INDIANA BOYS BASKETBALL

BATESVILLE50MILAN37 
HAGERSTOWN55CENTERVILLE30 
INDIANA DEAF61INDIANAPOLIS INTERNATIONAL39 
JAC-CEN-DEL64SOUTHWESTERN (HANOVER)56 
LAKE CENTRAL62HANOVER CENTRAL24 
LAKELAND CHRISTIAN49GRANGER CHRISTIAN41 
LIBERTY CHRISTIAN67BLACKFORD59 
MARQUETTE CATHOLIC53VICTORY CHRISTIAN52 
MEDORA63SEVEN OAKS CLASSICAL51 
MICHIGAN CITY62EAST CHICAGO CENTRAL60 
NORTH DECATUR63CAMBRIDGE CITY LINCOLN62 
PORTAGE45CALUMET44 
SHAWE MEMORIAL65CARROLTON CHRISTIAN (KY.)13 

INDIANA GIRLS BASKETBALL

ARGOS59SOUTH BEND CAREER19 
BEDFORD NORTH LAWRENCE49SILVER CREEK42 
BEN DAVIS59ZIONSVILLE58OT
BLOOMFIELD30SPRINGS VALLEY24 
BLOOMINGTON NORTH49BLOOMINGTON SOUTH38 
BOONVILLE58EVANSVILLE BOSSE27 
CASTLE48HENDERSON COUNTY (KY.)45 
CHRISTIAN ACADEMY55CANNELTON30 
CLINTON CENTRAL47FRANKFORT42 
COLUMBUS EAST74COLUMBUS NORTH29 
EAST CENTRAL76JAC-CEN-DEL36 
EASTERN (PEKIN)56NEW WASHINGTON28 
EASTERN GREENE54WHITE RIVER VALLEY40 
FAIRFIELD45NORTHRIDGE41 
FREMONT34WESTVIEW11 
GARRETT50BELLMONT46 
GIBSON SOUTHERN68PIKE CENTRAL26 
GRIFFITH47HAMMOND CENTRAL44 
HAMILTON HEIGHTS57DELTA19 
INDIANA MATH & SCIENCE43PHALEN ACADEMY25 
INDIANAPOLIS SHORTRIDGE32INDIANAPOLIS WASHINGTON30 
JAY COUNTY75NEW CASTLE36 
KANKAKEE VALLEY66MORGAN TWP.22 
KNOX39CASTON37 
LAKELAND CHRISTIAN52GRANGER CHRISTIAN36 
LAKEWOOD PARK61HAMILTON9 
LANESVILLE57CRAWFORD COUNTY24 
LAPEL56MONROE CENTRAL31 
LINTON-STOCKTON45SHAKAMAK30 
LOOGOOTEE45BARR-REEVE35 
MADISON-GRANT65ANDERSON PREP ACADEMY21 
MADISON40JENNINGS COUNTY37 
MARSHALL (ILL.)58SOUTH VERMILLION28 
MILAN50RISING SUN29 
MISHAWAKA MARIAN56ELKHART40 
MONROVIA69INDIANAPOLIS HERRON34 
NEW ALBANY40PROVIDENCE21 
NEW PRAIRIE55JIMTOWN41 
NORTH HARRISON55SALEM54OT
NORTH JUDSON47CULVER28 
NORTH KNOX54WOOD MEMORIAL41 
NORTH MIAMI58ROCHESTER32 
NORTH VERMILLION45EMINENCE35 
NORTHEAST DUBOIS67JASPER44 
PARKE HERITAGE54RIVERTON PARKE14 
PENN60BREMEN52 
PERRY CENTRAL45ORLEANS27 
PURDUE POLY ENGLEWOOD57INDIANA DEAF24 
SCOTTSBURG51MITCHELL43 
SEYMOUR49FLOYD CENTRAL40 
SHOALS52BORDEN40 
SOUTH BEND ADAMS69SOUTH BEND CLAY37 
SOUTH BEND WASHINGTON72JOHN GLENN31 
SOUTH KNOX43PRINCETON31 
SOUTHPORT47TERRE HAUTE SOUTH27 
TECUMSEH66TELL CITY32 
TIPPECANOE VALLEY43WINAMAC402OT
TIPTON55GUERIN CATHOLIC39 
TRITON CENTRAL51SPEEDWAY33 
TWIN LAKES73WEST LAFAYETTE58 
UNIVERSITY65LAWRENCE CENTRAL55 
WAPAHANI54COWAN26 
WASHINGTON59FOREST PARK44 
WEST WASHINGTON32HENRYVILLE22 
WHITELAND57BEECH GROVE24 
WOODLAN74SOUTHERN WELLS41 

INDIANA HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLING

CROWN POINT 65, LAKE CENTRAL 3

RENSSELAER CENTRAL 64 BENTON CENTRAL 12

CASCADE 78 RITTER 0

NEW HAVEN 54 FORT WAYNE SNIDER 24

COWAN 49 S. ADAMS 20

MARION 48 NORTHWESTERN 25

SHERIDAN 42 DELPHI 27

FAITH CHRISTIAN 60 LAFAYETTE CENTRAL CATHOLIC 21

BELLMONT 64 VIDEO 13

LAVILLE 63 PIONEER 12

NFL SCOREBOARD

KANSAS CITY 34 LA CHARGERS 28 OT

WEEK NFL SCHEDULE

SATURDAY, DEC. 18

LAS VEGAS RAIDERS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS, 4:30 PM (NFL NETWORK)

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS AT INDIANAPOLIS COLTS, 8:15 PM (NFL NETWORK)

SUNDAY, DEC. 19

CAROLINA PANTHERS AT BUFFALO BILLS, 1:00 PM (FOX)

NEW YORK JETS AT MIAMI DOLPHINS, 1:00 PM (CBS)

WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES, 1:00 PM (FOX)

GREEN BAY PACKERS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS, 1:00 PM (FOX)

ARIZONA CARDINALS AT DETROIT LIONS, 1:00 PM (FOX)

HOUSTON TEXANS AT JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS, 1:00 PM (CBS)

DALLAS COWBOYS AT NEW YORK GIANTS, 1:00 PM (FOX)

TENNESSEE TITANS AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS, 1:00 PM (CBS)

CINCINNATI BENGALS AT DENVER BRONCOS, 4:05 PM (CBS)

ATLANTA FALCONS AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS, 4:05 PM (CBS)

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT LOS ANGELES RAMS, 4:25 PM (FOX)

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS, 8:20 PM (NBC)

MONDAY, DEC. 20

MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT CHICAGO BEARS, 8:15 PM (ESPN)

WEEK 16 NFL SCHEDULE

THURSDAY, DEC. 23

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AT TENNESSEE TITANS, 8:20 PM (NFL NETWORK)

SATURDAY, DEC. 25 (CHRISTMAS)

CLEVELAND BROWNS AT GREEN BAY PACKERS, 4:30 PM (FOX, NFL NETWORK, AMAZON)

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT ARIZONA CARDINALS, 8:15 PM (NFL NETWORK)

SUNDAY, DEC. 26

DETROIT LIONS AT ATLANTA FALCONS, 1 PM (FOX)

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AT CAROLINA PANTHERS, 1 PM (FOX)

BALTIMORE RAVENS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS, 1 PM (CBS)

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS AT HOUSTON TEXANS, 1 PM (CBS)

LOS ANGELES RAMS AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS, 1 PM (FOX)

BUFFALO BILLS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS, 1 PM (CBS)

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT NEW YORK JETS, 1 PM (CBS)

NEW YORK GIANTS AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES, 1 PM (FOX)

CHICAGO BEARS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS, 4:05 PM (FOX)

PITTSBURGH STEELERS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS, 4:25 PM (CBS)

DENVER BRONCOS AT LAS VEGAS RAIDERS, 4:25 PM (CBS)

WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM AT DALLAS COWBOYS, 8:20 PM (NBC)

MONDAY, DEC. 27

MIAMI DOLPHINS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS, 8:15 PM (ESPN)

WEEK 17 NFL SCHEDULE

SUNDAY, JAN. 2

ATLANTA FALCONS AT BUFFALO BILLS, 1 PM (FOX)

NEW YORK GIANTS AT CHICAGO BEARS, 1 PM (CBS)

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS, 1 PM (CBS)

ARIZONA CARDINALS AT DALLAS COWBOYS, 1 PM (FOX)

LAS VEGAS RAIDERS AT INDIANAPOLIS COLTS, 1 PM (CBS)

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS, 1 PM (CBS)

CAROLINA PANTHERS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS, 1 PM (FOX)

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AT NEW YORK JETS, 1 PM (FOX)

MIAMI DOLPHINS AT TENNESSEE TITANS, 1 PM (CBS)

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES AT WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM, 1 PM (FOX)

DENVER BRONCOS AT LOS ANGELES CHARGERS, 4:05 PM (CBS)

HOUSTON TEXANS AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS, 4:05 PM (CBS)

LOS ANGELES RAMS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS, 4:25 PM (FOX)

DETROIT LIONS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS, 4:25 PM (FOX)

MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT GREEN BAY PACKERS, 8:20 PM(NBC)

MONDAY, JAN. 3

CLEVELAND BROWNS AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS, 8:15 PM (ESPN)

WEEK 18 NFL SCHEDULE

SATURDAY, JAN. 8

TBD, 4:30 PM, ESPN, ABC

TBD, 8:15 PM, ESPN, ABC

SUNDAY, JAN. 9

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT ATLANTA FALCONS, 1 PM (FOX)

PITTSBURGH STEELERS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS, 1 PM (CBS)

NEW YORK JETS AT BUFFALO BILLS, 1 PM (CBS)

CINCINNATI BENGALS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS, 1 PM (CBS)DA

GREEN BAY PACKERS AT DETROIT LIONS, 1 PM (FOX)

TENNESSEE TITANS AT HOUSTON TEXANS, 1 PM (CBS)

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS, 1 PM(CBS)

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS AT MIAMI DOLPHINS, 1 PM (CBS)

CHICAGO BEARS AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS, 1 PM (FOX)

WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM AT NEW YORK GIANTS, 1 PM (FOX)

DALLAS COWBOYS AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES, 1 PM (FOX)

CAROLINA PANTHERS AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS, 1 PM (FOX)

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT ARIZONA CARDINALS, 4:25 PM (FOX)

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS AT DENVER BRONCOS, 4:25 PM (CBS)

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AT LOS ANGELES RAMS, 4:25 PM (FOX)

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS AT LAS VEGAS RAIDERS, 4:25 PM (CBS)

TBD, 8:20 PM(NBC)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL BOWL SCHEDULE

FRIDAY, DEC. 17

BAHAMAS BOWL
MIDDLE TENNESSEE VS. TOLEDO
12 P.M. ET | ESPN
THOMAS ROBINSON STADIUM IN NASSAU, BAHAMAS

TV: HERE’S THE UPCOMING TV INFORMATION FOR COLLEGE FOOTBALL

CURE BOWL
NORTHERN ILLINOIS VS. COASTAL CAROLINA
6 P.M. | ESPN2
CAMPING WORLD STADIUM IN ORLANDO, FLORIDA

SATURDAY, DEC. 18

BOCA RATON BOWL
APPALACHIAN STATE VS. WESTERN KENTUCKY
11 A.M. | ESPN
FAU STADIUM IN BOCA RATON, FLORIDA

CELEBRATION BOWL
JACKSON STATE VS. SOUTH CAROLINA STATE
12 P.M. | ABC
MERCEDES-BENZ IN ATLANTA, GEORGIA

NEW MEXICO BOWL
FRESNO STATE VS. UTEP
2:15 P.M. | ESPN
DREAMSTYLE STADIUM IN ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO

INDEPENDENCE BOWL
NO. 13 BYU VS. UAB
3:30 P.M. | ABC
INDEPENDENCE STADIUM IN SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA

SCORES: LIVE SCOREBOARD AND STATS FOR ALL COLLEGE FOOTBALL GAMES

LENDINGTREE BOWL
EASTERN MICHIGAN VS. LIBERTY
5:45 P.M. | ESPN
LADD-PEEBLES STADIUM IN MOBILE, ALABAMA

LA BOWL
OREGON STATE VS. UTAH STATE
7:30 P.M. | ABC
SOFI STADIUM IN INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA

NEW ORLEANS BOWL
NO. 23 LOUISIANA VS. MARSHALL
9:15 P.M. | ESPN
CAESARS SUPERDOME IN NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA

MONDAY, DEC. 20

MYRTLE BEACH BOWL
TULSA VS. OLD DOMINION
2:30 P.M. | ESPN
BROOKS STADIUM IN CONWAY, SOUTH CAROLINA

TUESDAY, DEC. 21

FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL
KENT STATE VS. WYOMING
3:30 P.M. | ESPN
ALBERTSONS STADIUM IN BOISE, IDAHO

FRISCO BOWL
NO. 24 SAN DIEGO STATE VS. UTSA
7:30 P.M. | ESPN
TOYOTA STADIUM IN FRISCO, TEXAS

POLLS: CHECK OUT THE LATEST TOP 25 RANKINGS

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 22

ARMED FORCES BOWL
MISSOURI VS. ARMY
8 P.M. | ESPN
AMON G. CARTER STADIUM IN FORT WORTH, TEXAS

THURSDAY, DEC. 23

FRISCO FOOTBALL CLASSIC
MIAMI (OHIO) VS. NORTH TEXAS
3:30 P.M. | ESPN
TOYOTA STADIUM IN FRISCO, TEXAS

GASPARILLA BOWL
FLORIDA VS. UCF
7 P.M. | ESPN
RAYMOND JAMES STADIUM IN TAMPA, FLORIDA

FRIDAY, DEC. 24

HAWAI’I BOWL
MEMPHIS VS. HAWAI’I
8 P.M. | ESPN
CLARENCE T.C. CHING ATHLETICS COMPLEX IN HONOLULU, HAWAI’I

SATURDAY, DEC. 25

CAMELLIA BOWL
BALL STATE VS. GEORGIA STATE
2:30 P.M. | ESPN
CRAMTON BOWL IN MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA

MONDAY, DEC. 27

QUICK LANE BOWL
WESTERN MICHIGAN VS. NEVADA
11 A.M. | ESPN
FORD FIELD IN DETROIT, MICHIGAN

MILITARY BOWL
EAST CAROLINA VS. BOSTON COLLEGE
2:30 P.M. | ESPN
NAVY-MARINE CORPS MEMORIAL STADIUM IN ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND

TUESDAY, DEC. 28

BIRMINGHAM BOWL
NO. 20 HOUSTON VS. AUBURN
12 P.M. | ESPN
PROTECTIVE STADIUM IN BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA

FIRST RESPONDER BOWL
AIR FORCE VS. LOUISVILLE
3:15 P.M. | ESPN
GERALD J. FORD STADIUM IN DALLAS, TEXAS

LIBERTY BOWL
TEXAS TECH VS. MISSISSIPPI STATE
6:45 P.M. | ESPN
LIBERTY BOWL MEMORIAL STADIUM IN MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE

HOLIDAY BOWL
NO. 18 NC STATE VS. UCLA
8 P.M. | FOX
PETCO PARK IN SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

GUARANTEED RATE BOWL
MINNESOTA VS. WEST VIRGINIA
10:15 P.M. | ESPN
CHASE FIELD IN PHOENIX, ARIZONA

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 29

FENWAY BOWL
VIRGINIA VS. SMU
11 A.M. | ESPN
FENWAY PARK IN BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS

PINSTRIPE BOWL
VIRGINIA TECH VS. MARYLAND
2:15 P.M. | ESPN
YANKEE STADIUM IN NEW YORK, NEW YORK

CHEEZ-IT BOWL
NO. 19 CLEMSON VS. IOWA STATE
5:45 P.M. | ESPN
CAMPING WORLD STADIUM IN ORLANDO, FLORIDA

ALAMO BOWL
NO. 14 OREGON VS. NO. 16 OKLAHOMA
9:15 P.M. | ESPN
ALAMODOME IN SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS

THURSDAY, DEC. 30

DUKE’S MAYO BOWL
NORTH CAROLINA VS. SOUTH CAROLINA
11:30 A.M. | ESPN
BANK OF AMERICA STADIUM IN CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

MUSIC CITY BOWL
TENNESSEE VS. PURDUE
3 P.M. | ESPN
NISSAN STADIUM IN NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE

PEACH BOWL
NO. 10 MICHIGAN STATE VS. NO. 12 PITTSBURGH
7 P.M. | ESPN
MERCEDES-BENZ STADIUM IN ATLANTA, GEORGIA

LAS VEGAS BOWL
WISCONSIN VS. ARIZONA STATE
10:30 P.M. | ESPN
ALLEGIANT STADIUM IN LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

FRIDAY, DEC. 31

GATOR BOWL
NO. 17 WAKE FOREST VS. NO. 25 TEXAS A&M
11 A.M. | ESPN
TIAA BANK STADIUM IN JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA

SUN BOWL
WASHINGTON STATE VS. MIAMI (FL)
12 P.M. | CBS
SUN BOWL IN EL PASO, TEXAS

ARIZONA BOWL
CENTRAL MICHIGAN VS. BOISE STATE
2 P.M. | BARSTOOL SPORTS
ARIZONA STADIUM IN TUCSON, ARIZONA

COTTON BOWL CLASSIC (COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF SEMIFINAL)
NO. 1 ALABAMA VS. NO. 4 CINCINNATI
3:30 P.M. | ESPN
AT&T STADIUM IN ARLINGTON, TEXAS

ORANGE BOWL (COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF SEMIFINAL)
NO. 2 MICHIGAN VS. NO. 3 GEORGIA
7:30 P.M. | ESPN
HARD ROCK STADIUM IN MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA

SATURDAY, JAN. 1

OUTBACK BOWL
NO. 21 ARKANSAS VS. PENN STATE
12 P.M. | ESPN2
RAYMOND JAMES STADIUM IN TAMPA, FLORIDA

CITRUS BOWL
NO. 15 IOWA VS. NO. 22 KENTUCKY
1 P.M. | ABC
CAMPING WORLD STADIUM IN ORLANDO, FLORIDA

FIESTA BOWL
NO. 5 NOTRE DAME VS. NO. 9 OKLAHOMA STATE
1 P.M. | ESPN
STATE FARM STADIUM IN GLENDALE, ARIZONA

ROSE BOWL
NO. 6 OHIO STATE VS. NO. 11 UTAH
5 P.M. | ESPN
ROSE BOWL IN PASADENA, CALIFORNIA

SUGAR BOWL
NO. 7 BAYLOR VS. NO. 8 OLE MISS
8:45 P.M. | ESPN
CAESARS SUPERDOME IN NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA

TUESDAY, JAN. 4

TEXAS BOWL
KANSAS STATE VS. LSU
9 P.M. | ESPN
NRG STADIUM IN HOUSTON, TEXAS

MONDAY, JAN. 10

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
8 P.M. | ESPN
LUCAS OIL STADIUM IN INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL – TOP 25

#2 DUKE 92 APPALACHIAN STATE 67

ELSEWHERE

CHICAGO STATE 61 IUPUI 55

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL – TOP 25

#17 GEORGIA 82 #2 NORTH CAROLINA STATE 80 OT

#6 LOUISVILLE 82 EASTERN KENTUCKY 38

ELSEWHERE

WISCONSIN 70 ILLINOIS STATE 60

NBA SCOREBOARD

INDIANA 122 DETROIT 113

BROOKLYN 114 PHILADELPHIA 105

CHICAGO AT TORONTO POSTPONED

NEW YORK 116 HOUSTON 103

PHOENIX 118 WASHINGTON 98

NHL SCOREBOARD

MONTRÉAL 3 PHILADELPHIA 2

TAMPA BAY 2 OTTAWA 1

LOS ANGELES 4 FLORIDA 1

VEGAS 5 NEW JERSEY 3

CAROLINA 5 DETROIT 3

NY ISLANDERS 3 BOSTON 1

NASHVILLE 5 COLORADO 2

BUFFALO 3 MINNESOTA 2

TORONTO AT CALGARY POSTPONED

EDMONTON 5 COLUMBUS 2

VANCOUVER 5 SAN JOSE 2

(TOP NATIONAL HEADLINES/RELEASES)

KELCE’S OT TOUCHDOWN GIVES CHIEFS 34-28 WIN OVER CHARGERS

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) Travis Kelce, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs have faced their share of challenges this season. The two-time defending AFC champions are peaking at the right time for another playoff push.

Kelce had a career-high 191 receiving yards and scored on a 34-yard pass from Mahomes in overtime as the Chiefs rallied for a 34-28 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday night.

Kelce caught a tying 7-yard touchdown pass with 1:16 left in the fourth quarter, then ended the game with his catch-and-run in overtime. On first-and-10, Kelce pulled in Mahomes’ pass at the 30 and eluded two tackles en route to the end zone, where he was swarmed by teammates.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been part of a walk-off touchdown or anything like that, so to be in that moment, find him underneath and him making such a dynamic play where, I mean, he cut back, ran by people,” said Mahomes, who completed 31 of 47 for a season-high 410 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. “You think he’s old. He can’t run by people. But he’s still running by people. And he got in the end zone.”

The Chiefs were 3-4 at the end of October but have won seven straight to improve to 10-4 and go up by two games in the AFC West.

Kelce had been held to six total receptions the past two games, but he broke out in a big way. He had five of his 10 catches for 142 yards in the fourth quarter and overtime. He also had a 69-yard reception that led to Tyreek Hill’s 1-yard touchdown and a 2-point conversion that tied it at 21.

“Everybody is talking about him losing a step, he looked fast to me,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said after the 32-year-old Kelce had his sixth career game with at least 10 catches. “His endurance down the stretch for an elder statesman – he’s not over the hill – his acceleration is something.”

Mahomes bounced back after a costly fourth-quarter interception led to Austin Ekeler’s touchdown and gave the Chargers a 21-13 advantage. He was 10 of 16 for 197 yards and three TDs after the turnover.

“Obviously it (stinks) in the moment. I mean, I promise you I felt as bad as anyone about that throw and that situation, and knew how bad it looked. But you will get another chance and you better be ready for that moment,” Mahomes said.

Justin Herbert gave the Chargers a 28-21 lead with 2:19 remaining on a 8-yard TD pass to Keenan Allen, but couldn’t make it hold up. It is the second straight season the Chiefs have come to the Chargers’ Hollywood Park home and won in overtime.

“The goal is always to score. We needed to put up points, and we got in the end zone, and that was our mission,” Herbert said. “We would have loved to have been able to run the clock down and not have any time, but this is the NFL, and you have to get in the end zone.”

Los Angeles’ defeat came after a terrifying injury to tight end Donald Parham. The 24-year-old appeared to lose consciousness after slamming his head on the turf in the first quarter. He was helped off on a stretcher and taken to a hospital, where the team said he is in stable condition.

Herbert threw two touchdowns and ran for another score, but the Chargers (8-6) came up empty on three red-zone drives. Herbert completed 22 of 38 passes for 236 yards and an interception.

“I really liked the way we managed the entire game tonight. It didn’t go down for us today, but we gave ourselves an opportunity. We just didn’t finish the game off defensively,” Chargers coach Brandon Staley said.

The Chargers fell behind 10-0 early in the second quarter before scoring on two straight drives to take a 14-10 lead at halftime. Herbert scored on a 1-yard keeper off left end and then connected with Jalen Guyton for a 4-yard TD on the next drive.

The Chiefs benefited off Chargers’ mistakes for their first 10 points. After Los Angeles turned it over on downs, Kansas City went 95 yards in 11 plays, culminating in Michael Burton’s 7-yard run up the middle.

The Chiefs then turned Anthony Hitchens’ interception of Herbert into points on Harrison Butker’s 30-yard field goal.

BIG NIGHT FOR HILL

Hill had 12 receptions for 148 yards and a TD. It is his fourth game this season with at least 11 catches.

SIX STRAIGHT FOR EKELER

Ekeler scored a touchdown for the sixth straight game with a 2-yard run off left end to extend the lead to 21-13 early in the fourth quarter. The TD came after Uchenna Nwosu tipped Mahomes’ screen pass intended for Clyde Edwards-Helaire at the KC 4 and returned it 2 yards.

It is the third time since 1994 a Chargers player has reached the end zone in at least six consecutive games. LaDainian Tomlinson had a seven-game streak in 2004 and Natrone Means had a six-game run in 1994.

RED ZONE WOES

The Chargers could have had at least a 20-10 lead at halftime had Staley opted for a field goal instead of going for it on fourth down. Andre Roberts took the opening kickoff 75 yards and Los Angeles drove to the 5 before turning it over on downs on four straight incompletions by Herbert.

The Chargers could have kicked a field goal on the last play of the first half, but Herbert couldn’t connect with Allen on fourth-and-goal from the 1.

Early in the fourth quarter, Los Angeles had second-and-goal, but Ben Niemann recovered Joshua Kelley’s fumble at the 2.

The Chiefs also were not immune to red-zone failures. They were down 14-13 and had fourth-and-goal at the 2 when Mahomes’ pass to Mecole Hardman was incomplete.

INJURIES

Chargers: S Derwin James aggravated a hamstring injury during the third quarter.

UP NEXT

Chiefs: Host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Dec. 26.

Chargers: Travel to the Houston Texans on Dec. 26.

NFL UPDATES PROTOCOLS IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19 CASES

(AP) — In moves reminiscent of the environment for the 2020 season, the NFL has updated its protocols and advocated for booster shots in reaction to an increase in COVID-19 cases around the league.

As part of its protocol changes, it is requiring masks regardless of vaccination status, and remote or outdoor meetings. It also is stopping in-person meals, adding restrictions on activities outside the facility, prohibiting outside visitors during team travel, and limiting the amount of people in team weight rooms.

“Finally, and based on expert advice, we will adjust the return-to-participation requirements for those who have recovered from COVID-19,” the league said in a statement. “All of these changes are grounded in our data and science-backed approach, with safety our No. 1 goal for the entire NFL community.”

The updated protocols will be enforced through Week 15 games, but are likely to continue or even be strengthened after that point.

Dr. Allen Sills, the league’s chief medical officer, said the omicron variant of the coronavirus is “in many ways (like) addressing a new disease.” Omicron is responsible for the significant uptick in positive COVID-19 cases, according to Sills, which are emanating from within team facilities. That is the opposite of where previous positives had come from right after Thanksgiving.

The league and the players’ union, advised by independent infectious disease officers, have developed a mechanism in the protocols that might lead to shorter stints on the sidelines for people testing positive.

Previously, a vaccinated person – players, coaches, executives and staffers – who tests positive must then have two negative tests 24 hours apart and be asymptomatic before being cleared to return. Beginning immediately, the new protocols relax that requirement a bit, allowing for two PCR tests or two Mesa tests – or one of each – being negative. The logistics for that could speed up the return of sidelined players.

“We have to think differently about this phase of the pandemic,” Sills said. “We are facing a different set of challenges and in some ways almost a different disease … and it is going to require a different (strategy) from us.”

The 32 teams also were told Thursday that they may continue current media policies that include media wearing masks at all times in a club facility. But the teams can also shift to virtual interviews for the rest of this week, something a few of them already have done.

Also Thursday:

– The Los Angeles Rams put linebacker Von Miller and eight more players on the reserve/COVID-19 list Thursday, giving them a whopping 25 players on the list.

Los Angeles added Miller, linebacker Troy Reeder, linebacker Ogbo Okoronkwo, linebacker Christian Rozeboom, offensive guard Bobby Evans, defensive back Antoine Brooks, offensive tackle Tremayne Anchrum, defensive back Jake Gervase and defensive backKareem Orr to the list.

The Rams (9-4) have roughly 10 potential/probable starters on the list, along with several backups who would have seen action at defensive back in particular. They canceled practice for the second straight day Thursday and held virtual meetings.

A team spokesman said the Rams have been in contact with the league to gauge their options in case they don’t have enough players to field a full team Sunday at SoFi Stadium against the Seattle Seahawks.

– The Chicago Bears were missing all three of their coordinators because of COVID-19 protocols as they prepared for Monday night’s home game against the Minnesota Vikings. And they had seven players out because of illnesses.

Bears coach Matt Nagy said offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, defensive coordinator Sean Desai and special teams coordinator Chris Tabor were participating remotely in meetings this week. Their status for the game is uncertain.

COVID-19 has hit the Bears hard this week, one of many teams experiencing positive tests. Approximately 100 players across the 32 teams have tested positive.

Nagy said non-COVID illness is running through the team and kept running back David Montgomery, guard James Daniels, tackle Teven Jenkins, return man Jakeem Grant, tight end Cole Kmet, tight end Jesper Horsted and running back Khalil Herbert sidelined on Thursday.

Chicago put five players on the COVID-19 reserve list since Monday, and a practice squad member: tackle Larry Borom, tackle Elijah Wilkinson, nose tackle Eddie Goldman, cornerback Artie Burns, defensive tackle Mario Edwards Jr., and practice squad linebacker Sam Kamara.

Nagy missed a game earlier this year against San Francisco, a 33-22 loss, because of COVID-19 issues, and Tabor coached the Bears.

– Washington placed three more players on the COVID-19 list Thursday, following eight Wednesday. The team total is 21, including two players on injured reserve and two on the practice squad. Safety Sam Curl was the only starter added to the list, and was joined by centers Keith Ismael and Tyler Larsen.

Curl joins fellow defensive starters in lineman Jon Allen and cornerback Kendall Fuller on the list. Washington could be down to its fifth option at center because of coronavirus and injury problems.

– Seattle might be without one of its stars, receiver Tyler Lockett, who was put on the COVID-19 list Thursday along with running back Alex Collins. The Seahawks had no players test positive in the 2020 season, but have had three this year: Tight end Gerald Everett was the other in September.

Lockett has a team-high 62 receptions for 1,023 yards and six touchdowns. Last week Lockett became the second player in franchise history with three straight seasons with at least 1,000 yards receiving, joining Hall of Famer Steve Largent.

Lockett had five catches for 142 yards and a touchdown last week against Houston and is 35 yards short of setting a career high for a season.

Collins has served as a starter for most of this season after Chris Carson was lost to a season-ending neck injury in Week 4. But Collins has played through several ailments.

– Cleveland might be down to third-string quarterback Nick Mullens after Case Keenum joined Baker Mayfield in the protocols, according to a person with knowledge of the situation who spoke anonymously because the move was not announced.

Tight end David Njoku was activated from the COVID-19 list, adding a playmaker heading into Saturday’s game against Las Vegas. On Wednesday, the virus shelved coach Kevin Stefanski and Mayfield, whose status for this week remains in question. The Browns previously had 17 players, including 10 starters, on the COVID-19 list and are placing safety Ronnie Harrison there. Starting safety James Johnson III and nickel back Troy Hill both tested positive on Wednesday and rookie cornerback Greg Newsome II has been ruled out with a concussion.

– Saints coach Sean Payton returned to practice on Thursday after staying home on Wednesday, when the team said the coach was “under the weather,” but had tested negative for COVID-19.

Payton had participated in a conference call with reporters on Wednesday morning without mentioning he’d be missing practice later that day. The Saints said Payton worked from home and participated in meetings via videoconference on Wednesday before returning to team headquarters on Thursday.

– Miami rookie receiver Jaylen Waddle’s sensational season could be on hold. Waddle has been placed in the coronavirus protocol. The sixth overall draft pick already set a franchise record for receptions by a rookie with 86. He has 849 yards receiving and four touchdowns.

The Dolphins host the Jets on Sunday.

AP SOURCE: BROWNS QB KEENUM, 4 MORE POSITIVE FOR COVID-19

CLEVELAND (AP) Case Keenum’s expected start for the Browns took an unexpected turn.

Cleveland’s veteran backup quarterback tested positive Thursday for COVID-19, possibly leaving the team without its top two quarterbacks for Saturday’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.

Keenum was slotted to make his second start this season for Baker Mayfield, who tested positive Wednesday as the virus continues to wreak havoc with the Browns and several other NFL teams.

Third-string quarterback Nick Mullens is now positioned to start against the Raiders, but nothing is set. Mullens was signed to Cleveland’s practice squad on Sept. 1 and activated from the practice squad Thursday as a COVID-19 replacement.

Keenum’s positive result came after he practiced on Thursday. The team is also placing safety Ronnie Harrison, linebackers Grant Delpit and Jacob Phillips and cornerback A,J. Green on its swollen COVID-19 list, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the situation remains fluid.

The roster moves aren’t officially done, but once they are, the Browns will have 21 players on the COVID list. And coach Kevin Stefanski is also currently sidelined after his second positive test in two seasons.

Despite Cleveland’s widespread outbreak, a league spokesman said there has been “no change” for Saturday’s game as the Browns (7-6) and Raiders (6-7) try to improve their chances of making the playoffs.

Shortly after Keenum’s positive test was confirmed, Mayfield went on Twitter to criticize the league, which earlier relaxed testing requirements to potentially have vaccinated personnel return earlier than under the previous protocols.

Under the modified protocols, it’s possible some asymptomatic Browns players could play Saturday. But there’s also a chance others could test positive.

The Browns have until 4 p.m. Friday to activate players in time for them to be eligible.

The Browns did get back tight end David Njoku after he missed last week’s game following a positive test. Njoku’s return at least gives the Browns a playmaker for whoever plays quarterback.

“You get thrown curveballs, and we have to adapt and overcome,” Njoku said. “On Saturday, we are going to put our best foot out, and we are going to play football.”

Harrison’s loss compounds a bad situation in Cleveland’s secondary, which will seek to stop Raiders QB Derek Carr with fellow safety John Johnson III and nickel back Troy Hill on the list. Also, starting rookie cornerback Greg Newsome II will miss his second straight game with a concussion suffered last week in practice.

The Browns held their first practice of the week on Thursday – Stefanski observed virtually – after having only virtual meetings and walk-throughs the previous two days.

Stefanski, who said earlier this week he’s received his COVID-19 booster, didn’t rule out anyone for this week’s game, including Mayfield, who could still meet the league’s new criteria in time to play Saturday.

“Certainly when they tell me we have run out of days in terms of negative tests and those type of things, then it will be official, but I don’t know that we’re ruling any of those guys out just yet,” Stefanski said.

However, if Mayfield and Keenum can’t go, Mullens will make his first start since last season for San Francisco. The 49ers went 2-6 in games the 26-year-old Mullens started. He has a 5-11 career record.

Like Mayfield, Browns star defensive end Myles Garrett raised some questions about the league’s testing policies.

Garrett said it was unusual players weren’t tested before entering the team’s facility on Thursday, meaning positive players may have entered the building and increased the potential for spread.

“It almost seemed like we were just ignoring it instead of addressing the issue,” he said. “We should go ahead and test and then allow in the building but not before you get results, and that is how it should be.

“The lack of testing that we have done all year I kind of feel like has led to this point. Only testing one time a week and guys doing their own thing on Monday and Tuesday with their time off, it was kind of a recipe for disaster.”

JAGUARS MOVE QUICKLY TO END MANY OF MEYER’S PRACTICE METHODS

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) The Jacksonville Jaguars moved quickly to rid themselves of some of Urban Meyer’s non-traditional methods Thursday.

There was no longer a motivational team huddle on the practice field. There was no longer an emcee with a microphone barking out directions for drills. There was no longer any use for catch phrases like “plus-two mentality” and “own it.”

The Jaguars embraced the not-so-subtle changes that followed owner Shad Khan firing Meyer after a 2-11 start that included countless embarrassments on and off the field.

“It brings a little bit of clarity to the guys in the locker room,” rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence said. “I wouldn’t say relief, but I would say just bring some clarity and some direction moving forward.

“We really want to go and finish the season strong, and to be honest, it’s been hard to last the last week with everything going on. There’s a lot of things being stirred up by the outside, too, that didn’t help. Made things a lot worse. It’s hard to be focused and have all your attention and efforts going towards winning the game when there’s so many things going on.”

Meyer’s final week included: an accusation Wednesday that he kicked former player Josh Lambo on the practice field in August; confirmation that he got into a heated argument with receiver Marvin Jones after criticizing wideouts for not winning enough one-on-one matchups a few weeks ago; and a report that Meyer called assistant coaches losers while questioning their resumes.

With his fate seemingly sealed, Meyer bolted the facility hours early Wednesday and left assistants to handle the game plan. He didn’t check out and never checked back in with any of them.

The Jaguars and Meyer’s representatives then spent hours working out details of the coach’s termination agreement, eventually leading to the late-night news drop.

Lawrence and many of his teammates woke up to learn Meyer had been fired.

“There’s been some drama. There’s been some distractions,” Lawrence said. “You can’t ever go back, though. You just have to move forward.”

Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell was made interim coach and handled a team meeting Thursday. He also instituted several tweaks aimed at maintaining a normal routine for players while putting his own spin on leading them through the final four games, beginning Sunday against Houston (2-11).

“All I can do is be me,” Bevell said. “Fortunately, I’ve been around a lot of great coaches. The thing I learned from them is to take the things from them and put them into my personality, my way, and then say, `OK, I just can’t pull that off.’

“So I’m only going to be me, and I’m going to try to be that same person each and every day.”

Although players and coaches refused to acknowledge Meyer’s firing was a much-needed relief near the end of dysfunctional season, they clearly saw it as a weight lifted as they try to end a five-game skid and find some momentum heading into an uncertain offseason.

“The biggest thing that we need right now is someone that’s consistent,” Lawrence said.

Meyer’s ability to lead had clearly been compromised, likely caused by the pressure and angst that came with losing more games in any one season than he lost in seven years at Ohio State or in his first five years at Florida.

Khan had already started to consider what to do with Meyer at the end of the season when Lambo’s accusation dropped. Meyer denied doing anything more than taking a playful poke at Lambo, who could end up suing Meyer and the Jaguars for workplace harassment.

It was the latest and last misstep for Meyer in 11 months on the job. A three-time national championship-winning coach in college, Meyer failed miserably to make a smooth transition to the NFL.

He didn’t know rules and procedures. He struggled to recall what happened in games and on the sidelines. He raised eyebrows when he mistakenly identified Joe Mixon as Houston’s running back and couldn’t come up with the names of his own players.

At best, Meyer looked like a stretched-thin coach wading into uncharted waters. At worst, he appeared in over his head.

Meyer really rankled his bosses when he was caught on camera inappropriately touching a woman at an Ohio bar in early October. Khan publicly reprimanded Meyer then and said he needed to regain “our trust and respect.”

Meyer didn’t, and his actions following the team’s latest loss, a 20-0 drubbing at Tennessee on Sunday, made it clear he needed to go. He barely shook hands with Titans coach Mike Vrabel after the game and then threatened to fire anyone caught leaking information from inside the facility.

Khan had seen enough. Players, meanwhile, welcomed a new direction.

“I feel like this locker room needs a head coach that actually believes in what their players are saying, trust in that, that we can all make this work,” cornerback Shaquill Griffin said. “This is not a one-man show. I feel like sometimes head coaches can come in and flip around, `This is my way. Let’s do it,’ and sometimes they forget about us.

“For any head coach who decides to take on this job or whatever the case may be, trust your teammates. We can do this together. We can win this together. This is a team effort. That would be my main message: Let’s do this together as a team.”

LAMAR JACKSON MISSES PRACTICE AGAIN WITH ANKLE INJURY

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) Lamar Jackson missed another practice for the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday because of his sprained ankle.

Jackson also missed practice Wednesday because of the ankle injury that knocked him out of last weekend’s loss at Cleveland. The Ravens have remained hopeful Jackson can play Sunday against Green Bay, but he continues to miss preparation time.

Tyler Huntley relieved Jackson during the game against Cleveland, and he also guided Baltimore to a victory at Chicago when Jackson was sick.

The Ravens also put safety Chuck Clark on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

WEEK 15 NFL PREVIEWS/CAPSULES

LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (6-7) AT CLEVELAND BROWNS (7-6)

SATURDAY, DEC. 18, 2021 // 4:30 PM ET // FIRSTENERGY STADIUM // REFEREE: CRAIG WROLSTAD

LEADER: Raiders lead all-time series, 14-10

STREAKS: Raiders have won past 3

LAST GAME: 11/1/20: Raiders 16 at Browns 6

LAST GAME AT SITE: 11/1/20

QB DEREK CARR completed 33 of 45 atts. (73.3 pct.) for 263 yards last week. Has 70+ comp. pct. in 4 of past 5. Has 300+ pass yards in 3 of 4 career starts vs. Cle. Has 375+ pass yards & 2+ TD passes in 2 of 3 games vs. AFC North this season. Ranks 2nd in NFL with 3,926 pass yards & can reach 4,000 pass yards for 4th-consecutive season. • RB JOSH JACOBS aims for 4th in row with 70+ scrimmage yards. Has 90+ scrimmage yards & rush TD in 2 of past 3. Rushed for 129 yards in last meeting. Is 1 of 3 in NFL (MELVIN GORDON & DERRICK HENRY) with 7+ rush TDs in each of past 3 seasons. • TE DARREN WALLER had 5 catches in last meeting. Has 50+ rec. yards in 6 of his past 7 on road. Has 100+ rec. yards in 2 of 3 games vs. AFC North this season. Is 1 of 4 TEs (MARK ANDREWS, TRAVIS KELCE & GEORGE KITTLE) with 600+ rec. yards in each of past 3 seasons. WR HUNTER RENFROW had career-high 13 catches for 117 yards & TD last week. Has 100+ rec. yards in 3 straight games, tied for longest active streak in NFL. Had TD catch in last meeting. Has rec. TD in 2 of past 3 on road. • LB DENZEL PERRYMAN has 12 games with 7+ tackles this season, tied for most in NFL. Has TFL in 2 of his past 3. Ranks 4th in league with career-high 133 tackles. DE YANNICK NGAKOUE had sack last week & has sack in 3 of past 4. Aims for 4th in row on road with sack. Has 2.5 sacks & 2 FFs in 2 career games vs. Cle. Leads team with 9 sacks & seeks 2nd-career 10-sack season. DE CLELIN FERRELL had 1st sack of season last week.

QB BAKER MAYFIELD completed 22 of 32 atts. (68.8 pct.) for 190 yards & 2 TDs vs. INT for 91.9 rating last week. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. AFC West with 70+ comp. pct. & 300+ pass yards. Is 1st player in franchise history with 2,500+ pass yards in each of 1st 4 seasons. • RB NICK CHUBB rushed for 59 yards last week. Had 105 rush yards in last meeting. Has 552 scrimmage yards (110.4 per game) & 4 rush TDs in his past 5 vs. AFC West. Has 90+ scrimmage yards in 6 of 7 career games vs. AFC West. Is 1st player in franchise history with 1,000+ scrimmage yards in each of 1st 4 seasons. • WR JARVIS LANDRY had 5 catches for 41 yards & 1st TD of season in Week 14. Aims for 3rd in row with 5+ catches. Has rec. TD in 2 of his past 3 vs. Raiders. Has 50+ rec. yards in 3 of his past 4 vs. AFC West. WR DONOVAN PEOPLES-JONES had 5 catches for team-high 90 yards last week. Aims for his 3rd in row at home with 90+ rec. yards. TE AUSTIN HOOPER had 3rd TD catch of season in Week 14. Had 84 rec. yards in only career game vs. Raiders (9/18/16 w/ Atl.). • DE MYLES GARRETT had sack, FF & 15-yard FR-TD last week, his 1st-career TD. Has sack in 8 of past 9. Aims for his 4th in row vs. AFC West with sack. Ranks 2nd in NFL with franchise-record 15 sacks this season. DE JADEVEON CLOWNEY had 1.5 sacks & PD in Week 14. Aims for 3rd in row with PD. DE TAKKARIST MCKINLEY had sack & 1st FF of season last week.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (9-4) AT INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (7-6)

SATURDAY, DEC. 18, 2021 // 8:20 PM ET // LUCAS OIL STADIUM // REFEREE: CARL CHEFFERS

LEADER: Patriots lead all-time series, 48-28

STREAKS: Patriots have won past 6

LAST GAME: 10/4/18: Colts 24 at Patriots 38

LAST GAME AT SITE: 10/18/15: Patriots 34, Colts 27

QB MAC JONES can become 1st rookie QB in NFL history to win each of 1st 7 career road starts. Can become 4th rookie QB ever to win 8+ straight games overall, joining BEN ROETHLISBERGER (13 in 2004), DAK PRESCOTT (11 in 2016) & KYLE ORTON (8 in 2005). Has 69.7 comp. pct. in 6 road starts. Leads rookies in comp. pct. (70.3), pass yards (2,869), TD passes (16) & rating (97). • RB DAMIEN HARRIS rushed for season-high 111 yards & had rush TD in Week 13. Has rush TD in 7 of his past 8. Aims for 4th in row with 50+ scrimmage yards. Aims for his 4th in row vs. AFC South with rush TD. Leads team with career-high 9 rush TDs & can become 1st NE RB with 10+ rush TDs in season since LEGARRETTE BLOUNT (18 in 2016). Rookie RB RHAMONDRE STEVENSON had 78 rush yards in Week 13. Has 75+ scrimmage yards in 4 of past 5. • WR JAKOBI MEYERS has 4+ catches in 11 of 13 games this season. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. AFC South with 50+ rec. yards. WR NELSON AGHOLOR had 5 catches for 100 yards & TD in his last game vs. Ind. (12/13/20 w/ LV). TE HUNTER HENRY aims for his 3rd in row vs. Ind. with 60+ rec. yards. • DB J.C. JACKSON had TFL & PD in Week 13 & aims for his 6th in row with PD. Has INT in 2 of past 3. Leads NFL with 24 INTs since 2018, tied for 2nd-most by player in 1st 4 seasons since 1970. LB MATTHEW JUDON aims for 4th with sack. Had 7 tackles & PD in his last game vs. Ind. (11/8/20 w/ Bal.). Can become 1st NE player with 13 sacks in season since 1985 (ANDRE TIPPETT).

QB CARSON WENTZ completed 16 of 22 atts. (72.7 pct.) for 158 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs for 107.8 rating in Week 13. Has 0 INTs in 4 of past 5 starts. Has 2+ TD passes in 4 of his past 5 at home. Has 6 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 115.2 rating in 3 starts vs. AFC East this season. Is 1 of 3 in NFL (KIRK COUSINS & AARON RODGERS) with 5 or fewer (5) INTs this season (min. 300 atts.). • RB JONATHAN TAYLOR rushed for 143 yards & 2 TDs in Week 13, his 7th game this season with 100+ rush yards & rush TD, most in NFL. Is 5th player ever with rush TD in 10 straight games within single season. Aims for 11th in row with 95+ scrimmage yards & TD. Has 9 TDs (8 rush, 1 rec.) in 4 career games vs. AFC East. Leads NFL with 1,684 scrimmage yards (1,348 rush, 336 rec.) & 18 TDs (16 rush, 2 rec), tied for most TDs ever by Ind. RB (HOFer EDGERRIN JAMES – 18 TDs in 2000). • WR MICHAEL PITTMAN led team with 77 rec. yards in Week 13. Has 50+ rec. yards in 6 of past 7. Has 5+ catches in 3 of past 4 at home. WR T.Y. HILTON has 6+ catches, 70+ rec. yards & rec. TD in 2 of 3 career games vs. NE. WR ASHTON DULIN aims for 3rd in row with TD catch. • LB DARIUS LEONARD has 5+ tackles in 12 of 13 games this season. Has FF in 2 of past 3 at home. Ranks tied-2nd in NFL with career-high 5 FFs. DE AL-QUADIN MUHAMMAD had season-high 2 sacks in Week 13. DE KEMOKI TURAY had 2 sacks in Week 13. CB KENNY MOORE had 2 PD, INT & FF in Week 13. Has INT in 2 of past 3. Has 9 PD in his past 6.

CAROLINA PANTHERS (5-8) AT BUFFALO BILLS (7-6)

SUNDAY, DEC. 19, 2021 // 1:00 PM ET // HIGHMARK STADIUM // REFEREE: CLETE BLAKEMAN

LEADER: Bills lead all-time series, 5-2

STREAKS: Bills have won 2 of past 3

LAST GAME: 9/17/17: Bills 3 at Panthers 9

LAST GAME AT SITE: 9/15/13: Bills 24, Panthers 23

QB CAM NEWTON became 1st QB all-time with rush TD in each of his 1st 4 games of season & 1st QB with 2 career streaks of 4-straight games with rush TD. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Buf. with rush TD. QB P.J. WALKER had 1st TD pass of season in Week 14. • RB CHUBA HUBBARD (rookie) had 4th rush TD of season last week. Is 1 of 3 rookie RBs (NAJEE HARRIS & JAVONTE WILLIAMS) with 450+ rush yards (460) & 150+ rec. yards (152) in 2021. • WR DJ MOORE had 6 catches & 84 rec. yards last week. Needs 62 rec. yards for 3rd-consecutive 1,000-yard season. Since 2019, ranks 5th in NFL with 3,306 rec. yards. Aims for his 10th in row in road with 4+ catches. WR ROBBY ANDERSON had season-highs in receptions (7) & rec. yards (84) & had 4th TD catch of season in Week 14. • LB HAASON REDDICK is 1 of 2 (T.J. WATT) with 5+ games with 1.5+ sacks (5) in 2021. Has 10.5 sacks in 2021 & is 1 of 4 with 10+ sacks in each of past 2 seasons. LB BRIAN BURNS has sack in 2 of his past 3. LB SHAQ THOMPSON had 11 tackles & TFL last week & aims for his 3rd in row with 11+ tackles. Is 1 of 4 LBs in 2021 with 80+ tackles (80), 5+ TFL (6) & 5+ PD (5) in 2021. S JEREMY CHINN led team & tied his career-high with 13 tackles last week. Is 1 of 2 DBs (DERWIN JAMES) with 90+ tackles (91) & 5+ TFL (5) this season. CB STEPHON GILMORE has 2+ PD in 2 of his 3 career games at Buf. Had 62 PD & 14 INTs in 68 games with Buf. (2012-16).

QB JOSH ALLEN passed for 308 yards & 2 TDs & rushed for season-high 109 yards & TD last week, becoming 3rd QB ever (CAM NEWTON & RUSSELL WILSON) with 300+ pass yards & 100+ rush yards in single game. Has 2+ TD passes in 4 of past 5. Has 4 TD passes in 3 of his past 4 vs. NFC. Has 14 TDs (12 pass, 2 rush) vs. 3 INTs in 6 home starts this season. Can become 1st ever Buf. QB with 30+ TD passes in consecutive seasons. • RB DEVIN SINGLETARY had 89 scrimmage yards (52 rush, 37 rec.) & 6 catches last week. Is 1st Buf. player with 500+ rush yards in each of 1st 3 seasons since TRAVIS HENRY (2001-03). • WR STEFON DIGGS had 7 catches for team-high 74 rec. yards in Week 14. Has 7+ catches & 70+ rec. yards in 2 of past 3. Had 6 catches for 64 yards in his last game vs. Car. (12/10/17 w/ Min.). Has rec. TD in 2 of his past 3 at home. WR COLE BEASLEY led team with 9 catches for 64 yards last week. Has 5+ catches in 2 of past 3. Had 7 catches for 73 yards in his last game vs. Car. (9/9/18 w/ Dal.). WR GABRIEL DAVIS aims for 3rd in row with TD catch. TE DAWSON KNOX had 7 catches for 60 yards & TD last week & has rec. TD in 2 of past 3. • S JORDAN POYER tied season high with 10 tackles & had PD last week. Has PD in 2 of past 3. Had career-high 3 PD & sack in last meeting. Has TFL in 4 of 5 home games this season. LB TREMAINE EDMUNDS led team with season-high 12 tackles & had PD in Week 14. Aims for 8th in row with 7+ tackles. LB MATT MILANO had sack last week & aims for his 8th in row with TFL.

ARIZONA CARDINALS (10-3) AT DETROIT LIONS (1-11-1)

SUNDAY, DEC. 19, 2021 // 1:00 PM ET // FORD FIELD // REFEREE: LAND CLARK

LEADER: Lions lead all-time series, 34-28-6

STREAKS: Lions have won 3 of past 4 (tie in 2019)

LAST GAME: 9/27/20: Lions 26 at Cardinals 23

LAST GAME AT SITE: 9/10/17: Lions 35, Cardinals 23

QB KYLER MURRAY passed for 383 yards & rushed for 61 yards last week. Needs 218 pass yards & TD pass for 3rd-straight season with 3,000+ pass yards & 20+ TD passes. Has 578 pass yards (289 per game) & 5 TDs (4 pass, 1 rush) in 2 career starts vs. Det. Has 2+ TD passes & 120+ rating in 4 of his 5 road starts this season. • RB JAMES CONNER had career-high 9 catches & 125 scrimmage yards (career-high 94 rec., 31 rush) with 2 rush TDs last week. Has 5 games with 2+ TDs in 2021, tied-most in NFL. Had TD in 7 straight games, 2nd-longest active streak in NFL. Ranks 2nd in NFL with 14 rush TDs & tied-2nd in total TDs (16) in 2021. • WR DEANDRE HOPKINS had 10 catches for 137 yards in last meeting. Has 10,581 rec. yards & can surpass HOFer CALVIN JOHNSON (10,604) for 3rd-most rec. yards by player before 30th birthday. WR A.J. GREEN led team with season-high 7 receptions & 102 rec. yards last week, his 2nd 100-yard game of season. • LB CHANDLER JONES has 9.5 sacks & can reach 10 sacks for 7th time. Leads active players with 31 FFs & ranks 2nd with 106.5 sacks. DE JORDAN PHILLIPS had 2nd sack of season last week & had sack in last meeting. LB JORDAN HICKS is 1 of 2 (ERIC KENDRICKS) with 100+ tackles (102) & 5+ sacks (5) this season. S BUDDA BAKER leads all DBs in tackles (439) since 2018. S JALEN THOMPSON is 1 of 2 DBs (DERWIN JAMES) with 90+ tackles (94) & 5+ PD (5) in 2021.

QB JARED GOFF had TD vs. INT last week. Has 8 TDs vs. 3 INTs for 92.4 rating in 6 home starts this season. Aims for his 3rd in row at home with 2+ TD passes & 95+ rating. Has 14 TDs (11 pass, 3 rush) vs. 3 INTs for 103 rating in 8 career starts vs. Az. Aims for his 5th in row vs. Az. with 0 INTs & 6th in row vs. Az. with 100+ rating. • RB D’ANDRE SWIFT has career-highs in rush yards (555), rec. yards (429) & receptions (56) this season. Has 50+ scrimmage yards in 8 of his past 9 at home. RB JAMAAL WILLIAMS has 60+ scrimmage yards in 4 of his 5 home games this season & aims for his 3rd in row at home with 80+ scrimmage yards. • TE T.J. HOCKENSON aims for his 3rd in row with rec. TD. Had career-high 131 rec. yards in NFL debut vs. Az. (9/8/19). Is 1 of 2 TEs (TRAVIS KELCE) with 60+ catches in each of past 2 seasons. Rookie WR AMON-RA ST. BROWN led team with 8 receptions & 73 rec. yards last week. Is 1 of 2 NFC rookie WRs (DEVONTA SMITH) with 50+ catches (57) & 500+ rec. yards (511). WR JOSH REYNOLDS aims for his 4th in row with 50+ rec. yards. • CB AMANI ORUWARIYE has 5 PD & 3 INTs in his past 6 at home. Had 2 PD in last meeting. LB CHARLES HARRIS aims for his 3rd in row with TFL. LB JOSH WOODS led team with career-high 13 tackles last week & aims for his 3rd in row with 8+ tackles. S WILLIS HARIS had career-high 9 tackles last week & aims for his 4th in row with PD. Rookie NT ALIM MCNEILL had 1st-career sack in Week 14.

HOUSTON TEXANS (2-11) AT JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (2-11)

SUNDAY, DEC. 19, 2021 // 1:00 PM ET // TIAA BANK FIELD // REFEREE: ALEX KEMP

LEADER: Texans lead all-time series, 26-13

STREAKS: Texans have won past 7

LAST GAME: 9/12/21: Jaguars 21 at Texans 37

LAST GAME AT SITE: 11/8/20: Texans 27, Jaguars 25

QB DAVIS MILLS completed career-high 33 of 49 atts. (67.3 pct.) for career-high 331 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs for 93.2 rating last week, most completions & 2nd-most pass yards by rookie in single game this season. Aims for his 3rd start in row with 300+ pass yards & 90+ rating. Ranks 2nd among rookies with 65.8 comp. pct & 81.1 rating this season. • RB REX BURKHEAD had season-high 66 scrimmage yards (40 rush, 26 rec.) last week. Has 50+ scrimmage yards in 2 of past 3. RB ROYCE FREEMAN had season-high 66 scrimmage yards (career-high 51 rec., 15 rush) in Week 14. Had 50 scrimmage yards (34 rec., 16 rush) in only career game vs. Jax. (9/29/19 w/ Den.). RB DAVID JOHNSON had TD catch in Week 1 meeting. • WR BRANDIN COOKS led team with 8 catches for 101 yards last week, 3rd 100-yard game in 2021. Had 5 catches for season high 132 yards in Week 1 meeting. Has 499 rec. yards (166.3 per game) & 3 rec. TDs in 4 career games vs. Jax. Has 5+ catches in 8 of his past 9 on road. Rookie WR NICO COLLINS had 5 catches for career-high 69 yards in Week 14. Rookie TE BREVIN JORDAN had rec. TD last week & has rec. TD in 2 of past 3. • LB KAMU GRUGIER-HILL had 6 tackles, 2 TFL & PD in Week 14. Aims for 4th in row with TFL & 3rd in row with 2+ TFL. Has sack in 2 of past 3. LB CHRISTIAN KIRKSEY led team with 10 tackles last week. Aims for 5th in row with 5+ tackles. Had 6 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 PD & INT in Week 1 meeting. Has DP in 2 of past 3 on road. DE JONATHAN GREENARD had 4th PD of season last week.

QB TREVOR LAWRENCE (rookie) completed 24 of 40 atts. (60 pct.) for 221 yards last week. Set career highs in pass yards (332) & TD passes (3) in Week 1 meeting. Has 0 INTs in 3 of his past 4 home starts. Leads rookies with 271 completions & ranks 2nd in with 2,735 pass yards & 9 TD passes. • RB JAMES ROBINSON rushed for 99 yards & TD in last home meeting. Aims for his 4th in row vs. Hou. with 50+ scrimmage yards. Has 100+ scrimmage yards in 4 of his past 5 at home. Has rush TD in 2 of his past 3 vs. division. Needs 109 scrimmage yards to become 2nd player in Jax. history (MAURICE JONESDREW) with 1,000+ scrimmage yards in each of 1st 2 seasons. RB CARLOS HYDE rushed for 44 yards in Week 1 meeting & has 50+ scrimmage yards in 2 of 3 career games vs. Hou. • WR MARVIN JONES led team with 6 catches for 70 yards last week. Had 5 catches for 77 yards & TD in Week 1 meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Hou. with 5+ catches. WR LAVISKA SHENAULT had season-high 7 catches for 50 yards in Week 1 meeting. Has 50+ rec. yards in 2 of 3 career games vs. Hou. WR LAQUON TREADWELL aims for 4th in row with 50+ rec. yards. • LB MYLES JACK had 10 tackles last week, his 3rd game with 10+ tackles this season. Aims for 5th in row with 7+ tackles. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Hou. with 9+ tackles & TFL. LB DAMIEN WILSON had 10 tackles, 2 TFL & 2nd sack of season in Week 14. Has TFL in 2 of past 3 vs. division. DE ROY ROBERTSON-HARRIS had sack last week & has sack in 3 of past 4.

NEW YORK JETS (3-10) AT MIAMI DOLPHINS (6-7)

SUNDAY, DEC. 19, 2021 // 1:00 PM ET // HARD ROCK STADIUM // REFEREE: RONALD TORBERT

LEADER: All-time series tied, 55-55-1

STREAKS: Dolphins have won past 3

LAST GAME: 11/21/21: Dolphins 24 at Jets 17

LAST GAME AT SITE: 10/18/20: Dolphins 24, Jets 0

QB ZACH WILSON (rookie) passed for 202 yards & rushed for career-high 33 yards last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 200+ pass yards. Has rush TD in 2 of past 3. Needs 259 pass yards to become 5th NYJ rookie QB ever with 2,000+ pass yards. • RB TY JOHNSON had 57 scrimmage yards (40 rec., 17 rush) & 4 catches last week. Has 5+ catches in 2 of his past 3 vs. division. Has 60+ scrimmage yards in 2 of his past 3 on road. RB TEVIN COLEMAN aims for his 3rd in row with 70+ scrimmage yards. Rookie RB MICHAEL CARTER rushed for 63 yards in Week 11 meeting. Has 80+ scrimmage yards in 3 of 4 games vs. division. Is 1 of 2 rookie RBs (NAJEE HARRIS) with 400+ rush yards (430) & 300+ rec. yards (308). • WR JAMISON CROWDER had 6 catches for 44 yards & TD in Week 11 meeting. Has 6+ catches in 2 of his past 3 vs. Mia. WR BRAXTON BERRIOS led team with 6 catches for 52 yards last week. Has 40+ rec. yards in 2 of past 3. • LB C.J. MOSLEY led team with career-high 17 tackles last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 13+ tackles. Had 8 tackles in Week 11 meeting. Leads team with 118 tackles, his 5th-career season with 100+ tackles. LB QUINCY WILLIAMS had 8 tackles, TFL & PD in Week 14. Aims for 5th in row with 7+ tackles. Had 15 tackles & 2 TFL in Week 11 meeting. DE KYLE PHILLIPS had 1st sack of season last week. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Mia. with TFL. S ELIJAH RILEY had career-high 10 tackles last week. Aims for his 5th in row with 5+ tackles.

QB TUA TAGOVAILOA completed 30 of 41 atts. (73.2 pct.) for 244 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 104.1 rating in Week 13. Aims for 5th in row with 100+ rating, 4th in row with 70+ comp. pct. & 3rd in row with 0 INTs. Completed 27 of 33 atts. (81.8 pct.) for 273 yards & 2 TDs for 108.7 rating in Week 11 meeting. Has 8 TDs (7 pass, 1 rush) vs. 2 INTs for 107.3 rating in 5 home starts in 2021. • RB MYLES GASKIN aims for his 8th in row with 45+ scrimmage yards. Has TD in 2 of past 3. Rushed for 89 yards & had TD catch in Week 11 meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. NYJ with 95+ scrimmage yards. Is 1 of 4 in AFC with 3+ rec. TDs (4) & 3+ rush TDs (3) this season. • WR JAYLEN WADDLE (rookie) led team with 9 catches for 90 yards in Week 13, his 6th game with 8+ catches, tied for mostever by rookie. Aims for 4th in row with 8+ catches & 6th in row with 60+ rec. yards. Leads rookies with 86 catches & needs 7 catches for 2nd-most ever by rookie. WR DEVANTE PARKER had 5 catches for 62 yards in Week 13. Had 8 catches for 119 yards in his last game vs. NYJ (11/29/20). TE MIKE GESICKI had 7 catches in Week 13. Had 50 rec. yards in Week 11 meeting. • CB XAVIEN HOWARD aims for 3rd in row with INT & 4th in row with PD. Has 14 PD & 3 INTs in 8 career games vs. NYJ. LB JAELAN PHILLIPS had 2 sacks in Week 13 & is only rookie this season with 2+ sacks in consecutive games. Has 6 sacks in his past 3. Ranks 2nd among rookies with 8.5 sacks. Rookie S JEVON HOLLAND had 2 PD in Week 13 & aims for his 6th in row with PD.

DALLAS COWBOYS (9-4) AT NEW YORK GIANTS (4-9)

SUNDAY, DEC. 19, 2021 // 1:00 PM ET // METLIFE STADIUM // REFEREE: JEROME BOGER

LEADER: Cowboys lead all-time series, 70-46-2

STREAKS: Cowboys have won 8 of past 9

LAST GAME: 10/10/21: Giants 20 at Cowboys 44

LAST GAME AT SITE: 1/3/21: Giants 23, Cowboys 19

QB DAK PRESCOTT passed for 302 yards & 3 TDs vs. INT for 116.9 rating in Week 5 meeting. Has 976 pass yards (325.3 per game) & 10 TDs vs. INT for 118.9 rating in his past 3 at NYG. Aims for his 4th in row at NYG with 3+ TD passes & 100+ rating. • RB EZEKIEL ELLIOTT rushed for 110 yards & had 2 TDs (1 rush, 1 rec.) in Week 5 meeting. Has 866 scrimmage yards (96.2 per game) & 8 TDs (7 rush, 1 rec.) in 9 career games vs. NYG. Aims for his 4th in row vs. NYG with rush TD. Since 2016, leads NFL in rush yards (7,194) & scrimmage yards (9,396). RB TONY POLLARD had 103 scrimmage yards (75 rush, 28) in last meeting. • WR AMARI COOPER had 6th rec. TD of season last week & is 1 of 8 players all-time with 5+ TD catches in each of 1st 7 seasons. Had rec. TD in last meeting. Has 5+ catches in 3 of his past 4 on road. WR CEEDEE LAMB led team with 7 receptions & 61 rec. yards last week. Had TD catch in last meeting. Needs 110 rec. yards for 1st-career 1,000-yard season. WR MICHAEL GALLUP aims for his 5th in row with 5+ catches. TE DALTON SCHULTZ aims for his 3rd in row vs. NYG with 70+ rec. yards. • LB MICAH PARSONS became 5th rookie since 2000 with 12+ sacks (12) & 3+ FFs (3) in single season & is 3rd rookie with sack in 6 straight games since 1982. Ranks 2nd in NFL with 17 TFL. CB TREVON DIGGS leads NFL with 9 INTs & ranks tied-1st with 17 PD. Had INT in last meeting & aims for his 4th in row vs. NYG with PD. S JAYRON KEARSE had 1st-career FR last week. Is 1 of 2 (JALEN RAMSEY) with 8+ TFL (8) & 9+ PD (9) in 2021.

QB DANIEL JONES passed for 229 yards & 2 TDs vs. INT for 106.9 rating in last home meeting. Has 90+ rating in 5 of his 6 home starts in 2021. Aims for his 4th in row at home with TD pass & 0 INTs. QB MIKE GLENNON passed for 2 TDs & had 1stcareer rush TD in Week 14. • RB SAQUON BARKLEY had 95 scrimmage yards (64 rush, 31 rec.) & 2nd TD catch of season last week. Since 2018, is 1 of 6 RBs to average 100+ scrimmage yards per game (104.2). Aims for his 3rd in row at home vs. Dal. with 95+ scrimmage yards. Has 50+ scrimmage yards in 17 of his 18 career home games. RB DEVONTAE BOOKER had 84 scrimmage yards (56 rush, 28 rec.) in Week 14. Has 60+ scrimmage yards in 3 of his past 4 at home. • TE KYLE RUDOLPH led team with season-high 66 rec. yards last week. WR STERLING SHERPARD has 7+ receptions & 75+ rec. yards in 3 of his past 4 at home. Had 8 catches & 136 scrimmage yards (112 rec., 24 rush) with 2 TDs (1 rec., 1 rush) in last home meeting. Rookie WR KADARIUS TONEY set career highs in receptions (10) & rec. yards (189) in Week 5 meeting. • CB JAMES BRADBERRY had PD last week. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Dal. with PD. Is only player with 10+ PD in each of past 6 seasons. Has PD in each of his 13 home games with NYG. LB AZEEZ OJULARI had sack last week & ranks 3rd among rookies with 7.5 sacks in 2021. LB TAE CROWDER needs 4 tackles for 1stcareer 100-tackle season. Had FF in last meeting.

WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM (6-7) AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (6-7)

SUNDAY, DEC. 19, 2021 // 1:00 PM ET // LINCOLN FINANCIAL FIELD // REFEREE: TONY CORRENTE

LEADER: Washington leads all-time series, 87-79-5 STREAKS: Washington has won past 2 LAST GAME: 1/3/21: Washington 20 at Eagles 14 LAST GAME AT SITE: 1/3/21

QB TAYLOR HEINICKE had TD vs. INT last week. Has 13 TDs (12 pass, 1 rush) vs. 6 INTs for 99 rating in 6 road starts in 2021. Aims for his 3rd in row on road with 2+ TD passes & 100+ rating. • RB ANTONIO GIBSON has 50+ scrimmage yards in 12 of his 13 career road games. Aims for his 3rd in row on road with 95+ scrimmage yards. Rushed for 75 yards in last road meeting. Has career-highs in rush yards (836) & scrimmage yards (1,057) in 2021. RB J.D. MCKISSIC aims for his 5th in row on road with 50+ scrimmage yards. Since 2020, leads all RBs in receptions (123) & ranks 2nd in rec. yards (986). • WR TERRY MCLAURIN has 5+ catches & 100+ rec. yards in 3 of his past 5 on road. Has 22 receptions for 356 yards (89 per game) & 3 rec. TDs in 4 career games vs. Phi. Aims for his 3rd in row at Phi. with rec. TD & 5th in row vs. Phi. with 5+ receptions. WR CAM SIMS led team with 69 rec. yards & had 2nd TD catch of season last week. Had 5 receptions in last meeting. WR CURTIS SAMUEL had rush TD in his only career game at Phi. (10/21/18 w/ Car.). • LB COLE HOLCOMB had team-high 8 tackles & 31-yard INT-TD last week, his 1st-career TD. Has career-high 110 tackles in 2021 & aims for his 3rd in row on road with 10+ tackles. S LANDON COLLINS had career-high 2 sacks & 10th-career INT last week, 1st DB since 2013 (CAPTAIN MUNNERLYN) with 2+ sacks & INT in single game. DT JONATHAN ALLEN had sack last week. CB KENDALL FULLER has career-high 13 PD in 2021.

QB JALEN HURTS can join LAMAR JACKSON as only QBs with 50+ rush yards in 7 straight games & can tie KYLER MURRAY (12 games) for 3rd-most 50+ rush yard games by QB in 1st 2 seasons in SB era. Had 2 rush TDs in last meeting. Has 10 TDs (6 rush, 4 pass) vs. INT for 87.3 rating in 5 home starts in 2021. • RB MILES SANDERS had season-high 142 scrimmage yards (120 rush, 22 rec.) in Week 13, his 11th-career game with 100+ scrimmage yards. Had career-high 172 scrimmage yards (122 rush, 50 rec.) & 2 TDs (1 rush, 1 rec.) in his last game vs. Was. (12/15/19). Rookie RB KENNETH GAINWELL had 87 scrimmage yards (career-high 54 rush, 33 rec.) & 4th-career rush TD in Week 13. RB JORDAN HOWARD has 3 rush TDs in his past 4 & aims for his 5th in row with 50+ scrimmage yards. • TE DALLAS GOEDERT had 6 catches for career-high 105 yards & his 1st-career game with 2 rec. TDs in Week 13. Is 1 of 3 TEs (MARK ANDREWS & GEORGE KITTLE) with 100+ rec. yards & 2+ rec. TDs in single game in 2021. Had 8 catches for 101 yards & rec. TD in his last game vs. Was. (9/13/20). WR DEVONTA SMITH is 1st Phi. rookie WR with 50+ catches since 2014 (JORDAN MATTHEWS). • DT JAVON HARGRAVE leads team with career-high 7.5 sacks in 2021. DE JOSH SWEAT had 1.5 sacks in Week 13. DT FLETCHER COX has 5.5 sacks & 7 TFL in his past 5 at home vs. Was. CB DARIUS SLAY leads NFL with 117 PD since 2013 & is only defensive player with 3 TDs in 2021.

TENNESSEE TITANS (9-4) AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS (6-6-1)

SUNDAY, DEC. 19, 2021 // 1:00 PM ET // HEINZ FIELD // REFEREE: BRAD ROGERS

LEADER: Steelers lead all-time series, 44-31

STREAKS: Steelers have won past 3

LAST GAME: 10/25/20: Steelers 27 at Titans 24

LAST GAME AT SITE: 11/16/17: Steelers 40, Titans 17

QB RYAN TANNEHILL completed 20 of 31 atts. (64.5 pct.) for 191 yards & rushed for TD last week. Passed for 220 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 104.9 rating in last meeting. Has 5 TDs vs. INT for 99.1 rating in 3 career starts vs. Pit. Aims for his 5th in row vs. AFC North with 2+ TD passes & 3rd in row with 100+ rating. • RB D’ONTA FOREMAN had 62 scrimmage yards (47 rush, 15 rec.) & 1st rush TD of season last week. Has 60+ scrimmage yards in 3 of past 4. RB DONTRELL HILLIARD has 80+ scrimmage yards in 2 of past 3. • WR JULIO JONES had 5 catches for 62 yards in only career game vs. Pit. (10/7/18 w/ Atl.). Has 5+ catches & 50+ rec. yards in 6 of 7 career games vs. AFC North. WR NICK WESTBROOKIKHINE has TD catch in 2 of his past 3 on road. TE GEOFF SWAIM led team with season-high 45 rec. yards in Week 14. TE ANTHONY FIRKSER has 4+ catches in 2 of past 3. • S KEVIN BYARD had 5 tackles & PD last week. Aims for 5th in row with 5+ tackles. Had 6 tackles in last meeting. Has INT in 3 of past 4 on road. Leads safeties with 13 PD in 2021 & ties for lead among safeties with 5 INTs. CB KRISTIAN FULTON had 2 PD & INT last week. Has PD in 8 of 9 games this season. CB BUSTER SKRINE had 2 PD & 1st INT of season last week. LB HAROLD LANDRY had career-high 11th sack of season in Week 14. Has TFL in 3 of past 4. Had TFL in last meeting. LB RASHAAN EVANS aims for 3rd in row with INT. Had PD in last meeting. LB DERICK ROBERSON had 1st full sack of season in Week 14.

QB BEN ROETHLISBERGER completed 28 of 40 atts. (70 pct.) for 308 yards & 3 TDs vs. INT for 107.1 rating last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 2+ TD passes & 105+ rating. Passed for 299 yards & 4 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 115 rating in last home meeting. Aims for his 9th in row vs. AFC South with 2+ TD passes. Aims for his 5th in row at home with 0 INTs & 95+ rating. Needs 27 pass yards to move into 5th place on NFL’s all-time list. • RB NAJEE HARRIS had 104 scrimmage yards (94 rush, 10 rec.) & career-high 2 TDs (1 rush, 1 rec.) last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 100+ scrimmage yards. Has 810 scrimmage yards (115.7 per game) in 7 home games this season. Leads rookies with 1,270 scrimmage yards (873 rush, 397 rec.) & ranks 2nd with 9 TDs (7 rush, 2 rec.), most-ever scrimmage yards by Pit. rookie. • WR DIONTAE JOHNSON aims for 6th in row with 75+ rec. yards & 9th in row with 5+ catches. Had 9 catches for 80 yards & 2 TDs in last meeting. Needs 10 rec. yards for 1st-career season with 1,000 rec. yards. WR CHASE CLAYPOOL had 8 catches for 93 yards in Week 14. Aims for 5th in row with 50+ rec. yards. Rookie TE PAT FREIERMUTH has rec. TD in 3 of past 4. • LB T.J. WATT had 3 TFL, sack & PD in last meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Ten. with PD. Has sack in 5 of his past 6 vs. AFC South. Leads NFL with career-high 16 sacks. S MINKAH FITZPATRICK aims for 4th in row with 6+ tackles & PD. CB AHKELLO WITHERSPOON had 3 PD & career-high 2 INTs last week. Aims for 4th in row with PD.

CINCINNATI BENGALS (7-6) AT DENVER BRONCOS (7-6)

SUNDAY, DEC. 19, 2021 // 4:05 PM ET // EMPOWER FIELD AT MILE HIGH // REFEREE: ADRIAN HILL

LEADER: Broncos lead all-time series, 22-10

STREAKS: Broncos have won 3 of past 4

LAST GAME: 12/2/18: Broncos 24 at Bengals 10

LAST GAME AT SITE: 11/19/17: Bengals 20 at Broncos 17

QB JOE BURROW completed 25 of 34 atts. (73.5 pct.) for 348 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 125.6 rating last week, his 9thcareer game with 300+ pass yards, tied-4th most by player in 1st 2 seasons. Aims for 3rd in row with 300+ pass yards. Has 2+ TD passes in 5 of his past 6 on road. • RB JOE MIXON had 68 scrimmage yards (58 rush, 10 rec.) last week. Has TD in 9 of past 10. Had 85 scrimmage yards (82 rush, 13 rec.) in last meeting. Ranks 2nd in NFL with 1,036 rush yards, his 3rd-career season with 1,000+ rush yards. • WR JA’MARR CHASE (rookie) had 5 catches for 77 yards & 2 TDs last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 5+ catches & 50+ rec. yards. Has rec. TD in 5 of 6 road games. Is 5th rookie in SB era with 1,000+ rec. yards (1,034) & 10+ rec. TDs (10). WR TEE HIGGINS aims for 4th in row with 5+ catches & 110+ rec. yards. Has rec. TD in 2 of past 3. WR TYLER BOYD aims for 3rd in row with 50+ rec. yards. Had 6 catches for 97 yards in last meeting. • DE TREY HENDRICKSON can become 2nd player since 1982 with sack in 10 straight games within single season, joining CHRIS JONES (11 games in 2018). Is 1 of 3 in NFL (MYLES GARRETT & T.J. WATT) with 12+ sacks in each of past 2 seasons. DT LARRY OGUNJOBI aims for 3rd in row with sack. Had sack & PD in his last game vs. Den. (11/3/19 w/ Cle.). DT B.J. HILL has sack in 2 of past 3. S VONN BELL led team with 10 tackles & had 2 PD & FF last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 6+ tackles. Is 1 of 2 DBs (TERRANCE MITCHELL) with 3+ FFs in each of past 2 seasons.

QB TEDDY BRIDGEWATER completed 18 of 25 atts. (72 pct.) for 179 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 118.6 rating last week, his 6th game this season with 70+ comp. pct. (min. 20 atts.), tied 2ndmost in NFL. Has 0 INTs in 5 of his past 6 starts. Aims for his 5th in row at home with 0 INTs. Has 100+ rating in 2 of past 3 overall & 3 of his past 4 at home. Has career-high 18 TD passes. • RB MELVIN GORDON rushed for season-high 111 yards & 2 TDs, his 11th-career game with 2+ rush TDs, tied 4th-most since entering NFL in 2015. Aims for 3rd in row with 80+ rush yards. Has TD in 5 of his past 6. Had 88 rush yards in only career game vs. Cin. (9/20/15 w/ SD). Is 6th player ever with 7+ rush TDs in 6 straight seasons. Rookie RB JAVONTE WILLIAMS had 83 scrimmage yards (73 rush, 10 rec.) & career-high 2 TDs (1 rush, 1 rec.) in Week 14. Aims for 4th in row with 80+ scrimmage yards & TD. Ranks 3rd among rookies with 1,022 scrimmage yards (743 rush, 279 rec.). • WR JERRY JEUDY had team-high 5 catches for 47 yards last week. Has 5+ catches in 2 of his past 3 at home. WR COURTLAND SUTTON had 85 rec. yards & TD catch in last meeting. TE ALBERT OKWUEGBUNAM had 2nd rec. TD of season in Week 14. • S JUSTIN SIMMONS had 5th INT of 2021 last week. Has PD in 6 of past 7. Had INT in last meeting. Has INT in 3 of his past 4 at home. Is 1 of 2 in NFL (J.C. JACKSON) with 5+ INTs in each of past 2 seasons. DE DRE’MONT JONES had season-high 2 sacks & PD in Week 14. Aims for 3rd in row with sack.

ATLANTA FALCONS (6-7) AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (7-6)

SUNDAY, DEC. 19, 2021 // 4:05 PM ET // LEVI’S STADIUM // REFEREE: CLAY MARTIN

LEADER: 49ers lead all-time series, 46-31-1

STREAKS: Falcons have won past 2

LAST GAME: 12/15/19: Falcons 29 at 49ers 22

LAST GAME AT SITE: 12/15/19

QB MATT RYAN passed for TD vs. 0 INTs & 98.8 rating last week. Passed for 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs & 95 rating in last meeting. Aims for his 5th in row vs. SF with 90+ rating. Needs 3 TD passes to surpass ELI MANNING (366) for 9th-most all-time. • RB CORDARRELLE PATTERSON had 5th rush TD of season last week & became 1st player in franchise history with 5+ rush TDs & 5+ rec. TDs (5) in single season. Is 1 of 2 (AUSTIN EKELER) with 500+ rush yards (547) & 500+ rec. yards (519). Has career highs in scrimmage yards (1,066) & TDs (10). RB MIKE DAVIS had 5 catches & season-high 86 scrimmage yards (44 rush, 42 rec.) in Week 14. Aims for his 3rd in row with 65+ scrimmage yards. • TE KYLE PITTS had 5 catches for 61 yards last week & became 5th rookie TE all-time with 50+ catches (54) & 750+ rec. yards (770). Has 60+ rec. yards in 4 of his past 5 on road. WR RUSSELL GAGE led team with 64 rec. yards last week. Has 60+ rec. yards in 4 of his past 5 on road. TE HAYDEN HURST had 2nd rec. TD of season in Week 14. • LB DEION JONES has 106 tackles, his 5th-career 100-tackle season. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. SF with 8+ tackles. LB FOYESADE OLUOKUN ranks 2nd in NFL with career-high 142 tackles. Has 10+ tackles in 4 of his past 5. LB MYKAL WALKER had 66-yard INT-TD in Week 14, his 1st-career TD. CB A.J. TERRELL tied a career-high with 3 PD & had 3rd-career INT last week. Aims for his 5th in row with PD. DT GRADY JARRETT had 3rd-career FR in Week 14.

QB JIMMY GAROPPOLO passed for 296 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 103.3 rating last week. Has 90+ rating in 7 straight games, longest active streak in NFL. Had TD vs. 0 INTs for 90.3 rating in last meeting. Needs 63 pass yards for 2nd-career 3,000-yard season (2019). • RB ELIJAH MITCHELL (rookie) has 50+ scrimmage yards in each of his 1st 9 career games. Aims for his 3rd in row with rush TD. Leads all rookies in scrimmage yards per game (98.3). • TE GEORGE KITTLE had 13 catches for 151 yards & his career high 6th TD catch of season last week & became 1st TE all-time with 150+ rec. yards & rec. TD in consecutive games. Became 4th TE all-time with 3 career games with 13+ catches. Had 13 catches for 134 yards in last meeting. Since 2017, ranks 2nd among TEs in rec. yards (4,336) & 3rd in receptions (321). WR DEEBO SAMUEL had 6th rush TD of season last week & is 1 of 3 (AUSTIN EKELER & CORDARRELLE PATTERSON) with 5+ rush TDs & 5+ rec. TDs (5) in 2021. WR BRANDON AIYUK had 6 catches for 62 yards & GW-TD catch in OT last week, his 4th rec. TD of season. Aims for his 5th in row with 50+ rec. yards. • DL NICK BOSA leads NFL with 18 TFL & ranks tied-3rd with 14 sacks. Aims for his 6th in row with sack. Had sack in last meeting. LB FRED WARNER needs 1 tackle for 4th-straight 100-tackle season. LB AZEEZ AL-SHAAIR had 1st-career full sack & career high 3 TFL last week. Aims for his 3rd in row with 11+ tackles. CB K’WAUN WILLIAMS had 1st sack of season last week.

GREEN BAY PACKERS (10-3) AT BALTIMORE RAVENS (8-5)

SUNDAY, DEC. 19, 2021 // 4:25 PM ET // M&T BANK STADIUM // REFEREE: BRAD ALLEN

LEADER: Packers lead all-time series, 4-2

STREAKS: Packers have won 2 of past 3

LAST GAME: 11/19/17: Ravens 23 at Packers 0

LAST GAME AT SITE: 10/13/13: Packers 19, Ravens 17

QB AARON RODGERS passed for 341 yards & 4 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 141.1 rating in Week 14. Has 14 games with 4+ TD passes & 140+ rating, tied-2nd most all-time. Has 113 games with 100+ rating, 3rd-most all-time. Has 2+ TD passes in 10 of his past 11 on road. Has 27 TD passes & can become 5th QB all-time with 8 seasons with 30+ TD passes. • RB AARON JONES had 2 TDs (1 rush, 1 rec.) last week & is 1 of 3 (MELVIN GORDON & DERRICK HENRY) with 9+ TDs in each of past 4 seasons. Needs 73 scrimmage yards for 3rd-consecutive 1,000-yard season. Has 100+ scrimmage yards in 3 of his past 4 on road. RB A.J. DILLON rushed for 71 yards last week & aims for his 7th in row with 70+ scrimmage yards. • WR DAVANTE ADAMS had 10 catches for 121 yards & 2 rec. TDs last week. Has 7 career games with 10+ catches, 100+ rec. yards & 2+ rec. TDs, tied-most all-time. Needs 10 catches & 96 rec. yards for 3rd-career season with 100+ catches & 1,300+ rec. yards. Has 28 games with 100+ rec. yards since 2016, 2ndmost in NFL. WR ALLEN LAZARD had season-high 75 rec. yards & career-high 4th rec. TD last week. • LB DE’VONDRE CAMPBELL had season-high 16 tackles last week & had 2nd-career 100-tackle season (114). LB PRESTON SMITH had 2 sacks & FF last week. Has 5 sacks in his past 4. CB RASUL DOUGLAS had 55-yard INT-TD last week & is 1st player with INT -TD in consecutive games since 2018 (EDDIE JACKSON). CB ERIC STOKES ranks tied-1st among rookies with 12 PD.

QB LAMAR JACKSON aims for his 8th in row at home with 50+ rush yards. Is 12-0 with 26 TDs (20 pass, 6 rush) & 98 rating in 12 career starts vs. NFC & can become 2nd QB ever to win 1st 13 starts vs. one conference (BOBBY HEBERT vs. AFC). Leads QBs with 767 rush yards & is 1 of 5 in NFL with 750+ rush yards in each of past 3 seasons. QB TYLER HUNTLEY completed 27 of 38 atts. (71.1 pct.) for 270 yards & TD for 99.7 rating last week. • RB DEVONTA FREEMAN had 72 scrimmage yards (64 rush, 8 rec.) last week & aims for his 3rd in row with 70+ scrimmage yards. Had 100 scrimmage yards (84 rush, 16 rec.) & 2 rush TDs in his last game vs. GB (9/17/17 w/ Atl.). Aims for his 3rd in row vs. GB with 2+ TDs. Has TD in 3 of his past 4 at home. RB LATAVIUS MURRAY had 5th rush TD of season in Week 14. • TE MARK ANDREWS had 11 catches for 115 yards & TD last week. Aims for 6th in row with 50+ rec. yards. Has rec. TD in 2 of past 3. Leads TEs in catches (75) & rec. yards (926). WR MARQUISE BROWN aims for 7th in row with 5+ catches. Has 50+ rec. yards in 5 of past 6 at home. Rookie WR RASHOD BATEMAN set career highs in catches (7) & rec. yards (103) last week. • CB ANTHONY AVERETT had 5 tackles, 2 PD & 3rd INT of season in Week 14. Has PD in 3 of his past 4 vs. NFC. Rookie CB BRANDON STEPHENS led team with 8 tackles last week. Ranks 2nd among rookie DB with 56 tackles. LB JUSTIN HOUSTON had TFL last week. Had sack in his last game vs. GB (11/22/20 w/ Ind.). Aims for his 3rd in row vs. GB with TFL.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (5-8) LOS ANGELES RAMS (9-4)

SUNDAY, DEC. 19, 2021 // 4:25 PM ET // SOFI STADIUM // REFEREE: SHAWN HOCHULI

LEADER: Seahawks lead all-time series, 25-21

STREAKS: Rams have won 3 of past 4

LAST GAME: 10/7/21: Rams 26 at Seahawks 17

LAST GAME AT SITE: 11/15/20: Rams 23, Seahawks 16

QB RUSSELL WILSON passed for 260 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 115.2 rating last week. Has 89 games with 2+ TD passes, 2nd-most by QB in 1st 10 seasons all-time. Has 110+ rating in 5 of his 6 road starts in 2021. Has 111 wins, incl. playoffs, & can tie HOFer PEYTON MANNING (112) for most by QB in 1st 10 seasons, incl. postseason, all-time. • RB RASHAAD PENNY had set career-highs with 137 rush yards & 2 rush TDs in Week 14, his 3rd-career game with 100+ rush yards. RB ALEX COLLINS had 72 scrimmage yards (47 rush, 25 rec.) in Week 5 meeting. • WR DK METCALF had 5 catches for 98 yards & 2 rec. TDs in Week 5 meeting. Has 5+ receptions & 50+ rec. yards in 3 of his past 4 vs. LAR. Is 1 of 3 (MIKE EVANS & TYREEK HILL) with 7+ rec. TDs in each of past 3 seasons. WR TYLER LOCKETT had 5 catches for 142 yards & rec. TD last week. Is 1 of 5 WRs with 5+ games (5) with 100+ rec. yards in 2021. Is only player with 1,000+ rec. yards in each of past 3 seasons. • LB BOBBY WAGNER had team-high 15 tackles last week & leads NFL with 152 tackles, his 10th-straight 100-tackle season. Has 10+ tackles in 6 of 7 road games this season. LB JORDYN BROOKS had 10 tackles last week & ranks 3rd in NFL with career-high 134 tackles. Aims for his 5th in row on road & 6th in row overall with 10+ tackles. DE DARRELL TAYLOR had 6th sack of season last week. Had sack in last meeting. S QUANDRE DIGGS is only player with 3+ INTs in each of past 5 seasons.

QB MATTHEW STAFFORD passed for 287 yards & 3 TDs vs. 0 INTs & 139.2 rating last week. Ranks 2nd in TD passes (33), 2nd in rating (108.4) & 3rd in pass yards (3,898) in 2021. Leads NFL with 8 games with 3+ TD passes this season & aims for his 4th in row with 3+ TD passes. Passed for 365 yards & TD vs. INT in Week 5 meeting. Has 16 TDs vs. 3 INTs & 110 rating in 6 home starts in 2021. • RB SONY MICHEL rushed for 79 yards last week. RB DARRELL HENDERSON rushed for 82 yards & TD in last meeting. • WR COOPER KUPP leads NFL with 113 receptions for 1,489 yards & 12 TDs, 3rd-most catches & 3rd-most rec. yards by player in team’s 1st 13 games of season all-time. Had career high 13 catches for 123 yards & rec. TD last week. Has 4 games with 10+ catches & 8 games with 100+ rec. yards in 2021, both most in NFL. WR ODELL BECKHAM JR. had 3rd rec. TD of season last week & aims for his 4th in row with TD catch. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Sea. with 100+ rec. yards. WR VAN JEFFERSON aims for his 3rd in row with rec. TD. • DL AARON DONALD had season-high 3 sacks last week, his 6th-career game with 3+ sacks. Became 4th player since 1982 with 8+ sacks in each of 1st 8 seasons. Is only player with 10+ sacks in each of past 5 seasons. Has 14 sacks & 22 TFL in 15 career games vs. Sea. LB VON MILLER leads active players with 110.5 sacks. LB LEONARD FLOYD had 2nd-career INT last week. Has 5 sacks, 5 TFL & 2 FRs in 4 career games vs. Sea.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (6-7) AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (10-3)

SUNDAY, DEC. 19, 2021 // 8:20 PM ET // RAYMOND JAMES STADIUM // REFEREE: JOHN HUSSEY

LEADER: Saints lead all-time series, 38-21

STREAKS: Saints have won past 6

LAST GAME: 10/31/21: Buccaneers 27 at Saints 36

LAST GAME AT SITE: 11/8/20: Saints 38, Buccaneers 3

QB TAYSOM HILL completed 15 of 21 atts. (71.4 pct.) with 96.3 rating & rushed for 73 yards & 2 TDs last week. Is 1 of 4 QBs with 2+ games (2) with 70+ rush yards in 2021. Has 6 rush TDs in 6 starts at QB. Aims for his 4th QB start in row on road with 95+ rating & 7th QB start in row overall with 2+ total TDs. • RB ALVIN KAMARA had 145 scrimmage yards (120 rush, 25 rec.) & rush TD last week. Has 362 catches, most by RB in 1st 5 seasons all-time & has 67 career TDs, tied-5th most by RB in 1st 5 seasons all-time. Needs 15 scrimmage yards for 5thstraight 1,000-yard season. Has 926 scrimmage yards (102.9 per game) & 10 TDs (7 rush, 3 rec.) in 9 career games vs. TB. Aims for his 5th in row on road & 6th in row overall with TD. Has 100+ scrimmage yards in 5 of his past 6 on MNF. RB MARK INGRAM aims for his 6th in row vs. TB with 50+ scrimmage yards. • WR MARQUEZ CALLAWAY has 5 rec. TDs in his past 6 on road & had career-high 6 TD catches in 2021. WR TRE’QUAN SMITH aims for his 3rd in row vs. TB with TD catch. • CB MARSHON LATTIMORE had 2 PD last week. Has 9 PD & INT in 8 career games vs. TB. Has 16 PD & is 1 of 3 with 10+ PD in each of past 5 seasons. LB DEMARIO DAVIS led team with 8 tackles & had TFL & PD last week. Is 1 of 2 (T.J. WATT) with 10+ TFL in each of past 5 seasons. DE CAMERON JORDAN had sack & FF in last meeting. Has 8.5 sacks in his past 9 at TB. LB KWON ALEXANDER had 1st-career 2 sack game last week. Had sack in last meeting. Had 380 tackles, 7 sacks & 6 INT with TB (2015-18).

QB TOM BRADY passed for 363 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 105.6 rating & had rush TD last week. Is NFL all-time leader in pass yards (83,338), pass TDs (617) & completions (7,156). Has 13 seasons with 4,000+ pass yards, 2nd-most all-time. Is 1 of 2 QBs (JUSTIN HERBERT) with 7 300-yard games in 2021. Is 7-0 with 2,346 pass yards (335.1 per game) & 27 TDs (26 pass, 1 rush) vs. 4 INTs for 113.1 rating in his past 7 home starts. • RB LEONARD FOURNETTE had 132 scrimmage yards (113 rush, 19 rec.) & 8th rush TD of season last week. Is 1 of 2 NFC RBs (DALVIN COOK) with 8 games with 90+ scrimmage yards in 2021. Leads all RBs with 62 catches & ranks 4th in rec. yards (421). • WR MIKE EVANS had 6 catches for 91 yards & rec. TD last week & ranks tied-2nd in NFL with 11 rec. TDs. Aims for his 6th in row at home with 5+ catches, 70+ rec. yards & rec. TD. Needs 115 rec. yards for 8th-straight 1,000-yard season. WR CHRIS GODWIN had 10 catches for 105 yards last week & aims for his 3rd in row with 10+ receptions & 100+ rec. yards. Has career high 92 receptions in 2021. Had 8 catches for 140 yards & rec. TD in Week 8 meeting. TE ROB GRONKOWSKI ranks 3rd all-time among TEs in rec. TDs (92) & 5th in rec. yards (8,982). • LB LAVONTE DAVID needs 14 tackles for 9th-career 100-tackle season. Aims for his 20th in row vs. NO with 5+ tackles. LB DEVIN WHITE had 10 tackles & 1.5 sacks last week. Aims for his 5th in row vs. NO with 10+ tackles. LB SHAQUILL BARRETT had 1.5 sacks last week. Had sack in last home meeting.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS (6-7) AT CHICAGO BEARS (4-9)

MONDAY, DEC. 20, 2021 // 8:15 PM ET // SOLDIER FIELD // REFEREE: SCOTT NOVAK

LEADER: Bears lead all-time series, 61-56-2

STREAKS: Bears have won 5 of past 6

LAST GAME: 12/20/20: Bears 33 at Vikings 27

LAST GAME AT SITE: 11/16/20: Vikings 19, Bears 13

QB KIRK COUSINS aims for his 3rd in row vs. Chi. with 2+ TD passes & 95+ rating. Has 90+ rating in 14 straight road starts, longest streak all-time. Aims for his 10th in row on road with 2+ TD passes. Has 27 TD passes & is 5th player ever with 25+ TD passes in 7 straight seasons. • RB DALVIN COOK had season-high 222 scrimmage yards (205 rush, 17 rec.) & 2 rush TDs last week, his 4th-career game with 200+ scrimmage yards & 2nd-career game with 200+ rush yards. Needs 22 rush yards for 3rd-straight 1,000+ rush yard season. Had 159 scrimmage yards (132 rush, 27 rec.) & rush TD in last meeting & aims for his 3rd in row vs. Chi. with 100+ scrimmage yards. • WR JUSTIN JEFFERSON has 16 catches for 239 yards (119.5 per game) in 2 career games vs. Chi. & aims for his 3rd in row vs. Chi. with 8+ catches & 100+ rec. yards. Has 2,688 rec. yards & needs 67 rec. yards to surpass ODELL BECKHAM JR. (2,755) for most rec. yards in 1st 2 seasons in SB era. WR K.J. OSBORN had 83 rec. yards & 4th rec. TD of season last week. • LB ERIC KENDRICKS led team with 11 tackles & had career-high 5th sack of season last week. Has career-high 120 tackles, his 6th-straight 100+ tackle season. S HARRISON SMITH had 3rd sack of season last week & is only active player with 25+ INTs (29) & 15+ sacks (16.5). CB BASHAUD BREELAND had 16th-career INT in Week 14. DE D.J. WONNUM had career-high 2 PD last week & aims for his 3rd in row with PD.

QB JUSTIN FIELDS (rookie) passed for 2 TDs vs. 2 INTs & rushed for 74 yards last week & is 1 of 4 QBs with 2+ games (2) with 70+ rush yards in 2021. Has 35+ rush yards in 5 of his past 6 starts. Aims for his 3rd start in row in primetime with TD pass. • RB DAVID MONTGOMERY had 6 catches & 81 scrimmage yards (42 rush, 39 rec.) last week. Has 342 scrimmage yards (114 per game) & 3 rush TDs in 3 career games vs. Min. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Min. with 110+ rush yards & rush TD. Aims for his 4th in row on MNF with 65+ scrimmage yards. • WR JAKEEM GRANT had 46-yard rec. TD & 97-yard PR-TD in Week 14. Is 1 of 2 (JAMAL AGNEW) with 4+ PR-TDs (4) & 2+ KRTDs (2) since 2016. Aims for his 3rd in row with rec. TD. WR DAMIERE BYRD led team with 76 rec. yards & had 1st TD catch of season last week. WR DARNELL MOONEY has 5+ catches in 3 of his past 4 overall & aims for his 7th in row at home with 5+ receptions. Had TD catch in last meeting. WR ALLEN ROBINSON has 70+ rec. yards in 3 of his past 4 vs. Min. • LB ROBERT QUINN had 2 sacks last week & aims for his 6th in row with sack. Ranks tied-3rd in NFL with 14 sacks in 2021. Had sack in last meeting. LB ROQUAN SMITH has 130 tackles & is only player with 100+ tackles & 2+ sacks in each of past 4 seasons. Had 14 tackles, 3 TFL & sack in last home meeting. DB EDDIE JACKSON had FF in last home meeting. Has 2 FFs & 2 FRs in his past 4 on MNF. LB TREVIS GIBSON had 4th sack of season last week

MSU RB WALKER, PITT QB PICKETT SKIPPING PEACH BOWL

PITTSBURGH (AP) The Peach Bowl will go on without Kenneth Walker and Kenny Pickett.

Walker, an All-America running back at Michigan State, and Pickett, a record-setting quarterback for Pittsburgh, both announced Thursday they are skipping the bowl game to focus on the NFL draft.

Walker and Pickett both revealed their respective decisions in social media posts on Thursday, leaving the 11th-ranked Spartans (10-2) and 13th-ranked Panthers (11-2) without their biggest stars for the Dec. 30 game in Atlanta.

Pickett, the ACC Player of the Year and third-place finisher in the Heisman Trophy voting, thanked the university, head coach Pat Narduzzi, offensive coordinator Mark Whipple, his teammates and the fans in a lengthy Twitter post. Pickett called the celebration after the Panthers won their first ACC title with a win over Wake Forest earlier this month “one of the best moments of my career.”

It’s a moment few saw coming entering the fall before Pickett started re-writing the Pitt record book. He set new school marks for touchdown passes in a season (42) and yards passing in a season (4,319) while guiding the Panthers to 11 wins for the first time since 1981. He captured the Johnny Unitas Award last week and was named a second-team All-American by The Associated Press.

“From the time you arrived as a freshman five years ago, right up until the moment you walked off the field in Charlotte as ACC Champion, you gave the University of Pittsburgh absolutely everything you had,” Narduzzi wrote to Pickett in a Twitter post.

Pickett’s breakout season has rocketed him up NFL draft boards. He is expected to be among the first quarterbacks selected in April.

His decision means the Panthers will be without their starting quarterback and offensive coordinator for the Peach Bowl after Mark Whipple resigned last week to take the same position at Nebraska. Narduzzi has not said who will call the plays against Michigan State. Nick Patti figures to get the nod at quarterback after spending the season as Pickett’s primary backup.

Hours before Pickett said he was heading to the NFL, Walker did the same, a decision Michigan State coach Mel Tucker supported.

“I want to congratulate Ken for all his success and thank him for taking a chance on us,” Tucker posted.

Walker, a Tennessee native, transferred from Wake Forest after his sophomore season and helped Tucker’s turnaround. The Spartans won two games in Tucker’s debut season last year that was shortened by the pandemic.

Michigan State won 10 games this year, including handing rival Michigan its only loss.

“I am beyond grateful to coach Tucker and the entire staff for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to shine under their leadership,” Walker wrote.

Walker ran for 1,636 yards, second in FBS, and ranked among the nation’s leaders with 19 touchdowns. He had 579 yards rushing in each of his two seasons at Wake Forest and scored 17 touchdowns.

The junior jumped to the top of the Heisman Trophy watch lists after scoring five touchdowns in a win over the Wolverines and finished sixth in the voting last week.

He was named Walter Camp player of the year and became the first Spartan to win the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s best running back. Walker and Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud shared AP’s Big Ten co-offensive players of the year honors.

NBA, PLAYERS AGREE TO ADDITIONAL PROTOCOLS THROUGH HOLIDAYS

(AP) — The NBA and its players have agreed to enhanced health and safety protocols through the holiday season in response to rising virus numbers, with additional testing coming and a return to mask usage in many situations.

The upgraded mask rules will be in place “until agreed otherwise by the NBA and Players Association,” according to a memo shared with teams Thursday night and obtained by The Associated Press. Masks need to be worn again in almost all circumstances during team activities – including travel, when on the bench during games, in meetings and locker room, weight room and training room settings.

The exceptions: during on-court basketball activities for players, and for head coaches during games.

Testing will be increased from Dec. 26 through Jan. 8, the league said. The league also told teams that more requirements and recommendations would be coming in the next few days, “to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread within the team environment.”

The memo was released on the same day that Russell Westbrook entered the health and safety protocols, joining Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brooklyn’s James Harden as past league MVP’s currently sidelined by coronavirus concerns.

Westbrook played 42 minutes for the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night in their overtime win at Dallas. The Lakers said he would not play Friday night in Minnesota, along with four other players because of virus issues and two more because of injuries. ESPN, however, reported that one of the five Lakers in the protocols – Malik Monk – tested out Thursday night, which would make him eligible to play Friday.

If granted permission by the NBA to sign reinforcements and temporarily exceed the roster-size limit, the Lakers were planning to sign former All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas to a 10-day hardship contract Friday, according to a person with direct knowledge of the negotiations. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the pending league approval.

As of Thursday evening, there were at least 39 players – roughly 8% of the league’s total player roster – from at least 13 different teams known to be in the league’s protocols. Chicago had a league-high eight players known to be in protocols, one more than Brooklyn. Harden and Antetokounmpo both entered the protocols earlier this week.

Washington coach Wes Unseld Jr., speaking to reporters in Phoenix before the Wizards’ game there Thursday, said the rise in numbers – in the NBA, other leagues and around the country – is “a huge concern.”

“Protocols are put in place,” Unseld said. “We’ve been testing for some time now with the cases that we’ve had. It’s not unusual. It’s not unique to our team. Obviously, look around the landscape of the league and this country; there’s been a dramatic uptick in cases. Knock on wood, the severity of those cases and the rate of hospitalizations don’t appear to be as dramatic. But it’s still very real.”

Thomas scored 42 points for Grand Rapids in a G League game Wednesday night and recently appeared in two games for USA Basketball in World Cup qualifying games in Mexico. He was in the NBA briefly last season, averaging 7.7 points in three games with New Orleans.

If it happens, it’ll be his second stint with the Lakers. He appeared in 17 games with them during the 2017-18 season.

“For me, personally, the ultimate goal is to get back in the NBA,” Thomas, who averaged 29 points for the Boston Celtics in 2016-17 and spent a considerable amount of time battling injuries since, said last month. “But I just love playing the game of basketball. … I love competing and I love playing against the best players in the world.”

There was a bit of good news Thursday when the Bulls revealed that two of their 10 players who entered protocols have since been cleared for a return.

The Bulls had two games this week postponed because of a player shortage. For now, they’re scheduled to return to play Sunday at home against the Lakers.

“We got hit really hard with all this and we lost a lot of players,” Bulls coach Billy Donovan said Thursday. “Other teams have maybe been hit a little bit, but not as much.”

The NBA was up to 430 games played as of Thursday, or 35% of the season. The two Bulls games this week are the only ones postponed by virus concerns.

BALANCED SUNS CRUISE PAST WIZARDS, TIE WARRIORS FOR NBA LEAD

PHOENIX (AP) Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton had a good time in the fourth quarter, celebrating dunks and 3-pointers, high-fiving teammates and generally taking it easy.

The Phoenix Suns have won a lot of games in a lot of ways this season, but blowouts have been few and far between. That changed Thursday night with a 118-98 victory over the Washington Wizards.

“We actually put a team away today,” center JaVale McGee said.

McGee scored 17 points and Ayton added 15 as the combo dominated the interior, pushing the Suns to 58 points in the paint. All five starters and eight total players scored in double figures. Landry Shamet had 16 points and made four 3-pointers, and Paul had 12 points and six assists.

The Suns pulled even with Golden State for the NBA lead at 23-5. They have won 22 of 24 games dating to Oct. 27. The way the two teams have won this season is quite different: The Warriors are outscoring teams by nearly 12 points per game while the Suns have about a seven-point margin.

Suns coach Monty Williams said he was particularly impressed with the victory because it came just two days after a physical 111-107 overtime win at Portland. He could sense that his team was a little tired at the morning shootaround, but pushed through any discomfort.

“We were ready,” Williams said. “That was pretty cool. The outcome was the residual of the focus and determination we showed on defense, holding that team to 98 points and having eight guys in double figures.”

Paul and Ayton didn’t have to play at all in the fourth quarter. Only Shamet played more than 30 minutes.

Washington has lost four straight and seven of its last eight to fall to 15-15. Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 26 points on 11-of-18 shooting, but the rest of the team couldn’t muster much offense. The Suns had a 47-32 rebounding advantage.

“We are in a rut right now,” Wizards forward Montrezl Harrell said. “Nobody is going to feel bad for us, brother. We’ve got to figure it out.”

Said Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr.: “We competed. We didn’t always do things right. Overall, we started the right way. I think it was one of those things, can you sustain it?”

The Suns led for nearly the entire night and had a 62-50 advantage at the break. Ayton had 13 points, eight rebounds and four assists in the first half. Beal led the Wizards with 20 points.

COUNTING ON CAM

Backup forward Cam Johnson has been crucial for the Suns during All-Star guard Devin Booker’s injury absence. Johnson came into Thursday averaging more than 14 points in the six games Booker’s missed, which ranks second on the team. Johnson finished with 13 points on 4-of-6 shooting, including 3 of 5 from 3-point range, against the Wizards.

TIP-INS

Wizards: Washington had just 11 available players. G Spencer Dinwiddie (right knee maintenance) was among those who didn’t play … Starting G Aaron Holiday picked up three fouls in the first four minutes. … Starting center Daniel Gafford played 20 minutes and scored zero points.

Suns: Booker (left hamstring) missed his seventh straight game. The two-time All-Star has been on the floor some during practice but Williams said there was still no timetable for his return. … The Suns shot 57% from the field in the first half. … All five Suns starters had at least 10 points by the end of the third quarter. … The Suns made 25 of 26 free throws.

UP NEXT

Wizards: At Utah on Saturday night.

Suns: Host Charlotte on Sunday night.

DURANT CARRIES NETS PAST 76ERS FOR ANOTHER SHORT-HANDED WIN

NEW YORK (AP) With so much of his team missing, Kevin Durant probably needs to play great for the Brooklyn Nets to win.

He might be playing as well as ever.

Durant scored 34 points, making a four-point play with the game tied and 1:46 left, and the Nets beat the Philadelphia 76ers 114-105 on Thursday night for another short-handed victory.

The Nets were missing seven players because of coronavirus health and safety protocols but still had Durant, the NBA’s leading scorer who added 11 rebounds and eight assists.

That follows games of 51 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, and 34 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists in the previous two.

“It’s a challenge knowing how you’re going to come in to the games because a lot of these teams, they scheme for me a little different,” Durant said.

Whatever the 76ers’ scheme was, it didn’t work well enough.

“I mean, that’s what he does on a nightly basis,” guard Seth Curry said.

Blake Griffin and Nic Claxton both added a season-high 17 points for the Nets, who had just nine players available. Patty Mills scored 14 points in Eastern Conference-leading Brooklyn’s fourth straight victory.

Joel Embiid had 32 points, nine rebounds and six assists in the 76ers’ third straight loss, dropping them to 15-15. Curry scored 29 points for a team that was angry that Brooklyn wasn’t called for any fouls in the fourth quarter.

“I don’t remember the last time that happened, but still had a chance there,” Curry said.

It was Brooklyn’s second straight game without starters James Harden, LaMarcus Aldridge and DeAndre’ Bembry, along with reserves Bruce Brown, Paul Millsap, Jevon Carter and James Johnson.

“We can all hoop,” Claxton said of the young players forced into extended action. “A lot of attention is going to KD so we’re just making plays.”

The Nets built a 20-point lead but the 76ers, playing for the second straight night, tied it at 103 on Embiid’s basket with 1:55 to play. Durant answered with a 3-pointer while being fouled by Tobias Harris, who had a nightmarish game on both ends.

Griffin followed with a 3-pointer to make it 110-103 and rookie David Duke Jr. added two free throws to put it away.

The Nets shot 65% and led 39-25 after one and pushed it to 54-35 when Griffin, who had fallen out of the rotation entirely but is now starting, converted a three-point play.

The Sixers trailed 66-46 late in the half but outscored Brooklyn 31-19 in the third, with Embiid and Curry combining for 25, to cut it to 85-79.

TIP-INS

76ers: Harris shot 3 for 17, missing all five 3-point attempts. … Coach Doc Rivers said there was an organizational discussion about some unspecified policy changes to be more vigilant against the coronavirus. Embiid and Harris were among the Sixers who were sidelined by the virus earlier this season. “We want to be the team with the least (cases),” Rivers said. “We lead still, I think, in COVID games off. That one stretch was brutal for us and now other teams are going through it. So it’s no fun.”

Nets: Veteran guard Langston Galloway, signed to a 10-day contract Thursday, had three points in nine minutes. … With Durant playing about 37 minutes a game, coach Steve Nash said there is a “lot of consideration” to getting the All-Star forward a break. The Nets play a home back-to-back against Orlando and Denver this weekend.

COVID-19 CONCERNS

Though their coronavirus issues are mostly behind them, they aren’t over entirely for the 76ers. Georges Niang is in health and safety protocols and Rivers wondered if the league would have to take additional steps with cases rising – which it is, with more testing and mask-wearing coming later this month.

“We have to do something because at this rate I’m scared to turn on ESPN right now. Just, more guys are out,” Rivers said.

So many for the Nets, in fact, that they were close to being unable to have the minimum eight to start a game. Though they avoided having to postpone, it means the limited players available took on a heavy load.

“So is it better to be over the threshold than to not be playing until you have a healthy roster?” Nash said. “Or is it better to have enough to play but to be short-handed and the burden and the toll it takes on these guys and knowing that you’re going to have guys coming back who haven’t been able to practice or play basketball. So it is definitely tricky to navigate.”

IN THE DIVISION

Brooklyn improved to 6-0 in games against the Atlantic Division. Philadelphia is 0-6.

UP NEXT

76ers: Host New Orleans on Sunday night.

Nets: Host Orlando on Saturday night.

QUICKLY HITS 7 3-POINTERS, SHORT-HANDED KNICKS BEAT ROCKETS

HOUSTON (AP) Immanuel Quickley hit seven 3-pointers and scored 24 points to help the short-handed New York Knicks beat the Houston Rockets 116-103 on Thursday night.

New York snapped a four-game losing streak, winning for just the second time in its last nine games. Houston has lost four of five since a seven-game winning streak.

Evan Fournier added 23 points for New York, and Julius Randle had 21.

The Knicks had four players out because of the NBA’s health and safety protocols – R.J. Barrett, Obi Toppin, Quentin Grimes and Kevin Knox. On top of that, Derrick Rose started the game but left with a sore right ankle after playing just 12 minutes.

“(Quickley) hit big shots,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. “We had a lot of guys step up. We’ve got to continue to work, defensively.”

After Rose went down, Knicks rookie Miles McBride played 36 minutes, more than the 33 minutes he had played combined all season in six games. McBride, a second-round pick out of West Virginia, played the entire second half, putting up 15 points, nine assists, four steals and three rebounds in a memorable breakout game.

“It really feels great, honestly,” McBride said. “It’s been hard, playing a different role than I’m used to my whole life. But the coaches and the vets have been encouraging me that my moment would come.”

The Rockets were short-handed, with starters Jalen Green, Kevin Porter Jr. and Christian Wood dealing with injuries.

The Knicks hit 17 of 36 3-pointers. Fournier made 3 of 6 from beyond the arc and hit 8 of 12 from the field, and Randle made 3 of 8 3s. Quickley made 7 of 10 from long range.

“We needed it big,” Quickley said. “Though the tough times, I feel like we’ve stuck together pretty well. Hopefully, we can turn this thing around because it’s a long season. We just want to keep continuing to do the right thing.”

Daniel Theis led Houston with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Jae’Sean Tate had 20 points, and Garrison Mathews added 17.

New York led 57-51 at halftime. Houston won the second and third quarters and entered the fourth quarter down 84-82 before running out of gas.

“We just ran out of juice,” Rockets coach Stephen Silas said. “You could see it on the 50/50 balls, the hustle plays, on the rebounds — we just ran out of gas. Ran out of juice.”

TIP-INS

Knicks: Rose “tweaked” his ankle and is day to day, Thibodeau said. . New York outrebounded Houston 40-29. Alec Burks and Mitchell Robinson both had nine rebounds. . Nerlens Noel had multiple blocks for a second straight game and for the sixth time this season. … The Knicks have won five straight over the Rockets after losing 27 of the previous 29 meetings.

Rockets: Wood (left knee tendinitis) is expected back on Saturday against Detroit. . Tate received a technical in the third quarter after protesting a foul called on him. . Houston had another sluggish start, defensively, allowing 39 first-quarter points. The Rockets have allowed 35 or more first-quarter points in four straight games after doing so just twice in the previous 25 games.

TAKING EXTREME PRECAUTION

“It’s definitely crazy right now. I’ve been showering with my mask on.” – Quickley on the recent increased number of COVID-19 cases

WHATEVER IT TAKES

When asked if there’s a chance some of the four players in the health and safety protocol could be available for Saturday’s game in Boston, Thibodeau neglected to speculate.

“Whoever we have, let’s go,” Obviously, they have to go through the protocol. Safety’s first. Whatever we’ve got to do, we’ll do.”

HONORING RUDY T

The Rockets honored former player and coach Rudy Tomjanovich for his induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame this year. He has the most coaching victories in franchise history with 503 and guided the Rockets to back-to-back championships in 1993-94 and 1994-95. Hakeem Olajuwon was present to honor Tomjanovich.

UP NEXT

Knicks: At Boston on Saturday night.

Rockets: At Detroit on Saturday.

DROUIN SCORES IN SO, CANADIENS BEAT FLYERS IN EMPTY ARENA

MONTREAL (AP) Jonathan Drouin was the only scorer in the shootout, and the Montreal Canadiens beat the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 on Thursday night in an empty Bell Centre because of the rise of COVID-19 cases.

Quebec public health officials asked the Canadiens to play without fans in their home arena earlier Thursday to help slow the spread of the virus. The Canadiens agreed to the provincial government’s request, making the game the first at Bell Centre without spectators since Game 4 of the 2021 North Division semifinal against the Toronto Maple Leafs on May 25.

“Today was a bit of a wake-up call,” Drouin said. “We weren’t expecting that there wouldn’t be fans in the stands this year with the vaccines.

“We were told the opposite, but it’s tough to see that again, without the fans’ energy. After that, health and safety is more important than going to watch a hockey game.”

There was no word yet on whether fans will be at the Bell Centre when the Canadiens face Boston on Saturday. The game would be the Bruins’ first visit to Montreal since Nov. 26, 2019. The Bruins had seven players on COVID-19 protocol before their 3-0 loss to the New York Islanders on Thursday, including stars Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchard.

Drouin said he was apprehensive about playing a team with that many players placed on protocol.

“I’m not really comfortable playing against people that might have COVID,” Drouin said. “When you have seven guys on the team (with COVID,) you can have two or three others that get it tomorrow, I don’t know.

“Anyway, I don’t feel comfortable to play with that. That’s not what we were told this year with the vaccines. Of course things change over time, but it’s not really ideal.”

Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme didn’t want to weigh in on a potential halt to playing because of COVID-19, but understood that some players would be worried by the situation. He said he has faith the NHL will protect the players.

“Not that I feel it (in the locker room) but at the same time it’s a reflection of our society regarding this situation,” Ducharme said. “Some people are more comfortable and some are more worried. A team is a little bit like a reflection of society.”

Jackson Cates said that the Flyers found out about the decision to play in an empty arena right before warmups.

“The reaction was that it’s just another game and we can’t let that bother us,” he said. “We’ve got to play the right way, stick to the structure and build our own energy.”

Artturi Lehkonen and Laurent Dauphin scored in regulation for Montreal, which snapped a seven-game losing streak.

“It felt good to break the streak. Of course it would have been better to be in front of fans but I’ll take it anyway,” Dauphin said.

Cayden Primeau, son of former Philadephia player Keith Primeau, allowed two goals on 38 shots. He saved every shootout attempt.

Max Willman and Cates scored for the Flyers. Carter Hart stopped 38 of 40 shots.

Lehkonen deflected Brett Kulak’s shot from the point for his second goal of the season to open the scoring.

Philadelphia tied it 1-1 2:20 into the second period when Willman took advantage of Montreal forward Nick Suzuki falling in front of the net.

Cates drove the puck in the offensive zone and beat Primeau with a wrist shot for his first NHL goal to make it 2-1 in the final minute of the second.

Montreal tied the game at 2-all at 14:21 into the third period. Dauphin took advantage of a rebound and scored his first as a member of the Canadiens.

NOTES: Center Mathieu Perrault didn’t take part in the game. The Canadiens confirmed that it was due to a lower-body injury.

UP NEXT

Philadelphia: Host Ottawa Senators on Saturday.

Montreal: Host the Boston Bruins on Saturday.

(TOP INDIANA NEWS/RELEASES)

INDIANA PACERS

Recap

Coming off consecutive losses, the Pacers (13-18) got back into the win column Thursday night with a 122-113 win over the Detroit Pistons (4-23). The Blue & Gold have now won four straight home games against their division rivals.

After a brief early scare, Indiana’s offense regained control and sustained a lead for the majority of the game. In total, six Pacers finished in double figures for the eighth time this season. But, nobody was more impressive than Caris LeVert.

With Malcolm Brogdon sidelined due to a sore right Achilles, LeVert finished with a season-high 31 points on 12-of-18 shooting. He dished out five assists and snagged two steals. Justin Holiday added 17 points, while Myles Turner finished with 16, seven boards, and four blocks.

“I always try to go into games being aggressive,” LeVert said. “I think tonight there was more opportunity. I had the ball in my hands a little more.”

Indiana struggled out of the gate, falling behind 10-2 over the first 2:22. The Blue & Gold appeared to have issues with the defensive press and slowing down the speed of Hamidou Diallo. The fourth-year player notched six early points, including an alley-oop behind Pacers defenders that forced an early timeout from Lloyd Pierce.

The Pistons’ lead stretched to 10 before the Blue & Gold began climbing back. Turner broke their 3:32 scoring drought with a driving layup. As the frame approached the midway mark, Justin Holiday knocked in consecutive threes to cut the visitors’ lead to 14-12 and force a Pistons timeout.

“Sometimes, you need a jump start like that,” Pierce said of the early issues. “Our goal was to get them to call the first timeout. Obviously, that didn’t happen. But, it at least woke us up.”

Trailing 20-16, the Pacers responded with seven unanswered – five from the free-throw line – to regain a 23-20 lead with 3:06 left. However, the Pistons kept them from pulling away.

With Indiana ahead 25-22, Bey mounted a personal 7-3 run to earn a 29-28 lead for Detroit with 46.2 seconds left. But, the Blue & Gold tallied the final four points of the frame to take a three-point edge into the second.

The Pacers held onto a slim lead over the first four minutes of the second, finding offensive success through Jeremy Lamb. The veteran tallied seven early points, including an alley-oop layup at the 7:54 mark that gave Indiana a 43-39 edge.

However, the Pistons kept hanging around. After Turner’s and-one finish gave Indiana a 46-41 lead, the visitors rattled off a 10-2 run over a 2:26 span to earn a 51-48 lead with 4:53 remaining. Although, the lead was short-lived as the Pacers responded with five straight in less than a minute to spring ahead by two.

Later, the Blue & Gold muscled their way to a trio of six-point leads as the squads entered the final two minutes. First, Turner and LeVert were the beneficiaries, powering through Detroit’s frontcourt to finish physical three-point plays.

Then, with time winding down, LeVert tallied four more, including a driving finger-roll with 12.5 seconds remaining, to give the Pacers a 70-64 halftime lead. LeVert finished with 16 points in the frame.

Indiana stretched its lead to nine twice over the early stages of the third. First, it was Holiday, who notched five early points to force a Detroit timeout. Then, at the 9:11 mark, Turner finished a finger-roll off a Brad Wanamaker dish.

Later, Turner wowed the crowd once again. Leading 81-77, the big man capped a 6-0 Pacers spree with a thunderous, right-handed slam off a crafty bounce pass from LeVert with 5:47 to play. The flush gave the Pacers their first double-digit lead of the game.

The Pacers used that momentum to carry a multi-possession lead over the next few minutes. At the 3:12 mark, Brissett got in on the high-flying action, finishing with a running dunk. After Trey Lyles responded with a jumper, Duarte hit a triple directly in front of Detroit’s bench to extend the lead to 97-86.

Indiana eclipsed the century mark after Lamb sank a pair of free throws with 1:13 left. The defense then limited Detroit to just one point to close out the quarter. The squad led 103-91 as they headed to the fourth.

Battling foul trouble all night, Domantas Sabonis helped the Pacers keep a healthy lead over the initial moments of the fourth. The two-time All-Star tallied six points and a nifty assist over the first 4:24 to extend Indiana’s lead to 114-99 with 7:36 to play.

Less than a minute later, he offered his delivery services again. Standing at the right elbow and facing Detroit’s basket, Sabonis bounced a backward pass to a Holiday for a massive one-handed slam. After, the duo roared in excitement along with the crowd.

After Cunningham’s layup with 5:07 left cut the Pacers’ lead to 118-106, the defense held the Pistons to one field goal over the next 3:24. The dry spell effectively wiped away any potential Pistons comeback.

The Pacers have a rare five-day break in their schedule before they play the Miami Heat on the road on Tuesday night.

Inside the Numbers

Over half of the Pacers’ total points came from inside the paint (68)

Chris Duarte finished with 15 points, nine rebounds, and four assists in 29:04 while playing off the bench

Despite dealing with foul trouble, Domantas Sabonis tallied 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting, recorded nine boards, and dealt out six assists

The Blue & Gold won the rebounding battle, 41-37

You Can Quote Me On That

“I think for me, it was getting healthy, and just not thinking about my body. I think over the last couple of weeks, I’ve turned the corner with my body a little bit. Just putting a lot of work into it, and trusting it.” – LeVert on his increase in play over the past couple of weeks

“Caris (LeVert) is shifty. He’s got a lot of wiggle to his game…he uses the snake-back and cross-back. But, he finds a way to get into the paint. We needed every bit of that tonight.” – Pierce on LeVert’s performance tonight

“It’s crazy. People think it’s easy. People think it’s just a game. I mean, it is a game. But, there’s a lot into that. A lot of traveling, a lot of games, back-to-backs. You have to really take care of your body, and have the right people around you so you can stay locked in and stay focused.” – Duarte on the increase in games from college to the NBA

Stat of the Night

After turning the ball over 19 times against Milwaukee, the Pacers committed just nine total turnovers tonight

Noteworthy

This is the first time this season that the Pacers have won after trailing by double digits in a game

Myles Turner has tallied four or more blocks in a game 10 times this season

Indiana improves to 6-2 this season when six or more players finish in double figures

Tickets

The Pacers will host the Houston Rockets in their final game before Christmas on Thursday, Dec. 23 at 7:00 PM ET.

FUEL HOCKEY: ROCKFORD ASSIGNS YETMAN AND MORRIS TO INDY

INDIANAPOLIS – The Rockford IceHogs, American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate of the ECHL’s Indy Fuel, announced Thursday that they have assigned forward Chad Yetman and goaltender Cale Morris to the Indy Fuel.

Yetman, 21, re-joins the Fuel after playing four games for the IceHogs. Splitting his time between Indy and Rockford, the 6th round draft pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft (172nd overall)  has appeared in 16 games for the Fuel this season totaling five goals and nine assists.

Morris, 25, returns to the Circle City after appearing in two games for the IceHogs, earning 1.64 goals-against average and .919 save percentage. The native of Larkspur, Colorado has appeared in 12 games for Indy this season registering a 2.79 goals-against average and a .903 save percentage. In his second pro season, Morris has played in nine total games at the AHL level, earning a 3-3-0 record.

Various ticket options are now on sale for the Fuel’s 8th season at Indiana Farmers Coliseum! Lock up your seat for every second of the action at Indiana Farmers Coliseum with a Fuel Ticket Plan – grab yours by heading to IndyFuelHockey.com or by calling the Fuel front office at 317-925-FUEL. Don’t forget to follow the Fuel on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (IndyFuel) for news, updates, contests and much more throughout the 2021-22 season.

PURDUE MEN’S BASKETBALL: NO. 3 PURDUE BATTLES BUTLER IN FINAL EDITION OF CROSSROADS CLASSIC

GAMEDAY INFORMATION

• [3] Purdue (9-1) vs. Butler (7-3)

• Saturday, Dec. 18 | Indianapolis, Indiana

• FOX | Noon | Tim Brando, Jimmy Jackson

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The No. 3-ranked Purdue Boilermakers look to end the Crossroads Classic in style when it travels to Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis for a non-conference matchup with the Butler Bulldogs. In its 11th and final season, the Crossroads Classic has been the state’s premier college basketball event and Purdue is looking for its second straight victory after beating Notre Dame a year ago 88-78.

Purdue enters the contest with a 9-1 record while Butler is 7-3, but has won four straight games.

The contest will be televised on FOX with Tim Brando and Jimmy Jackson on the call. On the radio waves, Rob Blackman and Bobby Riddell will be courtside on the 22-station Purdue Radio Network and online on the Varsity Sports Network (app). Live stats will be provided on StatBroadcast.com and updates will be provided on Purdue’s official Twitter account (@BoilerBall).

THE NOTES TO KNOW

1) Purdue is 9-1 for just the fourth time under head coach Matt Painter, also reaching 9-1 (or better) in 2015-16 (10-0), 2010-11 (9-1) and 2009-10 (10-0). It marks Purdue’s 11th start of 9-1 or better since the 1982-83 season.

2) Purdue’s 16 overtime points vs. North Carolina State tied for the seventh most in an overtime period in school history. It was Purdue’s first win in a single-overtime game since a 99-94 decision over Tennessee in the 2019 Sweet 16 (5-game streak).

3) Trevion Williams won his fourth career Big Ten Player of the Week honor, tied for the fifth most in school history (Glenn Robinson – 7; Caleb Swanigan – 6; Brad Miller – 6; Carsen Edwards – 5).

4) Trevion Williams’ stat line of 22 points, 12 rebounds, 9 assists, 4 blocks and 2 steals vs. North Carolina State makes him the only player in America in the last 15 years to reach those marks in a single game.

5) Purdue has outscored its opponents by 80 points at the free throw line, the second-best total in the country (Weber State +88). Purdue has made 174 free throws this year, while opponents have shot just 128.

6) Purdue is 1-of-4 teams nationally to shoot at least 50.0 percent from the field, 40.0 percent from 3-point range and 70.0 percent from the free throw line (Colorado State, South Dakota State, Loyola).

7) Purdue’s 50 points in the paint against North Carolina State were its most since Dec. 21, 2016 (52 vs. Norfolk State).

8) Purdue owns four wins against the KenPom top 40, the most in the country.

PURDUE FOOTBALL: BELL AND KARLAFTIS EARN AFCA FIRST TEAM ALL-AMERICA ACCOLADES

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – First Team All-America distinction has a nice ring to it for a pair of Boilermakers. Purdue wide receiver David Bell and defensive end George Karlaftis both earned the recognition from the American Football Coaches Association, becoming the first Boilermaker teammates to earn AFCA All-America honors in 41 years.

In 1980, Purdue’s Mark Herrmann (quarterback) and Dave Young (tight end) were tabbed AFCA All-Americans. Bell picked up his fourth First Team All-America honors out of the five recognized by the NCAA (AFCA, AP, FWAA, The Sporting News, Walter Camp Football Foundation), just missing out on being named a unanimous All-American. However, the Boilermaker reached consensus status to become the 21st consensus All-American in Purdue Football history and the first since Rondale Moore (2018). Meanwhile, Karlaftis was tabbed First Team All-America for the first time, giving Purdue 48 All-Americans all-time.

Bell is the only Purdue wide receiver to be named AFCA All-America throughout the program’s 134-year history. As the Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year, the best receiver in the Big Ten, Bell’s accolades continue to pile up from a stellar junior campaign. Bell was one of the best receivers nationwide, selected as a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award.

Bell led 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 on defense to earn AP All-America honors, 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 was 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 last 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. 16, 2021)

Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year (Big Ten Receiver of the Year)

Consensus All-America

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

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

Second Team All-America (The Sporting News, The Athletic)

All-America Honorable Mention (PFF)

Biletnikoff Award Finalist

Second Team All-Big Ten (PFF)

Karlaftis’ Honors (As of Dec. 16, 2021)

First Team All-America (AFCA)

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

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

Third Team All-America (AP, PFF)

Ted Hendricks Award Finalist

Chuck Bednarik Award Semifinalist

Lott IMPACT Trophy Semifinalist

PURDUE SOFTBALL: SOFTBALL ANNOUNCES 2022 SCHEDULE

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Head coach Boo De Oliveira and the Purdue softball program announced its 2022 spring schedule, slated to begin on February 11. The 56-game season will feature five opponents who received recognition in the final polls for a total of seven non-conference matchups and three Big Ten brawls.

The spring campaign features four home weekends at Bittinger Stadium: March 25-27 vs. Illinois, April 8-10 vs. Maryland, April 22-24 vs. Michigan State and April 29-May 1 vs. Rutgers. Tickets for Purdue’s home matches will go on sale this January.

“We are very excited for the 2022 season to start,” said De Oliveira. “We have a challenging schedule planned that will prepare us for our competitive Big Ten and postseason play. Our team is a combination of a seasoned senior class and many newcomers eager to earn starting spots. We saw a lot of great things from our team this fall – they are an extremely gritty bunch who are really fun to watch compete. We look forward to keeping the winning tradition that is Purdue University going strong and making Boilermaker Nation proud. Get on board—it’s going to be a fun ride this season.”

The Boilermakers will spend non-conference season down south, attending tournaments at Coastal Carolina (Kickin’ Chicken Classic), at Georgia (The Red & Black Showcase), at LSU (Purple & Gold Challenge), at FAU (Parent’s Weekend Tournament), The Spring Games in Madeira Beach and at South Florida (USF Invite).

The 2022 Big Ten tournament will be hosted by Michigan State in East Lansing. The tournament is slated to begin Thursday, May 12 and close with the championship game on Saturday, May 14.

The Boilermakers finished the 2021 season with an 18-26 record, backed by an 8-3 record over their final 11 matches. Led by the Purdue batting average record-holder and All-Big Ten First Team honoree Rachel Becker along with All-Big Ten Second Team and All-Freshman Team honoree Kaitlyn Brannstrom, Purdue ranked third in the league in double plays per game (.34), doubles (65) and doubles per game (1.48). Meanwhile, Purdue’s fielding percentage (.972) was good for 34th in the nation.

Joining the team for the 2022 season is the No. 39 recruiting class in the nation along with transfer pitchers Gabby Sprang (previously: Oklahoma State) and Alexa Pinarski (previously: Columbia). The freshman class includes outfielder Kyndall Bailey, shortstop/utility/pitcher Tyrina Jones, lefty Kendall Klochack, third/first baseman Olivia McFadden and catcher/utility Ryen Ross

SCHEDULE BREAKDOWN

Total games: 56

Top-25 Opponents: Georgia, LSU

Opponents Ranked or Receiving Votes: Georgia, LSU, Notre Dame, South Florida, Northwestern

2021 Women’s College World Series Opponents: Georgia

Midweek: at Indiana (DH, Wednesday 4/13) and at Notre Dame (Wednesday, 4/27)

Home Big Ten Opponents: Illinois, Maryland, Michigan State and Rutgers

Away Big Ten Opponents: Penn State, Indiana (DH), Northwestern and Iowa

PURDUE WRESTLING: NO. 15 WRESTLING SET FOR CLASH WITH NO. 13 IOWA STATE

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue wrestling team is set for a top-15 showdown this weekend as the 15th-ranked Boilermakers meet No. 13 Iowa State at Humboldt High School in Humboldt, Iowa on Sunday at 5 p.m. CT. The small, north central Iowa town is home to both Purdue head coach Tony Ersland and Cyclone head coach Kevin Dresser, who both won state championships for the Wildcats in their high school careers.

Sunday’s event is sold out, and anticipates being a standing-room only crowd as 1,000 tickets were made available through a lottery system due to the intense demand. The match will be streamed live via FloWrestling.

PURDUE LINEUP & RANKINGS

The Boilermakers are ranked No. 15 in the nation for the second straight week in the NWCA Coaches Poll, marking three of the last four seasons that Purdue has held a top-15 mark for multiple weeks. Six Boilermaker individuals maintain top-25 rankings at their respective weights, highlighted by a trio marked inside the top-10. Junior Thomas Penola has been tabbed as high as No. 6 in the nation at 197 pounds (The Open Mat), while senior Devin Schroder is No. 7 at 125 pounds (InterMat) and junior Kendall Coleman is ninth at 157 (The Open Mat).

LAST TIME OUT

Purdue has been in tournament action the last two weekends, sending the varsity lineup to the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational and taking a small roster to the Cleveland State Open. The Boilermakers finished sixth CKLV with 85.5 points and a program-record seven place winners. Schroder headlined the group with a second-place effort at 125 pounds, becoming just the fifth three-time CKLV place winner in Purdue history, while Penola was third at 197 pounds, wrestling six of his eight matches against ranked opponents. At Cleveland State, a trio of Boilermakers climbed the podium, including sophomore Hayden Lohrey who finished fifth at 165 pounds.

PURDUE NOTES

• Head coach Tony Ersland is in his eighth season at Purdue and is 63-50 in dual competition with the Boilermakers.

• Ersland wrestled for the University of Iowa from 1992-97, qualifying for the NCAA Tournament at 177, and competing on the highest scoring team at the NCAA Championships in history (170).

• Purdue’s season-opening win at Drexel marks eight straight seasons that the Boilermakers have won their first dual of the year under Ersland.

• Purdue is 6-0 in dual competition for the first time since 2008-09, and aims for its first 7-0 start since 2006-07, when the Boilermakers opened the season with 10 straight victories.

• The Boilermakers won their last two duals of 2021, earning a 21-12 win at Michigan State and posting a 38-3 win over Indiana, and carry an eight-dual win streak into the weekend.

• Devin Schroder and Max Lyon capitalized on the NCAA’s COVID extension waiver, returning for an extra year of eligibility in 2021-22.

• Schroder ranks second in program history in back points, surpassing the 500-point mark at CKLV, and is 16th all-time at Purdue with a .731 win percentage (87-32).

• 46 of Schroder’s 87 career wins have come via bonus points (.529), including 26 technical falls, while 36 of his career victories are shutouts (.414).

• Matt Ramos won the 2018 Cadet Freestyle World Championship for the U.S., capturing the 51 kg title in Zagreb, Croatia.

• Ramos’s two wins to open the season were his first official folkstyle matches since his senior year of high school at Lockport HS (Illinois) in 2019, winning by technical fall and fall in the two bouts.

• Kendall Coleman surpassed the 60-career match at CKLV, and earned a spot on Purdue’s career win- percentage record list, coming in at No. 9 (.774, 48-14).

• Thomas Penola is off to a 13-1 start on the season, leading the team in wins, matches, takedowns (52) and total points (147).

• Nearly half of Penola’s scoring this season has come in the third-period, where he’s outscoring opponents 72-24.

• Michael Woulfe is wrestling his first collegiate season since 2016 after serving in the United States Navy for the last five years and has picked up right where he left off, adding a team-high four falls to his career total (28) after posting 17 falls in his final year at Navy.

• Sophomore Hayden Lohrey is projected to make his first career dual start Sunday at 165 pounds.

OPPONENT NOTES

• Iowa State enters the weekend at 2-1 in dual competition, coming off a 22-11 loss to No. 1 Iowa their last time out.

• Seven Cyclone starters hold national rankings, including top-ranked defending NCAA Champion David Carr at 157 pounds.

• Carr and Purdue sophomore Emil Soehnlen attended the same high school: Perry High School in Canton, Ohio.

• Iowa State is Purdue’s first ranked dual opponent of the season, and their first ranked non-conference foe since facing No. 8 Arizona State at the 2019 Journeymen Northeast Duals.

• Iowa State holds a 2-0 all-time edge over Purdue, meeting first in 1966, and last in 1993, when the fifth-ranked Cyclones earned a 26-9 win in Ann Arbor, Michigan. 

OPPONENTS PROBABLES

#13 Iowa State

125: #22 Kysen Terukina (So.) – 6-0

133: Ramazan Attasauov (R-So.) – 7-1

141: #17 Zach Redding (So.) – 5-1

149: #24 Jarrett Degen (R-Sr.) – 5-1

or Ian Parker (R-Sr.) – 0-1

157: #1 David Carr (R-Jr.) – 7-0

165: Isaac Judge (R-Jr.) – 9-6

or #33 Austin Kraisser (R-Sr.) – 8-2

174: Joel Devine (R-Jr.) – 4-2

184: #13 Marcus Coleman (R-Sr.) – 5-1

197: #18 Yonger Bastida (So.) – 6-1

285: Sam Schuyler (R-Sr.) – 3-2

Rankings listed InterMat

BUTLER MEN’S BASKETBALL: BUTLER MBB AND #3/4 PURDUE MEET SATURDAY IN THE CROSSROADS CLASSIC

Butler (7-3) vs. #3/4 Purdue (9-1) — Crossroads Classic

Saturday, Dec. 18;  12PM

Gainbridge Fieldhouse; Indianapolis, Ind.

TV:  FOX – @TimBrando & @JimJackson419

Radio:  1430AM – @MarkMinner & Nick Gardner (@n_gardner)

Varsity Network Radio App, XM390, SiriusXM App 980

The Bulldogs, winners of four straight, make the short drive to downtown Indianapolis for the Crossroads Classic at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Butler and No. 3/4 Purdue will meet in the final edition of the Crossroads Classic, which began in 2011. The tip is set for Noon on FOX; Indiana and Notre Dame will play in the event’s second game of the afternoon.

THE SERIES: This will be the 60th meeting between Butler and Purdue. In Crossroads Classic match-ups, the Bulldogs own a 4-1 advantage and are 5-1 against the Boilermakers in Gainbridge Fieldhouse (which includes a 2006 Wooden Tradition contest). Overall, Purdue owns a 39-20 advantage in the all-time series that dates back to 1901.

The teams last met in the 2019 Crossroads Classic, a 70-61 Butler win. The Bulldogs limited Purdue to 33-percent shooting. The leading scorer for each team in that game return for the 2021 match-up (Bryce Golden for Butler and Trevion Williams for Purdue).

Both LaVall Jordan (Milwaukee) and Matt Painter (Southern Illinois) served as head coach for a single season at another institution before returning to their alma mater to lead the program.

Purdue Leads, 39-20

Streak: Butler, W1

At Crossroads Classic:  Butler Leads, 4-1

LaVall Jordan (at BU) vs. Purdue: 1-2

First Meeting: Purdue, 41-12 (3/20/1901)

Last Meeting: Butler, 70-61 (12/21/2019)

• Butler is 6-4 in the Crossroads Classic; the Bulldogs are 3-0 against Top 10 teams in the event.

• Butler is 12-6 all-time at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

• Butler is allowing only 58.3 points per game so far this season, a mark that is 20th nationally.

• Bryce Golden tied his career-high with 20 points vs. Eastern Illinois Saturday.

• Ty Groce scored his 1,000th career point in the win over Eastern Illinois.

• Aaron Thompson posted the fourth double-double of his career in the win over EIU.

• Thompson is third on Butler’s career assists list (484).

• Butler owned a 43-30 rebounding advantage in the win at Oklahoma Dec. 7.

• Chuck Harris scored a season-high 26 points in the win at Oklahoma.

• Myles Tate (torn ACL 3/11) saw his first game action of the 2021-22 season in Saturday’s game vs. EIU.

• Butler committed a season-low eight turnovers against EIU Saturday.

• Freshman DJ Hughes had career-highs of six points and six rebounds at Oklahoma in a career-best 23 minutes.

• Jair Bolden is shooting 41.9 percent from three-point range this season, a mark that is 66th nationally.

• Jayden Taylor scored a career-best 21 points in Nov. 24 win over Chaminade.

• Butler made 12 three-pointers Nov. 13 vs. Troy, the most by the team since hitting 12 against Nebraska in the 2019 NIT.

• Butler was picked to finish sixth in the BIG EAST Preseason Poll by the conference’s head coaches.

• Sophomore Chuck Harris was an honorable mention selection to the Preseason All-BIG EAST team by the conference’s head coaches.

• Butler’s 2021-22 roster includes six players who are entering their fifth or sixth season of college basketball.

• The Bulldogs return 10 of their 11 top scorers from a season ago.

• Butler’s roster returns 97.2 percent of its scoring and 96.2 percent of its minutes played from last season.

QUITE THE BATTLE: As part of the annual BIG EAST-Big 12 Battle, the Bulldogs picked up a 66-62 overtime road win Dec. 7 at Oklahoma. Chuck Harris led the Bulldogs with 26 points. Butler trailed by 10 points at the half and by 13 early in the second half before clawing all the way back. After Oklahoma forced overtime with a three-pointer with two seconds remaining in regulation, the Sooners took a 62-58 lead in overtime before Butler scored the game’s final eight points.

ON THE DEFENSIVE: Butler is allowing its opponents only 58.3 points per game so far this season, a mark that is 20th nationally. The Bulldogs’ opponents have combined to shoot only 28.4 percent from three-point range, which is 41st nationally.

TOUGH SLATE: In addition to a true round-robin format that has Butler playing all 10 BIG EAST foes both on the road and at home, the Bulldogs challenged themselves significantly with this season’s non-conference schedule. The slate included Michigan State Nov. 17 in the annual Gavitt Games and a road game at Oklahoma Dec. 7 in the annual BIG EAST-Big 12 Battle. The Maui Invitational (in Las Vegas) featured an opening-round match-up with 2021 Final Four team Houston. Butler and Purdue, which is No. 3 in this week’s AP poll, meet Dec. 18 in the Crossroads Classic.

YOUNG GUNS: Both Jayden Taylor and Simas Lukosius got the start in the regular season opener against IUPUI Tuesday night. Freshmen starting in their first Butler game is a rarity. Multiple freshmen starting their first collegiate game at Butler was last done in 2008 (Gordon Hayward, Shelvin Mack, Ron Nored). The only other freshman to start his first Butler game between 2008 and 2021 was Myles Tate in 2020.

HOME SWEET HINKLE: Butler is 53-15 at Hinkle Fieldhouse in LaVall Jordan’s five seasons as head coach of the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs have won 64 of their last 66 games at Hinkle Fieldhouse against non-conference opponents.

ON THE WAY: Connor Turnbull, a 6-10 forward/center from Missouri, has signed a national letter of intent to join the Bulldogs beginning with the 2022-23 season.

Turnbull, from Saint Paul, Mo., stars for Fort Zumwalt North High School, where he earned Missouri Basketball Coaches Association All-State honors for Class 6. As a junior, Turnbull averaged 14.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.0 blocks per game, leading the team to a 27-4 record and the Class 6 state semifinals. He shot 34 percent from three-point range. Turnbull helped Brad Beal Elite to a runner-up finish at the 2021 Peach Jam as part of the Nike EYBL circuit.

BULLDOGS ANNOUNCED AS PART OF 2022 BATTLE 4 ATLANTIS FIELD: The Bulldogs will participate in the Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis for the third time as the 2022 bracket has been announced. Celebrating its 11th year of elite collegiate tournament play, the 2022 field will include Butler, BYU, Dayton, Kansas, North Carolina State, USC, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. Butler was previously part of the Battle 4 Atlantis field in both 2014 and 2018. The Bulldogs went 2-1 in each event.

HAPPY RETURNS: Butler returns 10 of its top 11 scorers from last season. In all, Butler’s roster returns 97.2 percent of its scoring and 96.2 percent of minutes played from the 2020-21 season. Butler returns five double-digit scorers from a season ago and adds Ty Groce, a graduate transfer from Eastern Michigan. Groce led the Eagles in scoring last season, the sixth player on the Butler roster to average double figures in 2020-21. Butler has six players who will play their fifth season of college basketball during the upcoming campaign — Aaron Thompson, Bryce Nze, Jair Bolden, Christian David, Bo Hodges, and Ty Groce. Of that group, Nze, Bolden and Groce are in their sixth year of college after previously redshirting and now taking advantage of the additional season of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

PRESEASON PICKS: The BIG EAST head coaches picked the Bulldogs to finish sixth in the league standings in the preseason poll that was announced as part of BIG EAST Media Day in New York City in October.

WHAT WILL HE DO FOR AN ENCORE?: Butler’s Chuck Harris was recognized as an honorable mention selection to the 2021-22 All-BIG EAST preseason team. Harris was one of three unanimous picks on the 2020-21 All-BIG EAST Freshman Team, joining Posh Alexander of St. John’s and Marquette’s Dawson Garcia (Garcia has since transferred to North Carolina). Harris led the Bulldogs in scoring during the 2020-21 season, becoming the first freshman to lead the team in scoring since the 1979-80 season (Tony Warren). Harris led the team in scoring in 17 of his 24 games played, scoring 20 or more points six times.

Harris became the third Bulldog to earn a spot on the BIG EAST All-Freshman Team since Butler joined the BIG EAST prior to the 2013-14 season. Kamar Baldwin was also a unanimous selection in 2016-17 and Andrew Chrabascz earned a spot on the 2013-14 team.

BALL STATE MEN’S BASKETBALL: CARDINALS HEAD TO NORMAL FOR SHOWDOWN WITH REDBIRDS

MUNCIE, Ind. – The Ball State men’s basketball team makes another trip to Illinois, this time for a matchup against Illinois State in Normal on Saturday. The Cardinals and Redbirds will meet for the 22nd time beginning with a 4 p.m. ET tip.

Last time out, Tyler Cochran led the way with 19 points and added a game-high two steals to go along with his two rebounds and two assists against IU Kokomo. Cochran has now scored in double figures in four of the last five games. Miryne Thomas posted a 13-point performance and chipped in with three rebounds, three assists, one block and one steal. Luke Bumbalough added 12 points, tied for a team-high five assists and one steal. Bumbalough has now scored in double figures in six straight contests. Payton Sparks was the final player in double digits with 12. He led the team with a game-high seven rebounds, tied for the team lead with five assists and had the team’s only other block.

The Cardinals are led by Bumbalough and Cochran as the only two players averaging double digits with 13.1 points per game and 10.6 points per game, respectively. Sparks continues to pave the way on the glass with 5.8 rebounds per contest. Cochran is a key cog in the Ball State defense and leads the team with 16 steals. Thomas and Basheer Jihad have been tough defenders and are tops on the team with five and four blocks, respectively. Bumbalough, Cochran, and Demarius Jacobs have been the facilitators, and all have 20 or more assists. 

The Cardinals enter Saturday with a 4-5 record, while the Redbirds are 6-5. This meeting will mark the 22nd and Ball State holds a slim 11-10 series advantage. BSU won the last meeting 82-66 on December 12, 2020. Illinois State is 7-3 at home against Ball State.

ISU is led by Antonio Reeves with 21.1 points per game. Sy Chatman and Josiah Strong are averaging 14.5 and 12.0 points per game, respectively. Mark Freeman is the final Redbird averaging double figures with 10.8 points per game. Chatman paces ISU on the glass with 7.2 rebounds per game. Howard Fleming Jr. has a team-high 17 steals. Freeman leads the team in assists with 39.

All of BSU’s games are presented on the Ball State Gainbridge Radio Network as well as Woof Boom Radio’s 96.7 FM, 102.9 FM, 104.9 FM, WLBC HD2, and the stream of 967BlakeFM.com as well as WERKFM.net.

NOTRE DAME BASEBALL: LINK JARRETT SIGNS CONTRACT EXTENSION THROUGH 2026 SEASON

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Coming off a record-breaking 2021 season, Notre Dame baseball head coach Link Jarrett has signed a contract extension that will keep him in South Bend through the 2026 season. Through two seasons at the helm of the Irish, Jarrett has compiled a 45-15 record and led the team to its first NCAA Super Regional appearance since 2002.

“When I reflect on my first two years at Notre Dame, I most often think of the dedication I witnessed from our players, assistant coaches, director of operations and entire support staff,” said Jarrett. “The ability of all involved to grasp a completely new system, apply it and execute was awesome.”

“The players on our team, and quite frankly every Notre Dame team, show relentless commitment to academic and athletic excellence,” Jarrett continued. “It is inspiring to be a part of this culture. I am thankful that Jack Swarbrick and Jody Sadler offered me the opportunity to coach at Notre Dame and I look forward to many more years at this special institution with amazing people.”

In 2021, Jarrett led the Irish to their first ACC Regular Season Title since joining the league and the first conference championship since 2006 (BIG EAST). Notre Dame went 25-10 in the ACC and finished four and a half games clear of second place. The 25 wins tied a program record for most conference wins in a single season (1990). The Irish rose as high as No. 2 in the polls, their highest ranking since they were No. 1 back in the 2001 season.

The Irish advanced to the postseason for the first time since 2015 and hosted a regional for the first time since 2004. Jarrett was just the third Irish head coach in program history to bring the Irish to the postseason in his first two seasons (Paul Mainieri and Pat Murphy). In the South Bend Regional, the Irish outscored their opponents 50-5, including an Irish postseason record 26 runs against UConn, en route to their first regional championship since 2002. In the Starkville Super Regional, the Irish took eventual National Champion Mississippi State to a decisive Game 3 before dropping the final game 11-7.

Jarrett was named ACC Coach of the Year this past season, the first Irish head coach to garner conference coach of the year honors since Paul Mainieri in 2001. Jarrett also earned D1Baseball Coach of the Year honors and ABCA Midwest Region Coach of the Year. He oversaw Niko Kavadas’ record-breaking season at the plate in 2021. Kavadas set the Notre Dame record for most home runs in a single season (21), surpassing Frank Jacobs record that was set in 1991.

Jarrett and the Irish will be back on the field for his third season this coming February when the 2022 campaign begins. The full Notre Dame baseball schedule will be announced in the coming weeks.

NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL: HAMILTON AND MAYER NAMED AFCA ALL-AMERICANS

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — University of Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton and tight end Michael Mayer were both named All-Americans by the American Football Coaches Association on Wednesday. Hamilton earned first team honors while Mayer was named to the second team. This is the fourth All-American honor for Hamilton and Mayer’s third accolade this postseason.

Hamilton led the Irish with three interceptions and had 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, ESPN.com, 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.

Mayer finished the season-opener at Florida State with career-best marks in receptions (nine) and yards (120). His 120 yards receiving was the most by an Irish tight end since Sept. 11, 2010 when Kyle Rudolph hauled in 164 yards against Michigan. It was the first 100-yard game of his career and it ranked fifth all-time in Notre Dame history for most receiving yards in a single game by a tight end. The very next week against Toledo, he tallied his first career multi-touchdown game and scored the game-winning touchdown with 1:09 left in the game.

In the regular season finale, Mayer tied his career-best mark and the Notre Dame single-game record with nine receptions for 105 yards. His final reception of the night set the single season Notre Dame reception record, surpassing Tyler Eifert’s previous record of 63 from 2011. It was Mayer’s second-career 100-yard receiving game and the eighth game he has had seven or more catches.

PURDUE FT. WAYNE BASEBALL: BASEBALL ANNOUNCES 2022 SCHEDULE

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Get ready to plan your spring, the 2022 Purdue Fort Wayne baseball schedule has been released.

The Mastodons will open the 2022 slate Feb. 18-20 with four games at Georgia State. The last time the ‘Dons played Georgia State was 2008. The series is the start of four consecutive non-league road trips to open the season. Visits to Cal Baptist, Tennessee Tech and Saint Louis follow. The ‘Dons have never played Cal Baptist and last played Tennessee Tech in 2002 and Saint Louis in 2008. Cal Baptist won 40 games in 2021 and earned a share of the regular season title.

The ‘Dons will play their first game in Fort Wayne on Wednesday, March 16 when the Dayton Flyers come to Mastodon Field. Two days later the ‘Dons will open Horizon League play with a three-game series with Youngstown State March 18-20. It is the second consecutive season the ‘Dons will open league play with a home series with Youngstown State.

Other home league games on the schedule include a three-game series with Wright State (April 1-3) and a doubleheader with Northern Kentucky (April 22) followed by a doubleheader with Oakland (April 24) two days later. The ‘Dons will host UIC in a three-games series April 29-May 1 before closing out league play at home on May 13 in a doubleheader against the Milwaukee Panthers.

The Purdue Fort Wayne schedule features non-league midweek games at Michigan State (March 23), Valparaiso (March 29), Michigan (April 6), Purdue (April 12), Notre Dame (April 20) and Dayton (May 10). Notre Dame and Michigan were both NCAA regional qualifiers last season.

The ‘Dons have a bye in Horizon League play during the final week of the regular season. So instead the ‘Dons will host Butler on Wednesday, May 17 and then travel to Akron for a non-league series May 20-21.

The Horizon League Champion will be held May 25-28 at the site of the top seed.

IUPUI MEN’S BASKETBALL: JAGUARS’ COMEBACK BID FALLS SHORT TO CHICAGO STATE, 61-55

INDIANAPOLIS – Graduate transfer B.J. Maxwell scored a career-high 20 points and senior Azariah Seay tallied a career-best 15 off the IUPUI bench, but the Jaguars ultimately fell short to Chicago State, 61-55. IUPUI trailed 43-24 with 9:22 left, but stormed back behind Seay’s hot hand to make things tight down the stretch. However, Chicago State (4-7) made enough free throws late to ultimately fend off the Jaguars.

Seay scored all 15 of his points in the final nine-plus minutes and Maxwell scored 12 down the stretch to fuel the comeback. However, IUPUI (1-9) was unable to overcome a wretched start as the Jaguars shot just 32.1 percent from the floor for the game and was 8-of-40 at one point.

Seay sparked a late 13-2 run with a wing three and then collected one of his four steals and hit both free throws after being fouled. Moments later, Bakari LaStrap collected a steal and raced the other way for a layup to get the lead under 10. Later, Maxwell drilled a wing three and after a CSU turnover, Seay hit an off rhythm three from the same spot to make it a two possession game with 41 seconds left.

IUPUI was forced to foul down the stretch to extend the game and the Cougars cashed in, making 7-of-8 tosses in the final 31 seconds to stave off the hosts.

“What I think changed (the game) was the guys played a little more free and a little more loose,” head coach Matt Crenshaw said. “And then, when you’re playing confident and you’re playing loose and you’re playing free, you tend to make shots. Our effort was through the roof and I was proud of the way they fought.

“We got down 19 and didn’t get discouraged and the guys kept their heads high and we clawed our way back. We did it all through our defense.”

IUPUI held CSU to 37 percent shooting and forced 24 turnovers, but couldn’t muster enough offense to make it stand.

Dominique Alexander tallied a team-high 17 points for the Cougars and Brandon Betson finished with 15 points, all in the opening half. Jahsean Corbett also finished in double-digits with 14 points, but committed eight urnovers.

IUPUI, which has struggled all season long with turnovers, committed just 11 and outscored CSU 22-4 in points off turnovers.

Maxwell staked IUPUI to a 15-11 lead with 8:02 left before halftime, countering a prior trey from CSU’s Carlo Marble. However, the Jags would proceed to finish the half by making just one of their final nine attempts, a Chuks Isitua putback, as the Cougars outscored the hosts 16-2 during that final stretch. Chicago State led 27-17 at the break as IUPUI shot just 6-of-27 overall and 2-of-11 from three in the opening stanza. Even the foul line was a struggle as the Jags made just 3-of-9 first half hoists before ultimately finishing 14-of-22 (63.6 percent) from the line.

Seay, who came in averaging just 3.3 points per game and had just 10 points in the Jags’ last five games combined, made 5-of-10 shots off the bench and also had four steals and three boards in just over 20 minutes of work.

“I pulled AZ to the side and I told him, that’s where the frustration lies at times because I know he can defend at this level and really defend with passion and switch off and guard opposing teams’ point guards,” Crenshaw said. “I told (Seay), that’s my expectation for you at all times.

“I told him that in front of the team and I told him that if you (defend), you’ll be amazed because you’ll get to the free throw line and you’ll get some easy ones and see the ball go in and it’ll really get you going. A lot of times we rely on jump shots to get us going and it’s supposed to be the other way – let your defense get your offense going.”

Boston Stanton III finished with six points and KJ Pruitt and LaStrap had five each. Isitua added four points and five boards.

IUPUI will continue the four-game homestand on Tuesday (Dec. 21) when the Jaguars host Morehead State at 7:00 p.m. inside Indiana Farmers Coliseum. That contest will be aired on ESPN+ as Greg Rakestraw (pxp) and IUPUI Hall of Famer Bob Lovell (analyst) describe the action. Tickets are available by contacting the IUPUI Ticket Office and promotional offers are available for IUPUI faculty, staff and students for upcoming home games.

VALPO MEN’S BASKETBALL: RETURN TO ACTION ON MONDAY

Eastern Michigan (5-5, 0-0 MAC)

at Valparaiso (5-6, 0-1 MVC)

Game No. 12 – Monday, Dec. 20, 6 p.m. CT

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

Next Up in Valpo Basketball: The Valparaiso University men’s basketball team will return to action after an eight-day hiatus for final exams for the first of two pre-Christmas matchups at the Athletics-Recreation Center on Monday. The Beacons will play two games in three days including Monday night’s showdown with Eastern Michigan. This marks the third game in a stretch of six consecutive home contests.

Last Time Out: Kobe King hit a desperation heave from three-quarters court as the final horn sounded – a shot that was later featured on SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays and was showcased on the popular “SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt” on ESPN – but Valpo still came up a point shy in a 68-67 setback to Charlotte on Dec. 11. King was the team’s high scorer with 17, while Sheldon Edwards buried four 3s on his way to 16 points. Trevor Anderson posted a balanced stat line that featured 12 points, six rebounds and four assists. Valpo overcame an 11-point deficit and held the lead as late as the final minute, but the 49ers prevailed behind a 26-point effort by Jahmir Young.

Following the Beacons: Streaming – ESPN3 – Todd Ickow (play-by-play) and TBD (analyst)

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

Twitter updates – @ValpoBasketball

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

Head Coach Matt Lottich: Matt Lottich (88-84) 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: This represents the return trip of a home-and-home that began with an 85-79 victory for host Eastern Michigan on Dec. 3, 2019 in Ypsilanti. This game was originally scheduled for Dec. 16, 2020, but was postponed a year due to Eastern Michigan’s program going on a COVID-19 pause at that time last season. The Eagles and Beacons have split four all-time matchups in a series that started in 1987. This will mark Eastern Michigan’s first visit to Valpo since that 1987 game, a 59-57 victory for the hosts. The 2019 meeting was the first matchup since 2010, a neutral-site game in Rochester, Mich.

#SCTop10 Again: Kobe King nailed a three-quarters court shot to beat the buzzer on Dec. 11 vs. Charlotte. Although the desperation heave was not enough as Valpo fell 68-67, the play checked in at No. 9 on SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays that evening. It was highlighted again two days later on ESPN’s popular “SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt” show. This marks the fourth time in a three-year span that Valpo basketball has produced an #SCTop10 play. The previous appearance came courtesy of a Sheldon Edwards dunk in a victory over No. 25 Drake on Feb. 7 of last season. Since joining the Missouri Valley Conference, Valpo Athletics has been featured on the iconic daily countdown on 10 occasions spanning five sports – men’s basketball (four times), softball (twice), volleyball (twice) women’s basketball and soccer.

Taylor Triples: Kevion Taylor has made at least one 3-pointer in all 10 games that he’s played this season. Overall, he has made a 3 in 74 consecutive contests dating all the way back to Dec. 15, 2018 while playing for Winona State in a game at Concordia St. Paul. The highest of the NCAA records (Division I, Division II or Division III) for consecutive made 3s is 93 and belongs to Daniel Park of D-II Rollins from Jan. 26, 1994 to Feb. 28, 1997 and is considered the NCAA record. However, Taylor’s streak would not be recognized in the NCAA record book should it reach that point since it is split between Division I and Division II. If Taylor’s streak came in all D-I games, 74 would rank third in Division-I history. The D-I record is held by Mack Smith, who Valpo played against on Dec. 5 at Western Michigan. Smith set the record while at Eastern Illinois.

Flawless at the Stripe: Valpo posted a 14-of-14 performance at the free-throw line in the Dec. 11 68-67 setback vs. Charlotte, the team’s first perfect showing at the foul line since going 5-of-5 on Feb. 7, 2018 at Evansville. This marked Valpo’s first flawless day at the stripe with at least 10 attempts since going 14-of-14 on Nov. 17, 2016 at Oregon. As of Dec. 11, only five teams nationally this season had a perfect free-throw shooting game with more than 14 attempts.

The Slimmest of Margins: Valpo’s 68-67 loss vs. Charlotte on Saturday was the team’s first one-point game since winning 66-65 at Southern Illinois on Feb. 21 of last season. That marked Valpo’s first defeat by the slimmest of margins since Jan. 29, 2019, 55-54 in overtime vs. Missouri State. Half of Valpo’s six losses this season have come by three points or fewer including one overtime setback.

Other Notes Wrapping Up Dec. 11: Charlotte 68, Valpo 67

Kobe King followed his collegiate career high of 19 in his Valpo debut vs. East-West with 17 in his second game sporting the brown and gold, his top collegiate output against a Division-I opponent. He went a perfect 6-of-6 at the foul line against Charlotte, a career high for made free throws.

Thomas Kithier collected seven rebounds, his fourth straight game and seventh time this season with six or more. He paced the team in rebounding for the seventh time this year.

Trevor Anderson gave out four assists to co-lead the team, his fourth time this season with four or more helpers. He also scored in double figures for the seventh time in 11 games including the fifth time in the last six.

Kevion Taylor shared the team lead in assists and equaled a season high with four while also swiping three steals. The three steals represented his highest total of the season and his third multi-steal effort in the last four contests.

Sheldon Edwards drained four 3s, his second most of the season and fifth time with three or more. His 16 points represented his ninth time in double figures this year in 11 outings. His six made field goals were also his second most of the year, behind the Nov. 24 game vs. Tulane.

King made his first start in a Valpo uniform, while Edwards returned to the starting five after coming off the bench for each of the last seven games.

Charlotte shot 51.1 percent from the field, the highest shooting clip by a Valpo opponent this season. The 49ers shot 64.7 percent from 3, the highest 3-point percentage by a Valpo opponent since Evansville went 9-of-12 on Nov. 20, 2013.

Jahmir Young had 26 points for Charlotte, the most points scored by an individual Valpo opponent this season.

Inside the Eagles

Picked 11th of 12 in the MAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll.

Own victories over Illinois State, Western Illinois, Northwood, Niagara and Florida International.

Fell by just six points at Indiana to open the season. Other losses have come to DePaul, Michigan State, Northern Kentucky (by one) and UC San Diego.

Will close out nonconference play on Monday before visiting Ohio on Tuesday, Dec. 28 to tip off MACtion.

Led in scoring by Noah Farrakhan, who is averaging 17.1 points per game in eight contests. Monty Scott (15.6 ppg) and Bryce McBride (12.1 ppg) join him in double figures.

Went 6-12 overall and 3-11 in conference play last season.

VALPO WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: BACK IN ACTION SUNDAY AT MOREHEAD STATE

Valparaiso (0-9, 0-0 MVC)

Game #10 – December 19, 2021 – noon CT

at Morehead State (1-7, 0-0 OVC)

Johnson Arena (6,500) – Morehead, Ky.

Next Up in Valpo Basketball: The Valpo women’s basketball team returns to action following final exams for the first of two final tune-ups before the start of MVC play, making the trip to Morehead, Ky. to face Morehead State on Sunday afternoon.

Previously: Valpo point guard Shay Frederick became the 17th player in program history to hit the 1,000-point milestone for her career last Friday evening at South Dakota as the host Coyotes earned a 51-31 victory over the Beacons.

Following Valpo Basketball: Streaming Video: ESPN+

Radio: WVUR (95.1 FM, Valparaiso)

Streaming Audio: TuneIn app

Links for all live coverage: Available via ValpoAthletics.com

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 37-58. 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: Sunday afternoon will mark the third meeting all-time between the two programs, with each team holding a win on its home court. The last meeting came on Dec. 17, 2019 at the ARC, as Valpo edged the Eagles by a 55-53 final – the team’s fifth straight win in what would eventually become a seven-game winning streak. Addison Stoller led Valpo in the win with 18 points, while Shay Frederick handed out eight assists.

@ValpoWBB…

…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.

…at South Dakota

– Shay Frederick hit a midrange floater in the final seconds of the opening quarter to reach the 1,000-point mark for her career, tying the game at 10-10.

– Valpo hit just two free throws in the second quarter, but limited the Coyotes to just seven points to keep it a five-point game (17-12) at intermission.

– South Dakota scored the first 12 points of the second half and led 37-19 with 10 minutes to play.

– No Valpo player scored in double figures on Friday, as Grace White led the Beacons with nine points and seven rebounds.

– Valpo shot just 20.5% from the field on Friday evening against a South Dakota squad which limited Bradley to 39 points in its last outing and improved to 69-5 all-time inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.

– The Beacons did connect on all 10 of their free throw attempts, the seventh time in program history and the third time in the last three seasons they have hit 100% on 10 or more tries from the foul line.

…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.x

…looking ahead

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

– Following the holiday, Missouri Valley Cofnerence play starts for Valpo with the longest trip of the conference slate, starting at Southern Illinois on Friday, Dec. 31.

…on the road

– Sunday marks the final non-conference road game and the seventh of 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.

@MSUEaglesWBB

– Morehead State enters the weekend at 1-7 overall, with a Saturday game against USC Upstate before Sunday’s matchup with the Beacons.

– The Eagles’ lone win to date came over NAIA opponent Midway.

– MSU has played six of its first eight games away from home, including a 79-49 loss at Evansville.

ANDERSON BASEBALL: ANDERSON RELEASES 2022 BASEBALL SCHEDULE

Anderson University released its schedule for the 2022 baseball season on Thursday.

The Ravens are set to play 40 games, including 17 games at Don Brandon Field, three games at Grand Park in Westfield, seven games in Florida and one game at Victory Field in Indianapolis. Anderson is scheduled to compete in nine Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) doubleheaders, including four doubleheaders at home.

Anderson kicks off the season with a doubleheader against Sewanee: The University of the South on Feb. 12 at 10 a.m. in Sewanee, Tenn. The Ravens face off with Otterbein University on Feb. 25 at 4 p.m. at Grand Park. Anderson then is slated for two more games at Grand Park on Feb. 26, battling Wittenberg University at 11 a.m. and Concordia University Chicago at 2 p.m. The Ravens take part in their Don Brandon Field opener on March 5 with a doubleheader against St. Norbert College at 12 p.m.

Anderson is once again hosting its annual Victory Field game after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ravens take on Greenville University on March 30 at Victory Field at 6 p.m. Anderson clashes with Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology to open the HCAC season on April 2 with a 12 p.m. doubleheader in Terre Haute. The Ravens take on Mount St. Joseph University in their HCAC home opening doubleheader on April 9 at 12 p.m. at Don Brandon Field. Anderson faces off with Hanover College on Senior Day in an HCAC doubleheader on April 16 at 12 p.m. at Don Brandon Field. The Ravens close out the regular season with an HCAC doubleheader against Transylvania University on May 7 at 12 p.m.

In non-conference action, the Ravens host Calvin University in a doubleheader on March 26 and they host single games against St. Norbert (March 6), Heidelberg University (March 29), DePauw University (April 12) and Wabash College (April 26). The Ravens also take on Bluffton University in a home HCAC doubleheader on April 19.

Anderson went 23-19 with a 20-17 HCAC record last season. The Ravens have advanced to each of the last three double-elimination rounds of the HCAC Tournament.

BETHEL WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: SECOND QUARTER DOOMS PILOTS IN LOSS TO WARNER

LAKE WALES, Fla. – Bethel Women’s Basketball outscored the Warner Royals in three of four quarters by eight total points but could not muster an attack in the second quarter en route to a 16-point disadvantage in the frame and a 94-86 loss to the hosts of the Warner Classic on Thursday. Alba Garcia scored a team-high 18 points off the bench for the Pilots.

GAME VITALS

Score: Warner def. Bethel 94-86

Records: Bethel (7-8) | Warner (3-5)

NAIA Top 25 Coaches’ Poll:  Bethel – NR | Warner – NR

Location: Turner Athletic Center | Warner University | Lake Wales, Fla.

STAT TRACKER

Alba Garcia: 18 pts, 4 reb, 7-16 fg

Caroline Morris: 5 pts, 10 reb, 6 stl

Addi Jones: 15 pts, 4 reb, 3 stl

Jazmen Watts: 15 pts, 9 reb, 2 stl

Abby Williams: 7 reb, 4 stl, 2 blk

INSIDE THE BOXSCORE

The Pilots shot 5-for-35 from beyond the arc in the game, their fewest makes and lowest percentage from three all season.

The Pilots forced 37 turnovers, the ninth time this season they have forced at least 30 turnovers. Their 28 steals in the game are a season-high and the seventh time they’ve recorded at least 20 steals.

Jazmen Watts is averaging 18.7 points and 8.0 rebounds over her last three games.

NEXT TIME OUT

The Pilots take on Webber International on Friday at 12:00 pm in their final game of the Warner Classic in the Sunshine State.

OAKLAND CITY MEN’S BASKETBALL: MIGHTY OAKS GET BACK ON TRACK WITH VICTORY OVER BRESCIA BEARCATS

Oakland City, IN – After losing ten straight games, the Mighty Oaks men’s basketball team looked to turn things around against the Bearcats of Brescia University. The Bearcats entered the matchup with a record of 4-6, 2-2 in the River States Conference, while the Oaks held a 1-12 overall mark, 1-4 in conference play. After a slim 26-24 halftime lead, OCU managed to hold on to their margin, winning by the final score of 62-60.

There were a total of five ties and nine lead changes what proved to be a close contest throughout, with neither team leading by more than ten points.

With a four-point lead, at 58-54, with just under three minutes to play, OCU saw their chance to pull out their second win of the season. Brescia cut the lead to two points at the 1:55 mark, then took the lead on a three-pointer with just 0:50 left on the clock. DJ Redding regained the lead for the Oaks with a driving layup with 24 seconds remaining.

On the ensuing play, Abdul Wurie was called for a blocking foul, sending Brescia’s Ricky Shuford to the line with seven seconds left on the clock. After missing the first attempt, Shuford evened the score by making the second. The inbound pass was thrown in to Redding, who took the ball the length of the floor, then dished it off to an open Wurie, who layed it in with two seconds left.

After Michael Caswell’s half-court shot at the buzzer rimmed off, the Oaks improved to 2-12, including 2-4 in RSC play, while the Bearcats fall to 4-8, 2-3 in the conference.

Allen Sims led all scorers in the contest, posting 18 points on 8-15 shooting, while Redding added 13 counters on 5-7 from the field. Wurie had eight points while joining Allen with a game-high eight rebounds.

Jalen Rose paced the Bearcats, scoring 16 points on 5-14 shooting, followed by 12 points each from Ricky Shuford and Tam Smith. Rose and Shuford each grabbed six boards to lead Brescia in the loss.

As a team, Oakland City made 26-57 (45.6%) from the field, including 5-15 (33.3%) from three point range, while Brescia connected on 21-51 (41.2%) including 7-15 (46.7%) from beyond the arc. OCU scored on 5-8 (62.5%) from the foul line, compared to 11-14 (78.6%) for the visiting Bearcats, despite a foul discrepancy of 17-9 in favor of the Oaks.

OCU held a 36-27 rebounding advantage, including a 13-7 edge on the offensive glass. However, Brescia outscored the Oaks 9-3 in second chance points, while the Mighty Oaks held a 36-20 lead in points in the paint. Oakland City handed out 14 assists, three more than the Bearcats, while committing 17 turnovers, one more than their opponents.

Next up for the Mighty Oaks is the Dunn Hospitality Group Classic, held in the Johnson Center. OCU will take on Trinity International University on December 29, tipping off at 6:00 pm, then square off against Lawrence Tech the following day, scheduled for a 4:00 tip.

IU NORTHWEST MEN’S BASKETBALL: RALLIES FROM DOWN 20 TO STUN IU KOKOMO, 70-68, THURSDAY

GARY, Ind. — The Indiana University Northwest men’s basketball team fought back from down 20 with 16:53 left in the game with the help of three players reaching double figures and two obtaining double-doubles as the RedHawks defeated IU Kokomo, 70-68, at the Savannah Center, Thursday.

TEAM RECORDS

IU Northwest (9-4) | IU Kokomo (13-3)

HALF BREAKDOWN

1st Half: IU Kokomo 48, IU Northwest 34

2nd Half: IU Northwest 36, IU Kokomo 20

Final Score: IU Northwest 70, IU Kokomo 68

IU Northwest Leaders

Points: Jared Johnson (23), Brian Hernandez (18), Tromon Weston (14)

Rebounds: Jared Johnson (12), Tromon Weston (11)

Assists: Brian Hernandez (4)

Blocks: Jimmie Washington (4)

Steals: Brian Hernandez (2)

GAME RECAP

IU Northwest led 11-3 early after baskets by Tromon Weston and Jared Johnson. Indiana Kokomo scored seven unanswered points to cut it down to one.

Johnson put a halt to the run after making a three-pointer. The Cougars quickly grabbed the lead at 15-14 then Larry Lynch converted a big and-one.

IUK led 22-17 with just under 10 minutes left then Weston hit back-to-back baskets to cut it back down to one. The Cougars quickly responded with back-to-back layups of their own to make it 28-21.

Brian Hernandez was able to put a stop to the run by making a layup. IU Kokomo went on another run to extend their lead to 41-25 with 2:36 left in the half.

Hernandez hit a three-pointer as time expired in the first half. IUK led 48-34 going into the break.

The Cougars started the second half with five straight points to make it 53-34. A few minutes later, IUK extended their lead to 55-35 with 16:53 to go in the game then that is when the run was on for IU Northwest.

Hernandez made a pair of layups then Johnson converted a second chance opportunity to make it 55-41. IUK crawled back and expanded it to 62-45 with 10:23 left in the game.

IU Northwest made another run after Marshaud Watkins hit a basket then Damond Crosby hit a three-pointer made it 62-50 Cougars. Johnson and Watkins tied it at 66-all with 2:06 left with back-to-back layups.

IUK took the lead at 68-66 with 1:43 remaining but that would be the last time the Cougars scored. Weston converted a huge second chance opportunity after a miss by Johnson.

Johnson gave the RedHawks a 70-68 lead with 31 seconds left and that score would hold until the end. IU Northwest defeated IU Kokomo 70-68.

UP NEXT

IU Northwest will be back in action Saturday, December 18 as the RedHawks travel to Trinity International to take on the Trojans starting at 3 p.m. CT.

IU NORTHWEST WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: PUTS UP FIGHT AGAINST OLIVET NAZARENE; SUFFERS SETBACK 91-88 THURSDAY

GARY, Ind. — The Indiana University Northwest women’s basketball fought hard but ultimately fell to Olivet Nazarene at the Savannah Center, 91-88, Thursday to snap their seven-game winning streak. Four players reached double figures for the RedHawks but the Tigers were still able to come away with the victory.

TEAM RECORDS

Olivet Nazarene (8-5, 6-2 CCAC) | IU Northwest (9-4, 5-2 CCAC)

QUARTER BREAKDOWN

1st Quarter: Olivet Nazarene 23, IU Northwest 13

2nd Quarter: IU Northwest 30, Olivet Nazarene 22

Halftime Score: Olivet Nazarene 45, IU Northwest 43

3rd Quarter: IU Northwest 23, Olivet Nazarene 21

4th Quarter: Olivet Nazarene 25, IU Northwest 22

Final Score: Olivet Nazarene 91, IU Northwest 88

IU NORTHWEST LEADERS

Points: Michaela Schmidt (25), Tiara Jackson (14), Alyna Santiago (12), Samantha Martin (10)

Rebounds: Samantha Martin (11)

Assists: Meghan Long (6), Alyna Santiago (6)

Blocks: Karli Miller (1)

Steals: Alyna Santiago (5)

GAME RECAP

Olivet Nazarene went up 9-0 in the first four minutes of the contest. Michaela Schmidt ended the drought after making a layup.

Moments later, the Tigers went up 19-6 with 4:14 left in the first quarter. IU Northwest closed out the quarter on a 7-4 run after Samantha Martin made back-to-back layups.

Katelyn Halfacre started the second quarter with back-to-back three-pointers to make it 29-20 ONU. The Tigers made it 33-23 with 7:42 left in the period.

The RedHawks made a 5-0 run after Schmidt made consecutive layups. IU Northwest closed out the first half, scoring the last five points after Meghan Long hit a pair of free throws and Schmidt hit a three-pointer to cut it to 45-43 ONU.

Long started the fourth quarter with a layup to tie the contest at 45-all. IU Northwest took the lead after Tiara Jackson and Schmidt hit back-to-back layups to make it 49-47 RedHawks.

ONU later tied it with four minutes to go in the third then Halfacre knocked down another triple for a 59-56 lead. Both teams traded ties the rest of the third period as the score was tied 66-all at the end of the quarter.

The score was 72-70 ONU with 7:33 to play in the game. Karli Miller hit a layup then Schmidt hit two straight to give the RedHawks a 76-70 advantage.

The Tigers fought back and made a 9-2 run to grab a 79-78 lead with 3:09 left to go. Alyna Santiago quickly gave the lead right back.

Both teams traded shooting free throws the rest of the way. ONU ended up coming out on top 91-88.

UP NEXT

IU Northwest will be back in action Saturday, December 18 as the RedHawks travel to Deerfield, Ill. to take on Trinity International starting at 1 p.m. CT.

IU SOUTH BEND WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: TITANS DEFEAT LINCOLN IN FINAL HOME GAME OF 2021

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Katie Gard led IU South Bend with a career-high 24 points on Thursday night, as the Titans picked up their CCAC-leading 11th overall victory of the season, 85-76 over Lincoln.

Gard helped the Titans (11-4, 4-3 CCAC) to a big early lead, scoring 18 points in the first half, as IUSB took a 15-point advantage by the end of the first quarter, their largest of the night. Four other players finished in double figures, including Maddie Gard with 17 points, Rachel Robards with 15, and Sara Doi with 10.

The Titans opened the game with seven straight points, and had a 19-8 lead with three minutes left in the opening period, following a three-pointer, steal, and fast-break layup by Katie Gard. Two quick scores from Amaya Rufus to close the quarter capped a 13-2 run for the Titans, giving the home team a 25-10 lead.

Lincoln (1-10, 1-8 CCAC) battled back in the second quarter, scoring 12 of the first 14 points of the period and cutting the lead to 27-22 at the 7:12 mark. A three from the Lynx later in the quarter made it a two-point game, 31-29, but a three-pointer in response by Katie Gard turned the momentum just before the end of the first half. The Titans would go into the break with a 40-34 halftime lead.

After going 1-for-9 from three-point range in the second quarter, the Titans started to heat up after halftime, shooting 8-for-14 (57.1%) from beyond the arc in the second half. Robards hit a pair of threes early in the third quarter to keep IUSB in front, 46-38, and a three from Maddy Schumacher pushed the advantage to double digits, 58-47 with 4:11 left in the third quarter.

The Lynx would push the margin down to four points in the fourth quarter, but a pair of threes by Robards fueled a 10-2 run that helped the Titans hold on down the stretch. Doi’s three-pointer with 1:39 remaining secured the win, as the IUSB defense held Lincoln to just one field goal over the final three minutes of play.

The Titans will have the weekend off before heading across town on Tuesday, December 21 to take on Holy Cross. Tipoff with the Saints is set for 5:30 p.m.

INDIANA TECH MEN’S SOCCER: FOUR WARRIORS NAMED TO NAIA ALL-AMERICA TEAM

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Indiana Tech men’s soccer team had four student-athletes named to the 2021 NAIA All-America Team, the office announced last Wednesday.

Junior Will Harris was tabbed to the Second Team while graduate student Maxwell Amoako, sophomore Jaume Salvado, and junior Pep Casas garnered spots on the Honorable Mention list.

Amoako and Harris, the Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year award recipients from the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) led the Warriors on their respective sides of the pitch, with the former tallying 19 goals, the second most ever recorded in a single season at Indiana Tech, while the latter anchored a backline that allowed under a half a goal per game while recording 14 shutouts, Amoako was also named to the 2021 United Soccer Coaches All-America Team.

Casas was also named All-WHAC First Team, he provided steadiness and excellent ball movement for the Warriors this season, scoring two goals and five assists in 1,497 minutes on the pitch. Salvado, another member of the All-WHAC First Team and was a Defensive Player of the Week winner, made 58 saves on the year and only allowed 10 goals, earning 14 shutouts on the season.

It is the third time that Casas has been named to the All-America team and the second time for Amoako, Harris, and Salvado.

GRACE COLLEGE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: SHOOTING WOES UNRAVEL LADY LANCERS

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Grace’s women’s basketball team suffered its second-worst scoring night of the season, resulting in a 55-48 defeat at Holy Cross on Thursday.

The Lady Lancers made 29 percent of their field goals, including a 2 of 12 night from the 3-point line.

Despite leading for the majority of the first half, Grace’s shooting issues caught up to the squad after halftime. The Lady Lancers shot just 23 percent across the final two quarters, allowing Holy Cross to rally for the win.

Grace began the game well with an early 7-2 edge. The Lady Lancers’ defense impressed in the period, helping the visitors to a 15-12 lead as the quarter ended.

Grace led throughout the entire second quarter, claiming a 29-25 lead at halftime.

The Lady Lancers stayed in front with a strong defensive effort. Grace struggled offensively by shooting 12 of 35 (34 percent) before halftime, including making just one triple.

But Grace turned the ball over only three times in the opening 20 minutes to help its cause.

The Saints were held to 30 percent shooting as a team.

Grace’s momentum hit a major roadblock in the third quarter. The Lady Lancers did not score for nearly five minutes, allowing the Saints to score 10 unanswered points to charge ahead 35-29.

Maddie Ryman hit a jumper for Grace’s first points of the quarter, and Olivia Pearson also hit a triple shortly after that.

But Grace did not make another field goal for the rest of the half, shooting 2 of 11 overall.

After Grace tied the score at 35-35 on a free throw by Carissa Wiegman, the Saints edged ahead 40-36 by the end of the quarter.

The Lady Lancers wasted little time tying the game, scoring on their first two possessions of the fourth quarter.

But Grace struggled to keep scoring after the fast start. Grace went 3:02 before making another shot, then went another 2:53 before hitting another field goal.

As a result, the Saints were able to build up a nine-point cushion with five minutes to play.

Grace did its best to rally late, but without the aid of long-range shooting, the visitors were unable to close the gap. Grace missed all eight of its 3-point tries in the fourth quarter.

Ryman scored a game-high 14 points with three steals. Karlee Feldman tallied 11 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocked shots, and Kenzie McMahon had seven points and seven boards.

Kiersten Poor finished with 5 points, 5 boards and 3 steals, Kaylee Patton grabbed eight rebounds, and Peyton Murphy tallied three assists and two boards.

“This was a tough one tonight for us. Hats off to Holy Cross who played with urgency. It’s tough to win when you go on the road and have an off shooting day like we did. We struggled to make free throws, make shots in the paint, and we didn’t rebound well,” said Grace head coach Dan Davis. “There is plenty for us to learn from and get better. It will be great to have a break for the holidays, but we’re looking forward to improving and getting back on the court.”

The Lady Lancers will next head to Florida at the end of the month. Grace will play at the Keiser New Year’s Classic on Dec. 30-31 in West Palm Beach, Fla.

GOSHEN WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: BRYAN STAYS UNBEATEN WITH FOURTH-QUARTER SURGE OVER GOSHEN

LAKELAND, Fla. – The #20 Bryan Lions continue to be unbeaten this season after a win over the Maple Leafs. And while the Goshen women’s basketball team was able to hang with the Lions for three quarters, a 35-point fourth quarter for Bryan separated them apart. The final score was 102-72.

Goshen got the ball rolling with a quick 7-2 lead with baskets by Taniece Chapman, Syanne Mohamed, and a three from Kiarah Copeland. The Leafs built a 35-29 lead in the second quarter, but Bryan held a four-point advantage at the half. And while the Lions advanced their lead to 13 in the third quarter, Goshen hung around and was down just eight after three quarters – 67-59.

The lead was down to six with eight minutes to go, and it was looking like the undefeated Lions may not stay undefeated. However, they pulled through with a 13-0 run – part of a 33-9 run to end the game. Bryan made seven of their 11 three-point attempts in the fourth quarter, and Goshen was 0-6. They outrebounded GC in the fourth quarter 12-3.

Chapman scored 16 for Goshen with five rebounds and a couple of assists. Copeland had 13 points, shooting 2-3 from three and a perfect 3-3 from the free-throw line. Mohamed added eight points and five rebounds.

Bryan (12-0) came into the match ranked second in the NAIA in points per game (89.5), and they have now scored at least 97 points in over half of their games this season. The Lions like to shoot behind the arc. They were also second in the NAIA in three-pointers made per game (11.0) and tonight was no exception. They made 17 of their 39 attempts. They had beaten their previous opponents by an average of 27.3 points per game. They are also the only team that has beat #5 Southeastern University, which Goshen plays tomorrow.

Goshen (6-7, 2-2 CL) has done well with offensive rebounds this season (33rd in the NAIA), and they won the category tonight 14-12. The Leafs also had more points in the paint by a 14-point margin (46-32).

The Leafs play their second match in the Southeastern University Christmas Invitational tomorrow against the host. They will face the Fire at 7:00 pm on Friday. They are also ranked – #4 in the NAIA. Goshen concludes its Florida trip on Sunday, December 19 at 1:00 at Warner University.

TAYLOR ATHLETICS | SECOND-HALF SURGE SENDS TAYLOR PAST UNOH

UPLAND, Ind. – Taylor used a 34-16 run over the majority of the second half to grab control of Thursday’s non-league game with Northwestern Ohio and held off a late counter from the Racers to secure a hard-fought, 73-67, victory inside Odle Arena.

The game-changing rally was ignited on the defensive end for Taylor, as the Trojans held UNOH (5-9) to one field goal over its first 11 shot attempts out of the intermission and flipped a 33-30 deficit into a 43-37 edge with 12:35 remaining.

TU continued to widen the gap, controlling the action and pushing the margin into double figures on a Kaden Fuhrmann triple for a 53-42 lead and eventually built a 15-point advantage by the 4:43 mark.

Taylor did not see its lead cut below eight points at any point over the final 10 minutes until the guests struck for nine points in a 35-second span to draw within 70-67 with 18 ticks showing on the clock.

Taylor held on however, as Fuhrmann put the game away at the free throw line to ice the 73-67 victory.

Taylor stifled UNOH over the final 20 minutes, holding the Racers to 23.5-percent shooting in the second half and outscoring the guests by a 43-36 count.

Jason Hubbard led the way with 26 points and 14 rebounds for his sixth double-double in 12 outings this season. The senior led the second-half charge for Taylor with 17 points and nine rebounds after the break.

Fuhrmann followed with 16 point and 12 rebounds, netting his first collegiate double-double and setting a new career-high on the glass. Fellow guards, Jackson Lewis and Gavin Yoon also reached double figures in the scoring column with 10 points each.

Taylor (6-8) improved to 6-3 over its last nine outings with the victory and will look to continue those winning ways in Florida, when it takes on Keiser (5-7) and Webber International (5-10) in the Sunshine State on December 21 and 22.

TAYLOR ATHLETICS | TU TAKES CARE OF BUSINESS AT HOME AGAINST LOURDES

UPLAND, Ind. – The Taylor University women’s basketball team won inside Odle Arena on Thursday evening as the Trojans beat the Lourdes University Gray Wolves (4-9) by a score of 62-58.

Taylor finished each half on a high note, outscoring Lourdes 32-20 in the second and fourth quarters combined, an advantage that helped seal the deal for the Trojans at home.

The Trojans had their best shooting percentage of the night in the first quarter, maintaining a mark of 42.9 percent from the floor. Six first-quarter turnovers, however, fueled an even sharper Gray Wolf offensive attack as Lourdes snagged a 20-14 lead on 50-percent shooting heading into the second frame.

Led by Kayla Kirtley and her eight second-quarter points, the Trojans managed to even the score by the half. Strong ball movement energized the Trojan offense in the game’s second 10-minute block, as six of the team’s seven buckets were prefaced by a Purple-and-Gold assist.

Kirtley led all scorers at the half with 10 points in tandem with four rebounds, while sophomore Taylor Westgate contributed six points and five boards of her own.

Lourdes nurtured a two-point edge by the end of the third quarter, however, while shooting nearly 44 percent as a team and forcing another five Trojan turnovers. Nonetheless, senior, Lauren James, kept the Trojans in step with the Gray Wolves by scoring nine third-quarter points, six of which came from two big three-point baskets.

Down two heading into the fourth and final frame, the Trojans pulled out the victory while putting on a defensive clinic down the stretch. Taylor relentlessly stirred trouble in the Gray Wolf offense, causing seven fourth-quarter turnovers and limiting Lourdes to a mere 25-percent mark from the floor.

Meanwhile, the Trojan offense attacked from multiple angles as Merideth Deckard and James scored four points each, while Kirtley and Westgate each contributed three of their own.

Westgate finished with 16 total rebounds, bumping her league-leading season average up to 11.8 boards-per-game, while James ended up leading all scorers with 18 points.

Taylor has now defeated Lourdes in each of the past three seasons, hoarding the overall series advantage three games to none.

The Trojans (7-8, 1-3 CL) will be back in action on Saturday, December 18th, when they travel in-state to Oakland City (5-6) for a 4:00 pm ET matchup against the Mighty Oaks.

NFL STANDINGS
AMERICAN FOOTBALL CONFERENCE
EAST DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS940.6920.03502003-4-06-0-07-1-03-1-07 W
BUFFALO BILLS760.5382.03632293-3-04-3-05-5-03-1-02 L
MIAMI DOLPHINS670.4623.02542884-3-02-4-04-5-02-2-05 W
NEW YORK JETS3100.2316.02263972-5-01-5-03-6-00-4-02 L
 
WEST DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS1040.7140.03852966-2-04-2-05-4-04-1-07 W
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS860.5712.03793704-4-04-2-05-4-02-2-01 L
DENVER BRONCOS760.5382.52752284-3-03-3-03-5-01-2-01 W
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS670.4623.52833603-4-03-3-04-4-01-3-02 L
 
NORTH DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
BALTIMORE RAVENS850.6150.03042845-1-03-4-05-5-01-3-02 L
CLEVELAND BROWNS760.5381.02782895-2-02-4-04-5-02-2-01 W
CINCINNATI BENGALS760.5381.03542933-4-04-2-05-3-03-1-02 L
PITTSBURGH STEELERS661.5001.52723224-2-12-4-04-4-02-2-01 L
 
SOUTH DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
TENNESSEE TITANS940.6920.03242905-2-04-2-06-3-04-1-01 W
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS760.5382.03712833-4-04-2-06-3-03-2-01 W
HOUSTON TEXANS2110.1547.01773561-6-01-5-02-7-02-2-03 L
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS2110.1547.01803402-5-00-6-02-6-00-4-05 L
 
NATIONAL FOOTBALL CONFERENCE
EAST DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
DALLAS COWBOYS940.6920.03802874-2-05-2-07-1-03-0-02 W
WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM670.4623.02663243-4-03-3-05-3-01-1-01 L
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES670.4623.03372911-4-05-3-04-4-00-2-01 W
NEW YORK GIANTS490.3085.02323103-3-01-6-03-5-01-2-02 L
 
WEST DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
ARIZONA CARDINALS1030.7690.03662543-3-07-0-06-3-04-1-01 L
LOS ANGELES RAMS940.6921.03662934-2-05-2-06-3-02-2-02 W
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS760.5383.03293012-4-05-2-05-5-01-4-01 W
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS580.3855.02722622-4-03-4-02-6-02-2-02 W
 
NORTH DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
GREEN BAY PACKERS1030.7690.03282726-0-04-3-08-2-03-1-02 W
MINNESOTA VIKINGS670.4624.03443334-2-02-5-04-4-02-1-01 W
CHICAGO BEARS490.3086.02313322-4-02-5-02-6-02-2-02 L
DETROIT LIONS1111.1158.52133541-5-00-6-11-7-01-4-01 L
 
SOUTH DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS1030.7690.04102976-0-04-3-06-3-02-1-04 W
ATLANTA FALCONS670.4624.02453531-5-05-2-03-6-02-3-01 W
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS670.4624.03042852-4-04-3-04-5-01-2-01 W
CAROLINA PANTHERS580.3855.02572822-5-03-3-03-6-02-1-03 L

NBA DIVISION STANDINGS
EASTERN CONFERENCE
ATLANTIC DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
BROOKLYN218.72410-511-36-017-57-34 W
PHILADELPHIA1515.5006.56-79-80-69-95-53 L
BOSTON1414.5006.57-47-103-39-84-61 W
TORONTO1315.4647.56-97-64-410-95-51 L
NEW YORK1316.4488.05-108-63-38-133-71 W
 
CENTRAL DIVISON
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
MILWAUKEE1911.63310-49-76-014-87-31 W
CHICAGO1710.6300.58-49-62-210-75-52 L
CLEVELAND1812.6001.09-79-52-111-68-25 W
INDIANA1318.4196.510-73-112-48-134-61 W
DETROIT423.14813.52-112-121-63-140-1013 L
 
SOUTHEAST DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
MIAMI1712.5868-49-83-111-65-51 W
CHARLOTTE1614.5331.58-48-105-210-84-61 W
WASHINGTON1515.5002.58-47-113-410-92-84 L
ATLANTA1414.5002.58-66-84-28-85-51 W
ORLANDO524.17212.02-93-150-62-171-96 L
 
WESTERN CONFERENCE
NORTHWEST DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
UTAH207.74110-410-35-011-29-18 W
DENVER1414.5006.58-56-92-38-85-51 L
MINNESOTA1315.4647.57-96-62-29-94-62 W
PORTLAND1118.37910.010-71-111-36-141-97 L
OKLAHOMA CITY819.29612.04-104-90-26-122-83 L
 
PACIFIC DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
GOLDEN STATE235.82114-29-35-112-37-32 W
PHOENIX235.82113-210-33-315-58-22 W
LA CLIPPERS1613.5527.512-74-62-411-115-51 L
LA LAKERS1613.5527.510-76-61-48-97-33 W
SACRAMENTO1217.41411.56-86-94-38-115-51 W
 
SOUTHWEST DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
MEMPHIS1811.62111-67-53-214-69-14 W
DALLAS1414.5003.57-77-77-211-74-61 L
SAN ANTONIO1017.3707.06-94-81-35-126-41 L
HOUSTON920.3109.07-72-131-34-136-42 L
NEW ORLEANS921.3009.54-95-122-47-135-51 W

NHL CONFERENCE STANDINGS
EASTERN CONFERENCE
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING2919644217947710-3-29-3-27-2-1
CAROLINA HURRICANES282071412090618-3-012-4-16-4-0
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS3020824220987612-4-18-4-17-2-1
NEW YORK RANGERS291973411884748-3-111-4-27-3-0
WASHINGTON CAPITALS2917574115101769-2-48-3-36-2-2
FLORIDA PANTHERS29187440171048714-3-04-4-44-5-1
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS281585351485727-5-28-3-37-2-1
DETROIT RED WINGS301413331138310210-3-24-10-16-4-0
BOSTON BRUINS2614102301371697-5-17-5-14-4-2
10 COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS2814131291291959-3-15-10-02-7-1
11 PHILADELPHIA FLYERS2811125271173925-6-26-6-33-6-1
12 NEW JERSEY DEVILS281013525978977-6-33-7-22-7-1
13 BUFFALO SABRES2910154248801016-8-24-7-23-5-2
14 NEW YORK ISLANDERS25812521854732-5-26-7-33-4-3
15 OTTAWA SENATORS27917119876975-9-04-8-15-5-0
16 MONTREAL CANADIENS317213176671095-10-12-11-22-7-1
 
WESTERN CONFERENCE
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
MINNESOTA WILD29198240161088510-2-19-6-17-2-1
ANAHEIM DUCKS3117953915988310-4-27-5-36-2-2
NASHVILLE PREDATORS2918101371786779-5-09-5-18-2-0
ST. LOUIS BLUES29168537141008010-3-26-5-36-1-3
CALGARY FLAMES281576361387624-3-411-4-25-4-1
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS291811036171048910-6-08-5-07-3-0
COLORADO AVALANCHE27178236161159110-2-17-6-17-2-1
EDMONTON OILERS28171103415968710-6-07-5-04-6-0
WINNIPEG JETS2813105311284809-5-14-5-44-5-1
10 LOS ANGELES KINGS2813105311276728-6-25-4-35-3-2
11 SAN JOSE SHARKS3015141311578857-7-18-7-05-5-0
12 VANCOUVER CANUCKS3114152301181908-7-16-8-18-2-0
13 DALLAS STARS2613112281270749-3-14-8-16-4-0
14 CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS281115224867906-6-15-9-15-5-0
15 SEATTLE KRAKEN29101632310811036-8-14-8-24-4-2
16 ARIZONA COYOTES285212125501042-10-13-11-12-8-0