Bloomfield 48 Northeast Dubois 37
Cascade 36 North Putnam 34
Christel House 101 Indianapolis Metropolitan 83
Columbia City 42 Wawasee 35
Concord 69 Edwardsburg (Mich.) 46
Crown Point 64 Hammond Central 40
Decatur Central 52 Indianapolis Ritter 50
Delta 70 Blackford 39
East Central 67 Milan 48
East Chicago Central 69 Lighthouse CPA 34
East Noble 53 Goshen 42
Eastbrook 50 Elwood 49
Eastern Hancock 65 Randolph Southern 26
Eastside 36 Edon (Ohio) 34
Evansville North 73 Evansville Mater Dei 52
Franklin Central 54 Pike 49 OT
GEO Next Generation 50 Union (Modoc) 43
Gary 21st Century 63 Hanover Central 50
Greensburg 49 Columbus East 48
Greenwood 34 Beech Grove 32
Heritage Hills 61 Mount Vernon (Posey) 47
Highland 52 Boone Grove 47
Indian Creek 60 Martinsville 57
Lake Central 40 Munster 37
Lakeland 58 Westview 47
Lawrence North 72 Indianapolis Attucks 71
Lawrenceburg 56 Taylor (Ohio) 54 OT
Leo 53 Homestead 48
Maconaquah 60 Whitko 55
Mishawaka 73 New Prairie 33
Monroe Central 51 South Adams 32
Mount Vernon (Fortville) 61 New Castle 50
New Washington 64 Eastern (Pekin) 54
Noblesville 58 Marion 46
North Posey 55 Boonville 49
Oak Hill 55 Western 49
Oldenburg Academy 70 Southwestern (Shelbyville) 46
Orleans 63 Mitchell 49
Phalen Academy 73 Indianapolis Washington 63
Providence 58 Louisville Holy Cross (Ky.) 19
Seymour 61 Whiteland 44
Shoals 67 Lighthouse Christian 37
South Bend Riley 63 Plymouth 44
Southport 64 Avon 62
Southwood 57 Southern Wells 40
Tri-West 58 Harrison (West Lafayette) 54
Twin Lakes 64 Frontier 33
Wapahani 50 Frankton 25
Warsaw 75 Carroll (Fort Wayne) 70
Woodlan 70 Fremont 38
Yorktown 76 Madison-Grant 54
Zionsville 69 Bloomington North 52

Delphi Classic
Frankfort 51 Taylor 43

McLean County (Ky.) Tournament
Owensboro Apollo (Ky.) 64 Evansville Day 38
Rock Creek Academy 57 Hancock County (Ky.) 40
Evansville Day 86 Whitesville Trinity (Ky.) 74
McLean County (Ky.) 64 Rock Creek Academy 43


Andrean at Chesterton 8:00 pm
Argos at Northfield 7:30 pm
Bedford North Lawrence at Mooresville 7:30 pm
Bowman Academy at Lafayette Jeff 7:30 pm
Calumet at Portage 8:00 pm
Carroll (Flora) at Wabash 7:30 pm
Centerville at Knightstown 7:30 pm
Central Noble at Wawasee 7:30 pm
Columbus North at Terre Haute South 7:30 pm
Eminence at Indianapolis Attucks 7:30 pm
Floyd Central at Evansville Harrison 7:30 pm
Greenfield-Central at Rushville 7:30 pm
Hammond Science & Tech at Washington Twp. 8:00 pm
Hebron at LaVille 8:00 pm
Indianapolis Metropolitan at Owen Valley 7:30 pm
Indianapolis Riverside at Triton Central 7:30 pm
Indianapolis Tindley at Providence Cristo Rey 7:45 pm
Lewis Cass at Tipton 7:30 pm
Noblesville HomeSchool at Richmond 7:30 pm
North Central (Farmersburg) at Dugger Union 7:30 pm
Perry Meridian at Center Grove 7:30 pm
Phalen Academy at Liberty Christian 7:30 pm
South Bend Washington at Northridge 7:30 pm
South Newton at North Vermillion 7:30 pm
South Spencer at Springs Valley 8:00 pm
Southridge at Corydon Central 7:30 pm
Triton at Jimtown 7:30 pm
Vincennes Rivet at North Knox 7:30 pm

Delphi Classic
North Newton vs. North Montgomery 7:30 pm SF

McLean County (Ky.) Tournament
Evansville Day vs. Rock Creek Academy TBA 3rd


Alexandria 61 Anderson Prep 29
Andrean 61 Highland 49
Bismarck-Henning (Ill.) 35 Attica 34
Bluffton 58 Churubusco 16
Borden 35 Floyd Central 31
Bowman Academy 33 Boone Grove 27
Carmel 41 Heritage Christian 39
Carmi (Ill.) 48 Evansville Bosse 11
Charlestown 52 Corydon Central 41
Christian Academy 39 Milan 37 OT
Clinton Central 68 Clinton Prairie 26
Crawford County 57 South Spencer 52
DeKalb 53 Fort Wayne Blackhawk 35
Delta 75 Daleville 50
Eastbrook 70 Elwood 19
Elkhart 47 Goshen 27
Evansville Central 50 Mount Vernon (Posey) 9
Evansville Christian 47 Boonville 38
Evansville Harrison 39 Terre Haute South 32
Evansville North 58 Evansville Mater Dei 42
Faith Christian 66 North White 33
Fort Wayne Dwenger 51 Garrett 28
Fort Wayne South 53 Heritage 25
Gary West 46 Calumet 38
Greenfield-Central 57 Connersville 38
Hamilton Heights 53 Lapel 42
Hamilton Southeastern 66 Indianapolis Cathedral 31
Harrison (Ohio) 55 South Dearborn 49
Henryville 59 Dugger Union 22
Heritage Hills 47 Evansville Reitz 44
Homestead 72 Angola 24
Indian Creek 70 Greenwood 32
Indianapolis Tech 49 Southport 47
Jasper 45 Pike Central 21
Jeffersonville 46 Bloomington South 32
Jennings County 62 Columbus North 36
Kankakee Valley 57 Chesterton 49
LaPorte 45 Kouts 43
LaVille 35 John Glenn 29
Lakewood Park 71 New Haven 38
Lawrence Central 77 New Palestine 26
Monrovia 68 Indiana Deaf 44
Morgan Twp. 49 Wheeler 25
New Prairie 75 Argos 30
New Washington 47 Switzerland County 39
North Decatur 45 Columbus East 36
NorthWood 36 Fairfield 21
Northridge 51 Penn 49
Plainfield 51 Terre Haute North 27
Prairie Heights 46 West Noble 31
Providence 44 Brownstown Central 40
Rensselaer Central 76 Lowell 29
Shawe Memorial 58 Crothersville 10
Sheridan 39 Lebanon 37
Shoals 70 Lighthouse Christian 48
South Central (Union Mills) 55 Jimtown 52 2OT
South Knox 63 North Posey 38
Southwestern (Hanover) 68 Clarksville 50
Springs Valley 57 West Washington 50
Tri-Township 45 North Judson 35
Trinity Lutheran 59 North Harrison 53 OT
Triton 58 Bremen 50
Victory Christian 33 Lakeland Christian 27
Wabash 51 Southwood 30
West Central 57 Knox 51
Westfield 54 Franklin Central 44
Westview 61 Lakeland 54
Whiteland 68 Indianapolis Attucks 21

Central Christian Tournament
Central Christian 31 Irvington Prep 17
Indianapolis HomeSchool 43 Indianapolis Herron 41
Central Christian 41 Crosspointe Christian 38

Delphi Tournament
Delphi 55 Pioneer 44


Adams Central at South Adams 7:30 pm
Anderson at Tipton 7:30 pm
Ben Davis at Indianapolis Roncalli 7:30 pm
Central Noble at Wawasee 6:15 pm
Christel House at Speedway 6:00 pm
East Central at Jennings County 7:30 pm
Franklin County at Talawanda (Ohio) 7:30 pm
Greenwood Christian at Oldenburg Academy 7:30 pm
Indiana Math & Science at Anderson Prep 6:00 pm
Linton-Stockton at Vincennes Lincoln 7:30 pm
Loogootee at Forest Park 7:30 pm
Madison-Grant at Tri-Central 7:30 pm
Marion at Fort Wayne North 7:30 pm
Mississinewa at Maconaquah 7:30 pm
Munster at Hanover Central 8:00 pm
New Albany at Salem 7:30 pm
North Daviess at Eastern Greene 6:00 pm
Northfield at Southern Wells 7:30 pm
Perry Meridian at Center Grove 7:30 pm
Rochester at Clinton Central 6:30 pm
South Decatur at Henryville 7:30 pm
South Putnam at Cascade 7:30 pm
Union County at Blue River 7:30 pm
Warsaw at Huntington North 7:30 pm
Washington Twp. at Hammond Morton 8:00 pm
Westview at Mishawaka 7:45 pm
Winchester at Tri 7:30 pm
Woodlan at Fort Wayne Concordia 7:30 pm
Yorktown at Pendleton Heights 7:30 pm

Central Christian Tournament
Indianapolis Herron vs. Crosspointe Christian 12:00 pm 3rd
Indianapolis HomeSchool at Central Christian 2:00 pm 1st

Delphi Tournament
Winamac vs. North Montgomery 6:00 pm SF

Edinburgh Tournament
Knightstown at Edinburgh 10:00 am R1
Hagerstown vs. Northwest HomeSchool 12:00 pm R1
Austin vs. Indianapolis Lutheran 2:00 pm R1
South Ripley vs. Indianapolis Tindley 4:00 pm R1
Loser Game 2 vs. Loser Game 1 6:00 pm Con
Loser Game 4 vs. Loser Game 3 8:00 pm Con
Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 1 6:00 pm SF
Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 3 8:00 pm SF


Hamilton Heights 72 Guerin Catholic 12

Hamilton Southeastern 28 Fishers 25

Bluffton 70 Fort Wayne Wayne 4

New Haven 72 Fort Wayne Luers 12

North White 50 Whitko 30


Frisco Bowl

Texas San Antonio 35 Marshall 17

Thursday, Dec. 21

Boca Raton Bowl

USF vs. Syracuse

Boca Raton, Florida

8 p.m. | ESPN

Friday, Dec. 22

Gasparilla Bowl

Georgia Tech vs. UCF

Tampa, Florida

6:30 p.m. | ESPN

Saturday, Dec. 23

Birmingham Bowl

Troy vs. Duke

Birmingham, Alabama

12 p.m. | ABC

Camellia Bowl

Arkansas State vs. Northern Illinois

Montgomery, Alabama

12 p.m. | ESPN

Armed Forces Bowl

Air Force vs. James Madison

Fort Worth, Texas

3:30 p.m. | ABC

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

Georgia State vs. Utah State

Boise, Idaho

3:30 p.m. | ESPN

68 Ventures Bowl

Eastern Michigan vs. South Alabama

Mobile, Alabama

7 p.m. | ESPN

Las Vegas Bowl

Northwestern vs. Utah

Las Vegas, Nevada

7:30 p.m. | ABC

Hawai’i Bowl

San Jose State vs. Coastal Carolina

Honolulu, Hawai’i

10:30 p.m. | ESPN

Tuesday, Dec. 26

Quick Lane Bowl

Bowling Green vs. Minnesota

Detroit, Michigan

2 p.m. | ESPN

First Responder Bowl

Texas State vs. Rice

Dallas, Texas

5:30 p.m. | ESPN

Guaranteed Rate Bowl

Kansas vs. UNLV

Phoenix, Arizona

9 p.m. | ESPN

Wednesday, Dec. 27

Military Bowl

Tulane vs. Virginia Tech

Annapolis, Maryland

2 p.m. | ESPN

Duke’s Mayo Bowl

North Carolina vs. West Virginia

Charlotte, North Carolina

5:30 p.m. | ESPN

Holiday Bowl

No. 15 Louisville vs. Southern Cal

San Diego, California

8 p.m. ET | FOX

Texas Bowl

No. 20 Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M

Houston, Texas

9 p.m. | ESPN

Thursday, Dec. 28

Fenway Bowl

No. 24 SMU vs. Boston College

Boston, Massachusetts

11 a.m. | ESPN

Pinstripe Bowl

Rutgers vs. Miami (Fla.)

The Bronx, New York

2:15 p.m. | ESPN

Pop-Tarts Bowl

No. 18 NC State vs. No. 25 Kansas State

Orlando, Florida

5:45 p.m. | ESPN

Alamo Bowl

No. 12 Oklahoma vs. No. 14 Arizona

San Antonio, Texas

9:15 p.m. | ESPN

Friday, Dec. 29

Gator Bowl

No. 22 Clemson vs. Kentucky

Jacksonville, Florida

12 p.m. | ESPN

Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl

No. 16 Notre Dame vs. No. 19 Oregon State

El Paso, Texas

2 p.m. | CBS

Liberty Bowl

Memphis vs. Iowa State

Memphis, Tennessee

3:30 p.m. | ESPN

Cotton Bowl

No. 7 Ohio State vs. No. 9 Missouri

Dallas, Texas

8 p.m. | ESPN

Saturday, Dec. 30

Peach Bowl

No. 10 Penn State vs. No. 11 Ole Miss

Atlanta, Georgia

12 p.m. | ESPN

Music City Bowl

Auburn vs. Maryland

Nashville, Tennessee

2 p.m. | ABC

Orange Bowl

No. 5 Florida State vs. No. 6 Georgia

Miami Gardens, Florida

4 p.m. | ESPN

Arizona Bowl

Wyoming vs. Toledo

Tucson, Arizona

4:30 p.m. | CW Network/Barstool

Monday, Jan. 1, 2024

ReliaQuest Bowl

No. 13 LSU vs. Wisconsin

Tampa, Florida

12 p.m. | ESPN2

Citrus Bowl

No. 17 Iowa vs. No. 21 Tennessee

Orlando, Florida

1 p.m. | ABC

Fiesta Bowl

No. 8 Oregon vs. No. 23 Liberty

Glendale, Arizona

1 p.m. | ESPN

College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl

No. 1 Michigan vs. No. 4 Alabama

Pasadena, California

5 p.m. | ESPN

College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Sugar Bowl

No. 2 Washington vs. No. 3 Texas

New Orleans, Louisiana

8:45 p.m. | ESPN

Monday, Jan. 8

College Football Playoff National Championship Game

Houston, Texas

7:30 p.m. | ESPN



New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Rams, 6:15 p.m., Amazon Prime Video (stream with Amazon Prime Video)


Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers, 2:30 p.m., NBC, Universo (stream with free trial from FUBO)

Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Chargers, 6 p.m., Peacock


Indianapolis Colts at Atlanta Falcons, 11 a.m., FOX (stream with free trial from FUBO)

Green Bay Packers at Carolina Panthers, 11 a.m., FOX (stream with free trial from FUBO)

Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans, 11 a.m., CBS (stream with free trial from FUBO)

Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings, 11 a.m., FOX (stream with free trial from FUBO)

Washington Commanders at New York Jets, 11 a.m., CBS (stream with free trial from FUBO)

Seattle Seahawks at Tennessee Titans, 11 a.m., CBS (stream with free trial from FUBO)


Jacksonville Jaguars at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2:05 p.m., CBS (stream with free trial from FUBO)

Arizona Cardinals at Chicago Bears, 2:25 p.m., FOX (stream with free trial from FUBO)

Dallas Cowboys at Miami Dolphins, 2:25 p.m., FOX (stream with free trial from FUBO)


New England Patriots at Denver Broncos, 6:15 p.m., NFL Network (stream with free trial from FUBO)


Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs, 11 a.m., CBS, Nickelodeon (stream with free trial from FUBO)

New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles, 2:30 p.m., FOX, FOX Deportes (stream with free trial from FUBO)

Baltimore Ravens at San Francisco 49ers, 6:15 p.m., ABC, ESPN Plus, ESPN Deportes (stream with free trial from FUBO)


#25 Ole Miss 74 Troy 53

#23 Memphis 77 #22 Virginia 54

#20 James Madison 87 Coppin State 48

Providence 72 #6 Marquette 57


Indiana 69 Morehead State 68

Florida 106 Michigan 101 2OT

Maryland 73 Nicholls 67

Citadel 65 Notre Dame 45

Butler 74 Georgetown 64

Indiana State 90 Tennessee State 69

Southern Indiana 79 St. Francis IL 47


#1 South Carolina 93 Bowling Green 62

#24 North Carolina 61 Oklahoma 52


Ball State 73 Pittsburgh 62

Bethune-Cookman 61 Valpo 35


Memphis 115 New Orleans 113

Milwaukee 132 San Antonio 119

Portland 109 Phoenix 104

Golden State 132 Boston 126 OT


Carolina 6 Vegas 3

Philadelphia 3 New Jersey 2 OT

Columbus 9 Buffalo 4

Tampa Bay 6 St. Louis 1

Minnesota 4 Boston 3 OT

NY Rangers 5 Toronto 2

NY Islanders 3 Edmonton 1

Vancouver 5 Nashville 2

Chicago 3 Colorado 2

Arizona 4 Ottawa 3

Los Angeles 4 San Jose 1




Owen McCown completed 22 of 31 passes for 251 yards and two touchdowns, and UTSA earned the first bowl victory in program history by beating Marshall 35-17 in the Frisco Bowl on Tuesday night in Frisco, Texas.

McCown, a redshirt freshman and the son of longtime NFL quarterback Josh McCown, got the starting nod because decorated starter Frank Harris sustained a shoulder fracture on Nov. 24 – an injury that was revealed just hours before kickoff Tuesday.

Joshua Cephus hauled in seven receptions for 102 yards and a touchdown for the Roadrunners (9-4). Robert Henry ran for two touchdowns and 37 of UTSA’s 135 rushing yards.

Marshall quarterback Cole Pennington, son of program legend Chad Pennington, completed 15 of 33 passes for 258 yards. Rasheen Ali gained 92 yards and a touchdown on nine carries for Marshall (6-7).

Pennington was shaken up on a big third-down sack during the fourth quarter, with Marshall trailing 28-17. Colin Parachek relieved Pennington on a fourth-and-14 attempt and threw to his left, where Kam Alexander made a leaping interception and returned it 57 yards to the Marshall 17-yard line.

Rocko Griffin stormed into the end zone on the next play to put UTSA up 35-17 with 8:39 to go.

Mike Green had two of the Marshall defense’s six sacks, and Micah Abraham and Eli Neal intercepted McCown during the first quarter.

While McCown took his lumps early, Marshall jumped out to a 14-0 lead.

Ethan Payne scored on a 1-yard rush following McCown’s second pick for the first points of the game. Ali burst away for a 64-yard touchdown sprint on the first play of the second quarter to make it 14-0.

Henry responded for UTSA with a 3-yard scoring run on the next drive. Then, Cephus caught a pass in the right flat and navigated the right sideline for a 44-yard touchdown to tie the game with 8:53 left in the half.

After Rece Verhoff put Marshall ahead with a 44-yard field goal, UTSA conducted a 13-play, 75-yard drive to take a 21-17 lead just before halftime. Henry’s 1-yard rushing score capped off the march.

With 4:49 remaining in the third quarter, McCown used play action to reach David Amador II on his left, and the freshman receiver took it 19 yards to the end zone for his first career touchdown and a 28-17 advantage.


SEATTLE (AP) — Kalen DeBoer landing the job at Washington two years ago seemed to be an unheralded transaction at the time.

It has turned out to be a shrewd decision by the Huskies. One might say it’s been perfect.

DeBoer was named The Associated Press coach of the year on Tuesday after leading the Huskies to a 13-0 record, the Pac-12 championship and a spot in the College Football Playoff in just his second year in charge at Washington. The Huskies will face Texas in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1 with a spot in the CFP championship game on the line.

In his two seasons, the Huskies are 23-2, leaving behind the bitter memory of a 4-8 record in 2021 that led to a change and brought DeBoer to Washington.

“It’s all about the people around me. This is a team award,” DeBoer said. “When you win, I tell the players this, you win football games, you’re going to get recognized and more awards are going to get shared. I’m fortunate enough to kind of be the figurehead of our team and receive these cool awards. Just really blessed.”

DeBoer received 30 of 52 first-place votes and had 113 points overall from AP Top 25 poll voters to easily outpace Florida State’s Mike Norvell (57 points). Missouri’s Eli Drinkwitz (38) and Arizona’s Jedd Fisch (28) were the only other coaches to receive multiple first-place votes.

DeBoer is the first Washington coach ever to be named the AP coach of the year and just the third Pac-12 coach to win the award in the last 25 years, joining Mike MacIntyre (Colorado, 2016) and Chip Kelly (Oregon, 2010).

“I think when dealing with the team, I think I’m the same. I think there’s job responsibilities that come along with this level that you continue to adjust to and learn from — the good, bad and ugly, whatever it was that had happened,” DeBoer said. “But I think when it comes to building the team, the foundation of it is the same, the same priorities.”

DeBoer is in just his fourth season as a head coach in the Bowl Subdivision. He was 67-3 at his alma mater, Sioux Falls, from 2005-09 and won three NAIA championships. At Fresno State, he went 12-6 in two seasons, including 9-3 the final year.

When the Washington job came open, DeBoer knew he was ready for the challenge of a Power Five program. But he was inheriting a team that went through a tumultuous season that included the firing of coach Jimmy Lake with two games still on the schedule.

While DeBoer won at nearly every stop, he still needed to prove to his new team that his methods would work.

“We were open ears to what he had to say, and he was so persistent in his genuineness and his commitment to take this program to the top that at the end of the day, it was unstoppable to be able to trust him,” first-team AP All-American wide receiver Rome Odunze said.

While it certainly helped to have talent like Odunze and Heisman Trophy runner up Michael Penix Jr., a significant amount of Washington’s success this season came because DeBoer and the Huskies were great in close games.

Each of Washington’s final eight games were decided by 10 points or fewer and all of them were in question into the fourth quarter. Washington’s final four wins – Utah, Oregon State, Washington State and Oregon – were decided by a total of 15 points.

That speaks to coaching. And belief.

“We’ve gotten here because he’s carried through with everything he said he was going to do with all his effort,” Odunze said.



MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Joe Flacco was at home a month ago, all but ready to accept his 15-year NFL career might be over.

Then came a phone call from his agent with an invitation to a workout with the Cleveland Browns. A commercial flight and practice-squad deal later, the former Super Bowl MVP has become an overnight hero for a team ravaged by injuries but still trying to maintain playoff hopes.

It can happen almost overnight: a backup quarterback goes from holding a clipboard — or in Flacco’s case, watching at home — to being thrust into action, sometimes at the most important point of the NFL season. They’re on display all around the NFL right now after a flurry of starters have gone down for the year with injuries and teams have needed help to stay in contention.

“It’s one of the more important positions on your team,” said Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel, who called on backups in several games last year, including in the postseason, when starter Tua Tagovailoa missed time with concussions. “Not only are you supporting the process of the starter, but you have to, at a moment’s notice, go and orchestrate full-speed everything you have worked on. … It is challenging, challenging, challenging because you never know what’s going to happen.”

Despite the NFL’s efforts to protect quarterbacks, passers are still getting injured in an era in which they are leaving the pocket more and defensive rushers are quicker and more skilled than ever.

At the end of Week 15 of the NFL season, 18 teams had started quarterbacks who weren’t their first-string passers on opening day; 56 different quarterbacks have started an NFL game this season. And the list of starters who are out for the year is star-studded: Aaron Rodgers (torn Achilles tendon); Deshaun Watson (shoulder surgery), Joe Burrow (wrist); Anthony Richardson (shoulder surgery); Justin Herbert (broken index finger); Daniel Jones (torn ACL); Kirk Cousins (torn Achilles tendon).

In Indianapolis, Gardner Minshew is 6-4 as a starter this season and has kept the Colts in contention for the AFC South title after the rookie Richardson had season-ending surgery on his throwing shoulder in October. Jake Browning is 3-1 in Cincinnati since Burrow suffered a torn ligament in his right wrist last month. The New York Giants entered Week 15 on a three-game winning streak thanks to the unexpected emergence of undrafted rookie quarterback Tommy DeVito.

“When you see guys go out and play well in those situations, it’s pretty impressive because all week they didn’t get a rep,” said Dallas backup Cooper Rush, who is 5-1 filling in for Dak Prescott. “When you get a full week to prep and game plan and talk with the coach and run the play with the players you’re used to playing with, that helps a lot during the week.”

San Francisco’s Brock Purdy went from the final pick in the NFL draft to winning his first seven starts and leading the 49ers to the NFC title game after they lost first and second stringers Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo to season-ending injuries last year. Purdy is 16-3 as a starter and is an MVP candidate this season for the NFC-West leading 49ers with 3,795 yards, 29 touchdowns and a 119.0 passer rating.

Not all teams are as lucky.

The New York Jets entered the season with Super Bowl aspirations after landing Aaron Rodgers in the offseason, but after the former league MVP tore his left Achilles tendon on the fourth snap of his Jets debut, the team’s postseason hopes fizzled as they have shuffled struggling backups in and out of their lineup.

But the production of veterans like Flacco, who is 2-1 with the Browns, and young standouts like Purdy shows the value of a solid second stringer. The recent success of backups shows the talent gap between starters and backups may be narrowing, said Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator Teryl Austin.

“When you look at the league in terms of it’s not all five-, seven-step drop back (anymore),” Austin said. “There’s a lot of play action. There’s a lot of different things where you can protect a quarterback. He can be very accurate. He could get the ball out of his hands and that offense can keep moving. So if and when the quarterbacks do get hurt, there’s not a big drop off.”

The Browns have had four different quarterbacks start and win this season and have stayed in playoff contention despite the juggling act. Cleveland has also gotten wins from rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson and P.J. Walker since Watson’s season-ending shoulder surgery.

Cleveland caught some criticism for trading backup Joshua Dobbs before the season, leaving the team vulnerable at the position. Dobbs, who was traded from Arizona to Minnesota in October, has had some solid performances for the Vikings.

“I don’t ever overlook that position and say, ‘OK, we’ve got our starter,’” said Jacksonville Jaguars coach Doug Pederson, who spent most of his 10-year NFL career as a backup. “You can’t. When you do that, it’s going to bite you at some point and you’re not going to have a backup and/or a backup that’s ready.”

Jacksonville signed sixth-year quarterback C.J. Beathard to a two-year extension in February after he spent the past two seasons as Trevor Lawrence’s backup.

“Having a veteran like we do and — I would say most teams — that’s pivotal,” Pederson said. “You see it. This is a tough sport. You see how many quarterbacks have gone down or at least out for a period of time. Having a guy that’s been around and played meaningful games in this league helps.”

Most backups get few, if any, reps in their team’s system throughout the week. They work mostly with the practice squad helping to mimic the plays and style of an upcoming opponent.

Mike White, Miami’s backup and a former Jets backup, stands near Tua Tagovailoa in practice and visualizes the play in his mind as Tagovailoa is getting reps with the starters. When he goes home, White draws out the plays, speaks them into a voice recorder and listens to them in his earphones, pretending that he’s receiving the plays through a helmet.

White repeats this routine every week, whether he sees the field on gameday or not. The third-year quarterback hasn’t started a game this season, with his only action coming during garbage time for the AFC East-leading Dolphins.

But White said he prepares every week like he’s going to be the starter because he knows too well the whirlwind of being thrust into action, having come in mid-game for an injured Zach Wilson his rookie year with the Jets.

“At that point, your heart kind of starts racing,” White said, lightly tapping on his chest to mimic an increased heart rate. “You’ve got to calm yourself down. It’s hard to just kind of go from just sitting there doing nothing. You’ve got to go out there and try to just operate and trust your preparation. That’s where if you’re not prepared it can come back and bite you.”


DENVER (AP) — It was Russell Wilson who got a tongue-lashing from Sean Payton, but if the Denver Broncos blow their chance to end an eight-year playoff drought, it’s the veteran head coach who will be getting an earful from fans over the same kinds of game management miscues that plagued his predecessor.

The Broncos (7-7) have engineered a remarkable recovery from their 1-5 start that featured losses at home to underdogs quarterbacked by Jimmy Garoppolo, Sam Howell and Zach Wilson while Payton was still settling into his new gig.

Garoppolo was soon benched and Josh McDaniels fired. Howell has lost 10 of his last 12 starts and Wilson has won just three other games.

Throw in Nathaniel Hackett’s happy homecoming, the famous Miami meltdown in which Denver lost by 50 points and all the Broncos were left with was a comeback after trailing 28-7 at Soldier Field to win in Payton’s hometown.

Payton famously castigated Hackett for overseeing one of the worst coaching jobs in NFL history only to show more than a little rust himself from his year away from coaching

He lost track of downs at Kansas City in Week 6 and called a timeout with the Broncos about to punt the ball in the final minute of the first half, then watched the Chiefs kick a long field goal as the half expired.

After that, the Broncos reeled off five consecutive wins to jump into the AFC playoff picture and Payton’s name was bandied about as a Coach of the Year candidate although many have pointed out that defensive coordinator Vance Joseph was the one doing the heavy lifting during the about-face.

Then came three road games in 13 days, a win over the fading Los Angeles Chargers sandwiched around losses to the Houston Texans and Detroit Lions in which Payton’s play-calling and decision-making raised some eyebrows.

Payton steered away from the run-based formula that fueled Denver’s winning streak when the Broncos traveled to Houston. But the Broncos trailed 22-17 and were driving for the winning touchdown at the end when Payton called a pair of timeouts with the clock stopped.

The first one came right after the 2-minute warning and the second one with 35 seconds left following an incompletion on third down. Payton defended those timeouts as necessary strategically but they robbed Russell Wilson of the chance to hand the ball off after Denver used its final timeout with 23 seconds left.

Wilson went to the air three times from the Texans 8 against a defense flooding the end zone, and his third-down throw to tight end Lucas Krull was intercepted.

Their 42-17 loss to the Detroit Lions on Saturday night featured an even stranger goal-line sequence in which Payton twice declined to throw his challenge flag when it appeared Denver had scored, then opted for a meaningless field goal while trailing by three touchdowns after a fourth-down TD run was wiped out by a dubious offensive offside flag.

While his field-goal unit took the field to the chagrin of fans and the surprise of the broadcast crew, Payton hollered at Wilson in a sideline blowout that remains shrouded in mystery.

On Monday, Payton again defended not throwing the red flags and to go for a field goal on fourth-and-goal from the 5 after Michael Burton’s TD run was negated by an offensive offside call.

Payton said he had a good look at Javonte Williams coming up short on third-and-goal from the 1. On the previous play, Jaleel McLaughlin might have crossed the plane on a 9-yard run but was ruled down just shy of the goal line, as well.

Payton said he didn’t have a good track record challenging those types of calls and besides, “we’re sitting at the half-yard line and I’m thinking we have a good goal-line plan in this game.”

Payton was still coy Monday when asked why he was so upset with his QB.

“The anger and the frustration in that sequence comes from the fourth-down call and the touchdown and then what was later called a penalty,” Payton said. “And then all of a sudden we’re sitting at fourth-and-let’s-call-it-6 instead of fourth-and-a-half-a-yard.

“So, we’re trying to get to within two scores.”

The field goal made it 28-10, leaving Denver with a three-score deficit, leading some to suggest Payton didn’t reach for the red challenge flags because he was too busy throwing up the white surrender flag.

Payton’s tongue-lashing of Wilson remains a puzzle because the quarterback didn’t seem at fault for any of the three non-touchdowns in that goal-line sequence.

After the game, Payton grew testy when pressed about it, saying, “Listen, what I talk to Russell about is none of your business.”

Actually, when the franchise’s future depends on the relationship between coach and quarterback, who collectively cost the franchise three first-round draft picks and three second-round selections, whatever Payton angrily hollers at Wilson about on the sideline is no private matter.

It’s top of mind for fans who have invested both their emotions and their money in a team that is closer to the playoffs than at any time since their Super Bowl 50 celebrations but who find themselves watching postseason hopes fading fast through curious calls, dubius decisions and sideline squabbling.


Quarterback Jalen Hurts questioned the Philadelphia Eagles’ commitment following their third straight loss Monday.

“I’ve been talking about execution all year, being on the same page, everyone being on the same page,” Hurts said postgame, according to Kevin Patra of “We didn’t execute. I don’t think we’re … committed enough.”

Hurts struggled to clarify his remark about his team’s commitment when asked by reporters, saying, “I don’t have a dictionary on me now. … I don’t know how else to say that.”

The 25-year-old quarterback battled through an illness to play in Monday night’s game versus the Seattle Seahawks. He completed 17 of 31 throws for 143 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. Both picks came in the fourth quarter, with the first being caught in the end zone and the second coming on the Eagles’ final drive to seal the win for the Seahawks.

Hurts shouldered responsibility for his role in Philadelphia’s three-game slide, dropping its record to 10-4.

“We just have to be better,” Hurts said. “I have to be better. Minimize the mistakes, the penalties, the mental errors. Play team football, and it starts with me leading that. We’ve lost games because I can be better. That will change everything, and I accept that.”

Over the team’s three consecutive losses, Hurts has thrown only one passing touchdown, though he’s pitched in three with his legs. His 40.1 passer rating in Monday night’s game is his lowest since 2021.

Despite Philadelphia’s troubles, Hurts said he can see “light at the end of the tunnel.”

“We have to make an internal change in how we attack things,” Hurts added. “How we come to work every day. It starts with the little things, how committed we are to doing what we’re doing. And it all starts with me, the quarterback. It’s a challenge I’m embracing.”


The Atlanta Falcons are sending Desmond Ridder to the bench for a second time this season, a source told The Athletic’s Josh Kendall and Jeff Schultz.

Taylor Heinicke will reportedly start Sunday’s matchup against the Indianapolis Colts.

Ridder played poorly in a Week 15 loss to the Carolina Panthers, completing just 12 of 20 passes for 152 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. His pick came in the opposing team’s red zone, with the Panthers scoring a game-winning field goal on the ensuing drive.

The 2022 third-round pick was benched for two games earlier this season, starting Weeks 9 and 10 on the sideline. However, Ridder returned to the lineup in Week 12 following Atlanta’s bye.

The Falcons have lost two in a row to fall to 6-8, placing them behind the 7-7 division-leading Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They also trail the 7-7 New Orleans Saints in the NFC South.

Ridder has thrown 10 touchdowns to 10 interceptions this season.


Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase is expected to miss some time after sustaining a shoulder injury in Week 15, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Chase, who reportedly

Chase, who reportedly had an MRI on his shoulder Monday, will likely miss Saturday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers and could be sidelined for more weeks, according to Rapoport.

Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said Sunday that Chase would be considered day-to-day. The star pass-catcher sprained his AC joint late in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s 27-24 overtime victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

The two-time Pro Bowler tops Cincinnati with 93 receptions, 1,156 yards, and seven touchdown catches this season. He’s surpassed 1,000 yards each year since entering the NFL as the fifth overall pick in 2021.

Chase also missed four games due to injury in 2022.

The 23-year-old’s injury is a big blow to a Bengals team that lost quarterback Joe Burrow to a season-ending wrist ailment earlier this season. The victory over Minnesota improved Cincy to 8-6, good for the No. 6 seed in the AFC.

Cincinnati boasts one of the NFL’s deepest group of wide receivers and is now expected to rely mostly on Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd. Higgins scored two touchdowns versus the Vikings but has lacked consistency. The two-time 1,000-yard wideout, who’s also missed time due to injury, has topped 100 receiving yards just once in 2023.

After visiting the Steelers in Week 16, the Bengals finish their regular season with matchups against the Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns.


The Houston Texans signed quarterback Tim Boyle to their practice squad on Tuesday, multiple reports said, while C.J. Stroud’s availability for Week 16 remains in doubt.

Stroud entered concussion protocol due to a head injury late in a Week 14 loss to the New York Jets. The Texans started Case Keenum last Sunday against the Tennessee Titans and won 19-16 in overtime.

Houston hasn’t officially ruled out a return by Stroud for this week’s home game against the Cleveland Browns, but ESPN and KPRC2 in Houston each reported that Stroud is expected to miss one more game as he remains in concussion protocol for now.

Boyle, 29, made three appearances and two starts for the Jets earlier this season when they benched Zach Wilson for a spell. Boyle went 48-for-77 passing (62.3 percent) for 360 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions and was abruptly released after losing both his starts.

Keenum is likely to remain the starter in Stroud’s absence, with Davis Mills behind him on the depth chart.

Keenum, 35, went 23-for-36 passing for 229 yards, one touchdown and one interception for the Texans in his first game action of the season. The University of Houston product started his NFL career with the Texans in 2013-14 before spending time with the St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos, Washington, Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills in starting and backup roles.


The San Francisco 49ers’ Christmas gift could be the No. 1 seed in the NFC.

The 49ers, the only 11-3 team in the NFC, have a straightforward path to clinching the top seed and a first-round bye in Week 16, according to the NFL’s official playoff scenarios.

If the Detroit Lions, Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles all lose, the 49ers would lock up the No. 1 seed on Christmas night by beating the visiting Baltimore Ravens — who happen to be the only other 11-3 team in the league.

Detroit visits the Minnesota Vikings and Dallas takes on the host Miami Dolphins on Sunday, Christmas Eve. Then, the Eagles play the middle game of a Christmas Day tripleheader against the visiting New York Giants before the Ravens visit San Francisco in the nightcap.

The Lions (10-4) would clinch the NFC North title with a win or tie against Minnesota. If that doesn’t happen, they can still lock up a playoff bid if either the Los Angeles Rams or the Seattle Seahawks lose or tie. The Rams host the New Orleans Saints on Thursday and the Seahawks visit the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.

Over in the AFC, the Ravens — who have already punched their postseason ticket — can win the AFC North by beating the 49ers and having the Browns lose or tie against the Houston Texans, or if the Ravens tie and the Browns lose.

The Browns (9-5), for their part, have eight scenarios to clinch a playoff berth this week, all of which start with a win at Houston. The Browns are on the verge of their second playoff berth in 21 seasons.

If the Dolphins (10-4) beat the Cowboys and the Buffalo Bills lose or tie at the Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday, Miami would clinch the AFC East title. That would also be the result if Miami ties Dallas and Buffalo loses.

The Christmas Day tripleheader begins with the struggling Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Las Vegas Raiders. The Chiefs (9-5) can lock up their eighth straight AFC West title if they beat Las Vegas, or if they tie with the Raiders and the Denver Broncos lose to New England.


The Miami Dolphins waived pass rusher Jason Pierre-Paul on Tuesday in order to make room for rookie running back Chris Brooks, who was activated off injured reserve.

Pierre-Paul, a three-time Pro Bowl defensive end and first-team All-Pro in 2011, signed with the Dolphins on Nov. 28. The South Florida native logged just five defensive snaps in two games with the team and was inactive for Miami’s 30-0 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday.

Pierre-Paul, who will turn 35 on New Year’s Day, is a two-time Super Bowl champion with 94.5 career sacks in 180 games (150 starts) with the New York Giants (2010-17), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2018-21), Baltimore Ravens (2022), New Orleans Saints (2023) and Dolphins.

Selected by the Giants with the 15th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, Pierre-Paul has recorded 631 tackles, 167 quarterback hits, 21 forced fumbles, 10 fumble recoveries, five interceptions and three defensive touchdowns while playing defensive end and outside linebacker.

Brooks, 23, had 15 carries for 94 yards in six games before sustaining ankle and knee injuries. He landed on injured reserve on Oct. 20 and began practicing with the team on Nov. 29.


The Baltimore Ravens promoted Melvin Gordon III from their practice squad to their 53-man roster on Tuesday and placed fellow running back Keaton Mitchell on injured reserve.

Gordon previously has been elevated from the practice squad to the main roster for three games this season, rushing for 53 yards on 13 carries.

“Melvin Gordon is a high-pedigree football player in this league,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Monday. “It’s almost kind of shocking that we’re going to have the opportunity to put him into the mix right now, and he’s been wanting to be into the mix.

“He’s been practicing so hard and working so hard. Like he would say, ‘Hey. When the opportunity comes, I’ll be ready.’”

Gordon, 30, has rushed for 6,515 yards and 55 touchdowns and added 312 catches for 2,513 yards and 14 scores in 110 career games (94 starts) with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers (2015-19), Denver Broncos (2020-22) and Ravens. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2016 and 2018.

Mitchell, an undrafted rookie running back, sustained a left knee injury during the fourth quarter of Baltimore’s 23-7 victory at Jacksonville on Sunday night.

Mitchell’s left leg bent awkwardly after he was tripped up by Jaguars safety Andrew Wingard near the end of the game. He was carted off the field.

Mitchell, 21, rushed 47 times for 396 yards (8.4 yards per carry) and two touchdowns in eight games (two starts) this season. He caught nine passes for 93 yards. He ran for 138 yards and a touchdown in a 37-3 win against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 9.

The Ravens (11-3), who became the first AFC team to clinch a postseason berth, previously lost starting tight end Mark Andrews (ankle) for the remainder of the regular season and starting running back J.K. Dobbins (Achilles) to a season-ending injury.

Also on Tuesday, the Ravens signed running back Jake Funk to the practice squad.


Brock Purdy can stump for teammate Christian McCaffrey all he likes, but the reality is that oddsmakers view the San Francisco 49ers’ second-year quarterback as the odds-on favorite to win Most Valuable Player honors this season.

Purdy is coming off a four-touchdown game in the 49ers’ Week 15 rout of Arizona. Meanwhile, two of his closest pursuers in the MVP race, Dallas’ Dak Prescott and Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts, suffered defeats that were surprising for separate reasons.

Purdy, who was the final pick of the NFL draft less than two years ago, now has a league-leading 29 touchdown passes against only seven interceptions while passing for 3,795 yards this season. He is now the -200 MVP favorite at DraftKings and has even shorter odds at -225 at BetMGM, where he leads all players with 11.7 percent of the money wagered backing Purdy to win MVP.

Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson remains firmly in the picture at +450 and +500, respectively, followed by Prescott, who is being offered at +700 by both books. Jackson does have a prime-time opportunity to go head-to-head against Purdy, with San Francisco set to play host to Baltimore on Monday Night Football on Christmas Day.

Purdy said after Sunday game that he believes the versatile McCaffrey should be leading the MVP race, and the running back is fourth at DraftKings (+1000) and fifth at BetMGM (+1,600). McCaffrey leads the league in carries (244) and rushing yards (1,292) and has amassed 20 total touchdowns through the 49ers’ first 14 games.

“I think Christian should be MVP,” Purdy told reporters. “I really do believe that. He does everything for us. Runs the ball well, catches the ball, he does everything. In my eyes, that’s the MVP.”

McCaffrey does remain BetMGM’s biggest liability in the MVP market, having drawn 7.9 percent of the money wagered since opening at +10000. He is also the odds-on favorite to win Offensive Player of the Year honors. McCaffrey is being offered at -150 by DraftKings and at -155 by BetMGM, where he leads with 13.1 percent of the total bets placed.

Hurts, who led the MVP race much of the season and still has been backed by the most total bets at BetMGM at 11.1 percent, has almost fallen out of the picture at +2000 and +1800 by BetMGM. The Eagles have loss three consecutive games, the most recent coming in a Monday night upset at Seattle against a Seahawks team that had dropped four consecutive games and started a backup quarterback.

Prescott remains in the picture, but his odds also took a significant hit after Sunday’s 31-10 blowout loss at Buffalo. In additional to failing to throw a touchdown for the first time since Week 1, Prescott threw his first interception in five games.


The Carolina Panthers granted veteran linebacker Justin Houston’s request to be released on Tuesday.

The four-time Pro Bowl selection is hoping to hook up with a playoff contender for the rest of the season.

Houston, who turns 35 next month, has been on injured reserve since Nov. 4 with a hamstring injury.

He started seven games for the Panthers this season and recorded nine tackles and half a sack.

Houston has 112 sacks, 19 forced fumbles, 14 fumble recoveries and five interceptions in 170 games (151 starts) with the Kansas City Chiefs (2011-18), Indianapolis Colts (2019-20), Baltimore Ravens (2021-22) and Panthers.

Houston’s deal with Carolina was for the minimum salary with a $4.835 million signing bonus. Any team that acquires him on waivers would owe him just $194,000 for the rest of the season, according to ESPN.


Legendary Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Ed Budde, a Super Bowl champion, died Tuesday. He was 83.

The Chiefs didn’t disclose a cause of death.

Budde, a left guard, spent his entire 14-year career with the Chiefs from 1963-76. He was a first-round pick (eighth overall) in the 1963 AFL Draft, a five-time AFL All-Star and two-time Pro Bowl selection while playing 177 regular-season games.

“My family and I are deeply saddened by the passing of Chiefs Hall of Famer Ed Budde,” Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said in a statement. “Ed spent his entire 14-year career with the Chiefs, and he was a cornerstone of those early Chiefs teams that brought pro football to Kansas City. He never missed a game in the first nine seasons of his career, and he rightfully earned recognition as an All-Star, a Pro-Bowler and a Super Bowl champion.

“After his playing career, Ed remained connected to the Chiefs organization and was a founding member of the Kansas City Ambassadors. He was well-loved in the Kansas City community, and he was a great father to Brad, Tionne and John. My family and the entire Chiefs organization extend our sincere condolences to Carolyn and the Budde family.”

Budde was on the Kansas City teams that played in Super Bowls I and IV. The Chiefs lost the first one, 35-10 to the Green Bay Packers. Three years later, Kansas City knocked off the Minnesota Vikings 23-7 with Budde throwing the block that cleared Mike Garrett for a second-quarter touchdown run.

Budde was inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Fame in 1984. He also was a first-team selection on the All-AFL teams in 1966 and 1969.

Budde was an All-American at Michigan State before his professional career. He was inducted into the Michigan State Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010.

Brad Budde, an All-American at Southern California, was picked by Kansas City in the first round (11th overall) of the 1980 NFL Draft. According to the Chiefs, the Buddes are the lone father-son combo to be first-round picks by the same NFL team at the same position.

The two announced the Chiefs’ second-round selection (receiver Rashee Rice) in April when the draft was held in Kansas City.



Ja Morant made a triumphant season debut with 34 points, capped by a game-winning, buzzer-beating layup, as the visiting Memphis Grizzlies rallied to beat the New Orleans Pelicans 115-113 on Tuesday night.

Memphis, which trailed by 24 points in the first half and by 14 in the fourth quarter, took a timeout with the score tied at 113-113 and 10 seconds left to set up a play for Morant. The two-time All-Star drove to the basket and hit an off-balance jumper to end the Pelicans’ four-game winning streak.

Morant, who scored 27 points in the second half, added six rebounds and eight assists in his return to the Grizzlies’ lineup after serving a 25-game suspension for holding a gun during a livestream video last spring.

Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 24 points and Desmond Bane added 21 for Memphis, which snapped a five-game losing streak. Brandon Ingram led New Orleans with 34 points, while Jonas Valanciunas had 22 points and 14 rebounds.

Warriors 132, Celtics 126 (OT)

Stephen Curry drained

Stephen Curry drained a desperation 3-pointer at the end of the shot clock with 11.5 seconds left in overtime to help Golden State rally past Boston in San Francisco.

Down by as many as 17 points and never in front after halftime until the second minute of overtime, the Warriors won a third straight game. They were led by Curry’s game-high 33 points and Klay Thompson’s 24.

Derrick White had 30 points and Jaylen Brown added 28 to pace the Celtics, who saw a five-game winning streak come to an end. They survived a scare when Jayson Tatum had to leave the contest in the first quarter because of a sprained left ankle.

Bucks 132, Spurs 119

Damian Lillard poured in a season-high 40 points, 19 in the first quarter, as host Milwaukee roared out of the gate and beat short-handed San Antonio Spurs.

Milwaukee has won five straight games while the hapless Spurs dropped their 20th game in the past 21. San Antonio played without rookie phenom Victor Wembanyama (right ankle) for just the second time this season.

Bobby Portis added 23 points and 10 rebounds for the Bucks, with Khris Middleton hitting for 17 points. Keldon Johnson led San Antonio with 28 points and 12 rebounds.

Trail Blazers 109, Suns 104

Anfernee Simons recorded 23 points and seven assists as Portland snapped a seven-game losing streak with a victory over visiting Phoenix.

Jerami Grant scored 22 points to help Portland improve to 3-9 at home. Deandre Ayton logged 16 points and 15 rebounds against his former Phoenix teammates. Portland won for the first time since beating the Cleveland Cavaliers on Nov. 30.

Kevin Durant scored 40 points and Devin Booker added 26 for Phoenix, which lost for the seventh time in 10 games.



Devin Carter tossed in a game-high 22 points to help Providence remain unbeaten at home with a 72-57 upset of No. 6 Marquette on Tuesday night in the Big East opener for both teams.

Carter, who sat out Providence’s 78-64 victory over Sacred Heart on Saturday with a back injury, made six of his 10 field-goal attempts, including 5 of 9 shots from beyond the 3-point arc. He also had eight rebounds and four assists.

Ticket Gaines added 18 points for the Friars (10-2), who improved their home record to 9-0. Providence made 11 of its 32 3-point attempts.

Tyler Kolek had 21 points, nine rebounds and five assists for Marquette, which shot 18 of 56 (32.1 percent) from the field. The Golden Eagles (9-3) were 4-for-20 on 3-point attempts.

No. 20 James Madison 87, Coppin State 48

T.J. Bickerstaff had 18 points, seven rebounds and four steals as the Dukes used depth and defense to dominate the Eagles in Harrisonburg, Va.

Terrence Edwards Jr. emerged from a slump to score 16 points while Julien Wooden added 13 points, six rebounds and four steals as James Madison (11-0) extended its best start in program history and remained one of four unbeaten teams in Division I.

Justin Winston had 13 points and eight rebounds for Coppin State (1-12), which lost its fifth in a row. Coppin State committed 30 turnovers, with Michael Green III leading the Dukes’ defense with six steals. James Madison totaled 22 steals.

No. 23 Memphis 77, No. 22 Virginia 54

David Jones scored 26 points and the Tigers never trailed in a nonconference clash with the Cavaliers in Memphis.

The Tigers (9-2) won their fourth consecutive game, including their third straight against a ranked opponent after beating then-No. 21 Texas A&M on Dec. 10 and then-No. 13 Clemson on Saturday.

Memphis ended a five-game winning streak for the mistake-prone Cavaliers (9-2), who were playing their first true road game and came in ranked second in the nation in scoring defense — allowing just 53.3 points per game. Reece Beekman paced Virginia with 13 points, and Ryan Dunn added 11 points and 11 rebounds.

No. 25 Ole Miss 74, Troy 53

Matthew Murrell scored a game-high 18 points and added 10 steals to help lead the Rebels to a victory over the Trojans in Oxford, Miss.

Jaemyn Brakefield added 17 points for the Rebels (11-0), who extended their best start to a season since 2007-08, when they won their first 13 games. Jaylen Murray also scored 16 for Ole Miss, while Allen Flanigan added 13 points and nine assists.

Tayton Conerway led Troy (5-6) with 13 points, shooting 3-for-3 on 3-point attempts. The Trojans shot just 17-for-47 (36.2 percent) from the field compared to the Rebels’ 27-for-59 shooting (45.8 percent).



Sophomore Chloe Kitts scored a career-high 21 points as No. 1 South Carolina routed Bowling Green 93-62 in a nonconference game Tuesday in Bowling Green, Ohio.

Bree Hall added 18 points for the Gamecocks (11-0), Te-Hina Paopao contributed 12 points and six assists and Kamilla Cardoso produced 11 points and five assists.

Morgan Sharps logged a game-high 25 points for the Falcons (6-3). Lexi Fleming added 11 points and seven rebounds, and Amy Velasco posted nine points and six assists for Bowling Green.

An 11-0 South Carolina run, capped by a 3-pointer from Raven Johnson, gave South Carolina a 21-7 lead. The margin was 10 points after the first quarter, 21 at halftime and 31 after three quarters.

The Gamecocks play their final nonconference game at East Carolina on Dec. 30 before opening Southeastern Conference play on Jan. 4 at Florida.

The Falcons travel to face No. 16 Indiana on Friday, then start Mid-American Conference action on Jan. 3 at Central Michigan.



Kirill Marchenko recorded a natural hat trick as the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets scored seven consecutive goals en route to a 9-4 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday.

Marchenko needed just 8 minutes, 7 seconds spanning the first and second periods to notch his second career hat trick. He also scored three goals in the Blue Jackets’ 4-3 shootout win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Jan. 7 of last season.

Rookie Adam Fantilli, Kent Johnson, Sean Kuraly and Cole Sillinger each scored and set up a goal. Erik Gudbranson also tallied as the Blue Jackets fell one goal shy of their franchise-best total, set in a 10-0 rout of the Montreal Canadiens on Nov. 4, 2016.

Rasmus Dahlin recorded a goal and an assist and captain Kyle Okposo, Tage Thompson and Dylan Cozens also tallied for the Sabres, who have lost eight of their past 11 games (3-7-1). Rookie Devon Levi yielded four goals on 18 shots before being relieved by Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, who made 11 saves.

Flyers 3, Devils 2 (OT)

Owen Tippett scored with 1:35 remaining in overtime as surging Philadelphia beat New Jersey in Newark, N.J.

Tippett secured Philadelphia’s third straight win and helped the Flyers improve to 7-0-2 in their past nine games. Ryan Poehling scored a pair of game-tying goals in the second period — his fifth career multi-goal game — as the Flyers got their seventh one-goal victory of the season.

Mike McLeod scored late in the first period and Jesper Bratt scored a power-play goal as the Devils lost their second straight game and fell to 8-3-1 in their past 12 games. Vitek Vanecek made 23 saves.

Coyotes 4, Senators 3

Michael Kesselring scored the game-winning goal and Jack McBain tallied one goal and one assist as Arizona erased a three-goal deficit to claim a win over Ottawa in Tempe, Ariz.

J.J. Moser and Clayton Keller also scored for the Coyotes, who have won three consecutive games. Starting goaltender Connor Ingram was pulled after surrendering three goals on six shots and Karel Vejmelka was perfect in stopping 16 shots to claim the win.

Angus Crookshank, Josh Norris and Dominik Kubalik scored for the Senators, who are riding a five-game skid and dropped their first game after D.J. Smith was relieved of his head-coaching duties and replaced by Jacques Martin on Monday.

Wild 4, Bruins 3 (OT)

Kirill Kaprizov buried Joel Eriksson Ek’s one-time feed for his second goal of the night as visiting Minnesota came from behind to beat Boston in overtime.

Kaprizov and Ryan Hartman scored consecutive goals in the latter half of the third period as Minnesota climbed out of a 2-1 deficit to take the lead. Marcus Johansson also tallied for Minnesota, which has four wins in its past five games. Marc-Andre Fleury made a season-high 40 saves for the Wild.

Boston’s Brad Marchand scored with 1:06 left in regulation to force the extra session. Pavel Zacha had two assists, and Linus Ullmark stopped 26 shots for the Bruins.

Hurricanes 6, Golden Knights 3

Michael Bunting had a goal and two assists, and Carolina used a three-goal second period to take control in a victory against Vegas at Raleigh, N.C.

Andrei Svechnikov scored in his first game back in the lineup, Brady Skjei had a goal and an assist and Jordan Staal, Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Seth Jarvis also tallied as the Hurricanes equaled their highest goal total of the season.

William Carrier notched two goals and Jack Eichel scored the other for the Golden Knights, who lost for the second time in three games yet still have the NHL’s highest point total.

Lightning 6, Blues 1

NHL points leader Nikita Kucherov scored twice as Tampa Bay opened a two-game homestand by thrashing St. Louis.

Nicholas Paul had a goal and two assists while Haydn Fleury managed a goal and a helper for the Lightning. Michael Eyssimont and Tyler Motte also scored, and Steven Stamkos recorded three assists.

Tampa Bay goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 28 shots but lost his shutout bid late in the third on Justin Faulk’s power-play goal. St. Louis goalie Jordan Binnington surrendered five goals on 23 shots before being replaced by Joel Hofer, who denied 9 of 10 shots.

Rangers 5, Maple Leafs 2

Mika Zibanejad scored twice and visiting New York defeated Toronto.

Alexis Lafreniere, Braden Schneider and Artemi Panarin also scored for the Rangers. Erik Gustafsson and Blake Wheeler had three assists apiece. Igor Shesterkin stopped 31 shots for the Rangers, who lost 7-3 to the Maple Leafs on Dec. 12 in New York.

Auston Matthews scored twice for the Maple Leafs. Matthews, who did not play Saturday because of an illness, has scored in each of his past five games for a total of nine goals. Martin Jones made 31 saves for Toronto.

Islanders 3, Oilers 1

Simon Holmstrom collected

Simon Holmstrom collected another short-handed goal to cap a three-goal second period by New York in a win over Edmonton in Elmont, N.Y.

Anders Lee and Bo Horvat scored the game-tying and go-ahead power-play goals, respectively, before Holmstrom notched his fifth short-handed goal of the season. Holmstrom is just two short-handed goals shy of tying the franchise’s single-season record.

Ilya Sorokin allowed Leon Draisaitl to score on the first shot of the game before stopping the final 30 shots he faced as the Islanders snapped a two-game losing streak. Stuart Skinner recorded 17 saves for the Oilers, who have lost three straight (0-3-0) following an eight-game winning streak.

Canucks 5, Predators 2

Elias Pettersson and Pius Suter each had a goal and an assist, and twice visiting Vancouver scored two goals in less than a minute during a victory over Nashville.

Quinn Hughes and Ilya Mikheyev each recorded two assists while Nils Aman, Nils Hoglander and Teddy Blueger also scored for the Canucks, who are 6-0-1 in their past seven games.

Jeremy Lauzon and Cody Glass scored for the Predators, who saw star netminder Juuse Saros pulled early in the third period after allowing his fifth goal on 24 shots. Saros entered Tuesday 6-0-0 with a 1.48 goals-against average in December.

Blackhawks 3, Avalanche 2

Ryan Donato had a goal and an assist, Tyler Johnson and Lukas Reichel also scored and host Chicago beat Colorado.

Connor Bedard and Nikita Zaitsev had two assists apiece and Petr Mrazek turned away 35 shots for the Blackhawks, who snapped a four-game losing streak.

Valeri Nichushkin scored twice and Nathan MacKinnon had an assist to extend his point streak to 16 games. The Avalanche, who took their second loss in three games, were without defenseman Cale Makar (lower-body injury).



ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The Masters already has the smallest field of the majors. The 2024 edition could be one of the smallest in years depending on the first three months of the PGA Tour season.

With no significant tournaments the rest of the year, it looks as though 11 players who finish in the top 50 will be added to the field. That would bring the field to 77 players among those expected to compete.

That includes three players who will be making their Masters debut without ever having won on the PGA Tour or European tour — Adam Schenk, Eric Cole and Denny McCarthy. Schenk qualified by reaching the Tour Championship for the first time.

The 11 expected to get in through top 50 in the world ranking are Ryan Fox, Min Woo Lee, McCarthy, Will Zalatoris, Justin Rose, Harris English, Cole, J.T. Poston, Adrian Meronk, Adam Hadwin and Nicolai Hjogaard.

Four players — Luke List, Erik van Rooyen, Camilo Villegas and Ludvig Aberg — earned invitations by winning PGA Tour events in the fall.

One additional player will be the winner of the Latin American Amateur Championship in January. Otherwise, the pass down Magnolia Lane in April comes from winning a full PGA Tour event — there are 14 of them before the Masters — or being in the top 50 on April 7, the week before the Masters.

There also could be a special invitation for international players who are not PGA Tour regulars.

Augusta National prefers the field to be under 100, a number it last exceeded in 1966 when 103 players were in the field. That would appear to be safe.

Among those narrowly missing out are Chris Kirk (No. 52) and Matt Kuchar (No. 54), the latter who is used to being on the bubble.

“I think I was really close last year, as well,” Kuchar said.

His hopes ended when he lost in the fourth round of the Match Play. The previous year, he was runner-up in the Texas Open when only a win would have gotten him back to Augusta.

Kuchar at least helped himself in the fall by becoming eligible for a pair of $20 million signature events at Pebble Beach and Riviera. So he knows what he has to do. He’s just not overly consumed by it.

“I’ve never been one to think, ‘I need to play well this week because I’m 53rd in the world.’ If you didn’t tell me where I was in the world ranking, I could not have told you,” Kuchar said. “I’ve always thought your best chance to play good golf is to just go out and do it, and not because you have to do it.”


Speculation has been swirling about Tiger Woods and his relationship with Nike, which began when he turned pro in 1996.

Woods had no interest in the topic at the PNC Championship, saying only that “I’m still wearing their product,” and sternly repeating the phrase when asked if this was the end of his deal.

He has only played seven times (10 weekend rounds) since his February 2021 car crash. He returned from that wearing FootJoy shoes. Nike put out a statement of support, but 18 months later, he still was only wearing the swoosh on his shirt, not his shoes.

Another different look was his son, 14-year-old Charlie, not wearing a red Nike shirt on Sunday but a purple tone and the logo of Greyson Clothiers, a brand also worn by Justin Thomas.

Is that an NIL deal? It sure looked that way when retired Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald posted on Instagram of Charlie and wrote, “Welcome to the @greysonclotheirs family, Charlie.”

Among golf ambassadors for Greyson are Thomas, Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald, Erik van Rooyen, Luke List and Alison Lee on the LPGA Tour.

As for Woods? He likely won’t be at another tournament until the Genesis Invitational at Riviera in February.


Kevin Kisner is starting the new year at Kapalua for the sixth time, only this time without his clubs. NBC is going to try him out in the broadcast booth.

Kisner, who likes to say that golf “ain’t no hobby,” will be the lead analyst for NBC at The Sentry, which is held Jan. 4-7. He also will work the WM Phoenix Open.

NBC has been looking to replace Paul Azinger since the Ryder Cup when they couldn’t agree on a contract renewal. Former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley of Ireland filled in at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas earlier this month.

Still to be determined is how much golf the 39-year-old Kisner plays. He shut down his tour schedule in the middle of June last year when he was playing poorly and was torn by wanting to be at home more often with his three children in Aiken, South Carolina.

“We think his style will translate well to the viewers at home,” said Tommy Roy, lead producer for NBC’s golf coverage.


Fred Biondi already has his bachelor’s degree from Florida. He’ll wait to get his Masters, and that involves a different education.

Biondi won the NCAA individual title last year, making him eligible to play in the Masters as long as he stayed amateur. But the native of Brazil decided to turn pro instead. He was at Q-school for the PGA Tour and tied for 10th.

Because he was No. 1 in the PGA Tour University ranking, Biondi is assured of getting in the first 12 Korn Ferry Tour events.

“The Masters is the pinnacle of golf,” Biondi said. “I sat down with my family and coaches to make a decision just for my own sake. I was ready to turn professional. I got my degree from Florida. It made more sense to turn professional and start a new chapter.”


New Jersey-based Cognizant first got heavily involved in golf when it became a corporate partner of The Presidents Cup and a title sponsor for the Founders Cup on the LPGA Tour. Now it is extending itself even more as title sponsor of what for years was the Honda Classic.

The Cognizant Classic will be played from Feb. 29 to March 3 at PGA National, with Chris Kirk as the defending champion. The seven-year deal is through 2030.

It will be the first time since 1980 the south Florida event is not sponsored by a car. In another change, the tournament will be run by the tour’s “Championship Management” team.

What doesn’t change is the charity. The Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation will continue to be the primary beneficiary.

The tournament dates to 1972 when it was the Jackie Gleason Inverrary Classic. American Motors became the title sponsor in 1981 and Honda took over the following year.


Raul Pereda has put the Mexican flag back on the PGA Tour. The 27-year-old from Mexico, who played at Jacksonville University, earned one of five cards through Q-school. Mexico did not have anyone with a full card since Abraham Ancer and Carlos Ortiz defected to Saudi-funded LIV Golf in 2022. … The LPGA Tour says the inaugural Arizona Championship will be held at Seville Golf and Country Club on March 28-31, a course located just southeast of Phoenix. … British Open champion Brian Harman is playing the Dubai Desert Classic on the European tour. The tournament is two weeks after The Sentry at Kapalua and two weeks before the first $20 million signature event at Pebble Beach. Cameron Young also is playing in Dubai.


Of the five players who earned PGA Tour cards through Q-school, Blaine Hale Jr. is the only one who has never played in a PGA Tour event.


“He was a skinny rail of a kid. He wasn’t like he is now, built and strong and all that. But he was healthy, had tremendous clubhead speed and a hunger for the game. And you just knew he was going to do more than most.” — Bernhard Langer playing with an 18-year-old Tiger Woods for the first time in the 1994 Johnnie Walker Classic.




The Indianapolis Colts suspended cornerback Tony Brown and wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie on Tuesday for the final three games of the regular season for conduct detrimental to the team.

Both players were healthy scratches for the first time this season in Indianapolis’ 30-13 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday. The reason behind the healthy scratches and the suspensions is not immediately known.

Brown, 28, has 10 tackles, one interception and one forced fumble in 12 games (one start) this season. He has 75 tackles, three forced fumbles, one interception and one sack in 61 career games (five starts) with the Green Bay Packers (2018-19), Cincinnati Bengals (2020) and Colts (2022-23).

McKenzie, 28, has 11 catches for 82 yards in 13 games this season. He has 152 receptions for 1,427 yards and 11 touchdowns in 93 career games with the Denver Broncos (2017-18), Buffalo Bills (2018-22) and Colts.

Also on Tuesday, the Colts signed running back Tyler Goodson to the 53-man roster from the practice squad. In addition, Indianapolis signed defensive end Zach McCloud, wide receiver Jaydon Mickens and wide receiver Juwann Winfree to the practice squad and released guard Lewis Kidd from the practice squad.

Goodson, 23, has 11 carries for 69 yards and five catches for 19 yards while playing in the Colts’ last three games.



» WR: Michael Pittman Jr., D.J. Montgomery

» LT: Bernhard Raimann

» LG: Quenton Nelson

» C: Ryan Kelly, Wesley French, Jack Anderson

» RG: Will Fries, Josh Sills

» RT: Braden Smith, Blake Freeland

» TE: Mo Alie-Cox, Drew Ogletree

» TE: Kylen Granson, Will Mallory

» WR: Josh Downs

» WR: Alec Pierce

» QB: Gardner Minshew II, Sam Ehlinger

» RB: Jonathan Taylor, Zack Moss, Trey Sermon, Tyler Goodson


» DE: Kwity Paye, Tyquan Lewis, Jake Martin

» DT: DeForest Buckner, Adetomiwa Adebawore

» NT: Grover Stewart, Taven Bryan, Eric Johnson II

» DE: Samson Ebukam, Dayo Odeyingbo, Isaiah Land

» WLB: E.J. Speed, Ronnie Harrison Jr.

» MLB: Zaire Franklin, Segun Olubi

» SAM: Cameron McGrone, Grant Stuard

» CB: JuJu Brents, Ameer Speed

» FS: Rodney Thomas II, Trevor Denbow

» SS: Julian Blackmon, Nick Cross

» N: Kenny Moore II

» CB: Jaylon Jones, Darrell Baker Jr.


» P: Rigoberto Sanchez

» PK: Matt Gay

» H: Rigoberto Sanchez

» LS: Luke Rhodes

» KR: Josh Downs

» PR: Josh Downs



The Indiana Pacers can return to the winning track, and get a little early season revenge, on Wednesday night in the Circle City.

On Star Wars Night, the Pacers (13-12) will host the Charlotte Hornets (7-18) at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

Both teams have struggled as of late, as the Hornets have lost five straight games while the Pacers have dropped four in a row.

Over their last four games, the Pacers have scored 121.3 points per game while giving up 138.8 on average. The Pacers have struggled to guard the paint during the span, giving up a league-worst 62.3 points from close range.

Still, Indiana still leads the league in scoring overall (126.7), field goal percentage (50.5), and assists (30.6), among other important offensive metrics.

The Hornets rank towards the bottom of the league in several key statistical categories, including 25th in opponents points per game, 25th in rebounds, 24th in points scored, and 25th in assists. The Hornets, who have averaged just 101.2 points per game during their losing streak, currently sit in 13th place of 15 teams in the East.

Both sides are currently dealing with key injuries.

On Monday, the Blue & Gold didn’t have starting center Myles Turner (bilateral hamstring soreness), as well as reserves Jalen Smith and Andrew Nemhbard. While Turner’s injury was new, Smith has been out since Nov. 27 and Nembhard has sat since Dec. 7.

Charlotte will likely be without All-Star point guard LaMelo Ball again on Wednesday, as he hasn’t played since Nov. 26 due to a sprained right ankle. Ball is averaging 24.7 points, 8.2 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game this season for the Hornets. The Hornets could also be without Brownsburg native and starting forward Gordon Hayward, who has missed the last two games due to illness, and 7-footer Mark Williams (lower back contusion).

Terry Rozier has taken over primary ball-handling duties with Ball out, and is averaging 23.1 points, 7.1 assists, and 3.4 rebounds per contest this season. Since returning from a suspension, Miles Bridges has averaged 19.6 points and 7.2 rebounds for the Hornets in 14 games played.

Brandon Miller, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft from Alabama, has also played well for the Hornets, averaging 14.8 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.2 assists across 32 minutes. The 6-7, 200-pound forward has started in 17 games this season.

On Monday, the Pacers failed to cool off a red-hot Los Angeles Clippers (16-10) squad at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, losing 151-127. The 151 points were the second-most given up by the Pacers in a game this season.

The Clippers, winners of eight straight games, led by 20 points after three quarters on Monday. In the final 12 minutes, the visitors dropped 37 more points to hold on to the lead.

Pacers All-Star point guard Tyrese Haliburton returned to the starting lineup on Monday after missing Saturday’s game in Minnesota due to a knee bruise, but logged a season-low eight points on just 25 percent shooting to go with 11 assists. Haliburton is leading the Pacers in scoring at 25.7 points per game and scored in double digits in his first 20 games.

Seven players scored in double figures for the Blue & Gold in the loss. Pacers second-year man Bennedict Mathurin scored a career-best 34 points against the Clippers, shooting 12-for-20 (3-for-7 from 3-point range) from the field and 7-for-7 from the free throw line. Mathurin has provided a big boost off the bench this season, especially over the last 10 games as he’s averaged 14.2 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists during that timeframe.

Another recent bright spot for the Pacers has been the play of center Isaiah Jackson, who has scored in double digits in four of his last five games played, including three straight.

On Monday at Scotiabank Arena, the Hornets lost to the Toronto Raptors (11-15) 114-99. The Hornets led each of the first three quarters before the Raptors held them to 18 points in the final frame.

Rozier topped the Hornets’ box score with 22 points and center Nick Richards had 10 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double. The Hornets were without Bridges, who was listed as not with the team on the official injury report.

Charlotte made just eight 3-pointers in the game while being outrebounded 36-26 and outscored 64-52 in the paint.

On Nov. 4, the Hornets beat the Pacers 125-124 in Indianapolis.

Projected Starters

Pacers: G – Tyrese Haliburton, G – Buddy Hield, F – Bruce Brown, F – Obi Toppin, C – Isaiah Jackson

Hornets: G – Terry Rozier, G – Brandon Miller, F – Gordon Hayward, F – Miles Bridges, C – Nick Richards

Injury Report

Pacers: Ben Sheppard – questionable (G League assignment), Jalen Smith – questionable (left knee bone bruise/left heel contusion), Myles Turner – questionable (bilateral hamstring soreness), Jarace Walker – questionable (G League assignment), Andrew Nembhard – out (right knee bone bruise)

Hornets: Gordon Hayward – probable (stomach virus), Mark Williams – doubtful (low back contusion), LaMelo Ball – out (right ankle sprain), Cody Martin – out (left knee injury recovery), Frank Ntilikina – out (left tibia non-displaced fracture)

Last Meeting

Nov. 4, 2023: Despite a 43-point performance by Tyrese Haliburton, the Charlotte Hornets outlasted the Indiana Pacers 125-124 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

The Pacers made it a one-point game with 29 seconds left, and got the ball back for a chance at a game-winner, but LaMelo Ball forced a turnover before Haliburton could get a shot off at the buzzer.

Haliburton topped all scorers by tying his career-best of 43 points, finishing 15-of-21 shooting (8-for-12 3-point), on top of dishing out 12 assists. Buddy Hield was next for the Blue & Gold with 19 points off the bench, and Myles Turner chipped in 14.

Mark Williams led the Hornets with 27 points, Gordon Hayward supplied 23, and Terry Rozier dropped 22. Ball had a double-double with 11 points and 11 assists.

Charlotte led 54-46 at halftime before Haliburton put together a historic third-quarter performance.

In the third quarter, Haliburton tied Jordan Nwora’s then-franchise record for points in a quarter by scoring 25 points on six made 3-pointers.

Going into the fourth quarter, the Pacers led 96-92 before the teams battled down the final stretch.

Indiana shot 48.4 percent to Charlotte’s 53.4 percent. The Pacers made 22 3-pointers to the visitors’ eight treys, but the Hornets made all 23 of their free throw attempts while the Hornets made 12 of 16 from the charity stripe.

Indiana was outscored 74-40 in the paint and outrebounded 41-36.


After Wednesday’s game, the Pacers will play the Hornets two more times this season: in Charlotte on Feb. 4 and Feb. 12.

Indiana won last year’s season series against Charlotte 2-1, but the Hornets have won the last two games against the Pacers.

Several special promotional events will take place during Star Wars Night, including photo opportunities and in-game entertainment.

Broadcast Information (TV and Radio Listings >>)

TV: Bally Sports Indiana – Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)

Radio: 93.5/107.5 The Fan – Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Eddie Gill (analyst), Pat Boylan (sideline reporter/host)


The Pacers host Terry Rozier and the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday, Dec. 20 at 7:00 PM ET.



  • INDY FUEL OVERALL RECORD 9-10-3 (7th in Central Division)


The Fuel headed to Wheeling, West Virginia for their fourth matchup with the Nailers this month to begin their weekend. Despite scoring first, the Fuel ultimately fell to the Nailers 4-1. 


The Fuel hosted the Kalamazoo Wings on Saturday night for their annual Teddy Bear Toss game. In front of a sold out crowd of 6,319 fans, the Fuel collected 5,875 stuffed animals in a thrilling game that ultimately ended 3-2 in Kalamazoo’s favor.


  • Mitchell Weeks returned from Rockford
  • Kale Howarth loaned from Rockford


  • Cam Hillis is once again is on a point streak, with a three-game streak. He is still leading the Fuel in points with 23.
  • Captain Seamus Malone is one goal away from ten game-winning goals, the most in the franchise. He scored on Friday’s contest at Wheeling.
  • Malone is also on a three-game road scoring streak.
  • Goalie Zach Driscoll is still in the top twenty goaltenders in the league, with a save percentage of .906.


  • On Saturday, the Fuel collected 5,875 stuffed animals with their Teddy Bear Toss Night to support WRTV’s Toy Drive.
  • The Fuel are still fifth in the league at home on the penalty kill. Heading into a weekend of away games, the team looks to improve their away penalty kill.
  • In Saturday’s contest against Kalamazoo, the Fuel outshot the K-Wings 26-19. With playing them twice this weekend, the team will need to keep that dominance. 





BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — It came down to one last stop, to Indiana starters, to a final chance to avoid disaster.

Defensive ferocity had brought the Hoosiers back from the brink against Morehead State Tuesday night at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

Why not ride it one last time?

IU led 69-68 as the clock approached zero in a game it trailed by as many as 15 points in the second half.

Guard Trey Galloway started it defensively on Eagles guard Jordan Lathon, whose 30 points had earned him a potential game-winning shot. Forward Malik Reneau switched on to him, didn’t let him drive past him and finished with a fingertip block.

The Hoosiers (8-3), ending on a 20-4 run, had survived.

“Malik’s stop at the end was the biggest defensive play of the night,” coach Mike Woodson said. “Our defense got better. We were able to make shots.”

Leading the shot-making way was forward Anthony Walker. The Miami of Florida transfer came through with 18 points and nine rebounds in 23 off-the-bench minutes. Both totals were his most as a Hoosier.

“Just being ready,” Walker said. “Making sure Coach Woody trusts me and always being ready for the moment.

“This gives me the utmost confidence. Knowing that Coach Woody trusts me down the stretch. Being able to play well. Just my effort and the work I put in.”

Added Woodson: “He was phenomenal. He’s the MVP of the game. It was by far his best game since he’s been wearing an Indiana uniform, and we needed every bit of it.”

Morehead State (8-4) led for 32 minutes. It built multiple double-digit leads. It took it to the Hoosiers in ways few expected before the game although it had talent and experience.

“Morehead State played a great game,” Woodson said.

“I’ve preached all year you can be beaten by any team if you don’t come to play. We started flat. It was like we didn’t want to be there. We finally picked it up when our backs we against the wall.

“At the end of the day, the guys made the plays to secure the win.

Everything kicked in over the final nine minutes — nasty defense, relentless rebounding, contesting everything.

Playing so poorly for so long, Walker said, “shouldn’t have happened.”

“We know that. We pulled out a win. Morehead State is a good team. Being able to come back after we got punched in the face means a lot to us.”

IU struggled all night on free throws (16-for-28) and 3-point shooting (3-for-16). Morehead State capitalized with 3-point sharpshooting (it made 10) that put it within reach of an unlikely upset. But it managed just four points in the final nine minutes.

“We have to get better — free throws, 3-pointers,” Woodson said. “We’re taking enough 3-pointers. We’re just not making enough.”

IU was as lethargic as it was energized a couple days earlier against Kansas.

Woodson’s main point — it should never happen.

“You should never have highs and lows like that,” he said. “Kansas was a great game. We fell short. That doesn’t mean you lay an egg the next game.

“That’s unacceptable. That’s on me. I have to keep working to get them better. Make sure we don’t put ourselves in that position again.”

IU missed its first four shots of the game. Morehead State capitalized to take an 8-4 lead after four minutes.

The bench came to the rescue, scoring 10 points, eight by Walker, two from Kaleb Banks, to boost the Hoosiers to a 16-15 lead.

Hoosier struggles from the line, from 3-point range and, ultimately, from everywhere helped Morehead State push ahead 28-21, then 32-21.

Galloway ended a nearly six-minute IU scoring drought with a pair of layups, but the Eagles negated that by scoring the final four points of the half, capped by a dunk off a steal for a 36-25 halftime lead. The Hoosiers were 0-for-6 on 3-pointers, 3-for-9 from the line.

The Hoosiers forced a turnover to start the second half, then drew a foul, then got a Kel’el Ware basket, all in the first 40 seconds.

He followed with four more free throws and another basket. The Eagles could only manage one free throw. IU closed within four, then three.

Morehead State built an 11-point lead. A four-point play gave it a 61-46 advantage with 9:25 left.

The game seemed over.

In fact, it was just starting.

The Hoosiers cranked up their defense and found their offense. Mackenzie Mgbako hit four free throws. Walker and Reneau scored, then they both did it again.

All those Morehead State 3-pointers than previous hit net now found iron. It missed nine straight shots and went scoreless for nearly seven minutes.

Galloway’s 3-pointer gave IU a 65-64 lead with three minutes left. Gabe Cupps followed with a free throw. The Eagles tied it at 66-66 with a layup as the clock ticked under two minutes.

Walker hit two free throws. Mgbako added one. Morehead State countered with a basket for a 69-68 Indiana lead with 41 seconds left.

Reneau missed a pair of free throws to give the Eagles a chance to win with 24.7 seconds left.

IU shut them down.

“When they made a run, we didn’t stray away from each other,” Walker said. “We stayed together, kept encouraging each other, kept playing Indiana basketball.

“We continued to trust Coach Woody and we pulled out the game.”

As for the lack of effort that nearly produced defeat, Walker said, “This won’t be a problem the rest of the year. This is a lesson. We’ll have energy the rest of the year.”


Center Grove QB Tyler Cherry has announced he will stay in-state and play for new IU Coach Curt Cignetti and the Hooisers. Cherry de-committed from Duke and chose IU over Michigan State. Cherry passed for 5,461 yards in his high school career, averaging more than 10 yards per attempt. He completed 68.5% of his passes throwing 56 touchdowns to just 11 interceptions across three varsity seasons.


Fishers RB Khobie Martin has changed his mind about playing at Miami OH and will play at Indiana. Martin in ranked a three-star RB by 247Sports.


QB Brendan Sorsby (committed to Cincinnati)

QB Dexter Williams II

RB Trent Howland (re-committed to Indiana)

RB/KR Jaylin Lucas

WR Cam Camper

WR Donaven McCulley (re-committed to Indiana)

TE Aaron Steinfeldt

OL Matthew Bedford (Colorado)

OL Khalil Benson (Colorado)

OL Zach Carpenter

OL Joshua Sales

OL Carter Smith (re-committed to Indiana)

DL LeDarrius Cox

DL Nick James

DL Julian Kameristy

DL Patrick Lucas Jr.

LB Myles Jackson (Tulsa)

LB Jared Casey

DB Phillip Dunnam

DB Jordan Grier (re-committed to Indiana)

DB James Monds III

DB Louis Moore (Ole Miss)

DB Jordan Shaw (Arizona)

K Chris Freeman



BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Three Indiana men’s soccer student-athletes – senior defenders Hugo Bacharach and Joey Maher as well as junior midfielder Patrick McDonald – were selected during the 2024 MLS SuperDraft Tuesday (Dec. 19) evening.

Bacharach was selected No. 9 overall by Minnesota United FC. His selection marks the seventh consecutive season that Indiana has produced a top-10 pick, the longest active streak in the NCAA.

Indiana has produced 63 MLS selections combining 51 SuperDraft selections, eight homegrown contracts and four supplemental draft picks. Since Todd Yeagley’s first season as IU’s head coach in 2010, 25 players have been drafted – including 12 in the first round – eight have signed homegrown contracts and three have been taken in the supplemental draft.

Bacharach played one season at Indiana after transferring from Fairleigh Dickinson. The senior started the year playing center back and shifted into a defensive midfield role midseason that helped spark IU’s late-season success. The dynamo scored four goals and had four assists, and the Hoosiers won 12 of their last 14 matches to capture the Big Ten regular season and tournament titles and advance to the NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals.

At Fairleigh Dickinson, Bacharach was a first-team All-Northeast Conference performer all three seasons. In his final season at FDU, he was named the NEC Defender of the Year and earned a United Soccer Coaches first-team All-Northeast Region selection as a junior.

Toronto FC opened the second round selecting Maher with the No. 30 overall pick. A four-year starter, Maher was in the first XI in 83 of 85 matches played. In those games, Indiana totaled 40 clean sheets and, in each of his four seasons, the Hoosiers ranked top-11 nationally in shutouts. Over the four years, Maher appeared in two NCAA College Cup finals and won four Big Ten Championships (two tournament, two regular season).

Maher captained Indiana to nine shutouts in 2023, tied for the 10th most in the country. He was named first-team All-Big Ten and United Soccer Coaches first-team All-Region and first-team Scholar All-America.

It was Toronto again with the first pick of the third round picking McDonald No. 59 overall. McDonald was also a first-team All-Big Ten selection in 2023, tallying three goals and five assists. The junior has a year of eligibility remaining and could be drafted again next year should he choose to return to Indiana for his senior season.



WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue women’s basketball team will close out the non-conference portion of its season on Wednesday when it hosts Indiana State for an early 11 a.m. tipoff at Mackey Arena. The annual Education Day contest will be streamed on B1G+.

Tim Newton will join the 1,000-game club as the Voice of Purdue Women’s Basketball. Newton, who is in his 34th campaign calling the Boilermakers, called his very first Purdue game on Jan. 3, 1991, a 60-point win over by the No. 3-Boilermakers over Ohio State in Mackey Arena. He will call game 1,000 on the Purdue Radio Network alongside his longtime partner Jane Schott on 95.3 BOB FM. Click here to read a full feature on Tim Newton written by former women’s basketball sports information director Tom Schott.


Education Day – Wednesday’s game is Education Day with 10 elementary and middle schools from the local community in attendance.

Santa Claus Photos – Fans can get some holiday photos done early by saying hi to Santa and Mrs. Claus on the concourse.


Purdue (6-5) vs. Indiana State (4-5)

Wednesday, Dec. 20

Time: 11 AM

TV/Stream: B1G+

Radio: 95.3 BOB FM

Live Stats:


The Boilermakers could not find their rhythm on the offensive end in a 76-39 loss at No. 14/12 Notre Dame on Sunday. Abbey Ellis led the way for Purdue with eight points, while Mary Ashley Stevenson grabbed six rebounds. On the defensive end, Purdue held the Irish to their third-lowest scoring tally of the year and forced 17 turnovers. Notre Dame took advantage of 21 Boilermaker miscues to score 26 points.


• Indian State leads the all-time series with Purdue 11-10. The Sycamores won 10 of the first 11 meetings between 1975 and 1981. Has won nine of the last 10 matchups dating back to 1981. The two clubs have met just once this century, when Purdue downed Indiana State 77-54 in Mackey Arena last year.

• Voice of the Boilermakers Tim Newton will call his 1,000th game on the radio for Purdue Women’s Basketball on Wednesday morning. In his 34th season, Newton provided the memorable line as time expired when Purdue won the national championship in 1999. Newton has called 25 NCAA Tournament appearances, 16 Big Ten Tournament and regular season titles. Purdue is 680-319 with Newton on the air.

• The Boilermakers are a perfect 5-0 in home games this season with an average margin of victory at 24.4 points per game. Five players have averaged double figures over those five games, as Purdue shot 48.3% and dished out 19.2 assists at home.

• Mary Ashley Stevenson is one of two freshmen in the Big Ten (Natalie Potts, Nebraska) averaging five points and five rebounds per game. The rookie from New York City has grabbed five or more boards in each of the last five games.

• Abbey Ellis saw her streak of 10 games in double figures ended last Sunday at Notre Dame. The Australian sits 19th in the Big Ten with 13.7 points per game, while ranking third in the league with a free throw clip of 87.2%.

• Jeanae Terry is one of three players in the Big Ten this season with more than five rebounds and assists per game at 7.1 rebounds and 5.8 assists per night. Terry is the only player in the Big Ten to rank in the league’s top 10 in rebounding and assists this season. The fifth-year senior is also one of five players nationally with more than seven rebounds and five assists per night.

• The Boilermakers have played solid defense this season, holding eight teams to 60 points or fewer, tying the Big Ten lead with Minnesota and ninth nationally. Since the season opener at No. 4 UCLA, Purdue has surrendered just 67 points per game.

• Madison Layden is shooting 46.9% from the field this year and 47.3% from distance. She is one of 11 players from major conferences to shoot over 45% in both categories this year.

• Purdue’s free throw percentage continues to remain one of the best in the Big Ten at 78.6%, good for second in the league and 19th nationally.

• Purdue enters Wednesday with 496 all-time victories at Mackey Arena.

• Jeanae Terry is the second Big Ten player to join the 800-rebound, 600-assist, 200-steal club, joining Iowa’s Samantha Logic.

The 2023-24 Purdue women’s basketball season is presented by Purdue Global, Purdue University’s online educational solution for working adults.



Illinois junior running back Reggie Love announced he would transfer to Purdue. Love has one season remaining of eligibility. Love played in 38 games and ran 242 times for 1,066 yards in his career at Illinois. This past year, he had a career-high 140 rushing yards and two touchdowns against Indiana.


Edge rusher CJ Madden has transferred to Purdue. Madden comes to West Lafayette from Georgia. He will have three years eligibility remaining. Madden is  6-4, 230 pounds and was a 247Sports four-star prospect coming out of Cedar Grove High School. At the time he was considered the No. 13 linebacker prospect in the nation.


Joey Tanona, offensive lineman

Corey Stewart, offensive lineman

Jamarius Dinkins, defensive line

DJ Wingfield, offensive lineman

Rod Green, offensive lineman

Shitta Sillah, defensive end

Jaekwon Bouldin, offensive line

C.J. Madden, outside linebacker/edge

Reggie Love III, running back

Kam Brown, receiver



SOUTH BEND, Ind. – It was a back-and-forth first half between Notre Dame men’s basketball and Citadel, which featured five lead changes and five ties. The Fighting Irish (4-7) trailed 32-29 at the half, scored the first six points of the second half, then it was a downward spiral after which the Bulldogs (7-5) fired off a 23-4 scoring run. Citadel ultimately took the contest 65-45. It marked a season low in points for the Irish.

The bright spot for the Irish tonight was J.R. Konieczny who netted an 18-point, 10-rebound, double-double. It marked his third double-double of the season and the 18 points tied his career high.

Markus Burton was the lone other player in double figures with 13 points. He continues to lead the team in said category, earning his ninth game with double-digit points.


Citadel got off to a 13-9 advantage in which nine of those points were scored off of Notre Dame turnovers; meanwhile, the Irish started 3-for-11 from the field. Notre Dame gained some steam by relentlessly attacking the offensive glass. That ultimately led to a 7-0 ND run which gave the home squad the lead at 16-13.

Citadel’s Quentin Millora-Brown started 5-for-5 from the field which helped the Bulldogs reclaim the lead and tally their own 7-0 run to go up 20-16.

Then it became the J.R. Konieczny show. He was in double figures by the 6:08 mark. In addition, he recorded a stretch in which he scored nine of the team’s next 11 points (or 11 of the team’s next 16). As a result, the Irish went back on top at 27-26.

Yet, the back-and-forth battle continued with the Bulldogs surging before the half to garner a 32-29 lead at the break. It was a three-headed monster for Citadel at the midway point, with Millora-Brown leading with 11, Elijah Morgan with 10 and Madison Durr with nine. On the flip side, Konieczny (14 points) and Burton (7 points) were carrying the load, combining for 21 of the team’s 29 points.

Notre Dame started 3-for-3 in the second half and their 6-0 run prompted an immediate timeout from Citadel head coach Ed Conroy. The Bulldogs responded by forcing five Irish turnovers over a four-minute span, resulting in a 9-0 run to go up 41-35. The floodgates then opened up as Citadel extended its run to 23-4 over the next 10 minutes.  

Alex Wade and walk-on Raheem Braiton got some minutes at this point in the game with Wade noticeably recording some great defensive moments. Unfortunately, the offensive woes were too great as the Irish netted just 16 second-half points. 


The final game before the holiday break takes place on Friday, Dec. 22, when the Irish host Marist at 8 p.m. ET inside Purcell Pavilion.



Butler used a late first-half run and a solid performance from Posh Alexander to capture a 74-64 win over Georgetown Tuesday night at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Alexander led the Bulldogs with 13 points, seven assists and five steals. Butler scored 13 of the final 15 first-half points to take control of the game.

With the win – which is the seventh straight for the Bulldogs – Butler improves to 10-2 on the season.

Georgetown falls to 7-5. The game served as the BIG EAST opener for both teams.

COACH THAD MATTA: (On the team’s play late in the first half) “I said to Posh, would you please get this thing to double digits for me by halftime? And he said ‘Coach, don’t worry about it. I got you.’ And he did. We were just sort of trading (baskets) and I thought we had a spurt in us. We went back with our starters over the last four minutes and those guys did a heck of a job.”


The Bulldogs closed the first half on a 13-2 run to take a 40-27 halftime lead. Butler led by as many as 15 in the latter stages of the first half.

Six straight points by the Bulldogs extended Butler’s lead to 54-38 with 11:12 to play, which was the largest advantage of the game.

Georgetown trimmed the lead to only eight at 60-52 with 6:57 remaining before the Bulldogs took control one last time with seven straight points.


Butler now has won seven games in a row.

The Bulldogs are now 8-0 at home this season.

Alexander led the Bulldogs with 13 points, seven assists and a season-best five steals. His five steals were one shy of his career-best.

Butler owned a 46-22 advantage in points in the paint and won the battle of the boards, 37-29.

Pierre Brooks II added 13 points, fighting through a 4-for-10 shooting performance. He has scored in double figures in every game this season.

After hitting a season-high 15 three-pointers in the team’s most recent outing Friday against Saginaw Valley, the Bulldogs were only able to go 4-for-18 from behind the arc Tuesday night in the BIG EAST opener.

Butler shot 16-for-18 from the free throw line Tuesday night. Butler’s 78.5-percent free throw percentage entering the game was tenth nationally. The Bulldogs have shot 70 percent or better from the free throw line in every game this season.

Jahmyl Telfort and DJ Davis each scored 12 points for Butler. Davis left the game early in the second half due to an ankle injury and did not return.

Jalen Thomas had a game-high eight rebounds to go along with eight points and two blocks.

Butler shot 46 percent from the field.

Georgetown shot 39 percent from the field, and had eight assists against only 13 turnovers.

Dontrez Styles led Georgetown with 19 points.

The Bulldogs were without sophomore forward Connor Turnbull, who sustained a left elbow injury in recent days. He is out indefinitely.

Butler now leads the all-time series with Georgetown, 12-11.

UP NEXT: Tuesday’s contest concluded a five-game homestand for the Bulldogs, who next travel to Providence Saturday. The noon tip will air on FS1. Following a Jan. 2 game at St. John’s, the Bulldogs return to Hinkle Fieldhouse Friday, Jan. 5 for a game against defending national champion UConn.



NEW YORK – Butler outfielder Joey Urban was selected to the 2024 Baseball Preseason All-BIG EAST Team after a vote from the conference head coaches. Each preseason major award went to UConn as Jake Studley captured Player of the Year accolades and Stephen Quigley was tabbed Pitcher of the Year. UConn edged Xavier for the top spot in the preseason team poll. Seton Hall rounded out the top three and Butler came in at seventh.

Urban was the BIG EAST Freshman of the Year in 2023 after leading the Bulldogs hits, doubles, RBI’s, total bases, slugging percentage and runs scored. A starter in all 55 games, Urban led BU with 19 multi-hit games and had multiple RBI’s in nine games for the Bulldogs. He ended the season on a 10-game hitting streak and reached base safely in 11-straight games.

At the end of the 2023 regular season, Urban ranked fourth in the BIG EAST with 17 doubles. He added three triples and six home runs to help lead Butler with 66 total hits. Urban held the second-highest batting average on the team at .296 and he led the club in runs scored (37) and RBI (35). His 26 extra base hits raised his slugging percentage to .480. He also walked 20 times in 2023 to raise his on-base percentage to .364.

Urban was the only BIG EAST player to earn a spot on Collegiate Baseball’s Freshman All-America Team. He was the first Bulldog to earn the recognition since Tyler Houston in 2015.

Butler added 22 new student-athletes to the roster over the off-season and will open up the 2024 campaign in Tallahassee this year with a three-game series against Florida State. Single games against the Seminoles are lined up for Feb. 16-18.

Preseason Player of the Year

Jake Studley, OF, UConn

Preseason Pitcher of the Year

Stephen Quigley, SP, UConn

Preseason All-BIG EAST Team*

C – Owen Carapellotti, Georgetown

1B – Matt McCormick, Xavier ^

2B – Jared Cushing, Xavier

3B – Grant Stephenson, Xavier ^

SS – Max Viera, Seton Hall

DH – Jack Grace, Creighton

OF – Joey Urban, Butler

OF – Jake Studley, UConn ^

OF – Devin Hack, Seton Hall

SP – Garrett Coe, UConn

SP – Stephen Quigley, UConn ^

SP – Dominic Cancellieri, Creighton

SP – Cody Bowker, Georgetown

SP – Luke Hoskins, Xavier

RP – Ryan Reich, Seton Hall

^ – denotes unanimous selection

* due to a tie in voting, there is an extra member on the preseason all-conference team.

2024 BIG EAST Baseball Preseason Poll

First place votes in ( )

1.  UConn (6) – 48

2.  Xavier (2) – 44

3.  Seton Hall – 35

4.  Creighton – 29

4.  Georgetown – 29

6.  St. John’s – 17

7.  Butler – 14

8.  Villanova – 8



NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. – The Ball State women’s basketball team (8-2) opened play at the Sun Coast Challenge with a 73-62 victory over ACC foe Pitt (5-6) Tuesday afternoon in the PHSC West Campus.

Today’s win marks the second-straight time and season the Ball State women’s basketball team has defeated Pitt.

Ball State head coach Brady Sallee has now defeated six Power 5 conference teams during his tenure with the Cardinals — Minnesota (54-51, 2012-13), Iowa (77-72, 2015-16), Vanderbilt (88-79, 2017-18), Purdue (66-60, 2017-18), Pitt (68-66, 2022-23) and Pitt (73-62, 2023-24).

Ball State was in the driver’s seat most of the contest, as the Cardinals had the lead over the Panthers for 30:50 of the game’s 40 minutes.

After Pitt opened the contest with a 7-0 run Ball State quickly answered back with 14 unanswered points to take a 14-7 edge over the Panthers at the 6:40 mark. Madelyn Bischoff went 3-of-4 from behind the arc while also getting some baskets from Ally Becki and Alex Richard during the Cardinals surge. Ball State led by eight (19-11) at the 3:02 mark. As time was winding down, the Panthers closed the first period of play with an 8-2 scoring spree that would give the Cardinals just a two-point (21-19) advantage to end the quarter.

It was an up-and-down affair in the second quarter of play up until the 2:10 mark when Bischoff drained her fourth 3-pointer of the game, shortly after Annie Rauch made one from inside the paint off the assist from Estel Puiggros. Puigross then nailed a half-court shot to end the first half at the buzzer to give Ball State the 40-33 lead over Pitt at intermission.

After the break, the Cardinals continued to stay atop of the Panthers. On a few occasions Pitt would creep its way back into the game but some key plays from Becki on both offense and defense allowed Ball State to go up by eight (53-45) as both teams headed into the final 10 minutes of action.

Ana Barreto opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer and a hook shot to give Ball State an 11-point cushion (58-47) over Pitt. The Panthers, despite their efforts, were unable to keep up with the Cardinals fast paced energy. The pace eventually allowed Ball State to take its largest lead of the game (69-52), which was capped off by two free throws from Richard.

All-in-all it was an overall team effort from Ball State that ultimately led to the Cardinals victory over the Panthers. Bischoff led Ball State with 18 points, while Becki wasn’t too far behind as she scored 17 on the day. Richard rounded out the double digit scoring with 15 points. Defensively, Marie Kiefer pulled down 10 rebounds.

For the game, the Cardinals had their best showing from the charity stripe shooting 90 percent (18-20) from the line. Ball State, who rank 26th in the nation in steals, had 10 today behind Nyla Hampton who led the squad with three.  Ball State also out-rebounded Pitt (41-30).

The Ball State women’s basketball team continues its two-game event at the Sun Coast Challenge when it faces the Georgia Bulldogs Thursday at noon.



TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State men’s basketball end the 2023 calendar year triumph in a Tuesday night victory over Tennessee State, 90-69. ISU moves to 11-1 with its 10th-straight win this season, the first double-digit winning streak in the Coach Schertz era with the Sycamores.

Julian Larry led the game with 19 points on 3-for-5 from the floor and converted 13 made free throws, while dishing out a game-high six assists and recording three rebounds.

Robbie Avila and Xavier Bledson each recorded a double-double in the game. Avila scored all of his 18 points in the second half (3-for-4 from beyond the arc), grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds, tallied five assists, and swatted two Tiger shots. Bledson came off the bench and earned his first double-double at ISU, he scored 16 points and recorded a season-high 10 rebounds. Bledson knocked down four three-pointers for the first time in his collegiate career.

Jayson Kent scored in double figures for the 11th time this season in ISU’s 12 games on the year. Kent tallied 15 points, including two more massive dunks. Isaiah Swope rounded out the five Sycamores in double figures with 14 points and three triples.

The Sycamores broke open a 58-57 lead with a massive 16-0 run in 4:18 with five different Sycamores scoring at least one basket en route to the 71-58 advantage with 7:31 to play. Larry began with two-straight driving layups, followed by Swope stretching the lead with a pair of free throws. Bledson knocked down one of his four threes, which Kent followed up with a block, leading to an Avila fast-break layup at the opposite end. Kent gave the Sycamores a 10-point lead with a massive one-handed dunk, followed by another Bledson triple.

Following the run, Indiana State held the lead by knocking down eight of their next nine free throws to build the lead out in the next four minutes before Kent’s second dunk put the exclamation point on the game. Avila secured ISU’s 90th point for the third time in the last four games with a three-pointer with 39 seconds remaining.

In the first half, neither the Sycamores nor the Tigers could establish a solid lead. Indiana State garnered a 10-point lead with 7:30 left, but TSU battled to tie the game at 33 with 3:12 remaining before ISU took a four-point, 42-38 lead into the break.

News & Notes

Indiana State’s 10-game winning streak marks the first double-digit winning streak in the Coach Schertz era with the Sycamores.

The double-digit streak is the first ISU streak to hit 10-plus games since the 1978-79 season when ISU won its first 33 games on the Sycamores’ way to playing Michigan State in the 1979 National Championship game.

The 10-game winning streak marked just the 10th time in Indiana State’s 127-year history (dating back to 1896) that ISU has posted a double-digit winning streak.

Robbie Avila’s 18-point, 14-rebound double-double marked the second in his collegiate career and first since he posted 16 points and 11 rebounds against Trinity Christian on November 27, 2022.

Xavier Bledson posted his first double-double in the Sycamores Blue & White on Tuesday night with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Both Avila and Bledson’s double-doubles marked the first time two Sycamores posted a double-double in the same game since Courvoisier McCauley (23 points, 10 rebounds) and Trenton Gibson (18 points, 11 rebounds) achieved the feat on November 7, 2022, against Green Bay.

Tuesday’s game marked the sixth time in the 2023-24 season that five or more Sycamores scored in double figures.

Julian Larry went 13-for-17 from the free throw line setting new career marks in both categories. His 13 made free throws marked the most by a Sycamore since Jake LaRavia converted 13 against Ball State back on December 19, 2020.

Robbie Avila’s 14 rebounds were a career high for the sophomore center and marked the most by a Sycamore since Jake LaRavia posted 14 rebounds against Valparaiso back on February 26, 2021.

ISU’s six blocked shots on Tuesday night equaled the most in the Josh Schertz era, tying the six blocks the Sycamores recorded against Missouri State back on February 15, 2022.

The Sycamores made 31 free throws marked the second time ISU has converted 30 or more free throws in the Josh Schertz era, and the most made free throws by an Indiana State team since the Sycamores made 36-of-46 attempts in an overtime win over IUPUI on November 14, 2014.

Up Next

The Sycamores take a short break for the holiday season, but return to the hardwood for the rematch of the 1979 NCAA national championship against Michigan State on December 30th. This is the first time the Sycamores and Spartans will square off but will be the second time the Sycamores tipoff in East Lansing. The 2003-04 Sycamores played in a tournament in East Lansing but did not face the Spartans.



TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State closes the non-conference portion of its schedule Wednesday morning when it faces Purdue.

Tipoff from Mackey Arena is set for 11 a.m., with the game being carried on BTN+.

Last Time Out

Kiley Bess led Indiana State with 18 points Sunday night, but the Sycamores’ fourth-quarter comeback fell one possession short in a 65-62 loss at Ohio.

Chelsea Cain added 13 for the Sycamores, while Chloe Williams scored a career-high 10 off the bench. Bella Finnegan had nine points, six rebounds and a game-high six assists, while Mya Glanton had seven points and a team-leading eight rebounds.

Indiana State jumped out to an early lead, but Ohio closed each of the first two quarters strong and took a slim one-point lead into the intermission. The home side pushed their lead to nine late in the third quarter as Indiana State had turnover woes and came up empty-handed from the charity stripe on multiple occasions, but the Trees battled back. Indiana State opened the fourth quarter on a 13-5 run to take the lead with less than five minutes remaining, but turnovers haunted the Sycamores late as Ohio protected home court.


Indiana State’s defense was a major factor in the Sycamores’ 65-57 win over Southeast Missouri State. The Sycamores limited SEMO to a 19-for-51 performance from the field (37.5 percent), while the Redhawks hit just one 3-pointer against the Sycamores.

Indiana State also forced 19 Southeast Missouri State turnovers and was plus-seven (33-26) in rebound margin against the Redhawks.

Road Trippin’

Indiana State is in the midst of a five-game road trip, which started Sunday at Ohio. During the stretch away from home, the Sycamores also face Purdue and open conference play with road games at Evansville, Drake and Northern Iowa.

Three of Indiana State’s four wins this season have come away from home (two road, one neutral site), while the Sycamores have averaged nearly 70 points per game in their first four road games this season.

Power Five Play

Wednesday’s game is the second against a Power Five opponent for Indiana State this season, as the Sycamores previously faced Missouri on Nov. 9.

Indiana State is 0-3 against Power Five opponents under head coach Chad Killinger, including an 0-2 mark against the Big Ten (0-1 vs. Nebraska, 0-1 vs. Purdue). The Sycamores’ last win over a Power Five foe was against Indiana during the 2014-15 season. Indiana State has a pair of wins over Big East foes since then as well (2014-15 at St. John’s, 2015-16 vs. Butler).

Crashing The Glass

Indiana State has been one of the best rebounding teams in the MVC this season, as the Sycamores are the only team in the conference to rank in the top three in offensive rebounds (first, 14.4), total rebounds (second, 41.6) and rebound margin (second, plus-6.2).

The Sycamores’ rebounding has been a balanced effort, as seven different players average three or more rebounds per game for the Trees. Mya Glanton leads the way with 8.0 rebounds per game, including a conference-leading 4.1 offensive rebounds per game.

Magic Numbers

Indiana State has been tough to beat when scoring 70 or more points under Chad Killinger. The Sycamores have scored 70-plus points 18 times under Killinger and are 15-3 in those games, including a 2-0 mark this season. Included in that mark is an 8-0 record when scoring 80 or more points. Indiana State has won those eight games by an average of 19 points.

The Sycamores have also been hard to beat when their opponents fail to put up high point totals. Indiana State is 14-4 over the last two seasons when allowing fewer than 60 points, including a 4-0 mark in games where the Trees allowed less than 50 points and a 2-0 mark this season. All of Indiana State’s wins when allowing less than 50 points have come by double-digits.

Purdue at a Glance

Purdue enters Wednesday’s game at 6-5 overall and 0-1 in Big Ten play. The Boilermakers are coming off consecutive losses on the road to Minnesota and No. 14/12 Notre Dame.

Abbey Ellis leads the Boilermakers in scoring at 13.7 points per game, while Rashunda Jones, Madison Layden and Caitlyn Harper are all averaging double-digit scoring. Jeanae Terry leads Purdue with 7.1 rebounds and nearly six assists per game.

Former All-American guard Katie Gearlds is in the third season at the helm of her alma mater and has a 42-31 record as the head coach at Purdue. The Boilermakers are coming off a season in which they reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2017. Gearlds was previously the head coach at Marian (Ind.), where she went 228-50 in eight seasons at the helm.

Series History Against Purdue

Indiana State leads the all-time series 17-11, though Purdue is 9-1 in the last 10 meetings and has won each of the last seven matchups between the teams.

Last Meeting Against Purdue (Nov. 20, 2022)

Del’Janae Williams had a game-high 18 points, but a lengthy Purdue run across the last two quarters gave the Boilermakers a 77-54 win over Indiana State inside Mackey Arena.

Natalia Lalic added eight points off the bench, while Adrian Folks had six. Anna McKendree had five points, six rebounds, three assists and five steals for the Sycamores.

Indiana State gave Purdue fits throughout the first half and took the lead late in the first quarter. The Sycamores led by as many as four early in the second, but a Boilermaker run gave Purdue a lead it never relinquished. A 31-7 Purdue run spanning all of the third and part of the fourth quarter put the game out of reach.

Up Next

Indiana State opens MVC play December 30 at Evansville, with tipoff scheduled for 7 p.m.



EVANSVILLE, Ind. – A span of three games over a span of five days concludes on Wednesday when the University of Evansville men’s basketball team faces Tennessee Tech at the Ford Center.  Tip is set for 7 p.m. with ESPN+ and the Purple Aces Radio Network having the coverage.

Looking at the Start

– Sitting at 9-2, the Purple Aces are off to their best start since 2017 when the program won 10 of its first 12 games

– Evansville has won its first five home games for the first time since 2018; UE opened each season between 2015 and 2018 with wins in their opening five home contests

Last Time Out

– Once again, contributions came from everywhere on Monday as the Aces defeated UT Martin by a score of 98-91

– Five UE players reached double figures with Kenny Strawbridge Jr. registering a season-high 21 points

– Tanner Cuff set his career mark with 14 points and came close to a triple double, adding 8 assists and 8 caroms

– Ben Humrichous and Yacine Toumi scored 15 apiece while Chuck Bailey III finished with 12

Make it Three

– When the Missouri Valley Conference announced its weekly awards on Dec. 18, Chuck Bailey III was named the Freshman of the Week for the third time in 2023

– In the win at Bellarmine, he scored 12 points and had a 4-point play that broke a tie in the final four minutes to give the Aces a lead they would not give up

– He followed that up with 12 points against UT Martin while adding 6 rebounds

– Bailey is fourth on the squad with 10.0 points per contest

Doing It All

– Monday’s game versus the Skyhawks saw Tanner Cuff put together the top game of his collegiate career

– He finished with a career-high 14 points along with 8 boards and 8 assists

– With 39 assists against 10 turnovers, he paces the MVC with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.90; that tally is 10th in the NCAA

– Cuff has multiple assists in 7 of the last 8 games with his top total of eight coming at MSU and vs. UTM

– Over the last two games, Cuff has gone a perfect 10-for-10 inside the arc


– Scoring seven of UE’s first 10 points against the Skyhawks, Kenny Strawbridge Jr. finished the game with a season-high 21 points

– His previous season mark of 17 came in the Nov. 25 win over SEMO

– In the second half of the Nov. 18 win over Ball State, Kenny Strawbridge Jr. reached the 1,000-point mark in his D1 career

Scouting the Opponent

– Tennessee Tech comes to Evansville with a 2-game win streak that has improved their record to 5-7 on the season

– The Golden Eagles are coming off a 70-67 win over North Alabama on Saturday

– Four players average double figures for TTU with Jayvis Harvey pacing the team with 16.4 PPG

– He is a 45.7% shooter from the field and holds the team lead with 37 assists

– David Early posts a 15.5 PPG average while Rodney Johnson Jr. and Josiah Davis average 13.1 and 10.8 points, respectively

– Johnson is the leading rebounder with 6.6 per contest



EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana Men’s Basketball snapped a three-game losing streak with a big 79-47 victory over the University of St. Francis (Illinois) Tuesday evening at Screaming Eagles Arena. The Screaming Eagles rise to 3-9 after tonight’s action, while the Fighting Saints are 2-5 in 2023-24.

Following an extremely slow start by both teams, USI exploded on an 18-6 run midway through the opening half to take control, 23-11. Sophomore guard Ryan Hall (Kettering, Ohio) led the charge with a pair of three-point field goals, while sophomore guard/forward AJ Smith (Edwardsville, Illinois) and senior forward/center Nolan Causwell (Duluth, Georgia) added five points and four points, respectively, during the run.

The Saint climbed back into the contest with a 11-4 spurt to close the gap to 27-22 with 2:53 on the first half clock before the Eagles could take back control. USI scored seven of the final 11 points of the half to lead 34-26 at the break.

Sophomore guard Jack Campion (Milton, Wisconsin) and Smith led the USI offensive attack during the first half with seven points each.

After the start of the second half, it was all USI as the Eagles went on a 13-0 run to lead 47-27 and held the Saints scoreless for the first 7:21 of the final half. Junior forward Jack Mielke (Downers Grove, Illinois) led the Eagles in the run with six of the 13 points.

USI continued to expand its lead to as many as 32 points in cruising to the 79-47 victory. The Eagles’ defense held the Saints to 28.6 percent from the field in the second half (8-28) and 35.8 percent from outside (19-53) for the game. Offensively, USI shot 59.3 percent from the field in the final 20 minutes (16-27), 63.6 percent from beyond the arc (7-11).

Individually, Mielke had 15 second half points and led USI in scoring with a career-high 18 points. The junior forward was a blistering six-of-eight from beyond the arc to lead the way.

Smith followed Mielke with 16 points and a game-high nine rebounds. The sophomore guard/forward was four-of-eight from the field, including a pair of three-point field goals, and six-of-seven from the stripe.

Hall rounded out the double-digit scorers for the Eagles with a season-high 13 points, adding seven in the second half. He had the hot hand tonight, hitting five-of-seven from the field, including three-of-four from outside the arc.

Next Up For USI:

The Eagles conclude the non-conference portion of the 2023-24 schedule December 22 when they visit Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois. The Salukis are 7-4 overall after snapping their two-game skid with a 76-63 win over North Dakota State University this evening in Carbondale.

The Eagles posted their first victory over the Salukis and in NCAA Division I play with a 71-53 win at Screaming Eagles Arena last season. Guard Jelani Simmons led the Eagles with 18 points. SIU leads the all-time series with USI, 3-1, dating back to 1981.



The Valparaiso University men’s basketball team fell 79-61 to Samford in the final game prior to the Christmas holiday on Tuesday afternoon at the Athletics-Recreation Center. Freshman Cooper Schwieger (Overland Park, Kan. / Blue Valley Southwest [Link Year]) topped the team with 15 points, while fellow rookie Kaspar Sepp (Tartu, Estonia / Fairmont Academy) hauled in a game-high 11 rebounds.

How It Happened

Valpo scored the game’s first five points including a 3-pointer by Schwieger and held the Bulldogs off the scoreboard for the first four minutes of the contest.

The Beacons led 7-2 after a basket by Connor Barrett (Chicago, Ill. / Loyola Academy), but Samford embarked on a 10-0 run to flip a five-point Beacon lead into a five-point deficit at 12-7 with 12:47 to go in the first half.

Barrett buried a big 3 with 11:20 remaining in the half to cut the lead to two, then a basket by Jaxon Edwards (Indianapolis, Ind. / Cathedral [Murray State]) tied the game at 16.

The guests scored six straight to get back in front, then used another 8-0 run to balloon the gap to 12 at 30-18 with 4:22 on the first-half clock.

Valpo went into halftime trailing 35-27.

Edwards hit a 3 early in the second half to cut the lead to seven, and Valpo got to within six in the first three minutes of the second half. Sherman Weatherspoon IV (Bowie, Md. / Bethesda-Chevy Chase [Golden State Prep]) hit a triple with 14:06 to play to again reduce the gap to six.

Another Bulldog burst built the lead to 15 by the midway mark of the half. Valpo could get no closer than 12 down the stretch.

Inside the Game

Schwieger scored 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds on an efficient 6-of-8 shooting. This marked his first double-figure scoring output in the last four contests and his seventh time in double figures this year.

The rookie’s seven rebounds marked his most in the last six games. It’s the fifth time this year that he’s grabbed at least seven boards.

Sepp had six points on 3-of-6 shooting while making his first collegiate start. His biggest statistical impact came in the rebounding department as his 11 boards marked his second double-figure rebounding output this season, joining 12 at Central Michigan.

Valpo altered its starting lineup for the first time this season. This marked the first time that Valpo held the same starting five for each of the season’s first 11 games since 2012-13, when the Brown & Gold also switched things up for Game 12, like this year.

DeAveiro handed out a season-high 10 assists, his eighth straight game with five or more. His assist total tied a career high set on Nov. 13, 2022 vs. Western Michigan.

Samford extended its winning streak to 10 games and improved to 10-2 on the season. The Bulldogs entered the game ranked third in the country in scoring offense at 91.5 points per game. Valpo held Samford to 79, its first time under 88 points in the last six games and tied for the team’s lowest scoring output during the 10-game winning streak.

Samford presses regularly and forces a significant number of turnovers, but Valpo gave it away just 10 times on Tuesday. This was the fewest turnovers made by a Samford opponent all season.

Each team had 10 turnovers as Valpo has lost the turnover battle just twice in 12 games this year.

The 10 turnovers were an improvement from last year’s game at Samford, when Valpo gave it away 17 times in a 79-49 setback. The Beacons trailed that game by 30 at halftime versus trailing by only eight at the break on Tuesday.

Valpo attempted 30 3-pointers, its highest attempt total against a Division-I opponent this season and highest since the season opener vs. Trinity Christian (33). The Beacons made just six of their 30 attempts on Tuesday.

Samford shot a robust 67.9 percent from the field after halftime (19-of-28) to finish the game at 50.8 percent. Valpo shot 35.4 percent for the afternoon.

The Beacons shot 81.8 percent from the free-throw line (9-of-11), while Samford shot just 45.5 percent at the stripe (5-of-11).



The Valpo women’s basketball team opened the Holiday Hoops Classic in DeLand, Fla. Tuesday afternoon, falling to Bethune-Cookman in a neutral-site matchup, 61-35. A 3-pointer early in the third quarter by Olivia Brown (East Grand Rapids, Mich./East Grand Rapids [St. Bonaventure]) moved her past the 1,000-point milestone for her collegiate career.

How It Happened

Early baskets from Saniya Jackson (Fort Wayne, Ind./Northrop) and Ava Interrante (McHenry, Ill./McHenry) had the Beacons within 6-4 four minutes into the game.

Bethune-Cookman went on a 9-0 run over the remainder of the first quarter to pull out to a 15-4 lead at the end of one.

The Wildcats pushed their lead to 13 early in the second quarter before the Beacons were able to cut into it, getting within eight with 3:49 to play in the first half on a bucket by Nevaeh Jackson (Fort Wayne, Ind./Northrop).

Bethune-Cookman scored the final two baskets of the half, however, to lead 23-11 at intermission.

Brown connected on a 3-pointer 1:37 into the third quarter for her milestone point. It was also the first basket for either team in the second half, cutting the deficit to single digits.

Valpo was still within nine at 27-18 following an Interrante driving layup with 7:03 to play in the third period, but in a two-minute span between media timeouts, the Wildcats put nine straight points on the board to push their lead to 18.

Bethune-Cookman led 45-24 at the end of the third quarter, and Valpo was unable to close to any closer than 18 points in the final period.

Inside the Game

Brown reached 1,000 collegiate points in her 119th game overall and her 68th game at Valpo. She closed the afternoon with 1,006 career points, 640 of which have come at Valpo.

The Beacons shot just 22.4% (11-of-49) from the floor on Tuesday, including a 2-of-23 mark from 3-point range.

Interrante paced Valpo with eight points, hitting four of her five attempts inside the arc, while Brown’s seven points were second-best on the team.

Nevaeh Jackson led the Beacon effort on the glass with nine rebounds and Saniya Jackson pulled down six boards, both of which were season highs for the freshmen.

The Valpo defense limited Bethune-Cookman to 35.4% shooting (23-of-65), the lowest field goal percentage by a Beacon opponent this year. The Beacons also held the Wildcats to just two triples.

Bethune-Cookman did grab 18 offensive rebounds, however, which it turned into 24 second-chance points.

Next Up

Valpo (1-7) has a quick turnaround in search of a rebound Wednesday morning, as the Beacons come right back and face host Stetson at 10 a.m. CT. The game can be seen live on ESPN+.



Oakland City, Ind. – The Marian women’s basketball team notched their ninth consecutive win Tuesday night in southern Indiana, taking down Oakland City by a 76-63 final score. Ella Collier poured in a game-high 25 points in Marian’s win, as they move to 11-1 on the season.

Marian’s wire-to-wire win started out with an effective first quarter, as they raced to an 14-4 lead within the first three minutes of the game. The Knights’ defense led to offense as they forced three early turnovers, but Oakland City would find a response over the next three minutes as they charged back within a single point. A layup from Aliyah Evans with 3:50 to play in the opening quarter helped end the 9-0 run for the Mighty Oaks, putting Marian back in control. The Knights would score the final six points of the first quarter as their defense came back to form, leading 20-13 after one quarter.

A three-point make from Tamia Perryman on Marian’s first possession of the second quarter pushed their lead back to double-digits, and started a one-sided quarter as they held a 19-10 advantage over the second 10 minutes of play. Marian held the Mighty Oaks scoreless for the first four minutes of the second period, and three point makes from Olivia Faust and Ella Collier helped Marian take a comfortable 39-23 lead going into halftime.

In the third quarter Marian came out in charge and pushed their lead to 17 in the first three minutes behind scores from Sara Majorosova and Kinnidy Garrard, but were unable to stack their lead as Oakland City matched the scoring. The Mighty Oaks used a 5-0 sprint in the quarter to get back within 10 points, and continued to trade points with Marian over the final three minutes of the stanza to stay within striking distance. A pair of foul shots from Abbey McNally in the waning seconds helped Marian hold a 58-48 lead going into the fourth quarter, with the Mighty Oaks still aiming to mount a comeback.

Oakland City continued to battle with Marian as the fourth quarter started, answering jumpers scored by Allison Bosse and Ella Collier to reach within eight points. The Mighty Oaks would commit a shooting foul on Collier with 6:18 to play in the game, turning the game back in favor of Marian as the senior knocked down both shots and sparked a 9-1 run that last just over three minutes of game time. Marian’s defense limited their opposition to zero makes from the floor in the run on five attempts, as they pulled away and put the game to rest. An open layup on a full-court pass from Aliyah Evans and free throws from Collier helped the Knights ride out the win, as they ended the game on top 76-63.

Collier ended the game with a game-high 25 points, adding seven rebounds to her stat line for the game. Abbey McNally scored 13 points and added 14 rebounds for her third double-double of the campaign. Bosse and Garrard finished the game nine points each, and Perryman and Evans combined for 13 of the team’s 16 bench points.

The Knights will return to action after the Christmas holiday, sitting idle for 11 days before their final non-conference game of the regular season when they travel to Concordia (Mich.). The tip-off in Ann Arbor will be set for 1:00 p.m. when the schedule resumes on December 30.
























HOLY CROSS ATHLETICS:                                                                                                                                                                            




14Trail Blazers7-19.26913.5107.7114.23-94-103-151-43-7W1



YClinched Division

XClinched Playoffs


1Golden Knights21-7-54733174111687297-2-1L1


December 20, 1925 – The NFL Title is Stripped from its top Team –

The Chicago Cardinals with an 11-2-1 record win an extremely controversial National Football League Championship Title. Boy does this story get deep in a hurry. On December 6, 1925 the Chicago Cardinals faced the other top tier team in the NFL that season, the Pottsville Maroons. Pottsville is a small town about 85 miles Northwest of Philadelphia. The first year in the League, Maroons were on fire in the NFL boasting a 9-2 record going into the Cardinal match up. The Pottsville eleven were a gritty bunch made up of mostly coal miners around the area who had dominated the regional coal football leagues referred to as the Anthracite League.  In 1924 a local Pottsville business owner, John Striegel,   sponsored the team. According to a Penn State Library story on the Maroons, just before the first game of the 1924 season in the Anthracite League, owner John Striegel decided the team needed new jerseys and quickly ordered 25 from a local sporting goods store. Striegel told the store owner that the color was not important. The team was sent 25 maroon colored jerseys, and they became known as the Pottsville Maroons immediately thereafter.  The Maroons applied to play in the NFL for 1925 and the community footed the entry fee as they raised money for the NFL franchise costs.

The Maroons were in for some stiff competition on December 6, as the Chicago Cardinals themselves entered the December 6 game posting a respectable 9-1-1 record themselves. This game was billed as the NFL championship of sorts when the top two teams squared off so late in the season and remember there was no formal title game in the League then, it was the team with the best winning percentage who claimed the title. Pottsville soundly defeated the Cardinals in the game by the score of 21-7 and then won their final game to end the season with an 11-2 record. That should be the end of the story right? Pottsville wins the 1925 Championship. Unfortunately in the drama that was the early NFL that was not the case as controversy was brewing nearby. The Penn State site tells the story well;

“The Frankford Yellow Jackets were, in 1925, the top professional football attraction in Philadelphia. Frankford is about 7 miles Northeast of downtown Philly.  Earlier in the season, the Yellow Jackets had upset the Pottsville Maroons at home by a score of 20-0. Believing they were the inevitable 1925 champions, the Frankford team signed a contract with a Philadelphia promoter that allowed the best NFL team in Pennsylvania, whoever it might be, to play a non-league game against a team of former Notre Dame stars. The game would assuredly draw a large crowd and would generate plenty of ticket revenue for the NFL champion. After the Yellow Jackets were beaten by Pottsville later in the season, they lost the right to play the Notre Dame stars. When the Pottsville Maroons clinched the NFL title, they were eager to cash in on the exhibition game against the Notre Dame team. Instead of playing at the Maroons’ tiny home of Minersville Park, the game was scheduled at Shibe Park in Philadelphia. Pottsville expected a large turnout and wanted a full house in a large stadium. There, after a hard-fought and extremely tight game, Pottsville held on to beat the Notre Dame stars by a score of 9-7.”

The Frankford franchise was miffed and probably a bit embarrassed and jealous that they were not the ones to play the Irish stars and pocket the extra cash. Frankford protested to the NFL that the maroons had violated the territorial rights of the Yellow Jackets by playing the game so close and at the same time that Frankford was playing a game only a few minutes away. The Jackets claimed it took spectators away from their home game. NFL Commissioner  Joseph Carr agreed with Frankford and their protest. Allegedly Carr warned Pottsville 3 times prior to the game at Shibe Park with Notre Dame not to play the game. Since in Carr’s eyes they ignored his direction the Pottsville Maroons NFL rights were suspended, they were fined $500 and stripped of their title after playing the unsanctioned game. With Pottsville being eliminated in the standings the Cardinals end up having the highest winning percentage. Chicago, however, refused to accept the title stating that without winning it on the field they did not want it. The NFL however recognizes the Chicago Cardinals as the 1925 champs.

December 20, 1980 – NBC broadcasted a game with no announcers as they tried to be different. shares the story that in fact they only sounds that the TV audience would hear were the same sounds that were heard by fans in the stadium, the public address announcer, the cheers of the fans and maybe , just maybe a hotdog vendor or two. In the meaningless game the 4-12 New York Jets defeated the 8-8 Miami Dolphins, 24-17.

December 20, 1985 – Sportscaster Howard Cosell retires from television sports with ABC. On August 23, 1984 it was reported that Cosell had relinquished his job of broadcasting Monday Night Football. The New York Times article on the subject tells how Cosell would still be the host of an ABC Sports program called “SportsBeat.” Reports said that Howard was what he described as “disenchanted with the football mentality.” In an article it was reported that Howard Cosell fulfilled his contract with ABC to be a part of the MLB broadcasts, and he allegedly did so reluctantly. On December 20, 1985 Cosell formally retired with ABC, of whom he worked with for 20 years and relegated himself to radio only broadcasts the rest of his working days.

December 21, 1997 – Detroit Lions Running back Barry Sanders becomes just the player in NFL history to gain 200 yards or more in a season. Barry accomplished the milestone when he ran for 184 yards against the  New York Jets and the Lions used Barry’s offense to spark a 13-10 Detroit victory. Sanders finished the season with 2053 yards which was second only to Eric Dickerson’s 1984 mark of 2105 yards.

HOF Birthdays

December 20, 1867 – Minneapolis, Minnesota – William W. ”Pudge” Heffelfinger the legendary Yale Bulldogs guard was born. We have more on this legend below.

December 20, 1928 – Sublette, Kansas – The stalwart safety from Colorado State, Jack Christiansen was born. According to the site, Jack had an awesome 8 year career in the pros with the Detroit Lions as not only a defensive back but also as a respected return man. Christiansen was voted as All-NFL in six straight seasons, played in five Pro Bowls and was even the top player in League  interceptions in two seasons. At the 1970 Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony, Jack Christiansen was one of the players that received a Gold Jacket.

December 20, 1942 – Bob Hayes the talented speedster wide out from Florida A&M came into this world. The Dallas Cowboys used a futures pick in the 1964 NFL Draft to select Hayes but the Denver Broncos in the AFL did the same per the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s website bio. Bob was given the title of the “World’s Fastest Human” when at the 1964 Olympics he took home two Gold Medals in track. Bob chose to play with the Cowboys and he was voted as an All-NFL performer on either the first or second teams in four of his eleven seasons in the League. For his career Hayes had 71 touchdowns scored with 7414 yards receiving. In 2009 Bullet Bob Hayes was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

December 20, 1965 – Seattle , Washington – Mike Utley the guard from Washington State University was born. Mike was a consensus First Team All-America selection in 1988 and according to is the most decorated player ever for the Cougars. Mike Utley was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame by NFF voters in 2016.

Pudge Heffelfinger

December 20, 1867 – Minneapolis, Minnesota – William W. “Pudge” Heffelfinger, the legendary Yale Bulldogs guard, was born. The website bio describes Hefflefinger as being 6’-3″ tall and weighing in at 195 pounds. Let’s put that size into perspective because Cam Newton at quarterback is 6’-5″ and weighed 240 pounds. Still, in 1890 when Pudge played, he was extremely athletic and a giant among his peers. His size allowed him to destroy the blocks and defenses of opposing lines where it was said he would typically take out two to three players at a time. With his outstanding athleticism and the genius of Walter Camp, he also is credited with introducing the “pulling guard” play. The All- America selections originated in 1889 by Walter Camp, and Pudge was on this initial team. He repeated in 1890-91, his last two seasons at Yale. Yale was a significant football power during that era, and Pudge helped lead the Bulldog team to undefeated seasons in 1888 and 1891 and one-loss seasons during the 1889 and 1890 campaigns. The 1888 team amazingly outscored their opponents 698-0 that season! The National Football Foundation welcomed the collegiate career of Pudge Heffelfinger into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951. As great of a collegiate player as Pudge was, that’s not exactly what Pudge is best known for, though. After college Heffelfinger continued playing for independent teams, and on November 12, 1892, the Allegheny Athletic Association near Pittsburgh paid Pudge Heffelfinger the tidy sum of $500 to play just one game with them against their heated rivals, the Pittsburgh Athletic Club. The AAA with Pudge did win the game that day by the score of 4-0, according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


16 – 3 – 9 – 19 – 89 – 10 – 5 – 4 – 8 – 6

December 20,

December 20, 1938 – Boston Bruins rookie goalie Frankie Brimsek recorded his 3rd straight shutout with a 3-0 win over the New York Americans, making it his incredible sixth shutout in his first 8 NHL games

December 20, 1966 – NBA awarded the Seattle Supersonics a franchise for 1967-68 season

December 20, 1973 – Montreal Canadiens Number 16, Henri Richard scores his 1,000th NHL point

December 20, 1979 – Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Number 3, Behn Wilson scored with 4:08 remaining in regulation to earn a 1-1 tie with the Pittsburgh Penguins and equal NHL record for longest undefeated streak of 28 games; go on to break record and extend to 35 games

December 20, 1981 – Winnipeg left wing Number 9, Doug Smail set an NHL record by scoring just 4 seconds into Jets’ 5-4 win over the St Louis Blues; fastest goal from opening face-off to back of net in history; later tied by Number 19, Bryan Trottier and Number 89, Alex Mogilny

December 20, 1983 – Guy Lafleur, Number 10 of the Montreal Canadiens, became the 10th NHL skater to score 500 goals is a career

December 20, 1985 – New York Islanders legend, Number 5 Denis Potvin passed another hockey great in Number 4, Bobby Orr as NHL defenseman scorer (916 points)

December 20, 1991 – NHL granted permanent franchises to the Tampa Lightning and the Ottawa Senators

December 20, 1994 – Ballon d’Or: FC Barcelona’s Bulgarian forward Number 8, Hristo Stoichkov was named Europe’s best soccer player ahead of Juventus striker Number 10, Roberto Baggio and Milan defender Number 6, Paolo Maldini


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