies in comp. pct. (67.2), pass yards (3,313), TD passes (18) & rating (90.2). Can become 1st NE rookie QB ever with 20+ TD passes. • RB DAMIEN HARRIS rushed for 103 yards & career-high 3 TDs last week. Aims for 4th in row with rush TD & 3rd in row with 100+ rush yards. Has TD in each of his 3 career games vs. AFC South. Ranks 4th in NFL with career-high 12 rush TDs. RB RHAMONDRE STEVENSON has rush TD in 2 of his past 3 at home. RB BRANDON BOLDEN had TD catch in his last game vs. Jax. (12/23/18 w/ Mia.). • WR JAKOBI MEYERS led team with 6 catches for 59 yards last week, his 13th game with 4+ catches this season, tied 3rd-most in AFC. Aims for 3rd in row with 6+ catches. Aims for 3rd in row at home with 5+ catches & 50+ rec. yards. WR KENDRICK BOURNE has rec. TD in 2 of past 3 at home. TE HUNTER HENRY ties for lead among TEs with career-high 9 rec. TDs & can become 2nd NE TE ever with 10+ rec. TDs in single season. • DB J.C. JACKSON has PD in 7 straight games, longest active streak in NFL. Tied for NFL lead with career-high 21 PD this season. DB DEVIN MCCOURTY had 6 tackles & PD last week. Has PD in 5 of past 6. Had INT in last home meeting. LB MATTHEW JUDON had 1st PD of season in Week 16. Had sack in his last game vs. Jax. (12/20/20 w/ Bal.).

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (11-4) AT NEW YORK JETS (4-11)

SUNDAY, JAN. 2, 2022 // 1:00 PM ET // METLIFE STADIUM // REFEREE: ALEX KEMP

LEADER: Jets lead all-time series, 10-2

STREAKS: Jets have won 8 of past 9

LAST GAME: 11/12/17: Jets 10 at Buccaneers 15

LAST GAME AT SITE: 9/8/13: Jets 18, Buccaneers 17

TAMPA BAY clinched NFC South for 1st time since 2007. • QB TOM BRADY leads NFL in pass yards (4,580) & TD passes (37). Has 7 seasons with 4,500+ pass yards, tied-2nd most all-time. Needs 3 TD passes to join AARON RODGERS as only players with 3 40+ TD pass seasons & DREW BREES as only players with 40+ TDs in consecutive years. Has 60 TDs (57 pass, 3 rush) vs. 15 INTs for 93 rating in 36 career games vs. NYJ. • RB RONALD JONES had season-high 81 scrimmage yards (65 rush, 16 rec.) & 4th rush TD of season last week. Rookie RB KE’SHAWN VAUGHN had 1st-career rush TD in Week 16. • WR ANTONIO BROWN had 10 catches for 101 yards last week. Has 23 games with 10+ catches, most in NFL history. Has 5+ catches in 5 of his 6 games in 2021. WR MIKE EVANS needs 101 rec. yards to become 1st player ever with 1,000+ rec. yards in each of 1st 8 seasons. Ranks 2nd in NFL with 11 rec. TDs in 2021. TE ROB GRONKOWSKI had 6 rec. TDs in 8 career games at NYJ & aims for his 3rd in row at NYJ with TD catch. TE CAMERON BRATE had 3rd rec. TD of season last week. • LB DEVIN WHITE has 8+ tackles in 3 of his past 4. Is 1 of 2 (ROQUAN SMITH) with 120+ tackles (122) & 3+ sacks (3.5) in 2021. DL VITA VEA had 12th-career sack in Week 16 & has career high 4.5 sacks in 2021. Aims for his 3rd in row on road with sack. DL WILLIAM GHOLSTON had career-high 2.5 sacks in Week 16. S JORDAN WHITEHEAD tied his career-high with 3 PD & had his 5th-career INT last week. Has 7+ tackles in 5 of his past 6.

QB ZACH WILSON (rookie) completed 14 of 22 atts. (63.6 pct.) for 102 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs & rushed for career-high 91 yards last week, incl. 52-yard TD. Became 4th rookie QB ever with 50+ yard rush TD. Has rush TD in 4 of his past 5. Aims for 4th in row with 0 INTs. Leads rookie QBs with 4 rush TDs, 2nd-most ever by NYJ rookie QB. • RB MICHAEL CARTER (rookie) rushed for career-high 118 yards last week, his 3rd game with 100+ scrimmage yards this season, tied 3rd-most among rookie RBs. Has 60+ scrimmage yards in 6 of his past 7. Is only rookie with 500+ rush yards (566) & 300+ rec. yards (316). RB TEVIN COLEMAN aims for 5th in row with 50+ rush yards. Has TD in 3 of his past 4 vs. TB. • WR JAMISON CROWDER had 5 catches for 48 yards in only career game vs. TB (10/25/15 w/ Was.). Leads team with 50 catches, his 3rd straight season with 50+ catches. WR BRAXTON BERRIOS led team with 5 catches & had 102-yard KR-TD last week, his 1st-career return-TD. • LB C.J. MOSLEY led team with 10 tackles & had 2nd sack & FF of season in Week 16. Aims for 5th in row with 10+ tackles. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. TB with 8+ tackles. Ranks 5th in NFL with career-high 142 tackles. LB JARRAD DAVIS had season-high 8 tackles in Week 16. CB BRYCE HALL had PD last week & has PD in 4 of past 5. Rookie CB JASON PINNOCK had 4 tackles & 1stcareer FF & PD in Week 16. DE RONNIE BLAIR had 2nd-career FR last week.

MIAMI DOLPHINS (8-7) AT TENNESSEE TITANS (10-5)

SUNDAY, JAN. 2, 2022 // 1:00 PM ET // NISSAN STADIUM // REFEREE: SHAWN SMITH

LEADER: Dolphins lead all-time series, 21-16

STREAKS: Dolphins have won past 2

LAST GAME: 9/9/18: Titans 20 at Dolphins 27

LAST GAME AT SITE: 10/18/15: Dolphins 38, Titans 10

QB TUA TAGOVAILOA completed 19 of 26 atts. (73.1 pct.) for 198 yards & TD vs. INT for 91.5 rating last week. Has 90+ rating in 5 of his past 6 starts. Aims for his 3rd in row on road with 70+ comp. pct. & 90+ rating. Leads NFL with 70.1 comp. pct. this season. • RB DUKE JOHNSON has 166 scrimmage yards (83 per game) in 2 starts this season. Ranks 6th among active RBs with 308 catches & 2,849 rec. yards. RB MYLES GASKIN has 50+ scrimmage yards in 2 of his past 3 on road. • WR JAYLEN WADDLE led team with 10 catches for 92 yards & TD last week, his 3rd game with 10+ catches this season, 2nd-most ever by a rookie. Aims for 5th in row with 8+ catches & 65+ rec. yards. Has rec. TD in 2 of past 3. Leads rookies with 96 catches & needs 6 more to surpass ANQUAN BOLDIN (101 in 2003) for most-ever by rookie. WR DEVANTE PARKER has 60+ rec. yards in 4 of his past 5. TE MIKE GESICKI has 5+ catches in 2 of past 3. Aims for his 4th in row vs. AFC South with 50+ rec. yards. Is 1 of 4 TEs with 50+ catches in each of past 3 seasons. • CB XAVIEN HOWARD had 2nd-career sack last week. Has PD in 4 of his past 5 on road. Has 33 PD since 2020, tied 3rd-most in NFL. CB NIK NEEDHAM had 28-yard INT-TD in Week 16, his 1stcareer TD. S BRANDON JONES had sack & 1st INT of season last week. Aims for 4th in row with sack. DE EMMANUEL OGBAH led team with 2 sacks in Week 16. Aims for 3rd in row with sack. Has sack in 2 of 3 career games vs. Ten.

QB RYAN TANNEHILL completed 22 of 29 atts. (75.9 pct.) for 209 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs for 106.8 rating last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 70+ comp. pct. Spent 7 seasons with Mia. (2012-18) & ranks 3rd in franchise history in passing yards (20,434) and TD passes (123). Ranks 2nd among QBs with 7 rush TDs & is only QB with 7+ rush TDs in each of past 2 seasons. • RB D’ONTA FOREMAN rushed for TD last week & has rush TD in 2 of past 3. Aims for 3rd in row at home with rush TD. Has 60+ scrimmage yards in 3 of past 4. • WR A.J. BROWN led team with career-high 11 catches for 145 yards & TD last week. Has 5+ catches in 6 of his past 7. Leads team with 760 rec. yards, his 3rd-straight season with 750+ rec. yards. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. AFC East with 80+ rec. yards. WR JULIO JONES aims for his 3rd in row vs. Mia. with 6+ catches & 70+ rec. yards. TE ANTHONY FIRKSER has 4+ catches in 2 of his past 3 at home. • S KEVIN BYARD had 6 tackles & 2nd FF of season last week. Has 5+ tackles in 5 of past 6. Leads safeties with 13 PD in 2021 & ties for lead among safeties with 5 INTs. S AMANI HOOKER had 5 tackles & 1st INT of season last week. Has PD in 2 of past 3. CB JANORIS JENKINS had 1st INT of season in Week 16. Has PD in 3 of past 4. Aims for 3rd in row at home with PD. LB BUD DUPREE aims for 3rd in row with sack. Had sack in only career game vs. Mia. (10/28/19 w/ Pit.). DT DENICO AUTRY aims for 4th in row with sack.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (8-7) AT WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM (6-9)

SUNDAY, JAN. 2, 2022 // 1:O0 PM ET // FEDEXFIELD // REFEREE: CLETE BLAKEMAN

LEADER: Washington leads all-time series, 87-80-5

STREAKS: Washington has won 2 of past 3

LAST GAME: 12/21/21: Washington 17 at Eagles 27

LAST GAME AT SITE: 9/13/20: Washington 27, Eagles 17

QB JALEN HURTS passed for 199 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 102.5 rating last week. Had 296 pass yards & 3 TDs (2 rush, 1 pass) vs. INT for 110.4 rating in Week 15 meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Was. with 2+ rush TDs. Has 13 career rush TDs, 5th-most by QB in 1st 2 seasons all-time. • RB BOSTON SCOTT had 5th rush TD of season last week. Has 50+ scrimmage yards in 3 of his past 4 vs. Was. RB JORDAN HOWARD aims for his 4th in row vs. Was. & 7th in row overall with 50+ scrimmage yards. • WR DEVONTA SMITH (rookie) led team with 5 catches for 80 yards & 5th-career rec. TD in Week 16. Ranks 4th among rookies with 821 rec. yards. TE DALLAS GOEDERT had 7 catches for career-high 135 yards in last meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Was. with 100+ rec. yards & 4th in row vs. Was. with 5+ catches. Ranks 5th among TEs with 759 rec. yards in 2021. • LB ALEX SINGLETON had 11 tackles & 29-yard INT-TD last week. Had FF in last meeting. Has career-high 122 tackles & aims for his 5th in row with 8+ tackles. LB T.J. EDWARDS had career high 16 tackles in Week 16 & had 1st-career season with 100+ tackles (111) in 2021. DT FLETCHER COX had 2 sacks & FF in Week 15 meeting. DE JOSH SWEAT tied career-high with his 6th sack of season & had his 4th-career FF in Week 16. Had sack in last road meeting. CB DARIUS SLAY had 2 PD in last meeting. Since 2013, leads NFL with 119 PD. S RODNEY MCLEOD had 15thcareer INT last week.

QB TAYLOR HEINICKE aims for his 10th start in row with TD pass, 4th-longest active streak in NFL. Has 90+ rating in 2 of his past 3 home starts. Has career-highs in pass yards (3,052) & TD passes (20) this season. • RB ANTONIO GIBSON had 3rd-career rec. TD in Week 16. Had 65 scrimmage yards (39 rec., 26 rush) & rush TD in Week 15 meeting. Has 75+ scrimmage yards in 2 of his past 3 at home. Is 1 of 2 NFC RBs (AARON JONES) with 1,000+ scrimmage yards & 9+ scrimmage TDs in each of past 2 seasons. Rookie RB JARET PATTERSON had rush TD in last meeting. • WR TERRY MCLAURIN had 51 rec. yards in Week 15 meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row at home vs. Phi. with 5+ catches & 50+ rec. yards. Needs 101 rec. yards for 2nd-consecutive 1,000- yard season. Rookie WR DYAMI BROWN led team with career high 53 rec. yards in Week 16. Rookie TE JOHN BATES had 1stcareer rec. TD last week. • DT JONATHAN ALLEN had sack in last meeting. Has career high 8.5 sacks in 2021. DE MONTEZ SWEAT had sack & FF in Week 15 meeting & aims for his 4th in row vs. Phi. with sack. DT MATT IOANNIDIS had sack last week. Had 1.5 sacks in last home meeting & aims for his 3rd in row vs. Phi. with TFL. LB COLE HOLCOMB has career-high 120 tackles in 2021. Has 6+ tackles in 4 of his 5 career games vs. Phi. S LANDON COLLINS had FR & INT in last meeting. Aims for his 7th in row vs. Phi. with 5+ tackles. CB KENDALL FULLER has career-high 14 PD in 2021.

DENVER BRONCOS (7-8) AT LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (8-7)

SUNDAY, JAN. 2, 2022 // 4:05 PM ET // SOFI STADIUM // REFEREE: CRAIG WROLSTAD

LEADER: Broncos lead all-time series, 69-53-1

STREAKS: Broncos have won 4 of past 5

LAST GAME: 11/28/21: Chargers 13 at Broncos 28

LAST GAME AT SITE: 12/27/20: Chargers 19, Broncos 16

QB DREW LOCK completed 15 of 22 atts. (68.2 pct.) for 153 yards in 1st start of season last week. Has 2+ TD passes in 2 of 3 career starts vs. LAC. Has 250+ pass yards in 2 of his past 3 road starts. QB TEDDY BRIDGEWATER has 0 INTs & 100+ rating in each of his past 2 starts vs. LAC. Has 90+ rating in 5 of 6 road starts this season. • RB MELVIN GORDON has 50+ rush yards in 3 of past 4. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. LAC with 75+ rush yards. Totaled 6,113 scrimmage yards (4,240 rush, 1,873 rec.) & 47 TDs (36 rush, 11 rec.) in 5 seasons (2015-19) with Chargers. Is 1 of 2 RBs (EZEKIEL ELLIOTT) with 900+ scrimmage yards in each of past 6 seasons. Is 6th player ever with 7+ rush TDs in 6 straight seasons. Rookie RB JAVONTE WILLIAMS had rush TD last week & has rush TD in 2 of past 3. Had 111 scrimmage yards (57 rec., 54 rush) & rush TD in Week 12 meeting. Ranks 3rd among rookies with 1,123 scrimmage yards (827 rush, 296 rec.). • WR COURTLAND SUTTON led team with 4 catches last week. Has 70+ rec. yards & rec. TD in 2 of his past 3 vs. LAC. WR JERRY JEUDY led team with 60 rec. yards in Week 16. • S JUSTIN SIMMONS had 8 tackles, 2 PD & TFL in Week 12 meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. LAC with TFL. Is 1 of 3 in NFL (QUANDRE DIGGS & J.C. JACKSON) with 5+ INTs in each of past 2 seasons. LB BRADLEY CHUBB had 1st-career INT last week. Aims for 3rd in row with PD. DE SHELBY HARRIS had season-high 1.5 sacks & FF last week. Aims for 3rd in row with sack.

QB JUSTIN HERBERT completed 27 of 35 atts. (77.1 pct.) for 336 yards & TD vs. 2 INTs for 92.1 rating last week. Has 2+ TD passes in 5 of past 6. Has 70+ comp. pct. in 3 of past 4. Has 275+ pass yards & 2+ TD passes in 2 of 3 career game vs. Den. Has 8,730 pass yards, most-ever by player in 1st 2 seasons & 3rd-most ever by player in 1st 30 career starts. Ranks 2nd in NFL with career-high 4,394 pass yards in 2021. • RB AUSTIN EKELER has TD in 6 straight games, longest TD streak of career. Had 99 scrimmage yards (68 rec., 31 rush) & rec. TD in Week 12 meeting. Aims for his 4th in row vs. Den. with TD catch. Is only player in NFL with 10+ rush TDs (10) & 5+ rec. TDs (7) this season. RB JUSTIN JACKSON had career-high 162 scrimmage yards (98 rec., 64 rush) & 2 rush TDs last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 95+ scrimmage yards. • WR KEENAN ALLEN has 5+ catches in 11 of past 12. Has rec. TD in 2 of past 3. Had 7 catches for 85 yards in Week 12 meeting. Aims for his 4th in row vs. Den. with 6+ catches & 65+ rec. yards. Leads team with 96 catches & is 2nd player ever with 95+ catches in 5 straight seasons. Rookie WR JOSHUA PALMER had rec. TD last week & has 5+ catches & rec. TD in 2 of past 3. • LB KYZIR WHITE led team with 11 tackles last week. Aims for 8th in row with 9+ tackles. Has PD in 3 of 4 career games vs. Den. Has TFL in 3 of his past 4 vs. division. DT JERRY TILLERY had sack in Week 16. Rookie LB ASANTE SAMUEL JR. led team with 2 PD last week. Aims for 4th in row with PD.

HOUSTON TEXANS (4-11) AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (8-7)

SUNDAY, JAN. 2, 2022 // 4:05 PM ET // LEVI’S STADIUM // REFEREE: CARL CHEFFERS

LEADER: 49ers lead all-time series, 3-1

STREAKS: 49ers have won past 2

LAST GAME: 12/10/17: 49ers 26 at Texans 16

LAST GAME AT SITE: 10/6/13: 49ers 34, Texans 3

QB DAVIS MILLS (rookie) completed 21 of 27 atts. (career-high 77.8 pct.) for 254 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 130.6 rating last week & became 3rd rookie QB ever with 250+ pass yards, 2+ TD passes & 130+ rating in multiple games. Aims for 4th in row with 200+ pass yards & 90+ rating. Ranks 2nd among rookies with 66.6 comp. pct, 12 TD passes & 86.2 rating this season. • RB REX BURKHEAD rushed for career-high 149 yards & 2 TDs last week, his 4th-career game with 2 rush TDs. Has 65+ scrimmage yards in 2 of past 3. RB DAVID JOHNSON has 70+ scrimmage yards in 4 of his past 5 vs. SF. Has 5 rush TDs in 4 career games at SF. • WR BRANDIN COOKS aims for his 3rd in row with 7+ catches & 100+ rec. yards. Had TD catch in his last game vs SF (12/21/19 w/ LAR). Has rec. TD in 3 of his past 4 vs. SF. Has 5+ catches in 6 of his 7 road games this season. WR CHRIS CONLEY led team with 60 rec yards & had TD catch last week. Had rec. TD in only career game vs. SF (9/23/18 w/ KC). Rookie WR NICO COLLINS had 1st-career TD catch in Week 16. Rookie TE BREVIN JORDAN had career-high 56 rec. yards last week. • LB NEVILLE HEWITT led team with season-high 11 tackles in Week 16. Aims for 3rd in row with 9+ tackles. CB TAVIERRE THOMAS had 8 tackles & 48-yard INT-TD last week, his 1stcareer TD. Aims for 3rd in row with 8+ tackles. CB DESMOND KING had 7 tackles & PD in Week 16. S JONATHAN OWENS had 4 tackles, FR & 1st-career INT last week.

QB JIMMY GAROPPOLO completed 26 of 35 atts. (74.3 pct.) for 322 yards last week, his 4th game with 300+ pass yards in 2021. Is 1 of 5 NFC QBs with 90+ rating in 10+ games (10) this season. Since Week 8, ranks 2nd in NFL with 104.8 rating. Passed for 334 yards & TD vs. INT for 92.2 rating in last meeting. Rookie QB TREY LANCE has 354 pass yards, 137 rush yards & 4 TDs (3 pass, 1 rush) with 88.4 rating in 5 games this season. • RB ELI MITCHELL leads all rookies in scrimmage yards per game (98.3). RB JEFF WILSON aims for his 3rd in row with rush TD. • TE GEORGE KITTLE needs 64 rec. yards to pass HOFer KELLEN WINSLOW SR. (4,513) for 2nd-most rec. yards by TE in 1st 5 seasons all-time. Is 1 of 2 TEs (TRAVIS KELCE) with 500+ rec. yards in each of past 5 seasons. WR DEEBO SAMUEL had 9 catches & career-high 191 scrimmage yards (159 rec., 32 rush) last week. Is 1st player since ANTONIO BROWN (2017) with 150+ rec. yards in 4+ games (4) in single season. Is 1st player in NFL history with 1,200+ rec. yards (1,247) & 300+ rush yards (301) in single season. WR BRANDON AIYUK had 5th rec. TD of season last week. • DL NICK BOSA leads NFL with 19 TFL & ranks tied-3rd in sacks (career-high 15). Aims for his 4th in row at home with sack. LB FRED WARNER has 4-straight 100+ tackle seasons (114). Has 8+ tackles in 7 of his past 8 at home. DL SAMSON EBUKAM had season-high 1.5 sacks last week & aims for his 3rd in row with sack. DB JIMMIE WARD had 2 PD last week.

ARIZONA CARDINALS (10-5) AT DALLAS COWBOYS (11-4)

SUNDAY, JAN. 2, 2022 // 4:25 PM ET // AT&T STADIUM // REFEREE: SCOTT NOVAK

LEADER: Cowboys lead all-time series, 56-32-1

STREAKS: Cardinals have won 5 of past 6

LAST GAME: 10/19/20: Cardinals 38 at Cowboys 10

LAST GAME AT SITE: 10/19/20

ARIZONA clinched playoff berth for 1st time since 2015. • QB KYLER MURRAY totaled 319 yards (245 pass, 74 rush) & had TD vs. 0 INTs in Week 16. Needs 216 pass yards to become 4th QB ever (ANDREW LUCK, HOFer PEYTON MANNING & BAKER MAYFIELD) with 3,500+ pass yards & 20+ TD passes in each of 1st 3 seasons. Has 90+ rating in 7 of his past 8 road starts. Had 3 TDs (2 pass, 1 rush) vs. 0 INTs in last meeting. • RB JAMES CONNER ranks 2nd in NFL in rush TDs (career-high 14) & tied-3rd in scrimmage TDs (career-high 16). Has TD in 3 of his past 4 on road. Has 50+ scrimmage yards in each of 1st 8 road games this season. RB CHASE EDMONDS had career high 8 receptions with 127 scrimmage yards (71 rec., 56 rush) & 2nd rush TD of season last week. Has 2nd-straight season with 800+ scrimmage yards (821). • TE ZACH ERTZ had 8 catches for 54 yards last week & aims for his 4th in row with 5+ catches. Had 53 rec. yards & TD catch in his last game at Dal. (9/27/21 w/ Phi.). WR CHRISTIAN KIRK had 2 rec. TDs in last meeting. Had 7 catches last week & has career highs in catches (69) & rec. yards (860) in 2021. • S BUDDA BAKER had 12 tackles & sack last week. Had sack, FF & INT in last meeting. Needs 9 tackles for 4th-straight 100-tackle season. LB CHANDLER JONES needs 0.5 sacks for 7th-career season with 10+ sacks. LB JORDAN HICKS has 3rd-straight 100+ tackle season (110). Has 4 INTs in his past 5 vs. Dal. LB MARKUS GOLDEN has 8 sacks in 8 road games in 2021. • DALLAS clinched NFC East for 1st time since 2018.

QB DAK PRESCOTT passed for 330 yards & 4 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 131.4 rating last week, his 6th-career game with 4+ TD passes. Needs 72 pass yards & TD pass for 2nd-career season with 4,000+ yards & 30+ TDs (2019). Has 21 TDs (20 pass, 1 rush) vs. 2 INTs for 117.9 rating in 7 home starts in 2021. Aim for his 4th in row at home with 100+ rating & 8th in row at home with 2+ TD passes. • RB EZEKIEL ELLIOTT had 9th-career game with both rush TD & rec. TD last week. Has 3rd-career season with 10+ rush TDs (10) & 6th-straight season with 1,100+ scrimmage yards (1,169). Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Az. with 80+ scrimmage yards & 4th in row at home with rush TD. • WR AMARI COOPER had 7 catches for 85 yards & rec. TD in Week 16. Has 50+ rec. yards in 4 of his past 5 at home. Is 8th player ever with 5+ rec. TDs in each of his 1st 7 seasons. WR CEEDEE LAMB has career-high 1,006 rec. yards in 2021, his 1stcareer 1,000-yard season. TE DALTON SCHULTZ has career highs in catches (69), rec. yards (733) & rec. TDs (6) in 2021. • CB TREVON DIGGS became 7th player in SB era & 1st since EVERSON WALLS (1981) with 11 INTs in single season. Ranks tied1st in NFL with 21 PD. LB MICAH PARSONS is 6th rookie since 1982 & 1st since ALDON SMITH (2011) with 13+ sacks (13) in single season. DE DEMARCUS LAWRENCE had 1st-career INT-TD last week. Has sack in 2 of his past 3.

CAROLINA PANTHERS (5-10) AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (7-8)

SUNDAY, JAN. 2, 2022 // 4:25 PM ET // CAESARS SUPERDOME // REFEREE: JEROME BOGER

LEADER: Saints lead all-time series, 27-26

STREAKS: Saints have won 4 of past 5

LAST GAME: 9/19/21: Saints 7 at Panthers 26

LAST GAME AT SITE: 10/25/20: Saints 27, Panthers 24

QB CAM NEWTON has 16 TDs (14 pass, 2 rush) vs. 4 INTs for 93.5 rating in 7 career starts at NO. Has 100+ rating in 3 of his past 4 at NO & aims for his 5th in row at NO with 2+ TD passes. Aims for his 4th in row on road with rush TD. Is NFL all-time leader among QBs in rush TDs (75) & ranks 2nd in rush yards (5,623). QB SAM DARNOLD passed for 190 yards last week. Had 305 pass yards & 2 TDs vs. INT for 99.1 rating in Week 2 meeting. • RB CHUBA HUBBARD is 1 of 2 NFC rookie RBs (ELI MITCHELL) with 500+ rush yards (509) in 2021. • WR DJ MOORE had 5 catches for 55 yards last week. Is 1 of 3 WRs (STEFON DIGGS & TYLER LOCKETT) with 1,000+ rec. yards in each of past 3 seasons. Had 8 catches for 79 yards & rec. TD in Week 2 meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row at NO with 2+ rec. TDs & 4th in row at NO with 80+ rec. yards. WR ROBBY ANDERSON had 5 catches for 58 yards last week. Had 6 catches for 74 yards in last road meeting. • LB HAASON REDDICK had 1.5 sacks in Week 2 meeting. Is 1 of 5 players with 11+ sacks in each of past 2 seasons. DE BRIAN BURNS has career-high 13 TFL this season. Has 4 sacks in 4 career games vs. NO & aims for his 5th in row vs. NO with sack. LB SHAQ THOMPSON neds 9 tackles for his 3rd-straight 100-tackle season. S JEREMY CHINN leads all DBs with 219 tackles since 2020. Is 1 of 2 DBs (DERWIN JAMES) with 100+ tackles (103), 5+ TFL (5) & 5+ PD (5) in 2021. CB STEPHON GILMORE ranks 4th with 116 PD since 2012.

QB TAYSOM HILL is 5-2 with 12 TDs (6 pass, 6 rush) vs. 6 INTs for 81.9 rating in 7 career starts at QB & has 2+ total TDs in 6 of his 7 QB starts. Rookie QB IAN BOOK passed for 135 yards in his 1st career start last week. • RB ALVIN KAMARA has 376 scrimmage yards (125.3 per game) & 2 rush TDs in 3 career home games vs. Car. Aims for his 4th in row at home vs. Car. with 100+ scrimmage yards. Has 34 TDs (22 rush, 12 rec.) in 35 career home games. Aims for his 8th in row at home with 50+ scrimmage yards. Is 1 of 2 (ROGER CRAIG) with 4,000+ rush yards (4,060) & 3,000+ rec. yards (3,179) in his 1st 5 seasons all-time. • WR MARQUEZ CALLAWAY had 46 rec. yards last week. Has career-highs in receptions (40), rec. yards (601) & rec. TDs (6) this season. WR LIL’JORDAN HUMPHREY led team with 70 rec. yards last week & has 45+ rec. yards in 3 of his past 4. • DE CAMERON JORDAN had 2 sacks last week & became 4th player since 2000 (JARED ALLEN, ROBERT MATHIS & JULIUS PEPPERS) with 7+ sacks in 10-straight seasons. Aims for his 3rd in row with 2+ sacks. DE MARCUS DAVENPORT has career high 7.5 sacks in 2021. Aims for his 3rd in row at home & 3rd in row overall with sack. LB DEMARIO DAVIS had 12 tackles in Week 2 meeting & aims for his 3rd in row vs. Car. with PD. Is 1 of 3 (AARON DONALD & T.J. WATT) with 10+ TFL in each of past 5 seasons. CB MARSHON LATTIMORE is 1 of 3 (JAMES BRADBERRY & MARLON HUMPHREY) with 10+ PD in each of past 5 seasons.

DETROIT LIONS (2-12-1) AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (5-10)

SUNDAY, JAN. 2, 2022 // 4:25 PM ET // LUMEN FIELD // REFEREE: TONY CORRENTE

LEADER: Seahawks lead all-time series, 9-5

STREAKS: Seahawks have won past 2

LAST GAME: 10/28/18: Seahawks 28 at Lions 14

LAST GAME AT SITE: 10/5/15: Seahawks 13, Lions 10

QB JARED GOFF has 9 TDs vs. 2 INTs for 105.1 rating in his past 4 starts. Has 300+ pass yards & 80+ rating in 2 of his past 3 starts at Sea. QB TIM BOYLE completed 24 of 34 atts. (70.6 pct.) & had TD vs. INT last week. • RB JAMAAL WILLIAMS rushed for season-high 77 yards last week & aims for his 4th in row with 75+ scrimmage yards. Has 50+ scrimmage yards in 4 of his past 5 on road. Is 1 of 6 RBs with 600+ scrimmage yards in each of past 5 seasons. RB CRAIG REYNOLDS has 80+ rush yards in 2 of his past 3 & aims for his 4th in row with 50+ scrimmage yards. • WR AMON-RA ST. BROWN (rookie) led team with 9 receptions for 91 yards & rec. TD last week. Is 3rd rookie all-time (ODELL BECKHAM JR. & ANQUAN BOLDIN) with 8+ catches & rec. TD in 3+ games. Is 2nd rookie ever (ODELL BECKHAM JR. in 2014) with 8+ catches in 4 straight games. Ranks 2nd among rookies with 74 receptions in 2021. • LB JALEN REEVES-MAYBIN led team with 8 tackles & had 2ndcareer FF last week. Aims for his 3rd in row overall with PD & 6th in row on road with 5+ tackles. Rookie LB DERRICK BARNES had 1st-career sack last week. LB AUSTIN BRYANT had sack last week. Rookie NT ALIM MCNEILL aims for his 3rd in row on road with sack. S DEAN MARLOWE had 2nd-career FR in Week 16. Has 5+ tackles in 4 of his past 5 & has career-high 52 tackles in 2021. S WILL HARRIS has PD in 4 of his past 5. Has career-high 75 tackles this season.

QB RUSSELL WILSON had 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 104.1 rating last week. Needs 2 TD passes to join HOFers PEYTON MANNING & DAN MARINO as only players with 20+ TD passes in each of 1st 10 career seasons. Has 111 career wins, incl. playoffs & can tie PEYTON MANNING (112) for most wins, incl. playoffs, by QB in 1st 10 seasons all-time. Completed 14 of 17 atts. (82.4 pct.) for 248 yards & 3 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 158.3 rating, the highest attainable mark, in last meeting. • RB RASHAAD PENNY rushed for 135 yards & TD last week & has career-high 389 rush yards in 2021. Aims for his 3rd in row at home with 60+ scrimmage yards. • WR DK METCALF had 9th TD catch of season last week. Is 1 of 3 WRs (MIKE EVANS & TYREEK HILL) with 7+ rec. TDs in each of past 3 seasons. Needs 54 rec. yards for 3rd-straight season with 900+ rec. yards. WR TYLER LOCKETT is 1 of 3 WRs (STEFON DIGGS & DJ MOORE) with 1,000+ rec. yards in each of past 3 seasons. Had TD catch in last meeting. TE GERALD EVERETT had career-high 4th rec. TD of season last week. • LB BOBBY WAGNER leads NFL with career-high 170 tackles, 3rd player since 2010 with 170+ tackles (VONTAZE BURFICT – 2013; JEROD MAYO – 2010). LB JORDYN BROOKS ranks 3rd in NFL with career-high 155 tackles. Can become 1st player since ZACH THOMAS (2004) with 10+ tackles in 8 straight games. LB CARLOS DUNLAP aims for his 3rd in row with 2+ sacks. Is 1 of 2 (CAMERON JORDAN) with 6+ sacks in each of past 10 seasons.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS (7-8) AT GREEN BAY PACKERS (12-3)

SUNDAY, JAN. 2, 2022 // 8:20 PM ET // LAMBEAU FIELD // REFEREE: CLAY MARTIN

LEADER: Packers lead all-time series, 62-55-3

STREAKS: Vikings have won past 2

LAST GAME: 11/21/21: Packers 31 at Vikings 34

LAST GAME AT SITE: 11/1/20: Vikings 28, Packers 22

QB KIRK COUSINS has 3rd-career season with 30+ TD passes (2018, 2020) & needs 29 pass yards for 6th-career 4,000-yard season. Passed for 315 yards in Week 16 & has 39 games with 300+ yards since 2015, 3rd-most in NFL. Passed for 341 yards & 3 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 128.4 rating in Week 11 meeting. Aims for his 4th in row vs. GB with 100+ rating. Can become 5th player (6th time overall) with 2+ TD passes in 11-straight road games. • RB DALVIN COOK has 746 scrimmage yards (124.3 per game) & 9 TDs (7 rush, 2 rec.) in 6 career games vs. GB. Had 226 scrimmage yards (163 rush, 63 rec.) & career-high 4 TDs (3 rush, 1 rec.) in last road meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row at GB with 190+ scrimmage yards. Is 1 of 2 (NICK CHUBB) with 1,200+ scrimmage yards in each of past 3 seasons. • WR JUSTIN JEFFERSON has 2,851 rec. yards, most by player in 1st 2 seasons all-time. Needs 3 catches to become 4th player under age 23 with 100+ receptions in single season. Had 8 catches for 169 yards & 2 rec. TDs in Week 11 meeting. Has 13 games with 100+ rec. yards, tied 2nd-most in NFL since 2020. WR ADAM THIELEN had 8 catches for 82 yards & rec. TD in last meeting. Is 1 of 3 (DAVANTE ADAMS & MIKE EVANS) with 10+ rec. TDs in each of past 2 seasons. • LB ANTHONY BARR had 1st-career 2-INT game last week. Had 10 tackles in last meeting. S HARRISON SMITH had sack in Week 11 meeting. Has career-high 100 tackles in 2021. DE D.J. WONNUM aims for his 4th in row on road with sack.

QB AARON RODGERS leads NFL with 110.8 rating & is only player with 20+ TD passes (33) & less than 5 INTs (4) in 2021. Since Week 11, has 1,503 pass yards (300.6 per game) & 17 TDs (16 pass, 1 rush) vs. 0 INTs for 125.3 rating in 5 starts. Aims for his 4th in row with 115+ rating & 6th in row with 2+ TD passes. Has 57 TDs (54 pass, 3 rush) vs. 7 INTs for 110.2 rating in 26 career games vs. Min. Passed for 385 yards & 4 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 148.4 rating in Week 11 meeting. Since 2020, is 5-0 on SNF with 17 TDs vs. INT for 132.6 rating. • RB AARON JONES is 1 of 2 (DERRICK HENRY) with 1,000+ scrimmage yards & 10+ scrimmage TDs in each of past 3 seasons. Has 31 TDs (24 rush, 7 rec.) in 33 career home games. Aims for his 5th in row vs. Min. with rush TD. RB AJ DILLON needs 34 scrimmage yards for 1st-career 1,000-yard season. • WR DAVANTE ADAMS is 3rd player ever (HOFers MARVIN HARRISON & JERRY RICE) with 3+ career seasons (3) with 100+ catches, 1,300+ rec. yards & 10+ rec. TDs. Had 10 catches for 114 yards & 2 rec. TDs last week. Had 115 rec. yards & 2 rec. TDs in Week 11 meeting. Has rec. TD in 11-straight SNF games, longest streak all-time. • LB DE’VONDRE CAMPBELL has career-high 137 tackles & aims for his 4th in row with 10+ tackles. LB RASHAN GARY had 2ndcareer game with 2 sack last week & had career-high 8.5 sacks in 2021. LB PRESTON SMITH had 2 sacks in Week 11 meeting & aims for his 3rd in row at home with sack.

CLEVELAND BROWNS (7-8) AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS (7-7-1)

MONDAY, JAN. 3, 2022 // 8:15 PM ET // HEINZ FIELD // REFEREE: BRAD ALLEN

LEADER: Steelers lead all-time series, 76-60-1

STREAKS: Steelers have won 3 of past 4

LAST GAME: 10/31/21: Steelers 15 at Browns 10

LAST GAME AT SITE: 10/18/20: Steelers 38, Browns 7

QB BAKER MAYFIELD passed for 225 yards in Week 8 meeting. Aims for 3rd start in row vs. Pit. with 0 INTs. Has 325+ pass yards in 2 of 3 career starts on MNF. Needs 175 pass yards to become 8th player ever with 3,000+ pass yards & 15+ TD passes in each of 1st 4 seasons. • RB NICK CHUBB had 184 scrimmage yards (126 rush, 58 rec.) & rush TD last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 90+ rush yards & rush TD. Has 75+ scrimmage yards in 4 of his past 5 vs. Pit. Has 762 scrimmage yards (127 per game) & 6 rush TDs in 6 road games this season. Aims for his 4th in row on MNF with 95+ scrimmage yards. Ranks 3rd in NFL with 1,143 rush yards & is only player with 950+ rush yards in each of past 4 seasons. RB KAREEM HUNT has 50+ scrimmage yards in 5 of 6 career games vs. Pit. Has rush TD in 3 of his 4 road games this season. RB D’ERNEST JOHNSON had rush TD in Week 8 meeting. • WR JARVIS LANDRY has 50+ rec. yards in 2 of past 3. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Pit. with 5+ catches & 50+ rec. yards. WR RASHARD HIGGINS had season-high 5 catches for 58 yards last week. Had rec. TD in last road meeting. TE HARRISON BRYANT aims for 3rd in row with TD catch. • DE MYLES GARRETT had sack in Week 8 meeting & has 6 sacks in 7 career games vs. Pit. Aims for his 5th in row vs. division with sack. Has 4 sacks in 3 career games on MNF. CB M.J. STEWART led team with 10 tackles & had season-high 2 TFL last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 10+ tackles.

QB BEN ROETHLISBERGER passed for 266 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs for 98.4 rating in Week 8 meeting. Aims for his 4th start in row vs. Cle. with 90+ rating & 3rd in row with 0 INTs. Has 250+ pass yards in 3 of his past 4 vs. division. Has 90+ rating in 4 of his past 5 at home. Has 110+ rating in 3 of his past 4 on MNF. • RB NAJEE HARRIS had 110 scrimmage yards (93 rush, 17 rec.) last week, his 8th game with 100+ scrimmage yards this season, most among rookies. Has 100+ scrimmage yards in 3 of past 4. Had 120 scrimmage yards (91 rush, 29 rec.) & rush TD in Week 8 meeting. Leads rookies with 1,406 scrimmage yards (984 rush, 422 rec.) & ranks 2nd with 9 TDs (6 rush, 3 rec.), most-ever scrimmage yards by Pit. rookie. RB BENNY SNELL has rush TD in each of past 2 home meetings. • WR DIONTAE JOHNSON aims for 11th in row with 5+ catches. Has 50+ rec. yards in 12 of past 13. Aims for 3rd in row vs. Cle. & 5th in row vs. division with 95+ rec. yards. Is of of 2 AFC WRs (TYREEK HILL) with 90+ catches (92), 1,000+ rec. yards (1,079) & 7+ rec. TDs (7) this season. TE PAT FREIERMUTH ranks 2nd among rookies with 7 rec. TDs this season. • LB T.J. WATT had 1.5 sacks & FR in Week 8 meeting & has 10.5 sacks in 8 career games vs. Cle. Has sack in 6 of his past 7 vs. division. Has 11 sacks in his past 5 at home. Has 4 sacks in his past 2 on MNF. Leads NFL with 17.5 sacks, most in Pit. history. LB ALEX HIGHSMITH had sack & 1st-career FF last week. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Cle. with TFL.

Brooks’ 3 TDs push Oklahoma past Oregon 47-32 in Alamo Bowl

SAN ANTONIO (AP) Kennedy Brooks ran for 142 yards and three touchdowns as No. 14 Oklahoma rode a dominant first half to a 47-32 victory over No. 15 Oregon in the Alamo Bowl on Wednesday night.

Caleb Williams threw three touchdown passes for the Sooners, who gave interim coach Bob Stoops career win No. 191 and a special family moment when he could hug son Drake, an Oklahoma wide receiver, after a first-half touchdown.

Oklahoma (11-2) bolted to a 30-3 lead as Brooks and Williams sliced up the Oregon defense. Brooks had 127 yards on just 10 carries in the first half with scoring runs of 16 and 29 yards, and another 40-yard run that set up Williams’ first touchdown pass to Drake Stoops.

Williams’ 55-yard TD pass to Marvin Mims Jr. hit the receiver perfectly in stride behind two Ducks defenders that were two steps late. Brooks then punched in the final score of the half.

At that point, the Sooners were so dominant they were looking like some of Stoops’ old teams when he won a national championship and 10 Big 12 titles as Oklahoma’s coach from 1999-2016.

Travis Dye rushed for 153 yards and a touchdown for Oregon (10-4). The Ducks scored three touchdowns in the third quarter, two coming on long throws by quarterback Anthony Brown, to get within 44-25 by the start of the fourth, but couldn’t get the stops on defense needed to close the gap.

Brown finished with 306 yards passing for the Ducks.

Stoops came out of retirement for the game after coach Lincoln Riley’s sudden departure for Southern California at the end of the season. He was able to hug his son on the sideline after the second-quarter touchdown catch. Stoops’ former assistant, Brent Venables, who has spent nine seasons as a Clemson assistant, will take over the Oklahoma program in 2022.

Oregon was led by assistant coach Bryan McClendon, who was elevated to interim head coach for the bowl game after Mario Cristobal left the Ducks for Miami. Oregon has hired Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning, who will take over at Oregon after the College Football Playoff.

BIG PICTURE

Oklahoma: Riley’s departure and several players bolting early for the NFL or transferring had the program’s fan base in a bit of a panic. Venables was at the game and was around the team during bowl practices. He should have a keen handle on where the Sooners are headed next season. His biggest job is building a potential future with Williams, who hadn’t said definitively before the game whether he planned to stay with the Sooners next season.

Oregon: The Ducks put up a fight in the second half but it was too late. Lanning, who will be a first-time head coach when he takes over after the CFP, will at least know he inherits a team that won’t quit. Lanning is leaving a national-title contender and has said Oregon should be one as well. The Ducks have played in the Pac-12 title game the last three seasons.

UP NEXT

Oklahoma opens the 2022 season under Venables against Texas-El Paso on Sept. 3.

Oregon plays its first game with Lanning as head coach Sept. 3 against Georgia.

Clemson tops Iowa State in Cheez-It Bowl for Swinney’s 150th

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Clemson coach Dabo Swinney became the sixth-fastest coach in college football history to reach 150 victories. He gave the credit to his players following the No. 19 Tigers’ 20-13 victory over Iowa State on Wednesday night in the Cheez-It Bowl.

“This team’s journey was full of adversity and we probably had more adversity this year than the last seven combined,” said Swinney, who became just the third coach to win at least 150 games in fewer than 15 seasons. “What made it great was how everybody in the whole program, the thing that never flinched was the leadership.

“This was a complete program effort. . What made this team special was because they didn’t make excuses.”

Clemson (10-3) won its sixth straight game to reach 10 victories for an 11th consecutive season. Florida State (14 from 1987-00) and Alabama (14 from 2008-21) are the only programs with longer streaks.

Cornerback Mario Goodrich was named the game’s MVP after returning an interception 18 yards for a third-quarter touchdown and swatting the ball out of Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy’s hands in the final minute to preserve the victory.

“It means a lot for everyone on this team because we started off 2-2 and to rally back and get 10 wins is amazing,” Goodrich said. “To keep the tradition going, it’s a legacy. It’s amazing to finish my last game with these guys and go out on a good note.”

Will Shipley ran for a 12-yard touchdown in the second quarter, B.T. Potter kicked two field goals and the Clemson did the rest for the Tigers’ eighth bowl win in the past 10 seasons. The Tigers, who lost All-ACC linebacker James Skalski to a foot injury in the second quarter, held the Cyclones (7-6) to three field goals over the first three quarters.

Iowa State, which was severely limited playing without star tailback Breece Hall, mustered just 270 yards and 14 first downs against a Clemson defense that came into the game second in the nation in scoring defense.

Iowa State dropped four of its final six games of the season and lost in a bowl game for a fourth consecutive year. The Cyclones got within 20-13 with 9:42 to play on Andrew Mevis’ third field goal and Purdy’s 6-yard touchdown pass to Charlie Kolar.

Purdy, the winningest quarterback in school history, completed 22 of 39 passes for 204 yards, but his two turnovers – both produced by Clemson’s Goodrich – proved costly.

“For me, a result doesn’t dictate what Brock Purdy has done for Iowa State football,” Iowa State coach Matt Campbell said. “There were a lot of plays he made that were huge for our team to get back in the game. There’s no greater competitor that I’ve been around who wanted the result to be different (than Purdy). For Brock, it’s, `Thank you for all you’ve done.'”

Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei completed 21 of 32 passes for 187 yards. Shipley finished with 61 yards rushing and 53 yards receiving for Clemson.

Iowa State’s defense, which entered 10th in the nation in total defense, held Clemson to 315 yards. However, it wasn’t enough to earn the Cyclones’ their first bowl victory since 2017.

“This game will live in my head the rest of my life,” Iowa State safety Greg Eisworth said.

THE TAKEAWAY

Swinney, who guided the Tigers to national championships in 2016 and ’18 and to six straight College Football Playoff trips, joined Urban Meyer and Bob Stoops as the only coaches in college football history with at least 150 victories in less than 15 seasons at the helm. Swinney wrapped up his 14th season leading the Tigers.

UP NEXT

Clemson: Uiagalelei is expected to return, but he could be challenged by five-star signee Cade Klubnik for the starting job. Klubnik is expected to enroll at Clemson in January and go through spring practice in hopes of competing for the starting job.

Iowa State: The Cyclones will be hard-pressed to keep up their recent run of success with 19 senior starters departing – 17 of which had at least 21 starts.

Ja Morant scores 41 points, Grizzlies beat slumping Lakers

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) Ja Morant scored 41 points, Desmond Bane added 20 and the Memphis Grizzlies overcame a 14-point second-half deficit to beat the Los Angeles Lakers 104-99 on Wednesday night.

LeBron James led Los Angeles with 37 points – a day short of his 37th birthday – and 13 rebounds and a season-high eight 3-pointers. Russell Westbrook added a triple-double with 16 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists.

The Grizzlies improved to 22-14 with their third straight victory, while the Lakers fell to 17-19 with their sixth loss in seven games.

Morant, making a strong bid for the All-Star Game, scored 25 of his points in the second half, including 14 in the third quarter. He scored 11 of the Grizzlies’ final 15 points.

“What an unbelievable night by Ja,” Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said. “When he got going it kind of fueled everyone else. We’ve said it from Day 1, he’s built for moments like this.”

Jenkins also was impressed with Morant’s defense (two steals, two blocks) and rebounding. He had 10 rebounds.

“I was taking what the defense gave me and it turned out good for us,” Morant said. “That’s normally how I attack every game. Tonight was just my night.”

Memphis trailed in the second half until Tyus Jones hit in a floater for a 93-92 lead with 6:50 left. Morant followed with consecutive 3-pointers for a 99-92 advantage with 4:28 to go. Bane sealed the win with two free throws with 5.1 seconds to go

Ahead by six at the half, the Lakers pushed their advantage to 14 at 80-66 during a third quarter in which Los Angeles made six 3-pointers. James had three of those.

The Grizzlies were able to battle back and trim the lead to five at 83-78 at the end of the quarter. Morant made in a deep 3-pointer at the buzzer.

In the fourth quarter, the Lakers were slowed by four-minute scoring drought which allowed the Grizzlies to erase a 92-87 deficit with 12 straight points. With 8:12 to go, Memphis led 99-92

“Coming out in the third quarter it got away from us,” Lakers forward Malik Monk said. “It was super frustrating because we’ve been doing that all year.”

Grizzlies starting forward Dillon Brooks sat out his third straight game because of health and safety protocols.

TIP-INS

Grizzlies: Morant and James became the third pair of opponents in NBA history to each amass 35 or more points, 10 or more rebounds and six or more 3-pointers in a game… . . .John Konchar entered the league’s health and safety protocols Tuesday after making the first two starts of his career.

Lakers: Interim head coach David Fizdale said Morant has quickly blossomed into an elite player. “You are talking about one of the best players in this league period. Period. The guy is a true superstar.”. . . Austin Reaves and Kent Bazemore tested out of the NBA’s health and safety protocols Wednesday. Reaves missed the previous six games and Bazemore the last five.

UP NEXT

Lakers: Host Portland on Friday night.

Grizzlies: Host San Antonio on Friday night.

Chimezie Metu hits 3 at buzzer, Kings beat Mavs 95-94

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) Chimezie Met made a corner 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Sacramento Kings a 95-94 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night in the opener of a two-game set between the teams.

Dallas led 94-92 with 33.2 seconds remaining after Jalen Brunson’s short jumper and two free throws from Kristaps Porzingis. After Harrison Barnes missed a layup for Sacramento, and the Mavericks were called for a 24-second violation, Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox drove down the lane and passed to Metu in the right corner. The crowd at Golden 1 Center erupted after Metu’s shot dropped through the net.

Fox had 16 points and five assists. Barnes and Davion Mitchell scored 14 apiece, and Tyrese Haliburton added 12 points and 10 assists.

Brunson scored 25 points for Dallas. Porzingis had 24 points and seven rebounds. The Mavericks have lost 14 of 21 to the Kings.

The teams will meet again Friday in Sacramento.

Marvin Bagley III, the No. 2 overall pick in 2018 making his second consecutive start this season, had eight straight points in the second quarter. Davion Mitchell – fresh out of the health and safety protocols – made a 3-pointer to put the Kings up 55-43.

Dallas trailed by 13 early in the third. then went on a 20-6 run.

WELCOME BACK OLD FRIEND

Isaiah Thomas might have been wearing a Mavericks jersey but the crowd at Golden 1 Center did its best to make him feel at home. Thomas, who signed a 10-day contract with Dallas on Wednesday under the COVID-related hardship allowance, spent his first three NBA seasons in Sacramento after being the final pick of the 2011 draft and was greeted with a rousing ovation when he entered the game in the first quarter.

Fans didn’t jeer Thomas when the 32-year-old shot an airball on his first shot of the night, and applauded when he connected on an 18-footer. The two-time All-Star, who played four games with the Lakers this month, had six points and four assists in 13 minutes.

TIP-INS

Mavericks: Brandon Knight, who was signed to a 10-day hardship contract on Dec. 23, and Boban Majanovic were entered into the NBA health and safety protocol. The two joined a crowded list that includes Trey Burke, Luka Doncic, Tim Hardaway Jr., Maxi Kleber and JaQuori McLaughlin.

Kings: Before the game, Mitchell, Alex Len and Louis King were cleared to return from the health and safety protocol. Neemias Queta is the lone Kings player in the protocol.

Booker has 38 points, Suns beat Thunder to end 2-game skid

PHOENIX (AP) Devin Booker joined some heady company Wednesday night.

The Phoenix guard scored 38 points, surpassing 10,000 for his career, and the Suns beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 115-97 to end a two-game losing streak and tie for the NBA lead.

Booker was 12 of 24 from the floor, going 6 of 12 from 3-point range. He also had seven rebounds, five assists and two blocks.

Booker – at 25 years, 60 days – became the seventh-youngest NBA player to reach 10,000 points. The others are LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Tracy McGrady and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

“It means a lot,” Booker said. “Truly grateful to be in this position. I have a lot of praise for my coaches for trusting a young kid and letting me play through mistakes because everybody doesn’t get that opportunity.”

The Suns rebounded from home losses to Golden State and Memphis to pull even with the Warriors atop the league standings at 27-7.

Both teams were without several key players and their head coaches. Suns starters Deandre Ayton and Jae Crowder and coach Monty Williams each missed their second straight game.

The Thunder played without guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (right ankle soreness) and fellow starters Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and Josh Giddey, who were already on the health and safety protocols list. Coach Mark Daigneault missed his second straight game.

Oklahoma City trailed by 10 points after the first quarter but came back to take the lead in the third quarter. The Suns outscored the Thunder 30-16 in the final period, with Booker leading the way with nine points.

“We kind of knew it was going to be like that against a hungry team with guys who were excited to have an opportunity,” said acting Suns coach Kevin Young, filling in for Williams.

“The thing you love about Book is he’s a fierce competitor and he’s fearless,” Young said. “He made some huge shots tonight and to get that milestone, that’s just what he does.”

Ty Jerome, filling Gilgeous-Alexander’s spot, scored a career-high 24 points for the Thunder, who lost at Sacramento on Tuesday. Aaron Wiggins had 22 points and a team-high eight rebounds.

“I was really proud of our guys,” acting Thunder coach Mike Wilks said. “Five, six minutes left, and it was a two-possession game. We made it a game which is hard to do against a high-level team on the road.”

“(Jerome) was huge,” Wiggins said. “His leadership was definitely a huge factor in us being able to compete.”

Oklahoma City was 7 of 35 (20%) from 3-point range. Guards Jerome and Luguentz Dort were a combined 1 for 13 from long distance.

“We felt we had some good looks tonight, quality looks,” Wilks said. “We just didn’t get them to go down.”

For the Suns, JaVale McGee and Cameron Payne each scored 16 points, with McGee adding eight rebounds and Payne a team-high seven assists. Cam Johnson finished with 12 points, and Jalen Smith had 11 points and a career-high 14 rebounds.

“We’re figuring things out, but we didn’t want to lose three in a row, especially after the last one (last-second loss to Memphis), that was tough on us,” Booker said. “We just have to move this train on.”

SHUFFLING THE DECK

Since the Thunder played in Phoenix last Thursday night, they have had five players placed on the health and safety protocols list. That game was a 113-101 Suns victory.

Also sidelined on the Thunder’s COVID-19 list are forwards Darius Bazley, and Alexsej Pokusevski and guard Tre Mann. Those players scored 69 of the Thunder’s 101 points last week.

Center Isaiah Roby, forward Paul Watson Jr. and Jerome, none of whom played six days ago, start in place of the sidelined trio. Derrick Favors, who was rested last Thursday, played in Wednesday’s game. Watson had 11 points and Roby 10 before he fouled out.

OLD FRIENDS

Wilks, who played briefly for the Thunder before becoming an assistant, grew close to Chris Paul when the Phoenix point guard was with Oklahoma City two seasons ago.

“Chris is a great guy,” Wilks said before the game. “I see how he is with his family, in his community. The time I got to spend with him was invaluable. We check in on one another. He’s one of my favorites and one of the best point guards to ever do it.

TIP-INS

Thunder: Giddey was named Western Conference Rookie of the Month for games in October/November. He started 20 games and averaged 10.4 points, 5.8 assists and 7.2 rebounds.

Suns: Their 27-7 start is the second best in franchise history through 34 games. The 2004-05 team started 30-4.

NEXT

Thunder: Host New York on Friday night.

Suns: play at Boston on Friday.

Eric Bledsoe has big 4th quarter, Clippers hold off Celtics

BOSTON (AP) Eric Bledsoe scored 10 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter, hitting a key 3-pointer down the stretch, to help the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Boston Celtics 91-82 on Wednesday night.

Marcus Morris had 23 points and 10 rebounds, and Terance Mann and Luke Kennard each added 17 points for the Clippers. Los Angeles ended a two-game skid and completed a season sweep of the Celtics on a night both clubs were short-handed.

“They showed their vet savvyness,” Mann said about Bledsoe and Morris. “They showed why they’re long-time players in this league. They helped close the game out for us. They showed what they do best.”

Jaylen Brown led Boston with 30 points. Robert Williams had 16 points and 14 rebounds, and Al Horford added nine points with 10 rebounds for the Celtics, who couldn’t overcome a woeful shooting night from three-point range. Boston made just 4 of 42 3-pointers and was 1 for 18 from beyond-the-arc in the fourth quarter.

“We missed a lot of easy looks,” said Brown, who went 1-for-13 on 3-pointers.

The Clippers were without star forward Paul George for a third straight game with a torn ligament in his right elbow that could keep him out up to a month. But Los Angeles, which had lost five of six, led most of the game.

Boston was missing scoring leader Jayson Tatum, who was placed on the COVID-19 health and safety protocols list on Monday, and starting guard Marcus Smart, who was out with a hand injury.

Down 10 early in the third quarter, the Celtics used a 12-2 run midway through the quarter to tie it at 57. The Clippers took a 69-63 lead into the fourth.

Boston opened the fourth quarter on a 9-2 run, pulling to 71-70 on a pair of free throws by Brodric Thomas and taking a one-point lead on a putback by Romeo Langford with 9:30 left to play. The Clippers regained control, with Bledsoe hitting a 3-pointer from the top of the key for an 86-78 lead with 2:05 left.

Boston coach Ime Ukoda said the shooting woes were a combination of factors, including trying to get the Clippers out of their zone defense that was so effective with Boston missing shot after shot.

“That’s what they’re trying to do – protect the paint and make us take those threes,” Ukoda said.

HOME COURT

Mann, who grew up nearby in Lowell, Mass., said he had played at TD Garden before but this was his first start as a pro in Boston. He said he had nearly 50 people in the stands, spread out throughout the arena to cheer him on.

“It’s a dream come true,” Mann said. “I used to come here and sit all the way at the top in the halo and wish that I could be on that floor one day and I am. To start in front of almost 50 people … is amazing.”

OUCH

Robert Williams needed a few minutes after landing hard face-first while diving for a loose ball with 5:49 left in the fourth. Williams was able to get back to his feet and received an appreciative ovation for the hustle play as he headed to the locker room. Williams was back within a few minutes and checked back into the game with 2:45 remaining. Williams had 10 of Boston’s 21 offensive rebounds.

TIP-INS

Clippers: Ivica Zubac had 14 rebounds. … Morris, who played two seasons for Boston, made five of his first six shots and led all scorers with 12 points in the first quarter. The Clippers won the first meeting 114-111 on Dec. 8 after being swept by Boston last season. … G Reggie Jackson, missed his fourth straight game after being placed on the COVID-19 safety protocol list last week. G Jay Scrubb, F Moses Wright and G Brandon Boston Jr. were also on the protocol list and F Nicolas Batum missed his second straight game with a right ankle sprain.

Celtics: In addition to Tatum missing his second game of the season, Boston was also without G Marcus Smart for the second straight game because of a cut on his hand. Boston still had a long list of players on the safety protocol list with five others – C Bruno Fernando, C Enes Freedom, G C.J. Miles, F Aaron Nesmith and G Dennis Schroder.

UP NEXT

Clippers: At Toronto on Friday night.

Celtics: Host Phoenix on Friday.

‘I missed it’: Irving back with Nets, resumes practicing

(AP) — Kyrie Irving doesn’t know when he’ll get his first playing time of the season. The fact that it’s sooner than later is good enough for him right now.

Irving returned to practice Wednesday with the Brooklyn Nets, out of the NBA’s health and safety protocols and potentially just a few days away from suiting up with the Eastern Conference leaders for the first time this season.

A possible return date: Jan. 5, when Brooklyn visits Indiana, the next scheduled road game for the Nets.

“Not going to lie,” Irving said. “It’s been relatively tough to watch from the sideline. … But if I get the opportunity to get on the court and play with some of my teammates, even if it’s just on the road for away games, I’m grateful for that opportunity.”

Irving has not played this season because he is unvaccinated and therefore not compliant with local rules in New York regarding those who work in the city. The Nets decided earlier this month that the time was right for Irving to return at least for road games – excluding ones in Toronto and San Francisco because of local policies in those cities – in a move that represented a significant shift in Brooklyn’s previous thinking that it would not want the perennial All-Star to be a part-time player.

Irving, speaking to reporters in Brooklyn on Wednesday, said he respected the Nets’ stance. And now that the protocols stint is behind him, he’s raring to go.

“I knew the consequences,” Irving said of his vaccination decision. “I wasn’t prepared for them, by no stretch of imagination coming into the season. I had my thought process on being able to be a full-time teammate and go out and have fun and provide a great brand of basketball out there. But unfortunately, it didn’t happen like that. Things happen for a reason and now we’re here and I’m grateful for this.”

The Nets – with NBA scoring leader Kevin Durant and James Harden leading the way – have been among the league’s best teams so far even without Irving, holding no worse than a share of the East lead without interruption since Nov. 28.

Clearly, they hope to be even better with him.

“With us getting ravaged by COVID, and us being down so many bodies, it felt like the perfect time to add a fresh body back into the equation, somebody who can bring so much to the floor,” Durant said on his podcast about Irving’s looming return. “We just needed it. I think that was the most important thing, that we needed more bodies out there. Adding Kyrie to the equation just makes us so much better as a team. He was down, we were down, it was pretty simple, to be honest.”

Durant, one of the Brooklyn players who has been dealing with the protocols this month, said it was pretty simple decision: The Nets needed help, so Irving was approached.

“When the team approached me, we had a good conversation,” Irving said. “They said, `We want you back,’ and I said, `Absolutely.’ This is always where I wanted to be. I wanted to be playing with the team in whatever capacity I can do that.”

It wasn’t exactly a full practice for the Nets on Wednesday. Coach Steve Nash said the team’s “stay-ready group” got together to play and do some conditioning work, and Irving was part of that.

The plan all along has been for the Nets to ease Irving back into the fold slowly because he hasn’t been able to train at an NBA level for several weeks. There is still no sense of urgency, Nash insisted, and said how Irving handles each step of the process will determine the timetable.

“He looks great considering he just came out of protocols and hasn’t played basketball,” Nash said. “How does he recover from today? How many high-intensity bouts does he need to feel comfortable, confident, from a personal standpoint, for Kyrie, for the performance team, all those different measures. It’s still a shifting landscape … but seeing him in the flesh today, he looked as well as you could expect considering everything that’s happened in the last few weeks.”

Irving said he’s been at home, cheering his teammates on from afar. The Nets have used 12 starting lineups and 20 different players in their 32 games but still have not had so much as a two-game losing streak so far this season. Brooklyn is 9-0 after losses, looking very much like a title contender even without a seven-time All-Star and past NBA champion who has averaged 27 points per game in his first two seasons with the Nets.

“Being in this environment and playing with the best of the best is where I belong,” Irving said. “This is where I’ve worked my entire life to be. So, it was like riding a bike or just being at your first day of school again, just going back out there. And I missed it.”

Cavaliers guard Ricky Rubio out for season with torn ACL

CLEVELAND (AP) Ricky Rubio helped the Cavaliers return to relevance. Now, he’s got to make another comeback of his own.

The veteran guard, who has been instrumental in Cleveland’s turnaround, is done for the season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on Tuesday night – the same injury that ended his rookie season in 2012.

Rubio’s loss is a devastating blow to the Cavs, who have jumped into playoff contention after going 22-50 last season. Cleveland is 20-14 and fifth in the Eastern Conference.

The team said an MRI taken Wednesday confirmed the torn ACL, which was feared after Rubio got hurt late in Tuesday’s 108-104 loss at New Orleans.

The 31-year-old Rubio had a major impact in his first season with Cleveland, providing leadership and depth to a young squad.

It’s the second time Rubio has torn his left ACL. He first did it as a rookie with Minnesota after colliding with the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant.

Rubio’s injury is also the second significant one to Cleveland’s backcourt this season. Collin Sexton suffered a season-ending knee injury on Nov. 7. At the time, Sexton was the team’s leading scorer.

Rubio, who was acquired during the summer in a trade from Minnesota, slipped while driving in the lane as the Cavs were trying to protect a lead with two minutes left. Rubio’s knee buckled and he collapsed to the floor.

He grabbed his knee and was in obvious distress before being helped to his feet and walking to the locker room for evaluation. He didn’t put any weight on his left leg while being assisted by teammates Isaac Okoro and Kevin Love.

Before getting hurt, Rubio, who was starting at point guard against the Pelicans because Darius Garland was in the league’s health and safety protocols, scored 27 points while adding 13 rebounds and eight assists.

The Cavs fell apart after Rubio left and the Pelicans completed their rally from a 23-point deficit.

Rubio’s infectious playing style has rubbed off on Cleveland and he’s been both a quality backup and mentor to Garland. He’s also had a positive effect on Love, his former Timberwolves teammate, who is thriving in a reserve role.

“Him and I have such a history,” Love said following the game. “I really care for him. I’m just praying that he’s going to be OK. We don’t know what the near future is going to hold for him. We’re just completely gutted. He was having such a great season.”

Rubio picked up where he left off after starring for Spain’s Olympic team last summer in Tokyo. He’s averaging 13.1 points, 6.6 assists and 4.1 rebounds in 34 games. Rubio is only under contract through this season.

Candace Parker voted AP Female Athlete of Year for 2nd time

(AP) — Candace Parker wrestled with the decision to make a huge change in her life and leave Los Angeles – where she had played her entire WNBA career – and head home to Chicago.

In the end, the appeal of a homecoming was too much for Parker to ignore, and it couldn’t have worked out better.

The 35-year-old Parker staved off Father Time to help the Chicago Sky win the franchise’s first WNBA championship and capped off 2021 by being named The Associated Press’ Female Athlete of the Year for a second time.

“There was something about going to where you started playing the game,” Parker said in a phone interview. “It’s exciting to play in front of the people who first saw me pick up a basketball. To win at home, I’m just now recognizing it a little bit. How special that really is. Something that is top on my list.”

It’s a list that keeps the working mom and basketball analyst for TNT pretty busy. Parker is finally beginning to appreciate bringing a title to her hometown in the twilight of her career.

As the final seconds ticked off the clock in the WNBA Finals, Parker sprinted to the corner of the court where she hugged family and friends, celebrating becoming one of the rare elite athletes to return home and win a championship.

It was a long shot ending not many saw coming when Parker made the move. Winning it all seemed an even more remote possibility at the start of the WNBA season when the Sky lost seven of their first nine games. Parker was sidelined with an ankle injury, but when she returned, Chicago started winning and earned a No. 6 seed in the playoffs.

“I’m really thankful for those who made my journey and the people who supported me making it as smooth as possible. My daughter, my wife, my immediate family, we rolled with it. We wanted it,” she said. “Things are going to get hard, but stick with it.”

It is an approach to life that made Parker second-guess her decision.

Parker was concerned that she would be viewed as a quitter by leaving Los Angeles. This despite being named the AP award winner her rookie year with the Sparks in 2008, when she was honored as the WNBA’s MVP and top rookie. She also guided the Sparks to the championship in 2016 and is one of 14 players to have won a college, WNBA and Olympic title. She played college ball at Tennessee, where she won two titles.

“I’m a big believer when you start something you finish it. When you say something, you do it. I’m not perfect, as I do say stuff and don’t follow through,” said Parker, a two-time Olympic gold medalist. “My parents taught me don’t quit. I wanted to finish my career in LA, but I also finished my contract, I committed to that amount of time. I didn’t ask to be traded. The better opportunity for me and my family was to go back home.”

The 13 years since her first AP athlete of the year honors ties Parker with Babe Didrikson Zaharias for the longest time between winning in the 80-year history of the award. The award was voted on by a panel of sports editors. Parker received 11 first-place votes, edging out swimmer Katie Ledecky and gymnast Simone Biles.

“You couldn’t write a better story than the one of Candace Parker bringing the WNBA championship to her hometown in her first season with the Chicago Sky,” WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said. “On top of her accomplishments on the court and in the studio, she has continued to be a leader and role model to many, including working moms around the world. The WNBA is proud to have players like Candace who continually raise the bar and elevate the game and our league to the highest level.”

Parker is the only WNBA player to win the AP Female Athlete of the Year award. She hopes that changes soon as the league continues to get more national exposure.

“The more visibility we get as a league, which seems like it is coming, the more we’ll see,” Parker said. “If you see it, see … more and more talented players … that are capable and deserving. This next wave of athletes that are able to have their career followed from the time it starts till the end are going to change the face of the WNBA.”

Kyle Seager retires after 11 seasons with Mariners

SEATTLE (AP) Kyle Seager announced his retirement Wednesday after 11 seasons in the majors, all with the Seattle Mariners.

Always one to eschew social media, Seager made his decision known through a short statement posted by his wife, Julie, on her Twitter account.

“Thank you to all of my family, friends and fans for following me throughout my career. It’s been a wonderful ride but I am unbelievably excited for the next chapter of my life,” the statement says.

The 34-year-old Seager became a free agent after the season when Seattle opted not to exercise a club option on his contract. Rather than test the open market and with the uncertainty created by the ongoing lockout, Seager chose to call it a career.

Seager’s retirement is a bit surprising considering he was coming off one of his best seasons. He hit a career-high 35 home runs and had a career-best 101 RBIs last season as Seattle made a late run into playoff contention only to fall short in the final days.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Seager’s 35 homers in his final season are the second-most behind David Ortiz’s 38 with Boston in 2016.

Seager was tearfully removed from Seattle’s final game on Oct. 3 in the ninth inning after the Mariners had been eliminated from the playoff race.

“That was pretty special for me. That was a real moment,” Seager said after the season finale. “Obviously, you know this moment is gonna happen. You think about it, you think about how you’re going to feel but you can’t prepare for that. That was really special.”

Seager was the “other” player the Mariners selected out of North Carolina in the 2009 amateur draft. He was a third-round selection by Seattle while most of the attention was placed on No. 2 overall pick Dustin Ackley.

Ackley’s career never matched his draft position. Seager ended up becoming one of the best players in franchise history.

Seager was an All-Star and Gold Glove winner by 2014 and was rewarded with a $100 million, seven-year contract after that season. Seager was never again an All-Star but he was an anchor in the middle of Seattle’s batting order for his entire career and a standout presence defensively at third base.

He finished his career with a .251 batting average, 252 homers and 807 RBIs. Of the 1,480 games played, he started 1,412 at third base. Seager ranks fourth in franchise history in games, hits, home runs and RBIs.

As he got further in his career, younger teammates raved about Seager taking on a more veteran role and showing them the ins and outs of the game. When Seager was removed from the season finale, teammates were shedding tears.

“I’ve tried to help the younger guys and I want everybody to do well,” Seager said in October. “I want the Mariners to do well. … So when you have guys getting choked up and start talking about the impact that I’ve had, it means a lot to me. It really does.”

The lone entry missing on Seager’s career resume is a playoff appearance with the Mariners. Seattle went through some awful seasons during Seager’s career, finishing with a winning record only four times in 11 seasons.

Seager was asked at the end of the season what he wanted his legacy to be for his time in Seattle.

“I want to be somebody that came to work every single day,” Seager said. “Absolutely did his best. Competed. And not only tried to help myself but help others. Tried to help everybody get better and make this team better off.”

NHL cutting isolation time to 5 days, change applies in US

(AP) — The NHL is following other leagues and the CDC by cutting COVID-19 isolation times to five days under certain conditions and where it is allowed by local laws.

The change went into effect Wednesday and applies only in the U.S. because of stricter pandemic regulations in Canada. The league has 25 teams based in the U.S. and seven in Canada and on Tuesday postponed nine games scheduled for north of the border because of attendance limits imposed by provincial governments.

Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly confirmed the new protocols, which were first reported by Daily Faceoff. They apply for 14 days, at which time league and players’ association officials will reconvene to review the situation.

Players, coaches and staff who tested positive for the coronavirus can return after five days if symptoms are gone or resolving themselves with a negative PCR test or two negative rapid test results taken more than two hours apart.

“I think that’s a good step,” Nashville Predators forward Filip Forsberg said on a video call. “Obviously testing will still be a regular thing, I’m sure, and that’s something that we dealt with all last year, so we’re used to that. But I think that’s the way to do it as long as we can keep everything in the way it’s been, which has been pretty safe to me.”

The 10-day isolation requirement remains in Canada. The NBA and NFL previously reduced to six and five days, respectively, after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance.

Hockey players this week had expressed a desire for shorter isolation times. Daily testing and enhanced protocols, including mask-wearing at team facilities unless on the ice for games or practices, are in effect through at least Jan. 7.

The league has postponed 80 games so far this season, counting the nine in Canada because of crowd restrictions in the provinces of Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba. Another game, scheduled for Jan. 12 between the Canadiens and Bruins, was moved from Montreal to Boston, where fans are permitted.

Canucks beat Ducks in OT for 7th straight win under Boudreau

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) J.T. Miller scored 26 seconds into overtime and the Vancouver Canucks beat the Anaheim Ducks 2-1 Wednesday night for their seventh straight win since Bruce Boudreau took over behind the bench.

Boudreau is the third coach in NHL history to start 7-0 with a new team, matching Geoff Ward in 2019-20 with Calgary and Jacques Lemaire in 1993-94 with New Jersey.

Miller assisted on Tanner Pearson’s tying goal early in the third period then got a breakaway chance in overtime. He put a wrist shot past John Gibson for his 11th goal of the season, extending his point streak to seven games. He has three goals and 11 points in that span.

Boudreau took over Dec. 3 following a leadership purge in which two Canucks executives, coach Travis Green and an assistant coach were fired.

Vancouver was in last place in the Pacific Division with a record of 8-15-2 when Boudreau came in. They are seventh in the Pacific now, but only four points back of third.

Boudreau was working in familiar territory Wednesday – he was Anaheim’s coach for nearly five seasons (2011-16) and led the Ducks to four postseason appearances.

Thatcher Demko made 22 saves for Vancouver, which was playing its first game since Dec. 16 as COVID-19 caused league-wide interruptions to the schedule.

Sam Carrick scored Anaheim’s only goal and Gibson stopped 35 shots. It was the Ducks’ first game since Dec. 17.

Carrick got behind the defense, took a stretch pass from Hampus Lindholm off the left side of the boards and put a wrist shot past Demko at 16:26 of the first period for his seventh goal of the season and third in the last seven games.

Pearson evened it 1:21 into the third when he took a cross-ice pass from Miller and scored from the right circle. It was Pearson’s fifth of the season and his first since Dec. 1.

INJURIES

Anaheim defenseman Cam Fowler suffered an upper-body injury during the first period while vying for the puck with Vancouver’s Quinn Hughes. Fowler lost his balance and awkwardly hit the corner boards with his shoulder and head behind the Ducks’ net.

UP NEXT

Canucks: Remain in Southern California to face the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night.

Ducks: Play at Vegas on Friday.

TOP INDIANA HEADLINES/RELEASES

Hornets take charge early, hold on late to beat Pacers

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Terry Rozier scored a season-high 35 points, LaMelo Ball added 21 points and 12 rebounds, and the Charlotte Hornets beat the Indiana Pacers 116-108 on Wednesday night.

Ball also had nine assists, falling just short of his third triple-double this season and the fourth of his career. The Hornets won their third straight overall and fifth in a row in the series, including all three matchups this season.

Rozier was 13 of 23 from the field, 5 of 9 on 3-poiners and helped close it out from the free-throw line.

“We got off to a good start, need to continue to do that,” Rozier said. “The game is all about runs, and it’s just all about how you respond, and I thought we responded well. We made some big shots down the stretch, took care of the ball, and that was the most important part.”

The problem for Indiana was another slow start.

While Caris LeVert scored 27 points and Domantas Sabonis posted his 25th double-double this season with 15 points and 18 rebounds, Indiana lost for the fifth time in seven games and for the second straight time after facing an early double-digit deficit. Sabonis also had seven assists.

Charlotte never trailed after taking control with an early 15-3 run and then extending the margin to as much as 18 in the first half. They kept the Pacers at arm’s length most of the rest of the game.

“They hit a couple of 3s down the stretch, but every shot was contested, so it’s really built on our defense,” Charlotte coach James Borrego said.

Though Indiana cut the halftime deficit to 71-57 and closed to 73-63 with a quick flurry to open the third quarter, the Pacers didn’t get closer than 10 until Kelan Martin and Oshae Brissett made 3-pointers to pull Indiana within 87-82 in the final minute of the third.

Indiana got as close as four several times in the fourth quarter but never made it a one-possession game. Rozier helped the Hornets close it out from the free-throw line.

“The first half was poor, really. Nine turnovers, gave up 71 points, just not good enough,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. “I loved how we played in the second half, but for us it’s about playing 48 (minutes).”

TIP-INS

Hornets: Rozier made five 3s and has at least four in a career-high five straight games. … Gordon Hayward scored 18 points in his hometown. … Jalen McDaniels finished with 12 points, a career-best fifth straight double-digit game. … Charlotte shot 59.1% from the field in the first half, 51.8% for the game. It is 10-0 when making at least 50%. … The Hornets’ three wins against Indiana this season have come by a total of 12 points.

Pacers: Keifer Sykes, a 27-year-old rookie out of Green Bay, made his NBA debut in the first quarter. He did not score. … Myles Turner had 14 points and four blocks. … Brissett also scored 14 points. … LeVert was 4 of 12 on 3s, moving within one of No. 400 in his career. … Indiana played without leading scorer Malcolm Brogdon for the third straight game because of a sore right Achilles tendon. Brogdon averages 19.0 points.

COVID-19 UPDATES

The Pacers also were without Jeremy Lamb after he tested positive for COVID-19 and assistant coach Lloyd Pierce, who entered the health and safety protocols following an inconclusive test.

It’s just another virus flurry for the Pacers, who lost coach Rick Carlisle for four games after a positive test this month and Justin Holiday for two weeks. Two members of Carlisle’s staff, Jenny Boucek and Zach Chu, also have missed time.

Charlotte was missing three players because of COVID-19 – Miles Bridges, P.J. Washington and Scottie Lewis.

UP NEXT

Hornets: Take a three-day break before hosting Phoenix on Sunday.

Pacers: Host Chicago in a rare afternoon game New Year’s Eve.

No. 3 Purdue Wraps Up Unbeaten Non-Conference Slate in Shootout Win over Nicholls

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Zach Edey grew up in Canada playing baseball and hockey and didn’t play basketball until he was a high school sophomore.

Now a sophomore at third-ranked Purdue, the 7-foot-4 Edey is the first to admit he had a lot to learn last season.

His progress was evident on Wednesday. Edey scored 21 points, Jaden Ivey added 19 and Purdue beat Nicholls State 104-90.

“Last year going in the Big Ten, although I had decent stats, I wasn’t sure what was going on at some points,” Edey said. “I wasn’t sure what I was doing right and what I was doing wrong. Now I understand basketball more. I feel a lot more confident going into Big Ten play.”

Purdue (12-1) shot 57.4% and cracked 100 points for the first time this season in its final nonconference game.

Edey made 7 of 8 shots and 7 of 9 free throws.

“He’s put in a lot of time,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “Zach has a good routine.”

Ivey was 5-for-9 from the field. Also scoring in double figures for the Boilermakers were Isaiah Thompson (15 points), Sasha Stefanovic (14) and Mason Gillis (10).

“We just wanted to be aggressive in transition and when we got good looks we were able to knock them down,” Thompson said.

Ty Gordon led Nicholls State (8-6) with 29 points, hitting 9 of 15 3-pointers. Ryghe Lyons scored 20 points and Lattrell Jones had 18 for the Colonels. Lyons, who was 0-for-9 on 3s entering the game, made all three of his attempts beyond the arc.

“That gave them a boost when he knocked those shots down,” Painter said. “Gordon is tough to handle when he gets hot. You have to do a better job than we did.”

Purdue took a 55-36 lead into halftime but allowed Nicholls State to hang around in the second half thanks to outside shooting. The Colonels shot 58% from the field after halftime and finished the game 16 of 35 (45.7%) from 3-point range.

“Both teams did well offensively,” Painter said. “They were making some tough shots. It just depends how you look at it with some of the breakdowns we had. They took advantage of us when we didn’t break down. I asked our team afterwards, if the ball is not going in for us, how does this game unfold? We probably lose that game. Obviously, we shot the ball well and were able to go inside.”

The Boilermakers were the hotter team in the first half, shooting 59% to the Colonels’ 38%.

The Boilermakers trailed 17-11 early after Gordon sank two 3-pointers to break an 11-all tie. Purdue responded with 20 unanswered points to take a 31-17 lead. Nicholls State went more than four minutes without scoring.

Purdue forward Caleb Furst, who was averaging 6.2 points in nearly 22 minutes per game, was out because of health and safety protocols.

BIG PICTURE

Nicholls State: This was the Colonels’ fifth game this season against a Power Five opponent, all losses. The Colonels came closest against Wisconsin, losing 71-68 on Dec. 15.

Purdue: The Boilermakers had a strong shooting effort, but will likely want to brush up on their perimeter defense before Big Ten action resumes.

STAT OF THE DAY

Purdue’s 6-10 big man Trevion Williams led the team in rebounds (11) and assists (eight) and had no turnovers along with his nine points.

The Boilermakers had a 36-32 rebounding edge. Manny Littles had 11 rebounds for the Colonels.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

The Boilermakers solidified their top-five ranking in their only game this week as they end nonconference play.

(Postgame Notes)

Purdue improved to 12-1 overall with a 104-90 victory over Nicholls in the final non-conference game of the season for the Boilermakers.

The 104 points were the most in a non-conference game since scoring 106 against Fairfield on Nov. 18, 2017.

The 194 combined points were the most since a 118-77 win over Florida A&M on Dec. 22, 1997.

Purdue ends the non-conference slate with an 11-0 record, the first unbeaten non-conference season since 2009-10 (12-0) and just the fourth since the 1939-40 campaign (1992-93, 1993-94, 2009-10, 2021-22).

Purdue won its 13th straight game in Mackey Arena and 14th straight in Mackey Arena against non-conference foes.

Purdue recorded 30 assists on 35 made field goals against Nicholls. The 30 assists were the most since having 30 assists against Alcorn State on Nov. 17, 2010. The total is tied for the ninth most in a game in school history.

Purdue has now scored at least 40 points in 16-of-26 halves this year, and shot at least 50.0 percent in 17-of-26 halves.

Purdue averaged 1.51 points per possession, good for the fourth-best total in school history.

Purdue had a 20-0 run midway through the first half, marking the second time this season that the Boilermakers have embarked on a 20-0 run or better (29-0 vs. Omaha).

Purdue is now 51-2 since the start of the 2017-18 season when scoring at least 80 points.

Purdue is 47-5 since the start of the 2017-18 season when making 10 or more 3-pointers, having won 18 straight games. Purdue was 14-of-29 from long range.

Purdue’s big three of Jaden Ivey, Trevion Williams and Zach Edey combined for 49 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists, shooting 16-of-25 from the field and 14-of-19 from the free throw line.

Purdue’s center tandem of Trevion Williams and Zach Edey combined for 30 points, 16 rebounds, 12 assists, 3 blocks and no turnovers while shooting 11-of-16 from the field.

Edey scored 21 points in 16 minutes of action and is now averaging 34.0 points and 16.7 rebounds per 40 minutes.

Trevion Williams narrowly missed a triple-double with nine points, 11 rebounds and eight assists in 22 minutes. He has now been close to a triple-double in two of his last four games, averaging 13.3 points, 9.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game in that span.

Williams moved into 10th on the school’s career rebounds list, now with 748.

Sasha Stefanovic’s four 3-pointers give him 174 for his career, moving into 13th place on Purdue’s career 3-pointers made list.

Purdue is now 7-0 all-time when Mason Gillis scores in double-figures. He had 10 points in the win over Nicholls.

Butler MBB Opens BIG EAST Play with 63-59 Win Over DePaul

Butler opened the BIG EAST portion of the schedule with a 63-59 win over DePaul Wednesday night at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Freshman Simas Lukosius led the Bulldogs with 15 points, including 13 in the opening 20 minutes and a pair of free throws in the closing seconds to ice the game. Chuck Harris and Jayden Taylor each added 13 points for Butler.

Aaron Thompson had seven points, seven assists and a career-high seven steals that were just one off the Butler program single-game record.

DePaul opened the second half with a 10-2 run to trim Butler’s lead to 39-36 with 16:18 remaining. The Bulldogs responded with a 10-1 spurt to take a 49-37 advantage at the 11:48 mark. That 12-point edge was Butler’s largest lead of the game.

Less than 30 seconds later, Butler’s Bryce Golden and DePaul’s Yor Anei got tangled by the Butler bench. Golden was assessed a flagrant foul and both players were given a technical foul. That disqualified Golden with his fifth foul. DePaul’s Nick Ongenda was ejected for leaving the DePaul bench to join in the melee.

Butler led 60-50 with 5:55 to play following a Taylor lay-up. DePaul would chip into the lead and ultimately pulled within 60-58 with 48 seconds to play. An empty Butler possession was followed by DePaul being fouled with four seconds remaining. Brandon Johnson made the first, but missed the second free throw and Lukosius pulled down the rebound. The freshman made two free throws after being fouled to give Butler a 62-59 lead. A DePaul turnover essentially ended the game as Taylor added a free throw for the final margin.

Butler forced DePaul into 21 turnovers as the Bulldogs had 11 steals on the night. The Blue Demons shot only 39 percent from the field.

Johnson led DePaul with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Javon Freeman-Liberty added 13 points, but went only 4-of-16 from the field while largely guarded by Thompson throughout the game. The Blue Demons played without second-leading scorer David Jones.

Bryce Nze returned to action for the Bulldogs after being out since the team’s Nov. 17 game against Michigan State with a shoulder injury. He had seven points and five rebounds in 29 minutes.

Butler had not played since Dec. 18 after the team’s Dec. 23 game at St. John’s was canceled on the day of the game due to COVID issues within the Red Storm program. DePaul has battled their own COVID issues and hadn’t played since Dec. 14.

Butler’s Saturday contest at UConn has been canceled due to COVID issues within the Huskies program. The Bulldogs now will next play Tuesday at home against Seton Hall.

BIG EAST Announces Cancellation of @ButlerMBB’s Saturday Game at Connecticut

NEW YORK – The BIG EAST Conference has announced that the Butler at Connecticut game, which was scheduled for Saturday, January 1, has been canceled due to COVID issues within the UConn program.

Per the BIG EAST game cancellation policy, the Conference office will attempt to reschedule the game in accordance with the parameters of the policy.

Butler WBB Falls to Xavier 77-55

CINCINNATI – The Xavier Musketeers found the win column against Butler in their BIG EAST home opener. Kae Satterfield led all players with a game-high 18 points. Butler saw Emilia Sexton tie her career-high with 15 points while Tenley Dowell chipped in with a season-high 12.

How It Happened

Xavier hit four-straight shots to spark a 7-0 scoring run in the first quarter to build a 12-7 lead at the first media timeout. Emilia Sexton would change the course of the game with six points in the opening quarter. The BU senior came off the bench to knock down two 3-pointers in the first frame.

Each team sprinkled in some zone defense early in the contest which opened up shots from behind the arc. BU started the game 2-for-10 from deep while Xavier was 2-for-6. After the first 10 minutes, Xavier would lead Butler 16-12.

Butler adjusted to the Musketeer 2-3 zone and opened the second quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers, tying the game at 18-18. Kendall Wingler hit the first and Tenley Dowell connected on the second. Butler would also get back to the basics and feed the post throughout the first half. Sydney Jaynes earned a trip to the foul line with this method and would put BU in front 21-20 with a free throw at the 6:35 mark.

The lead would quickly fade with Xavier’s Mackayla Scarlett hitting back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Musketeers a 26-21 lead at the media timeout. Scarlett helped the home team outscore Butler 12-2 over a three-minute stretch to improve their lead to 32-23. Xavier would lead Butler 37-27 at the half after a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Kae Satterfield. Scarlett and Satterfield combined for 23 first half points. BU was led by Jaynes with seven and Sexton with six.

Butler played inside out at the start of the third quarter. Celena Taborn hit three free throws in the opening minutes of the second half and sent Xavier’s Ayanna Townsend to the bench with three personal fouls. Butler would get three more points from a long distance triple from Wingler and Xavier would call for a timeout with 7:28 to play in the third.

Business picked up for the Bulldogs at the midway point of the third quarter. Sexton checked into the game to hit her third 3-pointer of the day and Dowell did her job on the next trip with a triple from the wing in front of the BU bench to get the Bulldogs back within four points at 43-39.

Taborn was forced to the BU bench with four minutes to play in the third with her fourth personal foul. Xavier countered by brining Townsend back in and a 9-0 Musketeer scoring run would follow. Satterfield would give Xavier a 59-43 lead heading into the fourth by once again beating the buzzer. This time she drove hard to the right block and laid it in for her 14th point of the day.

Dowell hit her third 3-pointer of the contest at the start of the fourth quarter, but the Bulldogs only managed to add two more free throws before the media timeout. Xavier led 67-48 with 4:19 remaining and would take that advantage to the finish line for a 77-55 victory.

Stat of the Game

Xavier’s Mackayla Scarlett started for just the second time this season and scored a career-high 16 points.

Inside the Box Score

– Butler had won the previous five meetings and still own the lead in the all-time series vs. Xavier

– Xavier only had seven active players on the roster Wednesday; Butler played with 10

– Butler committed 21 turnovers leading to 19 Xavier points

– Xavier came up with 18 offensive rebounds, resulting in 26 second chance points

– The Musketeers outrebounded Butler 41-38 and won the points in the paint battle 32-12

– 11 of Butler’s 17 made field goals came from 3-point land

– Celena Taborn scored nine points and added five rebounds

Up Next

Butler will host Creighton on New Year’s Eve. The BIG EAST home opener will tip at 2 PM.

IRISH AT CAVALIERS – POSTPONED

GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – The Atlantic Coast Conference announced today that the Notre Dame at Virginia women’s basketball game scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 30, has been postponed due to COVID precautions in the Cavaliers program. Both teams are working with the ACC to reschedule the contest. Meanwhile, Virginia is adhering to the outlined COVID protocols within the ACC Medical Advisory Group report, which is available on theACC.com (full report).

Notre Dame’s contest at Duke for Jan. 2 remains intact.

Notre Dame Hockey: #10 Irish Return From Break To Host Niagara

WHO: #10/10 Notre Dame (12-5-0) vs. Niagara University (4-10-2)
WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 1 at 5 p.m. ET // Sunday, Jan. 2 at 5 p.m. ET
WHERE: Compton Family Ice Arena
WATCH: Peacock
LISTEN: 94.3 FM | UND.com
NOTES (PDF)

SETTING THE STAGE

  • The Irish return from winter break to kick off a busy opening few weeks of 2022 with a pair of non-conference games against Niagara on Jan. 1-2 (5 p.m. ET) at the Compton Family Ice Arena.
  • Notre Dame is 6-1-0 outside of the Big Ten this season, with the series against the Purple Eagles and a Jan. 19 home game versus Boston College remaining on the schedule.
  • The Irish are slated to play seven games in the first 19 games of January, including Big Ten series at Penn State (Jan. 7-8) and Ohio State (Jan. 14-15).
  • Notre Dame is fourth in the Big Ten standings (6-4-0-2-1-0/17 points in 10 GP).
  • Senior captain Jake Pivonka returned from injury to play a limited role in the Michigan State series after missing the first 15 games of the season.
  • Sophomore forward Landon Slaggert is playing with Team USA in the World Junior Championship.
  • Max Ellis leads the Irish with 20 points on a team-high 11 goals and nine assists.
  • Ellis’ 11 goals rank tied for 11th in the country (tied for first in B1G), while his 0.647 goals per game ranks 10th in the NCAA (first in B1G).
  • Ellis is also tied for the NCAA lead with two shorthanded goals this season. 
  • Sophomore Ryder Rolston is second on the team with 16 points on six goals and a team-best 10 assists.
  • Rolston also leads the team with three game-winning goals, which is tied for seventh in the country (tied for second in the B1G).
  • All told, 14 Notre Dame players have scored so far this season, while 18 have at least one point.
  • The Irish are 8-1-0 when scoring first this season.
  • Notre Dame is also 8-3-0 at home this season.
  • Notre Dame’s penalty kill is 59-for-64 on the season (.9219), which ranks second in the NCAA.
  • Notre Dame has made each of the last five NCAA Tournaments, the longest streak in program history, and eight of the last 11 NCAA Tournaments overall.

THE NOTRE DAME – NIAGARA SERIES

  • Notre Dame and Niagara will be meeting for just the fourth and fifth times overall and for the first time since a two-game series on Oct. 24-25, 2014 at the Compton Family Ice Arena. 
  • The Fighting Irish took game one of that series 6-3 and followed with a 7-0 game two victory.
  • In game one, Sam Herr and Robbie Russo each scored twice, while Jake Evans had three assists.
  • In game two, Notre Dame boasted seven different goal scorers and Cal Petersen turned in a 23-save shutout to earn the win.
  • The only other meeting between the two teams came on Oct. 14, 2000 when the teams skated to a 3-3 overtime tie in Omaha, Nebraska in the Maverick Stampede tournament.
  • The Irish won the shootout to finish third at the four-team event.

ALEX STEEVES MAKES NHL DEBUT

  • Former Irish forward Alex Steeves (2018-21) made his NHL debut for the Toronto Maple Leafs on Dec. 7 against Columbus (and former Notre Dame teammate Andrew Peeke) in a 5-4 Toronto win.
  • Steeves, who earned Second Team All-Big Ten honors in 2020-21, became the 25th former Irish player under head coach Jeff Jackson to reach the NHL and the Notre Dame program’s 39th NHL player overall. 
  • Prior to Steeves, the most recent Notre Dame players to make their NHL debuts were Jordan Gross, Peeke, Jake Evans and Thomas DiPauli during the 2019-20 season. 

SLAGGERT WITH TEAM USA 

  • Sophomore forward Landon Slaggert has been named to the U.S. National Junior Team, USA Hockey announced (Dec. 16). 
  • Slaggert was named an alternate captain for Team USA and scored the game winner in Team USA’s tournament-opening 3-2 win over Slovakia (Dec. 26).
  • The 2022 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship is taking place from Dec. 26, 2021 – Jan. 5, 2022 in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta. 
  • Slaggert is one of six players from the 2021 U.S. National Junior Team that won a gold medal in Edmonton.
  • Slaggert is the seventh Notre Dame player to take part in two World Junior Championships.
  • At last season’s World Junior Tournament, Slaggert skated in all seven games for Team USA and became the first Fighting Irish player to medal at the event since 2018 – when current Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Andrew Peeke helped the U.S. secure the bronze in Buffalo. 
  • Slaggert’s gold marked the eighth medal by a Notre Dame player at the event as he also joined Anders Bjork (bronze in 2016), Mario Lucia (gold in 2013), Kyle Palmieri (gold in 2010 and bronze in 2011), Kyle Lawson (bronze in 2007) and Ben Simon (silver in 1997). 
  • Slaggert was the 23rd Notre Dame player to take part in the World Junior Championship and the South Bend, Indiana native will look to join Palmieri (2010/11), Ian Cole (2008/09), Rob Globke (2001/02), Connor Dunlop (2000/01), Simon (1997/98) and Jack Brownschidle (1977/79) as two-time Irish participants.

 SENIORS WITH CLASS

  • Forward Graham Slaggert and defenseman Spencer Stastney have been named two of the 20 candidates for the 2021-22 Senior CLASS Award®.
  • The Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete, who must have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition. The Notre Dame hockey program consistently produces finalists for the national award, including past winners David Brown (2007) and Jake Evans (2018). 
  • The 20 candidates will be narrowed to ten finalists later in the season. Those ten names will then be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one candidate who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character, and competition.
  • The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2022 NCAA Men’s Frozen Four® in April. 

THE BIG TEN STANDINGS

  • This season, teams are awarded three points in the conference standings for a win in regulation. 
  • If the game is tied following regulation, both teams will receive one point, with a second point being awarded to the team that wins in either the 3-on-3 overtime period or the shootout.
  • The conference standings now match a national standard: W-L-T-OTW-OTL-SOW.

Indiana State-UNI women’s basketball game postponed

ST. LOUIS – The University of Northern Iowa has determined it is unable to compete in Thursday (Dec. 30) and Saturday (Jan. 1) home women’s basketball games against Evansville and Indiana State, respectively.

The games have been postponed, and the Conference office will attempt to reschedule the games, if possible.  

The MVC’s forfeiture/cancelation policy states that “an institution will be required to play a Conference basketball game if it has eight or more student-athletes and one or more countable coaches available. In the event an institution does not meet the minimum threshold of player/coach availability and the game cannot be rescheduled, it will be declared a “no contest.” In the event an institution meets the minimum threshold of player/coach availability and elects not to play, the game will be considered a forfeit. Notably, an institution may play if it fails to meet those minimum roster standards.”

Ultimate responsibility and public-facing communication regarding decisions to compete, cancel, postpone or delay MVC contests shall rest with the Conference office in collaboration with athletics administrators from the two competing institutions.

Indiana State will play at Drake Thursday night before beginning a three-game MVC homestand against Illinois State on January 7.

Sycamores travel to Drake for MVC opener

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State plays its first Missouri Valley Conference game of the season Thursday evening when it travels to Drake for a 7 p.m. tip inside the Knapp Center. The game will be carried on ESPN3 and 105.5 The Legend.

Last Time Out

Anna McKendree scored 14 points off the bench and Marie Hunter added 12 to lead Indiana State past Purdue Fort Wayne, 55-53, in the Sycamores’ final non-conference game of the season.

The win was the second straight for the Sycamores, who improved to 5-6 on the season. Caitlin Anderson hit the go-ahead free throw with 1:08 left in the game, while Indiana State forced 26 Purdue Fort Wayne turnovers.

Purdue Fort Wayne led by as many as seven, but ISU always remained within striking distance. The Sycamores closed the game on a 6-0 run and kept Purdue Fort Wayne off the scoreboard for the final four minutes of the contest.

A Closer Look at Drake

Drake enters Thursday’s contest at 8-3 overall. The Bulldogs have won seven of their last eight games, including a 77-63 win over Minnesota in their last game.

Katie Dinnebier and Grace Berg led Drake with 14 points each in the 14-point win over Minnesota. Five different Bulldogs scored in double-figures, with Hannah Fuller recording 10 points, six rebounds and five assists. Drake scored 46 of its 77 points in the second half.

Four Bulldogs are averaging double-figure scoring this season, led by Maggie Blair with 12.3 points per game. Berg, Dinnebier and Megan Meyer are all averaging at least 10 points per game for Drake, while Courtney Becker leads the Bulldogs with 6.0 rebounds per game. Dinnebier has a team-high 45 assists and 22 steals.

Series History Against Drake

Indiana State and Drake have previously met 83 times, with Drake holding a 60-23 lead in the all-time series. The Bulldogs have won each of the last 10 meetings, while Indiana State has just five wins in Des Moines in the series.

Drake raced out to a 33-13 advantage after one quarter in the last meeting between the teams on its way to a 94-54 win in Des Moines on January 16, 2021. Grace Berg led all scorers with 22 for the Bulldogs. Adrian Folks, Marie Hunter and Jamyra McChristine had 12 points apiece to lead the Sycamores.

Double Trouble

Indiana State has posted three double-doubles this season, including two in the month of December.

Adrian Folks had a career-high 24 points and 10 rebounds in the Sycamores’ second game of the season at Saint Louis. Mya Glanton recorded ISU’s second double-double of the season against Western Michigan, posting career highs of 22 points and 16 rebounds against the Broncos.

Tonysha Curry had a career-best 15 points and 12 rebounds in the last game against UIC for her first double-double in an Indiana State uniform.

Thievery

Indiana State’s defense continues to remain among the nation’s best as the Sycamores enter Tuesday’s contest sitting in the top 25 in a pair team defensive categories. The Sycamores are 14th in turnovers forced (22.55) and 20th in steals per game (12.0). Indiana State is also ranked 26th in total steals (132) and leads the Missouri Valley in all three categories.

Indiana State made its mark early in the season with a 21-steal contest against Stephens (Mo.) to open the year. ISU has recorded at least 10 steals in nine of the 11 contests this season, including 13 in back-to-back games against Georgia Southern and Chicago State and a season-best 15 in the last game against Purdue Fort Wayne. Overall, it’s been a team effort by Indiana State with four players posting double-digit steals on the year and 10 players overall recording multiple steals.

In addition to getting their hands on the ball, ISU has been constantly harassing the opposition and has posted six games with at least 20 forced turnovers on defense. The Sycamores forced a season-high 36 turnovers against Stephens (Mo.) and carried on with 26 forced turnovers against Saint Louis, 21 against Georgia Southern, 21 against Chicago State and 24 in back-to-back games against Western Michigan and (RV/RV Nebraska). In their most recent game, the Sycamores forced 26 turnovers against Purdue Fort Wayne.

Defense to Offense

Indiana State has forced at least 15 turnovers in each of the first 11 games this season. Included in that number is seven games with 20 or more turnovers forced. The Sycamores have often converted those turnovers into points on the other end, as ISU has at least 20 points off turnovers in five of the last six games.

No Fly Zone

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

ISU previously limited Stephens (Mo.) to a 0-for-12 mark behind the arc to open the year and have held opponents under .300 from the three-point line on six separate occasions this year. ISU has limited opponents to just a .261 three-point percentage on the year, a mark that ranks second in the Missouri Valley Conference and inside the top 75 in Division I.

Indiana State limited UIC to a 1-for-14 mark (.077) from behind the arc in its last game, a 76-50 Sycamore win. ISU is limiting opponents to a .096 clip from deep in its four wins this season.

Banner Year

The 2021-22 season has already seen multiple Indiana State players set career highs in the scoring column. Overall, five different returning Sycamores have set new career bests in scoring this season, with a pair of newcomers also posting double-digit efforts this season.

Del’Janae Williams had a career-high 26 in Indiana State’s road win over Georgia Southern in one of her two 20-point games this season, while Adrian Folks had a career-best 24 in a double-double at Saint Louis. Mya Glanton set career-high marks of 22 points and 16 rebounds in ISU’s last home game against Western Michigan.

Marie Hunter (19 vs. Jacksonville State) and Natalia Lalic (13 at Georgia Southern) have also set their career highs in scoring this season. In addition, Tonysha Curry (15 vs. UIC), Anna McKendree (13 vs. Stephens (Mo.), 14 at Purdue Fort Wayne) and Arianna Smith (11 at Western Kentucky) have hit double-figures in scoring during their first seasons in the Blue and White.

Mastodon MBB Travels to Cleveland State For League Game

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – With both scheduled opponents this weekend in COVID-19 protocols, the Mastodon men’s basketball program has called an audible and will now play at Cleveland State on Thursday (Dec. 30). 

Game Day Information
Who: 
Purdue Fort Wayne (5-5, 1-1 Horizon) at Cleveland State (6-3, 2-0 Horizon)
When: Thursday, December 30 | 7:00 p.m. ET
Where: Cleveland, Ohio | Wolstein Center
Listen: 1380 The Fan 
Live Stats: Link
Watch: ESPN+
Game Notes: Purdue Fort Wayne (PDF) | Cleveland State

NOTE FOR FANS ATTENDING:

// Masks are required at all times for spectators at the Wolstein Center.

// Tickets are free, all seating will be general admission.

// Only the Medical Mutual gate, located at the northeast corner, will be open.

// Free parking will be available in the South Garage, enter off 21st street.

KNOW YOUR FOE:

// Leading scorer: D’Moi Hodge (14.9 ppg)

// Head coach: Dennis Gates

// Cleveland State’s three losses have come to Brigham Young, Ohio and Oklahoma State.

// Their contest at Duke scheduled for Dec. 18 was canceled due to COVID-19 protocols.

// Cleveland State has league wins over Wright State  (85-75) and Northern Kentucky (72-58).

// Cleveland State leads the all-time series with the Mastodons 6-2. The two teams played five times last season, including a 108-104 triple overtime win for Cleveland State in the Horizon League Championship Quarterfinals on March 2.


‘DONS AND ENDS:

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

// The Mastodons are forcing a league-best 16.10 turnovers per game, 50th best in the nation.

// The ‘Dons have only lost the turnover battle in two games this season, at Minnesota and vs. SEMO.

// Jalon Pipkins recorded a career-high 24 points and 10 field goals in the victory over SEMO in the Mastodons’ last time out.

// Jalon Pipkins has four games of 19 or more points this season.

FROM THE LINE:

// The ‘Dons are 18th in the nation and second in the Horizon League in free throw shooting (78.2 percent).

// Over the last five games the Mastodons are 81-of-92 (88.0 percent) from the free throw line.

        at Florida Gulf Coast (17-of-21)

        vs. Wright State (16-of-16)

        vs. Northern Kentucky (14-of-16)

        at SIUE (19-of-20)

        vs. SEMO (15-of-19)

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

BILLUPS BUCKETS:

// Deonte Billups is shooting a team-best 44.2 percent (23-of-52) from three on the season. He is third in the Horizon League in made 3-pointers.

// Billups has improved his 3-point shooting each season. As a freshman he shot 32.4 and last season he shot 38.5 percent.

// Looking like the leader for Horizon League Sixth Man of the Year, Deonte Billups leads the league in scoring among players without a start this season thanks to his 9.7 points per game.

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

‘DONS WENT TO JARRED:

// The contest with Cleveland State will be Jarred Godfrey’s 100th consecutive game. He has played in every game during his Mastodon career. He has started every game since the start of his sophomore year.

// Jarred Godfrey owns 1,287 career points, 9th most in program history. Up next is eighth place Kason Harrell (1,349 points, 2015-19).

// Jarred Godfrey is fourth in the league in steals per game (1.90) and fifth in assists per game (4.4).

// Jarred Godfrey is averaging 17.7 points per game, fifth-best in the league, but it also would be his best average for a season. He averaged 15.6 as a sophomore and 16.2 last season.

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

// Jarred Godfrey has scored in double-digits in every game this season.

THE K IS SILENT, HIS GAME IS NOT:

// Ra Kpedi is having the best season of his career, averaging 11.1 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.

// Ra Kpedi is 13th in the nation in offensive rebounds per game (3.50).

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

MEET DAMIAN CHONG QUI:

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

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

// Damian Chong Qui has 31 assists on only 15 turnovers on the season. This includes a six assist and zero turnover game against Southeastern Louisiana.

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

2021 Comes to a Close For Mastodon WBB at Youngstown State

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Purdue Fort Wayne women’s basketball team will return to Horizon League play for good on Thursday (Dec. 30), as the Mastodons play at Youngstown State to finish up 2021.

Game Day Information
Who: Youngstown State Penguins
When: Thursday, December 30 | 1 PM
Where: Youngstown State | Beeghly Center
Live Stats: Link
Watch: ESPN+

Know Your Foe
Youngstown State is 10-1 with a 4-0 start to Horizon League play. The Penguins’ only loss this year came in a road game at Penn State. YSU has won its four Horizon League games by an average of nine points, with the largest margin being 11. The Penguins are led by Lilly Ritz and Chelsea Olson, who are combining to average 28.3 points per game. Ritz was the HL Player of the Week on Nov. 22.

The Series
The Penguins have a 7-2 advantage in the all-time series against the Mastodons and have won the last four games. The ‘Dons’ last win came in 2010, which saw four Mastodons score in double-figures, leading to a 73-61 win. The two squads last met in the spring of 2021, when YSU beat the ‘Dons in the Horizon League Championship 62-59.

A Win Would…
• Be the Mastodons’ first win over the Penguins since joining the Horizon League
• Be the Mastodons’ first win over Youngstown State since 2010
• Be the Mastodons’ fourth League win, their most since 2013-14
• Tie the most wins against Division I competition in a season since 2015-16

Shooters Shoot
The Mastodons have the second-best 3-point shooting percentage in the Horizon League at 35.8 percent with the second-most makes. This percentage is 41st in the country. The 35.8 percent rate would rank in the top 10 in program history. Last season, the ‘Dons were last in the league in both 3-point and overall shooting percentage categories.

In a League of Their Own
Purdue Fort Wayne has three players averaging over 10 point per game: Sylare Starks (13.9 ppg), Riley Ott (12.1 ppg) and Ryin Ott (10.3 ppg). Purdue Fort Wayne is one of two teams in the League to have three players averaging at least 10 points per game.

Pretty Good From the Line
Purdue Fort Wayne is second in the Horizon League and 14th in the country in free throw percentage. The ‘Dons are making 78.2 percent from the line, which ranks in the top five in program history for a season mark. Purdue Fort Wayne has five players shooting over 80 percent from the line, led by Aubrey Stupp, who is averaging 90.0 percent on 20 attempts, and Shianne Johnson who is 2-for-2.

Sister Connection
Since her sister Ryin has joined the team, Riley Ott’s per game stats have taken a significant jump. Here’s how she compares without Ryin (2019-21) to with Ryin (2021-22):
Points: 10.4 -> 12.1
Rebounds: 2.5 -> 3.1
Assists: 2.1 -> 2.4
Steals: 0.9 -> 1.2
Blocks: 0.04 -> 0.2
FG%: 34.4 -> 38.7
3FG%: 28.5 -> 48.3
FT%: 74.8 -> 85.2

Rileeeeeeey for Threeeeeeeeeee!
Riley Ott is shooting 48.3 percent from 3-point range this season (14-of-29). With a minimum of 30 makes, the program’s best season average is 46.1 percent, coming from former sharpshooter Trish Fleming (2000-01).

Sharp-Shooting ‘Dons
Purdue Fort Wayne has five Mastodons shooting over 40 percent from 3-point range with at least one attempt: ShianneJohnson, Riley Ott, Valerie Clark, Ryin Ott, Shayla Sellers and Sylare Starks. Last year, the Mastodons had no one shoot over 31 percent. As a team, the ‘Dons are shooting 35.8 percent, up from 25.0 percent a year ago.

Recent Riley
Over the last four games, Riley Ott has averaged 17.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists, while shooting 12-of-24 for 50 percent from 3-point range. She was also 7-of-8 from the free throw line. In her last two outings, Ott averaged 22.0 points on 41.0 percent from the floor and 57.1 percent from 3.

Last Time Out
The Mastodons are coming off a 55-53 loss to Indiana State. The ‘Dons just missed the final buzzer to send the game to overtime. Riley Ott had a career-high 23 points.

Coming Up
Purdue Fort Wayne will ring in the new year with a road game at Robert Morris at 1 p.m. on New Year’s Day. RMU and the ‘Dons split a pair of games in 2020-21.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: WEEKEND PREVIEW

Out with the old year with a conference road trip, in with the new year with a home game against a nationally ranked opponent for the Indiana University East women’s basketball team.

IU East (12-3, 4-1) plays its last game of the 2021 calendar year on Dec. 30 with a River States Conference contest at WVU Tech (4-9, 3-1). Tipoff is at 2 p.m. in Beckley, W.Va.

The Red Wolves return to Lingle Court on Jan. 1 for a New Year’s Day home game against NAIA No. 11 Indiana Wesleyan University (13-2), which reached the Round of 4 at the national tournament last season. Tipoff time is 1 p.m.

DEC. 30 – FOLLOW IU EAST AT WVU TECH

WVU Tech, which has played in the last three national tournaments, plays its home games at Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center, GPS address 200 Armory Drive in Beckley, W.Va.

Live video, live audio and live stats, produced by WVU Tech, are scheduled to be available.

Monitor iueredwolves.com for the game recap and box score.

JAN. 1 – FOLLOW INDIANA WESLEYAN AT IU EAST

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 and live stats are scheduled to be available.

Monitor iueredwolves.com for the game recaps and results.

YOU OUGHT TO KNOW

* The Red Wolves’ 12-3 record represents the best 15-game start in IU East’s program history.

* IU East is 4-6 all-time against WVU Tech. The Golden Bears have won the last four meetings.

* IU East is 2-2 in NAIA meetings against Indiana Wesleyan. The Red Wolves won the first two meetings, in 2016 and 2017. The Wildcats won in 2018 and 2019.

* The IU East-Indiana Wesleyan game will be the second NAIA women’s basketball game of the 2022 calendar year. The Cornerstone-Davenport game that tips off at noon will be the first.

* Kennedy Griffin was named River States Conference Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 20 after averaging 27.0 points per game in IU East’s two wins at the pre-holiday West Palm Beach Invitational.

* IU East is 4-1 in true road games this year and 5-1 in home games.

* IU East is 8-0 when it makes 30 or more field goals.

* IU East ranks in the national top 25 points scored per game (10th with 82.9), free throws per game (10th with 16.4), assists per game (12th with 18.1) and 3-point field goals per game (16th with 8.9), .

* Addie Brown (15.0 points per game), Kennedy Griffin (14.6), Bethany Mackin (12.0) and Kami McEldowney (11.6) all average double digits in scoring for IU East.

* Tia Tolbert (5.9 rebounds per game), Bethany Mackin (3.8 assists per game), Marissa Quiroz (0.7 blocks per game) and Paige Gregory (2.1 steals per game) are IU East’s leaders in the other standard statistical categories.

MEN’S BASKETBALL: MARIAN AT IU EAST GAME POSTPONED

RICHMOND, Ind. – The Indiana University East men’s basketball home game against Marian University scheduled for Jan. 2 has been postponed.

The teams hope to reschedule the matchup.

The All-American Recognition Ceremony in honor of graduated IU East men’s basketball All-American Bishop Smith which was scheduled to take place Jan. 2 also will be rescheduled.

IU East’s next scheduled game is now Jan. 8 at Alice Lloyd College.

RECAP | Grizzlies Drop Hasbrook Memorial Tournament Opener to Piedmont on Wednesday

GREENCASTLE, Ind. – The Franklin College women’s basketball team resumed play following the holiday break on Wednesday (Dec. 29), taking on Piedmont University in the Amy Hasbrook Memorial Tournament, hosted by DePauw University.

The Grizzlies (4-5) fell behind early and the Lions (7-3) never let go of the lead, with Piedmont taking the game by an 85-63 score.

How it Happened

The game began with an 11-1 Lions run before Chelbie Anderson converted on Franklin’s first field goal of the night with 6:35 to play in the first quarter. The Grizzlies clawed back from down by as many as 14 to get within six at 30-24 with a Jasmine Walker layup with 3:35 to go in the half, but a late surge from the Lions stretched their lead back to nine at 36-27 at the half.

Franklin would cut the deficit to as little as eight points in the second half, but two strong offensive quarters from the Piedmont offense proved too much to overcome.

Inside the Box Score

-Franklin shot 36.7% (22-for-60) from the field, with Jessica Nix leading Franklin in scoring with 14 points.

-A pair of Grizzlies made their first career starts on Wednesday, with sophomore CiCi Bailey and freshman Maddie Barnes getting the call. Bailey had nine points and made all four of her field goals while Barnes had three points and four boards.

-Anderson and Walker both had eight points off the bench to lead all Franklin reserves. The Grizzlies got 27 points from their bench on the night.

Up Next

The Grizzlies will take on Milwaukee School of Engineering in the consolation game of the Amy Hasbrook Memorial Tournament on Thursday (Dec. 30). Tip-off is set for 2:00 p.m.

Trine’s Career Three-Point Record Belongs to Tara Bieniewicz in 77-52 Win

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Trine University women’s basketball team defeated Penn State University-Behrend on Wednesday afternoon in the Basketball Destinations Post-Christmas Classic at Trevecca Nazarene University, 77-52.

Tara Bieniewicz [Chesterfield, Mich. / Dakota] was able to secure the Trine career three-point record with her second make from deep in the game at the 9:09 mark in the second quarter. She already held the record for most makes in the NCAA DIII era of Trine women’s basketball, and now holds the all-time record for most career makes from deep.

“It’s an honor to be recognized for this accomplishment and I couldn’t have done it without my teammates both now and in the past,” Bieniewicz mentioned post-game. “I’ve been blessed to play with such an amazing group of girls over the years and to have been apart of this outstanding basketball program. I also want to thank my coaches who believe in me and push me everyday.”

The Thunder (10-2) led from opening tip-to-final buzzer and got up by as many as 34 in the fourth quarter to send the Lions (9-2) to their second loss in the 2021-22 season.

Trine went on an 8-0 run to start the game and held Behrend scoreless for almost four minutes out of the gates. Kelsy Taylor [Louisville, Ky. / New Albany] knocked down a pair of jumpers during the scoring spurt and Bieniewicz connected with her first three of the game at the 7:08 mark in the first.

Katie Sloneker [Monroe, Ohio / Monroe] and Sophie Sloneker [Monroe, Ohio / Monroe] combined for 10 straight in the midst of an 18-3 run. A 24-6 first quarter was capped with makes by Alyssa Argyle [Freeland, Mich. / Freeland] and Rachel Stewart [Pekin, Ind. / Eastern].

The record-breaking three-point field goal was the first Thunder score in the second quarter and began a streak of 14 straight points for the senior, including three more makes from beyond the arc spanning the first five minutes of the period.

The Lions were without a point over the final 5:13 in the second as Trine extended the lead to 50-19 at the half. Makayla Ardis [Lake City, Mich. / Lake City] and Sam Underhill [Grand Rapids, Mich. / Northview] entered the scoring column over the course of the 12-0 run.

The Thunder shot 56.7% (19-for-33) in the first while holding Behrend to just 17.1% (6-for-35) from the field. Five of six makes were from deep for the Lions.

A low-scoring third quarter was highlighted by an and-one from Bieniewicz and a pair of lay-ups from Stewart to go into the final 10 minutes with a 60-33 advantage.

Trine notched their largest lead of the game in the fourth quarter with a Stewart lay-up to give the Thunder a 34-point lead, 77-43. Behrend was able to end the contest by scoring nine in a row to get to the 77-52 final tally.

The Thunder outscored the Lions 34-14 in the paint and 35-4 off the bench. Bieniewicz (20 points) and Stewart (16 points) were double figure scorers for the Thunder, with Taylor and Sophie Sloneker each netting nine points, a season-high for Sloneker. Taylor and Stewart led Trine with seven rebounds each, both of them collecting three on the offensive end of the floor.

The Basketball Destinations Post-Christmas Classic continues tomorrow, December 30, when the Thunder take on Williams College at 2 pm (1 pm CST).

Cush & Ejah Lead the Way as Cougars Defeat RV ONU Tigers for Second Straight Win

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – On Wednesday evening, the No. 25 University of Saint Francis Cougars (12-4; 2-2 Crossroads) played host to the RV Olivet Nazarene University Tigers (12-3) at Hutzell Athletic Center and prevailed 89-84 for the team’s second straight win.

After a dominating bounce back victory on Tuesday against Holy Cross, the Cougars hoped to carry their momentum over against the Tigers. As the game started, both teams exchanged blows in the early going, but then with the Cougars ahead 8-6, they went on to score 24 of the next 30 points to jump out to a 10-point lead before the Tigers had to call a timeout.

With two of the Tigers’ starting five fanned by COVID, the Cougars took full advantage. Midway through the frame the Cougars had a 24-14 lead and spent the remaining 10 minutes of the half building upon it.

During the final minutes of the first half the Cougars got several key stops and made a couple more three-pointers to extend their lead to 15 points, leading the Tigers 51-36 at halftime.

Heading into the second half, the Cougars picked up where they left off and maintained their distance from the Tigers. However, midway through the frame the Tigers found momentum and clawed their way back to close the deficit to as little as four points on several occasions.

The Cougars remained composed though and answered back with consecutive makes to extend their lead back to 13 points.

As the final minutes ticked down, the Cougars were clinging to their lead despite the Tigers fighting back one time after another. The closest Olivet Nazarene got was to within two points in the final 20 seconds of play as a made three-pointer made the score 83-81 in favor of Saint Francis, but the Cougars made the free throws that they needed to and preserve the win.

Throughout the game, the Cougars shot 50 percent from the floor, 38 percent from beyond the three-point line, and 65 percent from the free throw line. Antwaan Cushingberry was the team’s scoring leader with 31 points and led in assists with six, while David Ejah led the team with 13 rebounds and added 23 points of his own.

The Cougars resume play on Tuesday evening when they remain home at Hutzell to face the Huntington University Foresters (12-3; 2-2 Crossroads) in a home conference game beginning at 7:00 pm.

THURSDAY TV SCHEDULE

COLLEGE BASKETBALLTIME ETTV
MAINE AT RUTGERS1:00PMBTN
ST. BONAVENTURE AT GEORGE WASHINGTON4:00PMESPN+
PRAIRIE VIEW A&M AT NORTHWESTERN5:00PMBTN
LOUISIANA AT APPALACHIAN STATE6:30PMESPN+
MICHIGAN AT UCF7:00PMESPN2
ETSU AT CHATTANOOGA7:00PMESPNU
BROWN AT MARYLAND7:00PMBTN
DAYTON AT RHODE ISLAND7:00PMCBSSN
SAINT LOUIS AT UMASS7:00PMESPN+
GEORGE MASON AT VCU7:00PMESPN+
DUQUESNE AT DAVIDSON7:00PMESPN+
FORDHAM AT LA SALLE7:00PMESPN+
LAMAR AT SAM HOUSTON7:00PMESPN+
GEORGIA STATE AT ARKANSAS STATE8:00PMESPN+
TROY AT TEXAS STATE8:00PMESPN+
WKU AT SOUTHERN MISS8:00PMESPN+
ALABAMA A&M AT LIPSCOMB8:00PMESPN+
MARSHALL AT LOUISIANA TECH9:00PMESPNU
UTAH AT OREGON STATE9:00PMPAC12N
CSUN AT UC IRVINE10:00PMESPN+
EASTERN WASHINGTON AT PORTLAND STATE10:00PMESPN+
COLORADO AT OREGON11:00PMPAC12N
COLLEGE FOOTBALLTIME ETTV
DUKE’S MAYO BOWL: NORTH CAROLINA VS. SOUTH CAROLINA11:30AMESPN
TRANSPERFECT MUSIC CITY BOWL: TENNESSEE VS. PURDUE3:00PMESPN
CHICK-FIL-A PEACH BOWL: 10 MICHIGAN STATE VS. 12 PITT7:00PMESPN
SRS DISTRIBUTION LAS VEGAS BOWL: WISCONSIN VS. ARIZONA STATE10:30PMESPN
NBATIME ETTV
PHILADELPHIA AT BROOKLYN7:00PMNBATV
NBCS-PHI
YES
CLEVELAND AT WASHINGTON7:00PMNBCS-WSH
BALLY SPORTS
MILWAUKEE AT ORLANDO7:00PMBALLY SPORTS
GOLDEN STATE AT DENVER9:30PMNBATV
NBCS-BAY
ALT
NHLTIME ETTV
NASHVILLE AT COLUMBUS7:00PMBALLY SPORTS
MONTREAL AT CAROLINA7:00PMSPORTSNET
BALLY SPORTS
TAMPA BAY AT FLORIDA7:00PMBALLY SPORTS
BUFFALO AT NY ISLANDERS7:30PMATTSN-PIT
SPORTSNET
CALGARY AT SEATTLE10:00PMSPORTSNET
ROOT SPORTS
VANCOUVER AT LOS ANGELES10:30PMSPORTSNET
BALLY SPORTS
PHILADELPHIA AT SAN JOSE10:30PMNBCS-PHI
NBCS-CA

NFL STANDINGS

AMERICAN FOOTBALL CONFERENCE
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
XY-KANSAS CITY CHIEFS1140.7330.04213067 – 2 – 04 – 2 – 06 – 4 – 04 – 1 – 08 W
TENNESSEE TITANS1050.6670.03573266 – 2 – 04 – 3 – 06 – 4 – 04 – 1 – 01 W
CINCINNATI BENGALS960.6000.04103244 – 4 – 05 – 2 – 07 – 3 – 04 – 1 – 02 W
BUFFALO BILLS960.6000.04272644 – 3 – 05 – 3 – 06 – 5 – 04 – 1 – 02 W
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS960.6000.04203164 – 4 – 05 – 2 – 07 – 3 – 03 – 2 – 03 W
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS960.6000.03882603 – 5 – 06 – 1 – 07 – 3 – 03 – 2 – 02 L
MIAMI DOLPHINS870.5331.03053155 – 3 – 03 – 4 – 05 – 5 – 03 – 2 – 07 W
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS870.5331.04084114 – 4 – 04 – 3 – 05 – 5 – 02 – 2 – 02 L
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS870.5331.03163874 – 4 – 04 – 3 – 06 – 4 – 02 – 3 – 02 W
BALTIMORE RAVENS870.5331.03553565 – 2 – 03 – 5 – 05 – 6 – 01 – 4 – 04 L
PITTSBURGH STEELERS771.5001.53013715 – 2 – 12 – 5 – 05 – 5 – 02 – 2 – 01 L
CLEVELAND BROWNS780.4672.03143295 – 3 – 02 – 5 – 04 – 6 – 02 – 2 – 02 L
DENVER BRONCOS780.4672.02982604 – 4 – 03 – 4 – 03 – 7 – 01 – 3 – 02 L
NEW YORK JETS4110.2675.02764493 – 5 – 01 – 6 – 04 – 7 – 00 – 5 – 01 W
HOUSTON TEXANS4110.2675.02484012 – 6 – 02 – 5 – 04 – 7 – 03 – 2 – 02 W
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS2130.1337.02173962 – 6 – 00 – 7 – 02 – 8 – 00 – 5 – 07 L
 
NATIONAL FOOTBALL CONFERENCE
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
XY-GREEN BAY PACKERS1230.8000.03833247 – 0 – 05 – 3 – 08 – 2 – 03 – 1 – 04 W
XY-DALLAS COWBOYS1140.7330.04573075 – 2 – 06 – 2 – 09 – 1 – 05 – 0 – 04 W
X-LOS ANGELES RAMS1140.7330.04163265 – 2 – 06 – 2 – 08 – 3 – 03 – 2 – 04 W
XY-TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS1140.7330.04423126 – 1 – 05 – 3 – 07 – 4 – 03 – 2 – 01 W
X-ARIZONA CARDINALS1050.6670.03943063 – 4 – 07 – 1 – 06 – 4 – 04 – 1 – 03 L
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS870.5330.03773343 – 4 – 05 – 3 – 06 – 5 – 01 – 4 – 01 L
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES870.5330.03983183 – 4 – 05 – 3 – 06 – 4 – 02 – 2 – 03 W
MINNESOTA VIKINGS780.4671.03843724 – 3 – 03 – 5 – 05 – 5 – 03 – 1 – 01 L
ATLANTA FALCONS780.4671.02784002 – 5 – 05 – 3 – 04 – 7 – 02 – 3 – 01 W
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS780.4671.03163052 – 5 – 05 – 3 – 05 – 5 – 02 – 2 – 01 L
WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM690.4002.02974073 – 4 – 03 – 5 – 05 – 5 – 01 – 3 – 03 L
CAROLINA PANTHERS5100.3333.02773452 – 6 – 03 – 4 – 03 – 7 – 02 – 2 – 05 L
CHICAGO BEARS5100.3333.02653732 – 5 – 03 – 5 – 03 – 7 – 02 – 3 – 01 W
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS5100.3333.03063072 – 5 – 03 – 5 – 02 – 8 – 02 – 3 – 02 L
NEW YORK GIANTS4110.2674.02483653 – 4 – 01 – 7 – 03 – 7 – 01 – 4 – 04 L
DETROIT LIONS2121.1675.52593862 – 5 – 00 – 7 – 12 – 8 – 01 – 4 – 01 L
 

X – CLINCHED PLAYOFF SPOT,  Y – CLINCHED DIVISION,  Z – CLINCHED HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE

NBA STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
ATLANTIC DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
BROOKLYN239.71910-613-36-017-67-32 W
PHILADELPHIA1816.5296.06-812-82-612-105-52 W
NEW YORK1718.4867.57-1110-73-411-155-53 W
BOSTON1619.4578.59-77-124-411-103-73 L
TORONTO1417.4528.57-107-74-510-115-52 L
 
CENTRAL DIVISON
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
CHICAGO2210.68812-410-63-213-78-25 W
MILWAUKEE2313.6391.012-511-86-116-97-34 W
CLEVELAND2014.5883.010-710-73-113-77-31 L
INDIANA1421.4009.511-83-132-58-165-52 L
DETROIT528.15217.53-132-151-64-171-94 L
 
SOUTHEAST DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
MIAMI2213.62912-410-96-116-78-24 W
CHARLOTTE1917.5283.59-410-135-211-85-53 W
WASHINGTON1717.5004.58-59-123-511-113-72 L
ATLANTA1519.4416.58-97-104-39-123-73 L
ORLANDO728.20015.02-125-161-84-202-83 L
 
WESTERN CONFERENCE
NORTHWEST DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
UTAH259.73513-612-37-015-38-25 W
DENVER1716.5157.58-69-102-410-96-42 W
MINNESOTA1618.4719.010-106-82-311-115-51 L
PORTLAND1321.38212.011-92-121-47-172-83 L
OKLAHOMA CITY1222.35313.07-105-121-210-154-62 L
 
PACIFIC DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
GOLDEN STATE277.79416-311-47-115-47-31 L
PHOENIX277.79416-411-34-418-77-31 W
LA CLIPPERS1817.5149.512-106-73-412-145-51 W
LA LAKERS1719.47211.010-107-91-59-134-61 L
SACRAMENTO1521.41713.09-116-104-511-154-62 W
 
SOUTHWEST DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
MEMPHIS2214.61112-810-63-218-97-33 W
DALLAS1618.4715.08-88-107-213-104-61 L
SAN ANTONIO1419.4246.57-107-91-38-146-41 L
NEW ORLEANS1322.3718.57-96-132-48-146-41 W
HOUSTON1025.28611.57-83-171-34-142-85 L
 

X – CLINCHED PLAYOFF SPOT,  Y – CLINCHED DIVISION,  Z – CLINCHED CONFERENCE

NHL STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING31216446191038411-3-210-3-29-1-0
WASHINGTON CAPITALS32196745171138410-3-49-3-35-3-2
CAROLINA HURRICANES292171432195629-3-012-4-16-4-0
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS3020824220987612-4-18-4-17-2-1
FLORIDA PANTHERS30197442181089015-3-04-4-45-4-1
NEW YORK RANGERS311984421889818-3-211-5-25-4-1
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS301785391691768-5-29-3-37-2-1
DETROIT RED WINGS311513333148810411-3-24-10-16-4-0
PHILADELPHIA FLYERS3013125311380976-6-27-6-35-4-1
10 BOSTON BRUINS2614102301371697-5-17-5-14-4-2
11 COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS2814131291291959-3-15-10-02-7-1
12 NEW JERSEY DEVILS31111552710861087-7-34-8-22-7-1
13 BUFFALO SABRES3110165258851086-9-24-7-32-6-2
14 NEW YORK ISLANDERS26812622857772-5-36-7-33-3-4
15 OTTAWA SENATORS289172208791015-9-04-8-25-4-1
16 MONTREAL CANADIENS327214186711145-10-12-11-32-6-2
 
WESTERN CONFERENCE
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS3321120421812010110-7-011-5-08-2-0
ST. LOUIS BLUES32189541161108712-3-26-6-36-2-2
ANAHEIM DUCKS33179741151049110-4-47-5-35-1-4
MINNESOTA WILD30199240161129210-2-19-7-16-3-1
NASHVILLE PREDATORS3119111391892849-5-010-6-18-2-0
CALGARY FLAMES281576361387624-3-411-4-25-4-1
COLORADO AVALANCHE27178236161159110-2-17-6-17-2-1
EDMONTON OILERS301812036161039410-6-08-6-03-7-0
WINNIPEG JETS30141153313908710-6-14-5-45-4-1
10 SAN JOSE SHARKS3116141331586928-7-18-7-05-5-0
11 LOS ANGELES KINGS3114125331383858-7-26-5-35-4-1
12 DALLAS STARS29151223214828511-3-14-9-15-5-0
13 VANCOUVER CANUCKS3215152321283918-7-17-8-19-1-0
14 CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS301115426872976-6-25-9-24-4-2
15 SEATTLE KRAKEN31101742410861116-9-24-8-23-4-3
16 ARIZONA COYOTES306213156631172-10-14-11-22-7-1
 

EIGHT TEAMS IN EACH CONFERENCE QUALIFY FOR THE DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF FORMAT.  THE TOP THREE TEAMS FROM EACH DIVISION MAKE UP THE FIRST SIX SPOTS.   THE TWO REMAINING TEAMS WITH THE HIGHEST POINTS, REGARDLESS OF DIVISION, QUALIFY FOR THE FINAL TWO WILD CARD SPOTS.  

X – CLINCHED PLAYOFF SPOT, Y – CLINCHED DIVISION, Z – CLINCHED CONFERENCE