INDIANA BOYS BASKETBALL SCORES

Alexandria 80 Muncie Burris 54
Barr-Reeve 62 Northeast Dubois 47
Ben Davis 74 Covenant Christian 47
Bethesda Christian 73 Traders Point Christian 31
Borden 44 West Washington 34
Breckenridge County (Ky.) 87 South Spencer 80 2OT
Calvary Christian 60 Mooresville Christian 58
Cambridge City Lincoln 64 Hagerstown 57
Carroll (Fort Wayne) 66 Fort Wayne North 60
Castle 59 Gibson Southern 55
Caston 45 Argos 44
Center Grove 60 Zionsville 49
Charlestown 63 Austin 50
Chesterton 68 Mishawaka 59
Christel House 75 Indianapolis Shortridge 24
Christian Academy 62 Henryville 51
Churubusco 58 Lakewood Park 55
Clinton Prairie 56 Eastern (Greentown) 52
Columbus Christian 69 Shawe Memorial 66
Columbus East 73 Silver Creek 68
Cowan 85 Union City 74
Crosspointe Christian 67 KIPP Indy Legacy 55
Crown Point 73 Andrean 54
Culver Academy 54 Victory Christian 42
Delphi 69 Clinton Central 68
Demotte Christian 73 Marquette Catholic 64
East Chicago Central 70 Lake Central 53
Eastern Hancock 69 Indianapolis Riverside 33
Edinburgh 58 Crothersville 39
Evansville Christian 70 Wood Memorial 33
Evansville Memorial 52 Mount Vernon (Posey) 42
Evansville North 55 Evansville Bosse 46
Fairfield 55 Bethany Christian 27
Fort Wayne Blackhawk 74 Fort Wayne Snider 73 OT
Fort Wayne Canterbury 56 Prairie Heights 43
Fort Wayne Concordia 48 Fort Wayne Northrop 32
Fort Wayne South 75 Fort Wayne Luers 71
Fort Wayne Wayne 58 Homestead 52
Fountain Central 76 Attica 27
Franklin Central 57 Greenwood 50
Fremont 86 Eastside 61
Gary 21st Century 79 Chicago Corliss (Ill.) 21
Gary West 70 Hanover Central 50
Hamilton 30 Smith Academy 20
Hammond Science & Tech 48 River Forest 46
Illiana Christian 71 Wheeler 40
Indianapolis Lutheran 50 Perry Meridian 42
Jasper 53 Evansville Mater Dei 35
Knightstown 63 Anderson Prep 60
Lafayette Central Catholic 75 Faith Christian 59
Lakeland 61 Goshen 56
Lapel 72 Heritage Christian 64 2OT
Leo 68 Angola 62
Linton-Stockton 34 North Daviess 32
Logansport 66 Winamac 59
Lowell 55 Whiting 41
Maconaquah 85 Carroll (Flora) 60
Madison-Grant 71 Eastbrook 56
Manchester 76 Bluffton 37
Marion 76 Warsaw 66
McCutcheon 71 Crawfordsville 36
Michigan City 68 Bowman Academy 55
Mishawaka Marian 64 New Prairie 47
Monrovia 71 Cloverdale 41
Morgan Twp. 74 Tri-Township 37
Mount Vernon (Fortville) 59 Mooresville 51
Muncie Central 53 Pendleton Heights 48
Munster 66 Calumet 45
New Castle 64 Centerville 46
New Palestine 63 Guerin Catholic 61
Noblesville 72 Liberty Christian 37
North Decatur 57 Milan 51
North Newton 57 North White 38
North Posey 62 Mount Carmel (Ill.) 46
NorthWood 42 West Noble 31
Northeastern 54 Union County 48
Northfield 48 Lakeland Christian 37
Norwell 62 Heritage 52
Orleans 64 North Harrison 36
Owen Valley 60 Eastern Greene 53
Paoli 57 Springs Valley 47
Park Tudor 61 Indianapolis Chatard 43
Penn 60 South Bend Adams 37
Perry Central 60 Crawford County 50
Pike Central 71 Tecumseh 50
Pioneer 45 Knox 35
Plymouth 67 Rochester 63
Portage 89 Lake Station 38
Purdue Poly North 66 Believe Circle City 34
Scottsburg 79 South Decatur 38
Seton Catholic 76 Randolph Southern 52
Shakamak 72 White River Valley 64
Shenandoah 40 Wes-Del 36
South Bend Clay 85 South Bend Career 51
South Bend St. Joseph 73 John Glenn 40
Southern Wells 47 Elwood 40
Southport 51 Indianapolis Roncalli 49
Southwestern (Shelbyville) 73 Indiana Deaf 43
Sullivan 76 North Central (Farmersburg) 53
Terre Haute North 70 Robinson (Ill.) 40
Tippecanoe Valley 75 North Miami 35
Tipton 79 Blackford 64
Triton 53 Trinity Greenlawn 21
Twin Lakes 72 Kankakee Valley 63
University 78 Eminence 21
Valparaiso 65 Hobart 50
Vincennes Rivet 64 Washington Catholic 50
Wabash 55 Frankton 42
Washington 56 Princeton 54 OT
Wawasee 65 Elkhart Christian 61 OT
West Vigo 68 Paris (Ill.) 64
Westfield 73 Harrison (West Lafayette) 55

WEDNESDAY’S SCHEDULE

ALL TIMES EASTERN
Beech Grove at Indianapolis Ritter 7:30 pm
Fort Wayne Dwenger at East Noble 7:30 pm
Indianapolis Washington at Indianapolis Metropolitan 7:30 pm
Irvington Prep at Victory College Prep 7:30 pm
Mishawaka Marian at John Glenn 7:30 pm
Northview at Danville 7:30 pm
Phalen Academy at MTI Knowledge 12:00 pm
South Newton at Donovan (Ill.) 8:00 pm
Southmont at Sheridan 7:30 pm
Speedway at Tri-West 7:30 pm

Northern Regional Hosts

LaPorte | Bracket 
Class 4A | South Bend Washington vs. Lake Central | 4 pm CT 
Class 4A | Northridge vs. Valparaiso | 7 pm CT

Marion | Bracket 
Class 4A | McCutcheon vs. Homestead | 1 pm ET 
Class 4A | Noblesville vs. Fort Wayne Snider | 4 pm ET

Jimtown | Bracket 
Class 3A | Hanover Central vs. Bremen | 4 pm ET 
Class 3A | New Prairie vs. NorthWood | 7 pm ET

Bellmont | Bracket 
Class 1A | Northfield vs. Clinton Central | 1 pm ET 
Class 2A | Lewis Cass vs. Fremont | 4 pm ET

Winamac Community | Bracket 
Class 2A | Andrean vs. LaVille | 4 pm ET 
Class 1A | Marquette Catholic vs. Morgan Township | 7 pm ET

Lapel | Bracket 
Class 3A | Hamilton Heights vs. Woodlan | 1 pm ET 
Class 2A | Lapel vs. Eastbrook | 4 pm ET

Caston | Bracket 
Class 3A | Benton Central vs. Norwell | 4 pm ET 
Class 1A | Bethany Christian vs. Caston | 7 pm ET

Wes-Del | Bracket 
Class 1A | Daleville vs. Union City | 1 pm ET 
Class 2A | Lafayette Central Catholic vs. Fort Wayne Bishop Luers | 4 pm ET

Southern Regional Hosts

Decatur Central | Bracket 
Class 4A | Mt. Vernon (Fortville) vs. Lawrence Central | 4 pm ET 
Class 4A | Pike vs. Plainfield | 7 pm ET

Bedford North Lawrence | Bracket 
Class 4A | Bedford North Lawrence vs. Center Grove | 1 pm ET 
Class 4A | Franklin Community vs. Evansville North | 4 pm ET

Greencastle | Bracket 
Class 3A | Indian Creek vs. Indianapolis Bishop Chatard | 4 pm ET 
Class 1A | North Central (Farmersburg) vs. Bethesda Christian | 7 pm ET

Charlestown | Bracket 
Class 2A | South Spencer vs. Brownstown Central | 1 pm ET 
Class 3A | Greensburg vs. Scottsburg | 4 pm ET

Southmont | Bracket 
Class 3A | Danville vs. Speedway | 4 pm ET 
Class 2A | Eastern Hancock vs. Parke Heritage | 7 pm ET

Crawford County | Bracket 
Class 3A | Washington vs. Gibson Southern | 1 pm ET 
Class 1A | Barr-Reeve vs. Lanesville | 4 pm ET

Southwestern (Shelbyville)

Southwestern (Shelbyville) | Bracket 
Class 2A | Sheridan vs. Northeastern | 4 pm ET 
Class 1A | Jac-Cen-Del vs.  Eminence | 7 pm ET

West Washington | Bracket 
Class 1A | Trinity Lutheran vs.  Wood Memorial | 1 pm ET 
Class 2A | Linton-Stockton vs. North Decatur | 4 pm ET

INDIANA WRESTLING SEMI-STATE

1. East Chicago Central (John C. Baratto Athletic Center) | 9 am CT 
Feeder Regionals: Crown Point, Hobart, Logansport, Penn.

2. Fort Wayne South Side (Allen County War Memorial Coliseum) | 8:30 am ET 
Feeder Regionals: Carroll (Fort Wayne), Goshen, Jay County, Peru.

3. New Castle (New Castle Fieldhouse) | 9 am ET 
Feeder Regionals: Frankfort, Pendleton Heights, Perry Meridian, Richmond.

4. Evansville F. J. Reitz (Ford Center) | 9 am CT 
Feeder Regionals: Bloomington South, Castle, Jeffersonville, Mooresville.

INDIANA GIRLS STATE SWIMMING FINALS

Friday, Feb. 9, 2024
Gates open at 4:30 pm ET / 3:30 pm CT
6 pm ET / 5 pm CT | Swimming Preliminaries | Heat Sheets | Psych Sheets 

Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024
Gates open at 7:30 am ET / 6:30 am CT 
9 am ET / 8 am CT | Diving Preliminaries, Semifinals 
1 pm ET / 12 pm CT | Championship/Consolation Finals in all swimming events; Diving Finals 

SUPER BOWL LVIII 

SUNDAY, FEB. 11

KANSAS CITY VS. SAN FRANCISCO

IN LAS VEGAS, 6:30 P.M. ET 

MEN’S TOP 25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCORES

#15 SOUTH CAROLINA 68 OLE MISS 65

CLEMSON 80 #3 NORTH CAROLINA 76

#5 HOUSTON 79 OKLAHOMA STATE 63

OKLAHOMA 82 #21 BYU 66

#14 IOWA STATE 70 TEXAS 65

#18 DAYTON 94 ST. JOE’S 79

#25 NEW MEXICO 91 WYOMING 73

#17 KENTUCKY 109 VANDERBILT 77

#1 CONNECTICUT 71 BUTLER 62

NEVADA 77 #22 UTAH STATE 63

#13 BAYLOR 79 #23 TEXAS TECH 73

#24 SAN DIEGO STATE 77 AIR FORCE 64

ELSEWHERE:

INDIANA 76 OHIO STATE 73

RUTGERS 56 MARYLAND 53

OHIO 84 BALL STATE 79 OT

MINNESOTA 59 MICHIGAN STATE 56

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL TOP 25 SCORES

#21 CREIGHTON 77 XAVIER 46

#22 WEST VIRGINIA 82 TEXAS TECH 59

ELSEWHERE:

NEBRASKA 65 MICHIGAN 59

MARYLAND 67 RUTGERS 59

NBA SCOREBOARD

INDIANA 132 HOUSTON 129

MIAMI 121 ORLANDO 95

NEW YORK 123 MEMPHIS 113

DALLAS 119 BROOKLYN 107

CHICAGO 129 MINNESOTA 123 OT

UTAH 124 OKLAHOMA CITY 117

PHOENIX 114 MILWAUKEE 106

NHL SCOREBOARD

MONTRÉAL 5 WASHINGTON 2

CALGARY 4 BOSTON 1

PITTSBURGH 3 WINNIPEG 0

PHILADELPHIA 2 FLORIDA 1

DALLAS 2 BUFFALO 1

VANCOUVER 3 CAROLINA 2

NEW JERSEY 5 COLORADO 3

VEGAS 3 EDMONTON 1

NATIONAL SPORTS RELEASES/HEADLINES

NFL NEWS

THE STARTING 11 – SUPER BOWL LVIII

LAS VEGAS ­— Feb. 5, 2024 — PATRICK MAHOMES and BROCK PURDY were both in elementary school the last time an NFL team won consecutive Super Bowls.

When New England defeated

When New England defeated Philadelphia on Feb. 6, 2005, to secure a second straight title in Super Bowl XXXIX, ANDY REID was on the Eagles’ sideline in a 24-21 loss. This time, Reid, Mahomes and the Chiefs have an opportunity to break the longest stretch of seasons without a repeat champion in NFL history. There were eight repeat winners over the first 39 Super Bowls, but none over the last 18.

Nineteen years ago, KYLE SHANAHAN had just ended his first season as an NFL assistant coach with Tampa Bay. And after watching his father, Mike, win consecutive Super Bowls (1997-98) as head coach of the Denver Broncos, the younger Shanahan with a victory this week would make that father-son tandem the first such duo in NFL annals to win Super Bowls as head coaches.

CHRISTIAN McCAFFREY’s dad, Ed, was a wide receiver on each of those Broncos teams and he also earned a ring in San Francisco’s last Super Bowl-winning season, 1994, when Mike Shanahan was the 49ers’ offensive coordinator. Could the Shanahans and McCaffreys create a remarkable generational milestone this week?

Not if CHRIS JONES and the vaunted Chiefs defense has their way. And not if Mahomes can capture his third Super Bowl victory, something only four previous quarterbacks have accomplished: TOM BRADY (seven) and Pro Football Hall of Famers TERRY BRADSHAW (four), JOE MONTANA (four) and TROY AIKMAN (three).

So stock up that pantry, don’t forget ice for the coolers, dust off your favorite Super Bowl recipes and join more than 100 million of your closest friends watching on CBS.

Super Bowl LVIII is here.

The Starting 11 entering Super Bowl LVIII

1.   SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE: Since Allegiant Stadium opened in 2020, the Chiefs and 49ers are a combined 5-0 at the facility. Kansas City is 4-0 all-time in Las Vegas, including a Week 12 victory over the Raiders earlier this season. The 49ers, meanwhile, won their only regular-season game at the stadium, a 37-34 overtime triumph over Las Vegas in Week 17 of the 2022 season.

2.   NUMBER OF THE WEEK – 11: The number of Pro Bowl selections, including 2023, earned by 49ers tackle TRENT WILLIAMS prior to playing in his first Super Bowl this week. Only three other players – Pro Football Hall of Famers CHAMP BAILEY (12), BRUCE MATTHEWS (12) and REGGIE WHITE (11) – earned as many Pro Bowl selections prior to playing in their first Super Bowls.

3.   LEGENDARY PACE: Kansas City’s PATRICK MAHOMES at age 28 will become the youngest quarterback in history to start a fourth Super Bowl, two years faster than the previous youngest, 30-year-old TOM BRADY in 2007. With a victory, Mahomes would join Brady and Pro Football Hall of Famer TROY AIKMAN as the only quarterbacks ever to win three Super Bowls prior to their 30th birthdays.

4.   SPOTLIGHT – INDIVIDUAL MATCHUP: The key to victory in Super Bowl LVIII could be in the middle of the field. When the nearest defender was a linebacker, Kansas City’s TRAVIS KELCE led all NFL tight ends during the regular season with 393 receiving yards, according to Next Gen Stats. Meanwhile, San Francisco’s FRED WARNER allowed only a 61.9 passer rating as the nearest defender in coverage this season, lowest among NFL linebackers per NGS.

5.   SPOTLIGHT – TEAM MATCHUP: Sunday features one of the best defensive matchups in Super Bowl history. During the regular season, Kansas City allowed just 17.3 points per game, second in the league behind Baltimore. San Francisco’s defense (17.5) ranked third.

6.   STREAK SPEAK: Kansas City moved quickly to hire ANDY REID as head coach on Jan. 7, 2013. Since that day, over 11 seasons, the Chiefs have not experienced a losing campaign. No other NFL team has an active streak of winning seasons longer than five years. Reid has led his team to Super Bowls in four of the past five seasons after the franchise went 49 straight years (1970-2018) without a Super Bowl berth.

7.   DID YOU KNOW?: Niners running back CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY and Pro Football Hall of Famer TERRELL DAVIS are the only players in league annals to average at least 110 scrimmage yards per game in both the regular season and postseason (minimum 75 and five games, respectively).

8.   UNDER-THE-RADAR STORYLINE: Middle Tennessee State in Murfreesboro, Tenn., has produced three players expected to see action in Super Bowl LVIII: Chiefs linebacker DARIUS HARRIS and wide receiver RICHIE JAMES, and 49ers cornerback CHARVARIUS WARD. In fact, this week marks the fifth consecutive season in which an MTSU product will don a Super Bowl uniform. James and Ward actually played for the opposite teams in Super Bowl LIV, James for the 49ers and Ward for the Chiefs. Ward made his way to Murfreesboro in serendipitous fashion. The MTSU defensive backs coach, Steve Ellis, was on a recruiting trip at Hinds (Miss.) Community College when he discovered Ward, who caught the attention of Ellis when the 155-pound athlete delivered a monster dunk in a pickup basketball game. Ward used MTSU as a springboard to the NFL, where he led the league with 23 passes defensed and earned his first Pro Bowl selection this season.​

9.  TREND TIME: San Francisco quarterback BROCK PURDY entered the league as the final choice in the 2022 NFL Draft, held in Las Vegas. Since that day, Purdy has an .808 winning percentage as a starter, has passed for 9.2 yards per attempt, has compiled a 47-14 touchdown-to-interception ratio and owns a 111.2 passer rating – all the best marks in the NFL among quarterbacks with a minimum of 20 starts (including the postseason).

10. NEXT GEN STAT OF THE WEEK: San Francisco wide receiver BRANDON AIYUK entered the NFL and joined the 49ers in the first round of a virtual 2020 NFL Draft less than three months after they lost to Kansas City in Super Bowl LIV. Fast forward three years to the 2023 NFC Championship Game. With 6:29 remaining in the third quarter and the 49ers trailing, 24-10, Aiyuk kept his focus in tracking a deflected deep ball and hauled in a 51-yard reception at the Lions’ 6-yard line. According to Next Gen Stats, Aiyuk traveled 10.3 yards while securing that completion. Three plays later, he caught a 6-yard touchdown pass from BROCK PURDY to cut the Detroit lead to one score. Inspired by Aiyuk’s miraculous catch, San Francisco went on to win, 34-31.

11. AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST: Kansas City’s ISIAH PACHECO is expected to become the first running back since Pro Football Hall of Famer TONY DORSETT in 1977-78 to start Super Bowls in each of his first two NFL seasons. The Chiefs selected Pacheco 251st overall, 11 picks before BROCK PURDY (262nd), in the seventh round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Like Purdy, Pacheco’s name was announced at a podium in Las Vegas.

EVERYONE HOPES THE CHIEFS-49ERS SUPER BOWL WON’T COME DOWN TO AN OFFICIATING CALL

San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York was asked the other day what comes to mind when he thinks back to his team’s Super Bowl loss to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs four years ago, and he quipped: “I mean, I remember Nick Bosa getting held on third-and-long — and that not getting called.”

So perhaps it would be understandable if York wasn’t thrilled to learn the referee in charge back then, Bill Vinovich, will be wearing the white cap in Las Vegas for the Niners vs. Chiefs championship rematch on Sunday, too. One of the biggest fears when it comes to the biggest sport’s biggest games might just be that a high-profile bad call or no-call will play a role in the result.

“The reality is, if something happens in the Super Bowl, that is going to stay with you the entire offseason. That is going to really direct and control the narrative around the finish. You can have a great year and you can have smooth sailing — and then something goes wrong in the Super Bowl, and that’s all people are going to remember,” said Dean Blandino, who was a replay official for two Super Bowls before a stint as the NFL’s head of officiating. “There’s no doubt that is a major, major concern.”

Team owners, front-office executives, coaches and players don’t want that.

Neither do fans — or gamblers (who, aside from a vested interest in the final score, can wager on the total number of penalty yards or which coach will challenge a call first in the Super Bowl).

Neither does the league. And neither do those wearing the black-and-white uniforms.

“No official wants to be part of the story,” said Mike Pereira, who worked on the field for NFL games and later oversaw all of the league’s officiating. “None of them.”

It’s bad enough when an error comes in the regular season, dominating next-day conversation, as seemed to happen repeatedly in 2023-24. It’s worse when it comes in the postseason. Worst of all is when it appears to directly affect a key game’s outcome, such as when a crew run by Vinovich — yes, there’s that name again — completely missed an obvious penalty (or two) late in the NFC championship game in January 2019, when the Los Angeles Rams beat the New Orleans Saints to reach the Super Bowl.

“You don’t ever get over it,” Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said.

And make no mistake: Mistakes happen. Of course they do, even if Pereira thinks “the percentage of correct calls is better than in my day.” Social media and TV attention mean late-game miscues “become talked about ad nauseam,” he said.

Asked about officiating during a media session in Las Vegas on Monday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said he thinks “the level of scrutiny is at the highest I’ve ever seen it,” and so, “even when an official gets it right, there’s criticism.”

Observes Scott Green, who officiated in three Super Bowls and now is the head of the NFL Referees Association: “Quarterbacks throw interceptions. Coaches make bad decisions. We’re human beings just like they are and there will be mistakes, and they are visible. If the public wants 100% correct, that’s unfair. That’s not going to happen.”

What can’t be debated is the significance of the role officials have in each game. That’s why, for one thing, teams prepare each week with an eye to who’ll be carrying the yellow flags.

Offensive linemen worry about how holding will be judged; defensive linemen are concerned about hitting quarterbacks, particularly high or late; linebackers fret about where the line will be drawn when it comes to proper tackling; defensive backs find themselves focusing on how “handsy” they can be with receivers.

“Penalties affect every game; some more than others,” Ravens safety Kyle Hamilton said after Baltimore lost to visiting Kansas City in the AFC championship game late last month.

After some calls went against the Ravens, video screens in Baltimore’s stadium flashed a message intended to get spectators to chant “De-fense!” in support of the home team. Instead, thousands chose a different two-syllable word — hint: the first part was “Bull” — for an impromptu and collective commentary.

As with so much these days, conspiracy theories abound related to whether officiating calls — in all sports, not only the NFL, mind you — could result from bias on the part of an individual or, indeed, a league.

Another issue: Some rulings are open to interpretation, which means a particular official can view what happens differently than a player or coach or announcer or partisan fan does.

“You’re seeing some rules being emphasized for the sake of satisfying society’s softness in a game that is not a soft game at all,” said Detroit Lions fullback Jason Cabinda, whose club was on the wrong end of one of this season’s most-disputed calls. “You got to be brave. You got to have courage. This isn’t basketball; this isn’t lacrosse. You better have your head on a swivel because you can get it knocked off. They’re trying to change that.”

While Goodell called the current officiating “superior,” he also acknowledged the NFL needs to try to improve in that area.

How? Others have offered suggestions.

Maybe hire more full-time officials, the way other sports such as Major League Baseball, the NHL and NBA do — although, it must be said, no one close to the situation can agree on whether that would make a difference in the NFL. Pereira thinks it would make sense to at least have the referees who oversee each crew be full-timers.

Maybe make more penalties reviewable, something former New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees would like for roughing-the-passer flags. Then again, Brees said, no one wants more time spent on reviews.

Maybe institute the sort of mea culpa reports the NBA uses to acknowledge late-game refereeing errors, though Pereira wouldn’t welcome the additional after-the-fact scrutiny. He called the NBA’s policy “absolutely senseless,” adding: “It serves no purpose, other than to put more negative light on officiating.”

Then again, maybe officiating can’t be improved, not when there are more than 150 plays per game requiring quick decisions (there were about 13 penalties per game this season).

“I mean,” Brees said, “until you start having robots out there, it’s not perfect.”

MAHOMES: ‘TRULY IS SURREAL’ TO PLAY IN 4TH SUPER BOWL

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes expressed gratitude for the opportunity to play in his fourth Super Bowl in only six years as a starting quarterback.

“You want to get to the Super Bowl. That’s your ultimate goal, and to be able to be in my fourth one, it truly is surreal, and I just try to appreciate it every single time,” Mahomes said at Super Bowl Opening Night, according to Adam Teicher of ESPN.

“You don’t even know if this will be your last, and I’ve been blessed to be in a lot with a great organization with a lot of great players around me, so I just try to maximize those opportunities.”

The Chiefs are set to play in their second straight Super Bowl after defeating the Philadelphia Eagles in the big game last year. They would be the first team since the 2003-04 New England Patriots to win consecutive Super Bowls with a victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

Mahomes has won two Super Bowls since entering the league as a first-round pick in 2017. He could be the fifth starting quarterback in NFL history to win at least three Super Bowls with a win on Sunday, joining Troy Aikman (three), Terry Bradshaw (four), Joe Montana (four), and Tom Brady (seven).

However, the 28-year-old Mahomes said he isn’t focused on passing Brady’s Super Bowl record anytime soon.

“I’m not even close to halfway, so I haven’t put a lot of thought into it,” Mahomes said. “Your goal is to be the best player that you can be, and I know I’m blessed to be around a lot of great players.”

“So right now, it’s do whatever I can to beat a great 49ers team and try to get that third ring. Then, if you ask me that question in 15 years, I’ll see if I can get close to seven, but seven seems like a long ways away still.”

The Texas Tech product had his fewest passing yards and touchdowns this season since 2019. However, he’s elevated his play in the postseason, throwing for 718 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions in three playoff games this year.

CHIEFS CB L’JARIUS SNEED EXPECTED TO JOIN TEAM IN LAS VEGAS

LAS VEGAS – Kansas City Chiefs cornerback L’Jarius Sneed is expected to join teammates Tuesday after missing Super Bowl LVIII Opening Night media responsibilities for what head coach Andy Reid labeled “personal reasons.”

Teammate Trent McDuffie

Teammate Trent McDuffie smiled and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo added unofficial confirmation that Sneed would be back with the team when asked about his status Monday night.

In photos posted on Instagram by Bella Wu, Sneed’s girlfriend, the couple appeared to be at a Kansas City hospital for the delivery of Sneed’s second child. Sneed is the father of a 6-year-old son from a previous relationship.

Reid said during the playoffs, pointing particularly to Sneed’s shutdown showing against Dolphins All-Pro Tyreek Hill, that there wasn’t an NFL cornerback playing at his level in 2023.

“You saw, one catch (Hill) had,” Reid said. “You don’t see Tyreek get knocked down very often, but Sneed did that. I have a hard time believing there’s another corner as good as him in this league.”

Sneed, 27, is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent in March and is considered a strong candidate for the franchise tag.

49ERS TE GEORGE KITTLE READY TO GO TOE-TO-TOE WITH TRAVIS KELCE

LAKE LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Spending a moment of facetime with 49ers tight end George Kittle at the team hotel, it becomes abundantly clear he isn’t sitting out Super Bowl LVIII.

The only starter for San Francisco to miss every practice last week, Kittle plans to be on the field to face the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday evening. He’s fighting a toe injury but would love not to be mentioned on the first official injury report of the week Wednesday. Kittle maintains there is “no concern” about his injury entering the game.

He’s averaging a team-leading 18 yards per catch in two playoff games with six receptions for 108 yards, including a 32-yard touchdown.

Missing a chance to duel with Chiefs tight end and good friend Travis Kelce runs a distant second to claiming a Super Bowl ring for Kittle, the 2023 All-Pro first teamer at the position. But he’s not shying away from his appreciation of sharing the spotlight with his “Tight End University” sidekick.

“I’m a huge fan of Travis Kelce and the fact I’ve been able to become friends with him, peers with him, run Tight End (University) with him, just get to know him, it’s been awesome,” Kittle said. “For someone I’ve looked up to, looked up to his game, watched so much of his film. Anything that he says is nice about you; it feels great. He’s a fantastic football player. He’s probably a first-ballot Hall of Famer. So anything you can get from Travis Kelce, it’s awesome. And the fact you’re friends too, it makes it a little bit sweeter as well.”

Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan did not provide an update on cornerback Ambry Thomas (ankle) or linebacker Oren Burks (shoulder) on Tuesday. He said he doesn’t talk to trainers unless he’s required to submit an injury report under league rules.

EFFORT, ET CETERA
San Francisco defensive coordinator Steve Wilks used the term “unacceptable,” and Shanahan called a few plays out for a lack of collective effort in the NFC Championship Game win over the Detroit Lions.

In particular, Wilks said the two rushing plays that resulted in points were most problematic. Jahmyr Gibbs ran 15 yards for a score by cutting against the grain and easing by defensive end Chase Young, who was caught moving at half-speed. That was after a 42-yard touchdown run in the first quarter by wide receiver Jameson Williams.

“Our guys take a lot of pride in what they do,” Shanahan said. “They work hard every day, practice, games, since I’ve known them. So, I don’t expect it to be any different on Sunday.”

49ers defensive lineman Javon Hargrave said players bowed their heads in shame and vowed to not allow the narrative to become a talking point again.

“I think the most important thing is just how we felt about it as a team,” 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw said. “I agree to the fullest extent. I felt like we could play harder and I felt like I could play harder too. So, you’ve got to look at yourself too. That’s really what it boils down to.”

FOR THE BIRDS
49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel dismissed the Eagles as a rival in the NFC. Not because of proximity or division separation. Because San Francisco pasted Philly, 42-19, in their December meeting.

“I consider rivalries close games,” said Samuel, who caught two TD passes in the win.

The 49ers lost to the Eagles in the NFC Championship Game last year, 31-7, before Philadelphia was defeated in the Super Bowl by the Chiefs.

CHIEFS PREPARING FOR SUPER BOWL LVIII TO FEEL LIKE ROAD GAME

LAS VEGAS — If Opening Night at Super Bowl LVIII was any indication, the red-clad Chiefs are walking into a road-game environment at Allegiant Stadium Sunday afternoon.

“I love the boos more than I love the cheers,” Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce said of the partisan San Francisco crowd on Monday night. “Keep ’em coming, Niners’ gang. Keep ’em coming.”

Virtual home-field advantage

Virtual home-field advantage in the Super Bowl might beat the literal road game feel of the one Super Bowl Patrick Mahomes has lost. Tom Brady and the Buccaneers were on their home field in Tampa in Super Bowl LV.

The Chiefs are 3-0 in these playoffs with one home game, winning at Buffalo and Baltimore after a wild-card win over the Dolphins.

“We’re not overly concerned about who’s going to be in the stadium,” Chiefs center Creed Humphrey said. “We’re there to play the game. At the end of the day, it’s going to be 11 on 11. We’ve kind of gone on the road, playing in away stadiums the last two games, it’s one of those things we’re if we’re in a hostile environment, we’re ready to roll.”

Kelce said “ain’t no jitters. I’m fired up,” when asked if the raucous 49ers’ fanbase will impact the Chiefs on Sunday.

SOMETHING NEW
The Chiefs have only two remaining defensive starters from their Super Bowl LIV triumph over the San Francisco 49ers. And the 49ers’ roster is flooded with change, including Brock Purdy at quarterback and Christian McCaffrey at running back, two players among the five NFL MVP finalists in 2023.

“More weapons,” Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones said of the biggest difference in this iteration of the 49ers. “Christian McCaffrey. You’ve got Deebo (Samuel) playing at a high level. You’ve got one of the best tight ends in the league (George Kittle). Brock Purdy. They’re a completely different team now.”

But Jones said the Chiefs are better on defense for the same reasons.

“Grittier, we’re younger, we’re faster,” Jones said.

BIGGEST LOSSES OF MY LIFE
Kelce said nobody puts higher expectations on the Chiefs than the team’s leaders. Kansas City’s record-setting tight end.

“That expectation has become a demand at this point. The years we haven’t won it since we won our first one, they’ve felt like the biggest losses of my life,” Kelce said. “Having that mentality, year in, year out, putting the expectations on yourself.”

Kelce has 23 receptions for 262 yards and three touchdowns in the 2023 postseason. He said he went out to his way to make sure teammates understood where he was investing his time and attention since his courtship of a certain famous female singer became a banner storyline around the Chiefs.

“I’ve juggled the perception of my focus. Being aware of that, I never wanted to make the people on this team, the people in this Kansas City Chiefs’ building feel like I wasn’t focused on the task at hand. That’s winning football games,” Kelce said. “Being able to juggle that, making sure everybody realizes my focus is in the right area, especially when I’m in the building, I think that’s been the biggest point.”

SB LVIII: AGA PROJECTS AMERICANS TO WAGER $23.1B

The first Super Bowl at Las Vegas will see an estimated $23.1 billion wagered in the United States on Sunday’s game between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers, according to the American Gaming Association.

The AGA also estimates that 67.8 million American adults will have a financial stake in the game in some form, with the rise of online betting fueling a $16 billion increase in wagering from last year’s Super Bowl.

A total of $23.1 billion is expected to be on the line for Super Bowl LVII.

The group’s survey showed that 47 percent of will wager on the defending champion Chiefs, while 44 percent will have a wager on the 49ers.

According to DraftKings,

According to DraftKings, as of Tuesday, the 49ers were two-point favorites, with an over/under on total points at 47.5.

The most popular access point for wagering on Sunday’s game will be to bet online, with 46 percent of the 67.8 million participants taking that route. The number is equal to 26 percent of the United States population.

Casual wagering friends is listed at 36 percent, while a mere 11 percent will wager at a physical sportsbook.

Online wagering is expected to increase by 41 percent from last year’s Super Bowl, while casual wagering is projected to be up 32 percent.

Traditional wagering (online, sportsbook, bookie) is expected to be ahead of casual wagering (friends, pools, square contests) for the second consecutive year.

Messages about responsible wagering have reached the masses, with AGA reporting that 75 percent of traditional Super Bowl betters have reported seeing a message on responsible wagering in the past year.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEWS

MICHIGAN DC JESSE MINTER FOLLOWS JIM HARBAUGH TO CHARGERS

Jesse Minter will remain Jim Harbaugh’s defensive coordinator, though both are moving nearly 2,000 miles to the southwest.

Minter, Michigan’s defensive coordinator the past two seasons, accepted the same job with the Los Angeles Chargers on Tuesday. The Chargers’ new head coach is former Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh.

The two helped lead Michigan to the national championship last month.

In Minter’s two seasons guiding the Wolverines’ defense, Michigan yielded an average of just 268.8 yards per game, the second-best figure in the nation.

Minter, 40, tweeted a thank-you to his former team on Tuesday, writing, “Nothing but love to everyone at Michigan, especially the players. We had a great journey together.”

Minter started as a coaching intern at Notre Dame (2006) and a graduate assistant at Cincinnati (2007-08) before becoming linebackers coach at Indiana State (2009-10). He was the Sycamores’ defensive coordinator for two years before a three-year run as Georgia State’s defensive coordinator.

Minter jumped to the NFL as an assistant coach under Jim Harbaugh’s brother John with the Baltimore Ravens (2017-20). He was Vanderbilt’s defensive coordinator and safeties coach in 2021 before moving to Ann Arbor.

According to multiple reports, the Chargers also are set to hire Greg Roman as their offensive coordinator.

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

TOP 25 ROUNDUP: CLEMSON KNOCKS OFF NO. 3 NORTH CAROLINA

PJ Hall scored 25 points and Joseph Girard III had 21 as Clemson upset No. 3 North Carolina 80-76 on Tuesday night in Chapel Hill, N.C.

It marked just the second time in 62 tries that Clemson (15-7, 5-6 Atlantic Coast Conference) had won in Chapel Hill. Clemson’s other win at Dean Smith Center happened in overtime in 2020.

The Tigers, who earned a victory that surely will boost their NCAA Tournament resume, also got nine rebounds from Hall. He and Girard combined for 9-of-20 shooting from 3-point range. Ian Schieffelin added 14 points and 11 boards.

The Tar Heels (18-5, 10-2) fell to an unranked opponent for the second time in three games. Armando Bacot led the way for North Carolina with 24 points and 13 rebounds, while RJ Davis had 22 points and Harrison Ingram added 11.

No. 1 UConn 71, Butler 62

Cam Spencer scored 20 points and Donovan Clingan added 18 to lead the Huskies to a hard-fought win over the Bulldogs in Hartford, Conn.

Clingan also pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds. Hassan Diarra added nine points off the bench as the Huskies (21-2, 11-1 Big East) earned their 11th consecutive victory.

DJ Davis led Butler (15-8, 6-6) with 21 points. Jahmyl Telfort added 17 points while Posh Alexander produced eight points, five boards and five assists as the Bulldogs saw a four-game winning streak end.

No. 5 Houston 79, Oklahoma State 63

Jamal Shead scored a game-high 23 points, and the Cougars’ Division I-leading defense swarmed over the visiting Cowboys.

Emanuel Sharp contributed 16 points as Houston (20-3, 7-3 Big 12) shook off a Saturday loss at Kansas. The Cougars logged 11 steals against Oklahoma State, forced 17 turnovers and scored 24 points off them.

Javon Small led the Cowboys (10-13, 2-8) with 18 points, buoyed by 12-for-14 foul shooting. John-Michael Wright scored 13 with three 3-pointers.

No. 13 Baylor 79, No. 23 Texas Tech 73

RayJ Dennis scored a game-high 21 points and the Bears used a strong second-half shooting display to beat the Red Raiders in Waco, Texas.

Dennis added five assists and four steals for the Bears (17-5, 6-3 Big 12), who connected on 13 of 20 field-goal attempts (65 percent) following the break. Baylor also got 17 points and seven rebounds from Yves Missi and 14 points from Jayden Nunn en route to its third straight win.

Joe Toussaint finished with 18 points and Darrion Williams posted 17, but the Red Raiders (16-6, 5-4) still dropped their third straight game. Chance McMillian had 15 points, while Pop Isaacs was limited to 11 on 4-of-12 shooting.

No. 14 Iowa State 70, Texas 65

Milan Momcilovic scored 13 points and Tamin Lipsey hit a clutch 3-pointer as the Cyclones held off the Longhorns in Austin, Texas.

Lipsey finished with 12 points and Curtis Jones 11 in the Cyclones’ balanced attack. Eight of the nine players who saw the court for Iowa State (17-5, 6-3 Big 12) scored at least five points.

Dylan Disu hit for 28 points to lead all scorers, with Max Abmas netting 13, all in the second half, and Dillon Mitchell 10 for Texas (15-8, 4-6).

No. 15 South Carolina 68, Ole Miss 65

Collin Murray-Bowles scored 16 points to lead a balanced offense and the Gamecocks held off the Rebels in Columbia, S.C.

Myles Stute and Ta’Lon Cooper added 12 points each for South Carolina (20-3, 8-2 Southeastern Conference). The Gamecocks won their sixth straight game.

Allen Flanigan scored 26 points, Matthew Murrell had 17 and Jaylen Murray added 10 to lead Ole Miss (18-5, 5-5), which dropped its second game in a row.

No. 17 Kentucky 109, Vanderbilt 77

Antonio Reeves scored 24 points and the Wildcats never trailed while rolling to a victory over the Commodores in Nashville, Tenn.

Standout reserve Rob Dillingham added 20 points and nine assists as Kentucky (16-6, 6-4 SEC) bounced back from a 103-92 loss to Tennessee on Saturday and won for just the second time in the past five games.

Evan Taylor made five 3-pointers and scored 20 points for Vanderbilt (6-16, 1-8), which lost for the eighth time in nine games.

No. 18 Dayton 94, Saint Joseph’s 79

Nate Santos and Kobe Elvis each scored 21 points, helping the Flyers handle the Hawks in Philadelphia.

Javon Bennett added 18 points for the Flyers, who won for the 16th time in 17 games. DaRon Holmes II added 13 for Dayton (19-3, 9-1 Atlantic 10), Enoch Cheeks had 12 points and Elvis dished out 10 assists.
Cameron Brown led Saint Joseph’s (15-8, 5-5) with 19 points, and Lynn Green III followed with 18. Xzayvier Brown chipped in 15 points off the bench for the Hawks, who dropped their fourth straight game against the Flyers. Rasheer Fleming collected 14 points for Saint Joseph’s, which had won five of its previous six games overall.

Oklahoma 82, No. 21 BYU 66

Javian McCollum scored 20 points — 13 in the final four minutes — to help the Sooners knock off the Cougars in Norman, Okla.

Milos Uzan added 16 points for the Sooners (17-6, 5-5 Big 12), who won for the second time in three games. Rivaldo Soares added 12 points.

Fousseyni Traore, making his second consecutive start, scored 21 points on 9-of-17 shooting for the Cougars (16-6, 4-5), who had a two-game winning streak snapped. Dallin Hall added 17 points, going 4-for-7 from beyond the arc, and Spencer Johnson scored 10.

Nevada 77, No. 22 Utah State 63

Nick Davidson logged 25 points and 10 rebounds as the Wolf Pack upset the Aggies in Logan, Utah.

Kenan Blackshear added 18 points for Nevada (18-5, 5-4 Mountain West), which canned 52.9 percent of its field-goal attempts.

Ian Martinez scored 16 points for Utah State (19-4, 7-3), which has lost consecutive games for the first time this season. The Aggies are now in a four-way tie for first in the Mountain West.

No. 24 San Diego State 77, Air Force 64

Reese Waters shot 5-for-8 from 3-point distance for all 15 of his points to help the Aztecs defeat the Falcons in a Mountain West matchup in Colorado Springs.

Jaedon LeDee had 14 points and nine rebounds, Micah Parrish also scored 14 points and Lamont Butler contributed 11 for the Aztecs (18-5, 7-3 MWC), who moved into a four-way tie for first in the Mountain West. The Aztecs shot 70 percent in the first half, including 8-for-11 from 3-point distance, to build a 45-20 lead.

Jeffrey Mills and Beau Becker scored 15 points each to lead Air Force (8-14, 1-9), which has lost 12 of its past 13 games.

No. 25 New Mexico 91, Wyoming 73

Donovan Dent had 19 points, seven assists and six rebounds to lead the Lobos to a victory over the Cowboys in Laramie, Wyo.

Jaelen House added 17 points, eight rebounds and four assists, Jamal Mashburn Jr. had 15 points and Mustapha Amzil finished with 13 points for New Mexico (19-4, 7-3 Mountain West).

Wyoming (12-11, 5-5)

Wyoming (12-11, 5-5) was led by Brendan Wenzel’s 20 points and five rebounds. Sam Griffin added 19 points.

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

WOMEN’S TOP 25 ROUNDUP: NO. 21 CREIGHTON BULLIES XAVIER FOR 9TH STRAIGHT WIN

Mallory Brake and Lauren Jensen each netted 17 points as No. 21 Creighton pushed its winning streak to nine games with a 77-46 victory over Xavier on Tuesday night in Cincinnati.

Brake added eight rebounds and four steals for the Bluejays (19-3, 10-2 Big East), who have not lost since falling to then-No. 12 UConn on Jan. 3. Creighton also got 14 points and five assists from Morgan Maly.

Mackayla Scarlett poured in a game-high 26 points, but the Musketeers (1-19, 0-11) dropped their 11th straight game. Xavier was outshot 43.8 percent to 30.4 percent from the field.

The Bluejays closed the first half with a 6-0 spurt to take a 36-25 lead into the break. Then, after Scarlett opened the third quarter with a layup, Creighton rattled off 15 unanswered to points to put the game away. Maly and Brake headlined the charge, combining for 12 points.

No. 22 West Virginia 82, Texas Tech 59

JJ Quinerly continued her frantic scoring pace with 21 points as the Mountaineers knocked off the Lady Raiders in Morgantown, W.Va.

Quinerly made 9 of 14 shots from the field and has tallied at least 18 points in each of her past seven games. Kyah Watson supplied 19 points and eight rebounds, and Lauren Fields notched 11 points as West Virginia (20-2, 9-2 Big 12) won its seventh straight.

Jasmine Shavers paced Texas Tech (16-8, 5-6) with 16 points, while Jordyn Merritt had 13 points and 11 rebounds. The Lady Raiders have lost eight of their past 13 games following an 11-0 start to the season.

NBA NEWS

NBA ROUNDUP: BULLS CHARGE BACK FOR OT WIN VS. WOLVES

Coby White and DeMar DeRozan scored 51 of their 66 combined points after halftime as the host Chicago Bulls rallied from 23 points down for a 129-123 overtime win against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday.

Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns

Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 115 with 50.5 seconds left. In the extra session, DeRozan scored Chicago’s first six points, including a go-ahead layup with 2:57 to go. He finished with 10 points in OT.

White and DeRozan both scored 33 points. Andre Drummond notched 16 points and 16 rebounds for the Bulls. Nikola Vucevic added 24 points.

Anthony Edwards had 38 points, 12 rebounds and five assists for Minnesota, while Towns scored 33 points. Rudy Gobert had 12 points and 16 rebounds, while Jaden McDaniels (13 points) and Naz Reid (10) also scored in double figures.

Mavericks 119, Nets 107

Kyrie Irving scored 36 points in his return to Brooklyn as Dallas took control in the second quarter, survived some shaky moments in the fourth and earned a win in New York.

On the one-year anniversary of Irving being traded from the Nets after a controversial tenure in Brooklyn, he did not get the same video highlights as Kevin Durant received last week. Instead, Irving got a “welcome back” message on the scoreboard in pregame introductions along with former Nets Seth Curry and Markieff Morris.

Luka Doncic added 35 points, a season-high-tying 18 rebounds and nine assists for the Mavericks. Mikal Bridges scored 28 points as the Nets dropped to 7-20 in their past 27 games and fell 10 games under .500.

Suns 114, Bucks 106

Devin Booker scored 32 points and Kevin Durant added 28 points and 10 rebounds to help Phoenix defeat visiting Milwaukee.

Bradley Beal had 25 points and a season-best 10 rebounds to go with three steals and Jusuf Nurkic added 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Suns, who have 16 wins in their past 22 games.

Giannis Antetokounmpo recorded 34 points, 10 rebounds and six assists for the Bucks, who fell to 1-4 under new coach Doc Rivers. Bucks star Damian Lillard missed the contest with a sprained left ankle, and Milwaukee lost Khris Middleton to a sprained left ankle during the first quarter.

Pacers 132, Rockets 129

Pascal Siakam scored a team-high 29 points while Myles Turner added 21 points as Indiana held on for a victory over Houston in Indianapolis.

The Pacers extended a rally initiated midway through the third quarter into the fourth, securing a 14-point lead before the Rockets came back to life. Jalen Green scored 12 of his game-high 30 points in the final frame, and his 3-pointer with 46 seconds left pulled Houston within 130-127.

But Tyrese Haliburton answered with a difficult driving layup at the 21-second mark, and the Pacers survived three desperation heaves from behind the arc by the Rockets to earn the win.

Jazz 124, Thunder 117

Lauri Markkanen scored 33 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lift Utah to a win over Oklahoma City in Salt Lake City.

Markkanen fueled a second-half comeback with 17 points in the third quarter and then sealed the win with a clutch 3-pointer in the final minute of the game. John Collins totaled 22 points and nine rebounds to help Utah win its second game in a row.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 28 points to lead the Thunder. Jalen Williams added 26 points, five rebounds and five assists, and Chet Holmgren contributed 22 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots in the loss.

Knicks 123, Grizzlies 113

Donte DiVincenzo poured in a game-high 32 points to lift host New York over Memphis, which was without 10 players.

DiVincenzo made 12 of 18 shots, including a 3-pointer with 1:44 left that pushed New York’s lead to 116-109. In winning for the 10th time in 11 games, the Knicks also got 27 points and eight assists from Jalen Brunson, but he was forced out of the game in the fourth quarter due to an apparent ankle injury. Precious Achiuwa and Isaiah Hartenstein each added 17 points for New York.

Vince Williams Jr. scored 19 points to lead Memphis, which lost its sixth straight game. GG Jackson added 16 points and David Roddy chipped in 15 to headline a Grizzlies bench that totaled 54 points.

Heat 121, Magic 95

Jimmy Butler scored 23 points to lead seven Miami players in double figures in the Heat’s win over visiting Orlando.

Terry Rozier amassed 18 points, seven assists and six rebounds for Miami, which earned its third win in four games and secured the season series against Orlando 3-1. Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo each recorded 14 points.

Paolo Banchero tallied 23 points, nine rebounds and seven assists as Orlando’s three-game winning streak came to a halt. Wendell Carter Jr. shot 6-for-9 from the floor en route to 15 points. Franz Wagner and Markelle Fultz scored 13 each.

EMBIID TO BE RE-EVALUATED IN 4 WEEKS AFTER KNEE SURGERY

Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid underwent surgery on the meniscus in his left knee and will be re-evaluated in approximately four weeks, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Sixers believe that Embiid could return this season, sources told Wojnarowski.

The reigning MVP appeared to injure his knee late in the fourth quarter of last Tuesday’s matchup against the Golden State Warriors when forward Jonathan Kuminga fell on his leg. Embiid had missed the previous two games with knee soreness.

This was Embiid’s second procedure on the cartilage in his left knee. He underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a meniscus injury in 2017.

Through 34 games, Embiid was averaging 35.3 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 5.7 assists. The Cameroonian likely won’t hit the 65-game threshold to qualify for end-of-season awards.

The Sixers are 4-11 in the 15 games they’ve played without their superstar this year. Philadelphia is fifth in the Eastern Conference with a 30-19 record.

KLAY ON CHANGING ROLE AFTER LATE BENCHING: ‘IT’S HARD’

Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson opened up after being benched in the fourth quarter for the second time in less than a week.

“I feel great physically. Mentally, probably a little different story,” Thompson told reporters after the 109-98 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Monday, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic.

Thompson had eight points on 4-of-9 shooting in 29 minutes. The veteran was pulled at the seven-minute mark of the fourth quarter in favor of youngster Moses Moody.

“Go from, you know, one of the best players – it’s hard for anybody, I’ll be honest with you,” Thompson said when asked about his changing role.

The 33-year-old says he’s “accepted” his new role with the team. “I’m not going to be mad. I’m happy for these young guys, honestly,” Thompson said.

Despite missing forward Andrew Wiggins due to an ankle injury, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr opted to play rookies Brandin Podziemski and Gui Santos to close the match. Thompson was also benched late in Golden State’s Friday win against the Memphis Grizzlies.

“If a group’s playing well, you stay with that group. That is the general rule,” Kerr said postgame, per Slater.

He continued: “It’s never easy for any player getting older. … Klay is going to help us win plenty of games going forward.”

Thompson is having his worst statistical season in a decade, averaging 17.1 points and 3.5 rebounds in 45 games for the Warriors. The veteran’s 37.1% 3-point percentage is also the lowest number of his illustrious career.

Thompson, who averaged 20 points per game in the Warriors’ 2021-22 title campaign, has dealt with significant injuries over his career. The 13-year veteran missed two whole seasons after tearing his ACL in the 2019 Finals before tearing his Achilles tendon a year later.

This season has been a struggle for Golden State. The Warriors are outside of the playoff picture with a 22-25 record.

Thompson and the Warriors will head to Philadelphia to take on the 76ers on Wednesday night.

NHL NEWS

NHL ROUNDUP: KNIGHTS EXTINGUISH OILERS’ 16-GAME WIN STREAK

Chandler Stephenson scored the go-ahead goal in the third period and also had an assist as the Vegas Golden Knights snapped the Edmonton Oilers’ 16-game winning streak with a 3-1 victory on Tuesday night in Las Vegas.

Connor McDavid scored

Connor McDavid scored a short-handed goal for Edmonton, which was denied a chance to tie the NHL-record, 17-game winning streak produced by the Mario Lemieux-led Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992-93.

The Oilers’ run wound up tied with a 16-game stretch by the 2016-17 Columbus Blue Jackets. Edmonton took its first loss since Dec. 19, when it fell 3-1 on the road against the New York Islanders.

Vegas’ Adin Hill made 30 saves for his third straight win since missing 15 games with a lower-body injury. Nicolas Roy and William Karlsson also scored for the Golden Knights, who improved to 6-1-1 over their past eight games.

Stars 2, Sabres 1

Jake Oettinger made a career-high 47 saves and Sam Steel scored the go-ahead goal at 9:04 of the second period, lifting visiting Dallas to a victory over Buffalo.

The 47 saves were the most in a regular-season game for Oettinger, whose personal-best save total was 64, set during Dallas’ 3-2 overtime loss to the Calgary Flames in Game 7 of a Western Conference first-round playoff series on May 15, 2022.

Matt Duchene scored a power-play goal early in the first period for the Stars, who won their fourth consecutive contest. Tage Thompson scored a power-play goal in the second period for the Sabres, who have lost three of their past five games.

Flyers 2, Panthers 1

Noah Cates scored the go-ahead goal in the third period as Philadelphia snapped its season-worst, five-game losing streak with a victory over Florida in Sunrise, Fla.

Travis Konecny, fresh off his second All-Star appearance, also scored for the Flyers. Samuel Ersson made 20 saves for the win.

Carter Verhaeghe scored for the Panthers, who had their four-game winning streak broken. Anthony Stolarz stopped 23 shots.

Flames 4, Bruins 1

Two goals in the first period and two more in the third propelled Calgary to a win at Boston.

Jonathan Huberdeau (goal, two assists) and Nazem Kadri (three assists) paced the Flames, who have won two in a row. Andrei Kuzmenko opened the scoring in his Calgary debut, while Noah Hanifin and Connor Zary also lit the lamp. Jacob Markstrom posted 21 saves.

Pavel Zacha scored and Jeremy Swayman made 25 stops for Boston, which was 8-1-3 in its previous 12 games.

Canucks 3, Hurricanes 2

J.T. Miller scored the go-ahead goal in the third period after Vancouver got two goals from Elias Lindholm, and the Canucks beat Carolina in Raleigh, N.C.

Lindholm, making his Vancouver debut after he was acquired from Calgary via trade last week, had a goal in each of the first two periods to help the Canucks push their point streak to 12 games (10-0-2). Quinn Hughes and Brock Boeser had two assists apiece and Thatcher Demko made 22 saves for Vancouver.

Jordan Martinook and Sebastian Aho had goals for the Hurricanes, but the team’s three-game winning streak ended. Pyotr Kochetkov made 16 saves.

Penguins 3, Jets 0

Goaltender Tristan Jarry stopped all 23 shots he faced for his league-leading sixth shutout as Pittsburgh topped visiting Winnipeg.

It was Jarry’s 19th career shutout and his second against Winnipeg. Kris Letang, Jeff Carter and Bryan Rust scored for the Penguins, who have won two in a row. The Penguins’ Mike Sullivan coached his 800th career game.

Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck made 24 saves in the Jets’ fourth straight loss (0-3-1).

Canadiens 5, Capitals 2

Nick Suzuki scored twice in a three-point outing and visiting Montreal netted three first-period goals en route to a win over slumping Washington.

Juraj Slafkovsky also scored twice and Michael Pezzetta added a goal for the Canadiens, who received a 36-save performance from Sam Montembeault. Mike Matheson collected two assists as Montreal improved to 2-0-1 in its past three games.

Alex Ovechkin and Rasmus Sandin scored for the Capitals, who are winless in five games (0-4-1). Starting goalie Charlie Lindgren was pulled after surrendering three goals on nine shots. Darcy Kuemper made 15 saves in relief. Dylan Strome notched two assists.

Devils 5, Avalanche 3

John Marino scored the tiebreaking goal with 2:17 remaining and New Jersey beat Colorado in Newark, N.J.

After blowing a 3-1 lead in the third, New Jersey regained the edge when the light-scoring Marino beat Colorado’s Justus Annunen (26 saves) for just his fourth goal of the season. Jesper Bratt had a goal and assist and Nico Hischier added two helpers for the Devils.

The Avalanche crawled out of their third-period hole thanks to goals from Cale Makar and Samuel Girard. Colorado star Nathan MacKinnon’s 14-game point streak ended Tuesday.

REPORT: BLACKHAWKS TO HOST 2025 WINTER CLASSIC

The Chicago Blackhawks are getting another outdoor game.

Wrigley Field will host the 2025 Winter Classic, with the Blackhawks facing the St. Louis Blues, a source told the Chicago Sun-Times’ Ben Pope.

It’ll be the second Winter Classic at the venue. The Blackhawks hosted the 2009 event at Wrigley Field, a 6-4 loss against the Detroit Red Wings. Boston’s Fenway Park is the only other stadium to have hosted two Winter Classics.

The NHL is expected to officially announce the game on Wednesday, according to Pope.

The Blues and Blackhawks clashed in the 2017 Winter Classic at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. The hosts prevailed 4-1 over their rivals from Chicago.

The Blackhawks have participated in six outdoor games, most recently in the 2019 Winter Classic versus the Boston Bruins. It’ll be the third time the Blues play outdoors.

Chicago will pass the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers for the most outdoor games in league history. Notably, the Blackhawks are 0-4 in Winter Classics and 1-5 overall in outdoor contests.

The Seattle Kraken shut out the Vegas Golden Knights 3-0 in this season’s Winter Classic at T-Mobile Park. It marked the first time since the event’s inception in 2008 that it wasn’t the most-viewed regular-season contest, according to Front Office Sports, as Connor Bedard’s NHL debut drew a larger TV audience.

Chicago is mired in last place with a 14-32-2 record. Bedard, the 2023 first overall pick, leads the Blackhawks in scoring with 15 goals and 33 points in 39 games but has missed 11 games with a broken jaw sustained on Jan. 5.

The Blues are currently in the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference with a 26-21-2 record.

BASEBALL NEWS

REPORTS: CLAYTON KERSHAW TO RETURN TO DODGERS IN 2024

The Dodgers and left-hander Clayton Kershaw have agreed to a contract that will return the franchise icon to Los Angeles for a 17th season, according to multiple media reports Tuesday.

No terms were reported.

Kershaw, who turns 36 next month, will not be ready to pitch at the start of the season. He underwent surgery Nov. 3 on his throwing shoulder and posted on Instagram following the procedure that he was “hopeful to return to play at some point next summer.”

Whenever he returns from the rehab process, Kershaw will be part of a drastically different pitching staff.

Los Angeles signed right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto, a star in Japan, to a 12-year contract, traded for Tampa Bay Rays ace Tyler Glasnow and signed veteran left-hander James Paxton to a one-year deal.

Youngsters Bobby Miller and Emmet Sheehan are expected to start the season in the rotation. Walker Buehler, who underwent a second Tommy John surgery in August 2022 and missed all of 2023, will not be ready to start the season with the team. Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May are also recovering from elbow procedures, and prized two-way signee Shohei Ohtani will not pitch in 2024 following elbow surgery.

Kershaw posted a 13-5 record with a 2.46 ERA in 24 starts this past season, but he dealt with diminished velocity after returning from midseason shoulder discomfort.

Kershaw owns a 210-92 record with a 2.48 ERA in 425 career appearances (422 starts) with the Dodgers. He is a 10-time All-Star and a three-time National League Cy Young Award winner, including in 2014, when he was named the league’s MVP.

Fueling his return likely is a desire to wipe out the memory of his most recent appearance in a Dodgers uniform — a disastrous outing in Game 1 of the National League Division Series, when he allowed the Arizona Diamondbacks to score six runs and recorded just one out.

“The competitor in me doesn’t want it to end the way it did. I want to win. I want to win another World Series,” said Kershaw, a member of the Dodgers’ 2020 world championship team, told a Los Angeles radio station in December. “I’m excited to get back after this surgery, to throw a ball and have it not hurt. I’m excited for that.”

ASTROS GIVE 2B JOSE ALTUVE 5-YEAR CONTRACT EXTENSION

The Houston Astros awarded longtime second baseman Jose Altuve with a five-year contract extension on Tuesday.

The club did not disclose financial terms, but multiple reports said the deal was worth $125 million.

Altuve was entering the final season of a seven-year contract extension signed back in 2018. The new pact keeps Altuve in Houston through 2029.

Altuve, 33, has won two World Series (2017, 2022) and one American League Most Valuable Player honor (2017) in a 13-year MLB career spent entirely with the Astros.

An eight-time All-Star, he has batted .307 with an .834 OPS for his career, with 209 home runs, 400 doubles, 747 RBIs, 1,062 runs and 293 stolen bases across 1,668 games. He ranks first in Astros history in career batting average and third in hits (2,047), doubles, runs and steals.

Known for big playoff contributions, Altuve ranks second in MLB history in postseason home runs (27) and runs (89) and is tied for third in playoff hits (117).

The native of Venezuela is coming off a 2023 season that saw him bat .311 with 17 homers, 21 doubles, 51 RBIs and 76 runs in 90 games.

PHILLIES ACQUIRE RHP MICHAEL RUCKER FROM CUBS

The Philadelphia Phillies acquired reliever Michael Rucker from the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday in exchange for cash considerations.

The 29-year-old right-hander was 2-1 with a 4.91 ERA in 35 appearances out of the Chicago bullpen in 2023.

Rucker is 5-2 with a 4.96 ERA and one save in 96 games (no starts) since making his debut with the Cubs in 2021. He has struck out 120 batters and walked 50 in 123 1/3 innings of work.

To make room for Rucker on the 40-man roster, the Phillies

GOLF NEWS

GOLF GLANCE: STRONG FIELD AT WM PHOENIX OPEN; LIV MAKES VEGAS DEBUT

Get ready for some party holes. The PGA Tour plays its annual Super Bowl week event at TPC Scottsdale, famous for the stadium seating at the par-3 16th hole, while LIV Golf promises a spectacle in Las Vegas — site of Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday.

PGA TOUR
LAST TOURNAMENT: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (Wyndham Clark)
THIS WEEK: WM Phoenix Open, Scottsdale, Ariz., Feb. 8-11
Course: TPC Scottsdale, Stadium (Par 71, 7,261 yards)
Purse: $8.8M (Winner: $1.584M)
Defending Champion: Scottie Scheffler
FedEx Cup Leader: Matthieu Pavon
HOW TO FOLLOW
TV: Thursday-Friday, 4-8 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 1-3 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (NBC)
Streaming (ESPN+): Thursday-Friday, 9:15 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
X: @WMPhoenixOpen
NOTES: Scheffler is attempting to become the first player to win the same event three consecutive years on tour since Steve Stricker at the John Deere Classic from 2009-11. He’s one of five of the top-10 players in the Official World Golf Rankings in the field. … This is the only designated event from 2023 that was not made a signature event for the 2024 season. … Pavon leads the Aon Swing 5 standings for players to earn spots in next week’s Genesis Invitational who are not otherwise exempt. The next four are Grayson Murray, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Kevin Yu and Stephan Jaeger. They are followed by Jake Knapp, Nate Lashley and Justin Thomas, who will be in next week’s field by virtue of his top-30 world ranking. … Bud Cauley is making his first PGA Tour start since the 2020 Fortinet Championship. He is playing on a major medical extension with 27 starts available.
BEST BETS: Scheffler (+500) hasn’t won an official stroke-play event since The Players last year. The two-time defending champion of this event is coming off a T6 last week. … Justin Thomas (+1000) finished fourth last year and has displayed strong form of late with five consecutive top-5 finishes worldwide. … Jordan Spieth (+1600) stumbled to a T39 last week following a solo third at The Sentry to open 2024. He finished T6 in Scottsdale last year. … Max Homa (+1600). … Sam Burns (+1600) … Clark (+2800) is a career-best sixth in the world following his victory at Pebble Beach and finished T10 in Phoenix last year. … Cameron Young (+3300) finished third in Dubai last month before a subpar 71-74-70 at Pebble Beach. … Hideki Matsuyama (+5000) has failed to reach the weekend in four of his past nine starts and hasn’t won in more than two years. However, he’s a two-time event champion who has also tied for second.
NEXT TOURNAMENT: The Genesis Invitational, Pacific Palisades, Calif., Feb. 15-18

LPGA Tour
LAST TOURNAMENT: LPGA Drive On Championship (Nelly Korda)
THIS WEEK: OFF.
Race to the CME Globe leader: Lydia Ko
NEXT TOURNAMENT: Honda LPGA Thailand, Feb. 22-25

PGA Tour Champions
LAST TOURNAMENT: Mitsubishi Electric Championship (Steven Alker)
THIS WEEK: OFF.
Charles Schwab Cup leader: Alker
NEXT TOURNAMENT: Chubb Classic, Naples, Fla., Feb. 16-18

LIV Golf League
LAST TOURNAMENT: Mayakoba (Individual: Joaquin Niemann; Team: Legion XIII)
THIS WEEK: Las Vegas, Feb. 8-10
Course: Las Vegas Country Club (Par 70, 7,089 yards)
Purse: Individual: $20M (Winner: $4M); Team: $5M (Winner: $3M)
Defending Champion: Inaugural Event
HOW TO FOLLOW
TV: Thursday, 1-6 p.m. ET (CW app); Friday-Saturday, 1-6 p.m. (CW Network)
Streaming: LIVGolf+, YouTube
X: LIVGolf_League
NOTES: This is the second of 14 events on the 2024 LIV Golf schedule. The shotgun start will begin at 1:15 p.m. ET on Friday and Saturday and 12:35 p.m. on Sunday. … The league has expanded to 13 teams and 54 players, including wild cards Laurie Canter and Hudson Swafford. … Jon Rahm’s new entry, Legion XIII, captured the team title in its debut at Mayakoba, while Rahm himself tied for third after a bogey-bogey finish Sunday.
NEXT TOURNAMENT: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, March 1-3

INDIANA SPORTS NEWS RELEASES/NEWS REPORTS

COLTS NEWS

COLTS OWNER JIM IRSAY ‘ON THE MEND’ AFTER BEING HOSPITALIZED

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay took to social media Tuesday to reveal that his health is improving after he was hospitalized for a severe respiratory illness.

“On the mend. Grateful for all the messages of love and support,” Irsay wrote on Twitter.

The Colts released a statement on Jan. 9 saying Irsay was undergoing treatment for the illness.

On Dec. 8, per a police report, the 64-year-old was found unresponsive in his home in Carmel (Ind.), prompting emergency personnel to administer Narcan, which is commonly used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

Irsay revealed during a November 2023 interview on HBO’s “Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel” that he had battled addiction and nearly died from a previous overdose. He said he had been to rehab “at least 15 times.”

Irsay’s father, Robert Irsay, purchased the Baltimore franchise in 1972 and relocated it to Indianapolis in 1984. Jim Irsay was the general manager from 1984-86 before becoming the owner, chairman and CEO in 1997.

(INDIANA PACERS BASKETBALL)

(PACERS RELEASE)

GAME REWIND: PACERS 132, ROCKETS 129

The 2023-2024 Indiana Pacers know how to complete a comeback.

On Tuesday, the Pacers (29-23) overcame a 10-point or more deficit for the 10th time this season in a 132-129 victory over the Houston Rockets (23-27) at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

Indiana has now won nine straight games against the Rockets, tying for the longest winning streak by either team in the all-time series. The Rockets previously won nine games in a row from March 1985 to April 1989.

After giving up 75 points in the first half, the Pacers limited the Rockets to 54 points on 39 percent shooting in the final 24 minutes.

The Pacers trailed by seven points at halftime before flipping the score into a seven-point lead after three quarters. Using a 21-3 run from the end of the third quarter into the early minutes of the fourth, the Pacers built a double-digit lead late in the game.

Despite a late push by the Rockets, the Pacers held on for the win in the final seconds.

Overall, the Pacers shot 62.8 percent from the field, including 15-for-32 from 3-point, while the Rockets made 51.5 percent of their shots (12-for-25 3-point).

Houston made 17 foul shots to Indiana’s nine makes from the charity stripe.

For Indiana, Pascal Siakam led the Pacers with 29 points, Myles Turner scored 21, Tyrese Haliburton logged 18 points and seven assists in 29 minutes, and T.J. McConnell supplied 17 points off the bench. Also scoring in double digits were Buddy Hield (12) and Aaron Nesmith (10).

Since joining the franchise, Siakam has led the Pacers in scoring in four of his 11 games played for the Blue & Gold.

“We have welcomed him in with open arms, and he has fit in like perfectly,” Haliburton said of Siakam. “I think our culture, the way we play, getting up and down, having fun and smiling, competing, he fits right in with that. I think that has just been natural.”

Four of Houston’s five starters scored 20 or more points, led by 30 points by Jalen Green (12-for-20 shooting) and 23 points from Dillon Brooks. Jabari Smith Jr. and Alperen Sengun accounted for 20 points.

Depth played a major factor, as Indiana’s bench outscored Houston’s reserves 45-23 in the game.

Indiana was missing its leading bench scorer Tuesday, as Bennedict Mathurin was a late scratch for the Pacers due to an illness. On the other bench, the Rockets were without starting guard Fred VanVleet (left adductor strain).

While both teams shot 65 percent from the field in the first half, the Rockets held a 75-68 intermission lead over the Pacers. To stay in front, the Rockets made one more 3-pointer (eight) and went 7-for-8 from the free throw line to Indiana’s 3-for-4 from the charity stripe.

Smith Jr. led all scorers with 18 points, and Sengun had 14 points for the visitors at the break. Siakam, on 7-for-8 shooting, led Indiana with 14 points, and Turner had 12 points.

The Pacers outshot the Rockets 70.8 to 64 percent in the opening frame to establish a 41-39 lead. Nine players recorded a basket for the Pacers in the first quarter.

Both teams started hot from the floor, but the Rockets didn’t miss in the first four minutes of action, making their first seven attempts – including a trio of 3-pointers – to lead 17-13.

The Pacers then responded with an 8-3 run, where Turner and Siakam each made threes, to go back ahead before the teams traded the lead seven times.

In the final 1:54 of the opening frame, the Pacers stayed ahead by one possession as McConnell scored a pair of baskets, Obi Toppin drained a 3-pointer and Jalen Smith scored on a hook shot.

At the buzzer, Rockets guard Aaron Holiday – a former Pacer – hit a turnaround fadeaway jumper from 15 feet to make it a two-point game.

Holiday stayed hot to start the second quarter, nailing back-to-back 3-pointers before Smith Jr. nailed one from deep to make it 48-41 with 10:31 left in the half, forcing a Pacers timeout.

A basket by Hield stopped the bleeding momentarily for the Pacers, but a 7-2 Houston run ignited by an and-one from veteran forward Jeff Green put the Rockets up by double digits with 7:30 remaining in the half.

The Pacers strung together a 7-0 run, but couldn’t retake the lead in the final 3:18 of the first half and trailed by seven points at the break.

Siakam was all over the floor in the third quarter for the Pacers, recording 10 points, two assists and two rebounds, and the Blue & Gold used a 17-3 run in the later half of the frame to lead 106-99.

Indiana then pulled within three points of the lead five times in the first 10 minutes of the third quarter thanks to strong play by Siakiam and Haliburton before a Hield 3-pointer put the Pacers ahead 100-98 with 2:08 on the clock.

The Pacers held the Rockets to just one point the remainder of the third quarter, and McConnell scored five straight – including an and-one with 4.6 seconds on the clock – to give the Blue & Gold a 106-99 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Quick buckets by McConnell and Hield extended the Pacers’ run from the third quarter into the fourth to 21-3, with the Pacers leading 110-99, before a 3-pointer by Jae’Sean Tate slowed the Pacers’ momentum.

That momentum came right back to the Blue & Gold, however, after Haliburton and Nesmith put the Pacers up by 14 by each hitting 3-pointers with 7:29 remaining.

The Rockets were able to plug away at the deficit as the fourth quarter went on, getting the score all the way down to 130-127 with 46 seconds left after Jalen Green made a 3-pointer, but Haliburton got a driving layup through contact to go with 21 seconds left.

Sengun scored on an offensive rebound with around six seconds left, but the Pacers kept the ball away from the Rockets after that as time ran out.

“They hit us hard early. We withstood it early and in the second period they just kept throwing haymakers and we allowed them to get going, which you never want to do with an NBA team with their kind of talent,” Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle said. “It was a survival situation. Second half was obviously a lot better. I thought (T.J.) McConnell and (Buddy) Hield really played huge roles in this game. Those guys played hard. They made timely shots and made timely plays.

The Pacers can extend their winning streak to three straight when they host the Golden State Warriors (22-25) on Thursday.

Stat of the Night

Tyrese Haliburton scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half, shooting 7-for-12 in the last 24 minutes after shooting 1-for-3 in the first half.

Inside the Numbers

The Pacers are 26-9 when six or more players score 10+ points each.

Indiana won the points in the paint margin 64-58.

Houston outrebounded Indiana 48-25.

The Rockets had 22 second-chance points to the Pacers’ five.

The Pacers shot 59.5 in the second half while limiting the Rockets to 39.2 percent.

After scoring 18 points in the first half, the Pacers limited Jabari Smith Jr. to two points in the second half.

You Can Quote Me on That

“Tough game, heck of a win. Would’ve liked a better start, but you can’t have anything.” – Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle on the win

“We responded well in the third. Early fourth was terrific with our bench group in there. We built enough of a lead, but Houston is an attacking team and they kept coming and kept coming. We had some untimely turnovers late and it got hairy at the end. We got out of here alive.” – Carlisle on the second half

“He’s moving better for sure. Physically, he’s doing much better. (Houston) has tough matchups for our entire team. … Ty made an enormous shot at the end. He made big shots and big plays in the fourth, and it’s a lot of good signs right now. Hopefully he feels good tomorrow coming off of this. Thursday, we will see where we are with the minutes.” – Carlisle on Tyrese Haliburton

“Ty is not there yet. He’s getting much closer. The minutes are a big part of this because he’s a rhythm player and he runs the show. Being able to orchestrate and communicate and do all those things on both ends is really important. Right now, his minutes are taking a haircut. He’s playing more now than he did the last couple of games. But hopefully the next couple games we will be out of the woods with this.” – Carilsle on Haliburton returning from injury

“What is there not to like? The guy is efficient offensively. He’s driving the ball. He’s posting up. He’s making threes. He’s getting to the free throw line, and he rebounds. He’s tremendous, and he does it in a way that just blends into the ecosystem of the team.” – Carlisle on Pascal Siakam

“T.J. McConnell is out of his mind as a competitor. He’s just extreme. He has a knack for making plays, firing up his teammates, and firing up our crowd. When he had that run in the second half, our building took a seismic jump.” – Carlisle on McConnell

“I feel good. There has obviously been a lot of chatter about my minutes. It feels good to play a majority of the game and finish the game. I feel good.” – Haliburton on recovering from injury

“T.J.’s trash talk is not traditional.” – Haliburton on McConnell

“We just have to keep growing our chemistry together, playing together, and good things will happen.” – Haliburton on building chemistry with Pascal Siakam

“I think the one thing people need to understand about Buddy Hield, and I’ve played with him my whole career, is the gravity that he has as a basketball player. His spacing. Even when he’s not making shots, which isn’t often – he’s one of the best shooters that has ever touched a basketball – his gravity when he’s on the floor in our stack actions and movement actions. A lot of times you have to respect what he does even if he’s not making shots.” – Haliburton on Hield

“We are able to bounce things off each other really easily. I think both of us are the same mentally – we want to win. I think we connect on that. Obviously he just got here, but the culture that I’ve tried to help build … he’s done a great job. Pascal is a winner. He has been in the playoffs what seems like every year of his career, and he’s won a championship. When he talks, people listen. I think that’s kind of the biggest thing.” – Haliburton on Siakam

“I’m just trying to figure out the best way to be effective together. It’s going to continue to get better.” – Siakam on chemistry with Haliburton

“I think it’s getting better. Just the type of player I am – I like observing. …  I’m coming to a good team with a good thing going. I’m just trying to come in and complement the team.” – Siakam on being aggressive and progressing with the team

“He’s able to do that. That’s why he’s an All-Star. To me, he has the potential to be special like that. … It’s so easy for him.” – Siakam on Haliburton making big shots at the end of the game

“T.J. is great to play with. He knows how to check in to those moments. He’s savvy. He brings the same energy everyday – some energy that’s unmatched. Something you can’t prepare yourself for.” – Hield on McConnell

“Once he figures it out, I think you will see a whole different dynamic of this team, and he will be able to have more fun and play more free out there.” – Hield on Siakam

Noteworthy

Tyrese Haliburton played 29 minutes on Tuesday after not playing more than 22  minutes in each of the four games prior as he recovers from a hamstring strain.

Indiana has a 17-10 home record this season.

On the schedule the Pacers have one game at home and three on the road before All-Star Weekend.

Buddy Hield needs two 3-pointers to pass Billy Keller (506) for fifth place in Pacers franchise history.

Tickets

The Pacers welcome Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors to Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Thursday, Feb. 8 at 7:00 PM ET.

INDY FUEL

(INDY FUEL RELEASE)

INDY FUEL PIT STOP: WEEK 16

  • INDY FUEL WEEK SIXTEEN RESULTS 2-1-0
  • INDY FUEL OVERALL RECORD 22-17-4 (4th in Central Division)

GAME 40 – FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 2 AT NEWFOUNDLAND – 5-3 W

The Fuel visited Newfoundland for the first time ever to kick off a three-game set against the Growlers on Friday night. After a close game for two periods, the Fuel came away with the 5-3 win.

GAME 41 – SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 3 AT NEWFOUNDLAND – 6-3 L

The Fuel took to the ice for the second of three in a long weekend of games against the Growlers. Newfoundland jumped out to an early lead and never surrendered as they won in regulation 6-3.

GAME 42 – SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 4 AT NEWFOUNDLAND – 4-3 SOW

The Fuel finished their weekend in Newfoundland with their third and final match against the Growlers. Despite going into the third period with a 3-0 lead, the Fuel had to secure their 4-3 victory in a shootout.

ROSTER MOVES

  • Brandon Schultz (F) traded to Cincinnati (01/31)

OIL DROPS

  • Ryan Gagnier scored twice against the Growlers in Sunday’s game. 
  • Jon Martin, after scoring over the weekend, continues to be the leading goalscorer for the Fuel with 15 goals so far this season. 
  • On Saturday, Brett Bulmer had a three-point game, following his two-point game on Friday.
  • After four rounds of shootout on Sunday, Cam Hillis and captain Seamus Malone scored, securing the victory in Newfoundland. 
  • Goalie Zach Driscoll is up on the leaderboards with two shootout wins.

TEAM NOTES

  • The Fuel is 20-5-2 when scoring first, the Fuel struck first numerous times over the weekend.
  • On average, the Fuel score 3.02 goals per game. This was seen over the weekend as all games had over 3 goals scored by the Fuel.
  • The team is ranked third in the league in penalty minutes. They average over 17 minutes per game.
  • Home ice advantage will be useful for the penalty kill, as the Fuel are seventh in the league with a percentage of 81.9%.

INDY FUEL WEEK 17 SCHEDULE

  • GAME 43 – THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 8 VS. ATLANTA
  • GAME 44 –  FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 9 VS. ATLANTA
  • GAME 45 – SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 10 VS. ATLANTA

INDIANA FOOTBALL

IU football Coach Curt Cignetti picked up his second commitment in the class of 2025 by getting Carmel OL Evan Parker. Parker is a 6A Junior All-State selection and is listed as a three-star recruit by 247Sports. He is joined by Illinois lineman Matt Marek as commitments in the 2025 class. Parker also had offers from Akron, Austin Peay, Ball State, Bowling Green, Coastal Carolina, Colorado State, Illinois State, Kent State, Northern Illinois, Toledo and Western Michigan.

IU MEN’S BASKETBALL

(IU RELEASE)

INDIANA USES SECOND HALF SURGE TO WIN AT OHIO STATE

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Sometimes, you have to be tougher than the other guy.

Sometimes, you have to believe, push, and push some more until the other guy breaks.

Sometimes, if you’re the Indiana Hoosiers facing an 18-point, second-half, on-the-road deficit after a series of recent disappointing performances, you block it all out and do what needs to be done.

And then you win, 76-73, at Ohio State.

That means 25 points (19 in the second half), six rebounds, four assists, and huge leadership from senior guard Trey Galloway.

“Trey stepped up,” coach Mike Woodson told Voice of the Hoosiers Don Fischer during the post-game radio show. “He wanted the ball. We ran a lot of different actions that got him the ball to make plays. He came through. It was nice to see.”

That means 26 points, 14 rebounds from sophomore forward Malik Reneau.

That means six points (all in crunch time), six rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and two steals from senior guard Anthony Leal, including the game winning 3-pointer with 22 seconds left, plus the two clinching free throws, plus enough little-things-matter plays to fill a highlight video (which happened courtesy of the Big Ten Network).

It means, in the final eight minutes, stifling defense, efficient offense, and the sense that maybe, just maybe, a big regular-season-ending run is coming.

“They didn’t quit,” Woodson told Fischer. “They kept fighting.

“We held (Ohio State) to 31 points in the second half. It was our defense and rebounding that made the plays we needed to make to get back in it.”

That included, while trailing 73-71, Galloway driving into the heart of the Ohio State defense, then passing to an open Leal in the corner for the decisive 3-point basket.

“Gallo was phenomenal down the stretch,” Woodson told Fischer. “Him and Malik. Then Anthony hits the biggest shot of the night.”

IU’s late 10-0 run from a 12-point deficit gave it a crunch-time chance. Its turnovers stopped (nine in the first half, two in the second). Its defense tightened and its offense thrived. In the final 20 minutes, it made 4-of-6 3-pointers and 11-of-14 free throws.

The Hoosiers (14-9 overall, 6-6 in the Big Ten) did all the things it didn’t do during Saturday’s disappointing home loss to Penn State.

“Guys were down,” Woodson told Fischer. “But it’s still a long season. We have eight more Big Ten games left. There’s a lot of basketball to be played. There’s no room for getting down.”

Ohio State (13-10, 3-9), which came in with seven losses in its last eight games, couldn’t stop the Hoosiers when it matter most.

IU needed just five seconds to score — a Ware dunk. Shooting struggles followed, but the Hoosiers made up for it on the free throw line (6-for-8) to forge a 13-13 tie after eight minutes.

Poor shooting and turnovers continued. The Buckeyes capitalized with a 9-0 run for a 25-15 lead with eight minutes left in the half.

IU hit four straight shots to dent Ohio State’s 13-point lead but couldn’t break it. By halftime, the Hoosiers trailed 42-29 despite Reneau’s 10 points and nine rebounds.

Ohio State scored the first five points of the second half to build an 18-point lead.

The game seemed over.

In fact, it had just begun.

Ware ended that run with a dunk. Galloway followed with consecutive baskets, including a 3-pointer. He and Reneau alternated scores to keep IU within range.

It cut the lead to nine, then eight as the clock ticked under 11:30. Ware picked up his fourth foul. No matter. Galloway hit a pair of free throws, then buried a 3-pointer. Mackenzie Mgbako made two free throws. Reneau hit a free throw. Galloway scored. The Hoosiers trailed 65-63 with five minutes left.

Galloway had a steal. Leal had a steal and rebound and then a free throw. Ware scored inside. The Hoosiers inched ahead 71-69. Ohio State tied it with 1:40 left.

IU had a shot-clock violation. Ohio State’s Jamison Battle hit a pair of free throws — making him 10-for-10 in the game and 25-for-25 in Big Ten play — for a 73-71 lead.

Leal buried a 3-pointer off a Galloway assist for a 74-73 lead with 22 seconds left. The Hoosiers forced a steal. Ware missed a layup, but Leal grabbed the offensive rebound, and was fouled with 2.9 seconds left. He made both free throws.

Victory was clinched and momentum renewed, with this caution from Woodson after seeing four Hoosiers pick up four fouls and a trip to No. 2 Purdue coming on Saturday night.

“We were fouling too much,” Woodson told Fischer. “We have to learn from that. Go back to practice and start preparing for Purdue.”

PURDUE FOOTBALL

LB Landon Drennan of Plainfield has committed to Purdue as a preferred walk-on. The 6-3, 215-pound Drennan led Plainfield with 73 tackles and four sacks as a senior.

PURDUE DIVING

(PURDUE RELEASE)

VIETA QUALIFIES FOR OLYMPICS IN 10-METER DIVING

DOHA, QATAR – Purdue’s Maycey Vieta earned a trip to Paris this summer as an Olympic qualifier in 10-meter diving, claiming her bid for Puerto Rico via a top-10 performance in the preliminary at the World Aquatics Championships.

Vieta was ninth among a field of 46 divers in Sunday’s prelim round, posting a list score of 296.50. By advancing to the semifinal, in which she placed 15th, the Big Ten champion assured herself of inclusion among the Olympic quota allotted for the event this summer at the XXXIII Olympiad.

Since winning the Big Ten title on the tower in February 2023, Vieta has competed at the NCAA Championships, Central American and Caribbean Games, Pan American Games and two editions of the World Aquatics Championships. She won a pair of medals at the Central American and Caribbean Games and finished fifth at the Pan Am Games.

Vieta has now become Purdue’s first female diver to qualify for the Olympics since Mary Beth Dunnichay did so for Team USA as a 15-year-old in 2008. Dunnichay officially enrolled at Purdue in August 2011.

Headlined by three-time Olympian and 2012 gold medalist David Boudia, the Boilermakers will have a diving representative at a fifth straight Olympics. The next question becomes who will join Vieta in Paris.

While Purdue’s Olympic contenders for USA Diving like Brandon Loschiavo, Daryn Wright, Greg Duncan and Jordan Rzepka won’t officially have an opportunity to qualify until the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in June, the women’s 10-meter results at the World Championships this week were important because of how American Katrina Young and Boilermaker Jaye Patrick (Latvia) finished. Young (259.10 list total) and Patrick (257.30) were 20th and 21st in the preliminaries Sunday.

Their finishes are projected to be very near the cutline for Olympic qualification. Diving has a total quota of 136 competitors (68 per gender) across its eight events – 3-meter and 10-meter, individual and synchro at the 2024 Olympics. The U.S. has already earned one Olympic bid in women’s 10-meter diving and Young may have claimed the second depending on how the 3-meter and synchro results shake out among those that have and have not already qualified for Paris. Similar to Vieta, Patrick would auto-qualify for Latvia if the quota allocation numbers also break in her favor.

Wright (252.35) placed 24th in Sunday’s prelim while competing at her second career World Aquatics Championships. Loschiavo, an Olympian in 2020, begins the men’s 10-meter competition Friday at 5 a.m. ET and is also aiming to earn an Olympic bid for USA Diving after the Americans did not have a finalist in the event at the 2023 World Championships in Japan.

Vieta is set to become Purdue’s first diver to compete at the Olympic Games for a territory besides the U.S. She grew up in Ohio and began competing for Puerto Rico via a family heritage on her father’s side. Patrick grew up in Southern California and competed under her Latvian name of Dzeja Delanija Patrika this week at the World Championships. She joined the Boilermakers in August as a graduate transfer from Northwestern.

Vieta, Wright and Patrick will return to campus in time for the Big Ten Championships at Purdue’s Morgan J. Burke Aquatic (Feb. 21-24). Sophie McAfee, Jenna Sonnenberg and Kaitlin Simons represent the other three would set to compete for the Boilermakers at Big Tens. Platform diving will be featured on Saturday as is customary. A Purdue diver has not won a Big Ten title at home since Boudia swept the three events in 2009.

NOTRE DAME MEN’S BASKETBALL

(NOTRE DAME RELEASE)

DESTINATION -> DURHAM

DURHAM, N.C. – The Notre Dame men’s basketball team will complete the final leg of its three-game road swing on Wednesday when they travel to Cameron Indoor Stadium to challenge top-10-ranked Duke. The Fighting Irish (7-15, 2-9) look to snap its current six-game skid by obtaining their first-ranked victory in the Micah Shrewsberry era. If victorious, it would mark Notre Dame’s first top-10 win since downing No. 10 Kentucky on Dec. 11, 2021.

That matchup with the No. 9/10 Blue Devils (16-5, 7-3) will tip off at 9 p.m. ET on Feb. 7 on the ACC Network.

NOTRE DAME AT DUKE

Notre Dame will look to do something on Wednesday that only two prior versions of the program have been able to pull off – snatch a victory from Duke’s grasps inside Cameron Indoor Stadium. The prior two times: a 95-91 victory on 1/16/16 and a 93-89 win on 2/9/21 (no fans due to Covid-19).

In four of the seven previous trips to Durham, those contests were decided by four points or less. Duke ultimately leads the overall series 29-8.

Five different Blue Devils average double figures, led by Kyle Filipowski’s 17.7 ppg and 8.5 rpg. Duke ranks 13th in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio and 14th in fewest turnovers per game. They also rank 25th in field goal percentage and 22nd in three-point shooting percentage.

When the two sides squared off back on Jan. 6, the Blue Devils escaped with a 67-59 win. Filipowski was kept in check with seven points but Mark Mitchell went off with a 23-point, 14-rebound double-double. Jeremy Roach followed right behind with 18 points. For Notre Dame, Markus Burton led with 18 points and four assists, followed by 12 points from Braeden Shrewsberry.

The Irish had a lead as large as nine in the first half, but the Blue Devils stormed into halftime on a 14-3 scoring run, which was extended into a 19-3 to start the second half. The Irish would continue to fight hard throughout, rallying down eight points to cut the deficit to just two with 2:44 remaining, yet just couldn’t push through in the end. Notre Dame and Duke took the same amount of shots (59) with the Irish converting two more (23). ND also won the rebounding battle 42-40.

1ST YEAR STAMP ON THE PROGRAM – DEFENSE

The year one Coach Shrewsberry stamp on the program has been the defensive intensity of this young Irish squad. Eleven games and eight different ACC opponents – all held under their season averages, with Miami and Duke being held to season lows. Since Dec. 16, only Miami (Jan. 24) and Pitt (Feb. 3) have reached the 70-point total on the Irish defense.

With that said, Notre Dame’s scoring defense of 65.5 ranks 2nd in the ACC and 37th in the country. According to KenPom, Notre Dame’s defensive efficiency ranks 45th nationally.

In ACC play only, Notre Dame ranks 2nd in scoring defense (64.0) and 2nd in field goal percentage defense (.401).

HITTING THE MARK

Point guard Markus Burton has put his name amongst the top freshmen in the country with his stellar play thus far. For those who aren’t acquainted with the local standout from Mishawaka, here are some quick hitters:

His 16.0 ppg leads all ACC freshmen, with the next highest being Pitt’s Carlton Carrington at 13.7.

Ranks 4th nationally amongst DI freshmen.

1-of-2 ACC players averaging over 16 points and 4.0 assists.

Double-digit points in all but tw0 games. He’s currently riding a 15-game streak – averaging 16.6 ppg in that span.

Ranks 10th in the ACC in scoring, 7th in Assists (4.1) and 5th in steals (1.7).

Averaging 4.7 assists in ACC play which ranks 5th. Also averaging 15.2 points & 1.8 steals, as the latter ranks 4th.

If the season ended today, Burton’s 16.0 ppg would rank 3rd all-time in the ND freshman record book. The two in front of him – Adrian Dantley (18.3) and Troy Murphy (19.2).

SHREWSBERRY’S HOT HAND

Braeden Shrewsberry has been hitting his stride over the past month. The freshman has secured six double-digit scoring performances over the last eight games, averaging 13.1 points – second highest to Burton in that span. He’s 25-of-54 from three in that span as his 46.3 percent ranks 3rd in the league in that timeframe (min 30 attempts).

Get this – since Jan. 6, Shrewsberry is averaging 3.1 made threes per game, which ranks second in the ACC in that timeframe. He’s hit multiple treys in eight straight games.

He’s now averaging 10.8 points in ACC play (2nd most on the team), while shooting 42.6 percent from the field & 42.0 percent from beyond the arc – ranks 6th in ACC. Lastly, he averages 2.6 made threes/game in league play, which ranks 5th.

ANOTHER FRESHMAN TRENDING

He might be flying under the radar right now but keep an eye on another freshman in Logan Imes. The Indiana native made his first collegiate start on Jan. 31 at Virginia, recording a stat line of three points, five rebounds, three assists and one turnover. In his second start at Pitt, he notched four points and a season-high six rebounds.

Looking at the last six games in particular, he’s logged 125 minutes on the court and has just four turnovers to show for it.

IN YOUR BAG

Markus Burton has been leading this young Irish squad all season offensively. As of late, he’s now ratcheted up the defensive intensity. The starting point guard has collected 10 steals over the last three games. He now averages a team-best 1.7 steals per game, which ranks 5th in the ACC. His 1.8 steals/game in league play ranks 4th.

BOARDS BATTLE

One of Notre Dame’s greatest strengths this season has been its rebounding. In ACC play, the Irish rank 2nd in rebounding (37.4) and 3rd in rebound margin (+3.6).

J.R. Konieczny (4) and Tae Davis (3) have combined for 7 double-doubles on the year.  Konieczny and Njie co-lead the team in rebounding (5.7).

The Irish are 6-6 this season when outrebounding their opponent.

SECOND HALF SURGE

Burton has had a knack for surging at the right moments in the second half. Eight times this season, Burton has scored double-digit points in the second half alone: Niagara, Oklahoma State, Western Michigan, Marquette, Marist, Florida State, Virginia and Pitt.

Burton is averaging a team-best 8.3 points in the second half.  

NOTRE DAME WOMEN’S LAX

(ND RELEASE)

IRISH TABBED FOURTH IN ACC PRESEASON COACHES POLL

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame women’s lacrosse season opens Friday, February 9 inside Loftus Sports Center and the Irish have been picked to finish fourth in the ACC Preseason Coaches Poll, as announced by the conference Tuesday. In addition to the team ranking, three Irish individuals were voted to the All-ACC Preseason Team with Kasey Choma, Jackie Wolak and Madison Ahern picking up honors.

Wolak, who finished the 2023 campaign with a team best 105 points was tabbed one of three attackers on the All-ACC team while Choma’s play in the midfield earned her one of three midfielder honors. Ahern was named one of eight “at-large” honorees, as voted on by conference head coaches.

The team opens their season against Eastern Michigan University Friday at 7:30 pm and have partnered with the HEADStrong Foundation as part of their Hair Havoc Game.

BUTLER FOOTBALL

(BUTLER RELEASE)

PIONEER FOOTBALL LEAGUE ANNOUNCES 2024 CONFERENCE SLATE

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The Pioneer Football League announced its 2024 conference slate featuring 44 games between the league’s 11 members. The Bulldogs will play at Drake (Oct. 12), at Davidson (Oct. 26), at Valparaiso (Nov. 9) and at Presbyterian (Nov. 23) this upcoming season and will host PFL matchups against Morehead State (Oct. 5), Dayton (Oct. 19), Stetson (Nov. 2), and St. Thomas (Nov. 16).

The upcoming 2024 season marks the 32nd year for the Pioneer Football League – the nation’s only non-scholarship, football-only NCAA Football Championship Subdivision conference. Each league member plays an eight-game schedule to determine the league champion and recipient of the PFL’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Football Championship.

The 2022 league schedule gets underway during Week 5 (Sat., Sept 28) with four games on the schedule. Reigning and seven-time PFL champion Drake opens its defense when it hosts 12-time champion San Diego during the opening weekend.

The highlight of the 2024 slate might be Week 11, which boasts a slate of four highly anticipated games:

– Drake travels north to meet St. Thomas in a rematch of last season’s game that proved the pivotal moment in the championship race.

– Butler and Valparaiso square off in the annual Hoosier Helmet battle at Valparaiso’s Brown Field.

– San Diego heads west to face Dayton in a matchup of the league’s two teams with 12 championships.

– Davidson hosts a Morehead State squad that derailed its championship run last season.

About the Pioneer Football League

The Pioneer Football League is the only non-scholarship, football-only NCAA Football Championship Subdivision conference. The PFL is a truly national conference with members on each coast and throughout the nation’s heartland. Butler University, the University of Dayton, Drake University, and Valparaiso University were among the league’s founding members in 1993, with Davidson College, Marist College, Morehead State University, Presbyterian College, the University of San Diego, the University of St. Thomas, and Stetson University joining to form the current 11-team league.

2024 PFL Conference Schedule

Week 5: Saturday, Sept. 28

Davidson at Presbyterian

Dayton at Marist

San Diego at Drake

Valparaiso at Morehead State

Week 6: Saturday, Oct. 5

Drake at Valparaiso

Marist at Davidson

Morehead State at Butler

Presbyterian at San Diego

Stetson at St. Thomas

Week 7: Saturday, Oct. 12

Butler at Drake

Davidson at Dayton

Presbyterian at Morehead State

St. Thomas at Marist

Valparaiso at Stetson

Week 8: Saturday, Oct. 19

Dayton at Butler

Drake at Presbyterian

Marist at San Diego

Stetson at Davidson

St. Thomas at Valparaiso

Week 9: Saturday, Oct. 26

Butler at Davidson

Morehead State at Dayton

Presbyterian at Stetson

San Diego at St. Thomas

Valparaiso at Marist

Week 10: Saturday, Nov. 2

Davidson at San Diego

Dayton at Presbyterian

Marist at Drake

Stetson at Butler

St. Thomas at Morehead State

Week 11: Saturday, Nov. 9

Butler at Valparaiso

Drake at St. Thomas

Marist at Stetson

Morehead State at Davidson

San Diego at Dayton

Week 12: Saturday, Nov. 16

Morehead State at Drake

Presbyterian at Marist

Stetson at San Diego

St. Thomas at Butler

Valparaiso at Dayton

Week 13: Saturday, Nov. 23

Butler at Presbyterian

Davidson at Valparaiso

Dayton at St. Thomas

Drake at Stetson

San Diego at Morehead State

BUTLER SOFTBALL

(BUTLER RELEASE)

BUTLERSOFTBALL 2024 PREVIEW SERIES: OUTFIELDERS

Four Bulldogs shared the majority of starts in the outfield in 2023, and all four return in 2024. Senior Monique Hoosen led the BIG EAST and broke Butler’s single-season record with 14 home runs last season. Sophomore Cate Lehner was an All-BIG EAST Second Team selection and led the team with 52 hits and 17 stolen bases. Redshirt-junior Kaylee Gross led the Bulldogs in conference games with nine stolen bases and 15 runs scored. In addition, junior Ella White, a utility player, saw some starts in the outfield when she was not starting in the infield.

“This unit added some serious depth this fall,” stated Head Coach Scott Hall. “We return some veterans who have a lot of game experience, and we added some very talented freshmen who will have an immediate impact! We have a lot of speed and arms in the grass, and all of them will see some time in various roles.”

In 2024, the Bulldogs are also expecting significant innings in outfield positions from a pair of newcomers: redshirt-freshman Hailey Conger and freshman Leigh Vande Hei. In addition, sophomore Emily Todor, who shifted from infield to outfield this season, and freshman Erin Clark will be competing for playing time.

As Hall pondered the season ahead, he added, “This season comes down to staying healthy and playing as one unit. We have a lot of new faces who will see significant time, and we need to be patient early as they adjust. I look for the upperclassmen to contribute right away and show the young ones how to compete and play at this level. This group will compete, and the will to work hard is there, so now we all need to be able to transfer that on game days. We have the potential to make some noise late in the season, and I’m excited to watch them pursue their goals. We are ready to start this journey! Should be a fun 2024 spring for the Dawgs… AS ONE!”

BUTLER MEN’S BASKETBALL

CLINGAN LEADS TOP-RANKED UCONN PAST BUTLER FOR 11TH STRAIGHT WIN

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Donovan Clingan had 18 points and 14 rebounds Tuesday night to lead top-ranked UConn to its 11th straight win, 71-62 over Butler.

Cam Spencer added 20 points for the Huskies (21-2, 11-1 Big East).

DJ Davis scored 21 points and Jahmyl Telfort had 17 for Butler (15-8, 6-6), which entered on a four-game winning streak.

The Huskies never trailed and led by 14 in the first half. But an 11-0 run by the Bulldogs that stretched into the second half cut it to 35-32 shortly after the break.

Connecticut extended the lead back to 44-35 after a steal and layup by Tristen Newton, and it was 49-40 after a highlight-reel, alley-oop dunk from Spencer to Samson Johnson.

Butler trimmed the margin to 63-58 on a corner 3-pointer from Pierre Brooks, but an offensive rebound and three-point play from Clingan pushed the advantage back to eight with just under two minutes to play.

The Huskies scored the first six points, four on little hook shots in the lane from Clingan, who had 12 points in the first half.

UConn took its first double-digit lead at 28-18 after a 3-pointer by Spencer, who also had a dozen first-half points.

Hassan Diarra scored all nine of his points off the bench in the first half, including three free throws that made it 35-21.

But then Butler scored the final six points of the period, three of them on Davis’ corner jumper just before the halftime buzzer.

BIG PICTURE

Butler: Came in averaging a conference-best 81.6 points per game, but was held to 37% shooting by the Huskies. The Bulldogs made just four of their 18 attempts from 3-point range.

UConn: The Huskies are 13-0 at home this season and have won their last 17 home games, a streak that stretches back to January 2023.

UP NEXT

Butler: Heads home to host Providence on Saturday.

UConn: Travels to Washington to face Georgetown on Saturday.

BALL STATE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

(BALL STATE RELEASE)

WBB RECEIVES 14 VOTES IN THE USA TODAY SPORTS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL COACHES’ POLL

MUNCIE, Ind. – The Ball State women’s basketball team received 14 votes in the latest USA Today Top 25 Coaches Poll which was released Tuesday afternoon. The Cardinals own a 20-2 overall record and currently sit atop of the Mid-American Conference standings with a 10-0 ledger.

The Cardinals are getting noticed on a national level as Ball State has received 14 votes in the latest USA Today Sports Coaches Poll. Ball State also moved up to the 71st  spot in the latest NCAA DI RPI rankings. Ball State is one of four teams in NCAA DI women’s basketball that have won 14 or more games in a row. Ball State is also only one of 11 NCAA DI teams that remain undefeated in their respective conference play with an 10-0 mark in MAC action. The Cardinals are also one of 11 NCAA DI teams that have only two losses so far this season. The Cardinals only two losses this season came against national powerhouses No. 19 Notre Dame and No. 10 UConn. Ball State is the only MAC school to receive votes so far this season. Ball State also has the highest win percentage out of any NCAA DI program in the state of Indiana 20-2 (.909). This is the third week in a row the Cardinals have received votes.

 The USA TODAY Sports women’s basketball coaches’ poll is conducted weekly throughout the regular season using a panel of head coaches at Division I schools. The panel is chosen by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. The members represent each of the 32 Division I conference that receive an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Each coach submits a Top 25 with a first-place vote worth 25 points, second place 24, and so on down to one point for 25th.

BALL STATE MEN’S GOLF

(BSU RELEASE)

REPEAT CHAMPS! CARDINALS DOMINANT IN CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH OF MAC/A-10 CHALLENGE

DADE CITY, Fla. – The Ball State men’s golf team captured its first championship of the 2024 spring season while dominating the final round of match play at the MAC/A-10 Challenge, played on the 7,153-yard South Course at Lake Jovita Golf & Country Club. Five out of six Cardinals golfers won their head-to-head competitions against their Mid-American Conference rivals from Eastern Michigan, earning the event title for the second straight year and the fourth time in 13 seasons.

Over two days and 54 holes of competition, Ball State golfers won 13 out of 18 matches against competitors from Ohio, George Washington and Eastern Michigan. Playing out of the No. 1 position for the top-seeded Cardinals, Carter Smith won all three of his matches on the par-72 course, with his five teammates each winning two of out of three.

Besides Ball State’s 5-1 win over the Eagles, No. 2-seeded Richmond dispatched George Washington 4-2 in a third-place match on Tuesday. Dayton used a tiebreaker following a 3-3 draw to earn a fifth-place finish over Central Michigan, and Ohio got past Loyola 4-2 for seventh place in a tournament pitting four schools from the MAC and four from the Atlantic-10 Conference.

“I’m really proud of the dominating final-round performance from the team today,” said Ball State coach Mike Fleck. “We got up early in most all the matches and closed strong. These guys have done a great job preparing over the off season.”

In the match-play format with each golfer earning one point for head-to-head victories on each hole, Smith earned his three victories while completing just 46 of 54 holes of play. He posted a 5&4 win (5-up with four holes remaining) over Will Kates of Ohio and a 3&2 victory over Jakub Hrinda of George Washington during Monday’s rounds. Tuesday, he earned a 3&2 triumph of EMU’s Cam Kellett.

Occupying the No. 1 position for the top-seeded team in all three rounds, Smith won his three matches against every team’s top player without ever playing the 17th and 18th holes.

On Tuesday, none of Ball State’s six matches ever reached their 17th hole. Kash Bellar, Ali Khan and Jensen Klondike all notched 3&2 victories, and Braxton Kuntz scored a 5&4 win without reaching the 15th hole. Alec Cesare, who won each of his first two matches, sustained a 3&2 setback on Tuesday.

Fleck added, “Our goal this week was to compete hard and be in a position to repeat. This was a complete team effort and a great way to start the spring season.”

Final results are available HERE.

Ball State Lineup and Round-by-Round Results

No. 1 – Carter Smith | W5&4 | W3&2 | W3&2

No. 2 – Kash Bellar | W5&4 | L3&2 | W3&2

No. 3 – Ali Khan | L1down | W2&1 | W3&2

No. 4 – Braxton Kuntz | L2down | W2up | W5&4

No. 5 – Jensen Klondike | W2&1 | L4&2 | W3&2

No. 6 – Alec Cesare | W5&4 | W4&3 | L3&2

Annual Champions:

2012 – Ball State

2013 – Bowling Green

2014 – Ball State

2015 – Eastern Michigan / Toledo

2016 – Eastern Michigan

2017 – Notre Dame

2018 – Miami

2019 – Miami

2020 – Drake

2021 – Connecticut

2022 – Eastern Michigan

2023 – Ball State

2024 – Ball State

BALL STATE MEN’S BASKETBALL

(BSU RELEASE)

MEN’S BASKETBALL SUFFERS OVERTIME HEARTBREAKER TO OHIO

MUNCIE, Ind. – The Ball State men’s basketball team fought back from an early hole to force overtime against Ohio on Tuesday night at Worthen Arena but suffered a heartbreaking 84-79 defeat.

The Cardinals (12-11, 4-7 MAC) had two opportunities in the last 40 seconds of regulation to take the lead, but the Bobcats (13-10, 7-4 MAC) contested enough to force both shots off target. Ball State had chances at the free throw line in the final minute of overtime but couldn’t capitalize.

Ohio got out to a 13-0 edge and led 36-27 at halftime courtesy of 51.9 percent shooting while limiting the hosts to 32.1 percent in the opening period. The Cardinals, however, scored the first seven points of the second half and eventually fought back to gain their first lead of the game after Basheer Jihad drained a pair of free throws with 13:38 to play to make the score 47-46. Both teams went back-and-forth from there, as neither led by more than two points for the remainder of regulation.

Jalin Anderson paced Ball State with 22 points and nine rebounds while adding three steals. Mickey Pearson Jr. tallied 18 points and nine rebounds, while Davion Bailey scored all 15 of his points after halftime and chipped in four rebounds, four assists and two steals. Jihad went for 13 points, and Trent Middleton Jr. had seven points, six rebounds and five assists.

The visiting Bobcats got 32 points, five rebounds and five assists out of senior guard Jaylin Hunter. Aidan Hadaway collected a 14-point, 10-rebound double-double for Ohio, who benefitted from Jihad fouling out with 1:26 left in regulation and the Cardinals up 70-68.

Ball State shot 42.3 percent (30-71) for the game, including 30.4 percent (7-23) on 3-pointers and made 63.2 percent (12-19) of its free throws. Ohio went 48.3 percent (28-58) on field goals, 28.0 percent (7-25) from distance and 80.8 percent (21-26) at the foul line.

The hosts controlled the glass to the tune of 45-34 and 22-6 advantages, respectively, in rebounds and second chance points. The Bobcats committed fewer turnovers (12-10) and got more scoring from its bench (16-4) than the Cardinals.

Next on the schedule for Ball State is a trip to Texas State to play at 5 p.m. ET (4 p.m. CT) on Saturday in the MAC-SBC Challenge.

INDIANA STATE MEN’S BASKETBALL

(ISU RELEASE)

INDIANA STATE WELCOMES VALPARAISO TO HULMAN CENTER ON WEDNESDAY

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State men’s basketball welcomes Valparaiso to the Hulman Center for the first time in the 2023-24 season. The game tips at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN+ and 105.5 The Legend.

Series History

Indiana State is on a two-game win streak against Valpo and owns a 57-37 overall series record. When playing in Terre Haute, ISU has a .674 winning percentage (31-15).

About Valparaiso

Valparaiso is in its first season with Coach Roger Powell Jr. at the helm. Valpo sits 11th-of-12 in the MVC standings but own the league’s lowest win total of six. VU was selected to finish last in the preseason poll. Valpo finished the 2022-23 season 11-21 overall and 5-15 in the MVC. VU was knocked out in the first round of the MVC Tournament by Murray State, 78-50. Two Beacons currently average 10.0+ PPG: Isaiah Stafford (17.4) and Cooper Schwieger (11.9).

Last Time Out – Indiana State

Jayson Kent put himself in historic company with a 20-rebound performance, breaking his career high set only two games ago. Kent tied six former Sycamores with his rebounding performance for eighth place, tying Bob Barker, Carl Macon, Johnny Edwards, Jayson Wells, Jim Cruse, and Larry Bird.

Ryan Conwell led the offensive scoring for Indiana State with 21 points and seven rebounds, including a 10-for-10 effort from the charity stripe. Robbie Avila closely followed with a double-double of 20 points and 11 rebounds, shooting 6-for-10 from the field and 4-for-6 from deep. Avila added a game-high four assists and game-high two blocks.

Julian Larry scored 16 points, finishing 7-for-10 from the floor, his highest scoring mark since his 19 points versus Tennessee State. Isaiah Swope chipped in 11 points. Larry

Last Time Out – Valparaiso

The Beacons fell 63-62 in a game that was hanging in the balance until the final horn sounded against Evansville. Cooper Schwieger reached 20 points for the third time this season including twice in the last four games. He went 9-of-16 from the field and 3-of-5 from 3-point territory. His 22 points shattered his previous career high of 21 set at Elon. Isaiah Stafford finished with 15 points, his eighth straight double-figure scoring output. Jaxon Edwards was the third Beacon in double figures with 10 points on 4-of-10 shooting including 2-of-3 from 3. He also swiped four steals and blocked two shots. This marked his first double-figure scoring output in the last eight games and his seventh of the season.

Gameday Promotions

Red Panda (Rong Niu) is the halftime entertainment. Red Panda, an acrobat, has been deemed by Sports Illustrated as the NBA’s most popular intermission entertainment. Red Panda climbs onto a seven-foot unicycle and flips dishes from her foot onto her head.

Wednesday will feature 80s-themed music throughout the night.

The Forest is encouraged to dress in beach attire.

The first 3,000 fans get an Indiana State Rollabana (presented by Wright’s Pool Service).

INDIANA STATE BASEBALL

(ISU RELEASE)

FIVE SYCAMORES NAMED TO MVC BASEBALL PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM; ISU PICKED TO REPEAT IN PRESEASON COACHES POLL

MVCSports.com – Five Indiana State baseball players were named to the Missouri Valley Conference’s preseason All-Conference team, while the Sycamores were voted first in the preseason poll as announced by the league office on Tuesday morning. The team and poll are determined by a vote from each head coach.

Grant Magill (C), Josue Urdaneta (2B), Randal Diaz (SS), Mike Sears (3B), and Jared Spencer (RP), were all named to the preseason All-Conference team as a league-high five Sycamores were named to the squad. Missouri State was next with four selections, while Murray State (2), Evansville (1), Southern Illinois (1), and Valparaiso (1) all had representation on the league’s preseason team.

The Sycamores received 95 total points and eight of the 10 first-place votes to claim top honors in the poll. ISU is the defending 2023 regular season and tournament championships, as well as hosting and winning the Terre Haute Regional and advancing to the Fort Worth Super Regional.

Missouri State (89) and Evansville (81) each received one first-place vote, while Murray State (67), and Southern Illinois (63) both finished inside the top-five in the league’s polling.

Magill earns preseason honors for the second consecutive season as the reigning ABCA/Rawlings NCAA Division I Gold Glove winner returned to the Sycamores for his senior season. The strong-armed catcher single-handedly shut down opposing run games throwing out 19 would-be base stealers, while adding five pickoffs.

He added a .262 batting average on the year with 13 doubles and two home runs with his offensive game rising to the occasion in the postseason. Seven of his 38 RBI came in the Terre Haute Regional as the Sycamores recorded wins over Wright State and Iowa (twice) to advance to the first Super Regional in program history.

Urdaneta was a Gold Glove finalist on his way to earning All-MVC Defensive honors. The Maracaibo, Venezuela native showcased his range throughout the year making just one error over the final 42 games on the field and added 173 total assists.

He added a .267 batting average at the plate finishing second on the team with 67 hits, while adding 10 doubles, a triple, and a home run. Urdaneta added 44 runs scored and 26 RBIs and led the team with 11 stolen bases.

Diaz returns to the field after a standout season that featured the Toa Alta, Puerto Rico native earning the MVC Championships Most Outstanding Player award for his performance at the conference tournament. The Sycamores’ leadoff batter led the way with a .455 batting average finishing with a team-high10 hits and six runs, while adding a .520 on-base percentage over the five-game postseason run.

Diaz was one of three Indiana State players to line up in all 62 games in the 2023 season, earning 61 starts. He finished third on the team with a .297 batting average with a team-high 74 hits over 249 at-bats, leading the Sycamores with 15 doubles and three triples, while finishing third with 10 home runs. He scored 47 runs while driving in 36 RBIs.

Sears was ISU’s third Gold Glove award finalist this past spring as the power-hitting third baseman showcased his glove skills on the hot corner in 2023. The Cincinnati, Ohio native earned All-MVC Defensive team honors after posting a .969 fielding percentage with 96 assists over the year in a rebound year from a season-ending injury.

Sears paced the Sycamores with a team-high 19 home runs, scoring 46 times while driving in 62 RBI. Sears posted a career-high 23 game on-base streak midway through the season and added a trio of two-homer games on the season, the final coming in a midweek win over Ball State. Sears also drew a team-high 32 walks and was hit by 15 pitches in posting a .389 on-base percentage.

Spencer adds to his preseason award list as the junior left-hander was named a Perfect Game Preseason Second Team All-American by the organization earlier this spring. The Centreville, Mich. native made a team-high 25 appearances on the mound while serving as ISU’s primary closer. He finished the year with a 3-2 record and a 3.86 ERA over 37.1 innings.

Spencer made his 2023 debut against Quinnipiac early in the season, but hit his strike midway through the season with back-to-back wins over SEMO and Illinois in mid-March. He added a season-high seven strikeouts in a relief outing against Michigan State, while posting a three-inning save against Indiana and a two-inning save against Vanderbilt. He later added back-to-back saves in the first two games of the Terre Haute Regional to highlight his 2023 season.

POTTINGER SELECTED NO. 62 OUTFIELDER BY D1BASEBALL IN THE 2024 PRESEASON PLAYER RANKINGS

D1BASEBALL – Indiana State outfielder Adam Pottinger became the fourth Sycamore to be listed among the nation’s best at the NCAA Division I according to the preseason D1Baseball positional rankings as the website continues to unveil the top players at each position heading into the 2024 season.

Pottinger (No. 62 outfielder) joins teammates Grant Magill (No. 42 catcher), Josue Urdaneta (No. 44 second baseman), and Randal Diaz (No. 21 shortstop) on the list following a standout first season with the Sycamores while starting primarily in both corner outfield positions.

The Deerfield, Ill. native was the top-ranked outfielder in the Missouri Valley Conference and was one of three MVC players in the top-100 list joined by Missouri State’s Zach Stewart (No. 74) and Bradley’s Ryan Vogel (No. 79).

Pottinger returns to the field following a 2023 season that saw the rising senior earn MVC Second Team All-Conference honors and an MVC All-Tournament Team selection. He lined up in 59 games earning 55 starts in the outfield, while finishing second on the team with a .299 batting average and 11 home runs.

Pottinger led ISU with 51 runs scored, was second in drawing 31 walks, and was hit by a team-leading 22 pitches giving him a .449 on-base percentage. His prowess at getting on base led to a Mitch Hannahs era record 36-game on-base streak running from April 2 – June 4, while adding home runs against both Wright State and Iowa in the postseason.

He finished with a .992 fielding percentage including a team-high eight outfield assists on the year.

D1Baseball will continue to announce their player positional rankings heading into the start of the 2024 season.

Season tickets are now on sale for the 2024 Indiana State season with ticket details below.

2024 Baseball Season Ticket Information

Reserved chairback season tickets can be purchased for $99. General admission season tickets will go on sale as well with adult ($72), seniors ($54), and youth ($40) tickets also being available for purchase. There will be a $5 surcharge added to those wanting tickets printed.

Sycamore baseball season tickets will also be available for purchase at home ISU men’s and women’s basketball starting this weekend.

ISU Baseball single game tickets will go on sale in the coming weeks.

PURDUE FT. WAYNE MEN’S BASKETBALL

(PFW RELEASE)

CLEVELAND STATE COMES TO FORT WAYNE ON WEDNESDAY EVENING

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Fresh off a win on Sunday over Youngstown State, the Mastodons welcome Cleveland State to town on Wednesday (Feb. 7).

Game Day Information
Who: Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons (15-8, 6-6) vs. Cleveland State (14-10, 7-6) 
When: Wednesday, Feb. 7 | 7 p.m. ET 
Where: Fort Wayne, Ind. | Allen County War Memorial Coliseum 
Live Stats: Link
Video: ESPN+
Radio: 1380 AM
Series Record: Cleveland State leads 11-3
Game Notes: Purdue Fort Wayne(PDF) | Cleveland State
Digital Program: Link
Tickets: Link

‘DONS & ENDS:

// The ‘Dons have wins over each of the top three teams in the Horizon League standings (Green Bay, Oakland and Youngstown State).

// The ‘Dons have recorded double-digit steals in 12 games. They have had more steals than their opponent in 18-of-23 games and each of the last six games.

// The ‘Dons have made at least eight 3-pointers in 18-of-23 games and double digit treys in seven games.

// The ‘Dons have double-digit offensive rebounds in nine games.

// Quinton Morton-Robertson is 34th in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage at 40.9 percent (65-of-159).

//  Three times this season the ‘Dons have committed six or fewer turnovers in a game.

// Anthony Roberts has 49 steals, 20th in the nation and first in the league. His 2.13 steals per game ranks 35th in the nation.

// Rasheed Bello is 39th in the nation in total steals (45). His 1.96 steals per game is 56th.

// Rasheed Bello went over the 1,000 point mark in his NCAA career on Dec. 31 vs. Detroit Mercy. His 1,000 plus total combines his scoring at UW-Parkside and Purdue Fort Wayne. He has 1,142 total points with 791 coming at UW-Parkside.

// Purdue Fort Wayne’s scoring margin of 10.5 is second in the league and 42nd in the nation.

// The ‘Dons have had fewer turnovers than their opponent in all but three games this season.

// All five starters reached double-digits vs. SEMO (Dec. 9) and vs. Bethune-Cookman (Dec. 16). Additionally, the ‘Dons are 8-2 when four or all five starters reach double-digits.

// Rasheed Bello has reached double-digits in every game this season but two this season.

// The ‘Dons are averaging 81.8 points per game, 29th in the nation and up from 73.9 last season.

// Purdue Fort Wayne’s 10.0 steals per game this season, 9th in the nation, are up from the 7.3 last year. The Division I era program high for steals per game was the 8.8 mark in 2021-22.

// Four Mastodons are averaging better than 13.0 points per game: Rasheed Bello (15.3), Anthony Roberts (13.2), Jalen Jackson (15.6) and Quinton Morton-Robertson (13.3).

TOP 30 NATIONAL RANKINGS:

// 3rd in turnover margin (+7.1)

// 5th in turnovers forced per game (17.57)

// 9th in steals per game (10.0)

// 13th in fast break points per game (15.61)

// 29th in points per game (81.8)

// 29th in 3-pointers per game (9.4)

// 30th in 3-point defense (30.2 percent)

OVER THE LAST FIVE GAMES..:

// … the ‘Dons have double-digit made free throws in every game.

// … Anthony Roberts is 13-of-14 from the free throw line.

// … the ‘Dons have eight or more 3-pointers in four of the games.

IN LEAGUE PLAY ONLY THE ‘DONS ARE…:

// … making 9.8 3-pointers per game, only one team in the league making 10 or more. Green Bay, with 10.9.

// … shooting 37.0 percent from three, 3rd in the league.

// … 1st in turnover margin (5.67).

// … 4th in the league in scoring at 80.4 points per game.

IN LEAGUE PLAY ONLY,  INDIVIDUALLY…:

// … Quinton Morton-Robertson is 2nd in the league in 3-pointers per game (3.2) and 4th in 3-point field goal percentage (39.6 percent).

// … Rasheed Bello is 1st (2.2) in steals per game.

// … Eric Mulder is 4th in rebounds per game (7.6).

// … Rasheed Bello is 3rd in assists (4.8).

PURDUE FT. WAYNE MEN’S VOLLEYBALL

(PFW RELEASE)

JON DIEDRICH NAMED MIVA OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Jon Diedrich of the Purdue Fort Wayne men’s volleyball team was selected as the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association’s Offensive Player of the Week, the MIVA announced on Tuesday (Feb. 6).

Diedrich led Purdue Fort Wayne to two wins last week, including a five-set win over then-No. 8 Penn State. He had 21 kills on a very efficient .513 hitting percentage against the Nittany Lions, lead Purdue Fort Wayne to its first win over a ranked team this season. In addition to his career performance against the eighth-ranked Nittany Lions, he recorded 13 kills in a five-set win over Saint Francis (Pa.).

The fifth-year Mastodon is the active NCAA leader with 1,238 career kills. He is averaging 3.51 kills per set this season with a career-best .361 hitting percentage.

This is Diedrich’s fifth Player of the Week award. He has won one honor in each of his five seasons with Purdue Fort Wayne. He joins Andrej Polomac as the other Mastodon to earn Offensive Player of the Week this season.

Diedrich and the No. 20 Mastodons welcome No. 13 Loyola Chicago to the Gates Sports Center on Tuesday (Feb. 6) before hitting the road to play at Queens on Friday and Saturday (Feb. 9-10).

NO. 13 LOYOLA CHICAGO TAKES MIVA MATCH FROM NO. 20 MASTODONS

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The No. 20 Purdue Fort Wayne men’s volleyball team fell to No. 13 Loyola Chicago 3-0 (25-22, 25-17, 25-16) on Tuesday (Feb. 6) night on the Arnie Ball Court at the Gates Sports Center.

Jon Diedrich was one of three players in the match with double-digit kills as he led the ‘Dons with 11. He hit a very efficient .478. Andrej Polomac assisted on 30 kills and added five digs. Loyola hit their third-best percentage of the season at .449. The ‘Dons’ matched them in the first set, hitting .455, but couldn’t keep pace and finished at .263.

The ‘Dons led in set one 17-15 before Loyola went on a 7-1 run to go up 22-18. The Mastodons clawed back to 24-22, but Jake Read for the Ramblers got one of his match-high 16 kills on set point. Diedrich had two of his kills in the 4-2 stretch.

Sets two and three were all Ramblers as they hit .400 and .542 to take the match.

Bryce Walker had five kills on nine attempts and added two blocks. Mark Frazier had a team-high six digs.

The 13th-ranked Ramblers improve to 6-6 and 1-1 in the MIVA while the No. 20 Mastodons see their record drop to 6-4 and 0-1 in the MIVA. The ‘Dons head to Charlotte for their next matches on Friday (Feb. 9) and Saturday (Feb. 10) against Queens for their first matches as MIVA foes.

EVANSVILLE BASEBALL

(ACES RELEASE)

HUG NAMED TO PRESEASON ALL-MVC BASEBALL TEAM

EVANSVILLE, Ind. –  University of Evansville graduate first baseman Chase Hug (Indianapolis, Ind./Olney Central/Pike HS) was named on Tuesday to the preseason all-Missouri Valley Conference baseball team at first base in a vote of the league’s head coaches.

Hug, who recently was ranked as the nation’s 29th-best first baseman by D1Baseball.com entering the 2024 season, earned preseason all-Valley honors after capturing first-team all-MVC honors a season ago for the Purple Aces.  Hug led UE with a team-best .311 average in 2023 with 15 doubles, three triples, 14 home runs, 48 RBI and 51 runs scored.  He was also named to the MVC’s All-Defensive Team and MVC All-Tournament team a year ago for the Purple Aces.

As a team, Evansville was predicted to finish third in a closely-contested preseason poll.  Indiana State, which advanced to the NCAA Tournament Super Regional round last year, was predicted to finish first in the preseason poll with 95 points and eight first-place votes, with both Missouri State (89 points) and Evansville (81 points) finishing close behind, with each school receiving a first-place vote.  Evansville returns seven position starters from a year ago, with five of them earning all-MVC honors at some point in their UE career, and 10 pitchers, including 2022 MVC Pitcher of the Year Nick Smith.  Evansville posted a 37-24 overall record in 2023 and advanced to the MVC Tournament final against Indiana State.

Season tickets for UE baseball are currently on sale.  Tickets can be purchased by phone by calling the UE Athletic Ticket Office at 812-488-2623.  Tickets can also be purchased on-line at GoPurpleAces.com/Tickets through HomeTown Ticketing.

The 2024 UE baseball season will kick off on Friday, February 16 at 2023 College World Series participant Oral Roberts.

EVANSVILLE MEN’S BASKETBALL

(ACES RELEASE)

MEN’S BASKETBALL HOSTS BRADLEY ON WEDNESDAY

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – After earning its third consecutive Missouri Valley Conference win on Saturday at Valparaiso, the University of Evansville men’s basketball team looks to continue its streak on Wednesday against Bradley.  Tip is set for 7 p.m. CT with ESPN+ and the Purple Aces Radio Network having the coverage.

Last Time Out

– Eleven lead changes ensued before the Purple Aces fended off a late challenge to earn a 63-62 road win over Valpo on Saturday

– Up by two in the final seconds, UE sent Valpo to the line where the final free throw fell short giving Evansville the win

– Kenny Strawbridge Jr. led the Aces with 14 points and 2 steals while Yacine Toumi and Antonio Thomas posted 10 apiece

– Josh Hughes hit a pair of triples in the second half that put UE in front

Getting Back to Form

– As he continues his return from injury, Ben Humrichous has seen his workload increase in each game

– At Valpo, Humrichous played 24 minutes and tallied 8 points and 3 boards; in his first game back against UIC, his presence was immediately felt as he finished with 15 points, 5 boards and 4 assists after missing the 3 previous games and 8 out of 9

– He remains one of the most versatile players in the MVC and the stat rankings are indicative of that: scoring (11th | 15.1 PPG), FG% (8th | 52.9%), 3PT% (1st | 45.2%), blocks (7th | 1.20/game)

Clutch Triples

– Josh Hughes converted a pair of second-half triples that were pivotal in Saturday’s road win at Valparaiso

– He recorded nine points against the Beacons, rebounding from a scoreless game against UIC

– Evansville is 10-1 in games where Hughes converts at least 50% of his attempts

– He has been held scoreless in 2 of the last 4 outings

– Hughes recorded two blocks at VU and is tied for 5th in the MVC with 1.23/game

– In the home game against Missouri State, Hughes connected on seven 3-point attempts; he has a total of 12 triples in the other 22 games

Adding More Swipes

– Kenny Strawbridge Jr.’s defense has been off the charts over the last six games

– With 14 steals in that span, his average has risen to 1.77/game, second in the MVC

– Offensively, he led UE at Valpo with 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting and is third on the team with 9.6 PPG on the season

– His season mark of 21 points came in the win over UT Martin

Scouting the Opponent

– Winners of 11 out of their last 12 games, Bradley comes to town with a 17-6 record and a 9-3 mark in MVC contests

– The lone defeat during the recent streak for the Braves was a 95-86 overtime loss at Indiana State

– Since the loss on Jan. 27, BU beat UNI by a score of 85-69 before a 73-60 road win at Illinois State on 2/3

– Connor Hickman continues to pace Bradley with 14.7 points per game while shooting 48.6% from the field

– Malevy Leons is averaging 14.0 points while leading the team with 7.0 rebounds

– Just behind him is Duke Deen with 13.3 PPG and a team-high 59 3-point makes

SOUTHERN INDIANA MEN’S BASKETBALL

(USI RELEASE)

USI CELEBRATES HOMECOMING WEEK WITH TWO GAMES

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana Men’s Basketball celebrates 2024 Homecoming Week with a set of Ohio Valley Conference games at Screaming Eagles Arena. The Screaming Eagles welcome Eastern Illinois University to the arena Thursday, while Southern Illinois University Edwardsville visits on Saturday for the Homecoming game.

Thursday and Saturday’s game times are set for 7:30 p.m. Fans can track your Eagles all season by visiting the schedule on USIScreamingEagles.com for links to follow all of the action on the ESPN+, ESPN 97.7FM (http://listentotheref.com), and 95.7FM The Spin (http://957thespin.com/).

The USI-EIU game is the annual Coaches vs. Cancer game for the Eagles. USI is partnering with the National Association of Basketball Coaches to help promote the American Cancer Society’s fight to end cancer as we know it.

USI (6-17, 3-7 OVC) comes off the road after splitting a pair of games in Tennessee last week. The Eagles got back on track and snapped a five-game skid with a 74-71 win over Tennessee Tech University before stumbling on the back end of the trip at Tennessee State University, 79-74. USI junior guard Jeremiah Hernandez (Chicago, Illinois) led the Eagles by averaging 21.0 points per game.

Hernandez, who leads USI with 17.1 points per game this season, has been on fire through the last 10 games. He has reached double-digits in scoring the last 10 games, averaging 23.0 points per outing, and has scored 20-or-more points in six of the 10 contests.

On the stat sheet, junior guard/forward AJ Smith (Edwardsville, Illinois) follows Hernandez with 12.6 points and a team-best 8.9 rebounds per outing, while posting a team-high nine double-doubles.

USI has eight games remaining in the 2023-24 regular season, seven in February and one in March. The Eagles, currently eighth in the OVC, are at home for four of the eight remaining games as they fight for a spot in the league’s post-season tournament at the Ford Center March 6-9.

EIU (10-13, 4-6 OVC) has lost three-straight games after losing a pair last week at home. The Panthers lost 76-59 to the University of Tennessee at Martin February 1 and 71-47 to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock February 3.

USI leads the all-time series, 3-2, but is tied, 1-1, since joining the OVC last year. EIU took the opening game between the pair last season, 91-80, in Charleston, but USI bounced back to win at Screaming Eagles Arena, 78-74.

SIUE (13-10, 6-4 OVC) concluded last week’s action with a 90-79 loss to the University of Tennessee at Martin at home. The Cougars, who visit Morehead State University Thursday before coming to Evansville, have won five of their last seven games, following their win over the Eagles in January.

The Eagles lead the all-time series with the Cougars, 45-23, but SIUE leads USI over the last two seasons, 3-1. The Cougars won January’s tough battle with USI, 67-64, in Edwardsville despite the Eagles’ Smith posting a double-double, 20 points and 12 rebounds.

VALPO FOOTBALL

(VALPO RELEASE)

BULK OF 2024 VALPO FOOTBALL SCHEDULE REVEALED AS PFL ANNOUNCES LEAGUE SLATE

The majority of the 2024 Valparaiso University football schedule was revealed on Tuesday, as the Pioneer Football League announced the 2024 league docket and the Beacons disclosed three of their four nonconference games.

A fourth nonconference game and 12th overall contest is expected to be added to the schedule. That game will be announced when details are finalized.

The season will start with a pair of road nonconference trips to Missouri Valley Football Conference opponents as Valpo visits UNI on Aug. 31 and Youngstown State on Sept. 7. The game at UNI in Cedar Falls, Iowa will mark Valpo’s first matchup with the Panthers on the gridiron. The Penguins are a more familiar opponent as the two teams will face off in Youngstown, Ohio for the fifth time since 2011 and the second straight season. Youngstown State finished the 2023 season ranked No. 19 nationally by Stats Perform FCS and No. 21 by the FCS Coaches’ Poll. UNI received 41 votes in the final Stats Perform FCS poll and would have been ranked 29th if the rankings extended past 25.

Valpo will host Indiana Wesleyan on Sept. 14 at Brown Field. This will represent the fourth consecutive season in which the Beacons and Wildcats have faced off. Each of the last two showdowns have been cliffhangers decided by three points or fewer.

Valpo will face the same eight Pioneer Football League opponents as last season with the locations flipped. League play kicks off on Sept. 28 with a trip to Morehead, Ky. to take on Morehead State, and other PFL road opponents include Stetson in DeLand, Fla. (Oct. 12), Marist in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (Oct. 26) and Dayton in Dayton, Ohio (Nov. 16). The Brown Field PFL slate includes defending league champion Drake (Oct. 5), St. Thomas (Oct. 19), the Hoosier Helmet rivalry game against Butler (Nov. 9) and the regular-season finale vs. Davidson (Nov. 23).

Valpo has won 14 Pioneer Football League games over the last four seasons, the most in a four-year period in program history. This stretch marks Valpo’s most league wins in a four-year period in any conference since 1961-1964. The 2023 Beacons boasted the team’s best total defense and scoring defense in a traditional fall season since 2000. The team thrived academically as well, equaling a program record for PFL Honor Roll members, including the program’s first PFL Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Evan Annis.

VALPO BASEBALL

(VALPO RELEASE)

RYAN MAKA NAMED TO PRESEASON ALL-MVC SQUAD

Valparaiso University baseball junior outfielder Ryan Maka (Oak Forest, Ill. / Oak Forest) was named to the Preseason All-Missouri Valley Conference team, which was announced by the league office on Tuesday.

Maka earned All-MVC First Team status in 2023 after he posted a .345 batting average, cracked seven home runs and drove in 43 runs while scoring 33 times, slugging .525 and reaching base at a .428 clip during a season in which he started all 47 games. The left-handed swinging outfielder hit .382 in Valley play with five home runs, seven doubles, a triple and 30 RBIs to go along with a .618 slugging percentage and .454 on-base percentage. He ranked second in the MVC in batting average and eighth in OBP. 

Maka owned a perfect fielding percentage on 96 chances in 2023. In league-only play, he ranked in the top 10 in The Valley in batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, runs scored, hits, RBIs, total bases and walks. His batting average jumped nearly 100 points last season after he hit .250 as a freshman. He launched two grand slams – April 2 vs. Murray State and May 5 vs. Southern Illinois, becoming the first Valpo player since at least 2006 with two career grand slams.

Valpo was picked ninth of 10 in the MVC preseason poll, one spot ahead of Bradley and one spot behind UIC. Indiana State was picked to win the league with Missouri State and Evansville rounding out the top three.

The Beacons will open the season on Friday, Feb. 16 by starting a three-game series with Alabama State in Montgomery, Ala.

2024 MVC PRESEASON POLL

1

Indiana State (8)

95

2

Missouri State (1)

89

3

Evansville (1)

81

4

Murray State

67

5

Southern Illinois

63

6

Belmont

40

7

Illinois State

39

8

UIC

34

9

Valparaiso

22

10

Bradley

20

2024 MVC PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM

1B Chase Hug, Evansville

2B Josue Urdaneta, Indiana State

3B Taeg Gollert, Missouri State

3B Mike Sears, Indiana State

SS Randal Diaz, Indiana State

SS Drew Vogel, Murray State

C Grant Magill, Indiana State

OF Ryan Maka, Valparaiso

OF Dusty Mercer, Murray State

OF Zack Stewart, Missouri State

SP Jake Combs, Southern Illinois

SP Brandt Thompson, Missouri State

RP Garrett Ferguson, Missouri State

RP Jared Spencer, Indiana State

IUNDY WRESTLING

(IUNDY RELEASE)

Sizemore Snags Glvc Wrestling Weekly Award

INDIANAPOLIS – University of Indianapolis graduate student Trey Sizemore has been named the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) Wrestler of the Week, it was announced by the league office Tuesday.

WRESTLER OF THE WEEK

Trey Sizemore, #9 Indianapolis

Gr. | 174 | Lawrenceburg, Ind.

Major: MBA

Team Results: 54-0 W vs. Kentucky Wesleyan, 22-20 W vs. #23 Glenville State, 29-6 W vs. #11 Grand Valley State (2/3)

Helped UIndy go 3-0 at the Greyhound Duals

Defeated No. 2 Joshua Kenny of GVSU (8-2, decision), GSU’s Zachary Holstion (16-0, tech fall), and KWU’s Shevan Griffith (0:33, pin)

Earns second career Wrestler of the Week Award (2/6/24, 12/5/23)

Last Greyhounds’ Wrestler of the Week: Derek Blubaugh (12/19/23)

UINDY SWIMMING

(UINDY RELEASE)

GLVC CHAMPIONSHIPS ON DECK FOR UINDY SWIM/DIVE

EVANSVILE, Ind.—The top-five-ranked UIndy swimming & diving teams head to Southwestern Indiana this week with eyes on both team and individual GLVC titles. The conference’s (and some of the nation’s) fastest swimmers and most-talented divers will compete at the 2024 GLVC Men’s and Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships on Feb. 6-11. A combined total of 21 men’s and women’s teams will square off at the Deaconess Aquatic Center in Evansville, Ind.

Action starts with the 800 free relay finals Tuesday night at 7 p.m. ET. The standard championship meet format follows, with morning preliminaries (11 ET) and evening finals (6:30 ET) Wednesday through Saturday. In between, the diving competitions will take place at 1:30 p.m. ET every day and will include both prelims and finals with a short break in between.

This year’s GLVC Championship meet will be streamed live on the GLVC Sports Network at GLVCSN.com, but a new pay-per-view pricing model will be utilized. The GLVCSN Android and iOS apps can also be downloaded on your mobile device, while the OTT platforms on Roku, Amazon fireTV, Android TV, and Apple TV are compatible with the GLVCSN app.

GLVC swimming & diving fans will be treated to complete coverage of 14 broadcasts that span 42 events, including 19 finals in swimming and four in diving. Both John Edwards and Mark Mullin return to the headset as play-by-play and color commentators, respectively, while Sara Dayley – who has been part of the GLVCSN team for several other championship broadcasts – joins this event for the first time as an on-deck reporter and the exclusive diving expert. All broadcasts will begin approximately 10 minutes prior to each session.

Last February, UIndy earned its first-ever women’s GLVC trophy, scoring a league-record 1,950 points to top rival Drury University. The Greyhound men, meanwhile, amassed 1,562 points to secure a runner-up finish in the final team standings. All told, UIndy combined for 21 gold medals – 11 women’s and 10 men’s – on the way to five major awards, including Women’s Coach of the Year Brent Noble and back-to-back Men’s Swimmer of the Year Cedric Buessing.

SMALL COLLEGE ATHLETICS

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

EARLHAM ATHLETICS: https://goearlham.com/

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

FRANKLIN ATHLETICS: https://franklingrizzlies.com/

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

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

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

BETHEL ATHLETICS: https://bupilots.com/

DEPAUW ATHLETICS: https://depauwtigers.com/

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

MANCHESTER ATHLETICS: https://muspartans.com/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NHL STANDINGS

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

NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL STANDINGS

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

NCAA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL STANDINGS

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

FOOTBALL HISTORY

Football History Headlines

February 7, 1988

February 7, 1988 – Aloha Stadium, Honolulu – We start off today’s headlines at the NFL Pro Bowl as the American Football Conference outlasted the National Football Conference by the score of 15-6. The top star on this contest was Buffalo Bills Defensive End Bruce Smith who took home the MVP award.

February 7, 1993 – The Pro Bowl for the NFL’s 1992 season was also played at  Aloha Stadium, Honolulu. This time it was the AFC who triumphed as they edged out the NFC players by the tune of 23-20. The game’s Most Valuable Player was Steve Tasker the wide receiver of the Buffalo Bills.

February 7, 1999 – Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii – The AFC East Division had once again taken the honor of the Pro Bowl MVP award as both the New York Jets Wide Receiver Keyshawn Johnson and Ty Law the cornerback of the New England Patriots were selected for their fine play in the game. The final score of this all-star contest was that the AFC knocked off the NFC squad 23-10 in the 1998 seasons NFL Pro Bowl.

February 7, 2010 – Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens, Miami, Florida – Super Bowl XLIV was a matchup of all time great quarterbacks as Peyton Manning and his Indianapolis Colts faced the New Orleans Saints and their most excellent signal caller Drew Brees. The game started with the Colts storming out to an early 10-0 run to go up by double digits, but two second quarter field goals cut the margin to a four point game at the half. Saints head Coach Sean Payton then made some major halftime adjustments out maneuvering those of the Colts sideline boss Jim Caldwell. New Orleans decimated the Indy defense and all kept Manning and company from scoring even a single point in the game’s back half with 25 unanswered tallies. It led to a New Orleans Saints first NFL title as they rolled the Indianapolis Colts, 31-17. The Super Bowl XLIV MVP honoree was Drew Brees as according to the Pro Football Reference website he threw for 2 touchdowns and 288 yards.

February 7, 2016 – Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, California – Peyton Manning again had a team in the NFL’s Championship as he was now with the Denver Broncos as they were faced in a match up with Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl L per an ESPN.com web page. The game may have been less about these two outstanding QBs and more about the defensive player for the Broncos that won the MVP. Denver linebacker Von Miller made life miserable for Mr. Newton all game as the two fumbles that Von created turned into 14 points for the Mile High team, in fact it was the exact point differential in the game. The  Denver Broncos outscored the Carolina Panthers, 24–10 to seal another Lombardi in glass for the franchise. The Broncos D forced Newton into a dismal 18 of 41 passing with an interception. The Panthers meanwhile made Peyton Manning look quite pedestrian as well as he was 13 of 23 for 141 yards and a pick. Defense does win championships and this time Denver’s defensive squad did more and locked up the title.

February 7, 2021 – Tampa, Florida – Super Bowl LV was an amazing game of storylines. The first was that Tom Brady, who had eleven months earlier shocked the football world when he left his franchise of 20 years and moved on to play with the Buccaneers. Secondly he went there and changed the dynamic so quickly that they went to the Big game of the season. Thirdly the Tampa Bay Bucs became the first team to win a Super Bowl in their home stadium. Their opponents were the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs, led by young QB Patrick Mahomes. The aggressive defense of the Buccaneers wreaked havok on the young quarterback all day with a series of pressure schemes that really nullified big plays that the Chiefs offense was used to. Final score 31 -9 with Tom Brady earning his fifth Super Bowl MVP ward of his career and hoisting the Lombardi for the 7th time in his 10 Super Bowls played.

Hall of Famer Players born on February 7

February 7, 1917 – Fort Lawn, South Carolina – The legendary Clemson Tigers halfback Banks McFadden arrived into the world. The National Football Foundation selected Banks McFadden for entrance into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1959.

February 7, 1922 – North Loup, Nebraska – The University of Southern Cal’s brilliant end, Paul Cleary was born. Paul started out at Santa Ana, California, Junior College in 1941 and 1942 and played there until his football career was interrupted by service for his country in the Pacific Theatre of World War II. Upon his return he went to USC.  The FootballFoundation.org website bio of Cleary states that he was All-America in 1947, and his Coach Jeff Cravath said, “He’s the finest end who ever played at Southern California.”  Paul Cleary was honored with induction into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1989 after the National Football Foundation tallied their votes.

February 7, 1933 – Steubenville, Ohio – The great Calvin Jones who played guard for the Iowa Hawkeyes took his first breath on this date. The NFF reports that Cal was named to 22 different All-America teams during his collegiate playing days. Jones earned the honor of receiving the Outland Trophy as a senior in 1955. Voters of the National Football Foundation selected Cal Jones to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1980. Cal played pro ball in the CFL for one season before he tragically perished in a plane crash in Canada in December of 1956.

February 7, 1934 – Hartford, Connecticut – The stalwart Naval Academy two way playing end, Ron Beagle was born. Ron almost never left the field for the Midshipmen during his playing days as he blocked, tackled and grabbed passes for Navy’s teams of the mid 1950’s. The NFF records that in the 1953 through 1955 seasons Beagle caught 64 passes, mostly from George Welsh, and scored eight touchdowns. He was All-America twice, unanimous in 1955, and won the Maxwell Trophy  which is the prestigious college player of the year in 1954. The National Football Foundation voters selected Ron Beagle for entrance into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1986. In an astonishing bit of fact, the footballfoundation.org points out that Beagle and another famous player nine years his junior, attended  the same Purcell High School in Cincinnati, played college football at the Naval Academy, both won the Maxwell Trophy, made the honor of All- America status, and eventually were inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. It happened only once, and the two men were Ron Beagle and Roger Staubach.

February 7, 1953 – Mobile, Alabama – The awesome Jackson State linebacker Robert Brazile arrived into this life. Robert was the sixth overall pick in the 1975 NFL Draft by the Houston Oilers who got the rights to that pick in a monster trade deal where they also gained Hall of Fame defensive end Curly Culp. Wow what a payday for Houston! In his first season Robert earned the Defensive Rookie of the Year honors while helping the Oiler achieve a record of 10-4. Brazile played 10 seasons with the Oilers franchise helping them to gain entrance into the AFC playoff in 3 straight seasons. For his career he registered 13 interceptions and 14 fumble recoveries as well as being a team leader in tackles. He was an All-Pro in five consecutive seasons and played in seven Pro Bowl games.  The Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrined Robert Brazile in 2018.

TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY

1898      Chris Von der Ahe is taken into custody to face charges in Pittsburgh after being kidnapped by detective Nicholas Bendel in a St. Louis hotel. The Brown Stockings (AA) owner faces jail time in Pennsylvania if he doesn’t pay the $2,500 awarded to right-hander Mark E. Baldwin, who brought suit against the baseball magnate for malicious prosecution after being acquitted in a dispute between the National League and the American Association.

1942      Reds general manager Warren Giles announces the team has traded veteran catcher Ernie Lombardi to the Braves for two players to be named later. The 33-year-old future Hall of Famer will hit .330 during his one season with his new team, capturing the batting crown, a feat that a catcher will not repeat until 2006 when Twins’ backstop Joe Mauer leads the American League with a .347 batting average.

1949      Yankee outfielder Joe DiMaggio becomes the first American Leaguer to make $100,000 in one season. In 1947, the Pirates paid the recently-waived Hank Greenberg six figures, making the former Junior Circuit superstar the first major leaguer to reach the plateau, albeit for his skills with Detroit.

1979      Jesse Orosco becomes ‘the player to be named later’ in the Mets’ trade of Jerry Koosman to the Twins. The left-handed reliever will spend 24 seasons in the major leagues, setting the record for appearances with 1,252.

1983      The Mariners select Reds minor leaguer Danny Tartabull as compensation for the loss of Floyd Bannister to the White Sox. The outfielder will hit .270 and receive consideration for the Rookie of the Year Award in 1986 but will be traded away in the off-season with Rick Luecken to the Royals for Scott Bankhead, Mike Kingery, and Steve Shields.

1987      For only the second time since Major League Baseball implemented the rule, a player takes less pay due to salary arbitration when Orel Hershiser signs for $800,000, taking a twenty percent pay cut. After winning the Cy Young Award and leading the team to a World Series championship next year, the Dodger right-hander will become the highest-paid player in the major leagues.

2005      The Tigers sign 31-year-old right fielder Magglio Ordonez (.292, 9, 37) for a reported $75 million for five years. The contract for the free-agent slugger, recovering from knee surgery, includes options that could extend the All-Star’s stay in Detroit for an additional two years, making the deal nearly $100 million.

2006      Alex Gonzalez, who signed with the Red Sox as a free agent yesterday, singles in the tying run and then scores the winning run when Henry Blanco’s pop fly bounces off the head of Erick Aybar, giving Venezuela its first Caribbean Series championship since 1989. The ball, which the Dominican Republic Licey’s Tigers’ shortstop lost in the lights, is ruled a double and caps a two-run bottom of the ninth rally, resulting in a 5-4 comeback victory for the Caracas Lions.

2009      The Sports Illustrated website reports Alex Rodriguez is one of the 104 players who tested positive for steroids in 2003. The testing, which was intended only to determine the extent of steroid use by players at the time, revealed the Ranger shortstop was using Primobolan, an anabolic substance.

2012      Avoiding arbitration, Elvis Andrus and the Rangers come to terms on a three-year, $14.6 million contract. The agreement gives the 23-year-old infielder an early opportunity to sign a huge deal when he reaches free agency, which works with Texas’ plans to make Jurickson Profar, currently playing A ball, their starting shortstop in a few years.

2012      The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame announces Rusty Staub’s selection for induction and former big-league pitcher Rheal Cormier, Brewers general manager Doug Melvin the 2011 Pan Am Games gold-medal winning Team Canada senior squad. The former Expos outfielder, referred to as Le Grand Orange by the Montreal fans because of his red hair, was a fan favorite in the franchise’s early days due to his work ethic and active role in promoting the game north of the border.

2014      A class action suit is brought to federal court by former minor league players, who allege MLB teams violated the Fair Labor Standards Act and other state laws by not paying their farmhands minimum wage and overtime. The case will be postponed indefinitely, filed as Senne v. the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, initially scheduled for a hearing in February of 2017 until U.S. District Court Joseph C. Spero decides on the class certification question.

2014      Yankee superstar Alex Rodriguez drops his two lawsuits against MLB, ending the likelihood of a long, drawn-out legal battle over his season-long suspension for the alleged use of performance-enhancing substances. The Bronx Bombers’ third baseman was one of 14 individuals suspended due to the investigation of a Florida anti-aging clinic but the only one to contest his penalty, the longest ever given for using PEDs.

BASEBALL YEAR IN REVIEW: 1905 (BASEBALL ALMANAC)

Off the field…

The “Industrial Workers of the World” (IWW) was founded in Chicago with the hopes of giving more control to unions. The aim of the IWW was to unite in one body all skilled and unskilled workers for the purpose of overthrowing capitalism by using direct action, propaganda, the boycott, and the strike. The IWW was also opposed the use of sabotage, arbitration, collective bargaining, and political affiliation. Unfortunately, recurring controversy during both World Wars along with accusations of treason caused dissention in the ranks from the top-down. From a probable strength of at least 30,000 in 1912, the membership later fell to less than 10,000 in 1930 and in the mid-1990s remained at less than 1,000.

In the American League…

A committee of Washington writers voted for “Nationals” as the new American League team nickname, but the “Senators” continued as the majority fan favorite.

New York Highlanders first baseman Hal Chase set a Major League record on August 5th with thirty-eight putouts during a doubleheader sweep (3-1, 6-5) versus the visiting St. Louis Browns.

In the National League…

On April 26th, Chicago Cubs outfielder Jack McCarthy tied a Major League record after starting three double plays to preserve a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Jackson Nelson had originally set the DP record in 1887.

Brooklyn Dodgers shortstop Phil Lewis earned his paycheck and tied a National League record on July 20th, after having eighteen chances for seven assists, six putouts and five errors en route to a 2-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds.

Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Dave Brain became the first player in National League history to hit three triples in a single game — twice in one season (vs. St. Louis and vs. Boston).

Boston Braves first baseman Fred Tenney completed the season with a National League record one-hundred fifty-two assists. The mark stood until 1986, when Sid Bream of the Pittsburgh Pirates topped it with one-hundred sixty-six.

Around the League…

New York Giants owner John T. Brush, who refused to play the American League pennant winners in 1904, proposed a new set of rules governing future World Series. Later known as the “Brush Rules,” these guidelines relating to the on-field play and off-field finances of the Series are still used to this day.

The National League Board of Directors acquitted St. Louis Cardinal right-hander Jack Taylor on the charges of throwing games. Despite the verdict, Taylor was still fined $300 for using poor judgment and practicing bad conduct.

On May 30th, both leagues posted record attendance figures for the Memorial Day holiday. Due to several doubleheaders, 80,963 attended eight American League games and 67,806 witnessed seven National League events.

NUMBERS IN SPORTS

February 7, 1949 – Number 5, Joe DiMaggio became the first ball player to earn $100,000 a year he did so under contract with the New York Yankees . 

February 7, 1958   – The Brooklyn Dodgers officially became the Los Angeles Dodgers. Lok back tomorrow for our special on the Dodgers uniform history

February 7, 1976 – Center Darryl Sittler, Number 27, of the Toronto Maple Leafs set an NHL record with 6 goals, 4 assists for 10 points in a Leafs’ 11-4 victory over the Boston Bruins at Maple Leaf Gardens. 

February 7, 2010 – Number 9, Drew Brees, Quarterback of the New Orleans Saints was game MVP of Super Bowl XLIV. The New Orleans Saints knocked off the Indianapolis Colts, 31-17 in the NFL title game.

February 7, 1998 – The NHL’s Dallas Stars franchise retired Neal Broten’s Number 7 sweater.  Broten had played a total of 16 seasons for the Minnesota North Stars/Dallas Stars franchise.

TV SPORTS WEDNESDAY

COLLEGE BASKETBALL (MEN’S)

6:30 p.m.

FS2 — Georgetown at Seton Hall

7 p.m.

ACCN — Louisville at Syracuse

BTN — Wisconsin at Michigan

ESPN2 — Alabama at Auburn

ESPNU — Pittsburgh at NC State

FS1 — Villanova at Xavier

SECN — LSU at Tennessee

8 p.m.

CBSSN — Portland at Gonzaga

8:30 p.m.

FS2 — Creighton at Providence

9 p.m.

ACCN — Notre Dame at Duke

BTN — Nebraska at Northwestern

ESPN2 — Texas A&M at Missouri

ESPNU — Florida Gulf Coast at E. Kentucky

PAC-12N — UCLA at Stanford

SECN — Georgia at Mississippi St.

11 p.m.

PAC-12N — Southern Cal at California

COLLEGE BASKETBALL (WOMEN’S)

9 p.m.

FS1 — Georgetown at Marquette

GOLF

4 a.m. (Thursday)

GOLF — DP World Tour: The Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, First Round, Doha Golf Club, Doha, Qatar

IIHF HOCKEY (WOMEN’S)

8 p.m.

NHLN — Rivalry Series: U.S. vs. Canada, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

NBA BASKETBALL

7:40 p.m.

ESPN — Golden State at Philadelphia

10:05 p.m.

ESPN — New Orleans at LA Clippers

NHL HOCKEY

7 p.m.

TNT — Tampa Bay at NY Rangers

9:30 p.m.

TNT — Minnesota at Chicago

SOCCER (MEN’S)

12:20 p.m.

FS2 — The French Cup: Lille at Lyon, Round of 16

3 p.m.

FS2 — The French Cup: Brest at Paris Saint-Germain, Round of 16

TENNIS

4 a.m.

TENNIS — Marseille-ATP, Cordoba-ATP, Abu Dhabi-WTA, Cluj-Napoca-WTA Early Rounds

6 a.m.

TENNIS — Marseille-ATP, Cordoba-ATP, Dallas-ATP, Abu Dhabi-WTA, Cluj-Napoca-WTA Early Rounds

4 a.m. (Thursday)

TENNIS — Marseille-ATP, Cordoba-ATP, Abu Dhabi-WTA, Cluj-Napoca-WTA Early Rounds

6 a.m. (Thursday) TENNIS — Marseille-ATP, Cordoba-ATP, Dallas-ATP, Abu Dhabi-WTA, Cluj-Napoca-WTA Early Rounds