“THE SCOREBOARD”

INDIANA BOYS BASKETBALL

Barr-Reeve 56 Robinson (Ill.) 39
Bellmont 63 Heritage 38
Benton Central 72 Delphi 56
Borden 78 Crothersville 47
Brebeuf Jesuit 66 Lafayette Central Catholic 34
Brownsburg 36 Chesterton 33
Castle 75 Floyd Central 65
Clarksville 56 Eastern (Pekin) 36
Clay City 72 Monrovia 49
Clinton Christian 37 Smith Academy 27
Clinton Prairie 64 Western Boone 39
Columbia City 68 Carroll (Fort Wayne) 66
Columbus North 44 Greenwood 39
Covenant Christian 87 Traders Point Christian 43
Crown Point 36 Carmel 33
Culver Academy 61 South Bend Career 32
Daleville 56 Eastern Hancock 52
Danville 59 Harrison (West Lafayette) 57
DeKalb 72 Fremont 43
Eastern (Greentown) 56 Southwood 52
Eastside 48 Prairie Heights 34
Edgewood 67 Bloomfield 50
Edinburgh 69 Milan 60 OT
Edon (Ohio) 55 Lakewood Park 51 OT
Elwood 57 Providence Cristo Rey 23
Fishers 77 Kokomo 55
Fort Wayne Blackhawk 72 Norwell 36
Fort Wayne North 57 Warsaw 56
Fort Wayne Snider 62 Mooresville 59
Franklin Central 60 Bloomington North 43
Franklin 53 Columbus East 46
Frontier 32 Caston 29
Goshen 63 South Bend St. Joseph 55
Greencastle 64 Southmont 48
Greenfield-Central 71 Southport 56
Greenwood Christian 55 Indianapolis Lutheran 47
Guerin Catholic 52 Heritage Hills 42
Hauser 65 Union County 41
Hobart 58 River Forest 51
Homestead 59 New Haven 49
Indiana Deaf 52 Cambridge City Lincoln 50
Indianapolis Cathedral 71 North Central (Indianapolis) 56
Indianapolis Tech 55 Evansville Reitz 44
Knox 66 Culver 50
Lafayette Jeff 65 East Chicago Central 55
Lakeland 51 Bethany Christian 47
Lapel 61 Muncie Burris 23
Lawrence North 72 Fort Wayne Wayne 51
Leo 60 Woodlan 46
Logansport 58 Rochester 43
Loogootee 56 Shoals 30
Maconaquah 88 Oak Hill 60
Manchester 62 Huntington North 55
Marion 72 Wabash 46
Marquette Catholic 49 Kouts 34
McCutcheon 46 Covington 44
McLean County (Ky.) 63 Evansville Day 53
Merrillville 62 Andrean 58
Michigan City 70 Hammond Central 34
Mitchell 60 Salem 32
Monroe Central 49 Wes-Del 39
Mount Vernon (Posey) 55 Mount Carmel (Ill.) 36
Muncie Central 53 Hamilton Heights 34
New Castle 56 Jay County 44
Noblesville 51 Indianapolis Attucks 46
North Daviess 45 Rock Creek Academy 29
North Decatur 68 Oldenburg Academy 48
North Judson 55 South Central (Union Mills) 31
North Knox 51 Eastern Greene 48
North Newton 46 Demotte Christian 43
North Vermillion 60 Dugger Union 52
North White 45 Tri-Township 38
NorthWood 36 Fairfield 21
Northeast Dubois 48 Tell City 33
Northridge 72 Angola 64
Northwestern 50 Frankfort 43
Parke Heritage 60 North Putnam 54
Pendleton Heights 69 Connersville 40
Peru 62 Northfield 22
Pike 55 Yorktown 48
Pioneer 41 North Miami 38
Plainfield 64 Zionsville 46
Portage 77 Westville 59
Providence 57 Scottsburg 51 OT
Richmond 77 Talawanda (Ohio) 29
Seeger 46 Tri-County 37
Seton Catholic 61 Anderson Prep 31
Shakamak 80 Washington Catholic 22
Shenandoah 48 Frankton 39
Silver Creek 73 Jennings County 54
South Bend Washington 68 LaPorte 65
South Decatur 45 Jac-Cen-Del 40
South Putnam 68 Eminence 24
South Ripley 50 Franklin County 31
South Spencer 60 Crawford County 42
Southridge 46 Pike Central 44
Southwestern (Hanover) 85 Batesville 52
Springs Valley 76 Lanesville 51
Tippecanoe Valley 52 John Glenn 46
Tipton 65 Delta 61 OT
Tri-Central 54 Morristown 41
Tri-West 55 West Lafayette 51
Trinity Lutheran 58 West Washington 46
Union City 62 Knightstown 37
University 68 Liberty Christian 52
Valparaiso 79 Kankakee Valley 59
Vincennes Rivet 56 Medora 44
Wapahani 85 Hagerstown 50
Warren Central 60 Center Grove 44
Washington 52 Forest Park 46
Watseka (Ill.) 49 South Newton 44
West Noble 48 Churubusco 40
Western 64 Rossville 48
Westfield 50 Bethesda Christian 25
Westview 57 Central Noble 41
Whiteland 65 Shelbyville 53
Whitko 58 Wawasee 53 3OT
Wood Memorial 53 White River Valley 35


Wayne City (Ill.) Tournament
Cisne (Ill.) 67 Linton-Stockton 64 Pool

INDIANA GIRLS BASKETBALL

Andrean 44 Griffith 11
Austin 50 Brownstown Central 40
Barr-Reeve 47 Bloomfield 17
Bedford North Lawrence 46 Brownsburg 42
Benton Central 63 Northwestern 29
Bethany Christian 59 Lakeland 23
Bethesda Christian 59 Indianapolis Shortridge 27
Boonville 53 Mount Vernon (Posey) 18
Borden 52 Providence 46
Carroll (Flora) 60 Culver Academy 48
Cascade 67 Indianapolis Lutheran 36
Caston 50 Triton 20
Central Noble 56 Westview 31
Clinton Central 55 Attica 23
Covenant Christian 51 Indianapolis Scecina 20
Eastern Hancock 56 Indianapolis Cathedral 53
Elkhart Christian 59 Clinton Christian 22
Eminence 48 South Putnam 44
Fort Wayne Snider 70 Carmel 45
Greensburg 72 Rushville 25
Guerin Catholic 53 Peru 36
Hamilton Heights 72 Fort Wayne Concordia 41
Hammond Noll 57 Gary West 16
Hanover Central 47 River Forest 29
Harrison (West Lafayette) 53 Lafayette Jeff 32
Homestead 64 Notre Dame Academy (Ohio) 36
Huntington North 61 Marion 12
Jac-Cen-Del 54 New Washington 32
Jeffersonville 63 Columbus East 47
Jennings County 83 New Albany 22
Knox 55 Culver 30
Lake Central 49 Chicago Fremd (Ill.) 38
Lakeland Christian 26 Trinity Greenlawn 20
Lapel 72 Tipton 13
Lawrenceburg 45 Connersville 42
Logansport 32 LaVille 26
Madison-Grant 62 Elwood 28
Marquette Catholic 41 East Chicago Central 29
Merrillville 52 Penn 51
Milan 50 Edinburgh 35
Mississinewa 39 Oak Hill 36
Mooresville 59 Bloomington North 38
Morgan Twp. 47 Kouts 28
Noblesville 64 Plainfield 48
North Knox 57 Terre Haute North 19
North Vermillion 50 Dugger Union 7
Northridge 64 Concord 22
Oldenburg Academy 41 Indiana Deaf 23
Orleans 64 Trinity Lutheran 51
Paoli 48 Edgewood 18
Parke Heritage 66 North Putnam 17
Parkway (Ohio) 50 South Adams 45
Pike Central 31 Evansville Bosse 19
Pioneer 42 LaPorte 24
Rochester 36 Wabash 14
Rock Creek Academy 73 Crothersville 31
Seymour 57 Madison 47
Shenandoah 60 Muncie Burris 20
South Bend Adams 63 Edwardsburg (Mich.) 50
South Bend Washington 61 Chicago Kenwood (Ill.) 58
South Dearborn 42 Hauser 26
Southwestern (Hanover) 58 South Central (Elizabeth) 55
Southwood 30 Eastern (Greentown) 26
Sullivan 62 Brown County 53
Switzerland County 53 Shawe Memorial 40
Tri-County 43 Rossville 38
Tri-Township 54 North White 24
Triton Central 55 Southwestern (Shelbyville) 14
Union City 47 Knightstown 39
Valparaiso 62 Whiting 22
Vincennes Lincoln 43 Evansville Harrison 21
Warsaw 66 Plymouth 31
Washington 60 Tell City 13
Western 59 Twin Lakes 45
White River Valley 53 Shoals 38
Whiteland 50 Martinsville 36
Winamac 64 Demotte Christian 34
Winchester 61 Cambridge City Lincoln 17
Yorktown 41 Mount Vernon (Fortville) 39
Marion County Tournament
Lawrence Central 70 Pike 18 SF
North Central (Indianapolis) 52 Brebeuf Jesuit 38 SF
Lawrence Central 68 North Central (Indianapolis) 32 1st


Southern Roads Tournament
Columbus Christian 48 Christian Academy Madison 47 R1
Seven Oaks 62 Pleasant View Christian 7 R1
Lighthouse Christian 60 Cannelton 29 R1
Medora 42 Columbus Christian 37 SF
Lighthouse Christian 65 Seven Oaks 34 SF
Christian Academy Madison 46 Pleasant View Christian 12 Con
Lighthouse Christian 55 Medora 41 1st

INDIANA WRESTLING SCORES:

DUAL RESULTS: https://indianamat.com/index.php?/dualresults.html/

TOURNEY RESULTS: https://indianamat.com/index.php?/curtournamentresults.html/

COLLEGE BOWL GAMES
SATURDAY, DEC. 16
MYRTLE BEACH BOWL
GEORGIA SOUTHERN VS. OHIO
CONWAY, SOUTH CAROLINA
11 A.M. | ESPN

CELEBRATION BOWL
FLORIDA A&M VS. HOWARD UNIVERSITY
ATLANTA, GEORGIA
12 P.M. | ABC

NEW ORLEANS BOWL
JACKSONVILLE STATE VS. LOUISIANA
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA
2:15 P.M. | ESPN

CURE BOWL
MIAMI (OHIO) VS. APP STATE
ORLANDO, FLORIDA
3:30 P.M. | ABC

NEW MEXICO BOWL
FRESNO STATE VS. NEW MEXICO STATE
ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO
5:45 P.M. | ESPN

LA BOWL
UCLA VS. BOISE STATE
INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA
7:30 P.M. | ABC

INDEPENDENCE BOWL
TEXAS TECH VS. CAL
SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA
9:15 P.M. | ESPN

MONDAY, DEC. 18
BAHAMAS BOWL (TEMPORARILY RENAMED THE FAMOUS TOASTERY BOWL)
WESTERN KENTUCKY VS. OLD DOMINION
NASSAU, BAHAMAS (TEMPORARILY RELOCATED TO CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA)
2:30 P.M. | ESPN

TUESDAY, DEC. 19
FRISCO BOWL
MARSHALL VS. UTSA
FRISCO, TEXAS

9 P.M. | ESPN
THURSDAY, DEC. 21

BOCA RATON BOWL
USF VS. TBD
BOCA RATON, FLORIDA
8 P.M. | ESPN
FRIDAY, DEC. 22

GASPARILLA BOWL
TAMPA, FLORIDA
6:30 P.M. | ESPN

SATURDAY, DEC. 23
BIRMINGHAM BOWL
BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA
12 P.M. | ABC

CAMELLIA BOWL
ARKANSAS STATE VS. NORTHERN ILLINOIS
MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA
12 P.M. | ESPN

ARMED FORCES BOWL
AIR FORCE VS. JAMES MADISON
FORT WORTH, TEXAS
3:30 P.M. | ABC

FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL
GEORGIA STATE VS. UTAH STATE
BOISE, IDAHO
3:30 P.M. | ESPN

68 VENTURES BOWL
EASTERN MICHIGAN VS. SOUTH ALABAMA
MOBILE, ALABAMA
7 P.M. | ESPN

LAS VEGAS BOWL
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
7:30 P.M. | ABC

HAWAI’I BOWL
HONOLULU, HAWAI’I
10:30 P.M. | ESPN

TUESDAY, DEC. 26
QUICK LANE BOWL
DETROIT, MICHIGAN
2 P.M. | ESPN

FIRST RESPONDER BOWL
TEXAS STATE VS. RICE
DALLAS, TEXAS
5:30 P.M. | ESPN

GUARANTEED RATE BOWL
KANSAS VS. UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA, LAS VEGAS
PHOENIX, ARIZONA
9 P.M. | ESPN

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 27
MILITARY BOWL
TULANE VS. TBD
ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND
2 P.M. | ESPN

DUKE’S MAYO BOWL
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA
5:30 P.M. | ESPN

HOLIDAY BOWL
NO. 15 LOUISVILLE VS. SOUTHERN CAL
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA
8 P.M. ET | FOX

TEXAS BOWL
NO. 20 OKLAHOMA STATE VS. TEXAS A&M
HOUSTON, TEXAS
9 P.M. | ESPN

THURSDAY, DEC. 28
FENWAY BOWL
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS
11 A.M. | ESPN

PINSTRIPE BOWL
THE BRONX, NEW YORK
2:15 P.M. | ESPN

POP-TARTS BOWL
NO. 18 NC STATE VS. NO. 25 KANSAS STATE
ORLANDO, FLORIDA
5:45 P.M. | ESPN

ALAMO BOWL
NO. 12 OKLAHOMA VS. NO. 14 ARIZONA
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS
9:15 P.M. | ESPN

FRIDAY, DEC. 29
GATOR BOWL
NO. 22 CLEMSON VS. KENTUCKY
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA
12 P.M. | ESPN

TONY THE TIGER SUN BOWL
NO. 19 OREGON STATE VS. TBD
EL PASO, TEXAS
2 P.M. | CBS

LIBERTY BOWL
MEMPHIS VS. TBD
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
3:30 P.M. | ESPN

COTTON BOWL
NO. 7 OHIO ST. VS. NO. 9 MISSOURI
DALLAS, TEXAS
8 P.M. | ESPN

SATURDAY, DEC. 30
PEACH BOWL
NO. 10 PENN ST. VS. NO. 11 OLE MISS
ATLANTA, GEORGIA
12 P.M. | ESPN

MUSIC CITY BOWL
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE
2 P.M. | ABC

ORANGE BOWL
NO. 5 FLORIDA STATE VS. NO. 6 GEORGIA
MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA
4 P.M. | ESPN

ARIZONA BOWL
WYOMING VS. TOLEDO
TUCSON, ARIZONA
4:30 P.M. | BARSTOOL

MONDAY, JAN. 1, 2024
RELIAQUEST BOWL
NO. 13 LSU VS. WISCONSIN
TAMPA, FLORIDA
12 P.M. | ESPN2

CITRUS BOWL
NO. 17 IOWA VS. NO. 21 TENNESSEE
ORLANDO, FLORIDA
1 P.M. | ABC

FIESTA BOWL
NO. 8 OREGON VS. NO. 23 LIBERTY
GLENDALE, ARIZONA
1 P.M. | ESPN

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF SEMIFINAL AT THE ROSE BOWL
NO. 1 MICHIGAN VS. NO. 4 ALABAMA
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA
5 P.M. | ESPN

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF SEMIFINAL AT THE SUGAR BOWL
NO. 2 WASHINGTON VS. NO. 3 TEXAS
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA
8:45 P.M. | ESPN

MONDAY, JAN. 8
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
HOUSTON, TEXAS
7:30 P.M. | ESPN

NFL
WEEK 14 SCHEDULE
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AT ATLANTA FALCONS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P CBS
LOS ANGELES RAMS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P FOX
DETROIT LIONS AT CHICAGO BEARS 12:00P (CT) 1:00P FOX
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P CBS
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P CBS
CAROLINA PANTHERS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 12:00P (CT) 1:00P FOX
HOUSTON TEXANS AT NEW YORK JETS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P CBS
MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT LAS VEGAS RAIDERS 1:05P (PT) 4:05P FOX
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 1:05P (PT) 4:05P FOX
BUFFALO BILLS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 3:25P (CT) 4:25P CBS
DENVER BRONCOS AT LOS ANGELES CHARGERS 1:25P (PT) 4:25P CBS
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES AT DALLAS COWBOYS 7:20P (CT) 8:20P NBC*
TENNESSEE TITANS AT MIAMI DOLPHINS (MON) 8:15P (ET) 8:15P ESPN*
GREEN BAY PACKERS AT NEW YORK GIANTS (MON) 8:15P (ET) 8:15P ABC*

NFL

WEEK 14 SCHEDULE

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AT ATLANTA FALCONS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P CBS

LOS ANGELES RAMS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P FOX

DETROIT LIONS AT CHICAGO BEARS 12:00P (CT) 1:00P FOX

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P CBS

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P CBS

CAROLINA PANTHERS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 12:00P (CT) 1:00P FOX

HOUSTON TEXANS AT NEW YORK JETS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P CBS

MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT LAS VEGAS RAIDERS 1:05P (PT) 4:05P FOX

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 1:05P (PT) 4:05P FOX

BUFFALO BILLS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 3:25P (CT) 4:25P CBS

DENVER BRONCOS AT LOS ANGELES CHARGERS 1:25P (PT) 4:25P CBS

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES AT DALLAS COWBOYS 7:20P (CT) 8:20P NBC*

TENNESSEE TITANS AT MIAMI DOLPHINS (MON) 8:15P (ET) 8:15P ESPN*

GREEN BAY PACKERS AT NEW YORK GIANTS (MON) 8:15P (ET) 8:15P ABC*

MEN’S TOP 25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCORES

#1 ARIZONA 98 WISCONSIN 73

#2 KANSAS 73 MISSOURI 64

#3 HOUSTON 89 JACKSON STATE 55

#4 PURDUE 92 ALABAMA 86

#5 UCONN 101 ARKANSAS PINE BLUFF 63

WASHINGTON 78 #7 GONZAGA 73

#8 MARQUETTE 78 NOTRE DAME 59

#10 CREIGHTON 109 CENTRAL MICHIGAN 64

#12 TEXAS 77 HOUSTON CHRISTIAN 50

ST. MARY’S 64 #13 COLORADO STATE 61

UTAH 73 #14 BYU 69

#16 KENTUCKY 81 PENNSYLVANIA 66

#17 TENNESSEE 86 #20 ILLINOIS 79

#14 JAMES MADISON 84 OLD DOMINION 69

#19 OKLAHOMA 79 ARKANSAS 70

#22 DUKE 80 CHARLOTTE 56

#24 CLEMSON 74 TCU 66

#25 SAN DIEGO STATE 63 UC IRVINE 62

ELSEWHERE:

BUTLER 97 CALIFORNIA 90 2OT

MINNESOTA 77 FLORIDA GULF COAST 57

VIRGINIA TECH 71 VALPARAISO 50

AUBURN 104 INDIANA 76

INDIANA STATE 98 SOUTHERN INDIANA 54

PENN STATE 83 OHIO STATE 80

PURDUE FORT WAYNE 89 SE. MISSOURI STATE 80

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL TOP 25 SCORES

#16 INDIANA 66 RUTGERS 56

#23 GONZAGA 80 RICE 72

#13 KANSAS STATE 84 MISSOURI 56

ELSEWHERE

NEBRASKA 80 MICHIGAN STATE 74

VALPARAISO 83 CHICAGO STATE 64

ST. THOMAS 64 PURDUE FORT WAYNE 59

NBA SCOREBOARD

LA LAKERS 123 INDIANA 109

NHL SCOREBOARD

BOSTON 5 ARIZONA 3

NEW JERSEY 4 CALGARY 2

VEGAS 6 DALLAS 1

MONTRÉAL 3 BUFFALO 2

OTTAWA 5 DETROIT 1

TORONTO 4 NASHVILLE 0

WASHINGTON 4 NY RANGERS 0

NY ISLANDERS 3 LOS ANGELES 2 OT

CHICAGO 3 ST. LOUIS 1

PHILADELPHIA 5 COLORADO 2

TAMPA BAY 4 SEATTLE 3 OT

VANCOUVER 4 CAROLINA 3

NATIONAL SPORTS RELEASES/HEADLINES

NFL NEWS

WEEK 14 NFL GAME CAPSULES/PREVIEWS

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (5-7) AT ATLANTA FALCONS (6-6)

QB BAKER MAYFIELD has 2,790 pass yards in 2023 & can reach 3,000 yards for 5th time in 6 career seasons. Passed for 275 yards & TD vs. INT in Week 7 meeting. Has 2+ TD passes & 90+ rating in 5 of 6 road starts this season. • RB RACHAAD WHITE had 106 scrimmage yards (84 rush, 22 rec.) & 5th rush TD of season last week. Has 5 TDs (4 rush, 1 rec.) in his past 5. Has 75+ scrimmage yards in 4 of his past 5 on road. Had 6 catches & 99 scrimmage yards (65 rec., 34 rush) in Week 9 meeting. Ranks 3rd among RBs in both receptions (46) & rec. yards (386) in 2023. • WR MIKE EVANS has 61 catches in 2023 & is 1st player ever with 60+ catches in each of 1st 10 seasons. Has 1,012 rec. yards in 2023, 1st player ever with 1,000+ rec. yards in each of 1st 10 seasons & 2nd player ever (HOFer Jerry Rice – 1986-96) with 1,000+ rec. yards in 10 straight seasons. Has 10 rec. TDs this season, 5th-career season with 10+ rec. TDs, 2nd-most among active players (Davante Adams – 6). Aims for his 5th in row with TD catch. • WR CHRIS GODWIN had 2nd-career rush TD last week. Aims for his 5th in row vs. Atl. with 6+ catches & 7th in row vs. Atl. with 50+ rec. yards. • LB LAVONTE DAVID aims for his 3rd in row vs. Atl. with TFL & has 23 TFL in 22 career games vs. Atl. Aims for his 7th in row overall with TFL in 2023. • NT VITA VEA has sack in 2 of his past 3 vs. Atl. • DL CALIJAH KANCEY ranks tied-1st among rookies with 8 TFL. • S ANTOINE WINFIELD JR. had 8 tackles, 3 PD, 2 TFL, sack & INT in Week 13, his 12th-career sack, most among DBs since 2002. Ranks tied-4th among DBs with 89 tackles in 2023.

QB DESMOND RIDDER had TD pass vs. 0 INTs in Week 13. Completed 19 of 25 atts. (76 pct.) for 250 yards & 107.1 rating & had rush TD in Week 7 meeting. Passed for 224 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 108.2 rating in last home meeting (1/8/23). • RB BIJAN ROBINSON (rookie) had 79 scrimmage yards (53 rush, 26 rec.) in Week 13. Leads all rookies in rush yards (756) & ranks 2nd in scrimmage yards (1,022). Has 50+ scrimmage yards in 11 of his 1st 12 career games. • RB TYLER ALLGEIER had season-high 112 scrimmage yards (59 rush, 53 rec.) in Week 7 meeting. Rushed for 135 yards in last home meeting. • WR DRAKE LONDON has 5+ catches in 7 of his past 8 at home. Aims for his 5th in row at home with 5+ catches & 65+ rec. yards. Had 6 catches for 120 yards in last home meeting. • TE KYLE PITTS led team with 51 rec. yards in Week 13. • DL CALAIS CAMPBELL had sack & FF in Week 7 meeting. • DL DAVID ONYEMATA has 0.5+ sacks in 3 of his past 4 vs. TB. • LB BUD DUPREE had 7 tackles, 2 sacks & 11th-career FF in Week 13, his 4th-career game with 2+ sacks. Has TFL in 6 of his past 7 & aims for his 4th in row at home with TFL. • LB NATE LANDMAN had 2nd FF of season last week. Has TFL & PD in 3 of his past 4. Had 12 tackles & FF in Week 7 meeting. • LB KADEN ELLISS has career-high 85 tackles in 2023 & aims for his 7th in row with 6+ tackles. • S JESSIE BATES had career-high 5th INT of season last week. Aims for his 3rd in row with INT. Ranks 3rd among DBs with 92 tackles in 2023 & needs 8 tackles for 4th-career 100+ tackle season. • S RICHIE GRANT had 1st-career sack & 1st-career FR last week. Had INT in Week 7 meeting. Had FF & FR in last home meeting.

ATLANTA (AP) If the Atlanta Falcons can string together their first three-game winning streak since 2019, they’d take a huge step toward breaking an even longer drought.

The first-place Falcons (6-6) lead the NFC South despite their so-so record heading into the final month of the season.

With three of their final five games within the division, starting with a contest Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Falcons are in prime position to make the playoffs for the first time in six seasons.

“We haven’t stacked three wins in a row,” quarterback Desmond Ridder said. “We’ve got to be able to keep our head, come back home and be able to go out and get a third win.”

The Buccaneers (5-7) are coming off just their second win in the last eight games, holding off woeful Carolina 21-18 last Sunday.

Tampa Bay still has a shot at its third straight NFC South title, but this game is essentially a must-win with Atlanta holding the tiebreaker edge in head-to-head (after a 16-13 win over the Bucs in October) and divisional record (a 3-0 mark, compared to the Bucs at 2-1).

If the Falcons win Sunday, they would for all intents and purposes hold a three-game edge over Tampa Bay with four weeks to go.

“Divisional games are already important,” Bucs quarterback Baker Mayfield said. “But where we’re at, it’s extremely important for us.”

Atlanta struggled offensively in its last game, but a stout defensive performance secured an ugly 13-8 victory over the Jets.

The Falcons haven’t allowed an opposing touchdown the last two weeks, showing that all the money they spent in the offseason on that side of the line has clearly paid off.

“Each and every one of these games is a playoff game for us,” linebacker Bud Dupree said.

After five straight losing seasons, the Falcons are thrilled to have a chance to play meaningful games in December.

“We’re not doing victory laps,” coach Arthur Smith said. “But it’s another huge game, right? That’s what you want to be in.”

BIG PLAY BATES

On the Falcons’ revamped defense, no one is having a bigger impact than safety Jessie Bates.

He’s had interceptions in each of the last two games, pushing him to five on the season. Only two players in the NFL – Dallas’ DaRon Bland with eight and Baltimore’s Geno Stone with six – have more.

Bates also leads the Falcons with 92 tackles and three forced fumbles.

PROLIFIC EVANS

Even though the Bucs no longer have Tom Brady at quarterback, Mike Evans continues to be one of the league’s top receivers.

Last weekend, he joined Hall of Famer Jerry Rice as the only players in NFL history to put together a stretch of at least 10 consecutive seasons with 1,000-plus yards receiving.

Also, the 30-year-old Evans became the first player to begin a career with a streak of 10 straight years with at least 60 catches.

“I get smarter each year,” Evans said “If I’m healthy, I’m a real problem to deal with. I’ve just been blessed with health and learning how to take care of my body as I get older.”

BIJAN SHINES

The Falcons were expecting big things out of first-round pick Bijan Robinson, and the rookie running back has sure delivered.

Robinson is the second player in franchise history to compile 1,000 yards from scrimmage in his first 12 games.

He leads the Falcons with 756 yards rushing, in addition to 35 receptions for 266 yards for a total of 1,022 yards. The only other Falcons player to surpass 1,000 yards in his first 12 games was William Andrews with 1,004 in 1979.

RIDDER’S STRUGGLES

Ridder has won both starts since reclaiming the No. 1 quarterback job, but he’s coming off a dismal performance against the Jets.

He completed just 12 of 27 passes for 121 yards and was sacked three times, again raising doubts about whether he’s the long-term answer at quarterback.

“We’ve got to be able to push the ball down the field,” Ridder said. “We’ve got to be able to get first downs and we’ve got to be able to get points.”

WINFIELD’S IMPACT

Fourth-year safety Antoine Winfield Jr. has emerged as one of Tampa Bay’s most consistent performers on defense.

He was one of two NFL players who had a sack and an interception last week, with his second pick of the season sealing the victory.

“The game was on the line, and I knew a play had to be made,” Winfield said.

The son of former Minnesota Vikings star Antoine Winfield Sr. is the first defensive back since Brian Dawkins and Roy Williams in 2002 with three or more forced fumbles, three or more fumble recoveries, multiple interceptions and multiple sacks in a season.

  • Younghoe Koo kicked a game-winning 51-yard field goal with time expiring in Atlanta’s Week 7 win over Tampa Bay. Koo has seven game-winning field goals since the beginning of last season, two more than any other kicker in that span (Greg Joesph — 5).
  • The Buccaneers are averaging 3.46 yards per carry, the lowest in the NFL after finishing last in the category in 2022 (3.39). They are on pace to be the first team to have the lowest rushing average in consecutive seasons since the Cardinals in 2005 and 2006.
  • Mike Evans (1012 receiving yards, 10 touchdowns) has now reached 1000+ yards and 10+ touchdowns receiving for the fifth time in 10 NFL seasons. The only other receivers to play 10+ NFL seasons and post 1000+ receiving yards and 10+ touchdowns in at least half of them are Marvin Harrison, Randy Moss and Terrell Owens.
  • Each of the Falcons’ last eight games have been decided by less than 10 points, tied with the Texans for NFL’s longest active streak. It is also Atlanta’s longest such streak in team history.
  • Jessie Bates III had his fifth interception of the year last Sunday and is now the first player with five-plus interceptions, three-plus forced fumbles and a defensive touchdown in a single season since Marcus Peters in 2017.
  • Desmond Ridder has averaged 8.86 yards per attempt in the fourth quarter over his career — the highest average by any quarterback with 100+ attempts in the fourth quarter in the last 30 seasons (since 1994).

LOS ANGELES RAMS (6-6) AT BALTIMORE RAVENS (9-3)

QB MATTHEW STAFFORD passed for 279 yards & 3 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 110.1 rating in Week 13. Aims for his 3rd in row with 3+ TD passes & 110+ rating. Ranks 11th in NFL history in pass yards (54,850) & pass TDs (349). Passed for 309 yards & 2 TDs in last meeting. • RB KYREN WILLIAMS had 112 scrimmage yards (88 rush, 24 rec.) & 7th rush TD of season in Week 13. Is 1 of 3 (Tyreek Hill & Christian McCaffrey) with 5+ games (5) with 100+ scrimmage yards & TD in 2023. Has career highs in scrimmage yards (877) & scrimmage TDs (10) this season. • WR COOPER KUPP had 2nd rec. TD of season last week. Needs 68 rec. yards for 7th-straight 500-yard season. Had 6 catches for 95 yards & rec. TD in last meeting. • WR PUKA NACUA leads all rookies with 77 receptions, tied 2ndmost by player in 1st 12 games in NFL history. Became 6th rookie in SB era with 1,000+ rec. yards (1,029) in 1st 12 career games. Has 5 games with 100+ rec. yards & can become 3rd rookie in SB era [Odell Beckham Jr. (7 in 2014) & Justin Jefferson (7 in 2020)] with 6 games with 100+ rec. yards. • DT AARON DONALD has 3.5 sacks & 5 TFL in his past 5. Has 5.5 sacks & 8 TFL in 6 road games in 2023. Had FF in last meeting & aims for his 3rd in row at Bal. with 0.5+ sacks. • NT KOBIE TURNER (rookie) aims for his 3rd in row with 1.5+ sacks. Aims for his 4th in row on road with TFL. • LB ERNEST JONES tied his career high with 15 tackles in Week 13 & has 108 tackles in 2023, his 2nd-straight 100-tackle season. • CB AHKELLO WITHERSPOON has career-high 10 PD in 2023. Aims for his 6th in row on road with PD. • DB JOHN JOHNSON had 1st INT of season last week.

RAVENS lead NFL in rushing offense (158.6 rush yards per game). • QB LAMAR JACKSON totaled 216 yards (177 pass, 39 rush) with TD pass vs. 0 INTs in Week 12. Has 0 INTs in 4 of past 5 at home. Had 5 TD passes vs. 0 INTs & 139.4 rating with 95 rush yards in only career start vs. LAR (11/25/19). Is 18-1 with 98.1 rating in 19 career starts vs. NFC. Leads QBs with 574 rush yards in 2023 & is 1st QB ever with 500+ rush yards in each of 1st 6 seasons. • RB GUS EDWARDS has rush TD in 4 straight at home & in 5 of past 6. Has 9 rush TDs since Week 7, most in NFL. • RB KEATON MITCHELL (rookie) led team with 89 scrimmage yards (64 rush, 25 rec.) in Week 12. Has 65+ scrimmage yards in 3 of past 4. Has rush TD in 2 of past 3 at home. • WR ZAY FLOWERS (rookie) had 2nd TD catch of season in Week 12. Has 5+ catches in 2 of past 3. Ranks 3rd among rookies with 58 catches, most-ever by rookie in franchise history. • WR ODELL BECKHAM JR. has rec. TD in 2 of past 3 at home. Has 19 catches & 253 rec. yards (84.3 per game) in 3 career games vs. Rams, with 5+ catches in each game. Had 48 catches for 593 yards & 7 TDs in 12 games with LAR in 2021, incl. playoffs, & won SB LVI with team. • DT JUSTIN MADUBUIKE aims for 10th in row with 0.5+ sacks. Has sack in 5 of 6 home games this season. Has career-high 10 sacks in 2023, 1st Bal. player with 10+ sacks since 2017 (Terrell Suggs). • LB ROQUAN SMITH led team with 8 tackles & had PD & 1st FF of season in Week 12. Aims for 4th in row with 8+ tackles. • LB JADEVEON CLOWNEY had sack & 1st FF & FR of season in Week 12. Aims for 4th in row with sack. • S GENO STONE ranks 2nd in NFL with career-high 6 INTs in 2023.

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) John Harbaugh insists he saw Puka Nacua’s incredible rookie season coming.

“I liked him. He was one of my highest-rated guys. You can ask anybody here. … He was way up on my board,” the Baltimore coach said with a smile this week. “He’s playing exactly how I thought he would, for the record.”

Nacua, of course, has taken much of the NFL by surprise. After being picked in the fifth round by the Rams, the 6-foot-2 receiver already has 77 catches for 1,029 yards.

This week, he goes up against Baltimore’s Zay Flowers in a matchup of two of the game’s top first-year wideouts when the Ravens host Los Angeles on Sunday.

Flowers, a first-round pick by the Ravens, has 58 catches for 613 yards. He scored two touchdowns – one receiving and one rushing – in Baltimore’s most recent game against the Los Angeles Chargers.

“I’ve definitely seen what he’s been doing, so it’s been so cool, especially for one of the young guys,” Nacua said. “I love watching receivers and people getting open and scoring touchdowns. That’s a fun thing I like to watch about football, so watching him play is definitely exciting.”

The Ravens (9-3) have won six of seven and lead the AFC North by two games. The Rams (6-6) are on a three-game winning streak that has pulled them into the thick of the NFC playoff race.

Nacua (shoulder) was listed as limited in practice this week, but he caught four passes for 105 yards and a touchdown last weekend against Cleveland.

Nacua would need 445 yards receiving over the next five games to break Bill Groman’s NFL rookie record, and he needs 28 catches to break the single-season rookie mark set by Jaylen Waddle.

BIG-TIME BLOWOUT

In these teams’ last meeting, the Rams edged Baltimore late in the regular season in January 2022 on their way to an eventual Super Bowl victory – but Tyler Huntley was the Ravens’ quarterback.

The last time Los Angeles faced Lamar Jackson, the soon-to-be NFL MVP winner humiliated the Rams’ defense with five touchdown passes and 95 yards rushing in a 45-6 victory at the Coliseum. The Rams’ utter helplessness against Jackson’s skills was a major factor in coach Sean McVay’s decision to drop defensive coordinator Wade Phillips and retool his defense under Brandon Staley in 2020.

“He was awesome. Oh, man,” McVay said of Jackson’s 2019 performance. “He’s been a great player. Explosive playmaker. He’s doing a lot of really good things this year. That was not a fond memory for the Rams in 2019, but he did his thing. You look at it, it was like clockwork.”

HEALTHY JACKSON

Jackson is 13-3 in December, but the Ravens haven’t had him down the stretch the past two years.

In 2021, he injured an ankle at Cleveland on Dec. 12. And in 2022, he hurt a knee against Denver on Dec. 4. He missed the rest of the season both times.

He has been available every game so far this season, although he did miss practice Thursday with an illness. Jackson is 18-1 as a starter against NFC teams in his career.

IN A RUSH

Baltimore leads the NFL with 47 sacks, but the Rams have dramatically improved their pass protection for Matthew Stafford this season.

The 15-year veteran wasn’t sacked in Los Angeles’ last two games, and Stafford has been sacked only four times in his last five games. After struggling with injuries throughout last season before getting sidelined for good at midseason with a bruised spinal cord, Stafford hasn’t even been on the Rams’ injury report this month.

He has thrown seven touchdown passes in the last two games after having just nine in his first nine games.

FAMILIAR FACE

Odell Beckham Jr. played for the Rams when they won the Super Bowl two seasons ago, although he injured his knee in that title game and wasn’t able to play again until this season with the Ravens.

Beckham actually scored the winning touchdown in the final minute the last time these teams met, a 20-19 victory by Los Angeles in Baltimore.

“Two years ago, I was over there, and I scored a touchdown to win the game,” he said. “Now, I’m over here. Hopefully, I can do the same thing and return the favor to them.”

INJURIES

Baltimore cornerback Marlon Humphrey (calf) missed the past two games, but was able to practice this week and appears ready to return. Defensive tackle Justin Madubuike (concussion) was limited in practice.

  • The Ravens hold a 5-3 advantage over the Rams all-time, though Los Angeles won the most recent meeting in 2021 Week 17, 20-19 in Baltimore. Three of the eight matchups between these teams have been decided by six points or fewer while the other five have been decided by 23.2 points on average.
  • Los Angeles is coming off three straight wins with at least 36 points in each of the last two. The only times in franchise history the Rams have scored at least 36 points in three straight games were in 1999 (3 straight) and 2000 (6 straight).
  • Puka Nacua had a 70-yard touchdown reception last week in addition to a 31-yard rush. He is the fourth Rams player in the last 30 years to have a 70+ yard catch and a 30+ yard rush in the same game, joining Todd Gurley II, Marshall Faulk and Isaac Bruce. No other team has had more than one player with such a game in that span.
  • Baltimore has rushed for at least 100 yards in 28 straight games dating back to last season — the next-longest active streak is five games (by four different teams). In the last 40 years, the only teams with more consecutive 100-yard rushing games are the Ravens themselves (43 between 2018 and 2021) and the Panthers (30 between 2014 and 2016).
  • The Ravens are coming off a bye week after defeating the Chargers in Week 12, 20-10. The Ravens are 5-0 following their bye week with Lamar Jackson starting, as he has put up 396 rushing yards (79.2 per game) and three rushing touchdowns in those five wins.
  • The Rams have just five total fumbles this season, tied for fewest in the NFL (SEA), and have lost only two of them, also tied for fewest in the league (CIN, GB). The Ravens’ defense has recovered seven fumbles since Week 5, tied for second most in the NFL (Denver — 11).

DETROIT LIONS (9-3) AT CHICAGO BEARS (4-8)

QB JARED GOFF passed for 213 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 117.6 rating in Week 13. Aims for his 5th in row with 2+ TD passes. Has 12 TD passes vs. 3 INTs for 107.3 rating in his past 6 vs. Chi. Has 3,288 pass yards in 2023, his 7th-consecutive 3,000-yard season, longest active streak in NFL. • RB JAHMYR GIBBS (rookie) has 50+ scrimmage yards in each of his 1st 10 career games. Had rush TD in Week 11 meeting. • RB DAVID MONTGOMERY had career-high 10th rush TD of season last week & has rush TD in 8 of his 9 games this season. Had 4,849 scrimmage yards (3,609 rush, 1,240 rec.) & 30 TDs (26 rush, 4 rec.) in 4 seasons (2019-22) with Chi., incl. 1,000+ scrimmage yards & 6+ TDs in each season. • WR AMON-RA ST. BROWN had 6th TD catch of season last week & has rec. TD in 5 of 6 road games this season. Had 10 catches for 119 yards in last road meeting (11/13/22). Ranks 5th in NFL with 84 catches & 6th with 1,042 rec. yards in 2023 & can become 3rd player ever with 90+ catches & 900+ rec. yards in each of his 1st 3 career seasons. • TE SAM LAPORTA in Week 13 became 4th rookie TE ever with 9 catches, 140 rec. yards & TD catch in single game. Ranks 4th among TEs with 64 catches & can become 3rd rookie TE ever with 70+ receptions. • DL AIDAN HUTCHINSON aims for his 3rd in row with TFL. Has 2.5 sacks, FF, FR & INT in 3 career games vs. Chi. Aims for his 4th in row vs. Chi. with 0.5+ sacks. • LB ALEX ANZALONE has 5+ tackles in 28 straight games, tied 2nd-longest active streak in NFL. • DB BRIAN BRANCH (rookie) had 2nd INT of season last week. Had 3 TFL in Week 11 meeting.

QB JUSTIN FIELDS totaled 276 yards (217 pass, 59 rush) in Week 12, his 4th game with 50+ rush yards in 2023. 3 of his 5 career games with 100+ rush yards have come vs. Det. & aims for his 4th in row vs. Det. with TD pass & 100+ rush yards. • RB D’ONTA FOREMAN had rush TD in Week 11 meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row at home & 3rd in row overall with rush TD. • RB KHALIL HERBERT needs 66 scrimmage yards for 3rdstraight 500+ yard season. • WR DJ MOORE had career-high 11 catches for 114 yards in Week 12 & has 1,003 rec. yards in 2023, his 4th-career 1,000-yard season. Had 7 catches for 96 yards in Week 11 meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row with 95+ rec. yards & 4th in row with 5+ catches. • TE COLE KMET had 7 catches in Week 12 & has 5+ catches in 4 of his past 5. Is 1 of 4 TEs (T.J. Hockenson, Travis Kelce & George Kittle) with 50+ catches in each of past 3 seasons. Had 74 rec. yards & 2 rec. TDs in last home meeting. • LB T.J. EDWARDS had 2nd INT of season in Week 12. Had 9 tackles & INT in Week 11 meeting & can become 2nd LB (Matt Milano – Weeks 1-3) with INT in 3 straight games this season. Ranks 2nd in NFC with 125 tackles in 2023 & is 1 of 4 (Foye Oluokun, Roquan Smith & Bobby Wagner) with 125+ tackles in each of past 3 seasons. • LB TREMAINE EDMUNDS had 3rd-career FF & 1st-career FR in Week 12. Had INT in Week 11 meeting. • DE MONTEZ SWEAT had 1.5 sacks in Week 12 & has careerhigh tying 9 sacks this season. Aims for his 3rd in row with sack • CB JAYLON JOHNSON had 3 PD & career-high 3rd INT of season in Week 12. • DB JAQUAN BRISKER had 1st INT of season in Week 12.

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) The Detroit Lions aren’t too worried about the Chicago Bears looking for payback. Something else concerns them, though.

“Look man, they’re playing pretty good football right now and they want to win,” coach Dan Campbell said. “I’m not worried about revenge. I’m worried about what this team presents.”

The Lions (9-3) look to beat the Bears (4-8) for the second time in four weeks when they visit Soldier Field on Sunday.

Detroit comes in having won four of five, including a wild comeback against Chicago at Ford Field on Nov. 19. The NFC North leaders scored 17 points in the final 2 minutes, 59 seconds to rally from 12 down in a 31-26 victory.

The Lions followed that with a loss to Green Bay before winning 33-28 at New Orleans last week behind a huge effort by tight end Sam LaPorta. The rookie from Iowa set career highs with nine receptions and 140 yards, including an early touchdown and a key first-down grab late in the game.

The Bears, meanwhile, bounced back from the loss at Detroit by winning the following week at Minnesota. They squeezed past the Vikings 12-10 when Cairo Santos nailed his fourth field goal in the closing seconds and Chicago stopped a 12-game losing streak against NFC North opponents.

Now, after a bye, they have a chance to post back-to-back wins for the first time since beating Seattle and the New York Giants in Weeks 16 and 17 of the 2021 season. And they would love nothing more than to do it at Detroit’s expense.

“I think if we can just kind of carry what we did the first 56 minutes of the game against Detroit the first time and finish it out like we did against the Vikings this last week, we’ll be in pretty good shape,” tight end Cole Kmet said.

WHAT A RUSH

Detroit’s Aidan Hutchinson-led pass rush has been dominant at times, racking up 18 sacks in wins over Atlanta, Las Vegas and Green Bay. In the other eight games, the Lions have just seven.

Detroit ranks 27th with 25 sacks. Chicago has a league-low 17.

Getting to the quarterback might be even more of a challenge for the Lions because defensive tackle Alim McNeill went on injured reserve with a knee injury. McNeill had a career-high five sacks, ranking second on the team by just a half-sack behind Hutchinson.

In his last three games against Chicago, Hutchinson has at least a half-sack and his latest against Justin Fields forced a fumble and helped Detroit in its comeback win last month.

TAKE IT AWAY, BEARS

The Bears have seven interceptions and eight takeaways over the past two games. But they’ve had some trouble turning the turnovers into points.

In the loss at Detroit, they had a touchdown and a field goal following turnovers. The following week at Minnesota, they had just one field goal to show for their four takeaways.

“We’ve just got to capitalize on it,” Fields said. “When they do take the ball away, we’ve gotta be able to score touchdowns and get points off of that. I think the biggest thing is when you do have a defense that’s creating turnovers and doing all that great stuff is taking care of the ball.”

ON GUARD

Lions general manager Brad Holmes made a lot of major moves in the offseason to bolster both sides of the ball. A subtle one has paid dividends – signing veteran offensive lineman Graham Glasgow to a one-year, $4.5 million deal in March.

He was a backup in the first two games before starting in 10 straight filling in for injured guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai and banged-up center Frank Ragnow, who went down with a knee injury in last week’s win at New Orleans.

“It’s exactly why we got him,” Campbell said.

Glasgow, who grew up about 45 miles from Soldier Field in Aurora, played at Michigan and was drafted by Detroit in 2016. He started 58 games over four seasons before leaving for Denver on a four-year, $44 million contract.

Glasgow will likely start at center against the Bears.

WELCOME BACK

Running back David Montgomery returns to Soldier Field for the first time since signing with the Lions in the offseason.

He delivered a solid performance three weeks ago, rushing for 76 yards on 12 attempts and a go-ahead touchdown in the closing minute. Montgomery played his first four seasons in Chicago.

FIELDS’ FUTURE

If the final five games are an audition for Fields, it starts against Detroit.

Fields comes in with 1,587 yards passing with 12 touchdowns, six interceptions and a 92.3 passer rating that ranks 14th in the NFL. He has also run for 400 yards and a score.

The Bears have to decide if they’ll pick up a fifth-year option for 2025 on Fields’ rookie contract. They could be in position to draft Caleb Williams or Drake Maye with two high picks – their own and the one they got from Carolina when they acquired DJ Moore last spring.

  • The Bears lost, 31-26, in their Thanksgiving matchup against Detroit despite posting a time of possession of 40:24. It was Chicago’s highest time of possession in any of the 261 games they lost in the last 30 seasons (since 1994).
  • The Lions are 9-3 or better through 12 games for the first time since they started 10-2 in 1962. Detroit finished 11-3 in 1962, tied for its best winning percentage in any season the team played at least 14 games in franchise history.
  • David Montgomery’s 10 rushing touchdowns through nine career games with the Lions are the most by any Detroit player in team history.
  • The Bears won, 12-10, off the back of four field goals in their most recent game in Week 12. It was the first time in Bears history that they won a game where they had scored double-digit points without scoring a touchdown.
  • Justin Fields will be playing in his 36th career game on Sunday and is just 37 rushing yards away from hitting 2000. The only quarterback who’s reached 2000 rushing yards in fewer than 36 career games is Lamar Jackson (33).
  • T.J Edwards has two interceptions and 125 total tackles through 12 games this season for the Bears. He’s the first player with 125+ tackles and multiple interceptions through 12 games in a season since Kiko Alonso and Paul Posluszny in 2013.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (7-5) AT CINCINNATI BENGALS (6-6)

COLTS have won 4 straight games for 1st time since 2018, tied longest active win streak in NFL. • QB GARDNER MINSHEW completed 26 of 42 atts. (61.9 pct.) for 312 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs with 100.5 rating last week, 3rd game this season with 300+ pass yards. Passed for 351 yards & 2 TDs with 101.1 rating in his last start vs. Cin. (10/4/20 w/ Jax.). • RB ZACK MOSS aims for 3rd in row with 50+ rush yards. Is 1 of 6 AFC RBs with 700+ rush yards (723) & 5+ rush TDs (5) in 2023. • WR MICHAEL PITTMAN had season-high 11 catches for 105 yards & 4th TD of season last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 10+ catches & 100+ rec. yards. Has 8+ catches & 55+ rec. yards in each of 6 road games this season. Needs 111 rec. yards for 2ndcareer 1,000-yard season (2021). • WR ALEC PIERCE had career-high 100 rec. yards & TD catch in Week 13. • WR JOSH DOWNS is 1st Ind. rookie WR with 50+ catches (51) since Austin Collie in 2009. • TE KYLEN GRANSON had career-high 72 rec. yards last week. • LB ZAIRE FRANKLIN has 6+ tackles in all 11 games this season & ranks 2nd in NFL with 130 tackles. • LB E.J. SPEED had 8 tackles & career-high 3 TFL in Week 13. • DT DEFOREST BUCKNER had 6 tackles, PD & half sack last week. Aims for 4th in row with 6+ tackles & 3rd in row with PD. Has TFL in 3 of past 4. Has sack in each of 2 career games vs. Cin. • DE SAMSON EBUKAM has 2 sacks & FF in each of past 2. Has 5 sacks in 6 road games this season. Had half sack & FF in only career game at Cin. (12/12/21 w/ SF). • DE KWITY PAYE had season-high 2 sacks & career-high 2 FFs last week. Aims for 5th in row with 0.5+ sacks.

QB JAKE BROWNING completed 32 of 37 atts. (86.5 pct.) for 354 yards & had 2 TDs (1 pass, 1 rush) vs. 0 INTs with 115.5 rating last week, becoming 10th different player in NFL history with 350+ pass yards & 85+ comp. pct. in a game. Has 225+ pass yards, TD pass & 95+ rating in each of 2 career starts. Can join Chad Pennington as only QBs since 1950 with 70+ comp. pct. & 95+ rating in each of 1st 3 career starts. • RB JOE MIXON set season-highs in scrimmage yards (117 – 68 rush, 49 rec.), rush TDs (2) & catches (6) last week, 9th-career game with 100+ scrimmage yards & 2+ rush TDs. Has 100+ scrimmage yards & TD in 2 of past 3. Has 327 scrimmage yards (109 per game) & 2 rush TDs in 3 career games vs. Ind. Needs 30 scrimmage yards for 5th-career 1,000-yard season. • WR JA’MARR CHASE led team with 11 catches for 149 yards & TD last week, 4th game this season with 10+ catches & 100+ rec. yards, tied 2nd-most in NFL. Has rec. TD in 3 of past 4. Has 86 catches in 2023 & needs 2 for new career-high. Is 4th player ever with 80+ catches & 1,000+ rec. yards in each of 1st 3 seasons. • WR TEE HIGGINS has 5+ catches & 65+ rec. yards in 2 of past 3. Had 6 catches for 125 yards in last meeting. • WR TYLER BOYD had 5 catches in Week 13, 6th game this season with 5+ catches. Had 5 catches for 54 yards in last meeting. • DE TREY HENDRICKSON aims for 5th in row with 0.5+ sacks & 4th in row with full sack. Has 3rd-career season with 11+ sacks (11.5). • LB LOGAN WILSON had 8 tackles & FF last week. Aims for 4th in row with 8+ tackles & has FF in 3 of past 4. • LB GERMAINE PRATT led team with season-high 12 tackles & had TFL in Week 13. Has 6+ tackles in 4 of past 5. • S JORDAN BATTLE (rookie) had 1st-career sack & PD last week.

CINCINNATI (AP) When quarterback Joe Burrow was lost for the season because of a wrist injury amid a three-game skid, the Bengals playoff hopes seemed to be fading fast.

But Jake Browning had something to say about that.

The backup quarterback, in just his second NFL start, had a game to remember Monday night. Browning, who’d spent most of his pro career on practice squads, was 32 for 37 for 354 yards and a touchdown and rushed for another score in the 34-31 win over Jacksonville.

Not only did it even the Bengals’ record at 6-6, it gave them a huge shot of confidence. Browning showed he could win in the NFL. And with AFC North rivals Pittsburgh and Cleveland losing last week, the playoff window stayed open for Cincinnati with five games left.

“There’s still plenty on the line for us,” Cincinnati coach Zac Taylor said. “We’re in a position, just the way things are shaking out around the league, that we keep preaching about controlling our own destiny.”

The Bengals will find out if Browning can perform consistently when they host Indianapolis (7-5) on Sunday. The Colts have won four straight and are one game behind the first-place Jaguars in the AFC South. They’re also winning with a backup quarterback, Gardner Minshew, who stepped in and played well after Anthony Richardson was lost to a season-ending shoulder injury in October.

The Colts are also coming off an overtime win, 31-28 over Tennessee last week.

“I think the biggest thing is just confidence right now,” Minshew said. “Everybody is feeling it, everybody is playing together, trusting each other. I think you saw all the phases coming to life at different times last week. Just starting to feel like we’re starting to put our best ball together and that’s how it should be this time of year.”

STEWART IS BACK

The Colts will get their best run stopper, defensive tackle Grover Stewart, back Sunday. He was suspended the past six games for violating the league’s performance-enhancing substance policy.

How critical is Stewart to Indy’s defense?

With Stewart, the Colts held four of their first six opponents to 105 yards rushing or fewer. Without him, they gave up 125 yards in all six games and 138 or more in five of six. He’s eager to get back.

“These last six weeks have been hard for me sitting at home, watching the guys go out there each and every week, fight and do their job,” Stewart said. “It was hard just watching them, knowing I couldn’t be out there helping them.”

RUN GAME GAINING GROUND

The run game has been a problem for the Bengals all season, but in Monday’s win over the Jaguars there were positive signs. Joe Mixon rushed for 66 yards and powered in for two touchdowns. Rookie Chase Brown rushed for another 61 yards on nine carries. Coming into the game, Brown, a fifth-round pick from Illinois, had just two carries for 6 yards. Browning also ran for 22 yards and a touchdown.

HOMECOMING FOR PIERCE

Receiver Alec Pierce made the short commute from Cincinnati to Indianapolis after he was drafted by the Colts in 2022. This week, he’ll make the reverse commute.

No, it’s not the first time the Cincinnati Bearcat will be playing inside Paycor Stadium (formerly Paul Brown Stadium) – just the first time in the visiting locker room.

“I played in the Bengals stadium in college a couple times, so it’s going to be cool to go back there and play as a pro,” he said.

The timing couldn’t be better for Piece, who set up Indy’s overtime TD with a 55-yard reception last weekend and celebrated the first 100-yard game of his pro career.

TAYLOR’S STATUS

When 2021 NFL rushing champion Jonathan Taylor had surgery on his right thumb last week, most expected him to miss at least three weeks.

On Wednesday, though, coach Shane Steichen declined to rule out Taylor for the Bengals game.

“We’ll see,” Steichen said after first acknowledging there’s no timeline for Taylor’s return.

Steichen has run his kicking teams on and off the field several times this season, in hopes of at least forcing opponents to call timeouts. For Wednesday’s walkthrough, the Colts estimated Taylor’s practice status would have been out.

FAMILIAR FACES AT QB

Browning and Minshew are facing off for the first time since 2018. Browning was the star QB for Washington and Minshew led Washington State in the Apple Cup game won 28-15 by the Huskies.

  • The Colts came back from a 21-0 deficit to beat the Bengals, 31-27, in their most recent meeting in Week 6 of 2020. This is tied for Indianapolis’ biggest comeback win in team history; it last had a 21-point comeback in Week 5 of 2003 versus Tampa Bay.
  • The Colts are 5-1 through six road games, their best record through six road games in a season since they started 6-0 in 2009. Indianapolis went on to make the Super Bowl in that 2009 season.
  • Zaire Franklin has 130 total tackles in 11 games played for the Colts this season. In the last 30 seasons, only 1997 Ray Lewis (140), 1994 Chris Spielman (134) and 2010 Jerod Mayo (131) have had more total tackles in their first 11 games of any year.
  • The Bengals have had 16 different players record a reception this season, behind only the Texans (17) for the most in NFL. Cincinnati has only had more players with a catch in a season twice: 18 in 1987 and 17 in 2008.
  • Jake Browning has completed 81.0 percent of his passes through two career NFL starts: the highest percentage by any quarterback to debut since 1960 (min. 30 attempts).
  • The Bengals allow 4.84 yards per carry this season, second highest in the NFL (Broncos — 5.19). Indianapolis has been stuffed (rushes for negative yardage) on just 6.3% of its rush attempts this year, third lowest in the NFL.

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (8-4) AT CLEVELAND BROWNS (7-5)

QB TREVOR LAWRENCE completed 22 of 29 atts. (75.9 pct.) for 258 yards & had 3 TDs (2 pass, 1 rush) vs. 0 INTs with seasonbest 125.4 rating last week. Aims for 4th in row with 250+ pass yards, 90+ rating & rush TD. Has 100+ rating in 4 of 5 road starts this season. Is 1st Jax. player ever with 3,000+ pass yards in each of 1st 3 seasons. • QB C.J. BEATHARD completed 9 of 10 atts. (90 pct.) for 63 yards last week. Can make 13th-career start & 1st of season. Has 5 TDs vs. 0 INTs with 101.9 rating over past 3 career starts. • RB TRAVIS ETIENNE had 79 scrimmage yards (45 rush, 34 rec.) & career-high 8th rush TD of season last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 75+ scrimmage yards. Has 600 scrimmage yards (120 per game) & 6 TDs (5 rush, 1 rec.) in 5 road games this season. • WR CALVIN RIDLEY has 5+ catches, 85+ rec. yards & rec. TD in 2 of past 3. Has 80+ rec. yards in 4 of 5 road games this season. • WR CHRISTIAN KIRK has 75+ rec. yards in 3 of his past 4 on road. Had 5 catches for 75 yards & TD in his last game vs. Cle. (10/17/21 w/ Ari.). Has 750+ rec. yards (787) for 3rd-straight season. • WR PARKER WASHINGTON (rookie) had career-high 6 catches for 61 yards & TD in Week 13. • TE EVAN ENGRAM had 9 catches for 82 yards & 1st TD of season last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 5+ catches. • LB JOSH ALLEN had 7 tackles, 1.5 sacks & 1st INT of season last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 5+ tackles & 1.5+ sacks. Has 2+ sacks in 3 of 5 road games this season. Ranks tied-3rd in NFL with career-high 13.5 sacks, 2nd-most in single season in Jax. history. • LB FOYESADE OLUOKUN led team with 13 tackles last week & leads NFL with 131 tackles this season. • CB DARIOUS WILLIAMS ranks 2nd in NFL with 16 PD.

BROWNS lead NFL in total defense (260.5 yards allowed per game) & pass defense (153.4 pass yards allowed per game). • QB JOE FLACCO passed for 254 yards & 2 TDs vs. INT in Cle. debut last week. Has 250+ pass yards in 5 of 6 starts since 2021. Passed for 303 yards & 3 TDs in his last start vs. Jax. (9/29/19 w/ Den.). Ranks 4th among active QBs with 42,574 career pass yards. • RB JEROME FORD had 52 scrimmage yards (33 rec., 19 rush) & TD catch last week. Has 50+ scrimmage yards in 4 of past 5 & TD in 2 of past 3. • RB KAREEM HUNT led team with 48 rush yards in Week 13. Has rush TD in 2 of past 3 at home. Ford (6) & Hunt (6) are 1 of 2 pairs of RB teammates each with 6+ TDs this season. • WR AMARI COOPER has 100+ rec. yards in 2 of past 3 at home. Has 50 catches in 2023, 8th-career season with 50+ catches. • WR ELIJAH MOORE had season-high 83 rec. yards last week. • TE DAVID NJOKU has 5+ catches & 55+ rec. yards in 3 of past 4. • TE HARRISON BRYANT had season-high 5 catches for 49 yards & TD last week. Aims for 3rd in row with TD catch. • DE MYLES GARRETT has TFL in 6 of past 7. Has 8.5 sacks in 6 home games this season, with sack in 5 of 6 games. Had FR in only career game vs. Jax. (11/19/17). Ranks 5th in NFL with 13 sacks in 2023 & is 4th player since 1982 with 13+ sacks in 4 of 1st 7 seasons. • DE ZA’DARIUS SMITH aims for 3rd in row at home with TFL. Had sack in his last game vs. Jax. (11/15/20 w/ GB). • DE OGBO OKORONKWO has 5 TFL in his past 3. Had 2 TFL & sack in his last game vs. Jax. (1/1/23 w/ Hou.). • LB JEREMIAH OWUSU-KORAMOAH aims for 5th in row with 6+ tackles. Has 6 TFL in his past 4 at home. • CB MARTIN EMERSON had 7 tackles & PD in Week 13.

CLEVELAND (AP) Joe Flacco has gone from the couch to contention.

Signed three weeks ago by Cleveland as emergency protection when quarterback Deshaun Watson was lost with a season-ending shoulder injury, Flacco has a chance to get the Browns into the playoffs – a scenario not even he could have imagined.

“It’s invigorating, for sure. It’s exciting,” Flacco said. “This is what you want.”

Flacco is expected to make his second start for Cleveland on Sunday as the Browns (7-5) host the Jacksonville Jaguars (8-4), who are dealing with their own major issue at quarterback after Trevor Lawrence suffered a high ankle sprain against Cincinnati.

Though hobbled, Lawrence managed to practice some this week, leaving open the possibility he’ll play in a game with major AFC postseason implications. If he can’t, the Jaguars will start backup C.J. Beathard, who played two series Monday night after Lawrence went out.

“Whoever’s up, whoever’s rolling, we’re looking to go full speed ahead,” Jaguars tight end Evan Engram said. “It’s a big game for us. It’s a game we got to go win. We’re on the road against a good team, and we’ve got to ready no matter who’s up.”

If this was a wild-card game, you could bet that Lawrence, who returned to play just four days after spraining his knee in Week 6, would be on the field.

And, truthfully, this game has major playoff vibes.

The Browns currently hold one of three wild-card spots, but their grip isn’t nearly as tight after dropping road games in Denver and Los Angeles the past two weeks. Another slip-up could put their playoff chances in serious peril, making the matchup with Jacksonville almost a must-win.

Same for the banged-up Jaguars, who lead the AFC South by one game over Indianapolis (7-5) and Houston (7-5).

It hasn’t helped that Jacksonville has been smashed by injuries, losing Lawrence, wide receiver Christian Kirk and left tackle Walter Little on Monday, a week after tight end Brenton Strange and left tackle Cam Robinson went down.

“It’s a violent sport we play,” Engram said. “It’s unfortunate for our guys or anybody to get hurt, but that’s the nature of this game, the nature of this league. It truly is a next-man up mentality. It’s not a slight or a jab at guys that can’t go.

“It’s just the nature of the league; you’ve got to be ready to play if somebody ahead of you goes down.”

Flacco has been down this road before with Baltimore, and he’s looking forward to playing in a stadium he knows well – as a visitor – and with so much on the line. Last season, the 38-year-old helped rally the New York Jets from a 13-point deficit in the final two minutes to shock the Browns.

That was in a September game. It’s December and the stakes are much higher.

Flacco, who passed for 254 yards last week in his first game in nearly a year, said there is something special about playing in Cleveland, where he’s 9-2 as a starter.

“You smell the grass, it just feels like football,” said Flacco. “That’s kind of always the stadiums that have kind of been attractive to myself. Smell the grass and feel like it’s football weather. And that’s the time of the year we’re in.

“We’re in December and we’re in Cleveland and it should be a lot of fun.”

PRESSURE PACKED

Myles Garrett’s injured left shoulder might be slowing him. Cleveland’s top-ranked defense has no excuses.

Garrett didn’t record a tackle last week, and the Browns failed to record a sack for the second straight game – a streak coordinator Jim Schwartz said must end.

“That’s not us,” Schwartz said. ”We’re not built that way. We have a lot of talent up front and we’re at our best when we can generate pressure with a four-man pass rush.”

It starts with Garrett, the All-Pro edge rusher who was double- and triple-teamed in last week’s loss to the Rams. While he’s not worried about Garrett, Schwartz said the rest of his defensive front has to step it up.

“We expect our D-line to be the driving force of our defense,” he said. “They’re the engine that drives us. We have to get back to clocking the quarterbacks and to building everything off of our four-man pass rush.”

PHILLY REUNION

Jaguars coach Doug Pederson and Schwartz know each other as well as any two coaches in the league. Schwartz was Pederson’s DC in Philadelphia for five seasons (2016-20). They won 46 games together, including the Super Bowl following the 2017 season.

That familiarity could be both good and bad.

“Just knowing him and how he coached and how he coached our defenses in Philly, you kind of know the structure a little bit,” Pederson said. “He’s changed some things schematically over his time, but he’s got a talented defense right now and they’re playing really good.”

ROAD WARRIORS

Jacksonville is the only NFL team with a perfect road record this season – here and abroad.

The Jaguars are 4-0 in true road games and 6-0 away from EverBank Stadium, a spotless mark that includes consecutive victories against Atlanta and Buffalo in London last month.

Jacksonville already locked up its first winning road record since 2007.

“That was a point of emphasis in training camp that we talked about, something we needed to get better at,” Lawrence said. “We’ve got to keep that going. Obviously it’s a big road game; we’re going to play in big road games to finish the year that you’re going to have to win. This is a good challenge for us this week.”

  • The Jaguars are 12-6 (.667) against the Browns all-time, their best record against any single opponent in franchise history. Jacksonville is 7-2 (.778) on the road in Cleveland, which is tied for the third-best road record by any NFL team against a single opponent all-time (minimum nine games).
  • Jacksonville’s eight-game road winning streak is the longest road winning streak by any of the three NFL franchises in Florida all-time. The only AFC South team to have a longer road win streak was the Colts from 2008 to 2009 (11).
  • Evan Engram has 146 receptions in his 29 career games with the Jaguars. The only TEs with more receptions through their first 30 games with a team in NFL history are Kellen Winslow II (159, Browns), Darren Waller (156, Raiders), Jordan Reed (153, Commanders) and Kellen Winslow (149, Chargers).
  • The Browns have lost each of their last two games by 17 points exactly, the eighth time this season an NFL team has lost back-to-back games by 17 or more points. This is Cleveland’s first time doing so since 2017. The last time they lost three straight by 17 points was 2004.
  • Joe Flacco became the fourth different starting quarterback for the Browns this season, most in the NFL and most by the Browns since 2008 (Anderson, Quinn, Dorsey, Gradkowski). Flacco was Cleveland’s 36th different starting QB this century. No other NFL team has 30.
  • The Jaguars’ defense has allowed opponents to convert only 9-of-68 (13.2 percent) attempts on third-and-long this season (six or more yards), the lowest conversion rate in the NFL. The Browns have converted 14.7 percent of third-and-longs, third lowest in the NFL.

CAROLINA PANTHERS (1-11) AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (5-7)

QB BRYCE YOUNG (rookie) passed for 178 yards in Week 13. Passed for 153 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs in Week 2 meeting. Has 0 INTs in 3 of his past 4 road starts. • RB CHUBA HUBBARD had season-high 104 rush yards & 1stcareer game with 2 rush TDs in Week 13. Aims for his 3rd in row with 90+ scrimmage yards & rush TD. Aims for his 3rd in row at NO with 65+ scrimmage yards. • WR ADAM THIELEN leads team with 80 receptions & 753 rec. yards. Needs 65 rec. yards to become 6th undrafted player with 7,500 career receiving yards since 1967. Needs 4 catches to surpass Danny Amendola (617) for 4th-most receptions by undrafted player since 1967. Has 39 receptions for 483 yards (96.6 per game) & 3 rec. TDs in his past 5 vs. NO & aims for his 6th in row vs. NO with 7+ catches. • WR JONATHAN MINGO (rookie) led team & set career-highs with 6 receptions for 69 yards in Week 13. Aims for his 3rd in row with 60+ rec. yards. • LB BRIAN BURNS has TFL in 6 of his past 7. Is 1 of 4 (Maxx Crosby, Myles Garrett & Micah Parsons) with 12+ TFL in each of past 3 seasons. • LB FRANKIE LUVU had TFL & career-high 5th PD of season last week. Needs 10 tackles for 2nd-straight 100+ tackle season. • LB MARQUIS HAYNES had 1st sack of season last week. Aims for his 3rd in row with TFL. • DT DERRICK BROWN has TFL in 3 of his past 4. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. NO with 7+ tackles. • CB DONTE JACKSON had 2 PD last week. • S XAVIER WOODS had 1st INT of season in Week 13. Had 2 PD in Week 2 meeting. Had FR in last home meeting.

QB DEREK CARR completed 17 of 22 atts. (77.3 pct.) for 226 yards & TD vs. INT for 105.5 rating in Week 13. Aims for his 3rd in row at home with 100+ rating. • QB JAMEIS WINSTON passed for 353 yards in his last start vs. Car. (9/25/22). Has 19 TDs (18 pass, 1 rush) & 93.1 rating in 10 career starts w/ NO. • RB ALVIN KAMARA had 6 catches, 109 scrimmage yards (58 rec., 51 rush) & 2 rush TDs in Week 13, his 20th-career game with 50+ rush yards & 50+ rec. yards. Leads all RBs with 60 receptions & ranks 2nd with 413 rec. yards. Needs 79 scrimmage yards for 7th-straight 1,000-yard season. Has 586 scrimmage yards (117.2 per game) & 3 TDs (2 rush, 1 rec.) in 5 career home games vs. Car., incl. 100+ scrimmage yards in each game. • WR CHRIS OLAVE had 5 catches for team-high 119 rec. yards last week, his 7th-career 100-yard game. Aims for his 4th in row vs. Car. with 5+ catches & 60+ rec. yards. Aims for his 3rd in row with 100+ rec. yards & 8th in row with 5+ catches. • QB TAYSOM HILL had 4th rush TD of season last week. Has 50+ scrimmage yards in 6 of his past 7. • DE CAMERON JORDAN had 3rd TFL of season last week. Has 4.5 sacks & 5 TFL in his past 5 vs. Car. • DE CARL GRANDERSON had sack & FF in Week 2 meeting. • LB DEMARIO DAVIS aims for his 4th in row vs. Car. with TFL. • CB PAULSON ADEBO ranks tied-5th in NFL with career-high 14 PD in 2023. Aims for his 5th in row at home with PD. Had FR in Week 2 meeting. • S TYRANN MATHIEU is only safety with 5+ PD in each of past 7 season & 1 of 2 (Justin Simmons) with 3+ INTs in each of past 5 seasons.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) The New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers are preparing for their second matchup this season under circumstances that have changed substantially since the last time they met.

Saints quarterback Derek Carr was relatively healthy for their Week 2 clash in Carolina and still in his honeymoon period with the same New Orleans fans who booed him repeatedly in the Superdome last weekend. He was also knocked out of a game for the third time in his first season in New Orleans.

The Panthers began the season under coach Frank Reich, who was “encouraged” by rookie QB Bryce Young’s response to his first taste of adversity in the NFL.

Carolina has since fired Reich and is preparing for its second game under interim coach Chris Tabor when the Panthers (1-11) visit the Saints (5-7) on Sunday.

New Orleans, meanwhile, is in the midst of a season-high three-game skid and in danger of seeing its season slip away. When the Saints beat the Panthers on a Monday night in September, they were 2-0 and looked like the favorite in the anemic NFC South. They’ve gone 3-7 since and have fallen a game behind Atlanta (6-6) for the division lead.

“We need a win. There’s no question about that,” said Saints second-year coach Dennis Allen, who also has been the object of heavy criticism in New Orleans. “We’re going to work extremely hard to get it figured out. … We’re going to keep chopping wood and eventually we’re going to bust through.”

For the Panthers, Tabor said, knowing they’ve been eliminated from playoff contention is “extremely hard.”

But he added, “you have two choices: character or compromise.”

“When I lay my head down at night, I like to think I know who I am,” Tabor added. “Did I do an honest day’s work? I think that is how you have to look at it. I don’t think about the record — that is way past. I’m just thinking about what are we doing to set ourselves up to win.”

The Saints spent much of this week unsure whether Carr or backup Jameis Winston would be their starting QB on Sunday. Carr, who last Sunday has his second concussions in the span of 22 days, was permitted to practice on a limited basis this week, but remained in the concussion protocol as the weekend neared.

The only uncertainty at QB for the Panthers was when their top draft choice might have his first true breakout game. Young has yet to throw for as many as 250 yards in a game and has thrown as many interceptions as touchdown passes with nine each.

“At any given moment, Bryce Young could have that spark, so I don’t think we’re necessarily looking at the record,” Saints safety Tyrann Mathieu said. “We’re just looking at it like, ’Man, we’ve got to beat these guys.’”

PREPARING FOR 3 QBS

Tabor his team is preparing for both Carr and Winston.

“We’re not for sure which one it’s going to be,” Tabor said. “You’re talking about two seasoned veterans that have won a lot of football games, played in a lot of big games that can get streaky at any time.”

Tabor seems equally concerned with the versatile Taysom Hill. Lining up intermittently at QB, Hill ran nine times for 75 yards in New Orleans’ 20-17 win over Carolina in Week 2.

“You always talk about value on a roster,” Tabor said. “Think about this: a quarterback, a guy that returns kicks, a guy that blocks kicks, a guy that runs wildcat. You know what he is? He’s a football player, a really good football player, and he causes a lot of problems not only for us.”

YOUNG STAYING FOCUSED

Young is 1-10 as a starter and has been sacked 44 times.

But the No. 1 overall draft choice out of Alabama is trying to remain steady in his daily approach.

“Just being consistent in what you’re doing and not being results-based,” Young said. “Again, it’s hard, and it is a results-based business. So, you accept that, but you can’t let the results change your process. There are circumstances you can’t control or, if things are going bad, you can’t do less, you can’t care less, you can’t focus less, you can’t give less.”

ON THE ROAD AGAIN

The Panthers are winless on the road this season and haven’t won away from home since the 2018 regular-season finale at New Orleans, when Eddy Pineiro was carried off the field after making the winning kick in a 10-7 victory.

“To win on the road, I mean, the secret is, it’s not a big secret – (if) you want to win on the road, pack a good team,” Tabor said.

WEAKNESS VS. STRENGTH

Mathieu suspects this matchup could test New Orleans’ defense, which this season ranks 24th against the run and has struggled with quarterbacks such as Young who escape the pocket with regularity.

The Panthers “do a lot of things well that we don’t necessarily (defend) well,” Mathieu said, alluding to the emergence this season of Panthers running back Chuba Hubbard.

“They run the ball well,” Mathieu added. “Obviously you have Bryce Young, who’s able to not just throw the ball but be effective with his legs. He was able to kind of break free a few times when we played them earlier.”

  • The Saints came away with a 20-17 win in Carolina when these teams met in Week 2. The Panthers won in their last visit to New Orleans in Week 18 last year but have won just two of their last seven games at the Superdome (also 2018).
  • The Panthers lost to the Buccaneers, 21-18, in Tampa last week. The 18 points were their most since a 42-21 loss in Week 6 in Miami. This is the third time the Panthers have started 1-11, also doing so in 2010 (finished 2-14) and 2001 (finished 1-15).
  • Chuba Hubbard ran for 104 yards and two touchdowns last week. It was the third time he has reached 100 yards in his career and his first time with multiple touchdowns in a game. The only other Panther in the last four seasons with 100 rushing yards and two rushing TDs is D’Onta Foreman, who had 118 yards and three TDs in Week 8 last season.
  • The Saints lost to the Lions, 33-28, at home last week, the most points they have allowed this season. New Orleans is 4-0 when allowing 17 or fewer points this year but just 1-7 when allowing 18 or more.
  • Alvin Kamara had a pair of rushing touchdowns last week, the 52nd and 53rd of his career, and the most by any Saints player all-time. Mark Ingram II had 52 rushing touchdowns during his 10-year career with New Orleans. Kamara’s 76 scrimmage touchdowns are also the most in franchise history.
  • The Saints’ opponents are just 9-for-19 (47.4%) on 3rd and 4th-and-1 attempts this season, making them the only NFL team holding opponents to a below-50 percent conversion rate. Carolina’s offense is 18-for-30 (60.0%) on such attempts, 26th in the league.

HOUSTON TEXANS (7-5) AT NEW YORK JETS (4-8)

QB C.J. STROUD passed for 274 yards with TD vs. 0 INTs & 106.1 rating last week, his 8th game this season with 250+ pass yards, tied 2nd-most ever by rookie. Aims for 3rd in row with 0 INTs & 105+ rating. Has 6 TDs (4 pass, 2 rush) vs. INT in 5 road starts this season. Ranks 1st in NFL with 3,540 pass yards in 2023, 3rd-most ever by player in 1st 12 career games. • RB DAMEON PIERCE had 2nd rush TD of season last week. Has 55+ scrimmage yards in 2 of his past 3 on road. • RB DEVIN SINGLETARY has 391 scrimmage yards since Week 10, 3rd-most among RBs. • WR NICO COLLINS set career highs in catches (9) & rec. yards (191) & had TD catch in Week 13, most rec. yards by Hou. player since 2019 (217 by Will Fuller). Has 3 games with 140+ rec. yards this season, ranks tied-3rd most in NFL. Aims for 4th in row with 7+ catches & 3rd in row with 100+ rec. yards & rec. TD. • WR NOAH BROWN has 150+ rec. yards in 2 of his past 3. • WR ROBERT WOODS had 6 catches for 56 yards & TD in his last game vs. NYJ (12/20/20 w/ LAR). • TE DALTON SCHULTZ has 65+ rec. yards in 2 of his past 3 on road. • TE BREVIN JORDAN had career-high 64 rec. yards last week. • DE WILL ANDERSON (rookie) had career-high 2 sacks & PD last week. Aims for 4th in row with TFL. Ranks tied-2nd among rookies with 5 sacks, most by Hou. rookie since 2012 (Whitney Mercilus). • DE JONATHAN GREENARD had team-high 8th sack of season last week. • LB BLAKE CASHMAN aims for 4th in row with 6+ tackles. Has 2 TFL in 2 of past 3 on road. • CB DEREK STINGLEY had career-high 4 PD & 2 INTs in Week 13, his 3rd-straight game with 2+ PD & INT. • S JIMMIE WARD had game-sealing INT in 4th qtr. last week.

QB TREVOR SIEMIAN passed for 66 yards in season debut last week. Is 1-0 & had 157 pass yards & TD pass vs. 0 INTs in only career start vs. Hou. (10/24/16 w/ Den.). Has 39 TDs (37 pass, 2 rush) in 30 career starts. • QB ZACH WILSON aims for his 5th start in row at home with 0 INTs. • RB BREECE HALL led team with 6 catches last week, 3rdstraight game with 5+ catches. Ranks 4th among RBs with 44 catches in 2023. Has 840 scrimmage yards (84 per game) in 10 career home games. Needs 66 scrimmage yards for 1st-career 1,000-yard season. • RB DALVIN COOK had 46 scrimmage yards (35 rush, 11 rec.) last week. Rushed for 130 yards & 2 TDs in only career game vs. Hou. (10/4/20 w/ Min.). • WR GARRETT WILSON had 50 rec. yards in Week 13. Has 50+ rec. yards in 4 of past 5 at home. Has 67 catches in 2023 & is 3rd player in NYJ history with 60+ catches in each of 1st 2 seasons, joining Wayne Chrebet (1995-96) & Keyshawn Johnson (1996-97). • WR XAVIER GIPSON (rookie) led team with career-high 77 rec. yards last week. • TE TYLER CONKLIN has 4+ catches in 2 of past 3 at home. • DL QUINNEN WILLIAMS had 1st FF of season in Week 13.Has 6 tackles in 2 of past 3. Had sack in last meeting. • DE QUINTON JEFFERSON & LB JERMAINE JOHNSON each had 1.5 sacks last week. • LB QUINCY WILLIAMS had 8 tackles & TFL last week. Aims for 5th in row with 5+ tackles. Has TFL in 9 of past 10. Had sack in last meeting. • CB SAUCE GARDNER has PD in 2 of past 3. Has 28 career PD, tied 3rd-most in NFL since 2022.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) The Houston Texans are surging toward the top of the AFC South, led by a rookie quarterback who has made things look pretty easy so far.

C.J. Stroud knows the hard part is ahead of them.

“Really, these are the most meaningful games of the year after Thanksgiving and going into December and January,” Stroud said. “We’ve gotten off to a good start and we’ve just got to keep that rolling.”

The Texans (7-5) have won four of their past five and are tied with Indianapolis for second in the AFC South, one game behind Jacksonville – which could be without injured quarterback Trevor Lawrence on Sunday at Cleveland.

Houston is focused solely on the task at hand: this week’s road game against the struggling New York Jets (4-8), who are starting Zach Wilson at quarterback on Sunday.

“Proud of what they’ve done,” coach DeMeco Ryans said of his Texans. “They know we’re not where we can be. We know we can still play much better ball than we’ve shown over the past several weeks, and everybody is hungry to improve. And that’s what I love most about our team is the hunger to continue to get better.”

So far, Stroud has been mighty impressive, though.

The No. 2 overall pick in the draft last April is leading the NFL with 3,540 yards passing – the third most by a player in his first 12 games.

“He’s a very unique young quarterback,” Jets defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich said. “He’s a guy I really wish we would’ve played Weeks 1 to 4 when he was still trying to figure out this game.”

Stroud also has 20 touchdown passes with just five interceptions and hasn’t thrown an interception in his past two games.

“For me, it’s not just focused on me,” Stroud insisted. “I take full responsibility for being the leader, but the first thing I remember coming into the building, I was talking to a couple of vets, and they were like, ‘You’re not in this on your own. We’re right there with you, holding ourselves to the same standard you do. We’re right there.’”

Those conversations with defensive ends Jerry Hughes and Jonathan Greenard have helped keep Stroud even-keeled as the Texans make their run.

“That’s something that takes a lot of pressure off of my back,” Stroud said. “And even though I put that pressure right back on, like me being my hardest critic, it also helps me relax, understand I can go be aggressive.”

AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL

The Jets have been able to defend the pass well this season, and Stroud is their latest tough task.

New York hasn’t allowed a 300-yard passer in 30 straight games, a stretch that includes having faced the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Dak Prescott, Russell Wilson, Justin Herbert and Josh Allen (twice) this season.

“He’s a phenomenal quarterback,” defensive tackle Quinnen Williams said. “A young guy that’s doing tremendous things, a lot of stuff well. A young guy that’s making big-time throws down the field.”

LENDING A HAND

The Jets might need to mix things up a little on defense because Ryans has some first-hand experience with the type of schemes New York coach Robert Saleh likes to run with Ulbrich.

Saleh was an assistant in Houston for most of the time Ryans played for the Texans and was one of the people who encouraged him to get into coaching.

“I learned how to coach from being under Saleh,” Ryans said. “He taught me a lot when it comes to scheme, when it came to just handling players, game-planning. So, I learned a lot from Saleh and owe a lot to him and that’s probably the reason why I’m standing here before you because of him just taking me under his wing and teaching me the ropes.”

ZACH’S BACK

After being benched for two games in favor of Tim Boyle, Wilson finds himself leading the Jets’ huddle again and looking to help end New York’s five-game losing streak.

That didn’t come without some controversy, though, with The Athletic reporting earlier in the week Wilson was reluctant about potentially starting again this season – citing potential injury concerns. Also, the 24-year-old quarterback might not be back next season after struggling through his first three NFL years.

“Everybody knows that I am going to do everything I can for the guys in the locker room,” Wilson said, “no matter the situation.”

STING AND SAUCE

Houston cornerback Derek Stingley was taken third in the 2022 draft, a spot ahead of fellow cornerback Sauce Gardner by the Jets.

Some had criticized the Texans’ decision to draft Stingley after Gardner was selected AP Defensive Rookie of the Year last season and Stingley had just one interception in nine games before missing the last eight with a hamstring injury.

He had another setback this season when another hamstring injury cost him six games. But Stingley has quieted the doubters since his return. He has four interceptions in his past three games, capped by a two-INT performance in last week’s win over Denver that earned him AFC defensive player of the week.

“Really encouraged and pleased with Stingley and the work he’s put in,” Ryans said. “Now he’s getting the attention, he’s making some plays, but he’s always had that in him. So, I’m just happy to see him make those plays and for other people to see that he is a top corner in this league.”

  • The Jets won the first five games between these teams from 2003-2010 before the Texans won three in a row from 2012-2018. The Jets won the only meeting since then, a 21-14 game in Week 12, 2021. Each of the last five games between them has been decided by seven or fewer points.
  • The Texans beat the Broncos, 22-17, at home last week, their eighth straight game decided by seven or fewer points, and their sixth straight decided by five or fewer points. Only two teams in NFL history have played seven straight games in a single season decided by five or fewer points — the 1974 Lions and the 1989 Chargers.
  • Last week was C.J. Stroud’s third game with at least 10 passing yards per attempt. In the last 25 seasons, the only rookies with at least three such games (minimum 10 attempts) are Jameis Winston (3 in 2015), Robert Griffin III (3 in 2012), Russell Wilson (3 in 2012), Cam Newton (3 in 2011), Matt Ryan (5 in 2008) and Ben Roethlisberger (5 in 2004).
  • The Jets fell to the Falcons at home last week, 13-8, and have now lost five straight games while scoring no more than 13 points in any of them. It’s the longest such streak in Jets history, and the longest by any team in a single season since the 2016 Browns had a six-game streak that ended with a 20-17 win against the Chargers, their only win that year.
  • After recording receptions on all five of his targets in Week 1, Garrett Wilson has been targeted at least seven times in all 11 Jets games since then. The only player in the NFL with more seven-target games is the Rams’ Puka Nacua (12).
  • The Texans have 59 passing plays of at least 20 yards this season, six more than any other team in the league (Detroit and San Francisco, 53). The Jets have allowed just 25 such plays this season, the fewest in the NFL.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS (6-6) AT LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (5-7)

QB JOSHUA DOBBS has 7 TDs (4 pass, 3 rush) in 4 starts with Min. in 2023. Ranks 3rd among QBs with 6 rush TDs & tied-3rd among QBs with 400 rush yards in 2023. • QB NICK MULLENS has 4,552 pass yards (267.8 per game) & 24 TD passes in 17 career starts. Can make 2023 debut. Made 1st-career start vs. Raiders (11/1/18 w/ SF) & passed for 262 yards & 3 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 151.9 rating. • QB JAREN HALL (rookie) can make 2nd-career start. • RB ALEXANDER MATTISON has career-high 768 scrimmage yards (career-best 594 rush, 174 rec.) in 2023. Had rush TD in last meeting. • WR JUSTIN JEFFERSON has 36 receptions for 571 yards & 3 TDs in 5 games this season. Has career 98.1 yards-per-game average, highest in NFL history (min. 50 games). • TE T.J. HOCKENSON leads all TEs with 80 receptions & is 1 of 2 TEs (Travis Kelce) with 60+ catches in each of past 4 seasons. Ranks 2nd among TEs with 786 rec. yards in 2023. Has 50+ rec. yards in 5 of 6 road games this season. • WR JORDAN ADDISON ranks tied-1st among rookies with 7 rec. TDs, 3rd with 686 rec. yards & 5th with 54 receptions. • LB DANIELLE HUNTER leads NFL with 18 TFL & ranks 3rd with 13.5 sacks in 2023. Aims for his 4th in row with sack & 5th in row with TFL. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Raiders with sack. • LB IVAN PACE (rookie) had 1st-career full sack in Week 12. • S CAMRYN BYNUM leads all DBs with career-high 99 tackles in 2023. Has PD in 2 of his past 3 on road. • CB BYRON MURPHY has career-high 13 PD in 2023. • S HARRISON SMITH had INT in last meeting. • S JOSH METELLUS had career-high 2 FFs in Week 12. Has 12 games with 5+ tackles, most among DBs in 2023.

QB AIDAN O’CONNELL (rookie) completed 23 of 33 atts. (69.7 pct.) for 248 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs with career-high 101.6 rating in Week 12. Aims for 4th in row with TD pass & 3rd in row with 245+ pass yards. • RB JOSH JACOBSled team with 125 scrimmage yards (110 rush, 15 rec.) in Week 12, 3rd game this season with 125+ scrimmage yards, tied 2nd-most among RBs. Has 85+ scrimmage yards in 4 of past 5. Has 612 scrimmage yards (102 per game) & 4 rush TDs in 6 home games this season. Needs rush TD to become 7th player all-time with 7+ rush TDs in each of 1st 7 seasons. • WR DAVANTE ADAMS aims for 4th in row with 5+ catches & 70+ rec. yards. Had 11 catches for 136 yards & TD in his last game vs. Min. (1/2/22 w/ GB) & has 100+ rec. yards in 5 of his past 6 vs. Min. & TD catch in each of his past 4. Has 13 rec. TDs in 15 career games vs. Min., most vs. any opponent. Needs 86 rec. yards & rec. TD for 6th-straight season with 900+ rec. yards & 5+ rec. TDs. • WR JAKOBI MEYERS had 6 catches for 79 yards & 6th TD of season last week, 2nd-straight season with 6 rec. TDs. Had 62 rec. yards in only career game vs. Min. (11/24/22 w/ NE). • WR HUNTER RENFROW aims for 3rd in row with 4+ catches. • DE MAXX CROSBY aims for 3rd in row with sack. Has 0.5+ sacks in 5 of 6 home games this season. Ranks 2nd in NFL with 15 TFL in 2023 & tied-6th with 11.5 sacks. • LB ROBERT SPILLANE aims for 3rd in row with 11+ tackles. Has PD in 2 of past 3. Has 7+ tackles in all 6 home games in 2023. • LB DIVINE DEABLO has 7+ tackles in 2 of past 3. • CB NATE HOBBS aims for 3rd in row with 8+ tackles & TFL. Has PD in 3 of past 4. • CB JACK JONES had season-high 5 tackles in Week 12.

LAS VEGAS (AP) The paths Minnesota and Las Vegas took to get to this point in the NFL season have not been an easy one.

Both teams have had upheaval – backup quarterbacks now starting for each club, a coaching change for the Raiders – and this game will be quite telling where their seasons go from here.

More is on the line for the Vikings because at 6-6 they have a more realistic chance at a playoff spot given how the NFC standings line up.

Like the Raiders, they come off two losses and a bye, and the Vikings’ timing for the stretch run is especially fortuitous given wide receiver Justin Jefferson returns after missing the past seven games because of a hamstring injury.

But instead of catching passes from Kirk Cousins – out since tearing an Achilles tendon on Oct. 29 – Joshua Dobbs will be behind center. Coach Kevin O’Connell decided to stick with Dobbs, who threw four interceptions Nov. 27 against Chicago. Three of those passes were deflected, however, and Dobbs did win his first two starts before losing the next two by a combined three points.

Dobbs called the week off a chance to recharge for the last stretch.

“It was good to go back over my tape from my first four weeks here and the rest of the tape from the beginning of the season, see areas I’ve done well at, seeing how I can improve and, ultimately, see how I can go out and give us the best chance to win on Sunday.”

The Raiders had their postseason hopes take a major hit with losses to Miami and Kansas City before the break, dropping Las Vegas’ record to 5-7.

History, however, could be on the Raiders’ side. They were 6-7 two years ago under an interim coach before winning their final four games to make the playoffs.

“I feel like we’re leaving plays on the field,” Raiders interim coach Antonio Pierce said. “We do have plays open. We’ve got guys running down the field and we’ve got some lanes to hit in the running game and defensively we’ve got some opportunities to get the quarterback on the ground or to make a play on the ball or in the special teams to take one to the house. Well, you’ve got to do it. We’ve got to stop talking about it.”

MOVING ON UP

The Vikings ought to get a big boost from the return of Jefferson. They managed to win their first five games without him, but Dobbs could sure use his presence down the field. The 2022 AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year often prompts opponents to play shell coverage with two high safeties, the type of alignment that can make it easier for Dobbs to use one of his best skills by taking off and running when he doesn’t find an open man.

“Every defense is in a conflict with J.J. out on the field and having the people that we have. We’re just looking to try to attack that and do our thing,” tight end T.J. Hockenson said. “Listen, they’re going to try to double him, but he’s still going to win. He’s going to get his ops, and he’s going to go off. It’s going to be fun to watch him, and it’s a blast to have him back out in the huddle.”

SIGHTS ADJUSTED

Jefferson said he felt a sense of “helplessness” having to watch the Vikings from the sideline. He nearly returned the previous game, but all parties involved decided using the extra week of the bye was a better option.

“That was the main focus in getting back on that field, having that same explosion, having that same power, having that same speed as I did before then,” Jefferson said. “You’ve got to trust that my hamstring is back to where it was before, or even stronger.”

COMING ALONG

The Raiders have had high hopes for tight end Michael Mayer since trading up to take him high in the second round of this year’s draft.

He had a rough start when defensive end Maxx Crosby took Mayer to school on the first day of training camp. Mayer, though, is beginning to show why the Raiders believed in him initially with nine catches in his past three games for 92 yards. Not mind-blowing numbers, but he had 13 receptions for 159 yards over his first nine games.

“Here’s a guy that, let’s be honest, in training camp got baptized,” Pierce said. “He got embarrassed, humble pie, but now he’s dishing it out now too himself. You can see big Mike walking around with a shoulder shrug, got a little swag to him. It’s good to see man, especially rookies who late in the season hit that rookie wall, he’s doing opposite.”

DEFENSE DOMINATING

According to Sportradar, the Vikings’ average allowance of 17.8 points per game from Week 4-13 was fourth best in the NFL. They’ve given up only 12 touchdowns in their past nine games.

The success has naturally elevated the candidacy of defensive coordinator Brian Flores for potential head coaching positions next season, a job he had for Miami from 2019-21.

“All the other stuff, I ask them to block it out, and I’m blocking it out myself,” Flores said. “You’ve got to lead by example. I’m certainly going to do that.”

  • The Raiders hold a 10-6 edge in the all-time series between these teams, including their win at the Rose Bowl in Super Bowl XI. The Vikings have won each of the last two meetings, getting a 34-14 win at home in 2019 and a 30-14 win in Oakland in 2015.
  • The Vikings are coming off a bye week following their 12-10 loss at home to the Bears in Week 12. It was the 57th game in which the Vikings held their opponent to zero touchdowns, and just the fourth of those that they lost (twice in 2006 and once in 1992).
  • T.J. Hockenson had 50 receiving yards and one touchdown against Chicago in Week 12. It was the fourth time this season he’s reached both of those marks in a game, most of any tight end in the NFL. He has 11 such games in his career.
  • The Raiders are coming off a bye week following their 31-17 loss to the Chiefs at home in Week 12. Las Vegas finished with 358 yards of offense, its second most in a game this season (362 vs. Pittsburgh in Week 2). The Raiders have had at least 200 net passing yards in back-to-back games for the first time this season.
  • Josh Jacobs had 110 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown in Week 12, his 10th career game with 100+ rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. The Raiders are 8-2 in those games, with both losses coming against Kansas City. The only Raider with more such games is Marcus Allen, who had 12.
  • These are the two least-penalized teams in the league — the Raiders are averaging 4.67 penalties per game, fewest in the league, while the Vikings are averaging 4.83 penalties per game, second fewest. Minnesota’s 37.0 penalty yards per game are the fewest in the NFL.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (6-6) AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (9-3)

QB GENO SMITH passed for 334 yards & had 4 TDs (3 pass, 1 rush) vs. INT in Week 13, his 4th game with 300+ pass yards this season & 6th-career game with 3+ TD passes. Aims for his 3rd in row on road with 90+ rating. • RB KENNETH WALKER has 4 rush TDs in 5 road games in 2023. • RB ZACH CHARBONNET(rookie) had career-high 99 scrimmage yards (60 rush, 39 rec.) & 1st-career rush TD in Week 13. Aims for his 5th in row with 50+ scrimmage yards. • WR DK METCALF had 6 catches for 134 yards & 3 rec. TDs in Week 13, his 2nd-career 3 rec. TD game. Has 812 rec. yards & 6 rec. TDs in 2023 & can become 3rd player ever (A.J. Green & HOFer Randy Moss) with 900+ rec. yards & 5+ rec. TDs in each of 1st 5 career seasons. • WR TYLER LOCKETT aims for his 3rd in row on road with 5+ receptions. Had 9 catches for 107 yards in last road meeting. • WR JAXON SMITH-NJIGBA (rookie) had career-high 7 receptions in Week 13. • LB BOBBY WAGNER led team with 14 tackles in Week 13 & leads NFC with 127 tackles in 2023, his 12th-straight 100+ tackle season. Has 195 tackles (8.5 per game), 15 PD & 13 TFL in 23 career games vs. SF. • LB JORDYN BROOKS had career-high 5th sack of season last week. Needs 4 tackles for 3rd-straight 100+ tackle season. Had 12 tackles & INT-TD in Week 12 meeting. • LB DARRELL TAYLOR aims for his 3rd in row with sack. • S JAMAL ADAMS had season-high 10 tackles in Week 13. Aims for his 6th in row with TFL. • CB DEVON WITHERSPOON leads all rookies with 15 PD & has PD in 10 of 11 career games.

QB BROCK PURDY passed for 314 yards & 4 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 148.8 rating in Week 13 & became 3rd QB ever (Tom Brady – 2007 & Aaron Rodgers – 2011) with 4 games of 3+ TD passes & 140+ rating in single season in NFL history. Leads NFL in rating (116.1) & comp. pct. (70.2) in 2023. Aims for his 7th in row with 70+ comp. pct. Has 100+ rating in 7 of 8 career home starts. • RB CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY had 133 scrimmage yards (93 rush, 40 rec.) & 12th rush TD of season in Week 13. Became 3rd player ever (HOFers Marshall Faulk & Lenny Moore) with 50+ rush TDs (50) & 25+ rec. TDs (27). Leads NFL in scrimmage TDs (17) & rush yards (1,032) & ranks 2nd in scrimmage yards (1,461) in 2023. Has 689 scrimmage yards (172.3 per game) & 7 TDs (6 rush, 1 rec.) in 4 career games vs. Sea., incl. 139 scrimmage yards & 2 rush TDs in Week 12 meeting. • TE GEORGE KITTLE ranks 3rd among TEs in 2023 with 735 rec. yards. Has 5,989 career rec. yards & can become 5th TE ever with 6,000+ rec. yards in 1st 7 seasons. • WR BRANDON AIYUK had 6th rec. TD of season in Week 13 & aims for his 5th in row with rec. TD. Has 927 rec. yards in 2023 & needs 73 rec. yards for 2nd-straight 1,000-yard season. • WR DEEBO SAMUEL had season-high 138 scrimmage yards (116 rec., 22 rush) & career-high 3 TDs (2 rec., 1 rush) in Week 13, his 12th-career game with 100+ rec. yards. Has 595 scrimmage yards (119 per game) & 4 TDs (2 rec., 2 rush) in 4 career games vs. Sea. • DL NICK BOSA aims for his 6th in row vs. Sea. with sack. Needs 2 sacks for 3rd-straight 10+ sack season. • LB FRED WARNER has 99 tackles & needs 1 tackle for 6th-straight 100+ tackle season. Has 4 TFL in his past 4 at home vs. Sea. • DB CHARVARIUS WARD leads NFL with career-high 19 PD & aims for his 4th in row with 2+ PD.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) The San Francisco 49ers find themselves in a familiar spot after posting a dominant victory against a fellow NFC powerhouse with last week’s big win at Philadelphia.

Now the hope for the Niners is they avoid falling into a familiar trap after that win and avoid the three-game losing streak they endured in October after a similar victory over the Dallas Cowboys.

San Francisco (9-3) hosts the Seattle Seahawks (6-6) on Sunday with a chance to clinch a playoff berth this week with a win and a loss by either Minnesota or Green Bay.

“When you’re a really good team, these are the types of weeks where you have to not fall into the trap of feeling good about yourself and and come out and take it to another notch,” defensive end Nick Bosa said. “If we can do that, then we’re exactly where we need to be.”

The Niners looked like one of the best teams in the NFL after a 42-19 win last week against the Eagles that made them the Super Bowl favorites. That’s the spot they were in after beating Dallas in Week 5, only to lose the next three games.

That prompted coach Kyle Shanahan to deliver a message about avoiding a repeat.

“I think it’s just understood, honestly,” linebacker Fred Warner said. “I think it’s pretty simple, you either learn from your past mistakes or you’re going to let history repeat itself.”

The Seahawks have more pressing issues after losing three straight to fall out of playoff position. Seattle squandered a fourth-quarter lead in a Week 11 loss to the Rams, followed by losses to San Francisco and Dallas the past two Thursdays.

But they have a few extra days of rest to gear up for the stretch run.

“I think physically, having some time off, we played a lot of games in a short time,” linebacker Bobby Wagner said. “Being able to have that rest is definitely going to help. Mentally, just stepping away for a moment, kind of reset and find a way to get back in the W column.”

FAMILIAR FOE

The Niners and Seahawks will face off for the fourth time in less than a year with San Francisco winning all of those meetings.

San Francisco clinched the NFC West with a Week 15 win last season at Seattle, won a wild-card game at home last season and then won again in Seattle on Thanksgiving.

The Niners have won four straight overall in the series after losing eight of the first 10 against Seattle under Shanahan.

“They have the same benefit that we have,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “Nobody has an edge. We have a great deal of information already logged. Both teams are competing to figure out how to use that right.”

DK’S BIG DAY

Seattle wide receiver DK Metcalf is coming off one of the most productive games of his career when he caught six passes for a season-high 134 yards and three touchdowns against the Cowboys.

It was the kind of breakout game that Seattle has been waiting for and fans have been calling for. Metcalf’s combination of size and speed is so unique, some have felt he’s not being targeted enough.

But San Francisco has been able to slow Metcalf in the past, at least in the regular season. In his last six regular-season games against the Niners, Metcalf has one TD catch. He was held to three receptions for 32 yards on Thanksgiving night as he was shadowed most of the game by Charvarius Ward.

“Any corner who can travel with me for a whole duration of a game, I have mad respect for,” Metcalf said.

Metcalf did have a huge game the last time he stepped foot in Levi’s Stadium with 10 catches for 136 yards and two TDs in the playoffs last season.

RUNNING COMMITTEE

Seattle could be without starting running back Kenneth Walker III for a third straight game depending on how he progresses at the end of the week from an oblique injury suffered in Week 11 against the Rams. Rookie Zach Charbonnet was asked to carry the load running the ball the past two weeks with mixed results.

Charbonnet had 14 carries for 47 yards in the first meeting with the Niners and followed up with 19 carries for 60 yards against the Cowboys. He also scored the first touchdown of his career against Dallas.

While Geno Smith put up big numbers in the pass game against the Cowboys, the Seahawks were able to balance it with a decent dose of running the ball. But Carroll knows they need more opportunities and a little more success with the ground game because of what it can help create while throwing the ball with play-action passes.

“It’s a part of our game that we really like,” Carroll said. “Hopefully we’ll continue to get that done.”

DOMINANT DEEBO

San Francisco receiver Deebo Samuel is getting back to his dominant 2021 form.

Samuel gained 138 yards and scored three TDs last week against the Eagles, scoring on a 12-yard run and then pass plays of 48 and 46 yards that featured several broken tackles and long runs after the catch. Samuel also ran for a TD two weeks ago against the Seahawks and averages 126.7 yards from scrimmage per game against Seattle.

  • The 49ers have won four straight games against Seattle, including last year’s wild card matchup and a 31-13 victory in Week 12 on Thanksgiving night. Three out of the four games have been decided by multiple scores, and a win on Sunday would mark San Francisco’s first five-game winning streak against Seattle dating back to 1976.
  • DK Metcalf had six receptions for 134 yards and three touchdowns in Week 13, his second career three-touchdown game. He’s only the fourth Seattle receiver to record more than five receptions for 130+ receiving yards and 3+ touchdowns in a game, joining Steve Largent (1983 and 1987), Doug Baldwin (2015), and Tyler Lockett (2020).
  • Despite 10 penalties for 130 penalty yards in Week 13, Seattle did not record a punt for the second time in franchise history. The 130 penalty yards are the most all-time in a single game since without punting, edging Dallas in the same game (127 penalty yards, no punts).
  • Brock Purdy (148.8 passer rating and four passing touchdowns in Week 13) now has four games this season with a passer rating of 140.0+ and 3+ touchdown passes, tying Tom Brady (2007) and Aaron Rodgers (2011) for most in a single season in NFL history.
  • In Week 13, Deebo Samuel finished with four receptions for 116 yards (on four targets) and three total touchdowns (two receiving and one rushing). He’s the only player in the last 30 years with 3+ scrimmage TDs and 100+ receiving yards on four or fewer targets.
  • Christian McCaffrey (50 rushing touchdowns and 27 receiving touchdowns in his career) is the third player in NFL history with 50+ rushing touchdowns and 25+ receiving scores (Marshall Faulk, Lenny Moore). McCaffrey has done so in 87 games, 17 fewer games than Moore and 27 fewer than Faulk.

BUFFALO BILLS (6-6) AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (8-4)

QB JOSH ALLEN totaled 420 yards (339 pass, 81 rush) & 4 TDs (2 pass, 2 rush) in Week 12, becoming 6th player all-time with 300+ pass yards, 50+ rush yards, 2+ TD passes & 2+ rush TDs in a game. Has 8 career games with 300+ pass yards & 50+ rush yards, tied with HOFer Steve Young for most ever. Has 8 games with pass & rush TD in 2023, tied 2nd-most in single season. Has rush TD in 5 of past 6. Has 973 pass yards (324.3 per game) & 11 TDs (10 pass, 1 rush) vs. 0 INTs with 129.6 rating in his past 3 starts vs. KC., incl. playoffs. • RB JAMES COOK has 100+ scrimmage yards in 3 straight games, longest streak of career. Ranks 4th among RBs with career-high 1,039 scrimmage yards (731 rush, 308 rec.) in 2023. • WR STEFON DIGGS had 6 catches for 74 yards & 8th TD of season in Week 12. Is only player in NFL with 8+ rec. TDs in each of last 4 seasons. Has 6+ catches & 55+ rec. yards in each of 5 road games this season, with rec. TD in 4 of 5 games. Had 10 catches for 148 yards & TD in last meeting. Needs 31 rec. yards for 6th-straight 1,000-yard season. • WR GABE DAVIS had 6 catches for season-high 105 yards & TD in Week 12. Has 55+ rec. yards in 2 of past 3. Has 275 rec. yards (137.5 per game) & 5 rec. TDs in his past 2 vs. KC, incl. playoffs. • TE DALTON KINCAID has 5+ catches in 6 straight games, longest active streak among TEs & longest streak ever by rookie TE. • S JORDAN POYER had 6 tackles & PD in Week 12. Has 5+ tackles in 7 of past 8. • S MICAH HYDE had 6 tackles in Week 12. Had INT-TD in his last reg. season game vs. KC (10/10/21). • LB TERREL BERNARD had 3rd INT of season in Week 12, tied most among LBs this season. Has 0.5+ sacks in 2 of past 3. • DE GREG ROUSSEAU had 1st FR of season in Week 12.

QB PATRICK MAHOMES completed 21 of 33 atts. (63.6 pct.) for 210 yards & TD vs. INT last week. Has 2+ TD passes in 3 of past 4. Has 12 TDs vs. 4 INTs & 99.1 rating in 5 starts in KC this season, with 2+ TD passes in 4 of 5 games. Has 325+ pass yards in 3 of his past 4 vs. Buf., incl. playoffs, & has 2+ TD passes in each of 5 career starts vs. Buf., incl. playoffs. • RB ISIAH PACHECO led team with 123 scrimmage yards (110 rush, 13 rec.) & had rush TD last week, 3rd-career 100-yard game. Aims for 4th in row with 85+ scrimmage yards & 3rd in row with rush TD. Needs 12 yards for 1st-career 1,000-yard season. • TE TRAVIS KELCE aims for 3rd in row with 80+ rec. yards. Has 416 rec. yards (104 per game) & 3 rec. TDs in his 4 games in KC this season. Had 8 catches for 108 yards in last meeting & has TD catch in 4 of his past 5 vs. Buf., incl. playoffs. • TE NOAH GRAY had 2nd TD catch of season last week. • WR RASHEE RICE (rookie) aims for 3rd in row with 8+ catches & 60+ rec. yards. Has 55+ rec. yards in 3 of his past 4 in KC. Ranks 4th among rookie WRs with 52 catches & 5th with 591 rec. yards. • WR JUSTIN WATSON has rec. TD in 2 of past 3. • DT CHRIS JONES has sack in 3 of his 4 games in KC this season. Had sack & PD in last meeting. • DE GEORGE KARLAFTIS has sack in 2 of past 3. Aims for his 5th in row in KC with 0.5+ sacks. • DE MIKE DANNA had sack in Week 13. • LB JACK COCHRANE had career-highs in tackles (7) & TFL (2) last week. • CB L’JARIUS SNEED aims for his 3rd in row vs. Buf. with 8+ tackles & has PD in 2 of his past 3 vs. Buf., incl. playoffs. • S JUSTIN REID led team with season-high 10 tackles last week. Aims for 4th in row with 7+ tackles. Had PD in last meeting.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) The Bills and Chiefs are accustomed to playing each other with the NFL spotlight shining squarely upon them.

There was that AFC championship game a few of years ago, when Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen and Kansas City counterpart Patrick Mahomes went toe-to-toe for four quarters. And the divisional playoff game the following season, when Mahomes needed a mere 13 seconds to march his team into range for a tying field goal, then led the Chiefs to victory in overtime.

Even their games the past two Octobers have been must-see TV featuring two of the league’s best teams.

Yet there is a different feel surrounding the Bills’ return to Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday.

Buffalo is muddling along at 6-6 and outside the current playoff picture, the first time since Allen’s rookie season in 2018 that the Bills were .500 or worse at this point in the season. And the Chiefs have lost three of their last five games, falling to 8-4 and suddenly looking up at Baltimore and Miami in the AFC standings.

“We understand what’s in front of us and what situation we’re in,” Allen said , “but we’ve got a lot of guys in this locker room that are very excited to be back, and we have a very good feeling in this locker room right now for what we need to do.”

The Bills are in their current predicament largely because of their inability to win close games. Each of their losses have been by six points or fewer, including four losses in the six games they played before getting last week off.

With Dallas and Miami still on the schedule, their path back to the playoffs won’t be an easy one.

“We have to have a somewhat playoff mentality going forward,” Bills center Mitch Morse said, “and that’s not going to guarantee us to win all the games. But we can’t reach our goal if we don’t play, work, practice, come together with a sense of urgency.”

The Chiefs have a similar sense of urgency coming off their loss last Sunday in Green Bay. They squandered control of their own destiny when it came to the No. 1 seed in the playoffs, and the AFC’s lone first-round bye, with the lackluster 27-19 defeat.

“I’ve been on a team that was 6-4 and ended up winning the Super Bowl,” Mahomes said. “We have confidence every week that we’re going to find a way to win. Obviously, these last few weeks we’ve lost a couple, but we still have that mindset.”

Unlike the Bills, though, the Chiefs do not face anyone with a winning record the rest of the regular season.

“We can’t lose three out of four, or three out of five. It’s a critical situation,” Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones said, “especially where we’re trying to be in the next few weeks. We have to correct the errors, and we have to correct them fast.”

MILLER’S SITUATION

Bills pass rusher Von Miller is expected to play Sunday despite allegations of domestic violence made against him during their week off.

Miller turned himself in to police in a Dallas suburb after being charged in a warrant with domestic violence against the mother of his children, who is pregnant. He faces a charge of third-degree felony assault of a pregnant woman.

“No one wants their name associated with any accusation like that,” Buffalo general manager Brandon Beane said. “But things happen sometimes, and again, we have to remember people, we have to give them their fair due process.”

INJURY ITEMS

The Chiefs are unlikely to have linebacker Drue Tranquill (concussion), left tackle Donovan Smith (neck) and safety Bryan Cook (ankle), while running back Isiah Pacheco is nursing a bruised shoulder. But they are hopeful that linebacker Nick Bolton will be back soon from injured reserve, where he landed after wrist surgery, providing a big boost to a banged-up defense.

INJURY ITEMS, PART 2

The Bills aren’t going to give the Chiefs any sympathy when it comes to injuries. Tight end Dalton Knox has missed five games after his own wrist surgery and cornerback Kaiir Elam four to an ankle injury, but both resumed practicing this week, raising hopes they will soon come off IR. Meanwhile, cornerback Dane Jackson cleared the concussion protocol and safety Taylor Rapp was back at practice after missing a game with a neck injury.

QUARTERBACK CONCERNS

Allen and Mahomes have been so good for so long that it becomes a big storyline whenever things go awry. In both of their cases, turnovers have been a problem this season.

Allen has committed at least one in eight straight games – nine interceptions, two lost fumbles – while Mahomes has thrown 10 picks and is on pace to set a career high.

COACHING CONCERNS

The Bills have scored 66 points in their two games since offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey was fired and quarterbacks coach Joe Brady took over; they had scored 123 in Dorsey’s final six games total. But that doesn’t mean the Chiefs are writing off everything that Buffalo did over its first 10 games this season.

“There’s some differences,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said, “but there’s also some of the same things. They didn’t completely can the offense there. I think we’ll have a good feel for what they do.”

  • Josh Allen has thrown for 300+ yards, three-plus touchdowns and no interceptions in his last three games against the Chiefs (including the postseason). Allen is looking to become the second QB in NFL history to have a streak of four such games against a single opponent—Drew Brees did so against the Packers between 2008-2014.
  • The Bills are 6-6 and own a +101 point differential through 12 games this year. They join the 1950 Philadelphia Eagles (6-6; +113) as the only teams in NFL history to have a +100 point differential or better through 12 games while having a .500 winning percentage or lower.
  • Terrell Bernard leads the Bills in interceptions and total tackles after securing an interception in their most recent game against Philadelphia. He is on pace to be the first Buffalo defender to lead both categories outright since London Fletcher in 2006.
  • The Chiefs are 8-4 (.667) and need to win at least four of their last five games to finish with a winning percentage of .700 or higher for the sixth straight season. The only teams with longer streaks are the Patriots in 2010-2017 (eight) and the Colts in 2003-2009 (seven).
  • Patrick Mahomes has thrown three-plus touchdowns just twice this year and has failed to throw for three in any of his last five games. Mahomes has never had fewer than five such games in a season since becoming the full-time starter for Kansas City in 2018.
  • Josh Allen will be playing his 90th career game when the Bills and Chiefs match up on Sunday and he enters the game with 210 touchdowns responsible for in his career (pass + rush + receiving TD). Only his opponent, Patrick Mahomes (223), has more touchdowns responsible for through 90 career games.

DENVER BRONCOS (6-6) AT LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (5-7)

QB RUSSELL WILSON had 2 TDs (1 pass, 1 rush) last week. Aims for his 3rd in row with rush TD. Has 0 INTs & 90+ rating in 5 of past 6. Passed for 283 yards & 3 TDs with 118.6 rating in last meeting. Has 2+ TD passes in 3 of 4 career starts vs. Chargers. Has 329 career TD passes & surpassed HOFer Dan Marino (328) for 2nd-most ever by QB in 1st 12 seasons. • RB JAVONTE WILLIAMS has 70+ scrimmage yards in 5 of past 6 & in each of past 2. • RB SAMAJE PERINE has 65+ scrimmage yards in 2 of past 3. • WR COURTLAND SUTTON had 77 rec. yards & career-high 9th rec. TD of season last week. Aims for 5th in row with 50+ rec. yards. Has TD catch in 6 of past 7 overall & in each of his 5 road games this season. Had rec. TD in last meeting. Can become 1st Den. player with 10+ rec. TDs in a season since 2014 (Demaryius Thomas & Julius Thomas). • WR JERRY JEUDY had 51 rec. yards in Week 13 & has 50+ rec. yards in 2 of past 3. Had career-high 154 rec. yards in last meeting. Has 50+ rec. yards in 4 of 5 career games vs. LAC. • LB ALEX SINGLETON led team with 12 tackles & had 1st sack of season last week. Aims for 5th in row with 10+ tackles. Has 32 tackles (16 per game) in his last 2 vs. LAC. Ranks tied-6th in NFL with 120 tackles this season. • LB JOSEY JEWELL has 6+ tackles in 3 of past 4. Had 5 tackles & FR in last meeting. Has 5+ tackles in 5 of 6 career games vs. LAC. • DT JONATHAN HARRIS had 2 TFL & 1st sack of season in Week 13. • CB JA’QUAN MCMILLIAN had sack & FF last week. • S JUSTIN SIMMONS had 10 tackles & career-high 2 FFs in last meeting. Has 6+ tackles in 3 of his past 4 vs. LAC. • S P.J. LOCKE had career-high 8 tackles, 2 TFL & sack in Week 13. Aims for 3rd in row with sack.

QB JUSTIN HERBERT has 2+ TD passes in 3 of his past 4 at home. Passed for 273 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs with 107.2 rating in last meeting & has 2 TD passes in 3 of his past 4 starts vs. Den. Needs TD pass to surpass Patrick Mahomes (114) for 2ndmost ever by player in 1st 4 seasons. • RB AUSTIN EKELER has 528 scrimmage yards (105.6 per game) in 5 home game this season, with 115+ scrimmage yards & TD in 2 of past 3 at home. Has TD in 5 of his past 6 vs. Den. Needs 54 rush yards for 6th-straight season with 500+ rush yards. • WR KEENAN ALLEN aims for 9th in row with 55+ rec. yards & 7th in row with 5+ catches. Has 25 catches for 281 yards (140.5 per game) & 2 TDs over his past 2 at home. Had 8 catches for 102 yards & 2 TDs in last meeting & aims for his 3rd in row vs. Den. with rec. TD. Leads NFL with 102 catches in 2023, tied 3rdmost ever by player in team’s 1st 12 games of season. Is 6th player all-time with 100+ catches in 5+ seasons. • WR QUENTIN JOHNSTON (rookie) had 5 catches for career high 52 yards in Week 13. • TE GERALD EVERETT aims for 3rd in row with 4+ catches & 40+ rec. yards. Had TD catch in last meeting. • LB KHALIL MACK has 2 sacks in 3-straight games & can become 4th player since 1982 with 2+ sacks in 4 straight. Has 2+ sacks in 5 games this season, most in NFL. Has FF in 2 of past 3. Has TFL in each of his past 9 vs. Den. with sack in 4 of past 5. Leads NFL with 15 sacks, 2nd-career 15-sack season (2015 w/ Raiders). • LB KENNETH MURRAY aims for 9th in row with 5+ tackles. • LB ERIC KENDRICKS led team with 10 tackles & had 2 TFL & 1st sack of season last week. Aims for 4th in row with TFL. • S DERWIN JAMES had 9 tackles & 1st sack of season last week.

Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson and Chargers counterpart Justin Herbert both have the same goal on Sunday when Denver visits Los Angeles.

Get their offenses back on track.

Denver’s five-game winning streak was snapped last Sunday at Houston. Coach Sean Payton was critical of his QB after Wilson threw three interceptions, underthrew several deep passes and bypassed a wide-open Jerry Jeudy for a walk-in touchdown in a 22-17 loss to the Texans that evened Denver’s record at 6-6.

Maybe it was an inspirational message to his teammates or perhaps a veiled retort to Payton for peppering his comments Monday with what many perceived as jabs at his quarterback, but Wilson reminded everyone at his weekly news conference that the sky wasn’t exactly falling on the Broncos.

“We’ve been 5-1 over the last six games,” Wilson said. “We can’t forget that, too.”

The Chargers (5-7) beat New England 6-0 last Sunday to snap a three-game losing streak, but the offense failed to find the end zone and has only two touchdowns in the past 10 quarters.

Herbert’s only reliable receiving target has been Keenan Allen, who leads the NFL with 102 catches. The offense has also become more one-dimensional due to the lack of a running game. The Chargers are running the ball only 39.5% of the time, the eighth-lowest rate in the league.

Herbert said the main focus going into Sunday’s game is preventing turnovers. The Chargers did not have any last week in harsh weather at New England, but had four two weeks ago against Baltimore. Denver’s defense has a league-leading 22 takeaways.

“They’re going out and getting them – picks, fumbles. Getting after the ball. That’s the good part about a defense, is if they’re playing around and flying like that, they’re going to be a good defense,” Herbert said. “Causing and forcing turnovers like that, it just reminds you that you have to be smart with the ball. Play smart, winning football.”

FAMILIAR FACE

The Chargers got their first shutout since 2017 last week and their defense has shown improvement over the last two weeks. However, Los Angeles has only one win this season when facing an opponent’s primary starting quarterback.

Besides facing a division opponent, Los Angeles will go up against a Denver offense that has Joe Lombardi as its coordinator. Lombardi held that job with the Chargers the past two seasons before being fired.

“Yeah, definitely,” Chargers coach Brandon Staley said when asked if he sees similarities in Denver’s scheme to what Lombardi did with the Chargers.

The Chargers’ defense is ranked 29th, allowing 379.5 yards per game, while the Broncos’ offense is 24th (299 yards per game).

Chargers linebacker Khalil Mack leads the league with 15 sacks, tying a career high, and has 99 1/2 for his career.

RUNNING GAME

This should be a good opportunity for Los Angeles to turn its running game around.

The Broncos are last in the league in stopping the run, allowing an average of 149.7 yards per game. The Chargers had a season-low 29 yards rushing last week.

“I think what’s frustrating is that we’ve done it, we just haven’t done it consistently,” Staley said. “It would be one thing if I haven’t seen it at all, then I think you’d be frustrated and upset and feeling a little bit differently, but we’ve shown that we’ve been able to run the football.”

TIGHT END TROUBLE

The Broncos have sorely missed field-stretching tight end Greg Dulcich this season. He’s played in just parts of two games because of recurring hamstring issues that also plagued the UCLA alum as a rookie last year.

The lack of a consistent pass-catching threat at tight end has hampered Payton’s play-calling, although he believes he might have an answer in a player who’s never caught an NFL pass.

“Lucas (Krull) is one of those guys that we feel is a candidate to be that type of player,” Payton said of the second-year undrafted pro from Pitt who was elevated from the practice squad last week and targeted by Wilson on the final play. Jimmie Ward leapt in front Krull and intercepted the pass with 9 seconds left.

JUST LIKE HOME

Although the Broncos are seeking their first win at SoFi Stadium, the venue can feel like home for Denver because Broncos fans are known for packing the stands at road games. Payton got to see that last year when he was working for Fox and attended the Broncos-Chargers game in Week 6.

“I was surprised – I don’t want to say it’s a newer fan base because it’s not, but they haven’t had a team in a while,” Payton said. “It’s nice when you have fans who travel like we do. That’s something. Even last week in Houston. When we’ve gone on the road this year you’ve always felt a presence with our fan base. And certainly that’ll matter again Sunday. That’s nice to have.”

  • The Broncos are 9-6 over the last 15 games against the Chargers, with 11 of the 15 games being decided by one score. In the most recent meeting (Week 18 of last season), the Broncos ran for 205 yards in a 31-28 win, their highest total over the last five seasons.
  • Russell Wilson threw three interceptions in Denver’s Week 13 loss to Houston, only his sixth game with 3+ interceptions in his career (185 games played). Wilson’s 1.9% career interception rate is third lowest behind Aaron Rodgers (1.4%) and Tom Brady (1.8%) among quarterbacks with at least 5000 pass attempts.
  • Courtland Sutton has nine games with one touchdown reception this season. With another touchdown catch, he’ll tie Anthony Miller (1995) and Julius Thomas (2013) for the most games with a TD reception in a single Broncos season.
  • The Chargers rushed for only 29 yards in their Week 13 win over the Patriots. This marked their fourth game with fewer than 30 yards rushing since the start of the 2020 season, the most in the NFL. They are 2-2 in such games.
  • Keenan Allen (five catches for 58 yards in Week 13) has 102 total receptions this season, tied for third most in NFL history in a team’s first 12 games of a season. Only Michael Thomas (110 in 2019) and Marvin Harrison (109 in 2002) had more.
  • Last week, for the second time in team history, the Chargers totaled fewer than 250 total yards and no touchdowns in a win. Their other such victory came in 1986 Week 10, a 9-3 win over Denver. Their last shutout prior to Week 13 also came against Denver (2017 Week 7).

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (10-2) AT DALLAS COWBOYS (9-3)

QB JALEN HURTS had 2 TDs (1 pass, 1 rush) vs. 0 INTs in Week 13, his 16th-career game with both pass TD & rush TD, tied 3rd-most by QB in 1st 4 seasons ever. Hurts (8 games) & Buf. QB Josh Allen (8) can join Kyler Murray (2020) as only QBs ever with 9 games with both pass TD & rush TD in same season. Has 38 career rush TDs; only 4 QBs have more in NFL history. Had 3 TDs (2 pass, 1 rush) vs. 0 INTs for 130.2 rating in Week 9 meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row at Dal. with 325+ pass yards. • RB D’ANDRE SWIFT ranks 4th in NFL with career-high 783 rush yards & needs 9 scrimmage yards for 2nd-career 1,000-yard season (1,069 scrimmage yards in 2021 w/ Det.). Aims for his 4th in row on road with TD. • WR A.J. BROWN had 8 catches for 114 yards in Week 13, his 7th game with 100+ rec. yards in 2023, 2nd-most in NFL. Ranks 4th in NFL with 1,164 rec. yards this season. Had rec. TD in Week 9 meeting & 103 rec. yards in last road meeting (12/24/22). Aims for his 4th in row on SNF with rec. TD. • WR DEVONTA SMITH had season-high 9 catches for 96 yards & 6th rec. TD of season in Week 13. Has TD catch in 4 of his past 5. Aims for his 4th in row with 95+ rec. yards. Had 8 catches for 113 yards & 2 rec. TDs in last road meeting. Aims for his 4th in row vs. Dal. with TD catch. • LB HAASON REDDICK has sack in 4 of his past 5, incl. sack in Week 9 meeting. Had 2 sacks & FF in last road meeting. • DE JOSH SWEAT had 1.5 sacks & INT-TD in last road meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Dal. with sack. • DE BRANDON GRAHAM has 4 sacks in his past 5 vs. Dal. • CB JAMES BRADBERRY is only player with 10+ PD in each of past 8 seasons. Aims for his 7th in row vs. Dal. with PD. • CB DARIUS SLAY has 8 PD in his past 6. • S KEVIN BYARD ranks tied-4th among DBs with 89 tackles in 2023.

DALLAS has won past 14 home games, longest active streak in NFL. Leads NFL in scoring offense (32.3 points per game). • QB DAK PRESCOTT passed for 299 yards & 3 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 115.8 rating in Week 13, his 8th game with 100+ rating in 2023, most in NFL. Has 1,854 pass yards (309 per game) & 19 TDs (18 pass, 1 rush) vs. 2 INTs for 126.8 rating in 6 home games this season. Leads NFL with 26 TD passes & ranks 2nd with 108.3 rating this season. Passed for 374 yards & 3 TDs in Week 9 meeting & has 1,254 pass yards (313.5 per game) & 14 TDs vs. INT for 135.7 rating in his past 4 vs. Phi. Aims for his 5th in row vs. Phi. with 3+ TD passes & 115+ rating. • RB TONY POLLARD aims for his 4th in row with rush TD. Needs 15 scrimmage yards for 3rd-straight 1,000-yard season & is 1 of 2 (Christian McCaffrey) with 12 games of 50+ scrimmage yards in 2023. Has 5 rush TDs in his past 5 primetime games. • WR CEEDEE LAMB had 12 catches, 146 scrimmage yards (116 rec., 30 rush) & 7th rec. TD of season in Week 13. Leads NFL with 5 games of 10+ games in 2023. Aims for his 5th in row with rec. TD. Had 11 catches for career-high 191 yards in Week 9 meeting & aims for his 3rd in row vs. Phi. with 10+ catches & 100+ rec. yards. Ranks 2nd in NFL in rec. yards (1,182) & 3rd in catches (90) this season. • WR BRANDIN COOKS aims for his 5th in row at home with TD catch. • TE JAKE FERGUSON ranks tied-3rd among TEs with career-high 5 rec. TDs in 2023. Had career-high 91 rec. yards & TD catch in Week 9 meeting. • LB MICAH PARSONS has 38 career sacks & can become 5th player since 1982 with 40+ sacks in 1st 3 seasons. Needs 1.5 sacks to join HOFer Reggie White as only players with 13+ sacks in each of 1st 3 NFL seasons since 1982. • CB DARON BLAND has NFL-record 5 INT-TDs this season & leads NFL with 8 INTs in 2023. Aims for his 5th in row with INT

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys have done everything they were supposed to by winning four lower-stakes games since losing to Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles.

The rematch Sunday night is for first place in the NFC East, which carries the guarantee of starting the playoffs at home. Dallas has a 14-game home winning streak, the club’s longest since 1981.

It’s also a December meeting of star quarterbacks in Prescott and Hurts, which means the stakes can’t be much higher in the regular season.

The Cowboys have to find the same focus and execution from the past month, after coach Mike McCarthy was away from the team midweek for an emergency appendectomy after falling ill Wednesday morning. He expects to be on the sideline on game day.

“These are the moments we’ve prepared for, to be honest with you,” Prescott said. “It’s not that we didn’t for all of those past games, but we understood that this is the stretch in the season when you look at the schedule that you have to be excited about.”

In the first game of November, the Eagles (10-2) took a two-game division lead with their 28-23 victory over the Cowboys (9-3).

That lead is back to one game after San Francisco essentially matched its Week 5 rout of the Cowboys at home with a 42-19 victory last weekend in Philadelphia.

“You have to drag yourself through the mud in order to grow,” Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said. “It’s not comfortable, but it’s necessary. But then it’s about understanding why you’re here in the first place and having that confidence going into the next game.”

A win by the Eagles, defending NFC champs, is a huge step toward a second consecutive NFC East title, something that hasn’t happened in the division since Philadelphia won four in a row from 2001-04.

A Dallas victory would have the teams all but even on the way to the sixth time in seven seasons that one of the two takes the division crown.

“In the sense of trying to get home field, understanding our success through the past couple of years and how great it would be to play the postseason here at home, it’s huge,” Prescott said. “It’s definitely a big game.”

MCCARTHY’S MEDICAL

The 60-year-old was feeling abdominal pain when he went to the Dallas medical staff. It didn’t take long for them to send him to the hospital, where he had the appendectomy a few hours later.

McCarthy spent Thursday at home, but was in touch with players and coaches and planning his usual Thursday night call sheet meeting with Prescott and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.

It’s McCarthy’s fourth season as coach of the Cowboys, but first as the play-caller since Kellen Moore didn’t return. Schottenheimer took Moore’s title after a year as a consultant on the Dallas staff.

Schottenheimer assured reporters, in the Thursday meeting usually handled by McCarthy, that he was talking football with the head coach in the phone calls.

“Hey, you can’t have a conversation with Mike without … He’s going to talk about two things, football or Pittsburgh,” Schottenheimer said of the Pittsburgh native. “I don’t know if Pittsburgh came up, but football definitely came up.”

As to whether Schottenheimer was “warming up in the bullpen” preparing to call plays, as he has done with the New York Jets, St. Louis Rams and Seattle, the 50-year-old son of late NFL coach Marty Schottenheimer said no.

“We’ve both called it and installed it enough,” Schottenheimer said. “He’s gonna be ready to roll.”

QUICK TURN FOR LEONARD

Linebacker Shaq Leonard is planning to make his Eagles debut six days after signing following what he said was a stunning release of the three-time All-Pro by Indianapolis.

The Philadelphia defense has been strong against the run, but is 29th against the pass and in red zone efficiency.

“I’m not going to say they need me,” said the 28-year-old Leonard, who had back issues with the Colts and played for them when Sirianni was on the staff. “I wanted to go somewhere that would fit me, that a coach knew who I was as a person and a player. That’s why it fit me. It wasn’t so much a need.”

MVP CALIBER SHOWDOWN

Prescott and Hurts are among the top three along with Niners QB Brock Purdy to win AP NFL MVP, according to FanDuel SportsBook.

The Dallas QB leads the NFL with 26 touchdown passes and eight games with a passer rating of at least 100, including six of seven since one of the worst showings of his career in the 42-10 loss to the Niners.

With a touchdown passing and another rushing, Hurts can join Arizona’s Kyler Murray (2020) as the only QBs with at least one passing TD and rushing TD in nine games in the same season. Buffalo’s Josh Allen has the same chance this week.

“I haven’t been in any game like this where it’s been this close and two of the MVP front-runners,” Cowboys safety Jayron Kearse said. “Hurts has the name, but the film these last couple of weeks, it’s all pointing toward Dak. We have the good guy on our side.”

In the loss to the Niners, Hurts had a season-low 57.8% completion rate and a fourth-quarter concussion check. He hasn’t shown up on the injury report this week.

“We’ve definitely been challenged and stretched out in a ton of different ways,” Hurts said. “It’s about remaining resilient through it and always responding the right way, whether it’s a win or a loss.”

  • The Cowboys hold a 70-55 all-time edge in regular-season games against the Eagles dating back to 1960. Dallas has won five consecutive games at home with a point differential of +79 dating back to Week 14 of the 2018 season.
  • Jalen Hurts (298 yards passing, one passing touchdown, and one rushing touchdown in Week 13) now has 100 total touchdowns in his career (101). Eight other quarterbacks in NFL history have reached 100+ total touchdowns in 46 career starts or fewer. Of the eight, Hurts is the only player with 30+ rushing scores (38).
  • A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith combined for 17 receptions for 210 yards in Week 13. Since Brown joined the Eagles in 2022, they are tied for the most games in which each player has 5+ receptions and 90+ yards (Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, five games).
  • Dak Prescott has thrown for 20 touchdowns over his last six games, the most in franchise history over a six-game single-season span. His 123.1 combined passer rating ranks as the highest in his career over a six-game stretch.
  • CeeDee Lamb (12 receptions for 116 yards and a touchdown in Week 13) has generated six games of 10+ catches and 100+ receiving yards since last season (five this season), the most in the NFL and the most in franchise history (Jason Witten had five such games).
  • In Dallas’ 41-35 win over Seattle, the teams produced the most points in any of the six total games with zero punts (regular and postseason) in NFL history. The Cowboys have 31 total punts this season, the fewest in the NFL and the fewest in franchise history through Week 13.

TENNESSEE TITANS (4-8) AT MIAMI DOLPHINS (9-3)

DOLPHINS lead NFL in total offense (428.4 yards per game) & rank 2nd in scoring offense (32.0 points per game). • QB TUA TAGOVAILOA completed 18 of 24 atts. (75 pct.) for 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs with 141 rating last week, 3rd-straight game with 70+ comp. pct. & 8th this season, tied-most in NFL. Has 7 games this season with 2+ TD passes & 100+ rating, most in NFL. Has 1,528 pass yards (305.6 per game) & 14 TDs vs. 4 INTs with 117.3 rating in 5 home starts in 2023. Needs 92 pass yards & 2 TD passes to set single-season career highs in both categories. • RB RAHEEM MOSTERT rushed for TD last week. Has rush TD in 4 of past 5 & in each of past 2. Has 85+ scrimmage yards in 3 of past 4. Leads NFL with 14 rush TDs in 2023 & can become 3rd Mia. player ever with 15+ rush TDs, joining Ricky Williams (16 in 2002) & Abdul-Karim al-Jabbar (15 in 1997). • RB DE’VON ACHANE (rookie) had 103 scrimmage yards (73 rush, 30 rec.) & 2 rush TDs last week. Has 9 TDs (7 rush, 2 rec.), tied 2nd-most ever by player in 1st 6 career games. • WR TYREEK HILL had 5 catches for 157 yards & 2 TDs in Week 13, 5th game this season with 150+ rec. yards, tied-most in a season in NFL history. Aims for 4th in row with 5+ catches, 100+ rec. yards & rec. TD. Has TD catch in 3 of his past 4 on MNF. Leads NFL with 1,481 rec. yards, most by player in team’s 1st 12 games of a season in SB era. • WR JAYLEN WADDLE has 50+ rec. yards in 6 of past 7 & in each of past 3. Aims for 4th in row in primetime with 60+ rec. yards. • CB XAVIEN HOWARD aims for 5th in row with PD. • CB JALEN RAMSEY had INT & TFL in his last game vs. Ten. (11/7/21 w/ LAR). Has INT in each of his 2 home games this season. • LB ANDREW VAN GINKEL had 33-yard INT-TD last week.

QB WILL LEVIS (rookie) passed for 224 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs last week. Aims for 4th in row with 0 INTs. • RB DERRICK HENRY rushed for 102 yards & 2 TDs last week, 18th-career game with 100+ rush yards & 2+ rush TDs, tied for 4th-most ever by player in 1st 8 seasons. Aims for 3rd in row with 75+ rush yards & 2+ rush TDs. Has 4 rush TDs in his past 2 on MNF. Has 125+ scrimmage yards in 2 of his past 3 on MNF. Has 8 rush TDs in 2023 & is 6th player in NFL history with 8+ rush TDs in 6-straight seasons. • RB TYJAE SPEARS (rookie) had career-high 88 scrimmage yards (career-high 75 rush, 13 rec.) last week. • WR DEANDRE HOPKINS had 5 catches for 75 yards & 5th TD of season in Week 13. Has 55+ rec. yards & TD catch in 2 of past 3. Has 50+ rec. yards in 2 of 3 career games vs. Mia. Has 50+ rec. yards in each of his past 8 on MNF. Has 12,072 career rec. yards & became 4th-youngest player ever (31 years, 180 days old) to reach 12,000 rec. yards. • TE CHIGOZIEM OKONKWO had season-high 62 rec. yards last week, 3rd-career game with 50+ rec. yards. • DE DENICO AUTRY had sack, FF & PD last week. Aims for 3rd in row with sack. Has 5 TFL in his past 4. Had sack in last meeting. Has TFL in 4 of 5 career games on MNF. • LB HAROLD LANDRY had 8 tackles & half sack last week. Has 6+ tackles in 3 of past 4. Had sack in last meeting. • LB AZEEZ AL-SHAAIR had 12 tackles & 2nd sack of season in Week 13. Has 5+ tackles in all 12 games this season. • LB JACK GIBBENS led team with career-high 13 tackles & had PD last week. Aims for 3rd in row with PD. • LB ARDEN KEY aims for his 3rd in row with 0.5+ sacks.

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) Coach Mike McDaniel’s Miami Dolphins have done a lot of winning this season: They’re 9-3 for the first time in 22 years and are tied for the best record in the AFC. They’ve outscored opponents 384-266 with an offense that leads the NFL in passing, yards per play, yards per rush and red-zone efficiency.

What does McDaniel think of that?

“Call me when it’s a 13-game season,” he said. “That’s all nice, but we have a job to do today. If we shortchange and are worried about anything other than the Tennessee Titans when we’re game planning … then all those conversations and stories literally don’t matter at all.”

Hosting a playoff game is the Dolphins’ long-term goal as they try to close in on their first division title since 2008. This week’s only focus is beating the Tennessee Titans (4-8) on Monday night.

The Titans have just one victory since Oct. 29 and are winless on the road.

Coach Mike Vrabel has insisted his team will not coast to the season’s finish line, despite performing well below expectations.

“You put a lot into it every week,” Vrabel said Wednesday, “and sometimes you put a lot into it and you lose a close game and that’s disappointing. But you’ve got to pick yourself back up. You’ve got to answer the bell. Nobody’s going to feel sorry for us, especially the Dolphins. And it’s a very good football team. We have to get ready and prepare. A lot of different looks, so there’s a lot to cover.”

The Dolphins have won three straight games and have yet to lose at home, where they are averaging 38.8 points.

Tua Tagovailoa has passed for 3,457 yards and 24 touchdowns. For his career, he’s 18-4 as a starter at Hard Rock Stadium. That .818 winning percentage is the best among active quarterbacks with at least 20 starts at home.

Will Levis, Tennessee’s rookie starter, has 1,266 yards passing with seven touchdowns and two interceptions, and he has caught McDaniel’s attention.

“You watch how guys play with him on the field and you can tell he’s earned the respect of veteran players,” McDaniel said. “And you either have that or you don’t. As a quarterback, there’s nowhere to hide. So it’s cool to watch him progress and I think he is capable of making, I think pretty much every throw.”

LIMITING HILL

Tyreek Hill is coming off a game in which he caught five passes for 157 yards, with touchdowns of 78 and 60 yards. His 1,481 yards receiving are the most by a player through 12 games in the Super Bowl era.

“He’s having an MVP-caliber season,” Titans defensive back Elijah Molden said. “I feel like we have to simplify our defense and make Tua check it down and be great tacklers on the perimeter.”

Vrabel said the Titans won’t be able to replicate Miami’s speed in practices leading up to the game, but they’ll need to work on being sound in their tackling and being in the right spots to limit Hill’s production.

“We’re going to need some extra people to help,” Vrabel said, “and to take great angles, and use your leverage and your help, and all those different things that we talk about when tackling.”

LONGEST GAME IN NFL HISTORY

Tennessee and Miami last played at Hard Rock Stadium in Week 1 of the 2018 season in what became the longest game in NFL history at 7 hours, 8 minutes because of two lightning delays. The Titans had someone getting miniature pizzas from a concession stand to help keep players fed during the delays.

The Dolphins won, 27-20, helped by two kickoffs returned for touchdowns in Vrabel’s head coaching debut.

“Certainly interesting and unique way to start my NFL coaching career,” Vrabel said.

SPECIAL CONCERNS

Vrabel fired special teams coordinator Craig Aukerman on Monday after the Titans had two punts essentially blocked last week against Indianapolis. The first was returned for a touchdown, while the second – on Tennessee’s next attempt – was knocked away before the rusher crashed into punter Ryan Stonehouse’s left leg. Stonehouse will have season-ending surgery, and the Titans signed undrafted rookie Ty Zentner to the practice squad Wednesday.

New special teams coach Tom Quinn, who will oversee the group the rest of this season after joining the Titans as a special teams assistant this offseason, said Zentner will be the team’s holder Monday night.

PROTECT LEVIS

The 33rd pick overall out of Kentucky now has as many starts as Ryan Tannehill this season, and Levis has been sacked just as many times as his predecessor. The Titans gave up six sacks last week, and Miami comes in tied with Buffalo and the Chargers for the third-most sacks this season. The Titans are hoping to protect Levis better with an offensive line that has used eight starting combinations through the first 11 games. This will be the third straight game for a unit anchored by a pair of rookies in left tackle Jaelyn Duncan and left guard Peter Skoronski, the 11th overall pick.

  • The Titans defeated the Dolphins last season, 34-3, tied for the fewest points they have held Miami to in a single game in franchise history (37-3 in 2012). Tennessee has forced multiple turnovers in its last six games against the Dolphins, its longest such streak against a single opponent since doing so in seven straight against the Jets (2003-2013).
  • Tennessee recorded 12 passing first downs and 12 rushing first downs in its last game against the Colts, the second time it has reached those numbers in a game this century. The Titans did this in Week 8 of 2020 against the Bengals (13 pass, 12 rush).
  • Last week against Indianapolis, Derrick Henry recorded his 18th career game with at least 100 rushing yards and multiple rushing touchdowns. The next-closest career total by an active player is Nick Chubb with eight such games.
  • The Titans have had 15 games since the beginning of last season with at least one forced turnover and three defensive sacks, tied for the second most in the NFL over that span (Chiefs) behind the Ravens (17).
  • The Dolphins defeated the Commanders, 45-15, and recorded zero turnovers, their second game this season with at least a 30-point margin of victory and zero turnovers. The only other season that Miami had at least two such games was 1971 (also two).
  • In his last game against Washington, Tyreek Hill recorded his eighth career game with at least 150 receiving yards and multiple receiving touchdowns. That is tied with Don Maynard for the second-most such games in NFL history behind Jerry Rice (17).

GREEN BAY PACKERS (6-6) AT NEW YORK GIANTS (4-8)

QB JORDAN LOVE completed 25 of 36 atts. (69.4 pct.) for 267 yards & 3 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 118.6 rating in Week 13, his 4th game with 3+ TD passes & 100+ rating this season, tied-most in NFL in 2023. Ranks tied-5th in NFL with 22 TD passes this season. Aims for his 4th in row with 100+ rating & 5th in row with 2+ TD passes. • RB AARON JONES had 80 scrimmage yards (63 rush, 17 rec.) in last meeting. Has 512 scrimmage yards (128 per game) & 8 TDs (5 rec., 3 rush) in his past 4 Monday games & aims for his 5th in row on Monday with 110+ scrimmage yards & TD. • RB AJ DILLON had 87 scrimmage yards (73 rush, 14 rec.) in Week 13. Has 50+ scrimmage yards in 7 of his past 8 & aims for his 5th in row with 60+ scrimmage yards. • WR CHRISTIAN WATSON had career-high 7 catches for 71 yards & 2 rec. TDs in Week 13, his 3rd-career game with 2+ TD catches & 4th-career multi-TD game. Aims for his 4th in row with rec. TD. • WR ROMEO DOUBS had 4 catches for team-high 72 rec. yards in Week 13. Has career highs in catches (45), rec. yards (505) & rec. TDs (7) in 2023. Has rec. TD in 2 of his past 3 on road. • LB RASHAN GARY has 9 sacks & can set career high in 2023 (9.5 sacks in 2021). Aims for his 4th in row with 0.5+ sacks. • LB PRESTON SMITH had sack in last meeting. • LB QUAY WALKER led team with 13 tackles in Week 13, his 7thcareer game with 10+ tackles. Needs 8 tackles for 2nd-straight 100+ tackle season. • LB LUKAS VAN NESS (rookie) had 2nd-career sack in Week 13. • CB COREY BALLENTINE had career-high 10 tackles last week. • CB KEISEAN NIXON had 1st INT of season last week. • S JONATHAN OWENS aims for his 6th in row with 5+ tackles.

QB TOMMY DEVITO (rookie) completed 17 of 25 atts. (68 pct.) for 191 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs for 103.9 rating in Week 12. Became 1st undrafted rookie QB since 1967 with 100+ rating in consecutive starts & 5th undrafted rookie QB since 1967 to win 2 of his 1st 3 career starts. • RB SAQUON BARKLEY aims for his 6th in row at home with 50+ scrimmage yards. Has 221 scrimmage yards (110.5 per game) & rush TD in 2 career games vs. GB & aims for his 3rd in row vs. GB with 100+ scrimmage yards. Has 604 scrimmage yards (86.3 per game) & 2 rush TDs in 6 career Monday games & aims for his 7th in row on Monday with 50+ scrimmage yards. • WR JALIN HYATT (rookie) led team and set career highs with 5 catches for 109 yards in Week 12. • WR ISAIAH HODGINS had 2nd rec. TD of season in Week 12. • LB KAYVON THIBODEAUX had half sack, 2 TFL & 4th-career FF in Week 12. Aims for his 3rd in row with 2+ TFL. Has 7 sacks & 8 TFL in 5 home games this season. Aims for his 3rd in row at home with FF & his 5th in row at home with 0.5+ sacks. Had 2 PD in last meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row on Monday with PD. • LB BOBBY OKEREKE had 2nd INT of season in Week 12. Has 113 tackles in 2023, his 3rd-straight 100+ tackle season. Is only player this season with 9+ TFL (career-high 9) & 8+ PD (career-high 8). • LB MICAH MCFADDEN had career-high 11 TFL in 2023 & aims for his 5th in row with TFL. Has career-high 71 tackles this season. • S XAVIER MCKINNEY led team with 10 tackles & had 2 PD & 1st INT of season in Week 12. Can become 1st DB since 2000 with 10+ tackles in 5 straight games. • CB DEONTE BANKS (rookie) had 2nd INT in Week 12. Ranks tied-2nd among rookies with 10 PD.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) The Green Bay Packers got back in the playoff race over the last month. And all they have to do to nail down a postseason spot is take advantage of a weak schedule during the final five weeks.

The Packers (6-6) will look for a fourth straight win and fifth in six games when they face the Tommy DeVito-led New York Giants (4-8) at MetLife Stadium on Monday night.

The game kicks off a stretch for the Packers that will feature games against Tampa Bay (5-7), Carolina (1-11), Minnesota (6-6) and Chicago (4-8).

Not only does the schedule appear fairly easy, playing in December has been the best of times for the Packers since Matt LaFleur took over as coach in 2019. The team is 16-0 in the month, with those December performances helping the Packers make the postseason in three of the last four years. They missed last season with an 8-9 record.

The only team to win more consecutive December games was the San Diego Chargers with 18 straight from 2006-09, before their move to Los Angeles.

LaFleur isn’t taking anything for granted and he has told his team to stay focused, especially with the Giants riding a two-game winning streak.

“As soon as you start feeling yourself and you feel like you’ve arrived, this league has a way of knocking you off,” LaFleur said. “And the bottom line is, we’re a .500 football team. We’re 6-6 right now. We’ve clawed out of a tough spot, but every week, you’ve got to bring your ‘A’ game.”

The Packers have done that in overcoming a 2-5 start to the season.

The Giants started 1-5 in a season marred by injuries, particularly on the offensive line and at quarterback. DeVito has progressed from an undrafted rookie free agent who made from the practice squad to a starter with injuries to Daniel Jones (ACL) and Tyrod Taylor (ribs).

New York has not been eliminated, but it cannot afford another loss.

“Everything that we want is in front of us, but at the same time, we just take it one week at a time and try to focus on this week,” said DeVito, who got the starting nod from coach Brian Daboll despite Taylor being ready to play.

“If we start looking ahead and we miss one,” DeVito added, “there’s nothing going forward.”

STARTING FASTER

One of the biggest differences with the Packers during their recent surge is the way the offense performs at the start of games.

The Packers have scored touchdowns in their first two series in each of their last two games – a 29-22 Thanksgiving Day victory at Detroit and a 27-19 home triumph over the Kansas City Chiefs.

That’s quite the turnaround for an offense that failed to score a single first-half touchdown in five straight games earlier this season.

THE TAKEAWAY

In posting their first winning streak, much of the focus and kudos have been showered on DeVito. He has thrown four touchdown passes and no interceptions in the past two games while becoming a feel-good story in a bad season in which the Giants have have been held to 159 points.

The defense has actually done more than DeVito.

It has six interceptions and two fumble recoveries in the past two games. New York’s special teams recovered another fumble. That’s nine takeaways. The Giants’ plus-5 turnover differential is tied for sixth in the league.

POWER OF LOVE

After struggling through some growing pains earlier this season, Green Bay’s Jordan Love has emerged as one of the NFL’s hottest quarterbacks over the last few weeks.

The first-year starter has completed 68.5% of his passes for eight touchdowns without an interception over his last three games. The only other quarterback this season to have three straight games in which they completed at least 65% of their passes for multiple touchdowns and no interceptions is Dallas’ Dak Prescott.

HOT HYATT

Giants rookie wide receiver Jalin Hyatt is coming off his best game with five catches against New England for 109 yards, a 21.8 yard average. He has yet to catch a touchdown pass.

A third-round draft pick, Hyatt is not expecting the Packers to double team him much this week.

“Just looking at the Packers and looking at what they do, I’ll be surprised if they do that,” Hyatt said. “They’re a big, big zone team. So it’s going to be a little different compared to the Patriots. It’s going to be a good game. We can’t wait.”

24 OR FEWER

The Packers haven’t allowed more than 24 points in any of their last eight games. That’s the Packers’ longest such streak within a single season since 2010, when they gave up 24 points or fewer in nine straight games.

The Giants average 13.3 points, second worst in the league. The Patriots ranked No. 32 at 12.3 points.

  • The Packers are 16-16-2 on the road against the Giants all-time with a chance to go above .500 for the first time since 1982. Green Bay is above .500 on the road all-time against three teams: the Bears (53-52-2), the Cardinals (18-14-4), and the Browns (7-4, min. 10 games).
  • The Packers have converted 13 of their 45 third-and-10+ situations this season — their 28.9 percent rate is the best in the league. The only team with more third-and-10+ conversions is the Texans with 14 on 49 attempts (28.6 percent) — the second-highest rate in the league.
  • Jordan Love added his 14th passing touchdown in the second half or overtime this season against the Chiefs on Monday and now has the most in the NFL. The last Packers quarterback to lead the league in second half or overtime passing touchdowns was Brett Favre with 22 in 1996.
  • The Giants have lost 489 yards on 118 negative plays on offense this season, the most in both categories in the NFL. The last time the Giants lost that many yards via negative plays in a full season was in 2018, when the team lost 518 yards.
  • Tommy DeVito has a passer rating of 102.7 through the first three starts in his career. The last player to have a higher passer rating through his first three starts as a Giant was Norm Snead (105.2 in 1972) in the 12th season of his career.
  • Green Bay has three players with at least five receiving touchdowns this season — Romeo Doubs (seven), Jayden Reed (five) and Christian Watson (five) — each starting the season at 24 or younger. The only team to have more such players all-time is the 2020 Steelers (four).

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

LSU QB JAYDEN DANIELS WINS HEISMAN TROPHY

LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels won the Heisman Trophy as the nation’s most outstanding college football player on Saturday night in New York.

Daniels beat out three other finalists, including Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr., Oregon quarterback Bo Nix and Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr.

It was the latest in a growing list of honors for Daniels. He was selected as the Walter Camp national player of the year and he won the Davey O’Brien Award, which is given annually to the nation’s top quarterback.

In 12 games this season, Daniels completed 72.2 percent of his passes for 3,812 yards, 40 touchdowns and four interceptions. He also rushed for 1,134 yards and 10 touchdowns while averaging 8.4 yards per carry.

Daniels became the third player in LSU history to win the Heisman Trophy. He joined halfback Billy Cannon, who won the award in 1959, and quarterback Joe Burrow, who won in 2019.

LSU head coach Brian Kelly was in attendance to see his quarterback win the trophy. Daniels is in his second season with the Tigers after transferring from Arizona State, where he played his first three years.

Several former Heisman Trophy winners including Robert Griffin Jr., Tim Tebow and Desmond Howard also participated in the ceremony. Twenty-two previous winners took the stage before Daniels was announced as the latest honoree.

Including Daniels, seven of the past eight Heisman Trophy winners have played quarterback. The lone exception during that span is DeVonta Smith, who won the trophy as an Alabama wideout in 2020.

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

TOP 25 ROUNDUP: WASHINGTON ENDS NO. 7 GONZAGA’S PAC-12 WIN STREAK

Keion Brooks Jr. scored 17 points, including four late free throws, as Washington upset No. 7 Gonzaga 78-73 on Saturday night in Seattle, ending the Bulldogs’ 16-game winning streak against Pac-12 Conference opponents.

Sahvir Wheeler had 16 points for the Huskies (6-3), who had lost seven games in a row and 14 of 15 to Gonzaga since Mark Few became the Bulldogs’ coach in 1999.

Graham Ike led Gonzaga (7-2) with 18 points. Seattle native Nolan Hickman scored 17 and Anton Watson had 13 points and 13 rebounds.

Watson made two free throws with 7:12 left to put Gonzaga up 70-68. Brooks made two free throws to tie it with 5:14 left. Wheeler’s driving layup with 3:41 to go gave the Huskies their first lead since the game’s opening minute.

Two free throws by Johnson made it 74-70 with 1:08 left. After Ike pulled the Bulldogs within 74-73, Brooks made four free throws in the final 41 seconds to clinch the victory.

No. 1 Arizona 98, No. 23 Wisconsin 73

Pelle Larsson scored 21 points to lead the hot-shooting Wildcats, who emphatically defended their new top ranking by blowing out the Badgers in Tucson, Ariz.

Arizona (8-0) shot 58.3 percent from the field, including making 12 of 26 from 3-point range, and was in total command after burying Wisconsin (7-3) with a 25-8 run to the end the first half. The Wildcats were up by 17 at the break and expanded it to as much as 31 after halftime.

Caleb Love scored 20 points for Arizona, including eight during the key run to end the first half that put the Wildcats up 48-31. Love added seven rebounds and five assists. John Blackwell scored 17 points to lead Wisconsin, while Steven Crowl scored 11.

No. 2 Kansas 73, Missouri 64

Hunter Dickinson had another double-double, with 13 points and 16 rebounds, as the Jayhawks continued their dominance over the Tigers with a victory in Lawrence, Kan.

Kansas (9-1) was led by Kevin McCullar Jr. and KJ Adams Jr. with 17 points each. McCullar added nine rebounds. Elmarko Jackson chipped in 11 points for the Jayhawks. Columbia, Mo., native Dajuan Harris Jr. had eight points and five assists against his hometown team.

Missouri (7-3) was led by Sean East II with a game-high 21 points. Nick Honor added 17 points.

No. 3 Houston 89, Jackson State 55

L.J. Cryer recorded his fourth 20-point game of the season while freshman forward Joseph Tugler grabbed a career-high nine rebounds as the Cougars methodically pulled away from the Tigers to claim a home win.

Cryer scored 16 of his 21 points in the first half. Sophomore guard Terrance Arceneaux corralled a game-high 10 rebounds for the Cougars. Sophomore guard Emanuel Sharp led the Cougars with 25 points on 5-for-9 3-point shooting.

Jackson State leading scorer Ken Evans Jr. tallied only six points after scoring two during a foul-plagued first half. Coltie Young paced the Tigers, who committed 24 turnovers, with 13 points. Zeke Cook and Jordan O’Neal fouled out for Jackson State.

No. 4 Purdue 92, Alabama 86

Zach Edey matched his season high of 35 points and also collected seven rebounds in his return home to help the Boilermakers post a victory over the Crimson Tide in the Hall of Fame Series in Toronto.

Braden Smith made four 3-pointers while scoring a career-high 27 points to go with eight assists for Purdue (9-1). Edey, a Toronto native, played his first game in his hometown since his sophomore season of high school.

Mark Sears matched his career best with 35 points while establishing a new career high of eight 3-pointers for Alabama (6-3). The Crimson Tide moved within 89-86 on Sears’ steal and layup with 20 seconds left in the game, but the Boilermakers hung on.

No. 5 UConn 101, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 63

Alex Karaban scored a career-high 26 points and had seven rebounds to lead the Huskies to a victory over the visiting Golden Lions in Storrs, Conn.

Tristen Newton (16 points), Cam Spencer (15) and Donovan Clingan (11) also scored in double figures for the Huskies, who shot 33 of 59 from the field (55.9 percent). UConn (9-1) scored 56 points in the second half, when it connected on 10 of its 16 3-point attempts.

Rashad Williams made five 3-pointers and finished with a team-high 23 points for UAPB (4-7).

No. 8 Marquette 78, Notre Dame 59

Oso Ighodaro had 20 points and Tyler Kolek added 17 as the Golden Eagles scored the first 17 points of the game and coasted to the nonconference victory over the longtime rival Fighting Irish in Milwaukee.

Marquette (8-2) was in control on both ends of the floor from the opening tip. Notre Dame missed its first seven shots, going 0-for-4 from 3-point range, while also committing eight turnovers. The Irish (4-5) finally got on the scoreboard on Markus Burton’s putback with 12:53 left in the first half.

Marquette continued to dominate, pushing the halftime lead to 52-24 on Sean Jones’ 3-pointer just ahead of the buzzer. Burton (20 points) was the lone player in double figures for the Irish, who have lost three of their past four games.

No. 10 Creighton 109, Central Michigan 64

Reserve Isaac Traudt led a balanced scoring effort with a season-high 18 points as the Bluejays cruised to a victory over the Chippewas in Omaha, Neb.

Traudt was lethal from 3-point range, going 5-for-6 from beyond the arc. The Bluejays (8-1) hit 15 of 31 shots from long distance as a team, getting four treys from both Mason Miller and Trey Alexander in the blowout victory. Miller finished with a career-high 17 points, while Alexander (15 points), Ryan Kalkbrenner (15), Fredrick King (14) and Baylor Scheierman (13) also scored in double figures for Creighton.

Derrick Butler paced the Chippewas (3-6) with 28 points on 13-of-21 shooting to go along with seven boards. Anthony Pritchard supplied 22 points, but the other seven Central Michigan players to see the floor combined for just 14.

No. 12 Texas 77, Houston Christian 50

Max Abmas poured in 16 points as the Longhorns got back on the winning track with a victory over the Huskies in Austin, Texas.

Texas (7-2) never trailed but led by just a point before outscoring Houston Christian 19-0 over the final 10:47 of the first half, which proved to be the decisive stretch of the game. Kadin Shedrick added 15 points for the Longhorns.

Marcus Greene led Houston Christian (1-7) with 15 points, while Michael Imariagbe added 11 points and 12 rebounds and Bonke Maring took 13 rebounds.

Saint Mary’s 64, No. 13 Colorado State 61

Augustas Marciulionis scored a career-high 18 points before fouling out with the score tied, and the Gaels held on to upset the Rams in the nonconference matchup in Fort Collins, Colo.

Joshua Jefferson had 16 points and 13 rebounds, and Aidan Mahaney scored 10 points for Saint Mary’s (5-5), which began the season ranked No. 23.

Isaiah Stevens scored 20 points, Patrick Cartier had 16 and Nique Clifford finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds for Colorado State (9-1), which had climbed to its highest ranking in program history this week.

Utah 73, No. 14 BYU 69

Gabe Madsen made five 3-pointers and scored 17 points, and the Utes handed the Cougars their first loss of the season, beating their fierce rivals at Salt Lake City.

Branden Carlson added 15 points and eight rebounds as Utah (7-2) won its fourth consecutive game. Keba Keita added 10 points as the Utes halted their three-game slide in matchups with the Cougars.

Jaxson Robinson scored 17 points and Richie Saunders added 13 for the Cougars (8-1), who had a 13-game nonconference winning streak halted. Dallin Hall had 11 points, Spencer Johnson contributed 10 points and 11 rebounds, and Trevin Knell also had 10 points for BYU.

No. 16 Kentucky 81, Penn 66

Coming off the bench, Aaron Bradshaw had 17 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots and Rob Dillingham scored 17 points as the Wildcats defeated the Quakers in Philadelphia.

Antonio Reeves added 16 points for Kentucky (7-2), which avenged an 80-73 loss to UNC Wilmington.

Clark Slajchert led Penn (6-5) with 17 points and Tyler Perkins added 15. Sam Brown scored 12 and Nick Spinoso had 10 points, nine rebounds, five assists and four blocked shots.

No. 17 Tennessee 86, No. 20 Illinois 79

Dalton Knecht scored 13 of his team-high 21 points in the first seven minutes of the second half to spark the Volunteers to a nonconference victory over the Fighting Illini in Knoxville, Tenn.

All five starters scored in double figures for Tennessee (6-3), which limited Illinois to 35.4 percent shooting from the field and improved to 1-3 against ranked opponents. Jonas Aidoo posted 14 points and seven rebounds, while Santiago Vescovi contributed 12 points and nine rebounds.

Quincy Guerrier paced Illinois (7-2) with a season-high 22 points. All-American candidate Terrence Shannon Jr. scored nine points in the final two minutes to reach 22 points as well, but he hit just 5 of 16 field-goal attempts.

No. 18 James Madison 84, Old Dominion 69

T.J. Bickerstaff delivered 21 points and 12 rebounds as the Dukes rolled past the host Monarchs in the in-state Royal Rivalry in Norfolk, Va.

Michael Green III supplied 13 points and nine assists, quarterbacking the nation’s highest-scoring team as the Dukes (9-0) are off to their best start in program history. Jaylen Carey made all six of his shots, scoring 13 points, and Terrence Edwards Jr. added 13 points, five assists and three blocked shots as the Dukes beat the Monarchs for the fifth straight time.

James Madison made 54 percent of its shots from the floor and 9 of 24 (37.5 percent) from beyond the arc. The Dukes made 48 points in the paint compared to 32 for the Monarchs. Chaunce Jenkins scored 19 points to pace Old Dominion (3-6), which lost its third straight.

No. 19 Oklahoma 79, Arkansas 70

Javian McCollum scored 20 points to lead the Sooners past the Razorbacks in Tulsa, Oklahoma. McCollum added five rebounds and four assists.

The Sooners (9-0) continued their best start since their Final Four run in 2015-16 while the loss snapped a two-game winning streak for the Razorbacks (6-4).

When Arkansas made a run to get back into the game early in the second half, McCollum kept slamming the door. First, he hit a 3-pointer in the opening minutes after the Razorbacks had quickly cut the Sooners’ 12-point halftime lead to six. Not long afterward, McCollum drew a foul on a 3-pointer and hit all three shots to kick off a 12-0 Oklahoma run.

No. 22 Duke 80, Charlotte 56

Freshman Jared McCain scored 14 of his season-high 21 points in the first half and the Blue Devils solved some of their recent woes, drilling the 49ers to snap a two-game losing streak at Durham, N.C.

Jeremy Roach’s 18 points, reserve Jaylen Blakes’ 15 and Mark Mitchell’s 12 gave a boost to Duke (6-3). Charlotte chopped what had been a 25-point deficit to 55-44 with about 14 minutes left in the game. But by the time the 49ers made just their second field goal in a span of over eight minutes, the Blue Devils had built a 71-51 lead.

Lu’Cye Patterson had 14 points and Nik Graves posted all 10 of his points in the second half for Charlotte (5-4), which made only 4 of 20 shots from 3-point range.

No. 24 Clemson 74, TCU 66

The Tigers kept their perfect record intact thanks to a strong second-half performance from senior Joseph Girard III as they knocked off the Horned Frogs in Toronto.

Girard was a big part of the Tigers’ offense throughout the game, scoring seven of his side’s first nine points in the first half. The guard shot 5 for 13 from the floor and 8 for 9 from the free-throw line, leading Clemson (9-0) with 21 points. Senior PJ Hall added 17 points for the Tigers.

The Horned Frogs scored their fewest points of the season and shot 32.2 percent from the field, their lowest mark so far. Scarborough, Ontario, native Emanuel Miller led TCU with 16 points.

No. 25 San Diego State 63, UC Irvine 62

The Aztecs coughed up a 16-point, second-half lead, then rallied to close the game with six points in the final 44 seconds to slip past the visiting Anteaters.

San Diego State (8-2) — playing without standout forward Jaedon LeDee, who was a late scratch due to an elbow injury — went ahead 42-26 early in the second half. But reserve Jay Pal’s dunk for two of his team-high 15 points with 15:14 remaining in regulation marked the Aztecs’ last field goal for a stretch lasting longer than 13 minutes.

UC Irvine (6-4) went on runs of 13-2 and 14-2 during the San Diego State field-goal drought. Justin Hohn, who scored a game-high 16 points, made the last of his four 3-pointers with 59 seconds remaining to give the Anteaters a 62-57 lead.

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

WOMEN’S TOP 25 ROUNDUP: KANSAS STATE CONTINUES HOT START WITH BLOWOUT OF MISSOURI

Ayoka Lee piled up 28 points and nine rebounds as No. 13 Kansas State routed Missouri 84-56 on Saturday night at a neutral site game in St. Joseph, Mo.

The Wildcats (9-1) also got 11 points and eight assists from Serena Sundell, 12 points from Brylee Glenn and 10 points from Gabby Gregory.

Abby Feit and Hayley Frank each scored 13 points for Missouri (7-4).

The Tigers led by as much as seven points early on, but Kansas State outscored them 36-12 in the third quarter to pull away. The Wildcats were +16 in rebounding and shot 48.6 percent from the floor as they went on to lead by as much as 36 points.

No. 16 Indiana 66, Rutgers 56

Mackenzie Holmes tallied 25 points and eight rebounds as the Hoosiers opened Big Ten play with a road victory over the Scarlet Knights in Piscataway, N.J.

Holmes was one of four players to score in double digits for Indiana (8-1, 1-0 Big Ten). Yarden Garzon and Chloe Moore-McNeil each had 11 points, while Sydney Parrish added 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Rutgers (6-6, 0-1 Big Ten) was powered by 19 points from Kaylene Smikle. Destiny Adams chipped in 10 points, eight rebounds and three assists.

The Scarlet Knights led 10-9 after the first quarter, but Indiana pulled ahead with an 11-4 run in the second frame. Indiana shot just 18.8 percent from 3-point range, but outscored Rutgers 44-32 in the paint.

No. 23 Gonzaga 80, Rice 72

Eliza Hollingsworth scored all of her 21 points in the first half as the Bulldogs won their fourth straight game, racing away from the host Owls in Houston, Texas.

Hollingsworth shot 4-of-7 from 3-point range and also had six rebounds for Gonzaga (10-2). The Bulldogs also got 18 points and 10 rebounds from Yvonne Ejim and 15 points from Kaylynne Truong.

Four players scored in double figures for Rice (5-4), with Destiny Jackson leading the way with 16 points and three assists.

Gonzaga led wire-to-wire — jumping out to a 15-0 lead to start the game — and went ahead by as much as 22 points. Key for the Bulldogs was their ability to make 10 3-pointers while holding Rice to just three.

NBA NEWS

ANTHONY DAVIS LEADS LAKERS TO NBA IN-SEASON TOURNAMENT TITLE, 123-109 OVER PACERS

LAS VEGAS (AP) As Commissioner Adam Silver prepared to hand LeBron James the MVP trophy of the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament, he cautioned that “it doesn’t come with a franchise.”

James bent over in laughter, but he has been serious about wanting to own an NBA expansion team in Las Vegas.

For now, he’ll more than settle for the individual honor and tournament championship after scoring 24 points and adding 11 rebounds Saturday night to help the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Indiana Pacers 123-109 in the final.

“My enthusiasm about being here post-career, bringing a team here has not changed,” James said. “The fans are amazing here. They have everything already: WNBA team, they have a baseball team (Athletics) coming in soon, NFL team, hockey team, F1 (Formula One) was just here. This is a place that loves great attractions, and I think the NBA will be another great addition to this city.”

As well as James played Saturday, the star was teammate Anthony Davis, who had 41 points and 20 rebounds – numbers that would have been season highs if they counted. This is the only game in the tournament that doesn’t figure in the standings or statistics.

Davis also shot 16 of 24, had five assists and blocked four shots.

“They’re a hell of a one-two punch,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said about James and Davis. “That one or two could be either one of them on any given night. At the end of the day, they know how to take it to the next level when everything is on the line.”

Los Angeles is the first In-Season Tournament champion because the two headliners received plenty of help.

Austin Reaves scored 28 points, D’Angelo Russell added 13 points and Cam Reddish set the tone defensively by limiting the damage by Indiana’s Tyrese Haliburton, who emerged as one of the faces of this tournament.

He had 20 points and 11 assists against the Lakers, often passing to a teammate rather than trying to force the action.

“(Reddish) didn’t score a lot (nine points), but I felt like he was one of the best players on the court with the way he defended and really changed the game on that end of the floor,” Reaves said.

Also for the Pacers, Bennedict Mathurin scored 20 points and Aaron Nesmith had 15.

In addition to taking home a trophy, Lakers players on standard contracts each made $500,000 and the Pacers received $200,000 apiece. Players on two-way deals take home half those amounts.

The tournament and the title game had a combination of a NBA playoff and one-and-done NCAA Tournament kind of atmosphere, and the Pacers and Lakers played as if their seasons were on the line.

Los Angeles making it Las Vegas where it was essentially the home team before a sellout crowd played Sunday like it had been here before. The situation was different for the Pacers, who are still trying to prove they are a championship-level team.

“We just got outplayed tonight from the start of the game to the end of the game,” Haliburton said. “Just didn’t do the job on loose balls, didn’t rebound, didn’t get enough stops when needed. They just outplayed us, and it’s frustrating. It’s funny because everybody says this has the NCAA Tournament feel, but after a game like that you’re sitting in the locker room going, ‘Most of us ain’t graduating.’ We play on Monday.”

The Lakers led most of the game, though Indiana kept in striking distance until Los Angeles went on a 15-3 run late in the fourth quarter to turn in a 100-96 lead into a 115-99 advantage.

“Our guys got a real taste of what the elevated stage is all about,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. “It’s so important to have this experience, to feel the intensity, to feel the glare and the glow and to find out what it means to be totally together in an effort to conquer it. We conquered a lot of challenges along the way. This one tonight was a little too steep.”

CELEBRITY SIGHTINGS

Among those in attendance were basketball Hall of Famers Julius Erving and Shaquille O’Neal, football Hall of Famers Tim Brown and Shannon Sharpe, former tennis star Steffi Graf, former boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr., chef Bobby Flay and rapper Flavor Flav. Members of the two-time champion Las Vegas Aces, including WNBA Finals MVP A’ja Wilson, also watched.

UP NEXT

Pacers: At Detroit on Monday night to open a four-game road swing.

Lakers: At Dallas on Tuesday night to begin a three-game Texas trip.

BASEBALL NEWS

SHOHEI OHTANI REACHES RECORD DEAL WITH DODGERS

Shohei Ohtani announced Saturday that he has decided to sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The two-way star shared the decision on his Instagram page.

According to reports, he received a 10-year, $700 million deal from the Dodgers. The contract is the largest in baseball history.

Ohtani, a two-time unanimous American League MVP, wrote the following on his Instagram page:

“To all the fans and everyone involved in the baseball world, I apologize for taking so long to come to a decision. I have decided to choose the Dodgers as my next team.

“First of all, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone involved with the Angels organization and the fans who have supported me over the past six years, as well as to everyone involved with each team that was part of this negotiation process. Especially to the Angels fans who supported me through all the ups and downs, your guys’ support and cheer meant the world to me. The six years I spent with the Angels will remain etched in my heart forever.

“And to all Dodgers fans, I pledge to always do what’s best for the team and always continue to give it my all to be the best version of myself. Until the last day of my playing career, I want to continue to strive forward not only for the Dodgers but for the baseball world.

There are some things that cannot be conveyed in writing, so I would like to talk more about this again at a later press conference.

Thank you very much.”

Ohtani’s deal tops the previous record of $426 million over 12 years that his former Angels teammate Mike Trout received.

Ohtani, 29, won his second AL MVP award this past season when he batted .304 with an AL-leading 44 homers with 95 RBIs in 135 games with the Los Angeles Angels. He led the AL with a .412 on-base percentage and led the majors with a .654 slugging percentage.

As a pitcher, Ohtani went 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA and recorded 167 strikeouts over 132 innings (23 starts). He limited opposing batters to a .184 average.

Ohtani’s pitching efforts ended after he tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow on Aug. 23. He continued playing as a batter until sustaining an oblique injury on Sept. 3.

Ohtani underwent Tommy John surgery in mid-September for the second time and isn’t expected to pitch in 2024. He also had the procedure in the fall of 2018.

SHOHEI OHTANI VAULTS DODGERS TO WORLD SERIES FAVORITES

The Los Angeles Dodgers immediately vaulted to the favorites to win the 2024 World Series after bestowing the largest contract in Major League Baseball history upon Shohei Ohtani on Saturday.

The Dodgers were among the title favorites as they pursued Ohtani, including being offered at +800 by BetMGM. That placed them behind the Atlanta Braves, but that changed after the Japanese superstar agreed to a 10-year, $700 million contract to leave the cross-town Los Angeles Angels.

The Dodgers vaulted to the +550 World Series favorites at the book, followed by the Braves (+650) and New York Yankees (+950). Before the blockbuster Ohtani signing, the Yankees had completed the biggest offseason move with the acquisition of outfielder Juan Soto from the San Diego Padres.

Ohtani’s signing shifted the balance of power in the National League, where the Dodgers are now the +275 favorites to win the pennant ahead of the Braves (+375) and Philadelphia Phillies (+500).

The Yankees are the co-favorites to win the American League at +450 along with the Toronto Blue Jays. The Jays’ odds had shortened in recent days with reports that Ohtani was strongly considering Toronto, but they went from +900 to +1400 to win the World Series after losing out to the Dodgers.

Even still, the Blue Jays have shorter odds to win the AL pennant than the Houston Astros and the reigning champion Texas Rangers at +500.

Ohtani was the first major free-agent domino to fall, and now the race will be on among the other contenders to bolster their rosters in an attempt to keep pace.

Ohtani, 29, won his second AL MVP award this past season when he batted .304 with an AL-leading 44 homers with 95 RBIs in 135 games with the Angels. He led the AL with a .412 on-base percentage and led the majors with a .654 slugging percentage.

As a pitcher, Ohtani went 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA and recorded 167 strikeouts over 132 innings (23 starts). He limited opposing batters to a .184 average.

Ohtani’s pitching efforts ended after he tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow on Aug. 23. He continued playing as a batter until sustaining an oblique injury on Sept. 3.

Ohtani underwent Tommy John surgery in mid-September for the second time and isn’t expected to pitch in 2024. He also had the procedure in the fall of 2018.

With the signing, BetMGM also moved the Dodgers’ win total market from 101.5 games to 103.5.

NHL NEWS

NHL ROUNDUP: ISLES TAG KINGS WITH FIRST ROAD LOSS

Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored 13 seconds into overtime on Saturday night for the New York Islanders, who ended the Los Angeles Kings’ record season-opening road winning streak with a 3-2 win in Elmont, N.Y.

The Isles overcame a two-goal deficit in the third period.

Anders Lee scored twice in the third before Pageau scored on a backhanded breakaway for the Islanders, who have recorded a point in 11 of their past 12 games (7-1-3). Goaltender Ilya Sorokin made 34 saves.

Adrian Kempe and Vladislav Gavrikov scored in the second period for the Kings, who had their 11-game road winning streak snapped. Los Angeles was one win shy of tying the all-time mark set by the Detroit Red Wings during the 2005-06 season and matched by the Minnesota Wild in 2014-15.

Kevin Fiala had the primary assist on both goals for Los Angeles, which set the NHL record for most consecutive road wins to start a season in Thursday night’s win over the Montreal Canadiens.

Lightning 4, Kraken 3 (OT)

Nikita Kucherov, the NHL’s scoring leader, had two goals — including the game-winner at 3:12 of overtime — and an assist as Tampa Bay defeated host Seattle.

Anthony Cirelli added a goal and an assist and Nicholas Paul also scored for the Lightning, who evened their record at 1-1-0 to start their five-game trip. Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy made 26 saves.

Oliver Bjorkstrand, Jamie Oleksiak and Jared McCann scored for Seattle, which lost its seventh straight game (0-5-2). Philipp Grubauer stopped 21 of 23 shots before leaving after two periods with an injury. Joey Daccord stopped five of seven shots the rest of the way.

Canadiens 3, Sabres 2 (SO)

Cayden Primeau made a career-high 46 saves and stopped two of four attempts in the shootout to help Montreal defeat host Buffalo.

Jayden Struble scored his first NHL goal and Nick Suzuki also scored for the Canadiens, who had lost three of four games. Juraj Slafkovsky tallied the game-winner in the fourth round of the shootout after teammates Cole Caufield and Jesse Ylonen scored earlier. Victor Olofsson and Owen Power tallied in the shootout for Buffalo, but Primeau made the save on JJ Peterka, setting the stage for Slafkovsky.

Jeff Skinner and Kyle Okposo scored in regulation, and Devon Levi made 29 saves for the Sabres, who have dropped five of six games.

Bruins 5, Coyotes 3

David Pastrnak’s two goals and an assist helped Boston hold off visiting Arizona.

Charlie Coyle, Kevin Shattenkirk and Danton Heinen also scored for Boston, which has won four of its past five games and 10 straight home meetings with Arizona in regulation. Linus Ullmark made 31 saves in his second consecutive start.

Clayton Keller, Michael Carcone and Lawson Crouse scored for the Coyotes, who had a 34-29 advantage in shots.

Devils 4, Flames 2

Second-period goals by Jesper Bratt and Nico Hischier, his first of two in the game, erased a deficit and sparked visiting New Jersey to a victory over Calgary.

Alexander Holtz also scored for the Devils, who have won three straight games and six of their past seven. Goaltender Vitek Vanecek made 23 saves, one dozen of them in the opening period to keep his team within striking distance.

Yegor Sharangovich, a former Devil, and Nazem Kadri replied for the Flames, who have lost three of four games to end a six-game homestand. Goaltender Dustin Wolf stopped 26 shots.

Golden Knights 6, Stars 1

Mark Stone was one of four Vegas players with a goal and an assist, and one of six to score, as the visiting Golden Knights won to sweep the three-game season series from Dallas.

Zach Whitecloud, Paul Cotter and Nicolas Roy also recorded one goal and one assist apiece, while Logan Thompson stopped 19 shots for the Golden Knights, who recorded their NHL-leading 41st point. Chandler Stephenson and Pavel Dorofeyev also scored for Vegas, which has totaled 25 goals in the past six contests.

Meanwhile, Evgenii Dadonov had a goal and Jake Oettinger managed 21 saves for Dallas, which fell for the third time in four games while playing without star Roope Hintz, who was a late scratch due to illness.

Senators 5, Red Wings 1

Claude Giroux and Vladimir Tarasenko each had a goal and an assist to lead Ottawa to a win over host Detroit.

Joonas Korpisalo made 30 saves for Ottawa, which has won three of its past four games. The Senators opened the scoring 1:57 into the game on a power-play goal by Giroux. Dominik Kubalik, Tim Stutzle and Jake Sanderson also scored for Ottawa.

Detroit lost its second straight game. The Red Wings got a power-play goal that was also the first goal in a Red Wings uniform for the newly signed Patrick Kane.

Maple Leafs 4, Predators 0

Ilya Samsonov made 18 saves to earn his first shutout of the season and host Toronto defeated Nashville.

Auston Matthews scored two goals and David Kampf and Noah Gregor also scored for the Maple Leafs, who have won four of their past five games. Samsonov, who had not played in the previous five games, earned the 11th shutout of his career.

Kevin Lankinen stopped 33 shots for the Predators, who had won their previous three games and nine of their past 11. Lankinen stopped two breakaways in the first period.

Capitals 4, Rangers 0

Charlie Lindgren made 31 saves and nine Washington players recorded points in the Capitals’ shutout win over visiting New York.

The Capitals ended a three-game winless streak (0-2-1) with a dominant performance against the top team in the Metropolitan Division. Sonny Milano set the tone by scoring just 43 seconds after the opening whistle. Anthony Mantha, Tom Wilson and Nicolas Aube-Kubel scored Washington’s other goals.

It was the first time Lindgren and his brother, Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren, faced each other in an NHL game. Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad both hit the goalpost for the Rangers’ closest scoring chances as New York was shut out for the first time this season.

Blackhawks 3, Blues 1

Anthony Beauvillier netted his first goal with Chicago as the Blackhawks won consecutive games for the first time this season with a victory over visiting St. Louis.

In his fourth game since being acquired from the Vancouver Canucks, Beauvillier caught a piece of the opening goal for his first Blackhawks marker and point. Jason Dickinson and Alex Vlasic also scored for Chicago. Petr Mrazek saved 38 shots as the Blackhawks won for the first time at home against the Blues since Nov. 26, 2021.

St. Louis’ Oskar Sundqvist scored a late short-handed goal and goalie Jordan Binnington made 21 saves as the visitors lost their third straight game and are 2-5-0 in their past seven.

Flyers 5, Avalanche 2

Travis Konecny scored twice, leading Philadelphia to a win over Colorado in Denver.

Travis Sanheim and Owen Tippett each contributed a goal and an assist, and Joel Farabee added the other goal for the Flyers, who have won four straight games. Carter Hart made a season-high 36 saves for Philadelphia, which won in Colorado for the first time since March 28, 2018.

Nathan MacKinnon and Josh Manson responded for Colorado, while Ivan Prosvetov stopped 29 shots. The Avalanche have lost five of their past six games.

Canucks 4, Hurricanes 3

Elias Pettersson scored the game-winning goal and also had two assists and Thatcher Demko made 21 saves to pick up his 13th win of the season as host Vancouver handed Carolina its fourth straight loss.

It was the fifth three-point game of the season and 29th of his career for Pettersson. Sam Lafferty and Ilya Mikheyev each had a goal and an assist and J.T. Miller hit the 40-point mark with a goal for Vancouver, which won back-to-back games for the first time since Nov. 12-15.

Jordan Martinook, Brady Skjei and Stefan Noesen scored goals and Antti Raanta finished with 20 saves for Carolina.

TOP INDIANA SPORTS RELEASES/ NEWS

COLTS PREVIEW

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (7-5) AT CINCINNATI BENGALS (6-6)

COLTS have won 4 straight games for 1st time since 2018, tied longest active win streak in NFL. • QB GARDNER MINSHEW completed 26 of 42 atts. (61.9 pct.) for 312 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs with 100.5 rating last week, 3rd game this season with 300+ pass yards. Passed for 351 yards & 2 TDs with 101.1 rating in his last start vs. Cin. (10/4/20 w/ Jax.). • RB ZACK MOSS aims for 3rd in row with 50+ rush yards. Is 1 of 6 AFC RBs with 700+ rush yards (723) & 5+ rush TDs (5) in 2023. • WR MICHAEL PITTMAN had season-high 11 catches for 105 yards & 4th TD of season last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 10+ catches & 100+ rec. yards. Has 8+ catches & 55+ rec. yards in each of 6 road games this season. Needs 111 rec. yards for 2ndcareer 1,000-yard season (2021). • WR ALEC PIERCE had career-high 100 rec. yards & TD catch in Week 13. • WR JOSH DOWNS is 1st Ind. rookie WR with 50+ catches (51) since Austin Collie in 2009. • TE KYLEN GRANSON had career-high 72 rec. yards last week. • LB ZAIRE FRANKLIN has 6+ tackles in all 11 games this season & ranks 2nd in NFL with 130 tackles. • LB E.J. SPEED had 8 tackles & career-high 3 TFL in Week 13. • DT DEFOREST BUCKNER had 6 tackles, PD & half sack last week. Aims for 4th in row with 6+ tackles & 3rd in row with PD. Has TFL in 3 of past 4. Has sack in each of 2 career games vs. Cin. • DE SAMSON EBUKAM has 2 sacks & FF in each of past 2. Has 5 sacks in 6 road games this season. Had half sack & FF in only career game at Cin. (12/12/21 w/ SF). • DE KWITY PAYE had season-high 2 sacks & career-high 2 FFs last week. Aims for 5th in row with 0.5+ sacks.

QB JAKE BROWNING completed 32 of 37 atts. (86.5 pct.) for 354 yards & had 2 TDs (1 pass, 1 rush) vs. 0 INTs with 115.5 rating last week, becoming 10th different player in NFL history with 350+ pass yards & 85+ comp. pct. in a game. Has 225+ pass yards, TD pass & 95+ rating in each of 2 career starts. Can join Chad Pennington as only QBs since 1950 with 70+ comp. pct. & 95+ rating in each of 1st 3 career starts. • RB JOE MIXON set season-highs in scrimmage yards (117 – 68 rush, 49 rec.), rush TDs (2) & catches (6) last week, 9th-career game with 100+ scrimmage yards & 2+ rush TDs. Has 100+ scrimmage yards & TD in 2 of past 3. Has 327 scrimmage yards (109 per game) & 2 rush TDs in 3 career games vs. Ind. Needs 30 scrimmage yards for 5th-career 1,000-yard season. • WR JA’MARR CHASE led team with 11 catches for 149 yards & TD last week, 4th game this season with 10+ catches & 100+ rec. yards, tied 2nd-most in NFL. Has rec. TD in 3 of past 4. Has 86 catches in 2023 & needs 2 for new career-high. Is 4th player ever with 80+ catches & 1,000+ rec. yards in each of 1st 3 seasons. • WR TEE HIGGINS has 5+ catches & 65+ rec. yards in 2 of past 3. Had 6 catches for 125 yards in last meeting. • WR TYLER BOYD had 5 catches in Week 13, 6th game this season with 5+ catches. Had 5 catches for 54 yards in last meeting. • DE TREY HENDRICKSON aims for 5th in row with 0.5+ sacks & 4th in row with full sack. Has 3rd-career season with 11+ sacks (11.5). • LB LOGAN WILSON had 8 tackles & FF last week. Aims for 4th in row with 8+ tackles & has FF in 3 of past 4. • LB GERMAINE PRATT led team with season-high 12 tackles & had TFL in Week 13. Has 6+ tackles in 4 of past 5. • S JORDAN BATTLE (rookie) had 1st-career sack & PD last week.

CINCINNATI (AP) When quarterback Joe Burrow was lost for the season because of a wrist injury amid a three-game skid, the Bengals playoff hopes seemed to be fading fast.

But Jake Browning had something to say about that.

The backup quarterback, in just his second NFL start, had a game to remember Monday night. Browning, who’d spent most of his pro career on practice squads, was 32 for 37 for 354 yards and a touchdown and rushed for another score in the 34-31 win over Jacksonville.

Not only did it even the Bengals’ record at 6-6, it gave them a huge shot of confidence. Browning showed he could win in the NFL. And with AFC North rivals Pittsburgh and Cleveland losing last week, the playoff window stayed open for Cincinnati with five games left.

“There’s still plenty on the line for us,” Cincinnati coach Zac Taylor said. “We’re in a position, just the way things are shaking out around the league, that we keep preaching about controlling our own destiny.”

The Bengals will find out if Browning can perform consistently when they host Indianapolis (7-5) on Sunday. The Colts have won four straight and are one game behind the first-place Jaguars in the AFC South. They’re also winning with a backup quarterback, Gardner Minshew, who stepped in and played well after Anthony Richardson was lost to a season-ending shoulder injury in October.

The Colts are also coming off an overtime win, 31-28 over Tennessee last week.

“I think the biggest thing is just confidence right now,” Minshew said. “Everybody is feeling it, everybody is playing together, trusting each other. I think you saw all the phases coming to life at different times last week. Just starting to feel like we’re starting to put our best ball together and that’s how it should be this time of year.”

STEWART IS BACK

The Colts will get their best run stopper, defensive tackle Grover Stewart, back Sunday. He was suspended the past six games for violating the league’s performance-enhancing substance policy.

How critical is Stewart to Indy’s defense?

With Stewart, the Colts held four of their first six opponents to 105 yards rushing or fewer. Without him, they gave up 125 yards in all six games and 138 or more in five of six. He’s eager to get back.

“These last six weeks have been hard for me sitting at home, watching the guys go out there each and every week, fight and do their job,” Stewart said. “It was hard just watching them, knowing I couldn’t be out there helping them.”

RUN GAME GAINING GROUND

The run game has been a problem for the Bengals all season, but in Monday’s win over the Jaguars there were positive signs. Joe Mixon rushed for 66 yards and powered in for two touchdowns. Rookie Chase Brown rushed for another 61 yards on nine carries. Coming into the game, Brown, a fifth-round pick from Illinois, had just two carries for 6 yards. Browning also ran for 22 yards and a touchdown.

HOMECOMING FOR PIERCE

Receiver Alec Pierce made the short commute from Cincinnati to Indianapolis after he was drafted by the Colts in 2022. This week, he’ll make the reverse commute.

No, it’s not the first time the Cincinnati Bearcat will be playing inside Paycor Stadium (formerly Paul Brown Stadium) – just the first time in the visiting locker room.

“I played in the Bengals stadium in college a couple times, so it’s going to be cool to go back there and play as a pro,” he said.

The timing couldn’t be better for Piece, who set up Indy’s overtime TD with a 55-yard reception last weekend and celebrated the first 100-yard game of his pro career.

TAYLOR’S STATUS

When 2021 NFL rushing champion Jonathan Taylor had surgery on his right thumb last week, most expected him to miss at least three weeks.

On Wednesday, though, coach Shane Steichen declined to rule out Taylor for the Bengals game.

“We’ll see,” Steichen said after first acknowledging there’s no timeline for Taylor’s return.

Steichen has run his kicking teams on and off the field several times this season, in hopes of at least forcing opponents to call timeouts. For Wednesday’s walkthrough, the Colts estimated Taylor’s practice status would have been out.

FAMILIAR FACES AT QB

Browning and Minshew are facing off for the first time since 2018. Browning was the star QB for Washington and Minshew led Washington State in the Apple Cup game won 28-15 by the Huskies.

  • The Colts came back from a 21-0 deficit to beat the Bengals, 31-27, in their most recent meeting in Week 6 of 2020. This is tied for Indianapolis’ biggest comeback win in team history; it last had a 21-point comeback in Week 5 of 2003 versus Tampa Bay.
  • The Colts are 5-1 through six road games, their best record through six road games in a season since they started 6-0 in 2009. Indianapolis went on to make the Super Bowl in that 2009 season.
  • Zaire Franklin has 130 total tackles in 11 games played for the Colts this season. In the last 30 seasons, only 1997 Ray Lewis (140), 1994 Chris Spielman (134) and 2010 Jerod Mayo (131) have had more total tackles in their first 11 games of any year.
  • The Bengals have had 16 different players record a reception this season, behind only the Texans (17) for the most in NFL. Cincinnati has only had more players with a catch in a season twice: 18 in 1987 and 17 in 2008.
  • Jake Browning has completed 81.0 percent of his passes through two career NFL starts: the highest percentage by any quarterback to debut since 1960 (min. 30 attempts).
  • The Bengals allow 4.84 yards per carry this season, second highest in the NFL (Broncos — 5.19). Indianapolis has been stuffed (rushes for negative yardage) on just 6.3% of its rush attempts this year, third lowest in the NFL.

INDIANA PACERS BASKETBALL

GAME REWIND: PACERS 109, LAKERS 123 (IN-SEASON TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONSHIP)

Game Recap

The Pacers’ magical run in the inaugural In-Season Tournament came to an end on Saturday night at the hands of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Blue & Gold won over the hearts of fans across the NBA with their inspired play and All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton emerged as a legitimate NBA superstar in the new event, as the Pacers ran off a 6-0 record against Eastern Conference opponents, including wins over all the top four seeds from last year’s East standings to reach Saturday’s Championship.

But their dreams of being the first team to hoist the NBA Cup came to an end on Saturday with a 123-109 loss to the Lakers.

Davis was dominant, tallying 41 points, 20 rebounds, five assists, and four blocks while going 16-for-24 from the field and 9-for-13 from the free throw line.

Haliburton finished with another double-double, tallying 20 points and 11 assists. Second-year guard Bennedict Mathurin added 20 points off the bench in the loss, going 5-for-11 from the field and 9-for-9 from the free throw line.

James continued to torment Pacers fans as he has for much of his career. After eliminating Indiana from the playoffs five times from 2012-2018 (including twice in the Eastern Conference Finals), he once again denied Indiana a championship on Saturday, finishing with 24 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, and two steals.

The Pacers trailed from 9:59 in the first quarter on, but kept it close throughout the night. The Lakers stretched their lead to 11 in the third quarter, but Indiana clawed back, cutting the deficit to three twice in the fourth quarter.

The latter occasion came following Myles Turner’s three to beat the shot clock, which cut the deficit to 102-99 with 6:11 remaining.

But Cam Reddish hit a three on the other end and then Davis took over to put the game away for the Lakers. The seven-time All-Star scored the next 10 points, fouling out Turner in the process. That 13-0 run closed the door on any comeback hopes, as both coaches emptied their benches in the final minute.

Davis and the Lakers owned the interior all night, outscoring Indiana 86-44 in the paint en route to victory.

“We’re sick, frustrated,” Haliburton said after the loss. “We just got outplayed tonight from the start of the game to the end of the game. Just didn’t do the job on loose balls, didn’t rebound, didn’t get enough stops when needed. They just outplayed us, and it’s frustrating.”

The Pacers relied on the outside shot early on Saturday, as Buddy Hield, Haliburton, and Toppin each hit a 3-pointer in the opening minutes.

But on the other end, Davis had it going, scoring eight of the Lakers’ first 15 points. A James layup and Taurean Prince three-point play pushed Los Angeles out to a 20-13 lead midway through the first quarter.

Davis hit his first six shots and tallied 13 points and eight rebounds in the opening frame. The Lakers remained in front through the end of the quarter, taking a 34-29 advantage into the second.

James scored eight points in the first 3:41 of the next frame to push L.A.’s lead to eight. The Pacers continued to claw away at the margin for the remainder of the quarter, but could never take the lead.

Aaron Nesmith drew an offensive foul on James with 3:19 remaining in the half. It was James’ third foul of the half, so the NBA’s all-time leading scorer sat out the remainder of the quarter.

The Pacers had the lead down to two twice in the final two minutes, but Austin Reaves scored the Lakers’ final nine points of the half. Los Angeles outscored Indiana 52-22 in the paint over the first two quarters to take a 65-60 lead into the break.

James attacked the rim more out of the intermission, scoring five quick points on an and-one and two free throws as the Lakers opened the quarter with a 7-1 run to push the lead to double digits for the first time.

The Pacers struggled to find any rhythm offensively for much of the third quarter, making just four field goals over the first eight minutes of the frame.

They finally strung together a few buckets when Mathurin hit a deep two and then Haliburton scored on layups on two straight possessions. That 6-0 run cut the deficit to 84-79 with two minutes remaining in the quarter.

The Lakers immediately answered with six straight points of their own — including a Prince three from in front of the Lakers’ bench at the 1:11 mark that was Los Angeles’ first 3-pointer of the night (they had missed their first 10).

Mathurin then provided another lift for Indiana, hitting a running three at the buzzer to make it a 90-82 game entering the fourth quarter.

After a Reddish layup pushed the lead back to 10, the Pacers continued their charge early in the fourth. Mathurin attacked the rim and converted a reverse layup, Toppin knocked down a three, and then T.J. McConnell swiped a Davis inbounds pass in the backcourt and dished to a cutting Mathurin for a basket.

Just like that, the deficit was down to 92-89 with 10:30 to play.

But the Pacers were unable to get any closer the rest of the way and the Lakers eventually pulled away in the final minutes.

“It was a tough game,” Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle said. “We knew it was going to be a tough game coming in. We did a lot of good things to hang around in the fourth quarter. Getting over the hump was hard.”

Nesmith had 15 points off the bench for Indiana in the loss, while Toppin added 13. Turner finished with 10 points and seven rebounds but went 3-for-11 from the field and played just 25 minutes due to foul trouble. Third-year big man Isaiah Jackson fought admirably in relief of Turner, tallying 10 points, five rebounds, and four blocks.

Reaves had 28 points off the bench for the Lakers — 20 in the first half — and went 9-for-15 from the field and 10-for-12 from the free throw line. D’Angelo Russell added 13 points and seven assists.

While it ended in disappointing fashion, it was still a special run for the Pacers and especially Haliburton. The 23-year-old guard averaged 26.7 points, 13.3 assists, and 4.9 rebounds per game while shooting 52.9 percent from the field and 42.5 percent from 3-point range. He received votes for In-Season Tournament MVP even though the Pacers finished as the runner-up.

“Obviously, Tyrese Haliburton is now a name that everyone knows,” Carlisle said. “He’s going to be in the conversation for a lot of things from All-Star to All-NBA to MVP based on not just this tournament, but what he’s been doing every single game this year.”

The Pacers will get right back to the regular-season grind, traveling to Detroit to open a four-game road trip on Monday. They will also play at Milwaukee, Washington, and Minnesota before returning to Indiana to host the Los Angeles Clippers on Dec. 18.

Haliburton vowed that the Pacers would use their In-Season Tournament success as a springboard into the rest of the regular season.

“We’ve done some great things to get here, competed against some really good teams and battled, and you can’t let that happen for no reason,” Haliburton said.

Inside the Numbers

Saturday’s Championship was not a regular season game and therefore all stats from Saturday do not count toward the season stats, a unique wrinkle.

Both teams struggled from 3-point range on Saturday. The Pacers went just 10-for-41 from beyond the arc (24.4 percent), while the Lakers were only 2-for-13 (15.4 percent). It was the first time a team made two or fewer 3-pointers and still won a game since Memphis made just two threes in a win over Detroit on Feb. 3, 2020.

The Lakers limited Haliburton to just 14 shot attempts (which would have tied his season low) and 2-for-8 3-point shooting, but the Pacers’ All-Star guard still managed to record a double-double for the 16th time in 19 games this season. After tallying 28 assists with no turnovers across the Quarterfinals and Semifinals, Haliburton had three of Indiana’s nine giveaways on Saturday.

Davis had four career games with 40 or more points and 20 or more rebounds entering Saturday, but had never previously achieved those stats in a game where he also blocked four shots or dished out five assists.

The Pacers committed 33 fouls, which would have been a season high. Both teams were at the free throw line frequently on Saturday, with Indiana going 29-for-33 (87.9 percent) and the Lakers going 27-for-35 (77.1 percent).

Indiana stayed in the game for much of the night in part by forcing the Lakers into 20 turnovers. The Pacers outscored Los Angeles 21-8 in points off turnovers.

The Lakers outrebounded the Pacers 55-32.

You Can Quote Me On That

“I just want to express such a high level of pride for our guys…Our guys had an amazing run over whatever this was, five or six weeks, starting with Cleveland (on Nov. 3) and right on through. They brought a lot of attention to Pacer nation. They brought a lot of attention to an exciting group of young players.” -Carlisle on the Pacers’ run

“This whole experience was a positive experience for us. It was a playoff experience for a young team who a lot of guys had never experienced the atmosphere of what a playoff game feels like, and ever since the Boston game to the Milwaukee game to this game today, the atmosphere was electric. The games were intense. The little plays mattered.” -Nesmith

“Our guys got a real taste of what the elevated stage is all about. It’s so important to have this experience, to feel the intensity, to feel the glare and the glow, and to find out what it means to be totally together in an effort to conquer it. We conquered a lot of challenges along the way. This one tonight was a little too steep.” -Carlisle on lessons the Pacers can take from the In-Season Tournament experience

“I think tonight was interesting. There was a lot of putting two on the ball and making me make reads out of it. I had a couple early turnovers, bad ones, but then after that I don’t know what we shot from three, I don’t have it in front of me, 10 for 41 or something like that. We missed a lot of good looks, and it happens. It’s a make-or-miss league, and for me it’s understanding how teams are going to guard me moving forward.” -Haliburton on how the Lakers guarded him

“The one thing that stands out to me is that he was completely unfazed by the limelight, and it brought his game to a higher level. Now, they committed two to him for the majority of the game, so he had to get off the ball, so his stats aren’t as gaudy as they’ve been in other games. But he’s unfazed. Like Reggie Miller, a guy that is very similar to him in body type, stature, personality, and just overall character, he wants the responsibility for winning and losing. He wants it unconditionally, and that’s special.” -Carlisle on Haliburton handling the spotlight from the Pacers’ In-Season Tournament run

“It was a lot of fun. Like you said, I relish these opportunities to guard these phenomenal tier 1 players. My game plan with him this evening was really

just wear on him for 48 minutes. Even when he’s running down the court, bump him while he runs, make sure he feels me, make sure I make him fight for every step that he takes.” -Nesmith on embracing the challenge of guarding James

“They did a great job. Everybody competed. I think at the end of the day it was just one great — I’m just talking to a great and congratulating him on the win and moving on. I think that he’s shown me love constantly since I’ve came in the NBA, and obviously I have him for the majority of my life. It was great to compete against him and that team, and they’re a good team and earned that win.” -Haliburton on his conversation with James following the game

Stat of the Night

The Lakers outscored Indiana 86-44 in points in the paint on Saturday. Interior defense has been an Achilles’ heel for the Pacers throughout the season, but those 86 points in the paint were still 10 more than the Blue & Gold had allowed in any of their 20 regular season games this season.

Noteworthy

The Pacers will have to wait a few months before a rematch against the Lakers. The two regular season meetings between the team aren’t until late March, with the Pacers visiting Los Angeles on March 24 and then hosting the Lakers at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on March 29.

Pacers second-year guard Andrew Nembhard missed Saturday’s Championship game after sustaining a bone bruise in his right knee in the fourth quarter of Thursday’s Semifinal win over Milwaukee.

When Carlisle emptied his bench, he inserted rookie two-way players Oscar Tshiebwe and Isaiah Wong into the game for the final 1:10. Because Saturday’s game was not a regular season game, it was technically not their first career game. Tshiebwe corralled an offensive rebound and drew a foul, hitting one of two free throws.

Up Next

The Pacers tip off a four-game road trip at Detroit against Cade Cunningham and the Pistons on Monday, Dec. 11 at 7:00 PM ET.

INDIANA MEN’S BASKETBALL

INDIANA FALLS TO AUBURN AT HOLIDAY HOOPSGIVING

ATLANTA – Indiana hit Auburn and the Tigers hit back.

The Hoosiers (7-2) couldn’t return the favor Saturday afternoon at State Farm Arena.

The result was a 104-76 defeat that left coach Mike Woodson seeing an unwanted repeat from last month’s loss to Connecticut.

“(Auburn) got their confidence going,” he told Voice of the Hoosiers Don Fischer during the post-game radio show. “Once they smacked us around a little bit, we stopped playing. That’s disappointing.

“It was like the UConn game. We finally stopped playing and UConn took advantage.”

A dominating start dissolved against Auburn’s defensive pressure and full-throttle style. The Tigers’ 33-6 run turned a 12-point first-half deficit into an 18-point halftime lead.

It was too big a deficit to overcome.

“We came out ready to play,” Woodson told Fischer. “We built a 12-point lead. The ball was moving. We got defensive stops. We rebounded. We did everything we set out to do.

“And then we just stopped playing.”

The Hoosiers got a combined 38 points and 17 rebounds from inside players Malik Reneau, Kel’el Ware, and Mackenzie Mgbako.

It wasn’t enough.

Not when Auburn (6-2) made 14 3-pointers, went 20-for-23 from the line and had 25 assists against just three turnovers.

“(Auburn) was aggressive from the tip,” Woodson told Fischer. “On our first play, we couldn’t move the ball. Eventually, we opened up, made some shots, and built the lead.

“Then we stopped playing. I haven’t seen that much this season. But Auburn played well.

“They shot the 3 well. That was something they had been struggling to do. A lot of it was because we weren’t (close to their shooters). And we only forced three turnovers. That showed how aggressive we were.”

In other words, the Hoosiers weren’t nearly aggressive enough.

IU blasted away its poor 3-point shooting reputation by opening the game with three-straight 3-pointers, and four in the first four minutes.

That hot 3-point shooting propelled it to a 16-6 lead in five minutes. Two minutes later, it was a 22-10 lead paced by Ware and Mgbako’s combined 15 points.

Auburn rallied within four, then two, then a tie. It pushed ahead 32-26 as part of a 12-0 run before a Ware free throw ended it. The Tigers scored six more points for a 39-27 lead that became a 52-34 halftime advantage.

Could IU turn up its own defense, find its offense and rally?

IU forced a turnover in the opening seconds. Guard Trey Galloway drove for a basket. Auburn responded with three free throws.

The Hoosiers attacked the paint. Mgbako continued his hot free throw shooting (he’s 21-for-21 on the season). Reneau scored inside. The defense forced the Tigers into a series of misses.

IU closed within 11. Momentum favored the Cream ‘n Crimson.

Then it didn’t.

Auburn responded with an 11-1 run, a 68-47 lead and control it never lost.

Now comes finals week and a next-Saturday home game against No. 2/3 Kansas.

“We’ve got a week to prepare and get ready for Kansas,” Woodson told Fischer.

INDIANA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

NO. 16 HOOSIERS WIN SEVENTH-STRAIGHT IN BIG TEN OPENER OVER RUTGERS

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Graduate student forward Mackenzie Holmes scored 25 points and senior guard Sydney Parrish added a double-double with a 66-56 win over Rutgers on Saturday afternoon.

KEY MOMENTS

In a low scoring first quarter, Indiana (8-1, 1-0 B1G) pulled ahead by five, 7-2, on a transition 3-pointer from senior guard Sara Scalia. Parrish broke a nearly three-minute scoring drought on a backdoor pass as she got to the rim with 3:56 left in the first.

Rutgers (6-6, 0-1 B1G) would hit an open baseline 3-pointer to narrowly take a 10-9 edge after the first 10 minutes of action. Parrish regains the IU lead with the first bucket of the second quarter and a dish from sophomore guard Lexus Bargesser to Holmes pushed Indiana’s lead to six, 20-14.

Senior guard Chloe Moore-McNeil hit a pair in the bonus to keep the lead at six, but Rutgers would drill two three pointers in 45 seconds as it came within two, 24-22.

Moore-McNeil was left wide open on the left wing for a 3-pointer with 25 seconds left in the half to give IU a 27-22 lead at the break.

Indiana held its first double-digit lead with Parrish sticking a left side triple and Moore-McNeil hit her in the lane for two to go up 45-34 with 2:27 on the clock. The Scarlet Knights trimmed the lead to eight at the end of the third.

The lead ballooned to as many as 12 in the fourth quarter, behind a steal from Scalia who found Garzon down the court for the transition layup at the 3:42 mark. But Rutgers continued to push back until the end, coming within six in the final minute as the Hoosiers used bonus free throws to close it out.

NOTABLE

Indiana head coach Teri Moren secured her 100th Big Ten win on Saturday afternoon. Moren now holds a career record of 100-57 in league action in her 10 seasons at IU.

The Hoosiers won its sixth-straight conference opener and improved to 20-21 all-time.

IU improved to 8-6 overall in the series with Rutgers. It was the fifth-straight win in the series and have defeated the Scarlet Knights by double figures in all five wins.  

The program’s season win streak stretched to seven games. 

Holmes added her fifth game with 20-points or more this season with a game-high 25 on 12-for-15 shooting. She also pulled down eight rebounds and had an assist, block and a steal.

Parrish recorded her second double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Moore-McNeil and Garzon each added 11 points in the victory. They combined for 11 assists of IU’s 19 total dishes on 26 made shots.

On the battle of the boards, Indiana won 33-30.

QUOTABLE

Indiana head coach Teri Moren

“Well, we are pleased to be leaving here with a win on a night that our three ball was not going down for us. We had to manufacture points in a lot of different ways, from a lot of different people, at a lot of different times and segments in the game. I’m happy with the way we were able to do that. I wanted us to be able to outrebound Rutgers tonight, and we were able to do that. I didn’t care what the margin was; winning the boards was the only goal for tonight. It was a physical game. You have to give credit to Rutgers. They’re very physical, they’re a very good basketball team, they’re very well balanced and well-coached. Our kids just made enough plays and there at the end they were able to tighten the screws defensively and not give up anything easy as we approached the finish line. I’m really happy. Winning is hard, especially in this league. Any time that you can go on the road in a Big Ten game and win it’s a good feeling. I’m just proud of our guys.”

UP NEXT

IU will pause action for final exams and return to play on Monday, December 18 against Evansville at 7 p.m. ET.

INDIANA WRESTLING

INDIANA IMPROVES TO 3-0 WITH WIN OVER CENTRAL MICHIGAN

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. –––– Indiana fought off an early deficit to take a dominant win over Central Michigan, 25-15, on Saturday afternoon at Wilkinson Hall.

The Hoosiers trailed 6-0 after the first two bouts but won eight of the last ten matches to secure a victory by double-digits. Three Hoosiers pulled out bonus-point victories, Dan Fongaro and Gabe Sollars each won by fall and DJ Washington won by major decision.

Washington and Graham Rooks also won over ranked opponents.

With the win, Indiana improves to 3-0 in duals on the season. This is the second season in a row where the Hoosiers have begun with a 3-0 or better mark.

KEY MOMENTS

• Down 6-0, Indiana was in dire need of a win, and graduate student No. 27 Dan Fongaro (141) delivered. Only up 1-0 heading into the third period, Fongaro took control against Ja’Kerion Merrit, taking him down and then securing a four-point near fall before pinning him. The fall (6:17) tied the team score at 6-6.

• Graduate student No. 13 Graham Rooks (149) earned his biggest win of the season over No. 16 Corbyn Munson in a 2-1 decision. Rooks trailed 1-0 after two periods and started on bottom in the third period. Rooks reversed Munson and held on to his 2-1 lead for the remainder of the match.

• Senior No. 9 Derek Gilcher (165) was in control from start to finish against Tyler Swiderski. Gilcher started out quickly with a first period takedown and added on to his lead with another takedown and an escape to win by decision, 7-2.

• Showing no fear, redshirt senior No. 10 DJ Washington (174) opened his match against No. 18 Alex Cramer with a seven-point swing in the first period as Washington took him down and had a four-point nearfall. DJ would score on another two takedowns en route to a 15-4 major decision victory.

• Redshirt sophomore Roman Rogotzke (184) had a back-and-forth bout against Cody Brenner that ended up with Rogotzke on top, 7-5. Down 4-1 entering the third period, Rogotzke evened the score by way of a second stall on Brenner, a penalty on a potentially dangerous call and an escape. He then took Brenner down in the closing seconds of the bout to earn the win.

• It didn’t take long for redshirt freshman Gabe Sollars (197) to get the job done. Sollars pulled out a first period pin over Luke Cochran at the 2:54 mark. 

NOTABLES

• Gilcher and Washington are both still undefeated with Gilcher being 7-0 and Washington at 3-0.

• All of Washington’s wins have been bonus-point victories, including two tech falls and one win by major decision.

• Sollars’ win was his fifth pin of the year.

• G. Rooks and Washington each took wins over ranked opponents. Rooks defeated No. 16 Corbyn Munson and Washington defeated No. 18 Alex Cramer.

• Indiana improved to 12-4 all time against Central Michigan.

UP NEXT

• Indiana Wrestling will next compete in the Sheridan Invitational tournament on Friday, Dec. 22 in Bethlehem, Pa.

FULL RESULTS

125: Sean Spidle (CMU) def. Michael Spangler (IU)                      |Dec. 2-1 |                 Score: CMU up 3-0

133: Vince Perez (CMU) def. Cayden Rooks (IU)                           |Dec. 11-8 |               Score: CMU up 6-0

141: No. 27 Dan Fongaro (IU) def. Ja’Kerion Merritt (CMU)          |Fall (6:17) |                Score: Tied 6-6

149: No. 13 Graham Rooks (IU) def. No. 16 Corbyn Munson (CMU) |Dec. 2-1 |             Score: IU up 9-6

157: No. 23 Johnny Lovett (CMU) def. Nico Bolivar (IU)               |Dec. 5-1 |                 Score: Tied 9-9

165: No. 9 Derek Gilcher def. Tyler Swiderski (CMU)                        |Dec. 7-2 |                Score: IU up 12-9

174: No. 10 DJ Washington (IU) def. No. 18 Alex Cramer (CMU)     |MD, 15-4 |              Score: IU up 16-9

184:Roman Rogotzke (IU) def. Cody Brenner (CMU)                      | Dec. 7-5 |                Score: IU up 19-9

197: Gabe Sollars (IU) def. Luke Cochran (CMU)                             |Fall (2:54) |              Score: IU up 25-9

285: Bryan Caves (CMU) wins by forfeit.                                         |Forfeit |                   Score: IU up 25-15

FINAL TEAM SCORE:  NO. 25 INDIANA 25, CENTRAL MICHIGAN 15

PURDUE MEN’S BASKETBALL

#4 BOILERMAKERS BEAT BAMA IN EDEY HOMECOMING

[4] Purdue 92, Alabama 86 (Postgame Notes)

The No. 4-ranked Purdue basketball team defeated Alabama 92-86 in the Hall of Fame – Toronto Series presented by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday. The win improved Purdue to 9-1 overall on the season.

The game was played in Toronto, Ontario, as a Homecoming for 2023 National Player of the Year Zach Edey. When the game was scheduled, Alabama’s Charles Bediako was also returning home, but he opted to stay in the NBA Draft.

The game pitted two of the four No. 1 seeds from last year’s NCAA Tournament.

The win was Purdue’s nation-leading fourth victory against Quad-1 opponents. Purdue is now 8-1 in quads 1, 2 and 3 – the most wins in the country.

Purdue now owns victories over teams ranked No. 5 (Marquette), No. 9 (Tennessee), No. 10 (Gonzaga), No. 13 (Alabama), No. 48 (Iowa) and No. 52 (Xavier) in the KenPom rankings.

The Boilermakers won their 114th straight game when scoring 90 or more points, dating to Nov. 24, 1987, against Iowa State.

Alabama’s 19 made 3-pointers and 46 attempts were the most for an opponent against Purdue in school history. The Crimson Tide made 13-of-24 from deep in the first half, before making just 6-of-22 in the second half.

Purdue’s 12-point deficit in the first half (30-18; 10:00 1st) was its largest of the season. In the last 30 minutes, Purdue outscored Alabama, 74-56.

Purdue has won 32 straight regular-season, non-conference games, dating to Dec. 8, 2020 (Miami, Fla.). The 32 consecutive wins mark the longest streak for any team since the 2010-11 season, surpassing the 31 won by Villanova from 2015-18.

The 32-game streak is the longest in the country by 13 games (Arizona – 19). Purdue and Arizona will meet next weekend in Indianapolis.

Purdue is now 20-5 overall when ranked No. 4 in the country, having won 15 of its last 17 games when ranked No. 4.

Purdue has faced four of the nation’s top-14 offenses at the time of the game (Gonzaga, Marquette, Iowa and Alabama), having held all four opponents under their pregame scoring average.

Purdue has won 15 straight games when outrebounding (37-32) and having fewer turnovers (9-13) than its opponents. Purdue had 22 assists against nine turnovers.

Purdue has won 30 straight games when shooting a higher field goal percentage than its opponents.

Purdue shot 44.4 percent (8-of-18) from 3-point range, the fourth time this year that Purdue has shot at least 44 percent from long range. A year ago, Purdue shot 44 percent or better from deep just three times all season.

The 62 combined points by Zach Edey (35) and Braden Smith (27) marked the most for a Purdue duo since Glenn Robinson (44) and Cuonzo Martin (29) combined for 73 points against Kansas in the 1994 NCAA Tournament. It marked the first time a pair of Purdue teammates had 25+ points each since Carsen Edwards (29) and Ryan Cline (27) against Tennessee in the 2019 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 victory.

Zach Edey moved into 10th on the school’s career scoring list after scoring 35 points with 7 rebounds and two assists. He has now scored 1,781 points, passing Robbie Hummel (1,772) for 10th place.

Edey also surpassed 200 career dunks in the victory, recording seven dunks in the win over Alabama.

Edey now has 10 career 30-point games, tied for the fifth most in a career in school history.

Edey went 11-of-11 from the free throw line, the most makes without a miss since Robbie Hummel went 12-of-12 on Feb. 20, 2010.

Edey is now averaging 24.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, 2.6 blocks and 1.2 blocks per game, while shooting 63.0 percent from the field and 75.9 percent from the free throw line. Per 40 minutes, he is averaging 34.1 points and 14.8 rebounds per 40 minutes.

In the last three games, Edey is averaging 31.7 points and 11.0 rebounds while shooting 31-of-47 (.660) from the field and 33-of-40 (.825) from the free throw line in 32.7 minutes per game.

Braden Smith scored a career-high 27 points with eight assists, five rebounds and one steal, against just one turnover in 37 minutes of action. He tallied 19 points, four assists and four rebounds while playing all 20 minutes in the second half.

Smith is averaging 13.2 points, 7.2 assists and 5.9 rebounds while shooting 15-of-33 (.455) from 3-point range.

Over the last five games, Smith is averaging 17.6 points, 8.0 assists and 6.4 rebounds per game. He has 40 assists against 12 turnovers in that span.

Smith has had at least six assists in eight of the 10 games this season.

TORONTO — Zach Edey matched his season high with 35 points in his hometown, Braden Smith had a season-high 27 points and No. 4 Purdue rallied to beat Alabama 92-86 on Saturday.

In front of a pro-Purdue crowd in Canada that included nearly 90 of his friends and family, Edey played in his home city for the first time since 2016-17, when he was a sophomore in high school.

“It’s amazing to be back,” Edey said. “They really came out, they showed love, they really supported us. Every time we needed a pick-me-up, the crowd was there for us.”

The senior center made 11 free throws without a miss and was 12 for 20 from the field. He also had seven rebounds.

“Obviously, Zach Edey is a leading candidate for national player of the year,” Alabama coach Nate Oats said. “You can see why, he’s a tough cover. We didn’t do a terrible job on him and he had 35 points. He makes things difficult.”

Edey passed Robbie Hummel to move into the top 10 on Purdue’s career scoring list.

“He’s a cornerstone of our program,” Boilermakers coach Matt Painter said of Edey. “Being able to schedule this game and get him back here was great. We should do this, you know, for everything he’s done for us.”

Edey stayed on the court after the game to salute the crowd, then shared a hug with his mother, who came down from the stands to give her son one of the shirts his group all wore: a yellow tee with ‘Welcome to Zach’s House’ printed in black letters across the chest.

Smith shot 9 for 20 and had eight assists for Purdue (9-1), which has won 32 straight nonconference regular-season games.

“He was big time,” Painter said. “I thought Braden made great decisions all night.”

The Boilermakers connected on 24 of 28 free-throw attempts.

Mark Sears scored a season-high 35 points for Alabama (6-3), going 8 for 16 from 3-point range, but the Crimson Tide lost for the third time in six games. Alabama has not won consecutive games since starting the season 4-0.

Purdue took its first lead of the game, 62-60, on a 3-pointer by Mason Gillis with 11:24 left in the second half. After Alabama missed, Smith capped a 12-0 run with another 3, putting the Boilermakers up 65-60.

Sears connected on four of six attempts from long range in the first half, when 13 of Alabama’s 15 made baskets were 3-pointers. The Crimson Tide led 49-47 at the intermission.

“The way they came out in the first half, it was like they were never going to miss,” Painter said.

PURDUE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

PURDUE OPENS BIG TEN PLAY SUNDAY AT MINNESOTA

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.  – The Purdue women’s basketball team opens Big Ten play on Sunday afternoon when it travels to Williams Arena in Minneapolis to face Minnesota. The 2 p.m. ET tip will be streamed on B1G+.

Tim Newton, calling his 998th game for the Boilermakers, will hit the airways for the Purdue Radio Network on 95.3 BOB FM.

GAME INFORMATION 

Purdue (6-3) vs. Minnesota (8-1)

Sunday, Dec. 10

Time: 2 PM ET

TV/Stream: B1G+

Radio: 95.3 BOB FM

Live Stats: Purduestats.com

LAST TIME OUT

Purdue rolled to an 83-57 win over Southeast Missouri State on Wednesday night to stay perfect at Mackey Arena this season. Caitlyn Harper scored her Purdue-high 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting with a pair of triples. Jeanae Terry recorded the first non-point double-double in the nation this season finishing with 11 assists and 10 rebounds. Five different Boilermakers connected from the outside as Purdue set a season high with 10 made 3-pointers.

NOTES

• Purdue leads the all-time series with Minnesota 48-24 with a 22-14 mark in Minneapolis.

• The Boilermakers enter Sunday’s game on a four-game winning streak. During the streak, Purdue has averaged 82.0 points per game, while holding opponents to just 57.3 points. Five Boilermakers have averaged double figures during the streak, led by Abbey Ellis’ 16 points per game.

• Jeanae Terry became the first player this season to record a non-point double-double with her performance against SEMO. Terry is the only active player in the nation with over 800 career rebounds and 600 assists.

• Purdue has found its shooting touch from the outside over the last four games with a 41% (34-83) from three. Madison Layden has made 13 triples during the streak at a 54.2% mark.

• Mary Ashley Stevenson and Nebraska’s Natalie Potts are the lone freshmen from the Big Ten to record a double-double this season. Stevenson sits fifth in the league in rookie scoring with 9.4 points per game and third in freshman rebounding at 4.9.

• Purdue’s freshman class has scored 23.4 points per game this year, ranking second among Big Ten rookie groups (Nebraska, 25 ppg).

• Caitlyn Harper sits fourth on the team with 10.4 points per game. The sixth-year senior is one of 11 post players from the Big Ten averaging double figures while shooting over 50% from the field (10.4 ppg, 55.1%).

• Purdue has tightened up defensively over the last eight games, allowing 56.8 points per game. The Boilermakers have forced 16.6 turnovers per night during the span, while keeping team to just 34.9% shooting from the field and 28.5% from distance. The Boilermakers are 23-2 when holding teams to 60 points or fewer during the Katie Gearlds era.

• Abbey Ellis is one of five players from the Big Ten and one of 21 nationally to score in double figures every game this season.

• Rashunda Jones ranks fourth among Big Ten freshmen in scoring this season at 10.9 points per game.

• Purdue is one of four schools from major conferences to have to freshmen averaging over nine points and three rebounds per game (Stevenson – 9.4 ppg, 4.9 rpg / Jones – 10.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg).

• Winners of seven Big Ten regular season titles, the Boilermakers finished 9-8 last year in the league for their first winning record in conference play since the 2017-18 season.

PURDUE TRACK

INDOOR OPENER FEATURES 14 WINS, 8 TOP-10 MARKS

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Fourteen wins and eight top-10 times in school history fueled a strong start to the 2023-24 indoor season for the Purdue track & field team at the Edmonds-Wilt Invitational on Saturday.

At their annual home meet in Lambert Fieldhouse, the Boilermakers benefited from numerous contributions from newcomers, as eight of the 14 victories came from athletes making their collegiate or Purdue debuts on Saturday. Seven of eight record-book times were by runners wearing the Old Gold and Black uniform for the first time.

Freshmen Jasiah Rogers and Nia Wilson combined for four of Purdue’s top-10 times in school history, as they each wrote their names in the record book in the prelims of the 60-meter and then notched faster times in the finals. Junior Brett Otterbacher moved up in the 500m, and freshmen Nickens Lemba and Alexia Smith also each entered the top-10 list in that event. Junior Zoe Sullivan posted the first record-book time of the day in the 60m hurdles in her inaugural race as a Boilermaker.

Otterbacher, Rogers, Smith and Sullivan all earned their top-10 times while also winning their events.

“I thought this was a very good meet for us,” Purdue coach Norbert Elliott said. “We had a lot of outside stresses heading into finals next week, so for the team to be able to come out and get so many top-10 performances was really magnificent. Overall, I was really, really pleased with the performances. I’m really excited for the start of season, we’re looking pretty good.”

In his first collegiate race, Rogers ran the 60m in 6.72 to enter the school record books at No. 10. He automatically moved on to the finals, where he improved his time by 0.02 seconds. With a winning time of 6.70 seconds, Rogers moved up into a tie for eighth in program history. He bested sophomore teammate Connor Czajkowski, who was second in the final in 6.81 seconds. Czajkowski ran a PR in the final, which bested his PR of 6.86 set in the prelim.

Wilson also posted a pair of record book times. It began with a 7.49 in the 60m prelims, as she debuted on the all-time list at No. 10. Wilson’s collegiate-debut day continued in the final with a time of 7.44, which moved her into a tie for No. 7 in team history. She was second overall in the final.

The first event on the track was the 60m hurdle prelims, where Sullivan finished in 8.46 seconds, the 10th-fastest time in school history. She automatically qualified for the final where, an hour later, she picked up her first win in a Purdue uniform with a time of 8.49. The victory came by 0.22 seconds.

Smith also had a noteworthy collegiate debut, as she won the 500m in 1:12.06 to check in at No. 3 in the record books. As she won by more than 3.60 seconds, Smith posted the fastest time by a Boilermaker in the event since 2016. Sophomore teammate Jaylie Lohmeyer was second in 1:15.71.

Otterbacher entered the day at No. 7 in school history in the 500m and moved up to No. 2 on Saturday. His winning time of 1:02.50 is 1.40 seconds faster than the season-opening mark from a year ago and the fastest time by a Purdue runner since the record was set in 2018. Just behind Otterbacher in second place was Lemba, who crossed the finish line with a time of 1:04.36 in his debut. That put Lemba at No. 10 on the all-time list, as he joins Otterbacher as the only two Boilermakers to run a top-10 time in the event since 2018.

The Boilermakers swept two events on Saturday, the mile and 3,000m. Purdue notched a 1-2 finish in both the men’s and women’s mile competitions, thanks to senior Alex Frey and freshman Julia Economou. Frey paced the men with a mark of 4:16.64 and Economou led the women in 5:10.30 as she made her indoor collegiate debut. Just behind Frey and Economou were senior Joey Kasch (4:32.53) and sophomore Sarah Maggio (5:13.15) in second place.

The 3,000m sweep came courtesy of grad student Ian Hunter and freshman Sofia Muñoz. Hunter picked up the win in 8:46.10 and Muñoz was victorious in 10:31.25. Muñoz was making her indoor collegiate debut and led a 1-2-3 finish for the women, as fellow first-years Samantha Jacobi (2nd, 10:35.27) and Abigail Jacobi (3rd, 10:37.25) put on the Purdue uniform for the first time on Saturday.

Just before the 3,000m was the 300m, where senior Jahn Riley notched the win in 34.93. He was ahead of freshman teammate Nolan Macklin, whose first race ended with a runner-up time of 35.29.

Sophomore Jalen Elrod made her Purdue debut on Saturday and won the 600m. She finished in 1:36.24, 1.11 seconds ahead of fellow sophomore Bryanna Craig’s 1:37.35.

One of the first events of the day was the pole vault, where junior Grant Gogel won the event with a clearance of 5.01 meters. The personal-best mark is the best by a Boilermaker in the event – both indoors and outdoors – since 2015, as Gogel is the only pole vaulter from Purdue to surpass 4.90m in eight seasons. Senior teammate Logan Sandlin was second with a mark of 4.81m for a personal-best.

The Purdue men won both the long jump and triple jump. First was senior LJ Hill’s win in the long jump, with a mark of 7.29m on his third jump. Freshman James Ammenhauser began his career with a triple jump victory on a jump of 14.43m on his fourth attempt.

Freshman Bode Gilkerson picked up the final win of the day for Purdue. In the high jump, he cleared 2.07m to be victorious in his first meet. Freshman Andreas Hantson, who debuted with a three-event day, was second on misses, as he also cleared 2.07m.

Additionally, Sandlin (60m hurdles, 8.58-PR and 600m, 1:24.17-PR), junior Rieko Wilford (long jump, 5.60m), sophomore John Hanson (shot put, 15.88m) and freshman Melissa Riegle (pole vault, 3.75m) also earned runner-up finishes on Saturday. Riegle’s came in her first collegiate meet.

Personal-bests also were achieved by Elrod (60m hurdles, 8.79), junior Cale Ayers (weight throw, 19.21m) and sophomores Rebecca Caliendo (weight throw, 16.90m), Kylie Stauder (pole vault, 3.65m)

Collegiate debuts also were made by sophomore Allyson Elsbury (60m hurdles, 9.09 and 9.31; shot put, 10.25m; 600m, 1:43.65) and freshmen Angeline Amefia (high jump, 1.58m; 60m hurdles, 9.02 and 9.10; 600m, 1:39.93), Livia Binder (pole vault, 3.05m), Kolby Haecker (high jump, 1.92m), Jada Lee (60m, 7.81 and 7.76), Lainey Mack (pole vault, 3.35m), Lee Martin (high jump, 2.02m) and Alyssa Tate (60m, 7.68; 300m, 42.45).

Sophomore Collin Kao (pole vault, 4.71m) also made his Purdue debut.

Following a month-long break for the holidays, the Boilermakers open the new year in Chicago at the Badgers Midwest Invitational on January 13, 2024. The third-annual meet will be held at the Track & Field Center at Gately Park and is the first of two trips to the Windy City for Purdue this season.

NOTRE DAME MEN’S BASKETBALL

FIRST HALF DOOMS IRISH IN 78-59 LOSS AT #8/7 MARQUETTE

MILWAUKEE – The Notre Dame men’s basketball team ran into a very talented Marquette squad in a front of a sellout Fiserv Forum crowd of over 17,000 on Saturday night and were defeated by the final score of 78-59. It really was a tale of two halves as the No. 8/7 ranked Golden Eagles (8-2) caused havoc on both ends of the floor in the first half where they outpaced the Fighting Irish (4-5) 52-24. Notre Dame did show resilience in the second half, where they outscored Marquette 35-26. 

Freshman point guard Markus Burton recorded his third game of at least 20 points with exactly 20 tonight. Burton shot 8-of-15 and also secured a season high four steals. The next highest Irish scorer was Julian Roper II with nine points off of three treys.

HOW IT HAPPENED

Marquette’s defense flustered Notre Dame from the tip, as the Golden Eagles’ offense poured in 17 points before the Irish got their first bucket at 12:53. By the 11:30 media, the Irish had coughed up 10 turnovers which included four shot-clock violations, as Marquette built a cushy 21-2 lead.

Markus Burton was the lone offensive highlight in the first half, as he supplied 10 points. The freshman point guard helped cut what was a 26-point Golden Eagles lead to 17, trying to build some momentum before the half. Yet, in the final two minutes, Marquette fired off an 11-0 run to push the lead to 28 points at 52-24.

Marquette shot 17-of-28 (.607) from the field and 6-of-10 from three in the opening half. They ultimately forced 13 ND turnnovers in which they converted into 21 points. Furthermore, 22 of their points came in the paint. Notre Dame in turn shot 9-of-24 (.375) from the floor and 4-of-15 from deep.

Marquette built a lead as large as 30 before Notre Dame’s second half effort brought it down to the final of 19. Burton added 10 more points in the second to get to his final tally of 20.

UP NEXT

After several tough road tests to start the season, the Irish finally get to enjoy a lengthy homestand, six games in fact. After finals week, Notre Dame will commence the homestand with another familiar foe in Georgetown on Saturday, Dec. 16. Tip is slated for 2:15 p.m. ET on The CW.

NOTRE DAME HOCKEY

IRISH DROP SERIES AT #7/7 MICHIGAN STATE

EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Irish hockey team fell on night two to No. 7/7 Michigan State, 2-1, inside Munn Ice Arena. Despite a late push from the Irish offensive powers, the team was unable to even the tally and they drop to 8-8-2 on the season heading into the holiday break.

The Spartans struck first in game two of the weekend series to take the 1-0 lead at 6:46 of the game. With the puck lodged under Bischel’s skate, MSU kept whacking at the crease before the official whistled the play frozen. Their last attempt eventually went in as ND trailed by one early.

Following the Spartan tally the two teams traded powerplays and the next few minutes were played on special teams. Neither team was able to capitalize on their man-advantages and the score remained 1-0 at the end of 20 minutes.

MSU extended their lead at 3:51 of the middle frame with a powerplay tally following a slashing call against the Irish.

Landon Slaggert nearly got one back in the final seconds of the second period but he was brought down on the breakaway and the clock ran out on the stanza and the Irish faced the 2-0 deficit through 40 minutes of play.

The Irish peppered the Spartan end in shots during the final 20 minutes of action, breaking the MSU netminder once in the final minute but were unable to light the lamp again on their final chances as they dropped the series to the home Spartans Saturday night.

UP NEXT

Notre Dame heads into its three week holiday break following Saturday night’s final. The team will return to action as they kick off the second half of the season December 30-31 at home against Augustana.

BUTLER MEN’S BASKETBALL

BUTLER PULLS OUT 2OT WIN OVER CAL SATURDAY AFTERNOON AT HINKLE

It took 50 minutes, but Butler was able to pull out a 97-90 win over California in double overtime Saturday afternoon at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

With the win, Butler improves to 8-2, while the Golden Bears fall to 3-6.

Posh Alexander led the Bulldogs with 21 points and six assists.

COACH THAD MATTA: “That’s the best 3-5 team in college basketball right there (referring to Cal) now that they are getting healthy. We took a heck of a punch from them, getting down 18-4 early, but we never wavered. Posh, Jahmyl and Pierre, their faces were stoic. We knew what had to be done and these guys executed really well throughout overtime.”

HOW IT TRANSPIRED:

Cal jumped out to an 18-4 lead thanks in large part to hitting their first four three-point attempts.

Butler scored the first five points of the second half to take their first lead of the game at 39-37 with 18:28 remaining in regulation.

Butler’s largest lead of the game at 66-55 with 6:54 to go in the second half. A 9-0 run had given the Bulldogs a 60-51 advantage during that stretch.

Butler led, 73-68, with 1:51 remaining in regulation following a DJ Davis three-pointer before Cal knotted things up on a Jalen Cone trey with three seconds remaining.

In the first overtime session, Butler led 81-77 before back-to-back three-pointers by Cone gave Cal a two-point advantage. Jahmyl Telfort sent the game to a second extra session with a runner in the lane with 11 seconds remaining.

After Cal scored the first two points of the second overtime, the next nine went to Butler for a 92-85 advantage they would not relinquish.

OF NOTE:

Butler shot 52 percent from the field Saturday; the Bulldogs have shot 50 percent or better in six of the team’s 10 games this season.

Jahmyl Telfort, after going 1-for-7 from the field for only two points in the first half, finished with 20 points on 8-for-18 shooting. Thirteen (13) of his 20 points came in the two overtime sessions.

Pierre Brooks II added 18 points and a team-high seven rebounds.

DJ Davis scored 13 points, including 11 in the second half, while Andre Screen added nine points. Freshman Finley Bizjack scored a career-high eight points, all in the first half.

Cal had three players reach 20 points in Fardaws Aimaq (24), Jalen Cone (23) and Keonte Kennedy (20). However, it took Aimaq 22 attempts and Cone 20 shots to get there.

The Bulldogs defeated Cal a season ago in the only other meeting between the two programs. That 82-58 win in Berkeley, Calif., came Dec. 10, 2022. Only Cal’s Grant Newell played in today’s game as well as the contest 364 days ago.

Butler has scored at least 80 points in seven of its 10 games to start the season; the Bulldogs only hit the 80-point mark six times total a season ago.

Butler last played a double-overtime game Dec. 27, 2017 at Georgetown, winning 91-89. The Bulldogs defeated Texas Tech, 103-95, in a single overtime game Nov. 30.

Butler is 76-2

Butler is 76-2 over its last 78 non-conference home games; Butler has won 14 straight non-conference home games.

UP NEXT: Butler continues its homestand at Hinkle Fieldhouse Friday, hosting Saginaw Valley State in the Bulldogs’ final non-conference tip of the season. Tickets are still available for the 7 p.m. game, which will also air on FS1. The Bulldogs will be at home through the team’s BIG EAST opener vs. Georgetown Dec. 19.

BUTLER WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

CHICAGO STATE UP NEXT FOR BUTLER WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

INDIANAPOLIS – The Butler Bulldogs will host the Chicago State Cougars at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Sunday at 2 PM. The Bulldogs will look to bounce back from a tough non-conference loss to Vanderbilt and the Cougars are aiming for their first win of the season. 

GameDay

Date: Sunday, Dec. 10

Time: 2 PM

Location: Indianapolis, Ind. – Hinkle Fieldhouse

Live Stats: ButlerSports.com – Statbroadcast

Watch: FloHoops.com

Bulldog Bits

– Butler only trailed Vanderbilt by two at the final media timeout of the game on Thursday.

– Caroline Strande led BU in scoring for the fourth time this season on Thursday (12 points).

– Karsyn Norman was responsible for all five of Butler’s bench points vs. Vanderbilt.

– Norman had two steals vs. the Commodores to set a new career-high.

– Half of Butler’s shots vs. the Commodores were made from behind the arc (7-of-14).

– Butler has made more 3-pointers this season (77) than any other BIG EAST team.

– BU ranks fourth in the BIG EAST in 3-point FG percentage (34.8).

– The Bulldogs are the second-best team in the BIG EAST in defending the 3-point line (27.6%).

– Ari Wiggins ranks fourth in the BIG EAST in steals per game (2.3).

– Caroline Strande ranks ninth in the BIG EAST in rebounding (7.2) and 12th in scoring (15.4).

– Strande ranks eighth in the conference in free throw percentage (83.8% / 31-for-37).

– Strande has made the fourth-most free throws (31) of any BIG EAST player this season.

– Meulemans ranks third in the BIG EAST and 18th in the NCAA in 3-point field goal percentage (50.0).

BIG EAST Standings

Marquette 8-0

Georgetown 8-1

Creighton 6-1

Villanova 6-2

Butler 6-3

Seton Hall 5-3

UConn 5-3

DePaul 5-4

Providence 4-5

St. John’s 4-6

Xavier 0-7

Scouting Chicago State                                                                        

The Cougars will play at Valparaiso on Saturday afternoon and then make their way to Hinkle Fieldhouse for a Sunday matinee vs. Butler. Head Coach Andrea Williams took over the program prior to the 2022-23 season. Chicago State won six games that year but are still searching for their first win of the 2023-24 campaign. They nearly defeated Evansville on Nov. 26, but the Purple Aces earned a one-point win in triple overtime. Jacia Cunningham scored 37 points in the setback to UE and Josie Hill was just one block shy of a triple double with 12 points, 13 rebounds. Cunningham and Hill are two of the top three scorers on the team along with Tae’lor Willard. Hill is the only player to start in all 13 games for Chicago State. Cunningham is the only Cougar to average double figures in the scoring column (13.8) and Willard is the top 3-point shooter on the roster.

All-Time Series                                                                                      

Butler is 3-0 all-time against Chicago State. They won the first meeting in 1987 by five points (50-45) and moved to 2-0 with an 86-64 win over the Cougars in 1990. The last meeting signaled the start of the 2022 season. BU won in Austin Parkinson’s debut 84-57.

Last Meeting vs. Chicago State                                                          

Butler beat Chicago State a year ago 84-57. Anna Mortag and Caroline Strande scored in double figures for the ‘Dawgs and Butler would shoot 47 percent from the field to earn the win. Chicago State’s top scorer was Tae’lor Willard with 12. Josie Hill had six points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots.

Common Opponents                                                                           

Butler and Chicago State each played Detroit Mercy and Austin Peay this season. The Bulldogs posted a 68-61 win over the Titans in their home opener. The Cougars lost the battle to Detroit Mercy 83-48. Austin Peay is the other opponent to appear on each schedule. Butler beat the Govs 53-47 in the game after Detroit Mercy and Chicago State fell at a neutral site 60-49.

One Left                                                                                                                

Butler only has one non-conference game left on the schedule after Sunday. They will face Ohio on Thursday, Dec. 21 at 1 PM.

Leadership Role                                                                                                   

Graduate transfer Rachel Kent is projected to start for the 120th time in her collegiate career on Sunday. The rest of the roster combined has 142 starts to their credit. Kent logged 39 minutes of playing time vs. Vanderbilt. She leads the team and ranks 10th in the conference in minutes played per game (32.1).

Get to The Rim                                                                                      

Caroline Strande is an 83 percent free throw shooter and has made at least one shot from the charity stripe in eight of Butler’s nine games. She made a season-high nine free throws in the win over Austin Peay and has a team-high 31 made free throws this season. The rest of the team combines for 41 made free throws.

Stat Sheet Stuffer                                                                                               

Caroline Strande has made at least five field goals in seven of Butler’s nine games this year. She has grabbed at least one offensive rebound in every game and has at least one assist in every contest.

3-Point Specialist                                                                                                

Jordan Meulemans has made multiple 3-pointers for Butler in every game since Nov. 25. She has made 19 3’s over the team’s last four games giving her 26 on the season.

Deja Vu                                                                                                   

Butler has shot 7-for-25 from 3-point range in each of their last two games. The ‘Dawgs have made seven 3-pointers in a game four times this season and have hit double digits from behind the arc in three games.

Driven by Defense                                                                                              

Butler hasn’t allowed 60 points in a game since Nov. 24. They held St. Thomas to 54 points, Bradley to 46 and most recently limited Wisconsin and Vanderbilt to just 51 points. Vandy averages 72.6 points per game and their lowest point total before Thursday night came at #3 N.C. State on Nov. 29 (62 points).

Balanced Attack                                                                                                  

Six different BU players have led the team in scoring over the first nine games. Caroline Strande is the only player to do it more than once. She led BU with 17 points in the opener at Iowa State, paced BU vs. Austin Peay with 21 points, poured in 17 points in the home win over Bradley and had 12 in the setback to Vanderbilt. Strande has also led Butler in rebounding five times this year.

Tied a Team Record                                                                                            

Jordan Meulemans shot 80% from distance and drained eight triples in the game vs. St. Thomas to match the single-game high in the BIG EAST this season. Butler made 16 as a team, the second-most by a conference team this year. Meulemans was just one 3-pointer shy of tying the single-game BU individual record and the ‘Dawgs tied their team record.

Winning Recipe                                                                                     

The Bulldogs are undefeated this year when three or more players score in double figures (4-0). A fast start has also helped the Bulldogs as they are 5-0 when leading at halftime. Butler is also 2-0 this season when playing on Sunday.

Up Next                                                                                                                 

Up Next                                                                                                                 

Butler opens BIG EAST action with a game at #17 UConn on Dec. 18. The Huskies moved from No. 11 to No. 17 in the Top-25 Poll after a loss at No. 10/11 Texas. UConn got back on track this week with a home win over Ball State 90-63.

IUPUI TRACK

JAGUARS NOTCH 11 PERSONAL BESTS AT INDIANA EARLY BIRD

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Seven IUPUI competitors combined to set 11 personal bests as the women’s track and field team competed at the IU Early Bird inside Gladstein Fieldhouse on Friday night (Dec. 8). Morgan Hoard, Journey Howard, Paige Laffoon and Paige Schulte each set two new personal bests while Shelby McGee, Reese McCuan and Laci Spore each accounted for one apiece. Howard, a freshman, tied IUPUI’s school record in the high jump, clearing 1.60m (5′ 3”) in her collegiate debut.

Sophomore Modupe Awosanya earned a runner-up finish in the long jump with a best effort of 5.99m (19′ 8”) in her season debut. She also earned a spot in the finals of the 60m dash, clocking a time of 7.77 seconds in the prelims and then going 7.73 seconds in the finals.

Hoard, competing for the second straight weekend, set new personal bests in the 60m hurdles (9.42) and 200m dash (29.32) while Kyla Kante topped a long list of IUPUI entries in the 60m hurdles. Kante finished the prelims at 9.04, just missing a spot in the finals. Behind her, Howard ran a personal best time of 9.27 and Hoard ran 9.42. Jada-Marie Davis ran a time of 9.53 and Skyler Sichting crossed at 9.64. McGee finished with a personal best time of 10.24.

Besides Awosanya’s time in the 60m dash, Karis Davis ran 7.94 in the prelims and Schulte clocked a personal best time of 8.17 seconds.

McCuan’s day consisted of a personal best time of 1:39.15 in the 600m run and a sixth-place finish in the triple jump at 11.15m (36′ 7”). Laffoon registered personal bests in the long jump (5.17m) and 200m dash (28.39). Kante also topped IUPUI’s entrants in the 200 with a time of 27.59 while Sichting ran 27.94.

Karis Davis was tops among IUPUI’s 400m efforts with a time of 1:00.92, just ahead of Schulte’s 1:00.99. Spore ran a personal best time of 1:02.19.

The Jaguars won’t compete again until the Eastern Illinois John Craft Invite on Jan .13, well after the Christmas holiday.

IUPUI MEN’S BASKETBALL

IUPUI UPENDED AT EASTERN ILLINOIS ON THURSDAY NIGHT, 75-58

CHARLESTON, Ill. – The IUPUI basketball team came up short on the road at Eastern Illinois on Thursday night (Dec. 7), falling to the host Panthers, 75-58. Junior Jlynn Counter finished with 19 points, six rebounds and a pair of assists in the defeat.

Eastern Illinois (5-5) shot 64 percent from the floor in the second half and outscored the Jaguars by 11 after intermission to race away with the victory. Kooper Jacobi led EIU with 15 points and 15 rebounds while Corey Sawyer Jr. also tallied 15 off the Panthers’ bench.

The Panthers dominated IUPUI (3-7) on the interior, outrebounding the Jags by a 38-24 margin and outscoing the guests in the paint, 52-38.

IUPUI built a quick 7-0 lead to start the game and then immediately went silent as Eastern Illinois reeled off a 13-0 run over the next four minutes. The Panthers led by as many as 13 in the opening half before the Jaguars closed within 34-28 at the break, thanks in part to back-to-back dunks from John Egbuta and Vincent Brady II to cap the half.

EIU opened the second half with six straight points to push its lead back to 12 and maintained a double-digit lead the remainder of the evening. The lead grew as large as 23 just beyond the midpoint of the second half.

Brady, making his first start of the season, finished with seven points and three steals and DJ Jackson added seven off the bench. Bryce Monroe and Kidtrell Blocker added six points apiece and Cooper Dewitt had four of IUPUI’s season-high 14 steals.

IUPUI finished the game shooting 43.4 percent from the floor and just 2-of-13 (15.4 percent) from three-point range. Brady drilled a trey on IUPUI’s opening possession of the game and the Jaguars proceeded to miss their next 11 three-point attempts before Counter hit a triple with 2:35 remaining.

The Jaguars will return to action on Tuesday night (Dec. 12) when they trek to Minneapolis to face Big Ten foe Minnesota at 8:00 p.m. Eastern on BTN+.

BALL STATE MEN’S BASKETBALL

FINAL HOME GAME OF 2023 SET FOR SUNDAY

The Ball State men’s basketball team hosts SIUE at 2 p.m. on Sunday in its final home game of the nonconference season.

The Cardinals (7-2) are looking to clinch their fourth straight season being undefeated in home nonconference game when they meet the Cougars (6-4). Ball State owns a 4-0 record against SIU-Edwardsville in the series history, having most recently taken a 76-55 decision on Dec. 6, 2011 in Worthen Arena.

Basheer Jihad produced a career-best 26 points and added 10 rebounds and three blocks to lead the Cardinals to a 68-65 win at Detroit Mercy on Tuesday night. The double-double was the third of the year for the junior forward, who was making a homecoming as a North Farmington High School product. Ball State recorded its initial road win of the season with the narrow victory.

SIUE, of the Ohio Valley Conference, most recently topped Green Bay 78-69 on Tuesday, but has struggled on the road, dropping all four of its true away games. The Cougars beat common opponent Detroit Mercy 81-67 on Nov. 25.

The Cardinals have won 18 non-MAC games in a row at Worthen Arena.

Ball State recorded a 20-12 record (11-7 Mid-American Conference) in 2022-23 to earn the No. 4 seed in the MAC Tournament. Head coach Michael Lewis enters his second season leading the Cardinals after recent stops as an assistant at UCLA, Nebraska and Butler.

Juniors Mickey Pearson Jr. and Jihad headline the returners, as they averaged 7.7 points and 5.5 rebounds and 7.1 points and 3.6 rebounds per game, respectively, in 2022-23. Three transfers and five true freshmen bolster Ball State’s 2023-24 team.

SCOUTING SIUE: The Cougars went 19-14 (9-9 OVC) last season in head coach Brian Barone’s 4th leading the program. SIUE made the jump to Division I from Division II in 2008-09 and became an Ohio Valley Conference member in 2010-11.

The Cougars lead the league and rank No. 53 nationally in both 3-point shooting (37.3 percent) and fewest turnovers per game (10.4) while being second in the OVC in blocks per game (4.8).

Junior guard Damarco Minor, at just 6-foot tall, ranks No. 6 in Division I in defensive rebounds per game (8.0), No. 17 in total rebounds (91) and No. 42 in rebounds per game (9.1) while putting up a league-leading three double-double so far this year. Redshirt junior guard Ray’Sean Taylor paces the Ohio Valley in total 3-pointers made (27, No. 29 nationally) and ranks third in the conference in 3-point percentage (41.5).

CARDINAL DIRECTIONS

Jihad leads the Cardinals in scoring (18.4 points per game) and rebounding (7.1) averages. The junior forward out of Detroit has led the Cardinals in scoring seven games so far, scoring in double-figures eight times, including four games with 20+ points. The big man’s total points (166) rank second in the Mid-American Conference, while his scoring average is fourth.

The Cardinals lead the MAC in scoring defense (64.2 points per game), rebounding margin (+6.4) and fewest fouls committed per game (13.0), which ranks fifth nationally. Ball State holds a +11.6 scoring margin (second in the MAC).

Ball State’s 20 wins last year were its most since 2016-17 when that team won 21. This season’s Cardinals will look for back-to-back 20-win schedules for the first time since that 2016-17 season.

The Cardinals are a young group, as the roster includes only one senior or graduate student (Ethan Brittain-Watts). Ball State returns only 21.5 percent of minutes played and 19.6 percent of points scored from last year’s team.

Brittain-Watts (Boston University), Jalin Anderson (Loyola Marymount) and Davion Bailey (Southeastern CC) form Ball State’s trio of transfers.

Joey Brown (Indianapolis), Zane Doughty (Indianapolis), Mason Jones (Valparaiso, Ind.), Trent Middleton Jr. (Philadelphia) and Jurica Zagorsak (Zadar, Croatia) are the Cardinals’ quintet of true freshmen.

Ball State recently signed forward Jai Anthoni Bearden (Phoenix, Ariz.) and guard Jermarhi “Fatt” Hill (Bessemer, Ala.) to national letters of intent to form the Cardinals’ 2024 recruiting class.

BANKING ON BASHEER: Junior forward Basheer Jihad leads the team in scoring (18.4 points per game), rebounding (7.1 per game) and field goal percentage (52.3) among Cardinals averaging at least

four field goal attempts this season. Jihad has established or tied career highs in scoring four times already this season, including in Tuesday’s win at Detorit (26 points).

The Detroit native’s scoring average has doubled over last year (7.1), while his rebounding average has nearly double (3.6). Jihad started only one game in his first two seasons at Ball State, but has been a mainstay in the starting lineup as an upperclassman now.

JALIN JAMS: Anderson, a transfer out of Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles, leads the Ball State backcourt in scoring (14.2 points per game) and the team in assists (4.0 per game) as the Cardinals’ lead guard.

The Jackson, Tenn., native boasts Ball State’s highest offensive output (29 points against Old Dominion) so far and is on pace to set career bests for points, rebounds, assists and steals.

EMERGENCE OF BIG BEN: Redshirt junior center Ben Hendriks has started each of the last five games, totaling career-highs of 11 points and seven rebounds in the Dec. 2 win over Bellarmine.

Hendriks already surpassed his career-bests for points (42), blocks (eight), assists (six) and steals (three) in a season through the schedule’s first nine games. The big man has seen increased playing time over the last five contests, averaging 20.7 minutes per game after playing 6.8 per in the first five games.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Jihad was named the Mid-American Conference Men’s Basketball Co-Player of the Week, along with Ohio’s Elmore James, for his performances against Little Rock and Bellarmine in the preceding week.

Jihad went for a career-best 25 points at the Trojans on Nov. 28 before putting up a 19-point, 11-rebound double-double in the triumph over the Knights.

MUNCIE MAGIC: The Cardinals will look for an unblemished home nonconference slate for the fourth straight season on Sunday against the Cougars.

Ball State has won 18 consecutive nonconference contests at Worthen Arena, with its last loss being on Dec. 3, 2019 to Loyola (Chicago).

1,300 WINS: The Ball State men’s basketball team recorded win No. 1,300 in program history with the Dec. 2 decision against Bellarmine. The Cardinals are the tenth current MAC men’s basketball team to reach that milestone.

MAC Program Wins (as of Dec. 4, 2023)

Akron – 1,697

Ball State – 1,300

Buffalo – 1,279

Bowling Green – 1,452

Central Michigan – 1,356

Eastern Michigan – 1,292

Kent State – 1,332

Miami (OH) – 1,436

Northern Illinois – 1,315

Ohio – 1,614

Toledo – 1,551

Western Michigan – 1,372

Up Next

Ball State takes a break for Finals Week before an intrastate showdown with Indiana State on Saturday at 1:45 p.m. in Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis as part of the Indy Classic.

BALL STATE TRACK

CARDINALS LOOK STRONG AT TOM WRIGHT OPEN

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — Ball State track and field displayed a powerful performance Saturday afternoon at the Tom Wright Open hosted by Bowling Green State University. Many members of the team competed for the first time this season, displaying a promising outlook for the upcoming year. 

The meet opened with shot put and high jump. Jenelle Rogers led the team, winning the shot put with a throw of 14.20m. Other throwers also found great success, including Sophie Daugard and Brooklyn Taylor. Daugard, in her collegiate debut, finished third and tied her personal best with a throw of 13.02m. Taylor also had a strong collegiate start, throwing a personal best of 12.70m. 

In the high jump, freshman Malina Miller finished second with a mark of 1.74m. 

Rogers had two other victories on the day, including her 5.83m mark in the long jump and a finish of 8.60 in the 60m hurdles. Also in the 60m hurdles, Lauren Graham began her collegiate career with a third-place finish and a personal best time of 8.92. 

Alana Springer finished first in the 60m dash and ran a personal best with a time of 7.51. Taylor Hickman, Moriah Johnson, Emma Potter and Paige Kirtz also ran a personal best in the 60m dash. 

The meet closed with the 4x400m relays, where both Ball State teams dominated. Finishing first with a time of 3:56.83 was the team made up of Lindley Steele, Paige Kirtz, Alana Springer and Jenna Oriani. The team of Emma Potter, Leila Williams-Molitor, Aaleiah Winford and Moriah Johnson finished second with a time of 4:06.49.

“It was great to see our young ladies compete today,” said head coach Adrian Wheatley. “As I’ve shared with the group numerous times, competitions are a dress rehearsal for the big show. Today was no different. We had an opportunity to compete against other teams and work on being competitive. It is hard sometimes to stimulate those things during training sessions. The best way to continue to improve specific skill sets is to do them at game speed.” 

The Cardinals will be back in action following winter break when they head to Iowa City, Iowa for the Hawkeye Invitational on January 13. 

Ball State Individual Results at Tom Wright Open

Shot Put

1st – Jenelle Rogers – 14.20m

3rd – Sophie Daugard – 13.02m

6th – Brooklyn Taylor – 12.70m

7th – Amaya Hendrickson – 12.14m

8th – Malena Higgins – 12.03m

13th – Kendra Keesling – 9.67m

High Jump

2nd – Malina Miller – 1.74m

3rd – Mary Porter – 1.57m

Long Jump

1st – Jenelle Rogers – 5.83m 

2nd – Emma Upp – 5.36m 

4th – Kendra Keesling – 5.27m

5th – Lindley Steele – 5.27m

7th – Sophie Daugard – 5.13m

10th – Taylor Hickman – 4.67m

12th – Amaya Hendrickson – 4.19

600m Dash

2nd – Alexis Thigpen – 1:37.06

3rd – Leila Williams-Molitor – 1:38.63

400m Dash

4th – Maci Easton – 1:09.49

60m Hurdles

1st – Jenelle Rogers – 8.60

2nd – Jennah Rogers – 8.86

3rd – Lauren Graham – 8.92

4th – Mary Porter – 8.95

5th – Amaya Hendrickson – 9.29

6th – Makensie Kramer – 9.42

60m Dash 

1st – Alana Springer – 7.51

2nd – Makayla Sumrall – 7.53

3rd – Jenna Oriani – 7.61

4th – Moriah Johnson – 7.62

5th – Lindley Steele – 7.73

6th – Taylor Hickman – 7.91

200m Dash 

11th – Maci Easton – 29.84

4x400m Relay

1st – Lindley Steele, Paige Kirtz, Alana Springer, Jenna Oriani – 3:56.83

2nd – Emma Potter, Leila Williams-Molitor, Aaleiah Winford, Moriah Johnson – 4:06.49

INDIANA STATE MEN’S BASKETBALL

HIGH-POWERED OFFENSE PROPELS SYCAMORES OVER USI

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State men’s basketball returned to Hulman Center with a dominant 98-54 win over Southern Indiana. ISU has opened the season 9-1 with the win, matching last year’s record through 10 games of also 9-1.

Julian Larry was the spearhead of the Sycamore offense, finishing with 15 points, five rebounds, and five assists, knocking down three triples for the second-straight game. Robbie Avila was the leading scorer of the game with 18 points on 7-for-12 shooting (58.3%). Ryan Conwell and Jaden Daughtry also scored 15 points apiece. Conwell made three three-pointers in the game, marking the fifth game in which Conwell made three-plus triples. Daughtry came off the bench in the second half and exploded for 15 points and 11 rebounds in only 13.5 minutes of play for the freshman’s first double-double. Five of his 11 rebounds came on the offensive glass.

Eli Shetlar buried three three-pointers for 13 points, the first time he’s scored in double figures this season. Jayson Kent kept his personal scoring streak alive with 10 points, finishing each game this season (10 games) in double figures. Xavier Bledson grabbed his season-high in rebounds with seven, also scoring seven points, dishing out four assists, and tallied two steals. Derek Vorst recorded seven rebounds and five assists off the bench for Indiana State.

The contest began in a tight battle, with the Sycamores only leading by three through the first 5.5 minutes of the game. The Sycamores erupted in the next 10 minutes of the game, building the lead up to 21 points, backed by 10 of Avila’s 18 points. ISU flirted with taking a 30-point lead into the halftime break, with Shetlar, Vorst, Conwell, and Bledson all recording baskets. USI made one layup with five seconds to go to cut the deficit to 27 points at the half.

The Sycamore defense held USI to only 25 points in the first half, with the help of Masen Miller off the bench. The 25 points nears the lowest opponent mark of the season for a half, after ISU recently held Southern Illinois to only 20 points in a half and kept IUPUI to 21 points earlier this season.

At the break, three players were in double figures: Avila (16 points), Larry (12 points), and Conwell (10 points). The trio of sharpshooters helped ISU shoot 56.3% at the break. Bledson beat his previous season-high in rebounds with five through the first 20 minutes of play.

Indiana State held USI scoreless from beyond the arc until USI knocked down the first of the game at the 15:40 mark in the second half.

The Sycamores came out with more of their offensive firepower in the second half. After Daughtry entered the game with 13:38 remaining, Conwell hit a jumper in the paint to boast a 41-point lead still with 13 minutes remaining. Indiana State held the 40-plus-point lead throughout the remainder of the game, credit to Shetlar scoring 10 of his 13 points and Daughtry scoring all his 15 points in the stretch.

News & Notes

Indiana State has kicked off the 2023-24 season 9-1, 2-0 MVC. This marks the second-straight season under Coach Josh Schertz that ISU has stood 9-1 overall and 2-0 in league play.

Saturday’s victory set ISU’s win streak to eight games, which matches the eight-game win streak in the 2019-20 season. The Sycamores were victorious from November 22, 2019 through December 30, 2019 in that season.

The 44-point margin of victory ties the highest margin in the Coach Schertz era (first was set against Old Dominion on November 18, 2021).

The 98-point team total is the second-highest total by Indiana State this season, yielding only to their 103-point mark set in the win against Rice in the Ball Dawgs Classic on November 21.

The Sycamores outrebounded the Screaming Eagles 48-28, the largest margin of the season (+20). This sets the record for the largest margin in the Coach Schertz era against Division 1 opponents.

Each Sycamore that entered the game scored at least one point, the second time this season (first was versus Pepperdine in the Ball Dawgs Classic).

Indiana State’s defense held USI to 28.6% shooting from three, the sixth time this season an opponent has finished the below 30% as a team.

INDIANA STATE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

SYCAMORES RETURN HOME FOR SUNDAY MATINEE AGAINST SEMO

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State plays its final home game of the non-conference slate Sunday when it welcomes Southeast Missouri State to Hulman Center for a 1 p.m. tip. The game will be aired on ESPN+.

Last Time Out

Indiana State overcame a double-digit deficit on the road Saturday afternoon, defeating Central Michigan 73-65 inside McGuirk Arena.

Bella Finnegan led a balanced scoring effort with 18 points, while Ella Sawyer, Kiley Bess and Asia Donald added 12 points each. Sawyer dished out a season-best seven assists, while Savannah White led the Sycamores with nine rebounds.

Indiana State got off to a cold start from the floor, as Central Michigan built a 10-point advantage midway through the second quarter. Donald kept the Sycamores within reach with 12 first-half points, and the Trees got things going in the last 20 minutes. Indiana State outscored Central Michigan 43-29 in the second half, with Finnegan scoring 15 in the half. A 10-0 Sycamore run to open the fourth quarter proved to be the difference, and the Trees were strong from the charity stripe to seal their win on the road.

Crashing The Glass

Indiana State registered a season-high 24 offensive rebounds in its 73-65 win over Central Michigan, with five different Sycamores recording three or more offensive rebounds against the Chippewas. The Sycamores turned their extra possessions into 14 second chance points, 12 of which came in the second half as ISU overturned an early double-digit deficit.

Indiana State’s 24 offensive rebounds were the most for the Sycamores since January 9, 2015, when the Sycamores had 24 offensive rebounds against Bradley. The Sycamores lead the MVC with 14.9 offensive rebounds per game, while Mya Glanton also leads all MVC players with 4.3 offensive boards per contest.

Letting it Fly

Indiana State did not shoot the ball particularly well against Central Michigan, but the Sycamores found their stroke from distance in their 73-65 win over the Chippewas. Four different Sycamores hit 3-pointers in the game, while Indiana State connected on a season-best 10 treys, hitting at a season-best 40 percent clip for the game.

Indiana State’s 10 3-pointers were the Sycamores’ most in a road game since knocking down 10 in a road win at Drake on December 30, 2021.

Valley vs. Valley

Sunday’s game is Indiana State’s first against an opponent from the OVC in more than two years, as the Sycamores’ last OVC foe was Eastern Illinois on Nov. 17, 2021. ISU’s last win against an OVC school came on Dec. 7, 2020 against Western Illinois.

Call it a Comeback

Indiana State overcame a double-digit deficit in its most recent game against Central Michigan, as the Sycamores came back from being down 10 in the first half to defeat the Chippewas on the road.

Last week’s win was Indiana State’s first time coming back from double-digits to win since overturning a 10-point deficit in a 62-56 win over Murray State last season.

Balancing Act

Indiana State showcased a balanced offense to close out November, as four Sycamores scored in double-figures against both Wright State and Radford. Bella Finnegan and Mya Glanton have been in double-figures in each of the last two games, with Chelsea Cain and Kiley Bess hitting double-digits against Wright State, and Asia Donald and Ella Sawyer scoring 10-plus points against Radford.

Indiana State has also made it hard to key in on particular players on offense. No Sycamore has led the team in scoring in back-to-back games through Indiana State’s first five contests of the season.

Southeast Missouri State at a Glance

Southeast Missouri State enters the weekend at 2-6 overall following consecutive Power Five losses to Missouri and Purdue, two opponents on the 2023-24 Indiana State schedule. The Redhawks’ wins have come against Stephens College (Mo.) and Harris-Stowe.

Jaliyah Green leads the Redhawks in scoring at 14.3 points per game and is also second on the team with 4.6 rebounds per game. Alecia Doyle adds 13.5 points per game, while five other Redhawks average more than five points per game. Daejan Richmond (3.4) and Kiyley Flowers (3.1) average more than three assists per game for SEMO.

Rekha Patterson is in her ninth season at the helm of the SEMO women’s basketball program and has a career record of 119-128. Patterson is the first female head coach of Southeast Missouri State’s Division I era and had previous stints as an assistant at Ball State, Baylor, Creighton and Eastern Illinois.

Series History Against Southeast Missouri State

Indiana State has a 6-1 advantage in the all-time series, though Southeast Missouri State won the most recent meeting in Terre Haute.

The Redhawks’ win during the 2019-20 season snapped a six-game win streak for the Sycamores in the series.

Last Meeting Against Southeast Missouri State (Dec. 21, 2019)

Adrian Folks recorded her first career double-double against Southeast Missouri State, but strong offense from SEMO was too much to overcome as the Sycamores fell, 68-58.

Folks had her best performance in a Sycamore uniform, ending the day with her first double-double with 11 points and 11 boards. Caitlin Anderson had 13 points to lead the ISU scoring effort to go along with four rebounds.

Indiana State trailed for all but 41 seconds in the game. Southeast Missouri opened up a 24-point lead, their biggest of the night, with 6:14 remaining in the game. The Sycamores did not give up, however, finishing the game on a 15-3 run that included two and-one opportunities for Anderson with one-minute remaining and closing the final gap to just 10.

Up Next

Indiana State begins a five-game road trip December 17 at Ohio, with tipoff slated for 6 p.m.

PURDUE FT. WAYNE MEN’S BASKETBALL

‘DONS EARN 10TH VICTORY WITH 89-80 DECISION OVER SEMO

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Rasheed Bello had a team-high 19 points with five assists and four rebounds to help the Purdue Fort Wayne men’s basketball team defeat SEMO 89-80 on Saturday (Dec. 9) at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.

The win moves the ‘Dons to 10-1 for the first time since 1989-90.

Jalen Jackson, Anthony Roberts and Quinton Morton-Robertson each added 15 points. Eric Mulder finished 5-of-5 from the floor for 11 points. Bello, Morton-Robertson and Roberts each made seven free throws.

Purdue Fort Wayne finished 26-of-41 from the free throw line. The last time the ‘Dons took 40 free throws in a game was Nov. 11, 2016 at Arkansas.

The ‘Dons closed the first half on a 9-2 run to take a 41-39 lead to the break. Bello finished at the hoop with just a second or so on the clock. Max Nelson made all three of his 3-point attempts in the first half and finished the game with nine points.

Purdue Fort Wayne used a 19-4 run in the second half to go up 65-53. The run started with the ‘Dons down 49-46 and Morton-Robertson tying the game at 49 with 17:29 on the clock thanks to a trey. While the game featured eight ties and six lead changes, it was pretty much all Mastodons in the second half.

For the sixth time this season the ‘Dons committed single-digit turnovers. Purdue Fort Wayne forced 16 turnovers.

SEMO shot 50.8 percent (30-of-59). The ‘Dons finished at 53.8 percent (28-of-52). Rob Martin had a game-high 22 points for the Redhawks. SEMO falls to 3-7.

PURDUE FT. WAYNE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

‘DONS ERASE 14-POINT DEFICIT BUT FALL TO ST. THOMAS

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Purdue Fort Wayne women’s basketball team came back from down 14 in the third quarter, but ultimately fell 64-59 to St. Thomas on Saturday (Dec. 9) at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.

Prior to the contest, Shayla Sellers was honored joining the 1,000-point club and becoming the program’s all-time start leader.

The Mastodons played their best ball in the final moments of the third quarter and the start of the fourth. They went on an 18-4 run propelled by Shayla Sellers, Ryin Ott, Audra Emmerson and Amellia Bromenschenkel. The ‘Dons were 6-of-7 from the floor and 2-for-2 from 3-point range in that stretch without a turnover.

Late in the game, the Mastodons led 57-54, but St. Thomas went on a quick 7-0 run to take control of the game back. It was a one-possession game after Bromenschenkel hit a pair of free throws, but the Mastodons could not find the free throws or bucket to get the lead back. Tommie free throws put the game out of reach in the final moments.

Despite not hitting a 3-pointer in their first 15 tries, St. Thomas finished the game at 47.3 percent shooting. The Tommies left Fort Wayne with a 2-for-17 (11.8 percent) effort from beyond the arc.

The Mastodons out-rebounded the Tommies 30-27. Ott had a team-high seven boards to go with her team-best 15 points. Bromenschenkel had 15 points and five boards. Sellers chipped in 14 points.

Purdue Fort Wayne falls to 7-3 while St. Thomas improves to 5-5. The Mastodons have eight days off before playing at Western Michigan on December 17.

SOUTHERN INDIANA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

USI GETS BACK ON TRACK WITH WIN AGAINST EASTERN MICHIGAN

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana Women’s Basketball began its three-game homestand from Screaming Eagles Arena with a return to the win column on Saturday afternoon, posting a 72-51 victory against Eastern Michigan University.

The Screaming Eagles returned to the .500 mark with a 4-4 record after Saturday’s win to snap a four-game skid. Eastern Michigan dropped to 1-7 after a fifth consecutive loss.

Southern Indiana jumped out to a fast start Saturday afternoon, converting at the foul line on two trips and knocking down four jumpers within the first four minutes. USI led 12-4 by the six-minute mark of the opening period. Senior forward Madi Webb (Bedford, Indiana) spearheaded the fast start, connecting on her first three shots for six quick points.

The Screaming Eagles’ defense was also active early, forcing seven turnovers by Eastern Michigan in the first quarter. USI held Eastern Michigan scoreless for the last three minutes, leading to a 20-11 advantage for Southern Indiana heading into the second quarter.

USI’s momentum from the end of the first quarter carried over into the start of the second period, as USI built a 7-0 run and continued to hold Eastern Michigan scoreless through the eight-minute mark. Southern Indiana extended its lead to 32-15 with four minutes left in the first half after drilling three triples. Two of the three-pointers came from senior forward Meredith Raley (Haubstadt, Indiana), who cashed one in from several feet behind the perimeter.

The long-range treys kept falling for the Screaming Eagles, as junior guard Vanessa Shafford (Linton, Indiana) crossed into double figures scoring for the sixth straight game with a three of her own. Inside the final minute before halftime, a strong pump fake and drive by Raley gave USI a 37-19 lead at the intermission.

Out of the halftime locker room, defenses stood tall to begin the second half, but Southern Indiana went on a 9-0 run to increase its lead to 27 points, 48-21, by the halfway point of the third period. Then Webb joined Raley and Shafford in double figures with a basket.

Later on, USI sophomore guard Ali Saunders (Depauw, Indiana) got into a groove, making a three and finishing a second-chance putback. In the back half of the third quarter, Eastern Michigan produced a small run but was quickly quieted after Shafford scorched the net with consecutive makes from beyond the arc. USI carried a 62-33 lead to the fourth quarter, where Eastern Michigan made a push, but Southern Indiana put the final touches on the big victory.

For the game, Southern Indiana shot 36.7 percent (22-60) overall and sunk season-highs 10 three-pointers and 18 free throws. USI outrebounded Eastern Michigan, 47-37. Individually, Shafford paced the Screaming Eagles with 21 points, tying a season-high, with five triples and six boards. Raley and Webb also poured in season highs with 15 points apiece. The two each grabbed five rebounds as well. Saunders finished with eight points, five rebounds, and three assists. Redshirt senior guard Addy Blackwell (Bloomington, Indiana) had a solid game with seven points, three assists, and four steals.

Southern Indiana’s defense made it a tough afternoon for Eastern Michigan, who was held to 28.6 percent (16-56) shooting and below 25 percent (7-29) from distance. Plus, the Screaming Eagles’ defensive unit forced Eastern Michigan into 18 turnovers. The visiting Eagles from Eastern Michigan had two players score in double digits.

USI will be out of game action in the coming week for final exams before welcoming the University of Cincinnati from the Big-12 Conference to Screaming Eagles Arena next Sunday, December 17. Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m. Next Sunday will also be Family Day with BOGO tickets and a teddy bear toss with Toys for Tots.

SOUTHERN INDIANA MEN’S BASKETBALL

EAGLES GROUNDED BY SYACAMORES

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana Men’s Basketball was grounded by Indiana State University, 98-54, Saturday afternoon at the Hulman Center in Terre Haute, Indiana. The Screaming Eagles slide to 2-9 after today’s action, while the Sycamores are 9-1 this season.

The first half was rough for the Eagles as the Sycamores bombed USI with 18 first half field goals, eight from long range, and led at halftime, 52-25. USI got scoring from five different players, led by junior guard Jeremiah Hernandez (Chicago, Illinois) with eight points.

USI struggled to find any offense in the first five minutes of the second half, starting the final 20 minutes one-of-12 from the field. The Eagles would finish the half 10-of-34 (29.4 percent) and 21-of-58 for the game.

Indiana State would post a nearly identical half to the first, outscoring USI, 46-29, in the final 20 minutes.

Individually, Hernandez and sophomore guard/forward AJ Smith (Edwardsville, Illinois) led the Eagles in scoring with 16 points and 12 points, respectively. Junior forward Jack Mielke (Downers Grove, Illinois) led USI on the boards with six.  

Next Up For USI:

USI will be idle next week before returning to action December 19 when it hosts the University of Saint Francis (Illinois) at Screaming Eagles Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Saint Francis is 2-4 overall and visiting Indiana University South Bend this afternoon. The Fighting Saints also are scheduled to play an exhibition game at Lewis University December 14 before coming to USI.

The Eagles conclude the non-conference portion of the 2023-24 schedule December 22 when they visit Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois. The Salukis, who currently are 6-2 overall, have Austin Peay State University (December 12), Wichita State University (December 16), and North Dakota State University (December 19) on the schedule before hosting the Eagles. 

VALPO WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

HOT START PROPELS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TO WIN OVER CHICAGO STATE

The Valpo women’s basketball team had plenty of early gifts for fans in the attendance at the ARC for Saturday’s Christmas party, as the Beacons started out hitting their first seven shots from the field as they never trailed in an 83-64 victory over Chicago State. Olivia Brown (East Grand Rapids, Mich./East Grand Rapids [St. Bonaventure]) was one point off her career high, finishing with 23 points, while Leah Earnest (Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH) was right behind her with 21 points.

How It Happened

The tone was set right from the outset by Earnest, who had a steal and fast-break layup within the game’s opening 30 seconds.

Earnest had three of Valpo’s first seven baskets as the Beacons started out 7-of-7 from the floor. Saniya Jackson (Fort Wayne, Ind./Northrop) had a pair of fast-break layups in that run as well, the second of which capped a 14-4 run over the game’s first 3:51 and forced a Chicago State timeout.

Valpo’s lead grew to 13 points late in the quarter on a triple from Ava Interrante (McHenry, Ill./McHenry), and the Beacons led 25-14 at the end of the opening period.

Jackson drilled a 3-pointer on Valpo’s first possession of the second quarter to push the advantage to 14 points. The Cougars scored the next five points, but Ella Van Weelden (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Marion) kept CSU from extending its run with a well-timed 3-pointer with 7:26 to play in the first half.

Valpo was unable to push its lead in the second quarter past the 14-point mark from early in the period, but the Beacons also prevented CSU from closing any closer than eight points. Valpo eventually went into the locker room for halftime with a 36-27 lead.

Valpo’s first offensive possession of the third quarter was a harbinger of things to come in multiple facets, as Brown connected on a 3-pointer.

Incredibly, much like the first quarter, the Beacons scored on their first seven possessions of the third quarter — albeit with some free throws and missed shots with offensive rebounds mixed in.

Earnest had six points during the opening stretch to the third period, while Brown later hit 3-pointers following offensive boards on consecutive possessions, the second of which extended Valpo’s lead to 54-33 with 4:58 to play in the quarter.

After a few empty possessions, Brown drove and finished at the basket on one trip and followed with yet another triple the next time down the court. The veteran then came up with a steal on the defensive end and fed Nevaeh Jackson (Fort Wayne, Ind./Northrop) for a fast-break layup which pushed Valpo’s lead to 61-35 with just over two minutes remaining in the period.

The Beacons led 64-41 at the end of the third quarter and kept CSU at bay through the entirety of the fourth quarter, as the Cougars got no closer than 18 points.

Inside the Game

The 83 points Valpo scored on Saturday was the program’s highest scoring output since an 86-84 win over Bradley Feb. 10, 2022.

Leading the way in the scoring column was Brown, who finished with 23 points — including four 3-pointers — to go with three assists and three steals.

Brown finished just one point shy of her career high, as well as just one point away from hitting the 1,000-point milestone for her collegiate career.

14 of Brown’s 23 points came in the third quarter, the highest-scoring quarter by a Valpo player since Shay Frederick dropped 17 points on Southern Illinois in the second quarter of their Feb. 27, 2021 matchup.

It was the eighth double-digit quarter of Brown’s Valpo career.

Earnest nearly matched Brown’s output, finishing with 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting — her third 20-point effort of the season. The senior also set a career high with six assists and added three steals as well.

Earnest scored 12 points in the game’s opening 10 minutes, her highest-scoring quarter in the Valpo uniform and the third time she has scored 10 or more in a quarter.

Brown and Earnest are the first Valpo duo to both have double-digit quarters in the same game since Grace White scored 10 third-quarter points and Carie Weinman scored 13 fourth-quarter points in the aforementioned Bradley game.

Saniya Jackson was perfect from the field, connecting on all six of her field goal attempts in a 14-point afternoon — her season high and the third time she has been in double figures in her young collegiate career.

Interrante added nine points and a career-best six rebounds to tie for team-high honors with Van Weelden, who was one shy of her career high in the category.

Freshman Layla Gold (Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral) connected on her first collegiate field goal when she knocked down a 3-pointer on the first possession of the fourth quarter.

The Beacons recorded a season-best 11 3-pointers and had a season-best shooting performance inside the arc, going 18-for-26 (.692) on 2-point attempts.

When Valpo did miss shots on Saturday, it was nearly a 50-50 proposition that the Beacons would retain possession, as they grabbed 16 available offensive rebounds on 34 opportunities. The 16 offensive boards are a program high in the Mary Evans era.

Valpo forced 22 Chicago State turnovers, converting those into 30 points as the Beacons held a 30-16 advantage in points off turnovers. 14 of the Cougars’ turnovers were Valpo steals, the fourth straight game Valpo has tallied double figures in the steals column.

Saturday’s game was Valpo’s lone regular season home game between Nov. 18 and Jan. 12.

VALPO MEN’S BASKETBALL

EDWARDS, SEPP SHINE IN SETBACK AT VIRGINIA TECH

Freshman Kaspar Sepp (Tartu, Estonia / Fairmont Academy) continued a breakout week by registering his first double-figure scoring output and sophomore Jaxon Edwards (Indianapolis, Ind. / Cathedral also provided a scoring lift, but the Valparaiso University men’s basketball team fell 71-50 on Saturday afternoon at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, Va.

How It Happened

Edwards set the tone for his strong showing by drilling a 3-pointer on Valpo’s first possession of the game to put the Beacons in front. Edwards had the team’s first five points in a close game early.

The Beacons trailed by 3 midway through the half after a made triple by Isaiah Stafford (Bolingbrook, Ill. / Crispus Attucks [John A. Logan / Southern Indiana]) and a Sepp bucket on a Darius DeAveiro (Kanata, Ottawa, Canada / Orangeville Prep) assist.

Virginia Tech went on a 9-0 run and eventually built the lead to 12 at 30-18 with 5:15 on the first-half clock. By the time the horn sounded to end the first half, Valpo trailed 37-23.

Stafford registered eight points in the second half and Edwards made three of his four shots after the break, but Virginia Tech outscored Valpo 34-27 over the final 20 minutes. DeAveiro drilled a 3 and had five points in the second half while also dishing out three assists in the half.

Inside the Game

Stafford led Valpo with 14 points, while Edwards (13) and Sepp (10) joined him in double figures.

Sepp’s 10 points eclipsed his previous personal best of eight scored in the Nov. 6 season opener vs. Trinity Christian. He had not scored against a Division-I opponent before totaling 16 points over two games this week. He went 5-of-7 shooting on Saturday and grabbed five boards.

Edwards started the season with three straight double-figure games, but this marked his first double-figure scoring output in the last seven games. He returned to double figures for the fourth time this season and the first time since Nov. 14 vs. Green Bay. He hauled in five rebounds and went 6-of-10 shooting.

Stafford reached double figures for the fifth straight game and the ninth time in 10 games this season.

DeAveiro finished with seven points, four rebounds and six assists, stretching his streak to six straight games with five assists or more. He’s knocked down at least one 3 in each of the last four games.

The 3-point arc was one of the major differences in the game as Valpo went just 3-of-24 (12.5 percent), while Virginia Tech was 10-of-27 (37 percent), outscoring the Beacons by 21 points on 3-point shots in a game the Hokies won by 21.

Virginia Tech outrebounded Valpo 41-22 including a 13-5 edge on the offensive glass. Virginia Tech squeezed 11 offensive rebounds in the second half against just one for Valpo.

Valpo swiped nine steals, led by Stafford with four. He tied a season high set in the Nov. 6 season opener vs. Trinity Christian and had his fourth game with three or more steals. Stafford also rejected two shots as part of a strong defensive effort.

Valpo possessed a 15-14 edge in the turnover battle.

Virginia Tech is ranked 69th in the NET, making this a Quad 1 game for the Beacons.

Valpo played without point guard Jahari Williamson (illness), who was sidelined for a second straight game.

Up Next

The Beacons (4-6) will have some time off for final exams before returning to action against Chicago State on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 3 p.m. at the Athletics-Recreation Center.

UINDY MEN’S BASKETBALL

HOUNDS SLAM WAY TO FOURTH STRAIGHT WIN

INDIANAPOLIS – The UIndy men’s basketball capped its home slate for the 2023 calendar year with its fourth straight win, defeating Lewis by a score of 90-76 from Nicoson Hall.

The Greyhounds shot 70.4 percent from the field in the second half, including an 8-for-13 (61.5 percent) mark from 3-point range.

Jesse Bingham led all players with 22 points, while Kendrick Tchoua scored 11 of his 17 in the final 20 minutes.

INS & OUTS

After a back-and-forth opening moments of the second half, the Greyhounds regained the lead for good with a pair of free throws from Bingham at the 13:35 mark. Tchoua then took advantage of a Flyers miscue with an and-1 from the right block.

Sean Craig drilled a 3-pointer from the corner with nine minutes left, ending a huge 17-4 run that put the home team up double digits the rest of the way. The sophomore played big minutes down the stretch, recording eight points, two boards, and two steals in the second half.

The UIndy defense caused 14 turnovers in the win, scoring 10 points off seven second-half miscues. Josiah Tynes was charged with two of his three thefts in the final 20 minutes, scoring five of his 10 points after the break.

A 3-pointer from Zac Szul forced a Lewis timeout with under four minutes left in the first half, with the bucket ending a huge momentum shift in favor of the Hounds, who scored 10 of 12 points in a 2:18 stretch.

INSIDE THE BOX

– Seven Hounds recorded at least one assist, as the team matched its season-high in helpers with 21.

– Julian Steinfeld was key off the bench, finishing with seven points – two dunks – and a pair of rebounds in more than 12 minutes of action.

– Bingham’s 22 points ties his season-best total in the scoring column and has now scored at least 16 in each of the past three games.

– Tchoua was a perfect 8-for-8 from the field, tallying one free throw to his scoring line.

– UIndy was 13-of-14 (92.9 percent) from the charity stripe in the win, the team’s single-game best free throw percentage of the season.

– Paul Zilinskas drilled a pair of triples in the second half, finishing with eight points.

MORE NOTES

UIndy eats into Lewis’ all-time series lead with the win, now trailing 51-40 … Bingham was all over the stat sheet, finishing with seven rebounds, six assists, two blocks, and one steals … the Flyers entered the contest ranked eighth in DII in free throw percentage, but went just 9-for-13 (69.2 percent) from the line on Saturday.

HOUND BYTES

Bingham on the win…

“We faced some adversity; we didn’t play our best basketball in the first half. The halftime talk was about intensity and we knew we were going to get their best shot.”

Bingham on the team’s depth…

“When you got 10 guys who can contribute in some type of way, whether that be scoring or rebounding or just flat-out defending, it’s going to make a huge difference way down the line.”

UP NEXT

The Greyhounds have one final contest before the calendar turns to 2024, visiting Pitt-Johnstown next Friday, Dec. 15, for a 6 p.m. tip. It will be the first meeting between the programs.

UINDY WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL FALLS TO LEWIS

INDIANAPOLIS – The UIndy women’s basketball team lost 62-77 to Lewis on Saturday. The Greyhounds are now 5-5 on the season and 3-2 in GLVC play going into the semester break.

Liv Becker was the point leader for the Hounds. Becker had 16 points at the end of the game. The junior was 6-of-13 from the field and 2-for-5 beyond the arc.

INS AND OUTS

The Greyhounds opened the fourth quarter with an 11-3 run. Liv Becker contributed five points and Idalis Ortiz had four. The quarter continued with the Hounds pressing the Flyers to try and cut their lead. The 25-point lead that Lewis had before the start of the final quarter was too much for UIndy to pass.

Lewis quickly took over the court at the start of the contest. The Flyers opened the game with a 19-3 run for 7:34 in the first quarter.

INSIDE THE BOX

– Elana Wells finished 14 points and a team-high of four assists on the day.

– Jada Patton led UIndy in rebounds with six. Patricia Chiakamba and Idalis Ortiz were not far behind with five each.

– The Greyhounds were able to take advantage during Flyer possessions by forcing 18 Lewis turnovers.

– The Hounds struggled from 3-point range, the team finished 5-of-18.

MORE NOTES

Lewis’s Taylor Gugliuzza finished the contest with a double-double. Gugliuzza had 13 rebounds and 14 points during the game… Lewis continues to lead 6-37 in the all-time series against UIndy.

UP NEXT

UIndy’s next contest will be against Ohio Dominican at home on Dec. 30. Tip-off is slated for 1 p.m. in Nicoson Hall.

MARIAN MEN’S TRACK

MARIAN’S FIELD EVENTS HEADLINE RESULTS AT JOHN GARTLAND INVITE AS KNIGHTS HIT 8 STANDARDS

Terre Haute, Ind. – The Marian men’s track and field team continued their season with a dominant showing from their field athletes on December 8, as the Knights competed at the annual Indiana State John Gartland Invite. Marian had eight NAIA qualifying marks in the event, and were highlighted by Christian Rios’ pair of NAIA A standard marks.

Christian Rios stole the show for Marian’s athletes at Indiana State, as he hit the NAIA A standard in both the shot put and weight throw to qualify for both of his events for the 2024 NAIA National Championships. Rios finished third in each event, scoring a mark of 16.61m in the shot put and a 19.56m distance in the weight throw. Jacob Netral also hit two NAIA standards, hitting the A mark in the shot put and the B mark in the weight throw. Netral finished fourth in each event, getting a distance of 16.35m in the shout put and 17.20m in the weight throw. The throwers efforts were also headlined by second-year Knight Kevaughn Dawn, who finished fifth and hit his first career NAIA standard with an A distance of 15.90m in the shot put.

The field event efforts were also highlighted by Brenden Endres, who finished second in the pole vault, hitting an NAIA A standard height at 4.81m. Endres’ effort in the pole vault gave Marian five NAIA A standards in the meet. The Knights had two other standards in the meet, with Gunner Kovach’s second place finish in the high jump sitting at a B standard, while Tristan Trevino’s first place finish in the mile was fast enough to also hit an NAIA B standard.

In addition to the eight standards, Marian had a first place finish from Olivier Lifrange in the 400m, while Connor Maple scored second in the 200m.

Marian competed against UIndy, Indiana State, Rose-Hulman, and SIU-Edwardsville in the meet. Below is a list of Marian’s finishers by event.

60m: Will Osafo (5th), Jeremiah Brown (7th), Connor Maple (9th), Manny Manneh (10th), Micah Williams (12th)

200m: C. Maple (2nd), Eli Givens (3rd), M. Manneh (4th), M. Williams (7th), Jaiden Dresselhaus (9th)

400m: Olivier Lifrange (1st), E. Givens (3rd), Eric Materna (4th), Gus Martinez (6th), Tommaso Bruni (7th), Felipe Mentz (9th)

600m: Mason Piatt (5th)

Mile: Tristan Trevino (1st – B standard)

60m Hurdles: M. Williams (6th), G. Martinez (9th), F. Mentz (11th), J. Dresselhaus (12th)

4x400m Relay: 2nd – Bruni, Givens, Lifrange, Materna

High Jump: Gunner Kovach (2nd – B standard), J. Dresselhaus (4th), Jordan Pohl (5th)

Pole Vault: Brenden Endres (2nd – A standard), Evan Haag (5th), Brennan La Belle (6th), Peyton Doty (7th)

Long Jump: Armani Glass (3rd), J. Pohl (6th)

Shot Put: Christian Rios (3rd – A standard), Jacob Netral (4th – A standard), Kevaughn Dawn (5th – A standard), Marco Keys (9th)

Weight Throw: C. Rios (3rd – A standard), J. Netral (4th – B standard), M. Keys (5th)

The Knights will next be in action on January 13 after winter break, as the squad will split between Wabash and Eastern Illinois for their next meet.

MARIAN WOMEN’S TRACK

MARIAN WOMEN HIT THREE NAIA STANDARDS AT JOHN GARTLAND INVITE

Terre Haute, Ind. – The Marian women’s track and field team competed in their final event before winter break on Friday, December 8, putting up a strong showing at the Indiana State John Gartland Invite in many of the Knights’ first action of the season. Marian earned three NAIA standards in the meet, with a pair coming in the high jump.

The Knights action at Indiana State was showcased in the high jump, as Gina Butz and Brooke Coffman each hit the NAIA A standard in their first meet of the season. Butz, the reigning outdoor NAIA All-American, finished second in the meet clearing 1.71m, while Coffman finished third in her collegiate debut. The freshman cleared 1.68m, hitting NAIA A height in her first collegiate meet to qualify for the NAIA Championships. Also qualifying for the NAIA Championship on the provisional standard was Hanna Reuter, who hit a B mark with her third place time of 58.68 seconds in the 400m.

Several others earned top-eight finishes throughout the meet, starting the season strong for Marian. The three qualifiers join Arriana Benjamin, who qualified last week with an A standard mark in the weight throw.

Marian competed against UIndy, Indiana State, Rose-Hulman, and SIU-Edwardsville in the meet. Below is a list of Marian’s finishers by event.

60m: Catalla Jones (6th), Armoney Clay (7th), Mya Eppert (10th), Janae Bailey (12th)

200m: J. Bailey (3rd), C. Jones (5th), A. Clay (7th), M. Eppert (10th)

400m: Hanna Reuter (3rd – B Standard), Taylor Thomas (7th), Nora Steele (12th), Maya Mundy (13th), Bella Dean (15th)

Mile: Liz Loichinger (4th)

60m Hurdles: Nina Marinkovic (10th), B. Dean (17th)

4x400m Relay: 2nd – Bailey, Coffman, Reuter, Thomas

High Jump: Gina Butz (2nd – A Standard), Brooke Coffman (3rd – A standard), Precious Knight (11th)

Pole Vault: Mia Curran (8th)

Long Jump: H. Reuter (14th), M. Mundy (15th), N. Marinkovic (16th)

Shot Put: Nhaydia Watson (7th), Gabi Bilbrey (8th), Tracey Gooch (9th)

Weight Throw: N. Watson (3rd), Keeley Hughes (4th), T. Gooch (5th), Allie Miller (7th)

The Knights will next be in action on January 13 after winter break, as the squad will split between Wabash and Eastern Illinois for their next meet.

VINCENNES WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

LADY TRAILBLAZERS USE BIG SECOND QUARTER TO WIN OVER D-II NO. 3 PARKLAND

VINCENNES, Ind. – The Vincennes University Lady Trailblazers faced another tough test Saturday night at the Physical Education Complex, facing the Parkland College Cobras.

The Cobras entered the contest Saturday with an unbeaten 10-0 record and sporting a No. 3 National ranking in this week’s NJCAA Division II rankings.

The Lady Trailblazers were looking to get back on track Saturday and trying to end a three-game losing streak and did just that after scoring 34 points in the second quarter to come away with an 83-71 victory over the Cobras.

The first quarter began as a back-and-forth battle, with neither team able to really break away and ultimately ending the first 10 minutes of play tied at 17-17.

Vincennes looked to be the first team to break away in the second quarter, opening the second period by outscoring the Cobras 21-7 to take a 38-24 lead.

VU would later use an 8-2 scoring run to grow their lead to 15 and later adding on a free throw before halftime to head into the locker room at the break holding a 51-35 advantage over Parkland.

The Trailblazers continued to add to their lead to begin the second half, scoring six of the first nine points of the third quarter to take a 19-point lead.

The two teams would trade scores throughout the rest of the third quarter, with VU able to pick up another point onto their lead during the run to head into the fourth quarter holding a seemingly commanding 69-49 lead.

Vincennes looked to put the game in cruise control to begin the fourth quarter, growing their lead to 77-53, their largest lead of the night.

Parkland College had other ideas though, as it appeared that the Lady Blazers might have taken their foot off the gas a little too early, combined with the Cobras opting for more defensive pressure, the Cobras rattled off 12 straight points to cut the VU lead down to 77-65.

After a pair of VU baskets, the Cobras would cut the deficit down to 10 with six more unanswered, outscoring the Lady Blazers 18-4 during this stretch.

Vincennes would put the game away for good in the end, hitting a pair of free throws to help secure the 83-71 victory over NJCAA Division II No. 3-ranked Parkland College.

The Lady Trailblazers had a very spread out scoring attack Saturday night, with five Blazers scoring in double-figures, led by freshman Destinee Hooks (Indianapolis, Ind.) who finished with 21 points on the night.

Hooks came off the bench and really filled out the stats sheet in just her second collegiate game, finishing with six assists, four steals, four blocks and three rebounds for VU.

Sophomore Johnai Wimbleduff (Indianapolis, Ind.) also scored in double-figures off the bench, ending with 11 points and four assists.

Sophomore Elikya Baseyila (Paris, France) continues to control the glass in the rebounding game, finishing with another double-double, her fourth of the season, with 11 points and 14 rebounds.

Freshman Karina Scott (Noblesville, Ind.) helped spark the Lady Blazers big 34-point second quarter by hitting two of her three three-pointers in the second period and finishing with 11 points, three rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals.

Freshman Taylor Guess (Indianapolis, Ind.) rounds out the VU double-figure scorers on the night, ending with 10 points, three steals and three big blocks.

Sophomore Brie Miller (Bainbridge, Ind.) just missed out on another double-double of her own, finishing with eight points and 12 rebounds.

The Lady Trailblazers shared the ball very efficiently Saturday night, recording 24 assists on 32 made field goals.

Vincennes will look to keep this momentum going into next week when VU opens up Region 24 play with back-to-back Region 24 road games.

The Lady Blazers will begin the week Wednesday, Dec. 13 at Rend Lake College in Ina, Ill. Tip-off time for that game is set for 4 p.m. eastern.

Vincennes will then close out the week on the road Saturday, Dec. 16 when VU travels to Ullin, Ill. to take on Shawnee Community College at 2 p.m. eastern.

VU will then return to the Physical Education Complex for the final game of the 2023 portion of their schedule when Vincennes hosts Jefferson College Tuesday, Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. eastern.

VINCENNES MEN’S BASKETBALL

DAMARIEN YATES BUZZER BEATER EARNS FRANKLIN 700TH CAREER WIN

OTTUMWA, Iowa – Vincennes University Hall of Fame Head Coach Todd Franklin earned his 700th career victory as an NJCAA Head Coach Saturday night with the No. 3-ranked Trailblazers pulling off a last second comeback and winning at the buzzer 81-79 over Sauk Valley Community College.

Franklin becomes the 25th men’s basketball head coach to win 700 games at the Junior College level and is one of eight active NJCAA Head Coaches to achieve this milestone in any Division.

Franklin’s career coaching record sits at 700 wins and 176 losses over 27 seasons, recording 330 wins at Southeastern Illinois Community College and 370 wins and counting at Vincennes University.

“I don’t know what this milestone means other than I’m old,” VU Hall of Fame Head Coach Todd Franklin said. “I like the fact that we’ve won about 80 percent. That’s a big thing in that. We’ve done it without compromising. We’ve always taken good guys and I like the way we’ve done it, so I’m proud of it. I’m proud of the guys that we’ve had over the years to do it and I think those guys take pride in it. I’m for sure, but I think we might have been one of the quickest to get to 700 in terms of years or age both.”

“We’ve done a lot of winning,” Franklin added. “We’ve had a lot of great kids, great players, great guys. That’s why we’ve won. The players make plays, we just try to put them in a position to try to get them right. We’ve had good players that have gotten better and improved and much like tonight, they have fought. We’ve had a lot of wins where we’ve fought our way through it. We’ve always taken on the best teams. The 700 means something because we haven’t done it with a whole lot of JV and Prep games. We’ve taken the heavyweights on since back when we were at Southeastern and we wanted anybody, anywhere, any time.”

“We wanted to show who we were before anybody knew who we were,” Franklin said. “And when you get one of these things happen like this, I always think back to those guys. Those guys that were with me back in that corn field. I love them. Those dudes that were in that corn field, they are the toughest people I’ve ever been around and the best people I’ve ever been around. They built our basketball family and then we brought it over to Vincennes and I think we’ve done a pretty good job here when you look at it overall and hopefully we’ve got more in us.”

“I don’t know if I can get to 800 or not, this is getting harder all the time,” Franklin added. “But I’m happy for the guys that have played for us because I think that they take pride in what we do and all I am is the person who gets the accolades. But this is about our basketball family. Our basketball family won our 700th here tonight.”

The Trailblazers looked to bounce back after Friday night’s overtime loss to No. 14 Indian Hills Community College and it began with a shake up in the starting lineup for the Blazers.

Freshmen Damarien Yates (Somerville, Tenn.) and Mathieu Nader-Kalombo (Longueuil, Quebec) cracking the starting five for Vincennes Saturday.

This rotation change looked to pay off early against the Skyhawks with VU building a 19-12 lead midway through the opening half.

Sauk Valley would answer back however, outscoring the Blazers 25-8 to take a 37-27 lead.

SVCC would keep the lead in double figures heading into the halftime break, leading the Trailblazers 43-33 after 20 minutes of play.

Vincennes again battled in the second half, but were unable to fully take the lead back, cutting the deficit down to five before Sauk Valley answered to get their lead back up to nine.

VU would cut the deficit down to four before the Skyhawks answered to score seven unanswered and take a 66-55 lead.

Sauk Valley looked to be in complete control late, holding a 76-64 lead, their largest lead of the game.

Vincennes then ramped up the defensive pressure, trailing by six with just over a minute remaining.

VU forced back-to-back Skyhawk turnovers which resulted in three-point plays by sophomores Kris King (Washington, D.C.) and Michael Osei-Bonsu (Bolingbrook, Ill.) to even the score at 79-79.

The Trailblazers then held the ball with just under 30 seconds remaining, opting to run off as much of the shot clock as possible before attempting a last second shot.

After a VU miss, the Blazers won the scramble for the rebound, swung the ball around the perimeter where it found the hands of Damarien Yates who hit a jumper at the buzzer to give the Blazers the 81-79 victory over Sauk Valley.

“It was tough sledding tonight,” Franklin said. “I thought we started decent in the first five or six minutes of the game. We were scoring pretty well then, they were just hard for us to guard. We were a step slow and they are quick and they were on and when they’re on, they are a tough team. They were for us tonight. I don’t know if it was us playing a late game last night in overtime, end of finals week, there are a lot of things that we could use as an excuse but the bottom line is, they were quicker than we were tonight for a lot of the game.”

“They were quicker to the ball and just quicker in a lot of areas,” Franklin added. “For most of the first half that was true, I thought they were a little quicker in the second half but I thought we played better than they did the entire second half. We just couldn’t get over the hump. We knew we were going to have to score some tonight. Sauk Valley, when they are making shots, can be a hard team to guard and we were struggling in a couple of spots with confidence from our shooters. We could get open shots and we just had guys that turned it down a bit. Sometimes when one guy is hitting, you are a whole lot better. Sometimes if they’re not, it changes the game and there was a lot of that going on out there tonight.”

“I thought we got our footing when we went to a couple of actions,” Franklin said. “We were chipping with Kris and were able to get into a two-man game with him and Lebron at the top of that zone. It helped stretch some of those seams and make them a little longer with two guys that I thought could do some stuff and then I thought we would get the ball inside some. I didn’t get as much of that and it became Kris finding a good seam to attack and as he started to get some confidence in that, we decided to stay with it and that was good to us in the last five or six minutes.”

“Then, we were within range but couldn’t get over the hump until we went to a press,” Franklin added. “We pressed them with Damarien being at the front of it. He is going to get big and long and quick to it, plus they hadn’t seen it. So if you haven’t seen it and you get up on it, I think it rattled them a little bit. Damarien’s long and the guys got up and got energized and did a good job and that turned it. We stayed with the same actions the whole time down the stretch and Kris made some good plays. The last play he got a pretty good look and missed but we stayed hungry on the glass and got the ball. I didn’t want to call timeout. I knew we had one, but I thought the ball was hot. I thought we were going to get a good look. Whether we made it or not, they way it was moving and where we were and they were scrambling and sometimes you’re right and sometimes you’re wrong and tonight we ended up being right because Damarien made the shot.”

The Trailblazers were led offensively by Damarien Yates, who finished with a game-high 23 points on a perfect six of six shooting from the floor, while also grabbing four rebounds and getting a pair of steals.

Sophomore Kris King came off the bench to add 18 points, including hitting three from behind the three-point arc.

Sophomore Michael Osei-Bonsu controlled the inside game offensively to finish his night with 16 points and seven rebounds.

“Those three guys carried us offensively,” Franklin said. “I think they got most of our makes and we got a lot of misses from other spots. Damarien is a guy that we knew had the ability. He’s starting to make a turn. I thought he was a big part of us last night turning the game around and rallying and I really felt like we should have gotten out of there with a win. He was a big part of that. He didn’t have huge stats, but he was a big part of that. He stepped up there and missed a couple of free throws late, you do that sometimes when you’re a freshmen and it’s about how you bounce back from that. Good players bounce back from that and he did. I think he’s going to be a good player. He’s got a lot of learning and growth to go. He’ll be a whole lot better player in March than he is right now if he works his tail off. But you can see that he’s got some things there. Some things that we need and he was big tonight”

The Trailblazers will look to continue this momentum into next weekend when VU begins Region 24 play Saturday, Dec. 16 at Shawnee Community College in Ullin, Ill. Tip-off time Saturday is set for 4 p.m. eastern.

This will be the second to last game for the Blazers during the 2023 portion of their schedule, returning to the Physical Education Complex to close out 2023 Wednesday, Dec. 20 to face Southwest Tennessee Community College at 7 p.m. eastern.

“We need practice right now,” Franklin said. “We need to get in and go to work. It’s great to get a win. We could have gotten two this weekend and we could have gotten none. The competition level this weekend was high. We’ve played a tremendous schedule and to take this on, I knew when we took this on and I scheduled it, with finals week right before, that this was not a smart thing to do. But we needed to do it for scheduling purposes, so we’ll learn from it.”

“We got out of here with one of the two and the other one we took Indian Hills to overtime,” Franklin added. “Now we’ve just got to go back and get to work. We’ll have no school now this next week, so we have a chance to get in and get some work done. I don’t know if we will. I think the guys know that we need to. I know that we need to and we need to for a big game next Saturday to open up Region play on the road at Shawnee. It’s a tough, long trip. Mid-afternoon game, all that. We can’t worry about all of that. We can’t worry about rankings and polls. We have to worry about getting better. So that’s the state of affairs for us right now.”

ANDERSON MEN’S BASKETBALL

Anderson Rolls Past Bluffton

The Anderson University men’s basketball team (6-2, 2-1) rolled past Bluffton University (2-5, 0-3) by a score of 81-61 during Saturday’s Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) matchup in O.C. Lewis Gymnasium.

COACH CARTER COLLINS’S COMMENTS

I was really happy with about 37 of the 40 minutes [on Saturday]. Similar to the Berea game, we took our foot off of the gas pedal at the end of the first half, and our margin shrunk considerably heading into the locker room. We really need to work to close out halves better. But outside of that stretch, I was pretty pleased. I thought we did a good job of sharing the ball on offense, and on the other side of the floor I thought our defense was relatively effective at preventing great looks.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

The Ravens went a perfect 15-for-15 from the free-throw line. Anderson was perfect from the free-throw line on at least 10 attempts for the sixth time in school history. The Ravens last accomplished this feat was on Jan. 28, 2017.

Anderson blocked 10 shots, recording double-digit blocks in a game for the second time this season and for the ninth time in school history.

The Beavers made each of their 10 attempts from the charity stripe.

Anderson powered to a 42-22 scoring advantage in the paint.

The Ravens converted 29-of-66 (43.9 percent) shots from the field while the Beavers knocked down 22-of-63 (34.9 percent) attempts from the floor.

Anderson outrebounded Bluffton 45-32 and held a 15-8 advantage in second-chance points.

The Ravens hit 8-of-26 (30.8 percent) shots from 3-point range while the Beavers made 7-of-24 (29.2 percent) attempts from the perimeter.

Tate Ivanyo – 17 Points, 10 Rebounds, 3 Steals

Bryson Huckeby – 16 Points, 11 Rebounds, 4 Assists, 1 Block

Elijah Mattingly – 10 Points, 4 Blocks, 4 Assists

Robert Davidson – 10 Points, 2 Steals

DeMonte Ferguson – 9 Points, 1 Block

Gavin Dowling – 5 Points

Cam Smith – 4 Points, 3 Assists, 2 Blocks

Alex Hunt – 4 Points, 2 Blocks

Jordan Gadis – 4 Points, 2 Steals

Bryce Williams – 2 Points

UP NEXT

Anderson faces off with the University of Olivet (2-4) on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 3 p.m. in Olivet, Mich.

ANDERSON WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: OFFENSE DOMINATES IN RAVENS VICTORY AGAINST BLUFFTON

Offense Dominates in Ravens Victory against Bluffton

The Anderson University women’s basketball team’s (5-4, 2-2) offense dominated in the 83-67 victory against the Bluffton University Beavers (2-5, 1-2) on Saturday in O.C. Lewis Gymnasium.

COACH JON GIN’S COMMENTS

It was a great hard-fought team victory. We really got our defense cranked up in the second quarter and it sparked our offense and we created a nice lead heading into halftime. In the second half, we are still learning how to close out games. I thought we did a better job of closing the tempo, playing aggressive without fouling and most importantly, limiting them to one-and-dones. Our bigs did a great job all night of boxing out and making it difficult for them to score inside.

HOW IT HAPPENED

The Ravens converted 32-of-62 (51.6 percent) on shots from the field while Beavers hit 22-of-62 (35.5 percent) attempts from the floor.

Bluffton went 18-of-22 (81.8 percent) on its free-throw attempts, while Anderson shot 12-of-15 (80 percent) on free throws.

The Ravens hit 7-of-21 (33.3 percent) shots from 3-point range while the Beavers converted 5-of-18 (27.8 percent) attempts from the perimeter.

The Beavers committed 14 turnovers while the Ravens turned the ball over 13 times. Anderson outscored the Bluffton 23-6 off turnovers.

Anderson stole the ball 13 times throughout the game, while Bluffton was able to gather eight steals.

Bluffton held a 34-27 advantage from points off the bench and a 19-15 advantage against Anderson in second-chance opportunities

The Ravens were strong in the paint outscoring the Beavers 46-24.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

Sarah Sewak – 24 Points, 8-11 FG (72.7%), 3 Rebounds, 1 Assist, 1 Steal

Bella Larrison – 14 Points, 6-7 FG (85.7%), 2-2 3PT, 4 Rebounds, 3 Steals

Makynlee Taylor – 10 Points, 3 Assists, 1 Rebound, 1 Block

Izzy Davis – 10 Points, 5 Rebounds

Sydney Sierota – 7 Points, 5 Rebounds, 4 Steals, 1 Assist, 1 Block

Lauren Smith – 6 Points, 1 Rebound, 1 Assist

Ella Turner – 4 Points, 5 Rebounds, 2 Steals, 1 Block

Mackinzie Toliver – 4 Points, 2 Rebounds, 2 Steals, 1 Assist

Brynn Beard – 4 Points

Neva Sheets – 3 Assists, 2 Rebounds, 1 Steal

Victoria Detraz – 3 Rebounds

UP NEXT

The Ravens battle Wittenberg University (3-2) on Friday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. in O.C. Lewis Gymnasium.

ROSE HULMAN WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL FALLS TO MSJ IN OVERTIME THRILLER

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology dropped a nail-biter in overtime 66-62 on Saturday afternoon.

The game was back and forth the entire way with neither team able to gain control. The Lions built their largest lead of the game at 10 points late in the first half, but Rose-Hulman answered with a 9-0 run to go into the locker room trailing by just one point.

The second half was more of the same, and both teams had chances to win the game in the final minute. Jamie Baum hit a jumper with 28 seconds to go to tie the game at 53.

Mount St. Joseph came back down the floor and got fouled with just 1.6 seconds remaining, but they only made one of the two free throws. Rose-Hulman then threw the ball in to Manuella Shomba who drew a foul with under a second remaining, but Shomba only made one of two as well, and the game went to overtime tied at 54.

In overtime, both teams matched each other shot for shot, and neither team was able to build a multi-possession lead. Mount St. Joseph hit a triple with one minute to go to take a 2-point lead, and they answered a Rose-Hulman miss with a bucket to win the game 66-62.

Manuella Shomba led the team with 16 points and 12 rebounds for her second double-double of the season.

Jamie Baum also added 16 points and 7 rebounds, and she led the team with 3 steals.

CK Gallegos-Rodriguez came up big on the glass with 11 rebounds.

Rose-Hulman returns to action on Wednesday night as they travel to Hanover for another HCAC battle.

ROSE HULMAN MEN’S BASKETBALL

MCGOWEN’S CAREER NIGHT ENDS IN CLOSE LOSS TO LIONS

TERRE HAUTE, Ind.– The Rose-Hulman men’s basketball team hosted Mount St. Joseph University in HCAC action on Saturday. The team suffered a close loss at the buzzer with a final score of 65-62. This drops the team to 3-4 overall and 1-1 in the HCAC this season.

Miles McGowen had an exceptional performance with a career-high 33 points. He finished the game recording a double-double leading the team with 11 rebounds. McGowen becomes the first player since 2018 to score 30 points in a game. Bradley Harden also reached double digits in scoring with 10 points in the contest.

The Lions built a 35-30 lead at the end of the first half in a competitive game. The Engineers put together a 21-2 run in the second half to take the lead 55-47 with 7:16 left in the game. A made three-pointer by the Lions tied the game at 62-62 with 41 seconds remaining.

Mount St. Joseph got the open look on a three-pointer in the corner and hit the shot to win the game at the buzzer to hand Rose-Hulman their first conference loss of the season.

The team will travel to face Hanover College on Wednesday, 12/13 at 7:30 PM.

WABASH MEN’S BASKETBALL

WABASH SUFFERS FIRST CONFERENCE LOSS AT WITTENBERG

Wabash lost its first North Coast Athletic Conference basketball game of the season Saturday afternoon in a 75-62 contest at Wittenberg University.

Wabash (7-3, 3-1 NCAC) entered the game ranked eighth among NCAA Division III teams in scoring defense and the conference leader in field goal defense. The Little Giants limited previous opponents to 58.9 points and a 37.9 field goal shooting percentage. Wittenberg (7-3, 3-1 NCAC), however, took advantage of the familiar setting of its home facility of the Pam Evans Smith Arena and connected on 46 percent of its shots from the field for the victory.

Wabash held an early 3-2 lead thanks to a basket by Ahmoni Jones 1:30 into the contest. The host Tigers scored the next five points for a 7-2 lead and never trailed again. The Little Giants fell behind as many as six points on a pair of free throws by Trey Killens, who finished with a game-high 22 points for the Tigers.

The Little Giants rallied behind baskets by Nate Matelic and Rich Brooks to cut the lead to one at 17-16 midway through the first half. Wittenberg got an 8-0 run to stretch the advantage to nine points at 25-16. The Tigers held that nine-point edge with 3:55 left in the opening period until Avery Beaver came off the bench to score Wabash’s final seven points of the half. Beaver’s offensive output helped narrow the Wittenberg lead to four points at 33-29 at the halftime horn.

Wittenberg stretched its lead to double digits with two consecutive three-point baskets to open the final period. The Tigers extended the lead to as many as 19 points with 11:27 left in the game before a final Wabash offensive charge. Wittenberg shot 15 of 26 from the field over the final 20 minutes for 57.7 percent and made 4 of 8 three-point shots.

Beaver and Brooks combined for 19 of the Little Giants’ next 23 points, joined by four points from Jones, to trim the Tigers’ lead to eight points at 69-61 with 3:39 remaining. Killens ended any thoughts of a comeback with a basket and free throws to extend the lead back to double digits for the final time.

Jones and Brooks shared the Wabash scoring lead with 17 points apiece. Brooks tallied 12 points in the second half. Beaver added a season-high 14 points for the Little Giants. Jones picked up his first double-double of the season by grabbing 10 rebounds to go with his 17 points.

Wabash shot 22 of 54 from the field (40.7 percent) and improved to 7 of 21 from three-point range for the game after hitting just 2 of 11 long-range shots in the opening period.

The Little Giants are off until December 19, when they travel to Washington, D.C., to play in the Catholic University Holiday Classic.

WABASH WRESTLING

WABASH FINISHES FIFTH AT NORTH CENTRAL WRESTLING OPEN

Wabash College wrestlers earned five top-six places and finished fifth out of 15 teams at Saturday’s North Central College Wrestling Open in Naperville, Illinois. Daniel Uribe, James Day, Blake McGee, Tim Smith, and Ray Arebalo each posted top-five efforts in their specific weight classes.

Uribe won three matches to capture second place in the 149-pound weight class. He started the tournament with a 13-3 major decision versus Josh Door from North Central. Uribe defeated Coe College’s Dylan Grigsby in the quarterfinal round, then scored a 7-6 win in the semifinals against Cole Becker from Augsburg. A loss to Michael Petrella from Baldwin Wallace in the finals gave Uribe second place in the bracket standings.

Day posted four victories in the 125-pound weight class bracket. He opened the tournament with an 11-0 major decision over Gavin Jensen from Coe College, followed by a 7-6 win against Quintin Wolbert from Wisconsin-La Crosse. A 10-7 loss in the semifinal round sent Day to the consolation bracket, where he scored a 9-4 victory over Coe’s Cade Hornback to advance to the finals. Day defeated Remington Bontreger from UW-La Crosse 10-6 to capture third place.

McGee earned fourth place in the 141-pound bracket with three victories in the day’s competition. He scored a technical fall with a 15-0 win against Aidan Kelly from Baldwin Wallace. McGee defeated Robert Palmieri from Baldwin Wallace in the consolation third round after a quarterfinal loss, then picked up a 19-4 tech fall against Jake Penzato from Aurora University.

Smith placed fifth at 157 pounds with four wins in the bracket. He began the tournament with a 13-7 victory against Justin Gorman from Albion, then defeated Collin Mojena from North Central 11-0 for a major victory in the second round. A 4-3 win against Karsen Otis from Augsburg allowed Smith to advance to the semifinal round. Two losses in the next two matches put Smith into the fifth-place bout, where he was awarded the victory in no contest.

Arebalo also earned a fifth-place in his 174-pound weight class bracket. He opened the day with a 17-2 tech fall against Paul Kadlec from Joliet Junior College before scoring a 7-4 decision against Christian Komitas from Aurora. Arebalo bounced back from losses in the next two rounds to defeat Komitas for a second time in the finals to earn fifth place.

Wabash scored 100 total points to capture fifth place in the team standings. Augsburg won the team title with 180 points. North Central finished in second place (148.5 points), followed by Coe (138 points) and Baldwin Wallace (111 points). UW-La Crosse (96.5 points), Aurora (50 points), Carthage College (36 points), Albion (34.5 points), and Quincy College (19 points) rounded out the top ten teams in the standings.

Wabash will compete at the Hilltopper Duals in West Liberty, West Virginia, on December 17.

SMALL COLLEGE ATHLETICS

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

EARLHAM ATHLETICS: https://goearlham.com/

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

FRANKLIN ATHLETICS: https://franklingrizzlies.com/

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

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

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

BETHEL ATHLETICS: https://bupilots.com/

DEPAUW ATHLETICS: https://depauwtigers.com/

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

MANCHESTER ATHLETICS: https://muspartans.com/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NBA STANDINGS

Eastern Conference
Atlantic Division
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Boston165.76210-06-59-115-47-31 W
Philadelphia147.6672.08-36-44-210-56-42 W
New York129.5714.06-36-61-310-66-42 L
Brooklyn129.5714.08-54-41-311-86-43 W
Toronto913.4097.56-63-70-65-124-63 L
 
Central Divison
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Milwaukee157.68210-25-52-313-77-31 L
Indiana128.6002.07-55-35-110-76-43 W
Cleveland139.5912.06-67-32-29-47-33 W
Chicago914.3916.57-62-83-26-95-54 W
Detroit220.09113.01-101-101-52-120-1019 L
 
Southeast Division
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Orlando157.68210-25-53-110-48-21 W
Miami1210.5453.05-47-63-09-94-61 L
Atlanta912.4295.53-66-63-26-113-73 L
Charlotte713.3507.04-73-63-37-104-61 W
Washington318.14311.51-72-111-72-171-94 L
 
Western Conference
Northwest Division
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Minnesota174.81010-17-34-012-29-16 W
Oklahoma City147.6673.07-47-31-28-67-31 W
Denver149.6094.09-15-82-112-75-53 L
Utah715.31810.56-51-102-47-123-72 L
Portland615.28611.02-64-91-32-113-73 L
 
Pacific Division
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
LA Lakers149.60910-24-74-211-67-33 W
Sacramento128.6000.56-36-54-311-86-41 W
Phoenix1210.5451.55-67-42-49-86-42 L
LA Clippers1110.5242.07-34-72-210-87-33 W
Golden State1012.4553.55-65-63-49-104-61 L
 
Southwest Division
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Dallas138.6196-47-44-28-65-52 W
Houston109.5262.09-11-82-29-84-62 W
New Orleans1211.5222.08-44-73-29-96-41 L
Memphis615.2867.01-95-62-35-124-61 L
San Antonio318.14310.01-102-81-33-120-1016 L

NFL STANDINGS

American Football Conference
East Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Miami Dolphins930.7500.03842665-0-04-3-06-2-03-1-03 W
Buffalo Bills660.5003.03282275-2-01-4-03-5-02-2-01 L
New York Jets480.3335.01712512-5-02-3-02-6-01-3-05 L
New England Patriots3100.2316.51692721-6-02-4-03-5-02-2-01 W
 
West Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Kansas City Chiefs840.6670.02752084-2-04-2-06-1-03-1-01 L
Denver Broncos660.5002.02633024-3-02-3-03-5-01-2-01 L
Los Angeles Chargers570.4173.02752582-4-03-3-03-4-01-1-01 W
Las Vegas Raiders570.4173.02022564-2-01-5-03-5-01-2-02 L
 
North Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Baltimore Ravens930.7500.03241874-2-05-1-06-3-03-2-02 W
Cleveland Browns750.5832.02582455-1-02-4-05-3-03-2-02 L
Pittsburgh Steelers760.5382.52102504-4-03-2-05-4-03-1-02 L
Cincinnati Bengals660.5003.02462733-3-03-3-02-6-00-4-01 W
 
South Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Jacksonville Jaguars840.6670.02852593-4-05-0-06-3-04-1-01 L
Indianapolis Colts750.5831.03002962-4-05-1-05-3-03-2-04 W
Houston Texans750.5831.02812495-2-02-3-04-3-01-2-01 W
Tennessee Titans480.3334.02132554-2-00-6-02-6-00-3-01 L
 
National Football Conference
East Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Philadelphia Eagles1020.8330.03292885-1-05-1-06-1-03-0-01 L
Dallas Cowboys930.7501.03882206-0-03-3-06-3-03-1-04 W
New York Giants480.3336.01592922-3-02-5-03-4-02-2-02 W
Washington Commanders490.3086.52613951-5-03-4-02-7-00-5-04 L
 
West Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
San Francisco 49ers930.7500.03521894-1-05-2-07-1-03-0-04 W
Los Angeles Rams660.5003.02682533-3-03-3-04-4-04-1-03 W
Seattle Seahawks660.5003.02642904-2-02-4-05-4-01-3-03 L
Arizona Cardinals3100.2316.52303312-4-01-6-02-6-00-4-01 W
 
North Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Detroit Lions930.7500.03272864-2-05-1-06-2-02-1-01 W
Minnesota Vikings660.5003.02632422-4-04-2-06-3-02-1-02 L
Green Bay Packers660.5003.02582434-2-02-4-04-3-02-2-03 W
Chicago Bears480.3335.02422962-3-02-5-03-5-01-3-01 W
 
South Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Atlanta Falcons660.5000.02262404-2-02-4-04-4-03-0-02 W
Tampa Bay Buccaneers570.4171.02332453-3-02-4-04-4-02-1-01 W
New Orleans Saints570.4171.02572552-3-03-4-02-5-01-2-03 L
Carolina Panthers1110.0835.01913131-4-00-7-00-8-00-3-05 L

NHL STANDINGS

Eastern Conference
Atlantic Division
 GPWLOTLPtsROWGFGAHomeRoadL10
Boston Bruins2618533917876510-2-18-3-25-4-1
Florida Panthers261682341680679-4-07-4-26-3-1
Toronto Maple Leafs241464321084778-4-16-2-37-1-2
Detroit Red Wings261484321497828-4-36-4-16-3-1
Tampa Bay Lightning29131153113951028-3-35-8-24-5-1
Montreal Canadiens271212327975956-8-16-4-25-4-1
Buffalo Sabres2811143251179945-7-16-7-23-5-2
Ottawa Senators2211110221078708-8-03-3-06-4-0
 
Metropolitan Division
 GPWLOTLPtsROWGFGAHomeRoadL10
New York Rangers251861371782708-2-010-4-16-4-0
Philadelphia Flyers2715102321383736-6-19-4-16-3-1
New York Islanders261277311179846-3-56-4-27-1-2
Washington Capitals241383291160708-4-25-4-15-4-1
New Jersey Devils2514101291491915-6-19-4-06-4-0
Carolina Hurricanes2714121291388908-2-16-10-04-5-1
Pittsburgh Penguins2611123251175695-6-16-6-23-4-3
Columbus Blue Jackets299155239851017-7-22-8-35-4-1
 
Western Conference
Central Division
 GPWLOTLPtsROWGFGAHomeRoadL10
Colorado Avalanche271692341594829-4-07-5-25-3-2
Dallas Stars261583331389816-5-19-3-24-4-2
Winnipeg Jets251582321581688-5-17-3-17-3-0
Arizona Coyotes2613112281186778-5-05-6-25-5-0
Nashville Predators2714130281385859-6-05-7-07-3-0
St. Louis Blues2713131271276887-4-06-9-14-6-0
Minnesota Wild25912422878885-4-24-8-24-4-2
Chicago Blackhawks26916119963905-6-14-10-04-5-1
 
Pacific Division
 GPWLOTLPtsROWGFGAHomeRoadL10
Vegas Golden Knights281855411595659-2-29-3-35-2-3
Vancouver Canucks28189137181077310-3-18-6-06-4-0
Los Angeles Kings241644361691565-4-311-0-18-1-1
Calgary Flames2711133251178936-6-15-7-25-5-0
Edmonton Oilers2411121231084837-4-14-8-07-3-0
Seattle Kraken28813723774984-7-24-6-52-5-3
Anaheim Ducks261016020969885-9-05-7-01-9-0
San Jose Sharks278172188581115-6-23-11-05-4-1

FOOTBALL HISTORY

December 10, 1922 – Pete Henry didn’t look like the prototypical gridiron player, he was 5’-11” and 240 pounds according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s website. His teammates called him “Fats” but opponents should have never doubted the threat he was on the football field. It was on this day, as a member of the Canton Bulldogs, that Fats Henry allegedly made the longest known NFL drop-kicked field goal when he nailed it from 45 yards as documented on the American Football Database against the Toledo Maroons in a 19-0 Bulldog victory that gave the undefeated Canton Bulldogs the title of the Leagues’ inaugural champions.

December 10, 1938 – At the Grey Cup it was a repeat of the previous season, as the Toronto Argonauts whalloped the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, 30-7 to keep the Canadian title.

December 10, 1939 – West Allis, Wisconsin  – “The Dairy Bowl” – The National Football League’s Championship game in 1939 pitted the Green Bay Packers against the New York Football Giants. The Pack took home their fifth title as they blanked the Giants, 27-0 according to the packershistory.net site. 

December 10, 1940  – The Chicago Bears used the number one pick in the 1941 NFL Draft to select Tom Harmon from the University of Michigan. Harmon had just won the Heisman Trophy as well as the Maxwell Award, according to IMDB.com. Harmon turned down George Halas and the Bears, though, and accepted an offer from the upstart American Football League’s New York Americans. After that version of the AFL folded the subsequent off-season, Tom became a fighter pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corp. and fought in WWII for four years. In 1946 he returned and played in the NFL for the LA Rams for three seasons.

December 10, 1961 – In the AFL the Houston Oilers great rusher, Billy Cannon set a single game all-purpose yards record of 373 yards against the New York Titans. The Houston Chronicle shares a great video of the event with more details.

December 10, 1983 – Shea Stadium the home of the New York Jets for 20 seasons had its last NFL game played at it as the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Jets 34-7 according to a great News Day article with more details.

December 10, 1994 – The 60th Heisman Trophy Award went to Rashaan Salaam of the University of Colorado who played the position of running back. The Heisman’s official webpage tells us that Rashaan was the first player from Colorado to win the award as he became the third finalist in history of the Trophy to surpass 2000 yards rushing in a season for Division I. Salaam totaled 2055 yards on the season with 24 scores and a remarkable 7.61 rushing average to lead the Buffs to a 4th place ranking in the polls.

December 10, 2001 – Eric Crouch the option quarterback from Nebraska won the 67th Heisman Trophy Award. Eric was a dual threat in the 2001 season as he rushed for 1115 and 18 scores on the ground while passing for 1510 yards according to Heisman.com. In addition to the Heisman, Crouch also took home the Davey O’Brien quarterback Award and the Walter Camp player of the Year Award.

December 10, 2005 – The 71st Heisman Trophy Award was given to USC standout runner Reggie Bush. However if you look at the Heisman’s website you will not see an entry for a winner in 2005. That is because Bush later forfeit his trophy due to what ESPN.com describes as him and other Trojan athletes receiving improper benefits that violated NCAA rules. 

December 10, 2012 – 78th Heisman Trophy went to the first freshman to ever win the award when Quarterback Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M was chosen to receive the coveted honor in his red shirt season with the Aggies. It is interesting to note that on Manziel’s bio on Heisman.com it states that he originally committed to play at Oregon out of High School signing about the same time as the 2014 Heisman winner Marcus Mariota.  Johnny Football tossed 24 TD’s on 3419 yards passing while using his legs for another 1181 yards and 19 scores. The game that really set the table for Manziel’s Heisman votes was most likely when he led the A&M to a 29-24 upset of the top ranked Alabama Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa, where he tallied 345 yards of total offense and performed some real dazzling plays.

December 10, 2016 – The youngest player to win a Heisman Trophy Award did it at the age of just 19 in the 82nd edition of the Trophy. Lamar Jackson, the uniquely talented option quarterback of the Louisville Cardinals was given the Trophy per Heisman.com. Jameis Winston of Florida State was 5 days older than Jackson when he took home the hardware in 2013. Lamar’s 4928 yards of total offense was second in Heisman history only to Ty Detmer’s 5022 yards in the 1990 season. Jackson was the first player from Louisville to receive the honor and he was only the fourth sophomore to win it in the Trophy’s history.

Hall Of Fame Birthdays for December 10

December 10, 1916 – Tunica, Mississippi – Ole Miss Halfback Linus Parker Hall was born, but he may be better known as “Bullet” Hall. The NFF’s bio states that Hall had an incredible 1938 season where he led the nation in all purpose yards and scoring while being unnamed by the UPI and AP as an All-America player. His eleven TDs and 7 extra points chalked him up for a total of 73 points and his all purpose yards season total stood at 1558. Bullet was also the nation’s leader in rushing average, kick return average, had the most interceptions, and total touchdowns made with 11 rushing and  11 more passing  the ball.  The National Football Foundation selected Bullet Hall to enter into their College Football Hall of Fame in 1991.

December 10, 1933 – Decatur, Georgia – Larry Morris the great Georgia Tech center and linebacker was born. Larry excelled at more than just two positions on the gridiron. He not only lettered and captained the Ramblin Wreck football team but he also was the captain of the Yellow Jacket baseball team as well as lettering in that sport too. The footballfoundation.org website states that on the gridiron he was an All conference player as well as an All-America team member in 1953.  The National Football Foundation selected Larry Morris to enter into their College Football Hall of Fame in 1992. Larry went into the NFL ranks after college as he played for the Rams, Bears and Falcons during his 12 year career.

NUMBERS IN SPORTS

18 – 98 – 20 – 21 – 19 – 7 – 2 – 8

December 10, 1922 – Canton Bulldogs player, Number 18, Pete Henry made the longest known NFL drop-kicked field goal of 45 yards

December 10, 1940 – 1941 NFL Draft: Tom Harmon, Number 98 from University of Michigan first pick by Chicago Bears

December 10, 1961 – Houston Oilers utility back Number 20, Billy Cannon gained an AFL record 373 yards combined rushing/receiving in 48-21 win over New York Titans at the Polo Grounds, NYC

December 10, 1986 – Atlanta Hawks Number 21, Dominique Wilkins dropped 57 points on the Chicago Bulls

December 10, 1992 – NHL awarded franchises to Miami and Anaheim for 1994-95

December 10, 1994 – 60th Heisman Trophy Award was won by Colorado running back, Number 19, Rashaan Salaam.

December 10, 2001 – 67th Heisman Trophy Award was won by Nebraska Quarterback, Number 7, Eric Crouch

December 10, 2005 – 71st Heisman Trophy Award was won by USC running back Number 5, Reggie Bush. Bush later forfeits trophy

December 10, 2012 – 78th Heisman Trophy Award was won by Texas A&M Quarterback, Number 2, Johnny Manziel. He was the first freshman to win the award

December 10, 2016 – 82nd Heisman Trophy Award was won by Louisville Cardinals Quarterback, Number 8, Lamar Jackson, youngest player to win at 19

TV SUNDAY

NFL REGULAR SEASONTIME ETTV
Tampa Bay at Atlanta1:00pmCBS
LA Rams at Baltimore1:00pmFOX
Detroit at Chicago1:00pmFOX
Indianapolis at Cincinnati1:00pmCBS
Jacksonville at Cleveland1:00pmCBS
Carolina at New Orleans1:00pmFOX
Houston at NY Jets1:00pmCBS
Minnesota at Las Vegas4:05pmFOX
Seattle at San Francisco4:05pmFOX
Buffalo at Kansas City4:25pmCBS
Denver at LA Chargers4:25pmCBS
Philadelphia at Dallas8:20pmNBC
NHL REGULAR SEASONTIME ETTV
Florida at Columbus1:00pmBally Sports
New Jersey at Edmonton4:00pmMSGSN
Sportsnet
Nashville at Montreal7:00pmBally Sports
Sportsnet
Los Angeles at NY Rangers7:00pmBally Sports
MSG
Washington at Chicago7:00pmMNMT
NBCS-CHI
Winnipeg at Anaheim8:00pmBally Sports
Sportsnet
Minnesota at Seattle9:00pmBally Sports
Root Sports
San Jose at Vegas10:00pmNBCS-CA
Scripps
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALLTIME ETTV
Fordham vs. North Texas11:30amYES
Brown at Providence12:00pmCBSSN
Princeton at Saint Joseph’s1:00pmESPN+
Boston University at Wagner1:00pmNEC Front Row
Winthrop at Little Rock1:00pmESPN+
Arkansas-Fort Smith at UTSA1:00pmESPN+
Prairie View A&M at Iowa State1:00pmESPN+
Colorado vs. Miami (FL)2:00pmESPN2
Alcorn State at VCU2:00pmMASN
Oak Hills Christian at North Dakota State2:00pmESPN+
Tennessee Wesleyan at Chattanooga2:00pmESPN+
Ohio Dominican at Bowling Green2:00pmESPN+
Johnson (FL) at Stetson2:00pmESPN+
SIUE at Ball State2:00pmESPN+
Buffalo State at Niagara2:00pmESPN+
Detroit Mercy at Northwestern2:00pmBTN+
Virginia U. of Lynchburh at William & Mary2:00pmFloSports
Rhode Island at Charleston2:00pmFloSports
Montreat at UNCW2:00pmFloSports
Ecclesia at UT Martin3:00pmESPN+
Morehead State at North Alabama3:00pmESPN+
Central Arkansas at Eastern Illinois3:00pmESPN+
St. Thomas at Chicago State3:00pmYouTube
Memphis at Texas A&M4:00pmESPN2
Long Beach State at USC4:00pmPAC12N
Elon at UNCG4:00pmESPN+
Tennessee Tech at ETSU4:00pmESPN+
Ole Miss at UCF4:00pmESPN+
Howard Payne at Abilene Christian4:00pmESPN+
Bethany at Eastern Kentucky4:00pmESPN+
Michigan at Iowa4:30pmBTN
St. John’s vs. Boston College4:30pmESPNU
Saint Francis U at Iona5:00pmESPN+
Tennessee State at Lipscomb5:00pmESPN+
Michigan State at Nebraska6:30pmBTN
Oklahoma State vs. Tulsa6:30pmESPNU
Temple vs. UAlbany7:00pmYES
Grambling State at Washington State8:00pmPAC12N
Hawai’i Pacific at Hawai’i8:00pmESPN+
GOLFTIME ETTV
PGA: Grant Thornton Invitational1:00pmGOLF
PGA: World Champions Cup1:00pmABC
PGA: Grant Thornton Invitational2:00pmNBC
SOCCERTIME ETTV
Serie A: Frosinone vs Torino6:30amParamount+
Ligue 1: Nice vs Reims7:00ambeIN Sports
La Liga: Atlético Madrid vs Almería8:00amESPN+
EPL: Everton vs Chelsea9:00amPeacock
EPL: Fulham vs West Ham United9:00amPeacock
EPL: Luton Town vs Manchester City9:00amPeacock
Serie A: Monza vs Genoa9:00amParamount+
Ligue 1: Strasbourg vs Le Havre9:00ambeIN Sports
Ligue 1: Clermont vs Lille9:00ambeIN Sports
Ligue 1: Metz vs Brest9:00ambeIN Sports
Bundesliga: Stuttgart vs Bayer Leverkusen9:30amESPN+
La Liga: Granada vs Athletic Club10:15amESPN+
Ligue 1: Olympique Lyonnais vs Toulouse11:05ambeIN Sports
EPL: Tottenham Hotspur vs Newcastle United11:30amUSA
Bundesliga: Köln vs Mainz 0511:30amESPN+
Serie A: Salernitana vs Bologna12:00pmParamount+
La Liga: Cádiz vs Osasuna12:30pmESPN+
Bundesliga: Augsburg vs Eintracht Frankfurt1:30pmESPN+
Serie A: Roma vs Fiorentina2:45pmParamount+
Ligue 1: Lorient vs Olympique Marseille2:45pmbeIN Sports
La Liga: Barcelona vs Girona3:00pmESPN+
WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALLTIME ETTV
UMass Lowell vs UMass12:00pmESPN+
Florida Gulf Coast vs Duke12:00pmACCN
Florida State vs UCLA12:00pmESPN2
Siena vs Boston College12:00pmACCNX
Sacred Heart vs Iona12:00pmESPN+
UMass Lowell vs UMass12:00pmNESN
Gardner-Webb vs South Florida1:00pmESPN+
Southeast Missouri State vs Indiana State1:00pmESPN+
Northwestern vs Maryland1:00pmB1G+
Penn State vs Ohio State1:00pmB1G+
Lees-McRae vs East Tennessee State1:30pmESPN+
Wagner vs Columbia2:00pmESPN+
Arkansas Pine Bluff vs Arkansas2:00pmSECN
Appalachian State vs Richmond2:00pmESPN+
Radford vs Virginia Tech2:00pmACCNX
Detroit Mercy vs Northern Illinois2:00pmESPN+
Kentucky vs Louisville2:00pmACCN
Fordham vs Fairfield2:00pmESPN+
Chicago State vs Butler2:00pmFloSports
Elon vs UNC Greensboro2:00pmESPN+
Rhode Island vs St. John’s2:00pmFloSports
Loyola (MD) vs Toledo2:00pmESPN+
Holy Cross vs Quinnipiac2:00pmESPN+
Eastern Kentucky vs Tennessee2:00pmSECN+
Florida vs Tulsa2:00pmESPN+
Towson vs American2:00pmESPN+
UNC Pembroke vs Coastal Carolina2:00pmESPN+
Liberty vs NC State2:00pmACCNX
Middle Tennessee vs Tennessee Tech2:00pmESPN+
Xavier vs Cincinnati2:00pmESPN+
Master’s University vs Loyola Marymount2:00pmESPN+
Dickinson State vs South Dakota2:00pmSummit
Norfolk State vs Wake Forest2:00pmACCNX
Towson vs American University2:00pmESPN+
Florida vs Tulsa2:00pmESPNU
Delaware State vs West Virginia2:00pmESPN+
Menlo vs Santa Clara2:00pmESPN+
Kansas vs Wichita State2:00pmESPN+
Penn vs Temple2:00pmESPN+
Columbia College vs Queens (NC)2:00pmESPN+
Georgia State vs Georgia Tech2:00pmACCNX
Akron vs Cleveland State2:00pmESPN+
Purdue vs Minnesota2:00pmB1G+
Howard vs Tulane2:00pmESPN+
Kent State vs Duquesne2:00pmESPN+
Iowa vs Wisconsin2:30pmBTN
Johnson University (TN) vs Lipscomb2:30pmESPN+
Utah vs South Carolina2:30pmESPN
Texas College vs Sam Houston3:00pmESPN+
Ball State vs WKU3:00pmESPN+
Western Illinois vs Kansas City3:00pmSummit
Southern Miss vs Memphis3:00pmESPN+
Marquette vs Illinois State3:00pmESPN+
Lafayette vs LSU3:00pmSECN+
Incarnate Word vs Tarleton3:00pmESPN+
Michigan vs Illinois3:00pmB1G+
Prairie View A&M vs TCU3:00pmESPN+
Prairie View A&M vs TCU3:00pmESPN+
Ball State vs Western Kentucky3:00pmESPN+
Samford vs Alabama3:00pmSECN+
Auburn vs Little Rock3:30pmESPN+
Hampton vs New Mexico4:00pm
Washington vs Washington State4:00pmPAC12
Carolina University vs Winthrop4:00pmESPN+
San Diego vs CSU Northridge5:00pmESPN+
North Carolina vs UConn5:00pmESPN
Saint Mary’s vs UC Davis5:00pmESPN+
North Dakota State vs Iowa State6:00pmESPN+

What to Watch: Sunday, 12/10/23

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALLTIME ETTV
Memphis at Texas A&M4:00pmESPN2

The Memphis Tigers leads all time series 6-4 versus Texas A&M Aggies. The Aggies are 3-0 all time at home versus the Tigers. Last time Memphis and Texas A&M met wasin 2022 which Memphis won 83-79 at home versus Texas A&M. The Aggies last win at home versus Tigers was in 1965.

NFLTIME ETTV
Seattle at San Francisco4:05pmFOX

The Seattle Seahawks leads all time series 30-21 versus the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers and Seahawks last met this season which the 49ers won 31-13 on the road. Since 2021 San Francisco is 2-2 at home versus Seattle. The Seahawks last win on the road against the 49ers was in 2021.

Buffalo at Kansas City4:25pmCBS

The Buffalo Bills leads all time series 28-24-1 versus the Kansas City Chiefs. Last time the Bills and Chiefs played was in 2022 which the Bills won 24-20 on the road. The last time the Chiefs won versus the Bills at home was in 2022 playoffs. The 49ers are 12-6-1 all time on the road versus the Eagles. Since 2021 the Bills and Chiefs series in Kansas City is tied 2-2.

Philadelphia at Dallas8:20pmNBC

The Dallas Cowboys leads all time series 73-56 versus the Philadelphia Eagles. Last time the Cowboys and Eagles played was this season which the Eagles won 28-23 at home. The last time the Cowboys won versus the Eagles at home was in 2022. Since 2018 the Eagles have lost the last five games at Dallas.

NHLTIME ETTV
Los Angeles at NY Rangers7:00pmMSG
Bally Sports

The New York Rangers leads all time series 80-58-16 versus Los Angeles Kings. Last season the Rangers lead regular season series 2-0 versus the Kings. New York is 31-32-10 all time at home versus Los Angeles. This is the first matchup of the 2023-24 regular season between both teams.