About Five Years Ago by Submitted by Jayme Bugner
Clinton Community YMCA Otters Swim Team competed this past weekend at the 2016 Illini District Junior District Championship Meet held in Mattoon, Illinois. The meet was well attended by 11 teams from all over the district with a total of 221 swimmers. The Clinton Community YMCA Otters had 26 swimmers that competed, earning 12 first place medals, 9 second place medals, and 8 third place medals.
Several of the Otters achieved new personal best times at Junior Districts, achieving both District and State times. Some of the standouts for personal best times include:
Abi Moser (7) dropped 22 seconds in the Girls 8 & Under 100 IM with a time of 2:20.05 earning her fourth place.
Joshua Johnson (14) dropped 7.97 seconds in the Boys 13-14 100 Fly with a time of 1:30.20 winning a spot in third place.
Kasandra Adcock (12) dropped 5.96 seconds off of her Girls 11-12 50 Fly with a time of 40.08 which put her in fifth place.
Jacob Zirkelback (5) dropped 5.83 seconds off his personal best time in the Boys 6 & Under 50 Free with a time of 57.05 giving him second place.
Kate Goebel (8) dropped 1.72 seconds in the Girls 7-8 25 Back with a time of 21.38 earning her a first place win and a chance to compete at State.
The 2016 Illini District Junior District Championship Meet was a great experience for the Clinton Otters. They have worked hard this season to get to this point and we are very proud of all that they have accomplished. Congratulations to each of you and good luck to those attending District Championships this coming weekend in Springfield, Illinois.
>>Illinois Drops Series Finale To Florida Gulf Coast; Wins Series
The Illinois baseball team ended a three-game winning streak Sunday afternoon with a 3-2 loss in the series finale at Florida Gulf Coast. The Fighting Illini were limited to four hits after winning the first two games of the series Friday and Saturday.
Jason Goldstein and junior right fielder Pat McInerney produced runs with RBI groundouts and freshman center fielder Doran Turchin had two hits. Illinois had 22 hits in the first two victories of the series before going cold Sunday.
Andrew Mamlic (0-1) took the loss after running into trouble in the sixth inning. FGCU plated two runs in the sixth to turn a one-run deficit into a one-run lead and force Mamlic out of the game after allowing three runs on seven hits over 5.0 innings pitched.
J.D. Nielsen shut down FGCU over 2.1 innings, which included five strikeouts, and Cole Bellair got two outs in two batters faced to keep the Illini within striking distance. The five strikeouts tied a career high for the 6-foot-6 Nielsen.
Florida Gulf Coast (2-5) was led by Colton Bottomly, Tyler Atwell and Nick Blasucci, who each had two hits. Blasucci hit a double with two outs in the sixth inning to score what stood as the game-winning run.
The Fighting Illini return to Florida next weekend for three games in DeLand, Florida, at the home of Stetson. Illinois will face Central Michigan, the host Hatters and Villanova on consecutive days Friday-Sunday.
>>Redbirds Drop 3 of 4 at Oregon After Sunday Loss
The Illinois State baseball team found itself in a pitcher's duel for the third time in as many days Sunday, but the Redbird offense was unable to provide the support for starter David Meade as Illinois State suffered a 3-1 loss to No. 9 Oregon at PK Park. Illinois State went 1-3 against the Ducks in the four-game series.
The Redbirds scored their only run in the top of the first, but Oregon tied it in the second, took the lead in the sixth and added an insurance run in the eighth.
Illinois State (2-5) was limited to just two hits in the loss. Meade did his part, however, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk over 5.1 innings of work. He struck out three.
Oregon starter David Peterson earned the pitching win for the Ducks, allowing just two hits and two walks over eight innings. The only run he allowed was unearned. Oregon closer Stephen Nogosek earned the save, working a clean ninth inning.
Daniel Dwyer and Jean Ramirez collected Illinois State's only hits; Ramirez's hit was a double. Dwyer also drew a walk.
The Redbirds return to action on Friday when they play their first of eight games in Florida, over a nine-day stretch.
Kendrick Nunn scored 25, Malcolm Hill added 22 points with seven rebounds and five assists and Illinois beat Minnesota 84-71 Sunday night.
The Illini opened the second half on a 29-8 run for a 61-48 lead and they never looked back.
Freshman Jalen Coleman-Lands hit five 3-pointers and finished with 18 points for Illinois (13-16, 5-11 Big Ten).
Jordan Murphy stepped up with 22 points and 10 rebounds for Minnesota (8-20, 2-14). Stephon Sharp had a career-high 19 points, while Joey King added 17.
Minnesota used an 11-0 run to open the game and had a 40-32 halftime lead, but Illinois outscored the Golden Gophers 52-31 in the second half.
Minnesota was playing without leading scorer Nate Mason (13.8 points per game), as well as guards Kevin Dorsey and Dupree McBrayer, who all missed Sunday's game for a violation of team rules.
>>Wichita State Avenges Loss To Illinois State
Fred VanVleet and Anton Grady scored 16 points apiece and Wichita State routed Illinois State 74-58 on Saturday for its fifth-straight win.
The Shockers (23-7, 16-2 Missouri Valley) entered having already clinched their third-consecutive conference title, and snapped a two-game skid against Illinois State (18-13, 12-6).
DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell had 15 points and MiKyle McIntosh 14 to lead the Redbirds, who end their regular season tied with Evansville for second in the conference standings. The tie will be broken using Jim Sukup's RPI Report on Sunday. The team with the better RPI will be the No. 2 seed into the conference tournament.
It was tied at 20-all midway through the first half before Wichita State pulled away on a 26-8 run to close the period and build a 46-28 halftime lead. The Shockers stretched it to 25 points with 7:31 remaining and cruised from there.
>>Indiana State Downs Bradley
Devonte Brown had 24 points as Indiana State halted a six-game skid, beating Bradley 77-58 in the regular season finale on Saturday.
Brown made 6 of 10 field goals and was 11 of 15 from the line. Brenton Scott added 11 points for Indiana State (14-16, 8-10 Missouri Valley Conference).
Indiana State stretched a 37-28 halftime lead to 43-28 by scoring the first six points in the second half. The Sycamores were up 46-30 with 15:34 left and coasted to the win.
The Sycamores shot 43 percent from the floor while holding Bradley to 19-of-54 shooting. Indiana State made 26 of 38 from the free throw line. The Braves made 12 of 19 attempts.
Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye led Bradley (5-26, 3-15) with 19 points. Ronnie Suggs matched his career high for treys, making 4 of 8 on his way to 15 points for Bradley, which has lost five of seven.
>>Ohio State Upsets No. 8 Iowa
A handful of big plays erased an afternoon of mistakes as Ohio State rallied to stun No. 8 Iowa 68-64 on Sunday.
Marc Loving, Kam Williams and Keita Bates-Diop all scored in double figures for the Buckeyes, and all three had big plays down the stretch as they finished the game on a 12-2 run.
The Buckeyes won for the first time after losing spiritual leader Jae'Sean Tate to a season-ending shoulder injury. They were humbled 81-62 by No. 6 Michigan State on the same floor five days earlier in their first game without Tate.
Loving hit both ends of a 1-and-1 with less than 2 seconds to go to finish with 25 points and ice the game.
Bates-Diop added 19 points and preserved a two-point lead for Ohio State (19-11, 11-6 Big Ten) by blocking Mike Gesell's layup with under 5 seconds to go.
Gesell and Jarrod Uthoff led Iowa (20-8, 11-5) with 16 points apiece while Peter Jok had 12.
The Hawkeyes lost their third straight game and fell to 5-5 on the road this season.
Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Dennis Rasmussen scored, and the new-look Chicago Blackhawks beat the NHL-leading Washington Capitals 3-2 on Sunday.
Richard Panik kicked the puck from behind the net to a streaking Dennis Rasmussen for the rookie's fourth goal at 12:47 of the third.
The score was tied at 1 in the second period before Teuvo Teravainen set up Toews' 22nd goal with a slick pass over the middle to the captain. Ladd helped get the puck to an open Teravainen off a scramble in front.
Andrew Ladd got an assist in his return to Chicago after he was reacquired in a trade with Winnipeg on Thursday night, and Tomas Fleischmann had a solid debut after he came over in a trade with Montreal on Friday.
Corey Crawford made 28 saves as the Blackhawks won for only the third time in their last eight games. Andrew Ladd got an assist in his return to Chicago after he was reacquired in a trade with Winnipeg on Thursday night.
Marcus Johansson and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored for Washington, which had won five of six. Braden Holtby made 20 saves in only his seventh loss in 51 games this season.
>>Blues Blast Hurricanes
David Backes and Kyle Brodziak scored in the second period to give the St. Louis Blues the lead on the way to a 5-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday.
Ty Rattie, Robby Fabbri and Alex Pietrangelo also scored as St. Louis snapped a three-game losing streak overall and won for the fifth time in six road games. Jake Allen stopped 32 shots.
Jeff Skinner and Ron Hainsey each had a goal and an assist in the first period for the Hurricanes, who traded captain Eric Staal to the New York Rangers about an hour before the game. Cam Ward finished with 35 saves as Carolina lost its third straight.
St. Louis tied the score at 2-all on Backes' goal 20 seconds into the second period. The Blues took the lead as Brodziak scored short-handed with 8:40 remaining in the period for his first goal in 37 games.
Fabbri and Pietrangelo closed out the scoring in the third period. For Fabbri, it was his team-leading ninth point since the All-Star break. Pietrangelo had missed the last nine games with an injured right knee and was just activated from the injured reserve list.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers walked the red carpet at the Academy Awards for the first time in his life on Sunday and he seemed slightly unimpressed by all of the theatrics that Hollywood's biggest night offers.
Rodgers was attending the event with his girlfriend, Olivia Munn, who was definitely excited to to be there. Munn presented an Oscar.
Rodgers' clearly isn't as comfortable on the red carpet as he is in the pocket.
As it turned out, Rodgers' biggest smile of on the red carpet came when he snuck up on Common during an interview and hit him with a classic Aaron Rodgers photobomb.
The "Peyton Manning Retirement Watch" officially went into circus mode on Saturday night when the Denver Post reported that Manning would likely be announcing his retirement by the end of the week.
Shortly after that though, the Broncos refuted the Post's report. According to the team, Manning hasn't made any decision about what he's going to do in 2016.
Manning's decision might not matter, though, because, according to FoxSports.com, the Broncos have basically already made the decision for him. Alex Marvez writes that it's "not a matter of if but when" the team and Manning will part ways.
Marvez also adds that the Broncos have been "prepping" to not have Manning back. He reports the team has several key free agents -- including Von Miller, Brock Osweiler and Malik Jackson -- and Denver entered negotiations this offseason with the understanding that Manning's $19 million cap hit won't be on the books in 2016.
The clear insinuation is that Manning's cap hit won't be on the books because he won't be on the team, a fact that most people already believe. After Denver's 24-10 win over Carolina in Super Bowl 50, Archie Manning said that his son was "done" in Denver.
Damian Lillard scored 20 of his 33 points in the first quarter to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to a 111-102 victory over Indiana on Sunday.
CJ McCollumn and Gerald Henderson each scored 19 points for the Trail Blazers, who have won 8 of 9 games.
Monta Ellis had 18 points and Jordan Hill added 15 off the bench for the Pacers, who have lost three of four games.
George Hill finished with 14 points, six rebounds and five assists. Paul George scored 11 points and was 0-of-4 from 3-point range. Indiana was just 3-of-14 on 3-pointers.
Meyers Leonard finished with 17 points and made four 3-pointers, including one at the buzzer to give the Trail Blazers an 87-77 lead at the end of the third quarter. Then Leonard opened the fourth with a basket and two more 3-pointers to give Portland a 95-79 lead with 10:16 remaining.
The surging Trail Blazers have won 13 of 15 games while the Pacers have struggled to put more than two wins together since winning three straight in December.
Adam Scott defeated Sergio Garcia by one stroke at the Honda Classic on Sunday after firing a final round even-par 70 to finish at 9 under to Garcia's 8 under.
Scott somehow survived a quadruple bogey on Saturday (in a third-round 66) to win for the 12th time in his illustrious PGA Tour career. This was his first win since the spring of 2014 and the first he's racked up since the anchored putter ban went into effect this January.
Rickie Fowler played his first 36 holes this week perfectly. He didn't have a bogey. He only had one five on his card. It was basically as flawless as somebody can play PGA National but fell off at the end, still ending up finishing T6.
The Monticello Sages opened the game with eight straight points, setting the tone for a dominating Regional title win over Decatur St. Teresa, 78-62, at the Argenta-Oreana Regional.
Zach Fisher scored 23 of his 29 points in the first half, including 6-for-6 from 3-point range and Noah Freemon added 20 points as the Sages dominated from start to finish for their third Regional title in four years. The Sages shot 68% from the floor, including nine three point field goals.
Rashan Smith scored 13 of his team-high 19 poitns in the second half and was 9-for-10 from the free throw line. JaCoby Boston scored 11 points and Jacardia Wright added ten points.
The Bulldogs finish their season at 19-10.
The Sages improve to 17-8 and will take on St. Joseph-Ogden Tuesday night in Sectional semifinal action at St. Joe-Ogden High School.
The Spartans edged past Bloomington Central Catholic 67-66 in overtime for a Regional title of their own at Tri-Valley.
Game time Tuesday is 7 pm. Hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.
The Monticello Sages will go for a Regional title tonight as they take on Decatur St. Teresa at Argenta-Oreana High School.
The Sages dominated Meridian 73-50 Tuesday night to advance.
The scheduled Wednesday matchup between Decatur St. T and Argenta-Oreana was rescheduled to Thursday night because of the snow from Wednesday. Last night, the Bulldogs narrowly escaped Argenta-Oreana 59-58 to set up tonight's Regional title matchup.
The Sages and Bulldogs have yet to match up this year.
Hear all tonight's action from Argenta-Oreana on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.
Outfielder Dexter Fowler agreed to stay with the Chicago Cubs, agreeing Thursday to a one-year contract that includes a mutual option for 2017.
The 29-year-old hit .250 in 156 games last year and set career highs in many offensive categories as the Cubs reached the NL Championship Series. He had 102 runs, 17 homers, 149 hits and 84 walks. The speedy, switch-hitting Fowler is a career .267 hitter over eight major league seasons.
Fowler had turned down a $15.8 million, one-year qualifying offer from the Cubs in November.
To make room for Fowler on the 40-man roster, the Cubs placed left-hander Zac Rosscup on the 60-day disabled list due to left shoulder inflammation.
To make room for Fowler, the Cubs first acquired right-handed pitcher Aaron Brooks from the Oakland Athletics for outfielder Chris Coghlan on Thursday.
The 30-year-old Coghlan batted .250 with 25 doubles, 16 home runs and 41 RBIs in 148 games for the Cubs last season.
The 25-year-old Brooks is 3-5 with an 8.38 ERA in 58 innings during 15 big league appearances, including 10 as a starter, over the past two seasons with Kansas City and Oakland. He made 20 appearances in Triple-A last season and went 7-5 with a 3.56 ERA along with 103 strikeouts.
Daniel Dwyer tied the game with an inside-the-park home run in the top of the seventh inning, but No. 9 Oregon pushed back ahead with three runs in the bottom half of the inning as the host Ducks scored an 8-5 win over the visiting Redbirds Thursday night at PK Park.
Illinois State (1-3) allowed five runs in the bottom of the first inning, but slowly clawed its way back into the game, thanks to a strong showing from its bullpen. The trio of Jeff Lindgren, Mitch Weis and Mitch Vogrin combined for 5.2 scoreless innings as the Redbirds fought back to tie the game.
Owen Miller went 3-for-4 from the plate with two doubles and two RBIs to lead the Redbird bats. Ryan Hutchinson added two base hits and an RBI.
Oregon (4-0) got to Illinois State starter Jeffrey Barton early, tagging him for five runs on three hits and three walks. Phil Craig-St. Louis got the scoring started with a bases-loaded triple, and later scored on a Steven Packard single. Packard came in on a wild pitch to plate the fifth run of the inning.
The Redbirds return to PK Park for the second game of the four-game set Friday night at 8 p.m. CT.
>>Illini Baseball Back in Action
After a season opening 1-2 start at 19th ranked Tulane, the Illinois Fighting Illini baseball squad will look to rebound against Florida Gulf Coast this weekend in Fort Myers, FLorida.
The Eagles opened their season to a sweep at the hands of top-ranked Florida but picked up their first victory against South Florida, with a 13-6 win Tuesday.
Brady Anderson figures to get the nod for FGCU opposite Illinois' Cody Sedlock in tonight's opener.
>>Rangers Top Blues As Lundqvist Reaches Milestone
New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist celebrated a milestone night in style.
Chris Kreider and Tanner Glass scored and Lundqvist made 35 saves as the New York Rangers beat the St. Louis Blues 2-1 on Thursday night.
Lundqvist got his 30th victory of the season, joining Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy as the only goalies in NHL history to have at least 30 wins in 10 different seasons.
Lundqvist also passed Mike Richter as the team's all-time regular season saves leader with stop on Vladimir Tarasenko's wrist shot late in the first period.
Fittingly, Lundqvist's save on Scottie Upshall's breakaway led to the game-winning goal. Seconds after the pad save, Oscar Lindberg found Kreider in the slot to make it 2-1 at 4:18 of the third period.
Glass put the Rangers up 1-0 with 6:46 to go in the first after tipping a shot by Dan Girardi from the point over Jake Allen's right shoulder. It was Glass' second goal of the season and first in 29 games.
Blues forward Jori Lehtera was hit in the face with the puck with just over a minute left in the first and didn't return.
Brouwer's power-play goal for the Blues with a little more than 5 1/2 minutes remaining in the second tied the game at 1-1. It came 55 seconds after Girardi received a double-minor for high-sticking Tarasenko.
Brouwer's goal extended the Blues' power-play scoring streak at home to six games, the longest streak for St. Louis since a six-game span from Dec. 31, 2005, to Jan. 26, 2006.
>>Predators Top Blackhawks
Calle Jarnkrok scored with 1:51 remaining, Pekka Rinne made 38 saves and the streaking Nashville Predators beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1 on Thursday night.
Viktor Arvidsson also scored in the first as Nashville won for the fourth time in its last five games and extended its point streak to eight in a row. Miikka Salomaki added an empty-net goal, and Mike Fisher finished with two assists.
It was a lousy ending to a big night for Chicago, which bolstered its shot for a second straight Stanley Cup title by reacquiring forward Andrew Ladd in a trade with Winnipeg announced right before the game. The Blackhawks have lost two in a row and five of seven.
>>Blackhawks Trade For Ladd From Winnipeg
The Chicago Blackhawks have re-acquired forward Andrew Ladd in a trade with the Winnipeg Jets.
The 30-year-old Ladd had 17 goals and 17 assists in 59 games for Winnipeg this season. He previously played for Chicago for two-plus seasons, helping the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup in 2010.
The Blackhawks, who are trying for their second straight NHL title, sent two draft picks and prospect Marko Dano to Winnipeg for Ladd, forward Matt Fraser and defenseman Jay Harrison. Fraser and Harrison will report to Rockford in the AHL.
Dano was considered one of Chicago's top prospects. The 21-year-old forward was acquired from Columbus in the Brandon Saad deal last summer, but he was sent down to Rockford on Dec. 11.
The trade was announced before Chicago's home game against Nashville on Thursday night.
Sergio Garcia made an eagle, avoided an alligator and wound up in a share of the lead Thursday in the Honda Classic.
Garcia holed out with an 8-iron from 142 yards into the wind on the second hole for an eagle, and he narrowly missed an eagle putt on the 18th hole at PGA National. The Spaniard shot 5-under 65 and shared the lead with Michael Thompson, the 2013 Honda Classic winner, who also birdied the last hole.
They were one shot ahead of Rickie Fowler and William McGirt.
The biggest excitement for Garcia was on the par-4 sixth hole, where he made his lone bogey.
His tee shot found the water left of the fairway, shallow enough for him to roll up his pants and try to play it out to the fairway. That part was easy. He looked over his shoulder because of an alligator on the island, making sure it wasn't going anywhere soon.
Garcia missed the cut last week at Riviera, two days in which he said he did nothing well. Hardly anything went wrong for him in the Honda Classic, and even when it did, he managed to avoid trouble. Garcia had to play a 40-yard hook from the rough left of the 10th fairway to just short of the green for a simple par.
Fowler had the only bogey-free round, which included a chip-in for par on the 10th hole. McGirt was more on the wild side by making seven birdies.
For the early starters, it was a rude welcome to the Florida swing - chilly and gusts that approached 30 mph.
Phil Mickelson extended his good play from a runner-up finish at Pebble Beach and shot 69, among 10 players who managed to break par in the morning.
Rory McIlroy, however, wasn't in a happy place when he finished. Standing outside the scoring area, he smacked his putter on the concrete before going inside to sign for a 72. It wasn't an awful score, but the finish led to his angst.
He hit the face of a bunker on the 14th hole and went into another fairway bunker, put his third in more sand left of the green and made double bogey. After a birdie on the 15th, McIlroy came up short into the bunker on the 16th for a bogey, and he finished his round with a three-putt bogey from 10 feet.
Steph Curry scored 51 points and made 10 three pointers in a Golden State Warriors 130-114 victory over the Orlando Magic Thursday night.
A night after scoring 42 in a six-point victory at Miami, Curry made 20 of 27 shots, including 10 of 15 3-pointers. The Warriors pulled away in the closing minutes of the third quarter, with his bank shot putting the defending NBA champions up 99-91.
The Warriors improved to 52-5, the best 57-game start in league history. The 1995-96 Chicago Bulls won 51 of their first 57 on the way to finishing 72-10.
Curry scored 24 in the third quarter. He sat out the first six minutes of the fourth, added a 3 and a layup down the stretch and also finished with eight assists and seven rebounds as the Warriors weathered a quiet night from backcourt mate Klay Thompson, who had nine points on 4-of-10 shooting.
Marreese Speights had 14 points and Draymond Green and Andrew Bogut 12 apiece.
Evan Fournier led Orlando with 20 points. Aaron Gordon matched his career high with 19. Victor Oladipo added 14 points.
Paris Lee made four 3-pointers, had four assists and finished with a career-high 21 points to lead Illinois State to a 73-59 win over Southern Illinois on Wednesday night, ensuring the Redbirds a two or three seed in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament.
DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell scored 16, Deontae Hawkins added 15 and the Redbirds (18-12, 12-5) led 36-15 at halftime, holding the Salukis to the fewest first-half points scored by an opponent this season.
The Salukis trimmed the deficit to 41-23 on a dunk by Armon Fletcher with 16:18 left, but the Redbirds scored eight-straight points and led by 26 with 9:13 to go.
Rudy Stradnieks pulled the Salukis within 20 with a jumper with 3:13 left, but Southern Illinois got no closer.
Sean O'Brien scored 14, Fletcher had 13 and Bola Olaniyan grabbed 12 rebounds for Southern Illinois (21-9, 10-7), who will be seeded either fourth or fifth in the tournament.
Taj Gibson and E'Twaun Moore each scored 17 points, Tony Snell added 16 and a thrown-together roster of Chicago Bulls backups beat the Washington Wizards 109-104 on Wednesday night.
Three of the Bulls' top four scorers missed the game and the fourth was sick.
Pau Gasol, who missed practice on Tuesday and was playing with the flu, narrowly missed a triple-double, finishing with 15 rebounds, 10 points and nine assists in the Bulls' third straight victory.
Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 19 points. Garrett Temple scored 18 and Ramon Sessions and John Wall added 16. Markieff Morris had 10 rebounds for the Wizards.
Chicago's Derrick Rose was a last-minute scratch with right hamstring tendinitis, while the Bulls' leading scorer, Jimmy Butler, missed a seventh game with a left knee strain. Nikola Mirotic is out because of appendicitis.
Bronson Koenig scored 15 points and Wisconsin upset eighth-ranked Iowa 67-59 on Wednesday night, handing the Hawkeyes their second straight loss and third in four games.
Nigel Hayes had 10 points for the Badgers (18-10, 10-5 Big Ten), whose streak of nine wins in 10 now includes a victory in Iowa City that should help their NCAA Tournament hopes immensely.
Zak Showalter's layup with 1:15 left put Wisconsin ahead 64-58, and a steal and two free throws by Koenig put the game out of reach.
Peter Jok scored 21 points and Adam Woodbury had 18 rebounds for Iowa (20-7, 11-4), which fell a full game behind league-leading Indiana after shooting just 27 percent in the second half.
Iowa's Jarrod Uthoff picked up his fourth foul with the game tied at 56 with 5:40 left, leaving the Hawkeyes without their best player for three minutes down the stretch. Koenig and Hayes then hit crucial 3s, giving the Badgers a 62-58 lead with 1:42 lead, and Uthoff missed the front end of a one-and-one.
Uthoff finished with just 11 points on 3-of-12 shooting - and Iowa didn't hit a shot from the floor in the final six minutes.
Iowa is at Ohio State Sunday while Wisconsin will host Michigan.
Last year at the Honda Classic, Rickie Fowler talked about getting into Michael Jordan's wallet.
"Obviously it's something I cherish as far as the times we get to play, and now it's just like I'll text him if he's in town and set up games," said Fowler.
"Getting in his wallet, that's success right there. But unfortunately, the past couple times, he's taken care of business with me."
Fowler's games with Jordan haven't stopped. He told USA Today on Wednesday that he just played 36 holes with the greatest basketball player of all time. He compared them to his Tuesday money games with Phil Mickelson.
David Pastrnak had two goals, including his first career made penalty shot, and the Boston Bruins blew past the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1 on Wednesday night.
Pastrnak, a 19-year-old Czech, was all over the ice in the first two periods, and said he thinks he is starting to find his game in his second year after scoring 10 goals in 46 games last season. The Bruins' 2014 first-round pick now has eight goals in 29 appearances.
Tuukka Rask made 41 saves for the Bruins. Jimmy Hayes, Landon Ferraro and Brad Marchand also scored.
Egidijus Mockevicius scored 20 points and gathered 17 rebounds and D.J. Balentine added 22 points to help Evansville defeat Bradley 67-55 Tuesday night, winning its fourth straight with one game left in the regular season.
Mockevicius, the 6-foot-10 senior from Vilnius, Lithuania, set a program rebounding record late in the game, grabbing the 1,198th of his career. The scoring-rebounding double-double was his eighth in a row and his nation-leading 25th this season.
Bradley led most of the first half until a Balentine 3-point play put Evansville (23-7, 12-5 Missouri Valley Conference) ahead 20-19 with 5:19 remaining in the period. The Purple Aces, a solid second in the MVC, led 29-25 at halftime, built a 10-point lead less than two minutes into the second half and were not threatened after that.
Callum Barker scored 14 points to lead Bradley (5-25, 3-14) with Antoine Pittman adding 12 and Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye 11 with seven assists.
The Orioles and free-agent outfielder Dexter Fowler have agreed to a three-year contract worth $35 million, according to ESPN's Buster Olney. The team has not yet confirmed the signing.
The O's also agreed to a three-year, $35 million contract with free-agent righty Yovani Gallardo recently, but that deal is currently on hold due to medical concerns. Baltimore is notoriously thorough with physicals, so Fowler's deal is not done until the team says it's done.
Fowler, 29, rejected a qualifying offer from the Cubs early in the offseason, so the Orioles will forfeit their first-round pick to sign him. (They'll forfeit another pick if they complete a deal with Gallardo.) The Cubs will receive a supplemental first-round pick as compensation.
In 156 games last season, Fowler hit .250/.346/.411 (107 OPS+) with 20 stolen bases and new career highs in home runs (17) and walks (84). Fowler, a switch-hitter, has a career 95 OPS+ against righties and a 113 OPS+ against lefties.
Adam Jones is entrenched in center field, so Fowler will slide into a corner with the O's.
The Monticello Sages boys basketball team will play for a Regional title thanks to a big second quarter effort as they beat Meridian 73-50 at the Argenta-Oreana Regional.
The Sages outscored Meridian 22-10 playing the second quarter without leading scorer Zach Fisher because of foul trouble and took a 34-25 advantage into the break and opened the second half on a 7-2 run to take a 41-27 lead.
The Sages largest lead would be by 25 late in the fourth.
Noah Freemon finished with 18 points to lead Monticello, who started slow, shooting just 5 of 13 in the first quarter but made 9-of-12 shots in the second quarter, including 3-of-5 from beyond the arc.
The Sages committed just six turnovers and had 18 assists on 29 made field goals.
Zach Fisher added 14 points. Isiah Florey added 13 points and hauled in a team high eight rebounds.
Drake Baker scored 16 of his 19 points in the first half. Judah Renfrow added seven points and nine rebounds.
The Hawks end their season 17-12 overall.
Monticello improves to 16-8 and will take on the winner of Wednesday's Regional semifinal game between Argenta-Oreana and Decatur St. Teresa.
Hear all the at 7 pm on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.
A big hit sidelined San Jose's Matt Tennyson and fired up the Sharks.
Tomas Hertl, Logan Couture and Joe Thornton each scored two goals, powering San Jose to a 6-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Monday night.
Thornton also had two assists as San Jose improved to 21-9-2 on the road, matching their total road wins from last season. At home, the Sharks are just 11-12-3.
Tennyson got hurt in the first period. Blues forward Ryan Reaves rammed the defenseman into the glass behind the San Jose goal and smashed his face into the divider. Tennyson dropped flat on his back at 8:37, and Reaves received a 5-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct penalty.
San Jose turned the sequence into two power-play goals.
Hertl scored his 14th goal after Tennyson got hurt. Elliott stopped Joonas Donskoi's shot, but the puck got behind him and Hertl pushed it over the line for a power-play goal at 10:18.
Bortuzzo then got a slashing penalty, giving the Sharks a two-man advantage for 1:19.
San Jose made the short-handed Blues pay when Couture scored from in front the net at 12:59.
Elliott got hurt on the play. The Blues said he had a lower-body injury.
Jake Allen replaced Elliott and finished with 15 saves. The Blues activated Allen from injured reserve Sunday.
A power-play goal by Vladimir Tarasenko at 11:25 of the second got the Blues within one. Tarasenko, who also had two assists, took a pass from Kevin Shattenkirk at the top of the circle and snapped a quick wrist shot by goalie Martin Jones for his 29th goal.
But the Sharks scored 20 seconds later when Couture tapped in a loose puck by the crease.
San Jose made it 5-2 when Thornton scored on a backhander at 7:26 of the third period. He has 52 points in 46 career games against the Blues.
After a review, officials ruled against a Sharks challenge to allow a goal by Jay Bouwmeester at 9:50.
Thornton's empty-net goal at 18:35 ended the scoring.
Chris Bosh remained away from the team. Luol Deng had to put his own dislocated finger back into place. Dwyane Wade missed his first 10 shots. Beno Udrih departed in the first half with a right foot injury.
And the Indiana Pacers led 11-0 to open the game.
Somehow, not even all that could deter the Miami Heat.
Goran Dragic scored 24 points, Hassan Whiteside finished with 19 points and 18 rebounds, and the Heat won their third consecutive game since the All-Star break, rallying from 14 points down to beat the Pacers 101-93 in overtime Monday night.
Wade added 16 points and Justise Winslow scored 15 for Miami, which won despite shooting only 38 percent. The Heat grabbed 66 rebounds for the second consecutive game after reaching that mark only three times in their first 28 seasons.
Deng had 13 points and 16 rebounds for Miami.
Paul George had 31 points and 11 rebounds for the Pacers, and Myles Turner scored 16. But Indiana's starting backcourt of Monta Ellis and George Hill missed 22 of 24 shots.
Ellis was 2 for 17, the worst game in the NBA this season for anyone taking 15 or more shots. The Pacers missed their first six attempts of the extra session, and Miami took control.
In both of Indiana's trips to Miami this season, the Pacers have blown a double-digit lead and lost in overtime.
Another crazy week has led to more upheaval in the Associated Press' Top 25 poll for Division I men's basketball. Five of the top 10 teams lost at least once in the past seven days (Oklahoma, Iowa, North Carolina, Maryland and West Virginia), and so we've got a new order on the top 10 around here.
Villanova stays strong at No. 1. The Wildcats have dodged taking on losses in recent weeks, though things could get interesting on Wednesday because Jay Wright's team plays at No. 5 Xavier. Huge game there in the league and in regard to No. 1 seeding for the NCAA Tournament.
Also, Kansas has built up a resume that looks demonstrably to be the best in college basketball. Bill Self is going to win a 12th straight Big 12 title in the regular season. His team is ranked second, with a two-game lead in the conference.
Virginia jumped from seventh to third -- and is in a tie at No. 3 with Oklahoma. Despite its loss at Minnesota, which has just seven victories this season, Maryland stays steady in the top 10.
>>Xavier in Top 5 in Coaches Poll
Villanova is still the No. 1 team in the country according to the coaches. But the Wildcats have a tough matchup this week.
In the newest edition of the coaches poll, Xavier rose from No. 7 up to No. 5, setting up a really fun matchup on Wednesday between the Musketeers and the Wildcats. It's not the first top-five matchup we've seen this season, but it should be a good one that could bring the Big East title race just a little bit tighter.
Between those two teams, Kansas stayed at No. 2 with seven first-place votes to Villanova's 25, followed by Virginia at No. 3 and Oklahoma at No. 4. Beyond Xavier at No. 5, North Carolina sits at No. 6, Michigan State is No. 7, Iowa is No. 8, Maryland fell four spots to No. 9, and Arizona rounds out the top-10.
The two biggest risers this week were Indiana and Baylor, each of whom rose six spots to No. 15 and No. 16 respectively. The biggest faller this week was Dayton, who after losing two games to St. Joseph's and St. Bonaventure, dropped to No. 22. The newest team in the poll and only team to enter was Utah, who is now No. 23. The Utes replaced South Carolina, who fell to the nominal No. 26 spot after losing to Missouri earlier in the week.
The Illinois Fighting Illini baseball team scored five runs on seven hits over the final two innings Sunday to upend No. 19 Tulane, 5-2, at Turchin Stadium. Jason Goldstein led the way with three hits, including a go-ahead two-RBI single in the eighth, and the pitching kept the Illini in the game for the third straight day.
Illinois (1-2) rallied with three runs in the eighth, all with two outs, and added two more insurance runs in the ninth. The top three in the batting order – Adam Walton, Michael Hurwitz and Goldstein – each singled with two outs in the eighth to give the Fighting Illini their first lead. Walton, Hurwitz and Goldstein combined to go 6 for 12 in the game.
Matthew James' two-RBI double to the right center gap in the ninth widened the difference and gave closer Nick Blackburn some breathing room.
Mamlic was solid in the first 5.2 innings before being pulled in favor of a lefty-lefty situational matchup and the bullpen combination of J.D. Nielsen (1-0) and Blackburn finished off the Green Wave. Mamlic, a senior right-hander, used an impressive arsenal of off-speed pitches to allow six hits and one run, while striking out six.
All of the Illini's runs came off of the Tulane (2-1) bullpen, after starter Emerson Gibbs went 6.1 innings while allowing three hits. Five pitchers came in relief for Tulane, none going for more than two outs.
Tim Yandel (0-1), who allowed all three eighth-inning runs, was tagged with the loss.
Illinois travels to Florida Gulf Coast for a three-game series next weekend.
The Illinois State baseball team came up on the short end of a 13-10 score in a back-and-forth game against Belmont Sunday, the Redbirds' final game of their season opening series.
The Redbirds were able to overcome an early 5-1 deficit by scoring five runs in the top of the fifth, but Belmont (2-1) slowly rebuilt its lead, before adding four insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth. Illinois State (1-2) scored four runs in the top of the ninth, and brought the potential game-tying run to the plate, but was unable to continue the rally.
Jared Hendren went 3-for-5 with two doubles and two RBIs, and Brian Rodemoyer homered for the second game in a row to pace the Redbird offense. The Redbirds allowed a season-high 13 runs, as four of five Redbird relievers allowed at least one run after starter David Meade was tagged with five runs over the first 3.1 innings.
Illinois State's five-run fifth gave the Redbirds a 6-5 advantage, but Belmont knotted the score up again in the bottom half of the frame an RBI groundout from Tyler Walsh.
Hendren led the Redbird bats with three hits, while Daniel Dwyer, Rodemoyer and Owen Miller collected two hits each. Rodemoyer tallied four RBIs in the game, and finished the three-game series with 10 RBIs to start the season.
The Redbirds return to action Thursday when they begin a four-game series at Oregon.
Derrick Rose and E'Twaun Moore had 24 points apiece Sunday night to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 126-115 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in Kobe Bryant's final game at the United Center.
Moore, who was 10 for 14 from the field, tied his career high. Pau Gasol had 21 points, Mike Dunleavy and Bobby Portis each scored 17 and Doug McDermott added 16 as the Bulls won their second straight.
Bryant finished with 22 points on 8-for-20 shooting in 27 minutes. Julius Randle also had 22 points and Jordan Clarkson added 20 as Los Angeles dropped its fifth in a row.
The Bulls played a video tribute to Bryant during the introductions of the Lakers' starters. Rose referred to Bryant as his generation's Michael Jordan, and the salute ended with Gasol introducing his former teammate.
Donte Thomas hit a 3-pointer with 23 seconds left in the game to give Bradley the lead for good and spark the Braves to a 73-70 win over Drake in their 1,000th Missouri Valley Conference game Saturday night.
Bradley trailed by nine at intermission and spent most of the second half clawing back. Freshman Antoine Pittman hit a 3-pointer with 3:33 left in the game to tie at 63-63 and his layup a half-minute later gave the Braves the lead.
Drake's Reed Timmer tied the game with a pair of free throws to make it 65-65 and did it a second time at 68-68 on a jumper with just under a minute to play.
Pittman finished with 20 points to lead Bradley (5-24, 3-13) and Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye added 16 more off the bench.
Kale Abrahamson finished with 21 points and Timmer added 20 for Drake (6-22, 1-15).
>>Northern Iowa Pulls Away For Win Over Illinois State
Wes Washpun scored 18 points, Jeremy Morgan added 13, and all five Northern Iowa starters scored in double figures in a 75-66 win over Illinois State on Saturday.
Paul Jesperson had 12 points while Bennett Koch and Matt Bohannon added 10 apiece for Northern Iowa (16-12, 8-7 Missouri Valley), which bounced back after its six-game win streak was snapped in a loss to Loyola of Chicago on Wednesday.
Northern Iowa led by 14 at halftime but started the second half cold, making 2 of 9 from the field and allowing Illinois State to pull within three, 49-46, with 10:25 left.
The Panthers closed with makes on 10 of 13 attempts to stave off a Redbirds comeback.
Tony Wills had 13 points while Deontae Hawkins and Paris Lee each added 12 for Illinois State (17-11, 11-4).
Jason Pominville and Erik Haula each had a goal and two assists, and the Minnesota Wild celebrated the first outdoor game in franchise history with a 6-1 victory on Sunday over the Chicago Blackhawks.
In front of a crowd of 50,426 at TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus with an ideal faceoff temperature of 35 degrees, the Wild turned the NHL's 17th edition of open-air hockey into a romp past their postseason nemesis and primary rival.
The Blackhawks pulled goalie Corey Crawford for Scott Darling after 19 saves in two periods. Nino Niederreiter and Ryan Carter each added a goal and an assist, and Matt Dumba and Thomas Vanek also scored.
Patrick Kane ended Devan Dubnyk's shutout pursuit with his Western Conference-leading 35th goal midway through the third period. Dubnyk stopped 31 shots.
Riviera has often been called a shot-maker's course. Well, there's no greater shot-maker in golf right now than Bubba Watson, so it makes sense that he would win his second Northern Trust Open in three years.
Watson shot a three-under 68 on Sunday to beat Adam Scott and Jason Kokrak by a single stroke. It was an imaginative, creative round that included birdies on two of the final three holes and a one-handed iron from the 18th fairway.
Watson also won at Riviera in 2014 -- also finishing 15 under -- and went on to win his second Masters later that spring. He joins a group of golfers that includes Phil Mickelson, Fred Couples, Tom Watson, Sam Snead, Ben Hogan and Arnold Palmer that have multiple wins at the Northern Trust Open (formerly the L.A. Open).
Bubba finished sixth in the field in strokes gained tee to green, and maybe even more impressively, 11th in strokes gained putting. This is the Bubba way. If he's mentally locked in, he's incredibly difficult to beat. Augusta has been put on notice in another seven weeks.
Rory McIlroy briefly co-led early after an eagle at the first hole but played his next 17 holes in 6 over (including a birdie at the last) to come in T20. It means nothing long term, but that wasn't a great finishing kick from the Ulsterman.
Adam Scott finished 15th in strokes gained putting this week at Riviera. If he keeps that up, we're going to be seeing him hoisting multiple trophies this season.
Dustin Johnson played consistently well this week and finished fourth but didn't putt great as he was 28th in strokes gained putting.
Jordan Spieth missed the 13th cut of his pro career this week. It was disappointing, especially given the fact that he nearly won this event last season. He's not worried about the finish, however, and you shouldn't be, either.
"It's already done," said Spieth on Friday. "Nothing I can do about it."
As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons fell to the Sullivan Redskins by a score of 59-53 on Friday night. The Maroons were led by senior Tanner White with 18 points. He was also named as the Stephan York Country Financial representative Maroons Player of the Game.
The Redskins were led by senior Ty Molzen with 23 points.
With the loss the Maroons fall to 7-19 on the season and 2-5 in the Central Illinois Conference.
Tune in February 29, as the Maroons take on the Lincoln Railsplitters. You can hear the game live on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.
New Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman believes the school's teams have lost some of their identity over the past year of problems.
Whitman said at his introductory news conference Thursday he hopes to help restore that. He also promised a room packed with fans and staff that he plans to win.
The 37-year-old former Illinois and NFL player takes over a program that has seen football coach Tim Beckman fired over allegations he mistreated players. Women's basketball coach Matt Bollant still faces a lawsuit filed by former players over their treatment. The last AD, Mike Thomas, was fired in November.
Interim Chancellor Barbara Wilson says she knew during their first interview that Whitman should be the new AD.
Whitman will be paid $600,000 a year in base salary.
>>Wash U Says Whitman "A Winner"
Washington University in St. Louis was long known for three things: academics, academics and academics.
New Illini Athletic Director Josh Whitman changed that during his time running the school's athletic programs. While the athletic programs fared well with wins and losses, Washington University play by play voice Jay Murry says Whitman helped put them on the map.
Murry says you won't catch Whitman being behind the times.
Murry also discussed Whitman jumping from Division III athletics to big time Division I sports.
Murry says whoever made the decision to hire Whitman made the best decision in their career.
Coming off one of the most successful year ever for Illinois baseball, the Fighting Illini open the season tonight in New Orleans taking on No. 19 Tulane for the start of a three game set, and the 2016 campaign. The Illini finished with a school record, 50 wins on their way to a 50-10 overall record and a Big Ten title with a 21-1 conference record.
The Illini were elimated at Super-Regionals of the NCAA tournament last year by National runner-up Vanderbilt, who produced two top ten picks in the major league baseball draft.
The Illini will open the year with a plethora of new faces on the diamond. Seventh overall pick to the Minnesota Twin, Tyler Jay, will be the most obvious hole to fill.
Power hitting first baseman David Kerian and ace Kevin Duschene both were drafted on day of the three day MLB draft.
Additionally, last year's third baseman, Ryne Roper transfered following the Illini's postseason run.
The Illini were picked to finish fifth in the Big Ten in a number of preseason polls.
The Illini return a trio of notable role players from last year's squad, including right handed starter Cody Sedlock, who is expected to anchor the Illini starting staff.
Shortstop Adam Walton returns after hitting .289 in 2015 with three home runs and 31 RBIs. Walton was drafted in the 20th round by the Baltimore Orioles but will return to the Illini.
Catcher Jason Goldstein was drafted in the 17th round of last year's MLB draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers, however, chose to return to the Orange and Blue for his senior season.
The Illini host Penn State March 25 in their home opener and Big Ten opener. Illinois plays just four home games in the first six weeks of the season.
In year two under head coach Bo Durkac, the Illinois State Redbirds open their season this afternoon at Belmont.
The Redbirds went 27-27 last year.
The Redbirds key losses from last year's squads were Paul DeJong (INF) and Will Headen, both drafted.
The Redbirds pitching will be anchored by preseason Louisville Slugger All-American Jacob Hendren. Hendren is a lefty from LeRoy and a transfer of Heartland Community College.
The Redbirds figure to have Steve Heilenback take a larger role on the pitching staff as well.
Offensively, Illinois State will look to Joe Kelch and Daniel Dwyer to carry the offense. Kelch hit .338 last year with four home runs and 24 RBIs. Dwyer will look to improve his .292 average after having an OBP of .436 in 2015.
The Redbirds head to Eugene, Oregon to take on top-15 ranked Oregon. The Redbirds host Wisconsin-Milwaukee March 18 in their home opener and for three games.
They host Illinois March 22. Big Ten opponent Purdue comes to town April 26.
LeBron James scored 25 points and barely missed a triple-double, Kevin Love added 15 points and 15 rebounds and the Cavs looked refreshed and refocused following from the All-Star break with a 106-95 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night.
James had nine rebounds and nine assists in 35 minutes for the Cavs, who lost their first two matchups with Chicago this season.
Derrick Rose scored 28 points and Pau Gasol had 14 for the Bulls, just 5-14 since they were a season-best 10 games over .500 on Jan. 9. Chicago is currently without Jimmy Butler, Nikola Mirotic and Joakim Noah.
The Bulls were involved in a three-team trade before the NBA's 3 p.m. deadline, but it didn't involve Gasol.
Instead, Chicago sent veteran guard Kirk Hinrich to Atlanta for a future second-round pick and acquired guard Justin Holiday from Utah. The moves save the Bulls some luxury tax money but they certainly won't tilt the balance of power in the Eastern Conference.
There had been loud rumblings that Gasol would be dealt, but the veteran center is staying put and remains open to re-signing with the Bulls as a free agent this summer.
Jaden Schwartz, in his fourth game back after missing 49 with a broken ankle, scored 1:40 into overtime as the Blues beat the Los Angeles Kings 2-1 on Thursday night. It was Schwartz's third goal and the Blues are undefeated since his return.
Schwartz showed no ill effects from the injury, corralling a loose puck in front of his own net and racing the length of the ice to score on a breakaway.
Robby Fabbri scored a power-play goal in the first period for St. Louis and Brian Elliott made 34 of 35 saves as he improved to 11-3-3 since Jake Allen was injured on Jan. 8.
Tyler Toffoli scored for the Kings, who have lost three straight.
The Blues improved to 9-2-1 against teams from the Pacific Division, have won four straight and have points in their last six games.
Elliott, making a career-high 16th consecutive start, made several big saves including a sprawling glove save on Milan Lucic moments before Schwartz's goal. He is 3-0-1, with a 0.48 goals against and a 98.2 save percentage in his last four games against the Kings.
Fabbri scored on a give-and-go with Jori Lehtera with 10 seconds left in the Blues' first power play at 11:32 of the first period. The man advantage was created when Quick was called for tripping.
The Blues have scored power-play goals in five of their last six games. Fabbri (2 goals, 3 assists) has been a part of five of the Blues' last six power-play goals.
Fabbri, a rookie, got a preview of a playoff-like intensity in a game that featured 72 combined hits.
Toffoli's power-play goal early in the third tied the game 1-1.
The Packers hired Ben Sirmans this offseason to coach the team's running backs. They did not hire Ben Sirmans because he's a wordsmith.
We know this because of what happened on Thursday. On Thursday, Sirmans tried to praise overweight running back Eddie Lacy. Instead, he learned a valuable lesson about the importance of phrasing.
Sirman's says quote - "You can tell he's very hungry this year."
Hungry to improve or hungry for food? Because the latter was a problem this past year.
Earlier this month, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that the Packers want Lacy to lose 30 pounds after a lackluster 2015 campaign that saw him rush for just 758 yards. And, going back to January, head coach Mike McCarthy confirmed that Lacy was overweight.
"He's got a lot of work to do," McCarthy said, per NFL.com. "His offseason last year was not good enough and he never recovered from it. He cannot play at the weight he played at this year."
Angels first baseman Albert Pujols is recovering from offseason surgery on his right foot, and by the sounds of it, the team doesn't expect him to be in game shape by Opening Day.
Mike Cranston of the Associated Press:
Manager Mike Scioscia said Thursday the three-time NL MVP is doing some swinging but still has a lengthy recovery ahead. Coming off his first 40-home run season since 2010 with St. Louis, Pujols had surgery in November after foot pain limited him to a designated hitter role during the final month of last season.
The team's medical staff thinks Pujols won't be ready for the April 4 opener against the Chicago Cubs.
Pujols, who's entering into his age-36 season, is coming off a 2015 campaign in which he batted .244/.307/.480 (118 OPS+) with 40 home runs in 157 games. He enters 2016 with 560 career homers.
Camilo Villegas hasn't made a cut all year and has only broken 70 one time in four previous trips to Riviera, so it was mildly surprising to see him with an 8-under 63 to build a three-shot lead Thursday in the Northern Trust Open.
That wasn't the biggest surprise.
One spot from the bottom of the leaderboard was Jordan Spieth, the world's No. 1 player who shot an 8-over 79 on one of his favorite courses. It was his worst start ever as a pro, and his highest score since an 80 in the third round of the 2014 Tour Championship.
Bubba Watson, who won at Riviera two years ago with a 64-64 weekend, opened with a 66 along with Chez Reavie and Luke List.
Rory McIlroy, making his first PGA Tour start this year and his debut at Riviera, opened with two quick birdies and added two more on the front nine for a 67. He was in a large group that included 22-year-old Charlie Danielson, the Illinois senior who earned a spot in his first PGA Tour event by winning a collegiate qualifier on Monday.
Nate Mason had 18 points, six rebounds and six assists to help Minnesota get its first Big Ten win of the season with a stunning 68-63 upset of No. 6 Maryland, the Golden Gophers' first victory in more than two months.
Jordan Murphy added 17 points and 11 rebounds and Joey King had 15 points and six boards for Minnesota (7-19, 1-13), which shot just 33 percent.
Rasheed Sulaimon scored 28 points for Maryland (22-5, 10-4), which has lost consecutive games thanks to another listless performance. Melo Trimble had 10 points on 3-for-11 shooting and the Terrapins turned the ball over 15 times. They have lost two straight for the first time this season, including a sloppy home loss to Wisconsin earlier in the week.
It was Minnesota's first Big Ten regular season win since beating Michigan State on Feb. 26, 2015, and its first win of any kind since downing Chicago State on Dec. 16.
Tennessee defensive tackle Alexis Johnson has been suspended by the program after being arrested Wednesday night on charges of aggravated assault and false imprisonment, as first reported by the Knoxville News-Sentinel.
Johnson, a junior college transfer, allegedly choked the victim -- a woman he had dated previously -- after "play fighting" turned violent. A witness in the report said it also appeared that he had punched the victim and that she had a busted lip.
“We are aware of the report concerning Alexis Johnson,” said Tennessee spokesperson Ryan Roberson. “He has been suspended from all football activities. We will have no further comment at this time.”
Johnson played last season at Fort Scott Community College and signed with the Volunteers in December as a four-star juco recruit.
This is just the latest in a run of bad news coming out of Tennessee, coming just a day after former offensive lineman Mack Crowder was arrested in a "minor" sex sting and a week after a Title IX lawsuit was filed against the school for allegedly creating a "hostile sexual environment" that favors student-athletes.
As heard on 95.9 FM WEZC, the Blue Ridge Knights fell to the El Paso-Gridley Titans by a score of 61-54 points on Thursday night. The Knights were led by Lindi Balazi with 14 points and Chase Zimmerman chipped in with 13 points.
The Titans were led by Tucker Schlipf with 23 points and Payton Hayes also added 16 points.
With the loss, the Knights fall to 15-13 on the season.
The next WEZC Game of the Week broadcast will be Friday, Feb. 19 at 7:30p as the Cerro Gordo Broncos take on Okaw Valley. You can hear the game live on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.
Paris Lee scored 18 points and made four assists, MiKyle McIntosh added 14 points and Illinois State never trailed in its 78-50 win over Indiana State on Wednesday night.
The Redbirds (17-11, 11-4) have won a season-high five straight games and have their best Missouri Valley Conference start through 15 games since 1997-98.
DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell scored 12 and Deontae Hawkins added 10. The Redbirds outscored the Sycamores 32-14 in the paint and outrebounded them 46-35.
Illinois State opened with a 21-4 run and never looked back, pulling to a 44-23 halftime lead on 58.1 percent shooting behind nine points each from McIntosh and Tony Wills.
Illinois State scored 10 unanswered points and pulled further away, 70-42, in the second half while the Sycamores missed six shots over four minutes.
Khristian Smith and Everett Clemons scored 14 apiece for Indiana State (13-14, 7-8), which has lost four straight.
>>Southern Illinois Survives Bradley
Sean O'Brien had 24 points including a pair of key baskets in the final 5:10 to help Southern Illinois hold off Bradley 71-59 on Wednesday night.
Anthony Beane, after missing his first 12 attempts from the field, had back-to-back 3-pointers down the stretch that were crucial in helping the Salukis (21-7, 10-5 Missouri Valley Conference) pull away.
Bradley (4-24, 2-13) had a 12-2 run to pull within 55-52 with 5:27 left. O'Brien hit a jumper to stop the run and Beane followed with the two 3s - his only points of the night. O'Brien added a 3 to make it 66-55 with 2 minutes left.
Mike Rodriguez scored 14 points and Bola Olaniyan had 11 points and 11 rebounds for Southern Illinois.
Donte Thomas had 17 points and Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye scored 12 for the Braves. Thomas scored six during the late run that pulled Bradley within three.
>>Duke Stuns North Carolina For Big ACC Win
Grayson Allen scored 23 points and Derryck Thornton came up with the clinching block on the final play to help Duke edge No. 5 North Carolina 74-73 on Wednesday night.
Allen hit a pair of free throws with 1:09 left for the lead. Then Duke (20-6, 9-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) came up with a pair of stops in the final minute, finishing strong after trailing most of the way while North Carolina's Brice Johnson put together a huge performance.
As coach Mike Krzyzewski put it, his Blue Devils ''just hung in there.'' And by the end, a team that basically relied on five players the entire second half after losing Matt Jones to a first-half injury was the one making veteran plays on the road.
Duke got its first critical stop on a shot attempt inside in traffic by Kennedy Meeks. Then, in the final sequence, Johnson rebounded Allen's miss and UNC pushed the ball up the court for a final shot without calling timeout in the final 20 seconds.
That's when Thornton blocked Joel Berry II's hurried shot in the lane. Allen rebounded the ball and flung it into the air to let the final seconds expire, then raced with the rest of the players straight to the Duke bench to celebrate.
Johnson had 29 points and 19 rebounds for North Carolina, which came in with a decided edge in size and depth. But Johnson got little help outside of Justin Jackson's 13 points, with the Tar Heels sputtering down the stretch after leading by eight with about 7 minutes left.
Johnson got just two shot attempts in the last 13 minutes.
Duke freshmen Brandon Ingram (20 points) and Luke Kennard (15 points) had huge baskets down the stretch. Ingram, a prized recruit who passed on UNC, scored three straight baskets after the Tar Heels took their biggest lead at 68-60 with 6:49 left.
Kennard came up with a 3-pointer at the 2:39 mark for a 72-71 lead, Duke's first lead since midway through the first half.
Northern Illinois and Toledo will play next fall at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago in what will be the first football game ever played at the home of Major League Baseball's White Sox.
According to reports, the teams will play at U.S. Cellular on Wednesday, Nov. 9.
Attendance in games between the two Mid-American Conference rivals has fallen the last couple years and Northern Illinois athletic director Sean Frazier says he hopes that a game in the Chicago area where some 145,000 alumni live will draw about 30,000 fans. The field will be laid out with one end zone near the right field fence and the other end zone near the third base line.
Northern Illinois has played in Chicago before at Soldier Field.
Rookie sensation Artemi Panarin scored his first hat trick and the Chicago Blackhawks rallied to beat the New York Rangers 5-3 on Wednesday night after blowing a two-goal lead.
Andrew Desjardins and Andrew Shaw also scored and Corey Crawford made 31 saves to help Chicago hand New York its first regulation loss at home in 11 games (8-1-2).
The Blackhawks, who scored a season-high four power-play goals Monday, got three more against New York. The Rangers were miffed by a controversial late penalty that led to Panarin's go-ahead goal with 3 miunutes to play. He added an empty-net tally.
Kevin Hayes, Derick Brassard and Dan Boyle scored for New York, which rallied from a 2-0 deficit to take a 3-2 lead early in the third period.
The game marked the return of Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh after missing four games with a concussion.
With their best player likely sidelined until March and the season slipping away, the Chicago Bulls are reportedly considering selling off a couple of their major pieces.
Trending in a positive direction, the Cleveland Cavaliers could be looking to add some frontcourt help given Kevin Love's shoulder injury.
The clubs may be returning from the All-Star break with a different look Thursday night when the host Cavaliers try to avoid their third straight loss to the Bulls.
Things were looking up for Chicago (27-25) in early January when a season-high six-game winning streak had it within 2 1/2 games of Cleveland. However, the Bulls have since dropped 13 of 18, including four straight, to fall 11 back of the surging Cavs (38-14).
Making matters worse, they lost star Jimmy Butler this month for at least three weeks. Nikola Mirotic (appendix) and Joakim Noah (shoulder) are also out following surgery.
Taj Gibson does plan to play after exiting a Feb. 10 loss to Atlanta with a strained foot.
If you were wondering what could add some punch to the alleged night exhibition match between Rickie Fowler and Rory McIlroy in June of this year, you might have your answer.
According to WXYZ in Detroit, the celebrities that will join Fowler and McIlroy are Justin Timberlake and Mark Wahlberg. Both entertainers played in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am recently and are incredibly avid golfers.
WXYZ has learned Timberlake and Wahlberg will partner with the professional golfers for the June 7th event, once the details are finalized. Sources close to the event wished to remain anonymous, as the event's announcement is not yet official.
Illinois' three-month long search for a new athletic director has come to an end as the school has reportedly hired Josh Whitman from Division III Washington University in St. Louis, according to the Chicago Tribune and the Associated Press.
The Illini fired AD Mike Thomas in November following the results of an investigation into former football coach Tim Beckman's mistreatment of players. Whitman played football for Illinois from 1997 to 2000, was in the Illinois athletic department from 2005 to 2008 as coordinator of special projects and later as assistant to then AD Ron Guenther.
Whitman was the athletic director at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse for four years before taking the job at Washington University in 2014.
Illinois hired interim coach Bill Cubit to a two-year deal this offseason, so Whitman will have to make a big decision in the near future on the direction of the football program once Cubit's contract runs up after the 2017 season.
Four players scored in double-figures for Champaign St. Thomas More as they held off the Monticello Sages Tuesday night in Okaw Valley basketball action, 79-75.
Monticello's Zach Fisher led all scorers with 25 points, but it wasn't enough as the Sages led just once in the opening minutes and could not overcome the pressure defense of the Sabres, turning the ball over 16 times.
Noah Freemon added 13 points and five assists for Monticello. Isiah Florey had nine points and eight rebounds in a rare appearance in the starting lineup.
Luke Stokowski had seven points and six rebounds for the Sages. Brandon Wildman contributed seven points and five boards.
Francis Albion led St. Thomas More with 21 points off the bench and added seven rebounds. Paris Parham had 14 points. Calvin Davis and Mike Miller each added 13 points. Davis hauled in eight boards. Miller grabbed six.
David Horn added nine points, five assists and four rebounds.
The Sages fall to 15-7 overall and 5-4 in Okaw Valley play.
St. Thomas More improved to 17-8 and 7-2 in conference action.
Monticello is at St. Joseph-Ogden Friday night for their final regular season game.
Boys basketball scores from Tuesday night....
Mt. Zion 63
Decatur St. Teresa 48
St. Elmo 62
Buffalo Tri-City 58
Central A&M 70
High school girls postseason basketball scores from Tuesday....
Malcolm Hill scored 22 points and had 10 rebounds and Illinois cruised to an 82-66 victory over Rutgers on Tuesday night.
Illinois (12-14, 4-9 Big Ten) snaps a two-game skid while the Scarlet Knights (6-20, 0-13) have lost 13-straight games, all in conference play.
Maverick Morgan added 17 points and Kendrick Nunn chipped in 16 for the Fighting Illini, who used two big first-half runs to jump out to a 47-25 lead at halftime.
Illinois went on a 13-0 run early in the first half and never looked back, scoring 14 first-half points off 10 Rutgers turnovers.
Jonathan Laurent led Rutgers with 18 points and 10 rebounds, but the Scarlet Knights shot 29 percent from the 3-point range and struggled to get anything going offensively. Mike Williams and Bishop Daniels added 15 points apiece.
The Scarlet Knights were playing without leading-scorer Corey Sanders, who was dealt a two-week suspension Monday for violating team rules.
Kevin Shattenkirk scored the game-winner at 1:11 of overtime to end the Dallas Stars' four-game winning streak on Tuesday night for 2-1 St. Louis Blues win.
Brian Elliott had another strong game in net for the Blues, which has won four of five and tightened the Central Division race a bit. They're in third with 75 points, five points behind first-place Dallas.'
Jaden Schwartz got the other goal for the Blues on a fluke when a dump-in bounced off referee Kelly Sutherland's ankle at 12 seconds of the second period. The Blues have won five of six against the Central Division-leading Stars, who won in overtime at Nashville on Monday.
The Blues finished 1 for 5 on the power play while Dallas totaled just four shots on its seven unsuccessful power plays.
Mattias Janmark tied it late in regulation for Dallas. Janmark has scored in three straight games including the game-winner in overtime Monday.
Shattenkirk ripped a one-timer past Kari Lehtonen for the winner, his 10th of the season. Dallas was a man short after Jason Demers was whistled for interference with 14.1 seconds left in regulation.
Lehtonen scrambled back to the goal late after venturing out to field the puck behind the net on the goal by Schwartz.
Janmark tied it with 6:34 remaining on a shot from the side of the net after Valeri Nichushkin flubbed a shot that trickled between the legs of a defender and wide.
The Blues killed off four power plays in the scoreless first period, allowing just three shots. The Stars had no shots at even strength.
Jake Allen, out with a knee injury since Jan. 8, was a full participant in the pre-game skate but coach Ken Hitchcock again shrugged off questions about a timetable for the goalie's return.
>>Blackhawks Waive Scuderi
The Chicago Blackhawks have waived veteran defenseman Rob Scuderi according to multiple report.s The 37-year-old blueliner had appeared in 17 games with the team he was traded to Chicago by the Pittsburgh Penguins for Trevor Daley.
Though the trade was made in an effort to get Daley a change of scenery, Chicago took on a defenseman that was always going to be an ill fit for their lineup. Scuderi never managed to do much in his limited time with the Blackhawks. He averaged a mere 11:06 of ice time and registered no points.
It's hard to imagine a team claiming Scuderi, who has another year on his contract. The Penguins retained $1.125 million of his cap hit, though.
If claimed, the Blackhawks would get around $1.2 million in salary cap savings. If he doesn't, Chicago can send him to the American Hockey League and would save $950,000 against the cap (numbers via @generalfanager). Making any amount of cap room comes in handy this time of year as the trade deadline is less than two weeks away.
Chicago would be working with around $3.9 million in extra space as the deadline approaches. That's some pretty good wiggle room to fill the holes they have.
According to the Associated Press, Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler are going to go heads up in an exhibition match one week before the U.S. Open. Oh, and it will be at night and in primetime.
For the first time in more than a decade, golf is getting another primetime exhibition. Except this one will be live – under the lights. Quicken Loans is finalizing details for a match involving Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler a week before the U.S Open, a person familiar with the negotiations told the Associated Press on Monday.
The exhibition would take place at Detroit Golf Club on June 7, which is the Tuesday before the week of the U.S. Open at Oakmont.
This, of course, invokes the famous Showdown at Sherwood and Battle at Bighorn night matches from the late 1990s and early 2000s involving Tiger Woods. Those were hokey, yes, but they were also really fun. And Sergio Garcia took them a little too seriously.
McIlroy and Fowler are two of the best personalities, and as the AP noted, there could be a celebrity component which would make it even more intriguing.
Would World No. 1 Jordan Spieth get involved?
The Chicago Bears have hired Tulane head coach Curtis Johnson as their new wide receivers coach.
The Bears on Monday also hired Rutgers offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Ben McDaniels as Chicago's offensive assistant. The Bears also promoted Pierre Ngo to assistant strength and conditioning coach.
Johnson has been head coach at Tulane for the last four years. Previously, he was wide receivers coach for the New Orleans Saints from 2006-11. He also spent 22 seasons as a college wide receivers coach.
McDaniels previously was an offensive assistant with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He's also worked for the Denver Broncos.
Patrick Kane had a goal and three assists, and the Chicago Blackhawks stopped a three-game slide with a dominant 7-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night.
Andrew Shaw, Brent Seabrook, Artemi Panarin and Teuvo Teravainen each had a power-play goal, helping Chicago salvage the finale of disappointing four-game homestand.
It was the Blackhawks' first game since they lost Marian Hossa to a left leg injury, likely sidelining the veteran forward for a couple of weeks.
Scott Darling got the start in place of a resting Corey Crawford and made 35 saves, including an outstanding sprawling stop on Nick Spaling in the second period. Two of Darling's six wins this season have come against lowly Toronto.
The odds for the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship have seen some significant movement over the last month in the wake of National Signing Day.
The latest odds, courtesy of Bovada, show Ohio State as the favorite to win the title this coming season with the Buckeyes moving from 12-1 in January to 6-1. Alabama did not see a change and holds steady at 7-1 despite signing the nation's No. 1 class for the sixth year in a row.
Clemson has also not seen a change in odds, as the Tigers remain at 15-2, but they are joined by Michigan, previously 12-1, after the Wolverines had a big Signing Day.
LSU, which signed a terrific recruiting class, did not see a change in title odds and stays at 14-1, along with Oklahoma.
The biggest move up of any team in the top 10 was by Tennessee, which joins LSU and Oklahoma at 14-1, jumping up from 22-1 when first installed in January. The Vols put together an excellent signing day class and are the favorites to make the SEC Championship Game out of the SEC East despite not advancing there since 2007.
The biggest move up in the latest title odds is by Auburn, which jumps from 50-1 to 33-1 following a top-15 class brought in on National Signing Day.
The defending national title winner, Alabama, has 7-1 odds to repeat.
The second-ranked Kansas Jayhawks seized control of the game with a 30-9 run into halftime, then used a 32-11 run to finish the game for a 94-67 victory over an Oklahoma State Cowboys team that beat them by 19 just last month.
Wayne Selden Jr. led the Jayhawks (22-4, 10-3 Big 12) with 18 points. Landen Lucas had 14 points and 10 rebounds, Perry Ellis shrugged off a slow start to score 15, and Frank Mason III finished with 14 points.
Oklahoma State (12-14, 3-10) led much of the first half, fell behind by 18 early in the second, then trimmed their deficit to 62-56 with about 11 minutes to go. But that's when the Jayhawks caught fire down the stretch, pulling away for a lopsided victory over Self's alma mater.
Jeff Newberry scored 19 points and Jeffrey Carroll had 13 for the Cowboys, who again played without leading scorer Jawun Evans. The freshman has been sidelined since hurting his right shoulder Feb. 3.
The Jayhawks' lead swelled to 18 points early in the second before Oklahoma State went on a run of its own, trimming its deficit to 61-54 at the under-12 timeout. But the Jayhawks answered with a coldly efficient 10-0 to regain control, and they waltzed the rest of the way to their sixth straight win.
As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons fell to the Rantoul Lady Eagles by a score of 44-36 on Monday night. The Lady Maroons were led by senior Faythe Newberry with 11 points. Junior Tori Wilson also chipped in with 11 points and was named the Country Financial representative Maroons Player of the Game.
The Lady Eagles were led by sophomore Faith Johnson with 10 points.
With the loss the Lady Maroons fall to 12-14 overall and 3-4 in the Central Illinois Conference.
Tune in Friday, February 19, as the Maroons take on Sullivan. You can hear the game live on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.
>>Bloomington Central Catholic Beat Monticello at GBB Sectionals
The Bloomington Central Catholic Saints used a 19-5 third quarter to overcome the Monticello Lady Sages in girls 2A Sectional basketball action Monday night.
Trailing 25-21 at the half, the Saints used a 17-2 run and never relinquished the lead as they move on the Monticello Sectional Championship game Thursday night.
The Lady Sages opened up with a nine point advantage in the first quarter and controlled most of the first half.
Monticello was led by Zanna Myers ten points and eight rebounds. Emma Reeder and Jenna Prather had eight apiece.
Claire Caldwell had nine rebounds to lead the Lady Sages.
Central Catholic was led by Sydney Shanks 18 points. Lexi Davis added 11.
MiKyle McIntosh scored 14 points and Illinois State beat Bradley 75-60 on Sunday.
McIntosh was 8 of 11 from the line for Illinois State (16-11, 10-4 Missouri Valley), which retains second place in the conference. DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell scored 13 points, Deontae Hawkins had 11 points and Paris Lee added 10. Illinois State shot nearly 55 percent from the field.
The Redbirds closed the first half with a 12-4 run to lead 39-26 at the break.
Bradley chipped away, and Ronnie Suggs' 3-pointer 5½ minutes into the second half drew the Braves to within one, at 43-42. But Illinois State responded with a nine-point surge and Bradley didn't challenge down the stretch.
Suggs led Bradley (4-23, 2-12) with 16 points. Luuk van Bree scored 14 points and Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye added 11. Donte Thomas grabbed 10 rebounds.
Brian Elliott is proving his worth to the St. Louis Blues.
The veteran goaltender delivered another strong performance in relief the injured Jake Allen, stopping 37 shots Sunday night to help the Blues end Tampa Bay's nine-game home winning streak with a 2-1 victory over the Lightning.
Robby Fabbri and Patrik Berglund scored on breakaways for the Blues, who finished a sweep of a quick two-game road trip to Florida. The team has earned points in eight of its last nine road games,- and Elliott is one of the reasons why.
Fabbri scored his 13th goal, beating Ben Bishop with a perfectly-placed shot less than a minute into the second period. Berglund made it 2-0 at 17:41 of the third, scoring unassisted when his shot caromed off Bishop's pads before glancing off Berglund's skate into the net. Officials initially ruled no goal, but overturned the decision after a video review determined the Blues' center did not intentionally kick the puck.
Kucherov scored his team-leading 23rd goal for the Lightning with 52 seconds remaining. Elliott had 15 saves in the third period.
>>Blackhawks' Hossa To Injured Reserve
The Chicago Blackhawks have placed Marian Hossa on injured reserve and recalled center Vincent Hinostroza from Rockford of the American Hockey League.
Hossa was hurt when he was hit by Anaheim defenseman Hampus Lindholm on his lower left leg in the second period of Chicago's 3-2 loss Saturday night. The 37-year-old winger, sitting on 496 career goals, had to be helped off the ice and went straight to the locker room.
Hinostroza, 21, made his NHL debut on Oct. 17. The Chicago-area native has no points in four games with the Blackhawks this season.
The Blackhawks host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night.
Kobe Bryant finished with 10 points, so few that he lost his career lead in All-Star scoring to LeBron James.
But Russell Westbrook scored 31 points in his second straight All-Star MVP performance and Curry added 26 - the final three on a 42-footer. Anthony Davis had 24 on 12-for-13 shooting and Kevin Durant chipped in 23.
Paul George finished with 41 for the East, tying Westbrook's total from last year in New York that was one off Wilt Chamberlain's record. John Wall added 22 points.
Chris Paul finished with 14 points and 16 assists and is the leader in All-Star assists per game. DeMar DeRozan scored 18 points for the East and Kyle Lowry had 14 points and 10 assists as both Raptors played well in front of their home crowd.
James finished with 13 points, just enough to move ahead of Bryant for most ever in the All-Star Game. James has 291, while Bryant, who is retiring after this season, leaves with 290.
He checked out with 1:06 left to cheers and hugs from his fellow All-Stars who now put up points in bunches the way Bryant did for so long.
Bryant had seven assists and six rebounds, but shot 4 for 11 in a game where there isn't really much defense and had never been less. The 369 combined points were 48 more than last year's record, and both clubs blew away the previous individual team record of 163.
National Signing Day wasn't even two weeks ago, which means that coaches are now giving their full attention to the 2017 class when it comes to recruiting. Now, as is often the case after signing day, the idea of having an earlier signing period is being floated.
Simply put, some coaches wonder why players who want to commit should have to wait until February to sign with their school. Ohio State's Urban Meyer is not one of them.
Meyer told Cleveland.com quote - “You're moving it just forward and forward, what if a kid wants to change his mind? (If) he wants to change his mind because of coaching changes or other circumstances, the player should be allowed to change his mind.”
>>Alabama Gets WR Transfer
Bowling Green wide receiver Gehrig Dieter is moving on to Alabama.
The receiver announced via his Twitter account Saturday that he'll be transferring to Alabama to finish his college career after graduating from Bowling Green in May.
This is a nice pickup for Alabama, as Dieter had quite a season with Bowling Green in 2015. The 6-foot-3 wideout caught 94 passes for 1,044 yards and 10 touchdowns.
While Calvin Ridley and ArDarius Stewart will continue to be Alabama's big-play options next year, odds are that the Tide hopes Dieter -- a MaxPreps All-American in high school -- can step in and fill the shoes of Richard Mullaney, which is somewhat ironic considering that Mullaney himself was a graduate transfer from Oregon State.
Since he's graduating in May, Dieter will not have to sit out the 2016 season. He has one year of eligibility remaining.
Jarrod Uthoff was held scoreless for nearly 17 minutes to open the game, but finished with 24 points, 15 rebounds and six blocked shots to help the fourth-ranked Hawkeyes hold off skidding Minnesota 75-71 on Sunday.
Peter Jok scored 27 points to lead the Hawkeyes (20-5, 11-2), who rebounded from Thursday's loss at Indiana to regain sole possession of first place in the Big Ten.
Nate Mason had 14 points for Minnesota, which has lost 14 straight games. The Gophers (6-19, 0-13) extended their worst start ever in conference play.
Minnesota cut Iowa's lead to 66-64 on two free throws by Joey King with 2:58 remaining, but the Gophers went 2 for 8 from the field in the final 2 minutes.
Anthony Clemmons added 12 points for the Hawkeyes.
Dupree McBrayer had 12 points for Minnesota. Jordan Murphy scored 11.
Vaughn Taylor has played in 288 PGA Tour events. He hasn't won a single one since he took the Reno-Tahoe Open in August 2005. That's 11 years, if you're scoring at home. Last week, he withdrew from a Web.com event in Colombia. He withdrew from a Web.com event last week. Taylor has no status on either tour and was playing the Pebble Beach Pro-Am because he's a past champion on the PGA Tour. Another lifetime ago.
On Sunday, he took down Phil Mickelson with a 17-under 270.
Taylor closed with a 65 on Sunday that included improbable birdies at Nos. 13, 14, 15 and 16. It took a missed Phil Mickelson 5-footer on the final hole before he could breathe easy, but then the tears flowed.
Jordan Spieth could only muster a 280 this week and tied for 21st with PGA Tour stalwarts such as Bronson Burgoon and Spencer Levin.
As heard on 92.3 FM WHOW, the Clinton Maroons fall to the Meridian Hawks by a score of 57-54 on Friday night. The Maroons were led by Stephan York Country Financial Player of the Game Jr. Peyton McCubbin with 20 points. Sophomore Austin Baker added 12 points and Sr. Jacob Overton also chipped in with 11 points.
The Hawks were led by Layne Kircher with 18 points and Judah Renfro added 16 points.
With the loss the Maroons fall to 7-18 on the season.
Tune in Friday, Feb.19 at 7:30p as the Maroons take on Sullivan. You can hear the game live on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.
The Clinton Maroons and Monticello Sages are back in action tonight.
The Clinton Maroons are home to host the Meridian Hawks in Central Illinois Conference action at Clinton High School.
The Maroons are currently 7-17 overall and 2-3 in conference play while Meridian enters tonight's action at 14-10 and 3-2 in conference.
Hear tonight's game on 92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.
Monticello will be playing their final home game of 2015-16, so the seniors of this year's squad will be honored.
The Sages enter the night 14-6 overall and are 4-3 in the Okaw Valley.
Monticello will host Maroa-Forsyth. Hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.
>>Girls Basketball Regional Finals Scores
Girls basketball teams across central Illinois took astep closer to the ultimate prize of getting to Bloomington for the IHSA state tournament. Here's a look at the Regional final scores across the area.
At Decatur St. Teresa
Decatur St. Teresa 33 F-OT
Central A & M 53
Bloomington Central Catholic 51
Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 21
Nick Banyard had a career-high 18 points as Illinois State used a strong second half to beat Evansville 70-60 on Thursday night as the Redbirds won the battle for second place in the Missouri Valley Conference standings.
Illinois State (15-11, 9-4) shocked No. 21 Wichita State 58-53 on Saturday. The Redbirds are three games back of the Shockers in the conference.
Trailing 30-29 at the break, Illinois State's Tony Wills and DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell opened the second period with back-to-back treys for a 35-32 lead. The Redbirds pushed that to 58-45 with 5:52 left.
Akoon-Purcell had 14 points, Paris Lee, who had a career-high 19 points in the Wichita State win, finished with 12 and MiKyle McIntosh added 11 for Illinois State.
D.J. Balentine led Evansville (19-7, 8-5) with 19 points. Egidiju Mockevicius had 16 points and 10 rebounds and Adam Wing chipped in 11 points.
Patrick Eaves scored three of Dallas' four goals in the first period, and the Stars avenged an ugly home loss to the Chicago Blackhawks with a 4-2 victory on Thursday night.
Eaves' second career hat trick helped Dallas to its fifth win in six games and moved the Stars within one of the Blackhawks for the most points in the Western Conference. Dallas' lone loss during the strong stretch was a 5-1 rout for visiting Chicago on Saturday night.
John Klingberg added a goal and an assist for Dallas. Kari Lehtonen made 19 of his 44 saves in the third period, including a point-blank stop on Andrew Shaw with Chicago threatening to pull within one with about eight minutes left.
>>2017 Draft To Be in Chicago
The 2017 NHL draft is coming to the home of the Chicago Blackhawks.
Commissioner Gary Bettman made the announcement at the United Center on Thursday. It is the first time hosting the draft for the Blackhawks, something Bettman said was a complete surprise to him.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel said no public money will be used to finance the event, and it will have a huge economic impact on the city. He said it will be similar approach to the one for the NFL draft, which will be held in Chicago this year for the second straight year.
The 2016 NHL draft is in Buffalo from June 24-25.
The league says ticket distribution plans and other details for the draft will be announced later.
Justin Rose, a U.S. Open champion and the No. 7 player in the world, shot a 6-under 66 his first time playing Spyglass Hill and spent a gorgeous day listening to the fans call out his name. Except they weren't calling for him, and he knew it.
His partner in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am is Justin Timberlake.
Rose still did OK himself Thursday.
He got off to a strong start is his debut at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, where Chez Reavie had the low score at a tournament that needs three days to sort out because of the variety of courses.
Reavie made an eagle on the 16th hole and shot 8-under 63 at Monterey Peninsula, which played just more than 1 1/2 strokes under par and was the easiest of the three courses. Freddie Jacobson made five birdies in a six-hole stretch and shot 7-under 65 at Pebble Beach, the only course to play over par (72.06) on Thursday.
Cameron Smith of Australia and Bronson Burgoon each had a 7-under 64 at Monterey Peninsula.
Rose is among six players from the top 10 in the world, and the only one of them to break 70.
Jordan Spieth, the No. 1 player in the world, chipped poorly by his standards and three times failed to get up-and-down for birdies on the par 5s at Spyglass Hill. He opened with a 71, along with PGA champion Jason Day. Dustin Johnson had a 70 at Spyglass, while Bubba Watson had a 73. Patrick Reed had a 72.
Basketball didn't matter much to Kevin Durant on Thursday night.
Thunder assistant coach Monty Williams' wife, Ingrid, was involved in a car crash Tuesday night in Oklahoma City and died Wednesday. Monty Williams coached the Pelicans last season before coming to Oklahoma City to help new coach Billy Donovan, so as his two most recent teams met, both played with heavy hearts. A moment of silence was observed before the Thunder's 121-95 victory.
Donovan wasn't sure how his team would deal with all that happened. Durant scored 23 points, Russell Westbrook had 23 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds, and Serge Ibaka added 18 points.
Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday each scored 23 points for the Pelicans. Davis, who was emotional on Twitter after learning of the death, still was disappointed in the way the Pelicans played.
Oklahoma City has won 14 of 16 heading into the All-Star break to join Golden State and San Antonio as the only teams with at least 40 wins.
College football replay is headed to where professional sports has already gone: Collaborative replay with people weighing in from a command center.
The NCAA Football Rules Committee on Thursday voted to allow conferences to experiment with people offsite assisting in making all replay decisions in 2016. Conferences will have the choice to potentially pool their best replay officials in one central location to help the replay official at the stadium.
The SEC proposed the experimental rule after its coaches demanded collaborative replay, and national officiating coordinator Rogers Redding said he expects the SEC will use it in 2016. Redding declined to say which other conferences will experiment. The ACC and Big 12 said they will evaluate the rule to determine if they will do the experiment next season.
The experiment could allow replay to become more consistent if the same small number of high-qualified replay officials weigh in on decisions. They could provide advice on better angles to look at or interpretations of the rule. A lack of training in replay has been a roadblock toward consistency.
Montel James scored 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds as Loyola of Chicago beat Bradley 54-43 on Wednesday night.
Milton Doyle added 10 points, Donte Ingram had eight points and Devon Turk had seven points for the Ramblers (12-13, 5-8 Missouri Valley Conference) who hit 19 of 51 (37.3 percent) from the field overall. The Braves (4-22, 2-11) managed just 17 of 59 (29.3 percent) and have lost seven of their last eight.
The Ramblers took a 12-4 lead midway through the first half and never trailed on their way to a 25-18 advantage at the break.
James hit a jumper and a dunk back-to-back early in the second half to extend the Ramblers lead to 32-21 with 15:02 to play. Bradley closed it to 48-43 with 1:22 remaining but did not score after that.
Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye scored 18 points for the Braves.
Jeff Teague had 17 points and eight assists, Al Horford scored 16 and the Atlanta Hawks routed the struggling Chicago Bulls 113-90 on Wednesday night.
Dennis Schroder had 18 points and hit three of his team's 13 3-pointers. Paul Millsap scored 15, and the Southeast Division leaders headed into the All-Star break on a winning note after back-to-back losses to last-place Orlando.
The Hawks led by five at halftime and broke it open in the third quarter, sending the sloppy Bulls to their fourth straight loss and 13th in 18 games.
Pau Gasol had 20 points and 10 rebounds for Chicago after being selected Tuesday to his sixth All-Star team as a replacement for injured Bulls teammate Jimmy Butler.
Ozzie Guillen, who led the Chicago White Sox to the 2005 World Series title, has been hired to manage the La Guaira Sharks of the Venezuelan Winter League next offseason.
The 52-year-old, who was born in Ocumare del Tuy, has not had a managing job since the Miami Marlins fired him in 2012 at the end of his first season.
La Guaira team president Francisco Arocha and vice president Antonio Jose Herrera said in a statement Wednesday that hiring Guillen "has been an aspiration of ours since we acquired the team in 2004."
The Tiburones (Sharks) said they considered renewing the contract of Buddy Bailey, who had managed the team for the past two seasons.
"During the Caribbean Series in the Dominican Republic we had an opportunity to talk to Oswaldo, and both Francisco and I felt that in life there are opportunities that you can't let pass by," Herrera said.
Guillen managed White Sox from 2004-11 and was voted AL Manager of the Year in 2005, when Chicago won its first Series title since 1917.
Henrik Lundqvist stopped 34 shots for his third shutout of the season and 58th of his career, guiding the New York Rangers past the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-0 on Wednesday night.
Lundqvist has won nine of his last 12 starts and allowed two goals or fewer in 13 of his last 18 appearances, helping the Rangers win again without captain Ryan McDonagh and eight-time 30-goal scorer Rick Nash.
Kevin Hayes, Dominic Moore and Jesper Fast scored for the Rangers, who won their fourth straight, and fifth in six games. The Rangers have at least one point in 14 of their last 20 games.
Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, who didn't record a shot on goal, failed to extend a career-high, seven-game goal-scoring streak and an 11-game run of 12 goals and 22 points during that span.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 19 saves for the Penguins, whose six-game home win streak ended.
The Monticello Sages shot 61% from the field Tuesday night and routed the Unity Rockets 84-46 in Okaw Valley Conference basketball action.
The Sages shot 67% in the first half and led 52-28 at the half.
Zach Fisher led the Sages with 21 points in just 18 minutes of action. Calvin Fisher finished with 12 poitns. Jarron Roy and Sutton Witterbottom added ten points apiece as ten Sages logged double-digit minutes on the floor.
Monticello dominated in the paint, outscoring Unity 32-20 and forced 16 Rockets turnovers into 27 points, while committing only six turnovers.
Jared Shotton led unity with 13 points.
The Rockets drop to 12-12 overall and are just 1-6 in Okaw Valley Conference action.
Monticello is 14-6 overall and 4-3 in Okaw play.
The Sages are at home Friday night for senior night hosting Maroa-Forsyth. Hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.
Scores in central Illinois basketball action from Tuesday...
Martin Jones made 33 saves for his fifth shutout and Patrick Marleau scored a power-play goal in the second period to lead the San Jose Sharks past the Chicago Blackhawks 2-0 on Tuesday night.
Joe Thornton added a long empty-netter with 1:42 left.
Marleau's goal, on the Sharks' only man advantage, ended his six-game drought and was just his second in his last 17. But it was all the offense San Jose needed to improve to 18-8-2 on the road, best in the Western Conference.
The Sharks, who ended Chicago's three-game winning streak, are 10-2-2 in their last 14.
Jones rebounded to earn his 12th career shutout after allowing five goals on 29 shots in a 6-2 loss at Nashville on Saturday. He is 9-2-1 in his last 12 starts and 16-5-2 on the road.
>>Winnipeg Tops St. Louis in Shootout
Mark Scheifele scored the lone shootout goal in the fourth round, his first in four career attempts, and the Winnipeg Jets pulled out a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night.
Dustin Byfuglien had an assist a day after signing a $38 million, five-year contract extension with the Jets, who are 4-0-1 in their last five on the road, including a victory at Colorado on Saturday.
Brian Elliott made 32 saves in regulation and overtime for the Blues, held to one goal or none in five of their last six games. Colton Parayko ended a 20-game goal drought in the second period for St. Louis, which is in third in the Central with 69 points - 18 ahead of Winnipeg.
Elliott's glove save on Blake Wheeler was perhaps the top play of a scoreless first period, but the goalie couldn't handle a high rebound and paid for it when Little had a tap-in to put the Jets in front 15 seconds into the second.
Scheifele has 12 goals on the season and has a point in all five games since missing 11 of 14 games with injuries. He scored on a high drive in the shootout after Elliott made pad saves on Wheeler, Andrew Ladd and Little.
>>Blues, Blackhawks Could Play in 2017 Winter Classic
The 2017 Winter Classic could be headed to Busch Stadium in St. Louis, according to a report on Saturday evening from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The NHL has yet to announce its schedule of outdoor games for the 2016-17 season (something it has usually done by this point) but rumored matchups are already starting to leak out with Friday's report of a potential Penguins-Flyers matchup leading the way.
Now comes word out of St. Louis that the league is finalizing discussions to send an outdoor game to the city and that the St. Louis Cardinals are expecting to host an outdoor game on Jan. 2.
According to the report the Chicago Blackhawks could be the Blues' opponent in the outdoor game, which would be their fifth outdoor game, more than any other team in the NHL.
Including this year's upcoming outdoor game Colorado, the Blackhawks have played in two Winter Classics and two Stadium Series games, hosting one of each. They have played in one outdoor game in each of the past three seasons, and if they participate in one next year it would make four in a row.
>>Blues Pietrangelo Out At Least Three Weeks
Blues defensemen had to shoulder a heavier load in their first game without Alex Pietrangelo, out at least three weeks with a right knee injury. Pietrangelo is fourth in the NHL averaging 26:40 on the ice per game, and Kevin Shattenkirk stepped up with 27:54 against Winnipeg.
Mat Latos has agreed to a $3 million, one-year contract with the Chicago White Sox, giving manager Robin Ventura another option for the back end of his rotation.
The team announced the deal on Tuesday. ESPN was first to report the agreement.
Latos had consecutive 14-win seasons with Cincinnati in 2012 and 2013, but the 6-foot-6 right-hander hasn't been able to duplicate that success in recent years. He played for the Marlins, Dodgers and Angels last season, finishing with a 4-10 record and a 4.95 ERA.
His fastball velocity dipped to 92-93 mph for most of last season, down from 93-96 in 2012.
Steph Curry had 35 points, nine assists and six rebounds, and the Warriors put away the Houston Rockets in the fourth quarter of a 123-110 victory Tuesday night.
Andrew Bogut added 13 points, 11 rebounds, three steals and a season-high six blocked shots - three in the fourth - during one of his best games yet.
Andre Iguodala and Harrison Barnes hit consecutive 3-pointers to start the fourth quarter to get the defending champions going after the game was tied at 93 after the third.
Golden State won its 42nd straight regular-season home game and is 24-0 at Oracle Arena this season. The Warriors are within two home victories of matching the Chicago Bulls' NBA-record home winning streak of 44 games from March 30, 1995 to April 4, 1996.
The Rockets lost for the fourth time in six road games.
James Harden overcame a scoreless first quarter to finish with 37 points, five assists and five rebounds in Houston's eighth straight loss to Golden State.
Kemba Walker scored 30 points as the Hornets led from the start and bet the Chicago Bulls 108-91 on Monday night.
Charlotte (25-25) reached the .500 mark for the first time since it was 17-17 on Jan. 4 in the midst of losing seven straight and nine out of 10.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist added 20 points and Spencer Hawes scored 13 for Charlotte, which led by as many as 25 points in handing the Bulls their third straight loss.
Pau Gasol finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds for Chicago, which was missing three of its leading scorers to injuries: Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler and Nikola Mirotic.
Chicago managed to cut Charlotte's lead to 90-78 on McDermott's 3-pointer with 6:53 left in the fourth quarter. But the Hornets responded with an 8-2 run, and led by at least 13 points the rest of the game.
Chicago shot just 35 percent (16 of 46) over the first two quarters, allowing Charlotte to build a double-digit lead early. The Hornets hit seven of their first nine shots to go up 17-6 on Batum's 3-pointer with 7:07 left.
Chicago pulled to 50-36 on Kirk Hinrich's 3 with 3:55 left. The Bulls then closed out the half down 15 thanks to Gasol's buzzer-beating 3-pointer.
Doug McDermott had 14 points, E'Twaun Moore 12 and Taj Gibson 11.
>>Knicks Fire Derek Fisher
The New York Knicks have fired Derek Fisher just a few days before the All-Star break. Ken Berger confirmed reports of Fisher being ousted from the Knicks' coaching position this morning as Kurt Rambis will take over as interim coach. The team announced the firing Monday morning.
In just his second season as the Knicks coach, Fisher and his staff have coached the Knicks to a 23-31 roster, which was a vast improvement over the disaster that happened at Madison Square Garden on a nightly basis last season. But apparently that's not enough for Phil Jackson and James Dolan, as the Knicks have fallen off course lately and dropped from competing for a spot in the East playoffs to now sitting 12th in the East and five games behind the 8-seed.
Now that the New York Knicks have fired Derek Fisher, the next order of business for Phil Jackson is finding a long-term replacement. You need to find a candidate with a big name to placate the demanding aspects of the New York fan base and the New York Media, while also bringing in a good enough coach to keep the Knicks moving in the right direction. And Tom Thibodeau, the best coach on the market right now, is someone who meets the criteria.
According to Ian O'Connor of ESPN, not only is Tom Thibodeau a huge fan of Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, but the Knicks' job is also the gig he's always wanted. This would seemingly make the Knicks pursuing Thibodeau a no-brainer.
There were times during Carmelo's recent free agency when it seemed like the Chicago Bulls, coached by Thibodeau, would be a prime destination for him. The coach wanted Anthony as a star next to Jimmy Butler, and it would've helped ease the possibility of Derrick Rose not returning to form any time soon, if at all.
Thibodeau was an assistant coach for the Knicks from 1996 under Jeff Van Gundy until 2003 when Don Chaney had replaced Van Gundy for the final season and a half.
Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves and the Rangers posted their first three-game winning streak since November with a 2-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Monday night.
What made the win so impressive was that New York turned in one of its top performances in a long time despite playing without captain Ryan McDonagh (concussion) and forward Rick Nash (bone bruise).
Kevin Klein, who broke a thumb last week, scored for the first time in 28 games and the streaking J.T. Miller scored for the ninth time in 10 games while the Rangers beat the Devils for the first time in three games this season.
Cory Schneider made 35 saves for New Jersey, which lost its third straight (0-1-2). Travis Zajac scored a short-handed goal with 2:17 left to spoil Lundqvist's shutout bid.
This win was New York's fifth straight victory at Madison Square Garden, and the Rangers are 7-3 in their last 10 overall.
Buddy Hield scored 12 of his 27 points in the final 3:11, including two 3-pointers.
Hield's 3-pointer from the left wing with 1.3 seconds remaining lifted No. 3 Oklahoma to a 63-60 victory over No. 24 Texas.
Isaiah Cousins added 17 points for the Sooners (20-3, 8-3 Big 12), who trailed for most of the game. Oklahoma bounced back from a loss at Kansas State on Saturday that cost it the No. 1 ranking. The Sooners beat the Longhorns for the sixth straight time and increased their home winning streak to 19 games.
Isaiah Taylor scored 19 points and Kendal Yancy added a season-high 13 for Texas (16-8, 7-4), which had won four straight and seven of eight. The Longhorns entered the Top 25 for the first time this season earlier Monday.
>>Villanova No. 1 in AP Poll, Coaches Poll
It seems like history or something very notable is being introduce to the men's Division I AP poll every week.
The latest release has the Villanova Wildcats atop the rankings, marking the first time in the history of the program this has happened. The team right on Nova's heels, Maryland, also has never been No. 1. So if Maryland wins this week but Nova doesn't, we'll be right back here with a history-marking poll in seven days.
VU's jump was made possible because of losses by Oklahoma and UNC on Saturday. The Sooners and Heels fell to unranked teams, marking the first time in a decade No. 1 and No. 2 fell on the same day to programs outside the top 25. Villanova took 32 out of 65 first-place votes. Maryland receieved 13. Iowa had 11 voters claim it to be No. 1. Oklahoma, despite losses in consecutive weeks, still received seven first-place votes, while Kansas and Virginia each received one vote for the top spot.
Villanova's next game comes on Tuesday at DePaul. Maryland is home to Bowie State on Tuesday, but Bowie State is not a Division I school. The Terps' next game in Big Ten play is on Saturday at home against Wisconsin.
Villanova is your new No. 1 team in the country in this week's coaches poll, receiving only 11 of the possible 32 first-place votes in the poll. Behind the Wildcats is Maryland at No. 2, who also garnered 11 first-place votes. Overall, seven different teams had first-place votes in this week's poll. There is no clear No. 1 in college hoops this season folks. It's going to be a bumpy ride to the end.
Behind the top two, Oklahoma is No. 3, followed by Xavier sitting at No. 4 -- a new program high for the Musketeers -- and Iowa at No. 5.
Two teams fell out of the poll this week, as well. Louisville dropped from No. 18 to out, as teams that are ineligible for the postseason are ineligible for this poll (although, that didn't stop the Cardinals from getting 12 votes). Also, Saint Mary's dropped out of the rankings following a loss to BYU.
Replacing them in the standings were USC, who is now at No. 23, and Texas at No. 25. The rise of the Longhorns this season is a pretty fun one, given that they were 9-6 following a road loss to TCU a month ago. However, they have ripped off seven wins in their last eight games under Shaka Smart, including victories over Iowa State, Baylor and West Virginia to push their record to 16-7 overall and only one game out of the Big 12 conference title race.
Von Miller and the impenetrable Denver Broncos defense harassed Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton all game Sunday, and the Broncos made enough big plays for a 24-10 victory, Manning's 200th and perhaps his last before retirement.
Emulating his Broncos boss, John Elway, the 39-year-old Manning can ride off with the Lombardi Trophy after leading Denver to its third NFL title, first since 1999 - when Elway was the quarterback.
Denver's suffocating defense kept Newton jittery all day. Despite wearing gold shoes before the golden Super Bowl, Newton couldn't finish off a dynamic season in which he was the league's MVP. Miller twice stripped him, once for a touchdown, the second time setting up a clinching TD. Denver's top-ranked defense, the one that ran roughshod over Tom Brady in the AFC championship, simply wouldn't let Newton get comfortable.
Newton was sacked six times - receiver Ted Ginn Jr., went down once on an aborted trick play - and if Miller wasn't torturing him, DeMarcus Ware was. Ware had two of the seven sacks, equaling the most by one team in the Super Bowl.
Carolina led the league with 500 points but was held to its fewest of the year, and Denver set an ignominious mark with 194 yards gained, the fewest for a Super Bowl winner.
Manning finished 13 for 23 for 141 yards against a strong Carolina (17-2) defense that just couldn't match Miller and company.
The Cubs and ace Jake Arrieta avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $10.7 million contract for 2016. As CBS Chicago notes, that's the highest-ever single-season contract for a pitcher with four years of MLB service time.
Arrieta is coming off a Cy Young-winning campaign in 2015 in which he pitched to a 1.77 ERA (222 ERA+) and 4.92 K/BB ratio in 229 innings for the 97-win Cubs. For his career, he owns an ERA+ of 108.
Arrieta, who'll turn 30 next month, is slated for free agency following the 2017 season. Obviously, working out a long-term contract with the Cubs before that point is a distinct possibility. Coming into 2016, Arrieta had earned a little more than $5.5 million in career salary.
In 2016, Arrieta will front a Chicago rotation that also includes Jon Lester, John Lackey, Jason Hammel, and Kyle Hendricks.
Matt Niskanen scored a goal that wowed the Washington Capitals' bench, and Alex Ovechkin scored an atypical goal that put him in elite company in hockey history.
Behind a highlight-reel goal from Niskanen and Ovechkin's 30th of the season, the Capitals came back to beat the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 in their traditional Super Bowl Sunday matchup. Ovechkin joined Wayne Gretzky and Mike Gartner as the only players in NHL history to score 30 or more goals in his first 11 seasons.
Ovechkin deflected Karl Alzner's point shot with his stick in front of Flyers goaltender Steve Mason for his 30th in his 49th game of the season.
Five minutes into the third period, Niskanen went end to end, carving through Flyers defenders Michael Del Zotto and Shayne Gostisbehere before beating Mason short side.
Mason stopped 27 of the 30 shots he faced.
Goaltender Braden Holtby made eight of his 33 saves on the penalty kill.
Oregon announced on Friday that running back Thomas Tyner is retiring from football. According to coach Mark Helfrich, the reasons for Tyner's retirement are injuries he suffered that caused him to miss the 2015 season.
Helfrich said in a statement quote- “We will continue to support his efforts to graduate from the University of Oregon.”
It was reported in August that Tyner would miss the 2015 season to undergo surgery on his shoulder. The injury originally occurred in an Oregon game against Washington during the 2014 season. Tyner had been experiencing "lingering pain and discomfort" in the shoulder.
Tyner was a much-hyped recruit when he came to Oregon as an in-state product from Aloha High School. He was not only a five-star running back in the 2013 recruiting class but the No. 1 running back in the entire country that year.
In his freshman season with the Ducks, Tyner rushed for 711 yards and nine touchdowns. As a sophomore, he rushed for 573 yards and five touchdowns but dealt with injuries that cost him most or all of five games that season, including the shoulder injury that led to him missing the 2015 season.
Chris Paul had the worst possible start to his shooting day.
His finish, however, was perfect.
Paul's consecutive 3-pointers in the final minutes were daggers to a Miami comeback, and his game-high 22 points helped the Los Angeles Clippers hang on to beat the Heat 100-93 on Sunday.
J.J. Redick scored 14 points, Wesley Johnson had 10 and DeAndre Jordan and Cole Aldrich grabbed 11 rebounds each for the Clippers, who won despite a 1-for-15 start from the field and swept the two-game season series with Miami.
Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic all scored 17 points for Miami. Luol Deng added 15 points for the Heat, and Hassan Whiteside finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.
Paul was 0 for 7 in the opening period, the worst one-quarter shooting performance of his NBA career, and was 0 for 9 before he finally got a shot to fall. But his 3-pointers in the fourth snuffed out a Miami rally, and his lob that set up Jordan for a dunk was the clincher for the Clippers - who, after that horrid start, shot 55 percent the rest of the way.
Redick made a layup on the game's first possession and the Clippers proceeded to misfire on their next 14 shots, but recovered to win for the 11th time in their last 13 road games, most of that with Blake Griffin sidelined by injuries.
Hideki Matsuyama put on a tremendous display of ball-striking all week at TPC Scottsdale, and it paid off Sunday with a win in a four-hole playoff over Rickie Fowler. Matsuyama, who has three top-five finishes in as many trips to the event, led the field in strokes gained from tee-to-green and greens in regulation on the week.
Matsuyama and Fowler both put on a great show in the playoff, with both players making clutch putts and hitting monster drives. Fowler blinked first, pulling one into the water on the fourth playoff hole, which gave Matsuyama the opening he needed to win.
Matsuyama's played the Phoenix Open three times. He now has a T4, T2 and a win. He finally broke through for a win in Phoenix and did so in impressive fashion. He watched Fowler pipe three massive drives on 18 at the end of regulation play and then matched him shot for shot in the playoff.
His putting was very solid in crunch time, which is the part of his game that tends to give him the biggest problems. His putt on 18 at the end of regulation to help force a playoff was as pure as it gets.
Fowler was in cruise control through 15 holes of the final round. He was bogey-free and held a two-shot lead over Matsuyama. Fowler stiffed his tee shot on the par-3 16th, and after Matsuyama missed his birdie putt, he had a chance to go up two strokes. He missed that putt to the left and then hit a driver over the green on 17 (360 yards) to go in the hazard leading to his first bogey of the round.
In the playoff, the 17th bit him again as Fowler hooked a 5-wood into the water.
Fowler looked terrific for 20-of-22 holes on Sunday, but his two bogeys on 17 were enough to derail the rest of his excellent play.
It was a pretty good week for Phil Mickelson, who finished 8 under for the tournament. He fired his 10th 65 of his Phoenix Open career on Saturday to make a run up the leaderboard but couldn't make enough putts over the course of the week to really get into contention.
The most trying season of Peyton Manning's storied career could end up being his most rewarding. After 18 years in the NFL, it might also be his last.
For Cam Newton, his breakout fifth season may have signaled he's ready to take the torch from a guy like Manning and become one of the league's next great quarterbacks.
Though the imposing defenses of Manning's Denver Broncos and Newton's Carolina Panthers expect to play significant roles, the outcome of Super Bowl 50 could very well be determined by two stars - drafted No. 1 overall 13 years apart - at the opposite ends of their careers on Feb. 7 in Santa Clara, California.
The Panthers defense that led the NFL with 39 takeaways and forced seven of its nine postseason turnovers in a 49-15 rout of Arizona in the NFC title game.
The favorite to win his first MVP award, Newton went 30-31-1 in four seasons before setting career highs for touchdown passes (35) and passer rating (99.4). The 6-foot-5, 245-pound former Heisman Trophy winner threw a career-low 10 interceptions and rushed for 636 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Newton threw two touchdowns but was intercepted twice and sacked seven times while Manning totaled 301 yards through the air to win their only previous meeting, 36-14 at Carolina on Nov. 11, 2012.
Luke Kuechly led Carolina with 118 tackles and fellow Pro Bowl linebacker Thomas Davis (105) is expected to play despite undergoing surgery on a broken forearm. In his fourth season, Josh Norman has blossomed into one of the NFL's top lockdown corners.
Jonathan Toews scored his second goal of the night in overtime in his return from a one-game suspension, lifting the Chicago Blackhawks to a 5-4 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night.
The teams traded scoring chances in the 3-on-3 overtime, leaving players on both sides exhausted. Toews skated in with a burst of energy, beating Louis Domingue with a wrister with 29 seconds left in the extra period.
Toews, suspended for missing the All-Star game, also scored in the second period. Patrick Kane scored his NHL-leading 31st goal in the second and Marian Hossa had a goal and an assist. Michal Rozsival scored his first goal of the season for the Blackhawks.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson had a goal and two assists for the Coyotes. Mikkel Boedker and Jordan Martinook scored two quick goals in the second period, and Shane Doan scored in the third.
>>San Jose Powers Past Blues
Martin Jones stopped a quick wrist shot from St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko in the game's opening minute. It was the first of 26 saves for Jones, but more importantly it allowed a sluggish San Jose Sharks team to stay even until Joonas Donskoi and Joe Thornton scored in the second period to send San Jose to a 3-1 victory.
Matt Nieto added an unassisted goal late in the third to give San Jose insurance. The Sharks, who are 8-1-2 in their last 11 games, improved to 17-7-2 away from home and tied Washington for the most road wins in the NHL.
Jay Bouwmeester scored his second goal of the season late in the second period for the Blues.
Donskoi and Thornton's goals for San Jose came during a 4-minute span in the second.
Donskoi banked a shot off the near post to break the scoreless tie at 3:55. He has 10 points, including four goals, in his last 12 games.
Kobe Bryant kept his right arm extended upward, his hand dangling as he held his follow-through on a 3-point shot with a minute to go.
The shot went down, the Lakers led by six, and Bryant wagged his index finger as he made his way back up the court with a good portion of the crowd cheering wildly.
Maintaining the vintage form he recaptured in a victory earlier this week, Bryant had 27 points and 12 rebounds, hitting three pivotal 3-pointers in the final 6:05, and the Los Angeles Lakers won their second straight, 99-96 over the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday night.
Bryant's missed free throw with 6 seconds left provided the Pelicans a chance to tie the game with a 3, but Jrue Holiday's shot missed the rim as time expired.
Anthony Davis had 39 points and 11 rebounds for the Pelicans, but his missed breakaway dunk in the fourth quarter - after which he briefly pulled his jersey over his face in embarrassment - seemed to define the night for New Orleans, which lost its third straight.
The Pelicans missed a couple of dunks among a number of misses from short range. They also missed 12 of 26 free throws.
Jordan Clarkson scored 18 points for the Lakers, while D'Angelo Russell added 13 points and Julius Randle 11.
Holiday scored 19 for New Orleans, but missed five of six 3s he attempts as New Orleans went 4-of-20 from deep. Ryan Anderson and Bryce Dejean-Jones each scored 17.
Elgin Cook scored 18 points and Chris Boucher had 12 rebounds and blocked six shots to lead the Oregon Ducks a 76-56 win over Colorado.
Tyler Dorsey added 13 points and Dwayne Benjamin had 11 for the Ducks (19-4, 8-2 Pac-12), who won their their fifth straight and 21st consecutive home game for the second-longest streak in school history.
Josh Scott led the Buffaloes (17-6, 6-4) with 17 points, and George King had 16 and eight rebounds. Colorado had a 42-38 advantage on the boards.
Oregon had given up a season-high 91 points in a four-point road loss to Colorado last month. This time the Buffaloes didn't hit double digits as a team until 12 1/2 minutes had been played.
Oregon led by as many as 23 points late in the game and finished with a 21-4 edge in points off turnovers, with Colorado committing 14.
Rickie Fowler overcame some bad shots for a share of the lead Thursday in the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Phil Mickelson compounded his mistakes and fell back.
After an hour-long frost delay at chilly TPC Scottsdale, Fowler played the first six holes in 5 under. A group behind, Mickelson took the lead at 5 under with a birdie on his eighth hole.
While Fowler finished with a 6-under 65 to tie Shane Lowry and Hideki Matsuyama for the lead in the suspended first round, Mickelson had a 69 after dropping four strokes in a two-hole stretch.
Mickelson bogeyed the par-3 fourth after hitting short and right and failing to reach the green with his second, and unraveled with a triple bogey on the par-4 fifth. He drove out of bounds to the right, hit his second tee shot into the right bunker and three-putted from 50 feet.
Mickelson's best shot was on the par-5 13th -- his fourth hole of the day -- when he hit a 252-yard hybrid approach to 2½ feet to set up an eagle.
Fowler opened with a birdie on the par-4 10th as the temperature crawled into the 40s, holing a 16-foot putt. He made a 35-footer on the 12th, two-putted for birdie on the 13th and made a 28-foot eagle putt on the par-5 15th after hitting a 258-yard shot over the water.
The top-ranked player in the field at No. 4, Fowler bogeyed the par-3 16th after drawing an awkward lie in the right bunker. He birdied the short par-4 17th, and bogeyed the par-4 18th after driving left into the water. On his back nine, he got up-and-down for birdie from a greenside bunker on the par-5 third and closed with a 12-foot birdie putt on the par-4 ninth.
Bubba Watson opened with a 69, finishing in fading light a day after saying he doesn't like the renovated course and is only playing the tournament out of loyalty to his sponsors. The two-time Masters champion tied for second the last two seasons.
In a game heard Thursday night on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons picked up a CIC win over the visiting Sullivan Redskins, 61-50.
Clinton jumped out to a 19-10 lead after the first quarter, but the Lady Redskins rallied back to tie the game at 44 apiece entering the 4th quarter. The Lady Maroons regained the momentum early in the 4th, and pulled away out scoring Sullivan 17 to 6 to end the game.
Clinton was led by senior Faythe Newberry with 17 points. Junior Tori Wilson added 14, and was the Stephan York Country Financial Player of the Game. Sophomore Madi Filkin and freshman Savanna Moore also added 10 points each.
Sullivan was led by freshman Brooke Tuttle with 18.
Clinton improves to 11-14 overall and 3-4 in the conference. Sullivan drops to 7-16 with the loss and 1-6 in the conference.
The Lady Maroons next play Monday at home against Mt. Zion. You can hear that game on 92.3FM WHOW and streamed online at DewittDailyNews.com
Malcolm Hill scored 10 of his 32 points from the free throw line in the third overtime and Illinois outlasted Rutgers 110-101 on Wednesday night, extending the Scarlet Knights' losing streak to 10 games.
Hill also had a career-high 14 rebounds as the Illini (11-12, 3-7 Big Ten) rallied after blowing a seven-point lead in the final 29.2 seconds of the first overtime.
Jalen Coleman-Lands had a career-high 26 points, Maverick Morgan had a career-high 20 points and Kendrick Nunn added 10 points and 13 rebounds.
Corey Sanders had career highs of 39 points and 12 assists for Rutgers (6-17, 0-10) but he missed a free throw with 3.3 seconds to play in regulation that would have put the Scarlet Knights ahead. Jonathan Laurent had a career-best 23 points for the Scarlet Knights.
Rutgers has now lost its last 24 regular-season conference games dating to a win over Wisconsin on Jan. 11, 2015, and 25 straight league games counting the tournament.
Fred VanVleet had 12 points and 11 assists to lead No. 21 Wichita State past Southern Illinois 76-55 on Wednesday night.
Shaquille Morris had a season-high 13 points and Anton Grady added 10 for Wichita State (17-5, 11-0 Missouri Valley), which won its 12th straight.
Anthony Beane scored 15 of his game-high 20 points in the first half for Southern Illinois (18-6, 7-4). Bola Olaniyan had seven points and 16 rebounds for the Salukis, helping them outrebound the conference's top rebounding team 48-31.
Beane, who was 3 of 10 from the field in the first game against Wichita State, needed less than 7 minutes to top that number of baskets. He scored 10 of Southern Illinois' first 12 points, going 4 of 5 from the field.
E'Twaun Moore scored a career-high 24 points while starting in place of injured Jimmy Butler, and the Chicago Bulls overcame a sloppy finish to beat the Sacramento Kings 107-102 on Wednesday night.
Pau Gasol added 16 points, 13 rebounds and made two free throws with 4.3 seconds remaining to help the Bulls to their first win in Sacramento in more than four years. Derrick Rose had 21 points and nine assists while Taj Gibson scored 12.
The Bulls led 101-92 with 2:40 left but struggled to close out the Kings. Chicago committed two turnovers and made only one basket down the stretch before pulling out the win at the free-throw line.
DeMarcus Cousins had 30 points and 11 rebounds in his return to Sacramento's lineup.
Everyone expects Peyton Manning to retire after Super Bowl 50, hanging it up after one last rodeo. Except the Los Angeles Rams.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Rams had internal discussions about bringing Manning to Los Angeles for the 2016 season.
All of this hinges on Manning wanting to play another season of course. And it makes sense.
The Rams haven't had a quarterback under Jeff Fisher. Landing Manning wouldn't qualify as finding a franchise signal caller, but it would be an upgrade.
Manning is playing in his fourth Super Bowl on Sunday, suiting up for the Broncos against the Panthers. Winning for Denver would give him a shot to walk away from football and become just the second Hall of Fame quarterback to win a Super Bowl in his final game, joining his boss John Elway.
For the sixth consecutive year, Nick Saban has brought the nation's No. 1 recruiting class on the 247Sports Composite team rankings to Alabama coming out of National Signing Day. The Tide came into Wednesday as the No. 7 class but rapidly moved up the board as signings rolled into Tuscaloosa.
Alabama locked up the No. 1 ranking thanks to a flurry of signing day commitments, most notably a pair of in-state, five-star linebackers Ben Davis and Mack Wilson and four-star cornerback Shyheim Carter from Louisiana.
Davis, son of Alabama legend and all-time leading tackler Wayne Davis, chose Alabama over Auburn, LSU, Notre Dame and Georgia.
As an Alabama legacy, Davis knows Alabama style, and put on the Bear Bryant houndstooth hat, not a regular ballcap, to announce his commitment to the Tide.
Davis is the top-rated inside linebacker in the country and the No. 10 overall player according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings.
Wilson is the No. 2 rated outside linebacker and No. 15 overall recruit on the 247Sports Composite Rankings.
Wilson joins Ben Davis as in-state, five-star linebackers to commit to Nick Saban and the Tide on National Signing Day as the Alabama defense continues to reload with talent.
LSU came into National Signing Day with the top class and still held on to an excellent group, finishing at No. 3, just behind Alabama and Florida State -- which had a fantastic Signing Day and occupied the top spot in the composite rankings for much of the day.
In the end, no one was able to keep up with Saban and the Tide as they cleaned up with three five-stars, 14 four-stars and seven three-stars, according to 247Sports' Composite rankings, which combines rankings from all the major recruiting services.
>>No. 1 Prospect, Gary Chooses Michigan
The five-star defensive tackle from Paramus (N.J.) Catholic spent the final hours going back and forth between Clemson and Michigan. The Wolverines were considered the favorite early on, but the Tigers got the last visit with Gary and "closed a lot of ground on the Maize and Blue," according to 247Sports' Steve Wiltfong.
In the end, Gary stuck with the Wolverines and coach Jim Harbaugh despite the late push from Clemson. Gary joins Jabrill Peppers as five-star prospects to sign with Michigan coming from Paramus Catholic, along with Chris Patridge, the school's former coach who is now a member of Harbaugh's staff.
Gary's commitment is the story of National Signing Day, as he is considered a unique talent on the line. At 6-foot-5 and 293 pounds, Gary has the frame and size to jump in immediately. He's one of the few players in this recruiting cycle you can honestly label as an "instant impact guy."
As heard on WHOW and WEZC, the Clinton Maroons fell to the Central A&M Raiders by a sco
re of 70-59 on Wednesday night. The Maroons were led by senior Jacob Overton with 12 points. Overton was also named as the Country Financial representative Stephan York CIC Tournament MVP.
The Raiders were led by sophomore Jameson Smith with 17 points and junior Keaton Garner with 16 points.
With the loss the Maroons fall to 7-15 overall, and 2-2 in the Central Illinois Conference.
Tune in February 12, as the Maroons take on Meridian. You can hear the game live on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com. You can hear all the games of the Central Illinois boys basketball tournament on 95.9 FM WEZC.
Chris Kendrix scored a career-high 21 points and Missouri State came up clutch at the free-throw line in the final seconds to hold off Bradley 77-71 on Tuesday night.
Dorrian Williams and Jarred Dixon each scored a pair of foul shots in the last 13 seconds to foil a Bradley comeback. Camyn Boone scored 18 points for Missouri State (10-13, 6-5 Missouri Valley Conference). The Tigers made 30 of 37 foul shots
Bradley missed its first nine shots of the game while committing 10 turnovers to dig a 22-4 hole at the start. The Braves rallied as close as 73-71 on Antoine Pittman's driving layup with 41 seconds left. The Braves had to foul, and Williams and Dixon didn't miss.
Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye scored 20 for Bradley (3-21, 1-10). Luuk van Bree scored nine in a row before fouling out with 18 points and 4:36 remaining.
Illinois coach John Groce said the team may be without two of its starters when it faces Rutgers on Wednesday.
Groce said Tuesday that starting forward Michael Finke has not been able to practice after injuring his left knee in a collision Sunday during a loss to Wisconsin. The coach said an MRI showed no structural damage but said Finke is unlikely to play at Rutgers (6-16, 0-9 Big Ten).
Groce said junior guard Kendrick Nunn may be able to play but no decision is expected until game time. Nunn injured a hip against the Badgers.
Nunn is Illinois' second-leading scorer at 17.8 points a game while Finke averages nine points and four rebounds for the Illini (10-12, 2-7).
>>Indiana Topples Michigan
The 22nd-ranked Indiana Hoosiers regrouped and rallied, finishing the first half with 25 straight points en route to an 80-67 victory over Michigan on Tuesday night.
Indiana missed eight straight shots early in the game and fell behind 10-2. The Wolverines eventually went ahead 15-4, but by halftime it was the Hoosiers who had turned the game into a rout.
Yogi Ferrell had 17 points and nine assists for Indiana.
The Big Ten-leading Hoosiers (19-4, 9-1) were nearly flawless in the final minutes of the half. Indiana led 45-24 at halftime and went on to its most lopsided victory over the Wolverines (17-6, 7-3) in Ann Arbor since 2008.
Robert Johnson scored 16 points for the Hoosiers and O.G. Anunoby added 11.
Zak Irvin led Michigan with 16 points. The Wolverines were without Caris LeVert for a ninth straight game because of a lower left leg injury.
Corey Crawford stopped 22 shots, Richard Panik and Artemi Panarin scored and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Colorado Avalanche 2-1 on Tuesday night without captain Jonathan Toews.
NHL-scoring leader Patrick Kane added an assist with Toews suspended a game by the league for pulling out of All-Star weekend. Toews cited an illness.
Gabriel Landeskog scored the only goal for Colorado, which was missing starting goalie Semyon Varlamov. He wrapped up a civil lawsuit filed against him by a former girlfriend, with jury ruling in his favor late Tuesday and awarding Varlamov approximately $126,000 in damages.
Calvin Pickard gave up two early goals before settling into a rhythm. He stopped 40 shots.
>>Elliot Brilliant As Blues Get Win in Second Half Opener
Troy Brouwer scored with 1:05 remaining in the third period and Brian Elliott made 16 saves to give St. Louis a 1-0 victory over the Predators on Tuesday night.
St. Louis has won all four matchups between the teams this season, including both in Nashville by shutout. Jake Allen stopped 45 shots in a 4-0 win Nov. 7.
Coming off his first All-Star Game appearance, Pekka Rinne made 22 saves in defeat. The Predators had won a season-best four straight.
On the game's only goal, Robby Fabbri carried the puck around the net and found Alex Pietrangelo just inside the top of the right circle. Pietrangelo fired a one-timer toward the Nashville net, and Brouwer was in front. The puck deflected off his leg past Rinne.
Elliott's best save came at 10:27 of the first period, when he turned aside James Neal's one-timer taken from the top of the left circle. He also denied Neal's attempt with 5 seconds remaining to preserve the win.
Kobe Bryant hit seven 3-pointers while scoring a season-high 38 points, and the Lakers snapped their 10-game skid with a 119-115 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night.
With Bryant scoring 14 of their 18 points in the final 5:02, the Lakers avoided the longest losing streak in the 16-time champion franchise's history despite blowing a 16-point lead in the second half. Los Angeles had lost 10 straight for the first time since 1994, and Bryant's vintage performance made sure the record stayed shared.
After Minnesota took the lead in the waning minutes, Bryant put the Lakers back ahead with dramatic, back-to-back 3s. He also drained a 19-footer with 26 seconds left to put them up 113-110 before making six free throws in the last 16.7 seconds.
Andrew Wiggins scored 30 points and led an impressive second-half surge by the Timberwolves, who have lost five straight and 16 of 18. Gorgui Dieng scored 19 points, and Karl-Anthony Towns had 14 points and nine rebounds.
Lou Williams scored 20 points and rookie D'Angelo Russell had 18 for the Lakers.
Rory McIlroy is nothing if not honest. The four-time major winner agrees with his colleagues in thinking talk of a Big Three (Jordan Spieth, Jason Day and McIlroy) or Big Four (throw in Rickie Fowler) or Big Anything is sort of silly. He talked to CNN recently about this idea.
McIlroy said quote - "We all want to beat each other regardless of whether we're one, two or three in the world. But it's good motivation, and hopefully this year I'm on the right path to do that."
Spieth told The Guardian recently quote - "I think people are searching for something that is only going to take time. It [such discussion] does nothing but kind of add stuff to our heads that may not need to be there."
Day, Spieth and McIlroy were all historically good last year and Fowler has won four times in the last nine months.
As heard on 95.9 FM WEZC, the St. Teresa Bulldogs won over the Meridian Hawks by a score of 53-43 on Monday night.
Meridian will play again on Friday, Feb. 5th at 6p for 3rd place in the CIC against the Shelbyville Rams, and Warrensburg will also play on Friday at 7:30p in the Championship game against the Warrensburg-Latham Cardinals. You can hear the game live on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.
As heard on 95.9 FM WEZC, the Warrenburg-Latham Cardinals defeated the Shelbyville Rams by a score of 64-38 on Monday evening.
Shelbyville plays again on Friday, Feb. 5th at 6p for 3rd place in the CIC, and Warrensburg will also play on Friday at 7:30p in the Championship game of the Conference. You can hear the game live on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.
Following the new format to the NHL All-Star game this weekend, the rest of the league will return to action tonight.
The Blues head to the place where all this weekend's activities took place, Nashville, in search of health which should lead to more consistency.
The Blues enter play third in the Central Division of the Western Conference at 28-16-8 overall but have had a roller coaster first half of the season.
The Blues finished the first half losers of two on a three game road trip. They finish the four game road trip in Nashville before they get three straight at home.
As for the Blackhawks, because of his abense from the All-Star game, Jonathan Teows will miss tonight's second half opener in Colorado. Per league rules, because Teows made the decision to miss this weekend's All-Star game because of illness, he will be suspended tonight.
The Blackhawks have been one of the league's top teams all season and sit in first place in the central division at 33-16-4 as Patrick Kane has been in top form despite an offseason of turmoil.
The Blackhawks will spend the first three games following the break on a west coast swing visiting Colorado tonight, Arizona Thursday and finishing with Dallas Saturday night.
Chicago returns home for four straight home games.
The Blackhawks ended the break losing three of four, all three losses were on the road.
The nation's No. 1 recruit has reportedly narrowed his choices down to two schools. According to Scout.com, defensive tackle Rashan Gary (Paramus, N.J.) will be choosing between Michigan and Clemson on Wednesday when he makes his announcement.
Those two teams emerging as Gary's choices doesn't come as too much of a surprise, as he visited both schools in the last two weeks. Gary went an official visit to Clemson this past weekend and made an unofficial visit to Michigan on Jan. 22.
Michigan has long been considered the frontrunner for Gary, as he has taken more unofficial visits there than any other school and the Wolverines already have two of his closest friends committed for 2016. However, Clemson has made a strong push for Gary late and his mother told Scout that they were very impressed by the Tigers.
Whichever team lands Gary is going to be getting a player that can make an immediate impact on the defensive line. Gary is a monster in the middle at 6-foot-5, 293 pounds and has tremendous athleticism, as noted by his 4.74 time in the 40-yard dash. He was also the most valuable player at this year's Under Armour All-American game.
USC, Auburn, Alabama and Ole Miss were all also thought to be in the running for Gary prior to him narrowing down his decision to Clemson and Michigan.
Monday's release of the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll for men's basketball does not include the Duke Blue Devils. Mike Krzyzewski's team had just one game last week -- an 80-69 loss at Miami -- and so for the first time since 2007, Coach K's program is not a top-25 team.
The last time this occurred came after the 2006-07 season, when Duke lost as a No. 6 seed in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to No. 11 VCU. Duke's streak of 167 consecutive week's in the AP poll is the fifth longest in history. If you're wonder, Duke did receive votes for the poll -- accruing six points -- meaning it finished 33rd in the voting this week.
Elsewhere, Oklahoma firmly held on to its top spot, marking the third straight week the Sooners have been atop the AP poll. Maryland, which knocked off No. 3 Iowa last week, moved from the 8 spot to No. 4. Iowa fell to fifth.
The biggest mover this week? Oregon, which swept the Arizona schools on the road in the past few days. That moved the Ducks from 23rd to 16th.
>>UNC Still No. 1 in Coaches Poll
North Carolina remained the No. 1 team in the country this week in the coaches poll, following a stretch of five straight weeks where the No. 1 position changed hands. Oklahoma also stayed at No. 2 following its win over LSU on Saturday.
Behind them, Maryland rose to No. 3, and a pair of Big East teams jumped up to Nos. 4 and 5. Vilanova and Xavier round out the top-five after a pair of strong weeks.
Beyond those five, Kansas, Iowa, Texas A&M, Virginia and Michigan State round out the top-10. Villanova's opponent on Saturday, Providence, is currently sitting at No. 11.
The poll is also notable due to the absence of Duke. The last time Duke was not ranked in the poll was in February 2007, marking a near-nine-year run in the poll. Duke's women's team is also currently unranked for the first time in around 16 years, following its departure on Jan. 18. Pittsburgh also fell from the group of ranked teams.
Replacing the Blue Devils and Panthers were Dayton and the surprising Saint Mary's Gaels. Dayton is now 18-3 and avenged its sole Atlantic 10 loss of the season to La Salle this weekend. Saint Mary's is 18-2 and has a tough road trip going to BYU this week followed by a game at San Diego.
>>Louisville Upends No. 2 North Carolina
Damion Lee scored 24 points, including two free throws with 8.3 seconds remaining, to help No. 19 Louisville beat No. 2 North Carolina 71-65 on Monday night ending the Tar Heels' 12-game winning streak.
After scoring just six points in Saturday's loss to then-No. 11 Virginia, Lee lifted the Cardinals to a hard-fought victory over the first-place Tar Heels by making 8 of 12 shots, including consecutive 3-pointers that helped provide a 55-50 lead with 9:35 remaining.
Chinanu Onuaku and Trey Lewis then combined for Louisville's next eight points, with Onuaku's three-point play making it 63-55 with 5:15 left and giving Louisville some needed breathing room with the Tar Heels hanging tough. Ray Spalding scored and Lewis followed with a big layup and then two free throws with 26 seconds left for a four-point lead.
The Tar Heels missed three shots before Onuaku came up with a rebound and Lee was fouled. The graduate transfer sealed the win by making two more at the free throw line as Louisville (18-4, 7-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) handed the Tar Heels (19-3, 8-1) their first conference loss.
Onuaku had 12 points and 10 rebounds - his eighth double-double this season - and Donovan Mitchell added 10 points. Lewis had nine for the Cardinals, who shot 53 percent in the second half and 43 percent overall.
Justin Jackson scored 16 points and Brice Johnson had 15 for North Carolina, which shot just 35 percent from the field and committed 16 turnovers.
Louisville controlled the paint 36-28 and edged the Tar Heels 41-39 on the boards, with Onuaku's late grab looming large in a game where every possession was critical.
Johnson led the Tar Heels with 11 rebounds.
>>Texas Beats No. 15 Baylor on Road
Connor Lammert and the Texas Longhorns aren't backing down in the Big 12.
Not against No. 15 Baylor or Rico Gathers, the Bears' big man who was being watched by a scout from the NFL's Buffalo Bills on Monday night.
Texas got its sixth win in seven games, never giving up the lead in a physical and sometimes chippy second half on way to a 67-58 victory.
Lammert had 15 points, including a clutch 3-pointer in the final minute, as the Longhorns (15-7, 6-3) moved within a half-game of No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 14 West Virginia for the conference lead. It was the 6-foot-10 forward's third 3 in the game.
Baylor (17-5, 6-3) had been part of a three-way tie, matching the latest ever in a season to be first in the Big 12.
Taurean Prince had 18 points for the Bears, while Lester Medford added 10.
Gathers, who had 20 points and eight rebounds, fouled out with 1:27 left, and Kerwin Roach hit the second of two free throws. After Prince had a turnover, Lammert's 3 from the right wing with 44 seconds left put the Longhorns up 62-56.
Baylor tied the game three times in the second half but could never get the lead again. The Bears led for less than 2 minutes, all in the game's opening stretch.
Isaiah Taylor had 12 points and nine assists for the Longhorns, who finished with assists on all 21 of their field goals.
After consecutive double-doubles, Prince Ibeh was held to nine points and six rebounds.
The Longhorns are 4-2 against Top 25 teams this season.
Brandt Snedeker has now won two Farmers Insurance Opens in the past five years. It took him nearly 24 hours from the time he finished his final round at Torrey Pines to secure the hardware (more on that in a minute), but Snedeker outlasted Jimmy Walker and K.J. Choi to win by one stroke on Monday afternoon. And he didn't hit a single shot.
Snedeker shot his crazy final-round 69 that was nearly 10 shots better than the field average) on Sunday. He was one of the few golfers to finish up and narrowly trailed the leaders still out on the course.
The others came back out on Monday after play was suspended on Sunday because of weather while Snedeker watched from the range for two hours wondering if there would be a playoff. The wind actually gusted into the players' faces on Monday, so scores rose even higher. And then, 24 hours after holing his last putt, Snedeker hoisted the trophy. He didn't so much as hit a shot on the final day of play.
Only one player was under par in the final round from Torrey Pines.
Night number two at the Central Illinois Conference Boys Basketball Tournament will see the Clinton Maroons in action.
The Maroons fell in overtime Saturday to host Shelbyville in the opening round of the CIC Tourney, 54-49. Peyton McCubbin led the Maroons effort with 27 points in the loss. Clinton will face Tuscola tonight at 6p in Shelbyville. The Warriors fell to top seed Warrensburg-Latham 54-37 Saturday.
The second game of tonight's CIC action pits Sullivan against Central A&M. Sullivan fell to St. Teresa Saturday 43-36, while A&M was edged by Meridian 64-60 in the opening round.
You can hear tonight's Clinton Maroons game at 6p on 1520AM/92.3FM WHOW. Plus every game from the 2016 CIC Tournament can be heard on 95.9FM WEZC, and streamed online at DeWittDailyNews.com.
Nigel Hayes scored 17 points, Bronson Koenig added 11 and Wisconsin beat Illinois 63-55 on Sunday night for the Badgers' fourth straight victory.
Wisconsin (13-9, 5-4 Big Ten) fell behind the Illini (10-12, 2-7) early but took its first lead at 23-22 on a dunk by Khalil Iverson with 4:56 left in the first half and never trailed again. Iverson finished with a career-high 10 points.
The Illini closed to within 55-50 with 1:02 to play on a 3-pointer by Kendrick Nunn. But Hayes hit six free throws in the last minute to ice the game.
Malcolm Hill led Illinois with 22 points.
Starting Illini forward Michael Finke left the game with an apparent knee injury in the second half after a collision with Hayes.
Jarred Dixon scored the last seven points of overtime to lift Missouri State past Illinois State 84-81 on Saturday.
Illinois State took a four-point lead on a pair of Paris Lee free throws with 2:03 to go. Dixon then took over. His 3-pointer cut the deficit to 81-80 before he drew a charge against a driving Deontae Hawkins. Dixon hit a jumper on the next possession to put the Bears up by one.
After the Redbirds' DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell left his layup short with four seconds left, Dixon gathered the rebound, was fouled, and made both free throws for the final margin. Dixon finished with 14 points.
Dequon Miller led Missouri State (9-13, 5-5 Missouri Valley) with 22 points, shooting 6 for 10 from 3-point range. His final 3 came when he launched the ball past NBA range to tie it at 72 with two seconds left in regulation to force overtime.
Akoon-Purcell led Illinois State (12-11, 6-4) with 18 points.
Graham Woodward hit four 3-pointers and scored 23 points and Drake beat Bradley 80-70 on Saturday for its first Missouri Valley Conference victory of the season.
Kale Abrahamson's 4-point play midway through the second half started Drake's 11-0 run for a 65-49 lead. Bradley battled back to get within six points with 1:04 left, but Reed Timmer answered with two free throws as Drake closed by making 6 of 8 from the stripe.
Timmer finished with 19 points for Drake (6-16, 1-9), which ended a nine-game losing streak. Abrahamson had 13 points.
Drake has won nine of the last 12 meetings since the 2011-12 season.
Antoine Pittman scored 17 points for Bradley (3-20, 1-9), which has lost five in a row and 11 of 12. Luuk van Bree added 13 points, Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye had 12 and Donte Thomas 11.
Jamal Crawford scored 12 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter, leading a dominant bench effort for the second straight game, and the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Chicago Bulls 120-93 on Sunday for their fourth consecutive victory.
J.J. Redick added 21 points and DeAndre Jordan had 17 points and 20 rebounds for the Clippers, who improved to 15-3 without Blake Griffin. Their four-game streak has coincided with Griffin being out at least a month after breaking his right hand while punching the team's assistant equipment manager.
Jimmy Butler scored 23 points, Derrick Rose added 20 and Pau Gasol had 15 points and 14 rebounds for the Bulls. They've lost four of six and dropped to 10-11 on the road.
Russell Wilson threw three first-half touchdown passes to lead Team Irvin to a 49-27 victory over Team Rice on Sunday and earn offensive MVP honors at Aloha Stadium. Seattle teammate Michael Bennett was the defensive MVP after having the game's only sack and deflecting a pass.
The Seahawks quarterback, who was the first player picked in the all-star game's draft, went 8 of 12 for 164 yards. He led scoring drives on three of Team Irvin's first four possessions.
Wilson threw touchdown passes of 14 and 2 yards to Atlanta Falcons teammates Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman, respectively, in the opening quarter. Early in the second quarter, Wilson connected with Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley for a 10-yard score.
Minnesota's Teddy Bridgewater and Tampa Bay's Jameis Winston each added two TD passes for Team Irvin. Jacksonville's Allen Robinson, Tennessee's Delanie Walker, Philadelphia's Darren Sproles and Houston's DeAndre Hopkins had scoring receptions.
Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce caught two scoring passes for Team Rice. Miami's Jarvis Landry also had a TD catch, and Tampa Bay's Doug Martin ran for a score.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie of the New York Giants had two of Team Irvin's six interceptions.
>>Report Indicates Calvin Johnson Tells Lions He's Retiring
Calvin Johnson informed the Lions he plans to retire according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
Earlier this month Johnson indicated he might walk away from football, but the idea felt far-fetched -- after an offseason of mulling it over, surely Johnson would come back to a game he's dominated for so long.
It doesn't appear to be the case, with a source close to Johnson telling Schefter "He's pretty content with his decision."
"Like many players at this stage of their career, I am currently evaluating options for my future," Johnson said in a statement earlier in January. "I would expect to have a decision regarding this matter in the not-too-distant future."
According to Schefter, Lions coach Jim Caldwell told him to take his time and not "rush" his decision.
The 30-year-old (he would be 31 when the 2016 NFL season begins) is 43rd all time in catches, 27th all time in receiving yards and 22nd all time in touchdown catches.
No matter what happens throughout the rest of his career, John Scott will forever be known as an NHL All-Star Game MVP.
With his two goals during the league's first ever 3-on-3 tournament on Sunday and all-around great performance throughout the All-Star weekend, Scott was voted by fans as the MVP of the game after his Pacific Division picked up a 1-0 win in the tournament's championship game over the Atlantic Division.
Scott, an enforcer that has only scored five goals in his NHL career, was in the game because won the NHL's fan vote to be captain of the Pacific Division team. Even though the entire saga had its share of critics and there was some doubt that he wouldn't even be eligible due to a trade two weeks before the game, and even though he isn't your traditional "All-Star" kind of player, Scott was most certainly the star of the weekend.
After the final game came to a close Scott's teammates lifted him up on their shoulders at center ice.
As MVP of the game Scott won a 2016 Honda Pilot, while he also takes home $90,000 in cash for being a part of the winning team.
The Pacific Division took home the All-Star crown in the first-ever 3-on-3 tournament.
The final round of the Farmers Insurance Open has been suspended due to weather conditions and will resume on Monday morning at 11 a.m. ET.
At the time of suspension, Jimmy Walker (7 under) holds a one shot over Brandt Snedeker (6 under), who is the current leader in the clubhouse, and K.J. Choi (6 under). Walker, playing with Choi and Scott Brown (3 under), has played 10 holes in his final round.
The weather conditions at Torrey Pines forced multiple suspensions of play on Sunday as wind and rain howled around the South Course. The average completed round on Sunday was a 78.48, nearly 6.5 strokes over par, and there were as many rounds in the 80s (11) as there were rounds in the 70s.
The lone under par round of the day was by Snedeker, whose 3-under 69 was an impossibly low performance considering the conditions. Snedeker went 4 under on his back nine, including a run of three straight birdies from 12 to 14.
Had Walker and the rest of the field been asked to return to the course in the huge wind gusts, Snedeker would have had a great shot at winning with his 6 under score. Now, he'll have to wait to see if Walker can hang on during Monday morning's conclusion in what Walker will hope is better weather conditions.
>>Spieth Finishes in Second in Singapore
Jordan Spieth was five back of the lead heading into the final round of the SMBC Singapore Open, but the world's No. 1 player fired a 66 to finish in second place (11 under), one back of winner Song Young-han (12 under).
Song, ranked No. 204 in the Official World Golf Rankings, shot a 70 in the final round to hang on for the one stroke victory.
Spieth had six birdies and just one bogey on Sunday, including a birdie on the 18th, as he finally figured out the greens with only 26 putts on his rounds-- he had 30 or more putts in each of the first three rounds.
Spieth will take a week off before returning to the PGA Tour for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and then the Northern Trust Open the following week as he continues to play one of the most packed schedules of any top player.