“THE SCOREBOARD”

INDIANA GIRLS ICGSA BASKETBALL POLLS

4A

1. COLUMBIA CITY (7-0)

2. LAWRENCE CENTRAL (5-0)

3. CENTER GROVE (7-0)

4. HAMILTON SOUTHEASTERN (7-1)

5. FORT WAYNE SNIDER (7-1)

6. LAWRENCE NORTH (4-1)

7. BEDFORD NORTH LAWRENCE (7-1)

8. JENNINGS COUNTY (7-1)

8. PLAINFIELD (7-0)

10. HOMESTEAD (4-1)

3A

1. HAMILTON HEIGHTS (5-1)

2. NORWELL (6-2)

3. INDIAN CREEK (5-2)

4. RENSSELAER CENTRAL (9-0)

5. TWIN LAKES (6-2)

6. WESTERN (6-0)

7. EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL (4-0)

8. GREENSBURG (5-2)

9. BENTON CENTRAL (4-1)

10. WEST LAFAYETTE (6-3)

2A

1. NORTH KNOX (8-1)

2. EASTERN HANCOCK (7-0)

3. SOUTH KNOX (6-0)

4. EASTBROOK (4-0)

5. FORT WAYNE LUERS (4-0)

6. LAPEL (6-1)

7. CARROLL (FLORA) (5-1)

8. ALEXANDRIA (7-1)

9. BROWNSTOWN CENTRAL (4-1)

10. LINTON-STOCKTON (5-3)

1A

1. LANESVILLE (7-0)

2. BETHANY CHRISTIAN (6-0)

3. BORDEN (7-0)

4. CASTON (6-0)

5. SPRINGS VALLEY (5-0)

6. MARQUETTE CATHOLIC (6-0)

7. MORGAN TWP. (6-1)

8. TRI-TOWNSHIP (5-0)

8. JAC-CEN-DEL (5-1)

10. TRI (5-1)

INDIANA GIRLS BASKETBALL IBCA POLL

RANK      SCHOOL  (FPV)                                  POINTS   RECORD

  1           COLUMBIA CITY (10)                            385         7-0

  2           LAWRENCE CENTRAL (9)                        381         5-0

  3           CENTER GROVE (1)                               353         7-0

  4           HAMILTON SOUTHEASTERN                   325         7-1

  5           FORT WAYNE SNIDER                            306         7-1

  6           LAWRENCE NORTH                                 303         4-1

  7           BEDFORD NORTH LAWRENCE                 224         6-1

  8           HOMESTEAD                                        218         4-1

  9           JENNINGS COUNTY                                215         7-1

T-10        LAKE CENTRAL                                      182         5-1

T-10        PLAINFIELD                                            182         7-0

12           SOUTH BEND WASHINGTON                 157         6-2

13           ZIONSVILLE                                            151         6-2

14           NOBLESVILLE                                          145         4-3

15           NORTHRIDGE                                          138         7-1

16           FRANKLIN COMMUNITY                        120         7-2

17           NORWELL                                                 70         6-2

18           HAMILTON HEIGHTS                               50         5-1

T-19        FISHERS                                                 45         5-3

T-19        INDIAN CREEK                                       45         5-2

OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES (LISTED ALPHABETICALLY): BORDEN (7-0), BROWNSBURG (4-4), CRAWFORD COUNTY (8-1), FORT WAYNE NORTHROP (4-1), FRANKLIN CENTRAL (2-3), GREENSBURG (5-2), LANESVILLE (7-0), MERRILLVILLE (3-3), NORTH KNOX (8-0), RENSSELAER CENTRAL (8-0), SILVER CREEK (5-1), SOUTH KNOX (6-0), TWIN LAKES (6-1), VALPARAISO (4-2), WARSAW (4-2), WESTFIELD (5-1). 

GIRLS BASKETBALL SCORES

ALEXANDRIA 87, TAYLOR 16

BEDFORD N. LAWRENCE 51, N. KNOX 50

BELLMONT 51, FT. WAYNE BLACKHAWK 34

CHRISTIAN ACADEMY 44, LOU. PORTLAND CHRISTIAN, KY. 34

CLINTON PRAIRIE 52, LEBANON 45

CROTHERSVILLE 55, CHRISTIAN ACADEMY OF MADISON 35

EVANSVILLE MATER DEI 48, BOONVILLE 39

GLENN 45, S. BEND CLAY 29

HAMMOND NOLL 58, RIVER FOREST 41

INDPLS HERRON 48, INDPLS RIVERSIDE 18

OWENSBORO CATHOLIC, KY. 70, CASTLE 63, OT

RENSSELAER 64, TWIN LAKES 37

TECUMSEH 65, S. SPENCER 49

TRITON 58, S. BEND TRINITY 27

WHITE RIVER VALLEY 42, CLAY CITY 33

INDIANA BOYS BASKETBALL IBCA POLL

RANK, SCHOOL, TOTAL POINTS, RECORD, 1ST PLACE VOTES

1 LAWRENCE NORTH 429 1-0 15

2 BROWNSBURG 370 2-0 1 3

3 FISHERS 330 2-0 1 4

4 CENTER GROVE 323 2-0

5 INDIANAPOLIS ATTUCKS 320 0-0 2

6 INDIANAPOLIS CATHEDRAL 314 2-0 1

7 KOKOMO 303 1-1

8 NOBLESVILLE 288 2-0

9 BEN DAVIS 286 0-1 1

10 WESTFIELD 285 1-0 1

11 BROWNSTOWN CENTRAL 215 1-0

12 FORT WAYNE WAYNE 210 0-0

13 CHESTERTON 171 1-0

14 GUERIN CATHOLIC 142 2-0

15 SCOTTSBURG 99 1-0

 16 FORT WAYNE BLACKHAWK CHRISTIAN 83 0-0

 17 JEFFERSONVILLE 77 0-1

 18 NORTHWOOD 41 0-0

 19 ZIONSVILLE 39 1-0

20 LAWRENCE CENTRAL 34 1-0

 OTHER SCHOOLS RECEIVING VOTES

ANDERSON (2-0), BREBEUF JESUIT (2-0), CARMEL (0-1), DELTA (1-0), EVANSVILLE BOSSE (0-0), EVANSVILLE F. J. REITZ (0-1), EVANSVILLE HARRISON (1-0), EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL (0-0), GREENFIELD-CENTRAL (1-0), HAMMOND BISHOP NOLL (2-0), HAMMOND CENTRAL (2-2), HERITAGE HILLS (1-0), INDIANAPOLIS LUTHERAN (0-0), LAVILLE (0-0), LEO (0-0), MANCHESTER (1-0), MARION (2-0), MORGAN TOWNSHIP (1-0), MT. VERNON (FORTVILLE) (0-1), NEW ALBANY (2-0), NEW PALESTINE (0-0), NORTH POSEY (0-0), ORLEANS (1-0), PENN (1-0), PERU (1-0), PIKE (0-1), PLAINFIELD (2-0), RICHMOND (1-0), SOUTH BEND RILEY (1-0), SOUTH BEND ST. JOSEPH (0-0), TIPTON (1-0), WAPAHANI (2-0), WARREN CENTRAL (0-1), 21ST CENTURY CHARTER SCHOOL – GARY (1-1)

BOYS BASKETBALL SCORES

CHRISTIAN ACADEMY 80 PORTLAND CHRISTIAN KY. 43

CULVER ACADEMY 70 INDY HOMESCHOOL 57

HAMMOND CENTRAL 70 BOWMAN ACADEMY 64

INDY RIVERSIDE 86 INDY HERRON 48

INDIANA CROSS COUNTRY ALL-STATE TEAMS

https://iatccc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/2023-All-State-Finals-Draft.pdf

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

WEEK 14

FRIDAY, DEC. 1

NEW MEXICO STATE AT LIBERTY (CUSA CHAMPIONSHIP GAME) | 7 P.M. | CBSSN

PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME IN LAS VEGAS | 8 P.M. | ABC

SATURDAY, DEC. 2

BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME IN ARLINGTON, TEXAS | 12 P.M. | ABC

MIAMI (OHIO) VS. TOLEDO (MAC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME IN DETROIT) | 12 P.M. | ESPN

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

GEORGIA VS. ALABAMA (SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME IN ATLANTA) | 4 P.M. | CBS

AAC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME | 4 P.M.

SUN BELT CHAMPIONSHIP GAME | 4 P.M.

SWAC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME | 4 P.M. | ESPN2

ACC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME IN CHARLOTTE | 8 P.M. | ABC

BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP GAME IN INDIANAPOLIS | 8 P.M. | FOX

WEEK 15

SATURDAY, DEC. 9

ARMY VS. NAVY (FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS) | 3 P.M. | CBS

AP COLLEGE FOOTBALL POLL

RankSchoolVotesPrev
1Georgia (12-0)1540 (52)1
2Michigan (12-0)1495 (10)3
3Washington (12-0)14134
4Florida State (12-0)13585
5Oregon (11-1)12776
6Ohio State (11-1)12512
7Texas (11-1)12057
8Alabama (11-1)11258
9Missouri (10-2)101110
10Penn State (10-2)96111
11Ole Miss (10-2)93612
12Oklahoma (10-2)85713
13LSU (9-3)80914
14Arizona (9-3)71216
15Louisville (10-2)6899
16Notre Dame (9-3)59217
17Tulane (11-1)55718
18Iowa (10-2)45820
19Oklahoma State (9-3)40721
20Liberty (12-0)29322
21North Carolina State (9-3)269NR
21Oregon State (8-4)26915
23Toledo (11-1)17623
24James Madison (11-1)12124
25SMU (10-2)108NR

Others: Tennessee (98) , Clemson (57) , Kansas State (41) , Utah (40) , Troy (7) , Kansas (6) , New Mexico State (5) , Kentucky (4) , North Carolina (1) , Miami (OH) (1) , Memphis (1)

COACHES POLL

RankSchoolVotesPrev
1Georgia (12-0)1571 (59)1
2Michigan (12-0)1506 (4)3
3Washington (12-0)14175
4Florida State (12-0)14034
5Oregon (11-1)12786
6Ohio State (11-1)12502
7Texas (11-1)12267
8Alabama (11-1)11828
9Missouri (10-2)103410
10Penn State (10-2)96711
11Ole Miss (10-2)93712
12Oklahoma (10-2)89513
13LSU (9-3)78014
14Louisville (10-2)7169
15Arizona (9-3)68116
16Notre Dame (9-3)60217
17Iowa (10-2)55319
18Tulane (11-1)54918
19Oklahoma State (9-3)41721
20North Carolina State (9-3)30324
21Oregon State (8-4)25315
22Liberty (12-0)23622
23Tennessee (8-4)20923
24SMU (10-2)13525
25James Madison (11-1)79NR

Others: Toledo (68) , Clemson (64) , Kansas State (54) , Utah (54) , Troy (25) , Kansas (15) , West Virginia (10) , UNLV (4) , New Mexico State (1) , San Jose State (1)

NFL

WEEK 12 SCORES

CHICAGO 12 MINNESOTA 10

WEEK 13 SCHEDULE

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT DALLAS COWBOYS (THU) 7:15P (CT) 8:15P PRIME VIDEO

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P CBS

DETROIT LIONS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 12:00P (CT) 1:00P FOX

ATLANTA FALCONS AT NEW YORK JETS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P FOX

ARIZONA CARDINALS AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P CBS

CAROLINA PANTHERS AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P CBS

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT TENNESSEE TITANS 12:00P (CT) 1:00P CBS

MIAMI DOLPHINS AT WASHINGTON COMMANDERS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P FOX

DENVER BRONCOS AT HOUSTON TEXANS 3:05P (CT) 4:05P CBS

CLEVELAND BROWNS AT LOS ANGELES RAMS 1:25P (PT) 4:25P FOX

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 4:25P (ET) 4:25P FOX

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS AT GREEN BAY PACKERS 7:20P (CT) 8:20P NBC*

CINCINNATI BENGALS AT JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (MON) 8:15P (ET) 8:15P ESPN*

AP MEN’S TOP 25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL POLL

1. PURDUE (6-0)

2. ARIZONA (6-0)

3. MARQUETTE (5-1)

4. UCONN (6-0)

5. KANSAS (5-1)

6. HOUSTON (7-0)

7. DUKE (5-1)

8. MIAMI (FL) (5-0)

9. BAYLOR (6-0)

10. TENNESSEE (4-2)

11. GONZAGA (4-1)

12. KENTUCKY (5-1)

13. FLORIDA ATLANTIC (5-1)

14. TEXAS A&M (6-1)

15. CREIGHTON (5-1)

16. TEXAS (5-1)

17. NORTH CAROLINA (5-1)

18. VILLANOVA (6-1)

19. BYU (6-0)

20. COLORADO STATE (6-0)

21. MISSISSIPPI STATE (6-0)

22. JAMES MADISON (6-0)

23. ALABAMA (5-1)

24. ILLINOIS (5-1)

25. OKLAHOMA (6-0)

MEN’S TOP 25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCORES

#4 UCONN 84 NEW HAMPSHIRE 64

AP TOP 25 WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

1 SOUTH CAROLINA

2 UCLA

3 STANFORD

4 IOWA

5 NORTH CAROLINA STATE

6 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

7 LSU

7 COLORADO

9 VIRGINIA TECH

10 TEXAS

11 UCONN

12 UTAH

13 BAYLOR

14 KANSAS STATE

15 FLORIDA STATE

16 OHIO STATE

17 INDIANA

18 NOTRE DAME

19 OLE MISS

20 TENNESSEE

21 MISSISSIPPI STATE

22 LOUISVILLE

23 MARQUETTE

24 NORTH CAROLINA

25 PRINCETON

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL TOP 25 SCOREBOARD

NO GAMES SCHEDULED

NBA SCOREBOARD

PORTLAND 114 INDIANA 110

WASHINGTON 126 DETROIT 107

PHILADELPHIA 138 LA LAKERS 94

UTAH 114 NEW ORLEANS 112

DENVER 113 LA CLIPPERS 104

NHL SCOREBOARD

COLUMBUS 5 BOSTON 2

FLORIDA 5 OTTAWA 0

BUFFALO 5 NY RANGERS 1

COLORADO 4 TAMPA BAY 1

CALGARY 2 VEGAS 1 OT

SAN JOSE 2 WASHINGTON 1

NATIONAL SPORTS RELEASES/HEADLINES

NFL NEWS

BEARS OUTLAST VIKINGS 12-10 ON 4TH FIELD GOAL BY SANTOS AFTER 4 INTERCEPTIONS OF DOBBS

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The Chicago Bears finally won one of these up-for-grab games after all those painful finishes.

Cairo Santos made a 30-yard field goal with 10 seconds left, his fourth of the night after a miss on the opening drive, and the Bears had four interceptions of Joshua Dobbs in a defense-dominated 12-10 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Monday.

“Proud of everyone for fighting to the end, no matter what,” said Justin Fields, who lost two fumbles in the fourth quarter before a third-and-10 completion to D.J. Moore for 36 yards put the ball at the 13 with 55 seconds left to set up the winning kick. The Bears (4-8) stopped a 12-game NFC North losing streak, including six in a row against the Vikings (6-6).

“He came back like a true leader does – somebody on the rise as a young quarterback. They just block that out and make that throw,” said Moore, who had 11 catches for 114 yards.

The Vikings, who cautiously chose to hold star wide receiver Justin Jefferson out for another game with his hamstring injury, were as helpless as ever on offense with only a field goal by Greg Joseph at the end of the first half to show for the first 54-plus minutes. Dobbs threw the go-ahead score to T.J. Hockenson with 5:54 left, but the Vikings stalled out again after that at the worst possible time.

After Fields rumbled for a first down, Josh Metellus jarred the ball loose that Anthony Barr recovered at the Chicago 43. The Vikings ran for no gain and 1 yard, before a screen pass lost 1 yard. Then Ryan Wright sailed his punt out of bounds, netting just 26 yards, and the Bears had the ball at their 22 instead of being pinned deep. Only 59 seconds came off the clock.

The Bears, who blew a 12-point lead with about three minutes left last week in defeat at Detroit, forced four turnovers for the second straight game. Jaylon Johnson, Jaquan Brisker, T.J. Edwards and Kyler Gordon had the interceptions, three off deflected balls.

“Turnovers really control the game, so it starts with me and taking care of the football with my decision-making,” Dobbs said. “No matter what happens on the other end, it’s giving the receiver a good ball and getting the ball where it needs to go based on the coverage. I acknowledge it. I’m frustrated with myself.”

Gordon’s diving grab with 12:32 to go and a 9-3 lead gave the Bears the ball at the Minnesota 38. But five plays later, Danielle Hunter – whose takedown of Fields in Chicago on Oct. 15 dislocated the quarterback’s thumb and sidelined him for the next five games – dislodged the ball during a sack that Sheldon Day recovered at the Minnesota 23.

“We love the game on us,” Gordon said. “We want to be the ones to close the game out and be clutch.”

The Vikings went the other way in eight plays for their only their second drive of more than 30 yards all game, and the Bears were in danger of another late collapse. But they became just the third team in the NFL in the last 20 years to win without a touchdown, multiple turnovers and 50-plus penalty yards, according to Sportradar.

“Defense, I feel like we played lights out,” Bears safety Eddie Jackson said. “We’ve just got to continue to get better when it comes to the finishes.”

Dobbs had a devil of a time finding a rhythm. After sparking the Vikings to two victories after Kirk Cousins went down with a torn Achilles tendon, Dobbs has had a much tougher time the last two games.

The backflips during the BMX freestyle bike show at halftime actually accounted for the bulk of highlights, but only for the people in the building not in line for bathrooms or concessions. The ESPN audience might well have preferred the matchup be switched out under the flexible scheduling policy.

FIELDS TEST

The Bears are giving Fields, the 11th overall pick in the 2021 draft, a close look over the final month-plus of the season before determining whether to move forward with him as the quarterback with the long-term status of the coaching staff simultaneously muddied.

The game plan in the first half looked like it was devised precisely as an audition for Fields, frequently dropping him back in the pocket against the aggressive and unorthodox pressures directed by Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores. Fields went 12 for 12 for 100 yards in the first quarter and while he took three sacks he never made a bad throw while finishing 27 for 37 for 217 yards.

When Flores sent a zero blitz with seven rushers on fourth-and-10 from the Minnesota 38 on the last play of the first quarter, Fields managed to find tight end Cole Kmet sneaking uncovered over the middle for a 22-yard gain. That set up the first field goal by Santos, who missed a 48-yard try on the first drive.

INJURY REPORT

Bears: DE Yannick Ngakoue left in the fourth quarter with leg cramps.

Vikings: CB Akayleb Evans (calf) was inactive. Mekhi Blackmon started in his place.

UP NEXT

Bears: After the Week 13 bye, they host Detroit on Dec. 10.

Vikings: The bye week is next, followed by a visit to Las Vegas on Dec. 10.

PANTHERS FIRE FRANK REICH IN HIS FIRST SEASON WITH TEAM OFF TO NFL-WORST 1-10 RECORD

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Frank Reich era in Carolina is over after only 11 games.

The Carolina Panthers fired their coach on Monday following the team’s NFL-worst 1-10 start in his first year at the helm.

Panthers owner David Tepper announced the move hours after several news outlets reported that he used a profanity as he was leaving the locker room following a 17-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.

Tepper hired Reich to fix one of the league’s worst offenses over the past few seasons and develop Bryce Young, the No. 1 overall pick whom he gave up four draft picks and top wide receiver D.J. Moore to acquire this past offseason in the hopes of winning multiple Super Bowls.

Instead, the Panthers are assured a franchise-record sixth straight losing season.

The Panthers are 30-63 since Tepper bought the team from Jerry Richardson in 2018 for $2.275 billion and have never made the playoffs.

Special teams coordinator Chris Tabor will take over as interim head coach. Offensive coordinator Thomas Brown will become the team’s play caller, with senior assistant Jim Caldwell serving as his special adviser.

Tabor’s first move as interim coach was to fire quarterbacks coach Josh McCown and running backs coach Duce Staley, according to a person familiar with the situation. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday because the moves have not been announced.

McCown and Staley were handpicked by Reich to be assistants.

When Tepper makes his next head coaching hire after the season, it will be the seventh full-time or interim head coach to serve under him.

Tepper is scheduled to address reporters Tuesday at a news conference at Bank of America Stadium. The Panthers canceled all media access Monday.

Reich is the second NFL head coach to be fired this season, joining Josh McDaniels of the Las Vegas Raiders.

Reich was fired earlier in his tenure than any head coach since Pete McCulley, who went 1-8 with San Francisco in 1978. He is the fifth NFL head coach in the last six years to be fired during or after just one season, joining Nathaniel Hackett (Denver, 2022), Urban Meyer (Jacksonville, 2021), Freddie Kitchens (Cleveland, 2019) and Steve Wilks (Arizona, 2018).

Phone calls and text messages sent to Reich seeking comment were not immediately returned.

Tepper has shown a lack of patience as a team owner. Reich is the Panthers’ third head coach fired during the season under Tepper.

He also owns the Major League Soccer team in Charlotte and has fired two coaches in the organization’s first two years of existence.

On the NFL front, Tepper inherited Ron Rivera as his head coach in 2018 but fired him less than two years later during the season. Perry Fewell finished out the season before Tepper gave Matt Rhule, who previously coached at Baylor, a seven-year, $63 million contract. But Rhule lasted less than 2 1/2 season before Tepper dismissed him and replaced him with Wilks, the Panthers’ defensive coordinator, on an interim basis.

Tepper then hired Reich, who as offensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles helped them win the Super Bowl before becoming head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, who fired him last season. Wilks is now the defensive coordinator for San Francisco.

Carolina still ranks near the bottom of the league in nearly every offensive category. The Panthers are 30th in the league in total offense and 30th in passing yards per game and haven’t scored more than 15 points in a game since the bye week.

Reich had signed a four-year contract with the Panthers that runs through the 2026 season. Tepper will be on the hook for an estimated $9 million per season over the next three seasons.

Reich had experience running good NFL offenses, but that didn’t translate over to the Panthers.

Young has been sacked 40 times this season, and the Panthers’ offensive line has allowed 43 overall over in 11 games, fourth most in the NFL. Young has been under heavy pressure most of the season, making it difficult to evaluate his progress as a quarterback.

But the former Alabama product has failed to progress as a quarterback and ranks near the bottom of the league in most statistical categories. He has yet to throw for 250 yards in a game and has nearly as many interceptions (eight) as touchdown passes (nine).

Because of their record, the Panthers could possibly land the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft, but that immediately would go to the Chicago Bears because of the trade for Young.

ANALYSIS: AFC’S RACE FOR THE NO. 1 SEED IS TIGHT WITH 4 DIVISION LEADERS EARNING WEEK 12 WINS

Trevor Lawrence and the Jacksonville Jaguars took control of their division. Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs shrugged off a big deficit. Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens showed their balance.

Three of the AFC’s division leaders kept pace on the road Sunday, setting up a wide-open race for the No. 1 seed down the stretch.

The Ravens (9-3) beat the Chargers 20-10 to remain a half-game ahead of the Chiefs (8-3), Jaguars (8-3) and Miami Dolphins (8-3).

Jackson threw for 177 yards, the Ravens ran for 197 and a stingy defense shut down Justin Herbert and the Chargers, forcing four turnovers.

The Ravens host the Rams after their bye week and then play Jacksonville and Miami sandwiched around a difficult game against San Francisco (8-3) in Weeks 15-16-17. Those games will help determine who will earn the AFC’s top spot.

The Chiefs rebounded from a disappointing loss at home to Philadelphia on Monday night by rallying for a 31-17 win over the Raiders. It took them a quarter to get going in Las Vegas before Mahomes tossed two touchdown passes and Isiah Pacheco ran for two scores.

“When you have a short week and you’re playing a team like the Raiders, who always plays you tough, you have to bounce right back,” Mahomes said. “You wash it, you learn from it, and then you kind of just go back to the fundamentals and working. And so, we still have stuff to learn from this game.”

A major bright spot for the Chiefs was the performance of rookie wide receiver Rashee Rice, who had eight catches for 107 yards and one touchdown. A week after drops by Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Justin Watson cost them a win against the Eagles, it was important someone other than Travis Kelce stepped up to catch Mahomes’ passes.

“He’s a guy who wants it. I think that’s the biggest thing,” Mahomes said of Rice. “He has talent. He wants to be great. But it’s going to take us staying on top of it every single week, and he’s going to be a great receiver in this league.”

Kansas City has hosted five straight AFC championship games. None of the Chiefs’ final six opponents currently has a winning record so they have a clear path to the top spot. If they win out, they’ll earn a first-round bye.

Lawrence threw for 364 yards and one TD and ran for a score to help the Jaguars hold off Houston, 24-21. Jacksonville opened up a two-game lead over the Texans (6-5) and Indianapolis Colts (6-5) in the AFC South.

“You look at how well Houston has been playing, they were kind of nipping at our heels in the division, so this was a big game,” Lawrence said. “They win this game, we’re all square, and they beat us twice, so they’re first place in the division, and we don’t really control our own destiny anymore. … We just keep winning, we don’t have anything to worry about.”

The victory wasn’t secured until Matt Ammendola’s 58-yard field goal attempt hit the crossbar in the final minute. Josh Allen and Travon Walker combined to sack C.J. Stroud for a 9-yard loss a few plays before the missed kick.

“For our D-line to run all over the field sometimes it felt like to make plays, it’s just a credit to them and just the ‘no-quit mentality,’ and Josh had a heck of a game, particularly here at the end,” Jaguars coach Doug Pederson said.

Jacksonville’s hopes of earning the No. 1 seed could come down to how the team fares in back-to-back games against Cleveland (7-4) and Baltimore in Weeks 14-15.

The Dolphins had the day off after whipping the New York Jets in the NFL’s first Black Friday game.

They earned another victory Sunday when the Buffalo Bills collapsed in Philadelphia. Josh Allen and the Bills blew several leads, including one in overtime, before losing 37-34 to fall to 6-6.

The Bills, who entered the season with Super Bowl expectations, are 10th in the AFC and now trail Pittsburgh (7-4), Cleveland, Indianapolis, Houston and Denver (6-5) in the wild-card race.

Miami’s next three opponents are 12-22 combined. But the Dolphins finish with three tough games against Dallas (8-3), Baltimore and Buffalo.

In the NFC, the Eagles (10-1) are the clear leader following their fourth straight comeback win. They’ve been resilient and Jalen Hurts has played at an MVP level. Philadelphia faces the 49ers and Cowboys in its next two games but has margin for error.

The top teams in the AFC don’t have that luxury. They have to keep winning.

KEY TAKEAWAYS AND ANALYSIS FROM WEEK 12 IN THE NFL

Payton turns it around

The Broncos have won five games in a row. Yes, the Broncos.

There were a lot of bad things said about this team after the first month of the season. Surely, there’ll be some Denver fans looking for apologies, but make no mistake: it was all true at the time.

But things change quickly in the NFL. After an impressive win over the Browns, the Broncos now find themselves sitting at 6-5 and effectively tied for the final AFC wild-card spot. Is anyone questioning the Sean Payton hire now?

The defense, of course, has been the main factor in Denver’s stunning turnaround. Just six weeks ago, it seemed like a matter of time before Payton would have to admit a mistake and move on from defensive coordinator Vance Joseph. Denver was off to a historically bad start on that side of the ball, and the 70 points allowed in Miami was no fluke.

Payton opted to stay the course. Joseph, to his credit, has delivered better results than anyone could’ve expected. The Broncos have given up just 80 total points across their five-game win streak, including nine to the Chiefs and 22 to the Bills.

The monumental defensive improvements have taken some pressure off the rest of the operation, allowing the offense to play more on schedule. It’s still not the most explosive unit, but the consistent play the Broncos have gotten out of Russell Wilson speaks to the upgrade made in the coaching department.

Wilson has just four interceptions on the season and hasn’t thrown a pick since Week 6. It also took him only nine games to top last season’s 16 touchdowns.

The Broncos probably don’t have the pieces for a deep playoff run if they even make the postseason, but the message has been sent. Payton can still coach, and his staff is in the process of laying the foundation for a bright future. The AFC West is going to be fun for a long time.

A new day in Pittsburgh

It’s official: Matt Canada was the problem.

OK, maybe that’s a little bit harsh. There were certainly more factors at play for the Steelers’ offense, including some terrible quarterback play, but how else are we supposed interpret what we saw this week?

Pittsburgh’s offense looked

Pittsburgh’s offense looked like a completely different unit in Sunday’s win over Cincinnati. While it didn’t quite show up on the scoreboard, a closer look reveals a largely effective change in philosophy under new offensive coordinator Eddie Faulkner and play-caller Mike Sullivan.

Most notably, this version of the Steelers’ offense seems to understand the value of pushing the ball downfield and attacking over the middle. It’s no coincidence that Kenny Pickett completed 24 of 33 passes for a season-high 278 passing yards.

Pickett’s big day, along with an efficient 153 yards in the ground game, helped the Steelers post their first 400-plus-yard game since Week 2 of the 2020 season. That ends a dubious streak of 58 straight games.

Defenses will adjust to the changes made under Faulkner, and it’s tough to truly buy in on an offense led by Pickett. But the Steelers don’t need much to complement what’s always been an outstanding defense.

A midseason coordinator change may be all the Steelers needed to go from befuddling overachievers to legitimate contenders in the AFC. Mike Tomlin does it again.

Enjoy it while it lasts

An entire generation of fans has grown up hating the Patriots for their success (and probably the cheating scandals). It’s only natural, then, that a significant amount of the football world is taking great joy in their downfall. Just don’t get used to it.

For anyone who wishes nothing but bad things for the Patriots, I regret to inform you that it’s reaching a point where it’s almost too bad for it to last.

The Patriots losing to Tommy DeVito and the Giants in a game that featured Mac Jones being benched for the fourth time this season is a new low previously unimaginable under Bill Belichick. New England is now 2-9 and getting worse by the week. Based on everything we’ve seen to this point, it’s tough to pick out a single win on the remaining schedule.

But is that really such a bad thing for the Patriots? Continuing on this path would all but guarantee New England a top-two pick in the draft. Depending on how the Panthers finish the year, the Patriots could even end up in the No. 1 spot. And in case you haven’t heard, the incoming quarterback class is pretty good.

Adding either Caleb Williams or Drake Maye – and using their $91 million in cap space to upgrade the roster elsewhere – would give the Patriots an opportunity to build another long-term contender.

Belichick may not be sticking around to see that through, but a dream rebuild scenario, along with the general stability of the organization, would make New England one of the most attractive head coaching jobs this offseason.

The Patriots won’t be in the basement for long.

No way out

The Saints’ offense is a painful watch right now. We could probably chalk it up to injuries this week if we really wanted to be charitable, but this also isn’t exactly a new development. Just ask a Saints fan how they feel about this group.

The latest sign of mediocrity: managing just five field goals and failing to get in the end zone in a crushing divisional loss to the Falcons.

It’s easy to understand why the Saints signed Derek Carr. The NFC South is a winnable division, and New Orleans was going to be a runaway favorite if its new quarterback played anywhere near the top-12(ish) levels he’d occasionally flirted with in the past. That hasn’t happened.

Carr, who threw a backbreaking pick-6 in the loss to the Falcons, ranks 21st in EPA/play and 20th in success rate, according to Ben Baldwin’s database. Not exactly what you want for a quarterback just starting a four-year, $150-million deal. Baker Mayfield, for reference, ranks 14th in EPA/play after joining the Bucs on a one-year, $4-million deal.

As things currently stand, the Saints could theoretically get out of Carr’s contract after the 2024 season. But that’s before you consider the ramifications of some truly horrific salary cap management.

The Saints are currently projected to be $71.4 million over the 2024 salary cap, according to Over the Cap. That’s a direct result of the organization regularly restructuring contracts and pushing money to the future as a way of avoiding any sort of rebuild. And they’ve done it so much now that there’s little to no cap space to be gained by cutting players; continuing to kick the can down the road is the only option to get under the cap.

Carr’s $30-million base salary for next season makes him the most obvious restructure candidate on the roster. Any such maneuver would tie him to the team for at least one more season if not several more. The Saints may have no choice but to make this thing work.

Don’t be surprised if their efforts to do so dictate a potential offseason coaching search.

Quick slants

Bates paying off

Expensive free-agent signings rarely work out. It’s hard to live up to price tags set by a competitive market, and there’s often a reason why a player’s former team let them go. At the very least, conventional wisdom suggests you’re making the mistake of paying for past performance. Bates is one of the rare exceptions. The veteran safety has taken his game to another level after joining the Falcons on a four-year, $64-million deal. His pick-6 in the red zone against the Saints gives him four interceptions on the season, already tying a career high. Bates also prevented a go-ahead score with another turnover later in the game, stripping Taysom Hill inside the 10-yard line. The Falcons somehow got a steal with one of the NFL’s highest-paid safeties.

Colts in the mix

Don’t look now, but Reich’s former team is already sniffing around playoff contention. The Colts, who improved to 6-5 with Sunday’s win over the Bucs, currently hold the last AFC wild-card spot. While there won’t be many experts picking them to be in that position at season’s end, Indianapolis doesn’t seem to care much for our expectations. This kind of run in Year 1 under Shane Steichen, despite losing No. 4 overall pick Anthony Richardson to a season-ending injury, is already an incredibly promising sign for what’s to come. The AFC South will be a great division sooner rather than later.

Rice emerges for Chiefs

The Chiefs finally found some success in the passing game in a win over the Raiders. This won’t be the end of the discussion surrounding an underwhelming receiving corps, but feeding second-round rookie Rashee Rice was a promising development. Rice is far and away the team’s most explosive receiver. He fully displayed those abilities Sunday, posting season highs in catches (eight) and yards (107) to go with a putaway touchdown. High-volume games like this could go a long way toward preparing Rice for a feature role in the playoffs.

Jaguars still on top

An important win over the surging Texans gives Jacksonville a comfortable two-game lead atop the AFC South. With a relatively easy schedule to close out the season, there’s no reason the Jaguars shouldn’t be able to come away with a second consecutive division title. The gap is closing, though. C.J. Stroud was spectacular again this week, going head-to-head with Trevor Lawrence to give his team a chance. It wasn’t quite enough in the end, with a game-tying 58-yard field goal going off the crossbar. But the Texans really are that close. Houston is building a contender.

A critical mistake

The Browns are still alive at 7-4, but Sunday’s loss to the Broncos validates any and all concerns about this offense. It was bad enough with Deshaun Watson, but expecting to stay afloat with Dorian Thompson-Robinson or P.J. Walker always felt a little misguided. Do they give you a better chance to win than, say, Matt Ryan? Maybe. But wouldn’t you want to be sure? The Browns going next man up at quarterback feels like punting on what had been a promising season. If only they hadn’t traded Joshua Dobbs for no reason.

TEXANS, STROUD CONFIDENT THEY’LL BOUNCE BACK AFTER TOUGH LOSS TO JAGUARS

HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Texans missed an opportunity to move into first place in the AFC South with Sunday’s loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Despite the 24-21 defeat, star rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud is confident the Texans will bounce back and continue to exceed expectations this season.

“It’s about the mindset, though. What are we going to do? Not play anymore? (Are) we just going to tuck our tail and not play hard? No, I don’t really believe in that type of mindset,” he said. “I’m going out there every play, every game trying to win. So, I don’t really think that our season is over at all. It’s a long year … you can see the trajectory we’re on.”

Houston (6-5) fell into a tie with the Indianapolis Colts for second place in the division behind the first-place Jaguars (8-3) with the loss.

The Texans had a chance to force overtime with 34 seconds left Sunday, but Matt Ammendola’s 58-yard field-goal attempt bounced off the crossbar.

Before that, Stroud had another strong game. The second overall pick in the draft threw for 304 yards and two touchdowns to give him 3,266 yards passing to overtake Justin Herbert (3,224) for most yards passing in NFL history through a player’s first 11 games.

Stroud also became the first rookie in NFL history to throw for 300 yards or more in four straight games.

He moved effectively to avoid the rush Sunday, averaging 3.8 seconds to throw each pass, which is the longest time by anyone in a single game this season according to NFL Next Gen Stats.

Both his touchdown passes against Jacksonville came on extended drop-backs of four or more seconds.

“C.J did a really good job of being able to move around and extend plays,” coach DeMeco Ryans said. “Made a couple of big plays for us … I thought he moved around well when he had to, took what the defense gave him.”

WHAT’S WORKING

Stroud’s stellar play continues to make Houston’s passing game the strength of the team. His yards passing rank second in the NFL and Houston’s 276.2 yards passing a game also come in at No. 2 in the league.

He’s done a great job of spreading the ball around, and the Texans had four receivers with at least 40 yards Sunday.

WHAT NEEDS HELP

Houston was down to just one timeout for the last drive Sunday after Ryans had to burn two earlier in the second half to avoid penalties.

“It’s tough for us not having those timeouts, having to waste them on procedural things that we need to clean up,” Ryans said. “All those timeouts were just self-inflicted things that we have to be better at. Whether it’s making sure we got the right amount of people on the field, getting the calls in quicker, getting to the line of scrimmage quicker, we just have to be better.”

STOCK UP

WR Nico Collins led the team with seven receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown Sunday. It was his third 100-yard game of the season, which is a career high for the third-year player. It’s the first time he’s had more than 100 yards receiving since finishing with a career-best 168 yards receiving in a win over Pittsburgh Oct. 1.

STOCK DOWN

CB Tavierre Thomas was called for pass interference on two plays on the same drive that helped the Jaguars to a touchdown in the third quarter.

INJURIES

LG Tytus Howard injured his knee against Jacksonville and is questionable for Sunday’s game. … WR Noah Brown missed a second straight game against the Jaguars with a knee injury. … RB Dameon Pierce returned against Jacksonville after missing three games with an ankle injury.

KEY NUMBER

0. The Texans didn’t have a sack Sunday for the first time all season.

NEXT STEPS

The Texans look to get back on track when they wrap up a three-game homestand with a visit from Denver Sunday. The Broncos (6-5) have won five in a row after dropping five of their first six games.

REPORT: RAIDERS RELEASE MARCUS PETERS AFTER BENCHING

The Las Vegas Raiders released veteran cornerback Marcus Peters, reports Vic Tafur of The Athletic.

The move comes after interim head coach Antonio Pierce benched Peters in the second quarter of Sunday’s 31-17 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs following a missed tackle. The two had a brief exchange on the sideline at halftime.

Tackling has been an issue for Peters, who joined the Raiders on a one-year, $3-million contract in July. The 30-year-old entered the Chiefs matchup with 11 missed tackles in 2023, according to Football Reference.

Peters racked up

Peters racked up 43 tackles (one for loss), five pass breakups, and one interception – a 75-yard pick-6 – across 12 games with Las Vegas. He allowed a 103.2 passer rating when targeted.

The Raiders nearly parted ways with Peters earlier this season, sources told Tafur.

Peters will be available on waivers after his release.

A former Kansas City Chiefs first-round pick, Peters was once considered one of the NFL’s most dangerous corners. The Washington product paced the league with eight interceptions and 26 pass breakups as a rookie in 2015, and he led the league in pick-6s twice.

REPORTS: DOLPHINS SET TO ADD DE JASON PIERRE-PAUL

The Miami Dolphins moved to fill the defensive vacancy left when linebacker Jaelan Phillips was lost for the season on Friday, agreeing to a deal with Jason Pierre-Paul, multiple media outlets reported on Monday.

Pierre-Paul, a three-time Pro Bowl defensive end, signed with the Saints’ practice squad on Thursday and played for New Orleans on Sunday. He made two tackles in the Saints’ 24-15 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

In a social media post on Monday, Pierre-Paul wrote, “I would like to thank the New Orleans Saints and the organization for giving me the opportunity to play for them. I can’t even lie it was a hard decision to make. To all the guys in the locker room I appreciate y’all accepting me as a teammate and to all the coaches appreciate you guys for believing in me.

“I’m coming home (dolphin emoji)”

Pierre-Paul, 34, grew up in South Florida. He played 14 games, making 13 starts, for the Baltimore Ravens in 2022. He amassed 26 tackles, three sacks, five tackles for loss, one interception and five passes defended.

Pierre-Paul, a first-team All-Pro in 2011, is a two-time Super Bowl champion with 94.5 career sacks in 180 games (150 starts) with the New York Giants (2010-17), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2018-21), Ravens and Saints.

Chosen by the Giants with the 15th overall pick in the 2010 draft, Pierre-Paul has recorded 631 tackles, 167 quarterback hits, 21 forced fumbles, 10 fumble recoveries, five interceptions and three defensive touchdowns while playing defensive end and outside linebacker.

Phillips, 24, tore his right Achilles tendon in the Dolphins’ 34-13 victory over the New York Jets last week. He had a sack and four tackles on Friday, giving him 43 tackles and 6.5 sacks in eight games (six starts) this year. Phillips sat out due to back and oblique injuries earlier in the season.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEWS

MARYLAND, INDIANA, MICHIGAN AND PURDUE EARN WEEKLY FOOTBALL HONORS

Offensive Player of the Week
Taulia Tagovailoa, Maryland
QB – Sr. – Ewa Beach, Hawaii – Thompson

  • Completed 24 of 31 passes for a season-high 361 yards, accounting for four touchdowns (three passing, one rushing) in a 42-24 win at Rutgers
  • Became the Big Ten’s all-time leader in passing yardage (excluding postseason games), surpassing Purdue’s Curtis Painter (11,163), ending the game with 11,256 career passing yards
  • Saturday was Tagovailoa’s 15th career 300-yard passing game
  • Last Maryland Offensive Player of the Week: Taulia Tagovailoa (Oct. 2, 2023)

 
Defensive Player of the Week
Aaron Casey, Indiana
LB – Sr. – Douglasville, Ga. – Alexander

  • Finished with 11 tackles, including nine solo stops, to move his season total to 109, the first Hoosier to post a 100-tackle season since Tegray Scales (126) in 2016
  • The 11 stops mark his 11th career double-digit tackle game and sixth of 2023
  • Credited with the lone sack of the game for Indiana and also forced a fumble
  • Tied a career-high with 4.0 tackles for loss. Casey’s 4.0 tackles for loss moved his career total to 36.0 and into No. 8 overall in Indiana program history
  • Last Indiana Defensive Player of the Week: Aaron Casey (Oct. 6, 2023)

 
Special Teams Player of the Week
James Turner, Michigan
K – Gr. – Ann Arbor, Mich. – Saline

  • Converted field goals of 37, 38 and 50 yards, tying his season and Michigan career-best with the 50-yard field goal, his second field goal made of 50-plus yards this season
  • Set a new Michigan best with 12 points 
  • Last Michigan Special Teams Player of the Week: Jake Moody (Nov. 20, 2022)

 
Freshman of the Week
Dillon Thieneman, Purdue
DB – Westfield, Ind. – Westfield

  • Made two interceptions to set a new school record for interceptions by a freshman in a single season (6), helping Purdue to a 35-31 win over Indiana
  • Led the Boilermaker defense with a team-high eight tackles, all solo, breaking Rod Woodson’s school record for solo tackles in a single season. Woodson had 67, Thieneman finished the season with 74
  • Recorded his first multi-interception game of his career and first for any Boilermaker this season
  • Last Purdue Freshman of the Week: Dillon Thieneman (Nov. 13, 2023)

MAC ANNOUNCES FINAL FOOTBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK AWARD WINNERS

MAC East Division Offensive Player of the Week
Kurtis Rourke, Ohio, QB               
Grad., Oakville, Ontario, Canada (Holy Trinity)  
Highlighted by becoming the second leading passer in program history, Rourke led the Bobcats to a 25-14 victory over the Akron Zips (Nov. 24). The quarterback’s rushing touchdown marked Ohio’s first touchdown of the game, followed by a two-point conversion to cut the deficit to three points. Their next drive, Rourke reclaimed the Ohio’s lead with a one-yard passing touchdown to wide receiver Miles Cross.
 
MAC East Division Defensive Player of the Week
Jordan Porter, Bowling Green, DL            
Senior, Muskegon, Mich. (Muskegon HS)
Jordan Porter played a crucial role in Bowling Green’s 34-10 victory over Western Michigan. In the game, Porter totaled four tackles and showcased his defensive prowess by forcing a fumble. Notably, he achieved a career-high with two timely sacks in the first half, contributing to BGSU’s impressive 5.0 sacks and 7.0 tackles for loss as a team. The Falcons’ defense, led by Porter, effectively limited Western Michigan to 258 yards of total offense. In the first half alone, Porter and the defense held the Broncos to a mere 117 yards, allowing the Falcons to secure a commanding 31-3 lead at halftime. This victory was particularly significant for the team as it marked BGSU’S first winning season since 2015.
 
MAC East Division Special Teams Player of the Week
Jack Wilson, Ohio, P      
R-Jr., Lancefield, Victoria, Australia (Gisborne Secondary College (ProKick Australia))     
Wilson recorded three punts in the Bobcats’ final regular-season victory on Friday (Nov. 24), averaging 43.3 yards per punt. His longest punt of the day (58) matched the career-high he set against Miami (Ohio) earlier this season (Oct. 28).
 
MAC West Division Offensive Player of the Week
Peny Boone, Toledo, RB               
Junior, Detroit, Mich. (King)
Peny Boone rushed for 186 yards and two touchdowns in Toledo’s 32-17 win over CMU on Nov. 24. It was his second-highest output and eighth 100-yard game of the season. He is the first Rocket to break the 100-yard mark eight times in a season since Kareem Hunt did it in 2016. Boone now has 1,359 for the season, which ranks fifth in the nation. He is also third in the country in yards per carry (7.43) and fifth in rushing TDs (15).
 
MAC West Division Defensive Player of the Week
Ray Thomas, NIU, Defensive End             
Junior, Racine, Wis. (Washington Park) 
NIU leading tackler Ray Thomas recorded his second double-figure tackle game of the season with 10 stops, including seven solo tackles and added a tackle for loss as the Huskies defeated Kent State 37-27 to earn bowl eligibility. NIU outscored the Flashes 27-10 in the second half while holding KSU to 17 rushing yards.
 
MAC West Division Special Teams Player of the Week
Mitchell Tomasek, Eastern Michigan, P 
Junior, Columbus, Ohio (Worthington Kilboure)
Mitchell Tomasek continued to flip the field for the Eagles as he averaged 43.2 yards per punt, including two of his five kicks being downed inside the 20-yard line, to help Eastern to a 24-11 win at Buffalo for not only the first road win of the season for EMU, but also making the team bowl eligible for a program-record third consecutive season. The second-ranked punter in the MAC and 19th nationally with 45.3 yards per punt, Tomasek currently sits third in the FBS with 24 punts inside the 20 while his 2,764 yards of accumulated punts standing fifth nationally and eighth in EMU single-season history.

ALABAMA, GEORGIA FIX ON FIGHT FOR SEC, CFP SPOT

Championship preparation is the theme of the week for Georgia and Alabama.

Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban, once the boss of Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart, has Alabama positioned to play for the SEC title after an emotional comeback win over Auburn in the Iron Bowl on Saturday.

The reward for Alabama is a rematch with Georgia in Atlanta with a spot in the College Football Playoff on the line.

“I don’t think people realize how hard it is to win 29 games in a row, or even go 12-0 in a season,” Saban said Monday. “They’ve got good players. Well coached. This is a team that doesn’t have a whole lot of weaknesses. That’s why they are who they are, what they are.”

Georgia defeated Georgia Tech 31-23 on Saturday to set the record for consecutive wins by an SEC program.

Neither team lost a conference game heading into the SEC title matchup in a league each has dominated in recent years.

Saban and Alabama won 26 consecutive games (2015-16). The Crimson Tide won the SEC Championship in 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 202 and 2021. Georgia won last year and lost to national champion LSU in 2019.

“It’s phenomenal what he’s accomplished,” said Saban, who promoted Smart to defensive coordinator at Alabama in 2008. He remained in that role until he accepted the Georgia job in 2016.

But if the Bulldogs lose for the first time in 30 games this weekend, there’s no guarantee a CFP spot will be available. Florida State and Texas could make cases to join Michigan and Alabama in that hypothetical scenario.

Alabama is the last team to beat Georgia, 41-24 in the 2021 SEC Championship. Georgia then defeated Michigan in the CFP semifinals and won the first of back-to-back championships by avenging that defeat to the Crimson Tide.

This version of Alabama had Smart doing double-takes in film preparation. As usual, it starts with Alabama’s versatile and dynamic defense.

“Size, speed, toughness, aggressiveness, players that play multiple positions,” Smart said Monday of the Crimson Tide defense.

Saban downplayed the similarity between approaching this game and the Alabama victory on Dec. 4, 2021, but plans to call on his upperclassmen to show his team how to prepare for Georgia.

“I have a great appreciation for this game. I grew up in the SEC, an SEC footprint kid, grew up coaching in the SEC. I have an appreciation for this game, how hard it is to win,” Smart said. “In some ways, Alabama and us, have been spoiled. I don’t think some kids appreciate, they think it’s a rite of passage. It’s not, it’s earned.”

AP TOP 25 REALITY: TIME FOR UPSETS HAS PASSED WITH LITTLE CHAOS AND RANKED TEAMS WITH GAUDY RECORDS

The time for upsets has come and gone with little chaos in college football and not much movement in the AP Top 25 for much of the season.

For the first time in more than 14 years, the same eight teams held the top eight spots in the poll for five straight weeks.

Behind No. 1 Georgia this week was Michigan returning to No. 2, followed by Washington, Florida State and Oregon in the top five. Ohio State slipped to No. 6 after losing to Michigan.

No. 7 Texas and No. 8 Alabama held their spots. Eight playoff contenders, four unbeaten and four 11-1. All but Ohio State will play in a conference championship game next week.

Throughout the entire Top 25 the records are gaudier than usual.

Last year the Top 25 teams heading into championship weekend had lost 59 games. In 2021, that number was 47.

This year, the Top 25 has 40 combined losses after the completion of the 12-game regular season. Of those 40 losses, 24 have come against other teams that currently are ranked.

Has that made life easy on AP poll voters this year? Maybe a little, but Reality Check will always find places to ponder the rankings.

No. 1 Georgia (12-0)

Next: vs. No. 8 Alabama, SEC championship, Saturday.

Reality check: The Bulldogs allowed 10 rushing touchdowns combined in their two championship seasons. This season: 12. Weird to see Georgia with a so-so run defense.

Ranked: Just right.

No. 2 Michigan (12-0)

Next: vs. No. 18 Iowa, Big Ten championship, Saturday.

Reality check: Loss of G Zak Zinter (left leg) will test the Wolverines’ depth up front if they end up in a third straight College Football Playoff.

Ranked: Just right.

No. 3 Washington (12-0)

Next: vs. No. 5 Oregon, Pac-12 championship, Friday.

Reality check: Huskies don’t have a Hypnotoad but all these close victories — now six straight by 10 points or fewer — give them 2022 TCU vibes.

Ranked: Just right.

No. 4 Florida State (12-0)

Next: vs. No. 15 Louisville, ACC championship, Saturday.

Reality check: Seminoles found some offense in the second half after a rough start with QB Tate Rodemaker against Florida. That offense was RB Trey Benson, who scored three touchdowns.

Ranked: Just right.

No. 5 Oregon (11-1)

Next: vs. No. 3 Washington, Pac-12 championship, Friday.

Reality check: Oregon is tied for 12th in the nation in defense at 4.83 yards per play allowed with … yes, Georgia.

Ranked: Just right.

No. 6 Ohio State (11-1)

Next: TBD.

Reality check: When you have a perennial top-five program, especially these day when rosters can be so fragile with the transfer portal, you don’t make coaching changes unless you absolutely have to. Ohio State doesn’t.

Ranked: Little high.

No. 7 Texas (11-1)

Next: vs. No. 19 Oklahoma State, Big 12 championship, Saturday.

Reality check: RB Jaydon Blue had a breakout game (121 yards on 10 carries) against Texas Tech as the Longhorns look for someone to pick up some of the slack for the loss of star Jonathon Brooks.

Ranked: Touch low.

No. 8 Alabama (11-1)

Next: vs. No. 1 Georgia, SEC championship, Saturday.

Reality check: Tide allowed 244 yards rushing against an Auburn team that could barely complete a pass. Puzzling.

Ranked: Just right.

No. 9 Missouri (10-2)

Next: TBD

Reality check: Tigers have the SEC’s leading rusher in RB Cody Schrader, a former D-II transfer and walk-on, and third-leading receiver in Luther Burden III, a former five-star recruit.

Ranked: This group of four teams is tricky. This one is fine.

No. 10 Penn State (10-2)

Next: TBD.

Reality check: Incongruous stats: Nittany Lions rank 14th in the nation in scoring at 37 points per game, but 81st in yards per play at 5.46.

Ranked: Little high.

No. 11 Mississippi (10-2)

Next: TBD.

Reality check: Rebels had never won 10 regular-season games and now have done it twice in three seasons under coach Lane Kiffin. Complain about his failure to win more “big games,” but Ole Miss throughout its history often loses a lot of the not-so-big games.

Ranked: Little low.

No. 12 Oklahoma (10-2)

Next: TBD.

Reality check: S Billy Bowman Jr. had an All-America season with six interceptions, three returned for touchdowns.

Ranked: Little low.

No. 13 LSU (9-3)

Next: TBD.

Reality check: OLB Harold Perkins Jr. didn’t have the dominant season many expected after flashing huge potential as a freshman last year. Still, on a defense that struggled in general, he showed improvement throughout.

Ranked: Just right.

No. 14 Arizona (9-3)

Next: TBD.

Reality check: After one of the best turnarounds of the season, now the goal for the Wildcats is to keep coach Jedd Fisch in Tucson.

Ranked: Just right.

No. 15 Louisville (10-2)

Next: vs. No. 4 Florida State, ACC championship, Saturday.

Reality check: Despite the loss to Kentucky, Cardinals still looks good to earn a spot in the Orange Bowl as long as Florida State makes the CFP.

Ranked: This works.

No. 16 Notre Dame (9-3)

Next: TBD.

Reality check: Been some complaints about Notre Dame’s offense, but it ranks ninth in the country in yards per play (6.95). Last time the Irish finished a season with a top-10 offense was 2015.

Ranked: Just right.

No. 17 Tulane (11-1)

Next: vs. No. 25 SMU, AAC championship, Saturday.

Reality check: Green Wave are 23-3 over the last two seasons, a remarkable achievement for a program that had three previous double-digit win seasons, two coming in the 1930s.

Ranked: This is fine.

No. 18 Iowa (10-2)

Next: vs. No. 2 Michigan, Big Ten championship, Saturday.

Reality check: Hawkeyes closed the season on a four-game winning streak, during which they averaged 15 points per game. Amazing.

Ranked: Too high.

No. 19 Oklahoma State (9-3)

Next: vs. No. 7 Texas, Big 12 championship, Saturday.

Reality check: Ollie Gordon II saved the Cowboys’ season with five touchdowns against BYU. If a running back breaks into the Heisman top five this season, it should be OGII.

Ranked: About right.

No. 20 Liberty (12-0)

Next: vs. New Mexico State, Friday.

Reality check: With a late-season surge that included 765 yards rushing over the last two games, the Flames lead the nation in rushing at 295 per game.

Ranked: Little high.

No. 21 (tie) North Carolina State (9-3)

Next: TBD.

Reality check: Under-the-radar quality season by coach Dave Doeren and the Wolfpack, led by LB Payton Wilson, who is an All-America lock and in contention for all the defensive player of the year awards.

Ranked: Little low.

No. 21 (tie) Oregon State (8-4)

Next: TBD.

Reality check: The final results of D.J. Uiagalelei’s second chance after Clemson were OK. The Beavers were a good team and the quarterback was solid, but when teams forced Oregon State to lean on him it didn’t go great.

Ranked: Just right.

No. 23 Toledo (11-1)

Next: vs. Miami, Ohio, MAC championship, Saturday

Reality check: The MAC championship used to routinely produce drama with coaches who might be leaving for bigger jobs. Rockets coach Jason Candle could be in that position this year.

Ranked: Just right.

No. 24 James Madison (11-1)

Next: TBD.

Reality check: The Dukes will go bowling thanks to a shortage of six-win teams. Now let’s see if we can get them a good opponent.

Ranked: Just right.

No. 25 SMU (10-2)

Next: at No. 17 Tulane, AAC championship, Saturday.

Reality check: Mustangs’ first appearance in the AAC title game has been fueled by a top-10 defense.

Ranked: Just right.

SHEDEUR SANDERS MISSED UTAH GAME WITH FRACTURE IN BACK, ACCORDING TO VIDEO

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Colorado quarterback Shedeur Sanders missed the season finale at Utah on Saturday due to a fracture in his back, according to a YouTube video posted by “Well Off Media.”

The site is run by one of coach Deion Sanders’ children and has been tracking the Buffaloes with behind-the-scenes footage throughout the season. The title of the video was, “Colorado Ends Their Season 4-8 With Loss To Utah: PAC 12 Refs Are TERRIBLE: Shedeur’s Injury.”

It’s unclear when Shedeur Sanders suffered the injury. He was sacked 52 times this season behind a struggling offensive line that Deion Sanders has pledged to bolster before next season. Shedeur Sanders needed at least two pain-numbing injections this season to get through games and a few days off from practice every so often to recover from hits.

Sanders discussed his latest injury on the video as he walked onto the field Saturday. He was asked if the injury would be revealed after the Utah game and he wasn’t sure. A graphic flashed on the screen, saying, “he has a fracture in his back.”

“It’s crazy because I feel good, bro,” Shedeur Sanders said on the video before the Buffaloes’ 23-17 loss to the Utes dropped them to 4-8 in their final season in the Pac-12 before bolting for the Big 12. “But when I start running for real, it’s like the idea is, ‘I feel good.’ Realistically, bro, you can’t. I can’t even throw right now.”

Sanders threw for 3,230 yards to break the program’s single-season record of 3,200 set by Sefo Liufau in 2014. Sanders also finished with 27 touchdown passes, just one shy of tying the mark held by Liufau. Sanders also completed 69.3% of his passes, another top mark.

It was a roller-coaster first season for Deion Sanders after he was brought in to turn around a 1-11 program. The team started 3-0 before losing eight of nine to end the year. Their only win during the skid was a 27-24 victory at Arizona State on Oct. 7 courtesy of a field goal in the waning seconds.

Colorado was the talk of college football all season long, with Folsom Field the place to be. The Buffaloes sold out all six home games for the first time in school history, with many a celebrity showing up on the sideline.

MIDDLE TENNESSEE FIRES RICK STOCKSTILL AFTER 18 SEASONS

Middle Tennessee fired football coach Rick Stockstill after 18 seasons on Monday.

The Blue Raiders finished 4-8 this season and were 113-111 in his tenure with 10 bowl appearances (4-6 record).

“This is one of the most difficult days in my tenure, but one I feel is necessary in our aspiration to compete and win championships,” athletic director Chris Massaro said in a news release. “I appreciate everything Rick, his wife Sara, and their family have done the last 18 years for MTSU Athletics, our football program, and, more importantly, our student-athletes. Because of his leadership, our student-athletes have performed at a high level in the classroom, have dedicated time and energy to supporting our community and have given us countless hours of dedication to being successful on the football field. I want to thank Coach Stockstill for his professionalism, character and dedication, and wish him well in his future endeavors.”

The school said a national search for Stockstill’s replacement will begin immediately.

Stockstill, 65, was hired in December 2005 after working as an assistant coach at South Carolina, East Carolina, Clemson, UCF and Bethune-Cookman.

He was named the Sun Belt Coach of the Year in 2006 and 2009 and earned the same honor in Conference USA in 2018.

Stockstill’s best season came in 2009 when he guided Middle Tennessee to a 10-3 record and a New Orleans Bowl win. The Blue Raiders were 8-5 with a Hawaii Bowl victory in 2022.

REPORTS: FLORIDA FIRES TWO ASSISTANT COACHES

After a 5-7 finish to the 2023 season, Florida started to make immediate changes to its staff on Monday by firing co-defensive coordinator Sean Spencer and secondary coach Corey Raymond, according to multiple media reports.

Spencer, 52, spent the past two seasons working under Gators head coach Billy Napier after serving as the defensive line coach for the New York Giants from 2020-21. Prior to his time in the NFL, he also made stops at Penn State, Vanderbilt, Bowling Green, UMass, Hofstra and Villanova.

After working on LSU’s coaching staff from 2006-08 and 2012-21, the 54-year-old Raymond came over to Florida for the 2022 campaign. During his time with the Tigers, he worked with a handful of first-round NFL draft picks, including Tyrann Mathieu and Jamal Adams.

Raymond also coached at Utah State and Nebraska in between his stints at LSU.

The Gators’ defense was in its first season under defensive coordinator Austin Armstrong and ranked 122nd in the nation in yards allowed per play. Florida surrendered 18 touchdowns while picking off just three passes.

With their 5-7 record, the Gators missed out on being bowl-eligible for the first time since 2017, when they went 4-7.

DUKE STARTS PROCESS OF REPLACING MIKE ELKO AFTER AN UNUSUALLY SHORT COACHING STINT IN DURHAM

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Duke made a rapid climb under Mike Elko. Now they’re searching for a new football coach after an unusually short tenure.

Texas A&M officially named Elko its next football coach on Monday, ending Elko’s two-year stint that saw the Blue Devils win 16 games and twice reach bowl games. That marked only the second time in nearly a century that a Duke coach was on the job for three or fewer seasons.

Athletics director Nina King said it had been “a busy day” that included conversations deep into Sunday night with Elko as he was engaged in talks with A&M, where he worked as defensive coordinator before taking over in Durham in 2021.

“We’ll be thorough in our process and we will certainly work swiftly as we have done before,” King said in a statement to reporters Monday, though she didn’t take questions.

That will be important. NCAA rules permit players to enter the transfer portal for 30 days after a coaching change, allowing them to formally explore moves elsewhere. Additionally, the portal window officially opens next Monday, which offers coaching staffs the ability to seek out help from other schools.

The school needed 12 days to hire Elko after David Cutcliffe’s exit.

The last time a Duke coach stayed three or fewer seasons came when Steve Spurrier left for Florida after a 1987-89 run that included the program’s last Atlantic Coast Conference title in his final season. Elko and Spurrier are the only Duke coaches to stay three or fewer years since 1925, spanning the Blue Devils’ time in the Southern Conference before becoming a charter ACC member in 1953.

King said associate head coach and running backs coach Trooper Taylor would work as the interim coach while the school searches for Elko’s replacement. She said she met with the players Monday morning, and has Zoom meetings scheduled for that night with verbally committed recruits as well as in the coming days with the families of current Blue Devils players.

Elko won nine games and a bowl in his debut season, then guided Duke to a seven-win regular season with a weekend win against Pittsburgh. This year’s team opened with a rout of preseason ACC favorite Clemson, cracked the AP Top 25 amid a 4-0 start and even hosted ESPN’s “College GameDay” for the first time in football — after multiple visits here for the storied men’s basketball program — ahead of a ranked-vs-ranked matchup against Notre Dame.

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

PURDUE CLIMBS TO NO. 1 ASSOCIATED PRESS TOP 25

Purdue parlayed its run to the Maui Invitational championship into the No. 1 spot in the Associated Press Top 25.

The Boilermakers (6-0), who spent seven weeks at the top of the men’s basketball poll last season, received 60 of the 63 first-place votes after knocking off Gonzaga, Tennessee and Marquette in Hawaii.

Purdue, No. 2 Arizona (6-0), No. 3 Marquette (5-1) and No. 4 UConn each moved up one spot, with former No. 1 Kansas (5-1) slipping to fifth.

The Wildcats received one first-place ballot and the defending national champion Huskies picked up two.

No. 6 Houston (7-0) held steady, with Duke (5-1), Miami (5-0), Baylor (6-0) and Tennessee (4-2) rounding out the top 10.

The rest of the AP Top 25:
11. Gonzaga (4-1)
12. Kentucky (5-1)
13. Florida Atlantic (5-1)
14. Texas A&M (6-1)
15. Creighton (5-1)
16. Texas (5-1)
17. North Carolina (5-1)
18. Villanova (6-1)
19. BYU (6-0)
20. Colorado State (6-0)
21. Mississippi State (6-0)
22. James Madison (6-0)
23. Alabama (5-1)
24. Illinois (5-1)
25. Oklahoma (6-0)

FAU made the biggest climb, rising six spots. Creighton took the steepest decline, falling seven spots.

Villanova, BYU, Colorado State, Illinois and Oklahoma joined the poll. Colorado, Michigan State, Arkansas, Southern California and Virginia fell out.

MAC MEN’S BASKETBALL

FALCONS’ HILL TABBED MEN’S BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK

MAC Men’s Basketball Player of the Week

Marcus Hill, Junior, Guard, Bowling Green 

Rockford, Ill. (Rockford Christian)

Marcus Hill was a key piece for the Falcons as they went 2-1 at the Northern Classic this past weekend. Hill led the Falcons in scoring in each game and paved the way in assists twice as well. His best game of the weekend came against Lipscomb, playing all 40 minutes of action and recording a season-high 33 points while shooting 65.2% from the field. Against the Bisons, Hill put together a complete stat line with five assists, four rebounds and a steal. This came after he started the weekend with 29 points, a then season-high, against Western Kentucky while adding five rebounds and shooting 71.4% from the field. Hill wrapped up his weekend with 26 points in the win over Canisius, including the go-ahead bucket with less than a minute left in the game to seal the win for the Falcons. He finished with four assists and three rebounds against the Griffins.

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

SOUTH CAROLINA STAYS UNANIMOUS NO. 1; USC MOVING UP

South Carolina stayed atop The Associated Press Top 25 on Monday — again unanimously, with all 36 voters agreeing — after improving to 5-0 with a pair of easy victories last week.

UCLA (6-0), Stanford (7-0), Iowa (7-1) and NC State (7-0) make up the remainder of the top five in the women’s college basketball poll.

The Bruins took down UConn at the Cayman Islands Classic, defeating the Huskies for the first time.

The University of Southern California (5-0) reached rare air, moving into sixth place in the poll for the Trojans’ best ranking since 1994.

Following a loss to NC State, previously No. 3-ranked Colorado (6-1) dropped to a tie for seventh with LSU (7-1).

Virginia Tech (5-1) is ninth, followed by Texas (7-0) and UConn (4-2).

The rest of this week’s Top 25:

12. Utah (5-1)
13. Baylor (5-0)
14. Kansas State (6-1)
15. Florida State (5-1)
16. Ohio State (5-1)
17. Indiana (5-1)
18. Notre Dame (5-1)
19. Ole Miss (6-1)
20. Tennessee (4-2)
21. Mississippi State (8-0)
22. Louisville (6-1)
23. Marquette (6-0)
24. North Carolina (5-2)
25. Princeton (4-2)

Marquette and Princeton joined the poll this week while Washington State and Oklahoma fell out.

NBA NEWS

NBA ROUNDUP: JOEL EMBIID, 76ERS DEMOLISH LAKERS

Joel Embiid recorded the sixth triple-double of his NBA career with 30 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists to help the Philadelphia 76ers earn a 138-94 win against the visiting Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night.

Tyrese Maxey scored 31 points and shot 5-for-12 from 3-point distance, helping the 76ers shoot 22-for-46 as a team from deep, one trey short of the franchise record. Philadelphia won for the fourth time in six games.

LeBron James scored 18 points and passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most minutes played, regular season and playoffs, in NBA history when he crossed the 66,298-minute mark.

Anthony Davis had 17 points and 11 rebounds and D’Angelo Russell contributed 12 points and seven assists for the Lakers, who had won four of five.

Nuggets 113, Clippers 104

Reggie Jackson had season highs of 35 points and 13 assists, DeAndre Jordan added season bests of 21 points and 13 rebounds, and the duo used familiar surroundings to power short-handed Denver past host Los Angeles.

The two former Clippers stepped up for the Nuggets, who were without Nikola Jokic (back), Aaron Gordon (heel) and Jamal Murray (hamstring). Jokic, a two-time MVP, missed a game for the first time this season.

Kawhi Leonard scored 31 points and Ivica Zubac added 23 points and 14 rebounds for the Clippers, who had won four of their previous five games. Leading scorer Paul George finished 2 of 13 from the field and scored just six points.

Wizards 126, Pistons 107

Kyle Kuzma racked up 32 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists as visiting Washington snapped a nine-game losing streak by pulling away to beat reeling Detroit.

The Pistons lost their 14th consecutive game, tying the franchise record for the longest skid in a single season. They also dropped 14 straight during the 1993-94 and 2021-22 seasons.

Cade Cunningham led Detroit with 26 points and seven assists. Ausar Thompson tossed in 16 points and Jaden Ivey had 15 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. The Pistons went 8-for-38 (21.1 percent) from 3-point range.

Blazers 114, Pacers 110

Jerami Grant scored 17 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter as Portland beat Indiana in Indianapolis.

Malcolm Brogdon scored 24 points against his former team, while Deandre Ayton had 22 points and 13 rebounds for the Trail Blazers. Portland won for the second time in three games following an eight-game losing streak.

Tyrese Haliburton led the Pacers with 33 points and nine assists. Myles Turner, Bennedict Mathurin and Bruce Brown each added 11 points for Indiana, which has alternated wins and losses for eight games.

Jazz 114, Pelicans 112

Rookie Keyonte George scored 19 points and hit a key 3-pointer to help guide Utah past New Orleans in Salt Lake City.

The Jazz played without leading scorer Lauri Markkanen (left hamstring soreness) for the second straight game, but they used a balanced attack to beat the Pelicans at home for the second time in three nights. Seven Utah players finished in double figures.

Zion Williamson led the Pelicans with 26 points and seven assists after sitting out the Jazz’s 105-100 win over the Pelicans on Saturday night.

NHL NEWS

NHL ROUNDUP: FLAMES CLIP KNIGHTS IN FINAL SECONDS OF OT

MacKenzie Weegar scored with 4.8 seconds remaining in overtime to give host Calgary a comeback 2-1 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday as the Flames opened a six-game homestand on a positive note.

A.J. Greer also scored for the Flames, who received a scintillating 27-save performance from goaltender Dan Vladar.

William Karlsson tallied for the Golden Knights, the defending Stanley Cup champions who are sputtering on a 3-5-2 run and have scored only three goals in their past four games. Goalie Adin Hill stopped 32 shots.

Late in the extra session, Weegar grabbed the puck deep in his zone, weaved through the Golden Knights and ripped a shot from the right faceoff dot for his fifth goal of the season and the first overtime winner of his career.

Blue Jackets 5, Bruins 2

Yegor Chinakhov’s goal and assist helped Columbus to a victory over visiting Boston, sending the Bruins to their longest skid in a year-and-a-half.

The Blue Jackets dominated with a 40-33 advantage in shots on goal, including 19-9 in the second period, as they won for the third time in four games and forced Boston to make its first in-game goaltender change of the season. Bruins coach Jim Montgomery replaced Jeremy Swayman with Linus Ullmark in the second period after Columbus’ second goal.

Rookies Matthew Poitras and John Beecher each scored in the third period for Boston, which has lost three straight in regulation for the first time since April 2022.

Panthers 5, Senators 0

Sam Reinhart had two goals and Sergei Bobrovsky needed to make just 20 saves for his 40th career shutout as Florida rolled to a victory over host Ottawa.

Sam Bennett had a goal with an assist, Carter Verhaeghe and Eetu Luostarinen scored late and Aleksander Barkov assisted on each of the season-high three power-play goals for Florida, which avoided a third straight loss.

Joonas Korpisalo stopped 33 shots for the Senators, who have dropped two straight after winning three in a row.

Sabres 5, Rangers 1

Alex Tuch scored twice and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 25 saves as visiting Buffalo rebounded from one of its worst showings of the season by beating New York.

Luukkonen helped the Sabres recover from a horrific defensive showing in a 7-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. He highlighted his third straight win by making a diving stick save on Jimmy Vesey’s attempt into a vacated net to protect a two-goal lead early in the third period.

New York had gone 11-0-3 in the teams’ past 14 meetings.

Avalanche 4, Lightning 1

Ryan Johansen scored two goals and Cale Makar had a goal and an assist as Colorado beat Tampa Bay in Denver.

Valeri Nichushkin also scored for the Avalanche, Alexandar Georgiev turned away 40 shots and Nathan MacKinnon had two assists to extend his home point streak to 10 games. Colorado has won four consecutive games and seven of its past eight.

Anthony Cirelli scored and Andrei Vasilevskiy had 20 saves in his second game of the season for the Lightning.

WILD FIRE COACH DEAN EVASON AMID LOSING SKID

After a seven-game losing streak and a 5-10-4 start to the season, the Minnesota Wild fired head coach Dean Evason and assistant coach Bob Woods on Monday.

The moves come in advance of the Wild’s home game against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday. No replacement or interim coach was immediately named.

Minnesota is 0-5-2 over its seven-game skid and 3-4-2 at home this season.

Evason, 59, departs with a 147-77-27 record since he was named head coach in February of 2020. The Wild advanced to the playoffs in each of the past four seasons under Evason but never got past the first round. They lost a qualifying-round series in 2020.

Only the rebuilding Chicago Blackhawks are worse than the Wild in the Central Division, while Minnesota is the third-worst team in the NHL. The Wild’s 77 goals allowed are fourth worst in the league they are the NHL’s worst team with a 66.7 penalty-kill percentage.

“We need to understand what is at stake here,” Wild forward Pat Maroon said after a 4-1 loss Sunday to the Detroit Red Wings. “We’re losing points by the sack.”

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

REPORT: DODGERS, OF JASON HEYWARD AGREE TO 1-YEAR, $9M DEAL

The Dodgers and outfielder Jason Heyward are in agreement on a one-year, $9 million deal, MLB Network reported Monday.

The 34-year-old free agent batted .269 with 15 homers and 40 RBIs in 124 games in his first season with Los Angeles in 2023.

He is a career .258 hitter with 174 homers and 681 RBIs in 1,703 games with the Atlanta Braves (2010-14), St. Louis Cardinals (2015), Chicago Cubs (2016-22) and Dodgers.

Heyward is a five-time Gold Glove winner and made the National League All-Star team in 2010. He won a World Series with the Cubs in 2016.

He played last season on a one-year, $720,000 contract after batting .204 with one homer in 48 games in his final season with the Cubs.

REPORT: BLUE JAYS JOIN MIX OF TEAMS INTERESTED IN OHTANI

The market for Shohei Ohtani gained another suitor.

The Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, and Toronto Blue Jays are chasing baseball’s biggest star, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

While the Dodgers and Rangers have already been linked to the 29-year-old free agent this winter, the Blue Jays’ interest appears to be new and adds intrigue to the offseason race to sign Ohtani, who’s expected to secure a multi-year deal in the $500-million range.

The Blue Jays need a designated hitter as Brandon Belt is now a free agent, and Ohtani would certainly help improve a Toronto offense that finished 14th in runs scored and 16th in home runs last season.

Ohtani might be the biggest free-agent prize in sports history after winning the second unanimous AL MVP of his six-year big-league career. In 135 games with the Los Angeles Angels this past season, he slashed .304/.412/.654 with a league-leading 44 home runs, 95 RBIs, and 20 steals.

Ohtani also posted a 10-5 record alongside a 3.14 ERA and 11.4 K/9 in 23 starts as a pitcher. He won’t pitch next season due to offseason elbow surgery but should be ready to play without restrictions as a designated hitter.

Toronto is coming off a disappointing finish to its 2023 campaign, being swept in the two-game wild-card series by the Minnesota Twins after winning 89 games during the regular season.

The Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox are two other teams showing interest in Ohtani, according to offseason rumors.

TOP INDIANA SPORTS RELEASES/ NEWS

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

Cathedral QB Danny O’Neil, who committed to Colorado and coach Deion Sanders in March, will reopen his recruitment. The 6-1, 190-pound O’Neil, rated as a three-star prospect at the No. 8 in-state player in the 2024 class by 247Sports, completed 61.6% of his passes as a senior for 2,068 yards and 31 touchdowns with 10 interceptions and rushed for 722 yards and eight TDs. Illinois and Kentucky were at least two of the schools that were high on O’Neil’s list prior to his commitment. Louisville, Indiana, Purdue, Northwestern, Syracuse, West Virginia and Wake Forest were also among his offers.

INDIANA BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME

INDIANA BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCES 62ND MEN’S INDUCTION CLASS

Name                                                          High School                                          Graduation
John AdamsRising Sun1961
Brian BippusIndiana School for the Deaf1987
Clarence CrainIndianapolis Shortridge1969
Dan DakichAndrean1981
Chuck DeVoe*Park School1948
Emery Druckamiller* !Syracuse1922
Jay FryeGreencastle1968
Al GoodenFt. Wayne Wayne1977
Dick HarrisLiberty Center1964
Doug Linville*New Salem1965
Jim Morris*Jeffersonville1953
Joe MullanEvansville North1961
Pete SmithRochester1979
Bill WalkerNew Castle1970
Larry WeatherfordEvansville Bosse1967
James “Lil Bro” Webb*South Bend Adams1973
Gene WhiteMilan1954
* Indicates deceased
! Indicates Centennial Award

John Adams was a 1961 graduate of Rising Sun High School.  He scored a career 1,568 points as a four-year starter.  He lettered in basketball, baseball, and track – where he set the school’s high jump record, as well.  Named to the North-South All-Star team his senior season before enrolling at the University of Kentucky where he became the team’s leading rebounder and earned the Kentucky’s Most Valuable Senior Award during his senior season.  After graduating from Kentucky with a bachelors in Commerce, he played on several AAU teams in Lexington, earning 1973 AAU National Champions, and then played in Argentina, Brazil, England and Mexico.    Adams currently is a part time hearing officer for numerous boards for the Kentucky High School Athletic Association.

Brian Bippus graduated from Indiana School for the Deaf in 1987, where in his senior season, won the National Deaf Basketball Championship.  In Bippus’ senior season, he was MVP, Captain, All-City, All Sectional, 1st Team Deaf All-American, CSSD All-Star, and the State’s leading rebounder.  Bippus went to Gallaudet University where he averaged over 18 points a game in his four years. He left Gallaudet as the school’s All-time leading scorer and 2nd team Academic All-American.  After graduation with a bachelors in math, he played club basketball in the United States for over 22 years, and competed in various Deaflympics games beginning in 1989, winning gold medals in several games.  Currently, Bippus is a math professor for Vincennes University on the ISD campus.

Clarence Crain, a 1969 Shortridge graduate, averaged 16 points per game his senior season, becoming the leading scorer on a 22-4 team that lost to Washington in the regional.  He was selected All-City, All-Sectional, All-Regional, and an Indiana All-Star.  Crain was a 1994 Silver Anniversary Team member, as well.  Playing at Butler, where he averaged 10.3 points and 4.2 rebounds his senior year, Crain won the 1973 MVP, Hilton U. Brown Mental Attitude Award, and played in the Indiana-Ohio College All-Star game.  Crain graduated from Butler in 1973 with a degree in business administration.  Crain has officiated basketball for 19 years, and in 1999 was voted “Man of the Year” by the 100 Black Men of Indianapolis and Past President; Man of Excellence by the Circle City Links.  Currently, Crain sits on the Lilly Endowment Board of Directors.

Dan Dakich graduated from Andrean in 1981, where his junior and senior teams went a combined 47-6, where he averaged 23.3 points per game and roughly 7.5 rebounds as well.  During Dakich’s senior season, he was selected All-Sectional, All-Regional, All-Semi-State and All-State 1st Team.  He was a 1981 Indiana All-Star, and a 2006 Silver Anniversary Team member.  Dakich went to Indiana University where his sophomore season, the Hoosiers were Big Ten Champions.  As a senior, Dakich was named Team Captain along to the All-Hoosier Classic Team.  Dakich later went on to be a Graduate Assistant at Indiana, then coached at Bowling Green from 1997-2006 while serving as interim coach at Indiana in 2008.  After coaching, Dakich had a radio show on 1070 in Indianapolis, and currently hosts of a radio show on OutKick.

The late Chuck DeVoe, graduated from Park School in 1948, where his senior season he was named Captain, All-Conference, All-Tourney and his team was Runner-up in the Gold Medal Tourney.  DeVoe attended Princeton, where he was a three-year letter winner, earning 1st Team All-Ivy League and was named team Captain and MVP as a senior.  DeVoe, along with his brother, were instrumental in forming the ABA, and bringing the Pacers to Indianapolis, later getting them into the NBA.  He succeeded his brother as the second President of the Indiana Pacers.  From 1952-1954, DeVoe served in the U.S. Army, earning rank of 2nd Lieutenant, passing away in 2013.

The late Emery Druckamiller captained his Syracuse teams all four years, until graduating high school in 1922.  In one game, “Druck” scored 32 points in a 52-50 win and 18 of the team’s 20 points in a sectional victory.  He was a unanimous All-State selection, while also earning All-County, All-Sectional and All-Regional honors. Druckamiller went on to attend Indiana University where he played four years of basketball and baseball, and earning team captain in 1926 after the team won the 1925 Big Ten Championship.  He went on to coach at Syracuse and Angola High Schools, and taught for 35 years.  In 1937, he started and coached basketball and baseball at Tri-State, which he did for 11 years.  Druckamiller passed away in 2001.

Jay Frye, a 1968 Greencastle graduate, was a three-sport standout, playing basketball, football, and baseball.  Frye earned All-Conference, All Sectional, All-Regional, All-Semi-State while averaging 13.5 points and 8 assists per game.  He was also a 3 year starter in football, and a 4 year starter in baseball, where one highlight was pitching a 16 strikeout, no hitter as a sophomore.  Frye went to DePauw, where he graduated with a bachelors in zoology.  Playing basketball and baseball at DePauw, Frye was named “One of the Outstanding College Athletes of America” in 1972, while being named the shortest starting guard in the nation both junior and senior years.  After DePauw, Frye graduated from Ohio State in Physical Therapy.  Frye had a private practice in physical therapy along with being a physical therapist for the US Ski Team in 1998.  Frye is an entrepreneur in various businesses, and has owned the Ft. Wayne Fury since 1991. He serves on many NBA/CBA committees, including head of the Relations Committee.

Al Gooden graduated from Ft. Wayne Wayne in 1977, where he was All-Conference and Honorable Mention All-State as a junior and senior, where he averaged 20 points and 14 rebounds during his senior year.  Gooden attended Ball State, where he was All-MAC both junior and senior seasons, along with being a member of the MAC Champions, MAC Tourney Champions, and being the first Ball State team to play in the NCAA Tournament.  Gooden graduated as Ball State’s all-time leader in FG percentage.  Upon graduation in 1982 with a degree in P.E. and Health, Gooden coached high school basketball in Ft. Wayne, Heritage, Harding, New Haven, and Lawrence Central.  He has a career winning percentage of 63% (525-308), and was crowned 2001 2A State Champion, 4 State Runner-Ups, 5 Semi-State Championships, 6 Regionals, and 14 Sectional titles. 

Dick Harris, holds the career scoring record at Liberty Center of 1,000 points, including a 9-overtime game against Swayzee in 1964.  Harris also played 3 years of baseball and ran track for 3 years at Liberty Center, before graduating in 1964.  After graduating, Harris went to Manchester, where he was named 4-time All-Indiana College Athletic Conference, 3-time All-NAIA District and All-American, and holding 3 of the 4 top single game best scoring efforts in school history.  He scored a career 2,643 points at Manchester, holding numerous Manchester basketball records.  After graduating from Manchester in Biology, Harris played 15 years for independent basketball teams both in the United States and FIBA teams.  Harris served in the U.S. Army along with teaching, later becoming a pilot.  Currently Harris is a member of the Paralyzed Veterans of America.

The late Doug Linville graduated from New Salem in 1965, where he averaged 27.5 points his junior year, and 28 points his senior year, earning him the all-time leading scorer in New Salem history with a career 2,120 points.  Linville graduated from Brevard Jr. College with an Associates Degree in P.E. where he averaged 13 points and 13 rebounds per game.  From 1966-67, Linville went to West Florida where he graduated with his bachelors in P.E. and was the teams MVP both his junior and senior year campaigns being named All-regional as well.  Linville was a teacher for 33 years, beginning at Pensacola High School, and 32 years at Mt. Vernon Middle School.  Linville was named West Florida HOF National Distinguished Breeder Award for showing pigs.  Linville passed away in 2008.

The late Jim Morris starred at Jeffersonville High School, where as a senior, was the MVP and his team finished 24-2 (beginning 18-0), being ranked #1 in the State most of the season.  He earned 3 letters in basketball, 4 in baseball, and 1 in football upon graduation in 1953.  Morris attended Notre Dame from 1953-54 where he played basketball and baseball, while being named to the Dean’s List.  Morris graduated from Bellarmine in 1957 with a bachelors in English, he earned 3 letters in basketball and 3 in baseball.  He was named All-Conference and Co-Captain his senior year. He later graduated from Indiana University with a Masters in Education in 1966, and went on to coach high school and college basketball (Oscar Rose Jr College and IU Southeast) earning over 470 wins as a college coach and 310 as a high school coach, and was the first Athletic Director at IU Southeast.  Morris passed away in June, 2023.

Joe Mullan, a 1961 graduate of Evansville North High School, went on to graduate from George Washington University in 1965 with a bachelors in physical education, and in 1966 with a masters in secondary education.  Mullan won the Tommy O’Brien Award (MVP) in 1965.  After graduation, Mullan began coaching in 1967 at Gunston JH in Arlington Virginia.  Mullan became the head coach at Evansville Bosse in 1980, earning multiple City, SIAC, Sectional, and regional titles.  During Mullan’s tenure in 1982 and 1983, Evansville Bosse had undefeated regular seasons while being ranked #1 both years, and #4 in the final USA Today poll in 1983.  Mullan ended his coaching career with a career winning percentage of 79%.

Pete Smith, a 1979 Rochester graduate, led the Zebras to a 16-5 record his senior campaign while being named Defensive Player of the Year, Mental Attitude Award Winner, and team captain.  Smith attended Bethel College, where he was injured prior to his sophomore year, so began his coaching career his junior year.  He was an assistant at Rochester, South Bend Adams, and Warsaw before becoming head coach at Manchester, Noblesville, Penn, Carmel, and Guerin Catholic.  Smith started the basketball program at Guerin Catholic in 2002, where he was crowned State Champion in 2012 and 2016.  Smith amassed 389 wins in his career, and a winning percentage of 61%.  Smith has earned numerous honors from the IBCA including District Coach of the Year.  Smith had the honor of being an assistant coach for the McDonald’s All-American game, Director of the IN/KY All-Star Series, and a director of 5-Star Summer Basketball Camps for 24 summers. 

Larry Weatherford graduated from Evansville Bosse in 1967, scoring a career 1,559 points, averaging 28.5 points, 12 rebounds, and 6 assists as a senior.  Being named to the Indiana All-Star team as a senior, Weatherford attended Purdue University and graduated in 1971 with a bachelors in P.E. During his playing career at Purdue, Weatherford scored over 1,100 points, averaging over 21 points per game his senior season.  Weatherford was a 5th round pick by the Chicago Bulls in 1971.  Since his playing career, Weatherford has been Director of the Evansville Community Center, Deputy Sheriff, and a Supervisor/Instructor at the Evansville YMCA, along with several other jobs. 

The late James “Lil Bro” Webb graduated from South Bend Adams in 1973 and was the second freshman to start for a South Bend school.  His senior year accolades included All-Sectional, All-Regional, All-Semi State, All-Conference, and Indiana All Star.  He was the leading scorer in South Bend/St. Joseph’s County history with 1,769 points, most FT’s (291), and was named to the Silver Anniversary Team in 1998. Webb attended Cincinnati, playing in 26 games in 74-75 before not playing in 75-76 due to illness.  Webb then went to California State Polytechnic, where he averaged 10 points per game from 1977-79.  Webb played Semi-Pro in Mexico where he averaged 26 points per game.  Webb passed away in 1988.

Gene White, a 1954 graduate of Milan High School, earned All-Sectional, All-Regional, All-Semi State his junior and senior seasons, and All-State his senior year.  He was on the 1954 Milan State Champion basketball team, before heading to Franklin where he graduated in 1958 with a bachelors and a masters in 1967 from Indiana University.  At Franklin, in addition to playing basketball, White also played baseball.  After graduation from Franklin, White served in the U.S. Army, and became AD and basketball coach at Milan, where he won the 1985 sectional title.  White coached at Franklin College from 1987-1994, where he led the women’s team to 158 wins (2nd all time), and then again served as Franklin Colleges women’s coach from 1999-2000. He was the three-time Indiana Collegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year. He is retired from Franklin Schools.

Bill Walker is the recipient of the 2024 Indiana Pacers Silver Medal Award for contributions to Indiana basketball other than as an Indiana high school player or Indiana high school coach. Bill is a graduate of New Castle High School where he lettered in cross country, track, and was a student manager for the basketball team. Bill is the current treasurer and executive committee member of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.  Bill graduated from Indiana University in 1974 with a bachelors in radio/tv, then a masters in journalism from Ball State in 1977.  Bill was inducted into the Huntington North Sports Hall of Fame in 2009 for his work as the public address announcer for baseball and football for over 30 years.  He oversaw the Huntington North High School radio station while teaching at Huntington North High School from 1974-2007.  Bill has also kept stats and been the public address announcer for Huntington University.  He received the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame President’s Award in 2019, and the IASB John King Award in 2022. 

The Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame’s 62nd Men’s Awards Banquet is planned for Wednesday, March 20, 2024.  The day’s events will include a reception at the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Museum in New Castle that afternoon with a banquet that evening at the Primo Banquet Hall in Indianapolis.

INDIANA PACERS

GAME REWIND: PACERS 110, TRAIL BLAZERS 114

After a game consisting of 13 lead changes and 10 tied scores, the Indiana Pacers (9-7) fell to the Portland Trail Blazers, 114-110, on Monday night to close out a three-game homestand.

Tyrese Haliburton led the way for Indiana, ending the night with 33 points on 11-of-17 shooting from the floor and 3-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc. With his third 3-pointer of the night in the third quarter, Haliburton recorded his 500th career 3-point field goal. Haliburton also dished out a team-high nine assists.

Myles Turner, Bruce Brown and Bennedict Mathurin followed behind with 11 points each. Turner pulled down a team-high eight rebounds. Buddy Hield added nine points in his fourth consecutive start.

Indiana’s bench outscored the Portland reserves, 37-18.

A 3-pointer from Obi Toppin 15 seconds after the tip got the momentum going for the Pacers. Indiana maintained its lead for the next four minutes with the help of six points from Toppin and four points from Myles Turner.

However, the Trail Blazers did not remain far behind. In the midst of a 13-5 Trail Blazer scoring run, a layup from Deandre Ayton gave Portland its first advantage of the game at the 8:18 minute mark and sparked what became a half of back-and-forth play. Ayton opened the quarter 4-of-4 from the floor and finished the first frame with 12 points.

Tyrese Haliburton led the Pacers in the first quarter by recording 12 points on the strength of 4-of-6 shooting from the floor.

Indiana closed the first quarter with the advantage, 34-30. Neither team led by more than four points within the frame.

The Trail Blazers caught fire to open the second frame. A 18-6 scoring run, fueled by 11 points from Malcolm Brogdon, allowed Portland to take a seven-point lead on one occasion. The Pacers closed their largest deficit of the night with a 12-4 scoring run to take a one-point lead at the 4:23 minute mark but could not hold on to the advantage long as Portland closed out the half ahead, 65-60.

Indiana struggled shooting beyond the arc in the first half, going 5-of-15 from the 3-point line. In addition, the Pacers only recorded one 3-pointer on six attempts in the second frame.

Portland closed out the second quarter outscoring the Pacers, 35-26.

After his second slam dunk of the night, Haliburton ended the half with a team-high 20 points in the scoring column. Turner added eight points and six rebounds, while Buddy Hield, Bruce Brown and Toppin followed behind with seven points apiece.

Three Trail Blazers recorded double figures in the first half: Malcolm Brogdon (15), Ayton (14) and Jerami Grant (13).

The Pacers chased the Trail Blazers throughout the entirety of the third frame, as Portland took as much as an eight-point lead. Though opening the second half shooting 66.7 percent (6-of-9) from the floor in the first six minutes of play, Indiana then went scoreless on nine attempts.

Though struggling to get a shot to fall on the offensive end of the court, Indiana’s defense kept the lead within the reach by holding the Trail Blazers to 6-of-17 shooting from the floor.

After trailing Portland for 11 and a half minutes, a Pacers 16-6 scoring run was capped off with a layup from Bennedict Mathurin, giving Indiana its first lead since the 3:29 minute mark in the second quarter. The Pacer two-point lead was short-lived when a jump shot from Scoot Henderson tied the game, 83-83, at the buzzer.

T.J. McConnell checked into the game for the first time in the third quarter to contribute four rebounds, one steal, one block and two assists.

Jalen Smith left midway through the third quarter with a left heel contusion and did not return.

With roughly six minutes remaining in the game, the Trail Blazers sealed their win with the final lead change of the game from a jump shot by Jerami Grant. Grant went 7-of-6 from the floor in the fourth frame to total 17 points.

Though unable to complete the comeback effort, the Pacers made a run for it in the final minutes of play. After Turner stole the ball off of a Trail Blazer inbound pass following a timeout, he passed it off to Haliburton who found Brown under the basket for a wide-open dunk, putting Indiana within two points. In Portland’s next possession, Malcolm Brogdon ran down the clock and finished off the game with a completed jumper to solidify a Portland four-point victory.

Portland (5-12) was led by Grant’s 34 points on 12-of-18 shooting from the floor and a perfect 3-of-3 shooting clip from beyond the arc. Brogdon and Ayton both tied season-highs with 24 points and 22 points respectively. Ayton also recorded a team-high 13 rebounds.

Inside the Numbers

After completing his third and final 3-point field goal of the night, Tyrese Haliburton racked up his 500th career 3-pointer.

The Pacers struggled from beyond the arc in the loss as they completed only eight 3-pointers on 33 attempts (24.2 percent). Portland went 9-of-18 from the 3-point line.

Indiana was strong in the paint, outscoring the Trail Blazers, 58-44.

The Blue and Gold was supported by their bench Monday night, who outscored the Portland reserves, 37-18. The five Indiana reserves who contributed to the scoring column were led by Bennedict Mathurin’s 11 points and Jalen Smith’s nine points.

Indiana was plagued by turnovers as they recorded a season-high of 20.

You Can Quote Me On That

“I think that when we look at some of our losses, I think we’re just starting the game slow and that’s on me and the first group to set the tone from the jump and not wait for the second group to go out there and defend.” – Haliburton on starting the game strong

“Getting up for In-Season Tournament games and thinking that we can walk out and just beat other teams is ignorant. And I’ve got to do a better job of convincing our guys that. It’s very disappointing.” – Head Coach Rick Carlisle on motivating the team

“McConnell was a bright spot. What he is going through this year, with inconsistent playing time and ‘DNPs’ and all that, to come in and just give absolutely every ounce of everything he had to get us back to even was awesome to see.” – Carlisle on McConnell

“Rick can draw up X’s and O’s and try to light a fire under us all that he wants to, but players got to take responsibility at some point. I think that’s what it really is at this point. Just got to ride together and get things done.” – Myles Turner on team mentality

“You’re gonna have days where you miss shots. But Indiana fans can tell when the team is playing as hard as they possibly can play. And we didn’t do that tonight. We didn’t do it for stretches of a lot of those (home losses). We’re paying the price and it’s unfortunate.” – Carlisle on team effort

“We’re frustrated about this one, but there’s 82 games, and more than likely we’ll win four games that we’re not supposed to. It’s hard not to look at it that way, but I think that’s kind of what you gotta do to move on. But this is a bad loss.” – Haliburton on the loss

“We turned it over 20 times. That is going to hinder fast break opportunities. They play at a more of medium pace. They’re not a real fast-paced team and they did a good job of controlling tempo with some matchups. And Grant hit some hellacious shots. They had a game in Milwaukee yesterday that they should have won and they came in here with some resolve and we just weren’t up to the task.” – Carlisle on Portland

“Whenever Ayton gets out the game, they switch everything and slow teams down, force them to play in the half court. Obviously we like to get out and run in transition. We got away from being ourselves, especially in the first half. We just didn’t play our brand of basketball.” – Myles Turner on Portland’s defense

“A lot of the guys are young. A lot of the guys haven’t gone through this kind of a year with real expectations. I’ve got to help them with it. Our staff has to help them with it. We’ve got to give them the truth without sounding like we’re preaching all the time. I’ve been around long enough to know that a coach’s voice can only be heard so much of the time. I’m trying to give them the right messaging at the right times, but I have to do a better job.” – Carlisle on coaching

Stat of the Night

Indiana’s reserves played a pivotal role in the comeback effort Monday night. Five bench players from the Blue and Gold ended the night in the scoring column and outscored the Trail Blazers reserves, 37-18. The Indiana reserves also contributed a total of 24 rebounds and nine assists.

Noteworthy

Tyrese Haliburton recorded his 500th career 3-pointer on Monday night.

Pacers forward Jalen Smith left the game midway through the third quarter after suffering from a left heel contusion. Smith did not return to the game.

Up Next

The Pacers head to Miami for a two-game set against the Heat. They first play on Thursday, Nov. 30 at 7:30 PM ET and then meet again on Saturday night.

INDY FUEL

INDY FUEL PIT STOP: WEEK 6

  • INDY FUEL WEEK SIX RESULTS 1-1-1-0
  • INDY FUEL OVERALL RECORD 4-8-2 (7th in Central Division)

GAME 12 – WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 22 AT CINCINNATI – 7-3 L

The Fuel went southeast to Cincy to take on the Cyclones in their third matchup this season between the two. The Cyclones saw more of the same success against Indy as they pulled away in the 2nd period for a 7-3 victory.

GAME 13 – FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 24 VS. FORT WAYNE – 3-2 OT L

 The Fuel hosted the Fort Wayne Komets on Black Friday after Fort Wayne claimed an overtime win on their annual Thanksgiving Day game just a day before. In an exciting and close matchup, the Komets came away with another overtime win, this time 3-2 in Indy.

GAME 14 – SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 26 AT KALAMAZOO – 4-2 W

The Fuel finished their weekend in Kalamazoo with a Sunday afternoon matchup against the K-Wings. In their fifth meeting so far this season, the Fuel came away with a 4-2 victory. 

ROSTER MOVES

  • Luc Brown and Kirill Chaika traded to the Jacksonville Icemen (11/23)
  • Anthony Petruzzelli and Victor Hadfield traded to Fuel (11/23)
  • Zach Jordan recalled to Rockford (11/23)
  • DJ King returned by Rockford (11/25)
  • Bray Crowder signed to Indy (11/26)

OIL DROPS

  • Colin Bilek is on a three-game goalscoring streak. His first game with the Fuel upon returning from injury was on Friday.
  • Another run for the Fuel is Cam Hillis, he is on a four-game point streak. He currently leads the Fuel in points with 14. 
  • Both Martin brothers, Jordan and Jon, scored in Sunday’s matchup. 
  • Goalie Mitchell Weeks deflected a penalty shot against Cincinnati’s Lee Lapid on Wednesday. 

TEAM NOTES

  • Indy are 6th in the league on home power plays and 7th with home penalty kills. 
  • The 2nd period continues to be the strong front for the Fuel, with a majority of their scoring and shots occurring in the 2nd period.
  • Indy broke their five-game road winless streak with the win in Kalamazoo Sunday. 

INDY FUEL WEEK 7 SCHEDULE

  • GAME 15 – WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 29 VS. WHEELING 
  • GAME 16 – FRIDAY, DECEMBER 1 AT FORT WAYNE
  • GAME 17 – SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2 VS. WHEELING
  • GAME 18 – SUNDAY, DECEMBER 3 VS. FORT WAYNE

INDIANA VOLLEYBALL

KJOLHEDE TABBED BIG TEN DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

ROSEMONT, Ill. –  After leading the Hoosiers to a brilliant blocking weekend and a pair of victories at Michigan State and Michigan, Indiana senior middle blocker Savannah Kjolhede was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, as announced by the conference office on Monday (November 27th) afternoon.

Kjolhede was instrumental in a weekend that saw IU record 26 total team blocks across two matches including 15 in a resounding defensive effort at Michigan. The Colleyville, Texas native went for 16 blocks in total against the Spartans and Wolverines with seven block assists in each match and a pair of solo stuffs on Black Friday at the Breslin Center.

To pair with her defensive performance, Kjolhede contributed 15 kills on the offensive end while hitting a collective .393 in a pair of victories. She helped lead IU to its 21st win of the season on Saturday at Michigan, matching a program record for regular season wins.

The senior middle blocker was sixth in the Big Ten in hitting percentage (.361) and 12th in the conference in total blocks (117.0) in 2023. She finishes her IU career as one of three players in program history with a career hitting percentage of .300+ and a total of 380+ blocks (Deyshia Lofton and Ashley Benson).

On the season, IU earned five Big Ten weekly awards; distributed among three different players. She is the first IU player to earn Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors since libero Paula Cerame in 2022.

IU’s three conference weekly award recipients (Kjolhede, Camryn Haworth and Ramsey Gary) in 2023 matches a program record set back in 2009 (Benson, Jordan Haverly and Caitlin Cox).

INDIANA FOOTBALL

CASEY EARNS SECOND B1G DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK AWARD

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – In his final game in the cream and crimson, Indiana football senior linebacker Aaron Casey provided one of the best defensive performances of his career in the Battle for the Old Oaken Bucket and was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week for the second time in 2023.

Of Casey’s 11 tackles in the game, nine were solo stops and he posted 4.0 tackles for loss. Of his tackles behind the line of scrimmage, one was a solo sack of Hudson Carr and included a forced fumble on the play. His 4.0 tackles for loss are tied for No. 5 on the IU single game charts and tie a career high.

It is the second time in 2023 that Casey logged 4.0 tackles for loss in a game, as he also accomplished the feat versus Wisconsin in Week 10. The Douglasville, Georgia, native is the only FBS defender with 4.0 or more tackles in a game multiple times in 2023.

Casey is the first Indiana defender to earn multiple Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week awards in a career and it is just the second time in program history the Hoosiers have earned multiple defensive player of the week awards in a single season (2020).

In 2023, Casey ranks No. 2 nationally in tackles for loss (20.0) and solo tackles (78), with both totals leading the Big Ten. His 109 total tackles sit No. 4 in the Big Ten and No. 23 in the FBS, and mark the first 100-tackle season by an IU defender since Tegray Scales (126) in 2016. His 20.0 tackles for loss are tied for No. 4 on the single season charts with Nathan Davis (1995) and were the most by an IU defender since Scales’ 23.5 in 2016. Of his 20.0 tackles for loss, 19 of those were solo TFLs, which led the FBS.

PURDUE MEN’S BASKETBALL

EDEY TABBED BIG TEN PLAYER OF THE WEEK FOR 7TH TIME

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – After a dominating performance in the Allstate Maui Invitational, center Zach Edey has been named the Big Ten Player of the Week for his role in Purdue’s championship.

It marks the seventh time he has been named Big Ten Player of the Week during his career, tying a school record set by Glenn Robinson (1993-94). It is the third-most Player of the Week honors in league history, behind Evan Turner (Ohio State; 2008-10) and Cassius Winston (Michigan State; 2017-20).

In wins over No. 11-ranked Gonzaga, No. 7-ranked Tennessee and No. 4-ranked Marquette, Edey averaged 25.3 points, 13.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game. He tallied 25 points and 14 rebounds against Gonzaga, 23 points and 10 rebounds in just 26 minutes against Tennessee, then finished with 28 points and 15 rebounds in the title game against Marquette.

Over his last four games, all 20-10 outings, Edey is averaging 26.0 points, 12.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game in just 32.0 minutes per game.

His 28-point, 15-rebound effort against the Golden Eagles made him just the third player since the 1996-97 season to have at least 25 points and 15 rebounds in a top-5 matchup joining Wake Forest’s Tim Duncan (1996-97) and Tyler Hansbrough (2007-08) on the list.

For the season, Edey ranks sixth nationally in scoring at 23.0 points per game, while also averaging 11.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per contest. He leads the country in both free throw attempts (66) and free throws made (48) as well as double-doubles (5), and has been named the game MVP in every game played this year, via KenPom.com. Edey is the current run-away leader in the early KenPom Player of the Year ratings.

For his career, Edey has scored 1,671 points with 916 rebounds, 165 blocks and 112 assists in 105 career games.

Edey and his teammates will host Texas Southern on Tuesday, at 8:30 p.m. ET, in Mackey Arena.

BOILERMAKERS VOTED #1 IN THE AP TOP 25 POLL

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – For the third straight season, the Purdue men’s basketball has ascended to the top spot of the AP Top 25, when the poll was announced Monday afternoon.

The Boilermakers received 60 of the 63 first-place votes to outdistance No. 2-ranked Arizona by 105 points. Marquette, UConn and Kansas round out the top five. Purdue and Illinois (#24) are the only Big Ten teams ranked.

Purdue received the school’s first No. 1 ranking on Dec. 6, 2021, when it was ranked No. 1 for one week during the 2021-22 season. A year ago, Purdue was ranked No. 1 for seven weeks during the year.

It marks the first time in conference history that a Big Ten team has been ranked No. 1 in three consecutive seasons. Purdue is one of nine schools (UCLA, Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, Gonzaga, Virginia, North Carolina, Villanova) to have been ranked No. 1 in three straight seasons.

This also marks the ninth week in the last three seasons that Purdue has been ranked No. 1, tied with Gonzaga for the most in the country during that stretch. Prior to the 2021-22 season, Purdue had never been ranked No. 1.

The Boilermakers are off to a 6-0 start with four wins over teams ranked in the KenPom top-30 (Xavier, Gonzaga, Tennessee and Marquette). Purdue became the second team in the last 15 years to defeat three top-15 teams on three consecutive days when it won the Maui Invitational last week (No. 11 Gonzaga, No. 7 Tennessee, No. 4 Marquette).

During the last three seasons, Purdue has started 8-0 (2021-22), 13-0 (2022-23) and now 6-0 (2023-24).

Purdue hosts Texas Southern on Tuesday night in Mackey Arena at 8:30 p.m. ET, before traveling to Northwestern on Friday for the Big Ten opener at 9 p.m. ET, in Evanston, Ill.

#1 PURDUE TUNES UP FOR BIG TEN PLAY VS. TEXAS SOUTHERN ON TUESDAY

GAMEDAY INFORMATION — GAME 07

[1] Purdue (6-0) vs. Texas Southern (0-6)

8:30 p.m. ET | West Lafayette, Ind.

Mackey Arena | 14,876

TELEVISION: BTN (Matt Schumacker, Robbie Hummel)

RADIO: Purdue Global Radio Network (Rob Blackman, Bobby Riddell)

THE NOTES TO KNOW

• Returning home for the first time in two weeks and as the nation’s No. 1-ranked team, Purdue tunes up for Big Ten play with a contest against a 2023 NCAA Tournament team in Texas Southern. The Boilermakers are looking for their third straight undefeated November in addition to their 24th straight non-conference victory at Mackey Arena against a team that has played the third-toughest schedule in the country to date.

• Purdue’s schedule has been a gauntlet itself early on, owning three top-10, and four top-30 victories (Xavier, Gonzaga, Tennessee, Marquette). The Boilermakers currently own the ninth-ranked schedule in the country.

• With the Maui Invitational title, Purdue has now won three straight Feast Week tournaments, posting an 8-0 combined record in the events. Seven of the victories have come against teams ranked in the top 25, including six wins against teams ranked in the top 11.

• Purdue became just the second team in the last 40 years (UConn – March 2011) to beat teams ranked in the AP top 15 on three consecutive days with its wins over No. 11 Gonzaga, No. 7 Tennessee and No. 4 Marquette.

• Purdue has won 30 straight regular-season, non-conference games, dating to a Dec. 8, 2020, setback at Miami, Fla. The streak is the longest in the country by a whopping 12 games (Connecticut – 18). A win over Texas Southern would tie Purdue with Villanova for the longest non-conference, regular-season winning streak for any team over the last 10 years (Villanova – 31; 2015-18).

• Purdue’s 64 wins since the start of the 2021-22 season are tied for the fourth most in the country (Houston – 72, Kansas – 67, Arizona – 67, Duke – 64, Gonzaga – 63, UCLA – 62). Among Big Ten teams, Iowa (49) and Wisconsin (49) are next on the list.

• Purdue was voted No. 1 in the AP Top 25 poll on Monday, the third straight year that the Boilermakers have been ranked No. 1. Prior to the 2021-22 season, Purdue had never been ranked No. 1. Purdue is the first Big Ten program to be ranked No. 1 in three straight seasons.

• Since the start of the 2021-22 season, Purdue has spent nine weeks ranked at No. 1, tied for the most in the country with Gonzaga.

• With its No. 1 ranking this week, Purdue has been ranked in the top 5 of the AP poll in 19 straight weeks, the longest-active streak in America by 11 weeks (Kansas – 8). It has been ranked in the top 3 in 14 of those 19 weeks.

• Zach Edey was named the Big Ten Player of the Week on Monday for the seventh time in his career. It ties a school record set by Glenn Robinson and now trails just Ohio State’s Evan Turner (10) and Michigan State’s Cassius Winston (8) on the career list.

• Zach Edey is 1-of-2 players nationally to average at least 20.0 PPG, 10.0 RPG and 2.0 BPG this season, doing that in just 28.8 minutes per game. He is also already ranked No. 1 in the 2024 KenPom Player of the Year standings, being named the MVP in all six games played. At his current averages of 23.0 PPG, 11.5 RPG and 2.8 BPG, he would become the third player in the last 30 years to reach those marks (Colgate’s Adonal Foyle – 1996-97; Tennessee State’s Carlos Rogers – 1993-94).

• A year ago, Purdue became the first team since Wisconsin in 2015 to win an outright Big Ten regular-season title and the Big Ten Tournament title in the same season. Purdue became the first team in Big Ten history to win the regular-season title by at least three games and win the Big Ten Tournament in the same season. No team since Michigan State (1999, 2000) has won consecutive Big Ten Tournament and outright regular-season championships.

• Purdue is in search for its 26th Big Ten Championship, already owning the most Big Ten titles in league history. Should Purdue win the Big Ten title in 2024, it will mark its fourth title in the last eight seasons and back-to-back titles for the first time since 1994-95-96.

• Matt Painter ranks fifth on the Big Ten’s list for career wins with 419, needing just two victories to tie Illinois legend Lou Henson for fourth (421). On the Big Ten games-only chart, Painter is seventh (209 wins), needing one win to tie Indiana’s Branch McCracken (210).

PURDUE VOLLEYBALL

ANDERSON AWARDED BIG TEN SETTER OF THE WEEK

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Freshman setter Taylor Anderson was selected as Big Ten Setter of the Week, announced by the conference office following the final week of the regular-season.

The Boilermakers own a program-record 15 individual weekly honors this season, including two Setter of the Week and one Freshman of the Week nod for Anderson. The Boilermaker has been honored for two straight weeks (last week: Freshman of the Week). Purdue ends the regular-season with an honoree in five of the last six weeks, including the last three straight.

Anderson led Purdue to back-to-back road wins within 24 hours with sweeps at Michigan and Michigan State to close the regular season and solidify Purdue’s third-place finish in the Big Ten standings. The Boilermaker averaged a league-leading 11.50 assists per set, all the while averaging 1.67 blocks per set, which was third-highest among all Big Ten players.

Purdue hit at some of the most efficient rates of the season with Anderson guiding the team to a .348 attack % at Michigan and a .324 mark at Michigan State.

At Michigan, the San Antonio, Texas, product registered 33 assists, five blocks, four digs and a pair of kills. The following night, she upped her numbers to 36 assists, seven digs and came one-shy of matching her career-high with six total blocks (1-5).

The Boilermakers were selected to host the NCAA First & Second Rounds as a No. 3 seed and will face Fairfield on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET to open the tournament. Then, the winner will take on the winner of No. 6 seed Marquette vs. Eastern Illinois on Friday at 7 p.m. ET. All matches will be streamed on ESPN+.

PURDUE FOOTBALL

THIENEMAN BECOMES FIRST B1G DEFENDER TO WIN FIVE WEEKLY AWARDS

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – With two interceptions and a team-high eight tackles to help Purdue Football beat rival Indiana to end the 2023 season, defensive back Dillon Thieneman was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week for his performance. The weekly accolade was no stranger to Thieneman, as the Purdue freshman earned the honor for the fifth time this season.

Thieneman joins a list of only seven other Big Ten players (six quarterbacks, one running back) to win at least five weekly accolades in a single season, while becoming the first defensive player in conference history to accomplish the feat. He is the first Boilermaker to win a weekly conference award five times. Drew Brees (Offense – 2000), Travis Dorsch (Special Teams – 2001), Kyle Orton (Offense – 2004), Rondale Moore (Freshman – 2018) and David Bell (Freshman – 2019) collected Big Ten weekly honors four times in a season, tying for the previous best.

Ending his first season as a Boilermaker, Thieneman went out with a bang by breaking a pair of school records. The Westfield, Indiana, native made a pair of interceptions in the first half against Indiana, bringing his season total to six to surpass Stuart Schweigert’s freshman record of five for a single season. Thieneman became just the eighth Boilermaker to record six interceptions in a season, the first since Ricardo Allen in 2013.

Along with his pair of picks, Thieneman recorded a team-high eight tackles to lead the Purdue defense in stopping the Hoosiers. All of his tackles were solo, as he broke College Football Hall of Famer Rod Woodson’s Purdue freshman record of solo tackles in a single season. Woodson ended his 1983 freshman campaign with 67 solo tackles, while Thieneman registered 74 this season.

The Old Oaken Bucket Game marked the eighth time that Thieneman paced the Boilermakers in tackles, which includes the first three games and the final three games to bookend the season. Purdue ended 2023 with a double-digit fourth quarter comeback to beat Indiana 35-31 and keep the Old Oaken Bucket for the third straight year.

NOTRE DAME VOLLEYBALL

PALAZZOLO EARNS ALL-ACC SECOND TEAM HONORS

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Junior Sydney Palazzolo earned All-ACC Second Team honors announced by the conference office on Monday, Nov. 27.

Palazzolo led the Irish offensively this season as she recorded a team-best 389 kills and 50 service aces. She finished the regular season 16th in the nation in aces per set (.51) and 59th in the nation in kills per set (3.85).

The outside hitter led the ACC in kills (389), points (461.5) and points per set (4.57). Palazzolo was also second in the conference in kills per set (3.85) and service aces (50). She hit the 1,000 career kills milestone this season as well after recording 20 kills at Virginia to hit 1,000 kills exactly; she currently sits at 1123 career kills after her junior season.

“We are so proud of Sydney and grateful for her contributions to our program this year,” said head coach Salima Rockwell. “She’s not only an offensive threat and a phenomenal volleyball player, but a wonderful human being. She is so deserving of this honor for so many reasons!”

NOTRE DAME WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

HIDALGO WINS THIRD STRAIGHT ACC ROOKIE OF THE WEEK AWARD

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Add another tally to the ACC Rookie of the Week column for Hannah Hidalgo.

On Monday, the freshman guard won her third ACC Rookie of the Week honor in as many tries. She joins Sonia Citron and Brianna Turner as the only Irish to win the ACC award at least three times. Citron and Turner had six each, although they never strung together more than two in a row. Both Citron and Turner ended up being the ACC Rookie of the Year.

Hidalgo continues to wow on the national stage. On Friday, she posted her sixth consecutive performance of at least 20 points. The only other players in Irish history to achieve that feat are Beth Morgan and Arike Ogunbowale. In total over the last week, Hidalgo averaged 24 points, 4.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 5.5 steals. She notched 8 steals at Ball State.

Overall this season, Hidalgo is leading the ACC in both points (25.0) and steals (6.3) per game. There have been six performances of 6 or more steals in the ACC this year. Hidalgo has four of them (and her teammate Cassandre Prosper has another). Hidalgo also leads all ACC freshmen with 5.5 assists per game.

BUTLER FOOTBALL

JYRAN MITCHELL NAMED PFL OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

SAINT LOUIS – Butler running back Jyran Mitchell is the Pioneer Football League Offensive Player of the Year, becoming the second consecutive Bulldog student-athlete to earn the league’s top offensive honor! PFL major award winners are selected by head coaches and were announced by the league office on Monday afternoon.

Mitchell followed 2022 honoree Bret Bushka as Butler products to win the league’s top offensive player. Mitchell won the league’s rushing title with 1,268 net rushing yards – fifth-most among all FCS backs during the regular season. He also was third in the league with 12 rushing touchdowns, and his 15 total touchdowns were tied for the league lead.

In league action, Mitchell amassed 985 rushing yards and 1,147 all-purpose yards – both tops among league runners. Nationally, he finished 10th among FCS runners with 133.64 all-purpose yards per game, fourth in total touchdowns, and eighth in scoring.

Mitchell topped 100 rushing yards in seven games this season. His career-high came in the PFL opener at Stetson with Mitchell running for 209 yards and two scores. He had a three-touchdown game in the Bulldog home opener vs. Taylor and would rush for a TD in every game after that until November.

Mitchell averaged 115.3 rushing yards per game and ranked second in the PFL in yards per carry (6.3). His longest rush was a 67-yard TD run vs. Valpo that helped the ‘Dawgs keep the Hoosier Helmet. A homerun threat, Mitchell had a run of 30+ yards in six games in 2023.

Mitchell caught touchdown passes at Montana, at Dayton, and at Morehead State. He ended the year with 23 receptions and 202 yards, averaging 8.8 yards per catch.

Drake’s Todd Stepsis was tabbed Coach of the Year, Finn Claypool earned Defensive Player of the Year honors, and Shane Dunning rounded out the trio as the league’s Special Teams Player of the Year.

Stetson’s Ronnell Johnson was selected as the Freshman Offensive Player of the Year and teammate Andrew Martin was the Freshman Defensive Player of the Year.

The annual PFL major awards announcement launches the league’s annual awards week. The PFL will announce its 31st All-PFL Teams on Tuesday. The league will also announce its Scholar-Athlete of the Year Wednesday, coinciding with the announcement of the 31st Academic All-PFL teams.

2023 Pioneer Football League Major Award Winners

Offensive Player of the Year: Jyran Mitchell, Butler

Defensive Player of the Year: Finn Claypool, Drake

Special Teams Player of the Year: Shane Dunning, Drake

Freshman Offensive Player of the Year: Ronnell Johnson, Stetson

Freshman Defensive Player of the Year: Andrew Martin, Stetson

Coach of the Year: Todd Stepsis, Drake (unanimously)

Scholar-Athlete of the Year: To be announced Wednesday

BALL STATE VOLLEYBALL

NIVC PREVIEW: WVB VS. ETSU SET FOR THURSDAY

THIS WEEK IN BALL STATE VOLLEYBALL: Ball State will be making its second-ever appearance in the National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC) Thursday, when it travels to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, to take on host Middle Tennessee in a 7 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. CT first serve at Alumni Memorial Gymnasium … The site’s other first round match, which starts at 4 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. CT, features Clemson and Eastern Kentucky … The winners will advance to Friday’s second round showdown at 7 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. CT.

FOLLOW THE ACTION: For fans unable to make it to Murfreesboro, live video and live stats will be available for all three matches in the opening two rounds of the NIVC courtesy of Middle Tennessee … Links to follow the action will be posted on the Ball State women’s volleyball schedule page and on social media when they become available:

https://ballstatesports.com/sports/womens-volleyball/schedule

ABOUT THE NIVC: Produced by Triple Crown Sports, this is the 13th overall season for the NIVC and its sixth in its current format … The NIVC was held for seven seasons (1989-95) as a 20-team event and was reestablished in 2017 with a 32-team field … Champions of the current NIVC era include Boston College (2022), UNLV (2021), Georgia Tech (2019), Iowa State (2018) and Ole Miss (2017) … This will be Ball State’s second NIVC appearance, with the first coming in 2018 … BSU is 0-1 in NIVC play, suffering a 3-1 setback to Valparaiso during the 2018 event.

BALL STATE ALL-TIME: Ball State enters the NIVC with a 1,011-647-2 (.610) all-time record in women’s volleyball … Thanks to its 3-0 sweep of Central Michigan on Sept. 22, the Cardinals became just the 44th program in NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball history to reach 1,000 wins … All-time, Ball State has captured 12 MAC West Division Championships, 10 MAC Regular Season Championships and eight MAC Volleyball Championship titles … Ball State has made 11 appearances in the NCAA Tournament, including three of the last five seasons … BSU has also earned two bids into the NIVC.

IN #MACTION: Ball State finished the 2023 regular season with a 13-5 MAC record to maintain its status as the winningest program in league play with a 446-220 (.670) all-time Mid-American Conference mark … Western Michigan is second on the list, two matches behind the Cardinals at 444-222 (.667).

THE WORTHEN FACTOR: The Cardinals own an even better record when playing at home, boasting a 318-96 (.768) all-time mark inside Worthen Arena … Looking at just opponents from the MAC, Ball State is 235-58 (.802) when battling in Worthen Arena … Overall, no MAC opponent owns a winning record inside Worthen Arena, as the Cardinals have at least a .650 winning percentage against all league schools on its current home floor.

THE ALL-TIME VS. MURFREESBORO TEAMS: Ball State enters the week with a 2-3 all-time record versus teams playing in Murfreesboro … The Cardinals will be playing host MTSU for the first time in women’s volleyball … Ball State is 1-3 all-time versus Eastern Kentucky with the last meeting being a 3-0 (15-7, 16-14, 15-11) EKU victory Sept. 4, 1983 in Lexington, Kentucky … BSU holds a 1-0 edge all-time versus Clemson, with the lone meeting being a 3-0 (16-14, 15-11, 15-11) Ball State win Sept. 1, 1995 in Fort Collins, Colorado.

SCOUTING BALL STATE:

• Ball State enters NIVC with a 16-14 (13-5 MAC) record after suffering a 3-2 setback to sixth-seeded Bowling Green in the quarterfinals of the MAC Volleyball Championship on Nov. 18 … In regular season league play, Ball State’s only losses came to  MAC regular season champion WMU, MAC East Division Co-Champion Buffalo and tournament fifth seed Toledo … Prior to league play, the Cardinals faced one of the MAC’s toughest non-conference slates, including three programs (No. 17 Creighton, No. 19 Dayton and No. 21 Western Kentucky) currently ranked inside the Top 25 of the AVCA/Taraflex Coaches Poll.

• Ball State is one of the nation’s top blocking programs, ranking second in the MAC and 129th nationally with a 2.16 blocks-per-set average … Freshman middle Camryn Wise has played a large role in those numbers over the last 11 weeks, averaging a league-best 1.12 blocks per set which ranks 95th among all NCAA Division I players.

• On the attacking front, redshirt freshman outside Aniya Kennedy leads the league and ranks 34th nationally with a 4.10 kills-per-set average … Fifth-year middle Marie Plitt is BSU’s top attacker by percentage, boasting a .392 rate of success which is third in the league and 26th nationally.

SCOUTING MIDDLE TENNESSEE:

• The Blue Raiders enter the NIVC with a 20-9 overall record, including an 11-5 mark in Conference USA play … MTSU suffered a 3-2 setback to FIU in the quarterfinals of the Conference USA tournament.

• Middle Tennessee is one of the nation’s top attacking teams, ranking fourth among NCAA Division I programs with a .305 team hitting percentage … Kaylee Oscarson leads the squad and is 13th nationally with her .411 mark.

 SCOUTING CLEMSON:

• The Tigers enter the NIVC with a 17-13 overall record, including an 8-10 ACC mark … Clemson closed the regular season with a 3-0 win over Virginia Tech on Nov. 22.

• Clemson is led offensively by Kennedy Wagner’s 223 kills and 2.37 kills-per-set average … However, the team has an overall balanced attack with seven attackers recording at least 137 kills and averaging at least 1.39 kills per set.

SCOUTING EASTERN KENTUCKY:

• The Colonels enter the NIVC with a 21-8 overall record, including an 11-5 ASUN mark … EKU suffered a 3-1 setback to North Florida in the first round of the ASUN Tournament.

• Eastern Kentucky is a balanced squad, ranking 12th nationally with at 14.09 kills per set and 38th nationally at 16.16 digs per set … In addition, the Colonels are 43rd in the country with a .253 hitting percentage.

BALL STATE QUICK HITS:

• Marie Plitt currently leads the squad and ranks 26th nationally with a .392 (291-42-636) attack percentage … Her best effort came in the win over Purdue Fort Wayne (Aug. 26) when she smashed 10 kills on 12 swings with one error for a .750 attacking mark … Plitt also hit .722 (13-0-18) in the win over Kent State (Oct. 27) and .688 (11-0-16) in the victory over Central Michigan (Sept. 21) … Overall, she has hit .500-or-better in 36 career matches … In BSU’s 18 MAC matches this season, Plitt hit a league-best .448 (195-21-388) and averaged 2.95 kills per set.

• Marie Plitt enters the NIVC atop Ball State’s all-time list with a .361 career hitting percentage, just ahead Julie Zilka’s (1998-2001) .360 mark … Plitt has steadily improved each year, hitting .295 as a freshman, .316 as a sophomore, .360 as a junior and a Ball State single season record .404 last year … She is the first player in program history to hit .400-or-above in a single season.

• Marie Plitt, who became Ball State’s all-time leader in sets played at Eastern Michigan (Sept. 30), became the 13th player in program history to reach 1,000 career kills with her first of 10 markers in last season’s NCAA Tournament opening round match at No. 16 Marquette … With 1300 career kills, Plitt currently ranks sixth in program history and needs 63 more to pass Katie Butts’ (1999-2002) total of 1,362 for sixth.

• Marie Plitt has also made her presence felt at the net over her career, ranking fifth in program history with 419 career blocks … She is fifth on Ball State’s all-time charts with 335 career block assists, while ranking ninth with 84 solo blocks.

• Fifth-year defensive specialist Havyn Gates has served as starting libero in 29 of Ball State’s 30 matches this season, and has now started in the off-colored jersey 34 times in her Ball State career … She became the 20th player in program history to reach 1,000 career digs at Ball State with her second of a match-high 21 digs versus Northern Illinois (Nov. 10) … She enters the NIVC with 1,082 digs as a Cardinal … Throw in her 1,124 digs over her two-year career at Indiana Wesleyan (2019-2020) and she owns 2,206 collegiate digs.

• Havyn Gates collected a season-high 32 digs in Ball State’s MAC Volleyball Championship quarterfinal match versus Bowling Green (Nov. 18) … It was her seventh match this season with 20-or-more digs, raising her career total to 31 including her two seasons at Indiana Wesleyan … Gates earned a Ball State career-high 33 digs in a five-set thriller at Central Michigan (Sept. 24, 2022), while registering 42 digs in a match as a freshman at Indiana Wesleyan in 2019.

• Megan Wielonski, who currently ranks sixth in program history with 3,919 career assists, has proven to be one of the nation’s elite setters … In fact, her 3,919 career assists currently rank 14th among all active NCAA Division I players … As a freshman, she finished the 2021 season ranked second nationally with 1,394 total assists … Her sophomore campaign ended with her ranked fourth nationally with 1,358 total assists in 2022 … 30 matches into the 2023 season and Wielonski is 26th nationally with 1,166 total assists.

• In addition to being one of the nation’s top setters, Megan Wielonski is one of the country’s top servers with 139 career aces … The total currently ranks fifth in program history … As a freshman, she ranked eighth among all NCAA Division I players with 58 aces, including a career-high seven vs. Ohio (Sept. 30, 2021) … Her 58 aces in 2021 tied as the sixth most in a single season in Ball State history and were a single season record for a BSU setter, topping Amber Seaman’s total of 51 in 2018 … Last season, she ranked 55th nationally with 46 service aces, while she has a team-leading 35 aces so far this season.

• Aniya Kennedy enters the NIVC leading the league and ranked 34th nationally with a 4.10 kills-per-set average … She’s even better in league play, with a 4.56 kills-per-set average … She has smashed double-digit kills in 24 matches, while leading the team in kills in 21 outings … In BSU’s four-set win over Akron (Oct. 13), Kennedy was credited with a career-high 25 kills, a mark she later tied at Western Michigan (Nov. 3).

 • In fact, Aniya Kennedy’s 25 kills versus Akron (Oct. 13) and at WMU (Nov. 3) are the most for a Ball State player in a match since Kia Holder (2017-20) logged 27 at Eastern Michigan on March 27, 2021 … In addition, the 25 kills tie as the 10th-most by a MAC player in a match this season and are the fourth-best total by a league attacker in a four-set match … Kennedy is the first Ball State player to register multiple 20+ kill matches in the same season since Natalie Risi (2019-22) had two as a freshman in 2019 … In fact, her seven matches with 20-or-more kills this season tie as the eighth-most in a single season in program history and are the most since Sarah Obras (2002-05) registered seven in 2004.

• Madison Buckley has also made a big impact from the attack line, ranking third on the squad at 2.43 kills per set … Her biggest match came when she blasted a career-high 16 kills versus NIU (Nov. 11) … She scored 15 kills versus Bowling Green (Nov. 18) in the MAC Championship, while adding 14 at then-No. 20 Creighton (Sept. 1), versus UIC (Sept. 9) and at Buffalo (Oct. 20) … Buckley has also made her presence felt at the net, ranking second on the team with an 0.81 blocks-per-set average … She has a team-best 90 total blocks this season, including five solo blocks and 85 block assists.

• Freshman Camryn Wise has found a home in the middle of the court over the last 11 weeks, boasting a team and MAC-leading 1.12 blocks-per-set average … She has earned at least two blocks in 19 of the 21 matches she has played, including a career-high nine in four-set wins over Akron (Oct. 14) and Ohio (Oct. 28) … Wise has also aided from the attack line, with 86 kills and a .356 hitting percentage, including a career-high 11 kills at Buffalo (Oct. 21).

• Freshman outside attacker Kendall Barnes has been heating up as of late, including double digit kills in three of BSU’s last five matches … She scored a career-high 14 kills versus NIU (Nov. 10), tallied 11 kills versus Bowling Green (Nov. 18) in the MAC Tournament and earned 10 kills at Western Michigan (Nov. 4).

• Ball State ranks fourth in the MAC and 83rd nationally with at 15.25 digs per set … Havyn Gates leads the squad and is sixth in the MAC with her 4.15 average … Megan Wielonski is not far behind, ranking second on the team at 2.47 … Wielonski is also one dig shy of 1,000 for her career.

BALL STATE MEN’S BASKETBALL

MEN’S BASKETBALL TO PLAY AT LITTLE ROCK ON TUESDAY NIGHT

The Ball State men’s basketball team travels to Little Rock (Ark.) to take on the Trojans at 7:30 p.m. ET (6:30 p.m. CT) in its second road contest of the season.

The Cardinals (5-1) and Trojans (2-4) are scheduled to play for the first time in series history. Ball State beat Arkansas-Pine Bluff 92-74 on Friday afternoon to remain undefeated (5-0) at home and sweep its pair of games in the Midwest Madness: Cardinal Classic.

Basheer Jihad recorded his first career double-double, and first of the season for the Cardinals, with 18 points and 11 rebounds to turn away the Lions on Black Friday. Arkansas-Pine Bluff led 46-40 at halftime, but a consisted Ball State offense, which shot 60+ percent in each half, outlasted the visitors from the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

Little Rock, of the Ohio Valley Conference, has sandwiched wins over Texas State (71-66 on Nov. 6) and Tulsa (84-82 in OT on Nov. 25) with losses to UIC, Northern Illinois and Georgia State (twice). The Trojans are coming off back-to-back overtime games, losing 93-90 to Georgia State before the most recent win against Tulsa.

Ball State recorded a 20-12 record (11-7 Mid-American Conference) in 2022-23 to earn the No. 4 seed in the MAC Tournament. Head coach Michael Lewis enters his second season leading the Cardinals after recent stops as an assistant at UCLA, Nebraska and Butler.

Juniors Mickey Pearson Jr. and Jihad headline the returners, as they averaged 7.7 points and 5.5 rebounds and 7.1 points and 3.6 rebounds per game, respectively, in 2022-23. Three transfers and five true freshmen bolster Ball State’s 2023-24 team.

SCOUTING LITTLE ROCK: The Trojans went 10-21 (6-12 OVC) last season in head coach Darrell Walker’s fifth leading the program and their first in the Ohio Valley Conference. Little Rock made the conference switch after competing in the Sun Belt since 1991.

Senior guard KK Robinson paces the Trojan offense with 19.0 points and 5.4 assists per game, while forward DeAntoni Gordon follows at 17.3 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. Other Little Rock players averaging double figures scoring include Jamir Chaplin (15.8 points, 8.7 rebounds) and Cougar Downing (10.2 points per game).

Chaplin leads the OVC and ranks No. 15 nationally in offensive rebounds per game (4.00) and double-doubles (three).

CARDINAL DIRECTIONS

Jihad leads the Cardinals in scoring (16.0 points per game) and rebounding (6.5) averages. The junior forward out of Detroit has led the Cardinals in scoring four times so far, scoring in double-figures five times, including a pair of games with 20+ points.

The Cardinals lead the MAC and rank in the Top 25 nationally in scoring defense (60.8 points per game, 21st) and scoring margin (+19.7, 22nd).

Ball State’s 20 wins last year were its most since 2016-17 when that team won 21. This season’s Cardinals will look for back-to-back 20-win schedules for the first time since that 2016-17 season.

The Cardinals are a young group, as the roster includes only one senior or graduate student (Ethan Brittain-Watts). Ball State returns only 21.5 percent of minutes played and 19.6 percent of points scored from last year’s team.

Brittain-Watts (Boston University),

Brittain-Watts (Boston University), Jalin Anderson (Loyola Marymount) and Davion Bailey (Southeastern CC) form Ball State’s trio of transfers.

Joey Brown (Indianapolis), Zane Doughty (Indianapolis), Mason Jones (Valparaiso, Ind.), Trent Middleton Jr. (Philadelphia) and Jurica Zagorsak (Zadar, Croatia) are the Cardinals’ quintet of true freshmen.

Ball State recently signed forward Jai Anthoni Bearden (Phoenix, Ariz.) and guard Jermarhi “Fatt” Hill (Bessemer, Ala.) to national letters of intent to form the Cardinals’ 2024 recruiting class.

Up Next

Ball State returns home to host Bellarmine at 2 p.m. on Saturday in Worthen Arena.

INDIANA STATE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

BESS TABBED MVC NEWCOMER OF THE WEEK

ST. LOUIS – After leading Indiana State in scoring against Northern Illinois and having the highest plus/minus against Radford, senior guard Kiley Bess was named the MVC Newcomer of the Week Monday afternoon by the conference office.

Bess was instrumental in the Sycamores earning a split on their trip to Puerto Rico, averaging double-digit scoring for the third straight week while adding significant contributions on both ends of the court. She was a team-high plus-14 against Radford, finishing with four points, five rebounds, three assists, four steals and a block in the win over the Highlanders. Bess found her stroke from behind the arc against Northern Illinois, scoring a team-high 18 points, 12 of which came from 3-pointers, to go along with seven rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals.

She leads Indiana State in scoring at nearly 13 points per game and assists at nearly three per game, while ranking in the top 20 of the MVC in points (12.2), assists (2.8), assist-turnover ratio (1.7) and steals (1.7). Bess also averages a team-leading 32.7 minutes per game, a mark that ranks in the top five in the conference.

The weekly honor is the first MVC honor of Bess’ career and the first MVC weekly honor for a Sycamore since January 2022.

Bess and the Sycamores return to action Saturday at Central Michigan, with tipoff set for 1 p.m.

INDIANA STATE FOOTBALL

BLACKWELL, OLLENDIECK LEAD FIVE SYCAMORES NAMED TO POSTSEASON MVFC ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Maddix Blackwell and Garret Ollendieck were named to the Missouri Valley Football’s postseason Second Team as the duo led five Sycamores to earn postseason honors as announced by the conference office on Monday morning.

Blackwell (defensive back) and Ollendieck (linebacker) earned postseason recognition for the first time in their collegiate careers with both players finishing in the top-five in the MVFC regular season rankings in overall tackles and tackles per game. Jose Vazquez IV (offensive line), Harry Van Dyne (wide receiver), and Lucas Hunter (defensive line) were all named to the MVFC Honorable Mention squad.

Blackwell made major strides in his first full season starting at safety for the Sycamores. The Bloomington, Ind. native became the first Indiana State player to post 100-plus tackles in a single season since Jonas Griffith (2019) on his way to posting 107 stops on the year. He led the Valley in tackles per game (9.73) and recorded seven games with double-digit stops including a season-high 15 against Youngstown State, while adding 13 at North Dakota and 12 in the season finale against Southern Illinois.

He was adept in the turnover game playing a part in five fumbles and two interceptions on the year. Blackwell scored ISU’s first points of the 2023 season with a 75-yard fumble return for a touchdown against Indiana and added a 15-yard fumble scoop-and-score against Southern Illinois in the season finale. He added a third fumble recovery against Ball State to finish second in the MVFC with three recoveries. Blackwell also posted interceptions against both Eastern Illinois and Western Illinois.

Ollendieck finished just shy of 100 tackles finishing with 97 in his second full season with the Sycamores. The Cresco, Iowa native took over as the Sycamores’ starting middle linebacker early in the season and the move paid dividends immediately. Ollendieck finished the season with four consecutive double-digit tackling efforts including a 15-stop game against Youngstown State.

The linebacker was dominant at the point of attack, particularly along the line of scrimmage. He finished third in the MVFC in sacks (7.5) and second overall in tackles-for-loss (13.0) in the regular season. Ollendieck posted a four-game stretch against South Dakota, North Dakota, Youngstown State, and Western Illinois where he recorded a combined 47 tackles, 7.5 tackles-for-loss, 4.5 sacks, and three quarterback hurries. He added a pick-six for the Sycamores returning an interception 27 yards for the score against Illinois State.

Vazquez IV was Indiana State’s top-rated offensive lineman in the 2023 season returning experience and leadership in the trenches for the Sycamores. The Carol Stream, Ill. native posted 41 career starts during his time at ISU including 11 at right guard in 2023. He paved the way for ISU to post 120.9 rushing yards and 264.5 yards of total offense per game and helped ISU win the time of possession battle in six of the eight MVFC games.

Van Dyne was Indiana State’s receiving leader in the 2023 season finishing with 43 catches for a team-high 619 yards, with two touchdowns. The Overland Park, Kan. native highlighted his year with a 10-catch, 122-yard game and a touchdown against Murray State, while adding seven catches for 110 yards against North Dakota. Van Dyne was a proven deep threat for the Sycamores posting a team-high three catches of 40-plus yards on the season including a 54-yard snag against Northern Iowa and a 51-yard reception against North Dakota. He recorded at least 50 receiving yards in six games in 2023.

Hunter earned Honorable Mention honors for the second consecutive season as the Indianapolis, Ind. native continue to clog the lanes in the defensive trenches this year. He finished eighth on the Sycamores with 32 total tackles while adding 3.5 tackles-for-loss and 1.0 sacks. Hunter highlighted his season with his first collegiate interception against North Dakota where the defensive tackle snagged the batted ball and took it back 27 yards against the Fighting Hawks. He forced a fumble against Eastern Illinois and added his first sack of the season in the finale against Southern Illinois.

PURDUE FT. WAYNE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

AMELLIA BROMENSCHENKEL NAMED HORIZON LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

INDIANAPOLIS – Amellia Bromenschenkel of the Purdue Fort Wayne women’s basketball team was selected as the Horizon League’s Player of the Week, the league announced on Monday (Nov. 27).

Bromenschenkel led the Horizon League in scoring this week at 18.7 points per game. She led Purdue Fort Wayne to a 2-1 record at the Gulf Coast Showcase, with the one loss coming to No. 5 Iowa. She shot 61.1 percent from the floor (22-of-36) and 50 percent from 3-point land (8-of-16), leading her to a career high of 27 points on just 14 shots against Delaware. For the week, Bromenschenkel averaged 18.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.0 steals.

This season, Bromenschenkel is leading Purdue Fort Wayne with 15.0 points per game, shooting 50.7 percent from the floor and 47.8 from 3-point range.

This is the second consecutive week the Mastodons picked up the Horizon League’s Player of the Week award. Shayla Sellers earned the honor last week.

Bromenschenkel and the Mastodons will play at Oakland on Thursday (Nov. 30) to open Horizon League play.

PURDUE FT. WAYNE MEN’S BASKETBALL

COREY HADNOT II EARNS THIRD #HLMBB FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK HONOR

INDIANAPOLIS – Purdue Fort Wayne’s Corey Hadnot II has been named the Horizon League Men’s Basketball Freshman of the Week, the league announced on Monday (Nov. 27).

Hadnot II averaged 9.5 points, 2.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists in two games last week. He shot 40.0 percent (6-of-15) from the floor. He opened his week with eight points at San Francisco and then added 11 against Wittenberg.

The Atlanta, Georgia native has won three consecutive Horizon League Freshman of the Week honors to start his collegiate career.

The Mastodons open league play on Wednesday (Nov. 29) against Green Bay at 7 p.m. at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. The ‘Dons are 6-1.

EVANSVILLE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

MAGGIE HARTWIG NAMED MVC FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK

ST LOUIS — With her second double-double performance of the early season, freshman Maggie Hartwig has been named the Missouri Valley Conference Freshman of the Week.

In the Purple Aces lone game of the week, Hartwig had the best all-around performance in the team’s 103-102 triple-overtime win against Chicago State. In 35 minutes of action on Sunday afternoon, Hartwig put up 18 points while pulling down 15 rebounds at Jones Convocation Center. She was also a perfect 8 of 8 from the free throw line to be UE’s only player with multiple trips to shoot 100%.

Hartwig’s highlight play came at the end of the second overtime period against the Cougars on Sunday. The freshman forward kept Evansville in the game to force triple-overtime. Down by a point with seven seconds left, Hartwig put up a second chance shot with two to go, forcing the third overtime where the Aces would win 103-102.

With her second double-double performance, Hartwig is now nationally ranked in rebounds per game with an average of eight rebounds per game. Hartwig is also nationally ranked for double-doubles at 46th with two in five games. She is tied for first in the Valley with four other players all having multiple double-doubles.

The Aces return to action on Wednesday night at home for the first time in two weeks. UE will welcome the Bellarmine Knights to town for a 6 p.m. matchup at Meeks Family Fieldhouse.

EVANSVILLE MEN’S BASKETBALL

BEN HUMRICHOUS NAMED MVC NEWCOMER OF THE WEEK

ST. LOUIS – Helping the University of Evansville improve to 6-0 for the first time since 1964, Ben Humrichous was named the Missouri Valley Conference Newcomer of the Week on Monday.

Humrichous put together one of the top weekends that the University of Evansville men’s basketball program has ever seen.  Averaging 27.5 points per game, Humrichous led the Purple Aces to an 85-77 overtime win at Chattanooga along with a dominant 93-74 triumph over Southeast Missouri State.

He opened the weekend with 28 points in the win over the Mocs. He was 11-for-21 from the field, 5-of-12 from outside and picked up 3 assists, 2 blocks and 2 boards while playing over 42 minutes.

In the second game of the Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Classic, he scored 27 points in a 93-74 win over the Redhawks.  Humrichous converted 11 of his 13 attempts and was a perfect 8-for-8 inside the arc.  He tallied 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks and a steal in just over 37 minutes of work.  He shot 64.7% for the week while finishing at 47.1% from long range.

VALPO MEN’S BASKETBALL

SCHWIEGER NAMED MVC FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK

For the second consecutive week, the Valparaiso University men’s basketball program received recognition from the Missouri Valley Conference office, this time in the form of Cooper Schwieger (Overland Park, Kan. / Blue Valley Southwest [Link Year]) being named the league’s Freshman of the Week.

Schwieger played a key role in Valpo’s 2-0 week, helping lead the Beacons to home wins over Western Illinois and Southern to improve the squad’s early-season record to 4-2. Schwieger averaged 15.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per game over the two triumphs, going 4-for-6 from 3-point range.

The Valpo rookie shared game-high honors with 17 points in Saturday’s win over Southern while also achieving seven rebounds. He had season highs in the scoring column in both games this week, tallying a personal-best 13 in Tuesday’s triumph over Western Illinois before outdoing that total against the Jaguars. He went 4-of-5 at the free-throw line and 11-of-20 (.550) from the floor this week.

For the season, Schwieger has started the first six games of his collegiate career and is averaging 11.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per contest while shooting 46.6 percent from the floor, 40 percent from 3-point range and 78.6 percent from the free-throw line. In the month of November alone, Valpo has already won two MVC weekly awards this season, one away from tying last year’s total for the entire year.

Valpo will open conference play by hosting Drake on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Athletics-Recreation Center. For ticket information, visit valpoathletics.com/tickets. 

VALPO MEN’S BASKETBALL

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL BACK IN MIDWEST, PLAYS AT WESTERN MICHIGAN WEDNESDAY

Valparaiso (0-4, 0-0 MVC)

Game #5 – November 29, 2023 – 6 p.m. CT

at Western Michigan (2-3, 0-0 MAC)

University Arena (5,421) – Kalamazoo, Mich.

Next Up in Valpo Basketball: The Valpo women’s basketball team continues its long stretch between home games on Wednesday evening when the Beacons make the short trip to Kalamazoo, Mich. to take on Western Michigan.

Previously: Senior Leah Earnest set a career high in the scoring department with a game-high 26 points, while freshman Saniya Jackson became the second Beacon in the last week with an eight-steal game as Valpo concluded its extended Thanksgiving week trip with a 78-68 setback at UAB Saturday afternoon. Trailing by 17 in the third quarter, the Beacons went on a 17-3 run spanning the final two periods to cut the deficit to three points, but could get no closer.

Following Valpo Basketball: Streaming Video: ESPN+

Valpo Radio: None

Links for live coverage: Available via ValpoAthletics.com

Head Coach Mary Evans: Mary Evans is in her sixth year at the helm of the program in 2022-23 and owns a record of 55-95. Evans has made an impact on the program in her first four years, raising the team’s level of play to be competitive in a strong Missouri Valley Conference. The 2022-23 season saw Evans lead Valpo to the first win in program history over perennial MVC power Missouri State. The Beacons also won three consecutive road games in Valley play, the first time the program accomplished that feat against three different opponents since 2007.

Series Notes: Valpo and WMU match up for the 15th time in program history on Wednesday, with the Broncos currently owning a 10-4 lead in the all-time series. This is the fourth consecutive season the two teams have met on the hardwood. In last year’s matchup at the ARC, WMU led nearly the entire way en route to a 68-62 victory. Olivia Brown paced the Beacons in that game with 20 points, including a 4-of-5 mark from the 3-point line. Leah Earnest scored 12 points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds, while Ilysse Pitts contributed 11 points.

@ValpoWBB…

…and @ValleyHoops

– Valpo was picked to finish in 10th place in the MVC preseason poll, totaling 162 points, coming in ahead of Evansville and Bradley.

– Valpo is in its seventh season as a member of the Missouri Valley Conference.

– The Valley was ranked 13th in conference NET last season. The MVC ranked 10th in conference NET in 2021-22, seventh in conference NET in 2020-21 and was eighth in conference RPI in 2019-20.

…looking back at last year

– Valpo finished last season with a 7-23 overall record and finished at 5-15 in MVC play, good for 11th in the Valley standings.

– The Beacons earned their first win in program history over perennial MVC power Missouri State.

– Valpo also won three consecutive road games in Valley play, the first time the program accomplished that feat against three different opponents since 2007.

– Ali Saunders was named to the MVC All-Freshman Team.

…at UAB

– Valpo trailed 21-18 at the end of the first quarter and 40-36 at halftime.

– UAB opened the third quarter on a 15-2 run to extend out to a 55-38 lead.

– The Beacons came back with a 17-3 run spanning the end of the third and the start of the fourth quarters. Leah Earnest had 12 of Valpo’s 17 points during that spurt, which brought the Beacons back to within 58-55 with 7:05 remaining.

– The Blazers scored the next eight points, however, and Valpo got no closer than six points the rest of the way.

– Earnest poured in 26 points to easily surpass her previous career best of 20 points, set in last year’s season opener at Central Michigan.

– For the second time this season, a bushelful of Valpo steals contributed to a high turnover total for its opponent. The Beacons racked up 16 steals on Saturday, led by Saniya Jackson’s eight thefts, while the Blazers committed 23 turnovers in all — leading to 22 points off turnovers.

– UAB shot 59.6% from the field, however, to Valpo’s 39.3% clip. The Beacons did have the advantage behind the 3-point line, hitting 9-of-25 (36%) from downtown while UAB was just 4-of-14 (28.6%) from deep.

…at Southern Miss

– The Lady Eagles led 21-8 at the end of the first quarter and extended their lead to 26-9 early in the second period.

– The Beacons stepped up the defensive intensity to close the first half from that point, limiting the Lady Eagles to just three free throws as they went 0-for-9 from the field and committed nine turnovers in the final 8:39 of the half. Valpo ended the half on a 12-3 run to close to within 28-21 at intermission.

– Valpo got as close as five points multiple times in the third quarter, but couldn’t cut the deficit to one possession. Southern Miss closed the quarter on a 12-4 run to lead 48-35 with 10 minutes to play, and Valpo was unable to get any closer than the final margin in the fourth quarter.

– The Beacons held the Lady Eagles to 37.0% overall shooting from the field, 28.6% from the 3-point line and forced 19 turnovers.

– However, Valpo struggled to score on Tuesday, hitting just 27.3% from the floor and 20.0% from the 3-point line. The Beacons were 14-of-17 (82.4%) from the foul line.

– Jill Harris made it three straight games to start her Valpo career scoring in double figures, leading the way with 14 points to tie her career best.

– Olivia Brown scored all 13 of her points in the second half, including 7-of-7 from the foul line.

– Leah Earnest tallied 12 points and pulled down a game-best 12 rebounds to register her first double-double of the season.

…looking ahead

– Valpo closes out its current four-game road stretch Sunday, Dec. 3 at Purdue.

– The Beacons then come back to the ARC for an exhibition game against IU Northwest Dec. 7 before taking on Chicago State Dec. 9.

…on the road

– Valpo will play 17 games away from home in the 2023-24 regular season, 16 of which will be true road games.

– The Beacons are 0-3 away from home so far this year and posted a 4-10 record in true road games last season.

@WMU_WBB

– The Broncos come into Wednesday’s game with a 2-3 record this season, most recently falling to Campbell (70-61) and beating UNC Asheville (58-54) in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

– Wednesday’s game will be Western Michigan’s home opener this season.

– Kaitlyn Zarycki leads WMU, averaging 13.2 points/game to date this year, while Maggie Stutelberg averages 11 points/game on 45.7% shooting from the 3-point line.

UINDY WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

HOUNDS PUSH PAST MINERS FOR MITCHELL’S 250TH CAREER WIN

INDIANAPOLIS – Head Coach Marc Mitchell earned his 250th career win with the UIndy women’s basketball team’s 72-61 win over Missouri S&T on Monday evening. The victory marked the Greyhound’s fourth straight, all by double digits.

Patricia Chikamba notched her second double-double in a row with career highs of 22 points and 17 rebounds. Chikamba was also perfect from the free throw line, shooting 6-for-6.

INS & OUTS

UIndy took control of the game during the third quarter. After trailing by six at half, the Greyhounds out-performed S&T the third quarter, scoring 21 points while holding the Miners to just 11. The Hounds scored the first six points of the half and later followed with an even more impressive run late in the period, outscoring the visiting 14-2 in one stretch.

The Greyhounds continued their push in the fourth quarter, with Jodi Mullins contributing 13 points of the teams’ 25 in the final period.

INSIDE THE BOX

– Chikamba had the most rebounds by a Greyhound in a 20-point game since Mickey Sasson’s 20/18 performance on Feb. 4, 2021.

– Liv Becker made it three Hounds in double figures with 11 points.

– Idalis Ortiz, Ilani Williams-Harris and Becker each had two steals on the day. The team finished with nine.

– The Greyhounds had a total of 55 rebounds during the contest, 12 from Ortiz.

UP NEXT

UIndy will host Southwest Baptist and 17th-ranked Drury on Thursday and Saturday, respectively. Friday’s contest will begin at 5 p.m. and Saturday’s at 12:30, both contests will take place in Nicoson Hall.

MARIAN WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

ELLA COLLIER EARNS CROSSROADS LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS

Jackson, Mich. – For the sixth time in her career, Marian women’s basketball guard Ella Collier has been named the Crossroads League Player of the Week. This is the first time this season Collier has earned the honor, and the second women’s basketball player from Marian to receive the award following Abbey McNally’s honor last Monday.

In their lone game last week, Collier stepped up when it mattered most, scoring a team-high 28 points in Marian’s overtime win over Spring Arbor. Collier hit the game-tying three to force overtime with less than five seconds remaining in regulation, and in the extra period scored the game-winning bucket with 2.2 seconds left on the clock. Collier’s performance helped her increase her season scoring average to 19.2 points per game, as she continues to reach closer to becoming the program’s all-time leading scorer.

Marian returns to action this week after an extended period between games, traveling to Taylor on Saturday afternoon for a 1 p.m. game.

SMALL COLLEGE ATHLETICS

INDIANA WESLEYAN ATHLETICS: https://iwuwildcats.com/

EARLHAM ATHLETICS: https://goearlham.com/

WABASH ATHLETICS: https://sports.wabash.edu/

FRANKLIN ATHLETICS: https://franklingrizzlies.com/

ROSE-HULMAN ATHLETICS: https://athletics.rose-hulman.edu/

ANDERSON ATHLETICS: https://athletics.anderson.edu/landing/index

TRINE ATHLETICS: https://trinethunder.com/landing/index

BETHEL ATHLETICS: https://bupilots.com/

DEPAUW ATHLETICS: https://depauwtigers.com/

HANOVER ATHLETICS: https://athletics.hanover.edu/

MANCHESTER ATHLETICS: https://muspartans.com/

HUNTINGTON ATHLETICS: https://www.huathletics.com/

OAKLAND CITY ATHLETICS: https://gomightyoaks.com/index.aspx

ST. FRANCIS ATHLETICS: https://www.saintfranciscougars.com/landing/index

IU KOKOMO ATHLETICS: https://iukcougars.com/

IU EAST ATHLETICS: https://www.iueredwolves.com/

IU SOUTH BEND ATHLETICS: https://iusbtitans.com/

PURDUE NORTHWEST ATHLETICS: https://pnwathletics.com/

INDIANA TECH ATHLETICS: https://indianatechwarriors.com/index.aspx

GRACE COLLEGE ATHLETICS: https://gclancers.com/

ST. MARY OF THE WOODS ATHLETICS: https://smwcathletics.com/

GOSHEN COLLEGE ATHLETICS: https://goleafs.net/

HOLY CROSS ATHLETICS: https://www.hcsaints.com/index.php

TAYLOR ATHLETICS: https://www.taylortrojans.com/

VINCENNES ATHLETICS: https://govutrailblazers.com/landing/index

NBA STANDINGS

Eastern Conference
Atlantic Division
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Boston134.7657-06-47-112-38-21 W
Philadelphia125.7061.07-35-24-18-46-42 W
New York97.5633.54-35-40-27-47-31 L
Brooklyn88.5004.55-43-40-37-75-52 W
Toronto89.4715.05-43-50-45-85-51 L
 
Central Divison
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Milwaukee125.7068-14-42-110-57-32 W
Indiana97.5632.56-53-24-17-66-41 L
Cleveland98.5293.04-55-31-25-46-41 W
Chicago513.2787.54-61-72-24-82-84 L
Detroit215.11810.01-71-81-42-90-1014 L
 
Southeast Division
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Orlando125.7067-25-31-17-28-27 W
Miami107.5882.04-16-63-07-67-32 L
Atlanta88.5003.53-55-33-26-74-61 L
Charlotte510.3336.03-62-43-35-83-71 L
Washington314.1769.01-62-81-52-131-91 W
 
Western Conference
Northwest Division
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Minnesota124.7507-15-32-08-28-21 W
Oklahoma City115.6881.05-46-11-15-48-21 L
Denver126.6671.08-04-62-110-45-52 W
Utah611.3536.55-41-71-36-84-62 W
Portland512.2947.52-53-71-22-82-81 W
 
Pacific Division
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Phoenix116.6474-47-22-28-58-27 W
Sacramento96.6001.04-15-52-28-67-31 W
LA Lakers108.5561.57-23-63-28-57-31 L
Golden State89.4713.03-65-32-27-73-71 W
LA Clippers79.4383.55-32-60-16-74-61 L
 
Southwest Division
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Dallas106.6254-26-43-15-45-51 L
Houston86.5711.08-10-52-17-57-32 W
New Orleans99.5002.06-43-52-27-85-52 L
Memphis313.1887.00-83-51-33-103-74 L
San Antonio314.1767.51-82-61-23-100-1012 L

NFL STANDINGS

American Football Conference
East Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Miami Dolphins830.7270.03392515-0-03-3-06-2-03-1-02 W
Buffalo Bills660.5002.53282275-2-01-4-03-5-02-2-01 L
New York Jets470.3644.01632382-4-02-3-02-6-01-3-04 L
New England Patriots290.1826.01482481-5-01-4-02-4-02-2-04 L
 
West Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Kansas City Chiefs830.7270.02561814-2-04-1-06-1-03-1-01 W
Denver Broncos650.5452.02462804-3-02-2-03-4-01-2-05 W
Las Vegas Raiders570.4173.52022564-2-01-5-03-5-01-2-02 L
Los Angeles Chargers470.3644.02692582-4-02-3-02-4-01-1-03 L
 
North Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Baltimore Ravens930.7500.03241874-2-05-1-06-3-03-2-02 W
Pittsburgh Steelers740.6361.51822054-2-03-2-05-3-03-1-01 W
Cleveland Browns740.6361.52392095-1-02-3-05-3-03-2-01 L
Cincinnati Bengals560.4553.52122423-3-02-3-01-6-00-4-03 L
 
South Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Jacksonville Jaguars830.7270.02542253-3-05-0-06-2-04-1-02 W
Indianapolis Colts650.5452.02692682-4-04-1-04-3-02-2-03 W
Houston Texans650.5452.02592324-2-02-3-03-3-01-2-01 L
Tennessee Titans470.3644.01852244-1-00-6-02-5-00-2-01 W
 
National Football Conference
East Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Philadelphia Eagles1010.9090.03102465-0-05-1-06-0-03-0-05 W
Dallas Cowboys830.7272.03471855-0-03-3-05-3-03-1-03 W
New York Giants480.3336.51592922-3-02-5-03-4-02-2-02 W
Washington Commanders480.3336.52463501-4-03-4-02-7-00-5-03 L
 
West Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
San Francisco 49ers830.7270.03101704-1-04-2-06-1-03-0-03 W
Seattle Seahawks650.5452.02292494-2-02-3-05-3-01-3-02 L
Los Angeles Rams560.4553.02322342-3-03-3-04-4-04-1-02 W
Arizona Cardinals2100.1676.52063212-4-00-6-02-6-00-4-02 L
 
North Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Detroit Lions830.7270.02942584-2-04-1-05-2-02-1-01 L
Minnesota Vikings660.5002.52632422-4-04-2-06-3-02-1-02 L
Green Bay Packers560.4553.02312243-2-02-4-04-3-02-2-02 W
Chicago Bears480.3334.52422962-3-02-5-03-5-01-3-01 W
 
South Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Atlanta Falcons560.4550.02132324-2-01-4-04-4-03-0-01 W
New Orleans Saints560.4550.02292222-2-03-4-02-4-01-2-02 L
Tampa Bay Buccaneers470.3641.02122272-3-02-4-03-4-01-1-02 L
Carolina Panthers1100.0914.01732921-4-00-6-00-7-00-2-04 L

NHL STANDINGS

Eastern Conference
Atlantic Division
 GPWLOTLPtsROWGFGAHomeRoadL10
Boston Bruins211443311371557-1-17-3-25-3-2
Florida Panthers211371271363557-3-06-4-17-3-0
Detroit Red Wings201163251174607-3-24-3-15-3-2
Tampa Bay Lightning221075251079786-2-34-5-25-4-1
Toronto Maple Leafs19106323867665-4-05-2-35-3-2
Buffalo Sabres2210102221064715-5-05-5-24-4-2
Montreal Canadiens21910220759755-6-04-4-24-6-0
Ottawa Senators1789016760596-7-02-2-05-5-0
 
Metropolitan Division
 GPWLOTLPtsROWGFGAHomeRoadL10
New York Rangers201541311467506-2-09-2-17-2-1
Carolina Hurricanes201280241167677-2-05-6-06-4-0
Philadelphia Flyers211191231064585-5-06-4-16-4-0
Washington Capitals18106222844507-4-13-2-16-3-1
New York Islanders2086622752624-3-44-3-23-4-3
Pittsburgh Penguins2010100201063525-6-05-4-06-4-0
New Jersey Devils1999119967704-5-15-4-03-7-0
Columbus Blue Jackets23712418767795-6-12-6-33-6-1
 
Western Conference
Central Division
 GPWLOTLPtsROWGFGAHomeRoadL10
Colorado Avalanche211560301480598-2-07-4-07-3-0
Dallas Stars191252261166575-4-17-1-15-4-1
Winnipeg Jets201262261271596-3-16-3-18-2-0
St. Louis Blues201181231060626-3-05-5-16-4-0
Nashville Predators2010100201067647-4-03-6-06-4-0
Arizona Coyotes2099220765634-4-05-5-24-5-1
Minnesota Wild19510414457773-4-22-6-22-6-2
Chicago Blackhawks19613012649702-6-04-7-03-7-0
 
Pacific Division
 GPWLOTLPtsROWGFGAHomeRoadL10
Vegas Golden Knights221453311170528-2-16-3-23-5-2
Los Angeles Kings191333291376474-3-39-0-08-1-1
Vancouver Canucks221471291488567-1-17-6-05-5-0
Calgary Flames22910321964754-3-15-7-25-3-2
Seattle Kraken2289521762784-6-14-3-44-3-3
Anaheim Ducks21912018958734-8-05-4-02-8-0
Edmonton Oilers20712115766744-4-13-8-05-5-0
San Jose Sharks22515212536905-6-20-9-04-5-1

FOOTBALL HISTORY

Yale v. Princeton 1884

November 28, 1884 – New York City -Yale versus Princeton Game. Great football historian Parke H. Davis in his book  “Football the Intercollegiate Game” sheds some light to this contest as well as the SaturdayBlitz.com. The Yale-Princeton game was scheduled to play that afternoon in New York as a precursor and entertainment spectacle for the Intercollegiate Rules Convention that would meet later that evening in the Big Apple. It sounded fair enough on having an official picked from each team and then a referee to settle any disputes that may otherwise occur, but the reality makes it about as clear as mud. After many arguments between the opposing officials and the game being ended early on account of darkness with Yale up 6-4, it was a real mess for Referee Mr. Appleton. The rules stated that if the game ended prematurely that it was to go down as a 0-0 “No Game.” This game controversy of course entered into and dominated the discussions at the Rules meeting at the Fifth Avenue Hotel  until late into the night. The outcome was to sustain the Ref’s decision of No Game.

November 28, 1895 – Piedmont Park, Atlanta, Georgia – The Auburn University football team traveled to face the Bulldogs of Georgia in an early gridiron matchup. The traveling Tigers won the contest 16-6.

Ernie Nevers scores all the Cardinals Points!

November 28, 1929 – Comiskey Park, Chicago – According to a story on the website goldenrankings.com Ernie Nevers of the Chicago Cardinals became the first professional football player to score six touchdowns in a single game.  The story goes that it was a Thanksgiving Day game for the title of the “Chicago City Championship” as the Cardinals played their cross town rivals the Bears. Snow was falling on the Windy City that day but still 8,000 fans went to cheer the teams on at the field. Due to slippery field conditions the Cardinals abandoned their double-wing offense and instead decided to continually run Nevers right up the gut of the Bears defense. The strategy couldn’t have worked any better as Ernie Nevers scored all of the Cardinal points, including the extra points in the 40-6 drubbing of the Monsters of the Midway. The defense of the Redbirds did an amazing job of holding the Bears to only 6 points when they had the backfield of Joey Sternman, Paddy Driscoll and Red Grange!

Davey O’Brien’s Heisman Win

November 28, 1938 – 4th Heisman Trophy was awarded to quarterback Davey O’Brien of Texas Christian University.  Some highlights of the season that O’Brien had in 1938 come from information found on Heisman.com. The shifty QB was the first Heisman winner from not only TCU but also from the Southwest Conference. His 1509 passing yards and 19 touchdowns were complimented by an additional 462 yards gained on the ground along with 6 interceptions on the defensive side of the ball. What a 1938 season Mr. O’Brien had!

1953 Grey Cup: a controversial end

Sometimes it feels like we are seeing everything fresh when watching football. But there have been plenty of controversies down the years. The 2018 NFC championship game ended on a non-call for pass interference for example. Well some 65 years before that Winnipeg Blue Bomber fans were crying foul on what they thought was a missed PI call too in the 41st Grey Cup final.

With the score 12-6 in favor of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and time running out in the fourth quarter, Winnipeg QB Jack Jacobs had led the Blue Bombers on a 92 yard drive. A pass to receiver Tom Casey on the goal line was stopped as a Hamilton defender hit Casey as the ball arrived. It was either a perfectly timed hit or pass interference and the refs called the former. Hamilton walked away with the win and Winnipeg and their fans were left frustrated. 

18th Iron Bowl

November 28, 1953 – Legion Field, Birmingham – The 18th version of the old Iron Bowl was one you had to hang onto the edge of your seat for. Alabama beats Auburn 10-7 in Birmingham. A great story on 247sports.com will fill you in with the details but in the abridged headline version we can tell you that the game came down to the final drive. Crimson Tide quarterback Bart Starr tossed a crucial pass to Bill Oliver to help get Alabama into field goal range to win the game.

1956 NFL Draft

November 28, 1955 – Yes back in this era the prospects for the NFL were not afforded Combines, Pro Days, Bowl Games and All-Star games to show off their talents. Their merit was strictly from their performance on the gridiron. The NFL held their annual Draft just after the college season was ending, because they had other stiff competition for talent from rival pro leagues in those days. The 1956 NFL Draft had Gary Glick from University of Colorado A&M being taken as the first pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

1959 Grey Cup: Rematch brings the same result  by: Chris Lawton

On a muddy field at CNE Stadium in Toronto 33,133 fans were on hand to see the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Hamilton Tiger-Cats face off for the third time in three years. Both teams had won one each and Winnipeg were defending their championship from the year before.

Hamilton missed a couple of TD chances in the game and after the Bombers had held a 3-1 halftime lead the Ti-Cats hit on two Field Goals from Steve Oneschuk for a 7-4 lead.  Winnipeg hit a single before getting a break early in the fourth quarter. Hamilton’s Gerry McDougall, lost the ball on the Hamilton 43 after a hit by Roger Savoie. Winnipeg’s Bud Tinsley recovered, and two plays later the Bombers scored a touchdown. Hamilton were unable to move into the wind and Shepard scored three singles on wind-assisted punts.

Winnipeg iced the game with a last second TD following a turnover on downs and walked away with a 21-7 win to claim the rubber match between the two teams in the 47th Grey Cup.

Iron Bowl

November 28, 1959 – Legion Field, Birmingham – At the 24th Iron Bowl: it was Alabama blanking Auburn 10-0 breaking a streak of five consecutive wins by the Tigers in the head to head matchups thank you for the headline from On this Day website.

1964 Grey Cup: Battle of the Cats rematch brings a different result  by: Chris Lawton

The 52nd Grey Cup saw 32,655 fans on hand at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto. There they saw the 11-2-3 Lions defeat the 10-3-1 Hamilton Tiger-Cats 34-24.

This was a rematch of the 1963 Grey Cup which Hamilton had won. This time however, the Lions were able to claim their first Grey Cup victory. You can read about this one in detail over at Ninety-Nine Yards.

HB/DB Bill Munsey was the unlikely star of the game, scoring on both offence and defense in the third quarter.

1965 NFL Draft and ’64  USC vs. Notre Dame matchup

November 28, 1964 – 1965 NFL Draft: Tucker Frederickson from Auburn University first pick by New York Giants

November 28, 1964 – Notre Dame loses to USC 20-17 on a last second pass play. The loss crushed ND’s hopes for a National Championship season per Irish Legends.com . 

Gary Baben Wins Heisman

November 28, 1967  – The 33rd Heisman Trophy Award goes to UCLA Quarterback Gary Beban. Heisman.com shares that though Beban lost a heart wrenching game to USC by the tune of 21-20, the Bruins signal caller got the 1967 Heisman nod over USC rusher O.J. Simpson due to his duel threat ability. Gary  Beban tossed to 8 touchdowns on 1359 yards passing but he also ran an additional 227 yards with 11 more scores.

Theisman’s Big game in the rain

November 28, 1970 – Los Angeles, Coliseum – Fighting Irish Quarterback, Joe Theisman throws for a whopping 526 yards against USC in a driving rain storm. The Trojans were too much though as the final score was Southern Cal 38, Notre Dame 28. http://www.irishlegends.com/Pages/calendar/11.asp

1970 Grey Cup: Battle of the third place finishers. by: Chris Lawton

The 58th Grey Cup was played out on a terrible field between two teams that had finished third in their respective Divisions – the Calgary Stampeders and Montreal Alouettes.

In front of 32,669 fans at CNE stadium in Toronto QB Sonny Wade led the Alouettes to a 23-10 victory. You can read much more about the game here.

Following problems with the turf this game was the last Grey Cup played on natural grass until the 1984 game at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium.

Auburn’s Comeback

November 28, 1970 – Legion Field, Birmingham – The Tide jumped out to an early 17-0 lead but Tigers quarterback Pat Sullivan, wide receiver Terry Beasley and company were not done yet. 247sports.com tells the tale of how the Auburn Tigers came from behind to get past Alabama’s Crimson Tide 33-28 in a thrilling second half.

1971 Grey Cup: “The ground can’t cause a fumble” by: Chris Lawton

The 59th Grey Cup was played out in front of 34,404 people at Empire Stadium in Vancouver. They would see Calgary win their first title since 1948 14-11. Playing on ‘Tartan Turf’ it was the first Grey Cup to be played on artificial turf.

The Argos had not appeared in the Grey Cup since 1952 but went into this as favorites despite the Stamps making their third championship game appearance in four years.

Calgary scored all their points in the first half to lead 14-3. Toronto got back into it recovering a fumbled punt return for a TD, but the key play involved star running back Leon McQuay. At the Stamps 11 yard line QB Joe Theismann handed the ball to McQuary, who slipped on the wet field and fumbled the ball which Calgary recovered. McQuay dropped the ball when his elbow hit the ground and he had not been contacted by a Stampeder defender, bringing up the argument “the ground can’t cause a fumble.”

1976 Grey Cup: Rider Bowl goes to the Red Riders with ‘The Catch’ by: Chris Lawton

The 64th Grey Cup saw a then record 53,467 fans on hand to see the Ottawa Rough Riders defeat the Saskatchewan Roughriders 23-20 in a classic at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto.

This was the last Grey Cup championship for the Ottawa Rough Riders (the team folded in 1996) and last major sports championship of any kind for Ottawa until the RedBlacks won the Grey Cup 40 years later in 2016. One thing that stood out in this game was that every point was scored by a Canadian player.

The game went back and forth and was settled by ‘The Catch’ with 20 seconds remaining. With 20 seconds left and stationed on the Saskatchewan 24 yard line, Ottawa threw for the end zone. Tony Gabriel slipped behind the Saskatchewan secondary and reeled in QB Tom Clements’ throw in the back of the end zone.

Billy Sims Awarded Heisman

November 28, 1978 – Billy Sims, Oklahoma’s talented running back won the 44th Heisman Trophy Award. The Heisman’s official website informs us that Sims led the nation in rushing in just his junior season with a BIG 8 Conference record of 1762 yards on the ground. Billy went over 200 yards in four of that season’s contests and his 20 TDs and 7.0 yards per carry were numbers extremely impressive to the Heisman voters.

Iron Bowl ’81

November 28, 1981 – Legion Field, Birmingham -The Crimson Tide defeated Auburn 28-17 in the 46th Iron Bowl. The victory gave Alabama’s Bear Bryant  his 315th win to surpass Almos Alonzo Stagg to become college football’s coach with the most victories.

Four additional November 28 Grey Cups by Chris Lawton

November 28, 1982 Grey Cup: The Rain Bowl

The 70th Grey Cup was played at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto. 54,741 fans watched on as Edmonton took home their fifth straight Grey Cup with a 32-16 win over the Toronto Argonauts.

In freezing rain Edmonton’s Warren Moon put in an MVP performance despite the conditions as he completed 21 of 33 passes for 319 yards and 2 TD’s (a 16 yard and 41 yard score).

This game marked the end of an era for Edmonton as it was Hugh Campbell’s last game as head coach. Campbell had accepted a job with the Los Angeles Express of the new United States Football League.

The game was best remembered for the driving cold rain in the largely exposed stadium. Fan dissatisfaction with the exposed conditions may ultimately have led to the building of the Sky Dome opened in 1989 and where the Argos played their home games from 1989 to 2015.

November 28, 1993 Grey Cup: Takeaways win games

There’s an old adage in football that turnovers win matches. Win the battle of the takeaways they say, and more often than not you’ll win the game. Edmonton certainly put that to good effect here as they took advantage of a blocked punt, a fumbled kick-off return and an interception within the first 10 minutes of the game against Winnipeg on their way to a 33-23 win in the 81st Grey Cup.

Just over 50,000 watched Edmonton record the win in only the second Grey Cup to be played in Calgary.

Lucius Floyd scored on a four-yard carry, while Jim Sandusky caught a two-yard pass from game MVP Damon Allen. Sean Fleming added a field goal at the end of the quarter. Fleming who was voted Most Valuable Canadian for the game as he equaled a Grey Cup record by hitting six Field Goals.

The Blue Bombers lost the ball a total of seven times on turnovers. 23 of Edmonton’s points came off of those miscues.

1999 Grey Cup: The last time Hamilton won it

The longest current championship drought in the CFL belongs to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats who have not won a Grey Cup since this win in 1999.

Between 1990 & 1997 the Ticats had a cumulative record of 48-96. The arrival of Ron Lancaster as Head Coach in 1998 saw them turn a corner. That year they went 12-5-1 and lost a closely contested Grey Cup to Calgary 26-24.

45,118 fans were on hand at BC Place stadium in Vancouver to witness this one as Hamilton downed the Calgary Stampeders 32-21 for the 87th Grey Cup. You can read all about this one on the ninety-nine Yards site with Chris Lawton.

2010 Grey Cup: The last time Montreal won it

This one was a rematch of the legendary 13th man game from the year before between Montreal and Saskatchewan. Montreal won for the second year in a row, this time by a score of 21-18 in front of 63,317 fans at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton 98th Grey Cup.

Receiver Jamel Richardson had 8 catches for 109 yards and took home the MVP award as the Alouettes created the last true Dynasty in the CFL. In fact 8 different teams would take home the Grey Cup over the next nine years. Again you can read about this one in more detail over at Ninety-Nine Yards.

First Female D-I player!

November 28, 2020 – According to an ESPN.com report and video, a young lady by the name of Sarah Fuller booted the second half kick off for the Vanderbilt Commodores to make history as being the first female player in NCAA Divion I history! What a tremendous event! Due to COVID restrictions the team was in need of a strong leg and up stepped Ms. Fuller who fit the bill with her strong soccer leg and experience.

HOF Birthdays

November 28, 1868 – Berkley, Virginia – William Lewis the center from Harvard University was born. The NFF tells us that Lewis was a real pioneer as one of the first African-American college football players and he was the first black player to be a First Team All-American. The National Football Foundation inducted Walter Lewis into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2009.

November 28, 1942 – The Great Ohio State halfback Paul Warfield celebrated his birth. In 1964 both the Buffalo Bills of the AFL and the Cleveland Browns of the NFL drafted Paul according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s website bio on him.. He chose the Browns and became a solid piece of the Cleveland Offense as a wide receiver. After six fine seasons with the Browns he was part of a big trade that sent him to the Dolphins for five years. He then returned to the Browns in 1976 and played one final year with the Memphis Grizzlies in the World Football League. Warfield played 13 seasons and made it to the Pro Bowl game 8 times. His 427 receptions that went along with 8565 yards and 85 touchdowns on mostly ball control teams were a true testament to the talent he had. Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrined Paul Warfield in 1983.

November 28, 1948 – Le Mars, Iowa  -Defensive End  from Central College, Vern Den Herder was born. After a great 1970 season he was named to the All-America team, college division, by the NAIA, the Football Coaches Association, and the Associated Press. The National Football Foundation inducted Vern Den Herder into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1996.

NUMBERS IN SPORTS

1 – 47 – 25 – 22

July 12, 1945 – Boston Brave outfielder Tommy Holmes, in his Number 1 Uniform was on a mission during this 1945 MLB season. Going into the game againt the Chicago Cubs on this day he had hit safely in a National League record of 37 games. The Cubs beat Boston, 6-1  and put a stop to Holmes’ streak. The record of Tommy H. from 1945 stood all the way to 1978 when Pete Rose (Number 14) sailed past it with 44 games, even though a couple of players reached 31 including Willie Davis (Number 3)in 1969, and Rico Carty (Number 25) in 1970.

July 12, 1946 – Vance Dinges, Number 47 hit the only Philadelphia Phillies pinch hit inside-the-park Home Run in franchise history.

July 12, 1949 – The NFL’s Los Angeles Rams signed Quarterback Norm Van Brocklin to a contract. The Dutchman played for the Rams through the 1957 season. In his last three seasons of 1958 through 1960 he played with the Philadelphia Eagles even winning an NFL Championship with each team, the Rams in 1951 and the Eagles in 1960. He wore Number 25 for his first few years on the Rams and then switched to the number he would wear the reminder of his career, Number 11.

July 12, 1951 – The New York Yankees pitcher known as Allie Reynolds, Number 22 threw a no-hit masterpiece in Cleveland against the Indians, his former team, in a 1-0 Yanks win.

July 12, 1954 – The MLBPA was founded to help players have their rights protected in an organized union.

July 12, 1979 – In one of the most bizarre forfeits of all time, “Disco Demolition Night” at Comiskey Park was the promotion in between the games of a double header between the White Sox and the Detroit Tigers. The promotion was a success in the fact that fans actively participated , however when the crowd went wild and stormed the field destroying the disco records it caused game officials to declare that the White Sox had to forfeit second game of the twinbill. FOr the promotion local Chicago DJ Steve Dahl promised to blow up disco records in between games. It did not go to plan as midway through the first game records started to fly out of the stands frisbee style on to the playing field causing delays while attendants had to remove them so that players would not get hurt. Police arrested 39 people after the mob stormed the field setting fires that destroyed a batting cage, pulling up bases and other vandalism.

TV TUESDAY

NBA REGULAR SEASONTIME ETTV
MILWAUKEE AT MIAMI7:30PMTNT
CHARLOTTE AT NEW YORK7:30PMMSG
BALLY SPORTS
ATLANTA AT CLEVELAND7:30PMBALLY SPORTS
TORONTO AT BROOKLYN7:30PMYES
SPORTSNET
CHICAGO AT BOSTON7:30PMNBCS-BOS
NBCS-CHI
OKLAHOMA CITY AT MINNESOTA8:00PMBALLY SPORTS
HOUSTON AT DALLAS8:30PMSCHN
BALLY SPORTS
GOLDEN STATE AT SACRAMENTO10:00PMTNT
NHL REGULAR SEASONTIME ETTV
FLORIDA AT TORONTO7:00PMBALLY SPORTS
SPORTSNET
NY ISLANDERS AT NEW JERSEY7:00PMMSGSN
CAROLINA AT PHILADELPHIA7:30PMHULU
ESPN+
PITTSBURGH AT NASHVILLE8:00PMBALLY SPORTS
ATTSN-PIT
ST. LOUIS AT MINNESOTA8:00PMBALLY SPORTS
DALLAS AT WINNIPEG8:00PMBALLY SPORTS
SPORTSNET
SEATTLE AT CHICAGO8:30PMROOT SPORTS
NBCS-CHI
VEGAS AT EDMONTON9:00PMSCRIPPS
SPORTSNET
TAMPA BAY AT ARIZONA9:00PMBALLY SPORTS
SCRIPPS
ANAHEIM AT VANCOUVER10:00PMBALLY SPORTS
SPORTSNET
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALLTIME ETTV
GEORGIA SOUTHERN AT MICHIGAN STATE6:30PMBTN
BOB JONES AT WINTHROP6:30PMESPN+
LSU AT SYRACUSE7:00PMESPN2
WAGNER AT PROVIDENCE7:00PMFS1
NOTRE DAME AT SOUTH CAROLINA7:00PMSECN
MISSISSIPPI STATE AT GEORGIA TECH7:00PMACCN
CHARLESTON SOUTHERN AT THE CITADEL7:00PMESPN+
WESTERN CAROLINA AT TENNESSEE TECH7:00PMESPN+
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS AT INDIANA STATE7:00PMESPN+
SOUTH CAROLINA STATE AT FURMAN7:00PMESPN+
SPAULDING AT MIAMI (OH)7:00PMESPN+
SOUTHERN-NEW ORLEANS AT SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA7:00PMESPN+
RIDER AT MARYLAND7:00PMBTN+
WILLIAM & MARY AT NORFOLK STATE7:00PMHBCU+
MIAMI (FL) AT KENTUCKY7:30PMESPN
MISSOURI AT PITT7:30PMESPNU
BALL STATE AT LITTLE ROCK7:30PMESPN+
NORTHWESTERN STATE AT ULM7:30PMESPN+
UTAH STATE AT SAINT LOUIS8:00PMBALLY SPORTS
ORAL ROBERTS AT KANSAS STATE8:00PMESPN+
NICHOLLS AT BAYLOR8:00PMESPN+
MCNEESE AT UAB8:00PMESPN+
EASTERN ILLINOIS AT KANSAS8:00PMESPN+
CHICAGO STATE AT LOYOLA CHICAGO8:00PMESPN+
EAST-WEST AT SOUTHERN INDIANA8:00PMESPN+
MISSOURI BAPTIST AT SIUE8:00PMESPN+
WALDORF AT SOUTH DAKOTA8:00PMSUMMIT
CONCORDIA (MN) AT NORTH DAKOTA8:00PMSUMMIT
TEXAS SOUTHERN AT PURDUE8:30PMBTN
JACKSON STATE AT ARKANSAS STATE8:30PMESPN+
SOUTHERN AT MARQUETTE9:00PMFS1
NC STATE AT OLE MISS9:00PMESPN2
CSU BAKERSFIELD AT GONZAGA9:00PMKHQ
U. OF THE SOUTHWEST AT NM STATE9:00PMESPN+
CLEMSON AT ALABAMA9:30PMESPN
UC SAN DIEGO AT WASHINGTON10:00PMPAC12N
AKRON AT UNLV10:00PMSCRIPPS
PORTLAND AT PORTLAND STATE10:00PMESPN+
IDAHO STATE AT PEPPERDINE10:00PMESPN+
SOCCERTIME ETTV
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: LAZIO VS CELTIC12:45PMPARAMOUNT+
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: SHAKHTAR DONETSK VS ANTWERP12:45PMPARAMOUNT+
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: BARCELONA VS PORTO3:00PMPARAMOUNT+
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: FEYENOORD VS ATLÉTICO MADRID3:00PMPARAMOUNT+
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: MANCHESTER CITY VS RB LEIPZIG3:00PMPARAMOUNT+
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: MILAN VS BORUSSIA DORTMUND3:00PMPARAMOUNT+
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: PSG VS NEWCASTLE UNITED3:00PMPARAMOUNT+
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: YOUNG BOYS VS CRVENA ZVEZDA3:00PMPARAMOUNT+
PRIMERA DIVISIÓN: BARRACAS CENTRAL VS ARGENTINOS JUNIORS5:00PMPARAMOUNT+
BRASILEIRÃO: VASCO DA GAMA VS CORINTHIANS7:30PMPARAMOUNT+
TENNISTIME ETTV
NEXT GEN FINALS ROUND ROBIN7:00AMTENNIS
NEXT GEN FINALS ROUND ROBIN12:00PMTENNIS
WOMEN’ COLLEGE BASKETBALLTIME ETTV
HARRIS-STOWE VS SOUTHEAST MISSOURI STATE12:00PMESPN+
ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF VS ARKANSAS STATE4:00PMESPN+
HOFSTRA VS ARMY5:00PMESPN+
DREXEL VS LEHIGH6:00PMESPN+
MINOT STATE VS NORTH DAKOTA6:00PMSUMMIT
ELON VS OLD DOMINION6:30PMESPN+
MERRIMACK VS SIENA7:00PMESPN+
SAINT PETER’S VS FORDHAM7:00PMESPN+
SE LOUISIANA VS WICHITA STATE7:00PMESPN+
UT MARTIN VS MURRAY STATE7:00PMESPN+
GEORGIA STATE VS WESTERN CAROLINA7:00PMESPN+
MARIST VS YALE7:00PMESPN+
SOUTHERN-NEW ORLEANS VS NORTHWESTERN STATE7:30PMESPN+
DILLARD VS NICHOLLS7:30PMESPN+
WASHBURN VS SOUTH DAKOTA STATE8:00PMMIDCO SPORTS+
CHICAGO STATE VS WESTERN ILLINOIS8:00PMESPN+
BYU VS WYOMING8:30PMMWN
CALIFORNIA BAPTIST VS SOUTHERN UTAH8:30PMESPN+
SANTA CRUZ VS UC SANTA BARBARA10:00PMESPN+