BOYS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Northrop 54, Kokomo 48
Lake Central 63, Harrison 45
Logansport 49, Western 43
Marion 83, South Side 77
McCutcheon 76, Frankton 64
McCutcheon at Richmond, 7:30 pm, ppd.
Central at Noblesville, 7:30 pm, ppd.
Winchester 85, Union City 55
Northeastern 69, Lincoln 26….Carter Lumpkin 13, Kolden Vanlandingham 12, Payton Lumpkin 12, Raedhyn Foust 12, Ben Deitsch 10
Tri-Central 66, Wes-Del 58
Wapahani 73, Burris 42
Shenandoah 43, Blue River 31
Connersville 45, New Castle 31
Greensburg 62, Shelbyville 57
Ross (Ohio) 53, East Central 42
Milan 60, Batesville 52
Lawrenceburg 50, Switzerland County 41
South Dearborn 49, Rising Sun 32
Connersville 45, New Castle 31
Greensburg 62, Shelbyville 57
Mount Vernon 85, Whiteland 81, OT
New Palestine 45, Southport 42
Bethesda Christian 68, Indiana Deaf 37
Central Christian 71, Manual 36
Greenwood Christian 60, Shortridge 56
Wapahani 73, Burris 42
BOYS STATE SCOREBOARD
|Bedford North Lawrence||36||South Knox||30|
|Ben Davis||68||Indianapolis Washington||61|
|Bethesda Christian||68||Indiana Deaf||37|
|Borden||58||Rock Creek Academy||50|
|Center Grove||59||Jennings County||38|
|Central Christian||71||Indianapolis Manual||36|
|Covenant Christian||67||Heritage Christian||63|
|East Chicago Central||45||Portage||33|
|Evansville Memorial||59||Gibson Southern||44|
|Evansville Reitz||81||Terre Haute South||59|
|Floyd Central||69||South Spencer||60|
|Forest Park||71||Perry Central||65|
|Fort Wayne Blackhawk||107||Fort Wayne Concordia||63|
|Fort Wayne Northrop||54||Kokomo||48|
|Greenwood Christian||60||Indianapolis Shortridge||56|
|Horizon Christian||61||Bloomington Lighthouse||43|
|Huntington North||40||East Noble||38|
|Indian Creek||78||Brown County||43|
|Indianapolis Herron||99||Hamilton Heights||87|
|Indianapolis Ritter||93||Indianapolis Scecina||61|
|Jay County||58||Adams Central||50|
|Kankakee Valley||58||Benton Central||29|
|Lafayette Central Catholic||52||Rensselaer Central||30|
|Lake Central||63||Harrison (West Lafayette)||45|
|Lighthouse CPA||81||South Bend Career||43|
|Manchester||51||Fort Wayne Canterbury||38|
|Marion||83||Fort Wayne South||77|
|Mitchell||61||South Central (Elizabeth)||54|
|Mount Vernon (Fortville)||85||Whiteland||81||OT|
|North Daviess||63||Evansville Christian||54|
|North Newton||56||Hammond Science & Tech||37|
|North Posey||76||Mount Vernon (Posey)||55|
|North White||57||South Newton||41|
|Oak Hill||49||Eastern (Greentown)||46||OT|
|Ross (Ohio)||53||East Central||42|
|South Bend Washington||57||Elkhart Christian||38|
|Traders Point Christian||43||Indiana Math & Science||40|
|Vincennes Rivet||47||Dugger Union||34|
|Warren Central||75||Hamilton Southeastern||54|
|Greene County Invitational|
|Riverton Parke||67||White River Valley||52||7th|
|North Central (Farmersburg)||63||Eastern Greene||58||3rd|
|Henry County Tournament|
|Randolph County Tournament|
|Ripley County Tournament|
|South Dearborn||49||Rising Sun||32||1st|
|Shelby County Tournament|
|Wayne County Tournament|
|Northeastern||69||Cambridge City Lincoln||26||1st|
GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Northrop 63, Kokomo 53
Harrison 73, Twin Lakes 39
Northwestern 60, Logansport 40
Anderson 61, Pendleton Heights 56
McCutcheon at Richmond, 5 pm, ppd.
Union County 46, Eastern Hancock 34
Shenandoah 50, Tri 37
Winchester 67, Monroe Central 29
Union County 46, Eastern Hancock 34
Shenandoah 50, Tri 37
Winchester 67, Monroe Central 29
Burris at Wapahani, 1:30 pm, ppd.
Connersville 34, Greenfield 26
East Central 57, Rushville 50
Greensburg at Franklin County, 7:30 pm
Connersville 34, Greenfield 26
Hamilton SE 55, New Palestine 27
Yorktown 62, Shelbyville 28
Anderson 61, Pendleton Heights 56
|Bedford North Lawrence||60||Castle||38|
|Bethesda Christian||46||Traders Point Christian||19|
|Bloomington North||59||Terre Haute South||48|
|Boonville||50||Mount Vernon (Posey)||41|
|Carroll (Flora)||51||North White||46|
|Central Noble||51||East Noble||45|
|Clinton Central||54||Eastern (Greentown)||26|
|Clinton Prairie||46||Western Boone||23|
|Crown Point||86||Lake Station||38|
|Evansville Mater Dei||45||Jasper||41|
|Evansville North||48||Heritage Hills||39|
|Fort Wayne Luers||56||Fort Wayne Canterbury||19|
|Fort Wayne Northrop||63||Kokomo||53|
|Fountain Central||53||South Newton||37|
|Frontier||57||Covenant Christian (DeMotte)||36|
|Greenwood Christian||87||Indianapolis Lutheran||45|
|Hamilton Southeastern||55||New Palestine||27|
|Harrison (West Lafayette)||73||Twin Lakes||39|
|Heritage Christian (Dyer)||36||Trinity Greenlawn||21|
|Illiana Christian||52||Hammond Clark||27|
|Indiana Math & Science||45||Providence Cristo Rey||33|
|Indianapolis Ritter||62||Brebeuf Jesuit||30|
|Indianapolis Scecina||66||Indianapolis Washington||28|
|Kankakee Valley||69||Hammond Morton||23|
|Lafayette Central Catholic||74||Rensselaer Central||40|
|Lakewood Park||35||Elkhart Christian||15|
|New Albany||41||Floyd Central||40|
|North Central (Farmersburg)||81||South Vermillion||33|
|North Judson||46||South Central (Union Mills)||36|
|North Vermillion||52||Faith Christian||50|
|Northeast Dubois||38||Wood Memorial||31|
|Parke Heritage||65||Riverton Parke||42|
|Perry Central||55||North Posey||28|
|Portland Christian (Ky.)||57||South Central (Elizabeth)||47|
|South Adams||63||Fort Wayne North||33|
|South Bend Washington||65||Portage||23|
|Springs Valley||49||South Spencer||48|
|Switzerland County||69||Christian Academy||9|
|Terre Haute North||69||Southport||36|
|Union County||46||Eastern Hancock||34|
|Valparaiso||67||East Chicago Central||21|
|White River Valley||44||Clay City||34|
|Hendricks County Tournament|
|Henry County Tournament|
|Madison County Tournament|
|Elwood||90||Anderson Prep Academy||24||7th|
|Randolph County Tournament|
|Shelby County Tournament|
HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLING-AREA/NCC
Centerville 73 Monroe Central 6
Centerville 60 Winchester 18
Centerville 54 Beech Grove 22
Centerville 64 Franklin County 9
Union County 45 Lincoln 18
Union County 48 Franklin County 24
New Castle 51 Union County 30
Winchester 37 Union County 33
Union County 45 Lincoln 18
McCutcheon 45 Munster 30
Franklin County 43 Jay County JV 27
Jay County JV 49 Winchester 24
Oak Hill 53 Kokomo 26.
Lafayette Jeff 57 Marion 18
Marion 36. Indianapolis Tech 15
Buffalo 27 Indianapolis 24
LA Rams 30 Seattle 20
Tampa Bay 31 Washington 23
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
#1 Gonzaga 116 Portland 88
#2 Baylor 67 TCU 49
#6 Kansas 63 Oklahoma 59
#7 Creighton 97 St. John’s 79
#9 Tennessee 68 Texas A&M 54
#4 Texas at #14 West Virginia postponed
#10 Michigan at Penn State postponed
#11 Houston 71 Tulane 50
LSU at #13 Missouri postponed
Ohio State at #15 Rutgers postponed
#17 Oregon 79 Utah 73
#18 Texas Tech 91 Iowa State 64
#19 Clemson at North Carolina postponed
Wake Forest at #21 Duke postponed
#22 Virginia 61 Boston College 49
#25 Florida State at Pittsburgh postponed
Miami, Florida 64 North Carolina State 59
Charleston 61 Drexel 60
UMass Lowell 71 Hartford 62
South Florida 69 E. Carolina 63
Citadel 92 Chattanooga 87
Mississippi State 84 Vanderbilt 81
Miami Ohio 70 Northern Illinois 58
Winthrop 75 Gardner Webb 65
Duquesne 48 Fordham 45
Seton Hall 76 DePaul 68
Eastern Michigan 71 Akron 59
Evansville 57 Illinois State 48
Navy 69 Lehigh 61
Monmouth 80 Marist 64
Maryland Baltimore County 69 New Hampshire 54
Wofford 48 North Carolina, Greensboro 45
Montana State 76 Northern Colorado 74
Idaho State 76 Northern Arizona 70
Southern Utah 83 Idaho 67
Rhode Island 83 VCU 68
Missouri State 81, Valparaiso 68
William & Mary 67 Delaware 62
Morgan State 78 Norfolk State 74
New Jersey Tech 63 Maine 54
Vermont 76 Binghamton 60
Coastal Carolina 83 S. Alabama 59
California 84 Washington 78
Lamar 71 Houston Baptist 65
Army 83 Holy Cross 68
Wright State 93 Youngstown State 55
Northern Nazarene 75 Portland State 72
Hampton 73 UNC Asheville 71
Arkansas 99 Georgia 69
Appalachian 77 Georgia Southern 71
Lafayette 83 Bucknell 60
Colorado State 83 UNLV 80
Connecticut 72 Butler 60
Siena 74 Fairfield 58
Kent State 80 Western Michigan 54
Montana 84 Whitworth 67
Massachusetts 83 LaSalle 67
Morehead State 56 Jackson State 55
Niagara 66 Rider 55
Texas San Antonio 77 North Texas 69
Manhattan 45 Quinnipiac 42
Bowling Green 93 Central Michigan 65
Alabama Birmingham 62 Southern Miss 58
Belmont 89 Tennessee Martin 69
Buffalo 86 Ball State 69
Radford 79 Charleston Southern 64
Austin Peay 74 Eastern Illinois 71
Kentucky 76 Florida 58
Liberty 76 Kennesaw State 47
Northwestern State 78 McNeese State 75
Middle Tennessee 67 Florida International 56
Wofford 48 North Carolina Greensboro 45
Stanford 75 Washington State 60
Texas Arlington 75 Louisiana Monroe 74
Little Rock 78 Louisiana 76 OT
Fort Wayne 88 Illinois Chicago 55
Green Bay 87 Oakland 78
Sam Houston 91 Central Arkansas 80
Lipscomb 65 Bellarmine 58
Arkansas Pine Bluff 91 Alabama State 82
North Florida 70 Jacksonville 68
Colgate 86 Boston 79
Oklahoma State 70 Kansas State 54
LSU 75 Ole Miss 61
St. Joseph’s 67 Albany 64
Nicholls 87 SE. Louisiana 67
Southern 61 Grambling 55
Campbell 64 Longwood 58
USC 73 Arizona State 64
Cleveland State 74 Northern Kentucky 71 OT
Eastern Kentucky 90 Tennessee Tech 80
New Orleans 86 Incarnate Word 64
Santa Clara 66 St. Mary 64
Old Dominion 64 Florida Atlantic 55
Syracuse 74 Georgetown 69
Louisiana Tech 63 Western Kentucky 58
UC Irvine 79 UC San Diego 65
North Alabama 73 Stetson 66 OT
UC Riverside 70 Hawaii 68
Fullerton 75 Long Beach State 72
South Dakota 68 Kansas City 62
Grand Canyon 59 Tarleton State 48
Utah Valley 81 California Baptist 77
LSU 75 Ole Miss 61
Oral Roberts 74 North Dakota 57
North Dakota State 80 Omaha 66
South Dakota State 92 Western Illinois 63
UCLA 81 Arizona 76
San Diego State 69 Nevada 67
Seattle 98 St. Martins 63
Rice 71 UTEP 68
Bakersfield 67 Cal Poly 50
WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
#3 Connecticut 87 Providence 50
West Virginia 92 #17 Texas 58
#18 S. Florida 80 Houston 51
#21 Gonzaga 75 Portland 43
#22 Northwestern 77 Iowa 67
Loyola Chicago at #25 Missouri State postponed
Northern Illinois 78 Bowling Green 71
Kent State 70 Ball State 61
Central Michigan 79 Buffalo 63
Wright State 64 Cleveland State 46
Boston 79 Colgate 51
UMass Lowell 81 Hartford 45
Delaware 79 William & Mary 55
Maine 77 New Jersey Tech 60
Jackson State 69 Morehead State 56
Ohio 85 Toledo 66
Quinnipiac 55 St. Peter’s 40
Siena 73 Rider 64
Akron 84 Miami Ohio 77
Gardner Webb 75 Charleston Southern 62
Campbell 55 Longwood 54
Drexel 70 Delaware State 47
Middle Tennessee 99 Florida International 89
Austin Peay 77 Eastern Illinois 68
Old Dominion 77 Florida Atlantic 72
Northeastern 54 Hofstra 53
Idaho State 70 Northern Arizona 65
Bucknell 80 Lafayette 51
Northern Colorado 57 Montana State 49
McNeese State 67 Northwestern State 47
Rice 55 UTEP 43
St. John’s 64 Butler 56
North Carolina A&T 78 South Carolina State 39
San Francisco 73 St. Mary’s 56
Southeast Missouri 64 Tennessee State 45
Chattanooga 66 Eastern Tennessee 51
Southern Illinois Edwardsville 64 Murray State 57
Wofford 61 Furman 54
Abilene 73 Texas A&M CC 51
Sam Houston 67 Central Arkansas 60
Liberty 76 Kennesaw State 59
Holy Cross 80 Army 46
South Dakota 80 Kansas City 53
Alabama A&M 65 Mississippi Valley 41
Colorado state 67 UNLV 58
Charlotte 65 Marshall 56
Nicholls 76 SE. Louisiana 63
Portland State 74 Sacramento 64
Samford 78 Mercer 69
California Baptist 62 Utah Valley 53
Eastern Washington 71 Weber State 59
Lipscomb 84 Bellarmine 72
Appalachian 70 Georgia Southern 58
Eastern Kentucky 73 Tennessee Tech 65
Jackson State 66 Alcorn State 31
Grambling 67 Southern 64
Nevada 66 San Diego State 59
Presbyterian 60 USC Upstate 50
North Texas 76 Texas San Antonio 52
Bradley 80 Southern Illinois 68
Arkansas State 70 Texas State 54
Louisiana Tech 58 Western Kentucky 52
Marist 52 Manhattan 44
Louisiana Tech 58 Western Kentucky 52
Alabama Birmingham 84 Southern Miss 65
Texas Arlington 61 Louisiana Monroe 37
South Alabama 55, Coastal Carolina 52
High Point 61 Winthrop 43
Oral Roberts 90 North Dakota 82
Santa Clara 77 Pacific 74
North Dakota State 66 Omaha 55
South Dakota State 87 Western Illinois 66
Lehigh 79 American 70
UC Irvine 62 UC Riverside 60
Long Beach 66 Cal State Fullerton 64
Youngstown State 72 Oakland 57
Milwaukee 64 Fort Wayne 33
Idaho 77 Southern Utah 61
Phoenix 125 Indiana 117
Denver 115 Philadelphia 103
Miami 128 Washington 124
Charlotte 113 Atlanta 105
Milwaukee 100 Cleveland 90
San Antonio 125 Minnesota 122 OT
Dallas 112 Orlando 98
Portland 125 Sacramento 99
TAMPA BAY OUTLASTS WASHINGTON
Tom Brady threw for 381 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers past Washington 31-23 in their NFC wild-card game Saturday night for their first playoff victory since the 2002 season. Brady was critical of his play and the offense’s performance in the red zone but relished picking up his 31st career postseason win.
“Certainly a lot to improve on, but great to get a win,” said Brady, who was 22 of 40 passing. “If you could win 100-0, it’s going to be the same result in the end. You’d love to play great every game. I think it’s good to win and advance.”
In his 42nd postseason start and first not in a New England Patriots uniform, Brady made the most of a lack of early pressure to build a lead against the NFL’s second-ranked defense that held up.
“He is a fighter, he plays hard, works hard and studies hard, and he is the man for the job,” Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette said.
Brady had to outduel Washington’s Taylor Heinicke, who had a breakout performance in just his second pro start and first in the playoffs in place of injured starter Alex Smith. Heinicke – signed in early December to the practice squad – ran for 46 yards and a touchdown and threw for 306 yards and a score.
“He almost beat us with his legs,” Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians said. “He was very elusive. We knew he was going to scramble around, there was going to be bootlegs and scrambles. We were really hoping for Alex because we knew that part of the game wasn’t going to be in there.”
But Heinicke wasn’t enough to overcome Brady’s off-and-on brilliance. While Bill Belichick and the Patriots watch from home with their playoff streak snapped at 11 following a 7-9 season, Brady has the opportunity to play in another Super Bowl – in his new home stadium.
“We’re thrilled with the win,” Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate said. “I hate to say that we’re relieved, but at this point we’re just pumped we got the win. No matter how ugly it was, no matter how many mistakes we made, a win’s a win this time of year.”
The Buccaneers await the result of Chicago at New Orleans on Sunday to see if they’ll be visiting Drew Brees and the Saints or host the Los Angeles Rams next weekend. They’d need a Bears upset to play at home in the divisional round.
“It doesn’t matter,” Arians said. “We’re playing. That’s all that matters.”
Age doesn’t seem to matter much to Brady, who at 43 years, 159 days passed George Blanda as the oldest player to throw a TD pass in a playoff game. A 36-yard scoring connection with Antonio Brown was Brady’s longest in the playoffs since 2011.
LOS ANGELES TOPS DIVISION RIVAL SEATTLE
Quietly, Aaron Donald, Jared Goff and the rest of the Los Angeles Rams seethed.
They watched less than two weeks ago as the Seattle Seahawks loudly celebrated a division title the Rams felt they gave away. Los Angeles desperately wanted another shot.
Behind a lot of Cam Akers churning yards on the ground and mostly a great defense, the Rams are moving on in the NFC playoffs at the expense of the Seahawks.
“We come up here, and all week we were told how good they are and how we snuck into the playoffs,” Goff said. “Two weeks ago you saw them smoking cigars and getting all excited about beating us, and winning the division, and we were able to come up here and beat them.”
Akers rushed for 131 yards and a touchdown, Darious Williams returned Russell Wilson’s interception 42 yards for a score, and the Rams beat the Seahawks 30-20 in the NFC wild-card playoff game Saturday.
“A lot of guys stepped up and answered the bell in a big way,” Rams coach Sean McVay said. “Darious Williams showing up, I thought that was a huge momentum shift for us.”
The best defense in the league during the regular season carried its dominance into the playoffs – even while missing unanimous All-Pro tackle Aaron Donald for much of the second half. No team was better at limiting yards or points than the Rams (11-6) and they continued to torment Wilson and the Seahawks (12-5).
Seattle’s quarterback was under siege from the defensive front and a secondary that minus one play never let DK Metcalf or Tyler Lockett break loose. Donald, before leaving with a rib injury, and Jalen Ramsey were superb. But so were other role players such as Troy Reeder, Jordan Fuller and Leonard Floyd.
Floyd had two of the Rams’ five sacks. Two of the others belonged to Donald. The Rams allowed just 278 total yards and 11 first downs.
The victory sent the Rams into next week’s divisional playoff round, likely at top-seeded Green Bay unless Chicago upsets New Orleans.
BUFFALO GETS FIRST PLAYOFF WIN SINCE 1996
Quarterback Josh Allen and safety Micah Hyde teamed up to make the Buffalo Bills’ losing past history.
Now do you Bill-ieve?
In a season in which the Bills busted numerous slumps, Allen became Buffalo’s first starter in a quarter century to win a playoff game. And Hyde ensured the Bills wouldn’t endure another second-half collapse as happened last year in a wild-card loss to Houston, or last-second touchdown.
With Buffalo the AFC East champions for the first time since 1995 and hosting their first playoff game since ’96, Allen threw two touchdown passes and scored another rushing in leading the Bills to a 27-24 win over the Indianapolis Colts in a wild-card game Saturday.
Hyde batted down Philip Rivers’ desperation pass as time ran out in helping Buffalo snap an 0-6 postseason skid by winning its first playoff game since a 37-22 win over Miami on Dec. 30, 1995.
The past was very much present in Allen’s mind when reflecting on how Buffalo squandered a 16-0 third-quarter lead in a 22-19 overtime loss to Houston in his first career playoff appearance.
“Obviously we started off a little slow and we were able to get into a rhythm late. Made enough plays to win,” Allen said. “It’s new territory for myself, but it just gives us a chance to play next week.”
The end of the game was so stunning, in which the Bills nearly squandered a 24-10 fourth-quarter lead, safety Jordan Poyer was still having difficulty trying to put the result in perspective.
“I haven’t had time to celebrate and take it in, but this is awesome for the Bills organization, the city, to be able to play a home game and get a victory,” said Poyer, in his fourth season in Buffalo. “Since 2017, we’ve been working at this, but a day like today, to come out on top, we worked so hard.”
Hyde’s pass defense eased memories of the Bills giving up DeAndre Hopkins’ leaping 43-yard touchdown catch in the final seconds of a 32-30 loss at Arizona on Nov. 15. Buffalo has won seven straight since for its longest winning streak since 1990.
And the win came with a limited number of 6,700 fans in attendance for the first time this season.
Allen finished 26 of 35 for 324 yards with a 5-yard touchdown to Dawson Knox and a 35-yarder to Stefon Diggs, which led to the fans chanting “MVP! MVP!” to celebrate the first Buffalo player to lead the NFL in catches and yards receiving.
The Colts (11-6) ended a season in which they won 11 games for the first time since 2014, and reached the playoffs for the second time in three years under Frank Reich.
COACH REICH GETS CRITICIZED FOR TWO KEY PLAYS
Two key decisions came back to haunt Indianapolis Colts coach Frank Reich in Saturday’s AFC Wild Card game against the Buffalo Bills.
The Colts played a strong first half in Buffalo, and looked like they had a good chance of taking a lead into the locker room at halftime. In fact, with 3:15 left and a 10-7 lead, the Colts had a 1st and goal from the Bills’ 4-yard line and a chance to go up by 10.
That’s where things got a bit strange. The Colts got it to the 2-yard line on first down, but then Reich got a bit too cute. Instead of giving it to Jonathan Taylor, the Colts ran a direct snap to Nyheim Hines on second down, which only picked up a yard. Then, on 3rd and goal at the 1, instead of giving it to Taylor and trying to pound it in, the Colts ran an ill-fated toss to Taylor that lost three yards.
Most controversially, Reich opted to go for it on the ensuing 4th and goal, and the ensuing pass play fell incomplete. This proved to be a huge turning point, as the Bills promptly went 96 yards on the next drive to score a touchdown that put them ahead.
NFL PLAYOFF GAME NOTES
NFL PREVIEW: BALTIMORE RAVENS (11-5) AT TENNESSEE TITANS (11-5)
WILD CARD // SUNDAY, JAN. 10, 2021 // 1:05 PM ET // NISSAN STADIUM // REFEREE: JEROME BOGER
LEADER: All-time series tied, 2-2
STREAKS: Titans have won 2 of past 3
LAST GAME: 1/11/20: Titans 28 at Ravens 12
LAST GAME AT SITE: 1/20/09: Ravens 13, Titans 10
REGULAR SEASON HISTORY:
LEADER: Titans lead all-time series, 11-10
STREAKS: Titans have won 2 of past 3
LAST GAME: 11/22/20: Titans 30 at Ravens 24 (OT)
LAST GAME AT SITE: 10/14/18: Ravens 21, Titans 0
RAVENS earned playoff berth for 3rd-consecutive season. • JOHN HARBAUGH makes 9th postseason appearance. Led Baltimore to SB XLVII championship in 2012. • BALTIMORE tied NFL-high with 7 players named to 2021 Pro Bowl roster: T ORLANDO BROWN, DE CALAIS CAMPBELL, LS MORGAN COX, CB MARLON HUMPHREY, LB MATTHEW JUDON, FB PATRICK RICARD & K JUSTIN TUCKER. • RAVENS OFFENSE led NFL with 3,071 rush yards. • BALTIMORE allowed 18.9 points per game, 2nd-fewest in NFL.
• QB LAMAR JACKSON passed for 2,757 yards & 26 TDs vs. 9 INTs for 99.3 rating & rushed for 1,005 yards & 7 TDs in 2020, becoming 1st QB in NFL history with 1,000+ rush yards in multiple seasons. Passed for 186 yards & TD vs. INT & rushed for 51 yards in Week 11 meeting. Passed for 365 yards & rushed for 143 yards in 2019 Divisional meeting. Aims for 3rd in row in postseason with 50+ rush yards. • RB J.K. DOBBINS ranked 3rd among rookies with 805 rush yards & 9 rush TDs. Has rush TD in 6 straight games, tied 3rdlongest streak by rookie in SB era. Had 85 scrimmage yards (70 rush, 15 rec.) & rush TD in Week 11 meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. AFC South with 80+ scrimmage yards & rush TD. RB GUS EDWARDS aims for 4th in row with 70+ scrimmage yards. • WR MARQUISE BROWN set career highs in catches (58), rec. yards (team-high 769) & rec. TDs (team-high 8). Has 15 career rec. TDs, tied with TORREY SMITH for most by player in 1st 2 seasons in Bal. history. Had 7 catches for 126 yards in 2019 Divisional meeting. Aims for his 4th in row on road with TD catch. TE MARK ANDREWS had 5 catches for 96 yards & TD in Week 11 meeting. Has 5+ catches in 2 of his past 3 on road. • S MARCUS PETERS led team with 4 INTs this season. Has 3 TFL, 2 PD & INT in 2 career postseason games vs. Ten. CB MARLON HUMPHREY led team with 8 PD & led NFL with career-high 8 FFs. LB MATTHEW JUDON had 6 sacks in 2020. Had sack in Week 11 meeting & has sack in 3 of 4 career games vs. Ten., including postseason. LB PATRICK QUEEN led team & ranked 3rd among rookies with 105 tackles.
TITANS won AFC South for 1st time since 2008 & earned playoff berth in consecutive seasons for 1st time since 2007-08. • MIKE VRABEL makes 2nd postseason appearance. Led Tennessee to AFC Championship Game in 2019. • TENNESSEE had 2 players named to 2021 Pro Bowl roster: WR A.J. BROWN & RB DERRICK HENRY. • TITANS OFFENSE ranked 2nd in NFL with 396.4 yards per game & has totaled 400+ yards in 6 of past 7. • TENNESSEE ranked 4th in NFL with 30.7 points per game.
QB RYAN TANNEHILL passed for 3,819 yards & career-high 33 TDs & rushed for career-high 7 TDs in 2020. Had 106.5 rating & is 1 of 5 QBs with 105+ rating in each of past 2 seasons. Passed for 259 yards & 2 TDs vs. INT for 104.1 rating in Week 11 meeting. Passed for 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 109.5 rating & rushed for TD in 2019 Divisional meeting. Aims for 3rd in row in postseason with 2+ TD passes, 0 INTs & 105+ rating. Had 25 TDs (22 pass, 3 rush) vs. 2 INTs for 118.5 rating in 8 home games this season. • RB DERRICK HENRY led NFL with career-high 2,027 rush yards & 17 rush TDs, becoming 8th player in NFL history with 2,000+ rush yards in single season. Has 150+ scrimmage yards & rush TD in 3 of his past 4. Rushed for 133 yards & TD in Week 11 meeting. Had 195 rush yards in 2019 Divisional meeting. Has 200+ scrimmage yards in 2 of his past 3 in postseason. • WR A.J. BROWN set career highs in catches (70), rec. yards (1,075) & rec. TDs (11) in 2020. Has 5+ catches & rec. TD in 3 of past 4. Had 4 catches for 62 yards & TD in Week 11 meeting. WR COREY DAVIS had 5 catches for 113 yards in Week 11 meeting. Had TD catch in 2019 Divisional meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row at home with 110+ rec. yards & TD catch. TE JONNU SMITH aims for his 3rd in row vs. Bal. with TD catch, including postseason. • CB MALCOLM BUTLER led team with 14 PD & tied for team lead with 4 INTs. Has PD in 2 of his past 3 vs. Bal. Has 37 tackles & 8 PD in 11 career postseason games. S KEVIN BYARD led team & ranked 4th among safeties with career-high 111 tackles. Has 6 PD & 4 INTs in 4 career games vs. Bal, including postseason. LB HAROLD LANDRY had sack in 2019 Divisional meeting.
NFL PREVIEW: CHICAGO BEARS (8-8) AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (12-4)
WILD CARD // SUNDAY, JAN. 10, 2021 // 4:40 PM ET // MERCEDES-BENZ SUPERDOME // REFEREE: ALEX KEMP
LEADER: Bears lead all-time series, 2-0
STREAKS: Bears have won past 2
LAST GAME: 1/21/07: Saints 14 at Bears 39
LAST GAME AT SITE: First postseason game at site
REGULAR SEASON HISTORY:
LEADER: Saints lead all-time series, 17-13
STREAKS: Saints have won past 6
LAST GAME: 11/1/20: Saints 26 at Bears 23 (OT)
LAST GAME AT SITE: 10/29/17: Saints 20, Bears 12
BEARS clinched playoff berth for 2nd time in past 3 seasons (2018). • MATT NAGY makes 2nd postseason appearance as Chi. HC. • CHICAGO had 2 players selected to 2021 Pro Bowl roster: LB KHALIL MACK & RS CORDARRELLE PATTERSON. • BEARS rank tied for 6th in NFL with 31.2 points per game since Week 13 & have scored 25+ points in 5 of their past 6. • CHICAGO went 6-3 in games started by QB MITCHELL TRUBISKY in 2020.
QB MITCHELL TRUBISKY passed for 303 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs for 89.6 rating in only career postseason start (1/6/19 – NFC-W vs. Phi.). Passed for 251 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 86.3 rating in his last start vs. NO (10/20/19). Aims for his 3rd in row on road with 95+ rating. • RB DAVID MONTGOMERY ranked 5th in NFL with career-high 1,508 scrimmage yards (1,070 rush, 438 rec.) & had career-high 10 TDs (8 rush, 2 rec.) in 2020. Is 5th RB in Chi. franchise history with 1,500+ scrimmage yards & 10+ TDs in single season. Was 1 of 3 RBs (DALVIN COOK & DERRICK HENRY) with 7+ games (7) of 110+ scrimmage yards & TD. • WR ALLEN ROBINSON led team with career-high 102 receptions & had 1,250 rec. yards, his 3rd-career 1,000+ yard season. Had 10 receptions for 143 yards & TD catch in only postseason game (1/6/19 – NFC-W vs. Phi.). Had 6 receptions for 87 yards & rec. TD in Week 8 meeting. WR DARNELL MOONEY ranked 5th among rookies with 61 receptions. TE JIMMY GRAHAM ranked 2nd among NFC TEs with 8 rec. TDs in 2020. Had 386 receptions for 4,752 rec. yards & 51 TDs in 5 seasons (2010-14) with NO. • LB KHALIL MACK led team with 9 sacks. Is 1 of 2 (AARON DONALD) with 8+ sacks in each of past 6 seasons. Has 3 TFL in 2 career postseason games. Had sack & FF in Week 8 meeting. LB ROQUAN SMITH had career-high 139 tackles & ranked 2nd in NFL with career-high 18 TFL. Had INT in only career playoff game (1/6/19 – NFC-W vs. Phi.). Had 11 tackles, 2 TFL & PD in Week 8 meeting. LB DANNY TREVATHAN had 4th-career season with 100+ tackles (112). S EDDIE JACKSON had FF in Week 8 meeting.
QB DREW BREES has 4,967 pass yards (310.4 per game) & 34 TDs vs. 12 INTs for 99.6 rating in 16 career postseason starts. Passed for 280 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 109.8 rating in Week 8 meeting. Had 14 TDs (12 pass, 2 rush) vs. 2 INTs for 100.8 rating in 7 home starts this season. • RB ALVIN KAMARA led NFL with 21 TDs (16 rush, 5 rec.) & ranked 3rd in scrimmage yards (1,688). Led all RBs with career-high 83 receptions. Had 9 receptions & 163 scrimmage yards (96 rec., 67 rush) in Week 8 meeting. Has 100+ scrimmage yards in 3 of his last 4 postseason games. RB LATAVIUS MURRAY is 1 of 2 RBs (TODD GURLEY) with 5+ TDs in each of past 6 seasons. • WR MICHAEL THOMAS has 38 receptions for 493 yards (98.6 per game) & 3 rec. TDs in 5 career postseason games. Had 9 receptions for 131 yards in his last game vs. Chi. (10/20/19). Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Chi. with 7+ catches & 75+ rec. yards. WR EMMANUEL SANDERS had 11 receptions for 98 yards & TD catch in his last game vs. Chi. (9/15/19 w/ Den.). Is 1 of 3 WRs (T.Y. HILTON & JULIO JONES) with 500+ rec. yards in each of past 9 seasons. TE JARED COOK has 22 rec. TDs since 2018, 2nd-most among TEs. • DE CAMERON JORDAN is only player with 7+ sacks in each of past 9 seasons. Has 5.5 sacks, 8 TFL & 4 PD in 9 career postseason games. Aims for his 3rd in row in postseason & 3rd in row vs. Chi. with sack. DE TREY HENDRICKSON tied-2nd in NFL with career-high 13.5 sacks. LB DEMARIO DAVIS has 3 PD, 2 TFL & INT in 3 career postseason games. Was 1 of 5 LBs with 100+ tackles (119) & 10+ TFL (10) in 2020.
ON THE AIRWAVES TV: CBS/Nickelodeon/Amazon Prime Video (4:40 PM ET): Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson (sideline reporter) NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Kevin Kugler, James Lofton SIRIUS: 82 (Chi), 83 (NO) | XM: 226 (Chi), 225 (NO), 88 (National)
NFL PLAYOFF PREVIEW: CLEVELAND BROWNS (11-5) AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS (12-4)
WILD CARD // SUNDAY, JAN. 10, 2021 // 8:15 PM ET // HEINZ FIELD // REFEREE: SHAWN SMITH
LEADER: Steelers lead all-time series, 2-0
STREAKS: Steelers have won past 2
LAST GAME: 1/5/03: Browns 33 at Steelers 36
LAST GAME AT SITE: 1/5/03
REGULAR SEASON HISTORY:
LEADER: Steelers lead all-time series, 75-60-1
STREAKS: Steelers have won 2 of past 3
LAST GAME: 1/3/21: Steelers 22 at Browns 24
LAST GAME AT SITE: 10/18/20: Steelers 38, Browns 7
BROWNS earned postseason berth for 1st time since 2002 & won 11 games for 1st time since 1994. • KEVIN STEFANSKI makes postseason debut as HC. • CLEVELAND had 3 players named to 2021 Pro Bowl roster: G JOEL BITONIO, RB NICK CHUBB & DE MYLES GARRETT. • BROWNS OFFENSE ranked 3rd in NFL with 148.4 rush yards per game in 2020, most by Cle. since 1978 (155.5). • BROWNS DEFENSE ranked tied-6th in AFC with 38 sacks, 3rdconsecutive season with 35+ sacks.
QB BAKER MAYFIELD passed for 3,563 yards & 26 TDs vs. career-low 8 INTs for career-high 95.9 rating in 2020. Joined ANDREW LUCK & PEYTON MANNING as only players in NFL history with 3,500+ pass yards & 20+ TD passes in each of 1st 3 seasons. Passed for 196 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs for 97.1 rating in Week 17 meeting. Has 13 TDs vs. INT for 117.1 rating in his past 5 on road. Makes 1st-career postseason start. • RB NICK CHUBB rushed for 1,067 yards & career-high 12 TDs, becoming 1st Cle. RB with 1,000+ rush yards in consecutive seasons since JAMAL LEWIS (2007-08). Aims for his 7th in row with rush TD. Rushed for 108 yards & TD in Week 17 meeting. Aims for his 5th in row vs. Pit. with 75+ scrimmage yards. RB KAREEM HUNT rushed for TD in only career playoff game (1/6/18 vs. Ten., with KC). Chubb (1,217) & Hunt (1,145) were only pair of RB teammates each w/ 1,000+ scrimmage yards in 2020. • WR JARVIS LANDRY aims for his 6th in row with 5+ catches & 50+ rec. yards. Aims for 4th in row on road with TD catch. Had 11 catches for 102 yards in only career postseason game (1/8/17 vs. Pit., with Mia.). WR RASHARD HIGGINS had career-high 599 rec. yards in 2020. Had rec. TD in last road meeting. Aims for 3rd in row on road with 75+ rec. yards. TE AUSTIN HOOPER had TD catch in Week 17 meeting & has rec. TD in 2 of past 3. • DE MYLES GARRETT led team with 12 sacks in 2020. Aims for his 4th in row at Pit. with sack. Has sack in 5 of his past 6 on road. LB B.J. GOODSON led team with career-high 91 tackles. Had 9 tackles & 0.5 sacks in last road meeting. CB DENZEL WARD tied2nd in NFL with career-high 18 PD. Aims for 4th in row with PD.
STEELERS won AFC North for 1st time since 2017. • MIKE TOMLIN makes 9th postseason appearance. Led Pittsburgh to SB XLIII championship in 2008. • PITTSBURGH had 5 players named to 2021 Pro Bowl roster: G DAVID DECASTRO, S MINKAH FITZPATRICK, DT CAMERON HEYWARD, C MAURKICE POUNCEY & LB T.J. WATT. • STEELERS OFFENSE allowed 14 sacks in 2020, fewest in NFL and fewest by Pit. in SB era. • PITTSBURGH DEFENSE led NFL with 56 sacks.
QB BEN ROETHLISBERGER passed for 3,803 yards & 33 TDs vs. 10 INTs for 94.1 rating in 2020, his 10th-career season with 3,500+ pass yards. Passed for 162 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs for 100.9 rating in last home meeting. Had 18 TDs vs. 3 INTs for 99.9 rating in 8 home games this season. Aims for his 3rd in row in postseason with 300+ pass yards. Ranks 5th in NFL history with 5,256 career postseason pass yards (250.3 per game). • RB JAMES CONNER rushed for 101 yards & TD in last home meeting. Has 314 scrimmage yards (157 per game) & 3 rush TDs in 2 career home games vs. Cle. Had rush TD in 5 of his 6 home games this season. RB BENNY SNELL had career-high 4 rush TDs in 2020. Aims for 3rd in row at home vs. Cle. with rush TD. • WR JUJU SMITH-SCHUSTER had career-high 9 rec. TDs in 2020. Aims for 3rd in row with TD catch. Aims for his 5th in row at home with 7+ catches. Had rec. TD in only career postseason game (1/14/18 vs. Jax.). WR DIONTAE JOHNSON set career highs in catches (88), rec. yards (923) & rec. TDs (7). Had 96 rec. yards in Week 17 meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row at home with 70+ rec. yards & TD catch. WR CHASE CLAYPOOL led rookies with 9 rec. TDs this season, tied-most by rookie in franchise history. Had 5 catches for 101 yards & TD in Week 17 meeting. • LB T.J. WATT led NFL with career-high 15 sacks & 23 TFL. Has sack in 6 of 7 career games vs. Cle. Aims for his 5th in row at home with sack & 3rd in row at home with FF. DE STEPHON TUITT had career-high 11 sacks in 2020. Aims for 4th in row with sack. S MINKAH FITZPATRICK led team with 4 INTs. Had INT-TD in last home meeting. Aims for his 4th in row vs. Cle. with PD.
ON THE AIRWAVES TV: NBC/Telemundo/Peacock (8:15 PM ET): Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (field reporter) NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Kevin Harlan & Tony Boselli SIRIUS: 82 (Cle), 211 (Pit) | XM: 226 (Cle), 225 (Pit), 88 (National)
KAMARA AND THOMAS SET TO PLAY AGAINST CHICAGO
The New Orleans Saints activated running back Alvin Kamara and wide receiver Michael Thomas for the team’s playoff game Sunday against the Chicago Bears.
Kamara missed the regular-season finale last Sunday because of COVID-19 protocols, while Thomas was on injured reserve for the final three games because of a nagging ankle injury.
The Saints also announced Saturday that wide receiver/return specialist Deonte Harris and cornerback Patrick Robinson were activated from injured reserve; wide receiver Jake Kumerow was waived; offensive lineman Nick Easton was placed on IR; and linebacker Chase Hansen and wide receiver Lil’Jordan Humphrey were elevated from the practice squad.
Kamara led the Saints in yards rushing (932) and yards receiving (756) in 15 games. He also set Saints records for TDs rushing in a season with 15 and total TDs in a season with 21. He was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list last week after testing positive for the coronavirus.
Thomas, the 2019 AP Offensive Player of the Year, has missed nine games this season because of the ankle issues but returned to practice this week. He had 40 catches for 438 yards and no touchdowns in seven games during the regular season.
ERIC BIENIEMY WANTS JETS JOB
It seems highly likely that Eric Bieniemy will land a head coaching job this offseason, but it’s not clear which one. WEEI’s Christian Fauria indicated that he knows the answer.
On Friday, Fauria, a former Patriots tight end, told SportsRadio 610 in Houston that the Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator wants nothing to do with the Houston Texans job, and instead wants to coach the New York Jets.
“He’s going to be the next head coach of the New York Jets,” Fauria said. “I’m hearing that Eric Bieniemy wants to be and is going to be the next head coach of the New York Jets.”
The Jets being a destination may be something of a surprise. They have not won recently, there are questions about how invested ownership is, and a pair of late wins likely denied themselves the chance to draft Trevor Lawrence. It may be that Bieniemy likes Sam Darnold, or perhaps has ideas on how to work with Justin Fields, another potentially high draft pick.
One thing is certain: Fauria seems right.
REPORT SAYS TEXANS CAN’T GET IN TOUCH WITH WATSON
Deshaun Watson has yet to comment publicly on the reports that he is unhappy with the Houston Texans, and apparently the star quarterback has not spoken with the team, either.
New Texans general manager Nick Caserio said at his introductory press conference on Friday that he is looking forward to speaking with Watson “when the time is appropriate.” According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, Watson has been ignoring the Texans for several days now.
A report on Thursday claimed Watson is “extremely unhappy” with the Texans owner Cal McNair. McNair supposedly told Watson he would be involved in the process of hiring a new GM and then did not seek his input. McNair said Friday that he met with Watson several times and got a feel for the Pro Bowler’s point of view before interviewing candidates.
As McNair and Caserio were speaking with reporters on Friday, Watson’s agent sent a cryptic tweet that appeared to rip the Texans. The tweet was quickly deleted.
The Texans will obviously try to smooth things over with Watson, as a franchise quarterback is extremely difficult to find. But if the situation doesn’t improve in the near future, there may be legitimate trade discussions.
HARBAUGH’S CONTRACT REVEALED
Jim Harbaugh’s new contract with the Michigan Wolverines contains some significant adjustments to his salary and incentives.
According to Scott Roussel of FootballScoop, Harbaugh will be guaranteed $4 million annually. Bonuses could add an extra $3.475 million to that sum. It’s a significant drop in his base salary, and moves him from first to eighth among Big Ten coaches.
Harbaugh made $8 million last year.
Harbaugh’s buyout is significantly lower as well. It starts at $2 million, and drops by $500,000 annually. Harbaugh would be owed $4 million by the school if he is fired after 2021, and that number will drop by $1 million each year thereafter.
The lower sum is at least partially an acknowledgement that Harbaugh has not been as successful at Michigan as the school has hoped. Now Michigan has to acknowledge the fact that their rivals are pretty happy that Harbaugh will be sticking around.
FITZPATRICK UNLIKELY TO RETURN TO MIAMI
Ryan Fitzpatrick continued to defy odds by playing at a high level in 2020, and he served as the best reliever in football for the 10-win Miami Dolphins. The 38-year-old is set to become a free agent, however, and it does not sound like he will continue in that role next season.
Dolphins coach Brian Flores said this week that the team needs to conduct a “full evaluation” before determining if they want Fitzpatrick back in 2021. Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald interpreted that to mean the chances of Fitzpatrick re-signing with the Dolphins are “slim and none.”
A divorce could make sense for both sides. The Dolphins drafted Tua Tagovailoa with the fifth overall pick last year, and many believed he would be holding a clipboard for his entire rookie season. But even after Fitzpatrick played fairly well, Tagovailoa was still given the starting job after Miami’s bye week. Flores then used Fitzpatrick late in games when he seemingly didn’t trust the rookie, but how long can that continue?
If the Dolphins keep Fitzpatrick around next season and continue to use him as a closer, that would almost certainly shake Tagovailoa’s confidence. Even if Flores proved the approach can be effective, it is probably not one that upper management would sign off on for another season.
Miami has already undergone a significant change this offseason, and that may have had something to do with Tagovailoa’s development. Getting Tua to a spot where he can be a trusted full-time starter should be the goal for the Dolphins this offseason. That may be easier to accomplish if he doesn’t have to think about sharing snaps with Fitzpatrick in 2021.
INDIANA VISITS NEBRASKA SUNDAY NIGHT
Indiana University is in its 121st season of competition in men’s basketball and opens the doors of Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall for the 50th season. The Hoosiers will visit Nebraska in the 2nd game of a two-game road trip. IU fell 80-73 in double overtime on Thursday at Wisconsin.
Sunday, Jan. 10 • 6 p.m. ET
Pinnacle Bank Arena • Lincoln, Neb.
TV: BTN (Adam Amin and Stephen Bardo)
Radio: IU Radio Network (Don Fischer, Errek Suhr, Joe Smith) | TuneIn
Series History: Indiana leads, 15-7
Last Meeting: IU 89, NEB 64; 3/11/20; B1G Tournament
Indiana Coach Archie Miller is in his fourth season of guiding the Cream and Crimson and is 62-48 with the Hoosiers and earned career win 200 against Penn State. He is 201-111 in nine+ years as a head coach, which includes six years at the University of Dayton. His Flyer teams made NCAA Tournament appearances in each of his last four seasons, including a trip to the Elite Eight in 2014. Nebraska is coached by Fred Hoiberg who is in his second year leading the Cornhuskers. He is 11-30.
JACKSON-DAVIS LIVING UP TO EXPECTATIONS
Sophomore forward Trayce Jackson-Davis ranks among B1G leaders in scoring, rebounds, field goal percentage and blocked shots. His most dominant performance this season was a 25-point, 17-rebound effort at Florida State. He had a career-high 31 points in the win over Stanford in the 3rd place game at Maui. He had 22 points and 15 boards against Maryland and followed that up with 23 points and 12 boards at Wisconsin. He is a Preseason All-Big Ten pick and was just named to the Wooden Award Midseason Watch List. He has had 16 career double-doubles. The Hoosiers are 13-3 when he reaches that milestone. He is averaging 20.5 points, 9.2 rebounds while shooting 54.0% from the floor and a team-high 22 blocks this season. He is the only Hoosier in the last 25 years to have 3 games of 25 points and 15 rebounds (at Minnesota, Nebraska). He is 2nd in the nation in FTs made (70) and in attempts (972).
In 3 games last year against Nebraska (all wins), Jackson-Davis averaged 18.0 points, 15.0 rebounds and shot 69.0% from the field.
12/13/19: 25 points, 15 rebounds
1/18/20: 18 points, 13 rebounds
3/11/20: 11 points, 17 rebounds
He is rated 2nd in the KenPom Player of the Year rankings (1.612) behind Iowa’s Luke Garza (1.885) and ahead of Illinois’ Ayo Dosunmu (1.605).
ARMAAN WAS ON A ROLL, THEN ROLLED ANKLE
Prior to suffering a rolled left ankle early in the Maryland game, sophomore Armaan Franklin averaged 18.8 points, shooting 54.8% from the field and 60.0% from 3FG in the previous 5 games. He had 23 points and made 5 of 6 3FG at Illinois. He did not play at Wisconsin.
IU Associate Head Coach Kenya Hunter was an assistant coach at Nebraska from 2013-18. IU shot 66.7% against the best defense in the Big Ten in the second half at Wisconsin (16/24). Senior Aljami Durham is averaging 15.3 points in the last 3 games. Jackson-Davis is averaging a double-double in league play at 19.8 points and 10.0 boards after 5 games. In the last 4 games, IU has cut its turnovers to about 11 per game after averaging 15.7 the previous 6 games prior to that.
BUTLER CAN’T STOP UCONN
A strong outing from the bench and behind the three-point line led visiting Connecticut to a 72-60 win over Butler Saturday afternoon at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
The Huskies went 10-of-21 from behind the arc, including hitting five of their first seven attempts to build a lead they would not relinquish. Twenty-eight of their points came from the bench, including leading scorer Tyler Polley with 19.
“I’m disappointed in this one; UConn played with more energy and we weren’t as passionate as we needed to be,” said Butler coach LaVall Jordan. “We dug ourselves an early hole and never could get all the way back. I thought the start of both halves was where the game was won.”
UConn (6-1 overall and 3-1 in BIG EAST play) opened the game by scoring 11 of the first 14 points as Butler went 1-of-8 from the field with two turnovers over that same stretch. Butler would chip away at what would be a 10-point first half lead to pull within, 33-28, at the half.
The second half started in a similar way as UConn scored the first six points to take what was the largest lead of the game at that time, 39-28. After the lead extended to 19 midway through the half, a Butler 7-0 spurt would cut the deficit to 56-44 on a Jair Bolden trifecta with 8:47 remaining. Following a UConn timeout, the Bulldogs were never able to get within single digits the rest of the way.
Bryce Nze led Butler (3-6, 2-4 BIG EAST) with 18 points and six rebounds. He went 6-of-8 from the field. He was joined in double figures by Aaron Thompson (14) and Bryce Golden (10). Thompson had six assists. The Bulldogs were uncharacteristically done in by turnovers, committing 15 on the afternoon, nearly five more than their season average which is Top 25 in the nation.
Butler shot 47 percent from the field, but only 5-of-15 from three-point range.
UConn played without leading scorer James Bouknight, who injured his elbow in the team’s win at Marquette earlier in the week. Tyrese Martin had 15 for the Huskies. Polley’s 19 included a 5-of-8 mark from three-point range.
The Bulldogs return to the road, traveling to St. John’s for a Tuesday night match-up. The 7 p.m. tip will air on FS1.
BALL STATE CAN’T STOP HOT SHOOTING BUFFALO
(BALL STATE RELEASE)
BUFFALO, N.Y. – A two-point game at halftime went Buffalo’s way Saturday night as the Ball State men’s basketball team dropped an 86-69 decision at UB’s Alumni Arena. Buffalo shot 9-for-17 from 3-point range in the second half to pull away.
K.J. Walton led Ball State with 17 points and seven rebounds while Luke Bumbalough scored 14 points with a team-best four assists. Buffalo had five double-digit scorers led by Josh Mballa with 19 points and 19 rebounds. Buffalo finished the night with 11 made 3-pointers and 25 offensive rebounds (11 by Mballa). Buffalo also had 29 points off turnovers.
TURNING POINT: With Ball State within 33-31 at the half, Buffalo opened the second period with a 14-3 run that featured three dunks and two lay-ups and from there was able to manage a double-digit lead. A lob from Mballa to Jayvon Graves for a dunk made it 47-34 with 11:56 left and 40 seconds later it was a 58-40 lead for Buffalo.
STRAIGHT FROM THE COACH: “Give credit to Buffalo – their physicality overwhelmed us and I was surprised at their conditioning (considering they’d been inactive for three weeks). We had an 8-10 minute stretch where the game got away from us,” head coach James Whitford said. “Buffalo looked good. And offensive rebounding was the story of the game. We missed a lot of the guys we had out, and we look forward to getting some numbers back.”
BUFFALO AFTER THE BREAK: After shooting 2-for-12 from deep in the first half, Buffalo got on a roll by making nine treys and scoring 19 points off turnovers in the second half.
SOME CAREER HIGHS: Teemu Suokas gained some valuable point guard experience Saturday night. The freshman from Finland had career highs in minutes (23) and points (5). Ben Hendriks scored eight points on 4-for-4 shooting and two dunks. Hendriks is now tied for the team lead with three dunks. Josh Bryan made his first appearance in a game for Ball State, playing 11 minutes.
“Teemu had a really nice first half, and you can tell he can be a good player,” Whitford said. “Josh did a nice job for us and I really thought a guy who doesn’t play a lot who did a nice job was Ben. He’s a gifted offensive player with great hands.”
FIRST CAREER START: Playing in his 61st career game at Ball State, Zach Gunn made his first career start and played 20 minutes. Gunn scored a season-high 10 points and tied for the team lead with seven rebounds.
UP NEXT: Ball State has another challenge right around the corner, traveling to Bowling Green Tuesday night. Bowling Green currently sits atop the conference with a 5-0 record in league play.
INDIANA WBB HOSTS WISCONSIN TODAY
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Big Ten play continues on Sunday when No. 19 Indiana hosts Wisconsin. Game time is set for 4 p.m. ET on Big Ten Network Plus.
#19/18 INDIANA (6-3, 4-1 B1G) VS. WISCONSIN (3-5, 0-5 B1G)
Sunday, January 10, 2021 • 4 p.m. ET
Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall • Bloomington, Ind.
ABOUT THE COACHES
|Teri Moren||Jonathan Tsipis|
|Career Record: 332-207 (18th Season)||Career Record: 140-123 (8th Season)|
|Indiana Record: 133-77 (7th Season)||Wisconsin Record: 48-85 (4th Season)|
ABOUT THE BADGERS
Wisconsin is still searching for its first Big Ten win coming in to Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on Sunday. Sophomore forward Sydney Hillard leads the way with 19.0 points per game while senior guard Imani Lewis adds 12.6 points and a team-high 7.3 rebounds per game. The Badgers are averaging 71.5 points per game and shooting 43.7 percent from the floor.
Indiana leads 49-24
1/30/20 – W, 76-75 (OT) (Bloomington, Ind.)
- Junior guard Grace Berger became the first player in NCAA Division I women’s basketball this season to record two triple-doubles after her impressive performance against Penn State where she had 15 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds. Berger has the only two triple-doubles in IU women’s basketball history, with her other coming in the season opener against Eastern Kentucky.
- Indiana did an impressive job of limiting its turnovers against Penn State as it combined for a new program-low two turnovers on Thursday night. It tied a Big Ten record set back in 1996 for fewest turnovers in a game and the fewest on record dating back to available records in 2008-09. As a team, IU ranks second in the nation in turnovers per game (10.2).
- Sophomore forward Mackenzie Holmes set a new season-high 27 points in the win over the Lady Lions and leads the Hoosiers with 17.7 points per game. Senior guard Ali Patberg is also coming off her most impressive performance of the season where she scored 24 points on 10-for-13 shooting.
- The Hoosiers are looking to win their sixth-straight game in the series with Wisconsin after taking last year’s meeting at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in a 76-75 overtime win.
Indiana travels to in-state rival Purdue on Thursday night. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. ET on Big Ten Network.
PURDUE WBB TRAVELS TO #12 MARYLAND TODAY
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Playing just its second game in 18 days, the Purdue women’s basketball team continues its challenging stretch Sunday afternoon at No. 12 Maryland. Tipoff is set for noon on the Big Ten Network+.
Tim Newton and Jane Schott will provide the radio call on 95.3 BOB FM and the TuneIn app.
Purdue is looking to bounce back from a 71-64 loss to No. 25 Michigan State last Sunday. Kayana Traylor posted her seventh game in double figures with 16 points, including 10-of-13 free throws. Madison Layden finished with five points, six rebounds and seven assists. She is just the second freshman at Purdue to tally at least five points, rebounds and assists in the last six years, joining Traylor. The Boilermakers were originally slated to face Rutgers on Thursday night, but that contest was postponed to a later date.
Karissa McLaughlin is on the verge of making more Purdue history. The senior needs two 3-pointers to take over the program career record. Courtney Moses currently holds the title with 240 career triples. McLaughlin, a career 36% shooter from distance, is 21st in Purdue’s all-time scoring list and owns the 3-point records for makes in a season and a game by a freshman, sophomore and junior.
• Purdue trails in the all-time series against Maryland 12-2.
• Kayana Traylor leads the Big Ten and ranks 12th in the nation in free throws made this season with 48. The junior is just the fifth Boilermaker to knock down at least 10 free throws over the last six seasons, joining April Wilson, Ashley Morrissette, Dominique Oden and Karissa McLaughlin.
• Fatou Diagne is the only player in the Big Ten averaging a double-double (10.3 ppg, 10 rpg) in league play with at least three games.
• The long ball has played a major role in Purdue’s success this season, averaging eight 3-pointers per win compared to just 2.3 in losses.
• Head coach Sharon Versyp is one win shy of notching her 300th victory at Purdue. The Boilermaker alumna will become just the eighth coach across all sports at Purdue to join the club, including Gene Keady (MBB), Matt Painter (MBB) and Dave Shondell (VB).
• Madison Layden is one of six freshmen in the nation with at least 25 assists and 15 steals this season.
• Purdue is in the midst of its first four-game stretch against ranked opponents since 2000-01. (Assuming Iowa & Indiana are in the top-25).
• The Boilermakers are going for their first win against a top-25 opponent since Jan. 20, 2019, against No. 25 Indiana.
• Traylor is one of 1-of-20 in the players nation and 1-of-7 from the Big Ten with multiple games of at least 20 points and five assists.
• Brooke Moore will be available to play after missing the Michigan State contest due to a family funeral.
MIAMI MBB: REDHAWKS DOWN NORTHERN ILLINOIS
OXFORD, Ohio—A strong first-half effort propelled the Miami University men’s basketball team past Northern Illinois University on Saturday afternoon at Millett Hall, 70-58. The win was the first in Mid-American Conference play for the RedHawks, who improve to 4-3 overall and 1-1 in MAC action. The Huskies drop to 1-9 overall and 0-5 in MAC play.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The RedHawks had a dominant first half against the Huskies, jumping out to a 40-24 lead. Miami shot an impressive 58 percent from the field, and was boosted by a lights-out performance from the three-point range. Miami shot 67 percent from beyond the arc in the first half, making 7 of its 11 attempts.
Redshirt sophomore guard Myja White led the way in scoring for the RedHawks in the opening half, connecting on all four of his three-point attempts and finishing the first half with 12 points.
The Huskies struggled shooting out of the gate but made their last three field goals to finish the half shooting 45 percent from the field.
The Huskies got off to a good start in the second half, cutting the lead to single digits in the early minutes. Northern Illinois used an early 16-4 run that cut the Miami lead to eight points by the 12:05 mark, 48-40. NIU got as close as seven with 8:31 to play, 52-45.
Miami hit its stride once again, going on 12-3 flurr that extended its lead to 64-48 with 4:06 to play. Miami led by as many as 18 down the stretch as the RedHawks rolled to the win.
Junior forward Elijah McNamara led four RedHawks who scored in double figures, amassing a career-high 15 points, 11 coming in the second half.
White finished the game shooting 80 percent from the field, hitting four of his five three point attempts and finishing with a career-high 12 points.
Junior guard Mekhi Lairy scored 13 points on 71-percent shooting from the field. Lairy also added five assists onto his impressive outing.
Also scoring in double figures was sophomore guard Dae Dae Grant with 12 points.
Miami shot a solid 53.2 percent from the field for the game and 55.6 percent from beyond the arc while knocking down 10 triples.
UP NEXT: Miami heads to Ohio University for a Battle of the Bricks matchup on Tuesday, Jan. 12 at 7 p.m. The game will be televised on CBS Sports Network.
PHOENIX BEATS INDIANA DOWN THE STRETCH
Mikal Bridges found his shooting touch quickly, then finished with a flourish.
The third-year forward scored a career-high 34 points and made the 3-pointer to cap the decisive scoring spurt midway through the fourth quarter, helping the Phoenix Suns pull away from Indiana for a 125-117 victory Saturday.
“Whenever you hit the first couple of shots everything feels good, so you start feeling more aggressive,” Bridges said. “It felt amazing. I know when I get comfortable, I keep telling myself to keep being aggressive. Don’t relax and just keep going.”
Bridges was 12 of 18 from the field, 6 of 8 on 3s and 4 of 4 from the free throw line. Devin Booker added 25 points as the Suns pulled into a tie with the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers for the best record in the West at 7-3 while earning their first win in Indy since 2016.
Phoenix knocked down 16 more 3-pointers after making 38 in its previous two games. The Suns also became the ninth team in league history to open the season with 10 straight games of 10 or more 3s.
It was simply too much for the Pacers, despite All-Star forward Domantas Sabonis finishing with 28 points, a career high-tying 22 rebounds and the first 20-20 game of his career.
“He was good, really good,” two-time All-Star Victor Oladipo said. “He did a really good job following up misses and playing his iso plays, getting rebounds. It was big. Unfortunately, we came up short.”
Phoenix used a late first-half run to take a 56-53 halftime lead, then opened the second half by scoring the first five points.
While Sabonis almost single-handedly kept the Pacers close with 16 points in the final six minutes of the third quarter, Indiana never took the lead.
Instead, Bridges heated up again late, knocking down a 3 to cap an 11-0 run that gave Phoenix a 109-96 lead with 5:49 to go.
BALL THE YOUNGEST PLAYER WITH TRIPLE-DOUBLE
LaMelo Ball isn’t wasting any time making an impact in the NBA.
The rookie point guard became the youngest player in league history to record a triple-double with 22 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists on Saturday night, helping the Charlotte Hornets beat the Atlanta Hawks 113-105 for their third straight win.
“A 19-year-old rookie does not look like this,” Hornets coach James Borrego said. “This is rare what you’re seeing.”
Ball’s history-making performance came just two nights after he missed out on his first triple-double when he finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in a win over his brother Lonzo’s New Orleans Pelicans.
He said he hasn’t begun to process the accomplishment.
“I live my life and I know what I’m capable of, so stuff like doesn’t move me like that,” Ball said. “I know that’s supposed to happen.”
Ball replaced Markelle Fultz as the youngest NBA player to record a triple-double by 177 days.
“He’s a tall PG who can pass, can rebound and he’s a smart player,” said Atlanta’s Trae Young. “Things are going to become even easier for him in this league as he plays more and more games.”
Terry Rozier had 23 points to lead the Hornets.
Cam Reddish scored 21 points and De’Andre Hunter had 20 for the Hawks. Young struggled all night, shooting 5 of 19 from the floor to finish with 15 points and 10 assists.
Ball tied his highest scoring night on 9-of-13 shooting from the field as the Hornets handed the struggling Hawks their fourth straight loss. He became only the fifth rookie in NBA history to record a triple-double and the first Hornets player to do it coming off the bench.
SIXERS LOSE WITH ONLY SEVEN PLAYERS
The Philadelphia 76ers opened the week with the best record in the NBA – and now face an uncertain future with a starting lineup fit for the preseason.
Nikola Jokic had 15 points and 12 assists to lead the Denver Nuggets past Philadelphia 115-103 on Saturday, beating a 76ers team that had only seven available players.
“COVID created this but the concern is not COVID now,” Sixers coach Doc Rivers said. “The concern is injuries.”
The Sixers tipped without four regular starters – All-Stars Ben Simmons (sore left knee) and Joel Embiid (back) sat due to injury, and Seth Curry and Tobias Harris over virus concerns. Curry tested positive for the virus Thursday, and the ensuing contact tracing and COVID-19 health and safety protocols led to a slew of unavailable players.
The team met the minimum eight active players by including injured forward Mike Scott, who was not actually able to play.
Rivers said he didn’t think the game should be played.
“We’ve got be very careful in how we navigate the next week,” Rivers said.
Tyrese Maxey, Philadelphia’s 2020 first-round pick out of Kentucky, scored 39 points in 44 minutes on 18-of-33 shooting in his first career start. Isaiah Joe had 13 points.
“I had to hunt my shot just a little more because it was needed,” Maxey said.
Gary Harris scored 21 points for the Nuggets, who played without Michael Porter Jr. (19.5 points per game) because of health and safety protocols.
Danny Green was the only regular in Philly’s starting lineup, joined by backups Dakota Mathias, Dwight Howard, Joe and Maxey. Mathias and Joe also made their first career NBA starts. Mathias, Maxey and Joe all played at least 41 minutes.
“It was a good thing for the team even though I still hate losing,” Rivers said.
BOSTON WINS FOURTH STRAIGHT
Jayson Tatum had 32 points, Jaylen Brown had 27 points and 13 rebounds, and the Boston Celtics held off Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards 116-107 Friday night for their fourth straight win.
Beal had 41 points and eight rebounds a game after tying the franchise record with 60 points against the 76ers.
Tatum hit 14 of 27 shots to power the short-handed Celtics, who were without Tristan Thompson, Grant Williams and Robert Williams. The trio is sidelined in COVID-19 health and safety protocol for the next seven days.
“Our job’s not to make excuses for who’s not here,” coach Brad Stevens said. “It’s to play as well as we can with who is and let the results take care of themselves.”
Rui Hachimura had 17 points and Davis Bertans had 13 as the Wizards dropped to 2-7.
The Celtics were cruising early, outscoring the Wizards 33-19 in the second quarter. They increased a 19-point halftime lead to 28 in the first five minutes of the third quarter.
The Wizards rallied from there, clawing within 99-95 with 7:36 left in the game.
Boston scored seven straight points to build a small cushion. It was 106-101 when Marcus Smart led a fast break and found Brown for a corner 3-pointer with 2:08 remaining.
Coach Scott Brooks said he may have played Beal too many minutes down the stretch.
“It’s really on me. I tried to get him some extra minutes because we were right there,” Brooks said. “He’s been playing probably three minutes too many. It doesn’t sound like a lot. But it does add up.”
Russell Westbrook was in action just two days after dislocating a finger on his right hand late in Washington’s loss to Philadelphia on Wednesday night. He played with his right ring and pinkie fingers taped together. He finished with 12 points on 4-of-16 shooting from the field.
MIAMI GETS 31 FROM HERRO AS MIAMI BEATS WASHINGTON
The Miami Heat allowed 71 points in the first half to the short-handed Washington Wizards, and that was too much for coach Erik Spoelstra.
With Washington playing without its three leading scorers, the Heat picked up its intensity, held the Wizards to 15 points in the third quarter and won 128-124 on Saturday night.
Tyler Herro scored a career-high 31 points and Jimmy Butler nearly had a triple-double with 26 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.
“Everybody could see it,'” Spoelstra said. “We were not defending with enough energy and connection. It was pretty obvious. It was just going back and forth. It almost felt like a pickup game in the first half. In the third quarter, it was much more committed defensively.”
Miami (4-4) has alternated wins and losses through its first eight games.
“This team has a very deep roster,” Herro said. “Any given night, anyone can score. I’m not really worried about the numbers.”
The Wizards (2-8) lost their third straight game and are winless in five home games.
Washington played without the NBA’s leading scorer, Bradley Beal, who was a late scratch when he was placed in the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocol.
“Found out maybe about an hour before the game,” coach Scott Brooks said. “On the one hand, it surprised me. On the other hand, this is what we kind of have to expect to happen. You hate for it to happen. You hope for the best, but don’t know the next step.”
They were also without their other starting guard, Russell Westbrook, out with a left quad injury. Westbrook, who had triple-doubles in his first four games with the Wizards, was intending to play the second half of a back-to-back for the first time after sitting out the first two.
Washington’s starting center, Thomas Bryant, suffered a left knee injury less than two minutes into the game, and didn’t return.
Brooks said Bryant would have an MRI on Sunday.
Garrison Mathews led the Wizards with 22 points. Deni Avdija scored 20.
The Heat, which led nearly all the way, outscored the Wizards 28-15 in the third quarter to take a 103-86 lead.
CURRY HAS 38 AS GOLDEN STATE DOWNS LOS ANGELES 115-105
Stephen Curry scored 38 points and the Golden State Warriors erased a big second-half deficit Friday night to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 115-105.
The Warriors trailed by 21 late in the third quarter but Curry scored 19 in that period and pulled Golden State within six entering the fourth.
Golden State (5-4) then outscored Los Angeles 34-18 over the final 12 minutes and snapped a four-game losing streak against the Clippers, who beat them at the Chase Center two nights earlier.
Paul George had 25 points for the Clippers (6-4) and Kawhi Leonard added 24, but Golden State turned up the defense after the Clippers scored 65 in the first half.
Curry got payback after being held to just 13 points in Wednesday’s loss. His nine 3-pointers Friday were the most by a Warriors player this season, and he added 11 assists.
“It’s just who Steph is,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “He’s been doing this for many, many years and it’s one of the reasons he’s a two- time MVP. Usually with Steph, when he has a tough game he bounces back with the next one.”
Andrew Wiggins scored 16 for the Warriors but Curry was predominantly a one-man show through the first three quarters. He got help in the fourth as Eric Paschall, Brad Wanamaker and Kent Bazemore all hit big shots.
The Clippers shot 58.7% from the floor in the first half and led 65-51. George had 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting, including 4 for 4 from beyond the arc.
“I think it’s good something like this happened to us early in the season,” George said. “We have to be a better closing-out team. … They got hot and they stayed hot the last two quarters. The momentum swung and that team was playing with a lot of confidence.”
But Curry rallied the Warriors with his big third quarter and when Paschall hit a 3-pointer to put the Warriors up 92-89 with 10:01 left, it gave them their first lead since it was 3-2.
Los Angeles got to the basket easily in the first two quarters, outscoring Golden State 28-16 in the paint.
UTAH HITS TEAM RECORD 25 3’S IN WIN
Utah’s record 3-point shooting ended the Milwaukee Bucks’ home-court dominance.
Donovan Mitchell scored 32 points and the Jazz shot 25 of 53 from 3-point range to win 131-118 on Friday night and hand the Bucks their first home loss.
Utah’s 25 3-pointers set a franchise record. The Jazz also became the first team in NBA history to have five players make at least four 3-pointers in the same game.
“I think more than the total number, the balance is something that I think is significant for us,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “That’s a strength of our team. We’ve got a lot of guys who can make those shots. It’s been something we’ve been banging that drum (about) from the first day. We want guys to take 3s.”
Utah players who made at least four 3-pointers included Royce O’Neale (6 of 8), Mike Conley (5 of 10), Jordan Clarkson (5 of 12), Mitchell (4 of 9) and Bojan Bogdanovic (4 of 10). Clarkson scored 26 points, Bogdanovic 20, O’Neale 18 and Conley 17.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 35 points and eight rebounds for the Bucks, while Khris Middleton had 31 points and 10 rebounds. Jrue Holiday scored 17 points, Brook Lopez had 12 and Donte DiVincenzo added 11.
The Bucks (5-4) had won their first four home games by an average of 23.5 points but trailed nearly the whole way this time. The Jazz ended a two-game skid after double-digit losses at Brooklyn and New York.
“Certainly they played well,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “They executed their offense well. They shared it well. They made shots well. And on top of that, when they did miss, it felt like they were on the offensive boards all night.”
Utah broke open a close game by scoring the first 12 points of the fourth quarter to grab a 116-96 edge. The Bucks didn’t score their first points of the final period until Antetokounmpo dunked with 6:47 left.
“That’s the team we have to be,” Mitchell said. “The last two games, last few games, don’t really represent who we are. We have to stay at that level. We can’t bring it against Milwaukee and not bring it against New York.”
COVID MAY SIDELINE TWO KEY PLAYERS FOR BOSTON
The Boston Celtics could be without stars Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and a number of other players because of coronavirus safety protocols when they face Miami on Sunday.
The Celtics are listing Tatum as doubtful and Brown as questionable for the rematch of the Eastern Conference finals. Tristan Thompson, Grant Williams and Robert Williams have already been ruled out for that reason, and the status of Semi Ojeleye and Javonte Green is unknown.
With Kemba Walker and Romeo Langford unavailable because of injuries, the Celtics could have the minimum eight players required to start a game.
Beset by its own coronavirus problems, Philadelphia dressed an injured player Saturday so it could field a team to play against Denver.
Boston played on Friday against Washington, and Tatum was seen on video talking to the Wizards’ Bradley Beal, who missed a game Saturday against Miami because of the health and safety protocols.
NATS SIGN SCHWARBER
The Washington Nationals are trying to add some big bats to their lineup, and they took a gamble on one Saturday.
As first reported by Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post, the Nationals agreed to a one-year deal with outfielder Kyle Schwarber. ESPN’s Jeff Passan added that Schwarber’s deal is worth $10 million.
Schwarber will likely play left field for the Nationals, though he could also fill the DH role if it is once again implemented in the National League for 2021.
Schwarber, once a highly-rated prospect, turns 28 in March. He never quite became what he was heralded to be, though he did hit 38 home runs in 2019. He hit just .188 last season, so the Nationals will be hoping for a rebound in 2021.
Some believed Schwarber would be a perfect fit for this American League contender. Ultimately, it’s the Nationals who swooped in and landed him.
PADRES WILLING TO GIVE TATIS $300 MILLION
The San Diego Padres want to keep Fernando Tatis Jr. for the long term.
The two sides are working on an extension that, if completed, will be for around 10 years, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports.
While it’s unclear how far along discussions are right now, the Padres are willing to go to $300 million, a source told Jessica Kleinschmidt of NBC Sports Bay Area.
Additionally, the Padres hope to get a deal in place before the New York Mets are able to extend newly acquired shortstop Francisco Lindor, according to Kleinschmidt.
Padres GM A.J. Preller recently said the club’s plan is to sign the budding superstar to an extension before the 2021 season begins.
Tatis, 22, has hit .301/.374/.582 with 39 home runs, 98 RBIs, and 27 stolen bases over 143 games during his first two major-league seasons. He finished third in NL Rookie of the Year voting in 2019 and fourth in NL MVP voting this past campaign.
English, who has held a piece of the top spot at the end of all three rounds, posted a 66 in Round 3. He was in cruise control for most of Saturday until the par-5th 18th, when English pulled his approach shot into the penalty area.
However, a nearby marshal quickly located his ball, and English managed to salvage a par by draining an eight-foot putt to secure his spot in Sunday’s final pairing.
“(I’m) extremely satisfied,” English said of his performance. “Normally Saturday is my toughest day out here on the PGA Tour, kind of a weird day of in between making the cut and finishing on Sunday and I felt like I played really well today, stuck to my strategy, executed really well, and stayed patient.”
Palmer was in chase mode all day, trailing English by two entering the round. He tallied nine birdies – six of which came on the back nine – while not registering a bogey for a 9-under 65, the lowest score of the week so far.
Here’s the top of the leaderboard with 18 holes remaining:
|PLACE||PLAYER||TO PAR||R3 SCORE|
DEVILS GOALIE CRAWFORD RETIRES
Corey Crawford, who helped the Chicago Blackhawks win two Stanley Cups, retired Saturday less than three months after signing with the New Jersey Devils and less than a week before the start of the NHL season.
The 36-year-old goalie made the announcement after a week of speculation about his future. He did not practice this week. Devils coach Lindy Ruff said the decision was for personal reasons.
“I have been fortunate to have had a long career playing professional hockey for a living,” Crawford said in a statement. “I wanted to continue my career, but believe I’ve given all I can to the game of hockey, and I have decided that it is time to retire.”
Crawford said playing in the NHL was a childhood dream and he was proud to have been a part of winning two Stanley Cups.
Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane called Crawford an exceptional player who always seemed in a good mood.
“Still feel that he’s playing at a really high level, going back to last year in the playoffs,” Kane said. “I guess just wish him all the best. Obviously, we’ll have conversations and talk to him, but sometimes there are bigger things than hockey.”
Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith could not say about good things about the man known as “Crow.”
“Everybody knows what he was able to do for us in net, especially during those playoff runs and the last several years here being the backbone of our team,” Keith said. “But he was always a great teammate and just one of those guys you never had to worry about. He was always ready to play in those big games.”
Crawford played in 10 NHL seasons and 488 regular-season games. He signed a two-year, a $7.8 million contract as a free agent with the Devils in October.
New Jersey opens its season at home Thursday against Boston. MacKenzie Blackwood returns as the Devils’ top goaltender.
OHIO STATE MEN’S HOCKEY
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s hockey team lost to Penn State, 5-2, in game two of a Big Ten series between the teams Saturday in Value City Arena. The Buckeyes, with Mark Cheremeta scoring both goals, drew within one (3-2) in the third period but Penn State closed out the game with two late empty net goals.
The Buckeyes (4-7-1, 4-6-0-0-1-0 B1G) won the series opener against the Nittany Lions (5-7-0, 3-7-0-0-0-0), 6-3, for a series split. The teams will face off in State College Feb. 12-13 to close the regular season series.
Ohio State is on the road for its next two series, playing at Michigan Friday and Saturday, with game one on BTN Plus and game two televised by BTN. Jan. 23-24 the Buckeyes will be at Michigan State.
Penn State 5, Ohio State 2 – The Short Story
Penn State opened the scoring at 7:38 of the first but Buckeye sophomore Mark Cheremeta redirected a Grant Gabriele shot at 15:20 for a 1-1 game after the opening 20 minutes. Penn State scored at 2:55 and 7:11 of the middle period for a 3-1 game entering the third. Cheremeta converted on the power play at 4:34 to make it a one-goal game. Penn State sealed the win with empty net goals at 18:21 and 18:56. The Buckeyes were outshot, 40-30, with Tommy Nappier making 35 saves. There were 13 penalties called in the game – Ohio State was 1-for-6 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.
Quoting Buckeye assistant coach JB Bittner
On putting back-to-back wins together
“It’s hard at the college level because you only play two games in a series or on a weekend. You beat a team the first night and you know the coach is all over them – there’s video, there’s meetings, ‘we have to be better in this area, we have to compete better’. To try and beat them again the next night you have to play better than you did the night before. With a younger team that’s something we have to learn. I thought they played a lot harder than they did last night; they played better. We played better too, but they upped their game tonight.”
Ohio State vs. Penn State
In the First … Alex Limoges put the Nittany Lions on the board at 7:38 before Mark Cheremeta tied the game at 15:20. Grant Gabriele intercepted a PSU clear attempt and put a shot toward net that Cheremeta redirected past the goalie for his third goal of the year. Shots were 15-10 in favor of Ohio State in the period.
In the Second … Kevin Wall pushed Penn State into the lead at 2:55 and Tim Doherty tallied at 7:11 for a 3-1 PSU lead after 40 minutes. Penn State had the shot advantage, 16-6, in the period, with nine shots on the power play, including a five minute major chance.
In the Third … On the power play, Travis Treloar took a pass from Layton Ahac and found Cheremeta in the slot, who scored on a backhand at 4:34. Ahac’s assist extended his point streak to four (1g, 4a, 5p) and Treloar, OSU’s leading scorer with 12 points, is on a three-game point streak (2g, 2a, 4p). Cheremeta, second on the team with 11 points, marked his third multiple point game of the year.
With time running down, the Buckeyes pulled their goalie for the extra attacker and Penn State was able to convert twice, with goals at 18:21 and 18:56. Ohio State was outshot, 14-9, in the period.
Shots … Ohio State was outshot, 40-30, in the game. Nappier played 59:24 and had 35 stops. The Buckeyes had nine shot blocks, with Gabriele posting four of the nine.
Special Teams … The Buckeyes were 1-for-6 on the power play and the penalty kill was 4-for-4, including on the full five minute major chance. Ohio State is 10-for-39 (.256) on the power play this year, tying for 10th nationally.
MIAMI MEN’S HOCKEY
OXFORD, Ohio — Miami offense was the first on the board to start the game off, but Western Michigan found crucial times to score and respond, as the Broncos and RedHawks tied, 3-3, after regulation and a five-minute three-on-three overtime. After two rounds in the shootout, the Broncos earned the extra point to lift them over Miami in the NCHC standings.
The home tie was the second tie for Miami this season. Miami fell to 4-8-2-0-1-0 on the season, while Western Michigan improved to 3-8-3-0-0-1. Sophomore defenseman Alec Capstick earned his first goal on the 2020-21 season with his third-period tally, and freshman goaltender Ludvig Persson recorded 31 saves in the close contest. Monte Graham and Ryan Savage also scored Miami goals, with the pair each scoring their second on the season.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
16:03 2nd (Miami 1-0) | Ben Lown kept the puck in at the blue line in the offensive zone and took a shot on the net. Chase Pletzke deflected the shot in front, and Monte Graham picked up the rebound with a quick one-time shot that landed in the top of the net to open up the scoring.
00:37 3rd (Miami 2-0) | Joe Cassetti forced a turnover in the Miami end and tried to dump it off his backhand deep in the neutral zone. Ryan Savage picked up the puck, took off for a breakaway, and ripped a hard wrist shot past Aslanidis.
07:59 3rd (WMU 2-1) | Michael Joyaux had the puck at the blueline with time, passing it over to Drew Worrad at the top of the right circle. Worrad gave the puck to Ty Glover, who was at the side of the net. Glover spun around and took a shot that went past Persson for a power-play goal.
09:48 3rd (Miami 3-1) | Matt Barry had the puck behind the net and gave it to Alec Capstick, who was waiting in front to score. Capstick’s goal, Miami’s third of the game, was his first in the 2020-21 season. Savage was credited with the secondary assist for his second point on the night.
10:01 3rd (WMU 3-2) | Brett Van Os picked the puck up on the boards and poked it over to Glover at the goal line. Glover found Jamie Rome for a one-timer, who shot the puck five-hole and slowly crossed the goal line.
12:31 3rd (WMU 3-3) | Jason Polin deflected the puck in the Miami end as they tried to clear it, as it bounced to Van Os, who kept it in at the blueline open. Van Os kept skated over to the right side and passed it over to Ronnie Attard near the boards, and slapped a wrister in from the blue line leaking through the pads of Persson.
Shots were close in the conference game, with the Broncos holding the advantage, 34-28. Graham and Phil Knies both led in individual shots on goal, with four.
Miami also had the advantage in blocked shots, with 16 to Western Michigan’s six.
The RedHawks continue the 2021 portion of the schedule with another home series against the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs. Puck drop for the first game of the series on January 15 is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Goggin Ice Arena in Oxford.