INDIANA BOYS BASKETBALL SCORES THURSDAY

Batesville 62 South Ripley 42
Ben Davis 76 Knoxville Catholic (Tenn.) 52
East Central 53 Talawanda (Ohio) 35
Fort Wayne Concordia 50 NorthWood 35
Highland 49 Wheeler 26
LaPorte 63 Elkhart 60
Mooresville 73 Monrovia 64
Morgan Twp. 68 South Bend Career 42
New Albany 94 Evansville Central 71
North Decatur 56 Jac-Cen-Del 48
North Vermillion 67 Clinton Central 51
Parke Heritage 67 South Putnam 46
Shoals 55 Crawford County 45
South Decatur 53 South Dearborn 47
Terre Haute North 58 Evansville Memorial 54
Tri 59 Anderson Prep 40
Valparaiso 61 Hammond Noll 58
West Lafayette 45 Western 30


Bi County Tournament
Fountain Central 68 Attica 14 R1
Seeger 47 Covington 42 R1

Delphi Classic
Delphi 56 Pioneer 45 Con
North Daviess Tournament
Evansville Christian 53 Paoli 46 R1
Scottsburg 53 Loogootee 43 R1
North Daviess 36 Forest Park 34 R1
Brownstown Central 86 South Knox 49 R1

INDIANA BOYS BASKETBALL FRIDAY SCHEDULE

ALL TIMES EASTERN
Alexandria at Tri-Central 7:30 pm
Bellmont at Adams Central 7:30 pm
Ben Davis vs. Pinson Valley (Ala.) 4:30 pm
Boone Grove at New Prairie 8:00 pm
Brebeuf Jesuit at Purdue Poly Englewood 7:30 pm
Carmel at Indianapolis Cathedral 7:30 pm
Central Noble at Bremen 7:30 pm
Charlestown at Heritage Hills 8:00 pm
Christel House at Hamilton Southeastern 7:30 pm
Columbia City at Fort Wayne Blackhawk 7:30 pm
Corydon Central at New Albany 7:30 pm
Crawfordsville at Speedway 7:30 pm
Crown Point at Brownsburg 7:30 pm
Culver at Washington Twp. 8:00 pm
Eastern (Greentown) at Northfield 7:30 pm
Elkhart Christian at South Bend Clay 7:30 pm
Evansville Bosse at Boonville 6:30 pm
Evansville Harrison at Bloomington South 6:30 pm
Fishers at Center Grove 7:30 pm
Fort Recovery (Ohio) at South Adams 7:30 pm
Fort Wayne Luers at Churubusco 7:30 pm
Franklin at Decatur Central 7:30 pm
Granger Christian at Trinity Greenlawn 7:45 pm
Homestead at DeKalb 7:30 pm
Huntington North at Westfield 7:30 pm
Indianapolis Riverside at Indianapolis Attucks 7:30 pm
Indianapolis Roncalli at Guerin Catholic 7:30 pm
Indianapolis Scecina at Park Tudor 7:30 pm
Knox at North Judson 8:00 pm
Lawrence North at Southport 7:30 pm
Lawrenceburg at Seymour 7:30 pm
Lebanon at Hamilton Heights 7:30 pm
Manchester at Lewis Cass 7:30 pm
Medora at Cannelton 6:30 pm
Merrillville at East Chicago Central 8:00 pm
Monroe Central at Frankton 7:30 pm
Muncie Central at Lapel 7:30 pm
Noblesville at Anderson 7:30 pm
Norwell at Bluffton 7:30 pm
Oregon-Davis at Wheeler 8:00 pm
Penn at Chesterton 7:30 pm
Perry Central at Lanesville 8:00 pm
Pike Central at Washington 7:30 pm
Richmond at Fort Wayne South 7:30 pm
Rochester at Tippecanoe Valley 7:30 pm
Seton Catholic at Union County 7:30 pm
Shakamak at Linton-Stockton 7:30 pm
Shelbyville at Franklin County 7:30 pm
South Vermillion at Southmont 7:30 pm
Switzerland County at North Decatur 7:30 pm
Timothy Christian (Ill.) at Illiana Christian 8:30 pm
Trinity Lutheran at Rising Sun 7:30 pm
Triton at South Central (Union Mills) 7:45 pm
West Noble at Prairie Heights 7:30 pm


Barr-Reeve Classic
Vincennes Lincoln at Barr-Reeve 11:45 am
Henryville vs. Vincennes Lincoln 3:15 pm
Henryville at Barr-Reeve 6:45 pm


Bi County Tournament
Fountain Central at Seeger 7:30 pm 1st


Central Christian Tournament
Loser Game 1 vs. Horizon Christian 4:00 pm Con
Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4 5:30 pm Con
Winner Game 1 vs. Irvington Prep 7:00 pm SF
Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4 8:30 pm SF


Delphi Classic
Winamac vs. Rossville 7:30 pm Con


Gibson County Classic
North Harrison at Gibson Southern 1:00 pm R1
Ohio County (Ky.) vs. Danville 2:30 pm R1
Evansville Mater Dei vs. Princeton 1:00 pm R1
North Posey at Wood Memorial 2:30 pm R1
Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 7:30 pm Con
Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 9:00 pm SF
Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4 7:30 pm Con
Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4 9:00 pm SF


Greenwood Tournament
Yorktown vs. Greenwood Christian 10:00 am R1
Jennings County at Greenwood 12:00 pm R1
Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 6:00 pm 3rd
Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 8:00 pm 1st


Jefferson County Invitational
Christian Academy vs. Southwestern (Hanover) 3:00 pm Pool B
Shawe Memorial at Madison 4:50 pm Pool A
Carroll County (Ky.) vs. Southwestern (Hanover) 6:40 pm Pool B
Trimble County (Ky.) at Madison 8:30 pm Pool A


Kokomo Tournament
New Haven at Kokomo 11:00 am R1
South Bend Riley vs. Mishawaka 12:45 pm R1
Mount Vernon (Fortville) vs. Plainfield 2:30 pm R1
Warren Central vs. Jeffersonville 4:15 pm R1
Loser Game 2 vs. Loser Game 1 6:00 pm Con
Loser Game 4 vs. Loser Game 3 7:45 pm Con


North Daviess Tournament
Paoli vs. Loogootee 3:30 pm Con
Forest Park vs. South Knox 5:00 pm Con
Evansville Christian vs. Scottsburg 6:30 pm SF
Brownstown Central at North Daviess 8:00 pm SF


Shenandoah Classic
Evansville Day vs. Rushville 5:30 pm
Blackford vs. Indianapolis Lutheran 7:00 pm
North Knox at Shenandoah 8:30 pm


Trine University Classic
Fairfield vs. Fort Wayne Northrop 6:30 pm
Michigan City vs. Fort Wayne North 9:30 pm

INDIANA GIRLS BASKETBALL THURSDAY SCORES

Avon 69 Brebeuf Jesuit 59
Benton Central 52 Andrean 30
Bethany Christian 46 Argos 44
Caston 53 Frontier 20
Columbia City 64 North Central (Indianapolis) 26
DeKalb 48 Lakewood Park 30
Decatur Central 58 Mount Vernon (Fortville) 32
Eastern Hancock 66 Monroe Central 35
Eastside 60 Heritage 22
Evansville Christian 45 Muhlenberg County (Ky.) 32
Evansville North 67 Tecumseh 44
Evansville Reitz 71 Mount Carmel (Ill.) 40
Fairfield 42 Bluffton 25
Forest Park 55 McLean County (Ky.) 26
Fort Wayne Blackhawk 44 Garrett 40
Fort Wayne Snider 72 Fort Wayne Luers 35
Franklin Central 68 Columbus North 61
Fremont 53 Fairview (Ohio) 51
Greensburg 68 Columbus East 31
Griffith 40 River Forest 23
Hamilton Heights 58 Blackford 26
Hammond Central 58 Portage 44
Henderson County (Ky.) 42 Evansville Memorial 37
Heritage Hills 53 Pike Central 30
Indianapolis Herron 39 Indianapolis Scecina 32
Kokomo 32 Northwestern 31
Lebanon 45 Beech Grove 38
Manchester 62 Triton 48
New Palestine 60 Southport 22
New Prairie 48 Marquette Catholic 36
North Harrison 66 Clarksville 18
Oregon-Davis 58 Westville 56
Seymour 44 Rushville 32
South Central (Elizabeth) 61 Cannelton 17
Southwestern (Hanover) 35 Eastern (Pekin) 31 OT
Triton Central 53 Hauser 21
Washington 72 Boonville 41
West Central 52 North Judson 51 OT
Whitko 49 Prairie Heights 43
Yorktown 39 Cowan 25


Bi County Tournament
Fountain Central 29 Attica 15 R1
Seeger 36 Covington 23 R1


Delphi Tournament
Frankfort 59 Taylor 36 Con


Edinburgh Tournament
Indianapolis Tindley 53 Hagerstown 35 7th
Indianapolis Lutheran 50 Edinburgh 33 5th
South Ripley 44 Knightstown 26 3rd
Austin 47 Northside HomeSchool 40 1st

INDIANA GIRLS BASKETBALL FRIDAY SCHEDULE

ALL TIMES EASTERN
Alexandria at South Dearborn 8:00 pm
Andrean at Merrillville 8:00 pm
Brownsburg at Lawrence North 7:30 pm
Center Grove at Bloomington North 7:30 pm
Chesterton at Lake Station 8:00 pm
Connersville at Northeastern 7:30 pm
Evansville Bosse at McLean County (Ky.) 5:15 pm
Evansville Reitz vs. Daviess County (Ky.) 7:00 pm
Fishers at Carroll (Fort Wayne) 7:30 pm
Fort Wayne Concordia at Bellmont 7:30 pm
Franklin County at Waldron 2:30 pm
Garrett at Southern Wells 7:30 pm
Granger Christian at Trinity Greenlawn 6:30 pm
Indian Creek at Sullivan 7:30 pm
Linton-Stockton at Indianapolis Roncalli 1:30 pm
Louisville Holy Cross (Ky.) at New Albany 1:00 pm
Medora at Cannelton 6:00 pm
Munster at Thornton Fractional South (Ill.) 7:30 pm
Oldenburg Academy at Newport Central Catholic (Ky.) 7:30 pm
Randolph Southern at Park Tudor 6:00 pm
South Bend Adams at NorthWood 7:45 pm
Southridge at Evansville Central 8:00 pm
Trinity Lutheran at New Washington 7:30 pm
Vincennes Rivet at Shoals 6:00 pm
Wabash at Whitko 7:45 pm
Washington Catholic at Eminence 6:30 pm


Barr-Reeve Classic
Vincennes Lincoln at Barr-Reeve 10:00 am
North Central (Farmersburg) vs. Vincennes Lincoln 1:30 pm
North Central (Farmersburg) at Barr-Reeve 5:00 pm


Bedford North Lawrence Tournament
Lake Central at Bedford North Lawrence 10:30 am R1
Lawrence Central vs. Noblesville 12:00 pm R1
Loser Game 2 vs. Loser Game 1 6:00 pm 3rd
Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 1 7:30 pm 1st


Bi County Tournament
Fountain Central at Seeger 6:00 pm 1st


Carroll (Flora) Tournament
Tippecanoe Valley vs. Western 6:00 pm R1
Riverton Parke vs. Covenant Christian 6:00 pm R1
University at Carroll (Flora) 7:30 pm R1
Lewis Cass vs. Western Boone 7:30 pm R1


Delphi Tournament
North Newton vs. Rossville 6:00 pm Con


Gibson County Classic
Silver Creek vs. Danville 10:00 am R1
Fairfield (Ill.) at Gibson Southern 11:30 am R1
Evansville Mater Dei vs. Princeton 10:00 am R1
North Posey at Wood Memorial 11:30 am R1
Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 4:30 pm Con
Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 6:00 pm SF
Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4 4:30 pm Con
Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4 6:00 pm SF


Northview Tournament
West Vigo vs. Terre Haute North 10:00 am R1
Clay City vs. Parke Heritage 11:30 am R1
Cloverdale at Northview 1:00 pm R1
South Vermillion vs. Greencastle 2:30 pm R1
Loser Game 2 vs. Loser Game 1 4:00 pm Con
Loser Game 4 vs. Loser Game 3 5:30 pm Con
Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 1 7:00 pm SF
Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 3 8:00 pm SF


Richmond Tournament
East Central vs. Floyd Central 6:00 pm R1
Purdue Poly Englewood vs. Anderson 6:00 pm R1
Jac-Cen-Del vs. Indianapolis Tech 7:30 pm R1
Centerville at Richmond 7:30 pm R1


Trine University Classic
Westfield vs. Fort Wayne North 5:00 pm
Elkhart vs. Fort Wayne Northrop 8:00 pm


Whiteland Tournament
Guerin Catholic at Whiteland 10:00 am R1
Tri-West vs. Bloomington South 12:00 pm R1
Loser Game 2 vs. Loser Game 1 4:00 pm 3rd
Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 1 6:00 pm 1st

INDIANA HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLING SCORES

Bellmont 38 Adams Central 32

Leo 56 Angola 15

Rensselaer Central 53 West Central 22

Rochester 39 Rensselaer Central 34

Faith Christian 37 McCutcheon 34

Rensselaer Central 63 Knox 13

Rochester 58 Knox 24

Center Grove 57 Carmel 10

COLLEGE BOWL GAMES

South Florida 45 Syracuse 0

Friday, Dec. 22

Gasparilla Bowl

Georgia Tech vs. UCF

Tampa, Florida

6:30 p.m. | ESPN

Saturday, Dec. 23

Birmingham Bowl

Troy vs. Duke

Birmingham, Alabama

12 p.m. | ABC

Camellia Bowl

Arkansas State vs. Northern Illinois

Montgomery, Alabama

12 p.m. | ESPN

Armed Forces Bowl

Air Force vs. James Madison

Fort Worth, Texas

3:30 p.m. | ABC

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

Georgia State vs. Utah State

Boise, Idaho

3:30 p.m. | ESPN

68 Ventures Bowl

Eastern Michigan vs. South Alabama

Mobile, Alabama

7 p.m. | ESPN

Las Vegas Bowl

Northwestern vs. Utah

Las Vegas, Nevada

7:30 p.m. | ABC

Hawai’i Bowl

San Jose State vs. Coastal Carolina

Honolulu, Hawai’i

10:30 p.m. | ESPN

Tuesday, Dec. 26

Quick Lane Bowl

Bowling Green vs. Minnesota

Detroit, Michigan

2 p.m. | ESPN

First Responder Bowl

Texas State vs. Rice

Dallas, Texas

5:30 p.m. | ESPN

Guaranteed Rate Bowl

Kansas vs. UNLV

Phoenix, Arizona

9 p.m. | ESPN

Wednesday, Dec. 27

Military Bowl

Tulane vs. Virginia Tech

Annapolis, Maryland

2 p.m. | ESPN

Duke’s Mayo Bowl

North Carolina vs. West Virginia

Charlotte, North Carolina

5:30 p.m. | ESPN

Holiday Bowl

No. 15 Louisville vs. Southern Cal

San Diego, California

8 p.m. ET | FOX

Texas Bowl

No. 20 Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M

Houston, Texas

9 p.m. | ESPN

Thursday, Dec. 28

Fenway Bowl

No. 24 SMU vs. Boston College

Boston, Massachusetts

11 a.m. | ESPN

Pinstripe Bowl

Rutgers vs. Miami (Fla.)

The Bronx, New York

2:15 p.m. | ESPN

Pop-Tarts Bowl

No. 18 NC State vs. No. 25 Kansas State

Orlando, Florida

5:45 p.m. | ESPN

Alamo Bowl

No. 12 Oklahoma vs. No. 14 Arizona

San Antonio, Texas

9:15 p.m. | ESPN

Friday, Dec. 29

Gator Bowl

No. 22 Clemson vs. Kentucky

Jacksonville, Florida

12 p.m. | ESPN

Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl

No. 16 Notre Dame vs. No. 19 Oregon State

El Paso, Texas

2 p.m. | CBS

Liberty Bowl

Memphis vs. Iowa State

Memphis, Tennessee

3:30 p.m. | ESPN

Cotton Bowl

No. 7 Ohio State vs. No. 9 Missouri

Dallas, Texas

8 p.m. | ESPN

Saturday, Dec. 30

Peach Bowl

No. 10 Penn State vs. No. 11 Ole Miss

Atlanta, Georgia

12 p.m. | ESPN

Music City Bowl

Auburn vs. Maryland

Nashville, Tennessee

2 p.m. | ABC

Orange Bowl

No. 5 Florida State vs. No. 6 Georgia

Miami Gardens, Florida

4 p.m. | ESPN

Arizona Bowl

Wyoming vs. Toledo

Tucson, Arizona

4:30 p.m. | CW Network/Barstool

Monday, Jan. 1, 2024

ReliaQuest Bowl

No. 13 LSU vs. Wisconsin

Tampa, Florida

12 p.m. | ESPN2

Citrus Bowl

No. 17 Iowa vs. No. 21 Tennessee

Orlando, Florida

1 p.m. | ABC

Fiesta Bowl

No. 8 Oregon vs. No. 23 Liberty

Glendale, Arizona

1 p.m. | ESPN

College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl

No. 1 Michigan vs. No. 4 Alabama

Pasadena, California

5 p.m. | ESPN

College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Sugar Bowl

No. 2 Washington vs. No. 3 Texas

New Orleans, Louisiana

8:45 p.m. | ESPN

Monday, Jan. 8

College Football Playoff National Championship Game

Houston, Texas

7:30 p.m. | ESPN

NFL WEEK 16 SCHEDULE

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

LA Rams 30 New Orleans 22

SATURDAY FOOTBALL GAMES SCHEDULE, DEC. 23

Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers, 2:30 p.m., NBC, Universo (stream with free trial from FUBO)

Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Chargers, 6 p.m., Peacock

SUNDAY EARLY FOOTBALL GAMES SCHEDULE, DEC. 24

Indianapolis Colts at Atlanta Falcons, 11 a.m., FOX (stream with free trial from FUBO)

Green Bay Packers at Carolina Panthers, 11 a.m., FOX (stream with free trial from FUBO)

Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans, 11 a.m., CBS (stream with free trial from FUBO)

Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings, 11 a.m., FOX (stream with free trial from FUBO)

Washington Commanders at New York Jets, 11 a.m., CBS (stream with free trial from FUBO)

Seattle Seahawks at Tennessee Titans, 11 a.m., CBS (stream with free trial from FUBO)

SUNDAY LATE FOOTBALL GAMES SCHEDULE, DEC. 24

Jacksonville Jaguars at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2:05 p.m., CBS (stream with free trial from FUBO)

Arizona Cardinals at Chicago Bears, 2:25 p.m., FOX (stream with free trial from FUBO)

Dallas Cowboys at Miami Dolphins, 2:25 p.m., FOX (stream with free trial from FUBO)

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL SCHEDULE, DEC. 24

New England Patriots at Denver Broncos, 6:15 p.m., NFL Network (stream with free trial from FUBO)

MONDAY FOOTBALL GAMES SCHEDULE, DEC. 25

Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs, 11 a.m., CBS, Nickelodeon (stream with free trial from FUBO)

New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles, 2:30 p.m., FOX, FOX Deportes (stream with free trial from FUBO)

Baltimore Ravens at San Francisco 49ers, 6:15 p.m., ABC, ESPN Plus, ESPN Deportes (stream with free trial from FUBO)

MEN’S TOP 25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCORES

#1 Purdue 100 Jacksonville 57

#9 Kentucky 95 Louisville 76

#8 Tennessee 65 Tarleton State 46

#3 Houston 72 Texas State 37

ELSEWHERE:

Indiana 83 N. Alabama 66

Ohio State 78 New Orleans 36

Michigan State 99 Stony Brook 55

Penn State 72 LeMoyne 55

IUPUI 90 Defiance 67

Minnesota 80 Ball State 63

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL TOP 25 SCORES

#18 Marquette 67 Bucknell 39

#15 Virginia Tech 76 William & Mary 43

#8 Colorado 78 Northern Colorado 56

#11 Utah 89 Weber State 36

#2 UCLA 85 Hawaii 46

#10 Baylor 73 S. Florida 50

#6 USC 85 Long Beach State 77

#4 Iowa 98 Loyola Illinois 69

#14 Notre Dame 84 Western Michigan 47

#21 Creighton 58 South Dakota State 46

ELSEWHERE:

Purdue Fort Wayne 77 Aquinas College 43

Northwestern 77 Temple 68

Ball State 52 Georgia 51

Butler 69 Ohio 49

Illinois 81 UTEP 71

Minnesota 100 Lindenwood 45

Wisconsin 76 Eastern Illinois 64

Michigan State 105 Coastal Carolina 66

NBA SCOREBOARD

Memphis 116 Indiana 103

Utah 119 Detroit 111

New Orleans 123 Cleveland 104

Milwaukee 118 Orlando 114

Chicago 114 San Antonio 95

Oklahoma City 134 LA Clippers 115

Minnesota 118 LA Lakers 111

Washington 118 Portland 117

NHL SCOREBOARD

Washington 3 Columbus 2 OT

Tampa Bay 5 Vegas 4

Nashville 4 Philadelphia 2

Buffalo 9 Toronto 3

St. Louis 4 Florida 1

Pittsburgh 2 Carolina 1

Edmonton 6 New Jersey 3

Minnesota 4 Montréal 3 OT

Dallas 4 Vancouver 3 OT

Colorado 6 Ottawa 4

Calgary 3 Anaheim 0

Arizona 5 San Jose 2

NATIONAL SPORTS RELEASES/HEADLINES

NFL NEWS

RAMS TAKE DOWN SAINTS ON TNF TO SURGE FORWARD IN PLAYOFF RACE

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Sean McVay turned the Los Angeles Rams’ already jubilant locker room into a party Thursday night with an announcement: The players are off until Tuesday, allowing them to spend the entire Christmas holiday with their families.

These surprising Rams earned their holiday with a surge of five wins in six games down the stretch, culminating in another impressive victory over a fellow NFC playoff contender.

Matthew Stafford passed for 328 yards and two touchdowns, rookie Puka Nacua had nine catches for a career-high 164 yards and a score, and the Rams surged forward in the race for a postseason berth with a 30-22 victory over the New Orleans Saints.

Kyren Williams rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown, and Demarcus Robinson added 82 yards receiving and another score for the Rams (8-7), who are above .500 for the first time since Week 1 after sitting at 3-6 in their bye week last month.

“We earned the opportunity to be at this point, in my opinion,” Stafford said. “We’ve had stakes since the bye, so I’m just proud of the way these guys have put their head down, gone to work and shown up.”

With its second win in five days during a self-described remodeling season, Los Angeles also jumped past Minnesota (7-7) and moved to sixth in the NFC standings in its bid to secure a wild-card playoff spot — and an increasingly possible opening-round showdown with the Detroit Lions, Stafford’s team for 12 seasons.

Los Angeles led 30-7 with 12:44 left in the fourth quarter after scoring on six of its first eight possessions, but allowed its opponent to make it close for the second straight game after a late 21-point lead turned into an eight-point win over Washington last weekend.

“It’s a short week, so it’s tougher to finish,” Rams safety John Johnson said. “Maybe the tank hit empty before we wanted it to, but now we can regroup, recharge and get back to it.”

Derek Carr threw TD passes to Juwan Johnson and A.T. Perry in the fourth quarter, with a 2-point conversion trimming the Rams’ lead to eight points with 3:53 to play. But Nacua recovered an onside kick and then got a key first down on a 9-yard jet sweep, and the Rams ran out the clock on their fourth straight home victory.

“We sure make it interesting, don’t we?” McVay asked. “But I love the resilience of this group. They just continue to show up. I thought there was a lot of really good stuff throughout the course of this game.”

Carr passed for 319 yards and hit Rashid Shaheed for an early 45-yard TD for the Saints (7-8), whose two-game winning streak ended with a painfully slow start and 458 yards allowed by their defense, which even coach Dennis Allen acknowledged was confused at times by the aggressive, complex pre-snap motions in McVay’s offense.

Although this loss hurts its chances, New Orleans is still in serious contention for a playoff spot and the NFC South title because it finishes the season with two games against division opponents, starting with Tampa Bay on New Year’s Eve.

“We certainly would have liked to start the game and play better, but we didn’t,” Allen said. “We’re not into the percentages. We let an opportunity go by, and now we have to get ready for the things we can control. We’ll regroup. We’re still in this thing.”

Stafford had yet another outstanding game down the stretch in his 15th NFL season. He has 14 touchdown passes and one interception in the Rams’ last five games, and he has thrown multiple TD passes in five straight games for only the third time in his career.

“He’s extremely difficult,” Allen said about Stafford. “He is playing at an extremely high level. Some of the throws I saw him make were pinpoint on his back foot and under pressure. There were some times we had some good coverage. Look, they were better than us tonight.”

Williams, who missed four games at midseason because of a sprained ankle, still became the Rams’ first 1,000-yard rusher since Todd Gurley in 2018 with his latest impressive burst. After he scored in the third quarter, he jumped onto a wall to hand the ball to his mother in the stands.

Nacua also had the most productive game in the last two months during his breakout rookie season, while Robinson caught a TD pass in his fourth straight game.

Los Angeles went 95 yards in 14 plays consuming more than half of the first quarter on its opening drive, which ended with a fourth-down TD pass from Stafford to Nacua. New Orleans had allowed just one touchdown in its previous 12 quarters of play.

The Saints had three drives end when they failed on fourth down in Rams territory. Chris Olave finished with nine receptions for 123 yards.

SHO’S HOUSE

Shohei Ohtani attended the game, greeting players on the sideline about an hour before kickoff and receiving a No. 17 Rams jersey. The two-way superstar and two-time AL MVP will now play his home games about 13 miles from SoFi Stadium after agreeing to a $700 million contract with the Dodgers this month. Ohtani was named The Associated Press’ Male Athlete of the Year for the second time in three years earlier Thursday.

INJURIES

Saints: RT Ryan Ramczyk (knee) missed his second straight game. … RB Kendre Miller (ankle) missed his sixth straight game.

Rams: Rookie DB Tre Tomlinson (hamstring) missed his first game of the season.

UP NEXT

Saints: At Tampa Bay on Dec. 31.

Rams: At the New York Giants on Dec. 31.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEWS

SOUTH FLORIDA THROTTLES SYRACUSE IN BOCA RATON BOWL

Byrum Brown threw three touchdown passes and two South Florida players scored on long fumble returns as the Bulls trounced Syracuse 45-0 on Thursday night in the Boca Raton Bowl in Boca Raton, Fla.

Brown twice found Sean Atkins for a touchdown as part of a 19-of-26 passing performance in which he threw for 214 yards without an interception. Atkins finished with six catches for 93 yards, while Brown also registered a team-high 64 rushing yards for the Bulls (7-6).

The Orange (6-7) played without their top two quarterbacks due to injuries. Freshman Braden Davis made his first college start and finished 6 of 13 for 84 yards. The team also ran much of their offense out of a wildcat formation that featured running back LeQuint Allen (20 carries for 2 yards) and tight end Dan Villari (11 rushes for 37 yards and 4-of-11 passing for 55 yards).

Syracuse went 1 for 17 on third downs and had four turnovers in losing its bowl game for the second straight season.

After the teams exchanged punts to begin the contest, South Florida marched 64 yards on 10 plays, capped by Brown’s 13-yard touchdown pass to Atkins in the back of the end zone.

The Bulls doubled their lead late in the first quarter on Aamaris Brown’s 64-yard fumble return for a touchdown. The Orange were attempting a field goal, but they botched the hold, leading to the fumble.

Early in the second quarter, Byrum Brown found Khafre Brown deep over the middle for a 31-yard score, making it 21-0. John Cannon added a 40-yard field goal with 2:40 left in the period.

The cherry on top of the first-half uprising was Tramel Logan’s 61-yard fumble return with nine seconds left. Daquan Evans sacked Davis on the play, and Logan made the recovery.

Byrum Brown’s 35-yard pass to a wide-open Atkins made it 38-0 early in the third quarter. Nay’Quan Wright’s 2-yard touchdown run accounted for the only points of the fourth quarter as South Florida rolled to its first bowl win since 2017.

OREGON STATE, WAZZU REACH SETTLEMENT WITH EXITING PAC-12 SCHOOLS

The 10 departing members of the Pac-12 reached a settlement agreement with remaining schools Oregon State and Washington State to end litigation related to control of the conference.

As part of the deal announced Thursday, the exiting schools will give up some of their 2023-24 revenue, cede future control of league assets and agree to language against future litigation.

The sides reached an accord in the wake of the state of Washington’s Supreme Court decision last week that chose not to revisit a lower court’s ruling that gave control of the Pac-12 board of directors to the remaining schools.

Oregon State president Jayathi Murthy and Washington State president Kirk Schulz issued a joint statement on the matter Thursday.

“Today’s news marks a huge victory for our universities and a significant step toward stabilizing the Pac-12 Conference and preserving its 108-year legacy,” the statement read in part.

The latest news provides an additional measure of security for the two schools, particularly as it relates to potentially keeping the Pac-12 brand alive.

The two schools previously reached a scheduling agreement with the Mountain West Conference to play six Mountain West teams in football next fall, and more recently, secured an agreement with the West Coast Conference to host most of the rest of their sports.

But neither of those deals are long-term in nature, and the NCAA allows a conference a two-year grace period to continue to exist below the normal required seven active members.

Much speculation to this point has centered on a “reverse merger” wherein the entirety of the Mountain West schools would join the Pac-12, though Oregon State and Washington State now have additional time to weigh that proposal against other options.

WR KEON COLEMAN LATEST FSU STAR SKIPPING ORANGE BOWL

Florida State wide receiver Keon Coleman became the latest Seminoles player to opt out of this month’s Orange Bowl, 247Sports reported Thursday.

Coleman, who had 50 catches for 658 yards and 11 touchdowns in his first season with Florida State after transferring from Michigan State, is set to enter the 2024 NFL Draft.

In two seasons at Michigan State and one at Florida State, Coleman has 115 catches for 1,506 yards and 19 touchdowns in 34 games.

Also electing not to play in the Orange Bowl against Georgia are running back Trey Benson, wide receiver Johnny Wilson, tight end Jaheim Bell, defensive end Jared Verse and defensive lineman Fabien Lovett.

No. 5 Florida State is 13-0 this season and won the ACC Championship Game but was not invited to the College Football Playoff semifinals after quarterback Jordan Travis saw his season end with a leg injury Nov. 18.

Michigan, Alabama, Washington

Michigan, Alabama, Washington and Texas were selected to participate in the CFP semifinals. Alabama and Texas each have one loss.

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

TOP 25 ROUNDUP: NO. 1 PURDUE HITS CENTURY MARK IN ROUT

Zach Edey scored 18 points on just eight shot attempts as No. 1 Purdue cruised to a 100-57 nonconference rout of Jacksonville in West Lafayette, Ind.

Lance Jones added 16 and Trey Kaufman-Renn chipped in 15 points for the Boilermakers (11-1), who looked the part in the beginning of their second stint as the top-ranked team in the country. Purdue converted 51.5 percent of its field-goal tries and drew assists on 25 of its 35 made buckets.

Robert McCray V scored a game-high 22 points for the Dolphins (8-5) but also committed nine of their 22 turnovers. No one else was in double figures for Jacksonville, which made just 36.8 percent of its field-goal attempts and collected only five assists. Purdue consistently turned Dolphin mistakes into points. It scored 21 points off their turnovers and earned a 13-4 advantage in fast-break points.

The Boilermakers led by 18 points at halftime and didn’t mess around to start the second half. They rattled off the first 12 points — Edey contributing a three-point play and two free throws to the spurt — for a 57-27 cushion with 17:01 left after Kaufman-Renn hit a short jumper.

No. 3 Houston 72, Texas State 37

Emanuel Sharp scored a game-high 17 points and the Cougars forced 27 turnovers while cruising to a home victory over the Bobcats.

Sharp shot just 2-for-10 from the floor but finished 11-for-11 from the free-throw line for the Cougars (12-0). Ja’Vier Francis added 13 points and five rebounds while Jamal Shead chipped in 11 points for the Cougars, who played their first game without Terrance Arceneaux (Achilles surgery) and the second half without leading rebounder J’Wan Roberts, who aggravated a knee injury in the first half.

The Cougars also held Texas State (6-6) without a field goal for the first seven minutes of the second half before Bobcats guard Jordan Mason sank a jumper that sliced the deficit to 49-24. That concluded a span of just over 10 minutes without a field goal for the Bobcats, who shot 28.9 percent from the floor.

No. 8 Tennessee 65, Tarleton State 46

Zakai Zeigler scored 13 points to fuel the Volunteers to a victory over the visiting Texans in Knoxville, Tenn.

Santiago Vescovi collected 12 points and seven rebounds and Josiah-Jordan James added 10 of each for the Volunteers (9-3), who overcame a lackluster shooting performance to extend their winning streak to a season-high five games. Tennessee shot just 36.4 percent from the floor (20 of 55) and 32.0 percent from 3-point range (8 of 25).

Tarleton State’s Devon Barnes scored 12 points and Lue Williams and KiAndre Gaddy each had 10. Gaddy also had seven rebounds and four blocks for the Texans (8-4), who have lost two in a row following a six-game winning streak. Tarleton State did itself no favors by making just 2 of 22 on its 3-point attempts.

No. 9 Kentucky 95, Louisville 76

Antonio Reeves scored 22 of his season-high 30 points in the first half and the Wildcats took down the in-state rival Cardinals to win their third consecutive game away from home.

Tre Mitchell scored 18 points with 12 rebounds and three blocks for Kentucky (9-2), who rebounded from an 80-73 loss to UNC-Wilmington at home Dec. 2 with victories over Penn, then-No. 9 North Carolina and now Louisville. Justin Edwards had 13 points for the Wildcats and Reed Sheppard scored 11 points with 11 assists.

Kentucky improved to 39-17 all-time against Louisville and 13-3 since John Calipari became the Wildcats’ head coach. Skyy Clark had 20 points and Brandon Huntley-Hatfield added 16 points with 11 rebounds for Louisville (5-7), who lost for the fourth time in their past five. It was Huntley-Hatfield’s third consecutive double-double.

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WOMEN’S TOP 25 ROUNDUP: NO. 6 USC ESCAPES UPSET VS. LONG BEACH ST.

Playing without starters Rayah Marshall and Juju Watkins, No. 6 USC needed a career-high 36 points from McKenzie Forbes to escape upset-minded Long Beach State 85-77 in Long Beach, Calif.

Forbes shot 13-of-16 from the charity stripe and also had four assists and seven rebounds to lead the Trojans (10-0) as Marshall and Watkins were sidelined with illnesses. Kayla Padilla added 16 points and Taylor Bigby scored 11.

The Beach (5-5) were steered by Savannah Tucker’s 17 points.

USC led by as many as 14 points, but the Beach used a 9-2 fourth quarter run to trim the deficit to four points with a bit more than two minutes left to play.

The Trojans lost the rebounding battle by 10, but made 31-of-39 free throws and scored 23 points off 22 Long Beach State turnovers.

USC will put its unbeaten record on the line on Dec. 30 when it opens Pac-12 play at No. 2 UCLA.

No. 2 UCLA 85, Hawaii 46

The Bruins were never challenged by the Rainbow Wahine in Los Angeles and easily stayed unbeaten at 11-0.

Five players scored in double figures for UCLA, led by Charisma Osborne’s 17 points. She was joined by Lauren Betts (16), Kiki Rice (14), Londynn Jones (12) and Christeen Iwuala (10).

Hawaii (3-6) grabbed a 3-2 lead on a 3-pointer by MeiLani McBee 30 seconds into the game, but it never led again. The Bruins scored the next 14 points and outscored the Rainbow Wahine squad 45-16 in the first half.

26 Hawaii turnovers led to 22 UCLA points.

No. 4 Iowa 98, Loyola Chicago 69

Caitlin Clark’s triple-double of 35 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists powered the Hawkeyes to a win over the Ramblers in Iowa City, Iowa.

Clark shot 12-of-21 from the floor and also had a block and a steal for Iowa (12-1). Hannah Stuelke added 20 points and eight rebounds for the Hawkeyes, while Kate Martin scored 19 points.

Loyola Chicago (6-5) was led by Emma Nolan’s 15 points and Sam Galanopoulos’ 14 points and four assists.

The Ramblers led by as many as seven points in the first half before Iowa pulled away by outscoring them 28-15 in the third quarter. The Hawkeyes scored 33 points off 23 Loyola Chicago turnovers and outscored the Ramblers in the paint 56-24.

No. 8 Colorado 78, Northern Colorado 56

After a slow start, the Buffaloes controlled the final three quarters to steadily distance themselves from the in-state rival Bears as they improved to 10-1 this season and stayed unbeaten at home (5-0).

Colorado trailed 35-28 but scored the final 13 points of the second quarter to take a 41-35 lead and gain control of the game.

Aaronette Vonleh recorded 14 points to go along with five blocks to help Colorado dominate the paint scoring 48-14. Jaylyn Sherrod led the Buffaloes in scoring with 16 points.

The Buffaloes withstood some hot outside shooting from the Bears. Northern Colorado (4-5) finished 9 of 20 (45 percent) from deep, with Delaynie Byrne hitting three 3-pointers as part of her team-leading 21 points.

No. 10 Baylor 73, South Florida 50

Darianna Littlepage-Buggs had 18 points and 13 rebounds as the Bears remained unbeaten and topped the Bulls at the West Palm Beach Classic in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Baylor (11-0) also had three other players score in double figures. Sarah Andrews scored 19 points, while Dre’Una Edwards and Jada Walker each had 10.

USF (8-5) was powered by Carla Brito’s 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Vittoria Blasigh scored 16 points.

The Bulls led by three points early, but Baylor went up by 20 by halftime and went on to lead by as many as 26 points. The Bears scored 20 points off 17 USF turnovers and outscored the Bulls 38-14 in the paint.

Next up for Baylor is its Big 12 opener at No. 5 Texas on Dec. 30.

No. 11 Utah 89, Weber State 36

The Utes jumped to a 22-5 lead after one quarter and never looked back, cruising to victory in Salt Lake City.

Alissa Pili led the Utes (10-2) with 19 points and added seven rebounds, five assists and two steals. Jenna Johnson had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Kennady McQueen added 17 points and six rebounds. Dasia Young chipped in 10 points.

The Wildcats (3-9) were outrebounded 47-27 and shot just 15 of 57 (26.3 percent) from the field.

Conversely, Utah shot 51.5 percent (34 of 66), including 14 of 35 (40 percent) from 3-point range.

No. 14 Notre Dame 84, Western Michigan 47

Hannah Hidalgo secured her first collegiate triple-double — and just the second ever by a Notre Dame freshman — as the Irish raced away from the Broncos in South Bend, Ind.

Hidalgo tallied 26 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists and five steals in the ninth straight win for Notre Dame (9-1). Anna DeWolfe added 17 points and Maddy Westbeld scored 15 while also grabbing eight boards.

Kaitlyn Zarycki led Western Michigan (5-5) with 16 points.

The Broncos led by five points in the first quarter before Notre Dame grabbed the lead and never looked back. The Irish outrebounded Western Michigan 55-28 and outscored the Broncos in the paint 44-24.

No. 15 Virginia Tech 76, William & Mary 43

Elizabeth Kitley piled up 23 points and 17 rebounds to lead the Hokies over the visiting Tribe in Blacksburg, Va.

Georgia Amoore added 12 points, seven assists and five rebounds for Virginia Tech (9-2), while Carys Baker chipped in 13 points. Bella Nascimento led William & Mary (4-7) with 22 points.

The Tribe led by as many as eight points in the first quarter. Virginia Tech led by three points at intermission and then pulled ahead in the third quarter by outscoring the Tribe 20-9. The Hokies won the rebounding battle 52-32 and made 16-of-17 free throws.

No. 18 Marquette 67, Bucknell 39

The Golden Eagles sprinted to a 23-4 lead after one quarter in Milwaukee and coasted to their 12th straight win to open the season, their best start in program history.

Liza Karlen collected 17 points and 13 rebounds. Teammate Frannie Hottinger matched her 13 rebounds while scoring nine, and Mackenzie Hare poured in 15 points.

Bucknell (3-8) was paced in scoring by Ashley Sofilkanich, though she was only 5 of 15 from the floor in finishing with 12 points.

The Bison shot just 2 of 12 (16.7 percent) from the 3-point line.

No. 21 Creighton 58, South Dakota State 46

Emma Ronsiek notched 19 points and seven blocks to help the Bluejays beat the visiting Jackrabbits in Omaha, Neb.

Ronsiek also had six rebounds and three assists for Creighton (9-2), while Morgan Maly added 13 points. Brooklyn Meyer led South Dakota State (6-5) with 12 points and seven rebounds, and Tori Nelson added 10 points and six assists.

The Jackrabbits led 19-11 after the first quarter, but then Creighton locked down on defense and outscored its opponent 33-11 over the second and third frames to lead by as many as 16 points.

Key for Creighton was its ability to take care of the ball. The Bluejays had just six turnovers while South Dakota State coughed up 17.

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NBA ROUNDUP: BUCKS EDGE MAGIC, FINISH OFF 6-0 HOMESTAND

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 37 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, Damian Lillard added 24 points, and the Milwaukee Bucks sent the visiting Orlando Magic to a fourth consecutive loss in a 118-114 decision on Thursday.

Milwaukee, which closed out a 6-0 homestand, used a 21-8 third-quarter run to open a 15-point lead, then held the Magic at bay the rest of the game. Antetokounmpo scored seven points in the closing 3:12, five of which came on 5-of-6 shooting at the free-throw line. He finished the contest shooting 15-for-19 from the charity stripe and 11-for-25 from the floor.

Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez were the only other Bucks scorers to finish in double-figures with 14 points apiece.

Paolo Banchero scored 23 points for Orlando and Moritz Wagner came off the bench for 21 points and eight rebounds. Cole Anthony finished with 18 points, 11 rebounds and six assists off the bench.

Timberwolves 118, Lakers 111

Anthony Edwards scored 27 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished five assists to lead Minnesota past Los Angeles in Minneapolis.

Karl-Anthony Towns added 21 points for Minnesota, which bounced back from a loss one night earlier against the Philadelphia 76ers. Rudy Gobert notched a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds.

Anthony Davis scored 31 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Lakers, who lost their fourth consecutive game. Austin Reaves added 20 points. LeBron James did not play on the second night of a back-to-back set because of what the team described as a sore left ankle.

Wizards 118, Trail Blazers 117

Kyle Kuzma had 32 points, eight rebounds and six assists and Washington never trailed while edging host Portland.

Tyus Jones made five 3-pointers and scored 24 points, while Daniel Gafford contributed 16 points, eight rebounds, six blocked shots and four steals before fouling out for the Wizards. It was just the third victory in 20 games for Washington.

Anfernee Simons scored a season-best 41 points for Portland, which lost for the eighth time in nine games. Simons, who made a season-high seven 3-pointers, tallied 22 points in the final quarter. Deandre Ayton recorded 23 points and 16 rebounds and Jerami Grant had 20 points for Portland, but his left-handed runner was off the mark as time expired.

Jazz 119, Pistons 111

Kelly Olynyk logged 27 points, six assists and four steals and short-handed Utah put host Detroit on the brink of matching the NBA’s longest single-season losing streak.

The Pistons have lost 25 straight, one shy of the NBA single-season record. The 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers and 2013-14 Philadelphia 76ers dropped 26 in a row. Cade Cunningham led Detroit with 28 points, 10 assists and six rebounds but also committed six turnovers. Jaden Ivey added 24 points and seven assists.

Collin Sexton supplied 19 points, eight assists and four steals for the Jazz. Ochai Agbaji contributed 18 points off the Utah bench.

Bulls 114, Spurs 95

Coby White scored 22 points, including 12 in the decisive fourth quarter, as Chicago was at its best over the final 12 minutes while beating visiting San Antonio.

The Bulls, who won their third in a row, led by four at halftime and by nine in the third quarter before San Antonio fought back to within 77-70 heading into the final quarter. DeMar DeRozan added 21 points for the Bulls, with Patrick Williams hitting for 18.

Devin Vassell led the Spurs with 21 points while Zach Collins added 14. Victor Wembanyama was held to seven points on 3-of-8 shooting from the field. San Antonio has lost three straight games and 21 of its past 22.

Pelicans 123, Cavaliers 104

Trey Murphy III scored a game-high 28 points and visiting New Orleans ended Cleveland’s three-game winning streak.

Murphy made 10 of 16 field-goal attempts and 6 of 10 3-point tries as New Orleans won for the fifth time in six games. CJ McCollum added 18 points as the Pelicans showed no lingering effects from squandering a 24-point lead in a last-second loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday. New Orleans was without Zion Williamson (illness).

Dean Wade scored 20 points to pace the Cavaliers, who played without Donovan Mitchell (illness).

Thunder 134, Clippers 115

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 31 points to lead Oklahoma City to a victory over visiting Los Angeles.

The Thunder stretched their winning streak to three and won for the seventh time in nine games and snapped the Clippers’ nine-game winning streak. While rookie Chet Holmgren didn’t record a block after combining for 15 over the previous two games, he had 23 points, a season-high seven assists and six rebounds.

James Harden led the Clippers with 23 points while Paul George added 22 and Russell Westbrook had 15 points and 13 rebounds.

Grizzlies 116, Pacers 103

Desmond Bane scored 22 of his 31 points in the second half and Jaren Jackson Jr. added 21 as Memphis beat visiting Indiana.

Ja Morant had 20 points, eight assists and five rebounds in his home debut after serving a 25-game suspension for holding a gun in multiple videos last spring. Ziaire Williams chipped in 16 points and Santi Aldama had 13.

Obi Toppin scored 22 points for Indiana, which lost for the fifth time in its last six games. Tyrese Haliburton had 17 points and 14 assists. The Pacers were held to a season-low point total after entering the game as the league’s top-scoring team at 128 points per game.

NHL NEWS

NHL ROUNDUP: NATHAN MACKINNON HITS MILESTONE IN AVS’ WIN

Nathan MacKinnon scored four goals, including the 300th of his career, for his fifth career hat trick as the Colorado Avalanche beat the Ottawa Senators 6-4 on Thursday in Denver.

MacKinnon also had an assist and extended his point streak to 17 games, which matches his home point streak. He is the first Avalanche player to have a four-goal game since the team moved to Denver and the fifth player in franchise history (including the Quebec Nordiques) to reach the 300-goal mark.

Mikko Rantanen scored twice, Valeri Nichushkin had three assists, Cale Makar had two assists in his return and Alexandar Georgiev turned away 41 shots for Colorado.

Drake Batherson had a goal and an assist while Josh Norris, Jacob Bernard-Docker and Ridly Greig also scored and Joonas Korpisalo had 33 saves for Ottawa.

Flames 3, Ducks 0

Goalie Jacob Markstrom earned his 200th career win and Nick DeSimone scored his first career goal as visiting Calgary extended its winning streak to a season-long three games with a victory over Anaheim.

Markstrom made 25 saves to achieve his milestone in his first shutout of the season. It was his eighth win of the season (8-8-2) and 90th in four seasons with Calgary. Elias Lindholm had a goal and two assists and A.J. Greer had a goal for the Flames, who snapped a four-game road losing streak.

Lukas Dostal made 41 saves in his second consecutive start for the Ducks with regular goalie John Gibson out after the birth of his child. Gibson, who has been mentioned in trade rumors, was available in a backup role.

Capitals 3, Blue Jackets 2 (OT)

Alex Ovechkin snapped a career-worst, 14-game scoring drought when he scored with 53 seconds left in overtime to lift Washington to a win at Columbus.

Ovechkin took a cross-ice pass from Dylan Strome and scored on a wrist shot from the left circle. It was his 26th overtime goal, the most in NHL history. Anthony Mantha scored twice, John Carlson had three assists, Ovechkin also had an assist and Charlie Lindgren made 35 saves. Washington is 5-1-2 in its past eight games.

Cole Sillinger and Yegor Chinakhov scored and Elvis Merzlikins made 29 saves for the Blue Jackets, who have lost six of their past nine games.

Wild 4, Canadiens 3 (OT)

Kirill Kaprizov scored the overtime winner and added two assists as Minnesota edged Montreal in Saint Paul, Minn.

Kaprizov one-timed a Marcus Johansson feed past Sam Montembeault with 4.9 seconds remaining for his second overtime winner in two games. Matt Boldy, Marco Rossi and Brock Faber had the other goals for the Wild, who have won five of their past six. Filip Gustavsson made 22 saves for the win.

David Savard, Nick Suzuki and Juraj Slafkovsky each had a goal and an assist for Montreal, and Mike Matheson added two assists. Montembeault stopped 20 shots for the Canadiens, who have lost 10 straight in Minnesota dating back to November 2013.

Lightning 5, Golden Knights 4

Nicholas Paul capped a three-point night by scoring the go-ahead goal with 1:13 remaining as Tampa Bay earned a wild win over visiting Vegas.

Brayden Point scored twice and had an assist to eclipse 500 career points and Nikita Kucherov had a goal and two assists for the Lightning. Alex Barre-Boulet scored, Victor Hedman had three helpers and Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 30 shots.

The Golden Knights’ Jonathan Marchessault scored twice, Paul Cotter had a goal and an assist and Ivan Barbashev potted a goal. Jack Eichel earned two assists to extend his franchise-record point streak to 12 games, and Jiri Patera made 31 saves.

Stars 4, Canucks 3 (OT)

Matt Duchene scored with 9.2 seconds left in overtime as Dallas rallied to beat Vancouver and extend its home-ice winning streak to four games.

Duchene raced in alone and slipped the puck between the legs of Vancouver goalie Thatcher Demko, allowing the Stars to improve to 4-0-1 in their past five games overall. Duchene and Thomas Harley each had a goal and an assist and Tyler Seguin and Roope Hintz also scored. Scott Wedgewood finished with 17 saves.

Joshua and Conor Garland each logged a goal and an assist, Brock Boeser produced a goal and Teddy Blueger had two assists for Vancouver, which wrapped up a 2-0-2 road trip. Demko made 32 saves.

Penguins 2, Hurricanes 1 (SO)

Sidney Crosby scored in regulation, then produced the only goal in a shootout to give Pittsburgh a win over visiting Carolina.

Crosby, Pittsburgh’s second shooter in the tiebreaking competition, clanked a shot in off the right post. Penguins goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic (23 saves) stopped Carolina’s Stefen Noesen, Andrei Svechnikov and Teuvo Teravainen in the shootout.

The Penguins earned their second win in a row and their fourth in the past five games. Teravainen scored the only goal for the Hurricanes, who have lost three of four (1-0-3). Carolina goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov made 24 saves.

Blues 4, Panthers 1

Pavel Buchnevich scored twice in a three-point game while Jordan Kyrou netted one goal and one assist as St. Louis rode a three-goal second period to a victory in Sunrise, Fla.

Alexey Toropchenko also scored for the Blues, who have won three of four games since Drew Bannister was named interim head coach following the firing of Craig Berube. Joel Hofer made 37 saves, and Robert Thomas collected three assists.

Eetu Luostarinen replied for the Panthers, who have lost four of five games. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 23 shots.

Predators 4, Flyers 2

Philip Tomasino scored two goals to lift Nashville past host Philadelphia.

Cole Smith and Gustav Nyquist each added one goal for the Predators, and Colton Sissons and Filip Forsberg contributed two assists apiece. Juuse Saros made 29 saves in the victory.

Morgan Frost and Sean Couturier scored for the Flyers, who had their nine-game point streak snapped. They had been 7-0-2 over that span. Samuel Ersson stopped 27 shots.

Sabres 9, Maple Leafs 3

Jeff Skinner scored two goals and Jordan Greenway also tallied to highlight their respective returns to the lineup, lifting host Buffalo over Toronto.

Skinner, who also had an assist, missed his team’s last three games while Greenway had been out nine games due to upper-body injuries. Kyle Okposo scored twice, Tage Thompson collected a goal and two assists and Alex Tuch notched a career-high four assists. Rookie Devon Levi made 24 saves as the Sabres rebounded from yielding nine goals in their previous game.

Toronto’s Auston Matthews scored his NHL-leading 26th goal of the season and 12th in his past eight games. Max Domi and Calle Jarnkrok also scored for the Maple Leafs, who have lost two straight and. Ilya Samsonov yielded five goals on 19 shots before being replaced by Martin Jones (11 saves).

Oilers 6, Devils 3

Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Adam Erne scored in a 69-second span early in the third period for Edmonton, which squandered an early lead before storming back to win in Newark, N.J.

Ryan McLeod scored twice and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also tallied and Sam Gagner and Mattias Ekholm chipped in two assists apiece for the Oilers, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Calvin Pickard made 23 saves.

Dawson Mercer had a goal and an assist, Timo Meier and Jonas Siegenthaler also scored and Michael McLeod added two assists for the Devils, who have lost three straight (0-2-1). Vitek Vanecek recorded 28 saves and took the loss in relief of Akira Schmid, who was chased after allowing two goals on six shots.

Coyotes 5, Sharks 2

Clayton Keller and Alex Kerfoot each had a goal and two assists to lead Arizona to a victory at San Jose.

Nick Schmaltz had a goal and an assist, Sean Durzi had two assists and Michael Kesselring and Lawson Crouse also scored for the Coyotes, who extended their winning streak to four games. Karel Vejmelka finished with 29 saves.

Anthony Duclair and Filip Zadina scored for the Sharks, who lost their fourth straight game. Mackenzie Blackwood made 25 saves.

BASEBALL NEWS

YOSHINOBU YAMAMOTO WILL REPORTEDLY SIGN 12-YEAR CONTRACT WITH LOS ANGELES DODGERS

Japanese ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto has reportedly found his MLB team.

Yamamoto has agreed to sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers, per YES Network. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal confirmed the report. ESPN reports the deal is for 12 years and $325 million.

This would make it the biggest contract for any pitcher in history, eclipsing Gerritt Cole’s nine-year, $324 million pact with the Yankees by $1 million. The Dodgers would also need to pay a posting fee of over $50 million to Yamamoto’s former team, the Orix Buffaloes.

The Athletic reports that the Mets were the team to initially offer the reported terms, leading the Dodgers to match the number and land Yamamoto.

Yamamoto ranked second in FOX Sports’ MLB free agent rankings entering the offseason, trailing only his countryman Shohei Ohtani. Though Yamamoto has yet to prove himself at the MLB level, he led Nippon Professional Baseball with a 1.16 ERA in 2023, during which he also became the first pitcher in the history of the NPB League to throw no-hitters in consecutive seasons.

He also had a 176-28 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 171 innings pitched last season. Yamamoto has also won the NPB pitching triple crown each of the last three seasons, meaning he led the league in wins, strikeouts and ERA each time.

Yamamoto also helped Japan to a 2023 World Baseball Classic title alongside Ohtani in March 2023.

Here’s why FOX Sports MLB analyst Jordan Shusterman is so high on Yamamoto’s ability to succeed at the MLB level, from the beginning of the offseason:

Not only does Yamamoto bring plus velocity with a dastardly splitter, he also throws both a four-seam and two-seam fastball, a low-90s cutter, and a high-70s curveball. It’s an absurdly deep repertoire more in line with what we saw from Yu Darvish when he first came over from NPB, and he’s got near-elite command of every weapon. Yamamoto’s strikeout totals in NPH don’t wow as much as Darvish’s did, but it’s reasonable to assume he’d pursue more punchouts in MLB where hitters are easier to exploit for whiffs than the higher percentage of contact-oriented opponents in NPB. Other than his relatively diminutive frame, there’s not much more you want in a free-agent starting pitcher.

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COLTS FOOTBALL

PRACTICE NOTEBOOK: JONATHAN TAYLOR FULLY PARTICIPATES AGAIN, DISCUSSES THUMB SURGERY

Jonathan Taylor doesn’t know exactly when he injured his thumb during the Colts’ Week 12 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. At one point, the Colts running back said something felt “kind of weird,” so he got his thumb wrapped – thinking he jammed it – and went back into the game. 

It wasn’t until after the Colts’ win Taylor discovered he tore a ligament in his thumb. Initially, he hoped to play through the injury, but learned the only solution was undergoing surgery. 

“You kind of just don’t have any power (holding the ball),” Taylor said. “You have power but your body won’t let you — it’s like, I’m squeezing, but it’s not giving me anything.”

And, Taylor added: “I don’t know anybody that wants to get cut open at all.”

Taylor did not practice in the days leading up to the Colts’ Week 13-15 games, but was listed as a full participant in Wednesday’s walk-through at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. That was a step in the right direction, but Thursday’s full-go practice was always going to be more telling for Taylor’s chances of playing on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. 

“It depends on how today goes, and tomorrow,” Taylor said. “Really today — this will tell you a lot, the first full speed day.”

In seven games (five starts) this season, Taylor has 414 rushing yards on 100 carries (4.1 yards/attempt) with four touchdowns; he also has 16 catches for 137 yards with a touchdown as well. His most productive game of the year came against Tampa Bay, in which he carried 15 times for 91 yards with two touchdowns. 

Having to miss time in the middle of a playoff race was tough for Taylor, but he also trusted the Colts’ other running backs – Zack Moss, Trey Sermon and Tyler Goodson – to get the job done in his absence. Sermon and Goodson combined for 157 yards on 28 carries in the Colts’ 30-13 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday. 

“For me personally, I was sick,” Taylor said. “I knew we would be good as a team because I know the guys we have, the players we have, the mentality we have. I was just sick because I’m like man, another one? I just had my first (surgery). No one likes getting cut open. At all.”

Taylor has been able to stay in shape while rehabbing his thumb, and once he’s cleared to return he expects to hit the ground running – pun very much intended – whenever that may be. And after a challenging few weeks of sitting out, Taylor is mostly excited to get back on the field and help the Colts make a push for the playoffs. 

“It sucks when it’s something that seems minor, and you’re like, of course it was my dominant hand,” Taylor said with a sigh. “Very anxious to get back out there.”

INDIANA PACERS BASKETBALL

GAME REWIND: PACERS 103, GRIZZLIES 116

The Pacers faced a difficult task on Thursday night in Memphis, facing the Grizzlies on the second night of a back-to-back in a raucous environment as a sellout crowd descended on FedExForum to watch Ja Morant’s first home game since the All-Star guard returned from a 25-game suspension.

Morant and the Grizzlies raced out to a 23-point lead in the first half, but the Pacers stormed back, trimming the deficit to two by halftime and briefly taking the lead in the third quarter.

But ultimately, Indiana (14-13) ran out of gas in the second half, as the Grizzlies (8-19) pulled away late for a 116-103 win, their second straight victory with Morant back in the lineup.

Obi Toppin led five Pacers in double figures, scoring 22 points in the loss while going 5-for-8 from 3-point range. Tyrese Haliburton battled through an off shooting night and recorded another double-double with 17 points and 14 assists for Indiana.

Myles Turner stuffed the stat sheet with 15 points, six rebounds, and three blocks, as did Aaron Nesmith, who tallied 14 points off the bench on 4-of-8 3-point shooting, five boards, four steals, and three blocks. Buddy Hield scored all 15 of his points from beyond the 3-point arc, while also tallying six rebounds, four assists, and two steals.

Desmond Bane scored a game-high 31 points to go along with six rebounds and seven assists for Memphis in the victory. Jaren Jackson Jr. added 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting and eight boards.

Morant finished with 20 points on 7-of-15 shooting, five rebounds, and eight assists in his return to the court in Memphis. The NBA’s Most Improved Player in 2021-22 was suspended by the league for the first 25 games of the season because of repeated off-court issues. He returned on Tuesday in New Orleans, where he scored 34 points, capped by a buzzer-beating layup, before making his home debut on Thursday.

“Overall, this was a very tough game for a lot of reasons,” Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle said after the loss. “We didn’t play well, but we kept competing and I was proud of the way the team really kept their poise and aggression through that difficult stretch to start the game…We’ve got to get home and get ready for the next one.”

Morant got off a quick start against the Pacers, getting to the lane for three quick layups while scoring six of Memphis’ first 10 points. On the other end, Hield hit two 3-pointers and Toppin drained another trey to help Indiana keep pace early with the Grizzlies.

But the hosts eventually surged ahead thanks to a 10-1 run, with Indianapolis native Jackson scoring the final seven points in that stretch.

Pacers guard Andrew Nembhard — back on the court after missing the past six contests with a right knee bone bruise — knocked down threes on back-to-back possessions to cut the deficit to 25-22. But the Grizzlies scored 10 unanswered points over the final three minutes of the opening frame to take a 13-point lead into the second quarter.

Memphis continued its run in the ensuing frame, with Santi Aldama and Ziaire Williams hitting 3-pointers and then Morant connecting with Williams for an alley-oop as the Grizzlies scored the first nine points of the second quarter to push their lead to 22.

Memphis led by as many as 23 points early in the frame, but Toppin finally got Indiana’s offense going, as the 6-9 forward knocked down two more threes and scored eight of the Pacers’ first 12 points in the second quarter.

The Blue & Gold strung together their first real run of their own shortly before halftime. Indiana trailed 56-38 with under four minutes to play before the break, when Haliburton converted his first two field goals of the half on two straight Pacers possessions. Williams answered with a jumper on the other end, but those would be Memphis’ last points of the half.

Turner converted a three-point play with 2:26 remaining, Aaron Nesmith knocked down back-to-back threes at 1:28 and 1:06, Haliburton hit a jumper with 36.1 seconds left, and then Hield drilled a trey with 16.6 seconds remaining.

It all added up to an 18-2 run to make it just a two-point game at the break.

Haliburton scored eight of Indiana’s first nine points to start the second half, including a 3-pointer from left wing to give the Pacers their first lead of the night — 65-62 with 9:24 remaining in the third quarter.

The lead was short-lived, as Richmond, Ind. native Bane scored 13 points for the Grizzlies in the quarter and triggered a 13-2 Memphis run that put the hosts back in front 78-69.

The Pacers responded with eight straight points — including two more Nesmith triples — to get back within one, but Memphis answered with eight straight of their own to take an 86-77 lead into the final frame.

The Grizzlies once again strung together a run that spanned across quarters, as they outscored Indiana 9-2 over the first 1:08 of the fourth quarter to push the lead to 16.

The Pacers never got back within single digits.

The Grizzlies shot 51.2 percent from the field and 45.7 percent from 3-point range in the victory, while the Pacers went just 42.2 percent from the field and 34.6 percent from beyond the arc.

Williams finished with 16 points off the bench for Memphis, while fellow reserve Aldama chipped in 13.

The Pacers will return to Gainbridge Fieldhouse for one final game before Christmas, as Indiana hosts the Orlando Magic on Saturday. The Blue & Gold will embark on a two-game trip with stops in Houston and Chicago next week before closing out 2023 against the Knicks in Indianapolis on Dec. 30.

Inside the Numbers

Toppin topped 20 points for the fifth time this season. His 22 points were his most in 10 games in December and his five 3-pointers were his most in a game this season.

Haliburton recorded his 19th double-double in 24 games this season. He has the most double-doubles of any guard in the NBA.

Nesmith continued his strong recent play. The 24-year-old forward has scored in double figures in seven straight games and eight of his last nine. He is shooting 46.4 percent (26-for-56) from 3-point range over that span.

Turner blocked four shots for the third time this season. The ninth-year center now has 1,179 career blocks as he continues to chase down Jermaine O’Neal’s franchise record of 1,245 rejections.

The two teams combined for 34 3-pointers on Thursday, but the Grizzlies were far more efficient. Memphis went 16-for-35 (45.7 percent) from beyond the arc, while Indiana the Pacers were 18-for-52 (34.6 percent). Haliburton went 2-for-12 from long distance.

Memphis’ reserves outscored Indiana’s bench, 40-30. It was just the fourth time this season the Pacers’ bench was outscored. Indiana is 0-4 in those games.

Second-year guard Bennedict Mathurin had scored in double figures in five of his last six contests entering Thursday — including a pair of 30-point performances — but tallied just six points against the Grizzlies, going 3-for-10 from the field 0-for-4 from 3-point range.

Indiana attempted a season-low 11 free throws in Thursday’s loss. The Pacers’ previous low for foul shots was 12, a mark they set twice, the last time in a Nov. 1 loss at Boston.

Turnovers were an issue for both teams. The Pacers forced 20 turnovers, but coughed the ball up 17 times themselves.

You Can Quote Me On That

“This place is always lively and loud. But certainly, being his first game, you could tell that there was something extra in here with the fans. I didn’t see an empty seat anywhere in the place. It’s the kind of environment that you want to play in, especially if you’re a young team that’s trying to make the climb like we are.” -Carlisle on the environment for Morant’s return

“We knew it’d be rowdy. The Memphis crowd has been amazing the last few years. Getting their star back, we knew it was going to be a hostile environment.” -Haliburton on the atmosphere with Morant making his home debut

“We got unlucky with some miscues and some missed shots. But generally speaking, they shot the ball extremely well. That was really what put us behind the eight-ball in the first half. I loved the way we hung in. Kept fighting, got it to two at halftime, ended up taking a lead.” -Carlisle on the Pacers’ slow start

“I thought our shot selection was probably poor. I missed a couple that allowed them to get going on a little run there, especially when we had the momentum…We’ve just got to take better shots. I thought I did a poor job leading the group in that stretch and it allowed them to get back in the game.” -Haliburton on the Grizzlies re-taking control of the game in the third quarter

“We’ve still got a long way to go, but we’ve made some progress in the last three days. We’ve got to now look to sustain it.” -Carlisle on the Pacers’ improved defensive effort over the past two games

Stat of the Night

Two decisive runs spanning across quarters were ultimately the difference in Thursday’s contest. The Grizzlies outscored the Pacers 19-0 from the 2:54 mark in the first quarter to 9:30 in the second quarter and then 19-2 from 2:09 in the third quarter to 9:37 in the fourth quarter.

Noteworthy

The Grizzlies have won five straight regular-season games against Indiana. The Pacers’ last win in the series came on April 11, 2021 in Memphis.

Indiana is just 1-4 on the season when playing on the second night of a back-to-back.

Fourth-year center Jalen Smith was inactive on Thursday on the second half of a back-to-back. Smith returned to action in Wednesday’s win against Charlotte after missing over three weeks with heel and knee contusions. The team elected to hold him out on Thursday as they ease him back into the lineup.

Up Next

The Pacers return to Gainbridge Fieldhouse to host Paolo Banchero and the Orlando Magic on Saturday, Dec. 23 at 7:00 PM ET.

INDIANA MEN’S BASKETBALL

RENEAU’S CAREER NIGHT LEADS INDIANA PAST NORTH ALABAMA

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — For 20 minutes against North Alabama, Malik Reneau channeled Steve Alford or, more position-and-21st-Century accurate, Calbert Cheaney.

The Indiana sophomore forward was 3-for-3 on three-pointers Thursday night — huge for a guy who had just two all season — for a 16-point burst.

He finished 4-for-4 beyond the arc in IU’s 83-66 victory at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall while inspiring his teammates to a season-high 12 three-pointers.

The 6-8 Reneau totaled a career-high 25 points along with seven rebounds and two assists.

Credit goes in part to Cheaney, now IU’s director of player development and the Big Ten’s career scoring leader. Reneau has gained invaluable insight from him.

“I’ve been working with Coach Cheaney a lot, understanding how he played the game and how he was able to work around the court and get his shot wherever he wanted,” Reneau said.

“Just getting up reps, being confident when you go out there, not being scared to shoot. That was the main part for me.”

As for IU’s overall three-point shooting success, Reneau added that, “a lot of people have been in the gym getting up extra shots. I think that contributed to us having some extra confidence and hitting shots.”

Adding to his big night, the foul-prone Reneau didn’t commit a foul.

IU won’t practice again until next Tuesday. Don’t expect Reneau to take any time off.

“Absolutely not. Basketball is year-round out here.”

Reneau got plenty of offensive help on Thursday night. Ten Hoosiers played, and nine scored. Forward Mackenzie Mgbako added 12 points. Guard Trey Galloway flirted with a double-double and finished with eight points and a career-high nine rebounds in 29 minutes. Forward Anthony Walker followed his IU-best 18-point performance in the Morehead State victory with 11 points.

The Hoosiers (9-3) finished with 25 assists against 10 turnovers while shooting 53 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range.

“That’s the highest number of assists we’ve had this season,” coach Mike Woodson told Voice of the Hoosiers Don Fischer during the post-game radio show. “That lets you know the ball was moving around and guys were making shots.”

North Alabama (6-7) followed the blueprint from previous Indiana opponents by swarming Kel’el Ware and Reneau inside, creating outside opportunities if the Hoosiers (9-3) could take advantage.

They did — in a season-high big way. They finished with six more than in any previous game. It was their most in more than a decade. Seven players made at least one, including reserve guard Anthony Leal.

“That was nice to see,” Woodson told Fischer. “We spend a lot of time shooting free throws and threes, and working on everything you’re supposed to work on. Guys stepped up and made shots.”

The result was a much-needed dominating performance.

“We played well,” Woodson told Fischer. “We were solid coming out of the gate.”

And then, being a coach, he found something to harp on.

“The only down side is (North Alabama) beat us to a lot of 50-50 balls where we didn’t get on the floor and mix it up a little bit,” he told Fischer.

With senior point guard Xavier Johnson projected to return soon from injury, Woodson will have to alter the rotation, likely knocking freshman Gabe Cupps to the bench.

“Hopefully, we’ll get X back soon,” Woodson told Fischer. “We’re patiently wait on that. Then we’ll shuffle again and figure out another rotation.”

IU opened defense-ready, forcing a turnover on North Alabama’s first possession, and four in the first six minutes. The Hoosiers got three-pointers from Reneau and Mgbako for an early 10-2 lead.

A three-point Reneau play built a 15-5 lead. His long, shot-clock-beating three-pointer a minute later made it 18-8.

A pair of Walker free throws pushed IU ahead 28-15.

Leal and Reneau ended the half with three-pointers as the Hoosiers led 43-34. Reneau’s 16 points were 10 more than any other Hoosier.

IU’s 11-0 run early in the second half built a 56-37 lead, in part because a Galloway three-pointer made it a season-high seven for the Hoosiers.

The defense forced North Alabama into multiple empty possessions and nine straight misses. IU passed its way to a series of easy baskets.

Game over.

The Hoosiers won’t play again until Dec. 29 against Kennesaw State.

“I need a break,” Woodson told Fischer. “I’m sure they looked at me and say, ‘Coach, I’ve gotta get away from you.’ I’m good with that, too. I told them to stay safe and make their way back on the 26th.”

INDIANA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

NO. 16 INDIANA ROUNDS OUT NON-CON SLATE AGAINST BOWLING GREEN

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Non-conference action wraps up on Friday evening when No. 16 Indiana hosts Bowling Green at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

GAME DAY INFO

#16/15 Indiana (9-1. 1-0 B1G) vs. Bowling Green (6-3)

Friday, December 22, 2023 • 6 p.m. ET

Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall • Bloomington, Ind.

Broadcast: BTN (Matt Schumacker, Meghan McKeown)

Radio: B97 (Austin Render)

Live Stats: HoosierStats.com

Social Media: Facebook | X | Instagram

Promotions: Teddy Bear Toss – Bring a new teddy bear or stuffed animal and toss them onto the court at halftime. All donations are given to the Boys & Girls Club of Bloomington.

SAB Holiday Drive – fans are invited to bring non-perishable and hygiene items for the Hoosiers Hill Food Bank (donation bins in south lobby).

ABOUT THE FALCONS

BGSU faced No. 1 South Carolina at home on Tuesday night in a 93-62 loss. They are led by senior guard Lexi Fleming’s 16.7 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. Reigning MAC Player of the Week fifth year guard Morgan Sharps comes off the bench for 15.8 points per outing and junior guard Amy Velasco is the other Falcon in double figures with 12.9 points per game. As a team, they average 68.7 points and shoot 43.3 percent from the floor.

SERIES HISTORY

Indiana leads 6-2

LAST MEETING

11/17/22 – W, 96-61 (Bloomington, Ind.)

NOTES

Indiana shot a blistering 71.7 percent from the floor as it blew past Evansville, 109-56, on Monday night. Not only did it set a new single game program record, it marked the highest percentage shot by any NCAA Division I team this season. They also went 56.3 percent from the 3-point line (9-for-16). It’s 54-point margin of victory was tied for the 10th largest win in program history.

Sophomore guard Yarden Garzon was in the zone on Monday night as she put up a career-high 30 points by going 12-for-14 from the field in the win over Evansville. The Ra’anana, Israel native went 5-for-5 from the field to start the game as she also went 3-for-4 from the 3-point line in the win. It marked the first 30-point scoring effort of her career.

As non-conference play wraps up on Friday, Indiana will look to extend its winning streak at home against non-league opponents. The Hoosiers have won 16-straight non-con home games, dating back to the 2021-22 season with its last loss against NC State in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge in December 2021. Since 2018-19, IU is 45-9 in non-conference action.

Indiana’s bench scored 31 points in the win over Evansville on Monday night. It was the third time this season the bench has scored 30-points or more, led by freshman guard Leneé Beaumont’s nine points. They have reached the 30-plus point mark twice before this season, against EIU (39) and Murray State (37).

PURDUE MEN’S BASKETBALL

#1 BOILERMAKERS TOP CENTURY MARK IN WIN OVER JACKSONVILLE

No. 1 Purdue 100, Jacksonville 57 (Postgame Notes)

Purdue improved to 11-1 overall with a 100-57 win over Jacksonville in front of the 63rd consecutive sellout at Mackey Arena. The game was the final game for the Boilermakers before the Holiday break.

The win was Purdue’s fourth victory in a row.

Purdue has now won 34 straight regular-season, non-conference games, tied for the ninth-longest streak in NCAA history, and longest since Arizona’s 39-game streak from Dec. 2011 to Dec. 2014. It’s the fifth-longest streak since the turn of the century.

Purdue has won 25 straight non-conference games in Mackey Arena, just two shy of the school record (set twice — 2008 to 2011; 1991 to 1996).

Purdue is now 69-15 since the start of the 2021-22 season, the fourth-most wins in the country in that span.

Matt Painter moved into fourth place by himself on the Big Ten’s all-time wins list (424). He has 449 career wins.

Purdue had 13 dunks in the victory, believed to be the most in school history. Eleven of Purdue’s 19 field goals in the second half were dunks. Purdue has 60 dunks in the first 12 games of the season.

Purdue scored 100 points for the first time since Dec. 29, 2021, vs. Nicholls (104-90 win).

Purdue has scored 90 or more points in three straight games for the first time since December 2000.

Purdue has scored 87 or more points in six straight games for the first time in school history.

Purdue recorded 25 assists on 35 made field goals and had just nine turnovers.

Purdue forced 22 turnovers, the most for the Boilermakers since forcing 22 against Central Michigan on Dec. 28, 2019. The Boilermakers’ +13 turnover margin was its highest since Nov. 18, 2017 vs. Fairfield (9-22).

Purdue’s 14 steals were its most since last year’s season opener against Milwaukee (Nov. 8, 2022).

Zach Edey moved into ninth place on the school’s career scoring list (1,821 points). He has scored in double-figures in 63 straight games, the longest active streak in the country and nine shy of the school record (Rick Mount – 72).

Trey Kaufman-Renn scored a season-high 15 points and added six rebounds and a career-high four assists.

Freshman Myles Colvin tallied a season-high 11 points.

Purdue’s bench scored 43 points, the most since scoring 47 in the opener against Samford.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Zach Edey scored 18 points and No. 1 Purdue avoided a letdown, breezing past Jacksonville 100-57 on Thursday night.

Lance Jones had 16 points, Trey Kaufman-Renn scored 15 and Myles Colvin had 11 for the Boilermakers (11-1), who won their fourth straight — including last Saturday’s win over then-No. 1 Arizona that allowed them to regain the top ranking.

“I’m proud of our guys to bounce back from emotional state and kind of keep a purpose,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “Tonight I thought we did a good job of sticking to our job.”

It was the final game for the Boilermakers before a weeklong holiday break.

“You know everybody’s mind is on going home and spending time with their family and loved ones,” Jones said. “Coach Painter stressed to practice to have the right mindset. It took us a little bit but once we got going and stayed locked in, we went ahead and finished it off.”

Twelve players scored for Purdue. Seldom-used Will Berg, who was playing in just his fifth game this season, had eight points in the closing minutes Painter substituted liberally. The Boilermakers held a 43-16 edge in bench scoring.

Robert McCray V led the Dolphins (8-5) with 22 points. He came in as Jacksonville’s leading scorer with a 16.5-point average.

The 7-foot-4 Edey had a team-high eight rebounds as Purdue finished with a 39-31 advantage.

Purdue shot 52% from the field while holding the Dolphins to 37%. Jacksonville committed 21 turnovers, 12 more than Purdue.

The Boilermakers led from the tip, but were ahead just 32-24 with 4:58 remaining in the first half. Purdue finished the half with a 13-3 run to take a 45-27 lead.

“I thought our guys played well in that stretch and executed,” Painter said. “With five minutes left, we had nine turnovers and it stayed at nine.”

Purdue started the second half with a 12-0 spurt, extending its advantage to 30 points.

Kaufman-Renn said he had plenty of motivation against the visitors from the Atlantic Sun Conference.

“These are the type of teams we’ve lost to (in) March Madness, so I was just as motivated as playing Arizona,” Kaufman-Renn said. “So I don’t want that to happen again.”

BIG PICTURE

Jacksonville: The Dolphins can build on the fact they were competitive for most of the first half.

Purdue: The Boilermakers won their 34th consecutive regular-season non-conference game, the longest in the nation.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Purdue has been ranked in the top five for 23 straight weeks, the longest active streak. No. 2 Kansas is the next best at 12 weeks.

ADDED EXPERIENCE

Jones, a senior transfer from Southern Illinois, has been a key contributor, starting all 12 games.

“What I’ve learned the most is to just be a great teammate,” Jones said. “Coach Painter says it’s not going to be your night every night. So I just tried to stay ready. I’ve had a lot of experience in college basketball. I just want to be a leader.”

NOTRE DAME WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

HIDALGO POSTS TRIPLE-DOUBLE IN 84-47 WIN OVER WESTERN MICHIGAN

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Welcome to the triple-double club, Hannah Hidalgo.

On Thursday, Notre Dame (9-1) closed out the non-conference season with an 84-47 win over Western Michigan (5-5). Hidalgo stole the show with her first triple-double of her career — 26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. She also had 5 steals. Hidalgo now has three performances of 25-5-5-5, two more than anyone else in the nation.

Western Michigan started the game on a 9-4 run thanks to a dynamic passing game. But the Irish countered with an 8-0 run to take the lead. Hidalgo had 4 steals in the first frame along with 9 points. She was tied in the points category for the game lead with Maddy Westbeld.

The second quarter was streaky from Notre Dame, as the middle of the quarter featured a scoring drought. KK Bransford made a bucket with 4:51 to go, ending a 2:36-second period with no points. The Irish finished Q2 only making a pair of their last 10 shots.

By the half, Hidalgo led all players with 17 points, shooting 7-13 from the floor. She also had 6 rebounds along with 6 from both Kylee Watson and Nat Marshall. Westbeld had 5 along with a season-high 2 blocks.

In total it was a below-average first half offensive showing from the Irish, who shot 45.9 percent. They still outscored WMU 24-14 in the paint and led 41-24.

Anna DeWolfe knocked down a trey just 20 second into the second half, but the next Irish bucket wouldn’t fall until Bransford scored from the block at 7:24. A few minutes later, with just over 4 minutes to go in the third, Notre Dame would take a 24-point lead (54-30), its largest of the game. It ended the third quarter building upon that lead, 66-37. During Q3, DeWolfe hit her fourth 3-pointer of the game, her highest mark of the season. She finished with five of them and a total of 17 points, which ties her high in a Notre Dame uniform.

The Irish finished the game on a 13-0 run, sealing a win in the final non-conference game of the year. In addition to Hidalgo’s heroics, Watson had a career-high 12 rebounds, and Bransford tied hers with 9.

The Irish are back in action on December 31 to close out the calendar year and start ACC play. Notre Dame will head to Syracuse (10-1) for a 2 p.m. tip.

NOTRE DAME MEN’S BASKETBALL

FOXES IN THE DEN

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Friday night represents a new opportunity and chance to get back out on the home floor and compete. Friday night represents a chance to write a new narrative for this young Notre Dame men’s basketball. On Friday night inside Purcell Pavilion, the Fighting Irish (4-7) will host the Marist Red Foxes (7-2) at 8 p.m. ET on the ACC Network.

HOLIDAY HOOPS WITH MARIST

Notre Dame and Marist have only met twice before Friday with the Irish claiming victory in both. It’s been a hot minute before the two have met though. You have to go back to December 22, 2004, when ND won 88-73.

Marist enters the contest with a 7-2 overall record and riding a five-game win streak which includes victories over Bucknell, Iona, Manhattan, Dartmouth and Maryland Eastern Shore.

The Red Foxes rank 10th in scoring defense (60.4) and 16th in 3PT Percentage defense (.272). Individually, two players average double figures – Max Allen II (12.2 ppg) and Josh Pascarelli (10.4 ppg).

HITTING THE MARK

Freshman point guard Markus Burton has certainly been an early season standout, as his stats are up there with the top freshmen in the country. To help you get more acquainted, read up on the following:

His 15.5 ppg leads all ACC freshmen and ranks 6th nationally amongst DI freshmen.

If the season ended today, Burton’s 15.5 ppg would rank 5th in the ND freshman record book ahead of Blake Wesley. The four in front of him – Chris Thomas, David Rivers, Adrian Dantley and Troy Murphy.

Burton started his career with five straight games in double figures. He now leads the team with nine games in double figures.

Burton picked up his third game of 20 or more points at #8 Marquette on Dec. 9. The following is a list of the most 20-point games by an Irish freshman: Adrian Dantley (13 in ‘73-74), Troy Murphy (10 in ‘98-99) and David Rivers (10 in ‘84-85).

Only 3 freshmen in the country are averaging over 15 points and 3.5 assists per game: Burton, Harvard’s Malik Mack and USC’s Isaiah Collier.

He ranks 9th in the ACC in Assists (3.6), 13th in scoring and 13th in FT% (.818).

D-UP!

If you are looking for an early Coach Shrewsberry stamp on the program, look no further than the defensive effort by this young Irish squad. In seven of the last eight games, the Irish have allowed 65 points or fewer in regulation. Most notably, limiting the Hurricanes to a season low in points – 24 points fewer than their season average of 86 points per game.

Notre Dame’s scoring defense of 67.5 ranks 5th in the ACC.

HOME STATS

The Georgetown game on Dec. 16 kicked off a six-game homestand for the Irish. The last time the Irish had six straight inside Purcell Pavilion -> games 2-7 at the start of the 2019-20 season.

Two Irish in particular have thrived at home – Markus Burton and Julian Roper II – both averaging double figures. Burton is scoring 17.5 ppg on 44.2 percent shooting, while Roper II checks in at 10.8 ppg on 48.8 percent shooting. Burton is also averaging 4.2 assists at home.

#TRENDING

Burton has produced a stellar four-game stretch, totaling 67 points (16.8 ppg). He scored 17 points against Western Michigan and 20 points at #8 Marquette. Then he came on strong late in the Georgetown game, scoring 12 of his 17 points in the second half plus overtime.

Burton has also upped his assist numbers as of late. He’s dished out 31 over the last seven games (4.4 apg in that span).

J.R. Konieczny has been a bright spot during the non-conference season. The junior has recorded double-digit points in 6 of the last 9 games. If you take out those first two games of the season and look at this 9-game stretch, Konieczny is averaging 12.0 points.

Konieczny is coming off an 18-point, 10-rebound, double-double. Over the last two games: 31 points and 18 rebounds.

BUTLER WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

BUTLER POSTS 69-49 WIN OVER OHIO

INDIANAPOLIS – The Butler Bulldogs never trailed the Ohio Bobcats on Monday afternoon to improve their overall record to 8-4. Rachel Kent scored a game-high 18 points and the Bulldogs would shoot 48 percent from 3-point range to record a 69-49 victory at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Kent and Jordan Meulemans combined to score the first nine points of the day for Butler, giving the Bulldogs a three-point advantage at the first media timeout. After the stoppage, BU went on a 7-0 scoring run to push the lead to 10 and the home team would enjoy a 12-point cushion after the first quarter 20-8.

Ohio hit two 3-pointers at the start of the second quarter but would be limited to just two more points the rest of the half. Butler went on a 16-0 run and held the Bobcats scoreless for over seven minutes to build a 38-16 lead.

The Bulldogs outscored the Bobcats 14-6 at the start of the third quarter to open up a 30-point advantage. Five different Bulldogs scored in the third with Meulemans leading the charge with seven. Wiggins helped keep BU in front in the fourth with five points over the first five minutes.

BU led 64-38 at the final media timeout and would close the 2023 calendar with a 69-49 victory.

Inside the Box Score

– Rachel Kent made a team-best five 3-pointers to end the game with 18 points

– Kent passed 1,400 career points in the contest and also provided BU with six assists and five rebounds

– Caroline Strande grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds in the win over Ohio

– Strande added six points, five assists and two steals to her stat line

– Jordan Meulemans scored eight of her 15 points for BU in the first quarter

– Karsyn Norman scored eight points and tied her career-high with seven rebounds

– Riley Makalusky played well Monday afternoon to score seven points

– Ari Wiggins also had seven points and five assists

– Sydney Jaynes had six points, seven rebounds and four assists

– Abby Stoddard made her season debut today

– BU is now 3-1 all-time against Ohio and have won the last three meetings

– Butler ended their non-conference schedule with an 8-3 record

– The Bulldogs are 6-1 this year at Hinkle Fieldhouse

– BU is 8-1 this year when holding their opponent under 70 points

Up Next

Butler will host Georgetown in the BIG EAST home opener. The Bulldogs will play the Hoyas on Wednesday, Jan. 3 at 7 PM. The game will be streamed on the BIG EAST Digital Network.

IUPUI MEN’S BASKETBALL

BALANCED JAGUARS BREEZE PAST DEFIANCE COLLEGE, 90-67

INDIANAPOLIS – The IUPUI basketball team shot 57.4 percent from the floor, including 65 percent in the second half, in rolling past Defiance College inside Indiana Farmers Coliseum on Thursday night (Dec. 21), 90-67. Junior Jlynn Counter led four Jaguars in double-digits with 18 points and three steals and both DJ Jackson and Kidtrell Blocker finished with 15 points each. Sophomore Abdou Samb, making his first start of the season, closed with 11 points on 4-of-4 shooting from the floor.

All 11 Jaguars that saw the floor scored in the victory as IUPUI (4-9) snapped a five-game skid. Landen Swanner paced Defiance with 14 points, hitting 4-of-6 three-point attempts. Defiance drained 14-of-32 (43.8 percent) from beyond the arc, making just eight field goals inside the three-point line.

Counter fueled the IUPUI offense from the opening tip, scoring 15 of his game-high 18 points in the opening half as the Jaguars built a 41-28 advantage. However, Defiance led 15-11 in the game’s opening six-plus minutes as their first five field goals came from behind the arc. In fact, Defiance didn’t score inside the arc until the 11:43 mark of the first half when Jordyn Jury got free on a backdoor cut, prompting an IUPUI timeout.

“We came out a little sluggish, but we fought hard,” Counter said. “I was just trying to get my teammates involved. Early, I was aggressive and their ball screen coverage was a little different in the second half, so I didn’t want to force anything.”

IUPUI began throwing the knockout blow at the end of the first half, seizing a double-digit lead late in the stanza. The Jaguars maintained a double-digit lead the entire second half and led by more than 20 for virtually the entire final six minutes of play.

The Jaguars used their superior athleticism to continually drive the ball, ultimately living at the free throw line where they made 32-of-37 (86.5 percent) attempts. IUPUI won the glass by a 30-22 margin and outscored Defiance in the paint by a 42-12 margin to offset the Yellow Jackets’ 30-point advantage behind the three-point line.

IUPUI will return to Horizon League play on Friday (Dec. 29) when the Jaguars host Detroit Mercy at noon inside Indiana Farmers Coliseum. Fans will receive a FREE foam finger while supplies last and that game will be aired on ESPN+ as Greg Rakestraw (pxp) and Bob Lovell (analyst) describe the action from courtside.

BALL STATE MEN’S BASKETBALL

SHORT-HANDED CARDINALS CAN’T COMPLETE COMEBACK AT MINNESOTA

MINNEAPOLIS – The Ball State men’s basketball team trailed by seven points with 7:36 to play after being down by as many as 17 points in the first half, but Minnesota pulled away late on Thursday night at Williams Arena to win 80-63.

The Cardinals (8-4) got 26 points, seven rebounds and four blocks from Jalin Anderson, who led the charge midway through the second period, but the Golden Gophers (9-3) edged a short-handed Ball State group 16-6 in the final seven minutes to prevail.

Anderson hit a jumper with 10:54 to play to cut Minnesota’s advantage to 55-48, and again cut the deficit to seven when he converted an and-1 to make the score 64-57 in favor of the Gophers. Ball State would get no closer from there on out.

Ball State was playing without the services of Ben Hendriks and Mickey Pearson Jr. The Cardinals welcome an 11-day break between games as a chance to recover from injuries and illness.

Basheer Jihad tallied 17 points, seven rebounds and two assists, while Davion Bailey (eight points), Jurica Zagorsak (seven) and Zane Doughty (five points and five rebounds) also contributed to the visiting offense.

Minnesota accumulated five players in double figures scoring including leading scorer Mike Mitchell Jr. (20 points) and Elijah Hawkins who went for 12 points, seven rebounds and nine assists.

The Cardinals trailed 39-27 at halftime after being plagued by points off turnovers, a category the hosts led 17-3 at the break. For the game, Minnesota won the rebounding battle 35-30 while committing fewer turnovers (14-6). Ball State shot 45.3 percent (24-53) from the field and 38.1 percent from distance. The Golden Gophers hit 52.6 percent (30-57) of their shots including 44.4 percent (8-18) on 3-pointers.

Ball State returns from Christmas Break beginning MAC play on Tuesday, Jan. 2 at Kent State.

BALL STATE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

BECKI HITS GAME WINNER TO SEAL FOURTH QUARTER COMEBACK WIN OVER SEC FOE GEORGIA

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. – Junior Ally Becki’s last second shot rattled in to give the Cardinals the 52-51 fourth quarter comeback victory over SEC powerhouse Georgia Thursday afternoon in the PHSC West Campus.

Ball State (9-2) trailed by one to Georgia (8-4) with 15 seconds remaining but got the ball back after the Bulldogs’ Asia Avenger missed two free throws. Becki then made the defensive play with the rebound which gave the Cardinals possession, and the rest is history. So much so, that it was the first time a Mid-American Conference women’s basketball program has defeated the Bulldogs in 40 years.

Ball State head coach Brady Sallee has now defeated seven Power 5 conference teams during his tenure with the Cardinals — Minnesota (54-51, 2012-13), Iowa (77-72, 2015-16), Vanderbilt (88-79, 2017-18), Purdue (66-60, 2017-18), Pitt (68-66, 2022-23), Pitt (73-62, 2023-24) and Georgia (52-51, 2023-24).

Both teams started the contest off hot defensively in the sunshine state resulting in four ties early in the first six minutes of action. The game was knotted 9-9 after Madelyn Bischoff nailed one from behind the arc. The 9-9 score lasted for over three minutes until the Cardinals ran into some foul trouble just over the one-minute mark. The Bulldogs closed out the first frame to take a 14-9 edge over the Cardinals.

One of the nation’s best behind the arc continued to prove those stats justified as Bischoff opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer. Shortly after, Becki hit a layup to tie the game for the fifth time, 14-14. The majority of the second quarter the two squads went neck-and-neck. Georgia began to pull away at the midway point to close out the first half with a 10-point (32-22) advantage over Ball State at intermission.

After the break, the Bulldogs led throughout the third period, but the Cardinals didn’t give up and were resilient to make a comeback. Becki’s jump shot sparked a 7-2 run for Ball State which was capped off by another layup from Becki at the 2:11 mark to make it a one possession ball game (39-37). Both the Cardinals and the Bulldogs ramped up their defenses and the Bulldogs would score as time was winding down to take a slight four-point edge (41-37) before the final 10 minutes of play.

The final frame came down to the wire with smart defensive plays and some crucial baskets to help seal the Cardinals victory.

For the game, Becki led with a 16-point performance while Bischoff finished the day with 11. Rounding out the double-figure scoring for the Cardinals was Annie Rouch after scoring 10.

The Ball State women’s basketball team returns home Dec. 30 to wrap up non-conference action against Oakland City at 3 pm ET in Worthen Arena.

PURDUE FT. WAYNE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

SELLERS SETS APPEARANCE RECORD AS ‘DONS DOMINATE AQUINAS ON FITNESS DAY

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Shayla Sellers became the Purdue Fort Wayne women’s basketball program’s all-time leader with her 122nd appearance on Thursday (Dec. 21) as the Mastodons took down Aquinas 77-43 at the Gates Sports Center on Fitness Day.

Sellers posted a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds in her record-breaking day, including eight on the defensive side. Amellia Bromenschenkel led the Mastodons in scoring with 16 points and six rebounds. Reigning Horizon League Freshman of the Week Erin Woodson also finished in double-figures with 15 points and three rebounds.

There were over 600 students from Fort Wayne Community Schools in attendance, creating an atmosphere of nearly 1,000 fans for the contest.

The ‘Dons made 14 3-pointers in the game which is tied for the 10th-most in program history. It’s also the third time the ‘Dons have hit 14 or more 3-pointers this season. Sellers and Woodson led the team with three triples apiece while Bromenschenkel and Lauryn Stover each had two. On the defensive end, the ‘Dons held Aquinas to 1-for-15 from 3, which was the best 3-point defensive effort for the ‘Dons this season.

Purdue Fort Wayne overcame a sluggish start in the first quarter to shoot 60 percent from 3-point range in the second quarter. In the second half, the ‘Dons outscored Aquinas 41-17 and forced 12 turnovers. It was a balanced scoring effort with 10 different Mastodons scoring.

Aquinas was led by former Oakland and Indiana State player Alona Blackwell who had 19 points and six boards.

With the win, the Mastodons improve to 8-4 this season to continue the best Division I start through 12 games. The ‘Dons return to Horizon League play as they travel to Milwaukee next Saturday (Dec. 30) at 3 p.m.

EVANSVILLE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

SINCLAIR SETS CAREER-HIGH AT SEMO

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – The University of Evansville women’s basketball team’s offense couldn’t find its footing at the Show Me Center in a 74-44 loss to the Southeast Missouri Redhawks.

Junior guard Lexie Sinclair had a career game on the road against SEMO with 11 points, three treys, and four field goals. Point guard Kynidi Mason Striverson continued her double-digit scoring streak at the Show Me Center with 12 points while forward Maggie Hartwig had 11 rebounds to lead the defense.

It was a slow start for the Aces on Thursday morning as two second-chance free throws for point guard Kynidi Mason Striverson were the team’s first points. UE wasn’t able to string a run of baskets together in the first 10 minutes but a five-point stretch midway through the quarter kept it close thanks to a three from Mason Striverson.  But a three-minute scoreless streak set Evansville back to a 10-point deficit after one.

The Aces had a faster start in the second quarter as center Barbora Tomancova made back-to-back layups in the first minute and a half. But a five-minute cold spell had UE on its heels down 19 with over two minutes in the half. A three from guard Madlena Gerke ended the scoreless streak while being Evansville’s final basket of the half. The Aces headed into the locker room down 38-18.

 Sinclair was the highlight for UE in the third quarter, knocking down two threes and shooting 80% from the floor. The junior guard scored all 11 of her points in the quarter while adding an assist and a rebound. The third quarter was Evansville’s best of the game, shooting 50% from the floor and adding 16 points while holding the Redhawks scoreless for over three minutes.

The Aces added 10 points in the final frame with Mason Striverson adding five to her line. UE benefited from seven attempts at the line while Mason Striverson and Hartwig added to buckets on the floor. Despite almost doubling their shooting percentage from the first half to the second half, the Aces fell to SEMO 74-44.

Evansville will take nine days off from action before beginning Missouri Valley Conference play at home to end the year. UE welcomes in-state rivals Indiana State to Meeks Family Fieldhouse on Dec. 30 with tip-off set for 6 p.m.

SOUTHERN INDIANA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

EAGLES CONCLUDE NON-CONFERENCE SLATE AGAINST BRESCIA

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana Women’s Basketball concludes its non-conference schedule Friday at 1 p.m. against Brescia University (KY) from Screaming Eagles Arena.

In the spirit of the holiday season, fans are encouraged to bring five canned goods or non-perishable food items to donate to the food drive with the Evansville-Tristate Food Bank. Fans who donate will receive a complimentary signed USI Women’s Basketball poster.

Friday’s contest can be seen with a subscription to ESPN+ and heard on 95.7 FM The Spin.

The Screaming Eagles (4-5) conclude their three-game homestand and non-conference season against the Brescia Bearcats. With a win, USI will finish the out-of-conference slate with a .500 record.

The Eagles have split their first two games of the current homestand, winning 72-51 against Eastern Michigan University on December 9 before narrowly losing to Big 12 Conference University of Cincinnati on Sunday, 58-56. Cincinnati was the first-ever Power Five team to make a visit and play inside Screaming Eagles Arena.

Last time out against the Cincinnati Bearcats, Southern Indiana fell behind early in a low-scoring contest, trailing 34-22 at halftime. USI climbed back with an 11-0 run in the third quarter to make it a one-possession game down the stretch. The Eagles took a lead, 52-50, midway in the fourth period. However, Cincinnati regained the lead in the final minutes, forcing USI to take a last-second shot that bounced off the rim at the buzzer.

Statistically, USI outshot Cincinnati in field goal, three-point, and free-throw percentage. Southern Indiana also had a season-low 10 turnovers while forcing the Bearcats into 14 turnovers and getting 12 steals. Individually, junior guard Vanessa Shafford (Linton, Indiana) led the Eagles with 15 points and eight rebounds. Freshman forward Chloe Gannon (Manchester, Tennessee) scored a career-best 13 points off the bench, the most points by a USI freshman since Shafford scored 15 points against Rockhurst University in February 2022.

On the season, Shafford paces the Screaming Eagles with 14.1 points and 7.4 boards per game. Shafford also leads the squad with 1.7 steals and 27.7 minutes per outing. Senior forwards Meredith Raley (Haubstadt, Indiana) and Madi Webb (Bedford, Indiana) are next in scoring at just above nine points per contest. USI averages 65.8 points on 40.9 percent shooting with 38.3 rebounds as a team this season.

Brescia (4-7), an NAIA school out of the River States Conference, has dropped five straight games with the last win coming back on November 17. Most recently, the Bearcats fell 67-48 at Indiana East University last Saturday. Senior forward Lindsey Peyton, who leads the team this season at 14.7 points per game, tallied 11 points and nine rebounds against Indiana East. Senior guard Paige Vanzant was the team’s top scorer against Indiana East with 14 points. Brescia averages 55.6 points on 40.5 percent shooting this season while claiming 38.9 rebounds per game.

USI and Brescia are meeting up for the seventh time in the series history with the all-time series tied at 3-3. Southern Indiana has won three straight in the series, which dates to the 1989-90 season. Last season, USI protected its home court against Brescia with a 90-48 victory. The Eagles had five players in double figures, including Shafford and Raley who combined for 22 points. Peyton led Brescia in last year’s meeting with a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Following Friday’s matchup and a short holiday break, the Screaming Eagles will prepare to open the Ohio Valley Conference season next week on the road at Southeast Missouri State University and Lindenwood University.

SOUTHERN INDIANA MEN’S BASKETBALL

EAGLES START THREE-GAME ROAD SWING FRIDAY

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana Men’s Basketball returns to the road for its second three-game road trip of the season, beginning with a visit to Southern Illinois University Friday in Carbondale, Illinois. The tipoff time has been moved up to

6 p.m.

6 p.m. Friday in the Banterra Center.

Fans can track your Eagles all season by visiting the schedule on USIScreamingEagles.com for links to follow all of the action on the ESPN+, ESPN 97.7FM (http://listentotheref.com), and 95.7FM The Spin (http://957thespin.com/).

USI, which is 3-9, got back on track with a 79-47 win over the University of Saint Francis (Illinois) Tuesday evening at Screaming Eagles Arena. USI junior forward Jack Mielke (Downers Grove, Illinois) led the Eagles to victory with a career-high 18 points.

Through the first 12 games of the season, junior guard Jeremiah Hernandez (Chicago, Illinois) and sophomore guard/forward AJ Smith (Edwardsville, Illinois) lead USI in scoring with 12.8 points and 11.4 points per game, respectively. Smith also leads the team with 9.5 rebounds per contest.

The Salukis of SIU are 7-4 this season after posting a 76-63 win over North Dakota State University at home Tuesday night. The win also broke a two-game skid by the Salukis, who are 3-3 in the last six games.

USI won last year’s meeting at Screaming Eagles Arena, 71-53, for the Eagles’ first NCAA Division I win. SIU leads the all-time series with USI, 3-1, dating back to 1981.

Following Friday’s contest, USI opens Ohio Valley Conference action at Southeast Missouri State University December 29 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and at Lindenwood University December 31 in St. Charles, Missouri. The next USI home games are not until the new year when the Eagles host Tennessee State University January 4 and Tennessee Tech University January 6 at Screaming Eagles Arena.

SOUTHERN INDIANA VOLLEYBALL

WILLIS TRANSFERS TO USI FOR 2024

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana Volleyball has signed freshman outside hitter Ashby Willis for the 2024 campaign. Willis becomes a Screaming Eagle after transferring from Purdue University Fort Wayne.

“We’re excited to welcome Ashby to our USI family,” says USI Volleyball Head Coach, Jeffrey Aucoin. “Ashby made an immediate impact with her previous program garnering All-Conference honors in her first year. She is a stand-out on the court, in the classroom, and connected with our team immediately. We look forward to having Ashby join us this spring.”

Ashby Willis | 6’0″ | Outside Hitter | Mt. Carmel, Illinois

Willis transfers to USI from Purdue-Fort Wayne after being named to the 2023 Horizon League All-Freshman Team. She played in 29 matches during her freshman year for a total of 102 sets and finished with 277 kills with 2.72 kills per set for the Mastodons. During her days as a Mt. Carmel High School Golden Ace, Willis garnered IVCA All-State Honorable Mention, AVCA All-Region, All-Little Illini Conference, and News Gazette All-State in her only season at MCHS. She led the Aces to a conference and regional championship in 2022 while holding a perfect 4.0 GPA. Willis played club volleyball most recently with Elite Tsunami in 2023.

The Eagles completed a successful season last week by making their first Ohio Valley Conference Championship berth and earning their first tournament victory while going 15-16 overall and 10-8 in conference play.

INDIANA BASKETBALL HOF 2024 WOMEN’S SILVER ANNIVERSARY TEAM

NEW CASTLE – Eighteen women have been named to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame’s 2024 Silver Anniversary Team, based on outstanding accomplishments as a senior basketball player 25 years ago.

The team includes 11 members named to the 1999 Indiana All-Star squad.  Seven other all-state players are included to recognize the top of Indiana’s high school class of 1999.

1999 Indiana All-Stars include Miss Basketball April (McDivitt) Schilling, Emily Butler, Jill Hartman Early, Jeanette Gray, Jenna Hayes Alspaugh, Kourtney Mennen, Kennitra Johnson, Dorcas Lawson, Kristen Lowry Lanier, Heather (Cusick) Mygrant, and Amy Zercher.

The remaining seven, named to various all-state teams are Jackie (Campbell) Clark, LaTrice (McMichel) Crawford, Tia Davis, Laurie “Kitts” Detweiler, Nok Duany Bassey, Tiffany S. Kyser, and Erika (Roudebush) Mundt. 

2024 Women’s Silver Anniversary Team members will be honored at the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame’s 22nd  Women’s Awards Banquet on Saturday, April 27, 2024.

A midday reception, free and open to the public, will be held at the Hall of Fame Museum in New Castle.  The evening banquet will take place at the Primo Banquet Hall, which is located on the south side of Indianapolis.

Banquet reservations will soon be available on the Hall of Fame’s website or by calling (765) 529-1891.  For more information, you may also email kayla@hoopshall.com.

SMALL COLLEGE ATHLETICS

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

EARLHAM ATHLETICS: https://goearlham.com/

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

FRANKLIN ATHLETICS: https://franklingrizzlies.com/

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

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

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

BETHEL ATHLETICS: https://bupilots.com/

DEPAUW ATHLETICS: https://depauwtigers.com/

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

MANCHESTER ATHLETICS: https://muspartans.com/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NFL STANDINGS

https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/standings/

NBA STANDINGS

https://www.cbssports.com/nba/standings/

NHL STANDINGS

https://www.cbssports.com/nhl/standings/

NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL STANDINGS

https://www.cbssports.com/college-basketball/standings/

NCAA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL STANDINGS

https://www.ncaa.com/standings/basketball-women/d1

FOOTBALL HISTORY

The South Organizes

December 22, 1894 – Atlanta, Georgia – Members of southern universities organized into a conference of sports teams for competition against one another. The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, which was a predecessor tothe SEC formed on this day with seven schools participating.  According to secsports.com Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Sewanee, North Carolina and Vanderbilt all signed on inthis initial formation of the SIAA.

Bullet Bill

December 22, 1941 – The 1942 NFL Draft took place and Bullet Bill Dudley from University of Virginia was the first pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Bullet Bill ended up leading the NFL in rushing his rookie season with 696 yards with Pittsburgh. Dudley had a brilliant career and even earned a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame when his career was over. The was only one other player from this draft that made the HOF and he was the 135th pick by the Detroit Lions End Max Speedie per the Pro-Football -Reference website.

AAFC Champs

December 22, 1946 – Cleveland Municipal Stadium –  The AAFC championship game was played as the New York Yankees Football club invaded Cleveland to play the Browns for the AAFC Title. The Browns came out victorious as they defeated the Yankees 14-9 in a close one. Pro-Football-Reference.com informs us that Cleveland Quarterback Otto Graham threw a 16 yard 4th quarter touchdown pass to receiver Dante Lavelli for the go ahead score to lead the Browns to yet another championship.

Record Setter

December 22, 1985

December 22, 1985 – Kansas City Chiefs Wide Receiver, Stephone Paige put up 309 yards of receiving against the San Diego Chargers defense which was an NFL record. According to the Bleacher Report, Stephone averaged 38 yards per catch in the game and had two different QBs tossing the rock to him as Todd Blackledge and Bill Kenney each were in as signal caller for the Chiefs! The record was broken in 1989 by Flipper Anderson of the Los Angeles Rams who finished a game 336 yards against the New Orleans Saints but Anderson reached his lofty mark with some catches in an overtime session whereas Paige earned all of his yardage in the regular 60 minutes. KC needed every bit of Paige’s efforts too as they overcame the Chargers 38-34 in the contest.

Slash

December 22, 1996 – Ericsson Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina – Per a story on the SteelersDepot.com website, Pittsburgh’s Kordell Stewart runs an NFL quarterback record of 80 yds for a score. “Slash” Stewart weaved his way through a stout Carolina Panthers defense to put the Steelers ahead in the low scoring game. The score did not hold up though as the Panthers rallied to win 18-14 over Pittsburgh.

Thomas sets record

December 22, 2019 – New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas set an NFL record for most catches in a season per a NewOrleansSaints.com website story.  Thomas in the contest raised his season total 144 to catches  as the Saints knocked off the Tennessee Titans 38-28. Michael Thomas’ new milestone breaks a 17-year old record once held by Indianapolis Colts Marvin Harrison when he posted a season total of 143.

Hall of Fame Birthday for December 22

December 22, 1949 – Swainsboro, Georgia – The pride of Southern Mississippi football, Punter Ray Guy was born.  Ray set numerous collegiate records and became the first All-America punter per the NFF. The National Football Foundation selected Ray Guy to enter into their College Football Hall of Fame in 2004. Guy was the first punter ever selected in the first round of the NFL draft when the Oakland Raiders chose him as the 23rd player overall in the 1973 NFL Draft. In his 14 seasons with the Black and Silver he only had one year where he averaged under 40 yards per punt and only a mere 3 of his 1049 boots were blocked. Ray was an All-Pro in six straight seasons and for his career he averaged 42.4 yards per punt. Ray Guy, at the 2014 enshrinement ceremonies officially entered into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

NUMBERS IN SPORTS

97 – 23 – 10 – 9 – 7 – 23 – 77 – 16 – 8 – 21 – 11 – 14 – 3 – 13 – 88 – 30

December 22, 1917 – In the NHL’s first official week of play, 3 players score hat tricks in the same game, for the same team; Corb Denneny, Reg Noble, and Harry Meeking each score 3 for the Toronto Arenas in an 11-4 win over the Ottawa Senators

December 22, 1924 – Babe Dye of NHL’s Toronto St Patricks scores 5 goals beat Bruins 10-2

December 22, 1941 – 1942 NFL Draft: Bill Dudley, Number 97 from University of Virginia first pick by Pittsburgh Steelers

December 22, 1959 – New York Ranger goalie Number 23, Marcel Paille wears a customized mask

December 22, 1964 – Ballon d’Or: Manchester United striker Number 10, Denis Law won the award for best European football player; beats Inter midfielder Number 9, Luis Suárez and Real Madrid winger Number 7, Amancio Amaro. Law was the first Scotsman to win the award

December 22, 1969 – LSU’s Number 23, Pete Maravich sets NCAA record of making 30 of 31 foul shots

December 22, 1974 –  Number 7, Phil Esposito, of the Boston Bruins, became 6th NHL skater to score 500 goals

December 22, 1990 – Pittsburgh Penguins Hall  of Fame Defenseman, Number 77, Paul Coffey became the second NHL defenseman to record 1000 points, doing so in a record-breaking 770 games

December 22, 1992 – Ballon d’Or: Milan’s Dutch striker Number 16, Marco van Basten wins his 3rd title as best soccer player in Europe ahead of Barcelona forward Number 8, Hristo Stoichkov and Ajax forward Number 10, Dennis Bergkamp

December 22, 1996 – St Louis Blues’ right wing Number 16, Brett Hull scored his 26th NHL career hat trick to reach 500 career goals in a 7-4 win over the LA Kings. This was significant in another aspect of hockey history as well.  Brett with his father, Hockey Hall of Famer, Number 9, Bobby Hull, became the first father/son duo to each record 500 career NHL goals

December 22, 1996 – Pittsburgh Steelers Quarterback, Number 10,  Kordell Stewart ran for an NFL quarterback record 80 yds for TD

December 22, 1998 – Ballon d’Or: Juventus’ French midfielder Number 21, Zinedine Zidane is named best football player in Europe ahead of Real Madrid striker Number 9, Davor Šuker and Inter forward Number 9, Ronaldo

December 22, 2003 – Ballon d’Or: Juventus’ Czech midfielder Number 11, Pavel Nedvěd was named best football player in Europe ahead of Arsenal forward Number 14, Thierry Henry and Milan defender Number 3, Paolo Maldini

December 22, 2019 – New Orleans wide receiver Number 13, Michael Thomas sets NFL record for most catches in a season with his 144th as Saints beat Tennessee 38-28; breaks 17-year old record held by Colts legend and Pro Football Hall of Famer Number 88, Marvin Harrison (143)

December 22, 2020 – Argentine soccer superstar Number 10, Lionel Messi scored his 644th goal for FC Barcelona during 3-0 win over Real Valladolid to break Pele’s record for most goals for one club; Pele, 643 goals for Santos 1956-74. Messi currently wears jersey Number 30 at Paris Saint Germain

TV FRIDAY

NBA REGULAR SEASONTIME ETTV
Toronto at Philadelphia7:00pmSportsnet
NBCS-PHI
Denver at Brooklyn7:30pmNBATV
ALT
YES
Atlanta at Miami8:00pmBally Sports
Dallas at Houston8:00pmSCHN
Bally Sports
Washington at Golden State10:00pmESPN
Phoenix at Sacramento10:00pmNBCS-CA
AFSN
NHL REGULAR SEASONTIME ETTV
Philadelphia at Detroit7:00pmBally Sports
NBCS-PHI
Edmonton at NY Rangers7:30pmESPN+
Hulu
Boston at Winnipeg8:00pmNESN
Sportsnet
Montreal at Chicago8:30pmNBCS-CHI
Sportsnet
COLLEGE FOOTBALLTIME ETTV
Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl: Georgia Tech vs. UCF6:30pmESPN
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALLTIME ETTV
Drexel at Bryant11:00amESPN+
PSU-Kensington at VMI12:00pmESPN+
UMass Lowell at Boston University12:00pmESPN+
St. Mary’s (MD) at Loyola Maryland12:00pmESPN+
Muskingum at Wright State1:00pmESPN+
Medgar Evers at NJIT1:00pmESPN+
Kean at Saint Peter’s1:00pmESPN+
Greensboro College at Charlotte1:00pmESPN+
Vermont at Miami (OH)1:00pmESPN+
Delaware Valley at Princeton1:00pmESPN+
James Madison at Morgan State1:00pmESPN+
Bucknell at Merrimack2:00pmNESN+
Gwynedd Mercy at Wagner2:00pmNEC Front Row
Siena Heights at Bowling Green2:00pmESPN+
Paul Quinn at Stephen F. Austin2:00pmESPN+
Cornell at Robert Morris2:00pmESPN+
George Mason at Tulane2:00pmESPN+
UAlbany at South Florida2:00pmESPN+
Siena at Brown2:00pmESPN+
Chattanooga at Milwaukee2:00pmESPN+
A&M-Corpus Christi at Texas3:00pmLHN
North Florida at Georgia3:00pmESPN+
Drake at UAB3:00pmESPN+
Nicholls at Towson4:00pmMNMT
Grambling State at Florida4:00pmESPN+
Montana State at CSUN4:00pmESPN+
Diamond Head Classic5:00pmESPN2
Elon at South Carolina6:00pmSECN
Queens at Clemson6:00pmACCN
SMU at Murray State6:00pmCBSSN
Georgetown at Marquette7:00pmFS1
Maryland Eastern Shore at VCU7:00pmMASN
Winthrop at Florida State7:00pmACCNX
Rockford at Lindenwood7:00pmESPN+
Stetson at Cincinnati7:00pmESPN+
Florida Memorial at FGCU7:00pmESPN+
Mississippi Valley State at Baylor7:00pmESPN+
Binghamton at St. Bonaventure7:00pmESPN+
Canisius at High Point7:00pmESPN+
Southern Indiana at Southern Illinois7:00pmESPN+
Diamond Head Classic7:30pmESPN+
Chicago State at Wisconsin8:00pmBTN
Houston Christian at Texas A&M8:00pmSECN
Marist at Notre Dame8:00pmACCN
Alabama State at Auburn8:00pmESPN+
Ohio at Austin Peay8:00pmESPN+
NM State at Tulsa8:00pmESPN+
Louisiana at Rice8:00pmESPN+
Yale at Kansas8:00pmESPN+
Fresno State at San Francisco8:00pmESPN+
Middle Tennessee at Southern Utah8:30pmESPN+
Maryland at UCLA9:00pmESPN2
Missouri vs. Illinois9:00pmFS1
ETSU at Utah State9:00pmKMYU
Bellarmine at BYU9:00pmESPN+
Colorado State at Loyola Marymount10:00pmESPN+
Diamond Head Classic11:00pmESPN2
SOCCER MATCHESTIME ETTV
Serie A: Empoli vs Lazio12:30pmParamount+
Serie A: Sassuolo vs Genoa12:30pmParamount+
Serie A: Salernitana vs Milan2:45pmParamount+
Serie A: Monza vs Fiorentina2:45pmParamount+
Scottish Championship: Queen’s Park vs Dundee United2:45pmParamount+
EPL: Aston Villa vs Sheffield United3:00pmPeacock
TENNISTIME ETTV
World Tennis League: Hawks vs. Falcons6:00amTENNIS
World Tennis League: Eagles vs. Kites9:00amTENNIS
WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALLTIME ETTV
Boston University vs Northeastern12:00pmFloSports
George Mason vs Towson12:00pmFloSports, Monumental
Harvard vs UMass Lowell1:00pmESPN+
Georgia Southern vs Longwood1:00pmESPN+
Southern vs Oklahoma1:00pmESPN+
Tennessee Wesleyan vs Lipscomb1:00pmESPN+
Belmont vs Ohio State1:00pmB1G+
Florida A&M vs Michigan2:00pmB1G+
Loyola (Md.) vs Monmouth2:00pmFloSports
Brescia vs Southern Indiana2:00pmESPN+
ETSU vs Clemson2:00pmACCNX
New Mexico vs Gonzaga4:00pmESPN+
Bowling Green vs Indiana6:00pmBTN
Mount St. Mary’s vs TCU7:30pmESPN+