Local Sports

UPDATE: IHSA Football State Championship Matchups

Class 1A:

 

Lena vs Central A&M at Huskie Stadium, 58-20

 

Class 3A:

 

Byron vs Williamsville at Huskie Stadium, 42-46

 

Class 5A:

 

Chicago St. Rita vs Rochester at Huskie Stadium, Sat. Nov. 30, 10a

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Trubisky's 3rd TD pass lifts Bears to 24-20 win over Lions

Mitchell Trubisky threw a go-ahead, 3-yard touchdown pass to David Montgomery with 2:17 left, lifting Chicago to a 24-20 win over the slumping Detroit Lions on Thursday.

 

The Bears took the lead on the nine-play, 90-yard drive in which Trubisky converted a pair of third downs with 35- and 32-yard passes Anthony Miller.

 

Chicago sealed the victory on the ensuing possession with Eddie Jackson's interception.

 

Rookie quarterback David Blough led Detroit's last drive to the Chicago 26 in the final minute before losing 13 yards on a sack to leave a desperation pass as the only option and Jackson picked off his heave.

 

The Bears (6-6) have won three of four games after losing four in a row, keeping their postseason hopes alive.

 

The Lions (3-8-1) have lost five straight for the first time under second-year coach Matt Patricia.

Detroit led for much of the game despite starting a quarterback it acquired from Cleveland for a swap of seventh-round picks after training camp.

 

Matthew Stafford was out for a fourth straight game with back and hip injuries and his backup, Jeff Driskel, was limited by a hamstring injury.

 

Blough, an undrafted player from Purdue, threw a 75-yard TD on his first completion to Kenny Golladay to pull the Lions into a 7-all tie. Blough threw an 8-yard TD pass to Marvin Jones late in the first quarter to put Detroit ahead 14-7.

 

Trubisky had an 18-yard TD pass to rookie tight end Jesper Horsted to make it 17-all late in the third quarter.

 

Trubisky finished 29 of 38 with three TDs, matching a season-high he also equaled in a win over Detroit earlier this month, for 338 yards and an interception. He got off to a strong start with a 10-yard pass to Allen Robinson and closed the game well enough for Chicago to score more than 20 points for the first time in more than a month.

 

Blough was 22 of 38 for 280 yards with two TDs and an interception.
 

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No. 13 Redbird Open FCS Playoffs At No. 12 Southeast Missouri

Illinois State is back in the FCS playoffs and will hit the road to take on OVC co-champion Southeast Missouri in a first-round contest set to take place at Houck Field in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

 

The Redbirds and Redhawks will meet for the 11th time, with Illinois State holding a 7-3 advantage in the series that dates back to 1943. SEMO has won the last two contests against ISU, with wins at home in 2000 (28-25) and in Normal in 2001 (38-33). The Redbirds won the five games previous to that in the series from 1970 to 1997. This will be the sixth time the two squads face off in Cape Girardeau, with the Redbirds holding a 2-3 record at Houck Field.
 

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Illinois hopes to tame Wildcats, move up in bowl spot

linois has already clinched eligibility for a bowl and a win over Northwestern on Saturday could help land a more prestigious postseason destination.

 

Trouble is, the Illini aren’t sure if Brandon Peters will start at quarterback.

 

Peters left last week’s loss at Iowa in the fourth quarter after taking a hit in the face and looked woozy leaving the field. Peters is ranked fifth in the Big Ten with 17 touchdown passes and has a touchdown pass in all but one game he’s finished (the 24-6 win at Purdue) this season.

 

Northwestern (2-9, 0-8 Big Ten) clinched its worst record in coach Pat Fitzgerald’s 14 seasons with a 38-22 loss to Minnesota. The best the Wildcats can hope for is to finish 3-9 for the first time since 2002 under the late Randy Walker.

 

Northwestern is in danger of going winless in conference play since the 1998 team dropped all eight conference games in Gary Barnett’s final season. The Wildcats haven’t finished with fewer than three victories overall since 1993, when they went 2-9.

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Packers-Giants Preview

Since meeting in the NFC wild-card game in January 2017, the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants have followed the same path for a couple of seasons.

 

Neither made the playoffs the past two years and both fired the coaches who got them to the postseason in the 2016 season. The Giants got rid of Ben McAdoo in late 2017 and the Packers dumped long-time coach Mike McCarthy 12 games into the '18 season.

 

Pat Shurmur is now in his second season running the Giants and Matt LaFleur is in his first with the Pack. Their roads also have gone in much different directions.

 

LaFleur and the Packers (8-3) are tied for first place in the NFC North with Minnesota heading into a game Sunday at MetLife Stadium against the Giants (2-9), who have won seven times in 27 games under Shurmur.

 

Good times seemingly have returned for the Packers, though they need a quick rebound from being routed at San Francisco. The Giants remain in the dumps, with three straight losing seasons and six in seven years.

 

The Packers got a reality check this past Sunday night in a 38-7 loss to the 49ers in San Francisco.

 

LaFleur sidestepped a question on whether he was curious to see how his team responded this week, saying they were just looking for the chance to play again.

 

They certainly have to right opponent.

 

Giants running back Saquon Barkley, the 2018 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, says things have not gone the way the organization wanted the past two seasons, and everyone is fighting through the adversity with the belief things are going to change.

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Sundqvist scores 2 before injury, Blues beat Lightning 4-3

Oskar Sundqvist had two goals before leaving with an injury, and the Blues beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 on Wednesday night. The defending Stanley Cup champions were already playing without injured stars Vladimir Tarasenko and Alexander Steen.

 

Sanford and Brayden Schenn scored in the third and Jordan Binnington stopped 32 shots for the Blues. Ivan Barbashev had three assists after going six games without a point.

 

Tampa Bay got goals from Nikita Kucherov, Anthony Cirelli and Brayden Point. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 29 saves.

 

The Lightning, who entered scoring on an NHL-best 41.2% percent of their power plays at home, went 1 for 4. St. Louis scored on one of its two chances.

 

After Sanford scored the tiebreaker from the right circle at 8:21 of the third, Schenn made it 4-2 at 11:07 on the power play shortly after a 5-on-3 ended.

 

Point pulled the Lightning to 4-3 at 14:23, also on a power play.

 

Kucherov opened the scoring 3:53 into the second before Sundqvist scored a short-handed breakaway goal at 5:31 and then put the Blues up 2-1 3:09 later.

 

Sundqvist has five goals over his last five games.

 

Cirelli tied it 2-all with 8:21 left in the second when he dove into the crease to poke a loose puck into the net. He has five goals in the last six games.

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Pacers use balanced attack to pull away from Jazz 121-102

On Wednesday night, Domantas Sabonis and T.J. Warren each scored 23 points and Malcolm Brogdon added 22 to spur a decisive fourth-quarter run that helped Indiana pull away from Utah 121-102.

 

Sabonis again did the dirty work inside, grabbing 12 rebounds for his 12th double-double this season.

 

Brogdon and Jeremy Lamb took care of their job in the backcourt by flirting with their own double-doubles. Brogdon added eight assists while Lamb had 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists.

Defensively, the Pacers were just as proficient. They held the Jazz to 43.4% shooting and just 10 of 32 on 3-pointers while Bojan Bogdanovic and Donovan Mitchell accounted for more than half of Utah's total points.

 

Bogdanovic, who left the Pacers last summer in free agency, scored 30 in his first game back.

 

Mitchell added 26 and the Jazz spent the entire second half futilely chasing the Pacers before losing its second straight game.

 

When it appeared Indiana might run away after closing the first half on a 12-2 spurt and opening the second half with a 3-pointer from Myles Turner to take a 56-43 lead, Bogdanovic and Mitchell helped the Jazz respond. They combined for five of Utah's seven 3s in the third quarter, helping them scramble back within 83-80 with 2:03 to go.

 

But Indiana rebuilt its lead by scoring the final six points of the quarter and finally put the game away with that decisive 18-5 run, which began with 7:45 left to play.

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Eric Paschall scores 25 points as Warriors hold off Bulls

Eric Paschall scored 25 points and the Warriors emphatically closed out a tight game after their failure two days earlier, holding off the Chicago Bulls 104-90 on Wednesday night for just their second win at the new Chase Center.

 

Alec Burks added 23 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists in just the second win in 12 games for Golden State, which squandered a late lead Monday night in losing 100-97 to Oklahoma City while allowing the Thunder to score the game's final 13 points. The Warriors snapped a three-game losing streak.

 

Green returned from a three-game absence because of a sore right heel and contributed seven points, eight assists and five rebounds in nearly 24 minutes.

 

Zach LaVine had 36 points, five rebounds and five assists for the Bulls, who now will try to avenge a 117-94 home loss to the Trail Blazers on Monday night when they travel to Portland to play Friday.

 

Golden State struggled to take care of the ball or make stops down the stretch against Oklahoma City, then worked to be the aggressor in this game. The Warriors jumped in the passing lanes on defense to create transition baskets and plays like Paschall's timely dunk that put his team ahead 88-83 with 5:17 remaining.

 

The Bulls shot 16 for 44 in the first half to trail 53-48 at the break. Spellman wound up with 13 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots off the bench for his fifth career double-double and first with the Warriors.

 

Bulls forward Chandler Hutchison, sidelined for two games last week with soreness in his shins, was in the starting lineup but played only two minutes, not a great sign one game after he came back to score six points and grab three rebounds in seven minutes late in the loss to Portland.
 

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Kennell has 22, Bradley tops K-State 72-60 for third

Nate Kennell scored 22 points and Bradley beat Kansas State 73-60 as the 2019 NCAA Tournament teams met in the third-place game of the second annual Fort Myers Tip-Off on Wednesday night.

 

Kennell made 6 of 8 3-pointers for the Braves (5-2) and Darrell Brown, who made 4 of 8 behind the arc, added 15 points.

 

Kansas State didn't score for the first 6:09 of the second half to fall behind 44-37. The Wildcats never could catch up.

 

Xavier Sneed led the Wildcats (4-2) with 15 points and Cartier Diarra and Shaun Williams both added 10 points.

 

When Kansas State made a 19-9 run to go up 25-23, Bradley didn't back down and led 38-37 at halftime.

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Clinton Maroons fall to Delavan Panther

As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons fell to the Delavan Panthers by a score of 50-40 on Wednesday night. The Maroons were led by Zeke Hickman with 18 points. Skyler Williamson added 6 points. Tyrese Petty added 4 points.

 

The Panthers were led by Dawson Erxleben with 15 points. Josh Lake added 12 points.

 

The Maroons fall to 1-1 overall. The Panthers improve to 3-0 overall.

 

Tune in Friday, December 6th as the Maroons take on Maroa-Forsyth. You can hear the game live on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, on the WHOW app, and on Amazon Alexa.

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Maroons Open Season With A "W"; Take On Delavan Tonight On WHOW

 

The Clinton Maroons opened the annual Bill Rucks Tournament in Mt. Pulaski Tuesday night with a 67-50 win over Edinburg.

 

Zeke Hickman paced the Maroons with 23 points.  Skyler Williamson added 15, Garrett Wayne had 11, and Ty Brennan put up 10 for the now 1 & 0 Maroons.

 

Edinburg was led by Will Lefever with 17.

 

Clinton coach Clay Haurberg credited second half defensive adjustments as a major contributor in the win.  The Maroons only allowed 17 second half points.

 

Clinton continues play in the tournament tonight (WED) against Delavan at 6:30.  It's our "Maroons Game Of The Week," so you can hear all of tonight's action from Mt. Pulaski on 92.3FM & 106.5FM WHOW, streamed online at DeWittDailyNews.com, and on the FREE WHOW app!

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Dosunmu scores 24 to led Illinois past Lindenwood 117-65

Ayo Dosunmu scored 24 points, five others scored in double digits and Illinois rolled over Division-II Lindenwood 117-65 Tuesday.

 

Illinois (6-1) shot 39 of 63 from the field for 62%, the second game in a row the Illini have shot 60% or better.

 

Illinois broke a school record with 237 combined points against Lindenwood and Hampton in its last two games.

 

Da'Monte Williams scored a career-high 18 points, Trent Frazier scored 17, Andres Feliz 16, Kofi Cockburn 12 points with eight rebounds, and Giorgi Bezhanishvili added 10 points for Illinois.

Cockburn just missed his sixth NCAA-leading double-double of the young season, due mostly to playing 22 minutes in the blowout.

 

Lindenwood was led by T.J. Crockett's 24 points. Vijay Blackmon scored 12 and Cameron Scales added 11 for the Lions.

 

The Lions were 25 of 64 from the field for 39% shooting.
 

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Crawford, Blackhawks blank Stars, end Dallas' win streak

Corey Crawford made 32 saves for Chicago's first shutout this season and the Blackhawks beat Dallas 3-0 on Tuesday night, ending the Stars seven-game winning streak.

 

Brandon Saad, Patrick Kane, and Connor Murphy scored for Chicago, which rebounded from a 2-1 shootout loss at Dallas on Saturday and snapped a three-game slide. The 34-year-old Crawford was sharp in stopping several prime Dallas chances in his 26th career shutout.

 

The Blackhawks dealt the surging Stars their first regulation loss since Oct. 26 and ended Dallas' 12-game point streak (11-0-1.)

 

Anton Khudobin stopped 35 shots in the second of back-to-back night games for Dallas. The Stars played their third game in four nights after beating Vegas 4-2 on Tuesday at home behind Ben Bishop.

 

Kane extended his point streak to 13 games, increasing his total to nine goals and 13 assists in the stretch.

 

Blackhawks forward Dylan Strome was placed under concussion protocol just before the opening faceoff. After the game, Colliton said he was surprised that Strome was having symptoms and had no timetable for his return.

 

This one was tightly played and both goalies were on top of things.

 

Saad scored the only goal of the first period at 11:20. Following a faceoff in the Dallas zone, Saad drifted into the slot alone and swept Erik Gustafsson's feed from the right point under Khudobin's left pad.

 

Crawford made several in-close saves to keep Dallas off the board in the up-tempo first.

 

Crawford was sharp again in the scoreless second as Dallas outshot Chicago 14-11 His flashiest saves included a block of Radek Faksa's point-blank deflection 1:20 in and an in-close pad stop on Tyler Seguin from during a Stars power-play at 8:05.

 

Kane added his 12th goal of the season, on a power-play goal at 10:42 of the third, to make it 2-0.

Khudobin was down and out of position after making a save on Alex DeBrincat's shot from the left circle. DeBrincat picked up his own rebound and fed Kane on the right side.

 

The Blackhawks'  top scorer fired a shot past forward Jason Dickinson and defenseman Esa Lindell, who was trying to cover as Khudobin lunged across the crease.

 

Murphy added an empty-netter from deep in the Chicago zone with 2:40 left to complete the scoring.

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Pleasant Plains Holds Off Monticello

The Monticello Sages overcame a 35-11 deficit at halftime but fell just short in a 41-35 loss at Pleasant Plains in the season opener in non-conference high school boys basketball action.

 

Garrett Kepley scored nine of his team-high 13 points in the third quarter to help the Sages to a 15-5 run that cut the deficit 40-36. 

 

Monticello would get within one in the fourth but missed opportunities to pull ahead.

 

Nick Savage scored 20 points to lead the Cardinals. Corgan Greer added 14 points and pulled down eight rebounds. 

 

Monticello did not start strong from beyond the arc, finishing 2-for-14 while Plains was 6-for-16. 

 

Each team made 15 field goals. Monticello shot 33-percent and the Cardinals finished at 36-percent. 

 

The Sages outrebounded Pleasant Plains 32-25, Briggs Fultz pulled down a game-high nine rebounds and had three blocked shots. Monticello dominated the paint, outscoring the Cardinals 26-14. 

 

Monticello committed 14 turnovers to Plains’ 13 and the Sages dished out seven assists, bested by the Cardinals’ eight. 

 

Monticello continues a Springfield-area swing with a trip to Riverton next Tuesday night. Tip time is 7:30 pm and can be heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

 

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Lady Maroons Defeat LeRoy

As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons defeated the LeRoy Lady Panthers by a score of 55-20 on Tuesday night. The Lady Maroons were led by Kaitlyn Rauch with 27 points.

 

The Lady Panthers were led by Layna Spratt with 5 points.

 

With the win, the Lady Maroons improve to 3-2 on the season. The Lady Panthers drop to 1-6 overall.

 

Tune in Wednesday, November 27, as the Clinton Maroons take on Delavan in the Mount Pulaski tournament. You can hear the game live on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, on the WHOW app, and on Amazon Alexa.

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Maroons Open Season at Mt. Pulaski Thanksgiving Tournament

The Clinton Maroons boys basketball team will open the 2019-2020 basketball season at the Mt. Pulaski Thanksgiving tournament taking on Delevan at 8 pm.

 

The Maroons will look to fill in the holes left by a team that was senior-dominated last year, finishing 11-20 overall and 3-4 in the Central Illinois Conference.

 

Zeke Hickman returns as the highest scoring player from last year's squad, averaging 8.7 points per game while Clayton Welch and Skyler Williamson saw their fair share of varsity minutes last year and return this year. 

 

The Maroons lost in the 3A Regional quarterfinals last year to Springfield Lanphier.

 

Tomorrow night's game at the Mt. Pulaski Tournament against Buffalo Tri-City starting at 6:30 pm can be heard on 92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Monticello Boys Basketball Team Opens Season at Pleasant Plains

Off a 21-8 record last year, the Sages will look to replace four seniors in their starting lineup and will look to replace two starters that averaged in double figures.

 

Ryan Reeder returns who averaged 7.5 points per game as a junior. Garrett Kepley was having a terrific junior campaign before a broken hand derailed his progress mid-way through the season. He will likely start in the backcourt with Reeder. 

 

The Sages figure to rely more on seniors Ethan Miller, Brett Macak and Briggs Fultz who saw minutes at the varsity level last year as well. 

 

Senior Nick Vogolzang, juniors Andrew Rudolph and Joel Edmondson will likely be the first off the bench for depth.

 

Plains finished 24-10 overall last year and lost to GCMS in the sectional final. The Sages lost to GCMS in the Regional final in Class 2A.

 

Game time tonight is 7:30 pm and can be heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

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Lady Maroons Host LeRoy

Off their runner-up finish at the Clinton Turkey Tussle tournament last week and a 2-2 start to the season, the Clinton Lady Maroons will host LeRoy tonight in high girls basketball action from Clinton High School. 

 

The Lady Maroons started the tournament strong with wins over Dee-Mack and Mt. Pulaski but fell to Olympia but still found themselves in the championship game of the round-robin format tournament where PORTA defeated the Lady Maroons 68-39.

 

Tonight's game tips at 7:30 pm and can be heard on 92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

 

Girls CIC matchups:

 

Central A&M @ Argenta-Oreana
Decatur St. Teresa @ Maroa-Forsyth 
Villa Grove-Heritage @ Tuscola 
Macon Meridian vs. Dieterich - COWDEN-HERRICK/BEECHER CITY TURKEY TOURNEY 

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Grand Canyon Rolls ISU

Alessandro Lever scored 23 points as Grand Canyon narrowly beat Illinois State 68-63 in the Paradise Jam on Monday.

 

GCU led for 35 of the 40 minutes. Jovan Blacksher Jr. gave the Lopes a 62-57 lead with 3:49 to go on a driving three-point play and Lever made an up-and-under basket to make it 64-61. J.J. Rhymes had a key offensive rebound, and Isiah Brown and Rhymes made and two free throws apiece.

 

Brown added a career-high 21 points and Blacksher had 10 points and six rebounds for Grand Canyon (3-5). Rhymes added 10 points in his first Division I start.

 

Zach Copeland tied a career high with 21 points for the Redbirds (2-4), whose losing streak reached four games. Dedric Boyd added 10 points, and Jaycee Hillsman had seven rebounds.

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Sox Waive Yolmer Sanchez

The White Sox have placed Yolmer Sanchez, the 2019 AL Gold Glove winner at second base, on outright waivers, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Sanchez was projected to make about $6 million through arbitration in 2020 and the ChiSox deemed that too expensive for a well-below-average hitter, even if he saves so many runs defensively.

 

Given his projected salary, the 27-year-old Sanchez is very likely to clear waivers and elect free agency rather than remain with Chicago as a non-40-man roster player. There's little chance he will match his projected $6 million salary as a free agent, but he should be able to secure a big-league job next year, even as a utility guy. That's better than being stashed in Triple-A.

 

As for the White Sox, they now have rookie Danny Mendick penciled in at second base. He had a solid season in Triple-A and did hit .308 in a 16-game cup of coffee with Chicago, though he would only be keeping the seat warm for second base prospect Nick Madrigal. Madrigal should get the call once his service time has been sufficiently manipulated next year.

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Northwestern Tops Bradley

Pat Spencer tripled his scoring average with 23 points as Northwestern routed Bradley 78-51 in the Fort Myers TipOff on Wednesday night.

 

Spencer, who made all three of his 3-pointers and was 9-of-12 shooting, also had eight assists for the Wildcats, who now are 9-1 all-time against Bradley. It's the first meeting between the teams in 34 years. The schools are 179 miles apart.

 

Miller Kopp and Ryan Young both added 13 points for Northwestern (3-2). The Wildcats made 10 of 20 3-pointers and 30 of 57 shots overall (53%). They also had a 40-26 rebound advantage.

 

Elijah Childs had 14 points and Darrell Brown added 13 for Bradley (4-2).

 

Bradley took a 6-0 lead but Northwestern answered with 11 straight points and 16 of the next 18 to go up 16-8. The Wildcats increased that margin to 39-19 as the Braves made just 22% of their shots. They finished making just 16 of 48 percent (33%).

 

Bradley will play Kansas State in the third-place game on Wednesday.

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Cockburn Wins Big Ten Player, Freshman of the Week Again

Illinois' Kofi Cockburn swept both Big Ten weekly honors, the conference office announced on Monday, taking home conference Player and Freshman of the Week awards.

 

Cockburn averaged 17.7 points and 14.7 rebounds and had a double-double in all three Illini victories during the week.

 

He becomes the first player to sweep the league's weekly player and freshman award since Nick Ward of Michigan State on Feb. 27, 2017. This is already the second B1G Freshman of the Week honor, meanwhile, for Cockburn (Nov. 11). 

 

The 7-foot big man from Kingston, Jamaica had double-doubles in Illinois' wins over Hawaii, The Citadel and Hampton. 

 

Illinois takes on Lindenwood tomorrow (Tuesday) night before the Big Ten/ACC Challenge next Monday.

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Illinois State Takes on Grand Canyon at Virgin Islands Paradise Jam

Grand Canyon and Illinois State are set to square off in the U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam. Illinois State lost 83-69 to Western Kentucky in its most recent game, while Grand Canyon came up short in a 70-58 game against Fordham in its last outing.

 

 Illinois State’s Zach Copeland has averaged 13 points while Dedric Boyd has put up 13.8 points. For the Antelopes, Carlos Johnson has averaged 16.3 points and 5.3 rebounds while Jovan Blacksher Jr. has put up 11.6 points, five rebounds and 4.1 assists.

 

Illinois State has 40 assists on 82 field goals (48.8 percent) over its past three games.

 

Grand Canyon has scored 65.8 points and allowed 68.8 points over its last five games. Illinois State has averaged 70.6 points while allowing 71.6 over its last five.

 

Game time is noon today. 

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Bears Down Giants

Kahlil Mack set up a touchdown with a strip-sack, Allen Robinson had a season-high 131 yards receiving and Chicago beat the struggling New York Giants 19-14 on Sunday.

 

Trying to salvage something from a disappointing season, the Bears (5-6) bounced back from a loss to the Los Angeles Rams to win for the second time in three games. The Giants (2-9) dropped their seventh straight and clinched their third losing season in a row.

 

Mack broke through in the third quarter for just his second sack in seven games. Held without a tackle at Los Angeles, the three-time All-Pro nailed Jones deep in New York territory, and Chicago's Nick Williams recovered at the 3. That led to a 2-yard touchdown run by quarterback Mitchell Trubisky to make it 19-7.

 

New York cut the lead to five with 4:10 left in the game when Golden Tate hauled in a 23-yard pass on fourth-and-18. The Bears then went three-and-out before Pat O'Donnell pinned the Giants at the 6 with a 61-yard punt, and Chicago hung on from there.

 

Trubisky threw for a season-high 278 yards, including a touchdown to Robinson, and two interceptions after missing the final drive the previous week because of a right hip pointer. Robinson had six catches, and the defending NFC North champions gave their frustrated fans something to cheer.

Jones was 21 of 36 for 150 yards and two touchdowns. Saquon Barkley ran for 59 yards after rushing for 72, 64, 28 and 1 in his first four games back from a high right ankle sprain.

 

Aldrick Rosas missed two field goals, and New York fell to 7-20 in two seasons under coach Pat Shurmur.

 

The Bears took a 10-7 lead on the opening drive of the third when Trubisky hit Robinson down the middle for a 32-yard TD after New York's Janoris Jenkins got flagged for holding on third down to keep the drive going.

 

Robinson also caught a 49-yard strike with Chicago deep in its territory to help set up a 24-yard field goal by Eddy Pineiro midway through the third, making it 13-7.

 

Mack then nailed Jones from behind for a strip-sack that Williams recovered at the New York 3, and Trubisky plowed in to make it 19-7.

 

The Bears visit Detroit on Thursday.

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Bradley Puts Win Streak on Line Tonight Against Northwestern

The Bradley Braves have won four in a row and will put their four-game win streak and 4-1 record on the line tonight against Northwestern from the Fort Myers Tip-Off.

 

Northwestern beat Norfolk State Friday but a week ago took a devastating loss to Radford 67-56 at home. The Wildcats have a good win on their resume in the non-conference slate over Providence but lost their opener to Merrimack. 

 

The Braves have five players averaging double-figures in the early season. Darrell Brown and Nate Kennell are averaging over 13 points per game. Elijah Childs is averaging 12 PPG, Ja'Shon Henry is averaging 10.5 points per game. 

 

Kock Bar is averaging a double-double at 10 PPG and 10 rebounds per contest. Additionally, Childs is averaging nine rebounds per game.

 

Darrell Brown is averaging nearly seven assists per game.

 

Game time tonight is 7:30 pm and is being broadcast on FoxSports1.

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Niners Dominate Packers

Jimmy Garoppolo threw two long touchdown passes and the San Francisco harassed Rodgers into one of the worst performances of his brilliant career, leading the 49ers to a 37-8 victory over the Packers on Sunday in the first of three straight games against first-place teams.

 

Garoppolo connected on a 42-yard touchdown strike to Deebo Samuel in the second quarter and a 61-yarder to George Kittle in the third to start this stretch for San Francisco (10-1) off on a high note.

 

Rodgers lost a fumble on the opening drive one of the five sacks he took and failed to convert a single third down on 13 tries before getting pulled late in the fourth quarter. He finished 20 for 33 for 104 yards and Green Bay averaged an anemic 1.7 yards per pass play when he was in the game.

 

San Francisco allowed 198 yards on 70 plays, didn't allow a single completion longer than 15 yards and got a key stop against Aaron Jones on a fourth-and-1 run in the first half when the outcome was still in doubt.

 

Garoppolo then put it away with the two long touchdowns, part of a day when he went 14 for 20 for 253 yards and most importantly committed no turnovers.

 

The Packers got into an early hole when Fred Warner sacked Rodgers on the opening drive, forcing a fumble that Nick Bosa recovered at the 2.

 

The Packers are in New York to take on the Giants on Sunday.

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Ohio State Up In Latest AP Poll

No. 2 Ohio State gained some ground on No. 1 LSU in The Associated Press college football poll and Oregon dropped out of the top 10 after being upset by Arizona State.

 

The Tigers remained No. 1 for the fifth straight week in the AP Top 25 presented by Regions Bank, receiving 50 first-places votes. The Buckeyes got nine first-place votes, up from five last week. No. 3 Clemson received three first-place votes. No. 4 Georgia and No. 5 Alabama also held their spots.

Ohio State is coming off a 28-17 victory over Penn State that dropped the Nittany Lions three spots to No. 12.

 

Oregon dropped eight spots to No. 14 after losing 31-28 at Arizona State. That allowed Utah to move up a spot to No. 6 and Oklahoma to No. 7. Florida, Minnesota and Michigan round out the top 10.

No. 24 Navy jumped into the rankings, knocking out American Athletic Conference rival SMU.

No. 25 Southern California finished its regular season by beating rival UCLA and jumping back into the rankings. The Trojans have had two previous one-week stays in the poll this season.

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Utah Inches Up in Latest Coaches Poll

With a dominant win against Arizona that improved Utah's record to 10-1 on the season, the Utes are one of the key teams moving up in the latest update to the coaches' college football rankings. Utah is up two spots from No. 8 to No. 6 after going on the road and beating the Wildcats 35-7. That move up was aided, interestingly enough, by a Pac-12 upset that might have hurt the league's chances of making the College Football Playoff. Oregon rallied late after trailing Arizona State for much of the game, but the Ducks' defeat has them falling in the Coaches Poll from No. 6 to No. 13. 

 

Now if Utah can beat Colorado next week and Oregon the following week in the Pac-12 title game, it will have an argument as one of the top four teams in the country on Selection Sunday. But that win against Oregon carries a little less sizzle now that the Ducks have a second loss on the season. 

 

The top five all remained in order -- LSU, Ohio State, Clemson, Georgia and Alabama -- but behind that group we saw some shuffling following the Week 13 action. Baylor moved up three spots to No. 10 as it clinched its first-ever Big 12 title game bid with a win against Texas, Penn State dropped three spots to No. 12 after losing to Ohio State and near the end of the top 25 we see teams like Navy and USC making a return to the rankings after finishing in Others Receiving Votes a week ago. 

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UPDATE: IHSA Football Playoff Semifinal Matchups

Class 1A

 

Central A & M (12-0) at Athens (10-2), 35-21

 

Class 2A

 

Nashville (11-1) at Decatur St. Teresa (11-1), 35-21

 

Class 3A

 

Byron (11-1) at Princeton (11-1), 7-3
Williamsville (12-0) at Quincy Notre Dame (9-3), 28-23

 

Class 5A

 

Rochester (11-1) at Mascoutah (9-3), Sat. 5:00 pm

 

Class 6A

 

Chatham-Glenwood (12-0) at East St. Louis (12-0), 28-50

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Illinois Looks To Keep Rolling At Iowa

Iowa has won 10 of its last 11 over Illinois dating to 2000. But the Fighting Illini have taken four straight games and are looking for their first three-game road winning streak in Big Ten play since 2001 when Illinois (6-4, 4-3 Big Ten) visits No. 19 Iowa (7-3, 4-3), Saturday at 12 p.m. EST (BTN).

 

The Illini have forced at least two turnovers in all seven of its Big Ten games. Iowa QB Nate Stanley has thrown just five interceptions in 2019, and it will be imperative for him to protect the ball for the Hawkeyes.

 

Iowa Freshman RB Tyler Goodson had 94 yards on just 13 carries in his first career start a week ago. But Illinois leads the nation with 17 forced fumbles.

 

Illinois WR Josh Imatorbhebhe is averaging 20.6 yards per catch, good for 13th nationally, with nine touchdowns. If the Illini can spring Imatorbhebhe for a few long receptions to pair with some turnovers, an upset might just be in the offing.

 

Illini LB Dele Harding leads the Big Ten with 12 tackles per game.

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Illinois State at Youngstown State

A stout defensive effort from the Illinois State defense resulted in ISU picking up its eighth win of the season last week against Missouri State, now the No. 6 Redbirds (8-3, 5-2 MVFC) will look to finish the season strong and boost their playoff seeding chances when they take on Youngstown State (5-6, 1-6 MVFC) at Stambaugh Stadium in the regular-season finale.

 

YSU dropped a 24-17 decision to Indiana State last Saturday in Terre Haute. The YSU rushing attack is extremely balanced, as five different players have recorded at least three touchdowns on the ground. Joe Alessi leads the way with 700 yards on 118 attempts with five scores. Justus Reed is among the Valley Football leaders with 11 sacks and 15.0 tackles for loss, he is one of three YSU defenders with at least 10 TFLs on the season.

 

Getting out to an early lead has been very beneficial for the Redbirds this season and is a big reason why the team is 8-3 on the year. Overall, the Redbirds are 7-0 on the year when scoring first in the game, and they are now 5-0 when scoring on their first possession of the contest after getting a touchdown on their first drive against South Dakota State.

 

Illinois State currently sits at No. 6 in the FCS Coaches Poll  and at No. 7 in the STATS FCS Top 25 following a tough home win over Missouri State. 

 

Kick is 11 am central time Saturday in Youngstown.

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Eastern Illinois Looks To Finish Season Strong

Eastern Illinois wraps up the 2019 season this Saturday as the Panthers play at No. 19 Austin Peay. 

 

EIU led No. 15 Southeast Missouri at the half last week but could not hold on as the Panthers dropped to 1-10 on the season, 1-6 in the OVC.  Austin Peay enters the weekend tied with SEMO for first place in the OVC standings at 8-3 overall, 6-1 in the OVC.  APSU is looking to lock up its first-ever bid to the FCS playoffs. 

 

Isaiah Hill was named the Ohio Valley Conference Offensive Player of the Week following his efforts against No. 15 Southeast Missouri.  Hill hauled in 13 passes for 152 yards and a touchdown.  It was the second time this season that Hill has caught 13 or more passes this season and finished with 150 or more yards in a game.

 

Game time Saturday is 2 pm from Clarksville, Tennessee. Hear all the action on WHOW and at dewittdailynews.com. 

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Bears Host Giants Sunday

With five losses in six games and their postseason hopes all but extinguished, the Bears (4-6) will try to start salvaging something when they host the struggling Giants (2-8) on Sunday.

 

Chicago has fallen out of contention after winning the NFC North at 12-4. They were banking on quarterback Mitchell Trubisky to make another jump coming off a Pro Bowl selection and an offense that showed some creativity to click in a major way in coach Matt Nagy's second year.

 

Neither has happened. And last week's 17-7 loss to the Rams in Los Angeles was particularly bad.

 

Not only did an offense that ranks among the league's worst stall again, Trubisky sat out the final drive because of a right hip pointer. And the Bears wasted another solid effort by a defense that still is one of the NFL's best, even if it's banged up and more vulnerable.

 

The Giants dropped six in a row prior to their bye last week and are on the verge of clinching their third straight losing season. They're 7-19 in two years under Pat Shurmur, and the coach and general manager Dave Gettleman could be on shaky ground.

 

Only three teams have allowed fewer points than the Bears (174). But when it comes to scoring, the Bears are near the bottom of the NFL. Chicago ranks 28th in total points (169) and points per game (16.9) and 27th in touchdowns (19).

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Packers, Niners Square Off in Primetime

When Green Bay coach Matt LaFleur started preparing to face San Francisco's stellar defense, he sent out a text message trying to get some inside information.

 

''Hey, would you give me a call? I have a couple of questions about your defense,'' LaFleur said he messaged 49ers coordinator Robert Saleh, his former roommate when the two were graduate assistants at Central Michigan.

 

Saleh predictably didn't give up any secrets, although there should be few heading into Sunday night's game between the Packers (8-2) and 49ers (9-1) considering all the ties between the two coaching staffs.

 

LaFleur considers Saleh one of his best friends, worked under San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan in Houston, Washington and Cleveland, and has a brother, Mike, on the Niners staff.

 

Shanahan spent a year as offensive coordinator when Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine was head coach in Cleveland, but said none of that will matter on Sunday.

 

LaFleur got his first NFL job as a quality control assistant in Houston when Shanahan was offensive coordinator after a recommendation from Saleh. He then worked as quarterbacks coach under Shanahan in Washington and Atlanta and has taken many of the lessons he learned during those stints into his first year as a head coach.

 

San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo showed off both sides of his game last week against Arizona. He threw two interceptions, giving him 10 on the season. But he also threw for a career-high 424 yards and four touchdowns, including the go-ahead score in the final minute. The ups and downs have been part of Garoppolo's game all season, but he hasn't let the bad plays affect him. Garoppolo is 32 for 35 for 378 yards, two TDs, no interceptions and a 130.7 passer rating on the drives following his picks.

 

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has already seen enough of the Bosa family after the Chargers' Joey Bosa had 1 1/2 sacks against Green Bay earlier this month. Now he has to deal with the younger Bosa brother when he faces San Francisco's stellar rookie Nick, who has seven sacks already.

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Sox, C Grandal Agree to Big Deal

Yasmani Grandal turned down a $17.9 million qualifying offer from the Los Angeles Dodgers last November. A team signing him during the 2018-19 offseason would have lost a top amateur draft pick and he found a slow market. He agreed in January to a deal with Milwaukee that guaranteed $18.25 million: a $16 million salary for 2019 and a $16 million mutual option for 2020 with a $2.25 million buyout. The All-Star catcher agreed Thursday to a $73 million, four-year contract with the White Sox.

 

Selected for the All-Star team for the second time, the 31-year-old hit .246 and had career bests with 28 homers and 77 RBIs. He declined to exercise his part of the option and became a free agent again.

 

A free agent may only be given a qualifying offer once, so there was no draft-pick compensation attached this offseason. Chicago’s deal will pay him $18.25 million annually.

 

The switch-hitter has had four straight seasons with more than 20 home runs. He leads major league catchers with 117 homers since 2015 and ranks third in that span with 322 RBIs.

 

Grandal is looking forward to joining a team he believes has a bright future with promising young pitchers and hitters. Another plus for him was manager Rick Renteria, his bench coach in San Diego.

 

Hahn said the White Sox met with Grandal at the general managers meetings in Arizona last week and reached an agreement on Wednesday night. The move gives Chicago two All-Star catchers following James McCann’s first selection last season. Hahn said either could be used at designated hitter, with Grandal also getting time at first base.

 

Outfielder Daniel Palka was designated for assignment to make room for Grandal on the 40-man roster.

 

Chicago went 72-89 in its seventh straight losing season and missed the playoffs for the 13th time in 14 years since the 2005 team won the World Series. But with young players establishing themselves in the majors and promising prospects in the minors, the White Sox think they are setting themselves up to make a big jump.

 

Grandal would earn a $100,000 bonus if voted AL MVP. $90,000 for finishing second, $80,000 for third, $70,000 for fourth and $60,000 for fifth. He would get $100,000 for World Series MVP, $75,000 for League Championship Series MVP, $50,000 if he is selected an All-Star by The Sporting News, $25,000 each if he starts in the All-Star Game or wins a Gold Glove, and $15,000 apiece if he is an All-Star reserve or wins a Silver Slugger.

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Blues Blank Flames

Goalie Jordan Binnington stopped 40 shots for his sixth career shutout in St. Louis' 5-0 win over the Calgary Flames on Thursday night.

 

Oskar Sundqvist scored twice, Zach Sanford had a goal and three assists, David Perron and Dunn also scored and Robert Thomas added three assists to lead the Blues to their largest victory margin of season. St. Louis also improved to 9-1-2 in their last 12 games.

 

Dunn's open-ice check on Andrew Mangiapane midway through the second period woke the crowd and the Blues. Perron capitalized with a power-play goal to push the lead to 3-0.

 

Binnington, who helped the Blues to their first Stanley Cup title last season, got his first shutout this season. His biggest save came late in the second when he halted Johnny Gaudreau on a breakaway.

 

David Rittich finished with 26 saves for Calgary, which has lost six in a row while being outscored 23-5.

 

The Blues host Nashville on Saturday.

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Lightning Double Up Blackhawks

Anthony Cirelli and Brayden Point scored 2:39 apart midway through the third period, and the Lightning beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2 on Thursday night.

 

Kucherov, the reigning NHL MVP after he led the league with 128 points last season, is day to day after suffering an upper-body injury in the second period of Tuesday's 3-1 loss at St. Louis.

 

Stamkos, who leads the Lightning with seven goals and 20 points, was held out of the second and third periods with a lower-body injury, but he stayed on the bench. He played 5:17 over nine shifts in the first.

 

Mikhail Sergachev scored a power-play goal in the first period, and Cedric Paquette added an empty-netter. Backup Curtis McElhinney made 32 saves for Tampa Bay, which had dropped two in a row.

 

Brent Seabrook and Dylan Strome scored for Chicago, and Corey Crawford made 31 stops. But the Blackhawks dropped their second straight since a four-game win streak.

 

Tampa Bay earned its eighth consecutive victory against Chicago. The Blackhawks haven't defeated the Lightning since a 1-0 overtime win on Oct. 24, 2015, four months after Chicago beat Tampa Bay to win the Stanley Cup.

 

Blackhawks star Patrick Kane extended his point streak to 11 games with his 600th career assist. He logged a game-high 27:52 of ice time.

 

The Blackhawks are in Dallas on Saturday.

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Illinois Handles The Citadel

Kofi Cockburn scored 18 points and grabbed 17 rebounds to lead Illinois past The Citadel 85-57 on Wednesday night.

 

It was the fourth double-double of the young season for Cockburn, a muscular, 7-foot freshman.

Cockburn’s 17 rebounds broke a school single-game record for a freshman, previously held by Deon Thomas (16). Cockburn is the only freshman in the country with four double-doubles through five games.

 

Ayo Dosunmu and Giorgi Bezhanishvili each added 16 points for Illinois (3-1).

 

Kaelon Harris led The Citadel (1-4) with 19 points and 10 rebounds.

 

The Illini held the Bulldogs to 7 of 36 shooting (19%) in the first half and scored 51 points in the second half while holding the Bulldogs to 37.

 

Cockburn had eight points and 11 rebounds as Illinois led 34-20 at the half.

 

Up 40-20 with 17:56 left in the game, Cockburn brought the crowd to its feet with a monster one-handed dunk.

 

On the next offensive play for Illinois, the Illini showed their versatility when Trent Frazier nailed a 3-pointer after a takeaway.

 

Illinois hosts Hampton on Saturday, the third of five-games at the State Farm Center.

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Bulls Down Pistons

Lauri Markkanen scored 24 points on 7-for-14 shooting, Wendell Carter Jr. had 12 points and 15 rebounds, and the Chicago Bulls beat the Detroit Pistons 109-89.

 

It was Markkanen's first 20-point game since scoring 35 points on opening night. Tomas Satoransky and Shaquille Harrison each had 15 points as the Bulls snapped a three-game losing streak.

 

Derrick Rose had 18 points and Blake Griffin - in just his third game of the season - added 16 as the Pistons dropped their fifth straight.

 

Detroit's Andre Drummond finished with six points and 14 rebounds before fouling out with six minutes to go. Drummond had 25 points and 24 rebounds against the Bulls three weeks ago.

 

Chicago took an 84-71 lead after three quarters and then stretched it to 89-71 on five quick points by Thaddeus Young. The Bulls coasted from there. Markkanen hit a 3 with about 5 1/2 minutes to play for a 99-77 lead, Chicago's biggest of the game.

 

The Bulls host the Miami Heat on Friday night to conclude a four-game homestand.

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Bradley Drops Norfolk State

Koch Bar had 15 points to lead five Bradley players in double figures as the Braves beat Norfolk State 69-57 on Tuesday night.

 

Darrell Brown added 13 points for the Braves. Elijah Childs chipped in 11, Nate Kennell scored 11 and Ja'Shon Henry had 10. Brown also had eight assists and five rebounds.

 

After a three-point play by Joe Bryant drew Norfolk State within 62-55 with 1:30 remaining, Childs threw down a dunk for a nine-point Bradley lead and the Braves closed it out with 5 of 6 from the free-throw line.

 

Bryant scored 17 points for the Spartans (3-2). Jermaine Bishop added 14 points.

 

Bradley (3-1) matches up against Radford at home on Friday.

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Illinois Hosts The Citadel Tonight

Illinois squares off against The Citadel in an early season matchup at the State Farm Center tonight. 

Illinois is coming off a 66-53 win over Hawaii on Monday.

 

Illinois’ Andres Feliz has averaged 16 points and 8.8 rebounds while Kofi Cockburn has put up 14.3 points and 11.5 rebounds.

 

Illinois has posted an excellent offensive rebound percentage of 42.1 percent this year. That rate is ranked sixth in Division 1. 

 

For the Bulldogs, Hayden Brown has averaged 19.7 points and five rebounds while Tyson Batiste has put up 11.3 points and 5.7 assists.

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Blues Down Lightning

Oskar Sundqvist and David Perron scored to lead the Blues to a 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning, spoiling Pat Maroon's much-anticipated return after helping his hometown team to a Stanley Cup title last season.

 

Maroon made his first trip back to St. Louis since signing a one-year contract with the Lightning in the offseason. He scored the game-winning goal in double overtime of Game 7 against Dallas in the second round of the 2019 playoffs to send the Blues to the Western Conference final for the second time in four years.

 

The defending Stanley Cup champions were 0-1-2 in their previous three games.

 

Tampa Bay struck first when Anthony Cirelli scored at 16:36 of the first period. From behind the red line, Alex Killorn got the puck from Victor Hedman. Killorn saw Cirelli, who was parked at the top of the crease, and snapped a quick pass. Cirelli's wrist shot went through the legs of Jordan Binnington for his third goal of the season.

 

The Blues outshot the Lightning 18-4 and were on the power play three times in the second but only produced one goal. Tampa Bay had one power-play chance in the period.

 

Perron got his ninth goal to tie it 1-all when he tapped in a rebound of Colton Parayko's shot from in front at 17:24.

 

Earlier in the period, Binnington made back-to-back, highlight-reel saves on short-handed attempts by the Lightning. Binnington finished with 17 stops.

 

Tampa Bay was 0 for 2 on the power play and fell to 1-7-0 when it doesn't score with the man advantage.

 

The Blues host the Calgary Flames on Thursday.

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College Football Playoff Top 4 Unchanged

The College Football Playoff rankings were unchanged at the top this week, with LSU first followed by Ohio State, Clemson and Georgia.

 

The selection committee’s third weekly rankings had little movement in the top 10, with Alabama fifth followed by Oregon, Utah, Penn State, Oklahoma and Minnesota.

 

The committee could face an interesting decision with Alabama in the coming weeks. The Crimson Tide lost quarterback Tua Tagovailoa for the season to a hip injury Saturday. Alabama faces Western Carolina this weekend, so playing backup Mac Jones shouldn’t make much difference. On Thanksgiving weekend, the Tide will face Auburn with its No. 2 quarterback, which should give the committee a better read on what kind of a team Alabama is now.

 

Minnesota and Baylor, both of which lost for the first time last weekend, dropped in the rankings. Minnesota went from eighth to 10th after losing at Iowa. Baylor slipped from 13th to 14th after blowing a 25-point lead to Oklahoma.

 

Ohio State and Penn State play this weekend in a game that could essentially eliminate the Nittany Lions from the playoff race.

 

The highest-ranked team from outside the Power Five conferences is Memphis at 18th, one ahead of American Athletic Conference rival Cincinnati, and two ahead of Boise State from the Mountain West.

 

The highest-ranked team from outside the Power Five with a conference championship receives a bid to one of the New Year’s Six bowls.

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Hurricanes Double Up Blackhawks

Nino Niederreiter had a goal and an assist, and the Hurricanes beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2 on Tuesday night for the franchise’s first sweep of a regular-season trip of at least three games.

 

Andrei Svechnikov and Martin Necas also scored as Carolina earned its fourth straight victory overall. Sebastian Aho had an empty-netter, and Petr Mrazek made 30 saves.

 

Chicago had won four in a row and five of six overall. The Blackhawks scored 21 times during their win streak, but they were very quiet before making a big push in the third period.

 

Patrick Kane helped fuel the rally with two assists on his 31st birthday, extending his point streak to 10 games. Defensemen Erik Gustafsson and Connor Murphy scored 1:10 apart to trim Carolina’s lead to 3-2 with 6:45 left.

 

The Blackhawks then got a power play when Brett Pesce was sent off for interference, but Mrazek denied Dominik Kubalik in front with 4:43 left.

 

Mrazek also stopped Kane on a drive to the net with 3:12 remaining. Aho then put it away when he scored his 10th goal with 18 seconds to go, matching Svechnikov for the team lead.

 

The Hurricanes went ahead to stay in the first when they turned a Blackhawks turnover into a 2-on-0 break the other way. Necas got a pass from Niederreiter and beat Robin Lehner for his fifth of the season at 14:24.

 

Svechnikov made it 2-0 when his slap shot went off the stick of Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook and past Lehner 53 seconds into the second.

 

Niederreiter then used a sweet backhand move to make it a three-goal lead for Carolina at 11:54 of the second. It was his first goal since Nov. 1 and his third on the year.

 

The Blackhawks host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night.

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Pacers Top Nets

Aaron Holiday finished with career highs of 24 points and 13 assists, Justin Holiday scored 20 points and the Pacers cruised to a 115-86 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Monday night.

 

Indiana was playing without Malcolm Brogdon and Jeremy Lamb, but the backcourt tandem of the Holiday brothers was effective, especially after coach Nate McMillan was successful on a replay challenge late in the third quarter.

 

Aaron Holiday and Justin Holiday combined to hit three consecutive baskets to put the Pacers ahead 82-65 with 1:09 remaining in the period.

 

Domantas Sabonis had 16 points and a career-high 18 rebounds, while T.J. Warren added 19 for the Pacers, who were coming off consecutive losses to Houston and Milwaukee.

 

Brooklyn was on a 7-0 run and within 75-62 with 3:10 left in the third quarter when Justin Holiday signaled to McMillan to challenge a call that the Pacers had lost the ball out of bounds.

 

The call was overturned and the Pacers soon after pushed their lead back to 18.

 

Spencer Dinwiddie had 28 points and Jarrett Allen finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds for the Nets, who played without Kyrie Irving for a second straight game and were held to their lowest point total of the season.

 

Indiana was sluggish early before tying it at 18-all. The Pacers then blitzed the Nets with a 11-0 run to start the second quarter, getting seven straight points from Warren while opening up a 29-18 advantage.

 

Indiana later outscored Brooklyn by 30-15 and led by as many as 28 points with 28 seconds remaining in the half when Naz Mitrou-Long sealed a 13-0 spurt with an uncontested layup.

 

The Pacers are off until Saturday when they open a four-game homestand against the Orlando Magic.

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Illinois Pulls Away from Hawaii

Kofi Cockburn scored 15 points and grabbed 14 rebounds and Illinois beat Hawaii 66-53 on Monday night.

 

Cockburn, from Jamaica, recorded his third double-double in four games this season.

 

Trent Frazier added 13 points and Giorgi Bezhanishvili 10 for Illinois (3-1).

 

Zigmars Raimo led Hawaii (3-2) with 16 points. Eddie Stansberry, the Rainbow Warriors leading scorer (20 points per game) was held to 10 points on 4-of -14 shooting, thanks to the smothering defense of Frazier.

 

Both teams were cold in the first five minutes, with Illinois going 0 for 7 to start the game. The score was tied at 26 at the half.

Illinois used a 14-2 run late in the game to take control. The Illini were 15 of 23

from the free throw line, while the Rainbow Warriors were only 2 of 3.

 

Overall, Illinois was 23 of 54 from the field for 43%, while Hawaii was 24 of 64 for 37.5%. The Illini turned the ball over 16 times to Hawaii’s nine.

 

Illinois hosts The Citadel on Wednesday in the second game of a five-game home stand.

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Bucks Roll Past Bulls

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 33 points and 10 rebounds, and the Bucks beat the Bulls 115-101 on Monday night for their fourth straight victory.

 

Brook Lopez added 19 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots as Milwaukee won for the eighth time in nine games. The Bucks also beat the Bulls 124-115 on Thursday in Milwaukee.

 

Antetokounmpo was 13 for 22 in his 13th consecutive double-double to begin the season. It's the longest active streak in the NBA.

 

Daniel Gafford led Chicago with 21 points in his return from the G League. Coby White had 13, and Ryan Arcidiacono finished with 12.

 

The Bulls got a season-high 63 points from their reserves, but Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen struggled. LaVine finished with 11 points on 4-for-16 shooting, and Markkanen had nine on 2-for-12 shooting from the field.

 

White made consecutive 3-pointers to give Chicago a 99-98 lead with 6:23 left, but Milwaukee closed the game with a 17-2 run.

 

Antetokounmpo got it started with a slick reverse layup. Eric Bledsoe then converted a three-point play to make it 103-99 with 5:04 left.

 

George Hill finished with 18 points for Milwaukee, which improved to 7-2 on the road. Donte DiVincenzo scored 15 in his third consecutive start in place of Khris Middleton, who is out with a bruised left thigh.

 

The Bulls host the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night. Chicago beat Detroit 112-106 in their first meeting of the season Nov. 1.

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Duke College Basketball's New No. 1

Duke is back at No. 1, moving up a spot following a pair of victories last week.

 

The Blue Devils can thank Evansville for the jump.

 

Duke moved to No. 1 for the first time this season, receiving 52 first-place votes from a 65-member media panel in The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll released Monday.

 

The Blue Devils climbed a spot after unranked Evansville pulled off the season’s biggest surprise so far by knocking off previous No. 1 Kentucky.

 

Duke is ranked No. 1 for the 143rd week, extending its own record, and has the top spot in the AP poll for the 20th season under coach Mike Krzyzewski, also a record.

 

Duke (4-0) crushed Central Arkansas 105-54 last Tuesday and beat Georgia State 74-63 on Friday behind Tre Jones’ career-high 31 points.

 

No. 2 Louisville received eight first-place votes and No. 3 Michigan State, the preseason No. 1, had four.

 

Kansas and North Carolina rounded out the top five, with No. 7 Virginia receiving the final first-place vote, one spot behind Maryland.

 

Kentucky was the overwhelming pick at No. 1 last week, receiving all but one first-place vote after knocking off previous No. 1 Michigan State in its opener.

 

The Wildcats dropped to No. 9 this week with the 67-64 loss to Evansville in Lexington.

 

No. 10 Ohio State cracked the top 10 for the first time since reaching No. 8 in 2017-18, coach Chis Holtmann’s first season. The Buckeyes climbed six spots after crushing then-No. 10 Villanova.

 

No. 14 Arizona moved up five-spots climb.

 

Auburn moved up three places from No. 22.

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Jeter, Konerko Among 18 Newcomers to Hall of Fame Ballot

Derek Jeter is among 18 newcomers on the 2020 Hall of Fame ballot. He is likely to be an overwhelming choice to join former New York Yankees teammate Mariano Rivera in Cooperstown after the reliever last year became the first unanimous pick by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

 

A 14-time All-Star shortstop and five-time World Series champion, Jeter hit .310 with 3,465 hits in 20 seasons and was the 1996 AL Rookie of the Year. He has been CEO of the Miami Marlins the past two seasons.

 

Other newcomers announced Monday by the BBWAA include Cliff Lee, Josh Beckett, Jason Giambi, Paul Konerko, Rafael Furcal, Bobby Abreu and Alfonso Soriano.

 

Holdovers include Curt Schilling, who received 60.9% last year, Roger Clemens (59.5%), Barry Bonds (59.1%) and Larry Walker (54.6%). Schilling rose from 51.2% in 2018. Walker, on the ballot for their 10th and final time this year, increased from 34.1% in 2018.

 

Bonds and Clemens, whose candidacies have been tainted by allegations of steroids use, are both on for the eighth time. Clemens rose from 57.3% in 2018 and Bonds from 56.4%.

 

Ballots are sent to more than 400 BBWAA members with at least 10 consecutive years in the organization, and a player must appear on at least 75 percent to gain election. Ballots must be mailed by Dec. 31, and results will be announced Jan. 21.

 

Anyone elected will be inducted July 26 along with any selections by the Hall’s modern era committee, which meets and votes at San Diego on Dec. 8.

 

Players remain on the ballot for up to 10 years, provided they receive at least 5 percent of the vote annually.

 

Roy Halladay, Edgar Martinez and Mike Mussina were elected along with Rivera in the 2019 BBWAA vote.

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The Clinton Lady Maroons Defeats the DeeMack Lady Chiefs

As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons defeated the DeeMack Lady Chiefs by a score of 52-35 Monday night. The Maroons were led by Kaitlyn Rauch with 24 points. Mallory Cyrulik added 14 points. Bethany Overbey added 4 points. Destiny Schlesinger added 3 points.

 

The Chiefs were led by Audrey Thomann with 12 points. Hope McGinnes added 8 points.

 

The Maroons improve to 1-0 overall. The Chiefs fall to 0-1 overall.

 

Tune in next Tuesday as the Lady Maroons take on LeRoy. You can hear the game live on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, on the WHOW app, and on Amazon Alexa.

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Central Florida Rallies Past Illinois State

Brandon Mahan’s put-back layup off an offensive rebound with 25 seconds left helped send Central Florida to a 67-65 win over Illinois State on Sunday.

 

Mahan’s shot made it 66-65, and following a Redbirds timeout, each team exchanged turnovers. Zach Copeland missed a 3-point attempt for Illinois State and Keith Fisher III fouled Mahan who made 1 of 2 foul shots. Illinois State failed to get a shot off at the end.

 

Collin Smith led UCF (2-1) with 18 points and Mahan scored 17 with 10 rebounds. Darin Green Jr. scored 13 and Avery Diggs added 10.

 

Dedric Boyd led Illinois State (2-1) with 22 points on 10-of-15 shooting. Matt Chastain scored 12 and Antonio Reeves 11.

 

The Knights overcame a 34-25 halftime deficit and trailed most of the second half. Green hit a 3-pointer with 68 seconds left for UCF’s first lead of the half, 64-63. Rey Idowu gave Illinois State it’s last lead with a put-back off his offensive rebound before Mahan’s game-winner.

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Rams Hold Off Bears

Todd Gurley had a season-high 133 scrimmage yards and scored a touchdown to lead the Rams to a 17-7 victory to help them keep pace in the NFC playoff race.

 

Los Angeles (6-4) ran it on 65.4% of its plays (34 of 52). That is the highest run percentage in Sean McVay’s three seasons as coach and only the fourth time they have gone to ground more than 60% of the time.

 

Gurley led the way with a season-high 25 carries. His 97 rushing yards also tied for his most this year.

 

Jared Goff was 11 of 18 for 173 yards and an interception with many of his completions coming off play action.

 

The Bears (4-6) ran 22 more plays than the Rams but averaged only 3.6 yards. Mitchell Trubisky was 24 of 43 for 190 yards with a touchdown and interception. Trubisky injured his right hip on the last drive of the first half but didn’t come out until late in the fourth quarter, when Chase Daniel came in.

 

Gurley came in averaging 53.5 rushing yards per game, but had 63 in the first half, including three carries of 10 yards or more. After Greg Zuerlein opened the scoring with a 38-yard field goal early n the second quarter, Gurley put the Rams up 10-0 with 3:28 remaining on a 1-yard drive up the middle.

 

Gurley’s TD was set up when Goff connected with Cooper Kupp for a 50-yard gain. Kupp beat Buster Skrine up the left sideline and hauled in the pass at the 15 before he fumbled going out of bounds at the 1. It appeared as if Kupp might have fumbled it at the pylon, which would have been a Chicago touchback.

 

After Tarik Cohen’s third-quarter touchdown catch brought Chicago to 10-7, the Rams put it out of reach with 3:35 remaining in the fourth quarter on Malcolm Brown’s 5-yard run.

 

Chicago got to 10-7 on its first drive of the second half when Trubisky connected with Cohen for a 12-yard score. Cohen beat linebacker Cory Littleton in single coverage to score his third touchdown of the season.

 

Goff’s 11 completions and 18 attempts were career lows when starting a game, but the game plan was effective. Chicago’s Khalil Mack was held without a tackle or sack.

 

The Bears drove inside the Rams 35 on their first three series but had nothing to show for it. Eddy Piñeiro missed 48- and 47-yard field goal attempts and Chicago turned it over on downs on the second series.

 

Piñeiro began the season 9 of 10 on field goals but has missed three straight and four of his last seven.

 

The Bears host the New York Giants (2-8) next Sunday.

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Georgia Jumps 'Bama in Latest Polls

The top of the new college football rankings are mostly the same, but there's still some shakeup in the top 10 and throughout the entire AP Top 25 as released on Sunday. The top three teams stayed in order with LSU at No. 1, Ohio State at No. 2 and Clemson at No. 3, but Georgia's win at Auburn resulted in a move from No. 5 to No. 4, ahead of Bama, which may have also seen its stock impacted by the loss of Tua Tagovailoa. 

 

Two more previously undefeated teams took their first loss of the season in Week 12, and the AP voters responded by dropping Minnesota from No. 7 to No. 11 and Baylor from No. 12 to No. 13. With Minnesota moving down, a spot opened up for Florida to reenter at No. 10 after being ranked at No. 11 heading into Saturday's win at Missouri.

 

Further down the rankings, we see Michigan jump two spots to No. 12 after a blowout win of rival Michigan State, and Iowa move up four spots to No. 19 after taking down the Golden Gophers in Kinnick Stadium.  

 

The college football season is winding down, and Saturday's results provided yet another set of data points to narrow the College Football Playoff race. The first official reaction we get in terms of rankings is from the Coaches Poll, which bounced two previously undefeated teams from the top 10 after losses in Week 12.  

 

The coaches still overwhelmingly favor LSU as the No. 1 team in the country after the Tigers outlasted Ole Miss in a 58-37 shootout win in Oxford. LSU received 55 of the 65 available first-place votes, while No. 2 Ohio State received six and No. 3 Clemson received the remaining four. While Alabama won at Mississippi State, it's loss comes in the form of Tua Tagovailoa's season-ending hip injury, which combined with Georgia's suffocating win at Auburn resulted in a flip of No. 4 and No. 5. 

 

Other changes in the top 10 of the Coaches Poll include a fall for Minnesota from No. 7 to No. 11 after taking its first loss of the season at Iowa, and Baylor's similar fall from No. 10 to No. 13 after allowing Oklahoma to storm back from a 21-point deficit and steal a crucial Big 12 win in Waco, Texas. The Sooners, for their comeback effort, saw a rise from No. 8 to No. 7.  

 

The new additions to the top 10 include Penn State at No. 9 and Florida at No. 10. Both the Nittany Lions, who bounced back from defeat with a win against Indiana, and the Gators, who dominated with defense at Missouri, moved up two spots in the rankings. 

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Blackhawks Blast Sabres

Patrick Kane and Kirby Dach led the way as the high-scoring Blackhawks beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-1 for their fourth straight victory.

 

Kane extended his goal-scoring streak to six games, and Dach scored twice. Jonathan Toews added his fourth of the season, and Corey Crawford made 33 saves.

 

Kane won a battle with Buffalo defenseman Marco Scandella for a loose puck during a third-period power play, and then beat Carter Hutton on the glove side for his team-best 11th goal. The star forward has eight goals and nine assists during a nine-game point streak.

 

Jack Eichel scored his fifth goal in two days, but banged-up Buffalo lost for the seventh time in eight games.

 

Dach, the No. 3 overall pick in the June draft, got each of his goals on the backhand side, extending his point streak to four games.

 

Dach's shot from the left circle in the first went off the stick of a backchecking Eichel and fluttered over Hutton. He made it 2-0 in the second when he flipped a slick backhand into the net at 12:32 for his fifth goal in 14 games this season.

 

The Blackhawks host the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night.

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Kyle Bush Wins Second NASCAR Championship

Kyle Busch emerged from the Joe Gibbs Racing juggernaut as NASCAR’s latest champion, winning his second title Sunday after teammates Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. were slowed by pit-road gaffes. He snapped a 21-race losing streak and beat Hamlin, Truex and rival Kevin Harvick for the Cup.

 

Busch joined seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson as the only active drivers with multiple titles. He’s the 16th driver in NASCAR history to win multiple championships, and one of only five to win titles in both the Cup Series and the second-tier Xfinity Series.

 

Hamlin fell out of contention when an aggressive aerodynamic gamble backfired because a large piece of tape placed across the front of his car caused his engine to overheat. Hamlin had to make an unscheduled pit stop to remove the tape.

 

Truex recovered to finish second, but Hamlin didn’t have enough time to overcome the miscue and was a disappointing 10th.

 

The finale pitted a trio of Toyota drivers from Hall of Fame owner Gibbs against Harvick, the hand-picked driver of former Gibbs protege Tony Stewart at Stewart-Haas Racing. The Gibbs group had the edge based on its tremendous season — Busch’s win was the 19th out of 36 races for the organization — and the trio insisted it would continue its note-sharing all weekend.

 

Busch, ironically, had one of his worst races in the pits in last year’s finale as his front-tire changer had hiccups on two stops. But he was flawless Sunday night and led a race-high 120 laps.

 

Busch gave Gibbs his fifth Cup title and bookended a season in which the Gibbs cars opened the year 1-2-3 at the Daytona 500. Gibbs this entire year has been mourning the death of his son, JGR co-chairman J.D. Gibbs, and the organization promoted a “Do it for J.D.” theme the entire weekend.

The season ended with a 1-2-3 finish in the finale as it was Busch, Truex and Erik Jones across the finish line for Gibbs.

 

Busch gave Toyota its third drivers’ championship in five seasons.

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Playoff Football Quarterfinal Matchups

Class 1A:

 

#4 Arcola (9-2) at #1 Central A & M (11-0), 8-42
#7 Carrollton (9-2) at #6 Athens (9-2), 28-55

 

Class 2A:

 

#3 Decatur St. Teresa (10-1) at #10 Auburn (8-3), 34-6

 

Class 3A:

 

#5 Paxton-Buckley-Loda (9-2) at #1 Princeton (10-1), 12-38
#3 Vandalia (11-0) at #2 Williamsville (11-0), 28-56

 

Class 4A:

 

#3 Effingham (10-1) at #10 Prairie Central (9-2), 27-14

 

Class 5A:

 

#11 Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin (8-3) at #2 Rochester (10-1), 35-49

 

Class 6A:

 

#2 Chatham-Glenwood (11-0) at #11 Providence Catholic (8-3), 40-16

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Illini Off This Week

Riding a four-game win streak, among them college football's biggest upset of the year - a home win over then fourth ranked Wisconsin - and the biggest comeback in program history last week on the road at Michigan State, Illinois will take the week to rest and regroup. 

 

Illinois is bowl eligible for the first time since 2014 with games left at Iowa next Saturday and then Northwestern at home the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

 

Illinois announced earlier this week they will play the rest of the regular season without junior wide receiver Ricky Smalling. Smalling is second on the team with 24 receptions and third with 225 receiving yards. 

 

Illinois and Iow are set for an 11 am kick next Saturday. 

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Eastern Illinois Hosts Southeast Missouri

Eastern Illinois picked up its first win of the 2019 season last Saturday at Tennessee State as the Panthers rallied from a halftime deficit to win 49-38.  EIU improved to 1-9 on the season, 1-5 in the OVC.  The Panthers host Southeast Missouri which is currently tied for first in the OVC race with a 5-1 record.  SEMO is 7-3 overall.

 

Jaelin Benefield was named the Ohio Valley Conference Newcomer of the Week following his efforts in the win at Tennessee State.  Benefield rushed for 105 yards while catching four passes for 32 yards.  Benefield had three touchdowns (2 rushing / 1 receiving) in the game as he now leads EIU in scoring with 42 points.

 

Game time Saturday is noon. Hear all the action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Illinois State Hosts Missouri State

Coming off a big road win at South Dakota State, No. 7 ranked Illinois State returns home for its final regular-season contest at Hancock Stadium when the Redbirds host the Missouri State Bears on Senior Day.

 

Missouri State (1-8, 1-5 MVFC) fell behind 30-0 midway through last Saturday's matchup at Southern Illinois which proved to be the difference in a 37-14 defeat at the hands of the Salukis.

 

The last two wins for the Redbirds have happened because the 'Birds took advantage of turnovers and turned them into scoring opportunities. In ISU's last two wins, it has collected nine turnovers and turned those into 29 points in a pair of road victories.

 

Kick time from Hancock Stadium is noon.

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Bucks Top Bulls

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 38 points and 15 rebounds, Eric Bledsoe added a season-high 31 points and eight assists, and the Bucks withstood another historic effort by Chicago rookie Coby White to beat the Bulls 124-115.

 

The Bucks have won seven straight against Chicago dating to 2017.

 

White shot 5 of 8 from 3-point range in the first half, becoming the youngest player in NBA history to hit five 3-pointers in consecutive games. The 19-year-old first-round pick hit seven 3-pointers in the fourth quarter of a 120-102 victory over the New York Knicks on Tuesday night - the most in a quarter ever by a rookie. White finished Thursday with 26 points, including six 3s.

 

The Bucks made just six 3s while Chicago hit 18 from long range. But Milwaukee outscored the Bulls 70-32 inside. That marked a season high in the paint for Milwaukee. Bledsoe was a perfect 12 for 12 inside the arc.

 

Wesley Matthews scored 10 of his 15 points from the foul line for Milwaukee. Matthews had just three free-throw attempts coming into the night but had 13 Thursday.

 

Zach LaVine had 25 points and seven assists before fouling out for Chicago. Wendell Carter Jr. added 14 points and six rebounds. He also fouled out.

 

Chicago had six players score in double figures - White, LaVine, Carter Jr., Lauri Markkanen, 11; Thaddeus Young, 11; and Tomas Satoransky, 10.

 

The Bulls host the Nets on Saturday.

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Bears in LA For Sunday Night Football

Sean McVay, Jared Goff and the LA Rams (5-4) host the Bears (4-5) in the Coliseum on Sunday night in a game that could wreck the loser’s realistic playoff hopes

 

Los Angeles was 11-1 and cruising through a season that would bend with a Super Bowl trip, but Vic Fangio’s defense reduced McVay’s offense to a wan shadow of its usual self. Todd Gurley produced only 28 yards rushing, Goff went 20 of 44 for 180 yards, and the Rams managed only 214 yards - less than half of their season average.

 

Chuck Pagano runs the Bears’ defense now, and it has scarcely lost a step statistically despite Chicago’s overall struggles.

 

The Rams’ offense is a shadow of its former self, sitting in the middle of the pack in most statistical categories and coming off an inept performance at Pittsburgh in which it scored only three of Los Angeles’ 12 points.

 

The Bears’ biggest concern this time around likely should be Aaron Donald and the Rams’ defense, which has been on a roll since the week before it acquired shutdown cornerback Jalen Ramsey from Jacksonville.

 

Khalil Mack will be lining up against a Rams offensive line with four of the five starters in unfamiliar positions. Los Angeles lost center Brian Allen and right tackle Rob Havenstein to injuries last week, so guard Austin Blythe moves to center and untested youngsters David Edwards, Austin Corbett and Bobby Evans likely join the starting lineup. The Rams’ line struggled against Pittsburgh even before the injuries.

 

The Bears got the win they needed last week against Detroit, ending a four-game skid with Trubisky throwing three TD passes to match his season high. But the defending NFC North champions still have plenty of room to improve. Though they scored on three consecutive possessions in the second and third quarters, the offense went long stretches without moving the ball.

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Trout, Bellinger Named MVPs

Mike Trout overcame injury and tragedy to win his third AL MVP award Thursday night, getting 17 of 30 first-place votes in balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Alex Bregman of the Houston Astros was second, and that duo combined for all the first- and second-place votes. Trout also won the award in 2014 and ’16.

 

Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger made it a Southern California sweep, beating out the Milwaukee Brewers’ Christian Yelich for the NL prize. Bellinger got 19 of 30 first-place votes, Yelich got 10, and Washington’s Anthony Rendon got one while finishing third. Yelich won the award last year.

 

Trout had season-ending foot surgery in September while the Angels languished to a fourth-place finish. The outfielder played just 134 games but still set a career high with 45 homers. He batted .291, led the majors with a .438 on-base percentage and drove in 104 runs.

 

The 28-year-old shined even following the death of close friend and teammate Tyler Skaggs on July 1. Trout smashed a 454-foot homer wearing Skaggs’ No. 45 in the team’s first game back, when LA pitchers threw a combined no-hitter.

 

The 24-year-old Bellinger and his loose, left-handed swing launched 47 home runs with a .305 average, 115 RBIs and a 1.035 OPS.

 

He was the best player on the NL’s top team in the regular season, propelling Los Angeles to 106 wins. He’s the 10th different Dodgers player to win MVP and first since Clayton Kershaw in 2014.

 

Bellinger won the Gold Glove Award in right field but also played center and first base. He’s the first Dodgers position player to win MVP since Kirk Gibson in 1988.

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Illinois Baseball Signs Nine on National Signing Day

The Illinois baseball team signed nine highly-rated recruits Wednesday, seven from high schools and two junior college transfers. The Fighting Illini singed five of the top-25 recruits in Illinois according to Prep Baseball Report. 

 

Official recruiting ranks will not be released until student-athletes report to campus next fall. 

6-foot-4 right handed pitcher Jack Crowder from Plainfield East High School is the no. 2 right-handed pitcher in Illinois by Perfect Game and No. 3 by Prep Baseball Report, the no. 35 right-handed pitcher in the nation by Perfect Game and No. 77 by Prep Baseball Report, the no. 4 recruit in Illinois by Perfect Game and No. 8 by Prep Baseball Report and the no. 135 recruit in the nation by Perfect Game and No. 236 by Prep Baseball Report.

 

5-11 infielder Cal Hejza from Oswego is the no. 6 shortstop in Illinois by Perfect Game and No. 9 by Prep Baseball Report, the no. 22 recruit in Illinois by Perfect Game and No. 33 by Prep Baseball Report and a top 500 recruit in the nation by Perfect Game.

 

Payton Hutchings is a 5-foot-11 left handed pitcher from Coal City and is the no. 1 left-handed pitcher in Illinois by Prep Baseball Report and No. 5 by Perfect Game, the no. 45 left-handed pitcher in the nation by Prep Baseball Report and No. 117 by Perfect Game,  the no. 12 recruit in Illinois by Prep Baseball Report and No. 39 by Perfect Game and 422nd ranked overall recruit in the nation by Prep Baseball Report.

Clayton Johnson is a towering 6-foot-8 right hander from Prophetstown. He's the no. 4 right-handed pitcher in Illinois by Prep Baseball Report and No. 10 by Perfect Game, no. 11 recruit in Illinois by Prep Baseball Report and No. 23 by Perfect Game, the no. 414 recruit in the nation by Prep Baseball Report, the no. 136 right-handed pitcher in the nation by Prep Baseball Report and a top 500 recruit in the nation by Perfect Game.

 

6-foot-3 outfielder Tom Jurack from Hinsdale Central High School is the no. 4 outfielder in Illinois by Perfect Game and No. 8 by Prep Baseball Report, the no. 157 outfielder in the nation by Perfect Game, no. 25 recruit in Illinois by Perfect Game and No. 56 by Prep Baseball Report and a top 500 recruit in the nation by Perfect Game.

 

Champaign Central outfielder Connor Milton ranks as the fourth overall outfielder in Illinois by Prep Baseball Report, the no. 74 outfielder in the nation by Prep Baseball Report, no. 14 recruit in Illinois by Prep Baseball Report, and no. 441 recruit in the nation by Prep Baseball Report.

 

Jersey Community product Tucker Shalley is the no. 7 right-handed pitcher in Illinois by Prep Baseball Report and No. 13 by Perfect Game, the no. 341 right-handed pitcher in the nation by Perfect Game, the 24th overall recruit in Illinois by Prep Baseball Report and No. 31 by Perfect Game and a top 500 recruit in the nation by Perfect Game.

 

The Illini also received letters of intent from Ryan Hampe (C) and Andrew Hoffmann (RHP) from John A. Logan CC.

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PG from New York Signs With Illinois Basketball

University of Illinois head coach Brad Underwood announced Wednesday the signing of four-star point guard Andre Curbelo to a national letter of intent on the initial day of the early signing period.

 

Curbelo helped lead Long Island Lutheran to the 2019 New York State Federation Tournament of Champions Class AA title, LuHi's first-ever Federation championship. He averaged 15.5 points, 9 assists, 8 rebounds and 4 steals during his junior season and was selected as Newsday's All-Long Island Player of the Year.

 

Ranked as high as the No. 46 player in the Class of 2020 by Rivals, Curbelo was most recently named to USA Today's 25-player 2019-20 All-USA Preseason Team entering his senior year at LuHi.

 

A native of Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, Curbelo has also gained international experience with his home country, starring for Puerto Rico in the FIBA U17 and U19 World Cups.

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Illinois State Extends Coach Steve Holm

Illinois State announced Tuesday baseball head coach Steve Holm has signed a one-year contract extension that runs through 2024. 

 

Holm led the Redbirds to a 36-26 (14-7 MVC) record and helped them earn a share of the 2019 Missouri Valley Conference regular-season title in his debut season as head coach. The 36 wins was a 14-win improvement than the year prior and the most for an Illinois State team since winning 39 in 2013. It was also the most wins for a first-year Redbird baseball head coach in program history.

 

The 'Birds earned an at-large NCAA Tournament berth in 2019 and were placed in the Louisville regional, defeating both Big Ten regular-season champion Indiana and No. 7 ranked Louisville, before ultimately falling to Louisville in the first Illinois State appearance ever in a regional final. Louisville advanced to the Final Four of the College World Series where they were defeated by eventual champions No. 1 Vanderbilt, who ISU had also beaten earlier in the year in Nashville.

 

The Redbirds open the 2020 campaign on Feb. 14 in Little Rock, Arkansas, against the Little Rock Trojans.

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Blackhawks Blast Vegas

Corey Crawford made 39 saves and the Blackhawks beat Vegas 5-3 for their first victory over the Golden Knights.

 

Calvin de Haan and Erik Gustafsson each scored his first of the season, and Patrick Kane, Kirby Dach and Dylan Strome also had goals for the Blackhawks.

 

During their nine-game run, the Blackhawks are tied with Florida for the second-most goals (30) in the NHL behind Boston, which has 35 in that span.

 

It seemed to spark the Golden Knights from the opening faceoff, as William Carrier and William Karlsson gave Vegas a 2-0 lead just 6:29 into the game.

 

But Kane answered 16 seconds after Karlsson's goal, extending his season-high point streak to seven games since Nov. 2.

 

The second period took a wild twist in favor of the Blackhawks, as Vegas went from thinking it was ahead 3-1 to trailing 3-2 in a matter of 65 seconds.

 

In his first game back from his second injury of the season, Vegas wing Alex Tuch lasered a shot past Crawford. The puck appeared to go in, setting off the lights and goal horn, but actually hit the crossbar and was ruled no goal.

 

Only 20 seconds later, de Haan beat Marc-Andre Fleury with a wrist shot over his glove to tie the game and swing energy further Chicago's way. And 45 seconds after that, Gustafsson took advantage of the momentum shift - and a Vegas turnover - to put the Blackhawks in front 3-2.

 

Dach extended Chicago's lead early in the third with his third goal of the season, when the 18-year-old knocked his own rebound past Fleury, who stopped 21 shots but dropped to 10-6-4 against Chicago.

 

Strome beat Fleury over his glove with a little more than three minutes left to make it 5-2. Nate Schmidt closed the scoring with 1:01 to go.

 

The Blackhawks are in Nashville on Saturday.

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Mets' deGrom, Astros' Verlander Collect Second Cy Young Awards

Justin Verlander has a second AL Cy Young Award — and a clear path paved toward Cooperstown.

Verlander beat out Houston Astros teammate Gerrit Cole in balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America revealed Wednesday night. Verlander got 17 first-place votes to 13 for Cole, who became a free agent after the season.

 

Mets ace Jacob deGrom won the NL prize for the second straight year. He received 29 of 30 first-place votes, becoming the 11th pitcher to win Cy Youngs in consecutive years. He and Verlander are the 20th and 21st players to win the award multiple times.

 

The 36-year-old Verlander won his first Cy Young in 2011 with Detroit, when he was also named MVP. Since then, he’d been a runner-up three times.

Verlander no-hit Toronto on Sept. 1, becoming the sixth pitcher with three no-hitters in a career.

 

DeGrom is in special company as a repeat NL winner, joining Koufax, Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson, Tim Lincecum, Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer.

 

The 31-year-old led the NL with 255 strikeouts and posted a 2.43 ERA.

 

Awards week wraps Thursday with the announcement of AL and NL MVPs. Angels star Mike Trout is seeking his third MVP but might lose out after his season was cut short due to injury. Astros infielder Alex Bregman and A’s shortstop Marcus Semien are the other finalists in the AL.

 

Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich is trying to repeat as the NL winner, but his season was also cut short by an injury. It’ll likely be him or Dodgers youngster Cody Bellinger. Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon is also a finalist.

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Cardinals Schildt Wins Manager of the Year

Less than a week after his mother died, Mike Shildt was honored for piloting the St. Louis Cardinals back into the playoffs, narrowly beating Craig Counsell of the Milwaukee Brewers to win NL Manager of the Year.

 

Shildt earned the award in his first full season on the job, even though Counsell received more first-place votes (13-10) from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

 

Minnesota Twins manager Rocco Baldelli won the AL prize in a tight finish over Aaron Boone of the New York Yankees. Both received 13 first-place votes, but Baldelli got more second-place nods (13-9). The 38-year-old is the youngest to win the award.

 

The 51-year-old is the first manager of the year who never played pro ball, but he’s been around the game since he was a child. His mom worked as an administrative assistant for the Charlotte O’s in the Baltimore Orioles’ system, and Shildt was a regular in the clubhouse.

 

Shildt replaced Mike Matheny as Cardinals manager during the 2018 season, and under his steady guidance, St. Louis has been among baseball’s best teams since. The club won 91 games and the NL Central crown this year, ending the franchise’s three-year postseason drought. The Cardinals gave Shildt a contract extension through the 2022 season.

 

Baldelli and Shildt are the eighth and ninth managers to win this award in their first full seasons on the job.

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Bulls Down Knicks

Coby White made a franchise-record seven 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, and the Chicago Bulls pulled away from the slumping New York Knicks for a 120-102 victory Tuesday.

 

White missed his first five shots from the field and began the final period with just four points. But the 19-year-old rookie put on a dazzling show down the stretch, delighting a United Center crowd that included Roy Williams, White's coach at the University of North Carolina.

 

White connected from deep on three straight Chicago possessions during a 24-2 run that made it 109-89 with 5:51 remaining. He made one last 3 to run the Bulls' lead out to 120-100 before checking out with 1:31 to go.

 

White finished with 27 points. Zach LaVine had 25 for Chicago, and Wendell Carter Jr. finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds.

 

New York lost for the sixth time in seven games. Marcus Morris scored 22 points for the Knicks, and rookie RJ Barrett finished with 21 points and nine assists. Taj Gibson and Julius Randle each scored 17 points.

 

The Bulls visit the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night.

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Pacers Blow By Thunder

TJ Warren scored 11 of his 23 points in the third quarter to lead the Indiana Pacers over the Oklahoma City Thunder 111-85 Tuesday night.

 

Malcolm Brogdon had 20 points, six rebounds and five assists, and Domantas Sabonis had 18 points and 16 rebounds for the surging Pacers (7-4), who have won seven of eight, including four straight.

 

It was Warren who provided the spark needed to put the game out of reach, shooting 5 for 5 from the field in the third quarter and 10 for 14 overall.

 

The Pacers used a big third quarter - including 71.4 percent shooting - to take a 26-point lead and put the game away.

 

Aaron Holiday hit two 3-pointers and Warren made another in a 15-2 run that ended with Doug McDermott's layup to put Indiana ahead 84-58 with 1:49 to go.

 

McDermott hit a 3-pointer to make it 99-68 with 7:19 to play.

 

Danilo Gallinari scored 14 points, Deonte Burton had 13 points and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 11 points and six rebounds for the Thunder (4-7), who have lost three of four and remained winless on the road.

The Pacers first pulled away with a 12-2 run in the first quarter. TJ Leaf's layup gave Indiana a 28-18 lead, and the Pacers led by 15 after a jumper by Brogdon made it 52-37 with 1:58 remaining in the half.

The Thunder scored five straight points, including a 3-pointer by Gilgeous-Alexander, to close out the first half. The Pacers led 52-42 at halftime.

 

The Pacers were 10 for 10 from the foul line through the first three quarters and finished 12 for 13 overall. The Thunder were 19 for 20 after three quarters, finishing 21 for 24 from the line. Gallinari shot a perfect 8 for 8 on free throws.

 

Victor Oladipo was assigned to Indiana's G League affiliate in Fort Wayne for a brief period Tuesday. The two-time All-Star was then recalled following a practice with the Mad Ants in Indianapolis, where Oladipo participated in full court drills for the first time, according to Coach Nate McMillan. Oladipo has been out all season as he rehabs a ruptured quad tendon in his right knee suffered in January.

 

The Pacers travel to Houston on Friday. The Rockets have won four straight after a sweep of the regular season series the last two years.

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Arizona Outlasts St. Louis

Nick Schmaltz and Conor Garland scored in a shootout, and the Coyotes snapped the St. Louis Blues' seven-game winning streak with a 3-2 victory Tuesday night.

 

The Coyotes landed at 1 a.m. Tuesday after flying in from Washington, but waited more than two hours on the tarmac because there was no crew available to unload the plane. They finally got to their hotel rooms around 3:30 a.m.

 

Garland's power-play goal tied it 2-all at 5:58 of the third period. St. Louis native Clayton Keller had a goal and an assist against his hometown team.

 

Jaden Schwartz and Colton Parayko scored for the Blues, but the defending Stanley Cup champions dropped to 0-2 in shootouts this season.

 

Arizona improved to 3-0 in tiebreakers after winning in a shootout for the second consecutive night. The Coyotes topped Washington 4-3 on Monday.

 

Schmaltz is 4 for 6 in shootouts during his career. Garland is 3 for 4.

 

Darcy Kuemper made 33 saves for Arizona.

 

St. Louis goalie Jordan Binnington stopped 20 shots.

 

The Blues are at the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday.

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College Football Playoff Committee Jumps LSU To No. 1

Alabama is fifth in the latest College Football Playoff rankings, behind LSU, Ohio State, Clemson and Georgia, which took over the fourth spot in the selection committee’s second top 25.

 

LSU replaced Ohio State as No. 1 on Tuesday night after the Tigers won at Alabama on Saturday. The Buckeyes were bumped to No. 2. Clemson moved up two spots to No. 3 after two teams ahead of the Tigers lost for the first time last week, including Alabama.

 

The Crimson Tide fell to 46-41 to LSU and dropped two spots. Penn State, which had been No. 4, lost 31-26 at Minnesota and fell to ninth. The unbeaten Gophers climbed nine spots to eighth, the largest one-week jump in the six-year history of the College Football Playoff.

 

Georgia moved up two spots to give the Southeastern Conference two of the top four for the second straight week.

 

Oregon was sixth and fellow Pac-12 team Utah was seventh.

 

Oklahoma, the highest-ranked Big 12 team at No. 10, dropped a spot after a one-point victory against Iowa State. The Sooners face 13th-ranked Baylor on Saturday. The Bears are the lowest-ranked unbeaten team.

 

The highest-ranked Group of Five teams were 17th-ranked Cincinnati and 18th-ranked Memphis out of the American Athletic Conference. The highest-ranked team from outside the Power Five conferences receives an automatic bid to a New Year’s Six bowl.

 

The final rankings and pairings for the College Football Playoff semifinal will be revealed Dec. 8.

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Cardinals, Wainwright Agree on One Year Deal

The St. Louis Cardinals and Adam Wainwright have agreed to a contract for the 2020 season, increasing the likelihood the veteran pitcher finishes his career with the only major league team for which he has ever played.

 

The 38-year-old Wainwright was drafted by the Braves in 2000 and traded to the Cardinals three years later. He made his major league debut in 2005 and has been a stalwart for St. Louis the past 14 seasons, going 162-95 with a 3.39 ERA and three All-Star game appearances.

 

He played last season on a $2 million deal and proved he was still effective, going 14-10 with a 4.19 ERA while helping the Cardinals reach the National League Championship Series.

 

Wainwright was especially valuable down the stretch. He had a 2.97 ERA in September and a 1.62 ERA in the postseason, where the Cardinals were ousted by eventual World Series champion Washington.

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Illinois Freshman Big Man Big Ten Freshman of the Week

Illinois' Kofi Cockburn was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week on Monday, the conference office announced. Cockburn had an impressive debut with the Fighting Illini, averaging a double-double on the week while helping lead the team to a 2-1 record.

 

Cockburn becomes the first Illini freshman in 37 years to record double-doubles in each of his first two games.

 

His 10 points and game-high 11 rebounds with 2 blocks came in the Illini's season-opening win over Nicholls State then recorded his second-straight double-double with game-highs of 23 points and 14 rebounds on 8-12 FG in just 23 minutes in the 12-point win at Grand Canyon.

 

Cockburn was held to just 9 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks at #21 Arizona yesterday.

Illinois returns to action next Monday. 

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Illini Duo Players of the Week

Illinois' Josh Imatorbhebhe and Sydney Brown were named Big Ten Players of the Week on Monday, the conference office announced. Imatorbhebhe and Brown helped the Fighting Illini upset Michigan State, 37-34, with the biggest comeback in Illinois history after trailing 28-3 in the first half. 

 

Both players shared honors on their side of the ball with players from Minnesota, which beat No. 4 Penn State to remain undefeated. Imatorbhebhe shared Offensive Player of the Week honors with quarterback Tanner Morgan, who threw for 339 yards and three touchdowns, while Brown shared defensive honors with Antoine Winfield Jr., who had 11 tackles and two interceptions. 

 

Imatorbehebhe's four receptions for a career-high 178 yards and two touchdowns at Michigan State were the most receiving yards by an opponent at Spartan Stadium since at least 2000 and the most by an Illinois player ever in the 47-game series history against Michigan State

 

He had a 46-yard touchdown reception as time expired in the first half and an 83-yard touchdown to start the fourth quarter.

 

Imatorbhebhe hauled in a 37-yard reception on 4th and 17 on the Illini's game-winning touchdown drive in the final minutes.
 
His nine touchdown receptions this season are tied for the third-most in program history, one away from tying the Illinois single-season record of 10 set by Brandon Lloyd (2001) and David Williams (1985).

 

Brown's 13 tackles included a game-high eight solo stops and a career-high two interceptions.

His first pick came late in the first half to set up an Illini offensive touchdown on the last play of the first half then returned his second interception 76 yards for his first career touchdown during the Illini's 27-point fourth quarter.

 

Brown was the second consecutive Illini to be named Defense Player of the Week. Dele Harding was last week's recipient after his big game helped Illinois to a runaway win over Rutgers. 

Illinois is off this week. 

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ISUs Copeland Named Missouri Valley Basketball Player of the Week

Illinois State senior Zach Copeland has been named the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week, announced by the conference office on Monday afternoon.

 

The award is the first for Copeland, who earned one MVC Newcomer of the Week honor a season ago.

The Oakland, California, native averaged 19.5 points per game during the week in which Illinois State started a season 2-0 for the first time since 2012-13. He made 56 percent of his shots from the field (14-of-25) and 42 percent (5-of-12) from long range. He also pulled down six rebounds, dished out nine assists and had five steals over the two games.

 

Copeland scored 20 points in the season opener against Belmont, making 8-of-16 shots from the field and 2-of-6 from long range, and he also added five assists (just one turnover), six rebounds, and three steals. Four days later against Little Rock, he scored 19 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field and was 3-of-6 from three-point distance. Against the Trojans, he dished out four assists and picked up a pair of steals. Copeland is currently the only player in the MVC to rank inside of the top-10 in the MVC in scoring, assists, and steals.

 

The Redbirds return to action on Sunday, Nov. 17, when the team plays host to the UCF Knights with a 1 p.m. tip-off at Redbird Arena.

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ISU Duo Missouri Valley Players of the Week

With exceptional performances that aided No. 11 Illinois State in a road defeat of No. 4 South Dakota State, junior linebacker Dylan Draka and senior placekicker Sam Fenlason were each named Missouri Valley Football Conference Players of the Week Sunday by the league office.

 

Draka recorded five tackles, including four solo stops, and tallied three TFLs in the victory over the Jackrabbits. The Wheeling, Illinois, native was also credited with a forced fumble, a pass breakup and recovered a pair of fumbles for the Redbirds. His sack/fumble and recovery late in the fourth quarter set up Fenlason's fourth field goal of the contest to make the score 27-18. 

 

Fenlason tied his career-high with four made field goals in the win over the Jackrabbits, including a career-long 46-yarder to seal the victory. 

 

The nationally-ranked Redbirds (7-3, 4-2 MVFC) return home Saturday to host Missouri State (1-8, 1-5 MVFC) on Senior Day at Hancock Stadium, with kickoff set for noon. 

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Kentucky College Basketball's New No. 1

Kentucky is back in a familiar position under John Calipari: No. 1 in The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll.

 

The Wildcats rose one spot after winning a 1-vs-2 matchup with Michigan State to open the season in the Champions Classic, followed by an easy win against Eastern Kentucky. They earned 64 of 65 first-place votes in Monday’s poll to finish ahead of No. 2 Duke.

 

It marks the first time the Wildcats (2-0) have reached No. 1 in the AP Top 25 since spending two weeks there early in the 2016-17 season.

 

The same five teams were at the top of the poll, just in reshuffled order.

 

Duke climbed two spots to No. 2 after winning a top-4 matchup against Kansas at the Classic. The Blue Devils were ranked second on 48 ballots, third on 13 more and no lower than fifth on any ballot.

 

The Spartans were No. 1 in the AP preseason poll for the first time in program history entering the Kentucky game but fell to third, followed by Louisville — which claimed the remaining first-place vote — and Kansas.

 

North Carolina, Maryland, Gonzaga, reigning national champion Virginia and Villanova rounded out the top 10.

 

Twelve teams moved up in the poll, with Duke, Virginia, No. 11 Texas Tech, No. 16 Ohio State, No. 18 St. Mary’s, No. 19 Arizona and No. 22 Auburn all moving up two spots.

 

Florida and Baylor took big tumbles after opening-week losses.

 

The Gators had the biggest fall, sliding nine spots to No. 15 after Sunday’s loss to Florida State. The Bears fell eight spots to No. 24 after losing to now-No. 20 Washington in Friday’s Armed Forces Classic in Anchorage, Alaska.

 

Six ranked teams fell in the poll, though two — No. 21 Xavier (two spots) and No. 23 LSU (one spot) fell despite emerging from the week unscathed.

 

Purdue (No. 23) and VCU (No. 25) fell out of the poll, though the Rams won both their games last week and trailed Colorado by just 14 points in the voting.

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Mets' Alonso, Astros' Alvarez Win Rookie of the Year

Young sluggers known for their prodigious power, Pete Alonso and Yordan Álvarez knocked the Rookie of the Year voting out of the park.

 

In a rarity for the major league home run leader, Alonso didn’t land the biggest blow.

 

Alonso, a star first baseman with the New York Mets, got 29 of 30 first-place votes for NL Rookie of the Year. Braves right-hander Mike Soroka got the other first-place vote and finished second in balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America revealed Monday night.

 

Álvarez, a hulking designated hitter from the Houston Astros, earned all 30 first-place votes to become the 24th unanimous selection since the award was introduced in 1949.

 

The 24-year-old Alonso led the majors with 53 homers, one better than Yankees slugger Aaron Judge’s rookie record from 2017. “Polar Bear” Pete became the face of baseball in Flushing, beloved for his power, personality and philanthropy. He’s the sixth Met to win the award and first since teammate Jacob deGrom in 2014.

 

Álvarez, a 22-year-old from Cuba, played 87 games after debuting in June, fewest by any position player to win AL Rookie of the Year. He hit 27 homers, batted .313, drove in 78 and had a 1.067 OPS for the pennant-winning Astros. He struggled at times in the postseason, but that was after voting had concluded.

 

He’s the third Houston player to win, following teammate Carlos Correa in 2015 and Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell in 1991.

 

Álvarez easily beat out the other AL finalists, with Orioles left-hander John Means second and Rays infielder Brandon Lowe third.

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Arizona Pulls Away Late From Illinois

Nico Mannion scored 23 points, Josh Green added 20 and Zeke Nnaji had 19 in No. 21 Arizona's 90-69 rout over Illinois on Sunday night.

 

Arizona (2-0) was good at both ends, shooting 56% while nabbing 14 steals. The Wildcats turned a tight game at halftime into a rout with a 17-2 second-half run behind Mannion, Green and Nnaji.

 

Nnaji made 9 of 12 shots, Mannion had nine assists and Green was 4 for 7 from 3-point range.

 

Illinois (2-1) was able to hang with the Wildcats in the first half of a high-level game with more than two dozen NBA scouts on hand.

 

The Illini went cold in the second half and struggled holding onto the ball, turning it over 22 times.

Ayo Dosunmu led Illinois with 15 points and Trent Frazier added 14.

 

Illinois made seven of its first eight shots and Frazier had eight points in the first 4 1/2 minutes.

Mannion matched him, scoring on a 3, a floater, a putback and set up Nnaji for a dunk with a baseball pass in traffic .

 

The offensive show continued the rest of the half. Frazier had 12 points and Illinois hit 15 of 27 shots.

Mannion had 11 points, Arizona went 16 for 30 and led 39-38 on Max Hazard's last-second 3-pointer .

Arizona tightened up on defense to start the second half and went on an early 8-0 run to go up nine.

Illinois answered with a 7-0 run, but Arizona's freshman took over and the Wildcats scored 15 straight points to go up 68-52.

 

Illinois went 5:11 without a field goal during the run and shot 10 of 26 in the second half.

 

Kofi Cockburn, Illinois's 7-foot freshman, finished with nine points and seven rebounds.

 

Illinois hosts Hawaii on Nov. 18.

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Illinois State Holds Off Arkansas-Little Rock

Zach Copeland sank three 3-pointers and scored 19 points as Illinois State held off Arkansas-Little Rock 75-70 on Sunday.

 

Dedric Boyd had 14 points off the bench, hitting 4 of 6 from beyond the arc, for the Redbirds. Illinois State is 2-0 for the first time in seven years. Rey Idowu and Jaycee Hillsman pitched in with 12 points apiece.

 

Markquis Nowell had 28 points for the Trojans (1-1), hitting 10 of 21 shots with four 3-pointers. Ruot Monyyong, Kris Bankston and Ben Coupet Jr. each scored 10. Coupet topped UALR with seven rebounds.

 

The two schools were playing for the first time in eight years.

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Bears Hold Off Lions

Mitch Trubisky tied a season-high with three touchdown passes, and the Bears withstood a late charge by Detroit with Jeff Driskel filling in for injured quarterback Matthew Stafford, beating the Lions 20-13 on Sunday.

 

Detroit ruled out the 31-year-old Stafford hours before kickoff because of hip and back injuries, ending his streak of 136 consecutive starts. It was the first time he missed a regular-season game since 2010.

 

Chicago (4-5) quieted the boos by getting its struggling offense going late in the first half, scored two touchdowns early in the third quarter and hung on to win for the first time since beating Minnesota in Week 4. Detroit (3-5-1) lost for the fifth time in six games.

 

Driskel threw a 47-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Golladay to cut it to 20-13 with 5:53 remaining. And he led Detroit from its 10 to the Chicago 25 on the game's final drive. But with the ball on 25, he overthrew Marvin Jones Jr. in the end zone as time expired on a play that would not have counted because of an illegal forward pass penalty.

 

Trubisky completed 16 of 23 passes for 173 yards in another solid outing against Detroit. It wasn't as good as his performance against the Lions last year in a win at Soldier Field, when the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 draft threw for 355 yards and three touchdowns.

 

Trubisky got sacked five times. But overall, this was a positive step for the struggling quarterback.

Taylor Gabriel, Tarik Cohen and Ben Braunecker each caught touchdowns. Nick Kwiatkoski set up a TD with his first career interception.

 

Driskel finished 27 of 46 for 269 yards with a touchdown and interception. 

 

Danny Trevathan (elbow) left in the first quarter. He ran off the field with his arm dangling by his side after it bent awkwardly as he tried to sack Driskel.

 

The Bears visit the Los Angeles Rams next Sunday night.

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Packers Stop Panthers

Preston Smith and Green Bay's defense stopped MVP candidate Christian McCaffrey at the goal line as time expired and the Packers defeated the Carolina Panthers 24-16 on a snowy Sunday at Lambeau Field.

 

Aaron Jones scored three rushing touchdowns for the second time this season to lead Green Bay (8-2), which improved to 5-2 all-time against the Panthers at home. Jones is the first Packers player since Sterling Sharpe in 1994 with multiple three-touchdown games in a season. Jones is also the first Green Bay running back since Jim Taylor in 1962 with multiple three-touchdown games in a season. Taylor did it three times that year.

 

The Panthers got the ball with 2:25 left on their own 11-yard line, trailing by eight. Quarterback Kyle Allen drove Carolina down the field, including completing a 12-yard pass to D.J. Moore on fourth-and-10 with 56 seconds left. The Panthers also benefited from an offsides penalty with 13 seconds remaining to convert another fourth down. After Allen threw an incompletion to McCaffrey, the Packers stopped him just short of the end zone as time expired. A brief replay review upheld the call.

 

Aaron Rodgers was held out of the end zone, but the two-time MVP completed 17 of 29 passes for 233 yards, including 118 yards to Davante Adams.

 

McCaffrey had a relatively quiet 108 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries for the Panthers (5-4), who fell to 6-10 all-time against Green Bay. McCaffrey, who entered the day leading the league in yards from scrimmage and touchdowns, also had 33 yards on six catches.

 

Allen completed 28 of 43 attempts for 307 yards. He also had two costly turnovers.

 

The Packers are off next week.

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Blackhawks Outlast Leafs

Patrick Kane had two goals and an assist, Robin Lehner made 53 saves and the Blackhawks struck early and then held off the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4 on Sunday night.

 

Jonathan Toews, rookie Kirby Dach and Brandon Saad also scored. Alex DeBrincat had three assists and Dylan Strome added two.

 

Kane, Chicago's 30-year-old offensive whiz, clicked with linemates DeBrincat and Strome to key the Blackhawks' four-goal first period. Kane has four goals in three games and 11 points in his last six. He came out flying in this one.

 

Lehner stole the show at the end as the Maple Leafs took - and the Blackhawks allowed - a season-high 57 shots. That's the most the 2019 Vezina Trophy finalist has faced in regulation.

 

William Nylander scored twice for the Maple Leafs, and John Tavares and Andreas Johnsson added power-play goals in the third as Toronto stormed back and outshot Chicago 26-7 in the final period. Auston Matthews had four assists for Toronto, which entered on five-game point streak (3-0-2) and lost in regulation for the first time in two weeks.

 

Toronto backup Michael Hutchinson stopped 29 shots and remained winless at 0-4-1.

 

The Maple Leafs played without star forward Mitch Marner after he suffered a right ankle sprain in the second period Saturday night in a 3-2 home loss Philadelphia. Marner underwent an MRI exam and will be out of the lineup for a minimum of four weeks.

 

The 22-year-old Marner has four goals and 14 assists through 18 games. He led the Maple Leafs last season with career highs in points (94) and assists (68) and had a career-best 26 goals.

The Blackhawks are at Vegas on Wednesday night.

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LSUs Big Win Sends Them To No. 1 In Latest Rankings

The new AP Top 25 poll is out and Minnesota has entered the top 10 following its 31-26 win over Penn State on Saturday. The Gophers (9-0) move up six spots to No. 7 while Penn State falls four spots to No. 9. Minnesota, one of college football's best surprises of the season, travels to No. 23 Iowa in Week 12. The Gophers can clinch the Big Ten West division with a win and a Wisconsin loss to Nebraska. 

 

LSU retains its top spot after beating Alabama 46-41 in Tuscaloosa, but the Crimson Tide fall just two spots to No. 4. Most of the top 25 looks the same after Week 11, but three new teams entered the rankings: No. 22 Texas, No. 24 Indiana and No. 25 Oklahoma State. The Hoosiers are ranked for the first time since 1994.

 

LSU beat Alabama 46-41 on Saturday in an exciting matchup with College Football Playoff implications. As you'd expect, the Tigers were rewarded in the latest USA Today Coaches Poll as the new No. 1 team. LSU received 55 of the possible 64 first-place votes while Alabama fell from the top spot to No. 4. Ohio State rose up two spots to No. 2 after dismantling Maryland 73-14 without star defensive end Chase Young, leapfrogging Clemson. Georgia rounded out the top five after blanking Missouri  27-0. 

 

The biggest moves, however, came as a result of Minnesota's 31-26 upset over Penn State. The Gophers moved up six spots to No. 7 while the Nittany Lions fell out of the top 10 to No. 11. Elsewhere in the Big Ten, Indiana makes its first appearance in the Coaches Poll since 1994 at No. 25. The 7-2 Hoosiers face Penn State in Happy Valley in Week 12. 

 

Two additional teams entered (or re-entered) the rankings this week: No. 23 Texas and No. 24 Appalachian State. Wake Forest, Kansas State and San Diego State all dropped out. 

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Pacers Win Sixth in Seven Tries

Domantas Sabonis had 21 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists, and Malcolm Brogdon and T.J. Wareen each scored 19 to help the Pacers beat the Orlando Magic 109-102 on Sunday for their sixth win in seven games.

 

Doug McDermott had 18 points and T.J. McConnell added 12 points and eight assists and were the difference-makers as Indiana erased a nine-point halftime deficit by outscoring Orlando 58-42 in the second half.

 

Evan Fournier scored 22 points to lead Orlando. Nikola Vucevic had 18 points and 17 rebounds, and Aaron Gordon added 13 points as the Magic lost for the fifth time in six games.

 

Orlando had its best offensive half of the season in the first two quarters, shooting 55.3 percent, including eight of 13 from behind the 3-point line. The second half was a totally different story.

Indiana limited the Magic to 35.7 percent shooting, overtaking Orlando with 12-0 and 18-8 runs to start the third and fourth quarters respectively.

 

The Pacers led 81-77 going into the fourth quarter and pushed the lead to 14 points with a spark from McConnell. The Magic guards couldn't stay with McConnell on the pick-and-roll and the Pacers' backup point guard made them pay, hitting three straight short jumpers.

 

He also had four assists in the game-deciding run, two to McDermott, who hit seven of 13 shots for the game.

 

The Pacers erased a 60-51 halftime deficit by scoring the first 12 points of the second half, including six straight from Brogdon at the end of the run. Indiana outscored Orlando 31-17 in the quarter, hitting 12 of 22 shots (59 percent).

 

The first half was Orlando's best offensive half of the season. The Magic shot 55.3 percent, including eight of 13 from behind the 3-point line. Fournier hit all three of his 3s and four of five shots for 11 points, and Vucevic also had 11 to help Orlando to its nine-point halftime lead.

 

Jeremy Lamb and Myles Turner were out with sprained ankles for Indiana and the Pacers' reserves outscored their Orlando counterparts 48-31.

 

The Pacers host Oklahoma City on Tuesday night.

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IHSA Second Round Matchups

Class 1A:

 

Fisher 34, Central A&M 69, F

Greenfield-Northwestern 14, Arcola 23, F

Carrollton 48, Argenta-Oreana 35, F

Athens 24, Camp Point Central 6, F

 

Class 2A:

 

G.C.M.S. 6, Newman Central Catholic 21, F

Maroa-Forsyth 14, Auburn 16, F

Tuscola 20, Decatur St. Teresa 63, F

 

Class 3A:

 

DuQuoin 14, Williamsville 48, F

 

Class 4A:

 

Illinois Valley Central 14, Murphysboro 28, F

Tolono Unity 6, Kankakee McNamara 31, F

Columbia 22, Prairie Central 28, F

 

Class 5A:

 

Mt. Zion 14, Joliet Catholic 27, F

Rochester 42, Highland 7, F

Troy Triad 13, Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 27, F

 

Class 6A:

 

Lemont 28, Chatham-Glenwood 38, F

 

Class 7A:

 

Chicago Phillips 20, Normal Community 0, F

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Illinois State uses turnovers to top South Dakota St 27-18

San Fenlason kicked four field goals, three in the second half, to lead Illinois State to a 27-18 win over South Dakota State on Saturday in a battle of highly-ranked Missouri Valley Conference teams.

 

The 12th-ranked Redbirds (7-3, 4-2) scored on four straight possessions and ran out the clock after a missed field goal. Fourth-ranked South Dakota State (7-3, 4-2) had three-straight turnovers after taking an 18-10 lead midway through the third quarter.

 

After Pierre Strong’s 4-yard run for SDSU’s last points, the Redbirds answered with a Fenlason field goal. An interception by Christia Uphoff led to another field goal that cut the lead to 18-16. The Jackrabbits fumbled the ensuing kickoff, caused by Peyton Jones and recovered by Luke Bennyhoff, and Illinois State went 18 yards in six plays, capped by James Robinson’s 1-yard run and a 2-point conversion. Dylan Draka forced and recovered a fumble on the SDSU 32 and Fenalson kicked his longest field goal, 46 yards.

 

Illinois State had 302 yards of offense and just one turnover. South Dakota State had 260 yards.

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Illinois storms back to beat Michigan State 37-34

Brandon Peters threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Daniel Barker with 5 seconds left, giving the Illini a 37-34 victory over Michigan State on Saturday night. Illinois trailed 28-3 in the second quarter and 31-10 entering the fourth. The Illini had never completed a comeback from more than 20 points behind.

 

Down 34-30, Illinois (6-4, 4-3 Big Ten) converted fourth-and-17, then drew a pass interference flag in the end zone on another fourth-down pass. It was second-and-goal when Peters patiently rolled out to his right and found Barker open in the back of the end zone.

 

Peters threw for 369 yards and three touchdowns.

 

Down 28-3, Illinois began its comeback when Peters threw a 46-yard touchdown pass to Imatorbhebhe on the final play of the first half. Down 31-10, Imatorbhebhe scored on an 83-yard catch-and-run with 14:48 left in the fourth. Then Reggie Corbin scored on a 6-yard run to make it 31-24.

 

Michigan State’s Matt Coghlin kicked a 46-yard field goal with 3:17 remaining to make it 34-30. Peters completed a 37-yard pass to Imatorbhebhe on fourth-and-17, and before long, it was first-and-goal from the 1.

 

The Spartans forced Illinois into a fourth-down situation from the 4, and Peters’ pass to Caleb Reams fell incomplete. But Reams and Josh Butler got tangled, and the Michigan State defensive back was called for pass interference. The Illini finally scored with 5 seconds left.

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Cockburn leads way as Illinois holds off Grand Canyon 83-71

Kofi Cockburn had 23 points and 14 rebounds, Andres Feliz added 21 points and Illinois pulled away late to beat Grand Canyon 83-61 Friday night.

 

Illinois (2-0) worked the ball inside to Cockburn early and that opened up the rest of the floor. The Illini led by four at halftime and stretched it to 14 with a big run to start the second half.

 

Riding the energy from one of college basketball’s best home crowds, Grand Canyon (0-2) kept it close in the first half and made a late run to cut the Illini’s lead to four.

 

Grand Canyon spread the floor to make a late run and made 8 of 19 from 3-point range.

 

The Antelopes were no match for the Illini inside, outrebounded 52-26 while giving up 15 second-chance points on 20 offensive rebounds. Illinois also had a 44-32 advantage in the paint.

 

Isiah Brown led Grand Canyon with 18 points and Jovan Blacksher Jr. added 14.

 

Grand Canyon kept pace from the 3-point arc, where it struggled in the opener. The Lopes made 5 of 9 in the first half — they were 2 for 19 against Davenport — to stay within 41-37 at halftime.

 

Illinois hit its first six shots to open the second half on a 15-4 run, pushing the lead to 56-41.

 

The Antelopes kept Illinois from running away with it, hanging around before trimming the lead to 71-67 with four minutes left.

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Meet the Maroons Winter Event Scheduled

If you've got a child playing a winter sport at Clinton High School, put Friday, November 15 on the calendar.

 

Athletic Director at Clinton High School Matt Koeppel has announced at 6 pm next Friday, November 15, will be the annual meet the Maroons event. 

 

Admission will be either an unwrapped toy or a monetary donation to Kloe's Giving Heart Holiday Toy Drive. 

 

The Maroons start their season Tuesday, November 26 at the Bill Rucks Memorial Thanksgiving Tournament at Mt. Pulaski High School where they'll take on Edinburg. Their other opponents in the tournament will be Buffalo Tri-City and Delevan. 

 

The wrestling season opens at Dee-Mack Tuesday, December 3 with Dee-Mack and Beardstown.

The girl's basketball season opens with the Turkey Tussle November 18 at Clinton High School. 

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Clinton Girls Baskebtall Round Robin Turkey Tussle Schedule Released

The annual Thanksgiving Turkey Tussle girls basketball schedule has been released.

 

The round-robin format features two pools with Clinton, Olympia, Dee-Mack and Mt. Pulaski in the "cranberry" pool and Riverton, PORTA, Tri-Valley and Buffalo Tri-City in the "stuffing" pool.

 

The Lady Maroons take on Dee-Mack on Monday, November 18 at 7:15 pm to open the tournament and their season. 

 

They'll return to action Thursday, November 21 at 7:15 pm against Mt. Pulaski and finish out pool play Friday, November 22 at 7:15 against Olympia. 

 

Placement games in the tournament will take place Saturday, November 22 starting at 1 pm with the championship game at 5:30 pm at Clinton High School. 

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Illinois Looking to Stay Hot Against Michigan State

The Illinois Fighitng Illini are plus-12 in the turnover department on the season, and they’re a league-best plus-11 in their six Big Ten games. That’s a big reason they’ve managed a .500 record in conference play heading into Saturday’s game at Michigan State. A win this weekend would make Illinois bowl eligible for the first time since 2014.

 

Although Michigan State (4-4, 2-3) and Illinois (5-4, 3-3) have similar records, it feels like they’re moving in different directions. A bowl appearance would be a big step for the Illini. For the Spartans, that’s the bare minimum of what is generally expected under Dantonio. Illinois has won three games in a row, including a huge upset of Wisconsin. Michigan State has dropped three straight and was outscored 100-17 by Ohio State, Wisconsin and Penn State.

 

The Illini are on a three-game winning streak for the first time since winning their first six games of the 2011 season. They have not won four straight Big Ten games since a seven-game streak gave Illinois a conference title in 2001.

 

The Spartans also lost linebacker Joe Bachie, who was declared ineligible after testing positive for a banned supplement. Michigan State said it would appeal, but he’s out for now.

 

Still, the Spartans are favored by about two touchdowns in this game, which is perhaps a nod to the fact that as bad as Michigan State has looked lately, it was up against particularly tough competition. This week should be a better test of how many problems the Spartans really have.

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IHSA Second Round Matchups

Class 1A:


#8 Fisher (8-2) at #1 Central A & M (10-0), Sat. 1:00 pm
#5 Greenfield-Northwestern (8-2) at #4 Arcola (8-2), Sat., 2:00 pm
#7 Carrollton (8-2) at #2 Argenta-Oreana (9-1), Sat. 1:00 pm
#6 Athens (8-2) at #3 Camp Point Central (9-1), Sat.2:00 pm

 

Class 2A:

 

#5 G.C.M.S. (9-1) at #4 Newman Central Catholic (9-1), Sat. 6:00 pm
2 Maroa-Forsyth (9-1) at #10 Auburn (7-3), Sat. 1:30 pm
#6 Tuscola (8-2) at #3 Decatur St. Teresa (9-1), Sat. 1:00 pm

 

Class 3A:

 

#7 DuQuoin (9-1) at #2 Williamsville (10-0), Sat. 2:00 pm

 

Class 4A:

 

#1 Illinois Valley Central (10-0) at #9 Murphysboro(8-2), Sat. 3:00 pm
#4 Tolono Unity (9-1) at #12 Kankakee McNamara (7-3), Sat. 1:30 pm
#2 Columbia (10-0) at #10 Prairie Central (8-2), Sat. 2:00 pm

 

Class 5A:

 

#1 Mt. Zion (10-0) at #9 Joliet Catholic (7-3), Sat. 2:00 pm
2 Rochester (9-1) at #10 Highland (7-3), Sat. 3:00 pm
#14 Troy Triad (7-3) at #11 Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin (7-3), Sat. 2:00 pm

 

Class  6A:

 

#5 Peoria (9-1) at #4 Oak Lawn Richards (9-1), Fri 7:00 pm
#7 Lemont (8-2) at #2 Chatham-Glenwood)/ (10-0), Sat. 2:00 pm

 

Class 7A:

 

#8 Chicago Phillips (8-1) vs. #9 Normal Community (8-2) at Chicago Gately Stadium, Sat. 3:00 pm

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Illinois State Travels To South Dakota State

For the first time this season, Illinois State will travel outside the state lines when it travels to Brookings, South Dakota, to face South Dakota State. The No. 11 ranked Redbirds (6-3, 3-2 MVFC) will look to bounce back after a tough defeat at the hands of No. 9 UNI last week, while the No. 4 ranked Jackrabbits (7-2, 4-1 MVFC) look to win their second in a row after a bounce-back win at Missouri State last weekend.

 

A scheduling anomaly for the Redbirds in 2019 resulted in the team not having to leave the state of Illinois until this upcoming weekend, when ISU flies to South Dakota to play the Jackrabbits. Five home games and four road contests against in-state foes have kept the Redbirds close to the nest, but that all changes this week when the nationally-ranked Jacks host the Redbirds. So far, the road has been kind to the 'Birds with a 3-1 record including three-straight wins over Eastern Illinois, Southern Illinois and Western Illinois. ISU has averaged over 23 points per contest in those games and have limited their hosts to an average of just 8 points per game.

 

Illinois State currently sits at No. 11 in the STATS FCS Top 25 and No. 12 in the FCS Coaches Poll. Four MVFC teams are ranked again in the polls this week, including North Dakota State (No. 1), South Dakota State (No. 4), Northern Iowa (5) and Illinois State (11) . The Redbirds have been ranked in every poll so far this season, with a high ranking of No. 6 in the FCS Coaches Poll.

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Blackhawks Blast Canucks

Patrick Kane had a power-play goal and two assists, and Chicago beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-2 on Thursday night.

 

Alex DeBrincat and Andrew Shaw scored in the first period, and Dylan Strome had three assists as the Blackhawks dealt Vancouver its first regulation loss since Oct. 19 at New Jersey. David Kampf and Brandon Saad added empty-netters as Chicago struck early and effectively managed a lead following a 1-2-1 road trip.

 

Corey Crawford, who made 36 saves, was sharp when the Canucks got close.

 

Shaw's power-play score ended his 12-game goal drought.

 

J.T. Miller and Jake Virtanen scored for the Canucks, who entered on a 5-0-3 run to climb to second place in the Pacific Division. Jacob Markstrom blocked 32 shots.

 

DeBrincat opened the scoring 6:41 in from high in the slot. After slipping free from rookie defenseman Quinn Hughes, DeBrincat fired as he tumbled and beat Markstrom on the stick side.

Vancouver defenseman Troy Stecher saved a goal when he dropped and blocked Kampf's point-blank one-timer with about seven minutes left in the period.

 

Shaw made it 2-0 with 1:17 remaining in the first, just 11 seconds after Miller was sent off for hooking. Shaw one-timed Strome's feed from behind the net to finish a quick, tight passing play.

Miller deflected in a power-play goal at 1:03 of the second, scoring with just one second left on Jonathan Toews' slashing penalty. Miller was a parked just left of the net when Elias Pettersson's pass across the creased caromed in off the shaft of his stick.

 

Crawford stopped Brock Boeser's close-in backhander with 8:02 left to preserve the lead.

Kane's goal, his fifth, with 5:06 left in the third made it 3-1. He beat Markstrom on the glove side with a screened shot from just above the left circle.

 

Kampf's short-handed empty netter with 2:07 left gave Chicago a 4-1 lead.

 

Virtanen deflected Alexander Edler's shot from the point with 1:01 left to cut it to 4-2, but Saad scored into an empty net with six seconds remaining.

 

The Blackhawks are in Pittsburgh on Saturday.

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Eastern Illinois Looking to Get Right After Bye

Eastern Illinois heads to Music City to face Tennessee State coming off the bye week for the Panthers.

 

Eastern Illinois fell to 0-9 on the season and 0-5 in the Ohio Valley Conference as the Panthers lost on Oct. 26 to Eastern Kentucky for EIU's homecoming game.  EIU scored late in the fourth quarter to lose 33-6.  Tennessee State enters at 2-7 overall, 1-4 in the OVC which includes an upset win over then nationally ranked Austin Peay.

 

Hear Saturday's action at 2 pm on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Packers Look To Rebound Against Panthers

Aaron Rodgers was sacked three times, and the Green Bay Packers' offense had its most anemic performance under coach Matt LaFleur in a 26-11 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. 

 

Green Bay (7-2) will look to bounce back Sunday when it hosts the Carolina Panthers (5-3), a team the Packers have scored 30-plus points against in five of the six games they've played at Lambeau Field. Carolina leads the NFL in sacks with 34.

 

Rodgers will have his top target, Davante Adams, for the second straight game. The two-time Pro Bowl receiver continues to work his way back to full strength after missing four games with turf toe.

 

Carolina is Kyle Allen's team now that Cam Newton has been placed on injured reserve with a nagging foot injury. The former undrafted rookie has done an admirable job in Newton's absence, going 5-1 as a starter. With Newton out for the rest of the regular season, Allen doesn't have the pressure of wondering when he will be replaced.

 

Christian McCaffrey is playing like an MVP candidate, leading the league in yards from scrimmage (1,244), touchdowns (13) and a number of other categories. McCaffrey has been finding the end zone with great frequency of late, with nine scores in the last four games.

 

Green Bay will get some help defensively on Sunday. The Packers activated safety Ibraheim Campbell from the reserve/physically unable to perform list. Campbell played in three games for Green Bay last season, including one start, and had 18 tackles (15 solo) and a forced fumble in 112 defensive snaps.

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Bears Look To Right Ship Against Lions

The Chicago Bears have four straight losses, a spot at the bottom of their division and little time left to salvage their once-promising season. If Detroit beats them, well, that might stamp out whatever is left.

 

The Bears look to stop their skid when they host Matthew Stafford and the struggling Lions on Sunday to start a relatively light stretch in the schedule.

 

They're banking on two games in the next four against Detroit (3-4-1) and one against the New York Giants to make something of a season quickly slipping away.

 

The Bears (3-5) expected to do plenty of that after capturing the NFC North last season at 12-4 and making the playoffs for the first time since 2010.

 

They were counting on quarterback Mitchell Trubisky to take another step forward and an offense that showed promise in coach Matt Nagy's first season to make more big plays. They did not anticipate their prized QB taking a step back, their line getting pushed around, the tight ends contributing little and the receivers - besides Allen Robinson - not delivering the way they hoped.

 

They've been bogged down by slow starts. And the lack of rhythm has limited the plays Nagy can call. It's all added up to an offense that ranks among the worst in the NFL.

 

The No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 draft, Trubisky has seen a decline in completion rate (63%), yards per game (173.9), yards per attempt (5.6) and rating (80) from last season. He has just five touchdown passes after throwing for 24. But if he's going to break out, this might be the game to do it.

 

Trubisky had one of his best games as a pro against Detroit at Soldier Field last November. He completed 23 of 30 passes for 355 yards, three TDs, no interceptions and a 148.6 rating to lead Chicago to a 34-22 victory after losing nine of 10 to the Lions.

 

The Bears won two weeks later at Detroit with Chase Daniel filling in for the injured Trubisky to complete the sweep.

 

Even the defense has looked a little more vulnerable, though Chicago did sack Carson Wentz four times last week in a 22-14 loss at Philadelphia.

 

The Lions, meanwhile, have four losses in their past five games following a 2-0-1 start. Oakland beat them 31-24 last week when Stafford's pass to Logan Thomas from the 1 was broken up in the end zone with 3 seconds remaining.

 

The Bears figure to have their hands full with Stafford.

 

The veteran has thrown for 4,741 yards, 28 touchdowns and 21 interceptions in 18 games against Chicago. And he comes into this one on a bit of a roll.

 

Stafford has thrown for more than 300 yards, three-plus touchdowns and one interception in each of the past three games. He ranks second in NFL in TD passes (19), fourth in yards (2,499) and fifth in rating (106).

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Girls Volleyball Sectional Final Scores

Class 2A:

 

At Pleasant Plains

 

Decatur St. Teresa 25  25

Tri-Valley 11  16

 

At Spring Valley-Hall

 

Orion 27  25

El Paso-Gridley 25  14

 

At Watseka

 

St. Joseph-Ogden 25  12  25

Herscher 19  25  23

 

Class 3A

 

At Mahomet-Seymour

 

Rochester 22  18

Normal U-High 25  25

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Illinois State Holds Off Belmont

Zach Copeland had 20 points, six rebounds and five assists as Illinois State defeated Belmont 79-72 on Wednesday night.

 

Rey Idowu had 11 points for Illinois State. Jaycee Hillsman added 11 points and six rebounds. DJ Horne had 10 points.

 

Nick Muszynski had 20 points and three assists for the Bruins. Grayson Murphy added 17 points and nine rebounds. Adam Kunkel had 13 points.

 

Belmont led 31-23 at halftime.

 

Illinois State matches up against Arkansas-Little Rock at home on Sunday. Belmont takes on Samford at home on Monday.

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Bulls Down Hawks

Tomas Satoransky scored a career-high 27 points and the Bulls won for just the third time in nine games with easily their most impressive performance of the young season, routing the Atlanta Hawks 113-93 on Wednesday.

 

Satoransky had not scored more than nine points this season. He really went off on the Hawks, beating his previous career best of 25 while also dishing out eight assists.

 

Zach LaVine even got a chance to put on his version of Showtime, blocking De'Andre Hunter's 3-pointer to set up a 360-degree dunk at the other end.

 

Atlanta made a season-low six of 30 attempts from 3-point range, turned it over 24 times and trailed by double digits over the final 41:29.

 

The Bulls took control with a 28-6 run in the opening quarter. Otto Porter Jr. led with way with 10 points, including a couple of 3-pointers. Satoransky chipped in with seven points, Kris Dunn added five and Lauri Markkanen knocked down a 3 to push Chicago to a 30-12 lead.

 

Porter went down before halftime with a bruised left foot and did not return.

 

Starting his second straight game in place of John Collins, Jabari Parker led the Hawks with 18 points. Collins is serving a 25-game suspension after violating the NBA's doping policy.

 

It was a miserable night for Atlanta's Trae Young, on the heels of a dazzling 29-point, 13-assist performance in a victory over San Antonio the previous night.

 

The point guard managed just nine points and three assists, missing all eight attempts beyond the arc.

 

The Bulls connected on 13 of 33 from 3-point range. Markkanen added 17 points, Porter finished with 13 in just 11 minutes, and three other players reached double figures.

 

The Bulls return home to face the Houston Rockets on Saturday.

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Blues Stay Hot, Blast Oilers

Alex Pietrangelo had a goal and two assists and the St. Louis Blues remained atop the Western Conference standings, beating the second-place Edmonton Oilers 5-2 on Wednesday night for their sixth straight victory.

 

Jaden Schwartz, Robert Thomas, Tyler Bozak and Ivan Barbashev also scored for the defending champion Blues. St. Louis is tied with Washington for the overall NHL lead with 25 points.

 

Connor McDavid and Zack Kassian scored for the Oilers. They have lost two in a row.

 

Leon Draisaitl extended his points streak to seven games with a feed to McDavid, who tucked his eighth goal of the season through the legs of goalie Jake Allen, to open scoring on a power play 2:46 into the game. St. Louis responded with a power-play goal of its own six minutes into the first when Schwartz tipped Pietrangelo's point shot past Mike Smith.

 

Pietrangelo's long-range shot got past Smith 7 minutes into the second period on another power play. St. Louis added to its lead with 5 minutes remaining in the middle period when Thomas beat Smith to the glove side.

 

Draisaitl picked up another assist with 9 minutes left when he sent a long feed to Kassian.

 

Bozak's short-handed empty-net goal went into the net on a lucky bounce before Barbashev added another short-handed empty-netter.

The Blues are at Calgary on Saturday night.

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Pacers Drop Wizards

T.J. Warren scored 21 points to lead the Pacers (4-4), who were playing their third game in four nights. Doug McDermott came off the bench and scored 17 of his 19 points in the first half.

 

Aaron Holiday finished with 18 points. Domantas Sabonis, who missed the last two games with a left calf contusion, had 13 points and tied his career high with 17 rebounds before fouling out with 3:20 left to play.

 

Bradley Beal had 30 points, five rebounds and five assists to lead the Wizards (2-5), who have lost four of five games. Thomas Bryant had 20 points and 11 rebounds and C.J. Miles added 15 points.

 

JaKarr Sampson scored 14 points in a 22-2 run in the third quarter to help Indiana build a 23-point lead.

 

Sabonis' two free throws with 5:22 remaining in the third put the Pacers ahead 92-67.

 

The Wizards closed out the third quarter scoring 11 straight points, capped off with Beal's jumper just before the buzzer to make it 94-80.

 

The Pacers led by 13 in the first half with Malcolm Brogdon's free throw for a technical called on Wizards coach Scott Brooks with 1:21 remaining in the second quarter.

 

Bryant converted a 3-point play at the end of a 6-2 run to close out the second, and the Pacers led 70-62 at halftime.

 

The Pacers host Detroit on Friday after already losing to the Pistons twice this season.

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Blues Deal Fabbri to Detroit

The St. Louis Blues acquired forward Jacob de la Rose from the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night in exchange for forward Robby Fabbri. 

 

The 24-year-old de la Rose had a goal and three assists in 16 games for the Red Wings this season. The Swede has 12 goals and 20 assists in 195 regular-season games with Montreal and Detroit. 

 

The 23-yeae-old Fabbri had a goal in nine games for the Blue this season. He has 32 goals and 41 assists in 164 regular-season games, all with the Blues. He appeared in 10 playoff games last season to help St. Louis win the Stanley Cup.

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Presidents Cup International Team Rounds Out Roster

Ernie Els filled out his International team already loaded with newcomers by choosing two more Presidents Cup rookies with his captain’s picks Wednesday night.

 

Els took a pair of 21-year-old rookies, Joaquin Niemann of Chile and Sungjae Im of South Korea, with two of his picks. That will give the International team six rookies as it tries to end a streak of seven straight losses to the Americans.

 

He also took Jason Day of Australia and Adam Hadwin of Canada. Day is playing the Presidents Cup for the fifth time, but first as a captain’s pick. Hadwin made his debut in 2017 at Liberty National, a loss so bad the Americans nearly clinched it before Sunday singles.

 

Els said he relied some on statistics, but he leaned just as heavily on a long run of good golf. Unlike the Ryder Cup, where the captain’s picks are decided two weeks before the matches, the Presidents Cup is still six weeks away.

 

The rest of the International team features Hideki Matsuyama, Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman, along with Presidents Cup rookies Abraham Ancer of Mexico, Li Haotong of China, Cameron Smith of Australia and C.T. Pan of Taiwan.

 

U.S. captain Tiger Woods makes his four picks Thursday. Woods, the Masters champion who captured his 82nd career PGA Tour victory two weeks ago in Japan, is expected to pick himself. He would be the first playing captain since Hale Irwin at the inaugural Presidents Cup in 1994.

 

The Presidents Cup is Dec. 12-15 at Royal Melbourne in Australia, where the International team of players from every continent but Europe won for the only time in 1998. The United States won the last time it was Royal Melbourne in 2011.

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Nicholls State Pushes Illinois to Overtime

Andres Feliz scored 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and Illinois beat Nicholls State 78-70 in overtime on Tuesday in a season opener for both teams.

 

Ayo Dosunmu scored 21, Giorgi Bezhanishvili added 11 points, and freshman big man Kofi Cockburn had 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Fighting Illini.

 

Nicholls State was led by Dexter McClanahan’s game-high 25 points. Elvis Harvey Jr. added 16 points for the Colonels.

 

Illinois was up 30-19 at the half and led by 20 points early in the second half before going cold. Nicholls State went on an 8-0 run late in regulation to tie the game at 64-64 with 1:48 left. Meanwhile, the Illini went the final five minutes of regulation without a field goal.

 

Down 66-64 after Harvey’s two free throws with less than two minutes left, the usually hot-handed Trent Frazier scored his first points of the game, sinking two free throws to send the game to overtime.

 

Illinois finally warmed up in the extra frame, with Feliz hitting two field goals and two free throws to seal the victory.

 

Illinois won the game at the free-throw line, sinking 19 of 29 to the Colonels’ 8-of-9 effort.

 

The Illini begin a two-game road trip against Grand Canyon on Friday before facing No. 21 Arizona on Sunday.

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St. Joseph's Gets By Bradley

Ryan Daly had 26 points as Saint Joseph's edged past Bradley 86-81 on Tuesday night.

 

Myles Douglas had 18 points for Saint Joseph's. Lorenzo Edwards added 12 points and seven rebounds. Cameron Brown had 11 points and seven rebounds for the hosts.

 

Darrell Brown had 17 points for the Braves. Nate Kennell added 15 points. Koch Bar had 13 points and 12 rebounds.

 

Bradley plays IUPUI at home on Saturday.

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Hornets Outlast Pacers in Overtime

Bismark Biyombo provided a huge spark off the bench late and the Hornets battled back from a 14-point, fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Indiana Pacers 122-120 in overtime Tuesday night.

 

Devonte Graham sank 2 of 3 free-throw attempts with 1.7 seconds left in overtime after drawing a foul on JaKarr Sampson, helping the Hornets win their third straight game.

 

But it was Biyombo who changed the momentum when he entered to start the fourth quarter with the Hornets trailing 92-78.

 

He made an immediate impact, scoring down low to start the quarter before coming up with a block against T.J. McConnell that led to a three-point play by Terry Rozier on a fast break. Biyombo then stole the ball at midcourt and went in for a one-handed dunk. He added several put-backs along the way, giving Charlotte a presence it badly needed on the glass.

 

Biyombo finished with 15 points on 6 of 7 shooting, six rebounds and two blocks in 17 minutes.

Graham scored a career-high 35 points, Bismack Terry Rozier added 22 points and Miles Bridges had 18 for the Hornets (4-3).

 

T.J. Warren scored 33 points on 15-of-18 shooting and Malcolm Brogdon added 31 points for the Pacers (3-4). But it was enough, as Indiana had its three-game winning streak snapped.

 

Jeremy Lamb had 18 points in his return to Charlotte.

 

Myles Turner (sprained ankle) and Domantas Sabonis (strained calf) continued to be held out while rehabbing injuries.

 

The Pacers host the Wizards on Wednesday night, Indiana's third game in four nights.

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Lakers Get By Bulls

LeBron James had 30 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds for his third consecutive triple-double, and Los Angeles rallied to beat the Chicago Bulls 118-112 on Tuesday night for its sixth straight victory.

 

Kyle Kuzma scored 11 of his 15 points in the final period during his third game after missing the start of the season with a right ankle injury. The 24-year-old guard got hurt while playing for USA Basketball this past summer.

 

Los Angeles trailed by 19 before outscoring Chicago 38-19 in the fourth during the finale of a three-game trip. Kuzma began the quarter with seven straight points, part of a 16-0 run that lifted the Lakers to a 96-93 lead with 8:12 left.

 

Chicago lost for the fifth time in six games. Zach LaVine scored 26 points, and Wendell Carter Jr. had 11 points and 11 rebounds in his third straight double-double. Coby White and Otto Porter Jr. each scored 18 points.

 

The Bulls used a 16-2 run to open a 60-42 lead with 2:49 left in the first half. Carter's two foul shots made it 63-44 with 2:10 to go.

 

Davis finished with 15 points and seven rebounds in his first game in his native Chicago since he was acquired in a trade with New Orleans.

 

The Bulls visit Atlanta tonight.

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Blues Drop Canucks

Jaden Schwartz scored on a 3-on-0 break at 3:28 of overtime to give the Blues a 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night.

 

With the teams playing 3-on-3, Vancouver's Tyler Myers fired a shot that missed wide of the St. Louis net. A pair of Canucks collided in the corner, and the puck went nearly the length of the ice with three Blues chasing.

 

Schwartz finished off a tic-tac-toe play alongside Alex Pietrangelo and Brayden Schenn.

 

It was the fifth consecutive victory for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who are 7-1-0 in their past eight games. All five wins in a row have been by one goal - four in overtime, including the last three.

 

Vancouver rookie defenseman Quinn Hughes tied the game at 1 with 3:35 remaining in the third period. After missing a game with a bruised knee, Hughes sent a fluttering shot from the blue line that went over the shoulder of Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington for his second NHL goal. Elias Pettersson was screening on the play.

 

Tyler Bozak scored his first goal of the season for the Blues. Binnington made 33 saves and is 6-1-0 in his last seven games.

 

Markstrom stopped 25 shots for the Canucks, who are 7-1-3 in the last 11 and have not lost in regulation at home this season.

 

The Blues are in Edmonton tonight.

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Sharks Double Up Blackhawks

Patrick Marleau scored while playing in his 800th consecutive game, and the Sharks snapped a five-game losing streak Tuesday with a 4-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.

 

San Jose had been outscored 22-8 during the skid and failed to earn a point or hold a lead at any point during a stretch that left last season's Western Conference runners-up near the bottom of the standings.

 

Marleau gave San Jose its first lead in six games shortly after the Blackhawks had killed off a penalty early in the second period. Timo Meier sent a shot from the slot toward the net and it deflected off Marleau's skate and past Robin Lehner.

 

It was Marleau's third goal of the season.

 

Evander Kane added a short-handed goal later in the second when he won a race to a loose puck against Dominik Kubalik and beat Lehner to the short side for his ninth of the season.

 

Tomas Hertl and Meier also scored for the Sharks. Martin Jones made 19 saves, including one against Kubalik on a breakaway early in the third period.

 

The Blackhawks looked flat most of the night in the finale of a four-game road trip, getting outshot 23-3 at one point. But they got late goals from Brandon Saad and Duncan Keith to make it a one-goal game with 1:54 to play.

 

Meier sealed it with an empty-netter.

 

Lehner made 28 saves.

 

The Blackhawks host the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night.

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Volleyball Sectional Scores

Class 1A:

 

At Milford

 

Milford 25  25

DeLand-Weldon 16  18

 

Blue Ridge 26  23

Illinois Lutheran 28  25

 

Class 2A: 

 

At Pleasant Plains

 

Quincy Notre Dame   8  23

Decatur St. Teresa 25  25

 

Tri-Valley 25  25

Macomb 19  13

 

At Salem

 

Shelbyville   6  14

Massac County 25  25

 

At Spring Valley Hall

 

Orion 25  25

Dee-Mack 14  17

 

El Paso-Gridley 25  25

Port Byron Riverdal 19  17

 

At Watseka

 

St. Joseph-Ogden 25  25

Seneca 17  11

 

Herscher 27  25

Tolono Unity 25  21

 

Class 3A:

 

At Mahomet-Seymour

 

Champaign St. Thomas More 18  23

Rochester 25  25

 

Normal U-High 25  25

Mahomet-Seymour 23  16

 

At Metamora

 

Sterling 25  25

Metamora 15  12

 

Morton 19  24

LaSalle-Peru 25  26

 

Class 4A:

 

At O'Fallon 

 

Normal Community 12  15

Minooka 25  25

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Baseball Award Finalists Announced

Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout, Houston third baseman Alex Bregman and Oakland shortstop Marcus Semien are finalists for the AL MVP award.

 

Trout is seeking his third MVP after winning in 2014 and ’16. He finished second in 2012, ’13, ‘15 and ’18.

 

Washington third baseman Anthony Rendon, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger and Milwaukee outfielder Christian Yelich are the top three for the NL honor. Yelich won last year’s NL MVP award with 29 of 30 first-place votes.

 

Houston’s Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander are finalists for the AL Cy Young Award along with Tampa Bay’s Charlie Morton, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America said Monday. Verlander won the 2011 Cy Young with Detroit, when he also was voted MVP.

 

New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom is a finalist for the NL Cy Young Award after getting 29 of 30 first-place votes last year. He is competing with Washington’s Max Scherzer and the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu. Scherzer is a three-time Cy Young winner.

 

Mets first baseman Pete Alonso, Atlanta right-hander Mike Soroka and San Diego shortstop Fernando Tatís Jr. are finalists for the NL Rookie of the Year. Houston designated hitter Yordan Álvarez, Tampa Bay second baseman Brandon Lowe and Baltimore left-hander John Means are the top candidates in the AL.

 

The Yankees’ Aaron Boone, Minnesota’s Rocco Baldelli and Tampa Bay’s Kevin Cash are finalists for AL Manager of the Year. Atlanta’s Brian Snitker is a finalist to win the NL award for the second straight season, joined by Milwaukee’s Craig Counsell and St. Louis’ Mike Shildt.

 

Rookies of the Year are announced Nov. 11, followed by Managers of the Year on Nov 12. Cy Youngs are announced Nov. 13 and MVPs on Nov. 14.

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Penske Buys Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IndyCar Series

Roger Penske owns the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway, its hallowed grounds, “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” the IndyCar Series and all its properties in a stunning deal announced Monday. By early next year, Penske Entertainment Corp. will take over all those entities owned by the Hulman family for 74 years in one of the biggest transactions in the history of motorsports.

 

The sprawling, 110-year-old speedway and its famed, 2 1/2 -mile oval track is one of the most famous venues in sports, and crowds for its showcase race every May, the first one dating to 1911, used to swell to more than 400,000 people. The speedway with its famous pagoda tower, Gasoline Alley garage area and massive grandstands was a dilapidated mess in 1945 when Tony Hulman bought it and brought racing back to the corner of 16th Street and Georgetown Avenue after a four-year absence following World War II.

 

The speedway itself spun off multiple subsidiaries, including the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway Productions, which also are being acquired by Penske Entertainment, a subsidiary of Penske Corp.

 

The deal was done in roughly six weeks. 

 

Penske, who turned 82 in February, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Donald Trump last month. He is the winningest car owner in Indy 500 history with 18 victories, including Simon Pagenaud’s win in May, as well as 15 IndyCar championships following Josef Newgarden’s title in September.

 

The deal should close in January. Penske said because both Penske Corp. and Hulman & Co. are private companies they are not legally required to disclose the transaction price.

 

Support from rival team owners was immediate. Chip Ganassi said Penske called him early Monday before the sale was announced to inform him, adding “the place is going to be run like a business now.”

Michael Andretti called it “positive news” for the speedway and the series while Bobby Rahal called Penske the “perfect custodian.”

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Eagles Roll Bears

Carson Wentz threw for 239 yards and one touchdown, Jordan Howard ran for 82 yards and a score and the Eagles held on for a 22-14 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

 

The Bears had just 9 yards in the first half and trailed 19-0 before David Montgomery had a pair of 1-yard TD runs to make it a one-possession game in the fourth quarter.

 

But Philadelphia put it away with 16-play, 69-yard drive capped by Jake Elliott's 38-yard field goal. Wentz completed all four of his third-down passes on the drive for first downs, and the Eagles held the ball for 8:14.

 

Dallas Goedert turned a screen on third-and-9 into a 16-yard gain. Miles Sanders had a 15-yard reception on third-and-12 and Alshon Jeffery bounced back from two big drops to make a 13-yard catch on third-and-3.

 

The Eagles (5-4) have won two in a row after a pair of lopsided losses.

 

The Bears (3-5) have lost four straight.

 

Mitchell Trubisky was 10 of 21 for 125 yards and was sacked three times.

 

The Bears went three-and-out on their first five possessions, gaining minus-10 yards. They didn't get a first down until the final minute of the first half.

 

Wentz connected with Zach Ertz over the middle for a 25-yard touchdown pass to give the Eagles a 12-0 lead in the second quarter. Elliott missed the extra point wide right.

 

Howard ran up the middle 13 yards for a TD on the opening drive of the third quarter, extending the lead to 19-0.

 

The Bears finally got going when Trubisky connected with Taylor Gabriel on a 53-yard pass to the Eagles 9 and Montgomery ran in from the 1. He leaped in from the 1 early in the fourth quarter.

 

The Bears host the Lions (3-3-1) next Sunday.

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Chargers Dominate Packers

Melvin Gordon scored two touchdowns and the defense held Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers to one of his worst outings as the Chargers dominated the Packers on Sunday, winning 26-11.

 

Green Bay came in as the second-best team in the NFC but had its four-game winning streak snapped to fall to 7-2.

 

Gordon, who came in averaging only 2.5 yards per carry, had 80 yards on 20 carries and Austin Ekeler added 12 carries for 70 yards.

 

Rivers completed 21 of 28 passes for 294 yards, and Mike Williams had the first 100-yard receiving day in his three-year career with three receptions for 111 yards.

 

Defensively, the Chargers pressured Rodgers all day with minimal blitzing and sacked him three times. Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram each had 1 1/2 sacks. Bosa has 5 1/2 sacks in his past three games.

 

Rodgers got most of his yards in the final 15 minutes after he was held to a career-low 61 yards through three quarters. He found a wide-open Jamaal Williams for a 10-yard touchdown with 6:21 remaining and then ran it in for the 2-point conversion.

 

Packers running back Aaron Jones came in averaging 137.8 scrimmage yards in his past four games but was held to 29 yards (30 rushing, minus-1 receiving). Davante Adams had seven receptions for 41 yards after missing the last four games because of turf toe.

 

Los Angeles dominated the first half on both sides of the ball but could not get into the end zone as Badgley supplied all the points with field goals from 29, 40 and 34 yards. The Chargers gained 250 yards in the first half and had a pair of scoring drives that started inside their 10. They gave up only 50 yards defensively, the first time since 2011 they had allowed that few in the first half.

 

It was only the third time under Rodgers - and the first time since 2013 - that the Packers have had 50 yards or fewer in the first half.

 

The Packers host Carolina next Sunday. Green Bay is 4-1 at home.

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Harvick Takes Texas Fall Race

kevin Harvick and the Stewart-Haas Racing team had already been preparing for NASCAR’s finale. With another win at Texas, they now know they will be racing for a Cup title in two weeks.

 

Harvick won the fall race at Texas for the third year in a row Sunday, again securing one of the championship-contending spots for the Nov. 17 season-ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

 

After starting from the pole, Harvick led 119 of 334 laps and paced a 1-2-3 finish for Stewart-Haas. He had gotten to Texas fifth in points, below the cutline for a championship run.

 

Harvick led six times in the No. 4 Ford, including the final 21 laps and 73 of the last 80, and finished 1 1/2 seconds ahead of teammate Aric Almirola. Daniel Suarez, the Stewart-Haas driver still unsigned for next season, was third.

 

With Martin Truex Jr. already locked in for the final four at Homestead, the final two spots for the title run will be determined next week at Phoenix. At least one driver will get in on points.

 

Kyle Busch is third in the standings, only two points ahead of Logano.

 

Truex finished sixth at Texas, a week after clinching his title chance with a win at Martinsville. Playoff contenders Busch and Ryan Blaney were seventh and eighth, with Kyle Larson 12th. The other contenders, Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott, had accidents that put them deep in the field.

 

Hamlin’s 28th-place finish, six laps behind Harvick, dropped him from second to fifth in the standings. He is 20 points behind Logano, and only three ahead of both Larson and Blaney. Elliott is 78 points outside the final four.

 

Harvick’s fourth win this year was the 49th of his career, matching Stewart for 14th on NASCAR’s career list. Harvick’s only championship in his 19 Cup seasons came after a win in the finale at Miami five years ago.

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Shake Up in Latest Polls After Top Teams Matchup Saturday

The top three teams from the AP poll were all off this week, the first time that's occurred in more than two decades, so the most notable changes in the new college football rankings came from the team that's hoping to re-establish itself as a College Football Playoff contender. 

 

Georgia jumped from No. 8 to No. 6 in the new AP Top 25 after beating Florida in Jacksonville, Florida,  on Saturday. The Bulldogs are now the top-ranked one-loss team in the country, as they look to carry momentum from the strong performance on toward not only winning the SEC East outright but claiming a second SEC Championship in three years. The Gators fell to No. 10 after the loss, ranked just behind No. 9 Oklahoma but ahead of undefeated No. 11 Baylor. 

 

LSU remains No. 1 and Alabama is No. 2 ahead of their showdown on Saturday, the first time No. 1 will play No. 2 in the regular season since 2011.

 

Other movement in the new AP poll included Memphis moving up five spots to No. 19 after beating previously undefeated SMU, who fell eight spots to No. 23 after the loss. Navy, now at 7-1 and right in the thick of that AAC West race along with both Memphis and SMU, also made its first appearance of the season in the AP Top 25, checking in at No. 25. 

 

Four of the top five teams in the country were off in Week 10, and the only one that wasn't, Clemson, hosted Wofford in a runaway victory. So when the new college football rankings were released on Sunday, it didn't come as a surprise to see no change among the top five in the Coaches Poll. 

 

But after that, there were changes in the rankings, the most notable being adjustments following Georgia's big win against Florida in Jacksonville, Florida. The Bulldogs, now 7-1, moved up to No. 6 following the victory, just one spot behind the five undefeated teams at the top. The coaches were particularly unkind to Florida after the defeat, dropping the Gators down five spots to outside the top 10 at No. 11. 

 

Memphis made the biggest move up in the Coaches Poll, now four spots higher at No. 19 following its win against SMU on Saturday night in the Liberty Bowl. The Mustangs, no longer undefeated, had one of the biggest drops of the week but remained in the top 25 at No. 23. Combined with Cincinnati and Navy, making its first poll appearance of the season, the AAC has more teams ranked in the Coaches Poll than the ACC, Big 12 and Pac-12.    

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Rory Tops Schauffele at HSBC

After five hours of an exquisite battle among Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele and Louis Oosthuizen, the pivotal moment was when Schauffele reached into a hat on the 18th tee for a white slip of paper with “2? written on it. That meant McIlroy would go first in the playoff.

 

Rory followed a soaring drive down the middle of the fairway with a 4-iron from 223 yards into the wind to 25 feet that set up a two-putt birdie for the victory.

 

McIlroy did everything right, closing with a 4-under 68 and going bogey-free over the last 39 holes he played.

 

Schauffele made him do a little more with birdies on two of the last four holes for a 66 to force a playoff at 19-under 269. That was as close as it got. Schauffele tugged his tee shot into thick rough near a bunker, laid up and narrowly missed a 12-foot birdie putt.

 

McIlroy won for the fourth time this year. It was his third World Golf Championships title, and his first since the Match Play at Harding Park in 2015.

 

McIlroy moves a little closer to Brooks Koepka at No. 1 in the world with one tournament left, the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai the week before Thanksgiving to close out what already has been a special year. This is the fourth time McIlroy has won at least four times in a season.

 

Louis Oosthuizen birdied his opening two holes to set the early target, and he was tied with McIlroy until a tee shot into the trees on the ninth, and a chip that didn’t reach the fairway, leading to bogey. Oosthuizen made another bogey on the 11th that effectively dropped him out of the race.

 

McIlroy took a two-shot lead with a bit of fortune on the par-5 14th. His second shot landed near the back pin but bounced hard into thick rough. His chip looked to be running some 10 feet by the hole, except that it hit the pin and left him a short birdie putt.

 

More fortune awaited on the 18th hole. One shot ahead of Schauffele, who was in the fairway, McIlroy went right and watched the ball bound off the hill and settle in thick rough a foot from the red hazard line. He punched out to the fairway, but his approach was 25 feet short and he missed a birdie putt for the win.

 

Phil Mickelson closed with a 68 and tied for 28th. With Shugo Imahira finishing second on the Japan Golf Tour, Mickelson will drop out of the top 50 in the world for the first time since Nov. 28, 1993, the longest consecutive streak in the top 50 since the Official World Golf Ranking began in 1986.

 

Patrick Reed made one last audition as a captain’s pick for the Presidents Cup with a 66 to tie for eighth. He has finished among the top 20 in 10 of his last 13 starts, including a victory in the FedEx Cup playoffs. U.S. captain Tiger Woods announces his selections on Thursday.

 

McIlroy now gets a two-week break before wrapping up his year in Dubai.

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DuQuoin Survives Monticello

Backed up against the end zone with a 25-21 lead, a Monticello fumble in the end zone on 3rd and 13 was recovered for a touchdown and gave DuQuoin a 28-25 lead and the Indians held on for the win in the first round of the IHSA 3A playoffs Saturday at DuQuoin High School, ending the Sages defense of their state title from last season.

 

DuQoin marched down the field and was at the goal line on a first-and-goal, electing to run on a running back toss but the Sages dropped Evan Zettler for a five-yard loss and DuQuoin quarterback Alex Zimmerman missed on his next three pass attempts and the Sages took over on downs at their own six-yard line with 1:11 to play.

 

The Sages set up in the shotgun on 1st and 10 and a Nic Tackels option play to Chris Brown nearly resulted in a safety on first down at the 1-minute mark, but Brown was able to just get passed the goal line setting up 2nd and 15. 

 

A quarterback sneak on second down gave the Sages a little breathing room but on the next play, a handoff to Kolton Knuffman swallowed up just passed the goal line but Knuffman fumbled and the Indians recovered in the end zone to take the lead for good and Monticello turned it over on downs on the final play of the game.

 

The Sages started quickly as Matt Kerr hauled in a 60-yard pass on the first play of the game. The Sages stalled out inside the ten and Andrew Ellison booted a 25 yard field go for a 3-0 lead.

 

On the ensuing drive by DuQuoin, their first three plays all resulted in negative yardage and the Indians went 3-and-out. The snap on the punt went over Konner Harris’ head and his kick was blocked by Matt Kerr and went through the back of the end zone for a safety and a 5-0 Sages lead.

 

The first play of the second quarter, Tackels connected with senior Spencer Brown for the 12-0 lead.

 

The Indians rebounded to score the last 14 points of the half, the final seven following a Tackels interception. Tackels interception followed the play after a Chris Brown 58 yard touchdown was taken off the board on a questionable holding. 

 

DuQuoin jumped in front 21-12 the third but Monticello responded with a Tackels quarterback sneak on the goal line on the next possession. 

 

The Sages final score came on a six-yard connection to Spencer Brown from Tackels. 

 

Spencer Brown led the Sages offense with four catches for 81 yards and two scores. Tackels finished 17-for-28 and 287 yards passing with three total touchdowns and an interception. 

 

Chris Brown was limited to just 44 yards on ten carries. 

 

The Sages finish 6-4 overall. 

 

DuQuoin improves to 9-1 overall and will travel to Williamsville.

 

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Clinton Maroons Fall to Tolono Unity Rockets

The Clinton Maroons fell to the Tolono Unity Rockets by a score of 14-42 on Saturday evening. The Maroons were led by Garrett Wayne with 22 carries for 144 yards. Wayne was also 16 of 27 passing for 167 yards and 2 touchdowns. Ty Berter was named the Nate Ennis State Farm Player of the Game. Berter had 5 catches for 104 yards and a touchdown. Braden Cross had 8 catches for 54 yards and a touchdown.

 

The Rockets were led by Nate Reinhard who was 12 of 20 passing for 201 yards, 2 touchdowns, and an interception. Former maroon Micah Down had 6 carries for 62 yards and a touchdown.

 

The Maroons fall to 6-4 overall and ends the season. The Rockets improve to 9-1 overall.

 

You can hear the game live on Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, on the WHOW app, and on Amazon Alexa.

 

Other Scores:

 

Class 1A First Round Scores...

 

Havana vs Central A&M- 20-55
Toledo-Cumberland vs Fisher- 14-26
Oakland Tri-County vs Arcola- 19-42
North Greene vs Argenta-Oreana- 0-42
Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond vs Carrollton- 15-24
Casey-Westfield vs Athens- 7-42

 

Class 2A First Round Scores...

 

Rushville-Industry vs G.C.M.S.- 0-48
Villa Grove-Heritage vs Nashville- 0-35
Sesser-Valier vs Maroa-Forsyth- 0-41
Auburn vs Chester- 19-0
Mcleansboro vs Decatur St. Teresa- 7-52
Flora vs Tuscola- 42-14

 

Class 3A First Round Scores...

 

Seneca vs Farmington
St. Joseph-Ogden vs Williamsville- 26-54
Virden North Mac vs Vandalia- 0-7

 

Class 4A First Round Scores...

 

Taylorville vs Illinois Valley Central- 22-31
Prairie Central vs Richland County- 35-14

 

Class 5A First Round Scores...

 

Decatur MacArthur vs Mt. Zion- 30-31
Joliet Catholic vs Morton- 42-7
Peoria Notre Dame vs Kankakee- 23-30
LaSalle-Peru vs Rochester- 26-68
Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin vs Morris- 43-35

 

Class 6A First Round Scores...

 

Rock Island vs Dunlap- 28-18
Washington vs Oak Lawn Richards- 16-20
Palos Heights Shepard vs Peoria- 78-58
Danville vs Chatham-Glenwood- 20-56
Springfield vs Lemont- 14-52
Providence Catholic vs Normal West- 19-14

 

Class 7A First Round Scores...

 

Burbank Reavis vs Normal Community- 14-36
Pekin vs Thornton- 19-35
 

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Maroons Head To Unity For Round 1 of 4A Playoffs

Clinton is back in the postseason for the first time since 2015 and it will be a renewal of a former Okaw Valley Conference rivalry when the Maroons head to Tolono to take on Unity.

 

The Rockets finished their season 8-1 overall and runner-up in the Illini Prairie Conference while the Maroons won their last two games to find themselves in at 6-3 overall. Head Coach Chris Ridgeway says this was the best week of practice they've had all season. 

 

 

Coach Ridgeway calls Unity similar to Tuscola, St. T, and Central A&M as they do a lot of power run and screen passes.

 

 

Game time from Tolono is 2 pm on Saturday afternoon. Hear all the action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

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Monticello Begins 3A State Title Defense in Du Quoin

Coach Cully Welter is 11 for 11 in getting Monticello to the football postseason with the school's first state title last year and his team begins the defense of that state title in DuQuoin Saturday afternoon.

 

Through 11 years at Monticello and 25th overall, because of injuries and players in and out of the lineup, this has been one of the more challenging years for the Hall of Fame coach.

 

 

Coach Welter says the pressures of coming off a state title weren't necessarily coming from within though he points out there has been a lot of outside pressure.

 

 

As for DuQuoin, they went 8-1 in the River-to-River conference. Saturday night on the WHOW/WEZC playoff preview show, Coach Welter indicated that was once a very strong program that is back on the rise after a bit of a falloff.

 

 

Kick from DuQuoin High School will be 2 pm and can be heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

 

Class 3A first round playoff matchups...

 

13 Seneca (5-4) vs. #4 Farmington (7-2) Fri. 7:00 pm

#15 St. Joseph-Ogden (5-4) at #2 Williamsville (9-0), Sat. 1:00 pm

14 Virden North Mac (5-4) at #3 Vandalia (9-0), Sat. 2:00 pm

 

Class 1A first round matchups....

 

#16 Havana (5-4) at #1 Central A & M (9-0), Sat., Nov. 2, 1:00 pm

#9 Toledo-Cumberland (6-3) at #8 Fisher (7-2), Sat. 2:00 pm

#13 Oakland Tri-County (5-4) at #4 Arcola (7-2), Sat. 1:00 pm

#15 North Greene (5-4) at #2 Argenta -Oreana (8-1), Sat. 1:30 pm

#10 Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond (6-3) at #7 Carrollton (7-2), Sat. 2:00 pm

#11 Casey-Westfield (6-3) at #6 Athens (7-2), Sat. 2:00 pm

 

Class 2A first round matchups.....

 

#12 Rushville-Industry (6-3) at #5 G.C.M.S. (8-1), Sat. 2:00 pm

#12 Villa Grove-Heritage (5-4) at #5 Nashville (8-1), Sat. 1:30 pm

#15 Sesser-Valier(5-4) at #2 Maroa-Forsyth (8-1), Sat. 1:00 pm

#10 Auburn (6-3) at #7 Chester (7-2), Sat. 1:30 pm

#14 McLeansboro (5-4) at #3 Decatur St. Teresa (8-1), Sat. 1:00 pm

#11 Flora (6-3) at #6 Tuscola (7-2), Sat. 2:00 pm

 

Class 4A first round matchups....

 

#16 Taylorville (5-4) at #1 Illinois Valley Central (9-0), Sat. 6:00 pm

#10 Prairie Central (7-2) at #7 Richland County (7-2), Fri., 7:00 pm

 

Class 5A first round matchups....

 

#16 Decatur MacArthur (5-4) at #1 Mt. Zion (9-0), Sat. 1:00 pm

 #9 Joliet Catholic (6-3) at #8 Morton (7-2), Sat. 2:00 pm

 #13 Peoria Notre Dame (6-3) at #4 Kankakee (8-1), Sat. 3:00 pm

#15 LaSalle-Peru (5-4) at #2 Rochester (8-1), Sat. 3:00 pm

#11 Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin (6-3) at #6 Morris (7-2), Sat. 2:00 pm

 

Class 6A first round matchups....

 

#9 Rock Island (7-2) at #8 Dunlap (7-2), Sat. 2:00 pm

#13 Washington (6-3) at #4 Oak Lawn Richards (8-1), Fri. 7:00 pm

#12 Palos Heights Shepard (6-3) vs. #5 Peoria (8-1) Fri. 7:30 pm

#15 Danville (6-3) at #2 Chatham-Glenwood (9-0), Sat. 1:00 pm

#10 Springfield (7-2) at #7 Lemont (7-2), Sat. 5:00 pm

#11 Providence Catholic (6-3) at #6 Normal West (7-2), Sat. 3:00 pm

 

Class 7A first round matchups....

 

 #24 Burbank Reavis (6-3) at #9 Normal Community (7-2), Fri. 7:00 pm

#18 Pekin (6-3) at #15 Thornton (7-2), Sat. 2:00 pm

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Illinois Still in Hunt for Bowl Game

Lovie Smith inherited outdated football facilities, among the worst in college football, when he was hired at Illinois in 2016 and he knew it.

 

The former Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach took on the challenge anyway. Smith committed to a long-term plan to recruit the best players he could land and put them on the field, counting on experience paying off eventually.

 

The Fighting Illini took a lot of hits over Smith’s first three seasons, averaging just three wins per year and going winless in the Big Ten in 2017.

 

Smith’s fourth squad moved into a $79 million-plus facility with more than 100,000 square feet of space to train and practice last summer and he said it’s one of the best in the country.

 

Illinois (4-4, 2-3) pulled off a stunning, one-point win over then-No. 6 Wisconsin , giving the once-proud program its first victory over a top-10 team in 12 years and ending a 24-game losing streak to ranked teams that dated to 2011.

 

The Illini, who beat Purdue for a second straight win last week, are set up to be eligible for a bowl under Smith for the first time and just the second time in eight years. They host Rutgers (2-6, 0-5) Saturday, aiming to win three straight Big Ten games in a season for the first time since 2007 when Ron Zook went on to lead the team to a Rose Bowl victory.

 

If Illinois avoids getting upset, it will have to win one more game with three left to play — at Michigan State, at Iowa and against Northwestern at home — to earn a bowl bid.

 

The Illini kick at Memorial Stadium at 2:30 pm Saturday afternoon. 

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Illinois State Hosts Northern Iowa Saturday

Winners of three-straight games, No. 7 Illinois State (6-2, 3-1 MVFC) continues its homestand with a crucial conference matchup against No. 9 UNI (5-3, 3-1 MVFC). The Redbirds and the Panthers are tied for second place in the conference standings along with South Dakota State, who both teams play in the coming weeks.

 

Illinois State currently sits at No. 7 in the FCS Coaches Poll and the STATS FCS Top 25. Four MVFC teams are ranked again in the polls this week, including North Dakota State (No. 1), South Dakota State (No. 4), Illinois State (7) and Northern Iowa (9).

 

Kick from Hancock Stadium is just past noon on Saturday.

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Eastern Illinois on Bye This Week

The winless Eastern Illinois Panthers are on bye this week. 

 

The Panthers are off a 33-6 loss to Eastern Kentucky last Saturday and will prepare for a road matchup at Tennessee State next week.

 

Instead of Panthers football on WHOW this weekend, enjoy the sounds of Clinton Maroons playoff football from Tolono Unity on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Bears in Philly Sunday

The Chicago Bears meet the Philadelphia Eagles for the first time since a double doink ended their season and they still haven't solved their kicking woes.

 

The Bears lost 16-15 to the Eagles at home in the playoffs last January when Cody Parkey's 43-yard field goal in the closing seconds was tipped at the line of scrimmage and bounced off an upright and the crossbar.

 

Rookie Eddy Pineiro won a wide-open kicking competition in training camp and booted a 53-yard field goal as time expired to beat Denver in Week 2. But Pineiro missed a 41-yarder in the final seconds in a 17-16 loss to the Chargers last week.

 

Afterward, Bears coach Matt Nagy was criticized for having quarterback Mitchell Trubisky take a knee on first-and-10 from the 21 with 43 seconds remaining and one timeout remaining. Then Pineiro made things worse by saying he would have preferred having the ball placed in the middle of the field rather than the left hash on his game-ending miss.

 

After setting a franchise low with seven rushing attempts against New Orleans, the Bears committed to the run last week. They had some success out of the I-formation and rookie David Montgomery had a career-high 135 yards.

 

The Bears looked more like their old dominant selves on defense against the Chargers last week after getting pushed around by Oakland in London and New Orleans at home. They went from giving up a season-high 424 yards against the Saints to holding Los Angeles to 231. They kept Philip Rivers to a season-low 201 yards passing and shut down the run game after getting gashed in back-to-back outings. Chicago gave up just 36 yards on 12 attempts after letting Oakland (169 yards) and New Orleans (151 yards) run at will.

 

Both teams need a win Sunday when the Eagles (4-4) begin a stretch of three consecutive home games after three straight on the road, including a pair of lopsided losses at Minnesota and Dallas. They rebounded with a 31-13 win at Buffalo.

 

The Bears (3-4) have lost three in a row.

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Packers Head West to Face Chargers

Aaron Rodgers and his Green Bay Packers (7-1) are off to their best start since 2011 while Phillip Rivers and the Los Angles Chargers (3-5) have dropped three of their past four.

 

Rodgers, who is second with 2,324 yards, has been revitalized under Matt LaFleur, who is the first coach in his first year to win seven of his first eight games since Jim Harbaugh in 2011. Chargers coach Anthony Lynn is hoping a change in offensive play-callers can jump-start his team after Ken Whisenhunt was fired as coordinator on Monday and replaced by quarterbacks coach Shane Steichen.

 

Green Bay comes in as one of the more potent offenses in the league. Aaron Jones is tied for second in rushing touchdowns with eight while Rodgers had a league-leading 21 completions of 20 yards or more in October.

 

The Packers made the L.A. Memorial Coliseum feel like Lambeau West during their game against the Rams last season and figure to have an even bigger noise advantage on Sunday. Due to the limited capacity, resale prices are more than $300, making it one of the higher-priced games on the secondary market this season.

 

Green Bay wide receiver Davante Adams, who missed the past four games because of turf toe, returned to practice this week. He was listed as limited on Wednesday and Thursday, but said he is not having much pain running routes.

 

Aaron Jones had a career-high 159 receiving yards on seven receptions and scored two touchdowns last week. It was the second-most receiving yards in a game by a Packers running back.

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Former Illini G Nunn Leading Heat

Kendrick Nunn scored a career-high 28 points to add to his record-setting start and Miami beat Atlanta 106-97 on Thursday night, giving the Heat two wins over the Hawks in three days.

 

Nunn’s 112 points are the highest total through the first five games for any undrafted player in NBA history. Connie Hawkins of the Phoenix Suns scored 105 points in his first five games of the 1969-70 season.

 

Nunn, a 6-foot-2 guard from Oakland University in Michigan who transferred from Illinois, scored 14 points in the third quarter. He began his career with 24 points against Memphis on Oct. 23, and he has kept shooting. He has scored at least 24 points three times in Miami’s first five games.

 

Another record-setting rookie, Tyler Herro, had 17 points. Herro scored 29 points off the bench in the Heat’s 112-97 win over Atlanta on Tuesday night to set a franchise record for a rookie reserve.

 

The rookies have helped Miami (4-1) enjoy a strong start.

 

Nunn and Herro are feeding off Jimmy Butler, who had 11 assists while scoring only five points. He added nine rebounds, six steals and blocked three shots.

 

The Heat had 29 assists with only 13 turnovers.

 

Former Chicago prep star Jabari Parker led Atlanta with 23 points. DeAndre Bembry had 18 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.

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