INDIANA GIRLS BASKETBALL REGIONALS

CLASS 4A
LaPorte
Merrillvillevs.Penn10:30 am
Crown PointatLaPorte12:30 pm
Winner Game 1vs.Winner Game 28:30 pm
Marion
McCutcheonvs.Carroll (Fort Wayne)10:00 am
Noblesvillevs.Homestead12:00 pm
Winner Game 1vs.Winner Game 28:00 pm
Decatur Central
North Central (Indianapolis)vs.Brownsburg10:00 am
Indianapolis Roncallivs.Mount Vernon (Fortville)1:00 pm
Winner Game 1vs.Winner Game 28:00 pm
Bedford NL
East CentralatBedford North Lawrence10:00 am
Franklinvs.Castle12:00 pm
Winner Game 1vs.Winner Game 28:00 pm
CLASS 3A
Jimtown
Lakelandvs.Griffith10:00 am
Kankakee Valleyvs.South Bend Washington12:00 pm
Winner Game 1vs.Winner Game 27:00 pm
Bellmont
Angolavs.Norwell10:00 am
Benton Centralvs.Hamilton Heights12:00 pm
Winner Game 1vs.Winner Game 28:00 pm
Greencastle
Indian Creekvs.Tri-West10:00 am
Indianapolis Chatardvs.Brownstown Central12:00 pm
Winner Game 1vs.Winner Game 28:00 pm
Charlestown
Rushvillevs.Washington11:00 am
Silver Creekvs.Evansville Memorial1:00 pm
Winner Game 1vs.Winner Game 28:00 pm
CLASS 2A
Winamac
North Judsonvs.Andrean11:00 am
Blufftonvs.Fairfield2:00 pm
Winner Game 1vs.Winner Game 28:00 pm
Frankton
Rochestervs.Clinton Prairie10:00 am
TiptonatFrankton12:00 pm
Winner Game 1vs.Winner Game 28:00 pm
Southmont
Triton Centralvs.University10:00 am
Shenandoahvs.South Putnam1:00 pm
Winner Game 1vs.Winner Game 28:00 pm
Crawford County
Linton-Stocktonvs.Forest Park10:00 am
South Ripleyvs.Eastern (Pekin)12:00 pm
Winner Game 1vs.Winner Game 28:00 pm
CLASS 1A
Caston
Fort Wayne Blackhawkvs.Triton10:30 am
Pioneervs.Kouts12:30 pm
Winner Game 1vs.Winner Game 27:30 pm
Wes-Del
Tri-Centralvs.Blue River10:00 am
Clinton Centralvs.Northfield12:00 pm
Winner Game 1vs.Winner Game 28:00 pm
Southwestern
Bethesda ChristianatSouthwestern (Shelbyville)10:00 am
Greenwood Christianvs.Bloomfield12:00 pm
Winner Game 1vs.Winner Game 27:30 pm
Springs Valley
Lanesvillevs.Tecumseh10:00 am
Trinity Lutheranvs.Loogootee12:00 pm
Winner Game 1vs.Winner Game 27:30 pm

BOYS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL THIS WEEK

NCC

Tuesday, Feb. 9

Anderson at Fishers, 7:30 pm

International at Richmond, 7 pm

Logansport at Winamac, 7:30 pm

Central at Pendleton Heights, 7:30 pm

Noblesville at Marion, 7:30 pm

Victory Prep at Tech, 7:30 pm

Westfield at Harrison, 7:30 pm

Friday, Feb. 12

Anderson at Logansport, 7:30 pm

Lafayette Jeff at Tech, 7:30 pm

Marion at McCutcheon, 7:30 pm

Muncie Central at Harrison, 8 pm

Richmond at Kokomo, 7:30 pm

Saturday, Feb. 13

Anderson at Pendleton Heights, 7:30 pm

Tech at Metropolitan, 7:30 pm

Kokomo at Muncie Central, 3 pm

Logansport at Richmond, 7:30 pm

Plainfield at Harrison, 7:30 pm

West Lafayette at Lafayette Jeff, 7:30 pm

NORTH CENTRAL BOYS STANDINGS
CONFAGOADAAMStreak
McCutcheon6-  013-  260.957.53.4Won 6
Lafayette Jeff4-  115-  279.654.625.0Lost 1
Tech5-  28-  870.974.4-3.4Won 2
Anderson4-  27-  659.758.61.1Won 4
Marion4-  39-  671.966.95.1Won 4
Harrison3-  411-  662.153.09.1Won 2
Logansport2-  39-  754.150.83.3Lost 3
Richmond1-  54-  855.460.3-4.9Lost 4
Kokomo1-  54-1257.365.3-8.1Won 1
Central0-  50-1248.972.8-23.9Lost 13

TEC

Tuesday, Feb. 9

Centerville at Rushville, 7:30 pm

Hagerstown at Lincoln, 7:30 pm

Northeastern at Union County, 7:30 pm

Tri at Liberty Christian, 7:30 pm

Union City at Cowan, 7:30 pm

Winchester at Madison-Grant, 7:30 pm

Friday, Feb. 12

Blue River at Centerville, 7:30 pm

Lincoln at Winchester, 7:30 pm

North Decatur at Union County, 7:30 pm

Tri at Northeastern, 7:30 pm

Union City at Daleville, 7 pm

Saturday, Feb. 13

Centerville at Waldron, 7:30 pm

Knightstown at North Decatur, 7:30 pm

Morristown at Hagerstown, 7:30 pm

Winchester at Bishop Luers, 7:30 pm

TRI-EASTERN BOYS STANDINGS
CONFAGOADAAMStreak
Northeastern5-  014-  368.846.821.9Won 8
Winchester5-  013-  466.449.417.1Won 2
Union County5-  17-1051.358.4-7.1Won 1
Lincoln4-  26-1053.864.3-10.6Lost 3
Tri2-  34-1054.463.9-9.6Lost 4
Centerville2-  34-1144.056.4-12.4Lost 5
Hagerstown1-  42-1442.459.6-17.2Lost 2
Union City1-  55-1053.154.9-1.8Lost 4
Knightstown0-  70-1540.763.5-22.9Lost 23

MEC

Monday, Feb. 8

Union (Modoc) at Indiana Christian, 5:30 pm

Tuesday, Feb. 9

Eastern Hancock at Wapahani , 7:30 pm

Frankton at Daleville, 7:30 pm

Morristown at Blue River, 6:30 pm

Union City at Cowan, 7:30 pm

Wednesday, Feb. 10

Wes-Del at Cowan , 6 pm

Friday, Feb. 12

Blue River at Centerville, 7:30 pm

Eastbrook at Wes-Del, 7:30 pm

Lakeview Christian at Union (Modoc), 6 pm

Lapel at Shenandoah, 7:30 pm

Monroe Central at Wapahani , 7:30 pm

Morristown at Eastern Hancock, 7:30 pm

Randolph Southern at Cowan, 7:30 pm

Union City at Daleville, 7 pm

Saturday, Feb. 13

Daleville at Eastbrook, 7:30 pm

Eastern Hancock at Heritage Christian, 7:30 pm

Shenandoah at Randolph Southern, 7:30 pm

MID-EASTERN BOYS STANDINGS
CONFAGOADAAMStreak
Shenandoah6-  016-  366.745.221.5Won 9
Wapahani5-  012-  562.546.216.3Won 3
Eastern Hancock5-  113-  163.953.610.3Won 4
Monroe Central4-  210-  659.450.09.4Won 4
Randolph Southern3-  35-1052.059.2-7.2Won 2
Blue River3-  411-  752.655.1-2.4Won 2
Daleville3-  45-  657.252.64.5Lost 1
Wes-Del1-  67-  963.761.81.9Won 1
Cowan0-  45-  752.157.5-5.4Lost 3
Union (Modoc)0-  60-1441.681.4-39.7Lost 18

EASTERN INDIANA

Tuesday, Feb. 9

Centerville at Rushville, 7:30 pm

Franklin County at South Dearborn , 7:30 pm

Thursday, Feb. 11

Batesville at Rushville , 7:30 pm

East Central at Connersville , 7:30 pm

Rising Sun at Lawrenceburg, 7:30 pm

Friday, Feb. 12

Greenfield at Franklin County, 7:30 pm

South Ripley at South Dearborn, 7:30 pm

Saturday, Feb. 13

Batesville at East Central, 2:30 pm

Greensburg at Madison, 7:30 pm

Milan at South Dearborn, 7:30 pm

New Palestine at Connersville, 7:30 pm

Rushville at Lawrenceburg , 7:30 pm

EASTERN INDIANA BOYS STANDINGS
CONFAGOADAAMStreak
Connersville4-  010-  745.639.26.4Lost 4
Greensburg4-  113-  267.956.011.9Won 8
East Central3-  110-  756.551.94.5Lost 1
Lawrenceburg2-  29-  949.152.3-3.2Won 1
South Dearborn2-  38-  855.456.3-0.9Lost 2
Batesville2-  35-1251.755.4-3.6Lost 1
Franklin County1-  47-  954.051.62.4Won 1
Rushville0-  41-1441.461.5-20.1Lost 2

HOOSIER HERITAGE

Tuesday, Feb. 9

Mount Vernon at Mooresville, 7:30 pm

Central at Pendleton Heights, 7:30 pm

South Ripley at Shelbyville, 7:30 pm

Friday, Feb. 12

Greenfield at Franklin County, 7:30 pm

Mount Vernon at Brebeuf Jesuit, 7:30 pm

New Castle at Delta, 7:30 pm

New Palestine at Shelbyville, 7:30 pm

Pendleton Heights at Fishers, 7:30 pm

Saturday, Feb. 13

Anderson at Pendleton Heights, 7:30 pm

Beech Grove at Mount Vernon, 7:30 pm

Greenfield at Western Boone, 7:30 pm

Jay County at Delta, 7:30 pm

New Palestine at Connersville, 7:30 pm

HOOSIER HERITAGE BOYS STANDINGS
CONFAGOADAAMStreak
Mount Vernon5-  011-  467.758.78.9Lost 1
Delta4-  110-  450.947.93.1Won 2
New Palestine3-  211-  663.557.65.8Won 1
Shelbyville3-  25-1048.254.3-6.1Lost 2
Greenfield3-  410-  852.350.91.4Lost 2
Yorktown2-  312-  652.246.65.6Lost 1
New Castle1-  46-1150.155.6-5.5Lost 3
Pendleton Heights0-  55-1056.065.7-9.7Won 1

PIONEER

Tuesday, Feb. 9

Alexandria at Burris, 7:30 pm

Central Christian at Anderson Prep, 7:30 pm

Greenwood Christian at Trinity Lutheran, 7:30 pm

International at Richmond, 7 pm

Traders Point at Bethesda Christian, 7:30 pm

Tri at Liberty Christian, 7:30 pm

University at Burris, 7:30 pm

Thursday, Feb. 11

Anderson Prep at University, 7:30 pm

Friday, Feb. 12

Park Tudor at Bishop Chatard, 7:30 pm

Cristo Rey at International, 7 pm

University at Victory Prep, 7:30 pm

Saturday, Feb. 13

Greenwood Christian at TBA, 7:30 pm

International at TBA, 7:30 pm

Park Tudor at TBA, TBA

TBA at Anderson Prep, 6 pm

TBA at Burris, 7:30 pm

TBA at University, 7:30 pm

TBA at Liberty Christian, 7:30 pm

PIONEER BOYS BASKETBALL
North Division
CONFAGOADAAMStreak
University2-  09-  457.251.16.1Won 2
Burris2-  05-  656.765.0-8.3Won 2
Liberty Christian2-  210-  767.559.97.6Lost 1
Seton Catholic1-  26-  662.963.1-0.2Won 1
Anderson Prep0-  32-1349.968.1-18.2Lost 4
South Division
CONFAGOADAAMStreak
Greenwood Christian3-  011-  659.155.13.9Lost 1
Park Tudor1-  07-  655.147.97.2Won 5
International1-  15-  666.564.42.1Won 1
Central Christian1-  17-1156.854.22.7Lost 1
Bethesda Christian0-  49-  560.951.79.2Lost 2

SUPER BOWL

Tampa Bay 31 Kansas City 9

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Indiana 67 #8 Iowa 65

#3 Villanova 84 Georgetown 74

Cincinnati 64 Tulane 61

Missouri State 72 Illinois state 62

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

#1 Louisville 71, Notre Dame 65

North Carolina 76 #4 North Carolina State 69

#6 Stanford 83 Utah 41

#7 Texas A&M 69 #16 Arkansas 67

#8 Baylor 64 Kansas State 52

#11 Ohio State 83 Minnesota, 59

#17 Indiana 85 Iowa 72

#20 DePaul 87 Marquette 82

#22 Northwestern 63 Michigan State 60

Wake Forest 61 Georgia Tech 52

Dayton 95 LaSalle 66

Missouri 85 Auburn 75

Miami, Florida 68 Florida State 53

Nevada 64 Boise State 44

Fordham 56 Rhode Island 53

Penn State 98 Wisconsin 74

North Florida 68 Liberty 67

Syracuse 71 Pittsburgh 67

Rutgers 78 Nebraska 62

UNLV 68 Air Force 57

Kansas 82 TCU 72

Illinois 54, Purdue 49

USC 81 Washington State 71

Tulane 61, Cincinnati 59

Colorado 67 California 52

NBA SCOREBOARD

Utah 103, Indiana 95

Miami 109 New York 103

Charlotte 119 Washington 97

Phoenix 100 Boston 91

Sacramento 113 LA Clippers 110

NHL SCOREBOARD

Philadelphia 7 Washington 4

Detroit 4 Florida 1

Chicago 2 Dallas 1

Vegas 4 Los Angeles 3

Waste Management Phoenix Open
Feb. 4-7, TPC Scottsdale, Scottsdale, Arizona, Par 284
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10James Hahn-1567676669269$0
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57Sam Ryder-570677270279$0
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63Satoshi Kodaira-368716874281$0
64Ted Potter, Jr.-266717174282$0
65Xinjun Zhang-170697371283$0
66Aaron WiseE74657372284$0

TOP HEADLINES:

Tom Brady wins Super Bowl No. 7, Buccaneers beat Chiefs 31-9

Tom Brady made the Buccaneers, their fans and their city believe from the moment he arrived in Tampa Bay.

With help from old friend Rob Gronkowski and a ferocious defense, Brady and the Buccaneers are Super Bowl champions.

Brady threw two touchdown passes to Gronkowski and one to good pal Antonio Brown, and the Buccaneers routed Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City 31-9 on their home field in Super Bowl 55 on Sunday.

“You get this far and you wanna get the job done and we did it,” Brady said. “We just believed. I”m so proud of the guys.”

Despite moving south to a new team and conference during a pandemic, Brady didn’t slow down at age 43.

The GOAT earned his fifth Super Bowl MVP award and extended his Super Bowl titles’ record in his 10th appearance, nine with New England. Brady broke his own mark for oldest player to win a Super Bowl and joined Hall of Famer Peyton Manning as the only quarterbacks to win one with multiple franchises.

“I think they’re all special,” Brady said. “I’m not making any comparisons. Experiencing it with this group of guys is amazing.”

Stunningly, it was easier than any of his previous Super Bowl victories, which came by an average margin of five points. Mahomes lost by double digits for the first time in his four-year career.

The Buccaneers (15-5) took their second NFL title and first in 18 years as the first team to play the big game at home, capping an unusual and challenging season played through the novel coronavirus. They won three road games as a wild card to reach the Super Bowl, and joined the NHL’s Lightning as a 2020 season champion. The Rays also went to the World Series but lost to the Dodgers.

Mahomes and the Chiefs (16-3) failed to become the first repeat champions since Brady’s Patriots in 2003-04.

“I didn’t see it coming at all,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “I thought we were going to come in and play these guys just like we’ve been playing teams, and it didn’t happen that way. I give them credit on that.”

Report: Cowboys to make push for Dak extension, will use tag again

It appears the Dallas Cowboys have no intention of letting Dak Prescott hit the open market.

The Cowboys will make a push to sign the quarterback to a long-term contract prior to the March 9 franchise-tag deadline, sources told Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.

Dallas will reportedly use the one-year tender worth $37.7 million on the pending free agent if a deal can’t be reached.

The two parties are still not close to a new contract, with “plenty of work” needed if they are to come to terms, sources told Adam Schefter of ESPN.

The Cowboys tried to sign Prescott to an extension last offseason but failed to reach an agreement prior to the July 15 deadline for tagged players to sign multi-year deals, forcing the signal-caller to play on the $31.4-million tender.

Prescott suffered a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle in a Week 5 win over the New York Giants and underwent season-ending surgery.

The 27-year-old had a previously unknown second procedure in early December to “strengthen his deltoid ligament, clean out the ankle, and make it more structurally sound,” added Rapoport and Pelissero.

Prescott reportedly underwent the follow-up surgery to clear up past issues with his ankle, not because of any complications with his October injury. The quarterback is expected to be ready for the 2021 season.

Dallas apparently has no medical concerns with making Prescott one of the NFL’s highest-paid players.

The former fourth-round pick was on pace to break Peyton Manning’s single-season passing yards record of 5,477 prior to his injury.

Report: Multiple teams inquiring about trading for Darnold

Multiple teams have reached out to the New York Jets to express interest in trading for quarterback Sam Darnold, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

While New York reportedly hasn’t turned away any calls, the team has yet to decide what direction it wants to take at the quarterback position this offseason. The Jets own the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft and could use it to select Darnold’s replacement.

Darnold slumped to his worst pro season in 2020, registering a career-low passer rating (72.7) as New York bottomed out.

After his selection in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, Darnold became the NFL’s youngest Week 1 starter since the AFL-NFL merger. He’ll be 24 years old when the 2021 season kicks off, leading to some optimism that he has untapped upside.

One year and roughly $9.8 million remain on Darnold’s rookie contract. However, a team trading for him now could pick up the fifth-year option on his deal. Doing so would come with a price tag of about $25 million guaranteed for 2022.

INDIANA MEN’S BASKETBALL: Franklin Jumper Lifts Indiana to 67-65 Victory Against #8/8 Iowa

(IU RELEASE)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Sometimes a guy has to believe. The same with a coach. Sometimes, if you’re Armaan Franklin and you’ve battled foul trouble and 1-for-9 shooting, you have to forget that and make a play. Sometimes, if you’re Archie Miller, you have to give him the chance to make it.

And so Indiana’s sophomore guard — and its coach — did.

Franklin’s pull-up jumper over 6-6 Iowa guard Joe Wieskamp with 1.6 seconds left gave IU a 67-65 victory over No. 8 Iowa Sunday afternoon in a riveting game that featured six ties and eight lead changes.

It also gave the Hoosiers (10-8 overall, 5-6 in the Big Ten) a sweep of the season series.

“It was good for this one to go,” Franklin said in an understatement.

Franklin got the chance because Miller got him the ball in the closing seconds of a tie game.

“He was the guy we wanted to get the ball to,” Miller said. “He’s our most physical guard and he can get to the basket.”

Or hit a pull-up jumper if he can’t.

“That’s part of his game,” Miller said. “Thankfully, it went in.”

As for Franklin’s previous shooting struggles, Miller added, “I’m not worried about his confidence. He stayed ready.”

As soon as Franklin made the shot, he pointed to family and friends in the Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall stands as teammates swarmed him, but didn’t lose perspective

“I knew we needed one more stop to win the game.”

A game of streaks came down to toughness, defense, total contribution (nine Hoosiers scored at least three points) and a couple of timely baskets (Miller called Rob Phinisee’s 3-pointer with 90 seconds left that tied it at 61-61 the “game’s biggest basket”).

“This was a total team effort,” Miller said. “That’s not just coach-speak. There was not one guy who didn’t do something to help us. That’s a testament to their work ethic.”

IU, after a series of gut-wrenching losses, including two straight at home, finally came through.

“We found a way,” Miller said. “Hopefully this gives us a shot in the arm and confidence.”

Franklin finished with four points on 2-for-10 shooting. But he had six rebounds, five assists and one turnover, plus some stingy defense, to make up for it.

Plus, of course, one huge basket.

He was joined by Phinisee, whose 1-for-8 shooting was capped by that dramatic 3-pointer.

“We were in huge trouble,” Miller said about Phinisee’s basket. “He rose up and hit one. He did not have his best week, but he finished the game.”

Doubt never entered into it, Franklin added about himself and Phinisee.

“Our teammates believe in us that we’d hit the big shot,” Franklin said. “You have to keep shooting. Everybody else has the confidence to get you the ball in those big moments.”

Forward Trayce Jackson-Davis led IU with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Forward Race Thompson added 15 points, six rebounds and physical defense on Iowa All-America center Luka Garza, who finished with 18 points and two rebounds, well below his averages of 25.9 and 8.7.

“It’s a challenge,” Thompson said about guarding the 6-11 Garza. “You’ve got to give him different looks. I tried not to let him get the ball.”

Added Miller: “Race does his job. He does what you ask him to do. He’s in the right spots. He takes coaching.”

A 13-point first-half deficit didn’t faze the Hoosiers. It certainly didn’t bother freshmen Anthony Leal and Khristian Lander. Leal hit a pair of 3-pointers, and Lander added one as IU ended the half on a 12-2 run for a 33-31 halftime lead.

Add fellow freshmen Trey Galloway and Jordan Geronimo and you have a combined 19 points, eight rebounds and five assists from the young guys.

“They came in a did a good job,” Miller said. “They changed the game.”

Iowa (13-6, 7-5) has lost its way with four losses in its last five games, including one to Indiana a couple of weeks ago in Iowa City. Second-half defense had been a big vulnerability the Hoosiers exploited it once again.

“We made some winning plays,” Miller said, “which was good to see.”

Iowa opened by making its first three three-pointers to bolt to an 17-4 lead. Adding to IU woes, it struggled to make free throws or layups.

Two Iowa blocks added to the 1-for-12 shooting start.

Enter Thompson, who got a three-point play and forced Garza’s second foul, sending him to the bench for the final 12 minutes of the half.

The Hoosiers ratcheted up the defense, forced turnovers and began closing the gap, even with the Hawkeyes extending their three-point-opening run to five straight.

Geronimo got a couple of dunks. Jackson-Davis scored on a put-back.

That was just the preliminary. IU ended the half on a 9-0 run, including two three-pointers from Leal and one by Lander, for a 33-31 halftime lead.

The Hoosiers were 5-for-27 from the field in the 15 minutes. They were 6-for-7 in the final five.

Iowa got Garza back for the second half. He scored the Hawkeyes’ first four points as they surged to a 45-35 lead.

With Franklin and Phinisee a combined 0-for-12 from the field for zero points at that point, Miller put Lander and Leal back in.

They helped the Hoosiers close within a point, at 45-44, with 11:30 left.

Seeking a veteran defensive backcourt presence, Miller put Franklin and Phinisee back in. IU forged a 53-53 tie with six minutes left. A Franklin basket off a Phinisee assist put the Hoosiers ahead by two a minute later. They led 57-55 with 3:28 left.

With the score tied at 57-57, Jackson-Davis missed two free throws. Garza muscled in a basket, then another. A Phinisee 3-pointer tied it at 61-61 with 90 seconds left.

A Thompson basket put IU ahead 63-62 with 55 seconds left. Jackson-Davis added two free throws 15 seconds later. A Bohannon three-pointer tied it 15 seconds after that.

That set the stage for Franklin’s game winner.

Next up – road games at Northwestern on Wednesday and No. 7 Ohio State on Saturday.

“We’re feeling good coming out of this one,” Miller said. “We’re playing hard. We have to stay with it and keep grinding away. In this league, it’s a game of inches.”

Samuels scores 32, leads No. 3 Villanova over Georgetown

Jermaine Samuels and Villanova bounced back in a big way.

Samuels scored a career-high 32 points to lead No. 3 Villanova to an 84-74 victory over Georgetown on Sunday.

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl added 14 points and Collin Gillespie had 12 for the Wildcats (12-2, 7-1 Big East), who rebounded from a loss at St. John’s.

Samuels, who had two points in 25 minutes against St. John’s, made 10 of 17 shots overall and 6 of 7 from 3-point range.

“I didn’t have the game I wanted,” Samuels said of Wednesday’s performance. “It was getting back to our Villanova habits, coming out and executing. It wasn’t just about the offense.”

Samuels added six rebounds, five assists and three steals.

“He came out with a fierce focus,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said. “He did so many little things tonight.”

Jahvon Blair scored 18 points and Qudus Wahab had 17 for Georgetown (5-9, 3-6).

“This was a game we had an opportunity to win,” Hoyas coach Patrick Ewing said. “They’re a good team, very well coached, but we were right there.”

Georgetown took its last lead on Blair’s 3-pointer with 5:46 to play that made it 67-66. After a pair of free throws by Justin Moore gave Villanova a 72-69 advantage, Wahab’s two-handed dunk attempt went long off the back rim. Caleb Daniels drained a 3 on the Wildcats’ ensuing possession and Villanova was its way to its 10th win in 11 games.

Wright liked the way his team responded after its worst performance of the season.

“There are certain things in the St. John’s game I can’t explain, Jermaine being one,” Wright said. “We have talented, humble players that assess their performance honestly and don’t make excuses. We got our butts beat. We looked at it, and we took responsibility.”

Unlike the first contest on Dec. 11, when Georgetown led by as many as 18 points in the opening half before losing 76-63, it was Villanova that jumped out to a double-digit first-half advantage. Samuels’ 3-pointer with 8:50 left in the half made it 30-20.

But Georgetown clawed back, outscoring the Wildcats 15-3 over the next six minutes to go up 35-33 on Chudier Bile’s reverse layup. Villanova scored four of the final six before the break to enter the locker room ahead 37-35.

INDIANA WBB: Four Players Score In Double Figures As No. 17 Indiana Beats Iowa

(IU RELEASE)

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Sophomore forward Mackenzie Holmes and senior guard Ali Patberg combined for 48 points as No. 17 Indiana defeated Iowa, 85-72, on Sunday afternoon at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

KEY MOMENTS

Berger scored first for the Hoosiers (11-4, 9-2 B1G) but the Hawkeyes (10-6, 6-6 B1G) responded on their own 6-0 run and led by as many as five in the early going.

A drive by Patberg and a counter 3-point bucket from senior guard Nicole Cardaño-Hillary kept the Hoosiers within three with just shy of five minutes left in the frame. Berger and Cardaño-Hillary combined with back-to-back buckets to pull IU ahead. A timely 3-pointer from senior guard Keyanna Warthen kept the lead with Indiana, 18-17. Holmes made the difference in the first on a baseline penetration to give IU a two-point lead.

Iowa started off the second quarter hot, going on an 8-0 run just three minutes in. Indiana, however, would go on to match the run and take a 36-33 lead at halftime.

In the third, the Hoosiers pushed the lead to 10 behind 10 points from junior guard Grace Berger in the quarter. Their 57-47 advantage with just under three minutes to play slowly dwindled down the stretch as Iowa came within two, 58-56, on a 9-2 run to go to the fourth quarter.

That’s when IU arguably had its strongest 10 minutes of basketball in the game, outscoring the Hawkeyes, 27-16, and shooting a combined 61.5 percent. The Hoosiers worked early in the fourth quarter, going on an 8-0 run with 7:28 left in the game. They would hold off Iowa down the stretch, letting it get no closer than eight points as bonus shots down the stretched help IU seal the win.

NOTABLE

The Hoosiers defeat Iowa on the road for the first time since Feb. 20, 1994 when it won 63-59 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Indiana shot 51.3 percent on the afternoon, its sixth game scoring 50 percent or higher as a team this season.

Holmes scored in double figures for the 11th-consecutive game with a team-high 25 points on 8-for-12 shooting. She also notched her fifth double-double of the season with a team-high 13 rebounds and added four blocks to her 44 total blocks this season.

Holmes led the Hoosiers in scoring in her eighth game this season. 

Patberg added 23 points and a team-high seven assists.

Berger added 15 points, nine rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Cardaño-Hillary made her fifth start of her IU career, adding a new season-high 17 points and hit three 3-pointers. 

IU scored 50 of its 85 points in the paint and won on the glass, 42-35.

UP NEXT

The Hoosier return home to face Penn State on Thursday. The game will air live on Big Ten Network at 4 p.m. ET.

PURDUE WBB: Purdue Falls at Illinois

(PURDUE RELEASE)

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – On a couple of bad bounces and late missed shots, the Purdue women’s basketball team dropped its Sunday contest at Illinois 54-49.

Kayana Traylor led the Boilermakers (6-9, 3-8) in scoring with 14 points on 6-of-18 shooting with five rebounds, five assists and three steals. Freshman Madison Layden notched her fourth game of the year in double figures with 10 points and added a career-high five steals.

Purdue struggled to find its offensive rhythm in three of the four quarters, shooting over 30% in just the second period. Fatou Diagne hauled down 14 rebounds for her fifth straight game with double-digit boards, as Purdue dominated the rebounding battle 47-29.

Illinois (3-11, 1-10) jumped out to a quick 8-0, eventually building it out to a 15-7 advantage after the first. From that point on, it was all Boilermakers for the rest of the first half.

Purdue rolled off a 24-9 second period, the best scoring margin in a quarter all season. Traylor took over with 12 points in the frame on 5-of-9 shooting, while LAYDEN connected on a pair of triples. The Boilermakers shot 52.6% from the field and 3-of-6 from deep in the period to take 32-24 lead at the break.

Neither side made much of a run the third quarter, as Purdue carried a 40-36 lead into the final period.

In the fourth, Tamara Farquhar knocked down a mid-range jumper early in the period to open a four-point advantage, before the Fighting Illini scored seven straight to take a 47-44 lead.

Brooke Moore buried a right-wing triple to even the score with 2:27 to play, before giving the Boilermakers a 49-47 lead with 57 seconds remaining on a pullup jumper. However, Illinois used a 7-0 run in the final 41 seconds to pull away for the win.

NOTES

• Purdue owns a 61-18 all-time series lead with a 25-12 mark in Champaign.

• The Boilermakers are 21-9 when playing on Super Bowl Sunday.

• Purdue has held an opponent to single-digit scoring in a period five times this season, including three of the last four games.

• Purdue converted 21 Illinois turnovers into 11 points.

• Led by Layden’s five swipes, Purdue totaled 14 steals, its highest output since 16 against Ball State on Nov. 7, 2018.

• Purdue shot 25% from the field over the final 12 minutes.

• The Boilermakers are now 1-2 this season and 66-9 since 2015-16 when holding an opponent under 60 points.

• Purdue hauled down 23 offensive rebounds, its highest total since 24 against Ball State on Nov. 7, 2018, but the Boilermakers could only convert them into five second-chance points.

• Topped by Kayana Traylor’s sixth game this season with at least five assists, Purdue dished out 11 helpers on 22 made field goals. It was the 12th game with an assist on at least 50% of the made baskets.

• The Boilermakers played without Karissa McLaughlin and Cassidy Hardin.

UP NEXT

Purdue will return to Mackey Arena on Thursday night for 6 p.m. clash with No. 13 Michigan on BTN.

NOTRE DAME WBB: NOTRE DAME FALLS, 71-65, IN SLUGFEST WITH NO. 1 LOUISVILLE

(NOTRE DAME RELEASE)

LOUISVILLE – The Notre Dame women’s basketball team (8-8, 6-6) battled toe-to-toe with No. 1 Louisville (18-1, 11-1) on Sunday. The Irish rallied down 11 points in the fourth quarter and had a chance to take the lead after a Maddy Westbeld steal and fast break pull-up jumper, but the freshman’s shot fell short, as the Cardinals pushed ahead for the 71-65 victory.

“I learned a lot and was inspired by my team today competing and fighting,” Karen & Kevin Keyes Head Coach Niele Ivey stated. “In prior press conferences, you’ve heard me talk about teaching these players to fight and compete and we did that today. It came down to timely rebounds and they hit some big shots. They capitalized on our mistakes and that’s what happens when you play the No. 1 team in the country. I think it was a good measuring stick of where we are and how we are going to continue to get better.”

All seven Notre Dame players who registered points scored eight or more in a very balanced attack. Four players all led with a team-high 10 points, including early enrollee Olivia Miles. Sam Brunelle nearly had a double-double with 10 points and a season high nine rebounds. The other two in double figures were Mikki Vaughn and Maddy Westbeld – both of whom reeled in eight boards.

HOW IT HAPPENED

Trailing 12-6 in the opening minutes, Notre Dame’s defense settled in and forced Louisville to miss eight consecutive shots. As a result, the Irish offense churned out an 11-0 run from 5:25-2:10, getting points from Brunelle, Dara Mabrey, Miles and Westbeld. Louisville did counter with a 9-0 run to end the quarter to recapture the lead at 21-17.

Louisville’s Dana Evans and Elizabeth Balogun combined for 15 of the team’s 21 points in the second quarter, pushing the home team to a 42-34 halftime lead. Both had big and-one’s in the quarter to give the Cardinals some momentum. Evans had 16 points at the half, while Balogun boasted 10.

Notre Dame recorded a 6-0 run early on in the second to tie the game at 25-all, before hitting a 1-for-7 stretch from the field. Six different players once again contributed points in the period to keep it close, including back-to-back buckets from Peoples before the half.

Louisville scored the first three points of the second half to build its largest lead of the game, up 45-34. Brunelle got the offense going with a trey at 8:18, followed by layups from Peoples and Vaughn. A Walker three in front of her bench cut the deficit to 50-44.

A 6-0 Olivia Miles solo run over a 90-second spurt brought the Irish back to life, cutting it to one possession at 52-50 with 3:16 remaining in the quarter. Yet, another strong Cardinals surge down the final stretch of the quarter resulted in a 58-50 advantage heading into the final quarter.

A three from Louisville’s Kianna Smith to start the fourth pushed the Cards lead back to double-digits at 61-50. Ultimately, the Irish missed 12 field goal attempts in a row from 2:46 in the third to 7:50 in the fourth.

A Vaughn layup at 5:43 ended the Irish drought, followed by a Brunelle mid-range jumper. Yet, Elizabeth Dixon converted an and-one at the media timeout to stymie the rally.

Enter Westbeld, who notched back-to-back big buckets to make it 66-62 with 2:20 left. Then Mabrey hit from deep at 1:41 to cut it to a one-point game. The Irish had a chance for the lead after a steal from Westbeld, but the freshman couldn’t hit the pull-up jumper on the other end.

On Louisville’s next possession, Dana Evans hit a three to extend it to 69-65 with 57 seconds left, which eventually led to the 71-65 final. Evans finished with a game-high 27 points on 9-of-21 shooting.

NOTES

Notre Dame still leads the overall series 16-9, with a now 5-4 mark at Louisville. The Cardinals have won three straight in the series for the first time.

The Irish fall to 5-26 all-time against the A.P. No. 1 ranked team. All five wins have been against UConn, with the last being the national semifinal in 2018. 

Today marked the first time Notre Dame has faced a No. 1 ranked team during the regular season since UConn on Jan. 5, 2013.

All seven Irish players who scored finished with eight or more points in a very balanced attack on Sunday.

The Irish outscored the Cardinals in the paint, 36-30. Rebounds were tied at 41-all.

Olivia Miles scored six straight for the Irish in the third and finished with her first double-digit scoring performance of her career with 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting.

Brunelle’s hot hand continued, recording her third straight game in double figures with 10 points. She has now totaled 39 points over said three-game span.

Brunelle came one rebound shy of a double-double, reeling in a season and team best nine boards.

Westbeld earned her sixth straight game in double figures, and 14th overall, with 10 points against the Cardinals. The top scoring freshman in the ACC has only finished in single digits twice this season.

Walker’s free throw streak continued after going 4-for-4 on Sunday. She has now made 19 in a row.

Vaughn has made 12 of her last 20 from the field, totaling 27 points over three games. On Sunday, Vaughn earned 10 points and eight rebounds, marking her fifth game in double figures. 

UP NEXT

The Irish have another chance for a NCAA Tournament resume boost and marquee win in No. 2 NC State on Monday, Feb. 15. Tip inside Reynolds Coliseum is set for 5 p.m. EST on ESPN2.

BALL STATE WBB: WBB Returns To The Court Monday For a MAC Matinee At Home Against NIU

(BSU RELEASE)

Game 16

Ball State (9-6, 7-4 MAC) vs. Northern Illinois (9-6, 7-3 MAC)

Muncie, Ind. | Worthen Arena

Watch: ESPN3  | Listen: Muncie Sports Station (102.9 FM/1340 AM) | Live Stats

Game Notes: Ball State (PDF) | Northern Illinois

Opening Tip:

• This will mark the 60th meeting in a series that began in 1982-83 when the Cardinals defeated the Huskies 86-83 on Jan. 26 in DeKalb, Ill. The Cardinals lead the all-time series record 38-21. Ball State and Northern Illinois split the two-game series last year both winning on their home turfs. The last time the two met was in DeKalb on March 4, 2020 resulting in a 86-79 loss for the Cardinals.

• Ball State ninth-year head coach Brady Sallee has won 13 of the last 17 meetings against the Huskies dating back to his first season at the helm in 2012-13.

• Today’s contest was originally scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 20 but due to COVID-19 pandemic the game was postponed until this afternoon.

• Northern Illinois got to enjoy a few days off as the Huskies did not play Saturday, Feb. 6. NIU is coming off of a 79-78 upset over MAC favorite Bowling Green on Feb. 3 in DeKalb,Ill. With the victory, the Huskies will ride a three-game win streak into Worthen Arena Monday.

• The Cardinals five-game win streak was snapped Saturday in Worthen Arena by Akron. Ball State fell to the Zips 89-84 in overtime. BSU had not lost a game since its 88-85 overtime victory at Ohio on Jan. 13. Senior forward Oshlynn Brown led the Cardinals against Akron with a 29-point, 19 rebound performance. The 19 rebounds matched Brown’s career high.

• The Cardinals have a tough week ahead them as they are set to play four games in an eight day span.

Down To The Wire:

The Cardinals have taking their last six contests down to the wire and I mean down to the wire. The Cardinals have not won or lost by more than seven points in six games. Ball State has played two overtime contests in less than a month winning one at Ohio (88-85) on Jan. 13 and then losing to Akron (89-84) on Feb. 6. The most the Cardinals have won by in their last six games was a seven-point margin (78-71) at Western Michigan on Jan. 30.

1,000 Points, 1,000 Rebounds:

Senior Oshlynn Brown currently has 1,292 career points and 970 rebounds. Brown needs 30 rebounds to hit 1,000. Brown will become only the second player in Ball State women’s basketball history to reach 1,000 points and rebounds. Former Cardinal Emma Jones (1984-87) so far is the lone player in program history to get 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.

Rebound That Basketball:

Senior forward Oshlynn Brown is moving up the all-time rebounds list at Ball State. She currently ranks 4th with 970 rebounds. Brown needs 17 rebounds to take sole possession of the third spot which is currently held by former Cardinal Nathalie Fontaine (2012-16) with 985 rebounds. Brown needs 39 rebounds to become the BSU’s all-time leader in that category which is currently owned by for Cardinal Emma Jones (1984-87) with 1,028 rebounds.

Scouting NIU:

• The Huskies are led by head coach Lisa Carlson who is in her sixth season at Northern Illinois.

• Northern Illinois always has that one player you have to look out for when it comes to scoring. Last year it was forward Courtney Woods that the Cardinals had to concentrate on and this year it is sophomore Chelby Koker who leads the team in scoring averaging 20.2 points per contest. She is the lone Huskie that is currently averagin double figures. The Cardinals do not need to send Koker to the line as she ranks in the top 10 nationally in free throw percentage.

• Three-point shooting is one of NIU’s strong suits this season. The Huskies rank at the top of the three-point shooting category amongst the Mid-American Conference averaging a little over 38 percent.

Next Game:

The Ball State women’s basketball team remains at home Wednesday when it hosts Ohio for its annual “Play4Kay Think Pink” game. The game is at 7 p.m. ET in Worthen Arena. The Cardinals hold this event every year to raise money for cancer.

OHIO STATE WBB: Buckeyes Take Care of Minnesota 83-59

(OSU RELEASE)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Runs at the start of both the first and second halves were the difference as Ohio State raced to an 83-59 victory on Sunday afternoon over visiting Minnesota.

The Buckeyes improve to 12-2 on the season and 8-2 in the conference while Minnesota falls to 5-9 and 4-8.

Ohio State started the game on an 11-2 run but Minnesota was able to close the gap to 30-26 before the break. The Buckeyes put on a full court press at the onset of the third quarter and used a 15-0 run to widen the lead and put the game out of reach.

Forwards Dorka Juhasz and Aaliyah Patty each recorded a double-double in the win. Juhasz finished with a game-high 18 points to go along with 10 rebounds while Patty had 14 points and also pulled-down 10 rebounds.

Sophomore Jacy Sheldon had a second consecutive good game, scoring 17 points and she dished-out a team-high four assists.

Guards Madison Greene and Kateri Poole each chipped-in with eight points.

Ohio State forced 25 turnovers which was a season-high and the Buckeyes scored 27 points off those takeaways.

For a bit of a change, the Buckeyes were the ones to get out to a hot start. Behind six points from Sheldon, OSU took an early 11-2 lead and never trailed in the first half. The Buckeyes shot 44 percent in the opening half and led 39-30 at the break. OSU was paced by Patty with 12 points and seven rebounds.

The run in the third quarter was the difference in the game. Minnesota scored the first two points of the quarter and then Ohio State scored 25 of the next 29 points. Sheldon had eight points in just six minutes of action in the third with most of them coming in transition.

The Buckeyes will hit the road this Wednesday as they head to Wisconsin to take on the Badgers. This will be the only meeting this season between the two teams. Tip is set for 7 p.m. ET and the game will be streamed on BTN Plus+.

Mitchell, Jazz win for 15th time in 16 games, beat Pacers

Minus star point guard Mike Conley, the Utah Jazz got to see Donovan Mitchell do a bit of everything.

Mitchell came within one rebound of a triple-double with 27 points, 11 assists, and nine boards as the Jazz won for the 15th time in 16 games, beating the Indiana Pacers 103-95 Sunday.

The Jazz improved their NBA-best record to 19-5 despite missing Mike Conley, who was scratched with a hamstring injury. Mitchell ensured a fast start with 11 first-quarter points.

“From the beginning, I just wanted to establish the mentality that we were going to push through,” Mitchell said. “There were times we were tired, but we had to do it collectively.”

When he wasn’t driving past defenders, he was pulling up for uncontested jumpers. When covered, he didn’t hesitate to distribute the ball to teammates.

“Those shots are more open when you attack the rim,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said

Former Pacer Bojan Bogdanovic was rewarded for driving to the rim as he broke an 83-all tie with a three-point play midway through the fourth quarter. On subsequent possessions, Mitchell fed Bogdanovic and Joe Ingles for 3-pointers.

The Jazz made up for misses by hitting the boards with a 69-54 advantage that included 17 offensive rebounds.

In the final two minutes, Mitchell banked home a runner and sank a pair of foul shots for a 100-91 lead. During a late timeout, teammates advised him he needed one rebound for a triple-double.

“I’m not the type of person to go and chase it,” Mitchell said. “I’m just trying to find ways to impact the game.”

Bogdanovic finished with 18 points. Jordan Clarkson added 17 off the bench. Rudy Gobert had 16 points and 16 rebounds.

“They have such a great team, they make you pay for any little mistake,” said Pacers reserve Doug McDermott, who scored 18 points.

Domantas Sabonis scored 20 for the Pacers, who have lost five of six. Malcolm Brogdon had 15 points and seven assists.

“We played pretty good defense,” McDermott said, “but we just weren’t able to score baskets when we needed to.”

AP source: Knicks to acquire Rose, who rejoins Thibodeau

Derrick Rose is reuniting with Tom Thibodeau after a trade that brings him back to New York.

The Knicks agreed to acquire the former NBA MVP from the Detroit Pistons on Sunday, a person with knowledge of the details said.

The Knicks will send Dennis Smith Jr. and a second-round pick to the Pistons, the person told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the trade was not yet official.

Once it is, it reunites Rose with Thibodeau, his coach in Chicago when the guard became the youngest MVP in NBA history at 22 in 2011.

Rose later spent one season in New York, averaging 18 points in 2016-17, before rejoining Thibodeau again in Minnesota. He is now in his second season in Detroit.

The deal was first reported by ESPN and The Athletic.

Rose was one of the NBA’s most explosive players early in his career, the superstar who led Thibodeau’s defensive-minded teams to the best record in the league. But a series of knee injuries followed and neither he nor the Bulls could duplicate that early success.

But Rose remains a productive player as a reserve, averaging about 18 points in each of the two previous seasons. He was scoring 14.2 per game in 15 games this season.

Most important, he’s familiar with Thibodeau, who could use some more scoring punch in his first season in New York.

“He’s one of those guys, he’s been around the system just like myself,” said Knicks forward Taj Gibson, who also played in Chicago and Minnesota. “We know kind of what Thibs basically wants.”

Elfrid Payton is the Knicks’ starting point guard and first-round pick Immanuel Quickley has played well off the bench.

Smith, a former top-10 pick, could never make an impact in New York after being acquired from Dallas as part of the Kristaps Porzingis trade just over two years ago. He was not in Thibodeau’s rotation and was planning to play for the Knicks’ G League affiliate just to get some games. Instead, he leaves after averaging just 8.7 points in 58 games.

The deal continues the Pistons’ total overhaul of last season’s roster, having already moved on from players such as Andre Drummond, Luke Kennard, Reggie Jackson and Christian Wood.

Rose gave the Pistons a lift at times last season, but wasn’t much use to a rebuilding team in this one. His scoring and minutes were down this season as Detroit looked to rookie Killian Hayes at point guard before he was hurt, with Delon Wright also playing solidly at the position.

Cavaliers F Nance to miss 6 weeks with broken left hand

A tough stretch for the Cavaliers just got a lot tougher.

Cleveland will be without versatile forward Larry Nance for six weeks after he broke his left hand during Saturday’s loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

Nance, who has missed several recent games with a sprained right wrist, broke the fourth metacarpal in his hand during the first quarter of the 124-99 loss as the Cavaliers dropped back-to-back games against one of the NBA’s best teams.

It’s not yet known if Nance will have surgery.

Nance’s loss comes at a challenging juncture for the Cavs. They won only 19 games in 2020 but have been one of the league’s biggest surprises so far this season. However, Cleveland has lost three straight, five of six and will begin a five-game road trip – all against playoff contenders – on Monday in Phoenix.

The 28-year-old Nance is perhaps the team’s best all-around player. He can play down low and on the perimeter and Nance, who is in his fourth season with Cleveland, ranks second in the league with 1.9 steals per game.

Nance is averaging 9.3 points and 6.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 19 games.

Nance’s loss also weakens a frontcourt already missing five-time Al-Star Kevin Love. He hasn’t played since Dec. 27 due to a severely strained calf he initially injured in the preseason.

Love began doing on-court work earlier this week and said Saturday he’s getting close to playing. Love is not expected to be back on the floor until the Cavaliers return home.

Without Nance, coach J.B. Bickerstaff will be forced to experiment with some new lineups. He does have size in Andre Drummond, Jarrett Allen and Javale McGee, but the Cavs’ biggest problem lately has been scoring – especially from the outside.

Earlier this week, Cleveland was outscored 60-12 on 3-pointers by the Los Angeles Clippers.

Johnson eases to another victory at Saudi International

Top-ranked Dustin Johnson won the Saudi International for the second time in three years on Sunday after shooting a 2-under 68 in the final round to finish two strokes clear of Justin Rose and Tony Finau.

Johnson, who was also runner-up in 2020, recorded his highest scoring round of the tournament at Royal Greens Golf Club but still finished top of the leaderboard on 15-under overall.

Scotland’s Calum Hill eagled the par-five 18th to finish in a tie for fourth with France’s Victor Perez.

Johnson took a two-shot lead into the final round but the Masters champion struggled on the greens and was caught by Finau when his fellow American made a hat-trick of birdies from the 11th.

However, Johnson edged back in front with a birdie on the 13th and was given some welcome breathing space when Finau dropped shots on the 16th and 17th and Perez double-bogeyed the 16th.

Johnson also dropped a shot on the 16th to see his lead cut to one, but responded in style with a massive tee shot on the next and a pitch to two feet to set up a decisive birdie.

“I saw the leaderboard a little bit, the guys were playing well but I kept giving myself a lot of chances,” Johnson told Sky Sports. “I didn’t hole many of them but finally holed a really nice putt on 13.

“Seventeen was a really nice birdie, hit a great drive there and a nice little chip but it was tough all day today.

“I don’t get to play around the world as much as I’d like to but it’s definitely nice to get a win not on my tour and after Augusta, to get my first win again, obviously the game is still in really good form and I’m really excited about the rest of the year.”

Rasmus Hojgaard, Ryan Fox, Viktor Hovland and Tyrrell Hatton finished in a four-way tie for sixth on 11 under.

The Saudi International is the last of three events in the “Gulf Swing” that launches 2021 on the European Tour.

AP source: OF Albert Almora agrees to contract with Mets

Outfielder Albert Almora has agreed to a contract with the New York Mets, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Sunday because the agreement was subject to a successful physical.

Almora, 26, plays primarily center field and joins a Mets outfield group that includes Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, Jeff McNeil, Guillermo Heredia and Jose Martinez.

Almora became a free agent when the Chicago Cubs failed to offer a contract by the Dec. 2 deadline. He hit .167 with one RBI in 30 at-bats during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, down from a .236 average, a career-best 12 homers and 32 RBIs in 2019.

Nadal bothered by back soreness before Australian Open

Back soreness is still bothering Rafael Nadal as he prepares for the Australian Open.

The No. 2-ranked Nadal likes everything to line up perfectly, and he admitted on the eve of the year’s first major “the whole positive feelings that I had” last week after coming out of 14-day quarantine “now disappeared a little bit.”

Nadal is trying to win his 21st Grand Slam singles title, which would give him sole ownership of the men’s record. He equaled Roger Federer on 20 last October when he won at Roland Garros, his 13th French Open title.

But the back problem is causing him uncertainty. Nadal was sidelined for the ATP Cup at Melbourne Park, where he was little more than a spectator as Spain, last year’s runners-up, lost in the semifinals.

“It’s true that for the last 15 days I have been suffering with the back,” Nadal, appearing slightly dejected, told a pre-tournament news conference Sunday. “So here we are. I tried little bit today to serve again. I’m doing everything what’s possible to be ready for it. Today I am still hoping to keep improving and hope to be ready for it.”

The Australian Open starts Monday, with top-ranked Novak Djokovic starting his quest for third Australian title, and a ninth overall.

Nadal is on the bottom half of the men’s draw and is scheduled to play his first-round match against Laslo Djere of Serbia on Tuesday. A win there and he could face either Viktor Troicki or Michael Mhom in the second round with a projected third-round match against Dan Evans, who won one of the six tuneup tournaments held at Melbourne Park this week.

He’s not thinking that far ahead, having been in the situation before of taking injuries and niggles into a major.

“I think about (how) we are on Sunday, I have tomorrow and then playing Tuesday, no?” he said. “I don’t think about not playing – the thing is about in which conditions I’m going to start the tournament.

“It’s not serious, but the muscle is still tight, so is difficult to play with freedom of movements. Let’s hope (the) situation keeps improving.”