#3 GEORGIA 34  #2 MICHIGAN 11:






























































Run Tide! No. 1 Bama over non-P5 Cincy 27-6 in CFP semi

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Brian Robinson Jr. grew up near the Alabama campus watching the Crimson Tide win championships, and wanting to play a big part in one.

With the fifth-year senior and first-year featured back running for a career-high 204 yards and Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young throwing three touchdown passes, the Crimson Tide earned the chance to play for yet another national title with a 27-6 victory over Cincinnati on Friday in the College Football Playoff semifinal at the Cotton Bowl.

It was a bitter finish for Desmond Ridder and for the Bearcats, the first non-Power Five team ever to get a taste of the CFP. They were physically overwhelmed on the big stage.

“B-Rob was huge for us all night,” Young said. “Making that first guy miss, falling forward fighting for those extra yards. He was a constant.”

“As a young kid, just always wanted to be a part of this program. Just always wanted to play for a national championship,” Robinson said. “Just being able to go out there and just lead this team in this big game on this big stage … it’s like a dream come true.”

Alabama (13-1) has missed the four-team playoff only once and will try to win its second national title in a row and fourth in the eight seasons of the CFP format. The Crimson Tide will play either No. 2 Michigan or No. 3 Georgia, the previously undefeated team Alabama beat for the SEC title, in the national title game Jan. 10 in Indianapolis.

Alabama clearly was doing what it could to minimize the impact of standing Cincinnati cornerbacks Ahmad Gardner and Coby Bryant, and pretty much succeeded with Robinson rushing 26 times and Young throwing a lot of short, safe passes – though he did find hit Ja’Core Brooks for a 44-yard catch-and-run TD on a play away from the standout defenders for a 17-3 lead just before halftime.

“I’m really, really proud of our team, our players. I think they showed great competitive character out there,” said Alabama coach Nick Saban, who in his 15th season at Alabama has six national titles overall. “Guys showed a lot of resiliency all year, to be able to have the opportunity to get to this game.”

The Tide opened the game with 10 consecutive runs, the first four and six overall for 37 yards by Robinson, before putting three receivers opposite of Gardner, who hasn’t given up a TD in coverage in his college career. Young found Slade Bolden open in the left flat for an 8-yard TD pass that put Alabama ahead to stay.

With Ridder, the dynamic quarterback and NFL prospect who returned for an extra season for just this chance, the Bearcats (13-1) were the nation’s only undefeated team until facing the playoff standard bearer.

“Obviously, this is gut-wrenching and really, really difficult for everybody, but most importantly for the 30 or so seniors that have brought this program and this team so far,” Bearcats coach Luke Fickell said.

Ridder was sacked six times and outside of a 9-yard run on the opening play of the second half never got to hurt Bama with his feet. He was 17-of-32 passing or 144 yards.

“It’s one thing to sit there and watch on film, and to sit there and draw the twists and stunts they do on the board and work it through practice,” Ridder said. “It’s another thing to come down here and play it on a big stage.”

Young, a 20-year-old sophomore, has a chance to become the fifth Alabama quarterback in 13 seasons to win a national title as a first-year starter. He completed 17 of 28 passes for 181 yards in the playoff game, four weeks after setting an SEC championship game record with 421 yards passing in a win over Georgia and three weeks after being the first Crimson Tide QB to win a Heisman Trophy.

His only interception came late in the third quarter when he overthrew All-America receiver Jameson Williams in a crowd of defenders and the pass was picked off by Bryan Cook on the logo at midfield. Williams caught the other seven passes thrown his way for 62 yards, the longest being 20 yards.

After Cook’s interception, the Bearcats went three-and-out for the fifth time in the game, with Ridder sacked for 10-yard loss on third down.

Cincinnati’s breakthrough into the four-team playoff was bolstered by a win the first Saturday of October at Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish, who lost 31-14 to Alabama in a CFP semifinal Rose Bowl played at AT&T Stadium last New Year’s Day, didn’t lose another game this season and finished fifth in the final CFP rankings behind the history-making Bearcats.

The American Athletic Conference champion Bearcats had a season-low 218 total yards and held without a touchdown for the first time since a 42-0 loss at Ohio State in the second game of the 2019 season, the last time they played a top-five team.

“We knew the battle in the trenches was going to be a big deal, and that’s kind of where the game was won,” Fickell said. “In no phase of it did we give ourselves an opportunity.”


Cincinnati: It was only the second loss in two seasons for the Bearcats, both setbacks coming in their final games. They lost 24-21 to Georgia on a last-second field goal in the Peach Bowl last New Year’s Day. … Cincinnati drove for field goals by Cole Smith (37 and 31 yards) on the opening drive of each half, but struggled to move the ball outside of those two drives.

Alabama: After the Tide never got on track with their running game most of the season, fifth-year senior Robinson and the rushers led them in the semifinal game with 301 yards. Trey Sanders had 14 carries for 67 yards. Going into the Cotton Bowl, the Crimson Tide were averaging 147.6 yards per game, their lowest total in 15 seasons under Saban.

Angry Dawgs: No. 3 Georgia beats No. 2 Michigan 34-11 in CFP

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) With one overwhelming half at the Orange Bowl, No. 3 Georgia showed that a humbling loss to Alabama did not break the Bulldogs.

In fact, it might have made them even stronger.

Stetson Bennett threw three touchdown passes, Nakobe Dean led an angry defense and Georgia returned to its dominant ways, beating No. 2 Michigan 34-11 on Friday night to advance to the College Football Playoff championship.

“Answered a million questions about our team, bouncing back and how you played,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. “We’ve got a lot of high-character guys on this team and they played their tail off today.”

Georgia (13-1) earned a rematch with Southeastern Conference nemesis Alabama (13-1) in the title game Jan. 10 in Indianapolis.

It was 27 days ago the Crimson Tide rolled through the Bulldogs, shattering their air of invincibility after a 12-0 regular season in which they were hardly challenged.

“All our guys did was work,” Smart said about how they responded to the loss and three weeks of being asked what went wrong.

The Bulldogs quickly answered any questions about whether the damage from that 41-24 setback would linger.

Georgia became the first team in the eight-year history of the CFP to score on each of its first five possessions and led 27-3 at halftime.

“We knew we were better than what we showed that last game,” Bennett said.

Michigan (12-2) entered its first playoff appearance off a milestone season, having ended a long drought against rival Ohio State on the way to winning the Big Ten.

“Let’er rip,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh told ESPN moments before kickoff.

The Bulldogs most certainly did, playing like a team out to prove a point.

Georgia scored touchdowns the first two times it had the ball, moving it at will against Heisman Trophy runner-up Aidan Hutchinson and the Michigan defense.

Bennett found freshman tight end Brock Bowers for an 8-yard touchdown pass to cap an 80-yard opening drive.

“That set the tone for the game,” Smart said.

Georgia grabbed a two-touchdown lead, hitting Michigan with some of the trickery the Wolverines have used so well. Tailback Kenny McIntosh swept to the right and let loose a perfect pass to Adonai Mitchell for an 18-yard TD that made it 14-0 less than five minutes into the game.

The Wolverines had rolled to their first Big Ten championship since 2004 without trailing by as many as seven points this season.

“I mean, we gave everything we got, and we got beat tonight,” quarterback Cade McNamara said. “But I think once we give it a little time, we’ll be able to appreciate a lot of the great things we were able to accomplish this season.”

The Bulldogs tacked on field goals on their next two possessions and Bennett connected on a 57-yard touchdown pass to Jermaine Burton streaking down the sideline to make it 27-3 with 1:38 left in the half.

And that was was pretty much that. The Bulldogs outgained the Wolverines 330-101 in the first 30 minutes.

“I thought our (defensive) front controlled the line of scrimmage. I thought our offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage,” Smart said. “That’s a total team effort.”

The Georgia defense that was setting an historic pace, allowing less than a touchdown per game before getting shredded by Alabama, smothered a Michigan offense built to bully opponents.

The Bulldogs were having none of that.

Dean, the Butkus Award-winning linebacker, diagnosed plays before the snap and chased down ball carriers from sideline to sideline.

Dean said he made note of how heading into this game, for the first time all season, Georgia’s defensive dominance seemed to be in doubt.

“We always want to play with a chip on our shoulder,” said Dean, who had seven tackles, two for losses, and a forced a fumble.

Massive nose tackle Jordan Davis collapsed the middle of a Michigan offensive line that won the Joe Moore Award as the best in the country.

“That was our plan going in, being a physical, more dominant front,” the All-American Davis said.

Cornerback Derion Kendrick, a transfer for Clemson, had two interceptions and was the defensive player of the game.

The Wolverines finished with 88 yards rushing after coming in averaging 223 per game. McNamara was 11 for 19 for 106 yards passing.

Simply, it was no contest and now the Bulldogs will get a shot at redemption against Alabama, trying to win their first national title since 1980.

All that stands in the way is the most accomplished dynasty in the history of college football, and the rival Smart, a longtime Nick Saban assistant at Alabama, has tried to model his program after.

Smart ducked the celebratory Gatorade bath from his players after the game, saying he wanted to get a real shower and get to work on catching the team Georgia has been chasing for five years.

“They got a five, six-hour head start,” Smart said. “To be honest with you guys, I’m not interested in celebrating that.”

Georgia opened as 2 1/2-point favorite, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.


Georgia: There was plenty of talk about whether Bennett should remain the Bulldogs’ starting quarterback after he threw two interceptions against Alabama. Georgia fans wondered if it was time to make the switch back to USC transfer JT Daniels, who was QB1 to start the season before an injury opened the door for Bennett.

The former walk-on completed his first nine passes against Michigan on the way to 307 yards and showed more than enough arm strength on a 53-yard bomb to James Cook in the second quarter. Bennett was named offensive MVP.

Michigan: The 2021 season will provide plenty for the Wolverines to look back upon fondly.

“This is the start,” Harbaugh told ESPN afterward. “In Michigan history, it is one of the best teams ever.”

The Orange Bowl showed that closing the gap on Ohio State is one thing, but there are two teams currently at the top of college football in an entirely different class as the rest.


Georgia: The Bulldogs will face Alabama for the second time in the CFP title game. The Bulldogs have lost seven straight overall meetings against the Tide, including the 2017 CFP championship in overtime.

Michigan: The Wolverines open the 2022 season at home against Colorado State.

Hartman leads No. 20 Wake Forest to 38-10 romp in Gator Bowl

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Sam Hartman tossed three touchdown passes, two of them to tight end Brandon Chapman, and No. 20 Wake Forest beat Rutgers 38-10 in the Gator Bowl on Friday to reach 11 wins for the second time in program history.

Hartman completed 23 of 39 passes for 304 yards. He added 21 more yards rushing and pushed his touchdown total to 50 this season – 39 passing and 11 rushing.

The Demon Deacons (11-3) controlled the game from the start, scoring on their first three drives and opening a double-digit lead just before halftime. It played out about as expected given Rutgers (5-8) was a late replacement for 23rd-ranked Texas A&M.

The Aggies pulled out because of a lack of available players due to injuries, opt-outs, transfers and COVID-19 issues. The NCAA gave Rutgers the first shot at filling the void because it had the highest Academic Progress Rate score of all the eligible 5-7 teams.

Rutgers coach Greg Schiano hastily gathered his players from Christmas break and held two practices in a heated bubble before heading south. They got in two more in nearby Ponte Vedra Beach this week before taking the field.

Nonetheless, they looked far from ready to face one of the nation’s best offenses.

Wake Forest averaged a program-best 41.9 points coming into the game, which ranked second in the Atlantic Coast Conference and fifth in the nation.

The Demon Deacons finished with 450 yards. They converted 8 of 14 third downs and their lone fourth-down try.

The turning point came in the second quarter, when cornerback Gavin Holmes stepped in front of Noah Vedral’s pass to Joshua Youngblood at the goal line and intercepted it. Wake led 17-10 at the time and ended up driving for a field goal and a 10-point lead at the break.

Vedral was one of five players who threw passes for Rutgers. He completed 8 of 13 passes for 87 yards and the interception.

A.T. Perry caught 10 passes for 127 yards and a score for Wake Forest.


Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons capped their best season in 15 years with a victory and are poised to be among the preseason favorites in the Atlantic Coast Conference next season. They could lose as few as six of 22 starters and expect All-ACC kicker Nick Sciba to return.

Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights turned the ball over twice, which was twice too many for an offensively challenged team with a small margin for error. Rutgers had been 5-0 this season when not turning the ball over. Schiano’s team fell to 0-8 when committing a turnover in 2021.


Wake Forest linebacker Ryan Smenda, a junior who grew up in nearby Orange Park, was ejected for the third time this season for targeting. Smenda barely made contact, if at all, this time. He was penalized for intent because he led with his helmet while chasing Rutgers quarterback Gavin Wimsatt. Wimsatt slid late, and Smenda flew over the top of him.

Smenda also was ejected in regular-season games against Army (Oct. 23) and North Carolina State (Nov. 13). All three ejections came in the second half, meaning he had to sit out the first half of the ensuing game. He will have to sit out the first half of Wake’s 2022 season opener against Virginia Military Institute on Sept. 1.


Wake Forest punter Ivan Mora was carted off the field in the fourth quarter with an air cast on his right ankle/foot. Mora got caught at the bottom of a pileup after kicking off.


Wake Forest expects to get Hartman back for a fifth year. He’s started 33 games over four seasons and accounted for 87 touchdowns, including 71 passing.

Rutgers says goodbye to nine sixth-year seniors, including seven defenders. The most notable departures are cornerback Tre Avery and defensive tackle Julius Turner.

Central Michigan beats Washington State 24-21 in Sun Bowl

EL PASO, Texas (AP) Central Michigan came to the desert southwest to play in one bowl game and ended up in another.

The Chippewas still found a way to end their five-game bowl losing streak.

Lew Nichols III ran for 130 yards and a touchdown, leading late replacement Central Michigan to a 24-21 victory over Washington State in the Sun Bowl on Friday.

When Boise State opted out of the Arizona Bowl because of COVID-19 issues, Central Michigan switched about 300 miles east from Tucson, Arizona, to the Texas border city of El Paso.

Miami skipped the Sun Bowl for COVID-19 reasons as well. Central Michigan stayed in Arizona before bussing to El Paso the day before the game.

The Chippewas (9-4) won their fifth consecutive game this season in their first bowl victory since beating Western Kentucky in the 2012 Little Caesars Bowl.

“They played their tails off,” Central Michigan coach Jim McElwain said of a defense that held the Cougars to 53 yards before halftime to help the Chippewas to a 21-0 lead. “They might have been missing some guys, but let me tell you something else, we were missing guys. And you know what? We didn’t care. We just went out and played.”

The Cougars (7-6) were without starting tackles Liam Ryan and Abe Lucas for coach Jake Dickert’s first game on the sideline since having the interim tagged removed. Running backs Max Borghi and Deon McIntosh also opted out.

“Their edge rushers were the biggest ones that kind of gave us some issues,” Dickert said. “They chose their spots. They were aggressive. They blitzed. They were high up the field and they used their speed on our two new tackles.”

Washington State, which dropped to 8-9 all-time in bowls, rallied in the second half behind backup quarterback Victor Gabalis, scoring three times to make it close. Gabalis was 12 of 23 passing for 180 yards and two TDs.

After a 13-yard scoring toss to Lincoln Victor pulled the Cougars within three points with 3:13 remaining, they had another chance starting at their 14-yard line with 2:41 remaining. Central Michigan stopped Joey Hobert a yard short on a catch on fourth-and-5.

Marshall Meeder kicked three field goals for Central Michigan, including a 52-yarder for a 6-0 lead and a 43-yarder for a 10-point lead early in the fourth quarter.

Nichols, who entered the game leading the nation in rushing and finished the season with xx yards, scored the first touchdown on a 1-yard plunge for a 13-0 lead late in the first quarter.

“We came together as a team today,” Nichols said. “We pounded up front and came up with the win.”


Central Michigan: It was the first victory in a bowl against a Power Five opponent for the Mid-American Conference team. The Chippewas were seven-point underdogs.

Washington State: The Cougars were facing the 117th-ranked pass defense nationally with freshman quarterback Jayden de Laura averaging 250 yards per game coming in. But de Laura didn’t play after halftime because of an undisclosed lower-body injury. He was under heavy pressure in the first half.


Gabalis wasn’t even listed as the backup on the Cougars’ depth chart. He had seen spot duty in a few games before giving the Cougars a chance to win late.


Central Michigan was playing in the Sun Bowl for the first time, while Washington State made its third appearance, losing for the first time. Washington State beat Purdue in 2001 and Miami in 2015.


Central Michigan: The Chippewas will return 10 starters on offense and eight on defense next season. They open on Sept. 3 at Oklahoma State.

Washington State: The Cougars will return eight starters on offense and eight on defense. They open the 2022 season on Sept. 3 at home against Idaho.





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

STREAKS: Ravens have won past 4

LAST GAME: 11/25/19: Ravens 45 at Rams 6

LAST GAME AT SITE: 11/22/15: Ravens 16, Rams 13

QB MATTHEW STAFFORD ranks 2nd in NFL in pass TDs (36), 3rd in rating (104) & 4th in pass yards (4,339) in 2021. Is 1 of 3 (JOE BURROW & AARON RODGERS) with 9 games of 100+ rating this season. Has 8 games with 3+ TD passes, most in NFL in 2021. • RB SONY MICHEL had season-high 135 scrimmage yards (131 rush, 16 rec.) & 3rd rush TD of season last week. Since Week 13, leads all RBs in scrimmage yards (458). RB CAM AKERS had 1,020 scrimmage yards (846 rush, 174 rec.) & 5 TDs (4 rush, 1 rec.) in 15 games, incl. playoffs, in 2020. • WR COOPER KUPP leads NFL with 132 receptions, 5th-most alltime in single season. Leads league with 1,734 & can become 5th player all-time with 1,800+ rec. yards in single season. Is 1st player in NFL history with 14 games with 90+ rec. yards in single season. Can become 5th player all-time with 5+ catches in 20 straight games. WR ODELL BECKHAM JR. has rec. TD in 4 of his past 5 & aims for his 4th in row on road with TD catch. • DL AARON DONALD has 6 sacks in his past 4 & aims for his 5th in row with sack. Needs 2.5 sacks to become 4th player since 1982 with 100+ sacks in his 1st 8 seasons. LB VON MILLER has 6 TFL in 6 games with LAR in 2021. Has TFL in 3 of his 4 career games vs. Bal. Leads all active players with 111.5 career sacks. LB LEONARD FLOYD needs 1 sack for 2nd-straight 10- sack season. CB JALEN RAMSEY has PD in 7 of his past 8 & aims for his 4th in row with PD. Is only DB with 10+ PD (14) & 8+ TFL (8) in 2021.

QB LAMAR JACKSON completed 15 of 20 atts. (75 pct.) for 169 yards & 5 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 139.4 rating & rushed for 95 yards in last meeting. Has 95+ rush yards in each of his 4 career starts vs. NFC West. Is 12-0 with 26 TDs (20 pass, 6 rush) & 98 rating in 12 career starts vs. NFC & can become 2nd QB ever to win 1st 13 starts vs. one conference (BOBBY HEBERT vs. AFC). QB JOSH JOHNSON passed for 304 yards & 2 TDs vs. INT for 98.3 rating in 1st start of season last week. • RB DEVONTA FREEMAN rushed for 5th TD of season in Week 16, his 4th-career season with 5+ rush TDs. Had 68 scrimmage yards (35 rec., 33 rush) in his last game vs. LAR (10/4/20 w/ NYG). Has 60+ scrimmage yards in 2 of his past 3 at home. • TE MARK ANDREWS had 8 catches for 125 yards & TD last week & became 2nd TE ever (JIMMY GRAHAM) with 100+ rec. yards & TD in 3 straight games. Aims for 8th in row with 50+ rec. yards. Leads TEs with 93 catches & 1,187 rec. yards & tied for lead with 9 rec. TDs. WR MARQUISE BROWN aims for 9th in row with 5+ catches. Had 2 rec. TDs in last meeting. WR JAMES PROCHE set career highs in catches (7) & rec. yards (76) last week. • LB PATRICK QUEEN had 9 tackles & had TFL & PD in Week 16. Aims for 3rd in row with 9+ tackles. Has TFL in 3 of his past 4 at home. LB JOSH BYNES aims for 5th in row with 6+ tackles. Has PD in 3 of his past 4 vs. LAR. DT BRODERICK WASHINGTON had 1st-career sack last week. S TONY JEFFERSON tied for team lead with 9 tackles & had 1st sack & PD of season in Week 16.



LEADER: Falcons lead all-time series, 7-5

STREAKS: Bills have won 4 of past 5

LAST GAME: 10/1/17: Bills 23 at Falcons 17

LAST GAME AT SITE: 12/1/13: Falcons 34, Bills 31

QB MATT RYAN completed 18 of 24 atts. (75 pct.) for 215 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs for 115.8 rating last week. Has 366 career pass TDs, tied with ELI MANNING for 9th-most all-time. Needs 1 TD pass to become 5th QB with 20+ TD passes in 13-straight seasons all-time. Aims for his 3rd in row on road & 5th in row overall with 90+ rating. • RB CORDARRELLE PATTERSON has career-highs in rush yards (579), rec. yards (523) & scrimmage TDs (6 rush, 5 rec.). Is 1 of 2 (AUSTIN EKELER) with 500+ rush yards, 500+ rec. yards, 5+ rush TDs & 5+ rec. TDs in 2021. Has 3 rush TDs in his past 3 on road. RB MIKE DAVIS has 600+ scrimmage yards (677) for 3rd time in past 4 seasons. • TE KYLE PITTS is 2nd rookie TE all-time (HOFer MIKE DITKA) with 900+ rec. yards (949) & 4th rookie TE ever (EVAN ENGRAM, KEITH JACKSON & JEREMY SHOCKEY) with 60+ receptions (64). Had 102 rec. yards last week & became 3rd rookie TE (HOFer MIKE DITKA & CHARLE YOUNG) with 100+ rec. yards in 3+ games (3). WR RUSSELL GAGE has rec. TD in 2 of his past 3 on road & aims for his 4th in row on road with 60+ rec. yards. • LB FOYESADE OLUOKUN led team with 14 tackles last week & ranks 2nd in NFL with career-high 166 tackles. Is 1 of 4 with 10 games with 10+ tackles in 2021. LB DEION JONES had 10 tackles last week & has 100+ tackles (123) for 5th time in 6 career seasons. CB A.J. TERRELL has 12 PD in 7 road games in 2021 & aims for his 4th in row on road with PD.

 QB JOSH ALLEN completed 30 of 47 atts. (63.8 pct.) for 314 yards & 3 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 104.4 rating & rushed for 64 yards last week, his 5th-career game with 300+ pass yards & 50+ rush yards, 2nd-most all-time. Aims for 3rd in row with 3+ TD passes & 4th in row with 2+ TD passes. Is 1st player ever with 100+ TD passes (101) & 20+ rush TDs (29) in 1st 4 seasons. • RB DEVIN SINGLETARY had 78 scrimmage yards (39 rush, 39 rec.) & rush TD last week. Aims for 4th in row with 75+ scrimmage yards & 3rd in row with rush TD. • WR STEFON DIGGS had 7 catches for 85 yards & TD in Week 16. Aims for 3rd in row with rec. TD. Has 50+ rec. yards in 4 of past 5. Has TD catch in 3 of past 4 at home. Leads team with 1,092 rec. yards & is 2nd player in franchise history (STEVIE JOHNSON) with 1,000+ rec. yards in consecutive seasons. WR ISAIAH MCKENZIE set career highs in catches (11) & rec. yards (125) & had 1st rec. TD of season last week. TE DAWSON KNOX had career-high 9th rec. TD of season in Week 16, tied-most among TEs & most-ever by Buf. TE. • S MICAH HYDE had 6 tackles & 2 INTs last week, his 2nd-career game with 2 INTs. Aims for 3rd in row with PD & 4th in row with 6+ tackles. Had 2 INTs & TFL in last meeting. S JORDAN POYER had TFL in Week 16. Has 6+ tackles in 3 of past 4. LB TREMAINE EDMUNDS led team with 8 tackles last week. Aims for 10th in row with 7+ tackles. DT ED OLIVER had 1st full sack of season last week. Has TFL in 4 of his past 5 at home.



LEADER: Bears lead all-time series, 30-21-2

STREAKS: Bears have won past 2

LAST GAME: 9/20/20: Giants 13 at Bears 17


QB MIKE GLENNON completed 17 of 27 atts. (63 pct.) & had TD vs. INT last week. Completed 24 of 37 atts. (64.9 pct.) & had 2 TDs vs. 2 INTs in his last start vs. Chi. (12/27/20 w/ Jax.). • RB SAQUON BARKLEY has 234 scrimmage yards (78 per game) in 3 career games vs. Chi. Has 50+ scrimmage yards in 3 of his past 4 on road & 50+ scrimmage yards in 5 of his past 6 overall. Is 1 of 7 RBs to average 100+ scrimmage yards per game (101.6) since 2018. RB DEVONTAE BOOKER has 50+ scrimmage yards in 4 of his past 6 on road. Has 789 scrimmage yards (533 rush, 256 rec.) & needs 89 scrimmage yards for new career high (877 in 2016). • TE EVAN ENGRAM had 3rd rec. TD of season in Week 16. Had 6 catches for 65 yards in last meeting. Is 1 of 3 TEs (TRAVIS KELCE & GEORGE KITTLE) with 40+ receptions in each of past 5 seasons. Rookie WR KADARIUS TONEY has 4+ catches in 3 of his past 4. • LB LORENZO CARTER had sack, FF & PD in Week 16 & aims for his 3rd in row with sack, FF & PD. Aims for his 3rd in row at Chi. with sack. LB AZEEZ OJULARI ranks 3rd among rookies with 8 sacks. DB LOGAN RYAN had 2 PD last week. Had FF in last meeting. Ranks 4th among DBs with 105 tackles. S JULIAN LOVE had INT in last meeting & aims for his 3rd in row vs. Chi. with INT. Has career-high 7 PD in 2021. CB JAMES BRADBERRY had 4 PD & INT in last meeting. Aims for his 4th in row with PD. Is only player with 10+ PD in each of past 6 seasons. • QB JUSTIN FIELDS (rookie) has 80+ rating 2 of his past 3 starts at home. Has TD pass & 30+ rush yards in 4 of his past 5 starts. Ranks 4th among QBs with 420 rush yards in 2021.

QB NICK FOLES completed 24 of 35 atts. (68.6 pct.) for 250 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs for 98.5 rating in 1st start of season last week. Has 8 TDs vs. 2 INTs for 102.7 rating in 3 career games vs. NYG. • RB DAVID MONTGOMERY had 7 catches & 106 scrimmage yards (61 rec., 45 rush) with 5th rush TD of season in Week 16. Aims for his 5th in row with 5+ catches & 80+ scrimmage yards. Needs 10 scrimmage yards for 3rd-straight 1,000-yard season. Had 127 scrimmage yards (82 rush, 45 rec.) & TD catch in last meeting. Rookie RB KHALIL HERBERT had 2nd-career rush TD in Week 16. • WR DARNELL MOONEY had 5 catches & 57 rec. yards last week. Had rec. TD in last meeting. Has 5+ receptions in 5 of his past 6 & aims for his 9th in row at home with 5+ catches. TE JIMMY GRAHAM had 85th-career rec. TD last week, 4th-most by TE all-time. • LB ROBERT QUINN ranks 2nd in NFL with 17 sacks. Aims for his 8th in row with sack & 11th in row with TFL. Had sack & FF in last meeting. LB ROQUAN SMITH led team with 9 tackles & 2 TFL last week. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. NYG with TFL. Ranks 4th in NFL with career-high 149 tackles. DT AKIEM HICKS has 3 sacks in his past 3 at home & aims for his 4th in row at home with TFL. Had sack & 2 TFL in last meeting.



LEADER: Bengals lead all-time series, 15-14

STREAKS: Bengals have won 4 of past 5

LAST GAME: 10/21/18: Bengals 10 at Chiefs 45

LAST GAME AT SITE: 10/4/15: Bengals 36, Chiefs 21

CHIEFS clinched AFC West for 6th consecutive season. • QB PATRICK MAHOMES completed 23 of 30 atts. (76.7 pct.) for 258 yards & 3 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 135.1 rating last week. Aims for 4th in row with 2+ TD passes & 105+ rating. Passed for 358 yards & 4 TDs vs. INT for 123.7 rating in last meeting. Aims for 3rd in row on road with 400+ pass yards & 3+ TD passes. Has 90+ rating in 5 of 6 road starts in 2021. Is 2nd QB ever (HOFer PEYTON MANNING) with 4,000+ pass yards in 4 of 1st 5 seasons. • RB DARREL WILLIAMS had 85 scrimmage yards (55 rush, 30 rec.) last week. Has 50+ scrimmage yards in 4 of his past 5 on road. RB CLYDE EDWARDS-HELAIRE had rush TD last week & has rush TD in 2 of past 3. RB DERRICK GORE had career-high 104 scrimmage yards (61 rec., 43 rush) in Week 16. • TE TRAVIS KELCE had 5 catches for 95 yards in last meeting. Aims for his 9th in row vs. AFC North with 75+ rec. yards. Is 1st TE ever with 1,000+ rec. yards in 6 straight seasons. WR TYREEK HILL had 7 catches for 68 yards & TD in last meeting. Aims for 3rd in row in road with 80+ rec. yards & TD catch. WR BYRON PRINGLE led team with season-high 6 catches for 75 yards & career-high 2 TDs last week. • CB CHARVARIUS WARD had TFL & 2nd INT of season in Week 16. Has PD in 4 of past 5. CB L’JARIUS SNEED had TFL & PD last week. DE FRANK CLARK had sack last week. Has 0.5+ sacks in 2 of past 3. DT TERSHAWN WHARTON had sack & FF in Week 16. Aims for 3rd in row with FF. Has sack in 2 of past 3.

QB JOE BURROW completed 37 of 46 atts. (80.4 pct.) for career high 525 yards & 4 TDs vs. 0 INTs for career-high 143.2 rating last week, the 4th-most passing yards in a single game in NFL history. Has 3 career games with 400+ pass yards, tied with HOFer DAN MARINO for most-ever by player in 1st 2 seasons. Aims for 4th in row with 100+ rating. Has 300+ pass yards in 3 of past 4. Leads AFC & ranks 2nd in NFL with 105 rating. • RB JOE MIXON had 135 scrimmage yards (season-high 70 rec., 65 rush) & 2 TDs (1 rush, 1 rec.) last week, his 5th game with 2+ TDs this season, tied-most in NFL. Rushed for 50 yards in last meeting. Has rush TD in 8 of his past 9 at home. Ranks 2nd in NFL with 1,159 rush yards & 3rd with career-high 13 rush TDs. • WR JA’MARR CHASE (rookie) had 7 catches for 125 yards last week, his 4th game with 100+ rec. yards, most among rookies. Aims for 4th in row at home with 5+ catches & 50+ rec. yards. WR TEE HIGGINS set career highs in catches (12) & rec. yards (194) & had 2 rec. TDs in Week 16. Has 100+ rec. yards in 4 of past 5. Chase (1,163) & Higgins (1,029) 1st pair of teammates ever each under age of 23 with 1,000 rec. yards each. WR TYLER BOYD aims for 3rd in row with 85+ rec. yards & TD catch. • DE TREY HENDRICKSON had sack last week & is 2nd player since 1982 (CHRIS JONES in 2018) with 0.5+ sacks in 11 straight games within single season. Had 2 sacks & FF in only career game vs. KC (12/20/20 w/ NO.). S VONN BELL had 2 PD & 1st INT of season last week. Aims for 5th in row with 5+ tackles.



LEADER: Raiders lead all-time series, 9-8

STREAKS: Colts have won 2 of past 3

LAST GAME: 12/13/20: Colts 44 at Raiders 27

LAST GAME AT SITE: 9/29/19: Raiders 31, Colts 24

QB DEREK CARR completed 20 of 25 atts. (80 pct.) for 201 yards & TD vs. INT for 96.8 rating last week. Has 70+ comp. pct. in 3 of past 4. Has 12 TDs (10 pass, 2 rush) vs. 2 INTs for 108.9 rating in 4 career starts vs. Ind. Aims for his 5th in row vs. Ind. with 2+ TD passes. Ranks 3rd in NFL with career-high 4,363 pass yards, his 4th-straight season with 4,000+ pass yards. • RB JOSH JACOBS tied career high with 129 rush yards last week. Aims for 6th in row with 70+ scrimmage yards & 3rd in row with 90+ scrimmage yards. Had 108 scrimmage yards (79 rush, 29 rec.) in last road meeting. Needs 4 yards to join HOFer MARCUS ALLEN as only players in franchise history with 1,000+ scrimmage yards in each of 1st 3 seasons. • TE DARREN WALLER had 7 catches for 75 yards in last meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Ind. with 7+ catches & 50+ rec. yards. TE FOSTER MOREAU aims for 3rd in row with 65+ rec yards. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Ind. with TD catch. WR ZAY JONES aims for 4th in row with 5+ catches & 3rd in row with 50+ rec. yards. HUNTER RENFROW had TD catch last week & has rec. TD in 2 of past 3. Had 5 catches in last meeting. • LB DENZEL PERRYMAN had 5 tackles last week & has 5+ tackles in each of his 13 games this season. Had 9 tackles & sack in only career game at Ind. (9/25/16 w/ SD). DE MAXX CROSBY had 2 TFL & 6th sack of season in Week 16. Has TFL in 3 of past 4. Had 2 TFL in last meeting. Had FF in last road meeting. DT QUINTON JEFFERSON had sack last week. Aims for 4th in row with TFL.

QB SAM EHLINGER (rookie) expected to make 1st-career start. Was selected in 6th round of 2021 NFL Draft out of Texas. • RB JONATHAN TAYLOR aims for 4th in row with 100+ rush yards. Has rush TD in 11 of past 12. Aims for his 7th in row at home with 95+ scrimmage yards & rush TD. Rushed for 150 yards & 2 TDs in last meeting. Leads NFL with 19 TDs (17 rush, 2 pass) & 1,962 scrimmage yards (1,626 rush, 336 rec.) & can become 1st player in franchise history with 20+ TDs & 2,000+ scrimmage yards in single season. RB NYHEIM HINES had 75 scrimmage yards (58 rush, 17 rec.) in last meeting. • WR MICHAEL PITTMAN had 8 catches for 82 yards last week. Has 6+ catches & 75+ rec yards in 2 of past 3. Has 50+ rec. yards in 4 of his past 5 at home. WR T.Y. HILTON had 51 rec. yards & TD catch in Week 16. Had 5 catches for 86 yards & 2 TDs in last meeting. Had 85+ rec. yards in 2 of past 3 vs. Raiders. WR DEZMON PATMON had 1st-career TD catch last week. TE MO ALIE-COX had 42 rec. yards in Week 16. • LB DARIUS LEONARD has 10+ tackles, FF & PD in 2 of his past 3. Had 11 tackles & TFL in last meeting. Is only player since 2000 with 15+ FFs (15) & 10+ INTs (10) in 1st 4 seasons. LB E.J. SPEED led team with career-high 9 tackles & had PD last week. CB KENNY MOORE has 2 PD in 2 of past 3. Had 5 tackles, INT & FF in last meeting. Has PD in 2 of 3 career games vs. Raiders. S KHARI WILLIS had 50-yard INT-TD, only career TD, in last meeting. Has TFL in 2 of his past 3 at home.



LEADER: Patriots lead all-time series, 7-1

STREAKS: Patriots have won 7 of past 8

LAST GAME: 9/16/18: Patriots 20 at Jaguars 31

LAST GAME AT SITE: 9/27/15: Patriots 51, Jaguars 17

QB TREVOR LAWRENCE (rookie) completed 26 of 39 atts. (66.7 pct.) for 280 yards & rushed for 37 yards last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 0 INTs. Aims for 4th in row with 200+ pass yards. Leads rookies with 319 completions & ranks 2nd with 3,225 pass yards. Needs 47 pass yards for most pass yards in season ever by Jax. rookie. • RB DARE OGUNBOWALE had season-high 72 scrimmage yards (57 rush, 15 rec.) & 1st rush TD of season last week. • WR MARVIN JONES had season-high 8 catches for 74 yards in Week 16. Has 6+ catches in 2 of past 3. Had 4 catches for 69 yards & TD in his last game vs. NE (9/23/18 w/ Det.). Aims for his 3rd in row on road with 70+ rec. yards. WR LAQUON TREADWELL aims for 6th in row with 50+ rec. yards. WR TAVON AUSTIN had season-high 6 catches & 89 scrimmage yards (68 rec., 21 rush) last week. TE JAMES O’SHAUGHNESSY aims for 3rd in row with 45+ rec. yards & 4th in row with 4+ catches. • DE JIHAD WARD had 2nd sack of season last week. Has sack in 2 of past 3. Aims for his 3rd in row on road with sack. Had sack in his last game vs. NE (11/3/19 w/ Bal.). LB CHAPELLE RUSSELL tied for team lead with career-high 7 tackles last week. LB DAMIEN WILSON had PD last week. CB SHAQUILL GRIFFIN had PD in Week 16. Has PD in 2 of his past 3 on road. Rookie CB TYSON CAMPBELL tied for team lead with 7 tackles last week. Ranks tied-3rd among rookies with 9 PD this season. Ranks 2nd among rookie DBs with 61 tackles.

QB MAC JONES (rookie) has 2+ TD passes & 100+ rating in 5 of his past 6 home starts. Has 0 INTs in 3 of his past 4 at home. Leads rookies in comp. pct. (67.2), pass yards (3,313), TD passes (18) & rating (90.2). Can become 1st NE rookie QB ever with 20+ TD passes. • RB DAMIEN HARRIS rushed for 103 yards & career-high 3 TDs last week. Aims for 4th in row with rush TD & 3rd in row with 100+ rush yards. Has TD in each of his 3 career games vs. AFC South. Ranks 4th in NFL with career-high 12 rush TDs. RB RHAMONDRE STEVENSON has rush TD in 2 of his past 3 at home. RB BRANDON BOLDEN had TD catch in his last game vs. Jax. (12/23/18 w/ Mia.). • WR JAKOBI MEYERS led team with 6 catches for 59 yards last week, his 13th game with 4+ catches this season, tied 3rd-most in AFC. Aims for 3rd in row with 6+ catches. Aims for 3rd in row at home with 5+ catches & 50+ rec. yards. WR KENDRICK BOURNE has rec. TD in 2 of past 3 at home. TE HUNTER HENRY ties for lead among TEs with career-high 9 rec. TDs & can become 2nd NE TE ever with 10+ rec. TDs in single season. • DB J.C. JACKSON has PD in 7 straight games, longest active streak in NFL. Tied for NFL lead with career-high 21 PD this season. DB DEVIN MCCOURTY had 6 tackles & PD last week. Has PD in 5 of past 6. Had INT in last home meeting. LB MATTHEW JUDON had 1st PD of season in Week 16. Had sack in his last game vs. Jax. (12/20/20 w/ Bal.).



LEADER: Jets lead all-time series, 10-2

STREAKS: Jets have won 8 of past 9

LAST GAME: 11/12/17: Jets 10 at Buccaneers 15

LAST GAME AT SITE: 9/8/13: Jets 18, Buccaneers 17

TAMPA BAY clinched NFC South for 1st time since 2007. • QB TOM BRADY leads NFL in pass yards (4,580) & TD passes (37). Has 7 seasons with 4,500+ pass yards, tied-2nd most all-time. Needs 3 TD passes to join AARON RODGERS as only players with 3 40+ TD pass seasons & DREW BREES as only players with 40+ TDs in consecutive years. Has 60 TDs (57 pass, 3 rush) vs. 15 INTs for 93 rating in 36 career games vs. NYJ. • RB RONALD JONES had season-high 81 scrimmage yards (65 rush, 16 rec.) & 4th rush TD of season last week. Rookie RB KE’SHAWN VAUGHN had 1st-career rush TD in Week 16. • WR ANTONIO BROWN had 10 catches for 101 yards last week. Has 23 games with 10+ catches, most in NFL history. Has 5+ catches in 5 of his 6 games in 2021. WR MIKE EVANS needs 101 rec. yards to become 1st player ever with 1,000+ rec. yards in each of 1st 8 seasons. Ranks 2nd in NFL with 11 rec. TDs in 2021. TE ROB GRONKOWSKI had 6 rec. TDs in 8 career games at NYJ & aims for his 3rd in row at NYJ with TD catch. TE CAMERON BRATE had 3rd rec. TD of season last week. • LB DEVIN WHITE has 8+ tackles in 3 of his past 4. Is 1 of 2 (ROQUAN SMITH) with 120+ tackles (122) & 3+ sacks (3.5) in 2021. DL VITA VEA had 12th-career sack in Week 16 & has career high 4.5 sacks in 2021. Aims for his 3rd in row on road with sack. DL WILLIAM GHOLSTON had career-high 2.5 sacks in Week 16. S JORDAN WHITEHEAD tied his career-high with 3 PD & had his 5th-career INT last week. Has 7+ tackles in 5 of his past 6.

QB ZACH WILSON (rookie) completed 14 of 22 atts. (63.6 pct.) for 102 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs & rushed for career-high 91 yards last week, incl. 52-yard TD. Became 4th rookie QB ever with 50+ yard rush TD. Has rush TD in 4 of his past 5. Aims for 4th in row with 0 INTs. Leads rookie QBs with 4 rush TDs, 2nd-most ever by NYJ rookie QB. • RB MICHAEL CARTER (rookie) rushed for career-high 118 yards last week, his 3rd game with 100+ scrimmage yards this season, tied 3rd-most among rookie RBs. Has 60+ scrimmage yards in 6 of his past 7. Is only rookie with 500+ rush yards (566) & 300+ rec. yards (316). RB TEVIN COLEMAN aims for 5th in row with 50+ rush yards. Has TD in 3 of his past 4 vs. TB. • WR JAMISON CROWDER had 5 catches for 48 yards in only career game vs. TB (10/25/15 w/ Was.). Leads team with 50 catches, his 3rd straight season with 50+ catches. WR BRAXTON BERRIOS led team with 5 catches & had 102-yard KR-TD last week, his 1st-career return-TD. • LB C.J. MOSLEY led team with 10 tackles & had 2nd sack & FF of season in Week 16. Aims for 5th in row with 10+ tackles. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. TB with 8+ tackles. Ranks 5th in NFL with career-high 142 tackles. LB JARRAD DAVIS had season-high 8 tackles in Week 16. CB BRYCE HALL had PD last week & has PD in 4 of past 5. Rookie CB JASON PINNOCK had 4 tackles & 1stcareer FF & PD in Week 16. DE RONNIE BLAIR had 2nd-career FR last week.



LEADER: Dolphins lead all-time series, 21-16

STREAKS: Dolphins have won past 2

LAST GAME: 9/9/18: Titans 20 at Dolphins 27

LAST GAME AT SITE: 10/18/15: Dolphins 38, Titans 10

QB TUA TAGOVAILOA completed 19 of 26 atts. (73.1 pct.) for 198 yards & TD vs. INT for 91.5 rating last week. Has 90+ rating in 5 of his past 6 starts. Aims for his 3rd in row on road with 70+ comp. pct. & 90+ rating. Leads NFL with 70.1 comp. pct. this season. • RB DUKE JOHNSON has 166 scrimmage yards (83 per game) in 2 starts this season. Ranks 6th among active RBs with 308 catches & 2,849 rec. yards. RB MYLES GASKIN has 50+ scrimmage yards in 2 of his past 3 on road. • WR JAYLEN WADDLE led team with 10 catches for 92 yards & TD last week, his 3rd game with 10+ catches this season, 2nd-most ever by a rookie. Aims for 5th in row with 8+ catches & 65+ rec. yards. Has rec. TD in 2 of past 3. Leads rookies with 96 catches & needs 6 more to surpass ANQUAN BOLDIN (101 in 2003) for most-ever by rookie. WR DEVANTE PARKER has 60+ rec. yards in 4 of his past 5. TE MIKE GESICKI has 5+ catches in 2 of past 3. Aims for his 4th in row vs. AFC South with 50+ rec. yards. Is 1 of 4 TEs with 50+ catches in each of past 3 seasons. • CB XAVIEN HOWARD had 2nd-career sack last week. Has PD in 4 of his past 5 on road. Has 33 PD since 2020, tied 3rd-most in NFL. CB NIK NEEDHAM had 28-yard INT-TD in Week 16, his 1stcareer TD. S BRANDON JONES had sack & 1st INT of season last week. Aims for 4th in row with sack. DE EMMANUEL OGBAH led team with 2 sacks in Week 16. Aims for 3rd in row with sack. Has sack in 2 of 3 career games vs. Ten.

QB RYAN TANNEHILL completed 22 of 29 atts. (75.9 pct.) for 209 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs for 106.8 rating last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 70+ comp. pct. Spent 7 seasons with Mia. (2012-18) & ranks 3rd in franchise history in passing yards (20,434) and TD passes (123). Ranks 2nd among QBs with 7 rush TDs & is only QB with 7+ rush TDs in each of past 2 seasons. • RB D’ONTA FOREMAN rushed for TD last week & has rush TD in 2 of past 3. Aims for 3rd in row at home with rush TD. Has 60+ scrimmage yards in 3 of past 4. • WR A.J. BROWN led team with career-high 11 catches for 145 yards & TD last week. Has 5+ catches in 6 of his past 7. Leads team with 760 rec. yards, his 3rd-straight season with 750+ rec. yards. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. AFC East with 80+ rec. yards. WR JULIO JONES aims for his 3rd in row vs. Mia. with 6+ catches & 70+ rec. yards. TE ANTHONY FIRKSER has 4+ catches in 2 of his past 3 at home. • S KEVIN BYARD had 6 tackles & 2nd FF of season last week. Has 5+ tackles in 5 of past 6. Leads safeties with 13 PD in 2021 & ties for lead among safeties with 5 INTs. S AMANI HOOKER had 5 tackles & 1st INT of season last week. Has PD in 2 of past 3. CB JANORIS JENKINS had 1st INT of season in Week 16. Has PD in 3 of past 4. Aims for 3rd in row at home with PD. LB BUD DUPREE aims for 3rd in row with sack. Had sack in only career game vs. Mia. (10/28/19 w/ Pit.). DT DENICO AUTRY aims for 4th in row with sack.



LEADER: Washington leads all-time series, 87-80-5

STREAKS: Washington has won 2 of past 3

LAST GAME: 12/21/21: Washington 17 at Eagles 27

LAST GAME AT SITE: 9/13/20: Washington 27, Eagles 17

QB JALEN HURTS passed for 199 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 102.5 rating last week. Had 296 pass yards & 3 TDs (2 rush, 1 pass) vs. INT for 110.4 rating in Week 15 meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Was. with 2+ rush TDs. Has 13 career rush TDs, 5th-most by QB in 1st 2 seasons all-time. • RB BOSTON SCOTT had 5th rush TD of season last week. Has 50+ scrimmage yards in 3 of his past 4 vs. Was. RB JORDAN HOWARD aims for his 4th in row vs. Was. & 7th in row overall with 50+ scrimmage yards. • WR DEVONTA SMITH (rookie) led team with 5 catches for 80 yards & 5th-career rec. TD in Week 16. Ranks 4th among rookies with 821 rec. yards. TE DALLAS GOEDERT had 7 catches for career-high 135 yards in last meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Was. with 100+ rec. yards & 4th in row vs. Was. with 5+ catches. Ranks 5th among TEs with 759 rec. yards in 2021. • LB ALEX SINGLETON had 11 tackles & 29-yard INT-TD last week. Had FF in last meeting. Has career-high 122 tackles & aims for his 5th in row with 8+ tackles. LB T.J. EDWARDS had career high 16 tackles in Week 16 & had 1st-career season with 100+ tackles (111) in 2021. DT FLETCHER COX had 2 sacks & FF in Week 15 meeting. DE JOSH SWEAT tied career-high with his 6th sack of season & had his 4th-career FF in Week 16. Had sack in last road meeting. CB DARIUS SLAY had 2 PD in last meeting. Since 2013, leads NFL with 119 PD. S RODNEY MCLEOD had 15thcareer INT last week.

QB TAYLOR HEINICKE aims for his 10th start in row with TD pass, 4th-longest active streak in NFL. Has 90+ rating in 2 of his past 3 home starts. Has career-highs in pass yards (3,052) & TD passes (20) this season. • RB ANTONIO GIBSON had 3rd-career rec. TD in Week 16. Had 65 scrimmage yards (39 rec., 26 rush) & rush TD in Week 15 meeting. Has 75+ scrimmage yards in 2 of his past 3 at home. Is 1 of 2 NFC RBs (AARON JONES) with 1,000+ scrimmage yards & 9+ scrimmage TDs in each of past 2 seasons. Rookie RB JARET PATTERSON had rush TD in last meeting. • WR TERRY MCLAURIN had 51 rec. yards in Week 15 meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row at home vs. Phi. with 5+ catches & 50+ rec. yards. Needs 101 rec. yards for 2nd-consecutive 1,000- yard season. Rookie WR DYAMI BROWN led team with career high 53 rec. yards in Week 16. Rookie TE JOHN BATES had 1stcareer rec. TD last week. • DT JONATHAN ALLEN had sack in last meeting. Has career high 8.5 sacks in 2021. DE MONTEZ SWEAT had sack & FF in Week 15 meeting & aims for his 4th in row vs. Phi. with sack. DT MATT IOANNIDIS had sack last week. Had 1.5 sacks in last home meeting & aims for his 3rd in row vs. Phi. with TFL. LB COLE HOLCOMB has career-high 120 tackles in 2021. Has 6+ tackles in 4 of his 5 career games vs. Phi. S LANDON COLLINS had FR & INT in last meeting. Aims for his 7th in row vs. Phi. with 5+ tackles. CB KENDALL FULLER has career-high 14 PD in 2021.



LEADER: Broncos lead all-time series, 69-53-1

STREAKS: Broncos have won 4 of past 5

LAST GAME: 11/28/21: Chargers 13 at Broncos 28

LAST GAME AT SITE: 12/27/20: Chargers 19, Broncos 16

QB DREW LOCK completed 15 of 22 atts. (68.2 pct.) for 153 yards in 1st start of season last week. Has 2+ TD passes in 2 of 3 career starts vs. LAC. Has 250+ pass yards in 2 of his past 3 road starts. QB TEDDY BRIDGEWATER has 0 INTs & 100+ rating in each of his past 2 starts vs. LAC. Has 90+ rating in 5 of 6 road starts this season. • RB MELVIN GORDON has 50+ rush yards in 3 of past 4. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. LAC with 75+ rush yards. Totaled 6,113 scrimmage yards (4,240 rush, 1,873 rec.) & 47 TDs (36 rush, 11 rec.) in 5 seasons (2015-19) with Chargers. Is 1 of 2 RBs (EZEKIEL ELLIOTT) with 900+ scrimmage yards in each of past 6 seasons. Is 6th player ever with 7+ rush TDs in 6 straight seasons. Rookie RB JAVONTE WILLIAMS had rush TD last week & has rush TD in 2 of past 3. Had 111 scrimmage yards (57 rec., 54 rush) & rush TD in Week 12 meeting. Ranks 3rd among rookies with 1,123 scrimmage yards (827 rush, 296 rec.). • WR COURTLAND SUTTON led team with 4 catches last week. Has 70+ rec. yards & rec. TD in 2 of his past 3 vs. LAC. WR JERRY JEUDY led team with 60 rec. yards in Week 16. • S JUSTIN SIMMONS had 8 tackles, 2 PD & TFL in Week 12 meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. LAC with TFL. Is 1 of 3 in NFL (QUANDRE DIGGS & J.C. JACKSON) with 5+ INTs in each of past 2 seasons. LB BRADLEY CHUBB had 1st-career INT last week. Aims for 3rd in row with PD. DE SHELBY HARRIS had season-high 1.5 sacks & FF last week. Aims for 3rd in row with sack.

QB JUSTIN HERBERT completed 27 of 35 atts. (77.1 pct.) for 336 yards & TD vs. 2 INTs for 92.1 rating last week. Has 2+ TD passes in 5 of past 6. Has 70+ comp. pct. in 3 of past 4. Has 275+ pass yards & 2+ TD passes in 2 of 3 career game vs. Den. Has 8,730 pass yards, most-ever by player in 1st 2 seasons & 3rd-most ever by player in 1st 30 career starts. Ranks 2nd in NFL with career-high 4,394 pass yards in 2021. • RB AUSTIN EKELER has TD in 6 straight games, longest TD streak of career. Had 99 scrimmage yards (68 rec., 31 rush) & rec. TD in Week 12 meeting. Aims for his 4th in row vs. Den. with TD catch. Is only player in NFL with 10+ rush TDs (10) & 5+ rec. TDs (7) this season. RB JUSTIN JACKSON had career-high 162 scrimmage yards (98 rec., 64 rush) & 2 rush TDs last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 95+ scrimmage yards. • WR KEENAN ALLEN has 5+ catches in 11 of past 12. Has rec. TD in 2 of past 3. Had 7 catches for 85 yards in Week 12 meeting. Aims for his 4th in row vs. Den. with 6+ catches & 65+ rec. yards. Leads team with 96 catches & is 2nd player ever with 95+ catches in 5 straight seasons. Rookie WR JOSHUA PALMER had rec. TD last week & has 5+ catches & rec. TD in 2 of past 3. • LB KYZIR WHITE led team with 11 tackles last week. Aims for 8th in row with 9+ tackles. Has PD in 3 of 4 career games vs. Den. Has TFL in 3 of his past 4 vs. division. DT JERRY TILLERY had sack in Week 16. Rookie LB ASANTE SAMUEL JR. led team with 2 PD last week. Aims for 4th in row with PD.



LEADER: 49ers lead all-time series, 3-1

STREAKS: 49ers have won past 2

LAST GAME: 12/10/17: 49ers 26 at Texans 16

LAST GAME AT SITE: 10/6/13: 49ers 34, Texans 3

QB DAVIS MILLS (rookie) completed 21 of 27 atts. (career-high 77.8 pct.) for 254 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 130.6 rating last week & became 3rd rookie QB ever with 250+ pass yards, 2+ TD passes & 130+ rating in multiple games. Aims for 4th in row with 200+ pass yards & 90+ rating. Ranks 2nd among rookies with 66.6 comp. pct, 12 TD passes & 86.2 rating this season. • RB REX BURKHEAD rushed for career-high 149 yards & 2 TDs last week, his 4th-career game with 2 rush TDs. Has 65+ scrimmage yards in 2 of past 3. RB DAVID JOHNSON has 70+ scrimmage yards in 4 of his past 5 vs. SF. Has 5 rush TDs in 4 career games at SF. • WR BRANDIN COOKS aims for his 3rd in row with 7+ catches & 100+ rec. yards. Had TD catch in his last game vs SF (12/21/19 w/ LAR). Has rec. TD in 3 of his past 4 vs. SF. Has 5+ catches in 6 of his 7 road games this season. WR CHRIS CONLEY led team with 60 rec yards & had TD catch last week. Had rec. TD in only career game vs. SF (9/23/18 w/ KC). Rookie WR NICO COLLINS had 1st-career TD catch in Week 16. Rookie TE BREVIN JORDAN had career-high 56 rec. yards last week. • LB NEVILLE HEWITT led team with season-high 11 tackles in Week 16. Aims for 3rd in row with 9+ tackles. CB TAVIERRE THOMAS had 8 tackles & 48-yard INT-TD last week, his 1stcareer TD. Aims for 3rd in row with 8+ tackles. CB DESMOND KING had 7 tackles & PD in Week 16. S JONATHAN OWENS had 4 tackles, FR & 1st-career INT last week.

QB JIMMY GAROPPOLO completed 26 of 35 atts. (74.3 pct.) for 322 yards last week, his 4th game with 300+ pass yards in 2021. Is 1 of 5 NFC QBs with 90+ rating in 10+ games (10) this season. Since Week 8, ranks 2nd in NFL with 104.8 rating. Passed for 334 yards & TD vs. INT for 92.2 rating in last meeting. Rookie QB TREY LANCE has 354 pass yards, 137 rush yards & 4 TDs (3 pass, 1 rush) with 88.4 rating in 5 games this season. • RB ELI MITCHELL leads all rookies in scrimmage yards per game (98.3). RB JEFF WILSON aims for his 3rd in row with rush TD. • TE GEORGE KITTLE needs 64 rec. yards to pass HOFer KELLEN WINSLOW SR. (4,513) for 2nd-most rec. yards by TE in 1st 5 seasons all-time. Is 1 of 2 TEs (TRAVIS KELCE) with 500+ rec. yards in each of past 5 seasons. WR DEEBO SAMUEL had 9 catches & career-high 191 scrimmage yards (159 rec., 32 rush) last week. Is 1st player since ANTONIO BROWN (2017) with 150+ rec. yards in 4+ games (4) in single season. Is 1st player in NFL history with 1,200+ rec. yards (1,247) & 300+ rush yards (301) in single season. WR BRANDON AIYUK had 5th rec. TD of season last week. • DL NICK BOSA leads NFL with 19 TFL & ranks tied-3rd in sacks (career-high 15). Aims for his 4th in row at home with sack. LB FRED WARNER has 4-straight 100+ tackle seasons (114). Has 8+ tackles in 7 of his past 8 at home. DL SAMSON EBUKAM had season-high 1.5 sacks last week & aims for his 3rd in row with sack. DB JIMMIE WARD had 2 PD last week.



LEADER: Cowboys lead all-time series, 56-32-1

STREAKS: Cardinals have won 5 of past 6

LAST GAME: 10/19/20: Cardinals 38 at Cowboys 10


ARIZONA clinched playoff berth for 1st time since 2015. • QB KYLER MURRAY totaled 319 yards (245 pass, 74 rush) & had TD vs. 0 INTs in Week 16. Needs 216 pass yards to become 4th QB ever (ANDREW LUCK, HOFer PEYTON MANNING & BAKER MAYFIELD) with 3,500+ pass yards & 20+ TD passes in each of 1st 3 seasons. Has 90+ rating in 7 of his past 8 road starts. Had 3 TDs (2 pass, 1 rush) vs. 0 INTs in last meeting. • RB JAMES CONNER ranks 2nd in NFL in rush TDs (career-high 14) & tied-3rd in scrimmage TDs (career-high 16). Has TD in 3 of his past 4 on road. Has 50+ scrimmage yards in each of 1st 8 road games this season. RB CHASE EDMONDS had career high 8 receptions with 127 scrimmage yards (71 rec., 56 rush) & 2nd rush TD of season last week. Has 2nd-straight season with 800+ scrimmage yards (821). • TE ZACH ERTZ had 8 catches for 54 yards last week & aims for his 4th in row with 5+ catches. Had 53 rec. yards & TD catch in his last game at Dal. (9/27/21 w/ Phi.). WR CHRISTIAN KIRK had 2 rec. TDs in last meeting. Had 7 catches last week & has career highs in catches (69) & rec. yards (860) in 2021. • S BUDDA BAKER had 12 tackles & sack last week. Had sack, FF & INT in last meeting. Needs 9 tackles for 4th-straight 100-tackle season. LB CHANDLER JONES needs 0.5 sacks for 7th-career season with 10+ sacks. LB JORDAN HICKS has 3rd-straight 100+ tackle season (110). Has 4 INTs in his past 5 vs. Dal. LB MARKUS GOLDEN has 8 sacks in 8 road games in 2021. • DALLAS clinched NFC East for 1st time since 2018.

QB DAK PRESCOTT passed for 330 yards & 4 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 131.4 rating last week, his 6th-career game with 4+ TD passes. Needs 72 pass yards & TD pass for 2nd-career season with 4,000+ yards & 30+ TDs (2019). Has 21 TDs (20 pass, 1 rush) vs. 2 INTs for 117.9 rating in 7 home starts in 2021. Aim for his 4th in row at home with 100+ rating & 8th in row at home with 2+ TD passes. • RB EZEKIEL ELLIOTT had 9th-career game with both rush TD & rec. TD last week. Has 3rd-career season with 10+ rush TDs (10) & 6th-straight season with 1,100+ scrimmage yards (1,169). Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Az. with 80+ scrimmage yards & 4th in row at home with rush TD. • WR AMARI COOPER had 7 catches for 85 yards & rec. TD in Week 16. Has 50+ rec. yards in 4 of his past 5 at home. Is 8th player ever with 5+ rec. TDs in each of his 1st 7 seasons. WR CEEDEE LAMB has career-high 1,006 rec. yards in 2021, his 1stcareer 1,000-yard season. TE DALTON SCHULTZ has career highs in catches (69), rec. yards (733) & rec. TDs (6) in 2021. • CB TREVON DIGGS became 7th player in SB era & 1st since EVERSON WALLS (1981) with 11 INTs in single season. Ranks tied1st in NFL with 21 PD. LB MICAH PARSONS is 6th rookie since 1982 & 1st since ALDON SMITH (2011) with 13+ sacks (13) in single season. DE DEMARCUS LAWRENCE had 1st-career INT-TD last week. Has sack in 2 of his past 3.



LEADER: Saints lead all-time series, 27-26

STREAKS: Saints have won 4 of past 5

LAST GAME: 9/19/21: Saints 7 at Panthers 26

LAST GAME AT SITE: 10/25/20: Saints 27, Panthers 24

QB CAM NEWTON has 16 TDs (14 pass, 2 rush) vs. 4 INTs for 93.5 rating in 7 career starts at NO. Has 100+ rating in 3 of his past 4 at NO & aims for his 5th in row at NO with 2+ TD passes. Aims for his 4th in row on road with rush TD. Is NFL all-time leader among QBs in rush TDs (75) & ranks 2nd in rush yards (5,623). QB SAM DARNOLD passed for 190 yards last week. Had 305 pass yards & 2 TDs vs. INT for 99.1 rating in Week 2 meeting. • RB CHUBA HUBBARD is 1 of 2 NFC rookie RBs (ELI MITCHELL) with 500+ rush yards (509) in 2021. • WR DJ MOORE had 5 catches for 55 yards last week. Is 1 of 3 WRs (STEFON DIGGS & TYLER LOCKETT) with 1,000+ rec. yards in each of past 3 seasons. Had 8 catches for 79 yards & rec. TD in Week 2 meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row at NO with 2+ rec. TDs & 4th in row at NO with 80+ rec. yards. WR ROBBY ANDERSON had 5 catches for 58 yards last week. Had 6 catches for 74 yards in last road meeting. • LB HAASON REDDICK had 1.5 sacks in Week 2 meeting. Is 1 of 5 players with 11+ sacks in each of past 2 seasons. DE BRIAN BURNS has career-high 13 TFL this season. Has 4 sacks in 4 career games vs. NO & aims for his 5th in row vs. NO with sack. LB SHAQ THOMPSON neds 9 tackles for his 3rd-straight 100-tackle season. S JEREMY CHINN leads all DBs with 219 tackles since 2020. Is 1 of 2 DBs (DERWIN JAMES) with 100+ tackles (103), 5+ TFL (5) & 5+ PD (5) in 2021. CB STEPHON GILMORE ranks 4th with 116 PD since 2012.

QB TAYSOM HILL is 5-2 with 12 TDs (6 pass, 6 rush) vs. 6 INTs for 81.9 rating in 7 career starts at QB & has 2+ total TDs in 6 of his 7 QB starts. Rookie QB IAN BOOK passed for 135 yards in his 1st career start last week. • RB ALVIN KAMARA has 376 scrimmage yards (125.3 per game) & 2 rush TDs in 3 career home games vs. Car. Aims for his 4th in row at home vs. Car. with 100+ scrimmage yards. Has 34 TDs (22 rush, 12 rec.) in 35 career home games. Aims for his 8th in row at home with 50+ scrimmage yards. Is 1 of 2 (ROGER CRAIG) with 4,000+ rush yards (4,060) & 3,000+ rec. yards (3,179) in his 1st 5 seasons all-time. • WR MARQUEZ CALLAWAY had 46 rec. yards last week. Has career-highs in receptions (40), rec. yards (601) & rec. TDs (6) this season. WR LIL’JORDAN HUMPHREY led team with 70 rec. yards last week & has 45+ rec. yards in 3 of his past 4. • DE CAMERON JORDAN had 2 sacks last week & became 4th player since 2000 (JARED ALLEN, ROBERT MATHIS & JULIUS PEPPERS) with 7+ sacks in 10-straight seasons. Aims for his 3rd in row with 2+ sacks. DE MARCUS DAVENPORT has career high 7.5 sacks in 2021. Aims for his 3rd in row at home & 3rd in row overall with sack. LB DEMARIO DAVIS had 12 tackles in Week 2 meeting & aims for his 3rd in row vs. Car. with PD. Is 1 of 3 (AARON DONALD & T.J. WATT) with 10+ TFL in each of past 5 seasons. CB MARSHON LATTIMORE is 1 of 3 (JAMES BRADBERRY & MARLON HUMPHREY) with 10+ PD in each of past 5 seasons.



LEADER: Seahawks lead all-time series, 9-5

STREAKS: Seahawks have won past 2

LAST GAME: 10/28/18: Seahawks 28 at Lions 14

LAST GAME AT SITE: 10/5/15: Seahawks 13, Lions 10

QB JARED GOFF has 9 TDs vs. 2 INTs for 105.1 rating in his past 4 starts. Has 300+ pass yards & 80+ rating in 2 of his past 3 starts at Sea. QB TIM BOYLE completed 24 of 34 atts. (70.6 pct.) & had TD vs. INT last week. • RB JAMAAL WILLIAMS rushed for season-high 77 yards last week & aims for his 4th in row with 75+ scrimmage yards. Has 50+ scrimmage yards in 4 of his past 5 on road. Is 1 of 6 RBs with 600+ scrimmage yards in each of past 5 seasons. RB CRAIG REYNOLDS has 80+ rush yards in 2 of his past 3 & aims for his 4th in row with 50+ scrimmage yards. • WR AMON-RA ST. BROWN (rookie) led team with 9 receptions for 91 yards & rec. TD last week. Is 3rd rookie all-time (ODELL BECKHAM JR. & ANQUAN BOLDIN) with 8+ catches & rec. TD in 3+ games. Is 2nd rookie ever (ODELL BECKHAM JR. in 2014) with 8+ catches in 4 straight games. Ranks 2nd among rookies with 74 receptions in 2021. • LB JALEN REEVES-MAYBIN led team with 8 tackles & had 2ndcareer FF last week. Aims for his 3rd in row overall with PD & 6th in row on road with 5+ tackles. Rookie LB DERRICK BARNES had 1st-career sack last week. LB AUSTIN BRYANT had sack last week. Rookie NT ALIM MCNEILL aims for his 3rd in row on road with sack. S DEAN MARLOWE had 2nd-career FR in Week 16. Has 5+ tackles in 4 of his past 5 & has career-high 52 tackles in 2021. S WILL HARRIS has PD in 4 of his past 5. Has career-high 75 tackles this season.

QB RUSSELL WILSON had 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 104.1 rating last week. Needs 2 TD passes to join HOFers PEYTON MANNING & DAN MARINO as only players with 20+ TD passes in each of 1st 10 career seasons. Has 111 career wins, incl. playoffs & can tie PEYTON MANNING (112) for most wins, incl. playoffs, by QB in 1st 10 seasons all-time. Completed 14 of 17 atts. (82.4 pct.) for 248 yards & 3 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 158.3 rating, the highest attainable mark, in last meeting. • RB RASHAAD PENNY rushed for 135 yards & TD last week & has career-high 389 rush yards in 2021. Aims for his 3rd in row at home with 60+ scrimmage yards. • WR DK METCALF had 9th TD catch of season last week. Is 1 of 3 WRs (MIKE EVANS & TYREEK HILL) with 7+ rec. TDs in each of past 3 seasons. Needs 54 rec. yards for 3rd-straight season with 900+ rec. yards. WR TYLER LOCKETT is 1 of 3 WRs (STEFON DIGGS & DJ MOORE) with 1,000+ rec. yards in each of past 3 seasons. Had TD catch in last meeting. TE GERALD EVERETT had career-high 4th rec. TD of season last week. • LB BOBBY WAGNER leads NFL with career-high 170 tackles, 3rd player since 2010 with 170+ tackles (VONTAZE BURFICT – 2013; JEROD MAYO – 2010). LB JORDYN BROOKS ranks 3rd in NFL with career-high 155 tackles. Can become 1st player since ZACH THOMAS (2004) with 10+ tackles in 8 straight games. LB CARLOS DUNLAP aims for his 3rd in row with 2+ sacks. Is 1 of 2 (CAMERON JORDAN) with 6+ sacks in each of past 10 seasons.



LEADER: Packers lead all-time series, 62-55-3

STREAKS: Vikings have won past 2

LAST GAME: 11/21/21: Packers 31 at Vikings 34

LAST GAME AT SITE: 11/1/20: Vikings 28, Packers 22

QB KIRK COUSINS has 3rd-career season with 30+ TD passes (2018, 2020) & needs 29 pass yards for 6th-career 4,000-yard season. Passed for 315 yards in Week 16 & has 39 games with 300+ yards since 2015, 3rd-most in NFL. Passed for 341 yards & 3 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 128.4 rating in Week 11 meeting. Aims for his 4th in row vs. GB with 100+ rating. Can become 5th player (6th time overall) with 2+ TD passes in 11-straight road games. • RB DALVIN COOK has 746 scrimmage yards (124.3 per game) & 9 TDs (7 rush, 2 rec.) in 6 career games vs. GB. Had 226 scrimmage yards (163 rush, 63 rec.) & career-high 4 TDs (3 rush, 1 rec.) in last road meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row at GB with 190+ scrimmage yards. Is 1 of 2 (NICK CHUBB) with 1,200+ scrimmage yards in each of past 3 seasons. • WR JUSTIN JEFFERSON has 2,851 rec. yards, most by player in 1st 2 seasons all-time. Needs 3 catches to become 4th player under age 23 with 100+ receptions in single season. Had 8 catches for 169 yards & 2 rec. TDs in Week 11 meeting. Has 13 games with 100+ rec. yards, tied 2nd-most in NFL since 2020. WR ADAM THIELEN had 8 catches for 82 yards & rec. TD in last meeting. Is 1 of 3 (DAVANTE ADAMS & MIKE EVANS) with 10+ rec. TDs in each of past 2 seasons. • LB ANTHONY BARR had 1st-career 2-INT game last week. Had 10 tackles in last meeting. S HARRISON SMITH had sack in Week 11 meeting. Has career-high 100 tackles in 2021. DE D.J. WONNUM aims for his 4th in row on road with sack.

QB AARON RODGERS leads NFL with 110.8 rating & is only player with 20+ TD passes (33) & less than 5 INTs (4) in 2021. Since Week 11, has 1,503 pass yards (300.6 per game) & 17 TDs (16 pass, 1 rush) vs. 0 INTs for 125.3 rating in 5 starts. Aims for his 4th in row with 115+ rating & 6th in row with 2+ TD passes. Has 57 TDs (54 pass, 3 rush) vs. 7 INTs for 110.2 rating in 26 career games vs. Min. Passed for 385 yards & 4 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 148.4 rating in Week 11 meeting. Since 2020, is 5-0 on SNF with 17 TDs vs. INT for 132.6 rating. • RB AARON JONES is 1 of 2 (DERRICK HENRY) with 1,000+ scrimmage yards & 10+ scrimmage TDs in each of past 3 seasons. Has 31 TDs (24 rush, 7 rec.) in 33 career home games. Aims for his 5th in row vs. Min. with rush TD. RB AJ DILLON needs 34 scrimmage yards for 1st-career 1,000-yard season. • WR DAVANTE ADAMS is 3rd player ever (HOFers MARVIN HARRISON & JERRY RICE) with 3+ career seasons (3) with 100+ catches, 1,300+ rec. yards & 10+ rec. TDs. Had 10 catches for 114 yards & 2 rec. TDs last week. Had 115 rec. yards & 2 rec. TDs in Week 11 meeting. Has rec. TD in 11-straight SNF games, longest streak all-time. • LB DE’VONDRE CAMPBELL has career-high 137 tackles & aims for his 4th in row with 10+ tackles. LB RASHAN GARY had 2ndcareer game with 2 sack last week & had career-high 8.5 sacks in 2021. LB PRESTON SMITH had 2 sacks in Week 11 meeting & aims for his 3rd in row at home with sack.



LEADER: Steelers lead all-time series, 76-60-1

STREAKS: Steelers have won 3 of past 4

LAST GAME: 10/31/21: Steelers 15 at Browns 10

LAST GAME AT SITE: 10/18/20: Steelers 38, Browns 7

QB BAKER MAYFIELD passed for 225 yards in Week 8 meeting. Aims for 3rd start in row vs. Pit. with 0 INTs. Has 325+ pass yards in 2 of 3 career starts on MNF. Needs 175 pass yards to become 8th player ever with 3,000+ pass yards & 15+ TD passes in each of 1st 4 seasons. • RB NICK CHUBB had 184 scrimmage yards (126 rush, 58 rec.) & rush TD last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 90+ rush yards & rush TD. Has 75+ scrimmage yards in 4 of his past 5 vs. Pit. Has 762 scrimmage yards (127 per game) & 6 rush TDs in 6 road games this season. Aims for his 4th in row on MNF with 95+ scrimmage yards. Ranks 3rd in NFL with 1,143 rush yards & is only player with 950+ rush yards in each of past 4 seasons. RB KAREEM HUNT has 50+ scrimmage yards in 5 of 6 career games vs. Pit. Has rush TD in 3 of his 4 road games this season. RB D’ERNEST JOHNSON had rush TD in Week 8 meeting. • WR JARVIS LANDRY has 50+ rec. yards in 2 of past 3. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Pit. with 5+ catches & 50+ rec. yards. WR RASHARD HIGGINS had season-high 5 catches for 58 yards last week. Had rec. TD in last road meeting. TE HARRISON BRYANT aims for 3rd in row with TD catch. • DE MYLES GARRETT had sack in Week 8 meeting & has 6 sacks in 7 career games vs. Pit. Aims for his 5th in row vs. division with sack. Has 4 sacks in 3 career games on MNF. CB M.J. STEWART led team with 10 tackles & had season-high 2 TFL last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 10+ tackles.

QB BEN ROETHLISBERGER passed for 266 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs for 98.4 rating in Week 8 meeting. Aims for his 4th start in row vs. Cle. with 90+ rating & 3rd in row with 0 INTs. Has 250+ pass yards in 3 of his past 4 vs. division. Has 90+ rating in 4 of his past 5 at home. Has 110+ rating in 3 of his past 4 on MNF. • RB NAJEE HARRIS had 110 scrimmage yards (93 rush, 17 rec.) last week, his 8th game with 100+ scrimmage yards this season, most among rookies. Has 100+ scrimmage yards in 3 of past 4. Had 120 scrimmage yards (91 rush, 29 rec.) & rush TD in Week 8 meeting. Leads rookies with 1,406 scrimmage yards (984 rush, 422 rec.) & ranks 2nd with 9 TDs (6 rush, 3 rec.), most-ever scrimmage yards by Pit. rookie. RB BENNY SNELL has rush TD in each of past 2 home meetings. • WR DIONTAE JOHNSON aims for 11th in row with 5+ catches. Has 50+ rec. yards in 12 of past 13. Aims for 3rd in row vs. Cle. & 5th in row vs. division with 95+ rec. yards. Is of 2 AFC WRs (TYREEK HILL) with 90+ catches (92), 1,000+ rec. yards (1,079) & 7+ rec. TDs (7) this season. TE PAT FREIERMUTH ranks 2nd among rookies with 7 rec. TDs this season. • LB T.J. WATT had 1.5 sacks & FR in Week 8 meeting & has 10.5 sacks in 8 career games vs. Cle. Has sack in 6 of his past 7 vs. division. Has 11 sacks in his past 5 at home. Has 4 sacks in his past 2 on MNF. Leads NFL with 17.5 sacks, most in Pit. history. LB ALEX HIGHSMITH had sack & 1st-career FF last week. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Cle. with TFL.

Harbaugh: Lamar ‘has a chance’ to play vs. Rams despite not practicing

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson “has a chance” to play Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams despite missing his second straight practice with an ankle injury, head coach John Harbaugh said Friday.

Jackson, who was officially listed as questionable for Week 17, practiced Wednesday but was seen limping throughout the session. He then sat out Thursday and Friday. Tyler Huntley will start for a third time this season if Jackson can’t play.

The Ravens’ chances of winning the AFC North are slim after the team fell to 8-7 last week with its second loss of the year to the Cincinnati Bengals. But Baltimore is still in the thick of the AFC wild-card race.

Josh Johnson was forced to start the blowout defeat against the Bengals with Jackson ailing for a second straight week and Huntley on the COVID-19 list.

Huntley, 23, has impressed in two starts and three further appearances this season. He’s completed 68.8% of his passes for 743 yards and three touchdowns against one interception while adding 168 yards and two scores on the ground.

Jackson, meanwhile, has struggled with turnovers after an MVP-caliber first half of the campaign. The 24-year-old has thrown for six touchdowns against eight interceptions and hasn’t found the end zone as a runner over the last five games.

Bears’ Fields to miss second straight game with ankle injury

CHICAGO (AP) Quarterback Justin Fields will likely miss his second straight game because of an ankle injury when the Chicago Bears host the New York Giants on Sunday.

Coach Matt Nagy said Friday that Andy Dalton will start after being sidelined because of a groin injury and Nick Foles will be the backup. Fields is listed as questionable after practicing on a limited basis this week.

“Justin is continuing to improve every day, but as I’ve said from the start, we want to make sure that we’re always putting him and these players in the best position possible,” Nagy said. “So, he’s working toward that. If he’s gonna be up, then we’d want him to be the starter. That’s why we’re making that decision.”

Fields missed last week’s win at Seattle after getting injured in a Monday night loss to Minnesota. Foles made his first start in 13 months and led the Bears (5-10) to a 25-24 comeback victory. The Super Bowl 52 MVP threw a 15-yard touchdown to Jimmy Graham with about a minute remaining. Damiere Byrd made an acrobatic reception for the 2-point conversion, and Chicago came out on top after losing eight of nine.

Nagy said the “pain of the football movements” is limiting Fields. He also said the prized rookie is doing “everything he can” to be ready for the season finale at Minnesota on Jan. 9.

Vikings lose Cousins to COVID list before game vs. Packers

(AP) — The Minnesota Vikings placed quarterback Kirk Cousins on the COVID-19 reserve list on Friday, two days before their most important game of the season at Green Bay.

Cousins is unvaccinated. Even if he were asymptomatic, he wouldn’t be able to return in time to face the Packers. The NFL recently reduced the required quarantine period to five days for asymptomatic players.

The Vikings (7-8) are one game out of the last wild-card spot in the NFC with two weeks to go. The Packers (12-3) are in control of the top seed and a first-round bye.

The Vikings activated backup quarterback Sean Mannion from the COVID-19 reserve list, putting the seventh-year veteran in line to start at frigid Lambeau Field on Sunday night. Rookie Kellen Mond, who was drafted in the third round, has not developed quickly enough this season to be considered.

“Sean is extremely bright. He studies like crazy. He’s a great competitor. He’s put in this time. He’s earned this opportunity and I think he’ll be ready,” coach Mike Zimmer said after practice on Friday. “I think they’re going to rally behind Sean. They know how important this game is, and they believe in Sean.”

Mannion started one game for the Los Angeles Rams in 2017 and one game for the Vikings in 2019, when Cousins was held out of the final regular-season game as a precaution prior to the playoffs.

After Minnesota’s last game, a 30-23 loss to the Rams, Cousins acknowledged the predicament of the case numbers climbing within the team like all across the league.

“It’s in our building. It’s going to be in our building. It’s going to spread. We’ve just got to be disciplined to keep our distance and make sure that to the best of our ability we don’t get it,” Cousins said, “but it is going to be difficult.”

Cousins has 30 touchdown passes and seven interceptions this season and is fourth in the NFL in passer rating (101.3). He is 29 yards passing short of hitting the 4,000 mark for a sixth time in seven years as a starter. Cousins is in his fourth season with the Vikings, who have him signed for 2022 with a $45 million salary-cap charge.

Mond and recent addition Kyle Sloter are the other quarterbacks on Minnesota’s roster. When Mond tested positive in training camp, Cousins had to sit out five days as an unvaccinated close contact.

Zimmer didn’t hide his frustration in August with the players who remained unvaccinated, expressing resignation that they would miss games at some point during the year. Plenty of vaccinated players have tested positive and had to sit out, of course, but the rate of infection by the virus among unvaccinated people is much higher.

Unvaccinated players must continue to test daily. Any player, regardless of vaccination status, must test while they have symptoms. Zimmer said he was not sure about symptoms for Cousins.

“We hate to see that happen to Kirk, but he’s done a lot of great things for us,” Zimmer said. “You’re always hopeful that none of your players get it.”

In Denver, the Broncos scrubbed their regular practice for the second straight day and instead held an indoor walkthrough on Friday after several more players were added to the reserve/COVID-19 list, including wide receiver Jerry Jeudy and outside linebacker Bradley Chubb.

Coach Vic Fangio said wide receiver Courtland Sutton might also be added to the virus list, which he expects to contain between 15 and 18 players when it’s finalized later Friday.

Fangio said he wasn’t sure he’d be able to dress the usual 45 players Sunday when the Broncos (7-8) play the Chargers (8-7), who are dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak of their own.

The Broncos will be without at least two starting wide receivers (Jeudy, Tim Patrick) and maybe all three if Sutton is confirmed infected, three of their top four edge rushers (Chubb, Jonathon Cooper and Stephen Weatherly), their top slot cornerback (Bryce Callahan), their dime back (Caden Sterns), their starting right tackle (Bobby Massie) and their top swing tackle (Calvin Anderson). Also out because of COVID-19 is defensive line coach Bill Kollar.

Around the league, teams were experiencing more gains than losses as players in the pre-Christmas surge of positive tests have begun to trickle back to action.

The Jacksonville Jaguars activated seven players from their COVID-19 reserve list, including defensive starters Josh Allen, Myles Jack and Damien Wilson. Allen, Jack and Wilson cleared protocols and will fly with the team to New England.

The Jaguars (2-13) still have 20 players on the COVID-19 list, including three starting offensive linemen. Interim coach Darrell Bevell said Friday he hopes center Brandon Linder and guard Andrew Norwell will be cleared in time to play the Patriots. Jacksonville has a second plane lined up to take players who could still clear protocols as late as Sunday morning.

Left tackle Cam Robinson is among four Jacksonville players already ruled out. Safeties Rudy Ford and Andrew Wingard and returner Jaydon Mickens also are out. Bevell said rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence will start, no matter what the offensive line looks like.

Jacksonville also activated tight end Luke Farrell, receiver Laviska Shenault and defensive end Jordan Smith from COVID-19 reserve and moved running back Travis Etienne from the COVID-19 list back to injured reserve.

Also returning from COVID-19 reserve on Friday:

-Safety Jahleel Addae and running back Marlon Mack to the Indianapolis Colts.

-Defensive tackle Akiem Hicks to the Chicago Bears.

-Wide receiver Mike Evans to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who put punter Bradley Pinion on the COVID-19 reserve list.

-Guard Sean Harlow to the Arizona Cardinals.

-Defensive tackle Tyeler Davison to the Atlanta Falcons.

Garoppolo listed as doubtful for 49ers with injured thumb

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is listed as doubtful this week because of a injured right thumb with rookie Trey Lance in line to get his second start.

Garoppolo hurt his thumb last Thursday night in a 20-17 loss at Tennessee and didn’t practice this week as he tries to rest the thumb.

Coach Kyle Shanahan said Garoppolo will test out the thumb this weekend to see if he’s able to play on Sunday when the Niners (8-7) host the Houston Texans (4-11).

“That’s why we didn’t have him go out there because we’re told each day that we can push it off one more it gives him a better chance for it to stay,” Shanahan said Friday of the torn ligament in Garoppolo’s thumb. “So we’re trying to hold off him throwing until tomorrow, possibly Sunday.”

If Garoppolo can’t go, Lance will get his second start of the season with San Francisco looking to clinch a playoff berth with a win and a loss by New Orleans.

The Niners traded three first-round picks to draft Lance third overall in April, but Lance has only played five snaps in garbage time since starting in Week 5 at Arizona. But he got the full week of practice this week with the first-team offense.

“It was a lot of fun,” Lance said. “I think I gained a lot from it. I got a lot better for sure.”

Lance went 15 for 29 for 192 yards with an interception in that 17-10 loss and also ran 16 times for 89 yards in his first start. Lance hurt his knee in that game and hasn’t thrown a pass since but has impressed the team in practice.

“Guys believe in Trey,” Shanahan said. “I think guys expect him to go out there and play well. By no means, like everyone, is he going to play perfect. They got to see him Arizona week, they’ve got to see him this week in terms of how he handles himself. … He knows how to handle the part. He knows how to get in the huddle. He takes command. His preparation is very impressive, and I think that gives the guys a lot of confidence in him.”

NOTES: The Niners will call up QB Nate Sudfeld from the practice squad in case Garoppolo is unavailable. … RB Elijah Mitchell (knee) is listed as questionable but is expected to play after missing the last three games. … LB Dre Greenlaw (groin), LB Azeez Al-Shaair (knee), DT Maurice Hurst (calf) are out for Sunday’s game. … S S Talanoa Hufanga (knee) is doubtful.


Grady scores 23 as Kentucky beats Smith, High Point 92-48

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) Tubby Smith returned to Kentucky, and Kellan Grady stole the show.

Grady spoiled Smith’s trip to Rupp Arena, making seven 3-pointers to lead No. 18 Kentucky to a 92-48 victory over High Point on Friday.

Smith coached Kentucky for 10 years from 1997-2007, winning the NCAA title in 1998. The High Point alum was hired to coach the Panthers in March 2018.

Kentucky raised a jersey in Rupp to honor Smith. But after the pregame ceremony, it was all Wildcats.

Kentucky shot 58% from the field in the first half and led 43-25 at the break. High Point closed to 47-34 on Zach Austin’s 3-pointer with 17:14 left, but Grady responded with three more 3s during an impressive burst.

“(Coach John Calipari) mentioned during starting lineups he was going to run a couple sets to give me the opportunity to get a couple shots,” said Grady, who finished with 23 points.

TyTy Washington had 15 points and nine assists for the Wildcats (11-2), and Oscar Tshiebwe finished with 15 points and eight rebounds.

Austin and John-Michael Wright each had 12 points and six rebounds for High Point (6-8).


Fans packed Rupp Arena early to witness the unveiling of Smith’s jersey before the game. As the former Kentucky coach made his way to the floor during warmups, the crowd applauded and chanted “Tubby! Tubby!”

“You want to enjoy the moments and savor these opportunities. When you do your job and do it the best of your ability, people respect that,” Smith said. “And I think that is a testament to the values we tried to instill in our players and family.”


Thanks to the large margin, Kentucky’s starters left the game with about 10 minutes to play.

The Wildcats got valuable minutes from their reserves, including Lance Ware, who had five rebounds and two blocked shots in eight minutes of play, and Jacob Toppin, who had six points and six rebounds in nine minutes.


Kentucky went 18 for 31 from 3-point range. Grady was 7 for 10, and Washington went 3 for 5. The Wildcats were very efficient on offense, shooting 59% for the game and finishing with 23 assists on 39 field goals.

“When we make shots like we made today we are going to beat people and there will be a big margins,” Calipari said.


High Point opens Big South Conference play at home against Winthrop on Wednesday.

Kentucky faces a challenging SEC road opener on Tuesday at No. 16 LSU. It will be Kentucky’s first true road game since a disappointing 66-62 loss at Notre Dame. Washington said the team has been more focused since that loss and will go at each other hard in practice to get ready for Tuesday’s showdown in Baton Rouge.


No. 9 Michigan tops short-handed No. 25 Ohio State 90-71

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) Naz Hillmon had 29 points and 15 rebounds, her 40th career double-double, leading No. 9 Michigan to a 90-71 win over short-handed No. 25 Ohio State on Friday.

Emily Kiser had 18 points and 15 rebounds for the Wolverines, who had advantages of 50-36 on points in the paint and 48-27 on the boards. Leigha Brown added 24 points.

“We knew that we were going to have mismatches inside. . So both (Naz) and Emily had amazing days, they both were able to be aggressive, really able to rebound,” Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico said. “And anytime they got going, then our guards got going from the outside. I think they just fed off each other.”

Michigan (12-1, 3-0 Big Ten) led wire-to-wire, pushing its lead to double digits with a 12-3 run to end the first half up 45-31. The Wolverines scored the first nine points of the second half to push the lead to 23. A 12-3 run helped Ohio St. (9-3, 1-2) cut the deficit to 67-53 heading to the fourth, before Michigan pulled away again.

“In the second half, it got away from us a little bit. It was almost like we were waiting for something good to happen. Then we made a couple of shots, and our energy level went sky-high,” Ohio St. coach Kevin McGuff said. “As I told them, `Hey, we have to impose our will on the game. We can’t wait for something good to happen to really get us going.'”

It was the Wolverines’ biggest margin of victory over Ohio St., topping a 15-point, 64-49 win on Jan. 5, 2014.

“I mean, it’s the greatest rivalry in college athletics, so we knew that it was going to be a game of runs and that they were great shooters,” Barnes Arico said. “And every time they did, we were able to weather the storm, which I think is real growth for our team.”

Several positive COVID-19 tests limited the bench for the Buckeyes, who were without senior starting guard Braxtin Miller for the first time this season.

Jacy Sheldon led the Buckeyes with 26 points, while Taylor Mikesell had 25.


Ohio State: This was a rivalry the Buckeyes dominated for decades, compiling a 47-6 advantage through the 2009-10 season, but not as much anymore. Michigan has claimed nine wins in the last 19 games, including two straight. Both teams have entered the game ranked in the Top 25 in four of the last nine meetings, something that hadn’t happened before 2018. Before Friday’s blowout, the previous 11 games had been decided by a total of 71 points and all by single-digit margins.

Michigan: Coming off the program’s first Sweet 16 appearance last spring, the firsts haven’t stopped coming this winter. The Wolverines posted their first top-10 ranking (and their highest ranking at No. 7 in the USA Today Coaches Poll) after a first win over a top-five opponent. Coach Kim Barnes Arico became the program’s first 200-win coach in November.


Ohio State: The Buckeyes’ Monday game against Penn State was postponed, so they won’t return to the court until Thursday, when they host Illinois, a program they’ve beaten eight straight times.

Michigan: The Wolverines open the new year with a road date at Nebraska on Tuesday, taking on a Cornhuskers squad they’ve beaten in six of the last nine meetings.


Hall of Famer Sam Jones, winner of 10 NBA titles, dies at 88

BOSTON (AP) Basketball Hall of Famer Sam Jones, the Boston Celtics’ “Mr. Clutch” whose sharp shooting fueled the league’s longest dynasty and earned him 10 NBA titles – second only to teammate Bill Russell – has died, the team said. He was 88.

Jones died Thursday night in Florida, where he had been hospitalized in failing health, Celtics spokesman Jeff Twiss said.

“Sam Jones was one of the most talented, versatile, and clutch shooters for the most successful and dominant teams in NBA history,” the team said in a statement.

“His scoring ability was so prolific, and his form so pure, that he earned the simple nickname, `The Shooter,'” the Celtics said. “The Jones family is in our thoughts as we mourn his loss and fondly remember the life and career of one of the greatest champions in American sports.”

The Celtics honored Jones with a moment of silence before Friday afternoon’s game against the Phoenix Suns, showing a video tribute on the screen hanging among the championship banners above the parquet floor at the TD Garden. His No. 24, which was retired by the Celtics in 1969 while he was a still an active player, was also displayed on the monitor in the hushed arena before a still photo of him in a suit and the words “Sam Jones 1933-2021.”

“Another one of my dear friends lost,” Celtics broadcaster Cedric Maxwell wrote on Twitter. “Well, the banks are open in heaven this (hash)NYE.”

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Jones will be remembered as “one of the most prolific champions in all of professional sports.”

“His selfless style, clutch performances and signature bank shot were hallmarks of an incredible career,” Silver said. “Sam was a beloved teammate and respected competitor who played the game with dignity and class. We mourn the passing of a basketball giant and send our deepest condolences to Sam’s family and the Celtics organization.”

Celtics coach Red Auerbach discovered Jones when he went to North Carolina to scout the national champion Tar Heels for the upcoming draft. Auerbach said he was told that the best player in the state was actually on Hall of Fame coach John McLendon’s team at North Carolina Central.

Auerbach selected Jones in the first round of the 1957 draft, eighth overall, despite never seeing him play.

Jones went on to average 17.7 points and just under five rebounds in 12 years with the Celtics, leading the team in scoring five times – including the 1963 champions, who had eight Hall of Famers on the roster.

Jones was even better in the playoffs, averaging 18.9 points per game in the postseason. When he retired in 1969 at the age of 36, he was the only player in Celtics history to score more than 50 points in a game.

“You look at the championships and what he did, it’s obviously a big loss for the community here,” Celtics coach Ime Udoka said before Friday’s game.

Using a bank shot that was unconventional even then, Jones came to be known as “Mr. Clutch” after a series of game-winners, including a buzzer-beater to clinch the 1962 Eastern Conference finals. He hit an off-balance, wrong-footed jumper to win Game 4 of the `69 Finals; instead of heading to Los Angeles trailing 3-1, the Celtics tied the series against the Lakers at two games apiece and went on to win in seven.

Jones retired after that title, having won his 10 championships in 12 seasons. A five-time All-Star, he was was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1984.

Jones was named to the NBA’s 25th, 50th and 75th anniversary teams. His death comes a year after teammate Tommy Heinsohn and 13 months following the death of K.C. Jones.

AP source: Cavs acquire Rondo from Lakers for Valentine

CLEVELAND (AP) The Cavaliers have agreed to acquire veteran guard Rajon Rondo in a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers for guard Denzel Valentine, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Friday.

The Cavs needed an experienced guard to help continue their strong start after losing Ricky Rubio to a season-ending knee injury. They’ll add Rondo once the deal is approved by the NBA, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the teams have not yet had the required conference call with the league.

A four-time All-Star, the 35-year-old Rondo averaged 3.1 points and 3.7 assists coming off the bench for the Lakers. It was his second stint with Los Angeles. He’s been in league health and safety protocols and will need to be cleared before joining the Cavs.

Valentine averaged just 9.3 minutes for the Cavs, who have been one of the league’s most improved teams this season. The 28-year-old signed a two-year deal with Cleveland in September.

The Cavs were forced to find backcourt help after Rubio, who had a major hand in the team’s surprising turnaround, tore his left anterior cruciate ligament on Wednesday night in New Orleans.

Rubio was an invaluable leader and mentor for Cleveland’s young players. He also played at a high level as Darius Garland’s backup.

The Cavs are hoping Rondo can give them many of the same attributes and keep their season headed in the right direction.

Brown, Smart star as Celtics beat Suns 123-108

BOSTON (AP) Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart each scored 24 points, and the Boston Celtics stopped a three-game slide by topping the Phoenix Suns 123-108 on Friday.

Brown also grabbed 11 rebounds and Smart finished with eight assists, helping the Celtics bounce back from a 91-82 home loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night. Robert Williams had 10 points, 10 assists and 11 rebounds, and Josh Richardson added 19 points.

The Celtics were without leading scorer Jayson Tatum, who was placed on the health and safety protocols list early in the week, but Smart returned and the offense responded by shooting 54%. Seven players scored in double figures.

Devin Booker scored 22 points for Phoenix, and Cam Johnson had 20. Jalen Smith scored 19 and Chris Paul finished with 14 points and eight assists.

The Suns remained without starters Deandre Ayton and Jae Crowder, who missed their third straight game because of health and safety protocols. Coach Monty Williams was also on the protocol list for the third game in a row.

Porzingis scores 24 to help Mavericks beat Kings 112-96

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) Kristaps Porzingis had 24 points, nine rebounds and six assists to help the Dallas Mavericks roll past the Sacramento Kings 112-96 on Friday.

Jalen Brunson added 23 points and eight assists for the Mavericks, who had lost five of their previous seven games. Dwight Powell scored 13 points and made four consecutive dunks as part of a huge run from Dallas in the third quarter.

“We saw something in the last game and we were able to execute it,” said Mavericks coach Jason Kidd, who wouldn’t go into specifics about the change. “With no practice, you just hope it works. We knew that they were going to load up on (Brunson) and (Porzingis) so we had to figure out how to get other guys involved. Everyone was sharing the ball and we were getting wide-open looks.”

Tyrese Haliburton had 17 points and 10 assists for the Kings.

Two days after losing in Sacramento on Chimezie Metu’s corner 3-pointer at the buzzer, Dallas closed the second quarter strong, then dominated in the second half, leading by 27 late in the fourth.

The Mavericks got a big lift from their defense after Sacramento scored 39 points in the first quarter. The Kings were held to 17 points in the second quarter then missed 12 consecutive shots and went 7 1/2 minutes without a basket in the third.

“They moved Porzingis around a little more than they did the other night and they found a way to make adjustments,” Kings interim coach Alvin Gentry said. “We just did not shoot the ball well at all and that put added pressure on the defense.”

Brunson’s short jumper broke a 67-67 tie and sparked a 24-2 run for Dallas. Powell’s four straight dunks — two off of alley-oop passes from Brunson and Reggie Bullock — highlighted the scoring surge.

“They ran the same play like five or six times in a row,” Haliburton said. “Reggie Bullock set the pindown for Powell, set the cross-screen for KP and let him pick whether he was going to go high or low. They just kept scoring out of that. We just have to be better at realizing what they were running.

“It came down to a communication issue. To me, that’s more us than them.”

Midway through the second quarter, Haliburton made a 3-pointer and a jumper above the key and Metu followed with a layup to put the Kings ahead by six. But Brunson, Porzingis and Bullock combined for 35 points in the first half, and helped Dallas close it on a 13-5 run to take a 62-56 lead into the half.


Bullock matched his season high of 16 points and grabbed five rebounds in 31 minutes in his return to the Mavs lineup after missing the previous six games while in the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

“It was a tough time,” Bullock said. “It’s going around the whole league. I had to isolate at home. I’ve been feeling well. The break was good for me. I was struggling.”


Mavericks: Porzingis has scored 20 or more in four consecutive games. . Isaiah Thomas, who was signed to a 10-day hardship contract Wednesday, has entered into the NBA’s health and safety protocol. . Frank Ntilikina was held out because of a left thigh contusion. . Theo Pinson and Marquese Chriss were both signed to second 10-day hardship contracts.

Kings: Davion Mitchell was whistled for a technical foul after scoring in the fourth quarter when he appeared to throw the ball at a referee’s feet. . Neemias Queta returned from the health and safety protocol. . Terence Davis did not play because of left ankle soreness.


Mavericks: At Oklahoma City on Sunday. Dallas has won four of its last five games against the Thunder.

Kings: Host the Heat on Sunday.

Butler scores season-high 37, Heat beat Rockets 120-110

HOUSTON (AP) Jimmy Butler scored a season-high 37 points and the short-handed Miami Heat built a big lead early and held on for a 120-110 win over the Houston Rockets on Friday night.

The Heat extended their winning streak to five games in their return to action after Wednesday’s game at San Antonio was postponed because Miami didn’t have enough players. They signed Mario Chalmers and Chris Silva to 10-day contracts on Friday as reinforcements with seven players still out because of COVID protocols.

Butler embraced the challenge of keeping the team on track with so many players unavailable.

“That’s when you really find out who you are and what you’re made of,” he said. “We had new guys coming in and guys are nicked up and you just find a way to win.”

Miami got a boost with the return of Kyle Lowry, who had 12 points after missing two games due to health and safety protocols. Kyle Guy added 17 points off the bench for the Heat after signing a 10-day contract Thursday, and Tyler Herro had 16.

“All the new guys that played tonight did a great job of impacting the game,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Kyle (Guy) was a spark right away. It was fun. That was a fun night and it was fun to see these new guys contribute.”

Jae’Sean Tate scored 22 points off the bench to lead the Rockets, who lost their sixth consecutive game. He returned Friday after missing two games due to health and safety protocols

“He gave us everything that he always brings,” coach Stephen Silas said. “That shows a lot about him. For him to be out five days and pick up right where he left off is really good.”

The Heat led by as many as 25 points in the first half after a 41-point opening quarter. But the Rockets chipped away at the lead, and Tate scored five straight points to get them within 107-102 with less than five minutes left.

Miami made four free throws after that, starting a 7-0 run that was capped by a 3 from Lowry and pushed the lead to 114-102 with three minutes remaining.

Houston opened the fourth quarter with an 8-1 spurt to cut the lead to 101-95 with about eight minutes to go. But Butler entered the game after starting the fourth quarter on the bench and his three-point play soon after ended the run.

Josh Christopher made a layup for Houston before another three-point play by Butler made it 107-97 midway through the quarter.

The Heat used a 6-0 run to extend the lead to 18 with about five minutes left in the third quarter. Houston scored the next seven points, with four from Christian Wood, to get within 90-79 about a minute later.

But Miami scored five quick points after that, with a 3 from Haywood Highsmith, to pad the lead.

Miami was up by 18 again late in the third before the Rockets scored the last five points of the quarter to cut the lead to 100-87 entering the fourth.


Heat: P.J. Tucker, Zylan Cheatham, Marcus Garrett, Udonis Haslem, Duncan Robinson, Max Strus and Gabe Vincent all sat out due to health and safety protocols. Robinson’s absence Friday night ended his franchise-record streak of 182 consecutive games played, dating to April 2019. … Omer Yurtseven had 10 points and 13 rebounds.

Rockets: Jalen Green had 16 points and Wood had 18. … D.J. Augustin, DeJon Jarreau and Garrison Mathews missed the game because of health and safety protocols. … Alperen Sengun injured his right ankle in the first half and didn’t return.


Friday marked the 20th consecutive season in which the Rockets hosted a game on New Year’s Eve. Houston fell to 15-5 with the loss that snapped a five-game winning streak.

It is the fifth time the Heat have played on New Year’s Eve, and the first since 2014. They improved to 3-2.


Heat: Visit Sacramento on Sunday night.

Rockets: Host Nuggets on Saturday night.

Young scores 35, Hawks rally to beat Cavaliers 121-118

CLEVELAND (AP) Trae Young scored 35 points, Clint Capela had 18 points and a season-high 23 rebounds, and the Atlanta Hawks rallied from a 16-point deficit for a 121-118 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night.

Young made a pair of free throws with 7.6 seconds left after Cleveland had pulled within 119-118 on a Brandon Goodwin layup. Kevin Pangos’ potential tying 3-pointer at the buzzer was off the mark.

Atlanta snapped a three-game losing streak despite having 12 players in the NBA’s health and safety protocols, including power forward John Collins and sharp-shooters Bogdan Bogdanovic and Kevin Huerter. The Hawks also lost Cam Reddish in the first quarter with a sprained right ankle.

“There are only a couple of us from our full roster on this team, but we’re really trying to find ways to win,” Young said. “It was a great way to end the year. We had a lot of success in 2021 and we expect to have even more success in 2022.”

Kevin Love scored a season-high 35 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for Cleveland, and Jarrett Allen had 21 points and eight rebounds. The Cavaliers dropped their third straight game and had their longest home winning streak of the season end at five.

“We were complacent because we had a lead, but you have to understand they’ve got winners over there who just went to the Eastern Conference finals,” Cleveland coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “We let our guard down and it came back to bite us.”

Young, who also dished out 11 assists, drained a 3-pointer with 1:53 remaining to give Atlanta its largest advantage at 119-111. Skylar Mays added 19 points and Lou Williams had 14 points off the bench for the Hawks, who are 1-1 on a six-game trip that ends Jan. 9 against the Los Angeles Clippers.

“Clint and Trae set the tone yesterday in practice and they did it again tonight,” Atlanta coach Nate McMillan said. “It was a challenge to them to show that we’re better than what we’ve been playing like.”

Cleveland led 60-44 late in the second quarter, buoyed by Allen coming out of COVID protocols after missing four games. Rookie Evan Mobley had 16 points, eight rebounds and five assists, and Goodwin had 13 points in his Cavaliers debut.

The Hawks roared back in the third, outscoring Cleveland 40-22 behind 12 points and seven assists from Young, and eight points and nine rebounds from Capela. Young put them ahead for good at 87-86 with a 3-pointer.

“These games are just grind games, so we knew we had to stay the course,” Capela said. “We had to expose their weaknesses by finding our guys, like Trae, for open shots.”

Cleveland went 8 of 14 from the foul line in the fourth, when Young and Williams combined to go 8 of 8 for Atlanta.

The Hawks committed a franchise-record low two turnovers, becoming the sixth team in NBA history to do so in a game. The league record is one by Denver against Portland on Feb. 23, 2021.

G League official Clare Aubry became the 14th woman to referee an NBA game, and was one of three officials to make their debut Friday as a result of widespread illnesses among full-time staffers.


The Cavaliers have agreed to acquire four-time All-Star guard Rajon Rondo from the Lakers in exchange for Denzel Valentine, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press. Rondo averaged 3.1 points and 3.7 assists in 18 games with Los Angeles, but is currently in COVID-19 protocols.

Cavs guard Ricky Rubio suffered a torn left ACL at New Orleans on Tuesday, leaving Cleveland in need of a veteran playmaker. Guard Collin Sexton also is out for the season after tearing cartilage in his left knee on Nov. 7 at New York.

“Rondo has a championship pedigree from Boston, so having him around will be huge,” Love said. “A lot of us are still on an emotional hangover from losing Ricky.”


Hawks: Young leads the NBA with 17 point/assist double-doubles and 12 games of at least 25 points and 10 assists this season. … McMillan has 704 career victories, three shy of tying John MacLeod for 18th place all-time. . Atlanta was scheduled to host Cleveland on Dec. 19, but the game was postponed because of the Hawks’ ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. . Atlanta has 26 players under contract.

Cavaliers: Goodwin signed a 10-day contract via a hardship exception and was the first player off the bench. He had six assists in 25 minutes. . F Justin Anderson and C Luke Kornet were not resigned after their 10-day contracts expired, while F Tre Scott was released from his pact with one day remaining. . Cleveland has played 234 games against the Hawks, its most against any opponent.


Hawks: Visit Portland on Monday night.

Cavaliers: Host Indiana on Sunday night.

Pascal Siakam scores 25, Raptors beat Clippers 116-108

TORONTO (AP) Pascal Siakam had 25 points and matched his career-high with 19 rebounds, Fred VanVleet scored 31 points and the Toronto Raptors beat the Los Angeles Clippers 116-108 on Friday night.

OG Anunoby scored 26 points and Gary Trent Jr. had 10 as the Raptors won for the first time in three games and snapped a four-game losing streak against the Clippers.

Weakened by COVID-19 absentees in their last two games, Toronto welcomed VanVleet, Anunoby and Justin Champagnie back from health and safety protocols.

“It’s just good to have most of your weapons,” VanVleet said.

Raptors rookie Scottie Barnes also exited protocols, but was unavailable because of a sore right knee.

Anunoby, who missed 13 games in November and December because of a hip injury, started alongside Siakam for the first time since Nov. 15.

“It felt good tonight to have most everyone out there and just seeing how we can play together,” Siakam said.

Marcus Morris Sr. scored 20 points, Terance Mann had 18 and Reggie Jackson 17 as the Clippers lost for the second time in 14 games when leading after three quarters.

Amir Coffey scored a season-high 15 points for Los Angeles. Luke Kennard added 13 points.

The game was played in a mostly empty arena after the Ontario government reduced capacity limits to 1,000 people in an attempt to control the spread of COVID-19. No tickets were sold, and only a few dozen friends and family were allowed in. Toronto’s previous two home games had been limited to 50% capacity.

“That was more normal than not, to be honest with you,” VanVleet said. “I didn’t even think about it. We’ve probably played just as much, if not more, fan-less basketball than we have in packed stadiums.”

Clippers coach Tyronn Lue entered health and safety protocols Friday afternoon. He’s the 10th NBA coach to do so this season, but the first to have it happen in Canada. Assistant coach Brian Shaw coached in place of Lue.

“Coach did a great job stepping in, having us prepared and making adjustments on the fly,” Jackson said.

Jackson returned for the Clippers after missing the last four games, three while in the health and safety protocols. Los Angeles was without center Ivica Zubac, who entered the protocols Thursday.

Center Khem Birch started for Toronto, his first action since Nov. 21, while Precious Achiuwa was back after missing the last four games after being in the health and safety protocols.

The Raptors finished with 18 offensive rebounds, compared to three for the Clippers, outscored Los Angeles 21-3 in second-chance points, and had 96 field goal attempts to LA’s 78.

“To me, that’s the game right there in a nutshell,” Shaw said.

Toronto’s Chris Boucher snapped a 105-all tie with a pair of free throws with 2:08 remaining, and Siakam’s slam with 1:34 left gave Toronto a four-point edge.

Mann countered with a 3-pointer for the Clippers, but VanVleet drove for a layup and, after a missed 3 by Morris, added a decisive 3-pointer with 25 seconds left. Anunoby capped it at the free throw line as Toronto closed with a 7-0 run.


Like Siakam, VanVleet missed time last season with a COVID-19 infection. He said it, “felt like my muscles were falling off the bone” in his return.

“The sickness was just definitely more intense and took more of a toll on my body,” he said.

This time, however, getting back on the court after battling the virus was significantly easier.

“This just felt like I was sitting at home for seven, eight days,” VanVleet said.


The Raptors have recorded 19 offensive rebounds in a game twice this season, most recently in an overtime loss at Brooklyn on Dec. 14.


Clippers: Zubac missed his first game of the season. He had played in 205 consecutive regular-season games. . Signed F Wenyen Gabriel to a 10-day contract under the COVID-related hardship allowance.

Raptors: F D.J. Wilson entered the health and safety protocols. . VanVleet made three of Toronto’s seven field goals in the third, and had all four Toronto assists in the quarter. He finished with nine assists.


Clippers: Visit Brooklyn on Saturday.

Raptors: Host New York on Sunday.

Gilgeous-Alexander scores 23, Thunder beat Knicks 95-80

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Shai Gilgeous-Alexander returned from a one-game absence to score 23 points, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat a depleted New York Knicks team 95-80 on Friday night.

Gilgeous-Alexander, the reigning NBA Western Conference Player of the Week, sat out Wednesday’s loss at Phoenix with ankle soreness, but played a team-high 34 minutes. Aaron Wiggins scored 13 and Ty Jerome had 11 points.

The Thunder came into the game giving up 108.2 points per game. The Knicks’ total was the lowest for an Oklahoma City opponent all season.

Gilgeous-Alexander credited the team’s mindset in posting their best defensive performance of the year.

“Every night we try to make the paint difficult for teams,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “We know that’s where the best shots are generated. I think that was the main focus tonight. And we executed it.”

RJ Barrett had 26 points and Immanuel Quickley scored 11 for the Knicks, who were without Julius Randle and Kemba Walker.

It was a special night for Thunder assistant coach Mike Wilks, who took over this week for coach Mark Daigneault, who is in the NBA’s health and safety protocol. Wilks got his first win and after the game, Thunder players showered him with water and awarded him with the game ball.

Wilks said it was certainly memorable to get the victory on New Year’s Eve.

“Everybody in the organization contributed to this,” Wilks said. “Our coaching staff did a phenomenal job. And the players came out and played the right way. So glad we came out on top tonight.”

The Knicks led by as many as nine in the first quarter behind quick starts from Mitchell Robinson and Evan Fournier. But Jerome made a 3-pointer in the final minute of the first quarter to give Oklahoma City its first lead, 23-20, and never trailed the rest of the way.

Jerome opened the second quarter with another 3-point basket, then fed Theo Maledon for another 3 to complete a 9-0 run.

Oklahoma City went up by 10 in the second quarter, but Barrett completed a drive just before halftime to make it 51-49 in favor of the Thunder.

New York scored six straight to open the fourth quarter to cut the Thunder lead to 74-71, but Oklahoma City responded with a 7-0 run to push the lead back to double digits.

Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau lamented his team’s poor rebounding and 54% shooting at the foul line. The loss snapped a three-game win streak for New York

“If you defend and you rebound – the thing is giving up the second shots,” Thibodeau said. “We should’ve had more, ourselves, second shots and we didn’t. And we didn’t make free throws. That was problematic, also.”


Thunder: Oklahoma City was without starters Josh Giddey and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl for the third straight game, along with reserves Darius Bazley and Tre Mann. Assistant Mike Wilks also coached the Thunder for the second straight game, with coach Mark Daigneault in the health and safety protocol. Wilks got his first win. … After seeing his 46-game streak of games with a made 3-pointer snapped on Wednesday, Lu Dort connected on one late in the third quarter – his first basket of the game after missing his first nine shots.

Knicks: Lost in Oklahoma City for the first time since 2018. . Shot just 8 of 41 (19.5%) from the 3-point line, but did a get a rare four-point play from Alec Burks when he was fouled on a made 3 from the top of the key in the first half and converted the free throw that followed.


Knicks: Visit Toronto on Sunday.

Thunder: Host Dallas on Sunday.

Morant scores 30, Grizzlies beat Spurs for 4th straight win

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) Ja Morant had 30 points, eight assists and six rebounds, leading the Memphis Grizzlies to a 118-105 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night.

Tyus Jones scored 18, Desmond Bane and Brandon Clarke each had 17 points as Memphis pulled away in the second half. Clarke was 8 of 11 from the field; Jones 7 of 14.

Jakob Poeltl, Derrick White and Bryn Forbes each scored 15 points for the Spurs. White added nine assists, and Tre Jones finished with 13 points, missing only one of his six shots. Keita Bates-Diop had a career-high 11 rebounds.

Memphis finally got a bit of a cushion by outscoring the Spurs 27-18 in the third quarter as San Antonio struggled from 3-point distance and made only one of its 10 long-range attempts. That helped Memphis carry a 90-79 lead into the fourth. Memphis extended the lead to 19 points on the way to its fourth straight victory.

“Really kind of a competitive game. We were able to break it open there in the third (quarter) and held them to 18 points,” Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said.

The Spurs, whose last game, against Miami, was postponed on Wednesday due a lack of available Heat players, weathered a quick start by Memphis before the game settled into a tightly played first half. Shooting was under 48% for both teams, but Morant was 8 of 11 for 20 points. Memphis carried a 63-61 lead into the break.

But the second half was problematic for the Spurs. Memphis changed its defensive coverages, taking away some of San Antonio’s comfort on offense. The result was more Spurs turnovers and their struggles shooting.

“Our guys did a phenomenal job of executing it,” Jenkins said. “Created turnovers, missed shots. Kind of changed the rhythm the Spurs had.”

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich noted that his team got sloppy in the third quarter, leading to five turnovers that resulted in Memphis getting out in transition.

“That really set the tone for the second half,” Popovich said.

“They come ready to play,” the San Antonio coach said of the Grizzlies. “They believe in what they are doing and believe they are one of the better teams in the league. And it shows.”

White added: “They get after it defensively and are physical and then offensively they push you, find the open man, move the ball well. That’s a good team and something that we can learn from. We want to get to where they are at. Just keep building.”


Before the game, the Spurs and Las Vegas announced the hiring of assistant coach Becky Hammon as the new head coach of the WNBA’s Aces. “I think it is great for her. It’s a great opportunity,” Popovich said of the hiring. He noted that Hammon will stay with San Antonio through the end of the NBA season. “She’s certainly capable, and I think she’ll prove that in Vegas. They’ve got a helluva coach coming their way.”


Spurs: White took a blow to the head from an inadvertent elbow by Grizzlies forward Kyle Anderson early in the second quarter, causing a cut over his left eye. He went to the locker room before halftime, got four stitches and returned in the second half. “I got a weak eyebrow, so it is what it is,” White said. . Veteran F Thaddeus Young played after not appearing in the previous six games.

Grizzlies: Before the game, Memphis had nine players on the injury list, six under health and safety protocols, including starter Dillon Brooks. Of the other three, rookie Santi Aldama, who was sidelined seven games with right calf and right ankle soreness, was available. . The game marked the first time in franchise history that the team has played at home on New Year’s Eve. . Jaren Jackson Jr. had a season-high 11 rebounds.


Spurs: At Detroit on Saturday.

Grizzlies: At Brooklyn to face the Nets on Monday.

Jazz pull away in 4th quarter, beat Timberwolves 120-108

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Donovan Mitchell scored a season-high 39 points and the Utah Jazz beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 120-108 on Friday night.

Mitchell added six rebounds and five assists in his return from a two-game absence due to a back strain. Bojan Bogdanovic added 24 points and 12 rebounds, Jordan Clarkson chipped in 20 points and Rudy Gobert added 14 points, 16 rebounds, and four blocks.

Utah went 35 of 41 from the free throw line.

Minnesota’s Anthony Edwards scored 26 points in his return after a six-game absence due to health and safety protocols. Malik Beasley added 22 points for the Timberwolves.

After Patrick Beverley hit a go-ahead 3-pointer a minute into the fourth quarter, the Jazz scored 22 unanswered points to pull away from the Timberwolves. Mitchell ignited the run with back-to-back baskets and scored 12 points during the outburst. Gobert and Mitchell finished it off with back-to-back baskets that gave Utah a 113-92 lead with 5:51 left.

Utah built a 13-point halftime lead, going up 63-50, by knocking down 3-pointers and repeatedly getting to the free throw line.

The Jazz made seven outside baskets – with four coming from Mitchell – and shot 54% from the perimeter before halftime. Utah also shot 22 of 26 on free throws in the first half. Bogdanovic and Gobert each had eight free throw attempts, equaling Minnesota’s total free throw attempts in the first two quarters.

Minnesota rallied in the third quarter and erased Utah’s lead. Jaden McDaniels capped a 12-2 run with a go-ahead jumper that gave the Timberwolves a 79-78 edge. Edwards and Naz Reid each scored a pair of baskets to fuel the spurt.


Timberwolves: Jordan McLaughlin had a season-high three steals, all in the first quarter. . Jaylen Nowell has totaled 11 assists in his last two games. . Edwards and Nowell fouled out in the fourth quarter.

Jazz: Joe Ingles (lower back strain), Mike Conley (rest), and Eric Paschall (personal reasons) were sidelined for Utah. . Trent Forrest made his first career start. Forrest finished with four points, three rebounds, and three assists. . Hassan Whiteside did not return after halftime because of concussion-like symptoms. Clarkson inadvertently struck Whiteside across the face during a collision in the second quarter.


Minnesota: At Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.

Utah: Host Golden State Warriors on Saturday.

James scores season-high 43, Lakers beat Trail Blazers

LOS ANGELES (AP) LeBron James scored a season-high 43 points and extended his streak of 30-point games to seven in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 139-106 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night.

Malik Monk scored 18 points, Carmelo Anthony added 16 points and Russell Westbrook (15 points, 13 rebounds, 12 assists) recorded his ninth triple-double this season for the Lakers, who had dropped six of their last seven coming into the game.

Portland’s Ben McLemore came off the bench to tie his season-high with 28 points in his first game back after clearing the league’s health and safety protocols. Damian Lillard added 18 points for the Trail Blazers, who have dropped four straight and 11 of their last 13.

It is the fifth time in James’ sensational 19-year career and first since he was with Miami Heat in February 2013 that he’s had a streak of at least seven straight 30-point games. James’ longest stretch is 10 with the Cleveland Cavaliers late in the 2005-06 season.

James – who also had 14 rebounds – was 16 of 26 from the field and made five 3-pointers in a game where there Lakers led throughout. He made his first four shots as Los Angeles ran out to a 19-6 lead a little more than four minutes in, then finished with 15 points in the first quarter and had a double-double in points and rebounds by the midway point of the second quarter.

The Lakers were up 69-54 at halftime on 27 points from James. Their largest lead was 35 in the game’s final minute.


Trail Blazers: Portland had a season-high 21 offensive rebounds. … McLemore’s 16 points in the first quarter were a season-high for a player coming off the bench during the first 12 minutes of a game this season. … Lillard hit a 3-pointer late in the second quarter to tie Paul Pierce ninth on the all-time NBA list with 2,143.

Lakers: Los Angeles made a season-high 19 3-pointers … The 43 first-quarter points were a season high. … With his second field goal of the night, Anthony passed Dominique Wilkins for 15th place on the NBA’s all-time field goals made list.


Trail Blazers: Host Atlanta on Monday to begin a four-game homestand.

Lakers: Host Minnesota on Sunday.


Hughes’ second goal gives Devils’ wild OT win over Oilers

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) Jack Hughes scored 2:55 into overtime and New Jersey beat the Edmonton Oilers 6-5 on Friday after Devils coach Lindy Ruff tested positive for COVID-19 hours before the game.

Hughes finished with two goals and an assist. Nico Hischier, rookie Dawson Mercer and Janne Kuokkanen also scored for the Devils, who earned their second straight win after dropping six in a row.

New Jersey was down before Yegor Sharanovich scored on a deflection with 32 seconds left in regulation.

Connor McDavid and Kailer Yamamoto had two goals apiece for Edmonton, which dropped its second straight. Devin Shore also scored.

Oilers goaltender Mike Smith overcame a shaky start to finish with 35 saves. He probably would have liked the game-winner back because Hughes’ shot from the top of the left circle seemed to squeeze through his pads.

Smith had stopped Hughes on a breakaway early in the overtime.

The Oilers rallied to take a 5-4 lead when Shore and Yamamoto scored in a 72-second span against Mackenzie Blackwood in the third period. Yamamoto’s goal irked the Devils because they felt they controlled the puck to allow the officials to call a delayed penalty.

Alain Nasreddine, who ran the Devils with Ruff out, challenged the call. The officials studied the replay for more than five minutes because announcing the goal could not be challenged.

McDavid tied it at 3 when he scored on a breakaway at 7:57 of the second period. McDavid was set up by a pinpoint pass from defenseman Duncan Keith.


The crowd at the Prudential Center didn’t miss a beat when the sound went out during the Canadian national anthem, joining in to provide the vocals until the teenager singing came back live.


Oilers: Head to New York to face the Islanders on New Year’s Day in the third of a five-game road trip.

Devils: Face the Capitals in Washington on Sunday.

Ovechkin scores two 3rd period goals in Caps 3-1 win

DETROIT (AP) Alex Ovechkin had two goals in the third period, including the go-ahead score with 2:51 remaining, and the Washington Capitals topped the Detroit Red Wings 3-1 on Friday night.

The game-winner was his 275th career power play goal, a new NHL record. He had tied with Dave Andreychuk on Dec. 15 against Chicago.

“It’s a great moment for me, for the team, for the fans, for the game as well,” Ovechkin said.

Ovechkin gave Washington the lead with 2:51 left. He ripped a slap shot from the right point to beat Detroit goaltender Thomas Greiss. He added an empty netter in the final minute for his 24th goal this season.

“When you’re sitting on the brink for a long time — one game, two games, three games — I’m sure you’re anxious just to get it done,” Washington coach Peter Laviolette said. “It’s not like it wasn’t going to happen but it’s nice just to get it done and move forward from it. It’s quite an accomplishment. The league has been around for a long time, a lot of great players. To be part of that history is something special.”

Evgeny Kuznetsov had a goal and an assist for the Capitals while Ilya Samsonov made 19 saves.

Pius Suter scored for Detroit and Greiss stopped 24 shots.

The Red Wings played for the first time since Dec. 18. They had four games postponed due to a COVID outbreak among the team and some of their opponents.

“I thought we played well enough to win the game – we certainly put ourselves in position to win it,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “It’s disappointing to lose it, especially as well as we had killed penalties all night and then they get one right at the end of a power play.”

Detroit had an 11-5 shots on goal advantage in the first period but neither side scored.

Detroit scored the first goal early in the second period when Sam Gagner backhanded a pass from behind the Caps’ net and Suter fired it past Samsonov for his sixth goal this season.

Defenseman Lucas Johansen, who was making his NHL debut, assisted on Kuznetsov’s 11th goal with 4:07 left in the period.

“It wasn’t a great pass to be honest,” Johansen said. “Kuznetsov is obviously pretty skilled, so if you put it near him he’s going to make something happen. Next time I’ll try to hit him on the tape.”

The Wings were happy to get back on the ice but not with the outcome.

“I think it was a matter of getting our legs and timing back after having so much time off and really only having one practice as a team in the last two weeks,” defenseman Marc Staal said. “But a lot of teams are in the same boat. We executed pretty well and we gave ourselves a chance – we just have to start winning some of these games.”


Defenseman Nick Leddy is the only Red Wings player remaining in COVID protocol. Washington still has six players in protocol — Daniel Sprong, Justin Schultz, Nick Jensen, Vitek Vanecek, Dennis Cholowski and Martin Fehervary . Defenseman Lucas Johansen, who was called up from Hershey of the American Hockey League this week and assigned to the Capitals’ taxi squad, became the eighth Washington player to make his NHL debut this season. . Samsonov’s only other career start against Detroit came on Nov. 30, 2019, a 5-2 Washington victory. . The Red Wings’ Lucas Raymond leads all NHL rookies with 28 points. … Washington won the season series 2-1.


Capitals: Host New Jersey Devils on Sunday.

Red Wings: Host Boston Bruins on Sunday.

Devils coach Lindy Ruff tests positive, misses Oilers game

(AP) — New Jersey coach Lindy Ruff tested positive for COVID-19 hours before the Devils’ 6-5 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday and was isolated from the team.

Also Friday, the NHL announced it was postponing eight more games because of COVID-19-related attendance restrictions in some Canadian cities. The league said the games “will be rescheduled for dates later in the season when such restrictions may be eased or lifted.”

The Islanders had road games at Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary postponed, so the league decided to postpone their game scheduled for Tuesday at Seattle as well.

The Devils made their announcement about Ruff roughly 45 minutes after he did not show up for a pregame news conference. When the conference started, assistant coach Alain Nasreddine walked in and said he would be running the team.

Nasreddine, who usually handles the defensemen in the game, said Ruff was going to stay in the Prudential Center for the contest. He said the two would be in communication during the game.

Captain Nico Hischier said having Nasreddine handle the Devils was not a problem. The game plan was in place.

“Obviously he did a great job, but for us players stuff like that happens,” Hischier said. “We shouldn’t change. And that’s what we did. He (Nasreddine) was talking about it before the game. It doesn’t matter, basically who’s behind the bench. We’re playing the same system. We want to play the same way with Lindy and Nas.”

The 61-year-old Ruff was hired as Devils coach for the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and the team missed the playoffs. New Jersey is currently in seventh place in the Metropolitan Division.

Nasreddine coached the Devils on an interim basis for 43 games during the 2019-20 season after John Hynes was fired in early December. He posted a 19-16-8 record. Ruff kept him on his staff.

Also Friday, Chicago goaltender Kevin Lankinen was held out of practice because of COVID-19 protocol. With Marc-Andre Fleury already in the protocol, Collin Delia could make his first NHL start of the season when the Blackhawks visit Nashville on Saturday.


Yankees Have Considered Trading for Matt Chapman To Play Shortstop

In an appearance on The Michael Kay Show this week, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the Yankees have “talked a little bit . . . internally” about trading for Matt Chapman as a solution to their hole at shortstop. Carlos Correa and Trevor Story are the remaining big-name free-agent shortstops, but as the lockout drew near, rumors suggested the Yankees were favoring a glove-first stopgap given the rapid approach of top shortstop prospects Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe. Chapman would be a fascinating third option. Chapman has started just one game at shortstop and played a total of 10 innings at the position in the majors, and played just 85 innings there in the minors, but he is an elite defensive third baseman with a big power bat and two team-controlled years remaining, the first of which suggests he could handle the position, and the latter of which suggest he’d fit the Yankees’ needs and timeframe perfectly. Then again, Chapman is a right-handed, three-true-outcome bat, which is something the Yankees already have in excess. Chapman will turn 29 in April and projects to make $9.5 million via arbitration in 2022.

Chapman wasn’t one of the options we considered when we made this poll about what the Yankees should do at shortstop for 2022, but we’d be interested in your input, anyway.

Josh Bell Could Be Traded Again

The Nationals bought low on Josh Bell after the 2020 season, and it largely paid off, as Bell rebounded from an 82 OPS+ in 2020 to hit .261/.347/.476 (124 OPS+) with 27 home runs and 65 walks. However, Bell is now heading into his walk year and age-29 season, and with the Nationals having executed a fire sale at the deadline, Bell could be the next veteran on the move and find himself on a new team before Opening Day. MLBTR’s Anthony Franco takes a look at Bell’s situation here.

Collective Bargaining Issues: Competitive Balance Tax

One of the core issues that will need to be worked out in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement is the Competitive Balance Tax and its associated thresholds and penalties. Many teams have treated those thresholds as a de facto salary cap in recent seasons, so the players will obviously want them to increase in 2022 and beyond. The owners reportedly conceded that point in their last counter offer, but the degree of the increase and the penalties for surpassing it remain at issue. The initial threshold in 2021 was set at $210 million, but, as MLBTR founder Tim Dierkes illustrated at the start of the month, the thresholds have increased so slowly in recent years that they’re not even keeping up with inflation. Anthony Franco takes a deep dive on the CBT in the latest in our Collective Bargaining Issues series.

Free-Agent Faceoff: Second Base

Not counting the possibility of moving a shortstop like Trevor Story across the bag, and with Marcus Semien, Javier Báez, Chris Taylor, Eduardo Escobar, Leury García, and César Hernández off the market, who is the best-remaining free-agent second baseman? MLBTR’s Darragh McDonald takes a look at the candidates and gives you an opportunity to vote for your pick.

Terry Francona on Track to Return in 2022

Cleveland manager Terry Francona stepped away from the team in July for health reasons but is reportedly on track to return to the dugout in the spring. The former Red Sox skipper spoke to The Boston Globe’s Dan Shaghnessy recently detailing the more than 40 surgeries he has had since suffering a catastrophic leg injury as a 22-year-old outfielder with the Expos in 1982.

Conversations with the Orioles’ New Hitting Coaches

Jon Meoli of The Baltimore Sun spoke with new Orioles hitting coaches Matt Borgschulte and Ryan Fuller this week. Bourgschulte spoke about his use of occlusion training to teach pitch recognition, while Fuller, who worked with some of the current Orioles, including Cedric Mullins, at the alternate site in 2020, spoke about bio mechanics and swing planes.

Minor-League and Foreign Signings:

LHP Eric Jokisch re-signed with KBO’s Kiwoom Heroes

From Trade Rumors Front Office:

Introducing fantasy writer Brad Johnson

MLBTR is excited to add fantasy baseball expert Brad Johnson to our Front Office team. Brad will be contributing exclusive fantasy baseball articles and conducting fantasy-focused chats for our Front Office subscribers over the remainder of the offseason. On Thursday, he introduced himself with some general “high-level advice for winning in various fantasy baseball formats.” If you’re a fantasy baseball manager who follows MLBTR to stay up-to-date on the latest player news and rumors, this is yet another great reason to subscribe to Trade Rumors Front Office.

Tim Dierkes Mailbag

MLBTR founder Tim Dierkes conducted his latest mailbag on Thursday, with a heavy focus on the lockout, as well as some thoughts about how MLBTR is adjusting to the current reality, followed by the usual Hot Stove scuttlebutt. I found this exchange particularly interesting regarding the players’ regard for the fans:

Stephen asks: Why should fans care about MLB when MLB (players and owners alike) don’t care about the fans?

Tim Dierkes: I’ve seen this sentiment often during the lockout: where is the fan in all of this? And it’s true: fans simply aren’t represented in the battle between owners and players. Fans do not have a seat at the table. Never have, never will.

Both the owners and players will claim they do care about the fans. I can’t tell you what team owners feel in their hearts, and I’m not trying to take sides here. But I was texting with MLB catcher Caleb Joseph during his live chat with MLBTR readers earlier this week. His career is winding down, so he’s not exactly in the middle of the labor fight.

Let me tell you, though: this dude loves the fans. I asked if he wanted to wrap up the chat around the hour mark, and he said he’d chat all day if his family didn’t have somewhere to be. He ended up chatting for more than an hour and a half, answering as many questions as possible. He’s the type of guy who answers all his fan mail. I’m not sure how many current players are Caleb Josephs, but they’re out there and they don’t take it for granted.


INDIANA PACERS BASKETBALL: DeMar DeRozan hits 3 at buzzer, Bulls beat Pacers 108-106

The Pacers faced plenty of adversity in 2021, but they displayed their resilience in the final game of the calendar year. Despite being without seven players on Friday due to the combination of injuries and the NBA’s health and safety protocols, the Blue & Gold came together and nearly knocked off one of the East’s top teams.

But DeMar DeRozan had other ideas.

The All-Star guard’s buzzer-beating three lifted the Chicago Bulls (23-10) to a 108-106 win over Indiana (14-22) at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

The shorthanded Pacers hung tough but trailed for most of the night before surging ahead with a 9-0 run midway through the fourth quarter and led 104-98 following a Justin Holiday free throw with 2:17 remaining.

Coby White’s sixth 3-pointer of the night made it a one-possession game again and then DeMar DeRozan stripped Caris LeVert, creating a fastbreak that Zach LaVine finished with a soaring slam with 1:40 to play.

Following a timeout, the Pacers put the ball in LeVert’s hands. He got to the rim, but was blocked by Nikola Vucevic. DeRozan had a clean look on the baseline to put Chicago in front on the other end, but couldn’t convert.

On the ensuing possession, both LeVert and Holiday missed 3-point attempts, but the Pacers corralled the rebound both times. LeVert got the second board and drew a foul, then hit both free throws with 56.5 seconds remaining.

LaVine missed twice at the rim on the other end before the ball wound up in DeRozan’s hands and he hit a jumper with 36.4 seconds remaining.

The Pacers ran the shot clock down on their possession, then had an errant pass deflected out of bounds with just 0.7 seconds remaining on the shot clock and 12.4 seconds left in regulation. They ran an alley oop for LeVert, which the Bulls broke up.

Acting head coach Chris Fleming elected not to call a timeout in the closing seconds as DeRozan brought the ball across halfcourt. He dribbled as the seconds ticked away almost as if he was unaware of how little time remaining before launching into a one-legged runner from the top of the arc. Craig contested the shot well, but DeRozan still somehow got it to fall, dashing the Pacers’ hopes.

DeRozan had a game-high 28 points for Chicago, going 8-for-24 from the field and 11-for-12 from the free throw line.

LeVert led Indiana with 27 points, six rebounds, and six assists, while Sabonis added 24 points on 8-of-14 shooting, 14 rebounds, six assists, and two blocks.

The Pacers entered Friday’s matinee significantly undermanned, as Kelan Martin became the fifth player to test positive for COVID-19 this week, joining Malcolm Brogdon, Chris Duarte, Isaiah Jackson, and Jeremy Lamb in the NBA’s health and safety protocols. Indiana had just 11 available players against Chicago, including two in Keifer Sykes and Nate Hinton that have signed with the team this week.

Still, the shorthanded squad hung tough with the Bulls early. Indiana’s stout defense held Chicago to just 8-of-22 shooting in the first quarter. The Blue & Gold used a 6-0 surge late in the opening frame to tie the game at 23, but Matt Thomas’ jumper in the closing seconds gave the visitors a two-point advantage after one.

The duo of LeVert and Sabonis combined for the Pacers’ first 13 points in the second quarter. Indiana actually took a brief 36-35 lead on Sabonis’ three-point play with 7:50 remaining in the first half, but the Bulls responded with five quick points to move back in front.

The Pacers trimmed Chicago’s lead to one one three occasions over the final three minutes, but each time Chicago had an answer, first in the form of a LaVine drive and then twice with 3-pointers by White. The visitors took a 54-50 lead into the intermission.

The Bulls extended the margin to nine on two occasions early in the second half, but the Pacers remained undeterred. Holiday hit three 3-pointers and LeVert tallied eight points in the third quarter to keep the Blue & Gold within striking distance.

Indiana trailed just 73-72 following Sabonis’ dunk with four minutes to play in the frame. The Bulls responded with a 9-2 run over the next two minutes that featured two explosive dunks by Derrick Jones Jr. But the Blue & Gold finished strong, closing the period with five straight points to make the deficit just 82-79 entering the fourth quarter.

The Blue & Gold continued to hang around in the final frame. Holiday’s fifth 3-pointer of the night cut the Bulls’ lead to 94-93 with 6:15 to play and then after a Nikola Vucevic miss, the Pacers finally got over the hump when Sabonis’ baby hook on the left baseline dropped, giving the hosts their first lead of the second half with 5:44 remaining.

They weren’t done there, as Torrey Craig pushed the break after an ensuing Bulls miss and dropped the ball off to Oshae Brissett, who threw down a two-hand slam that brought the crowd to its feet and forced a Chicago timeout. Sabonis later found a cutting Craig for a layup to cap a 9-0 Pacers run with 4:17 to play and set the stage for a wild finish.

Holiday had 16 points and four rebounds for Indiana while going 5-for-7 from beyond the arc. Craig added 10 points, 11 boards, and five assists off the bench, while Myles Turner added 10 points and six rebounds in just 18 minutes due to foul trouble.

White had 24 points for Chicago and went 6-for-7 from 3-point range. LaVine scored 17, while Vucevic added 14 points and 16 rebounds.

The Pacers will open 2022 with a two-game road trip that includes stops in Cleveland and New York before returning to Indianapolis to host Brooklyn on Wednesday.

Inside the Numbers

Sabonis recorded his 26th double-double of the season, the second-highest total in the NBA.

LeVert scored exactly 27 points for the third straight game. He has topped 20 points in five of his last six games and seven of 13 contests over the last month.

Two-way guard Duane Washington Jr. got his first career start on Friday. The rookie out of Ohio State had eight points, four rebounds, two assists, two steals, and one block in 30 minutes, but went just 3-for-14 from the field and 0-for-6 from 3-point range.

The Pacers outscored Chicago 58-32 in points in the paint on Friday.

White’s six 3-pointers were a season high. Before going 6-for-7 from beyond the arc on Friday, the third-year guard was just 18-for-64 (28.1 percent) on the season.

The Pacers matched their season high with 17 offensive rebounds and scored 25 second-chance points, one shy of their most this season.

Stat of the Night

DeRozan’s game-winning three was his only made 3-pointer of the night and just his fifth on eight attempts in December.


The Bulls have won their last three visits to Gainbridge Fieldhouse after losing six straight in Indiana from 2017-20.

The Pacers announced roughly a half-hour before the game that they signed guard Ahmad Caver to a 10-day contract under the NBA’s COVID-related hardship exception, but Caver was not active for Friday’s game.

Playing his second career game, Pacers guard Keifer Sykes scored his first career points on a fastbreak layup with 8:29 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Up Next

The Blue & Gold tip off a two-game road trip in Cleveland on Sunday, Jan. 2 at 6:00 PM ET.


The Pacers return to Gainbridge Fieldhouse to host Kevin Durant, James Harden, and the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday, Jan. 5 at 7:30 PM ET.

INDIANA MEN’S BASKETBALL: IU Returns to Big Ten Play at Penn State


Indiana University is in its 122nd season of competition in men’s basketball and will resume Big Ten conference play when it visits Penn State on Sunday. IU is coming off a 79-61 win over Northern Kentucky. The Nittany Lions have been limited due to COVID-19 and have not played since falling at Michigan State, 80-64, on December 11. Last year, IU won the only meeting 87-85 in overtime in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. PSU won the last meeting in the Bryce Jordan Center, 64-49, on Jan. 29, 2020.


Indiana (10-2, 1-1 B1G) at Penn State (5-5, 0-2 B1G)

Sunday, January 2 • 4 p.m. ET

Bryce Jordan Center (15,261) • University Park, Pa.

TV: BTN (Jason Horowitz and Len Elmore)

Radio: IU Radio Network (Don Fischer, Errek Suhr, Joe Smith) | TuneIn App

Series History: Indiana leads 41-12

Last Meeting: IU 87, PSU 85 (OT) (Dec. 30, 2020 in Bloomington)

Rankings: KenPom (28th), NET (45th)


IU Hall of Famer, All-American, Big Ten MVP and Indiana native Mike Woodson is the first Hoosier graduate to lead the program at the start of the season since Lou Watson in 1965. Woodson brings nine years of NBA head coaching experience (Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks) back to his alma mater and worked for seven franchises as an assistant coach and won an NBA title in 2004 with the Detroit Pistons. He played 11 seasons in the NBA as a player and is the fifth all-time leading scorer in program history with 2,061 points.

Penn State head coach Micah Shrewsberry is in his first year with the Nittany Lions after serving as a long-time assistant at Purdue.


IU leads the Big Ten and is second nationally in defensive field goal percentage (35.0%) and is third in the B1G in scoring defense (61.7 ppg). The Hoosiers also hold opponents to 28.0% shooting from long distance (4th) and average 5.92 blocked shots (2nd).

Recent Top IU Non-Conference Records

2007-08: 12-1  

2011-12: 13-0

2012-13: 12-1

2019-20: 10-1

2021-22: 9-1


Junior/sophomore forward Trayce Jackson-Davis is living up to his preseason accolades averaging 19.3 points (5th in B1G), 8.5 rebounds (5th), shooting 61.8% from the floor (3rd) and contributing 3.2 blocked shots per game (1st).

He had 31 points and 16 boards at Syracuse. He set a Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall record by scoring 43 points against Marshall, breaking the previous mark (42) set by Steve Alford against Michigan State. He made a career-high 18-of-24 field goal attempts. For his efforts, he was named National Player of the Week by Dick Vitale on

The leading returning scorer in the Big Ten has been named a first-team 2021-22 Preseason All-American by the Associated Press, and selected to the watch list for the Karl Malone Watch, the NABC Player of the Year, Wooden Award and Naismith Award. The Big Ten Player of the Week on Nov. 15 has posted four double-doubles this season and 26 in his career with IU posting a 20-6 record in those games.

Jackson-Davis became the 54th player in school history to eclipse the 1,000-point mark against St. John’s and now has scored 1,180 points as a Hoosier, rating 40th all-time in IU lore. He had 21 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots against NKU.


IU’s starting lineup of Jackson-Davis (71), Sr./Jr’s. Xavier Johnson (93), Miller Kopp (86), Parker Stewart (85) and Race Thompson (39) have combined for 369 career Division I starts. Off the bench, Sr./Jr’s. Michael Durr (85) and Rob Phinisee (69) have started 154 games.

Stewart leads the Big Ten in 3-point field goal percentage at 49.1%.

Thompson is 10th in the Big Ten in rebounding at 7.8 per game. He is averaging 12.3 points and shot 76.2% from the floor in the last three games and has scored in double figures in six-straight games.

Johnson is seventh in the Big Ten in assists at 4.3 per game. Durr has averaged 5.5 points in his last two home games, including a season-high six points against NKU.

So./Fr. Anthony Leal made his first career start against the Norse.



1 The Irish are the only team in the NCAA to have two games this

season with multiple defensive touchdowns against Power-5


2 The Irish are one of two teams (Alabama) to average more than 30

points on offense and averaged fewer than 20 points allowed on

defense for four consecutive years (2017-21).


Running back Kyren Williams surpassed the 1,000-yard rushing

mark in the win over Stanford. He is just the fifth running back

in Notre Dame history to have back-to-back seasons with 1,000

rushing yards or more .

7 The Irish won their seventh-game in a row with the win over

Stanford. It is the fourth time in the last five years that the Irish have

had a win streak of seven games or more.

9 The Irish have won 11 or more games for the ninth time in program


10.0 Defensive lineman Isaiah Foskey is tied for 16th in the NCAA with

10.0 sacks on the season. He is tied for fourth all-time for most sacks

in a single season in program history.

15 The Irish are tied for 10th nationally with 15 interceptions. It is the

most interceptions since 2014 when the Irish had 16.

18.2 Notre Dame is ranked ninth in the NCAA in scoring defense allowing

18.2 points per game.

21 The 2022 Fiesta Bowl marks the 21st time Notre Dame has played in

a bowl game on Jan. 1.

23 The Irish have totaled 23 takeaways this season, which ranks tied

for 14th nationally.

36 Notre Dame has won 36-straight games when allowing less than 20

points, dating back to 2016.

37 Thirty-seven of Michael Mayer’s team-leading 64 receptions this

season have resulted in a first down for the Irish.

40.0 Notre Dame ranks eighth in the NCAA with 40.0 sacks for the season.

Fifteen different players have recorded a sack this season and it is

one shy of the school record of 41.0 sacks from the 1996 season.

42 The Irish have won 42-consecutive games against unranked

opponents dating back to the 2016 season. It is currently the longest

active streak in the FBS.

54 The Irish have won 54 games over the past five seasons to set the

program record for most wins over a five-year period. They surpassed

the previous record of 53 from 1988-92.

60 Defensive lineman Kurt Hinish has played in 60 career games, which

continues to set the all-time program record. Kicker Jonathan Doerer

is second all-time with 54 games played.

64 Tight end Michael Mayer set the all-time record for most receptions

by a tight end in a single season (64).


January 1, 2016 – Ohio State 44, Notre Dame 28: Ezekiel Elliott ran for 149 yards and matched a Fiesta Bowl record with four touchdowns to close the curtain on his college career, sparking No. 7 Ohio State’s prolific offense in a 44-28 win over Notre Dame on Friday. The Fighting Irish had some good offensive moments behind DeShone Kizer but just couldn’t keep up with the blistering Buckeyes after a string of injuries, including do-everything linebacker Jaylon Smith to a knee injury in the first quarter. Kizer was the key, moving the Irish down the field to set up a 3-yard touchdown run by Josh Adams and on another drive that he capped himself with a 1-yard score. It was his 10th rushing TD, most by a Notre Dame quarterback in one season. After a quiet first three quarters, Will Fuller finally got a chance to show off his speed, using a quick move to create space before racing off on an 81-yard touchdown. The second-longest TD reception in Fiesta Bowl history pulled the Fighting Irish within 38-28, but they got no closer. Kizer threw for 284 yards and two touchdowns on 22-of-37 passing, but had an interception and lost a fumble.


  • Under Marcus Freeman’s tutelage, the Irish defense has been one of the nation’s best at creating havoc plays this season, as Notre Dame has totaled 40.0 sacks this season, which ranks eighth in the NCAA.
  • The Irish are sixth in the nation in sacks per game with 3.33.
  • The 40 sacks are the most in a single season since 1996, when the Irish set the program record for most sacks in a single season with 41.
  • 15 different players have recorded a sack this season after Isaiah Pryor and Alexander Ehrensberger got their first sacks of the season against Georgia Tech.
  • Notre Dame has been stingy in allowing points this season. They rank ninth in scoring defense by limiting opponents to 18.2 points per game this season.
  • The Irish defense has also been adept at taking the ball away with 23 takeaways, a number that ranks 14th in the NCAA.
  • Of those 23 takeaways, the Irish have tallied 15 interceptions from nine different players after Ramon Henderson tallied his first career interception against Virginia.
  • The 15 interceptions are tied for 10th in the NCAA. It is the most interceptions since 2014 when the Irish had 16 that season.
  • The nine players with an interception is the most since 2014 when they also had nine different players with interceptions.
  • The defense has also been able to find the endzone this season with four defensive scores. The four touchdowns are tied for sixth nationally.
  • The Irish also rank in the top-20 in third down conversion percentage defense (17th – 32.9%) and first down defense (18th – 211).
  • Kyle Hamilton and DJ Brown both lead the team with three interceptions each.
  • Hamilton and Cam Hart both had two interceptions in a game this season, the first time since 2018 that the Irish have had two players with two interceptions in a game in the same season (Jalen Elliott and Alohi Gilman).
  • The depth of the defense has been on full display as 21 different players have recorded a tackle-for-loss this season.


  • Tight end Michael Mayer is one of the best tight ends in the country, as he ranks first among Power-5 tight ends in receptions and receiving yards per game. He is first in receptions (64), receiving yards (768) and first in receiving yards per game (69.8).
  • Mayer set the program record for most receptions in a single season by a tight end (64) after his nine receptions, 105 yards and a touchdown in the win over Stanford.
  • He also tied the Notre Dame record for most receptions in a single game by a tight end. He tied his previous mark against Florida State and Cole Kmet’s that was set against Georgia in 2019.
  • It was the sixth game this season he has brought in seven or more receptions and also the sixth game he has led the team in receptions.
  • For the season, 37 of Mayer’s 64 receptions have resulted in a first down for the Irish.
  • Mayer hauled in his fifth touchdown of the season on a career-long 52-yard pass in the home finale win over Georgia Tech.
  • Mayer led the Irish with team-highs in receptions (7) and receiving yards (84) while adding one score in the road win over Virginia.
  • Mayer joined Ken MacAfee and Tyler Eifert as the only Notre Dame tight ends with 50 or more catches in a single season.
  • He notched five receptions for 54 yards in the home win over Southern Cal. He has totaled at least five receptions in seven of his 11 games this season.
  • Mayer led the Irish against Cincinnati with eight receptions and 93 yards on the afternoon.
  • Mayer had seven catches for 61 yards in the win over Wisconsin at Soldier Field.
  • In the win over Toledo, Mayer finished the game with team-high marks in receptions (7), receiving yards (81) and receiving touchdowns (2). It was the first time in Mayer’s career that he has had a multi-touchdown game.
  • Dating back to last season, Mayer collected seven or more receptions in three-straight games (Alabama, Florida State and Toledo). The last Irish receiver to have three-consecutive games with seven or more receptions was Michael Floyd in 2011 (Maryland – 8;  Boston College – 10 and Stanford – 8).


  • The Irish closed the 2021 regular season with their seventh-win in a row with the 45-14 victory over Stanford.
  • Notre Dame set a program record with 54 wins over the past five seasons. It surpassed the previous record of 53 that was set from 1988-92.
  • The win gave the Irish their 11th of the season, the ninth time in program history they have won 11 or more games in a single season.
  • The win gave the Irish their 42nd-consecutive win over an unranked opponent, the longest active streak in the FBS.
  • The Irish finished the season undefeated in road games (4-0) for the second-straight year. It is the first time since 1992-93 that the Irish had two-consecutive seasons with undefeated road records.
  • With the win, Notre Dame has won 16-straight games in the month of November.
  • It was the 27th-consecutive win for the Irish when they have scored 40 points or more.
  • The Irish claimed their 36th-straight win when allowing less than 20 points.
  • Running back Kyren Williams surpassed the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the second-straight season in the win over Stanford.
  • He is just the fifth Irish running back to have back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons in program history and the first since Darius Walker in 2005 and 2006.
  • Williams rushed for two touchdowns against the Cardinal for the second-straight game and the fourth time in the last six games.
  • It was the eighth-straight game Williams had a rushing touchdown.
  • Wide receiver Kevin Austin Jr. led the way with 125 receiving yards. It was the second time in the last four games that Austin Jr. surpassed the 100-yard mark in a game.
  • Tight end Michael Mayer had his second career game with 100 yards or more after finishing with 105 and nine receptions.
  • Quarterback Jack Coan tied a career high with 26 completions. He finished with 345 yards passing, his second game with 300 passing yards or more this season.
  • Austin Jr. and Mayer become the first Irish receiving duo to have 100 receiving yards or more in the same game since 2017 against Stanford.
  • The Irish defense allowed 55 rushing yards against the Cardinal. It was the fewest rushing yards allowed since 2020 when they limited Clemson to 33 rushing yards.


  • Isaiah Foskey has been the most consistent member of the Irish defensive line this season as he leads the team in sacks (10.0) and tackles-for-loss (11.5).
  • Foskey ranks tied for 16th nationally with 10.0 sacks this season.
  • He has recorded at least one sack in eight of his 12 games this season and at least one tackle-for-loss in nine of the games.
  • His 10.0 sacks are the most by an Irish player since Stephon Tuitt had 12.0 during the 2012 season.
  • Foskey is second in the country with five forced fumbles on the season after he tied a career high with two forced fumbles against Georgia Tech.
  • Foskey also ranks 18th in the FBS with two fumble recoveries this season.
  • In the win over Southern Cal, Foskey set a career high with two forced fumbles and tied a career high with 2.0 sacks.
  • Foskey forced his first-career fumble against Cincinnati after recording his first-career fumble recovery in the win over Wisconsin.
  • Foskey began the season with a career-high eight tackles, 2.0 tackles-for-loss and 2.0 sacks in the road win over Florida State.


  • The Irish entered the 2021 season with the same kicker and punter for the third straight season with the return of kicker Jonathan Doerer and punter Jay Bramblett.
  • In the win over Georgia Tech, Doerer moved into second all-time in Notre Dame history with 53 games played. He passed with Daelin Hayes, Drue Tranquill, Romeo Okwara, Zack Martin and Matthias Farley.
  • Doerer also moved into sole possession of fourth all-time in Notre Dame history with 48 career field goals.
  • He had a season-best three field goals made and 14 points in the win over North Carolina.
  • Bramblett has played in every game (37) for the Irish since he came to campus prior to the 2019 season.
  • He sits eighth all-time in Notre Dame history with 157 punts in his career.
  • He is ranked fourth all-time in Notre Dame history with a 41.9 career punting average.
  • Bramblett launched a career-long 72-yard punt in the win over Wisconsin this season. It was the longest punt by an Irish player since Hunter Smith had a 79-yard punt against Arizona State in 1998.


  • Quarterback Jack Coan is in his lone season with the Irish as a graduate transfer but is already moving up the Notre Dame record book.
  • In his first game with the Irish, he set the Notre Dame record for most passing yards in a season-opener with 366 and tied the record for most passing touchdowns in a season-opener (4).
  • Heading into the bowl game, Coan is third all-time in program history for completion percentage in a single season. He has completed 67.6 percent of his passes this year and trails only Jimmy Clausen (68.0 – 2009) and Ian Book (68.2 – 2018).
  • The 67.6 completion percentage currently ranks first all-time in Notre Dame history for best completion percentage in a career (min. 150 pass attempts).


  • Linebacker JD Bertrand continues to lead the Irish in tackles after recording five in the win over Stanford.
  • He leads the Irish with 92 tackles on the season and he has led or tied for the team lead in tackles in eight of the 12 games this season.
  • The 92 tackles are the most by an Irish linebacker since Te’von Coney had 123 in the 2018 season.
  • He has had at least six tackles in nine games this season and seven tackles or more in seven games.
  • He has totaled double-digit tackles in four games this season after having 10 in the win over Virginia Tech.
  • Bertrand tied a career high with 12 tackles in the win over Purdue. He tallied 11 tackles against Toledo and had 12 in the season-opener against Florida State.
  • The sophomore from Marietta, Georgia was the first Irish player to begin a season with three-straight double-digit tackle games since Courtney Watson back in 2001.
  • He is also the first Irish player to have three-consecutive games (Florida State, Toledo and Purdue) with double-digit tackles since Alohi Gilman in 2018-19. Gilman had 10 tackles against Southern Cal and then 18 against Clemson in the College Football Playoff Semifinal in 2018 and followed it up with 10 tackles in the 2019 season opener against Louisville.
  • In the win over Toledo, Bertrand set a career high in sacks (1.0) and recovered his first career fumble to seal the game late in the fourth quarter.
  • Bertrand got his first career start in the opener against Florida State and his 12 tackles were the most by an Irish linebacker since Te’von Coney had 16 on Dec. 28, 2018 against Clemson.


  • Since the start of 2018, Notre Dame is 44-6 (.880). That rate ranks fourth among all teams who have made an appearance in the College Football Playoff since its inception in 2014.
  • Among those teams, Notre Dame is one of just five teams that have totaled six or fewer losses since the beginning of 2018.
  • The Irish are one of five teams who have made playoff appearances in multiple seasons.


The Basics Playing in its 16th consecutive bowl game and its fifth New Year’s Six game since 2010, the No. 9 Oklahoma State football team (11-2 overall; 8-1 Big 12) faces No. 5 Notre Dame (11-1 overall) in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl at 11 a.m. MT/12 p.m. CT on Saturday, January 1, in State Farm Stadium. On the Air The game will be televised by ESPN with Bob Wischusen, Dan Orlovsky and Kris Budden on the call. It will also be carried live on the Cowboy Radio Network, with Dave Hunziker handling play-by-play, John Holcomb, Clint Chelf and Deion Imade providing analysis and Robert Allen reporting from the sideline. Fans outside of the Cowboy Radio Network can listen to the OSU broadcast for free through The Varsity Network app. In the Rankings Oklahoma State is No. 9 in the College Football Playoff rankings, marking its fifth consecutive week in the top 10. OSU has been included in 17 consecutive CFP polls dating to November 5, 2019, and the Cowboys have been in the CFP rankings in six of the past seven seasons. OSU is No. 9 in this week’s AP Top 25 and has been ranked at least once for 14 consecutive seasons in the poll. The streak, which began in 2008, is the 10th-longest active streak in the nation. Including this season, OSU has appeared in the top 15 of the AP poll in 12 of the past 14 seasons. It has had a top 10 ranking in the AP poll at some point in 10 of those 14 years. The Cowboys are also No. 9 in this week’s USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll. Notre Dame is No. 5 in the CFP rankings and is also No. 5 in the AP Top 25 and the coaches poll. The Cowboys Return to the Fiesta Bowl This season’s appearance in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl marks the third time that Oklahoma State has played in the game. The first was December 28, 1974, with the Cowboys scoring 16 unanswered points in the final three quarters to defeat No. 17 BYU, 16-6. The game was played in front of 50,878 fans at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. OSU’s second appearance came January 2, 2012, as the No. 3 Cowboys won a thriller over No. 4 Stanford. OSU kicked a walk-off field goal in overtime to win 41-38 in front of 69,927 fans at then-named University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Another Top-10 Matchup When No. 9 Oklahoma State faces No. 5 Notre Dame in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl, it will mark the third consecutive game where OSU’s opponent is ranked in the AP top 10. The only other time in school history that OSU has had to face three straight AP top-10 teams in one season was from Oct. 23 – Nov. 6 of 1976, when the Cowboy beat No. 5 Oklahoma and No. 10 Missouri before falling at No. 9 Nebraska. OSU also faced three straight top 10 teams in the final game of 1962 and the first two games of 1963. The game also marks the first time in school history that the Cowboys have played in three straight matchups between AP-top 10 teams. The matchup against Notre Dame will mark the 14th overall time in OSU history that the Cowboys have played a game with both teams ranked in the AP top 10. OSU’s wins in those games: 12/28/1984 No. 9 OSU vs. No. 7 South Carolina W, 21-14 9/24/2011 No. 7 OSU at No. 8 Texas A&M W, 30-29 1/2/2012 No. 3 OSU vs. No. 4 Stanford W, 41-38 (OT) 11/27/2021 No. 7 OSU vs. No. 10 Oklahoma W, 37-33.

The Series Saturday’s game marks the first ever meeting between Oklahoma State and Notre Dame, and the first time the Cowboys have faced one of the current FBS independent schools since the Cowboys defeated BYU in the 1976 Tangerine Bowl. OSU’s other previous matchups with current FBS independents are a 1974 win over BYU in the Fiesta Bowl, a 1962 win at Army and a 1939 win over New Mexico State. Coach Mike Gundy has never faced Notre Dame or an FBS independent, and Notre Dame’s Marcus Freeman is making his head coaching debut against Oklahoma State. Oklahoma State from a Distance Oklahoma State heads into the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl with an 11-2 overall record and as the No. 9 team in the FBS. The Cowboys finished the regular season alone on top of the Big 12 standings but fell inches short of a win in the conference championship game and potential spot in the College Football Playoff. To put what OSU has accomplished this year into perspective, it is joined by Georgia, Alabama and Baylor as the only teams with four wins over teams in the AP top 25 at the time of the game. The Oklahoma State defense has performed at a historic level this year. Entering Bowl Season, OSU leads the nation in sacks and tackles for loss and is also among the FBS leaders in third down defense (No. 2), total defense (No. 3), rushing defense (No. 5), fourth down defense (No. 6), scoring defense (No. 8), first downs defense (No. 8), passing yards allowed (No. 12) and more. The Cowboy offense has also made consistent improvement and has taken its game to another level in the second half of the season. Over the past six games, the Cowboys have averaged more than 36 points and more than 435 yards per game. On the season, the Cowboys now rank No. 1 in the Big 12 and No. 18 in the FBS in first downs offense. When it came to play in conference games only, Oklahoma State ranked No. 1 in the Big 12 in rushing offense, No. 2 in total offense and No. 3 in scoring offense. Continued Success The 2021 season is just the latest chapter in a long story of success for the Oklahoma State program. Consider the following: • Oklahoma State is making its 16th consecutive bowl appearance and has secured its 16th consecutive winning season, both of which are school-record streaks. OSU’s bowl streak is the seventh-longest active streak in the FBS, and the is longest active streak for any school with the same head coach. • Mike Gundy has coached the Cowboys to five New Year’s Six bowl games since 2010. The Pokes appeared in the 2010 Cotton Bowl, the 2012 Fiesta Bowl, the 2014 Cotton Bowl, the 2016 Sugar Bowl and now the 2022 Fiesta Bowl. • Since 2010, Oklahoma State has six seasons with at least 10 wins, an outright Big 12 title (2011) and a share of the Big 12 South title (2010). OSU reached the top 10 of the Associated Press poll in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2020 and 2021. • Oklahoma State is one of only six teams to post a winning season every year from 2010-21, joining Alabama, Boise State, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Wisconsin. It is one of only three Power Five teams with winning seasons each of the past 16 years, joined by Wisconsin and Oklahoma. • Including the 2021 season, Oklahoma State has been ranked in the top 15 of the Associated Press poll in 12 of the past 14 seasons and reached the top 10 in 10 of those 14 years. • OSU has finished in the top three of the Big 12 in three straight seasons and has finished in the top three nine times in the 11 seasons since the conference moved to a full round robin schedule in 2011.

An Oklahoma State Win Would … • Give OSU a 21-11 all-time record in bowl games, ranking among the top three in bowl winning percentages among teams with at least 20 appearances. • Mark its fifth bowl win in the past six seasons, its sixth bowl win in the past eight seasons and its ninth bowl win in the past 12 seasons. • Give the Cowboys five wins this season over teams ranked in the AP top 25 at game time, matching the school record of five set in 2011. Only Oklahoma State, Georgia, Alabama and Baylor have four AP top 25 wins heading into Bowl Season. • Mark the Cowboys’ sixth win over an opponent with a winning record this season. • Mark the Cowboys’ eighth win over an opponent who reached a bowl game this season. • Tie the school record for most wins in a season. OSU also won 12 games in 2011. • Make it 1-0 all-time vs. Notre Dame. • Mark Mike Gundy’s first win over an FBS independent. • Make it 4-2 all-time in New Year’s Day games. • Improve OSU to 5-0 all-time against current FBS independents. • Make it 19-2 in its past 21 non-conference games and 41-7 in its past 48 non-conference games. • Improve Mike Gundy’s record in non-conference games to 58-13. • Make it 15-6 in its past 21 games vs. AP Top 25 teams. • Mark the Cowboys’ 10th win over an AP Top 10 team since 2008. • Make it 14-2 in its past 16 games overall, dating back to the 2020 season. • Mark Mike Gundy’s 36th career win vs. AP Top 25 opponents. Nick Saban and Dabo Swinney are the only other active coaches with more wins over AP Top 25 teams at their current schools. • Mark the fifth win in school history in a game between two teams ranked in the AP Top 10. • Make it 148-68 in its history when playing as an AP-ranked team. • Make it 8-3 in its past 11 games when both teams are ranked in the AP Top 25. • Improve it to 30-23 vs. AP ranked teams since the beginning of the 2011 season. Notable Streaks and Trends Entering the Game • OSU is averaging more than 36 points and 435 yards of offense in its past six games. • OSU has outscored its past six opponents by a combined margin of 218-77, which amounts to an average score of 36-13. • OSU has given up just seven offensive touchdowns in its past 24 quarters of play. • OSU has held its last six opponents to 18-for-85 on third down (17.5 percent). • OSU has held three of its past six opponents under 2.9 yards per play. • OSU has held three of its past six opponents under 150 yards of total offense. No other FBS teams has held three opponents under 150 yards this season. • OSU has held seven of its past 11 opponents under 100 yards rushing. • OSU has held eight of its past 10 opponents under 200 yards passing. • OSU has held 22 of its past 24 Big 12 opponents under their season scoring average. • OSU has won 79 consecutive games when holding its opponent to fewer than 20 points, dating back to Sept. 13, 2003 – the longest active stretch of time in the FBS and longest since at least 1980. • OSU has held its opponent scoreless on its game-opening drive in 24 of its past 30 games. • OSU has held its opponent to less than a 50 percent third down conversion rate in 24 straight games. • OSU has held its opponent to fewer than 20 first downs in 11 games this season. • Malcolm Rodriguez has recorded at least five tackles in 20 of his past 21 games. • OSU is 31-12 in its past 43 games decided by fewer than 10 points. • OSU is 39-6 in its past 45 games when leading at halftime, dating back to Sept. 17, 2016. • Dating back to 2005, OSU is 43-4 when not committing a turnover. • Dating back to 2008, OSU is 69-8 when winning the turnover battle. • OSU has won three of its past four overtime games. • OSU has forced 27 turnovers in its past 17 games.

BALL STATE MEN’S BASKETBALL: Begins 2022 Inside Worthen Arena Against Bowling Green

MUNCIE, Ind. – The Ball State men’s basketball team had a delayed start to the Mid-American Conference portion of the schedule, but conference play begins on January 1 as Bowling Green makes the trip to Muncie. Saturday’s game is sponsored by Meijer and is scheduled for a 6 p.m. tip.

The Cardinals are 6-2 in conference openers with Head Coach James Whitford at the helm. In MAC openers inside Worthen Arena, Ball State is 3-1 under Coach Whitford.

Last time out, the Cardinals defeated the Panthers 75-55. BSU was led by Payton Sparks with a career-high 16 points, and he added eight rebounds. Miryne Thomas tied a season-best mark with 14 points and had three rebounds, an assist and a steal. Luke Bumbalough finished in double digits for the eighth time this season with a 13-point performance. Bumbalough chipped in with five assists. Mickey Pearson Jr. was the final player in double figures with 10 points. Pearson picked up three rebounds, an assist, a block and a steal. Tyler Cochran was an absolute force on the defensive side of the ball as he produced 10 rebounds, six assists, and five steals, all were game highs.

Bumbalough continues to lead Ball State in scoring with 12.5 points per game. Bumbalough also has a team-high 3.4 assists per game. Cochran is the only other Cardinal in double digits with 10.7 points per contest. Sparks has a team-best 5.7 rebounds per game, while Cochran has 5.5 boards per game. Cochran has been a force on the defensive end with 22 steals, while Demarius Jacobs has 10 steals. Thomas paces Ball State with five blocks and Basheer Jihad is second on the team with four.

Ball State enters Saturday with a 37-53 record against Bowling Green. The Falcons have won two of the last three meetings, including a 75-62 victory in Bowling Green on February 16, 2021. Despite the lopsided record, the good news is the Cardinals are 25-18 in games played in Muncie.

Daeqwon Plowden leads Bowling Green in scoring with 15.4 points per game and in rebounding with 7.3 per contest. Joe Reece is second on the team with 11.6 points per game and second on the squad with 6.8 rebounds per game. Reece is tied for the team lead in steals with 13 with Kaden Metheny. Samari Curtis has a team-high 31 assists.

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

BALL STATE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Women’s Basketball Opens MAC Play On New Years Day At Bowling Green

Game 11 | Ball State at Bowling Green

Jan. 1 | Bowling Green, Ohio | Stroh Center  | 2 p.m. ET

Watch: ESPN3 | Listen: Muncie Sports Station (102.9 FM/1340 AM) | Live Stats

Game Notes: Ball State (PDF) | Bowling Green

Opening Tip:

– Ball State and Bowling Green have met a total of 69 times in program history with the Falcons leading the all-time series record, 45-24.

– Prior to last season, Ball State had won the last 10 meetings between the two programs. The last time the Cardinals played at BGSU the outcome resulted in an 86-80 in overtime for Ball State on Jan. 8, 2020 in the Stroh Center.

– The 10-game winning streak against the Falcons ranked the first between Ball State and any other MAC school. The next team was Miami, Ball State had defeated them seven times in a row until the 2018-19 season.

– Ball State and Bowling Green’s first-ever meeting was in 1974-75, the Cardinals defeated the Falcons by a score of 58-52 in Terre Haute, Ind.

– Both teams were supposed to open their 2021-22 Mid-American Conference seasons on Wednesday, Dec. 29. The Cardinals were set to play Western Michigan and the Falcons were scheduled to compete at Eastern Michigan. Both games were postponed due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

– The Cardinals are looking for their fourth-straight win as BSU ended the season with a 7-3 non-conference ledger. The Falcons also closed out 2021 with a victory over UT Martin and will enter Saturday’s contest with a 5-4 non-conference mark.

In The Nation In 3’s:

The Cardinals currently rank 16th in the nation among its Division I peers in 3-point field goals per game (9.3). Ball State also ranks in the top-50 in 3-point field goal attempts coming in at 27 with 298 and 38th in the nation for total 3-pointers with 93.

Agustsdottir Nearing 1,000:

Ball State senior crasher Thelma Dis Agustsdottir is nearing the 1,000 career point plateau. Agustsdottir currently has 991 points and needs nine points to become the 30th member of the 1,000 point club and the ninth under head coach Brady Sallee.

Backs, Crashers & Keys:

This year, the Cardinals are forgoing “traditional” positions and using their own such as backs, crashers, and keys, to bring a sense of team unity. That system proved to be the lift Ball State needed, especially with so many new faces on the court. BSU started the season 2-0 for the first time since 2017.

Ball Control:

In the Cardinals last four contests Ball State has been able limit its turnovers against its opponents. Against Purdue Fort Wayne, the Cardinals only committed  12 turnovers and then mimicked that type of performance against Pitt with a season low nine miscues. Currently the Cardinals assist/turnover ratio is 1.27 which is good for a national ranking of 19.

Sallee And MAC Openers:

Under the direction of 10th-year head coach Brady Sallee the Cardinals are 5-4 in Mid-American Conference openers and 1-0 against Bowling Green. The last time Ball State opened league play against the Falcons was on Jan. 3, 2015 in the Stroh Center. That game resulted in a 62-50 victory for the Cardinals.

MAC Success:

 Under the direction of 10th-year head coach Brady Sallee, the Cardinals have had a wealth of success during MAC action. Sallee enters this conference season with 102-60 (.629) career MAC record. The Cardinals have punched their ticket straight to Cleveland in the MAC Tournament seven out of eight times under Sallee and have reached the championship game twice. Ball State earned a MAC West Division title in 2014-15 and has reached postseason play six times including making it to the round of 16 at the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) in Sallee’s inaugural year.


The MAC  announced that due to the current rise in COVID cases and its impact on winter sport programs. If possible, games that cannot be played as scheduled will be rescheduled. If a game cannot be played and cannot be rescheduled, it will be considered a no contest. For men’s and women’s basketball, a team must meet a minimum threshold of seven scholarship student-athletes and one coach to play a game.

Ticket Information:

Call 888.BSU.TICKET or 765.285.1474 to join the Cardinal Family inside Worthen Arena! Season tickets and groups are on sale now. Single game tickets will be available Monday, October 18, at the numbers listed above and online at

Scouting Bowling Green:

– Head coach Robyn Fralick, in her fourth season at the helm of the Falcons, returned 10 players off of last year’s BGSU roster.

-The Falcons, after going 10-21 overall and 3-15 in the MAC two years ago, were picked to finish 11th in the 12-team league in 2020-21, according to the preseason coaches’ poll. BG proceeded to post a 14-4 MAC record to win the regular-season crown. Then, the Orange and Brown defeated Eastern Michigan and Buffalo in the MAC Tournament in Cleveland, before falling to Central Michigan in the championship game.

– BGSU advanced to the WNIT and finished with a 21-8 overall record. BG tied for the second-best turnaround in the nation, with an improvement of +12.0 games.

– This season, the Falcons were picked to finish second in the MAC in the preseason coaches’ poll.

VALPO WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Women’s Basketball Drops MVC Opener at SIU Friday

The Valpo women’s basketball team got 17 points apiece from Shay Frederick (Greenville, Wis./Hortonville) and Leah Earnest (Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH) Friday in the Beacons’ MVC opener at Southern Illinois, but Valpo dropped the conference lid-lifter to the host Salukis by a 62-52 final.

How It Happened

  • SIU led for the entirety of the first quarter, but Valpo kept the game within striking distance. A 3-pointer from Caitlin Morrison (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South) with 2:21 to play in the quarter made it a one-point game, but the Salukis scored the final four points of the period to lead 14-9 at the end of the first.
  • SIU extended its lead to double figures just over three minutes into the second quarter and still led by eight points over halfway through the period.
  • Valpo proceeded to go on a 13-4 run over a span of three-plus minutes to take its first lead of the game. Frederick bookended the spurt with 3-pointers and added another basket as well, while Earnest scored the other five points of the run.
  • SIU connected on a pair of free throws in the final minute of the half to go into halftime with a 28-27 lead.
  • SIU scored the first basket of the second half, but Valpo scored five points over its next two possessions — a 3-pointer by Frederick and a driving layup from Olivia Brown (East Grand Rapids, Mich./East Grand Rapids) — to lead 32-30 just over a minute into the third quarter.
  • The Salukis scored seven of the next eight points to take the lead for good, but Valpo remained within one possession for much of the quarter. A triple by Maya Dunson (Dayton, Ohio/Wayne [Loyola]) with 3:35 to play in the period again made it a one-point game at 41-40.
  • The Beacons went scoreless for the remainder of the period, however, as SIU scored the final seven points of the quarter to lead 48-40 with 10 minutes to play.
  • Grace White (Redby, Minn./Red Lake [Denver]) scored for Valpo on its first trip of the fourth quarter, but the Beacons went scoreless for the next three-plus minutes as SIU extended its advantage to 12 points.
  • Valpo had one push remaining, keeping the Salukis scoreless on four straight trips midway through the period and converting on the offensive end to cut the deficit in half. Brown, Earnest and Frederick all had baskets as the Beacons moved within six points at 56-50 with 3:05 to play.
  • SIU scored on its next possession, but Valpo countered with another basket from Earnest, and when the Salukis missed with two minutes to play, the Beacons had an opportunity to move within four or even three points. But Valpo missed on a pair of attempts on the ensuing trip and would not get closer than six points the rest of the way.

Inside the Game

  • Valpo was without the services of head coach Mary Evans, as she is not with the team due to being in the University’s COVID-19 protocol. The Beacons also played Friday without leading scorer Carie Weinman due to injury.
  • Earnest matched her career high, set earlier this season against Central Michigan, with 17 points to tie for team-high honors on Friday. Earnest, who shot 7-of-13 from the field and hit a pair of 3-pointers, also paced Valpo on the glass with six rebounds — the third time this season she has led Valpo on the boards.
  • Frederick matched Earnest with 17 points on Friday, coming up just two points shy of her season high. She also grabbed five rebounds and handed out three assists without committing a turnover, leaving her just one helper shy of 400 for her career.
  • Earnest and Frederick were the only two Valpo players to reach double figures in scoring, however, as Brown’s six points was the next-highest total.
  • Valpo finished the game shooting 38.5% from the field (20-of-52) and was just 7-of-24 from 3-point range, missing all six of its efforts from deep in the fourth quarter after going 7-of-18 over the first 30 minutes.
  • The Beacons limited SIU to 2-of-14 shooting from the 3-point line. SIU shot 41.1% (23-of-56) for the game, grabbed 14 offensive rebounds and committed just nine turnovers — a season low for a Valpo opponent.

Next Up

Valpo (2-10, 0-1 MVC) concludes the conference-opening road trip Sunday afternoon with a 1 p.m. tip at Missouri State. The game can be seen live on ESPN3.


FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Purdue Fort Wayne women’s basketball will welcome in 2022 with a game at Robert Morris on New Year’s Day.

Game Day Information
Who: Robert Morris Colonials
When: Saturday, January 1 | 1 PM
Where: Moon Township, Pa. | UPMC Events Center
Live Stats: Link
Watch: ESPN+

Know Your Foe
Robert Morris is 4-6, 2-3 Horizon League and is coming off a 63-55 win over Cleveland State. The Colonials also own a league win over Detroit Mercy, which came in the league opener, a 55-46 victory for RMU. Robert Morris is scoring just 54.3 points per game, led by Esther Castedo with 11.1. Forward Sol Castro is averaging just under 10 points and five rebounds per game.

The Series
Robert Morris and Purdue Fort Wayne had never met before last season in the two squads’ first year in the Horizon League. The pair split their first two games, with the first game going to the ‘Dons. Shayla Sellers led the Mastodon offense in that game, scoring 21 points. This was the first 20-point game of her career.

A Win Would…
• Make the Mastodons 2-1 over Robert Morris all-time, the same record as Horizon League members
• Be the Mastodons’ fourth League win, their most since 2013-14
• Tie the most wins against Division I competition in a season since 2015-16
• Snap a five-game losing skid
• Be the first win away from home this season and first since 1/26/2020, a 58-57 win at Omaha

New Visitors
This is Purdue Fort Wayne’s first-ever trip to play women’s basketball at Robert Morris and its first visit to the UPMC Events Center.

Live By The Three
The Mastodons have made more 3-pointers in seven of the 10 games played. The ‘Dons are making 8.1 per game while holding their opponents to just 6.6.

Per 40 Fun
Six Mastodons are averaging over 12 points per 40 minutes: Sylare Starks (17.9), Ryin Ott (16.0), Riley Ott (14.7), Shayla Sellers (13.1), Aubrey Stupp (12.5) and Shianne Johnson (12.3).

Shooters Shoot
The Mastodons have the second-best 3-point shooting percentage in the Horizon League at 34.3 percent with the third-most makes. This percentage is 69th in the country. The 34.3 percent mark would be the fifth-best in the Division I era of the program. Last season, the ‘Dons were last in the league in both 3-point and overall shooting percentage categories.

Pretty Good From the Line
Purdue Fort Wayne is second in the Horizon League and ninth in the country in free throw percentage. The ‘Dons are making 78.9 percent from the line, which ranks in the top five in program history for a season mark. Purdue Fort Wayne has five players shooting over 80 percent from the line, led by Aubrey Stupp, who is averaging 87.5 percent on 24 attempts, and Shianne Johnson who is 2-for-2.

Rileeeeeeey for Threeeeeeeeeee!
Riley Ott is shooting 43.8 percent from 3-point range this season (14-of-32). With a minimum of 30 makes, the program’s best season average in the Division I era is 44.9 percent, coming from former sharpshooter and former assistant coach Haley Seibert (2013-14). Ott’s 43.8 percent mark would rank fourth all-time, second-best in the Division I era.

Sharp-Shooting ‘Dons
Purdue Fort Wayne has six Mastodons shooting over 37 percent from 3-point range with at least two attempts: Shianne Johnson, Riley Ott, Ryin Ott, Shayla Sellers, Sylare Starks and Valerie Clark. Last year, the Mastodons had no one shoot over 31 percent. As a team, the ‘Dons are shooting 34.3 percent, up from 25.0 percent a year ago.

On Fire
In the four game stretch from Northern Kentucky (Dec. 5) to Indiana State (Dec. 20), Riley Ott averaged 17.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists, while shooting 12-of-24 for 50 percent from 3-point range. She was also  7-of-8 from the free throw line.

I Know Them!
Six Mastodons have played in all 10 games this season: Riley Ott, Shayla Sellers, Aubrey Stupp, Amellia Bromenschenkel, Jazzlyn Linbo and Audra Emmerson.

Sister Connection
Since her sister Ryin has joined the team, Riley Ott’s per game stats have taken a significant jump. Here’s how she compares without Ryin (2019-21) to with Ryin (2021-22):
Points: 10.4 -> 11.1
Rebounds: 2.5 -> 3.4
Assists: 2.1 -> 2.4
Steals: 0.9 -> 1.1
Blocks: 0.04 -> 0.2
FG%: 34.4 -> 36.0
3FG%: 28.5 -> 43.8
FT%: 74.8 -> 86.2

Last Time Out
The Mastodons are coming off a 64-41 loss at Youngstown State on Thursday (Dec. 30). Sylare Starks scored a team-high 12 points.

Coming Up
The Mastodons will return home on January 6 to play their second Horizon League game in the Gates Sports Center. The ‘Dons will face off against 5-7, 3-2 Oakland.


INDIANAPOLIS – The IUPUI women’s basketball team fell short against conference foe Northern Kentucky to finish out 2021, 54-53. Graduate student Macee Williams led the Jaguars with 23 points, 11 rebounds and three steals. Sophomore transfer Rachel Kent followed with 14 points, six rebounds and three assists. Madison Wise added nine points while Rachel McLimore added six rebounds.

“Credit Northern Kentucky with how the executed offensively,” head coach Austin Parkinson. “We could not guard Ivy Turner or Lindsey Duval.”

NKU took the lead early in the first quarter, 15-9, and stayed on top for most of the game. The Jags came within one with 33 seconds left with a three pointer from Rachel Kent. They had an opportunity to take the lead after Williams got the rebound from a missed free throw with 16 seconds left but couldn’t take the lead.

“I thought Macee asserted herself offensively when we got her touches,” said Parkinson. “Our ball movement and player movement are severely lacking which results in challenging offensive possessions.”

IUPUI finished the game at 38.2 percent (21-for-55) from the floor and 23.5 percent (4-for-17) at the three-point line while holding the Norse to 32.7 percent (18-for-55) from the floor. The Jags outrebounded the Norse 43 to 30.

The Lady Jaguars will play Wright State at the Jungle on Sunday, Jan. 2 at 3:00 PM ET on ESPN+.

EVANSVILLE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Aces begin new year with pair of top 70 foes in Iowa

EVANSVILLE – Opening a new year, the University of Evansville women’s basketball team tips-off 2022 with two top 70 NET teams with a Saturday contest against Drake to open Missouri Valley Conference play in Des Moines, Iowa before taking on No. 21 Iowa in a non-conference clash on Sunday in Iowa City, Iowa.

Previewing the Matchup: at Drake

Saturday’s meeting is the 61st in series history between the Aces and Bulldogs with Drake owning a 46-14 advantage in the all-time series.

The two sides last met in a pair of back-to-back contests in Evansville on January 7 and 8 of 2021 with the Bulldogs taking both.

Drake has won 13-straight games in the series with Evansville’s last win over the Bulldogs coming in St. Charles, Mo. on March 13, 2015. Evansville’s last win over Drake in Des Moines came on Jan. 12, 2014 in a 71-67 triumph.

Saturday’s contest does not just match the top two teams in the MVC in scoring offense; its a matchup of two of the best scoring teams in the nation. The Aces enter in 31st in the nation, averaging 77.2 points per game, while the Bulldogs are 14th in NCAA Division I with 81.3 points per game.

The Bulldogs dropped their conference opener to Indiana State on Thursday night, 78-70, Drake’s first loss in an MVC opener since the 2015-16 season.

Drake enters this weekend’s matchup as the 70th team in NET rankings, the highest team in NET ranking that the Aces will have faced this season.

Previewing the Matchup: at No. 21 Iowa

The recently added contest between the Aces and Hawkeyes is just the second meeting all-time between the two sides with Iowa capturing a 76-64 win over Evansville in the only previous meeting on Dec. 10, 1983 at the Indiana State Classic in Terre Haute, Ind.

The contest against the Hawkeyes will be Evansville’s second in the last four seasons after facing Wisconsin in 2018-19 and Illinois in 2019-20.

The game will be Evansville’s first against a ranked non-conference opponent since taking on No. 20 Kentucky during the 2017-18 campaign.

Iowa comes into Sunday’s game with a 6-3 record, last dropping a 74-73 contest at home to IUPUI on Dec. 21.

Originally scheduled to play both UNI and Drake, in non-conference play, the Hawkeyes captured an 82-61 win over the Panthers, while their game against Drake was canceled.

As long as Evansville’s Je’Naiya Davis scores one point and Abby Feit reaches double-figures for the 50th time in her career, Sunday’s game will feature three of the top 50 scorers in the nation with Davis averaging over 20 points and Feit not far behind at nearly 19 points per game, while the 2020-21 National Co-Freshman of the Year, Iowa’s Caitlin Clark, is averaging 22 points per contest.

A Rebounding Force

One of the most impactful additions of the offseason was senior guard Myia Clark, who has come in an immediately made an impact like her backcourt companion, Je’Naiya Davis.

Along with finding herself in the top three in scoring, three-point makes, and assists, Clark has also contributed an important presence on the glass for the Aces.

At 5’7″, Clark cleans-up the boards at an impressive rate, sitting second on the team with 4.9 rebounds per game.

INDIANAPOLIS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Greyhounds Close Calendar Year with Region Win

INDIANAPOLIS—The UIndy women’s basketball team bid farewell to 2021 with a 78-66 win against in-region Ferris State Friday afternoon in Nicoson Hall. The Greyhounds compiled a season-high field goal percentage in the New Year’s Eve victory while snapping the Bulldogs’ 10-game winning streak.


After scoring the final seven points of the first half, the Hounds carried that momentum in the third quarter as both Taylor Drury and Sadie Hill drained 3-pointers shortly after the break. The long-range shooting fueled a 24-7 run that spanned the halftime intermission, upping the Hounds’ led to 11.

Ferris would not go away quietly, however. With a roster teeming with weapons, the Bulldogs slowly chipped away at the margin, pulling to within three on a buzzer-beating triple at the end of the third quarter.

But UIndy started to final quarter with a 12-2 spurt to retake control. The Hounds kept the ‘Dogs at arm’s length the rest of the way, leading by as many as 13 points and no fewer than eight.


-UIndy shot a season-best 58.3 percent from the field while dishing out 21 assists for the second straight game.

-Drury led all players with 21 points, matching a career high with six 3-pointers. She also grabbed nine rebounds to come just shy of a double-double.

-Mickey Sasson also flirted with a double-double, amassing 13 points and nine assists while adding six boards and two steals.

-Ilani Williams-Harris came off the bench to shoot a perfect 6 of 6 from the field on the way to a career-high 14 points.

-Freshman Liv Becker made her first collegiate start and finished with six points and three rebounds.

-The Hounds have shot 24 for 48 (.500) from behind the arc in the previous two games combined.

-All eight Hounds that saw time scored at least four points.


Though today marked their first matchup since November of 2012, the Greyhounds have won five in row versus the Ferris State, part of a 6-2 all-time mark … Drury moved into fourth place in the UIndy career annals in career 3-pointers made (172).


The Greyhounds had their upcoming home game versus McKendree canceled. They will now return to the court with road trip to Missouri S&T in Thursday, Jan. 6.

INDIANAPOLIS MEN’S BASKETBALL: Men’s Basketball Runs Past East West in Final Non-Conference Tilt

INDIANAPOLIS – A career-best performance from Aaron Etherington led the University of Indianapolis men’s basketball team to their fourth straight win on Friday afternoon.  The Hounds scored the first 14 points of the game and never looked back in a 105-61 win over East West University in their final non-conference game of the season.


Dee Montgomery started the scoring off with a corner three on the assist from Etherington.  The Hounds went on to score the first 14 points of the game before the Phantoms got on the board.  UIndy took a 59-18 lead to the locker room, marking the most points they’ve scored in a half this season and the largest lead they’ve taken to the break.

Etherington shot 4-for-5 from three in the first half alone.  The Fishers, IN native went on to finish with a career-high 26 points along with 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 blocks and 1 steal.

UIndy’s 105 points is the first time they’ve eclipsed the century mark under head coach Paul Corsaro and the most points they’ve put up in a single game this season.  The Hounds hadn’t scored 100 points since November 2019 when they scored 112 against Spring Hill.


For the second time in three games, six Hounds reached double figures in scoring in Etheringon (26), Jesse Bingham (14), Jakobie Robinson (14), Kendrick Tchoua (12), Ben Nicoson (11) and Josiah Tynes (10).  Prior to happening against St. Mary of the Woods, the feat hadn’t happened in 107 games dating back to Jan. 4, 2018.  In all 11 games this year at least three Hounds have reach double figures.


– Robinson posted his first double-double of the season, tallying 14 points and 13 assists.

– The Hounds outrebounded the Phantoms 47-26 to improve to 7-0 when outrebounding their opponents.

– Along with 13 made three’s, UIndy was also a threat down low, scoring 38 points in the paint.


UIndy returns to conference play next week with a trio of Great Lakes Valley Conference games.  The Hounds host McKendree on Tuesday at 5:30 pm ET before heading to Missouri S&T on Thursday.  They’ll close out the week back at home on Saturday against Lindenwood.

INDIANAPOLIS WRESTLING: Hounds up to #8 in NWCA Division II Coaches Poll

MANHEIM, Pa.- Behind four ranked wrestlers, the UIndy Wrestling team is up to #8 in the newest edition of the National Wrestling Coaches Association Division II Coaches Poll, released New Year’s Eve by the association.

Andrew Sams leads the Hounds, coming in at #1 at 174. Sams is the first Greyhound to be ranked #1 since Jan. 15, 2014, when two-time All-American Alex Johns came in at #1 at 125. Sams becomes just the fourth UIndy wrestler to be ranked atop the NWCA Coaches Rankings, since the inception of the poll in 1992-93. The Greyhound 174 earned the top spot after taking the bracket championship at the 42nd Midwest Classic prior to the holiday, and is currently 16-3 on the season.

Derek Blubaugh also made a jump in the rankings, and now sits at #4 at 197 after a runner-up finish at the Midwest Classic. Logan Bailey comes in at #9 at 149, and Jack Eiteljorge held onto the #12 spot at 165.

Central Oklahoma stayed in the top spot in this edition of the poll, with St. Cloud State, McKendree, West Liberty and Nebraska-Kearney rounding out the top five. Three Great Lakes Valley Conference teams are ranked in the Top 25, with Lindenwood coming in at #T18 to join the Bearcats and Greyhounds. Both Drury and Maryville are receiving votes in the poll, with 15 GLVC wrestlers ranked across the 10 weight classes.

The Greyhounds return from the Winter Break at the NWCA National Duals in Louisville Jan. 6-7, with a handful of UIndy wrestlers also competing in the Mat Mayhem Open alongside the NWCA event.

FRANKLIN WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Grizzlies’ Tilt with Earlham Canceled, Franklin Awarded Win Via Forfeit

FRANKLIN, Ind. – Originally scheduled for New Year’s Day, Saturday’s Franklin women’s basketball contest at Earlham has been canceled and will not be made up. Per HCAC guidelines, the Franklin women’s basketball team has been awarded a victory via forfeit and now sits at 5-6 on the year with a 3-1 record in conference play.

The Grizzlies resume play on Wednesday, Jan. 5, when they travel to Terre Haute, Ind. to take on the Engineers of Rose-Hulman. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.

MANCHESTER WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Women’s Basketball Game on Sunday Canceled

NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. – The Manchester University women’s basketball game scheduled against nationally-ranked Transylvania University for Sunday January 2 has been canceled due to COVID protocols.

Per the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference policies, the game will be marked as a forfeit and will not be rescheduled.

Manchester’s next game is scheduled for Wednesday January 5 at home against Anderson University. Tip-off is currently scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

MANCHESTER WRESTLING: No Longer Traveling to Ohio Northern on Tuesday

NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. – The Manchester University wrestling team will no longer be able to compete at Ohio Northern on Tuesday January 4 due to COVID protocols.

Manchester’s next scheduled date of competition is Saturday January 15. The Spartans are slated to host their annual Spartan Mat Classic in Stauffer-Wolfe Arena beginning at 9 a.m.

IU SOUTH BEND MEN’S BASKETBALL: Saturday’s game at Holy Cross postponed

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Saturday’s matchup between No. 24 IU South Bend and Holy Cross has been postponed.

The Titans and Saints plan to make up the CCAC matchup on Monday, January 10; tipoff from the Pfeil Center is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

IU South Bend (11-3, 7-1 CCAC) continue to lead the CCAC regular season standings despite the current 18-day gap in their schedule. The Titans will now prepare for their next contest, a conference game at Roosevelt on Wednesday, January 5. IUSB will face the Lakers at 8:30 p.m. Eastern from the Goodman Center in Chicago.

PURDUE NORTHWEST BASKETBALL: Basketball games at Parkside postponed

HAMMOND, Ind. – The Purdue Northwest women’s and men’s basketball games at Wisconsin-Parkside scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 1, have been postponed due to health and safety precautions.

PNW and Parkside will look for another date to play the GLIAC doubleheader in Kenosha later this season.

The Pride basketball teams are scheduled to return to action on Thursday, Jan. 6, when they travel to Northern Michigan.

GRACE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Lady Lancers end 2021 with win

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Grace’s women’s basketball team pulled off their second win in as many days with a 62-58 victory at Keiser on New Year’s Eve.

The Lady Lancers (10-5) used a 24-point first quarter to outpace the Seahawks on their way to victory.

Nearly duplicating her start from the day before, Maddie Ryman scored seven of the Lady Lancers’ first nine points to build an early lead.

Kenzie McMahon scored an offense putback which forced a timeout from the reeling Seahawks (12-6), who found themselves down 11-4 and unable to find an answer for Grace’s offense.

Keiser found success on the first offense set after a timeout, but Kiersten Poor then began to take over for Grace. The sophomore scored on back-to-back possessions as the lead was extended to 16-6.

Poor and Maddie Ryman ended the first quarter with a 3-point bucket each, and Grace entered the quarter break with a 24-13 lead. Grace hit on four of their six shots from beyond the arc in the first quarter.

Grace started the second period with possession, and Poor continued the offensive onslaught with an and-1 just seconds into the quarter.

The Lady Lancers’ lead ballooned to 17, the largest of the game, on the next possession when Kensie Ryman assisted on fellow Warsaw grad Kaylee Patton’s 3-point shot.

Keiser was able to capitalize on four Lady Lancer turnovers to go on a 7-0 run and cut the lead to 10.

Poor ended a 6:37 scoreless drought for Grace after completing a 3-point play from the charity stripe, but Keiser answered with their first successful 3-point shot of the game. At the half Grace held a 34-26 lead.

Maddie Ryman and Poor each had double-digit points in the first half. Grace shot 43 percent from the field while holding Keiser to 34 percent.

The Lady Lancers’ defense helped propel their offense with seven fastbreak points and 11 points off turnovers.

As the second half began, Keiser continued to chip away at the Grace lead. The Seahawks managed to pull within five of the Lady Lancers.

Patton and Poor combined to score Grace’s next 12 points as the lead was pushed back to 48-35. The game entered the final 10 minutes with the Lady Lancers in front 53-39.

Grace came up empty in its first five possessions of the fourth as Keiser again tried to mount a comeback.

Three minutes into the quarter, Karlee Feldman got the Lady Lancers on the board as Grace continued to lead.

Feldman’s marker was the only Lady Lancer score through the first 6:09 of the quarter. Grace relied on its defense to cling to a dwindling lead.

After hitting a free throw, Keiser had cut the lead to 59-55 with 39 seconds remaining. The Lady Lancers converted their free throws down the stretch to hold on for a 62-58 win.

“This was a great way to close out the first half of the season for us,” said Grace head coach Dan Davis. “It wasn’t always pretty, but our girls showed a lot of maturity when things weren’t going our way; we won with our defense and toughness. Can’t wait to get back home and get ready for conference play.”

Maddie Ryman led the way with 22 points and nabbed three steals. Poor followed closely behind with 21 points. Patton added 8 points, 6 assists and 5 blocks.

Grace shot 42 percent from the field compared to 36 percent from Keiser. The teams were deadlocked in rebounds with both squads grabbing 36.

Grace’s next game will see them host No. 11 Indiana Wesleyan on Wednesday at 7 p.m.




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LA LAKERS1819.48610.511-107-91-510-134-61 W
SACRAMENTO1522.40513.59-126-104-511-164-61 L
MEMPHIS2314.62213-810-64-219-97-34 W
DALLAS1718.4865.08-89-107-214-105-51 W
SAN ANTONIO1420.4127.57-107-101-48-155-52 L
NEW ORLEANS1322.3719.07-96-132-48-146-41 W
HOUSTON1026.27812.57-93-171-34-142-86 L



WASHINGTON CAPITALS33206747181168510-3-410-3-36-2-2
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING33217547191099711-3-310-4-27-2-1
CAROLINA HURRICANES3022714522996210-3-012-4-17-3-0
FLORIDA PANTHERS31207444191179316-3-04-4-46-3-1
NEW YORK RANGERS322084441893848-3-212-5-25-4-1
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS3020824220987612-4-18-4-17-2-1
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS301785391691768-5-29-3-37-2-1
DETROIT RED WINGS321514333148910711-4-24-10-15-5-0
PHILADELPHIA FLYERS31131263213821006-6-27-6-45-3-2
10 COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS29151313112959810-3-15-10-03-6-1
11 BOSTON BRUINS2614102301371697-5-17-5-14-4-2
12 NEW JERSEY DEVILS32121552911921138-7-34-8-23-6-1
13 BUFFALO SABRES3210175258861126-9-24-8-32-6-2
14 NEW YORK ISLANDERS27912624961783-5-36-7-34-2-4
15 OTTAWA SENATORS289172208791015-9-04-8-25-4-1
16 MONTREAL CANADIENS337224186711185-10-12-12-31-7-2
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS3422120441912310211-7-011-5-08-2-0
ST. LOUIS BLUES32189541161108712-3-26-6-36-2-2
ANAHEIM DUCKS341710741151059410-4-47-6-34-2-4
MINNESOTA WILD30199240161129210-2-19-7-16-3-1
NASHVILLE PREDATORS3219112401895889-5-010-6-27-2-1
CALGARY FLAMES291676381493664-3-412-4-25-4-1
EDMONTON OILERS3118121371610810010-6-08-6-12-7-1
COLORADO AVALANCHE27178236161159110-2-17-6-17-2-1
SAN JOSE SHARKS3217141351689949-7-18-7-05-5-0
10 LOS ANGELES KINGS3215125351385869-7-26-5-36-3-1
11 WINNIPEG JETS30141153313908710-6-14-5-45-4-1
12 VANCOUVER CANUCKS3315153331284938-7-17-8-28-1-1
13 DALLAS STARS29151223214828511-3-14-9-15-5-0
14 CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS301115426872976-6-25-9-24-4-2
15 SEATTLE KRAKEN32101842410901176-10-24-8-22-5-3
16 ARIZONA COYOTES306213156631172-10-14-11-22-7-1