INDIANA SRN SPORTS SCHEDULE

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

INDIANA BOYS BASKETBALL

LINCOLN76ANDERSON PREP ACADEMY17 
CONCORD55WEST NOBLE52 
GREENFIELD-CENTRAL57TRITON CENTRAL29 
HAMMOND NOLL63GRIFFITH48 
ILLIANA CHRISTIAN62CRETE-MONEE (ILL.)48 
LAWRENCE CENTRAL59LAWRENCE NORTH54 
NORTH CENTRAL (INDIANAPOLIS)70INDIANAPOLIS ATTUCKS59 
SPRINGS VALLEY74WOOD MEMORIAL43 
WABASH54ADAMS CENTRAL46 

INDIANA GIRLS BASKETBALL

ANGOLA46LEO33 
BELLMONT46FORT WAYNE LUERS25 
CARROLL (FORT WAYNE)58WARSAW52 
CORYDON CENTRAL58AUSTIN37 
CROWN POINT87LAKE STATION32 
EASTSIDE41CHURUBUSCO37 
EVANSVILLE REITZ64EVANSVILLE HARRISON17 
FORT WAYNE NORTHROP61EAST NOBLE18 
GRIFFITH36HEBRON35 
INDIANAPOLIS CHATARD62WHITELAND45 
LAPEL54MADISON-GRANT42 
MARQUETTE CATHOLIC47HAMMOND MORTON37 
MONROVIA59INDIANA MATH & SCIENCE13 
SILVER CREEK47FLOYD CENTRAL34 
SOUTHWOOD57MISSISSINEWA51 
TIPPECANOE VALLEY48TRITON40 
TIPTON70ELWOOD8 
TRI47RANDOLPH SOUTHERN38 
UNION (MODOC)58ANDERSON PREP ACADEMY29 
UNION CITY64CENTERVILLE31 
UNION COUNTY36HAGERSTOWN32 

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL-TOP 25

WEST VIRGINIA 56 #15 CONNECTICUT 53

#22 WISCONSIN 64 INDIANA 59

#24 FLORIDA 85 NORTH FLORIDA 55

#24 BYU 82 UTAH STATE 71

#19 MICHIGAN STATE 75 MINNESOTA 67

#11 ARIZONA 94 WYOMING 65

TOP 25 BOXES: https://www.thescore.com/ncaab/events/conference/Top%2025

ELSEHWHERE

PENN STATE 74 WAGNER 54

XAVIER 96 BALL STATE 50

SOUTHEAST MISSOURI STATE 75 EVANSVILLE 73

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS EDWARDSVILLE 80 PURDUE FORT WAYNE 59

EASTERN MICHIGAN 60 NIAGARA 58

BUFFALO 77 WESTERN KENTUCKY 67

YOUNGSTOWN STATE 84 CENTRAL MICHIGAN 77

SMU 77 DAYTON 69

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL-TOP 25

#5 BAYLOR 94 ALCORN STATE 40

#8 MARYLAND 86 PURDUE 71

#15 IOWA STATE 77 #12 IOWA 70

#21 GEORGIA 69 N. FLORIDA 40

#22 NOTRE DAME 73 VALPARAISO 56

TOP 25 BOXES: http://hosted.stats.com/wcbk/scoreboard.asp

ELSEWHERE

TOLEDO 86 ST. FRANCIS PA 33

XAVIER 82 NIAGARA 78

FLORIDA 60 DAYTON 57

BUFFALO 62 VCU 60

WESTERN MICHIGAN 58 DETROIT 51

KENT STATE 71 DUQUESNE 66

BALL STATE 73 IUPUI 67

NBA SCOREBOARD

INDIANA 122 NEW YORK 102

CLEVELAND 115 CHICAGO 92

WASHINGTON 119 DETROIT 116 OT

PHILADELPHIA 110 CHARLOTTE 106

MIAMI 113 MILWAUKEE 104

OKLAHOMA CITY 110 TORONTO 109

DENVER 120 NEW ORLEANS 114 OT

HOUSTON 114 BROOKLYN 104

UTAH 136 MINNESOTA 104

DALLAS 104 MEMPHIS 96

GOLDEN STATE 104 PORTLAND 94

SACRAMENTO 142 ORLANDO 130

LA CLIPPERS 114 BOSTON 111

WEDNESDAY’S BOXES: https://www.thescore.com/nba/events

NHL SCOREBOARD

NEW JERSEY 3 PHILADELPHIA 0

COLORADO 7 NY RANGERS 3

VANCOUVER 2 BOSTON 1

VEGAS 5 DALLAS 4

WEDNESDAY BOXES: https://www.thescore.com/nhl/events

COLLEGE BOWL SCHEDULE

FRIDAY, DEC. 17

BAHAMAS BOWL
MIDDLE TENNESSEE VS. TOLEDO
NOON, ESPN AND THE ESPN APP

TAILGREETER CURE BOWL
NORTHERN ILLINOIS VS. COASTAL CAROLINA
6 P.M., ESPN2 AND THE ESPN APP

SATURDAY, DEC. 18

ROOFCLAIM.COM BOCA RATON BOWL
WESTERN KENTUCKY VS. APPALACHIAN STATE
11 A.M., ESPN AND THE ESPN APP

CRICKET CELEBRATION BOWL
SOUTH CAROLINA STATE VS. JACKSON STATE
NOON, ABC AND THE ESPN APP

PUBG MOBILE NEW MEXICO BOWL
UTEP VS. FRESNO STATE
2:15 P.M., ESPN AND THE ESPN APP

RADIANCE TECHNOLOGIES INDEPENDENCE BOWL
UAB VS. BYU
3:30 P.M., ABC AND THE ESPN APP

LENDINGTREE BOWL
EASTERN MICHIGAN VS. LIBERTY
5:45 P.M., ESPN AND THE ESPN APP

JIMMY KIMMEL LA BOWL PRES. BY STIFEL
UTAH STATE VS. OREGON STATE
7:30 P.M., ABC AND THE ESPN APP

R+L CARRIERS NEW ORLEANS BOWL
LOUISIANA VS. MARSHALL
9:15 P.M., ESPN AND THE ESPN APP

MONDAY, DEC 20

MYRTLE BEACH BOWL PRESENTED BY TAXACT
OLD DOMINION VS. TULSA
2:30 P.M., ESPN AND THE ESPN APP

TUESDAY, DEC. 21

FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL
KENT STATE VS. WYOMING
3:30 P.M., ESPN AND THE ESPN APP

TROPICAL SMOOTHIE CAFE FRISCO BOWL
UTSA VS. SAN DIEGO STATE
7:30 P.M., ESPN AND THE ESPN APP

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 22

LOCKHEED MARTIN ARMED FORCES BOWL
MISSOURI VS. ARMY
8 P.M., ESPN AND THE ESPN APP

THURSDAY, DEC. 23

FRISCO FOOTBALL CLASSIC
NORTH TEXAS VS. MIAMI (OHIO)
3:30 P.M., ESPN AND THE ESPN APP

UNION HOME MORTGAGE GASPARILLA BOWL
UCF VS. FLORIDA
7 P.M., ESPN AND THE ESPN APP

FRIDAY, DEC. 24

EASYPOST HAWAI’I BOWL
MEMPHIS VS. HAWAI’I
8 P.M., ESPN AND THE ESPN APP

SATURDAY, DEC. 25

TAXACT CAMELLIA BOWL
GEORGIA STATE VS. BALL STATE
2:30 P.M., ESPN AND THE ESPN APP

MONDAY, DEC. 27

QUICK LANE BOWL
WESTERN MICHIGAN VS. NEVADA
11 A.M., ESPN AND THE ESPN APP

MILITARY BOWL PRESENTED BY PERATON
BOSTON COLLEGE VS. EAST CAROLINA
2:30 P.M., ESPN AND THE ESPN APP

TUESDAY, DEC. 28

TICKETSMARTER BIRMINGHAM BOWL
HOUSTON VS. AUBURN
NOON, ESPN AND THE ESPN APP

SERVPRO FIRST RESPONDER BOWL
AIR FORCE VS. LOUISVILLE
3:15 P.M., ESPN AND THE ESPN APP

AUTOZONE LIBERTY BOWL
MISSISSIPPI STATE VS. TEXAS TECH
6:45 P.M., ESPN AND THE ESPN APP

SAN DIEGO COUNTY CREDIT UNION HOLIDAY BOWL
UCLA VS. NC STATE
8 P.M., FOX

GUARANTEED RATE BOWL
WEST VIRGINIA VS. MINNESOTA
10:15 P.M., ESPN AND THE ESPN APP

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 29

WASABI FENWAY BOWL
SMU VS. VIRGINIA
11 A.M., ESPN AND THE ESPN APP

NEW ERA PINSTRIPE BOWL
MARYLAND VS. VIRGINIA TECH
2:15 P.M., ESPN AND THE ESPN APP

CHEEZ-IT BOWL
CLEMSON VS. IOWA STATE
5:45 P.M., ESPN AND THE ESPN APP

VALERO ALAMO BOWL
OREGON VS. OKLAHOMA
9:15 P.M., ESPN AND THE ESPN APP

THURSDAY, DEC. 30

DUKE’S MAYO BOWL
NORTH CAROLINA VS. SOUTH CAROLINA
11:30 A.M., ESPN AND THE ESPN APP

TRANSPERFECT MUSIC CITY BOWL
TENNESSEE VS. PURDUE
3 P.M., ESPN AND THE ESPN APP

CHICK-FIL-A PEACH BOWL
MICHIGAN STATE VS. PITTSBURGH
7 P.M., ESPN AND THE ESPN APP

SRS DISTRIBUTION LAS VEGAS BOWL
WISCONSIN VS. ARIZONA STATE
10:30 P.M., ESPN AND THE ESPN APP

FRIDAY, DEC. 31

TAXSLAYER GATOR BOWL
WAKE FOREST VS. TEXAS A&M
11 A.M., ESPN AND THE ESPN APP

TONY THE TIGER SUN BOWL
WASHINGTON STATE VS. MIAMI
2 P.M., CBS

BARSTOOL SPORTS ARIZONA BOWL
CENTRAL MICHIGAN VS. BOISE STATE
2 P.M.

CFP SEMIFINAL: GOODYEAR COTTON BOWL CLASSIC
NO. 4 CINCINNATI VS. NO. 1 ALABAMA
3:30 P.M., ESPN AND THE ESPN APP

CFP SEMIFINAL: CAPITAL ONE ORANGE BOWL
NO. 3 GEORGIA VS. NO. 2 MICHIGAN
7:30 P.M., ESPN AND THE ESPN APP

SATURDAY, JAN. 1

OUTBACK BOWL
PENN STATE VS. ARKANSAS
NOON, ESPN2 AND THE ESPN APP

VRBO CITRUS BOWL
IOWA VS. KENTUCKY
1 P.M., ABC AND THE ESPN APP

PLAYSTATION FIESTA BOWL
NOTRE DAME VS. OKLAHOMA STATE
1 P.M., ESPN AND THE ESPN APP

ROSE BOWL GAME PRES. BY CAPITAL ONE VENTURE X
OHIO STATE VS. UTAH
5 P.M., ESPN AND THE ESPN APP

ALLSTATE SUGAR BOWL
OLE MISS VS. BAYLOR
8:45 P.M., ESPN AND THE ESPN APP

TUESDAY, JAN. 4

TAXACT TEXAS BOWL
LSU VS. KANSAS STATE
9 P.M., ESPN AND THE ESPN APP

MONDAY, JAN. 10

CFP NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP PRESENTED BY AT&T
8 P.M., ESPN AND THE ESPN APP

NFL SCHEDULE

WEEK 14 SCHEDULE

THURSDAY, DEC. 9
PITTSBURGH STEELERS AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS, 8:20 PM (FOX, NFL NETWORK, AMAZON)

SUNDAY, DEC. 12
ATLANTA FALCONS AT CAROLINA PANTHERS, 1 PM (FOX)
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS, 1 PM CBS)
BALTIMORE RAVENS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS, 1 PM (CBS)
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT HOUSTON TEXANS, 1 PM (FOX)
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS, 1 PM  (CBS)
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT NEW YORK JETS, 1 PM (FOX)
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT TENNESSEE TITANS, 1 PM (CBS)
DALLAS COWBOYS AT WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM, 1 PM (FOX)
DETROIT LIONS AT DENVER BRONCOS, 4:05 PM (FOX)
NEW YORK GIANTS AT LOS ANGELES CHARGERS, 4:05 PM (FOX)
BUFFALO BILLS AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS, 4:25 PM (CBS)
CHICAGO BEARS AT GREEN BAY PACKERS, 8:20 PM (NBC)

MONDAY, DEC. 13, 2021
LOS ANGELES RAMS AT ARIZONA CARDINALS, 8:15 PM (ESPN)

WEEK 15 SCHEDULE

THURSDAY, DEC. 16
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS AT LOS ANGELES CHARGERS, 8:20 PM (FOX, NFL NETWORK, AMAZON)

SATURDAY, DEC. 18
TBD, 4:30 PM NFL NETWORK
TBD, 8:15 PM NFL NETWORK

SATURDAY/SUNDAY TBD
CAROLINA PANTHERS AT BUFFALO BILLS, TBD
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS, TBD
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS AT INDIANAPOLIS COLTS, TBD
NEW YORK JETS AT MIAMI DOLPHINS, TBD
WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES, TBD

SUNDAY, DEC. 19
GREEN BAY PACKERS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS, 1 PM (FOX)
ARIZONA CARDINALS AT DETROIT LIONS, 1 PM (FOX)
HOUSTON TEXANS AT JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS, 1 PM (CBS)
DALLAS COWBOYS AT NEW YORK GIANTS, 1 PM (FOX)
TENNESSEE TITANS AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS, 1 PM (CBS)
CINCINNATI BENGALS AT DENVER BRONCOS, 4:05 PM (CBS)
ATLANTA FALCONS AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS, 4:05 PM (CBS)
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT LOS ANGELES RAMS, 4:25 PM (FOX)
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS, 8:20 PM (NBC)

MONDAY, DEC. 20
MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT CHICAGO BEARS, 8:15 PM (ESPN)

WEEK 16 SCHEDULE

THURSDAY, DEC. 23
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AT TENNESSEE TITANS, 8:20 PM (NFL NETWORK)

SATURDAY, DEC. 25 (CHRISTMAS)
CLEVELAND BROWNS AT GREEN BAY PACKERS, 4:30 PM (FOX, NFL NETWORK, AMAZON)
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT ARIZONA CARDINALS, 8:15 PM (NFL NETWORK)

SUNDAY, DEC. 26
DETROIT LIONS AT ATLANTA FALCONS, 1 PM (FOX)
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AT CAROLINA PANTHERS, 1 PM (FOX)
BALTIMORE RAVENS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS, 1 PM (CBS)
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS AT HOUSTON TEXANS, 1 PM (CBS)
LOS ANGELES RAMS AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS, 1 PM (FOX)
BUFFALO BILLS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS, 1 PM (CBS)
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT NEW YORK JETS, 1 PM (CBS)
NEW YORK GIANTS AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES, 1 PM (FOX)
CHICAGO BEARS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS, 4:05 PM (FOX)
PITTSBURGH STEELERS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS, 4:25 PM (CBS)
DENVER BRONCOS AT LAS VEGAS RAIDERS, 4:25 PM (CBS)
WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM AT DALLAS COWBOYS, 8:20 PM (NBC)

MONDAY, DEC. 27
MIAMI DOLPHINS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS, 8:15 PM (ESPN)

WEEK 17 SCHEDULE

SUNDAY, JAN. 2
ATLANTA FALCONS AT BUFFALO BILLS, 1 PM (FOX)
NEW YORK GIANTS AT CHICAGO BEARS, 1 PM (CBS)
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS, 1 PM (CBS)
ARIZONA CARDINALS AT DALLAS COWBOYS, 1 PM (FOX)
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS AT INDIANAPOLIS COLTS, 1 PM (CBS)
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS, 1 PM (CBS)
CAROLINA PANTHERS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS, 1 PM (FOX)
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AT NEW YORK JETS, 1 PM (FOX)
MIAMI DOLPHINS AT TENNESSEE TITANS, 1 PM (CBS)
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES AT WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM, 1 PM (FOX)
DENVER BRONCOS AT LOS ANGELES CHARGERS, 4:05 PM (CBS)
HOUSTON TEXANS AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS, 4:05 PM (CBS)
LOS ANGELES RAMS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS, 4:25 PM (FOX)
DETROIT LIONS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS, 4:25 PM (FOX)
MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT GREEN BAY PACKERS, 8:20 PM(NBC)

MONDAY, JAN. 3
CLEVELAND BROWNS AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS, 8:15 PM (ESPN)

WEEK 18 SCHEDULE

SATURDAY, JAN. 8
TBD, 4:30 PM, ESPN, ABC
TBD, 8:15 PM, ESPN, ABC

SUNDAY, JAN. 9
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT ATLANTA FALCONS, 1 PM (FOX)
PITTSBURGH STEELERS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS, 1 PM (CBS)
NEW YORK JETS AT BUFFALO BILLS, 1 PM (CBS)
CINCINNATI BENGALS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS, 1 PM (CBS)DA
GREEN BAY PACKERS AT DETROIT LIONS, 1 PM (FOX)
TENNESSEE TITANS AT HOUSTON TEXANS, 1 PM (CBS)
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS, 1 PM(CBS)
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS AT MIAMI DOLPHINS, 1 PM (CBS)
CHICAGO BEARS AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS, 1 PM (FOX)
WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM AT NEW YORK GIANTS, 1 PM (FOX)
DALLAS COWBOYS AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES, 1 PM (FOX)
CAROLINA PANTHERS AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS, 1 PM (FOX)
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT ARIZONA CARDINALS, 4:25 PM (FOX)
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS AT DENVER BRONCOS, 4:25 PM (CBS)
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AT LOS ANGELES RAMS, 4:25 PM (FOX)
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS AT LAS VEGAS RAIDERS, 4:25 PM (CBS)
TBD, 8:20 PM(NBC)

TOP NATIONAL NEWS

NFL THURSDAY PREVIEW/CAPSULE: PITTSBURGH STEELERS (6-5-1) AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS (5-7)

THURSDAY, DEC. 9, 2021 // 8:20 PM ET // U.S. BANK STADIUM // REFEREE: CLETE BLAKEMAN

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

STREAKS: Steelers have won 4 of past 5

LAST GAME: 9/17/17: Vikings 9 at Steelers 26

LAST GAME AT SITE: 9/29/13: Vikings 34, Steelers 27

QB BEN ROETHLISBERGER completed 21 of 31 atts. (67.7 pct.) for 236 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 111.8 rating last week. Has 0 INTs & 90+ rating in 6 of past 7. Passed for 243 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 104.8 rating in last meeting. Has 5 TDs (4 pass, 1 rush) vs. INT for 94.9 rating in 4 career starts vs. Min. Has 12 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 142 rating in his past 3 starts on TNF. • RB NAJEE HARRIS had 107 scrimmage yards (71 rush, 36 rush) last week, his 6th 100-yard game, most among rookies. Has rush TD in 3 of past 4 on road. Aims for 4th in row in primetime with TD. Leads rookies with 1,166 scrimmage yards (779 rush, 387 rec.) & ranks 2nd with 7 TDs (5 rush, 2 rec.). • WR DIONTAE JOHNSON led team with 8 catches for 105 yards & season-high 2 TDs in Week 13. Aims for 4th in row with 95+ rec. yards & 8th in row with 5+ catches. Has rec. TD in 2 of past 3. Needs 86 rec. yards for 1st-career 1,000-yard season. WR CHASE CLAYPOOL aims for 4th in row with 50+ rec. yards. Rookie TE PAT FREIERMUTH aims for 4th in row on road with TD catch. • LB T.J. WATT had FF & career-high 3.5 sacks last week. Is only player in NFL with 3+ sacks in 2 games this season. Has sack in 5 of his past 6. Had PD in last meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row on TNF with sack. Leads NFL with career-high 16 sacks & is 2nd player since 1982 with 13+ sacks in 4 straight seasons. DT CHRIS WORMLEY had career-high 2.5 sacks in Week 13. S MINKAH FITZPATRICK aims for 3rd in row with 9+ tackles & INT. Had INT-TD in only career game vs. Min. (12/16/18 w/ Mia.).

QB KIRK COUSINS passed for 340 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 116.7 rating last week. Has 25 TD passes & became 5th player with 25+ TD passes in 7 straight seasons all-time. Ranks 2nd in NFL with 106.3 rating. Aims for his 3rd in row on TNF with 275+ pass yards & 110+ rating. Passed for 329 yards in only career game vs. Pit. (9/12/16 w/ Was.). • RB DALVIN COOK aims for his 5th in row with 100+ scrimmage yards. Needs 25 scrimmage yards for 3rd-straight 1,000-yard season. RB ALEXANDER MATTISON had 124 scrimmage yards (90 rush, 34 rec.) & 5th-career rush TD last week. Aims for his 3rd in row with rush TD. Has career-high 588 scrimmage yards (405 rush, 183 rec.) in 2021. • WR JUSTIN JEFFERSON set career highs with 11 receptions & 182 rec. yards & had 7th rec. TD of season last week. Has 2,609 rec. yards & became 3rd player in SB era with 2,500+ rec. yards in 1st 2 seasons. Has 12 games with 100+ rec. yards, 2nd-most in 1st 2 seasons in SB era. WR K.J. OSBORN had 3rd rec. TD of season last week. • LB ERIC KENDRICKS is 1 of 2 (BOBBY WAGNER) with 100+ tackles in each of past 6 seasons. S HARRISON SMITH is only DB with 75+ tackles in each of past 6 seasons. Is only player with 25+ INTs (29) & 15+ sacks (15.5) since 2012. DE D.J. WONNUM aims for his 3rd in row with sack. LB BLAKE LYNCH had 1st 2 career sacks, 1st-career FF & 1st-career FR last week. CB CAMERON DANTZLER had 1st INT of season in Week 13.

ON THE AIRWAVES TV: FOX/NFLN/Amazon (8:20 PM ET): FOX: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews, Kristina Pink (field reporters) Amazon: Andrea Kremer, Hannah Storm | Amazon Scout’s Feed: Bucky Brooks, Daniel Jeremiah, Joy Taylor NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Kevin Kugler, Tony Boselli SIRIUS: 81 (Pit.), 83 (Min.), 88 (National) | XM: 226 (Pit.), 225 (Min.), 88 (National) | SXM App: 826 (Pit.), 820 (Min.), 88 (National)

PLAYOFF FIELD WIDE OPEN AS NFL APPROACHES FINAL QUARTER OF 2021 SEASON

The train to the NFL Playoffs leaves in 33 days and there are only 14 tickets.

This week, the first teams can reserve seats but most of that postseason manifest is anyone’s guess.

Every AFC team has at least four losses. The last time either conference entered Week 14 with every team having lost four-or-more games was 2002 in the AFC.

In the NFC, WASHINGTON (6-6) and SAN FRANCISCO (6-6) hold the final two playoff berths but five teams behind them are within one game.

And overall, 19 teams have a .500-or-better winning percentage. Nine of those 19 were not in the playoffs last season, including the current top seeds in each conference: ARIZONA (10-2) and NEW ENGLAND (9-4). Should the Cardinals and Patriots clinch the No. 1 seeds in the NFC and AFC, two teams that were not in the playoffs the prior year will have secured home-field advantage for the first time since 1992 (San Francisco and Pittsburgh).

Since 1990 – a streak of 31 years – at least four teams every season have qualified for the playoffs after failing to make the postseason the year before.

But it’s only Week 14, so stay tuned and buckle up. The next five weeks are shaping up to be a memorable ride.

GOODBYE TO THE BYES, HELLO FOURTH QUARTER: This week, the last four teams get their scheduled byes. After this week, every team will have played 13 games, with four games remaining. The league also will reach Game 205 of 272 this weekend, meaning 75 percent of the 2021 season will be in the books.

PLAYING THEIR CARDS RIGHT: The ARIZONA CARDINALS (10-2) with a win this week would clinch their first playoff berth since 2015, when they advanced to the NFC Championship Game. They also have an opportunity to sweep the LOS ANGELES RAMS (8-4) for the first time since 2014 when the teams meet on Monday Night Football at State Farm Stadium (8:15 PM ET, ESPN).

  • In franchise history, the Cardinals have reached 11-or-more wins in an NFL season on five prior occasions (1925, 1948, 1975, 2014 and 2015). They won the NFL Championship in 1925, lost the NFL title game in 1948 and advanced to the NFC Championship Game in 2015.
  • The NFC West is home to the team with the NFL’s best record through 13 weeks. Five of the past nine NFC Champions have come from the NFC West, representing the conference in the Super Bowl, including two of the prior three seasons.
  • In last week’s win, Arizona quarterback KYLER MURRAY totaled four touchdowns (two passing, two rushing). Murray now has 10,092 career passing yards and became the fourth-youngest player (24 years, 120 days old) to reach 10,000 in NFL history, surpassing CAM NEWTON (24 years, 191 days). Only DREW BLEDSOE (23 years, 299 days), JAMEIS WINSTON (23 years, 303 days) and Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (24 years, 63 days) reached the mark at a younger age.
  • Murray has 13 career games with both a passing and rushing touchdown since entering the NFL as the No. 1 overall pick in 2019, tied with DAK PRESCOTT (13 games) for the third-most such games by a quarterback in his first three seasons all-time. Only CAM NEWTON (20 games) and JOSH ALLEN (16) have more.
  • Plus, Murray now has 20 career rushing touchdowns and has joined CAM NEWTON (28) and JOSH ALLEN (25) as the only quarterbacks with at least 20 in their first three seasons in the Super Bowl era. 
  • Meanwhile, Rams wide receiver COOPER KUPP had eight receptions for 129 yards and one touchdown in his team’s win last week. Kupp leads the NFL in receptions (100), receiving yards (1,366) and receiving touchdowns (11) this season.
  • Kupp is just the fourth player with at least 100 receptions in his team’s first 12 games of a season in NFL history, joining MICHAEL THOMAS (110 receptions in 2019), Pro Football Hall of Famer MARVIN HARRISON (109 in 2002) and JULIO JONES (102 in 2015). However, Kupp is the only player ever with at least 100 receptions and 10-or-more touchdown receptions in his team’s first 12 games of a season.
  • Kupp is the third player with at least 1,350 receiving yards in his team’s first 12 games of a season in the Super Bowl era, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer CALVIN JOHNSON (1,428 receiving yards in 2012) and TORRY HOLT (1,387 in 2003).
  • And, Kupp is the sixth player to record at least 90 receiving yards in eight-or-more consecutive games in the Super Bowl era, joining ODELL BECKHAM JR. (nine consecutive games in 2014), Pro Football Hall of Famer MICHAEL IRVIN (nine in 1995), Pro Football Hall of Famer CALVIN JOHNSON (eight in 2012), DWIGHT CLARK (eight in 1982) and ADAM THIELEN (eight in 2018).

TOP-FIVE OFFENSES FACE OFF IN TAMPA: Another team with an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth this week is the TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (9-3), who host the BUFFALO BILLS (7-4) on Sunday (4:25 PM ET, CBS). The Buccaneers (31.4 points per game) and the Bills (28.0) rank first and fifth, respectively, in scoring offense.

  • The Buccaneers are attempting to snap the longest streak without a repeat Super Bowl champion in NFL history. The last team to win back-to-back Super Bowls was the NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS in 2003-04.
  • Tampa Bay’s TOM BRADY, the quarterback of those Patriots teams, passed for 368 yards and four touchdowns while tight end ROB GRONKOWSKI had two touchdown receptions in the Buccaneers’ win last week.
  • Brady and Gronkowski have now connected for 90 regular-season touchdowns and surpassed PHILIP RIVERS and ANTONIO GATES (89) for the second-most regular-season touchdowns by a pairing in NFL history. Only the Pro Football Hall of Fame combination of PEYTON MANNING and MARVIN HARRISON (112) have more.
  • The league leader with 3,771 passing yards, Brady needs 229 more to reach 4,000 and join Peyton Manning (14) as the only players with at least 4,000 passing yards in 13 career seasons.
  • Last week, Gronkowski recorded his 20th-career game with at least two touchdown receptions and joined ANTONIO GATES (21) as the only tight ends with at least 20 career games with two-or-more touchdown receptions in NFL history.

HERBERT EYES MARINO: Quarterback JUSTIN HERBERT and the LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (7-5) continue in the bid for their first playoff berth since 2018 when they host the NEW YORK GIANTS (4-8) on Sunday (4:05 PM ET, FOX).

  • In last week’s win, Herbert passed for 317 yards with three touchdowns. He now has 27 touchdown passes this season after recording the most touchdown passes (31) by a rookie in NFL history last year and joined Pro Football Hall of Famer PEYTON MANNING and RUSSELL WILSON as the only quarterbacks all-time with at least 25 touchdown passes in each of their first two seasons.
  • Herbert now has 11 career games with at least two touchdown passes, surpassing PATRICK MAHOMES (10 games) for the second-most such games by a player in his first two seasons in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (13 games) has more.
  • And, Herbert now has 18 career games with at least two touchdown passes, surpassing DEREK CARR (17 games) for the second-most such games by a player in his first two seasons in NFL history. Only Marino (22 games) has more.

EDGE RUSHERS CLASH IN CINCY: Two of the league’s top pass rushers will square off when the SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (6-6) travel to meet the CINCINNATI BENGALS (7-5) on Sunday (4:25 PM ET, CBS) in a rematch of Super Bowls XVI and XXIII. Each team enters Week 14 in good position for a playoff spot after missing the postseason in 2020.

  • The 49ers’ NICK BOSA ranks fourth in the NFL with a career-best 12 sacks and enters this week with at least one sack in four straight games.
  • Bengals defensive end TREY HENDRICKSON, who has at least one sack in eight consecutive games, ranks fifth in the league with 11.5 sacks.

ROUND-NUMBER WEEK: This week, several players can reach statistical landmarks.

  • In Cincinnati, wide receiver JA’MARR CHASE ranks first among rookies and fifth overall with 958 receiving yards, just 42 from 1,000. Bengals running back JOE MIXON ranks second in the league with 978 rushing yards, just 22 from 1,000. Last week, quarterback JOE BURROW (3,135) surpassed 3,000 passing yards. All three players are under the age of 26.
  • Elsewhere, three players are nearing 1,000 receiving yards: Kansas City’s TYREEK HILL (954), Tampa Bay’s CHRIS GODWIN (949), KEENAN ALLEN (929) and Pittsburgh’s DIONTAE JOHNSON (914).

SOLID GROUND: Both the BALTIMORE RAVENS (8-4) and CLEVELAND BROWNS (6-6) have rushed for 1,765 yards this season. The AFC North rivals, tied for third in the NFL with 147.1 rushing yards per game, meet on Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium (1:00 PM ET, CBS).

  • Last week, Baltimore’s LAMAR JACKSON rushed for 55 yards and currently leads all quarterbacks with 762 rushing yards. He’s also one of five NFL players (and the only quarterback) with at least 750 rushing yards in each of the past three seasons (2019-21).
  • Cleveland’s NICK CHUBB (six) and KAREEN HUNT (five) are the only pair of running-back teammates each with at least five rushing touchdowns this season.
  • The Browns and Chubb, who ranks fourth in the NFL with 867 rushing yards this season, will be challenged by a Baltimore defense that has allowed the NFL’s fewest rushing yards per game (84.25).

The Browns are playing consecutive games against the Ravens – Weeks 12 and 14 – sandwiched around their Week 13 bye. It’s the first time in 30 years during an NFL regular season that a team has played consecutive games against the same opponent, since Seattle (then a member of the AFC West) met the San Diego Chargers in Weeks 9 and 11 of the 1991 season. Both the Seahawks and Chargers had a Week 10 bye that season.

AFC NORTH, AFC WEST UP FOR GRABS: All four teams in both the AFC North and AFC West are .500 or better. The last time every team in multiple divisions had .500 winning percentages in Week 14 or later was 2008. That year, three divisions (AFC East, NFC East and NFC South) each featured four teams with .500-or-better records entering Week 14.

  • Two of those AFC West teams, the LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (6-6) and KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (8-4) are paired up at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS). Kansas City enters with a five-game winning streak.
  • Both the Raiders’ DEREK CARR (3,663, second) and the Chiefs’ PATRICK MAHOMES (3,384, fifth) rank among the league leaders in passing yards this season.

CLUBS STRIVING FOR CONSISTENCY: So far this season, teams that win the turnover margin are 118-29-1 (.801). Teams that lose the turnover margin are 29-118-1 (.199).

  • Entering this week, nine teams have four-or-fewer losses. And for most of those clubs, winning turnover margins has consistently foreshadowed winning games.

The teams with four-or-fewer losses and their records with a positive and even/negative turnover margin this season:

POSITIVE MARGINEVEN/NEGATIVE MARGIN
TEAM (OVERALL)RECORDPCTRECORDPCT
Green Bay (9-3)9-01.0000-3.000
New England (9-4)7-01.0002-4.333
Arizona (10-2)6-01.0004-2.667
Tampa Bay (9-3)6-01.0003-3.500
L.A. Rams (8-4)6-01.0002-4.333
Kansas City (8-4)5-01.0003-4.429
Tennessee (8-4)5-1.8333-3.500
Dallas (8-4)5-1.8333-3.500
Baltimore (8-4)1-1.5007-3.700

SIGNIFICANT STRETCH IN NFC EAST: Only two games separate the division-leading DALLAS COWBOYS (8-4) and WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM (6-6) atop the NFC East. Those teams meet twice in the next three weeks, starting with Sunday’s contest at FedExField (1:00 PM ET, FOX).  

  • Washington, riding a four-game winning streak, began the season 2-6. Only two teams since the 1970 merger have reached the playoffs after two-or-fewer wins in their first eight games: Washington last season and the 1970 Cincinnati Bengals, who also started 2-6, then reeled off six straight wins before losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion Baltimore Colts in the first round of the playoffs.
  • Washington also has a firm grasp on its own destiny. The team’s final five games are against division foes. Washington is the first NFL team to finish with five straight games in its own division since the 1995 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
  • In last week’s win, Dallas cornerback TREVON DIGGS registered his league-leading ninth interception, the most by an NFL player in his team’s first 12 games of a season since EVERSON WALLS had 10 over the Cowboys’ first 12 games in 1981. Diggs’ nine interceptions are also the most by a Cowboys player in a season since Walls had nine in 1985.

The PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (6-7), who are on a bye this week, also finish the season with four divisional games. Only two teams in the previous 20 years have finished a regular season with four straight divisional games: the 2019 Philadelphia Eagles and 2017 Atlanta Falcons. Each of those teams reached the playoffs.

DON’T COUNT OUT FIVE-WIN TEAMS: Four NFC teams are 5-7, but don’t expect all of them to stay on the outside looking in. Seven teams in the prior eight seasons (2013-20) have rebounded from 5-7 starts to finish in the playoffs. In the last two seasons alone, three teams have done it: Philadelphia in 2019 and Chicago and Washington in 2020.

On Sunday, two of those 5-7 teams – the ATLANTA FALCONS and CAROLINA PANTHERS – clash at Bank of America Stadium (1:00 PM ET, FOX).

PACKERS CAN CLINCH PLAYOFFS AGAINST BEARS SUNDAY: On Sunday Night Football at Lambeau Field (8:20 PM ET, NBC), the CHICAGO BEARS (4-8) and GREEN BAY PACKERS (9-3) meet for the 204th time, including a split of their two postseason contests (the Bears captured a world championship 80 years ago this week over Green Bay, Dec. 14, 1941; the Packers earned a trip to Super Bowl XLV with an NFC Championship victory on Jan. 23, 2011).

  • The rich rivalry has extra incentive this week as the Packers can clinch a playoff berth with a win and help from other teams.
  • Green Bay owns a 102-95-6 advantage in all-time series. The franchises rank first and second, respectively, in all-time world championships, with Green Bay winning 13 and Chicago winning nine. The Bears (30) also have the most Pro Football Hall of Famers among NFL franchises, with the Packers (26) tied for second with the Steelers (26).
  • In Week 12, Green Bay quarterback AARON RODGERS passed for 307 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions for a 97.2 rating and rushed for a touchdown in the Packers’ win.
  • Rodgers recorded his 60th career game with at least 300 passing yards and two touchdown passes and joined DREW BREES (97 games), TOM BRADY (84) and Pro Football Hall of Famer PEYTON MANNING (70) as the only players all-time with at least 60 such career games.

DETROIT VICTORY AMONG 26 LAST-PLAY TRIUMPHS: Including Detroit’s dramatic win last week, a winning score on the final play has decided 26 games this season, the most through Week 13 all-time. Detroit earned its first win of the season, as quarterback JARED GOFF threw an 11-yard touchdown to wide receiver AMON-RA ST. BROWN with no time remaining in the fourth quarter.

  • Last week, St. Brown had a season-high 10 receptions for 86 yards, including his first career touchdown.
  • The Lions’ opponent this week, the DENVER BRONCOS (6-6) on Sunday (4:05 PM ET, FOX), is no stranger to game-winning touchdown receptions by rookies. St. Brown became the third rookie to record his first career touchdown reception with no time remaining in the fourth quarter since 2000, joining the Broncos’ K.J. HAMLER (Week 8, 2020) and the Jaguars’ ERNEST WILFORD (Week 1, 2004).

SEAHAWKS LOSE SS JAMAL ADAMS FOR SEASON TO SHOULDER INJURY

RENTON, Wash. (AP) Jamal Adams’ second season with the Seahawks is coming to an early end, raising even more concerns about the price Seattle paid to acquire the safety in the first place.

Adams will miss the rest of the season after suffering a torn labrum in his left shoulder, coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday. Adams is expected to undergo surgery Thursday for the damage he suffered during the first half of the Seahawks’ win over San Francisco, which snapped Seattle’s three-game losing streak.

He had surgery to repair damage to the same shoulder last offseason, although Carroll said this injury is not believed to be as severe as the last one.

“He was really emotional about it last night just because it means so much to him to keep playing, and he’s been through this before and to have to go through it again,” Carroll said. “He was much more forward-thinking, I think, this morning in the note that I got from him. So he’s gonna make the most of it.”

Adams has been limited by injuries during the two seasons he’s been in Seattle and his play has yielded mixed results, leading to unrest from fans who were upset in the first place when the Seahawks traded two first-round picks to the New York Jets to acquire the former All-Pro.

Seattle believed in Adams enough to sign him to a $70 million, four-year extension before the season. But with the Seahawks sitting at 4-8, what would currently be a top 10 pick in the 2022 draft belongs to the Jets.

Still, the Seahawks have backed Adams and his overall play has improved.

“It’s going to be a lot, from his leadership, his energy, his passion for the game. We’re definitely going to miss him a lot,” linebacker Bobby Wagner said.

Last season, Adams set an NFL record for sacks by a defensive back with 9+, but struggled badly in pass coverage. This season, Adams improved significantly in his pass coverage but Seattle was using him far less as a blitzing pass rusher.

Adams will finish this season with 87 total tackles and two interceptions, but just four tackles for loss, two quarterback hits and zero sacks.

Carroll said opponents learned from last year and had specific blocking schemes for when it appeared Adams would blitz. It became obvious that rushing Adams didn’t make sense.

“We saw him be targeted so much in protection, which is classic. It’s an obvious thing that teams were doing,” Carroll said. “We weren’t able to get as much out of it. It had nothing to do with him. It was just schematically people changed the way they went about it, so we just adjusted to that.”

There also seems to be growing concern about his durability after two straight major shoulder injuries along with groin and finger injuries that have limited his availability to 24 of a possible 33 regular-season games in Seattle. Adams missed two games his first three seasons with the Jets.

Versatile backup Ryan Neal will step in as the starter as he did a year ago when Adams missed four games due to injury. Neal has 23 tackles and one sack this season, but having to put him into the starting lineup will impact Seattle’s ability to play packages with five or six defensive backs.

Neal said the four games he started a season ago gave him experience and confidence since he had never started before.

“It taught me a lot of things. I learned a lot from the game then. Things happen fast. You got to be ready to rock and roll,” Neal said. “Those four games I had to just figure it out real quick and I had to rely on the guys around me. … The difference this time around is I’ve had the experience.”

TEXANS WAIVE LINEBACKER CUNNINGHAM AFTER SUSPENSION

HOUSTON (AP) Outside linebacker Zach Cunningham was waived by the Houston Texans on Wednesday following his second suspension for violating team rules this season.

“We have standards and I didn’t feel like those standards have been met consistently,” coach David Culley said. “I made a decision that was best for the team. This is about the team. This isn’t about any individuals.”

Cunningham was a second-round pick in 2017 and has been one of the team’s most consistent performers. The Texans signed him to a four-year, $58 million contract extension before last season.

He went on to have his best season in 2020, setting career highs and leading the NFL in both total tackles (164) and solo tackles (106).

Cunningham was suspended for Sunday’s game after violating team rules after being suspended for a quarter earlier this season for the same thing.

Culley was asked what message he was sending to the team with this move.

“That if you don’t meet our standards, and if you are not consistently meeting our standards, you are not going to be part of this team,” he said.

Cunningham started all 16 games in each of the past two seasons and appeared in 10 games with seven starts this year. He had 67 tackles, including four for losses this season.

Culley said getting rid of one of the team’s best players wasn’t difficult in this situation.

“It wasn’t tough at all,” he said. “It’s about the team. It’s not about any individual player. The one thing we always talk about is that it’s not necessarily trying to be the best player on the team but being the best player for the team. That’s our motto.”

Cunningham has 570 tackles and 6 1/2 sacks in his five-year career.

WHIPPLE JOINS HUSKERS AS COORDINATOR DAY AFTER LEAVING PITT

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) Mark Whipple was named Nebraska’s offensive coordinator on Wednesday, a day after he resigned from the same position at Pittsburgh.

Cornhuskers coach Scott Frost also announced the hiring of Chicago Bears assistant Donovan Raiola as offensive line coach.

Frost is making over his offensive staff following a 3-9 season, the Huskers’ worst since 1957. Former Nebraska quarterback Mickey Joseph was hired as receivers coach last week after serving in the same position at LSU. Frost is yet to name a new running backs coach.

Whipple, 64, also will coach Nebraska’s quarterbacks. His Pitt offense averaged 43 points, 350 yards passing and 503 total yards per game this season as the Panthers won the Atlantic Coast Conference championship.

Whipple coached two of the top offensive players in the country this year in Heisman Trophy finalist Kenny Pickett and Jordan Addison. Pickett threw for 4,319 yards and 42 touchdowns and Addison caught a nation-leading 17 touchdown passes.

“The opportunity to coach at a school with the history and tradition of Nebraska is special,” Whipple said. “Coach Frost has a great offensive mind, and I look forward to working together with him and our staff to best position our players for success. I can’t wait to get to Lincoln and represent Husker football.”

Whipple was head coach at Massachusetts from 2014-18, and his resume also includes NFL stints with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles.

Raiola, 38, is the younger brother of former Nebraska All-America center Dominic Raiola.

Donovan Raiola has been the Bears’ assistant offensive line coach for four seasons. He previously was a graduate assistant at Notre Dame and an offensive intern at Hawaii.

Raiola started 39 games at center for Wisconsin from 2003 to 2005 and spent parts of five seasons in the NFL with six teams.

“I am humbled to lead the offensive line at the University of Nebraska,” Raiola said. “I understand the responsibility of coaching the `Pipeline’ and the history of offensive line excellence at Nebraska. We will work tirelessly to add to that tradition.”

FRESNO STATE HIRES JEFF TEDFORD FOR 2ND STINT AS COACH

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) Fresno State is bringing back Jeff Tedford for a second stint as coach after Kalen DeBoer left to take over at Washington.

Athletic director Terry Tumey announced Wednesday that Tedford returns after coaching the Bulldogs from 2017-19. Tedford had a 26-14 record at his alma mater before stepping down for health reasons.

Tedford took over a 1-11 team following the 2016 season and led the Bulldogs to double-digit wins his first two seasons, winning the division in both those seasons and the Mountain West Conference championship in 2018.

Tedford played quarterback at Fresno State in 1981-82 under Jim Sweeney and coached at Fresno State under Sweeney from 1987-88 and 1992-96, and under coach Pat Hill in 1997.

Tedford has a 108-71 career head coaching record, having also spent 11 seasons at California.

Tedford will take over after the Bulldogs play in the New Mexico Bowl against UTEP on Dec. 18 under interim coach Lee Marks.

REPORT: LSU PREPARED 8-YEAR, $125M OFFER FOR FISHER BEFORE HIRING KELLY

LSU appeared ready to deliver a Brinks truck to lure head coach Jimbo Fisher from Texas A&M.

The Tigers prepared to offer an eight-year, $125-million contract to Fisher in late November for their vacant head coaching role at the time, the Action Network’s Brett McMurphy reports.

LSU athletic director Scott Woodward reached out to Fisher prior to the final weekend of the regular season to gauge his interest before targeting Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly, according to Ross Dellenger, Pat Forde, and Richard Johnson of Sports Illustrated.

Fisher’s name was frequently floated in rumors for the LSU opening before the program made a stunning move to hire Kelly on a 10-year, $95-million deal.

The Texas A&M coach has put up a 34-14 record since joining the program in 2018.

OHIO STATE HIRES DC KNOWLES FROM OKLAHOMA STATE

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State has hired defensive coordinator Jim Knowles away from Oklahoma State.

Buckeyes coach Ryan Day announced that Knowles will take over as defensive coordinator on Jan. 2. Day said Ohio State (12-2) will continue preparations for the Rose Bowl with the current staff intact.

“What is most important at this time is that we put our players in the best position possible to finish this season with a win in the Rose Bowl,” Day said. “To that end, we will continue our planning and preparation for the game with our current staff of 10 assistant coaches.”

The 56-year-old Knowles was a finalist for the Broyles Award, which recognizes the nation’s top assistant coach, after the No. 9 Cowboys finished as the third best in the country in total defense (278.4 yards per game) and in the top 10 in several defensive categories.

The Oklahoma defense improved in each of Knowles’ four years as coordinator.

The Ohio State defense has been inconsistent, leading Day to demote coordinator Kerry Coombs and put secondary coach Matt Barnes in charge of calling defensive plays after the 35-28 loss to Oregon in the second game of the season. The Buckeyes defense is ranked 50th in the FBS, allowing an average of 365.4 yards per game.

In Ohio State’s 42-27 loss to Michigan on Nov. 27, the Wolverines rushed for nearly 300 yards and piled up a total of 487.

The No. 7 Buckeyes face No. 10 Utah in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1.

One of the Ohio State assistants will have to be let go to make room for Knowles on the staff.

REPORT: SONNY STYLES RECLASSIFIES TO JOIN OHIO STATE’S 2022 CLASS

Alex “Sonny” Styles, a 2023 safety/linebacker, will reclassify to join Ohio State’s 2022 recruiting class, Jarrod Ulrey of ThisWeek Newspapers reports.

The five-star, in-state recruit committed to the Buckeyes on Nov. 13 but sought to enroll early and submitted a request to the Pickerington school board, which was approved Wednesday, according to Ulrey.

Styles is currently ranked the top 2023 prospect in the state of Ohio and the ninth overall recruit in 2023 on the ESPN Jr. 300. He is the son of former Ohio State linebacker Lorenzo Styles Sr.

Styles is scheduled to sign his letter of intent Dec. 15, the first day of the early signing period, and will enroll at Ohio State in June, Bill Kurelic of 247 Sports reports.

The 6-foot-4, 215-pound defender would be the highest-rated recruit in Ohio State’s 2022 class and would join the likes of linebacker C.J. Hicks, defensive end Kenyatta Jackson Jr., and quarterback Devin Brown.

Styles becomes the second Ohio State pledge to reclassify in the last two years. Quarterback Quinn Ewers joined the program this past season before entering the transfer portal.

ALABAMA’S YOUNG, ANDERSON NAMED SEC PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

Alabama once again collected a Southeastern Conference title and two big league-wide individual awards.

Quarterback Bryce Young is the SEC’s offensive player of the year and linebacker Will Anderson Jr. is the top defensive player, as voted on by a panel of sports writers and broadcasters covering the league. The voting was released on Wednesday.

Georgia’s Kirby Smart was the pick as coach of the year after leading the Bulldogs to a 12-0 regular season and into the College Football Playoffs. Bulldogs freshman tight end Brock Bowers is the selection as top newcomer after leading the team in receiving.

Missouri tailback Tyler Badie, Anderson and Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams were the only unanimous picks. Anderson, the Bronco Nagurski winner as the nation’s top defensive player, was named on some ballots as a defensive lineman/edge rusher.

He’s leading the nation in sacks and tackles for loss. Young is the Heisman Trophy favorite after leading a 41-24 victory over Smart’s Bulldogs in the SEC Championship Game.

It was the second straight year Alabama had the offensive and defensive players of the year, with Heisman-winning wide receiver DeVonta Smith and cornerback Patrick Surtain taking the awards in 2020.

ROCKETS BEAT SHORTHANDED NETS 114-104 FOR 7TH STRAIGHT WIN

HOUSTON (AP) Eric Gordon scored 21 points before being ejected in the fourth quarter and Garrison Mathews added 19 as the Houston Rockets extended their winning streak to seven games with a 114-104 victory over the shorthanded Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night.

Before the streak, the Rockets dropped their previous 15 games. It’s the first time Houston has won seven straight since winning eight in a row in November 2019.

“The adversity that we went through prior to this point has made it even sweeter,” coach Stephen Silas said. “We’re feeling pretty good about ourselves.”

James Harden had 25 points for the Eastern Conference-leading Nets on a night when NBA leading scorer Kevin Durant and LaMarcus Aldridge both sat out for rest. It was Harden’s second visit to Houston since he was traded in January during his ninth season with the Rockets.

The Rockets led by 17 to start the fourth quarter and the Nets cut the deficit to four before Houston pulled away.

Mathews, who had 12 points in the fourth, scored four in a 5-0 run that extended Houston’s lead to 109-97. Patty Mills made one of two free throws for the Nets before a three-point play by D.J. Augustin made it 112-98 with about two minutes to go.

“When you beat a team like that it means something,” Mathews said. “This streak’s been a huge boost to our confidence. It’s been a huge boost to our morale.”

The loss snapped a six-game road winning streak for the Nets, whose nine road wins are tied with the Suns for most in the NBA.

The Nets shot just 8 of 33 from 3-point range, with Harden going 3 of 12 and finishing 4 of 16 overall. He was 14 for 16 from the line.

“I got the shots I wanted, for sure,” he said. “I just didn’t make them.”

Harden received a fair number of boos when he was introduced and each time he had the ball early. But he got a warm ovation after a highlight video of his time in Houston was played during a timeout in the first quarter.

He formed his hands into the shape of a heart as he held them over his head and then moved them to his chest and smiled as the crowd cheered.

Harden said playing in Houston will always be meaningful to him.

“Very special,” he said. “I spent some of my most amazing years here on the court and off the court.”

Cam Thomas had 18 points for Brooklyn, and Mills added 12.

A 10-0 spurt by the Nets got them within four with about 7 1/2 minutes left. Harden capped that run when he made a 3-pointer as he crashed to the court after being fouled by Mathews and made the free throw for a four-point play.

Gordon was ejected soon after that when he received his second technical foul of the game for yelling at the officials about not getting a foul call.

Harden’s free throw after Gordon’s technical cut the lead to four, but a 6-1 spurt by the Rockets, highlighted by a 3 from Mathews, made it 104-95 with 4 1/2 minutes left.

Houston led by as many as 20 and took control of the game with a 37-point second quarter.

The Rockets ended the third quarter on a 6-2 run, punctuated by a one-handed dunk by Kenyon Martin Jr. to make it 90-73 entering the fourth. Houston rookie Josh Christopher stole the ball from Jevon Carter and dished to Martin on the other end, and he sailed over Carter for the slam.

TIP-INS

Nets: Nic Claxton received a flagrant 1 foul for a foul on Mathews in the second quarter. … Paul Millsap scored 10 points off the bench. … Claxton had eight points.

Rockets: Jalen Green missed his sixth straight game with a strained left hamstring. … Kevin Porter Jr. missed his second game in a row with a bruised left thigh. … Danuel House sat out with a sprained left ankle.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Christopher had a career-high 18 points off the bench on his 20th birthday.

“He’s been working at his game day in, day out,” Silas said. “He played a really solid game on both ends of the floor.”

Asked what it was like to have such a big game on his birthday, Christopher thought for a second before answering.

“Perfect, perfect day,” he said.

UP NEXT

Nets: Visit the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night.

Rockets: Host the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night.

EMBIID SCORES 32, 76ERS HOLD OFF HORNETS AGAIN 110-106

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Joel Embiid scored 32 points, Seth Curry added 23 points and eight assists and the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Charlotte Hornets for the second time in three nights, 110-106 on Wednesday night.

Philadelphia has won 16 straight games vs. Charlotte.

Tobias Harris added 18 points in a rematch of a game the 76ers won 127-124 in overtime Monday night on the same court.

“It’s tough to beat the same team twice no matter what the situation is,” 76ers coach Doc Rivers said. “We did that. I thought we just hung in there. I thought there were times where we could’ve pulled away and there was a turnover or a missed defensive assignment here or there. But I will take the win.”

Gordon Hayward had a season-high 31 points and seven assists for the Hornets, who played without five rotational players, including last year’s NBA Rookie of the Year LaMelo Ball due to NBA health and safety protocols.

Kelly Oubre Jr., who had 35 points in Charlotte’s loss Monday night, finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds but finished just 3 of 12 from beyond the arc and missed a free throw that would have made it a one-possession game with 7 seconds left.

The Hornets have lost five of their last six.

Philadelphia finished its four-game road trip with a 3-1 record after starting out with a one-point loss at Boston.

“Anytime we can go on the road and get wins, those are always important,” Harris said. “We did a good job in the fourth quarter executing and getting the shots we wanted and making those looks.”

Embiid, who had 43 points and 15 rebounds in the previous matchup, wasn’t as dominant with his fadeaway jumper but made 15 of 19 foul shots, which left Hornets coach James Borrego a little perplexed.

“I don’t have an answer for that,” Borrego said. “I’ll go back and watch them, but if he is going to shoot 19 free throws a night, it’s going to be tough.”

For the second time in three nights, the short-handed Hornets played the 76ers tight in a game that featured 16 lead changes and 12 ties.

P.J. Washington banked home a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 3:25 left to give the Hornets a 98-97 lead, igniting the crowd.

Danny Green and Embiid answered with 3s to swing the momentum back to Philadelphia. Embiid then added a dunk on a drive down the middle of the lane to extend the lead to seven with 1:53 remaining. The Hornets clawed back to get it to 3m but Harris made two free throws to push the lead to five. The Hornets never got within three again.

For the second straight game, Borrego only played eight guys while working with a limited bench due to protocols.

“I probably played them too many minutes,” Borrego said. “I have to watch that and make sure I don’t overrun them.”

CURRY’S RECORD

Seth Curry is hoping to see his brother Stephen break the NBA’s all-time record for career 3-pointers in person.

The 76ers host Stephen Curry and the Warriors on Saturday night in Philadelphia. Curry needs 16 3-pointers to break the record. The Warriors were playing the Portland Trail Blazers late Wednesday night before traveling to Philadelphia.

“It’s pretty inevitable,” Seth Curry said. “He’s getting up 15 a night and shooting it well. He’s going to get it one of these days. So hopefully he makes 14 tonight and we hold him to like two or three on Saturday night.”

HEATED EXCHANGE

The game had a heated moment.

Late in the second quarter, Philadelphia’s Andre Drummond and Charlotte’s Miles Bridges exchanged words and had to be separated by teammates before both players were assessed a technical foul.

TIP-INS

76ers: Tyrese Maxey returned to the starting lineup after sitting out a game with an illness. “I felt OK,” Maxey said. “It is still hard to breathe out there.” … Scored 23 points off 19 Charlotte turnovers.

Hornets: Center Nick Richards rolled his left ankle in the second quarter but was able to return. … Miles Bridges had 20 points.

UP NEXT

76ers: Host the Jazz on Thursday night.

Hornets: Host the Kings on Friday night.

CLIPPERS HANG ON TO BEAT CELTICS 114-111 BEHIND ROOKIE

LOS ANGELES (AP) Brandon Boston Jr. had career highs of 27 points and five 3-pointers, sparking the Los Angeles Clippers to a 114-111 victory over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night in a matchup of teams barely above .500.

On a night when Paul George was sidelined with a bruised right elbow, Boston electrified his teammates and most of the crowd with a 3-pointer that beat the halftime buzzer. It capped 18 points in 14 minutes for the rookie out of Kentucky.

Marcus Morris added 20 points for the Clippers. Ivica Zubac and Terance Mann had 10 points and 10 rebounds each.

The Celtics were led by Jayson Tatum with 29 points and 10 rebounds. Dennis Schroder added 19 points and eight assists, and Josh Richardson had 17 points off the bench.

The Clippers blew most of a 21-point lead in the third quarter, when the Celtics got within four.

Boston scored five points in a 13-4 run that opened the third and extended the Clippers’ lead to 76-55 – their biggest of the game.

The Celtics responded with a 20-4 spurt that drew them within four. Tatum scored nine points, drawing huge cheers from the green-clad fans in the crowd with a dunk off Eric Bledsoe’s turnover.

The Clippers led 87-78 going into the fourth. They pushed their lead to 15 after eight straight points capped by Morris’ basket.

But the Celtics weren’t done yet. They ran off 10 in a row to close to 102-97.

The final 3 1/2 minutes turned into a 3-point shootout.

Reggie Jackson and Luke Kennard hit back-to-back 3s for the Clippers, restoring their lead to 11 points. Schroder and Richardson did the same for the Celtics, again putting them within five.

The Celtics successfully challenged an out-of-bounds call with 1:29 remaining that gave them possession. After Schroder missed, Tatum got the offensive rebound and tipped the ball in to get the Celtics to 108-105.

Morris then coolly sank a 3-pointer from the left corner.

The Clippers went 3 of 4 from the free throw line in the final 12 seconds to hold on after the Celtics closed within one. Tatum missed a potential tying 3 at the buzzer.

Boston hit the Clippers’ first 3 of the second half, looking as amazed as anyone. A grinning Morris celebrated with him before making a 3 of his own.

Boston did some trash talking in the second quarter that drew a technical foul. In the third, he was called for a flagrant 1 foul after his right elbow struck Grant Williams in the face.

Boston finished 9 of 13 from the floor and made all four of his free throws.

TIP-INS

Celtics: Closed out a back-to-back in LA after losing to the Lakers by 15 points on Tuesday.

Clippers: Nicolas Batum returned to the starting lineup after entering the NBA’s health and safety protocol on Nov. 19. He was scoreless in 15 minutes. … Justise Winslow saw his first action in a week, playing one minute.

UP NEXT

Celtics: Visit the Phoenix Suns on Friday to conclude a five-game western trip.

Clippers: Host the Orlando Magic on Saturday.

STEPHEN CURRY CLOSES IN ON 3S RECORD AS WARRIORS TOP BLAZERS

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Sure, Stephen Curry would have loved to set the career 3-pointer record at home, even if it would have been one heck of a feat.

He tried mightily to do it.

Curry scored 22 points and moved within nine 3s of tying Ray Allen’s record, and the Golden State Warriors held off the injury-depleted Portland Trail Blazers for a 104-94 win Wednesday night.

“To make that many 3s in one game obviously has never been done before, so it was just a routine night,” coach Steve Kerr said of the 16 Curry needed coming into the game to top Allen. “He made six, which is nothing for him. I don’t think I ever did that in my entire career one time.”

The reigning NBA scoring champion shot 6 of 17 from beyond the arc, missing his initial four 3-point tries before connecting at the 5:55 mark of the first quarter. Curry went 4 of 12 in the first half on 3s as Golden State held a 47-45 edge at the break.

Norman Powell scored 26 points but went 1 for 7 from deep, and the Blazers made just 8 of 30 on 3-pointers. Portland missed injured star guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.

“Strange,” Kerr said before the game. “I don’t think we’ve ever faced Portland without both of them, so they’re in a tough space right now.”

Curry is closing in on Allen’s mark of 2,973 regular-season 3s made from 1996-2014.

Kerr fully expected Curry to shoot as many times as he could from deep to try to get this done for the home fans at Chase Center before the team hits the road for five games.

“I feel like it will be special no matter what because I’ll make it special and it will be an amazing experience for me and my teammates,” Curry said this week.

Draymond Green had 10 rebounds, eight asissts and five points, and Jordan Poole scored eight of his 20 points in the third quarter as Golden State started to pull away. Otto Porter Jr. contributed 15 points and six rebounds off the bench as the Warriors improved to 21-4.

“I’m just along for the ride,” Porter said, noting his job will be to help Curry “get open looks.”

Jusuf Nurkic had 12 points, 13 rebounds and six assists before fouling out late. Nassir Little scored 18 points for the Blazers, making all five of his first-half shots.

LOYAL LILLARD

Earlier in the day, Lillard reiterated he doesn’t want to be traded by the Blazers.

“It’s the truth,” he said while heading into the locker room after warmups.

Not that anyone was surprised he still feels so strongly about staying put with Portland.

“He’s said it numerous times,” coach Chauncey Billups said. “He’s a Trail Blazer, period. He doesn’t want to go anywhere, he’s not going anywhere. He believes in what we’re doing here. That says a lot, because we’ve been going through a ton, on the floor and off the floor, we’ve been going through it a little bit. He’s the type of player and superstar that every team wants to have. … I thought it was beautiful.”

RESPECT FOR STEPH

Billups noted that the moment Curry crosses midcourt “he’s got a bullseye on him” as a threat to shoot.

“I just think he’s just the greatest combo guard to ever play the game,” Billups said.

TIP-INS

Trail Blazers: Lillard sat out to rest and protect an abdominal injury while McCollum is sidelined indefinitely after being diagnosed with a collapsed right lung. … Cody Zeller (bruised right quadriceps) and Anfernee Simons (sprained right ankle) also missed the game. … Portland has lost 12 of its last 14 on the Warriors’ home floor. … The Blazers dropped to 1-11 on the road.

Warriors: Green was hit with a technical at the 7:42 mark of the first. … Golden State has held opponents to below 50% shooting in 27 straight games dating to last season.

UP NEXT

Trail Blazers: Host Minnesota on Sunday in the first of four meetings between the teams this season.

Warriors: At Philadelphia on Saturday night having won the last two vs. the 76ers.

LILLARD: ‘I’M NOT ASKING FOR A TRADE’ AMID TRAIL BLAZERS’ TURMOIL

Damian Lillard won’t be asking to leave the Portland Trail Blazers anytime soon, he told reporters Wednesday, according to Jason Dumas of KRON4 News.

“I’m not asking for a trade,” Lillard said.

He added: “I sit in the office with (head coach) Chauncey (Billups) every day, and we’re trying to find solutions, and I’m dealing with these people every day when I walk in this practice facility trying to find solutions. Why would I be a part of trying to find solutions if I’m planning on an exit?”

Portland has struggled so far this season, with the team sitting 10th in the Western Conference at 11-14.

The Trail Blazers also fired team president and general manager Neil Olshey last week after an independent investigation into complaints of workplace misconduct. Olshey was already running the team when it drafted Lillard sixth overall in 2012.

Portland’s turbulence on and off the court has prompted rumors of roster changes, including reports of Lillard’s interest in playing with disgruntled Philadelphia 76ers forward Ben Simmons and his desire to ink a two-year extension with the Trail Blazers this offseason.

Amid the rampant gossip, Lillard appeared frustrated by continued questions about his future with Portland.

“It’s a good story and good things to talk about, and they know people are going to entertain it, so they continue with it. But my intentions are to be in Portland and figure it out,” Lillard said.

“I also know that people are going to continue to have these same conversations because it’s fun to talk about, but that shit is not – it’s not accurate.”

The 31-year-old has been out since Nov. 29 with an abdominal injury. The Trail Blazers also announced Tuesday that Lillard’s backcourt mate CJ McCollum will miss time due to a collapsed lung.

Lillard is averaging 21.5 points – his lowest output since the 2014-15 campaign – along with 7.8 assists and four rebounds per game this season.

REPORT: SHOWALTER FAVORITE FOR METS’ MANAGERIAL JOB

Buck Showalter is considered the favorite to become the next manager of the New York Mets due to his experience and history in the city, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network.

The 65-year-old skipper is reportedly interviewing for the position Wednesday after former Los Angeles Angels manager Brad Ausmus and Tampa Bay Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro spoke with club officials over the past two days.

Pittsburgh Pirates bench coach Don Kelly and Houston Astros bench coach Joe Espada are also reportedly in the running for the job, and Los Angeles Dodgers bench coach Bob Geren will interview this week, a source told Andy Martino of SNY.

However, new Mets ace Max Scherzer prefers Showalter, sources told Pat Ragazzo of Sports Illustrated.

Showalter, a three-time American League Manager of the Year, has 20 years of managing experience on his resume and a combined 1,551 regular-season wins between the New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks, Texas Rangers, and Baltimore Orioles.

The Mets have been searching for a new skipper since firing Luis Rojas following the 2021 campaign.

WOODS TO MAKE RETURN FROM CAR CRASH AT PNC CHAMPIONSHIP

(AP) — Ten months after his right leg was badly damaged in a car crash, Tiger Woods is returning to competition next week with 12-year-old son Charlie in the PNC Championship.

“Although it’s been a long and challenging year, I am very excited to close it out by competing in the PNC Championship with my son Charlie,” Woods tweeted. “I’m playing as a Dad and couldn’t be more excited and proud.”

It will be his first competition, even in a tournament Woods described last week as the “hit-and-giggle” variety that he can play, since he and his son tied for seventh a year ago in the unofficial event that pairs family members.

The tournament was holding a spot for Woods, and he fueled speculation he might play the Dec. 18-19 event at the Ritz Carlton Golf Club Orlando when he took full swings with driver on Saturday and Sunday during his Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.

“We have been liaising with Tiger and his team for some time and are delighted that he has now decided to make his return to competitive golf at the PNC Championship,” said Alastair Johnston of IMG, the executive chairman of the event.

Woods was driving to a Los Angeles course for a television shoot on Feb. 23 when police say he was driving about 85 mph along a winding, coastal suburban road. The SUV crashed through a median and plunged down a hill.

Doctors said he shattered the tibia and fibula bones in his right leg in multiple locations. Those were stabilized by a rod in the tibia. A combination of screws and pins were used to stabilize additional injuries in the ankle and foot.

Woods said last week that amputation was considered. He declined to discuss specifics of the crash, saying only “you can read about all that there in the police report.”

The PNC Championship was formerly known as the Father-Son Challenge until it changed the title to be more inclusive of family members. For the first time in its 24 years, the tournament has a current No. 1 player in the field, Nelly Korda, who will be playing with her father Petr, a former Australian Open tennis champion.

Lee Trevino is playing again and has never missed the tournament since it began in 1995. Justin Thomas returns as the defending champion with his father, Mike, a longtime PGA professional.

Still, this becomes all about Woods inside the ropes, hitting shots that count toward a score. A year ago, it was his last event before a fifth back surgery, not as serious as the previous ones. Toward the end of the second round, he was not hitting some tee shots because his son played from a forward tee and was getting it out there farther than Woods could have hit it.

Fans are returning to the Florida course, and it already is close to a sellout because organizers limit ticket sales to preserve the intimate nature of the event.

The next question will be when Woods, who shares the career PGA Tour record with 82 victories, will play in an official event.

He had said last week that was a long way off, dousing hopes of a return by suggesting his leg wouldn’t allow him to practice as much, he was at peace with that and “I’ve made the climb enough times.” He also said he hadn’t reached a point of deciding whether to complete a full comeback from his latest injuries.

“I’ll play a round here or there, a little hit and giggle, I can do something like that,” he said. “To see some of my shots fall out of the sky a lot shorter than they used to is a little eye-opening, but at least I’m able to do it again. That’s something that for a while there it didn’t look like I was going to. Now I’m able to participate in the sport of golf.

“Now, to what level? I do not know that.”

The first level is with his son at his side in a 36-hole event where he doesn’t have to hit every shot and can ride in a cart. But the score will count, and that hasn’t happened since the PNC Championship last year.

7-TIME CHAMPION SERENA WILLIAMS WON’T PLAY AUSTRALIAN OPEN

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Not long after Serena Williams’ name was absent from the entry list for the Australian Open, she confirmed the obvious: the seven-time champion won’t play the 2022 edition of the season-opening major in January.

The 40-year-old Williams hasn’t played since retiring from her first-round match at Wimbledon with a right hamstring injury and her ranking has slipped to No. 41. She won the last of her 23 Grand Slam singles titles at the 2017 Australian Open, and was beaten in the semifinals this year by Naomi Osaka in straight sets.

The Australian Open’s website Wednesday said the seven-time women’s singles champion would not compete in Melbourne “following advice from her medical team.”

“While this is never an easy decision to make, I am not where I need to be physically to compete,” Williams told the website. “Melbourne is one of my favorite cities to visit and I look forward to playing at the AO every year. I will miss seeing the fans, but am excited to return and compete at my highest level.”

Novak Djokovic was on the men’s entry list at No. 1 in a further indication that he’ll be playing at Melbourne Park beginning Jan. 17 despite Australia’s strict regulations requiring all players, officials and fans to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

Djokovic has declined to comment on his vaccination status in recent months, although he was included last week on the Serbian team for the ATP Cup which starts Jan. 1 in Sydney.

The nine-time Australian Open champion is tied with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the men’s record of 20 Grand Slam singles titles. Nadal is also entered for the Australian Open, which starts Jan. 17, but Federer is skipping the tournament as he continues his recovery from surgery.

Daniil Medvedev, who ended Djokovic’s bid for a calendar-year Grand Slam with a victory in the U.S. Open final, Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev are listed above No. 6 Nadal, who is not playing for Spain at the ATP Cup.

Ash Barty tops the women’s entry list and will continue her quest to end a long drought for Australian women at the tournament. No Australian woman has won the singles title since Chris O’Neil in 1978.

On Monday, Bianca Andreescu, the 2019 U.S. Open champion, said she will take a mental break from tennis and sit out the start of next season, including the Australian Open.

TOP INDIANA SPORTS NEWS/RELEASES

GAME REWIND: PACERS 122, KNICKS 102

Coming off an impressive win over the Washington Wizards, the Pacers (11-16) kept rolling against the New York Knicks (12-13) on Wednesday night.

The squad played with intense energy out of the gate once again. The Pacers grabbed their first lead with 9:55 to play in the first quarter and never relinquished it. In the end, it was a dominant, 122-102 victory over the visitors.

All five starters finished in double figures, with rookie Chris Duarte leading the way with 23 points and six assists. He finished 9-of-11 from the field. Myles Turner tallied 22 and two late game-sealing blocks, while Domantas Sabonis added a 21-point, 11-rebound double-double. Malcolm Brogdon and Caris LeVert finished with 16 and 15 apiece to round out the starters’ finishes. In total, the starters scored 97 of the team’s 122 points.

“It means a lot,” Duarte said of his performance. “I’ve been working on my game. There’s been a lot of ups and downs. It felt good to go out there and do a good job.”

Trailing 4-0 early, the Pacers responded with 12 unanswered points to grab an eight-point edge after the first four minutes elapsed. After a series of three buckets in the paint, Brogdon tallied five straight to cap the spree with 7:50 remaining.

“I liked the way we hopped into the game with a physical presence,” head coach Rick Carlisle said. “We were physical without committing a lot of unnecessary fouls.”

The Knicks did threaten one time in the frame when the long ball started to fall. With Indiana ahead 17-8, RJ Barrett and Evan Fournier knocked in consecutive treys to cut the gap to three at the 5:36 mark. Barrett, who had recently struggled from deep, recorded seven triples last night in the Knicks’ win over the Spurs. They soon would cut the lead to 17-16.

However, playing with energy, Duarte found his spots and tallied seven of a 12-5 run over a 2:40 span to earn a 29-21 lead with 2:29 remaining. The Blue & Gold finished 14-of-22 (63.6 percent) from the floor in the quarter and took a 36-29 lead into the second.

“He’s doing great,” Sabonis said of Duarte’s progress. “He’s watching film. He’s listening. He’s learning, and trying to make the right reads.”

Indiana stretched its lead to 11 (40-29) before New York started climbing back. Finding success against the Pacers’ bench, the Knicks mounted an 8-2 run to trim the lead to 42-37 with 8:43 remaining. The run was capped by Obi Toppin’s stylish, between-the-legs dunk in transition that forced a quick Pacers timeout.

However, the Pacers countered swiftly, recording eight straight to push the lead to 50-37 with 6:53 to play. The spree was highlighted by Sabonis’ three-point play in which he surprised his defender by spinning to his weak side.

From there, the Blue & Gold maintained a comfortable lead for the next few minutes. Duarte added three more to his tally, while Sabonis kept fighting for extra possessions underneath. With 3:23 to play, he snagged his fourth offensive board of the half and knocked in a layup to give Indiana a 62-47 lead. The story remained the same for Indiana to close out the frame, extending its lead to as high as 17 before taking a 70-57 advantage into the half.

Indiana’s barrage continued as the third quarter began. Playing with an edge, the squad recorded the first 10 points in the frame to earn an 80-57 lead at the 9:22 mark. The spree was highlighted by Duarte’s layup off an incredible pass from LeVert near halfcourt.

However, the Knicks quickly retaliated with nine unanswered to cut the deficit to 14 with 7:34 to play.

Yet, the Pacers did not falter. Despite going cold, the Pacers’ speed forced the Knicks to rack up fouls. It pushed Indiana into the penalty near the midway mark of the frame. The Blue & Gold used several trips to the charity stripe to combat New York’s buckets. With 3:54 to play, Duarte broke Indiana’s 5:28 field goal drought with an easy finger-roll finish to push the lead to 90-71.

The Pacers continued their solid play to close out the frame. Jeremy Lamb earned a trip to the free-throw line and knocked in both attempts to stretch his consecutive made free-throw streak to 34 this season. The squad took a 96-76 lead into the fourth.

The Pacers held a comfortable lead over the early moments of the fourth. However, the Knicks showed a bit of a spark after Toppin slammed home consecutive transition buckets off Indiana turnovers to cut the lead to 102-85.

Later, a three from Toppin at the 6:25 mark trimmed Indiana’s lead to 106-91 and kept the Knicks within range of a comeback. But, the squad turned to its best rim protector to turn the tides for good.

On the next Knicks possession, Immanuel Quickley appeared to have a clear-cut layup until Turner smacked his attempt off the backboard and into the hands of Wanamaker. The veteran guard that’s seeing increased time due to McConnell’s injury finished with a finger-roll on the other end, pushing Indiana’s lead to 17.

Later, with 5:07 to play, Turner picked up another massive swat, this time on an attempted alley-oop, and Duarte collected the rebound. Duarte then found LeVert for the Pacers’ own alley-oop finish. Turner and Sabonis then knocked in back-to-back triples to fully shut the door on a comeback attempt.

Inside the Numbers

Indiana won the rebounding battle, 42-36

The Pacers outscored the Knicks both in the paint (60-44) and in transition (26-16)

The Blue & Gold limited the mistakes tonight, committing just 11 turnovers – four in the first half

You Can Quote Me On That

“It’s kind of the axiom of the NBA. It’s really more of a first-quarter league than a fourth-quarter league in many respects. Playing from in front is always a decisive advantage. So, if you can jump out to a lead and play with some separation, it always helps.” – Carlisle on how the first-quarter performance helped the Pacers win

“It was never the ability with Chris (Duarte). It was the learning the NBA, learning the landscape, and learning how he had to fit in. We threw him right into the fire. It’s not like he went to the G-League, or watched. He started right away. That’s been the best thing for him.” – Turner on how Duarte has improved this season

Stat of the Night

Indiana scored 70 points in the first half for the fifth time this season after shooting 27-of-45 (60 percent) from the field

Noteworthy

Indiana improves to 11-8 this season when five or more players finish in double figures

The Blue & Gold have won consecutive games for the fourth time this season. They have yet to win three in a row

The Pacers improve to 56-36 in the all-time regular-season series against the Knicks

Tickets

The Pacers continue their six-game homestand on Friday, Dec. 10 at 7:00 PM ET, when Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks visit Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

INDIANA FALLS TO NO. 22/17 WISCONSIN 64-59 IN BIG TEN ROAD OPENER

MADISON, Wisc. – It was there, all of it, a Wednesday night chance to end a generation of Madison misery and bury basketball demons that stretched into the previous century.

Indiana was poised for a landmark victory at Wisconsin that would have meant a once-a-century achievement for first-year coach Mike Woodson.

And then, in a basketball instant, it was gone, by a 64-59 score.

“I have to help them figure out ways to win games like this,” Woodson told Voice of the Hoosiers Don Fischer during his post-game radio show.

A 22-point first-half lead vanished amid a second-half flurry of missed shots, missed free throws, turnovers and second-chance Wisconsin points.

“We played great in the first half,” Woodson told Fischer, “but you have to put two halfs together to win.

“In the second half, we came out ready, but once they made the run, we just couldn’t answer. We missed free throws.”

IU missed seven of 13 free throws, including its last three of the game. Wisconsin was 15-for-18 from the line.

“I look at the stat sheet,” Woodson told Fischer, “and we won in almost every category except for the score.”

The Hoosiers (7-2) shot better, rebounded better and scored more points in the paint – except when it mattered most.

“We struggled to score in the second half,” Woodson told Fischer. “We couldn’t make shots and couldn’t get stops.

“I’ve got to get them over the hump. This was a winnable game.”

For 20 minutes, the Hoosiers were as good as any team in the country. For 37 minutes, they threatened to do what they hadn’t done since Titanic ruled the movie box office, when Bob Knight was the coach, Andrae Patterson was the Cream ‘n Crimson hero and beating Wisconsin was almost as common in Hoosier circles as candy stripes.

Then it all disappeared.

IU missed 13 of its last 14 shots, plus missed three straight free throws. It failed to score in the final three minutes to remain winless in Madison since 1998.

It also kept Woodson from becoming the first Hoosier coach to win his Big Ten road opener since George W. Levis in 1921.

“We missed some shots,” Woodson told Fischer. “We missed shots around the bucket and didn’t make free throws.

“We have to fix that. We have to make free throws on the road in tight games.”

Wisconsin (8-1) came in with a top-25 national ranking and a series of impressive victories, most away from home, including over then No. 12 Houston.

IU began as if it didn’t care.

This was a new coach, a new program and a new attitude, which meant tapping into its old win-anywhere-at-any-time roots.

But then, Wisconsin fought back for its biggest comeback in school history. It rallied behind a Johnny Davis three-pointer with two minutes left that gave him a game-high 23 points and pushed Wisconsin to a 60-59 lead it never lost.

“The biggest bucket was Davis’ three to put them up,” Woodson told Fischer. “We couldn’t answer after that.”

Forward Race Thompson led IU with 12 points and nine rebounds. Guard Xavier Johnson had 10 points, seven assists and seven rebounds, but was just 4-for-16 from the field, 2-for-6 on free throws.

Forward Trayce Jackson Davis took just 10 shots, made four and finished with nine points and six rebounds.

After the game, Woodson said he has to figure out ways to get Jackson-Davis and Thompson more shots on the road.

In the opening 10 minutes, IU rocked Wisconsin like no one had all season. It built leads as large as 22 points, the Badgers’ biggest deficit of the season. It scored more points in the first 15 minutes than any team had scored in a half against Wisconsin all year.

Parker Stewart was 3-for-3 from three-point range. Miller Kopp and Tamar Bates each had a three-pointer.

By halftime, Indiana had a 42-25 lead on 54.8 percent shooting, including 5-for-8 on three-pointers. Seven Hoosiers had scored, five with at least six points. Stewart led the way with nine points.

Even more remarkable, it had just five turnovers against 11 assists. That was huge for a team averaging basically 17 a game.

The only concern – Wisconsin had scored the last five points of the half to find momentum. It was going to make a second-half run.

Could the Hoosiers handle it?

Ultimately, no.

IU played well enough, even with the second-unit getting extended minutes, to take a 56-44 lead.

Then the Hoosiers lost their offense, and then the game.

“Give Wisconsin credit,” Woodson told Fischer. “They kept fighting until they got the lead.”

NO. 10 IU RETURNS TO NON-CONFERENCE PLAY ON THURSDAY VERSUS FAIRFIELD

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – No. 10 Indiana shifts back to non-conference play on Thursday night when it hosts Fairfield. Tipoff at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall is set for 7 p.m. ET.

#10/8 INDIANA (6-2, 1-0 B1G) vs. FAIRFIELD (3-4, 0-0 B1G)

Thursday, December 9, 2021 • 7 p.m. ET

Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall • Bloomington, Ind.

Broadcast: BTN+

Radio: WHCC 105.1 FM (Austin Render)

ABOUT THE STAGS

The Stags enter the matchup after dropping its last two games to Yale and UMass. They are led by senior forward Lou Lopez-Senechal’s 18.7 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. Redshirt senior forward Callie Cavanaugh also adds double figures with 11.7 and grad student guard Sydney Lowery adds 11.3 points per game. Fairfield is averaging 62.7 points per game and were picked to finish third in the MAAC this season.

SERIES HISTORY

Fairfield leads 1-0

LAST MEETING

12/29/84 – L, 85-89 (Miami)

NOTES

IU got back on track Monday night when it opened Big Ten play with a 70-40 win over Penn State. All five starters scored in double figures behind 16 points from junior forward Mackenzie Holmes.

Graduate student guard Nicole Cardaño-Hillary stuffed the stat sheet against the Lady Lions, tallying 14 points, a team-high seven rebounds, five assists and five steals. The Madrid, Spain native hit three 3-pointers in the victory, as she leads the team with 16 made triples and shooting 45.7 percent from beyond-the-arc. 

Indiana held its position in the top 10 in both national top 25 polls this week – coming in at No. 10 in the Associated Press Top 25 and No. 8 in the WBCA/USA Today coaches poll.

Guards Grace Berger and Ali Patberg were named two of the top 30 candidates for the Senior CLASS Award. The duo is just one of two schools nationally with multiple selections, joining UConn with three selections. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School ®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

UP NEXT

The Hoosiers hit the road and return to Big Ten play on Sunday when it faces Ohio State. Tipoff in Columbus is set for 7 p.m. ET on Big Ten Network.

TOP-RANKED BOILERMAKERS FACE RUTGERS IN FIRST ROAD GAME OF THE SEASON

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The No. 1-ranked Purdue Boilermakers face its first test as the nation’s top-ranked team when it travels East to face Rutgers at 7 p.m. ET, at Jersey Mike’s Arena. The Boilermakers are looking to snap a three-game skid to Rutgers and are looking to win at Rutgers for the first time since Feb. 3, 2018. The three-game losing streak to Rutgers is the third-longest active losing streak to a Big Ten opponent.

The Boilermakers are 8-0 for the first time since the 2015-16 season, while Rutgers enters the contest with a 4-4 record.

The contest will be televised on BTN with Brandon Gaudin and Robbie Hummel on the call. On the radio waves, Rob Blackman and Bobby Riddell will be courtside on the 22-station Purdue Radio Network and online on the Varsity Sports Network (app). Live stats will be provided on PurdueStats.com and updates will be provided on Purdue’s official Twitter account (@BoilerBall).

THE NOTES TO KNOW

1) Purdue is 8-0 for just the third time under head coach Matt Painter. A win over Rutgers would give Purdue just its fifth 9-0 start since 1940, joining the 1992-93, 1993-94, 2009-10 and 2015-16 seasons. The best start in school history is 14-0 (1993-94 and 2009-10).

2) Purdue’s No. 1 ranking is its first in school history. Purdue had been ranked in 379 previous AP Top 25 polls without a No. 1 ranking — the second-most appearances in the country (Maryland – 423).

3) Purdue enters Thursday’s contest as one of 12 unbeatens left in the country. Minnesota (pending Wednesday’s MSU game) is one of them.

4) Purdue has outscored its opponents by 77 points at the free throw line, the top total in the country (Portland, Providence are +73). Over the last three games, Purdue has outscored foes by 37 points at the free throw line, being whistled for just 32 fouls to opponents’ 60.

5) Purdue is 1-of-2 teams nationally to shoot at least 50.0 percent from the field, 40.0 percent from 3-point range and 75.0 percent from the free throw line (Colorado State).

6) Eight of Purdue’s 10 regulars shoot at least 40 percent from 3-point range (Thompson – .609; Morton, Gillis, Williams – .500; Stefanovic – .460; Furst – .455; Newman – .405; Ivey – .400).

7) Purdue has trailed for just 27 minutes, 10 seconds this season. If you throw out Villanova, Purdue has trailed for just 7 minutes, 16 seconds.

8) Matt Painter (363) needs one win to tie Branch McCracken and Bo Ryan (364) for sixth on the list for overall career wins by Big Ten coaches. He needs one win to tie Jud Heathcote (182) for seventh on the list for career wins in Big Ten games only.

PURDUE PLAYS NO. 8 MARYLAND TOUGH IN ROAD LOSS

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – On her weekly radio show, Purdue women’s head coach said she wanted Maryland to know Purdue was there. On Wednesday night, the Boilermakers pushed the No. 8 team in the nation deep into the second half before falling 86-71 on the road.

Brooke Moore and Cassidy Hardin combined for 37 points on the night, as Purdue (6-4, 0-2) was without its top two scorers, Madison Layden and Ra Shaya Kyle, through illness and injury. Moore dropped a season-high 22 points on a career-best six 3-pointers. Hardin added 15 points on five triples.

The Boilermakers finished with a season-high 48.3% field goal clip and matched their season high with 12 3-pointers. Rokia Doumbia added 10 points off the bench, while Jeanae Terry was one point and two assists shy of a triple-double with nine points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.

The Boilermakers could not have started much hotter in the first quarter, going 9-of-12 from the field and 4-of-5 from behind the arc. Cassidy Hardin knocked down a pair of early triples to lead the way early with eight points, as Purdue led 22-21 after 10 minutes.

In the second, Moore took over. The senior launched four 3-pointers in the period to account for 12 of Purdue’s 18 points in the frame. Maryland regained the lead midway through, before Moore knocked in back-to-back triples that gave Purdue a 40-36 lead at the break.

Purdue shot 64% from the field and 8-of-13 from deep over the opening 20 minutes. Maryland (9-2, 2-0), meanwhile, kept it close with 18 points on 15 Boilermaker giveaways in the first half and nine second chance points on 15 offensive rebounds.

Maryland rebounded in the second half, outscoring Purdue 50-31. Purdue kept the gap to single digits until a 9-0 Terrapin run in the fourth built the lead out to as many as 20.

Purdue cooled down to a 36.4% field goal percentage in the second half. Doumbia scored all of her 10 in the final 20 minutes, while Hardin and Moore were limited to a combined 12 points.

The Terrapins won the rebounding battle 42-31 and converted 23 offensive boards into 21 second-chance points. The Boilermakers also committed 23 turnovers, with just eight in the second half, which into 34 points for the hosts.

The Boilermakers closed one of the toughest run of games in recent memory, facing five straight teams ranked or receiving votes. Purdue went 2-3 during the stretch with wins over No. 17/22 Florida State and Georgia Tech in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The Boilermakers will face Denver, Miami (OH) and North Alabama to finish the non-conference schedule. Purdue will face its next Big Ten opponent Dec. 30 at 9 p.m. at Wisconsin on Big Ten Network.

QUOTE

Head coach Katie Gearlds …

I think we all saw exactly what we thought we were going to see. Purdue competed for 40 minutes. For us, it doesn’t really matter who we have on the floor. We’re going to have a group out there that’s going to compete. We’re going to be locked in and engaged. We’re upset. This one hurts. We didn’t come up here just to play and compete. We wanted to give ourselves a chance in the fourth quarter. They’re a top-10 team for a reason.

NOTES

• Maryland leads the all-time series with Purdue, 15-2.

• Purdue a little over 50% of its points form behind the arc.

• Rickie Woltman and Jayla Smith made their first career starts with the absences of Kyle and Layden.

• Abbey Ellis hit double figures for the fifth time this season, finishing with 10 points.

• Maryland’s entire starting five scored in double figures, led by All-American Ashley Owusu’s 20.

• Purdue recorded 12 offensive rebounds but only managed eight second-chance points.

• The Boilermakers’ 18 points in the second quarter were the most in that frame since the loss to Dayton.

• For the third time this season, Purdue attempted five or fewer free throws, going 3-of-5 on the night.

• Purdue’s four-point lead at the half was the first time Maryland trailed at the break to an unranked team this season.

UP NEXT

The Boilermakers will open a three-game homestand that will close out the non-conference slate Sunday afternoon against Denver at 2 p.m. on B1G+.

NO. 6 PURDUE PRIMED FOR REGIONAL SEMIFINALS VS. BYU

Thursday, December 9 | 11 a.m. ET

No. 6 seed Purdue vs. No. 11 seed BYU

WSHY 104.3 FM or Listen Online | ESPNU

Saturday, December 11 | 4 p.m. ET

Winner of Purdue/BYU vs. Winner of Pittsburgh/Kansas

ESPNU

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – The No. 6 seeded Purdue Boilermakers (25-6, 15-5 B1G) are slated to take on the No. 11 seeded BYU Cougars tomorrow at 11 a.m. ET in Fitzgerald Field House.

In a highly anticipated matchup, the Boilermakers have the edge in seeding, however the Cougars hold the edge in the AVCA coaches poll, checking in at No.5 while Purdue holds No. 8.

A Reverse Sweep for the Comeback Victory: Round 2 vs. Dayton

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

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

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

Senior Grace Cleveland ended the night with 17 kills and just one error on 34 swings for a .471 attack %.

Making Their Mark in Purdue History

Currently, Purdue’s senior and super-senior class is the most talented in program history, with five Boilers making their mark as one of the best in program history in at least one category: Hayley Bush, Grace Cleveland, Marissa Hornung, Caitlyn Newton and Jena Otec.

Otec ranks in two career categories: 3rd in program history with 1,807 digs and 6th with 160 aces. Meanwhile, she enters the week averaging 4.57 digs per set, 3rd most by a Boilermaker in a single season and 535 digs, 6th-most by a Boilermaker.

Hornung ranks 4th all-time in digs (1,397).

Cleveland is 3rd in block assists (419) and tied for 3rd in school history with 463 total blocks. She is just the second Boilermaker since 1985 to post as many total blocks (joins the Purdue leader, All-American Stephanie Lynch, 2005-08).

Bush’s 4,807 career assists check in as 3rd-most in program history and became the second setter in Purdue history to reach 1,000 career digs (came with her first dig of the first round).

Newton ranks 4th in program history with 1,667 kills and ties for 10th with 3.3 kills per set. Additionally, she is one of just four Boilermakers in program history to register more than 4,000 attempts.

Jael Johnson is on track to finish the season with one of the most efficient hitting % in program history. Currently, she owns a .308 career attack %, good for T-8th overall.

All-Big Ten & AVCA All-Northeast Region Awards

For the second straight season, Purdue set a program record in Big Ten postseason awards, earning six All-Big Ten honors (previous: five, 2020): Coach of the Year (Shondell), three first team honorees (Hayley Bush, Grace Cleveland and Caitlyn Newton), one second team (Jena Otec) and an All-Freshman honoree (Raven Colvin).

Meanwhile, Purdue tied a program-high five All-Northeast Region honorees: Four first team selections (Bush, Cleveland, Newton and Otec) and Regional Coach of the Year (Shondell).

Dave Shondell earned his second Big Ten Coach of the Year honors (last: 2011) and first All-Region Coach of the Year.

Defense Lives Here

Purdue ranks second in the nation with 349.5 blocks.

Meanwhile, Purdue has out-blocked opponents by 1.4 blocks per set this season, the largest margin for the program in 17 years.

The Boilermakers are averaging 15.37 digs per st this season, a mark only reached four times in the program’s last 17 seasons.

During non-conference play, Purdue held opponents to .180 attack % while out-blocking teams 2.70 – 1.32 per set.

NCAA COLLEGE CUP SEMIFINAL PREVIEW: #8 CLEMSON

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The Irish and Tigers will meet for the second time this season with a spot in the College Cup final on the line with an NCAA semifinal matchup at WakeMed Soccer Park at 6 p.m. ET on Friday, Dec. 10. The match will be broadcast on ESPNU.

#4 NOTRE DAME vs. #8 CLEMSON

Location: Cary, North Carolina | WakeMed Soccer Park

TV: ESPNU

Live Stats: Click Here

Twitter Updates: @NDMenSoccer

Game Notes: vs. Clemson

THE IRISH IN THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP

• Notre Dame secured a spot in the College Cup for the second time in program history, advancing past No. 5 Pitt in the NCAA quarterfinals in penalties (4-2).

• Notre Dame is playing in its 23rd NCAA Championship in 2021 and have played in the tourney in 19 of the last 21 seasons.

• The Irish have an overall record of 21-20-4 in the NCAA Championships.

• The Irish have advanced to the round of 16 on 11 occasions and have made five quarterfinals.

• Notre Dame won the College Cup in 2013, defeating Maryland by a score of 2-1 to capture the title. It was the program’s only trip to the College Cup.

• Notre Dame is 15-8-4 when playing at home in NCAA Tournament play in program history and has advanced to the next round 18 times.

• The Irish are 12-8-2 in their opening NCAA Tournament matches in program history and have advanced to the next round 14 times.

• Notre Dame’s No. 4 national seed is the highest the program has earned since being the top-seed during the 2014 season.

THE CLEMSON SERIES

• The Irish and Tigers will meet on the pitch for the 12th time on Friday.

• Notre Dame holds a lead in the all-time series with a record of 6-4-1.

• The Irish defeated Clemson 2-0 at Riggs Field on Oct. 9. Both of Notre Dame’s goals came in the second half, as Daniel Russo and Matthew Roou both scored.

KEEP IT CLEAN

• The Notre Dame defense has come into form in the second half of the season, entering Friday’s match posting 10 clean sheets in its last 13 matches.

• The Irish have totaled 13 shutouts on the season, with Bryan Dowd in goal for 10 and Thomas Deslongchamps recording three.

• The 13 clean sheets are tied for third most in program history and the most since recording 13 during the 2006 season.

• Notre Dame has eight clean sheets against ACC opponents, the most by any team in the conference this season (Pitt x2, Duke, Clemson, Wake Forest, Louisville, NC State x2)

• Opponents have scored multiple goals in just four of 23 matches this season.

• Despite playing some of the top teams in the country, the Irish have allowed just six goals in the last 15 matches.

• Pitt’s goal in the 41st minute of the NCAA snapped a streak of 650 minutes of scoreless play, marking a Notre Dame program record.

• Bryan Dowd tied the program record for consecutive clean sheets with six straight, all coming in postseason play.

FINISHING STRONG

• The Irish have made it a habit of dominating the second half of matches, outscoring the opposition 31-7 in the final 45 minutes of regulation.

• Notre Dame’s defense hasn’t allowed a goal in the second half in the last 13 matches, outscoring the opposition 18-0 in the second half during that stretch.

• The last time the Irish allowed a goal was in a 2-1 win against Virginia on October 1.

SET PIECE SUCCESS

• The Irish have been dominant on set pieces this season, scoring 12 goals from either penalties, throw-ins, corners or free kicks while only allowing four against.

• Notre Dame’s defense hasn’t allowed a set piece goal since allowing Michigan to score off a free kick on Sept. 21.

• The Irish attack has scored four goals off penalties, four from corners, two from free kicks and two from throw-ins.

• The Irish have not allowed a goal from a corner all season.

• Notre Dame is 4-for-4 from the spot (not including shootouts) this season.

SHOOTOUT DOMINANCE

• The Irish have advanced once in the ACC Tournament and once in the NCAA Tournament off shootouts.

• Notre Dame has converted all seven attempts from the spot during shootouts this season.

• Bryan Dowd has only allowed two penalty shootout attempts to find the back of the net despite facing seven attempts.

• The Irish defeated Louisville 3-0 in just three rounds in the second round of the ACC Tournament and then advanced past Pitt in the NCAA quarterfinals by a score of 4-2 in four rounds.

LYNN LEADS THE LINE

• Lynn was Notre Dame’s representative on the ACC Preseason Watch List and was ranked No. 33 in TopDrawerSoccer’s midseason top 100 players rankings.

• Lynn paces all active Irish players in career goals with 30.

• Lynn became the 12th player in program history to reach the 30 career goal mark.

• The senior leads the team in goals (9) and points (22) on the year.

• The forward has nine goals and four assists on the season.

• Lynn was named All-ACC First Team for the second straight year by the league coaches.

• The forward enjoyed a breakout 2019 campaign, scoring a career-high 10 goals to lead the Irish attack.

• Lynn has led the Irish in goals and points in each of the last two seasons.

BALANCED ATTACK

• Nineteen different Irish players have registered at least one point this season, as the team has totaled 146 on the season.

• Fifteen players have scored a goal through 23 matches, with 11 scoring multiple goals.

• Dawson McCartney, Paddy Burns and Ethan O’Brien are tied for the team lead in assists with five each while Jack Lynn and Daniel Russo are tied for second with four each. Matthew Roou, Ben Giacobello and Matthew McLaughlin each have three.

THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT

• The Irish have received significant contributions from the 2021 freshman class.

• Fourteen of Notre Dame’s 51 goals have been scored by freshmen.

• Matthew Roou ranks tied for second on the team in goals scored with seven while Eno Nto is fourth on the squad with five goals to his name.

• Michael Rossi scored two goals in his debut season.

• Josh Ramsey has played in all 23 games, including 22 starts for Notre Dame this season at the center back position.

• Nto and Roou both scored goals in their first career starts, coming in the 2-0 win over NIU.

• Kyle Genenbacher has also logged minutes in 21 matches this season.

ACC CHAMPIONSHIP REWIND

• The Irish captured its first ACC Championship title in program history with a 2-0 win over Duke in Cary, North Carolina.

• Dawson McCartney scored a brace in the title game and totaled three goals over the four tournament matches to earn ACC Championship MVP honors.

• Jack Lynn, Bryan Dowd and Philip Quinton joined McCartney on the ACC All-Tournament Team.

• The Irish didn’t allow a goal over the four games, becoming the first team to accomplish the feat when playing in four games and the sixth to ever finish the ACC Championships with no goals allowed.

• Notre Dame advanced past NC State (1-0), Louisville (0-0, 3-0 penalties), and Pitt (2-0) to get to the title game.

• The Irish snapped Pitt’s 19-match home winning streak with the 2-0 win in the semifinal round.

2021 CAPTAINS

• Mohamed Omar and Philip Quinton will share the skipper role for the Fighting Irish for the 2021 season.

• Omar has been a staple as a central defensive midfielder over the past three seasons. His 2020-21 campaign was cut short due to an injury that sidelined him for almost all of the spring.

• Omar has racked up 68 appearances for the Irish over four seasons, scoring six goals and adding three assists in his career.

• Quinton has been a mainstay in Notre Dame’s defense four seasons at the center back position.

• The 6-foot-6 defender has anchored the Irish back line the last two seasons.

• The senior was named All-ACC Third Team following the regular season and was placed on the ACC All-Tournament Team.

• Quinton has scored the first two goals in his Notre Dame career this season, coming against Virginia Tech and Purdue Fort Wayne.

IRISH FINALLY BACK IN PURCELL PAVILION TO FACE NO. 10/12 KENTUCKY

2021-22 FIGHTING IRISH – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

The University of Notre Dame men’s basketball team (3-4) returns home after a 25-day road trip to face No. 10/12 Kentucky in Purcell Pavilion. The University will induct LaPhonso Ellis into the Purcell Pavilion Ring of Honor at halftime of the contest.  

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP

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

Saw double-digit game scoring streak end at Illinois, still averaging 11.1 ppg and 6.0 rpg in 2021-22 • 2019-20 Ivy League Player of the Year at Yale • did not participate in 2020-21, as the Ivy League cancelled all intercollegiate athletics • ranked by ESPN+ as the fourth-best transfer prospect in  2020-21 • boasts a .661 career field goal percentage – top for any returning NCAA Division I player this year – and led Ivy League in FG% all three seasons in which he competed.

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

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

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

Has scored in double figures in all seven games this season and leads the team with 15.0 ppg, to match his career-best streak (seven straight in 2019-20 – final four games – and 2020-21 – first three games) • averaging 14.3 ppg and 5.4 rpg • one of the best free throw shooters on the team, boasting a .831 career average from the stripe (15-16 this season).

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

Scored 13 points with three three-point field goals at Illinois • leads the Irish in rebounding at 9.1 per game • improved FG% 19 percent, 3FG% 11% and RPG by 3.1 last season • scored over 20 points four times last season and has five 20-point games in his career.

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

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

OFF THE BENCH

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

Preseason All-ACC Second Team • led the team with 15 points against Boston College, coming off the bench for the first time since the victory at Miami last season • leads all active ACC players in career assists (466) • led the Irish in  scoring (14.6) and three-point field goals made (65) last season • one of five major conference players to reach 100 assists in league play last season.

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

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

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

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

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

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

IRISH ITEMS – BY THE NUMBERS

1

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

2

Game win streak at Purcell Pavilion for the Irish against Kentucky. The Irish defeated the Wildcats 76-66 in the 2009 NIT and took down No. 8/8 Kentucky 64-50 in the BIG EAST/SEC Challenge in 2012.

4

LaPhonso Ellis, who will be inducted into the Purcell Pavilion Ring of Honor Saturday afternoon at halftime, was just the fourth Notre Dame player to finish a career with over 1,000 points (1,505) and 1,000 rebounds (1,075).

7

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

7

Career-best-match streak of double-digit scoring games for Dane Goodwin, who leads the Irish at 14.1 ppg.

9

Notre Dame had inducted nine previous former men’s basketball student-athletes or coaches into the Purcell Pavilion Ring of Honor. The Irish are 9-0 all-time in those contests (see page 3 for the complete list of games).

25

Days between home games for the Irish, who have not taken the court in Purcell Pavilion since Nov. 16. It is the longest road trip of the Mike Brey era and longest since the 1993-94 Irish squad when 29 days without a home game (12/4/1993 – 1/2/1994).

20+

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

24

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

64

Notre Dame and Kentucky will meet for the 64th time on Saturday evening. The Wildcats lead the all-time series 43-20, but the Irish do hold a 9-5 advantage in true home games. A large percentage of the matchups (40) between the two teams have occurred in neutral sites.

NOTRE DAME HOCKEY: ROLSTON EARNS B1G SECOND STAR OF THE WEEK HONORS

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Sophomore forward Ryder Rolston has been selected as Big Ten Hockey’s Second Star of the Week, the conference announced Wednesday morning (Dec. 8).

The Birmingham, Michigan native helped Notre Dame to a weekend split with No. 18 Ohio State by leading the Irish offense with a goal and an assist in each game (Dec. 3-4). In Saturday’s game two, 5-1 victory, Rolston netted his third game winner of the year. It marks his first career weekly Big Ten honor.

On the season, Rolston is Notre Dame’s second-leading scorer with 16 points on six goals and 10 assists in 15 games played. His three game-winning goals lead the team, as do his 10 assists.

Rolston has an active, career-long seven-game point streak (5-6-11). His goal, assist and point totals each represent career-high marks after posting a goal five assists in 28 games last season as a freshman. 

Originally a fifth round selection (139th overall) by the Colorado Avalanche in the 2020 NHL Draft, Rolston’s rights were traded to Chicago in April (2021).

B1G Stars Of The Week — Dec. 8

First Star: Michael Pastujov, Sr., F, Michigan

Second Star: Ryder Rolston, So., F, Notre Dame

Third Star: Pierce Charleson, So., G, Michigan State

Notre Dame’s 2021-22 B1G Stars of the Week

First Star: Max Ellis (Nov. 23)

Second Star: Ryder Rolston (Dec. 8)

Third Star: Matthew Galajda (Oct. 26 & Nov. 16)

Next Up

Notre Dame closes out the first semester next weekend by playing host to Michigan State on Dec. 10-11 at the Compton Family Ice Arena (tickets).

Both games will be broadcast on NBCSN, with Friday’s game starting at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday’s game slated for 7 p.m.

STRONG 4TH QUARTER PUSHES #22 IRISH TO 73-56 WIN AT VALPO

VALPARAISO, Ind.  — The No. 22 Notre Dame women’s basketball squad (8-2) used a strong fourth quarter start pull away from the Valpo Beacons (0-8) and secure the 73-56 road victory Wednesday at the ARC. The Fighting Irish outscored the Beacons 23-11 in the fourth.

Freshman point guard Olivia Miles shone bright by becoming the seventh different Irish player in program history to record a triple-double and second freshman to do so (first being Marina Mabrey at Valparaiso, Nov. 23, 2015 — 18p/10a/12s). It marked the ninth time overall (Skylar Diggins-Smith and Jackie Young each had two). Miles finished with 11 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists.

Fellow freshman guard Sonia Citron nearly captured a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds. Maddy Westbeld led the team in scoring with 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting. Dara Mabrey also finished in double figures, connecting on 4-of-9 from deep

How It Happened

Maddy Westbeld scored seven of the team’s first 12 points to put the Irish up 12-11 at the first quarter media. Yet, the Beacons closed on a 6-0 run over the final minute. Valpo hit three treys in the quarter and shot 8-of-15 from the field to jump out to a 19-14 advantage.

In the second, Notre Dame outscored Valpo 11-6, as a Mabrey three-pointer capped a 7-0 run to tie the game at 25-all at the half. Westbeld and Mabrey combined for 17 of the team’s 25 points. For Valpo, Shay Frederick led with 10 points. The Beacons also turned eight turnovers into 12 points.

Valpo’s sixth three of the game kickstarted a 5-0 run to start the second half, but Notre Dame countered with a 12-4 run with baskets from Peoples, Mabrey, Miles, Westbeld and Prohaska. Ultimately, the offense finally clicked in the quarter, as Notre Dame outscored Valpo 25-20 to go up 50-45. Miles had six assists in the third quarter (team had eight) as the Irish shot 10-of-13.

Brunelle and Prohaska kickstarted the fourth with big three-pointers which ignited a 9-2 Irish start, jumping out to a 59-47 lead at the 6:24 media. Westbeld and Citron scored on back-to-back plays around the 2:28 mark to help ice the game, while Miles finally got her triple-double with a layup with 55 seconds left.

Up Next

After five games away from Purcell Pavilion, the Fighting Irish finally return home on Sunday, Dec. 12, hosting the Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons. Sunday also marks a special day for the program, as Muffet McGraw will be inducted into the Ring of Honor in a pregame ceremony starting at 1:30 p.m. ET. Sunday’s game will also play host to the program’s annual Teddy Bear Toss.

WBB HANGS ON TO WIN IN-STATE RIVALRY GAME AT IUPUI

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – It comes to no surprise that tonight’s in-state rivalry game would come down to the wire. Ball State managed to hang on to 73-67 victory on the road against IUPUI Wednesday night in the Jungle.

With the win, Ball State improves to 5-3 on the season while IUPUI falls to 4-4.

The Cardinals got off to a fast start and took a 36-22 lead at the half. However, the Jaguars battled back in the final two quarters.

IUPUI outscored Ball State 45-37 in the second half and would eventually tie the game 67-67 with two minutes remaining. Junior guard Sydney Freeman drove the lane for a layup and would draw the foul, completing the old-fashioned 3-pointer to put the Cardinals back up by three (70-67).

Ball State then turned up its defense causing a Jaguar turnover that would put the ball back into the hands of Freeman with 17 seconds on the clock. IUPUI was then forced to foul Freeman sending her to the line to shoot two from the charity stripe. Freeman knocked down both free throws which then sealed the win for BSU.

The Cardinals opened tonight’s ballgame at IUPUI nearly flawless on both ends of the court. Offensively, Ball State started the contest on an 8-0 scoring spree that started with a layup from true freshman Ally Becki. After that, the Cardinals remained in control shooting 58 percent from the field in the first quarter while defensively holding the Jaguars to only six points.

It was a slow start in the second period for both teams – a few turnovers and missed shots didn’t seem to faze the Cardinals. Ball State continued to fight through the chaos to take a 36-22 lead over IUPUI at intermission.

IUPUI took a page out of Ball State’s book after the break, outscoring the Cardinals 17-10 in the third frame of action, but mid-way through the Cardinals got back their mojo, beginning with a 3-pointer from senior Thelma Dis Agustsdottir. Ball State then finished the third quarter with an 8-2 run to give BSU a 10-point (54-44) advantage over the Jaguars heading into the final 10 minutes of action.

For the game, the Cardinals placed four in double figures with redshirt junior Anna Clephane leading the way again for BSU with 18 points. Agustsdottir and Freeman each added 15 points and Becki rounded out the double-digit scoring with 10. Defensively, freshman Marie Kiefer pulled down six rebounds as did Agustsdottir.

Statistically, one of the biggest factors in tonight’s win over the Jaguars were points in the paint. BSU won that category 44-28.

The Ball State women’s basketball team returns to Worthen Arena on Saturday when the Cardinals host Utah State at 1 p.m. ET in Worthen Arena.

BALL STATE DROPS MIDWEEK MATCHUP AT XAVIER

CINCINNATI – Tyler Cochran and Luke Bumbalough led the team with 10 points each on Wednesday from the Cintas Center. The Ball State men’s basketball team dropped a tough one against Xavier, 96-50. With the loss, the Cardinals fell to 3-5 on the season, while the Musketeers improved to 8-1.

The Cardinals started the game strong as Bumbalough knocked down a 3-pointer for the game’s first points. After a defensive stop, Cochran made a driving layup and gave Ball State an early 5-0 lead. After a field goal from Xavier, Cochran added another layup and put BSU up five, 7-2, with 16:21 remaining in the half.

The Musketeers responded with a 9-0 run and gained a 13-7 lead with 12:24 in the half. The Cardinals were able to cut the lead to three, 15-12, as Jaylin Sellers made a layup and Basheer Jihad drained a 3-pointer.

From 11:07 to 3:18 in the first half, the Musketeers went on a 20-5 run and extended their lead to 35-17. Miryne Thomas ended the half for Ball State as he scored the team’s final six points of the half, including a 3-ball as time was expiring. Xavier took a 45-23 lead into the break.

The Musketeers continued where they left off in the first half, as they started the second on a 17-6 run and extended their lead to 62-29. Xavier saw its lead expand to 44, 82-38, with just over six minutes left in the game. The Musketeers gained its largest lead of 46, 96-50, as they hit a 3-pointer in the closing seconds of the contest.

Cochran tied for the team lead in points with 10 and added a team-high four steals. Bumbalough chipped in with 10 points as well. Demarius Jacobs and Jihad led the team with four rebounds each. Bumbalough and Jacobs tied for the team lead in assists with a pair each. Jihad had the team’s lone block of the contest.

Zach Freemantle posted a game-high 24 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the field for Xavier. Colby Jones and Nate Johnson each notched 14 points. Paul Scruggs recorded a game-high nine rebounds. 

The Cardinals return to the friendly confines of Worthen Arena on Sunday, Dec. 12. BSU welcomes IU-Kokomo for a 1 p.m. tip.

From the Coach – Head Coach James Whitford

“We didn’t play well. We didn’t play well at all. It reminded me of the Michigan Tech game for us. We digressed quite a bit. I told the team this reminded me of the Michigan Tech game. One of our DNAs is when things get hard, we try to do too much individually on offense. We let the bad offense affect us defensively. We worked really hard to get that out of our system. We did that some at Georgia Southern and we’ve been getting better at executing and playing together in adverse situations. We really regressed from the four-minute mark. Some of it was they are very good. For a lot of our guys this was a big stage, In front of a big crowd, on national TV, and I thought some of it was the nerves and jitters. My message to them was we got a lot better from the Michigan Tech game. We got to the point where we beat a UMass team that smacked Penn State. We beat an Indiana State who’s pretty good. We got to the point where we were playing good basketball. We have to learn from this game the same way.”

JAGUARS’ COMEBACK FALLS SHORT AGAINST IN-STATE RIVAL BALL STATE, 73-67

INDIANAPOLIS – The IUPUI women’s basketball team’s comeback fell short as the Jags fell to in-state rival Ball State, 73-67. Graduate student Macee Williams led the Jaguars with 19 points, seven rebounds and one steal. Destiny Perkins followed with four rebounds, four assists and a season-high 16 points, all coming from behind the arc. Junior Natalie Andersen came off the bench and added a season-high 15 points and led the team in rebounds with eight.

“I thought Natalie Andersen kept us in the game with her performance,” said head coach Austin Parkinson. “Give all the credit to Ball State with the way they came out of the gate and the toughness they played with throughout the game.”

Ball State took the lead early in the first quarter, 20-6, and stayed on top the entire game until Macee Williams shot a free throw to tie the game at 67 with two minutes left to go in the game. The late Jaguar comeback started in the third quarter with IUPUI outscoring the Cardinals 22-18 in the third quarter and 23-19 in the fourth.

Starters Rachel Kent added eight points, two rebounds and two assists while Madison Wise added five points, five rebounds and two assists. Rachel McLimore followed with three points and four assists.

IUPUI finished the game at 40.7 percent (24-for-59) from the floor and 25.8 percent (8-for-31) at the three-point line while holding Ball State to just 19 percent (4-for-21) beyond the arc. The Jags totaled 15 assists on 24 shots with 34 rebounds.

The Lady Jaguars will play Eastern Michigan at the Jungle on Saturday, Dec. 18 at 2:00 PM ET on ESPN+.

MEN’S BASKETBALL FALLS IN ROAD CONTEST TO SEMO

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Four players finished in double figures on Wednesday evening as the University of Evansville men’s basketball team fell to Southeast Missouri State by a final of 75-73 inside the Show Me Center on Wednesday night.

Shamar Givance, Jawaun Newton and Noah Frederking each finished the night with 15 points while Blaise Beauchamp scored 11.  Evan Kuhlman led the squad with seven rebounds while Givance had a team-high seven assists.  Leading the Redhawks was Phillip Russell who had a game-high 24 points.  He hit 10 of his 16 attempts.  DQ Nicholas finished with 17.

“Our offense played well tonight, we did not have a turnover until the second half and we were getting some good looks,” UE head coach Todd Lickliter said after the game.  “On the defensive side, we missed some assignments but give SEMO credit, they did a great job.”

Neither team had success finding the bottom of the net in the opening minutes with UE going 0-for-5 and SEMO starting 0-for-2 while turning it over three times.  DQ Nicholas picked up the first basket of the night to give SEMO the early edge before Evan Kuhlman found Antoine Smith Jr. open under the basket for a dunk.  Following a Redhawk miss, Smith converted on the other end to give Evansville its first lead.

That was the first of 10 lead changes in the opening 20 minutes.  With the Aces trailing 13-12, Blaise Beauchamp came in off the bench to knock down back-to-back 3-pointers to give his team the largest advantage either team would enjoy in the half, making it an 18-13 game at the 11:07 mark.  With the half entering the last five minutes, the Redhawks jumped back in front when a Phillips Russell triple gave them a 27-25 lead.

A triple by Blake Sisley put Evansville right back in front before a scorching finish by SEMO saw them take the halftime lead.  The Redhawks hit five shots in a row while hitting four free throws in the final moments to go to the break with a 40-38 lead.  Phillip Russell led everyone with 14 points in the half while Nygal Russell had 11 boards.  Newton and Beauchamp paced Evansville with eight tallies.

Jawaun Newton opened the second half with his first triple of the night to give UE its first lead of the final stanza but SEMO turned an offensive board into a triple to retake the lead at 43-41.  The furious back-and-forth action continued when SEMO hit a triple on their end before treys by Frederking and Preston Phillips cemented Evansville’s lead at 49-47.

UE would continue to hold the lead until a basket from Nicholas gave SEMO a 51-50 edge with 13:26 remaining.  They hit a triple on the next trip down the floor to match their largest lead before Beauchamp converted a trey on the other end to break a scoreless drought of nearly four minutes.  Frederking’s third outside shot of the night tied it at 56-56 at the midway point of the final period.

With the score tied at 58-58, SEMO posted the next seven points to take their largest lead with 5:33 left.  Evansville missed six shots in a row before Shamar Givance hit a pair of free throws before a 3-point play got UE within four at 67-63.  Inside of the 4-minute mark, Noah Frederking picked up a 3-point play of his own to get his team within a possession (69-66).

The first basket of the night by Evan Kuhlman was a big one that got his squad even closer.  A triple with just over a minute remaining made it a 73-71 SEMO lead.  Trailing by two in the final seconds, UE made a last-second attempt from outside, but it fell just short.

Evansville did an excellent job with its assist-to-turnover margin in the contest, posting 18 assists while turning it over just four times.

With 12 games complete, the Aces will have 10 days off before facing UT Martin on December 18 at the Ford Center.

SUCCESS AT THE FREE-THROW LINE CONTINUES BUT MASTODON MBB FALLS AT SIUE

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – It was a battle between two former NCAA Division II conference mates on Wednesday (Dec. 8) evening as the Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons fell at SIUE 80-59.

The ‘Dons made 19-of-20 free throws in the contest. Over the last four games, the Mastodons are shooting 66-of-73 (90.4 percent) from the line.

The Cougars started 8-for-9 from the floor and jumped out to an 18-7 lead in the first four minutes. The following four minutes it switched as the Cougars went without a field goal and the ‘Dons got back in the contest at 19-15. Then the ‘Dons went cold again, missing 13 consecutive shots allowing SIUE to open a 33-17 lead. The cold stretch was halted by a Jalon Pipkins transition reverse layup with 6:29 left in the half.

The Mastodons came out of the second half hot, cutting the 17-point halftime deficit to only eight by scoring the first nine points of the half. It was a Deonte Billups 3-pointer that made it a single-digit game with 17:03 left in the game. However, SIUE responded with a 12-2 stretch to take back control of the contest.

Billups finished with a season-high 18 points thanks to four 3-pointers. It is his fourth game of double-digit points this season and his third in the Mastodons’ last four games. Jarred Godfrey continued his streak of scoring in double-digits in every game, finishing with 15 points on Wednesday. Godfrey also added three assists, two blocks and two steals.

Ray’Sean Taylor led SIUE with 25 points. Shaun Doss Jr. pitched in 14 points. They helped the Cougars shoot 52.4 percent (33-of-63) compared to the Mastodons’ 28.8 percent (17-of-59).

SIUE improves to 4-6. The ‘Dons fall to 4-5. The Mastodons are back in action on Saturday (Dec. 11) in non-league action against SEMO. It will be a 1 p.m. tip at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.

DONS HEAD TO SEMO FOR THURSDAY NIGHT GAME

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Purdue Fort Wayne women’s basketball team is set for a Thursday night (Dec. 9) game at Southeast Missouri in a break from Horizon League action.

Game Day Information

Who: Southeast Missouri Redhawks

When: Thursday, December 9 | 7:30 PM ET

Where: Cape Girardeau, Mo. | Show Me Center

Live Stats: Link

Watch: ESPN+

Know Your Foe

Southeast Missouri is 3-6 this season, but has just one win over a Division I opponent this year: an 82-76 win over Mississippi Valley State. The Redhawks are coming off a 95-57 win over Harris-Stowe State, a Division II foe in St. Louis. Roshala Scott and Deanay Watson are leading SEMO, as they are both averaging double-digits. Watson is shooting 62.7 percent from the floor.

The Series

SEMO leads the all-time series over the Mastodons 2-1, but the two schools have only played once in the last 18 seasons. The Mastodons last win came in 2003, a 90-87 overtime game. In 2019, Riley Ott was the fourth-leading scorer with eight points in a 58-48 loss.

What’s Up Today?

Purdue Fort Wayne has a chance to even the all-time series against Southeast Missouri at two wins apiece. The Mastodons would also move to 5-4, picking up their second non-league win.

Clean Hoops

The Mastodons have committed the second-fewest fouls in the Horizon League and 12th-fewest in the country this season, committing 89.

Shooters Shoot

Purdue Fort Wayne has the second-best shooting percentage in the Horizon League, recording a 43.6 percent clip from the floor. The Mastodons also have the second-best 3-point shooting percentage in the League at 37.8 percent. This is 23rd in the country. The 37.8 percent rate would rank in the top five in program history. Last season, the ‘Dons were last in the league in both shooting percentage categories.

In a League of Their Own

Purdue Fort Wayne has three of the top 11 scorers in the Horizon League: Sylare Starks (15.2 ppg), Shayla Sellers (12.2 ppg) and Ryin Ott (12.0). Purdue Fort Wayne is the only team in the League to have three scorers in the top 11.

She’s a Freshman. Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap

Ryin Ott has the third-best field goal percentage in the League this season, shooting 50.8 percent from the floor. She is also averaging 12.0 points per game. If this average continues through the season, it will be the best scoring average for a freshman in the program’s Division I history, topping Jordan Zuppe’s 11.2 average in 2007-08.

Pretty Good From the Line

Purdue Fort Wayne is third in the Horizon League and 53rd in the country in free throw percentage. The ‘Dons are making 76.0 percent from the line, which ranks in the top 10 in program history for a season mark.

Sharp-Shooting Sylare

Sylare Starks is shooting 47.1 percent (16-of-34) from 3-point range this season, which is the fourth-best in the Horizon League and 29th in the country. Once she reaches the season minimum of 30 makes, this would qualify as the best in program history, topping Trish Fleming’s 46.1 percent in 2000-01.

Last Time Out

Purdue Fort Wayne fell to Northern Kentucky 69-60 despite Riley Ott scoring a season-high 17 points. Sylare Starks added 16 points with four 3-pointers.

Coming Up

The Mastodons have two more non-league games before returning to Horizon League play for good: a road game at No. 22 Notre Dame (Dec. 12) and a home game with Indiana State (Dec. 20). League play starts on December 30.

VOLLEYBALL TO HOST SEMIFINAL OF NIVC FRIDAY NIGHT

The road to the 2021 National Invitational Volleyball Championship title will continue to roll down Union Street later this week, as it was announced that the Valpo volleyball program will host an NIVC semifinal match at the ARC Friday night at 7 p.m. Tickets are on sale Wednesday beginning at noon.

Valpo has swept through the first three rounds of the NIVC, taking advantage of playing on its home court to defeat Butler, Toledo and Evansville in straight sets. The Beacons are now 11-1 at the ARC this season and will look to push their home mark to 12-1 on Friday night against either UConn or North Florida, who play Wednesday evening in the other quarterfinal on Valpo’s side of the bracket.

Tickets will go on sale Wednesday at noon and will be $10 apiece, with groups of 10 or more at $5 apiece. Valpo students continue to receive free admission. To purchase tickets, visit ValpoAthletics.com/tickets, call 219-464-5233 or visit the Valpo Ticket Office, located in the main lobby of the ARC.

VALPO WOMEN POST STRONG PERFORMANCE WEDNESDAY VERSUS #22/23 NOTRE DAME

The Valpo women’s basketball team stood toe-to-toe with one of the nation’s top teams Wednesday night at the ARC, leading #22/23 Notre Dame into the second half before the Fighting Irish pulled away late for a 73-56 victory. Shay Frederick (Greenville, Wis./Hortonville) led the Valpo offense with a season-best 19 points.

How It Happened

The first quarter was a battle for control between the two squads, as neither team led by more than three points for the first nine-plus minutes.

Frederick capped a 10-point opening quarter with consecutive 3-pointers in the final minute of the period, the second coming with just a couple seconds remaining to give Valpo a 19-14 lead at the end of the first.

Carie Weinman (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South [Denver]) hit a triple on Valpo’s second offensive possession of the second quarter, extending the Beacons’ lead to its apex at 22-14.

Valpo scored just once more in the second period — a 3-pointer by Caitlin Morrison (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South) with 3:50 to play in the quarter. But Valpo’s defense kept the Fighting Irish at bay for most of the period, as Notre Dame shot just 3-for-14 from the field in the second quarter.

A 3-pointer by Notre Dame’s Dara Mabrey with 60 seconds to play in the half evened the score at 25-25 at intermission.

The second quarter’s defensive battle turned into an offensive explosion after the halftime break. Notre Dame shot 10-of-13 from the floor in the third quarter, while Valpo was 8-of-13 from the field in that period as well.

It was the Beacons who scored the first two baskets of the second half, as a Frederick triple and a Morrison layup put Valpo ahead 30-25 just over a minute into the half.

Notre Dame scored the next seven points to pull ahead 32-30 with 6:19 to play in the third quarter, and Valpo would never lead outright again. Despite that fact, the Beacons were within a possession for most of the rest of the period as the teams traded baskets for much of the quarter.

The Fighting Irish extended their lead to 50-45 at the end of the third.

Notre Dame scored nine of the first 11 points of the fourth quarter to force a Valpo timeout, trailing 59-47 with 6:24 remaining.

Inside baskets by Frederick and Weinman out of the stoppage brought the Beacons back within eight, but Notre Dame scored a second-chance basket on its next trip and Valpo was unable to pull within single digits the rest of the way.

Inside the Game

Wednesday marked Valpo’s 48th game in program history against a nationally-ranked team. It was also the program’s 28th game all-time against Notre Dame, and the Fighting Irish have been nationally ranked for 16 of those — including eight visits to the ARC.

Wednesday’s result was Valpo’s closest effort against a nationally-ranked Notre Dame team since the 2008-09 team fell 63-55 to the eighth-ranked Irish.

Frederick’s 10-point opening period propelled her to a team-high 19 points on Wednesday, also a season best in the scoring column. She went 8-of-15 from the field, including three 3-pointers.

With the 19-point night, Frederick moved into 18th place in program history in career scoring. She now sits just five points shy of the 1,000-point milestone for her career.

Weinman added 15 points, 12 of which came on 5-of-7 shooting after halftime. It was her sixth double-figure scoring effort of the season.

Leah Earnest (Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH) contributed eight points and a season-best seven rebounds off the bench.

Grace White (Redby, Minn./Red Lake [Denver]) filled up the stat sheet, as she matched a career high with five steals, tied her season best with nine rebounds and handed out four assists.

Morrison blocked four shots on Wednesday, pushing her career total to 119 rejections. She also made the 120th appearance of her Valpo career, moving her into a tie for sixth place in program history with Amber Schober, Lauren Bechtold and Tamra Braun.

Valpo forced 15 Notre Dame turnovers and converted those into 18 points, finishing the game with an 18-8 advantage in points off turnovers. The Beacons also out-scored the Fighting Irish in the paint, 32-24.

Notre Dame did convert 14 offensive rebounds into 17 second-chance points.

Next Up

Valpo (0-8) faces a quick turnaround, as the Beacons fly to the Mount Rushmore State on Thursday evening ahead of a Friday night game at South Dakota. Tipoff Friday is slated for 7 p.m.

MEN’S SOCCER SET FOR FINAL FOUR CLASH WITH CHARLESTON THURSDAY NIGHT

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The magical season continues tomorrow night for the University of Indianapolis men’s soccer team, who is set to battle Charleston (WV) in the Final Four at Weidner Field in Colorado Springs beginning at 10 p.m. ET.

Click here to watch a short video featuring men’s soccer head coach John Higgins and student-athlete Seth Ward discuss the experience of Colorado Springs, what they expect from Charleston, and how this Final Four run has positively impacted the program.

HOW THEY GOT HERE: CHARLESTON

Charleston (19-1-2) tallied their only defeat of the season back on Sep. 15 against Davis & Elkins. Since then, the team has dominated opponents stepping in their way and eventually claimed both the Mountain East Conference Tournament and Super Region 1 championships. UC enters with the second-best mark in the NCAA DII in scoring offense (3.36 goals per game) and the fourth-best spot in goals against average (0.595). The Golden Eagles come in as the defending DII national champions, where they took down Cal State LA 2-0 in 2019.

HOW THEY GOT HERE: UINDY

UIndy (18-1-2) has floated through GLVC and NCAA postseason play by outscoring opponents 15-3 through six matches. The Greyhounds also bring one of the top offenses in the DII to the pitch where they lead the nation at 18.95 shots per game. On defense, UIndy has allowed just 15 goals through 21 matches this season (0.699 GAA).

FINAL THINGS TO KNOW

The other Final Four match, Cal State LA versus Nova Southeastern, is set to kickoff at 7 p.m. ET. The Hounds and Golden Eagles will begin shortly after at 10 p.m. ET. Live video and live stats will be available for the match.

STEINWASCHER, RASHEED TABBED TO D2CCA ALL-AMERICA LIST

POMONA, Calif. – Alejandro Steinwascher and Makel Rasheed of the University of Indianapolis men’s soccer team have earned a spot on the 2021 edition of the Division II Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA) All-America Second Team, officials announced on Wednesday.

In total, 39 student-athletes from 29 institutions are represented on the three All-America teams. The teams were selected by sports information directors at schools and conferences that sponsor men’s soccer.

Steinwascher has pulled in a team-leading 14 goals, 10 assists and 38 points this season for UIndy. The Sterling Heights, Mich., native and 2021 GLVC Offensive Player of the Year has been the offensive spark in the Hounds’ current Final Four run by having scored at least one point in five of the six postseason matchups. This accolade is one of many for Steinwascher in his stellar career on the pitch. Currently, he rides in fifth on the DII active career points scored leaderboard (101).

Rasheed, the 2021 GLVC Defensive Player of the Year, makes an appearance after guiding a UIndy defense that has allowed just 15 goals through 21 matches (0.699 GAA). He is one of just 10 players on the team who have appeared in all 21 matches this season. Along with his defensive success, Rasheed has notched five goals and three assists on offense for 13 total points.

The Hounds are set to compete in the national semifinal on Thursday in Colorado Springs, Colo., beginning at 10 p.m. ET against No. 5 Charleston (WV).

CLINTON NAMED ALL-AMERICA BY AFCA

WACO, Texas— UIndy football student-athlete Toriano Clinton was named to the 2021 AFCA Division II Coaches’ All-America Second Team, announced by the American Football Coaches Association Wednesday. The Chicago native becomes the 13th player in program history and first-ever running back to garner All-America accolades from the AFCA.

CLINTON HIGHLIGHTS

Second in Division II in rushing yards per game (169.4) … Also ranked in the top 10 in the nation in all-purpose yards per game (3rd, 184.6), rushing yards per carry (4th, 7.4), total rushing yards (6th, 1525) and rushing TDs (9th, 17)  … Racked up his impressive counting stats despite sustaining a season-ending injury in week 9 … Needed just eight games to break the program’s single-season rushing record … Twice broke the program’s single-game rushing mark, first with 270 yards at Hillsdale in week 2 and later with 287 vs McKendree in week 6; added four rushing TDs in each of those record-breaking performances … Named D2Football.com Offensive Player of the Week after the Hillsdale contest … Also broke the NCAA Division II record for rushing yards in a quarter, racking up 197 yards in the first quarter at Southwest Baptist in week 5 … Ranks third among all active DII players in career rushing yards (3,537) and second in career kickoff return average (30.9) … UIndy program leader in career rushing yards per attempt (7.9) while ranking third in total career TDs (42) … Just the fourth player in program history to surpass 3,500 career rushing yards … 2x GLVC Offensive Player of the Week this fall, six-time GLVC weekly honoree in his career … 2018 DII leader in kickoff return average, with his 37.9-yard average good for the 10th-highest mark in DII history … Voted 2021 Academic All-District® after earning Academic All-America® Second Team accolades last spring … 3x Academic All-GLVC honoree.

WOMEN’S SOCCER NOTCHES ALL-AMERICA HONORS

ADA, Okla.– UIndy women’s soccer student-athletes Kiki Sauceda and Dana Youssef continued to add to their long list of achievements by being dubbed to the 2021 Division II Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA) All-America Team, released Wednesday and voted on by the nation’s sports information directors. Leading the Greyhounds to another “Sweet 16” appearance, the duo becomes the first All-Americans in program history, with Sauceda being named to the first team and Youssef garnering third-team honors

Sauceda was recently named all-region by both the United Soccer Coaches and the D2CCA, including earning Midwest Player of the Year accolades from the latter. The star midfielder scored 15 goals throughout the 2021 campaign, leading the Greyhounds and ranking 14th in Division II.

Youssef, who repeated as the GLVC Defensive Player of the Year in 2021, earned All-America Third Team honors after being named to the USC All-Region First Team honor earlier this week. The UIndy back captained a Greyhound defense that by allowing just 10 goals in the regular season.

KNIGHTS EARN EIGHTH-STRAIGHT WITH 78-54 WIN OVER MICHIGAN-DEARBORN

INDIANAPOLIS – The No. 9 Marian women’s basketball team pulled away in the second half for a 78-54 victory over Michigan-Dearborn on Wednesday night. The Knights move to 10-2 overall after their eighth-straight win.

Marian won the tip-off and jumped out to an early lead after Ella Collier hit back-to-back three-pointers on the first two possessions. Imani Guy made a layup and forced Michigan-Dearborn to take a timeout, trailing 8-0 two and a half minutes into the contest. The Wolverines answered with a few buckets, but the Knights kept control. Guy and Collier scored with layups in the paint to keep the Knight’s lead at six points. Abby Downard was the next to join in the scoring, cashing a pair of two-pointers that made the score 16-8 at the end of the first quarter.

Michigan-Dearborn scored the first two baskets, bringing the Wolverines within four points to start the second quarter. Kinnidy Garrard made a jumper in the paint to stop the quick Michigan-Dearborn run. The Knights and Wolverines traded points through the first five minutes of the quarter, bringing the score to 20-16. Marian’s defense stepped up to close the first half as the Knights went on an 8-2 run into halftime. Collier and Jayla Wehner opened the run by hitting two runners in the paint, and Downard put Marian up 10 points with her two-point jumper. Garrard gave Marian their largest lead at 12 points just 49 seconds before halftime, but Michigan-Dearborn made the last shot of the first half. The Knights were up 28-18 at the break with Collier leading Marian with 10 points. Marian held the Wolverines without a three-pointer (0-for-11) in the first half and forced eight turnovers.

The Knights pulled away in the third quarter after jumping out to an 8-2 run to start the second half. Garrard got things going for the Knights with a pair of free throws, and Collier hit a two-point jumper after a Wolverines turnover. Back-to-back baskets by Allison Bosse and Garrard put the Knights up 40-22 with 6:35 left in the third quarter. After a Michigan-Dearborn make, Garrard cashed in a couple of free throws and Bosse converted a layup to bring Marian’s lead to 20 points midway through the third quarter. Michigan-Dearborn cut the deficit to 13 points after a 7-0 run with 2:52 left in the quarter. The Knights went back on the attack as a couple of huge three-pointers by Collier brought Marian’s lead to 57-35 within the closing minute of the chapter. Collier added a last-second jumper, giving Marian a 59-38 lead after three quarters.

Guy got hot to start the fourth quarter, making three-straight shots from the paint to bring Marian to a 67-40 lead with 7:52 left in the contest. Marian maintained the large lead with made baskets by Downard and Collier as the clock ran down. Leah Seib led the Marian bench in the closing minutes, hitting a three-pointer with just over a minute remaining. Michigan-Dearborn closed the scoring with a pair of free throws late as Marian dribbled out the clock for a 78-54 victory.

Four Knights reached double figures as Collier led the team in scoring with 22 points. Guy tallied 18 points and added 10 rebounds for a double-double. Garrard made all six of her free throws, ending the night with 14 points. Downard contributed 13 points and nine assists for the Knights. Marian shot 47.1 percent from the floor and made nine-of-10 free throws. They also out-rebounded the Wolverines 39-29 and forced 16 turnovers in the win.

The Knights will have some time off to focus on finals week before their next contest. They’ll head to Michigan to face Concordia on Saturday, December 18. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 PM.

MEN’S BASKETBALL FALTERS AT ROCHESTER

ROCHESTER, Mich. – No. 7 Indiana Wesleyan men’s basketball surrendered their second loss of the season Wednesday, falling 55-30 to Rochester University. The Wildcats shot a season-low 37% from the floor while giving up 57% to the opposing club.

THE ESSENTIALS

Location: Garth Pleasant Arena | Rochester, Mich. |

Records: IWU – 10-2, 4-0 | RU – 6-4, 3-3 WHAC

NAIA Top-25 Ranking: IWU – #7 | RU – Unranked

WHAT HAPPENED          

The Warriors jumped out to a quick 14-4 run forcing an IWU 30-second timeout. Luke Stephens would cut the lead to five, knocking down IWU’s first long ball of the game and with a made back door layup.

6-of-8 possessions in a row would result in an Indiana Wesleyan turnover, allowing Rochester to build a 19-point advantage at the half.

IWU totaled 18 turnovers while giving up 38 points in the paint.

NOTABLE NUMBERS                      

 4 – how many long-range shots IWU missed before making one. They would finish the first half 1-for-7

2 – good for the lowest number of three’s made in a game this season

26 – the number of points RU scored off IWU turnovers

LOOKING FORWARD     

IWU remains on the road heading to Chicago, Illinois for a matchup with Roosevelt on Saturday. Tipoff is scheduled for 5 p.m.

IWU WOMEN’S SOCCER GARNERS THREE ALL-AMERICAN AWARDS

KANSAS CITY – Indiana Wesleyan women’s soccer added to their season accolades Wednesday, earning three NAIA All-American Honorable Mention awards. Senior defender Clois Jones and sophomore goalkeeper Hope Stacker picked up the honors on the defensive side, while junior forward Sydney Brown picked up honors on the offensive side.

“It’s always nice for our players when they get recognition for the work that they put in,” said Daniel Seiffert, Head Women’s Soccer Coach. “Our entire team works extremely hard for each other day in and day out, and and we know any individual award received can only happen when the entire team supports and pushes each other to be their best. I love this team and just how much they strive to sharpen each other as students, as athletes, and most importantly as people.”

Jones started all 21 games for the Wildcats in 2021 while Stacker started 19 making 67 saves. The squad totaled 10 shutouts. Brown led all Wildcats with 16 assists while tacking on eight goals. She finished the season with 32 points and started all 21 matches for the red and grey.

WOMEN’S SOCCER EARNS THREE NAIA ALL-AMERICAN HONORS

KANSAS CITY – The 2021 NAIA Women’s Soccer All-America Team was announced on Wednesday, as the NAIA All-America Committee, announced the selection of the three 11-member teams and the honorable mention teams. The Marian women’s soccer team earned three NAIA All-American honors, headlined by Erin Oleksak’s third consecutive First Team honor. Oleksak was joined on the All-American Teams by teammates Sydney Genatempo and Allie Schlom.

For the third straight season, Erin Oleksak has been named to the NAIA First Team All-American group, extending her program record as the only three-time honoree. Oleksak’s All-American honor comes after helping Marian reach the NAIA National Tournament for the third consecutive season, in addition to earning her third straight Crossroads League Player of the Year honor. The junior striker led Marian with 22 goals, ranking 11th in the NAIA this season amongst goal scorers. Oleksak also assisted on seven goals, and took a team-leading 108 shot attempts. This season Oleksak became Marian’s all-time program leader in goals and points scored, while becoming the all-time leader in game-winning goals.

Sydney Genatempo joined Oleksak in earning her third career NAIA All-American honor, ending her career at Marian with Third Team All-American status. Genatempo started all but one game in Marian’s defensive lineup this season, helping the Knights to a top-50 ranking in the NAIA in goals against average. The senior tallied one assist and took 10 shots on the season, helping Marian reach the NAIA Quarterfinals for a third consecutive season. Genatempo is only player in program history to be named to each of the All-American First, Second, and Third Team lists at least once in their career.

Completing Marian’s All-American Team honors is junior Allie Schlom, who was named to the Honorable Mention team. Schlom led the Knights on the season in assists, tying a single-season school record with her 13 assists. Schlom also scored 11 goals, ranking second on the team in scoring. Schlom took 49 shots from her midfield and strike position, scoring three game-winning goals on her 30 attempts on frame. The honor is the first in the career for Schlom.

Marian ended their 2021 season in the NAIA Tournament Quarterfinals, with the team posting a 17-5-1 overall record.

MBB FALLS IN JOHN MUTCHNER CUP

TERRE HAUTE – The Earlham College men’s basketball team led at halftime but ultimately fell to Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology on Wednesday evening. The game honored former coach and player John Mutchner, who is a member of both institutions’ Athletic Hall of Fame. 

The Quakers fell to 1-5 (0-2 HCAC) while the Fightin’ Engineers improved to 5-2 (2-0 HCAC).

Tommy Makabu led in scoring with 14 points while a trio of Quakers ended the night with 11. Chase Younts recorded a team-high seven boards with six points.

The Quakers got off to a hot start with a 12-5 run out of the gates. Undeterred, the Engineers came back with a 14-7 run to level the score at 19 with 6:57 remaining in the first half.

Tommy Makabu turned a 3-point play with a layup and bonus shot, then made both free throws off a shooting foul, and closed the half out with a 3-pointer to give the Quakers a 31-24 lead going into the half.

A quick 9-1 run for Rose-Hulman saw the Engineers take a one-point lead 3:28 into the second frame. The Quakers responded with a 7-0 run to retake the lead and open a slight gap. Trailing 46-42 with 8:43 remaining, Rose-Hulman scored a 17-2 run over the next 4:32. Earlham gave up four turnovers during the run and shot 1-for-5.

The Quakers now trailed 58-51 with just over four minutes remaining in the game. A 3-pointer from Zachariah Andre kickstarted a 7-2 run for the Quakers but they were held scoreless in the final two minutes as the Engineers took their second conference win of the season.

Earlham hits the road again on Saturday for more HCAC action against the Ravens of Anderson University. Tip-off is slated for 1 pm.

WBB BESTED BY ENGINEERS

RICHMOND – The Earlham College women’s basketball team continued Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference competition with a 75-42 loss to Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology on Wednesday evening.

The Quakers fell to 0-7 (0-2 HCAC) while the Fightin’ Engineers improved to 3-4 (1-1 HCAC).

Alexis Gibson reached double-digit points on the evening with 11. The freshman also recorded three boards and four steals.

The Quakers scored a layup in the first minute of play before being shut out for over seven minutes of play. Earlham shot just 10% in the first quarter and did not reach double-digits until over seven minutes into the second frame.

The Quakers make a road trip to Anderson University on Saturday where they will continue HCAC play against the Ravens at 3 pm.

WABASH CRUISES TO 28-POINT ROAD WIN AT OWU

Wabash jumped out to a 5-0 lead at Ohio Wesleyan and trailed only once early in the first half before dispatching the hosts in a dominating 86-58 North Coast Athletic Conference victory in Delaware, Ohio Wednesday evening.

Wabash (5-3, 2-1 NCAC) trailed the Battling Bishops (4-4, 1-2 NCAC) 9-7 before going on a 28-5 scoring run over the next eight minutes to move in front by 21 points at 35-14. Ohio Wesleyan drew as close as 14 points before the Little Giants pushed the advantage back to 19 at the half, 46-27.

OWU cut the lead 14 points twice more in the second half, but another big scoring blitz sparked by three-point baskets from Jack Davidson and Tyler Watson increased the lead back to 20 points with 14 minutes left to play. Wabash maintained the 20-plus point margin for the remainder of the game to claim its seventh consecutive victory over Ohio Wesleyan over the past four seasons.

Wabash played its best defensive game of the season, holding Ohio Wesleyan to 21-of-62 shooting for 33.9 percent, a season-low total by any Little Giant opponent this year. Wabash shot 33-of-67 from the field for 49.3 percent and connected on 13-of-30 shots from three-point range for 43.3 percent. The only shooting struggles came from the free-throw line. Wabash hit just 7-of-12 attempts from the charity stripe for a season-low 58.3 percent.

Davidson led the Little Giants in scoring with 22 points. He passed Wes Smith ’11 and moved into fifth place on the Wabash all-time scoring list with 1,811 points. He also handed out eight assists and grabbed six rebounds. Watson added 19 points, giving him 979 points for his career. Jesse Hall came off the bench to score 12 points and grab seven boards. Kellen Schreiber chipped in 10 points. Ahmoni Jones snared a game-high 11 rebounds for Wabash.

Henry Hinkle paced Ohio Wesleyan with 20 points. Grant Spicer added 12 points to the Battling Bishops’ scoring totals.

Wabash continues its NCAC schedule with a home game Saturday against Wittenberg University at 2 p.m. The Tigers were the favorite to win the regular-season conference title according to the preseason coaches poll and enter Saturday’s game with a 2-0 NCAC record after defeating DePauw 77-69 in Greencastle Wednesday night for their third straight victory of the season.

WABASH PLACES FIVE ON D3FOOTBALL.COM ALL-REGION TEAM

Five Wabash College players received all-region honors from D3football.com on Wednesday. Joey Annee earned a First Team All-Region 4 Team selection as a punter. Quarterback Liam Thompson and center Joe Mullin earned Second Team All-Region 4 honors. Wide receiver Cooper Sullivan and offensive tackle Dane Smith picked up Third Team All-Region 4 selections.

Annee, a senior, was a 2021 preseason D3football.com First Team All-America and 2019 Honorable Mention All-America selection. He finished the 2021 regular season ranked third in the nation with a 42.2 yards-per-punt average. Annee broke the Wabash single-season punt average record, eclipsing the former record of 41.29 yards per punt held by Cameron Sobleski ’14. Annee punted 40 times with 14 punts ending inside the 20-yard line and only two going into the end zone for touchbacks. He was the only punter in Division III to have two punts longer than 70 yards this season. His two 73-yard efforts at Rose-Hulman and at Denison tied for the 12th-longest punts among DIII players this season. Opposing teams averaged only 5.9 yards on 10 returns for the season. Annee was named the North Coast Athletic Conference Special Teams Player of the Year for the second consecutive season (2019, 2021).

Thompson, a sophomore, was named the 2021 North Coast Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year after leading the conference and ranking fifth in the nation by accounting for a total of 226 points for the season. His average of 22.6 points responsible for per game ranked seventh in the nation and also led the NCAC. Thompson threw for 2,956 yards, second-most among NCAC quarterbacks and 12th-best in the nation. His 28 passing touchdowns also ranked second in the nation and were 18th-most among DIII players. Thompson averaged 14.71 yards per completion (21st in the nation). He accounted for nine rushing touchdowns, second-most among conference players and 70th in the nation.

Sullivan, a sophomore, earned First Team All-NCAC honors after catching 57 passes for 850 yards and seven TDs. His 850 receiving yards ranked second in the conference and 42nd among Division III players, while his seven TD catches tied for seventh-most among NCAC players and ranked 98th in the nation. Sullivan caught more than 100 yards of passes in five of the Little Giants’ 10 games. He hauled in a season-best 10 receptions at Denison and again at Ohio Wesleyan. Sullivan caught nine passes for 101 yards and a season-best three touchdowns versus Wooster.

Mullin, a junior, and Smith, a senior, were part of a Wabash offense that led the NCAC and ranked 14th in the nation in total offense with an average of 484.9 yards per game. That average set a new single-season school record, eclipsing the previous record by 20 yards per game. Wabash ranked second in the conference and 48th in Division III in rushing offense (189.3 ypg) and was 17th in the nation and second in the conference in passing yards per game (295.6). Smith started every game at right tackle for the Little Giants and earned First Team All-NCAC honors for the second time in his career (2019, 2021). Mullin, a first-year starter in all ten games at center for Wabash, received First Team All-NCAC honors.

The teams, selected in balloting by Region 4 sports information directors and D3football.com staff, were chosen from 161 nominations by full Division III member schools. A total of 77 players were chosen. Players nominated for All-Region are eligible to be considered for D3football.com All-America honors, which will be announced the evening of Dec. 17, in D3football.com’s pregame coverage for Stagg Bowl XLVIII. The NCAA realigned Division III football into six regions in 2021. Region 4 includes the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association, the North Coast Athletic Conference, and the Ohio Athletic Conference.

RECAP | GRIZZLIES BEST GOLDEN EAGLES, STAY UNBEATEN ON THE ROAD

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Franklin College men’s basketball team remained perfect in competitions away from home with a 64-55 triumph over Spalding University on Wednesday (Dec. 8) night.

The Grizzlies (4-2) led for the bulk of the contest, holding off a second half rally from the Golden Eagles (2-6) to move to 4-0 in contests outside of the Spurlock Center this year.

Matt Krause stepped up with a season-high 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to record his third double-double of the year. Mitch O’Mara added 16 points in the game and the FC defense held Spalding to 36.5% from the field in the victory.

How it Happened

Spalding’s only lead of the night came with a free throw that opened the scoring, with Franklin immediately taking the lead after and holding it the rest of the night. The Grizzlies held Spalding without a field goal for the first 7:10 of game action and led by as many as 10 points in the first 20 minutes before taking a 32-23 lead into the locker room.

The Golden Eagles got the Franklin lead down to two points early in the second half, before a 7-0 Grizzly run midway through the half stretched the lead into double figures. The Grizzlies got clutch baskets and key free throws down the stretch to close things out.

Inside the Box Score

-Spalding’s 36.5% shooting percentage is a season-low for any Franklin opponent.

-Franklin connected on 42.3% (22-for-52) of their attempts, going 8-for-22 from three and 12-for-16 from the free throw line.

-Junior Carter Crowe and freshman Lynn King made their first starts of the season. Crowe had five points and a career-high eight rebounds.

-The Grizzlies won the rebounding battle 38-36.

Up Next

Franklin returns to action in conference play this coming Saturday (Dec. 11) when they travel north to take on the Manchester Spartans. Tip-off is set for 3:00 p.m.

RHIT FOOTBALL SETS SCHOOL RECORD WITH 7 ALL-REGION SELECTIONS

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology football team tallied a school record seven all-region selections in the D3football.com All-Region Team Releases, published Wednesday by the national website.

Cornerback Tyce Miller, offensive guard Justin Pierson and linebacker Michael Stevens led Rose-Hulman winners with first-team all-Region 4 honors.

Offensive tackle Aidan Sturgeon and wide receiver Noah Thomas captured second-team all-Region 4 accolades.

Safety Winston Amankwah and running back Shane Welshans claimed third-team all-Region 4 honors.

Miller led Rose-Hulman with 6 interceptions this season and had 17 total tackles.  His career totals stand at 54 tackles, 2 blocked kicks and 6 interceptions.

Stevens, the 2021 HCAC Defensive MVP. recorded career totals of 159 tackles, 20 tackles-for-loss, 6.5 sacks, 4 interceptions, 3 fumble recoveries and 2 defensive touchdowns.  This season, Stevens led the team with 81 tackles and has added 11.5 tackles-for-loss, 3 forced fumbles and 5 pass breakups.  He also scored a defensive touchdown on an interception return.

Pierson was a key member of an offensive line that helped Rose-Hulman average 41.1 points per game this season.  The Fightin’ Engineers also scored more than 50 points in 4 of their 7 conference wins this year.

Sturgeon helped Rose-Hulman average 307 passing yards and 140 rushing yards per game this season for a total of 4911 yards of total offense.

Thomas, the 2021 HCAC Offensive MVP, holds career school records with 256 receptions for 3,680 receiving yards and 36 touchdowns.  He also ranks first, second and third in single-season school history in receiving yards, including 63 catches for 1100 yards and 10 touchdowns this fall.  His historic career also includes 723 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns, for a career total of 5,591 all-purpose yards and 40 total touchdowns.

Amankwah tallied 32 total tackles and 4 interceptions this season, including pick-6 touchdowns in back-to-back weeks. He also tied for the team-high lead with 11 pass deflections.  His career totals stand at 63 tackles, 18 pass breakups, 5 interceptions and 3 defensive touchdowns.

Welshans led the team in rushing with 802 yards gained and 12 touchdowns this season.  His career totals featured 1667 rushing yards and 21 rushing touchdowns.  He has also caught 32 career passes for 313 yards and 7 touchdowns.

Rose-Hulman finished 8-3 during the 2021 season and won its first outright HCAC championship with a perfect 7-0 record.  The effort marks the 13th football conference championship in the history of Fightin’ Engineer football.  Rose-Hulman reached the NCAA Division III Playoffs for the 2nd time in program history, narrowly falling 21-16 at DePauw in an opening round matchup.

MEN’S BASKETBALL RETAINS JOHN MUTCHNER CUP FOR 9TH STRAIGHT YEAR

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology reclaimed the John Mutchner Cup for the 9th consecutive year with a 64-57 men’s basketball victory over Earlham College on Wednesday night at Hulbert Arena.

Rose-Hulman and Earlham vie for the Cup one time per year, with the Fightin’ Engineers hosting the game on a rotation this season.  The Cup is named in honor of the 25-year men’s basketball head coach and athletic director who was also a standout student-athlete at Earlham.  John Mutchner Court inside Hulbert Arena is also named in his honor.

On the floor, Rose-Hulman relied on a 17-2 run over an 8-minute span of the second half to turn a 46-41 deficit into a 58-48 lead with 4:11 remaining.  Max Chaplin and Dillon Duff combined for 15 of the 17 points during the key run.

For the game, Duff led the team with 17 points on 7-11 from the field.  Chaplin added 15 points on 8-10 from the free throw line.

Other key contributors included Terry Hicks with 7 points and 10 rebounds; Jackson Kabrick with 6 points and 4 rebounds; and Samvit Ram with 5 points. 

Trey Wurtz added 7 rebounds, Bradley Harden contributed 4 assists, Miles McGowen scored 4 points, and Simon Blair had 4 rebounds to provide sparks off the bench.

Rose-Hulman improved to 5-2 on the season and 2-0 in league play with its 2nd consecutive win.  Earlham dropped to 1-5 and 0-2 in conference games.  The Fightin’ Engineers return to action at home on Saturday at Mount St. Joseph with a 3 pm start time.

BALANCED ATTACK LEADS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL PAST EARLHAM

RICHMOND, Ind. — Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology relied on four players scoring in double figures and two players grabbing double-figure rebounds to top Earlham College 75-42 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference women’s basketball action on Wednesday night.

Jordan Barlow led the offense with 12 points and contributed 7 rebounds.  Rowan Hein and Nola Wilson added 11 points each, and Ashley Black scored 10 points for the balanced offensive attack.

Jamie Baum added a career-high 13 rebounds to go along with 6 points.  Allie Fults pitched in with career-highs of 9 points and 11 rebounds as the Fightin’ Engineers used both a perimeter and frontcourt combination to pick up the win.

Other key contributors included Kahlan Jester with 6 points and 5 assists; Mira Randolph with 5 points and 3 assists; Peyton Miller with 2 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists; and Rose Burnham with 3 points.

Rose-Hulman jumped out to a 23-3 lead after the first quarter and held the Quakers to just 22 percent shooting in the contest.  Alexis Gibson led Earlham with 12 points.

The Fightin’ Engineers shot 48% for the game and outrebounded Earlham 47-21 in the contest.

Rose-Hulman improved to 3-4 on the season and 1-1 in league play, while Earlham dropped to 0-7 and 0-2 in league games.  The Fightin’ Engineers return to action at home on Saturday with a 1 pm matchup against Mount St. Joseph.

WOMEN’S SOCCER GARNERS THREE ALL-AMERICAN AWARDS

KANSAS CITY – Indiana Wesleyan women’s soccer added to their season accolades Wednesday, earning three NAIA All-American Honorable Mention awards. Senior defender Clois Jones and sophomore goalkeeper Hope Stacker picked up the honors on the defensive side, while junior forward Sydney Brown picked up honors on the offensive side.

“It’s always nice for our players when they get recognition for the work that they put in,” said Daniel Seiffert, Head Women’s Soccer Coach. “Our entire team works extremely hard for each other day in and day out, and and we know any individual award received can only happen when the entire team supports and pushes each other to be their best. I love this team and just how much they strive to sharpen each other as students, as athletes, and most importantly as people.”

Jones started all 21 games for the Wildcats in 2021 while Stacker started 19 making 67 saves. The squad totaled 10 shutouts. Brown led all Wildcats with 16 assists while tacking on eight goals. She finished the season with 32 points and started all 21 matches for the red and grey.

TENNIS RANKS SCHOOL’S BEST IN ITA NATIONAL RANKINGS

MARION, Ind. – Indiana Wesleyan tennis programs rank highest in school history in the latest ITA National rankings.  Both men’s and women’s teams were well represented in a variety of categories in the national rankings.

MEN’S TENNIS

SINGLES

No. 4 Jeremias Rocco

No. 9 Leonardo Sprovieri

No. 14 Martin Carrizo

DOUBLES

No. 6 Josh Turnquest and Jeremias Rocco

No. 9 Martin Carrizo and Leonardo Sprovieri

No. 24 Isaac Steiner and Karl Wurth

WOMEN’S TENNIS

SINGLES

No. 11 Maddie Bemisderfer

No. 24 Thais Mendez

No. 25 Ashlee Fisk

No. 32 Melanie Dveksler

No. 50 Lena Golz

DOUBLES

No. 7 Maddie Bemisdefer and Lena Golz

No. 8 Thais Mendez and Melanie Dveksler

No. 21 Ashlee Fisk and Ellie Snider

SHIGLEY PERSPECTIVE

“These rankings are a result of how well our players competed this Fall in at the ITA National Tournament.  This is a tremendous honor, and we are excited to get back to playing matches this spring and competing for two National Titles!  I’m so thankful to be working with such talented, hard-working, and God-honoring student athletes!”

NEWS | JIREH OJATA NAMED THIRD TEAM ALL-REGION BY D3FOOTBALL.COM

FRANKLIN, Ind. – Sophomore defensive lineman Jireh Ojata was named to the D3football.com Third Team All-Region 4 on Wednesday (Dec. 8), adding another post-season accolade to his trophy cabinet after a dominant 2021 season.

The Carmel, Ind.-native was a force up front for the Grizzlies, recording 35 tackles and leading the conference in sacks with 14, a number that has him tied for second in the nation with two other players, one of whom was named to the region’s first team. Ojata’s 14 sacks are the most in a single season by any Grizzly defender, and he ended the season with a sack recorded in each of Franklin’s final nine games.

Ojata was named First Team All-HCAC, leading a team that recorded more sacks than any other in the conference with 31. He also added 16 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He becomes the first Grizzly to earn an all-region nomination from the media outlet since 2018, when Brad Bonomini and Matt Anderson earned spots on the All-North Region team. Bonomini would go on to be named an All-American.

RAVENS COAST PAST HORNETS

The Anderson University women’s basketball team (3-5) coasted past Kalamazoo College (2-5) with a 76-52 victory on Wednesday in O.C. Lewis Gymnasium.

COACH JON GIN’S COMMENTS

This was a great team win for our squad. I’m super proud of how they finished. I’m looking forward to seeing the same energy and effort this coming Saturday against Earlham!

HOW IT HAPPENED

The Ravens knocked down 29-of-63 (46.0 percent) shots from the field while the Hornets made 19-of-61 (31.1 percent) attempts from the floor.

Kalamazoo committed 20 turnovers while Anderson turned the ball over 12 times.

The Ravens hit 8-of-24 (33.3 percent) shots from 3-point range while the Hornets hit 5-of-22 (22.7 percent) attempts from the perimeter.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

Lexi Dellinger – 22 points

Payton Moore – 17 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks, 7-of-11 (63.6 percent) from the field

Jade Shipley – 19 points

Carly Holley – 6 points

Makynlee Taylor – 5 points

Cassie Pallett – 4 points

Reece Colclesser – 3 points

Maya Turner – 3 steals

UP NEXT

The Ravens, who are 0-1 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) play, take on Earlham College (0-7, 0-2) in HCAC action on Saturday at 3 p.m. in O.C. Lewis Gymnasium.

THUNDER SUFFER HOME LOSS TO HEIDELBERG

ANGOLA, Ind. – The Trine University men’s basketball team suffered their first loss in MTI Center since February 12, 2020 on Wednesday night with a 72-67 defeat at the hands of Heidelberg University.

The Student Princes (7-1), who were receiving votes in the latest D3hoops.com national poll, used a 14-point second half edge to clip the #16 Thunder (5-2) in non-conference action.

Nick Bowman [Angola, Ind. / Hamilton Southeastern] was the high scorer with 26 points, including 10-for-12 from the charity stripe and Mitchell Geller [Huntington, Ind. / Huntington North] recorded double digit scoring for the second consecutive game with 12 points and pulled down a team-high six rebounds.

Trine held their opponents scoreless over the first three minutes and netted the first six points of the game, four coming from Geller. Off the bench, Mason Loeffler [Swanton, Ohio / Evergreen] scored four quick points with a pair of lay-ups to make it 15-9 eight minutes in.

Heidelberg came out of a timeout with a three-point field goal and it was answered in the same minute with a three by Hayden Jones [Kendallville, Ind. / East Noble] in transition from a block by Bowman.

The Student Princes were able to tie the game at 20 with seven minutes remaining in the first, but an and-one by Bryce Williams [Archbold, Ohio / Archbold] on the following possession prevented Heidelberg from taking their first lead of the night. Aiden Warzecha [Milford, Mich. / Milford] and Bowman each scored to go on Trine’s biggest scoring run of the game (7).

Bowman hit a pair of free throws with just under two minutes to go in the first period that gave the Thunder their largest lead at 37-24. The teams went into the locker room at 37-28.

The Student Princes were able to make second half adjustments to get back in to the game. Heidelberg intensified their perimeter defense, but Trine countered by going to Geller inside for two lay-ups in the early goings.

Heidelberg got the deficit down to four, but a Bowman lay-up, followed by a steal-and-dunk doubled the lead to 45-37 with 15 minutes left. A Bowman score less than one minute later got the lead back to double figures.

An 11-2 run by the Student Princes midway through the period was ley to a comeback and a shot from beyond the arc gave Heidelberg their first lead of the game with 11:24 left.

The lead changed hands four times in less than a minute, but the Student Princes came out of the slugfest with the advantage as the clock ticked down to four minutes. Following a Thunder timeout, the home squad scored six straight to reclaim the lead, 65-64.

Heidelberg scored on an offensive rebound at the one-minute mark to take a 68-67 advantage and a defensive stand forced Trine into a shot clock violation on the next possession. The Thunder pressed full court, but the Student Princes found a man behind the defense for an easy dunk. Free throws with seven seconds left sealed the game for the visitors.

Trine has a tough challenge ahead in the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse on Saturday, December 11. The number 13 team in NCAA DIII comes to MTI Center for a 1 pm tip-off this weekend. That game will be a part of Community Day, with free entry for both the men’s and women’s games at 1 pm and 3 pm.

NAIF, HIBBETS NAMED ALL-REGION BY D3FOOTBALL.COM

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — A pair of Trine University football student athletes have received All-Region honors from D3football.com. Junior Kyle Naif (Riverview, Mich. / Riverview) was named to the second team defense as a linebacker while senior Ryan Hibbets (Monticello, Ind. / Twin Lakes) was named to third team defense as a place kicker.

The Thunder were joined by three other Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) institutions in placing ten student-athletes on the lists.

Naif, who received his second straight first team All-MIAA award earlier this season, helped anchor the center of the Trine defense as a linebacker. He finished the season with 77 tackles leading the team and tied for seventh in the MIAA during conference play with 41 tackles. He also led the team with five and a half sacks in the season, while coming in fifth during MIAA season with four. He finished the season with nine and a half tackles for a loss. He forced one fumble and came recovered another which he returned for a defensive touchdown. He also made his mark on special teams with a pair of punt blocks.

Hibbetts earns the third team status just off his second straight appearance as the first team All-MIAA kicker. This season he finished 9-12 on field goal attempts and 33-36 on point after attempts. His long for the season was a 46-yard field goal happening twice, once against Manchester and once against Kalamazoo. His long was tied for longest during MIAA play and he finished second with 37 points.

NCCAA ANNOUNCES WOMEN’S SOCCER POSTSEASON AWARDS

GREENVILLE, S.C. – The National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) announced its Women’s Soccer postseason awards on Wednesday, following the conclusion of the National Championship over the weekend and eight Pilots were honored with awards.

Katie Byers, Brenna Esh, Olivia Lambdin, Alyna Sell, Emily Smithberger, Kristen Terrell, Alexis Vega, and Jessica Wilker all earned recognition for their success in the classroom by being named NCCAA Scholar Athletes.

NCCAA ANNOUNCES MEN’S SOCCER POSTSEASON AWARDS

GREENVILLE, S.C. – The National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) announced its Men’s Soccer postseason awards on Wednesday, following the conclusion of the National Championship over the weekend and nine Pilots were honored with awards.

Joao de Oliveira was named an NCCAA First Team All-American. Oliveira led a Pilot defense that has allowed the fewest goals and fewest shots in the Crossroads League. He added two goals of his own on the offensive end and helped the Pilots to their most wins since the 2009 season.

In addition, the NCCAA Scholar Athletes were announced and Willian dos Santos, Franklin Joyce, Kory Kern, Isaac Nunez, Jason Padilla, Finn Popescu, Alex Romo, and Matheus Santiago all earned recognition for their success in the classroom.

PILOTS DROP THIRD STRAIGHT WITH LOSS AT IUSB

SOUTH BEND – Bethel Women’s Basketball fell below .500 for the first time this season with a 104-81 loss to IU South Bend on Wednesday. Jazmen Watts led the Pilots with 21 points and 7 rebounds in the game.

GAME VITALS

Score: IU South Bend def. Bethel 104-81

Records: Bethel (6-7) | IU South Bend (9-3)

NAIA Top 25 Coaches’ Poll:  Bethel – NR | IU South Bend – NR

Location: Student Activities Center | Indiana University South Bend | South Bend, Ind.

STAT TRACKER

Jazmen Watts: 21 pts, 7 reb, 8-16 fg

Maggie Deboy: 10 pts, 2 reb, 4-7 fg

Abby Williams: 10 pts, 6 reb, 4-4 fg

Alba Garcia: 10 pts, 2 reb, 2 ast

INSIDE THE BOXSCORE

The Pilots turned the ball over 33 times and the Titans scored 43 points off turnovers.

The Lancers led by as many as 26 but the Pilots had the deficit down to as few as 7 points in the third half.

NEXT TIME OUT

The Pilots travel to Wyoming, Michigan to take on Grace Christian on Saturday at 1:00 pm.

TREBER NAMED SECOND TEAM ALL-REGION

HANOVER, Ind. – Senior Kyle Treber (Mishawaka, Ind.) was named Second Team Defensive All-Region announced Wednesday afternoon by D3football.com.

Treber finished the year ranked among the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference best in tackles (94), average tackles per game (9.4), and assisted tackles (51). He added four pass break-ups and an interception and one fumble recovery.

The Panthers finished the 2021 campaign at 5-5 overall with a 4-1 mark at home.

SIXTH-RANKED DEPAUW MOVES TO 8-0 WITH WIN OVER WITTENBERG

Greencastle, Ind. – DePauw shot 69 percent from the floor over the middle two quarters and outscored Wittenberg, 54-25, during that span on the way to an 83-57 North Coast Athletic Conference win. The host Tigers, ranked sixth in the latest coache’ poll and 10th by D3hoops.com, improved to 8-0 overall and 3-0 in the NCAC, while Wittenberg dropped to 3-5 overall and 1-2 in conference play.

The teams battled to a 15-15 tie after the first quarter and DePauw used a 10-2 run to extend a one-point lead to nine at 30-21 with 6:11 left in the first half. The visiting Tigers were within seven before DePauw closed the half with an 8-3 stretch to take a 40-28 advantage into the intermission.

Wittenberg was still within 10 twice in the opening minutes of the third quarter before DePauw started to put the contest away. An 11-2 run expanded the lead to 19 and the Tigers closed the quarter with a 13-2 stretch to push the margin to 29 at 69-40 after three quarters. DePauw connected on 11-of-14 field goals in the stanza including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. The lead reached as many as 31 points early in the fourth.

Mya Shannon led five DePauw double-figure scorers with 19 points, while Maeve Summerville followed with 12 and a career-high equaling nine rebounds. Maura Fitzgerald, Ava Hassel and Moira McGinley each added 10 points and Grace Kinsey dished out a career-high nine assists.

Abigail Yunker paced Wittenberg with 14 points and six rebounds and Delaney Williams added 11 points.

DePauw shot 48.3 percent from the field to Wittenberg’s 35.9 percent and the hosts held a 42-28 rebounding edge.

DePauw hosts Oberlin on Saturday at 1 p.m. in a battle of 8-0 teams and the final two unbeaten in the NCAC standings.

DAY NAMED A COSIDA ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICAN

HANOVER, Ind. – CoSIDA announced the 2021 men’s and women’s soccer Academic All-America team with senior Maggie Day (Sellersburg, Ind.) being recognized as a Second Team honoree.

Day earns Academic All-America honors for the first time in her career boosting a 3.97 GPA majoring in Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology.

The academic honors didn’t end there for Day as she was also named to the Fall HCAC Tom Bohlsen All-Academic team and a CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree.

Day was a four year starter for the Panthers, appearing in and starting all 19 games this season. She tallied a team-best 15 goals with three assists for a combined 33 points. She led the league in shots (63) and shots on goal (39). She finished the year ranked among the top 30 nationally in goals and goals per game.

Hanover rounded out the season at 13-2-4 overall and winners of the HCAC Tournament advancing to the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Kibler Named to D3football.com All-Region 4 First Team

NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. – Manchester University senior kicker Andrew Kibler has been named to the D3football.com All-Region 4 First Team, as announced by D3football.com on Wednesday December 8.

NCAA Division III realigned Division III football into six regions in 2021. Region 4 includes the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC), the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA), the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) and the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC).

Kibler (Cape Coral, Fla./Mariner) had a strong senior season in the kicking department as he connected on 8-of-11 field goals (72.7 percent) this fall. He also went 11-12 on PATs. Andrew earned D3football.com National Team of the Week honors on October 12 following a 5-5 performance against Defiance College in which he knocked in field goals from 41, 38, 25, 34, and 25 yards. His longest field goal of the season was a 49-yarder that sent Manchester to a 27-24 OT win over Franklin College. Kibler was a two-time HCAC Special Teams Player of the Week selection this season.

Kibler was a First Team All-Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference selection. He added Second Team All-HCAC accolades as a punter this fall.

CHAD LACROSS PICKED FOR INDIANA BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME’S 2022 SILVER ANNIVERSARY TEAM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The University of Saint Francis athletics department is proud to announce that Chad LaCross, Head Coach of the No. 1 Cougars Men’s basketball team, has been selected to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame’s 2022 Silver Anniversary Team.

The Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame named its Silver Anniversary team on Tuesday based on outstanding accomplishments as a player from 25 years ago, with 18 total players selected.

Coach LaCross attended East Noble High School where he graduated in 1997. During that season, the Indiana All-Stat averaged 18.3 points per game for a 25-2 regional championship team. He scored over 825 points over two seasons, averaging 15.8 points per game.

“USF has been blessed to have Coach LaCross be a part of our program for over 15 years,” Athletic Director Mike McCaffrey said. “He has brought the commitment and pursuit of excellence, that drove him as a student-athlete, into his current leadership of the men’s basketball team. What a tremendous and well-deserved honor for him to be recognized as being one of the best to ever play basketball in the state of Indiana.”

In addition, LaCross was a three-time NAIA All-American at Tri-State and two-time WHAC Conference Player of the Year after totaling 2,636 career points and 1,167 rebounds. He averaged 21.5 points as a junior and led the nation with 27.3 points and 12.1 rebounds as a senior.

“I cannot believe it’s been 25 years,” LaCross said. “I have great memories with many of the players that were recognized from playing on the Indiana All-Star Team, AAU and High School basketball. I was fortunate enough to have played for one of the best high school coaches in the state in Marty Johnson. Coach Johnson was instrumental in my success as a young man, basketball player, and now coach. Indiana has such a rich tradition in basketball and for me to be included on this team with these other guys is a great honor.”

LaCross played professionally in the USBL and in Mexico. During his tenure at USF, LaCross has become the all-time wins leader in program history when he surpassed Jeff Rekeweg’s 265 career wins with his 266th career win in last year’s NAIA Elite Eight victory over Bethel. He currently has 276 career wins at the helm of the Cougars.

The Cougars currently hold a record of 10-2 after starting the season on a 10-game winning streak.  

SLUGGISH START DOOMS FORESTERS

KOKOMO, Ind. – A sluggish start haunted the Forester women’s basketball team Wednesday night at Cougar Gym. IU Kokomo ripped off the first 12 points of the game on the way to handing their guests a 62-47 loss.

While HU played within three points of the Cougars after that, the early deficit proved too daunting with Anya Friend to blame. The 5-9 freshman scored nine of her team’s first 12 points to serve as a one-person wrecking ball. Tia Chambers came to life after that to ensure the Cougars stayed on top.

The 5-11 post was nearly unstoppable, scoring 17 points in the opening twenty minutes to send her team into the locker room with a 41-27 advantage. The pair combined for all but nine of IUK’s first half points. It was more of the same in the second frame as they accounted for all but eight of their team’s points after intermission to hold the Foresters at bay.

It wasn’t for lack of effort on the part of Huntington. Unfortunately, every time they were on the cusp of a run, an untimely turnover or missed shot left them wanting as they were never able to cut it to single digits.

Emily Seboe finished with 13 points as HU’s only double digit scorer. She also corralled a game-best nine rebounds. Amanda Lovejoy nailed three three-pointers for nine points while Konnor Gambrell tossed in seven.

Chambers topped all scorers with 25 points while Friend posted 20.

Next up for HU (2-10) is a trip to Lawrence Tech on December 18.

FORESTERS BLOW PAST SIMMONS 99-44

HUNTINGTON, Ind. – The HU men’s basketball team (9-3) extended their win streak to four by cruising to a 99-44 win over Simmons College of Kentucky (0-11) Tuesday evening at Platt Arena. It’s the hosts’ second straight 50+ point win with the first on Saturday when they rolled over Mount Vernon 96-46.

Freshman Landen Jordan had a breakout game by erupting for 26 points and cleaning the glass for 16 boards, both of which are career highs for the rookie forward. He finished with more offensive than defensive rebounds, missed just three shots from the floor and swiped three steals in his 25 minutes of action.

Hank Pulver also logged a double double by posting 12 points and ten rebounds. Ben Humrichous finished with 19 points and three steals, Caleb Middlesworth tossed in 13 points and collected eight rebounds while Lane Sparks added 12 points, six boards and three steals. 

While HU outplayed Simmons in every statistical category, most notable was their dominance on the boards. Alford and crew piled up 30 offensive rebounds to Simmons’ 13 defensive rebounds. At the other end of the floor, Huntington corralled all but five of the Falcons’ misses. When all was said and done, the Foresters outscored their visitors 40-7 in second chance points.

It didn’t take long for the hosts to take control of the night. Fifteen seconds in, Humrichous drained a triple and 60 seconds later his putback made it a 5-0 game. By the 16:34 mark more than ten points separated the two teams at 14-3. The lead ballooned to 51-20 by the midway point with no signs of slowing down as the difference continued to swell after intermission to the tune of a 55-point difference by game’s end.

Glenn Queen posted 11 points to lead the Falcons in scoring. Huntington will make the short trip to Fort Wayne on Thursday to take on Indiana Tech at 7:00 p.m.

THREE-POINTERS LEAD TITANS TO WIN OVER BETHEL

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – In a fast-paced, high-scoring matchup, IU South Bend secured their third straight victory and their seventh straight at home with a 104-81 win over cross-town rivals Bethel (Ind.) on Wednesday night.

Sara Doi led all scorers with 24 points in the win, knocking down a career-best six three-pointers on the night to go with five assists. Five players finished in double figures for the Titans (9-3), as Maddie Gard scored 15, and Maddy Schumacher came off the bench to score 14. Katie Gard pitched in with 13, and Emma Fisher recorded her first career double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds.

As a team, the Titans hit 15 three-pointers, the most in a single game since 2018. The team got out to an early 7-0 lead after Katie Gard’s three at the 8:50 mark of the first quarter, and led the rest of the way. Bethel (6-7) cut the lead to one later in the period, but a three-pointer from Schumacher followed by a steal and fast-break layup by Fisher pushed the gap back to 26-17 with 2:43 left in the first.

The Titans grew their lead to double digits late in the first half, with threes from Maddie Gard and Doi in the closing seconds. IUSB went into the break leading 51-38, behind a team-high ten points from Katie Gard.

Opening the second half with seven straight, IUSB made it a 20-point game on a layup from Fisher at the 8:05 mark. Bethel made their biggest run of the game later in the third, going on a 10-2 run that cut the lead down to 69-62 with 56 seconds left in the third period. The Titans bounced back, scoring seven in a row highlighted by two buckets from Taitlyn Trenshaw in the final 30 seconds to put IUSB back up 76-62. IU South Bend put the game away in the fourth quarter, behind nine more points from Doi at the Pilots were unable to make another comeback.

The Titans are back in action on Thursday night, when they host Oakland City (Ind.). The non-conference matchup at the Student Activities Center is set for 5:00 p.m. on December 9.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL KNOCKS OFF HUNTINGTON 62-47

KOKOMO, Ind. – The Indiana University Kokomo women’s basketball team-controlled play from the opening-tip Wednesday evening, on their way to a non-conference win over Huntington University. With the win, the Cougars improve to 2-8 overall.

IU Kokomo scored the opening 12 points of the game to take a commanding 12-0 lead just four minutes into the game. A Tia Chambers three-point play gave the Cougars their largest lead of the quarter of 15 at 19-4. The Cougars held the Foresters to a 20% field goal percentage in the opening quarter and took a 22-10 lead into the second quarter.

The second period proved to be much more competitive than the first, however IU Kokomo narrowly outscored Huntington 19-17 to extend their lead to 14 at halftime. Tia Chambers had 17 first-half points while Anya Friend contributed 15.

The second half was played at a much slower pace and featured just 41 total points between the two squads. Huntington was able to cut the IUK lead to ten at 43-33 but IU Kokomo outscored Huntington 9-6 over the final 4:49 of the third quarter to carry a 52-39 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Cougars led by 13 at 54-41 before an Emily Seboe triple dropped the deficit to ten with 6:39 remaining in the game. IU Kokomo responded quickly with eight straight points and ended the game on an 8-3 run to knock off Huntington 62-47.

Senior Tia Chambers led IU Kokomo with 25 points and seven rebounds on the night. Freshman Anya Friend added 20 to pace the Cougar attack.

The Cougars will hit the road for their final RSC matchup of 2021 Saturday afternoon, as they take on IU Southeast Saturday afternoon. Tipoff is set for 3:00 p.m.

WARRIORS TRUMP TROJANS BEHIND 2ND HALF SURGE

UPLAND, Ind. – The Indiana Tech men’s basketball team continued to ride their hot streak on Tuesday night as they defeated Taylor University, 69-45.

The Warriors appeared to be in for a close battle with the feisty Trojans, as they only led by six points at the halftime break. But the defense stepped up big time in the closing half, as Tech held Taylor to just 14 points, 17.9% shooting from the floor, 16.7% shooting from three-point range, and only having one shooting foul.

Grant Smith was the high-man, finishing with 17 points to go along with five rebounds and four assists. Josh Kline nearly had a double-double, finishing with 12 points and eight boards. Rog Stein had a solid night as well, chipping in 10 points and snatching three rebounds.

The Warriors shot an efficient 51.9% from the floor, made 28.6% of their triples, and 81.8% of their foul shots. Tech once again dominated the opposition in the painted area, as they out-scored the Trojans 42-8 in that category.

Indiana Tech moves to 10-4 on the season, notching their seventh consecutive victory. Next up they’ll host the Huntington University Foresters (9-3, 2-1 away) on Thursday night at the Schaefer Center, tip-off is set for 7:00 PM.

GRACE DUO CLAIM ALL-AMERICAN HONORS

WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Fresh off winning their first national championship in program history, Grace’s women’s soccer team picked up numerous All-American awards.

Madison Tuma was named NCCAA First Team All-American as well as honorable mention for NAIA All-American. She led Grace’s offense with 15 goals and 11 assists across 23 games.

Tuma, who was named to the NCCAA All-Tournament Team, scored three goals during Grace’s NCCAA championship run.

Alexis Larimore wrapped up her sterling career as an NCCAA Second Team All-American. She was also honorable mention for NAIA All-American.

Larimore posted career highs in both goals (9) and assists (9). She produced when it mattered the most, scoring goals in the NCCAA semifinal and championship matches.

In the classroom, Grace also enjoyed tremendous success. The Lady Lancers had 15 NCCAA Scholar-Athletes, most in the nation. Tuma, Larimore, JJ Aalbue, Kimberly Aalbue, Bethany Blackwood, Erin Crew, Lea Fricke, Victoria Lucido, Amber Meade, Paiton Miller, Lea Moessinger, Rebecca Steininger, Ashley VandenBoom, Helena Vieira Rijo and Betsy Wertman all achieved Scholar-Athlete status.

Grace finished the season with a 15-7-1 record under head coach Michael Voss. The team culminated its remarkable season with a 2-1 victory over Ottawa, winning the 2021 NCCAA national championship for the first time in team history.

GRACE NOW 12-0 AFTER WIN OVER SXU

CHICAGO, Ill. – Grace’s men’s basketball team overcame adversity to continue its perfect season.

The Lancers, playing without the NAIA leading scorer Frankie Davidson (24.9 points per game), defeated St. Xavier 74-72 on the road on Wednesday.

Grace led by 17 at halftime, lost the lead in the second half, then had to produce key plays late to secure the two-point road win.

Jake Wadding (20 points), Carter Stoltzfus (19) and Cade Gibbs (16) led Grace’s offense in Davidson’s absence.

Grace’s 12-0 start is the second-best in program history. Only the 1991-92 squad (who won the NAIA title) started the year better at 13-0.

Grace had to overcome 18 turnovers in the game, the team’s second-most this season. But the Lancers shot 46 percent (10 of 22) on 3-pointers to help their cause. The Cougars were held to 25 percent shooting on 3-pointers (4 of 16) and were outrebounded by five.

Grace’s defense was in lockdown mode to start Wednesday’s game. The Cougars could not score a point for the first 5:20 of action, allowing Grace to claim a 7-0 lead.

The Lancers used a few timely 3-pointers during the first half from Gibbs, Brett Sickafoose and Stoltzfus to remain in front as the Cougars implemented a zone defense.

The Cougars managed to tie the score on a few occasions, but each time Grace found a response.

SXU trailed by just two at 31-29 with 4:22 remaining in the half. But Grace ended the half on a 17-2 flurry, charging into halftime with a 48-31 lead.

Wadding scored eight points during Grace’s run, and Gibbs buried a 3-pointer in the dying seconds to put the Lancers ahead by 17 at the intermission.

Wadding shot 7 of 10 for 17 points before halftime, Stoltzfus scored 11 points with a trio of 3-pointers, and Gibbs also made three treys for his nine points.

The Cougars began the second half with initiative. SXU sliced Grace’s lead down to single digits after five minutes of play, and Grace called a timeout to right the course.

Grace struggled with ball control in the opening minutes, turning the ball over seven times in the first eight minutes.

The Cougars continued to roll, cutting Grace’s lead down to one at 54-53. But Gibbs hit his fourth triple of the game to extend the Lancers’ lead to four with 11:03 on the clock.

Grace’s lead remained razor-thin for the next several minutes, needing key defensive stops to remain in front.

SXU finally took its first lead of the game at 63-61 with 6:06 remaining in the contest.

Elijah Malone threw down a one-handed slam on the next possession, and Stoltzfus sank a 3-pointer on the next play to put Grace back on top.

The teams exchanged small leads over the next few minutes until a quick 6-0 spurt gave Grace breathing room. Malone started the run with a jump shot, Gibbs sank two free throws, and Stoltzfus converted a fastbreak layup as Grace led 72-67 with 1:20 remaining.

The Cougars did their best to rally down the stretch, but a putback layup from Gibbs essentially secured the victory for Grace.

Gibbs was ultra-efficient in his second game of the season, scoring 16 points in 22 minutes. He shot 5 of 7 overall from the floor, 4 of 5 on 3-pointers and 2 of 2 from the foul line.

Stoltzfus was key to breaking SXU’s defense, drilling 5 of 11 on triples for his 19 points.

Malone (9 points, 7 rebounds) and Ian Scott (7 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks) were both on double-double watch for Grace.

The Lancers will travel to the Sunshine State next week for two games. Grace will play Webber International on Monday and Southeastern on Tuesday in Florida.

TAYLOR ATHLETICS | SECOND HALF FUELS TROJAN WIN ON THE ROAD

UNIVERSITY PARK, Ill. – On Wednesday evening the Taylor University women’s basketball team traveled to Illinois for a non-league matchup, in which the Trojans defeated Governors State (4-7) by a score of 60-46.

After a slow start to the game, the Trojan offense came alive in the second half, outscoring the Jaguars 39-18 in the final 20 minutes of play. A 22-point third quarter was particularly significant for the Trojans, as they doubled their first-half point total in just 10 minutes of play.

Taylor gained the game’s advantage by means of outstanding rebounding and a proficient shot from the free throw line.

Led by Taylor Westgate’s 18 rebounds, the Trojans outpaced the Jaguars on the boards by a mark 49-29, 16 of which were on the offensive end leading to 20 second-chance points for the Trojans.

Meanwhile, Taylor made 16 of 18 shots from the free-throw line for an average of 88.9 percent, which is a season-best for the Trojans thus far in the 2021-2022 campaign.

Westgate not only led the way for Taylor on the boards, but the sophomore forward also scored a team-high 21 points on 8-17 shooting, giving the Marion, Indiana, native her seventh double-double on the season.

Seniors, Kayla Kirtley and Lauren James, added 14 and 11 points, respectively, while James dished out an additional seven assists.

Taylor’s 60-46 victory over Governors State improves its record to 5-0 all-time against the Jaguars, while also snapping a three-game losing streak and eliminating the potential of the team’s first four-game skid since the 2016-2017 season.

The Trojans (6-7) will continue in non-league play on Saturday, December 11th, when Taylor travels to Grand Rapids, Michigan, to play Aquinas (8-7) at 1:00 pm.

TAYLOR ATHLETICS | TAYLOR TO HOST 24TH-ANNUAL IVANHOES #TUSILENTNIGHT

UPLAND, Ind. – After being canceled last year due to Covid-19, the greatest tradition in small college athletics is set to return on Friday, December 10 at 6:00 pm, when Taylor hosts Lincoln Christian inside Odle Arena for the 24th-Annual Ivanhoes Silent Night Game.

Taylor is 22-1 all-time on Silent Night, topping Ohio-Chillicothe by an 89-50 count in the most recent Silent Night on December 6, 2019. The Trojans have posted an average scoring margin of plus-28.0 points per game, while averaging 85.0 points per game over the previous 23 Silent Night performances.

TU has scored at least 90 points in six of the last eight Silent Night games, and has reached the 100-point plateau three times in the tradition’s history, having done so in 2003, 2010 and 2015. Taylor’s highest point total in the game is 112 points in 2010.

Lincoln Christian has been Taylor’s Silent Night foe three previous times. The Trojans are 3-0 in those meetings with the Red Lions, having topped LCU on Silent Night in 2000, 2002 and 2016.

Doors will open to Odle Arena for Taylor students at 4:30 pm and for the general public at 5:00 pm. Tickets will be scanned at the door for entry and no tickets will be sold at the event.

All seating is general admission and available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Fans are asked to remain behind the purple boundary around the court during in-game action and to keep the aisles clear at all times.

Those unable to attend the sold-out game can enjoy a free HD webcast provided by the Trojan Sports Network at YouTube.com/TaylorAthletics, as well as by using the video links available on TaylorTrojans.com. The stream is scheduled to begin at 4:15 pm to allow viewers the opportunity to catch all of the pregame activity.

Fans in attendance are encouraged to join the conversation online by sharing photos and videos on Twitter and Instagram by using #TUSilentNight.

In addition, any fan posting content to Instagram and tagging @tayloruniv will have a chance to win a limited edition Nike Silent Night shirt.

SHORT-HANDED BLAZERS FALL ON THE ROAD AT SHAWNEE AFTER SLOW START

ULLIN, Ill. – The Vincennes University Trailblazers were even more short-handed Wednesday night when the Blazers traveled to take on Shawnee Community College, only using seven players and falling 58-51 to the Saints.

Vincennes fell behind early as Shawnee held an 18-4 lead midway through the first half, growing the lead to as many as 15 in the opening half of play.

The Trailblazers rallied late to close out the first half on a 9-4 scoring run to cut the deficit to nine points at the break.

Shawnee built their lead back to 14 points in the second half, holding a 47-33 advantage on the scoreboard.

Vincennes launched a 13-2 scoring run, capped off by freshman Thow James Biel (Calgary, Alberta) hitting a three to cut the deficit to three points with just over two minutes to play.

The Trailblazers battled late, but could not overcome the Saints lead, with Shawnee finishing the game at the free throw line to close out a 58-51 win over Vincennes.

“We have to play a zone because of foul trouble and we don’t have the depth at this point and Shawnee hit a few shots early,” VU Hall of Fame Head Coach Todd Franklin said. “I thought we missed nailing them a few times, we were late getting our hands up on a shooter. They hit a few deep shots and we couldn’t hit a shot early in the game. We just have a hard time finding anybody that can put the ball in the basket.”

“We fell behind early and I think from that point on we played them more than even,” Franklin added. We were trying to dig ourselves out but we just don’t score easily and we’re probably not going to score easily this season. But we’re not going to score enough until we find someone who has that confidence in the corners and can make the shot adequately. We’re not asking for somebody to hit it at a high-rate, we’re asking for someone to do it adequately. Because it’s there and the other team is giving it to us.”

“When we’re not making those, it makes everything else harder and I think that was the difference in this game. If we could have hit a couple of those inside-out open shots, I think we would have gotten over the top. I know we have some guys that may struggle with confidence right now and at some point we have to get over that. We have to find somebody who can get over that to win a game.”

“I liked our fight. I thought we kept fighting all the way to the end, down to the last play. So I don’t think that was the problem. I think we can be more physical and tougher. We’re young and thin and don’t have that much depth so we can’t foul, so there are any number of things that limit your physicality that are legitimate. But I thought we gave a good enough effort, it was just we have to find some guys who find a way to get some confidence to shoot the ball with confidence and we just didn’t have it tonight.”

VU was led offensively by Thow James Biel who finished with a game-high 15 points and six rebounds on the game.

Freshman Ketaan Wyatt (Toledo, Ohio) came off the bench to add 14 points and a team-high seven rebounds and a pair of assists.

Freshman Devawn White (Montreal, Quebec) also came off the bench and ended his night with nine points, seven rebounds and a team-high three assists for the Blazers.

Vincennes only used seven players in the game and had eight players travel for this game and the lack of depth showed late when freshman Brevin Jefferson (Indianapolis, Ind.) fouled out of the game.

Jefferson was able to score seven points before exiting early, with one rebound and one assists added to his totals.

“I thought Devawn White stepped up tonight,” Franklin said. “I thought Devawn played hard and stuck his nose in and just gave us what he could. That really all we’re asking of everybody, is to give us what you can where you are supposed to and at an adequate, competitive level and I thought that’s what he did.”

“Ketaan was similar, he still has two to three turnovers that he just can’t make,” Franklin added. “He’s not a great shooter and tonight he hit some shots. He made some plays and stuck his nose in on the glass at both ends. Again, it wasn’t perfect, but all we’re asking is give us what you can and I thought those two guys did.”

“I thought Thow had some moments. He still has some moments where he’s just not physically tough enough. He has to rebound better but ultimately he gave us enough. We don’t have anyone who is going to give us a great effort, so everybody that we have has got to come through. I’ve got to do a better job of getting them in the right positions to do that, so I’ve got to do my job and everybody on this team has to for us to be successful. I think tonight we had a chance to get the win, we just can’t make a shot from the corner, with the guys that are expected to make that shot. If we just hit three or four of those it changes the game and I think that’s what it comes down to from a strategic standpoint. But for what it is for who we are and for what we had out there tonight, we’re a little thin and limited with what we could do, but we’re on the road against a decent Shawnee team, I thought we had a chance to win the game. But we don’t have the margin for error to leave some things on the table.”

Vincennes will play host to No. 5-ranked John A. Logan at the P.E. Complex, Saturday, Dec. 11. Tip-off time is set for 7 p.m. eastern.

“We just have to get everybody to do their job,” Franklin said. “Just try and man up and do your job. Whatever that is. We have to fight like heck to do our job and be someone that we can depend on to do your job at an adequate level. That’s all I’m looking for.”

“Whatever that adds up to, it adds up to. Maybe a win, maybe not a win, whatever that is, that’s all we’re asking,” Franklin added. “I would just like to find a whole group that is going to do it. I think we have guys that want to, but we have to find a way to generate that to get it done. That’s all I’m going to ask of them.”

“We have to contain Sean East. We have to try to keep him off the glass. I don’t know who we will have available Saturday night, so we’ll try to do what we can. But I thought tonight we had a chance. We just have to have everybody do their job. I don’t know what that is going to add up to Saturday night, if everybody does their job, if that will give us a chance to win. Logan is very talented. But that is what I am asking, every day, all the time. Be responsible and we just haven’t had as much of that as we would like. We had some guys step up tonight and if Ketaan and Devawn hadn’t stepped their game up like they did tonight, we wouldn’t have had a chance to win. But they did and you can see how much of a difference that makes. They didn’t do anything that they couldn’t do. They did what they could and that’s all we’re asking. Hopefully we can get that Saturday.”

QUICK START AND BLADE DOUBLE-DOUBLE LEAD LADY BLAZERS TO WIRE-TO-WIRE REGION 24 WIN

ULLIN, Ill. – The Vincennes University Lady Trailblazers picked up their fourth win away from the P.E. Complex Wednesday night when VU defeated Shawnee Community College 63-48.

VU sophomore Nina Blade (Milwaukee, Wis.) finished with her first double-double on the season, ending with 12 points and a team-high 11 rebounds.

The Lady Blazers got off to a hot start, opening the contest with a 12-0 scoring run. Shawnee would battle the rest of the first quarter as Vincennes held a 20-11 advantage after the first quarter.

The Lady Saints continued to battle in the second quarter, cutting the deficit to just five points before Vincennes would answer and grow their lead back late to take a 36-24 lead into the locker room at the break.

Sophomore Laila Grant (Derwood, Md.) led the Blazers early, scoring 14 points in the first half, including hitting a pair from behind the arc.

The third quarter was a back-and-forth defensive battle with the two teams combining for 17 points in the 10 minute period.

Vincennes held a 13-point lead heading into the final quarter of play.

The scoring picked up in the fourth quarter as Shawnee battled to keep the game close but could not cut the deficit to under 10 points.

Freshman Kylee Shelton (Bloomfield, Ind.) came off the bench to help close out the game for the Blue and Gold, scoring all 10 of her points in the fourth quarter.

Vincennes closed out the game strong and finished off the Lady Saints 63-48 with the Lady Trailblazers never trailing in the game.

“We were a little bit spotty tonight. Shawnee’s guard gave us problems all night and that was a point of emphasis for us in the second half,” VU Hall of Fame Head Coach Harry Meeks said. “She could shoot the ball, she could hit free throws and I think we gave her too much room. We had a couple of girls that came in and did a good job against her defensively and I think that wore her out in the second half.”

“I thought our girls played hard,” Meeks added. “We knew it would be tough playing down here and Shawnee has a good basketball team. They are well coached and they made it tough on us. We held in there, Kylee made some big shots for us late, we made some free throws and the Trailblazers were able to come away with the win. I’m really pleased with the way we played and I’m pleased with their effort.”

Laila Grant finished with a team-high 15 points, while also swiping a team-high three steals on the night and grabbing seven rebounds.

Nina Blade ended her night with a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds while also adding three steals.

Kylee Shelton was the third Lady Blazer to reach double-figures with 10 points, all in the fourth quarter on seven shots.

Freshman Trinitee Harris (Elkhart, Ind.) finished with nine points, eight rebounds and five assists on the night.

Sophomore Macy Michels (Teutopolis, Ill.) controlled the paint for Vincennes both offensively and defensively, ending with eight points, seven rebounds and an outstanding six blocks on the game.

“I thought Trinitee, again, did a really good job with her quickness and ability to handle the basketball. That showed up big for us in the second half,” Meeks said. “I thought Laila did a really good job of handling the ball and getting other people involved in the second half. At the end of the game, we had some shooters in there that made open shots that broke the game open. I’m pleased with all our players, they did an outstanding job for us.”

Vincennes will face a tough weekend ahead as the Lady Blazers first host John A. Logan College, Saturday, Dec. 4 at the P.E. Complex at 5 p.m.

VU will then travel to St. Louis, Mo. to take part in the St. Louis CC Classic Sunday, Dec. 12 against Lewis & Clark. Tip-off Sunday will be 12 p.m. eastern.

Vincennes will then return home Monday, Dec. 13 for their third game in as many days to host Wayne County Community College. Tip-off Monday will be 5 p.m. eastern.

“We will get ourselves ready for this weekend,” Meeks said. “We have Logan coming in. They are a really good basketball team. They have one of the top scorers in the country, so we’re going to have to be ready for them.”

“We’re going to have to play good defensively and be able to run our system offensively,” Meeks added. “I thought we did a pretty good job of running our offense today. We got the shots that we wanted, just sometimes we didn’t make them. We’ve got to keep working on that. We’re pleased with where we are and we hope to keep working and getting better.”

NFL STANDINGS
AMERICAN FOOTBALL CONFERENCE
EAST DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS940.6920.03502003-4-06-0-07-1-03-1-07 W
BUFFALO BILLS750.5831.53361963-3-04-2-05-5-03-1-01 L
MIAMI DOLPHINS670.4623.02542884-3-02-4-04-5-02-2-05 W
NEW YORK JETS390.2505.52173672-4-01-5-03-6-00-4-01 L
 
WEST DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS840.6670.03032595-2-03-2-03-4-02-1-05 W
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS750.5831.03143153-3-04-2-05-3-02-1-01 W
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS660.5002.02743123-4-03-2-04-3-01-2-01 L
DENVER BRONCOS660.5002.02372183-3-03-3-03-5-01-2-01 L
 
NORTH DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
BALTIMORE RAVENS840.6670.02822605-1-03-3-05-4-01-2-01 L
CINCINNATI BENGALS750.5831.03312673-3-04-2-05-3-03-1-01 L
PITTSBURGH STEELERS651.5421.52442864-2-12-3-04-4-02-2-01 W
CLEVELAND BROWNS660.5002.02542674-2-02-4-03-5-01-2-01 L
 
SOUTH DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
TENNESSEE TITANS840.6670.03042904-2-04-2-05-3-03-1-02 L
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS760.5381.53712833-4-04-2-06-3-03-2-01 W
HOUSTON TEXANS2100.1676.01643231-5-01-5-02-7-02-2-02 L
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS2100.1676.01803202-5-00-5-02-5-00-3-04 L
 
NATIONAL FOOTBALL CONFERENCE
EAST DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
DALLAS COWBOYS840.6670.03532674-2-04-2-06-1-02-0-01 W
WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM660.5002.02462973-3-03-3-05-2-01-0-04 W
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES670.4622.53372911-4-05-3-04-4-00-2-01 W
NEW YORK GIANTS480.3334.02112733-3-01-5-03-5-01-2-01 L
 
WEST DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
ARIZONA CARDINALS1020.8330.03432243-2-07-0-06-2-04-0-02 W
LOS ANGELES RAMS840.6672.03362704-2-04-2-05-3-01-2-01 W
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS660.5004.03032782-4-04-2-05-5-01-4-01 L
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS480.3336.02392492-4-02-4-02-6-02-2-01 W
 
NORTH DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
GREEN BAY PACKERS930.7500.02832425-0-04-3-07-2-02-1-01 W
MINNESOTA VIKINGS570.4174.03083053-2-02-5-04-4-02-1-02 L
CHICAGO BEARS480.3335.02012872-4-02-4-02-5-02-1-01 L
DETROIT LIONS1101.1257.52033161-5-00-5-11-7-01-4-01 W
 
SOUTH DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS930.7500.03772705-0-04-3-06-3-02-1-03 W
CAROLINA PANTHERS570.4174.02362532-4-03-3-03-5-02-0-02 L
ATLANTA FALCONS570.4174.02163321-5-04-2-02-6-01-3-01 L
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS570.4174.02742762-4-03-3-04-5-01-2-05 L

NBA DIVISION STANDINGS
EASTERN CONFERENCE
ATLANTIC DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
BROOKLYN178.6808-59-34-013-57-31 L
PHILADELPHIA1411.5603.05-59-60-59-76-43 W
BOSTON1313.5004.56-47-93-38-85-52 L
NEW YORK1213.4805.05-87-53-28-114-61 L
TORONTO1114.4406.04-97-53-39-84-61 L
 
CENTRAL DIVISON
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
CHICAGO179.6548-49-52-210-66-41 L
MILWAUKEE1610.6151.09-47-65-012-78-21 L
CLEVELAND1412.5383.06-78-52-110-65-51 W
INDIANA1116.4076.58-63-101-37-125-52 W
DETROIT420.16712.02-102-101-53-120-1010 L
 
SOUTHEAST DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
MIAMI1511.5777-48-73-19-54-61 W
WASHINGTON1511.5778-37-83-410-94-61 W
ATLANTA1312.5201.58-45-83-27-77-31 W
CHARLOTTE1413.5191.57-47-95-210-84-62 L
ORLANDO521.19210.02-83-130-52-161-93 L
 
WESTERN CONFERENCE
NORTHWEST DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
UTAH177.7089-48-35-010-28-25 W
DENVER1212.5005.07-45-82-27-63-71 W
MINNESOTA1114.4406.57-84-60-27-95-54 L
PORTLAND1115.4237.010-41-111-26-113-74 L
OKLAHOMA CITY816.3339.04-74-90-26-92-82 W
 
PACIFIC DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
GOLDEN STATE214.84014-27-25-112-38-22 W
PHOENIX204.8330.511-29-23-214-49-11 W
LA CLIPPERS1412.5387.510-74-51-410-105-52 W
LA LAKERS1312.5208.09-74-51-46-85-51 W
SACRAMENTO1114.44010.05-86-64-38-115-53 W
 
SOUTHWEST DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
MEMPHIS1411.5608-66-52-211-66-41 L
DALLAS1212.5001.56-66-67-210-63-71 W
SAN ANTONIO815.3485.04-74-80-33-114-62 L
HOUSTON816.3335.57-51-111-24-127-37 W
NEW ORLEANS720.2598.03-94-112-36-124-62 L

NHL DIVISION STANDINGS
EASTERN CONFERENCE
ATLANTIC DIVISION
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
FLORIDA PANTHERS2517443816967114-1-03-3-47-2-1
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS2718723818856611-3-17-4-17-2-1
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING251654361484678-3-28-2-27-2-1
DETROIT RED WINGS2613103291273839-3-24-7-15-4-1
BOSTON BRUINS221282261162587-4-15-4-15-3-2
BUFFALO SABRES25814319770926-7-12-7-21-8-1
OTTAWA SENATORS24716115663934-9-03-7-13-7-0
MONTREAL CANADIENS27618315661964-9-12-9-22-7-1
 
METROPOLITAN DIVISION
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
WASHINGTON CAPITALS261646381592659-1-47-3-27-2-1
NEW YORK RANGERS251753371677668-2-19-3-28-2-0
CAROLINA HURRICANES241761351779547-3-010-3-15-4-1
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS251285291175685-5-27-3-37-2-1
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS2413110261180809-3-04-8-04-6-0
NEW JERSEY DEVILS24109525970797-4-33-5-23-5-2
PHILADELPHIA FLYERS24812420856824-6-24-6-20-8-2
NEW YORK ISLANDERS21610517643640-4-26-6-31-6-3
 
WESTERN CONFERENCE
CENTRAL DIVISION
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
MINNESOTA WILD2518613715967210-2-08-4-18-1-1
COLORADO AVALANCHE231472301399797-2-17-5-17-2-1
ST. LOUIS BLUES251384301184738-3-15-5-35-3-2
NASHVILLE PREDATORS2514101291373708-5-06-5-15-5-0
DALLAS STARS231382281268649-2-14-6-18-2-0
WINNIPEG JETS251294281176729-4-13-5-33-6-1
CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS25914220656815-6-14-8-15-5-0
ARIZONA COYOTES25518212544932-7-13-11-14-5-1
 
PACIFIC DIVISION
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
CALGARY FLAMES261565351384564-2-311-4-27-3-0
ANAHEIM DUCKS271485331389789-4-25-4-34-4-2
EDMONTON OILERS241680321487749-3-07-5-05-5-0
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS2515100301486779-5-06-5-06-4-0
SAN JOSE SHARKS2614111291471716-4-18-7-06-4-0
LOS ANGELES KINGS241010424964676-6-24-4-22-5-3
VANCOUVER CANUCKS271015222866815-7-15-8-15-5-0
SEATTLE KRAKEN25914220973906-7-03-7-25-4-1