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Al Unser, a four-time winner of Indianapolis 500, dies at 82

(AP) — Al Unser, one of only four drivers to win the Indianapolis 500 a record four times, died Thursday following a long illness. He was 82.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway said early Friday that Unser died at his home in Chama, New Mexico, with his wife, Susan, by his side. He had been battling cancer for 17 years.

Unser is the third member of one of America’s most famed racing families to die in 2021. His oldest brother, three-time Indy 500 winner Bobby Unser, died in May, and Bobby Unser Jr. passed six weeks after his father.

Known as “Big Al” once his own son made a name for himself in racing, Unser is part of an elite club of four-time winners of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” Unser won the Indy 500 in 1970, 1971, 1978 and 1987, and is the only driver in history to have both a sibling and a child also win one of the biggest races in the world.

His final victory at age 47 made him the oldest winner in Indy 500 history. He dominated in his first Indy win in 1970 by starting from the pole and leading all but 10 of the 200 laps. Unser beat runner-up Mark Donohue by 32 seconds that year.

“Al was the class of the field,” fellow competitor Johnny Rutherford said.

Unser led over half the laps in three of his Indy 500 victories, and his 644 total laps at Indianapolis is most in race history. He led the final lap of the 1987 race to tie Ralph DePalma’s 75-year-old record of 612 laps led, and Unser went on to lead 31 more laps over his final five starts to smash the mark.

He made 27 starts in the Indy 500, third most in history, and qualified once on the pole and five times on the front row.

Unser won three Indy car national championships over his career and 39 victories- sixth on the all-time list.

He and son Al Jr. were the first father-son pairing at Indianapolis, and in 1985 they battled one another for the CART championship.

A pass in the closing laps of the race gave Unser a fourth-place finish in the season finale at Miami’s Tamiami Park road course, and it was enough for him to beat Al Jr. for the championship by a single point. He fought back tears while describing the “empty feeling” of defeating his son.

Unser also ran five NASCAR races in his career, finishing fourth in the 1968 Daytona 500. He earned three top-10 finishes in NASCAR. He also won three times in the International Race of Champions, an all-star series that pitted the top drivers from various disciplines against each other.

Unser won the Indy car “Triple Crown” by winning all three of of the 500-mile races on the 1978 schedule, which included stops at Pocono Raceway and in Ontario, California. He’s the only driver in history to win all three of those races in the same season.

The Unser family combined for a record nine wins in the Indy 500; Al Jr. won the Indy 500 twice – in 1992 and 1994. Coincidentally, Al Unser, Al Unser Jr. and Bobby Unser all won their final Indy 500s driving for Roger Penske.

Unser earlier this year was at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to welcome Helio Castroneves as the newest member of the four-time winners club. Unser achieved the feat after A.J. Foyt, and Rick Mears won his fourth in 1991. Castroneves won in May to become the first new member in 30 years.

“Some days the race track smiles on you and some days, you got it the other way,” Unser said during the July celebration. “It’s not always that you’re going to think you’re going to win because your chances are very slim. There’s 32 other guys who want it as bad as you do.”

Unser received his Baby Borg – the 18-inch replica of the Indy 500 winner’s Borg-Warner Trophy that lives onsite in the speedway’s museum – during a celebration in May with family and friends. He was set to be honored in 2020 on the the 50th anniversary of his 1970 victory at Indianapolis, but the celebration was postponed because of the pandemic.

Both Castroneves and two-time Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato lauded Unser, with Sato calling Unser’s speech at the May winner’s ceremony “very funny and so charming.”

“I will always remember Big Al welcoming me to the speedway,” Castroneves told The Associated Press on Friday. “He and Johnny Rutherford were the two helping me with my rookie orientation. He will be missed.”

The youngest of four racing brothers, Unser was born in in Albuquerque in 1939 to a family of hardcore racers. His father Jerry Unser and two uncles, Louis and Joe, were also drivers. Beginning in 1926 the family began competing in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, an annual road race held in Colorado.

Al’s oldest brother, Jerry, became the first Unser to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 in 1958; he was killed in a crash during practice the following year.

Unser began racing himself in 1957 when he was 18, but competed mostly in sprint cars. He made it to Indy in 1965 driving in a car owned by Foyt and was part of the rookie class with future Indy 500 winners Mario Andretti (1969) and Gordon Johncock (1973, 1982).

“Al was one of the smartest drivers I ever raced against,” Andretti said. “I often said that I wished I could have had some of his patience.”

The Unser family combined for 73 career starts in the Indy 500 – a number bettered only by the 76 starts by the Andretti family. The Unser participation spans Al (27 races), Bobby (19), and Al Jr. (19), as well as Johnny (five), Robby (two) and Jerry (one).

Unser was inducted into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame in 1986 and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1998. His collection of trophies and cars is housed at the Unser Racing Museum in Albuquerque.

Unser is survived by wife, Susan, and son, Al Jr. He was preceded in death by daughters Mary and Deborah.

Vikings beat Steelers 36-28, deny last-play pass in end zone

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith ripped off his helmet once the victory was finally secured, after a 29-point lead on the Pittsburgh Steelers late in the third quarter evaporated into yet another teeth-clenching finish.

Smith looked exhausted and exasperated, hardly excited at all. These Vikings don’t make anything easy on themselves.

Dalvin Cook rushed for 205 yards and two touchdowns in his faster-than-expected return from a shoulder injury, and the Vikings held on to beat the Steelers 36-28 by forcing an incomplete pass in the end zone on the final play Thursday night.

Ben Roethlisberger’s throw to Pat Freiermuth was on target, but Smith smashed into the rookie tight end at just the right moment to dislodge the ball as Xavier Woods and Anthony Barr converged. That gave the Vikings (6-7) a critical victory after they flirted with an unforgivable loss.

“It is frustrating having to come down to the last second. It’s taken a few years of my life this season, but it’s good to be on this side of a close one,” Barr said.

All but one of Minnesota’s games this year have been decided by eight points or less, including four losses by three points or fewer.

“Never say `over’ with this team,” said coach Mike Zimmer, who watched the Vikings lose 29-27 last week at previously winless Detroit on a last-play touchdown pass.

The Steelers had fared much better in these close finishes this season, but they weren’t trying to erase 29-point deficits in those other situations, either.

“We’re running out of time,” Roethlisberger said. “I don’t look at moral victories.”

Just as vital as all the turf he tore up on the ground was the 17-yard catch Cook made on a seam route on third-and-9 from the Minnesota 26 with 2:38 left. That forced the Steelers to use all their timeouts, leaving Roethlisberger 96 yards and 2:16 to go after Jordan Berry pinned a punt deep against his former team.

Roethlisberger hit Chase Claypool for 48 yards while Bashaud Breeland was committing pass interference to reach midfield. Claypool pulled in a fourth-and-1 slant to reach the Minnesota 34 but cost the Steelers a handful of seconds by celebrating the first down rather than immediately tossing the ball to the referee.

Diontae Johnson set up the last play from the 12 by taking a crossing route 12 yards out of bounds, but the Steelers (6-6-1), who failed on a 2-point conversion try earlier in the fourth quarter, wound up just short this time. Last week, they hung on to beat Baltimore 20-19 by denying a 2-point try with 12 seconds remaining.

Coach Mike Tomlin wasn’t all that impressed by the comeback.

“We were JV again tonight, and I’m talking up front on both sides,” Tomlin said.

Star outside linebacker and NFL sack leader T.J. Watt injured his groin early in the second quarter and did not return. The Vikings had a 300-66 advantage in total yards in the first half.

Roethlisberger, who was sacked five times, threw touchdown passes to Najee Harris, James Washington and Freiermuth in the second half. Harris ran for a score, too, as the Steelers recovered from their abysmal start.

Ahkello Witherspoon intercepted Kirk Cousins twice after halftime to fuel the rally. With Adam Thielen sidelined by an ankle injury, Minnesota’s passing attack was out of sync.

Cousins went 14 for 31 for 216 yards, hitting Justin Jefferson for a first-quarter touchdown and K.J. Osborn for a 62-yard score early in the fourth quarter that made it 36-20.

“There’s some good out there. There’s some bad out there. We’ll have to go back and watch and see what it really was,” Cousins said.


Just 11 days after Cook dislocated his shoulder, keeping him out of last week’s loss at previously winless Detroit, he lined up in the backfield and enjoyed the most running room he’s seen all season. Cook set a franchise record with 153 rushing yards in the first half, and he needed only 14 carries to do it. The Steelers are allowing the most average yards per rush (5.0) in the league.

The Vikings trampled the Steelers with their zone blocking scheme, creating gaping holes for Cook to burst through and minimizing the contact with his still-healing shoulder. The Vikings averaged more than 10 yards per play in the first quarter.

“Once I told ’em I’m good, I’m good,” Cook said.


Minnesota’s Greg Joseph pulled a 53-yard field goal left and sent his first extra point try wide right. Chris Boswell also hooked a 49-yard attempt left, just his second missed field goal of the season for Pittsburgh to end a streak of 20 straight makes. This was the first NFL game since at least 1991, as far back as Sportradar data goes for this research, with two missed field goals and a missed extra point in the first quarter.


Steelers: CB Joe Haden (foot) missed his fourth straight game. … John Leglue made his first NFL start, filling in at left guard for B.J. Finney (back). Leglue became the fourth starter at LG this year. … OLB Alex Highsmith (knee) was hurt in the third quarter and did not return.

Vikings: LT Christian Darrisaw (ankle) sat out for the second straight game. Oli Udoh took Darrisaw’s place, and Mason Cole played right guard for Udoh. … Backup LB Ryan Connelly appeared to seriously injure his knee covering the second half kickoff.


The Steelers host Tennessee on Dec. 19. They’re 4-0-1 in their last five home games.

The Vikings visit Chicago on Dec. 20, giving them 10 full days between games.

Pro Bowler, Super Bowl champ Demaryius Thomas dies at 33

ATLANTA (AP) Demaryius Thomas, who earned five straight Pro Bowls and a Super Bowl ring during a prolific receiving career spent mostly with the Denver Broncos, has died at the age of 33.

Thomas was found dead in his suburban Atlanta home Thursday night, said Officer Tim Lupo, public information officer for the police department in Roswell, Georgia.

“Preliminary information is that his death stems from a medical issue, and our investigators currently have no reason to believe otherwise,” Lupo said in a statement early Friday.

Thomas last played in the NFL in 2019, appearing in 11 games with 10 starts for the New York Jets. He officially announced his retirement in June.

A native of Montrose, a tiny town in southeast Georgia, Thomas managed to make his mark collegiately as a receiver at Georgia Tech — even after the school hired Paul Johnson to replace Chan Gailey as coach.

Ditching Gailey’s pro-style offense, Johnson installed the run-oriented scheme that had been so successful for him at lower-division Georgia Southern.

Despite a huge drop-off in the number of passes the Yellow Jackets threw, Thomas was often left in single coverage and managed to show off the skills that would lead the Broncos to take him with the No. 22 overall pick in the 2010 draft.

Thomas finished his career at Georgia Tech with 120 receptions for 2,339 yards and 14 touchdowns in three seasons.

Teaming up with Peyton Manning, Thomas put up much gaudier numbers with the Broncos, beginning with a dazzling 2012 season – 94 catches for 1,434 yards and 10 touchdowns – that led to the first of those five straight Pro Bowl honors.

He twice had more than 100 catches in a season, highlighted by career bests of 111 catches and 1,619 yards in 2014. He had five straight seasons with more than 1,000 yards receiving.

In Manning’s final year, the Broncos defeated Carolina in the Super Bowl to cap the 2015 season.

After Manning’s retirement, Thomas’ production began to decline as the Broncos struggled to settle on their next quarterback.

Then, during the 2018 season, he was traded to the Houston Texans. He managed only 23 catches in seven games with his new team and was released after that brief tenure.

Thomas signed with the New England Patriots, but was cut before their opener. He finished his career with the Jets.

In 143 career games, Thomas had 724 catches for 9,763 yards and 63 touchdowns.

McCarthy returns to Cowboys: ‘We’re going to win this game’

FRISCO, Texas (AP) Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy didn’t waste any time making his presence felt on his first day back with the team after a 10-day absence because of a positive COVID-19 test.

At the end of a long answer about the Dallas offense Thursday going into Sunday’s visit to Washington, McCarthy lit up social media by saying the Cowboys would win the game.

“We’re comfortable with who we are and where we are,” McCarthy said. “I’m excited about what’s in front of us. We’re going to win this game. I’m confident in that.”

As expected, Washington players were asked to respond after practice. Washington (6-6) is second to the NFC East-leading Cowboys (8-4), but seeking a third consecutive victory in the rivalry for the first time since the 1980s.

“The only guarantee in this world is death and taxes,” defensive lineman Jonathan Allen said.

Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott was happy to hear such strong words from his coach, and used an expletive to say so.

“It doesn’t put us in a bad spot,” Prescott said. “I don’t think he said anything different than everyone in this building’s thoughts. He just voiced it. Now we got to make sure we’re accountable for our words.”

McCarthy tested positive between the Dallas loss to Las Vegas on Thanksgiving and a win at New Orleans a week later. The Saints game was the first time in 15 seasons as a head coach that McCarthy missed a game.

The Cowboys are emerging from their second COVID-19 outbreak since close to the end of training camp. The first wave eased a month into the season. The second one is easing a month before the playoffs.

If rookie defensive back Nahshon Wright returns as expected Friday, the Cowboys won’t have anyone on the COVID-19 reserve list. Eight coaches and staff members have missed games as well.

McCarthy said he was eager and happy to be back, and therefore probably went on too long in his first meeting with his players Thursday.

The question that sparked his headline-grabbing line was about an offense that hasn’t looked much like the NFL’s No. 1 unit, where it’s been ranked most of the season, because of injuries and COVID-19 issues.

“Which are all great things over the course of a year,” he began. “You can’t just win one way in this league and it’s not practical to think you’re going to win with the same guys lining up the same 11 every week. It’s just not practical.

“But these guys are very accountable. The work ethic of our football team, the whole space, is very high. We know what people think of us. We love that.”

What came next didn’t seem to bother his players.

“I love it,” running back Tony Pollard said. “It makes us go harder. It just shows that he believes in us, he puts his trust in us and everything he has, he’s behind us all the way.”

McCarthy showed players video of the Washington-Dallas rivalry going back to the 1970s, when former Navy quarterback Roger Staubach called it the best in which he had played.

The coach also spent time with the administrative staff on his first day back, going over schedules headed into the holidays, which he said is another challenge related to the coronavirus.

“Just really to make sure we have things tied up,” said McCarthy, who is still staying in the team hotel because his family has been dealing with positive COVID-19 tests as well.

“Just making sure things are tight because these are the most important games of the year, starting with this one. This is December football. I mean, December football defines your season.”

And McCarthy helped define one of the club’s biggest rivalries.

NOTES: WR Noah Brown (groin) was placed on injured reserve, sidelining him at least three weeks. The move should clear spots on the active roster for DE Randy Gregory (calf strain, out four games) and DT Neville Gallimore (elbow, out all season). … Pollard injured a foot on his 58-yard touchdown run in last week’s 27-17 win over New Orleans and says he will be a game-time decision.

Grizzlies ride second-half push to 108-95 win over Lakers

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 25 points, Desmond Bane added 23 and the Memphis Grizzlies pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 108-95 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night.

Tyus Jones and De’Anthony Melton added 12 points apiece for Memphis, which won for the sixth time in seven games.

“I thought our activity was fantastic defensively,” Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said. “I thought the Lakers came out and kind of imposed their will in the first quarter, but we just kept making those winning plays throughout.”

LeBron James had a triple-double with 20 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, and Anthony Davis led the Lakers with 22 points. Talen Horton-Tucker and Avery Bradley each added 10 points.

Memphis opened the fourth quarter on a 9-2 run, pushing the lead to double-digits for the first time for either team. With that spurt, Memphis extended its lead to 94-80. Los Angeles never got its deficit to single digits.

The Grizzlies were without leading scorer Ja Morant and their top defender, Dillon Brooks, who are in health and protocol protection. That put Memphis at a personnel disadvantage.

“I didn’t know what we were going to look like,” Bane said of learning about an hour before the game that Brooks was out. He said the Grizzlies have had games in which they didn’t have the players individually, but not both missing.

“One thing I did know was that we were going to fight, regardless,” Bane said. “Before the game started, I told everybody to have fun. Just do what we do and have fun playing the game.”

Memphis, which leads the league in points in the paint, was forced into long-range shots early by the Lakers defense, and the shooting percentage reflected the situation.

But in the second quarter, Memphis was able to run more. The transition baskets and more Los Angeles turnovers contributed to the Grizzlies building a 59-53 lead at the half.

“The second quarter was where the energy of the game shifted,” Laker coach Frank Vogel said. “Our turnovers went way up. We didn’t rebound the basketball. We were slow to every loose ball.”

He added that there was “too much casualness to our approach.”

The Lakers continued having trouble holding onto the ball, and by the end of the third quarter had committed 19 turnovers that led to 22 Memphis points. That helped the Grizzlies carry an 85-78 lead into the fourth.

By the end of the game, Memphis forced 22 Los Angeles turnovers.

“Defensively, I thought we were really good. We just turned the ball over,” James said. “When you hold a team to 108 points and 27 of those came off turnovers, the defense was really good. Offensively, we were not good at all.”


With Brooks entering health and safety protocols just before the game, it raises the question of trying to control the spread of the virus throughout the league. Several teams are missing players because of the precautions, some teams with a significant number. Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said they are simply in contact with the league, trying to figure that out with direction from the league.

Vogel said they ask players to follow all the steps – hand-washing, wearing a mask, getting the booster shot, etc. “It’s just kind of wait and see,” Vogel said. “You hope for the best and hopefully it doesn’t come to our group.”


“I wouldn’t say I was surprised. I’ve seen it happen with our group this year. We have to keep our foot on the gas and continue to play. . We’ve just got to find a way to prevent that from happening.” – Vogel on the Lakers losing their edge after the first quarter.


Lakers: James and Davis were listed on the team’s injury report as probable – James with rectus abdominis strain; Davis with a left thumb sprain – but both played. . The Lakers saw their four-game winning streak in the series end. . James’ steal in the first quarter was the 2,086th of his career, moving him past Karl Malone for 11th on the all-time list.

Grizzlies: F Kyle Anderson returned to action after missing four games with back soreness. . Had 13 steals in the first half, nine in the second quarter, setting a franchise record for steals in a quarter.


Lakers: At Oklahoma City on Friday.

Grizzlies: Host the Houston Rockets on Saturday.

QB Bryce Young of Alabama voted AP Player of the Year

(AP) — Alabama quarterback Bryce Young is The Associated Press college football player of the year, giving the Crimson Tide their second consecutive winner.

Young received 42 of 53 first-place votes from AP Top 25 voters and 137 points to easily finish ahead of Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson (four first-place votes, 67 points) for the AP Player of the Year honor presented by Regions Bank.

Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett was third; Alabama linebacker Will Anderson Jr. was fourth; and Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud was fifth.

Young, Huchinson, Pickett and Stroud are the finalists for the Heisman Trophy, which will be presented Saturday in New York.

Later Thursday, during the ESPN College Football Awards show, Young also won the Davey O’Brien Award as the nation’s top quarterback, and the Maxwell Award as the most outstanding player in college football.

Other winners included Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis, who won the Bednarik Award as the nation’s top defensive player and the Outland Trophy as the most outstanding interior lineman, and Kenneth Walker III of Michigan State, who became the first Spartans player to win the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s best running back.

Walker, who finished sixth in AP player of the year voting, was also named Walter Camp player of the year.

A sophomore and first-year starter, Young passed for 4,322 yards and a school-record tying 43 touchdowns, leading the top-ranked Tide to the Southeastern Conference championship and the No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff. The Tide will face No. 4 Cincinnati on Dec. 31 at the Cotton Bowl.

Young said he felt well prepared for the challenge of leading a program that has set the standard in college football for more than a decade, but nothing speaks louder than performance.

“Settling in and getting to play in different environments, getting to be put in situations, naturally, makes you more comfortable as leaders,” Young told AP. “It’s always about what you do in the offseason, how you carry yourself, but any time you’re able to produce in big moments and you’re able to demonstrate a lot, that’s always a big part, as well. Because leadership is a lot about action.”

Young capped his season with an SEC championship game-record 421 yards passing against Georgia last week.

Alabama receiver DeVonta Smith became the first Alabama player to win AP player of the year in 2020. Young is the 18th quarterback to win the award since it was established in 1998.

Young, a Southern California native and former five-star recruit, said the high expectations are what drew him to Alabama and help motivate him.

“You want to live up to the pressure and to the hype of it all,” he said.

Other awards handed out Thursday night:

– Pitt receiver Tre Tipton won the Disney Spirit Award.

– Stanford quarterback Isaiah Sanders won the Wuerffel Trophy for community service.

– Pitt’s Jordan Addison won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top receiver.

– Michigan’s Jake Moody won the Lou Groza Award as the nation’s best kicker.

– San Diego State’s Matt Araiza took the Ray Guy Award as the best punter.

– Cincinnati cornerback Coby Bryant won the Thorpe Award as the best defensive back.

Before Thursday:

– Georgia’s Nakobe Dean won the Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker.

– Colorado State’s Trey McBride won the Mackey Award for best tight end.

– Iowa’s Tyler Linderbaum won the Rimington Award as the best center.

– Arkansas linebacker Grant Morgan won the Burlsworth Trophy as the top player whose career started as a walk-on.

– Hutchinson won the Lombardi Award as the best lineman.

– Anderson won the Nagurski defensive player of the year award.

AP Player of the Year voting:

Bryce Young, QB, Alabama – 137 points (42 first-place votes).

Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan – 67 (4).

Kenny Pickett, QB, Pitt – 41 (2).

Will Anderson Jr., LB, Alabama – 32 (4).

C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State – 17 (1).

Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State – 13.

Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia – 8.

Matt Corral, QB, Mississippi – 2.

Jerome Ford, RB, Cincinnati – 1.

Harper connects at buzzer, Rutgers shocks No. 1 Purdue 70-68

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) Ron Harper Jr.’s dad hit plenty of big shots in a career that included five NBA titles, so perhaps it was no surprise that Harper told his Rutgers teammates he’d send them home winners against No. 1 Purdue.

He backed up his words with the most stunning shot of the young college hoops season.

Harper hit a buzzer-beater from just inside half court, and Rutgers shocked Purdue in its first-ever game as the nation’s No. 1 team, winning 70-68 on Thursday night.

“Wow wow wow!” Magic Johnson tweeted.

Harper finished with a career-high 30 points on 10-of-15 shooting and 10 rebounds in a do-it-all performance for the Scarlet Knights (5-4, 1-1 Big Ten), who beat the top-ranked team for the first time in program history.

“When you go on the road, you gotta be 10 points better than somebody, because if you allow it to be close, crazy things can happen,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “Obviously, that was a once-in-a-lifetime shot, but we allowed it to be close.”

Purdue had gone ahead 68-67 on a layup by Trevion Williams with 4 seconds left. With no timeouts, Mawot Mag inbounded the ball to Harper, who dribbled across the half-court line and let it fly from the big “R” logo. The ball rattled through as time expired and Rutgers fans stormed the court.

“I huddled these guys up, and I’m like, God forbid they score, give me the ball, and I’m going to send them home,” said Harper, a 6-foot-6 senior who came in averaging 14.8 points per game. “Mawot found me quickly and I was able to cut up the court in like three seconds and I threw one up.”

Williams had 21 points and 11 rebounds off the bench for Purdue (8-1, 1-1 Big Ten), which was a unanimous No. 1 in this week’s AP Top 25, the program’s first time atop the poll. Its stay will be brief.

The lead changed hands three times in the final 13.1 seconds. Harper hit a turnaround jumper to put Rutgers ahead 67-66, its first lead since early in the second half.

“We just kept hanging around, fighting,” Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell said. “It didn’t look like it was going our way a few times and they just stayed the course and made big plays and made big stops.”

Purdue had a 10-point lead with 8 minutes left before Rutgers began chipping away.

Caleb McConnell made a turnaround jumper in the paint to get Rutgers within 65-63 with 2:07 remaining, and Mag pulled Rutgers within one on a dunk off a pass from Harper with 1:05 left.

McConnell had 12 points, five rebounds, and five assists for Rutgers, and Mag also scored 12 points. Jaden Ivey scored 15 points for Purdue, which has lost four straight to Rutgers.


Ron Harper Sr. was an elite scorer who became a role player and shutdown defender for Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls, winning three straight NBA titles from 1996-98.

The elder Harper added two more rings in his final two seasons with Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.

This week in 1984, Harper scored 30 points to help Miami (Ohio) beat Purdue.


Rutgers had several players sick this week with what Pikiell described as the flu, including senior captain Geo Baker, who was set to return from a hamstring injury after missing four games.

“Geo practiced yesterday,” Pikiell said. “He got the flu this morning and couldn’t play.”

The Rutgers starting five logged heavy minutes, and the Scarlet Knights got only five points from their reserves.


Purdue: The Boilermakers were off to another strong start, going 8-0 for the third time under Painter and looking like a Big Ten title contender. They’ll have to regroup after crumbling under the scrutiny of the No. 1 ranking.

Rutgers: After making the NCAA Tournament for the first time in the 30 years last season, it had been a rough start to the 2021-22 campaign, with losses at UMass and Big East bottom-feeder DePaul, as well as at home to Lafayette. Now the Scarlet Knights know they can beat anybody.


Purdue: Hosts North Carolina State on Sunday.

Rutgers: At rival No. 23 Seton Hall on Sunday.

Fleury earns 500th win in Chicago’s 2-0 win over Canadiens

MONTREAL (AP) Marc-Andre Fleury made 27 saves and earned his 500th career win as the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Montreal Canadiens 2-0 Thursday night.

As the clock reached zero, Blackhawks teammates rushed over to Fleury in celebration.

“It was really special. I really thought people in Montreal hated me after all these years of getting yelled at or booed,” Fleury said. “I never play my best games here. It’s always a rough night in Montreal.

“To finally get a win, the 500th win, with my friends and family in the arena and with the fans’ reception it’s heartwarming. It’s great to be able to achieve this in Montreal.”

With a shutout, Fleury joined Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy as the only NHL goaltenders to reach 500 career victories. Brodeur is the all-time leader with 691, Roy stands second with 551.

“For me, Patrick and Martin are the best,” Fleury said. “That’s what’s fun about hockey, I have fun and all but the feeling of getting a win, that’s what I’m looking for. For me the 500 was important, trying to beat Patrick isn’t as important.”

Interim Blackhawks coach Derek King said he’d never heard a crowd cheer for a visiting player like the Bell Centre fans did on Thursday.

While he recognizes his bias, King said Fleury has his place among the game’s great netminders.

“Roy and Brodeur are elite obviously but I don’t get why Fleury doesn’t get (recognition),” King said. “Eventually down the road when he retires he definitely should be a Hall of Famer.

“It’s unbelievable. Whether it’s like 50 home runs or 50 goals or getting over 100 points but this, you’re not going to see this often.”

Jonathan Toews and Henrik Borgstrom scored for Chicago. Patrick Kane and Seth Jones picked up assists.

Jake Allen had 23 saves for Montreal.

Kane had the opening goal on the tip in the final moments of the first period, intercepting Allen’s clearing try and scoring into an open net.

Toews scored at 13:48 of the second period on the power play. It was the Blackhawks captain’s first goal since the 2020 NHL playoffs in the Edmonton bubble.

Borgstrom added Chicago’s insurance goal 12 minute into the third period. He intercepted Alexander Romanov’s pass in front of Allen’s net and easily tapped his second goal of the season.

NOTES: The Canadiens broke a franchise record for most games in a calendar year, having played 106 regular-season and playoff games in 2021.


Blackhawks: At Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.

Canadiens: At St. Louis Blues on Saturday.

Arizona Coyotes pay overdue bills to avoid arena eviction

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) The Arizona Coyotes are all caught up on their bills. No eviction necessary.

The hockey team in the desert paid off its overdue taxes and other bills Thursday, a day after receiving word the city of Glendale was going to lock the Coyotes out of Gila River Arena if all outstanding debts to the city and the management company for the arena are not paid.

Glendale city manager Kevin Phelps sent a letter Wednesday informing the Coyotes they owed $1.3 million in taxes, including $250,000 to the city.

Phelps informed the Coyotes that the Arizona Department of Revenue had filed a notice of tax lien for unpaid state and city taxes owed by IceArizona, the Coyotes’ ownership company. Phelps also said in his letter that he had instructed ASM Global, which manages Gila River Arena, to not allow the Coyotes in the arena if the bills were not paid by 5 p.m. on Dec. 20.

The Coyotes issued a statement late Wednesday saying the unpaid bills were an unfortunate human error and they would rectify the situation quickly. They did on Thursday, avoiding what would have been an awkward turn in the franchise’s long journey to find a permanent home.

When the Coyotes first moved from Winnipeg in 1996, the team shared America West Arena with the NBA’s Phoenix Suns in downtown Phoenix. The team moved to Gila River Arena in 2003, but faced near-constant relocation rumors as ownership changed hands.

Former owner Jerry Moyes took the Coyotes into bankruptcy in 2009 and Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie put in a bid to purchase the team with the intention of moving it to Hamilton, Ontario. The NHL, wanting to keep the team in Arizona, put in a counter bid and a Phoenix judge ruled the team could not be sold to Balsillie to circumvent the NHL’s relocation rules.

The NHL ran the Coyotes for four seasons and the financial constraints associated with that took a toll, leading in part to a seven-year playoff drought.

A new ownership group brought new hope in 2013, but turmoil surfaced again in 2015, when the city of Glendale voted to terminate a 15-year, $225 million lease agreement with the Coyotes for Gila River Arena.

Plans for a new shared arena with Arizona State University fell through in 2017 and the franchise’s future in the Phoenix area continued to remain in doubt.

Andrew Barroway gave the Coyotes a bit more financial flexibility when he bought a majority stake in the team in 2017, but he sold the team to current owner Alex Meruelo, who has said he plans to keep the franchise the Phoenix area.

The Coyotes have been leasing Gila River Arena on an annual basis, but Glendale has announced it will not renew its agreement with the franchise beyond the 2021-22 season.

The team has submitted a bid for a tract of land in the suburb of Tempe in what could be its first step to finally landing a permanent home.


Holmes, Gulbe Pace No. 10 IU In Victory Over Fairfield

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Junior forward Mackenzie Holmes and senior forward Aleksa Gulbe each put up 20-plus points as No. 10 Indiana routed Fairfield, 91-58, on Thursday night inside Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.


Indiana (7-2) dictated the pace early on as it outscored Fairfield 24-4 after the game was tied 4-all in the first two minutes. It took a 26-8 lead after one behind a quarter-high nine points and four rebounds from Gulbe on an overall team clip of 71.4 percent from the field.

Fairfield (3-5) would manage to get 19 points on the board in the second quarter but the Hoosiers shot the ball as well going into the break, amassing a 64.3 percent field goal percentage to take a 51-27 halftime lead.

Three Hoosiers were already in double figures after the first 20 minutes, behind 14 points from senior guard Grace Berger who went 5-for-6 and had five rebounds.

The Hoosiers would limit the Stags to just a 16.7 percent from the field in the third quarter on 2-for-12 shooting. Continuing to heat up, IU went 6-for-10 in the third to stretch its lead to 71-38.

Freshman guard Kaitlin Peterson used her minutes to score a new career-high five points, all in the fourth quarter, and dish out three assist to go along with a season-high four points from junior forward Grace Waggoner to give the Hoosiers a boost from the bench.


Indiana’s 61.1 field goal percentage is the fifth-highest single game shooting percentage in school history. It’s the highest since the program shot 60.6 percent against Missouri State on Dec. 9, 2018.

Holmes led the Hoosiers with 23 points on 9-of-10 shooting from the field. It is the 15th time in her career Holmes has scored 20 or more points.

Gulbe came within a point of her career-high as she tallied 21 points and posted nine rebounds.

Berger poured in 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field.

Freshman guard Kaitlin Peterson had a career-high five points as she played 14 minutes for the Hoosiers.

The Hoosiers made 16 of their first 21 shots in the game.

Indiana used a 23-0 run in the first quarter to go up 25-4. They held Fairfield scoreless for 8:33 of game action. Mackenzie Holmes, Grace Berger and Aleksa Gulbe contributed 22 of the 23 points during the run. The trio combined for 39 of the Hoosiers 51 first half points.

The Hoosiers 51 points in the first half are their most points in a half this season (previous 50 vs. Kentucky). The Hoosiers shot 19-of-28 (67.9 percent) from the field in the first half.

The eight points given up by the Hoosiers in the first quarter is an opponent low for the first quarter this season.

Indiana has outscored their opponent by a combined 63 points in their last two games (70-40 against Penn State, 91-58 against Fairfield).

The Hoosiers held a 48-24 advantage in points in the paint.

Berger, Holmes and Gulbe combined for 63 points on 24-of-32 shooting from the field.

The Hoosiers shot over 50 percent from the field for the fifth game this season. The 61.1 percent shooting tonight is a season high.

Indiana has held all opponents under 70 points this season. The Hoosiers outrebounded Fairfield 44-19.


Indiana head coach Teri Moren

“Once again, it’s a great win. I can probably hit a rewind, tape recorder, just from the other night. I thought we did a lot of really good things, offensively. I thought we were really, really good defensively. The only category that I’m disappointed with is the fact that we continue to turn the ball over, so 19 turnovers is too much for our basketball team, some of those are charges, some of those are just bad decisions on our part, being careless. But that’s the only area tonight that my goal going into tonight’s game for our team was to stay under ten, just wanted single digits and we were still not able to do that, so we got to figure that out and do so much better with taking care of the basketball. But I thought overall shooting 61 percent from the field, lot of good things. I thought we took them out of everything they wanted to do, that’s a great offensive team, veteran team that runs a lot of actions and so you’re always on alert, you can never be away from the ball and relax. I thought our kids with just the one-day prep, I know there was two, but we gave them a day off right after the Penn State game just to rest and then we resumed. We watched film and then just had the one practice yesterday to go through all of their stuff, so Coach Rhet (Wierzba) made sure that they were ready tonight for a really good Fairfield team, and I thought our kids executed on a really high level which was really nice to see.”


Indiana travels to No. 21/22 Ohio State on Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on Big Ten Network.

Walt Bell Named Offensive Coordinator

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana head football coach Tom Allen announced the hiring of Walt Bell as the program’s offensive coordinator on Thursday afternoon. Bell will also coach the quarterbacks.

Bell served as the head coach at the University of Massachusetts for the last three seasons after five campaigns as an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Arkansas State University (2014-15), the University of Maryland (2016-17), and Florida State University (2018).

“Walt checked all the boxes that we were looking for,” Allen said. “His experience, creativity, and leadership make him an ideal fit. I was looking for someone to be the leader of the offense and Walt will be that. We welcome him and his family to Bloomington.”

Bell brings 15 years of overall experience with additional stints at the University of North Carolina (2012-13), University of Southern Miss (2010-11), Oklahoma State University (2009), and the University of Memphis (2007-08).

“I’m incredibly excited to work for a man like Tom Allen” Bell said. “Everyone I’ve talked with has raved about Indiana, and I’m ready to start building relationships with our players and working with this staff. I’m really looking forward to coaching in the Big Ten again and can’t wait to get started.”

In his lone season in Tallahassee, FSU ranked second in the ACC and 28th nationally with 270.1 passing yards per game. Deondre Francois finished the year with 2,731 passing yards and 15 touchdowns.

Bell managed the Terrapins as they rotated through four quarterbacks due to injuries in 2017. Maryland was one of just two teams in the nation to win at least three games with three different starting QBs. Despite the injuries, Bell’s offense ranked in the Top-20 nationally for fewest turnovers (14), which shared a school record.

Big Ten Receiver of the Year D.J. Moore broke the program’s single-season mark with 80 receptions. Moore also led the league with 1,033 receiving yards, as he became the Terps third 1,000-yard receiver. The Carolina Panthers selected Moore with the 24th pick in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

The previous season the Terrapins rushed for 2,594 yards, the school’s seventh 2,500-yard campaign and the first since 2003, and 26 rushing TDs, the program’s most in a decade. Perry Hills led the conference in completion percentage and was second in passing efficiency.

During Bell’s 26-game tenure at Arkansas State, the Red Wolves eclipsed 500 yards of total offense 11 times and 400 yards 18 times. The 2015 team sat 12th nationally averaging 40.0 points and totaled eight All-Sun Belt selections.

ASU set single-season school marks with 6,194 total yards, an average of 476.5 yards per game, 1,024 plays, 477 points, and 65 touchdowns in 2014. The team ranked 18th in the country in scoring (36.7), 20th in total offense, and 25th in rushing (216.4).

Bell oversaw the tight ends and was the recruiting coordinator in Chapel Hill. He was a part of an offense that broke 35 program records. The 2013 team averaged 432.4 total yards and 277.4 through the air.

In 2012, UNC won the ACC’s Coastal Division and closed 14th in the nation with 485.6 total yards. Bell helped pull in two recruiting classes that ranked in the ACC’s Top 5.

Tight end Eric Ebron, currently with the Pittsburgh Steelers, was picked 10th overall in the 2014 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. Ebron twice earned All-ACC acclaim and was a first-team All-American in 2013 after he corralled an ACC tight end record 973 yards. He tripled his freshman year output and finished with 40 receptions for 625 yards in his first year under Bell’s tutelage.

Bell was an offensive graduate assistant in 2010 before he was promoted to wide receivers coach in 2011 at Southern Miss. The Golden Eagles won the 2011 Conference USA championship and the Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl with a school-record 12 wins. Their offense ranked 14th nationally in scoring and 17th in total offense. Southern Miss racked up program records with 5,894 yards and 453.4 per game in 2010.

As a quality control coach in Stillwater, the Cowboys finished 9-4 and played in the Cotton Bowl. Bell began his career as a graduate assistant at Memphis, where he helped the Tigers to back-to-back bowl appearances.

A native of Dickson, Tenn., Bell was a four-year letterman at Middle Tennessee State University. He played wide receiver and earned two degrees, as he graduated in 2005 with a bachelor’s in criminal justice administration and in 2006 with a master’s in sport management.

Celentano, Munie Earn All-America Selections

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana junior goalkeeper Roman Celentano and redshirt junior defender Daniel Munie earned United Soccer Coaches All-America accolades, the organization announced Thursday (Dec. 9).

The United Soccer Coaches named Celentano a second team selection while Munie picked up third team honors.

A total of 24 programs are represented on the list of 35 All-America picks. Indiana is one of eight programs with multiple selections.

IU men’s soccer has placed at least one player on an All-America team in eight straight seasons and 11 of the last 12 campaigns. The Hoosiers have now had 49 players earn 77 All-America plaudits.

This fall, Celentano and Munie anchored one of the nation’s top defenses that collected 13 clean sheets as a team, including a seven-match shutout streak in October that stands as the second-longest single-season streak in program history.


All-America Second Team

The first-ever repeat Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year, Celentano’s 11 shutouts rank No. 3 in the country and No. 1 in the Big Ten.

With IU’s 2-0 victory in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, Celentano became the 12th Indiana goalkeeper to reach 37 career wins and the 10th to record 28 career cleans sheets. Through three seasons, Celentano owns a 37-10-5 record and has conceded just 33 goals over 52 matches (0.62 goals allowed average).

The Naperville, Illinois, native earned Big Ten Player of the Week honors on October 19, in the middle of IU’s shutout streak, after leading Indiana to a pair of clean sheet victories against conference opponents Ohio State (3-0) and Penn State (1-0). The next week, Celentano was selected to the College Soccer News Team of the Week while helping the Hoosiers hold Wisconsin scoreless through 106 minutes before a golden goal gave IU its sixth straight win.

Celentano’s heroics helped Indiana return to the Big Ten Tournament final for the fifth straight season. In the 95th minute of the semifinal match against Northwestern, Celentano made three spectacular saves within the span of about six seconds to keep the match scoreless in overtime. IU would win three minutes later via golden goal.


All-America Third Team

Munie became the fourth Hoosier in the last five seasons to earn the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year award, following Grant Lillard (2017), Andrew Gutman (2018) and Jack Maher (2019). The Maryland Heights, Missouri, native also won three Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week awards, tied for most in the league.

While keeping opponents off the scoresheet, Munie also found a way to contribute to the Hoosier offense by collecting three goals and three assists. Munie tallied goals in back-to-back matches against No. 16 Akron and Rutgers, then again versus Trine. Munie distributed his assists in key situations, with one leading to a match-tying goal and two serving match-winning scores.

Of the 725 consecutive minutes that IU shut out its opponents in October, Munie missed just 75 minutes over two matches, and in both situations the Hoosiers held at least a four-goal lead. On October 26, Munie was selected to the Top Drawer Soccer Team of the Week and the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week after shutting out Wisconsin for 106 minutes and assisting Tommy Mihalic’s golden goal.


Both Celentano and Munie were invited to the adidas MLS College Showcase, set for December 10-12, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, along with junior forward Herbert Endeley. The event will allow MLS clubs to scout and interact with potential MLS SuperDraft selections across different stages of their collegiate careers without jeopardizing players’ collegiate eligibility.

Rutgers’ Buzzer-Beater Ends No. 1 Purdue’s Unbeaten Start

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Ron Harper Jr. hit a buzzer-beater from just inside half court, and Rugers shocked Purdue in its first-ever game as the nation’s No. 1 team, winning 70-68 Thursday night.

Harper finished with 30 points on 10-of-15 shooting and 10 rebounds for the Scarlet Knights, a do-it-all performance that concluded with the most stunning shot of the college hoops season thus far. Rutgers (5-4, 1-1 Big Ten) beat the top-ranked team for the first time in program history.

Purdue had gone ahead 68-67 on a layup by Trevion Williams with 4 seconds left. With no timeouts, Rutgers inbounded the ball to Harper, who dribbled across the half-court line and let it fly from the big “R” logo. The ball went through as time expired, and Rutgers fans stormed the court.

Williams scored 21 points off the bench for Purdue (8-1, 1-1 Big Ten), which was a unanimous No. 1 in this week’s AP Top 25, the program’s first time atop the poll. Its stay will be brief.

Ron Harper Jr.’s buzzer-beater capped a wild finish in which the lead changed three times in the final 13.1 seconds.

The lead changed hands three times in the final 13.1 seconds. Harper hit a turnaround jumper to put Rutgers ahead 67-66, its first lead since early in the second half.

Purdue had a 10-point lead with 8 minutes left before Rutgers began chipping away.

Caleb McConnell made a turnaround jumper in the paint to get Rutgers within 65-63 with 2:07 remaining, and Mawot Mag pulled Rutgers within one on a dunk off a pass from Harper with 1:05 left.

McConnell had 12 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists for Rutgers. Jaden Ivey scored 15 points for Purdue.


Purdue: The Boilermakers were off to another strong start under coach Matt Painter, going 8-0 for the third time under his tutelage and looking like a Big Ten title contender. They’ll have to regroup after crumbling under the scrutiny of the No. 1 ranking.

Rutgers: After making the NCAA tournament for the first time in 30 years last season, the Scarlet Knights had a rough start to the 2021-22 campaign, with losses at UMass and Big East bottom-feeder DePaul, as well as at home to Lafayette. Now they know they can beat anybody.

(Postgame Notes)

Rutgers defeated No. 1-ranked Purdue 70-68 on a last-second, half-court shot by Ron Harper Jr. The loss ended Purdue’s unbeaten start at 8-0, the best start since starting 11-0 in the 2015-16 season.

The Boilermakers were playing their first game as the nation’s top-ranked team.

Purdue was one of the nation’s last 10 unbeaten teams and the last remaining unbeaten team in the Big Ten.

The Boilermakers haven’t started conference play 2-0 since the 2016-17 season.

Purdue was outscored at the free throw line 13-11, the first time all season Purdue was outscored at the charity stripe.

Purdue fell to 133-15 under Coach Painter when winning the rebound and turnover battles. Purdue was +8 on the glass and +4 in turnovers.

Purdue outscored Rutgers in second-chance points and points off turnovers by a 38-8 margin.

Purdue shot a season-low 41.0 percent from the field and 26.9 percent from 3-point range.

Trevion Williams recorded his 25th career double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds in 23 minutes of action.

Purdue’s two centers, Zach Edey and Trevion Williams, combined for 34 points and 17 rebounds while shooting 14-of-25 from the field. The rest of the team had 34 points while going 11-of-36 from the field.

Fifth-Set Comeback Fuels No. 6 Purdue to Regional Finals

PITTSBURGH – The No. 6 Purdue Boilermakers stunned the No. 11 seeded BYU Cougars with a fifth set comeback after falling behind 10-14 and fending off four match points in the final set to win 3-1 (25-12, 16-25, 21-25, 25-13, 18-16).

The Boilermakers out-scored the Cougars 8-2 over the final 10 points to solidify the comeback as one of the best in program history. Libero Jena Otec went on a serving tear despite the Cougars looking for match point (11-14). Otec served up two straight aces to help the Boilermakers go on a 4-0 run to bring the score to 14-15. In true Boilermaker fashion, match point came on a block assist by freshman Raven Colvin and junior Emma Ellis.

The seniors and super-seniors led the charge, combining for 45 kills. Caitlyn Newton led the team with 20 kills (20-12-58) on her way to a .138 % to go alongside seven digs and three total blocks. Meanwhile, Grace Cleveland put down 14 kills (14-3-29) for a .379 clip.

The middles shone, with Colvin’s 11 kills, 3 errors on 18 swings (.444) and senior Jael Johnson, who led the team in efficiency with an errorless .588% (10-0-17).

Setter Hayley Bush tallied 54 assists, eight digs and six total blocks. Bush’s 54 assists came three shy of tying the Purdue NCAA tournament record.

The fifth set victory marked only the second time in school history the Boilermakers needed extra points to win in the fifth set, (vs. Louisville in the First Round, W, 16-14). Meanwhile, the team’s nine aces tied a season-high.

Purdue will take on the host, No. 3 Pittsburgh on Saturday, December 11 at 4 p.m. ET. The match will air live on ESPNU.

Bell, Karlaftis Earn Walter Camp All-America Honors

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – For the first time since 1972, multiple Boilermakers were named All-Americans by the Walter Camp Football Foundation. Purdue wide receiver David Bell earned First Team All-America accolades, while defensive end George Karlaftis collected Second Team All-America honors.

The Walter Camp All-America teams were announced Thursday night on ESPN as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show. With Bell and Karlaftis making the lists, the duo became the first pair of Boilermakers to be tabbed Walter Camp All-Americans in the same season since Otis Armstrong (halfback) and Dave Butz (defensive tackle) in 1972.

As the Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year, the best receiver in the Big Ten, Bell’s accolades continue to add up from a stellar junior campaign. Bell was one of the best receivers nationwide as a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award. He broke the 17-year drought of a Purdue wide receiver landing on the Walter Camp All-America list, as Taylor Stubblefield became an All-American following a 2004 season in which he was a Biletnikoff Award finalist as well.

Bell leads the Big Ten in catches per game (8.5) and receiving yards per game (116.9), ranking second and fourth in the country, respectively. With 1,286 receiving yards on the year, the Indianapolis native’s total sits second in program history, just 21 yards shy of the school record for a single season.

Eclipsing the 100-yard plateau in seven of his 11 games in 2021, Bell set a new Purdue record with 17 career 100-yard receiving games. He also ranks in the school’s all-time Top 10 for receptions (4th), receiving yards (5th) and receiving touchdowns (T-5th). Bell has averaged an FBS-leading 101.6 receiving yards per game for his career, the only active receiver in triple digits. His 8.0 receptions per game is currently the 2nd-most for an active NCAA career.

Bell torched No. 2 Iowa (Oct. 16) with 11 catches for 240 yards, the 2nd-most receiving yards ever by a Boilermaker in a single game. He added another 200-yard day against No. 3 Michigan State (Nov. 6), hauling in 11 receptions for 217 yards and a touchdown to lead Purdue to another Top-5 win. With the pair of performances, Bell joined Brian Alford as the only Boilermakers with multiple 200-yard receiving games in a season.

Bell started his 2021 campaign with a 134-yard, eight-catch effort vs. Oregon State (Sept. 4) before following it up with a 121-yard, six-catch, three-touchdown outing at UConn (Sept. 11). His three touchdowns versus the Huskies matched a career high, and he became only the second Purdue wide receiver to record multiple games with three receiving touchdowns.

Joining Ryan Kerrigan (2010), the last Boilermaker to earn Walter Camp All-America honors prior to this season, Karlaftis became another All-American defensive lineman for Purdue. The West Lafayette, Indiana, native was one of the best defensive players in the Big Ten all season long, exemplified as a semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award that is given to the defensive player of the year. He is also a finalist for the Ted Hendricks Award, given to the top defensive end in college football.

Karlaftis led the Boilermakers in tackles for loss (11.5), sacks (5.0), forced fumbles (3), fumble recoveries (2) and quarterback hurries (8). The Purdue defensive end was a consensus First Team All-Big Ten honoree, earning all-conference honors for the second time in his career. Karlaftis became the first Boilermaker on the defensive side of the ball to be tabbed First Team All-Big Ten since defensive tackle Kawann Short in 2012. His 11.5 tackles for loss ranked seventh in the Big Ten, as Karlaftis recorded at least 1.0 TFL in eight of nine conference games. The junior was one of only four Big Ten defenders to force at least three fumbles throughout the 2021 campaign.

Perhaps his most memorable play of the season was a 56-yard fumble return for a touchdown against Wisconsin (Oct. 23). Karlaftis was a force in some of Purdue’s biggest wins. In a road victory at No. 2 Iowa (Oct. 16), the edge rusher produced 12 pressures to help the Boilermakers hand the Hawkeyes their first loss of the season. Facing another unbeaten team at the time, Karlaftis’ forced fumble and fumble recovery helped Purdue knock off No. 3 Michigan State at home (Nov. 6).

Making an impact on special teams as well, Karlaftis blocked the first field goal of his career in a win over Northwestern at Wrigley Field (Nov. 20); it was the first field goal blocked by a Boilermaker since 2018.

Both Bell and Karlaftis announced earlier this week that they will forego their senior seasons and declare for the 2022 NFL Draft. The two Boilermakers left their mark during their final year in West Lafayette, helping lead Purdue to eight victories for the first time since 2007 and a second-place finish in the Big Ten West.

Bell’s Honors (As of Dec. 9, 2021)

Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year

Biletnikoff Award Finalist

First Team All-America (Walter Camp Football Foundation, CBS Sports, ESPN)

Second Team All-America (The Athletic)

First Team All-Big Ten (Coaches, Media, AP)

Second Team All-Big Ten (PFF)

Karlaftis’ Honors (As of Dec. 9, 2021)

Second Team All-America (Walter Camp Football Foundation, The Athletic, CBS Sports)

First Team All-Big Ten (Coaches, Media, AP, PFF)

Ted Hendricks Award Finalist

Chuck Benarick Award Semifinalist

Lott IMPACT Trophy Semifinalist

Andrews Selected in Rule 5 Draft, Traded to Giants

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Even with much of the professional baseball world on pause, Wednesday proved to be an eventful day for Tanner Andrews as the Purdue baseball alumnus was selected in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 Draft and traded later in the day.

Pitching in the Miami Marlins organization since being selected in the 10th round of the 2018 MLB Draft, Andrews was picked by the Atlanta Braves in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft only to be traded to the San Francisco Giants two hours later. The Giants lost a league-high seven players in the Rule 5 on Wednesday.

Andrews (2015-18) pitched 258 innings over 60 appearances during his accomplished Purdue career, serving as the team’s Opening Day starter in three straight seasons and the program’s staff ace as an upperclassman. He was an All-Big Ten and Big Ten All-Tournament Team honoree as a senior in 2018 while helping lead the Boilermakers to 38 victories and an NCAA Regional bid. Andrews’ 2.94 ERA was the first sub-3.00 mark by a Purdue starting pitcher since Chadd Blasko in 2002.

While the MLB lockout postponed the Major League portion of the Rule 5 Draft, the Triple-A phase went off as scheduled Wednesday. Triple-A rosters are capped at 38 players and an organization has to have Triple-A roster spots available to select players in the MiLB portion of the Rule 5. However, Rule 5 draftees do not need to open the following season at the Triple-A level and therefore the trade to the Giants organization doesn’t necessarily have an impact on where Andrews will play in 2022.

The Rule 5 Draft aims to prevent teams from stockpiling too many young players on their minor league affiliates when other organizations would be willing to provide those players with an opportunity to move up a class or potentially play in the majors.

After the MiLB season was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Andrews began his 2021 campaign at the Double-A level with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos in the Marlins system. But after pitching in four games, he suffered an injury and underwent season-ending elbow surgery (Tommy John) in July. Andrews was an effective starter in 2019, his first full year of pro ball, posting a 3.50 ERA and .211 batting average against with 110 strikeouts vs. 100 hits allowed in 128 2/3 innings.

Dan Sattler (2004-07) is believed to be the last Boilermaker selected in the Rule 5 Draft, picked by the Los Angeles Angels in the Triple-A phase in December 2010. Sattler pitched in pro ball for 10 years, reaching Triple-A in the Minnesota Twins system and winning an American Association championship with the Wichita Wingnuts in 2014.


• Before the MLB lockout went into effect Dec. 2 at 12:01 a.m. ET, Kevin Plawecki (2010-12) opted to re-sign with the Boston Red Sox on a one-year contact to avoid arbitration. Plawecki has posted a .305 batting average and .364 on-base percentage over 88 games and 262 plate appearances in his two seasons with the Red Sox. The clubhouse and fan favorite helped Boston reach the ALCS this year, starting the AL Wild Card Game victory vs. the New York Yankees and four postseason games total. In the process, he became Purdue’s first position player alumnus to see action in a postseason game since Archi Cianfrocco in 1996 with the San Diego Padres. Including his time with the New York Mets (2015-18), Plawecki has now been on an active roster for every marquee event of the postseason – World Series, ALCS, NLCS, ALDS, NLDS, AL Wild Card Game and NL Wild Card Game.

• Purdue all-time saves leader Nick Wittgren (2011-12) ended the Boilermakers’ MLB postseason appearance drought in 2020 when he pitched for Cleveland in a playoff series vs. the Yankees. Wittgren was back with the Cleveland this season but is now a free agent after the newly renamed Guardians outrighted the right-hander off their 40-man roster in early November. On Instagram, Wittgren shared his appreciation for his successful run in Cleveland, writing “the past three years have been some of the most memorable years of my life. Thank you to Cleveland’s first-class organization from top to bottom – the coaching staff, all of my teammates and brothers – for everything they’ve done for me and my family.” From 2018 through 2020, Wittgren compiled a 2.97 ERA and 119 strikeouts vs. 94 hits allowed over 115 innings with Miami and Cleveland. That effectiveness as a reliever should earn him another major league contract once the lockout comes to an end.


SOUTH BEND, Ind. — University of Notre Dame football safety Kyle Hamilton was named a First Team All-American by the Walter Camp Football Foundation Thursday night. It is the second-straight season that Hamilton has been named an All-American by Walter Camp.

Hamilton leads the Irish with three interceptions and has 35 tackles and four pass breakups in seven games this season. Earlier in the season, he was named a First Team Midseason All-America selection by the Associated Press, Sporting News, CBS Sports,, The Athletic and Athlon Sports.

Hamilton opened the season with two interceptions in Notre Dame’s road-overtime win over Florida State. He was the first Irish player to have two interceptions in a game since Alohi Gilman in 2018 against Syracuse. For his efforts against the Seminoles, he earned LOTT Impact Player of the Week honors.

In the Irish’s home win over Purdue, Hamilton tied a career high with 10 tackles, including one to halt a Purdue fourth down conversion attempt in the first half. Later in the fourth quarter, Hamilton recorded his third interception of the season in the red zone to thwart a Purdue comeback attempt. Following his performance against the Boilermakers, he garnered player of the week awards from Walter Camp, Athlon, Pro Football Focus and was named the Bednarik Award Player of the Week.

Prior to the season, Hamilton was named a preseason first team All-American by Walter Camp and Associated Press.

Notre Dame Hockey: #8 Irish Close Semester At Home Against The Spartans

WHO: #8/8 Notre Dame (11-4-0, 5-3-0-2-0-0 B1G/13 pts.) vs. Michigan State (9-6-1, 4-4-0-0-0-0 B1G/12 pts. )

WHEN: Friday, Dec. 10 at 7:30 p.m. ET // Saturday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. ET

WHERE: Compton Family Ice Arena

WATCH: NBCSN and the NBC App (Friday and Saturday)

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The Irish close out the first semester with a weekend home series against Michigan State at the Compton Family Ice Arena (Dec. 10-11).

Notre Dame is coming off a weekend split with Ohio State, including a 5-1 game two win (Dec. 4), while the Spartans split a road series at Penn State including a 4-3 game two win (Dec. 4).

Notre Dame is fourth in the Big Ten standings (5-3-0-2-0-0/13 points in 8 GP), while Michigan State is fifth (4-4-0-0-0-0/12 points in 8 GP).

Ryder Rolston had a goal and an assist in each game versus the Buckeyes en route to being named the Big Ten’s Second Star of the Week (Dec. 8).

In the game two victory, Rolston netted his team-leading third game-winning goal of the season (his three game winners rank tied for sixth in the NCAA).

The Irish have won seven of their last games dating back to the beginning of November.

Max Ellis has an active career-long, nine-game point streak (8-5-13) and he has at least one point in 13 of Notre Dame’s 15 games this season.

Rolston has an active career-long, seven-game point streak (5-6-11).

Nick Leivermann has an active career-long, six-game point streak (2-7-9).

In addition, Graham Slaggert has a three-game point streak (1-2-3), while Landon Slaggert has a two-game point streak (1-1-2).

In 15 games, Ellis leads the team with 11 goals and 20 points and is tied for second on the team lead with nine assists.

Ellis’ 11 goals rank tied for sixth in the NCAA, while his 20 points are tied for 17th (15th in points per game at 1.333) and he is tied for the NCAA lead with two shorthanded goals this season.

Rolston ranks second on the team with six goals, followed by Trevor Janicke (5) and Graham Slaggert (5).

Rolston leads the Irish with 10 assists, followed by Ellis (9) Adam Karashik (9) and Nick Leivermann (9).

All told, 13 Notre Dame players have scored so far this season, while 18 have at least one point.

The Irish are 8-1-0 when scoring first this season.

Notre Dame’s penalty kill is 54-for-59 on the season (.9153), which ranks second in the NCAA.

The Irish are averaging 3.62 goals per game, which ranks ninth in the NCAA (second in the Big Ten) and are also holding opponents to 1.97 goals-against per game, which ranks sixth nationally (first in the Big Ten).

Notre Dame has made each of the last five NCAA Tournaments, the longest streak in program history, and eight of the last 11 NCAA Tournaments overall.


Former Irish forward Alex Steeves (2018-21) made his NHL debut for the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday, Dec. 7 against Columbus (and former Notre Dame teammate Andrew Peeke) in a 5-4 Toronto win.

Peeke and Steeves played together during the 2018-19 season.

Steeves, who earned Second Team All-Big Ten honors in 2020-21, had 12 points in 12 games with the Marlies this season – his first as a professional. 

Steeves became the 25th former Irish player under head coach Jeff Jackson to reach the NHL and the Notre Dame program’s 39th NHL player overall.

The most recent Notre Dame players to make their NHL debuts were Jordan Gross, Peeke, Jake Evans and Thomas DiPauli during the 2019-20 season.


Forward Graham Slaggert and defenseman Spencer Stastney have been named two of the 20 candidates for the 2021-22 Senior CLASS Award®.

The Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete, who must have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition. The Notre Dame hockey program consistently produces finalists for the national award, including past winners David Brown (2007) and Jake Evans (2018).

The 20 candidates will be narrowed to ten finalists later in the season. Those ten names will then be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one candidate who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character, and competition.

The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2022 NCAA Men’s Frozen Four® in April.


This season, teams are awarded three points in the conference standings for a win in regulation.

If the game is tied following regulation, both teams will receive one point, with a second point being awarded to the team that wins in either the 3-on-3 overtime period or the shootout.

The conference standings now match a national standard: W-L-T-OTW-OTL-SOW.


Sophomore forward Landon Slaggert has been named to the 2022 U.S. National Junior Team Preliminary Roster (Team USA’s training camp at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan will start on December 12).

The 2022 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship will take place in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta from Dec. 26, 2021- January 5, 2022.

Slaggert will be looking to make Team USA for the second consecutive season as he was part of last season’s gold medal winning Team USA.

At last season’s World Junior Tournament, Slaggert skated in all seven games for Team USA and became the first Fighting Irish player to medal at the event since 2018 – when current Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Andrew Peeke helped the U.S. secure the bronze in Buffalo.

Slaggert’s gold marked the eighth medal by a Notre Dame player at the event as he also joined Anders Bjork (bronze in 2016), Mario Lucia (gold in 2013), Kyle Palmieri (gold in 2010 and bronze in 2011), Kyle Lawson (bronze in 2007) and Ben Simon (silver in 1997).

Slaggert was the 23rd Notre Dame player to take part in the World Junior Championship and the South Bend, Indiana native will look to join Palmieri (2010/11), Ian Cole (2008/09), Rob Globke (2001/02), Connor Dunlop (2000/01), Simon (1997/98) and Jack Brownschidle (1977/79) as two-time Irish participants.


Former CCHA rivals, the Irish and Spartans have met 131 times dating back to their first meeting in 1926, which was played at the University Rink in East Lansing, Michigan (Notre Dame won the first game, 3-1).

All-time, the Spartans lead the series 69-47-15.

The first meetings as a Notre Dame varsity sport were in the 1970-71 season when the Spartans came to South Bend and split a weekend series: Michigan State took the first game 10-5, before the Irish bounced back for a 4-3 victory the second night.

Since the turn of the century (2000-01 season), the Irish hold the advantage as Notre Dame is 24-21-10 against Michigan State since 2000.

Of those 55 games, 12 have gone to overtime and 17 have been decided by a single goal.

Since joining the Big Ten, Notre Dame is 10-4-4 against Michigan State.

The teams most recently met on Feb. 26-27, 2021 at Michigan State with the Irish posting back-to-back 2-0 shutout victories to sweep that road series.

In game one, Landon Slaggert and Alex Steeves score, while Dylan St. Cyr made 27 saves.

Then in game two, Landon Slaggert scored again as well as Colin Theisen, and St. Cyr stopped all 29 shots he faced.

Irish head coach Jeff Jackson is 33-19-12 all-time against his alma mater Michigan State (including his time at Lake Superior State).

Jackson graduated from Michigan State in 1978 with a degree in communications, followed by an education degree in 1979.

Jackson coached current Michigan State head coach Danton Cole and current Spartan assistant Chris Luongo during their junior hockey days with the Detroit Falcons and then Jackson also coached Cole during the 1983-84 season with the Fraser Flags of the Great Lakes Junior Hockey League (GLJHL).

The current Notre Dame roster features Michigan natives: Max Ellis (Canton, Michigan) and Ryder Rolston (Birmingham, Michigan).

Notre Dame’s career offensive leaders against the Spartans include Graham Slaggert (14 GP, 3-5-8), Spencer Stastney (14 GP, 0-4-4) and Nick Leivermann (13 GP, 1-3-4).

In net, Ryan Bischel is 0-1-1 with a 2.37 goals against average and a .896 save percentage against the Spartans.

Hannahs, Sycamores announce 2022 Baseball Schedule

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State head baseball coach Mitch Hannahs announced the Sycamores’ 2022 baseball schedule on Thursday afternoon.

The full schedule features a 23-game home slate at Bob Warn Field, while trips to East Carolina, Vanderbilt, and a pair of tournaments in Florida highlight Indiana State’s ninth season with Hannahs at the helm of the program.

Indiana State heads into the 2022 season looking to build off the momentum over the last three seasons as the Sycamores picked up back-to-back bids to the NCAA Tournament, including an at-large selection in 2021 after a 31-21 overall record on the year.

“We’re looking forward to another competitive schedule this season and it will start over the opening weekends with solid competition in Florida,” Hannahs said. “This schedule will help the team prepare for the rigors of the upcoming season and will provide us with the opportunity to keep developing with the goal of returning to the postseason again.

The Sycamores open up the 2022 season at the Snowbird Baseball Classic in Port Charlotte, Fla. over the February 18-20 weekend. Indiana State will take on Brigham Young, Ohio State (twice) and Marshall over the three-day event at Centennial Park to open up the campaign.

From there, the Sycamores will be back in Florida the ensuing weekend as ISU takes on Merrimack on Friday, February 25 in Port Charlotte at Centennial Park. The Sycamores will also take on Minnesota on Saturday and Sunday with the location still to be determined.

Indiana State closes out its tournament slate to open the season at Lewis Field at Clark-LeClair Stadium in Greenville, N.C. as the Sycamores travel to East Carolina University on the weekend of March 4-6. ISU will open the weekend against the host Pirates on Friday, before taking on Maryland and Michigan in single games on Saturday and Sunday to close out the trip.

ISU remains on the road for a weekend series at Wright State on March 11-13 in Dayton, Ohio, before the Sycamores make their home debut on March 15-16 against Southeast Missouri State. From there, the Sycamores continue their homestand with a three-game weekend series against Kansas on March 18-20.

A road trip to Indiana (Mar. 22) breaks up the home swing, before the Sycamores return to Bob Warn Field for a three-game set against Memphis on March 25-27 and a single game against Purdue on March 30.

Conference play start as the calendar turns to April as the Sycamores welcome the Redbirds of Illinois State for a three-game series on April 1-3. The Sycamores head back on the road for a Wednesday afternoon contest at Purdue (Apr. 4), before returning to conference play at Valparaiso, Ind. for a three-game set against the Valparaiso Beacons on April 8-10.

ISU returns home to Bob Warn Field on April 12 and April 19 as the Sycamores welcome both Indiana and Illinois to Terre Haute for midweek contests. The Sycamores remain at home on April 22-24 in conference play against Evansville and April 29-May 1 against Missouri State, before traveling to Illinois to complete the home-and-home series with the Fighting Illini on May 3.

The trip to Illinois opens up an eight-game road trip that will feature series at Bradley (May 6-8) and Southern Illinois (May 13-15) that sandwich a familiar foe on May 10. The Sycamores will be heading back to the site of their most recent NCAA Regional appearances on May 10 as ISU travels to Hawkins Field in Nashville, Tenn. to take on Vanderbilt in a single game.

ISU wraps up the 2022 season at home on May 19-21 with a key series against Dallas Baptist as the Sycamores will recognize the 2022 senior class over the weekend.

The 2022 Missouri Valley Conference Baseball Championships will take place at Hammons Field on the campus of Missouri State University on May 24-28.

Purdue Fort Wayne Falls to Southeast Missouri on the Road

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – The Purdue Fort Wayne women’s basketball team fell to the Southeast Missouri Redhawks 68-51 on Thursday night (Dec. 9) in the Show Me Center.

Amellia Bromenschenkel had a career-high 12 points and nine rebounds to lead Purdue Fort Wayne. She was 5-of-10 from the floor, 2-of-5 from 3-point range, and recorded two steals without committing a turnover.

The ‘Dons jumped out to a 12-9 lead after Audra Emmerson drilled one of her season-high three 3-pointers in the first quarter. The two teams traded short scoring spurts to head into the second.

After forcing a shot clock violation, Bromenschenkel hit a a layup on the other end to cut the SEMO lead to 18-17. The Mastodons took a 22-20 lead when Bromenschenkel drilled a 3-pointer from the left side.

The Mastodons held SEMO to 2-of-13 shooting in the second quarter; the ‘Dons kept the Redhawks from scoring a field goal for an eight-minute stretch. This segment included nine missed shots in a row.

Jazzlyn Linbo had all eight of her points in the last 5:29 of the third quarter.

After SEMO led by as many as 17 in the third quarter, the Mastodons cut the lead down to seven after Bromenschenkel hit a triple in the fourth. This was the Mastodons’ third 3-pointer in a three-minute spell.

SEMO had a 13-0 run down the stretch to balloon the lead.

The Mastodons fall to 4-5. Southeast Missouri goes to 4-6. Purdue Fort Wayne will take the court again on Sunday (Dec. 12) when they visit No. 22 Notre Dame.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The IUPUI basketball team will play its lone road game during the month of December on Friday night (Dec. 10) when the Jaguars venture south to face Tennessee State (1-6) at 6:00 p.m. Central. The game will cap a home-and-home series as the Jaguars defeated the Tigers in Indianapolis last season, 69-66.

Both teams have yet to secure a win against Division I competition this season as the Jags are 1-7 overall and TSU is 1-6. Graduate transfer B.J. Maxwell has emerged as the Jaguars’ top threat, checking in at a team-high 13.1 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. Maxwell, a 6-foot-5 guard, has topped IUPUI in scoring in all seven games in which he’s appeared, scoring in double-figures six times, which includes each of his past five games. The Jags are still seeking a second fiddle and are hoping Music City may help provide that answer. Nine different guys have been the Jags’ second leading scorer in game this season with Jonah Carrasco, Bobby Harvey and Boston Stanton IIII each doing so twice. Behind Maxwell’s 13 points per game, IUPUI has nine players averaging between three and six points per game.

In order to get on the winning side of the ledger, the Jags will have to lean on a defense that ranks 51st nationally in scoring defense at 61.5 points allowed per game. IUPUI has been tough on the boards, outrebounding foes by more than two caroms per game, but will need to cut down on the turnovers to help kickstart the attack. The Jags rank among the nation’s worst in terms of ball control in both turnovers and turnover ratio. Of the regulars in the rotation, only Mike DePersia (2.50 a/to) and Harvey (1.17 a/to) have an assist-to-turnover ratio better than one.


I think we’re still trying to identify ourselves. B.J. Maxwell’s got to show that he wants to be the lead horse and now we need to identify those second and third guys and right now, nobody has really taken that role and been consistent,” Crenshaw said following the home loss to Oakland on Dec. 4.


Like IUPUI, Tennessee State enters the game with just one win on the season, with the victory having come against a non-Division I opponent. The Tigers are 1-2 at home on the year with an emphatic win over Fisk University by a 111-56 score and defeats to Norfolk State and Southern University. As a team, TSU is shooting 45.3 percent from the floor, 36.9 percent from three and outrebounding their opponents by more than three per game. However, like the Jags, turnovers have been a problem as TSU is -2.0 turnovers per game through seven games. Dedric Boyd leads TSU in scoring (12.4 ppg) and threes made (15) off the bench. Carlos Marshall Jr. checks in at 11.1 points and 2.9 rebounds per game and Kassim Nicholson averages 10.3 points and a team-high 9.4 rebounds per game.


IUPUI leads the all-time series with Tennessee State, having defeated the Tigers last season in Indianapolis, 69-66. The Tigers have dropped four straight, including a 59-49 defeat at Chicago State on Dec. 4.


IUPUI will return home to host Chicago State in non-conference play inside Indiana Farmers Coliseum on Thursday, Dec. 16 at 7:00 p.m. on ESPN+.

Game Notes (click here for the full PDF packet)


    IUPUI has been incredibly stingy all season long, holding five of eight foes under 40 percent and ranking 51st in the country in scoring defense at 61.5 points allowed per game. They easily lead the Horizon League as Cleveland State is second in the league at 63.4 points allowed per game. In addition, IUPUI is holding opponents to just 39.5 percent shooting and 30.1 percent from three-point range.


    IUPUI held Spalding to just 10 first half points in its 61-41 win over the Golden Eagles on Nov. 23. The 10 first half points matched the fewest by any team in the country this season. Below is the list of the five lowest offensive outputs this season:

    10 – Arizona State vs. Washington State (Dec. 1, 2021)

    10 – IUPUI vs. Spalding [Non D1] (Nov. 13, 2021)

    10 – Georgia State vs. Brewerton  [Non D1] (Nov. 9, 2021)

    12 – Detroit Mercy vs. IUPUI (Dec. 2, 2021)

    12 – Pacific vs. Chicago State (Nov. 22, 2021)

    The 41 points allowed matched the fewest by an IUPUI opponent in program history, tying the 41 scored by Indiana State on Dec. 23, 2008 in the Jaguars’ 62-41 victory.


    IUPUI is also tops in the Horizon League in rebounding margin, outrebounding opponents by 2.1 caroms per game. The Jags are fourth in the league in defensive rebounding percentage, grabbing nearly 72 percent of their opponents misses. On the offensive end, IUPUI is second in the league, grabbing nearly 31 percent of its own misses.


    It’s becoming evident that IUPUI’s offense is going to come by committee this season as the Jaguars lack a true go-to-scorer. Through eight games, IUPUI has had just 10 double-digit scoring games as B.J. Maxwell has done it six times and four others have tallied 10-or-more once.

    Conversely, IUPUI has eight players scoring more than four points per game.

    Maxwell has led the team in scoring in all seven of his appearances and Bakari LaStrap led the team in scoring in the win over Spalding.


    With the committee approach being the case, IUPUI is averaging 19 points per game off the bench this season. Harvey (5.4 ppg) and DePersia (4.5 ppg) lead the reserves in scoring this season. 


    Graduate transfer and former Detroit Titan B.J. Maxwell has been IUPUI’s top weapon thus far, leading the team in scoring (13.1 ppg) and rebounding (5.9 rpg) and easily pacing the squad in field goal attempts (90), three-point attempts (36) and free throw attempts (26), despite missing a full game due to injury.

    His 90 shot attempts are 23 percent of the team’s tries as Boston Stanton III are second on the team with 48 attempts each.


    Maxwell is an interesting case study in today’s new world of college basketball as he’s entering his seventh year of college this season. After redshirting his opening season (2015-16) at Abilene Christian, he played three full seasons at ACU before transferring out for a fifth season. He played just two games at Detroit Mercy in 2019-20 before suffering a season ending injury and receiving another season of eligibility. He spent all of last season at Saint Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, where he averaged 18.6 points and 5.3 boards per game while earning NABC Second Team All-District honors.

    After all NCAA student-athletes were granted an additional year of eligibility due to COVID-19 issues, Maxwell opted to join the IUPUI program for a seventh season of schooling. He enters this season having played 94 collegiate basketball games and having scored 758 points across both NCAA Division I and II levels.    


    Freshman KJ Pruitt is quietly beginning to play really solid basketball and leads the team in minutes played (219) this season. Pruitt is averaging 4.4 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. However, in the last five games, Pruitt is averaging 5.0 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game.


    Turnovers have plagued IUPUI all season long as the Jaguars rank 349th of 358 schools at 18.5 miscues per game. The Jaguars’ turnover margin of -5.2 per game is 337th in the country. Against Oakland on Dec. 4, the Jags tied the program’s single game record with a minus-15 differential (23-8), leading to the 78-45 loss to the Golden Grizzlies. For the season, IUPUI is allowing nearly 19 points per game in points off turnovers.


    IUPUI needed the victory the victory over Spalding to avoid the first-ever 0-6 start in program history. This season marked the third 0-5 start to the year in program history (1999-2000 & 1992-1993).


    Despite having eight players classified as upperclassmen, the IUPUI roster entered this season without a ton of actual Division I experience. Mike DePersia (1,241 career minutes) and B.J. Maxwell (1,156 minutes between ACU and Detroit Mercy) are the only two to have played at least 1,000 career minutes. A third, Zach Gunn, was closing in on the number having played 920 minutes in three seasons at Ball State, but will miss the entire season due to injury.

    Six others in the IUPUI rotation entered this season having played fewer than 400 career minutes in Nathan McClure (388), Azariah Seay (376 between IUPUI and Alabama State), Bobby Harvey (255), Bakari LaStrap (234), Dimitar Pandev (62) and Jonah Carrasco (49).


    Rarely have freshmen cracked IUPUI’s starting five in the program’s Division I era. It’s super rare to have multiple freshmen starting, but that’s the case for the Jags as both KJ Pruitt and Boston Stanton III have started every game this season. Here’s a look at other freshmen who have started more than half of the team’s games in a given season in the D1 era.

    Aaron Brennan – 2014-15 (started 24 of 31 games)

    Lyonell Gaines – 2011-12 (started 27 of 32 games)

    Alex Young – 2008-09 (started 21 of 30 games)

    George Hill – 2004-05 (started 21 of 29 games)

    Only one other time in the program’s Division I era have the Jags had two freshmen as primary starters as Brennan and D.J. McCall were consistent starters in the 2014-2015 campaign.

Women’s Basketball Faces Quick Turnaround at South Dakota

Valparaiso (0-8, 0-0 MVC)

Game #9 – December 10, 2021 – 7 p.m.

at South Dakota (5-4, 0-0 Summit)

Sanford Coyote Sports Center (6,004) – Vermillion, S.D.

Next Up in Valpo Basketball: Coming off of a strong performance against nationally-ranked Notre Dame on Wednesday night, the Valpo women’s basketball team faces a quick turnaround for a Friday night game against a South Dakota team which enjoys one of the best homecourt winning percentages in the nation.

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

Following Valpo Basketball: Streaming Video: GoYotes Live

Radio: WVUR (95.1 FM, Valparaiso)

Streaming Audio: TuneIn app

Links for all live coverage: Available via

Head Coach Mary Evans: Mary Evans is in her fourth year at the helm of the program in 2021-22 and owns a record of 37-57. Evans has made an immediate impact on the program in her first three years, raising the team’s level of play to be competitive in a strong Missouri Valley Conference. Evans’ preferred style of play has been a big part of the program’s turnaround, as Valpo has led the MVC in 3-pointers made per game and in steals per game in each of the last two seasons.

Series Notes: Friday night will be the third meeting all-time between the two programs. The Coyotes have won both previous matchups, winning in Vermillion by an 81-62 final in December 2014 after earning a 81-70 win at the ARC on New Year’s Eve 2013.


…and @ValleyHoops

– Valpo has been picked to finish in sixth place in the MVC preseason poll, totaling 208 points – just one point shy of fifth place.

– Valpo is in its fifth season as a member of the Missouri Valley Conference in 2021-22.

– The Valley was ranked seventh nationally in conference NET in 2020-21 and was eighth nationally in conference RPI in 2019-20.

…looking back at last year

– Valpo posted a 12-13 overall record during the 2020-21 season and went 7-9 in Missouri Valley Conference play.

– Valpo finished the regular season in seventh place in the MVC standings.

– Included among Valpo’s 12 victories were wins at Illinois and at Purdue, the program’s first Power Five wins since 2012-13.

– Valpo closed the season with a NET of 122 – the program’s best final NET/RPI ranking since the 2003-04 campaign.

– Shay Frederick was a First Team All-MVC honoree as she led the Valley in assists and ranked sixth in scoring.

– Carie Weinman earned Honorable Mention All-MVC notice and repeated on the All-Defensive Team as she led the Valley in steals for a second straight season.

…versus #22/23 Notre Dame

– Back-to-back 3-pointers in the final minute of the first quarter from Shay Frederick gave Valpo a 19-14 lead at the end of the first.

– The Beacons extended their lead to eight points with the first basket of the second quarter, but Notre Dame out-scored Valpo 11-3 over the final eight minutes of the period to tie the game 25-25 at halftime.

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

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

– Notre Dame scored the next seven points to pull ahead 32-30 with 6:19 to play in the third quarter, and Valpo would never lead outright again. The Irish led 50-45 at the end of the third and scored nine of the first 11 points of the fourth.

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

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

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

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

…at Bowling Green

– BGSU led 15-10 at the end of the first quarter and 31-24 at halftime.

– The Falcons out-scored Valpo 15-5 over the first five-plus minutes of the third quarter to extend their lead to 17 points at 46-29.

– Out of the media timeout, the Beacons looked like a new team, scoring on seven of their final nine possessions of the period as they out-scored the Falcons 16-3 the rest of the way to close to within 49-45 with 10 minutes remaining.

– Shay Frederick connected on a triple to open the fourth quarter and cut the deficit to one point, and after the Falcons had scored on back-to-back trips, Lauren Gunn knocked down a shot from deep to make it 53-51 with 7:29 to play.

– The Beacons never had an opportunity to tie or take the lead after that, however, as BGSU scored on six of its next seven trips to pull away.

– Carie Weinman paced Valpo in scoring for the third time this year, finishing with 15 points, including three 3-pointers. She also tied for team-high honors with three steals.

– Valpo shot 38.5% from the field. The Beacons did connect on 11-of-32 from deep, matching a season high for 3-pointers made.

– Eight different Valpo players connected on a 3-pointer Sunday.

– Meanwhile, BGSU shot 50% from the field and grabbed 13 offensive rebounds, which the Falcons turned into 17 second-chance points.

…looking ahead

– Valpo will step away from competition during final exam week, returning to action Sunday, Dec. 19 at Morehead State.

– The Beacons’ last game before Christmas comes on Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 21 at the ARC against Detroit Mercy.

…on the road

– Friday marks the sixth of seven non-conference road games and 16 road games in all for Valpo this season.

– Valpo has finished at or above .500 in each of the last two seasons in true road games, going 6-6 on the road last year and 9-5 in 2019-20.


– South Dakota enters Friday’s game at 5-4 this season against a strong schedule, most recently beating Bradley earlier this week, 62-39.

– The Coyotes checked in at #65 in the initial NCAA NET rankings release.

– South Dakota is 68-5 all-time inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center, which opened in 2016.

– Chloe Lamb leads the Coyotes offensively with 15.9 points/game, while Hannah Sjerven scores 15.2 points/game and paces the effort on the glass with 7.7 rebounds/game.

Frederick Approaches 1K; Climbs Assists Chart

– Junior guard Shay Frederick is nearing a scoring milestone.

– With her team-high 19 points last time out, Frederick now owns 995 career points, just five shy of 1,000 for her career.

– Frederick moved into 17th place in program history in career scoring on Wednesday as well, surpassing Cheryl Wilbrandt and Shari Toelke.

– When she hits 1,000 career points, Frederick will become the 17th player in program history to reach the milestone. She will also become just the second player all-time at Valpo with at least 1,000 points and 300 assists.

– After dishing out three assists last time out versus Notre Dame, Frederick now has 387 career assists, good for fifth in program history. Next up is Laura Richards in fourth position with 392 career assists.

Purdue Fort Wayne Falls to Southeast Missouri on the Road

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – The Purdue Fort Wayne women’s basketball team fell to the Southeast Missouri Redhawks 68-51 on Thursday night (Dec. 9) in the Show Me Center.

Amellia Bromenschenkel had a career-high 12 points and nine rebounds to lead Purdue Fort Wayne. She was 5-of-10 from the floor, 2-of-5 from 3-point range, and recorded two steals without committing a turnover.

The ‘Dons jumped out to a 12-9 lead after Audra Emmerson drilled one of her season-high three 3-pointers in the first quarter. The two teams traded short scoring spurts to head into the second.

After forcing a shot clock violation, Bromenschenkel hit a a layup on the other end to cut the SEMO lead to 18-17. The Mastodons took a 22-20 lead when Bromenschenkel drilled a 3-pointer from the left side.

The Mastodons held SEMO to 2-of-13 shooting in the second quarter; the ‘Dons kept the Redhawks from scoring a field goal for an eight-minute stretch. This segment included nine missed shots in a row.

Jazzlyn Linbo had all eight of her points in the last 5:29 of the third quarter.

After SEMO led by as many as 17 in the third quarter, the Mastodons cut the lead down to seven after Bromenschenkelhit a triple in the fourth. This was the Mastodons’ third 3-pointer in a three-minute spell.

SEMO had a 13-0 run down the stretch to balloon the lead.

The Mastodons fall to 4-5. Southeast Missouri goes to 4-6. Purdue Fort Wayne will take the court again on Sunday (Dec. 12) when they visit No. 22 Notre Dame.

Valpo to Host Charlotte in Last Game Before Final Exams

Charlotte (4-4, 0-0 C-USA)

at Valparaiso (5-5, 0-1 MVC)

Game No. 11 – Saturday, Dec. 11, Noon CT

Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) – Valparaiso, Ind.

Next Up in Valpo Basketball: The Valparaiso University men’s basketball team will continue a six-game homestand on Saturday as Charlotte comes to the Athletics-Recreation Center for a noon tip time. The Beacons will look to capture their fifth win in the last six games and third consecutive victory. The theme for the game is Gold Out as students are encouraged to wear gold from head to toe. The first 1,000 fans will receive free a Valpo gold rush t-shirt. This will mark Valpo’s last game before an eight-day hiatus due to final exams.

Last Time Out: Kobe King and Ben Krikke combined for 40 points as Valpo blitzed East-West University 101-58 on Tuesday evening at the ARC. Making his Valpo debut and playing in his first collegiate game in nearly two years, King showed little sign of rust as he put up a career-high 19 points on 9-of-13 shooting to go along with five rebounds and four assists. Krikke’s 21 points on 10-of-13 shooting led all scorers, while Darius DeAveiro dished out eight assists and Thomas Kithier squeezed seven rebounds. The Beacons improved to 4-1 over their last five games and 5-2 since Krikke’s return from an injury.

Following the Beacons: Streaming – ESPN+ – Todd Ickow (play-by-play) and Jamie Stangel (analyst)

Valpo Radio – 95.1 FM, WVUR,, TuneIn Radio App – Zach Collins (play-by-play)

Twitter updates – @ValpoBasketball

Links for video, audio and live stats will be available at

Head Coach Matt Lottich: Matt Lottich (88-83) is in his ninth season overall at Valparaiso University and sixth as the head coach of the men’s basketball program in 2021-2022. The 2020-2021 season saw Valpo improve its Arch Madness seeding for the fourth straight year as the program continued to make positive strides in each season as a Missouri Valley Conference member. The team earned a first-round bye in the State Farm MVC Tournament for the first time since joining the prestigious league. Valpo upset previously-undefeated Drake, the nation’s No. 25 team, 74-57 on Feb. 7, 2021 at the ARC, the fourth win over an AP Top 25 team in program history and second under Lottich. The Bulldogs were one of three undefeated teams in the nation prior to that setback, joining Gonzaga and Baylor. Just two years removed from finishing in last place and being knocked out in the first round of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament as a first-year Valley member, Lottich’s team did more than hold its own in 2019-2020, ascending into a tie for sixth in the league standings before finishing as the conference tournament runner-up. Valpo became the first team in the history of Arch Madness to reach the title game after playing in the opening round. Lottich, hired as the 22nd head coach of the Valpo men’s basketball program in April 2016, graduated from Stanford University in 2004 and New Trier High School (Illinois) in 2000.

Series Notes: Valpo owns a 4-3 advantage over seven all-time meetings in a series that began in 1971-72. The 49ers won the most recent matchup, a 67-57 setback for the guests on Dec. 16, 2019 in North Carolina. Prior to that, the two teams hadn’t squared off since Dec. 22, 2006, a 74-62 Charlotte victory in Honolulu, Hawaii. This will be the first trip to Valpo for the 49ers since Nov. 27, 2004.

The Return of the King: Kobe King made his Valpo debut on Dec. 7 vs. East-West after sitting out the first nine games of the season before becoming eligible. He showed little sign of rust, returning to the court with a 19-point, five-rebound, four-assist effort off the Beacon bench. The 19 points surpassed his previous career high of 14 on Nov. 22, 2018 vs. Oklahoma. That marked his first collegiate game since Jan. 24, 2020 for Wisconsin vs. Purdue. He played in 19 contests (all starts) and averaged 10.0 points per game for the Badgers in 2019-2020. King turned in a team-high 12.6 points per game during Big Ten play over nine appearances, all starts. A former Wisconsin Mr. Basketball, Gatorade Player of the Year and a unanimous selection for Associated Press Player of the Year, King led La Crosse Central to a 26-2 record and a state title as a high school senior.

Notes Wrapping Up Dec. 7 (Valpo 101, East-West 58)

Ben Krikke turned in a game-high 21 points on an efficient 10-of-13 shooting in 18 minutes of action. He recorded his fourth 20-point output of the season in just seven games. He led the team in scoring for the fourth time in his seven outings.

Kobe King’s 19 points surpassed his previous career high of 14, which came on Nov. 22, 2018 vs. Oklahoma.

Valpo hit the century mark for the second time this season after posting 106 points on Nov. 27 vs. Trinity Christian. The 43-point margin of victory against the Phantoms marked Valpo’s largest since beating Concordia University Chicago by 56 (121-65) on Nov. 6, 2018.

The Beacons shot 60.6 percent (43-of-71), their first time shooting at least 60 percent since shooting right at that threshold (33-of-55) on Dec. 12, 2018 vs. UC Riverside. Tuesday marked the team’s top shooting percentage since hitting at a 65.2 percent clip on Nov. 6, 2018 vs. Concordia Chicago.

Thomas Kithier pulled down a team-high seven rebounds, his fourth game this season with at least seven and sixth with at least six.

Darius DeAveiro dished out eight assists, his second game with eight helpers this season. He became the first Missouri Valley Conference player with two eight-assist games this season and now owns half of the four eight-helper performances by MVC players this year.

Joe Hedstrom converted all four of his field-goal attempts, equaling a career best with nine points, a mark he previously reached on Nov. 27 of this season vs. Trinity Christian.

Trey Woodyard chipped in a career-high nine points on 4-of-6 shooting while securing five caroms, also a personal watermark.

Walk-on Brock Pappas had his first career made field goal, while fellow walk-on Luke Morrill hit his first and second career 3s on his way to a personal-best six points.

Valpo picked up its fourth win in the last five games and improved to 5-2 since an 0-3 start that came without their leading returning scorer as Krikke was sidelined by an injury.

Kevion Taylor and Sheldon Edwards have both hit a 3 in all 10 games this season.

Notable National Ranks

Valpo ranks 33rd nationally and second in the MVC with 252 3-point attempts this season. The Beacons are also in the top 50 nationally in made 3s at 83.

Valpo’s field-goal percentage of 47.7 is the 54th best in the nation and second best in the conference.

Valpo has done a strong job taking care of the basketball. The team has committed just 11.2 turnovers per game, 50th nationally and first in The Valley.

Sheldon Edwards ranks 28th nationally in 3-point field goal attempts (70) and 54th (second in the MVC) in total blocks with 16.

Career Milestone Watch

Kevion Taylor has scored over 1,700 career points and has well over 600 career rebounds. He is one of just 21 active NCAA players nationally in all divisions in the 1,700-point, 600-rebound club. He did much of his damage during 103 career games at D-II Winona State before grad transferring to Valpo prior to this season.

Taylor made the 100th start of his collegiate career on Dec. 7 vs. East-West.

Trevor Anderson handed out his 100th career assist on Dec. 7 vs. East West.

Ben Krikke has passed the 600 career point mark this season and entering Dec. 11 vs. Charlotte, he needs 21 more to get to 700.

Valpo head coach Matt Lottich is 12 wins from 100 for his career.

Eron Gordon enters Dec. 11 vs. Charlotte 38 points away from 500 for his collegiate career. With his four rebounds on Dec. 5 at Western Michigan, he surpassed the 100-career rebound threshold.

Home-Heavy Stretch in Progress: The Dec. 5 game at Western Michigan marked the final contest in a seven-game stretch where Valpo played six games away from the Athletics-Recreation Center (three road, three neutral site). The Dec. 7 contest vs. East-West began a home-heavy month where the Beacons will be in front of their home fans for six straight. Valpo will go a full month between road games from Dec. 5 to Jan. 5. From Dec. 5 to Jan. 21, the Beacons will spend just one night in a hotel (Jan. 4 at UNI). This is Valpo’s first homestand longer than four games since a five gamer from Nov. 25 to Dec. 12, 2003. This homestand will be Valpo’s longest since Jan. 21 to Feb. 6, 1994, a stretch of six straight at home against Eastern Illinois, Oral Roberts, Buffalo, Youngstown State, UMKC and Western Illinois.

Inside the 49ers

Like Valpo, participated in the Nassau Championship in Nassau, The Bahamas from Nov. 22-24. Lost both games in that event, falling 98-86 to Toledo and 67-55 to Drexel.

Most recent game was an 86-66 setback at No. 12 Arkansas.

Have victories over Monmouth (68-66), USC Upstate (76-64), Appalachian State (67-66) and George Washington (86-79).

Went 9-16 and 5-11 in Conference USA last season.

Picked seventh of 14 in the C-USA Preseason Poll with returning first team all-conference selection Jahmir Young earning preseason all-league accolades.

Led in scoring by Young, who is averaging 18.5 points per game to lead three 49ers in double figures. Austin Butler is averaging 11.3 points and 6.0 boards and Clyde Trapp checks in at 11.3 points and a team-high 6.8 rebounds.

Former Valpo player E. Victor Nickerson started his collegiate career at Charlotte.

Notes Wrapping Up Dec. 5: Valpo 71, Western Michigan 60

Valpo snapped a seven-game road losing streak to the Broncos and won in Kalamazoo for the first time since Dec. 20, 1958, a 90-65 triumph.

The 11-point margin of victory marked Valpo’s largest of the season against a Division-I team. In addition, this was the squad’s most lopsided road win since Feb. 13, 2021 at UNI (70-57) and most lopsided nonconference road victory since Dec. 18, 2019 at High Point (W 87-72).

The 60 points permitted marked a season best for the Valpo defense.

Thomas Kithier hit double figures for the first time in the last seven games and the third time this season with his 19-point output. All three of his double-figure performances have featured 16 points or more. He corralled six rebounds and swatted a pair of shots.

Sheldon Edwards reached double figures for the eighth time in the first nine games this year, posting 15 points to go along with four rebounds, a block, a steal and two assists. The block was his 16th of the season, already over double his 27-game total of seven from his freshman year. Edwards made a 3 for the ninth consecutive game, a streak that has now reached 10 after Dec. 7 vs. East-West.

Eron Gordon and Trevor Anderson shared the team lead with four assists apiece. Gordon also contributed four rebounds and a season-high three steals.

Keyondre Young chipped in eight points off the Beacon bench, while Anderson joined Kithier and Edwards in double figures with 11. Anderson also accrued four rebounds and four assists while reaching double figures for the fourth straight game and sixth time in nine appearances this season. The Valpo point guard averaged 13.5 points per game over that four-game span.

Ben Krikke squeezed a season-high eight rebounds including three on the offensive glass. Valpo prevailed despite a rare quiet shooting night from their leading scorer, as Krikke was held to seven points.

Valpo limited Western Michigan’s Lamar Norman Jr. to 1-of-8 from 3 after he entered the game leading the nation in made 3s per game.

Sunday Funday: With the Dec. 5 win at Western Michigan, Valpo improved to 17-11 (.607) on Sundays during Matt Lottich’s head coaching tenure. That marks the team’s best winning percentage under Lottich on any day of the week. Sadly, Valpo has only one Sunday game the remainder of the regular season – Jan. 2 vs. Illinois State.

Historic Season Ends For Men’s Soccer In Final Four

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The University of Indianapolis men’s soccer team had its historic 2021 campaign come to a close Thursday night in the Final Four against Charleston (WV).


The Greyhounds found the scoreboard first in the 30th minute when Kendall Allen corralled a ball from Felix Schuetz and fired a shot into the back of the net. This helped UIndy hold a 1-nil advantage at the half.

Charleston found itself back into the match with a late goal in the 84th minute. Neither team came out ahead in the two overtime periods, but it was the Golden Eagles eventually winning 5-3 in penalty kicks.


-Charleston managed 15 shots while UIndy has just nine.

-A total of 38 fouls were called in the match, with UC having a match-high 22.

-UIndy had three yellow cards while UC had one.


The best season in UIndy men’s soccer program history has come to a close. The team claimed both the GLVC regular season and tournament championships while winning the Super Region 3 for a trip to a back-to-back Final Four.


LEXINGTON, Ky. – The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) and the NAIA announced the 2021 Women’s Volleyball Coach and Assistant Coach of the Year honors on Thursday morning. Park University’s Mike Talamantes was named the AVCA National Head Coach of the Year, and Marian University’s Riley Anderson was named the AVCA/NAIA National Assistant Coach of the Year.

Riley Anderson completed her third season as the Marian volleyball assistant coach in 2021, joining the team months prior to the start of the 2019 campaign. In 2019 Anderson helped Marian to a 38-2 record, serving as active head coach while head coach Ashlee Pritchard was away on materinity leave. In her abscence, Anderson led Marian to a perfect 16-0 record and a share of the Crossroads League Regular Season Championship in 2019, earning a win over No. 3 Indiana Wesleyan during her streak.

Anderson played a key success in Marian’s 2021 season, helping Marian to a 35-3 overall record as the Knights won both the Crossroads League Regular Season and Tournament Titles. Anderson’s guidance helped Marian start the season with a perfect 29-0 record, setting the longest winning streak in program history. Marian ended the 2021 season as an NAIA National Semifinalist, with the Knights reaching the NAIA Semifinals for the second time in three seasons.

Anderson was named the 2021 AVCA Midcentral Region Assistant Coach of the Year, and was the AVCA Natinoal Assistant Coach of the Year in 2021.


GEORGETOWN, Ky. – No. 13 Indiana Wesleyan women’s basketball traveled to RV Georgetown College for a non-conference matchup this evening. Wildcats pulled away in the fourth quarter coasting to their tenth win of the season.

The first quarter saw three lead changes to which both teams got up by five points during the stretch.

Trailing starting the second quarter, Wildcats took the lead on an and-one play by Kelli Damman followed by a jumper from Baylie VanDyke. IWU led 35-34 at the break.

Wildcats maintained a small lead through the third quarter before a Georgetown three-pointer with a minute to go switched the momentum and lead to the Tigers.

Back-to-back three-pointers by Damman and Maddie Lawrence gave the Wildcats a six-point lead with eight minutes remaining. Four minutes later Georgetown brought it within three. Wildcats knocked down free throws in the final stretch only hitting one field goal in the final four minutes of the game.

Wildcats stay in Kentucky and head to Lindsey Wilson for a 7pm tip off tomorrow, December 10.


RICHMOND, Ind. – Jessica Swimm’s favorite moment from her latest All-America season wasn’t one of her record-setting matches or one of her thunderous kills.

Swimm, who learned Dec. 9 that she made the NAIA Women’s Volleyball All-America list for the second year in a row, instead points to a team success.

“My favorite moment from this season was our match against Midway earlier in the season when our team came together and we were the most united we’ve been,” she said, reflecting on the Red Wolves’ three-set October victory against a team that eventually qualified for the national tournament.

“It took every one of my teammates for me to even be considered for this award!”

Swimm is one of 97 players recognized on the NAIA’s Fall 2021 All-America team. Swimm appears on the honorable mention list, as she did on the Spring 2021 All-America team.

“End of the season accolades are always exciting, and it’s extra sweet when we have repeat awards from previous years,” said IU East coach Kim McConaha. “Jess worked hard this season with her teammates to bring more positive attention to the program. It’s great to see Jess being acknowledged for her determination and hard work.”

The news came as no surprise to her teammates on the Red Wolf volleyball team.

“Jess being an All-American is such an amazing recognition to our program,” said freshman Brooke Lepper. “It’s really cool as a teammate to see Jess have this opportunity as a result of all of our team’s hard work!”

Added third-year Red Wolf Emily Hodson: “Jess deserves this recognition for all the hard work and hours spent in the gym throughout the season. She represents IU East volleyball well and shows a lot of commitment to being the best that she can be every day.”

Swimm led the River States Conference and was 24th in the nation with 3.85 kills per set this past fall.

Statistically speaking, the highlight of her season was a school-record 31-kill effort in a five-set win at WVU Tech in early November.

Swimm’s efforts helped IU East finish the 2021 fall season with the program’s 11th 20-win season and fourth RSC East Division title in the last five years.

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