Local Sports

Monticello Rolls Mt. Pulaski

Zanna Myers scored 16 of her game high 31 points in the second quarter and the Monticello Lady Sages rolled past Mt. Pulaski 85-46 in non-conference high school girls basketball action Thursday night at Monticello High School.

 

Myers had 24 points at the break and was 14 for 14 at the foul line in the first half and finished 14 for 15 for the game.

 

Tatum McCall finished with 21 points.

 

The Lady Sages shot 28 for 38 from the charity stripe as a team.

 

Skylar Hayes led Mt. Pulaski with 21 points.

 

The Lady Hilltoppers fall to 3-3 overall and Monticello moves to 4-0.

 

The Lady Sages host Central A&M Monday night. Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Lady Sages vs Mt Pulaski

The Lady Sages win the game with a score of 85-46.

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Tri-Valley Topples Clinton

Four Tri-Valley starters scored in double figures as the Vikings used a balanced attack to hand the Clinton Maroons their first loss of the season with a 74-47 loss Tuesday night in non-conference boys basketball action from Downs.
 
Clayton Liepold led all scorers with 19 points for the Vikings, including five three pointers. Mason Cagley added 18 points and Kolton Weichman added 13 points. Nolan Anderson also contributed 12 points.
 
The Maroons turned the basketball over nine times in the second quarter. They committed 16 turnovers overall for the game. 
 
Austin Baker led the Maroons with 15 points. Jacob Hospelhorn had 10 points. Seth Westfall had eight points and eight rebounds.
 
The Vikings outrebounded the Maroons 44-28 as Tri-Valley's John Symanski pulled down a game high 11 rebounds. 
 
Maroons coach Clay Haurberg said quote - "We did not play up to our ability tonight. To their credit, Tri-Valley was very disciplined defensively and really forced us out of our rhythm. We, in turn didn't communicate well defensively and got hung up on screens too frequently because of it. This gave them great looks at the rim from various spots on the floor, which they capitalized on. We allowed them too many offensive rebounds, several of which they kicked out for open 3's. They played well, we played poorly. Right now, we have to go back to our gym, work on those things we didn't do well and work to get better for the next game."
 
The Maroons are at home for the first time Friday night when they host Maroa-Forsyth.

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Wake Forest Hands Illinois First Loss

Bryant Crawford led four players in double figures with 20 points as Wake Forest knocked Illinois from the ranks of the unbeaten in an 80-73 win in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge Tuesday night.
 
Doral Moore, Mitchell Wilbekin, and Brandon Childress added 12 points apiece for Wake Forest (3-4), which held Illinois to 38.7 percent shooting using a stingy 2-3 zone defense.
 
Aaron Jordan came off the bench to lead Illinois with 20 points, with Kipper Nichols adding 14 and Leron Black finishing with 10. Jordan, who entered the game leading the NCAA in 3-point percentage (15 of 23, 65.2 percent), made 4 of 6 against the Deacons.
 
It was the first loss for the Illini (6-1), who played their first six games at home and were seeking their first non-conference road win since beating Boston University in the NIT on March 19, 2014.
 
Leading 35-34 at halftime, the Deacons used an 11-0 run early in the second half to take a 49-39 lead. Illinois closed to within 1 at 56-55 on a 3-pointer by Black with 9:25 left but could get no closer.
 
Wake Forest is now 12-5 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, tied with Virginia for second most wins
 
Illinois got a great lift from its bench after several starters encountered early foul trouble. The Illinois bench outscored Wake Forest 43-24, but its defensive lapse in the second half allowed Wake Forest to shoot 57.7 percent.
 
Illinois will begin Big Ten Conference play at Northwestern on Friday, December 1.

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Suns Beat Bulls

Devin Booker scored 33 points, and the Phoenix Suns held off the Chicago Bulls for a 104-99 win on Tuesday night.
 
Booker looked just fine after sitting out a game because of inflammation in his right big toe, nailing five 3-pointers and grabbing nine rebounds.
T.J. Warren scored 25 for Phoenix, and Alex Len tied a career high with 18 rebounds. The Suns dominated on the glass 57-41 while snapping a three-game losing streak.
 
The rebuilding Bulls are a league-worst 3-16 after dropping their sixth straight.
 
Justin Holiday made six 3-pointers on his way to 25 points for Chicago. Kris Dunn added 24 points, hitting all four from long range, and eight assists.
 
Phoenix came out on top after Chicago cut a 15-point fourth-quarter lead to three in the final minute.
 
Bulls rookie Lauri Markkanen hit a 3 to make it 102-99 with 22.5 seconds left. But Warren hit two free throws and blocked a 3 by Markkanen to help preserve the win.
 
The Suns went on a 12-point run in the third to go up 63-49, with Tyler Ulis hitting a 3 and converting a three-point play and Booker nailing two from long range.
 
The Bulls cut it to three heading into the fourth. But the Suns went on a 14-2 run to start the quarter, with Troy Daniels nailing a 3 to make it 87-72 with 8:22 left.
 
The Bulls visit Denver on Thursday.
 
>>Bulls' F Mirotic Attends First Game Since Altercation with Portis
 
Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic is attending a game for the first time since a preseason altercation with teammate Bobby Portis left him with several broken bones in his face as well as a concussion.
 
Mirotic was at the United Center for Tuesday's game against the Phoenix Suns. He remains sidelined with the injuries from the altercation at practice on Oct. 17. Portis served an eight-game suspension.
 
Coach Fred Hoiberg says the two have not talked as far as he knows. Mirotic started practicing with the team again on Monday, and they did go against each other at times.
 
Mirotic and forward Zach LaVine (torn ACL) will practice with the G League's Windy City Bulls while Chicago heads to Denver for a game on Thursday.

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Alabama Out of CFP After Auburn Loss

The penultimate College Football Playoff Rankings were released Tuesday night, meaning the stage is officially set for conference championship week as the top teams in the nation will vie for the four spots that will be selected on Sunday.
 
The defending champion Clemson Tigers are the new No. 1 team in the nation, but the ranking that is getting the most attention is Auburn at No. 2. Those Tigers have beaten No. 5 Alabama and No. 6 Georgia, both of whom were previously ranked No. 1, at home over the last three weeks.  They trounced the Bulldogs, who they will play for the SEC title this week in a more neutral Atlanta.  Auburn beat Alabama last week in a game that the Crimson Tide led late in the third quarter before the Tigers turned it on and put Bama away.
 
At 10-2, Auburn is the first major conference team to be ranked in the top 10 and ahead of another major conference team with fewer losses in the first four years of the CFP Rankings.  Undefeated Wisconsin is No. 4, which begs the question, "If the Bulldogs win the rematch with the Tigers, would Auburn stay ahead of Alabama in the final rankings?"  That could open the door for a team to lose its conference championship game and still make the playoff -- something that may happen eventually, though this is not the circumstance I would have imagined for that to play out.  The guess here is Alabama would be higher ranked in the end, but it is not definite.
 
Not only might Alabama need an Auburn win on Saturday to have a chance but so might Ohio State.  If there is a chance the committee would keep a losing Auburn team ahead of Alabama, there is probably a greater chance they would keep them ahead of the Big Ten champion Buckeyes.  Ohio State would have some nice wins, including the one over Penn State, but Auburn can better those and they would not have lost to Iowa by 31 points.  Buckeyes fans are probably sick of hearing about that, but it is the most prominent part of Ohio State's resume.
 
No. 3 Oklahoma was jumped by Auburn after blowing out West Virginia on Saturday.  The Sooners are still in position where a second victory over TCU, this time in the Big 12 title game, will be enough to secure a spot in the playoff. No. 4 Wisconsin, No. 6 Georgia and No. 7 Miami also control their own fate for a playoff spots.  Miami lost at Pittsburgh last Friday and took the biggest hit in the top 10 this week but can rebound with a win over No. 1 Clemson in the ACC title game on Saturday night.

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Bears Notes

>>Bears Waive WR McBride
 
The Chicago Bears have waived receiver Tre McBride.
 
Claimed off waivers on Sept. 3, McBride appeared in eight games for Chicago and had eight catches for 144 yards. He had 92 yards receiving in a loss at New Orleans on Oct. 29. In three seasons with the Tennessee Titans and Bears, McBride has 10 receptions for 152 yards.
 
The Bears (3-8) host the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
 
>>'Niners Announce Chicago Area Native Garoppolo To Start Sunday
 
The San Francisco 49ers will start Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback this week.
 
The 49ers said coach Kyle Shanahan met with his quarterbacks Tuesday to tell them Garoppolo will make his first start for San Francisco (1-10) this weekend at Chicago (3-8).
 
The Niners acquired Garoppolo on Oct. 31 from New England for a 2018 second-round pick to be the franchise's long-term quarterback.
 
After taking time to learn the new offense, Garoppolo made his San Francisco debut in Sunday's 24-13 loss to Seattle after starter C.J. Beathard left with injuries to his hip and knee with just over a minute left.
 
Garoppolo completed both passes, including a 10-yard touchdown pass to Louis Murphy.

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Clinton Lady Maroons Stung by Heyworth Lady Hornets

In a non-conference game heard on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons fell to the Heyworth Lady Hornets by a score of 59-45 on Tuesday night. The Lady Maroons were led by senior Alyssa Saulsbery with 16 points. Saulsbery was selected as the Country Financial representative Brad James Maroons Player of the Game. Senior Madi Filkin also chipped in with 13 points.

 

For Heyworth, they were led by Stephanie Brown with 17 points and Chassidy Hays added 14. Heyworth played the whole game with their five starters.

 

With the loss, the Lady Maroons fall to 2-4 on the season and Heyworth improves to 4-1.

 

Tune in Thursday, December 7, as the Lady Maroons take on Central A&M. You can hear the game live on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, and on the WHOW app.

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Pacers Topple Magic

Victor Oladipo scored 26 points to help the Pacers beat the Magic 121-109, handing the Orlando its ninth straight loss.
 
Oladipo made his first 11 shots before finishing the game 11-for-14. He also grabbed six rebounds - all on the defensive end of the floor - and added five assists.
 
The Pacers had five players in double figures as Bojan Bogdanovic added 22 points, Domantas Sabonis scored 19 points and Myles Turner and Lance Stephenson each added 18.
 
Jonathan Simmons led Orlando with 21 points.
 
The Pacers are at Houston on Wednesday night.

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Blackhawks Blast Ducks

Alex DeBrincat had three goals and an assist, Patrick Sharp stopped a 16-game scoring drought and the surging Chicago Blackhawks beat the Anaheim Ducks 7-3 on Monday night.
 
Nick Schmaltz had a goal and two assists and Artem Anisimov scored his team-high 11th goal as Chicago won for the fourth time in five games. Brandon Saad also scored and Patrick Kane collected three assists, extending his season-high point streak to seven games.
DeBrincat, who turns 20 on Dec. 18, became the second-youngest player in franchise history to record a hat trick, trailing Jeremy Roenick by four days. The rookie has nine goals and three assists in 11 November games.
 
The banged-up Ducks dropped their fourth consecutive game. Ryan Kesler, Ryan Getzlaf and Patrick Eaves remain out with long-term injuries, Rickard Rakell missed his second straight game with an upper-body injury and defenseman Brandon Montour left midway through the third, favoring his right side as he skated off the ice.
 
Chris Wagner had two goals for Anaheim, and Jakob Silfverberg had a goal and an assist. John Gibson made 18 saves on 22 shots before he was replaced by Ryan Miller in the second period.
 
Chicago grabbed control with three in the first period. Sharp beat Gibson on a one-timer at 8:57 for his first goal since Oct. 14. DeBrincat then scored his eighth of the season off a slick pass from Schmaltz, and Saad made it 3-0 when he stole the puck from Derek Grant and banked one in off the left post with 1:49 left in the period.
 
The Blackhawks were only getting started.
 
Silfverberg got one back when his centering pass went off the stick of Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook and in 6:14 into the second. But DeBrincat responded with a rebound goal and then scored again off a pass from Kane, making it 6-2 at 14:14.
 
Schmaltz added his fourth of the season at 5:48 of the third, tapping in a beautiful pass from Kane.
 
Ryan Hartman had two assists for Chicago, and Corey Crawford finished with 25 saves.
 
The Blackhawks visit Nashville on Tuesday night.

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Duke No. 1 In CBB Polls

For the fourth consecutive week, the Duke Blue Devils top the Associated Press Top 25 poll.
 
Duke (8-0), is fresh off a clean sweep of the motion bracket of the PK80 in Portland, with wins over Portland State, Texas and Florida. And although the Blue Devils had to mount comebacks of 16 and 17 points against the Longhorns and Gators in each of their last two games, respectively, they continue to overcome in-game adversity and have shown the mettle of a title team early. Duke, which received all 65 first-place votes, could be 6-2 as easily as its 8-0. But with Marvin Bagley III emerging as an early player of the year candidate, it's looking like the Blue Devils will continue to be a tough out all season.
The biggest mover in the AP poll this week is Arizona, which fell from No. 2 to completely unranked after a disappointing 0-3 outing at the Battle 4 Atlantis. Sean Miller's Wildcats fell to unranked foes NC State and SMU before No. 20 Purdue dispatched them from the Bahamas winless and breaks a streak of 100 consecutive appearances in the AP rankings by Arizona.
 
Outside the top two in Duke and Kansas, the top 10 of the USA Today Coaches Poll has a completely new look thanks to some curveball results on the hardwood this past week.
 
As far as results go, nothing was more surprising than former No. 4 Arizona dropping three-straight at the Battle 4 Atlantis. The Wildcats fell to two unranked opponents in the Bahamas, and Purdue sent them packing winless with an 89-64 defeat, causing them to plummet from the top 4 to unranked in just a one week span.
 
As a result, Michigan State and Notre Dame moved up in the top 5. Florida, Kentucky, Cincinnati and Texas A&M all moved up in the top 10 as well, while Wichita State, North Carolina and Southern California dropped.
 
Duke, a consensus No. 1 team in the Associated Press top 25, garnered all but one first place vote after improving to 8-0 on the season Sunday evening with a come-from-behind win over No. 7 Florida. The Blue Devils were forced to overcome two double digit deficits in each of their last two games, but came out unscathed with a perfect 3-0 record in the PK80 Motion bracket in Portland.
 
>>Tiger Woods To Return With This Weekend's Hero World Challenge
 
Tiger Woods will make his return at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas this week and he will be paired with Justin Thomas to kick things off on Thursday. It's one of several fascinating pairings in Round 1 on Thursday.
 
Others include Patrick Reed and Daniel Berger, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka and Matt Kuchar and Jordan Spieth. This is as good of a field as this tournament has ever had with eight of the top 10 players in the world in attendance (only Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy are not there).
 
Matsuyama is the defending champion as he beat Stenson by two at this course last year.

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Maroons Win Cerro Gordo Holiday Tournament

The Clinton Maroons used a 17-4 second quarter to blow by Windsor-Stew-Stras 56-38 in the championship game of the Cerro Gordo Turkey Tournament.
 
The Maroons trailed 13-12 heading to the second frame and held Windsor-Stew-Stras to four second quarter points then outscored them 19-9 in the third quarter for a commanding 48-26 advantage after three quarters.
 
Austin Rauch led the Maroons with 14 points. Dalton Smith tallied 13 and Seth Westfall had 10 for the Maroons who swept the four game tournament and opens their campaign 4-0 overall.
 
Coach Clay Haurberg said quote - "Big night for our team and our kids. We started a little slow, but settled into our game nicely as the game progressed. They came out with a lot of fire, but we took control by way of limiting their open looks at the rim and really going on the attack in transition. Dalton Smith hit some big shots in the first half to steady us when we were a little off, and we had some great defensive efforts by a bunch of kids, including our bench. Austin Rauch had a great middle two quarters to help spark us to a lead that we never relinquished. We're just extremely thrilled about our guys winning this tournament. They're a tremendous group of young men."
 
The Maroons are at Tri-Valley tomorrow night.

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Heat Blow By Bulls

Goran Dragic scored 24 points and the Miami Heat followed the lowest-scoring first quarter in team history with their highest-scoring one of the season to beat the Chicago Bulls 100-93 on Sunday.
After scoring seven points in the first quarter, Miami had 38 in the second to take a 45-42 lead.
 
Wayne Ellington added 19 points, James Johnson had 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists, and Hassan Whiteside had 11 points and 10 rebounds. Jerian Grant led Chicago with 24 points. Denzel Valentine had 14 points and career highs of 13 rebounds and seven assists.
 
Ellington ignited the Heat after the 2-for-19 first-quarter from the field, scoring 10 points and hitting three 3-pointers as Miami shot 68.4 percent in the second quarter.
 
Tyler Johnson and Kelly OIynyk added 10 points apiece off the bench as four members of the Heat's second unit reached double figures.
 
Justin Holliday added 15 points for Chicago.
 
The Bulls host Phoenix on Tuesday night.

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Bears, Packers Lose Sunday

>>Eagles Rout Bears
 
Carson Wentz tossed three touchdown passes and the NFL-leading Eagles beat the Chicago Bears 31-3 Sunday for their ninth straight win.
 
The Eagles (10-1) reduced their magic number to clinch the NFC East to one with their fourth consecutive win by at least 23 points and third in a row by exactly 28. Philadelphia would secure its first division title since 2013 if the Cowboys (5-6) lose or tie Washington on Thursday night.
Wentz had 227 yards passing, LeGarrette Blount ran for 97 yards and Zach Ertz caught 10 passes for 103 yards and one TD.
 
The defense shut down rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and the inept Bears (3-8), holding them to zero first downs in the first half and 140 total yards in the game.
 
The Bears won the turnover battle (3-2), but couldn't do anything with excellent field position. They started consecutive drives at midfield and Philadelphia's 42 but Cairo Santos missed a 54-yard field goal.
 
Wentz threw a 17-yard TD pass to Ertz to give the Eagles a 7-0 lead on their second drive. Jay Ajayi ran 2 yards on fourth-and-1 to keep the drive going and Wentz connected with Alshon Jeffery for 14 yards on third-and-8 one play before the TD.
 
Wentz had a 15-yard TD pass to Nelson Agholor, who flipped over defenders into the end zone to make it 14-0 in the second quarter. Wentz spun away from a blitzer and ran 16 yards on third-and-9 to extend the drive. Then a holding penalty on Bears cornerback Prince Amukamara negated an incomplete pass on third-and-12, and the Eagles scored on the next play.
 
Another holding penalty on Amukamara gave the Eagles a first down late in the second quarter. Wentz then lofted an 8-yard TD pass to Jeffery to extend the lead to 24-0.
 
Ajayi ran 30 yards and fumbled at the Bears 5, but Agholor recovered in the end zone for a touchdown and a 31-3 lead.
 
The Bears host the San Francisco 49ers (1-9) next Sunday.
 
>>Steelers Hold Off Pesky Packers
 
A 53-yard field goal from Chris Boswell helped the Steelers escape with a 31-28 win Sunday night over the Green Bay Packers.
 
Pittsburgh (9-2) won its sixth straight behind Antonio Brown, who finished with 10 receptions for 169 yards and two touchdowns. Yet the biggest grab was a 23-yard toe-tap along the sideline on the first snap of his team's last-gasp drive that put the Steelers near the fringe of Boswell's range.
 
A more conventional 14-yard reception on the next snap pushed the Steelers closer. Boswell's career-long blast slipped inside the left upright to keep Pittsburgh tied with New England atop the AFC.
 
Brett Hundley completed 17 of 26 for 245 yards and three touchdowns for the Packers (5-6) in his best start since taking over when Rodgers went on injured reserve with a broken collarbone last month. Jamaal William ran for 66 yards, including a 4-yard leap into the end zone with 2:02 that tied it at 28.
 
Ben Roethlisberger threw for 351 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions. Le'Veon Bell ran for 95 yards and added another 88 yards receiving but also had a fumble that stalled a drive early in the fourth quarter. The Steelers outgained Green Bay 462-307 and had the ball for nearly 34 minutes.
 
Yet the Packers counterpunched repeatedly behind Hundley, who threw touchdown passes of 39, 54 and 55 yards then later guided Green Bay on a 12-play, 77-yard drive that was nearly enough to send the game to overtime.
 
The Packers host Tampa Bay next Sunday. Green Bay is 0-3 at home since Rogers was injured.

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Clemson College Football's New No. 1

Clemson not only earned a nod from the Coaches Poll but also the AP Top 25 poll, making it the unanimous (for now) new No. 1 team in the country according to the new college football rankings. 
 
Oklahoma and Wisconsin both finished within 75 points of the Tigers, and the Sooners were just a few votes shy of taking the No. 1 spot. Now all three teams enter conference championship week with what appears to be a "win and you're in" scenario for the College Football Playoff.
Elsewhere in the rankings, Stanford moved up six spots to No. 14 and Notre Dame dropped six spots to No. 15 after the Cardinal defeated the Irish on Saturday night. Alabama dropped to No. 5 after losing to Auburn -- now No. 4 -- and Miami ended up five spots lower at No. 7 after losing to Pitt. 
 
After both Alabama and Miami lost over the weekend, the new college football rankings are going to set the debate as to who is the best team in the country. 
 
The new Coaches Poll has Clemson as the new No. 1 team, leading the way with 25 first-place votes. Oklahoma rose to No. 2, but the Sooners have nine less first-place votes than undefeated Wisconsin, which finished in third-place in the balloting. Even two-loss Auburn received four first-place votes after beating Alabama, which dropped four spots to No. 5. 
 
Stanford made the biggest move up in the Coaches Poll after beating Notre Dame and advancing to the Pac-12 Championship Game (by virtue of Washington's Apple Cup win), jumping up five spots to No. 15, and the Irish made the biggest move down in the poll, down eight spots to No. 17.

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Michigan State, Duke Win PK80 Invitational

>>Michigan State Routs North Carolina
 
Joshua Langford made five 3-pointers and scored 23 points and No. 4 Michigan State used a record-setting defensive performance to topple No. 9 North Carolina 63-45 on Sunday night to win the ''Victory Bracket'' of the PK80 Invitational. 
Sparty held the Tar Heels to the worst shooting performance in school history. The Tar Heels shot 24.6 percent. They were 1 of 18 on 3s, also the worst effort in the school's history. The 45 points tied for the second-fewest scored by the Tar Heels with Williams as head coach.
 
In the three games in Portland, the Spartans allowed 57, 51 and 45 points. 
 
Langford was key in the first half as the Spartans (5-1) built a 13-point halftime lead despite Miles Bridges and Jaren Jackson Jr. being limited with foul trouble. Langford had 14 points in the first half as Michigan State used an 11-4 run to take control and were never threatened by the Tar Heels.
 
Bridges finished with 11 points and the Spartans felt they got a bit of redemption after stumbling in their first matchup with a top 10 team losing 88-81 to Duke on Nov. 14.
 
Theo Pinson led North Carolina (5-1) with 16 points, but Joel Berry II and Luke Maye both had awful nights. The Tar Heels trimmed the 21-point deficit to 12 with 4:30 left, but Bridges stemmed the run with a driving layup.
 
>>Duke Edges Florida
 
Marvin Bagley III had 30 points and 15 rebounds, and the Blue Devils came back from a 17-point deficit with 10 minutes left to beat the Gators 87-84 on Sunday night for the Motion Bracket championship at the Phil Knight Invitational tournament.
Fellow freshman Gary Trent Jr., who had a pair of free throws that pulled the Blue Devils (8-0) in front and a key steal in the final moments, finished with 15 points.
 
Bagley has six double-doubles in eight games this season. He was named the bracket's Most Valuable Player.
 
Jalen Hudson had 24 points and 10 rebounds for Florida (5-1), while KeVaughn Allen added 17 points.
 
Duke closed within 78-70 on consecutive jumpers from Wendell Carter Jr. and a pair of free throws from Bagley. Grayson Allen's 3-pointer got Duke to 82-79 with 3:07 left, putting the Blue Devils fans on their feet.
 
Bagley's layup closed the gap to 84-83 and Trent made free throws to put Duke in front 85-84 with 1:12 left.
 
Hudson missed a free throw to tie it before Trent's steal with 12 seconds left. Trent made another pair from the line for the final margin.
 
The teams were among the 16 Nike teams that took part in the three-day tournament, dubbed the PK80, that started on Thanksgiving and took a hiatus Saturday for college football.
 
The event honored Nike co-founder Phil Knight's 80th birthday.

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Clinton Defeats Urbana at Cerro Gordo Turkey Tournament

The Clinton Maroons defeated Urbana Uni-High by a score of 60-54 on Friday night as part of the Cerro Gordo Turkey Tournament. The Maroons were led by Austin Rauch with 21 points. Seth Westfall added 11 points and Austin Baker added 10.

 

Urbana was led by Camden Coleman with 13 points. Paul D'Angelo chipped in with 12.

 

Clinton improves to 3-0 and Urbana falls to 2-1.

 

Tune in Friday, December 1, as the Maroons take on the Maroa Forsyth Trojans. You can hear the game live on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, and on the WHOW app.

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Clinton Defeats Villa Grove at Cerro Gordo Tourney

The Clinton Maroons defeated Villa Grove Heritage by a score of 67-34 on Friday night. The Maroons were led by Austin Rauch with 16 points and Seth Westfall with 15. Dalton Smith chipped in with 11 points and Chase Reynolds added 10.

 

Villa Grove-Heritage was led by Jared Stevens with 11 points with Evan Wilson adding 9.

 

With the win, the Maroons improve to 2-0 and Villa Grove falls to 0-2.

 

Tune in Friday, December 1, as the Maroons take on the Maroa Forsyth Trojans. You can hear the game live on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, and on the new WHOW app. Game time is set for seven with pregame beginning shortly before.

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Bradley holds off late charge by Georgia Southern, 62-57

Darrell Brown hit three free throws in the final 18 seconds to help Bradley hold off a late charge by Georgia Southern and secure a 62-57 victory Saturday afternoon.
 
Both teams came into the contest with 5-1 records - which equals the Braves' best start in 32 years. The home team has won all five games in the all-time series.
 
Brown, who finished with 19 points, hit a pair of late free throws to send Bradley into intermission with a 29-28 advantage, but Georgia Southern took a brief lead to start the second half on Montae Glenn's tip-in. Elijah Childs put the Braves back on top with a jumper and Bradley eventual built a double-digit lead in the second half before the Eagles rallied.
 
Mike Hughes, who finished with 16 points, hit three-straight free throws to get Georgia Southern within three, 53-50, with 4:06 remaining, but got no closer.

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Charleston Southern sneaks by Illinois State 64-62 in OT

Javis Howard hit the only field goal in the extra period as Charleston Southern sneaked by Illinois State 64-62 in overtime on Saturday night.
 
Phlandrous Fleming Jr and Christian Keeling made three free throws in the final seconds to secure Charleston Southern's fourth straight win. Phil Fayne made three free throws for Illinois State's only points in overtime.
 
Fayne had hit a jumper to give the Redbirds a 59-57 lead with 3:27 left in regulation. Neither team could score until Christian Keeling drove for a layup with :31 left to tie the game and send it to overtime. The Redbirds' William Tinsley had a clear shot at a 3-pointer in the final seconds of regulation, but failed to connect.
 
Fleming and Keeling had 13 points apiece for the Buccaneers. Travis McConico added eight with 11 rebounds.
 
Keyshawn Evans led Illinois State (3-3) with 26 points.

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GCMS edges Maroa-Forsyth for first-ever state football championship

It felt like multiple games all rolled into one -- there were just that many plot twists.
 
It ended in a 38-32 win for Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley, a Class 2A state championship that is the school's first-ever in football.
 
The acts of the play? First Maroa-Forsyth receiver Aaron Inda took a screen pass 55 yards for a touchdown in the early first quarter to make it 6-0. Then GCMS' star running back Mitch McNutt finished a drive with a 2-yard touchdown to grab the lead at 7-6 in the mid first quarter. Finally in that action-packed period, sophomore quarterback Ian Benner hit Max Davenport in the corner of the end zone for a 12-7 Trojan lead.
 
In the second quarter, the teams traded another round of Inda and McNutt touchdowns and Maroa-Forsyth took a 19-15 lead over GCMS into the half. The Falcons had averaged 6.2 points per game leading up to Friday's game.
 
The second half began with another Trojan touchdown, a 36-yard touchdown scamper from senior All-State pick Deondre Gregory. That's when the Trojans suddenly lost the 26-15 lead. McNutt and Brooks Schmitt reeled off a pair of touchdown runs to make it 30-26.
 
It looked as if Maroa-Forsyth might gain back the lead for good when Aaron Inda broke off another long run, this one 52 yards for the touchdown.
 
But the final act of the play had an even more dramatic ending in store, as GCMS' Isaiah Chatman caught a 23-yard pass from Nathan Garard with just 1:08 left in the game. The result was a 38-32 score and the first state title in Falcons history.

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Maroa-Forsyth, GCMS Meet for 2A State Title Today

As the GCMS Falcons and Maroa-Forsyth Trojans get set to battle it out for a 2A state title, each side recognizes they are in for a challenge.
 
The Trojans run a balanced offense that Head Coach Josh Jostes says is about taking what the defense gives them. 
 
 
Coach Mike Allen at GCMS says the Maroa-Forsyth tradition speaks for itself but recognizes the Trojans do a lot of things well that make them a tough matchup.
 
 
The Falcons will want to control the ball and the clock with their power run game and Coach Jostes says his team has to make them throw the ball.
 
Playing on turf could come in to play. Coach Allen says it might take some getting used to for their kids but Coach Jostes doesn't see it being a factor, though he notes, GCMS is probably going to like it.
 
 
Kickoff from Husky Stadium at Northern Illinois University of 1 pm this afternoon.
 
Other state title matchups today:
 
1A:
 
Lena-Winslow 10 am
Tuscola
 
3A: 
 
Elmhurst IC Catholic 4pm 
Pleasant Plains
 
4A:
 
Morris 7 pm
Rochester
 
Class 5A:
 
Chicago (Phillips) 10 am (Saturday)
Dunlap

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Illinois Wraps Up Regular Season Hosting Northwestern

The Fighting Illini (2-9 overall, 0-8 B1G West) welcome in-state rival #23/23 Northwestern (8-3, 6-2) to Memorial Stadium on Saturday to close out the season and battle for the Land of Lincoln Trophy (3 pm CT, FS1).
 
Illinois was throttled at Ohio State last Saturday afternoon, 52-14. 
 
The Illini and Wildcats were supposed to play this game at Soldier Field as a part of a two-year agreement between the two sides but that deal was void when athletic director Josh Whitman took over a year ago.
 
Northwestern has won six in a row and is ranked 23rd in the country. They blanked Minnesota last week 39-0.

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Bears Take on Red Hot Eagles in Philadelphia Sunday

It'll be a matchup of second overall picks at different points in their career Sunday when the Bears visit the Eagles at Philadelphia's Lincon Financial Field at noon.
 
Carson Wentz was the second overall pick in the draft a year ago for Philadelphia and has exploded in his second full season. He's 25 touchdowns to only five interceptions and has led the surprising Eagles to a 9-1 overall mark and they sit in the drivers seat in the NFC East and in the NFC.
 
Meanwhile, Mitch Trubisky is the second overall pick from last year's draft and his season has been about development and finding silver lining in a frustrating year for him and the Bears.
 
Trubisky needs 12 yards for 1000 yards and has thrown only four touchdowns and two interceptions. 
 
The Bears were beaten by the Lions last Sunday 27-24 on a last second field goal in Chicago. 
 
Chicago starts a stretch Sunday with four of their final six games on the road. 
 
Kickoff is noon central time Sunday.

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Packers Looking To Right The Ship in Pittsburgh

The Green Bay Packers are looking to find something to go right without their all world quarterback when they visit the red hot Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday night.
 
Brett Hundley has struggled trying to lead the Packers offense in the absence of Aaron Rodgers.
 
With the Packers struggling, the Steelers are rolling. Winners of their last five, the Steelers, 8-2 overall, are pushing all the right buttons with the trio of LeVeon Bell, Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster, who turned 21 this week. 
 
The Packers have lost four of five since Hundley took over in mid-October. Their offense has been stagnant and the defense has been hit hard with injuries in what is becoming an increasingly frustrating season for Green Bay.
 
Coach Mike McCarthy reenforced his support for Hundley this week. 
 
The Packers are in the middle of a stretch of five of their final eight games on the road.
 
Kickoff Sunday night at Heinz Field is 7:30 pm.

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GCMS, Maroa-Forsyth Roll Through Postseason to State Finals

The GMCS Falcons and Maroa-Forsyth Trojans have been top 10 teams in Class 2A all season, so it should be no surprise the two meet up for a state title Friday afternoon at Husky Stadium in DeKalb on the campus of Northern Illinois University.
 
GCMS Coach Mike Allen says his team was relatively unchallenged during the nine week regular season and took some questions about them playing four quarters to heart as they entered the postseason. He says the West Carroll quarterfinal matchup was a big test for their squad.
 
 
Head coach of the Maroa-Forsyth Trojans, Josh Jostes, says his team came through the first two weeks of the playoffs healthy and then had to come from behind in their quarterfinal and semi-final matchups.
 
Coach Allen says the best part of post-season football for his team is the continued reps they get and that is his focus in practices in these extra weeks of the season. 
 
 
For Coach Jostes and the Trojans, it is similar in his program. He says in the past several years, their kids have played almost and extra season or two of games and gotten that much practice time as well.
 
 
Coach Allen is working around the Thanksgiving holiday Thursday by embracing it. He says they are planning a program dinner with the players and their families and then it'll be off to DeKalb.
 
 
This will be the second straight trip to the state finals for the Trojans and Coach Jostes says the trips are never routine, each one is special. 
 
The opening kick from DeKalb Friday afternoon is 1 pm. 

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Jazz overwhelm Bulls from outside for 110-80 win

When Utah gets the engine running on the perimeter, it doesn't take long to race away from an opponent.
 
The Jazz beat the Chicago Bulls 110-80 on Wednesday night, winning by 30 or more for the second time in three games. Utah beat Orlando by 40 points on Saturday.
 
In both cases, the Jazz carved out huge leads behind strong perimeter shooting. Against Chicago, the Jazz went 11 of 22 from the outside during the second and third quarters.
 
Derrick Favors scored 23 points, Hood added 19 and Alec Burks chipped in 15 points for the Jazz. Utah (8-11) snapped a three-game losing streak to Chicago extending back to the 2015-16 season.
 
Robin Lopez scored 15 points and Bobby Portis added 14 points and eight rebounds off the bench for the Bulls. Justin Holiday and Kris Dunn chipped in 12 points apiece.
 
Chicago (3-13) dropped to 0-3 on its Western road trip.
 
Utah initially carved out a 35-28 lead behind back-to-back 3-pointers from Hood and Thabo Sefolosha. Chicago answered with an 8-0 run and took a one-point lead on a backdoor layup from Dunn. The Jazz surged back in front on back-to-back 3-pointers from Joe Ingles and Raul Neto and an alley-oop dunk from Donovan Mitchell.
 
Utah scored on four straight possessions before halftime. Hood hit a floater and banked in another jumper, while Favors scored back-to-back baskets to give the Jazz a 55-46 lead going into the break.
 
Once the Jazz found a rhythm outside, they kept it going through the third quarter.
 
Back-to-back 3-pointers from Jonas Jerebko and Ingles extended Utah's lead to 67-53. Consecutive 3-pointers from Hood put the Jazz up 82-60 later in the quarter.
 
Ball movement keyed it all. Utah had 23 assists on 40 field goals.

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Fayne, Evans lead Illinois State in 86-57 win

Phil Fayne had 19 points and seven rebounds, William Tinsley added nine points with a career-high 10 boards, and Illinois State beat Division II Quincy 86-57 on Wednesday night.
 
Keyshawn Evans scored 17 points with six assists, Madison Williams and Taylor Bruninga added 10 apiece with Bruninga grabbing nine boards for the Redbirds (3-2) in their home opener.
 
Illinois State hit five straight 3-pointers in opening the second half with a 17-3 run and led by 31 after Luke Litwiller's third 3 with 2:57 to play. Evans, Isaac Gassman and Tinsley each had a 3 in the run and Litwiller had two. The Redbirds finished shooting 14 of 29 from behind the arc (48.3 percent).
 
Evans' opening 3-pointer sparked a 13-5 run and the Redbirds led by 16 on Williams' layup with 6:07 to play in the first half. Quincy scored nine straight points before Fayne's free throw put Illinois State up 43-35 at halftime.
 
Demetrius Houston led Quincy with 11 points.

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Finke's double-double helps Illinois beat D-III Augustana

Michael Finke had his second career double-double and four more Illinois players scored in double figures to help the Illini beat Division III Augustana (IL) 96-62 on Wednesday night.
 
Finke finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds - both season highs - and Leron Black had 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting for Illinois (5-0). Mark Smith scored 13, Aaron Jordan added 12 points and Trent Frazier 10. Jordan made a career-high four 3-pointers.
 
Finke and Mark Alstork hit back-to-back 3s to cap an 8-0 game-opening run and the Illini never trailed. Brett Benning made a 3-pointer to pull Augustana within two points, but Illinois scored the next 10 points to make it 21-9. Jordan and Finke hit 3-pointers 27 seconds apart to make it 32-17 with nearly nine minutes left in the half and Augustana trailed by double figures the rest of the way.
 
Dylan Sortillo led the Vikings with 18 points and Chrishawn Orange added 10 on 2-of-10 shooting.

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Point scores in overtime, Lightning beat Blackhawks 3-2

Brayden Point scored a power-play goal 3:25 into overtime, and the Tampa Bay Lightning rallied again to beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 on Wednesday night.
 
Point took a pass from Steven Stamkos while positioned near the post and put the winner past Corey Crawford.
 
Tampa Bay got also goals from Ondrej Palat and Chris Kunitz, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 29 saves. Ryan Callahan had two assists.
 
Patrick Kane scored twice and Crawford stopped 35 shots for the Blackhawks, who blew leads in losing both games between the teams last season.
 
Tampa Bay scored four third-period goals Jan 24 for a 5-2 win in Chicago, and the Lightning battled back from a 4-1 deficit to win 5-4 in overtime at home Mar. 27.
 
Kunitz tied it 2 just 31 seconds into the third.
 
Kane opened the scoring on a 2-on-1 at 3:49 of the first and made it 2-0 with 4:06 left in the period as Chicago's 26th-ranked power play unit converted a 5-on-3.
 
Kane has eight goals and 20 points in 14 games against Tampa Bay.
 
The Blackhawks' 4th-ranked short-handed unit stymied Tampa Bay's NHL-leading power play during three consecutive man-advantage situations, including a 45-second 5-on-3, which ended midway through the first.
 
Crawford made a terrific glove save on Stamkos' left circle power-play shot early in the second.
 
Palat cut the deficit to 2-1 4:27 into the second on the Lightning's fourth short-handed goal.
 
Vasilevskiy made a kick save on Richard Panik's in-close chance 6 minutes into the third.
 
Tampa Bay went 1 for 6 on the power play, while the Blackhawks were 1 of 4.

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Urlacher Among Hall of Fame Semifinalists

First-year eligibles Ray Lewis and Randy Moss are among 27 semifinalists for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
 
The hall said Tuesday that all ties for the 25th spot in the semifinals also advance.
 
Others in their initial year of eligibility who made this cut are Brian Urlacher, Richard Seymour, Steve Hutchinson and Ronde Barber.
 
Four previously eligible players made the semifinals for the first time: LeRoy Butler, Leslie O'Neal, Simeon Rice and Everson Walls. All others on the 2018 list have reached the semifinals in previous years.
 
Already chosen as finalists are Bobby Beathard as a contributor, and Robert Brazilie and Jerry Kramer as senior candidates.
 
The election for the class of 2018 will be held Feb. 3, the day before the Super Bowl, in Minneapolis. Induction ceremonies in Canton, Ohio, will be in August.

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Mizzou's Porter Jr. To Miss All of 17-18 Season

Missouri freshman Michael Porter Jr. will have back surgery Tuesday in Dallas and is now expected to miss the remainder of the 2017-18 college basketball season, school officials announced early Tuesday afternoon.
 
The procedure, according to Missouri, is a microdiscectomy of the L3-L4 spinal disks.
 
The expected recovery time is three to four months.
 
Porter was ranked as the No. 2 prospect in the Class of 2017, according to 247Sports, and is widely considered to be a candidate to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. The 6-foot-10 wing played two minutes in the season opener before leaving after experiencing discomfort. He missed Missouri's subsequent three games before meeting with a specialist on Monday.
 
The next game for Missouri (3-1) is Thursday vs. Long Beach State in the AdvoCare Invitational in Orlando.
 
>>Wichita State Topples Marquette in Maui
 
The Wichita State Shockers locked down defenesively in the second half against Marquette on Tuesday, winning 80-66 to reach the title game of the Maui Invitational.
 
Landry Shamet scored 19 points and Connor Frankamp added 13. The Shockers (4-0) needed a big rally just to get to the semifinals after a slow start against California in its opener. They had no such trouble against Marquette (2-2).
 
Wichita State took control in the second half, holding sharpshooters Markus Howard and Andrew Rowsey in check long enough to build a 10-point lead.
 
The Shockers shot 54 percent and had a 44-33 advantage in the paint to earn a spot in Wednesday's championship game against No. 13 Notre Dame.
 
Rowsey had 26 points and Howard 25 for the Golden Eagles, who were held to 10-of-33 shooting in the second half after a stellar first 20 minutes.
 
Wichita State faces No. 13 Notre Dame in Wednesday's title game.

 

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Blues Blast Oilers

On a night when he had two goals and two assists , Vladimir Tarasenko got in a rare fight Tuesday during the St. Louis Blues' 8-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers.
 
Brayden Schenn also had two goals and two assists, and Jake Allen stopped 26 shots for the NHL-leading Blues (16-5-1).
 
Tarasenko's fight came in the second period. In just the third scrap of his six-year career, the skilled forward tangled with Matt Benning and landed a solid right hand much to the crowd's delight.
 
Tarasenko was reacting to Benning's near-collision with Schenn that was almost a knee-on-knee hit.
 
It was Tarasenko's second career Gordie Howe hat trick - a goal, an assist and a fight in the same game. The other one came on Nov. 13, 2014, against Nashville.
 
St. Louis scored two goals in each of the first two periods before adding four in a wide-open third.
 
Tarasenko got his 11th goal 3:16 into the first period on two deflections. Shooting from the slot, he scored when his shot hit Connor McDavid's stick and then Adam Larsson's stick for a 1-0 lead.
 
Tarasenko has 14 points in his last 13 games (nine goals, five assists) against the Oilers.
 
The Blues made it 2-0 when Dmitrij Jaskin scored at 7:35. He outmuscled Ryan Strome for the puck in the right circle and hit a rising wrist shot threw sailed over Edmonton goalie Cam Talbot's left shoulder.
 
The Oilers pulled Talbot, who faced just three shots, in favor of Lauren Brossoit. It was the third time this season Talbot, who has started 105 of Edmonton's last 116 games, has been pulled.
 
Brossoit faced 37 shots and allowed six goals.
 
St. Louis went up 3-0 when Jaden Schwartz knocked in the rebound of a shot by Tarasenko. Brossoit kicked out Tarasenko's shot and it went right to Schwartz, who snapped in a wrist shot from the high slot at 3:52 of the second.
 
It was the 100th career goal for Schwartz, who had three points.
 
A goal by Schenn from the slot made it 4-0 with 19 seconds left in the period. Schwartz fed Schenn with a pass and he one-timed the puck by Brossoit.
 
Tarasenko added his second goal at 12:21 for a 6-1 lead. Schenn scored on a power play at 14:37.
 
The Blues host the Nashville Predators on Friday.

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Lakers Rally Past Bulls

Kyle Kuzma had 22 points, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 11 of his 21 in the fourth quarter and the Los Angeles Lakers rallied from a 19-point deficit in the second half for a 103-94 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night.
 
Brandon Ingram had 17 points, five rebounds and five assists as the Lakers won consecutive games for the second time this season.
Los Angeles had a miserable first half and trailed 61-42 early in the second, but put together a 38-19 run. Caldwell-Pope's layup with 3:08 to play gave the Lakers their first lead since the first quarter.
 
Caldwell-Pope added back-to-back 3-pointers to get the LA crowd on its feet. After Ingram made a difficult layup with 1:16 left, Caldwell-Pope alertly kept a loose ball alive after Lonzo Ball missed a 3-pointer, allowing the Lakers to seal their first win over the Bulls at Staples Center in three tries.
 
Denzel Valentine scored 17 points and Antonio Blakeney added 15 - all in the first half - for the Bulls, who dropped to 3-12 with their seventh loss in eight games.
 
Kris Dunn had 12 points and six assists in his second start of the season for Chicago.
 
Ball had eight points, 13 rebounds and four assists. After posting his second career triple-double Sunday against Denver, the touted rookie missed seven of his first eight shots against Chicago, but provided strong playmaking down the stretch.
 
The NBA's worst shooting team hit seven 3s in the first half while taking an 18-point lead over the step-slow Lakers. Blakeney was a rookie surprise, hitting a career-high six shots in the opening minutes while the Bulls surged well ahead.
 
Los Angeles committed 13 first-half turnovers, played poor defense and would have been buried without Kuzma's gritty scoring.
 
The Bulls are in Utah tonight to take on the Jazz.

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Maroons Defeat Warriors

The Clinton Maroons defeated the Decatur Christian Warriors by a score of 84-15 on Tuesday night. The Maroons were led by Country Financial's Player of the Game, Austin Baker with a total of 20 points. Seth Westfall chipped in with 14 points.
 
The Warriors were led by Scott Dowling with 5 points and Keagan McKinney who had 5 points as well.
 
With the win the Maroons improve to 1-0.
 
Tune in the 28th as the Lady Sages take on Heyworth. You can hear the game live on The Bif 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Maroons vs Decatur Christian Warriors

The Maroons won the game with a score of 84-15.

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Maroons Open 2017-18 Basketball Season at Cerro Gordo Holiday Tournament

Off an 11-15 season last year, the Clinton Maroons boys basketball squad is looking to take the next step.
 
Coach Clay Haurberg says his team will be senior led this year and they bring back a great deal of experience, despite losing leading scorer, Peyton McCubbin.
 
 
After two years in Class 3A, Coach Haurberg says it's not even a part of the mindset for their team and now they just see their opponents as kids from other schools.
 
 
Tonight, the Maroons take on Decatur Christian at the Cerro Gordo Thanksgiving tournament starting at 6 pm. 
 
Hear all the action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com and from the new WHOW mobile app. 

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Illinois To Build Statue Of Dick Butkus

Dick Butkus is going back to college.
One of the greatest linebackers in pro football history is being honored with a statute at Illinois, where he played three seasons and helped the Illini win the 1964 Rose Bowl. The statue will overlook the entrance to a football performance center that's expected to be completed in time for the 2019 season.
 
The bronze statue will join a statute of Red Grange, the legendary Illini running back whose likeness stands on the west side of Memorial Stadium.
 
Butkus says being honored with a statute "very humbling."

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Illinois, Mizzou To Resume Football Series

The Illini and Mizzou are resuming their matchups on the gridiron, announcing a four-game football series starting in 2026.
The University of Illinois and University of Missouri made the announcement Monday. Illinois will host in 2026 and 2028 in Champaign, Illinois, and Missouri will host in 2027 and 2029 in Columbia, Missouri.
 
The teams previously have met 24 times. The Tigers hold a 17-7 edge on the Illini. They most recently played in 2010 in St. Louis where Missouri won 23-13.
 
Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman says playing a Southeastern Conference opponent and geographic rival "will be exciting for our players, coaches and fans." Illini coach Lovie Smith calls the series a "natural fit" because the schools are in border states and already have the Braggin' Rights series in basketball.

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Pacers Topple Magic

Victor Oladipo had 29 points, nine rebounds and seven steals to lead the Indiana Pacers to their fourth straight win, 105-97 over the Orlando Magic on Monday night.
 
Oladipo and Bojan Bogdanovic combined for 40 points in the second half, 14 of them during a 16-3 third-quarter run that put the Pacers in command.
 
Oladipo's seven steals were a season-high and he also had five assists.
 
Bogdanovic scored 24 of his 26 points in the second half, making five of six 3-pointers.
 
Nikola Vucevic had 25 points and 13 rebounds for the Magic, who lost their fifth straight.
 
The Magic finished with 22 turnovers and shot 33 percent in the second half to fall below .500 for the first time this season.
 
After a dunk by Aaron Gordon late in the first quarter, the Magic were down 23-22 despite making nine of their first 12 shots, including four of five 3-pointers. They never regained their shooting touch.
 
After a three-day break, the Pacers will play Toronto Friday night in the first of three straight home games.

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McCarthy Continues to Defend Hundley

Green Bay quarterback Brett Hundley called his four-turnover day against the Baltimore Ravens a "big-time learning game."
 
The Packers are hoping he puts those lessons to good use, beginning with this weekend's trip to Pittsburgh.
Hundley threw three interceptions and lost a fumble on Sunday, and Green Bay fell 23-0 to Baltimore in its first shutout loss in 11 years. He was sacked six times and completed 21 of 36 passes for 239 yards for a passer rating of 43.6.
 
But coach Mike McCarthy said he remains confident in Hundley, a 2015 fifth-round pick who has been Aaron Rodgers' primary backup since last season.
 
"I'll just say it again: I believe in Brett Hundley," McCarthy said Monday morning, repeating a phrase he has used on a weekly basis since Rodgers broke his right collarbone Oct. 15 at Minnesota. "I believe in Brett Hundley as a quarterback, and I believe he will improve. And that's where we are."
 
Since a 4-1 start behind Rodgers, the Packers have dropped four of five to fall to .500 at 5-5. Eight teams are ahead of them in the playoff picture in the NFC, and they are two-touchdown underdogs entering Sunday night's game against the 8-2 Steelers at Heinz Field.
 
McCarthy said he didn't have an update on nose tackle Kenny Clark (ankle) or outside linebacker Clay Matthews (groin), two key players on defense who left Sunday's loss with injuries.
 
>>Packers Rookie RB Facing NFL Discipline
 
Rookie running back Aaron Jones is facing three charges and possible NFL discipline after an arrest Oct. 1 during a traffic stop, according to Wisconsin Circuit Court records: Operating a vehicle with a controlled substance in his system, speeding (24 mph over the posted speed limit of 55) and operating a vehicle without a valid license.
 
Jones' arrest occurred a week before his breakout game at Dallas on Oct. 8. He entered a plea of not guilty on Wednesday. 

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Lady Maroons Fall To Riverton Saturday at Turkey Tussle

The Clinton Lady Maroons could only muster four fourth quarter points after holding a 31-28 lead to start the final frame and fell to the Riverton Lady Hawks 41-35 Saturday in the 5th/6th place game at the Clinton Turkey Tussle.
 
Leading 31-28 after three quarters, Riverton outscored the Lady Maroons 13-4 in the final frame and converted 5-of-9 free throws down the stretch.
 
Alyssa Sauslberry scored all four fourth quarter points for the Lady Maroons and finished with ten points. Madi Filkin led the Lady Maroons with 11 points. 
 
Kaile Beck had six poitns and Destiny Schlessinger and Claudia Workman each added fourt points.
 
Addison Pals paced Riverton with 24 points.
 
The Clinton Turkey Tussle was the season opening tournament for the Lady Maroons, who finished 1-3.
 
Other scores from placement games at the Turkey Tussle:
 
PORTA 51  (Championship)
Maroa 45
 
Mt. Pulaski 61 (3rd/4th Game) 
Tri-Valley 31
 
Olympia 45 (7th/8th Game)
LSA 7
 
Filkin and Saulsberry were both named to the All-Tournament team for the Turkey Tussle.
 
PORTA's Taylor Danner was the Tournament MVP. Her teammates Kassidy Kirchner Izeyar Lincoln joind her on the All Tournament team.
 
Others include Kate Beckemeyer and Kaylee Robinson from Maroa-Forsyth, Skylar Hayes from Mt. Pulaski, Libbie Kussman from Tri-Valley and Addie Pals from Riverton.

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Illinois, Illinois State, Bradley Win Saturday

>>Illinois Blows By Marshall
 
Leron Black scored 17 points and Kipper Nichols had 17 points and 11 rebounds off the bench Sunday to lead Illinois past Marshall 91-74.
 
The Illini (4-0) opened up 23-point lead, 66-43, with 12 mintues left in the game on a jump shot by Nichols. The Thundering Herd (4-2) never threatened again.
 
The Illini held Marshall leading scorer Jon Elmore to 14 points. Elmore entered the game averaging 28.3 points. He was 2-of-11 shooting on the night, including 0 of 5 in the second half.
 
Jarrod West led Marshall with 22 points.
 
Mark Smith and Michael Finke added 13 each for Illinois.
 
The Illini used big advantages in bench scoring and rebounding to close out the Herd. The Illini outrebounded Marshall 45-20 and had 42 points off the bench to the Herd's 10.
 
Illinois will host Augustana, a Division III school from Rock Island, Illinois, on Wednesday.
 
>>Illinois State Topples Tulane
 
Keyshawn Evans scored 29 points and Illinois State jumped out to a huge first-half lead to beat Tulsa 84-68 in Sunday's third-place game at the relocated Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
Evans had 20 points by halftime on 8-for-9 shooting, helping the Redbirds (2-2) run off 20 straight points to take control in the opening 6½ minutes. Illinois State shot 62 percent and hit eight 3-pointers to build a 46-27 halftime lead, then led by as many as 22 points.
 
The Golden Hurricane (2-3) never got the deficit below double figures in the second half.
 
Evans made 10 of 13 shots for the game, including all six of his 3-point tries. Illinois State finished shooting 57 percent and made 12 of 23 3-pointers.
 
Junior Etou scored 16 points before fouling out late for Tulsa, which shot 37 percent.
 
The Tip-Off was moved to South Carolina due to hurricane damage in Puerto Rico.
 
>>Bradley Beats Weber State
 
Darrell Brown scored 23 points and Bradley beat Weber State 70-64 in the fifth-place game at the Island of the Bahamas Showcase on Sunday.
Elijah Childs added 10 points and seven rebounds for the Braves (4-1), who had an uncharacteristically poor game on 3-point offense and defense but used superior rebounding and 18 of 23 free-throw shooting to overcome the Wildcats (3-2).
 
Bradley came in averaging 44.6 on 3-pointers, better than its overall average, and 25 percent 3-point defense, but Weber State shot 44 percent from the arc and Bradley just 33 percent.
 
Jerrick Harding made four 3-pointers and scored 26 points for Weber State. Brekkott Champman added four 3-pointers and 16 points and Ryan Richardson 11 points.
 
A 10-0 run, including five points from Brown, gave Bradley a 38-26 halftime lead. Harding scored seven points in an 11-2 run that tied the game at 57 with 4½ minutes left but JoJo McGlaston had a bucket and Brown added five points in a 7-0 spurt. Weber State got within two in the final 30 seconds but Bradley converted 6 of 6 free throws to hold on.

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Pacers Win, Bulls Lose

>>Pacers Top Heat
 
Bojan Bogdanovic scored 26 points, Miles Turner added 25 on 11 of 14 shooting and the Pacers embarrassed the Heat in the second half on the way to a 120-95 rout Sunday night.
 
Victor Oladipo scored 15, Darren Collison had 12 points and 10 assists and Thaddeus Young added 12 for Indiana. The Pacers outscored Miami 69-40 in the game's final 25 minutes and shot 60 percent for the game.
 
Whiteside and Josh Richardson each scored 15 and James Johnson added 10 for the Heat.
 
Dion Waiters was scoreless for Miami, missing all 10 of his shots. Miami's starters were outscored by Indiana's 90-44 - a huge disappointment on the heels of a road win in Washington two nights earlier.
 
The Pacers are in Orlando on Monday night, closing a two-day Florida swing.
 
>>Suns Edge Bulls
 
T.J. Warren scored 27 points to lead six Phoenix players in double figures and the Suns handed the Chicago Bulls their sixth loss in seven games, 113-105 on Sunday night.
 
Rookie Lauri Markkanen, the former University of Arizona standout, scored a career-best 26 points for the Bulls in a matchup of the NBA's two youngest teams.
Devin Booker and Mike James added 15 points apiece for Phoenix. Eight of James' points came in the final 10 minutes. Troy Daniels added 14 for the Suns, including four of seven 3s. Centers Greg Monroe and Alex Len had 10 apiece.
 
Kris Dunn scored 17 points and Robin Lopez 16 for the Bulls. They were coming off a Friday night victory over Charlotte that snapped a five-game losing streak.
 
The Suns scored the first seven of the second quarter to tie it at 37 and neither team led by more than six the rest of the half. Warren's layup capped a 10-0 run that gave Phoenix a 54-48 lead with 2:42 left in the half and the Suns led 61-56 at the break.
 
Chicago outscored Phoenix 16-5 over a five-minute span to take an 84-79 lead with 2:17 left in the third. But the Bulls didn't score again in the quarter while Daniels and Josh Jackson each sank 3-pointers to put the Suns up 85-84 entering the fourth.
 
Phoenix took the lead for good 87-85 on Len's stuff. James scored six and Warren the final four in a decisive 15-5 run that put the Suns up 106-95 with 3:37 to go.
 
Chicago cut it to 108-103 on Markkanen's fourth 3 with 1:37 to play and got the ball back. But Dunn threw it away and the Suns held on for the win.

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Bears, Packers Lose Sunday

>>Bears Fall Apart To Lions
 
Matthew Stafford threw for 299 yards and two touchdowns, Matt Prater kicked a 52-yard field goal with 1:35 remaining and the Detroit Lions held on to beat the Chicago Bears 27-24 on Sunday.
 
Detroit (6-4) took the lead after Tarik Cohen had tied it for Chicago (3-7) with a 15-yard touchdown run.
Prater booted the winner after Stafford led a 42-yard drive to the 34. The Lions escaped with their third straight win when the Bears' Connor Barth was wide right on a 46-yarder in the closing seconds.
 
Stafford completed 21 of 31 passes. Marvin Jones Jr. had four receptions for 85 yards and a TD.
 
DJ Hayden ran back a fumbled snap for a touchdown to give Detroit seven return TDs this season, tying a team record. And the Lions beat the Bears for the eighth time in nine games.
 
Chicago dropped its third straight even though Jordan Howard ran for 125 yards and a touchdown. Mitchell Trubisky faded after a strong start, throwing for 179 yards and a TD. His 19-yard scramble on fourth-and-13 in the final minute put the ball on the Detroit 43.
 
He then hit Dontrelle Inman with a 15-yard pass, giving Barth a chance to force overtime. But the Bears once again came up short after a rough loss to Green Bay that reignited the heat on coach John Fox.
 
Bears linebacker Leonard Floyd was taken from the field on a cart early in the fourth quarter with a knee injury he suffered trying to defend a run.
 
Stafford threw for 195 yards and two touchdowns in the first half to help the Lions grab a 21-17 lead.
 
Detroit trailed 10-0 in the first quarter and 17-7 in the second before charging ahead in the closing minutes of the half.
 
Stafford's 28-yard touchdown to Jones with 5:17 remaining made it a three-point game. And his 2-yarder to a wide-open Ameer Abdullah gave the Lions a 21-17 lead with 20 seconds left.
 
The Bears visit the Philadelphia Eagles on Nov. 26.
 
>>Ravens Blank Packers
 
The Baltimore Ravens forced five turnovers in their third shutout of the season, a 23-0 win on Sunday over the Green Bay Packers.
 
Jimmy Smith and Marlon Humphrey intercepted Brett Hundley for Baltimore (5-5), which led the NFL in picks entering the weekend.
C.J. Mosley forced a fumble and had one of Baltimore's two fumble recoveries. Terrell Suggs, Matthew Judon and Willie Henry each had two sacks apiece.
 
A problematic offense couldn't generate a touchdown drive until Joe Flacco's perfect deep ball to Mike Wallace over two defenders for a 13-point lead nearly two minutes into the third quarter. Flacco threw for 183 yards, going 22 of 28 with an interception.
 
Brett Hundley was 21 of 36 for 239 yards. But he threw interceptions on the Packers' first two series. On the third drive, backup running back Devante Mays fumbled on his first carry of the season.
 
Davante Adams was a lone bright spot, torching the Ravens' strong secondary for 126 yards on eight catches. The Packers actually outgained the Ravens 265-219. But turnovers sapped any momentum
 
Justin Tucker kicked three field goals for Baltimore. Alex Collins added a 3-yard touchdown run with 2:12 left. That score came a play after Hundley threw his third interception, returned 15 yards by Humphrey.
 
Collins had 49 yards on 20 carries, while Wallace finished with 56 yards on four catches.
 
The Packers (5-5) have lost four of their past five games.
 
Packers visit the Pittsburgh Steelers on Nov. 26.

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Cardinals Make Offer on Marlins Slugger Giancarlo Stanton

On Friday, the San Francisco Giants reportedly became the first team to make a formal offer to the Miami Marlins regarding NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton.
 
On Sunday, the St. Louis Cardinals became the second, per Jon Paul Morosi of MLB Network:
 
Quote - "Source: #STLCards have made a formal trade offer to #Marlins for Giancarlo Stanton."
 
The Giants and Cardinals have both been connected to Stanton since the offseason began.

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'Bama Tightens Grip on No. 1

The new AP Top 25 has been released, and just about everything is the same after only one team in last week's top 10 lost.
 
In fact, the biggest news in the top 10 might just be that Miami received one fewer first-place vote this week (three) than it did last week (four). It looks like voters were more impressed by Alabama pasting Mercer than they were with Miami struggling with Virginia for a little bit, even if the Canes won by 16 points in the end.
Elsewhere, the team that took the biggest tumble was Oklahoma State. The Cowboys dropped from No. 10 to No. 18 thanks to a 45-40 loss to Kansas State.
 
With a lack of surprising results this weekend it's no surprise that this week's Coaches Poll remains largely intact.
 
In fact, the entire top 12 is the same this week, as the changes came lower in the poll. The SEC was the conference taking advantage of that, because with LSU moving up from No. 21 to No. 18, the conference now has five teams in the top 20.
 
Alabama, Miami, Clemson, Wisconsin, and Oklahoma are top five this week, rounded out with Auburn, Georgia, Ohio State, Notre Dame and USC.

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Truex Jr Wins In Earnhardt Jr's Final Race

Dale Earnhardt Jr. raised a cold one. Martin Truex Jr. hoisted a trophy .
 
Two friends who hunt together, own property together and once raced on the same team had another reason to come together: To revel in Truex's first Cup title.
 
Truex capped the most successful season of his journeyman career as NASCAR's champion Sunday by winning the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He beat Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski — all former series champions — to claim the crown. He was mobbed by his Furniture Row Racing team, sobbed during a long embrace with cancer-stricken partner Sherry Pollex and thanked team owner Barney Visser for saving his career.
 
Truex, the regular-season champion, was the favorite to win this title. He dominated nearly every statistical category all year — he led the most laps and won the most stages — and his victory was his series-best eighth in 2017.
 
It was the first championship for Denver-based Furniture Row Racing. It was the second title in three years for manufacturer Toyota.
 
Busch finished second for Joe Gibbs Racing, helping Toyota — the most dominant manufacturer this season — go 1-2 in the finale.
 
Kyle Larson, who was eliminated from the playoffs last month, finished third in a Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing. Harvick, seeking his second title, was fourth in a Stewart-Haas Racing Ford.
 
Keselowski wound up seventh, failing to give Team Penske a season sweep of the two top American racing series. Penske won the IndyCar title in September.
 
Truex also denied Ford its third win of the weekend. Ford drivers won titles in the Truck and Xfinity series. The manufacturer has not won a Cup championship since 2004.

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Tanner with 2 TDs, Austin Peay beats Eastern Illinois 28-13

Ahmaad Tanner ran for 95 yards and two touchdowns and Austin Peay beat Eastern Illinois 28-13 in a regular season closer on Saturday night.
 
Jeremiah Oatsvall had 49 yards rushing and a score for the Governors (8-4, 7-1 Ohio Valley Conference) who had possession for over 40 minutes and had 403 yards of offense while holding Eastern Illinois to 270 yards.
 
The Governors scored a touchdown in each quarter, beginning with Tanner's 22-yard scoring run in the first. Kyran Moore took it in from 10 yards out for another with 9:13 to play in the half and they led 14-6 at halftime.
 
Oatsvall ran for a 26-yard touchdown late in the third quarter to make it 21-6. Juantarious Bryant intercepted Scott Gilkey two plays into the following Panther drive and returned it 18 yards, setting up a second Tanner touchdown for a 28-6 advantage.
 
Isaiah Johnson rushed for 107 yards and a touchdown for the Panthers (6-5, 5-3).

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No. 8 Ohio State routs Illinois, looks ahead to Michigan

No. 8 Ohio State scored on its first six possessions - including J.T. Barrett's 100th career touchdown pass - as the Buckeyes routed Illinois 52-14 on Saturday and clinched the Big Ten East title.
 
Barrett, playing in his last game at Ohio Stadium, threw for two touchdowns and ran for another as the Buckeyes (9-2, 7-1, CFP No. 9) dominated from the opening kick. Barrett became the Ohio State leader in rushing yards among quarterbacks (3,070), eclipsing Braxton Miller. He's now the holder of 35 Big Ten and school records.
 
Ohio State's defense limited the Illini (2-9, 0-9) to a season-low 105 yards in handing them a ninth straight loss. They didn't record a first down until near the end of the first half and ended with just five.
 
Barrett was 11 for 19 for 141 yards, with backups Dwayne Haskins and Joe Burrow playing most of the second half. Running back Mike Weber picked up 108 yards on 11 carries and scored twice, including on a 43-yard breakaway romp in the first quarter.
 
The Buckeyes led 28-0 after the first quarter and 38-0 at halftime when heavy rain rolled through Columbus, slowing the pace in a messy second half.

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IHSA Football Semifinals

Class 1A:

 

Tuscoa 21, Athens 4, F

 

Class 2A:

 

Sterling Newman Central Catholic 8, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 14, F

Maroa-Forsyth 25, Shelbyville 14,F

 

Class 3A:

 

Elmhurst IC Catholic 7, Pleasant Plains 41, F

 

Class 4A:

 

Highland 14, Rochester 31, F

 

Class 5A:

 

Dunlap 21, Washington 0, F

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Lewis has career night, E Illinois downs IUPUI 80-79

Terrell Lewis scored a career-high 25 points with seven 3-pointers and made both of his free throws, including the game-winner, and Eastern Illinois rallied to beat IUPUI 80-79 in its home opener on Friday night.
 
Jajuan Starks totaled career highs with 16 points and eight rebounds, D'Angelo Jackson added 11 points and Lewis had five assists. The Panthers (1-2) were outshot from the field 59.6 percent to 51.1 percent, but made 23 of 31 free throws to IUPUI's 3 of 7.
 
Lewis tied it at 79 on his first free throw of the game and won it on his second with six seconds left to play. Muusa Dama got a steal at the buzzer to preserve the win.
 
IUPUI led 41-38 at halftime after T.J. Henderson's 3-pointer, and led by as many as seven in the second half before Stark's layup with 9:32 to play sparked a 10-3 run capped by a 3 from Lewis to tie it at 69. Ray Crossland's layup put the Panthers up 78-77, but Aaron Brennan's bucket gave IUPUI a one-point lead before Terrell stepped to the foul line.
 
Brennan led the Jaguars (1-2) with a career-high 25 points, Ron Patterson had 19 and Evan Hall 14.

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Boise State Routs Illinois State at Puerto Rico Tip Off

Chandler Hutchison had 19 points and a career-high 18 rebounds Friday as Boise State beat Illinois State 82-64 to reach the championship game of the relocated Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
 
The Broncos (4-0) dominated from the start and led by 25 in the first half. That came a day after they rallied from nine down in the final 3½ minutes and needed Hutchison's late three-point play to beat UTEP.
 
Alex Hobbs added 10 points, nine rebounds and six assists for Boise State, which led by as many as 33 points and had a 57-27 rebounding advantage.
 
Keyshawn Evans scored 21 points for the Redbirds (1-2), who beat power-conference opponent South Carolina on Thursday. But this one got away quickly as they shot 7 of 35 from the field, including 2 of 19 on 3-pointers, before halftime.
 
Boise State faces the Iowa State-Tulsa winner in Sunday's final. Illinois State faces the loser in the third-place game.

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Vermont Rallies Past Bradley

Trae Bell-Haynes made a go-ahead free throw with 2.6 seconds left as Vermont beat Bradley 65-64 on Friday in the first game of the Island of the Bahamas Showcase.
 
Bell-Haynes, a senior guard, drove to his right and was fouled as he went up for a layup. He made the first free throw but hit the front rim on the second. Bradley's Donte Thomas caught a full-court pass but his shot hit the back of the rim at the buzzer.
 
Bell-Haynes and Stef Smith each scored 14 points for Vermont (1-1), which made its first 11 free throws of the second half. Payton Henson had 11 points and nine rebounds, and Drew Urquhart added 10 points.
 
Vermont took a 45-44 lead midway through the second half and extended it to 57-48 with 6:30 remaining. Bradley rallied to tie it at 63 with 11 seconds left on Darrell Brown's two free throws.
 
Brown, Elijah Childs and Nate Kennell each scored 12 points for Bradley (2-1).

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Clinton Girls Topple Decatur LSA

Madi Filkin led a balanced Clinton attack as the Lady Maroons toppled Decatur LSA 65-24 from the Clinton Turkey Tussle Thursday night at Clinton High School.
 
Filkin scored 12 points to lead the attack, and while she was the only scorer in double figures for Clinton, 11 players scored for the Lady Maroons.
 
Aryn Scott scored nine points, Jayd Rich and Claudia Workman scored eight points each, Kaile Beck scored seven and Destiny Schlesinger scored six points.
 
Emme Phillips led Decatur LSA with 13 points.
 
The Lady Maroons are 1-1 on the season and 1-1 in pool play for the round robin style tournament.
 
Other Turkey Tussle action from Thursday:
 
Maroa 53  
Tri-Valley 26
 
Mt. Pulaski 48  
Olympia 29

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Monticello's Nathan Harman Named All-State; Monticello Track Star Commits To Louisville

Monticello High School senior Nathan Harman was named a first team all-state selection Thursday.
 
Harman anchored a Sages defense that made it to the second round of the IHSA 3A playoffs this year and made a semi-final game last year.
 
Other area all-state selections included Bloomington Central Catholic wide receiver James Morris and Decatur St. Teresa runningback Jacardia Wright.
 
>>Monticello Track Star Commits To Louisville
 
Monticello track standout Aliyah Welter has signed a National Letter of Intent to continue her academic and athletic career at the University of Louisville.  
 
The future Cardinal cleared 12'9" to win the 2A Pole Vault in last spring's IHSA State Meet in Charleston.  
 
She is the daughter of Sages football and track and field coach Cully Welter and his wife Angela who also teaches in Monticello.

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Maroa-Forsyth, GCMS, Shelbyville Among Area Teams Playing For Trip To DeKalb

Next week are the IHSA Football state finals and there are a number of area teams looking to punch their tickets to Husky Stadium for post-Thanksgiving football.
 
In Class 1A:
Tuscola (12-0) at Athens (10-2) Sat. 2:00 pm
 
Class 2A:
 
Sterling Newman Central Catholic (12-0) at Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley (12-0) Sat. 2:00 pm
Maroa-Forsyth (11-1) at Shelbyville (10-2) Sat. 1:30 pm
 
Class 3A:
 
Elmhurst IC Catholic) (11-1) at Byron (12-0) Sat. 2:00 pm
Anna-Jonesboro (12-0) at Pleasant Plains (9-3) Sat. 2:00 pm
 
Class 4A: 
 
Highland (12-0) at Rochester (12-0) Sat. 4:30 pm
 
Class 5A:
 
Dunlap (12-0) at Washington (10-2) Sat. 3:00 pm

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Illinois State Holds Off South Carolina

Milik Yarbrough had 18 points, six rebounds and six assists to help Illinois State beat South Carolina 69-65 in Thursday's opening game of the relocated Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
 
Keyshawn Evans added 17 points for the Redbirds (1-1), who frustrated the cold-shooting Gamecocks with their active zone defense and never trailed. Illinois State shot just 36 percent, but made 28 free throws - with 14 from Yarbrough.
 
Illinois State led by as many as 12 points before halftime and saw the Gamecocks rally to twice tie it before holding on down the stretch. Evans hit a free throw with 4 seconds left to make it a two-possession game and seal the win.
 
Hassani Gravett had 10 points, nine rebounds and five assists for the Gamecocks (2-1), who shot just 30 percent.
 
The tournament was set for the coastal city of Fajardo, Puerto Rico, but damage from Hurricane Maria forced it to Coastal Carolina in Conway.
 
The Redbirds will play the Boise State in Friday's winner's bracket at noon. 

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Illinois At Ohio State

The Fighting Illini (2-8 overall, 0-7 B1G West) and #8 Ohio State (8-2 overall, 6-1 B1G East) will battle for Illibuck rivalry trophy Saturday in Columbus.
Illinois lost to Indiana last Saturday in Champaign to Indiana, 24-14. The Buckeyes, who are still fighting for a spot in the College Football Playoff, beat Michigan State 48-3 last Saturday.
 
Louis Dorsey's 107 receiving yards against Indiana were the most by a true freshman tight end in Illinois history, the seventh most by any tight end in Illinois history. His 77-yard TD catch vs. the Hoosiers is the longest reception in Illinois history by a true freshman.
 
Game time is 2:30 on ABC.
 
>>Redbirds Go Into Senior Day Needing Win
 
It all comes down to this for the Redbirds, who need a victory to improve their win total to seven and potentially earn a spot in the FCS playoffs for the fourth-consecutive season. However, the task ahead of them is daunting with seven-time MVFC champion and fourth-ranked North Dakota State heading to Hancock Stadium on Senior Day.
The Redbirds lost in tough fashion to South Dakota State in Brookings last Saturday.
 
RB James Robinson scored a pair of touchdowns, including the game-tying score that sent the game to overtime at South Dakota State. Robinson rushed for 83 yards on 15 carries to up his season total to 837 yards, which ranks him third in the MVFC this season. His 11 touchdowns are tied for second overall, and his 83.7 yards per game are fourth-most among league ball carriers.
 
This week's matchups is the third straight against a top-25 opponent for ISU.
 
Game time is noon from Hancock Stadium. 
 
>>Eastern Illinois Wraps Up Season At Austin Peay
 
The Eastern Illinois Panters will return from their bye-week and will look to wrap up the season in winning fashion when they take on Austin Peay on Saturday.
Likely out of the playoff picture, the Panthers will at least have a winning season as they enter action 6-4 overall. 
 
The 7-4 Governor's still have an outside chance at the postseason, so Senior Day in Clarksville, TN will be a meaningful game.
 
Game time Saturday is 4 pm. Hear the action The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Bears, Packers Home Sunday

>>Bears Host Lions Sunday
 
The Detroit Lions will look to improve their playoff chances and win their third game in a row when they visit the Chicago Bears on Sunday afternoon at Soldier Field.
 
Meanwhile, the Bears would love nothing more than to spoil the plans of their division rival.
Detroit (5-4) is surging on offense as it enters Week 11. The Lions have scored 68 points in their past two victories over the Green Bay Packers and Cleveland Browns and rank sixth in the NFL with 27.1 points per game.
Chicago (3-6) will try to end a two-game losing streak after dropping games to the New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers. The end zone has proved to be elusive for the majority of the season for the Bears, who have scored fewer than 20 points in seven of nine games this season.
 
Narrow outcomes have been a series hallmark in recent seasons. Nine of the last 10 meetings between the Lions and Bears have been decided by single digits, and five of those games have been determined by three points or fewer.
 
Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky will make his sixth start and his fourth at Soldier Field. Trubisky passed for a career-high 297 yards last week and owns an overall passer rating of 75.6 with 809 passing yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.
 
On the ground, Jordan Howard leads the Bears with 716 rushing yards and four touchdowns. He has three 100-yard performances this season but has not rushed for a touchdown in the past five games.
 
>>Packers Host Ravens Sunday
 
The Baltimore Ravens' quarterback is a former Super Bowl MVP while the man behind center for the Green Bay Packers is a backup who will be making his fourth career start.
 
In both cases, the teams will need more from their passers if they're going to make a run to the playoffs. That starts on Sunday, when Brett Hundley and the Packers (5-4) host Joe Flacco and the Ravens (4-5).
Hundley is coming off his best game as a professional, highlighted by two clutch fourth-quarter passes to receiver Davante Adams to help Green Bay to a 23-16 win over Chicago. He'll face a huge test against a Ravens' defense that ranks second in opponent passer rating, second in opponent completion percentage and first in interceptions.
 
Right tackle Bryan Bulaga (knee), safety Morgan Burnett (groin) and running backs Aaron Jones (torn MCL) and Ty Montgomery (ribs) did not practice; Bulaga is headed to injured reserve and Jones won't play. Without their two leading rushers, the Packers will lean on fourth-round pick Jamaal Williams, who carried 20 times for 67 yards against Chicago -- all in the second half.

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Blues Overcome Oilers

Braden Schenn had two goals and an assist and the Blues beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-1 on Thursday night to end a two-game skid.
 
The 26-year-old center is having a career year since being traded last summer from the Philadelphia Flyers to the Blues, with 25 points through 20 games.
Vladimir Sobotka and Alexander Steen also scored for the Blues, who improved to 14-5-1 with the win in a physical matchup. Jake Allen made 29 saves.
 
Ryan Strome scored for the Oilers, who have lost three of four. Cam Talbot turned away 35 shots.
 
The Blues caught a break to start the scoring with 4:46 left in the first period. Talbot flubbed a clearing attempt, and it popped in front of the net, enabling Sobotka to get a short-handed goal.
 
Edmonton got the goal back on the same power play 29 seconds later when Strome's wrist shot beat Allen up high.
 
St. Louis regained the lead on the power play seven minutes into the second period when Steen whacked in a rebound during a scramble in the crease.
 
The Blues took a 3-1 lead six minutes into the third when Schenn elected to shoot on a 2-on-1 break, scoring his sixth goal of the season.
 
Schenn got his second goal of the game a couple of minutes later when he was left alone at the side of the net and had an open net to shoot at before Talbot could get across.
 
The Blues are at Vancouver on Saturday night.

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Stanton, Altuve Baseball MVPs

For the second straight season, a league MVP is a reigning World Series champion.
 
Major League Baseball and the Baseball Writers Association of America announced Astros second baseman Jose Altuve won the 2017 American League Most Valuable Player award Thursday. Altuve and the Astros clinched the first World Series title in franchise history earlier this month. Last year Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant was named NL MVP after winning the World Series.
Altuve picked up 27 of a possible 30 first-place votes, beating Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge, the unanimous AL Rookie of the Year, by a 405-279 margin. Judge earned two first-place votes as well as 27 second-place votes and one for third place. Indians infielder Jose Ramirez placed third.  
 
This season Altuve led the AL in hits for the fourth straight year and finished with a .346/.410/.547 (164 OPS+) batting line with 24 home runs and 32 stolen bases. His batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, and OPS+ are all new career highs. He also led all players -- that includes position players and pitchers, AL and NL -- with 8.3 WAR in 2017.
 
Altuve has gradually climbed the AL MVP voting ranks over the years, going from 13th in the voting in 2014 to 10th in 2015 to third in 2016 to winning the award in 2017. He is the second Astros player to be named league MVP, joining Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell. Bagwell won the 1994 NL MVP award, when the Astros were still in the Senior Circuit.
 
Major League Baseball and the Baseball Writers Association of America announced Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton won the National League trophy. Joey Votto finished two points behind in second, and Paul Goldschmidt finished third.
 
Stanton led NL hitters in Wins Above Replacement, albeit narrowly, according to Baseball Reference. His 7.6 figure trumped Votto's 7.5 and Nolan Arenado's 7.2 by the slimmest of margins. Of course, it's more likely that voters were swayed by the facts that Stanton homered 59 times (the most in baseball), finished first in runs batted in, and slotted in second behind Votto in OPS. The Marlins also won more games than the Reds did (nine), which couldn't have hurt.
 
Even though Stanton finished with more home runs and runs batted in, Votto was likely the best hitter in the NL. He led the league in OPS by 25 points, due in large part to his ridiculous .454 on-base percentage -- Stanton, for reference, failed to finish in the top 10 of that measure. Votto also had a higher batting average than Stanton. (Stanton ranked first in slugging, as compared to Votto's seventh-place finish.) For all intents and purposes, Votto essentially tied Stanton in Wins Above Replacement too. 

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Blackhawks Double Up Rangers

Artem Anisimov scored three times in the third period against his former team, Nick Schmaltz had three assists and the Chicago Blackhawks cooled off the New York Rangers with a 6-3 victory Wednesday night.
 
Alex DeBrincat, John Hayden and Jonathan Toews also scored for Chicago, which had dropped three of four. Duncan Keith had two assists and Corey Crawford made 25 saves, helping the Blackhawks bounce back from an ugly 7-5 loss to New Jersey on Sunday.
New York had won six in a row - the longest win streak in the NHL this season - and it carried a 1-0 lead into the final minute of the second period. But the Blackhawks grabbed control with four goals in 6 minutes, 6 seconds, capped by Anisimov's power-play slam through Henrik Lundqvist's legs at 5:14 of the third.
 
Rick Nash had a goal and an assist for the Rangers, who have scored at least three times in 11 of their last 13 games. Kevin Hayes and Mika Zibanejad also scored, and Lundqvist made 30 saves before he was replaced by Ondrej Pavelec at 6:32 of the third.
 
DeBrincat started Chicago's scoring spree with a wrist shot from the left circle at 19:08 of the second. It looked as if Lundqvist had made the stop, but the puck rolled out from under him and just across the goal line for the rookie's fourth goal in the last three games.
 
The Blackhawks kept up the pressure in the third. Anisimov jumped on a loose puck in front and poked it by Lundqvist for a 2-1 lead just 67 seconds into the period. Hayden made a lunging play for his second of the season, and Anisimov delivered again to make it 4-1.
 
New York put a scare into Chicago with goals by Hayes and Nash, pulling within one with 8:04 left. But Schmaltz made a perfect pass to Anisimov for his ninth goal of the season, completing his first career hat trick, and Toews added an empty-netter at 18:30.
 
Anisimov played for the Rangers from 2008-12.
 
The Blackhawks begin a three-game road trip at Pittsburgh on Saturday night.

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Pacers Win, Bulls Lose Wednesday

>>Thunder Topple Bulls
 
Russell Westbrook had 21 points and seven assists and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Chicago Bulls 92-79 on Wednesday night for their third straight victory.
 
Carmelo Anthony returned to the Thunder lineup after missing the previous game with a sore lower back and finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Jerami Grant added 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Oklahoma City had lost four straight before getting things turned around. The wins during the current streak have come by an average of 11.7 points.
 
Lauri Markkanen and Antonio Blakeney each scored 16 points for Chicago, and Denzel Valentine added 13. The Bulls shot 34.7 percent from the field.
 
The Thunder led 27-7 at the end of the first quarter to match the fewest points they have allowed in a quarter since the franchise moved from Seattle in 2008. The Bulls made 2 of 16 field goals in the period.
 
The Thunder led 58-34 at halftime. Westbrook didn't score until 6:43 remained in the second quarter, but finished the half with 17 points. Grant had 12 points and six rebounds at the break.
 
The Bulls host the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night.
 
>>Pacers Drop Grizzlies
 
Darren Collison scored a season-high 30 points, and the Indiana Pacers almost let them go to waste.
 
After stretching their lead to 17 in the fourth quarter, the Pacers held on to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 116-113 on Wednesday night.
Indiana could breathe easy only after Marc Gasol's 3-point attempt with 3 seconds left bounced off. Memphis couldn't get off another shot from the ensuing scramble.
 
The Pacers seemed in control before Memphis ran off 10 straight points in the fourth. A 3-pointer from Bojan Bogdanovic stopped the string and ran the margin back to 10. From there Memphis chipped away, and a 3-point play from Gasol trimmed the Pacers' lead to 116-113 with 12.4 seconds left.
 
Gasol led Memphis with 35 points and 13 rebounds.
 
Victor Oladipo added 21 points for the Pacers, while Bogdanovic scored 16.
 
Memphis reserve guard Tyreke Evans finished with 18 points, snapping a string of six straight games scoring at least 20 off the bench.
 
The Pacers host Detroit on Friday night.

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Scherzer Wins NL Cy Young, Kluber Takes Home AL Award

Once again, Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer is the National League Cy Young award winner.
 
Major League Baseball and the Baseball Writers Association of America announced Wednesday that Scherzer won his second consecutive NL Cy Young and his third career Cy Young. He won the AL award while with the Tigers in 2013. Scherzer is one of only six pitchers to win the award in both leagues.
 
Overall this season, Scherzer led the Senior Circuit in strikeouts (268) and WHIP (0.90) while going 16-6 with a 2.51 ERA (177 ERA+) in 200 2/3 innings. His +7.3 WAR was second among all pitchers, trailing only Indians ace Corey Kluber. Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw finished second in the 2017 NL Cy Young vote while Scherzer's teammate Stephen Strasburg finished third.
 
Major League Baseball and the Baseball Writers Association of America announced Cleveland Indians right-hander Corey Kluber as the winner of the 2017 American League Cy Young Award on Wednesday. Red Sox lefty Chris Sale finished second in the voting and Yankees righty Luis Severino finished third.
 
Over on the National League side, Nationals ace Max Scherzer was named the 2017 NL Cy Young award winner.  
 
This is the second career Cy Young for Kluber, who won the award back in 2014. He also finished third in the voting last season. Also, this is the fourth time in the past 11 seasons an Indians pitcher has won the AL Cy Young. CC Sabathia won in 2007, Cliff Lee won in 2008, and Kluber won in 2014 and 2017.
 
For much of the season Sale was considered the front-runner for the Cy Young award, but he faded down the stretch while Kluber surged, which swung the vote in his favor.

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Mt. Pulaski High School Track Star Commits To Southern Illinois

A student athlete going division one for an event their school does not host is rare but that is what Mt. Pulaski High School's Peyton Taylor is doing.
 
The Mt. Pulaski High School Track and Field program does not have a throw coach but Taylor, a 6-foot-8 senior, committed to division one Southern Illinois Carbondale Wednesday afternoon. 
 
 
Taylor has qualified for the state three times and also finished fifth in the state as sophomore in the discuss throw in Class 1A. During the season he is coached in Clinton twice a week by throw coach Darren Moser, whom Taylor calls a great mentor close to home.
 
 
Taylor says he has a big adjustment awaiting him at Southern Illinois University but he's not shying away from setting the bar high.
 
 
The Mt. Pulaski track and field coach is Rob Seibert. 
 
Taylor's parents are Greg and Marla Taylor of Chestnut.
 
Mt. Pulaski is a district of roughly 165 students in Logan County. 

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Mt. Pulaski Edges Riverton at Clinton Turkey Tussle

Skylar Hayes scored 14 of her 22 points in the fourth quarter leading the Mt. Pulaski Lady Hilltoppers past the Riverton Lady Hawks 52-49 Tuesday night from the Clinton Turkey Tussle.
 
The Lady Hilltoppers trailed 37-30 but Hayes came alive and helped rally Mt. Pulaski to a 22-12 fourth quarter scoring advantage.
 
Savanah Moore scored six of her eight points in the first quarter for Mt. Pulaski and Isabella Wade and Zoey Lowe each added seven in the victory.
 
Abigail Waters and Addison Pals each paced the Lady Hawks with 11 points. 
 
The Lady Hilltoppers and Lady Hawks are each 1-1 for the Turkey Tussle and the season. 
 
Other action from Tuesday action at the Turkey Tussle:
 
PORTA 37  
Olympia 21

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Monticello Topples LeRoy In Girls Basketball Season Opener

As heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com, Zanna Myers scored a game high 23 points to lead three Lady Sages scorers in double-figures as Monticello opened their 2017-18 season with a 61-24 win over LeRoy Tuesday night at LeRoy high school.
 
Myers nine of her 23 in the second quarter helping the Lady Sages open up a 30-13 halftime advantage after they outscored the Lady Panthers 16-5 in the second. 
 
Emily Edmondson chipped in with 14 points and Tatum McCall added 12 for Monticello.
 
The Lady Sages are coming of a 22 win season and a Sweet 16 appearance in the postseason last year.
 
The Lady Panthers were led by Carly Warlow with seven points.
 
LeRoy, who is looking to improve on an 8-19 season last year, opens 0-1 for the season.
 
The Lady Sages play on the road Thursday against Meridian then on the road again next Tuesday at Casey-Westfield.
 
They will open their home schedule the Thursday following Thanksgiving, November 30, against Mt. Pulaski at 7:30 pm. That will be the next WEZC broadcast of Monticello girls basketball action. You can hear it on 95.9 FM and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Bradley Rolls Delaware

>>Bradley Rolls Delaware
 
Luuk van Bree had 15 points as Bradley rallied late for a 61-53 win over Delaware on Tuesday night.
 
Delaware jumped out to an early lead but Bradley battled back to take a 31-27 lead at the break. Bradley led most of the second half but could not break free of the Blue Hens until Nate Kennell drilled a trey with 4:15 left for a 51-47 advantage and the Braves finished the game on a 13-6 run.
 
Darrell Brown totaled 11 points and Koch Bar added 10 with six rebounds. Donte Thomas had seven points with 10 rebounds and van Bree made 3 of 4 from distance.
 
Bradley (2-0) made 6 of 14 from long range while limiting Delaware to just 2-of-14 shooting from deep. The Braves were 20 of 60 from the field; Delaware was 19 of 48.
 
Eric Carter led Delaware (1-1) with 18 points and 12 rebounds.
 
>>Top Ranked Duke Beats Michigan State
 
rayson Allen - Duke's lone senior - scored a career-high 37 points, freshman Trevon Duval had 17 points and 10 assists, and the top-ranked Blue Devils beat No. 2 Michigan State 88-81 in the Champions Classic on Tuesday night.
The Blue Devils (3-0) lost Marvin Bagley III to an eye injury midway through the first half, but Allen made five 3-pointers and scored 23 points in the second half to help make up for the missing freshman phenom.
 
Wendell Carter Jr. added 12 points and 12 rebounds.
 
Miles Bridges, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Nick Ward each scored 19 points for the Spartans, who blocked 12 shots - just one shy of the school record. Michigan State (1-1) shot 51 percent from the field, but was outrebounded 46-34 by the long and athletic Blue Devils.
 
>>Kansas Knocks Off Kentucky
 
Svi Mykhailiuk scored 17 points, and Devonte Graham hit the clinching free throws to give No. 4 Kansas a 65-61 victory over No. 7 Kentucky on Tuesday night and put coach Bill Self in a tie for second with Roy Williams on the Jayhawks' all-time wins list.
 
In a game that matched the two winningest Division I programs, the Jayhawks (2-0) prevailed after the two teams spent most of the second half trading baskets and leads.
 
Malik Newman had a key rebound in the closing seconds and hit two foul shots to help Kansas knock off the Wildcats (2-1). The down-to-wire game capped a powerhouse doubleheader that started with No. 1 Duke beating No. 2 Michigan State 88-81 in the opener.
 
Kevin Knox led Kentucky with 20 points and Hamidou Diallo added 14.

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Miami, Oklahoma Enter CFP Rankings

After two top-three teams and a number of top 25 teams lost, the third edition of this season's CFP Rankings was bound to see some legitimate shakeups. 
 
Alabama has assumed the No. 1 spot following a 31-24 win at Mississippi State this week.
 
Clemson is still ahead of Miami, sitting at No. 2.
 
Miami is No. 3, right ahead of Oklahoma, which picked up its second big win in as many weeks.  The Sooners now have wins at Ohio State, at Oklahoma State and at home over TCU. 
 
Wisconsin moved up to No. 5 while Auburn, Georgia, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Penn State round out the top 10. 

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Report Says Stanton Would Not OK Trade To St. Louis, Boston

We learned recently that four teams in particular have strong interest in dealing for Stanton and have held at least cursory talks with the Marlins. 
 
That number jumped to at least seven at the start of the GM Meetings in Orlando. Stanton, though, has a full no-trade clause, which means that he'll have to approve any trade the club is able to hammer out. 
 
His stated preference is to play on the West Coast.
 
Chad Jennings of the Boston Herald reports quote - "A baseball source said yesterday that he's been told Stanton will not accept a trade to either the Red Sox or the Cardinals, another team linked early and often in trade rumors. Perhaps there's some flexibility in that stance, but Stanton's preference is a factor".
 
There have been conflicting reports about Boston's level of interest, but the Cardinals have been the presumed frontrunner in recent days. Consider this report a blow to their chances. 
The Giants are also said to be heavily in on Stanton, and they obviously meet the West Coast criterion. Also, it seems the Giants and Marlins are getting into specifics in their talks: 
 
MLB.com reporter Joe Frisaro reports via Twitter, quote - "Source: Outfield prospect Heliot Ramos, #SFGiants No. 4 prospect according to @MLBPipeline is being discussed as a potential trade piece in a deal for Giancarlo Stanton. The Giants are among at least 4 teams interested in Stanton."
 
ESPN's Buster Olney reported yesterday on Twitter, quote - "Some rival execs view the Marlins' prospect asking price for Giancarlo Stanton as shockingly high and somewhat out of touch with reality, and not discounted nearly enough given the whopping $295 million he's owed (with the forthcoming out clause after the 2020 season)."

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Monticello Lady Sages at LeRoy

The final score is 61-24 Lady Sages on top.

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Monticello Girls Basketball Opens Season Tonight

Following their trip to the Sweet 16 last season, the Monticello Lady Sages open up a new year tonight when they hit the road for a non-conference matchup with LeRoy.
 
The Lady Sages fell to now conference rival Bloomington Central Catholic in the sectional title last year, the Lady Saints would eventually play in the state title game at Redbird Arena.
 
The Lady Sages look to fill the void left by senior Rachel Lockmiller, who was their leading scorer last year.
 
Senior Zanna Myers will be relied on to step up this year. She was the team's second leading scorer and sophomore Emily Edmundson could play a key role for the Lady Sages this year.
 
Hear tonight's action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com starting at 7 pm.

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Blues Fall To Flames

Mark Jankowski had two goals and an assist, Kris Versteeg scored the winner with 5:31 left and the Calgary Flames scored five times in the third period to beat the St. Louis Blues 7-4 on Monday night.
In a wild third period, the Flames took the lead twice only to see the Blues come back to tie it each time. Calgary finally went in front for good when Versteeg's shot off the wing beat goalie Jake Allen.
 
Bennett scored his first of the season for Calgary, and Micheal Ferland got his fourth goal in four games. Johnny Gaudreau and Michael Frolik also scored as the Flames finished 5-2-0 on their longest homestand of the season.
 
Gaudreau had two points to extend his point streak to seven games (five goals, seven assists).
 
Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice for St. Louis (13-5-1), and Jaden Schwartz and Alexander Steen also scored.
 
Bennett put the Flames in front 3-2 to open the third-period barrage when his backhand of Jankowski's shot slipped through Allen's pads.
 
Steen tied it at 11:46 and then Ferland's power-play goal restored Calgary's one-goal lead at 12:31. But 12 seconds later, Tarasenko one-timed a pass from Schwartz to tie it again.
 
Eddie Lack played the final 40 minutes, stopping 13 of 15 shots for his first win with the Flames.
 
Allen stopped 30 of 36 shots.
 
The Blues are at the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night.

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Bulls Mirotic Returns To Practice, Still Not Speaking To Portis

Nearly a month after a nasty physical altercation between Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic at Chicago Bulls practice that left Mirotic with a concussion and facial fractures, the two players have still not talked to each other. 
 
Portis, who was suspended eight games for punching Mirotic, has returned to the lineup and played quite well. Meanwhile, Mirotic has not yet been cleared to return to action, but the forward was back at the Bulls' facility during practice on Monday. Still, even though the two were in the same building, they have not made contact.
 
Portis, who reportedly tried to text Mirotic a while back, but received no response, indicated that he would not try to initiate any contact. However, he did say that he would welcome Mirotic with "open arms" if his teammate wanted to approach him.
 
Mirotic, who signed a new deal in the offseason, is not eligible to be traded until Jan. 15 if the Bulls want to move him.

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Bellinger, Judge Win Rookie of the Year

Monday night, Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger was unanimously named the 2017 National League Rookie of the Year. That is in no way surprising. Bellinger beat out Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong and Pirates first baseman Josh Bell, who finished second and third in the voting, respectively.
 
Bellinger, 22, was the odds on favorite to win NL Rookie of the Year thanks to his NL rookie record 39 home runs. He hit .267/.352/.581 overall and those 39 home runs are the third most by a rookie all-time. Only 2017 AL Rookie of the Year Aaron Judge (52) and Mark McGwire (49 in 1987) went deep more times as a first-year player.
 
This is the second successive season a Dodgers player has won the NL Rookie of the Year award unanimously. Shortstop Corey Seager did it in 2016. 
 
Judge received all 30 first place votes to beat out second place finisher Andrew Benintendi of the Red Sox, and third place finisher Trey Mancini of the Orioles.
The 25-year-old Judge was the clear AL Rookie of the Year favorite thanks to his record breaking season. Judge hit .284/.422/.627 overall this year and set new rookie records with 52 home runs and 127 walks, and yes, with 208 strikeouts as well. That comes after a brief 2016 MLB debut in which Judge struck out 42 times in 84 at-bats.
 
Judge is the first Yankee to win Rookie of the Year since Derek Jeter in 1996, and the ninth Yankee to win the award overall.

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UPDATED: Clinton Lady Maroons Fall to Tri-Valley in Season Opener

As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons fell to the Tri-Valley Lady Vikings by a score of 43-42 on Monday night from the annual Turkey Tussle in Clinton. 
 
The Lady Maroons were led by senior Alyssa Saulsbery with 14 points. Senior Madi Filkin chipped in with 13 points and was named the Country Financial representative Maroons Player of the Game.
 
The Lady Vikings were led by sophomore Regan Danko with 12 points, Lily Young with 9 points, and Hannah Ruosinski added 8.
 
Tri-Valley's win was their first within two years.
 
Tune in next Tuesday, November 21, as the Maroons play in the Cerro Gordo tournament. The Lady Maroons next broadcast is November 28 against Heyworth. You can hear the game live on the Big 1520AM/92.3 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, and on the WHOW app. 
 
Other scores from the Turkey Tussle:
 
Maro-Forsyth 48
Decatur LSA 18
 
PORTA 42
Mt. Pulaski 33
 
Riverton 45
Olympia 24

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Illinois Goes 2-0 in CBB Opening Weekend; ISU Loses, Bradley Wins Opener

>>CBB: Black's Career High Lifts Illinois Over UT-Martin
 
Leron Black scored a career-high 23 points and snatched eight rebounds Sunday, helping Illinois avoid an early season upset to UT Martin for a 77-74 victory.
 
Down by three with under a minute to go, the Skyhawks had two chances to tie the game but ultimately came up short.
The Illini led by as much as 19, but the Skyhawks - led by Delfincko Bogan's 23 points and four rebounds - wouldn't go away easily.
 
Trailing 38-51, UT Martin went on an 11-0 run at the 15:30 mark of the second half, capped off by a lucky bankshot 3-pointer from Matthew Butler that cut the lead to four.
 
Illinois pushed the margin back up to 15 with 4:34 left, but UT Martin responded once again with a late-game 18-6 run. With 0.7 second left, Butler took a potential game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer but airballed.
 
The Illini started off much slower than in their season opener, missing seven of their first 10 shots. But Black found a rhythm early.
 
He nailed the first basket of the game on a turnaround jumper from the free throw line, and finished the first half with 13 points on 5-6 shooting.
 
Freshman Mark Smith was Illinois' second leading scorer with 13 points.
 
Illinois will face DePaul Friday night in the third game of a season-opening six-game home stand. The Blue Demons are 1-1 and have four players averaging double-figures.
 
>>CBB: Florida Gulf Coast Rallies Past Illinois State
 
Zach Johnson scored a career-high 27 points, Brandon Goodwin added 21, and defending Atlantic Sun Conference champion Florida Gulf Coast beat Illinois State 98-87 in Saturday's season opener for both teams.
After 12 lead changes and eight ties, the Eagles pulled away in the second half on a 10-0 run sparked by Dinero Mercurius' back-to-back 3-pointers and led 76-75 on Johnson's third 3 with 9:36 left. The Redbirds closed to 83-82 on Milik Yarbrough's jumper with 4:33 to go, but Christian Terrell hit a 3 and the Eagles led by nine, 96-87, after Goodwin's 3-point play with 50 seconds left.
 
The Eagles outrebounded the defending Missouri Valley Conference regular-season co-champion Redbirds 48-24, led by Terrell and Christian Carlyle with eight apiece, and outscored them 48-34 in the paint. The Eagles led the country in points in the paint last year at 41.3 per game, in addition to finishing 3rd in the nation with 159 dunks. The Redbirds had won its last 15 games in which it outrebounded its opponents.
 
Keyshawn Evans scored a career-high 28 points for Illinois State before fouling out. Phil Fayne scored a career-high 24 points and Taylor Bruninga added 14.
 
>>CBB: Bradley Rolls IUPUI
 
Nate Kennell had a career-high five 3-pointers to total 19 points and help lead Bradley to a 68-53 win over IUPUI in the season opener for both teams on Saturday.
Kennell nailed 5 of 9 from beyond the arc and finished by hitting 7 of 11 field-goal attempts.
 
Donte Thomas made 6 of 9 from the floor for 15 points while grabbing eight rebounds and dishing out four assists. Darrell Brown added 10 points and Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye grabbed 11 rebounds.
 
The Braves were up 28-19 at the half. Ryan Stipanovich drilled a trey to push the advantage to 54-41 with 7:54 remaining in the game.
 
The Braves were 25 of 56 from the floor, while limiting IUPUI to 28 percent shooting (15 of 53).
 
Ron Patterson led the Jaguars, making 4 of 8 from beyond the arc to total 16 points, while Evan Hall scored 11 with seven rebounds.

 

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Indiana Drops Illinois, Western Wins Big; ISU Loses

>>CFB: Indiana Gets By Illinois For First Big Ten Win
 
Richard Lagow threw for 289 yards and two touchdowns, leading Indiana to a 24-14 victory over Illinois on Saturday.
 
The Hoosiers (4-6, 1-6) racked up 428 yards offense and used a balanced attack to earn their first Big Ten win of the season.
Coming into the matchup, Indiana was ranked last in the conference in rushing yards per game at 114.6. But on Saturday, Indiana had 139 rushing yards led by Cole Gest who ran for 82 on 17 carries.
 
Both teams got off to slow starts, but with 1:28 left in the first quarter Jalen Dunlap recorded his first career interception which set the Illini (2-8, 0-7) up at their own 44-yard line but they went three-and-out.
 
Morgan Ellison broke the scoreless tie on a 2-yard plunge with just under three minutes left in the first half. His fourth score of the season capped a 10-play, 45-yard drive.
 
Illinois didn't give up another rushing touchdown, but Lagow got the job done threw the air. He completed 32 of 48 attempts to 10 receivers with Ian Thomas and Simmie Cobbs Jr. both scoring.
 
The Illini struggled to find much offensive rhythm early. In the first half, Illinois recorded just 72 yards of total offense.
 
However, the Illini eclipsed that total on one play in the second half. On the first play of Illinois' eighth drive, Jeff George Jr. threw a 77-yard touchdown pass to Louis Dorsey.
 
Dorsey finished with three catches for 107 yards. Caleb Reams also caught a touchdown pass from George - the first of Reams' career - early in the fourth quarter. It brought the Illini within three. But that was as close as they would get.
 
George threw for 261 yards and two touchdowns, but lost a fumble and threw two interceptions in the fourth quarter.
 
The Hoosiers recorded seven sacks, 10 tackles for loss and three quarterback hurries in earning their first conference victory since Nov. 26 of last year.
 
Illinois has now lost 10 consecutive Big Ten games.
 
The Illini play at Ohio State on Saturday.
 
>>CFB: South Dakota State Gets By Illinois State
 
Taryn Christion accounted for three touchdowns, Chase Vinatieri kicked a 43-yard field goal in overtime, and South Dakota State improved its FCS playoff chances with a 27-24 victory over Illinois State on Saturday.
South Dakota State (8-2, 5-2 Missouri Valley Conference), ranked sixth in the FCS poll, has won four straight and is a game back of North Dakota State atop the conference standings. The 17th-ranked Redbirds (6-4, 4-3) have lost two in a row.
 
Illinois State's James Robinson, who finished with 83 yards rushing and two touchdown runs, bullied up the middle from 5 yards out for a score to tie the game 24-24 with just over two minutes remaining.
 
In overtime, The Redbirds' Sean Slattery hooked his 41-yard field goal attempt before Vinatieri's kick split the uprights.
 
Christion threw two touchdown passes in the first half, and ran for an 84-yard score.
 
>>CFB: Western Illinois Blanks Indiana State
 
Sean McGuire threw for 253 yards and four touchdowns - three in the second quarter - and Western Illinois shut out Indiana State 45-0 on Saturday.
The win was Western Illinois' sixth on the road, something the school had never before achieved in 113 seasons of football. The Leathernecks entered the game ranked No. 11 in the FCS polls.
 
McGuire completed 17 of 25 passes with touchdown tosses to Adam Conrady for 21 yards, Jaelon Acklin for 23 and a shovel pass that Steve McShane turned into a 46-yard TD in the breakaway second quarter. McShane capped the first half with an 81-yard punt return for a score and a 31-0 halftime lead.
 
Western Illinois (7-3, 4-3 Missouri Valley Conference) rolled up 409 yards of offense to Indiana State's (0-10, 0-7) 133. The Sycamores managed eight first downs, were 1 of 12 on third down conversions and gained just 43 yards on the ground.
 
Lemonte Booker gained 51 yards on 20 carries for Indiana State.

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NFL: Packers Roll Bears

Brett Hundley threw for 212 yards and a touchdown, Nick Perry had three sacks and the Green Packers beat the Chicago Bears 23-16 to snap a three-game losing streak on Sunday.
 
Hundley, starting his third game for an injured Aaron Rodgers, threw a 17-yard touchdown to Davante Adams to make it 23-13 with 5:29 to play, and the Packers (5-4) hung on to beat the Bears (3-6) for the eighth time in nine games.
 
Chicago's Mitchell Trubisky threw for a career-high 297 yards. He hit Josh Bellamy for a 46-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, but the Bears dropped their second in a row after winning back-to-back games.
 
The win was Green Bay's first since a narrow victory at Dallas on Oct. 8. A week later, Rodgers got driven to the turf by the Vikings' Anthony Barr in a loss at Minnesota week and the Packers haven't been the same since then.
Hundley completed 18 of 25 passes to help the Packers win their eighth straight at Soldier Field counting the playoffs.
 
Ty Montgomery ran for a 37-yard touchdown in the second quarter, but sat out the second half because of a rib injury. That left the Packers without their top two running backs, after Aaron Jones hurt his knee in the first quarter.
 
The Bears had a replay challenge backfire in a big way as they were threatening to score in the second quarter. And the offense stalled after Mason Crosby missed a 35-yard field with just over a minute left, giving Chicago one final chance.
 
The Packers led 10-3 in the second quarter after Montgomery went untouched through the line for his big TD run.
 
The Bears were then driving deep in Green Bay territory when their replay challenge near the goal line backfired in a huge way.
 
Benny Cunningham was ruled out at the 2 after turning a short pass into a 23-yard gain. The Bears challenged the spot. Replay officials ruled he didn't have control when he hit the pylon, and with the ball rolling out of bounds in the end zone, Green Bay took over at the 20.
 
The Bears didn't lose a timeout, since the call was overturned, though that's a loss they would have gladly taken. Coach John Fox screamed at line judge Bart Longson after the ruling and the crowd continued to boo as the Packers took possession.
 
The Packers host the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.
 
The Bears host Detroit Lions next Sunday. 

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NHL: Devils Outlast Blackhawks

Miles Wood had three goals for his first career hat trick and added an assist to help New Jersey Devils rally for a wild 7-5 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday night.
 
Rookie Nico Hischier had a goal and two assists, and Andy Green, Taylor Hall and Brian Gibbons also scored for the Metropolitan Division-leading Devils, who won their second straight after a four-game skid (0-2-2). Keith Kinkaid stopped 39 shots.
Defenseman Jan Rutta had a goal and two assists, Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist, and Artem Anisimov, Tanner Kero and rookie Alex DeBrincat also scored for the Blackhawks, who have lost three of four. Corey Crawford took the loss, allowing six goals on 25 shots before being replaced by Anton Forsberg to start the third period. Forsberg stopped 12 of the 13 shots he faced.
 
With New Jersey trailing 4-1, Wood scored his second goal of the game late in the first period to start a run of five straight Devils goals. Wood came in with three goals and two assists in his first 15 games and nearly matched that in one game.
 
Artem Anisimov, Tanner Kero and rookie Alex DeBrincat also scored for Chicago.
 
Anismov was credited with his sixth goal on a deflection of Rutta's shot from the blue line just 41 seconds in to open the scoring. Wood scored on the power-play from the slot 2:59 later to tie it.
 
Chicago temporarily took charge with three goals in a 3:20 span late in the period.
 
Wood started New Jersey's comeback with 2:33 left in the period on a shot from the left circle.
 
Green slipped in alone, took a cross-ice feed and stuffed in a goal 3:07 into the the second to trim it to 4-3. Hischier picked up a loose puck in the slot and tied it just under 4 minutes later on a shot that trickled in off Crawford's right arm.
 
Hall got behind Rutta, cut to the net and slipped a shot between Crawford's pads at 12:15 to give the Devils their first lead at 5-4. Gibbons, left open in the slot, beat Crawford with a high shot with 2:55 left in the second to make it 6-4.
 
Kane fired in a power-play goal from the right circle with 2.7 seconds left in the period to make it 6-5.
 
But Wood completed his hat trick and made it 7-5 at 2:21 of the third when he corralled Jesper Bratt's shot from the right point and stuffed a shot under Forsberg.
 
The Blackhawks host the New York Rangers on Wednesday night.

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Rockets Throttle Pacers

James Harden had 26 points and a season-high 15 assists and the Rockets beat the Indiana Pacers 118-95 on Sunday night.
 
The Rockets overwhelmed the Pacers from the start, jumping out to a 13-2 lead. Houston continued to pile it on early and often, outscoring the Pacers 24-9 during the first 6 minutes.
Indianapolis native Eric Gordon had 21 points, and Clint Capela had 20 points and 17 rebounds for the Rockets on the way to Houston's sixth straight victory.
 
Houston outscored Indiana 46-38 in the paint, but their most impressive work on the offensive end of the floor came beyond the 3-point line, making 17 3-pointers. Houston's defense was also a high point for the Rockets with 10 of Indiana's 13 turnovers coming by way of a steal.
 
The lone bright spot of the game for the Pacers came in the second quarter when they managed to cut Houston's lead to 39-34. Victor Oladipo had 28 points, and Domantas Sabonis added 17 off the bench for Indiana, and Lance Stephenson had eight points and 10 assists.
 
Myles Turner finished with 13 points and eight rebounds for Indiana. 
 
The Pacer are at Memphis on Wednesday night.

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Miami Jumps in Polls After Win Over Notre Dame

The Coaches Poll has collectively picked Miami and Clemson as the new additions to join Alabama in the top three of its latest college football rankings after a shakeup in Week 11 that saw both Georgia and Notre Dame fall.
The Irish dropped to No. 9 after losing at Miami and Georgia is now No. 7, one spot behind No. 6 Auburn, after losing in Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday. 
 
Stanford was the biggest mover up, now at No. 23 after knocking off Washington on Friday night, and Michigan State took the biggest tumble in the poll this week, down eight spots to No. 24 after getting blown out at Ohio State. 
 
The new AP Top 25 poll is out, and if you watched any football on Saturday, you know there are some big changes in it.
 
While Alabama remains No. 1, Miami has jumped up to No. 2 following its 41-8 win over Notre Dame on Saturday night. The rest of the top five is rounded out by Oklahoma, Clemson and Wisconsin.
 
As for Georgia and Notre Dame, the Bulldogs fell to No. 7 following their first loss of the season and the Irish check in at No. 9.
 
Then there's Mississippi State, which lost to Alabama 31-24, and actually moved up a spot in the poll.

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Cardinals Among Teams in on Giancarlo Stanton

Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton is coming off a 2017 season in which he mashed 59 home runs and positioned himself as a strong candidate for NL MVP honors. Stanton, who turned 28 earlier this week, is also the subject of rampant trade rumors. That's because the Marlins' new ownership group fronted by Derek Jeter appears to be set on shedding payroll.
Stanton, with almost $300 million left on his contract (assuming he doesn't exercise his opt-out after the 2020 season), would offer the biggest chance for the Marlins to trim costs. 
 
They're almost certainly not going to find a team willing to take on all of Stanton's salary obligations, but they can offload a chunk of it, perhaps a big chunk if they're willing to take a lesser package of prospects in return. 
 
As you could imagine with a frontline slugger like Stanton, plenty of clubs have at least a cursory interest in acquiring him. On that front, Jon Morosi names four teams who have begun talking to the Marlins about a blockbuster Stanton deal: 
 
"Sources: In Giancarlo Stanton trade talks, #Marlins have had preliminary communication with #RedSox, #STLCards, #SFGiants, #Phillies. Talks expected to intensify at GM Meetings next week. @MLB @MLBNetwork"
 
Stanton has full no-trade protection, so he'd need to give his blessing to any deal. 

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Chicago 4-Star Dosunmu Officially Signs With Illini

University of Illinois head coach Brad Underwood announced Wednesday the signing of five-star point guard Ayo Dosunmu (EYE-oh dough-SUE-moo) from Chicago Morgan Park High School to a national letter of intent.
 
Dosunmu had a dominating junior season for the Mustangs, averaging 22 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and two steals. The first-team all-state selection led Morgan Park to the IHSA state championship in class 3A, despite an injury in the semifinals that kept him out of the title game. 
 
Following the commitment of 2017 Illinois Mr. Basketball recipient Mark Smith just six weeks after taking over in Champaign, Underwood has made another statement on the recruiting trail by landing the top 25-ranked Dosunmu, a McDonald's All-America Game candidate and the highest-rated guard to join the Fighting Illini program since Dee Brown signed in November 2001.

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Illini Baseball Adds Ten Signees

Illinois head coach Dan Harlteb announced Wednesday the signing of ten recruits to the Fighting Illini baseball program. The ten will join the Illini for the 2019 season. 
 
Barrington High School outfielder, Tyler Acosta is ranked as the number 15 recruit in Illinois according to Perfect Game. Acosta was committed to Illinois as a sophomore.
 
6-2 right handed pitcher Garrett Acton comes to Illinois by way of transferring from Parkland College. He was a 35th round pick of the Chicago White Sox in the 2016 MLB draft and will have two years of eligibility left. 
 
He pitched at St. Louis University as a freshman prior to his transfer to Parkland in Champaign.
 
Janesville, WI catcher Jacob Campbell is ranked as the number nine catcher in the country by Prep Baseball Report and Wisconsin's no. 2 high school recruit. 
 
He hit .462 with four homeruns and 16 stolen bases as a junior. 
 
Carl Sandberg High School (Orland Park) shortstop, Branden Comia, is ranked as the number 13 shortstop in the nation by Prep Baseball Report and is ranked as the number four overall prospect in the state by the same service and the number five recruit in Illinois by Perfect Game. 
 
6-3 right handed pitcher Josh Garner comes to Illinois via Parkland and like his teammate Acton, he too was a transfer from St. Louis University. 
 
The Plainfield, IL native has two years of eligibility left. He thre 44.2 innings as a freshman at SLU to a 3.22 ERA.
 
6-3 Libertyville, IL right handed pitcher, Riley Gowens, is the number 19 overall recruit in Illinois according to Prep Baseball Report, who also ranks him as the no. 5 right handed pitcher in the state.
He chose Illinois over schools like Kansas, Ole Miss and several Big Ten programs.
 
El-Paso Gridley left hander Nathan Lavender is the number 11 recruit in Illinois and the fifth ranked left handed pitcher by Prep Baseball Report.
 
He chose Illinois over Missouri State, Indiana State, Michigan State, Purdue and Southern Illinois.
 
The Illini also signed the number two overall prospect in Minnesota (Perfect Game and Prep Baseball Report) RHP Aidan Maldonado, and INF Cam McDonald, the No. 4 prospect in Illinois by Perfect Game. 
 
Wheaton left-handed pitcher Caleb Larson also signed a national letter of intent Wednesday.

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Pistons Get By Pacers

The Detroit Pistons won for the sixth time in seven games, beating the Indiana Pacers 114-97.
 
Tobias Harris scored 23 points and Andre Drummond added 14 points and 21 rebounds for the first-place Pistons, who lead Cleveland by three games in the Central Division. Indiana lost its fourth straight.
Victor Oladipo led the Pacers with 21 points, but Indiana has allowed at least 100 points in 10 of 12 games this season. The Pacers were without injured big man Domantas Sabonis.
 
Detroit led 59-52 at halftime, and after the Pacers fought back to tie the game at 65, the Pistons went on a 13-0 run to take control. Harris made a 3-pointer to put Detroit ahead by 11, and Drummond capped that streak with a putback that he made despite being hit in the face by Indiana's Thaddeus Young. 
 
It was 82-75 after three quarters, then the Pistons scored eight straight points to start the fourth, including 3-pointers by Reggie Bullock and Anthony Tolliver.
 
Al Jefferson scored 19 points and Young added 16.
 
The Pacers are in Chicago on Friday night.

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Report: Bulls Players Siding with Portis in Mirotic Beef

Chicago Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic reportedly doesn't want to be on the same team as Bobby Portis, who sent Mirotic to the hospital with two broken bones and a concussion after punching him in the face on the first day of the NBA season in October. That's understandable.
 
But, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, Portis likely isn't going anywhere. If it's a Mirotic-or-Portis situation in Chicago, Cowley reports that the Bulls players have made their choice:
 
Quote - "According to at least two Bulls players, the ultimatum issued by Nikola Mirotic and his camp that either he or Bobby Portis has to go is carrying zero weight. If anything, it has further entrenched Portis with his teammates with one telling the Sun-Times, "This is Niko's problem now.''
 
... Portis tried to reach out to Mirotic via text and in a message, but received no response. That's why in talking to Bulls players it's becoming obvious that Mirotic has to go.
 
The feeling is Portis has done his part to repair things, and the reality of the situation is Portis is looked at by teammates as a guy that has put in all the work this summer, is a better teammate, and is just more liked. Choosing Mirotic over Portis would completely disrupt a chemistry that has been building since the front office made the decision to rebuild by trading Jimmy Butler in June."
 
Portis, who was suspended for the first eight games of the season by the Bulls because of the incident, made his season debut on Tuesday with 21 points and 13 rebounds in a 119-114 loss to the Toronto Raptors. The Bulls exercised Portis' fourth-year option on Oct. 27, 10 days after the altercation, after the 6-foot-11 forward averaged 6.9 points and 5.0 rebounds in 16.7 minutes per game in his first two seasons with Chicago.
 
Mirotic has reportedly made it clear to the Bulls that he would welcome a trade. The 6-10 forward averaged 10.8 points and 5.3 rebounds in his three NBA seasons, all with the Bulls.

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Packers Cut TE Bennett

Martellus Bennett was supposed to function as the best tight end target of Aaron Rodgers' career. Instead, after less than one full season, he's already on his way out of Green Bay.
 
As first reported by ESPN's Field Yates and later confirmed by the Packers, the Packers cut Bennett on Wednesday. According to Yates, they did so with the failure to disclose a medical condition designation. 
 
The situation between the Packers and Bennett might not be over, though, as NFL Network's Ian Rapoport explained via Twitter:
 
"The #Packers paid TE Martellus Bennett $8M of his 3-year, $21M contract. The only tangible benefit to cutting him with the failure to disclose is if they argue his entire contract is void & go after his money. This isn’t over just yet."
 
Bennett entered 2017 with sky-high expectations considering his pedigree as one of the league's most complete tight ends. He can both block and catch, evidenced by his 4,520 career yards and 30 career touchdowns. After successful stints with the Giants, Bears, and Patriots, Bennett signed with the Packers in March, fresh off his first Super Bowl ring. 
 
Bennett caught 24 passes for 233 yards in seven games.

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Bulls, Pacers Lose Tuesday

>>Raptors Beat Bulls
 
DeMar DeRozan scored 24 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 21 points and 10 rebounds, and the Raptors beat Chicago 119-114 on Tuesday night for their first three-game winning streak over the Bulls since 2009.
Bobby Portis had 21 points and 13 rebounds in his return after sitting out Chicago's first eight games.
 
The Bulls suspended Portis after he punched teammate Nikola Mirotic during a preseason practice. Mirotic, who suffered facial fractures and a concussion, is expected to miss four to six weeks.
 
Kyle Lowry scored 17 points and Serge Ibaka had 16 for the Raptors, who had lost 11 straight meetings with the Bulls before the current streak began with an overtime victory on March 21. Toronto beat Chicago 117-100 on Oct. 19, the opening game of the season for both teams.
 
Robin Lopez scored 20 points and Justin Holiday had 15 as Chicago lost for the fourth time in five games.
 
Toronto led by as many as 23 but Chicago cut the deficit to 115-112 following a hook shot by Portis with 41 seconds left. DeRozan answered with a turnaround jump shot with 20 seconds left, leading to a Bulls timeout.
 
Chicago hosts Indiana on Friday night, their first meeting with the Pacers this season. The teams split four meetings last season.
 
>>Pelicans Beat Pacers
 
Anthony Davis had 37 points and 14 rebounds, Cousins added 32 points and 13 boards and the Pelicans rallied to beat the Indiana Pacers 117-112 on Tuesday night.
Davis was 14 for 18 from the field in New Orleans' third straight win. Cousins also had six assists.
 
Indiana had six players score in double figures in its third straight loss. Myles Turner had 21 points and 12 rebounds, Victor Oladipo scored 15 points, and Bojan Bogdanovic and Lance Stephenson each had 14.
 
Indiana led 75-61 at halftime, but the Pelicans outscored the Pacers 35-19 in the third quarter. Indiana also blew a double-digit lead in a 108-101 loss to the New York Knicks on Sunday.
 
Thaddeus Young had 13 points, and Collison finished with 12.
 
The Pacers visit Detroit on Wednesday.

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Blues Down Devils

Vladimir Tarasenko and Jaden Schwartz scored in a 1:35 span bridging the second and third periods and the Blues beat New Jersey 3-1 on Tuesday night, sending the Devils to their season-high third straight loss.
 
The big goal was Tarasenko's eighth of the season. With the Blues trailing 1-0 late in the second period, his shot from high in the slot hit off the shin of Devils defenseman Mirco Mueller and tied it with 63 seconds left in the period.
The Blues dominated the final 20 minutes, outshooting New Jersey 19-4 in beating the Devils for the eighth straight time.
 
Schwartz got the winner with a power-play goal on a great cross-ice pass by Brayden Schenn 32 seconds into the third period.
 
Schenn, who also assisted on Tarasenko's goal, scored into an empty net to ice the game. He has six assists in the last two games.
 
Blake Coleman scored early in the first period for New Jersey, but he also was in the penalty box when Schwartz scored 32 seconds into the third period. Cory Schneider had 37 saves for New Jersey, which is 0-2-1 in its last three.
 
The Blues host Arizona on Thursday night.

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Bears Place TE Miller on IR

The Chicago Bears have placed tight end Zach Miller - recovering from surgery to save his left leg - on injured reserve.
Miller had surgery in New Orleans to repair a torn artery he suffered while dislocating his knee during a loss to the Saints on Oct. 29. He was injured when he landed in the end zone trying to make a touchdown catch.
 
Miller was released from the hospital on Monday. He likely faces surgery to repair ligament damage in the knee. With Miller going on IR, the Bears signed tight end Ben Braunecker on Tuesday.
 
Chicago (3-5) is coming off a bye and hosts Green Bay on Sunday.

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Cubs Heyward Nabs Fifth Gold Glove

Major League Baseball and Rawlings on Tuesday announced the winners of the 2017 Gold Glove Awards. The Gold Gloves of course recognize defensive excellence at each position and in each league. 
By way of reminder, Gold Gloves are voted on by managers and coaches around the league, although they are not allowed to vote for their own players. There's also a statistical component that helps determine the winners. The coach/manager vote makes up 75 percent of the formula, and those advanced metrics make up the remaining 25 percent. Here are the finalists for the 2017 Gold Gloves.
 
CATCHER
 
American League - Martin Maldonado, Angels (1)
National League - Tucker Barnhart, Reds (1)
 
FIRST BASE
 
AL - Eric Hosmer, Royals (4)
NL - Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks (3)
 
SECOND BASE
 
AL - Brian Dozier, Twins (1)
NL - DJ LeMahieu, Rockies (2)
 
SHORTSTOP
 
AL - Andrelton Simmons, Angels (3)
NL - Brandon Crawford, Giants (3)
 
THIRD BASE
 
AL - Evan Longoria, Rays (3)
NL - Nolan Arenado, Rockies (5)
 
LEFT FIELD
 
AL - Alex Gordon, Royals (5)
NL - Marcell Ozuna, Marlins (1)
 
CENTER FIELD
 
AL - Byron Buxton, Twins (1)
NL - Ender Inciarte, Braves (2)
 
RIGHT FIELD
 
AL - Mookie Betts, Red Sox (2)
NL - Jason Heyward, Cubs (5)
 
PITCHER
 
AL - Marcus Stroman, Blue Jays (1)
NL - Zack Greinke, Diamondbacks (4)
 
>>Retired Cy Young Winner, Roy Halladay, Dies At 40 in Plane Crash
 
Police have confirmed that ex-Major League pitcher Roy Halladay, 40, died in a plane crash on Tuesday afternoon in the Gulf of Mexico.
 
The Pasco Sheriff's Office announced in a press conference on Tuesday that Halladay was the only person aboard his two-passenger aircraft that was discovered just off the coast of Holiday, Fla. 
 
Halladay spent parts of 16 seasons in the majors with the Blue Jays (12 years) and Phillies (four). He was 203-105 with a 3.38 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 2,117 strikeouts in 2,749 1/3 innings. The eight-time All-Star won the Cy Young in both leagues, taking it in 2003 for the Blue Jays and 2010 for the Phillies. He also threw a no-hitter in his first career postseason start in Game 1 of the 2010 NLDS vs. the Reds. He also threw the 20th perfect game in regular season history. 
 
After having retired following the 2013 season, Halladay will first be on the ballot for the 2019 Hall of Fame class.

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Second College Football Playoff Rankings Released

The second edition of this season's College Football Playoff Rankings had very little in terms of surprises, but there were still some noteworthy movements … or non-movements.
It is possible that the current top four teams could win out with the possible exception of an Alabama-Georgia SEC title game, and still not be the top four teams at the end.  Even if they are the top four, the order may change. 
 
Georgia, Alabama, Notre Dame and Clemson remain the top four in the rankings. Oklahama remains fifth while TCU jumps to sixth with Miami at seven, then Wisconsin, Washington, and Auburn round out the top ten. 
 
Miami and Notre Dame play Saturday night. 

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Illinois DC Takin Leave From Team

Illinois defensive coordinator Hardy Nickerson is on leave from the team after the unexpected death of his mother Sunday night.
 
Coach Lovie Smith said Monday that Nickerson was on his way home to California. There is no timetable for his return.
Illinois (2-7, 0-6 Big Ten) will host Indiana (3-6, 0-6) on Saturday. The Hoosiers are ranked eighth in the Big Ten with an average of 25.9 points per game.
 
Smith said he hasn't addressed who will provide the defensive game plan in case Nickerson is absent.
 
Smith, who is a former NFL defensive coordinator and head coach, said: "I have called a couple defensive games, and know a little bit about defensive football, so we may be OK."

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Lions Topple Rodgers-less Packers

Matthew Stafford passed for 361 yards and two touchdowns to Marvin Jones, and the Lions snapped a three-game losing streak with a 30-17 win on Monday night over the offensively challenged Green Bay Packers.
 
Stafford was 26 of 33, including 12 of 14 in the first half with a 25-yard touchdown pass to Jones. Ameer Abdullah added a 4-yard touchdown run for Detroit (4-4).
 
Green Bay (4-4) finally got in the end zone on Brett Hundley's 1-yard quarterback sneak with 9:52 left.
The Lions answered with Stafford's 11-yard touchdown pass to Jones with 8:06 remaining, putting the game out of reach with a 17-point lead. Jones had seven catches for 107 yards.
 
The Packers have lost three straight games. Their once-potent offense has struggled since Rodgers broke his right collarbone on Oct. 15 at Minnesota.
 
Hundley finished 26 of 38 for 245 yards. Cornerback Darius Slay blanketed Jordy Nelson when the Packers did try to throw long while the game was still competitive.
 
The Lions were 8 of 13 on third-down conversions, with Stafford burning the Packers with clutch throws. The Packers were just 2 of 9 on third downs and failed to convert both of their fourth-down chances.
 
The Packers visit the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

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Cubs, Cardinals Free Agency Notes

>>Cubs Extend QOs to Arrieta, Davis
 
The Chicago Cubs have extended qualifying offers to pitchers Jake Arrieta and Wade Davis, ensuring they will receive draft pick compensation if they sign with another team.
Chicago also claimed right-hander Cory Mazzoni off waivers from the San Diego Padres on Monday. Outfielder Leonys Martín was assigned to Triple-A Iowa, and the Cubs also selected pitcher Matt Carasiti's contract from their top farm club.
 
Arrieta, who won the NL Cy Young Award in 2015, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA in 30 starts this year. Davis, who was acquired in a trade with Kansas City last December, had 32 saves last season and was an All-Star for the third straight year.
 
Arrieta and Davis have until Nov. 16 to make a decision on the $17.4 million, one-year qualifying offer. Both players are expected to decline the proposal.
 
>>Cardinals Release RP Rosethnal
 
Among a myriad of roster moves Monday, the St. Louis Cardinals announced closer Trevor Rosenthal has been granted his unconditional release. He is free to sign with any team.
Rosenthal, 27, blew out his elbow and underwent Tommy John surgery in August. He is expected to miss most, if not all, of the 2018 season. Before the injury this year he saved 11 games with a 3.40 ERA and 76 strikeouts in 46 2/3 innings. He has a career 2.99 ERA and 121 saves in parts of six big league seasons.
 
Rosenthal was originally scheduled to become a free agent after next season. His 2018 salary through arbitration was going to be substantial. So, rather than pay a big salary while Rosenthal rehabs from Tommy John surgery, the team cut him loose.

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Illinois Loses At Purdue; Western Topples Illinois State; Eastern Wins

>>Purdue Stifles Illinois
 
Purdue's aggressive defense registered nine tackles for loss, including five sacks, and the Boilermakers snapped a three-game losing streak on Saturday with a 29-10 victory against Illinois.
 
The victory, however, was costly for the Boilermakers (4-5, 2-3 Big Ten), who lost starting quarterback David Blaugh to a leg injury with 12:27 remaining after he was tackled by Illinois free safety Stanley Green. Blough was carted off the field and left the field in an ambulance. Blough completed 16 of 24 passes for 194 yards before he was injured.
Illinois (2-7, 0-6) lost its seventh consecutive game, six in a row in the Big Ten.
 
The Purdue victory snapped a streak of five consecutive games in this series in which the visiting team came away with a victory, including the Boilermakers' 34-31 overtime victory last season in Champaign, Illinois.
 
The Boilermakers, who rushed for 209 yards on 44 carries, put this one away with 6:12 to play on Richie Worship's 2-yard run after strong safety Jacob Thieneman's interception of Jeff George at the Purdue 47.
 
Backup quarterback Elijah Sindelar threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Cole Herdman with 11:37 to play 50 seconds after the Blough injury, capping a 12-play, 91-yard drive that extended the Purdue lead to 22-10 when a two-point conversion run failed.
 
The Boilermakers increased their lead to 16-10 with 3:47 remaining in the third quarter on J.D. Dellinger's 30-yard field goal. David Blough's 37-yard completion to Jarrett Burgess to the Illini 8-yard line set up Dellinger's second field goal of the day.
 
Illinois hosts Indiana at noon on Nov. 11.
 
>>Western Rallies Past Illinois State
 
Sean McGuire threw for two touchdowns as Western Illinois roared back from a 14-0 halftime deficit to beat Illinois State 31-14 on Saturday.
The Leathernecks (6-3, 3-3 Missouri Valley Conference) scored 31 unanswered points in the second half on a pair of McGuire TD passes, TD runs by Clint Ratkovich and Steve McShane and a field goal by Sam Crosa.
 
McGuire finished with 288 yards passing and McShane had 67 yards rushing.
 
McGuire capped the first drive of the second half with a 35-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Gaston and the Leathernecks trailed 14-7. Ratkovich ran for a score on the team's next drive and Crosa kicked a 28-yard field goal to give Western Illinois a 17-14 edge as the third quarter closed.
 
Early in the fourth, McGuire capitalized on a failed fourth-and-7 try by the Redbirds (6-3, 4-2) deep in their own territory with a 27-yard touchdown pass to Ratkovich and the Leathernecks led 24-14.
 
Jake Kolbe had 223 yards and two touchdowns passing for Illinois State.
 
>>Eastern Needs Overtime But Beats Eastern Kentucky
 
Matt Severino's third field goal of the game gave Eastern Illinois the lead in overtime and Bradley Dewberry's interception then gave the Panthers a 23-20 win over Eastern Kentucky on Saturday.
After Eastern Illinois lost 3 yards on their first three overtime snaps, Severino connected from 45 yards before Dewberry intercepted Tim Boyle on Eastern Kentucky's first play on offense in overtime.
 
The Panthers (6-4, 5-2 Ohio Valley Conference), who have won their six games by a combined 15 points, looked to have won this game in regulation on Daryl McCleskey's 5-yard rush with 37 seconds left on third-and-goal. But Scotty Gillkey passed the Colonels (3-6, 3-4) down the field to tie with two seconds left when Alexander Hollins snagged a 24-yarder amid a crowd in the right corner of the end zone. Hollins finished with 107 yards on four receptions.
 
Eastern Kentucky has rushed for 508 yards over its two previous games but had just 64 net against the Panthers, led by McCleskey with 70 on 20 carries.
 
The Panthers have won all three of their overtime games this season, the previous two going double-overtime.

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Packers Return From Bye Week for MNF Matchup Against Detroit

In Week 17 of last season, the Green Bay Packers stormed into Ford Field to beat the Detroit Lions and capture the NFC North championship.
 
In Week 9 of this season, the Packers and Lions will be fighting for relevancy in their Monday night clash at Lambeau Field.
 
The Packers (4-3) looked like prime Super Bowl contenders until Aaron Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone during the first quarter at Minnesota on Oct. 15. The Packers lost that game and at home against New Orleans on Oct. 22 before last week's bye.
 
It was a busy week for coach Mike McCarthy and his staff, who needed to plot a new direction on offense without Rodgers and fix a defense that gave up almost 500 yards against the Saints. An extensive self-scout had the offensive coaches looking at the defense and vice-versa.
The Lions (3-4) have dropped three in a row after a 2-0 start. They have issues, too. In last week's 20-15 home loss against Pittsburgh, Matthew Stafford threw for 423 yards but all the Lions could muster were five field goals by Matt Prater. Detroit went 0-for-5 in the red zone and ranks 28th in that category.
 
Green Bay ranks 20th in points allowed and Detroit ranks 25th, but this is one case where the scoreboard might lie. Detroit's defense ranks fifth in rushing yards allowed per carry and seventh in rushing yards allowed per game. 
 
Detroit ranks third in the league with 16 takeaways and 10 interceptions. Rodgers' replacement, Brett Hundley, has four interceptions in his two games -- both of which ended with sub-40 passer ratings. 

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Knicks Rally Past Pacers

Kristaps Porzingis scored a career-high 40 points, carrying the New York Knicks back from a 19-point deficit for a 108-101 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Sunday night.
 
After scoring 15 straight points that spanned the third and fourth quarters, the 22-year-old from Latvia passed to rookie Frank Ntilikina for a 3-pointer that broke a 99-all tie with 1:34 remaining.
Porzingis added eight rebounds and six blocked shots in his seventh 30-point performance in nine games this season, a good glimpse of someone that's definitely welcomed the chance to fill the void created by Anthony's exit.
 
Ntilikina scored 10 points and seven assists off the bench as the Knicks won for the fifth time in six games after an 0-3 start. Tim Hardaway Jr. had 16 points.
 
Thaddeus Young scored 18 points and Victor Oladipo had 17 for the Pacers, who led 84-65 with under 2 minutes remaining in the third quarter.
 
Porzingis, who played after tweaking his left ankle in a 37-point performance Friday night, reeled off nine straight points that made it 84-74 in the opening seconds of the fourth. He scored 24 points over the final 13 minutes of the game.
 
Young then broke a five-minute stretch in which Indiana failed to make a shot, hitting consecutive 3-point baskets that put them back up 90-74 with 10:02 left in the final quarter.
 
But it wasn't enough to quiet down the Knicks, who went on a 25-9 run, capped by Porzingis' five straight points, including a 17-foot jumper that evened it at 99 with 2:14 left.
 
After Ntilikina's 3-pointer made it 102-99, Knicks center Enes Kanter picked up a bad pass by Darren Collison and fed Tim Hardaway Jr. for a layup that made it 104-99 with 1:10 to go.
 
Oladipo cut the deficit to 104-101 with 32 seconds left in the game, but Lance Thomas' two free throws made it 106-101 to seal the comeback win with 11.9 seconds to play.
 
Myles Turner added 15 points and Collison had 15 points and 10 assists for the Pacers, who've lost two straight.
 
The Pacers host New Orleans on Tuesday night.

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Canadiens Blank Blackhawks

Charlie Lindgren had 38 saves in his first career shutout, helping the Canadiens beat Crawford and the Chicago Blackhawks 2-0 on Sunday night.
 
With Carey Price sidelined by a minor lower-body injury and Al Montoya coming off a 19-save performance Saturday night in a 5-4 overtime win at Winnipeg, Julien turned to Lindgren for Montreal's third game in four nights. The Lakeville, Minnesota, native responded with Montreal's first shutout while improving to 4-0 in four career NHL starts.
 
Lindgren was promoted from Laval of the American Hockey League on Friday.
 
Lindgren and Crawford were locked up in a scoreless duel before Jonathan Drouin skated through the slot and shot the puck into the left side of the net at 1:54 of the third. Drouin's third goal of the season stopped Crawford's scoreless streak at 173 minutes, 9 seconds.
 
Defenseman Joe Morrow added his third career goal at 7:45, helping Montreal to its fourth win in five games.
 
Coming off consecutive shutouts against Philadelphia and Minnesota, Crawford finished with 33 stops in his first career regulation loss against his hometown team. He was 8-0-2 with a 1.49 goals-against average in 10 games against Montreal.
 
The Blackhawks have scored just 11 goals in their last six games.
 
The Blackhawks also went 0 for 3 on the power play after scoring with the man advantage in each of their previous two games, including Saturday night's 2-0 victory at Minnesota.
 
The Blackhawks visit Philadelphia on Thursday night.

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Monticello Falls Short Against Byron

The Monticello Sages fumbled the football at the 3-yard line with four minutes left in the game and fell short agains Byron 21-20 in the second round of Class 3A IHSA football playoffs at Byron High School Saturday afternoon.
 
A wet and sloppy day, the Sages were knocking on the door of the end zone looking to get a go ahead score but a botched hand off resulted in a fumble and the Tigers ran out the clock and held on to advance.
Just like last week against North Boone, the Sages overcame deficits of 7-0 and 14-7 and took a 20-14 lead in the third quarter but the Byron offense controlled the clock and marched down the field and scored a game tying touchdown and converted the extra point in the fourth quarter and then picked up two first downs late to seal the win.
 
After a short touchdown run by Braden Snyder that put Monticello on top, the extra point was bobbled and the Sages could not convert.
 
Byron had two 100-yard rushers on the afternoon. Rick Messling led the way with 25 carries and 123 yards with a touchdown. Nolan Bielskis (bell-skis) added 101 yards on 21 carries with two touchdowns.
 
The Tigers only threw the ball twice.
 
Snyder finished 12 for 22 for 163 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.
 
Asher Bradd had two catches for 47 yards and Johnny Dawson had three receptions for 42 yards.
 
Lucas Lieb, Nathan Harman and Snyder all found the end zone for the Sages on the ground.
 
Head coach of the Sages, Cully Welter, said after the game they knew Byron would be a touch opponent. They asked their team to give them everything they had and thought his players delivered.
 
 
An emotional Welter talked about the way the kids handled themselves this week and the way they handle themselves in the community.
 
 
The Sages wrap up their season 9-2 overall.
 
The next Monticello sports broadcast on 95.9 FM WEZC and at dewittdailynews.com will be November 14 for the girls basketball season opener at LeRoy.
 
Class 3A playoff scores:
 
Decatur St. Teresa 36
Carlinville 40
 
Williamsville 45
Bloomington Central Catholic 14
 
Class 1A playoff scores:
 
Argenta-Oreana 12
Athens 42
 
Tuscola 50
Brown County 13
 
Bridgeport Red Hill 36
Toledo Cumberland 0
 
Class 2A Score:
 
Tri-Valley 35
Shelbyville 50
 
El Paso-Gridley 28
Knoxville 22
 
Maroa-Forsyth 48
Eldorado 6
 
Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 24
West Carroll 6
 
Class 4A scores:
 
Herrin 33
Tolono Unity 18
 
Herscher 43
Taylorville 6
 
Rochester 41
Belleville Althoff Catholic 23
 
Class 5A
 
Country Club Hills Hillcrest 45
Chatham Glenwood 0
 
Dunlap 28
Rich Central 14
 
Peoria Richwoods 49
Morton 28
 
Washington 59
Decatur MacArthur 28
 
Class 6A
 
Aurora Marmion Academy 14
Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 45
 
Providence Catholic 33
Normal West 7
 
Class 7A
 
Normal Community 13
Chicago Mt. Carmel 14

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Monticello Headed To Undefeated Byron For Second Round Playoff Matchup

The Monticello Sages will make the nearly three hour ride up to Byron this Saturday afternoon for a second Class 3A IHSA playoff matchup.
 
Off a 35-14 victory of North Boone on Saturday of last week, the Sages meet their second straight Big Northern opponent. 
 
The Sages used a big ground effort to topple the Vikings, racking up 291 yards on the ground, led by senior Lucas Lieb's 157 yards. 
 
Byron, the Champions of the Big Northern Conference, beat Eureka 28-7 last Friday night. 
 
The Tigers beat North Boone back in mid-September 52-28, otherwise, the two sides have no similar opponents this season.
 
Byron enters action Saturday at 10-0 while Monticello is 9-1.
 
Hear Saturday's action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com startubg at 2 pm. 
 
Class 3A matchups this week:
 
#7 Bloomington Central Catholic (9-1) at #2 Williamsville (10-0) Sat. 2:00 pm
8 Newton (9-1) at #16 Pleasant Plains (7-3) Sat. 2:00 pm
#5 Carlinville (9-1) at #4 Decatur St. Teresa (9-1) Sat. 2:00 pm
 
Class 1A second round playoff matchups:
 
#1 Tuscola (10-0) at #9 Brown County (8-2) Sat. 2:00 pm
#2 Bridgeport Red Hill (10-0) at #10 Toledo Cumberland (8-2) Fri. 7:00 pm
#6 Athens (8-2) at #3 Argenta-Oreana (9-1) Sat. 2:00 pm
 
Class 2A second round playoff matchups:
 
#2 Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley (10-0) at #10 West Carroll (7-3) Sat. 2:00 pm
#6 Knoxville (8-2) at #14 El Paso-Gridley (6-4) Sat. 1:00 pm
#5 Eldorado (8-2) at #4 Maroa-Forsyth (9-1) Sat. 2:00 pm
#6 Shelbyville (8-2) at #3 Tri-Valley (9-1) Sat. 1:00 pm
 
Class 4A second round playoff matchups:
 
#8 Belleville Althoff Catholic (9-1) at #1 Rochester (10-0) Sat. 5:00 pm
#5 Tolono Unity (9-1) at #4 Herrin (9-1) Sat. 2:00 pm
#6 Taylorville (9-1) at #3 Herscher (9-1) Sat. 5:00 pm
 
Class 5A second round playhoff matchups:
 
#8 Olympia Fields Rich Central (8-2) at #1 Dunlap (10-0) Sat. 3:00 pm
#5 Chatham Glenwood (8-2) at #4 Country Club Hills Hillcrest (8-2) Sat. 5:00 pm
#15 Peoria Richwoods (6-4) at #10 Morton (7-3) Sat. 2:00 pm
#6 Decatur MacArthur (8-2) at #3 Washington (8-2) Sat. 2:00 pm
 
Class 6A second round playoffmatchups:
 
#5 Normal West (8-2 at #13 New Lenox Providence Catholic (6-4) Sat. 2:00 pm
 #7 Danville (8-2) at #2 LaGrange Park Nazareth Academy (9-1) Sat. 2:00 pm
#6 Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin (8-2) at #14 Aurora Marmion Academy (6-4) Sat. 2:00 pm
 
Class 7A second round playoff matchups:
 
#2 Normal Community (10-0) vs. #18 Chicago Mt. Carmel (7-3) Sat. 12:00 noon

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Illinois At Purdue, ISU Hosts Western, Eastern At Home

>>Illinois At Purdue Saturday
 
Illinois starts the final month of their season with a trip to West Lafeyette, IN for a matchup with Purdue.
Illinois played with Wisconsin for most of the game last week but could not come up with enough offense to take down the ninth ranked team in the country, in a 24-10 loss.
 
The Boilermakers are looking to snap a three-game skid, their latest loss was at home to Nebraska last Saturday 25-24.
 
The Fighting Illini have lost six in a row and are looking for stability at the quarterback position. Jeff George Jr and Cam Thomas combined for just 152 yards through the air with two interceptions and were sacked a combined five times. Thomas did have a team high 89 rushing yards. 
 
Game time Saturday is 11 am on the Big Ten Network.
 
>>Illinois State Looking Continue To Roll Against In-State Rival Western
 
Coming off back-to-back wins over nationally-ranked opponents, No. 12 Illinois State returns home to host in-state rival No. 15 Western Illinois in the 100th game in the all-time series between the two programs on Family Weekend at ISU.
For the second-consecutive week, Robinson rushed for over 100 yards to lead the Redbirds to a victory over Youngstown State.
 
Western's Steve McShane rushed for 90 yards and matched a career-high of two touchdown runs last week in a loss to nationally-ranked South Dakota State. He also added another receiving touchdown to go along with on 66 yards receiving on three receptions. 
 
The Leathernecks started the season 3-0, before suffering a close 38-33 defeat at the hands of then No. 10 ranked South Dakota to begin MVFC play. Two more wins at UNI and against Missouri State followed, but WIU heads into the game against ISU as losers of the last two contests at No. 2 North Dakota State and at home against No. 11 South Dakota State.
 
Game time Saturday is noon from Hancock Stadium in Normal.
 
>>EIU Hosting Eastern Kentucky Saturday
 
Eastern Illinois dropped its second straight Ohio Valley Conference game last Saturday falling at UT Martin 27-10.  The Panthers need one win in their last two games to secure a third consecutive winning season. 
They'll get the chance Saturday in Charleston hosting Eastern Kentucky at 1 pm. 
 
Eastern Illinois had five turnovers in Saturday's loss to UT Martin.  It was the highest number of turnovers in a game this season for the Panthers.
 
Hear all the action Saturday on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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NBA To Bring Lottery To Chicago in Spring

The NBA says it will hold its draft lottery in Chicago next spring.
The league announced Thursday the event will be held outside of New York or New Jersey for the first time on May 15. It will be followed by the draft combine May 16-20 in Chicago, where it has been conducted for years.
 
The NBA is in a way following the lead of the NFL and NHL, which have both held drafts in Chicago in recent years.

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Flyers Blank Blues

Michal Neuvirth made 33 saves and Brandon Manning broke a scoreless tie with a second-period goal to lead Philadelphia over the St. Louis Blues 2-0 on Thursday night.
Neuvirth, making his fifth start this season, earned his 11th career shutout and first since Nov. 7, 2015.
 
Claude Giroux added an empty-net goal with six seconds left in Philadelphia's first shutout of the season.
 
St. Louis lost at home for the first time after opening 5-0. The Blues were the only team in the league that hadn't been beaten at home.
 
The Blues were coming off 10 wins in October, tying a franchise record. They began the night tied with Tampa Bay with an NHL-best 21 points.
 
The Blues host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.

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Baseball Free Agency Notes

>>White Sox Decline Option on C Soto
 
Geovany Soto's $3 million option was declined by the Chicago White Sox, making the catcher eligible for free agency.
The NL Rookie of the Year with the Cubs in 2008, he agreed to a minor league contract with the White Sox in January that called for a $2 million salary in the major leagues. The 34-year-old Soto missed most of last season because of a right elbow injury that required surgery and batted .190 in 13 games. He will get a $250,000 buyout.
 
Chicago also reinstated outfielder Charlie Tilson and right-hander Zach Putnam from the 60-day disabled list on Thursday.
 
>>Players File For Free Agency Thursday
 
The 2017 baseball season came to an end Wednesday night when the Houston Astros beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in a surprisingly anticlimactic Game 7 of the World Series. It is the first championship in Astros history.
Baseball is a year-round sport, of course, and the offseason started Thursday with 149 players becoming free agents at 9 a.m. ET. The MLBPA announced the official free agent list Thursday afternoon. 
 
The Cubs are losing Jake Arrieta and Wade Davis, in addition to several valuable role players. They are not expected to get into a bidding war for either Arrieta or Davis, so it'll be interesting to see how their address their pitching staff next season. At times this year, and especially in the postseason, their lack of reliable pitching depth was exposed.
 
Lance Lynn, Zach Duke, Juan Nicasio and Seung-Hwan Oh filed for free agency for the Cardinals.
 
ynn was in the rotation all year, Oh was the closer much of the last two years, Nicasio was the closer this September, and Duke was the middle innings left-on-left matchup guy. St. Louis is loaded with young arms, however, so they don't figure to be desperate to re-sign any of these four free agents.
 
Other top players filing for free agency Thursday include Arizona's JD Martinez, Reds All Star SS Zack Cozart, Cleveland's Jay Bruce and Carlos Santana, Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, catcher Jonathan Lucroy and first baseman Mark Reynolds, Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain, first baseman Eric Hosmer and third baseman Mike Moustakas, Yu Darvish filed for free agency from the Dodgers, Todd Frazier, CC Sabathia and Matt Holiday filed for free agency from the Yankees, and all star first baseman Logam Morrison filed for free agency from the Rays along with Lucas Duda and Alex Cobb.

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Blackhawks Blank Flyers

Corey Crawford made 35 saves in his first shutout of the season, and the Blackhawks stopped a three-game slide with a 3-0 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night.
 
Artem Anisimov and Jonathan Toews scored 20 seconds apart in the second and Crawford took over from there, helping Chicago kill off three Philadelphia power plays in the last half of the game. Rookie Alex DeBrincat added an empty-net goal with 1:49 left in Crawford's 22nd career shutout.
 
Brian Elliott made 32 stops for Philadelphia, which was coming off a 4-3 overtime loss to lowly Arizona on Monday. The Flyers have dropped four of five heading into Thursday night's game at Central Division-leading St. Louis.
 
Chicago came up empty on its first four power plays before Anisimov delivered in the second. With Brandon Manning in the box for holding Ryan Hartman, the rugged center skated behind the Flyers' penalty killers and slammed home a rebound for a 1-0 lead at 8:58.
 
Anisimov's fourth goal of the season was the Blackhawks' first successful power play since Richard Panik scored at Arizona on Oct. 21. They were unsuccessful in their previous 18 chances.
 
The Blackhawks visit Minnesota on Saturday night.

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Houston Astros Win World Series

George Springer and the Houston Astros rocketed to the top of the baseball galaxy Wednesday night, winning the first World Series championship in franchise history by romping past the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in Game 7.
 
For a Series that was shaping up as an October classic, Game 7 quickly became a November clunker as Houston scored five runs in the first two innings off Yu Darvish. 
 
Springer hit his fifth homer - tying the Series mark set by Reggie Jackson (1977) and matched by Chase Utley (2009) - when he connected for a record fourth game in a row, making it a five-run lead.
 
Houston won 101 times this year to take the AL West, then won Games 6 and 7 at home in the AL Championship Series against the New York Yankees. The Astros joined the 1985 Royals as the only clubs to win a pair of Game 7s in the same year.
 
Clayton Kershaw provided four shutout innings of relief for Los Angeles , but it was too late. What the Dodgers really needed was a better starter than Yu Darvish. Darvish lasted 1 2/3 innings in both his World Series starts - the two shortest of his career.
 
After Springer lined a leadoff double , Alex Bregman hit a bouncer that first baseman Cody Bellinger threw past Darvish for an error, allowing a run to score . Bregman aggressively stole third and scored on Altuve's grounder , and it was 2-0 after eight pitches.
 
A double by Marwin Gonzalez helped set up perhaps McCullers' biggest contribution, a slow grounder for his first pro RBI. Springer followed with a no-doubt, two-run drive into the left-center field bleachers.

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Pacers Win, Bulls Lose Wednesday

>>Pacers Down Cavs
 
Thaddeus Young scored 26 points, Darren Collison had 25 and the Indiana Pacers sent Cleveland to its fourth straight loss, 124-107 on Wednesday night.
 
LeBron James had 33 points and 11 assists, but it wasn't enough to keep Cleveland from losing for the fifth time in six games and falling to 3-5.
 
Cleveland led 69-68 in the third quarter, but Indiana hit four straight 3-pointers and built an eight-point lead.
 
Indiana was 16 of 26 from 3-point range. Cleveland had allowed the second most 3-pointers in the league going into the game.
 
Victor Oladipo scored 23 points for the Pacers. Bojan Bogdanovic added 17, and Domantas Sabonis had 15 points and 12 rebounds.
 
Derrick Rose had 19 points while Kevin Love had 13 points and 13 rebounds.
 
The Pacers visit Philadelphia on Friday night.
 
>>Heat Topple Bulls
 
Goran Dragic scored 20 points, Tyler Johnson added 19 and the Miami Heat beat the Chicago Bulls 97-91 on Wednesday to snap a three-game slide.
 
Miami was up 15 early, trailed by six midway through the third, then used a 32-12 run down the stretch to finally put the game away. Hassan Whiteside returned from a five-game absence with a bruised knee and scored 13 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for the Heat, who went 3-3 on their six-game homestand.
 
Lauri Markkanen scored 25 points and Robin Lopez added 22 for the Bulls, who were 7 for 28 from 3-point range and got five of those makes in the final 2 minutes. Chicago fell to 1-5, matching its worst start since 2007-08.
 
Markkanen also grabbed eight rebounds.
 
Dion Waiters also scored 13 for the Heat, who were without starting forward James Johnson - a late scratch with right knee tendinitis.
 
Miami was rolling early, up 20-6 after 8 minutes and 35-20 midway through the second quarter. The Bulls started 1 for 10 from the floor, and Whiteside had eight rebounds in the game's first 4:50.
 
A 24-10 run by Chicago tied the game late in the half, seven of those field goals by the Bulls coming in close proximity to the rim. Chicago led by as many as six in the third and probably should have been up more, but missed five shots at the rim late in the quarter.
 
The Bulls visit Orlando on Friday.

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Duke No. 1 in Preseason AP Poll

The preseason edition of the AP Top 25 poll was released on Wednesday, and the Duke Blue Devils are ranked No. 1 – the same position they were slotted in the preseason coaches' poll – for a second consecutive season. 
 
It's the ninth time Duke has been the top team in the preseason rankings.
Of a possible 65 first-place votes, Duke received more than half (33), despite what appears to be a strong possibility that Hall-of-Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski is likely to start four true freshmen. 
 
Krzyzewski has to replace his leading scorer from last season in Luke Kennard, as well as valued veteran big man Amile Jefferson, among others. But he's got plenty of tools to reload in 2017-18, headlined by senior Grayson Allen as well a quartet of heralded freshmen and former five-star recruits, including the No. 1 overall prospect in the Class of 2017, Marvin Bagley III.
 
Coming in at No. 2 in the AP poll is the Tom Izzo-led Michigan State Spartans, the overwhelming favorite in the Big Ten thanks to the return of super sophomore Miles Bridges. Sparty has a young core led by Bridges, Nick Ward and Cassius Winston – all of which were freshmen last season. With a year's worth of experience under their belts, they appear to have the makings of a team ready to take a major leap behind the play of the top player in college basketball.
 
Arizona received 18 first place votes coming at third in the poll while Kansas is fourth with one first place vote and Kentucky round out the top five. Villanova, Wichita State, Florida, North Carolina and USC round out the top ten. 
 
11-15 goes West Virginia, Cincinnati, Miami, Notre Dame, and Minnesota. 
 
16-20 is Louisville, Xavier, Gonzaga, Northwestern and Purdue while 21-25 is UCLA, Saint Mary's, Seton Hall, Baylor and Texas A&M. 
 
The college basketball season opens a week from Friday. 

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Bears Say TE Miller Progressing Well After Surgery

Chicago Bears coach John Fox says tight end Zach Miller is "progressing well" following surgery to save his left leg.
Miller remains hospitalized in New Orleans after tearing an artery while dislocating his knee trying to make a touchdown catch in Sunday's loss to the Saints. He likely tore ligaments, though the more immediate issue is the vessel.
 
Blood clotting is a concern. So is nerve damage, though Fox wasn't sure if there was any. He says he "didn't hear much other than" about the artery, which was a "big concern." He says they "addressed it, and like I said, he's progressing well."
 
Fox spoke Tuesday.

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Dodgers Rebound To Force Game 7 in World Series

Chris Taylor hit a tying double off Justin Verlander during a two-run rally in the sixth inning , Corey Seager followed with a go-ahead sacrifice fly and the Dodgers beat the Astros 3-1 on Tuesday night to push this dramatic Fall Classic to the ultimate game.
 
Joc Pederson homered in the seventh against Joe Musgrove, connecting off the right-hander for the second time in three games and making it a record 24 long balls that have been hit in this Series.
George Springer's third-inning home run against starter Rich Hill had given a 1-0 lead to Verlander and the Astros, trying for the first championship in their 56-season history. 
 
Dodgers relievers combined for 4 1/3 scoreless innings. Brandon Morrow retired Alex Bregman on a grounder to strand the bases loaded in the fifth,winner Tony Watson got Marwin Gonzalez to line out to leaping second baseman Chase Utley with two on and two outs in the sixth , and Kenta Maeda escaped two-on trouble in the seventh when third baseman Justin Turner gloved Jose Altuve's grounder and made a short-hop throw that first baseman Cody Bellinger scooped just in time.
 
Yu Darvish starts Wednesday for the Dodgers, trying to win their first title since 1988, and Los Angeles ace Clayton Kershaw will be ready in the bullpen after getting knocked out in the fifth inning of Game 5.
 
Lance McCullers Jr. gets the ball for the Astros in the first World Series Game 7 ever at Dodger Stadium and the first since 1931 between teams that won 100 games during the regular season.

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Pacers Down Kings

Bojan Bogdanovic scored 17 points to lead a balanced Indiana offense and help the Pacers to a 101-83 rout of the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night.
The Pacers (4-3) scored the first nine points and built a 55-30 lead at the half.
 
Indiana second-year forward Domantas Sabonis, coming off a personal-best 22 points and 12 rebounds on Sunday, had a double-double in the first half with 10 points and 12 rebounds. He finished with a career-high 16 rebounds in addition to 12 points and five assists.
 
Rookie guard De'Aaron Fox led the Kings (1-6) off the bench with 18 points. 
 
The Pacers travel Wednesday to Cleveland to face LeBron James.

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Georgia No. 1 in First CFP Poll

The first College Football Playoff Rankings for the 2017 season are out and there were a lot of close decisions to sort out. There were also some inconsistencies, which is common with only nine weeks down and five weeks to go until the four playoff finalists are determined.
Georgia edged Alabama for the No. 1 spot with its victory over No. 3 Notre Dame standing as the best win in college football this season. Clemson checked in at No. 4, while undefeateds Wisconsin and Miami start out at the bottom of the top 10 with six one-loss teams separating them from the Bulldogs and Crimson Tide. Head-to-head wins are reflected at the top of the rankings with Oklahoma, Ohio State and Penn State falling in order at Nos. 5-7.
 
It is possible that the current top four teams could win out -- with the exception of an Alabama-Georgia SEC Championship Game -- and still not be the top four teams at the end.

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