INDIANA BOYS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL SCORES WEDNESDAY
Boone Grove 55 South Central (Union Mills) 32
Centerville 50 Connersville 43
Covenant Christian 54 Columbus North 41
East Chicago Central 79 Hammond Morton 74
Indianapolis International 71 Indianapolis Shortridge 68
Indianapolis Tindley 58 Indianapolis Riverside 50
Purdue Poly North 63 MTI Knowledge 40


Delaware County Tournament
Delta 68 Daleville 47
Wapahani 73 Cowan 51


Marion County Tournament
North Central (Indianapolis) 61 Park Tudor 58
Lawrence North 68 Pike 56
Franklin Central 52 Ben Davis 49
Warren Central 61 Indianapolis Roncalli 35


Northeast Corner Conference Tournament
Fairfield 49 Fremont 28
Westview 74 Lakeland 61 OT
Central Noble 45 Eastside 32
Angola 55 Garrett 32

INDIANA BOYS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL SCHEDULE THURSDAY

ALL TIMES EASTERN
Andrean at Victory Christian 8:00 pm
Bethany Christian at South Bend Career 7:30 pm
Calumet Christian at Hammond Science & Tech 7:00 pm
Concord at Plymouth 7:45 pm
Gary West at Bowman Academy 8:00 pm
GEO Next Generation at Elwood 6:30 pm
Greensburg at Batesville 7:30 pm
Hauser at Franklin County 7:30 pm
Highland at Munster 8:00 pm
Indianapolis Herron at Heritage Christian 7:30 pm
Mount Vernon (Fortville) at Avon 7:30 pm
Purdue Poly North at Indianapolis Rooted 6:30 pm
Rensselaer Central at West Lafayette 6:00 pm
South Bend Clay at Mishawaka Marian 7:30 pm
South Dearborn at Oldenburg Academy 7:30 pm
Tell City at Hancock County (Ky.) 8:00 pm
Union City at Northeastern 7:30 pm
Westville at Hebron 8:00 pm


Clerc Tournament
Indiana Deaf vs. Texas Deaf 8:30 am R1
Northeast Corner Conference Tournament
TBA at TBA 7:30 pm Con
TBA at TBA 7:30 pm Con
TBA at TBA 7:30 pm Con

INDIANA GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL SCORES WEDNESDAY

Avon 65 Ben Davis 47
Danville 61 Decatur Central 48
Eastbrook 83 Wabash 36
Edgewood 61 Monrovia 47
Evansville Central 51 Vincennes Lincoln 40
Franklin 61 Plainfield 39
Frontier 34 Culver 33
Greencastle 51 Dugger Union 11
Huntington North 53 Fort Wayne Wayne 39
Jac-Cen-Del 71 Lawrenceburg 48
Lewis Cass 46 North Miami 31
Michigan City 75 River Forest 28
Monroe Central 42 Union (Modoc) 32
Norwell 71 Fort Wayne Dwenger 33
Oak Hill 35 Northwestern 15
Randolph Southern 45 Union County 33
Rochester 52 Logansport 24
South Central (Union Mills) 42 Lake Station 41
Union City 56 Anderson Prep 32
Warsaw 79 Mishawaka 36


Northeast Corner Tournament
Fairfield 38 Fremont 28
Lakeland 37 Westview 34
Eastside 50 Central Noble 48
Angola 42 Garrett 22

INDIANA GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL SCHEDULE THURSDAY

ALL TIMES EASTERN
Austin at North Harrison 7:30 pm
Bloomfield at Clay City 7:30 pm
Bloomington South at Mooresville 7:30 pm
Brebeuf Jesuit at Bethesda Christian 6:00 pm
Bremen at Elkhart 7:30 pm
Brown County at Edinburgh 7:30 pm
Brownstown Central at Greensburg 7:30 pm
Castle at Evansville Memorial 8:00 pm
Clarksville at Medora 6:30 pm
Columbus North at Center Grove 7:30 pm
Corydon Central at Silver Creek 7:30 pm
Covington at Parke Heritage 7:30 pm
Crawford County at West Washington 7:30 pm
Crawfordsville at Riverton Parke 7:30 pm
Decatur Central at Pike 7:30 pm
Demotte Christian at Faith Christian 7:30 pm
Dugger Union at Red Hill (Ill.) 6:30 pm
Eastern Greene at Mitchell 7:30 pm
Elkhart Christian at Calumet Christian 7:15 pm
Eminence at Indiana Math & Science 6:00 pm
Evansville North at Vincennes Lincoln 8:00 pm
Franklin at Indianapolis Roncalli 7:30 pm
Frankton at Tipton 7:30 pm
Gibson Southern at Tecumseh 8:00 pm
Hagerstown at Cambridge City Lincoln 7:30 pm
Hammond Morton at Highland 8:00 pm
Hammond Noll at East Chicago Central 8:00 pm
Harrison (West Lafayette) at Merrillville 5:30 pm
Heritage Hills at Perry Central 8:30 pm
Hobart at Lowell 8:00 pm
Indianapolis Scecina at Park Tudor 7:30 pm
Indianapolis Shortridge at University 7:00 pm
Jasper at Evansville Christian 8:00 pm
Jeffersonville at New Albany 7:30 pm
Jimtown at Penn 7:30 pm
John Glenn at South Bend St. Joseph 7:30 pm
Kokomo at Triton Central 7:30 pm
Lake Central at Portage 8:00 pm
Lake Station at Washington Twp. 7:00 pm
Lakewood Park at Whitko 7:30 pm
Lapel at Shenandoah 7:30 pm
LaPorte at Chesterton 8:00 pm
Lawrence North at Lawrence Central 7:30 pm
Milan at Shawe Memorial 6:00 pm
Monroe Central at Muncie Central 7:30 pm
MTI Knowledge at KIPP Indy Legacy 6:00 pm
New Prairie at South Bend Riley 7:30 pm
North Daviess at South Knox 7:30 pm
North Judson at Benton Central 7:30 pm
North Vermillion at Shakamak 7:30 pm
Northeast Dubois at Barr-Reeve 7:30 pm
Northfield at Lakeland Christian 6:00 pm
Oregon-Davis at Argos 6:30 pm
Orleans at Borden 7:30 pm
Pike Central at White River Valley 7:30 pm
Princeton at Wood Memorial 7:30 pm
Rensselaer Central at West Lafayette 8:00 pm
Scottsburg at Salem 7:30 pm
Sheridan at Speedway 7:00 pm
Shoals at North Knox 6:30 pm
South Bend Adams at South Bend Washington 7:00 pm
South Dearborn at Oldenburg Academy 6:00 pm
South Newton at Milford (Ill.) 6:30 pm
South Ripley at Rising Sun 7:30 pm
South Spencer at Southridge 8:00 pm
Southwestern (Shelbyville) at North Decatur 7:30 pm
Southwood at Peru 7:30 pm
Springs Valley at Paoli 6:30 pm
Switzerland County at Southwestern (Hanover) 7:30 pm
Tell City at Boonville 7:00 pm
Tri at Richmond 7:30 pm
Tri-County at Caston 7:30 pm
Trinity Greenlawn at Marquette Catholic 7:30 pm
Twin Lakes at North White 7:00 pm
Vincennes Rivet at Loogootee 7:30 pm
Waldron at South Decatur 7:30 pm
Washington Catholic at Evansville HomeSchool 7:00 pm
Wheeler at Boone Grove 7:00 pm
Whiteland at Southport 7:30 pm
Whiting at Griffith 8:00 pm
Winchester at Centerville 7:30 pm


Allen County Conference Tournament
Jay County at Adams Central 6:00 pm SF
Bluffton vs. Woodlan 7:30 pm SF
Clerc Tournament
Indiana Deaf vs. Lexington Deaf (N.Y.) 10:00 am R1
Delaware County Tournament
Delta vs. Wapahani 6:00 pm SF
Wes-Del at Yorktown 8:00 pm SF
Indianapolis City Tournament
Covenant Christian at Indianapolis Cathedral 6:00 pm SF
Heritage Christian vs. Indianapolis Chatard 7:30 pm SF


Northeast Corner Tournament
TBA vs. TBA 6:00 pm Con
TBA vs. TBA 6:00 pm Con
TBA vs. TBA 6:00 pm Con

INDIANA HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLING SCORES

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

SUPER WILD CARD WEEKEND SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED

SATURDAY, JAN. 13

AFC:    4:30 P.M.                      5 CLEVELAND AT 4 HOUSTON (NBC, PEACOCK, TELEMUNDO)

AFC:    8:00 P.M.                     6 MIAMI AT 3 KANSAS CITY (PEACOCK)

SUNDAY, JAN. 14

AFC:    1:00 P.M.                      7 PITTSBURGH AT 2 BUFFALO (CBS, PARAMOUNT+)

NFC:    4:30 P.M.                       7 GREEN BAY AT 2 DALLAS (FOX, FOX DEPORTES)

NFC:    8:00 P.M.                       6 LOS ANGELES RAMS AT 3 DETROIT (NBC, PEACOCK, UNIVERSO)

MONDAY, JAN. 15

NFC:    8:00 P.M.                       5 PHILADELPHIA AT 4 TAMPA BAY (ESPN/ABC/ESPN+, ESPN2/ESPN+- MANNINGCAST, ESPN DEPORTES)

MEN’S TOP 25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCORES

MISSISSIPPI STATE 77 #5 TENNESSEE 72

CENTRAL FLORIDA 65 #3 KANSAS 60

VIRGINIA TECH 87 #21 CLEMSON 72

#13 MEMPHIS 107 TEXAS SAN ANTONIO 101 OT

#7 NORTH CAROLINA 67 NORTH CAROLINA STATE 54

#15 WISCONSIN 71 OHIO STATE 60

#4 CONNECTICUT 80 XAVIER 75

TCU 80 #9 OKLAHOMA 71

BUTLER 69 #11 MARQUETTE 62

ELSEWHERE:

GREEN BAY 68 IUPUI 58

YOUNGSTOWN STATE 93 PURDUE FORT WAYNE 85

NORTHWESTERN 76 PENN STATE 72

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS 77 VALPARAISO 68

DRAKE 89 INDIANA STATE 78

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL TOP 25 SCORES

#13 CONNECTICUT 85 PROVIDENCE 41

#12 KANSAS STATE 74 OKLAHOMA 57

#22 CREIGHTON 89 BUTLER 53

#14 INDIANA 75 PENN STATE 67

IOWA STATE 74 #24 WEST VIRGINIA 64

KANSAS 87 #4 BAYLOR 66

#3 IOWA 96 PURDUE 71

#10 TEXAS 72 TCU 60

#25 UNLV 91 SAN JOSE STATE 55

ELSEWHERE

BALL STATE 67 BUFFALO 62

PURDUE FORT WAYNE 79 OAKLAND 59

NORTHWESTERN 74 WISCONSIN 69

NBA SCORESBOARD

INDIANA 112 WASHINGTON 104

SACRAMENTO 123 CHARLOTTE 98

BOSTON 127 MINNESOTA 120 OT

SAN ANTONIO 130 DETROIT 108

OKLAHOMA CITY 128 MIAMI 120

ATLANTA 139 PHILADELPHIA 132 OT

CHICAGO 124 HOUSTON 119 OT

NEW ORLEANS 141 GOLDEN STATE 105

UTAH 124 DENVER 111

LA CLIPPERS 126 TORONTO 120

NHL SCOREBOARD

PHILADELPHIA 3 MONTRÉAL 2

DALLAS 7 MINNESOTA 2

COLORADO 3 VEGAS 0

NATIONAL SPORTS RELEASES/HEADLINES

NFL NEWS

PETE CARROLL OUT AS SEAHAWKS HEAD COACH

Pete Carroll is out as head coach of the Seattle Seahawks after 14 years and a Super Bowl title, and will transition to an advisory role with the organization.

Carroll’s tenure as head coach ends with a record of 137-89-1 and 10 postseason appearances. He went 10-9 overall in the postseason.

Seahawks owner Jody Allen issued a statement Wednesday, saying the move was “amicable” and was made “for the best interest of the franchise,” and that Carroll’s role “will evolve from head coach to remain with the organization as an advisor.”

Allen’s statement lauded Carroll.

“Pete is the winningest coach in Seahawks history, brought the city its first Super Bowl title, and created a tremendous impact over the past 14 years on the field and in the community,” Allen’s statement read. “His expertise in leadership and building a championship culture will continue as an integral part of our organization moving forward.”

Carroll, 72, is 170-120-1 overall in 18 years as head coach of the New York Jets (1994), New England Patriots (1997-99) and Seahawks.

He had dismissed retirement rumors Monday.

“I’m not worn out. I’m not tired. I’m not any of that stuff,” said Carroll, who was the NFL’s oldest head coach. “I need to do a better job and I need to help my coaches more and we need to do a better job of coaching.”

The Seahawks beat the Arizona Cardinals 21-20 on Sunday to finish the season 9-8. They lost out on a playoff berth to the Green Bay Packers, who held the tiebreaker over Seattle.

The Seahawks have missed the playoffs only four times in his tenure, including two of the past three seasons, but won Super Bowl XLVIII 43-8 over the Denver Broncos following the 2013 season.

They followed that campaign with an NFC conference title but lost Super Bowl XLIX 28-24 to the New England Patriots.

TAKE 5: TOP SEAHAWKS CANDIDATES TO REPLACE PETE CARROLL

SEATTLE — Pete Carroll’s 14-year tenure as the Seattle Seahawks’ head coach coming to an end on Wednesday may have come as a shock on the national stage, but it was more of a mild surprise to close observers of the franchise.

Carroll, 72, is heavily revered in the Pacific Northwest. He led the Seahawks to their lone Super Bowl title after the 2013 season and posted 11 winning seasons — including a 9-8 record this season.

However, there were cracks in the facade in recent years. Seattle has won just one playoff game since 2017, and the team has struggled to execute on two Carroll principles — running the ball consistently and playing physical defense.

This season, the Seahawks ranked 31st in rushing attempts while giving up the second-most rushing yards on defense. It was a combination that all too often led to Seattle scraping by in games it was expected to win and getting blown out by the two No. 1 seeds — San Francisco and Baltimore.

So, who will general manager John Schneider turn to in order to return the franchise to true contender status in the NFC?

Among the seven head-coaching vacancies, Seattle figures to be among the most attractive with a roster that boasts a solid young core that includes book-end tackles on the offensive line and star rookie cornerback Devon Witherspoon, among others.

Five Seahawks Coaching Candidates:

5. Jim Harbaugh, Michigan Head Coach
Harbaugh will be on the tip of the tongue for every vacancy until he lands a new NFL job or decides to return to the Wolverines. There are pros and cons when evaluating Harbaugh with the Seahawks.

The Pacific Northwest is across the country from his brother, John, in Baltimore, but it’s also in a separate conference, meaning they wouldn’t have to square off often. Jim would also be handed the reins of an offense with two capable young running backs and in a division where he’d get to face his former team, San Francisco, at least twice a year.

4. Mike Vrabel, ex-Titans Head Coach
Vrabel checks a lot of boxes as a defensive coach known for instilling a hard-nosed culture in Tennessee, built on his days playing for Bill Belichick in New England. He’s also still only 48 and led the Titans to three playoff appearances in six seasons. It’s still unknown if Belichick will return to New England for the 2024 campaign, and if Vrabel would be the Patriots’ top choice if he doesn’t.

3. Chris Petersen, ex-Washington Head Coach
This was an interesting name out of left field floated by former Huskies and Seahawks quarterback Brock Huard on 710 ESPN radio in Seattle shortly after the news of Carroll’s departure as coach surfaced. Petersen resigned as Washington’s head coach in 2019 after six years at the helm of the Huskies.

Now 59, Petersen has spent the past several years as a television analyst and as an advisor for Washington, where he aided in the hiring of current Huskies coach Kalen DeBoer. It’s a longshot, but this could be Petersen’s best — and perhaps final — opportunity to try his hand as an NFL head coach if the desire is there.

2. Mike Macdonald, Ravens Defensive Coordinator
If Schneider is longing for the days that the “Legion of Boom” dominated football games, then Macdonald might be his man to replace Carroll. The 36-year-old Macdonald was on John Harbaugh’s staff for seven seasons before spending a year with Jim Harbaugh as Michigan’s defensive coordinator in 2021. He returned to Baltimore as the Ravens’ defensive coordinator the past two seasons.

Baltimore finished the regular season first in scoring defense, tied for first in takeaways and first in net yards allowed per pass attempt. The Ravens boast the type of fast, physical style that Carroll’s units simply lacked in recent seasons. The discrepancy between the two units was on full display for Schneider in the Ravens’ 37-3 shellacking of the Seahawks in Baltimore in Week 9.

1. Dan Quinn, Cowboys Defensive Coordinator
All early signs point directly at Quinn, who reportedly already has plans to talk to the Commanders, Panthers and Chargers about their coaching vacancies.

Quinn, 53, served as Carroll’s defensive coordinator for two years — both resulting in Super Bowl appearances led by the “Legion of Boom” secondary — before landing the head-coaching job in Atlanta. After three years as Dallas’ defensive coordinator, Quinn is already on the short list of names for several teams, and his Seahawks ties could make for a natural fit to carry the torch.

NFL REGULAR-SEASON GAMES SEE 7% INCREASE IN VIEWERS. 17.9M AVERAGE IS SECOND HIGHEST SINCE 2015

NFL regular-season games averaged 17.9 million viewers, tied for the second highest since averages were first tracked in 1995.

Buoyed by increases of at least 24% in two of the five packages, the first year of the league’s new television contracts saw a total increase of 7% from last season.

The highest average on record is 18.1 million from 2015.

Hans Schroeder, the league’s executive vice president of media distribution, pointed to the number of teams still alive for postseason spots going into the final two weeks along with close games throughout the 18-week regular season. Of the 272 games, 113 were decided by six or fewer points, the second most in league history.

Over the past two seasons, 55.8% of games have been within one score (eight points).

“It starts on the field. You look at the number of close games as well as the number of young stars like (Houston’s) C.J. Stroud and old stars like (Los Angeles’) Matthew Stafford that probably didn’t get enough coverage,” Schroeder said. “If you look at that as well as combine with the first year of these new TV packages and some of the flexibility they had, I think that is why the numbers are where they are this year.”

Four of the five broadcast and streaming networks saw increases in their overall packages.

HUGE GAINS ON THURSDAY NIGHT

According to Nielsen figures, the 16-game “Thursday Night Football” package on Prime Video averaged 11.86 million viewers, a 24% increase over last year’s inaugural season. All but three of the weeks saw double-digit increases over last year.

Showing the power of streaming, the median age of Prime Video’s audience was 48.5 years old, 6.9 years younger than the average median age of viewers watching the NFL on Sunday (55.4).

Two games saw more than 15 million viewers — the Nov. 30 matchup between the Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys (15.3 million) and the Sept. 14 opener when the Philadelphia Eagles hosted the Minnesota Vikings (15.1 million). The most-watched game in 2022 was the opener between the Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs (13.0 million).

Overall, 12 games averaged more than 10 million, doubling 2022.

MONDAY NIGHT MIRACLE

Amazon Prime looked like it would run away with the biggest gains, until the “Monday Night Football” numbers came in. The league’s seminal prime-time package had its best season since 2000, averaging 17.36 million viewers across ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC, a whopping 29% increase.

Most of that increase, though, can be attributed to the Hollywood writers and actors strikes. With no new original fall programming, ABC was able to broadcast games all 18 weeks of the regular season — or 11 more compared with last year — instead of just nine over eight weeks as originally set when the schedule was announced in early May.

Next season, ABC is expected to go back to at least two Monday night simulcasts with ESPN, three exclusive MNF games when there are doubleheaders and the two Saturday Week 18 contests.

Overall, it was the best season since the package moved to ESPN in 2006.

The four most-watched games since 2000 all happened this season. The Nov. 22 game between Philadelphia and Kansas City, a Super Bowl 57 rematch, averaged 29.03 million.

MOMENTUM FOR CBS

CBS averaged 19.35 million, its most-watched regular season since it returned to the network in 1998, and an increase of 5% over 2022.

The 10 Sunday national game windows at 3:25 p.m. Eastern averaged 24.64 million, an increase of 4.7% from the 23.50 million of last year.

The Thanksgiving Day game between the Washington Commanders and Dallas Cowboys was the most-watched regular-season game on any network, averaging 41.76 million.

CBS will have Super Bowl 58 in Las Vegas on Feb. 11.

SUNDAY NIGHT LIGHTS

NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” package had a 21.4 million average, its best viewership since 2015, and an 8% increase over last year.

The package had six games average at least 25 million, tying the mark set in 2013.

The top game was the Sept. 7 opener between the Detroit Lions and Kansas City Chiefs, which drew 27.5 million.

FOX’S 30TH SEASON

Fox saw a 2% gains drop in its overall number (19.42 million) but the late window was up 2% (24.62 million). That is the best performance in the 4:25 p.m. Eastern late games since 2015 despite blowouts on seven of the 10 dates.

The Thanksgiving Day

The Thanksgiving Day contest between the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions was its most watched, averaging 33.7 million.

The NFL on FOX caps off its 30th regular season with its best national window since 2015.

NFL PREVIEW: THE STARTING 11

No one scripts and spawns hope like the National Football League.

Two of the best examples of that hope will kick off the 2023 NFL Playoffs when the CLEVELAND BROWNS (11-6) meet the HOUSTON TEXANS (10-7) at NRG Stadium on Saturday (4:30 p.m. ET, NBC, Peacock, Telemundo).

The Texans completed a worst-to-first turnaround by winning the AFC South the year after finishing in last place. In 19 of the past 21 seasons (2003-23), at least one NFL team has won its division the year after finishing last or tied for last. Houston became the first team with a rookie head coach (DEMECO RYANS) and rookie starting quarterback (C.J. STROUD) to win its division in the Super Bowl era (1966-present).

What’s more, in 25 of the past 28 seasons (1996-2023), at least one team has made the playoffs the year after finishing last or tied for last. This year, both Cleveland and Houston qualified for the postseason after finishing last in their respective divisions in 2022.

Meanwhile, in each of the past four years, a team that started 2-5 has rebounded to earn a playoff berth. This season, the GREEN BAY PACKERS (9-8) accomplished the feat, and in the process became the 11th team since 1990 to author such an impressive in-season turnaround. The Packers visit the DALLAS COWBOYS (12-5) on Sunday (4:30 p.m. ET, FOX, FOX Deportes). Including the 2023 Cowboys, there has not been a repeat NFC East division winner since 2004, the longest active streak among divisions in the NFL and the longest such streak in league history.

The ultimate reward for that abundance of hope starts to pay dividends this week.

With two games on Saturday, three on Sunday and a primetime finale on Monday, Super Wild Card Weekend begins the 33-day, 12-game march to the Super Bowl in Las Vegas.

Ready or not, the NFL Playoffs are here.

And in the immortal words of Cowboys quarterback DAK PRESCOTThere we go.

The Starting 11 entering Super Wild Card Weekend

1.   DOLPHINS-CHIEFS AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY ON PEACOCK: When MIAMI (11-6) visits KANSAS CITY (11-6) on Saturday (8 p.m. ET, Peacock), Peacock will present the first-ever exclusively live-streamed NFL postseason game. Peacock’s AFC Wild Card exclusive will again feature a commercial-free fourth quarter, similar to the Dec. 23 Bills-Chargers game.

  • And that could be a good thing because the forecast for GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on Saturday night calls for bitter cold. When that fourth quarter begins, current models expect the temperature to hit minus-6 degrees with double-digit wind speeds and a 43-percent chance of light snow. The Dolphins and Chiefs, who played the longest game in NFL history (82 minutes and 40 seconds in the 1971 AFC Playoffs), also could be playing in one of the coldest. The coldest-recorded kickoff temperatures all-time:
TEMPWIND CHILLDATESITERESULT
-13-48Dec. 31, 1967Lambeau FieldGB 21, DAL 17; NFL Championship
-9-59Jan. 10, 1982Riverfront StadiumCIN 27, SD 7; AFC Championship
-6-25Jan. 10, 2016TCF Bank StadiumSEA 10, MIN 9; NFC Wild Card
-1-23Jan. 10, 2008Lambeau FieldNYG 23, GB 20 (OT); NFC Championship
  • Miami wide receiver TYREEK HILL, selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round (165th overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft, plays his first game in Kansas City since the Chiefs traded him to Miami before the 2022 season. Hill, who led the league this year with 1,799 receiving yards and tied for the NFL lead with 13 touchdown receptions, is the first player in NFL history to record at least 1,700 receiving yards in multiple seasons. He finished second in the league last year with 1,710.
    • Dolphins quarterback TUA TAGOVAILOA makes his postseason debut. A first-time Pro Bowl selection this season, Tagovailoa (4,624) became the first Dolphins player to lead the NFL in passing yards since Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO in 1992.
    • Kansas City’s ANDY REID is in his 25th season as an NFL head coach, including 1999-2012 at the reins of the Eagles. His 2023 defense under defensive coordinator STEVE SPAGNUOLO is one of the best Reid has ever deployed. The Chiefs this season produced 57 sacks and allowed only four rushing touchdowns and 176.5 net passing yards per game – all the best marks among any team with Reid as a head coach. Kansas City also allowed 289.8 total yards per game, the second-fewest mark by a Reid-coached team, surpassed only by the 2008 Eagles (274.3).
    • Reid has won 10-or-more games in nine consecutive seasons, the second-longest streak in NFL history. Only BILL BELICHICK (17 seasons of 10-plus wins from 2003-19) owns a longer stretch.
    • Saturday’s contest features the NFL’s most prolific offense (Miami led the league with 401.3 yards per game) against the league’s second-stingiest defense (Kansas City finished second, allowing just 289.8 yards per game). The Dolphins also produced 29.2 points per game, second in the league, while the Chiefs allowed the second-fewest points per game (17.3).

2.   NUMBER OF THE WEEK – 6,104: The age difference in days between Houston rookie C.J. STROUD (22 years, 102 days old on Saturday) and Cleveland’s JOE FLACCO (38 years, 362 days old). Only four other games in NFL postseason history have seen a larger gap in the age of starting quarterbacks, and all involved TOM BRADY (7,674 days between Brady and JALEN HURTS on Jan. 16, 2022; 6,619 days between Brady and PATRICK MAHOMES on Jan. 20, 2019; 6,619 days between Brady and Mahomes in Super Bowl LV on Feb. 7, 2021; and 6,281 days between Brady and JARED GOFF in Super Bowl LIII on Feb. 3, 2019).

  • When CLEVELAND (11-6) meets HOUSTON (10-7) on Saturday at NRG Stadium (4:30 p.m. ET, NBC, Peacock, Telemundo), Flacco is expected to make his first postseason start in nine years, when he started two games for the Ravens in the 2014 NFL Playoffs. Flacco’s 3,290 days between playoff starts will be the second-longest gap ever for a quarterback, behind DOUG FLUTIE, who went 4,382 days between postseason starts on Jan. 3, 1987, and Jan. 2, 1999.
    • Stroud finished with 4,108 passing yards this season, becoming the fifth rookie all-time with 4,000 passing yards, joining ANDREW LUCK (4,374 in 2012), JUSTIN HERBERT (4,336 in 2020), CAM NEWTON (4,051 in 2011) and JAMEIS WINSTON (4,042 in 2015). Stroud recorded a 100.8 passer rating and became the fourth qualifying rookie quarterback in NFL history with a passer rating of 100-or-higher, joining DAK PRESCOTT (104.9 in 2016), ROBERT GRIFFIN III (102.4 in 2012) and RUSSELL WILSON (100.0 in 2012). And, Stroud had nine games with 250 passing yards, surpassing ANDREW LUCK (eight in 2012) for the second most by a rookie quarterback in NFL history. Only JUSTIN HERBERT (12 in 2020) had more.
    • Cleveland head coach KEVIN STEFANSKI, a Coach of the Year candidate after winning games with four starting quarterbacks this season, is bidding to become the first Browns head coach to win a second career postseason game since MARTY SCHOTTENHEIMER in 1986-87.

3.   THE CLOSE-GAME ERA: The 2023 regular season produced 113 games decided by six-or-fewer points, 135 decided by seven-or-fewer and 147 decided by eight-or-fewer, all the second-most or tied for the second-most single-season marks in league history. And in all three categories, only 2022 had more. That means that over the past two seasons (543 games), 43.3 percent of all NFL contests were separated by no more than six points, 50.8 percent by no more than seven and 55.8 percent by no more than one score (eight points).

4.   SPOTLIGHT – INDIVIDUAL MATCHUP: When HOUSTON (10-7) has the ball against CLEVELAND (11-6) at NRG Stadium on Saturday (4:30 p.m. ET, NBC, Peacock, Telemundo), circle the matchup on the left side of the line of scrimmage. That’s where Texans tackle LAREMY TUNSIL and Browns defensive end MYLES GARRETT will engage in a game within the game that features nine combined Pro Bowl selections, five for Garrett and four for Tunsil. Garrett has 14-or-more sacks in each of the last three seasons.

5.   SPOTLIGHT – TEAM MATCHUP: The Eagles’ offensive line includes three players selected as Pro Bowlers this season, guard LANDON DICKERSON, tackle LANE JOHNSON and center JASON KELCE. When PHILADELPHIA (11-6) faces off against TAMPA BAY (9-8) in the final Wild Card game on Monday (8 p.m. ET, ESPN/ABC/ESPN+, ESPN2/ESPN+ ManningCast, ESPN Deportes), that Eagles line will see a Buccaneers front seven that includes former Pro Bowl selections SHAQUIL BARRETTLAVONTE DAVIDVITA VEA and DEVIN WHITE.

6.   STREAK SPEAK: Jan. 5, 1992 – that was the date the Lions last won a postseason game, a 38-6 victory over the Cowboys in the NFC Divisional Playoffs at the Pontiac Silverdome. With a victory over the LOS ANGELES RAMS (10-7) at Ford Field on Sunday (8 p.m. ET, NBC, Peacock, Universo), DETROIT (12-5) would end the third-longest streak without a playoff victory in league history. The Cardinals went 51 years and five days between postseason wins, from Dec. 28, 1947, to Jan. 2, 1999, and the Lions went 34 years and seven days between playoff victories, from Dec. 29, 1957, to Jan. 5, 1992.​

7.   DID YOU KNOW?: The showdown between the LOS ANGELES RAMS (10-7) and DETROIT LIONS (12-5) at Ford Field on Sunday (8 p.m. ET, NBC, Peacock, Universo) might set a postseason record for most pregame storylines. Among those angles, Lions quarterback JARED GOFF, a former first-overall selection who led the Rams to a Super Bowl berth in 2018, faces the team that traded him for MATTHEW STAFFORD. Stafford, himself a former No. 1 overall pick who led the Rams to a Super Bowl title in 2021, returns to Detroit to meet his former team. Another individual meeting his former team, Detroit general manager BRAD HOLMES, spent 18 years (2003-2020) in the Rams’ front office before joining the Lions in 2021. And speaking of front offices, Holmes and counterpart LES SNEAD of the Rams have engineered some of the most impressive personnel performances in recent memory. Nowhere is that work more evident, in collaboration with their respective coaching staffs, than the wide receiver position.

  • Detroit’s AMON-RA ST. BROWN has memorized each of the 16 wide receivers selected ahead of him in the 2021 NFL Draft, before Holmes drafted him in the fourth round (112th overall). St. Brown has 315 career receptions and surpassed CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY (303) for the third-most catches by a player in his first three career seasons in NFL history. Only JUSTIN JEFFERSON (324) and MICHAEL THOMAS (321) have more.
    • Nineteen wide receivers were taken before Snead selected PUKA NACUA in the fifth round (177th overall) of the 2023 NFL Draft. Nacua had 105 receptions and surpassed JAYLEN WADDLE (104 in 2021) for the most by a rookie in NFL history. Plus, Nacua had 1,486 receiving yards and surpassed BILL GROMAN (1,473 in 1960) for the most by a rookie all-time.
    • The Lions – with rookie running back JAHMYR GIBBS (11 scrimmage touchdowns), rookie tight end SAM LAPORTA (10), veteran running back DAVID MONTGOMERY (13) and St. Brown (10) – were the second team in NFL history with four players with 10 scrimmage touchdowns in a season, joining the 2013 DENVER BRONCOS. Gibbs and LaPorta were the first pair of rookie teammates each with at least 10 scrimmage touchdowns in NFL history.
    • LaPorta had 86 receptions and surpassed KEITH JACKSON (81 in 1988) for the most by a rookie tight end in NFL history. With 10 touchdown receptions this season, LaPorta became the third rookie tight end in NFL annals to reach the mark, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer MIKE DITKA (12 in 1961) and ROB GRONKOWSKI (10 in 2010). And among rookies at all positions, LaPorta was the second rookie in NFL history with at least 85 receptions and 10 touchdown catches, joining ODELL BECKHAM JR. (2014).

8.   UNDER-THE-RADAR STORYLINE: The cradle of 2023 NFL playoff coaches is located in Williamsburg, Va. The 1993-94 football rosters at the College of William & Mary listed both wide receiver MIKE TOMLIN and defensive back SEAN MCDERMOTT, the respective head coaches for the PITTSBURGH STEELERS (10-7) and BUFFALO BILLS (11-6), who clash at Highmark Stadium on Sunday (1 p.m. ET, CBS, Paramount+). Several other coaches in the 2023 NFL Playoffs also made stops at William & Mary, including Bills interim offensive coordinator JOE BRADY, Cowboys defensive coordinator DAN QUINN and Steelers special teams coordinator DANNY SMITH.

9.   ​TREND TIME: The Cowboys, the NFL’s only team to go undefeated (8-0) at home this season, have won 16 straight games at AT&T Stadium, the second-longest home winning streak in franchise history (Dallas won 18 consecutive home games from 1980-81). In home games this season, DALLAS (12-5) led the NFL in points scored (299), points margin (plus-172), total offense per game (425.8) and turnover margin (plus 1.25 per game). The Cowboys’ Wild Card opponent, GREEN BAY (9-8) on Sunday (4:30 p.m. ET, FOX, FOX Deportes), won three of its final four road games, a big reason the Packers are in the playoffs.

  • Thirteen years ago, MIKE MCCARTHY led the Packers to a Super Bowl XLV triumph in Dallas. McCarthy, who now holds the reins of the Cowboys, is 29-9 (.763) at AT&T Stadium, including the postseason. He was 4-0 as Green Bay’s head coach.
    • Six decades ago, Green Bay used victories over Dallas to earn trips to each of the first two Super Bowls. One year before the Ice Bowl (the 1967 NFL Championship Game), Pro Football Hall of Fame coaches VINCE LOMBARDI and TOM LANDRY squared off in the first of eight all-time postseason meetings between the Packers and Cowboys (the teams are tied, 4-4). That 1966 NFL Championship Game at the Cotton Bowl, where Green Bay sealed a 34-27 victory with a last-minute interception in the end zone, marked the first of the Packers’ seven all-time postseason trips to Dallas. The Packers have won their last two playoff games in Dallas, a 34-31 thriller in the 2016 NFC Divisional Playoffs and a 31-25 triumph in Super Bowl XLV. Before that, however, the Cowboys ended Green Bay’s hopes in three straight seasons, 1993-95, at Texas Stadium.
    • Led by JORDAN LOVE, the first Packers quarterback since at least 1950 to lead the team to the playoffs in his first full season as a starter, Green Bay became the youngest team to earn a postseason berth since Pro Football Hall of Famer WALTER PAYTON and the 1977 CHICAGO BEARS.
    • The Cowboys’ DAK PRESCOTT (36 touchdown passes) became the first Dallas player in 50 years to lead the NFL in touchdown passes, since Pro Football Hall of Famer ROGER STAUBACH in 1973. Prescott also became the first quarterback in NFL history with four games in a season with a completion percentage of 80-or-higher (minimum 30 attempts in each game).
    • Dallas wide receiver CEEDEE LAMB had 12 touchdown catches and a franchise-record 135 receptions, becoming the fourth player all-time with at least 125 receptions and 10 touchdown receptions in a season, joining ANTONIO BROWN (2014 and 2015), Pro Football Hall of Famer MARVIN HARRISON (2002) and COOPER KUPP (2021). Lamb had seven games with at least 11 receptions, surpassing MICHAEL THOMAS (six games in 2019) for the most games with 11-or-more receptions in a season in NFL history.

10. NEXT GEN STAT OF THE WEEK: In last week’s regular-season finale, Miami running back DE’VON ACHANE was traveling 14.83 MPH when he crossed the line of scrimmage on his 25-yard touchdown run, and reached a top speed on the carry of 17.67 MPH. This season, Achane averages the fastest speed at the line of scrimmage (12.22 MPH) among running backs with at least 50 carries. Teammate RAHEEM MOSTERT ranks second in that category among running backs (11.28 MPH).

11. AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST: For the first time in 23 years, the NFL playoff field features three franchises that have never played in a Super Bowl: CLEVELANDDETROIT and HOUSTON. The last time an NFL postseason included as many franchises without a Super Bowl berth was 2000 (BALTIMORENEW ORLEANS and TAMPA BAY). After the Ravens captured a Super Bowl XXXV championship in 2000, the Buccaneers followed just two years later by winning Super Bowl XXXVII. And in 2009, the Saints also earned their Lombardi Trophy with a win in Super Bowl XLIV. Could similar futures await Cleveland, Detroit and Houston?

  • The last time both the Browns and Lions won at least 10 games in the same season was 1953, when Detroit defeated Cleveland in the NFL Championship Game, 17-16.

FROZEN TUNDRA: SINGLE DIGITS, SUB-ZERO WINDCHILL, FORECAST FOR AFC WILD-CARD GAMES

The Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills have some of the hardiest fans in the NFL — they’re going to need layers of resilience in the stands at wild-card games this weekend.

As will the Miami Dolphins, who practiced in 76-degree temperatures Wednesday, as they visit the Chiefs in Kansas City on Saturday. The Pittsburgh Steelers, who will travel to Orchard Park, N.Y., to take on the Bills on Sunday, had a bad-weather game last week at Baltimore to prep for what is shaping up to be a frigid wild-card weekend.

The forecast for a high of 9 degrees in Kansas City on Saturday drops lower after sunset with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m. local time. The projected low Sunday night is minus-5 and currently minus-2 at kickoff time. This follows a significant snowfall projected for the days prior.

Both teams are 11-6, but Kansas City earned the home game as the winner of the AFC West. Miami is a wild card and the fifth seed after losing to the Bills in a de facto AFC East title game last Sunday night.

The Kansas City Star said a minus-2 temperature at kickoff would be the coldest to start a game in Chiefs history, which currently is 0 degrees for a 1983 game against the Denver Broncos. The windchill in that game was minus-30, per the Star.

With the Dolphins’ loss to the Bills last Sunday, Buffalo won the AFC East and the right to host the home game. Head coach Mike McDaniel said Wednesday he is excited, no matter what the forecast.

“It’s a primetime game at Arrowhead. I got goosebumps right now,” he said. “I’ll probably have different types of goosebumps on Saturday.”

In Orchard Park, players and fans also need to prepare for a forecast that calls for a high of 24 degrees but a real feel temperature of only 3 degrees. Snow is expected, as are wind gusts of up to 41 mph.

Given the forecast, Caesars Sportsbook lowered the projected point total from 43 earlier this week to 36 on Tuesday night, betting the offenses aren’t going to be able to produce a glut of points.

The Bills (11-6) are the No. 2 seed in the AFC, with the Steelers (10-7) the No. 7. Game time is 1 p.m. ET.

DOLPHINS FIGHTING INJURIES, ELEMENTS, CHIEFS IN WILD-CARD GAME

All the Miami Dolphins had to do was protect a fourth-quarter lead in the season finale and they could have stayed in South Florida and played an AFC wild-card game in temperatures near 80 degrees.

Instead, the Dolphins saw the lead get away and packed up portable heaters, parkas, gloves and a game plan for how to deal with the elements and Arrowhead when they visit the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday night in expected single-digit, frigid weather that will follow a projected significant snowfall in the days prior.

The forecast for a high of 9 degrees in Kansas City on Saturday will certainly be lower with kickoff scheduled for night time. The projected low is minus-5.

Seems like a big advantage for the Chiefs but coach Andy Reid wants no part of such chatter.

“You can’t bank on that. That’s where you get into trouble,” Reid told reporters Tuesday. “We’re not having a snowball fight.”

The third-seeded Chiefs (11-6) have thrived on being at home in the postseason during the Reid/Patrick Mahomes era.

Throwing in weather more fit for a luge or Nordic skiing event won’t make things any easier for the sixth-seeded Dolphins (11-6).

Miami coach Mike McDaniel said his club will be ready to handle the conditions — whether cold or very, very cold.

“If we’re playing in any playoff game that isn’t at home, it probably will be cold,” McDaniel said. “It will be the same for both teams. For us and for the individuals in the locker room, I know they will not use that as an excuse.”

Dolphins tight end Durham Smythe, a Pennsylvania native, pointed out that NFL players come from all over the nation and have dealt with unfavorable conditions throughout their careers.

“I don’t think it means that we are soft or scared of the elements, just because the weather is better down here,” Smythe said of Miami. “The guys in that locker room, obviously we come from all over, too. It’s not like we all lived here in Miami our entire lives. We’ve dealt with elements before.”

Another big issue for Miami to overcome is a plethora of injuries to the defensive side of the ball. The Dolphins lost linebackers Jerome Baker (wrist), Andrew Van Ginkel (foot) and Cameron Goode (knee) for the season in Sunday’s 21-14 loss to the Buffalo Bills.

They previously lost two other linebackers, star Bradley Chubb (ACL) and rising Jaelan Phillips (Achilles) to season-ending injuries. Cornerback Xavien Howard (foot) also is expected to sit out Saturday’s game.

Miami signed three veteran pass rushers on Tuesday to address the shortage — Justin Houston, Bruce Irvin and Malik Reed.

In addition, three-time Pro Bowler Melvin Ingram (58.5 sacks), who didn’t play in a game for Miami until Dec. 24, is now a starting outside linebacker.

That could make it tough to slow down Mahomes, who is 10-2 with three Super Bowl appearances (two victories) over the past four postseasons.

The Chiefs weren’t as ferocious as recent seasons, as they were just 5-5 after a 6-1 start. But Mahomes thrives in the postseason spotlight and star defensive end Chris Jones is looking to finish the season with a bang.

Jones engaged in a contentious holdout prior to the season and even missed the season-opening loss to the Detroit Lions. He acknowledged Tuesday that Saturday could be the final time he plays in a Chiefs’ uniform at Arrowhead Stadium.

“Most importantly, we have a game to play,” said Jones, who had 10.5 sacks this season. “We want to make a deep run in the playoffs. If it is my last season, we’ve got to make it worthwhile.”

Kansas City ranks second in scoring defense at 17.3 points per game and total defense at 289.9 yards per contest. The Dolphins are in second in scoring offense at 29.2 points per game and lead in total offense (401.3).

Saturday marks the first time that star Dolphins receiver Tyreek Hill (119 catches, 1,799 yards, 13 scores) will play in Arrowhead since the Chiefs traded him to Miami after the 2021 season.

Hill has been bothered by ankle and quad injuries and was limited in Tuesday’s practice. Running back Raheem Mostert (knee, ankle) and receiver Jaylen Waddle (ankle) were also limited. Offensive Terron Armstead (back) and safeties DeShon Elliott (calf) and Jevon Holland (both knees) also sat out.

Offensive tackle Wanya Morris (concussion) and receiver Justyn Ross sat out for Kansas City.

The Chiefs beat the Dolphins 21-14 on Nov. 5 in Frankfurt, Germany.

SUCCESS QUICK FOR THESE TEXANS, WHO WANT MORE VS. BROWNS

When the Houston Texans hired DeMeco Ryans as their coach last January and drafted quarterback C.J. Stroud with the second overall pick three months later, they were hoping that duo would someday lead the franchise to success.

Little did Houston know that “someday” would arrive much sooner than expected.

After securing a playoff berth for the first time since 2019, the Texans will look to keep exceeding expectations on Saturday when they face the visiting Cleveland Browns in an AFC wild-card game.

Houston (10-7) beat the Indianapolis Colts 23-19 last Saturday to punch its ticket to the postseason, then secured the AFC South crown when the Tennessee Titans downed the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

While Ryans is proud of how far the Texans have come, he doesn’t think his team’s ceiling is a division title.

“Everybody’s excited about it, happy about the division,” Ryans said. “Congrats, now we have to move on, we have to continue to play football and go win games in the playoffs. That’s what it’s about.”

Stroud had a remarkable freshman campaign, throwing for the third-most yards ever by a rookie (4,108) while tossing 23 touchdown passes against just five interceptions. He realizes he’s just one piece of the puzzle, though.

“To be (in) my first season and make the playoffs, man, it’s just been a heck of a year,” Stroud said. “Words can’t explain how proud I am of my teammates, and without them, there’s no meaning or no winning.

“It’s just a blessing just to be able to be part of something special.”

As Ryans and Stroud eagerly await the beginning of what they hope is a run of dominance for years to come, Cleveland quarterback Joe Flacco is preparing for what could very well be his last dance.

Flacco turns 39 next week, but he looks just as fresh as the 28-year-old version of himself that was named MVP of Super Bowl XLVII, where he led the Baltimore Ravens to a 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

In five starts this season with the Browns (11-6), Flacco has gone 4-1 with 1,616 yards passing, 13 TDs and eight picks.

But most importantly, Flacco has given new life to a Cleveland team that lost two of its top playmakers — quarterback Deshaun Watson and running back Nick Chubb — to season-ending injuries in the first 10 weeks of the season.

The Browns had rattled off four straight victories before falling 31-14 to the Cincinnati Bengals while resting starters in the regular-season finale last weekend.

Flacco said he believes the adversity Cleveland has faced will be beneficial come Saturday.

“It always helps to go through tough times and truly be tested,” Flacco said. “Whether that’s injuries or close games, finding your identity, things like that — they all help.”

Saturday marks Flacco’s 16th career playoff start, and he hasn’t been shy when it comes to sharing his postseason approach.

“I’ve said it to some of the guys — there’s not this daunting task of getting ready to prepare for 20 games. You’re preparing for one game. And that’s it,” Flacco said. “One game. Prepare as hard as you can for one week.”

Six Browns did not practice on Tuesday due to injury, including running backs Kareem Hunt (groin) and Pierre Strong (back) and kicker Dustin Hopkins (hamstring). Center Ethan Pocic, who is dealing with a shoulder injury, was among those limited.

Houston defensive ends Will Anderson Jr., Jonathan Greenard and Jerry Hughes all missed Tuesday’s practice due to ankle injuries. Defensive tackles Maliek Collins (hip) and Sheldon Rankins (shoulder) were also out, as was receiver Robert Woods (hip).

QB LAMAR JACKSON, CB DARON BLAND HIGHLIGHT NFLPA ALL-PRO PICKS

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson and Cowboys cornerback DaRon Bland were among the 30 picks for the NFLPA All-Pro team selected by their peers in polling of active players.

Jackson led the Ravens (13-4) to the AFC’s No. 1 seed and a first-round playoff bye in his first season with offensive coordinator Todd Monken. Jackson was Baltimore’s leading rusher with 821 yards and five touchdowns and had 3,678 passing yards with 24 TDs and a 102.7 passer rating.

Bland, elevated to left cornerback in Dallas when Trevon Diggs was lost to a season-ending knee injury, returned a record five of his NFL-leading nine interceptions for touchdowns.

The Ravens’ No. 1-ranked defense was represented by linebacker Roquan Smith and safety Kyle Hamilton.

Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb and Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill were picked as All-Pros at a position overflowing with productive candidates. Lamb set franchise records with 135 receptions for 1,749 yards and had a team-high 12 TDs. Cowboys guards Tyler Smith and Zack Martin were named All-Pros in balloting by the union.

Hill, slowed by an ankle injury late in the season, had 119-1,799-13.

Brock Purdy didn’t get the nod over Jackson, but the 49ers’ backfield of fullback Kyle Juszczyk and running back Christian McCaffrey, the NFL leader in rushing (1,459) who tied for the league lead in total touchdowns (21, Raheem Mostert), joined left tackle Trent Williams and linebacker Fred Warner as NFLPA All-Pros.

This is the second year for the NFLPA All-Pro team. Only active players are eligible to participate and cast a single ballot, exclusively for players on other teams and within the position group they play in and line up against on the field.

For example, centers vote for the best center, the best nose tackle, the best interior defensive lineman and the best off-ball linebacker.

The NFLPA releases expanded voting results to include the top five at every position later in the month.

Quarterback: Lamar Jackson (Baltimore)

Running back: Christian McCaffrey (San Francisco)

Fullback: Kyle Juszczyk (San Francisco)

Wide Receiver (2): CeeDee Lamb (Dallas), Tyreek Hill (Miami)

Tight End: Travis Kelce (Kansas City)

Left Tackle: Trent Williams (San Francisco)

Left Guard (tie): Joel Bitonio (Cleveland), Tyler Smith (Dallas)

Center: Jason Kelce (Philadelphia)

Right Guard: Zack Martin (Dallas)

Right Tackle: Lane Johnson (Philadelphia)

Edge Rusher (2): Myles Garrett (Cleveland), Maxx Crosby (Las Vegas)

Nose Tackle: Dexter Lawrence (New York Giants)

Interior Defensive Linemadn (2): Chris Jones (Kansas City), Aaron Donald (Los Angeles Rams)

Off-Ball Linebacker (2): Roquan Smith (Baltimore), Fred Warner (San Francisco)

Cornerback (2): DaRon Bland (Dallas), Pat Surtain II (Denver)

Free Safety: Jessie Bates III (Atlanta)

Strong Safety: Kyle Hamilton (Baltimore)

Kick Returner: Keisean Nixon (Green Bay)

Punt Returner: Derius Davis (Los Angeles Chargers)

Core Teamer (2): Jalen Reeves-Maybin (Detroit), Brenden Schooler (New England)

Kicker: Brandon Aubrey (Dallas)

Punter: AJ Cole (Las Vegas)

Long snapper: Ross Matiscik (Jacksonville)

BROWNS DESIGNATE S GRANT DELPIT TO RETURN FROM IR

The Cleveland Browns designated safety Grant Delpit to return from injured reserve on Wednesday.

Delpit was the team’s leading tackler (80) before missing the final four games with a groin injury. The Browns have not said whether Delpit will be available for Saturday’s wild-card game at Houston.

Delpit, 25, started the first 13 games this season and added 1.5 sacks, one interception and one fumble recovery.

The 2020 second-round draft pick was selected as an alternate for this year’s Pro Bowl.

Cleveland also signed cornerback Kalon Barnes, 25, to the practice squad on Wednesday.

REPORT: BEARS RETAIN EBERFLUS FOR 2024, DISMISS OC GETSY

The Chicago Bears are expected to retain head coach Matt Eberflus for next season after extensive meetings Monday and Tuesday, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

However, Eberflus is set to work alongside a revamped coaching staff after the Bears dismissed offensive coordinator Luke Getsy and members of his staff Wednesday, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero.

Eberflus’ status with the team was in question after back-to-back losing seasons in his first two years in Chicago. The Bears displayed some improvement during their 2023 campaign, though, finishing with a 7-10 mark after posting a 3-14 record in 2022.

Quarterbacks coach Andrew Janocko is among those offensive coaches who were dismissed, per Pelissero. Both Getsy and Janocko struggled to develop quarterback Justin Fields over the past two seasons.

The Bears were near the bottom of the league with 182.1 passing yards per game in 2023.

Wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert and running backs coach Omar Young were also dismissed, according to CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones.

The Bears will be tasked with finding new offensive and defensive coordinators. Eberflus took over defensive play-calling duties after Alan Williams resigned prior to Chicago’s Week 3 matchup.

Eberflus is expected to remain the team’s defensive play-caller but is planning to bring in a true defensive coordinator, Rapoport reports. The Bears 86.4 rushing yards per game allowed led the NFL this past season.

Chicago will still need to determine whether or not Fields will be a part of the organization’s plans for the future. The Bears can exercise the fifth-year option in his rookie contract later this year. However, they could instead select a passer with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

REPORT: MARTINDALE CURSES OUT DABOLL OVER GIANTS FIRINGS

New York Giants defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale was involved in a heated exchange with head coach Brian Daboll during a meeting Monday, according to the New York Post’s Paul Schwartz.

Martindale became upset after the head coach informed him that the Giants were dismissing outside linebackers coach Drew Wilkins and his brother, defensive assistant Kevin Wilkins. The defensive coordinator cursed out Daboll, said his piece, got up, slammed the door, and left the building, reports Schwartz.

Martindale told those close to him that he intended to resign but has not officially informed the club as of Tuesday evening since leaving the team facility Monday.

Both Wilkins brothers joined the Giants’ staff after previously working with Martindale during his tenure with the Baltimore Ravens. Drew and Martindale were reportedly bypassing Daboll’s authority, creating their own “fiefdom within the coaching staff, at times bypassing Daboll and believing they had to answer only to each other and, ultimately, ownership,” Schwartz reports.

The relationship between Martindale and Daboll had reportedly been described as being “in a bad place” back in November.

The Giants haven’t begun the process of looking for Martindale’s successor and don’t plan to do so, sources told NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo. The team still wants the 60-year-old to remain the defensive coordinator unless he formally resigns.

General manager Joe Schoen said prior to Monday’s incident that the club intends to retain both Martindale and offensive coordinator Mike Kafka. Martindale has one year and $3 million remaining on his contract. He’ll forfeit his earnings if he resigns. The Giants would also be able to prevent him from accepting a position elsewhere upon his resignation, Schwartz adds.

Considered one of the league’s more respected defensive play-callers, Martindale has spent the past two seasons with the Giant after serving in the same role with the Ravens (2018-2021) and Denver Broncos (2010).

New York fired offensive line coach Bobby Johnson and special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey following the conclusion of its season.

The Giants’ defense surrendered 23.9 points per game (27th in the NFL) and were also in the bottom half of the league in average yards allowed with 361.7. Yet New York’s 31 takeaways were tied with the Ravens for the most in the NFL in 2023.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEWS

REPORTS: ALABAMA COACH NICK SABAN RETIRING

Alabama head coach and seven-time national champion Nick Saban is retiring, ESPN and The Athletic reported Wednesday.

Saban, 72, won six of those titles in his 17 years at Alabama, tying the school mark set by Bear Bryant. He finishes with a career mark of 297-71-1, 206 of those at Alabama.

He led the Crimson Tide to 11 Southeastern Conference championships.

Saban’s Alabama teams missed the College Football Playoff just twice in 10 years of its existence.

Saban began his head coaching career at Toledo in 1990. He coached Michigan State from 1995-1999 before accepting the head-coaching job at LSU in 2000. He won his first national title in 2003 at LSU.

He took the Alabama job after a short and failed stint as head coach of the Miami Dolphins.

TAKE 5: TOP ALABAMA REPLACEMENTS FOR NICK SABAN

The bombshell Wednesday night that Alabama head coach Nick Saban is retiring elicited one clear question.

Who’s next?

Saban, 72, has won seven national titles — six of them coming in the past 17 years at Alabama. That ties him with fellow legend Bear Bryant for the most in program history.

Those are some mighty big shoes to fill, and Saban’s departure immediately brought numerous marquee names to the surface. Here are five top candidates Alabama could tap to take over for Saban.

5. Dan Lanning, Oregon
When Lanning’s name surfaced in connection with Texas A&M after the Aggies fired Jimbo Fisher in November, he was quick to say, “I’m not going anywhere. “There’s zero chance that I would be coaching somewhere else. I’ve got unfinished business here.”

Could an opportunity to succeed Saban soften that stance?

Lanning, 37, came to Oregon after serving as Kirby Smart’s defensive coordinator at Georgia for three seasons. Oh, and he did spend a year as a graduate assistant on Saban’s staff in 2015.

That said, Lanning was extremely emphatic two months ago that he has no intention of leaving Eugene anytime soon.

“I’ll continue to say it until I’m blue in the face. I want to be here at Oregon. That hasn’t changed, that won’t change,” Lanning said in November.

4. Bill O’Brien, Former Alabama OC
It’s hard to believe that O’Brien is still only 54 years old. He first came to prominence as the New England Patriots’ offensive coordinator in 2011 before taking on the daunting task of replacing Joe Paterno at Penn State.

That tenure lasted two years before O’Brien returned to the NFL as the Texans’ head coach. He led Houston to the AFC South title in just his second season and went on to reach the postseason four times before being fired in 2020.

He took over for Steve Sarkisian as Saban’s offensive coordinator three months later and helped Alabama compile a 24-4 record while averaging over 41 points per game over two years. O’Brien returned to the Patriots last year, but could another stint in Tuscaloosa be on the horizon?

3. Mike Norvell, Florida State
Norvell has returned Florida State to national prominence in just four seasons, guiding the Seminoles to an undefeated regular season and the Atlantic Coast Conference title in 2023. FSU was controversially left out of the College Football Playoff, in favor of Saban’s one-loss Crimson Tide.

Norvell, 42, is young, energetic and an excellent recruiter. He has also proven adept at working the transfer portal to find key pieces. The Texas native lacks the Southeastern Conference roots of the other names on this list, but he is 69-32 overall as a head coach and is a proven Power Five winner.

After watching the CFP snub FSU due to the perceived weakness of the ACC, Norvell just might be tempted to make the jump.

2. Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss
Kiffin’s name figures to be the most polarizing on this list, with strong feelings having already been expressed on both sides of the coin. Kiffin, 48, famously served as Saban’s offensive coordinator from 2014-16 after being fired by Southern California. He returned to head coaching with Florida Atlantic in 2017 before taking over in Oxford three years later.

Kiffin has built Ole Miss into a legitimate SEC power, leading the Rebels to the first 11-win season in program history. He also signed an extension last month and has leveraged the “tremendous support of the Grove Collective” to hit the transfer portal as aggressively as any team in the country.

However, there were also rumors that he declined the Auburn job last year for fear that it would prevent him from ever replacing Saban if the opportunity arose.

1. Dabo Swinney, Clemson
Swinney has long been tied to rumors that he might eventually replace Saban at his alma mater. That was especially true as Swinney built Clemson into a powerhouse that twice beat Alabama in national title games. Swinney’s program has fallen off in recent years, including a 9-4 record in 2023. However, Swinney is still only 54 years old and has proven he can shine on college football’s biggest stages.

It would be a full-circle story for the Pelham, Ala., native and former walk-on for the Crimson Tide who was a member of Alabama’s 1992 national championship team. Clemson has been aware of that potential for quite some time, and Swinney’s 10-year contract signed in 2022 includes a $7.5 million payment that he would owe the school should he leave for Alabama.

EX-UNLV QB JAYDEN MAIAVA FLIPS TRANSFER COMMITMENT FROM GEORGIA TO USC

Former UNLV quarterback Jayden Maiava is joining Southern California after announcing he was transferring to Georgia on Monday.

The reversal comes as the offseason QB carousel spun a 2023 top prospect, Malachi Nelson, to Boise State from USC, which expects 2022 Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams to enter the 2024 NFL Draft.

Maiava’s commitment gives the Trojans a competition at the position involving Miller Moss, who threw six touchdown passes in the Holiday Bowl with Williams opting out.

Georgia starter Carson Beck returns for the Bulldogs in 2024 but five-star recruit Dylan Raiola flipped to Nebraska and Brock Vandagriff, a four-star quarterback prospect in the 2021 class, transferred to Kentucky.

Maiava had 3,085 passing yards and 17 touchdowns with 10 interceptions in 14 games as a redshirt freshman in 2023.

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

TOP 25 ROUNDUP: UCF RALLIES, SHOCKS NO. 3 KANSAS

Jaylin Sellers scored 18 points and UCF defeated a Top 5 program for just the second time in school history, upsetting No. 3 Kansas 65-60 on Wednesday night in Big 12 play at Orlando, Fla.

Darius Johnson added 17 points, six assists and three steals and Ibrahima Diallo had 13 points as the Knights (10-4, 1-1 Big 12) overcame a 16-point deficit to prevail in their first-ever meeting with Kansas. The upset came in UCF’s Big 12 home debut and was their first Big 12 conference win.

UCF’s only other takedown of a top-five team was a 68-63 triumph over No. 4 UConn on Nov. 25, 2011.

Kevin McCullar Jr. recorded 16 points, six rebounds and five assists for the Jayhawks (13-2, 1-1), who had a nine-game winning streak snapped. Hunter Dickinson had just 12 points and four rebounds, while KJ Adams Jr. added 10 points.

No. 4 UConn 80, Xavier 75

Cam Spencer scored a team-leading 19 points while Tristen Newton added 16 points and 11 assists to lead the Huskies past the host Musketeers in Cincinnati.

Newton fell four rebounds short of his fourth career triple-double, while Alex Karaban added 14 points for Connecticut (14-2, 4-1 Big East), which won its fourth straight in conference play.

UConn trailed only once in the second half, 52-51, before Newton connected on back-to-back 3-pointers to spark a 10-0 run on its way to a 76-62 lead with just over four minutes remaining. Quincy Olivari led Xavier (7-8, 1-3) with 24 points, while Desmond Claude chipped in with 15.

Mississippi State 77, No. 5 Tennessee 72

Tolu Smith III scored 23 points and converted a decisive three-point play with 14.7 seconds remaining, and the Bulldogs turned early defensive pressure into a win over the visiting Volunteers at Starkville, Miss.

Josh Hubbard scored 25 points for Mississippi State (12-3, 1-1 SEC), which bounced back from a conference-opening defeat at South Carolina on Saturday. The Bulldogs head the Volunteers to 22 points and 33.3 percent shooting in the first half, and forced 10 turnovers, then withstood a fierce rally.

Dalton Knecht scored 26 of his 28 points in the second half, and Zakai Zeigler added 26 points as Tennessee (11-4, 1-1) saw its seven-game winning streak come to an end. The Volunteers lost to a team outside of the Top 25 for the first time this season.

No. 8 North Carolina 67, North Carolina State 54

RJ Davis scored 16 points and Harrison Ingram grabbed a career-best 19 rebounds as the Tar Heels beat the rival Wolfpack on the road in front of a sold-out crowd in Raleigh, N.C.

Elliott Cadeau was the only other Tar Heel to score in double figures, chipping in 11 points and six assists in the victory for UNC (12-3, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference). In addition to his performance on the glass, Ingram also had nine points, as did Armando Bacot.

Casey Morsell led the Wolfpack (11-4, 3-1) with 12 points and six rebounds, while DJ Burns Jr. had 11 points and two blocks. While NC State’s winning streak was snapped at four, UNC extended its own streak to five. It was the first time since 1974 that the Tar Heels and Wolfpack faced off while both had records of 3-0 or better in ACC play.

TCU 80, No. 9 Oklahoma 71

Emanuel Miller scored 27 points as the Horned Frogs topped the Sooners in Fort Worth, Texas, on Wednesday night.

Miller went 11-for-17 from the floor and grabbed nine rebounds as the Horned Frogs (12-3, 1-1 Big 12) stayed undefeated at home (8-0). TCU forced 14 turnovers, leading to 25 points, and shot 43.8 percent from the field.

Oklahoma (13-2, 1-1) suffered its first loss since Dec. 20 and shot 44.8 percent overall. Javian McCollum had a team-high 17 points to go along with six boards and five assists in the loss. John Hugley IV added 14 points.

No. 13 Memphis 107, UTSA 101 (OT)

David Jones scored 26 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as the Tigers escaped a major upset against the visiting Roadrunners, outscoring them 13-7 in overtime to claim an American Athletic Conference win.

Jahvon Quinerly added 25 points for the Tigers (14-2, 3-0 AAC), while Nick Jourdain contributed 18 points and 12 rebounds. Jaykwon Walton hit for 13 points and Malcolm Dandridge added 10 as Memphis hit 53.2 percent from the field and went 30 of 43 at the foul line.

Six players hit in double figures for the Roadrunners (7-9, 1-2), led by a game-high 28 points from Jordan Ivy-Curry before he fouled out late in overtime. Ivy-Curry added nine rebounds and five assists in an impressive all-around effort. Christian Tucker contributed 14 points for UTSA, which sank 17 of 45 3-pointers.

No. 15 Wisconsin 71, Ohio State 60

Max Klesmit scored all 18 of his points in the second half to lead the Badgers to a win over the host Buckeyes in Columbus to remain the only team unbeaten in Big Ten play.

The Badgers (12-3, 4-0 Big Ten) faced a 56-52 deficit when they scored 10 unanswered points for a 62-56 lead with 3:12 left. Klesmit had the final eight points of the run with a mid-range jumper and a pair of 3-pointers. After a Roddy Gayle Jr. layup for the Buckeyes (12-4, 2-3), Klesmit’s jumper made it 64-58 and put the game away.

AJ Storr scored 17 points and Tyler Wahl added 11. The Badgers hit 10 of 11 free throws. Jamison Battle led the Buckeyes with 18 points and Bruce Thornton added 13.

Virginia Tech 87, No. 21 Clemson 72

Sean Pedulla scored a career-high 32 points on six made 3-pointers to help the Hokies top the visiting Tigers in Blacksburg, Va.

Tyler Nickel also had a career scoring night, putting up 24 points on 8-for-11 shooting from the field, including five triples, for Virginia Tech (10-5, 2-2 ACC), which broke a two-game losing streak.

Ian Schieffelin led Clemson (11-4, 1-3) with 15 points on 7-for-10 shooting from the field. Chauncey Wiggins and Joseph Girard III followed with 12 points apiece, while the team’s leading scorer on the season, PJ Hall (19.5 ppg), struggled throughout, scoring just 11 points on 4-for-13 from the field.

KENTUCKY IS THE ALL-TIME NO. 1 TEAM THROUGH 75 STORIED YEARS OF AP TOP 25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL POLLS

Sustained excellence is difficult to achieve in any sport.

It takes hiring the right coaches, year after year. A constant stream of great players to replace those that depart. It takes luck, to be sure, but also passionate fans, elite facilities, proper marketing and the flexibility to adapt to the times.

In college basketball, those that get the mixture right just might land atop the AP Top 25.

Since The Associated Press began ranking teams in January 1949, when Saint Louis was installed at No. 1, many schools have laid claim to the crown. Some fell by the wayside, replaced by others that climbed the venerable poll. But through the vast changes that have  transformed college basketball, and more than 1,200 polls that have tried to make sense of it all, one thing has remained constant: Kentucky is usually somewhere near the top.

To celebrate this month’s 75th anniversary of the Top 25, the AP reviewed every poll to determine the all-time No. 1 and the Wildcats — the winningest program in college basketball — narrowly edged North Carolina for the top of the heap.

“When I got here,” current Kentucky coach John Calipari recalled, “it was just knowing that it matters in this state. The fans are incredibly engaged. There were people who knew more about our recruiting than I did. That’s when you realize this is different.”

It’s been that way ever since Adolph Rupp, the Kansas-born farm boy who became the Baron of the Bluegrass, built the Wildcats into a perennial power over 42 seasons starting in 1930.

They eventually supplanted Saint Louis at No. 1 that first season and have rarely strayed too far over the past 75 years. So when teams were awarded points based on where they landed on each ballot, just as they are in the weekly rankings today, Kentucky ended up No. 1 with 17,852 points through last season. The Tar Heels had 17,268, while Duke, Kansas and UCLA were next.

“They all have an awesome following. They all recruit excellence. But it all goes back to the players,” said current St. John’s coach Rick Pitino, who won national championships at both Kentucky and Louisville, which came in at No. 6 on the all-time list.

“At Kentucky,” Pitino said, “every year you can get a great player, from Dan Issel and Pat Riley on down.”

Arizona was seventh on the all-time list, followed by Indiana, Syracuse and Michigan State rounding out the top 10.

The list is not intended to crown the greatest college basketball program, because greatness can be measured in different ways: Duke has been the most dominant program over the past three decades; Kansas is considered the cradle of coaches, laying claim in part to not only Rupp and Calipari but North Carolina’s Dean Smith and current coach Bill Self; and UCLA has the most national championships with 11. Besides, the final AP poll each season is released before the NCAA Tournament.

Rather, the AP’s all-time Top 25 is a measure of sustained excellence as reflected by generations of voters, men and women who have covered the sport and attempted to order the most deserving teams on their weekly ballots.

Did voters get it right over all those years? Pitino thinks so, as do many coaches surveyed by the AP in recent months.

“The AP poll is the one that everybody has a lot of respect for,” said Tom Izzo, whose four decades as an assistant and head coach at Michigan State helped land the Spartans in the top 10. “I think to do something like that means you’ve been consistent over 75 years. And a lot of those years I wasn’t alive, but a lot of those years I was part of it.”

Kentucky has appeared in more than 75% of AP polls, while Duke has been No. 1 more than any other program.

“I think the poll got it right,” said ESPN analyst Dick Vitale, a longtime AP voter. “The voters take it seriously and make sure the most deserving teams are ranked. There’s a reason those teams are called the bluebloods, and this lends credence to that.”

START TO FINISH

There have been 14 teams that were wire-to-wire No. 1, including Gonzaga during a 2020-21 season perhaps best remembered for the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bulldogs’ perfect season ended against Baylor in the national title game.

Half of those wire-to-wire teams went on to win the title: Bill Russell and San Francisco in 1956; John Wooden’s teams at UCLA in 1967, ‘69, ’72 and ’73; Indiana in 1976, the last team to finish a season unbeaten; and the Duke team in 1992 that needed a heroic shot from Christian Laettner to beat Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament, then toppled Michigan for the title.

Three other wire-to-wire No. 1s had perfect seasons end in the tourney: Ohio State in 1961, UNLV in ‘91 and Kentucky in ’15.

THE NUMBERS GAME

There have been 206 teams in the poll, including 13 that have made a single appearance. The most recent was Old Dominion, which was ranked No. 25 on Jan. 1, 2015, lost to Western Kentucky and has yet to return.

UCLA holds the record for consecutive polls at 221, beginning the 1966-67 season at No. 1 and sticking around until a loss to USC on Jan. 12, 1980. The longest streak entering 2024 belonged to Gonzaga, whose run of 142 barely stayed alive when the Bulldogs fell 11 places to No. 24 in the poll released Jan. 1.

REMEMBER ME

Eleven programs that

Eleven programs that made the Top 25 no longer play at college basketball’s highest level. Some of them, such as Wayne State and West Texas A&M, dropped to Division II. Beloit, New York and Hamline, which played the first recorded intercollegiate game in 1895, are among those that dropped to the Division III level.

Some are no longer around at all. Texas-Pan American merged with Texas-Brownsville to create Texas-Rio Grande Valley, which does play Division I hoops. St. Francis (Brooklyn) ended all intercollegiate athletics last year due to financial concerns.

SPECIAL AND SUPERLATIVE

Given current conference configurations, the ACC had the most schools in the all-time top 10 (four) and was tied with the Big Ten for the most in the Top 25 with seven apiece. The Big East was next with four, followed by the Big 12 with three.

Kansas and Michigan share the record for the biggest poll jump, going from out of the rankings to No. 4 the following week. The Jayhawks accomplished the feat on Nov. 27, 1990, while the Wolverines did it on Dec. 2, 2020.

Maryland is the highest-ranked team in the all-time poll never to reach the top spot in the AP Top 25, though the 16th-ranked Terrapins have spent 25 weeks at No. 2. Next on the list of never-No. 1s is Utah at No. 43 in the all-time poll.

No preseason No. 1 team has won the national championship since North Carolina in 2009. Kentucky in 2012 was the last No. 1 entering the NCAA Tournament to cut down the nets. Each of the last eight champions have been in the top 10, though.

Seven schools have spent a single glorious week at No. 1: Oklahoma State (1951), Wichita State (1964), South Carolina (1969), Georgia Tech (1985), Iowa (1987), Saint Joseph’s (2004) and Wisconsin (2007).

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

ART OF THE STEAL: NOTRE DAME FRESHMAN HANNAH HIDALGO LEADS THE WAY IN NCAA STEALS

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A fast shuffle of feet, a quick stab at the ball and an open lane to the basket — Notre Dame freshman Hannah Hidalgo loves everything about stealing the basketball.

“I think the whole sequence of picking somebody’s pocket is definitely my favorite,” Hidalgo told The Associated Press by phone.

No one in the game picks pockets on the court better this season than the 5-foot-6 Hidalgo, who leads the nation with 74 steals through 13 games. She is back at it Thursday night when the No. 18 Fighting Irish face Boston College.

“Anticipating, making a move like a crossover, just having my hand ready to deflect it, then going on the fast breaking and bringing that energy from my defense,” Hidalgo said.

It’s a sentiment shared by some of the best to ever do it.

South Carolina coach Dawn Staley was the NCAA’s career steals leader with 454 after four seasons at Virginia from 1989-92.

Staley grew up in Philadelphia and if she wanted to get her hands on the ball in pickup games she played with guys, she had to take it away herself.

That continued in college as the Cavaliers reached three Final Fours, all with the determined lead guard the focal point of the team’s defense.

“You watch a lot of film, you can see in their eyes, whether they’re going to cross the ball over or they’re going to fold a little bit, you anticipate that part,” Staley said.

Hidalgo, too, sharpened her stealing skills while scrimmaging against boys when growing up in Haddonfield, New Jersey, and starring at Paul VI High.

Fighting Irish coach Niele Ivey saw Hidalgo’s commitment to defense right away during the recruiting process and said it stood out in an age when some prospects focus on acrobatic driving layups or long, logo 3-pointers.

“It’s different and she changes the game with it,” Ivey said. “We haven’t had that in a very long time.”

Sometimes, it takes a while for a player’s defensive knack to emerge. East Carolina guard Danae McNeal is tied for fourth in the country with 52 steals. She was a reserve her first two seasons at Clemson, with just 15 steals in 33 games.

After transfering to the Pirates, McNeal learned how to better attack the ball, and last year she was named the American Athletic Conference defensive player of the year with 97 steals.

McNeal was known as a scorer at Swansea High in South Carolina and had to adjust to ECU coach Kim McNeill’s defensive emphasis. It was a struggle, McNeal acknowledged.

“But we continued to build that mindset on the defensive end and I know when I get that two or three steals, it gets my game going and that’s when we start to wreak havoc,” she said.

Chastadie Barrs, now an assistant coach at the College of Charleston, turned havoc into her mission as the NCAA’s career (649) and single-season (193 in 2019) leader in steals while at Lamar from 2016-19.

She took pride in her defense — “I was a defensive connoisseur,” Barrs said by phone — and steadily became the best ever at stealing the ball.

“I enjoyed that aspect of the game because you could control it, if you’re willing to do it,” Barrs said. “Once I became known for steals, I kind of hung my hat on that and went into every game trying to get a certain amount.”

Elisa Mevius of Siena is third in the NCAA this season with more than four steals a game. She led the Saints as a freshman with 71 a year ago and tops the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference this year with 49.

She’s known around campus for the “Mevius Miracle,” a shot from beyond half court that beat Niagara last February. But she’s just as proud of her game-high four steals in that contest.

Mevius learned the game in her native Germany and has played on several of its national youth teams, showcasing her defensive ability. “I’ve always had quick hands,” she said.

Hidalgo, Notre Dame’s star, has the perfect blend of anticipation, footwork and active hands, enough that she sees the worry of opponents before the inbounds and knows she already has the edge.

“One game,” Hidalgo said, “the girl was like, ‘No, I’m not bringing the ball up if she’s guarding me.’”

WOMEN’S TOP 25 ROUNDUP: KANSAS HANDS NO. 4 BAYLOR FIRST LOSS

Taiyanna Jackson scored a career-high 27 points and added 19 rebounds as Kansas handed visiting No. 4 Baylor its first loss of the season, 87-66, on Wednesday night in Lawrence, Kan.

Jackson shot 9 of 12 from the floor and also added two assists, two steals and three blocks for the Jayhawks (8-7, 1-3 Big 12). Kansas got a boost from Smya Nichols, who scored 22 points, and Holly Kersgieter’s 19 points.

Darianna Littlepage-Buggs led Baylor (14-1, 3-1 Big 12) with 16 points and six rebounds.

The Bears couldn’t overcome their inability to hit 3-point shots at a high rate like they have for most of the season. Baylor shot a season-worst 20 percent from behind the arc, making just 5-of-25 shots from deep. Kansas outscored the Bears 56-32 in the paint and won the rebounding battle 48-31.

No. 3 Iowa 96, Purdue 71

Caitlin Clark notched her fourth triple-double of the season as the Hawkeyes beat the Boilermakers on the road in West Lafayette, Ind.

Clark collected 26 points on 18 shots, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in the victory for Iowa (16-1, 5-0 Big Ten). Kate Martin added 15 points for the Hawkeyes, Sydney Affolter scored 14, and Hannah Stuelke had 10 points and six rebounds.

Abbey Ellis powered Purdue (9-6, 2-2 Big Ten) with 15 points, six assists and five steals.

No. 12 Kansas State 74, Oklahoma 57

Ayoka Lee scored 19 points to help the Wildcats top the visiting Sooners in Manhattan, Kan.

Lee shot 8-of-12 from the floor and also tallied six rebounds and five blocks for Kansas State (16-1, 4-0 Big 12) in its 10th straight win. Serena Sundell added 16 points and seven assists for the Wildcats, while Gabby Gregory and Zyanna Walker each added 13 points.

Nevaeh Tot powered Oklahoma (9-6, 3-1 Big 12) with 13 points, eight rebounds and four assists.

No. 13 UConn 85, Providence 41

Ashlynn Shade notched 17 points and four steals as the host Huskies routed the Friars in Hartford, Conn.

Shade was one of five players to score in double figures for UConn (13-3, 5-0 Big East), which was playing in its first game without starting forward Aubrey Griffin, who has been ruled out for the rest of the season with an ACL tear. The Huskies also got 16 points from KK Arnold, 12 points from Aaliyah Edwards, 13 points and nine rebounds from Paige Bueckers, and 10 points and 13 assists from Nika Muhl.

Providence (8-9, 2-2 Big East) was paced by Brynn Farrell’s 12 points and six rebounds.

No. 14 Indiana 75, Penn State 67

Mackenzie Holmes had 21 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Hoosiers over the visiting Nittany Lions.

Holmes shot 10-of-16 from the floor and also had three blocks for Indiana (14-1, 5-0 Big Ten) in its 13th straight win. Sydney Parrish added 20 points for Indiana, Chloe Moore-McNeil chipped in 16 and Sara Scalia scored 11.

Penn State (10-5, 1-3 Big Ten) was powered by Leilani Kapinus, who had 15 points, six rebounds and three steals.

No. 22 Creighton 89, Butler 53

Emma Ronsiek had 25 points and six rebounds to help the Bluejays beat the visiting Bulldogs in Omaha, Neb.

Lauren Jensen added 14 points and five assists for Creighton (12-3, 3-2 Big East) while Mallory Brake chipped in 12 points and six rebounds. Rachel Kent led Butler with 10 points.

The Bluejays led by 12 points at halftime, then really pulled away in the third frame by outscoring the Bulldogs 29-11. Creighton shot 12-of-23 from 3-point range, a 52.2 percent clip. The Bluejays also racked up 21 assists and outscored Butler 42-22 in the paint.

Iowa State 74, No. 24 West Virginia 64

Audi Crooks had 22 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Cyclones to an upset win over the visiting Mountaineers in Ames, Iowa.

Iowa State (11-4, 4-0 Big 12) also got 13 points and seven rebounds from Emily Ryan, and 12 points, eight rebounds and eight assists from Addy Brown.
It was the second straight loss for West Virginia (13-2, 2-2 Big 12), which was led by 17 points, seven assists and five steals from Jordan Harrison.

NBA NEWS

NBA ROUNDUP: CELTICS MAKE HISTORY AT HOME, DOWN WOLVES IN OT

Jayson Tatum scored a game-high 45 points, including 12 in overtime, to help the Boston Celtics improve their home record to 18-0 by beating the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves 127-120 on Wednesday.

Jaylen Brown added 35 points and 11 rebounds for the Celtics, who set a franchise record for consecutive home victories at the start of a season, originally set by the 1957-58 team. Minnesota hasn’t won a game in Boston since the 2004-05 season.

Tatum gave the Celtics a 122-120 lead on a layup with 1:04 left in OT and increased the lead to five by making a 3-pointer with 51 seconds remaining. He sank two free throws with 12.7 seconds left to finalize the scoring.

Anthony Edwards tossed in 29 points for Minnesota, which received 25 points and 13 rebounds from Karl-Anthony Towns. Naz Reid had 19 points and 10 rebounds.

Spurs 130, Pistons 108

Victor Wembanyama recorded the second-fastest triple-double in NBA history and San Antonio rolled past host Detroit.

Wembanyama racked up 16 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in just 21 minutes for his first NBA triple-double. Russell Westbrook compiled a triple-double in 20 minutes in 2014. Keldon Johnson added 17 points and Devin Vassell had 16 as eight Spurs scored in double figures.

The Pistons dropped to 3-35 while losing their sixth straight. They have lost 34 of their past 35 games. Detroit was playing for the second time without top scorer Cade Cunningham, who has a strained left knee.

Hawks 139, 76ers 132 (OT)

Jalen Johnson scored 25 points, seven of them in overtime, with a career-high 16 rebounds and seven assists to help Atlanta end a two-game losing streak with a win over visiting Philadelphia.

Atlanta tied the game at 132 when Johnson made two free throws with 1:07 to go in the extra frame. He then came up with a steal and drained a 3-pointer with 40.5 seconds left. Philadelphia led by three in overtime with 2:31 remaining but did not score another point.

The Sixers played without reigning MVP Joel Embiid, who missed his second straight game with left knee swelling. Philadelphia got 35 points, eight rebounds and nine assists from Tyrese Maxey and 32 points and 10 rebounds from Tobias Harris.

Pacers 112, Wizards 104

Myles Turner collected 18 points and 13 rebounds to fuel Indiana to a victory over Washington in Indianapolis.

Seven players scored in double digits for Indiana to help offset the absence of leading scorer Tyrese Haliburton (23.6 points per game). The All-Star guard strained his left hamstring in the Pacers’ 133-131 victory over the Boston Celtics on Monday.

Washington’s Jordan Poole scored 28 points and Corey Kispert added 15 off the bench. Daniel Gafford contributed 12 points and eight rebounds for the Wizards, who have lost six in a row and nine of their past 10 games.

Kings 123, Hornets 98

Keegan Murray scored 21 of his 25 points in the first half and Domantas Sabonis racked up 24 points and 10 rebounds as Sacramento avenged a stunning loss last week by defeating host Charlotte.

Malik Monk had 20 points off the bench and De’Aaron Fox added 19 points for the Kings, who began a five-game road trip by winning a night earlier at Detroit.

The Hornets have lost 14 of their past 15 games, the lone victory in that stretch coming in Sacramento on Jan. 2. Miles Bridges paced Charlotte with 24 points and Terry Rozier poured in 22.

Thunder 128, Heat 120

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 28 points and Jalen Williams narrowly missed out on a triple-double to lead Oklahoma City over host Miami.

The Thunder continued their hot shooting, finishing 59.3 percent from the floor, their ninth consecutive game shooting 50 percent overall or better. Williams totaled 19 points, nine rebounds and 12 assists.

Bam Adebayo led Miami with 25 points and 11 rebounds while Jaime Jaquez Jr. scored 21 points.

Bulls 124, Rockets 119 (OT)

Coby White scored a game-high 30 points and Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic notched double-doubles to boost Chicago to an overtime victory against visiting Houston.

Chicago led by as many as 16 on the way to its third straight victory. Outscored 56-30 in the paint, the Bulls connected on 19 3-pointers, with White drilling six. His final make from deep pushed the Bulls’ advantage to four points with 1:04 left in the extra session.

LaVine had 25 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists, while Vucevic contributed 18 points and 15 boards. Alperen Sengun scored all 25 of his points after halftime to pace the Rockets. Fred VanVleet added 20 points and 10 assists.

Pelicans 141, Warriors 105

Herbert Jones led an early barrage of 3-pointers, Jonas Valanciunas went for 21 points in 21 minutes and New Orleans shellacked Golden State in San Francisco.

Three days after leading by as many as 50 points while blitzing the Kings 133-100, New Orleans used nine 3-pointers — three by Jones — in a 46-point first quarter to put the Warriors in a huge hole, and they never recovered. Zion Williamson was among eight Pelicans, including all five starters, to score in double figures with 19 points.

Moses Moody scored 21 points off the bench for the Warriors, who heard it from the home fans while losing for the fifth time as they completed a seven-game homestand.

HOCKEY NEWS

REPORTS: CONNOR BEDARD OUT 6-8 WEEKS FOLLOWING JAW SURGERY

Chicago Blackhawks star rookie center Connor Bedard underwent surgery on his fractured jaw and will be out six to eight weeks, multiple outlets reported Wednesday.

The 18-year-old also will miss the All-Star Game. He was named to the team last Thursday, the day before he sustained the injury from a big hit by New Jersey defenseman Brendan Smith midway through the first period of the Devils’ 4-2 victory over the Blackhawks.

Bedard, the No. 1 pick of the 2023 NHL Draft, is having a stellar start to his career with the Blackhawks despite the team’s struggles. He leads the team in goals (15), assists (18) and points (33).

With their 12-27-2 record, the Blackhawks are in 15th place in the Western Conference. They next play Thursday on the road against the conference-leading Winnipeg Jets.

NHL ROUNDUP: AVS’ ALEXANDAR GEORGIEV SHUTS OUT KNIGHTS

Valeri Nichushkin had two goals, Alexandar Georgiev made 25 saves for his second shutout of the season, and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Vegas Golden Knights 3-0 in Denver on Wednesday night.

Logan O’Connor also scored and Mikko Rantanen had two assists for the Avalanche, who have won six of their last eight games. The shutout was the 15th of Georgiev’s seven-year career.

Colorado center Nathan MacKinnon had one assist to tie Joe Sakic for the longest home point streak in franchise history.

Jiri Patera turned away 32 shots for Vegas, which has lost seven of its last nine games. The reigning Stanley Cup champions continue to struggle with injuries that have decimated their lineup. Vegas goaltender Adin Hill is still out but could return this week, while William Karlsson and William Carrier remain out.

Stars 7, Wild 2

Nils Lundkvist had a goal and an assist, and host Dallas spoiled the NHL debut of Minnesota goalie Jesper Wallstedt.

Joe Pavelski, Matt Duchene, Roope Hintz, Jason Robertson, Tyler Seguin and Sam Steel also scored, Esa Lindell had three assists and Scott Wedgewood made 21 saves for the Stars, who outscored the Wild 19-5 in their three-game season sweep.

Matt Boldy had a goal and an assist and Ryan Hartman also scored for Minnesota, which lost for the sixth time in the past seven games (1-6-0). Wallstedt, the 20th overall pick by Minnesota in the 2021 NHL Draft, made 27 saves.

Flyers 3, Canadiens 2 (SO)

Owen Tippett and Morgan Frost each scored one goal in regulation, Samuel Ersson stopped the decisive shot in the shootout and host Philadelphia defeated Montreal.

Sean Couturier scored the lone goal for the Flyers in the shootout. Jamie Drysdale, acquired from the Ducks on Monday in a trade that sent Cutter Gauthier to Anaheim, recorded his first assist with Philadelphia.

Ersson made 17 saves in regulation and overtime. David Savard and Sean Monahan scored one goal apiece for the Canadiens, who got 37 saves from Cayden Primeau.

BASEBALL NEWS

ESPN’S EARLY SEASON BASEBALL SCHEDULE WILL BE THE SHO SHOW, FEATURING SHOHEI OHTANI AND DODGERS

BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) — ESPN’s early season baseball schedule will be the Sho Show.

Shohei Ohtani and the Los Angeles Dodgers will be featured on two of ESPN’s first three “Sunday Night Baseball” telecasts this season. The Dodgers’ opening two games of the season were assigned to ESPN as an MLB special event, a two-game series against the Padres at Seoul, South Korea, on March 20 and 21.

ESPN will open its Sunday night schedule with the Dodgers’ home game against the St. Louis Cardinals on March 31 and will televise the Dodgers’ home game against the San Diego Padres on April 14, the network said Wednesday. ESPN also selected the Dodgers’ June 9 game at the New York Yankees for its Sunday schedule of games, which start shortly after 7 p.m. EDT.

Ohtani left the Los Angeles Angels last month to sign a record $700 million, 10-year contract with the Dodgers. The two-way star is expected to be a regular designated hitter but won’t pitch following elbow ligament surgery.

Other Sunday night picks include World Series champion Texas hosting Houston on April 7 in a rematch of last year’s AL Championship Series, the Rangers at Atlanta on April 21, the Chicago Cubs at Boston on April 28 and the Cubs at St. Louis on May 26. MLB previously announced ESPN will televise the Little League Classic game involving the Yankees and Detroit on Aug. 18 at Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

FORMER DODGERS PITCHER JULIO URÍAS WON’T FACE FELONY CHARGE AFTER SEPTEMBER ARREST

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Julio Urías won’t be charged with a felony after his arrest in September on suspicion of domestic violence.

According to a charge evaluation worksheet from the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office, Urías was arguing with his wife when he “pushed (her) against a fence and pulled her by the hair or shoulders.” However, the document said, “Neither the Victim’s injuries nor the Defendant’s criminal history justify a felony filing.”

The DA’s office said Tuesday it is turning the case over to the city attorney to consider filing a misdemeanor.

Urías became a free agent after the World Series. He spent the first eight years of his career with the Dodgers.

Urías was placed on administrative leave indefinitely by Major League Baseball after his arrest outside BMO Stadium in Exposition Park in south Los Angeles where he attended a Major League Soccer game. Police were first alerted by a citizen who reported a man and woman were in a physical altercation. Urías was arrested by Department of Public Safety officers on felony suspicion of domestic violence.

The leave was imposed under baseball’s joint domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy with the players’ association and can be the first step toward a suspension. Players are paid but cannot play while on leave.

Even without a criminal conviction, MLB could suspend the 27-year-old left-hander if it concludes he violated the policy.

Urías was arrested in May 2019 for domestic battery. He was suspended 20 games by MLB, but he wasn’t prosecuted by the Los Angeles city attorney on the condition he complete a 52-week domestic violence counseling program. No player has been suspended twice under MLB’s domestic violence policy.

REPORT: YANKEES EMERGE AS CANDIDATE TO SIGN STROMAN

The New York Yankees’ search for rotation help has led them to an unlikely free-agent option.

New York has emerged as a candidate to sign right-hander Marcus Stroman, a source told Jon Morosi of MLB Network.

Both sides have reportedly engaged in fruitful talks in recent days.

A potential union between the Yankees and Stroman is interesting considering their history.

The Blue Jays traded the two-time All-Star to the New York Mets on July 2019 after the Yankees refused to meet Toronto’s asking price, which was centered around former top prospect Clint Frazier.

“We were interested in Stroman, but we didn’t think he would be a difference-maker,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said at the time. “We felt he would be in our bullpen in the postseason.”

The 32-year-old has scrubbed his X account of any negative tweets he made about the Yankees.

Stroman authored a 3.95 ERA with a 1.26 WHIP and 119 strikeouts over 136 2/3 innings (25 starts) for the Chicago Cubs last season.

RACING NEWS

REPORT: HAAS TECHNICAL DIRECTOR SIMONE RESTA LEAVES TEAM

Technical Director Simone Resta has left Haas’ Formula 1 team ahead of the 2024 season, according to a report by Motorsport.com.

Resta, 53, joined Haas in 2021 after two separate tenures with Ferrari. It was part of an agreement between the two teams that have worked together on the technical side since Haas entered F1 in 2016.

However, Haas is coming off a disappointing 2023 season in which it finished last in the constructors standings. Drivers Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg often showed speed during qualifying sessions, only to be undone with tire degradation issues come race day.

Haas introduced a technical upgrade when F1 arrived in Austin, but it failed to deliver a significant improvement and Hulkenberg opted for the previous spec package for the Las Vegas Grand Prix. According to the report, the change in approach led to Resta stepping away from the team.

Hulkenberg finished 16th

Hulkenberg finished 16th in the drivers standings with nine points last year, while Magnussen managed only three in finishing 19th out of 22 drivers who raced during the season.

Resta is expected to return to Ferrari or move to the Stake F1 team, according to the report. He served as Ferrari’s chief designer from 2014-18 before returning to the team in 2019 after a short tenure as Alfa Romeo’s technical director. Sauber is transitioning to Stake F1 from the Alfa Romeo brand this year.

INDIANA SPORTS NEWS RELEASES/NEWS REPORTS

COLTS NEWS

IMPORTANT NFL OFFSEASON DATES: 2024 FRANCHISE TAG WINDOW, FREE AGENCY, DRAFT AND MORE

The Colts’ 2024 roster will come into focus over the next four months, with some key dates in the NFL offseason calendar on the horizon. Here’s what you need to know between now and May:

Jan. 30-Feb. 2: Senior Bowl practices & game (Mobile, Ala.)

Feb. 20 through 4 p.m. ET on March 5: Clubs may designate franchise or transition tag players.

Teams may only use one tag per year (either franchise tag or transition tag)

The exclusive franchise tag prohibits a player from negotiating with any other team, and is based on the average of the top five salaries of players at his position from the current year.

The non-exclusive franchise tag allows a player to negotiate with other teams, however if that player is signed by another team to an offer sheet, the team that placed the tag on him has the right to match the offer or receive two first-round picks in exchange for letting him sign with the other team. The non-exclusive tag pays a player the average of the top five salaries at his position over the last five years.

The transition tag allows teams to match any offer sheet a player signs as an unrestricted free agent. However, if the team declines to match the offer sheet, they do not receive any compensation from the team that signs the player.

The Colts last used the franchise tag in 2013 on punter Pat McAfee.

Feb. 27-March 4: NFL Scouting Combine (Indianapolis)

March 11 (noon ET) through March 13 (3:59 p.m. ET): Clubs may enter negotiations with agents of unrestricted free agents from other teams. Contracts may be agreed to, but not executed, during this window – colloquially known as the NFL’s “legal tampering” period.

4 p.m. ET, March 13: The new NFL league year begins, and all unrestricted free agents are allowed to sign contracts with other clubs. Also, trades agreed to prior to 4 p.m. ET on March 13 can be completed. The following Colts players are set to become unrestricted free agents, unless they are tagged prior to 4 p.m. ET on March 5 or signed to contract extensions prior to 4 p.m. ET on March 13:

DE Genard Avery

S Julian Blackmon

DT Taven Bryan

DE Tyquan Lewis

DE Jake Martin

WR Isaiah McKenzie

QB Gardner Minshew II

CB Kenny Moore II

RB Zack Moss

C/G Danny Pinter

WR Michael Pittman Jr.

P Rigoberto Sanchez

DT Grover Stewart

WR Juwann Winfree

March 24-27: Annual League Meeting (Orlando)

April 15: The first day teams with returning head coaches can begin offseason workout programs.

April 25-27: 2024 NFL Draft (Detroit)

The Colts hold the 15th overall pick.

May 2: Deadline for teams to exercise fifth-year options on first-round picks from the 2021 NFL Draft.

Defensive end Kwity Paye, who is entering the fourth year of his rookie contract, is eligible to have his fifth-year option exercised.

COLTS COACH SHANE STEICHEN AND OTHERS TALK END OF SEASON: https://www.colts.com/video/colts-360-shane-steichen-on-his-first-season-michael-pittman-jr-jonathan-taylor-anthony-richardson-potential-2024-nfl-offseason

INDIANA PACERS BASKETBALL

GAME REWIND: PACERS 112, WIZARDS 104

Before embarking on their longest road trip of the season, the Pacers picked up one last win on Wednesday night at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Indiana (22-15) took care of business against the Washington Wizards (6-31), closing out a 4-1 homestand with a 112-104 victory.

Playing their first game since All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton sustained a left hamstring strain that is expected to sideline him for at least a couple weeks, the Pacers used a balanced attack to get past the Wizards.

Seven players reached double figures on Wednesday. Myles Turner led the way with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Bruce Brown stuffed the stat sheet with 16 points, nine boards, and six assists, Bennedict Mathurin added 16 points and seven boards off the bench, and Obi Toppin added 15 points and seven rebounds while going 6-for-10 from the field and 3-for-6 from 3-point range.

“You look down the (box score) line — 15, 18, 16, 16, 14, 12 (points) — that’s how it’s supposed to be,” Turner said. “One of your guys goes down, the rest of the team has to step up. I think we did a phenomenal job of doing that tonight.”

Neither team shot particularly well in the first quarter on Wednesday. Indiana went just 9-for-24 from the field, but Washington was 9-for-26. The Wizards led by as many as six points in the frame, but two Mathurin free throws with 7.4 seconds left in the opening quarter gave the Pacers a 23-21 lead after one.

Neither team led by more than four in a second quarter that featured five ties and nine lead changes, including four in the final two minutes.

Toppin’s fastbreak layup with 1:37 remaining in the half gave Indiana a 50-48 lead. Tyus Jones’ 3-pointer 14 seconds later put Washington back in front. Turner answered with a layup with 1:03 to play, but Corey Kispert countered with a layup with 49.2 seconds remaining in the half. Another Jones layup off a Pacers turnover pushed the margin to three before Turner’s dunk off a lob from Brown trimmed the deficit to 55-54 at the break.

The Pacers quickly surged ahead after the intermission, opening the second half with a 10-0 run that featured back-to-back threes from Turner and Brown.

Indiana would remain in front for the rest of the third quarter, dropping 35 points in the frame.

Jordan Nwora — in the rotation after Jalen Smith was a late scratch due to a sore lower back — provided some highlights in the closing minutes of the quarter, scoring seven straight Pacers points in a 52-second stretch.

First, he hit a cutting layup off a dish from T.J. McConnell at the 2:39 mark. On the next possession, he snuck behind the defense and spotted up on the left wing, where McConnell found him for an open three. The next trip down, he took another pass from McConnell on the right wing, weaved through the defense, and threw down an enormous right-hand dunk on Washington center Daniel Gafford that brought the entire Indiana bench to its feet.

“Jalen was unavailable right before the game, got word to Jordan that he was likely going to be in the rotation tonight, and he was terrific,” Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle said. “He defended, offensively he was really good, the dunk was a huge play in the game for momentum in the third quarter, and he made a big three. I was really happy for him.”

The Blue & Gold led by as many as 12 points in the third quarter and took an 89-80 lead into the fourth.

The Wizards cut the deficit to six a little over a minute into the final frame, but the Pacers pulled away from there with a 12-3 run. They pushed the lead to 17 following Turner’s three-point play with 4:47 remaining.

The Wizards made one final charge, scoring nine straight to force a timeout from Carlisle with 2:33 remaining. Brown drew a foul on the first possession after the stoppage and hit both free throws. After Jordan Poole missed a three, Mathurin then came down and converted a baseline jumper that pushed the lead back to 12 and squashed Washington’s comeback hopes.

McConnell tallied 14 points and eight assists off the bench in the victory, while fellow reserve Isaiah Jackson added 12 points on 4-for-4 shooting and three blocks on his 22nd birthday.

Poole led all scorers with 28 points to go along with four rebounds, five assists, and three steals. Kispert scored all 15 of his points in the first half, while Kyle Kuzma recorded a double-double with 11 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists.

The Pacers begin their six-game road trip on Friday night in Atlanta. They will then head West, with stops in Denver, Utah, Sacramento, Portland, and Phoenix over the next 11 days.

Inside the Numbers

Turner recorded his eighth double-double of the season and his first since Dec. 7. His 13 rebounds were his most in a game this season.

Brown has reached double figures in three of the four games he’s played in this month. His nine rebounds on Wednesday matched his season high.

Mathurin reached double figures for the ninth straight game. Although he went just 4-for-13 from the field, he got to the free throw line eight times and converted all of his shots at the charity stripe.

Nwora played 17 minutes, his most playing time since he logged 23 minutes on Nov. 19. He tallied nine points on 4-of-7 shooting and pulled down five rebounds.

Indiana’s bench outscored Washington’s reserves 51-27.

The Wizards’ 104 points are tied for the fewest by a Pacers opponent this season. Indiana also held the Bulls to 104 on Dec. 28 in Chicago.

The Pacers shot 44.6 percent from the field, winning for the first time in four games this season when shooting under 45 percent. They held Washington to 43.2 percent shooting.

Indiana also won for the first time when scoring under 120 points. The Blue & Gold were 0-8 entering Wednesday when failing to reach 120.

You Can Quote Me On That

“These games are going to look different without Tyrese out there…Our guys made a really strong effort tonight defensively. It was one of our best games just in terms of a sustained level of force.” -Carlisle

“I just think we’re being more physical, we’re communicating…Just using our voice, being in the right spots, and really knowing our personnel and executing our game plan.” -Brown on keys to Wednesday’s defensive performance

“We quite literally can’t replace his production and what he does. So it’s got to be a team effort each night moving the ball, just creating a problem and getting downhill and making the extra pass. I feel like if we continue to lock in on the defensive end and be physical and fight through screens and have each other’s back on that end, it can get our offense going.” -McConnell on finding ways to win without Haliburton

“The third quarter was the difference. I thought we came out of the locker room and Bruce got us going and from there we were able to finish.” -Carlisle

“Jordan came off the bench and had a huge night for himself. It was good to see him out there…Jordan puts in the work. I’m usually the first person in for treatment or lift and Jordan’s right there behind me…He’s just an elite scorer.” -Brown on Nwora’s performance

“I thought Jordan Nwora showed tonight what being a professional in the NBA is. He’s had a frustrating year in terms of opportunity, but he has stayed the course. He comes in and works on the off days. He was in playing pick-up yesterday with the interns and some of our low-minute guys…Guys have a choice when things aren’t going well. They can put their head down and blame the world or they can look in the mirror and stay ready and stay tuned up and keep an edge. He’s done that.” -Carlisle on Nwora

“He’s a very good friend of mine. To see him come in every day, work his butt off and I know his situation isn’t easy, I’m just super proud of him. It’s just the consummate professional. Getting DNP’s like that mentally is not easy and staying ready not knowing when you’re going in is even harder. To do what he did tonight is really difficult…He can score the ball at will. He was rebounding, he was defending tonight. He helped us out in many ways. Super happy for him.” -McConnell on Nwora

“Bruce is healthy and you can tell. He’s moving differently, he’s got more bounce, he’s got more energy. His vibe on the court is different now that he’s not experiencing discomfort. It’s a game changer.” -Carlisle on Brown’s strong play after returning from a right knee bone bruise that sidelined him for six games

Stat of the Night

Indiana is now 11-2 on the season when seven or more players score in double figures.

Noteworthy

The Pacers won the season series with Washington 2-1, with the home team winning all three contests. Indiana also won on Opening Night on Oct. 25, while the Wizards prevailed in Washington on Dec. 15.

Rookie forward Jarace Walker was inactive due to an upper respiratory infection.

Former Colts wide receiver and Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist Reggie Wayne sat courtside at Wednesday’s game.

Up Next

The Pacers tip off their six-game road trip in Atlanta against Trae Young and the Hawks on Friday, Jan. 12 at 7:30 PM ET.

INDY FUEL HOCKEY

FUEL FALL TO WALLEYE ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT

INDIANAPOLIS- The Fuel hosted the Toledo Walleye on Wednesday night in their first home game of 2024. Despite going into the second period tied at one, the Walleye came away with the win, 7-2.

1ST PERIOD

Just 46 seconds into the first frame, Indy’s Matt Cairns took a tripping penalty that the Fuel killed off but not without a lot of pressure from the Walleye on the power play.

Toledo held onto the momentum but Zach Driscoll stood strong in net until DJ King took the game’s next penalty at 13:35, also for tripping.

Mitchell Lewandowski opened

Mitchell Lewandowski opened the scoring with a power play goal at 15:27 to put Toledo up 1-0. Bryan Lemos answered just over a minute later with an even-strength goal of his own, assisted by Cairns and Seamus Malone.

At the end of the first period, the score was tied 1-1 but the Walleye were outshooting the Fuel 12-3.

2ND PERIOD

Matt Anderson gave the Walleye their second lead of the game with a goal just 28 seconds into the second period. Chase Gresock scored less than three minutes later to give Toledo a 3-1 lead early in the second frame.

At 15:32, Cairns got his second point of the night with a goal to make it 3-2. Ross MacDougall and Andrew Bellant claimed assists on the goal.

Sam Ruffin served a bench minor for a too many men call on the Fuel at 17:58 which Toledo quickly capitalized on with a goal by Brandon Kruse to make it 4-2 on the power play.

Soon after, Toledo added to their lead with a goal by Conlan Keenan to make it 5-2. Sam Craggs scored just 26 seconds after that goal to extend the Walleye’s lead to 6-2.

3RD PERIOD

At 3:25, Riley McCourt took an interference penalty, giving the Fuel their first power play of the game, however the Walleye killed it off.

Quickly after that penalty expired, Toledo took their second of the game, this time a hooking call on Jake Willets. The Fuel put on pressure but ultimately Toledo was able to kill off the penalty.

Orrin Centazzo scored at 12:08 to put the Walleye up 7-2.

At 16:55, Ross MacDougall took a cross checking penalty to put the Fuel back on the penalty kill late in the third period. They were able to kill it off but time expired before they could put anything else on the board and the first place Walleye took the 7-2 win.

The Indy Fuel are back in action at Indiana Farmers Coliseum on Friday, January 19, 2024 for the Fuel’s 10th Anniversary Celebration.

INDIANA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

NO. 14 INDIANA IMPROVES TO 5-0 IN BIG TEN PLAY WITH WIN OVER PENN STATE

BLOOMINGTON, Ind.  – Graduate student forward Mackenzie Holmes scored 21 points as No. 14 Indiana used a big second half to get past Penn State, 75-67, on Thursday night inside Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

KEY MOMENTS

Indiana opened the first quarter in a tightly contested game. An early triple from senior guard Sara Scalia would give the Hoosiers a 9-4 lead with 7:47 to play. This would be the largest lead for the Hoosiers in the first half.

Penn State guard Shay Ciezki banked in a deep three at the buzzer to give the Lady Lions a 39-34 lead at halftime and their largest lead of the half.

After an early 6-0 run from the Lady Lions, the Cream and Crimson bounced back with an emphatic 17-6 run of their own to end the quarter with a 55-51 lead. During the run, the Hoosiers stifling defense held Penn State to just one made basket in over six minutes of play.

Senior guard Sydney Parrish racked up nine of her 18 points in the third quarter with back-to-back-to-back baskets, including a deep triple with 6:02 to play. Clutch free throws in the bonus from senior guards Chloe Moore-McNeil and Parrish sealed the win for Hoosiers.

NOTABLE

For the second time in three seasons, Indiana starts 5-0 in the Big Ten.

The Hoosiers also extended their win streak to 13 games.

Holmes had a team-high in scoring, putting up 21 points, making this her thirteenth consecutive game scoring in double figures. She also led the team in rebounds, pulling down 13 in the win.

The Gorham, Maine native recorded her fourth double-double of the season.

Moore-McNeil led the Hoosiers in assists with four. She also recorded 16 points.

IU had four players score in double digits against Penn State – Holmes (21), Parrish (20), Moore-McNeil (16), and Scalia (11).

At the free-throw line, the Hoosiers outshot the Lady Lions 78 percent to 52 percent.

Indiana increases its win streak in the series against Penn State to seven games.

QUOTABLE

Indiana head coach Teri Moren

UP NEXT

The Hoosiers will face No. 3 Iowa on the road on Saturday night in Iowa City. Tipoff is at 8 p.m. ET on FOX.

INDIANA WRESTLING

INDIANA WRESTLING TO OPEN BIG TEN SEASON AT NO. 14 RUTGERS AND NO. 1 PENN STATE

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. –––––– Indiana Wrestling is set to begin its conference slate this weekend as the Hoosiers open the Big Ten calendar with duals at No. 14 Rutgers and No. 1 Penn State.

B1G BEGINNING:

-Indiana will face No. 14 Rutgers on Friday, Jan. 12 for a 7 p.m. dual at Jersey Mike’s Arena. On Sunday, Jan. 14 the Hoosiers will take on No. 1 Penn State for a 1 p.m. dual at Rec Hall.

-Rutgers is off to an impressive start to the season with a 7-1 record to earn a No. 14 team ranking. The Scarlet Knights own wins over No. 20 Penn, Princeton and Duke among others.

-The Scarlet Knights boast ranked wrestlers at seven different weight classes. Five of the seven are ranked within the top-15.

-Indiana won a close dual over the Scarlet Knights last season, 24-16, in Bloomington. This was Indiana’s first win against Rutgers since 2008.

-No. 1 Penn State is having another great season, entering the Big Ten season with a 3-0 record and eight ranked wrestlers. The team has won the past two national championships.

-Most recently, Penn State knocked off No. 17 Oregon State, 36-3, in Corvallis.

-The Nittany Lions return Carter Starocci (174) and Aaron Brooks (197) who both claim the No. 1 ranking at their weight class and are three-time defending national champions.

-Aaron Nagao (133), Beau Bartlett (141), Levi Haines (157), Bernie Truax (184) and Greg Kerkvliet (285) are all returning All-Americans. Haines and Kerkvliet each were NCAA runner-ups last year.

-Nagao and Truax are in their first year at Penn State, after transferring from Minnesota and Cal Poly, respectively.

SOUTHERN SCUFFLE:

-A little over a week ago, Indiana competed in the Southern Scuffle on Jan. 1 and 2 to kick off the New Year.

-The Hoosiers had a highly successful showing in one of college wrestling’s premier tournaments, scoring 134 points and placing third in the event.

-Of the 20-team field, Indiana finished behind only Stanford and Oklahoma.

-Indiana had 13 entrants in the tournament and seven ended up on the podium at their weight class.

-Graduate students No. 23 Dan Fongaro (141) and No. 14 Graham Rooks (149) each finished first in their weight class to win individual titles.

-Blaine Frazier (125) took sixth place, No. 22 Tyler Lillard (165) took fourth place, No. 9 DJ Washington (174) finished second, Roman Rogotzke (184) earned third and Gabe Sollars (197) finished in fourth.

-En route to their titles, Fongaro and Rooks each defeated ranked competition. Fongaro defeated No. 27 Jason Miranda (Stanford) by decision, 6-4, in the title. Rooks knocked off No. 10 Noah Castillo (Chattanooga) by decision, 2-1, and No. 32 Cody Bond (App State), SV-1, 4-1.

PIN PARTY:

-Indiana put an emphasis on collecting bonus points throughout the season. Two of the Hoosiers starters in the upperweights have epitomized that goal more than anyone.

-The underclassmen duo of Roman Rogotzke (184) and Gabe Sollars (197) have racked up plenty of wins by fall entering the Big Ten slate.

-Sollars has posted 11 pins and Rogotzke has seven to this point. Pins make up 64.7% of Sollars’ wins on the season.

NEW FACES:

-Indiana has eight new wrestlers on the roster for this season.

-Of the newbies, five of them are freshmen while the other three are transfers.

-All five freshmen are from the state of Indiana. They include Bryce Lowery (Indianapolis), Joey Buttler (Greenwood), Cheaney Schoeff (Avon), Anthony Bahl (Crown Point) and Aidan Torres (Chesterton).

-Lowery, Buttler and Torres all won an IHSAA individual State Championship during their senior season. Bahl won a Team State Title with the Crown Point Bulldogs, the second in a row for the team, and their third in four years.

-Lowery won IndyStar’s Most Outsanding Wrestler award for the best senior wrestler in the state for the 2022-2023 school year.

-Indiana’s transfer class includes Dan Fongaro, Brayton Lee and Roman Rogotzke.

-Lee, a known commodity around NCAA Wrestling, returns to his home state after spending five years at Minnesota.

-The two-time All-American (2020, 2021) is seeking to recapture his momentum after entering last season as the No. 2 ranked wrestler at 157 lbs. in the country.

-Lee’s 2022-23 season was cut short due to injury at The Big Ten Championships.

-Fongaro comes to Indiana after five years at Columbia where he competed at 141 and 149 lbs. He will wrestle at 141 lbs. for the Hoosiers.

-Fongaro owns fifth and sixth place finishes at the EIWA Championships in 2022 and 2023, respectively.

-Rogotzke, a transfer at 184 lbs., from South Dakota State, enters his redshirt sophomore season with plenty of momentum.

-Last year, Rogotzke racked up 17 wins and took first place at two open tournaments.

SEASON OUTLOOK:

-Indiana’s 2023-2024 schedule features 12 dual matches and four invitational tournaments in the regular season.

 -Indiana’s dual slate features eight Big Ten matches and four non-conference duals.

-Indiana will competed at Southern Scuffle for the third time ever this season and had the best finish in program history.

INTERNATIONAL SUCCESS:

-The Indiana Wrestling team had a number of wrestlers compete in offseason competition to get better and compete on the world stage.

-Senior Jacob Moran competed for Team Puerto Rico at 57 kg in Freestyle and took third place at the Central American and Caribbean Games while also competing at the 2023 U23 World Championships in Albania.

-Derek Gilcher took fifth place at the 2023 U.S. Open at the Senior Level at 74 kg.

-Gabe Sollars earned sixth place at the 2023 U.S. Open in the U20 division in Freestyle at 92 kg. He also had a sixth-place finish at the U20 World Team Trials in the same weight class and division.

-DJ Washington finished in second at 86 kg in the U23 World Team Trials in Freestyle.

-Nick Willham had a fourth-place finish at 92 kg in the U23 World Team Trials in Freestyle.

-Tyler Lillard earned 7th place at 74 kg in the U20 World Team Trials in Freestyle.

-Cole Rhemrev took 7th place at 67 kg in Greco-Roman at the U20 World Team Trials. Magnus Kuokkanen got 7th in the same division, but at 77 kg.

GEOGRAPHICAL DISPERSION:

-Indiana’s roster features wrestlers everywhere across the country.

-Fifteen wrestlers on the team are home grown, in-state Hoosiers, including all of the freshmen.

-Of the 30 wrestlers on the team, there are 13 different states represented.

-The states represented on Indiana’s roster include Indiana, New Mexico, Illinois, New Jersey, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Wisconsin, Ohio, California, Minnesota, Kansas and Kentucky.

PURDUE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

PURDUE DROPS WEDNESDAY TILT TO #3 IOWA

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue women’s basketball team put four players in double figures, but it was not enough to overcome 15 Iowa 3-pointers in a 96-71 loss in front of a sold-out Mackey Arena on Wednesday night.

The two clubs played in front of 14,876 fans. It was Purdue’s fourth sellout in program history and the second in as many seasons, following a record attendance against Indiana last year.

Purdue (9-6, 2-2) was led by Abbey Ellis’ 15 points on 5-of-11 shooting. The Australian added six assists and five steals. She was the first Boilermaker with 15 points, five assists and five steals in a game since Ashley Morrissette in 2016-17 against Iowa.

Caitlyn Harper chipped in with 13 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. Jeanae Terry totaled 10 points off mid-range jumpers, and Madison Layden notched 10 points.

While Purdue shot 40.3% from the field, the 3-point line proved to be the difference. Purdue was 5-of-20 from behind the arc, while Iowa (16-1, 5-0) was 15-of-33 to power a 53.2% shooting clip on the night. Reigning National Player of the Year Caitlin Clark finished with a 26-point, 10-assist, 10-rebound triple-double to lead five Hawkeyes in double figures.

Purdue took advantage of their opportunities at the free throw line with a 16-of-17 mark on the night. Layden was 5-of-6, and Ellis was 4-4.

The Boilermakers dished out 15 assists on 25 made field goals. Abbey Ellis tallied six helpers, while Jeanae Terry added four. Purdue turned it over 11 times and flipped 15 Iowa turnovers into 16 points.

Purdue shrugged off an 8-2 start by the Hawkeyes, as Ellis and Layden scored the next nine points and gave Purdue an 11-8 lead. Following a Jeanae Terry jumper with 4:38 to play in the period, Iowa went on a 12-point run to lead 29-18 after the first.

The Boilermakers started the second on a 6-2 run to chip the gap down to six points at 31-25. Despite shooting 42% in the first half, the Boilermakers trailed 51-37 at the break as the Hawkeyes hit nine of their triples in the opening 20 minutes.

Harper and Ellis powered the Boilermakers early in the third, scoring the opening eight points for the hosts. After Purdue pulled back within 11, Iowa opened the gap to 22 points with two minutes to play. Jayla Smith notched four of her eight points in the third.

Purdue continued to battle into the fourth quarter. Terry hit another mid-rage jumper to start the period, before Ellis and Harper again combined for the Boilermakers’ next eight points. Layden hit her first triple of the game with 5:24 to go to cut the deficit to 15 points. Iowa closed the game on a 16-6 run.

NOTES

• Purdue leads the all-time series with Iowa 40-39.

• Iowa won the rebounding battle 40-23.

• Jayla Smith scored eight of Purdue’s 15 bench points.

• Terry’s four helpers moved her over 650 for her career and 460 as a Boilermaker.

• Ellis’ five steals matched her Purdue high from her home debut against Western Michigan in 2021-22.

UP NEXT

The Boilermakers will hit the road for their makeup game at Maryland on Sunday at noon. The game was originally scheduled for last Saturday, but a roof leak at the XFINITY Center postponed the game for a week.

BUTLER MEN’S BASKETBALL

SECOND-HALF PERFORMANCE KEYS BUTLER TO 69-62 ROAD WIN AT NO. 11/12 MARQUETTE

Behind a huge second half, Butler went on the road and knocked off No. 11/12 Marquette, 69-62, Wednesday night at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee.

The Bulldogs overcame a seven-point halftime deficit with a 41-27 second-half advantage.

The Bulldogs are now 11-5 overall and 2-3 in BIG EAST play. The Golden Eagles fall to 11-5 (2-3 BIG EAST).

COACH THAD MATTA: “I’m so happy for our guys. We’ve been right there in a lot of games this season. I continue to see growth. We had three really good days leading into this game. This guy played like the senior he is and what we needed (on Jalen Thomas and his double-double)… Great team win for these guys; we beat a really good team tonight.”

HOW IT TRANSPIRED:

Kam Jones scored 13 of Marquette’s first 19 points as the Golden Eagles took a 19-12 lead over the first eight minutes of the contest.

Marquette’s lead got to as many as 11 at 28-17 despite the Golden Eagles missing their first nine attempts from long range.

Despite 10 turnovers and only a combined five points from its two leading scorers in Pierre Brooks II and DJ Davis, the Bulldogs were only down 35-28 at the half.

A quick five points from Brooks pulled the Bulldogs within one at 35-34 less than four minutes into the second half, forcing a Marquette timeout.

A Posh Alexander lay-up with 13:52 remaining gave the Bulldogs their first lead at 41-40.

The run would extend to 11-0 and a 47-40 lead with 13:11 to play, forcing another Marquette timeout.

A Brooks three-pointer extended the lead to double digits for the first time at 52-42 with 11:20 remaining.

Landon Moore got a friendly bounce on a three-pointer to give Butler its largest lead of the night at 62-49 with 3:41 to play. At that point in the game, Butler was 10-for-20 from three-point range.

OF NOTE:

Butler’s win ended Marquette’s 19-game home winning streak, which was the second-most nationally entering the night (Boise State, 21); Marquette had also won 20 consecutive home BIG EAST games, tying the conference record.

Butler limited Marquette to 33-percent shooting, including 5-for-31 (16.1 percent) from three-point range.

Butler made 10 of their 22 attempts from three-point range.

The Bulldogs were able to overcome 18 turnovers; Marquette committed only 10.

Butler had a 24-9 advantage in bench points, led by Landon Moore and his 14 points, which tied a season-high.

Pierre Brooks II matched Moore for the team-high with 14 points, which included 4-for-6 shooting from three-point range.

Jalen Thomas scored 10 points to go along with a career-high 14 rebounds, registering his second double-double of the season and the fifth of his career.

Posh Alexander’s all-around statline included 10 points, seven assists and five steals. His five steals matched a season-high and were one shy of his career-high.

Butler shot 44 percent from the field.

Kam Jones led Marquette with 20 points, 17 of which came in the first half.

UP NEXT: Butler returns to Hinkle Fieldhouse for a Saturday game against Seton Hall. The noon tip serves as the annual men’s basketball alumni game. A limited number of tickets remain for the game, which will also air on FS1.

BUTLER WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

BUTLER TAKES 89-53 LOSS AT #22 CREIGHTON

OMAHA – Creighton shot 55 percent against Butler on Wednesday night to claim their 12th win of the season. The 89-53 setback moves Butler’s overall record to 8-7.

Creighton led Butler by 10 points at the first media timeout, but the Bulldogs fired back after the stoppage to go on a 5-0 run making the game 14-9. Four of Creighton’s five starters scored over the first five minutes of the game helping the home team build a seven-point lead after the first quarter (18-11).

Emma Ronsiek had eight for CU in the first and added eight more in the second to lead all players at the half with 16 points. She never left the court and was 7-for-10 from the field with six rebounds. Ronsiek led the charge for a 13-1 Creighton scoring run in the second quarter and the Bluejays would lead the Bulldogs 37-25 at halftime.

The Bulldogs shared the ball in the first half allowing eight different players to score over the first 20 minutes. Sydney Jaynes led BU with seven at the break, but she was limited to just 10 minutes due to picking up two personal fouls.

Creighton extended their defense with Butler in the building on Wednesday night and it helped limit BU to just two made 3-point field goals in the first half. Each of those shots came very early in the second quarter with Jordan Meulemans hitting from the left wing and Riley Makalusky following from the top of the key. That six-point swing made it a one-point game and Butler had the deficit at two points before the 13-1 CU scoring run.

The Bluejays opened the second half on an 11-2 scoring run to push their lead to 21. They outscored Butler 29-11 in the third and 23-17 in the fourth to capture a 89-53 victory.

Inside the Box Score

– Rachel Kent led Butler with 10 points and five rebounds

– Sydney Jaynes had nine points

– Jordan Meulemans and Caroline Strande each scored eight

– Cristen Carter had five rebounds and an assist

– Karsyn Norman made the first start of her collegiate career at Creighton

– Creighton shot 55 percent from the field and 52 percent from 3-point range (12-23)

– Emma Ronsiek scored a game-high 25 points

Up Next

Butler returns to action Saturday night with a 7:30 PM tip against Villanova.

IUPUI MEN’S BASKETBALL

BRADY, COUNTER LEAD JAGUARS IN HOME LOSS TO GREEN BAY

INDIANAPOLIS – Sophomore Vincent Brady II scored 15 points and junior Jlynn Counter added 13 but the Jaguars came up short at home against Green Bay on Wednesday (Jan. 10), 68-58. David Douglas Jr. led all players with 26 points, including six threes, and Noah Reynolds added 19 points and six assists for the victors.

Green Bay (10-8, 5-2 HL) shot 51.2 percent from the field and connected on 10-of-23 attempts (43.5 percent) from beyond the arc. Conversely, IUPUI finished at 45.1 percent for the game and just 5-of-15 (33.3 percent) from deep.

IUPUI (5-13, 1-6 HL) raced out to a hot start, building a 22-10 lead midway through the first half as Qwanzi Samuels capped a 6-0 run with back-to-back baskets. The Jaguars’ offense got stuck on 24 points as Green Bay rattled off 11 straight to tie the score at 24 all on an Elijah Jones putback at the 5:57 mark. While IUPUI rarely trailed in the first half, it had to settle for a 29 all stalemate at the break.

Green Bay opened the second half by outscoring IUPUI 14-6 to build an eight-point lead. The lead grew to double-digits with 10:23 to play and the visiting Phoenix kept the Jaguars at arms length the remainder of the day.

Brady hit 5-of-10 shots and was one of three Jaguars to collect two steals in a season-high 39 minutes of work. Counter added four assists and three rebounds to the cause and Samuels finished with eight points and six caroms. Jones had a double-double off the Green Bay bench with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

On the heels of a 28-turnover performance at Youngstown State, IUPUI committed just 10 miscues on Wednesday while forcing 14 Green Bay turnovers. The Jaguars converted the turnover margin into a 20-10 advantage in points off turnovers. IUPUI also outscored Green Bay in the paint, 28-18, despite being outrebounded 27-22.

IUPUI will close out the two-game homestand on Saturday (Jan. 13) when the Jaguars host Oakland University at 2:00 p.m. inside Indiana Farmers Coliseum. That game will be broadcast on ESPN+ as Greg Rakestraw (pxp) and Hall of Famer Bob Lovell (analyst) describe the action. The first 75 fans in attendance will receive a complimentary IUPUI pint glass for their attendance.

BALL STATE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL COMPLETES COMEBACK WIN OVER BUFFALO

MUNCIE, Ind. – For the second-straight contest, the Cardinals’ game came down to the wire, but this time Ball State won in regulation after completing a 66-62 come-from-behind victory over Buffalo Wednesday night in Worthen Arena.

The Cardinals (13-2, 3-0 MAC) remained undefeated in Mid-American Conference action while also extending its win streak to seven with its defeat over the Bulls (7-6, 1-2 MAC).

It’s never easy to come back after being on the road seven of your last eight contests. Ball State struggled on both sides of the ball in the opening quarter as Buffalo outscored the Cardinals 27-9 in the first 10 minutes of play.

The Cardinals began to redeem themselves in the second quarter as they slowly chipped away at the Bulls 18-point first quarter cushion. This week’s MAC Player of the Week Ally Becki scored seven points in the second frame while also getting help from teammates Madelyn Bischoff, Estel Puiggros, Annie Rauch and Nyla Hampton to make the score 35-28 with 2:03 remaining in the first half. The icing on the cake was when Hampton drained a 3-pointer to bring Ball State to within four (35-31) as time was winding down. The Cardinals outpaced the Bulls 24-10 to only trail Buffalo by four (37-33) at intermission.

It was raining 3’s in the third quarter as Becki and Bischoff began to find their offensive rhythm’s. Bischoff’s 3-pointer at the 5:49 mark gave BSU its first lead of the contest (43-40). The Cardinals eventually led by eight 50-42 after a Hampton layup just under the two-minute mark.

Buffalo wasn’t going to go away easily and was able to cut BSU’s lead to two (50-48) to end the third stanza.

The fourth quarter was and up and down affair that saw the game tied at 62-62 with under two minutes left in the contest. Some nice defensive stops by Ball State allowed the Cardinals to attack the basket and draw fouls, sending Puiggros and Bischoff to the line. Both went 2-for-2 from the charity stripe to seal tonight’s win for BSU.

For the game, Hampton chipped in 16 points while both Becki and Bischoff ended the night with 13 apiece. Becki also tallied a double-double with 10 rebounds. She was also three shy from a triple double after dishing out seven assists. Rauch rounded out the double figure scoring with 10. The Cardinals’ bench also played a huge factor tonight with 17 points.

The Ball State women’s basketball team continues its two-game home stand when it hosts Bowling Green Saturday for a 1 pm tipoff in Worthen Arena.

INDIANA STATE MEN’S BASKETBALL

SYCAMORES HANDED FIRST MVC LOSS; RETURN TO HULMAN ON SATURDAY

DES MOINES, Iowa – Indiana State men’s basketball suffers its first lost in Missouri Valley Conference play in the 2023-24 season at Drake University, 89-78. The Sycamores move to 13-3 overall and 4-1 in league play.

Robbie Avila and Ryan Conwell led the way for Indiana State, each finishing with 17 points. Avila made four three-pointers, grabbed seven rebounds, and dished out three assists. Conwell’s 17 points came from 5-for-11 shooting from the floor, including three made triples, accompanied by five rebounds and three assists.

Xavier Bledson scored 12 points on 5-for-7 shooting, grabbed three rebounds, and tallied two assists. Isaiah Swope also recorded 12 points, converting on 7-for-8 from the foul line. Julian Larry, the Sycamores’ fifth scorer in double figures, finished with 10 points with all 10 coming from the free-throw line – a perfect 10-for-10 night.

The turnovers factored into the loss for the Sycamores, tying the fourth-highest turnover mark of the season with 15 leading to 18 Bulldog points. Drake limited their turnovers to only three, the lowest total by a Sycamore opponent this season, which led to only a single Sycamore point.

Both Indiana State and Drake were able to hang close to their opponent by knocking down free throws. Indiana State finished 23-of-25 (92%) while Drake finished 19-for-21 (90.5%).

The Sycamores and Bulldogs battled from the start, with the lead reaching no more than five points through the first seven minutes of the contest. Conwell’s first three-pointer gave the Sycamores that five-point advantage, followed by a second Conwell triple to give ISU an 18-10 lead with 12:35 remaining in the first half.

That lead would eventually be Indiana State’s largest lead of the game. Drake slowly cut into the deficit and took its first lead of the ballgame, 24-23, with 8:18 on the clock, with the help of DU’s Darnell Brodie who racked up 11 points through the first 11:45 of the game. After a small spurt by the Bulldogs that built a 43-37 lead with 1:45 left in the half, Avila knocked down back-to-back three-pointers to tie the game 43-43 heading into the halftime break.

Indiana State came out of the half and built a seven-point lead with four different Sycamores contributing in the span. Drake went on a 9-0 run in the next 3:15. With 11:24 to play, Bledson gave ISU a one-point, 58-57 lead off a tough layup in the paint. Drake rebutted with a layup in the paint of its own and never looked back. Drake used a 20-8 scoring run in the next 4:35 to build to an 81-66 lead with 4:48 remaining. Larry, Bledson, and Masen Miller combined for seven-straight in a late 8-2 Sycamore run in the final three minutes, but the time ran out on ISU en route to the Drake 89-78 victory.

News & Notes

With the loss, the 2023-24 Sycamores still own the best record in the Coach Josh Schertz era at 13-3 to open a season.

Indiana State’s 23-for-25 and 92% effort from the charity stripe is the team’s highest number of free throws made and the second-best percentage of the season after shooting 13-for-13 at Northern Illinois. The 23 free throws accounted for 29.49% of ISU’s points against Drake.

The Sycamores recorded the lowest shooting percentage of the season: 22-for-51 (43.1%).

Despite only grabbing six offensive rebounds – tied for the 10th lowest through 16 games – Indiana State finished with 16 second-chance points, the second-highest mark of the season. Nine of the 16 second-chance points came from threes.

Robbie Avila’s four three-pointers marked a new career-high.

Jayson Kent grabbed 10 rebounds, his second-straight game with double-digit rebounds. Kent recorded a career-high 13 rebounds in the previous game at Northern Iowa. This marks the fifth game this season the junior has finished with 10+ rebounds.

Xavier Bledson shot 5-for-7 from the floor (71.43%) marked his second-best shooting percentage of the season (min. five attempts) following his 4-for-5 (80%) finish against IUPUI.

Indiana State recorded its first loss of the season when 5+ Sycamores score more than 10 points. ISU was previously 5-0 when 5+ Sycamores scored in double figures.

Up Next

Indiana State returns to Hulman Center on Saturday, January 13 on Hall of Fame Day to host Belmont with a 2 p.m. ET tip. Doors will open at 12:30 p.m. ET.

INDIANA STATE SWIMMING

SYCAMORES FACE TOUGH TEST SATURDAY AT TRI-MEET AGAINST SOUTHERN ILLINOIS AND QUINCY

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State starts off the 2023-24 spring season with one of its toughest tests of the year as the Sycamores make the trip to Southern Illinois and the Dr. Edward J. Shea Natatorium as ISU takes on both the host Salukis and the Quincy Hawks in a tri-meet on Saturday afternoon. Events are scheduled to start at 2 p.m.

The meet features two of the top teams in the Missouri Valley Conference as both teams continue their preparations for the upcoming 2024 MVC Championships held in Evansville, Ind. over February 21-24. Indiana State finished second overall in the team standings at the 2023 Championships, while Southern Illinois was fifth overall in the field. Quincy competes in the Great Lakes Valley Conference and has posted a win over Maryville to date this season.

The Sycamores are undefeated in dual meet action on the season with their last competition coming in early December at the Miami (Ohio) Invite. Southern Illinois topped MVC preseason favorite Missouri State earlier in the year in Springfield, Mo., and are coming off a trip to Tucson, Ariz. where they took on Arizona and Northern Arizona in a tri-meet.

“The team has been putting in great training since we returned from Christmas,” head coach Josh Christensen said. “We’re excited to get back to competition and to use this meet as part of our process and preparation for the MVC Championships. SIU is a talented, well-coached team. They definitely provide a major challenge for us. We’re looking forward to a very competitive meet that brings out the best in everyone.”

The Sycamores suited up for the first time in the 2023-24 season in their last meet and the record book reflected that with four school records going down in Oxford, Ohio. Chloe Farro broke the school’s 100-yard Freestyle record with a time of 50.02, while freshman Claire Parsons set new school marks in both the 500 Free (4:51.86) and the 1650 Free (16:52.20). Fellow freshman Kaleigh Kelley added the fourth ISU mark with a school-record 57.36 in the 100-yard IM continuing to show her versatility in the pool for the team.

Overall, 34 new marks have been made on the Indiana State top-10 performance list on the season as the Sycamores continue to showcase their depth on the year. Parsons, Erin Cummins, Haley Halsall, Farro, and Peyton Heagy have all popped up multiple times in the freestyle events, while Kate Reeves, Alexandria Cotter, and Olivia DiRuzza have set new marks in the backstroke. Ali Pearson and Kelley continue to move up in the breaststroke top-10, while Kelley and Cotter have both set new marks in the IM events.

Indiana State’s depth is also apparent across the top-10 performance list in the MVC this season with 15 different athletes sitting in the top 10 in 18 different events on the year. The full list is below:

Sycamores in the MVC Performance Top 10s

Chloe Farro – 50 Free (23.17, 3rd), 100 Free (50.02, 3rd)

Erin Cummins – 200 Free (1:49.71, 3rd), 500 Free (4:56.33, 5th)

Claire Parsons – 200 Free (1:50.49, 6th), 500 Free (4:51.86, 1st), 1000 Free (10:14.67, 3rd), 1650 Free (16:52.20, 1st), 200 Back (2:02.18, 8th)

Peyton Heagy – 200 Free (1:51.07, 7th)

Haley Halsall – 500 Free (4:56.47, 6th), 1000 Free (10:22.94, 5th), 1650 Free (17:12.14, 6th), 200 Fly (2:01.89, 3rd)

Alexandria Cotter – 50 Back (26.48, 10th), 200 Fly (2:05.55, 9th), 200 IM (2:03.46, 9th), 400 IM (4:21.89, 3rd)

Olivia DiRuzza – 200 Back (2:01.61, 6th)

Ali Pearson – 50 Breast (29.31, 4th), 100 Breast (1:02.76, 4th), 200 Breast (2:16.38, 4th)

Kaimi Matsumoto – 50 Breast (30.00, 10th), 100 Breast (1:03.87, 10th), 200 Breast (2:17.87, 6th), 50 Fly (25.62, 5th), 100 Fly (55.31, 6th)

Dorotea Bukvic – 200 Breast (2:18.76, 8th), 200 IM (2:02.93, 4th), 400 IM (4:28.14, 10th)

Kaleigh Kelley – 200 Breast (2:18.85, 9th), 100 IM (57.36, 3rd)

Raine Boles – 100 Fly (55.67, 10th)

Raz Harel – 200 Fly (2:05.36, 7th)

Zoe Smith – 1M Diving (278.93, 2nd), 3M Diving (298.95, 3rd)

Bailey Betzer – 1M Diving (266.40, 5th), 3M Diving (267.75, 10th)

Following the SIU meet, the Sycamores will travel to South Bend, Ind. over January 26-27 for the annual Tim Welsh Invite hosted by Notre Dame. ISU closes out the regular season at home with a dual meet against Illinois State on February 2 as the Sycamores celebrate Senior Day at the Vigo County Aquatic Center.

PURDUE FT. WAYNE MEN’S BASKETBALL

COMEBACK STAYS ON ICE AS ‘DONS FALL TO PENGUINS

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Purdue Fort Wayne cut a 27-point deficit to three points with 2:14 left but missed completing the comeback in a 93-85 loss to Youngstown State on Wednesday (Jan. 10) evening in Horizon League men’s basketball action.

Youngstown State led the majority of a tidy first half that only had six turnovers between the two squads. The Penguins out-rebounded the ‘Dons 29-17 in the first half to take a 15-point lead into the locker room.

In the second half, the Youngstown State lead swelled to 27 with 13:28 to play, but over the next 11 minutes, the ‘Dons outscored YSU 44-22 to get within three points. In this stretch, Purdue Fort Wayne made 16-of-20 shots including 5-of-6 from three. Quinton Morton-Robertson scored 14 points and Rasheed Bello added 11.

Morton-Robertson hit a layup to bring Purdue Fort Wayne within three with 2:14 to play. Bello stole the ball away on the other end and gave the ‘Dons a chance to tie, but Youngstown State collected a missed jumper in the lane from Jalen Jackson and got a basket and the foul to retake a two-score lead.

Purdue Fort Wayne outscored Youngstown State 55-48 in the second half, shooting 56.3 percent and 62.5 percent from range.

Bello led the ‘Dons with 25 points and made 11-of-14 free throws. Morton-Robertson added 21 points and was 4-of-6 from three. Jackson (13) and Eric Mulder (11) also finished in double-figures.

The Mastodons only turned the ball over six times on Wednesday. It’s the fourth time this season they’ve given away six or less turnovers.

Brett Thompson scored 24 points with seven assists to lead the Penguins. The Penguins are now 12-5 (4-2). The ‘Dons fall to 13-4 (4-2).

The ‘Dons continue their Horizon League road trip on Friday (Jan. 12) at Robert Morris in Moon Township, Pennsylvania.

PURDUE FT. WAYNE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

SENIOR LEADERS GIVE MASTODONS 20-POINT WIN OVER OAKLAND

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Amellia Bromenschenkel and Shayla Sellers scored 17 and 16 points, respectively, leading Purdue Fort Wayne women’s basketball to a 79-59 victory over Oakland on Wednesday night (Jan. 10).

The 20-point win is the Mastodons’ largest against a Horizon League foe since January 18, 2023.

Oakland trailed by just three entering the fourth quarter before Mastodons mounted a 26-9 scoring blitzkrieg over the final nine minutes. This included a 20-5 run in just over six minutes that saw the ‘Dons go 8-for-9 from the floor with a pair of triples while holding the Golden Grizzlies to 1-for-7 while coughing up four turnovers. Shayla Sellers scored seven of her 16 points in this stretch. Her 16 points were the most in a league game for Sellers this season.

After committing 12 first-half turnovers, the Mastodons controlled the ball well for the remainder of the game. They had none in the third quarter and four in the fourth. Meanwhile, the ‘Dons forced Oakland into 21 turnovers overall, 10 in the second half. The ‘Dons scored 19 points off those miscues. This included the play of the game, which saw Sydney Graber intercept a pass from Oakland then drive all the way down the court, score the layup and cash in on the and-one.

The Mastodons shot exactly 50 percent from the floor (30-of-60), but were 58.1 percent (25-of-43) inside the arc and a scorching 67 percent (16-of-24) at the hoop. As such, the Mastodons torched the Golden Grizzlies in the paint 50-24.

Audra Emmerson joined Bromenschenkel and Sellers in double-figures with 10 points. The junior point guard also had a team-high seven rebounds.

Markyia McCormick had 17 points to lead Oakland, but was -25 in her time on the court. Brooke Quarles-Daniels pitched in 13 points and nine boards and was -20.

Purdue Fort Wayne improves to 11-6 and 5-2 in the Horizon League. Oakland falls to 6-8, 2-4. The Mastodons have yet another quick turnaround, playing at Cleveland State on Saturday (Jan. 13).

EVANSVILLE MEN’S BASKETBALL

BRADLEY DEFEATS UE MEN IN PEORIA

PEORIA, Ill. – Bradley opened the game on an 11-2 run and overcame a first-half rally by the University of Evansville men’s basketball team and took an 86-50 win on Wednesday night inside Carver Arena.

Chuck Bailey III led the way for the Purple Aces with 18 points.  Tanner Cuff was next with nine.  In the final minute, Tyler Myers knocked down the first 3-pointer of his career.  Five Bradley players reached double digits as Demarion Burch paced the team with 15.

Bradley recorded the first five points of the night before Kenny Strawbridge Jr. got the Aces on the board.  The Braves came back strong, knocking down back-to-back triples to push the lead to 11-2 just over five minutes in.  As the half moved past the 11-minute mark, the Braves took their first double digit lead at 18-8.

Tanner Cuff connected on a 3-pointer that started what would be an 11-3 run over a span of just over three minutes.  Following a Bradley turnover, Cuff drove to the basket for another make that cut the BU lead to five.  Cuff had a hand in another Aces field goal, finding Yacine Toumi for a score that made it a 1-possession game.

After another Braves triple, Chuck Bailey III knocked down a pair of shots to make it a 21-19 game with 7:12 left in the half.  The sixth Braves 3-pointer of the night began a 20-7 run to complete the half with BU holding a 41-26 halftime lead.  A 7-2 edge in 3-pointers helped the Braves in the period along with a 7-0 advantage on second chance points.

Bailey opened the second half scoring and the Aces held the Braves scoreless over the first four minutes of the period as they went 0-for-4 with a pair of turnovers.  With 14:14 remaining and a 43-31 lead in their favor, Bradley put the game away with a 23-3 run over the ensuing six minutes of play.  Following the run, the score stood a 66-34.

With just over eight minutes remaining, a handful of technical fouls were called with the result six UE points (four free throws and a basket) while BU hit one of their two attempts.  After the stoppage, Bradley picked right back up where it left off to push the lead back over 30 points and completed the night with the 86-50 victory.   

For the night, the Braves shot 53.3% while UE finished at 37.8%.  BU outrebounded the Aces by a 37-23 margin.

Saturday evening will mark the next home game when the Aces welcome Missouri State for a 6 p.m. contest.

SOUTHERN INDIANA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

USI HITS THE ROAD TO SIUE THURSDAY

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana Women’s Basketball plays its only contest of the week Thursday when the Screaming Eagles visit Southern Illinois University Edwardsville for a 5 p.m. tilt.

Thursday’s matchup can be seen live with a subscription to ESPN+ and heard on 95.7 FM The Spin (http://957thespin.com).

Southern Indiana (9-5, 4-0) enters the game at SIUE with five consecutive wins, including four straight to begin the Ohio Valley Conference season to sit atop the league standings. USI is enjoying its longest winning streak since joining the Division I level. The Screaming Eagles have won six of their last seven games going back to the end of the non-conference schedule.

USI is coming off two home wins last week, claiming a 78-57 victory over Tennessee State University last Thursday and a thrilling 69-66 win over Tennessee Tech University last Saturday. Saturday’s win against Tennessee Tech was highlighted by USI’s second-half defense, outscoring the Golden Eagles 37-25 after halftime. Plus, USI set season-high marks with 23 makes and 31 attempts at the foul line.

On Saturday, junior guard Vanessa Shafford (Linton, Indiana) tallied 16 points and a career-high 15 rebounds in her third double-double of the season, while senior forward Meredith Raley (Haubstadt, Indiana) posted her second double-double this season with 12 points and 10 boards. Additionally, senior forward Madi Webb (Bedford, Indiana) also had a dozen points, and sophomore guard Ali Saunders (Depauw, Indiana) had an all-around performance with a season-high 12 points, five rebounds, and a career-best seven assists in her first start this season. Saunders also hit a clutch three-pointer with 30 seconds left to give USI a two-possession lead.

Following last week’s two games, Shafford was named OVC co-Player of the Week on Tuesday. Shafford averaged a double-double  of 21 points and 12 rebounds last week. The junior also shot efficiently over 46 percent overall and 50 percent from long range. Before her double-double against Tennessee Tech on Saturday, Shafford netted a career-high 26 points with six made three-pointers last Thursday against Tennessee State. Shafford has pushed her streak of scoring 10 or more points to 12 games, averaging 16.5 points during the streak.

Raley also continued her recent run in both contests last week. Raley has scored 10-plus in the last five outings and six of the last seven. Raley is tallying 15.6 points and 7.4 rebounds in the last five games, shooting above 56 percent from the floor.

This season, Shafford paces USI at 15.2 points per game with Raley second at 11.6 points. Both are shooting above 45 percent overall, contributing to the Screaming Eagles’ second-best field goal percentage in the OVC of 43 percent. USI averages 69.4 points and 39 rebounds per game.

SIUE (3-13, 0-3) is in search of its first OVC win after dropping the first three contests. Last week, the Cougars fell at the University of Arkansas Little Rock, 79-59.  SIUE will also face Morehead State University this week on Saturday at 2 p.m. The Cougars average 72.1 points per game on 40.9 percent shooting and are led in scoring by graduate guard KK Rodriguez with 22 points per contest. Rodriguez also tops the squad in rebounding, assists, and steals per outing.

The former Great Lakes Valley Conference rivals are meeting for the 53rd time on Thursday. USI has a two-game advantage in the series history, 27-25. Last season, the two squads split home wins. Southern Indiana won 79-59 at home in early January last year before SIUE took a 78-69 decision two weeks later. The all-time series dates to the 1981-82 season.

Following this week’s road contest at SIUE, USI comes home to begin a three-game homestand. The Eagles will host Little Rock January 18 and Morehead State January 20 at Screaming Eagles Arena.

VALPO WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL RETURNS HOME TO HOST DRAKE FRIDAY

 Valparaiso (1-11, 0-3 MVC)

Game #13 – January 12, 2024 – 6 p.m.

Drake (10-4, 3-0 MVC)

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

Next Up in Valpo Basketball: The long and winding stretch of road games has finally come to a close for the Valpo women’s basketball team, as the Beacons play their next four games at the ARC, starting on Friday evening as MVC play continues against Drake.

Previously: Valpo was able to erase the majority of a 21-point fourth-quarter deficit at Southern Illinois Saturday afternoon, limiting the Salukis to just three points in a stretch of seven-plus minutes, but the Beacons were unable to get closer than seven points down the stretch, falling to SIU, 75-66. Ella Van Weelden sparked the comeback effort with four 3-pointers in the final quarter for a career-best 12 points, while Saniya Jackson paced Valpo with a season-high 15 points.

Following Valpo Basketball: Streaming Video: ESPN+

Links for live coverage: Available via ValpoAthletics.com

Head Coach Mary Evans: Mary Evans is in her sixth year at the helm of the program in 2023-24 and owns a record of 56-102. Evans has made an impact on the program in her first five years, raising the team’s level of play to be competitive in a strong Missouri Valley Conference. The 2022-23 season saw Evans lead Valpo to the first win in program history over perennial MVC power Missouri State. The Beacons also won three consecutive road games in Valley play, the first time the program accomplished that feat against three different opponents since 2007.

Series Notes: Drake leads the all-time series over Valpo by a 15-2 margin. The Bulldogs claimed victories in both matchups last season, winning in Des Moines, 84-51, and at the ARC, 71-54. Olivia Brown paced the Beacons in the road game with 16 points, while Ali Saunders matched that total in the home matchup.

@ValpoWBB…

…and @ValleyHoops

– Valpo was picked to finish in 10th place in the MVC preseason poll, totaling 162 points, coming in ahead of Evansville and Bradley.

– Valpo is in its seventh season as a member of the Missouri Valley Conference.

– The Valley was ranked 13th in conference NET last season. The MVC ranked 10th in conference NET in 2021-22, seventh in conference NET in 2020-21 and was eighth in conference RPI in 2019-20.

…looking back at last year

– Valpo finished last season with a 7-23 overall record and finished at 5-15 in MVC play, good for 11th in the Valley standings.

– The Beacons earned their first win in program history over perennial MVC power Missouri State.

– Valpo also won three consecutive road games in Valley play, the first time the program accomplished that feat against three different opponents since 2007.

– Ali Saunders was named to the MVC All-Freshman Team.

…at Southern Illinois

– Southern Illinois led by as many as 12 in the first quarter before Valpo rallied to within 23-17 at the end of the period.

– The Salukis went on a 9-0 run over the first 1:22 of the second quarter to extend their lead and led 43-27 at halftime.

– SIU led 61-42 with 10 minutes to play and pushed its lead to 21 early in the fourth quarter.

– Valpo went on a 16-3 run to erase two-thirds of the deficit over the next seven minutes, but was unable to get any closer than seven down the stretch.

– Saniya Jackson set a season high with 15 points, shooting 6-of-12 from the field. Beyond the scoring column, the freshman also paced the Beacons with six rebounds and three steals.

– Leah Earnest scored in double figures for the 11th time in 12 games, finishing with 12 points. She also handed out a game-high six assists to match her career best.

– Ella Van Weelden scored all of her career-high 12 points in the fourth quarter, knocking down a career-best four 3-pointers.

– The two teams enjoyed a pretty even shooting effort from the floor. Valpo hit at a 43.6% (24-of-55) clip and knocked down seven 3-pointers, while Southern Illinois hit 43.1% (22-of-51) and connected on five triples.

– The difference between the two squads came at the foul line. The Beacons were just 11-of-21 from the charity stripe, versus a 26-of-29 mark at the line from the Salukis.

– Valpo limited SIU, which entered the game averaging 12.6 offensive rebounds/game, to just nine offensive boards. In fact, the Beacons — who gathered eight offensive rebounds of their own — enjoyed a 13-10 edge in second chance points.

…at Missouri State

– The Beacons hit just one field goal in the first quarter as the Lady Bears led 20-5 10 minutes into the game.

– Missouri State extended its lead to as many as 20 points in the second quarter, but the Beacons held the Lady Bears to just three points over the final five minutes of the period to close the deficit to 30-14 at intermission.

– Valpo cut the MSU lead to 12 points multiple times in the third quarter, but the Lady Bears extended back out to a 49-31 edge at the end of the period.

– Olivia Brown hit back-to-back 3-pointers early in the fourth quarter, followed two possessions later by a Leah Earnest basket, to force an MSU timeout with 6:52 to play and Valpo within 52-41.

– The Beacons were unable to keep the momentum after the stoppage, however, going over four minutes in between field goals as MSU went on a 10-2 run to put the game away.

– Brown knocked down a trio of 3-pointers, going 3-of-5 from behind the arc, on her way to a game-high 15 points.

– Earnest scored in double figures for the 10th time in the season’s first 11 games, finishing with 10 points. The senior also led all players with nine rebounds and handed out a team-high three assists.

– Raeven Raye-Redmond ensured she would remain among the conference’s leaders in steals as she racked up five takeaways, her second-best single-game effort of the year.

– It was a tale of two halves shooting the ball for the Beacons. Valpo hit just 5-of-20 from the field in the first half and was 0-of-6 from deep. In the final 20 minutes, the Beacons hit 12-of-24 from the floor and were 5-of-12 from 3-point range.

– Valpo committed 21 turnovers while forcing 16 Missouri State miscues, but the Lady Bears held a significant 22-8 edge in points off turnovers.

…looking ahead

– Valpo closes its first weekend of Valley home play on Sunday afternoon when it welcomes UNI to the ARC.

– The four-game homestand continues next weekend against Illinois State (Jan. 19) and Bradley (Jan. 21).

…at the ARC

– Valpo will play 12 regular season home games during the 2023-24 campaign. Friday is the Beacons’ third home game of the season.

– The Beacons are 1-1 at home so far this year and posted a 3-12 record at home last season.

@DrakeWBB

– Drake enters Friday evening’s game at 10-4 overall on the season.

– The Bulldogs have won their last four contests, including three in a row to start Valley play – most recently a 78-68 win over Evansville.

– Four Drake players average in double figures in the scoring column, led by 19.2 points/game from Katie Dinnebier, who also hands out 5.7 assists/game.

Remember the ARC?

– Valpo finally returns to its home court on Friday, playing its first home game since taking on Chicago State Dec. 9.

– That matchup against the Cougars was the Beacons’ lone regular season home game in a span of 55 days.

– Last Saturday’s game at SIU wrapped up a stretch where Valpo played nine out of 10 games away from home.

– It will be 34 days between the Chicago State game and Friday’s matchup with Drake, the program’s longest stretch between home games since the 1999-2000 team went 35 days between home contests.

– The game on Friday, Jan. 12 is just Valpo’s third home game of the year, the latest in the calendar the program has played its third home game of the season since the 1988-89 squad played its third home game on Jan. 18.

3lla Van W33ld3n

– Redshirt sophomore Ella Van Weelden was the offensive impetus behind the Beacons’ run at Southern Illinois in the fourth quarter last Saturday.

– Van Weelden delivered 12 points in the final period, hitting 4-of-6 from behind the 3-point line in that 10-minute stretch.

– Incredibly, her output in that quarter alone was enough to set a career high in the scoring column, surpassing her previous best of nine points – set in her collegiate debut last year against Southern Miss.

– Van Weelden became the third Beacon to score in double digits in a single quarter this season – Leah Earnest scored 12 in the first quarter and Olivia Brown scored 14 in the third quarter against Chicago State.

Youth in the Lineup

– When the Beacons took the court for the opening tip last Saturday at Southern Illinois, 60% of the starting lineup was comprised of freshmen.

– Layla Gold made her first collegiate start, joining Saniya Jackson and Nevaeh Jackson in the starting five.

– It was the first time Valpo has started three freshmen since March 11, 2016, when Hannah Schaub, Meredith Hamlet and Amber Lindfors were in the starting lineup against Northern Kentucky.

– Gold’s insertion into the lineup was necessitated after Olivia Brown suffered an injury in the foruth quarter of the previous game at Missouri State which kept her out against the Salukis. It was the first game Brown has missed in her three years at Valpo, snapping a streak of 71 consecutive games played.

Another Leap Forward

– Senior Leah Earnest took a jump forward in her production last season, and has taken another leap this year.

– Earnest enters Friday’s game ranked eighth in the conference in scoring (13.9 points/game), eighth in field goal percentage (.500) and 10th in rebounding (6.8 rebounds/game).

– She is also averaging team-best marks of 6.5 rebounds/game and 2.9 assists/game as well.

– Earnest is on pace to become the first Valpo player since Debbie Bolen in 1991-92 to lead the team in points, rebounds and assists.

– Earnest has been consistent, scoring in double figures in 11 of 12 games to date.

– Earnest entered this season with a career high of 20 in the scoring column, but has outdone that three times this year, including a career-best 26 points at UAB.

– With her seventh rebound last Thursday at Missouri State, Earnest hit the 500-rebound mark for her career, becoming the 19th player in program history with 500 career boards. She enters Friday’s game ranked 18th in program history with 505 career rebounds.

Productive Rookie

– Freshman Saniya Jackson scored just 11 points combined over her first three collegiate games, but has been a steady hand on the offensive end since then.

– Jackson’s first double-figure scoring effort came at UAB, when she scored 13 points.

– Jackson has scored in double figures in six of Valpo’s last nine games, including a season-best 15 last time out to lead the Beacons against Southern Illinois.

– Jackson is shooting at a 48.8% clip from the field this season, including a 68.1% mark from inside the arc.

– Jackson has racked up 23 steals this year – second-most on the team – while committing just 13 turnovers. Per HerHoopStats.com, as of Wednesday, she is one of just 20 D-I players with 20+ steals and 15 or fewer turnovers.

Thievery Abounds

– Valpo has gotten back to its stealing ways on the defensive end this season.

– The Beacons rank 36th nationally with 10.9 steals/game, and per HerHoopStats.com, their steal rate of 12.7% is good for 30th nationally.

– Valpo has been in double figures in steals in six games this season, highlighted by an 18-steal effort against Western Illinois Nov. 18.

– The 18 steals was the program’s best single-game mark since tallying 21 steals at Evansville on Jan. 12, 2020, and is tied for the second-highest output in Evans’ tenure as head coach.

– Freshman Raeven Raye-Redmond currently ranks second in the Valley with 2.7 steals/game despite playing just 16.9 minutes/game.

– Raye-Redmond ranks 31st nationally in steals/game, while her steal rate of 7.6% is tops nationally among players playing at least 10 minutes/game – only Notre Dame’s Hannah Hidalgo and Norfolk State’s Diamond Johnson even crack 7% in steal rate while playing at least 10 minutes/game.

– Twice already this year, the Beacons have had a player tally eight steals in a game – Saniya Jackson did so Nov. 25 at UAB and Raye-Redmond did so in her collegiate debut in the aforementioned Western Illinois game.

– Jackson and Raye-Redmond are two of just 24 D-I players nationally to record eight or more steals in a single game so far this season.

– The duo are now tied for second on Valpo’s single-game steals chart, just one off the program single-game record.

– Prior to this year, the last Valpo player to tally eight steals in a game was Jeanette Gray against Houston in the 2002 WNIT.

– Raye-Redmond was the first MVC player to record eight steals in a game since UNI’s Ellie Herzberg did so against Indiana State on Feb. 19, 2017.

UINDY WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TRAVELS FOR A PAIR OF GLVC BOUTS THIS WEEKEND

at Rockhurst (7-4, 4-3 GLVC)

Thursday | January 11 | 6:15 p.m. ET

at William Jewell (4-9, 2-5 GLVC)

Saturday | January 13 | 2 p.m. ET

The UIndy women’s basketball team will travel to Missouri to face Rockhurst and William Jewell this weekend. First up will be Rockhurst on Thursday, Jan. 11, in Kansas City, MO. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. ET in Mason-Helpin Field House. The all-time series is currently 13-5 in favor of the Greyhounds. The last match-up was on Feb. 9, 2023, in Kansas City, with Rockhurst securing the victory in overtime with a final score of 77-75.

On Saturday, Jan. 13, The Hounds will battle the Cardinals in Liberty, MO. The contest will take place in the Mabee Center at 2 p.m. ET. UIndy leads William Jewell in their all-time series, 8-5. The Greyhounds are on a three-game win streak over the Cardinals with their last game being on Feb. 11 in Liberty. The final score was 57-55.

LAST TIME OUT

UIndy lost to Maryville, 78-75, in overtime on Jan. 6. The Greyhounds had a 17-point comeback after being down 39-22 at halftime. The game went into overtime after both teams finished with 66 points in regulation. Maryville quickly went on a short run that was too much for UIndy to overcome. During the contest, Elana Wells had her seventh 20-point game of the season, the third in a row. Wells finished with 26 points and eight assists, another team-high.

UINDY MEN’S BASKETBALL

MEN’S BASKETBALL RIDES MOMENTUM INTO BARBECUE CAPITAL

at Rockhurst Hawks (6-7, 2-3 GLVC)

Thursday | January 11 | 8:30 p.m. ET

at William Jewell Cardinals (9-4, 3-2 GLVC)

Saturday | January 13 | 4 p.m. ET

The UIndy men’s basketball team heads back to the state of Missouri this weekend for a pair of GLVC contests against Rockhurst and William Jewell, both of which reside in and around the barbecue capital of the Midwest region.

The Greyhounds hold the all-time advantage over both programs, with a 13-6 record against the Hawks and a 12-1 mark against the Cardinals. Additionally, UIndy has won eight of the past nine bouts with Rockhurst, while earning the victory in each of the last three meetings with Jewell.

LAST TIME OUT

The Greyhounds won their seventh straight game last Saturday afternoon, downing visiting Maryville from inside Nicoson Hall by a score of 74-52. UIndy has now held its opponent to 52 or less points four times this season, while limiting the visitors to a season-best 29.0 field-goal percentage. Jesse Bingham and Paul Zilinskas shared the top spot in the scoring column, each finishing with 15 points. Senior David Ejah joined his teammates in double figures, totaling 13 in 22 minutes.

SMALL COLLEGE ATHLETICS

INDIANA WESLEYAN ATHLETICS: https://iwuwildcats.com/

EARLHAM ATHLETICS: https://goearlham.com/

WABASH ATHLETICS: https://sports.wabash.edu/

FRANKLIN ATHLETICS: https://franklingrizzlies.com/

ROSE-HULMAN ATHLETICS: https://athletics.rose-hulman.edu/

ANDERSON ATHLETICS: https://athletics.anderson.edu/landing/index

TRINE ATHLETICS: https://trinethunder.com/landing/index

BETHEL ATHLETICS: https://bupilots.com/

DEPAUW ATHLETICS: https://depauwtigers.com/

HANOVER ATHLETICS: https://athletics.hanover.edu/

MANCHESTER ATHLETICS: https://muspartans.com/

HUNTINGTON ATHLETICS: https://www.huathletics.com/

OAKLAND CITY ATHLETICS: https://gomightyoaks.com/index.aspx

ST. FRANCIS ATHLETICS: https://www.saintfranciscougars.com/landing/index

IU KOKOMO ATHLETICS: https://iukcougars.com/

IU EAST ATHLETICS: https://www.iueredwolves.com/

IU SOUTH BEND ATHLETICS: https://iusbtitans.com/

PURDUE NORTHWEST ATHLETICS: https://pnwathletics.com/

INDIANA TECH ATHLETICS: https://indianatechwarriors.com/index.aspx

GRACE COLLEGE ATHLETICS: https://gclancers.com/

ST. MARY OF THE WOODS ATHLETICS: https://smwcathletics.com/

GOSHEN COLLEGE ATHLETICS: https://goleafs.net/

HOLY CROSS ATHLETICS: https://www.hcsaints.com/index.php                                                                                                                                                                            

TAYLOR ATHLETICS: https://www.taylortrojans.com/

VINCENNES ATHLETICS: https://govutrailblazers.com/landing/index

NBA STANDINGS

https://www.foxsports.com/nba/standings

NHL STANDINGS

https://www.foxsports.com/nhl/standings

NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL STANDINGS

https://www.cbssports.com/college-basketball/standings/

NCAA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL STANDINGS

https://www.ncaa.com/standings/basketball-women/d1

FOOTBALL HISTORY

January 11, 1946 – The NFL announces that Bert Bell had become the second  Commissioner in League history. The Pro Football Researchers Association in their 1996 Volume 18 edition of the Coffin Corner Magazine shared a story from the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The long time inaugural commissioner, Elmer Layden’s tenure was over due to an instance where Brooklyn owner Dan Topping withdrew his team from the league to join the new All-America Football Conference (AAFC). The remaining owners agreed not to renew Layden’s League contract because he was soft and not forceful enough to prevent the Brooklyn departure.  The AAFC right after World War II was a definite competitor to the NFL as the AAFC had some deep pockets as well as some star power. The NFL franchise owners then  unanimously picked one of their own,  fellow owner, Bert Bell of the Pittsburgh Steelers co-owners to take the position of the League Commissioner. For the first two decades of the NFL’s existence, they had a president of the League. Jim Thorpe served as the President in 1920, followed by Joe Carr who served as the head man for 19 seasons, and then Carl Storck was the final President serving for two years. In 1941 Layden was the first Commissioner as the group moved away from the President title. Bell was one of the best the NFL had ever seen, he dealt immediately with a gambling scandal, wouldn’t back down or sign truces with a rival AAFC and even instituted the two -Minute Warning and signed a TV deal. Bell’s staunch position of not giving into the AAFC eventually paid dividends as he basically made the fledgling league to go belly up and then Bell swept in to grab the AAFC’s three best teams to merge into the NFL. Bell really put the NFL in a better place to compete with the popular college game.

January 11, 1959 – Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum – The 9th NFL Pro Bowl was played as the Eastern Conference got the better of the Western Conference in a final score of 28-21.  According to the American Football Database website, New York Giants halfback, Frank Gifford and Doug Atkins, the Defensive End from the Chicago Bears were the game’s Most Valuable Players.

January 11, 1970 – Tulane Stadium, New Orleans, Louisiana – Super Bowl IV had the Minnesota Vikings taking on Kansas City for the right to win the Lombardi Trophy according to the Pro-Football-Reference.com. The Chiefs jumped out to a 16-0 half time lead based on three Jan Stenerud field goals and a rushing TD by Running Back Mike Garrett. The teams exchanged touchdowns in the third quarter on a Vikings Dave Osborn plunge and KC Len Dawson pass connection to Otis Taylor for a 46 yard touchdown. The Chiefs captured the NFL title by knocking off the Minnesota Vikings, 23-7. The game’s Most Valuable Player was Quarterback Len Dawson.

January 11, 1981 – AFC Championship was played at San Diego’s Jack Murphy Stadium. The AFC West dominated the American Conference of the NFL when the Chargers hosted the Oakland Raiders. The Oakland Raiders defeated the San Diego Chargers, 34-27 per Onthisday.com.

January 11, 1981 – Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia – The NFC Championship Philadelphia Eagles beat Dallas Cowboys, 20-7 per Onthisday.com.

January 11, 1987 – Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey – The Largest crowd  which was 76,633 at the Giant Stadium witnessed the G-men blanking Washington 17-0, for the NFC Championship title per Onthisday.com.

January 11, 1987 – Cleveland Municipal Stadium – AFC Championship will forever go down in the annals of sports history as “the Drive.” According to SBNation.com Cleveland fans were on an emotional high as the Browns scored a touchdown with less than 6 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter on a 48 pass from Bernie Kosar to receiver Brian Brennan, who with a spin move escaped would be tacklers to find the endzone. Things looked even better for the Browns as Denver bobbled the ensuing kick off and found themselves with possession at their own two yard line. The Broncos had not mustered a drive of any length all day against a stingy Cleveland defense and that just added fever pitch to the home crowd. But the cool calm and collected John Elway had other things in mind. Elway and company drove the entire 98 yards of the field including some third and long conversions to tie the game and silence the crowd. The Broncos took the game to Overtime where a Rich Karlis Field Goal defeated the Cleveland Browns Super Bowl plans 23-20.

January 11, 1995 – The Canadian Football League tried some experimental U.S. expansion by announcing Alabama’s Birmingham Barracudas were granted CFL franchise. Birmingham lasted only one season though per Onthisday.com as the States did not support the Canadian style of play.

January 11, 1998 – AFC Championship Game had Bill Cowher’s Steelers up against a Denver Broncos team with wiley veteran John Elway under center. Terrell Davis started the scoring with an 8 yard scamper according to the Pro-Football-Reference.com. Pittsburgh countered with a TD by their big back Jerome Bettis. The Steelers defense shut Elway and company down in the second half and made it interesting down the stretch but could not overcome 3 Kordell Stewart interceptions as the Denver Broncos went on to beat Pittsburgh 24-21 to advance into the big game.

January 11, 1998 – 3Com Park, San Francisco – The NFC Championship game was won by the Green Bay Packers as they outlasted the San Francisco 49ers, 23-10 to advance to the Super Bowl per Onthisday.com. 

January 11, 1999 – Marty Schottenheimer resigned as head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs after 10 seasons. Schottenheimer had great success as an NFL head coach not only with the Chiefs but also with the Cleveland Browns a decade earlier. CBSNews.com tells how Marty’s teams played well in the regular season but his failures in the playoffs led to many disappointments to Chiefs and Browns fans. It’s a shame that he is remembered for his failures and not for the tremendous success his teams had. His 145 victories had him at the time ranked 10th in NFL history.

January 11, 2004 – The Philadelphia Eagles faced “4th and 26”, as they trailed the Green Bay Packers by 3 in NFC Divisional Playoff Game. An ESPN.com story informs that it was the final drive for the Eagles and the game all came down to this one play with 1:12 remaining. Eagles Quarterback Donovan McNabb launched a remarkable 28 yard strike to Freddie Mitchell to move the sticks and keep Philly’s chances alive. The Eagles would go onto score on a David Akers field goal to tie the game at 17 and send the game to an extra sudden death session. The Packers had their chance in OT as they had the ball but an errant  pass by Brett Favre was picked off by ball hawking safety Brian Dwkins to set up the game ending field goal by Akers in a 20-17 Eagles win. McNabb set a post season quarterback rushing record with his 107 yards on the ground.

January 11, 2016 – University of Phoenix Stadium – The second College Football Playoff National Championship game had the top teams in college football face each other as the Crimson Tide of Alabama challenged the Clemson Tigers. The College Football Playoff website covers the game’s storyline well. Clemson’s signal caller the phenomenal Deshaun Watson set a Championship game record of 478 total yards but  the Tide countered with offensive production by Derrick Henry who trudged for 158 yards on the ground and O.J. Howard caught 208 yards of passes on just 5 receptions with two scores.  It was a game for the ages as #2 Alabama outlasted #1 Clemson, 45-40. The Tide’s O.J. Howard was the Offensive Player of the Game while Bama’s Eddie Jackson was the Defensive Player of the Game.

Hall Of Fame Birthdays for January 11

January 11, 1895 – Evanston, Illinois -Northwestern Quarterback Paddy Driscoll was born.

January 11, 1973 – Great Falls, Montana – Dave Dickenson the great quarterback from the University of Montana arrived into this life. The National Football Foundation states that Dickenson is the Grizzlies’ all-time leading passer and still holds 28 other school records. Dave was a two-time First Team All-American.  Dave had won the 1995 Walter Payton Award as the top player in the FCS and Dickenson led Montana to the FCS national title that year. Dave Dickenson was voted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2018. Dave after college played professionally most notably in the CFL with the Calgary Stampeders and the BC Lions. In 2015 Dickenson was honored by being inducted into the CFL Hall of Fame. He was the league’s MVP in 2000, and he won three Grey Cups (1998, 2006, 2008). Dickenson had some time in the NFL too as in 2001 and 2002 he had a cup of coffee with the San Diego Chargers, Seattle Seahawks, Miami Dolphins and Detroit Lions.

NUMBERS IN SPORTS

16 – 81 – 13 – 37 – 10 – 7 – 68 – 5 – 84

January 11, 1959 – At the 9th NFL Pro Bowl, played at the LA Memorial Coliseum: Eastern Conference beats Western Conference, 28-21; MVPs were for the offense New York Giants Halfback, Number 16, Frank Gifford and on the other side of the ball it was Chicago Bears, DE, Number 81, Doug Atkins.

January 11, 1963 – Wilt Chamberlain in his legendary lucky Number 13 scored a remarkable 67 points for the San Francisco Warriors in a 116 -124 loss to the LA Lakers.

January 11, 1966 – 16th NBA All-Star Game, Cincinnati Gardens, Cincinnati, OH: East beats West, 137-94; MVP was Cincinnati Royals, PG, Number 10, Adrian Smith.

January 11, 1970 – Len Dawson the Kansas City Chiefs Quarterback sported his Number 16 jersey as he not only led the Chiefs to victory in Super Bowl IV over the Minnesota Vikings 27-3 but also win the game’s Most Valuable Player Award!

January 11, 1983 – Marcel Dionne also wearing Number 16 posted his 24th career hat trick as the LA Kings skated past the Washington Capitals 9-7 to break a streak of 8 straight road game losses for the Kings.

January 11, 1983 – Edmonton Oilers Number 16, Pat Hughes sets NHL record for the fastest 2 shorthanded goals by one player at just 25 seconds apart in a 7-5 win at St. Louis; first player to break a Wayne Gretzky record.

January 11, 1987 – AFC Championship, Cleveland Stadium: Denver Broncos beat Cleveland Browns 23-20 (OT). Broncos Number 7, John Elway

January 11, 1990 – New York Islander Number 16, Pat LaFontaine set a team record of scoring goals in 11 straight games

January 11, 2003 – Washington Capitals right wing Number 68, Jaromir Jagr scores his 10th career hat-trick and adds 4 assists for 7 points and his 1,200th NHL point in a 12-2 win against Florida; Jágr has 20+ goals in each of his 13 NHL seasons

January 11, 2004 – Speaking of the Capitals,  veteran goaltender Olaf Kölzig wearing his Number 37 sweater records his 32nd NHL career shutout in a 1-0 win against the visiting Edmonton Oilers.

January 11, 2004 – “4th and 26”, trailing Green Bay Packers by 3 in NFC Divisional Playoff Game, Philadelphia Eagles face 4th and 26 on their final drive, Number 5, Donovan McNabb found an open Number 84, Freddie Mitchell for 29 yards to extend the drive. Eagles tie the game and go on to win in overtime

January 11, 2016 – FIFA Ballon d’Or: Barcelona forward Number 10, Lionel Messi won his record 5th award with 41.33% of the votes; American midfielder Number 10, Carli Lloyd is Women’s World Player of the Year

TV SPORTS THURSDAY

COLLEGE BASKETBALL (MEN’S)

7 p.m.

CBSSN — Hofstra at Northeastern

ESPN2 — FAU at Tulane

ESPNU — UMBC at Vermont

FS1 — Michigan at Maryland

9 p.m.

CBSSN — Louisiana Tech at Middle Tennessee St.

ESPN2 — UCLA at Utah

ESPNU — Radford at Longwood

FS1 — Michigan St. at Illinois

9:30 p.m.

ESPN — Gonzaga at Santa Clara

11 p.m.

ESPN2 — Stanford at Oregon St.

ESPNU — Portland at Saint Mary’s (Cal)

FS1 — Arizona St. at Washington

COLLEGE BASKETBALL (WOMEN’S)

6 p.m.

ACCN — Louisville at Pittsburgh

BTN — Rutgers at Ohio St.

7 p.m.

SECN — Florida at Tennessee

8 p.m.

ACCN — Miami at Virginia Tech

BTN — Illinois at Nebraska

9 p.m.

SECN — Mississippi St. at Arkansas

COLLEGE VOLLEYBALL (MEN’S)

7 p.m.

PAC-12N — Harvard at Southern Cal

FIGURE SKATING

11 a.m.

E! — European Championships: Women’s Short Program, Kaunas, Lithuania

1 p.m.

E! — European Championships: Pairs Free Skate, Kaunas, Lithuania

GOLF

7 p.m.

GOLF — PGA Tour: The Sony Open In Hawaii, First Round, Wai’alae Country Club, Honolulu

2:30 a.m. (Friday)

GOLF — DP World Tour: The Dubai Invitational, Second Round, Dubai Creek Resort, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

NBA BASKETBALL

2 p.m.

NBATV — Brooklyn vs. Cleveland, Paris

7:30 p.m.

TNT — Boston at Milwaukee

10 p.m.

TNT — Phoenix at LA Lakers

NHL HOCKEY

7 p.m.

ESPN — Toronto at NY Islanders

SOCCER (MEN’S)

1:55 p.m.

ESPN2 — Spanish Super Cup: FC Barcelona vs. CA Osasuna, Semifinal, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

TENNIS

6 a.m.

TENNIS — Adelaide-ATP/WTA, Auckland-ATP & Hobart-WTA Quarterfinals; Kooyong Classic Day 2

7 p.m.

TENNIS — Adelaide-ATP/WTA, Auckland-ATP & Hobart-WTA Semifinals; Kooyong Classic Day 3

6 a.m. (Friday) TENNIS — Adelaide-ATP/WTA, Auckland-ATP & Hobart-WTA Semifinals; Kooyong Classic Day 3