BOYS BASKETBALL SCORES
|BLUE RIVER||77||CAMBRIDGE CITY LINCOLN||49|
|DUGGER UNION||70||WASHINGTON CATHOLIC||57|
|EVANSVILLE DAY||73||CARLISLE COUNTY (KY.)||47|
|EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL||82||FOREST PARK||59|
|INDIANAPOLIS SCECINA||68||PROVIDENCE CRISTO REY||29|
|MCLEAN COUNTY (KY.)||58||SHOALS||38|
|TALAWANDA (OHIO)||57||EAST CENTRAL||55||OT|
|BISMARCK-HENNING (ILL.) TOURNAMENT|
|INDIANA MATH & SCIENCE||VILLA GROVE (ILL.)||6:30 PM|
|CLAY CITY TOURNAMENT|
|NORTH CENTRAL (FARMERSBURG)||50||NORTH VERMILLION||41||CON|
|CLAY CITY||64||OWEN VALLEY||50||SF|
|CLINTON CENTRAL TOURNAMENT|
|CARROLL (FLORA)||58||FOUNTAIN CENTRAL||57||5TH|
|NORTH JUDSON||57||CLINTON PRAIRIE||50||3RD|
|HAUSER||67||VICTORY COLLEGE PREP||51||7TH|
|GIBSON COUNTY CLASSIC|
|GIBSON SOUTHERN||53||WHITE RIVER VALLEY||40|
|SOUTH BEND CAREER||56||CULVER||46||R1|
|BENTON CENTRAL||48||KANKAKEE VALLEY||42||R1|
|HAMILTON SOUTHEASTERN||82||SOUTH BEND ST. JOSEPH||38||POOL A|
|MISHAWAKA MARIAN||58||FISHERS||55||OT | POOL B|
|VALPARAISO||71||FORT WAYNE DWENGER||58||POOL B|
|HAMILTON SOUTHEASTERN||62||MUNSTER||61||OT | POOL A|
|VALPARAISO||65||FISHERS||61||OT | POOL B|
|HOMESTEAD||83||SOUTH BEND ST. JOSEPH||50||POOL A|
|MISHAWAKA MARIAN||39||FORT WAYNE DWENGER||33||POOL B|
|KANKAKEE (ILL.) TOURNAMENT|
|LAFAYETTE JEFF||77||LINDBLOM (ILL.)||69||QF|
|KENTUCKY MOUNTAIN CLASSIC|
|AVON||50||MAGOFFIN COUNTY (KY.)||43|
|LAKELAND CHRISTIAN TOURNAMENT|
|FAITH CHRISTIAN||71||CLINTON CHRISTIAN||18||5TH|
|TRADERS POINT CHRISTIAN||50||DEMOTTE CHRISTIAN||28||3RD|
|LAKELAND CHRISTIAN||38||BETHANY CHRISTIAN||36||1ST|
|GARY 21ST CENTURY||64||MOORESVILLE||56||R1|
|NEW PALESTINE||61||INDIANAPOLIS METROPOLITAN||60||R1|
|MIAMI COUNTY INVITATIONAL|
|RISING SUN||52||UNION COUNTY||35||7TH|
|PURDUE POLY ENGLEWOOD||69||NORTH PUTNAM||50||5TH|
|BETHESDA CHRISTIAN||48||GREENWOOD CHRISTIAN||36||1ST|
|INDIANAPOLIS CHATARD||57||SOUTH RIPLEY||54||R1|
|SOUTH DEARBORN||59||NEW WASHINGTON||53||2OT | R1|
|SOUTH RIPLEY||62||NEW WASHINGTON||50||CON|
|INDIANAPOLIS CHATARD||64||SOUTH DEARBORN||36||SF|
|LAWRENCE CENTRAL||64||COLUMBUS NORTH||42||SF|
|COLUMBUS NORTH||50||CROWN POINT||48||3RD|
|NORTH CENTRAL CLASSIC|
|PARK TUDOR||62||NORTH CENTRAL (INDIANAPOLIS)||59|
|FORT WAYNE SOUTH||43||BLACKFORD||38||7TH|
|BOONVILLE||72||SOUTH SPENCER||70||2OT | R1|
|HERITAGE HILLS||65||VINCENNES LINCOLN||41||R1|
|SOUTH SPENCER||66||VINCENNES LINCOLN||46||CON|
|CORYDON CENTRAL||73||TELL CITY||20||R1|
|PERRY CENTRAL||58||CRAWFORD COUNTY||47||R1|
|CRAWFORD COUNTY||35||TELL CITY||30||CON|
|CORYDON CENTRAL||70||PERRY CENTRAL||43||SF|
|PROVISO WEST (ILL.) TOURNAMENT|
|HAMMOND CENTRAL||71||LINCOLN PARK (ILL.)||60||CON|
|RICH CENTRAL (ILL.) TOURNAMENT|
|HAMMOND NOLL||77||THORNRIDGE (ILL.)||66||CON|
|NORTH DECATUR||60||INDIANAPOLIS HOMESCHOOL||46||CON|
|INDIANAPOLIS TINDLEY||66||EASTERN HANCOCK||61||2OT | CON|
|MONROE CENTRAL||51||INDIANAPOLIS HOMESCHOOL||48||11TH|
|SILVER CREEK TOURNAMENT|
|DANVILLE||78||NORTH KNOX||45||POOL B|
|SOUTH CENTRAL (ELIZABETH)||78||SOUTHRIDGE||73||POOL A|
|SOUTH CENTRAL (ELIZABETH)||47||EASTERN GREENE||41||POOL A|
|ORLEANS||47||NORTH KNOX||25||POOL B|
|SOUTHRIDGE||56||EASTERN GREENE||36||POOL A|
|WABASH COUNTY TOURNAMENT|
|WABASH VALLEY TOURNAMENT|
|CASEY-WESTFIELD (ILL.)||71||MARSHALL (ILL.)||43||CON|
|ROBINSON (ILL.)||71||SOUTH VERMILLION||60||CON|
|TERRE HAUTE NORTH||68||SHAKAMAK||34||CON|
|BLOOMFIELD||57||TERRE HAUTE SOUTH||54||OT | SF|
|HARRISON (WEST LAFAYETTE)||51||PORTAGE||50|
|SOUTH BEND WASHINGTON||51||WARSAW||44|
GIRLS BASKETBALL SCORES
|BREBEUF JESUIT||41||PARK TUDOR||30|
|CLINTON CENTRAL||54||INDIANAPOLIS RITTER||17|
|COLUMBUS NORTH||57||BUTLER (KY.)||45|
|DUPONT MANUAL (KY.)||58||WARREN CENTRAL||45|
|WASHINGTON CATHOLIC||56||DUGGER UNION||39|
|BISMARCK-HENNING (ILL.) TOURNAMENT|
|CISSNA PARK (ILL.)||42||NORTH VERMILLION||30|
|BENTON CENTRAL||67||OAKWOOD (ILL.)||28|
|BENTON CENTRAL||57||UNITY (ILL.)||31|
|NORTH VERMILLION||55||BISMARCK-HENNING (ILL.)||29|
|CARL SANDBURG (ILL.) TOURNAMENT|
|RIVERSIDE-BROOKFIELD (ILL.)||49||HAMMOND CENTRAL||39||15TH|
|CARROLL (FLORA) TOURNAMENT|
|COVENANT CHRISTIAN||30||BETHESDA CHRISTIAN||19||7TH|
|WESTERN BOONE||54||EASTERN (GREENTOWN)||27||5TH|
|GIBSON COUNTY CLASSIC|
|GRANT 4 TOURNAMENT|
|HAMMOND MORTON TOURNAMENT|
|HAMMOND NOLL||64||HAMMOND MORTON||41||POOL A|
|DETROIT EDISON (MICH.)||52||THORNWOOD (ILL.)||44||POOL B|
|NOTRE DAME ACADEMY (OHIO)||64||HAMMOND NOLL||61||OT | POOL A|
|THORNWOOD (ILL.)||70||GARY WEST||8||POOL B|
|LAKE CENTRAL||56||WASHINGTON TWP.||41||POOL A|
|LAWRENCE CENTRAL||65||PORTAGE||40||POOL B|
|SOUTH BEND ADAMS||47||HOBART||30||POOL A|
|PORTAGE||48||SOUTH BEND ADAMS||43||5TH|
|LAWRENCE CENTRAL||39||LAKE CENTRAL||38||OT | 1ST|
|LAKELAND CHRISTIAN TOURNAMENT|
|LAKELAND CHRISTIAN||56||GRANGER CHRISTIAN||17||3RD|
|FAITH CHRISTIAN||70||DEMOTTE CHRISTIAN||56||1ST|
|MIAMI COUNTY INVITATIONAL|
|MICHIGAN CITY CLASSIC|
|NEW PRAIRIE||50||MARQUETTE CATHOLIC||45|
|MICHIGAN CITY||52||MARQUETTE CATHOLIC||50||OT|
|NEW PRAIRIE||MICHIGAN CITY||PPD.|
|NORTH CENTRAL (INDIANAPOLIS) CLASSIC|
|AVON||61||NORTH CENTRAL (INDIANAPOLIS)||58|
|GIBSON SOUTHERN||56||HENDERSON COUNTY (KY.)||53|
|HAMILTON SOUTHEASTERN||42||SPRINGSBORO (OHIO)||41|
|INDIANAPOLIS CHATARD||65||INDIANA MATH & SCIENCE||20||5TH|
|TRITON CENTRAL TOURNAMENT|
|TRITON CENTRAL||47||BLOOMINGTON NORTH||37||1ST|
|TWIN LAKES TOURNAMENT|
|MOUNT VERNON (FORTVILLE)||38||NORTH WHITE||18||CON|
|CLINTON PRAIRIE||68||KANKAKEE VALLEY||48||CON|
|KANKAKEE VALLEY||47||NORTH WHITE||44||7TH|
|MOUNT VERNON (FORTVILLE)||36||CLINTON PRAIRIE||26||5TH|
|TWIN LAKES||60||CROWN POINT||51||1ST|
|WABASH COUNTY TOURNAMENT|
INDIANA WRESTLING SCORES: HTTPS://INDIANAMAT.COM/INDEX.PHP?/DUALRESULTS.HTML/
TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
#2 UCONN 74 VILLANOVA 66
#3 HOUSTON 89 TULSA 50
#7 TENNESSEE 63 OLE MISS 59
#8 ALABAMA 78 #21 MISSISSIPPI STATE 67
LSU 60 #9 ARKANSAS 57
#10 GONZAGA 120 EASTERN OREGON 42
#12 BAYLOR 85 NICHOLLS 56
#13 VIRGINIA 66 ALBANY 46
VERMONT AT #14 MIAMI FLORIDA CANCELED
#18 TCU 103 CENTRAL ARKANSAS 57
MISSOURI 89 #19 KENTUCKY 75
#20 AUBURN 61 FLORIDA 58
#22 XAVIER 84 ST. JOHN 79
#22 NEW MEXICO 88 COLORADO STATE 69
BALL STATE 70 CHICAGO STATE 63
TOP 25 WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
#3 OHIO STATE 81 NORTHWESTERN 48
#8 UCONN 72 #21 CREIGHTON 47
#14 MICHIGAN 76 NEBRASKA 59
BUTLER 79 XAVIER 65
COLLEGE FOOTBALL BOWL SCHEDULE
WEDNESDAY, DEC. 28
THURSDAY, DEC. 29
MINNESOTA VS. SYRACUSE — PINSTRIPE BOWL (BRONX, NEW YORK) | 2 P.M. | ESPN
NO. 13 FLORIDA STATE VS. OKLAHOMA — CHEEZ-IT BOWL (ORLANDO, FLORIDA) | 5:30 P.M. | ESPN
NO. 12 WASHINGTON VS. NO. 20 TEXAS — ALAMO BOWL (SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS) | 9 P.M. | ESPN
FRIDAY, DEC. 30
NO. 23 NC STATE VS. MARYLAND — DUKE’S MAYO BOWL (CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA) | 12 P.M. | ESPN
NO. 18 UCLA VS. PITT — SUN BOWL (EL PASO, TEXAS) | 2 P.M. | CBS
NO. 19 SOUTH CAROLINA VS. NO. 21 NOTRE DAME — GATOR BOWL (JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA) | 3:30 P.M. | ESPN
OHIO VS. WYOMING — ARIZONA BOWL (TUCSON, ARIZONA) | 4:30 P.M.| BARSTOOL
NO. 6 TENNESSEE VS. NO. 7 CLEMSON — ORANGE BOWL (MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA) | 8 P.M. | ESPN
SATURDAY, DEC. 31
IOWA VS. KENTUCKY — MUSIC CITY BOWL (NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE) | 12 P.M. | ABC
NO. 5 ALABAMA VS. NO. 9 KANSAS STATE — SUGAR BOWL (NEW ORLEANS) | 12 P.M. | ESPN
NO. 2 MICHIGAN VS. NO. 3 TCU (CFP SEMIFINAL) — FIESTA BOWL (GLENDALE, ARIZONA) | 4 P.M. | ESPN
NO. 1 GEORGIA VS. NO. 4 OHIO STATE (CFP SEMIFINAL) — PEACH BOWL (ATLANTA) | 8 P.M. | ESPN
MONDAY, JAN. 2
NO. 22 MISSISSIPPI STATE VS. ILLINOIS — RELIAQUEST BOWL (TAMPA, FLORIDA) | 12 P.M. | ESPN2
NO. 17 LSU VS. PURDUE — CITRUS BOWL (ORLANDO, FLORIDA) | 1 P.M. | ABC
NO. 10 USC VS. NO. 16 TULANE — COTTON BOWL (ARLINGTON, TEXAS) | 1 P.M. | ESPN
NO. 8 UTAH VS. NO. 11 PENN STATE — ROSE BOWL (PASADENA, CALIFORNIA) | 5 P.M. | ESPN
SUNDAY, JAN. 8
FCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP (FRISCO, TEXAS) | 2 P.M. | ABC
MONDAY, JAN. 9
CFP NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME (INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA) | ESPN
NFL WEEK 17
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2022
DALLAS COWBOYS AT TENNESSEE TITANS (THU) 7:15P (CT) 8:15P PRIME VIDEO
SUNDAY, JANUARY 01, 2023
ARIZONA CARDINALS AT ATLANTA FALCONS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P FOX
PITTSBURGH STEELERS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P CBS
CHICAGO BEARS AT DETROIT LIONS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P FOX
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT HOUSTON TEXANS 12:00P (CT) 1:00P CBS
DENVER BRONCOS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 12:00P (CT) 1:00P CBS
MIAMI DOLPHINS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P CBS
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT NEW YORK GIANTS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P CBS
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 1:00P (ET) 1:00P FOX
CAROLINA PANTHERS AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P FOX
CLEVELAND BROWNS AT WASHINGTON COMMANDERS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P FOX
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AT LAS VEGAS RAIDERS 1:05P (PT) 4:05P FOX
NEW YORK JETS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS 1:05P (PT) 4:05P FOX
MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT GREEN BAY PACKERS 3:25P (CT) 4:25P CBS
LOS ANGELES RAMS AT LOS ANGELES CHARGERS 5:20P (PT) 8:20P NBC*
MONDAY, JANUARY 02, 2023
BUFFALO BILLS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS (MON) 8:30P (ET) 8:30P ESPN/ABC
DETROIT 121 ORLANDO 101
WASHINGTON 127 PHOENIX 102
BROOKLYN 108 ATLANTA 107
MIAMI 112 LA LAKERS 98
NEW ORLEANS 119 MINNESOTA 118
CHICAGO 119 MILWAUKEE 113 OT
GOLDEN STATE 112 UTAH 107
SACRAMENTO 127 DENVER 126
BOX SCORES: HTTP://HOSTED.STATS.COM/NBA/SCOREBOARD.ASP
TAMPA BAY 4 MONTRÉAL 1
BOSTON 3 NEW JERSEY 1
DETROIT 5 PITTSBURGH 4
ANAHEIM 3 VEGAS 2
CALGARY 3 SEATTLE 2
BOX SCORES: HTTP://HOSTED.STATS.COM/NHL/SCOREBOARD.ASP
TOP NATIONAL HEADLINES:
MCDANIEL: TUA SUFFERED CONCUSSION IN LOSS TO PACKERS
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa sustained his second concussion of the season in last week’s loss to Green Bay, Miami coach Mike McDaniel confirmed Wednesday.
Tagovailoa has not been officially ruled out for Sunday’s pivotal game at New England, though it’s unknown when the Dolphins will see him on the field again.
McDaniel said the Dolphins are moving forward with Teddy Bridgewater as their starter.
The NFL and the players association have launched a joint review of the application of the concussion protocol involving Tagovailoa.
“We welcome that review, and as we have done previously, we will report the results in conjunction with the NFLPA,” NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy said.
McDaniel said Tagovailoa was at the Dolphins’ facility Wednesday but did not offer details on how he is doing beyond “better than yesterday.”
Tagovailoa appeared to hit the back of his head against the ground when he was tackled in the second quarter against the Packers, but he never left the game and wasn’t immediately evaluated for a concussion.
McDaniel said Monday that the team didn’t see anything during the game that would have made them question if Tagovailoa had a concussion. It wasn’t until they reviewed the tape the next day that they saw inconsistencies with Tagovailoa that concerned them.
Tagovailoa met with doctors Monday afternoon and was placed into the NFL’s concussion protocol after reporting symptoms.
“There were some things that caused us to really prod,” McDaniel said, “and as a result we felt that he needed to see medical professionals.”
Tagovailoa, at 24 years old and in just his third pro season, has now sustained two confirmed concussions since the start of the season.
He entered the concussion protocol in September after taking a scary hit that knocked him unconscious during Miami’s game at Cincinnati. He was stretchered off the field and returned in Week 7.
Tagovailoa took another hard hit four days before the Cincinnati game during a win over Buffalo. He appeared to show concussion symptoms but was evaluated and stayed in the game, drawing criticisms of why he was allowed to return.
The NFL later changed its concussion protocol after a joint review with the NFLPA, mandating that any player who shows possible concussion symptoms – including a lack of balance or stability – sit out the remainder of a game.
Bridgewater replaced Tagovailoa for Miami’s Week 5 matchup against the Jets, but lasted just one play after a hit. A spotter reported seeing him stumble after the play, making Bridgewater ineligible to return.
He returned in Miami’s Week 6 loss to Minnesota and has thrown for 522 yards and three TDs in four appearances this season.
Bridgewater said he didn’t notice anything off with Tagovailoa on Sunday.
“Throughout the course of the game, emotions are high,” Bridgewater said. “Competitive juices set in and you want to continue to fight through whatever you’re going through.”
McDaniel, the Dolphins’ typically loquacious and upbeat coach, appeared concerned for his young quarterback Wednesday, with a visibly somber countenance as he described, in few words, what it has been like to see Tagovailoa suffer another concussion.
“Terrible,” McDaniel said.
He also declined to say whether he would consider sitting Tagovailoa for the rest of the season even after he clears protocols.
The Dolphins will now try to turn their focus to Sunday’s divisional matchup, which will go a long way in determining whether they can clinch a playoff berth. Miami is clinging to the third AFC wild-card spot after losing its past four games.
“Football still means something to the guys in this locker room,” Bridgewater said, “and the guys that’s going out there Sunday.”
RAIDERS BENCH QB CARR, WILL START STIDHAM FOR FINAL 2 GAMES
HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has missed only three games in nine years, all because of injury.
Now, for the first time, he won’t play because of what coach Josh McDaniels said Wednesday were offensive performance reasons.
McDaniels not only will start Jarrett Stidham the final two weeks, including Sunday’s home game against the San Francisco 49ers, but Carr will be inactive. Practice squad quarterback Chase Garbers will be the backup.
The Raiders (6-9) have lost two of the past three games to all but fall out of the playoff race just a year after making the postseason.
Carr has not completed more than 55% of his passes in any of the past four games, and he has thrown seven interceptions and six touchdown passes in that span.
“I don’t think anybody feels like we’ve done enough offensively certainly in a couple of these games,” McDaniels said. “We couldn’t put enough points on the board, so I don’t think anybody’s really happy with what we’ve done.”
Wide receiver Davante Adams, who also played with Carr at Fresno State, helped orchestrate a trade from the Green Bay Packers in March largely because he wanted to play with him.
“I don’t think anybody was excited about it in here,” Adams said of Carr’s benching. “I wouldn’t be here right now if he wasn’t here. I think everybody knows how I feel about him. … Obviously, I support my guy.”
Adams said his focus is on the final two games rather than what his options might look like after the season.
Carr was not at the Raiders’ facility, and Stidham was expected to address reporters Thursday.
“You’ve got to kind of take the emotions out of it and realize the only thing that can be productive is support Jarrett going forward,” tight end Darren Waller said. “The guys are excited about him being able to get an opportunity, so we’re rallying around him and letting him know we believe in him.”
By not playing Carr, the Raiders eliminate the possibility of a serious injury affecting his contract status. The club has until Feb. 15 to decide whether to release or trade Carr – who has a no-trade clause but could waive it – or he would receive $33 million for 2023. A serious injury would guarantee that money plus another $7.5 million for 2024.
Even before Wednesday’s announcement, there were serious questions whether the Raiders wanted to continue to invest in a quarterback who has led the team to just two playoff appearances.
“We’re all accountable to where we’re at, and I think this (decision) is more about an opportunity to see a guy that we haven’t seen play in a situation like this against a couple of good teams, really good teams,” McDaniels said. “Derek’s played a lot of football. There’s a lot of evaluating that’s going to take place here in terms of once the season’s over in terms of how we made the most progress, what makes the most sense for everybody, how to move forward.
“We knew that was going to be the case. Obviously, we were hoping to be in a different scenario than we are currently, but there’s no decision made. There’s no finality to today. This is the decision we thought after talking about it and contemplating. It would be an opportunity for us to see what we have in (Stidham).”
McDaniels is more than familiar with Stidham, who spent the previous three seasons with the New England Patriots. McDaniels was the Patriots offensive coordinator.
Including three games with the Raiders this season, Stidham has completed 32 of 61 passes for 342 yards with two touchdowns and four interceptions. He has never started.
Carr has missed only two regular-season starts and one in the playoffs. He was just 165 yards away from passing Dan Marino (35,386) for the third-most passing yards through the first nine seasons of a career.
“Those aren’t easy conversations,” McDaniels said of his talk with Carr. “I couldn’t be more complimentary of him or the way he handled it. This is an A-1 class human being. He’s obviously meant a lot to this place for a long time, and we’ll see how this goes. I’m not going to sit here and predict the future. There’s a lot that could happen. We’re going to take those things one day at a time. Right now, we’re going to get ready for the 49ers.”
NOTES: McDaniels also said defensive lineman Chandler Jones (elbow) and linebacker Denzel Perryman (shoulder) were placed on season-ending injured reserve. … Jones was playing better after a slow start with 4 1/2 sacks and three tackles for loss. He also returned an ill-advised lateral 48 yards for a touchdown on the final play two weeks ago to beat the Patriots. … Perryman leads the Raiders with 83 tackles and his 14 tackles for loss are second. … Defensive lineman Isaac Rochell and linebacker Harvey Langi were signed to the active roster and defensive lineman Trent Harris to the practice squad. Wide receiver Albert Wilson was released from the practice squad and offensive lineman Vitaliy Gurman restored to the practice squad.
COMMANDERS TURN TO WENTZ TO START WEEK 17 GAME VS. BROWNS
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) Looking to reinvigorate their offense that has become stagnant, the Washington Commanders are turning back to Carson Wentz at quarterback for a crucial late-season game with their playoff hopes hanging in the balance.
Coach Ron Rivera decided to go with Wentz over Taylor Heinicke for his team’s next game Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, citing the veteran QB’s play in relief at San Francisco and a better command of the offense than earlier this season.
“Where we are right now, I’m looking for a little bit of a spark, a little something different,” Rivera said after practice Wednesday. “And I think now’s a good opportunity for it.”
Wentz replaced Heinicke during the fourth quarter of Washington’s loss at San Francisco and went 12 of 16 for 123 yards and a touchdown pass. The 29-year-old with the strong arm gives the Commanders a higher ceiling than Heinicke, whose success running the offense sputtered after winning five of his first six starts.
“I felt like we were on a roll there for a little bit, and got ourselves in a position to make the playoffs,” Heinicke said. “Obviously you want to play, but it’s out of my hands now. They’ve made a decision and I’m going to try to be the best backup I can be to Carson.”
Rivera told several veteran players about his decision before naming Wentz the starter, which was the most likely outcome not only given the move to bench Heinicke and the Commanders’ three-game winless stretch but also the assets the organization gave up to acquire Wentz last offseason. He went into training camp as the unquestioned starter before getting injured.
Months later, Wentz’s performance against the 49ers tipped the scales in his favor, despite going 2-4 in his first six games with Washington.
“Now he’s had a little bit more of an opportunity to see the rest of the offense, feel the rest of the offense and I think that’s a big part of it,” Rivera said. “He’s more comfortable with what we’re doing. That was evident in the game. In spite of the fact that they knew we were going to throw it, they kept coming, and I thought he handled those situations very, very well.”
This will be Wentz’s first start since Oct. 13 at Chicago when he broke the ring finger on his right, throwing hand and had surgery, landing on injured reserve. He was in uniform again and backed up Heinicke in a home loss to the New York Giants on Dec. 18.
“It’s exciting for me, personally, but I think at the end of the day it’s exciting for this team,” Wentz said. “We all know where we’re at. We all know what we’re capable of and what we’re up against.”
The Commanders are 7-7-1 and can clinch a playoff spot with a win and with losses by Seattle, Detroit and Green Bay. They host the Dallas Cowboys in Week 18.
They can also be eliminated with a loss to Cleveland and wins by the Lions and Packers. Improved defense would help after a rough showing at San Francisco, but Wentz is now being tasked with using the skills that made him a No. 2 pick and multiyear starter to help Washington stay in contention.
“We know how talented he is: He’s really big, great arm strength, can make a ton of plays off schedule,” Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said. “Coming off of the injury, I think he looks healthy, and he looks fresh. He did a lot of nice things.”
Wentz also brings something fresh to the Commanders after they went 0-2-1 in their past three games.
“I feel like we can use some type of change or something to spark our offense,” rookie running back Brian Robinson Jr. said. “I feel like we’ve been kind of doing the same things over the last however many weeks. It’ll be nice to kind of have something new.”
NOTES: S Kam Curl said he feels good after missing the 49ers game with an ankle injury. He was a limited participant in practice, along with CB Benjamin St-Juste, who has also been hampered by a sore ankle. … RB Antonio Gibson (knee/ankle) did not practice and is in danger of not being available against Cleveland.
THE STARTING 11 — SURPRISE TEAMS ENTER POSTSEASON CONVERSATION, BILLS-BENGALS CLASH ON MNF, AS PLAYOFF RACES INTENSIFY
Dick Clark used to say music is the soundtrack of our lives.
And as New Year’s Eve approaches, the soundtrack of life in the National Football League is nearing a crescendo. The quest for division crowns, homefield advantage, Wild Card berths and playoff seeding will become much clearer this week.
Only 32 regular-season games remain and 23 of those are battles between teams in the same division. All told, 14 teams finish their regular-season schedules with two straight division games, and several of those teams control their own destinies.
AARON RODGERS and the GREEN BAY PACKERS (7-8) have earned their way back into the playoff conversation. The CAROLINA PANTHERS (6-9), NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (6-9) and TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (7-8) are all playing for the NFC South division title. And a division championship for the JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (7-8), who have won five of their last seven, is well within reach.
Meanwhile, the MIAMI DOLPHINS (8-7) and NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (7-8) square off on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS) and each team controls its own path to the postseason.
This week, after an interconference showdown between DALLAS (11-4) and TENNESSEE (7-8) in the season’s final Thursday Night Football game (8:15 PM ET, Prime Video), the NFL kicks off only 13 hours after the ball drops at Times Square. So raise your glass, sing Auld Lang Syne and then get to sleep. It’s the NFL’s first full slate of New Year’s Day games since the 2016 season.
And Super Bowl LVII in Arizona is only 47 days away.
The Starting 11 entering Week 17…
1. MANDATORY MONDAY VIEWING: Monday Night Football, the longest running series in television history, is in its 53rd season. And since the series kicked off in 1970, this week could be among its most anticipated matchup ever. Not only will the BUFFALO BILLS (12-3) meet the CINCINNATI BENGALS (11-4) at Paycor Stadium (8:30 PM ET, ESPN/ABC) with the AFC’s No. 1 seed potentially on the line, the game also will mark just the third in Monday Night Football history to involve two teams with 11-or-more wins. In 1997, San Francisco (12-2) defeated Denver (11-3), the Broncos’ last loss of that season en route to a Super Bowl XXXII victory. And in 1985, the Los Angeles Raiders (11-4) won the league’s final regular-season game, at the Los Angeles Rams (11-4). …Cincinnati with a win, coupled with a Baltimore loss on Sunday, would clinch the AFC North division title.
2. NUMBER OF THE WEEK – 8: The number of wins by the MINNESOTA VIKINGS this season after trailing in the fourth quarter, tied for the NFL’s single-season record with the 2016 Detroit Lions. Overall this season, 76 NFL games have been won or tied by teams that trailed in the fourth quarter, more than any season in league annals through 16 weeks. The Vikings (12-3) face a road test at GREEN BAY (7-8) on Sunday (4:25 PM ET, CBS).
- Packers head coach MATT LAFLEUR is 17-1 in regular-season games played in December and January, including 15 consecutive December wins.
- And since Dec. 1 of their last Super Bowl season, 2010, the Packers own the league’s best regular-season record in December and January: 46-15 (.754).
3. WORST-TO-FIRST: Competitive balance, one of the hallmarks of the NFL, gives fans hope entering each season. In 17 of the past 19 years (2003-21), at least one team has finished first in its division the season after finishing last or tied for last place.
- In fact, of the 50 teams in league history to go from “worst-to-first,” 27 of them have done so since 2003, including an NFL-record three teams in 2005 and 2006.
- Entering Week 17 this year, three clubs – BALTIMORE (10-5), CAROLINA (6-9) and JACKSONVILLE (7-8) – have an opportunity to continue that remarkable trend.
- Two teams during that 19-year span, the 2009 New Orleans Saints and the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles, won the Super Bowl after finishing last in their division the season before. Last year, the Cincinnati Bengals advanced to Super Bowl LVI after finishing last in the AFC North in 2020. The Bengals became the fifth team since 2000 to advance to the Super Bowl the season after finishing in last place.
- The MINNESOTA VIKINGS (12-3) have clinched the NFC North division title after missing the postseason in 2021. In 18 of the past 19 years (2003-21), at least two teams have won their divisions the season after missing the playoffs.
4. SPOTLIGHT – ROOKIE STANDOUTS: When the NEW YORK JETS (7-8) meet the SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (7-8) on Sunday at Lumen Field (4:05 PM ET, FOX), exceptional rookies will be on the field for both teams. When the Jets have the ball, expect to see Seahawks cornerback TARIQ WOOLEN lined up in coverage against Jets wide receiver GARRETT WILSON on several snaps. Woolen is a rookie Pro Bowler who is tied for the league lead with six interceptions. Wilson, meanwhile, leads all rookies in receptions (71) and receiving yards (996). Meanwhile, Seattle running back KENNETH WALKER leads all rookies with nine rushing touchdowns and Jets rookie Pro Bowl cornerback SAUCE GARDNER leads all NFL players with 16 passes defensed.
- Gardner and Woolen represent only the second pair of rookie cornerbacks voted to a Pro Bowl, joining EVERSON WALLS and Pro Football Hall of Famer RONNIE LOTT in the 1981 season.
5. SPOTLIGHT – TEAM MATCHUP: SAN FRANCISCO (11-4) visits LAS VEGAS (6-9) on Sunday (4:05 PM ET, FOX) in an intriguing contest, especially when the 49ers have the ball. Niners tackle TRENT WILLIAMS, who earned his 10th Pro Bowl selection, leads an offensive line that squares off with MAXX CROSBY and the Raiders’ front seven. Crosby leads the NFL this season with 19 tackles for loss and is tied for fifth in the league with 56 quarterback pressures, while teammate CHANDLER JONES ranks third among active players with 112 career sacks. Meanwhile, since entering the NFL in 2017, 49ers running back CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY leads the league with 112.5 scrimmage yards per game.
- The 49ers’ BROCK PURDY could become just the fifth quarterback ever to win each of his first four starts in a rookie season. The others: BEN ROETHLISBERGER (won first 13 starts in 2004), MIKE KRUCZEK (first six in 1968), VIRGIL CARTER (first four in 1968) and PHIL SIMMS (first four in 1979).
6. STREAK SPEAK: The JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (7-8) are aiming for their first four-game winning streak since 2017, when they advanced to the AFC Championship Game. Quarterback TREVOR LAWRENCE leads the NFL in passer rating (108.2) over his last seven starts. Their foes this week, the HOUSTON TEXANS (2-12-1), have won nine consecutive meetings with the Jaguars entering Sunday’s game at NRG Stadium (1:00 PM ET, CBS), Jacksonville’s last win over Houston was Dec. 17, 2017.
7. DID YOU KNOW?: At least nine league records over the next two weeks are in danger of falling:
- Tampa Bay quarterback TOM BRADY (671) needs 57 pass attempts to break the single-season record (MATTHEW STAFFORD, 727 in 2012).
- Brady, who has 443 completions entering this week, needs 43 more to break his own single-season record, 485 in 2021.
- Kansas City quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES (4,720) needs 758 passing yards to capture the single-season record (Pro Football Hall of Famer PEYTON MANNING, 5,477 in 2013).
- Minnesota wide receiver JUSTIN JEFFERSON (1,756) needs 209 receiving yards to secure the single-season record (Pro Football Hall of Famer CALVIN JOHNSON, 1,964 in 2012).
- Tennessee punter RYAN STONEHOUSE (53.37) leads the NFL in gross punting average and has an opportunity to break the single-season NFL record (Pro Football Hall of Famer SAMMY BAUGH, 51.40 in 1940). The rookie record is 48.19 (MICHAEL DICKSON, 2018).
- Kansas City punter TOMMY TOWNSEND (45.50) leads the NFL in net punting average and has an opportunity to break the single-season NFL record (JOHNNY HEKKER, 46.00 in 2016).
- The PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (31) need six rushing touchdowns to break the single-season record, held by the 1962 Green Bay Packers (36).
- The Eagles (61) also need 12 sacks to break the single-season record, held by the 1984 Chicago Bears (72).
- As a league, the NFL is averaging 4.46 yards per carry and could break the single-season league record, 4.42, established in 2018.
8. UNDER-THE-RADAR STORYLINE: One of the NFL’s most consistent players, running back AUSTIN EKELER, has helped the LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (9-6) earn their first postseason berth since 2018. Ekeler now has two seasons with at least 10 rushing touchdowns and five receiving touchdowns. The only other player in league history with more than one such season is Pro Football Hall of Famer MARSHALL FAULK, who also did it twice. Ekeler and the Chargers are the designated home team against the LOS ANGELES RAMS (5-10) on Sunday at SoFi Stadium (4:25 PM ET, CBS). Since the Chargers moved back to Los Angeles in 2017, the teams have met just once during the regular season, in 2018 at the Memorial Coliseum. They did not play in 1960, the only other year in which each club called Los Angeles its home. The Rams relocated to Los Angeles in 2016.
9. TREND TIME: The CAROLINA PANTHERS (6-9) are 3-1 since quarterback SAM DARNOLD became the starter on Thanksgiving weekend in Week 12. Since Thanksgiving, Darnold and the Panthers lead the NFL in passing yards per attempt (8.63) and have committed the fewest turnovers (one) in the league over that span. Carolina travels to TAMPA BAY (7-8) in a key NFC South matchup Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX). The Buccaneers will clinch the division with a win against the Panthers.
10. THIS WEEK IN NFL HISTORY: Dec. 28, 1958 (64 years ago) – In the NFL Championship Game against the New York Giants at Yankee Stadium, JOHNNY UNITAS leads the Baltimore Colts on a last-minute, game-tying drive to force the first sudden-death overtime in league history. After the Giants win the toss, Baltimore gets the ball back on a punt, setting up another Unitas masterpiece, a 13-play, 80-yard march that ends with a 1-yard touchdown plunge by ALAN AMECHE to give the Colts a 23-17 triumph. In what many have called “the Greatest Game Ever Played,” the contest features 17 future Hall of Famers and is widely credited with launching professional football’s popularity. Played in front of a national television audience, a novel concept in the late 1950s, the game goes off the air for a few minutes when an NBC employee accidentally unplugs a cable. …This week, the INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (4-10-1) travel to meet the NEW YORK GIANTS (8-6-1) on Sunday at MetLife Stadium (1:00 PM ET, CBS). With a win, the Giants would clinch their first postseason berth since 2016.
11. AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST: The PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (13-2) could become the first team since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic, to have four players reach double digits in sacks. HAASON REDDICK (career-high 14), JOSH SWEAT (career-high 11) and JAVON HARGRAVE (career-high 10) have already reached 10 sacks, while BRANDON GRAHAM (nine) is just one shy. The Eagles host the NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (6-9) on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX). With a win, the Eagles would clinch both the NFC East division title and the only first-round bye in the NFC playoffs.
WEEK 17 NFL SCHEDULE
(All times Eastern)
|Thursday, December 29||Dallas at Tennessee||Prime Video||8:15|
|Sunday, January 1||Arizona at Atlanta||FOX||1:00|
|Chicago at Detroit||FOX||1:00|
|Jacksonville at Houston||CBS||1:00|
|Denver at Kansas City||CBS||1:00|
|Miami at New England||CBS||1:00|
|Indianapolis at New York Giants||CBS||1:00|
|New Orleans at Philadelphia||FOX||1:00|
|Carolina at Tampa Bay||FOX||1:00|
|Cleveland at Washington||FOX||1:00|
|San Francisco at Las Vegas||FOX||4:05|
|New York Jets at Seattle||FOX||4:05|
|Minnesota at Green Bay||CBS||4:25|
|Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Chargers||CBS||4:25|
|Pittsburgh at Baltimore||NBC||8:20|
|Monday, January 2||Buffalo at Cincinnati||ESPN/ABC||8:30|
WHAT TO LOOK FOR – WEEK 17
MONDAY NIGHT MATCHUP: Week 17 will conclude with one of the most anticipated games of the season, as the AFC East champion BUFFALO BILLS (12-3) travel to face the CINCINNATI BENGALS (11-4) on Monday Night Football (8:30 PM ET, ESPN/ABC). Cincinnati has clinched a postseason berth for the second-consecutive season and has a chance to capture the AFC North title this week.
For the full Week 17 playoff scenarios, click here.
The matchup will mark only the third game in Monday Night Football history between teams each with at least 11 wins, and the 14th between teams each with at least 10 wins.
The Bengals enter the week having won seven consecutive games, while the Bills have won each of their past six games. This marks the third game since 1978 – when the 16-game schedule was instituted – to feature teams each on winning streaks of six-or-more in the final two weeks of a season.
Last week, Buffalo quarterback JOSH ALLEN recorded his 25th career game with at least one touchdown pass and one rushing touchdown, becoming the fourth player ever with 25 such games. Allen ranks third among quarterbacks with seven rushing touchdowns this season and leads all quarterbacks with 38 rushing touchdowns since entering the league in 2018.
With a rushing touchdown on Monday night, Allen will surpass KORDELL STEWART (38 rushing touchdowns) for the fourth-most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in NFL history.
The quarterbacks with the most rushing touchdowns in NFL history:
|Cam Newton||Carolina, New England||75|
|Steve YoungHOF||Tampa Bay, San Francisco||43|
|Jack Kemp||L.A./San Diego Chargers, Buffalo||40|
|Kordell Stewart||Pittsburgh, Chicago||38|
— NFL —
CHIEFS KINGDOM: The KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (12-3) have clinched the AFC West division title for the seventh consecutive season and are the third team ever to record at least 12 wins in five straight seasons.
Quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES leads the league with 4,720 passing yards and 37 touchdown passes in 2022. With 280 passing yards against Denver on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS), Mahomes will have recorded 5,000 passing yards in a season for the second time in his career (5,097 in 2018), and became the third player in NFL history to total at least 5,000 passing yards in multiple seasons, joining DREW BREES (five seasons) and TOM BRADY (two).
He can also join Brees as the only players ever with two career seasons of 5,000 passing yards and 40 touchdown passes.
Mahomes has totaled 321 rushing yards this season and has recorded a rushing touchdown in each of the past two weeks. His 5,041 combined passing and rushing yards also lead the league.
With 522 combined passing and rushing yards over the final two weeks of the season, Mahomes will surpass DREW BREES (5,562 yards in 2011) for the most in a single season in NFL history.
The players with the most combined passing and rushing yards in a single season in NFL history:
|PLAYER||TEAM||SEASON||COMBINED PASSING + RUSHING YARDS|
|Drew Brees||New Orleans||2011||5,562|
|Tom Brady||Tampa Bay||2021||5,397|
|Patrick Mahomes||Kansas City||2022||5,041*|
|*Entering Week 17|
Mahomes’ top target this season has once again been tight end TRAVIS KELCE, who leads all tight ends and ranks seventh in the league with 1,257 receiving yards. He is on pace to have among the most receiving yards ever by a tight end in a single season. Kelce holds the tight end record with 1,416 receiving yards in 2020.
The tight ends with the most receiving yards in a single season in NFL history:
|Travis Kelce||Kansas City||2020||1,416|
|George Kittle||San Francisco||2018||1,377|
|Travis Kelce||Kansas City||2018||1,336|
|Rob Gronkowski||New England||2011||1,327|
|Travis Kelce||Kansas City||2022||1,257*|
|*Entering Week 17|
Kelce has recorded at least 100 receiving yards in six games this season, including each of the past two weeks. With 100 receiving yards on Sunday, he will become the first tight end ever to record at least 100 receiving yards in seven games within a single season.
JERICK MCKINNON leads all running backs this season with a career-high six touchdown receptions and has recorded a touchdown reception in each of the past four weeks. With a touchdown catch on Sunday, McKinnon will become the first running back since 1970 to record a touchdown reception in five consecutive games.
— NFL —
FLYING INTO HISTORY: The PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (13-2) have clinched a spot in the postseason for the second-consecutive season and this week can secure their first NFC East division title since 2019.
The Eagles have recorded a rushing touchdown in 14 of their 15 games this season, with multiple rushing touchdowns in four of their past five games. Philadelphia leads the league with 31 rushing touchdowns, led by quarterback JALEN HURTS (13 rushing touchdowns) and running back MILES SANDERS (11). They are the only pair of teammates each with at least 10 rushing touchdowns in 2022.
With three rushing touchdowns against New Orleans on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX), the Eagles will surpass the 1976 PITTSBURGH STEELERS (33 rushing touchdowns) for the most rushing touchdowns by a team in a season in the Super Bowl era.
The teams with the most rushing touchdowns in a season in the Super Bowl era:
|San Diego Chargers||2006||32|
|*Entering Week 17|
Philadelphia also leads the league with 61 sacks this season, led by linebacker HAASON REDDICK (14 sacks), defensive end JOSH SWEAT (11), defensive tackle JAVON HARGRAVE (10) and defensive end BRANDON GRAHAM (nine).
With another sack by Graham, the Eagles will become the first team with four players each with at least 10 sacks in a single season since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic.
With six sacks on Sunday, the Eagles will surpass the 2000 NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (66 sacks) for the most sacks by any team in a season since 2000.
The teams with the most sacks in a season since 2000:
|San Diego Chargers||2006||61|
|*Entering Week 17|
Last week, Philadelphia became the second team ever to record at least six sacks in four consecutive games, joining the 1976 SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS. They can become the first team ever to record at least six sacks in five straight games.
— NFL —
BAY WATCH: San Francisco defensive lineman NICK BOSA leads the NFL with a career-high 17.5 sacks this season. He has recorded at least one sack in 12 games in 2022 and can become the fourth player since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic, with 13 such games in a single season, joining DEMARCUS WARE (14 games in 2008), JUSTIN HOUSTON (13 in 2014) and CHANDLER JONES (13 in 2017).
On Sunday in Las Vegas (4:05 PM ET, FOX), Bosa – who has at least one sack in 29 of his first 49 career games – can join VON MILLER (32 games) and Pro Football Hall of Famer REGGIE WHITE (31) as the only players since 1982 with at least one sack in 30 of their first 50 NFL games.
The players with the most games with at least one sack in their first 50 NFL games since 1982:
|PLAYER||TEAM||GAMES WITH AT LEAST ONE SACK|
|Nick Bosa||San Francisco||29*|
|*In 49 career games|
Rookie quarterback BROCK PURDY has won each of his first three career starts and last week, joined Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO as the only quarterbacks since 1950 with at least two touchdown passes and a passer rating of 100-or-higher in each of his first three career starts.
On Sunday, Purdy can become the fifth rookie quarterback ever to win each of his first four career starts, joining BEN ROETHLISBERGER (won first 13 starts in 2004), MIKE KRUCZEK (first six in 1968), VIRGIL CARTER (first four in 1968) and PHIL SIMMS (first four in 1979). He can become the seventh rookie in the Super Bowl era with at least two touchdown passes in five consecutive games and the first since JUSTIN HERBERT (2020).
Tight end GEORGE KITTLE leads all NFC tight ends with a career-high eight touchdown receptions this season, including two touchdown catches in each of the past two weeks. On Sunday, he can become the first tight end ever with at least two touchdown receptions in three consecutive games within a single season and the second tight end all-time with three consecutive games overall with two touchdown receptions, joining BEN COATES (Week 18 in 1993 and Weeks 1-2 in 1994).
— NFL —
FIRE THE CANNONS: With a win against Carolina in Week 17 (1:00 PM ET, FOX), the TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (7-8) will clinch consecutive NFC South division titles for the first time in franchise history.
Quarterback TOM BRADY leads the league with 443 completions this season and ranks fourth with 4,178 passing yards. This marks his 14th-career season with at least 4,000 passing yards, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer PEYTON MANNING for the most all-time.
With two weeks remaining, Brady is 43 completions away from breaking his own single-season completions record, which he set last season (485 completions).
The players with the most completions in a single season in NFL history:
|Tom Brady||Tampa Bay||2021||485|
|Drew Brees||New Orleans||2016||471|
|Drew Brees||New Orleans||2011||468|
|Drew Brees||New Orleans||2014||456|
|Tom Brady||Tampa Bay||2022||443*|
|*Entering Week 17|
Brady has completed at least 30 passes in each of his past four games and can become the first player in NFL history to complete at least 30 passes in five consecutive games.
On the season, Brady has nine games with at least 30 completions, tied with DREW BREES (2011) for the most such games in a single season in NFL history. He can become the first player ever with at least 30 completions in 10 games within a single season.
Wide receiver MIKE EVANS leads the team with 917 receiving yards in 2022 and is aiming to become the first player in NFL history with at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of his first nine seasons.
He can also become the third player ever with at least 1,000 receiving yards in nine consecutive seasons, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers JERRY RICE (11 consecutive seasons from 1986-96) and TIM BROWN (nine consecutive seasons from 1993-2001).
— NFL —
RECEIVING RECORDS IN REACH: Minnesota wide receiver JUSTIN JEFFERSON leads the league this season with 123 receptions and 1,756 receiving yards. At Green Bay on Sunday (4:25 PM ET, FOX), he can continue his climb up the single-season receiving charts.
The players with the most receptions in a single season in NFL history:
|Michael Thomas||New Orleans||2019||149|
|Cooper Kupp||L.A. Rams||2021||145|
|*Entering Week 17|
The players with the most receiving yards in a single season in NFL history:
|Cooper Kupp||L.A. Rams||2021||1,947|
|Jerry RiceHOF||San Francisco||1995||1,848|
|Isaac BruceHOF||St. Louis Rams||1995||1,781|
|*Entering Week 17|
— NFL —
DOMINANT DUOS: Miami wide receiver TYREEK HILL ranks second in the league with 1,632 receiving yards this season, while teammate JAYLEN WADDLE ranks sixth with 1,260. They are the only pair of teammates each with over 1,100 receiving yards in 2022 and their combined 2,892 receiving yards are the most among teammates.
With 108 combined receiving yards at New England on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS), Hill and Waddle will become the fourth pair of teammates to combine for at least 3,000 receiving yards in a single season in NFL history.
The teammates with the most combined receiving yards in a single season in NFL history:
|PLAYERS (REC. YARDS)||TEAM||SEASON||COMBINED REC. YARDS|
|Herman Moore (1,686) & Brett Perriman (1,488)||Detroit||1995||3,174|
|Torry Holt (1,635) & Isaac BruceHOF (1,471)||St. Louis Rams||2000||3,106|
|Demaryius Thomas (1,619) & Emmanuel Sanders (1,404)||Denver||2014||3,023|
|Tyreek Hill (1,632) & Jaylen Waddle (1,260)||Miami||2022||2,892*|
|*Entering Week 17|
Philadelphia wide receivers A.J. BROWN and DEVONTA SMITH have each recorded at least 100 receiving yards in each of the past two weeks. If they both reach the mark against New Orleans on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX), they will become the first pair of wide receiver teammates to each record at least 100 receiving yards in three consecutive games since 1970.
— NFL —
ELECTRIC EKELER: Los Angeles Chargers running back AUSTIN EKELER leads the league with 16 touchdowns (11 rushing, five receiving) this season, while ranking eighth with 1,406 scrimmage yards (759 rushing, 647 receiving).
Last year, Ekeler tied for the league lead with 20 touchdowns and had 1,558 scrimmage yards. With 94 scrimmage yards against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday (4:25 PM ET, CBS), Ekeler will join PRIEST HOLMES (2002-03)as the onlyundrafted players with at least 1,500 scrimmage yards and 15 touchdowns in consecutive seasons in the common-draft era.
Since entering the league in 2017, Ekeler has totaled 6,944 scrimmage yards and 61 scrimmage touchdowns (32 rushing, 29 receiving). With 56 scrimmage yards on Sunday, Ekeler will join ARIAN FOSTER (8,350 scrimmage yards) and Holmes (7,143) as the only undrafted players with at least 7,000 scrimmage yards in their first six seasons in the common-draft era.
The undrafted players with the most scrimmage yards in their first six seasons in the common-draft era:
|Priest Holmes||Kansas City||7,143|
|Austin Ekeler||L.A. Chargers||6,944*|
|*In sixth season|
With a touchdown reception, Ekeler can also join Pro Football Hall of Famer LENNY MOORE as the only players ever with at least 30 rushing touchdowns and 30 touchdown receptions in their first six seasons.
AFC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK – WEEK 16
Quarterback JOE BURROW of the Cincinnati Bengals, defensive tackle CAMERON HEYWARD of the Pittsburgh Steelers and kicker RILEY PATTERSON of the Jacksonville Jaguars are the AFC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week for games played in Week 16 (December 22, 24-26).
OFFENSE: QB JOE BURROW, CINCINNATI BENGALS
Burrow completed a career-high 40 of 52 pass attempts (76.9 percent) for 375 yards and three touchdowns for a 99.4 passer rating in Cincinnati’s 22-18 victory over New England in Week 16. Burrow is the first player Since Week 14, 2018 (Dak Prescott) with at least 40 completions, a completion percentage of 75-or-higher and three touchdown passes in the same game.
This is Burrow’s fifth-career Offensive Player of the Week award and third this season:
2021: Weeks 4, 16
2022: Weeks 7, 13, 16
Burrow’s five Offensive Player of the Week awards are the most by a former LSU Tiger and the second-most by a Bengals player ever, trailing only Boomer Esiason (nine-time winner).
DEFENSE: DT CAMERON HEYWARD, PITTSBURGH STEELERS
Heyward recorded seven tackles, three tackles for loss, two sacks and one pass defensed in Pittsburgh’s 13-10 win over Las Vegas. He was the only player in the AFC to record multiple sacks with a pass defensed last week.
This is the third Defensive Player of the Week for Heyward, having previously won the award in Weeks 4 and 12 of the 2017 season. He is the third Steelers defender to win the award this season, joining Minkah Fitzpatrick (Week 1) and Alex Highsmith (Week 10).
He is the third former Ohio State Buckeye to win Defensive Player of the Week award at least three times, joining Nick Bosa (four times) and Malcolm Jenkins (four).
SPECIAL TEAMS: K RILEY PATTERSON, JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
Patterson connected on a career-high four field goals – from 32, 45, 41 and 37 yards – and totaled 13 points in Jacksonville’s 19-6 win over the New York Jets on Thursday Night Football.
This is the second-career Special Teams Player of the Week award for Patterson, having previously earned the award as a rookie in Week 15 of the 2021 season with Detroit.
Patterson becomes the third former Memphis Tiger to win multiple Special Teams Player of the Week awards, joining Stephen Gostkowski (seven) and Jake Elliott (two).
NFC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK – WEEK 16
Running back D’ONTA FOREMAN of the Carolina Panthers, defensive lineman NICK BOSA of the San Francisco 49ers and kicker GREG JOSEPH of the Minnesota Vikings are the NFC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week for games played in Week 16 (December 22, 24-26).
OFFENSE: RB D’ONTA FOREMAN, CAROLINA PANTHERS
Foreman rushed for a career-high 165 yards on 21 attempts (7.9 average) with a touchdown in the Panthers’ 37-23 win over Detroit. It marked the most rushing yards of any player in Week 16.
This is the first-career Offensive Player of the Week award for Foreman and he is the first Carolina running back to earn the honor since Jonathan Stewart (Week 14, 2017).
Foreman is the fifth former Texas Longhorn running back to win an Offensive Player of the Week award.
DEFENSE: DL NICK BOSA, SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
Bosa registered seven tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble in the 49ers’ 37-20 win over Washington in Week 16. He also recorded a sack on a two-point conversion attempt in the fourth quarter.
Bosa leads the NFL with a career-high 17.5 sacks and has 12 games with at least one sack this season, tied for the fourth-most such games in a season since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic. Only DEMARCUS WARE (14 games in 2008), JUSTIN HOUSTON (13 in 2014) and CHANDLER JONES (13 in 2017) have more.
This is Bosa’s fourth-career Defensive Player of the Week award, the most ever by a 49ers defensive lineman, and second this season:
2019: Weeks 5, 8
2022: Weeks 13, 16
SPECIAL TEAMS: K GREG JOSEPH, MINNESOTA VIKINGS
Joseph converted all five of his kicks (two field goals and three point after attempts), including the game-winning 61-yard field goal as time expired in the Vikings’ 27-24 win over the New York Giants.
Joseph’s 61-yard game-winning field goal tied JAKE ELLIOTT (61 yards on September 24, 2017) for the fourth-longest game-winning field goal with no time remaining in the fourth quarter or in overtime. Only JUSTIN TUCKER (66 yards on September 26, 2021), TOM DEMPSEY (63 yards on November 8, 1970) and MATT BRYANT (62 yards on October 22, 2006) had longer game-winners.
This is Joseph’s second-career Special Teams Player of the Week award, having previously earned the honor in Week 4 earlier this season.
Joseph is the fourth Vikings kicker to win Special Teams Player of the Week multiple times in the same season, joining Gary Anderson (1998), Dan Bailey (2019) and Blair Walsh (2012).
DUKE CONTAINS PLUMLEE, BEATS UCF 30-13 IN MILITARY BOWL
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) Duke brushed aside UCF with relative ease in the Military Bowl, capping an impressive turnaround this season.
Now quarterback Riley Leonard is talking about big hopes for the future.
“I’m kind of a guy that’s never really satisfied,” he said. “I look back at the season with nine wins, but I expect 12, 13, 14 going into the national championship. So my eyes will be set on next year, probably tomorrow or the next day.”
Coach Mike Elko was a little more willing to reflect on Duke’s remarkable rise in his first season at the helm. Leonard ran for two touchdowns and threw for 173 yards, and the Blue Devils handled UCF 30-13 on Wednesday.
Duke went winless in Atlantic Coast Conference play last year, but Elko turned the team around quickly, winning ACC coach of the year honors. The Blue Devils reached nine wins in a season for the seventh time and first since 2014.
“Couldn’t be more proud of this group,” Elko said. “From where this team was and this program was walking off the field at the end of the 2021 season, to walking off the field today as the 2022 Military Bowl champions.”
The Blue Devils (9-4) have won four consecutive bowl games, although this was their first appearance in one since 2018. Jordan Moore ran for a touchdown in the first quarter, and then Duke took control in the second.
UCF (9-5) lost three of its final four games this season. John Rhys Plumlee managed only 28 yards passing in the first half and 182 for the game.
“We only scored 13 points. It’s all of us,” Knights coach Gus Malzahn said. “We just didn’t get it done offensively.”
Moore opened the scoring with a 14-yard run, but Isaiah Bowser’s 1-yard touchdown rush for the Knights tied the game at 7. Duke outscored UCF 13-0 in the second quarter.
After taking the lead on a short field goal, the Blue Devils recovered a fumble by Plumlee at their own 42. They went 58 yards in seven plays, and Leonard scored on 1-yard run.
A 48-yard field goal by Todd Pelino made it 20-7 at halftime.
Down 23-7, the Knights had a good chance to get back in the game after a profitable exchange of punts gave them the ball at the Duke 32, but UCF turned the ball over on downs.
“That was a key drive. Obviously we had the momentum,” Malzahn said. “You’ve got to score right there.”
The Knights finally scored again on 2-yard run by Bowser with 9:03 remaining, but a trick play on a 2-point conversion failed badly.
Leonard completed the scoring with a 3-yard run with 2:29 to play. He finished with a team-high 63 yards on the ground.
“This group is special and this program is special,” Elko said. “Couldn’t be more proud of this team.”
Duke: An excellent ending to a very encouraging season. The defense in particular was strong against a good quarterback. The Blue Devils had six sacks.
UCF: Plumlee was limited by hamstring problems when the Knights lost to Tulane in the AAC title game. It was hard to tell how much he was still feeling the effects Wednesday, but this was not a good performance by an offense that normally has little trouble moving the ball.
“When you struggle on offense, a lot of quarterbacks get a lot of the blame and a lot of the praise as well,” Plumlee said. “But tonight, there’s no other way to put it – just not good enough.”
There were only four penalties in the game – and only one against Duke.
“I think it shows that during the prep they were focused when they needed to be,” Elko said. “They’re a really mature group, and I think they had their sights set on what they wanted to accomplish all year.”
Duke: Elko and the Blue Devils clearly have a lot to build on. They didn’t lose a game all season by more than eight points.
UCF: It’s off to the Big 12 for the Knights, who move from the American Athletic Conference to their new league. It was somewhat fitting that they played their final game this season at the home stadium of Navy – an AAC team.
ARKANSAS WITHSTANDS FURIOUS KANSAS RALLY, WINS LIBERTY BOWL
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) Arkansas coach Sam Pittman admitted was exhausted after more than four hours of football. Who could blame him?
KJ Jefferson passed to Rashod Dubinion for a 2-point conversion in the third overtime and Arkansas held off a furious second-half rally by Kansas for a 55-53 win in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl on Wednesday night.
The Jayhawks had rallied from 25 points down in the second half to force overtime, but failed on a 2-point conversion pass from Jason Bean to Lawrence Arnold in the third OT to end the marathon.
“What a game, what a crowd,” Pittman said. “I’m exhausted. I’m beat up. And I never played a snap.”
The longest game in the Liberty Bowl’s 64-year history set 24 records, including total points (108), total offense by one team (681 yards by Arkansas) and first downs (32 by Kansas).
Jefferson passed for 287 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 130 yards and two more scores to lead the Razorbacks.
“I just wanted to put my teammates in the best position to win and be able to tell the story (of winning the bowl game),” said Jefferson, the game’s MVP. “I’m proud of everyone.”
The Razorbacks (7-6) held leads of 38-13 (midway through the third quarter) and 38-23 (early in the fourth), but couldn’t stop the Jayhawks, who scored 25 straight to force the overtime. Kansas tied the game at 38 with 41 seconds left in regulation after recovering an onside kick with 1:05 to go. Jayhawks’ quarterback Jalon Daniels found Luke Grimm on 21-yard pass play and converted the 2-point conversion pass to Lawrence Arnold.
“We dug down deep and kept battling; we just couldn’t close it out,” Kansas coach Lance Leipold said.
Arkansas celebrated the win prematurely in the second overtime after stopping Daniels just shy of the goal line on a 2-point conversion try. But a targeting call on Arkansas’ Quincey McAdoo gave the Jayhawks another try, and they converted.
In the third overtime (only 2-point conversion attempts), Arkansas got the ball first and converted. Kansas (6-7) did not.
Daniels passed for 544 yards and five touchdowns. He set Liberty Bowl records for passing yards, touchdown passes, completions (37) and total TDs scored (6).
“It was a fun game to play in,” Daniels said. “The whole second half I played calm. A few times in the first half (he didn’t), I played outside myself. I’m sure after the first half a lot of people tuned us out.”
Arkansas and Kansas met for the first time in 116 years, and the Razorbacks used an old-school rushing attack to build their leads. Arkansas gained 394 of its 681 total yards on the ground. Dubinion added 112 yards for the Razorbacks.
Kansas played in its first bowl game since 2008, but was unable to stop a late-season streak in which it lost seven of its last eight games.
Arkansas was dominating despite playing with a roster thinned by opt-outs and transfer portal departures. The Razorbacks dressed only 51 scholarship players.
After leading 31-13 at halftime, Arkansas pushed its advantage to 38-13 midway through the third quarter on a 2-yard run by Dubinion. The TD punctuated an 80-yard drive.
But the 25-point deficit ignited the Jayhawks. Daniels passed for 342 yards and three touchdowns in the second half
“I do think there were so many situations where Kansas had to make the play and they did,” Pittman said. “Until the last one.”
During a span of eight seconds in the first quarter, Arkansas scored twice to erase a 7-3 deficit and take a 17-7 lead. An Arkansas interception two minutes later near the Razorbacks’ 10-yard line ignited a 73-yard scoring drive that ended on a short touchdown run by Jefferson for a 24-7 lead. Arkansas led 38-13 late in the third, building a big enough cushion to sustain a furious Kansas comeback.
IT’S NOT KANSAS ANYMORE
Kansas was 2-10 in 2021 and finished last in the Big 12. But Leipold engineered a turnaround in 2022 that included a 5-1 start. The Jayhawks averaged more than seven yards per play this season to break a school record set in 1950 (6.4). “Things are moving in the right direction,” Leipold said. “Sometimes I like to defer to you guys (Kansas media) and ask your opinion. I’m not being sarcastic. But I do think we’re trending in the right direction.”
Arkansas: Begins its fourth season under Pittman against Western Carolina on Sept. 2.
Kansas: Opens Leipold’s third season, also on Sept. 2, at home against the Missouri State.
NIX LEADS NO. 15 OREGON TO HOLIDAY BOWL WIN VS. TAR HEELS
SAN DIEGO (AP) The Holiday Bowl emerged from a two-year pandemic hiatus with a new home and the same reputation for thrilling finishes.
Bo Nix threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Chase Cota on fourth down with 19 seconds left and Camden Lewis’ PAT bounced off the left upright and went through to give No. 15 Oregon a wild 28-27 victory against North Carolina on Wednesday night at Petco Park.
Cota caught the ball at about the 1 and got it across the goal line as he was being tackled by Don Chapman. The play was upheld on review. Lewis then banked in the PAT.
Nix called it “just one of our favorite plays” that the team practices a lot.
“It’s an option route and there’s a lot of different angles, so it’s hard to stop,” Nix said. “That’s what I want to call because we have the most reps at it and I know exactly where each guy is going to be, and Chase did a good job getting over across the field in man coverage and hooking the ball in and catching it and getting in the end zone. Extremely proud of Chase, he deserved that one.”
Cota said that when he saw the Tar Heels bringing a house blitz, “I knew. It was perfect and Bo saw it. Just an easy touchdown from there.”
Said coach Dan Lanning: “All we needed was time on the clock. It took every fourth down, it took every yard, it took every inch, it took every ounce of effort that our guys had to finish the way they needed to finish.”
North Carolina (9-5) got the ball to the Oregon 42 with one second left before Drake Maye’s desperation heave into the end zone fell incomplete.
“Very disappointed that we didn’t win, but we’ve got to make a play here or there, and they’re a great football team,” said North Carolina coach Mack Brown, who brought Texas to the Holiday Bowl five times between 2000 and 2011. “Nobody gave us a chance in the game and we had a chance with one second left. That’s all we could ask for in this situation.”
The Ducks finished 10-3 thanks to Nix, who came up big late in the fourth quarter after being held in check much of the second half. He threw a 6-yard TD pass to Troy Franklin with 6:58 to go to pull the Ducks to 24-21.
The Tar Heels took a 27-21 lead with 2:34 to go on Noah Burnette’s 44-yard field goal, his second of the quarter.
Nix then moved the Ducks 79 yards in eight plays for the win, with the drive being aided by a pass interference call.
Nix was 23 of 30 for 205 yards and two touchdowns, with one interception.
Maye, the ACC Offensive Player of the Year, was 18 of 35 for 206 yards and three scores.
The Tar Heels took a 21-14 lead on Maye’s 49-yard TD pass to Kobe Paysour just before halftime that was set up by an incredible interception by linebacker Power Echols. Echols’ jaw-dropping interception and 40-yard return gave the Tar Heels the ball at the Oregon 49.
With the score tied at 14 and Oregon driving late in the second quarter, Nix threw behind Terrance Ferguson and the ball bounced off the right calf of linebacker Cedric Gray toward Echols, who tipped it up with his right foot before bending over and grabbing it and taking off to the Oregon 49.
Maye then hit Paysour at about the 28 and he outraced the defense into the end zone, where he bowed to the crowd after giving the Tar Heels a 21-14 lead 26 seconds before halftime.
Maye also threw touchdown passes of 6 yards to Andrew Greene Jr. and 14 yards to Bryson Nesbit.
Oregon’s Bucky Irving had touchdown runs of 2 and 66 yards – the third-longest in Holiday Bowl history – in the first half.
Oregon: The thrilling win was a nice finish for the Ducks, whose once-promising season fizzled out in November when they lost two of three after winning eight straight.
North Carolina: The Tar Heels ended with four straight losses, including a 29-point defeat against Clemson in the ACC title game.
Oregon: Nix announced last week that he’ll return for his fifth season of eligibility. “There’s nothing like being an Oregon Duck. For 2023, I’m back,” he said in a video.
North Carolina: Maye recently batted down rumors that he had been offered a $5 million name, image and likeness deal to transfer. Maye had a breakout season that has made him a top prospect for the 2024 NFL draft.
SHOUGH LEADS TEXAS TECH OVER OLE MISS 42-25 IN TEXAS BOWL
HOUSTON (AP) Tyler Shough threw for 242 yards and a touchdown and ran for two more scores as Texas Tech took advantage of three early turnovers to build a big lead and held on for a 42-25 win over Ole Miss in the Texas Bowl on Wednesday night.
Shough, who finished with a career-high 111 yards rushing, accounted for three TDs in the first two quarters to help the Red Raiders (8-5) to a 26-7 halftime lead.
Ole Miss quarterback Jaxson Dart had 361 yards passing with two TD throws and a scoring run. But, he threw two of his three interceptions and lost a fumble in the first half to put the Rebels in a huge hole.
The victory gives Texas Tech its first eight-win season since 2013 and caps a successful debut for first-year coach Joey McGuire, who was given a new six-year, $26.6 million contract earlier Wednesday.
The loss continues a terrible stretch for Ole Miss (8-5), which dropped its final four games, and five of its last six, after opening the season 7-0. The Rebels played a sloppy game with five turnovers and eight penalties for 86 yards and had two defenders ejected for targeting.
Ole Miss scored consecutive touchdowns to get within 35-25 with three minutes to go. But the Rebels attempted an onside kick after that, but Texas Tech’s Loic Fouonji grabbed it and returned it 44 yards to push the lead to 42-25.
The Rebels cut the lead to 26-13 on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Dart to Jordan Watkins with about nine minutes left in the third quarter.
SaRodorick Thompson scored on a 1-yard run early in the fourth quarter, but Tech’s 2-point conversion run failed to leave the Red Raiders up 32-13.
Dayton Wade fumbled on the next drive by Ole Miss to give Texas Tech the ball back, and the Red Raiders settled for a field goal to extend the lead to 35-13 with 9 1/2 minutes left.
The Rebels finished with 197 yards rushing, led by freshman Quinshon Judkins, who had 91. Judkins finishes the season with 1,567 yards rushing, which is the second-most by a freshman in SEC history behind Hershel Walker, who had 1,616.
Shough was intercepted in the end zone on Tech’s first possession. The Red Raiders took a 7-0 lead when Shough scampered 2 yards for a score on their next drive.
Ole Miss tied it when Zach Evans ran 8 yards for a touchdown with about 5 1/2 minutes left in the first.
The Red Raiders were up 10-7 after a field goal when Dart was intercepted by Dadrion Taylor-Demerson. But Texas Tech came up empty when Shough threw an incomplete pass on fourth-and-goal from the Ole Miss 3.
But Dart was picked off again on the next possession. This time the Red Raiders cashed in on the error when Shough ran for his second 2-yard score of the game to make it 17-7 with about seven minutes until halftime.
The Rebels went for it on fourth-and-6 from their 29 on the next drive, but were stopped short. The Red Raiders added a field goal before Dart fumbled to give them another possession before the break.
Shough connected with Jerand Bradley on a 12-yard TD, but the 2-point conversion failed to leave Texas Tech up 26-7 at halftime.
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders look to be headed in the right direction under McGuire. Texas Tech capped the season with four consecutive wins and should use that as momentum for a strong start next year.
Ole Miss: The Rebels showed so much promise for most of the season but will need to regroup and play much cleaner if they hope to bounce back from their struggles to end the year next season.
The Red Raiders used their first offensive play to pay tribute to former coach Mike Leach, who died Dec. 12 at 61. Texas Tech lined up in Leach’s famous “Air Raid” formation with the lineman spread far apart and four receivers out wide and simply stood there until a flag was thrown for delay of game.
Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin declined the penalty, and the Red Raiders then ran their first play.
Both teams also remembered Leach, who coached at Texas Tech from 2000-09 and was the coach at Mississippi State when he died, with helmet decals. Texas Tech’s looked like pirate flags as a nod to his fascination with pirates, and the Rebels’ decals said `Mike’ with the `I’ in the shape of a cowbell for Mississippi State’s tradition of using them at games.
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders will wait to see if Shough will return for next season or if they’ll have to find someone to replace him.
Ole Miss: The Rebels should continue to have a strong running game behind Judkins as they look to put together a complete season next year.
NO. 10 ZAGS SET PROGRAM RECORD VS. EASTERN OREGON, 120-42
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) Drew Timme had 18 points and seven rebounds in 17 minutes, Efton Reid III added a season-high 16 points and No. 10 Gonzaga raced past NAIA member Eastern Oregon 120-42 on Wednesday to set a program record for the largest margin of victory.
It was Gonzaga’s first time beating an opponent by 70-plus points. Gonzaga’s previous best was a 61-point victory against Denver in the 2018-19 season, and the Zags also beat Eastern Oregon by 60 points in 2001.
All five Gonzaga starters finished in double figures – with each playing less than 21 minutes. Rasir Bolton added 14 points, Nolan Hickman and Anton Watson each had 13 points, and Julian Strawther and Malachi Smith scored 10 apiece.
Gonzaga shot 70.4% from the field (50 of 71) to narrowly miss setting another program record of 71.8% shooting against Saint Mary’s in 1996.
Gonzaga (11-3) also extended the nation’s longest home winning streak to 73 games.
Timme made his first seven shots and finished 8 of 10 from the field. Timme entered ranked seventh in program history with 1,808 points and moved past Matt Santangelo and Kevin Pangos for fifth. Reid, a transfer from LSU, made all eight of his shots.
Gonzaga went ahead by double figures for good with 13:18 remaining in the first half and Hickman’s 3-pointer with 11:03 left made it 31-13. The Zags extended their lead to 58-28 by halftime after making 24 of 32 (75%) field goals. The Gonzaga defense forced 13 turnovers in the first half, nine coming from steals, leading to a 17-0 advantage in fastbreak points.
Gonzaga scored the opening nine points of the second half to begin a 16-2 run for a 44-point lead and then sat all five starters midway through the second half. The Zags added a 20-0 run for a 62-point lead and reached 100 points with 5:44 left.
Spanning halftime, Eastern Oregon made just 2 of 18 shots – with eight straight misses on two occasions during the stretch. The Mountaineers also missed their final seven shots as Gonzaga closed on a 14-0 run.
Malachi Afework finished with 11 points for Eastern Oregon, which played the game as an exhibition.
Gonzaga closes the calendar year against Pepperdine on New Year’s Eve before going on a three-game road trip against West Coast Conference opponents.
NO. 2 UCONN TAKES CHARGE IN SECOND HALF OVER VILLANOVA 74-66
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Jordan Hawkins scored 22 points to lead No. 2 UConn past Villanova 74-66 on Wednesday night.
Freshman Alex Karaban added 15 points and Andre Jackson Jr. had 10 for the Huskies (14-0, 3-0 Big East).
The win allowed the Huskies to tie the start of the 1953-54 team for third best. Only two have fared better with the 1998-99 team’s 19-0 mark at the top of the list. It was also the first season UConn won a national championship.
UConn is one of three remaining undefeated teams in the country along with Purdue and New Mexico.
“Pressure is being 6-8, there’s no pressure on us,” UConn coach Dan Hurley said. “We have a good team.
“We won our first 14, we have a lot of confidence in what we do.”
Hawkins scored in double figures for the sixth straight time and had his fourth 20-point game of the season. He made 6 of 14 from the field and 4 of 11 3-pointers.
“I’ve always been confident in my game,” Hawkins said. “It’s been a lot of hard work and that’s what you need to build your confidence.”
The Huskies needed some perimeter punch with the Wildcats locking down on center Adama Sanogo. The preseason Big East Player of the Year was held to two points in the first half. Sanogo finished with seven points, his second fewest of the season.
“This is why our league is a really good league and UConn’s a really good team,” Villanova coach Kyle Neptune said. “There’s no team where you can just take away one guy and you’re automatically guaranteed to have a positive result.
“They are number two for a reason and they have multiple guys who can beat you.”
Caleb Daniels led Villanova (7-6, 1-1) with 23 points, Eric Dixon added 18 and Brandon Slater had 10.
A 16-3 run early in the second half helped the Huskies create some separation, taking a 49-39 lead with 12:13 left. Daniels’ layup gave Villanova a 36-33 lead, but 3-pointers from Hawkins and Karaban followed by a Jackson dunk sparked the home team’s surge.
UConn finished with 21 of 53 shooting from the field and 9 for 30 on 3-pointers. The Wildcats made 22 of 51 but were just 5 for 22 on the perimeter.
“They made it tough defensively trying to get after us,” Neptune said. “They made it a tough and nasty game.”
It was the first game this season the Huskies did not win by double digits.
THE BIG PICTURE
The Wildcats had their five-game win streak come to an end.
The Huskies are in the meat of their conference schedule with trips to Xavier and Providence coming up before hosting Big East preseason favorite Creighton.
The Huskies defense came up large after Villanova cut it to 58-56 with 3:36 to play on Daniels’ three-point play. First Jackson’s steal led to a Sanogo layup, then Hassan Diarra drew a charge from Jordan Longino that led to Jackson’s 3-pointer and a 63-56 lead.
In 20 minutes off the bench, Diarra scored six points with three assists and four second-half steals.
“My mentality was to be disruptive and pick my team up with energy,” he said.
Villanova: Hosts Marquette on Saturday.
UConn: At No. 22 Xavier on Saturday.
WILLIAMS, MILLER HELP LSU TOP NO. 9 ARKANSAS 60-57
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) KJ Williams made a key steal and Adam Miller sank two free throws with 2 seconds left to lead LSU to a 60-57 victory over No. 9 Arkansas on Wednesday night.
The Tigers (12-1, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) got a spinning layup from Trae Hannibal to go ahead 58-55 with 32 seconds remaining. A layup by Anthony Black after his offensive rebound got the Razorbacks (11-2, 0-1) within one once again.
Arkansas had a chance to pull out the victory when Makhi Mitchell blocked Derek Fountain’s shot with about eight seconds left. But Williams stripped the ball from Black as he drove to the basket. Miller was fouled and made two foul shots.
“The players deserve a lot of credit,” LSU coach Matt McMahon said. “We improved in our mental toughness tonight. We’re such a work in progress. We’re just trying to get better every day. But the goal is to win while doing that. I hope this is something we can build on.”
Hannibal led LSU with 19 points. Fountain finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
“My main thing is to never let someone stop me from getting to where I want to go,” Hannibal said.
Devonte Davis scored 16 points for the Razorbacks. Ricky Council and Jordan Walsh each had 13.
Arkansas grabbed its largest lead of the game at 40-34 midway through the second half. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Walsh and Council gave the Razorbacks their six-point advantage.
But LSU used an 8-0 run to grab a 44-42 lead. Consecutive layups by Fountain put the Tigers on top with 7:06 to play.
LSU led 54-52 after a three-point play by Fountain with 2:28 remaining.
“Obviously, the offense is going to struggle when you go 0 for 13 on 3-point attempts in the first half,” Arkansas coach Eric Musselman said. “It was very out of character for us to take 25 3s. It was also very out of character for us to only get 10 free throw attempts.”
The first half was dominated by defense. A 3-pointer by Hannibal and back-to-back baskets by Mwani Wilkinson and Fountain put the Tigers on top 17-12. LSU led 24-19 at the break.
“Arkansas is the best in the country at scoring off turnovers,” McMahon said. “We just had 10 turnovers and they had four points off them.”
Playing on an opponent’s home floor for the first time this season, Arkansas scored more than 20 points below its season scoring average. The Razorbacks went 4 for 25 from 3-point range.
Williams entered Wednesday’s game averaging 18.5 points and 7.9 rebounds. Mitchell’s physical play helped limit Williams to eight points. But Fountain and Hannibal helped pick up the slack. Hannibal’s nine field goals were a career high.
Arkansas: The Razorbacks came up on the short end of the score in their first true road game of the season. Arkansas’ other loss was against Creighton in the Maui Invitational in November.
LSU: The Tigers continued their success in close games. LSU is 5-1 in games decided by fewer than five points.
Arkansas: Play Missouri in its SEC home opener Wednesday.
LSU: At Kentucky in their first conference road game Tuesday.
BROWN SCORES 30 AS MIZZOU BLOWS OUT NO. 19 KENTUCKY 89-75
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) Missouri coach Dennis Gates used to listen with rapt attention as his mentor, the longtime Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton, would tell him stories about his time coaching at Kentucky under Joe B. Hall.
Gates learned about the tradition. The passionate fan base. About what it means to be a college basketball blueblood.
“I knew good and well,” Gates said, “Kentucky was never going to call me. I knew.”
Good thing for the Tigers, who were more than willing to make the call.
With their 42-year-old first-year coach calling all the right shots Wednesday night, Kobe Brown and Missouri blew out the No. 19 Wildcats 89-75 in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.
Brown finished with 30 points, and D’Moi Hodge had 15. DeAndre Gholston and Sean East II scored 12 apiece for the Tigers (12-1), who also pummeled then-No. 16 Illinois 93-71 last week and are off to their best start since 2013-14.
“You got to give them credit. That was what they did to us,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “Missouri would have beat a whole lot of teams the way they played tonight. They beat us pretty good.”
Missouri led by 12 at halftime and stretched it to more than 20 down the stretch, handing Calipari just his third loss in 14 SEC openers. The Wildcats had been 14-2 against the Tigers and 306-58 against unranked teams under him.
The Wildcats (8-4) could be unranked soon, and perhaps cede their place to the Tigers, who already were receiving votes this week. Their only loss under Gates came against fourth-ranked Kansas in their last game at Mizzou Arena.
Oscar Tshiebwe led Kentucky with 23 points and 19 rebounds, but most of his offense came at the foul line, where he was just 11 of 17. Cason Wallace added 19 points despite playing with four fouls down the stretch.
“I think we got a lot of work we need to do,” Tshiebwe said.
The Tigers got off to a quick start against the Wildcats – they like to play fast all the time – and built a 10-point lead by getting easy baskets in transition. And when they sped up too much, or Kentucky picked off a pass or one went flying into the seats, the Wildcats were unable to take advantage when they coughed up the ball themselves.
Not that shots were falling for them; Kentucky missed 11 of its first 12 from beyond the arc.
It’s not the first time the Wildcats have struggled to score. They plodded their way to a 60-41 victory over Bellarmine last month, and a couple of weeks ago, barely scraped past 50 points in a 63-53 loss to UCLA at Madison Square Garden.
The Tigers, meanwhile, entered fourth nationally in scoring, and it was evident as they built a 42-30 halftime lead.
Nothing changed in the opening minutes of the second half, either: Brown converted a three-point play for Missouri, the Wildcats’ Chris Livingston turned it over, Brown scored again and Livingston turned it over again.
Missouri’s lead eventually swelled to 50-32 with just over 16 minutes to go.
Kentucky spent the next five minutes slowly whittling it in half, closing to 56-47 when Lance Ware followed up a miss by Tshiebwe. But the Tigers answered with eight quick points to regain control, and they eventually got the lead over 20 points before cruising to a statement win over the Wildcats.
“Our biggest opponent is ourselves and our guys know that,” Gates said. “We don’t focus on the other team as much. We have to continue to move forward. These guys know that. We respect everybody we play but the most important opponent is the person we see in the mirror every morning.”
Kentucky could easily point to two freshmen in the starting lineup and blame its slow start on growing pains. But Sahvir Wheeler and Tshiebwe, the reigning national player of the year, are seniors, and there is plenty of experience in the lineup. And that makes the sloppy turnovers and poor shot selection even more troubling for the Wildcats.
Missouri was blown out by the Jayhawks 95-67 less than three weeks ago, and struggled mightily to beat Central Florida its next time out. But wins over the Illini and Wildcats are certain to raise some eyebrows around the country.
The Wildcats visit Louisville on Saturday.
The Tigers visit Arkansas next Wednesday.
NETS WIN 10TH STRAIGHT, BEATING SHORT-HANDED HAWKS 108-107
ATLANTA (AP) Kyrie Irving scored 15 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter, Kevin Durant had 26 points and a season-high 16 rebounds and the Brooklyn Nets won their 10th straight game, 108-107 over the short-handed Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.
The winning streak is the longest in the NBA this season and the Nets’ longest since they took 10 in a row in 2005-06. The 2002-03 team also won 10 straight. The franchise record is 14, set in 2003-04 and matched in 2005-06.
Brooklyn (23-12) has won 14 of 15.
“For me specifically, when the fourth quarter hits, it’s winning time,” Irving said. “That’s all I really know. When I’m out there with that group to start the fourth, I know K.D. is resting a little bit, so I just have to raise my aggression level and raise my efficiency up, and I’m grateful to have the trust of my teammates and coaching staff.”
Yuta Watanabe’s layup in the final minute of the third made it 81-80 for Brooklyn’s first lead since it was 33-32. Durant closed the third with a pair of free throws, and the Nets never trailed again. Irving scored eight consecutive points early in the fourth to put Brooklyn up 93-82 and cap a 17-3 run, and the Hawks called timeout.
“I think the whole second half we were there for each other,” Durant said. “We made a couple of adjustments on a couple of guys and we were able to execute that. We were able to slow them down just a little bit.”
The injury-riddled Hawks (17-18) were without leading scorer Trae Young, leading rebounder Clint Capela and starting forward De’Andre Hunter. Young was scratched before tipoff with a left calf contusion. Capela and Hunter were ruled out long before the game began.
Dejounte Murray scored 24 points and John Collins had 21 for Atlanta, which tied it at 104 on Aaron Holiday’s 3 but never took the lead in the closing minutes of the fourth. Onyeka Okongwu finished with 18 points and a season-high 13 rebounds.
“I saw fight from our guys tonight,” Hawks coach Nate McMillan said. “You can live with that. I thought from start to finish we stepped up and played. We didn’t think about the guys that were out. The guys that were playing came out and played to win.”
Murray missed a 27-footer with 0.1 seconds remaining as the buzzer sounded. He also missed a layup from the baseline with 50.6 seconds to go and one of two free throws with 29.9 seconds left that ended the scoring.
Nets: Brooklyn is 14-4 against the Hawks since the start of 2017-18, the best record against Atlanta over that span. … The Nets have won six straight on the road. … Patty Mills scored all 12 of his points in the second quarter. … Nic Claxton had a career high six blocked shots. … Vaughn is 21-7 since taking over for Steve Nash.
Hawks: Coach Nate McMillan had no immediate update on Capela, who’s missed five of the last six games with a right calf strain. … The timetable is equally unclear on Hunter, who’s missed two straight games with a left ankle sprain.
Nets: At Charlotte on Saturday night.
Hawks: Host Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night.
PISTONS END 6-GAME SKID, WIN FIGHT-MARRED GAME VS MAGIC
DETROIT (AP) Alec Burks scored a season-high 32 points, Saddiq Bey added 28 and the Detroit Pistons overcame the ejection of two players after a scuffle to beat the Orlando Magic 121-101 on Wednesday night and snap a six-game losing streak.
“I’m really proud of our guys,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. “We have had a lot of adversity, and with a young team, it is great to see them play like this.”
Burks made his first 10 shots from the floor, including six 3-pointers, before missing a 3-point attempt with 28 seconds left that would have given him a career-high 35 points. He also made all six free-throw attempts.
“I wasn’t going to stop shooting,” Burks said. “You don’t expect that to happen, but you have to take advantage when it does.”
By hitting his last shot, Burks would have also broken Gary Payton’s NBA record for most points in a game without missing a field goal or free throw. Payton scored 32 points for the Seattle SuperSonics on Jan. 4, 1995, by going 13 for 13 from the floor and 3 for 3 from the line.
Killian Hayes and Hamadou Diallo were thrown out after the fight just before halftime. Moritz Wagner was tossed for Orlando and took a shot to the back of the head from Hayes and appeared to be briefly knocked out.
“He’s fine,” said Franz Wagner, Moritz’s younger brother. “I haven’t seen the video, but I know that’s the last thing he wanted to do.”
Jalen Duren finished with seven points and 18 rebounds for the Pistons, who got 76 points from their bench, which has led the NBA in scoring in December.
“It’s tough to play them, because they have the starting lineup with two bigs (Duren and Isaiah Stewart), and then a totally different style with the second unit,” Magic coach Jamahl Mosley said.
Franz Wagner had 19 points for Orlando, which lost on back-to-back nights after winning eight of nine.
“They just started making shots,” Mosley said. “They play much faster with that second group, and both Alec and Saddiq really got rolling.”
With 33 seconds left in the first half, Moritz Wagner hip-checked Hayes into the Pistons bench as they chased a loose ball. With Wagner facing the players on the Detroit bench, every Orlando player in uniform raced to the spot.
Wagner was ejected for a flagrant foul, while Hayes and Hamadou Diallo were ejected for their actions in the aftermath. Hayes got back up and struck Wagner in the back of the head, knocking him into the bench.
“I need an explanation about the decision because my understanding is you can’t leave the bench area and escalate a situation,” Casey said. “That’s when really bad things can happen.”
Detroit’s second unit outscored Orlando’s 42-14 in the first half, with Bey (16), Burks (14) and Diallo (11) all reaching double figures.
The Pistons led 66-47 at halftime and Orlando was never able to get the lead back to single figures.
Pistons: Burks started the second half with Hayes having been ejected, leaving Detroit’s second unit without two of its three top scorers. He was called for a flagrant 1 foul for an unsuccessful attempt to stop Mo Bamba from dunking late in the third quarter, leading to a five-point Magic possession.
NO REGRETS FROM MAGIC
Franz Wagner, Cole Anthony, Wendell Carter Jr, Gary Harris and Mo Bamba were among the Orlando players who left the bench area during the confrontation at the end of the first half. They could face one-game suspensions, but said they didn’t feel they had a choice.
“We’re aware of the rule, but things like that usually happen on the court, not on one of the benches,” Franz Wagner said. “Your worry is that your teammate is down there amongst the whole other team.”
Wagner said: “Oh, for sure,” when asked if his concern was elevated by it being his brother being swarmed by the Pistons.
CLOSER TO KUKOC
Bojan Bogdanovic’s 14 points gave him 9,787 in his career, 23 behind Toni Kukoc’s record for a Croatian player.
Magic: Host the Washington Wizards on Friday.
Pistons: Visit the Chicago Bulls on Friday.
WILLIAMSON SCORES CAREER-HIGH 43, PELICANS TOP TIMBERWOLVES
NEW ORLEANS (AP) Zion Williamson ducked and smiled as celebrating New Orleans Pelicans teammates poured bottles of water over him. Moments later, Trey Muprhy III pretended to place a crown on Williamson’s head – a fitting gesture after a memorable game which, by the end, had coronation-type energy about it.
Williamson scored a career-high 43 points, capping it with New Orleans’ final 14 points in the last 2:44 of the game, and the Pelicans outlasted the Minnesota Timberwolves 119-118 on Wednesday night for their fourth straight victory.
“People remember winners,” the 22-year-old Williamson said. “When you look at some of the greatest of all time, the first thing you go to is championships, what they did in big moments. And that’s what I want to be remembered as – a winner.
“I can’t just sit here and say I want to win. I’ve got to show it,” added Williamson, who also credited teammate CJ McCollum for urging him on in the final minutes.
“CJ looked at me and said, `You want to be great, this is the moment to do it.'”
Anthony Edwards, who scored 27 for Minnesota, missed a baseline fade for the win as time expired on a game in which the Wolves led most of the way, and by as many as 11 points, before losing their fourth straight.
Minnesota coach Chris Finch lamented his team’s defense on Williamson in the second half that was “way too soft.”
“We let him come running at us, and he was able to get a head of steam,” Finch said. “When he does that, it’s tough.”
Williamson’s 3-pointer with 2:17 left, assisted by more usual perimeter threat Murphy, cut Minnesota’s lead to 112-110. Williamson then pulled out of a spinning dribble in the lane for a short floater that tied it.
“We really had diverse play-calling down the stretch,” a smiling McCollum deadpanned. “Get the ball to Z and get the (expletive) out of the way.”
Williamson tied it again at 114 on a driving finger roll. And after Jaden McDaniels’ free throws put Minnesota back up with 1:04 left, Williamson hit a contested, off-balance, driving layup to tie it before stepping up to tip a bounce pass away from McDaniels and convert the steal into a go-ahead, breakaway dunk that had a sellout crowd in a frenzy.
“That’s just who he is; he understands time, score, situations. He understands the moment. And he made big plays after big plays,” coach Willie Green said. “That’s what great players do.”
Edwards’ dunk tied it at 118 before Williamson hit one of two free throws, which turned out to be enough.
Murphy scored 21, going 5 of 6 from 3, and McCollum scored 20 for the Pelicans. Jonas Valanciunas had 12 points and 11 rebounds.
D’Angelo Russell had 27 points and McDaniels scored 19 for Minnesota.
“There were a lot of good things we did in the game,” Russell said. “We did everything we could and battled. We tried to give ourselves a chance at the end of the game and that’s all you can ask for.”
The game was marked by physical play and flaring emotions.
There were 52 total fouls called, including a half-dozen technical fouls and one flagrant foul on each team.
“An emotional game, a chippy game, but this is good,” Green said. “It builds our character. It’s great to be on the winning side.”
Austin Rivers, who wound up fouling out with nearly 8 minutes left, was assessed a flagrant-1 foul after he caught Larry Nance Jr. hard in the head with a forearm late in the third quarter. Nance went to the locker room and was ruled out for the remainder of the game with neck spasms.
Rivers, a 2012 New Orleans first-round draft choice along with Anthony Davis, also exchanged shoves with Valanciunas. Double technicals were called and an additional technical was called on New Orleans’ Naji Marshall for pushing Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert as he stepped between Valanciunas and Rivers.
Minnesota took a 50-39 lead after a 9-0 run ignited by Russell’s 3 and fueled by McDaniels’ layup and putback in the second quarter.
Back-to-back dunks by Williamson and Murphy helped the Pelicans trim it to 52-49 before Naz Reid’s 3 made it 55-49 at halftime.
Timberwolves: Jaylen Nowell scored 14 points. Reid scored 13, all in the first half. … Karl-Anthony Towns missed his 14th straight game with his right calf strain. Minnesota is 6-8 without him. … Shot 50.6% (42 of 83) overall and 10 of 29 from deep. … Outscored New Orleans in the paint, 58-52, and Wolves reserves outscored the Pelicans’ bench 30-11.
Pelicans: Never led by more than 4 points. … Shot 45.8% (11 of 24) from 3-point range. … Marshall finished with 12 points. … Brandon Ingram missed his 15th straight game with a left great toe contusion. New Orleans is 11-4 without him. … Missed 13 of 43 free throws.
Timberwolves: At Milwaukee on Friday night.
Pelicans: Host Philadelphia on Friday night.
JORDAN POOLE HAS 26 POINTS, WARRIORS RALLY PAST JAZZ
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Just weeks ago, the Golden State Warriors might not have pulled off a win like this without their superstars on the court.
The backups are making big strides for the defending champions.
Jordan Poole scored 26 points and converted a key layup with 1:27 left and the undermanned Warriors rallied to beat the Utah Jazz 112-107 on Wednesday night.
Ty Jerome hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 5:18 to play after his own steal, then made a key rebound to help set up Donte DiVincenzo’s 3 the next time down as Golden State got another big performance from the reserves.
“I think the stage we’re at as a team right now, coach said after the game that was just straight grit,” Jerome said.
Rookie Patrick Baldwin Jr. contributed 11 points with three 3s in 13 minutes off the bench after practicing earlier in the day with the G League Santa Cruz Warriors then arrived about an hour before tip-off. He ate two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on the way.
“I thought Patrick changed the game when he stepped out there and knocked down those 3s,” coach Steve Kerr said.
Baldwin got called up given DiVincenzo had been questionable with right knee soreness while Draymond Green has been nursing a tender right foot.
DiVincenzo scored 19 points and Jerome 17 with the Warriors completing a back-to-back minus starters Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins. Poole tied it at 94 on a 3 with 11:03 left.
“It feels different to win this game based on the circumstances. This is a game we wouldn’t have won a few weeks ago,” Kerr said. “I think our young guys are really growing.”
Lauri Markkanen scored 29 points and had seven 3-pointers and a season-best 16 rebounds for the Jazz. Jordan Clarkson’s 3 with 1:37 left made it a one-point game before Poole delivered moments later.
Markkanen found his early shooting stroke from long range and also scored with driving layups, making 10 of 22 shots. Clarkson added 22 points. while Mike Conley had 10 assists.
Kelly Olynyk returned from a four-game absence with a sprained left ankle to get nine points and six rebounds in 26 minutes for Utah, which squandered a second-half lead for the second straight game. The Jazz were up 121-110 in the waning minutes of a 126-122 loss at San Antonio on Monday night.
Green wound up with six points, nine rebounds, five assists and three blocks for the Warriors, who at 15-2 have the league’s best home record and are just trying to establish that same consistency away from Chase Center.
Jazz: The Jazz hit seven 3s in the first quarter, four by Markkanen. … Utah is 7-13 on the road, 5-9 vs. the Western Conference. The Jazz have lost six straight on the Warriors’ floor dating to a 129-96 victory on Jan. 22, 2020. … The Jazz were edged on the boards 51-50.
Warriors: All-Star Andrew Wiggins returned to the arena wearing a mask a day after being away with an illness. He had been scheduled to return to action Wednesday night from being sidelined by a strained muscle in his right thigh area but instead missed his 12th straight game. Wiggins needs to practice so he’s doubtful for Friday with a team off day Thursday.
Jazz: At Sacramento on Friday night.
Warriors: Hosts Portland on Friday night.
SUNS ALL-STAR BOOKER OUT AT LEAST 4 WEEKS WITH GROIN STRAIN
WASHINGTON (AP) Phoenix Suns All-Star guard Devin Booker will miss at least four weeks with a left groin strain.
The team confirmed Booker’s injury on Wednesday and said he’ll be re-evaluated after the four weeks.
“It’s the nature of a guy who puts in a lot of work and lays everything on the line,” Suns coach Monty Williams said before Wednesday’s game in Washington. “You’re going to run into this from time to time. I’m actually grateful, you know, that it wasn’t worse.”
The 26-year-old Booker has missed six of the last nine games because of hamstring and groin ailments. He tried to return for the team’s Christmas Day matchup against the Denver Nuggets, but played just four minutes before having to leave the game.
He returned to Phoenix for further evaluation while the team continued its six-game trip.
Williams did not necessarily think Booker’s early exit Sunday was the result of a hasty return.
“In this case with Book, every box, to my knowledge, was checked,” Williams said. “Before you put a guy back on the floor you have to do that. You just run into stuff.”
Now it looks as if Booker is on the shelf for at least a month. He is averaging a career-high 27.1 points and already topped 50 points twice this season.
The Suns currently have a 20-15 record and are in fifth place in the Western Conference. Several players have missed time with injuries while forward Jae Crowder hasn’t played all season because the Suns are trying to work out a trade for the disgruntled veteran.
WALMAN SCORES IN OT TO LIFT RED WINGS PAST PENGUINS, 5-4
PITTSBURGH (AP) Jake Walman scored at 2:13 of overtime and the Detroit Red Wings overcame an early four-goal deficit to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-4 on Wednesday night.
Walman, off the rush, tipped a rebound behind goaltender Casey DeSmith for his second goal of the season. He then hit the Griddy in the corner with his teammates as the Red Wings danced and celebrated a big comeback win.
“I was lagging a little bit at the beginning, but I was able to get the full Griddy,” Walman said.
Pittsburgh was coming a 5-1 road loss to the New York Islanders less than 24 hours earlier, while Detroit played its first game since Dec. 21.
The Penguins started strong with four goals on 12 first-period shots, but they couldn’t hang onto their early lead.
“We just didn’t play the game the right way,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “We didn’t manage the game, we didn’t manage the puck, we’re not playing a collective game right now.”
Dylan Larkin started the Detroit comeback in the second period with a power-play goal, and David Perron completed it with his third goal in three games. Joe Veleno and Jonatan Berggren also scored to help the Red Wings win consecutive games following a six-game losing streak.
Magnus Hellberg relieved Ville Husso in the second period and made 19 saves. Husso stopped eight shots in the first period.
“We weren’t awful,” Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde said. “We weren’t 4-0 bad. We had some missed opportunities in the first period and unfortunately, it put us in a big hole.”
Jason Zucker scored twice, Jeff Carter added a goal and an assist and Drew O’Connor scored his first of the season for the Penguins. They have lost three straight and four of five following a seven-game winning streak.
DeSmith made a season-high 41 saves.
Detroit trailed 4-2 entering the third period and Berggren made it a one-goal game with five minutes to play. Perron scored his 12th of the season, a power-play goal with 3:08 remaining from the left side to tie it.
“It was an accumulation of good work,” Walman said. “After that second and third, I think we deserved at least that point.”
The Penguins scored two power-play goals against Detroit. They have now scored with the man advantage in 11 of their last 12 games. Pittsburgh has 16 power-play goals in the last 12 games.
O’Connor opened the scoring for Pittsburgh 2:36 into the game and Carter added to the lead at 10:15 with one of the Penguins’ two power-play goals.
Zucker scored his seventh of the season at 14:15 of the first period and added a power-play goal with 31.2 seconds to play. On Zucker’s second goal, Carter became the 100th player in NHL history – and sixth from the 2003 draft class – to collect 400 goals and 400 assists.
Larkin gave the Red Wings life with his 13th of the season at 7:17 of the second period. Veleno continued a four-game point streak and cut Pittsburgh’s lead in half at 14:32 of the second.
Then, Walman and the Red Wings finished their comeback in the third period and overtime.
“It was a great game and I think the boys showed a lot of resilience,” Walman said. “We knew it wasn’t good enough after the first period and we dialed it in after that.”
Red Wings: At Buffalo on Thursday night.
Penguins: Host New Jersey on Friday night.
AP SOURCE: RED SOX, RHP COREY KLUBER AGREE TO 1-YEAR DEAL
(AP) — The Boston Red Sox and Corey Kluber agreed to a $10 million, one-year contract on Wednesday, adding the veteran right-hander to the team’s rotation.
The deal includes an $11 million club option and various performance bonuses and escalators, according to a person familiar with the negotiations who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the contract for the two-time AL Cy Young Award winner was pending a successful physical.
The 36-year-old Kluber joins his third AL East team in as many years. He went 5-3 with a 3.83 ERA in 16 starts for the New York Yankees in 2021, including a no-hitter in a 2-0 victory at Texas. He had a 10-10 record and a 4.34 ERA in 31 starts for Tampa Bay this year.
Boston added Kluber a day after Nathan Eovaldi left the Red Sox for a two-year contract with Texas. It has been a difficult offseason for the Red Sox, who also lost star shortstop Xander Bogaerts in free agency.
Boston went 78-84 this year and finished last in the AL East. It had a 4.53 team ERA, ranking 25th in the majors.
Kluber bolsters a mix of potential starters that also includes Chris Sale, Nick Pivetta, Garrett Whitlock, Brayan Bello, Tanner Houck and James Paxton. Sale and Paxton have been hampered by injuries, and Whitlock and Houck mostly worked out of the bullpen last season.
Kluber made his big league debut with Cleveland in 2011. He was one of the majors’ top starters before he was slowed by injuries.
The three-time All-Star won his first Cy Young Award in 2014, going 18-9 with a 2.44 ERA and 269 strikeouts in 235 2/3 innings. He won the award again with Cleveland in 2017, finishing with an 18-4 record, a 2.25 ERA and 265 Ks in 203 2/3 innings.
Kluber left Cleveland when he was traded to Texas in December 2019. He is 113-71 with a 3.31 ERA in 256 major league appearances, including 251 starts.
AP SOURCE: MARLINS, SEGURA AGREE TO 2-YEAR, $17M CONTRACT
MIAMI (AP) The Miami Marlins have agreed with infielder Jean Segura on a two-year, $17 million contract, a person with knowledge of the negotiations said Wednesday.
The deal is contingent on Segura – a two-time All-Star – completing a physical, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Marlins had not announced the signing.
It’s the first free agent move of the offseason for the Marlins, who are coming off a 69-93 season – their 12th losing record in the last 13 years. And they’ve watched NL East rivals Atlanta, Philadelphia and the New York Mets make no shortage of moves to try and improve their loaded rosters; the Braves were World Series champions in 2021, and the Phillies won the NL pennant this year before falling to Houston in the World Series.
Segura was with the Phillies for that World Series run. He batted .277 in 98 games, then hit .214 for Philadelphia in the postseason.
Miami becomes Segura’s sixth franchise. Other than the Phillies, Segura has been with Milwaukee, Seattle, Arizona and the Los Angeles Angels.
He’s batted .285 in 1,479 games over 11 seasons. Segura became a free agent in November when the Phillies declined a $17 million option to keep him for 2023.
TOP INDIANA RELEASES
BIG TEN PLAY RESUMES ON THURSDAY AT MICHIGAN STATE
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Big Ten play resumes for No. 4/3 Indiana as it travels to Michigan State on Thursday afternoon. Tipoff at Breslin Center is slated for 3 p.m. ET.
ABOUT THE SPARTANS
Michigan State got back on track to close out non-con play with a pair of wins before the holiday break after dropping its previous five. Graduate student guard Kamaria McDaniels leads the way with 14.1 points per game while sophomore forward Matilda Ekh adds 11.5 points per outing. The Spartans are averaging 81.8 points per game and shooting 44.4 percent from the floor.
Michigan State leads 48-32
2/12/22 – W, 76-58 (Bloomington, Ind.)
Indiana resumes conference action on Thursday afternoon, posting a 2-0 mark in early league games before the holiday break. It defeated Illinois at home and Penn State on the road to join four other teams in starting Big Ten play off at 2-0.
The Hoosiers have won six of the last seven meetings against Michigan State dating back to the 2017-18 season. The two teams met just once last season, in a 76-58 win for IU at home on Feb. 12.
Senior forward Mackenzie Holmes continues to be one of the nation’s best shooters, averaging 19.9 points per game while shooting 69.0 percent from the field. The Gorham, Maine native is second in the country and in the Big Ten in field goal percentage and the second leading scorer in the league. She also paces IU on the glass with 7.1 rebounds per game.
Freshman guard Yarden Garzon continues to shoot at a high clip from beyond the arc, going 51.8 percent in 12 games. She leads the team with 29 made triples.
Junior guard Chloe Moore-McNeil has been impressive with handling the basketball, as she leads the Big Ten and second in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio with a +4.7. She has distributed 61 assists to just 13 turnovers and has maintained primary point guard responsibilities for the last six games. The Sharon, Tenn. native has dished out multiple assists in 11 games this season.
Indiana went a perfect 10-0 against non-conference foes this year including a pair of wins over No. 11/4 Tennessee and No. 6/6 North Carolina. It marked the first unblemished non-conference season since 2013-14.
IU will be back in action on Sunday when it hosts RV Nebraska at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. Tip is set for 1 p.m. ET on ESPN.
INDIANA WRESTLING TO COMPETE IN THE KEN KRAFT MIDLANDS CHAMPIONSHIPS
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. –––––– For the first time since the 2019-20 season, Indiana Wrestling will compete in the Ken Kraft Midlands Championships at the NOW Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
The event is hosted by Northwestern and is widely considered the most prestigious non-conference wrestling tournament in the country.
GEARING UP FOR MIDLANDS:
-The Hoosiers were slated to be in the event a year ago, but the competition was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns.
-The tournament will run from Thursday Dec. 29 to Friday, Dec. 30 and be split up across four different sessions. Session I and II will take place through Thursday morning and night while Friday’s Session III and IV will cover the semis, consolation finals, and medal matches.
-Indiana is one of 43 men’s wrestling programs competing in the tournament, including seven other Big Ten programs.
-There are 10 currently ranked top-25 squads who will be in the event, too.
-Indiana plans to enter 16 grapplers in the competition. Routine starters Jacob Moran (125), No. 29 Cayden Rooks (141), No. 28 Graham Rooks (149), Derek Gilcher and Nick Willham will all hit the mat.
-This is the 58th annual edition of the tournament, recently renamed in honor of the competition’s founder, Ken Kraft, who passed away at 85 in October 2020.
BULLOCK ON NOTICE:
-Indiana’s No. 32-ranked Jacob Bullock (285) put the conference on notice this past week when the senior wrestler was honored with the Big Ten Wrestler of the Week on Dec. 20.
-Bullock earned the recognition after going 5-0 en route to a 285 title at the Reno Tournament of Champions.
-In the tournament, Bullock won his first three matches by two major decisions and by fall.
-His last two wins of the day, both by decision were decided by no less than four points each.
-This was the heavyweight’s second tournament title this season after previously winning the 285 title in the Cleveland State Open on Dec. 11.
-Bullock has won 12 matches in a row after starting the season 0-1 to improve his season record to 12-1.
-Indiana’s last time out competing was at the Dollamur Tournament of Champions in Reno, Nev.
-Thirteen Hoosiers hit the mat and came away with major success for the team, who finished third behind Michigan State and Wyoming, respectively.
-Jacob Bullock (285) and Graham Rooks (149) were both champions of their weight classes’ brackets.
-In total, seven Hoosiers placed in their tournament bracket. Four of the placers took either second or third place.
-All of Indiana’s placers were as follows:
– Jacob Moran (125 – 6th)
-Henry Porter (133 – 2nd)
-Graham Rooks (149 – 1st)
-Derek Gilcher (157 – 3rd)
-DJ Washington (174 – 3rd)
-Nick Willham (197 – 2nd)
-Jacob Bullock (285 – 1st)
-In notable victories from the tournament, Gilcher notched an impressive victory in the third-place match over Michigan State’s Chase Saldate, who was ranked No. 17 by InterMat that week.
-That was Gilcher’s first ranked victory of the year.
#1 PURDUE CLOSES OUT NON-CONFERENCE PLAY VS. FLORIDA A&M
Thursday, December 29, 2022
 Purdue (12-0) vs. Florida A&M (2-8)
West Lafayette, Indiana | Mackey Arena (14,876)
TELEVISION: BTN | RADIO: Purdue Sports Network
ANNOUNCERS: Connor Onion, Rapheal Davis
THE NOTES TO KNOW
• Purdue closes out its non-conference slate and ends the 2022 calendar year with a Thursday tipoff against Florida A&M. It will mark the first meeting between the two teams. Purdue is looking for its second straight undefeated, non-conference regular season.
• A win will give Purdue a 13-0 start for just the third time in program history (2009-10, 1993-94). A victory will also give the Boilermakers 13 wins before New Year’s Day for only the fourth time ever, but first as an undefeated team (2017-18, 2015-16, 2010-11 — all with 13-1 records).
• Purdue is one of the last three unbeaten teams in the country (UConn, New Mexico).
• The Boilermakers are 41-8 (.837) since the start of last season, the fifth-most wins in the country in that span (including 22-1 at home).
• Purdue is looking to extend its non-conference, regular-season winning streak to 24 games, dating to a Dec. 8, 2020, loss at Miami, Fla.
• Before New Year’s Day over the last two seasons, Purdue owns a 24-1 record (lone loss at Rutgers).
• For the second straight year, Purdue has been voted No. 1 in the AP Top 25 poll. A year ago, Purdue was voted No. 1 on Dec. 6, for the first time in school history. Purdue becomes the first Big Ten program since Indiana (1974-75, 1975-76) to be ranked No. 1 in consecutive seasons.
• Purdue can claim America’s best resume, owning a nation’s-best four top-50 KenPom wins, all of them against teams ranked in the top 30. Three of the wins (Marquette was at home) have come away from Mackey Arena.
• Appearing at No. 1 in this week’s AP Top 25, Purdue has been ranked in the top 5 in consecutive years for the first time since the 1986-87 and 1987-88 seasons. The Boilermakers have spent 17 of the past 27 AP polls ranked in the top 5. Only Gonzaga (22) has spent more time in the top 5 than Purdue since the start of last season. Purdue’s 24 appearances in the top 10 during that span are second behind Kansas (27).
• One year after ranking second in the country in rebound margin, Purdue leads the country in rebound margin (+12.2) this season. The Boilermakers are outscoring their opponents 158 to 74 in second-chance points (13.2 to 6.2 points per game).
• Purdue has made 211 free throws this season, while opponents have shot just 127. Purdue has made 122 more free throws (211 to 89) than its foes this season, the second-highest discrepancy in the country (North Carolina +123, Purdue +122, Iowa +109, New Mexico +107).
• Purdue has held 24 straight opponents to 75 or fewer points, the third-longest streak in the country (North Texas 44, Houston 28).
• Purdue has won 33 straight regular-season games when it faced an unranked opponent at home or on a neutral game.
• Purdue is currently the fifth-youngest team among power-conference teams in terms of D-I experience (1.36) according to KenPom.com.
• Purdue’s freshman class scored 42 points in the win over New Orleans, and is now averaging 29.6 points per game, accounting for 38.5 percent of its scoring. As a note, the 2020-21 freshman class (Ivey, Edey, etc…) averaged 31.6 points per game (44.5 percent of scoring).
• Zach Edey ranks No. 1 in the KenPom POY ratings by a significant margin and has been the game MVP in all 11 Purdue contests that he has played in (missed last game with the flu). It tied for the longest game MVP streak ever with Ohio State’s Keita Bates-Diop in 2017-18 (11 games). Including this season with Edey, Purdue has had a top-10 KenPom player in five of the last seven seasons. Edey ranks 5th in the country in scoring, 1st in rebounding, 21st in field goal percentage and 23rd in blocked shots.
• Perhaps our favorite Zach Edey stat: Through 11 games this year, he has more blocked shots (24) than personal fouls (20). He has also played 30 minutes nine times this season after not doing it once in his first two seasons. Edey is averaging just 2.3 fouls / 40 minutes.
• Edey became the first Big Ten player since Ethan Happ (Nov. 2018) to be named Big Ten Player of the Week in three consecutive weeks. His three Big Ten Player of the Week awards (in only seven weeks) are tied for the third most in a season in Purdue history.
• Matt Painter needs four overall victories to become the fifth coach in Big Ten history with 400 victories while at a conference school (Bob Knight, Tom Izzo, Gene Keady, Lou Henson). He needs four victories to become the seventh coach with 200 Big Ten Conference victories.
BOILERS HIT THE ROAD TO FACE #12/10 IOWA
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue women’s basketball team returns from the holiday break to take on No. 12/10 Iowa on Thursday night in Iowa City. Sloane Martin and Brenda VanLengen will have the 9 p.m. (ET) tip on the Big Ten Network.
Tim Newton will be on the call for the Purdue Radio Network on 95.3 BOB FM.
Purdue (10-2) at No. 12/10 Iowa (10-3)
Thursday, Dec. 29
Time: 9 PM (ET)
Radio: 95.3 BOB FM
Live Stats: Purduestats.com
LAST TIME OUT
Purdue closed out the non-conference season with a 59-53 win on the road at Texas A&M prior to the holiday break. Caitlyn Harper led the way with 15 points, while Cassidy Hardin tacked on 13 points with a trio of triples. Purdue closed the game on a 10-4 run and held the Aggies to just one field goal over the final 3:33 of the game.
• Purdue leads the all-time series with Iowa, 40-36. The Hawkeyes have taken the last five matchups.
• Jeanae Terry is one of two players to post five rebounds and five assists in nine games this season. The other, Caitlyn Clark with 10.
• Abbey Ellis is one of 10 players in the country in the 50-40-85 club, with clips of 54.5 FG%, 43.8 3PT% and 87.2 FT%.
• Transfers Caitlyn Harper and Lasha Petree are averaging 28.7 points per game this season. Their total ranks second in the Big Ten among first-year transfers behind Illinois’ Makira Cook and Genesis Bryant at 31.7 points per game.
• The Boilermakers snapped a 19-game skid against ranked opposition last season with a 66-61 win over No. 17/22 Florida State. Purdue’s last ranked win against a Big Ten team on the road was over No. 10 Maryland back in 2018.
• The Boilermakers are 7-1 this year when scoring 30 or more points in the paint, as the club has averaged 37.2 points per game inside.
• Purdue is 9-2 this season when shooting better than 40% and is one of 24 teams to hit that mark 11 or more times
• The Boilermakers have made a little under half their shots at 49.4% on the year, ranking eighth in the nation and third in the Big Ten.
• Purdue wrapped up its non-conference campaign at 9-1, the best mark since Katie Gearlds was a freshman in 2003-04.
• The Boilermakers’ two losses this season have come by a combined four points. (1 vs. Florida State, 3 vs. Maryland)
BULLDOGS HOST PROVIDENCE THURSDAY IN FINAL TIP OF 2022
The Bulldogs return to Hinkle Fieldhouse for their final tip of 2022, hosting Providence Thursday night. Butler will welcome back a number of men’s basketball alumni and their families for Thursday’s game. Many will be located in one of the sections that typically houses Butler’s Dawg Pound student section.
Butler (8-5, 0-2 BIG EAST) vs. rv/rv Providence (10-3, 2-0)
Thursday, Dec. 29; 6:30PM
Hinkle Fieldhouse; Indianapolis, Ind.
PDF Notes Available at https://bit.ly/3NGADRf
TV: FS1 – Matt Schumacker & Donny Marshall
Radio: 1430AM – @MarkMinner & Nick Gardner (@n_gardner)
Varsity Network Radio App
SiriusXM 381, SXM App 971
THE SERIES: Providence Leads, 16-5
Streak: Providence, W4
At Hinkle: Providence Leads, 6-3
First Meeting: PC, 65-56, 1/21/14
Last Meeting: PC, 65-61, 3/10/22
Bulldogs vs. Friars
• All 21 match-ups between the two teams have come since Butler joined the BIG EAST in the 2013-14 season.
• Providence took all three games played between the teams last season, but all three contests were single-possession games in the final minute.
• Chuck Harris led the Bulldogs in each of the three games, while Nate Watson did the same for PC.
• The 69-62 PC win Jan. 23 in Rhode Island featured 13 lead changes. The 71-70 overtime win by PC at Hinkle Feb. 20 included the Friars overcoming a 19-point deficit. The March 10 BIG EAST Tournament quarterfinal was a 65-61 PC win.
• Eleven Bulldogs played in Thursday’s game at Creighton, the first time this season that more than nine players saw action in a contest for Butler.
• Jalen Thomas and Ali Ali each played in their second games as Bulldogs Thursday against Creighton. Thomas (pulmonary embolism) and Ali (concussion symptoms/nasal surgery) had missed the first 11 games of the season.
• Thomas went 4-for-5 from the field and scored the first eight points of his Butler career; Ali scored seven points after registering six points in his Dec. 17 opener vs. UConn.
• Butler’s five starters are each averaging double figures in scoring and more than 30 minutes played per game. The balance among those five includes field goal attempts that range from 115 to 144 through 13 games.
• Manny Bates, Jayden Taylor and Chuck Harris have each led the Bulldogs in scoring in at least four games so far this season (includes ties).
• Butler has placed all five starters in double figures three times this season, with the most recent coming at Cal Dec. 10.
• Butler’s average of 8.2 bench points per game ranks last (of 352 teams) nationally. That output should increase with the return of Ali and Thomas to the rotation.
• Butler is 8-0 this season when leading at halftime.
• Harris is averaging 16.6 points per game and shooting 45.7 percent from three-point range at Hinkle Fieldhouse this season.
• The Bulldogs are shooting 53 percent from the field and 41 percent from three-point range in the team’s seven home games this season.
• Butler is committing only 12.3 fouls per game, which is second in the nation.
• Butler’s 4.8 blocks per game are 47th nationally.
• Bates is 16th nationally in blocks per game at 2.5 per game.
• For the season, Butler is shooting 48.1 percent from the field, which is 47th nationally.
• Bates is 22nd nationally with a 62.6 field goal percentage.
• Butler has shot 50 percent or better from the field eight times already this season; the Bulldogs hit the 50-percent mark six times all of last season (31 games). In a similar fashion, Butler already has six games this season shooting 40 percent or better from three-point range, which was only done four times during the 2021-22 season.
• Butler’s free throw percentage of 74.9 percent is 50th nationally.
• Both Harris (89.2 percent; 32nd) and Taylor (86.4 percent; 62nd) rank among the national leaders in free throw percentage.
• Among active coaches with at least 10 seasons of NCAA Division I experience, Thad Matta’s .738 winning percentage ranks fourth (Few, Self, Calipari).
• Thad Matta is 19-2 at Hinkle Fieldhouse as the head coach at Butler (2000-01 and the current 2021-22 seasons).
• Bates led the Bulldogs with 22 points and 10 rebounds against Kansas State Nov. 30, his third double-double of the season.
• Eric Hunter Jr. posted the first double-double of his collegiate career in the Dec. 10 win at Cal; he scored 13 points to go along with a career-high 11 rebounds.
• Including his seasons at Purdue, Hunter has 984 career points.
• Harris is now tied with Gordon Hayward for 22nd in Butler history in career three-pointers (116).
• Harris posted career-highs of 32 points and six three-pointers in the Dec. 3 win over Tennessee Tech.
• Simas Lukosius handed out a career-high seven assists against Kansas State Nov. 30, which also matched the most by a Butler player this season.
• Myles Tate has missed the last four games due to a non-COVID illness. John-Michael Mulloy has yet to play this season due to an ankle/foot injury.
BALL STATE EXTENDS WINNING STREAK TO FIVE GAMES
MUNCIE, Ind. – The Ball State men’s basketball team closed out 2022 at home against Chicago State on Wednesday. Jarron Coleman led the Cardinals with 16 points as BSU defeated CSU 70-63, for its fifth-straight win.
The Cardinals improved to 9-4 overall, while the Cougars fell to 3-13 on the year. Ball State ended the non-conference schedule with a 9-4 record, the first time since the 2018-19 season when BSU started 9-4.
“When Darian (Owens-White) dove between the guy’s legs, that’s a winning play,” said Head Coach Michael Lewis. “That doesn’t only account for those two points, it deflates any run they were on and gives you a spark. I love the kid (Jaylin Sellers), he’s a worker. I’ve told you guys over and over. He’s earned the right to have the type of year he’s having. We have to continue to grow as a team. We made some defensive breakdowns, under four minutes. We’ve got to get better at that. It’s part of growing and learning how to win. That’s a good win. For them (Chicago State) to play the schedule that they play and travel the way that they have to travel, and for him (Coach Gillion) to have those guys wired up and competing as hard as they compete every night, their coach is doing a heck of a job.”
Coleman led BSU with 16 points and added five rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal. He has posted double-digit points in 12-consecutive contests. Sellers finished with 14 points, a game-high three steals, two rebounds, an assist, and a block. He has scored in double figures in four-straight games. Payton Sparks recorded a game-high eight rebounds and dished out a game-high four assists. He added two blocked shots. For the second-straight contest, Demarius Jacobs has produced four blocks, which tied a career best. Jacobs chipped in with 11 points, six rebounds, two assists, and two steals.
The Cougars started the game strong and took an early 7-3 lead with 17:02 left in the first half. Sparks recorded an emphatic slam dunk that led to a 6-0 run for the Cardinals. Coleman knocked down two free throws and give Ball State a 9-7 lead with 13:39 left until the break.
Chicago State answered with a 9-2 run to regain a 16-11 lead, its largest of the night, with 10:48 until half. Ball State was resilient and battled back with a 14-7 run. Coleman drained a 3-pointer to cap off the run and gave the Cardinals a 25-23 lead with 4:57 left in the first half. The Cougars ended the half outscoring the Cardinals 5-4, but Ball State took a 29-28 lead into the intermission.
The second half started as a back-and-forth battle. During the first 8:37, there were four ties and three lead changes as the score was tied 44-44 with 11:23 left in regulation. The two sides continued to trade baskets as the game remained tied, 48-48, with just under 10 minutes left in the game.
The Cardinals utilized a 7-0 run to take a 55-48 advantage with 8:32 left on the clock. Darian Owens-White came up with a key play for BSU. He poked a ball free from the Cougar ball handler and then dove between his legs to come up with a steal for the Cardinals with 6:47 left on the clock. Ball State started to stretch its lead and saw its largest of the night, 67-59, with 2:06 left in regulation. BSU used the eight-point cushion and claimed a 70-63 victory.
Wesley Cardet posted a game-high 18 points for the Cougars. He added seven boards. Bryce Johnson collected 17 points with five rebounds. Jahsean Corbett recorded a double-double, behind 12 points and 10 rebounds. Corbett also produced a steal and an assist. Elijah added a double-digit performance with 12 points to go along with his five rebounds, team-high three assists, and one block.
The Cardinals return to the court to start the new year off with the Mid-American Conference opener on the road against the Toledo Rockets. The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start on Tuesday, Jan. 3, on CBS Sports Network.
WBB CLOSEST OUT NON-CONFERENCE ACTION FRIDAY AT HOME AGAINST CHICAGO STATE
Game 13 | Ball State (9-3) vs. Chicago State (0-16)
Dec. 30 | Muncie, Ind. | Worthen Arena | 6:30 pm ET
– Ball State is looking to close non-conference action with a 10-3 record when it hosts Chicago State Friday night in Worthen Arena. A win will mark the Cardinals best non-conference showing under 11th year head coach Brady Sallee since the 2017-18 season when Ball State made program history after finishing non-conference action, 11-0.
– Tonight’s contest promotion is “Take A Kid to a Game” day at Worthen Arena which is presented by The Cardinal Fanstore in The Village. With one paid adult ticket purchased, two kids 13 and under will receive a complimentary ticket along with a commemorative gift pack. The same promotion is good for the Ball State women’s basketball game versus Bowling Green, Wednesday, Jan. 4 at 6:30 p.m. ET. Friday night’s contest will be highlighted with a halftime performance with Simon Sez.
– Ball State returns to the court after the holiday break having went 1-1 at the Puerto Rico Classic. The Cardinals earned their second-straight overtime victory when Ball State defeated Tarleton State 80-77, Dec. 19. Ball State played a tight contest against Richmond in their second contest at the Puerto Rico Classic but lost that battle in the final minute, 73-75.
– Chicago State is looking for its first win of the season having lost 16 straight. The Cardinals and the Cougars have met a total of 13 times with Ball State winning all those meetings. The last time these two teams met was Dec. 1, 2016, in Worthen Arena with the Cardinals winning that contest, 88-53.
– Both Ally Becki and Thelma Dis Agustsdottir led the Cardinals in Puerto Rico averaging 17.0 points per game. Becki also registered her third double-double of the season after scoring 17 points against the Richmond Spiders Dec. 20 while also adding 10 rebounds.
– Redshirt senior Anna Clephane currently leads the Cardinals is scoring averaging 12.1 points per game. Clephane has 922 points for her career and only needs 78 points to become the 10th player under Brady Sallee to reach the 1,000 point milestone.
– Sophomore Marie Kiefer has proven to be a great defender for the Cardinals. She currently sits in 12th place all-time in blocked shots with 63 and so far has 15 total this season. Kiefer averages 1.4 blocks per contest.
– Graduate senior Thelma Dis Agustsdottir has found her rhythm behind the arc again as she currently leads the team with 31 three’s so far this season. Agustsdottir has 249 total 3-pointers for her career and sits in fifth place all-time. She needs four more to move up to fourth place which is currently being held by former Cardinal John Goff (2001-04) with 253 3-pointers.
Return of the MAC:
– Under the direction of 11th-year head coach Brady Sallee, the Cardinals have had a wealth of success during MAC action. Sallee enters this conference season with 113-68 (.624) career MAC record. The Cardinals have punched their ticket straight to Cleveland in the MAC Tournament eight out of nine times under Sallee and have reached the championship game three times. Ball State earned a MAC West Division title in 2014-15 and has reached postseason play seven times including making it to the round of 16 at the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) in Sallee’s inaugural year.
After the Cardinals close out non-conference action at home Friday against Chicago State, Ball State will open up Mid-American Conference play at home Wednesday, Jan. 4 att 6:30 p.m. ET against Bowling Green. The Cardinals were predicted to finish second the MAC preseason coaches’ poll.
Home Sweet Home:
John E. Worthen Arena has been very good to the Cardinals for the past decade. Ball State has a record of 164-85 (.653) at Worthen Arena from 2004-present. In 11 seasons Brady Sallee has compiled a 98-50 (.658) record in Worthen Arena. His best season at home was in 2017-18 when the Cardinals went 15-3 in Muncie. So far this season the Cardinals are undefeated at home with a 5-0 mark.
SYCAMORES HOST EVANSVILLE IN RETURN TO VALLEY PLAY THURSDAY
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State returns to Valley action Thursday night when the Sycamores welcome the Evansville Aces to Hulman Center for an 8 p.m. tip-off in ISU’s last game of the 2022 calendar year. In conjunction with the Sycamore women’s basketball game at 4 p.m., Thursday is Local Heroes Day and there will be a US Army National Guard enlistment ceremony at halftime of the men’s game.
The Sycamores are carrying a small losing skid into Thursday’s game as ISU dropped its last three games going into the Christmas break. The Sycamores fell to Southern Indiana and Duquesne on the road before most recently losing to Northern Illinois at home.
On Thursday when the Northern Illinois lead hit 28-18 at 4:21 in the first, that marked the first time ISU has trailed by double-figures all season this season. NIU led by a game-high 14 points midway through the second half. NIU’s 15-0 run in the first half is the largest run the Sycamores have allowed by an opponent this season, and Thursday is ISU’s first time scoring less than 60 points since the team’s Valley Tournament loss against Illinois State on March 3, 2022.
After being picked to finish seventh in the Valley preseason poll, the Sycamores have started out league play 2-0 after defeating two of the top three teams in the preseason poll including Drake at home and Southern Illinois on the road.
After missing three games due to injury, Cooper Neese has returned to play and is averaging 14.5 points per game alongside 4.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.
Indiana State leads the all-time series 99-83 dating back to 1921. The Sycamores are 62-27 against Evansville at home and will be looking for their 100th all-time win against the Aces.
ISU split the season series with Evansville last year, falling 56-65 at home Feb. 8, 2022 before rebounding with an 80-77 win in double overtime in Evansville Feb. 10, 2022.
LAST GAME AGAINST THE ACES
Cooper Neese scored a career high 35 points as Indiana State basketball edged Evansville on the road in a double overtime victory Feb. 10, 2022 at the Ford Center. Neese’s five triples also pushed the sharpshooter into fifth in program history with 162 career threes, passing Eddie Bird (1987-91) on the list.
Neese scored 12 of ISU’s 26 points to lead the Sycamores in the first half while Cameron Henry tallied eight points and five rebounds in 13 minutes of action. Three Purple Aces scored eight points in the opening frame and each were responsible for three separate 8-0 runs for UE.
Neese scored nine of his 35 points in the second overtime, including the first five points of the period. The Cloverdale, Indiana native put ISU ahead 78-76 with 10 seconds left. The Aces would draw a foul but miss the first free throw. Neese closed out the game at the charity stripe.
EVANSVILLE AT A GLANCE
The Aces were picked to finish 12th of 12 teams in the Valley preseason poll and are 0-2 in league play this year with losses to Southern Illinois and UNI.
The Aces are coming off a 73-61 win against Bellarmine on December 21 at the Ford Center. With the Knights holding a 51-50 lead with 6:28 remaining, Evansville took control to pick up their fourth win of the season. After being held scoreless in the first half, Kenny Strawbridge Jr. erupted for 22 in the second half to lead all players. Yacine Toumi recorded his third double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 rebounds while Gage Bobe wrapped up the game with a career-best 12 points.
Strawbridge Jr. paces all Evansville scorers with 16.2 points per game this season alongside 2.7 assists per game. Toumi is pulling down 5.6 boards per game.
LAST TIME OUT
Indiana State suffered its first home loss of the season this past Thursday, losing to Northern Illinois 67-57 at Hulman Center. In the first half, Indiana State entered a scoring drought spanning 7:12, and during that time NIU went off on a 15-0 run to take a 30-18 lead with 3:59 to go in the opening frame. The Sycamores were 0-for-6 including 0-for-4 from three with six turnovers in that span.
Courvoisier McCauley sparked a late 9-0 Sycamore run with back-to-back layups followed by a steal by Henry to set himself up for a triple, and Cooper Neese knocked down a free throw to cap the run and pull ISU within five points of NIU at 60-55 with 1:29 to go in the game. Julian Larry dished out his fifth assist of the game to set Jayson Kent up for a layup with 33 seconds on the clock, but the Huskies closed out the game with four free throws in the last 28 seconds.
Courvoisier McCauley led all Sycamores scorers in the game with 21 points, his fifth game scoring 20 or more points this season. He also pulled down a team-high eight rebounds with three steals and two assists.
Cooper Neese was the only other Sycamore to score in double figures with 10 points alongside four rebounds and two assists.
Julian Larry’s five assists tied his season-high previously set against Green Bay in the season opener.
SYCAMORES, LADY BEARS FACE OFF IN MVC OPENER
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State opens Missouri Valley Conference play Thursday afternoon, as the Sycamores welcome Missouri State to Hulman Center for a 4 p.m. tip. The game will be carried on ESPN+ and 105.5 The Legend.
Thursday’s game has been designated as Local Heroes Day. All active duty and retired military members, first responders and healthcare workers can purchase discounted tickets at the Hulman Center ticket office on gameday.
Fans in attendance will receive an Indiana State rollabana, courtesy of State Farm and the Missouri Valley Conference.
Last Time Out
Indiana State pitched a shutout in the second quarter Wednesday evening, propelling the Sycamores to a wire-to-wire 72-47 win in their non-conference finale over visiting Detroit Mercy inside Hulman Center.
Del’Janae Williams led all scorers with 14 points, while Adrian Folks scored a season-high 13 off the bench and Hattie Westerfeld added 11. Westerfeld finished one rebound shy of her first career double-double, while Anna McKendree pitched in with eight points, a season-high eight assists and six rebounds.
After a back-and-forth start, Indiana State took full control with a 28-0 run to close the first half and never looked back. The Sycamores outscored Detroit Mercy 24-0 in the second quarter to take a 43-12 lead into the locker room and, despite Detroit Mercy scoring 35 in the second half, cruised to their second straight win to close the non-conference schedule.
Indiana State held Detroit Mercy scoreless in the second quarter of its 72-47 win Wednesday, marking the first time the Sycamores held an opponent scoreless in a quarter since Feb. 8, 2020 against Valparaiso.
The Sycamores outscored the Titans 24-0 in the quarter as part of a 28-0 run to close the first half, its longest scoring run under head coach Chad Killinger. ISU’s defense limited Detroit Mercy to an 0-for-11 mark from the field, including 0-for-5 from 3-point range, while also forcing six turnovers in the quarter which the Sycamores turned into nine points on the other end.
Home, Sweet Home
Indiana State opens Missouri Valley Conference play at home for the first time since the 2017-18 season when the Sycamores play host to Missouri State and Southern Illinois.
The two games close out a five-game homestand for the Sycamores, also their longest since the 2017-18 season which saw Indiana State have a six-game homestand including its first two MVC games of that season against Missouri State and Southern Illinois. Indiana State is 5-2 at home this season, already surpassing last season’s home win total of four.
Sycamores in MVC Openers
Indiana State is 18-21 in Missouri Valley Conference/Gateway Conference openers, and 15-15 in those games since the Gateway Conference merged into the MVC prior to the 1992-93 season.
The Sycamores have won each of their last two MVC openers, including a 78-70 win at Drake last season in head coach Chad Killinger’s first MVC game.
Model of Consistency
Indiana State guard Del’Janae Williams has been a focal part of the Sycamore offense since head coach Chad Killinger arrived, and the senior guard is off to another strong start this year.
Williams leads the team in scoring at 12.7ppg and is also second on the team with 4.4rpg. She has scored in double-figures in six of the first nine games this season, including a season-high 23 points (with a career-high five 3-pointers) in Indiana State’s most recent road game at Western Michigan.
Indiana State continues to be among the best in the MVC when it comes to generating turnovers. The Sycamores’ 19.4 turnovers forced per game lead the conference, while their 9.6 steals per game are second in The Valley. Indiana State also ranks second in the MVC in turnover margin.
The turnovers forced by the Sycamores have often translated to points on the other end, with Indiana State averaging 19 points per game off turnovers.
A pair of Indiana State post players who have worked their way back from injury put up season-best numbers in the Sycamores’ 72-47 win over Detroit Mercy.
Adrian Folks scored a season-high 13 points against the Titans, while Hattie Westerfeld finished one rebound shy of a double-double with 11 points and nine boards. The duo was responsible for half of Indiana State’s season-high 48 points in the paint against Detroit Mercy.
Westerfeld missed all of last season with a knee injury, while Folks played in just five games last season before a knee injury ended her season prematurely.
Missouri State at a Glance
Winners of their last three games, Missouri State enters Thursday’s game at 5-4 overall. The Lady Bears closed their non-conference slate with a 55-48 win over Little Rock. Also included in Missouri State’s current win streak are a 68-59 win over UT Martin and a 63-59 win at TCU.
Missouri State faced a challenging non-conference schedule, with three Power Five opponents on the slate for the Lady Bears. The most notable win on the Lady Bears’ schedule was the aforementioned win over TCU in Fort Worth.
Aniya Thomas leads the Lady Bears in scoring at 12.0 points per game, while Sydney Wilson (9.6), Kennedy Taylor (9.6) and Isabelle Delarue (9.4) are all averaging just shy of double-figure scoring for Missouri State. Indya Green is nearly averaging a double-double for the Lady Bears, leading the team with 8.7 rebounds per game while also adding 8.6 points per game.
Beth Cunningham is in her first season as head coach at Missouri State after spending the last two seasons as an assistant at Duke. Cunningham, a Bloomington native, previously spent eight seasons as an assistant at Notre Dame.
Series History Against Missouri State
Missouri State owns a 65-18 advantage in the all-time series and has won the last 16 meetings between the teams. Indiana State’s last win in the series was in 2014.
Last Game Against Missouri State (Feb. 26, 2022)
Indiana State scored 26 points in the fourth quarter, but the Sycamores’ comeback attempt fell just short against Missouri State inside JQH Arena, 72-65.
Natalia Lalic led the way for the Sycamores with 17 points, finishing as one of four Indiana State players in double-figures. Arianna Smith tied her career high with 15 points, while Marie Hunter and Anna McKendree added 13 and 10, respectively.
Indiana State got off to a quick start with 15 points in the first six minutes, but struggled to find consistency on the offensive end in the second and third quarters. Facing a 20-point deficit in the fourth quarter, the Sycamores put together a frantic rally in the final frame. Indiana State was able to cut it to a two-possession game late, but just ran out of time.
Indiana State closes its five-game homestand Saturday afternoon against Southern Illinois, with tipoff set for 1 p.m.
NEWEST HORIZON LEAGUE MEMBERS MEET FOR WBB GAME ON THURSDAY
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Purdue Fort Wayne and Robert Morris will meet on Thursday (Dec. 29) in a doubleheader of the two newest members of the Horizon League. The Mastodons and Colonials both joined the league prior to the 2020-21 school year. The women’s game will start at 4 p.m. and the men’s game will tip after.
Game Day Information
Who: Robert Morris Colonials
When: Thursday, December 29 | 4 PM
Where: Moon Township, Pa. | UPMC Events Center
Live Stats: Link
Game Notes: Purdue Fort Wayne | Robert Morris | Horizon League
Know Your Foe
Robert Morris is 7-4 and was 1-1 in the abbreviated start to Horizon League play. The Colonials topped Wright State 68-47 before dropping a 69-54 game at Northern Kentucky. RMU lost two in a row at West Virginia and Oklahoma, but bounced back with a 24-point win over St. Bonaventure. Sophomore Phoenix Gedeon has scored in double-figures in all but one game, averaging 13.4 points per game.
After the Mastodons won the first game in the series 71-67 in 2021, Robert Morris has won the last four meetings, which included a matchup in the Horizon League Championship last season.
A New First
Amellia Bromenschenkel recorded the second double-double of her career against No. 15 Maryland (Dec. 21). She scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and did not record a turnover. She is the first-ever Mastodon to record a double-double against a Power Five team.
Over the last four games…
• Amellia Bromenschenkel is averaging 14.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, shooting 40.7 percent from the floor and 90.9 percent from the charity stripe.
• Shayla Sellers is averaging 10.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game with a 93.8 percent from the free throw line.
• Jazzlyn Linbo is averaging 6.3 points and 6.0 rebounds per game while shooting 60.0 percent from the floor.
Ranked in Gates
When Maryland visited Fort Wayne on December 21, it was the first ranked opponent to play in the Gates Sports Center since No. 14 Purdue came to Gates on December 6, 2012. It was the sixth time that a Big Ten team came to play at Gates.
In the three-game stretch from December 2-8, Amellia Bromenschenkel recorded at least eight points, six rebounds, two steals, one block and one assist. In that time, she was 13-of-27 (48.1 percent) from the floor. In her career, she has seven games where she records at least one of each of those statistics.
Here’s how Amellia Bromenschenkel’s stats stack up in the Horizon League:
48.6 FG%: 3rd
14.2 points per game: 5th
5.3 rebounds per game: 12th
1.8 3FG per game: 10th
0.9 blocks per game: 6th
1.2 steals per game: 25th
29.5 minutes per game: 10th
Purdue Fort Wayne takes 28.3 3-pointers per game, which is the most in the Horizon League and 10th-most in the nation.
Jazzlyn Linbo is second in the Horizon League with 17 blocks.
This Ott-a Be Good
Ryin Ott is sixth in the Horizon League with 17 steals.
Purdue Fort Wayne has had the same starting five in all 12 games: Amellia Bromenschenkel, Ryin Ott, Shayla Sellers, Jazzlyn Linbo and Destinee Marshall.
Last Time Out
Amellia Bromenschenkel recorded a 25-point, 10-rebound double-double against No. 15 Maryland on December 21. The ‘Dons fell 88-51 to the visiting Terrapins.
On New Year’s Eve, the Mastodons will visit Youngstown State for a noon tip against the preseason favorite Penguins.
MVC PLAY BEGINS FOR ACES AGAINST SIU ON THURSDAY NIGHT
EVANSVILLE – After 11 days away from competition, the University of Evansville women’s basketball team jumps into Missouri Valley Conference action against Southern Illinois at 6 PM on Thursday evening inside Meeks Family Fieldhouse.
Following the postponement against UT Martin due to inclement weather, Evansville will face an 11-day break between contests, equaling an 11-day break the Aces experienced a season ago when their matchup with Chicago State was canceled due to COVID.
Evansville and Southern Illinois renew a conference rivalry on Thursday for the 67th time with the Salukis owning a 38-28 advantage in the all-time series. The Salukis enter having won the last 10 meetings between the two sides and 13 of the last 15 matchups in the series. UE and SIU met twice last season with the Salukis winning both meeting by nearly the same margin; 75-62 in Evansville and 80-66 in Carbondale.
Coming into conference play, SIU holds a 3-6 overall mark, having most recently fallen on the road at Saint Louis, 82-54, on Dec. 21. Leading the way for the Salukis are a pair of double-figure scorers in Ashley Jones (15 points per game) and Promise Taylor (11 ppg). Comparatively, the Aces have four players who are averaging 9.9-or-more points with Abby Feit, Myia Clark, and A’Niah Griffin all averaging more than 11 points per contest and Barbora Tomancova sitting just a tenth of a point per game away from averaging double-figures at 9.9 ppg.
With the win over SEMO on Dec. 18, Evansville has continued to find success in non-conference play this season. The Aces secured a winning record in non-conference play for the third-straight season with the win over the Redhawks, tying the program record for most consecutive season with a winning record in non–conference action, most recently done in 2006-07, 2007-08, and 2008-09.
Evansville will be hosting the Aces Gift Exchange at Thursday night’s contest. Fans can exchange an unwanted holiday gift they received for a free ticket to a future Evansville women’s basketball game (limit one per fan).
ACES RETURN TO ACTION AT INDIANA STATE
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – It is back to Missouri Valley Conference action for the University of Evansville men’s basketball team when the Purple Aces travel to Indiana State on Thursday. Tip is set for 7 p.m. CT with the Purple Aces Radio Network and ESPN+ having the coverage.
Last Time Out
– Evansville outscored Bellarmine by a 23-10 margin to earn a 73-61 win on December 21 at the Ford Center
– With the Knights holding a 51-50 lead with 6:28 remaining, Evansville took control to pick up their fourth win of the season
– After being held scoreless in the first half, Kenny Strawbridge Jr. erupted for 22 in the second half to lead all players
– Yacine Toumi recorded his third double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 rebounds while Gage Bobe wrapped up the game with a career-best 12 points
Second Half Performance
– In the Dec. 21 game against Bellarmine, Kenny Strawbridge Jr. was held scoreless in the opening half but rebounded with 22 points in the final 20 minutes
– He converted three consecutive triples as the Aces wrapped up the game on a 23-10 run; he was 3-for-6 from outside in the win and ended a 3-for-22 streak from long range entering the contest
– Strawbridge is currently 8th in the league with his average of 16.2 points per game and has scored 20 or more points on six occasions
– His top scoring output of the season saw him register 25 points on 11-of-18 shooting versus Fairfield
– Knocking down four of his seven 3-point attempts against Bellarmine, Gage Bobe set his career mark with 12 points
– It surpassed his previous mark of nine points which came on two occasions prior to this season
– Aside from his point tally, Bobe also set his career highs with five rebounds and 35:46 minutes
– Bobe has made the start in all 13 games this season
Chalk up Another
– For the third time this season, Yacine Toumi recorded a double-double as he finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds against Bellarmine
– His 11 caroms was a new career high and was his third double digit rebound game this season and his average of 5.6 per game is second on the team and 15th in the Valley
– Toumi scored a career-high 18 points against Campbell and has registered at least 8 points in five straight games and 10 of his 12 games in 2022
– His first two double-doubles of the year came against Saint Louis (11 pts, 10 rbs) and SMU (14 pts, 10 rbs)
Scouting the Opponent
– Indiana State enters Thursday’s game with a 9-4 record while picking up wins in its first two MVC games
– The Sycamores defeated Drake and Southern Illinois to open their league slate
– Since the win over SIU, Indiana State has lost three in a row with their most recent game being a 67-57 loss to Northern Illinois
– Courvoisier McCauley paces ISU with 17.5 points per game while shooting 43.9% from the field and leading the squad with 42 triples
– Cameron Henry checks in with 11.8 points and a team-high 5.3 rebounds.
EAGLES TIP OFF FIRST OVC SEASON THIS WEEK
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana Women’s Basketball tips off its first Ohio Valley Conference season this week, as the Screaming Eagles open conference play Thursday at 5 p.m. from Screaming Eagles Arena against Southeast Missouri State University (ticket information). Southern Indiana will then travel to Eastern Illinois University Saturday for a 1 p.m. contest.
Both matchups can be seen live with a subscription to ESPN+ and heard on 95.7 FM The Spin (http://957thespin.com).
The Screaming Eagles (6-5) are coming off a 90-48 home win last Wednesday before the holiday break against Brescia University (Ky.) to conclude the non-conference season. The home contest was USI’s first since November 23, as USI went 4-1 at home during nonconference.
USI had five players score in double figures against Brescia (Ky.). The last time USI had five players reach double figures was January 20, 2022, against the University of Illinois Springfield.
Senior forward Hannah Haithcock (Washington Courthouse, Ohio) led all scorers with a career-high 24 points and tied her career-best 13 rebounds, leading to an OVC co-Player of the Week honor this week. The accolade was USI’s third player of the week honor this season. Haithcock’s performance was the eighth double-double of her career while hitting the 20-point plateau for the seventh time in her career and third of the season.
Haithcock has been on a roll lately, scoring 14 or more points in four straight games for USI. On the season, Haithcock is tied for the team lead and second in the OVC at 14.5 points per game. She is the leading shot-taker this season for USI. The senior is 67-for-136 from the field at 49.3 percent, which is also good for third in OVC. She has also added 5.1 rebounds per contest. Defensively, Haithcock tops USI with 12 blocks.
The game against Brescia (Ky.) also saw graduate forward Ashlynn Brown (Perrysburg, Ohio) tie her career high with 19 points, while senior guard Lexi Thompson (Lafayette, Indiana) set a new career best with 12 points. Senior guard Soffia Rieckers (Evansville, Indiana) dished out a career-best 10 assists in the contest, becoming the first USI player to hand out 10 or more assists in a game since Randa Harshbarger had 10 against the University of Illinois Springfield on December 3, 2016.
Joining Haithcock for the team lead in scoring is junior forward Meredith Raley (Haubstadt, Indiana), who is also averaging 14.5 points per game. Raley scored 11 points last week against Brescia (Ky.) and has been impressive putting the ball in the basket this season, scoring 10 or more points in all but one game this season. However, her ability to share the basketball has also stood out, totaling 28 assists this season which is tied for second-best on the squad. Raley is averaging nearly three assists per game in the last seven outings.
Sophomore guard Vanessa Shafford (Linton, Indiana) also tallied 11 points against Brescia (Ky.) last week. Shafford is averaging 12.9 points per game and paces USI at 7.0 rebounds per game. Offensively, the sophomore has scored in double figures in eight games this season and is shooting over 58 percent from behind the three-point line, which is good for the most efficient three-point percentage in the nation.
As a team, USI is first in the Ohio Valley Conference at 71.2 points per contest. Southern Indiana’s scoring output has been achieved by shooting 42.9 percent from the floor (second in the OVC), 37.8 percent from behind the arc (first in the OVC), and 77.8 percent at the free-throw line (second in the OVC). Meanwhile, USI’s offensive effort has led to 17.4 assists per game (first in the OVC), which sits among the best in the nation. The Screaming Eagles have recorded an assist on over 67 percent of their total made baskets this season.
Defensively, Southern Indiana is third in the OVC with 11.2 steals per game, second with 21.9 turnovers forced per game, third in field goal percentage defense at .397, and first in the league at 3.7 blocks per contest. Plus, USI is also cleaning up the glass, leading the OVC at 38.5 rebounds per game overall and 26.4 defensive rebounds per game.
Thursday’s opponent in Southeast Missouri heads into conference play with a 5-6 mark on the season. Last time out, SEMO edged out the University of Illinois-Chicago 56-55 at home. The Redhawks are led by sophomore forward Kennedi Watkins, who tops the team at 9.7 points and 4.1 rebounds per game.
Saturday’s opponent in Eastern Illinois begins the conference season with an 8-3 record. The Panthers started 6-0 before going 2-3 in the last five games. EIU fell in its last game to the University of Minnesota before the holidays. The Panthers open OVC play Thursday against Lindenwood University before hosting USI. Eastern Illinois is led by the OVC Preseason Player of the Year in senior guard Lariah Washington, who tops the squad with 19.2 points per game. Sophomore forward Macy McGlone is second on the team at 10.5 points per outing and leads EIU with 7.2 boards per contest.
While the OVC season will feature many first-time matchups for USI, Southern Indiana has previous meetings with both Southeast Missouri and Eastern Illinois. SEMO leads the all-time series against USI 11-1, as USI’s lone win in the series came in the last meeting during the 1992-93 season on the road in Cape Girardeau, Mo.
The series history against Eastern Illinois features only two games all time with the Panthers winning both meetings. Eastern Illinois defended its home court in 1980-81 against USI before capturing a road win at USI in the 1981-82 season.
Following this week’s opening slate of OVC games for USI, the Screaming Eagles will have another home-road split next week in OVC play. The start of the new year in 2023 will begin with USI traveling to Morehead State University on January 5 for a 4 p.m. CT tilt before coming back home to Screaming Eagles Arena on January 7 for a 5 p.m. contest against Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. The matchup against SIUE will be the first of three consecutive home games for Southern Indiana.
VALPO TO CLOSE CALENDAR YEAR AT MVC PRESEASON FAVORITE DRAKE
Valparaiso (6-7, 0-2 MVC)
at Drake (10-3, 1-1 MVC)
Game No. 14 – Thursday, Dec. 29, 8 p.m. CT
Knapp Center (7,152) – Des Moines, Iowa
Next Up in Valpo Basketball: After closing out the nonconference portion of the season with a winning record in nonleague games, the Valparaiso University men’s basketball team will begin the continuous portion of Missouri Valley Conference play with a post-Christmas visit to Des Moines, Iowa, where the S’s may be silent, but the Knapp Center will be buzzing as the Beacons match up with MVC preseason favorite Drake. The game will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network.
Last Time Out: Valpo closed out the nonconference portion of the season with a 77-67 victory over Stonehill on the program’s Community Day – a special holiday-themed afternoon matinee leading into Christmas. Nick Edwards turned in a double-double of 20 points and 12 assists as one of four Beacons who scored in double figures. Valpo led by 26 with 5:15 remaining in a game that was not nearly as close as the 10-point margin would indicate.
Following the Beacons: Television – CBS Sports Network – Alex Del Barrio (play-by-play) and King McClure (analyst)
Radio – 95.1 FM, WVUR, ValpoAthletics.com, TuneIn Radio App – Todd Ickow (play-by-play) and Brandon Vickrey (analyst)
Twitter updates – @ValpoBasketball
Links for video, audio and live stats will be available at ValpoAthletics.com.
Head Coach Matt Lottich: Matt Lottich (103-103) is in his seventh season as the head coach of the men’s basketball program in 2022-2023. Twice during his tenure, Valpo has upset Top-25 opponents, defeating Drake and Rhode Island at the ARC. Valpo has four wins over AP Top 25 teams in program history, and two have come under Lottich. In 2019-2020, Valpo became the first team in the history of Arch Madness, the annual Missouri Valley Conference Tournament in St. Louis, to reach the title game after playing in the opening round by winning three games in three days. Lottich, hired as the 22nd head coach of the Valpo men’s basketball program in April 2016, graduated from Stanford University in 2004 and New Trier High School (Illinois) in 2000.
Series Notes: The two teams have split the 16 all-time matchups in a series that began in 1944-45. Since Valpo’s arrival in the Missouri Valley Conference, Drake holds a 6-4 head-to-head edge. The Bulldogs won both matchups last season, 73-66 on Dec. 2 in Des Moines and 71-65 on Feb. 23 in Northwest Indiana. On Feb. 7, 2021, Valpo upstaged the No. 25 Bulldogs 74-57 at the ARC for the fourth win over an AP Top 25 team in program history, knocking Drake from the ranks of the unbeaten. That came a day after a narrow 80-77 Drake victory as the two teams met on consecutive days. Valpo is 1-4 all-time in Des Moines with the victory coming on Feb. 24, 2018 by a 69-64 score.
The Season of Giving
Nick Edwards displayed his holiday spirit the week leading into Christmas by dishing out 13 assists on Dec. 18 vs. Elon and 12 on Dec. 21 vs. Stonehill.
Edwards is one of four players nationally with multiple games of 12+ assists this season, joining Yuri Collins of Saint Louis, Tyler Robertson of Portland and Markquis Nowell of Kansas State. His 13-assist game ranks tied for ninth nationally and his 12-assist game ranks tied for 13th, as of Dec. 22.
Prior to Dec. 18, the last time a Valpo player had 12 or more assists in a single game was Bryce Drew on Jan. 21, 1995 vs. Eastern Illinois. Now, Edwards has turned the trick in consecutive contests.
In the game against Stonehill, he posted a double-double with 18 of his 20 points coming after halftime, when he knocked down six of his seven field-goal attempts. This marked Valpo’s second double-double of the season and first since Ben Krikke had 18 points and 13 rebounds in the Nov. 7 season opener at Toledo.
Edwards became just the 11th player in the nation with a 20-point, 10-assist game this season. He became the first player in the nation to notch 20 or more points and 12 or more assists in a game this year. The last time that happened nationally was Yuri Collins of Saint Louis on Feb. 2, 2022 at George Mason. No Missouri Valley Conference player had achieved that feat in the last decade prior to Edwards.
Edwards had Valpo’s first 20&10 game since Kobe King on Feb. 5, 2022 vs. Indiana State (24 points, 11 rebounds).
Edwards posted the first points-assists double-double by a Valpo player since Ron Howard (15 points, 10 assists) on Jan. 24, 2005.
Edwards also swiped four steals and collected six rebounds in the win over Stonehill. He became just the second player in the nation this season with 20 or more points, 10 or more assists, five or rebounds and four or more steals, joining UConn’s Tristen Newton (Nov. 15 vs. Buffalo).
He finished just three assists shy of a longstanding program record for dimes in a single game by dishing out 13 in the Dec. 18 victory over Elon.
He became the first member of the program to give out 13 or more assists in a single game since Todd Smith on Feb. 22, 1986 vs. Eastern Illinois.
Edwards became just the 10th player in the nation to notch 13 or more assists in a single game in 2022-23.
Prior to this season, only one Valpo player over the previous decade (Deion Lavender, twice) had accrued 10 or more assists in a game. Now, two different Beacons have done so this year with Edwards joining Darius DeAviero (Nov. 13 vs. Western Michigan).
This marks the first season where two different Valpo players have had double-figure assist games since 2004-05 (Ron Howard and Seth Colclasure).
The program record of 16 assists in a game came courtesy of John McIlvain on Jan. 13, 1983 at UIC.
The 13 assists nearly doubled Edwards’ previous season best of seven that came on Dec. 6 vs. Trinity Christian.
On the Upswing
Over the last four games, Edwards is averaging 15.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 8.3 assists and 2.5 steals per outing.
Over the first nine games of the season, Edwards averaged 5.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 0.9 steals per contest.
Edwards has played at least 25 minutes in each of the last four games including 39 minutes in each of the last two contests (since then starting point guard Preston Ruedinger was ruled out for the season with an injury).
Edwards saw fewer than 12 minutes of action in three straight games – Nov. 19 vs. Incarnate Word, Nov. 23 at Samford and Nov. 25 vs. South Dakota State. He also played just 11 minutes on Dec. 4 vs. Murray State.
Lottich Leaps J.M. Christiansen
Valpo head coach Matt Lottich moved into sole possession of third in program history when he garnered his 103rd career victory on Dec. 21 vs. Stonehill. That triumph helped him snap a tie with J.M. Christiansen (1929-1941) for third all-time.
Lottich reached the 100-win milestone with an 81-79 overtime victory over James Madison on Nov. 27 in Savannah, Ga.
The former Stanford sharpshooter became just the fourth head coach in program history to get to 100 wins, joining Homer Drew, Bryce Drew and J.M. Christiansen.
Lottich is now trailing only the Drews on the program’s all-time wins list.
KNIGHTS CRUISE IN RETURN TO PLAY AGAINST EAST WEST
INDIANAPOLIS – Playing in their penultimate game of the 2022 calendar year, the Marian men’s basketball team coasted to a comfortable home win against East West. Marian’s 118-64 victory over the Phantoms improves their record to 12-2 overall on the season.
After shaking off the rust from an 18-day layoff, the Knights found a groove in the third minute of play with Luke Gohmann canning an open three. The senior’s deep shot gave the Knights an 8-4 lead, with Maximus Gizzi and Taeshon Cherry knocking down shots to help extend the lead to seven at the first media timeout. Leading 15-8, Marian maintained their distance over the Phantoms, pushing the margin to double figures as Cherry made shots inside and out.
East West was able to cut Marian’s lead down to seven on multiple occasions as the clock dipped below nine minutes, but a three-point play from the California native drove the lead back to double-digits. Josh Bryan and Gavin Foe heated up after the second media timeout and started a Marian run, as the lead quickly vaulted to 20 points. The tandem drove the Marian total over 50, as the Knights closed the first half leading 57-34.
In the second half Marian got early points from Bryan and Cherry as the led blossomed to 24, while a second made three-pointer from Gizzi saw the lead carry to 27 as the clock rolled down to 16 minutes remaining. Hayden Langkabel stayed steady driving to the dish twice and pushing the team total to 73. A three form Luke Heady at the 9:49 mark in the second half capped a 16-8 run, and as the clock rolled under nine minutes to play a Jackson Ames bucket shot the lead to 40 points for the first time. Two free throws from Langkabel had Marian hit the century mark, and in the final seven minutes the Knights outscored the Phantoms 18-12, coasting to their 118-64 win.
Marian’s win over East West is their largest against the Phantoms in five meetings, as the 54-point margin of victory tops the previous mark of 49 set in 2017. The Knights shot 61.1 percent from the field in the win, and made 18 of 31 shots from deep. All 10 Knights that played scored, with Cherry leading the team with a game-high 29 points and seven rebounds. Bryan scored 21 points after pouring it on in the second half, and both Langkabel and Brody Whitaker scored 13 points. Foe dropped 11 points coming off the bench, and two steals for Christian Harvey allowed the redshirt-senior to become Marian’s official all-time leader in steals.
Marian will finish the 2022 portion of their schedule on Friday night, as they travel to Rio Grande University for a 6 p.m. matchup with the Red Storm.
SMALL COLLEGE ATHLETIC SITES:
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
|AMERICAN FOOTBALL CONFERENCE|
|W||L||T||PCT||GB||PF||PA||HOME||ROAD||VS. CONF||VS. DIV||STREAK|
|XY-BUFFALO BILLS||12||3||0||.800||0.0||420||263||6 – 1 – 0||6 – 2 – 0||8 – 2 – 0||3 – 2 – 0||6 W|
|XY-KANSAS CITY CHIEFS||12||3||0||.800||0.0||438||332||6 – 1 – 0||6 – 2 – 0||7 – 3 – 0||4 – 0 – 0||3 W|
|X-CINCINNATI BENGALS||11||4||0||.733||0.0||391||306||5 – 1 – 0||6 – 3 – 0||7 – 3 – 0||2 – 3 – 0||7 W|
|JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS||7||8||0||.467||0.0||353||331||4 – 3 – 0||3 – 5 – 0||6 – 4 – 0||2 – 2 – 0||3 W|
|X-BALTIMORE RAVENS||10||5||0||.667||0.0||321||272||5 – 2 – 0||5 – 3 – 0||6 – 4 – 0||3 – 1 – 0||1 W|
|X-LOS ANGELES CHARGERS||9||6||0||.600||0.0||332||343||4 – 3 – 0||5 – 3 – 0||7 – 4 – 0||2 – 3 – 0||3 W|
|MIAMI DOLPHINS||8||7||0||.533||0.0||365||370||5 – 2 – 0||3 – 5 – 0||6 – 4 – 0||2 – 2 – 0||4 L|
|NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS||7||8||0||.467||2.0||318||291||3 – 4 – 0||4 – 4 – 0||5 – 5 – 0||2 – 2 – 0||2 L|
|NEW YORK JETS||7||8||0||.467||2.0||284||282||3 – 5 – 0||4 – 3 – 0||5 – 6 – 0||2 – 3 – 0||4 L|
|TENNESSEE TITANS||7||8||0||.467||2.0||269||312||3 – 4 – 0||4 – 4 – 0||5 – 6 – 0||3 – 2 – 0||5 L|
|PITTSBURGH STEELERS||7||8||0||.467||2.0||264||319||3 – 4 – 0||4 – 4 – 0||3 – 7 – 0||1 – 3 – 0||2 W|
|LAS VEGAS RAIDERS||6||9||0||.400||3.0||348||350||4 – 2 – 0||2 – 7 – 0||5 – 6 – 0||3 – 2 – 0||1 L|
|CLEVELAND BROWNS||6||9||0||.400||3.0||323||343||4 – 4 – 0||2 – 5 – 0||4 – 7 – 0||3 – 2 – 0||1 L|
|INDIANAPOLIS COLTS||4||10||1||.300||4.5||248||357||2 – 5 – 0||2 – 5 – 1||4 – 6 – 1||1 – 3 – 1||5 L|
|DENVER BRONCOS||4||11||0||.267||5.0||232||304||3 – 4 – 0||1 – 7 – 0||2 – 8 – 0||0 – 4 – 0||1 L|
|HOUSTON TEXANS||2||12||1||.167||6.5||254||358||0 – 6 – 1||2 – 6 – 0||2 – 7 – 1||2 – 1 – 1||1 W|
|NATIONAL FOOTBALL CONFERENCE|
|W||L||T||PCT||GB||PF||PA||HOME||ROAD||VS. CONF||VS. DIV||STREAK|
|X-PHILADELPHIA EAGLES||13||2||0||.867||0.0||445||308||6 – 1 – 0||7 – 1 – 0||8 – 2 – 0||3 – 2 – 0||1 L|
|XY-MINNESOTA VIKINGS||12||3||0||.800||0.0||378||373||8 – 1 – 0||4 – 2 – 0||7 – 3 – 0||3 – 1 – 0||2 W|
|XY-SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS||11||4||0||.733||0.0||375||230||7 – 1 – 0||4 – 3 – 0||9 – 2 – 0||5 – 0 – 0||8 W|
|TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS||7||8||0||.467||0.0||266||304||4 – 4 – 0||3 – 4 – 0||7 – 3 – 0||3 – 1 – 0||1 W|
|X-DALLAS COWBOYS||11||4||0||.733||0.0||434||303||8 – 1 – 0||3 – 3 – 0||8 – 3 – 0||4 – 1 – 0||1 W|
|NEW YORK GIANTS||8||6||1||.567||0.0||311||339||4 – 3 – 1||4 – 3 – 0||4 – 6 – 1||1 – 3 – 1||1 L|
|WASHINGTON COMMANDERS||7||7||1||.500||0.0||285||313||3 – 4 – 0||4 – 3 – 1||4 – 6 – 1||1 – 3 – 1||2 L|
|SEATTLE SEAHAWKS||7||8||0||.467||1.5||365||379||3 – 4 – 0||4 – 4 – 0||5 – 6 – 0||3 – 2 – 0||3 L|
|DETROIT LIONS||7||8||0||.467||1.5||392||401||4 – 4 – 0||3 – 4 – 0||5 – 5 – 0||3 – 1 – 0||1 L|
|GREEN BAY PACKERS||7||8||0||.467||1.5||313||334||4 – 3 – 0||3 – 5 – 0||5 – 5 – 0||2 – 2 – 0||3 W|
|CAROLINA PANTHERS||6||9||0||.400||2.5||313||337||5 – 4 – 0||1 – 5 – 0||5 – 5 – 0||3 – 1 – 0||1 W|
|NEW ORLEANS SAINTS||6||9||0||.400||2.5||303||325||4 – 4 – 0||2 – 5 – 0||4 – 6 – 0||2 – 3 – 0||2 W|
|LOS ANGELES RAMS||5||10||0||.333||3.5||281||334||4 – 5 – 0||1 – 5 – 0||3 – 8 – 0||1 – 4 – 0||1 W|
|ATLANTA FALCONS||5||10||0||.333||3.5||315||350||4 – 3 – 0||1 – 7 – 0||4 – 6 – 0||1 – 4 – 0||4 L|
|ARIZONA CARDINALS||4||11||0||.267||4.5||308||391||1 – 8 – 0||3 – 3 – 0||3 – 7 – 0||1 – 4 – 0||5 L|
|CHICAGO BEARS||3||12||0||.200||5.5||303||393||2 – 6 – 0||1 – 6 – 0||1 – 9 – 0||0 – 4 – 0||8 L|
|W||L||PCT||CONF GB||HOME||ROAD||DIV||CONF||LAST 10||STREAK|
|1 BOSTON||25||10||.714||—||14-5||11-5||4-0||15-8||5-5||3 W|
|2 BROOKLYN||23||12||.657||2.0||12-5||11-7||5-2||18-6||10-0||10 W|
|3 MILWAUKEE||22||12||.647||2.5||14-3||8-9||4-3||11-8||4-6||4 L|
|4 CLEVELAND||22||13||.629||3.0||16-4||6-9||5-2||15-7||6-4||2 L|
|5 PHILADELPHIA||20||13||.606||4.0||14-5||6-8||4-3||14-9||8-2||1 L|
|6 MIAMI||18||17||.514||7.0||11-8||6-9||5-1||8-11||7-3||2 W|
|7 NEW YORK||18||17||.514||7.0||8-10||10-7||1-4||12-9||6-4||4 L|
|8 INDIANA||18||17||.514||7.0||10-7||8-10||1-2||13-8||5-5||1 W|
|9 ATLANTA||17||18||.486||8.0||11-7||6-11||4-3||13-14||4-6||2 L|
|10 CHICAGO||15||19||.441||9.5||8-8||7-11||3-1||13-9||5-5||1 W|
|11 TORONTO||15||19||.441||9.5||10-7||5-12||2-7||11-13||3-7||1 L|
|12 WASHINGTON||15||21||.417||10.5||10-7||5-14||3-3||8-13||4-6||3 W|
|13 ORLANDO||13||23||.361||12.5||9-10||4-13||2-4||7-17||7-3||2 L|
|14 CHARLOTTE||9||26||.257||16.0||4-11||5-15||3-6||4-17||2-8||2 L|
|15 DETROIT||9||28||.243||17.0||5-13||4-15||0-5||4-17||2-8||1 W|
|W||L||PCT||CONF GB||HOME||ROAD||DIV||CONF||LAST 10||STREAK|
|1 NEW ORLEANS||22||12||.647||—||15-4||7-8||6-1||15-8||6-4||4 W|
|2 DENVER||22||12||.647||—||12-3||10-9||7-2||18-8||8-2||1 L|
|3 MEMPHIS||20||13||.606||1.5||13-3||7-10||3-2||9-10||6-4||2 L|
|4 LA CLIPPERS||21||15||.583||2.0||11-7||10-8||3-4||11-11||7-3||2 W|
|5 PHOENIX||20||16||.556||3.0||14-5||6-11||7-0||17-10||4-6||1 L|
|6 SACRAMENTO||18||15||.545||3.5||10-7||8-8||4-4||7-7||5-5||1 W|
|7 DALLAS||19||16||.543||3.5||14-5||5-11||2-2||13-6||6-4||4 W|
|8 PORTLAND||18||16||.529||4.0||8-6||10-10||4-5||13-11||5-5||1 W|
|9 UTAH||19||18||.514||4.5||12-5||7-13||3-4||15-11||4-6||2 L|
|10 GOLDEN STATE||18||18||.500||5.0||15-2||3-16||4-3||11-8||5-5||3 W|
|11 MINNESOTA||16||19||.457||6.5||9-8||7-11||4-4||9-13||3-7||4 L|
|12 OKLAHOMA CITY||15||19||.441||7.0||10-8||5-11||3-6||9-12||4-6||1 W|
|13 LA LAKERS||14||21||.400||8.5||8-8||6-13||0-7||7-13||4-6||1 L|
|14 SAN ANTONIO||11||23||.324||11.0||6-11||5-11||2-4||5-19||5-5||1 L|
|15 HOUSTON||10||24||.294||12.0||6-10||4-14||1-5||5-17||3-7||1 L|
|1 BOSTON BRUINS||35||28||4||3||59||26||135||78||18-0-2||10-4-1||7-1-2|
|2 CAROLINA HURRICANES||35||23||6||6||52||21||109||90||11-3-1||12-3-5||9-0-1|
|3 TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS||35||22||7||6||50||22||116||86||13-2-3||9-5-3||7-2-1|
|4 NEW JERSEY DEVILS||35||22||11||2||46||22||116||90||10-9-1||12-2-1||2-7-1|
|5 PITTSBURGH PENGUINS||35||19||10||6||44||18||119||105||10-3-4||9-7-2||6-2-2|
|6 TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING||33||21||11||1||43||21||119||98||13-4-1||8-7-0||7-3-0|
|7 WASHINGTON CAPITALS||37||20||13||4||44||20||115||102||11-5-1||9-8-3||9-1-0|
|8 NEW YORK RANGERS||36||19||12||5||43||18||116||100||8-7-4||11-5-1||8-2-0|
|9 NEW YORK ISLANDERS||36||20||14||2||42||20||117||99||11-6-0||9-8-2||4-4-2|
|10 DETROIT RED WINGS||33||15||11||7||37||14||103||109||8-6-3||7-5-4||4-4-2|
|11 BUFFALO SABRES||32||16||14||2||34||15||127||109||7-8-2||9-6-0||7-2-1|
|12 FLORIDA PANTHERS||35||15||16||4||34||14||114||120||8-5-3||7-11-1||3-7-0|
|13 OTTAWA SENATORS||34||15||16||3||33||14||103||108||9-8-1||6-8-2||5-3-2|
|14 MONTREAL CANADIENS||35||15||17||3||33||11||96||122||7-9-0||8-8-3||3-6-1|
|15 PHILADELPHIA FLYERS||35||11||17||7||29||11||90||119||7-9-1||4-8-6||3-5-2|
|16 COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS||33||10||21||2||22||10||89||135||8-11-1||2-10-1||2-8-0|
|1 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS||38||24||12||2||50||21||126||107||10-9-0||14-3-2||5-4-1|
|2 DALLAS STARS||36||21||9||6||48||21||128||101||10-4-3||11-5-3||7-2-1|
|3 LOS ANGELES KINGS||38||20||12||6||46||17||125||130||11-5-2||9-7-4||6-2-2|
|4 WINNIPEG JETS||35||21||13||1||43||21||112||92||12-6-0||9-7-1||4-6-0|
|5 MINNESOTA WILD||34||20||12||2||42||17||110||96||11-6-1||9-6-1||7-3-0|
|6 CALGARY FLAMES||37||17||13||7||41||16||114||113||10-7-2||7-6-5||4-2-4|
|7 SEATTLE KRAKEN||33||18||11||4||40||18||115||107||9-7-2||9-4-2||3-6-1|
|8 COLORADO AVALANCHE||33||19||12||2||40||16||99||90||9-5-2||10-7-0||6-3-1|
|9 EDMONTON OILERS||36||19||15||2||40||19||128||123||9-9-1||10-6-1||5-3-2|
|10 VANCOUVER CANUCKS||34||16||15||3||35||14||120||131||7-9-1||9-6-2||7-3-0|
|11 ST. LOUIS BLUES||35||16||16||3||35||14||109||129||6-7-2||10-9-1||5-2-3|
|12 NASHVILLE PREDATORS||33||14||14||5||33||12||84||101||8-6-3||6-8-2||2-5-3|
|13 ARIZONA COYOTES||33||12||16||5||29||11||93||120||6-3-2||6-13-3||5-4-1|
|14 SAN JOSE SHARKS||36||11||19||6||28||10||110||135||4-10-5||7-9-1||3-5-2|
|15 ANAHEIM DUCKS||36||10||22||4||24||7||86||148||6-8-1||4-14-3||4-5-1|
|16 CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS||33||8||21||4||20||8||75||125||5-12-2||3-9-2||1-9-0|
1878 In Havana, the first game is played in the Professional Baseball League of Cuba, later known as the Cuban League, when hometown Habana edges its rivals from suburban Almendares, 21-20. Player-manager Esteban Enrique Bellan, who will become the first Latino to appear in the major leagues for the Troy Haymakers and the New York Mutuals of the National Association from 1871 to 1873, leads the winning team.
1932 The Boston Braves reacquire Shanty Hogan when they purchase the catcher traded away four years ago to the Giants for $25,000. The slow-footed but gifted defensive backstop lost his spot in the New York lineup at the end of the season when new player-manager Bill Terry, who replaced the legendary John McGraw in early June, elected to build the team around speed and pitching.
1933 Babe Ruth loses an opportunity to manage the Reds when Jacob Ruppert refuses to release his 38-year-old outfielder. The Yankee owner still viewed the aging superstar, who batted .301 with 34 home runs and 103 RBIs last season, as an asset to the team.
1969 The New York Times reports Curt Flood will challenge the reserve clause by suing major league baseball. The Cardinal outfielder’s legal action, whose case will ultimately be appealed unsuccessfully in the U.S. Supreme Court, paves the way for the players in the future to overturn baseball’s reserve clause in their attempt to gain free agency.
1973 Philip G. Epstein, an American screenwriter, best known, along with his identical twin, Julius, and Howard Koch, for writing the 1942 Academy Award-winning screenplay for Casablanca, welcomes his fraternal twin grandsons into the world. In twenty-eight years, the 60-second younger brother of Paul, Theo, will become the youngest GM in major league baseball history when the Red Sox hired him in 2002.
1977 Melissa Ludtke, female Sports Illustrated sportswriter, files suit against major league baseball, the Yankees, and New York City officials for denying her access to the locker room to interview players during the World Series. In September, a federal judge will rule that the Bronx Bombers can no longer enforce an MLB policy that bans female reporters in the locker rooms because it violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment giving an unfair advantage to males.
2002 Sending a huge dust cloud down the Ohio River, Cinergy Field, formerly known as Riverfront Stadium, is imploded with 1,275 pounds of explosives. The Reds’ former home was where Hank Aaron tied Babe Ruth’s career home run record on Opening Day in 1974, and Pete Rose broke Ty Cobb’s all-time hits record in 1985.
2003 The Angels announced their ballpark will now be known as Angel Stadium of Anaheim. In 1997, their 41-year-old home, known as Anaheim Stadium, was renamed Edison International Field.
2005 Agreeing to a $60 million, five-year contract, Indians free agent Kevin Millwood (9-11, 2.86) joins the Rangers’ new and improved rotation as the ace the team has been seeking. The 31-year-old right-hander, who had the lowest ERA in the American League last season, will anchor a staff including newcomers Vicente Padilla (9-12, 4.71) and Adam Eaton (11-5, 4.27), acquired from the Phillies and Padres, respectively.
2005 In an attempt to permit Cuba to participate in the 16-team World Baseball Classic, Venezuela offers to host the Group C teams in place of the U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and suggests the finals be played in Canada rather than in San Diego’s Petco Park. The venue change would mean Castro’s charges would avoid playing on U.S. soil and not be subject to the U.S. Treasury Department regulations, which ban the team due to American trade and financial embargoes.
2009 Mark DeRosa, a veteran .275 hitter, signs a $12 million, two-year deal with the Giants. The 34-year-old versatile infielder, who Cleveland traded to the Cardinals at the end of June, will likely play first or third base and hit fifth behind cleanup batter Pablo Sandoval.
2009 The Mets and Jason Bay, a former farmhand, agree to a four-year deal worth approximately $66 million, including a vesting option for a fifth year for an additional $14 million. The 31-year-old outfielder joined the organization as a minor leaguer in 2002 when Omar Minaya, then the general manager of the Expos, traded the Class-A pull hitter to New York, who shipped him four months later to San Diego as part of an undistinguished deal.
2012 Ruth Ann Steinhagen, the infamous 19-year-old obsessed fan who shot former Phillies’ first baseman Eddie Waitkus in 1949 at Chicago’s Edgewater Beach Hotel, dies anonymously at 83. Her crime, the inspiration for the book and movie The Natural, put a spotlight on ‘baseball Annies,’ young, hero-worshipping females who relentlessly pursued major league ballplayers.
2020 The Rays trade 2018 Cy Young Award recipient Blake Snell to the San Diego Padres in exchange for minor league prospects Blake Hunt and Cole Wilcox along with RHP Luis Patiño and backstop Francisco Mejía. San Diego’s newest southpaw joins Yu Darvis, recently obtained from the Cubs, at the top of the team’s much-improved rotation.
SPORTS IN NUMBERS
9 – 12 – 6 – 11 – 8 – 99 – 7 – 12
December 29, 1945 – Montreal right wing Number 9, Maurice Richard scored twice in the Canadiens’ 5-4 loss to the Chicago Black Hawks and in doing so, recorded his 100th NHL career goal. This feat was reached in just 145 games, then fastest in NHL history. It has been since broken by Number , Mike Bossy, 100 goals in 129 games
December 29, 1955 – NHL officials wear new vertically striped black-and-white sweaters for the first time in Montreal Canadiens’ 5-2 win over Toronto Maple Leafs
December 29, 1968 – AFL Championship, Shea Stadium, NYC: New York Jets beat Oakland Raiders 27-23; Jets Number 12, QB Joe Namath 3 TD passes sparks Jets to win
December 29, 1970 – Ballon d’Or: Bayern Munich striker Number 9, Gerd Müller wins award for best European football player ahead of West Ham United defender Number 6, Bobby Moore and Cagliari forward Number 11, Luigi Riva
December 29, 1981 – Ballon d’Or: German 1-2-3 with Bayern Munich forward Number 11, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge taking title of Europe’s best football player for the 2nd straight year; beats teammate Number 8, Paul Breitner and Barcelona midfielder Number 8, Bernd Schuster
December 29, 1984 – Number 99, Wayne Gretzky of Edmonton scored his NHL career 32nd hat trick and adds 3 assists in Edmonton’s 6-3 win over Detroit Red Wings for his 100th point in just 35 games; 2nd fastest in history – recorded 100 points in 34 games in 1983
December 29, 1987 – Ballon d’Or: Milan’s Dutch midfielder Number 10, Ruud Gullit wins best football player in Europe award ahead of Number 10, Paulo Futre (Porto/Atlético Madrid) and Real Madrid striker Number 7, Emilio Butragueño
December 29, 1989 – Wayne Gretzky and Martina Navratilova, named athletes of decade by the Associated Press
December 29, 2007 – New England Patriots Number 12, Quarterback, Tom Brady set a then-NFL record, throwing his 50th TD pass, and the New England Patriots become the first team in NFL history to finish the regular season 16-0
|COLLEGE BASKETBALL||TIME ET||TV|
|BROWN AT NORTHWESTERN||1:00PM||BTN|
|LA SALLE AT HOWARD||2:00PM||–|
|STONEHILL AT SACRED HEART||2:00PM||NEC|
|UNCG AT WESTERN CAROLINA||2:00PM||ESPN+|
|ALABAMA A&M AT OHIO STATE||3:00PM||BTN|
|HIGH POINT AT LONGWOOD||3:00PM||ESPN+|
|RADFORD AT UNC ASHEVILLE||4:00PM||ESPN+|
|ELON AT DREXEL||4:00PM||FLOHOOPS|
|FLORIDA A&M AT PURDUE||5:00PM||BTN|
|MIDDLE TENNESSEE AT CHARLOTTE||6:00PM||ESPN+|
|AUSTIN PEAY AT QUEENS||6:00PM||ESPN+|
|PROVIDENCE AT BUTLER||6:30PM||FS1|
|LIBERTY AT BELLARMINE||6:30PM||ESPN+|
|IOWA AT NEBRASKA||7:00PM||BTN|
|UMBC AT MARYLAND||7:00PM||ESPNU|
|HOFSTRA AT DELAWARE||7:00PM||CBSSN|
|NORTH CAROLINA A&T AT NORTHEASTERN||7:00PM||FLOHOOPS|
|WAGNER AT LIU||7:00PM||NEC|
|CENTRAL CONNECTICUT AT SAINT FRANCIS U||7:00PM||NEC|
|MERRIMACK AT FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON||7:00PM||NEC|
|PRAIRIE VIEW A&M AT TEXAS A&M||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|BINGHAMTON AT CORNELL||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|ARKANSAS STATE AT OLD DOMINION||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|JAMES MADISON AT GEORGIA STATE||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|LOUISIANA AT COASTAL CAROLINA||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|NEW HAMPSHIRE AT DARTMOUTH||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|FLORIDA NATIONAL AT NORTH FLORIDA||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|VMI AT FURMAN||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|APP STATE AT MARSHALL||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|ETSU AT WOFFORD||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|CHATTANOOGA AT THE CITADEL||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|UTSA AT LOUISIANA TECH||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|RICE AT WKU||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|EVANSVILLE AT INDIANA STATE||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|GREEN BAY AT DETROIT MERCY||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|MILWAUKEE AT OAKLAND||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|PURDUE FORT WAYNE AT ROBERT MORRIS||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|WRIGHT STATE AT NORTHERN KENTUCKY||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|WINTHROP AT USC UPSTATE||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|CAMPBELL AT PRESBYTERIAN||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|CHARLESTON SOUTHERN AT GARDNER-WEBB||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|HAMPTON AT CHARLESTON||7:00PM||FLOHOOPS|
|DELAWARE STATE AT PENN STATE||7:00PM||BTN+|
|CENTRAL MICHIGAN AT MICHIGAN||7:00PM||BTN+|
|FLORIDA COLLEGE AT FIU||7:00PM||CUSATV|
|ABILENE CHRISTIAN AT STEPHEN F. AUSTIN||7:30PM||ESPN+|
|UTEP AT UAB||7:30PM||ESPN+|
|GEORGETOWN AT DEPAUL||8:00PM||FS2|
|WESTERN ILLINOIS AT SOUTH DAKOTA STATE||8:00PM||ESPN+|
|TROY AT SOUTHERN MISS||8:00PM||ESPN+|
|ULM AT TEXAS STATE||8:00PM||ESPN+|
|SOUTH ALABAMA AT GEORGIA SOUTHERN||8:00PM||ESPN+|
|SAM HOUSTON AT UTAH VALLEY||8:00PM||ESPN+|
|UTA AT TARLETON||8:00PM||ESPN+|
|SOUTH FLORIDA AT MEMPHIS||8:00PM||ESPN+|
|FLORIDA ATLANTIC AT NORTH TEXAS||8:00PM||ESPN+|
|CSU BAKERSFIELD AT UC RIVERSIDE||8:00PM||ESPN+|
|CLEVELAND STATE AT YOUNGSTOWN STATE||8:00PM||ESPN+|
|SOUTHERN ILLINOIS AT MURRAY STATE||8:00PM||ESPN+|
|ALCORN STATE AT MINNESOTA||8:00PM||BTN+|
|HUSTON-TILLOTSON AT TEXAS SOUTHERN||8:00PM||–|
|ORAL ROBERTS AT OMAHA||8:00PM||–|
|BETHUNE-COOKMAN AT ILLINOIS||8:30PM||FS1|
|LINDENWOOD AT EASTERN ILLINOIS||8:30PM||ESPN+|
|SOUTHEAST MISSOURI AT SOUTHERN INDIANA||8:30PM||ESPN+|
|TENNESSEE TECH AT SIUE||8:30PM||ESPN+|
|UT MARTIN AT LITTLE ROCK||8:30PM||ESPN+|
|BYU AT PACIFIC||9:00PM||WCC|
|TULANE AT CINCINNATI||9:00PM||ALT2|
|UC SANTA BARBARA AT CAL STATE FULLERTON||9:00PM||ESPN+|
|VALPARAISO AT DRAKE||9:00PM||WCC|
|KANSAS CITY AT DENVER||9:00PM||WCC|
|ST. THOMAS AT SOUTH DAKOTA||9:00PM||ESPN+|
|SAN DIEGO AT SAINT MARY’S||9:00PM||ESPN+|
|LOYOLA MARYMOUNT AT PORTLAND||9:00PM||ESPN+|
|CALIFORNIA BAPTIST AT GRAND CANYON||9:00PM||ESPN+|
|UTRGV AT UTAH TECH||9:00PM||ESPN+|
|MOREHEAD STATE AT TENNESSEE STATE||9:00PM||ESPN+|
|EASTERN WASHINGTON AT MONTANA||9:00PM||ESPN+|
|IDAHO AT MONTANA STATE||9:00PM||ESPN+|
|NORTHERN ARIZONA AT IDAHO STATE||9:00PM||ESPN+|
|NORTHERN COLORADO AT WEBER STATE||9:00PM||ESPN+|
|UTAH AT CALIFORNIA||10:00PM||PAC12|
|SAN FRANCISCO AT SANTA CLARA||10:00PM||WCC|
|CSUN AT CAL POLY||10:00PM||ESPN+|
|UC SAN DIEGO AT LONG BEACH STATE||10:00PM||ESPN+|
|COLORADO AT STANFORD||11:00PM||ESPNU|
|UC DAVIS AT HAWAI’I||11:59PM||ESPN+|
|COLLEGE FOOTBALL||TIME ET||TV|
|PINSTRIPE BOWL: MINNESOTA VS. SYRACUSE||2:00PM||ESPN|
|CHEEZ-IT BOWL: (13) FLORIDA STATE VS. OKLAHOMA||5:30PM||ESPN|
|VALERO ALAMO BOWL: (21) TEXAS VS. (12) WASHINGTON||9:00PM||ESPN|
|NBA REGULAR SEASON GAMES||TIME ET||TV|
|OKLAHOMA CITY AT CHARLOTTE||7:00PM||BALLY SPORTS|
|CLEVELAND AT INDIANA||7:00PM||BALLY SPORTS|
|LA CLIPPERS AT BOSTON||7:30PM||NBATV|
|MEMPHIS AT TORONTO||7:30PM||SPORTSNET|
|NEW YORK AT SAN ANTONIO||8:00PM||BALLY SPORTS|
|HOUSTON AT DALLAS||8:30PM||ATTSN-SW|
|NHL REGULAR SEASON GAMES||TIME ET||TV|
|DETROIT AT BUFFALO||7:00PM||BALLY SPORTS|
|MONTRÉAL AT FLORIDA||7:00PM||SPORTSNET|
|NY RANGERS AT TAMPA BAY||7:00PM||MSG2|
|OTTAWA AT WASHINGTON||7:00PM||SPORTSNET|
|COLUMBUS AT NY ISLANDERS||7:30PM||BALLY SPORTS|
|CHICAGO AT ST. LOUIS||8:00PM||NBCS-CHI|
|DALLAS AT MINNESOTA||8:00PM||BALLY SPORTS|
|VANCOUVER AT WINNIPEG||8:00PM||SPORTSNET|
|LOS ANGELES AT COLORADO||9:00PM||ALT|
|TORONTO AT ARIZONA||9:00PM||SPORTSNET|
|PHILADELPHIA AT SAN JOSE||10:30PM||NBCS-PHI|
|SOCCER MATCHES||TIME ET||TV|
|LIGUE 1: LORIENT VS MONTPELLIER||11:00AM||BEIN SPORTS|
|LIGUE 1: REIMS VS RENNES||1:00PM||BEIN SPORTS|
|ENGLAND CHAMPIONHIP: MILLWALL VS BRISTOL CITY||2:45PM||ESPN+|
|LIGUE 1: OLYMPIQUE MARSEILLE VS TOULOUSE||3:00PM||BEIN SPORTS|
|LIGUE 1: NICE VS LENS||3:00PM||BEIN SPORTS|
|ENGLAND CHAMPIONHIP: BLACKPOOL VS SHEFFIELD UNITED||3:15PM||ESPN+|