INDIANA HS FOOTBALL SECTIONAL MATCH-UPS

CLASS 4A
SECTIONAL 17
LOWELLATCULVER ACADEMY 7:30 PM
KANKAKEE VALLEYATNEW PRAIRIE 8:00 PM
GARY WESTATHOBART 8:00 PM
HIGHLANDATEAST CHICAGO CENTRAL 8:00 PM
SECTIONAL 18
WAWASEEATLOGANSPORT 7:00 PM
NORTHRIDGEATSOUTH BEND RILEY 7:00 PM
NORTHWOODATSOUTH BEND WASHINGTON 7:00 PM
SOUTH BEND ST. JOSEPHATPLYMOUTH 7:00 PM
SECTIONAL 19
EAST NOBLEATANGOLA 7:00 PM
FORT WAYNE SOUTHATLEO 7:00 PM
NEW HAVENATDEKALB 7:00 PM
COLUMBIA CITYATFORT WAYNE WAYNE 7:00 PM
SECTIONAL 20
MISSISSINEWAATMARION 7:00 PM
HUNTINGTON NORTHATMUNCIE CENTRAL 7:00 PM
KOKOMOATFRANKFORT 7:00 PM
WESTERNATJAY COUNTY 7:00 PM
SECTIONAL 21
BREBEUF JESUITATNORTHVIEW 7:00 PM
LEBANONATMOORESVILLE 7:00 PM
INDIANAPOLIS RONCALLIATINDIANAPOLIS SHORTRIDGE 7:00 PM
INDIANAPOLIS WASHINGTONATINDIANAPOLIS ATTUCKS 7:00 PM
SECTIONAL 22
RICHMONDATCONNERSVILLE 7:00 PM
BEECH GROVEATNEW CASTLE 7:00 PM
NEW PALESTINEATMOUNT VERNON (FORTVILLE) 7:00 PM
PENDLETON HEIGHTSATGREENFIELD-CENTRAL 7:00 PM
SECTIONAL 23
BEDFORD NORTH LAWRENCEATSHELBYVILLE 7:00 PM
MARTINSVILLEATGREENWOOD 7:00 PM
SILVER CREEKATJENNINGS COUNTY 7:00 PM
EDGEWOODATEAST CENTRAL 7:00 PM
SECTIONAL 24
EVANSVILLE MEMORIALATEVANSVILLE BOSSE 8:00 PM
BOONVILLEATEVANSVILLE HARRISON 8:00 PM
EVANSVILLE CENTRALATEVANSVILLE REITZ 8:00 PM
CLASS 3A
SECTIONAL 25
TWIN LAKESATWEST LAFAYETTE 7:00 PM
BOONE GROVEATCALUMET 8:00 PM
GRIFFITHATRIVER FOREST 8:00 PM
HANOVER CENTRALATRENSSELAER CENTRAL 8:00 PM
SECTIONAL 26
MISHAWAKA MARIANATWEST NOBLE 7:00 PM
LAKELANDATKNOX 7:00 PM
SOUTH BEND CLAYATJIMTOWN 7:00 PM
FAIRFIELDATJOHN GLENN 7:00 PM
SECTIONAL 27
NORWELLATHERITAGE 7:00 PM
FORT WAYNE CONCORDIAATWOODLAN 7:00 PM
YORKTOWNATDELTA 7:00 PM
BELLMONTATGARRETT 7:00 PM
SECTIONAL 28
INDIANAPOLIS CHATARDATNORTHWESTERN 7:00 PM
HAMILTON HEIGHTSATMACONAQUAH 7:00 PM
GUERIN CATHOLICATOAK HILL 7:00 PM
TIPPECANOE VALLEYATPERU 7:00 PM
SECTIONAL 29
WESTERN BOONEATCRAWFORDSVILLE 7:00 PM
TRI-WESTATDANVILLE 7:00 PM
MONROVIAATPURDUE POLYTECHNIC 7:00 PM
SPEEDWAYATNORTH MONTGOMERY 7:00 PM
SECTIONAL 30
VINCENNES LINCOLNATGIBSON SOUTHERN 7:30 PM
OWEN VALLEYATMOUNT VERNON (POSEY) 7:30 PM
PRINCETONATWEST VIGO 8:00 PM
WASHINGTONATPIKE CENTRAL 7:00 PM
SECTIONAL 31
LAWRENCEBURGATSOUTH DEARBORN 7:00 PM
GREENSBURGATRUSHVILLE 7:00 PM
INDIAN CREEKATFRANKLIN COUNTY 7:00 PM
BATESVILLEATCENTERVILLE 7:00 PM
SECTIONAL 32
SCOTTSBURGATCORYDON CENTRAL 7:00 PM
NORTH HARRISONATSOUTHRIDGE 7:30 PM
MADISONATHERITAGE HILLS 8:00 PM
CHARLESTOWNATSALEM 7:00 PM
CLASS 2A
SECTIONAL 33
WHITINGATLAVILLE 8:00 PM
WHEELERATBREMEN 7:30 PM
HAMMOND NOLLATLAKE STATION 8:00 PM
SECTIONAL 34
WINAMACATLAFAYETTE CENTRAL CATHOLIC 7:00 PM
ROCHESTERATSEEGER 7:00 PM
BENTON CENTRALATDELPHI 7:00 PM
SECTIONAL 35
PRAIRIE HEIGHTSATFORT WAYNE LUERS 7:00 PM
CHURUBUSCOATCENTRAL NOBLE 7:00 PM
EASTSIDEATWABASH 7:00 PM
MANCHESTERATWHITKO 7:00 PM
SECTIONAL 36
EASTBROOKATFRANKTON 7:00 PM
ELWOODATALEXANDRIA 7:00 PM
BLUFFTONATBLACKFORD 7:00 PM
TIPTONATEASTERN (GREENTOWN) 7:00 PM
SECTIONAL 37
LINTON-STOCKTONATSOUTH VERMILLION 7:00 PM
NORTH KNOXATSOUTHMONT 7:00 PM
SULLIVANATNORTH PUTNAM 7:00 PM
GREENCASTLEATCASCADE 7:00 PM
SECTIONAL 38
INDIANAPOLIS RITTERATSHENANDOAH 7:00 PM
HERITAGE CHRISTIANATNORTHEASTERN 7:00 PM
WINCHESTERATLAPEL 7:00 PM
EASTERN HANCOCKATUNION COUNTY 7:00 PM
SECTIONAL 39
TRITON CENTRALATCHRISTEL HOUSE MANUAL 7:00 PM
BROWNSTOWN CENTRALATBROWN COUNTY 7:00 PM
SWITZERLAND COUNTYATINDIANAPOLIS SCECINA 7:30 PM
CLARKSVILLEATEASTERN (PEKIN) 7:00 PM
SECTIONAL 40
FOREST PARKATNORTH POSEY 7:30 PM
MITCHELLATPAOLI 7:00 PM
TELL CITYATCRAWFORD COUNTY 7:30 PM
PERRY CENTRALATEVANSVILLE MATER DEI 8:00 PM
CLASS 1A
SECTIONAL 41
BOWMAN ACADEMYATSOUTH CENTRAL (UNION MILLS) 8:00 PM
NORTH NEWTONATCULVER 7:30 PM
TRITONATPIONEER 7:00 PM
NORTH JUDSONATSOUTH NEWTON 7:30 PM
SECTIONAL 42
CLINTON CENTRALATTRADERS POINT CHRISTIAN 7:00 PM
NORTH VERMILLIONATCOVINGTON 7:00 PM
PARK TUDORATCLINTON PRAIRIE 7:00 PM
FOUNTAIN CENTRALATATTICA 7:00 PM
SECTIONAL 43
FRONTIERATTAYLOR 7:00 PM
WEST CENTRALATCASTON 7:00 PM
TRI-COUNTYATTRI-CENTRAL 7:00 PM
CARROLL (FLORA)ATNORTH WHITE 7:00 PM
SECTIONAL 44
FREMONTATSOUTH ADAMS 7:30 PM
ADAMS CENTRALATSOUTHWOOD 7:00 PM
NORTH MIAMIATMADISON-GRANT 7:00 PM
NORTHFIELDATSOUTHERN WELLS 7:00 PM
SECTIONAL 45
UNION CITYATSHERIDAN 7:00 PM
INDIANA DEAFATINDIANAPOLIS TINDLEY 7:00 PM
WES-DELATHAGERSTOWN 7:00 PM
SECTIONAL 46
KNIGHTSTOWNATEDINBURGH 7:00 PM
SOUTH DECATURATMILAN 7:00 PM
NORTH DECATURATTRI 7:00 PM
SECTIONAL 47
SOUTH PUTNAMATINDIANAPOLIS LUTHERAN 7:00 PM
RIVERTON PARKEATNORTH CENTRAL (FARMERSBURG) 7:00 PM
COVENANT CHRISTIANATPARKE HERITAGE 7:00 PM
SECTIONAL 48
SOUTH SPENCERATTECUMSEH 8:00 PM
SPRINGS VALLEYATPROVIDENCE 7:00 PM
WEST WASHINGTONATEASTERN GREENE 7:00 PM

INDIANA BOYS/GIRLS SOCCER SEMI-STATE MATCH-UPS

NORTH

1. KOKOMO
1 PM ET | CLASS 1A BOYS | WESTVIEW (19-1-1) VS. PARK TUDOR (18-2-1)
3:30 PM ET | CLASS 3A BOYS | PENN (13-4-4) VS. NOBLESVILLE (14-3-3)
6 PM ET | CLASS 3A GIRLS | CROWN POINT (17-4-1) VS. NOBLESVILLE (18-1) 

2. CHESTERTON
1 PM CT | CLASS 2A BOYS | MISHAWAKA MARIAN (17-1-2) VS. FORT WAYNE CANTERBURY (16-1-3)
3:30 PM CT | CLASS 2A GIRLS | MISHAWAKA MARIAN (19-1-1) VS. LEO (17-4) 
6 PM CT | CLASS 1A GIRLS | ANDREAN (14-2-4) VS. FORT WAYNE CANTERBURY (10-8-3) 

SOUTH

3. EVANSVILLE NORTH 
1 PM CT | CLASS 2A GIRLS | INDIANAPOLIS BISHOP CHATARD (18-2-1) VS. EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL (20-0-1)
3:30 PM CT | CLASS 2A BOYS | BREBEUF JESUIT (15-4-1) VS. EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL (15-3-2) 
6 PM CT | CLASS 1A GIRLS | PARK TUDOR (19-1-1) VS. EVANSVILLE MATER DEI (14-7)

4. SEYMOUR
1 PM ET | CLASS 3A GIRLS | CARMEL (17-2-2) VS. CENTER GROVE (17-2-2)
3 PM ET | CLASS 3A BOYS | INDIANAPOLIS CATHEDRAL (10-7-5) VS. COLUMBUS NORTH (18-1-1)
5 PM ET | CLASS 1A BOYS | GREENWOOD CHRISTIAN (10-7-3) VS. FOREST PARK (14-6-1)

INDIANA CROSS COUNTRY SEMI-STATE

1. NEW PRAIRIE | 10:30 AM CT; 11:15 AM CT | TICKETS 
FEEDER REGIONALS: CROWN POINT, CULVER ACADEMIES, HARRISON (WEST LAFAYETTE), CHESTERTON

2. NEW HAVEN @ INDIANA WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY | 10:30 AM ET; 11:15 AM ET | TICKETS 
FEEDER REGIONALS: DELTA, ELKHART, MARION, WEST NOBLE

3. SHELBYVILLE @ BLUE RIVER PARK | 10:30 AM ET; 11:15 AM ET | TICKETS 
FEEDER REGIONALS: BEN DAVIS, NOBLESVILLE, RUSHVILLE CONSOLIDATED, FRANKLIN COMMUNITY

4. BROWN COUNTY | 11:30 AM ET; 12:15 PM ET | TICKETS 
FEEDER REGIONALS: BEDFORD NORTH LAWRENCE, COLUMBUS NORTH, CRAWFORD COUNTY, PIKE CENTRAL

INDIANA VOLLEYBALL REGIONAL MATCH-UPS

4A BRACKET: https://www.maxpreps.com/tournament/5v-tgzOdEe2A0wqb9tl3hA/8vnb7jOdEe2A0wqb9tl3hA/volleyball-22/2022-23-ihsaa-class-4a-volleyball-state-tournament-class-4a-state-championship.htm

3A BRACKET: https://www.maxpreps.com/tournament/-QAiQTOdEe2A0wqb9tl3hA/Cvlv7jOeEe2A0wqb9tl3hA/volleyball-22/2022-23-ihsaa-class-3a-volleyball-state-tournament-class-3a-state-championship.htm

2A BRACKET: https://www.maxpreps.com/tournament/CvlwBjOeEe2A0wqb9tl3hA/HP6pSzOeEe2A0wqb9tl3hA/volleyball-22/2022-23-ihsaa-class-2a-volleyball-state-tournament-class-2a-state-championship.htm

1A BRACKET: https://www.maxpreps.com/tournament/HP6o-zOeEe2A0wqb9tl3hA/KO8TeTOeEe2A0wqb9tl3hA/volleyball-22/2022-23-ihsaa-class-1a-volleyball-state-tournament-class-1a-state-championship.htm

INDIANA COLLEGE FOOTBALL THIS WEEK

ANDERSON AT DEFIANCE, OCTOBER 22 AT 1:30 P.M.

BALL STATE VS. EASTERN MICHIGAN, OCTOBER 22 AT 2 P.M. (TV: ESPN+)

BUTLER VS. MARIST, OCTOBER 22 AT 1 P.M. (TV: FLOSPORTS)

DEPAUW VS. OHIO WESLEYAN, OCTOBER 22 AT 1 P.M.

FRANKLIN AT ROSE-HULMAN, OCTOBER 22 AT 1:30 P.M.

HANOVER VS. MT. ST. JOSEPH, OCTOBER 22 AT 1:30 P.M.

INDIANA AT RUTGERS, OCTOBER 22 AT NOON (TV: BIG TEN NETWORK)

INDIANA STATE VS. ILLINOIS STATE, OCTOBER 22 AT 1 P.M. (TV: ESPN3)

MANCHESTER VS. BLUFFTON, OCTOBER 22 AT 1:30 P.M.

MARIAN AT CONCORDIA, OCTOBER 22 AT 1 P.M.

NOTRE DAME VS. UNLV, OCTOBER 22 AT 2:30 P.M. (TV: PEACOCK)

PURDUE AT WISCONSIN, OCTOBER 22 AT 3:30 P.M. (TV: ESPN)

ST. FRANCIS AT INDIANA WESLEYAN, OCTOBER 22 AT NOON (TV: ESPN3)

TAYLOR VS. MADONNA, OCTOBER 22 AT 1 P.M.

TRINE VS. ALBION, OCTOBER 22 AT 1 P.M.

UINDY VS. QUINCY, OCTOBER 22 AT 6 P.M.

VALPARAISO AT MOREHEAD STATE, OCTOBER 22 AT 1 P.M. (TV: ESPN+)

WABASH AT OBERLIN, OCTOBER 22 AT 1 P.M.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEK 8 SCHEDULE

THURSDAY, OCT. 20

VIRGINIA AT GEORGIA TECH | 7:30 P.M. | ESPN

TROY AT SOUTH ALABAMA | 7:30 P.M. | ESPNU

FRIDAY, OCT. 21

PRINCETON AT HARVARD | 7 P.M. | ESPNU

LONG ISLAND AT WAGNER | 7 P.M. | ESPN3

TULSA AT TEMPLE | 7:30 P.M. | ESPN2

UAB AT WESTERN KENTUCKY | 8 P.M. | CBSSN

SATURDAY, OCT. 22

IOWA AT OHIO STATE | 12 P.M. | FOX

SYRACUSE AT CLEMSON | 12 P.M. | ABC

UT MARTIN AT TENNESSEE | 12 P.M. | SEC NETWORK

KANSAS AT BAYLOR | 12 P.M.

CINCINNATI AT SMU | 12 P.M.

UL MONROE AT ARMY | 12 P.M. | CBSSN

INDIANA AT RUTGERS | 12 P.M.

HOUSTON AT NAVY | 12 P.M. | ESPNU

AKRON AT KENT STATE | 12 P.M. | ESPN+

DUKE AT MIAMI (FLA.) | 12:30 P.M. | ESPN3

TOLEDO AT BUFFALO | 1 P.M. | ESPN+

BOWLING GREEN AT CENTRAL MICHIGAN | 1 P.M. | ESPN3

EASTERN MICHIGAN AT BALL STATE | 2 P.M. | ESPN+

NORTHERN ILLINOIS AT OHIO | 2 P.M. | ESPN+

UNLV AT NOTRE DAME | 2:30 P.M. | PEACOCK

WEST VIRGINIA AT TEXAS TECH | 3 P.M.

RICE AT LOUISIANA TECH | 3 P.M. | ESPN+

TEXAS AT OKLAHOMA STATE | 3:30 P.M. | ABC

OLE MISS AT LSU | 3:30 P.M. | CBS

UCLA AT OREGON | 3:30 P.M.

BOSTON COLLEGE AT WAKE FOREST | 3:30 P.M. | ACC NETWORK

MARSHALL AT JAMES MADISON | 3:30 P.M. | ESPN+

BYU AT LIBERTY | 3:30 P.M.

PURDUE AT WISCONSIN | 3:30 P.M. | ESPN

NORTHWESTERN AT MARYLAND | 3:30 P.M.

MEMPHIS AT TULANE | 3:30 P.M.

WESTERN MICHIGAN AT MIAMI (OHIO) | 3:30 P.M. | CBSSN

GEORGIA SOUTHERN AT OLD DOMINION | 3:30 P.M. | ESPN+

FIU AT CHARLOTTE | 3:30 P.M. | ESPN3

NORTH TEXAS AT UTSA | 3:30 P.M.

VANDERBILT AT MISSOURI | 4 P.M. | SEC NETWORK

ARIZONA STATE AT STANFORD | 4 P.M. | PAC-12 NETWORK

HAWAI’I AT COLORADO STATE | 4 P.M.

FLORIDA ATLANTIC AT UTEP | 4 P.M. | ESPN+

ARKANSAS STATE AT LOUISIANA | 5 P.M. | ESPN+

SOUTHERN MISS AT TEXAS STATE | 5 P.M. | ESPN+

SAN JOSE STATE AT NEW MEXICO STATE | 6 P.M.

FRESNO STATE AT NEW MEXICO | 6:30 P.M. | FS2

MISSISSIPPI STATE AT ALABAMA | 7 P.M. | ESPN

BOISE STATE AT AIR FORCE | 7 P.M. | CBSSN

MINNESOTA AT PENN STATE | 7:30 P.M. | ABC

TEXAS A&M AT SOUTH CAROLINA | 7:30 P.M. | SEC NETWORK

UCF AT EAST CAROLINA | 7:30 P.M. | ESPNU

KANSAS STATE AT TCU | 8 P.M.

COLORADO AT OREGON STATE | 8 P.M. | PAC-12 NETWORK

PITT AT LOUISVILLE | 8 P.M. | ACC NETWORK

UTAH STATE AT WYOMING | 9:45 P.M.

WASHINGTON AT CAL | 10:30 P.M. | ESPN

SAN DIEGO STATE AT NEVADA | 10:30 P.M. | CBSSN

NFL WEEK 7

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2022

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT ARIZONA CARDINALS (THU) 5:15P (MST) 8:15P PRIME VIDEO

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2022

CLEVELAND BROWNS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P CBS

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AT CAROLINA PANTHERS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P FOX

ATLANTA FALCONS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P FOX

DETROIT LIONS AT DALLAS COWBOYS 12:00P (CT) 1:00P CBS

NEW YORK GIANTS AT JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P FOX

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT TENNESSEE TITANS 12:00P (CT) 1:00P CBS

GREEN BAY PACKERS AT WASHINGTON COMMANDERS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P FOX

NEW YORK JETS AT DENVER BRONCOS 2:05P (MT) 4:05P CBS

HOUSTON TEXANS AT LAS VEGAS RAIDERS 1:05P (PT) 4:05P CBS

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT LOS ANGELES CHARGERS 1:25P (PT) 4:25P FOX

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 1:25P (PT) 4:25P FOX

PITTSBURGH STEELERS AT MIAMI DOLPHINS 8:20P (ET) 8:20P NBC*

MONDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2022

CHICAGO BEARS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (MON) 8:15P (ET) 8:15P ESPN

MLB PLAYOFFS

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 19

SAN DIEGO 8 PHILADELPHIA 5

BOX SCORE: http://hosted.stats.com/mlb/boxscore.asp?gamecode=421019125&home=25&vis=22&final=true

HOUSTON 4 NY YANKEES 2

BOX SCORE: http://hosted.stats.com/mlb/boxscore.asp?gamecode=421019118&home=18&vis=10&final=true

THURSDAY, OCT. 20

ALCS GAME 2, NYY @ HOU 7:30 P.M., TBS

FRIDAY, OCT. 21

NLCS GAME 3, SD @ PHI 7:30 P.M., FS1

SATURDAY, OCT. 22

ALCS GAME 3, HOU @ NYY 5 P.M., TBS

NLCS GAME 4, SD @ PHI 7:45 P.M., FOX

SUNDAY, OCT. 23

NLCS GAME 5, SD @ PHI 2:30 P.M., FS1 (IF NECESSARY)

ALCS GAME 4, HOU @ NYY 7 P.M., TBS

MONDAY, OCT. 24

ALCS GAME 5, HOU @ NYY 4 P.M., TBS (IF NECESSARY)

NLCS GAME 6, PHI @ SD 8 P.M., FS1 (IF NECESSARY)

TUESDAY, OCT. 25

ALCS GAME 6, NYY @ HOU 6 P.M., TBS (IF NECESSARY)

NLCS GAME 7, PHI @ SD 8 P.M., FOX OR FS1 (IF NECESSARY)

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 26

ALCS GAME 7, NYY @ HOU 7:30 P.M., TBS (IF NECESSARY)

WORLD SERIES

FRIDAY, OCT. 28

GAME 1 (AT BETTER RECORD), FOX

SATURDAY, OCT. 29

GAME 2 (AT BETTER RECORD), FOX

MONDAY, OCT. 31

GAME 3, FOX

TUESDAY, NOV. 1

GAME 4, FOX

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 2

GAME 5, FOX (IF NECESSARY)

FRIDAY, NOV. 4

GAME 6, FOX (IF NECESSARY, AT BETTER RECORD)

SATURDAY, NOV. 5

GAME 7, FOX (IF NECESSARY, AT BETTER RECORD)

NBA SCOREBOARD

WASHINGTON 114 INDIANA 107

DETROIT 113 ORLANDO 109

ATLANTA 117 HOUSTON 107

CHICAGO 116 MIAMI 108

NEW ORLEANS 130 BROOKLYN 108

TORONTO 108 CLEVELAND 105

MEMPHIS 115 NEW YORK 112 OT

MINNESOTA 115 OKLAHOMA CITY 108

CHARLOTTE 129 SAN ANTONIO 102

UTAH 123 DENVER 102

PHOENIX 107 DALLAS 105

PORTLAND 115 SACRAMENTO 108

BOX SCORES: http://hosted.stats.com/nba/scoreboard.asp

NHL SCOREBOARD

FLORIDA 4 PHILADELPHIA 3

WINNIPEG 4 COLORADO 3

ST. LOUIS 4 SEATTLE 3

BOX SCORES: http://hosted.stats.com/nhl/scoreboard.asp

MLS PLAYOFFS THURSDAY

PHILADELPHIA AT CINCINNATI

LAFC AT LA

TOP NATIONAL HEADLINES

VERLANDER KS 11 TO LEAD ASTROS OVER YANKEES 4-2 IN ALCS

HOUSTON (AP) When Justin Verlander was laboring and needed 45 pitches to get through two innings, Astros manager Dusty Baker was worried he’d have to go to his bullpen early.

Instead, the veteran ace buckled down and found a groove, striking out 11 in six strong innings to lead Houston over the New York Yankees 4-2 in their AL Championship Series opener Wednesday night.

“This guy, he has mental toughness,” Baker said. “When he’s down and out and it looks like you got him in trouble, this guy, he can dial it up.”

Yuli Gurriel launched a tiebreaking homer for Houston in the sixth. Chas McCormick and Jeremy Pena also went deep as the AL West champions improved to 4-0 in the playoffs after going 106-56 during the regular season.

The Astros are in their sixth consecutive ALCS, looking to reach the World Series for the fourth time in that span, against a New York team in the LCS for the first time since being eliminated by Houston in 2019.

The game was tied 1-all when Gurriel connected off reliever Clarke Schmidt for a solo shot into the left-field seats to put Houston on top. Two batters later, McCormick sent a sinker from Schmidt into right field to make it 3-1.

“I didn’t do my job today,” Schmidt said.

Verlander set a major league record with his eighth double-digit strikeout game in the postseason. He passed Clayton Kershaw (213) to become the career leader in postseason strikeouts with 219.

“As the game’s going along, you just gain more confidence as you start making better pitches,” Verlander said. “Once I started being able to execute my pitches the way I wanted, I feel like my confidence just kind of built upon that.”

New York whiffed 17 times in all to only two for the Astros – the largest difference ever in a postseason game.

“They’re obviously really dynamic,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “Outstanding starting pitching, but can shorten the game with the best of ’em. So we’ve got to find a way to break through against them.”

Pena, whose 18th-inning home run completed a sweep of the Mariners in the ALDS, belted a homer off Frankie Montas to start the seventh and extend the lead to 4-1. Montas was pitching for the first time since Sept. 16 because of a shoulder injury that kept him off the Division Series roster.

Anthony Rizzo homered off Rafael Montero with two outs in the eighth to get the Yankees within two. Giancarlo Stanton singled before Josh Donaldson walked, spurring Baker to bring in closer Ryan Pressly.

He struck out Matt Carpenter to end the inning and pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to get the four-out save.

Carpenter, back recently from a broken foot, fanned all four times up.

“The way (Verlander) threw the ball tonight, I could have played for the last two months and it would have been a tough day,” he said.

After struggling in Game 1 of the ALDS against Seattle, Verlander looked shaky early in this one, giving up a second-inning homer to Harrison Bader that put the Yankees up 1-0. It was Bader’s fourth home run in six playoff games – his first four long balls with New York.

But the Astros tied it in the bottom half on an RBI double by Martin Maldonado.

The Astros had a few days off after eliminating Seattle on Saturday. The Yankees dealt with a quick turnaround after winning a rain-postponed Game 5 over the Guardians at home Tuesday before heading to Houston.

They had runners at second and third with one out in the third after a double by Stanton, but Verlander struck out Donaldson and Carpenter to escape the jam.

“I gave it everything I had to try to get a couple strikeouts and was able to do that,” Verlander said. “Then from there, that kind of mentality, just keep making your pitches and a couple adjustments that I was able to make fairly quickly on the off-speed stuff really paid off.”

Those were the first of six consecutive strikeouts for Verlander, which matched a postseason record. It’s the second time he’s tied the mark after also fanning six in a row in Game 3 of the 2013 ALCS for Detroit.

“I thought early we had our chances. I don’t think he was real sharp early, but then he kind of dialed it in,” Boone said. “He started really executing, staying away from trouble. I thought he spun the ball really well.”

Verlander didn’t allow a baserunner after the third inning, retiring his last 11 batters with nine strikeouts. When he fanned Carpenter to end the sixth, he pumped his fist and yelled before trotting off the field to a huge ovation from the mostly orange-clad home crowd.

“We couldn’t really get anything going against him,” said Yankees slugger Aaron Judge, who was 0 for 4. “We couldn’t really come up with that timely hit early on to keep him on his toes.”

The two-time Cy Young Award winner and nine-time All-Star permitted three hits and one run in his 32nd postseason start, 11th in a series opener. It was his first playoff win since 2019.

Pena doubled twice before his homer to give him seven hits this postseason. His three extra-base hits equaled a rookie record for a postseason game.

The clutch performances by Pena, who took over for Carlos Correa at shortstop this season, have helped the Astros this October as superstar Jose Altuve has struggled.

“It’s everything I’ve dreamed of,” Pena said about his first postseason. “The environment, the fans, the crowd, the preparation that goes into every game. It’s fun.”

Altuve, a three-time batting champion, went 0 for 3 with a walk and is 0 for 19 this postseason.

Stanton played left field with Aaron Hicks sidelined for the rest of the postseason with a sprained knee he sustained in an outfield collision Tuesday. It was Stanton’s first appearance in the field since July 21 and his rust showed early when he couldn’t grab a fly ball that Pena hit for a double in the first.

New York starter Jameson Taillon walked Yordan Alvarez after that, but Judge robbed Alex Bregman of a hit and saved at least one run and maybe more when he made a diving catch in right field for the second out of the inning.

Taillon yielded four hits and a run in 4 1/3 innings.

PETTIS OUT

Astros third base coach Gary Pettis was out because of an illness. First base coach Omar Lopez filled in for Pettis, and quality control coach Dan Firova coached first.

CLEMENS RETURNS

Roger Clemens, who pitched for both the Yankees and Astros in a 24-year career that included a record seven Cy Young Awards, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

He stepped a couple of feet in front of the rubber before throwing a perfect strike to Houston starter Lance McCullers.

“Every time I get out there, he looks further and further (away),” the 60-year-old Clemens said. “So, I’m just glad it made it there.”

Asked for a prediction on the series, Clemens didn’t give any insight into which team he’s pulling for this week.

“I think it’s going to go to seven games,” he said. “And that’s it.”

UP NEXT

Framber Valdez (0-0, 3.18 ERA) opposes Luis Severino (0-0, 4.76) and the Yankees when the series continues Thursday night.

DRURY, PADRES RALLY TO BEAT NOLA, PHILLIES 8-5, TIE NLCS 1-1

SAN DIEGO (AP) The scrappy San Diego Padres, largely rebuilt at the trade deadline, are finding their identity at just the right time.

In danger of heading to Philadelphia down 0-2 in the NL Championship Series, the Padres produced another huge rally in front of their rowdy fans to put some punch into the all-wild card matchup.

Brandon Drury hit a go-ahead, two-run single during a five-run outburst in the fifth inning and San Diego stunned Aaron Nola and the Phillies 8-5 on Wednesday to tie the NLCS at one game apiece.

“You go into their place, which is probably going to be as spirited as ours is, down 2-0 and that’s an uphill battle,” said veteran manager Bob Melvin, who has brought a calming presence in his first year as San Diego’s skipper.

The Padres weren’t rattled when they fell behind 4-0 in the second inning after getting just one hit during a 2-0 loss in the series opener Tuesday.

“We go into Philly for three and it’s a big game,” Drury said. “We’ve got to fight and we did. It’s huge.”

The fifth-inning surge started with Padres catcher Austin Nola hitting an RBI single off his younger brother that brought the sellout, towel-twirling crowd of 44,607 to life. Three innings earlier, the Phillies took a 4-0 lead with a rally that included bloop hits, a sun-aided double on a gorgeous, 92-degree afternoon and some shoddy Padres defense.

On Saturday night, spurred by the bottom of the order, the Padres broke loose for five runs in the seventh inning of a 5-3 win that eliminated the 111-win Los Angeles Dodgers.

Wednesday’s rally was similar.

“We need to continue to build that confidence,” said Austin Nola, the No. 9 batter. “That’s what we talked about all year. That identity is never giving up, never giving in. Every inning we’re putting pressure on the other team to score and it’s paying off.”

Drury and Josh Bell hit back-to-back homers for the Padres, and Manny Machado went deep late.

The series shifts to Philadelphia for three games beginning Friday night. The Phillies, trying to reach their first World Series since 2009, outscored Atlanta 17-4 in two home Division Series games last weekend to dispatch the defending World Series champion Braves.

Manager Rob Thomson said the Phillies need to approach this situation like they did the NLDS.

“We went into Atlanta, won the first one, lost the second one. Disappointing game. We had a day off and came back home in front of 46,000 raucous people and played really well. I expect to do the same thing,” he said.

Blake Snell got the win and Josh Hader the save after striking out the side in the ninth to send the crowd into a frenzy. Aaron Nola, in the playoffs for the first time and off to a brilliant start before Wednesday, took the loss.

The Padres, playing in their first NLCS since 1998, appeared to be in deep trouble after Snell threw 37 pitches in the Phillies’ four-run second.

San Diego began its comeback with homers on consecutive pitches by Drury and Bell to open the bottom of the inning. Drury lined a shot to left field and Bell lifted a fly ball deep to right that stayed just fair.

Bell and Juan Soto, who had an RBI double in the fifth, were obtained in a blockbuster trade with Washington on Aug. 2, the same day the Padres got Drury from Cincinnati. The day before, the Padres got Hader from Milwaukee.

When Austin Nola grounded out in the second inning, it was the first pitcher-batter matchup between siblings in postseason history.

Big brother came up again in the fifth with one out and Kim Ha-seong on first base. Aaron Nola threw over several times before Austin singled to right-center to bring in the speedy Kim, who was running on an 0-2 pitch. His helmet flew off between second and third before he scored with a headfirst slide.

“It’s a typical plate appearance vs. my brother. I’m 0-2,” Austin Nola said. “I might as well just walk up there and tell him to put two strikes on me because that’s what it feels like. I just battle. I know the kind of pitcher he is. He’s not going to give in. I’m just trying to hit something hard through the middle and good things happen.”

Jurickson Profar singled, Soto hit an RBI double to tie the game at 4 and Machado struck out before Aaron Nola was pulled for former Padres closer Brad Hand.

Jake Cronenworth was hit by a pitch to load the bases. With fans on their feet and waving yellow rally towels, Drury singled to put the Padres ahead. Bell capped the really with a single to right. The Padres sent 11 batters to the plate, collecting six hits, a walk and a hit batter.

Aaron Nola hadn’t allowed an earned run in picking up a win in each of the first two playoff rounds.

After winning 2-0 Tuesday on Kyle Schwarber’s jaw-dropping, 488-foot homer and another homer by Bryce Harper, the Phillies went ahead with small ball in the second inning Wednesday.

Snell needed only six pitches to get through a 1-2-3 first but wasn’t as lucky in the second.

Harper and Nick Castellanos opened the inning with bloop singles before Alec Bohm hit a sharp single to right to bring in Harper. After Jean Segura struck out, Soto, the right fielder, lost Matt Vierling’s fly ball in the sun and it dropped behind him for an RBI double.

Edmundo Sosa golfed an RBI single that landed just in front of Profar in left field. Schwarber hit a weak grounder to first that Drury bobbled before stepping on the bag as Vierling scored.

Snell allowed four runs and five hits in five innings. He struck out six and walked one.

Aaron Nola was tagged for six runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings. He struck out six and walked none.

As for the brotherly showdown, he said: “I want to beat him. I want to go to the next round and let him go home.”

Machado homered leading off the seventh and Philly’s Rhys Hoskins homered on the first pitch from Robert Suarez in the eighth, ending the reliever’s scoreless streak of 19 1/3 innings.

UP NEXT

Padres RHP Joe Musgrove (10-7, 2.93 ERA regular season; 1-0, 1.38 postseason) and Phillies LHP Ranger Suarez (10-7, 3.65 ERA regular season; 0-0, 2.70 postseason) are scheduled to start Game 3 on Friday night in Philadelphia.

GUARDIANS STAR RAMÍREZ HAS THUMB INJURY, SURGERY SCHEDULED

CLEVELAND (AP) Cleveland Guardians All-Star third baseman Jose Ramirez played the second half of the season – and the team’s playoff run – with a torn right thumb ligament that will require surgery.

The team said Ramirez injured the ulnar collateral ligament in his thumb during a June game in Los Angeles. He’ll have an operation in the next few weeks and will require up to two months to recover.

The Guardians said Wednesday that the rehab will not significantly impact his offseason training or his availability for next season.

The revelation of Ramirez’s injury came one day after the Guardians were eliminated from the postseason, losing Game 5 of the AL Division Series to the New York Yankees.

Ramirez went 1 for 3 in the finale, driving in Cleveland’s only run with a sacrifice fly in the third inning.

Despite the injury, the 30-year-old Ramirez had another stellar season in 2022, which he began by signing a seven-year, $141 million contract that likely will keep him with the Guardians for the rest of his career.

Ramirez batted .280 with 29 home runs and 126 RBIs, five behind league leader Aaron Judge. He could finish in the top three in AL MVP voting for the fourth time in his career.

PANTHERS’ PJ WALKER TO START AT QB AGAINST BUCCANEERS

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) P.J. Walker will make his second straight start at quarterback for the Carolina Panthers on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Interim head coach Steve Wilks said Jacob Eason will serve as the backup.

This is the first time in his NFL career that Walker has started consecutive games.

“I have confidence in P.J.,” Wilks said.

The news comes following Sam Darnold’s return to practice on Wednesday after being designated to return from injured reserve.

Wilks indicated that he wants to give Darnold – who missed the first six games after suffering a high ankle sprain in the preseason – more time to recover. The Panthers have 21 days to activate him to the 53-man roster.

“I don’t see Sam being in a position to where he is going to progress” this week, Wilks said of Darnold’s potential return. “I don’t feel comfortable as a head coach trying to press that. When he can communicate to me that he’s ready, we will move forward.”

Darnold took reps with the scout team on Wednesday.

Darnold was 4-7 as the team’s starting quarterback last year, where he completed 59.8% of his passes for 2,527 yards and had nine touchdown passes and 13 interceptions.

Baker Mayfield, who started the team’s first five games, was held out of practice again as he attempts to recover from an ankle sprain he sustained in a Week 5 loss to San Francisco. He’s being evaluated on a week-to-week basis but will not play Sunday.

Wilks said the starting quarterback moving forward will be determined on a week-by-week basis.

The big question heading into Sunday becomes if the Panthers will allow Walker to throw the ball downfield.

Walker struggled last week, completing just 10 of 16 passes for 60 yards in a 24-10 loss to the Los Angeles Rams before leaving in the fourth quarter with a neck injury.

His throws were almost exclusively screen passes as the Panthers kept things conservative wanting to avoid turnovers.

According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Walker’s average intended air yards was 0.1 yards – which means that the average depth of his throws was barely past the line of scrimmage.

That strategy didn’t work so well as the Panthers scored just three points on offense with their only touchdown coming on an interception return by cornerback Donte Jackson.

Wilks was non-committal about whether the Panthers will try to throw the ball downfield more against the Buccaneers.

“I anticipate us doing whatever we can to win the football game,” Wilks said. “If that is pushing the ball down the field or running the ball a certain amount of times, we will see exactly how the game flows.”

Walker said his goal is to get the ball in the hands of his playmakers.

But he added that he hasn’t spoken to coaches about throwing downfield more.

“With the run game working the way it was last week if we can get the ball downfield it will soften up the secondary and we will be good to go and be able to run the ball even more,” Walker said.

“It’s going to come,” he added.

Carolina (1-5) has the NFL’s 32nd-ranked offense and has lost 12 of its past 13 games.

NOTES: The Panthers also designated defensive tackle Bravvion Roy to return from injured reserve. … Wilks has yet to announce a starting wide receiver opposite D.J. Moore after the team traded Robbie Anderson to the Arizona Cardinals on Monday. Possibilities including Terrace Marshall, Laviska Shenault and Shi Smith. … Cornerbacks Donte Jackson (ankle) and C.J. Henderson (concussion) were held out of practice but Wilks anticipates both playing Sunday. … Cornerback Jaycee Horn (ribs) returned to practice on a limited basis after missing last week’s game.

PANTHERS’ PJ WALKER TO START AT QB AGAINST BUCCANEERS

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) P.J. Walker will make his second straight start at quarterback for the Carolina Panthers on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Interim head coach Steve Wilks said Jacob Eason will serve as the backup.

This is the first time in his NFL career that Walker has started consecutive games.

“I have confidence in P.J.,” Wilks said.

The news comes following Sam Darnold’s return to practice on Wednesday after being designated to return from injured reserve.

Wilks indicated that he wants to give Darnold – who missed the first six games after suffering a high ankle sprain in the preseason – more time to recover. The Panthers have 21 days to activate him to the 53-man roster.

“I don’t see Sam being in a position to where he is going to progress” this week, Wilks said of Darnold’s potential return. “I don’t feel comfortable as a head coach trying to press that. When he can communicate to me that he’s ready, we will move forward.”

Darnold took reps with the scout team on Wednesday.

Darnold was 4-7 as the team’s starting quarterback last year, where he completed 59.8% of his passes for 2,527 yards and had nine touchdown passes and 13 interceptions.

Baker Mayfield, who started the team’s first five games, was held out of practice again as he attempts to recover from an ankle sprain he sustained in a Week 5 loss to San Francisco. He’s being evaluated on a week-to-week basis but will not play Sunday.

Wilks said the starting quarterback moving forward will be determined on a week-by-week basis.

The big question heading into Sunday becomes if the Panthers will allow Walker to throw the ball downfield.

Walker struggled last week, completing just 10 of 16 passes for 60 yards in a 24-10 loss to the Los Angeles Rams before leaving in the fourth quarter with a neck injury.

His throws were almost exclusively screen passes as the Panthers kept things conservative wanting to avoid turnovers.

According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Walker’s average intended air yards was 0.1 yards – which means that the average depth of his throws was barely past the line of scrimmage.

That strategy didn’t work so well as the Panthers scored just three points on offense with their only touchdown coming on an interception return by cornerback Donte Jackson.

Wilks was non-committal about whether the Panthers will try to throw the ball downfield more against the Buccaneers.

“I anticipate us doing whatever we can to win the football game,” Wilks said. “If that is pushing the ball down the field or running the ball a certain amount of times, we will see exactly how the game flows.”

Walker said his goal is to get the ball in the hands of his playmakers.

But he added that he hasn’t spoken to coaches about throwing downfield more.

“With the run game working the way it was last week if we can get the ball downfield it will soften up the secondary and we will be good to go and be able to run the ball even more,” Walker said.

“It’s going to come,” he added.

Carolina (1-5) has the NFL’s 32nd-ranked offense and has lost 12 of its past 13 games.

NOTES: The Panthers also designated defensive tackle Bravvion Roy to return from injured reserve. … Wilks has yet to announce a starting wide receiver opposite D.J. Moore after the team traded Robbie Anderson to the Arizona Cardinals on Monday. Possibilities including Terrace Marshall, Laviska Shenault and Shi Smith. … Cornerbacks Donte Jackson (ankle) and C.J. Henderson (concussion) were held out of practice but Wilks anticipates both playing Sunday. … Cornerback Jaycee Horn (ribs) returned to practice on a limited basis after missing last week’s game.

RUSSELL WILSON: HAMSTRING FEELS BETTER 48 HOURS AFTER INJURY

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) Russell Wilson stepped up to the podium Wednesday without the noticeable limp he had after pulling a hamstring in the Broncos’ 19-16 overtime loss to the Chargers less than 48 hours earlier and declared himself a quick healer.

“It’s feeling better every day,” Wilson said. “Day by day. Obviously it happened Monday night, but I heal quick. I don’t know if it’s Wolverine’s blood or what. But I feel better.”

The Broncos (2-4) will try to snap a three-game skid Sunday when they host the surging New York Jets (4-2).

Asked if he expects to play, Wilson said, “I’m hoping so. I’m doing everything I can to get ready to roll. So, that’s always my mentality.”

The only games Wilson has missed in his 11 NFL seasons came during his final season in Seattle last year when he sat out three games with a broken finger.

“If I can go, I’ll go,” Wilson said.

Wilson hadn’t emerged from the locker room by the time reporters were ushered off the practice field Wednesday during the team’s walkthrough.

The only players wearing helmets during the condensed viewing period were backup QB Brett Rypien and veteran QB Josh Johnson, who’s on the practice squad.

That was an indication they would get plenty of snaps Wednesday when Wilson was listed as “limited” on the practice report.

Coach Nathaniel Hackett said Rypien got abundant snaps with the No. 1 offense last week after Wilson flew to Los Angeles to receive an injection to alleviate discomfort near his throwing shoulder.

Wilson started last week but posted his sixth straight middling performance that has called into question the hybrid offense installed by Hackett that often has Wilson in the shotgun instead of under center.

The Broncos are last in the league in scoring at 15.5 points per game and Wilson is off to the worst start of his career. He has five touchdown passes and 20 sacks so far and he was just 3 for 11 for 15 yards after halftime Monday night.

Wilson looked on the bright side – he completed his first 10 passes against the Chargers and started out 12 of 14 for 173 yards and a score, driving the Broncos to an early 10-0 lead and then leading them quickly downfield for a field goal and a 13-10 halftime advantage.

“I think that’s who we are, who we can be,” Wilson said. “I think we have to stay focused on the details, focused on doing the little things right and making plays.”

Asked if listing Wilson as “limited” falls on the hopeful side of the equation, Hackett said, “Yeah, of course. With him, he’s a very tough competitor. He’s going to do every single thing that he can to possibly be able to get out on that field” Sunday.

Hackett also said running back Melvin Gordon would start against the Jets as he has in the two games since Javonte Williams sustained a season-ending knee injury against the Raiders on Oct. 2.

Hackett said he met with Gordon, who didn’t get any carries after the 8:26 mark of the second quarter Monday night as newcomer Latavius Murray carried 15 times for 66 yards.

“It was a great talk, love Melvin, so much respect for him as a pro for what he’s done in this league,” Hackett said.

Gordon finished with 8 yards on three carries, then retweeted a bunch of tweets suggesting the Broncos trade him.

Asked if he got an explanation from Hackett, Gordon said “Yeah, kind of, sort of, yeah.”

Gordon said the TV cameras “caught some clips of me being, like, (ticked off) but that was more to us not being able to drive, and you know, going three-and-out, just not playing good football. People made it seem like I was just mad, kind of standoffish, but if you were really paying attention, that wasn’t the case.

“I hate I’m in the media for the wrong reasons,” Gordon added, “because I don’t want people to look at me and think `it’s always something’ rather than the guy’s out here killing it.”

Also keeping his starting job is rookie punt returner Montrell Washington, whose fumbled punt in overtime led to the Chargers’ game-winning kick.

“Of course, I mean, he’s a young man, he’s done a really good job. He’s had some very explosive plays,” Hackett said. “You can see that he is a dynamic returner. He just needs to lock in and focus and catch the ball first.”

MISSISSIPPI STATE FRESHMAN LINEMAN SAM WESTMORELAND DIES

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) Mississippi State freshman offensive lineman Sam Westmoreland has died at the age of 18, the school announced Wednesday.

The school did not provide details in announcing the death of Westmoreland, an industrial technology major from Tupelo who would have turned 19 on Friday. It said in a news release that it was working with the athletic department, the Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Office and the coroner’s office to determine facts of the death and would not comment further.

Messages left with the sheriff’s office and coroner’s office were not immediately returned.

Westmoreland, 6-foot-4 and 260 pounds, was listed on the roster for the Bulldogs’ Southeastern Conference game Saturday at No. 6 Alabama. He had not played this season, according to the game notes.

MSU coach Mike Leach said in the news release that the athletics family was heartbroken by Westmoreland’s death, which he called sudden.

“Sam was a beloved son, brother and teammate, and a tremendous young man with a limitless future,” Leach said. “He will always be remembered and deeply missed by everyone who knew and loved him. Our highest priority is the support of the Westmoreland family and our student-athletes during this troubling time.”

ZION SCORES 25 POINTS IN RETURN, PELICANS ROUT NETS 130-108

NEW YORK (AP) Zion Williamson resumed his assault on backboards and basketball players, leaving both at the mercy of his skills and strength.

“It’s like he didn’t miss a beat,” New Orleans coach Willie Green said. “You just throw the ball to him and watch what he does.”

Williamson returned from a one-year absence with 25 points and nine rebounds, powering the Pelicans to a season-opening 130-108 rout of the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night.

The No. 1 pick in the 2019 draft looked fully recovered and explosive after being sidelined with a broken right foot, and his addition to a roster that made the playoffs without him could make the Pelicans a rising team in the Western Conference.

“Simply playing the game I love that I didn’t get to play for a long time just was a breath of fresh air,” Williamson said.

Ben Simmons also returned to action after a missed season but had the misfortune of having to cover Williamson for much of the brief time he was in the game. He fouled out early in the fourth quarter with four points, five rebounds and five assists, taking three shots.

“It takes time,” Simmons said. “Having back surgery and being away from the game for a year there are little things that your mind might tell you to do something, but your body’s not wanting to do that.”

Brandon Ingram scored 28 points and CJ McCollum had 21 for the Pelicans, who finished strong last season and opened impressively in this one. Jonas Valanciunas had 15 points and 13 rebounds and New Orleans outrebounded Brooklyn 61-39.

“This is a grown man’s league and the most physical team wins and New Orleans came into this with an intent to show why they’re going to be in the hunt for championships over the next few years,” Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving said.

Kevin Durant scored 32 points but was largely a one-man show, with no other Nets player in double figures until the final two minutes of the third quarter. Patty Mills had 16 points and Irving managed 15 on 6-for-19 shooting, going 0 for 6 from 3-point range.

The 6-foot-6, 285-pound Williamson was quick off his feet for rebounds and forceful with his moves into the paint, displaying his level of athleticism that’s rare even in the NBA. His basket-shaking dunk with about 8 1/2 minutes remaining brought some of the few cheers from a dejected crowd who watched the home team never lead and trail by as many as 26.

It was already 7-0 before Simmons made the first basket of Brooklyn’s season. The Pelicans raced to a 20-4 lead and Williamson’s layup made it 32-14 after one.

It was 58-50 at the half before Ingram scored 12 points and Williamson added 11 on 5-for-6 shooting in a 40-point third as the lead grew to 26 before the Pelicans took a 98-78 lead to the fourth.

It was a bad way to start the season for a Nets team that desperately wants to forget the last one. A first-round exit – when Simmons never played because of back problems after being acquired for James Harden – gave way to a tumultuous offseason in which Durant asked to be traded and the Nets refused to give Irving a contract extension, forcing him to pick up his option for this one and making it possible it’s his last in Brooklyn.

TIP-INS

Pelicans: Green said he could tell during the Pelicans’ playoff run last season that Williamson had moved beyond the disappointment of injury rehab to excitement for playing again. “It’s very difficult going through injuries, especially when you’re really young and you’ve been working your tail off to try and be prepared to come in and help your team and you suffer a setback,” Green said. “So he had to navigate through all of those things. Now coming back this offseason, he’s been in the gym all season and that smile is real.” … C Jaxson Hayes (torn elbow ligament) is “very close” to returning,” Green said.

Nets: Brooklyn was missing its two best outside shooters, with Joe Harris (sore left foot) and Seth Curry (left ankle) not ready for the start of the season. … Irving addressed the crowd before the start of the game and made a plea for the return of WNBA star Brittney Griner from a Russian prison. “Everybody do your job. Please bring our sister home,” Irving said.

UP NEXT

Pelicans: At Charlotte on Friday night.

Nets: Host Toronto on Friday night.

MURRAY, YOUNG LEAD HAWKS PAST PESKY ROCKETS 117-107

ATLANTA (AP) Dejounte Murray and Trae Young hardly looked like they were playing their first game together.

Murray had 20 points, 11 assists and five steals in his Atlanta debut Wednesday night, teaming with Young for a tantalizing glimpse of what the Hawks can expect from their new backcourt tandem.

“My goal is for me and Trae to make this team better,” Murray said after a 117-107 victory over the pesky Houston Rockets.

On the opening night of the season in Atlanta, there were no complaints from the sellout crowd.

Murray, an All-Star acquired from San Antonio in the Hawks’ biggest move of the offseason, was a bit more critical of the team’s performance.

Even with four of Atlanta’s starters scoring at least 20 points, the Hawks struggled to put away a team that had the NBA’s worst record the last two years.

“I feel like the game was too close,” said Murray, who rated his performance “6 out of 10.”

Young had 23 points and 13 assists. For one night, at least, a pair of star point guards showed they can co-exist – and get their teammates involved, for good measure.

“The Atlanta Hawks are not me and Trae, but we set the tone,” Murray said. “We’re gonna get better.”

Murray became the first player since Spud Webb in 1985 to have a double-double in his Atlanta debut. But his biggest impact may have been at the defensive end, where he’s charged with helping the Hawks improve on one of their biggest problems a season ago.

The last of his steals came after he knocked down a three-pointer.

Murray swiped the ball from Jalen Green and dished off to Onyeka Okongwu for a lay-in that pushed the lead to 102-92 with less than 5 1/2 minutes to go.

“We’ve challenged Trae and all the guys to get better defensively,” Hawks coach Nate McMillan said. “That’s the key to the season.”

The Rockets were led by Kevin Porter Jr, with 21 points, two days after he signed an $82.5 million, four-year contract extension to help lead Houston’s major rebuilding project.

John Collins, who was the subject of incessant trade speculation during the offseason, led the Hawks with 24 points. De’Andre Hunter, his future in Atlanta solidified by a $95 million, four-year extension, chipped in with 22 points.

The Hawks are hoping to recapture the form that carried them to the Eastern Conference final in 2021.

Atlanta slipped to ninth in the East a season ago and needed to win two play-in games just to qualify for the postseason. The Hawks didn’t last long in the playoffs, going down in five games to top seed Miami.

The Rockets, who had the NBA’s worst record the last two seasons, sent out a youthful lineup that included No. 3 overall pick Jabari Smith Jr.

The former Auburn star had 17 points and seven rebounds in a promising NBA debut.

“We were disjointed a little bit,” Rockets coach Stephen Silas said. “But I loved our fight, I loved our competitiveness.”

YOUTHFUL ROCKETS

Of the 13 players who dressed for Houston, only two had more than three seasons of NBA experience.

It showed.

“There were multiple times where I sat down and told our assistants, ‘Man we’re just so young,'” Silas said, managing a smile.

Most notably, the Rockets had 16 turnovers, which the Hawks turned into 28 points. Houston scored just 13 points off turnovers.

“It was the transition points that really hurt us the most,” Silas said. “I’m encouraged, even though we lost.”

TIP-INS

Rockets: Another first-round pick, Tari Eason, had eight points and seven assists in 15 minutes off the bench. … Houston outrebounded the Hawks 54-38. … Daishen Nix (sore back), Jae-Sean Tate (left ankle soreness) and rookie TyTy Washington (left knee sprain) were not available for the start of the regular season.

Hawks: The team’s two rookies – first-rounder AJ Griffin and second-rounder Tyrese Martin – did not play. … Atlanta had 30 assists and just nine turnovers. … G Bogdan Bogdanovic was the only Atlanta player who didn’t dress for the opener. He continues to recover from right knee surgery in June.

UP NEXT

Rockets: Return to Houston for their home opener Friday night against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Hawks: Host the Orlando Magic on Friday night in the second of three straight home games to begin the season.

DEROZAN SCORES 37, BULLS TOP HEAT 116-108 IN SEASON OPENER

MIAMI (AP) DeMar DeRozan picked up where he left off last season.

DeRozan scored 28 of his 37 points in the second half, Ayo Dosunmu added 17 and the short-handed Chicago Bulls beat the Miami Heat 116-108 in the season-opener for both teams Wednesday night.

“Not many guys in this league work as hard as I do,” said DeRozan, who averaged a career-best 27.9 points last season – and got his 14th NBA season off to a flying start in this one.

It was the second-most points DeRozan had ever scored in an opener, behind only the 40 he had for Toronto against Detroit on Oct. 26, 2015. He made 14 of 22 shots from the floor.

“His whole routine and what he does in the summer and the grind that he puts himself through, I think prepares him for these for these situations,” Bulls coach Billy Donovan said. “And he takes great care of himself. He’s really, really cerebral. He’s a smart player.”

Nikola Vucevic had 15 points and 17 rebounds for the Bulls, and Goran Dragic added 12 off the Chicago bench.

Jimmy Butler scored 24 points and Tyler Herro added 23 for Miami, which got 22 from Max Strus and 12 from Bam Adebayo.

“They did everything right. We didn’t do too much right,” Butler said. “We did a lot of things wrong. They pulled away and we couldn’t get the lead back.”

The Bulls played without All-Star guard Zach LaVine because of left knee injury management. That knee had him in and out of the lineup last season and required surgery in May. LaVine played in three of Chicago’s preseason games and experienced discomfort in recent days – which Donovan said is to be expected, given that LaVine was limited for much of the summer.

“We’re just going to have to get our hands around this,” Donovan said. “But like the medical guys said, he has to ramp up. There’s no way of getting around it. You just can’t tiptoe around it and let him kind of ease his way into the season.”

The Bulls did just fine without LaVine – who signed a $215 million deal over the summer.

Chicago started the second half on a 34-19 run, breaking open what was a 59-59 halftime tie and turning it into a 93-78 lead. The margin was down to 10 going into the fourth, and the Heat kept chipping away.

Strus’ 3-pointer with 6:19 left drew Miami to 102-98, but the Heat got no closer. Vucevic made a 3-pointer with 4:59 left to put Chicago up by nine, and the lead wasn’t challenged again.

“There’s things that we have to clean up defensively just to get back to our identity,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

TIP-INS

Bulls: Dragic was 4 for 4 from 3-point range in the first half. The last time he was at least 4-for-4 from beyond the arc in a first half was Jan. 9, 2021, in Washington, when he played for Miami. … Chicago turned 19 Miami turnovers into 17 points. … DeRozan also had nine assists and six rebounds.

Heat: Team captain Udonis Haslem, in his 20th and – he says – final season-opener, addressed the crowd pregame and offered remarks in support of Brittney Griner, the WNBA star who remains incarcerated in Russia. … Caleb Martin became the 76th player in Heat history to get an opening-night start. … Victor Oladipo (left knee) was inactive. … Kyle Lowry had two points on 1 for 7 shooting.

UP NEXT

Bulls: Visit Washington on Friday night to end a two-game season-opening trip.

Heat: Host Boston on Friday night in a rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference finals.

RAPTORS OVERCOME MITCHELL’S 31 POINTS, BEAT CAVS 108-105

TORONTO (AP) Pascal Siakam had 23 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out, O.G. Anunoby scored 10 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter and the Toronto Raptors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 108-105 Wednesday night.

Gary Trent Jr. scored 19 points, and Scottie Barnes and Fred Van Vleet each had 15 as Toronto outscored Cleveland 32-21 in the final period.

Donovan Mitchell scored 31 points in his Cleveland debut, Jarrett Allen had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Evan Mobley added 14 points for the Cavaliers, who held an eight-point lead through three quarters but failed to close it out.

Mitchell shot 12 for 21 and scored 18 in the second half.

“He’s an elite basketball player,” Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “There’s not many guys in this league that are better than Donovan and capable of doing the things that he can do.”

Cedi Osman scored 17 points and Mitchell had nine assists for the Cavaliers, who are hoping to take a step forward this season after acquiring Mitchell from Utah over the summer. Cleveland reached the play-in tournament last spring, but was eliminated after losing in Brooklyn and at home to Atlanta.

Cleveland All-Star guard Darius Garland injured his left eye in a collision with Trent late in the second quarter and didn’t return.

“His head was clear and all those things but he was cut and bleeding pretty bad from the inside of his eyelid,” Bickerstaff said. “You miss an all-star. You talk about being able to stagger his and Donovan’s minutes so that one of those guys is always on the floor. We know through history what Darius is capable of and how he can carry an offense as well.”

Garland shot 2 for 8 and scored four points in 13 minutes.

“To see DG go down there, it’s tough,” Mitchell said. “I’m proud of the way this group responded.”

Toronto shot 8 for 22 from 3-point range through the first three quarters, but made 5 of 8 from long distance in the fourth.

“We played both ends like we needed to in the fourth quarter,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said.

Toronto had 12 offensive rebounds to Cleveland’s six. The Cavaliers made 16 turnovers, leading to 25 points for the Raptors.

“We didn’t do a bunch of things that we can control,” Mitchell said.

The Cavaliers led 97-92 with 4:55 left in the fourth before Barnes scored and Anunoby made a pair of free throws that cut the deficit to one.

After Allen turned the ball over, Anunoby fed Barnes for a driving dunk that put Toronto up 98-97 with 3:31 left.

“That one time we let our guard down, they hit us with a hook in the fourth,” Mitchell said. “It’s hard to recover from that.”

Cleveland led 57-51 at the half. Mitchell scored 10 points in the third as the Cavs took an 84-76 lead to the fourth.

TIP-INS

Cavaliers: Caris LeVert had 10 points and seven assists. . Osman took Garland’s place to begin the second half. . Cleveland shot 14 for 22 in the second quarter and 9 for 18 in the third. . F Mamadi Diakite (not with team), G Ricky Rubio (left knee) and G-F Dylan Windler (right ankle) were not available.

Raptors: Barnes had a team-high seven assists. . Toronto has eight international players, leading the league for the second consecutive season. Dallas, Indiana and Sacramento have seven. . C Khem Birch (left knee), F Chris Boucher (left hamstring) and F Otto Porter Jr. (left hamstring) were not available.

IN THE FOLD

Toronto exercised the third-year team option on Barnes and the fourth-year team options on F Precious Achiuwa and G Malachi Flynn. All three are signed through 2023-24.

UP NEXT

Cavaliers: Visit Chicago on Saturday night.

Raptors: Visit Brooklyn on Friday night.

MORANT’S 34 POINTS LEAD GRIZZLIES TO OT WIN OVER KNICKS

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) Ja Morant had 34 points and nine assists, and the Memphis Grizzlies beat the New York Knicks 115-112 in overtime on Wednesday night in the season opener for both teams.

Santi Aldama had 18 points and 11 rebounds for Memphis, and Desmond Bane finished with 16 points. Aldama was 7 of 14 from the field in his first career start, stepping in for Jaren Jackson Jr. while the forward recovers from an offseason stress fracture to his right foot.

“You know, I was locked in. I know they were a very good team, so I just tried to play good defense,” said Aldama, who is in his second NBA season after playing college ball at Loyola in Maryland. “I think we did a very good job of moving the ball like we always do and getting stops down the stretch.”

Julius Randle led the Knicks with 24 points and 11 rebounds, while reserve Cam Reddish added 22 points, making 9 of 15 shots from the field. Isaiah Hartenstein finished with 16 points and eight rebounds.

The Grizzlies took a 115-112 lead on Tyus Jones’ 3-pointer with 47.8 seconds left. Evan Fournier had a chance to send the game into a second overtime, but his shot from the left corner as time expired was off the mark.

“There’s a lot to build off of,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. “What I want them to see is that it’s one or two plays here or three. That’s the difference between winning and losing.”

Reddish’s 3-pointer with three seconds left in regulation sent the game into overtime tied at 108. Morant’s layup with less than a second left in regulation was disallowed when an offensive foul was called on the Grizzlies guard, drawn by New York’s Jalen Brunson.

Brunson had 15 points and nine assists in his regular-season debut with New York. Brunson was signed in free agency to help run the offense after the Knicks finished 11th in the Eastern Conference last season.

Memphis, meanwhile, is trying to replicate last season when it finished with the league’s second-best record. The Grizzlies were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs by Golden State, the eventual NBA champions.

The Knicks trailed by as many as 19 in the third quarter but rallied to take the lead on Brunson’s reverse layup with 3:32 left in regulation.

“I loved the fight that we had,” Thibodeau said. “I didn’t like how we got in a hole, but I liked how we fought to get back out of it.”

TIP-INS:

Knicks: Fournier’s 3-pointer in the third quarter gave him 244 for the Knicks, good for 24th place on the franchise list, passing Raymond Felton. … Hartenstein had a career-high seven offensive rebounds. … RJ Barrett had 11 points, going 3 of 18 from the field.

Grizzlies: Play six of their next seven games on the road. … Coach Taylor Jenkins came out for his pregame press conference in a black hoodie honoring WNBA star Brittney Griner, who is being held in Russia after police said they found vape canisters with cannabis oil in her luggage at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow. “We just want her to know that we are thinking about her,” he said. “Praying for her, especially with her family. We’re really hoping that she comes home soon.” … Aldama’s 11 rebounds were a career high.

UP NEXT

Knicks: Have their home opener on Friday against the Detroit Pistons

Grizzlies: Travel to Houston to face the Rockets on Friday.

GOBERT THRIVES IN T-WOLVES DEBUT TO LEAD 115-108 WIN VS. OKC

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Rudy Gobert stood out on both ends of the floor – on a night when the Minnesota Timberwolves needed a big lift from their new big man.

Gobert had 23 points and 16 rebounds in his Minnesota debut, and the Timberwolves recovered to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 115-108 on Wednesday in the season opener.

D’Angelo Russell had 20 points and Jaden McDaniels added 19 points for the Timberwolves, who turned a 16-point lead into a six-point deficit during the third quarter.

“It shows how good we can be and how much better we can be at the same time,” Gobert said. “It’s going to be a process, and every night’s going to be an opportunity.”

Gobert stepped up with a steadying hand when Karl-Anthony Towns (12 points) and Anthony Edwards (11 points) shot a combined 6 for 27 from the floor and the entire team had trouble finishing at the rim. Gobert did his usual shot-altering work on defense in the paint, too.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the Thunder with 32 points and cut the lead to 105-103 with 4:04 left, but they didn’t get any closer after that.

“We have the ability to flip the switch, but the earlier we can do it the better it will be,” said Oklahoma City’s Josh Giddey, who pitched in 14 points and 11 rebounds.

The Timberwolves won all four matchups with the Thunder last season by an average of more than 26 points. One of the most anticipated seasons for Timberwolves fans in the star-crossed history of their team, coming off a return to the playoffs and the blockbuster addition of Gobert in a trade with Utah, began with the home team in complete control.

After Minnesota went ahead by a game-high 16 points, the Thunder went on a 27-5 run. Eugene Omoruyi, who did fine work defending Towns during that stretch, knocked down a shot in the paint for Oklahoma City’s first lead with 3:01 left in the period.

Gobert single-handedly cranked the crowd energy back up by stealing a bad pass by Mike Muscala, beating him to the loose ball and flipping in a one-handed runner ahead of the buzzer to tie it at 87. Gobert dunked on Giddey for a 92-89 lead to give the fans yet another highlight.

“I appreciate the love,” Gobert said. “It feels good to see the crowd and the community embracing me already.”

The Timberwolves had to work for this win against a pesky, young and fast Thunder team that’s playing without injured No. 2 overall draft pick Chet Holmgren.

“Scrappy games should suit our guys,” Giddey said. “We’re young guys. We should love those type of environments.”

The biggest question surrounding the Timberwolves is how effectively Gobert and Towns can play together, a pair of 7-footers – albeit with distinct skill sets – in this age of long-distance shooting and position-less small ball across the NBA.

Gobert put his name on the first basket of the season, a put-back of his own miss, and the twin towers provided a glimpse of how well they can play off of each other with Towns twice flipping him top-of-the-key lob passes for dunks in the first half. Towns had eight assists.

“I was just trying to utilize my passing ability,” Towns said, “and just play winning basketball.”

CONTACT SPORT

The Thunder lost rookie Jalen Williams – one of three 2022 lottery selections on the roster – to a right eye injury in the second quarter. He took a hit while trying to defend a dunk attempt by McDaniels and needed assistance to leave the floor.

HOMECOMING FOR HOLMGREN

The luster was stripped off the opener for Oklahoma City’s prized rookie when he ruptured a tendon in his right foot in a pro-am game that ended his first season before it began. Holmgren grew up in south Minneapolis, just a few miles from Target Center, and accompanied the Thunder on the trip so he could see family and enjoy some bonding time with his teammates. The rehab program will take priority for Holmgren over traveling with the team over the course of the season.

TIP-INS

Thunder: Kenrich Williams and Aleksej Pokusevski were surprise starters in the frontcourt. The 7-foot Pokusevski had 11 points and seven rebounds in 25 minutes. … Jeremiah Robinson-Earl started the second half in place of Williams.

Timberwolves: Jaylen Nowell, who had 13 points, put the Timberwolves ahead for good with his layup with 10:47 remaining. … Eric Paschall, who played 58 games for Utah last season and was in camp on a two-way contract, was waived before the game amid lingering left Achilles trouble.

UP NEXT

Thunder: Visit Denver on Saturday night. Their home opener is against Minnesota on Sunday night.

Timberwolves: Host Utah on Friday night, when Gobert takes on his former team. “It’s going to be fun,” he said. “It’s all love from me.”

ROZIER SCORES 24 AS HORNETS ROUT YOUTHFUL SPURS, 129-102

SAN ANTONIO (AP) With All-Star guard LaMelo Ball out with a sprained left ankle, Terry Rozier stepped up with 24 points and six others scored in double figures as the Charlotte Hornets routed the San Antonio Spurs 129-102 on Wednesday night.

The Spurs opened their 50th season in San Antonio inauspiciously, losing a season opener for only the third time under Gregg Popovich.

“You start with the fact that we got thumped and you don’t avoid it, you don’t hide from it,” Popovich said. “We got our butts kicked. And from there, you can look to improve.”

This year’s squad bears no resemblance to the veteran-led teams that won five NBA championships and appeared in a league-record 22 straight postseasons under Popovich.

Averaging 23.4 years, this is the youngest roster in Popovich’s 27 seasons as San Antonio coach.

Charlotte took advantage of the inexperience.

The Hornets set franchise records in a season opener for points in the first half (68) and opening quarter (38).

“If you’re going to have a good year, you need a lot of good players,” Charlotte coach Steve Clifford said. “So, every guy that you have is comfortable in their role and playing with confidence gives you a better chance.”

And Charlotte demonstrated their comfort against San Antonio, shooting 51% from the field and 45% on 3-pointers.

P.J. Washington had 17 points and Gordon Hayward added 15 as all five Hornets starters scored in double figures. Charlotte reserve center Nick Richards had a career-high 19 points.

Keldon Johnson had 20 points, 11 rebounds and four assists to lead San Antonio in all three categories. Jakob Poeltl and Tre Jones added 14 points each.

Charlotte raced out to a double-digit lead in the opening five minutes as San Antonio missed its first seven 3-pointers and had more turnovers (three) than assists (one).

“They missed a lot of open 3s in the first quarter,” Clifford said. “It’s what I just shared with the guys: You’ve got to be able to watch the film and you’ve got to be able to say, `What if they shot in the first quarter like they did in the third quarter?’ Because you want to be able to win and make progress or lose. We did do some good things. I thought our ball pressure was good. They’re hard to guard, but I was feeling, watching them play, they missed a lot of open shots, too.”

San Antonio thrilled the sell-out crowd with a 13-2 run capped by Johnson’s 3-pointer in closing to 76-64 with 7 minutes remaining in the third quarter.

Charlotte’s lead never dipped below double figures in the second half, though.

The Hornets went on a 19-1 run after another Johnson 3-pointer pulled the Spurs within 85-75 with 4:46 remaining in the third quarter.

TIP-INS

Guard James Bouknight played 10 minutes hours after the Charlotte Mecklenburg County Police released details of his DWI arrest on Sunday morning. Bouknight was found intoxicated, unconscious and holding a gun with his vehicle in drive. Bouknight has a pending concealed carry permit, so he was not charged for possession of a gun. Bouknight was scoreless, going 0 for 3 from the field. … San Antonio is 23-3 in its season openers under Popovich. . Jeremy Sochan is just the fifth rookie to start on opening night for San Antonio, joining Tim Duncan (’97), David Robinson (’89), Sean Eliott (’89) and Willie Anderson (’88).

MANU WHO?

San Antonio paid tribute to Manu Ginobili’s Hall of Fame induction with a halftime ceremony.

Ginobili’s retired jersey was updated to include the Hall of Fame designation. The sell-out crowd interrupted Ginobili’s speech twice with shouts of “Manu.”

Still, Pop didn’t miss the chance to playfully dig at Ginobili.

“If I could have played him tonight, then I would care, but he doesn’t play, so screw him,” Popovich said with a wry grin. “What has he done for us lately? Nothing.”

ID REQUIRED

Popovich is widely known as sommelier, enjoying a bottle of wine while gathering with players, coaches and friends.

The menu is going to have to change this season since the Spurs have six players that are under the legal drinking age of 21.

“I was at dinner with one of my players, which who will not be named, just the two of us. And I ordered a glass of wine, and he tried to order it too,” Popovich said. “I said, `Wait a minute, what is your mom and dad going to say if you went to dinner with Coach Pop and you are out there drinking? And it’s illegal for you to drink. We can’t do that.’ He said, `Oh, yeah. OK.’ So, he had bubble water or sparkling water, whatever the hell that awful stuff is.”

UP NEXT

Hornets: Host New Orleans on Friday.

Spurs: Open a three-game road trip Friday at Indiana.

NEW-LOOK JAZZ BEAT NUGGETS 123-102 IN SEASON OPENER

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Colin Sexton scored 20 points, Lauri Markkanen added 17 and the new-look Utah Jazz beat the Denver Nuggets 123-102 on Wednesday night in the season opener for both teams.

New Jazz coach Will Hardy, a former assistant with the Boston Celtics, won his first game. It was a surprising result for a Denver team built for a title run and the Jazz, who are rebuilding after trading cornerstones Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert.

Rudy Gay scored 16 points, Malik Beasley had 15 and Mike Conley, the lone returning starter, had 13 as Utah had seven players in double-figure scoring. Rookie Walker Kessler had 12 points and 10 rebounds, and the Jazz shot 50.6% from the field.

Nikola Jokic scored 27 points and Aaron Gordon had 22 for Denver.

The Jazz, as might be expected with a young team with 10 new additions, nearly unraveled after leading comfortably most of the game. A series of turnovers and missed rotations allowed the Nuggets to claw back from 24 points down.

Jokic, the two-time reigning Most Valuable Player, brought the Nuggets back to 105-98 on a running hook.

But Gay and Beasley made back-to-back 3-pointers while the Nuggets shook their heads and Beasley did an extended shimmy.

Key players Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. are back from injuries but the Nuggets looked rusty, especially on defense as they allowed a 14-0 run to start the second quarter and 27-7 overall surge that out the Jazz in command.

When Sexton hit a 3-pointer late in the second quarter, the Jazz led 68-44. Despite Gordon’s 16 points and Jokic’s 14, the Nuggets trailed 75-53 and the Jazz left for the halftime break to a standing ovation from a stunned, yet energized crowd.

TIP-INS

Nuggets: Jokic was visibly frustrated, committing an offensive foul and then getting burned by Sexton on consecutive possessions for baskets late in the game. . The Nuggets outscored the Jazz in the paint, 68-42. . Denver committed seven turnovers in the fourth quarter.

Jazz: Clarkson welcomed the Jazz fans before the game and reminded them that WBNA star Brittney Griner remains in a Russian prison and needs the fans’ “blessings” . At one point, Vanderbilt was outrebounding all of the Nuggets, 12-9. But he picked up fouls four and five early in the third quarter before he could be substituted. . Kelly Olynyk got a technical in the fourth quarter.

UP NEXT

Nuggets: At Golden State on Friday night.

Jazz: At Minnesota on Friday night.

SUNS RALLY FROM 22 POINTS DOWN TO BEAT MAVERICKS 107-105

PHOENIX (AP) Damion Lee understands the final possession etiqutte in an NBA game, so the Phoenix Suns new role player passed the ball to Devin Booker with about 15 seconds left, expecting the All-Star guard to take the final shot.

Booker passed it right back to Lee.

The 6-foot-5 Lee rewarded Booker’s confidence by hitting a difficult jumper over Spencer Dinwiddie with 9.7 seconds left, lifting the Suns to a 107-105 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night after they trailed by 22 points early in the third quarter.

“I got double-teamed, so I made the right play,” Booker said grinning. “I trust my teammates, I trust everybody out there. It’s something we’ve scouted and we’ve schemed. Teams are going to throw different defenses at me.”

Booker finished with a team-high 28 points. Lee scored all of his 11 points in the fourth quarter.

Lee – who signed with the Suns in the offseason after four seasons with Golden State – hit three important 3-pointers in the fourth, but saved the best for the final seconds.

“Ball was in my hands, just go make a play,” Lee said. “I know people are giving me the credit with the game-winning shot, but this was a total team effort.”

Dallas star Luka Doncic missed a long 3-pointer at the buzzer.

“It’s the first game, we have a couple of new guys, we still have to work,” Doncic said. “We have 81 games to go. We are going to get it right.”

It was an impressive come-from-behind win for the Suns, who picked up a victory against the team that eliminated them from the playoffs last season in embarrassing fashion.

The Mavericks led 67-45 early in the third quarter and 93-80 with eight minutes left, but the Suns kept pushing. Cameron Payne’s layup put the Suns up 101-100 with 3:10 left for the first lead since the first quarter.

Doncic scored 35 points for the Mavericks. Christian Wood added 25 points and eight rebounds in his team debut.

Dallas built a 21-point lead in the second quarter but the Suns cut that advantage to 77-76 late in the third on Payne’s jumper. Wood made back-to-back 3s – including one that banked off the glass – to push the Mavs back on top 88-76 early in the fourth.

But the Suns never stopped playing. Deandre Ayton had 18 points and 10 rebounds, Cameron Johnson added 15 points, and Mikal Bridges had 13 points and 11 rebounds. Johnson left the game in the fourth quarter and went back to the locker room with an undisclosed injury.

The 23-year-old Doncic – entering his fifth NBA season – scored 13 points as the Mavericks jumped out to a 32-24 lead after the first quarter. Dallas stretched its lead to 21 in the second before settling for a 62-45 halftime advantage.

“We played for 3 1/2 quarters, then we run out of steam,” Dallas coach Jason Kidd said.

It was the first game for the Suns since their stunning 123-90 home loss to the Mavs in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals. The top-seeded Suns had won 64 games during the regular season, which set a franchise record.

Despite that disappointment, GM James Jones opted to keep most of the nucleus, signing Booker and Ayton to lucrative long-term deals.

The Mavericks – which lost to the Warriors in the Western Conference finals after beating the Suns – also have a similar roster, though they lost Jalen Brunson to the Knicks in free agency.

MCGEE’S BACK

JaVale McGee was back in Phoenix on Wednesday, but he had switched sides from the Suns to the Mavericks.

The 7-foot McGee started for the Mavericks, finishing with three points and four rebounds in 14 minutes. He was a vital part of the Suns’ bench last season, averaging 9.2 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.

SARIC, TOO

Suns forward Dario Saric played in his first game since suffering a torn ACL in the first half of Game 1 of the NBA Finals in 2021. He missed all of last season.

Saric – who checked in early in the second quarter to loud cheers – averaged 8.7 points per game during the 2020-21 season.

TIP-INS

Mavericks: F Davis Bertans (right knee) and G Frank Ntilikina (right ankle) weren’t available to play. G Facundo Campazzo was on the inactive list.

Suns: G Landry Shamet (left hip strain) and F Jae Crowder (not with team) weren’t available to play. Crowder and the Suns mutally agreed that the forward would stay away from the team while the front office looked for a trade. … C Deandre Ayton played just seven minutes in the first half because of foul trouble.

UP NEXT

Mavericks: Host Memphis on Saturday night.

Suns: At Portland on Friday night.

GRANT RALLIES BLAZERS PAST KINGS 113-108 IN OPENER

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) Jerami Grant converted a three-point play with 50.4 seconds to play to give Portland the lead and the Trail Blazers spoiled Mike Brown’s coaching debut in Sacramento with a 113-108 win over the Kings on Wednesday night.

Grant scored 23 points to lead Portland and Anfernee Simons added 22. Damian Lillard scored 20 in his first game back from an abdominal injury that had sidelined him since January.

“I just like to play the game the way that the game should be played,” coach Chauncey Billups said. “We have a generational guy in Dame. He’s going to have his nights. We got to have other guys be there when it’s actually not his night and you can actually go win a game or go steal a game. That’s exactly what happened tonight.”

The Kings came into the season with optimism that the hiring of Brown could help end an NBA-record 16-season playoff drought.

But they were dealt a loss in the opener despite 33 points from De’Aaron Fox and and 23 from Kevin Huerter in his Kings debut.

“I know this group should play a lot better on both ends of the floor,” Brown said. “I know this group can play a whole heck of a lot better on both ends of the floor.”

Terence Davis gave Sacramento a 106-104 lead when he followed a missed shot by Huerter with an emphatic dunk with 2:18 to play. But Davis was given a technical foul after the dunk and Lillard made the free throw to make it 106-105.

After a couple of empty trips on both ends, Grant gave Portland the lead for good with his driving layup and foul shot after an apparent turnover by the Blazers was wiped off because of a kicking violation on Sacramento.

Fox missed a 3 at the other end and Josh Hart added another three-point play to make it a five-point game and the Blazers held on for the win.

“We just grinding and fighting,” Hart said. “That’s going to be the biggest thing. … Teams are going to go on runs and we got to make sure we’re connecting with each other when that happens. If we do that and play our game, I like our team.”

The Kings fell into a 14-point hole in the second quarter as they struggled offensively and kept sending Portland to the foul line. They turned it around with a 16-1 run to move back ahead and had a 55-51 lead at halftime.

The Blazers trailed by 10 midway through the third quarter before tying it in the closing seconds on a layup by Simons.

Portland then pulled it out in the fourth.

“We still had a chance to win,” Fox said. “We can’t give up three 30-point quarters. They scored off a lot of our turnovers and I do think we were a bit sloppy.”

TIP-INS

Trail Blazers: Shaedon Sharpe scored 12 points in 16 minutes in his NBA debut. Sharpe was selected seventh overall in the draft despite not playing last season at Kentucky. … Key offseason acquisition Gary Payton II remains sidelined by a core muscle injury. … Portland snapped a three-game losing streak in season openers.

Kings: Fox became the first Kings player to have at least 30 points, five rebounds and five assists in an opener since Oscar Robertson in 1966. … First-round rookie Keegan Murray (COVID protocols) was sidelined and will have to wait to make his debut. … Baseball Home Run King Barry Bonds rang the cowbell to open the game along with former Kings Metta Sandiford-Artest and Brad Miller. … The Kings played a video tribute to their former coach Bill Russell, who died this summer. Russell coached one year in Sacramento following a Hall of Fame playing career for Boston.

UP NEXT

Trail Blazers: Host Phoenix on Friday night.

Kings: Host the Clippers on Friday night.

BOGDANOVIC SHINES IN DETROIT DEBUT, HELPS PISTONS BEAT MAGIC

DETROIT (AP) The Detroit Pistons are excited about their future thanks to some young, dynamic players.

Bojan Bogdanovic provides a reason to hope the present is promising, too.

Bogdanovic scored 24 points in his debut with the Pistons, helping them beat the Orlando Magic 113-109 on Wednesday night.

“The guy averaged 18 on a 60-win team so I’m not surprised,” Detroit coach Dwane Casey said.

The Pistons acquired the 33-year-old Bogdanovic from the cost-cutting Utah Jazz in exchange for spare parts to kick their rebuilding plans into another gear.

“In practice and games, he’s constantly giving us advice,” said Detroit rookie Jaden Ivey, the No. 5 pick overall. “His veteran voice is going to be huge for us.”

Orlando’s Paolo Banchero, the No. 1 overall pick last summer, had 27 points, nine rebounds and five assists in his debut.

“I left a lot of points on the board, like three layups missed, some shots I feel like I could have made, so a lot to work on,” said Banchero, who was 11 of 18. ” But I wasn’t disappointed with the way I played.”

The former Duke star joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James as No. 1 picks since 1969 to have at least 25 points, five rebounds and five assists in an NBA debut.

“He’s going to be a problem in our league for a long time,” Casey said.

Jalen Suggs, the No. 5 pick last year, had 21 points for the Magic before fouling out with 3:47 remaining.

“All of our guys have to understand that we have to do a better job of defending without fouling,” coach Jamahl Mosley said. “Putting them on the line 24 times, whave to be smarter. There’s a level of aggression we can have, but we’ve got to be smart about it.”

Cade Cunningham, the No. 1 pick last year, had 18 points and 10 assists. Cunningham’s last assist set up Isaiah Stewart for a 3-pointer with 11.6 seconds left that gave the Pistons a four-point lead.

“That was huge for (Stewart) and his confidence,” Casey said.

In their NBA debuts, first-round picks Ivey had 19 points and Jalen Duren had 14 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks for the Pistons. Duren was acquired in a draft-night deal after being selected No. 13 overall.

“He’s a freak,” Ivey said. “He’s has a strong build and is very athletic. He played comfortable.”

Ivey looked at ease on the court, too, and wasn’t surprised that he was able to dribble and drive past the Magic.

“I feel like I can get past some of the quickest guys,” he said.

The season opener for both teams matched up young squads with high draft picks playing key roles.

Detroit was 23-59 last season, finishing ahead of just Houston and Orlando at the bottom of the league standings. The Magic went 22-60 last season and won the draft lottery, giving them the chance to draft the 6-foot-10 Banchero.

Detroit got off to a strong start in the opening minutes before Orlando took control and went into the second quarter with a 28-17 lead.

“We got our tails handed to us in the first, but we didn’t drop our heads,” Casey said.

The Pistons found their groove in the second quarter, outscoring the Magic 40-27, to lead by two points at halftime.

Detroit opened up an eight-point lead after three quarters, but it could not pull away due in large part to Banchero’s play at both ends of the court.

TIP-INS

Magic: Markelle Fultz (broken toe), Gary Harris (left knee), Jonathan Isaac (left knee) and Moritz Wagner (foot sprain) were not in uniform.

Pistons: Marvin Bagley III (sprained right knee), Alec Burks (left foot) and Isaiah Livers (hip) were out of the lineup.

UP NEXT

Magic: At Atlanta on Friday night.

Pistons: At New York on Friday night.

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL PREVIEW

ACC MEN’S BASKETBALL PREVIEW

PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH

1. North Carolina

2. Duke

3. Virginia

4. Florida State

5. Miami (FL)

6. Virginia Tech

7. Notre Dame

8. North Carolina State

9. Syracuse

10. Boston College

11. Pittsburgh

12. Wake Forest

13. Louisville

14. Clemson

15. Georgia Tech

PRE-SEASON AWARDS:

ALL-CONFERENCE

FIRST TEAM

Isaiah Wong, Miami

RJ Davis, North Carolina

Terquavion Smith, NC State

Armando Bacot, North Carolina

John Hugley, Pittsburgh

SECOND TEAM

Caleb Love, North Carolina

Jeremy Roach, Duke

Dane Goodwin, Notre Dame

Jayden Gardner, Virginia

Dereck Lively II, Duke

BOSTON COLLEGE

THE SCOOP

There were virtually no expectations for Boston College last season after Earl Grant was the surprise selection to replace Jim Christian in Chestnut Hill. He came from the College of Charleston and had virtually no Northeast ties, and he will have an uphill climb at a program that hasn’t been relevant since Al Skinner was let go. As it stands, the Eagles have not been to the NCAA Tournament since 2009. However, Grant did a nice job building a culture at BC. He signed eight players after taking over, and while he swung and missed a few, he hit on a few others. The Eagles finished 13-20 overall and only won a half-dozen ACC games, but that was an improvement over the previous season — when they went 2-11 in league contests. Grant still won’t have to deal with much in terms of expectations, but at least the returning players are familiar with his system and way of operating. He’ll bring back four starters, and also the team’s top reserve, and has added a couple of transfers along with four freshmen. With more depth and accustomedness, the hope is that BC can take a step forward in Year 2 of the Earl Grant era, winning 17 or so games and finishing near the middle of the ACC — instead of towards the bottom of the league

CLEMSON

THE SCOOP

Brad Brownell has delivered some moments in his dozen seasons at Clemson. The Tigers went to the NCAA Tournament in his first year, advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2018 and lost in the first round just two years ago. Even though he went to the tourney in 2021 and hasn’t had a losing season since 2012-13, there’s still pressure on him to go dancing this year — and he’ll have to do it with a fairly young team. Al-Amir Dawes transferred back home to Seton Hall, Nick Honor bolted for Missouri, and David Collins and Naz Bohannon exhausted their eligibility. That’s four of Clem[1]son’s top seven scorers gone — and there’s still uncertainty on when leading scorer PJ Hall (15.5 ppg) will be back after suffering another knee injury this offseason. “We don’t know exactly when PJ will be back,” said Brownell, “but we’re optimistic it’ll be sometime in November.” Brownell brings in a four-man freshman group, which he feels optimistic about, but the question will be how quickly they can acclimate themselves to high-major college basketball — and also whether they are talented enough to be able to win in the ACC. The coach has led Clemson to the postseason in four of the past five years — a couple of NITs and a pair of NCAA tournament berths. So that bodes well for the Tigers finding a way to get into the mix again this year. But this will be an uphill climb, especially if Hall doesn’t come back quickly and at full strength.

DUKE

THE SCOOP

The Jon Scheyer Era at Duke will officially begin on Nov. 7, when the Blue Devils host Jacksonville in the season-opener at Cameron Indoor Stadium. It’ll be the first time that it’s not Mike Krzyzewski’s program since 1980. Scheyer was a surprise pick to succeed Coach K, but it was much to do about timing. The other candidates just hadn’t had enough success, so the 35-year[1]old former Blue Devil standout was tabbed the guy a year ago. And while the Coach K Farewell Tour was criticized as Roy Williams and Jay Wright went out quietly, it definitely benefited Scheyer and the Duke program to have a plan in place. Scheyer has crushed it on the recruiting trail, pulling in the top freshman class in the country, one that includes three of the top four players (per the 247Sports composite rankings): Dereck Lively II (No. 1), Dariq Whitehead (No. 2) and Kyle Filipowski (No. 4). He also added Mark Mitchell (No. 22), Jaden Schutt (No. 69) and reclassified point guard Tyrese Proctor. The young coach has the top-rat[1]ed class in 2023, as well. But obviously, the major question will be whether Scheyer and this team can live up to the hype. It’s no easy task to succeed Coach K, especially out of the gates with a young group that returns just a single player of note from a year ago.

FLORIDA STATE

THE SCOOP

Leonard Hamilton suffered a few down seasons in Tallahassee, failing to get Florida State to the NCAA Tournament four straight years from 2013 to 2016. That came on the heels of a four-year run in which the Seminoles averaged almost 24 wins a season and made every tourney during that span. After the downturn, Hamilton got it back. Florida State soared as high as No. 6 overall in the 2016-17 campaign, which kick[1]started a run of five years in which the ‘Noles were nationally relevant and remained fixtures in the Top 25. There was the group in 2018 that lost to Michigan in the Elite Eight and the one the following year that won 29 games and lost to Gonzaga in the Sweet 16. Most notably, Florida State was 26-5 and won the ACC in 2020 when the tourney was scrapped due to COVID. So, last season’s 17-14 overall record and 10-10 league mark was likely an aberration. There were injuries and plenty of them. In fact, four of the five starters that beat Duke on Jan. 18 didn’t play a single minute due to injury when the Seminoles went to Durham a month later and lost to the Blue Devils. “Every coach who has been in the business for a while is going to go through what we went through last year,” Hamilton said. “We still managed to win 10 league games. The kids did as well as they could given the circumstances.” Florida State lost seven players who all averaged at least 12 minutes per game, but the Seminoles will reload with a half-dozen freshmen and a pair of transfers.

GEORGIA TECH

THE SCOOP

Two years ago, Georgia Tech — with the help of Jose Alvarado and Moses Wright — pulled a major shocker and finished fourth in the ACC and earned an NCAA Tournament bid. But after losing their two stars, the Yellow Jackets won just 12 total games last year and finished 14th in the league. It could be more of the same this season. Head coach Josh Pastner took himself off the hot seat in 2021 with the surprising season, but he may not have the personnel to keep a cool cushion again this year. Without much in terms of NIL backing, Pastner’s roster is full of unproven holdovers and a couple of mid-major transfers. When Tech went to the Big Dance, Alvarado and Wright were coming off strong seasons in which they combined to average almost 30 points a game. Now the leading returning scorer is Kyle Sturdivant and his meager 7.6 points per con[1]test. Michael DeVoe and Jordan Usher were hardly Alvarado and Wright, but they were Georgia Tech’s top two scorers from last season. Both are now gone. It’s not guaranteed that Pastner is out after this season, but he can ill afford another 14th-place finish in the ACC if he wants to ensure his return for what would be Year 8 of his tenure. The expectations for this season at Georgia Tech? There really aren’t any, and Pastner is just hoping he can pull another rabbit out of his hat as he did a couple years ago.

LOUISVILLE

THE SCOOP

When Chris Mack stepped down as Louisville head coach midway through last season, it didn’t come as a total shock. But no one would have expected that the Mack Era would end this way — not when he was hired in 2018, and certainly not after a 24-7 campaign (15-5 in the ACC) in a 2019-20 season in which there was no NCAA tourney due to COVID. Four seasons and done. Mack was replaced by one of Louisville’s own. Kenny Payne played for Denny Crum and the Cardinals from 1985-89. He was a member of the 1986 national title team and wound up as an assistant coach at Oregon and Kentucky before spending the past two seasons with the New York Knicks. He’s revered in Louisville and by just about everyone he has coached in college and in the NBA. This is a program that’s won three national championships and been to 10 Final Fours. The fans are hoping that Payne can bring some stability to a program that became a laughingstock at the end of Rick Pitino’s tenure and couldn’t keep the turnaround going at the end of Mack’s run. It’ll take some time, and it’s unfair to put any real expectations on Payne after what he inherited in Year 1.

MIAMI

THE SCOOP

Few people took Miami seriously going into last season. Jim Larranaga’s Hurricanes were picked to finish 12th in the preseason poll, and they were coming off a miserable 10-win campaign in 2020-21. In fact, after three consecutive losing seasons — Larranaga’s first sub-.500 finishes since 1998 — the Canes had not been to the Big Dance since 2018. The program needed a shot in the arm, and boy, did it get one. Miami started the season 12-3, but the wins were against a bunch of average teams — until it notched its 13th victory at Duke on Jan. 8. That got the public’s attention, but it was still a surprise when the Hurricanes marched through USC, Auburn and Iowa State before losing to eventual national champion Kansas in the Elite Eight. Three starters are gone: leading scorer Kam McGusty (17.8 points per game), point guard Charlie Moore (12.4 points, 4.6 assists) and forward Sam Waardenburg (8.5 points). McGusty and Moore were each in their sixth season of college while Waardenburg provided maturity and leadership and started 58 games in the final two years of his career in Coral Gables. Many expected Jim Larranaga to be retired by now, but the 72-year-old just signed an extension after getting the program back to the NCAA tourney after the recent three-year drought.

NORTH CAROLINA

THE SCOOP

It was a year to remember for North Carolina fans, a tale of two seasons in many ways. There was the embarrassing loss to Tennessee in mid-November at Mohegan Sun and the 29-point setback to Kentucky in Las Vegas a month later. In league play, there were successive 20-plus-point losses at Miami and Wake Forest, and then one at home to Duke in February. The Tar Heels looked the part of a fringe NCAA Tournament team — until March 5. That’s when North Carolina turned it all around by handing Mike Krzyzewski a resounding loss in the final home game of his career. Just a few weeks later, the Tar Heels had reeled off five wins in the NCAA Tournament to reach the national title game, where they lost to Kansas. No one will remember the regular-season struggles. They didn’t matter, except for the motivation they provided to flip the script and go on the crazy run in March. They will remember beating Duke in Cameron — and again in the nation[1]al semifinals to end Coach K’s coaching career. Hubert Davis will enter his second season after replacing Roy Williams with four starters back from the Final Four team, plus a highly regarded transfer he hopes will slide in and replace the departing Brady Manek. Oh, and there’s also a talented freshman class.

NC STATE

THE SCOOP

North Carolina State fans have high expectations. In fact, some would say they have unrealistic expectations. Yes, it’s a program that won a national title way back in 1983 — but it’s also one that went a full decade from 1991 to 2001 without an NCAA Tournament appearance and has gone just five times since 2006. Sidney Lowe didn’t make it in five tries, and while Mark Gottfried went his first four seasons in Raleigh, he also left the program in a tough spot with all sorts of recruiting restrictions following an FBI and NCAA investigation. Kevin Keatts took the Wolfpack dancing in his first season, but eventually the mess left behind by Gottfried caught up with him. Keatts averaged nearly 22 wins per year over his first three seasons, but he has won just 25 total the past two seasons — including an 11-21 mark and a 4-16 record in ACC play this past year. The NC State fans are restless, especially with North Carolina going to the national title game and rookie Duke head coach Jon Scheyer crushing it on the recruiting trail. Injuries certainly played a factor for the Pack last season, and so did youth. As a result, Keatts — who lost leading scorer Dereon Seabron (17.3 points per game) and four more of his top eight players — made the decision to hit the transfer portal and add experience. “Last season wasn’t easy,” Keatts said. “The injury to Manny (Bates) definitely hurt us, but we should have more quality depth this season, and obviously we’re much older this year as well, so we won’t have to play young guys as much.”

NOTRE DAME

THE SCOOP

Mike Brey and the Irish were rolling. They went to back-to-back Elite Eights in 2015 and 2016, then finished second in the ACC and won 26 games in 2017. But after that came four consecutive seasons of shocking mediocrity in South Bend — during that stretch, Notre Dame failed to post a winning record in ACC play, causing some concern that the end was near for Brey. Thankfully, the Irish responded a year ago with a 15-5 ACC mark, which tied for second in the league and culminated in an appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Notre Dame earned an 11-seed and knocked off 6-seed Alabama in the First Round before losing to Texas Tech with a Sweet 16 berth on the line. “I needed a good year last year,” Brey admitted. Brey got it, and he can thank South Bend native Blake Wesley. Wesley came out of nowhere to lead Notre Dame in scoring (14.4 points per game) in 2022, becoming a one-and-done first-round NBA Draft pick in the process. Fellow starters Paul Atkinson Jr. and Prentiss Hubb have also departed, but Brey is celebrating the return of his own version of the Big 3: grad students Dane Goodwin, Nate Laszewski and Cormac Ryan. “I wasn’t sure that any of them would be back when the season ended,” Brey said. “But it was huge that all three of them returned.” While the Irish did lose a young star guard in Wesley, they will welcome in another topflight talent in highly regarded frosh in JJ Starling.

PITTSBURGH

THE SCOOP

When Jeff Capel took over four years ago, he inherited a disaster. Kevin Stallings had gone winless in ACC play the previous season, but Capel had it going in the right direction in his second season. The Panthers had beaten Florida State in the season-opener, stood at 10-3 after the nonconference slate and swept North Carolina early in ACC play. Capel had an intriguing core of Justin Champagnie, Xavier Johnson and Au’Diese Toney. Then, there was an off-court incident and everything changed. Pitt went 2-10 to close out the regular season, and it still hasn’t recovered. After the next campaign, Champagnie left early for the pros while Johnson and Toney transferred. The last two seasons have resulted in a total of 21 victories — 12 coming in the ACC. Capel has completely flipped his roster this season around stud big man John Hugley with eight new faces — a handful of transfers and a trio of talented freshmen. All but one of them can shoot the ball. “That was our priority in the offseason, something we tried to be intentional with,” Capel admitted. “We couldn’t shoot it last year, and we had to change that.” But what will that mean in terms of wins and losses?

SYRACUSE

THE SCOOP

A year ago, Syracuse did the unthinkable: it finished with a losing record for the first time in the Jim Boeheim era. Three of Boeheim’s top four scorers are gone, and two of them are his sons. Buddy signed a two-way contract with the Detroit Pistons after leading the team in scoring at 19 points per game. Jimmy, who transferred in from Cornell for his final college season, inked a deal with a team in Greece after averaging 12.7 points and 6.3 boards. Syracuse also lost Cole Swider, who found his shooting stroke late in the season. But Boeheim is excited, and while he hasn’t said anything about this being his final season, the 77-year-old wants to go out with an NCAA Tournament appearance. “We’re going to be better than people think,” Boeheim said.

VIRGINIA

THE SCOOP

Tony Bennett and Virginia have owned the ACC’s regular season for nearly a decade. However, the head coach was more worried than ever heading into last season after losing his top three scorers, and also watching a bunch of reserves transfer out of the program. As it turned out, he had reason to be concerned. Bennett filled a couple of holes with transfers Jayden Gardner and Armaan Franklin, who finished as the team’s leading scorers, but they weren’t able to lead the program to the Big Dance. It was a down year in Charlottesville — an NIT appearance concluded the Hoos’ season, marking the first time since 2013 that Virginia missed the NCAA Tournament. Nevertheless, Bennett feels hopeful that this group can grow together for a variety of reasons: he brings back his six returning scorers, adds an im[1]pact transfer and a freshman class that ranks in the top 15 nationally. Now, Virginia will have experience, talent and depth. That’s enough to have people around the program excited again, and also enough to spur the Hoos to another ACC regular-season championship.

VIRGINIA TECH

THE SCOOP

Mike Young desperately needed one of Keve Aluma or Justyn Mutts to return to Blacks[1]burg. Fortunately for him, Mutts withdrew from the NBA Draft process and came back for one more season. “Justyn Mutts is arguably the best defensive player I’ve ever coached. If I didn’t get Mutts back, it was over,” Young admitted. “And it went down to the wire.” Young didn’t mean that the Hokies were done, but it would have been difficult for Virginia Tech to be considered a legit NCAA tourney team without him in the fold. Now, the Hokies have a chance to make it three consecutive seasons with an invitation to the Big Dance. Sure, the loss of Aluma will be felt. He was a second-team All-ACC guy, a versatile big man who led the Hokies in scoring and could also switch on just about anyone on the defensive end. But Virginia Tech could actually be better this season without Aluma and fellow starters Storm Murphy and Nahiem Alleyne, the latter of whom transferred to UConn. They have as much shooting on the perimeter as anyone in the country, including someone, who Young believes, is more than ready to step in at the point. He also added a veteran big who will help ease the loss of Aluma and young guards who should improve the team’s overall depth. “We’re bigger, stronger and old again,” Young said. “I think our roster is better than it was a year ago, and that’s no knock on Aluma or Storm. Those are my guys. But I think we have more overall talent and also we have more depth in the frontcourt.” And they have Young, one of the best in the country, as head coach.

WAKE FOREST

THE SCOOP

Last year’s 25-win campaign came out of nowhere for Steve Forbes and Wake Forest. This was a program that had won more than 13 games just once in the previous seven years and hadn’t finished with an ACC record better than .500 since 2009-10. Wake has basically been nationally irrelevant since the days of Al-Farouq Aminu, Ish Smith, Jeff Teague and James Johnson. Then along came a pair of unheralded transfers in Alondes Williams and Jake LaRavia. Williams arrived having averaged just 6.7 points at Oklahoma, while LaRavia put up solid numbers (12.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg) — but that production came for an Indiana State squad that fired its coach. That duo averaged a combined 33.1 points, 13 rebounds and 8.9 assists and took the Demon Deacons about as close as possible to an NCAA Tournament bid after a 13-7 record in ACC play. But now Forbes will have to move forward without his two best players, as well as two other veteran starters in Isaiah Mucius and Dallas Walton. “I didn’t know Alondes would be the ACC Player of the Year and Jake was going to be that good,” said Forbes. “It’ll be different this year with our transfers. I don’t know if we’ve added any pros, but they’ll be good players and it’s our job to make sure they get better.” “I like our team this year, but we’re not old like we were last season,” he added. “We’re going to have to grow up, and do it quickly.”

CARTER VERHAEGHE SCORES TWICE, PANTHERS BEAT FLYERS 4-3

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) Carter Verhaeghe scored twice, Rudolfs Balcers and Josh Mahura each had third-period goals and the Florida Panthers held on to beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 on Wednesday night.

Balcers’ goal, his first with Florida after signing in the offseason, put the Panthers on top for good. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 31 shots for the Panthers, who have won three of four to open the season.

“We were pretty good tonight,” Florida coach Paul Maurice said. “You need your goalie to make at least one good save in the third with a lead, maybe two. He did that.”

Travis Konency, James van Riemsdyk and Nick Seeler scored for Philadelphia. Kevin Hayes had two assists for the Flyers.

Florida appeared to be in control of its home opener early with Verhaeghe providing a 2-0 lead with a pair of first-period goals 2:22 apart.

“Hopefully. I will keep this trend going,” said Verhaeghe, who scored twice in Florida’s home-opening win over the Penguins last season.

But as Philadelphia had done in each of its first three games under coach John Tortorella, it rallied. The goal by van Riemsdyk tied it at 2, and it stayed that way until Balcers beat Philadelphia goalie Felix Sandstrom early in the third.

Sandstrom made 31 saves for the Flyers.

“I thought we were slow coming out. I thought as the game went on, we played better, found a way to crawl back into it,” Tortorella said. “To give up the third goal and just a simple 2-on-2, that’s the one that hurts. I thought Sandy gave us a chance. But to give up a 2-on-2, that’s a free one, even-strength strange situation. That’s the one that hurts to me.”

Mahura, a defenseman claimed by the Panthers off waivers last week from Anaheim, gave Florida a little breathing room midway through the final period with a wrist shot from the left circle to make it 4-2. Konecny scored in the final moments.

“Obviously, it is exciting to get the win here in the home opener,” said Mahura, whose goal was the winner. “I did exactly what I wanted to do. It’s exciting for our team. . We had a lot of energy out there and I thought we played a pretty good 60-minute game.”

The short-handed Panthers were playing their first game without star defenseman Aaron Ekblad who was placed on the NHL’s long-term injured reserve on Wednesday. The Panthers were also missing top defenseman Brandon Montour, who has not played in the past two games.

NOTES: The Panthers were the final Eastern Conference team to make their home debut this season. There are three teams in the Western Conference – Vancouver, Chicago and Arizona – yet to play a home game. … Philadelphia was trying for a four-game win streak to open the season. The Flyers’ most recent four-game winning streak was Jan. 26-31, 2021. The last time the Flyers started 4-0-0 was 1995-96.

NEW BANNERS

Florida’s new banners from last season – for the Presidents’ Trophy and the Atlantic Division title – were already hanging in the arena when the game started. “You’ve got to be proud of that, obviously, but of course there’s one banner that we all want to see and we’re working really hard toward that,” Florida captain Aleksander Barkov said.

UP NEXT

Flyers: At Nashville on Saturday night.

Panthers: Host Tampa Bay on Friday night.

PIONK SCORES 2ND GOAL OF GAME IN OT, JETS BEAT AVALANCHE 4-3

DENVER (AP) Neal Pionk scored his second goal of the game 31 seconds into overtime and the Winnipeg Jets regrouped after squandering a two-goal lead to beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 on Wednesday night.

Pionk’s slap shot from the right side momentarily froze goaltender Alexandar Georgiev and nicked off the post to go in. It was Pionk’s first career overtime goal.

“Shoot hard in case you hit the puck,” the defenseman cracked. “I was going far side. I got a little lucky, but it was a good shot.”

The winning goal was set up by Mason Appleton in the other end, when he kept Nathan MacKinnon away from the puck along the boards. Appleton then fed the puck ahead to Pionk.

“It doesn’t go unnoticed,” Pionk said about Appleton’s play. “He used his big body, made a nice little play to me, and I put it in the net.”

Sam Gagner and Cole Perfetti also had goals for the Jets, who finish a difficult back-to-back with a game at Vegas on Thursday night. Connor Hellebuyck made 30 saves.

Leading 3-1 in the second period, Winnipeg saw Mikko Rantanen and Valeri Nichushkin score 2:01 apart to tie it. Rantanen led the comeback for Colorado with two goals and an assist in the second.

“They’re the defending Stanley Cup champions, so they’re going to push back, right?” Pionk said. “They scored a couple goals, we broke down a few times, but overall in the third I thought we responded well.”

Nichushkin has scored in all four games this season. Rantanen’s two-goal night gives him 168 for his career. He moved into 10th place on the franchise goals list.

Hellebuyck kept the Jets in the game late by turning back a tricky snap shot from Alex Newhook and then another from Artturi Lehkonen. The Jets were outshot in the final period by a 9-5 margin.

“They were skating faster,” Rantanen said. “They were faster on the loose pucks, just winning battles. I think we were just not moving as we should and as we did in the second and the third. Our biggest strength is skating. We didn’t do it in the first.”

That’s because the Jets found a way to neutralize the speed of Colorado in the first period by controlling the tempo. Gagner had a power-play goal and Pionk added another, but it could’ve been more than a two-goal cushion, if not for several split-second pad saves by Georgiev, the newest Avalanche goaltender.

“You’ve got to be assertive,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. “That’s a hard-working team over there, a deep team, especially their forward group. To me, we weren’t skating and we weren’t engaged enough to start.”

The Jets are 2-4-4 in their last 10 at Colorado.

“It’s huge,” Appleton said of the win after his two-assist night. “Stanley Cup winners right there.”

LANDY OUT

Captain Gabriel Landeskog will be sidelined approximately 12 weeks after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery Tuesday in Minnesota.

“Started bugging him when he started training and getting back on the ice,” Bednar explained.

Landeskog sat out the final 23 games last season after undergoing knee surgery. He returned in time for the playoffs and had 11 goals and 11 assists to help the Avalanche win the franchise’s third Stanley Cup title.

THIS & THAT

Avalanche forward Martin Kaut was recalled from the Colorado Eagles of the American Hockey League. Ben Meyers was reassigned to the Eagles. … Jets defenseman Dylan DeMelo played in his 400th NHL game. … Georgiev made 24 saves. … Rantanen is averaging 1.14 points per game during the month of October over his career, according to NHL Stats.

UP NEXT

Jets: At Vegas to complete the first of 12 back-to-back sets this season.

Avalanche: Host Seattle on Friday before playing the next day in Vegas.

FAULK SCORES 2ND GOAL IN OT TO LIFT BLUES OVER KRAKEN, 4-3

SEATTLE (AP) Justin Faulk scored his second goal of the game at 2:50 of overtime and the St. Louis Blues beat the Seattle Kraken 4-3 on Wednesday night.

Vladimir Tarasenko took advantage of a defensive miscue behind the net and found Faulk in front of the net for his third assist of the game. Faulk put the shot past Martin Johnson from the crease.

“He’s dangerous,” Faulk said aboutTarasenko. “I think it attracts a lot of attention. He could shoot and score from anywhere. So anytime that puck’s on his stick he probably creates more space for his teammates and finds opportunities for them. When they’re dangerous players like that, teams have to take notice and be aware.”

Too many times he slipped away, though, starting with an assist on Brayden Schenn’s goal. He also assisted on Faulk’s first goal. Jordan Kyrou also scored and Jordan Binnington made 32 saves to help St. Louis improve to 2-0.

Will Borgen, Ryan Donato and Alex Larsson scored for Seattle in its third straight loss at home to start the season. Seattle wiped away a two-goal deficit in the second and played its best defensive period of the season to send it overtime.

“This is our hockey team tonight, the way we battled. competed, executed, the pace and the tenacity that we played with,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said.

Faulk gave St. Louis a 3-1 lead with 7:48 left in the first period, scoring 17 seconds after Schenn. But the team gave up a two-goal lead for the second time in two games.

“I’m going to take the two points, but definitely it was pretty ugly in the second and third period again,” Faulk said.

Donato stuffed the puck home midway through the second and Larsson buried a slap shot from the blue line to tie it with 1:29 left in the period. Binnington appeared to have the puck lined up on Larsson’s shot, but Torey Krug inadvertently redirected the puck into the net with his stick.

“We just didn’t play a simple enough game,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “We kind of fed them, let them have too much time in the offensive zone.”

SUE BIRD CELEBRATION

Seattle fans aren’t tired of cheering for Sue Bird. The newly retired Seattle Storm star was in attendance for another official salute at Climate Pledge Arena, the place where she memorably finished her career last month.

NOTES: Blues forward Pavel Buchnevich missed the game with an injury after leaving the ice early during morning skate. Josh Leivo took his place in the lineup and made his NHL debut. . Defenseman Colton Parayko played his 500th game for the Blues. Only six others have played more games for St. Louis.

UP NEXT

Blues: At Edmonton on Saturday.

Kraken: At Colorado on Friday night.

BELL SAYS WALLACE APOLOGIZED ON FLIGHT HOME FROM LAS VEGAS

(AP) — Bubba Wallace and Christopher Bell shared a flight home from Las Vegas, and Wallace apologized during the trip to his fellow Toyota teammate for the incident that crippled Bell’s championship chances.

Bell said Wallace also apologized to the entire Toyota group in the Monday competition meeting. Wallace has been suspended one race by NASCAR for a dangerous act of retaliation that inadvertently collected Bell.

“We actually flew home together on Sunday night and he did apologize Sunday, and then he addressed our entire group on Monday and the competition meeting,” Bell said Wednesday. “He just apologized for what went down and the fact that we got taken out is unfortunate circumstances.”

Wallace has been suspended for Sunday’s race at Homestead-Miami Speedway for deliberately retaliating against reigning NASCAR champion Kyle Larson at Las Vegas. Wallace hooked Larson in the rear corner of his car to spin him directly into traffic, where Larson drilled Bell and ended Bell’s race.

Bell drives for Joe Gibbs Racing and Wallace drives for 23XI Racing, which is co-owned by JGR driver Denny Hamlin. The two teams have an alliance, and Toyota demands its teams work together.

Bell and Hamlin are the only two Toyota drivers still eligible to qualify for next month’s winner-take-all championship finale, and Bell is now ranked last in the eight-driver field.

There are four slots in the championship finale and Joey Logano claimed the first spot for Team Penske and Ford with his win Sunday at Las Vegas. But the entire opening race of the third round of NASCAR’s playoffs has been overshadowed by Wallace, who lost his cool when he and Larson were racing for position and neither would give an inch of room.

Larson ended up running Wallace into the wall, and Wallace immediately retaliated by chasing Larson down the track and hooking him back into traffic. By hitting the passing car of Bell, Larson’s trajectory was stopped before he slammed directly into the wall.

Wallace then had a shoving match with Larson after the crash and also pushed away a NASCAR official. The suspension handed down Tuesday falls under NASCAR’s behavioral policy and technically covers most of Wallace’s actions at Las Vegas.

But Steve O’Donnell, the executive in charge of competition and racing operations, said the penalties were for Wallace’s dangerous and deliberate retaliation against Larson, not the fracas a few moments later. O’Donnell said Wallace’s hooking of Larson was “really a dangerous act that we thought was intentional and put other competitors at risk.”

Kevin Harvick, one of the most outspoken drivers on safety issues of late, condemned Wallace’s retaliation.

“Intentionally hooking people in the (right rear) should never be acceptable,” Harvick posted on social media. “Protect us from ourselves. I hope this is the beginning of the end of it happening.”

Wallace is the first driver suspended for on-track actions since Matt Kenseth was suspended two races in 2015 for returning his wrecked car to the track to deliberately crash Logano at Martinsville.

TOP INDIANA RELEASES

PACERS: GAME REWIND: PACERS 107, WIZARDS 114

Game Recap

Before the start of training camp, Indiana Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle dubbed the 2022-23 season “an official new era of Pacers basketball.”

There was plenty of promise on display for the Pacers’ young stars as Indiana officially tipped off a new campaign on Wednesday night at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. 22-year-old guard Tyrese Haliburton had one of his highest-scoring games in his first opening night as a Pacer. Third-year big man Jalen Smith came on strong in the second half of his first night as a full-time starter.

And rookie guard Bennedict Mathurin put together a memorable NBA debut that even featured some Reggie Miller-esque late-game heroics.

But in the end, the Pacers (0-1) didn’t have quite enough firepower to keep up with Washington, dropping a 114-107 decision to the Wizards (1-0).

Haliburton finished with a team-high 26 points to go along with four rebounds and seven assists, going 10-for-18 from the field and 3-for-6 from 3-point range. Smith added 14 of his 16 points in the second half and pulled down eight rebounds, while Buddy Hield also scored 16 and collected 10 boards.

Mathurin came off the bench in his first official NBA game. The 20-year-old Montreal native tallied 19 points, seven rebounds, two assists, and two steals, going 7-for-15 from the field and 3-for-5 from long range.

“To be honest, I step into every game like it’s a big game,” Mathurin said of his official NBA debut. “(Whether it’s) preseason, Summer League, my first NBA game, I’ve got the same mindset. I prepare the same way every time before every game. I’m just locked in.”

Indiana trailed by 18 points with eight minutes remaining on Wednesday, but fought back, reeling off a 12-2 charge to get back within single digits following Haliburton’s three-point play with 5:20 remaining. Still, the Pacers never managed to get any closer until Mathurin’s triple cut it to five with 45.6 seconds remaining.

The rookie then swiped Kyle Kuzma’s inbounds pass. He missed a three off the steal, but the ball went out of bounds to Indiana off the ensuing scramble. Aaron Nesmith then connected with Mathurin on the inbound, as the rookie converted a layup and drew a foul on Kuzma.

He missed the free throw, but Hield corralled the rebound and kicked out to a wide-open Haliburton on the right wing for a potential game-tying three. He couldn’t get it to fall, however, and Indiana was forced to foul on the other end, where Will Barton made two free throws with 14.8 seconds remaining to seal a victory for Washington.

“The last three or four or five minutes, we did a really good job of staying focused on attacking, double-teaming, running them around,” Carlisle said after the loss. “Gave ourselves a chance to tie the game, had a really good look at a three. That was a real positive.”

The Pacers started the new season firing from beyond the arc. Indiana’s first eight attempts came from 3-point range. They converted three of them — two by Haliburton, who also added a 17-foot jumper for Indiana’s first two-point field goal.

Haliburton scored eight of the Blue & Gold’s first 11 points on Wednesday, but on the other end of the court, Kuzma caught fire for Washington. The lengthy sharpshooter scored 10 straight Wizards points to help the visitors out to a 21-11 lead.

Mathurin made his long-awaited NBA debut at that point, checking in to a loud ovation with 6:46 remaining in the first quarter. The sixth overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft wasted no time getting to work, racing down the court, taking a pass from Haliburton on the left wing, and converting a right-handed runner for his first points at 6:36.

Mathurin drew a foul and hit both free throws at 4:31, then knocked down back-to-back threes in the final minute of the first to cap an impressive 10-point opening quarter. The rookie’s outburst kept Indiana within striking distance, but Barton’s buzzer-beating three to close the quarter gave Washington a 36-25 lead.

The visitors led by as many as 12 early in the ensuing frame. But the Pacers rallied, as Hield scored five points during a 9-0 Indiana run that cut the deficit to 44-43 with just over five minutes remaining in the first half.

The turnover bug hit Indiana shortly thereafter, however. The hosts committed four giveaways over the next three minutes as the Wizards reeled off 11 unanswered points.

Washington maintained a double-digit lead for most of the remainder of the half, but a late dunk by Isaiah Jackson trimmed the Pacers’ deficit to eight at 60-52 entering the intermission.

The Pacers announced their intentions to not go quietly into the opening night at the start of the third quarter with a pair of thunderous dunks. Smith threw down a two-hand slam in the paint on the opening possession of the half and Haliburton added a vicious right-hand slam in transition a minute later.

Indiana trailed just 74-68 following Hield’s fourth 3-pointer of the night at the seven-minute mark, but the Wizards responded with seven straight points. Washington kept Indiana at arm’s length for the remainder of the frame, taking an 87-77 advantage into the fourth quarter.

Two quick Wizards baskets to start the final frame forced a quick timeout by Carlisle. Oshae Brissett hit a three for Indiana out of the timeout, but a Rui Hachimura triple and a subsequent technical foul on Carlisle triggered an 8-1 Washington run that seemingly put the game away.

But the Pacers had one last rally in them, fighting all the way back to have a chance to tie the game on Haliburton’s late 3-point attempt.

Starting center Myles Turner was an unexpected scratch on Wednesday for Indiana after spraining his left ankle in pregame warmups. Terry Taylor replaced the eight-year veteran in the starting lineup, finishing with eight points in 26 minutes.

Carlisle said Turner’s injury “is not considered serious,” but the Pacers coach and Turner’s teammates expressed disappointment that the eight-year veteran was unable to play. He missed the second half of last season with a foot injury and has not seen the court in a regular-season game since Jan. 14.

Three-time All-Star Bradley Beal led Washington with 23 points, five rebounds, and six assists in the victory. Kuzma added 22 points and 13 boards, while Kristaps Porzingis also recorded a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

The Pacers will continue a three-game homestand over the weekend, hosting San Antonio on Friday and Detroit on Saturday.

Inside the Numbers

Haliburton’s 26 points were his second-most as a Pacer. He scored 30 at Boston on April 1.

Smith had just two points on 1-of-6 shooting the first half, but tallied 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting and six rebounds over the final two quarters.

With Turner sidelined, the Wizards had their way on the interior, outscoring Indiana 58-34 in points in the paint.

Indiana went 15-for-42 from 3-point range (35.7 percent).

The Pacers left some points on the board at the charity stripe, going just 14-for-21 from the free throw line.

You Can Quote Me On That

“We just had to have a reality check after the first quarter. We got punched in the mouth, for sure. We responded and we kind of teetered between five and 11 (points) it felt like until that last push at the end.” -Haliburton on falling behind early

“He’s going to do what’s needed on a night-to-night basis. He’s a pure, pass-first point guard all the way, but they got off to a 6-0 start, we had two bad possessions, he came down, pulled up for three and knocked it in because that’s what we needed at that time.” -Carlisle on Haliburton looking more for his shot

“The benefit of Benn is he’s ultra-aggressive. What he was drafted to do is put the ball in the hoop. He’s a very aggressive basketball player, can score in a lot of different ways. Seeing him score that way is not surprising…Love him being out there. Really excited for him.” -Haliburton on Mathurin’s debut

“We did good. We didn’t have a lot of minutes together, but I’m looking forward to a lot of minutes with Tyrese. He played amazing tonight. He’s had some great looks. He’s scored the ball, obviously. And it was really fun just playing with him and the rest of my teammates.” -Mathurin on playing more alongside Haliburton

“Stix is a guy, he can turn it on quick. He’s just got to get in that confident mode. Once he’s confident out there, once he feels his rhythm…I feel like when he gets a couple easy baskets, he’s able to play freely and stop thinking and have fun out there. It was great to see him get going in the second half.” -Hield on Smith’s strong second half

Stat of the Night

Mathurin’s 19 points were the second-most by a Pacers rookie in his NBA debut. The only player to score more in franchise history in his first career game was his teammate Chris Duarte, who scored 27 points at Charlotte in the season opener last season on Oct. 20, 2021.

Noteworthy

Racing legend Mario Andretti fired up the crowd by revving an Indy Car on court just before the opening tip on Wednesday.

2022 second-round draft picks Andrew Nembhard and Kendall Brown dressed but did not play on Wednesday.

Wizards forward Deni Avdija exited in the first half with a sprained right ankle.

Up Next

The Pacers continue a three-game homestand by hosting the San Antonio Spurs at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Friday, Oct. 21 at 7:00 PM ET.

INDIANA: BERGER NAMED TO CHERYL MILLER AWARD WATCH LIST

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Graduate student guard Grace Berger has been named one of 20 to the Cheryl Miller Award watch list, announced by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). The award honors the nation’s top small forward in women’s basketball NCAA Division I.

Berger makes her third-consecutive appearance on the Cheryl Miller Award preseason watch and is a unanimous preseason All-Big Ten selection as she enters her fifth season with the Hoosiers. She earned a trio of All-American honorable mention accolades last season as she was a first team All-Big Ten honoree as well. The Louisville, Ky. native led Indiana in scoring with 16.2 points and 4.7 assists per game last season. She additionally added 6.2 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game where she scored in double figures 30 times and had three double-doubles. Berger was also a Top 10 watchlist candidate for the Cheryl Miller Award, which honors the nation’s top small forward with other nods on the Wooden Award and Wade Trophy watchlist for national player of the year. She will enter the 2022-23 season ranked 13th on the all-time scoring list at IU with 1,531 career points.

Fans are encouraged to participate in Fan Voting, presented by Dell Technologies, in each of the three rounds starting Friday, October 21. In late January, the watch list of 20 players for the 2023 Cheryl Miller Award will be narrowed to 10 and then in late February to just five. In March the five finalists will be presented to Miller and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee where a winner will be selected.

The winner of the 2023 Cheryl Miller Award will be presented on a to be determined date, along with the other four members of the Women’s Starting Five. Additional awards being presented include the Nancy Lieberman Award (Point Guard), Ann Meyers Drysdale Award (Shooting Guard), Katrina McClain Award (Power Forward) and the Lisa Leslie Award (Center), in addition to the Men’s Starting Five.

For more information on the 2023 Cheryl Miller Award and the latest updates, visit hoophallawards.com and follow @hoophall and #MillerAward on Twitter and Instagram.

INDIANA: SET TO CLOSE OUT REGULAR SEASON AGAINST TERRAPINS, WOLVERINES

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Indiana women’s soccer team (2-6-7, 0-6-2) will host Maryland (2-8-5, 1-7) on Oct. 20 at and travel to Ann Arbor on Sunday, Oct. 23 for their final regular season match of the season against the Wolverines.

Indiana’s match against the Terrapins will kickoff at 7 p.m. ET and will be broadcasted on BTN+ with Samantha Condra (PxP) and Cruz Martin (Analyst) on the call and Evan Kamikow reporting from the sideline.

Indiana will conclude the regular season with a trip to Ann Arbor, Michigan on Sunday, Oct 23. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. ET. The match against the Wolverines will be broadcasted on BTN+ with Brian Boesch (PxP) and Michael Cohen (Analyst) on the call.

ABOUT THE TERRAPINS

• Meghan Ryan Nemzer is in her first year as head coach of the Maryland soccer program. Before coming to Maryland, she served as an associate head coach at Rutgers where she helped lead the Scarlet Knights to the 2021 Big Ten title with an undefeated record of 10-0 .

• The Terps are coming off a 1-2 loss against Minnesota on Oct. 16 in College Park. Graduate Alyssa Poarch found the equalizer in the 28th minute after getting down 1-0 in the 10th minute.

• Indiana leads the series 3-1-4 against the Terps. The loss dates back to Oct. 21, 1994.

• In the last matchup, IU tied Maryland to a 0-0 draw in College Park, Md. on Oct. 17, 2021.

ABOUT THE WOLVERINES

• Michigan is led my head coach Jennifer Klein who is in her fifth season at the helm of the Wolverines program. She led the program to its first Big Ten Tournament title in 2021, posting an overall record of 18-4-3.

• The Wolverines were shutout 3-0 by the No. 25 Penn State. UM had close chances only trailing 10-6 in shots but could not get one to convert.

• Graduate goalkeeper Izzy Nino made three saves, totaling 64 minutes before she was relieved by senior Katherine McElroy who added a couple of saves.

• UM will host No. 8 Rutgers on Thursday, Oct. 20 before welcoming the Hoosiers to Ann Arbor.

• IU trails 6-17-5 in the series against UM.

• On Oct. 3, 2021, the teams played to a 0-0 draw in overtime with IU holding a 16-11 shot advantage.

• IU holds a 2-0-4 record against the Wolverines in the last six matchups dating back to Sept. 17, 2017.

LAST TIME OUT

• Purdue’s Gracie Dunaway scored the first goal of the match on a corner kick in the 27th minute.

• Junior forward Anna Bennett found the equalizer with an Olimpico goal in the 36th minute after Indiana was awarded a corner kick.

• Freshman midfielder Olivia Smith put the Hoosiers up 2-0 in the 28th minute. A header that was deflected by Purdue landed at the right foot of Smith as she hit it off the right goal post to put the Hoosiers up.

• However, Purdue would score the equalizer in the 63rd minute from Sydney Duarte to tie the score, 2-2.

SMITH SCORES BIG TEN HONORS

• Freshman midfielder Oliva Smith earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week after scoring her first collegiate goal against Purdue on Oct. 16.  The Fischer, Ind. native, has played in 11 matches and earned her first career start against Indiana State and has totaled nearly 390 minutes on the pitch this season.

PINK MATCH

• The women’s soccer program will host a pink match and encourages all fans to wear pink on Thursday, Oct. 20 in support of breast cancer awareness.

PURDUE: ELLIS PACES BOILERMAKERS IN LOSS TO #3 NEBRASKA

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The No. 12 Purdue Boilermakers fell to No. 3 Nebraska, 0-3 (21-25, 20-25, 18). With the result, Purdue moves to 15-4 and 6-3 in the Big Ten, while Nebraska remains undefeated in league play with a 17-1, 9-0 Big Ten record.

In one of the most balanced offensive efforts of the season, eight Boilermakers scored on the attack, led by Emma Ellis’ nine kills. Meanwhile, Madeline Koch finished the night with eight kills, including a momentum-boosting four in the first set.

Libero Maddie Schermerhorn went perfect on her reception rate after receiving 31 balls, and finished the night with a team-leading 14 digs.

Meanwhile the middle blockers posted team-leading numbers with Raven Colvin totaling five block assists and Hannah Clayton’s errorless .500 hitting clip (5-0-10). Clayton’s 5-0-10 showing was the first time this season the fifth-year has gone errorless and the third time she’s hit .500 or better.

Although the Boilermakers out-blocked the Huskers, 8-6, the difference-maker came in the team’s efficiency, with No. 3 Nebraska capitalizing at a .295 efficiency while holding Purdue to .140 on the night.

The Boilermakers continue their week of top-10 opponents Saturday night, when they take on No. 9 Minnesota in Minneapolis. The match is slated for Big Ten Network with a first serve at 9 p.m. ET.

PURDUE: ROADTRIP CONCLUDES AT MINNESOTA

ST. PAUL, Minn. – A three-game roadtrip for the Purdue soccer team concludes at Minnesota on Thursday, October 20, in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Kickoff at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium is set for 7 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. CT.

The match will be broadcast live on B1G+, and live stats are available at GopherSports.com. Updates from the Twin Cities also can be found by following @PurdueSoccer on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, while direct links to follow along are available on the schedule page at PurdueSports.com/Soccer.

Purdue is unbeaten in its last two contests, with a pair of 2-2 draws, at Iowa on October 13 and at Indiana in an in-state rivalry matchup on October 16. With the tie at IU on Sunday, the Boilermakers retained the Golden Boot Trophy for the eighth consecutive season.

Thursday is the penultimate game of the 2022 regular season, and Purdue’s final road contest. The Boilermakers are 3-9-3 overall and 0-5-3 in the Big Ten. Minnesota is 7-7-2 on the year and 3-4-1 in the Big Ten after a 2-1 win at Maryland on Sunday.

Statistically, freshman goalkeeper Kailey Kimball is third in the Big Ten with 4.12 saves per game, junior midfielder Emily Mathews is fifth with six assists and sophomore forward Gracie Dunaway is sixth with a .500 shot accuracy. Dunaway leads the team with six goals, 14 points and 15 shots on goal. Freshman forward Kayla Budish is second on the team with three goals and 12 shots on goal, and she and Dunaway share the team lead with 30 shots. Budish, Mathews and fifth year midfielder Sydney Duarte are tied for second on the squad with eight points, and Duarte’s four assists also is second-most.

As a team, Purdue is second in the Big Ten with 5.13 saves per game. The Boilermakers have scored 18 goals and recorded 18 assists for 54 points. They have made 77 saves for a .720 save percentage with a 2.00 goals-against average.

SERIES HISTORY VS. MINNESOTA

Purdue is 9-15-0 all-time against Minnesota and 4-7 in St. Paul. The Golden Gophers are one of four Big Ten teams that the Boilermakers played as a non-conference opponent in their inaugural 1998 campaign, prior to Purdue being added to the conference schedule in 1999. The series has been played every year since 1998, with the exception of 2019, and the most recent matchup was a thrilling 3-2 victory a year ago.

On October 10, 2021, a second-half scoring surge helped Purdue erase a 2-0 halftime deficit to beat Minnesota 3-2 at Folk Field. The Boilermakers trailed 2-0 after 41 minutes, but dominated a three-goal second half. The rally was started with a goal by then-sophomore Mathews in the 64th minute, and an own goal tied the match at 2-2 in the 71st. Then-senior forward Sarah Griffith completed the comeback with the game-winning goal in the 85th minute.

A complete recap from the match, including box score and highlights, can be found at PurdueSports.com/Soccer.

SCOUTING THE GOLDEN GOPHERS

Minnesota enters Thursday’s contest with a 7-7-2 overall record and a 5-3-0 mark at home. The Golden Gophers are 3-4-1 in the Big Ten and unbeaten in their last three, with a 1-0 win over Iowa on October 9, a 2-2 draw at No. 8 Rutgers on October 13 and a 2-1 victory at Maryland on October 16. UM is 0-3-1 against top-25 opponents.

UM leads the Big Ten with 7.19 corner kicks per game and is sixth with a .938 goals-against average and 24 assists. The Golden Gophers have scored 24 goals and have made 42 saves for a .737 save percentage with 15 goals allowed.

Individually, Gabbie Cesarone leads the Big Ten and is No. 11 nationally with four game-winning goals, while Megan Plaschko is No. 6 in the league with five shutouts and No. 7 with a .938 goals-against average. Cesarone has a team-best six goals and shares the team lead with Sophia Boman with 12 points, as Boman has a squad-high four assists.

LAST TIME OUT: KEEPING THE GOLDEN BOOT

The Golden Boot Trophy remained with Purdue for an eighth consecutive season after a 2-2 draw at Indiana on Sunday afternoon. Dunaway scored her team-leading sixth goal of the season to give the Boilermakers a 1-0 lead in the 28th minute, before the Hoosiers got the next two, in the 36th and 38th minutes. Duarte then notched the equalizer in the 63rd minute, her second goal of the year.

In an evenly-played match on Sunday, the Boilermakers had eight shots, four on goal, while the Hoosiers registered 18 shots, seven on target. Duarte led the team with three shots and had a game-high-tying two shots on goal, as she also assisted on the opening goal to notch her first career three-point game. Mathews, whose corner kick set up both scores, had two shots and also earned an assist on the team’s first goal. Freshman goalkeeper Kailey Kimball made five saves.

Purdue is unbeaten in its last eight games against Indiana, which marks the second-longest streak in the all-time series, behind a 15-game stretch for the Boilermakers from 2000-2011. Purdue is 16-4-7 all-time in the series against its in-state rivals and 5-2-4 on the road. Duarte won the Golden Boot Trophy in each of her five years as a Boilermaker, and this year’s graduating seniors also retained the rivalry trophy every year they donned the Old Gold and Black.

A complete recap can be found at PurdueSports.com/Soccer.

UP NEXT: 2022 FINALE AT FOLK FIELD

Purdue returns home to Folk Field for the season finale on Sunday, October 23, against Maryland. Kickoff is set for at 2 p.m. ET, and admission is free for all fans to the contest.

REUNION WEEKEND SET, REGISTRATION OPEN

The annual Reunion Weekend is on Sunday, October 23, as the Boilermakers host Maryland. A pregame tailgate for Purdue Soccer alumnae and their families begins at noon at Folk Field, before the 2 p.m. game. Tickets are free for soccer alumnae, which includes a Purdue Soccer t-shirt, and tickets for family members and guests are $10. Alumnae can register at PurdueSports.com/Soccer, and registration will close at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, October 20.

BUTLER: MSOCCER BATTLES CREIGHTON, FALLS 4-2 ON LATE GOALS

OMAHA, Neb. – The Butler men’s soccer team lost a back-and-forth battle between the BIG EAST’s top offensive teams, falling 4-2 at Creighton. The Bulldogs (8-5-1, 3-3-1 BIG EAST) jumped ahead in the tenth minute, but by halftime the Bluejays (5-3-5, 2-2-3 BIG EAST) had leveled the score, 1-1. Thirteen minutes into the second half, Creighton pulled ahead, but Butler answered this time, leveling the match at two with 25 minutes remaining. The two sides battled through the next several minutes, but with only eleven on the clock, the Bluejays produced what would be the game winner. Then, just before the final whistle, Creighton tallied one more for the final margin.

With two consecutive road losses, Butler is now tied with Providence for the fourth spot in the tightly contested BIG EAST rankings. The two teams are three points behind second-place Xavier and Seton Hall, and one point in front of St. John’s and Creighton. Each team has either two or three matches remaining.

Key Moments

10′ | Tommy Visser enters the penalty area from the left side and is fouled. Joost de Schutter buries the penalty, and Butler takes an early, 1-0, lead.

10′ | Creighton penetrates the box and gets a shot from 12 yards. Gabriel Gjergji lunges to make the save, and the deflected ball goes out for a Bluejays corner kick.

16′ | DJ Hooks plays a cross from the right side to the left. Jack Streberger heads the ball down to Palmer Ault, in the center and 12 yards from the goal. Ault’s one-touch shot forces a save from the Creighton keeper.

29′ | After a Butler corner kick, de Schutter finds Streberger about 20 yards out. Streberger’s hard shot sails just over the crossbar.

37′ | Gjergji comes out to clear a Creighton pass, but it stays in bounds. The Bluejays’ Jackson Castro shoots from near midfield. Gjergji scrambles to get back in position, but the ball goes in the goal and levels the score at one.

—HALFTIME—

57′ | Hooks has an open look from 25 yards, but it is over the bar.

58′ | Creighton’s Owen O’Malley carries into the area and puts the Bluejays up, 2-1.

65′ | Palmer Ault carries toward the goal as four Creighton defenders collapse on him. He drops the ball as Streberger comes up behind him, and Streberger finds the back of the net to level the score at two.

79′ | The Bluejays serve into the penalty area, and Duncan McGuire breaks away from his defender and puts Creighton ahead once again, at 3-2.

88′ | Creighton looks to put the match out of reach with its fourth goal from Charles Auguste.

Butler Points Summary

GOALS: Joost de Schutter, Jack Streberger

ASSISTS: Palmer Ault

Bulldog Bits

Joost de Schutter’s goal was the second of his career.

Jack Streberger’s goal was his fourth of the season and the sixth of his career.

Palmer Ault’s assist was the fourth of his career.

Butler and Creighton each totaled nine shots and each put five on frame.

BUTLER: WSOCCER HEADS TO SETON HALL LOOKING FOR THREE LEAGUE POINTS

The Butler women’s soccer team is traveling to Seton Hall for a Thursday, Oct. 20 match that kicks off at 2 p.m. The Bulldogs (7-7-1, 4-3-0 BIG EAST) are coming off a 2-0 win at UConn, while the Pirates (5-9-2, 1-7-0 BIG EAST) most recently lost to DePaul, 0-2. Butler currently sits fifth in the BIG EAST standings, one point behind Creighton and two points behind St. John’s, with three games remaining. The top six teams will qualify for the conference tournament.

Bulldog Bits

            (through games 10/16/2022)

Katie Soderstrom sits atop the BIG EAST with 3.60 shots per game (34th nationally), 3 game-winning goals (42nd), 1.67 shots on goal per game (49th), 16 total points, and 6 goals. Her 4 assists rank third in the conference.

Talia Sommer is fourth in the BIG EAST with a shot accuracy of .520.

Abigail Isger’s 13 points and 5 goals rank third in the BIG EAST, and her 2.23 shots per game ranks fifth.

Emma Martin was chosen BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Week (10/17) after making seven saves in a 2-0 shutout on the road against UConn. She faced seven shots on goal throughout the match and finished with a 1.000 save percentage. Martin led the league in save percentage, goals against average and shutouts last week.

Talia Sommer was selected as the BIG EAST Freshman of the Week (10/17) after notching two assists in two matches. Her first one was a pass to Arianna Jalics in the 22nd minute against St. John’s, which led to the Bulldogs’ only goal of the match. Then, in Butler’s 2-0 win at UConn, the midfielder gave Abigail Isger an opportunity to score in the 12th minute to give the Bulldogs a lead that they would keep until the final whistle. Sommer was tied for first in the league last week in assists.

Against UConn:

Abigail Isger’s goal was her fifth of the season and the 14th of her career.

Talia Sommer’s assist was the third of her career.

Emma Martin (1-0-0) made her second appearance and first start of the season in goal for Butler. She made seven saves in earning her first win and first solo shutout of the season. With 10.5 shutouts for her career, she has now entered the top-five on Butler’s all-time list for career shutouts.

The Matchup

SERIES RECORD: Butler leads, 6-1-1

LAST MEETING: Sept. 26, 2021 – Indianapolis – Butler 3, Seton Hall 1

Seton Hall’s only victory (3-1) came in the first meeting in 2013 in South Orange.

The teams tied, 0-0 (2OT), in 2017 in South Orange.

Scouting Seton Hall

Previous match: DePaul L, 0-2

Seton Hall defeated Marquette (1-0) and has losses to common opponents Providence (0-1), Villanova (0-2), St. John’s (0-1), and Xavier (0-2).

Individual Statistics

Offensive standouts for Seton Hall include:

#21 Natalie Tavana (3g, 3a)

#5 Abbie Roberts (2g)

#9 Emma Sheehan (2g)

#7 Phoebe Hampson (1g, 1a)

Grace Gordon (4-8-1) is the primary keeper for the Pirates, having started 14 of 16 matches. She has given up 15 goals (1.03 GAA) and has made 81 saves, producing four solo shutouts and one combined.

BALL STATE: BIG WEEK FOR BALL STATE SOCCER, TRAVEL TO KENT STATE, HOST BUFFALO

MUNCIE, Ind. – The Ball State soccer team will be back in action for two more Mid-American Conference matchups. The Cardinals start the week on Thursday, Oct. 20. with a road contest against Kent State, who is currently in third in the MAC standings, followed by a home match with first place Buffalo on Sunday, Oct. 23.

Ball State enters the week with a 6-4-5 overall record and is 5-1-2 in conference play. Kent State currently has an overall mark of 4-6-5 and is 4-1-3 in MAC contests, while Buffalo is 11-1-3 overall and 5-0-3 in conference matches.

Last Time Out

The Cardinals are coming off a 1-0-1 week after a draw with Akron and a road win against Ohio. Avery Fenchel recorded her team-leading 11th goal against Akron and was assisted by Abby Elgert. In the BSU 2-1 road win, Grace Alsop earned her first goal of the season and was assisted by Lexy Smith. Lexi Fraley notched her fourth goal of the year, which was the game-winning goal, and was assisted by Elgert.

Season Leaders

Fenchel paces the Cardinals with 11 goals, which is tied for 10th in the nation and tied for the MAC lead. Her 11 goals are ranked second in BSU history for goals scored in a season, just two behind the leader, Kate Nadalin, with 13. Delaney Caldwell is second on the team with four goals and in points with 11. Fraley is third on the squad with four goals and has added two assists. Elgert leads the team with six assists, while Smith is second with four. Fraley, Alex McPhee, and Maya Millis all have two assists. Six other Cardinals have one assist each. Bethany Moser continues to be solid in net for BSU and has started all 15 matches this season. Moser has 55 saves on the year.

Series Outlook with the Golden Flashes

The Cardinals hold the slim 12-11-2 advantage over the Golden Flashes and are 1-1 under Head Coach Josh Rife. Kent State has a 9-4-0 record at home against Ball State, including a 3-0 victory last season in Kent, Ohio. The Cardinals have won six of the last eight meetings.

Scouting Kent State

Kent State is lead by Alisa Arthur, Siena Stambolich, and Kelsey Salopek, who have all scored three goals each. Delaney Ranallo and Mary Kate Lape have two goals each. Arthur has a team-best four assists, while Stambolich and Ranallo each have two assists. Sarah Melén has started all 15 matches in goal for the Golden Flashes. Melén has made 54 saves and surrendered 20 goals on the season.

How to Follow

Watch: BoxCast

Live Stats: kentstatesports.com

Series Outlook with Buffalo

Ball State holds a 14-8-2 record against Buffalo and are 1-1 under Coach Rife. The Cardinals have won six of the last seven meetings, but the Bulls won last season’s match 2-1 in Buffalo. BSU is 9-1-1 at home against UB.

Scouting the Bulls

Arianna Zumpano leads the Bulls with seven goals and has added an assist for 15 points. Jasmine Guerber is second on the squad with six goals. Katie Krohn, Leah Wengender, and Annie Judasz all have multiple goals on the season. Five Buffalo players have recorded one goal. Ellie Simmons has a team-high six assists, while Payton Robertson has five assists. Emily Kelly has started all 15 contests and has 45 saves on the year with just five goals surrendered.

How to Follow

Watch: ESPN+

Live Stats: ballstatesports.com

MAC Standings

Team – Overall; Conference Record

1. Buffalo – 11-1-3; 5-0-3

2. Ball State – 6-4-5; 5-1-2

3. Kent State – 4-6-5; 4-1-3

4. Miami – 7-3-5; 3-1-4

5. Bowling Green – 5-5-4, 3-2-3

6. Western Michigan – 3-7-5; 3-3-2

7. Ohio – 7-6-2; 3-4-1

8. Northern Illinois – 5-5-4; 2-4-2

9. Toledo – 2-7-6; 1-3-4

10. Eastern Michigan – 3-9-3; 2-5-1

11. Central Michigan – 2-9-3; 1-4-2

12. Akron – 2-7-4; 1-5-2

NOTRE DAME: IRISH TRAVEL TO NO. 8 PITT AND VIRGINIA

SETTING THE STAGE

• Notre Dame is on a four game winning streak as they travel to face the No. 8 Pitt Panthers on Friday, Oct. 21, and the Virginia Cavaliers on Sunday, Oct. 23.

• Both games this weekend will be broadcasted on ACC Network Extra.

HISTORY VS. PITT

• This will be the 41st meeting between the Irish and the Panthers with Notre Dame leading the overall series 25-15.

• The Irish have lost the last two matchups with the most recent being last year (10.22.21), where the Irish fell in five sets at home (18-25, 25-20, 21-25, 25-19, 10-15). The last Notre Dame win was on Oct. 16, 2020 as the Irish defeated the Panthers at home in five sets (22-25, 17-25, 25-21, 25-20, 17-15).

• The longest ND winning streak was from 1992-2002 where the Irish won 15 straight matches against the Panthers.

HISTORY VS. VIRGINIA

• This will be the 12th meeting between the Irish and the Cavaliers with Notre Dame leading the overall series 6-5.

• Notre Dame has won the last five matchups against Virginia as they have been on a winning streak since 2017. The last Cavalier win against the Irish was Nov. 13, 2016 in Purcell Pavilion.

LAST WEEKEND RECAP VS. WAKE FOREST AND VIRGINIA TECH

•  The Irish finished the weekend 2-0 as they took down Wake Forest in a five set thriller (17-25, 25-23, 25-21, 14-25, 15-13) and defeated the Hokies in four (25-21, 20-25, 25-20, 25-22). Despite trailing 11-5 in set five against Wake Forest, the Irish were able to rally back to take home the set five win and extend their winning streak.

• Paris Thompson led the weekend with 31 kills, tallying 15 kills against Wake Forest and 16 against the Hokies.

• Setter Phyona Schrader dished out 85 assists and tallied 44 digs on the weekend.

• Avery Ross finished with 24 kills on the weekend followed by Lauren Tarnoff who finished with 21 kills and 10 blocks, with seven of those 10 blocks coming from the win over Wake Forest. Kaylyn Winkler also tallied 17 kills for the Irish along with eight blocks.

• Winkler and Tarnoff capped off the Wake Forest win with a block from the two attackers to end set five and give the Irish their third consecutive win on Friday.

NOTRE DAME: MILES PICKS UP PRESEASON ALL-ACC NOMINATION

The preseason recognition continues to pile up for guard Olivia Miles, as the Notre Dame sophomore was named to the Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason All-ACC Team on Wednesday. She was a member of last year’s All-ACC First Team, and she was the only freshman of the group.

Miles, who received three first place votes, was the third name on the list behind Virginia Tech’s Elizabeth Kitley (49 first place votes) and Louisville’s Hailey Van Lith (seven first place votes).

The 5-10 point guard is one of four returning starters for the Niele Ivey-led Irish, and she is looking to build upon a record-breaking freshman campaign. The Phillipsburg, N.J., native led Notre Dame with 13.7 points, 7.4 assists and 1.8 steals per game last year. She posted eight games with double-digit assists last season, while no other ACC player had more than one contest with 10+. Miles scored in double figures 30 times.

Further, Miles was the first ever freshman — men’s or women’s — to record a triple double in the NCAA Tournament; in a first-round win over UMass, she notched 12 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. In all, she was just the second ever Irish freshman to accomplish the feat, joining Marina Mabrey.

Since joining the conference in 2014, 14 Notre Dame women’s basketball players have earned all-conference honors. Just five of them have been named to the first team two or more times: Lindsay Allen (2016, 2017), Jewell Loyd (2014, 2015), Arike Ogunbowale (2018, 2019), Jessica Shepard (2018,2019) and Brianna Turner (2015, 2016 & 2017). Miles could be the sixth Irish player to join that group come spring.

Current junior forward Maddy Westbeld has the opportunity to add her name to that list as well, as she was a member of the 2021 All-ACC First Team during her freshman season.

Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason All-ACC Team (60 voters)

Elizabeth Kitley, Sr., C, Virginia Tech (49 first-place votes)

Hailey Van Lith, Jr., G, Louisville (7)

Olivia Miles, So., G, Notre Dame (3)

Deja Kelly, Jr., G, North Carolina

Diamond Johnson, Jr., G, NC State

Jakia Brown-Turner, Sr., F, NC State

Jewel Spear, Jr., G, Wake Forest

Ashley Owusu, Sr., G, Virginia Tech

Morgan Jones, Grad., G, Louisville (1)

Taylor Soule, Grad., G, Virginia Tech

Blue Ribbon Panel Newcomer Watch List

Ashley Owusu, Sr., G, Virginia Tech

Saniya Rivers, So., G, NC State

Dyaisha Fair, Sr., G, Syracuse

Ta’Niya Latson, Fr., G, Florida State

(tie) Haley Cavinder, Sr., G, Miami

(tie) Ruby Whitehorn, Fr., G, Clemson

NOTRE DAME: GAME 15 PREVIEW: @ VIRGINIA TECH

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The No. 5 Notre Dame women’s soccer team (12-2-0, 5-2-0) moved up one spot in the national rankings and will take its now top-5 ranking to Blacksburg on Thursday in a showdown against Virginia Tech (9-4-2, 3-3-1). Oddly enough for conference opponents, the Fighting Irish have not played the Hokies since 2018. With a win, they can even the series against them, currently trailing, 3-4-0.

A.C.C. – A CROWDED CREW

With its recent string of big wins, Notre Dame has caused quite the crowded field atop an ACC leaderboard in which only six teams make the conference tournament. The Irish are 5-2 and tied for second place alongside North Carolina and Duke. Florida State sits alone in first at 6-1. Keep in mind, the top-two teams will receive a first-round bye in the conference tournament.

Historically speaking, Notre Dame has won 11 BIG EAST tournament crowns but are still searching for its first ACC title, let alone first title game. A top-two seed and a bye would be a great start to that quest.

NCAA SOCCER COMMITTEE REVEALS TOP-10

The NCAA women’s soccer committee revealed its midseason top-10 on Oct. 13 and Notre Dame checked in at No. 3. In fact six of the spots belong to ACC teams. In order: UCLA, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Alabama, Florida State, Virginia, Duke, Arkansas, Pitt, Northwestern.

If it were to hold, the Irish could secure their first No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament since 2008.

IRISH RESUME

In the RPI rankings on Oct. 16, the Irish came in at the No. 4 spot behind Alabama, UCLA and North Carolina. Notre Dame is 3-2 against the current RPI Top-25. Furthermore, the Irish are 5-2 against the Top-50 and 7-2 against the Top-100.

The Irish boast four ranked wins on the season, including two against the top three: No. 19 Saint Louis (road game), No. 22 Wisconsin, No. 2 Virginia and No. 3 Florida State.

Notre Dame’s strength of schedule ranks 19th in the country.

The Irish have been all over the United Soccer Coaches despite the 12-2-0 record: No. 16 – Unranked – No. 16 – No. 12 – No. 6 – No. 18 – No. 16 – No. 17 – No. 6 – No. 5.

HOLD THE LINE

The Irish backline of Gaetino, Hudson and Klenke has only allowed 32 shots on goal over 14 games – which equates to a stout 2.3 SOG per game. Even shots in general, opponents are averaging just 6.9 against the Irish.

Six games this season the Irish backline has only allowed one SOG or fewer: NC State (Oct. 6), Boston College (9/30), Virginia (9/22), Saint Louis (8/25), Western Michigan (8/21) and Marquette (8/18).

Notre Dame’s defensive/goalie crew boasts nine shutouts on the year, which is tied for most in the country for a team that hasn’t played more than 14 games. Their shutout percentage of 0.643 ranks 10th in the country.

Notre Dame’s GAA of 0.571 ranks 14th in the country and 1st in the ACC.

Mackenzie Wood in particular has been stellar in net down the stretch, as her 0.333 GAA ranks 2nd in the country (1st in ACC). Wood has only allowed three goals in nine games. Furthermore, she has collected seven shutouts, including five straight – Virginia, Boston College, NC State, Florida State and Louisville.

In addition, Wood ranks 8th on the active career leader list in shutouts with 27.

SEARCHING FOR FIVE IN A ROW

During the current four-game win streak, Notre Dame has outscored its opposition 12-0, scoring multiple goals in all four victories.

The goals have come from the four-headed monster that is the Irish attack: Wingate (4), Albert (3), Van Zanten (3) and Mercado (2).

SHOTS ON SHOTS

The importance of scoring first? Well, the Irish are 12-0 and undefeated when doing so. Both times ND has trailed this season at the half (both 1-0 scores at the time), they’ve suffered a loss.

Notre Dame is averaging 9.2 shots on goal per game, which ranks 4th nationally (1st in ACC). Overall, the Irish are averaging 19.7 shots per game, which ranks 6th nationally (1st in the ACC).

In comparison, shots on goal differential sit at 129-32 (9.2-2.3).

All those shots have led to 35 goals on the year, which ranks 22nd in the nation, while the scoring offense (2.5) ranks 14th. Notre Dame has piled up 97 total points which rank 26th in the country.  

Olivia Wingate —   16th goals per game, 1st in ACC (0.71) // 15th in points per game, 2nd in ACC (1.79) // 7th in shot accuracy (.655) // 4th in SOG per game (2.7) // 17th in total goals, 1st in ACC (10) // 13th in total points, 1st in ACC (25).

Maddie Mercado — 11th in game-winning goals, 1st in ACC (4).

Mackenzie Wood — 2nd in GAA, 1st in ACC (.333) // 27th in shutouts, 2nd in ACC (7).

STATEMENT VICTORIES – TOP THREE’S GOING DOWN

With a 1-0 victory over No. 2 Virginia and a dominant 4-0 win over No. 3 Florida State, Notre Dame has now earned two top-three wins during the regular season for the first time in program history.

In addition, it marks the first time Notre Dame has beaten both Virginia and Florida State in the same season since joining the ACC in 2013.

For Notre Dame, it was its largest win against a top-3 program since Sept. 8, 2000 (6-1 win over #2 Santa Clara). Not to mention, defensively, both games were shutouts, with Virginia and FSU combining for just six shots on goal.

The Irish will also get one more opportunity at a top-10 ranked ACC team before season’s end — No. 10 Duke in the home finale on Oct. 27.

QUOTABLES AFTER FSU WIN

“That is what we should bring to every single game. That energy and that ability to keep the ball and attack and press teams. We talk about our identity being the best press team in the country and that was phenomenal. We were relentless and risk-taking and we also had that grit. This is our standard now. This is what we do.” – Doug & Lisa Jones Family Head Coach Nate Norman

“There is 100% a mentality difference. Going into these games, if we do what we do and we do it right, we will win these games. And that’s what I think we showed today. We have more confidence. I think we just need to have the humility to know that every game from here on out is going to be a battle, and we’re going to have to bring it every single game.” – ” Eva Gaetino

OFFENSIVE SPARKPLUGS

Notre Dame has tallied a 35-8 goal aggregate over the 2022 season. Out of the 35 goals – it’s come from 9 different players: Wingate (10), Mercado (8), Albert (5), Van Zanten (5), Klenke (2), Ospeck (2), Coyle, Fisher and Gaetino.

Mercado and Wingate are having career years up top, much like how Sammi Fisher did a year ago. Mercado boasts a career-high in goals (8) and game-winners (4), as the latter ranks as the most in the ACC and 11th in the country.

Meanwhile, Wingate has flown past her previous career high of seven with 10 goals this year. Quite frankly, she’s doing it all, leading the team in both goals and assists (5). Wingate’s 25 total points rank 13th in the country and 1st in the ACC.

Now add in Albert and Van Zanten to complete the four-headed monster that is the Irish attack. As a foursome, they have contributed 71 percent of the team’s points.

Van Zanten has scored five times over the last nine games, which included an absolute missile from downtown at Louisville.

Korbin Albert has either started or been later moved up top over the last three games and has three goals to show for it in that span.

BEST WINGMAN

Senior left-wing midfielder Kati Druzina is once again lending a helping hand, or should I say foot, in the assist department. During the 2021 campaign, Druzina tied for second on the team in assists with five, which included her first career multi-assist game (tallied 2) against Brown.

This season, Druzina ranks second again, this time behind Wingate. Druzina boasts three assists – against Marquette, Illinois and Ohio.

IUPUI: JAGUARS PICKED 11TH IN #HLMBB PRESEASON POLL

INDIANAPOLIS – The IUPUI basketball team has been picked to finish 11th in the #HLMBB Preseason Poll, as released by the league office on Wednesday (Oct. 19). Coaches, media and sports information personnel voted in this year’s poll. Purdue Fort Wayne and Northern Kentucky finished tied atop the poll while reigning champion Wright State was pegged third. Detroit Mercy’s Antoine Davis was named the league’s Preseason Player of the Year and joined on the first team by Marques Warrick (Northern Kentucky), Jalen Moore (Oakland), Jarred Godfrey (Purdue Fort Wayne) and Dwayne Cohill (Youngstown State).

Head coach Matt Crenshaw’s team returns just two letterwinners from a season ago in sophomore Boston Stanton III (4.7 ppg, 23 3’s) and graduate student Jonah Carrasco (4.4 ppg, 3.8 rpg). The Jaguars completely rebuilt the roster in the offseason and will rely heavily on a group of transfers this season. Crenshaw inked a pair of Division I transfers in 5-foot-11 guard Bryce Monroe (San Diego) and 6-foot-9 grad student Chris Osten (Northern Illinois). Monroe was the 2021 Southland Conference Freshman of the Year while at Sam Houston State, where he averaged 10.1 points and 2.8 assists per game while shooting 39 percent from the floor.

The Jaguars also added four junior college transfers in Jlynn Counter, Cooper Dewitt, John Egbuta and Daylan Hamilton. The group of true freshmen includes local products Vincent Brady II, Amhad Jarrard and Armon Jarrard and highly touted prep DJ Jackson.

Crenshaw’s team will open the exhibition slate against Brescia inside the Jungle on Oct. 27. The Jags will open the regular season at Iowa State on Nov. 7 before capping the two-game trip at Drake on Nov. 9. In conjunction with the women’s program, the Jags will host its IUPUI Basketball Hoopsfest inside the Jungle on Thursday, Oct. 20.

2022-23  #HLMBB Preseason Poll

Pl.        Team – Pts. (First-place votes)

T1.       Purdue Fort Wayne (17) – 394

T1.       Northern Kentucky (15) – 394

3.         Wright State (3) – 329

4.         Oakland (2) – 321

5.         Youngstown State (1) – 291

6.         Detroit Mercy (2) – 268

7.         Cleveland State – 188

8.         RMU – 163

9.         Milwaukee – 132

10.        Green Bay – 111

11.        IUPUI – 49

#HLMBB Preseason Player of the Year

Antoine Davis, Detroit Mercy

Preseason All-League First Team (alphabetical order by school)

Antoine Davis, Detroit Mercy

Marques Warrick, Northern Kentucky

Jalen Moore, Oakland

Jarred Godfrey, Purdue Fort Wayne

Dwayne Cohill, Youngstown State

Preseason All-League Second Team (alphabetical order by school)

Trevon Faulkner, Northern Kentucky

Sam Vinson, Northern Kentucky

Kahliel Spear, RMU

Trey Calvin, Wright State

Amari Davis, Wright State

BALL STATE: SEVEN STRAIGHT; VOLLEYBALL PICKS UP KEY ROAD WIN AT TOLEDO

TOLEDO, Ohio – – Not only did the Ball State women’s volleyball team pick up its seventh straight win Wednesday night in Savage Arena, but it also earned another key Mid-American Conference road victory by topping Toledo 3-1 (25-21, 25-16, 22-25, 25-22).

With the win, the Cardinals improve to 15-6 (7-2 MAC) on the year and take sole possession of the top spot in the league’s West Division. After sweeping a two-match road series at then-league-leading Northern Illinois last weekend, Ball State broke a stalemate with the Rockets (13-7; 6-3 MAC) for the top spot in the division with tonight’s victory.

“We’ve played in two tough road environments for the past three matches, and I am proud of our team for hanging tough,” head coach Kelli Miller Phillips said. “We’ve done a great job preparing and executing the game plan, which has given us confidence. We still need to work on finishing sets, especially on the road, as you don’t want to give anyone in this league extra chances.”

Leading the way for the Ball State offense was junior outside Cait Snyder who blasted a career-high 19 kills and hit .342 (19-3-38). It was her fourth time in double figures in the last five matches, and the third time she has registered a career-high kill total in the span.

“Cait has been working hard in practice to not only hit more of a variety of shots, but to also make better decisions on the shots she is hitting,” Phillips said. “It’s really paid off. She’s getting more and more consistent, which is helping us tremendously.”

Right behind Snyder was senior outside Natalie Risi, who scored 15 kills and kept the pressure on from the service line by tying for match-high honors with three aces. She also tied for the match lead with 18 total service attempts and earned a perfect reception percentage on 19 attempts.

Rounding out a trio of Cardinals in double figures was senior middle Marie Plitt with 10 kills on a .500 (10-1-18) attack percentage. Putting it all together was sophomore setter Megan Wielonski who dished out 47 assists and ran the offense at a .278 (54-17-133) clip. She also served up an ace and added eight digs.

As solid as Ball State was on offense, it was BSU’s defense which set the tone by extending rallies and forcing Toledo into numerous errors. The Rockets finished the match hitting just .174 (50-25-144).

“Our defense was locked in, as we knew Toledo had a ton of offensive options,” Phillips added. “I thought our blocking discipline early really set the tone and allowed our defenders to get into rhythm.”

Pacing the backcourt effort was senior libero Maggie Huber with a team-high 17 digs. She was also perfect in reception on 18 attempts. Senior defensive specialist Havyn Gates added 13 digs and another perfect reception percentage on 18 attempts. As a team, BSU also added seven total blocks, including six solo stuffs.

In the opening set, the Cardinals trailed 12-11, before going on six-point run to take the momentum. Toledo would get no closer than three points the rest of the way, as kills from Risi on two of the final three points gave Ball State the set at 25-21.

The Cardinals started the second set with five of the first six, and never looked back. A pair of Toledo errors extended the edge to seven points, at 17-10, while BSU went on to win the frame 25-16 thanks to a kill from Snyder.

The third saw the Rockets clinging to a 17-16 lead before kills from Snyder and senior opposite Natalie Mitchem forced a UT timeout. BSU added the next two points out of the break and went on to pull ahead 21-18 on a kill from junior middle Lauren Gilliland. Unfortunately, Toledo scored the next six points and won the frame 25-22.

The Rockets scored the first three points in the fourth, only to have BSU answer with five of the next six. Snyder pushed BSU’s lead to 12-8 with back-to-back blasts, while a marker from Risi made the score 19-13. UT would ultimately battle back within two, at 24-22, but Mitchem’s seventh kill of the night gave BSU another big road win.

Taylor Alt led the Rockets with 15 kills, while Rhyenne Filisi added 10. Ryann Jaqua led all players with a match-best 20 digs.

The Ball State women’s volleyball team returns to action Friday, when it welcomes Western Michigan to Worthen Arena for a 6 p.m. first serve.

INDIANA STATE: NEESE AND HENRY NAMED PRESEASON MVC ALL-CONFERENCE, SYCAMORES SELECTED SEVENTH IN PRESEASON POLL

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Indiana State’s Cooper Neese and Cameron Henry were both recognized on the Preseason Missouri Valley All-Conference team, while the Sycamores were selected seventh overall in the MVC Preseason Poll as announced by the conference office on Wednesday morning.

Neese (Second Team) picked up his second preseason accolade after previously being honored on the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook preseason team earlier this fall. Henry (Third Team) picked up his first preseason recognition with the Sycamores.

Overall, Indiana State received 344 total points in the voting pool that encompassed the conference’s head coaches, sports information directors, media, and select MVC TV Network personnel.

Neese set new career-highs in both points (15.0) and minutes (35.6) per game on his way to earning MVC Third Team recognition in 2021-22. He led the team in scoring and was third overall in the conference in minutes play, while shooting 39.9% from the field, 30.5% from the three-point line and 81.3% from the free throw line.

Not afraid to pull the trigger from outside, Neese connected on multiple three-pointers in 16 different games and hit at least five triples in five different contests. He added seven 20-point contests and a pair of 30-point games on his way to becoming the 41st member of the Indiana State 1,000-point club.

Henry earned a spot on the MVC All-Newcomer Team after finishing second on the team and 10th in the MVC with 14.3 points per game. He added 5.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists to finish in the top-10 in the Valley in the category.

Among his season highlights, Henry posted three double-doubles, including back-to-back contests against both Hanover (18 points, 10 rebounds) and Old Dominion (14 points, 13 rebounds). He hit 47.3% of his field goal attempts and 33.3% from behind the arc.

The Sycamores take the court under second-year head coach Josh Schertz and boast one of more experienced rosters in the Missouri Valley Conference this season as ISU welcomes back six of their top seven scorers from the 2021-22 season.

In addition to the return of Neese and Henry, ISU welcomes back key starters and contributors Julian Larry (1.2 spg, 1.8 assist-to-turnover ratio) and Kailex Stephens (9.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg), as well as key contributors Xavier Bledson (9.1 ppg, 3.7 apg, 89.2% FT), Cameron Crawford (3.0 ppg, 1.9 rpg), and Zach Hobbs (6.3 ppg, 45 3PT, 36.9% 3PT).

Drake received 52 first-place votes and 646 total points on their way to being named the MVC preseason favorite. Drake’s Tucker DeVries was named the Valley’s Preseason Player of the Year.

Indiana State Men’s Basketball Season Ticket Information

Single game and season tickets for the 2022-23 Indiana State men’s basketball team are on sale now. The Sycamores will host 10 conference games to go along with the nonconference slate. For the first time, the Missouri Valley Conference will play a 20-game conference slate following the additions of Murray State, Belmont and Illinois-Chicago to the League beginning July 1, 2022.

INDIANA STATE: TRIP TO WINDY CITY NEXT FOR SYCAMORES

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State women’s soccer will head to Chicago to face UIC on Thursday night at the brand new Flames Field with kickoff set for 7 p.m. ET. The match will be streamed live on ESPN+.

Thursday will be the Sycamores first time playing UIC since the Flames joined the Valley and just the third matchup overall. Indiana State is 2-0 all-time, winning the most recent matchup in 2018 by a score of 1-0 in Chicago. ISU also won in 2017 at Memorial Stadium with a 2-0 victory.

Indiana State enters their matchup with UIC at 2-4-2 in MVC action which has the Sycamores in ninth place in the league standings. The Flames are in fourth place with a 3-2-3 conference record. The top-8 teams clinch a spot in the MVC Tournament.

The Sycamores recorded their highest shot total of the season on October 16 against Drake, taking 17 attempts on the afternoon.

Freshmen Impact

A pair of freshmen have made a huge impact all season for the Sycamores on both ends of the pitch. Bettendorf, Iowa native Adelaide Wolfe has been an anchor for the ISU defense and leads the team with 1201 minutes of action. Wolfe was named MVC Defender of the Week on September 20.

On the offensive side, Chatham, Illinois native Ella Gorrie leads Indiana State with six points, recording two assists and scoring a pair of goals including a game-winning goal against Evansville on September 22.

Inching Closer

CeCe Wahlberg put one shot on goal on Sunday against Drake to add to her career total which now sits at 88, just two from breaking the all-time ISU record for shots on goal. The current record is held by Lauren Podolski who finished her career with 89 and is being inducted into the Sycamore Hall of Fame next year.

The Flames

One of the new members of the Missouri Valley Conference, UIC has played well in their inaugural season, sitting in the top-4 of the league under second-year head coach David Nikolic. Freshmen Sophia Jaime leads the Flames with three goals this season with super senior Frankie Frericks right behind her with five points (two goals, one assist).Goalkeeper Lauren Keiser has made 39 saves on the year, recording three consecutive shutouts during conference play.

Up Next

Indiana State will conclude their regular season on Sunday, October 23 at Valparaiso at 1 p.m. ET.

INDIANA STATE: FB PREVIEW | SYCAMORES WELCOME ILLINOIS STATE FOR 2022 HOMECOMING GAME

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State is back home this weekend as the Sycamores host Illinois State at Memorial Stadium for the 2022 Homecoming game. Kickoff between the Sycamores and the Redbirds is set for 1 p.m. and will be carried live on ESPN3 and 105.5 The Legend.

Game Day Information and Activities

Game Day Sponsor: Refreshment Services Pepsi

In 2020 and beyond, we will “Perform with a Purpose” with each and every one of our partners, communities, and team  members while adhering to the following same key principles of the past: We want to exceed our customer’s expectations by helping them meet their goals and objectives. We are working to be the best customer service company …. PERIOD. We are working as one team to maximize productivity and efficiency in and between al departments so that we can better serve our customers. Find Out More Here.

Homecoming Week

Indiana State will be celebrating Homecoming Week all week leading up to Saturday’s contest against Illinois State. Click the link here for the full Homecoming Week Schedule of Events. Click the link here for all Homecoming Game Day Information.

Tailgating and Clear Bag Policies

Indiana State Athletics announced updated tailgating and clear bag policies for the 2022-23 athletic year. The policies are consistent with other members in both the Missouri Valley Conference and Missouri Valley Football Conference.

Tailgating Policies | Clear Bag Policy

Weekly Game Notes

Illinois State at a Glance

Illinois State was selected eighth overall in the Missouri Valley Football Conference preseason poll as voted on by the league’s coaches, media, and SIDs. The Redbirds received 178 total points in the poll.

Linebacker Zeke Vandenburgh was the Redbirds’ lone representative on the MVFC All-Conference First Team after a strong 2021 season which saw him finish with 73 total tackles and 8.5 tackles-for-loss. Vandenburgh has lived up to the billing so far in 2022 sitting second in the MVFC in tackles per game (9.5), while leading the Valley in both sacks (7.5) and tackles for loss (12.0).

The Redbirds are receiving votes in both major FCS national polls heading into the week. Illinois State’s 2022 wins have come against Valparaiso, Eastern Illinois, Northern Iowa, and South Dakota. The Redbirds’ last three games have been decided by one possession.

Indiana State on this Date

Indiana State has played 10 games all-time on October 22 in program history. The Sycamores have hosted Homecoming games on five separate occasions on this date with the latest coming in 2005 against Southern Illinois.

ISU and Illinois State have met three times on this date with the Sycamores winning two of the three contests. ISU is 2-3 in Homecoming games on October 22.

1949 – at Oklahoma City – L, 55-0

1955 – Hanover – L, 20-6

1966 – Evansville – W, 20-18

1977 – Illinois State (HC) – W, 20-10

1983 – Southern Illinois (HC) – L, 34-21

1988 – Illinois State (HC) – W, 26-18

1994 – Missouri State (HC) – L, 10-7

2005 – Southern Illinois (HC) – L, 42-20

2011 – at Illinois State – L, 17-14

2016 – at Southern Illinois – W, 22-14

Sycamores Last Game

Youngstown State held off Indiana State in an offensive shootout at Stambaugh Stadium as the Sycamores fell to the host Penguins, 48-42. In a game that featured six plays that traveled 50-plus yards in the first half and just three drives that covered at least five minutes, it came down to the defense in the fourth quarter. The Penguins forced a pair of Indiana State punts in the fourth quarter and held onto the ball for 21:44 in the second half to secure the win.

ISU fought their way back into the contest in the second half trailing 45-28 midway through the third quarter. Justin Dinka scored on an 18-yard touchdown reception to cut the YSU lead down to 45-35 with 4:18 to play. Following a Sycamore onside kick, Cade Chambers capped a four-play drive with an 11-yard touchdown run to narrow the gap down to 45-42 late in the third quarter. That’s as close as ISU was able to get the rest of the way as the Penguins limited the Sycamore offense to secure the MVFC win.

Chambers named MVFC Freshman of the Week

Redshirt freshman quarterback Cade Chambers recorded five total touchdowns on Saturday afternoon in the Sycamores shootout loss at Youngstown State. The redshirt freshman went 15-of-29 through the air for a career-high 311 yards with a trio of touchdown passes, while adding two more on the ground in the 48-42 loss. Chambers was particularly effective in the Sycamores comeback late in the third quarter. With the Sycamores trailing 45-28 late in the third quarter, Chambers connected on an 18-yard touchdown pass to Justin Dinka to cut the lead down to 45-35. Following a successful onside kick, Chambers called his own number for an 11-yard option keeper to cut the deficit down to 45-42. His 300-yard game marked ISU’s first 300-yard passing game since the 2018 season as the Sycamores rolled to a season-best 498 total offensive yards.

Dinka Does It Again

Redshirt sophomore running back Justin Dinka turned in his third touchdown run of 50-plus yards in the 2022 season and wasted little time achieving the mark as his first touch of the game resulted in a 75-yard score. He broke two tackles near the line of scrimmage and showed off his speed on the way to another long TD run. He’s already posted a 54-yard touchdown against Montana and 82-yard touchdown against North Dakota State this year.

Dinka also became the first Indiana State back to record back-to-back 100-yard rushing games since Titus McCoy posted 123 against South Dakota (Nov. 3) and 132 against Illinois State (Nov. 10) in the 2018 season. He currently third in the MVFC in rushing yards per game (92.3) and second in yards per carry (7.3).

Hendrix Moves Up

Redshirt senior wide receiver Dante Hendrix continues to move up the Indiana State record books as the Florence, Ky. sits second all-time in the ISU annals in both career receptions (167) and receiving yards (2,223). Hendrix became the fourth ISU player to eclipse 2,000 career receiving yards joining Sam Logan (2,385), Terry Bell (2,048), and Robert Tonyan Jr. (2,047) to achieve the mark in his career.

Hendrix currently trails just Logan in the ISU all-time record book in both receptions (196) and yards (2,385) sitting 29 receptions and 166 yards away from Logan in each respective category. Hendrix is currently climbing the MVFC all-time record book in career receptions sitting one behind Youngstown State’s Dominique Barnes (168, 2007-10) and two behind Western Illinois’ Dennis Houston (169, 2019-21).

Hendrix leads the Sycamores with eight catches of 20-plus yards on the season, including six that have gone 30-plus yards. He has posted six 100-yard receiving efforts throughout his career including back-to-back weekends against both North Dakota State (109) and Youngstown State (117). His career-high in receiving yards (178) came against Youngstown State back in the 2018 season.

Ollendieck with the Stop

Indiana State linebacker Garret Ollendieck set a new career-high with nine tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss this past weekend against Youngstown State. The sophomore surpassed his previous high of three tackles set against both Purdue and Montana earlier in the 2022 season.

Ollendieck was active throughout the contest making his first tackle in the opening quarter and finished the first half with three stops against the Penguins offense. The Iowa Central Community College transfer recorded his first tackle for loss came early in the third quarter, but he made his biggest contribution to the game in the fourth quarter with a trio of stops against the Youngstown State rushing game. He currently is tied for third on the Sycamores with 4.0 tackles for loss on the year while adding 18 tackles.

PURDUE FT. WAYNE: MEN’S HOOPS PICKED AS CO-FAVORITES FOR 2023 HORIZON LEAGUE TITLE

INDIANAPOLIS – Purdue Fort Wayne has been tabbed as co-favorites to win the 2023 Horizon League men’s basketball championship, according to the preseason poll released on Wednesday (Oct. 19).

The Mastodons earned 394 points to tie Northern Kentucky at the top of the preseason poll. The ‘Dons, however, picked up 17 first place votes to Northern Kentucky’s 15. Voting was done by the Horizon League’s head coaches, sports information directors and select media.

The top six teams each received at least one first place vote with Wright State, Oakland, Youngstown State and Detroit Mercy rounding out the top six on the poll.

The league also announced the preseason all-league teams with Jarred Godfrey earning a nod on the first team for the Mastodons. Godfrey enters the season with 1,613 career points, fourth all-time in program history.

Godfrey is part of an experienced core that guided the Mastodons to a regular season league championship last season. Damian Chong Qui, Bobby Planutis and Ra Kpedi join Godfrey as starters from last season returning for 2022-23. Deonte Billups, who earned the Horizon League Sixthman of the Year Award last year, is also back.

The ‘Dons open the season at No. 22 Michigan on November 7.

EVANSVILLE: ACES HOST REDBIRDS THURSDAY ON ‘SENIOR NIGHT’

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The University of Evansville women’s soccer team will wrap up the 2022 season on Thursday night, as the Purple Aces will do battle with long-time Missouri Valley Conference rival Illinois State on “Senior Night” at Arad McCutchan Stadium.  Kick-off is set for 6:05 p.m.

Evansville will honor eight members of the 2022 team with “Senior Night” festivities prior to Thursday’s match.  Fifth-year team members Emily Ormson, Reilly Paterson and Abby Phelps, along with seniors Kristen Harvey, Emilie Hill, Monique Landrum, Isabel Lynch, and Sophia Rodil will be honored prior to Thursday’s match.

Ormson is wrapping up a storied career, as she enters Thursday’s match ranked 11th all-time at Evansville in scoring with 18 goals.  She needs just one more goal on Thursday night to move into a tie for ninth on UE’s career goals chart, with eighth-place being just two goals away.

Paterson played in seven of UE’s eight matches of the COVID-shortened spring season of 2021, but was hampered by injuries last fall.  She has come back this year though to play in four matches for UE, firing a shot in UE’s match at UIC earlier this month.  Meanwhile, Phelps is wrapping up a career in which she has played 58 matches in UE’s midfield, and has earned honorable mention all-MVC honors (Spring 2021) and MVC All-Freshman Team honors (2018) as a Purple Ace.

Harvey and Hill have been mainstays in the UE lineup over the last four years, with each planning to graduate this spring.  Harvey earned MVC All-Freshman Team honors in 2019, and has played in 58 matches with 44 starts in the UE midfield.  Hill, meanwhile, has started 56 matches in the UE defense over the last four years, while earning a pair of honorable mention all-MVC honors as a center back.

Landrum, Lynch and Rodil all have one more year of eligibility remaining due to the COVID year, and each is expected to return next fall, but they wanted to walk during “Senior Night” festivities with the group that they came in with.

Evansville will enter Thursday’s match at 1-9-5 overall and 0-6-3 in the MVC after dropping a 2-1 decision on Sunday at Belmont.  Playing close matches has been the theme for UE this year, as the Purple Aces have played 12 one-goal matches this season, the most in the MVC.  UE’s record could be much different if one or two bounces went Evansville’s way, as the Purple Aces are 1-6-5 in those one-goal matches, with four of the six losses coming in the final 12 minutes of regulation.  Ormson currently leads UE offensively with five goals, earning her fifth from the penalty spot at Belmont on Sunday.

Illinois State will enter Thursday’s match at 2-13-1 overall and 0-7-1 in the Valley.  Nine different Redbirds have scored so far this year, with junior forward Haley Glover and senior forward Allison Baker both notching three goals each to lead the way.  Defense has been ISU’s Achilles’ heel this year, as the Redbirds have conceded 34 goals, the most in the MVC.

SOUTHERN INDIANA: EAGLES AND HAWKS PREPARE FOR BATTLE IN THE WATER

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana Men’s and Women’s Swimming & Diving teams will host Quincy University in a dual meet on Saturday, October 22, at 1pm at the USI Aquatic Center.

USI Men

USI Men’s Swimming & Diving fell in their inaugural meet against Valparaiso University on October 1, 156-124. The Screaming Eagles captured their first-ever event victory in the first-ever event in program history by winning the 100-yard medley relay with a time of 1:37.92. The winning team was comprised of freshmen Colten Agdeppa (Redding, California), freshman Caleb Davis (Spring, Texas), freshman Gregory Benson (Plainfield, Indiana), and sophomore Payton Buse (Lynnville, Indiana).

USI was victorious in five other events on the day. Freshman Carson Faley (Dixon, Illinois) won the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:46.38. Agdeppa took home the win in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 55.65. Buse was victorious in the 50-yard freestyle with a final time of 21.71. The Eagles took back-to-back mens events as Gabriel Groves (New Carlisle, Indiana) took the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 49.04. Faley won his second event of the day as he took home the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:57.22.

Freshman Lane Pollack (Boonville, Indiana) took both diving events on the day. Pollack took the 1-meter diving with a final score of 264.75 and the 3-meter diving with a score of 231.07. Pollack was named the Summit League TicketSmarter Peak Performance Diver of the Week after his performance against Valparaiso. He also competed against the University of Evansville on Octobter 14, placing second in both the 3-meter and 1-meter. In the 3-meter Pollack finished with a score of 216.53 and in the 1-meter he finished with a final score of 223.58.

USI Women

USI Women’s Swimming & Diving earned their first-ever program victory over Valparaiso on October 1, 188-92. The Eagles would go on to win 14 out of the 16 total women’s events on the day. Freshmen Hannah Gardner (Bowling Green, Kentucky) and Sarah-Catherine Dawson (Prospect, Kentucky) led the team with three first-place finishes each. Gardner took the 100-yard breaststroke, 1:11.83, the 200-yard breaststroke, 2:34.20, and was a part of the 200-yard medley relay team, 1:53.78. Dawson joined Gardner on the 200-yard medley relay team while also taking the 100-yard butterfly, 1:00.85, and the 200-yard butterfly, 2:14.65.

The other members of the 200-yard medley team included freshmen Makana Goss (Noblesville, Indiana) and Paige Neal (Owensboro, Kentucky). Goss also won the 200-yard backstroke, 2:14.30, and Neal took home the 50-yard freestyle, 25.74. USI had three other girls take home victories on the day. Freshman Mattilynn Smith (Morgantown, Kentucky) took both the 1000-yard freestyle, 11:00.85, and the 500-yard freestyle, 5:21.81. Freshman Adele Schnautz (Evansville, Indiana) took the 200-yard freestyle, 2:04.55, as well as the 200-yard IM, 2:17.08. Freshman Kate Hilgarth (Indianapolis, Indiana) took home the 100-yard backstroke for the Eagles with a time of 1:01.44.

Freshman Autumn Turley (Hobart, Indiana) took home a pair of victories in diving for the Eagles. Turley took the 1-meter diving with a score of 173.40 and the 3-meter diving with a final score of 155.92. Against Evansville, Turley finished in third in both the 3-meter and 1-meter dives. She record a score of 149.03 in the 3-meter and a score of 162.90 in the 1-meter.

Quincy Hawks

The Quincy Men’s Swimming team has competed in three meets this season. The Hawks fell to Lewis University, 151-43, and Saint Ambrose University (Iowa), 110-86, in their two dual meets. They also finished in second out of four teams at the University of Saint Mary (Kan.) Relays. The Quincy Women’s Swimming team has competed in the same three meets as the men. They fell to Lewis, 147-37, and Saint Ambrose, 145-42. The women also finished fifth out of five teams at the University of Saint Mary (Kan.) Relays.

Tickets will be available at the door- $5 for adults 18+; $3 for ages 3-17; and those under 3 are free. USI students and employees are free. Doors will open at 11:30am, and the USI Aquatic Center’s Capacity is 285.

If you can’t join us in person, you can catch the meet live on usiscreamingeagles.com.

SOUTHERN INDIANA: USI EMBARKS ON FINAL REGULAR SEASON ROAD TRIP THURSDAY AT SEMO

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana Women’s Soccer embarks on their final regular season road trip Thursday when the Screaming Eagles take on Southeast Missouri State University in an Ohio Valley Conference match at 6 p.m.

Entering the last week of the 2022 regular season and the final two matches on the schedule, USI (4-6-4, 0-4-2 OVC) has two points in OVC play, and Southeast Missouri (6-6-2, 2-2-2 OVC) is tied with the University of Arkansas-Little Rock with eight points.

USI played to a 1-0 loss last Sunday against the University of Tennessee at Martin, as the Skyhawks scored a fifth-minute goal that stood for the rest of the match. In the contest, USI totaled two shots on goal off six total attempts. Graduate student defender Elizabeth Lippert (Lexington, Kentucky) led the squad with two shots in the match.

Southern Indiana had three good chances Sunday, but none of them went the Screaming Eagles’ way. Later in the first half, USI’s junior forward Morgan Beyer (Rossford, Ohio) took a long-range shot in the 26th minute that was tip-saved off the crossbar by the Skyhawks’ freshman goalkeeper Poppy Bastock. The Screaming Eagles had another good chance in the 35th minute, as sophomore midfielder Peyton Wilkinson (Collierville, Tennessee) headed a cross from junior midfielder Avery Schone (Galena, Ohio) that was also saved by Bastock. With less than two minutes remaining in the match, freshman midfielder Peyton Murphy (Bargersville, Indiana) struck the ball from just above the arc at the top of the box and hit the top woodwork.

Close matches have been a common theme for the Screaming Eagles throughout the 2022 season. Out of 14 matches for USI, one goal or less has been scored in nine matches between USI and their opponent. On the attacking end, the Screaming Eagles are averaging 0.71 goals per game. On the flip side defensively, USI possesses a 0.79 goals against average. Additionally, four of the five 1-0 losses for USI saw the game’s single goal scored within the first 30 minutes of each match. The other defeat had the lone goal scored in the last 2:30 of the match. The Screaming Eagles are hopeful that the fortunes of close matches will turn their way down the stretch.

On the season, Murphy leads USI with five goals, all of which came in the non-conference season. Her 12 points, 25 shots, and 16 shots on goal also lead the squad. In conference play, freshman midfielder Charli Grafton (Sunriver, Oregon) has recorded the team’s single goal against OVC competition. Senior midfielder Jill DiTusa (St. Charles, Illinois) is the team’s assist leader with three.

In goal, senior goalkeeper Maya Etienne (Midland, Michigan) has been sharp once again this season for USI. Etienne has a 0.72 goals against average with 55 saves and six shutouts in 2022. Entering Thursday, the senior is two saves shy of tying for third all-time in USI history for career saves.

Southeast Missouri is 6-6-2 so far in the 2022 season, including a 2-2-2 record in the Ohio Valley Conference, and tied with Little Rock with eight points in conference play. The Redhawks are coming off a 3-0 defeat on Sunday to Tennessee Tech. In the match, Southeast Missouri was outshot 24-7 and 9-3 in shots on goal by the Golden Eagles. Freshman forward Cayla Koerner paces the Redhawks with four goals and 22 shots this season. Koerner was named OVC Offensive Player of the Week last week. Between the posts, freshman goalkeeper Sophia Elfrink has impressed in her freshman campaign, tallying 78 saves and a 1.07 goals against average in 14 matches. She has also picked up four shutouts along the way.

VALPO: KRIKKE, KING EARN PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE HONORS, MVC RELEASES PRESEASON POLL

Two Valparaiso University men’s basketball standouts were recognized on Wednesday as the Missouri Valley Conference released its annual preseason honors. Ben Krikke (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada / Jasper Place) was named to the Preseason All-MVC First Team, while Kobe King (La Crosse, Wis. / La Crosse Central [Wisconsin]) garnered Preseason All-MVC Third Team recognition.

The league also released its annual preseason poll, and Valpo is projected to finish ninth of 12. Preseason favorite Drake hauled in 52 out of the 54 first-place votes, and the Bulldogs were followed by Bradley and Southern Illinois in the top three.

Krikke received All-MVC First Team status from Blue Ribbon Magazine earlier this month. His resume also includes the following honors – two-time MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team (2020-21, 2021-22), two-time All-MVC Third Team (2020-21, 2021-22), 2020-21 MVC Most-Improved Team and 2020-21 CoSIDA Academic All-District Team.

Krikke averaged a team-high 14.2 points per game last season while shooting 53.9 percent from the floor, 84.3 percent from the free-throw line and squeezing 4.5 rebounds per outing. He was one of just three players in the MVC to shoot 50 percent or better from the floor and 80 percent or better from the free-throw line. He finished his junior year with 974 points, 26 away from 1,000. He enters this season with a career field-goal percentage of 53.4, a mark that ranks seventh in the program record book.

King was narrowly behind Krikke in terms of scoring average last season, ranking second on the team by averaging 14 points per game. He scored in double figures in 19 of his 23 contests including 10 instances where he scored 15 points or more. King, who led the team in scoring on seven occasions, was named to the MVC All-Newcomer Team at season’s end.

Krikke becomes the first Valpo player to achieve First Team Preseason All-MVC status since Valpo joined the league. He also becomes the first Valpo player to achieve Preseason All-MVC honors in multiple seasons as he was on the preseason second team a year ago.

Valpo has its top two scorers back for the first time since 2015-16, when the program reached the NIT championship game. The Beacons are one of four teams in the 12-team league with their top two scorers returning from last season. The team will host an exhibition game on Saturday, Oct. 29 at noon against Cedarville before tipping off the regular season on Nov. 7 at Toledo, the home slate on Nov. 13 vs. Western Michigan and eventually the league docket on Dec. 1 at Belmont.

2022-23 MVC Preseason Poll

Place. Team (First Place Votes) … Points

Drake (52) … 646

Bradley (1) … 542

Southern Illinois (1) … 537

Missouri State … 418

UNI … 416

Belmont … 388

Indiana State … 344

Murray State … 324

Valparaiso … 234

Illinois State … 186

UIC … 109

Evansville … 68

PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR:  Tucker DeVries, Drake

FIRST TEAM

Tucker DeVries, Drake

Marcus Domask, Southern Illinois

Ben Krikke, Valparaiso

Rienk Mast, Bradley

Roman Penn, Drake

Ben Sheppard, Belmont

SECOND TEAM

Bowen Born, UNI

Donovan Clay, Missouri State

Lance Jones, Southern Illinois

Cooper Neese, Indiana State

Garrett Sturtz, Drake

THIRD TEAM

Cameron Henry, Indiana State

Kobe King, Valparaiso

Rob Perry, Murray State

Austin Phyfe, UNI

D.J. Wilkins, Drake

Valpo Preseason All-MVC Selections By Year

2017-18 – Tevonn Walker (Second Team)

2018-19 – None

2019-20 – Javon Freeman-Liberty (Second Team), Ryan Fazekas (Second Team)

2020-21 – Donovan Clay (Second Team)

2021-22 – Ben Krikke (Second Team)

2022-23 – Ben Krikke (First Team), Kobe King (Third Team)

VALPO: VOLLEYBALL KICKS OFF SECOND HALF OF MVC SCHEDULE ON THE ROAD

Valparaiso (17-4, 5-4 MVC)

Friday, Oct. 21 – at Missouri State (6-15, 3-6 MVC) – 6 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 22 – at Southern Illinois (14-7, 7-2 MVC) – 5 p.m.

Next Up For Valpo Volleyball: The Valpo volleyball team opens the second half of the MVC schedule with another challenging road weekend, as the Beacons will trek down to Missouri State Friday night and then hit Southern Illinois on their way back Saturday evening.

Previously: Valpo dropped consecutive matches for the first time all season last weekend, falling in four sets at both Drake and UNI.

Looking Ahead: After two weekends away from the friendly confines of the ARC, the Beacons return home next weekend to host Evansville and Indiana State.

Following the Beacons: Both matches this weekend will be broadcast live on ESPN3. In addition, both matches will have live stats available via ValpoAthletics.com.

Head Coach Carin Avery: In her 21st season as head coach at Valparaiso, Carin Avery has won 466 matches (466-221, .678) at the helm of the program and has led Valpo to three league regular season and tournament titles. The program has made five postseason appearances under Avery, including three NCAA Tournament appearances, and advanced to the championship match of the 2021 NIVC. A two-time league Coach of the Year, Avery has coached 58 All-League recipients over her tenure at Valpo, which has spanned three different conferences. She is Valpo’s all-time leader in both victories and winning percentage, and owns a 521-245 (.680) record overall as a head coach.

Series History: Missouri State – The Bears hold a 9-4 advantage in the all-time series and are 7-4 since Valpo joined the MVC. The Beacons snapped MSU’s four-match winning streak in the series with a home sweep last October to earn a split of the season series, as the Bears won in four sets in Springfield earlier last season.

Southern Illinois – Valpo is 8-5 all-time against the Salukis, including a commanding 8-2 series lead since joining the Valley. The Beacons have won the last three in the series, including a four-set win in Carbondale and a sweep at the ARC last season.

Scouting the Opposition: Missouri State – The Bears enter Friday’s match 6-15 overall and 3-6 in MVC play after falling in straight sets to SIU on Monday night. Manuela Ibarguen leads the team and ranks seventh in the Valley with 3.53 kills/set, while Kate Owen ranks eighth in the conference with a team-best 3.81 digs/set.

Southern Illinois – Picked to finish last in the preseason poll, the Salukis have been one of the big surprises of the first half of MVC play, as they enter the weekend tied for second in the conference standings at 7-2. SIU leads the Valley with 14.29 kills/set and ranks second, hitting at a .248 clip. Imani Hartfield leads all MVC players with a .382 hitting percentage, while Anna Jaworski paces the conference with 11.45 assists/set.

Valpo Picked Fifth in Preseason Poll: The Beacons have been picked to finish in fifth place in the MVC standings in 2022 in preseason polling of the conference’s head coaches. Valpo garnered 95 points in the polling, including one first-place vote, to rank fifth in a tight bunch in the middle of the pack. Valpo was just four points behind Bradley in fourth position, but on the other side, was just one point ahead of UNI in sixth place. Notably, Valpo has outperformed its preseason projection in each of its first five seasons in the Valley.

Illinois State received five first-place votes and totaled 134 points to lead the poll ahead of Evansville (121 points, two first-place votes). UIC (3) and UNI (1) also picked up at least one first-place nod.

Looking Back at Last Season: Valpo enjoyed one of the top seasons in program history last year, finishing the campaign with a 26-10 record. The Beacons posted a 12-6 record in MVC action to finish tied for third place in the regular season standings – the program’s best record in conference play and best finish since joining the Valley. Valpo then earned a berth in the NIVC and swept each of its first four matches to advance to the tournament championship match. Haley Hart was a First Team All-MVC recipient, while Peyton McCarthy and Rylee Cookerly each earned Second Team All-MVC honors. Cookerly also became the first student-athlete in program history to be named a CoSIDA First Team Academic All-American.

Winning Ways: As of the end of play Tuesday, Valpo’s 17 victories were tied for seventh-most among all Division I programs. The Beacons have already clinched their 19th winning season in Avery’s 21 seasons at the helm and are closing in on the 20-win mark for the 17th time under Avery. In addition, Valpo has finished in the top half of the MVC standings in each of its first five seasons in the conference – a feat only matched by Illinois State – and has posted top-half conference finishes in 28 of the last 29 years.

A Look at the RPI: The NCAA released its third weekly RPI of the season on Monday, and Valpo comes in at #79 in the rankings, one of four Valley schools in the top-100. UNI sits at #43, Drake at #72 and UIC at #88.

Second-Half Success: Sitting at 5-4 and in a tie for fourth place in the MVC standings halfway through the conference slate is a good position for Valpo to be in if the team can replicate the second-half success its had in previous Valley seasons. In its first five seasons in the MVC, Valpo posted a cumulative 21-24 record in the first half of Valley play and improved that mark to 28-17 in the second half of those conference campaigns. Notably, the Beacons’ top two records since joining the MVC have both come after going 5-4 in the first half of conference play, as the 2018 team went 6-3 in the second half to finish 11-7 and last year’s squad went 7-2 in the second half to finish 12-6.

Consistency From Hickey: A big part of Valpo’s strength in the back row has been its run of standout liberos, and freshman Emma Hickey has slotted right into that role this season and maintained the prolificacy. Despite the pair of losses last week, Hickey continued to rack up the digs, posting a team-high 24 at Drake and a match-best 27 at UNI. Hickey has registered 20 or more digs in 16 of Valpo’s 21 matches, including eight of the last nine. She ranks fifth nationally, averaging 5.56 digs/set ‑ the only freshman among the top-35 in the nation. She enters this week just 33 digs away from already reaching 500 on the season.

Record Book Watch: While Hickey is still quite far away from cracking Valpo’s single-season top-10 in digs, a few of her teammates are in position to make moves onto the program’s top-10 charts. Mallory Januski is on pace to easily best the program’s single-season hitting percentage record, as her .364 clip would best the overall record of .334 (Nicole Schulz, 2006) and far surpass the 25-point era record of .307 (Kelsey Victor, 2014). Meanwhile, fellow middle Miranda Strongman is just a few attacks shy of having enough to qualify for the hitting percentage chart and her current .300 hitting percentage would also earn a spot. Also, with a team-best 24 service aces, Victoria Bulmahn is just five aces shy of moving into the top-10 in the 25-point era in that category.

Reaching Milestones: Earlier this season, Bella Ravotto became the 23rd player in program history to record at least 1,000 career digs. With 1,154 digs entering this weekend, Ravotto currently ranks 19th in program history in that department. Meanwhile, Victoria Bulmahn enters this weekend with 1,884 career assists, on pace to become just the 10th player in program history with at least 2,000 career assists by the end of the season.

Players of the Week: Hickey has earned a trio of weekly awards from the MVC office this year to lead the Beacons, as she has twice been named Defensive Player of the Week to go with one Freshman of the Week honor. In all, Valpo players have earned five conference weekly accolades this season. Junior middle Mallory Januski was named MVC Player of the Week following her MVP weekend at the Roadrunner Classic, making her Valpo’s third weekly award winner in 2022, while senior outside Bella Ravotto was named the MVC Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 12 following her performance over Valpo’s three wins at the Akron Invitational. In its sixth season as an MVC school, Valpo has earned 26 weekly conference honors.

Standout Performances: A number of standout efforts this year have cracked Valpo’s single-match records. Most recently, in Valpo’s Oct. 8 win over Belmont, the Beacons totaled 117 digs – fourth-most in a five-set match by Valpo in the 25-point era. Valpo was led in that match by Emma Hickey, whose 37 digs are second-most by a freshman in program history and fifth in a five-set match in the 25-point era. And while it didn’t impact the record book, Elise Swistek also had 31 digs in that match, as it was the first time in program history two Valpo players have both tallied 30+ digs in the same match.

Mallory Januski found her way into Valpo’s record book in the UIW match Sept. 16, posting a hitting percentage of .688 – the second-highest in a five-set match by a Valpo player in the 25-point era. It was a team performance which cracked the record book Sept. 9, as the Beacons posted 15.5 total team blocks in their win at Akron – fourth-most in a four-set match by a Valpo squad in the 25-point era and the most blocks Valpo has recorded in any length match since Nov. 15, 2019. On Sept. 3, senior Gretchen Kuckkan delivered 25 kills in Valpo’s four-set win over Northern Illinois – tied for fourth-most in a four-set match by a Valpo player in the 25-point era and making her one of just five Valpo players to tally 25+ kills in any length match in the 25-point era.

Digging Deep: Valpo continued its long tradition of strong back row play last fall, finishing 15th nationally and leading the MVC with 17.13 digs/set. The program has ranked among the top-30 nationally in digs/set in each of the last 11 seasons, highlighted by the 2017 campaign in which it led the nation with 20.03 digs/set. Other top finishes include third nationally in the spring 2021 season (20.37/set), a fourth-place rank in 2010 and a sixth-place finish in 2015. Since the move to 25-point scoring, only seven teams have averaged more than 20 digs/set over the course of a season, and Valpo is the only program to have done it twice. 2018 saw Valpo lead the nation with 2,613 total digs – a mark which set a program single-season record and a Division I record in the 25-point era. It’s been more of the same so far this year, as the Beacons are ranked fifth nationally and lead the MVC with 17.40 digs/set.

So Much Balance: It just goes to show how balanced this year’s Valpo team is on the attack that , you have to scroll all the way down to 20th place within the Valley to find the Beacons’ top producer of kills so far this season – Kara Cooper, with 186 kills. There is just a spread of 40 kills between her and the fifth-highest Beacon in the category, as Cooper, Bella Ravotto, Mallory Januski, Maddy Boyer and Elise Swistek all have between 146 and 186 kills. The balance has been even more prevalent within MVC play, as six different players (the aforementioned five, plus Miranda Strongman) have between 57 and 85 kills through nine conference matches. In fact, Cooper’s team-best average of 2.24 kills/set within MVC-only action doesn’t even crack the top-30 in the conference.

Best Start: With the five-set win over UIW to open up the Roadrunner Classic, Valpo improved to 10-0 on the season, breaking a tie with the 2015 squad for the most consecutive wins to start a season in program history. The Beacons went on to start 12-0, the winningest start to a season by any current MVC program since Drake opened the 2010 campaign with 14 consecutive victories.

The Winning Streak: Of course, the 12-0 start meant that Valpo opened the season with 12 consecutive victories. This winning streak is one of six double-digit winning streaks in program history and stands alone as the fourth-longest all-time at Valpo. The 2004 team holds the program record with 14 consecutive wins, while the 2008 and 2014 squads both had streaks of 13 straight wins.

Winning Four Titles: Valpo’s win at the Roadrunner Classic gave this year’s team four in-season tournament titles this season, an unprecented accomplishment in the history of Valpo volleyball. Previously, Valpo had won three in-season tournaments on four occasions (2006, 2010, 2014, 2018). Valpo has now won 33 in-season tournament titles in head coach Carin Avery’s 21 seasons at the helm of the program, including its home tournament seven times (out of 11 opportunities). The team has won at least one tournament in 16 of her 21 seasons, and multiple tournaments 11 times. Those tournament titles have come in 14 different states, with the Roadrunner Classic the first in program history in Texas.

All-Tournament Honors: Setters Victoria Bulmahn and Addy Kois joined MVP Mallory Januski on the All-Tournament Team at the Roadrunner Classic for their work running the Valpo offense. Perhaps apropos given the balance of this year’s squad through the nonconference slate, nine different Beacons earned All-Tournament accolades at the three tournaments where an All-Tournament Team was named. Senior Gretchen Kuckkan was MVC of the Popcorn Classic and was joined on the All-Tournament Team by fellow seniors Maddy Boyer and Kara Cooper. On opening weekend at the Youngstown Invitational, sophomore Elise Swistek was awarded the MVP award, while senior Bella Ravotto and freshman Emma Hickey picked up All-Tournament accolades.

Leaving a Strong Legacy: Valpo graduated five seniors from last year’s squad, a group which was integral in the program’s transition into the Missouri Valley Conference and made a pair of postseason appearances. The group of Brittany Anderson, Rylee Cookerly, Gabby Daniels, Haley Hart and Peyton McCarthy combined for eight All-Conference honors and led the Beacons to the championship match of the NIVC in their final season at Valpo. They enjoyed numerous individual accolades as well, highlighted by Cookerly – the two-time MVC Libero of the Year finished her collegiate career as the Valpo and the MVC career record holder in digs and ranks second in NCAA D-I history. McCarthy ranks second all-time at Valpo in blocks and eighth in kills – the only player in the top-eight in both categories – while Anderson is third in program history in career assists and Hart sixth in career hitting percentage.

Who’s Back: Despite the loss of such a talented group, the Beacons do return plenty of experience, as 10 letterwinners from last year’s squad are back in 2022. One spot Valpo returns plenty of experience is on the pins. Outside hitters Bella Ravotto and Elise Swistek and right sides Maddy Boyer and Kara Cooper were all starters throughout MVC play and in the NIVC last season. In addition, outside hitter Jillie Grant and Gretchen Kuckkan were starters during the non-conference portion of the schedule before suffering injuries right around the start of MVC action. While Valpo loses Cookerly out of the back row, the Beacons still enter 2022 with a strong back line. Ravotto averaged over three digs per set last year, is nearing 1,000 digs for her career and was MVC Defensive Player of the Week during the spring 2021 season when filling in for a weekend at libero. In addition, Swistek averaged over three digs per set as a rookie last season as well. Meanwhile, at setter, Victoria Bulmahn split time setting with Anderson in a 6-2 last season after earning MVC Freshman of the Year accolades for the spring 2021 season setting full time in a 5-1.

Who’s New: The roster is rounded out by seven newcomers to the active roster. Setter Addy Kois and hitter Sam Warren both redshirted last fall in their first season at Valpo. The Beacons welcome a pair of transfer middles to the squad – senior Miranda Strongman (LIU) and junior Olivia Blackketter (Winthrop). Three freshmen round out the newcomers, highlighted by Emma Hickey – the first AVCA High School All-American to sign with Valpo in program history. Outside Sophia Foster and middle Claire Campbell enter their first collegiate season as well.

Conference Honorees: While Victoria Bulmahn was named MVC Freshman of the Year during the spring 2021 campaign and transfer Miranda Strongman was a Second Team All-NEC choice that same season, this year’s roster features zero players who have earned First or Second Team All-Conference accolades in the Valpo uniform. The last time Valpo entered a season with no players who had been named First or Second Team All-Conference at Valpo was the 2006 season – that year’s team ended up featuring future Valpo Athletics Hall of Famer Angie Porché as a freshman.

MARIAN: FINDS GROOVE COMPLETING SEASON SWEEP AT GOSHEN

Goshen, Ind. – The Marian volleyball team earned a complete team win on Wednesday night, bouncing back into the win column as they swept Goshen 3-0 to take the season series. Marian’s win gives them an 18-3 overall record, while improving to 10-3 in league play.

The Knights looked to wash the taste of last Wednesday’s upset loss at Huntington out of their mouths early, pouncing out to a quick 7-2 lead paced by four kills from four different players. A block from Alison Dreves and Jai-Lyn Norwood helped surge the Knights in front 10-4, as Ainsley Neighbors continued her service run with an ace and kill from Norwood to force a Goshen timeout. Marian continued to spike the ball, as Norwood and Skyler Van Note helped push the lead to double-digits, with Van Note dropping her fourth kill for the 20th Knight point. After Goshen’s final timeout, Marian went on a 5-1 run, taking the opening game 25-10 on a Van Note service ace.

Marian trailed for just one point in the second set as Goshen scored two of the first three points, but a kill from Van Note got the visitors back on track as she scored two of the next four points. Marian’s block went to work as Averi Lanman and Madison Brooks smothered the Maple Leaf attack, forcing a timeout with a 10-4 lead in pocket. Another block from the pair of tall inside players continued Marian’s 8-0 run, with the difference surging to nine following a Grace Hunter kill. Leading 15-6 and aiming to take a 2-0 lead, the Knights closed on a 10-7 run paced by multiple Goshen errors, as the Knights rolled to a 25-13 victory.

Goshen showed an early fight in the third set as they traded points with Marian through 13 rallies, but a kill from Lanman and block from the junior and fellow classmate Sydney Henke helped snap the streak. Lanman’s kill helped ignite a 6-0 run to give Marian distance in the set, while a late 5-0 run paced by three consecutive Van Note kills vaulted the lead to nine. With a comfortable 17-9 lead at hand in the third set, Marian worked through different hitters as Sarah Bennett and Henke got involved on the attack, while Maddie Ellis scored a kill to force set point. Van Note would polish off the set, closing the sweep with a 25-17 win.

Marian’s offense returned to form in the win, hitting .349 as a team, recording 45 kills to just eight attack errors. Marian had seven service aces, and rejected 11 Maple Leaf attacks. Van Note had an all-around performance, leading all players with 19 kills and 12 digs, hitting .613 on the night as she did not record an error. The senior also had three service aces and one block assist, scoring 22.5 points in the win. Hunter and Brooks each had five kills in the win, and Gianna Feld had 10 digs on the night. Logan Smith led the team with 16 assists, and Katie Hardegree had 14 assists. Lanman had eight block assists in two sets of play.

The Knights will return home on Friday night, taking on Grace College at 7 p.m. in the PE Center.

MARIAN: MARIAN CYCLING FINISHES SIXTH AT MTB NATIONALS; KNOWLES EARNS 5TH IN INDIVIDUAL OMNIUM

Durango, Colo. – The Marian cycling program finished in sixth place at the 2022 USA Cycling Collegiate MTB National Championships, which were held last Thursday through Sunday in Durango, Colorado. Marian finished with a 472 point total, scoring in all nine disciplines throughout the week of racing. Marian defeated several conference rivals in Lindenwood, Lindsey Wilson, and Milligan, and were led for the week by Nathan Knowles who placed fifth in the men’s individual omnium.

Colorado Mesa was the overall omnium winner, claiming first place in five of the nine disciplines, while Fort Lewis College finished as the runner-up, claiming a win in the remaining four races. Brevard and Lees-McRae finished third and fourth with one point separating the two, while Western Colorado placed one spot ahead of Marian.

The Knights scored 43 points from the women’s cross country riders while the men’s cross country scored 58 points. In short track the women scored 46 points with the men scoring 62, and in the dual slalom the women and men each scored 55 points. The women would score 49 points in down hill while the men scored 52, with the Knights team relay group scoring a 52.

Thursday kicked off the racing with dual slalom practice and qualifying, as the track laid out well for one of the top’s the Knights on Bikes raced all season. Flying down the track to qualify in the top-32 bracket were Nathan Knowles, Caden Bowers, Anthony Feinstein, Katy McDicken, Callah Robinson, and Violet Cejalvo. Ryder Uetrecht put in a great effort for his first national DS just missing out by a few spots. Ethan Jedlicka showed great resolve battling through two crashes and another rider falling into his lane at high speed, although he was unable to crack the bracket.

Friday morning was highlighted by the varsity cross country races, the men and woman raced fiercely with seniors Michael Hemmerlin and Jane Tullis leading the team home with 22nd and 26th place overall, respectively. After the cross country racing subsided, the dual slalom finals began, as the team grouped with riders not racing to get support taking their bikes up the hill. Knowles battled his way through the first round to lead the Knights with a 14th place finish earning valuable points in the overall omnium. An unfortunate crash in the final turns left Caden Bowers with a 16th place overall. Leading the Marian woman down the course was Violet Cejalvo with a 16th place finish after a missed gate in the final straight away. Katy McDicken and freshman Calluh Robinson put in impressive efforts to finish up 23rd and 21st respectively.

Knowles led the charge on Saturday morning in the downhill competition with strong speed and talent, taking a spot on the hotseat early on in the racing. Knowles would get knocked down to 24th overall as racing continued, as the senior out of the Chicagoland made a strong showing. Ryder Uetrecht finished 30th overall and Ethan Jedlicka placed 34th to round out the men, while on the women’s side Callah Robinson was the leader with a 21st place finish. Violet Cejalvo finished 25th overall for the women in the downhill race.

Sunday brought the final event of the week in the form of the team relay. It’s a special event where four riders from each team relay around a shortened course lined with screaming students trying to urge their team to go faster. Nate Knowles, Katy McDicken, Jane Tullis, and Judah Gustafson represented the Knights in that order. All four riders left everything out on the course in their final effort. The squad rallied to 7th place after a late surge from Gustafson who set the 3rd fastest lap of the day.

Marian will now begin cyclocross season, kicking off the season this weekend in Cincinnati. Colorado Mesa holds the overall lead in the season long omnium, winning both track and mountain bike.

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

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/

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/

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

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

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

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

GRACE ATHLETICS: https://gclancers.com/

GOSHEN ATHLETICS: https://goleafs.net/

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

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

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

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

NFL STANDINGS

American Football Conference
East Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Buffalo Bills510.8330.0176812-0-03-1-04-1-00-1-03 W
New York Jets420.6671.01431281-2-03-0-03-2-01-0-03 W
Miami Dolphins330.5002.01311552-1-01-2-03-2-02-1-03 L
New England Patriots330.5002.01411131-1-02-2-02-2-00-1-02 W
 
West Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Kansas City Chiefs420.6670.01791492-1-02-1-02-2-02-0-01 L
Los Angeles Chargers420.6670.01411522-1-02-1-04-2-02-1-03 W
Denver Broncos240.3332.091992-1-00-3-01-3-00-2-03 L
Las Vegas Raiders140.2002.51251301-1-00-3-01-3-01-2-01 L
 
North Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Baltimore Ravens330.5000.01581411-2-02-1-03-2-01-0-01 L
Cincinnati Bengals330.5000.01381151-1-02-2-02-2-00-2-01 W
Cleveland Browns240.3331.01481631-3-01-1-01-3-01-0-03 L
Pittsburgh Steelers240.3331.0971461-2-01-2-01-4-01-1-01 W
 
South Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Tennessee Titans320.6000.0961181-1-02-1-02-1-01-0-03 W
Indianapolis Colts321.5830.01031212-1-01-1-13-2-11-2-12 W
Jacksonville Jaguars240.3331.51381141-1-01-3-02-2-01-2-03 L
Houston Texans131.3001.586990-1-11-2-01-2-11-0-11 W
 
National Football Conference
East Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Philadelphia Eagles6001.0000.01611053-0-03-0-05-0-02-0-06 W
New York Giants510.8331.01271133-1-02-0-03-1-00-1-03 W
Dallas Cowboys420.6672.0110982-1-02-1-03-2-02-1-01 L
Washington Commanders240.3334.01021351-2-01-2-01-3-00-2-01 W
 
West Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
San Francisco 49ers330.5000.0122892-0-01-3-03-2-02-0-01 L
Los Angeles Rams330.5000.01041262-2-01-1-03-2-01-1-01 W
Seattle Seahawks330.5000.01461632-1-01-2-02-3-01-1-01 W
Arizona Cardinals240.3331.01141420-3-02-1-01-3-00-2-02 L
 
North Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Minnesota Vikings510.8330.01391183-0-02-1-04-1-03-0-04 W
Green Bay Packers330.5002.01071232-2-01-1-02-2-01-1-02 L
Chicago Bears240.3333.0931182-1-00-3-01-4-00-2-03 L
Detroit Lions140.2003.51401701-2-00-2-01-3-00-1-03 L
 
South Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Tampa Bay Buccaneers330.5000.01211031-2-02-1-03-1-02-0-01 L
Atlanta Falcons330.5000.01461362-1-01-2-02-3-00-2-01 W
New Orleans Saints240.3331.01411581-3-01-1-02-3-01-2-01 L
Carolina Panthers150.1672.01031461-3-00-2-01-4-01-0-03 L
 

X – Clinched Playoff Spot,  Y – Clinched Division,  Z – Clinched Home Field Advantage

TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY

1910       A’s starter Jack Coombs, pitching with one day of rest, throws a six-hit complete game, beating the Cubs, 12-5, to give Philadelphia a commanding 3-0 lead in the World Series. ‘Colby Jack’ also collects three hits and drives in three runs in the West Side Park contest.

1931       Frankie Frisch, known as the Fordham Flash, is selected as the National League’s Most Valuable Player. The Cardinals’ second baseman (.311, 4, 82) is considered the World Champion Redbirds’ on-field leader.

1931       Mickey Mantle, the ‘Commerce Comet’, is born in Spavinaw, Oklahoma. The newborn’s dad, a lead miner known as Mutt, names his son after Mickey Cochrane, not realizing the major league catcher’s real name is not Mickey but Gordon. The future Yankee outfielder is glad his father was not aware of this fact.

1964       Johnny Keane, three days after resigning as manager of the World Champion Cardinals, replaces Yogi Berra as the Yankees’ field boss. The new skipper of the Bronx Bombers will not fare well next year, leading the aging team to their first losing season since 1925.

1964       Red Schoendienst, a favorite former player, is named the Cardinals’ new manager, replacing Johnny Keane, who resigned the day following the team’s Game 7 Fall Classic victory over New York. Albert will compile a 1,041-955 record for the Redbirds during 12 full seasons and two stints in 1980 and 1990 as interim skipper, capturing a World Championship in 1967 and an NL pennant in 1968.

1969       Joining the AFL’s New York Jets and the Apollo 11 astronauts, the Mets become the third group this year honored with a ticker-tape parade on Broadway. The World Champions attend three rallies throughout the Big Apple, with hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers enjoying the day-long festivities.

1972       After hitting only five home runs in the regular season, Gene Tenace goes deep for the fourth time in the World Series, hitting a three-run homer off Jim McGlothlin in the second inning of the A’s 5-4 loss to the Reds in Game 5. The Oakland catcher, who will be named the MVP of the series, ties the major league mark for round-trippers in a Fall Classic shared by Babe Ruth (Yankees, 1926), Lou Gehrig (Yankees, 1928), Duke Snider (Dodgers, 1952), and Hank Bauer (Yankees, 1958).

1982       On his 29th birthday, Keith Hernandez hits a game-tying two-run single off Bob McClure in Game 7 of the Fall Classic, in the Redbirds’ eventual 6-3 victory over the Brewers at Busch Stadium. The batter and pitcher, who lived in homes 100 feet from one another growing up in Pacifica, California, were teammates in Little League and Terra Nova High School baseball team.

1982       On his 29th birthday, Keith Hernandez hits a two-run sixth-inning single, helping the Cardinals capture their ninth world championship in franchise history and the first since 1967, beating Milwaukee at Busch Stadium, 6-3. The Brewers, playing in their first World Series, cannot hold on to a Game 7 lead, giving up five unanswered runs.

1987       🇻🇪Twins right-hander starter Les Straker becomes the first Venezuelan to pitch in the World Series. At Busch Stadium, the Ciudad Bolivar native blanks the Cardinals for six innings on four hits before being removed for a pinch-hitter.

1988       The Dodgers become World Champions when Orel Hershiser limits the opposition to four singles in Game 5 of the World Series and beats the A’s, 5-1. The right-hander, who also won Game 2, is named the Most Valuable Player of the Fall Classic.

1990       The Reds complete their World Series sweep, beating the heavily favored A’s at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, 2-1. With ninth-inning help from Randy Myers, Jose Rijo earns his second win of the four-game series, going 8.1 innings.

1992       In Game 3 of the Fall Classic, the Blue Jays would have turned the second triple play in World Series history if not for a missed call. Terry Pendleton makes an out for passing Reggie Sanders on the bases after Devon White makes an outstanding grab in center field, and Sanders is tagged on the foot by third basemen Kelly Gruber trying to return second, although a video of the play clearly shows the third out should have been called, umpire Bob Davidson sees it differently.

1993       Calling balls and strikes during Game 4 at Philadelphia’s Veterans Stadium, Charlie Williams becomes the first black umpire to work home plate during a World Series. The game becomes memorable as the Blue Jays win the 15-14 marathon, which takes a record four hours and 14 minutes to complete.

1994       Receiving all 28 first-place votes, Raul Mondesi (.306, 16, 56) is named the National League’s Rookie of the Year. The Los Angeles right fielder, who easily outdistanced Astros’ hurler John Hudek and Braves’ outfielder Ryan Klesko, is the third consecutive Dodger to win the award.

1996       Andruw Jones becomes the fourth rookie in baseball history to hit two home runs in the same World Series game when he goes deep twice in Game 1 at Yankee Stadium. The Braves’ center fielder joins Charlie Keller (1939 – Yankees), Tony Kubek (1957 – Yankees), and Willie McGee (1982 – Cardinals) in accomplishing the feat.

2000       Major league play-by-play broadcasters and color commentators select Carlos Delgado and Todd Helton as the recipients of the Hank Aaron Award. The honor, established last year, recognizes the Blue Jay and Rockies’ first baseman as the best overall hitters in each league.

2000       The Blue Jays and Carlos Delgado agree to a record four-year $68 million contract. The Toronto first baseman’s average salary of $17 million is the richest in major league history.

2002       Twenty-year-old Venezuelan right-hander Francisco Rodriguez becomes the youngest pitcher ever to win a World Series game. With just 15 days of major league experience, K-Rod throws 37 pitches, retiring nine consecutive batters in three innings to pick up the victory when the Angels outslug the Giants in Game 2 of the Fall Classic, 11-10.

2004       After dropping the first three decisions, the Red Sox win their fourth consecutive ALCS game to win the American League pennant, beating the Yankees in the Bronx, 10-3. Johnny Damon’s two home runs, including a grand slam and Derek Lowe’s solid pitching performance, help Boston join the 1942 Maple Leafs and the 1975 Islanders as the only teams in the history of professional sports to overcome a 3-0 series deficit to win a seven-game series.

2008       The Cubs and Jim Hendry agreed to a four-year contract extension. The deal, which will expire in 2012 and extend into the club’s new ownership tenure, is the general manager’s reward for the team’s best regular-season showing in more than sixty years en route to its second consecutive National League Central title.

2008       Two storied franchises, the NFL Dallas Cowboys and New York Yankees, form a partnership to handle concession and merchandise sales at the clubs’ new stadiums. The company, known as Legends Hospitality Management, LLC, founded in cooperation with Goldman Sachs and CIC Partners, envisions expanding its services to other professional franchises and college programs.

2009       The Brewers hire Rick Peterson as their pitching coach to improve the club’s woeful starting pitching, which posted a 5.37 ERA last season. The 54-year-old pitching guru, known for his focus on motion analysis, is reunited with bench coach Willie Randolph and skipper Ken Macha, his former managers with the Mets and the A’s, teams he toiled for in a similar role.

2010       Ted Lilly signs a three-year, $33 million deal to remain with the Dodgers. The 34-year-old southpaw, obtained from the Cubs in early August, compiled a 7-4 record with a 3.52 ERA in 12 starts for LA, including victories in the first five starts for his new team.

2012       The Red Sox select John Farrell as their new manager to replace fired Bobby Valentine, who let go the day after the season ended after piloting the club to a last-place finish in his only year in the Boston dugout. The team’s new skipper, who spent the previous two seasons managing the Blue Jays, is obtained from Toronto by sending infielder Mike Aviles north of the border as compensation for the opportunity to hire their former pitching coach.

2012       After agreeing to pay $8 million of the remaining $21 million owed to Heath Bell, the Marlins deal their disappointing closer to the Diamondbacks in a three-team trade in which Miami obtains 22-year-old minor league shortstop Yordy Cabrera, acquired by Arizona along with Cliff Pennington from the A’s for outfielder Chris Young. The D-Backs plan to use the 35-year-old right-handed reliever to set up closer J. J. Putz, who earlier in the day had his $6.5 million option picked up by the team.

2020       Rays’ skipper Kevin Cash becomes the first to play in the Little League World Series and manage a major league team in the Fall Classic. Playing for Tampa’s Northside team, the former big-league catcher went 2-for-7, with a double and two runs scored in the 1989 Williamsport tournament.

WORLD SERIES HISTORY-2021

ATLANTA BRAVES (4) vs HOUSTON ASTROS (2)

The 2021 World Series is the 117th edition of Major League Baseball’s World Series, a best-of-seven playoff between the National League (NL) champion Atlanta Braves and the American League (AL) champion Houston Astros.

Atlanta floored the gas at the gate, and never looked back during Game 1. Jorge Soler became the first player to lead off a World Series with a home run in the top of the first frame, then Atlanta put up another run in the second, and two more in the third — the first team in World Series history to score 1-or-more runs in each of the first three innings of a game-one. Houston avoided the shutout with a run in the fourth, and another in the eighth, but never posed much of a threat. Braves starter Charlie Morton fractured his right fibula in the bottom of the third inning, caushing him to miss the remainder of the Fall Classic.

Dusty Baker said, after Game 2, “The roof being open, I mean, rarely is it open. Usually it’s not that cool. Usually it’s humid and muggy, and you welcome the roof closed. So it was different.” The Minute Maid roof was opened prior to the second game and the offense opened up for the H-Town Astros, who put up five runs in the first two innings, and never looked back. Braves starter Max Fried struck out six, retired eleven in a row, but that was after the second inning, where he surrended four straight singles, a wild pitch, another single, and an error. Astros starter José Urquidy seized the opportunity, pitching five strong innings, striking out seven Braves, and leaving it to his bullpen, who responded with five strikeouts of their own and not one earned run! A must-win game for the Astros as the Series shifts to Atlanta.

Effectively Wild. Braves starting pitcher, Ian Anderson, threw thirty-nine strikes, and thirty-seven balls, during Game 3. He struck out four ‘Stros, but walked three as well. Houston hitters, however, were not able to zero in on the strikes, and remained hitless until the eighth inning. Astros third baseman Alex Bregman summed it up after the game when he said the Braves, “pitched their tail off.” An Austin Riley RBI double in the third inning, plus a Travis d’Arnaud’s homer in the eighth, were enough runs to give Atlanta a 2-0 victory at home, a World Series shutout, and a 2-1 series lead.

Back-to-back jacks were all the Braves needed during Game 4 to erase the deficit during the first lead change of the 2021 World Series. Down 1-2, a seventh-inning go-ahead solo shot from Jorge Soler, immediately after a same frame game-tying solo shot by Dansby Swanson, put Atlanta out front 3-2. Brian Snitker, Atlanta’s skipper, had already turned the game over to his bullpen, and they did not disappoint the Truist park fans, holding Houston hitless during the last two frames, securing a 3-1 series lead, an advantage that forty of the previous forty-six teams were able to use to secure a world championship.

Game 5 was played on Halloween and it opened with a real scare for Astros fans when Adam Duvall hit a first inning grand slam. Houston simply did not seem concerened and chipped away at the 0-4 deficit, putting up two runs in the second, and another two in the third, game tied. Freddie Freeman put Atlanta back in control in the bottom of the third with a mammoth solo homer, and it seemed like the undefeated at home during the 2021 postseason Braves might shut the door, but the once untouchable A.J. Minter surrendered three in the fifth. The Astros did not hit a home run, did not get a very good start from Framber Valdez, but did not relent, and forced the series back to Houston.

The Braves sent their ace, Max Fried, to the mound in Game 6, and he responded by going six innings, surrendering just four hits, striking out six, and not allowing a walk, or a run to score. A mammomth (446 feet) Jorge Soler home run, with two runners on base, in the third inning put Atlanta out in front, and the tone of the game was set – great pitching, and home runs. Houston used every nearly every pitcher in their bullpen to stop the scoring, but homers by Dansby Swanson (5th inning) and Freddie Freeman (7th inning) were simpy more icing on a chocolate cake.

The 88-win Atlanta Braves fought through a season of adversity, injuries to their biggest stars, and made it to October where they had to face some of the best hitting teams (95-win Brewers & 106-win Dodgers / the winningest Wild Card team in history) in National League history. They continued into the Fall Classic, faced yet another amazing team with an incredibly powerful offense, and ended the postseason pain felt in Altanta — a record streak of sixteen postseason appearances without a World Series ring — to become the World Series champs for the fourth time in franchise history, the second since moving to Atlanta in 1966. Research by Baseball Almanac.

FOOTBALL HISTORY/BIRTHDAY’S

Long Return for Seno

October 20, 1946 – Polo Grounds, New York City – Frank Seno returns kickoff 105 yards for the Chicago Cards vs NY Giants. T.J. Troupe wrote a nice piece on Frank Seno on the Pro Football Researchers website in which he writes: “The 1946 Cardinals were a team on the upswing, and on October 20 in the Polo Grounds against the contending Giants in one of the most thrilling contests of the year Frank Seno set an NFL record with his 105-yard kick-off return for a touchdown. His coast-to-coast return gave the Cardinals a short lived 24 to 21 lead.” Short lived indeed as the Giants stormed back with a Howie Livingston 5 yard scamper for a score to lift the New York squad to a 28-24 win over the Cards.

Jim Brown sets record!

October 20, 1963 -Philadelphia. Pennsylvania – Per an NFLFILMS.com article from 2012, Cleveland Browns’ running back Jim Brown became the all-time leading career rusher in the NFL. “First Down” Jim Brown – as many would call him – accomplished the historic feat on an 8-yard run in the second quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles, propelling his way over Joe “The Jet” Perry’s record of 8,378 yards. The Browns won the game over the Eagles 37-7.

Jim Thorpe Day proclaimed by POTUS

October 20, 1973 – The White House. Washington D.C.- Proclamation 4209 was announced as declaring a Jim Thorpe Day across the nation.

President Nixon proclaimed Jim Thorpe greatest athlete of the 1st -half of the Twentieth century in a written proclamation to the country as read here – Proclamation 4209.

Hall of Fame Birthday for October 20

Rosey Brown

October 20, 1932 – Charlottesville, Virginia – Roosevelt “Rosey” Brown is born. Rosey was an offensive tackle from Morgan State College in Baltimore who earned the Black All-American honors. Rosey was selected in the 27th round of the 1953 NFL Draft by the New York Giants. The Giants like that Brown was 6-3, 255-pound and possessed powerful arms and a willingness to work hard while learning per the Pro Football Hall‘s write up on him. Rosey played in the NFL for 13 seasons and earned a spot on 9 Pro Bowl rosters while being selected as an ALl-NFL player 8 times. Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrined Roosevelt Brown in 1975.

Don Trull

October 20, 1941 – Don Trull a former quarterback from Baylor University was born. Don was an All-American and twice won the Sammy Baugh Trophy as the nation’s top passer. Trull threw for more than 4,000 yards and 27 touchdowns in his career with the Baylor Bears. The website footballfoundation.org points out that he was good in his studies too as Trull was Baylor’s first-ever NFF National Scholar-Athlete. The National Football Foundation selected Don Trull to enter into their College Football Hall of Fame in 2013

Lee Roy Selmon

October 20, 1954 – Eufaula, Oklahoma – Lee Roy Selmon was born as the youngest of nine children in the Selmon home. Lee Roy was a great student as he became a National Honor Society member while at Eufaula High School. After high school Selmon followed his two older brothers and played football at the University of Oklahoma. Lee Roy Selmon was a Defensive Tackle for the Sooners and a pretty good one at that. The NFF’s website provides that Lee Roy won the Outland and Lombardi Awards as the nation’s best lineman. In his three years as a starter, Oklahoma went 32- 1-1 and won two national championships. He was also selected to possess the NFF Scholar-Athlete in 1975. The National Football Foundation selected Lee Roy to enter into its College Football Hall of Fame in 1988. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers used their very first ever Draft pick to select Lee Roy Selmon to play for their new team. He played 9 seasons in the NFL. For his career he registered 78 1/2 sacks, 380 QB pressures, forced 28 1/2 loose balls and he recovered 10 of these fumbles. The Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrined him in 1995.

Ray Childress

October 20, 1962 – Richardson, Texas – Ray Childress a defensive end from Texas A&M came into this world. Ray played with the Aggies from 1981 through 1984 and per the NFF had the most tackles of any lineman in the storied history of Texas A&M tallying 360 in his brilliant college career. Childress alo added 25 sacks to his college resume, dropping QBs behind the line 15 times in 1983 alone. The NFF elected Ray Chidress into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2010. Ray played in the NFL for 12 seasons, 11 of them with the Houston Oilers and finished his final pro year with the Dallas Cowboys. He was named first-team All-Pro five times and made five Pro Bowl appearances

Chad Hennings

October 20, 1965 -Elberton, Iowa – Chad Hennings a Defensive Tackle from the Air Force Academy was born. Chad played his first season at Air Force as a tight end, but he switched over to the defensive side of the ball as a sophomore. In 1985 the Falcons had their best season ever, as they finished ranked fifth in the nation and sported a 12-1 record. The NFF reports that as a senior Chad led the nation with 24 sacks and won the Outland Trophy as the nation’s top interior lineman he was also a unanimous All-America selection and repeated as an Academic All-America. Chad Hennigs entered into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

Dexter Coakley

October 20, 1972 – Mt. Pleasant, SC – Dexter Coakley the linebacker from Appalachian State was born on that day. The standout linebacker starred at App State from 1993 through the 1996 seasons. Boasting 616 career tackles, Coakley was per the National Football Foundation’s website a three-time First Team All-America and the first two-time winner of the Buck Buchanan Award as Football Championship Subdivision’s top defender and was the first three-time Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Year. Dexter Coakley was the first Hall of Fame inductee for Appalachian State when he entered the College Football Hall of Fame in 2011. Dexter was picked in the third round by the Dallas Cowboys in the 1997 NFL Draft, and enjoyed a 10-year career with the Cowboys and the St. Louis Rams.

SPORTS IN NUMBERS:

10 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 12 – 11 – 17 – 54 – 32 – 16 – 15 – 55 – 27 – 25

October 20, 1934 – All-Star team led by Connie Mack and including Babe Ruth (Yankees Number 3), Jimmie Foxx (Athletics Number 3) and Lou Gehrig (Yankees Number 4) sailed to Japan for 18-game series against Big-Six University League

October 20, 1935 – Detroit Tigers future Baseball Hall of Fame first baseman Hank Greenberg, Number 5 was named AL MVP by the Basball Writer of America Association. Boston Red Sox pitcher Number 12, Wes Ferrell is runner-up

October 20, 1936 – Carl Hubbell, Detroit Tigers Number 11 who as a pitcher had a season record of 26-6, edged out Dizzy Dean, Number 17 of the Crdinals and his stellar 24-13, for MVP honors in National League

October 20, 1946 – Frank Seno, Number 54 of the Chicago Cardinals returned a kickoff 105 yd, against the New York Giants

October 20, 1963 – Jim Brown, Number 32 of the Cleveland Browns set an NFL single-season rushing record, 1,863 yds

October 20, 1965 – 19th NHL All-Star Game, Montreal Forum, Montreal, QC: All-Stars beat Montreal Canadiens, 5-2; MVP: Henri Richard, Number 16, the center of the Montreal Canadiens.

October 20, 1976 – NY Nets sold the rights to a player named Julius Erving also known as “Dr J” to the Philadelphia 76ers. Dr J wore Number 32 for the Nets and then switched to Number 6 on the Sixers.

October 20, 1982 – World Series: St. Louis Cardinals beat Milwaukee Brewers, 6-3 at Busch Stadium for 4 games to 3 series triumph; MVP: St. Louis catcher Darrell Porter, Number 15

October 20, 1984 – New York Islander’s Number 22, Mike Bossy’s 30th career hat trick-4 goals

October 20, 1988 – World Series: LA Dodgers beat Oakland A’s, 5-2 at Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum to clinch 4-1 series win: MVP: LA pitcher Orel Hershiser, Number 55

October 20, 1990 – World Series: Cincinnati beats A’s, 2-1 at Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum to sweep Oakland and win Reds’ 5th title; MVP: Reds’ pitcher José Rijo, Number 27

October 20, 1996 – Braves Andruw Jones, Number 25 became the youngest player to homer in World Series

TV THURSDAY

COLLEGE FOOTBALLTIME ETTV
Virginia at Georgia Tech7:30pmESPN
Troy at South Alabama7:30pmESPNU
GOLFTIME ETTV
DP World: Mallorca Golf Open7:30amGOLF
PGA: CJ Cup3:00pmGOLF
LPGA: BMW Ladies Championship11:00pmGOLF
MLB PLAYOFFSTime ETTV
ALCS Game 2: NY Yankees at Houston7:30pmTBS
NBATIME ETTV
Milwaukee at Philadelphia7:30pmTNT
LA Clippers at LA Lakers10:00pmTNT
NFLTIME ETTV
New Orleans at Arizona8:15pmPRIME
NHLTIME ETTV
Anaheim at Boston7:00pmNESN
Bally Sports
Arizona at Montreal7:00pmBally Sports
Sportsnet
Dallas at Toronto7:00pmBally Sports
Sportsnet
Nashville at Columbus7:00pmBally Sports
San Jose at NY Rangers7:00pmNBCS-CA
NSG
Washington at Ottawa7:00pmNBCS-WSH
Sportsnet
Los Angeles at Pittsburgh7:00pmBally Sports
ATTSN-PIT
New Jersey at NY Islanders7:30pmESPN+
HULU
Vancouver at Minnesota8:00pmSportsnet
Bally Sports
Carolina at Edmonton9:00pmSportsnet
Bally Sports
Buffalo at Calgary9:30pmMSG-BUF
Sportsnet
Winnipeg at Vegas10:00pmSportsnet
ATTSN-RM
SOCCERTIME ETTV
Coppa Italia: Cremonese vs Modena9:00amParamount+
Coppa Italia: Sampdoria vs Ascoli12:00pmParamount+
UEFA Europa League: Arsenal vs PSV1:00pmParamount+
La Liga: Almería vs Girona1:00pmESPN+
La Liga: Osasuna vs Espanyol2:00pmESPN+
EPL: Fulham vs Aston Villa2:00pmUSA
La Liga: Barcelona vs Villarreal3:00pmESPN+
Coppa Italia: Bologna vs Cagliari3:00pmParamount+
EPL: Leicester City vs Leeds United3:15pmPeacock
Brasileirão: São Paulo vs Coritiba7:00pmParamount+
MLS Eastern Conference Semi Final: Philadelphia Union vs TBD8:00pmFS1
MLS Eastern Conference Semi Final: Los Angeles FC vs TBD10:00pmFS1