Local Sports

Garbers big day leads Cal past Illinois in Redbox Bowl

Chase Garbers threw four touchdown passes and ran for another score, leading California to a 35-20 win over Illinois on Monday in the Redbox Bowl.


Garbers, who had been in and out of the lineup all season because of a shoulder injury, got going after being sacked on the first play from scrimmage and throwing an incomplete pass on the second. The offensive MVP of the game, Garbers completed 22 of 31 passes for 272 yards with TD passes of 4, 3, 2 and 6 yards. He also scored on a quarterback sneak from the 1 early in the second quarter while helping the Bears set a season-high for scoring.


The Bears won all seven games this season when the oft-injured Garbers played more than one half.


Christopher Brown Jr. ran for 120 yards on 20 carries, and Makai Polk caught five passes for a season-high 105 yards as Cal (8-5) won its first bowl game since 2015.


Brandon Peters passed for 273 yards and one touchdown for Illinois (6-7) in his return after sitting out the regular-season finale with a concussion. Peters, who has shaken up again after diving out of bounds following a scramble late in the fourth quarter, completed 22 of 37 passes and added a team-high 68 rushing yards.


The Illini lost despite outgaining the Bears in total yards 450-395.


The strong showing by Garbers offset an uneven day by California's defense.


The Bears allowed a field goal and touchdown on the Fighting Illini's first two drives, then surrendered a late field goal before halftime.


Illinois' offense was mostly stagnant after that, while California pulled away.

The Bears had lost three of their previous four bowl games.


California led 14-10 late in the second quarter before the teams combined for 10 points in the final 25 seconds.


After Wilcox made the decision to go for it on a 4th-and-goal, Garbers threw a short swing pass to Brown, who stiff-armed Illinois linebacker Tolson Khalan before reaching the end zone.


Peters helped the Illini answer quickly. He completed three consecutive passes for 58 yards, setting up a 30-yard field goal by James McCourt.

Antetokounmpo scores 23 in return, Bucks beat Bulls 123-102

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 23 points and 10 rebounds after missing two games with a sore back, and Milwaukee pulled away in the second half for a 123-102 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Monday night.


Antetokounmpo, the league's second-leading scorer with an average of 30.5 points per game entering this one, played only 27 minutes and sat out the final 5 1/2 because of the lopsided score. He was 8 for 14 from the field with six assists.


Khris Middleton scored 25 points for the Bucks, and Eric Bledsoe had 15 points in 16 minutes after missing the previous eight games with a fractured right leg.


Zach LaVine scored 19 points for Chicago but shot just 7 for 23 from the field. Lauri Markkanen and Coby White had 18 points apiece and Wendell Carter Jr. added 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Bulls.


Milwaukee jumped out to an 8-0 lead as Chicago missed its first six shots. The Bucks led 31-20 at the end of the first quarter and stretched it to 33-20 early in the second on a basket by Robin Lopez.

But the Bulls - after shooting 9 of 29 in the first - suddenly got hot from behind the 3-point arc. White and Markkanen each had three 3-pointers in the second to trim the Milwaukee advantage. Chicago was 8 for 14 on 3s in the quarter.


With just under two minutes left in the first half, White hit a driving scoop off the glass to give the Bulls a 52-51 lead, their first of the game.


Antetokounmpo quickly answered with a putback on the other end to put the Bucks back on top. Milwaukee led 55-52 at halftime thanks in part to a 15-0 advantage in free throw attempts (making 12).


Any chance of a Chicago upset was quickly dashed in the third. The Bucks opened with a 17-4 run for a 72-56 lead - with Antetokounmpo capping the spurt with a thunderous dunk that drew a loud roar from the United Center crowd.


Milwaukee led 95-77 after three quarters. Kyle Korver hit a 3-pointer 2 1/2 minutes into the fourth for a 105-81 advantage, the Bucks' biggest of the game.

Packers Secure First Round Bye

Aaron Rodgers threw a short and accurate pass to Aaron Jones, whose 31-yard reception set up Mason Crosby's 33-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Packers to a 23-20 win over the Detroit Lions that earned them a No. 2 seed and a first-round bye.


The Packers (13-3) fell behind the last-place Lions by two touchdowns in the second quarter and didn't lead until Crosby made his second game-winning kick against Detroit this season.


Green Bay won a fifth straight game despite Rodgers struggling for much of the afternoon. Rodgers was 27 of 55 for 323 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He connected on less than half of his attempts for the second time this season and finished with his second-lowest rating of the year.


The Lions (3-12-1) closed with nine straight losses for their longest losing streak in a season since going 0-16 in 2008.


David Blough was 12 of 29 for 122 yards with an interception - and a 19-yard touchdown reception - filling in for Matthew Stafford, who had a season-ending back injury.


Playing in the postseason for the first time since 2016, Green Bay will be the No 2 NFC seed and have a bye before hosting a game.

Illinois Blows By North Carolina A&T

Kofi Cockburn scored a career-high 26 points and Illinois beat North Carolina A&T 95-64 on Sunday.


The 7-foot freshman also grabbed nine rebounds, narrowly missing his seventh double-double in 13 games. Cockburn has more double-doubles this season than any other freshman in the country. He scored 23 points on two occasions earlier this season against Grand Canyon and Miami.


Ayo Dosunmu had 19 points and Alan Griffin added 18 for Illinois (9-4).


Tyler Maye and Devin Haygood scored 12 points each for North Carolina A&T (3-11). Ronald Jackson added 10 points for the Aggies.


Illinois has had issues this year with slow starts but led 50-34 at the half. The Illini put together a 6-0 run early in the game and a 14-2 run fueled by back-to-back 3-pointers from Trent Frazier in the closing minutes of the half. 


Illinois shot 53% (36 of 68) from the field.


North Carolina A&T turned the ball over 18 times, leading to 28 Illinois points. The Illini turned the ball over only nine times.


Illinois kicks off its Big Ten schedule on Thursday at No. 14 Michigan State.

Bears End Disappointing Campaign With Win

Eddy Pineiro's fourth field goal of the game came from 22 yards with 10 seconds left, giving the Bears a 21-19 victory on Sunday with the Vikings resting their regulars for the playoffs.


Pineiro, the latest attempt by the Bears (8-8) to solve their persistent kicking trouble, finished the season with 11 straight made field goals. Mitch Trubisky highlighted another unremarkable, conservative performance by hitting Riley Ridley for 34 yards on fourth-and-9 with 2:36 left from midfield to set up the winning kick.


Trubisky went 26 for 37 for 207 yards.


David Montgomery had 23 carries for 113 yards and a touchdown to cap a strong rookie season and help the Bears beat the Vikings (10-6) for the fourth consecutive time. Chicago dodged what would have been a fifth losing record in six years, after winning the NFC North in 2018 in Nagy's debut.


Minnesota missed a third 11-win season in six years under coach Mike Zimmer, but he was far more concerned about taking a healthy team to the playoffs.


Mike Boone rushed 17 times for 148 yards and a touchdown for the Vikings, atoning for three costly miscues in the first half. 


The Bears will regroup for 2020, with the offense the top priority for upgrades. They don't have a first-round draft pick, sent previously to the Raiders for OLB Khalil Mack, but they have an extra second-rounder that came in that trade last year.

Blackhawks Outlast Blue Jackets in Shootout

Joonas Korpisalo had to leave the game with an injury after unsuccessfully trying to stop the first-round overtime shot from Jonathan Toews. Columbus backup Elvis Merzlikins entered the game cold and allowed the third-round shooter, Patrick Kane, to juke him and get one in on the net.


Chicago goalie Robin Lehner then shut down Nathan Gerbe in the third round of the tie-breaker to preserve the Blackhawks' 3-2 win.


The Blackhawks, who have won four of the last five, got third-period goals from Dylan Strome and Erik Gustafsson to send the game into the extra period.


An apparent goal from Zach Werenski just before the buzzer in the 5-minute overtime period was waved off because a replay showed the puck crossed the goal line after time expired. That set up the shootout.


The Blue Jackets got regulation goals from Pierre-Luc Dubois and Riley Nash, and Korpisalo had 28 saves. Gustav Nyquist scored in the shootout. Columbus lost its second straight game beyond regulation but extended a points streak to 10 games (6-0-4).


The Blackhawks are at Calgary on Tuesday night.

Blues Blast Jets

Jaden Schwartz scored twice and Jordan Binnington made 25 saves to help St. Louis beat the Winnipeg Jets 4-1 on Sunday for its season-best eighth straight victory.


Ryan O'Reilly and Robert Thomas also scored for St. Louis. The Blues improved to 26-8-6, outscoring opponents 33-16 during the winning streak. They had a seven-game streak Oct. 27-Nov. 9.


Nicholas Shore scored and Connor Hellebuyck made 24 saves for Winnipeg. The Jets have lost six of eight to fall to 21-15-3.


Schwartz gave the Blues a 2-1 lead with 4:51 left in the second period, taking a feed from Jordan Kyrou on a two-on-one break and beating Hellebuyck through the legs. Schwartz added an empty-netter with 30 seconds remaining. He has 13 goals, two more than all of last season. In a six-game points streak, he has four goals and eight assists.


O'Reilly scored his first home goal of the season, pushing Alex Pietrangelo's rebound stick-side past Hellebuyck with 5:42 left in the first. The assist was the 326th of Pietrangelo's career, moving him past Al MacInnis atop the franchise leaderboard for defensemen.


Thomas made it 3-1 when he roofed a shot past Hellebuyck on a power play at 7:06 of the third.

The Blues are at Arizona on Tuesday night.

Monticello Blows By Ridgeview for Third Place at Holiday Hoopla

Ryan Reeder scored 17 of his 20 points in the first half, Garrett Kepley scored all 10 of his points in the second half and Monticello boat raced Ridgeview 54-32 for third place from the Monticello Holiday Hoopla.


The Sages led 20-10 after the first quarter and opened up a 36-16 lead at the break. The Mustangs would get no closer than 15 in the second half as Monticello rebounded from a disappointing effort against Tuscola the day before that snapped a six-game win streak. 


The Sages shot 55-percent from the floor and went 5-for-8 from distance and scored 14 points off 10 Mustangs turnovers.


Levi Zimmerman was neutralized for 10 points. 


The Sages improve to 7-4 overall while Ridgeview drops to 10-3.


Monticello returns to action next Saturday afternoon against Marshall at home. Hear the action at 2:30 pm on  95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.


Stark County Edges Clinton Girls for Fifth Place from Monticello Holiday Hoopla

Zero Clinton players scored in double figures and Stark County used a 13-5 third quarter to overcome the Lady Maroons 36-33 for fifth place at the Monticello Holiday Hoopla.


Clinton led 21-14 at the break but the 13-5 third quarter allowed Stark County to go to the fourth quarter with a 27-26 lead and they put the game away in the fourth quarter.


Kaitlyn Rauch scored nine points to pace Clinton. Mallory Cryulik added seven points. 


Stark County was led by McKenzie Stahl and Olivia Hopp’s 10 points.


Hear Lady Maroons action on WHOW again on January 6 opposite Mt. Pulaski.


Maroons Drop 7th Place Contest at Monticello Holiday Hoopla Despite Hickman's Double-Double

Zeke Hickman’s double-double was not enough for Clinton to pick up a win at the Monticello Holiday Hoopla tournament as the Maroons dropped a 53-50 contest to Oakwood in the 7th place game at Monticello High School.


Hickman’s game highs of 20 points and 10 rebounds paced the Maroons but was not enough late. 


A Hickman 3-pointer with 4:08 to play brought the Maroons within two, 48-46. After a Comets free throw extended the lead to three, Hickman answered with a layup and Tyrese Petty’s basket with 2:25 to play gave the Maroons the lead 50-49 but the Maroons could not take advantage of opportunities to put the game away late and Oakwood escaped with the win.


Petty added 12 points. Clayton Welch scored six points and dished out a game-high eight assists. 


Brevin Wells paced the Comets with 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists. 


Clinton edged Oakwood on the glass 29-27 and the Maroons had 14 assists on their 20 made field goals. 


However, Clinton turned the ball over 15 times and Oakwood turned that into 16 points. 


The Maroons also went 6-for-22 from distance and made 42-percent of their field goal attempts.


The Maroons are 4-12 overall.


Hear Clinton boys basketball on WHOW again on January 10 against Tuscola.


Slow Second Half Dooms Monticello Girls in Championship Bid at Holiday Hoopla

The Monticello girls basketball team could muster only 12 total second-half points as their bid for a Holiday Hoopla Championship fell short against Ridgeview in a 51-32 loss from Monticello Hig School.


The Lady Sages and Lady Mustangs were knotted at 20 at the half but Ridgeview turned the tables in the second half outscoring Monticello 31-12.


Olivia Swanson scored 11 points to lead the Lady Sages and Hannah Swanson added ten. 


Syndey Tungate led Ridgeview with a game-high 20 points and Kelly Jones added 15 points.


The Lady Sages return to action Saturday, January 4 against Decatur St. Teresa.


Clinton Lady Maroons Defeat Neoga Lady Indians At Holiday Hoopla

As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons defeats the Neoga Lady Indians by a score of 61-54 on Friday night. The Maroons were led by Mallory Cyrulik with 21 points. Kaitlyn Rauch added 18 points. Raya Swartz also added 6 points.


The Indians were led by Olivia Titus with 18 points. Kylee Phillips added 16 points.


The Lady Maroons improve to 9-7 overall.


Tune in Monday, January 6th, 2020 as the Lady Maroons take on Mt. Pulaski. 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.

Lady Sages Rally Past Tuscola

Tuscola jumped out to a 23-13 lead at halftime but Monticello turned things around and rallied past the Lady Warriors for a 49-40 in Holiday Hoopla girls basketball from Monticello High School.


Tuscola used a high-intensity defense to jump to a 10-8 lead after one quarter and then held the Lady Sages to just two field goals in the second quarter, outscoring Monticello 13-5.


The Lady Sages came alive after a first half where they shot 3-for-9 from the free-throw line and went missed all sorts of opportunities close to the basket. Cloe Clark and Rennie Fultz scored six points apiece in the third quarter, Lizzie Stiverson beat a buzzer at the end of the third quarter to make the score 33-32 Tuscola. 


Monticello jumped out quickly in the fourth quarter and made 7-of-10 free throws down the stretch to put the game away.


Clark scored 11 of her 14 points in the second half while Fultz scored 10 of her 14 in the second half.


Stiverson finished with 11 points and Olivia Swanson scored five crucial points down the stretch to finish with seven points. 


The Lady Sages improve to 6-8 overall and will likely play in the championship game of the Holiday Hoopla after tie-breakers are sorted out late Friday.


Tuscola falls to 8-4.

Clinton Maroons fall to Neoga Indians At Holiday Hoopla

As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons fell to the Neoga Indians by a score of 63-43 on Friday night. The Maroons were led by Zeke Hickman with 22 points. Skyler Williamson added 5 points. Aiden Shanks also added 4 points.


The Indians were led by Paci McClure with 24 points. Trevor Roy also added 24 points.


The Maroons fall to 4-11 overall. The Indians improve to 8-4 overall.


Tune in January 10th, 2020 as the Maroons take on Tuscola. 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.

Maroons Fall To PBL At Holiday Hoopla

The Clinton Maroons fell to Paxton-Buckley-Loda, 62-30, Friday morning at the annual Holiday Hoopla in Monticello.


PBL only led 28 to 26 at the half, however, Clinton mustered only four second-half points to fall to 0-2 in the tournament.  


The Maroons were led by Clayton Welch with 10 points, Zeke Hickman and Tyrese Petty both added six points. 


PBL was led by Trey Van Winkle's 21.


The Maroons fall to 4-10 on the season.  They next play tonight (FRI) at 6p in Monticello versus Neoga.  That game will be part of a doubleheader broadcast, as WHOW will air the boys at 6p, and then the Lady Maroons versus Neoga at 7:30p.

GBB: Monticello Routs GCMS

Monticello led 37-5 at halftime and Hannah Swanson scored a game-high 21 points as the Lady Sages routed GCMS 64-24 in high school girls basketball action from the Monticello Holiday Hoopla Thurday night.


Renni Futlz scored 14 points for the Lady Sages. Olivia Swanson added eight points and Lizzie Stiverson scored six points.


Monticello will take on Tuscola Friday afternoon at 2 pm. Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.


Monticello Holds Off GCMS

Garrett Kepley scored a game-high 23 points and willed Monticello late past GCMS 51-42 in boys basketball Holiday Hoopla action Thursday night from Monticello High School.


The Sages improved to 2-0 on the day and set up a showdown with Tuscola for a trip to Saturday night’s championship game in the Holiday Hoopla.


With GMCS down by 14, the Falcons cut the deficit to 44-40, but Kepley grabbed a steal in the backcourt and took it coast-to-coast for the 46-40 lead.


The Falcons answered to make it a four-point game again, Ethan Miller sank one-of-two free throws to make it 47-42 and Kepley struck again on defense. 


His steal with 35 seconds left resulted in getting fouled on a made layup and completed the three-point-play and Jake Edmondson made a free throw with 20 seconds left for the final margin.


Miller finished with 11 points for Monticello who dished out 11 assists on their 19 made field goals but committed 12 turnovers. 


The Sages shot 50-percent for the game and missed crucial free throws down the stretch to allow the Falcons to stay close. 


Monticello controlled the glass 28-21. 


The Sages have won six in a row to improve to 6-3 overall.


Hear Friday’s action against Tuscola at 3:30 pm on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.


GBB: Ridgeview Rolls Monticello

Kelly Jones’ 22 points was too much for the Clinton Lady Maroons basketball squad to overcome as Ridgeview rolled to a 58-41 win in Holiday Hoopla high school girls basketball action Thursday afternoon from Clinton High School. 


Emma Nunamaker added 13 points and Haleigh Beck scored 11 points for the Lady Mustangs who overcame a slow start and took a 41-28 lead into the final frame.


Mallory Cyrulik and Kaitlyn Rauch each scored 12 points to pace the Lady Maroons and Destiny Schlesinger scored 11 points, but Clinton got little production elsewhere in the lineup. 


The Lady Maroons will play two games tomorrow. The first will be against Paxton-Buckley-Loda starting at 10 am with a nightcap against Neoga at 7:30 pm.


Hear the game against Neoga on 92.3 FM WHOW, 106.5 FM WHOW, at dewittdailynews.com, the WHOW mobile app and at Amazon Alexa.


Ridgeview Rolls Clinton

The Ridgeview Mustangs jumped early on the Clinton Maroons and cruised to a 66-48 win from the first day of Holiday Hoopla action at Monticello High School in high school boys basketball action.


Ridgeview turned the Maroons over 15 times resulting in 24 points. The Maroons did dish out 11 assists on their 21 field goals.


The Mustangs shot 60-percent from the floor in the first half opening up a 33-21 lead and led 53-34 after three quarters.


Tyrese Petty scored 12 points to carry Clinton and Zeke Hickman added 11 points and grabbed six rebounds. Skyler Williamson chipped in with nine points and Clayton Welch scored eight points and grabbed six boards.


Reece Ramirez led the Mustangs with a game-high 18 points. Garrett Stevens added 12 points and Levi Zimmerman finished with 11 points. 


Ridgeview controlled the glass 36-31 and turned 16 offensive rebounds to 12 second chance points. 


The Mustangs improve to 9-1 overall while Clinton drops to 4-9. The Maroons will take on Paxton-Buckley-Loda at 11:30 am tomorrow afternoon then they will take on Neoga at 6 pm.


Hear their contest against Neoga on 92.3 FM WHOW, 106.5 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, the WHOW mobile app and at Amazon Alexa.


Stark County Edges Monticello in Girls Basketball Holiday Hoopla Action

A Monticello rally fell just short against Stark County as the Lady Sages lost 51-50 in their opener of the Holiday Hoopla girls basketball tournament from Monticello High School Thursday morning.


The Lady Sages trailed 20-9 after once quarter of play and trailed 45-36 after three but rallied in the fourth quarter, outscoring Stark County 14-6 in the final frame.


Lizzie Stiverson and Cloe Clark paced the Lady Sages with 13 points apiece. Renni Fultz added 12 points.


Olivia Hopp paced Stark County with 14 points, Kesley Berchtold scored 12 points and Lexi Davis added 11 points.


The Lady Sages will play their second game of the tournament tonight opposite GCMS at 6 pm.


Hear their game tomorrow afternoon at 2 pm against Tuscola on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 


In the second game in the girl's tournament of the Hoopla, Tuscola beat GCMS 51-17.

Monticello Uses Big Third Quarter to Topple Oakwood from Annual Holiday Hoopla

The Monticello Sages outscored Oakwood 21-6 in the third quarter to propel them to a 56-38 win in day one action of the 2019 Monticello Holiday Hoopla from Monticello High School in boys basketball action.


Garrett Kepley scored nine of his 15 points in the third quarter and Ryan Reeder scored eight in the frame and Monticello outscored the Comets 15-3 in the final 5:18 of the quarter to take control of the game.


Reeder finished with a game-high 16 points, Kepley scored 15 points. Monticello was efficient on offense, dishing out 18 assists on their 24 field goals and committed just ten turnovers. 


The Sages dominated the boards, outrebounding Oakwood 28-18. 


Monticello will be back in action at the Holiday Hoopla tonight at 7:30 pm taking on GCMS. Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.


In the first game of the morning session from the Hoopla in boy's action, Tuscola topped GCMS 56-52.

Clinton Athletic Director Looking Forward to Boys, Girls Basketball Teams Going to Monticello Holiday Tournament

When a spot opened up in the Monticello Holiday Hoopla, Clinton Athletic Director Matt Koeppel says it was an opportunity he wasn't going to pass up.


The Holiday Hoopla opens this week, featuring eight boys and girls basketball teams competing in a round-robin format tournament Thursday through Saturday. Koeppel says Monticello puts on a first-class event and wanted his teams to be a part of it.



According to Koeppel, he wants their teams playing games close to home to get a good following for the teams. He says if you're traveling a couple of hours for games, no one is going to go and that isn't good for school and community pride in their programs.



Clinton, Monticello Open Holiday Hoopla Action Today

The three day Monticello Holiday Hoopla Tournament opens this morning for boys and girls basketball squads across central Illinois.


The Clinton Maroons and Monticello Sages boys and girls teams will be in action throughout the three days of action.


Starting this morning at 10 am, the Lady Sages will take on Stark County. 


At 11:30 am this morning, hear boys action as they take on Oakwood and hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.


This afternoon, the Clinton Maroons boys basketball squad opens their play taking on Ridgeview at 2 pm. Then at 3:30 pm, the Lady Maroons will be in action also taking on Ridgeview.


In the evening session of basketball today, the Lady Sages will take on GCMS then at 7:30 pm, the day concludes when the boys basketball squad also plays GCMS. Hear the boys game on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 


Kicking action off Friday morning at 10 am will be the Clinton girls taking on Paxton-Buckley-Loda. The boys will then take on PBL at 11:30 am.


In the afternoon session, hear Monticello girls action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com, when they play Tuscola at 2 pm. Then at 3:30 pm, hear the boys take on Tuscola on WEZC and at dewittdailynews.com.


It will also be a double-header on WHOW Friday evening. Starting at 6 pm, hear boys basketball against Neoga. Coach Clay Haurberg was the head coach for the Indians before he came to Clinton and had Monticello boys coach Kevin Roy's brother on his coaching staff.


In the nightcap at 7:30 pm in girls basketball, the Lady Maroons will also play Neoga. Again, hear both of those contests on WHOW, at dewittdailynews.com, at Amazon Alexa, and at the WHOW mobile app. 


Saturday, hear the Monticello boys placement game at a time to be determined based on their record through their three pool play games Thursday and Friday.

White Sox, Slugger Encarnacion Agree to One-Year Deal

The Chicago White Sox have agreed to a $12 million, one-year contract with veteran slugger Edwin Encarnación, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Wednesday night.


The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been announced.

Encarnación is due $11 million in salary next season and a $1 million signing bonus, with the White Sox holding an option for the 2021 season.


Encarnación hit 34 home runs in 109 games for Seattle and the Yankees last season. The three-time All-Star led the American League with 21 homers when the Mariners dealt him to New York in June. But the Yankees declined an option for next season after he was limited by oblique problems down the stretch.


Encarnación batted .249 with 13 homers and 37 RBIs in 44 regular-season games with the Yankees. He hit .308 while New York pounded Minnesota in the AL Division Series, but slumped badly in the AL Championship Series against Houston.


Encarnación, turns 37 on Jan. 7, has eight straight seasons with more than 30 homers. He has 414 homers in 15 years with Cincinnati, Toronto, Cleveland, Seattle and New York.


He figures to serve as the designated hitter and play first base along with slugger Jose Abreu.

The White Sox have been loading up around a promising young core, hoping to challenge in the AL Central after seven straight losing seasons. Encarnación joins former AL Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel and catcher Yasmani Grandal as big-money additions this offseason.


The White Sox agreed Saturday to a $55.5 million, three-year deal with Keuchel, a day after finalizing a one-year contract with two-time All-Star pitcher Gio González. They also brought back Abreu on a $50 million, three-year deal and acquired outfielder Nomar Mazara from the Texas Rangers.


The White Sox were 72-89 last season, well behind the 101-win Minnesota Twins and 93-win Cleveland Indians. But they believe they are in position to make a big jump after missing the playoffs for the 13th time in 14 years since their 2005 World Series championship. That’s because young players established themselves in the majors and promising prospects remain in the pipeline.


Tim Anderson led the majors with a .335 average last year. Yoán Moncada had a breakthrough season, hitting .315 with 25 homers and 79 RBIs. Eloy Jiménez showed pop as a rookie, with a .267 average, 31 homers and 79 RBIs. Prized outfielder Luis Robert figures to debut next spring, and top prospect Nick Madrigal might also be ready to get significant time at second base.


Keuchel and Gonzalez will join a rotation led by All-Star Lucas Giolito that also includes Reynaldo Lopez and Dylan Cease. Promising young right-hander Michael Kopech is also expected to return following Tommy John surgery.

Schenn, Blues cruise into Christmas break by thumping Kings

Brayden Schenn scored twice in St. Louis' four-goal first period and the Blues won their sixth straight game, 4-1 over the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night.


Vince Dunn had a goal and an assist, and Jaden Schwartz scored on the power play for the Blues.


Jordan Binnington made 29 saves in his first start since Dec. 16 against Colorado. Alex Pietrangelo and David Perron each had two assists.


Alex Iafallo had a power-play goal and Jonathan Quick made 24 saves, but the Kings lost their third in a row.


Schenn opened the scoring at 4:51 and wrapped the flurry by getting a power-play goal that gave St. Louis a 4-0 lead with his 17th of the season. 


Schwartz tipped in Pietrangelo's shot on the power play for a 2-0 lead at 5:43, and Dunn made it 3-0 at 11:22.


Iafallo got the Kings on the board when he redirected Drew Doughty's shot from the blue line with 1:07 left in the opening period.

Zajac helps New Jersey Devils pound Chicago Blackhawks 7-1

Travis Zajac capped New Jersey's dominant second period with a short-handed goal, and the Devils headed into their holiday break with a 7-1 victory over the Blackhawks.


Subban, Damon Severson, and John Hayden also scored in the second as New Jersey won for just the third time in 12 games. Jack Hughes picked up his fifth goal in the first, and Blake Coleman and Pavel Zacha scored in the third in this matchup of last-place teams.


Nikita Gusev had three assists and Mackenzie Blackwood made 32 saves, helping New Jersey bounce back from consecutive losses to Washington and Columbus by a combined score of 11-4.

It was the highest-scoring game of the season for the Devils and the worst loss of the year for the Blackhawks.


Chicago had won three of four, including consecutive victories at Winnipeg and Colorado. Zack Smith scored in the first period and Corey Crawford made 16 saves on 20 shots before he was pulled in the second.


Subban put New Jersey ahead to stay when he drove a slap shot from the top of the slot past a screened Crawford 51 seconds into the second.


The Devils were just getting started.


Severson drove to the net and stuffed the puck between Crawford's legs at 7:22. Hayden chased Crawford at 10:40, and Zajac made it 5-1 when he flipped a rebound past Robin Lehner with 2:38 left in the period.

Packers clinch NFC North with 23-10 win over Vikings

Aaron Jones rushed for 154 yards and two second-half touchdowns, Za'Darius Smith had five tackles for loss to lead a stifling performance by the defense, and the Packers beat the Vikings 23-10 on Monday night.


Kirk Cousins was sacked five times, with a whopping 3 1/2 by Smith, and he threw an interception in the third quarter that set up the first score by Jones, who leads the league with 16 rushing touchdowns.

The Vikings had 132 total yards, as Cousins fell to 0-9 in his career in Monday night games.


The Vikings had only seven first downs and never netted a drive longer than 31 yards in this concerning regression. They wasted a fine performance by their defense, which has produced 10 turnovers in the last two games.


Minnesota's frustration over a stalled offense that averaged nearly 30 points over the previous 10 games only increased in the second half. Stefon Diggs caught a 28-yard pass on third-and-18 in the third quarter, but Cousins was intercepted later on the drive when Diggs was tangled up with Jaire Alexander and Kevin King made a leaping grab before a 39-yard return.


The Vikings punted on fourth-and-1 from their 45 to white-flag their ensuing possession.

Holiday hits key shots in Pacers' OT home win over Raptors

The Pacers snapped the Raptors' five-game win streak with a 120-115 overtime triumph on Monday.


Aaron Holiday's fourth 3-pointer of the game gave the Pacers a 116-113 lead with 2:05 remaining in overtime. His fifth and final 3-pointer provided a 119-115 advantage with 54 seconds remaining.


Lowry managed just two points in overtime when the Pacers outscored the Raptors 13-8.


Serge Ibaka added 23 and Fred VanVleet 21 for the Raptors


The Pacers' Myles Turner sank 5 of 6 3-pointers in finishing 9 of 12 from the floor.

Ross scores 26, leads Magic to 103-95 victory over Bulls

Terrence Ross scored a season-high 26 points Monday night to help the Orlando Magic break a three-game losing streak with a 103-95 victory over the Chicago Bulls.


Zach LaVine led Chicago with 26 points on 8-of-26 shooting, but the Bulls managed only 14 points in the fourth quarter. Tomas Satoransky added 20 points and was 4 of 5 on 3-point shots.


Nikola Vucevic had 21 points and seven rebounds for Orlando, which blocked 13 shots and held the Bulls to 31 percent shooting in the second half. Jonathan Isaac finished with 13 points, nine rebounds, five assists, four steals and three blocks.


Ross, who made six 3-pointers, hit a short jumper and a 3-pointer on a 7-0 Magic run early in the fourth quarter to put Orlando ahead to stay.


With LaVine hitting two free throws and a 3-pointer, the Bulls scored the first nine points of the game.


Lauri Markkanen and LaVine made two 3-pointers apiece in the last 4:15 of the first half to leave Chicago with a 54-51 lead at the break.

Chiefs Blow By Bears

Mahomes outplayed Mitchell Trubisky, throwing for two touchdowns and running for another score, and the Chiefs beat the Chicago Bears 26-3 Sunday night for their fifth straight win.


Kansas City (11-4) remained a game behind New England for the AFC's second seed. The Patriots clinched their 11th consecutive AFC East championship by beating Buffalo on Saturday. The Chiefs hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over New England thanks to a victory two weeks ago that helped secure their fourth AFC West title in a row.


Mahomes' big game in his first appearance at Soldier Field is just another blow for Chicago in a rough season that began with Super Bowl hopes. The Bears passed on Mahomes when they traded up a spot to grab Trubisky with the No. 2 overall pick in 2017. Mahomes went to Kansas City at No. 10 and won the MVP award last season.


Trubisky has not performed the way the Bears envisioned. And with their playoff hopes already dashed coming off an NFC North championship, they got outclassed by Kansas City.


Mahomes, playing his 30th game, became the fastest player to reach the 9,000-yard passing mark. He was 23 of 33 for 251 yards, giving him 9,238 in three seasons. Hall of Famer Kurt Warner did it in 32 games.


Mahomes also has 75 touchdown passes, making him the fastest player to hit that mark.


Travis Kelce, already the first tight end with four straight 1,000-yard seasons, became the first to reach 1,200 yards in back-to-back years. He caught eight passes for 74 yards, giving him 1,205 this year. That included a 6-yard touchdown near the end of the first half.


Harrison Butker kicked a career-best 56-yard field goal that was the fourth-longest in franchise history. He also hit both the left and right uprights on a missed extra point.


The Bears (7-8) dropped their second straight after winning four of five.


Trubisky completed 18 of 34 passes for 157 yards. Kahlil Mack had a sack, and fans let the Bears have it before heading toward the exits in the closing minutes.


The Bears visit Minnesota on Dec. 29.

Packers Visit Vikings for Crucial NFC North Tilt on Monday Night Football

The Green Bay Packers been outscored in the second and fourth quarters. Only four of their 11 wins have come by more than one score. Their team rankings in rushing and passing yardage on both offense and defense are all in the bottom half of the league.


The Packers need only one victory over their final two games to take the division title and a first-round bye for the playoffs remains well within reach as they visit Minnesota on Monday night football.


Green Bay has the second-fewest turnovers in the NFL with nine, and their rushing attack spearheaded by Aaron Jones has ably complemented Rodgers in his up-and-down attempt to help his young wide receivers hit their stride. The defense has the third-best interception percentage in the league and the fifth-best red zone rate, allowing fewer than half of opponent possessions inside the 20 to cross the goal line.


The Packers have joined the Bills and the 49ers as teams already in the playoff field that missed the cut last season.

Giannis Leads Bucks Past Pacers

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 18 points, 19 rebounds and nine assists, and the Bucks spoiled Malcolm Brogdon's return to Milwaukee with a 117-89 win over the Indiana Pacers on Sunday night.


Wesley Matthews scored 19 points for NBA-leading Milwaukee, which has won three in a row since a 120-116 loss to Dallas stopped an 18-game win streak.


Brogdon scored his first points on a layup with 10:28 to play in the second quarter, giving the Pacers a 26-24 lead. Donte DiVincenzo made a layup to give Milwaukee a 56-55 advantage with 53 seconds left in the first half, and the Bucks never trailed again.


Milwaukee outscored Indiana 58-34 in the second half and had a 48-34 advantage in points in the paint.


Domantas Sabonis had 19 points and 18 rebounds for Indiana and McDermott finished with 15 points.


The Pacers shot 12 for 40 from 3-point range. The Bucks made 15 3-pointers, including five straight in the fourth.


Brook Lopez and George Hill each had 17 points for the Bucks. Hill is averaging 16 points off the bench over the last three games.


The Pacers host the Raptors on Monday.

White Sox A gree To Terms With LHPs Keuchel, Gonzalez

The Chicago White Sox and left-hander Dallas Keuchel have agreed to a $55 million, three-year deal, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.


Keuchel’s deal includes a vesting option for 2023 that would bring the total value to $74 million.


The 31-year-old Keuchel won the AL Cy Young Award with the Houston Astros in 2015 but struggled to find work last offseason as a free agent. He signed a roughly $13 million, one-year deal with the Atlanta Braves in June and went 8-8 with a 3.75 ERA for the NL East champions.


The long-bearded veteran joins catcher Yasmani Grandal as a big-money addition to the White Sox this offseason. Grandal signed a $73 million, four-year contract with Chicago last month.


The White Sox also brought back slugger Jose Abreu on a $50 million, three-year deal, acquired outfielder Nomar Mazara from the Texas Rangers and added lefty starter Gio Gonzalez on a $5 million, one-year contract that includes a 2021 option.


Keuchel and Gonzalez will join a rotation led by All-Star Lucas Giolito that also includes Reynaldo Lopez and Dylan Cease. Promising young right-hander Michael Kopech is also expected to return following Tommy John surgery.


Chicago is hoping to challenge in the AL Central behind a young core of hitters, including Yoan Moncada, Tim Anderson and Eloy Jimenez. Top prospect Nick Madrigal might also be ready to get significant time at second base. The White Sox were 72-89 last season, well behind the 101-win Minnesota Twins and 93-win Cleveland Indians.


Agent Scott Boras negotiated the deal for Keuchel and has earned his players $936 million in contracts this offseason, including a $324 million, nine-year deal between Gerrit Cole and the New York Yankees and $245 million, seven-year deals for Stephen Strasburg with the Washington Nationals and Anthony Rendon with the Los Angeles Angels. Boras is expected to clear the $1 billion mark this winter.


The White Sox also boosted their starting rotation, finalizing a $5 million, one-year contract with two-time All-Star Gio González that includes a 2021 club option.


The deal announced Friday calls for a $4.5 million salary in 2020 and gives the White Sox a $7 million option for 2021 with a $500,000 buyout. He can earn an additional $1 million in performance bonuses in 2020 based on starts: $250,000 each for 15, 20, 25 and 30.


The 34-year-old left-hander finally will get a chance to pitch for the team that took him with the No. 38 overall pick in the 2004 amateur draft. Chicago dealt González to Philadelphia following the 2005 season as part of the trade that sent Aaron Rowand to the Phillies for Jim Thome, then reacquired González a year later along with Gavin Floyd for Freddy García. The White Sox traded González to Oakland for Nick Swisher in January 2008.


González was 3-2 with a 3.50 ERA in 17 starts and 19 appearances last season.


Chicago went 72-89 in its seventh straight losing season and missed the playoffs for the 13th time in 14 years since its 2005 World Series title. But with young players establishing themselves in the majors and promising prospects in the minors, the White Sox expect to contend for a postseason spot.


Right-hander Lucas Giolito went from the highest ERA among qualifiers in 2018 to his first All-Star season, going 14-9 with a 3.41 ERA in 29 starts.


The White Sox could have a solid rotation if Michael Kopech bounces back from Tommy John surgery and Dylan Cease progresses. Both are 23.

Monticello Cruises to Win Over Greenville

Brigg Fultz first career double-double helped Monticello to their second double-digit victory, a 56-35 win over Greenville at the Comets Quad Saturday night in non-conference high school boys basketball action.


The Sages beat Staunton earlier in the day 44-26 and moved a game over-500 heading into Holiday Hoopla action next week.


Fultz scored 14 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Ryan Reeder added 11 points. Garrett Kepley scored nine points and Ethan Miller added eight.


Monticello dished out 13 assists to 12 turnovers committed. 


The Sages again dominated points in the paint, 42-12 and controlled the boards, 36-12 and turned 15 offensive rebounds in 13 second chance points. 


The Sages return home for the annual Holiday Hoopla 4-3 overall and on a four-game winning streak. They’ll take on Oakwood to open Hoopla action at 11:30 am next Thursday and then GCMS in the nightcap at 7:30 pm. 


Hear Holiday Hoopla action Thursday through Saturday on 95.9 FM WEZC as we’ll bring you the two boys games Thursday, the Lady Sages mid-afternoon matchup at 2 pm against Tuscola then the boys 3:30 pm matchup, also against Tuscola and the boys placement game all next week. And hear it all at dewittdailynews.com.


Monticello Rolls Staunton in First of Two From Greenville

The Monticello Sages rolled past Staunton 44-26 in the first of two non-conference high school boys basketball games from the Greenville Comets Quad Saturday afternoon.


Monticello gradually opened their lead throughout the first half and overcame a slow start to open a 25-11 halftime advantage.


The Sages defense held the Bulldogs to just 39-percent shooting and used 11 steals to force 18 turnovers and had 12 points off those turnovers.


Ryan Reeder scored a game-high 13 points. Garrett Kepley added 10 points. Briggs Fultz scored eight points, grabbed five rebounds and had four steals. 


Ethan Booth led Staunton with 12 points.


Monticello dominated points in the paint 34-12 and won the rebounding battle 25-18.


Monticello finishes the day in Greenville taking on the hosts Comets at 6:30 pm tonight. 


Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.


Clinton Maroons Defeat Argenta-Oreana

In a game heard on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons defeated the Argenta-Oreana Bombers by a score of 77-36 on Friday night in non-conference basketball action. The Maroons were led by senior Clayton Welch with 19 points. Senior Skyler Williamson had 17.


The Bombers were led by senior Ryder Sprague with 14 points.


With the win, the Maroons improve to 4-8 on the season. Argenta-Oreana falls to 0-7 overall.


Tune in Friday, December 27, for the Maroons and Lady Maroons doubleheader from the Monticello Holiday Hoopla. Both teams will take on Neoga. You can hear the games 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. Tip-off for the boys' game is set for 6 pm and the girls' tip is set for 7:30 pm.

Jackson, UTSA host Illinois St.

Two guards will be on display as Zach Copeland and Illinois State will face Jhivvan Jackson and UTSA on Saturday. The senior Copeland has scored 22 percent of the team’s points this season and is averaging 15.6 over his last five games. Jackson, a junior, is averaging 26.2 points over the last five games.


UTSA’s Jackson, Atem Bior and Byron Frohnen have combined to account for 44 percent of the team’s scoring this season, including 39 percent of all Roadrunners points over the last five games. Jackson has directly created 49 percent of all UTSA field goals over the last three games. The junior guard has 34 field goals and 10 assists in those games.


UTSA is 0-7 this year when it allows 72 points or more and 4-0 when holding opponents to fewer than 72.


The Roadrunners have recently gotten buckets via assists more often than the Redbirds. UTSA has 47 assists on 89 field goals (52.8 percent) across its past three outings while Illinois State has assists on 32 of 72 field goals (44.4 percent) during its past three games.

Kane has goal, 3 assists in Blackhawks' 4-1 win over Jets

Patrick Kane scored his 19th goal of the season and had three assists in the Blackhawks' 4-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night.


It took Chicago 12:32 to get its first shot on goal in the second, and the Blackhawks were outshot 14-3 in the middle frame.


Robin Lehner made 36 saves, Alex Nylander had a goal and assist and Dominik Kubalik and Erik Gustafsson also scored to help the Blackhawks rebound from a 4-1 home loss to Colorado on Wednesday night.


Tucker Poolman scored for Winnipeg and Connor Hellebuyck made 28 saves.


Cylander scored 59 seconds into the game on a two-on-one with Kane, shooting the puck high on Hellebuyck's glove side. Chicago made it 2-0 37 seconds into the third period, with Kane capitalizing on a turnover near Winnipeg's blue line and quickly feeding the puck to Kubalik for a breakaway.


Winnipeg countered with Poolman's one-timer at 5:09.


The Jets were called for too many men and Gustafsson took a pass from Kane and ripped a one-timer past Hellebuyck on the power play with 9:02 left. Kane capped the scoring with 3:21 left.

Maroons Travel to Argenta-Oreana Tonight

The Clinton Maroons will travel to Argenta-Oreana High School tonight for non-conference varsity boys basketball action.


The Maroons come into the game at 3-8. 


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.


Area Boys Basketball Matchups tonight...


Decatur Lutheran vs Sullivan
Tuscola vs Champaign Judah Christian
Warrensburg-Latham vs Maroa-Forsyth
Shelbyville vs Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond
Okaw Valley vs Central A&M

Monticello Lady Sages Defeat Warrensburg-Latham

As heard on 95.9 FM WEZC, the Monticello Lady Sages defeated the Warrensburg-Latham Lady Cardinals by a score of 45-43 on Thursday night. The Lady Sages were lead by Cloe Clark with 19 points.


Warrensburg was led by Brooke Oakley with 17 points and Brittney Oakley with 11.


With the win, the Lady Sages improve to 4-7. Warrensburg-Latham falls to 3-5.


Tune in Saturday, December 21, as Monticello travels to Greenville for the Comets Quad. They will play Staunton at 1:30 pm and Greenville at 6:30 pm. You can hear both games live on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Illinois State scores final 11 points to edge UIC, 67-66

Zach Copeland drilled a 3-pointer with eight seconds left to cap an 11-point comeback in the final four minutes that lifted Illinois State to a 67-66 win over Illinois-Chicago on Wednesday night.


UIC took a 10-point lead, 66-56 with 3:51 remaining on Marcus Ottey’s jumper. Antonio Reeves answered with a jumper and followed that seconds later with two free throws. Rey Idowu knocked down a jumper and added a layup to make it a two-point game with less than a minute to play.


In the final stretch UIC committed three turnovers, missed two 3-point attempts, two layups and a dunk.

Keith Fisher III and Idowu each scored 16 points and Fisher grabbed 14 rebounds to lead the Redbirds (5-6). Copeland, who hit just one of 3 from distance, added 12 points and dished five assists.


Tarkus Ferguson scored 22 points to lead the Flames (4-8), with Ottey adding a dozen points.

>Bulls rally from 18 down to beat Wizards in overtime

Wendell Carter Jr. made a layup with 9.1 seconds left in overtime, completing the Bulls' comeback from an 18-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat the Wizards 110-109 on Wednesday night.


Zach LaVine capped a 21-3 Bulls run with three free throws that tied the game at 96 with 5.5 seconds left in the fourth. Bradley Beal hit a jumper with 0.5 seconds remaining to put Washington ahead 98-96, but LaVine was fouled on the ensuing inbound play and hit two free throws to force OT.


Lauri Markkanen's alley-oop basket gave the Bulls their first lead since the first quarter, 106-105 with 1:47 left in overtime.


Beal's two free throws put Washington back on top, and Isaiah Thomas' two foul shots made it 109-106 with 53 seconds left. Carter, aided by a lane violation by Washington, made two free throws with 40 seconds to go and scored the winner after Beal's miss.


Beal missed another jumper at the buzzer.


Markkanen had 31 points and nine rebounds, and LaVine added 24 points.


Davis Bertans led Washington with 26 points, and Beal finished with 22 on 4-of-19 shooting from the field.


The Wizards led 93-75 with 8:21 left in the fourth before Carter's dunk started Chicago's spurt.

LaVine's 3-pointer pulled the Bulls within 96-93 with 1:33 remaining. LaVine scored 10 points in the final three minutes of the period.


n his return to Washington, Satoransky had 17 points.


Washington led by six at halftime, and Beal and Thomas combined for three 3-pointers in a 9-2 run that gave the Wizards a 74-61 lead midway through the third quarter.

Avs get back on track with 4-1 win over Blackhawks

Ian Cole and Mikko Rantanen each had a goal and an assist, and Colorado beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1 Wednesday night.


Nathan MacKinnon and Andre Burakovksy also scored for Colorado, which is 9-1-1 in its past 11 games. The Avalanche lost 5-2 at St. Louis on Monday but rebounded to remain three points behind the first-place Blues in the Central Division.


Ryan Carpenter got his second goal of the season for the fading Blackhawks, who have lost five of six.


Pavel Francouz made 31 saves for Colorado. Corey Crawford blocked 32 shots for Chicago.


The game was tied at 1 after one period, although Colorado outshot Chicago 19-6 in the frame.


Crawford made several tough saves early, including a stop of MacKinnon on a breakaway.


Cole opened the scoring at 8:41 on a shot from the top of the slot that sailed past Crawford as MacKinnon and Connor Murphy tussled in the slot.


Carpenter scored just over a minute later to tie it. Mark Barberio's weak clearing attempt off the boards landed on Alex DeBrincat's stick. He fed Carpenter, who beat Francouz with a wrister from the right circle.


The Avalanche pounced on sloppy Chicago play to score 2:19 apart midway through the second for a 3-1 lead.


MacKinnon connected for his 21st goal - on his fifth shot of the game - at 7:49 to put Colorado ahead. After slipping past Keith and Murphy near the Chicago blueline, MacKinnon took Rantanen's feed, broke in alone and beat Crawford with another shot high on the stick side.


Burakovsky made it 3-1 at 10:08 with his 13th goal. He picked off the puck at center ice, powered back into the Chicago zone and took a quick shot from the right circle.


The Avalanche managed their lead cleanly through the third, although the Blackhawks twice rattled shots off the post and had a couple of close in chances. Rantanen added a long empty-netter with 2:56 left.

Allen makes 35 saves, Blues beat Oilers 2-1

Brayden Schenn scored, Jake Allen made 35 saves and St. Louis beat the Edmonton Oilers 2-1 on Wednesday night.


James Neal had a late goal and Mikko Koskinen stopped 42 shots for the Oilers, who lost for the fifth time in six games.


Neal scored with 1:50 left in the third period, and the Blues claimed Zack Kassian interfered with Allen. St. Louis was penalized for the unsuccessful challenge, giving the NHL's top power play a 6-on-4 advantage the rest of the way.


Edmonton went 0 for 4 on the power play, snapping an eight-game scoring streak with the man advantage.


Schenn’s 15th goal of the season gave the Blues a 1-0 lead at the 8:04 mark of the second period. Vince Dunn’s outlet pass sprung Schenn on a breakaway and he beat Koskinen with a shot to the upper right corner.


The goal gave Schenn 19 points (seven goals, 12 assists) in 17 career games against the Oilers. He is one point away from 400 in his career.


Robert Thomas came close to adding to the Blues' lead late in the second, but his shot on a power play hit the post.


MacEachern gave St. Louis some breathing room, burying Ryan O’Reilly's perfect backhand feed from behind the Oilers net at 6:23 of the third.


Both teams had several quality opportunities in a scoreless first period that featured 25 total shots.


Troy Brouwer rang one off the crossbar for the Blues in the opening minutes. Allen made a tough save on Jujhar Khaira's point-blank chance midway through the period and stopped Connor McDavid's rebound try on a late power play.

Maroons Fall At Riverton Tuesday; Other CIC Boys Scores

IN CIC Boys action Tuesday night.....

The Clinton Maroons fell to Riverton in non-conference action, 71-43.  Clinton fell behind 17-4 in the first quarter, and were never able to close the gap.  The Maroons were led by Tyrese Petty with 18 points.  Clinton falls to 3-8 with the loss.  Riverton improves to 6-3 with the win.  Clinton travels to Argenta-Oreana Friday night.  Hear the varsity action on WHOW.


Other CIC Boys scores from Tuesday night....

Warrensburg-Latham 56
Decatur Lutheran 57


Decatur St. Teresa 39
Pleasant Plains 59


Macon Meridian 71
Cerro Gordo/Bement 63


Broadlands Heritage/Villa Grove 43
Tuscola 64


CIC Boys games tonight....

Mattoon @

Maroons Head to Riverton Tonight

The Clinton Maroons will hit the road back to the Springfield area for a matchup with Riverton in non-conference high school boys basketball action. 


The Maroons have lost three straight to drop to 3-7 overall. The Maroons lost Saturday at Rochester 52-41. That followed a Friday night loss at home to Maroa-Forsyth.


The Hawks are 5-3 overall and have won four of their last five, including victories over Monticello and Meridian. 


Game time tonight from Riverton is 6 pm. 

Clinton Girls Basketball Hosting Cerro Gordo-Bement on WHOW

The Clinton Lady Maroons are looking to build on their 6-5 start to the season tonight when they host Cerro Gordo-Bement in high school non-conference girls basketball action on WHOW, dewittdailynews.com, and Amazon Alexa.


The Lady Maroons had their Central Illinois Conference tilt at Decatur St. Teresa postponed last night. That matchup will be made up Thursday, January 2. 


The Lady Maroons knocked off Pana Saturday, 55-48.


Game time tonight is 7:30 pm. Hear all the action on 92.3 FM, 106.5 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, at the new WHOW Mobile App and at Amazon Alexa. 

Monticello Hosts Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond

After picking up their first win last week at home against Auburn, the Monticello Sages boys basketball team is looking to continue on their progress tonight when they host Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond in non-conference high school boys basketball action from Monticello High School.


Monticello defeated Auburn 55-44 a week ago at Monticello High School to move to 1-3 on the season. 


After tonight's game, Monticello gets an early warm-up for next week's Holiday Hoopla with two games at Greenville Saturday. They will take on Staunton at 1:30 pm at the Comets Quad and then finish action off Saturday night at 6:30 pm against Greenville.


Hear tonight's action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

Thunder Bounce Bulls

Chris Paul hit five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and the Thunder overcame a 26-point second-quarter deficit to beat the Chicago Bulls 109-106.


Paul took over in the fourth, going 5 for 5 from deep and scoring 19 of his 30 points. His fourth 3-pointer of the quarter put Oklahoma City ahead 101-100, its first lead since the opening seconds. Paul also had nine rebounds and 10 assists.


The Bulls tied it at 106 before Steven Adams put the Thunder ahead with a free throw and Paul added two more in the final five seconds.


Chicago led 55-29 midway through the second quarter by turning 12 Thunder turnovers into 26 points. Zach LaVine scored 17 points, Wendell Carter Jr. had 12 and Ryan Arcidiacono added 10 while the Bulls shot 58% in the half. LaVine finished with 39 points.


Paul had two points at the break.


The Thunder pulled within 19 at halftime, with Danilo Gallinari keeping them close with 17 first-half points. Oklahoma City whittled it down to eight after three quarters and an 8-0 run in the final minute of the period.


Gallinari finished with 22 points and Dennis Schroder had 18 off the bench for the Thunder.

The Bulls visit Washington on Wednesday night.

Blues Blast Avalanche

David Perron completed his fifth career hat trick to lead the St. Louis Blues over the Colorado Avalanche 5-2 Monday night.


Vince Dunn and Jordan Kyrou also scored for the Blues, who remained atop the Central Division with 48 points. The Avalanche stayed in second with 45. Ryan O'Reilly and Oskar Sundqvist each had two assists for the Blues.


St. Louis has won six consecutive games against Colorado and is 17-3-0 against the Avalanche in the last 20 games dating to April 5, 2011.


Blues goalie Jordan Binnington made 26 saves. It was Binnington's third consecutive victory, and he improved to 16-6-4 on the season.


Colorado goalie Philipp Grubauer made his first appearance since he suffered a lower-body injury Dec. 7 in Boston. He stopped 31 shots.


The Avalanche scored twice early in the second period for a 2-1 lead before St. Louis rallied.


The Blues received a 4-minute power play late in the second period. Nazem Kadri was falling and his stick struck Colton Parayko in the face and drew blood. St. Louis scored goals 36 seconds apart to reclaim the lead at 3-2.


Perron made Colorado pay with his second goal when he snapped a wrist shot from the right circle over the shoulder of Grubauer at 18:47.


Dunn and Tyler Bozak worked a give-and-go for the next power-play goal. Dunn fed Bozak, who then hit Dunn rushing the net. Dunn pushed the puck into an open net just outside the crease at 19:23.


The Blues host Edmonton on Wednesday night.

Kansas College Basketball's Newest No. 1

Michigan State, Kentucky, Duke and Louisville have each spent time at No. 1 in the AP Top 25 men’s college basketball poll only to lose quickly. The challenge now falls on Kansas to avoid the same fate.


The Jayhawks reached No. 1 in Monday’s poll, marking the first time the AP poll has had five different No. 1s before New Year’s Day. They play once this week with their new ranking, visiting No. 18 Villanova on Saturday.


None of the previous four teams to hold the No. 1 ranking this season have won more than twice before stumbling, illustrating that this is a year with no dominant team in college basketball.


Kansas (9-1), which earned 47 of 65 first-place votes, hasn’t lost since falling to Duke in the Champions Classic to open the season. That run has included winning the Maui Invitational and beating a then-ranked Colorado team, with all but the overtime win against Dayton for the Maui title coming by double-digit margins.


Fifth-ranked Ohio State and sixth-ranked Kentucky have the week’s headlining matchup in Saturday’s CBS Sports Classic in Las Vegas.


Ohio State (9-1) already has 25-point wins against both Villanova and then-ranked North Carolina. Chris Holtmann’s team lost at Minnesota in Big Ten play Sunday but returns to action Tuesday against Southeast Missouri State at home before playing John Calipari’s Wildcats.


Kentucky (8-1) is playing a doubleheader this week in Las Vegas, first against Utah on Wednesday.


No. 23 Penn State (9-2) is in the AP poll for the first time since the final poll of the 1995-96 season. The Nittany Lions play their first game with that ranking Friday against Central Connecticut State.

Northern Kentucky Topples Illinois State

Tyler Sharpe had a career-high 30 points as Northern Kentucky got past Illinois State 79-64 on Sunday.


Dantez Walton had 19 points, a career-high seven assists and six rebounds for the Norse (8-3).


Leading 43-46 at the half, they held Illinois State to a season-low 28 points in the second half.


Rey Idowu had 14 points for the Redbirds (4-6). Zach Copeland added 13 points.


Northern Kentucky shot 61% in the first half and finished at 53%, the fourth time in five games the Norse shot 50%. Going 11 of 25 from 3-point range was a season-best 44%, with Sharpe going 5 of 8.


A 13-0 run in the second half pushed the lead to 18.

Bradley Beats Georgia Southern

Nate Kennell had 14 points as Bradley stretched its home winning streak to seven games, easily defeating Georgia Southern 81-51 on Sunday.


Kennell shot 4 for 6 on 3-pointers.


Darrell Brown had 17 points and seven assists for Bradley (8-3). Ville Tahvanainen added 13 points. Elijah Childs had nine rebounds for the hosts.


Bradley dominated the first half and led 42-22 at the break. The Eagles' 22 first-half points were a season low for the team.


Elijah McCadden had 12 points for the Eagles (6-4). Calvin Wishart added 11 points. Quan Jackson had 10 points.


Ike Smith, the Eagles' leading scorer heading into the matchup at 16 points per game, scored 7 points on 2-of-10 shooting.


Bradley faces Miami (Ohio) on the road on Saturday. Georgia Southern plays Texas State at home on Thursday.

ISU Keeps NDSU Out of End Zone But Falls

Griffin Crosa kicked three second-quarter field goals and North Dakota State’s defense did the rest as the defending national champion Bison beat Illinois State 9-3 in an FCS quarterfinal on Saturday.


The top-seeded Bison (14-0) will host No. 5 seed Montana State next week in the semifinals after posting their 35th consecutive victory, extending their own FCS record and tying them for fifth all-time among all Division I programs. They have won seven of the last eight FCS championships including the last two.


The Bison held the unseeded Redbirds (10-5) to three points for the second time this season, having beaten Illinois State 37-3 in a Missouri Valley Football Conference game in Fargo on Oct. 5.

This time the Redbirds defense kept the game close, allowing only Crosa’s field goals of 38, 33 and 22 yards on consecutive possessions for a 9-0 halftime lead.


Illinois State’s only points came from Sam Fenlason’s 27-yard field goal after a 70-yard drive. The Redbirds reached Bison territory only one other time.


Trey Lance was 10-of-21 passing for 135 yards and rushed for 41 yards on 11 carries for North Dakota State. Christian Watson had 102 yards receiving by halftime but made only one more catch and finished with 107 yards.


James Robinson, who rushed for over 200 yards in the Redbirds’ two playoff victories, finished with 94 yards on 24 carries while Bruce Jefferson added 58 on 11. North Dakota State was outrushed 160-138, the first time that has happened since Nov. 4, 2017 — which was also its last loss, 33-21 to South Dakota State.


The Redbirds, who came in averaging only 116.6 yards passing per game, saw Jefferson go 3 for 8 for 34 yards with an interception by Michael Tutsie. The Bison had a 263-194 edge in total yards offense.

Packers Hold Off Bears

Leading by eight points with just 1 second remaining, Tramon Williams fell on Jesper Horstead's fumble at the 2-yard line to end Green Bay's 21-13 victory over the Bears Sunday. A few hours later, the Packers were playoff bound, when the Dallas Cowboys beat the Los Angeles Rams.


With the win, Green Bay (11-3) swept the Bears for the 15th time in the last 26 seasons and the seventh time in 11 seasons. The Packers defeated Chicago 10-3 in the season opener. Green Bay now leads the series 99-95-6.


Aaron Rodgers completed just 16 of 33 passes for a pedestrian 203 yards. The two-time MVP entered the day with a 103.2 career passer rating against the Bears, the highest in league history of quarterbacks with at least 250 passes against Chicago. He had a 78.2 rating on Sunday.


Mitchell Trubisky completed his first five pass attempts for the Bears (7-7) but for only 18 yards. Chicago's offense opened the game with three straight punts and a turnover on downs. Trubisky finished 28 of 53 for 321 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions, and the Bears had their three-game win streak end.


The Packers got on the board first on a 29-yard strike from Rodgers to Davante Adams in the first quarter. Adams beat Buster Skrine off the line for his fourth touchdown in the last four weeks. Adams finished with 103 yards on seven catches.


Eddy Pineiro knocked in a 30-yard field goal late in the first half for the Bears.


The Packers opened the second half with an impressive five-play, 73-yard drive that featured a 34-yard reception to Adams, a season-long 17-yard scamper by Rodgers, and a 21-yard touchdown run by Aaron Jones, his 13th rushing TD of the season.


After another stalled possession by Chicago, Rodgers and Jake Kumerow linked up for a 49-yard gain, Kumerow's longest reception of the season. The play helped set up another score for Jones from 2 yards and the Packers took a commanding 21-3 lead in the third quarter.


Pineiro added a 27-yard field goal at the start of the fourth and Trubisky found Anthony Miller for a 2-yard score to cut it to 21-13 with 8:09 to go. Miller had nine catches for 118 yards and the score.


Defensive lineman Dean Lowry picked off Trubisky with 6:33 left, Lowry's first career interception.


Kenny Clark had two sacks and Rashan Gary had another for the Packers. Nick Kwiatkoski had the lone sack for Chicago.


Allen Robinson had seven catches for 125 yards for the Bears, who saw their three-game winning streak end.


The Bears host the Chiefs next Sunday night.


The Packers play at the Vikings next Monday night.

Blackhawks Blast Wild

Patrick Kane scored three goals for his first hat trick of the season, and the Blackhawks stopped a four-game slide by topping the Minnesota Wild 5-3 on Sunday night.


Brandon Saad and David Kampf also scored for Chicago, which had dropped seven of nine overall. Jonathan Toews had three assists, and Robin Lehner made 23 stops.


Kevin Fiala scored twice for Minnesota in the opener of a three-game trip. Eric Staal also scored for his 1,000th career point, and Ryan Suter had three assists.


The game was tied at 3 in the third period when Saad muscled his way to his 11th goal of the season.


The rugged forward was grappling with Minnesota defenseman Matt Dumba in front when he managed to tip Connor Murphy's shot from the right point past Kaapo Kahkonen with 6:17 left.


Kane then added an empty-netter with 1:03 left, completing his sixth career regular-season hat trick. He has a team-high 18 goals this season.


The Blackhawks host the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night.

Pacers Topple Hornets

On a Sunday when the Pacers relied heavily on their bench, Aaron Holiday scored 12 of his game-high 23 points in the final quarter of a 107-85 victory over the Charlotte Hornets.


Holiday, who entered with a 9.3-point average, had his third consecutive double-digit game and was a point shy of a career high set last month at Brooklyn. He was coming off games of 18 and 13 points.


The cold-shooting Hornets managed to trim their deficit to 70-66 with a 22-13 third quarter.


The Pacers finished the final frame with a 35-19 edge. Thirty-one of their points came from the bench, which provided 55 for the game. Reserve guard T.J. McDonnell also had 12.


Doug McDermott, a reserve guard who had not scored in three quarters, helped with a pair of 3-pointers early in the fourth. By the time Holiday hit his second 3-pointer of the game, the Pacers had a 93-75 lead with 4:54 remaining.


The Pacers held the Hornets to a season-low in points and shooting percentage (30.8). The visitors had a three-game winning streak snapped.


Pacers center Myles Turner scored 14 points with 10 rebounds. Domantas Sabonis added 12 points and 12 rebounds.


Hornets forward Cody Zeller, a Hoosier native who typically plays well in front of family and friends, had 19 points and 12 rebounds. He accounted for eight of the team’s 20 points in the opening quarter.


The Pacers host the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night.

Clinton Maroons fall to Tolono Unity Rockets

As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons fell to the TolonoUnity Rockets by a score of 34-59 on Friday night. The Maroons were led by Zeke Hickman with 17 points. Clayton Welch added 9 points. Tyrese Petty also added 7 points.


The Rockets were led by Jared Routh with 14 points. Brady Porter added 13 points.


With the loss, the Maroons fall to 3-6 overall. The Rockets improve to 2-6 overall.


Tune in next Friday as the Maroons take on Argenta-Oreana. 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.

UPDATE: Lady Maroons fall to A&M; Lose Starting Forward

As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons fell to the Central A&M Lady Raiders by a score of 46-43 on Thursday night in Central Illinois Conference play. 


The Lady Maroons were led by sophomore Mallory Cyrulik with 16 points. Sophomore Kaitlyn Rauch added 13.  Destiny Schlesinger and Kylie Raymer each scored seven points in the loss.


In addition to the tough loss, the Lady Maroons also lost Junior forward Kaile Beck for 4 to 6 weeks with a broken wrist.  Beck dove for a loose ball, and collided with the padded brick wall under the basket in the second quarter.  


Central A&M was led by Mikayla Denton with 14 points.  A&M senior, Channing Reed, was held to 6 points.


With the loss, the Lady Maroons fall to 5-5 on the season and 0-2 in the CIC. Central A&M improves to 10-3 overall and 2-0 in conference play.


Clinton has a quick turnaround with a matchup at Pana Saturday afternoon. 


Tune in tonight (Friday, December 13) as the Maroons take on Tolono Unity. 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. Varsity start time is set for 7:30 pm.


Clinton Hosts Unity Tonight

The Clinton Maroons will look to get back on track tonight when they host Tolono Unity tonight in non-conference high school boys basketball action at 7:30 pm.


The Maroons dropped a mid-week matchup to Mt. Pulaski Tuesday night and will look to improve on their 3-5 start. 


The Maroons are in the midst of a busy start to December with three contests last week, three this week and two more games next week before heading to Monticello after Christmas for the annual Holiday Hoopla for the first year.


Game time tonight is 7:30 pm. Hear all the action on 92.3 FM and 106.5 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Bears, Packers Battle Sunday

Green Bay is on top of the NFC North heading into Sunday's home game against Chicago despite an inconsistent performance by Rodgers and company. There have been flashes of high-level offensive play, and some lackluster performances as well.


Rodgers has a passer rating of over 100.0 in four different games this season, but also four with under 90.0. Running back Aaron Jones has four games with at least 150 yards from scrimmage and five with fewer than 50. Wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling emerged early on as the top contender for the No. 2 spot behind Davante Adams. But the 6-foot-4 speedster has two catches for 11 yards over the last six weeks. The Packers have scored 30 or more points in four games but also scored 20 or fewer in four other outings.


Green Bay (10-3) closes the season with three games against divisional opponents. First up is the 200th meeting with Chicago (7-6). The last time the Packers faced divisional foes in the last three weeks was 2016. They went 3-0.


The Bears need Mitch Trubisky to continue his solid run if they're going to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.


The former No. 2 overall pick has completed 70% of his passes for 860 yards, seven touchdowns and four interceptions with a 99.1 rating while leading Chicago to three straight wins. Though two of those games were against the New York Giants and Detroit Lions, he picked apart a top-10 defense last week in a 31-24 victory over the Cowboys.


Trubisky matched a season-high by throwing for three touchdowns and ran for a score against Dallas. He completed 23 of 31 passes for 244 yards and ran for 63 yards, the most for him this year.

ISU Heads to North Dakota State for FCS Playoffs Quarterfinal Matchup

For the second week in a row, senior All-American running back James Robinson rushed for over 200 yards and led the Redbirds (10-4, 5-3 MVFC) to a 24-14 win over No. 8 national seed Central Arkansas in the second round of the FCS playoffs. With the win, ISU now heads to Fargo to face No. 1 North Dakota State (13-0, 8-0 MVFC) in the quarterfinals Saturday for the right to advance to the semifinals.


NDSU set a new Football Championship Subdivision record with its 34th consecutive victory last Saturday, as the Bison pulled away from 19th-ranked Nicholls in the second half for a 37-13 win in the second round of the NCAA Division I Football Championship.


No. 1 ranked North Dakota State took advantage of early mistakes by No. 6 Illinois State and ran away with a 37-3 win over the Redbirds as part of Family Weekend on October 5 at Hancock Stadium. 


Top-ranked North Dakota State extended its record streak of MVFC championships to nine, thanks to perfect 8-0 league record in 2019. The nine-straight titles eclipsed the previous league record of seven-straight by UNI in the early 1990s.


Game time Saturday is 11 am central time and action can be seen on ESPN.v

Blues Double Up Vegas

After missing the previous six games with a lower-body injury, Oskar Sundqvist had a goal and an assist as the St. Louis Blues beat the Vegas Golden Knights 4-2 on Thursday night.


The 25-year-old center kept up his offensive surge, assisting on the Blues' first goal and scoring their second. Sundqvist had two goals in his last game against Tampa Bay on Nov. 27 before getting hurt.


Mackenzie MacEachern, Jaden Schwartz and Robert Thomas also scored for the Blues, who snapped a three-game skid. Jordan Binnington made 27 saves after getting pulled from his previous start against Toronto last Saturday when he allowed four goals on 11 shots.


Max Pacioretty and William Carrier had the goals for the Golden Knights, who lost for the third time in four games. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 25 shots in his 820th career game, which tied Sean Burke for 14th on the NHL's all-time list.


The Blues took control with two goals in a 39-second span late in the second period.


Schwartz gave the defending Stanley Cup champions a 3-2 lead with 5:07 left in the frame, ripping home a big rebound off a shot by Brayden Schenn. Thomas made it 4-2 moments later, beating Fleury short side on a shot that deflected off his arm.


The Blues avoided their first four-game streak without a point since February 2018. Earlier this season, St. Louis lost four straight in October but earned points with two overtime losses in that span.


The Blues host the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday.

Americans Rally on Day 2 of President's Cup

Justin Thomas delivered the biggest moment for an American team desperate for one Friday in the Presidents Cup.


He holed an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, dropped his putter and looked over at his partner — U.S. captain Tiger Woods — and then borrowed a line from former NFL receiver Terrell Owen.

Building on a 4-1 lead after the opening session at Royal Melbourne, the Internation Team quickly won two more matches in foursomes.


Louis Oosthuizen and Adam Scott rallied from 2 down by winning five of the next seven holes and closed out Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar in the opening foursomes match Friday.


At one point, the board was filled with black-and-gold, the new colors of this inspired International team led by Ernie Els.


It had to settled for a 6 1/2-3 1/2 lead.


Patrick Cantlay and Thomas each birdied the 18th hole to win matches. Gary Woodland and Rickie Fowler rallied from 2 down with three holes to play to earn a halve.


The International team had its largest lead through two sessions since it won at Royal Melbourne in 1998, the only time it has won the Presidents Cup. It also had a three-point lead going into Sunday singles in South Africa in 2003, the year of the tie.


The match tied going to the 18th, Thomas drove into light rough on the right, and Woods followed with a great shot that landed near the hole and rolled out 18 feet. Hideki Matsuyama missed his 25-foot speedy birdie chance, and Thomas had the last putt for the win.


Equally important was Cantlay, who second shot into the par-5 15th set up birdie to square the match. Xander Schauffele gave him a chance at the winner with an approach into 15 feet on the final hole, and Cantlay knocked it in.


Woods tied Phil Mickelson for the record by winning his 26th match in bine Presidents Cup appearances. Mickelson played in 12.


Woodland and Fowler capped off the late comeback. They were 2 down with three holes to go when they birdied the 16th and 17th holes to square the match against Sungjae Im and Cameron Smith. It ended with the first draw of these matches.


Woods will be nothing but a captain Saturday morning. He took himself out of the lineup, sending Thomas in the first match out with Fowler for fourballs. Eight points are available Saturday, followed by 12 singles on Sunday.

Coyotes Drop Blackhawks

Brad Richardson had a goal and an assist, Clayton Keller scored twice and the Coyotes jumped out to a comfortable early lead on their way to a 5-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.


Vinnie Hinostroza, playing against his former team, assisted on all three of Arizona's first-period goals to match his career high for points in a game. He became the first Coyotes player in more than a year to have three assists in a single period.


Michael Grabner and ex-Blackhawk Nick Schmaltz each added a goal for the Coyotes. Christian Dvorak had two assists and Keller tied a franchise record with 12 shots on goal during Arizona's fourth victory in six games.


Jonathan Toews and Dylan Strome, the Coyotes' top draft pick in 2015, scored for the Blackhawks, who lost their third straight.


The Coyotes had lost four of their past five home games. But they beat Chicago for the second time in five days and have won five of the last six meetings overall.


Darcy Kuemper made 28 saves for Arizona. Robin Lehner stopped 35 shots for the Blackhawks.


Arizona got off to a flying start with two goals on its first four shots. Richardson fed Grabner with a long pass between the blue lines and he sped past a defender to get enough space for a backhand that found the net just 2:56 into the game.


Speed and a long pass were the difference again on the second goal, at 5:03 of the first. Jordan Oesterle sent a pass out of his own zone up the ice that Hinostroza deflected to Keller on a rush. Keller scored and crashed hard into the boards after his sixth of the season.


The Blackhawks are in St. Louis to take on the Blues on Saturday night.

Urbana Blows By Monticello

As heard on WEZC and at dewittdailynews.com, Urbana came into Monticello Thursday night and blew by the Lady Sages 62-45 non-conference high school girls basketball action. 


The Lady Tigers were paced by their three seniors. Chian Scott scored a game-high 20 points, Kynzee Boastic scored 16 points and Raevyn Russell added 14 points.


The Lady Sages were led by sophomore Hannah Swanson’s 16 points.


Urbana finished 10-for-15 from the free-throw line while the Lady Sages shot just 6-for-15 from the charity stripe.


Monticello drops to 3-6 overall and Urbana moves to 3-4.


Hear more Monticello girls basketball next week against Warrensburg-Latham Thursday night on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 


Lady Maroons Fall to Central A&M

As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons fell to the Central A&M Lady Raiders by a score of 46-43 on Thursday night. The Lady Maroons were led by sophomore Mallory Cyrulik with 16 points. Sophomore Kaitlyn Rauch added 13.


Central A&M was led by Mikayla Denton with 14 points.


With the loss, the Lady Maroons fall to 5-5 on the season and 0-2 in the CIC. Central A&M improves to 10-3 overall and 2-0 in conference play.


Tune in Friday, December 13, as the Maroons take on Tolono Unity. 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. Varsity start time is set for 7:30 pm.

Clinton Lady Maroons Host Central A&M

The Clinton Lady Maroons return to the hardwood tonight to host Central A&M at 7:30 pm in Central Illinois Conference girl's basketball action from Clinton High School. 


The Lady Maroons dropped Sherrard 42-32 at the Amboy Shootout Saturday.


The Lady Raiders topped Monticello Monday night 52-43.


The Lady Maroons are 5-4 overall and 0-1 in CIC action while Central A&M enters play 9-3 overall and 1-0 in CIC action.


Game time tonight is 7:30 pm. Hear the action on 92.3 FM WHOW, 106.5 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

Illinois Upsets No. 5 Michigan

Kofi Cockburn had 19 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks to help Illinois upset No. 5 Michigan 71-62 on Wednesday night.


The 7-foot freshman from Jamaica dominated from the opening tip, making two dunks that brought the crowd to its feet.


Ayo Dosunmu added 14 points, Adres Feliz had 13 and Giorgi Bezhanishvili 12 for Illinois (7-3, 1-1 Big Ten).


Jon Teske scored 16 points for Michigan (8-3, 1-1). Eli Brooks and Isaiah Livers each scored 12 points.

With about four minutes left in the game, Cockburn hit a basket and was fouled. While celebrating, he inadvertently hit referee Lewis Garrison in the head and knocked him unconscious. Illinois spokesman Derrick Burson said Garrison was cleared on site by doctors and taken to a hospital as a precaution.


Michigan struggled offensively against a smothering Illinois defense, shooting 44% from the field and only 17% from 3-point range. The Wolverines were outplayed under the basket, with Illinois scoring 44 points in the paint to Michigan’s 26.


Illinois hosts Old Dominion on Saturday.

Monticello Girls Host Urbana

The Monticello Lady Sages will look to get back in the win column tonight when they host Urbana in non-conference girls basketball action from Monticello High School.


The Lady Sages fell to Central A&M Monday night at home, 52-43.


Game time tonight is 7 pm. Hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

Pacers Beat Celtics

Malcolm Brogdon scored 29 points and made all 15 of his free throws, the Holiday brothers combined for 20 fourth-quarter points and Indiana rallied from a 10-point deficit to finally beat the Boston Celtics 122-117.


All-Star Kemba Walker scored a season-high 44 points, making seven 3-pointers and dishing out seven assists to lead Boston.


The Pacers forced five turnovers in the first 8 1/2 minutes of the fourth quarter to close to 98-96.


Doug McDermott finally tied the score at 102 with two free throws at the 5:07 mark. Aaron Holiday gave Indiana a 105-104 lead with 4:16 left and Justin Holiday added gave Indiana a 114-109 lead with 1:26 left. Brogdon made six free throws in the last 17.1 seconds and Walker fired an airball on a 3 that would have tied it with 4 seconds to go.


Boston's four-game winning streak ended.


The Pacers will try to extend their winning streak over the Hawks to six straight Friday in Atlanta.

Bulls Blast Hawks

Zach LaVine scored 35 points in three quarters, Lauri Markkanen added 22 and Chicago snapped a three-game losing streak with a 136-102 victory over the road-weary Hawks.


LaVine, who sat out the final 14 minutes, was 12 for 15 from the field, including 7 for 7 from 3-point range.


Wendell Carter Jr. had 11 points and 10 rebounds and rookie Coby White had 19 points.


Trae Young had 15 points and 13 assists, Alex Len scored 17 points and rookie Cam Reddish added 16 for Atlanta, which has dropped two straight and 13 of 15.


The Hawks were coming off a 135-121 overtime loss in Miami on Tuesday night - a game in which they led by six points with less than a minute remaining.


Chicago scored the final 10 points of the first half for a 66-52 lead at the break. LaVine led the way with 18 points on 7-for-9 shooting before the intermission.


The Bulls continued the surge and took their largest lead to that point, 93-69, on a layup by Carter with 4 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter.


LaVine had 17 points in the third on 5-for-6 shooting, including 4 for 4 from long range, as Chicago took a 106-87 lead into the fourth.


The Bulls, who have blown big leads multiple times, put the game away with a 19-3 run early in the final quarter for a 125-93 lead. It was Chicago's biggest margin of victory since a 39-point win over Brooklyn in April 2017.


Otto Porter will be sidelined an additional four-plus weeks after an MRI revealed a small fracture in his left foot. Porter, who hasn't played since Nov. 6, originally was diagnosed with a sprain before a follow-up MRI two weeks later showed a bone bruise. He'll be reassessed in four weeks.


The Bulls host the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night in the first of back-to-back home games.

US Trails at President's Cup

Ernie Els got solid performances from Adam Scott and Louis Oosthuizen and remarkable play from his rookies that led to a 4-1 lead after the opening session of fourballs Thursday.


It was the first time the International team won the opening session since 2005, which also was the last time it led after any session in an event the Americans have won 10 out of 12 times, including the last seven in a row.


Woods assembled the strongest U.S. team ever for the Presidents based on the world ranking. The first playing captain in 25 years, he inserted himself in the first match and made six birdies, the most of anyone at Royal Melbourne.


When it was over, the U.S. team found itself in foreign territory — trailing for the first time in 14 years.


Scott overcame a snap hook on the opening hole to make five birdies as he and Byeong Hun An — the replacement for Jason Day — won in 17 holes. Hideki Matsuyama holed a 25-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole that carried the Japanese star and C.T. Pan to a 1-up victory over Patrick Reed and Webb Simpson.


Oosthuizen and Abraham Ancer, the Mexican rookie who has received praise all week for his fire and confidence, opened with five straight birdies in a crushing defeat over the American power duo of Dustin Johnson and Gary Woodland.


Woods was so strong that he decided to play again in Friday foursomes, again paired with Thomas. Woods kept two other teams together — Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele, and Reed and Simpson — even though both lost.


Els is sending out five new partnerships, sticking to a plan that so far is working quite well.

Former Cardinals Pitcher Wacha Signs With Mets

>>Former Cardinals Pitcher Wacha Signs With Mets


The New York Mets are have replaced outgoing free agent Zack Wheeler. The club has agreed to a one-year contract with free agent right-hander Michael Wacha, reports Tim Healey of Newsday. Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the deal is worth $3 million with $7 million in available incentives. The Mets have not yet confirmed an agreement.


Wacha, 28, was one of the youngest free agents on the market this offseason. He had the worst season of his career in 2019, throwing 126 2/6 innings with a 4.76 ERA and fewer than two strikeouts per walk with the Cardinals. Wacha dealt with a knee injury early in the season and was demoted to the bullpen briefly at midseason.


Wacha threw 84 1/3 innings with a 3.20 ERA in 2018, but a severe oblique strain ended his season in June. Only once in the last four years has Wacha thrown as many as 140 innings in a season. He's been held back by a series of injuries, including shoulder trouble a few years ago.


The Mets intend to bring righties Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman to spring training as starting pitchers, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, though they are likely to wind up back in the bullpen. Lugo was the club's most trusted bullpen arm late this past season. 


Wacha is represented by CAA, Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen's former agency. Since taking over as GM last year, Van Wagenen as signed or traded for several of his former clients, including Robinson Cano and Jed Lowrie. Wacha is now another member of that group.


>>Anthony Rendon Signs With LA Angels


Third baseman Anthony Rendon and the Los Angeles Angels agreed to a $245 million, seven-year contract Wednesday, a person with direct knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press.


Rendon gets a $4 million signing bonus payable by Dec. 31 and salaries of $25.5 million next season, $27.5 million in 2021, $36 million in 2022 and $38 million each year from 2023-26. He would receive a $250,000 bonus for World Series MVP, $150,000 for League Championship Series MVP, $125,000 for election as an All-Star starter and $100,000 for selection as a reserve.


Rendon is the third prized free agent to strike a big-money deal at this week’s baseball winter meetings. He’ll join three-time MVPs Mike Trout and Albert Pujols on a team that’s made just one postseason appearance in the past decade.


The Angels had missed out on free-agent right-hander Gerrit Cole, who agreed to a record $324 million, nine-year contract with the New York Yankees on Tuesday night.


Rendon, who has played all seven of his major league seasons with Washington, drove in a career-best 126 runs while helping the Nationals capture the franchise’s first World Series championship this year. His 19.9 Wins Above Replacement, per FanGraphs, over the past four seasons trails only Trout, Boston’s Mookie Betts and Milwaukee’s Christian Yelich among position players.


Rendon follows Bryce Harper as a homegrown star in Washington to leave via free agency — Harper signed a $330 million, 13-year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies last March.

Bradley Beats D-III Maryville

The Bradley men's basketball team cruised to a 91-58 victory against Maryville on Tuesday night, posting the team's 10th-straight win at Carver Arena and improving to 7-3 on the season.
Junior Elijah Childs led the Braves with 16 points and eight boards, while senior Nate Kennell and sophomore Ja'Shon Henry each chipped in 15 points. Kennell sunk four 3-pointers for his 15 points, while Henry added five rebounds for BU.
Senior Darrell Brown paced the Bradley attack with nine assists as the Braves finished with 27 helpers as a team – their most in 13 seasons. Sophomore Ari Boya helped anchor the BU defense with a career-best four blocks.
After holding a slight edge for much of the early portion of the game, Bradley firmly took control during the final six minutes of the first half. Holding a 26-19 lead, BU scored the final 20 points of the period to head into the locker room with a commanding 46-19 lead. Bradley made 8-of-10 field goals during the stretch, while the Saints missed their final 10 shots of the period to go with three turnovers for the 27-point edge at the intermission.
The Braves picked up in the second half right where they left off in the first. Kennell and Brown sunk triples on the team's first two possessions before Childs added a layup as Bradley extended its run to 28-straight points and a 54-19 lead. The Bradley advantage would reach as many as 41 points, 83-42, before picking up the final 91-58 victory.
Bradley shot a season-best 59.7 percent in the winning effort, including a 6-of-14 mark from beyond the arc (42.9 percent). The Braves also outscored the Saints, 50-20, in the paint with an 18-0 advantage in fastbreak points.
The Braves are back in action on Sunday, hosting Georgia Southern as BU looks to add to its 10-game winning streak at Carver Arena. First tip is at 4 p.m. on ESPN3.

Central Illinois Conference boys basketball scores

Clinton  40

Mount Pulaski  54 


Argenta-Oreana 35

Meridian 80 


Shelbyville  37

Pana 63 


Maroa-Forsyth  43

Decatur St. Teresa 55


Okaw Valley 54 

Sullivan 38


Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond 38

Tuscola 70 

Illinois Hosts Fifth-Ranked Michigan

No. 5 Michigan presents a tough challenge for Illinois. Illinois has played a ranked team only once this season and lost. Michigan beat Iowa by 12 at home on Friday.


The Wolverines are led by seniors Jon Teske and Zavier Simpson. Teske is averaging 14.1 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.4 blocks while Simpson is accounting for 12.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 8.7 assists per contest. 


The Fighting Illini have been led by Kofi Cockburn and Andres Feliz, who are averaging 15.4 and 14.3 points, respectively.


Illinois is a perfect 6-0 when the team records at least 11 offensive rebounds. The Fighting Illini are 0-3 this season when they fail to reach that mark.



The Illini have recently gotten buckets via assists more often than the Wolverines. Illinois has an assist on 51 of 89 field goals (57.3 percent) over its past three contests while Michigan has assisted on 44 of 81 field goals (54.3 percent) during its past three games.


Illinois has posted an excellent offensive rebound percentage of 42.8 percent this year. That rate is ranked first in Division 1. The offensive rebound percentage for Michigan stands at just 24.9 percent (ranked 270th).

Vegas Blasts Blackhawks

Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves and the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-1 on Tuesday night in their goaltender's first game since the death of his father, Andre.


Reilly Smith, Deryk Engelland, William Karlsson, Max Pacioretty and Ryan Reaves scored for the Golden Knights, who now hit the road for two games on a 5-1-1 run.


Corey Crawford, who dropped to 1-4-0 against Vegas, made 32 saves for Chicago, which played its third road game in six nights. Dominik Kubalik scored with 27 seconds left to spoil Fleury's bid for his 59th career shutout.


After an evenly contested first period that saw both goaltenders come up with spectacular saves to keep their opponents off the scoreboard, Vegas was increasingly better in the second with the first seven shots on goal.


With less than a minute left in the second, Smith was masterful in forcing a turnover from Chicago veteran Jonathan Toews, streaking in on an odd-man rush and delaying just long enough to draw Crawford to his left before dishing to Karlsson, who finished with a short-handed goal to make it 3-0.


Pacioretty's goal made it 4-0 early in the third, and Reaves got his third of the season late in the period.

The Blackhawks continue their three-game road trip Thursday at Arizona.

Sabres Blast Blues

Jack Eichel scored two goals to extend his NHL-leading point streak to 14 games, and the Buffalo Sabres beat the St. Louis Blues 5-2 on Tuesday night.


Sam Reinhart, Johan Larsson and Zemgus Girgensons each had a goal and an assist as the Sabres won their second straight. Linus Ullmark made 28 saves.


Troy Brouwer and Alex Pietrangelo had goals for the Blues, who have lost three in a row following a four-game winning streak. Jake Allen stopped 28 shots.


Eichel put the Sabres ahead 3-2 about six minutes into the third period. The Sabres’ captain handled the puck behind the net for several seconds before skating to the left slot and sending a wrist shot to the far corner.


The 14-game point streak for Eichel is the second-longest in the NHL this season, behind a 15-game stretch from Chicago’s Patrick Kane. Eichel has 12 goals and 13 assists during the streak.


Eichel scored into an empty net with two seconds remaining for his 20th goal of the season.


Girgensons also scored an empty-netter in the final minute.


The Blues begin four-game homestand Thursday vs. Vegas.

Yankees Open The Vault for Cole

The New York Yankees landed the biggest prize of the free-agent market, adding Gerrit Cole to their rotation with a record $324 million, nine-year contract on Tuesday night, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.


Cole’s deal established marks for pitchers in total dollars, topping the $245 million, seven-year contract Stephen Strasburg finalized a day earlier to remain with the World Series champion Washington Nationals.


Its $36 million average is a record for any player, beating the $35.5 million in outfielder Mike Trout’s $426.5 million, 12-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels that started last season. Cole gets an even $36 million annually and can opt out after the 2024 season. He also has a full no-trade provision.


A 29-year-old right-hander, Cole was baseball’s most dominant pitcher for much of 2019 and helped the Houston Astros come within one win of their second World Series title in three seasons.


New York has not won the World Series since 2009 and sought an ace to head a rotation that already includes Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton and J.A. Happ or Domingo Germán, who may be suspended at the season’s start under baseball’s domestic violence policy.


Cole will compliment a young core of hitters that includes Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres and Gary Sánchez, entering a window when New York thinks it can compete consistently for championships.


Cole was drafted by the Yankees in the first round with the 28th overall pick out of high school in 2008 but chose to go to UCLA, then was drafted first overall by Pittsburgh three years later. Traded after the 2017 season, he transformed his career in two seasons with the Astros.


He went 15-5 with a 2.88 ERA in 2018, then 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA a major league-high 326 strikeouts last season, finishing second to teammate Justin Verlander in AL Cy Young Award balloting. Just 4-5 in late May, he went 19-0 over his next 25 starts before losing the World Series opener. He won Game 5 and was available to pitch in Game 7 but was never used.

Monticello Beats Auburn For First Win of Season

The Monticello Sages picked up their first win of the season holding off Auburn 55-44 in non-conference high school boys basketball action Tuesday night from Monticello High School.


Garrett Kepley scored a game-high 21 points and was aided by Ethan Miller’s 16 points, as the Sages finally found the offensive balance they’ve been striving for in the early portion of the season.


Monticello jumped out to a quick 9-0 lead against Salt Fork Friday night but the Storm battled back and ultimately won on a last-second shot. The Sages quickly jumped out to a 9-0 lead again Tuesday but after the Trojans made it 13-8 after one quarter, Miller made three-consecutive three-pointers to put Monticello up 22-8.


Briggs Fultz scored the final four points of the quarter to stake Monticello to a 26-15 lead at the half.


Auburn battled back in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 39-32 going to the fourth quarter thanks to 12-2 run after Kepley started the second half with a quick three-pointer.


The Sages withstood a frantic fourth quarter where Andrew Rudolph recorded his first six varsity points with big baskets, Jake Edmondson scored all four of his points in the final period and Briggs Fultz game Monticello a 10-point lead, 51-41 on an offense rebound putback. 


Kepley scored 14 in the second half and dished out six assists and committed just one turnover.


As a team, Monticello handed out 11 assists on 24 field goals and committed just seven turnovers. They also shot 53-percent for the game and went 7-for-10 from beyond the arc, led by Ethan Miller’s 4-for-4 effort and Kepley was 3-for-4 from distance.


The Sages held a 22-21 rebounding advantage and scored 14 points off nine Trojans turnovers. Additionally, they outscored Auburn in the paint, 30-22. 


The Trojans drop to 2-1 overall while Monticello improves to 1-3.


The Sages will be at home next Tuesday night to host Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond at 7 pm. Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.


Maroons Take On Mt. Pulaski Tonight

The Clinton Maroons are back in action tonight when they travel to Mt. Pulaski for a non-conference high school boys basketball game. 


The Maroons topped Illini Central 65-44 Saturday, rebounding from a Friday night loss to Maroa-Forsyth 56-50.


The Maroons enter play 3-4 overall.


Game time tonight is 7:30 pm.


Other CIC boys basketball action tonight...



Macon Meridian @ Macon County Tournament






Decatur St. Teresa @ Macon County Tournament


Okaw Valley





Monticello Hosts Auburn

The Monticello Sages boys basketball team will look to put a 49-48 loss to Salt Fork Friday in the rearview mirror tonight when they host Auburn in non-conference high school boys basketball action. 


The Storm dropped in a baseline jumper with 1.5 seconds left for the game-winner dropping Monticello to 0-3 on the season.


The Trojans enter action tonight 2-0 overall.


Game time from Monticello is 7 pm and can be heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Clippers Top Pacers

Former Pacers star Paul George scored 36 points, grabbed nine rebounds, made a season-high seven 3-pointers and had five assists in his first game in Indianapolis with the Clippers, leading short-handed Los Angeles to a 110-99 victory.


Montrezl Harrell added 26 points and eight rebounds and helped keep the Pacers at arm's length when they charged back in the final minutes. Patrick Beverley finished with 11 points, 12 rebounds and five assists, while Maurice Harkless snagged 14 rebounds as the Clippers earned their fourth win in five games.


With Kawhi Leonard out, George turned the game with a quick scoring flurry late in the second quarter by drawing a foul, making three free throws and then knocking down 3s on the next two possessions to give the Clippers a 55-46 lead. Harrell and Ivica Zubac continued the flurry by making four straight free throws before Zubac capped the 14-4 run with a tip-in that made it 60-48 at the half.


His fifth 3 extended the lead to 18 early in the third quarter and when Indiana cut the deficit to 13, George accounted for all of the Clippers' points in an 8-0 run to make it 84-65 and quiet the crowd.

Indiana, led by 20 points from Malcolm Brogdon, did make one last run. The Pacers got within 106-99 on T.J. Warren's 13-footer with 1:46 left, but Harkless answered with a layup and the Pacers didn't score another point.


Damontis Sabonis also scored 18 points.


The Pacers host Boston on Wednesday, the first meeting between the teams since the Celtics swept Indiana in the first round of the playoffs.

Raptors Top Bulls

Pascal Siakam scored 22 points, and Toronto held on to beat the Bulls 93-92 when Zach LaVine missed a runner in the closing seconds.


Norman Powell added 17 points, including six in the fourth quarter, and the defending NBA champions ended their first three-game skid since last November. After beating Chicago for the 11th straight time, their focus shifted toward Leonard and the Clippers.


Pascal Siakam scored 22 points, and Toronto held on to beat the Bulls 93-92 when Zach LaVine missed a runner in the closing seconds.


Norman Powell added 17 points, including six in the fourth quarter, and the defending NBA champions ended their first three-game skid since last November. After beating Chicago for the 11th straight time, their focus shifted toward Leonard and the Clippers.


Raptors guard Fred VanVleet missed the game because of a bruised right knee. Kyle Lowry scored 11 points in his third game after missing 11 in a row with a broken left thumb. The five-time All-Star made 1 of 8 3-pointers, and the Raptors hit 7 of 29 from beyond the arc.


Toronto was leading 89-87 when Chicago's Lauri Markkanen nailed a 3 with 1:45 left. Powell scored for Toronto and Gafford hit a layup to give Chicago a 92-91 lead. Then Lowry scored on a drive with 51 seconds remaining.


The Bulls had a chance to win in the closing seconds after an out-of-bounds call got overturned by replay review. Tomas Satoransky inbounded to LaVine, who missed a runner in traffic along the left side. Gafford was unable to control the rebound, and the ball bounced around as time expired.

The Bulls host Atlanta on Wednesday.

Ohio State Enters CBB Top 5

Louisville and Kansas finally provided some consistency to what has been a volatile Top 25 poll this season while perennial bluebloods Michigan State and North Carolina continued to tumble after another wave of defeats.


The Cardinals solidified their place at No. 1 in the AP Top 25 released Monday after routing then-No. 4 Michigan in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge and breezing past Pittsburgh over the past week. The Jayhawks stayed at No. 2 after returning from their Maui Invitational title to thump former Big 12 member Colorado.


Ohio State jumped from sixth to third following its 74-49 rout of then-No. 7 North Carolina and a blowout of Penn State. Maryland dropped one spot to fourth despite continuing to pile up wins, while Michigan slid one spot to round out the top five after Juwan Howard’s bunch ran into the Louisville buzzsaw for their first loss of the season.


Michigan State was the preseason No. 1 after returning a bevy of talent from last year’s Final Four team, led by star guard Cassius Winston. But after a season-opening loss to Kentucky in the Champions Classic, the Spartans lost to Virginia Tech and then fell to Duke last week to drop from 11th to No. 16 in the poll.


That drop wasn’t nearly as startling as that of North Carolina, which tumbled 10 spots to No. 17 after losses to Ohio State and Virginia. The biggest culprit for the Tar Heels remains their offense, which failed to score at least 50 points in back-to-back games for the first time since the 1947-48 season.

The biggest climb this week belonged to Baylor, which jumped seven spots to No. 11 after edging then-No. 12 Arizona 63-58 to run its record to 7-1. The Bears have emerged as perhaps the biggest challenger to Kansas in the Big 12.


Sixth-ranked Gonzaga, No. 7 Duke and No. 10 Oregon each climbed three spots. Dayton continued its move up the rankings after its run to the Maui Invitational title game, moving up five spots to No. 14. Butler rose six spots to No. 18 after the Bulldogs beat Ole Miss and Florida.

Illinois Headed to RedBox Bowl

The Fighting Illini football team is going bowling in 2019, and the location will be the Redbox Bowl in San Francisco and Santa Clara, California. Illinois (6-6, 4-5 Big Ten) will face Pac-12 Conference foeCalifornia (7-5, 4-5 Pac-12) at 3 p.m. CT/1 p.m. PT on Dec. 30 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara. 


The Redbox Bowl will be televised nationally by FOX, with pregame coverage beginning at 2:30 p.m. CT/12:30 p.m. PT. 


The 2019 Redbox Bowl will be Illinois' 19th postseason bowl appearance, and second trip to the Bay Area for a bowl after playing in what was then the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in 2011, a 20-14 Fighting Illini victory over UCLA.

Packers Hold Off Redskins

Aaron Jones rushed for a season-high 134 yards and a touchdown on just 16 carries, Aaron Rodgers threw for 195 yards and a score and the Packers did enough to put away the Redskins.


Jones had his third 100-yard rushing game of the season and hauled in six passes for 58 yards.

Adrian Peterson became the sixth back in NFL history to reach the 14,000-yard mark, running for 76 yards and a score for Washington (3-10), which was eliminated from playoff contention.


Dwayne Haskins completed 16 of 27 passes for 170 yards and a touchdown with an interception. The rookie was sacked four times, including one where he hurt his ankle.


Kenny Clark and Kyler Fackrell combined for a sack of Haskins on Washington's opening drive for an 11-yard loss. Haskins and the Redskins started the day with three straight three-and-outs in the franchise's first-ever December trip to Lambeau Field.


Jones scored from 4 yards on the Packers' opening drive. It was Jones' 12th rushing touchdown and 15th TD of the season. Rodgers, who was 18 of 28 passing, found Robert Tonyan for a 12-yard touchdown on Green Bay's other first-quarter score.


Haskins led Washington on an 11-play, 95-yard drive that was capped by a 2-yard run by Peterson with 3:44 to play in the first quarter. Dustin Hopkins missed the extra point.


Green Bay (10-3) led 14-6 at halftime.


After Mason Crosby's field goal, Hopkins nailed a 52-yarder to cut it to 17-9 before the end of the third.


With the Packers still holding an eight-point lead with 8:28 to play, Rodgers found Jones for a 25-yard gain on third-and-14. That first down helped set up a 33-yard attempt by Crosby. The 13-year veteran was good on the kick with 2:34 to go to seal the win.


Haskins linked up with Terry McLaurin on a 13-yard score late. Haskins was stopped by Blake Martinez on the 2-point conversion.


The Packers host the Bears next Sunday.

Illinois State Tops Central Arkansas to Advance in FCS Playoffs

James Robinson rushed for 210 yards and two touchdowns and Illinois State knocked off eighth-seeded Central Arkansas 24-14 on Saturday in the second round of the FCS playoffs.


Robinson, the second-leading rusher in the FCS who set a school record with 297 yards in a first-round victory over Southeast Missouri, scored two of the Redbirds’ three second-quarter touchdowns, one on a 51-yard run. His 2-yard score came with 1:13 left in the half for a 21-7 lead. The other score was an 18-yard run by wide receiver Austin Nagel on a jet sweep.


San Fenlason added a 24-yard field goal with just over four minutes left in the game before Breylin Smith passed to Luke Ross for a 1-yard score with 1:32 remaining. The Bears (9-4) got the onside kick but an interception ended their hopes of making the quarterfinals for the first time.

Smith threw for 198 yards but was intercepted three times.


The Redbirds (10-4) will play at No. 1 seed and defending champion North Dakota State next week.

Coyotes Down Blackhawks in Shootout

Conor Garland and Nick Schmaltz scored on the Coyotes' first two attempts against Robin Lehner in the shootout, and Arizona rallied from two goals down to beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 on Sunday night.


Only Patrick Kane connected against Darcy Kuemper in the tiebreaker as the Coyotes improved to 5-2 in shootouts this season and finished a 3-1 road trip.


With 40 points, Arizona is tied for first in the Pacific with Edmonton, which lost 3-2 to Buffalo in overtime on Sunday.


Garland got his team-leading 12th goal in regulation, and Carl Soderberg and Christian Fischer also scored. Kuemper finished with 26 saves through overtime.


Jonathan Toews has a goal and two assists for his first three-point game this season. Alex DeBrincat and Dominik Kubalik also scored for injury-depleted Chicago, which played beyond regulation for the third straight game following an overtime win at Boston on Thursday and a shootout win at New Jersey the following night.


Lehner had 44 saves - including several sensational ones - but he lost for the first time in six career games (5-0-1) to Arizona.


A Vezina Trophy finalist with the Islanders last season, Lehner has been solid in net for Chicago so far, but is 0-3 in shootouts with the Blackhawks and 8-23 in the tiebreaker for his career. He last won a shootout on March 8, 2018, while he was with Buffalo.


Toews opened the scoring 53 seconds in. He connected on a backhand deflection of Calvin de Haan's soft cross-ice feed, despite being tied up with defenseman Jason Demers.


DeBrincat's power-play goal at 8:40 made it 2-0. The forward slipped behind Arizona's defense on the left side, took Kane's feed, then burst to the net and beat Kuemper high on the glove side.


Arizona cut to 2-1 at 11 minutes from a goalmouth scramble when Christian's Dvorak's feed from the left side of the net ticked in off Fischer's skate. Kubalik's midair deflection of Connor Murphy's shot from the left point with 2:05 left in the first restored Chicago's two-goal lead.


Garland and Soderberg scored power-play goals in the second to tie it at 3. Garland trimmed it to 3-2 at 6:32 on a wrist shot from the slot.


Chicago rookie defenseman Dennis Gilbert and Demers squared off in a free-swinging fight at 7:01. Gilbert was assessed an extra minor penalty for instigating, as well as a 10-minute misconduct.

Soderberg knotted it at 3 on the ensuing man advantage at 8:53 when his pass from right circle deflected off Chicago' defenseman Slater Koekkoek's stick and over Lehner's shoulder.


Lehner robbed Clayton Keller with a flashy glove save at 9:19 of the scoreless third to keep it tied. Keller was alone at the low edge of the right circle during Arizona's fifth straight power-play when he fired and Lehner reached to grab the shot.


The Blackhawks are at Vegas on Tuesday night to start a three-game trip.

Heat Down Bulls

Tyler Hero scored 27 points - including 16 of Miami's final 18 - and the Heat held off the Chicago Bulls 110-105 on Sunday night. They improved to 10-0 at home this season, extending the best home start in franchise history.


The 19-year-old made three 3-pointers in overtime, plus another with 7.1 seconds left in regulation just to help Miami get into the extra session. Of his five field goals in the final 6 minutes, four of them were assisted by Jimmy Butler.


Butler scored 23 points for the Heat, going 17 for 21 from the foul line. Bam Adebayo had 21 points, 13 rebounds and six assists for Miami, which also got 18 from Kendrick Nunn.


Lauri Markkanen had 13 of his team-high 22 points in the third quarter for the Bulls, who got 18 from Zach LaVine and 16 from Kris Dunn. Markkanen missed a potentially game-tying corner 3-pointer with about 1.5 seconds left in overtime, Coby White fouled Herro on the rebound, and Miami's first-round draft pick made a pair of free throws to seal the win.


The Bulls fell to 1-4 in games decided by five points or less.


It was tied at 97-97 after regulation, after the lead changed hands four times in the final 84 seconds.

Herro's 3-pointer with 7.1 seconds left put Miami up 97-95, but Butler fouled LaVine on the ensuing Chicago possession. LaVine - an 81% foul shooter - made both, Butler's 50-footer as the horn sounded merely hit the backboard, and off to overtime they went.


From there, Herro took over. He had 11 of Miami's 13 OT points; the other two were from Nunn, another rookie.


The Bulls will host Toronto on Monday, starting a four-game homestand.

Cardinals Ted Simmons Elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

Ted Simmons can thank WAR, on-base percentage and other modern measures of baseball players for helping him reach the Hall of Fame 31 years after he retired.


The eight-time All-Star catcher was elected to the Hall by a veterans committee after falling one vote short two years ago.


Simmons received 13 of 16 votes when the modern era committee gathered Sunday ahead of the winter meetings. Also elected was Marvin Miller, the union leader who revolutionized baseball by empowering players to negotiate multimillion-dollar contracts and to play for teams of their own choosing.


Primarily a catcher in a 21-year big league career, the switch-hitter batted .285 with 248 homers and 1,389 RBIs for St. Louis (1968-80), Milwaukee (1981-85) and Atlanta (1986-88).


He will be inducted into Cooperstown during ceremonies on July 26 along with any players chosen next month by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America from a ballot headed by former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter.


Simmons made just one appearance on the BBWAA ballot, receiving 17 of 456 votes (3.7%) in 1994, falling shy of the 5% threshold to remain on the ballot. Simmons was on 11 of 16 ballots when the modern era committee met in 2017 and elected Jack Morris with 14 votes and Alan Trammell with 13.


He has benefited from modern metrics such as a Baseball Reference WAR of 50.3. Eight other players who were primarily catchers topped 50, and they are all in the Hall: Johnny Bench, Yogi Berra, Gary Carter, Bill Dickey, Carlton Fisk, Gabby Hartnett, Mike Piazza and Iván Rodríguez.


Simmons hit .300 or higher seven times and finished with 2,472 hits. Among players who were primarily catchers, his RBIs are second to Berra’s 1,430 and his hits are second to Rodríguez’s 2,844. He had a career .348 on-base percentage and struck out only 694 times in 8,680 at-bats.


Following his retirement as a player, Simmons became the Cardinals’ director of player development. He was hired as Pittsburgh’s general manager in January 1992 and the Pirates came within one strike out reaching the World Series before losing Game 7 of the NL Championship Series to Atlanta. He presided over a teardown that included the departures of Barry Bonds and Doug Drabek, then quit in June 1993 following an angioplasty procedure to unclog a blocked artery to his heart.

Oklahoma Enters College Football Playoff Top 4

Clemson will play second-seeded Ohio State in prime time Dec. 28 in the College Football Playoff semifinal at the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona, looking to make it three national championship in four seasons.

The other semifinal matches No. 1 LSU and No. 4 Oklahoma.


The selection committee revealed the pairings Sunday and the final four was no surprise. The only mystery involved which would be the top seed among three undefeated teams that have been hammering opponents most of the season. The 13-member committee went with Southeastern Conference champion LSU. The Tigers (13-0) will face the Big 12 champion Sooners (12-1) in the Peach Bowl, four hours before the Fiesta Bowl kicks off.


Clemson opened as a two-point favorite against the Buckeyes. LSU was an 11 1/2-point favorite against the Sooners.


LSU used a convincing victory against Georgia on Saturday to move up. Ohio State (13-0) had been atop the committee’s rankings last week, but the Buckeyes slipped to No. 2 after coming from behind against Wisconsin to win the Big Ten title.


The national championship game is Jan. 13 in New Orleans. The No. 1 seed has yet to win the CFP in five years.


The Tigers and Buckeyes flip-flopped at No. 1 a couple of times throughout the committee’s six weeks of ranking teams.


The rest of the New Year’s Six bowls were:


— Oregon vs. Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1.

— Georgia vs. Baylor in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1.

— Florida vs. Virginia in the Orange Bowl on Dec. 30.

— Memphis vs. Penn State in the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 28.

Buzzer-Beater Sends Salt Fork Past Monticello

Payton Taylor made a fadeaway jump shot as time expired and Salt Fork rallied past Monticello 49-48 in non-conference high school boys basketball action from Monticello Friday night.


Ethan Miller drained a three to put the Sages up 48-45 with 57 seconds left. Taylor scored on an offensive rebound with 32 seconds left.


After a Salt Fork timeout, Ryan Reeder took a full-court pass but missed the layup, and the Storm rebounded, however, turned it over on their ensuing possession. 


After the Storm fouled their way to the bonus, Miller missed the front end of a one-and-the-bonus free throw. The Sages stopped a fast break with 1.5 seconds left. 


Salt Fork on the inbound found Taylor at the baseline and the senior drained the fadeaway as time expired sending the Storm to their second win.


Taylor recorded a double-double with game-highs of 21 points and 13 rebounds. 


Garrett Kepley’s ferocious play in the second half continued as he scored 15 of his team-high 17 points in the second half. Kepley was limited to just nine minutes in the first half because of foul trouble, and Monticello as a team battled foul trouble issues in the first half. 


Ryan Reeder got off to a fast start with eight points in the first half but was held scoreless in the second half. Miller scored six and Dylan Gilanick scored five points off the bench in the first half for the Sages.


Monticello falls to 0-3 on the year while Salt Fork continues their fast start to move to 2-0 after an upset win over Arcola Tuesday to start their season. 


The Sages host Auburn Tuesday night. Tip time from Monticello High School is 7 pm. Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.


Maroons Fall to Trojans

The Clinton Maroons fell to the Maroa-Forsyth Trojans by a score of 56-50 on Friday night. Junior Zeke Hickman led the Maroons with 24 points.


The Trojans were led by Ethan Willoughby with 11 points and Cody Marsh chipped in with 9. 


With the loss, Clinton falls to 2-4. Maroa-Forsyth improves to 1-1.


Tune in Friday, December 13, as the Maroons take on Tolono Unity. 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.

Maroons Host Maroa-Forsyth Tonight

Off a tough loss to Tri-Valley Tuesday night, the Clinton Maroons look to get to back to their winning ways tonight when they take on Maroa-Forsyth at home.


Tri-Valley shut down Clinton in the middle frames, propelling them to their first win of the season.


Trojans head coach Aaron Ennis will return to Clinton High School for the first time since being named head coach last spring. Ennis was a standout three-sport athlete at Clinton High School.


Game time tonight is 7:30 pm. Hear the action on 92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

Monticello Hosts Salt Fork

The Monticello Sages are looking to into the win column for the first time this year when they host Salt Fork tonight for their home opener at Monticello High School.


The Sages made two trips to the Springfield area to start the season and dropped their opener to Pleasant Plains then a road match up Tuesday to Riverton.


The Sages begin a stretch of three straight home games tonight.


Hear tonight's action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Trubisky Leads Bears Past Cowboys

Mitch Trubisky threw three touchdown passes and ran for a score in Chicago’s 31-24 victory over Dak Prescott and the slumping Dallas Cowboys on Thursday night.


In a matchup between disappointing teams that made the playoffs last season, the Bears (7-6) came away with their fourth win in five games after dropping four in a row. The Cowboys (6-7) have lost seven of 10 since a 3-0 start.


Trubisky shook off an early interception near the goal line to complete 23 of 31 passes for 244 yards. He matched a season high for touchdown throws and set one with 63 yards rushing. That included a 23-yard scoring dash early in the fourth quarter to make it 31-14.


Allen Robinson caught two TD passes and Anthony Miller had one as Chicago tied a season scoring high.


On defense, Khalil Mack had a sack but linebacker Roquan Smith left the game with a pectoral injury on the opening drive, with coach Matt Nagy saying it “doesn’t look real good for him.” Still, the Bears took out the NFC East leaders after beating the struggling Detroit Lions twice and New York Giants in recent weeks.


Dak Prescott was 27 of 49 for 334 yards and a touchdown. Ezekiel Elliott ran for 81 yards — his fifth straight game under 100 — and two scores.


Michael Gallup had 109 yards receiving. Amari Cooper caught six passes for 83 yards and a touchdown, but the Cowboys lost their third straight. They lead Philadelphia by a half-game in the division.


Chicago tied it early in the second quarter when Trubisky hit Robinson with a 5-yard pass and took a 10-7 lead on a 36-yard field goal by Eddy Piñeiro. Dallas’ Brett Maher then missed a 42-yarder wide right. Chicago added to the lead in the closing seconds of the half with Trubisky’s 8-yard pass to Robinson, and Miller’s 14-yarder in the third made it 24-7.


The Bears are at Green Bay next Sunday.

Packers Host Redskins

The Redskins (3-9) look to extend their winning streak to three games Sunday when they face Aaron Rodgers and the Packers (9-3) in their first-ever December trip to Lambeau Field, a place Rodgers has been absolutely dominant over his career.


Rodgers has led Green Bay to a 16-3-1 record in his last 20 starts at home, with a passer rating of 100-plus in 11 of those games, including the first perfect passer rating (158.3) of his career in a Week 7 win over Oakland.


Rodgers has been especially good in the cold. He has a career passer rating of 111.2 in regular-season home games in December and January, ranking No. 1 in NFL history (minimum 200 pass attempts).


Packers outside linebacker Preston Smith was drafted by Washington in 2015 and played his first four seasons there, averaging about six sacks per game. This season, after joining Green Bay in free agency, Smith leads the Packers with 10 1/2 sacks.


Adrian Peterson is moving up the NFL's career rushing chart, now just 40 yards from becoming the sixth player in league history to reach 14,000.


Blackhawks Outlast Bruins

Jonathan Toews scored 54 seconds into overtime, and the Blackhawks recovered after blowing a three-goal, third-period lead to beat Boston 4-3 on Thursday night and end the Bruins' eight-game winning streak.


The Bruins had not lost since Nov. 16. But their third-period comeback preserved another streak: No Boston pro team has lost a home game in regulation since the Baltimore Orioles beat the Red Sox on Sept. 28.


Neither the Patriots nor Celtics have lost at home this season, and the Bruins are now 12-0-5.


Toews picked up the puck after a turnover by David Pastrnak and skated in on Tuukka Rask before backhanding it between the goalie's legs. The crowd, which thought Pastrnak had been tripped, began showering the ice with garbage.


Robin Lehner made 37 saves for the Blackhawks, who had lost six of their previous seven games. Ryan Carpenter and Dylan Strome scored 37 seconds apart at the end of the first period, and Alex DeBrincat scored off the opening faceoff of the third period to make it 3-0.


Tuukka Rask made 26 saves for the Bruins.


The Bruins thought they opened the scoring early in the first period when Matt Grzelcyk's shot, which may have been tipped by Jake DeBrusk, found its way under Lehner's right pad and came to rest behind him, about six inches from the goal line. DeBrusk - and pretty much everyone else - stopped, thinking it was a goal, but when no whistle came Calvin de Haan swept the puck away and play continued.


The Blackhawks, who went almost nine minutes before getting their first shot, took a 1-0 lead on a short-handed goal when Charlie McAvoy whiffed on the puck at the blue line and Carpenter skated off with it, passing to Zack Smith in the Bruins zone and then scoring on the rebound.


Just 37 seconds later, on the power play, Strome tipped a shot from Erik Gustafsson over Rask's shoulder to make it 2-0. DeBrincat made it 3-0 17 seconds into the third.


But that lasted just 1:32 before Joakim Nordstrom cut the deficit to 3-1. Chris Wagner made it 3-2 on an unassisted, short-handed wrist shot with 4:59 left, and then Krug tied it with 2:33 remaining in regulation.


The Blackhawks are at New Jersey on Friday night.


Loaded Leaderboard in Bahamas

Patrick Reed took advantage of the back nine at Albany Golf Club for the second straight day. He was tied for the lead until making six birdies over his last 10 holes for a 6-under 66 that gave him a three-shot lead over U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland.


Reed was at 12-under 132.


Woods, playing for the first time since he won in Japan for his record-tying 82nd career victory on the PGA Tour, kept a clean card to match Reed’s 66 and remain six shots behind. Unlike the opening round, when Woods started poorly and ended even worse to wipe out a good back nine, he played bogey-free and made up ground on the back nine.


It started with a 6-iron that hopped onto the green at the par-5 11th and rolled 7 feet away for an eagle. He followed with a 7-iron to 8 feet for another birdie. He didn’t make up any ground on Reed, but he at least cut down on the number of players ahead of him as he tries to win his holiday event for the first time since 2011.


Once he got through the front nine, where he spent much of the time scrambling for pars outside of a lone birdie, Woods didn’t miss too many shots coming in. A week before he heads over to Australia as the playing captain for the U.S. team in the Presidents Cup, the game looked to be in order.


Woodland, who makes his Presidents Cup debut next week, lost ground with consecutive bogeys that left him six shots behind at one point. He fixed that by finishing with three straight birdies for a 69 and will be paired with Reed again on Friday for the third round.


The tournament ends Saturday so the American team can board a charter to Melbourne, arriving on Monday. Dustin Johnson, who withdrew from the Bahamas to have one more week for his knee to recover, plans to fly in on Saturday to join the rest of the Americans on the charter.


Defending champion Jon Rahm also had a 66 to match the low round of the day, leaving him four shots behind with Henrik Stenson, who had a 67.


Woods was in the group at 6-under 138 along with Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas, who each shot 69. Fowler, who got married during his offseason and then missed a tournament recovering from food poisoning, is playing for the first time since the Tour Championship on Aug. 25.


All but three players broke par, and the high score belonged to Bubba Watson and Chez Reavie at 73.

Monticello Rolls Mt. Pulaski

Four players scored in double figures and Monticello rolled past Mt. Pulaski 79-49 in non-conference high school girls basketball action from Monticello High School Thursday night.


Renni Fultz scored a team-high 21 points. Lizzie Stiverson added 14 points, Hannah Swanson added 13 points, Chloe Clark scored 11 points and Olivia Swanson chipped in with 10 points. 


The Lady Sages shot 19-for-26 from the foul line led by Stiverson’s 8-for-10 effort. 


Freshman Alexis Wade scored a game-high 22 points for Mt. Pulaski and the Lady Hilltoppers struggled against a smothering Lady Sages defense that held them to just 15 second-half points.


The two sides played an even back-and-forth first quarter with Monticello leading 23-17 after the first eight minutes but the Lady Sages opened up a 46-32 halftime advantage and led 66-38 after three quarters.


Monticello forced a running clock with five minutes to play.


The Lady Hilltoppers drop to 1-4 overall. The Lady Sages improve to 3-4 overall. They will take on Central A&M Monday and host Urbana at home next Thursday.


Hear’s Thursday’s action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.


Central A&M No. 1 In Class 1A Boys Basketball Polls

Central A&M received six of seven first-place votes in the Class 1A boys basketball poll this week and checks in at no. 1 overall. Effingham St. Anthony checks in at second overall. 


Champaign St. Thomas More received votes in this week's 1A poll.


Normal U-High checks in at No. 8 in the Class 2A poll and received one first-place vote. Chicago Orr received four first-place votes and is no. 1 overall. Pinckneyville, defending state champ Nashville is no. 3 and Chicago Corliss and Dunbar check-in tied at no. 4. Teutopolis is no. 6 in this week's poll.


In Class 3A, Chicago Morgan Park is No. 1 overall. Peoria Manual checks in at no. 5 overall while Peoria Notre Dame and Springfield Southeast received votes in this week's poll.


In Class 4A, Bloom Township is No. 1 followed by Chicago Whitney Young, Chicago Simeon, Chicago Stevenson and Collinsville. Normal Community received votes in this week's poll.

Bulls Beat Grizzlies

Zach LaVine scored 25 points, Wendell Carter Jr. had 16 points and 13 rebounds, and Chicago beat the short-handed Memphis Grizzlies 106-99 on Wednesday night after nearly losing a 22-point lead.

Lauri Markkanen had 15 points as the Bulls won consecutive games for the first time.


Monday in Sacramento, the Bulls had a 19-point lead reduced to two late before winning 113-106.

Jonas Valanciunas had 32 points and 13 rebounds, and Jaren Jackson Jr. and Jae Crowder each scored 15 points for Memphis, which has dropped eight of nine.


Rookie Ja Morant, the Grizzlies' leading scorer at 18.6 points per game, missed his third straight game with back soreness.


The Bulls scored the game's first seven points and had a 13-2 lead after four minutes. Scoring consistently was a problem for Memphis throughout the first half.


Chicago had its biggest lead at 50-28 with 3 1/2 minutes to go in the second before the Grizzlies scored the final seven points of the quarter to make it 50-35 at halftime.


LaVine opened the scoring in the third quarter to make it 52-35, but Memphis then ran off eight straight to pull within 52-43.


A few minutes later, the Chicago lead was down to 61-55 following a five-point possession.


De'Anthony Melton was fouled on a clear-path call and sank both free throws. After the Grizzlies inbounded the ball, Crowder hit a 3-pointer.


That was as close as Memphis would get in the third. The Bulls closed the quarter with a 17-5 run for a 78-64 edge heading into the fourth.


Chicago was leading 82-70 with 8 1/2 minutes remaining before the Grizzlies went on a 17-6 run to make it 88-87 with 4 1/2 minutes to play.


LaVine, though, answered with five quick points and Kris Dunn hit a 3-pointer with 3 minutes left to get the lead back up to 96-87. The Bulls hung on from there.


The Bulls host Golden State on Friday night after the Warriors won 104-90 last week in the first meeting.

Pacers Rally Past Thunder

T.J. Warren scored 24 points to help Indiana beat the Thunder 107-100 on Wednesday night.


Oklahoma City led by a point at halftime, but the Pacers outscored the Thunder 58-50 after the break.

Domantas Sabonis added 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Pacers. They have won seven of eight.


Eight of Oklahoma City's 12 losses have been by seven or fewer points. The Thunder have battled the better teams on the schedule but have squandered halftime leads against the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers and Milwaukee Bucks.


Steven Adams scored 20 points on 8-for-8 shooting and Danilo Gallinari and Dennis Schroder each added 18 points for the Thunder.


Indiana led 103-100 in the final minute of the fourth quarter and Oklahoma City had a chance to tie. Terrance Ferguson missed a 3-pointer from the corner with 17 seconds left, and Warren made two free throws at the other end with 13.2 seconds to go to put the Pacers in control for good.


The Pacers are at Detroit on Friday night.

Penguins Silence Blues

Stefan Noesen was camped in front of Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington and slammed home a rebound off Jared McCann's shot to help propel Pittsburgh to a 3-0 victory.


Tristan Jarry stopped 28 shots to post his third career shutout as the Penguins drew a measure of revenge after getting blown out by the defending Stanley Cup champions last weekend by snapping the Blues' 10-game road point streak.


Jordan Binnington finished with 30 saves for St. Louis, but the Blues couldn't quite match the franchise record 11-game road point streak set during the 1999-2000 season.


The Penguins are playing with a patchwork lineup missing a handful - actually more than a handful - of key contributors. Forwards Sidney Crosby, Nick Bjugstad, Bryan Rust and Hornqvist and defensemen Brian Dumoulin and Justin Schultz all out of the lineup due to injuries and defenseman Jack Johnson was a late scratch after falling ill before the opening faceoff.


Pittsburgh, however, survived thanks in large part to Jarry, who withstood a major second-period push from the Blues to hand St. Louis its first regulation road loss since Oct. 26. Some responsible play in front of him helped as Pittsburgh's defense rarely let the Blues get opportunities from in close.


The Blues host Toronto on Saturday. St. Louis won its first meeting with the Maple Leafs 3-2 on Oct. 7.

Phillies Sign Zack Wheeler To $100-Million Contract

The Philadelphia Phillies have signed free-agent starting pitcher Zack Wheeler to a five-year deal worth $118 million, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan. Wheeler, 29, finished the 2019 season with a 11-8 record and a 3.96 ERA in 27 starts (in a career-high 195 1/3 innings) for the Mets. The right-hander posted a 1.26 WHIP with a career-high 195 strikeouts last season. 


Wheeler, whose fastball averaged nearly 97 mph in 2019, was considered one of the top second-tier starters on the free-agent market behind top-end arms Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg. CBS Sports ranked Wheeler as the seventh-best available free agent on the market this offseason. He became the second notable starting pitcher to sign with an NL East team on Wednesday after veteran lefty Cole Hamels agreed on a one-year, $18 million deal with the Braves.


Wheeler finished 2019 averaging 8.98 strikeouts per nine innings and struck out 23.6 percent of the batters he faced, compared to just 2.30 walks per nine innings. The 2019 season also saw Wheeler post double-digit wins for the second year in a row.


Wheeler rejected his one-year, $17.8 million qualifying offer from the Mets in November, and the club will now receive third-round draft-pick compensation. Over the last two seasons, Wheeler has proved to be a solid starter, averaging 30 starts while posting a 3.65 ERA and a 3.37 WHIP. He missed both the 2015 and 2016 seasons following Tommy John surgery and subsequent setbacks, but worked his way back to earn a spot in New York's rotation.


Wheeler was a highly coveted arm this winter and also reportedly had interest from the White Sox, Reds and Rangers. The White Sox offered Wheeler more than $118 million, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Wheeler's wife is from New Jersey and the proximity to Philadelphia played a role in Wheeler's decision, Rosenthal reported.

Tri-Valley Downs Clinton

Tri-Valley shut the Clinton Maroons down in the second and third quarters and the Vikings rolled to a 43-20 win Tuesday night in non-conference high school boys basketball action in Downs.


With the score tied at 11 after one quarter, the Vikings opened up a 25-14 advantage at the break and led 35-16 after three quarters.


Zeke Hickman and Ty Brennan scored six points apiece to lead the Maroons. Clayton Welch added four points and Tyrese Petty chipped in with three points. 


Braden Zenor scored 10 points to lead Tri-Valley. Jack Moore added eight points, Dylan Connor scored seven points while TJ Norman had six points in a balanced attack for for the Vikings.


Coach Clay Haurberg credits his team for a fast start but says they did not crash the boards the rest of the way and struggled offensively, which he called a bad combination. 


Tri-Valley improves to 1-1 overall while the Maroons drop to 2-3. 


The Maroons are back in action Friday night at home taking on Maroa-Forsyth at 7:30 pm. Hear the action on 92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, at Amazon Alexa and at the WHOW mobile app.

TCU Downs Illinois State

Desmond Bane had more shots than any of his teammates while also leading TCU in points, rebounds and assists against Illinois State.


Coach Jamie Dixon wants to see the ball in his hands even more.


Bane had 23 points, nine rebounds and five assists, Jaire Grayer hit four 3-pointers on the way to a season-high 15 points for the graduate transfer and the Horned Frogs beat the Redbirds 81-69 on Tuesday night.


Grayer made consecutive 3s to give TCU a 13-point lead early in the second half before Antonio Reeves got hot from long range for Illinois State (3-5). Reeves hit three straight 3s before another bucket from beyond the arc by DJ Horne pulled the Redbirds even at 59-all.


Bane attempted just two of his game-high 14 shots during that 20-7 run by Illinois State. The senior who entered the game fourth in the Big 12 in scoring was 9 of 14 from the floor while the Horned Frogs shot 47%.


Another 3-pointer from Grayer, who was awarded a redshirt year after being limited to seven games by a foot injury in his fourth season at George Mason, put the Horned Frogs (6-1) back in front for good and started a 9-1 run.


Grayer was 4 of 6 from long range, falling one made 3 shy of his career-high.


Zach Copeland was 5 of 8 from long range and scored 19 points for the Redbirds, who have lost all three meetings against TCU. Reeves scored 15.


Kevin Samuel had 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting, eight rebounds and three blocks for TCU.


Illinois State takes on Morehead State at home Saturday.

College Football Playoff Top 4 Stay Same

The penultimate College Football Playoff Rankings were released Tuesday night, and outside of Alabama's loss to Auburn in the Iron Bowl, the top of the rankings held firm. Ohio State, LSU, Clemson and Georgia remained in the top four spots. These are the only four teams that are guaranteed playoff spots with a victory in their respective conference championship games on Saturday.


Ohio State and LSU would each get into the playoff even with a loss.


The new No. 5 this week is Utah, a 45-15 winner over Colorado. Oklahoma comes in at No. 6 despite a 34-16 victory over No. 25 Oklahoma State, which further separated the strength of the Sooners' schedule from that of the Utes. So, while the committee did make one key substance-over-style switch (see below), it has not entirely committed to that mantra. Each team moved up one spot from last week.


While there were no significant changes at the top, there were a couple of moves that could impact the New Year's Six games. 

Memphis Holds Off Bradley

Alex Lomax scored a career-high 17 points and No. 15 Memphis survived a poor shooting performance to beat Bradley 71-56 Tuesday night.


Memphis made 36.1% of its shots from the field, but the Braves (5-3) were considerably worse. They hit 26.8%, including just 2 of 23 tries outside the arc.


On a night of bad shooting performances, Lomax - a leader on the team with the top recruiting class in the country - was the one of only two Tigers to make more than half his shots, going 4 of 7 from the field while adding 9 of 12 free throws.


Boogie Ellis scored 12 points for the Tigers, while Tyler Harris and DJ Jeffries added 10 points each for Memphis (7-1). Precious Achiuwa had an off-night scoring with only six points, but he grabbed 14 rebounds and blocked five shots. Lomax also had three steals.


Elijah Childs led the Braves with 21 points and 14 rebounds, and Danya Kingsby added 12 points.

Leading scorer Darrell Brown entered averaging 14 points per game but was limited to four. He missed all eight of his 3-point tries and was 1 of 16 from the field. Nate Kennell was held to two points a week after hitting 6 3-pointers in a win over Kansas State.


Bradley hosts North Carolina A&T on Saturday.

Yankees Meet With RHP Cole, Plan to Meet With Strasburg

Gerrit Cole, the top pitcher on the free-agent market, was set to meet with New York Yankees officials in California on Tuesday.


General manager Brian Cashman, manager Aaron Boone and new Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake made the trip to speak with the 29-year-old right-hander, a person familiar with the planning said. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the meeting was not announced.


New York is expected to meet Wednesday with free-agent right-hander Stephen Strasburg, the person said. Strasburg and Cole both are represented by Scott Boras.


New York selected Cole with the 28th overall pick of the 2008 amateur draft, but he decided not to sign and attended UCLA instead. Pittsburgh took him with the first overall pick in 2011 and agreed to an $8 million signing bonus.


Cole was 20-5 with an AL-best 2.50 ERA and a big league-high 326 strikeouts this year for the AL champion Houston Astros, who acquired him from the Pirates before the 2018 season. He is 94-52 with a 3.22 ERA in seven big league seasons. He lives in Santa Ana.


New York is seeking to boost a rotation that includes Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton and J.A. Happ.


Domingo Germán, who went 18-4 this year, ended the season on administrative leave under Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy and could be suspended for the start of next season. Jordan Montgomery returned in September from Tommy John surgery in June 2018.

Riverton Tops Monticello

Travis Hogan scored 29 points and Riverton overcame 20 turnovers with sharp shooting and beat Monticello 55-41 in non-conference high school boys basketball action Tuesday from Riverton High School. 


Hogan stole the show Tuesday, shooting 13-for-17 from the floor and grabbed nine rebounds.


Riverton jumped out to a 15-4 lead after the first quarter and led 27-13 at the half. 


Monticello’s offense was stagnant was the first half but came alive in the second half thanks to aggressive play from Garrett Kepley. The senior scored 9 of his 15 in the second half. Sophomore Dylan Ginalick and junior Jake Edmondson scored six points apiece and sophomore Ben Cresap scored four points. 


Ethan Miller added eight points for the Sages.


Monticello outrebounded the much taller Hawks 30-28 but could only convert 20 turnovers into 12 points. They had zero points off 11 Riverton turnovers in the first half. 


The Hawks dominated points in the paint, 32-20. 


Riverton improves to 2-2 overall and the Sages are 0-2. 


Monticello hosts Salt Fork for their home opener Friday night. Hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online dewittdailynews.com. Game time is 7 pm.


Lady Maroons Top Heyworth 55-27

In a game heard on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons defeated the Heyworth Lady Hornets by a score of 55-27 on Tuesday night. Sophomore Mallory Cyrulik led the Lady Maroons with 20 points. Kaitlyn Rauch also chipped in with 15.


Heyworth was led by Shae Ruppert with 18 points.


With the win, the Lady Maroons improve to 4-3. Heyworth falls to 1-5 on the season.


Tune in Friday, December 6, as the Clinton Maroons take on the Maroa-Forsyth Trojans. 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.

Four Maroons Make CIC 2nd Team All Conference, Five Named Honorable Mention

The 2019 6-4 Maroons football squad featured four players named to the second team all-conference. 


Senior lineman Brett Reeves, senior tailback Tyrese Petty, senior linebacker Drew Stacey, and senior defensive back Kolton Spaugh were named to the second team Central Illinois All-Conference unit.


Senior offensive lineman Nathan Miller, senior wideout Clayton Welch, senior quarterback Garrett Wayne, junior defensive lineman Chance Baldwin, Jr. and senior defensive lineman Braden Cross were an honorable mention.


1A state runner-up Central A&M received a league-high ten selections to the first team all-conference including unanimous selections senior wide receiver Jacob Paradee, defensive lineman Jeske Maples and linebacker Connor Hutchins.


St. T's sophomore tailback Denim Cook and Warrensburg-Latham senior defensive lineman Adam Maxwell were unanimous selections. Additionally, Tuscola had a pair of unanimous selections, sophomore defensive back Jalen Quinn and senior linebacker Jake Kibler. 


A&M's Connor Heaton was a first-team all-conference quarterback and Hutchins was also selected as a first-team all-conference running back. 


Tuscola had seven first-team selections while St. T had six. Ten sophomores comprised the all-conference teams. 

Monticello Continues Springfield-Area Road Swing Against Riverton

Off a 41-35 opening night loss at Pleasant Plains, the Monticello Sages boys basketball team looks to rebound tonight when they head back towards Springfield to take on Riverton.


The Sages had to rally their way back into their opener against the Cardinals and played Plains within a possession most of the fourth quarter but could not get over the hump. Coach Kevin Roy called the opening loss a good sign for a team that is going to be a work in progress.



Game time tonight is 7:30 pm. Hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

Bulls Drop Kings

Zach LaVine scored 28 points and made four free throws in the final 11 seconds, and the Bulls overcame a sloppy fourth quarter to hold off the Sacramento Kings 113-106 on Monday night.


Lauri Markkanen had 20 points and seven rebounds, Wendell Carter Jr. added 10 points and 10 rebounds, and Tomas Satoransky scored 14 points as Chicago snapped a three-game losing streak.


The Bulls (7-14) led by 19 early in the second half but had trouble hanging on. Chicago committed eight of its 18 turnovers in the fourth quarter and made only one basket over the final 4 1/2 minutes.

Buddy Hield hit a step-back jumper that pulled the Kings to 102-100 with 2:18 remaining. After Markkanen made two free throws, he and Hield exchanged 3-pointers to make it 107-103.


Sacramento got the ball back but Hield missed three shots from beyond the arc in the last 36 seconds, and LaVine sealed the game at the free throw line.


Hield finished with 26 points for Sacramento. Richaun Holmes added 20 points and nine rebounds.


The Bulls took control with a 21-6 run to start the second quarter. After Carter, Kris Dunn and Markkanen scored on consecutive dunks, Markkanen added a 3-pointer - Chicago's fifth of the period - and Lavine made a reverse layup to extend the lead to 54-39.


Sacramento trailed by 19 early in the third quarter, then went on a late run to pull to 84-74 after a pair of free throws from Harrison Barnes.


The Bulls host the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday.

Illinois Rally Falls Short

Chris Lykes scored 28 points and Miami held off a furious second-half comeback to beat Illinois 81-79 on Monday.


Illinois (6-2) trailed 50-31 at the half — at one point down by 27 points — and was outplayed at every level by Miami (5-3) before making adjustments and outscoring the Hurricanes 48-31 in the second half.


Dejan Vasiljevic scored 20 points, Kameron McGusty 13 and Sam Waardenburg 12 for Miami.

Kofi Cockburn scored 23 points to lead Illinois. Trent Frazier scored 14, Ayo Dosunmu had 12 and Trent Frazier added 11 points for the Illini.


The Hurricanes put together a series of runs in the first half and jumped out to a 25-9 lead with 12 minutes left before the break. Illinois answered late in the half with a 7-0 run that featured a three-pointer from Alan Griffin, s layup by Dosunmu and a jumper by Da’Monte Williams.


After clawing its way back, Illinois had a chance to win it at the buzzer. Feliz hit a layup with less than a minute to play to pull the Illini to within one point, 80-79. With two seconds left and a chance to win the game, Dosunmu drove to the basket and was called for an offensive foul. That sent Lykes to the line, where he sank one free throw to ice the game.


Things get tougher when Illinois travels to #5 Maryland for an early Big Ten Conference game on Saturday.

Pacers Beat Grizzlies

Malcolm Brogdon scored 19 points, Domantas Sabonis added 18 and the Pacers beat the depleted Grizzlies 117-104 on Monday night.


Seven players scored in double figures for the Pacers, including Myles Turner with 17 points. Jeremy Lamb and reserve Justin Holiday had 15 apiece, with Holiday missing only one of his six 3-point attempts.


Their passing and cutting provided open shots, and Indiana capitalized by shooting 50% from the field and hitting 16 of 38 3-pointers (42%).


Jaren Jackson Jr. led Memphis with a season-high 31 points. Solomon Hill moved into the starting lineup and added 22, also a season best. Dillon Brooks finished with 19 on 7-of-16 shooting.


The Grizzlies were short-handed as four players - all key parts of the rotation - sat out with various ailments. That left the reserves trying to play with any kind of rhythm.


The Pacers travel to Oklahoma City to play the Thunder on Wednesday night.

Cubs Cut Russell

The Chicago Cubs did not offer a 2020 contract to shortstop Addison Russell on Monday, making the 2016 All-Star a free agent one year after he was suspended for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy.


Russell was banned for 40 games last offseason after a series of allegations made by ex-wife Melisa Reidy. The 25-year-old returned to the Cubs in May and batted a career-low .237 with nine homers, 23 RBIs and a .699 OPS.


Russell earned $4 million in 2019 and was likely to gain a raise in arbitration, probably to around $5 million.


MLB began an investigation in 2017 after allegations against Russell first became public. Reidy published a blog post last September describing more detailed allegations, including years of physical and emotional abuse. Less than 12 hours later, MLB announced Russell had been put on leave under its domestic violence policy. He accepted the suspension on Oct. 3.


The Cubs also agreed to a $640,000, one-year deal with right-hander Jharel Cotton and failed to offer a contract to left-hander Danny Hultzen before the tender deadline. Hultzen, the second-overall pick in the 2011 amateur draft, overcame numerous injuries to make his major league debut in 2019. He pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings over six appearances.

Blues Blank Blackhawks

Jake Allen made 38 saves, Brayden Schenn scored his team-leading 14th goal and St. Louis beat the short-handed Chicago Blackhawks 4-0 on Monday night for its fourth consecutive victory.


Jaden Schwartz, Tyler Bozak and Mackenzie MacEachern also scored for the Blues, who improved to 13-3-3 since star forward Vladimir Tarasenko was sidelined by a left shoulder injury that required surgery.


It was Allen's first shutout of the season and No. 20 for his career, matching Jaroslav Halak for second on the franchise list. Brian Elliott leads the way with 25.


The last-place Blackhawks (10-12-5) played a man short because of injuries and the salary cap, going with 11 forwards and six defensemen.


Andrew Shaw was scratched with an unspecified injury, and fellow forwards Dylan Strome and Drake Caggiula remain out with concussions. Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith missed his second straight game with a groin injury, and goaltender Robin Lehner was ruled out with an illness.


St. Louis went ahead to stay when MacEachern scored for the second straight game 2:34 into the first period. Vince Dunn's shot went off the backboards and right in front to a wide-open MacEachern, who batted it in for his fourth of the season.


Schwartz made it 2-0 when he tipped Alex Pietrangelo's power-play shot past a screened Crawford at 14:22 of the first.


The Blues visit the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night.


The Blackhawks visit the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.

Monticello Holiday Hoopla Tournament Schedule Set

The Monticello Holiday Hoopla Christmas tournament tips off later this month and the pools and game times have been set by the Monticello Athletic Department.


Monticello will host GCMS, Tuscola, and Oakwood in the first pool and Ridgeview, Paxton-Buckley-Loda, Clinton and Neoga in the second pool of the boy's side of round-robin play.


Day 1 tips at 10 am on Thursday, December 26 with Tuscola and GCMS followed by Monticello and Oakwood at 11:30 am.


Clinton takes on Ridgeview at 2 pm in the second session and Monticello and  GCMS round out day 1 action at 7:30 pm.


The Maroons are in action twice on Friday, taking on PBL at 11:30 am then Neoga at 7:30 pm.


Boys placement games begin at 2:30 pm Saturday with the championship matchup Saturday at 7:30 pm.


On the girl's side of pool play, Monticello is paired with GCMS, Tuscola and Stark County. The Lady Maroons are paired with Ridgeview, PBL and Neoga.


The Lady Sages open the girl's action Thursday at 10 am against Stark County then play at 6 pm that evening against GCMS.


Clinton will take on Ridgeview at 3:30 pm on Thursday then Friday they will be back in action at 10 am taking on PBL and finishing pool play Friday at 7:30 pm against Neoga. 


Friday at 2 pm, the Lady Sages will take on Tuscola to finish pool play. 


Girl's placement games will begin at noon on Saturday with the championship game at 5:30 pm.


Hear all the Monticello boys games on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. Also, Friday, hear the girls 2 pm game against Tuscola on WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.


The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW and dewittdailynews.com will broadcast a boy's and girl's game during the tournament. That schedule will be released soon. 

Packers Pull Away from Giants

Aaron Rodgers threw four touchdown passes in the snow and the Packers (9-3) rebounded from an embarrassing 29-point loss to San Francisco and beat the New York Giants 31-13 Sunday.


Rodgers was 21 of 33 for 243 yards and no interceptions on a slippery, snowy day at MetLife Stadium.

Rodgers hit Davante Adams on touchdown passes of 8 and 17 yards, found a wide-open Allen Lazard for 37 yards and capped the performance with a 1-yarder to Marcedes Lewis. The Packers also intercepted rookie Daniel Jones three times, with the picks setting up 10 points.


The loss sent the Giants (2-10) to their eighth straight loss, their worst skid since 2004.


Jones was 20 of 37 for 240 yards, including an 18-yard touchdown pass to Sterling Shepard.


Aldrick Rosas added field goals of 27 and 45 yards for New York, which has a 7-21 mark since Pat Shurmur took over last season.


A light snow started falling before game time and it quickly covered the field, forcing work crews to shovel the yardage lines during breaks. It also made it look like Wisconsin, and the Packers had no problem in beating New York for the third straight time.


The Packers return home to play Washington next Sunday.

Illinois Hosts Miami in ACC/Big Ten Challenge

Illinois plays Miami in a non-conference matchup. Illinois knocked off Lindenwood by 52 points at home on Tuesday, while Miami fell 80-55 to UConn last week.


Illinois has won its last five home games, scoring an average of 93.2 points while giving up 63.2.


The Illini have recently used assists to create baskets more often than the Hurricanes. Illinois has 71 assists on 117 field goals (60.7 percent) across its past three games while Miami has assists on 30 of 73 field goals (41.1 percent) during its past three games.


Game time is 6 pm local time.

Illinois State Advances in FCS Playoffs

James Robinson rushed for 297 yards on 41 carries — both career highs — and Illinois State beat Southeast Missouri 24-6 on Saturday in a first-round FCS playoff game.


The Redbirds (9-4), who finished in a three-way tie for third in the Missouri Valley Conference, advance to play at No. 8 seed Central Arkansas next Saturday.


Robinson’s previous highs were 256 yards and 29 carries. He scored on an 11-yard run in the first quarter and the Redbirds led the rest of the way, taking a 21-3 halftime lead on a 16-yard run by Bryce Jefferson and a 33-yard pass from Jefferson to Andrew Edgar with 1:25 left in the second quarter.


Joe Pyle started in place of banged-up SEMO quarterback Daniel Santacaterina and threw for 124 yards. Santacaterina, dealing with foot and shoulder injuries, came in during the third quarter but threw for only 81 yards with two interceptions.


SEMO (9-4) had a six-game winning streak snapped.

Last Regular Season College Football Polls

>>Loss to Auburn Drops Bama From AP Top 5


Alabama dropped to No. 9 in The Associated Press college football poll, snapping the Crimson Tide’s record streak of 68 appearances in the top five.


The top four teams in the AP Top 25 presented by Regions Bank were unchanged, with LSU at No. 1, followed by Ohio State, Clemson and Georgia.


The Buckeyes gained on LSU after their blowout victory at Michigan, receiving 19 first-place votes. The Tigers had 40, down 10 from last week. Clemson received three first-place votes.


Utah moved up to No. 5, followed by Oklahoma, Florida and Baylor.


The Crimson Tide lost to Auburn in a wild Iron Bowl on Saturday to give it two regular-season losses for the first time since 2010. The four-spot drop by Alabama broke a string of top-five appearances that began Nov. 8, 2015.


The week before the Tide’s run started it had been seventh, and it had been as low as 12th earlier that season. Alabama passed the old record for consecutive top-five appearances of 55 by Miami (Oct. 8, 2000-Oct. 26, 2003) last season.


Wisconsin moved up three spots to No. 10 after routing Minnesota. The Gophers dropped six spots to No. 15.


>>Wisconsin Up in Coaches Poll


The 2019 college football regular season is over. Rankings will be a hot topic between now and Selection Sunday on Dec. 8, but the first set from the Coaches Poll have been released. The two biggest shakeups involve a pair of conference championship underdogs in the top 10.


Baylor rose two spots to No. 8 after dismantling Kansas. The Bears will face No. 6 Oklahoma in a rematch of their November game next Saturday in the Big 12 Championship Game. Wisconsin rose four spots to No. 10 after beating Minnesota 38-17 to clinch the Big Ten West. The Badgers will also face a rematch in their title game by playing No. 2 Ohio State in Indianapolis. The Gophers fell six spots to No. 15. 


Another shakeup comes after Auburn defeated Alabama 48-45 in the Iron Bowl. The Crimson Tide didn't fall out of the top 10 entirely, coming in at No. 9. That's three spots above Auburn at No. 12. New teams in this week's poll include No. 22 Virginia, which will get No. 3 Clemson in the ACC Championship Game. Air Force also cracked the top 25 after finishing the year with a 10-2 record. Oklahoma State and Virginia Tech dropped out of the rankings after losses to Oklahoma and Virginia, respectively. 


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