NFL SCOREBOARD

LAS VEGAS 23 INDIANAPOLIS 20

LA RAMS 20 BALTIMORE 19

BUFFALO 29 ATLANTA 15

CHICAGO 29 NY GIANTS 3

CINCINNATI 34 KANSAS CITY 31

NEW ENGLAND 50 JACKSONVILLE 10

TAMPA BAY 28 NY JETS 24

TENNESSEE 34 MIAMI 3

PHILADELPHIA 20 WASHINGTON 16

LA CHARGERS 34 DENVER 13

SAN FRANCISCO 23 HOUSTON 7

ARIZONA 25 DALLAS 22

NEW ORLEANS 18 CAROLINA 10

SEATTLE 51 DETROIT 29

GREEN BAY 37 MINNESOTA 10

WEEK 18 NFL SCHEDULE

SATURDAY, JANUARY 8

3:30 P.M.  — KANSAS CITY CHIEFS AT DENVER BRONCOS, ABC AND ESPN

7:15 P.M. — DALLAS COWBOYS AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES, ABC AND ESPN

SUNDAY, JANUARY 9

7:20 P.M. —  LOS ANGELES CHARGERS AT LAS VEGAS RAIDERS, NBC

TBD 

GAMES AT NOON CT SUNDAY ON EITHER CBS OR FOX

PITTSBURGH STEELERS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS

CINCINNATI BENGALS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS

TENNESSEE TITANS AT HOUSTON TEXANS

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM AT NEW YORK GIANTS

GREEN BAY PACKERS AT DETROIT LIONS

CHICAGO BEARS AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS

GAMES AT 3:25 P.M. CT SUNDAY ON EITHER CBS OR FOX

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS AT MIAMI DOLPHINS

NEW YORK JETS AT BUFFALO BILLS

CAROLINA PANTHERS AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT ATLANTA FALCONS

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AT LOS ANGELES RAMS

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT ARIZONA CARDINALS

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

#10 MICHIGAN STATE 73 NORTHWESTERN 67

#12 HOUSTON 66 TEMPLE 61

PENN STATE 61 INDIANA 58

INDIANA STATE 76 BRADLEY 71

NORTHERN IOWA 83 EVANSVILLE 61

VALPARAISO 81 ILLINOIS STATE 76 OT

NORTH CAROLINA 91 BOSTON COLLEGE 65

ST. LOUIS 76 RICHMOND 69

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

#1 SOUTH CAROLINA 80 MISSISSIPPI STATE 68

#2 STANFORD 82 WASHINGTON STATE 44

#3 LOUISVILLE 50 #16 GEORGIA TECH 48

#8 INDIANA 70 #6 MARYLAND 63, OT

#7 TENNESSEE 70 ARKANSAS 63

KANSAS STATE 68 #10 BAYLOR 59

#12 TEXAS 62 OKLAHOMA STATE 51

#13 GEORGIA 73 FLORIDA 69

#14 IOWA STATE 88 WEST VIRGINIA 72

#15 DUKE 72 #17 NOTRE DAME 70

#19 LSU 75 #23 TEXAS A&M 66

#21 IOWA 93 EVANSVILLE 56

#24 NORTH CAROLINA 81 CLEMSON 62

PURDUE 60 RUTGERS 58

IUPUI 77 WRIGHT STATE 62

MISSOURI STATE 74 VALPARAISO 62

VILLANOVA 70 ST. JOHN’S 68

SMU 79 TCU 53

CREIGHTON 67 XAVIER 51

OKLAHOMA 97 TEXAS TECH 91

ALABAMA 56 AUBURN 53

NBA SCOREBOARD

TORONTO 120 NEW YORK 105

BOSTON 116 ORLANDO 111 OT

CLEVELAND 108 INDIANA 104

SACRAMENTO 115 MIAMI 113

DALLAS 95 OKLAHOMA CITY 86

PHOENIX 133 CHARLOTTE 99

LA LAKERS 108 MINNESOTA 103

NHL SCOREBOARD

NY RANGERS 4 TAMPA BAY 0

BOSTON 5 DETROIT 1

PITTSBURGH 8 SAN JOSE 5

NEW JERSEY 4 WASHINGTON 3

COLORADO 4 ANAHEIM 2

WINNIPEG 5 VEGAS 4

CALGARY 5 CHICAGO 1

MONDAY’S GIRLS SCHEDULE

BETHESDA CHRISTIANATTRADERS POINT CHRISTIAN5:30 PM
BLACKFORDATFORT WAYNE CANTERBURY6:00 PM
CALUMET CHRISTIANATNORTH NEWTON6:00 PM
CLOVERPORT (KY.)ATCANNELTON7:00 PM
EASTERN (PEKIN)ATCOLUMBUS EAST7:00 PM
EVANSVILLE MATER DEIATEVANSVILLE NORTH8:00 PM
EVANSVILLE REITZATDAVIESS COUNTY (KY.)8:00 PM
LINTON-STOCKTONATVINCENNES LINCOLN7:30 PM
UNION (MODOC)ATSHENANDOAH6:30 PM
WHITE RIVER VALLEYATBARR-REEVE7:30 PM
MADISON COUNTY TOURNAMENT
ANDERSON PREP ACADEMYATALEXANDRIA6:00 PMR1
LAPELATELWOOD6:00 PMR1
FRANKTONATLIBERTY CHRISTIAN6:00 PMR1

MONDAY BOYS SCHEDULE

LAURELATUNION (MODOC)6:00 PM
PORTAGE CHRISTIANATWESTVILLE8:00 PM
MADISON COUNTY TOURNAMENT
ANDERSON PREP ACADEMYATALEXANDRIA7:30 PMR1
LAPELATELWOOD7:30 PMR1
PENDLETON HEIGHTSATANDERSON6:00 PMR1
FRANKTONATLIBERTY CHRISTIAN7:30 PMR1

TOP NATIONAL HEADLINES/RELEASES

Brown walks away from Bucs; Brady rallies team past Jets

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Antonio Brown was apparently frustrated and angry. So he walked away.

From the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And possibly his NFL career.

The mercurial wide receiver was kicked off the Buccaneers after a bizarre, shirtless exit from the field before Tom Brady coolly led the Bucs on a 93-yard drive in the final minutes for a 28-24 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday.

Coach Bruce Arians said after the game Brown was off the team.

“He is no longer a Buc,” Arians said. “All right? That’s the end of the story. Let’s talk about the guys who went out there and won the game.”

Brown’s mid-game meltdown came late in the third quarter with Tampa Bay trailing 24-10. He appeared animated while talking to Mike Evans, who tried to calm his teammate. But Brown stripped off his pads, jersey, gloves and T-shirt – tossing the gloves and T-shirt into the stands – and then walked bare-chested down the sideline and into the end zone. He then waved to fans as jogged through the end zone and into the tunnel at MetLife Stadium.

It appeared to be a show of frustration by Brown, who had three catches for 26 yards.

“I’m not talking about it,” Arians said. “He’s not part of the Bucs.”

Brown was suspended last month for three games for violating the league’s COVID-19 protocols. He also has a history of personal conduct issues and bizarre behavior.

“It’s a difficult situation,” Brady said. “Everybody should do what they can to help him in ways that he really needs it. We all love him. We care about him deeply. We want to see him be at his best. Unfortunately, it won’t be with our team. … I think everyone should be very compassionate and empathetic toward some very difficult things that are happening.”

Brady connected with Cameron Brate for a touchdown on fourth-and-goal from the 4 shortly after Brown’s exit, and the QB finished the Bucs’ rally with a 33-yard touchdown pass to Cyril Grayson with 15 seconds left.

The Bucs stuffed Jets QB Zach Wilson on fourth-and-2 at the 7 for no gain with New York trying to seal the victory. New York coach Robert Saleh said the play should’ve been a reverse to wide receiver Braxton Berrios, but Wilson had the option to sneak it based on the look.

“We did a very poor job of communicating that,” Saleh said, adding that “it just makes you sick” because a handoff to Berrios would’ve likely been a first down.

Instead, it gave Brady and the Bucs the ball back with 2:12 left.

And that was more than enough time.

Brady marched the Buccaneers (12-4) down the field on nine plays, zipping a pass to Grayson – who was elevated from the practice squad – for the go-ahead score. It was Brady’s third TD pass of the game and 40th of the season, joining him with Drew Brees as the only players to throw for 40 touchdowns in consecutive seasons.

He finished 34 of 50 for 410 yards, the three TDs and an interception for Tampa Bay, which had Arians back after he tested positive for the coronavirus earlier in the week.

Le’Veon Bell ran in the 2-point conversion against his former team, forcing New York to need a touchdown. But the Jets (4-12) ran out of time.

“We’ve been in some crazy situations before,” Arians said, “but this was a very special one to come back and win that game.”

The game featured the largest age gap between starting quarterbacks since at least 1950, with the 22-year-old Wilson facing the 44-year-old Brady.

The Jets took a two-touchdown lead on Ty Johnson’s 1-yard run that capped their opening drive of the second half.

After Brown’s exit and Brady’s TD to Brate, Ryan Succop kicked a 27-yard field goal to cut New York’s lead to 24-20 with 7:36 left.

“It’s unfortunate that we’re going to be talking about the last sequence of events there,” Saleh said, “but I thought our guys were outstanding today. They deserved better.”

JETS FLY EARLY

New York took a 7-0 lead on a razzle-dazzle play to cap an impressive opening drive. Running back Michael Carter lined up in the wildcat – with Wilson behind the right guard – took the direct snap and flipped it to Berrios, who went in untouched.

Carter had a 55-yard run early in the drive to get the Jets to the Buccaneers 12.

Brady and the Bucs marched right down the field on their opening possession with Evans – back after missing last week’s game with a hamstring issue and spending time on the COVID-19 list this week – catching a 4-yard touchdown pass to tie it at 7.

Wilson, who was 19 of 33 for 234 yards and a TD, answered right back with a 9-yard TD pass to Berrios for a 14-7 lead.

It was a costly 13-play, 74-yard drive for the Jets, though, as both Carter (concussion) and left tackle George Fant (left knee) were injured and didn’t return.

A 39-yarder by Succop made it 14-10.

Brandin Echols intercepted Brady on Tampa Bay’s last possession of the first half and returned it 30 yards to the Jets 48. New York turned it into points on Eddy Pineiro’s 51-yard field goal with 1 second left.

MORE HISTORY

Brady, who improved to 31-8 against the Jets, also tied Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers as the only players with three seasons of 40 or more TD passes.

INJURIES

Buccaneers: RB Ronald Jones (ankle) and DB Rashard Robinson (groin) didn’t come back after leaving in the second half.

Jets: In addition to Carter and Fant, TE Dan Brown left in the second quarter with a hip injury and didn’t return.

UP NEXT

Buccaneers: Finish the regular season by hosting the Carolina Panthers next Sunday.

Jets: Wrap up their season at Buffalo next Sunday against AFC East rival Bills.

Stafford rallies surging Rams past short-handed Ravens 20-19

BALTIMORE (AP) When the Los Angeles Rams look back on this important victory, they might recall how Matthew Stafford helped put the team in a quandary with three costly turnovers.

They most certainly won’t forget how the gritty quarterback made amends by overseeing a near-flawless fourth-quarter comeback that produced in a 20-19 win Sunday over the short-handed but stubborn Baltimore Ravens.

Stafford threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Odell Beckham Jr. with 57 seconds left immediately after completing a 5-yarder to Beckham on a fourth-and-5. Although Los Angeles (12-4) failed on a 2-point conversion, the Ravens – playing a third straight game without injured quarterback Lamar Jackson – never got close enough for a field-goal try.

The Rams’ fifth straight victory pushed them to the cusp of their second straight NFC West title. Arizona needed to beat Dallas later Sunday to avoid elimination.

Facing a depleted defense that was coming off a humbling performance in Cincinnati one week earlier, Stafford was intercepted twice by Chuck Clark in the first half, the first pickoff returned 17 yards for Baltimore’s only touchdown. The quarterback also lost a fumble while being sacked in the third quarter.

The Rams trailed 16-7 before Stafford directed a 55-yard drive that produced a 1-yard touchdown run by Sony Michel with 12:09 remaining. Baltimore responded with a field goal to make it 19-14 with 4:33 left.

That left Stafford with more than enough time to win it.

“I felt pretty good. Felt like I’ve been in that spot a lot of times in my career,” he recalled. “Felt confident.”

Stafford launched the game-winning 75-yard drive by completing a 15-yard pass to tight end Tyler Higbee and a 24-yarder to Cooper Kupp. He finished the march with a pair of sharp throws to Beckham, the last one in the front corner of the end zone.

“I thought he was at his best when his best was required,” Rams coach Sean McVay said of Stafford. “He’s a mentally tough guy and that’s what you want from your quarterback.

“When we had to have it, he made big throw after big throw in a clutch situation.” McVay noted. “That’s what great players do.”

At one point this season, Baltimore was 8-3 and the top seed in the AFC. The Ravens (8-8) have since lost five straight, their longest skid since a nine-game run in 2007 under Brian Billick paved the way for current coach John Harbaugh to take over in 2008.

Four of those defeats during this slump have come by a total of five points.

“I think it just comes back to us finishing as a team in all phases,” Clark said. “It’s just the small details and things like that.”

The loss ousted Baltimore from the AFC North title hunt. The Ravens were not officially eliminated from the playoff chase, but to get in as a wild card they’ll need a win next week and a whole lot of help.

Baltimore gave the Rams everything they could handle, but in the end Stafford made the difference with his precise TD toss to Beckham.

“The throw was right where it needed to be,” Harbaugh said.

“It was nice to go get the win that way,” said Stafford.

Stafford completed 26 of 35 passes for 309 yards and two touchdowns.

Starting for Jackson, Tyler Huntley went 20 of 32 for 197 yards in his third NFL start. He missed last week while on the COVID-19 reserve list.

One week earlier, Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow pierced the Ravens depleted secondary for 525 yards and four touchdowns in a 41-21 blowout. Although Stafford rallied the Rams to a victory, he was severely tested by a defense that has struggled without injured cornerbacks Marcus Peters, Marlon Humphrey and Anthony Averett.

RECORD BREAKER

Andrews set a Ravens single-season record for yards receiving, breaking the mark set by Michael Jackson during the team’s first year in Baltimore after relocating from Cleveland.

Andrews has 1,276 yards this season. eclipsing Jackson’s 1,201 in 1996. Andrews also stands just four catches shy of matching the franchise single-season record of 103, set by Derrick Mason in 2007.

INJURIES

Ravens: C Bradley Bozeman dressed for the game, but ended up watching from the sideline while wearing a mask despite going the entire week without being listed on the injury report. Trystan Colon started in his place. Harbaugh said Bozeman became ill too late to be placed on the inactive list.

UP NEXT

Rams: Wrap up the regular season at home against the San Francisco 49ers, who whipped LA 31-10 on Nov. 15.

Ravens: The rival Pittsburgh Steelers come to town for the season finale.

Bills clinch playoff berth, eliminate Falcons with 29-15 win

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) With Josh Allen throwing one interception after another, the Buffalo Bills turned to Devin Singletary and their once-neglected running attack.

They avoided a major meltdown on a snow-dusted field and bulled themselves into the playoffs.

Singletary scored two touchdowns rushing in the second half to make up for the quarterback throwing interceptions on three consecutive drives in a 29-15 win over Atlanta, which eliminated the Falcons from contention on Sunday.

The AFC East-leading Bills rallied from a halftime deficit for the first time this season to clinch their third consecutive playoff spot courtesy of the win coupled with the Baltimore Ravens’ 20-19 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. Buffalo now only needs to beat the New York Jets in its finale next weekend to clinch its second consecutive division title – and assure the Bills home-field advantage for the wild-card playoff round.

“Not every game you win is going to be pretty, and that was the case today,” said Allen, who scored two touchdowns rushing. “I’m just fortunate to have teammates that step up in big situations like this.”

The turnaround came after Allen’s third turnover, in being picked off by Foye Oluokun three snaps into the third quarter and Buffalo trailing 15-14.

Once the Bills’ defense forced the Falcons to punt, Buffalo leaned on Singletary, who finished with 23 carries for 110 yards, both career highs, and capped consecutive drives by scoring on a 6-yard run followed by a 4-yard run.

“We definitely got in a groove when we needed to and we made it count,” Singletary said. “I wasn’t out there by myself. I had the linemen, tight ends, receivers making blocks. So it wasn’t just me.”

Buffalo’s 233 yards rushing were the most since the team had 244 in a 20-3 win over Denver 25 months ago.

The Falcons (7-9) went down swinging in being eliminated from the NFC race to extend their postseason drought to a fourth year in their first season under coach Arthur Smith. Aside from forcing three turnovers and a safety off Marquez Stevenson fumbling a punt, they limited Allen to completing 11 of 26 attempts for 120 yards and a career-worst 17.0 passer rating.

“We fell short, so it’s tough,” said Falcons safety Duron Harmon, who intercepted Allen in the end zone after his pass was tipped by Oluokun. “But we’re a young team and this will be a feeling that hopefully everybody in the locker room remembers, leaving the field, the Bills clinching a playoff berth. Hopefully we can use that as some type of motivation to get back to this point where we’re playing meaning football in late December.”

The Falcons have shown resolve through a season in which they’re 7-2 in games decided by eight or fewer points. What’s been an issue is an ability to win consecutive games, something Atlanta has not done since Weeks 8 and 9 of last season.

The outcome wasn’t decided until there were five minutes remaining, and after the Falcons had a touchdown reversed on replay review, compounded by quarterback Matt Ryan being flagged for taunting with 6:07 remaining.

Rather than scoring on a 7-yard run and cutting Buffalo’s deficit to 29-22, officials ruled Ryan’s knee was down at the 1. The taunting penalty then pushed Atlanta back to the 16, where Ryan threw incompletions into the end zone on third and fourth down.

“I’m disappointed in myself in that the timing cost us, but I didn’t think it was anything that bad,” he said. “It’s just disappointing how it shook out. Whether I agree with either of the calls, it doesn’t make a difference, those are the rules.”

For Buffalo, Allen might have played a significant role in keeping the Bills afloat through much of an up-and-down season in which they lost five of eight to cede their lead atop the AFC East. It’s Buffalo’s rejuvenated running game — and the decision to go with Singletary as the lead running back — that has carried the team in winning its past three.

In the past 14 quarters, dating to Buffalo trailing 24-3 in an eventual 33-27 overtime loss at Tampa Bay, Singletary has 287 yards rushing and scored four times, while adding 86 yards receiving.

“Devin has has really taken advantage of his opportunities. He’s made our lives a lot easier,” center Mitch Morse said. “Those running backs have taken a lot on their shoulders the past two weeks, and really kind of hammered them in, in some big situations.”

PITTS IS IT

Atlanta’s Kyle Pitts set the franchise rookie record for yards receiving and became the NFL’s second rookie tight end to top 1,000 yards receiving. Pitts finished with two catches for 69 yards before being limited by a hamstring injury in the second half.

With 1,018 yards receiving, he broke the team’s rookie record set by Julio Jones, who had 959 yards in 2011. Pitts also inched within 58 yards of the NFL record set in 1961 by Mike Ditka for rookie tight ends.

UP NEXT

Falcons: close at home against NFC South rival New Orleans on Sunday.

Bills: close at home against the AFC East rival Jets on Sunday.

Quinn sets Bears season sacks record in 29-3 rout of Giants

CHICAGO (AP) Teammates kept asking Robert Quinn when he would set the record and refused to let him forget how close he was.

He didn’t really need the reminders.

Quinn broke Hall of Famer Richard Dent’s franchise single-season mark with his 18th sack, and the Chicago Bears pounded the New York Giants 29-3 on Sunday.

“People just didn’t let me forget about it all day,” Quinn said. “While I was just trying to brush it off and play football. Even by the guys on the bench. They just want to see a teammate, brother, everyone be successful.”

Trevis Gipson added a career-high two sacks, and the Bears joined Green Bay as the only franchises with 800 victories counting the postseason. They also gave the embattled Matt Nagy a win in what might have been his final home game as their coach.

Quinn broke Dent’s record of 17 1/2 set in 1984 when took down Mike Glennon from behind and jarred the ball loose in the fourth quarter. The Bears then called a timeout to give him his moment.

By time Quinn passed Dent, Chicago (6-10) was well on its way.

Gipson had a strip-sack on the game’s first play from scrimmage and Tashaun Gipson Sr. picked off Glennon on the next possession. The two takeaways led to a scoring run by David Montgomery and touchdown catch by Darnell Mooney, making it 14-0 and sending the Monsters of the Midway to their second straight win after losing eight of nine.

The Giants (4-12), who could also be in for changes, lost their fifth straight game. They set a season low in yards for the second week in a row, finishing with 151 after being held to 192 against Philadelphia.

“Everything comes under my umbrella, so I am not going to deflect something or say I’m not responsible for something,” coach Joe Judge said. “I am responsible for everything. Let’s make that clear.”

The 31-year-old Quinn continued his remarkable turnaround after finishing with two sacks last season, his first in Chicago. He now has 100 1/2 sacks and needs one to match his career high of 19 with St. Louis in 2013.

“No one in this room except myself gets to see Robert Quinn practice every day the way he plays,” Nagy said. “What a great person to look up to and see if you practice like this, this is what can happen – especially after coming off of last year. Resilient. He’s been through a lot in his life.”

Quinn was diagnosed with a brain tumor when he was 17 and told he wouldn’t survive. Now, he’s a record setter for a founding NFL franchise.

Quinn was glad he did it in 16 games, just like Dent in 1984, and did not need another week. He said that’s something Dent mentioned when they talked Saturday. And he wasn’t sure if the Hall of Famer was really thrilled to see his record broken.

“Does anyone want their record broken?” Quinn said. “I think he was excited. But not really, you know?”

OFFENSE HELPED BY DEFENSE

Andy Dalton threw for 173 yards on a chilly afternoon with rookie Justin Fields missing his second straight game because of an ankle injury. The three-time Pro Bowler was 18 of 35 with a touchdown and interception in his fifth start this season. A lingering groin injury kept him out of last week’s game at Seattle, and with Fields unavailable, Nick Foles led Chicago to a comeback win.

Montgomery ran for two touchdowns. Mooney had 69 yards receiving.

“Our defense played unbelievable all day,” Dalton said. “They kept giving us great field position, kept giving us good opportunities and we definitely left some out there, but it was a big win for us.”

GLENNON STRUGGLES

It was a miserable afternoon for the Giants, particularly Glennon.

The former Bear started over Jake Fromm and completed 4 of 11 passes for 24 yards with two interceptions. He was sacked four times for 34 yards and finished with a 5.3 passer rating.

It’s not hard to see why the Giants simply abandoned the pass after the first two drives. New York committed four turnovers in losing its seventh straight road game.

Saquon Barkley was about the only bright spot, running for 102 yards. It was the most for him since 2019, and he did it in his first game in Chicago since tearing his ACL and MCL against the Bears on Sept. 20, 2020.

“To come here and to be able to have a 100-yard game, at the place where the injury happened, kind of made my career go backward a little bit, it does feel good to get that the monkey off my back at the spot where it felt like it went downhill,” he said.

INJURED

Neither team reported an injury.

UP NEXT

Giants: host Washington next Sunday.

Bears: visit Minnesota next Sunday.

Bengals rally past Chiefs 34-31, clinch AFC North title

CINCINNATI (AP) Patrick Mahomes had a message for young Bengals star Ja’Marr Chase when the two met on the field after Cincinnati’s dramatic 34-31 win over Kansas City to clinch the AFC North title.

“Keep going – we’ll see you in the playoffs,” the Chiefs quarterback told Chase.

The Bengals (10-6) are finally back in the postseason, thanks to Chase and quarterback Joe Burrow, who both shattered team records on Sunday. Chase’s 266 receiving yards was more than Mahomes had passing (259) in the game.

Kansas City (11-5) had its eight-game winning streak snapped and fell out of the top seed in the AFC, ceding that spot to Tennessee.

The last Cincinnati playoff appearance was 2015 when the team started 8-0 and won the division, only to lose a bizarre wild-card game to the Steelers. The Bengals haven’t won a playoff game in three decades.

There were plenty of heroics from a new generation of Bengals.

In addition to breaking Jerry Butler’s NFL rookie record of 255 yards for Buffalo against the New York Jets on Sept. 23, 1979, Chase set a record for receiving yards in a season by a rookie. He has 1,429 yards with one game left in the league’s first 17-game season, surpassing Minnesota’s Justin Jefferson, who had 1,400 yards in 2020.

He had 11 catches, including three touchdowns.

Joe Burrow threw for 466 yards and four scores while outdueling Mahomes, and the Bengals rallied from three 14-point deficits against the AFC West champs, finally closing them out when rookie Evan McPherson kicked a 20-yard field goal as time expired.

“That was fun,” said Burrow, who puffed on a victory cigar in the locker room that running back Joe Mixon had left for him a couple weeks ago.

The Bengals’ winning drive was filled with drama.

On fourth-and-inches with under a minute left, Cincinnati decided to go for a touchdown instead of calling on McPherson for a field goal and giving the Chiefs the ball back with a chance to win.

“I knew we’d go for it,” Burrow said. “They’ve got Patrick Mahomes on the other side. He could go down and win the game.”

Burrow threw incomplete in the end zone, but Chiefs cornerback L’Jarius Sneed was flagged for illegal use of hands, giving the Bengals a fresh set of downs. With Burrow limping on the sideline, backup quarterback Brandon Allen was called on to kneel twice before McPherson came on for the game-winner.

Burrow said his right knee was sore but insisted he could have stayed in the game and will be fine.

The second-year quarterback was outstanding again, completing 30 of 39 attempts. He was sacked four times and hit at least six more times but was as accurate as ever, and Chase caught everything that was thrown near him.

“If you play one-on-one, good luck with that,” Burrow said. “I know he’s down there somewhere. I just throw it and let him make a play.”

Mahomes looked as if he had the game under control early. He threw two first-quarter touchdown passes to give the Chiefs the early lead, but he didn’t get another one.

The Chiefs led 14-0, 21-7 and 28-14 in the first half. They were ahead 28-17 at halftime before the Bengals began the latest of several second-half surges this season.

A 69-yard TD pass from Burrow to Chase early in the second half cut the Chiefs’ lead to 28-24. Kansas City responded with Harrison Butker’s 34-yard field goal.

Burrow then hit Tyler Boyd for a 5-yard TD, capping an 86-yard drive that was twice extended by flags on Sneed, including an unnecessary roughness penalty that gave Cincinnati first-and-goal at the Kansas City 7.

Mahomes was 26 for 35 for 259 yards and threw touchdown passes to Demarcus Robinson and tight end Travis Kelce, who caught a pass in his 125th straight game.

Kansas City’s Darrel Williams rushed for 88 yards and scored twice.

“You just go back to work, you don’t point fingers,” Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu said. “You don’t blame coaches, you don’t blame a particular player or a particular series, you just go back to work. You keep bonding with your teammates, you keep that chemistry alive and you keep believing in your coaches, as well.”

BURROW KEEPS BANGING

Burrow has 971 passing yards, eight touchdowns and zero interceptions in his last two games. On Sunday, he shattered the franchise record for passing yards in a season (4,611), passing Andy Dalton, who had 4,293 yards in 2013. Burrow also now holds the single-season franchise record for passing TDs with 34 (Dalton had 33 in ’13). He has passed for 300-plus yards six times this season, also a Bengals record. He has four career games of 400-plus yards, the most of any player in his first two seasons since Hall of Famer Dan Marino had three in his first two years.

INJURIES

Chiefs: RT Lucas Niang suffered a knee injury in the first quarter and did not return.

Bengals: LG Quinton Spain suffered a right ankle injury in the second quarter and didn’t return.

UP NEXT

Chiefs: At Denver in the regular-season finale next Sunday. Kansas City can still secure the AFC’s top seed with a victory and a loss by Tennessee, which plays at Houston.

Bengals: Finish next Sunday at Cleveland.

Patriots blow past Jaguars 50-10, earn playoff berth

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) The Patriots squandered an opportunity to lock up the AFC East title in a humbling loss to the Bills last week.

They took out their frustrations on the lowly Jaguars to earn their way back into the postseason.

New England returned to the playoffs when rookie quarterback Mac Jones threw three touchdown passes and Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson rushed for two scores apiece in their 50-10 win over Jacksonville on Sunday.

The victory by the Patriots (10-6) snapped a two-game losing streak and gave Bill Belichick his 20th 10-win season as a head coach, tying Don Shula for the most in NFL history. A loss by Miami at Tennessee secured New England’s first trip to the postseason since Tom Brady left for Tampa Bay following the 2019 season.

“We’re trying to play as along as we can and get as deep as we can in the playoffs,” Jones said. “I realize what we’re playing for. … All the stuff that happens in the future we’ll deal with that when it comes.”

The Jaguars (2-14) have lost eight consecutive games, including three straight since firing coach Urban Meyer. It was their 17th consecutive loss on the road, the longest streak in the league.

Jones finished 22 of 30 for 227 yards in his first matchup against his hometown team, setting a franchise record for touchdown passes by a rookie with 21. Stevenson had 107 yards on 19 carries. Harris rushed nine times for 35 yards before leaving in the second half with a hamstring injury. He said afterward he was fine.

“We’ve got more games to play, it’s as simple as that,” Harris said. “We all believe we’ve got something special with this team.”

Patriots receiver Kristian Wilkerson had two touchdown catches – the first of his career – after being promoted from the practice squad for the second consecutive week. He pulled in a 6-yard TD to put the Patriots up 21-3 in the second quarter. His second came on a 20-yard pass on their opening possession of the second half that stretched the lead to 34-3.

New England’s defense also bounced back from a rough outing against Buffalo, holding the Jaguars to 253 yards and 3 of 9 on third downs. Myles Bryant, J.C. Jackson and Kyle Dugger all had interceptions.

It was part of the latest rough outing for Jaguars quarterback and No. 1 overall draft pick Trevor Lawrence, who finished 17 of 27 for 193 yards. He had a late touchdown pass, his first in five games. But it came against mostly backups.

“Obviously, it wasn’t a good day,” Lawrence said. “Didn’t play well, all phases of the game. It sucks. You prepare for the game and to go out there and not perform, it’s disappointing. Got to flip the page. … It’s definitely frustrating.”

Jones, the final quarterback taken in the opening round of April’s NFL draft, now has victories over the top two quarterbacks selected in Lawrence and No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson.

Jacksonville came into the game missing eight starters and 13 players in total sidelined because of COVID-19. The list included three starting offensive linemen – left tackle Cam Robinson, center Brandon Linder and guard Ben Bartch – and five backups.

“There’s a lot of circumstances and things that these guys are fighting through. I’m just asking for them to give me their best at all times. That’s what we’re hoping for,” interim coach Darrell Bevell said. “It didn’t work out for us today.”

INJURIES

Patriots: Along with Harris’ hamstring injury, safety Adrian Phillips also left in the second half with a wrist injury. He said the injury was minor.

MILESTONES

Jackson’s second-quarter interception was the 25th of his career, tying the NFL record for the most by a player in their first four seasons (Emerson Walls, Lester Hayes).

And with his 40-yard completion to receiver Laquon Treadwell in the first quarter, Jacksonville’s Lawrence set a Jaguars single-season rookie passing yards mark. He needed 47 yards to break the mark set by Gardner Minshew, who threw for 3,271 yards in 2019. Lawrence now holds Jacksonville’s rookie records for completions and passing yards.

PROTECTING LAWRENCE

With the game out of reach in the fourth quarter, Bevell said there was a conversation on the sideline about possibly benching Lawrence in favor of backup C.J. Beathard. Ultimately they decided to let Lawrence finish the game.

“We were able to put a drive together there, and we ended up scoring a touchdown. It ended up working out in our favor,” Bevell said. “It was important, obviously, that we protect him and do those things in that drive, but I thought it worked out OK.”

UP NEXT

Jaguars: host the Colts in their regular-season finale.

Patriots: visit Miami in their finale.

Titans clinch 2nd straight AFC South, beating Miami 34-3

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) The Tennessee Titans are dancing as back-to-back AFC South champs in a season when they lost the NFL’s leading rusher at Halloween and have used 88 players – most ever in a non-strike season for the NFL.

Ryan Tannehill threw two touchdown passes as the Tennessee Titans clinched their second straight division title Sunday, snapping the Miami Dolphins’ seven-game winning streak with a 34-3 win.

“Winning takes care of everything,” Titans coach Mike Vrabel said. “That’s what I learned a long time ago in athletics. Winning takes care of everything.”

The Titans (11-5) won their second straight overall and third in four games to clinch their first back-to-back division titles since the start of the AFL when this franchise was the Houston Oilers and won three straight Eastern Division championships. They also won 11 games for a second consecutive season for the first time since 2002-03 – and currently are the AFC’s top seed after Kansas City lost at Cincinnati.

Tennessee finished off its win and was celebrating with some nice dance moves in the locker room wearing T-shirts reading “TITANS RUN THE SOUTH” while fans stood around TVs on the concourses watching the Chiefs lose, which moved the Titans to the top spot due to their Oct. 24 win over the Chiefs.

“It’s definitely good to be in this position,” Titans Pro Bowl safety Kevin Byard said. “Usually, the last game of the year we’re fighting for something anyway. It’s good to go into the last game of the season trying to fight to be this No. 1 seed.”

They play at Houston next weekend.

Miami came in as the first team in NFL history to win seven straight after a seven-game skid. That surge helped push the Dolphins into the third and final wild-card spot in the AFC, but the loss ended their playoff hopes.

“Anytime you don’t have the performance that you’re looking for, you’re disappointed,” Miami coach Brian Flores said.

On a cold and rainy day, the Titans ran more than they threw. Tannehill was 13 of 18 for 120 yards and a 127.1 passer rating against the team that drafted him eighth overall in 2012 before trading him to Tennessee in March 2019. Tannehill is 31-15 as the Titans’ starter with his third straight playoff berth clinched.

“It was a great win for us,” Tannehill said. “Obviously, a lot was on the line for us as a team and excited that we came out and played well, a full game as a team. Obviously this was an important one for me being where we’re at in the season and having the opportunity to win the division first and foremost.”

D’Onta Foreman ran for 132 yards and a TD. Dontrell Hilliard ran for a 39-yard TD as the Titans scored 10 points off a pair of turnovers by Tua Tagovailoa.

The Titans also sacked Tagovailoa four times – a season-high for the Dolphins quarterback. David Long, the linebacker drafted with the sixth-round pick included by Miami in the Tannehill trade, picked off Tagovailoa with 2:49 left to set up the Hillard TD.

Miami came in leading the NFL with 45 sacks, four shy of the franchise record last set in 2005. The Dolphins didn’t get to Tannehill until the third quarter when Jerome Baker ended the Titans’ first drive of the second half.

The Titans needed only a 46-yard drive to take the lead for good. Tannehill capped the series with a 1-yard TD toss to Geoff Swaim late in the first quarter.

Tagovailoa had the ball slip out of his hand while trying to pass, and Elijah Molden recovered for the Titans. Randy Bullock kicked a 23-yard field goal for a 10-0 lead.

Foreman padded the Tennessee lead to 17-3 with a 21-yard run late in the first half. He also set up Tannehill’s second TD pass with a 35-yard run out of the wildcat, and Tannehill found a wide-open Anthony Firkser for a 15-yard TD and a 24-3 lead.

Tagovailoa was 18 of 38 for 205 yards, the kind of performance that won’t help doubts about whether he’s the quarterback to lead Miami to the playoffs.

“At the end of the day, I can control what I can control, and that’s to be the best version of myself for this team,” Tagovailoa said. “We’ve got to move on to the next game at this point. We’ll look at the mistakes we’ve made, make some corrections, and move on.”

WHITHER WADDLE

Miami wide receiver Jaylen Waddle came in needing six catches for the rookie receptions mark of 101 set by Anquan Boldin in 2003. Waddle caught a short pass for no gain in the first quarter, then didn’t catch another pass until early in the fourth quarter when Tagovailoa found him for a 45-yard gain.

Waddle finished with three catches for 47 yards, giving him 99 receptions for the season.

INJURIES

Titans tight end MyCole Pruitt hurt his right ankle on a running play in the second quarter. His leg was put in an air cast, and he was carted off the field to the locker room. Miami linebacker Elandon Roberts hurt his groin early in the third quarter.

UP NEXT

The Dolphins host New England in the regular-season finale next weekend.

The Titans wrap up the regular season visiting Houston for a third straight season.

Hurts OK after railing collapse, Eagles beat Washington

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) Jalen Hurts scrambled out of trouble to avoid a handful of sacks and ran the ball when needed with Miles Sanders out.

He even needed to make an evasive maneuver after Philadelphia’s game at Washington was over.

Hurts ran six times for 45 yards and narrowly escaped a railing collapse walking to the tunnel after the Eagles held on to win 20-16 Sunday and put themselves on the verge of clinching a playoff spot. Fans waiting for Hurts fell onto the field after a railing in the corner of FedEx Field gave way.

While there was at least one on-field injury, the second-year quarterback came away unscathed to await other results around the league that could wrap up an NFC wild-card spot for Philadelphia, which has won seven of nine games since starting 2-5.

“Jalen was awesome today,” coach Nick Sirianni said. “We all know he’s dealing with an ankle injury and fighting through it. He’s tough. This guy is so tough.”

Hurts was 17 of 26 passing for 214 yards in leading the Eagles to a fourth consecutive victory. Sirianni said Hurts told him to call whatever plays he wanted and he would make it work, and the QB remained calm throughout a tense game.

The poise under pressure continued after the game when the railing collapsed. Hurts helped some fans to their feet and expressed relief that most of those involved appeared to be OK.

“It’s crazy,” Hurts said. “It’s crazy stuff right there. That was a real dangerous situation.”

Mark Tennally, a photo runner for The Associated Press who was standing under the railing, was injured and attended to by medical personnel. The team said in a statement: “To our knowledge, everyone involved was offered onsite medical evaluation and left the stadium of their own accord. We’re very glad no one appears to have been seriously injured.”

Philadelphia (9-7) started slowly yet again, and its league-leading rushing attack was held to a season-low 3.4 yards per carry with Sanders out because of a broken left hand. Twelve days after racking up 238 yards on the ground against Washington (6-10), the Eagles had 119 yards rushing.

But the defense finally got to Taylor Heinicke, and the Eagles wore down a banged-up opponent, erasing a 16-7 deficit. Jake Elliott connected on field goals of 42 and 41 yards in the fourth quarter, and Rodney McLeod picked off Heinicke in the end zone with 24 seconds remaining to seal it.

“I wanted to just make sure I closed this game out the right way,” McLeod said. “It felt good to be able to finish a game, make a big catch.”

Philadelphia will make the postseason for the first time since 2019 if Minnesota loses at Green Bay on Sunday night.

“If we get invited to the dance, it’s time to dance,” right tackle Lane Johnson said.

Rookie Jaret Patterson rushed for his second career TD for Washington, which was missing top running back Antonio Gibson, left guard Ereck Flowers and punter Tress Way because of COVID-19 protocols. Heinicke flashed some of his trademark elusiveness, evading pressure during a big fourth quarter, but threw an interception for the fifth consecutive game after leading Washington to the Philadelphia 20-yard line.

“That safety made a hell of a catch,” said Heinicke, who was 27 of 36 for 247 yards. “I think if (intended target John Bates) doesn’t trip, that’s a touchdown. It’s unfortunate.”

Ravaged by injuries and virus-related absences, Washington’s faint playoff hopes came to an end with a home loss that felt more like Lincoln Financial Field because of all the Eagles fans in attendance. It’s the team’s fourth consecutive loss after winning the previous four games.

“Hopefully we’re developing character,” coach Ron Rivera said. “The important thing is how we finish. We have one more game to go. We go from there.”

Sirianni went for it on fourth and goal twice, leading to two touchdowns from Boston Scott, who got the bulk of the carries in Sanders’ absence. The Eagles celebrated another victory, but Hurts was not ready to reflect on the team’s journey.

“The job isn’t done for us,” he said. “It’s not done. We’re not done yet.”

SLOW START

The Eagles trailed 10-0 after the first quarter, continuing a recent trend. They’ve been outscored 35-7 in the first quarter over the past five games yet have won four of them. It’s their third consecutive game with no points in the first.

GOLD RUSH

Scott’s second touchdown gave the Eagles 24 scores on the ground this season. That’s the most in the league and the organization’s most in a season since 1949.

INJURIES

Eagles: Right guard Nate Herbig injured his left ankle late in the second quarter but returned in the third. … LB Shaun Bradley was inactive because of a shoulder injury.

Washington: Tight end Ricky Seals-Jones injured his neck in a nasty collision with a camera operator on the sideline in the second quarter. Seals-Jones had his neck stabilized before he was lifted onto a stretcher and carted off. The cameraman had a cut on his nose but continued to work. Rivera said Seals-Jones was walking around and OK.

UP NEXT

Eagles: Host the NFC East champion Dallas Cowboys next Sunday.

Washington: At the New York Giants next Sunday.

Herbert, Roberts propel Chargers back into playoff position

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) Justin Herbert threw for two touchdowns and set the franchise single-season record, Andre Roberts returned a kick 101 yards for a score, and the Los Angeles Chargers moved back into an AFC playoff spot with a 34-13 victory over the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

Los Angeles (9-7) is in the final wild-card spot but needs a win at Las Vegas next week to wrap up its first postseason berth since 2018. The Colts, Chargers and Raiders all have the same record, but the Chargers currently hold the tiebreaker over Las Vegas after their 28-14 victory on Oct. 4.

Denver (7-9) has lost four of its last five, was eliminated from playoff contention and is assured of its fifth straight losing season.

Herbert, the AFC starter for the Pro Bowl, has 35 touchdown passes this season, surpassing Philip Rivers’ 2008 mark of 34. Herbert tied it with 14 seconds remaining in the first half on an 8-yard throw to Keenan Allen to give the Bolts a 17-0 lead. He set the mark early in the fourth quarter on a 45-yard TD to Mike Williams, which put the Chargers up 34-6.

Herbert completed 22 of 31 passes for 237 yards. He became the fastest player to reach 800 career completions (31 games) and at 23 years, 298 days is the second-youngest player in league history to get to 65 TD passes.

Roberts became the first Charger since 2012 to score on a kickoff return. After Brandon McManus kicked his second field goal, Roberts got blocks from Chris Rumph II and Jalen Guyton to set up a lane on the right side of the field. Roberts then got a double-team block from Stephen Anderson and Cole Christiansen to spring him the rest of the way.

The fourth-longest kickoff return in franchise history snapped a 143-game drought. Michael Spurlock was the last to do it in the 2012 regular-season finale against the Raiders.

Denver’s Drew Lock was 18 of 25 for 245 yards and a touchdown. Noah Fant had six receptions for 92 yards, including a 5-yard score midway through the fourth quarter.

FOURTH-AND-GOAL FAILURES

Denver went twice on fourth-and-goal inside the LA 5-yard line but came up short.

Trailing 10-0 in the second quarter, the Broncos drove to the Chargers 2-yard line. Lock handed off to Mike Boone, who then flipped the ball to Kendall Hinton. Chargers safety Nasir Adderley hit Hinton as he passed the ball, but Lock went down to one knee to catch it at the 7.

Despite the off-balance pass, Lock had a path to the end zone, but was stopped by Joey Bosa and Chris Harris Jr. just shy of the goal line.

In the fourth quarter, Melvin Gordon appeared to score on a 1-yard run, but the play was nullified by an illegal formation. The Broncos then brought out McManus for a 23-yard field goal.

CAREER-BEST KICK

McManus hit a career-long 61-yard field goal on the last play of the first half. McManus had missed all six of his previous attempts from at least 60 yards.

ANOTHER CENTURY MARK FOR EKELER

Los Angeles running back Austin Ekeler had 112 scrimmage yards (58 rushing, 54 receiving) and had a 3-yard touchdown on the opening possession.

INJURIES

Broncos: Left guard Dalton Risner suffered an elbow injury on the opening drive and did not return.

Chargers: Center Corey Linsley came out in the first quarter due to a back injury and did not return.

UP NEXT

Broncos: host the Kansas City Chiefs next weekend in the regular-season finale.

Chargers: travel to the Las Vegas Raiders next weekend.

Lance throws 2 TD passes to lead 49ers past Texans 23-7

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) Rookie Trey Lance threw two touchdown passes in the second half of his second career start, and the San Francisco 49ers closed in on a playoff berth with a 23-7 victory over the Houston Texans on Sunday.

Lance got the nod for the 49ers (9-7) for the first time since Week 5 with Jimmy Garoppolo sidelined by a thumb injury and overcame an interception in the first half to lead San Francisco to the win.

The Niners can clinch their second playoff berth in five seasons under coach Kyle Shanahan with one loss by New Orleans or a win next week against the Rams.

The Texans (4-12) struggled to get much of anything going offensively and failed in their attempt at their first three-game winning streak since 2018.

Davis Mills went 21 for 32 for 163 yards, one touchdown and one interception, and Houston was held to 222 yards on offense.

Lance fared much better against lesser competition in his second start than he did in a 17-10 loss to Arizona in October.

He went 16 for 23 for 249 yards with his biggest play coming in the fourth quarter when he rolled right and then threw deep over the middle to Deebo Samuel, who caught it for a 45-yard touchdown that put the Niners up 17-7.

MOMENTUM SHIFT

The game shifted in the third quarter with a couple of big plays – and calls – for the 49ers.

It started when Marcell Harris intercepted a pass from Mills. Harris appeared to lose the ball on a fumble, but officials ruled that his forward progress was stopped.

On the next play, Terrance Mitchell was called for a 37-yard pass-interference penalty against Brandon Aiyuk to set up the Niners in the red zone. Lance finished the drive with an 8-yard TD pass to Elijah Mitchell to give San Francisco a 10-7 lead.

The Texans had two pass-interference calls go their way early in the fourth quarter to get into the red zone, but a sack on third down by Samson Ebukam and then a missed 45-yard field goal by Ka’imi Fairbairn kept San Francisco ahead 10-7.

TURNAROUND

The Texans were stagnant for most of the first half before Desmond King intercepted a pass from Lance in the second quarter.

Lance threw to George Kittle in coverage instead of an open Samuel for his second interception of the season.

The Texans, who had only one first down on their first four drives, moved the ball 80 yards by converting four third downs, taking a 7-0 lead on Mills’ 8-yard TD pass to Brandin Cooks.

Mills was 3 for 3 for 47 yards and the TD on third down on that drive.

LATE SCORE

Shanahan got aggressive at the end of the first half and the move paid off. San Francisco took over at its 25 with 38 seconds left and no timeouts.

But Lance completed three passes for 56 yards to set up Robbie Gould’s 37-yard field goal on the final play of the half.

KEY INJURIES

Houston S Jonathan Owens (wrist), DL Jonathan Greenard (shoulder) and DB Grayland Arnold (ankle) were hurt.

UP NEXT

Texans: Host Tennessee on Sunday.

49ers: Visit the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.

Cards hold off Cowboys 25-22 in matchup of playoff teams

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Kyler Murray threw two touchdown passes to Antoine Wesley and the Arizona Cardinals held on to beat the Dallas Cowboys 25-22 in a matchup of playoff-bound teams Sunday.

The outcome didn’t do much to change the races for the NFC’s No. 1 seed or the NFC West, but the Cardinals ended a three-game skid a week after backing into the postseason while stopping the NFC East champion’s four-game winning streak.

Murray improved to 8-0 as a starter at the home of the Cowboys. Most of those victories were as a Texas high school playoff star, but the past two have been as a pro after last season’s 38-10 rout.

The Cardinals (11-5) are still a game behind the Los Angeles Rams in their division with LA rallying to beat Baltimore 20-19.

Arizona pulled even with the Cowboys (11-5) while leaving both teams a Green Bay victory away from elimination for the NFC’s first-round bye. The Packers played Minnesota later on Sunday.

The Cardinals’ victory over Dallas in 2020 was the first game after Dak Prescott’s season-ending ankle injury. The star quarterback’s presence was felt in a fourth-quarter comeback that fell short.

Prescott’s third TD pass, a 4-yarder to Amari Cooper, and a 2-point conversion toss to Cedrick Wilson pulled Dallas within three with five minutes remaining.

Dallas was out of timeouts and couldn’t challenge when officials ruled Chase Edmonds down near the sideline when the ball came out and was recovered by Osa Odighizuwa before the two-minute warning. It appeared possible the call could have been overturned.

The Cardinals reached 25 points for just the second time in seven games, sparked this time by a successful fake punt in the second quarter when Jonathan Ward made an improbable catch of upback Chris Banjo’s throw. A pass interference penalty would have made it a first down anyway.

The trickery and another interference flag on third down led to Murray’s 1-yard toss to Wesley on fourth down. The pair connected again from 19 yards in the third quarter for a 19-7 lead.

The Cowboys were the healthiest they’ve been all season coming in, but lost receiver Michael Gallup to a left knee injury on his 21-yard TD catch for their first points late in the first half.

Murray was 26 of 38 for 263 yards and two touchdowns while Prescott finished 24 of 38 for 226 yards with a lost fumble when the Cowboys were down eight early in the fourth quarter.

Prescott’s fumble set up a short drive to the last of Matt Prater’s four field goals for a 25-14 lead.

Wesley had four catches for 30 yards, while Christian Kirk (43 yards) and A.J. Green (42) each had a long catch to set up scores.

The Cardinals shut down the struggling Dallas running game, holding Ezekiel Elliott to 16 yards on nine carries. Prescott was the leading Dallas rusher with 20 yards.

UP NEXT

The regular-season finales for both teams next Sunday. Arizona is home against Seattle. Dallas visits Philadelphia.

Jordan, Saints’ defense secure 18-10 win over Panthers

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Alvin Kamara turned a short pass into New Orleans’ first touchdown in more than 11 quarters, Brett Maher kicked four field goals, and the Saints beat the reeling Carolina Panthers 18-10 on Sunday.

The third victory in four games for the Saints (8-8) – just their second triumph in the Superdome in their regular-season home finale – assured New Orleans would head into the final week of the regular season still in the hunt for an NFC wild-card spot.

Taysom Hill completed 17 of 28 passes for 222 yards and also led the Saints in rushing with 45 yards while playing behind an offensive line missing four season-opening starters. Marquez Callaway caught six passes for 97 yards and Kamara had five catches for 68 yards, including his 12-yard TD in the fourth quarter.

New Orleans’ defense did the rest, sacking Sam Darnold seven times. Cameron Jordan had 3 1/2 sacks, his third straight game with at least two. C.J. Gardner Johnson sealed it with an interception in the final minute, dooming the Panthers (5-11) to a sixth straight loss.

New Orleans finished the game with Hill triumphantly taking a knee as fans belted out chants of, “Who-dat say they gonna’ beat them Saints!”

Darnold, who resumed the starting role he held earlier this season after Cam Newton had started in Carolina’s previous five losses, completed 17 of 26 passes for 132 yards.

Carolina did not trail in the first half, taking a 10-3 lead on Chuba Hubbard’s slashing 21-yard run early in the second quarter.

New Orleans looked primed to tie it when P.J. Williams dislodged the ball from Darnold on a sack and Marcus Davenport recovered, giving the Saints the ball at the Carolina 13. But New Orleans had to kick a field goal after three unfruitful plays.

With just more than a minute remaining in the half, the Saints faced a third-and-11 from their 3. Conventional wisdom would have been to run the ball and then punt because Carolina had no timeouts. Instead, Hill let fly a 28-yard back-shoulder throw that Callaway caught along the left sideline.

Hill then hit Lil’Jordan Humphrey for 18 yards and Callaway for another 15 before New Orleans used its last timeout. Hill completed one more quick pass to set up Maher’s third field goal as the half ended to make it 10-9.

Most of the third quarter was played on Carolina’s side of the 50, but the Saints had one promising drive stall on an intentional grounding penalty. That pushed them out out of field goal range.

Late in the quarter, New Orleans had a first down on the Panthers’ 18, but again settled for a field goal and a 12-10 lead.

When the third quarter ran out, it marked 11 straight quarters without a TD for the Saints, but they were able to cling the lead into the fourth quarter, helped by Carolina kicker Lirim Hajrullahu’s missed 47-yard field goal attempt.

LINE ITEMS

Saints right tackle Cesar Ruiz, a second-year pro, was New Orleans’ only starting lineman to play. Left tackle Terron Armstead (knee) was scratched for the sixth time in eight games. Right tackle Ryan Ramczyk and center Erik McCoy both were on COVID-19 reserve and left guard Andrus Peat has been on injured reserve since late October.

INJURIES

Saints safety Williams appeared to hurt his left ankle in the second quarter.

UP NEXT

Panthers: visit the 2021 NFC South champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

Saints: travel to Atlanta, which has been eliminated from playoff contention, to finish the regular season.

Penny, Metcalf lead Seahawks to 51-29 blowout of Lions

SEATTLE (AP) Rashaad Penny rushed for a career-high 170 yards and two touchdowns, Russell Wilson threw three of his four TD passes to DK Metcalf, and the Seattle Seahawks routed the Detroit Lions 51-29 on Sunday.

Seattle (6-10) closed out its home schedule with its most impressive offensive showing of the season, raising questions about where those fireworks have been for most of the disappointing year.

Penny rumbled for 144 yards in the first half, while Wilson threw TD passes to Metcalf and Tyler Lockett as Seattle built a 31-7 halftime lead.

Wilson added a third TD to Metcalf on the third play of the second half. Wilson finished 20 of 29 for 236 yards, while Metcalf had a career-high three touchdown catches. Metcalf has 12 TD catches this season, also a career best.

It was the fifth 50-point game in franchise history and first since 2012 when Seattle beat Buffalo 50-17 in a game played in Toronto.

Despite the offensive fireworks, it wasn’t all good for Seattle. On Detroit’s first offensive play, Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner suffered a knee injury when he slipped and fell awkwardly trying to defend a screen pass for Jamaal Williams. He eventually walked to the sideline and then to the locker room but never returned to the sideline.

The futures of Wagner, Wilson and coach Pete Carroll have all been debated with Seattle set to finish off its worst season since 2009, leaving Sunday’s game as potentially the last at home for any of the trio that helped bring the Seahawks their lone Super Bowl title.

Amon-Ra St. Brown ran for one touchdown and caught another for the Lions (2-13-1), who turned in a lackluster performance after several competitive games. Three of the Lions’ previous four losses had been by four points or less.

Tim Boyle made his second straight start for Detroit with Jared Goff out due to a knee injury and was 22 of 37 for 262 yards and three interceptions in the second half. He did have the highlight of throwing a 6-yard touchdown pass to left tackle Taylor Decker in the third quarter to pull Detroit within 38-22.

St. Brown finished with eight catches for 111 yards.

PENNY’S BIG HALF

Penny topped his previous career high of 137 yards in the first half. It was the most yards rushing by a Seahawks player in the first half of any game and the most in a half since since Shaun Alexander had 192 yards in the second half of a 2001 game against the Raiders.

Penny also had the second-most yards rushing of any player in a half this season, trailing only Dalvin Cook’s 153 yards in the first half against Pittsburgh.

ROOKIE RECORDS

St. Brown joined Leonard Thompson in 1981 as the only Lions wide receivers to score a touchdown rushing and receiving in the same game. The last Lions wide receiver to rush for a touchdown was Calvin Johnson in 2007.

St. Brown also became the first Detroit rookie to have touchdown catches in three straight games since Dave Middleton in 1955.

REFEREE CONCERN

Referee Tony Corrente was helped off the field by athletic trainers after dropping to one knee on the field following a play midway through the third quarter.

Medical personnel immediately rushed off both sidelines and Corrente eventually walked off the field and toward the Seahawks locker room with a Seattle trainer holding his arm. Corrente returned at the start of the fourth quarter.

UP NEXT

Lions: Host Green Bay in the season finale next Sunday.

Seahawks: Close out the season next Sunday at Arizona.

Packers rout Vikings 37-10 in cold to take NFC’s No. 1 seed

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers once again have made sure they won’t have to leave Lambeau Field for the conference playoffs.

They’re hoping it works out better for them this time.

Rodgers threw two touchdown passes, A.J. Dillon ran for two more scores and the Packers routed the Minnesota Vikings 37-10 on Sunday night to wrap up the NFC’s No. 1 playoff seed.

“It definitely feels amazing,” Dillon said. “It’s something we’re continuously working toward, we’re striving toward, to get that. We know how important it is to have teams come through Lambeau.”

Green Bay (13-3) is the lone NFL team with an unbeaten home record and has a chance to reach the Super Bowl without leaving Lambeau Field. Sunday night’s game exemplified the potential advantage the Packers have playing home games in January, as the temperature was 11 degrees with a wind chill of 1 just before kickoff.

The Packers have won 13 straight regular-season home games but lost 31-26 at home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in last season’s NFC championship game. The Packers haven’t reached the Super Bowl since their 2010 title and have lost in the conference championship game four of the last seven seasons.

“Last year we didn’t get that good Green Bay weather,” Rodgers said. “Tonight was one of those nights. We haven’t had a game like this in a while temperature-wise. This was different. It is different, the whole feel of it. I feel like teams can break a little bit easier when it is this cold because there’s an excuse – the weather.”

Green Bay’s victory, coupled with Philadelphia’s 20-16 triumph at Washington earlier in the day, dropped the Vikings (7-9) from postseason contention and gave the Eagles a playoff berth. The Vikings were playing without quarterback Kirk Cousins after he was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Friday.

“Disappointing tonight,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said. “I didn’t feel like we gave ourselves a chance to win.”

Rodgers went 29 of 38 for 288 yards with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Allen Lazard and an 11-yarder to Adams, who caught 11 passes for 136 yards.

Adams has 117 receptions to break the Packers’ season record he set last year.

“It means that I’m continuing to push,” Adams said. “I said at the end of last year when I did my farewell post on Instagram at end of the season. At the end of that post, I said don’t be surprised if I I come back better, when I come back better. I hope people aren’t surprised because I said it ahead of time.”

Over his last six games, Rodgers has thrown 18 touchdown passes without an interception despite playing with an injured left pinky toe.

The reigning MVP has thrown 56 career regular-season touchdown passes against the Vikings, the most they have allowed to any quarterback. Brett Favre, who preceded Rodgers as the Packers’ quarterback, threw 54 career touchdown passes against the Vikings before ending his career with Minnesota.

Packers coach Matt LaFleur broke George Seifert’s 30-year-old NFL record for the most regular-season wins by a coach in his first three seasons. LaFleur has a 39-9 regular-season mark and 41-11 overall record. Seifert had a 38-10 regular-season record from 1989-91 in his first three seasons with the San Francisco 49ers.

Dillon ran for two second-half touchdowns and gained 63 yards on 15 carries. Aaron Jones gained 76 yards on just eight carries as the Packers outrushed the Vikings 174-27.

Minnesota had won its last two matchups with the Packers but never had much of a chance in this one without Cousins, who had thrown for 341 yards and three touchdowns in a 34-31 home victory over the Packers on Nov. 21.

The Packers have won five straight since that loss in Minnesota.

Sean Mannion started in place of Cousins and went 22 of 35 for 189 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown pass to K.J. Osborn. Mannion was making his third career start, and first since the final week of the 2019 regular season.

“I feel like Cousins gets the ball out a little bit faster than the quarterback that played today,” Packers outside linebacker Rashan Gary said. “We just came to work as a defense and got the outlook that we wanted.”

The Packers reached the red zone on three of their first four possessions but only had a 6-0 lead to show for it, thanks to Mason Crosby’s two field goals. But they broke through by reaching the end zone on their next three possessions, including two touchdowns in the final 4 1/2 minutes of the first half.

“Give them credit,” Zimmer said. “They’re a good team and they got after us tonight.”

INJURED

Umpire Fred Bryan went to the medical tent and then headed to the locker room in the first quarter.

Vikings tight end Tyler Conklin left the game after taking a big hit from Packers safety Adrian Amos late in the third quarter. Amos’ hit broke up a pass, though center Garrett Bradbury alertly snared the ball from the air and ran upfield for a 21-yard gain.

UP NEX

Vikings: Host Chicago on Sunday.

Packers: At Detroit on Sunday.

NFL NEWS: SEVEN FROM SUNDAY

A look at seven statistical highlights from games played at 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, January 2, the 17th week of the 2021 season.

With two games remaining in Week 17, 19 teams remain in contention for Super Bowl LVI. This would be the most in 15 years and tie the 2002 season (19 teams) for the third-most teams still in Super Bowl contention with one week to play, trailing only 1982 (22 teams) and 2006 (20 teams).

The CINCINNATI BENGALS overcame a 14-point deficit to defeat Kansas City, 34-31, and clinched the AFC North division title for the first time since 2015.

Cincinnati completed a worst-to-first turnaround, winning its division the year after finishing in last place. It marks 17 of the past 19 seasons in which at least one team finished in first place the season after finishing in last or tied for last place (2003-21).

Cincinnati and Dallas have each clinched division titles after missing the postseason in 2020. At least two teams have won their divisions the season after missing the playoffs in 18 of the past 19 years.

The TENNESSEE TITANS defeated Miami, 34-3, and clinched the AFC South for the second-consecutive season.

The BUFFALO BILLS defeated Atlanta, 29-15, and in combination with Baltimore’s Week 17 loss, clinched a playoff berth for the third-consecutive season.

The NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS defeated Jacksonville, 50-10, and in combination with Miami’s Week 17 loss, clinched a playoff berth for the 12th time in the past 13 seasons.

For Week 17 playoff scenarios involving the GREEN BAY PACKERS (vs. Minnesota on Sunday Night Football) and the PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (Week 17 win over Washington), click here. With a Green Bay victory, the Packers would clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC and homefield advantage throughout the NFC playoffs while Philadelphia would clinch a playoff berth under first-year head coach NICK SIRIANNI.

Four teams have clinched playoff berths after missing the postseason in 2020 – Arizona, Cincinnati, Dallas and New England. Since 1990 – a streak of 32 consecutive seasons – at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

There have been 32 games decided by a game-winning score on the final play this season, the most in a season all-time. Cincinnati rookie kicker EVAN MCPHERSON and Las Vegas kicker DANIEL CARLSON each converted game-winning field goals with no time remaining in the fourth quarter in Week 17.

With two games remaining in Week 17, there have been 46 games with a game-winning score in the final minute of regulation or in overtime this season, the fifth-most in a season all-time. Only 2013 (49), 2015 (49), 2003 (48) and 2002 (47) had more. In addition to Cincinnati and Las Vegas, the LOS ANGELES RAMS and TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS each scored go-ahead game-winning touchdowns in the final minute of regulation in Week 17.

Cincinnati quarterback JOE BURROW passed for 446 yards and four touchdowns while rookie wide receiver JA’MARR CHASE had 11 receptions for 266 yards and three touchdowns in the Bengals’ Week 17 win over Kansas City.

Burrow, who had 525 passing yards and four touchdown passes in Week 16, is the second quarterback all-time with at least 450 passing yards and four touchdown passes in consecutive games, joining JAMEIS WINSTON (Weeks 14-15, 2019).

Burrow has 971 passing yards in his past two games, surpassing PHIL SIMMS (945 passing yards in Weeks 5-6, 1985) for the second-most passing yards by a quarterback in a two-game span ever. Only DAK PRESCOTT (974 passing yards in Weeks 3-4, 2020) had more.

With 266 receiving yards on Sunday, Chase surpassed JERRY BUTLER (255 receiving yards on September 23, 1979) for the most receiving yards in a single game by a rookie ever.

Chase has 1,429 receiving yards this season and surpassed JUSTIN JEFFERSON (1,400 receiving yards in 2020) for the most receiving yards by a rookie ever.

Chase, who also had 201 receiving yards in Week 7, is the first rookie ever and the fifth player in the Super Bowl era to record multiple games with at least 200 receiving yards in a single season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers CALVIN JOHNSON (2011 & 2012) and DON MAYNARD (1968) as well as JOSH GORDON (2013) and ALSHON JEFFERY (2013).

Tampa Bay quarterback TOM BRADY passed for 410 yards and three touchdowns while tight end ROB GRONKOWSKI recorded 115 receiving yards in the Buccaneers’ 28-24 win at the New York Jets.

Brady has 13 career games with at least 400 passing yards, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (13) for the third-most such games all-time. Only DREW BREES (16 games) and Pro Football Hall of Famer PEYTON MANNING (14) have more.

Brady, who had 40 touchdown passes in 2020 and 50 touchdown passes in 2007, reached 40 touchdown passes for the third time in his career, joining AARON RODGERS as the only quarterback ever with three career seasons with at least 40 touchdown passes. Brady also joined DREW BREES (2011-12) as the only quarterbacks all-time with at least 40 touchdown passes in consecutive seasons.

Gronkowski registered his 31st career game with at least 100 receiving yards, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer TONY GONZALEZ (31) for the most such games by a tight end in league annals.

New England rookie quarterback MAC JONES completed 22 of 30 pass attempts (73.3 percent) for 227 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions for a 128.1 rating and defensive back J.C. JACKSON recorded his eighth interception of the season in the Patriots’ 50-10 win over Jacksonville.

New England improved to 10-6 on the season and BILL BELICHICK became the second head coach all-time with 20 seasons of 10-or-more wins, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer DON SHULA (20 seasons).

The Patriots, who scored 54 points in Week 7, are the first team since the 2014 GREEN BAY PACKERS to score at least 50 points twice in season.

Jones has nine games with a completion percentage of 70-or-higher, tied with DAK PRESCOTT (nine games in 2016) for the most such games by a rookie quarterback all-time.

Jackson has 25 interceptions since entering the NFL in 2018 and is the fourth player in the Super Bowl era with at least 25 interceptions in his first four seasons, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer LEM BARNEY (32), LESTER HAYES (25) and EVERSON WALLS (25).

Buffalo quarterback JOSH ALLEN rushed for two touchdowns in the Bills’ Week 17 win over Atlanta.

Allen has five games with at least two rushing touchdowns since entering the NFL in 2018, tied with JALEN HURTS (five) for the most such games by a quarterback in his first four seasons in the Super Bowl era.

Allen has six rushing touchdowns this season and joined CAM NEWTON as the only quarterbacks ever with at least five rushing touchdowns in each of their first four seasons.

Allen, with 101 touchdown passes and 31 rushing touchdowns, is the first player in NFL history with at least 100 touchdown passes and 30 rushing touchdowns in his first four seasons.

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver COOPER KUPP registered six receptions for 95 yards and one touchdown while defensive lineman AARON DONALD recorded half a sack in the team’s Week 17 win at Baltimore.

Kupp has 138 receptions this season and surpassed ANTONIO BROWN (136 receptions in 2015) and JULIO JONES (136 in 2015) for the third-most receptions in a single season in NFL history. Only MICHAEL THOMAS (149 receptions in 2019) and Pro Football Hall of Famer MARVIN HARRISON (143 in 2002) had more.

Kupp has 1,829 receiving yards this season and became the fifth player with at least 1,800 receiving yards in a season in NFL history, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers CALVIN JOHNSON (1,964 receiving yards in 2012) and JERRY RICE (1,848 in 1995), as well as ANTONIO BROWN (1,834 in 2015) and JULIO JONES (1,871 in 2015).

Kupp has recorded at least five receptions in 20 consecutive games, tied with JARVIS LANDRY (20 games from 2017-18) and MICHAEL THOMAS (20 from 2018-19) for the third-longest such streak in NFL history. Only ANTONIO BROWN (36 games from 2013-15) and DEANDRE HOPKINS (23 from 2018-20) have longer streaks.

Donald has 98 career sacks since entering the NFL in 2014, tied with teammate VON MILLER (98 sacks) and Pro Football Hall of Famer DERRICK THOMAS (98) for the fourth-most sacks by a player in his first eight seasons since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer REGGIE WHITE (124 sacks), DEMARCUS WARE (111) and JARED ALLEN (105) have more.

Seattle quarterback RUSSELL WILSON passed for four touchdowns with no interceptions and a 133.0 rating in the Seahawks’ 51-29 win over Detroit.

Including the postseason, Wilson has 112 career wins, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer PEYTON MANNING (112 wins) for the most wins, including the postseason, by a quarterback in his first 10 seasons in league annals.

Wilson has 17 career games with at least four touchdown passes, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famers PEYTON MANNING (17 games) and DAN MARINO (17) for the most such games by a player in his first 10 seasons in NFL history.

Other notable performances from Sunday include:

Kansas City quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES passed for 259 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions for a 113.9 rating on Sunday.

Mahomes, who had 38 touchdown passes in 2020 and 50 touchdown passes in 2018, has 35 touchdown passes this season and is the first quarterback ever with at least 35 touchdown passes in three of his first five seasons.

Mahomes has 4,569 passing yards this season and joined MATTHEW STAFFORD as the only quarterbacks ever with at least 4,500 passing yards in three of their first five seasons.

Indianapolis running back JONATHAN TAYLOR totaled 114 scrimmage yards (108 rushing, six receiving) and one rushing touchdown on Sunday. He has 2,076 scrimmage yards and 20 touchdowns (18 rushing, two receiving) this season.

Taylor, who is 22 years and 348 days old, is the youngest player with at least 2,000 scrimmage yards and 20 touchdowns in a single season all-time.

Taylor, who was selected in the second round (41st overall) of the 2020 NFL Draft, joined Pro Football Hall of Famer ERIC DICKERSON (1983) and DAVID JOHNSON (2016) as the only players with at least 2,000 scrimmage yards and 20 touchdowns in one of their first two career seasons in NFL history.

Atlanta rookie tight end KYLE PITTS had two receptions for 69 yards on Sunday.

Pitts has 1,018 receiving yards this season and joined Pro Football Hall of Famer MIKE DITKA (1,076 receiving yards in 1961) as the only rookie tight ends in NFL history with at least 1,000 receiving yards.

Pitts has 66 receptions in 2021 and is the third rookie tight end all-time with at least 65 receptions, joining KEITH JACKSON (81 receptions in 1988) and JEREMY SHOCKEY (74 in 2002).

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: No. 10 Michigan State rallies to beat Northwestern 73-67

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) Gabe Brown scored 15 of his 20 points in the second half, Marcus Bingham Jr. added 13 and No. 10 Michigan State rallied from a 13-point first-half deficit for a 73-67 victory over Northwestern on Sunday.

Max Christie had 11 points and Joey Hauser added 10 as the Spartans (12-2, 3-0 Big Ten) won their seventh straight.

Pete Nance had 13 points before fouling out and Boo Buie and Chase Audige had 12 points apiece for Northwestern (8-3, 1-1).

“Still disappointed in some things we did and really encouraged by other things we did,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. “All in all, to beat a team that I think is a damn good team – they’re gonna beat some people here – and we beat them on the road, I’ll take the win and get out of here.”

Northwestern beat then No. 4 Michigan State 79-65 at Welsh-Ryan Arena last season. The Wildcats led virtually the entire first half and had a 31-18 advantage following a Nance basket with just over three minutes left before the break.

“We had our chances,” NU coach Chris Collins said. “If you had told me that at the end of the game Nance, Buie and Audige would be 10 for 40 (from the field) and we would have the ball down by two with a minute to go and a wide-open 3 to take the lead, I don’t know that I would have said that would be true. But that shows the kind of guys we have and the fight we have.”

The Wildcats led 33-26 at halftime after holding Michigan State to 9-for-27 shooting, including 1 for 10 on 3-pointers, in the first half.

The Spartans picked up the pace at the start of the second half, putting together eight straight points – capped by a short jumper by Brown – to grab a 36-35 lead with 17 minutes. It was MSU’s first lead since the opening minutes of the first half.

MSU led 52-44 with just under 10 minutes left before NU put together a 13-5 spurt for a tie at 57, but Michigan State ran off eight straight points to regain command with 4 1/2 minutes to go.

The Spartans, though, went scoreless for nearly four minutes as Northwestern pulled within 65-63. Brown then essentially put the game away with a 3-pointer with 49.1 seconds remaining.

“Gabe likes to take the big shots; he likes to take any shot,” Izzo said. “But I really do appreciate that about him, that he’s not afraid of the moment.”

FOUL BALL

The second half was marred by a combined 36 fouls and 51 free-throw attempts.

“Not a fun game,” Izzo said. “There were seemingly fouls every minute. I felt bad for the officials. I think the rules committee really has to look at some things. It was both ways. You could tell neither one of us was real happy, and the officials weren’t either.”

BIG PICTURE

Michigan State: The Spartans also trailed at halftime in their last game against High Point before rallying in the second half for an 81-68 win. Although they overcame a 13-point deficit on Sunday, uneven performances won’t lead to much success in conference play.

Northwestern: The Wildcats aren’t going to overwhelm anyone with talent in the ultra competitive Big Ten, so the key to their success will be the effort on the defensive end. Northwestern held Maryland to 17-for-59 (28.8 percent) in the conference opener last month. Still, the Wildcats will need more production on the offensive end to win games.

UP NEXT

Michigan State: Host Nebraska on Wednesday night.

Northwestern: Host Penn State on Wednesday night.

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL:

Engstler’s layup lifts No. 3 Louisville over No. 16 Ga Tech

ATLANTA (AP) Emily Engstler scored 14 points and hit a layup with three seconds remaining to lift No. 3 Louisville to its 12th straight victory, 50-48 over No. 16 Georgia Tech on Sunday.

In a matchup of the nation’s top scoring defense in Georgia Tech and the nation’s third-best in Louisville, the Yellow Jackets (10-3, 2-0 ACC) were trying to knock off a top-three team for the second time after beating UConn at home on Dec. 9, but Lotta-Maj Lahtinen’s heave from half-court fell short at the buzzer.

Louisville (12-1, 2-0) called timeout with 14.6 seconds remaining and the score tied at 48-all. Engstler gave the Cardinals just their third lead of the game. Georgia Tech led for 33 minutes, 33 seconds.

“I really thought it was going to be the first one to 50,” Louisville coach Jeff Walz said. “It was not a beautiful game for TV on offense, but defensively it was pretty impressive by both teams.”

The game marked a season low in points for Louisville, which got 13 rebounds and seven points from Olivia Cochran. Digna Strautmane scored 13 points and Lorela Cubaj had 12 for Georgia Tech, which was down to seven players because health and safety protocols sidelined four active players on the roster. Four players logged more than 37 minutes.

“No excuses, we aren’t making any excuses,” Jackets coach Nell Fortner said. “We had our opportunity today, and it just slipped away from us there at the end.”

Cubaj’s hook shot put the Jackets up 47-42 with 2:56 left in the game, but Hailey Van Lith, who missed eight of her first nine shots, came out of a Louisville timeout to hit a jumper over an outstretched Cubaj and force a 48-all tie with 35.4 seconds remaining.

Kianna Smith hit a straightaway 3 to open the fourth quarter and trim the lead to 32-30, and Van Lith hit a pair of free throws to tie it before Lahtinen and Strautmane knocked down consecutive 3s to make it 38-33.

Engstler hit a straightaway 3 to give Louisville its first lead at 23-20 early in the third, but Strautmane answered with a left-corner 3 that made it 23-all. A putback by Hermosa pushed the Georgia Tech lead to 26-23 before Cubaj was called for an offensive foul. Walz, upset that Cubaj wasn’t called for a flagrant, was whistled for a technical foul and used a challenge for a video review. The call was upheld.

Walz was likely upset, too, that his team had failed to score on six straight possessions and had four turnovers over that span as the Jackets went up 27-23 with 4:49 left in the third. Mykasa Robinson broke the spell with a layup that made it 27-25, but she committed a turnover and Cochran missed a jumper on the ensuing possessions.

“It was never a game where either team, I’m sure, thought they were out of the game,” Walz said. “It was so hard to come by any type of baskets that it was just a grind. We lead for 1 minute, 17 seconds of the game. That’s it. We were just fortunate to lead at the right time.”

The first half ended in a 20-all tie, with Louisville shooting just 28.6% from the field and 2 for 9 on 3s. It was a season low in first-half points for both teams. Georgia Tech shot just 30% in the first half.

BIG PICTURE

Louisville: The close game could cause the Cardinals to miss a chance to move past No. 2 Stanford for the No. 1 spot in the poll after South Carolina lost at Missouri. They have remained in the Top 10 for 83 straight polls dating to the 2017 preseason poll. Louisville has been in the AP Top 25 for 112 straight weeks.

Georgia Tech: Lahtinen had seven of the team’s 14 turnovers in the first half. She and Cubaj were relegated to ball-handling duties most of the game. Cubaj, a center, leads Georgia Tech in assists this season and she pulled down 16 rebounds. Of the seven players available, five were regular starters.

UP NEXT

Louisville: Hosts Pittsburgh on Thursday and visits Miami next Sunday.

Georgia Tech: Visits Duke on Thursday and hosts Virginia next Sunday.

Morris scores 30, No. 19 LSU women post 13th straight win

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) Alexis Morris scored a career-high 30 points and No. 19 LSU defeated No. 23 Texas A&M 75-66 on Sunday for the Tigers’ 13th straight victory.

Morris was 9-of-16 shooting with four 3-pointers. Khayla Pointer also had four 3-pointers and scored 17 points with nine rebounds and eight assists. Jailin Cherry added 10 points, seven rebounds and six assists with Autumn Newby grabbing 10 rebounds.

LSU (14-1, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) is off to its best start since going 13-1 during the 2009-10 season and has its longest winning streak since winning 14 straight during 2007-08.

Destiny Pitts scored 18 points with four 3-pointers and had 11 rebounds for the Aggies (10-3, 0-1), the defending SEC regular-season champions. Qadashah Hoppie added 16 points and Kayla Wells 13. The Aggies came in leading the nation at 43.5% from the 3-point line but made only 10 of 31 against LSU and shot 33% overall.

Texas A&M had a five-point lead early in the final period when LSU went on a 19-5 run to build a 10-point lead with 1:13 to go. The Tigers went 7 of 10 at the free-throw line from there to keep control. Morris scored 11 points and Cherry had all 10 of hers in the final period.

NBA NEWS

VanVleet scores season-high 35, Raptors rout Knicks 120-105

TORONTO (AP) Fred VanVleet scored 19 of his season-high 35 points in the third quarter, Pascal Siakam had 20 points and 14 rebounds, and the Toronto Raptors extended their home winning streak against the Knicks to 11 games by beating a depleted New York team 120-105 on Sunday.

OG Anunoby scored 14 points, Scottie Barnes had 13 and Chris Boucher 12 as the Raptors won back-to-back games for the first time since home wins over New York and Sacramento on Dec. 10 and 13.

“I thought we were pretty locked in for most of the game,” VanVleet said.

Barnes returned after missing Friday’s win over the Clippers because of a sore right knee. He sat out the previous two games while in the health and safety protocols.

“I felt pretty good out there,” Barnes said. “I really had my wind. I wasn’t so tired.”

Toronto, which had 10 players in the protocols for a Dec. 26 loss at Cleveland, had its eight most-used players available for the first time all season.

“This is kind of where you want to be,” VanVleet said. “We’ve just got to continue to get better individually and collectively. I think we’ll be a tough team to beat if we can keep growing towards the end of the year.”

VanVleet shot 11 for 17 and made a season-high seven of his 13 attempts from 3-point range. He went 6 for 6 at the free throw line and finished with five rebounds and five assists.

“It makes us tough to guard when he’s coming down, hitting in transition, coming off screens,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said.

Evan Fournier scored 20 points and RJ Barrett and Obi Toppin each had 19 for the Knicks, who lost their second straight after winning the previous three.

“Overall, I thought some guys stepped up and played good but you’re short-handed, your margin for error is small, and we didn’t get it done,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said.

Fournier returned after missing Friday`s loss to Oklahoma City because of a sore right ankle, but the Knicks were without starters Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson, who joined Nerlens Noel, Jericho Sims, and Wayne Selden in health and safety protocols.

Another starter, guard Kemba Walker, sat for the second straight game because of a sore left knee.

“We have three starters down,” Fournier said. “That’s a lot.”

Toppin’s point total equaled his career high. He also had 19 against Toronto on Dec. 10.

“It means something,” Toppin said of matching the milestone, “but obviously the loss sucks. We’re just going to learn from this game and get better.”

After scoring a season-low 80 points Friday, New York topped 100 for the first time in four games.

The Raptors played before a mostly empty arena for the second straight game after Ontario’s provincial government reduced capacity limits to a maximum of 1,000 people in an attempt to control the spread of COVID-19. No tickets were sold, and only friends and family were allowed entry.

Toronto led 56-45 at halftime and used a 40-point third to take a 96-74 lead to the fourth.

SHARP SHOOTING

The Raptors shot 15 for 22 in the third. That was one fewer made baskets than the Knicks had in the first half. VanVleet had six made baskets in the quarter, while the Knicks had seven.

SHORT STINT

Rookie G Miles McBride started for the Knicks but was subbed out after five minutes and didn’t return until the fourth quarter. Alec Burks started the second half.

“Just the way the game was going, I felt we probably needed a little more offense to try to get things going,” Thibodeau said.

TIP-INS

Knicks: Associate head coach Johnnie Bryant and assistant coaches Kenny Payne and Daisuke Yoshimoto were absent after entering the health and safety protocols. “Everyone has added responsibility right now,” Thibodeau said. . Play eight of their next 10 at home.

Raptors: Siakam finished with seven assists but had six turnovers. . F Isaac Bonga exited health and safety protocols but was not available (conditioning). . Outrebounded New York 44-30.

UP NEXT

Knicks: Host Indiana on Tuesday.

Raptors: Host San Antonio on Tuesday.

NHL NEWS

Zibanejad has hat trick as Rangers beat Lightning 4-0

NEW YORK (AP) Mika Zibanejad set up many of Chris Kreider’s team-leading 19 goals this season. On Sunday, it was Kreider getting assists on each of Zibanejad’s three scores.

Zibanejad had his eighth career hat trick, Igor Shesterkin stopped 38 shots for his second shutout of the season and the New York Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-0.

“First game of 2022, let’s flip that,” Zibanejad said of his play with Kreider. “He has that in his game as well. He’s a goal-scorer, but he makes great passes and you have to be ready for them. That was the case today.”

Ryan Strome also scored and Adam Fox had two assists to help New York win for the third time in five games (3-1-1). The Rangers beat the Lightning for the second time in three days after a 4-3 shootout victory at Tampa, Florida, on Friday night.

New York was without star forward Artemi Panarin, who was placed in COVID-19 protocols Sunday.

“All of our players stepped up,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said. “It’s very satisfying. You play a good team like that over there, they come at you, they have a lot of talent. … Shesty played a great game, power play did its job. Everybody was ready to play today and compete.”

Shesterkin had 18 saves in the first period, 11 in the second and nine in the third for his fourth career shutout. He improved to 15-4-2 with a 2.09 goals-against average this season.

“I need to play even better than I did today,” Shesterkin said through an interpreter.

Andrei Vasilevskiy, playing for the first time in 12 days after coming off COVID-19 protocols earlier in the day, had 17 saves as the Lightning lost their third straight (0-2-1) after winning nine of 10.

“It’s not like the guys weren’t trying, we just didn’t generate anything,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “We were off. Give credit to the Rangers, they did a hell of a job. We did get chances, and the goalie was able to see them. We were a step slower, the reaction time was a little off. When that happens, this is the result.”

Zibanejad, who had the only goal of the shootout Friday, completed his hat trick late in the second period to put the Rangers up 4-0. He deflected Tampa Bay’s outlet pass in its defensive zone and charged toward the net. The puck came to Kreider, who spun way to the left and sent a pass that Zibanejad deflected past Vasilevskiy with 3:07 remaining for his 11th of the season.

The Lightning challenged for high-sticking on the play, but the goal stood after a review.

“When you’re in that kind of momentum, you just seem to make the right decisions of where to go and pucks find you,” Zibanejad said.

It was Zibanejad’s his first hat trick since April 25 against Buffalo. He scored three goals three times last season, including a pair of three-goal, three-assist games.

The Rangers came in eighth in the NHL on the power play at 23.9% and went 2 for 3 against the Lightning.

With Tampa Bay’s Mikhail Sergachev off for hooking, Zibanejad got the Rangers on the scoreboard at 7:44 of the first as he fired a rising shot from the top of the left circle past Vasilevskiy into the top left corner.

Nearly five minutes later, the Rangers were on a 4-on-3 power play when Zibanejad’s pass for Kaapo Kakko on the right side was deflected by Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh past Vasilevskiy with 7:23 left.

Strome made it 3-0 when he fired a shot from between the circles over Vasilevskiy’s glove for his seventh with 5:07 remaining in the opening period.

Shesterkin had six of his 18 saves of the first in the final minute, including a reaching glove stop on a slap shot by Sergachev in which the goalie ended up sprawled faced down in front of the goal with 16 seconds left, drawing chants of “I-gor! I-gor!” from the home crowd.

LINEUPS

Lightning D Erik Cernak was activated off IR and rejoined the lineup after missing 10 games with a lower-body injury. … C Anthony Cirelli also came off COVID-19 protocols before the game. RW Taylor Raddysh also came off protocols and was assigned to the taxi squad. … D Zach Bogosian missed his second straight game with a lower-body injury.

In addition to Panarin, the Rangers were without D Patrik Nemeth due to an undisclosed illness. Rookie Zac Jones entered the lineup and made his season debut. … G Alexandar Georgiev, removed from COVID-19 protocols one day earlier, was Shesterkin’s backup. C Kevin Rooney, D Ryan Lindgren and D Jarred Tinordi remained in COVID-19 protocols.

UP NEXT

Lightning: At Columbus on Tuesday night to wrap a two-game trip.

Rangers: Host Edmonton on Monday night before a five-game trip.

Bruins pull away in 3rd, thump Red Wings 5-1

DETROIT (AP) Erik Haula scored a tiebreaking goal in the second period and the Boston Bruins pulled away with three more in the third to beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-1 Sunday.

Patrice Bergeron had his fifth goal in three games against Detroit this season. Charlie McAvoy, Trent Frederic and Tomas Nosek also scored for the Bruins.

Haula’s goal was just his second in 27 games this season. His other came Nov. 13 against New Jersey.

“The positive was I was getting a lot of good chances, so I was doing something right,” said Haula, who also hit the post on a breakaway later in the period. “Some of it was on me, some of it was a little bit of puck luck. I’ve definitely hit enough posts to go around for the year. Hopefully, I can start hitting the net a little more.”

Jeremy Swayman made 23 saves as Boston won for the second time in two days after six consecutive postponements due to COVID-19 outbreaks. The Bruins defeated Buffalo 4-3 in overtime Saturday.

“Going in the third period with a one-goal lead, we weren’t obviously satisfied with that,” Swayman said. “We knew that an insurance goal was needed and the boys got it done. It was fun to watch.”

Coach Bruce Cassidy has split up the formidable first line of Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak, and that has energized his other forwards.

“They’re elite players, they get their due for obvious reasons,” Cassidy said. “That’s always going to be around a little bit, that they’re going to be relied on and players will lean on them. When you split it up, there might be a little more oxygen in the room for the secondary guys at times.”

Tyler Bertuzzi scored for the Red Wings. Alex Nedeljkovic, playing his first game since Dec. 16, stopped 32 shots.

“We just didn’t execute, we didn’t even get shots,” Red Wings center Dylan Larkin said. “We have to bring more to the game than we did tonight.”

Bertuzzi put Detroit ahead 1-0 when he positioned himself to the side of the net and scored on a rebound of Danny DeKeyser’s shot.

Bergeron scored off a feed from Craig Smith later in the period.

Shortly after exiting the penalty box, Haula lifted the puck over Nedeljkovic’s left shoulder at 7:37 of the second period.

McAvoy’s goal at 5:59 of the third off Taylor Hall’s pass gave Boston a two-goal advantage. Frederic banged in a rebound less than two minutes later for his first goal this season. Nosek scored at 10:40 of the period.

“We obviously weren’t good enough in the third period,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. “We made some important defensive blunders and it cost us the game. I thought Ned played well, but we were making too many mistakes in front of him.”

NOTES: Detroit had won its last four home games against Boston, dating to Nov. 21, 2018. … Defenseman Nick Leddy is the only Red Wings player currently in COVID-19 protocols. Bruins center Karson Kuhlman was placed in protocols Saturday. … Boston forward Curtis Lazar was a late scratch due to an undisclosed injury. … Boston is 11-1 leading after two periods. … The Bruins lead the four-game season series 2-1. The fourth meeting is scheduled for April 5.

UP NEXT

Bruins: Host New Jersey Devils on Tuesday.

Red Wings: Host San Jose Sharks on Tuesday.

Rodrigues, Rust net hat tricks as Pens hold off Sharks 8-5

PITTSBURGH (AP) The Pittsburgh Penguins enjoyed a strong six-goal start after a lengthy layoff.

A third-period lull allowed the San Jose Sharks back into the game, but Evan Rodrigues and Bryan Rust came through when Pittsburgh needed it most.

Rodrigues and Rust both finished off hat tricks in the third period and the Penguins beat the Sharks 8-5 Sunday for their eighth straight win – and first since Dec. 19.

“I loved the start we had,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “We brought a ton of energy at the start of the game. We were rewarded, but as a result, when you get up by that many goals, you’re fighting against human nature to stay diligent.”

Rodrigues and Rust each scored twice as the Pens built a 6-1 lead in the first period. Both added insurance goals in the final period, with Rodrigues completing his first career hat trick with 2:01 left and Rust scoring into an empty net with 11 seconds remaining. Rust had a career-best five points.

The last time two Penguins’ players scored hat tricks in one game came on Dec. 11, 2008, when Petr Sykora and Pascal Dupuis did it.

“I was shocked that there were any hats left,” Rust said.

San Jose scored three times in the first 4:09 of the third period but couldn’t overcome the huge deficit, which led to an early exit for goalie James Reimer. Alexander Barbanov, Brent Burns, Matt Nieto, Jacob Middleton and Logan Couture scored for the Sharks.

“If you would’ve told me that it would be a one-goal game with 2 1/2, 3 minutes left in the third, I don’t think anyone would believe you,” Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson said.

Casey DeSmith made 22 saves for Pittsburgh in place of starter Tristan Jarry, who is one of four Penguins in COVID-19 protocols. Pittsbugh hadn’t played since Dec. 19.

Kasper Bjorkqvist scored his first NHL goal and Jake Guentzel his 16th of the season for the Penguins, who have won eight or more games consecutively for the 11th time in franchise history. It’s the first time Pittsburgh has won eight straight since the 2018-19 season.

Rodrigues has a career-best 13 goals this season and has five goals and seven points in his past four games. He scored twice in the first 4:11.

The Sharks had won two straight, including a wild 8-7 win over Arizona on Dec. 28. They’ve lost four of seven overall.

Reimer allowed six goals on 17 first-period shots. Zach Sawchenko replaced Reimer in the second period and made 20 saves in his NHL debut.

“I understood the situation we were in,” Sawchenko said. “I was trying to give the team a spark. Luckily enough, we made a comeback, and just fell a little short.”

The Penguins scored six-plus goals in a period for the 16th time in franchise history and first since Nov. 27, 2019. Pittsburgh also tied a team record for most goals scored in the first period of a game. There have only been three instances in team history where Pittsburgh scored more than six goals in a period, most recently Feb. 27, 1995.

Burns scored a second-period power-play goal, then the Sharks cut it to 6-5 early in the third.

DeSmith misplayed Nieto’s point shot 20 seconds into the period, and it caromed off the end boards, banked off the Penguins’ goaltender and into the net.

Middleton’s slap shot from the point made it a two-goal game at 3:01 of the third, while Couture, playing in his 800th NHL game, finished a one-timer from Timo Meier to make it 6-5 at 4:09.

WELCOME BACK

Rust and Guentzel played for the first time after extended absences.

Rust missed the last 11 games because of a lower-body injury, while Guentzel hadn’t played since Dec. 6 at Seattle because of an upper-body injury.

Guentzel has 13 goals in his last 13 games. He also has points in each of his last 14 games and goals in his last six. Guentzel is the second Penguin in the last 10 years to record a point in 14 straight appearances, joining Dupuis during the 2011-12 season.

DEBUT GOAL

Bjorkqvist, Pittsburgh’s 2016 second-round pick, is the sixth current Penguin to score in his debut.

“It was a dream as a kid to play in the NHL and now I have the opportunity,” Bjorkqvist said. “Just super appreciative of everything.”

UP NEXT

Sharks: Continue a four-game road trip Tuesday at Detroit.

Penguins: Host St. Louis on Wednesday before a six-game road trip.

Nico Hischier scores in overtime, Devils beat Capitals 4-3

WASHINGTON (AP)

Nico Hischier scored his second goal of the game with 2:04 left in overtime to give the New Jersey Devils a 4-3 victory over the Washington Capitals on Sunday.

Washington rallied late in regulation to force overtime, with Nic Dowd pulling the Capitals within a goal with 6:38 remaining and Conor Sheary tying it with 3:47 left.

“It was a tie game, so it’s nothing lost yet,’ Hischier said. “So it’s really important, especially in a packed house, everybody felt the energy from Washington. So it’s just really important to stay focused and understand that it’s not over yet and kind of play with the mindset that you just tied up the game. So that’s how I do it and I think everybody understood that.”

Yegor Sharangovich and Damon Severson scored in a 1:14 span of the first period for the Devils, and John Carlson connected for Washington with 47 seconds left in the period.

Hischier gave New Jersey a 3-1 lead 22 seconds into the second period.

Mackenzie Blackwood made 27 saves for the Devils. Ilya Samsonov stopped 33 shots for the Capitals.

Washington played without forwards Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie because of non-COVID-19 illness.

“I don’t think we played well enough,” Washington coach Peter Laviolette said. “I’m not sure it has to do with getting the news that two guys were going to be scratched. It is hard to say that is the reason why we lost. I can tell you the reasons why we lost. Do we wish we had them? Yeah, but it was the hand that we were dealt today and we need to do a better job inside the game with that over to the side, we need to do a better job inside the game.”

Alain Nasreddine directed the Devils for the second straight game. Coach Lindy Ruff tested positive for COVID-19 before Friday’s game.

“You’re gaining confidence,” Nasreddine said. “We felt good about our game, to be honest. Even that third period, I thought we did a lot of good things and the guys were talking on the bench. You could feel the good energy even after the third goal and we took it to overtime and found a way to win.”

New Jersey won its third straight overall, beating Washington for the first time since Feb. 22, 2020.

“We were talking about that before the game, for sure,” Hischier said. “If you look at our games last year against them or even the game earlier in the season this year, we wanted to come out and beat them and I think you could see that from the beginning. And, yeah, it feels good we finally got them.”

NOTES: New Jersey D Dougie Hamilton was hit in the face with a puck in the first period and did not return. Nasreddine said Hamilton was being evaluated at the hospital. “When Dougie went down, it was tough to see,” Severson said. “He took a shot up high there. He took a puck off his jaw and took some stiches and wasn’t feeling so good after that one. You don’t ever want to see that stuff. … Backstrom has played just three games this season. . The Capitals sent F Aliaksei Protas to Hershey of the AHL.

UP NEXT

Devils: Host Boston on Tuesday night.

Capitals: At St. Louis on Friday night.

O’Connor’s late goal lifts Avs over Ducks 4-2

DENVER (AP) Logan O’Connor scored a tiebreaking goal late in the third period and the Colorado Avalanche rallied from two goals down past the Anaheim Ducks 4-2 on Sunday.

Mikko Rantanen had a goal and two assists and Darcy Kuemper had 29 saves for the Avalanche, who were playing their first game in nearly three weeks.

Colorado had not played since a 5-2 loss at Nashville on Dec. 16 due to COVID-19 cases on the team. Eleven players tested positive for the virus since beating the New York Rangers on Dec. 14, with players returning from health and safety protocols in the past week.

“Just getting our legs under us,” Nathan MacKinnon said. “I don’t think anyone felt amazing tonight. Physicality, lungs, legs, whatever, it was a grind for sure, but we got it done.”

Anaheim, which was playing its third game after having three postponed, grabbed a 2-0 lead on goals by Sam Carrick in the first and Cam Fowler in the second.

Fowler missed Friday’s loss at Vegas with an upper-body injury suffered against Vancouver on Wednesday but was able to suit up Sunday. It wasn’t enough to avoid a fourth straight loss for the Ducks.

“I don’t think the guys felt like they brought everything they could in the Vegas game and (Sunday) we wanted to come in with a strong mindset,” Fowler said. “The compete level was there today, but that’s only going to take you so far. We’ve got to find ways to win these hockey games and earn a better fate. We expect better than just hanging around and being close.”

Josh Gibson made 32 saves and kept Colorado off the board until Devon Toews scored midway through the second period. Gabriel Landeskog tied it early in the third with his 10th of the season.

O’Connor broke the tie when he and MacKinnon came into the zone on an odd-man rush. MacKinnon passed it to O’Connor, who went to one knee to beat Gibson at 18:49. It was his sixth goal of the season.

“Once I saw the (defenseman) slide, Nate being on his forehand, I saw he could slide it across,” O’Connor said. “He made a real good play, got some good air on it. Great pass, great awareness.”

Gibson went off for an extra skater with a minute left, and Rantanen scored into the empty net, his team-leading 15th goal of the season.

“It’s one of those nights, we can sit and talk about how good we played for 58 minutes, but we lost the game,” Anaheim coach Dallas Eakins said. “It doesn’t feel very good.”

MORE COVID ISSUES

Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf entered the NHL health and safety protocols before the game while forward Maxime Comtois returned to the lineup from protocols.

Comtois missed the last two games while in protocols.

Eakins said he wasn’t sure if Getzlaf will have to stay in Denver.

“We’re looking into what options are available. They’re fairly limited,” he said.

NOTES: Avalanche F Valeri Nichushkin (upper body) was scratched with an injury but is not expected to miss much time. Defenseman Ryan Murray (upper body) missed his 10th straight game. … Ducks C Trevor Zagras, who was not in the lineup Sunday, was named the NHL rookie of the month for December. … MacKinnon had three assists to extend his points streak to 10 games.

UP NEXT

Ducks: Host Philadelphia on Tuesday night.

Avalanche: At Chicago on Tuesday night.

TOP INDIANA HEADLINES/RELEASES

Carr, Raiders beat Colts 23-20 to close in on playoff spot

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Derek Carr and Las Vegas lost a late touchdown on a replay reversal. They surrendered a TD on a fluke play. They committed the only two turnovers of the game.

And they won. Welcome to another high point of a roller-coaster season for the Raiders.

Carr directed Las Vegas to Daniel Carlson’s 33-yard field goal as time expired, and the Raiders beat Jonathan Taylor and the Indianapolis Colts 23-20 on Sunday to move one step closer to an AFC wild card.

Rallying after an embarrassing email scandal that led to coach Jon Gruden’s resignation, the Raiders (9-7) earned their third straight win. They can wrap up an improbable playoff spot with a victory over the Los Angeles Chargers next weekend.

“We’re finding a way to do it because we have the right kind of guys,” Carr said, “and there’s never been a doubt, there’s never a finger pointed, you know, at this or that, and this coach is not there, and all this kind … nobody cares.

“We have a bunch of guys that believe that and just keep going.”

After Michael Badgley kicked a tying 41-yard field goal for Indianapolis with 1:56 left, Carr and the Raiders got the ball back at their 25 after a touchback. Carr found Hunter Renfrow for 24 yards on third-and-10 in the final minute, setting the stage for Carlson’s fourth game-winning field goal of the season.

Renfrow’s clutch catch was originally ruled a touchdown after he got up and ran into the end zone, but the call was changed when a replay review showed he was touched down.

“I’m glad I was,” Renfrow said, “because then we were able to run the clock down and give Daniel another game-winning field goal.”

Carr threw two interceptions, giving him a career-high 14 on the season, but he also had 255 yards and a touchdown through the air. Zay Jones had eight receptions for 120 yards, and Renfrow finished with seven grabs for 76 yards.

It was Carr’s 29th career game-winning drive.

“I’m just wired, my mind, my heart, just that way, to love those moments,” Carr said.

Indianapolis (9-7) had won three straight and eight of 10 to move one win away from a postseason berth. But it couldn’t hold a second-half lead against Las Vegas.

“Disappointing loss, really disappointed we didn’t do what we had to do in front of our home fans and clinch a spot in the playoffs,” coach Frank Reich said.

Taylor finished with 20 carries for 108 yards and a touchdown. The NFL’s leading rusher broke Edgerrin James’ single-season franchise record of 1,709 yards rushing on a 9-yard carry midway through the third quarter. He has 1,734 yards to go with one game left in the league’s first 17-game season.

Carson Wentz was 16 of 27 for 148 yards and a touchdown, shaking off a slow start after he spent much of the week on the COVID-19 reserve list.

“Definitely one of the weirdest weeks of my NFL career if not the weirdest,” Wentz said. “But we’re good, locked in the virtual meetings. Just different, wouldn’t say that’s the reason for the performance or the reason we lost today by any means. Just a strange, strange week.”

Wentz got his touchdown pass on a fortunate bounce for Indianapolis on its first possession of the second half.

On first-and-10 at the Las Vegas 45, a scrambling Wentz threw the ball into a crowd at the goal line. Wide receiver Ashton Dulin and defensive backs Casey Hayward and Tre’von Moehrig all went up to make a play, and the ball popped up before landing in the arms of T.Y. Hilton for a 17-13 lead.

Hilton took a bow in the end zone after perhaps the easiest of his 53 career receiving touchdowns.

The Raiders went back in front on Carr’s 11-yard touchdown pass to Renfrow on fourth-and-2 with 11:18 left in the fourth. Carr scrambled to his right before throwing to an open Renfrow in the end zone.

“I can’t say enough about the chemistry between him and Derek,” interim Raiders coach Rich Bisaccia said, “and his ability to understand the field and get himself in open positions.”

TOUGH STRETCH

Las Vegas had a 10-3 lead late in the first half when a couple of mistakes helped keep the Colts in the game. Rookie guard Alex Leatherwood was flagged for a false start and Carlson sent a kickoff out of bounds, leading to Taylor’s 1-yard TD run with 1 second left.

INJURY REPORT

Colts: DB Xavier Rhodes departed with a hamstring injury.

REMEMBERING MADDEN

The Raiders played with a small “JM” sticker on the back of their helmets to honor Hall of Famer John Madden, who died this week at age 85. Madden coached the Raiders to a win in Super Bowl 11 before becoming the league’s most influential broadcaster.

A pregame tribute video drew a big cheer from the crowd, and there was a moment of silence in Madden’s memory.

UP NEXT

Raiders: Host the Los Angeles Chargers next Sunday.

Colts: Close out the regular season at Jacksonville next Sunday.

Mobley, Love help Cavaliers rally past Pacers 108-104

CLEVELAND (AP) Rookie Evan Mobley had 24 points and nine rebounds, Kevin Love scored 20 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers snapped a three-game losing streak with a 108-104 win over the Indiana Pacers on Sunday night.

Jarrett Allen scored 18 points and Lamar Stevens added a season-high 15 for Cleveland, which trailed 84-73 in the third quarter before going on a 17-0 run to take the lead for good. Love scored eight points in a row during the surge.

“Guys are all stepping up in different ways for us, like Lamar when we really needed it in the third quarter,” said Love, who has topped 20 points in five straight games. “We scrapped in the second half and we never really stepped back once we got started.”

Domantas Sabonis had 32 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists for the Pacers, and rookie Duane Washington Jr. scored a season-high 20 points. Indiana has dropped four straight overall and hasn’t won on the road since Nov. 22 in Chicago.

Washington drained a 3-pointer with eight seconds left to pull Indiana within 3 at 107-104, but Brandon Goodwin split a pair of free throws to restore the Cavaliers’ two-possession lead. Cleveland made 7 of 12 foul shots in the fourth quarter.

“Their run at the end of the third was the difference in the game, so that was tough,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. “I’m proud of the way the guys competed all night, which makes this a really disappointing result, given the effort that was given.”

Allen also grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked three shots, while the recently signed Goodwin had seven points and five assists. Cleveland lost shooting guard Isaac Okoro to a left elbow injury due to a pick by Sabonis on a screen.

Mobley, the third overall pick from USC, is averaging 20.8 points and shooting 63.3% from the field in four games since exiting the NBA’s health and safety protocols. He made 11 of 16 shots against Indiana.

“We want Evan to shoot the ball more because we believe it’s going in every time,” Allen said. “If he keeps being aggressive, we believe that’s going to help us keep winning games. We really needed this tonight to give us a boost.”

Justin Holiday scored 18 points on six 3-pointers, and 28-year-old rookie Keifer Sykes had 10 points and five assists in his first start for Indiana. Sykes played in South Korea, Turkey, Italy, China, Greece and Australia before signing with the Pacers on Dec. 27.

“Our defense was the reason it slipped away from us,” Holiday said. “Sometimes, you don’t always stay hot offensively, but a few more stops and we win the game.”

Pacers guard Caris LeVert and center Goga Bitadze were added to the safety protocols earlier in the day. They have seven players in the COVID-19 program, including Malcolm Brogdon, Chris Duarte and Jeremy Lamb.

HOMECOMING

Pacers guard Lance Stephenson signed a 10-day contract Saturday, one day after playing for the Atlanta Hawks in their 121-118 win in Cleveland. Stephenson, who is in his third stint with Indiana, was out of the NBA for two years before joining Atlanta on Dec. 22. “He’s worked incredibly hard for this opportunity, coming back first to the G League (with Grand Rapids),” Carlisle said. “I know he’s going to go at it full bore.”

TIP-INS

Pacers: No event was scheduled at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Saturday, allowing Indiana to hold a practice after arriving in Cleveland. “We went through some defensive stuff, offense and defensive stuff again,” Carlisle said. . F Justin Anderson appeared in three games with the Cavaliers before signing a 10-day contract Saturday. … Indiana has the second-worst road record in the East at 3-14 after losing its last five.

Cavaliers: G Darius Garland and F Cedi Osman remain in the COVID-19 protocols. Top scorer Garland missed his fourth straight game, while backup swingman Osman has sat out five in a row. . G Kevin Pangos had seven points in his third consecutive start at the point. The 28-year-old rookie spent the past six seasons playing in Europe. “Kevin has seen a lot and the moments aren’t too big for him,” coach J.B. Bickerstaff said.

UP NEXT

Pacers: Visit New York on Tuesday night.

Cavaliers: Host Memphis on Tuesday night.

INDIANA MEN’S BASKETBALL: Hoosiers Fall to Nittany Lions, 61-58, in B1G Return

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Once again, the road is Indiana’s unbeatable foe.

Once again, victory was there for the taking in a cliffhanger and wasn’t.

The Hoosiers (10-3 overall, 1-2 in the big Ten) lost the rebound battle by 10 (39-29), the three-point-shooting battle by seven (11 baskets to 4) and the game, 61-58, Sunday evening.

Indiana has lost three road games by two (in overtime), by five and by three.

“The difference was they made threes and we didn’t,” coach Mike Woodson told Voice of the Hoosiers Don Fischer on his post-game radio show. “We had some good looks and didn’t knock them down. We have been shooting them well.”

IU, which entered the game shooting 37 percent from three-point range, was just 4-for-17 (23.5 percent).

Penn State (6-5) was 11-for-22 from beyond the arc against a Hoosier squad that had held its previous opponents to 28 percent.

“That’s where the game was won for them,” Woodson told Fischer. “They made two or three against the shot clock.

“Defensively, we weren’t touching guys. We weren’t up making them feel us like we have in the past. That’s disappointing.”

Penn State’s 61 points matched what IU has allowed this season.

Woodson wanted more.

“I thought us impacting the game from a defensive standpoint,” Woodson told Fischer, “wasn’t good enough for me. “

Opportunity was there to snap a six-game road losing streak. But in the closing seconds, with a chance to force overtime, Rob Phinisee and Trayce Jackson-Davis missed three pointers.

Penn State had 11 offensive rebounds. Jackson-Davis finished with five rebounds in 33 minutes.

Woodson noticed, and wasn’t pleased.

“I point the finger straight at Trayce,” Woodson told Fischer. “He had five rebounds in 33 minutes. That’s not good enough.

“He’s got to rebound. That’s his job. He’s the biggest player we have. He has to be a double-double guy. I will make sure he knows that.”

IU trailed 27-26 at halftime as Penn State, focused on getting physical with Jackson-Davis behind 6-9, 240-pound John Harrar and help defense, limited him to just five shots (he made three for six points).

The Hoosiers, making just 2-for-9 on three-pointers, couldn’t make the Nittany Lions pay.

The second-half emphasis was clear – get Jackson-Davis more shots.

Mission accomplished.

In the first two minutes, Jackson-Davis scored five points (with two dunks) and had a steal.  He also passed to guard Xavier Johnson for a three-pointer.

In the end, Jackson-Davis scored 14 second-half points, and finished with 20.

It wasn’t enough.

The close score wasn’t a surprise. Nine of the last 12 games between these teams have been decided by five or fewer points.

Indiana had its two best practices of the season entering the game, but it didn’t show early.

“I didn’t think we had any juice starting out,” Woodson told Fischer.

“I thought we were ready to play. Give (Penn State) credit. Their defense was solid.

“They packed it in and made us make shots from the perimeter. We have to make shots from the perimeter. We’ve made them early on. Our three-point shooting has been pretty good, but tonight we couldn’t make them.”

IU attacked the paint from the start. Its first 8 points came from there, four by forward Race Thompson (who finished with nine points and 10 rebounds). Miller Kopp then hit a three-pointer. A short time later, Thompson added one of his own, his third of the season, as the Hoosiers pushed ahead 16-11.

A four-minute scoring drought enabled Penn State to take a 19-18 lead.

Indiana inched ahead 26-22 thanks to an 11-2 edge in points off turnovers. Penn State stayed close thanks to 5-for-10 three-point shooting, then went ahead 27-26. Anthony Leal missed an open three-pointer as the half ended.

Jackson-Davis took the first shot of the second half, but missed, then followed with a free throw, a dunk (set up by a Thompson offensive rebound) and another dunk (off his steal), then passed for Johnson’s three-pointer and a 34-31 lead.

A frustrated Penn State coach Micah Shrewsberry called a timeout and smashed his clipboard while making a point.

Consecutive IU turnovers led to consecutive Penn State three-pointers as the Nittany Lions surged ahead 39-36. A 13-2 run gave them a 46-38 lead. Jackson-Davis three-point play ended that run, but not Penn State momentum. It went ahead by 10.

Indiana ramped up the defense.

Phinisee helped spark a 9-0 run with consecutive baskets. IU closed within 51-50.

Jackson-Davis missed a layup for a 54-54 tie. Penn State grabbed five offensive rebounds in one possession and still couldn’t score.

Johnson hit a free throw. Phinisee drained a three-pointer. Jackson-Davis scored inside. IU trailed 59-58 and had the ball with 21 seconds left and a chance.

Jackson-Davis missed from inside. Penn State made a pair of free throws for a 61-58 lead with 13 seconds left.

Phinisee and Jackson-Davis missed three-pointers to end it.

IU plays again on Thursday when it hosts top-15 Ohio State.

INDIANA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: No. 8 Indiana Defeats No. 6 Maryland in Overtime

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – No. 8 Indiana held Maryland to just two overtime points as it pulled off the 70-63 victory in front of over 5,500 in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on Sunday afternoon.

KEY MOMENTS

The Hoosiers (11-3, 3-0 B1G) started the contest with buckets from junior forward Mackenzie Holmes, graduate student guard Nicole Cardaño-Hillary and graduate student guard Ali Patberg but were still down 9-8 to Maryland heading into the media timeout. 

With the shot clock winding down, senior forward Aleksa Gulbe hit a jumper to put Indiana within one. After letting the Terrapins (10-4, 2-1 B1G) pull ahead by seven, a pair of buckets from sophomore forward Kiandra Brown and senior guard Grace Berger put the Hoosiers within three to end the first quarter.

Indiana took its first lead of the game to open the second quarter as Cardaño-Hillary picked up the and-1. Despite letting Maryland score off a fast break turnover, Patberg drew the foul on the other end of the floor as the Hoosiers held a 25-23 advantage. A second chance layup by Holmes gave the Hoosiers its largest, 27-23.

Knotted at 27-27, Patberg and Cardaño-Hillary brought the lead back to four with back-to-back baskets that forced Maryland to call a timeout. With all the momentum on their side, Gulbe hit a pair at the line as the Hoosiers were ahead 33-27. With Maryland still knocking on the door, Indiana took a 33-29 lead into halftime.

Indiana opened the third quarter with Patberg hitting a pair of layups to give them the 39-34 lead. Despite letting Maryland retake control, a 3-pointer by Gulbe and a Terrapin turnover put Indiana back in front, 42-40. Cardaño-Hillary got the basket and the foul to end the third quarter tied at 45-45.

It was all Indiana to begin the fourth quarter play as the Hoosiers went on a 7-0 run to force Maryland to call a timeout. The Hoosiers saw buckets from Holmes and Patberg.

Indiana saw its largest lead of the afternoon, 56-47, with a jumper from Gulbe but the Terps wouldn’t go away quietly, tying it at 61-61 in the closing minutes, as IU couldn’t get the bucket to fall from Berger to end regulation.

Holmes got the offense going in the first overtime period put the Hoosiers on top. Berger followed it with a bucket as Indiana held Maryland to just two points in the overtime period.

NOTABLE

The win is the Hoosiers first ever against Maryland in their 12th all-time meeting.

Indiana extended their winning streak to six games this season and have won their last 12 Big Ten games.

Indiana won its third game of the season against a ranked team. The Hoosiers played their fifth game against a ranked opponent this season and their third game against a top-10 ranked team.

No opponent has scored more than 70 points against Indiana this season.

Maryland came into the game averaging 82.8 points per game and the Hoosiers held them to 63 points.

The Hoosiers defense did not allow Maryland a field goal in overtime and a total of two points in the five-minute session.

With Maryland leading 23-20 in the second quarter, the Hoosiers used a 7-0 run to go up 27-23.

Tied at 45-45 entering the fourth quarter Indiana scored the first seven points of the final period to jump to a 52-45 lead. Holmes scored four points and Ali Patberg had three. Indiana held Maryland scoreless until the 6:07 mark of the fourth quarter.

Holmes notched her third double-double of the season with 15 points and 14 rebounds.

Gulbe recorded her second double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

Patberg scored 18 points for the Hoosiers.

The Hoosiers starters scored 68 of the teams 70 points.

The Hoosiers improve to 15-14 all-time in overtime games and have won their last two. The last overtime game came against Wisconsin on Jan. 30, 2020, which Indiana won, 75-65.

In the Hoosiers last two overtime games, Indiana has allowed six points combined.

QUOTABLE

Indiana head coach Teri Moren

“Well Happy New Year to you guys. This is a great week for us obviously to start 2022. Real quick, I just again wanted to give a huge shoutout, and appreciation, and thank you to the fans who thought showed up in a big way today in Simon Skjodt to support our group. I think they got to see a really exciting women’s basketball game. You know, we’ve had a tough week with just our personnel being shorter than normal. Aleksa, even though she was playing today, she was a little sick, hadn’t been to practice the last three days and so we had sort of an unusual week, but it’s still a great week of preparation for Maryland. So, I’m just so happy for our kids. They had to play a lot of minutes today, especially those vets out there. I thought we were terrifically defensively, we got the lead there before overtime, had a couple miscues turning the ball over. But, I thought we had an opportunity to come out in overtime and get the win. Give our kids credit we controlled the pace, we wanted the game to be in the 60s, for them, for Maryland, really wanted to limit their shot opportunities. This is a team that really thrives on possessions, and they want to come down, they want to guard real quick, and hope that you’ll either turn it over, they’ll get the rebound, and then they want to come down because they have a lot of good scorers. And they want to try to score fast. We controlled the tempo, that’s what our goal was and I thought our kids executed the game plan almost near-perfect, except for the turnovers toward the end. I thought other than that, they did a really nice job and in overtime I thought they were terrific.”

UP NEXT

Indiana travels to Wisconsin on Wednesday night. Tipoff at Kohl Center is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.

PURDUE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Beats Rutgers At The Buzzer on Terry’s Winner

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – For the second time this season, Jeanae Terry walked it off for the Purdue women’s basketball team. On Sunday, the junior sank a contested layup as the horn sounded to lift the Boilermakers to a 60-58 win over Rutgers at Mackey Arena.

The last-second bucket gave head coach Katie Gearlds her first career win in the Big Ten. The Boilermakers are now 10-4 on the year and 1-2 in conference play.

Terry’s second buzzer beater of the year was set up by a key defensive stop with less than 10 seconds remaining, after Purdue surrendered a 21-point lead in the second half. Cassidy Hardin and Rokia Doumbia stymied a drive into the lane by Rutgers (7-8, 0-3) and forced a tie-up with 3.1 seconds remaining and the possession arrow in favor of the Boilermakers.

A quartet of Boilermakers – Terry, Abbey Ellis and Madison Layden – finished with 11 points, while Rickie Woltman added 10 points and eight rebounds. Purdue knocked down six 3-pointers in the first half but went 0-for-9 from behind the arc over the final 20 minutes.

Terry dished out six assists, as Purdue finished with 14 assists on 20 made field goals. The Boilermakers also finished 14-of-16 at the charity stripe, compared to a 14-of-18 mark by the Scarlet Knights. 

Purdue jumped ahead early with a quartet of 3-pointers in the first quarter. Layden drained a trio of early triples, totaling all 11 of her points in the opening 10 minutes.

The Boilermakers shot 40% from the field with six 3-pointers in the first half, building the lead to as many as 12 at the break.

Out of halftime, Purdue worked the ball around to go on a 13-2 run midway through the third with four different players jumping into the lead all the way out to 21 with 5:37 to play.  The Boilermakers built the lead up by going 7-of-8 at the line in the frame. Woltman and Terry fueled the run with traditional 3-point plays on back-to-back possessions.

Rutgers fought back, closing the third on a 13-4 run, seven points coming at the line, to make it an 11-point game going into the fourth. Following a Woltman layup with 9:10 to play in the fourth, the lid went on the basket for the Boilermakers. The Scarlet Knights roared back with 15-4 run to tie the game at 58-58 with 47 seconds remaining. Rutgers took advantage when four of Purdue’s five starts got into foul trouble in the third quarter,  which led to the Boilermakers committing five of their 15 turnovers in the final frame.

Purdue committed their final turnover with 31 seconds to play, giving Rutgers the opportunity to complete the 21-point comeback. Out of back-to-back timeouts, first by Rutgers followed by Purdue, the Boilermakers locked in defensively and never gave the Scarlet Knights any good look at the basket as time was ticking down.

The Boilermakers forced the turnover, setting up another thrilling game-winner by Terry.

DÉJÀ VU?

Terry’s game-winner was her second of the year, after a jumper in the lane against now-ranked No. 16 Georgia Tech went in for a 53-52 win in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Against the Yellow Jackets, Terry caught the sideline inbound pass with 3.9 seconds on the clock. On Sunday, the Detroit native ripped a similar drive to the lane with 3.1 seconds left and double-clutched the short layup to avoid tight defense by Rutgers’ post players.

QUOTE

Head coach Katie Gearlds …

She’s a gamer. She is built for those moments. She has the mentality and doesn’t shrink from moments like that. She wants it. She has that edge and that’s how she carries herself. I’m glad she’s on our team. We struggled getting defensive stops. We kept chipping away. When we got stops, they got offensive rebounds. I thought they did a really good job. Getting the stop at the end and having the chance to tie it up was huge. It’s what we needed confidence-wise.

NOTES

• Purdue snapped a five-game skid against Rutgers and trails the all-time series 8-6.

• Woltman turned away three shots on the afternoon, one shy of her career high.

• The Boilermaker have won all 10 of their games when assisting on at least 60% of their made field goals.

• Abbey Ellis pulled within 41 points of joining the 1,000-point club for her career.

• Purdue now has 897 wins, three away from joining the 900-win club in NCAA Division I.

• Rutgers held the Boilermakers to just eight points in the fourth quarter, outscoring the hosts 17-8 in the period.

• The Boilermakers won a game without making seven or more 3-pointers for just the second time this season, joining the win against Georgia Tech with 2 triples.

• Purdue won with more turnovers than assists for the third time this season.

• Cassidy Hardin matched her career high with six rebounds, as she snapped a string of four straight games with double-digit points, finishing with eight.

UP NEXT

The Boilermakers will have the week off until they square off with Michigan State next Sunday on the road. Tipoff is slated for 2 p.m. on B1G+.

PURDUE MEN’S BASKETBALL: No. 3 Purdue Opens the New Year Against No. 24 Wisconsin

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Ringing in the 2022 calendar year, the No. 3-ranked Purdue men’s basketball team resumes Big Ten play with a big challenge at Mackey Arena, as No. 24-ranked Wisconsin visits West Lafayette for a Monday night showdown. Both teams enter with a 1-1 league record after splitting their December games and look to create some momentum heading into the heart of the league schedule over the next two months.

Purdue enters the contest with an 12-1 record while Wisconsin is 10-2 overall, having won eight of its last nine games.

The contest will be televised on the Big Ten Network with Brandon Gaudin, Robbie Hummel and Andy Katz 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 12-1 for just the fourth time under head coach Matt Painter, also reaching 11-1 (or better) in 2015-16 (13-1), 2010-11 (15-1) and 2009-10 (14-1). It marks Purdue’s seventh start of 12-1 or better since the 1979-80 season.

2) Purdue recorded just its fourth season of being unbeaten in non-conference play since the 1939-40 campaign with a 104-90 win over Nicholls. Purdue went unbeaten in non-conference play in 2021-22 (11-0), 2009-10 (12-0), 1993-94 (12-0) and 1992-93 (9-0).

3) Only three teams have records of 3-0 or better in quad-1 games (Providence 5-0, Purdue 3-0, Baylor 3-0).

4) Purdue has been ranked in the AP top-3 in six straight weeks, the longest streak in America (new poll came out after completion of notes).

5) Since the start of the 2014-15 season, Purdue is 19-6 at Mackey Arena against nationally-ranked teams.

6) Purdue has scored at least 40 points in 16 of the 26 halves played this year. It has shot at least 50.0 percent from the field in 17 halves.

7) It will be a reunion of sorts for Purdue’s Jaden Ivey and Caleb Furst and Wisconsin’s Johnny Davis. The trio helped USA Basketball to the FIBA Under-19 World Cup title in Latvia this past July.

8) Both Purdue and Wisconsin are continuing impressive fall sports seasons for their respective schools. Purdue and Wisconsin are the only schools in America to have won an NCAA Volleyball match, an NCAA Women’s Soccer match and their respective Bowl Game in football.

9) Matt Painter needs four wins to tie Ward “Piggy” Lambert (371) for second place on the Purdue career victories list. Painter also needs one Big Ten win to tie Michigan State’s Jud Heathcote for seventh (182) on the all-time Big Ten wins list.

SERIES WITH THE BADGERS

• Monday’s contest with Wisconsin resumes Big Ten play after both teams played two games during the first week of December, with both squads winning at home and losing on the road.

• The Boilermakers own a 111-72 series lead against Wisconsin, including a 42-4 mark at Mackey Arena. Wisconsin’s wins came during the 1971-72, 2004-05, 2011-12 and 2013-14 seasons. Wisconsin did win its last game in Mackey Arena — defeating North Carolina in last year’s NCAA Tournament first-round contest.

• Monday’s game will likely mark the seventh time during the Painter era both teams will be ranked entering the contest. The Boilermakers own a 4-2 series lead when both teams are ranked.

• In fact, during the Painter era, either Purdue or Wisconsin has been ranked in all but five of the previous 25 games.

NOTRE DAME HOCKEY: BISCHEL, BURKE AND JANICKE LEAD #10 IRISH TO 5-0 WIN OVER NIAGARA

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The 10th-ranked Fighting Irish bounced back after a loss Saturday night to dominate Niagara for a 5-0 victory at Compton Family Ice Arena (3,374) Sunday evening.

Trevor Janicke and Cam Burke led the Irish offense. Each scored a pair of goals. Burke tallied Notre Dame’s first goal in the final minute of the first period and added his second goal in the second period. Janicke added two of his own in the second period, and sophomore Zach Plucinski scored his first goal of the season in the third.

Eight different Notre Dame players added an assist in the contest, including goalie Ryan Bischel. The Irish offense tested Niagara for the full 60 minutes, outshooting the Purple Eagles 44-19.

Bischel earned his first career shutout in the victory. The junior tallied 19 saves, nine of which came in the second period.

Notre Dame improves to 13-6 with the victory.

The Irish power play was 1-for-4 on the night, and the penalty kill held Niagara to an 0-for-6 mark.

How It Happened

The Irish had the game’s first handful of chances, including a Trevor Janicke shot from the slot that went just wide and a Jack Adams backhander from in close that Chad Veltri made a pad stop on.

Midway through the first, Notre Dame goaltender Ryan Bischel made a save on Brandon Stanley to shut down a 2-on-1 chance.

With 40 seconds left in the first Burke opened the scoring with his fifth of the year, slamming home a rebound in front after Veltri made a save on a Ryder Rolston chance. Grant Silianoff set Rolston up in front for the initial chance to earn the second assist.

The Irish then scored three more goals in the first 7:18 of the second period to extend the lead to 4-0 after 40 minutes.

Trevor Janicke scored his first of the night at 2:06 when he cleaned up a rebound at the back post after Solag Bakich had brought the puck hard to the net.

Burke then scored a shorthanded goal at 5:07 to extend the lead to 3-0, after he took the a Bischel clear and scored on the breakaway chance.

Jake Sibell relieved Chad Veltri in the Niagara net after Burke’s second of the night.

Janicke netted his second of the night, crashing the net for a power-play goal at 7:18 with the assists going to Grant Silianoff and Chase Blackmun. 

Notre Dame’s penalty killing unit came up big later in the period, killing off 1:40 of a Niagara 5-on-3 chance.

In the third, the Irish added another goal, this from Plucinski. Max Ellis’s shot was set up off of a pass from Spencer Stastney. The shot was deflected straight towards Plucinski who buried his chance to pick up his first goal of the season.

Notes

Notre Dame improved to 9-4-0 this season at home and to 9-1-0 when scoring first.

Senior forward Cam Burke scored his fifth and sixth goals of the season, marking a single season career high total (his previous high was four goals as a freshman and junior).

Burke’s second of the night was his first career shorthanded goal.

Burke now has two career two-goal games and three multi-point games.

Trevor Janicke tied his career high with two goals (fourth career two-goal game).

Janicke now has eight career multi-point games.

Ryan Bischel notched his first career shutout with 19 saves and added his first career assist.

Next Up

Notre Dame returns to Big Ten play next weekend with a two-game series at Penn State (Jan. 7-8).

Friday’s game is set for 7 p.m. ET, while Saturday is slated for 5 p.m. ET and both games will be available on Big Ten Network Plus. 

NOTRE DAME WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: #17 IRISH FALL SHORT IN FINAL SECONDS AT #15 DUKE, 72-70

DURHAM, N.C. – Down two with under 20 seconds to play, the No. 17 Notre Dame women’s basketball team (11-3, 2-1) had three attempts in the paint to hit the equalizer against No. 15 Duke (10-2, 1-1), but none of the shots would fall, as the Blue Devils pulled off a late rally to escape with a 72-70 victory.

The Irish led by nine points at the start of the fourth and by six with five minutes remaining but couldn’t hang on. Duke hit four of their 10 made three pointers in the fourth, shooting 10-of-20 from three for the game. Duke’s Elizabeth Balogun had a game-high 27 points.

Notre Dame was led by Maya Dodson, who went 13-of-23 for 26 points, plus a near double-double with a team-high nine rebounds. Dodson becomes the first Irish player since Arike Ogunbowale (27 vs. Georgia Tech, 2/11/18; 27 at Virginia, 2/15/18) to register back-to-back games with 25 or more points.

Notre Dame’s two freshmen, Olivia Miles and Sonia Citron, also recorded double-digit scoring performances with 13 and 14 points, respectively.

Notre Dame outshot Duke 52.4 percent to 50, plus outrebounded the Blue Devils 34-27.

How It Happened

Basketball is a game of runs and this very game exemplified that. Duke fired off a quick 7-0 run in the opening minutes as Notre Dame found itself in an early 10-4 hole. Sam Brunelle registered two of the next three baskets to spur the Irish offense. Later Citron scored five of the team’s last seven points in the quarter, including a deep buzzer-beating three which gave the Irish a 19-16 lead.

Duke’s Elizabeth Balogun started the second quarter with back-to-back treys, but the Irish responded with an 8-0 run over an 80-second span, claiming a 27-22 lead. Duke fired back with seven straight points from 4:21-3:08, only for the Irish to punch back with a 7-0 run themselves to go up 38-33.

The Irish ultimately took a 40-37 lead into the break as both teams shot just over 55 percent in the half. Maya Dodson led at the half with 12 points, followed by 11 from Miles and nine from Citron.

Peoples and Dodson combined for a quick six points to jumpstart the second half and build Notre Dame’s lead to 46-37 at 8:04. However, Duke rallied with a 11-0 scoring run which prompted a Coach Ivey timeout, now down 48-46 at 4:31. Dodson’ 18th point of the contest got the Irish back on track and ended the four-minute drought.

Enter, Dara Mabrey who took over in the final two minutes of the third. The senior scored seven straight, kicking it off with a momentous three-pointer, and even took a charge down on the defensive end. As a result, Notre Dame took a 55-48 lead into the fourth.

However, that’s when Duke got hit, ultimately hitting 10-of-16 in the quarter. Duke’s Balogun and Miela Goodchild combined for 16 of the team’s 24 points. The Irish had a 70-68 lead with 90 seconds remaining but Balogun had the final four points of the contest. With 15.5 seconds on the clock, Notre Dame ball, the Irish were able to get three attempts off but none would fall.

Up Next

The Irish head home and have a week to prepare for No. 5 NC State. That contest is scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 9, at 2 p.m. ET, airing live on ACC Network.

INDIANA STATE MEN’S BASKETBALL: Shorthanded Sycamores Extend Homecourt Streak to 11 with a 76-71 Victory over Bradley

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Redshirt junior Cooper Neese hit a deep three as the shot clock expired and with 12 seconds remaining to help Indiana State basketball to a 76-71 victory over Bradley Sunday afternoon at Hulman Center. The win pushed ISU’s home winning streak to 11 games as the Sycamores improved to 8-6 overall and 1-1 in Missouri Valley Conference play.

Down three starters (Bledson, Henry and Wilbar) due to COVID-19 protocols, ISU picked up strong efforts from Neese and freshman Micah Thomas (18) who led ISU in scoring. A Cloverdale, Indiana native, Neese shot 5-for-10 from deep and came away with several baskets at the end of possessions en route to 12 second-half points. Thomas was hot at the end of the first half, scoring ISU’s last five points, including a 3-pointer as time expired to give the Sycamores a 43-41 lead heading to the locker room.

With his five made baskets from deep, Neese moved into a tie with Chad Adkins (1996-99) for eighth all-time in career 3-pointers (149). Guard Tyreke Key sits in seventh with 153 career threes.

Zach Hobbs added 14 points and a career-high nine rebounds while Kailex Stephens put in 14 points and secured four rebounds. Not as flashy in the box score, but someone that changed the game drastically was guard Julian Larry. The Frisco, Texas native scored eight points, grabbed four rebounds, and assisted on two ISU makes. On the defensive end, Larry held Bradley’s best player — Terry Roberts – 8-for-18 shooting and 19 points.

A back-and-forth game early Bradley was able to take advantage of seven early turnovers, turning the ISU miscues into 14 points in the first half. The Braves used an 8-0 run to push their lead to 32-21 with 7:32 remaining in the half before ISU began to chip away at the deficit. Fueled by the defense, ISU was able to go on a 9-0 run that saw baskets made by Neese, Thomas, Hobbs as well as two free throws from Larry to force a BU timeout.

Hobbs put ISU out in front 33-32 with his third 3-pointer of the half on a fast-break basket before Bradley was able to end the run.

The Sycamores struggled out of halftime as Bradley scored seven of the first nine points to regain control. The shorthanded Sycamores continued to battle before Neese ignited an 8-0 run with a 3-pointer. Stephens capped off the run with an and-one opportunity on a turnaround jumper to put ISU ahead 58-50.

Bradley adjusted and went to a 2-3 zone on the defensive end, and it worked as the Sycamore offense was held at bay and the Braves chipped away at the lead eventually going on top 60-58. Hobbs once again came up with a shot from deep to pull ISU to within one point at 62-61 at the 7:28 mark.

Neese tied the game with 4:49 left to play before Larry put ISU ahead for the final time with a layup on the break with 4:04 remaining. BU connected on a 3-pointer to cut the Sycamore lead to 68-66 with 2:29 but Neese would hit two more shots from behind the arc and Thomas iced the game with free throws to give first-year head coach Josh Schertz his first career win in the MVC.

ISU struggled with Bradley’s size as the Braves outrebounded ISU 43-33, but stout defense in the second half was the difference as ISU held the BU to 34.3 percent (12-35) from the field in the final 20 minutes.

Roberts led Bradley with 19 points and six assists, while also adding seven rebounds. Malevy Leons registered a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds, while Connor Hickman also scored in double figures with 10 points.

ISU wraps up its five-game homestand Wednesday evening when the Sycamores host rival Evansville at 7 p.m. ET. Fans wishing to purchase tickets can do so by clicking HERE, by calling 877-ISU-TIXS, or by visiting the Hulman Center Ticket Office.

IUPUI WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: JAGUARS DEFEAT RAIDERS IN SUNDAY MATINEE, 77-62

INDIANAPOLIS – The IUPUI women’s basketball team defeated conference opponent Wright State on Sunday afternoon, 77-62. Redshirt senior Rachel McLimore led the Jags with a season-high 26 points, 21 of those coming in the first half. Macee Williams followed with 21 points and 14 rebounds, while sophomore Rachel Kent added 15 points, five rebounds and five assists. Madison Wise had nine points and six rebounds.

“Today was important for us to start fast because of the last few slow starts,” said head coach Austin Parkinson. “Rachel McLimore was tremendous on both ends of the floor.”

IUPUI started the game off strong and took the lead early scoring 24 points in the first quarter. Wright State was unable to take the lead as the Jags led for 97.9 percent of the game. IUPUI took their largest lead of 28 with 9:13 left in the fourth quarter.

Starter Natalie Andersen added two points, five rebounds and two assists. Anna Mortag and Alli Berg came off the bench and each added two points and three rebounds.

The Jags finished the game at 44.3 percent (27-for-61) from the floor and 30.4 percent (7-for-23) from behind the arc while holding the Raiders to just 39.7 percent (23-58) from the floor. The Jags outrebounded the Raiders 47-28. IUPUI also totaled five steals and 13 assists.

“We defended well for three quarters which was probably the difference in the game,” said Parkinson.

IUPUI will play back-to-back conference games at the Jungle on Jan. 6 and Jan. 8. The Jags face Green Bay on Thursday (Jan. 6) with tip off at 7:00 p.m. and then take on Milwaukee on Saturday (Jan. 8) at 2:00 p.m. Game coverage for both games with be on ESPN+.

EVANSVILLE MEN’S BASKETBALL: UE men drop MVC road opener at UNI

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa. – Playing close to his hometown of Minnetonka, Minnesota, sophomore Blaise Beauchamp scored a career-high 14 points as the University of Evansville men’s basketball team dropped an 83-61 game to Northern Iowa on Sunday afternoon inside the McLeod Center.

Beauchamp knocked down four triples in the contest for the Purple Aces (4-9, 0-2 MVC).  His scoring mark led the way for UE while Evan Kuhlman was 4-for-6 from the field on his way to 12 points while Jawaun Newton scored 11.  Noah Frederking grabbed seven rebounds while Shamar Givance picked up five assists.  UNI (5-7, 1-1 MVC) was led by an 18-point effort from AJ Green.

The opening five points of the day belonged to the Panthers before a drive by Antoine Smith Jr. put UE on the board at the 17:26 mark.  Blaise Beauchamp followed that up with back-to-back triples to give Evansville its first lead at 8-5 less than two minutes later.  UNI countered with an 8-0 stretch of their own with AJ Green capping it off with a triple to make it a 13-8 game with 14:16 on the clock.

Over the next nine minutes, Northern Iowa added to its lead, taking it largest advantage of the half at 30-15 with 5:40 remaining.  With momentum on the Panthers side, the Aces clawed their way back into it over the final minutes.  Noah Frederking got it started with his first triple of the game before Evan Kuhlman and Beauchamp hit 3-pointers to cut the deficit to single digits (33-24) inside of the 3-minute point.

Five points by Shamar Givance inside the final minutes helped Evansville get even closer, cutting the gap to five (38-33) before UNI settled for a 40-33 edge at halftime.  Green led all players with 13 tallies in the half while Beauchamp paced UE with 12.

A 10-0 run opened the second stanza for UNI as they took a 50-33 lead with 17:38 left in the game.  Evansville chopped the deficit to as few as 14 points before the Panthers took would finish the day with the 83-61 decision.  UNI shot 54.7% in the game while going 11-for-22 from outside.  Evansville shot 40% from the field while knocking down nine triples.

Next up for UE is another road contest on Wednesday evening in Terre Haute when the Aces take on Indiana State.

EVANSVILLE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Feit records double-double as Aces battle in loss at No. 21 Iowa

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Battling the 21st team in the nation while short-handed, the University of Evansville women’s basketball team challenged the Hawkeyes in a 93-56 loss to No. 21 Iowa on the road in Iowa City, Iowa on Sunday morning.

“I’m really, really proud of our team. Tough turnaround to play two games in less than 24 hours, short-handed and missing a couple of starters,” said Aces head women’s basketball coach Robyn Scherr-Wells. “We played very poorly yesterday at Drake and I’m just really proud of our players for bouncing back and choosing to be really, really tough today against a top 25 team. I thought we came out and competed really hard. We did run out of a little bit of gas there in the second half, but really proud of the effort of our players and, I think, for us as a young team this is something we needed to go through and I think it will pay dividends for us down the road.”

Recording the 50th double-figure game of her career, junior Abby Feit powered the Aces offense with a double-double of 22 points and 10 boards. Also finishing in double-digits for UE was junior Je’Naiya Davis, who poured-in 14, while senior Myia Clark (nine points) and freshman Elly Morgan (eight points) each finished just shy of double-figures. For the Hawkeyes, sophomore Caitlin Clark led the way, leading all scorers with 44 points on 18-of-26 shooting.

In the opening quarter, Evansville matched the Hawkeyes shot-for-shot leading into the media timeout. Feit was the early catalyst for the Aces offensive successes, scoring eight of Evansville’s first 10 points and helping UE stay get back within six after a small run from Iowa. As the quarter progressed, Iowa began to find its rhythm with Clark doing much of the damage as part of her 14 first quarter points as the Hawkeyes lead was 26-15 after one period.

The lead grew larger for Iowa in the early moments of the second quarter as the Hawkeyes opened with a 13-2 run to increase their lead to 22 at 39-17 with 5:24 left in the half. Evansville would put a stop to Iowa’s run by the hands of Davis, who splashed home back-to-back threes, quickly getting Evansville back within 16. An important stretch for the Aces evolved over the final five minutes of the half as Evansville showcased its suffocating defensive effort, holding the Hawkeyes scoreless for the final 4:24 of the second quarter and going on a 10-0 run to close the gap to 41-30 at the break.

There was no change in the flow of the game in the third quarter as both teams went on runs. Iowa opened the quarter by increasing its lead back to 22 just shy of the midway point in the period. The Aces had another run in them, doing what they did to close the second quarter, diminishing Iowa’s lead to 14 at 56-42. Iowa returned the favor with a run of its own to the tune of 17-1 as the Hawkeyes grabbed a 30-point lead with 10 minutes remaining.

Evansville’s effort never waned as its legs grew heavy in the final 10 minutes, continuing to generate opportunities as the Hawkeyes solidified the 93-56 win.

Evansville ends a 27-day stretch on the road with a home Conference weekend against Bradley and Illinois State on January 7 and 9 inside Meeks Family Fieldhouse in Evansville.

VALPO MEN’S BASKETBALL: Five Beacons Reach Double Figures as Valpo Fends Off Illinois State to Resume MVC Action

Missouri Valley Conference play resumed in a manner that was only fitting in a league known for its down-to-the-wire contests on Sunday afternoon at the Athletics-Recreation Center.

The Valparaiso University men’s basketball team began the continuous portion of the conference slate in a stressful yet satisfying manner by outlasting visiting Illinois State 81-76 in overtime. The game was the latest nail-biter in a head-to-head series that has featured no shortage of drama since Valpo joined The Valley.

How It Happened

Fifth-year senior Eron Gordon (Indianapolis, Ind. / Cathedral [Seton Hall]) started a breakout shooting day in style as he accounted for the team’s first two baskets including a made 3-pointer 2:30 into the contest to help Valpo out to a 7-2 lead.

After Illinois State closed to within two at 13-11 with 13:40 left in the first half, Valpo scored seven straight points including a Gordon triple, a Ben Krikke (Edmonton, Alberta, Candada [Jasper Place]) steal & slam and a Sheldon Edwards (West Palm Beach, Fla. / Palm Beach Lakes [TLAP Sports Academy]) transition hoop.

Gordon fed Krikke for another dunk at the 11:45 mark, then Gordon knocked down his third 3 of the half with 8:48 on the clock. A tip-in by Gordon as the horn sounded to end the first half helped the Beacons enter the locker room leading 39-31.

Kevion Taylor (Milwaukee, Wis. / Whitnall [Winona State]) made his first trey of the night with 17:43 left in the second half to up the lead to nine. The two teams exchanged baskets for several minutes before Illinois State scored five straight points to pull to within three with 12:34 remaining. Valpo eventually worked the lead back up to nine on a Taylor triple with 9:56 left.

After a pair of made free throws by Kobe King (La Crosse, Wis. / La Cross Central) with 49 seconds to go in regulation, Valpo held a four-point lead. Illinois State’s Antonio Reeves buried a crucial 3 with 40 ticks remaining to shrink the lead to one at 70-69, then a Valpo turnover gave the Redbirds an opportunity to shoot for the lead.

A foul by Valpo with seven seconds on the clock sent Illinois State to the foul line, but the Redbirds missed the second of two free throws to keep the game tied at 70. Valpo turned it over with less than a second remaining, and the clock reached all zeros with nothing decided and the game level at 70. 

Illinois State won the jump and scored on the opening possession of overtime to take its first lead of the game. Edwards hit a go-ahead 3 with 2:22 to go, then Valpo got a stop and Trevor Anderson (Stevens Point, Wis. / SPASH [Wisconsin]) laid one in to extend the lead to three.

Illinois State scored with 57 seconds remaining to trim the lead to one on a basket created by a Valpo turnover, but four made free throws by Edwards sandwiched around a defensive stop for the Beacons helped the hosts hold on for the victory.

Inside the Game

Valpo prevailed despite playing short-handed with two players including one starter unavailable due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

Valpo boasted five players in double figures – Krikke (18), Anderson (14), Gordon (13), King (12) and Edwards (12). This marked the first time Valpo had five players in double figures this season and first since Jan. 28, 2021 vs. Bradley.

Valpo played its second overtime game of the season and improved to 1-1 in such contests. The last OT win for the Beacons prior to Sunday was the aforementioned Jan. 28, 2021 game vs. Bradley, a 91-85 victory.

Valpo extended its head-to-head winning streak against Illinois State to eight. Valpo is 8-1 against the Redbirds since joining The Valley. Three of the last four matchups have been decided by five points or fewer.

Krikke’s 18 points marked the sixth time in 11 games this season that he has finished with 17 or more. Krikke scored 12 of his 18 before halftime.

Gordon paced the team on the glass with a season-high eight rebounds while also scoring in double figures for the first time this season with 13. His points came on an efficient 5-of-8 shooting. He has more made 3s over his last two games (four) than he did in the first 12 (3). His points all came in the first half.

Anderson’s 14 points allowed him to finish in double figures for the third time in the last four games, the seventh time in the last nine and the ninth time overall this season. He went 5-of-6 on 2-point shots.

King had 12 points or more for the fourth time in five games, while Edwards enjoyed his 11th double-figure scoring output of the season.

Krikke led the team in scoring for the team-high fifth time this season and the 17th time in his career, while Gordon was the team’s top rebounder for the first time this season after holding that distinction 11 times a year ago.

Valpo went a perfect 16-of-16 at the free-throw line. That marked the second time in the last four games Valpo has enjoyed a perfect day at the charity stripe after going 14-of-14 on Dec. 11 vs. Charlotte. The Charlotte game was Valpo’s first perfect day at the stripe since February 2018 vs. Evansville (5-for-5) and first with at least 10 attempts since Nov. 17, 2016 at Oregon (14-of-14).

Valpo became just the sixth team in the nation this season with a perfect free-throw shooting game with a minimum of 15 attempts.

The Beacons are the only team in The Valley this season with a perfect free-throw shooting showing with more than seven attempts, and Valpo has now turned the trick twice.

By virtue of his two made triples, Taylor extended his streak to 77 consecutive games with a made 3.

Anderson tied a season high by handing out a team-high six assists for the second consecutive game. He also had six helpers in the final outing before Christmas on Dec. 22 vs. William & Mary.

Illinois State pulled down 18 offensive rebounds, the most Valpo has given up in a game this season.

Valpo forced 17 turnovers, the fifth time in the last six games they’ve forced 16 or more.

Valpo held Illinois State to just 5-of-21 (23.8 percent) from beyond the arc including 0-of-4 in overtime.

Valpo improved to 18-11 (.621) when playing on Sundays under head coach Matt Lottich, its best wining percentage on any day of the week during the Lottich Era. Unfortunately, this was the team’s final Sunday game of the regular season.

Antonio Reeves (24) and Sy Chatman (23) accounted for 62 percent of Illinois State’s scoring.

Postgame Press Conference

Up Next

Valpo (8-6, 1-1) will continue MVC play on Wednesday, Jan. 5 at UNI in a game that will begin at 8 p.m. Central Time in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The game will be televised regionally as part of the MVC TV Network package and will air on NBC Sports Chicago. In addition, the Valpo Sports Network will have the hometown radio call. Links to live coverage will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.

VALPO WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Battles in Setback at Missouri State

The Valpo women’s basketball team knocked down 11 3-pointers on Sunday and held a Missouri State team receiving votes in both national top-25 polls to under 30% shooting, while Olivia Brown (East Grand Rapids, Mich./East Grand Rapids [St. Bonaventure]) enjoyed her best game in the Valpo uniform. The Lady Bears came out victorious in the end, 74-62.

How It Happened

Valpo held the Lady Bears to just one field goal in the first four-plus minutes and owned an early 5-4 lead behind a Brown 3-pointer and an inside basket from Leah Earnest (Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH).

The Beacons were held off the board over the final 5:39 of the opening quarter as the Lady Bears scored eight straight points to lead 12-5 at the end of the first.

Grace White (Redby, Minn./Red Lake [Denver]) scored the first five points of the second period to cut Valpo’s deficit to two points.

As Valpo’s defense held Missouri State to just four points over the first six minutes of the second quarter, Brown and Shay Frederick (Greenville, Wis./Hortonville) hit on 3-pointers, the latter with 4:40 to play in the half tying the game at 16-all.

The score was 18-apiece with 2:56 to play in the first half after a pair of White free throws, but the Lady Bears closed the half on a 12-3 run — including a buzzer-beating 3-pointer — to take a 30-21 lead into halftime.

Frederick drove for a layup on Valpo’s first possession of the third quarter, but that was immediately followed by a 14-2 MSU run over the next five minutes as the Lady Bears extended their lead to its apex at 19 points.

Brown helped curb the Lady Bears’ momentum with three 3-pointers over a stretch of three minutes, and when Caitlin Morrison (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South) connected on a triple inside the final minute of the period, Valpo was within 52-39 with 10 minutes remaining.

Missouri State scored on its first possession of the fourth quarter. Valpo came right back with a bucket from Brown, and in the midst of getting four consecutive defensive stops, converted offensively with an Earnest basket and a Frederick 3-pointer to close to within 54-46 with 6:36 to play.

The Lady Bears scored on their next trip, however, to push their lead back to double digits. The Beacons cut the deficit to single digits once more on a pair of White free throws with 4:41 remaining, but MSU scored on each of its next three possessions and Valpo would get no closer.

Inside the Game

Morrison matched a pair of school records on Sunday as she made the 125th appearance and the 121st start of her Valpo career. The 125 appearances move her into a tie with Kathryn Knoester for the most in program history, while the 121 starts ties Meredith Hamlet atop that chart. Morrison will look to set new marks in both categories on Friday evening.

Brown posted by far her best game in the Valpo uniform to date on Sunday afternoon. The junior went 8-of-10 from the field and was 5-for-6 from behind the arc for a game-high 21 points. It was the fourth 20+ point effort of her career, but her first in the Brown and Gold.

Frederick added 14 points and went 4-for-6 from 3-point range, setting a season high for made triples. She also handed out three assists, the first of which was the 400th of her career.

Earnest joined Brown and Frederick in double figures with 10 points and grabbed six rebounds, while White was a perfect 7-of-7 from the foul line in a 9-point, 8-rebound effort.

As a team, Valpo was 11-for-22 from the 3-point line on Sunday. It marks the fourth time this season the Beacons have hit at least 10 3-pointers, and it’s the first time the team has connected on at least 50% from behind the arc since going 15-for-20 from deep last Feb. 27 at Southern Illinois.

The 62 points Valpo scored were the third most given up this season by Missouri State, trailing just outputs from Virginia Tech and LSU.

Meanwhile, Valpo’s defense limited Missouri State to 29.7% shooting (19-of-64) from the field and just 2-for-22 from 3-point range. It was the Lady Bears’ second-worst shooting performance of the season and their lowest number of 3-pointers made.

It was the first time Valpo held an opponent below 30% shooting since limiting Illinois State to 28.8% from the floor last Jan. 15. It also was the worst 3-point shooting performance by a Valpo foe since the Lady Bears matched the 9.1% clip from deep last Jan. 30.

The free throw line proved to be the difference, however. MSU was sent to the stripe 41 times and went 34-for-41, while Valpo was just 9-of-11. The 41 attempts and 34 makes from the charity stripe were both the most by a Valpo opponent since March 1, 2020.

Valpo once again was without the services of head coach Mary Evans, who missed this weekend’s games due to being in the University’s COVID-19 protocol, and non-conference leading scorer Carie Weinman, who missed the weekend due to injury.

Next Up

Valpo (2-11, 0-2 MVC) returns home to the ARC next weekend to host a pair of games, beginning with a matchup against UNI Friday evening at 6 p.m. The game is part of the conference-selected Valley on ESPN package and can be seen live on ESPN3, with Connor Onion and Laura Leonard on the call. All spectators and workers in attendance must wear masks per University policy.

TV MONDAY:

COLLEGE BASKETBALLTIME ETTV
TOWSON AT DREXEL6:00PMCBSSN
WEST VIRGINIA AT TCU7:00PMESPNU
WISCONSIN AT PURDUE7:00PMBTN
UTRGV AT SAM HOUSTON7:30PMESPN+
UNCW AT HOFSTRA8:00PMCBSSN
MARYLAND AT IOWA9:00PMBTN
COLORADO AT OREGON10:00PMPAC12N
NBATIME ETTV
HOUSTON AT PHILADELPHIA7:00PMATTSN-SW
NBCS-PHI
CHARLOTTE AT WASHINGTON7:00PMBALLY SPORTS
NBCS-WSH
MEMPHIS AT BROOKLYN7:30PMNBATV
BALLY SPORTS
YES
DETROIT AT MILWAUKEE8:00PMBALLY SPORTS
ORLANDO AT CHICAGO8:00PMBALLY SPORTS
NBCS-CHI
UTAH AT NEW ORLEANS8:00PMATTSN-RM
BALLY SPORTS
DENVER AT DALLAS8:30PMBALLY SPORTS
ALT
MIAMI AT GOLDEN STATE10:00PMNBATV
NBCS-BAY
BALLY SPORTS
ATLANTA AT PORTLAND10:00PMROOT SPORTS
BALLY SPORTS
MINNESOTA AT LA CLIPPERS10:30PMBALLY SPORTS
NFLTIME ETTV
CLEVELAND AT PITTSBURGH8:15PMESPN
NHLTIME ETTV
EDMONTON AT NY RANGERS7:00PMSPORTSNET
MSG
MINNESOTA AT OTTAWA7:30PMBALLY SPORTS
SPORTSNET

NFL STANDINGS

AMERICAN FOOTBALL CONFERENCE
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
XY-TENNESSEE TITANS1150.6880.03913297 – 2 – 04 – 3 – 07 – 4 – 04 – 1 – 02 W
XY-KANSAS CITY CHIEFS1150.6880.04523407 – 2 – 04 – 3 – 06 – 5 – 04 – 1 – 01 L
XY-CINCINNATI BENGALS1060.6250.04443555 – 4 – 05 – 2 – 08 – 3 – 04 – 1 – 03 W
X-BUFFALO BILLS1060.6250.04562795 – 3 – 05 – 3 – 06 – 5 – 04 – 1 – 03 W
X-NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS1060.6250.04382704 – 5 – 06 – 1 – 08 – 3 – 03 – 2 – 01 W
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS970.5630.04403394 – 5 – 05 – 2 – 07 – 4 – 03 – 2 – 01 L
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS970.5630.04424245 – 4 – 04 – 3 – 06 – 5 – 03 – 2 – 01 W
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS970.5630.03394074 – 4 – 05 – 3 – 07 – 4 – 02 – 3 – 03 W
PITTSBURGH STEELERS771.5001.03013715 – 2 – 12 – 5 – 05 – 5 – 02 – 2 – 01 L
MIAMI DOLPHINS880.5001.03083495 – 3 – 03 – 5 – 05 – 6 – 03 – 2 – 01 L
BALTIMORE RAVENS880.5001.03743765 – 3 – 03 – 5 – 05 – 6 – 01 – 4 – 05 L
CLEVELAND BROWNS780.4671.53143295 – 3 – 02 – 5 – 04 – 6 – 02 – 2 – 02 L
DENVER BRONCOS790.4382.03112944 – 4 – 03 – 5 – 03 – 8 – 01 – 4 – 03 L
NEW YORK JETS4120.2505.03004773 – 6 – 01 – 6 – 04 – 7 – 00 – 5 – 01 L
HOUSTON TEXANS4120.2505.02554242 – 6 – 02 – 6 – 04 – 7 – 03 – 2 – 01 L
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS2140.1257.02274462 – 6 – 00 – 8 – 02 – 9 – 00 – 5 – 08 L
 
NATIONAL FOOTBALL CONFERENCE
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
XY-GREEN BAY PACKERS1330.8130.04203348 – 0 – 05 – 3 – 09 – 2 – 04 – 1 – 05 W
X-LOS ANGELES RAMS1240.7500.04363455 – 2 – 07 – 2 – 08 – 3 – 03 – 2 – 05 W
XY-TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS1240.7500.04703366 – 1 – 06 – 3 – 07 – 4 – 03 – 2 – 02 W
XY-DALLAS COWBOYS1150.6880.04793325 – 3 – 06 – 2 – 09 – 2 – 05 – 0 – 01 L
X-ARIZONA CARDINALS1150.6880.04193283 – 4 – 08 – 1 – 07 – 4 – 04 – 1 – 01 W
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS970.5630.04003414 – 4 – 05 – 3 – 06 – 5 – 01 – 4 – 01 W
X-PHILADELPHIA EAGLES970.5630.04183343 – 4 – 06 – 3 – 07 – 4 – 03 – 2 – 04 W
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS880.5001.03343153 – 5 – 05 – 3 – 06 – 5 – 03 – 2 – 01 W
MINNESOTA VIKINGS790.4382.03944094 – 3 – 03 – 6 – 05 – 6 – 03 – 2 – 02 L
ATLANTA FALCONS790.4382.02934292 – 5 – 05 – 4 – 04 – 7 – 02 – 3 – 01 L
WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM6100.3753.03134273 – 5 – 03 – 5 – 05 – 6 – 01 – 4 – 04 L
CHICAGO BEARS6100.3753.02943763 – 5 – 03 – 5 – 04 – 7 – 02 – 3 – 02 W
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS6100.3753.03573363 – 5 – 03 – 5 – 03 – 8 – 02 – 3 – 01 W
CAROLINA PANTHERS5110.3134.02873632 – 6 – 03 – 5 – 03 – 8 – 02 – 3 – 06 L
NEW YORK GIANTS4120.2505.02513943 – 4 – 01 – 8 – 03 – 8 – 01 – 4 – 05 L
DETROIT LIONS2131.1566.52884372 – 5 – 00 – 8 – 12 – 9 – 01 – 4 – 02 L
 

X – CLINCHED PLAYOFF SPOT,  Y – CLINCHED DIVISION,  Z – CLINCHED HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE

NBA STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
 WLPCTCONF GBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
CHICAGO2410.70612-412-64-215-78-27 W
BROOKLYN2311.6761.010-813-36-117-76-42 L
MILWAUKEE2513.6581.013-512-86-117-97-36 W
MIAMI2314.6222.512-411-106-116-77-31 L
CLEVELAND2116.5684.511-810-84-114-96-41 W
PHILADELPHIA1916.5435.56-813-83-613-105-53 W
CHARLOTTE1918.5146.59-510-135-211-85-51 L
WASHINGTON1818.5007.09-69-123-512-123-71 L
BOSTON1819.4867.511-77-124-412-105-52 W
10 TORONTO1617.4857.59-107-75-511-116-42 W
11 NEW YORK1720.4598.57-1110-93-511-165-52 L
12 ATLANTA1619.4578.58-98-104-310-123-71 W
13 INDIANA1423.37811.511-93-142-78-183-74 L
14 ORLANDO730.18918.52-135-171-84-222-85 L
15 DETROIT628.17618.04-132-151-64-172-81 W
 
WESTERN CONFERENCE
 WLPCTCONF GBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
GOLDEN STATE287.80016-312-47-116-47-31 W
PHOENIX288.7780.516-412-44-418-77-31 W
UTAH2610.7222.514-712-38-016-47-31 L
MEMPHIS2314.6226.013-810-64-219-97-34 W
DENVER1816.5299.58-610-102-411-96-43 W
LA CLIPPERS1918.51410.012-107-83-412-144-61 W
LA LAKERS1919.50010.512-107-91-511-134-62 W
DALLAS1818.50010.58-810-107-215-105-52 W
MINNESOTA1620.44412.510-106-102-411-135-53 L
10 SACRAMENTO1622.42113.510-126-104-511-165-51 W
11 SAN ANTONIO1421.40014.07-107-111-48-155-53 L
12 PORTLAND1322.37115.011-92-131-47-182-84 L
13 OKLAHOMA CITY1323.36115.58-115-121-210-165-51 L
14 NEW ORLEANS1323.36115.57-96-142-48-146-41 L
15 HOUSTON1027.27019.07-103-171-34-151-97 L
 

EIGHT TEAMS IN EACH CONFERENCE QUALIFY FOR THE PLAYOFFS. 

X – CLINCHED PLAYOFF SPOT,  Y – CLINCHED DIVISION,  Z – CLINCHED CONFERENCE

NHL STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
WASHINGTON CAPITALS34206848181198910-3-510-3-36-2-2
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING342185471910910111-3-310-5-26-3-1
CAROLINA HURRICANES31237147231066610-3-013-4-18-2-0
FLORIDA PANTHERS32217446201229517-3-04-4-46-3-1
NEW YORK RANGERS332184461997849-3-212-5-25-4-1
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS31218244211047613-4-18-4-17-2-1
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS311885411799819-5-29-3-38-1-1
BOSTON BRUINS2816102341580738-5-18-5-15-3-2
DETROIT RED WINGS331515333149011211-5-24-10-14-6-0
10 PHILADELPHIA FLYERS32131363213851066-6-27-7-45-3-2
11 COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS301514131129910510-4-15-10-03-6-1
12 NEW JERSEY DEVILS33131553112961168-7-35-8-24-6-0
13 NEW YORK ISLANDERS2810126261064804-5-36-7-35-2-3
14 BUFFALO SABRES3310176268891166-9-24-8-42-5-3
15 OTTAWA SENATORS299182208791075-9-04-9-25-4-1
16 MONTREAL CANADIENS347234186731235-10-12-13-31-7-2
 
WESTERN CONFERENCE
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS3522121451912710711-7-111-5-07-2-1
ST. LOUIS BLUES33199543171169112-3-27-6-37-1-2
NASHVILLE PREDATORS332011242191018910-5-010-6-28-1-1
ANAHEIM DUCKS351711741151079810-4-47-7-34-3-3
CALGARY FLAMES301776401598674-3-413-4-25-4-1
MINNESOTA WILD311910240161169810-3-19-7-15-4-1
COLORADO AVALANCHE28188238171199311-2-17-6-17-2-1
EDMONTON OILERS3218122381611010310-6-08-6-22-6-2
LOS ANGELES KINGS33161253714918910-7-26-5-36-3-1
10 WINNIPEG JETS31151153514959110-6-15-5-45-4-1
11 SAN JOSE SHARKS33171513516941029-7-18-8-04-6-0
12 VANCOUVER CANUCKS3416153351389958-7-18-8-28-1-1
13 DALLAS STARS29151223214828511-3-14-9-15-5-0
14 CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS3211174268741086-7-25-10-23-5-2
15 SEATTLE KRAKEN33101942410921226-11-24-8-22-6-2
16 ARIZONA COYOTES306213156631172-10-14-11-22-7-1
 

EIGHT TEAMS IN EACH CONFERENCE QUALIFY FOR THE DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF FORMAT.  THE TOP THREE TEAMS FROM EACH DIVISION MAKE UP THE FIRST SIX SPOTS.   THE TWO REMAINING TEAMS WITH THE HIGHEST POINTS, REGARDLESS OF DIVISION, QUALIFY FOR THE FINAL TWO WILD CARD SPOTS.  

X – CLINCHED PLAYOFF SPOT, Y – CLINCHED DIVISION, Z – CLINCHED CONFERENCE

BIG EAST MEN’S BASKETBALL

CONFERENCEOVERALLVS
 W-LPCTHMRDW-LPCTHMRDNT TOP 25
21 PROVIDENCE3-01.0001-02-013-1.9299-03-01-12-0
CREIGHTON2-01.0001-01-010-3.7695-22-03-12-1
BUTLER1-01.0001-00-08-4.6676-11-01-30-2
22 VILLANOVA2-1.6671-01-19-4.6924-03-32-13-3
23 XAVIER1-1.5001-00-111-2.8469-01-11-11-1
UCONN1-1.5000-11-010-3.7696-11-13-11-0
ST. JOHN’S0-00-00-08-3.7278-20-10-00-1
GEORGETOWN0-00-00-06-5.5456-20-10-20-0
15 SETON HALL0-2.0000-10-19-3.7507-11-11-12-2
DEPAUL0-2.0000-10-19-3.7507-22-10-00-1
MARQUETTE0-3.0000-20-18-6.5715-31-22-11-4

BIG 10 MEN’S BASKETBALL

CONFERENCEOVERALLVS
 W-LPCTHMRDW-LPCTHMRDNT TOP 25
10 MICHIGAN STATE3-01.0001-02-012-2.8576-03-03-21-2
13 OHIO STATE2-01.0001-01-08-2.8006-01-11-13-1
ILLINOIS2-01.0001-01-09-3.7506-11-12-10-1
PURDUE1-1.5001-00-112-1.9238-00-14-02-0
MINNESOTA1-1.5000-11-010-1.9095-13-02-00-1
24 WISCONSIN1-1.5001-00-110-2.8336-11-13-01-1
NORTHWESTERN1-1.5000-11-08-3.7276-11-11-10-1
MICHIGAN1-1.5000-11-07-5.5834-21-22-10-0
RUTGERS1-1.5001-00-17-5.5837-10-40-01-1
INDIANA1-2.3331-00-210-3.7699-00-31-00-1
PENN STATE1-2.3331-10-16-5.5455-20-21-10-1
MARYLAND0-1.0000-10-08-4.6676-30-02-11-0
IOWA0-2.0000-10-110-3.7698-11-21-00-2
NEBRASKA0-2.0000-10-16-7.4626-40-20-10-1

HORIZONA LEAGUE

CONFERENCEOVERALLVS
 W-LPCTHMRDW-LPCTHMRDNT TOP 25
OAKLAND4-01.0002-02-09-4.6923-03-33-10-2
CLEVELAND STATE3-01.0003-00-07-3.7007-10-20-00-0
DETROIT2-01.0000-02-04-7.3642-02-70-00-0
WRIGHT STATE3-1.7502-01-16-7.4624-12-30-30-1
YOUNGSTOWN STATE2-1.6670-02-18-5.6155-23-30-00-0
MILWAUKEE2-2.5001-11-14-9.3082-42-30-20-1
PURDUE FORT WAYNE1-2.3331-10-15-6.4554-10-41-10-0
NORTHERN KENTUCKY1-3.2501-10-25-8.3855-30-50-00-0
GREEN BAY1-3.2501-10-22-11.1542-20-60-30-0
UIC0-2.0000-20-04-7.3642-32-20-20-0
IUPUI0-2.0000-20-01-10.0911-40-40-20-0
ROBERT MORRIS0-3.0000-00-32-10.1671-21-80-00-1

MID-AMERICAN

CONFERENCEOVERALLVS
 W-LPCTHMRDW-LPCTHMRDNT TOP 25
OHIO1-01.0000-01-010-2.8337-03-20-00-1
AKRON1-01.0001-00-08-3.7276-01-11-20-1
MIAMI (OH)1-01.0000-01-07-5.5835-22-30-00-0
BALL STATE1-01.0001-00-06-6.5005-00-41-20-0
CENTRAL MICHIGAN1-01.0000-01-02-10.1670-22-60-20-2
TOLEDO1-1.5001-00-19-4.6925-01-43-00-1
KENT STATE1-1.5001-10-06-6.5004-30-22-10-0
EASTERN MICHIGAN0-00-00-05-6.4555-00-60-00-0
NORTHERN ILLINOIS0-00-00-03-7.3001-02-50-20-0
BOWLING GREEN0-1.0000-00-17-5.5835-11-31-10-1
BUFFALO0-2.0000-10-16-6.5003-12-31-20-1
WESTERN MICHIGAN0-2.0000-10-14-9.3082-30-62-00-0

MISSOURI VALLEY

CONFERENCEOVERALLVS
 W-LPCTHMRDW-LPCTHMRDNT TOP 25
LOYOLA CHICAGO1-01.0001-00-09-2.8186-02-01-20-1
DRAKE1-01.0001-00-010-4.7149-01-00-40-1
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS1-01.0000-01-08-5.6156-01-31-20-0
INDIANA STATE1-1.5001-00-18-6.5716-01-41-20-1
VALPARAISO1-1.5001-00-18-6.5715-31-22-10-0
ILLINOIS STATE1-1.5001-00-18-7.5337-21-30-20-1
BRADLEY1-1.5001-00-17-7.5005-11-31-30-0
UNI1-1.5001-00-15-7.4173-32-20-21-1
MISSOURI STATE0-1.0000-00-19-5.6435-22-22-10-1
EVANSVILLE0-2.0000-10-14-9.3083-21-40-30-0