Sports – Press Herald Sat, 25 Nov 2017 09:00:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 NBA roundup: Cavaliers win seventh straight Sat, 25 Nov 2017 04:12:17 +0000 CLEVELAND — LeBron James had 27 points, 16 rebounds and 13 assists, J.R. Smith made the tie-breaking free throw with 48 seconds left, and the Cleveland Cavaliers extended their winning streak to seven games with a 100-99 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night.

James had season highs in rebounds and assists in his 57th career triple-double. He’s 41-6 in the regular season against Charlotte and the Cavaliers have won 12 of 13, including eight straight, against the Hornets.

PISTONS 99, THUNDER 98: Andre Drummond had 17 points and 14 rebounds and Detroit overcame a 15-point deficit at Oklahoma City.

Russell Westbrook had his sixth triple-double of the season for the Thunders with 27 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds. He missed a long 3-point attempt on the final possession to finish 1 of 10 from 3-point range and 10 of 29 from the field.

HEAT 109, TIMBERWOLVES 97: Wayne Ellington scored 21 points and made six 3-pointers off the bench, Goran Dragic added 20 points and Miami rode a season-best shooting performance from behind the arc to a win at Minneapolis.

Dragic was 5 of 8 from 3 as Miami hit a season-high 19 3-pointers on a season-high 39 attempts.

TRAIL BLAZERS 127, NETS 125: Damian Lillard scored 34 points, Jusuf Nurkic added 29, and Portland rallied from a six-point deficit late in the fourth quarter to win in New York.

Nurkic’s three-point play with 27 seconds left put Portland up for good, 126-123.

HAWKS 116, KNICKS 104: Dennis Schroder scored 26 points and host Atlanta used a 30-point third quarter to snap a three-game losing streak.


CAVALIERS: Derrick Rose’s injuries may have pushed him to a breaking point. The former league MVP, who has been trying to revive his career with Cleveland, left the team earlier this week to handle a personal matter. A team spokesman said Friday that Rose has been excused since Wednesday and there is no timetable for his return.

TIMBERWOLVES: Point guard Jeff Teague sat out Minnesota’s game Friday night against Miami because of a right Achilles injury. The team announced the injury just minutes before the game.

]]> 0, 24 Nov 2017 23:19:51 +0000
Friday’s Top 25 basketball roundup: Duke rallies past Texas at PK80 Sat, 25 Nov 2017 04:02:45 +0000 PORTLAND, Ore. — Freshman Marvin Bagley III had a career-high 34 points and added 15 rebounds, and No. 1 Duke rallied to defeat Texas 85-78 in overtime on Friday in the semifinals of the PK80 Invitational.

Gary Trent Jr. added 17 points for the Blue Devils (7-0), who trailed by 16 points in the second half and were forced to play five freshmen once senior Grayson Allen fouled out.

Dylan Osetkowski had 19 points and seven rebounds for Texas (4-1), which fell short of its first-ever victory over a top-ranked team.

(3) KANSAS 102, OAKLAND 59: Udoka Azubuike had a career-high 21 points and 10 rebounds and seven players finished in double figures for the host Jayhawks (5-0) against Oakland (2-3).

(5) VILLANOVA 64, NORTHERN IOWA 50: Mikal Bridges scored 18 points and Villanova (6-0) pulled away from Northern Iowa (5-2) in the Battle 4 Atlantis championship game at Paradise Island, Bahamas.

Jalen Brunson added 16 points and was named the tournament’s most valuable player for the Wildcats, who led most of the way, then used an 8-0 run in the final 4 minutes pull away.

(9) NORTH CAROLINA 87, ARKANSAS 68: Luke Maye had career-highs with 28 points and 16 rebounds and Kenny Williams had 16 of his 19 points in the second half for the Tar Heels in their semifinal win over Arkansa (4-1) in the PK80 Invitational.

North Carolina was smothering on defense, holding the Razorbacks under 80 points for the first time this season.

(14) MINNESOTA 69, MASSACHUSETTS 51: Jordan Murphy scored 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds to spark Minnesota (6-0) past the Minutemen (3-2) in the Barclays Center Classic at New York. Amir Coffey added nine points for the Golden Gophers. Luwane Pipkins led Massachusetts with 18.

ARIZONA ST. 102, (15) XAVIER 86: Tra Holder scored a career-high 40 points to lead Arizona State (6-0) past Xavier (5-1) in the championship game of the Las Vegas Invitational.

Holder scored 23 of his 40 points in the second half for Arizona State (6-0), which shot 55.9 percent from the field.

(19) LOUISVILLE 84, SAINT FRANCIS (PA.) 72: Ray Spalding had 19 points and a career-high 13 rebounds before leaving midway through the second half with an injury, and host Louisville (4-0) held off Saint Francis (2-3).

Spalding’s layup provided a 66-44 lead with 12:38 remaining, but the junior forward went to the locker room several minutes later with what appeared to be an ankle injury.


(2) TEXAS 75, LSU 66: Ariel Atkins scored 17 points and Jatarie White added 14 to lead Texas (4-0) to a win over LSU (2-3) in the Las Vegas Shootout.

Atkins, who had four steals, made six of her eight attempts from the field.

Lashann Higgs added 13 points while Brooke McCarty had 11 points for the Longhorns.

(3) SOUTH CAROLINA 78, RUTGERS 68: A’ja Wilson scored a career-high 33 points, Lindsey Spann added 17 and the Gamecocks (5-0) survived a serious test before beating Rutgers (4-1) in the quarterfinals of the Gulf Coast Showcase at Estero, Florida.

Wilson went 15 for 17 from the foul line for South Carolina, which won its 16th consecutive game dating to last season.

(4) LOUISVILLE 115, MURRAY STATE 51: Kylee Shook scored a career-high 21 points and fellow reserve Bionca Dunham also had career highs of 19 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Cardinals (6-0) to a rout of Murray State (1-4) at home.

(6) NOTRE DAME 77, EAST TENNESSEE STATE 46: Jessica Shepard scored 15 points to lead four players in double figures, and Notre Dame (4-0) moved into the semifinals of the Gulf Coast Showcase with a win over East Tennessee State (4-2).

]]> 0 guard Jacob Young goes up for a shot with Duke center Marques Bolden defending during their semifinal in the PK80 Invitational tournament in Portland, Ore. Duke overcame a 16-point deficit to win 85-78 in overtime.Fri, 24 Nov 2017 23:07:56 +0000
Girls’ hockey: Biddeford/Thornton Academy/Wells wins opener Sat, 25 Nov 2017 03:46:42 +0000 BRUNSWICK — Ailaina Keely scored four goals Friday night as a team made up of players from Biddeford, Thornton Academy and Wells rolled to a 7-1 victory against Mt. Ararat/Morse in a season-opening girls’ hockey game Friday night at Watson Arena.

It was the first game the girls from the three high schools have played together and the first varsity game coached by Adam Flynn, who played high school hockey at Presque Isle.

“I am very pleased,” said Flynn, who began teaching math at Biddeford High this fall following his graduation from the University of Maine, where he didn’t play hockey.

“We’ll take any win we can get. We know we’ve got some tough (games) coming.”

The Tigers held a 35-13 edge in shots but goalie Lily Schenk was magnificent in the first period to keep the Eagles close.

“She gave us a chance to try to get back in the game,” Mt. Ararat Coach Jeremy Saxton said.

Keely opened the scoring with less than two minutes left in the first period when she slid in a hard shot from just inside the left circle after Mady Belanger, who had three assists, intercepted a clearing pass.

Less than seven minutes into the second, Keely made it 2-0 on a shot from just inside the right hashmark moments after Ainsley Wescott won a faceoff in that circle.

With less than two minutes left in the second, freshman defenseman Bre Hunter scored a power-play goal for the Eagles, lifting a shot inside the right post from just outside the crease.

The Tigers took a 3-1 lead when Jaigan Boudreau scored from the top of the slot with 12.2 seconds left in the second period.

Less than five minutes into the third, Keely scored two more goals.

“She has great patience in the slot,” Flynn said. “She just waits for people to get out of position and she has a wicked shot on her, too.”

Flynn said his team had to change tactics after the first two periods.

“We had to elevate our game,” he said. “Their goalie was taking away the bottom part of the net. We had a talk on the bench and (Keely) realized she had to elevate the puck and we went from there.”

Lily Stark scored twice for the Tigers in the final seven minutes. She also had one assist.

Freshman Trinity Atwater made 12 saves for the Tigers. Half of those shots came on Mt. Ararat’s two power plays.

“We’re going to play every game aggressive and if that means having a penalty here or there we’ll take it,” Flynn said. “We practice sportsmanship, obviously, but what happens happens. It’s a contact sport.”

The Tigers have 17 players from Biddeford, seven from Thornton and two from Wells.

“It’s working out well, initially,” Flynn said. “At this point they’re just trying to mesh and get to know each other as people. (Then) the hockey part will come.”

The Eagles are coming off a winless season but Saxton was pleased.

“It’s a young team, and they’re learning and they’re giving it their all,” he said.

]]> 0 Keely of Biddeford/Thornton Academy/Wells is upended by Mt. Ararat/Morse goalie Lily Schenk on a first-period scoring bid Friday night during Biddeford's 7-1 victory in a girls' hockey season opener at Brunswick.Fri, 24 Nov 2017 22:54:26 +0000
NHL roundup: Capitals continue mastery of Lightning Sat, 25 Nov 2017 03:42:57 +0000 WASHINGTON — Alex Ovechkin and Devante Smith-Pelly each scored a goal, Philipp Grubauer stopped 25 shots for his first victory of the season and the Washington Capitals beat Tampa Bay 3-1 on Friday night to end the Lightning’s six-game road winning streak.

Jay Beagle clinched the victory for the Capitals, scoring into an empty net with 2:08 to go.

Tampa Bay (16-4-2) is off to the best start in franchise history, but has lost five straight in Washington and is 2-8 in its last 10 games against the Caps.

Vladislav Namestnikov scored the lone goal for the Lightning.

DEVILS 3, CANUCKS 2: Brian Boyle scored one of the most meaningful goals of his career to help New Jersey beat visiting Vancouver.

The Devils were marking “Hockey Fights Cancer Night,” a battle especially meaningful to Boyle, who was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia during camp and missed the first 10 games of the season while undergoing treatment.

GOLDEN KNIGHTS 5, SHARKS 4: Jonathan Marchessault took a pass from Shea Theodore and poked the winning goal past Aaron Dell to give Vegas an overtime victory at home.

William Karlsson scored two goals for Vegas.

BLUE JACKETS 5, SENATORS 2: Cam Atkinson scored twice to lift Columbus at home, extending the Blue Jackets’ league-high winning streak to six games.

Sergei Bobrovsky turned back 24 shots for his 14th win in 19 starts.

SABRES 3, OILERS 1: Robin Lehner stopped 29 shots and host Buffalo snapped a seven-game skid.

Jack Eichel, Jacob Josefson and Kyle Okposo, with an empty-netter, scored for Buffalo.

MAPLE LEAFS 5, HURRICANES 4: James Van Riemsdyk had a goal and an assist to help Toronto win at Carolina.

Van Riemsdyk was one of four goal scorers in the second period for Toronto, which won for the seventh time in nine games.

RANGERS 2, RED WINGS 1: Mats Zuccarello scored 37 seconds into overtime to give host New York its third straight victory and ninth in 11 games.

WILD 3, AVALANCHE 2: Charlie Coyle and Chris Stewart scored in the shootout to give Minnesota a win at home.

ISLANDERS 5, FLYERS 4: Defenseman Nick Leddy snapped a shot past Flyers goalie Brian Elliott 2:44 into overtime to give New York a win at Philadelphia.

JETS 4, DUCKS 1: Nikolaj Ehlers scored two goals in the game’s first 5 minutes, and the streaking Jets went on to a win at Anaheim, Winnipeg’s sixth victory in seven games.


CANADIENS: Goalie Carey Price expects to return Saturday night against Buffalo after missing 10 games with a lower-body injury.

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Sports Digest: Red Claws beaten at Fort Wayne Sat, 25 Nov 2017 03:02:49 +0000 BASKETBALL

Red Claws drop to 4-3 with loss at Fort Wayne

Jarrod Uthoff scored a game-high 34 points to go with 16 rebounds as the Fort Wayne Mad Ants (6-1) held off the visiting Maine Red Claws (4-3) 126-117 at Allen Country Memorial Coliseum.

Walter Lemon Jr. had 24 points and nine assists, and DeQuan Jones added 23 points for the Mad Ants. Trey Davis scored 23 points to pace the Red Claws. Kadeem Allen scored 21, and Jabari Bird had 20 points and seven assists.

Fort Wayne led 65-53 at halftime but the Red Claws cut the lead to 86-79 on a bucket from Bird late in the third. The Mad Ants closed the quarter on a 9-3 spurt to take a 95-82 lead.


AUSTRALIAN OPEN: Jason Day had four consecutive birdies on the back nine, including a 30-footer, for a 3-under 68 that left him a stroke out of the second-round lead at Sydney behind Lucas Herbert of Australia, who shot a 66.

Defending champion Jordan Spieth earlier failed to take advantage of ideal morning scoring conditions and had a 71 to fall eight strokes behind Herbert.

EUROPEAN: S.S.P. Chawrasia of India extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes over Thomas Aiken of Soith Africa after a 4-under 66 in the second round.


RUSSIAN DOPING: The International Olympic Committee disqualified Alexander Zubkov, a two-time Sochi Olympic bobsled champion, and three other Russians for their part in a state-backed doping program.

Zubkov, who is now the Russian bobsled federation president, was banned for life from any Olympics.


DAVIS CUP: David Goffin of Belgium and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France were up to the task in the opening singles matches of the final, delivering lopsided wins to leave the countries tied at 1-1 at Lille, France, just across the Belgian border.

Tsonga swept past 76th-ranked Steve Darcis 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 to tie it after Goffin gave Lucas Pouille a master class of offensive tennis with a 7-5, 6-3, 6-1 victory.


GOLDEN SHOE: Lionel Messi of Barcelona received his fourth Golden Shoe award for leading Europe’s leagues in scoring last season.

It was the fourth time he’s received the honor, drawing him even with Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo as the record-holders for the award.


WORLD CUP: Chris Spring and Neville Wright won a two-man bobsled race at Whistler, British Columbia, leading a gold-silver finish for the Canadians.

Spring and Wright barely held off countrymen Justin Kripps and Alexander Kopacz, winning by two-hundredths of a second. Latvia got the bronze after Oskars Melbardis and Daumants Dreiskens posted the second-best times in both heats.


SKATE AMERICA: Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada led after the pairs short program at Lake Placid, New York, putting them in strong position to win a second Grand Prix event.

Duhamel and Radford scored 75.37, beating Xiaoyu Yu and Hao Zhang of China at 73.67. Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany were third at 72.55. The pairs free skate is Saturday, and the Grand Prix final is Dec. 7-10 in Nagoya, Japan.

]]> 0 Fri, 24 Nov 2017 22:10:20 +0000
Celtics have a huge first half in cruising to a 118-103 win over Orlando Sat, 25 Nov 2017 03:01:55 +0000 BOSTON — Even as they won 16 games in a row, the Boston Celtics didn’t make it easy on themselves.

A 16-point deficit against Atlanta. Down 13 in the fourth to Dallas. Double-digit deficits in three straight games, in fact, that Boston erased en route to the fourth-longest winning streak in franchise history.

The Celtics knew they couldn’t continue to count on comebacks, and Friday night they didn’t need one after opening with a blistering first quarter and coasting to a 118-103 victory over the Orlando Magic.

“Our guys came out focused, ready to play,” said Al Horford, who had seven of his career high-tying 10 assists in the first quarter. “We finally got a (first) half going. That first half was the key for us winning that game.”

One game after snapping their 16-game losing streak, the Celtics sent the Magic to their seventh straight loss. Kyrie Irving had 17 of his 30 points before halftime as Boston scored 40 points in the first quarter and 73 by the half to rebound from its first loss in more than a month.

Still wearing a mask after breaking a bone in his face on Nov. 10, Irving was 9 for 15 from the floor and hit all 10 of his free-throw attempts, many with the sold-out crowd chanting “M-V-P!”

Jalen Brown scored 10 points in the first quarter, when Boston opened a 14-point lead. Aron Baynes finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds – his first double-double with the Celtics – and Terry Rozier had a career-high 23 points.

Jonathon Simmons scored 14 points and Nikola Vucevic had 12 points and 11 rebounds for Orlando. Aaron Gordon, who was 2 for 10 from the field, said the Magic didn’t play like they were eager to end their slide.

“We played like it was just another game,” he said. “We didn’t play like they were the first in the East and we are on a losing streak.”

Orlando scored the first four points of the game and trailed by just four with less than four minutes left in the first before Boston scored 16 of the next 20 points to take a 40-24 lead. Leading 42-30 early in the second, the Celtics went on an 11-2 run and later got back-to-back 3-pointers from Rozier to open a 28-point lead.

“We’re not good enough defensively right now,” Magic Coach Frank Vogel said. “And Boston was clicking on all cylinders.”

Rozier said he wasn’t keeping track of his career high, and he certainly didn’t seem on the verge of a breakout after scoring 22 points in his previous five games combined.

“I’m not perfect,” he said. “I’m going to have tough games. (But) I’ll have games like this.”

Trailing 99-69 after three, the Magic outscored Boston 34-19 in the fourth quarter, when four of the five Celtics starters remained on the bench.

Vogel was unimpressed.

“You’re talking about garbage time,” he said.

NOTES: The Celtics wore their black jerseys for the first time this season. Marcus Morris got the start, which means he is likely to sit out Saturday night’s game against the Pacers. He did not play in the Celtics’ other back-to-back games this season. … Coach Brad Stevens picked up a technical foul early in the fourth quarter for arguing a foul call; Arron Afflalo missed the shot, bringing a smile from the coach. … Shane Larkin did not play after falling hard to the floor and sustaining a “whiplash-like” injury against Miami.

]]> 0's Terry Rozier drives to the basket ahead of Orlando's Marreese Speights, center, and D.J. Augustin, left, during the first half Friday night in Boston.Fri, 24 Nov 2017 23:35:23 +0000
Friday’s Maine college roundup: UMaine hockey team shut out in Northern Ireland Sat, 25 Nov 2017 02:21:04 +0000 BELFAST, Northern Ireland — Ryan Tait scored two goals Friday night as Providence College shut out the University of Maine 3-0 in a Hockey East game.

The meeting was part of the Friendship Four weekend tournament. The Black Bears (4-7, 3-4) will meet RPI (2-8-3) at 10 a.m. Saturday. RPI fell to Clarkson 2-0 in the other game at Belfast.

Tait’s first goal for Providence (8-4-1, 5-3-1) came 15:12 into the second period from Bryan Lemos and Jason O’Neill.

Brian Pinho made it 2-0 after 8:39 of the third, and Tait added his second goal eight minutes later.

Jeremy Swayman had 34 saves for the Black Bears.


MIAMI 80, MAINE 70: Erykah Davenport had 20 points and 11 rebounds, and Mykea Gray added 16 points as the Hurricanes (4-1) beat the Black Bears (3-2) in the opening round of the Miami Thanksgiving tournament in Florida.

Miami took a 30-20 lead with 7:56 left in the second quarter but Maine closed the half on a 17-7 run to make it 37-37 at halftime. The Hurricanes opened the third quarter on a 10-0 run, seven from Davenport.

Two free throws from Julie Brosseau cut the lead to 47-39 but Miami closed the quarter on a 19-12 run to take a 66-51 lead.

Blanca Millan scored a game-high 21 points for the Back Bears. Brosseau added 20.


MAINE 3, UNION 3: Tereza Vanisova scored twice, including the tying goal with just over a minute left in the third period, as the Black Bears (9-6-2) tied the Dutchmen (3-8-2) at Schenectady, New York.

Maine led 2-0 early on goals from Vendula Pribylova and Vanisova, but Union scored three straight before Vanisova tied it from Ebba Strandberg.

]]> 0 Fri, 24 Nov 2017 21:28:08 +0000
Cooks looking to go long in New England Sat, 25 Nov 2017 01:28:02 +0000 FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Brandin Cooks, Patriot for life. That has a nice ring to it.

It isn’t just an empty thought as the super-fast wide receiver blazes through a successful first season with the New England Patriots. In fact, Cooks remarked this week it is “absolutely” his goal to play the rest of his career with the Patriots.

The 24-year-old loves New England.

“It just matches my personality,” Cooks said. “The way things are structured, the way they go about their business, it’s just a great place. Obviously, it’s not an easy place to play, but nothing good in life comes easy.”

That final sentiment is significant. Successful Patriots – young, old or in between – have always embraced the challenge of fulfilling Bill Belichick’s grueling expectations. That’s the hallmark of the team’s consistency for nearly two decades, the reason why it doesn’t slump for a month or miss the playoffs. Those who don’t enjoy the culture quickly find themselves working elsewhere or nowhere at all.

Cooks, who was acquired from the Saints in March for first- and third-round draft picks, is signed through 2018, when he will earn $8.459 million that will become fully guaranteed in March. To finish his career with the Patriots, it would obviously require a contract extension and maybe even another one after that.

Cooks stressed he wasn’t going to publicly entertain the contract topic, though.

“I’m not thinking about it, not even thinking about that,” he said.

Behind the scenes, the Patriots seem to uniformly love Cooks, including quarterback Tom Brady, so it’s safe to assume the desire for a long-term union is mutual. But to be fair, wanting to stay together and working to stay together can sometimes be entirely different things at the negotiating table.

It’s far too early to predict whether Cooks and the Patriots will strike an agreement. Based on the Patriots’ history of business dealings, they’ll talk numbers with Cooks and his agency after the season at the scouting combine in Indianapolis, and the team can be expected to make at least one offer before training camp in July 2018.

On the other side, Cooks is playing out his rookie contract, so it’s impossible to predict his strategy throughout the negotiating process. His agency, Rep 1 Sports Group, has a reputation for dealings with big-time players, so these won’t be junior varsity negotiations.

Perhaps in the Patriots’ favor, Rep 1 works for special teams captain Matthew Slater and has kept players like Ben Roethlisberger with the Steelers and Joe Staley with the 49ers. They’re used to dealing with the Patriots and are willing to work with their players’ teams, rather than pushing them all the way into free agency.

More than anything, the money will matter. If Cooks plays out his contract, he’ll be 25 years old as a free agent in March 2019, so he’ll still be short of his prime.

Cooks’ closest comparison might be Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton, who signed a five-year, $65 million extension ($11 million fully guaranteed) in 2015 when he was 25. Hilton was coming off a season in which he caught 82 passes for 1,345 yards and seven touchdowns, and the Colts had just raised a banner for reaching the AFC Championship Game.

This season, Cooks looks better by the week, on pace for 72 receptions, 1,257 yards and six touchdowns. Assuming he’ll progress in 2018, Cooks could post a nearly identical season to Hilton’s 2014.

The salary cap might be the biggest difference in the Cooks-Hilton parallel. The 2015 cap was $143 million, but it could be $187 million in 2019. At that point, if Hilton was worth $13 million in average annual value in 2015, would Cooks demand upward of $15 million annually in 2019?

Cooks could probably corral that much on the open market, but remember, his goal is to remain with the Patriots. And if he hasn’t already let his mind wander to his future contract negotiations, eventually he’ll recognize New England won’t pay top-market dollar for anyone, although they recently made an exception with cornerback Stephon Gilmore’s five-year, $65 million deal.

Who knows if Bill Belichick would be willing to fork over the same money to Cooks, and those are fair-market numbers for a receiving weapon on the rise who fit in from Day 1, which was also about the time he recognized his aspirations to remain with the Patriots for the long haul.

“Yeah, it’s pretty much been that feeling since I got in here,” Cooks said. “Just the respect that I have for Coach (Belichick), the Kraft family and the players around here, it’s huge.”

]]> 0 receiver Brandin Cooks breaks a tackle by Darron Lee of the New York Jets on Oct. 15. Cooks has been a great fit with New England and hopes it will be a long-term one.Fri, 24 Nov 2017 20:29:37 +0000
NFL notebook: Backup quarterback will start for Dolphins Sat, 25 Nov 2017 01:22:11 +0000 DAVIE, Fla. — Miami Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler was ruled out of Sunday’s game at New England because of a concussion and backup Matt Moore will make his second start of the season.

Cutler practiced Friday, but remains in the concussion protocol. He threw three interceptions in Sunday’s loss to Tampa Bay before leaving at halftime because of his injury.

Moore threw for 282 yards and a score in the second half. He started for an injured Cutler three weeks ago at Baltimore and Miami lost, 40-0.

Guard Jermon Bushrod (foot) and defensive end William Hayes (back) also were ruled out.

SAINTS: New Orleans ruled out its top two cornerbacks for Sunday’s game at the Los Angeles Rams: Marshon Lattimore and Ken Crawley.

Lattimore, the top cornerback selected in last spring’s draft at 11th overall, hasn’t practiced since twisting his left ankle Sunday during a victory against Washington. Crawley, a second-year-pro, also hasn’t practiced this week. He has an abdominal injury.

49ERS: San Francisco released linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong to make room for the return of defensive lineman Tank Carradine.

Carradine will be activated from injured reserve before Sunday’s game against Seattle. He’s been out since injuring his ankle in Week 3 against the Rams.

CHIEFS: Linebackers Dee Ford and Terrance Smith were ruled out for Sunday’s game against Buffalo, and newly signed cornerback Darrelle Revis could be active for the first time this season.

Coach Andy Reid said Revis, who signed a two-year deal Wednesday, moved around well in practice. Reid said it was clear the seven-time Pro Bowl pick has been out for a while, but “he looked good moving around.”

CARDINALS: Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald was fined $24,309 by the NFL for an illegal crackback block against Houston last Sunday.

Fitzgerald was assessed a 15-yard penalty after Adrian Peterson was stopped for no gain on the play, which occurred midway through the first quarter of the Cardinals’ 31-21 loss at Houston.

JETS: Running back Matt Forte will be a game-time decision to play against Carolina because of his ailing right knee.

Forte returned to practice on a limited basis, which marked slight progress after he hadn’t practiced or played since running for a season-high 77 yards Nov. 2 against Buffalo.

BILLS: Coach Sean McDermott isn’t ruling out receiver Kelvin Benjamin from playing Sunday at Kansas City even though Benjamin hasn’t practiced since hurting his right knee last weekend.

McDermott said Benjamin is considered day to day and was listed as questionable. Benjamin was hurt while being tackled after making a 20-yard catch during Buffalo’s opening drive Sunday in a 54-24 loss at the Los Angeles Chargers.

JAGUARS: Cornerback Jalen Ramsey said he won’t play Sunday against Arizona.

Ramsey was put on the team’s injury report after jamming his hand on a pass play in practice.

]]> 0 quarterback Matt Moore only missed one play after taking a helmet to the chin during Miami's 30-12 loss to Pittsburgh in the first-round of the playoffs Sunday.Fri, 24 Nov 2017 21:26:01 +0000
Former Penn State kicker rebuilds himself, not a team Sat, 25 Nov 2017 01:00:16 +0000 STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — The plan had been to swallow 50 sleeping pills and end it. That’s what Joey Julius kept telling himself last March, when he walked into Penn State’s football facility on a Monday morning and stepped on a scale for the first time in weeks.

The number mortified him. He no longer cared that he was the Nittany Lions kicker affectionately nicknamed “Big Toe.” He no longer cared if he lived. He told a team trainer that if he was left to return to his apartment alone, to his stash of pills, he would attempt suicide for the second time in three years.

Less than eight months later – after turning over the pills and checking into a rehabilitation clinic in St. Louis, leaving behind a college football program in the midst of its return to national prominence – Julius returned to campus and stepped on an auditorium stage on a Monday night this month.

He nervously held a microphone and began reading a speech to hundreds of his peers, tracing the arc of his descent into a binge-eating disorder. His voice was hurried at first. He wore a burgundy sweater and khakis, warning the crowd that it takes him an hour to pick out clothes every day until he finds something that makes him look skinny enough to appear in public.

“My body image has never been good,” Julius said.

But maybe the most startling confession that Julius made was that for the first time in his 22 years, he’s starting to learn how to love himself.

Public speaking has been therapeutic. So has his retreat to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, about 90 minutes’ drive away, where he attends a Penn State satellite school and roots for the Nittany Lions each weekend.

Julius finds peace in the fact he played a role in the program’s rebuild into one of the best in the country. But he’s more concerned with rebuilding himself, a process that has turned Julius into a powerful voice in the fight to bring awareness to eating disorders among males and athletes.

“I know that’s what he wants to do because he has this platform now,” said his mother, Patty Julius.


Joey Julius joked on the stage that he was afraid of his mother, that he would hide food from her starting from an early age. She would move the large wooden bed in his room to clean and find countless empty food wrappers hidden away.

She could see signs her son was obsessed with food – he would memorize restaurant signs and blurt them out in the car, and he would often eat secret meals with his father, Larry, after soccer practices before returning home to eat what his mother had cooked for dinner.

Joey said his relationship with his father was complicated by his struggle with binge eating, and that Larry, a former pro soccer player, had helped hook him on diuretics and diet pills.

“As a child I looked for approval from everyone. I even went to my own father and found no approval, and actually found conditions set by him, where I had to lose weight in order to earn his love,” Joey Julius said.

The feeling wasn’t limited to his own household. His pediatrician made jokes about his weight. A youth soccer coach made him keep a weight journal. As a teenager, where he starred in soccer and football at Lower Dauphin High in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania, some colleges offered scholarships but attached weight stipulations. Julius was binge eating so often he gained 40 pounds in a few months before arriving at Penn State to walk on as a kicker.

It only got worse once he started college with an unlimited meal plan and freedom away from his parents for the first time. His weight fluctuated between 240 and 280 pounds for much of the next three years, which seemed to bring one harrowing experience after another.

In the fall of 2015, he attempted suicide for the first time by overdose. After Penn State was upset by Temple in the season opener, his first game as the kicker, he returned to the locker room and heard people snickering. He checked his phone. It was nearly dead. He had thousands of Twitter notifications.

“I became a viral sensation because of the way I looked … I saw videos everywhere. Basically people … talking only about my weight and not about my play,” Julius said.


By 2016, listed at 5-foot-10, 258 pounds and his national profile revolving around his weight, his binge eating was spiraling out of control. He attended McCallum Place, the treatment facility in St. Louis with programs tailored to men and athletes, for the first time. Julius was focused on returning to football throughout his treatment and returned after a couple of months.

He went public with his struggle for the first time in a Facebook post in October 2016. He also made national headlines by delivering crushing hits on kick returns and bearing the brunt of several late hits by players at Minnesota and Maryland. For the first time, it finally seemed he was garnering attention for his play and not his weight.

But Julius continued to struggle with binge-eating, which brought on depression and anxiety, and it wasn’t until after he brought up his suicidal thoughts to Tim Bream, Penn State’s head athletic trainer, last March that he realized football wouldn’t fill the void in his life.

He returned to McCallum Place with a new mind-set. He started group therapy and returned to a regimented eating plan. There were only two other male adults, he said, but the key was Julius befriended two younger boys who had checked into the facility.

He never tried to tell them how to get better. He just tried to be a friend. They played countless games of Phase 10. They put together puzzles. They colored in coloring books.

“Sometimes there’s a stigma and some shame with the struggles that often times individuals with eating disorders experience prior to treatment. It can be very isolating,” said Riley Nickols, a psychologist who oversees the Victory Program, the sports-specific wing at McCallum Place where Julius was admitted. “Shared experiences can be a powerful agent to change and healing.”

Unlike the first time Julius was released from McCallum, he wasn’t driven to return to football. He just wanted to get better.

He moved to Harrisburg to begin new classes and be closer to his family. He plans to possibly return to the Penn State campus in the spring but won’t kick for the football team again.

Julius still sometimes struggles with buying food in public – “I could be buying salads and I’ll still have anxiety about it,” he said – but is beginning to accept his body for the first time. It remains an everyday struggle.

It was a struggle even as he took the stage and spoke on campus earlier this month, when he earned a standing ovation after giving the crowd a parting piece of advice.

“Compare and despair,” he said. “I am not like you, you are not like me. And If I keep trying to be like somebody that I’m not, then I will not be anything.”

]]> 0 Julius was heavily mocked on social media for the way he looked while kicking for the Penn State football team.Fri, 24 Nov 2017 20:27:06 +0000
NFL notebook: Brady back at practice for Patriots Fri, 24 Nov 2017 21:31:55 +0000 The New England Patriots had a busy holiday on the practice field Thursday.

Quarterback Tom Brady (Achilles), tight end Rob Gronkowski (illness) and safety Patrick Chung (ankle) returned on a limited basis after all three missed the initial workout of the week. Brady will play Sunday against the Miami Dolphins, according to a source.

But tight end Martellus Bennett (shoulder, hamstring) didn’t participate despite being limited Wednesday. He played through both injuries Sunday against the Oakland Raiders and hasn’t missed a single game in his season-plus with the Patriots despite dealing with an array of serious injuries.

Center David Andrews (illness), right tackle Marcus Cannon (ankle) and wide receiver Chris Hogan (shoulder) remained out of practice. Andrews had flu-like symptoms last week in Colorado and missed his first game of the season, and Cannon and Hogan have missed the last two games.

Slot receiver Danny Amendola (knee), defensive tackle Malcom Brown (ankle), cornerback Eric Rowe (groin) and special teams captain Matthew Slater (hamstring) were all limited again.

Amendola has played through his knee injury all season; his lone absence was due to a concussion. The Patriots believed Brown and Rowe were close enough to returning last week that they brought them to Colorado for practice, so they’re each a possibility for Sunday against the Dolphins.

DOLPHINS: Wide receiver Jarvis Landry has absolutely no back-down.

In the spring, Landry predicted that the Dolphins would sweep the Patriots this year – which has not happened since 2000.

Seven months later, the Dolphins have lost four straight and now not only need to win Sunday in Foxbororough – the first of two games against New England in three weeks – for bragging rights, but to save their season.

Landry met with reporters after practice and showed no signs of easing off the prediction.

“Honestly, it’s a pride thing and also it’s something for us, a mindset,” Landry said. “I spoke about it. They’re a team that I have great respect for always.”

You cannot sweep the Patriots without winning in Foxborough, which Miami has not done since 2008. The line for Sunday’s game is 171/2 points.

“I don’t care about Vegas,” Landry said. “I don’t care about Vegas. I don’t care about numbers. Any given Sunday, anybody can beat anybody. That’s the beauty of this league, that’s the beauty of the NFL, and that’s why I love this sport so much.

“You never know. This may be the game that turns our season around. You never know. For us, we just focus on ourselves and put good days together so that when we get to the game, we’re confident, we’re playing fast and we can pull one out.”

BEARS: Outside linebacker Leonard Floyd was placed on injured reserve, ending his season because of a knee injury.

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Bruins extend winning streak to four with 4-3 victory over Pittsburgh Fri, 24 Nov 2017 21:26:18 +0000 BOSTON — After letting a pair of two-goal leads slip away in the second period, the Boston Bruins got the break they needed early in the third and put an end to the rallies.

David Pastrnak scored on a breakaway 5:06 into the third period, snapping a 3-all tie and giving Boston the lead for good in a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday afternoon.

“Maybe we were a little sleepy, but we got a good break,” Pastrnak said. “When you’re playing a good way you get the lucky bounces and today went our way. I think we deserved it.”

Pastrnak got the puck in stride when Riley Nash threaded a pass to him at center ice, and then beat Pittsburgh goalie Matt Murray on his glove side for the only goal of the third period.

That was all Anton Khudobin needed as he stopped all eight shots he faced in the third and extended Boston’s winning streak to four. Khudobin, who’s been in net for all four, finished with 17 saves, including one with seven seconds left with the Penguins pushing hard for overtime.

“We’ve been consistently inconsistent for stretches of game. That just happened to be in the second period tonight,” Boston Coach Bruce Cassidy said. “I thought our response was good in the third period. We didn’t give up much and obviously created enough to score a goal and get the win.”

Matt Grzelcyk scored his first career goal and David Krejci had a goal and an assist for the Bruins, who are on their longest winning streak this season.

Sydney Crosby had a goal and an assist for Pittsburgh, which rallied from deficits of 2-0 and 3-1 with three goals in the second period. Matt Murray finished with 30 saves as the Penguins lost their third straight.

“I think everybody could be better,” Pittsburgh Coach Mike Sullivan said. “We need to be better if we’re going to get the results. We need to be more consistent. We can’t show up after the first 20 minutes of the game and expect to win games consistently.”

After being outshot 14-4 in the first period, Pittsburgh pulled within 2-1 just 1:02 into the second on a one-timer by Jake Guentzel with assists by Crosby and Kris Letang.

Grzelcyk put Boston back up 3-1 at 10:31 of the second when Krejci misfired on a slap shot from the blue line and the puck slowly found Grzelcyk for a wrist shot that hit Matt Murray’s glove and continued into the net. Grzelcyk, a product of Charlestown, Massachusetts, whose father works at TD Garden, is the seventh Boston player to score his first career goal this season.

Phil Kessel pulled the Penguins within 3-2 at 14:07 of the second, and then Crosby tied it with 2:16 left in the period on a goal that withstood two video reviews. Crosby tapped the puck in off Khudobin after the goaltender deflected a shot straight up and the puck landed on his chest. The play was under review for several minutes before the referees called it a goal. Cassidy felt Crosby interfered with Khudobin and challenged, but after a much shorter review the goal was still good.

Pittsburgh outshot Boston 8-5 in the third, but Khodobin didn’t let anything else past him.

“It was great that we were able to battle back, but we can’t put ourselves in that spot,” Crosby said.

Krejci scored 6:13 into the game and Sean Kuraly added a goal 10:51 in to put Boston up 2-0.

NOTES: The Penguins hadn’t lost three straight since Jan. 11-14 last season. … Pittsburgh C Evgeni Malkin was out of the lineup with an upper-body injury he sustained Wednesday in a game at Vancouver. … Crosby played in his 806th game for the Penguins, tying him with Jaromir Jagr for second most in team history, while RW Patric Hornqvist played in his 600th NHL game. … Boston D Torey Krug returned after missing three games with an upper body injury. … The Bruins were still without LW Brad Marchand (upper body) and RW Anders Bjork (undisclosed), both on IR and out for the fifth straight game.

]]> 0's Sidney Crosby moves to score on Boston Bruins goalie Anton Khudobin during the second period Friday at TD Garden in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)Fri, 24 Nov 2017 20:30:36 +0000
College football roundup: Pitt upsets previously unbeaten Miami Fri, 24 Nov 2017 21:09:48 +0000 PITTSBURGH — Miami spent the better part of 13 months putting together the nation’s longest winning streak behind a series of comebacks that returned the swagger to “The U” in all of its “Turnover Chain” glory.

Sluggish throughout the first half Friday against Pittsburgh, the Hurricanes figured they would come out for the third quarter, hit the gas and survive just the way they have done time and again during their rebirth under second-year coach Mark Richt.

Instead, Miami’s perfect season is over. The second-ranked Hurricanes can only hope their shot at a College Football Playoff berth isn’t gone, too.

Freshman quarterback Kenny Pickett ran for two touchdowns and threw for another as the Panthers (5-7, 3-5 Atlantic Coast) pulled out a decisive 24-14 stunner that sent Miami (10-1, 7-1) reeling into next week’s league title showdown with Clemson, the defending national champion.

“I still think there’s an awful lot to play for,” Miami Coach Mark Richt said. “We have no idea what’s going to happen in the big picture. How many teams lost a game on a Friday and came back and got in the top four? How many teams lost one game and won a conference championship, and got right back in it? Who knows? So we don’t know.”

(10) TEXAS CHRISTIAN 45, BAYLOR 22: Kenny Hill threw touchdowns to three receivers and ran three yards for another score as TCU (10-2, 7-2) clinched a spot in the Big 12 championship game by beating Baylor (1-11, 1-8) at Fort Worth, Texas.

The Horned Frogs will play No. 3 Oklahoma for the Big 12 title Dec. 2. That will come three weeks after TCU’s 38-20 loss to the Sooners.

Baylor jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the first two minutes, including a safety when Hill was sacked and fumbled in the end zone. But TCU was ahead for good after Hill’s 7-yard TD pass to Jarrison Stewart made it 14-9 with 26 seconds left in the first quarter.

Defensive end Mat Boesen set a TCU single-game record by recording 51/2 of the eight sacks by the Horned Frogs.

Coach Gary Patterson said he’s signed a new contract with TCU. The deal is, in general, a two-year extension through 2023.

(12) CENTRAL FLORIDA 49, (19) SOUTH FLORIDA 42: Mike Hughes 95-yard kickoff return with 1:28 remaining was the difference as Central Florida (11-0, 8-0 American Athletic) completed the first unbeaten regular season in program history with a wild victory against South Florida (9-2, 6-2) at Orlando, Florida.

The Knights will be home against Memphis in the conference title game Dec. 2.

Hughes’ touchdown capped a wild 53-second span where the Knights took an eight-point lead, South Florida tied it, then the Knights took the lead for good.

The Bulls made it 42-42 when Quinton Flowers connected with Darnel Salomon for an 83-yard touchdown, then found D’Ernest Johnson for a 2-point conversion. Flowers finished with 605 yards of total offense.


ARKANSAS: Coach Bret Bielema was fired after five disappointing season, moments after a season-ending 48-45 loss to Missouri.

The loss left Arkansas with a 4-8 record, capping only the second losing season of Bielema’s 12-year career. It also left him with a 29-34 record in his five seasons with the Razorbacks, including 11-29 in the SEC.

FLORIDA: Chip Kelly likely won’t become the school’s next coach, ending a two-week saga that included a meeting last Sunday in New Hampshire between school officials and the biggest name on the job market.

An Orlando Sentinel source confirmed a report by Yahoo! Sports that Kelly is out of the picture for the Gators. Florida officials couldn’t be reached for comment.

CLEMSON: Starting linebacker Tre Lamar will miss the Tigers’ regular-season finale with South Carolina on Saturday night with a back injury.

]]> 0 quarterback Kenny Pickett flips over defensive back Jaquan Johnson during the first half of the Panthers' 24-14 win over Miami in Pittsburgh on Friday. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)Fri, 24 Nov 2017 21:29:54 +0000
Watch: Bill Belichick analyzes nuances of Patriots’ win over Raiders Fri, 24 Nov 2017 14:57:52 +0000 Read more:

Patriots easily handle Raiders in Mexico

Commentary: Patriots’ defense no longer a big weakness

]]> 0, 24 Nov 2017 10:26:02 +0000
Girls’ hockey: Players to watch Fri, 24 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 Courtney Brochu, Scarborough junior defenseman: The first-team All-South selection is a speedy skater who will anchor the Red Storm’s defense while playing a key role in facilitating their offense.

Emily Demers, Portland/Deering junior forward: The North Yarmouth Academy transfer is fearlessly aggressive and will serve as one of the Bulldogs’ most dangerous scoring threats.

Abby Joy, Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland senior goalkeeper: An All-South pick, Joy is regarded as one of the top returning goalkeepers in the conference with her quick reflexes and understanding of angles.

Abby Lamontagne, Cheverus/Kennebunk sophomore forward: Lamontagne scored 27 goals with 13 assists as a freshman, earning first-team All-South honors. She is considered one of the state’s most dynamic forwards.

Zoe Mazur, Cheverus/Kennebunk junior defenseman: An all-around athlete, Mazur is a new addition to the up-and-coming team who could rival Scarborough’s Courtney Brochu as a top defenseman in the South.

Emma Merrill, Portland/Deering freshman defenseman: Merrill’s quickness and understanding of the game will play a key role in helping the Bulldogs improve upon a 1-17 record last season.

Bridget Roberts, Greely/Gray-New Gloucester senior forward: A leader on the team, Roberts contributed 15 goals and 11 assists for the North runner-up, earning first-team all-conference honors.

Kayla Sarazin, Falmouth junior defenseman: The second-team All-South pick uses her exceptional endurance to wear down opponents. Sarazin (five goals and 10 assists) and Abigail Lebel (14 goals and 10 assists) will anchor the regional champion’s defense.

Courtney Sullivan, Greely/Gray-New Gloucester senior forward: A Maine Sunday Telegram All-State and first-team All-North pick, Sullivan is a strong skater with a quick shot, leading the Rangers with 29 goals and 10 assists.

Sophia Venditti, Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland junior forward: The first-team All-South pick scored 19 goals and chipped in with 15 assists last season. Her consistency, work ethic and hockey IQ make her tough to defend.

– Taylor Vortherms

]]> 0 Thu, 23 Nov 2017 20:40:48 +0000
Girls’ hockey: Teams to watch Fri, 24 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 1. Cheverus/Kennebunk: The Stags started turning heads last season (9-10) with the addition of Abby Lamontagne, who finished with 27 goals and 13 assists as a freshman. This year the team adds junior Zoe Mazur, who Coach Scott Rousseau calls one of the top defensemen in the South. Cheverus/Kennebunk also will benefit from talented freshmen Emma McCauley and Lucia Pompeo – younger sister to junior forward Sophia Pompeo – as well as a transfer from Falmouth, defenseman Sarah Noyes. Rousseau said senior Anna Smith also has developed into a solid goalkeeper.

2. Scarborough: After falling to Falmouth in the South final, the Red Storm (14-5-1) return key players and boast a lot of depth. Forwards Lucy Bogdanovich, a senior, and Taylor Veilleux, a junior, are expected to lead the offense. Defensively, the Red Storm suffered tough losses to graduation, including defenseman Lily Nygren and goalkeeper McKenzie Cormier. But they retain junior Courtney Brochu (10 assists and six goals), one of the top defensemen in the South. The Red Storm also has a new coach in Caitlin Jordan, who is replacing longtime coach Caitlin D’Amour. The Red Storm’s success likely will hinge on their goalkeeping.

3. Greely/Gray-NG: The Rangers (17-3), who lost to St. Dominic in the last two North finals, return their top playmaker in Courtney Sullivan – a senior who had 29 goals and 10 assists last year. She has 77 career goals. Coach Nate Guerin also will rely on Bridget Roberts (15 goals and 11 assists) and Molly Horton on offense. The Rangers graduated some key players but Guerin expects Sullivan to pick up any slack and “win a handful of games by herself.”

4. Falmouth: The defending Southern Maine champion (16-5) lost four seniors in Evie Clement, Devon Sarazin, Caroline Proctor and goalkeeper Ally Hurdman – all four-year varsity players. The Yachtsmen also are experiencing what Coach Rob Carrier called an “anomalous year” in that they have no freshmen, though he expects an incoming class of seven or eight next year. Carrier will rely on Kayla Sarazin (five goals and 10 assists) and Abigail Lebel (14 goals and 10 assists) to anchor the defense in front of goalkeeper Julia Bonnvie. The Carmichael sisters – Stone and Reade – will lead the offense. “Our forwards are a little bit different from years past,” Carrier said, “so we’ll have to be more of a grind-it-out offense than the skilled possession type of team we have been.”

5. Portland/Deering: Over the past three years, the Bulldogs (1-17) lost 44 of 54 games. This season likely will be much different, suggested by a 6-4 preseason win over Scarborough. Portland/Deering is experiencing a surge of new talent with seven freshmen as well as a North Yarmouth Academy transfer, Emily Demers. Demers will serve as one of the Bulldogs’ top threats, with freshman Caroline Lerch and junior Inez Braceras also likely to contribute on offense. Defensively, freshman Emma Merrill – a speedy skater – will serve as a game-changer for the up-and-coming program. Behind new coach, Tom Clifford – whose daughter, Kim, is a freshman defenseman – the Bulldogs look poised to make the playoffs for the first time since 2012.

– Taylor Vortherms

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Girls’ hockey preview: Portland-based programs are on the rise Fri, 24 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0000 As a member of the Portland/Deering girls’ hockey team, Maeve LeClair is quite familiar with losing.

LeClair, a senior forward who attends Casco Bay High, has suffered through three dismal seasons – including last year’s 1-17 record.

“Losing was the norm,” LeClair said. “Everyone goes into the locker room and they’re fine. That’s what ended up happening as the years went on.”

This season things are different for Portland/Deering, which experienced an influx of talent and likely will join Cheverus/Kennebunk (9-10) as teams on the rise in the South. The two Portland-based programs could rival regional powers Falmouth and Scarborough – which have met in the Southern final the past four years – for a spot in the state championship.

“I’m not sure I’m ready to say Falmouth or Scarborough is ready to be knocked off that pedestal,” said Portland/Deering’s new coach, Tom Clifford. “We’re still in the process of learning how to win.”

Since LeClair joined Portland/Deering in 2014, the Bulldogs have lost 44 of 54 games. They haven’t made the playoffs since 2012 and never have won a state title. But this season Portland/Deering will add seven incoming freshmen as well as a North Yarmouth Academy transfer Emily Demers – a junior forward from Deering High who is a dangerous scoring threat.

Clifford expects most of the freshmen to play significant roles – most notably Emma Merrill, a speedy skater from Portland High who anchors the defense. Clifford’s daughter, Kim – a freshman at Baxter Academy – is also a defenseman on the team.

“We will be scary different from last year,” said Clifford, who coached the South Portland boys for 11 years before taking a hiatus. “I’ve been trying to kind of keep it quiet, but then we went out and beat Scarborough.”

On Nov. 11, the Bulldogs defeated Scarborough 6-4 in a preseason game.

“After we won it was crazy,” Demers said. “It was like, ‘Here we go. We’re just going to go up from here.’ ”

LeClair, who was away touring colleges during that game, said she couldn’t believe it when she got the news.

“I was awestruck. I had never seen numbers like that from my team,” LeClair said. “The thing that stands out to me that’s different from past years is just the excitement to play and work hard to get better.”

Cheverus/Kennebunk Coach Scott Rousseau, entering his second year with the team, said his Stags were in a similar position of rebuilding last season.

Coming off an 11-0 loss to Falmouth in the 2015-16 regional semifinals, Cheverus/Kennebunk took the Yachtsmen into overtime in their second game of the season last year before losing, 6-5. But their greatest feat happened almost two months later on Jan. 23 when they defeated Scarborough 3-2 in overtime, rectifying a 3-0 loss to the Red Storm a week earlier.

“As a coaching staff we thought we were good enough to start winning,” Rousseau said. “But they didn’t really believe in themselves until that game. That was the moment where they said, ‘Wow, we’re not a doormat. We can beat these teams.’ ”

Since 2012, Falmouth and Scarborough have taken turns exchanging places in the state final, with each programs capturing three regional championships.

Now the Stags are no longer underdogs, thanks largely to Kennebunk sophomore Abby Lamontagne, who scored the winner against Scarborough, and finished last season with 27 goals and 13 assists as a freshman. And Rousseau said he expects Cheverus junior Zoe Mazur to rival Courtney Brochu of Scarborough as the top defenseman in the south.

“Last season we focused on a lot of skill components,” Lamontagne said. “This season we already have those basic skills. They’re not perfect but we’ll pick up where we finished last year.”

“What Cheverus did last year was kind of like their first step, and this year we’re going to see a much bigger step,” said Falmouth Coach Rob Carrier, whose team beat Scarborough in last season’s regional title game before falling to St. Dominic in the state final. “Portland might be in Cheverus’ position last year where they weren’t a playoff team and now they’re going to be one.”

The Casco Bay Hockey Association feeds talent to both the Portland/Deering and Cheverus/Kennebunk programs. Demers and Merrill of Portland/Deering and Lamontagne and Mazur of Cheverus/Kennebunk competed on the under-14 team that advanced to the 2016 Tier II national championships in Burlington, Vermont.

Cheverus/Kennebunk and Portland/Deering will face each other Dec. 9 at their shared home – Troubh Ice Arena.

“They’ve suffered for a couple years but now they’re excited,” Clifford said. “Winning cures all.”


]]> 0 Lerch and her Portland/Deering teammates have suffered their share of losses, but that figures to change this year.Fri, 24 Nov 2017 22:53:07 +0000
NFL: Washington beats Giants, 20-10, in turkey of a game Fri, 24 Nov 2017 04:50:03 +0000 LANDOVER, Md. — Kirk Cousins threw two touchdown passes to compensate for a pick-6, and Washington beat the New York Giants 20-10 on Thursday night on a drab field in a drab game between two injury-depleted teams that did not look ready for prime time.

The first half, in particular, was devoid of highlights: The NFC East rivals combined for nine punts and only six points.

But Cousins led Washington (5-6) on two TD drives in the second half, connecting with Jamison Crowder on a 15-yarder in the third quarter that broke a 3-all tie, and with Josh Doctson on a 14-yarder with 3 1/2 minutes remaining in the game.

In between, cornerback Janoris Jenkins intercepted Cousins’ pass and returned the ball 53 yards to make it 10-all.

In the second half, the Giants (2-9) had one possession end with an interception by Eli Manning, four end with punts and another when they turned the ball over on downs.

]]> 0 York Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins reaches for a pass intended for Washington wide receiver Josh Doctson during the first half in Landover, Md., on Thursday.Thu, 23 Nov 2017 23:51:56 +0000
Sports Digest: Defending champion Spieth falls back at Australian Fri, 24 Nov 2017 03:20:13 +0000 GOLF

Defending champ Spieth faltering at Australian Open

Defending champion Jordan Spieth failed to take advantage of ideal scoring conditions at the Australian Open on Friday, shooting an even-par 71 to fall further behind the leaders.

After an opening 70, he was at 1-under 141 and eight strokes behind clubhouse leader Lucas Herbert, who shot 66 on Friday and was at 9-under 133.

First-round leader Cameron Davis, who led by two strokes after a 63, had an afternoon start, as did Jason Day, who trailed Davis by three shots.

Spieth, who hasn’t played since the Presidents Cup in late September, has won the Australian Open two out of the last three years and finished second the other time.

At least his morning start Saturday means he will avoid the windy conditions that the leading groups will have to contend with at The Australian in the afternoon.

EUROPEAN TOUR: S.S.P. Chawrasia had six birdies and a bogey for a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke lead Thursday at the Hong Kong Open, the first event of the 2018 season.

Playing in sunny but breezy conditions at the Hong Kong Golf Club, the greens had the players struggling to gauge the approach.

Shubhankar Sharma and Matthew Fitzpatrick (both 66) were one shot behind, while seven others were tied for fourth a further stroke behind.

Justin Rose, who won the title in 2015, was 2 under with five birdies and three bogeys.


FIFA RANKINGS: Ten of the top 32 teams in the latest FIFA rankings will not be in the World Cup draw next week.

No. 10 Chile, No. 14 Italy, and No. 24 the United States are among those who will be missing on Dec. 1 at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow.

All five of the Asian Football Confederation’s World Cup entries are outside the top 32.

Defending champion Germany leads an unchanged top five ahead of Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, and Belgium. Spain is up two places to No. 6.

European teams that won World Cup playoffs this month rose. Switzerland moved up three spots to No. 8, while Denmark and Sweden each climbed seven to Nos. 12 and 18, respectively.

FIFA used October rankings to decide the draw seedings, and avoided giving playoff teams an advantage.


DAVIS CUP: France captain Yannick Noah surprisingly cut Nicolas Mahut from his squad to face Belgium in the Davis Cup final this weekend.

Noah, who has captained France to victory twice, instead included Richard Gasquet in his four-man team at the draw on Thursday.

Mahut was expected to play in doubles after training with Julien Benneteau, who was not selected either.


FORMULA ONE: After nearly losing his right hand, Robert Kubica could be steering a Formula One car with it next year.

If he returns it will complete a remarkable comeback for the 32-year-old Polish driver, rated as one of the quickest in F1 before a gruesome rally accident left him needing seven hours of surgery on a partially severed right hand, and numerous subsequent operations.

Kubica did F1 testing for Renault earlier this season and recently with the Williams team, and is in consideration for an F1 seat in 2018.

No announcement is planned during this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Williams says. But in what appears to be a boost for his ambitions, Williams announced Wednesday that Kubica will take part in Pirelli tire testing after the race.

– Staff and news service report

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NHL notebook: Bruins riding hot hand in goal Fri, 24 Nov 2017 03:05:44 +0000 NEWARK, N.J. — Every point will matter for the Bruins in their bid to be a playoff team.

That’s why Coach Bruce Cassidy opted Wednesday night to keep riding his hot hand in goal, Anton Khudobin, who made his third straight start.

The decision paid off handsomely, as Khudobin delivered a brilliant 40-save performance, plus 10 more stops in the 11-round shootout, to give Boston a 3-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils.

“He’s played well and deserves to start games,” Cassidy said before the game.

“Whether they’re all consecutively or not, that’s the decisions we’re making. We’ll see how it goes, and we’ll worry about the next game (Friday at home against Pittsburgh). But right now, the guys are playing well in front of him, and he looks confident and composed. He’s playing good hockey for us.

“I’ve talked to Tuukka (Rask) about this. He’s not happy, but he gets it. We’re creating competition while we’re getting good goaltending out of Anton. Hopefully it makes Tuukka a better goaltender down the road. It makes our team better, certainly, when your backup is giving you those quality starts.”

After staying on the ice with the extra skaters Wednesday morning, Rask (3-7-2, 2.89 goals-against average, .897 save percentage) talked about sitting out again.

“Obviously it’s disappointing,” he said. “The only thing I can really do is practice hard, prepare like I was playing and get ready. (Khudobin) has been playing great. So yeah, it’s obviously disappointing. I’ll play when I play.

“It’s adversity. Like I’ve said all year long, I’ve felt good about my game. It’s not like I’ve had to work on certain things. The results haven’t been there. When the results aren’t there, the other guy is playing. And you keep working and wait for your turn. That’s all it really is. … I don’t want to overthink it and get too mad about the situation. You just keep working hard and believe that good things will happen.”

It’s likely Khudobin (6-0-2) will be back in net tomorrow against Pittsburgh.

And Rask will simply wait.

“Every time I play, I try to be at my best,” Rask said. “I’m not going to change that. Sitting out a week or two weeks, I don’t think it’s going to help me if I go out there and try to be super-hyped (to) prove that I’m a good goalie. I’ve been feeling good about my game. Whenever I play, I’ll just try to be my normal self and hope that the results will follow.”

BRUINS FORWARD Ryan Spooner returned to the lineup Wednesday and played 10:17 after missing 14 games because of a torn groin muscle. He skated as a winger on the third line with Noel Acciari and Riley Nash and played on the power play, which was 0 for 4.

Rookie defenseman Matt Grzelcyk played his second NHL game this season, paired with Kevan Miller.

Forward Matt Beleskey and defenseman Paul Postma were scratched. Brad Marchand missed his fourth game because of a concussion.

Forward Jordan Swarz was returned to AHL Providence.

THE MONTREAL Canadiens traded forward Torrey Mitchell to the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday for a 2018 fifth-round conditional draft pick.

If Los Angeles makes the postseason, the Canadiens receive their own 2018 fourth-round pick in 2018 back. It was traded away in the Dwight King deal at last season’s trade deadline.

Should the Kings miss the playoffs, Montreal receives a fifth-round selection.

The 32-year-old Mitchell was scoreless in 11 games this season for the Canadiens. He had eight goals and nine assists in 78 games last season, and has 61 goals and 80 assists in 617 regular-season games in 10 seasons with San Jose, Minnesota, Buffalo and Montreal.

]]> 0 Thu, 23 Nov 2017 22:27:00 +0000
College basketball roundup: No. 1 Duke needs rally for victory Fri, 24 Nov 2017 03:04:39 +0000 PORTLAND, Ore. — Trevon Duval had 22 points Thursday and top-ranked Duke pulled away for a 99-81 victory against surprisingly tenacious Portland State.

Marvin Bagley III added 18 points, and Grayson Allen had 14 points and nine assists for the Blue Devils (6-0) against the Vikings (4-1).

Duke trailed by as many as eight points but took control midway through the second half when Wendell Carter Jr.’s dunk put the Blue Devils in front, 67-62. They went on to lead by as many as 21 points.

(5) VILLANOVA 85, TENNESSEE 76: Jalen Brunson scored 25 points to help Villanova (5-0) rally from 15 down and beat Tennessee (3-1) at Paradise Island, Bahamas.

(9) NORTH CAROLINA 102, PORTLAND 78: Luke Maye scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, Joel Berry II added 18 points and visiting North Carolina (4-0) had five players in double figures in overwhelming Portland (2-2).

(15) XAVIER 83, GEORGE WASHINGTON 64: Trevon Bluiett had 20 points as Xavier (5-0) beat George Washington (2-3) at Las Vegas.

WESTERN KENTUCKY 77, (18) PURDUE 73: Darius Thompson hit two clinching free throws with 5.1 seconds left to help Western Kentucky (3-2) upset Purdue (4-2) at Paradise Island, Bahamas.

RHODE ISLAND 75, (20) SETON HALL 74: Jared Terrell made a running layup with 5.2 seconds left to give Rhode Island (3-1) a victory over Seton Hall (4-1) at New York.

(21) SAINT MARY’S 89, HARVARD 71: Jock Landale scored 26 points and Saint Mary’s (5-0) withstood getting outscored in the second half to beat Harvard (2-3) at Fullerton, California.


(7) MISSISSIPPI STATE 65, (24) ARIZONA STATE 57: Victoria Vivians scored 17 points and Roshunda Johnson added 16 to help Mississippi State (4-0) beat Arizona State (4-1) at Cancun, Mexico.

(8) BAYLOR 100, MISSOURI STATE 58: Lauren Cox had 18 points, 10 rebounds and seven blocked shots as Baylor (4-1) beat Missouri State (1-3) at Bimini, Bahamas.

(9) OHIO STATE 100, MEMPHIS 69: Stephanie Mavunga scored a career-high 35 points and had 16 rebounds to lead Ohio State (5-1) over Memphis (1-4) at Las Vegas.

(11) WEST VIRGINIA 75, BUTLER 68: Teana Muldrow had 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists, Naomi Davenport added 16 points and 15 boards, and West Virginia (4-0) beat Butler (3-2) at Melbourne, Florida.

(12) TENNESSEE 101, MARQUETTE 99: Anastasia Hayes scored the last five points in the final minute of overtime for Tennessee (4-0) against Marquette (1-2) at Puerto Aventuras, Mexico.

]]> 0 Thu, 23 Nov 2017 22:28:11 +0000
Celtics notebook: Irving reshaping his priorities Fri, 24 Nov 2017 03:01:55 +0000 MIAMI — At 25, Kyrie Irving admits his priorities as one of the greatest scorers in the NBA have changed. The 47 points he scored Monday night in Dallas might have been necessary in that game, but that’s no longer the kind of number that dominates his nightly thoughts.

“The focus is a lot different on a lot of different things when you’re younger,” Irving said before Wednesday morning’s shootaround at AmericanAirlines Arena. “Also it could be different things you’re going through where you are, or just development.

“You watch the rest of the guys win championships and get accolades that are team-oriented, and that starts to mean a lot more for those players, because that’s what your legacy is going to be remembered by. It’s always good to have those individual accolades, but it’s not like being on an unbelievable team.”

Irving, of course, has already been on an unbelievable Cleveland team that, thanks to his 3-pointer with 53 seconds left in Game 7, beat Golden State for the 2016 NBA title.

But his priorities have changed, with a Celtics system that values spacing and ball movement perfect for his evolving way of thinking.

“Some guys get there a lot quicker,” said Irving. “For example, the prototypical guy is (San Antonio’s) Kawhi (Leonard). He’s been in the Spurs system since he was a kid, being in that culture and learning how to be a winner right when he came into the league.

“Other guys, it can vary on where you’re picked, going into a situation where your focus is on how many points you can score when you’re in a game, the accolades that separate you from the rest of the group.”

Irving believes that maturity influenced his reaction when Gordon Hayward went down with a season-ending leg injury on opening night in Cleveland.

“I just think that was my approach coming in, to be as unselfish as possible, but also understand that my mark as a player as well was to be for the betterment of the group,” he said. “I had to figure out how to do my best at that, and it was going to be pretty easy from there.”

That was especially true during the two performances before Wednesday night’s game against Miami. In addition to averaging 38.5 points in the wins over Atlanta and Dallas, he shot 26 of 34 overall (.764) and 10 of 13 (.769) from downtown.

“Pretty fun out there, man. Makes the game a lot easier,” he said. “We have guys who want to do everything out there to win a game, and it’s been improving every single night.”

Irving added that only now is he in what he calls “tip-top” shape.

“The summer was a little hectic for me, so coming in I wasn’t in as (optimal) shape as I would have liked to be at the start of it,” he said. “Preseason wasn’t great for that, and the beginning of the season wasn’t great at all; just a lot of extra things you just had to get used to. And now that we’re getting further into the season, 19 games, you just start hitting a mark where a guy gets into his ultimate rhythm.”

Said Coach Brad Stevens: “It’s all about making the right next basketball play, and he sees the game at such a high level. He has such incredible skill that he’s going to draw a lot of attention.

“Sometimes the right basketball play is to make a kick-out, sometimes to make a shot, and he has made it over and over. He’s been terrific.”

KELLY OLYNYK can’t exactly say it’s like he never left Boston. Not while sunny November days are breaking 80 degrees in his new city.

But if the Miami forward actually harbored a desire to not hear about his former team and the 16-game winning streak it carried into Wednesday night’s game, it wouldn’t be possible.

“It’s hard not to (hear about the Celtics), they’ve been everywhere,” Olynyk said Wednesday. “They’ve been doing a fantastic job. Just finding ways to win games. That’s where they’re at right now.”

Asked if any additional motivation came with the opportunity to break a long winning streak, Olynyk shrugged.

“A little bit. It’s more we want to win than stop the streak,” he said. “If they’re coming in on a 16-game losing streak, we still want to win. But 16 games is a good feat. … It’s fun – fun being able to see those guys that you played with and the staff you worked with for multiple years. … You know what they’re going to do, it’s the same system pretty much. But they run it real well.”

AFTER SOME doubt, Marcus Morris declared himself fit to play Wednesday following a flare-up in his tender left knee. The Celtics are being particularly cautious by putting a minutes restriction on the power forward and a ban on playing both ends of back-to-back games.

The Celtics have another such swing coming up this weekend, with Friday night’s home game against Orlando followed by a Saturday night game in Indianapolis.

]]> 0 Irving (11) of the Celtics watches with teammates during the second half of their loss to the Heat in Miami on Wednesday night. Irving says scoring achievements can't compare to being on an 'unbelievable team.'Thu, 23 Nov 2017 22:29:35 +0000
Suddenly, not much going right for Elway’s Broncos Fri, 24 Nov 2017 02:53:21 +0000 ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Twenty-one months ago, John Elway was basking in a confetti shower as he put his fingerprints on the third Super Bowl trophy he’s captured for the Denver Broncos and dedicated it to team owner Pat Bowlen, who’s battling Alzheimer’s.

Not much has gone right for Elway and the Broncos since that night in Northern California. Gary Kubiak resigned. Peyton Manning retired. Brock Osweiler bolted.

Mark Sanchez bombed. Paxton Lynch flopped. C.J. Anderson crumbled. Brandon McManus missed. Russell Okung exited. DeMarcus Ware departed.

Wade Phillips left. Calais Campbell snubbed. Trevor Siemian struggled. Vance Joseph dawdled. Brock Olivo ducked. Mike McCoy pink-slipped.

Ever since Von Miller led the Broncos past Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50, the franchise has been in a state of flux.

Kubiak fell ill after a 4-0 start last season and the Broncos haven’t been an elite team since. They’ve won just eight of their past 22 games and are mired in a six-game losing streak, their longest single-season skid since 1990.

That’s a measly .363 winning percentage for a franchise that’s been to two of the past four Super Bowls.

If they can’t turn things around Sunday in Oakland with Bill Musgrave calling the shots and Lynch the plays, they’ll have their biggest nosedive since losing a franchise-worst nine straight in 1967.

Instability has finally caught up to the Broncos, who have been a picture of change really throughout Elway’s seven seasons as general manager with four offensive coordinators, four defensive coordinators, three head coaches and now six quarterbacks.

That kind of constant change can crimp the growth and mitigate the impact of draft classes.

The Broncos’ five-year reign as AFC West champs that began when Elway rejoined his beloved Broncos as the chief of football operations in 2011 ended last season with a 9-7 mark.

When Kubiak stepped down, Denver’s vacancy was seen as the most desirable opening in the league because of its championship-caliber defense and the perceived need only to reboot, not rebuild.

Their fade last season proved more foreboding than fluke, however.

They started strong in September again, taking a 3-1 record and visions of another Super Bowl run into their bye week, and they haven’t won since.

Elway chimed in last weekend as the Broncos were preparing to host the Bengals.

“To be dead honest with you, we got a little bit soft,” Elway declared. “We went 4-0 in the preseason, we started out 3-1, then we get a bye week and if you exhale in this league, you’re in trouble.”

After the Broncos lost to the Bengals at home for the first time since 1975, Joseph said Elway’s insult initially offended him but he quickly realized his boss was right.

This defense isn’t special anymore. No team has surrendered more touchdown passes than the 22 Denver has allowed. The offense is bogged down again by mental mistakes and turnovers.

In a 25-point loss to New England, special teams blunders led to 24 points for the Patriots, who have now outscored the Broncos 57-19 in Denver since losing the AFC title game here two years ago in the final installment of Manning vs. Brady.

Though the Broncos have been outscored 185-85 during their skid, several players said calling them soft was uncalled for.

“I understand this is his team and he put it together, so his name is on it, but it’s our skin in the game,” linebacker Brandon Marshall said.

“Nobody is soft on this team. We work our butt off and we work hard. We play hard and we go out there and give it 100 percent every game and every practice. We just fall short.”

Miller, though, said he couldn’t argue with Elway’s point.

“That’s the type of team that we’ve developed into,” Miller said. “That’s what we got. It’s the truth. He’s telling the truth.”

But was he telling the whole truth?

Some didn’t think he was taking enough responsibility.

“Everybody in this organization is accountable for how we are playing right now,” said star cornerback Chris Harris Jr.

That includes Elway, who hasn’t drafted an All-Pro since 2011 and who has a spotty record in free agency ever since Manning went from main attraction to fellow NFL alum.

]]> 0 ELWAYThu, 23 Nov 2017 21:57:00 +0000
NFL: Surging Chargers roll past Cowboys, 28-6 Fri, 24 Nov 2017 00:34:27 +0000 ARLINGTON, Texas — Philip Rivers was more than comfortable on the Thanksgiving stage for the first time in his 14 NFL seasons.

Same with Keenan Allen, who didn’t have to wait nearly that long.

Rivers threw for 434 yards and three touchdowns, Allen had a career-high 172 yards in his second straight huge game and the Los Angeles Chargers beat the fading Dallas Cowboys 28-6 on Thursday.

Desmond King returned an interception 90 yards for the punctuating touchdown. The Chargers (5-6) moved within 11/2 games of AFC West-leading Kansas City after starting 0-4 while the Chiefs won their first five.

“Playing on Thanksgiving was everything it was cranked up to be,” said Rivers, who was 27 of 33 in his ninth career 400-yard game. “As a quarterback, you want to play well and throw it to your guys, and we did a lot today. But I’m more excited about our team.”

The defending NFC East champion Cowboys (5-6) have lost three straight games by at least 20 points for the first time since 2004, all without suspended star running back Ezekiel Elliott in a damaging slide for their fading playoff hopes.

Dallas, playing its 50th Thanksgiving game, finally ended a touchdown drought at a team-record 10 quarters on Rod Smith’s 2-yard run early in the fourth quarter. The Cowboys have been outscored 72-6 in the second half of the three losses.

Quarterback Dak Prescott has looked lost without Elliott, his backfield mate for a pair of remarkable rookie seasons that led the Cowboys to the best record in the NFC last season. Prescott had two interceptions, giving him five in two games after throwing just four a year ago.

Last year’s NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year has nine picks for the season and the Cowboys already have twice as many losses as a year ago with Elliott only halfway through a six-game suspension for alleged domestic violence.

“The last thing I’m doing is pointing a finger and saying, ‘We need this guy, we need that to happen,'” said Prescott, who was 20 of 27 for 179 yards in his third straight game without a TD pass. “I’m going to say we’ve just got to figure out what’s going on and get out of this slump.”

Rivers had seven completions of at least 22 yards, including Allen’s 42-yard catch-and-run when he weaved through five defenders for a 22-6 lead.

Allen, in his fifth season, has two of his three biggest yardage games in the past two weeks. He had 11 catches and a score after 12 grabs for 159 yards and two TDs in a 54-24 win over Buffalo.

LA, with 500-plus total yards (515) for the first time in two years, overcame the loss of kicker Nick Novak to a back injury, the second straight game that Dallas’ opposing kicker was injured and in the same game that Dallas’ Dan Bailey returned after missing four games with a groin injury.

Just like last week in the Cowboys’ blowout loss to division-leading Philadelphia, neither of the kickers mattered much with the Dallas offense sputtering and the defense not getting key stops.

Four-time Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith returned for Dallas after missing two games with back and groin injuries, but the Cowboys lost 2014 All-Pro right guard Zack Martin to a concussion in the first half.

Austin Ekeler had a 38-yard catch to set up the Chargers first touchdown in the third quarter, and Tyrell Williams added a 31-yard grab before making a 27-yard scoring catch.

]]> 0 Henry, center, of the Chargers celebrates his touchdown catch with Tyrell Williams. left, and Keenan Allen (13) in the second half Thursday's game against the Cowboys in Arlington, Texas. TheChargers rolled to a 28-6 win.Thu, 23 Nov 2017 21:29:40 +0000
NFL: Vikings hold off Lions, 30-23 Thu, 23 Nov 2017 21:22:23 +0000 DETROIT — Case Keenum stood in the pocket to take a hit, dipped his right shoulder to slip out of a sack and shuffled his feet in the pocket to give his receivers more time to get open.

Looking like a savvy winner, instead of a journeyman, he picked apart Detroit’s defense with his arm and made plays with his legs to help the Minnesota Vikings beat the Lions 30-23 Thursday.

Keenum threw for two touchdowns and ran for a score in the first half to give the Vikings a double-digit lead and they went on to win a seventh straight game.

They took a huge step toward winning the NFC North by taking a three-game lead over the second-place Lions.

Keenum, undrafted out of Houston in 2012, is suddenly 7-2 this season after going 9-15 with the Houston Texas and the St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams.

“I want to be great and I have confidence in myself that I can be great,” he said.

The Vikings signed him to be a backup and he has made the most of his opportunities with Sam Bradford injured and Teddy Bridgewater recovering from a knee injury.

Keenum was 21 of 30 for 282 yards with both TD passes going to Kyle Rudolph, giving the Vikings a 20-3 lead late in the second quarter.

“Case is amazing because he does so many small things to pick up first downs and keep drives alive,” Rudolph said.

“Every time he finds a way to convert another third down, it means we’ve got three more plays to attack the defense. With the number of big-play guys we’ve got now, we can do a lot of damage with those three plays.”

Detroit (6-5) made mistakes in every phase of the game and Minnesota took advantage. Keenum’s 1-yard pass to Rudolph was made a little easier because the Lions had just 10 defenders on the field.

And, Keenum’s 9-yard run came after Matthew Stafford was charged with a fumble while trying to hand off to Ameer Abdullah.

Instead of winning to pull within a game of Minnesota and having a potential tiebreaker, the Lions’ loss hurts their chances of making a second straight postseason appearance.

“Don’t count us out just yet,” Detroit coach Jim Caldwell said. “We’ve got a lot of football yet to play.”

The Lions rallied to pull within four points early in the fourth quarter on Stafford’s second TD pass to Marvin Jones, who leaped to beat two defensive backs for the 43-yard score as his quarterback was on the turf with an injured right ankle.

Xavier Rhodes sidetracked Detroit’s comeback hopes with an interception at the Detroit 37 late in the game.

Detroit’s Darius Slay blocked a field goal with 1:15 left and teammate Nevin Lawson recovered the ball and returned it 77 yards for an apparent TD, but it was negated by Slay being offside and that quieted a roaring crowd.

]]> 0 quarterback Case Keenum, left, pulls away from the Detroit defense to score on a 9-yard rush in the first half on Thursday. The Vikings won, 30-23.Thu, 23 Nov 2017 18:53:37 +0000
Deering defeats Portland, 22-20, in Thanksgiving Day game Thu, 23 Nov 2017 18:25:24 +0000 The Deering High football fans owe a special thanks to their special teams for the 22-20 victory over Portland in the 106th Thanksgiving Day game Thursday.

In addition to a successful onside kick to open the second half, the Rams blocked two punts and earned a safety on another, taking a 2-0 lead in the first quarter. Those two points were crucial to ending Portland’s four-year Thanksgiving Day winning streak.

Portland, which shut out Deering 41-0 in last season’s game, still leads the series, 58-41-7.

“It’s not a Portland-Deering thing, it’s a community thing,” Deering Athletic Director Melanie Craig said of the tradition. “If you were here today and saw the battle, this is what it’s all about.”

With roughly 1,300 at Fitzpatrick Stadium, the rivals put on a show.

Down 22-14 with six minutes remaining, Portland quarterback Terion Moss brought the ball into scoring territory on a 21-yard run before rushing for 14 yards and a first down on fourth-and-3.

With two minutes remaining, Moss again kept the drive alive on fourth-and-inches by plunging forward for just enough, setting up Portland with a first down at the Deering 3.

From there, Moss placed a throw just out of reach of a Deering player into the arms of Samuel Knop for a touchdown with 1:20 left, cutting Deering’s lead to 22-20.

At that point, Deering Coach Jason Jackson was regretting his call to not take the extra point following the Rams’ last touchdown. With 6:09 left, a failed 2-point conversion by Deering kept it a one-score game.

“We should have went for one instead of two. I got greedy,” Jackson said. “I guess you could say it was all a plan for my defense to do what they’re supposed to do. We wanted to make it interesting.”

On the Bulldogs’ attempted 2-point, tying conversion, Wenston Dinizio and Matt Hanson got the job done by tackling Moss for a loss to keep the game from entering overtime.

Afterward, Hanson, a senior, patted Jackson on the back. “Coach, I’m sorry it took us so long to win that,” he said.

Deering was relentless, starting with a blocked punt on the Bulldogs’ opening possession. On Portland’s next series, after going three-and-out again, a high snap on a punt sailed into the end zone. The Rams swarmed the punter before he could bring the ball out, resulting in a safety and a 2-0 lead with 1:41 left in the first quarter.

“Our whole season, special teams has been one of our biggest weaknesses,” said senior Keegan Stanton, who finished with 120 yards rushing and a touchdown for Deering. “But we turned it around today. There were guys making plays that were insane. Everybody was doing their job.”

On the opening play of the second quarter, Deering recovered a Portland fumble near midfield. Three plays later, Stanton scored on a 39-yard run with 10:46 left in the half.

Portland also was plagued by penalties. Down 9-0, Moss connected with Knop for a 40-yard pass before a holding call moved the ball back to the 50. Stanton then ended the drive with an interception.

Moss gave the Bulldogs life late in the half, leading a 68-yard scoring drive by running on 12 of the 13 plays. His biggest gain of 38 yards – spinning out of tackles before getting taken down at the Deering 20 – was cut roughly in half by another penalty. But Moss managed to find the end zone seven plays later on a 2-yard run with 18.6 seconds left, and Portland entered halftime down just 9-7.

The Rams opened the third quarter with a successful onside kick recovered by Stanton. On the first play of the drive, Stanton broke loose for 53 yards before getting pulled down at the 1. Following a big defensive stop, Nate Kapongo of Portland blocked Travis Soule’s field-goal attempt.

The Rams quickly snatched back momentum by blocking another punt to set them up at the Portland 25.

From there, Stanton made a seemingly impossible catch on a bootleg play when he snagged a short, low pass with one hand and turned it into a 17-yard gain. Stanton was as surprised as anybody.

“I put my hand down, came up with it and somehow, I was still running,” he said. “Somebody else made that catch. That was not me.”

On the following play, Jack Lynch ran 8 yards into the end zone with 6:59 left in the third quarter for his first of two second-half rushing touchdowns.

Portland again got a much-needed spark before the end of the period when Vincent Pasquali broke loose for an 81-yard touchdown with 7.8 seconds left, cutting the Rams’ lead to 16-14.

Following a 43-yard kick return by Dru Tillman, Deering got the ball at the Portland 37. Lynch capped the drive with a 1-yard touchdown before Deering’s failed 2-point conversion.

“It doesn’t make the whole season feel a lot better,” Lynch said of the Rams’ 1-8 record, “but to go out on this note and beat our rival – it just feels good.”

Taylor Vortherms can be contacted at 791-6417 or at:

Twitter: TaylorVortherms

]]> 0, 24 Nov 2017 16:35:14 +0000
NHL roundup: Rookie scores two more goals as Canucks stop Penguins, 5-2 Thu, 23 Nov 2017 03:36:07 +0000 PITTSBURGH — Rookie Brock Boeser scored two more goals to lead the Vancouver Canucks to a 5-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night.

Boeser, after scoring twice against Philadelphia on Tuesday, added two more and now has 11 this season. Former Penguins defenseman Derrick Pouliot scored a power-play goal, his first with Vancouver. Loui Eriksson, playing in his 800th career game, scored his second. Brandon Sutter, another former Penguin, scored an empty-net goal for the Canucks, who won in Pittsburgh for the first time since Dec. 4, 2014. Vancouver is 3-5-3 at home, but has won 8 of 11 on the road this season.

Anders Nilsson withstood a third-period Penguins’ surge to stop 42 shots for the Canucks.

Jake Guentzel scored twice, both on the power play, for Pittsburgh and has eight this season. The Penguins started the season with wins in seven of their first 11, but now have just four wins in their last 12. Pittsburgh gave up two power-play goals for the second straight game and has allowed 10 in its last six.

Matt Murray stopped 31 shots for Pittsburgh.

ISLANDERS 4, FLYERS 3: Josh Bailey scored 32 seconds into overtime as New York extended visiting Philadelphia’s losing streak to six.

Bailey’s fifth goal of the season improved New York’s home record to 7-0-2. Bailey also had two assists for the Islanders, who have earned at least one point in each of their first nine home games for the first time since 1978.

LIGHTNING 3, BLACKHAWKS 2: Brayden Point scored a power-play goal 3:25 into overtime, and host Tampa Bay rallied again to beat Chicago.

Point took a pass from Steven Stamkos while positioned near the post and put the winner past Corey Crawford.

Tampa Bay also got goals from Ondrej Palat and Chris Kunitz, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 29 saves. Ryan Callahan had two assists.

Patrick Kane scored twice and Crawford stopped 35 shots for the Blackhawks, who blew leads in losing both games between the teams last season.

RANGERS 6, HURRICANES 1: Chris Kreider and Jesper Fast scored two goals apiece, including Kreider’s first just 52 seconds into the game, and New York rolled to a victory at Raleigh, North Carolina.

Mika Zibanejad and Paul Carey followed Kreider with goals in the first 11 minutes as the Rangers jumped to a commanding lead. Kreider got his second goal 20 seconds into the third, and Fast scored twice in the final period to turn it into a rout.

Henrik Lundqvist made 30 saves as the Rangers won for the eighth time in their last 10 games.

OILERS 6, RED WINGS 2: Jujhar Khaira scored to break a 2-2 tie in the second period, and Edmonton went on to win at Detroit, halting a three-game losing streak.

Patrick Maroon, Darnell Nurse, Drake Caggiula, Jesse Puljujarvi and Mark Letestu also scored for the Oilers.

Niklas Kronwall and Tomas Tatar scored the Wings’ goals.

BLUE JACKETS 1, FLAMES 0: Josh Anderson scored two minutes into overtime to give host Columbus its fifth straight win.

Sergei Bobrovsky had 22 saves in his third shutout this season and the 22nd of his career. Mike Smith turned away 40 shots for Calgary.

CAPITALS 5, SENATORS 2: Alex Ovechkin scored his first goal in seven games, Jakub Vrana had two goals for the first time in his career, and Braden Holtby made 29 saves to help Washington avoid its first set of back-to-back home losses this season.

WILD 5, SABRES 4: Nino Niederreiter and Mikael Granlund each scored two goals to lead Minnesota to a victory at Buffalo.

Tyler Ennis also scored and Mikko Koivu and Ryan Suter each had two assists as the Wild snapped a two-game losing streak. Devan Dubnyk made 29 saves.

Niederreiter has scored in five straight games, the second-longest streak in franchise history.

Jordan Nolan scored twice for the Sabres. Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart also had goals.


DEVILS: Right wing Kyle Palmieri will be sidelined up to six weeks with a broken right foot. Palmieri was injured after being hit by a shot on Monday in a game at Minnesota.

]]> 0's Sidney Crosby looks for an opening in a crowded crease during the second period Wednesday night against visiting Vancouver.Wed, 22 Nov 2017 22:37:41 +0000
NBA roundup: James takes over as Cavaliers win again Thu, 23 Nov 2017 03:29:39 +0000 CLEVELAND — LeBron James shook off a blow to the face and scored 23 points in the fourth quarter Wednesday night – including 18 straight for Cleveland – as the Cavaliers won their sixth straight, 119-109 against the Brooklyn Nets.

James needed stitches in the third quarter to close a gash above his lip that drew blood. He punched back at the Nets in the fourth and finished with 33 points.

With the Cavs up 100-99, James began his one-man show with a pair of free throws. He dropped in a couple of left-handed shots and then drained two 3-pointers – the last a step-back with 55 seconds left to give Cleveland a 118-107 lead.

James’ solo performance enabled the Cavs to avenge a 112-107 loss in Brooklyn last month.

Kevin Love and Dwyane Wade added 18 points apiece for Cleveland.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored 20 and Joe Harris 18 for the Nets, who could do nothing in the final 12 minutes to stop James.

James went to the locker room with the laceration to his face in the third after he appeared to take an elbow from Tyler Zeller in the lane. While James was off the floor, the Nets extended their lead to six on a 3-pointer by Allen Crabbe.

But shortly after James returned with some stitches and puffiness around his mouth, Cleveland went on an 8-0 run and headed to the fourth quarter tied at 77-all.

James took over from there, delivering another tour de force performance that didn’t seem likely when he was being treated by the medical staff and the Cavs playing sluggishly.

Cleveland built a nine-point lead in the first quarter and seemed ready to build on it when James made a surprising mistake.

Alone in the frontcourt for an uncontested dunk, James tried to showboat and rocketed the ball off the back of the rim, a miss that stunned the three-time champion and the crowd of 20,000-plus fans. James then forced a long 3-pointer on Cleveland’s next possession and before long the Nets were even at 20-all when Zeller made his first 3 of the season.

76ERS 101, TRAIL BLAZERS 81: Joel Embiid had 28 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks, and Philadelphia handled another Western Conference opponent with relative ease at home.

Coming off a 21-point victory over Utah on Monday night, the 76ers scored the game’s first 16 points and held a double-digit lead most of the way.

Portland missed its first 13 shots before reserve Shabazz Napier hit a jumper with 5:01 left in the first quarter. The Blazers never got closer than eight. It was the Blazers’ lowest points total of the season, and the fewest that Philadelphia has allowed.

Damian Lillard had 30 points for Portland. He hit four of his six 3-pointers in less than four minutes, but three times the Sixers answered with a 3-pointer of their own.

THUNDER 109, WARRIORS 91: Russell Westbrook scored a season-high 34 points and added 10 rebounds and nine assists to help Oklahoma City roll past visiting Golden State.

It was Oklahoma City’s first win over the Warriors since Kevin Durant left the Thunder to join the Warriors after the 2015-16 season. Golden State won all four meetings last season by an average of nearly 20 points.

PELICANS 109, SPURS 90: Anthony Davis had 29 points and 11 rebounds, Demarcus Cousins added 24 points and 15 rebounds, and New Orleans beat visiting San Antonio.

ROCKETS 125, NUGGETS 95: Trevor Ariza had a season-high 25 points as Houston won at home.

Ariza was 7 of 10 from 3-point range. Chris Paul had 23 points and 12 assists, and James Harden added 21 points, nine assists and eight rebounds in limited action.
The Rockets have won 9 of 10, and beat Denver for the fifth straight time after sweeping the series 4-0 last season.

KNICKS 108, RAPTORS 100: Tim Hardaway Jr. scored a career-high 38 points, including 12 during a 28-0 run in the third quarter that sent New York to a win at home.

Kristaps Porzingis added 22 points and 12 rebounds for the Knicks, who outscored the Raptors 41-10 in the third.

CLIPPERS 116, HAWKS 103: Blake Griffin had 26 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, Wesley Johnson scored a season-high 24 points and visiting Los Angeles snapped a nine-game skid.

HORNETS 129, WIZARDS 124: Dwight Howard had 26 points and 13 rebounds, including a key block at the end of regulation and a crucial offensive rebound in overtime, in the Charlotte’s home win.

Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lamb each had 24 points for the Hornets, who overcame a nine-point fourth quarter deficit. The Hornets wrapped up a perfect three-game homestand.
John Wall had 31 points and 11 assists, and Bradley Beal added 22 points for the Wizards.

TIMBERWOLVES 124, MAGIC 118: Jimmy Butler tied a season high with 26 points, Taj Gibson scored a season-high 24, and Minnesota held off visiting Orlando.


CLIPPERS: Guard Patrick Beverley is expected to miss the rest of the season after arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.

The Clippers said Beverley had surgery in Houston to repair a lateral meniscus.

Acquired in the offseason deal that sent Chris Paul to Houston, Beverley, 29, appeared in 11 games for the Clippers, averaging 12.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.73 steals and 30.3 minutes. He averaged 9.5 points and 4.2 assists last season for the Rockets.

NUGGETS: Denver is exploring options to repair All-Star Paul Millsap’s torn ligament in his left wrist amid concerns he’ll need surgery that will sideline him until late February.

Coach Mike Malone said the Nuggets were unsure how bad Millsap’s injury was and Millsap is “going to talk to some other doctors, get some other opinions before we make a decision on what the best course of action is.”

But Malone appears to be bracing for an extended absence.

]]> 0, 22 Nov 2017 22:48:59 +0000
Bruins beat Devils 3-2 in 11th round of shootout Thu, 23 Nov 2017 03:22:11 +0000 NEWARK, N.J. — Charlie McAvoy scored in the 11th round of the shootout to lift the Boston Bruins to a 3-2 win over the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday night.

Anton Khudobin made 40 saves as Boston improved to 9-7-4 with its third straight win – all with Khudobin in goal.

Jake DeBrusk and Patrice Bergeron scored first-period goals for the Bruins.

New Jersey has dropped three of its last five in falling to 12-5-4.

Jesper Bratt and Brian Gibbons scored for the Devils, and Cory Schneider made 27 saves.

The shootout opened with Taylor Hall and David Pastrnak trading goals. And it stayed that way until McAvoy’s winner.

Prior to the extra period, the first of three regular-season meetings between the longtime Eastern Conference rivals, was essentially a special teams affair.

Despite not scoring on their four power plays and surrendering a man-advantage goal to the Devils, it was the Bruins who left with two points thanks to two first-period even-strength strikes and the play of Khudobin.

The Bruins struck first when rookie left winger DeBrusk got his fifth of the season with a shot from the right circle at 1:25. And Bergeron added to Boston’s lead with his fifth of the season at 11:02.

The Bruins had a two-goal lead and Khudobin, who made his third straight start, tried to make it hold up with a pad save on a Nico Hischier break-in with and a diving stop on Travis Zajac in a span of 1:13. But there was nothing he could do on Bratt’s power-play goal with 2:50 left as New Jersey’s rookie right winger lifted a loose puck in the slot to halve the deficit while Brian Boyle was tied up with Zdeno Chara in front of Khudobin. A video review upheld the goal.

The game remained 2-1 until the Devils tied it on Gibbons’ top-of-the-crease deflection with 4:44 left in regulation. Up to that point, though, Khudobin was the story as he stopped a Blake Coleman short-handed attempt with 10:35 left in the second. Khudobin also benefited from Hischier, the first overall pick in last June’s NHL draft, losing control of the puck alongside the goal line late in the period. Midway through the third, Khudobin stoned Hischier from the top of the crease.

The Devils outshot the Bruins, 42-29.

NOTES: Boston scratched LW Matt Beleskey, D Torey Krug and D Paul Postma. .The Bruins did not have LW Anders Bjork (undisclosed), LW Brad Marchand (upper body injury), RW David Backes (colon surgery) and D Adam McQuaid (broken right fibula). .Boston announced RW Jordan Szwarz had been sent down to AHL Providence.

]]> 0 defenseman Rob O'Gara and New Jersey's Drew Stafford battle for the puck near the boards in the second period Wednesday night.Wed, 22 Nov 2017 22:23:17 +0000
Celtics’ rally falls short as 16-game winning streak ends Thu, 23 Nov 2017 03:12:40 +0000 MIAMI — Goran Dragic scored 27 points, Dion Waiters had 26 with a pair of big 3-pointers in the final minutes and the Miami Heat held on to beat Boston 104-98 on Wednesday night, snapping the Celtics’ 16-game winning streak.

Tyler Johnson scored 16 points for Miami, which saw what was an 18-point lead cut to one in the final moments. The Heat shot 49 percent and outrebounded the Celtics 48-37.

Kyrie Irving scored 23 points for Boston. Jayson Tatum added 18, and Jaylen Brown and Marcus Morris each had 14.

The Celtics got down by 18 in the first half, which has been a very comfortable place for Boston so far this season. Boston had overcome 18-point deficits against Oklahoma City and Charlotte, a 17-point hole against Golden State, a 16-pointer against Atlanta and rallied from 13 down to win in Dallas this week.

They almost did it again.

Down by 14 midway through the fourth, the unflappable Celtics went on a 13-0 run in just about three minutes – getting to 91-90 when Smart made 1 of 2 free throws with 3:14 remaining.

Waiters decided that was close enough. His 3-pointer from the left wing bounced off the rim, then the top of the backboard, before falling to end Miami’s scoreless drought. Waiters added another 3-pointer over Al Horford to make the lead seven, Hassan Whiteside had a big tip-in with 1:10 left and Miami would hang on from there.

NOTES: Aron Baynes started for Morris, who wanted to test his problematic knee. Morris played 21 minutes off the bench. … Boston turned Miami’s first eight turnovers into exactly zero points. The Celtics wound up getting nine points off 16 Miami giveaways. … Shane Larkin was shaken up briefly after taking a hard foul near the rim by Miami’s Kelly Olynyk early in the fourth. … The 16-game winning streak ended tied for the fourth-longest in Celtics history. Boston won 19 in a row in the 2008-09 season, 18 straight in 1981-82 and 17 straight in 1959-60. The other 16-game run was in 1964-65. In NBA history, 21 streaks have lasted longer than 16 games.

]]> 0's Dion Waiters fights for the ball with Boston's Jaylen Brown in the first half Wednesday in Miami.Wed, 22 Nov 2017 22:32:27 +0000
NFL notebook: Giants, Washington better get ready for prime time Thu, 23 Nov 2017 02:41:01 +0000 LANDOVER, Md. — With losing records, shaky defenses and injury-depleted rosters, Washington and the New York Giants aren’t exactly ready for prime time, let alone for a national audience tuning in on Thanksgiving night.

The teams are a combined 6-14, including 0-5 in the NFC East. Not only did Washington fall apart last weekend, letting a 15-point lead disappear in the final three minutes of what became an overtime loss, but its list of players on injured reserve has risen to 15.

Asked how that affects his ability to game plan, Coach Jay Gruden joked Wednesday: “Well, does it look like I’ve slept a lot?”

Washington (4-6), hosting a Thanksgiving Day game for the first time, is technically still able to make the playoffs but also has lost four of five games.

The main question facing the Giants (2-8) at this point, meanwhile, is whether there’s any way Coach Ben McAdoo can hold onto his job.

A year after getting to the postseason, Eli Manning and New York have been among the league’s dregs, even losing to the otherwise-winless San Francisco 49ers.

Somehow, though, the Giants pulled off a surprise last weekend, defeating AFC West leader Kansas City, so maybe they won’t just be easy pickings on Turkey Day.

“It’s the same approach we’ve had all year: We go into these games expecting to win,” defensive lineman Damon Harrison said.

HALL OF FAME: First-year eligibles Ray Lewis and Randy Moss are among 27 semifinalists for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Others in their initial year of eligibility who made this cut are Brian Urlacher, Richard Seymour, Steve Hutchinson and Ronde Barber.

Four previously eligible players made the semifinals for the first time: LeRoy Butler, Leslie O’Neal, Simeon Rice and Everson Walls. All others on the 2018 list have reached the semifinals in previous years.

CHIEFS: Kansas City signed veteran cornerback Darrelle Revis in its latest attempt to shore up their porous defensive backfield, though it’s unclear when he’ll be ready to play.

Revis had been a free agent after playing for the New York Jets last season. The Chiefs head back to the Meadowlands to face the Jets on Dec. 3.

Revis was a seven-time Pro Bowl player and at one point was widely considered the best cornerback in the league, picking off 29 passes over 10 seasons and winning a Super Bowl with the New England Patriots.

49ERS: San Francisco plans to give rookie C.J. Beathard his fifth consecutive start Sunday against Seattle, Coach Kyle Shanahan said.

That means Jimmy Garoppolo likely will be the backup for at least another week after being acquired in a trade with the Patriots at the Oct. 31 deadline.

Shanahan said the decision stemmed from Beathard’s play in San Francisco’s first win Nov. 12 against the Giants.

JETS: Running back Matt Forte remains sidelined with an ailing knee and is uncertain to play Sunday against Carolina.

Forte, who turns 32 on Dec. 10, missed the Jets’ last game at Tampa Bay on Nov. 12 with swelling in his surgically repaired right knee.

BRONCOS: Coach Vance Joseph handed the starting quarterback job to Paxton Lynch, elevating the former first-round pick who failed to win the job outright under two coaching staffs but gets another chance because of Denver’s tailspin .

The Broncos (3-7) have lost six straight and Joseph replaced offensive coordinator Mike McCoy on Monday with Bill Musgrave, who helped guide Derek Carr in Oakland the last two seasons.

]]> 0 Manning helped direct the New York Giants to the playoffs last season, but this year has been a disaster. The Giants are 2-8 heading into Thursday night's game at Washington.Wed, 22 Nov 2017 21:50:18 +0000
Patriots notebook: Brady misses practice Wednesday Thu, 23 Nov 2017 02:40:36 +0000 FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady sat out practice Wednesday with what the team says is an Achilles tendon injury.

Brady has started all 10 games this season for AFC East-leading New England (8-2). He also has yet to miss a game because of an injury since 2008, when he suffered a season-ending knee injury in the opening game.

The 40-year-old has thrown for 3,146 yards, 22 touchdowns and just two interceptions this season.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski (illness), receiver Chris Hogan (shoulder), center David Andrews (illness), offensive lineman Marcus Cannon (ankle), and safety Patrick Chung (ankle) also missed practice on Wednesday.

New England has won six games in a row and hosts Miami on Sunday.

THE PATRIOTS cut defensive end/linebacker Cassius Marsh on Wednesday and signed defensive lineman Eric Lee off the Bills’ practice squad.

It was a bit of a surprising move considering New England traded two draft picks to acquire Marsh this preseason, but Marsh had struggled in run defense in recent games.

Why did the Patriots make the move? Patriots Coach Bill Belichick kept his answer simple.

“We felt like that was the best move to make for the football team,” Belichick said.

The Patriots saw Lee this preseason during joint practices with the Houston Texans. Belichick said their experience with Lee was not necessarily a significant deciding factor in the move, but helped them collect information on the player.

“He kind of played outside linebacker for Houston, defensive end in their sub package, so there’s some relevance there for us, similar to the position that was vacated,” Belichick said. “We’ll see how it goes.”

Good showings by linebackers Marquis Flowers and Trevor Reilly in recent games may have affected New England’s decision. Flowers was another preseason acquisition, while Reilly looked strong in a Patriots uniform as a practice squad player last season.

“Trevor was here last year and Trevor, I think, did a really good job for us,” Belichick said. “We were pretty healthy last year and never really had an opportunity to move him up. When an opportunity came for him to be a roster player and play in games and so forth, he took that. But I think that he was playing at a pretty good level last year. We just didn’t have the spot. This year it was a little bit different. … I wouldn’t say I’m surprised at the way he’s performed. He’s done a good job for us. He probably would’ve done that last year for us if we had the opportunity to get him in there, but we had other guys that we don’t have this year and so, as I said, we just didn’t have room.”

THE PATRIOTS have to be happy with what Brandin Cooks has brought to the team in his first season in New England. He is tied for fourth in the NFL in receiving yards (786), third in yards per reception (17.5) and has four touchdowns on the season.

And Cooks has no reason to complain about his time in New England. It looks as though he will reach similar statistical marks to what he had in New Orleans, and he continues to grow as a member of the Patriots’ offense.

Perhaps that’s why he told that he hopes to stick around here.

“The goal is to play the rest of my career here,” Cooks said. “That’s God willing. I don’t know what the future holds, but this is a special place.”

Cooks is 24 years old, and just entering the prime of his career. While he is likely to earn a big contract next season, the offseason trade that brought Cooks to New England appears to have worked out.

PENALTIES CONTINUE to be a problem for Miami – and one that needs a rapid remedy if the 4-6 Dolphins, 16½-point underdogs, are to have any chance Sunday at New England.

“It’s something we can fix,” Coach Adam Gase said.

They haven’t fixed it yet. And the Dolphins have dropped four in a row. They’ve been flagged for 42 infractions during the skid, including 17 last week, one shy of the franchise record.

Their season total of 84 penalties ranks second behind only the Seattle Seahawks, and they’re on pace to set a team season record.

Infractions cost Miami a season-high 123 yards in Sunday’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That might have been the difference in the outcome, given that the Bucs kicked a field goal to break a tie with 4 seconds left.

“I wouldn’t say we’re playing undisciplined,” defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh said. “I’d say we’re making mistakes in tough situations.”

MATT MOORE was under center when the Dolphins practiced Wednesday with starting quarterback Jay Cutler still in concussion protocol, according to Gase.

It remains unknown when Cutler might return to practice or whether he’ll be able to play Sunday. Gase said Monday that Cutler would remain the starter if he’s healthy.

“I’m sure there will be a point I make a decision,” Gase said. “I don’t really know what the timetable is right now. I’m just kind of taking it day by day right now.”

Gase said the decision, ultimately, is out of hands.

“When you’re in the protocol, as coaches, we remove ourselves and let that process kind of take care of itself.”

]]> 0 England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady passes under pressure from Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa during the first half Sunday in Foxborough, Mass.Wed, 22 Nov 2017 21:48:26 +0000
Portland High player thankful for his new home, new sport Thu, 23 Nov 2017 02:24:54 +0000 Nate Kapongo represents the changing face of football at Portland’s public high schools.

Kapongo, 17, a junior at Portland High and a native of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, had only watched the game on television before coming to America a few years ago. While many immigrant students at Portland and Deering steer their athletic skills toward familiar sports such as soccer and basketball, Kapongo saw football as the best fit for his size and strength.

“I really wanted to play football,” Kapongo said. “So once I came here, at school, the second day I asked if I can see the coach for football.”

In his second season with the Bulldogs, the 6-foot-4, 240-pound Kapongo has quickly advanced from being a football novice to an all-Class A North nose tackle.

On Thursday, when Portland meets Deering for the 106th time on Thanksgiving, Kapongo is ready to add kick returner to his football resume.

“I think I can make a touchdown,” he said.

The annual Thanksgiving game kicks off at 10:30 a.m. at Fitzpatrick Stadium. Tickets are $5 for adults, and $3 for seniors and students. Portland leads the all-time series 58-40-7 and has won four straight games. Deering (1-8) hasn’t played since Oct. 27. Portland (4-7) advanced to the Class A North final, losing at Windham 42-6 on Nov. 10.

Other new immigrants have followed Kapongo’s lead and joined the Portland football team.

Obed Ntumba, a 6-3, 220-pound sophomore lineman from Angola, arrived two weeks before the school year started and saw varsity action on special teams. Yaseen Mohammed, from Iraq, and Herve Irakoze, from Burundi, are junior linemen in their first year of football.

“We’re an international team,” said Coach Jim Hartman.

Other players on Portland’s team and several at Deering are also immigrants, “but they’ve been around for awhile,” and were exposed to football before high school, said Deering Coach Jason Jackson.

Nate Kapongo, center, a Portland High junior, hopes to cap his season by fulfilling one more dream – returning a kick in the Thanksgiving Day game against Deering. Staff photo by Brianna Soukup

Kapongo, the youngest of 12 children, lives with his mother, father and two of his nine brothers. The family moved to the United States in 2015, living in Massachusetts for a year before coming to Portland in the spring of 2016.

While Kapongo had the athletic tools of size and strength, his first year of football was a challenge. Seemingly simple things, like becoming comfortable with a helmet, involved a learning process.

“He came in sophomore year and was the biggest kid already but he had no clue about football,” said Koa Farnsworth, a junior defensive tackle who lines up next to Kapongo. “He came in and had no idea how to get down in a three-point stance. It was pretty funny, actually.”

Kapongo is fluent in French, the national language of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and his ethnic language of Lingala. Last fall, as Kapongo was improving his English, he also was being asked to learn football-specific jargon.

“To understand the plays, I’m getting there,” he said. “I’m not there yet but I’m getting there.”

There’s also an off-the-field adjustment for immigrant players and their parents.

Nate Kapongo has the size and speed to be a football success. He stands 6-foot-4, weighs 240 pounds and is a master in the weight room, dead-lifting 500 pounds. Staff photo by Brianna Soukup

“It’s a radical change for some of these kids to just be on time,” Hartman said. “Some come with no clue what that means and they have to be taught.”

Both Hartman and Jackson said they have players who are counted on to handle adult responsibilities, such as holding jobs to help support the family and providing care for siblings or sick relatives.

Jackson said: “The biggest thing I notice is the language barrier with the parents. These kids are having to translate with parents and explain to them that, ‘No, these (coaches) aren’t trying to take them away.’ You think about some of the horrors these parents have seen and there’s an understandable level of distrust.”

Kapongo grew up in Kinshasa, a city with more than 10 million people. The Democratic Republic of Congo, once known as Zaire, is among the poorest countries in the world with a history of civil war and violence.

“I don’t really want to talk about it,” Kapongo said when asked why his family left for the United States.

“You can just say the country is not safe.”

For Kapongo, living in Portland has opened numerous possibilities. He works part-time at a grocery store. On Tuesday, he tried out for the Portland High basketball team. He recently told baseball coach Mike Rutherford, who is also Portland football’s defensive coordinator, that he would like to try baseball.

Nathan Kapongo, 17, heads out to Fitzpatrick Stadium for football practice a few days before the annual Thanksgiving game against Deering. Kapongo, a junior at Portland High, came to the U.S. from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and started at Portland in 2016. He joined the football team quickly after starting school because he said that he had always wanted to play the game. Staff photo by Brianna Soukup

Football has the potential to open other doors.

Hartman said Kapongo “absolutely can” play college football, adding that the University of Maine has “already talked to him.”

While Kapongo’s skills are raw, his ability to dead-lift 500 pounds five times on his first trip to the weight room shows his natural strength. When Kapongo got his hands on ball carriers this season, they often were stopped in their tracks.

“There are times when he’ll dominate games,” said Rutherford. “The (playoff) games we won at Lewiston and Oxford Hills, he dominated. We don’t get to the (regional) final without him.”

Kapongo said he had a brief conversation with a UMaine assistant coach when the Black Bears played Delaware at Fitzpatrick Stadium this fall. He’s unsure where that will lead but said he would like to play college football and “I think I can.”

“I just like the game,” he said. “You know, it’s pretty amazing. It’s pretty fun.”

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

Twitter: SteveCCraig

]]> 0, 22 Nov 2017 23:11:50 +0000
Sports Digest: Chip Kelly choosing between Florida, UCLA, according to reports Thu, 23 Nov 2017 02:11:39 +0000 COLLEGES

Chip Kelly to pick between UCLA, Florida, sources say

The Chip Kelly sweepstakes has taken a dramatic twist.

It now appears to be a two-horse race between Florida and UCLA, a person close to the hiring process told the Orlando Sentinel.

The L.A. Times reported Tuesday that Kelly met with a contingent of athletics officials from UCLA as the Bruins look to replace Jim Mora Jr.

The meeting came two days after Florida officials flew to meet Kelly in his native New Hampshire. They returned Sunday night without a deal in place to make him the Gators’ next head coach. No formal offer was presented, according to another source.

ESPN reporter Mark Schlabach posted on Twitter that Kelly’s decision is expected “in coming days.”

The University of Minnesota and football coach P.J. Fleck agreed to a one-year contract extension through the 2022 season.

Fleck signed a five-year, $18 million contract in January. The Gophers are 5-6 this season under the 36-year-old Fleck, who was hired by Minnesota to replace Tracy Claeys after four seasons as the coach at Western Michigan.

Kent State fired football coach Paul Haynes on Wednesday after five losing seasons. The Golden Flashes lost to Akron on Tuesday night to finish the season 2-10.


G LEAGUE: The Maine Red Claws acquired Daniel Dingle from the available player pool and waived Jerome Seagears.

Dingle, a 6-7 forward from Temple University, was a second-round selection by the Greensboro Swarm in the 2017 NBA G League Draft. Dingle averaged 12.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 32 games for Temple his senior season.

Seagears played two games for Maine this season, averaging 6.8 points in 8.5 minutes per game.


SHARAPOVA INVESTIGATION: Maria Sharapova is being investigated by police in India in a cheating and criminal conspiracy case involving a real estate company that used the tennis star to endorse a luxury housing project that never took off.

Real estate firm Homestead Infrastructure is accused of taking tens of millions of rupees (millions of dollars) from home buyers for a project named “Ballet by Maria Sharapova,” a luxury apartment complex with its own helipad, tennis academy and other amenities. The five-time Grand Slam champion traveled to India in 2013 to launch the project at a glitzy ceremony.

Police began the investigation on Nov. 16.

Piyush Singh, a lawyer representing one of the home buyers, said that Sharapova’s celebrity was the reason most people put their money into the project.


CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Chelsea advanced to the knockout stage with a game to spare after defeating 10-man Qarabag 4-0 at Baku, Azerbaijan, securing Manager Antonio Conte’s 50th overall victory with the team.

Barcelona’s 0-0 draw with Juventus at Turin, Italy, was enough to ensure the Spanish superpower the top spot in Group D.

Already through, Paris Saint-Germain conceded the first goal of its European campaign in the first minute – before going on to thrash Celtic 7-1 in Paris.

n• A goalless draw with Basel in Switzerland would have been enough for Manchester United to top Group A, but the Premier League club slipped to its first group stage loss 1-0 on a goal conceded just a minute from time.

]]> 0 Wed, 22 Nov 2017 21:16:44 +0000
Major league notebook: Agreement on Japanese posting system could bring Ohtani over Thu, 23 Nov 2017 01:55:23 +0000 NEW YORK — Major League Baseball, its players’ union and the Japanese commissioner’s office agreed Tuesday to a new posting system that could allow star pitcher-outfielder Shohei Ohtani to be put up for bid next week, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.

The agreement is still not in writing and must be ratified by Major League Baseball, Nippon Professional Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association, the person said on condition of anonymity because no comments were authorized.

MLB owners are scheduled to vote for ratification on Dec. 1, and Ohtani is expected to be posted then or the following day, the person said. The deal calls for the negotiating period this offseason to be cut to 21 days from 30. The posting fee limit this offseason remains $20 million, and Ohtani’s club, the Pacific League’s Nippon Ham Fighters, is expected to seek the maximum for the 23-year-old star.

As part of the deal, a tiered system for posting fees will start next Nov. 1. The fee will be 20 percent of the first $25 million of a major league contract, including earned bonuses and options. The percentage drops to 17.5 percent of the next $25 million and 15 percent of any amount over $50 million.

For minor league contracts, the fee will be 25 percent of the signing bonus.

Starting next offseason, the posting period will be shortened to Nov. 1 through Dec. 5. Under the previous agreement, the period was Nov. 1 through March 1.

As part of negotiations this week, NPB dropped its stance that a Japanese team be able to withdraw a posting before the process is complete.

ANGELS: Former Detroit manager Brad Ausmus has joined the Los Angeles as a special assistant to General Manager Billy Eppler, the team announced Wednesday.

Ausmus managed the Tigers for the past four seasons, going 314-332 and winning the AL Central in 2014. He previously worked in the Padres’ front office.

]]> 0 Wed, 22 Nov 2017 20:58:52 +0000
Former doctor accused of molesting Olympic gymnasts enters guilty pleas Thu, 23 Nov 2017 01:01:52 +0000 LANSING, Mich. — A former doctor accused of molesting girls while working for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University pleaded guilty Wednesday to multiple charges of sexual assault and will face at least 25 years in prison.

Larry Nassar, 54, admitted to abusing seven girls, mostly under the guise of treatment at his Lansing-area home and a campus clinic. All but one of his accusers was a gymnast. He faces similar charges in a neighboring county and lawsuits filed by more than 125 women and girls. Nassar lost his license to practice medicine in April.

Olympic gymnasts Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Gabby Douglas are among the women who have publicly said they were among Nassar’s victims.

Some of his accusers attended the hearing Wednesday in a packed Ingham County courtroom. Some were crying.

“For all those involved … I’m so horribly sorry that this was like a match that turned into a forest fire out of control,” Nassar said. “I pray the rosary every day for forgiveness. I want them to heal. I want the community to heal.”

Nassar admitted to digitally penetrating the victims and agreed that his conduct had no legitimate medical purpose and that he did not have the girls’ consent.

The plea deal in Ingham County calls for a minimum prison sentence of 25 years, but a judge could set the minimum sentence as high as 40 years. In Michigan, inmates are eligible for parole after serving a minimum sentence.

Sentencing was set for Jan. 12.

A prosecutor said 125 women and girls have filed complaints with Michigan State University police.

Judge Rosemarie Aquilina told Nassar: “You used your position of trust … in the most vile way to abuse children. … I agree that now is a time of healing, but it may take them a lifetime of healing while you spend your lifetime behind bars thinking about what you did in taking away their childhood.”

She called the accusers “superheroes for all of America, because this is an epidemic.”

The girls have testified that Nassar molested them with his hands, sometimes when a parent was present in the room, while they sought help for gymnastics injuries.

After the hearing, one of the accusers, Larissa Boyce, said it was “really hard” to look at Nassar in the courtroom.

“This was a man we trusted. He’s admitting what he did was wrong and evil,” she said.

Separately, Nassar is charged with similar crimes in Eaton County, the location of an elite gymnastics club. He also is awaiting sentencing in federal court on child pornography charges.

The Michigan criminal cases against Nassar followed reports last year in the Indianapolis Star about how USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians, mishandled complaints about sexual misconduct involving the doctor and coaches. Women and girls said the stories inspired them to step forward with detailed allegations of abuse, sometimes when their parents were in the exam room at Michigan State.

]]> 0 Nassar appears in court for his plea hearing Wednesday in Lansing, Mich. Nasser, a former sports doctor accused of molesting girls while working for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, pleaded guilty to multiple charges of sexual assault and faces at least 25 years in prison.Wed, 22 Nov 2017 20:34:19 +0000
Bills switch quarterbacks again Thu, 23 Nov 2017 00:48:03 +0000 ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Rather than risk another meltdown with the Buffalo Bills still in the midst of the playoff race, Coach Sean McDermott had little choice but to reverse course at quarterback Wednesday.

Tyrod Taylor will start Sunday when Buffalo (5-5) travels to play the Kansas City Chiefs (6-4).

And rookie Nathan Peterman has been sent back to the sideline after throwing five interceptions Sunday in the first half of a 54-24 loss at the Los Angeles Chargers.

“It’s the right thing for our team,” McDermott said.

But McDermott was in no mood to revisit the reasoning behind starting Peterman in a move that ultimately backfired.

“Really, when you focus on that, when you look in the rearview mirror too long in this league, you lose sight of what’s in front,” McDermott said. “We’ve got to focus on the Chiefs and that’s for myself as well as our team.”

In making his first career start, Peterman, a fifth-round pick out of Pittsburgh, became the first quarterback to throw five interceptions in the first half since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. He finished 6 of 14 for 66 yards and was replaced by Taylor to start the third quarter with Buffalo trailing 40-7.

Whatever confidence McDermott lost in Taylor a week earlier will have to quickly be restored to spark an offense that’s sputtered no matter who’s played quarterback during a three-game skid.

“I expect (Taylor) to prepare like he’s always prepared, and come out and lead this football team.”

McDermott faced heavy criticism for making what he called “a calculated risk” in benching Taylor at a time the Bills held the AFC’s sixth and final playoff spot. The team is also in a 17-season playoff drought, the longest active streak in North America’s four major pro sports.

Taylor summed up the past week as “an interesting set of days,” while saying he’s not lost confidence in himself.

“You’ve got to be prepared for anything, and focus-wise you can’t let things break your focus,” he said. “Whether it was last week or this week, I’m going to continue to prepare to do whatever it takes to get this team a win on Sunday.”

And yet there could be a chill in his views toward McDermott.

Asked about the status of his relationship with the coach and offensive coordinator Rick Dennison, Taylor only mentioned Dennison by saying: “Me and Rico are still good friends.” He said they continue to talk and work on fixing the troubles on offense.

Asked a follow-up question about McDermott, Taylor said: “The relationship is still there.” He then added: “Ultimately we’re here to win games. That’s really what cures a lot of things. We’re both working hard to do whatever it takes to find a win.”

Whatever Taylor’s inconsistencies have been in going 20-18 over 2½ seasons in Buffalo, he’s at least been efficient in protecting the ball. This season he’s had 11 touchdowns passing and scored another three rushing, versus three interceptions and two lost fumbles.

Running back LeSean McCoy welcomed the switch back to Taylor, saying the offense has more “trust” in the seventh-year player.

“I’ve just seen Tyrod in bad games he’s played or bad situations where he’s answered, and you could count on him,” McCoy said. “Turning the ball over last game was bad for us. You can’t win like that.”

]]> 0 Taylor had his five-year contract extension restructured and will remain as the starting quarterback for the Buffalo Bills for a third season.Wed, 22 Nov 2017 20:11:10 +0000
Commentary: Ian Kinsler would be a perfect fit with the Red Sox Thu, 23 Nov 2017 00:33:02 +0000 The names thrown around last week when Dave Dombrowski, the president of baseball operations, was asked about Dustin Pedroia’s replacement options, might have been palatable if the Boston Red Sox were a mid-market team not in dire need of offense.

But it’s tougher to swallow for a team valued by Forbes to be worth $2.7 billion, and one that skimped and saved to avoid going over the luxury tax threshold in 2017 so it could spend freely in 2018 and beyond.

That’s why when a name like Ian Kinsler, the ultra-durable, four-time All-Star and power-hitting second baseman for the Detroit Tigers, is being dangled by his current team, the Red Sox should give it some thought.

The risks of passing over Kinsler, just like the risks that the Sox won’t be able to lure a premium utility man like Eduardo Nunez out of free agency for a part-time role, are too steep. The alternative is potentially a black hole at second base.

The Sox, notorious for being overly optimistic when projecting return dates for injured players, have said Pedroia’s knee cartilage restoration procedure would take a seven-month recovery before he was ready to return. It took place Oct. 25.

If we assume Pedroia, 34, has no setbacks and is ready to return May 25, that will be more than eight weeks after the regular season begins.

Can a Sox team that had a .736 OPS last year, the fifth-lowest OPS the franchise has seen in 30 years, put their trust in backups for eight weeks, if not longer?

The names, in order, that Dombrowski listed as possible replacements include Brock Holt (career .690 OPS, unreliable post-concussions), Marco Hernandez (coming off shoulder surgery, .676 OPS in majors, .752 OPS at Triple-A), Tzu-Wei Lin (.709 OPS with Sox in 2017, career .635 OPS in minors) and Deven Marrero (career .568 OPS in majors, .644 OPS in minors).

“I think we have enough internally” to fill Pedroia’s shoes, Dombrowski told reporters in Orlando, Florida. “But I’m not going to preclude what we’re going to do because I don’t know that. It depends what other options we might have.”

Further, what happens when Pedroia returns?

“I’m not going to say he’s going to play like he was when he was 25, but that he’ll be able to continue to play and play healthy,” Dombrowski said.

The careful option might be to take the wait-and-see approach and hope that by July they’ll have a good idea of what they have.

Whoever they get to play first base/DH must create offense, so too must Hanley Ramirez, coming off another shoulder surgery. And Rafael Devers must withstand the test of his sophomore season.

There are bound to be holes by July. Every team has them. Teams relying on oft-injured players, like Ramirez and Pedroia, are more susceptible.

Kinsler is making $11 million in 2018 before becoming a free agent and it’s no secret the Tigers would like to trade him. He’s 35 years old but is rarely on the disabled list, averaging 151 games over the last seven years. He’s solid on defense – a Gold Glove finalist again this year – can still run (14 stolen bases) and hit for power (22 homers).

He has a no-trade clause to 10 unidentified teams, a potential roadblock, but one might think he would waive it to go to the Red Sox, where he could hit in the middle of what should be an improved lineup in a hitter-friendly park.

Of course, this scenario would require some flexibility by Kinsler.

One of the premier second basemen in the game, would he be willing to move around the diamond when Pedroia returns? If the Sox sign a DH like J.D. Martinez, perhaps Kinsler can slide to first base on most days. Maybe Devers struggles against lefties and Kinsler can play third base twice a week.

It might bring back memories of their time together at Arizona State, when Kinsler was supposed to be the starting shortstop but was bumped off the position by Pedroia, prompting Kinsler’s eventual transfer to Missouri.

There are roadblocks but the Sox should try. They have financial flexibility to go after a big-time slugger like Giancarlo Stanton or Eric Hosmer, and still try for a strong secondary addition to play second base and provide insurance at other positions.

Nunez, if he’s healthy and willing, would be a nice fit, but he’s expected to command a multi-year contract and is sure to get better offers from teams willing to guarantee him a starting job.

If Kinsler could be acquired on a one-year deal, it would give the Sox so much of what they need. Power. Speed. Reliability. And if he’s willing, flexibility. All on a one-year contract that would let them re-evaluate second base after 2018.

]]> 0 Sox should stop thinking about replacing Dustin Pedroia with someone in the organization.Wed, 22 Nov 2017 20:05:24 +0000
Hundreds gather at picturesque site in Utah for extreme stunts event Thu, 23 Nov 2017 00:26:04 +0000 MOAB, Utah — Hundreds of BASE jumpers and slackliners have descended on Moab, Utah, this week for holiday events where they’ll walk across webbing stretched between red rock crevices or jump from fixed points like sandstone mesas.

A slackline event called GGBY kicked off Tuesday outside Moab at a part of Mineral Canyon known as the Fruit Bowl, where slacklines can be strung closely together and participants walk across them, balancing like a tightrope walk.

“It’s as close to a church as a lot of us have,” said Sonya Iverson, a slackliner from Moab who is helping to organize the event. “There is something special about that location.”

The Salt Lake Tribune reported that the event started 10 years ago, but 2017 marks the first time participants will have to adhere to federal land rules on parking, camping and bathroom use at the desert gathering.

GGBY has been an informal gathering in past years, but U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials have worried that as the event has grown, some measures need to be taken to keep the event safe and protect the desert.

Kiley Miller, a rock climber in Moab, said extreme sports gatherings like GGBY, fueled by those filming their stunts and sharing videos on YouTube, compound a “circus atmosphere” at the red rock playgrounds around Moab.

“They have a large impact out there,” Miller said.

Iverson said she wants to help address those concerns about the slackline event, and organizers are trying to be better caretakers of the natural spaces they use.

“We are trying to shake off this reputation of being stoner idiots out there doing death-defying stunts,” Iverson said. “We are actually an organized and careful community in terms of rigging and safety.”

While the slacklining event is introducing rules to ease concerns of government land managers, other extreme sport-enthusiasts are using their event to raise money for those taking care of the public lands.

BASE jumpers celebrating the fifth annual Turkey Boogie will raise money for public lands managers and search and rescue teams who operate in the area, according to the Deseret News.

BASE is an acronym for building, antenna, span and earth, the four types of objects that adrenaline-junkies will jump from while wearing parachutes or wingsuits.

“A lot of people formulate opinions of the activity or the community without really knowing much,” said Turkey Boogie organizer Matt Laj. “Moab embraces it, and in fact most of Utah allows us to BASE jump, and it’s kind of our way of giving back and maintaining positive relationships with a community that is good to us.”

]]> 0 Roush slacklines across the Fruit Bowl this week near Moab, Utah, site of an extreme sports event called the GGBY. Participants walk across lines of webbing stretched between rock crevices or jump from sandstone mesas.Wed, 22 Nov 2017 21:14:18 +0000
College roundup: Maine men fall to 0-5 in basketball Thu, 23 Nov 2017 00:12:24 +0000 BANGOR — Tyler Scanlon and Will Goff each scored 13 points Wednesday to help Boston University beat Maine 78-69 at the Cross Insurance Center.

Walter Whyte added 12 points for BU (1-3), which lost Sunday to Connecticut, 85-66. Nick Havener grabbed 10 rebounds but was just 4-of-14 shooting from the field. Goff made four of BU’s 11 3-pointers and Scanlon added three.

BU trailed 9-2 early but Goff made four straight 3-pointers and the Terriers led 41-28 at halftime in their first visit to Maine since joining the Patriot League in the summer of 2013.

Aaron Calixte led Maine (0-5) with 22 points but committed nine turnovers. Andrew Fleming had 14 points and 10 rebounds.

NORTH CAROLINA STATE 90, (2) ARIZONA 84: Freshman Braxton Beverly scored a season-high 20 points and sparked the decisive late run that helped North Carolina State (5-0) upset Arizona (3-1) at Paradise Island, Bahamas.

Allerik Freeman scored 24 points to lead the Wolfpack. But it was Beverly – who missed the first two games in an NCAA eligibility dispute tied to his attending summer courses at Ohio State before coming to N.C. State – who led the way in the critical moments.

(5) VILLANOVA 66, WESTERN KENTUCKY 58: Jalen Brunson scored 18 points to help Villanova (4-0) beat Western Kentucky (2-2) at Paradise Island, Bahamas.

The Wildcats found themselves in a close game until early in the second half. That’s when they ran off a 13-2 burst to push ahead by double figures, part of a hot-shooting stretch that had them picking up the pace and scoring baskets off turnovers.

(11) MIAMI 57, LA SALLE 46: Dewan Huell scored 16 points and Miami (4-0)did just enough to get by La Salle (3-3) at Reading, Pennsylvania.

B.J. Johnson scored 16 points on 6-of-20 shooting and Pookie Powell added 15 on 5 of 15 from the field for La Salle in its third straight loss.

TENNESSEE 78, (18) PURDUE 75: Grant Williams scored all 22 of his points after halftime and hit the go-ahead shot with 14.5 seconds left in overtime to lift Tennessee (3-0) past Purdue (4-1) at Paradise Island, Bahamas.


(18) OREGON STATE 97, NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL 44: Kat Tudor had careers-highs of 23 points and 11 rebounds, and Oregon State (3-1) beat North Carolina Central (1-2) at Durham, North Carolina, for its first road win of the season.

(19) TEXAS A&M 66, LITTLE ROCK 49: Danni Williams scored 18 points, Chennedy Carter added 17 and Texas A&M (3-1) beat Little Rock (1-2) at College Station, Texas.

(22) KENTUCKY 86, MOREHEAD STATE 53: Maci Morris made five 3-pointers and scored 19 points, Makenzie Cann had her second straight double-double with 15 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, and Kentucky (5-0) beat Morehead State (2-3) at Lexington, Kentucky

(25) MICHIGAN 78, OAKLAND 69: Hallie Thome scored 29 points, Katelynn Flaherty added 26 and Michigan (3-1) pulled away in the fourth quarter to defeat Oakland (2-3) at Ann Arbor, Michigan.

]]> 0 Wed, 22 Nov 2017 22:05:08 +0000
Olympics: American skeleton athletes boosted by Russian bans Wed, 22 Nov 2017 23:59:49 +0000 Katie Uhlaender has shed plenty of tears over the years about how she was so close to an Olympic medal, so close to standing on that podium and watching the American flag get raised in her honor.

She cried again Wednesday. Those tears were happy ones.

The long-awaited word has come down: Uhlaender is about to be an Olympic bronze medalist. The International Olympic Committee disqualified four Russian skeleton athletes from the 2014 Sochi Games, including men’s gold medalist Aleksandr Tretiakov and women’s bronze medalist Elena Nikitina, for doping violations and further banned them from the games going forward.

“I understand that it was a difference of culture and that the Russians don’t believe they did anything wrong,” Uhlaender said. “But this was the only way to fix it.”

Tretiakov’s disqualification means Latvia’s Martins Dukurs will be promoted to gold, Matt Antoine of the U.S. to silver and Latvia’s Tomass Dukurs, Martins’ brother, to bronze. In the women’s race, Uhlaender moves up one spot from fourth, placing her alongside gold medalist Lizzy Yarnold of Britain and silver medalist Noelle Pikus-Pace of the U.S.

“Changing medals, it’s good, it’s great, but it’s not life-changing for me to go from bronze to silver,” Antoine said. “For me, the biggest thing right now is justice. It feels like finally the people who didn’t play fairly, didn’t compete fairly, are getting what they deserved.”

The Russian doping saga has dragged on for years, and still isn’t over. There are other medalists, including double gold winner Alexander Zubkov – now the president of the Russian Bobsleigh Federation – who remain under investigation related to the state-sponsored doping scandal that could keep Russia out of this winter’s Pyeongchang Games entirely.

No one is sure what exactly happens next. The IOC asked the International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation to modify the Olympic results, which is a formality.

Antoine likely will have to surrender his bronze medal since it’ll apparently be going to Tomass Dukurs, though he’s gotten no instructions regarding when or how to do that.

Uhlaender also hasn’t been told when she will get her medal. The IBSF said more information can be expected “within days.”

“The IOC taking a stand like this and doing the right thing has restored my faith in the system and the sport,” Uhlaender said. “I’m just even more motivated and honored to be a part of this movement and I want to be on that podium in Korea and prove it was not a fluke. I’m just overwhelmed right now. But this has definitely added fuel to my fire.”

The sliders got the news while in Whistler, British Columbia, where the World Cup tour is this weekend. Antoine said he woke up to about 40 text messages and 10 emails; Uhlaender was getting calls, texts and emails from around the world starting at 5 a.m. and couldn’t figure out why.

Tretiakov and Nikitina were both in Whistler as well, and Russian officials said appeals will be filed.

In an interview with The Associated Press earlier this season, Yarnold said she believes any athlete caught doping should be given “the harshest sanctions possible.”

“The saddest thing is to know that athletes potentially missed their moments of being on the podium, receiving the medals that they deserved,” Yarnold said. “That has really upset me.”

Nikitina is the World Cup women’s points standings leader after the first two races of the season; she finished fourth in Lake Placid, New York, and won gold last weekend in Park City, Utah. Her start times – in skeleton, sliders sprint the first few meters while towing their sled and then jump aboard – have been the source of skepticism for years, given how much faster she is than even other elite competitors.

Tretiakov is fourth in the men’s World Cup standings, after a bronze in Lake Placid and a sixth-place finish in Park City.

]]> 0 Uhlaender came up short of the podium in 2014, placing fourth in the women's skeleton at Sochi, but will now receive a bronze medal after an opponent's disqualification.Wed, 22 Nov 2017 20:07:04 +0000
Court denies appeal over photo used in erotic fiction about Patriots’ Gronkowski Wed, 22 Nov 2017 22:06:01 +0000 CINCINNATI — A federal appeals court has spiked an Ohio couple’s case against companies that distributed an erotic fiction book about a woman’s desire for New England Patriots star Rob Gronkowski.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling Tuesday upheld a lower court’s dismissal of the case against, Barnes & Noble Inc. and Smashwords filed by a couple referred to as John and Jane Roe.

The couple says an engagement photo that shows them embracing was pulled from their photographer’s website without their knowledge and used on the cover of “A Gronking to Remember.” The book was self-published using the defendant companies’ online services by a male author writing under the pseudonym “Lacey Noonan,” according to court records.

The couple’s lawsuit describes the 2014 book as raunchy and distasteful and says their privacy rights were violated.

The book began showing up in Gronkowski’s media appearances, including at the Super Bowl media day in 2015 and in a jocular reading he gave on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”Court records indicate that the “Gronking” author changed the cover at least twice, first to remove images with the Patriots’ trademarks after the NFL club complained, and then again after hearing from the Roes.

U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Rose in Dayton ruled against the couple last year, saying the corporate defendants were book distributors broadly protected by the First Amendment because their self-publishing services were the “next logical step after the photocopier.”

The three-judge appeals panel said the couple failed to show the companies were aware of any photo rights issue.

]]> 0 couple sued after their photo was used for a book about lusting for Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.Wed, 22 Nov 2017 18:11:34 +0000
Bounty of nuts, berries fattening Vermont, New Hampshire critters Wed, 22 Nov 2017 20:34:11 +0000 MONTPELIER, Vt. — Abundant crops of acorns, beech nuts and other lesser-known species are providing wildlife across at least parts of the Northeast with an unusually bountiful Thanksgiving feast that is fattening every animal that depends on them, from mice and squirrels to turkeys, deer and bears.

The volume of nuts and berries in the woods this fall is so great in some areas that birds are staying away from backyard feeders, prompting calls of concern to experts. But there’s nothing wrong, experts say; the birds are just finding plenty to eat in the woods, so there’s no reason for them to visit feeders.

“It is truly a bounty for our wild animals this year,” said Scott Darling, a biologist with the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, who noted that the sound of chipmunks and squirrels in the woods this fall “is almost deafening.”

Andrew Timmins of the New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game attributed the abundance to the wet summer and the lack of a late frost last spring.

“There are no losers in these abundant food years,” Timmins said.

There is no central record keeping of the health of the forest nut production, and it’s unclear how far the regional bounty extends.

Travis Lau, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, said his state is also reporting a bumper crop, if not a record crop, of hickory nuts this year. Acorns from red and white oak and beech nuts are also plentiful.

“Within our state’s boundaries, we are looking at this abundance statewide,” Lau said.

But it doesn’t extend to Michigan. Katie Keen, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, said the forest food crop this year in the northern Lower Peninsula is on the lower end.

She said some years, acorns cover the forest floors of the northern Lower Peninsula. “This just isn’t one of those years,” she said.

Back in northern New England, the small animals feasting on the nuts and berries are also providing themselves as food for the animals that prey on them – foxes, coyotes and bobcat, not to mention pine martens, mink and fisher.

“It impacts up the food web,” said Robert Cordis, wildlife special projects coordinator with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. “It’s not just the primary consumers, but all the way up the chain.”

Bears are not looking for food in trash cans or bird feeders, and complaints from humans are way down, Vermont bear biologist Forrest Hammond said. Bears are also staying out of their dens longer, and it’s expected Vermont’s just-completed bear hunt will see higher numbers taken by hunters.

One potential downside is that ticks will thrive on the rodents that live on the forest floor, but any increase won’t come right away, Hammond said. The tick population would be expected to grow next season. Lyme disease-carrying deer ticks would be greatest in 2019.

]]> 0 pine grosbeak chews on a berry in a tree in Montpelier, Vt. Northern New England wildlife is enjoying a record bounty of nuts and berries.Wed, 22 Nov 2017 18:21:45 +0000
NHL roundup: Tarasenko leads Blues to 8-3 win over Oilers Wed, 22 Nov 2017 04:18:44 +0000 ST. LOUIS — Vladimir Tarasenko had two goals and two assists and got in a rare fight Tuesday night, helping the St. Louis Blues to an 8-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers.

Brayden Schenn also had two goals and two assists, and Jake Allen stopped 26 shots for the NHL-leading Blues.

Tarasenko’s fight came in the second period. In just the third scrap of his six-year career, Tarasenko tangled with Matt Benning and landed a solid right hand much to the crowd’s delight.

Tarasenko was reacting to Benning’s near-collision with Schenn that was almost a knee-on-knee hit.

It was Tarasenko’s second career Gordie Howe hat trick – a goal, an assist and a fight in the same game. The other one came on Nov. 13, 2014, against Nashville.

St. Louis (16-5-1) scored two goals in each of the first two periods before adding four in a wide-open third.

CANUCKS 5, FLYERS 2: Brock Boeser scored twice and Daniel Sedin inched closer to a major NHL milestone, leading visiting Vancouver to a win over slumping Philadelphia.

Sedin had a goal and an assist to leave him four points shy of 1,000 for his career.

Sven Baertschi scored a power-play goal, Henrik Sedin had two assists and Loui Eriksson added an empty-net goal and an assist for the Canucks.

Jacob Markstrom made 35 saves to earn his sixth win of the season as Vancouver improved to 10-8-3 with its second victory in six games.

Ivan Provorov and Jakub Voracek scored for the Flyers, who lost their fifth straight and fell below .500 (8-9-4) for the first time this season.

Michal Neuvirth took the loss, allowing four goals on 22 shots. He was replaced by Brian Elliott with 5:20 remaining in the second period.

Boeser leads the Canucks in goals (nine) and points (19).


PENGUINS: Center Evgeni Malkin will miss at least one game with an upper-body injury.

Malkin will sit out on Wednesday night when the Penguins host Vancouver. Coach Mike Sullivan says Malkin will be re-evaluated on Thursday. Pittsburgh visits Boston on Friday and hosts Tampa Bay on Saturday.

Malkin is second on the team in scoring, with seven goals and 14 assists in 22 games for the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions. It’s unclear who will fill his spot on the second line with Phil Kessel and Bryan Rust. Jake Guentzel practiced with them on Tuesday.

The Penguins could have center Carter Rowney return to the lineup against the Canucks.

Rowney has missed 13 games with a hand injury.

]]> 0 Blues’ Vladimir Tarasenko sets up his scoring shot in the third period as the Bruins’ Colin Miller defends. The goal broke a scoreless tie and the Blues went on to win, 2-0.Tue, 21 Nov 2017 23:25:36 +0000
Maine colleges: Third-quarter run helps Bates in women’s basketball Wed, 22 Nov 2017 04:12:03 +0000 GORHAM — Reserve Julia Middlebrook put in a layup with 4:18 to play in the third quarter Tuesday, igniting an 11-1 run that helped Bates College to a 68-56 victory against the University of Southern Maine in a nonconference women’s basketball game at Warren Gymnasium.

Nina Davenport led the Bobcats (1-2) with 27 points and eight boards, Melanie Binkhorst added 12 points and Middlebrooks finished with nine.

Kristen Curley led USM (0-4)with 20 points, Emily Nicholson chipped in with 15.

ST. JOSEPH’S 84, UM-FARMINGTON 57: Regan McFerran had 20 points to lead four players in double-figures for the Monks (2-1), who opened a 38-22 halftime lead and defeated the Beavers (0-3) at Farmington.

Kelsi McNamara had 18 points for St. Joseph’s.

UM-AUGUSTA 62, SMCC 60: Caitlin LaFountain’s layup gave the Moose (6-4, 4-1 Yankee Small College) the lead with 29 seconds to play against the Seawolves (5-3, 3-1) at Augusta.

After a timeout, Emily Hogan missed a 3-pointer for SMCC and following an offensive rebound, Dominique Lewis had a steal for Augusta. She hit her first free throw to ice it.

COLBY 68, THOMAS 41: The Mules (2-1) closed the first quarter on a 13-2 run to open a 20-9 lead and handled the visiting Terriers (1-3) at Waterville.


BOWDOIN 120, UNIVERSITY OF NEW ENGAND 93: Reserve Sam Grad went 10 of 11 from the field and had a game-high 24 points to lead six players in double figures for the Polar Bears (3-0) against the Nor’easters (1-3) at Brunswick.

UM-FARMINGTON 71, ST. JOSEPH’S 69: Bill Ruby hit a 3-pointer with 3:34 to play in overtime to give the Beavers (1-2) a 66-65 lead against the Monks (1-2) at Farmington.

BATES 55, SOUTHERN MAINE 46: Tom Coyne had a game-high 16 points as the Bobcats (2-1) downed the Huskies (1-3) at Gorham.

COLBY 81, THOMAS 66: The Mules (3-0) opened the game with an 11-3 run and ran out to a 43-29 halftime lead, handling the visiting Terriers (1-2) at Waterville.

SOUTHERN MAINE CC 108, UM-AUGUSTA 86: Dylan Sylvester had 25 points and 18 rebounds to lead six players, including all five starters, in double figures as the Seawolves (6-2, 2-1 Yankee Small College) cruised past the Moose (2-4, 1-3) at Augusta.


UNIVERSITY OF NEW ENGLAND 1, SALEM STATE 1: Jessica Tolzman scored a power-play goal from Kyra Yu and Alex Mitchell with 52 seconds left in the first period to tie the game for the Nor’easters (1-2-4) against the Vikings (0-5-2) at Salem, Massachusetts.

COLBY 2, SOUTHERN MAINE 0: Natalie Mause scored from Tay Munson after 11:03 and the Mules (1-1-1) shut out the Huskies (2-6) at Waterville.


UNIVERSITY OF NEW ENGLAND 3, BOWDOIN 2: Brady Fleurent scored the go-ahead goal from Ray Bloom and Tyler Seltenreich with 6:13 to play as the Nor’easters (3-3-1) got past the host Polar Bears (1-2) at Brunswick.

SALEM STATE 5, SOUTHERN MAINE 3: Mackenzie Cook scored twice for the Vikings (3-4), who opened a 2-0 first-period lead and held off the Huskies (1-5-1) at Gorham.

]]> 0 Tue, 21 Nov 2017 23:17:56 +0000
Sports Digest: Yarmouth figure skater, partner capture sectional title Wed, 22 Nov 2017 03:55:14 +0000 FIGURE SKATING

Yarmouth skater, partner capture sectional pairs

Franz-Peter Jerosch of Yarmouth and his partner won the novice pairs competition at the Eastern sectional figure skating championships in Boxborough, Massachusetts.

Jerosch, 16, of the North Atlantic Figure Skating Club and Jade Hom of Southborough, Massachusetts, earned a combined score of 113.81 points from victorious performances in short program and free skate to outdistance runners-up from Florida by nine points overall. The competition included five pairs.

The victory qualified Jerosch and Hom for the U.S. figure skating championships Jan. 1-2 in San Jose, California.

Last winter, Jerosch and his former partner, Jade Esposito, won silver medals in intermediate pairs – one level below novice – at the national championships in Independence, Missouri.

GRAND PRIX: World champion Evgenia Medvedeva may miss the final next month because of a broken foot.


NEW SEEDINGS: Grand Slam tournaments plan to return to seeding only 16 players instead of 32 as of 2019, and now will give a player who is a late withdrawal because of an injury 50 percent of the first-round prize money.

The four Grand Slam tournaments – the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open – doubled the number of seeded players to 32 in June 2001. That decision was made partly in response to complaints from clay-court specialists that they wanted more draw protection at Wimbledon, the only major tournament played on grass.


MLS: Toronto FC and the Columbus Crew played to a 0-0 draw in the first leg of the Eastern Conference final at Columbus, Ohio.

The second of two legs of the aggregate-goals series is Nov. 29 at Toronto.

WORLD CUP: Ange Postecoglou quit as Australia coach a week after the Socceroos secured a spot at next year’s World Cup with an intercontinental victory against Honduras.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Defending champion Real Madrid advanced again to the knockout stages after beating APOEL of Cyprus 6-0. Besiktas of Turkey also progressed, drawing with Porto of Portugal 1-1 to reach the last 16 for the first time.

THAILAND: Five players and two match officials from the top-flight national league were among 12 people arrested for alleged match-fixing, according to the nation’s federation.


RETIREMENT PLANNED: Hooker Stephen Moore said he’ll retire from playing rugby after Australia’s final match of the season Saturday against Scotland.

Rugby Australia says in a statement that Moore originally planned to play one last season with the Queensland Reds in Super Rugby, but will retire after the Scotland match.


BAN SLASHED: The International Ice Hockey Federation cut a doping ban given to Russian forward Danis Zaripov from two years to six months.

He’s eligible to play again Thursday.

– Staff and news reports

]]> 0 Tue, 21 Nov 2017 22:55:14 +0000
Top 25 basketball: Kansas rolls past Texas Southern Wed, 22 Nov 2017 03:43:04 +0000 LAWRENCE, Kan. — Svi Mykhailiuk scored 21 points, Udoka Azubuike added 20 and No. 3 Kansas cruised to a 114-71 victory against Texas Southern on Tuesday night.

Lagerald Vick, Devonte’ Graham and Marcus Garrett all finished with a double-double for Kansas. Vick posted 19 points and 10 rebounds, Graham had 17 points and 11 assists, and Garrett logged 13 points and 11 boards.

The Jayhawks shot 59 percent from the field and 60 percent from 3-point range in the first half. Their seven 3s set a school record for the most in a half.

The strong shooting carried into the second half. With just under 10 minutes left Graham gave Kansas its 17th 3 of the game – a program record.

(6) WICHITA STATE 80, MARQUETTE 66: Landry Shamet scored 19 points, Connor Frankamp added 13 and Wichita State (4-0) rode its second-half defense to defeat Marquette (2-2) at Lahaina, Hawaii.

Wichita State took control by holding sharpshooters Markus Howard and Andrew Rowsey in check long enough to build a 10-point lead.

(12) CINCINNATI 75, RICHMOND 48: Cane Broome led a balanced offense with 13 points, Jacob Evans added 12 and Cincinnati (5-0)used a dominant first half to defeat Richmond (1-3) at George Town, Cayman Islands.

Jarron Cumberland opened the scoring with 3-pointers on consecutive possessions and Evans hit another before the Spiders scored, and when Justin Jenifer hit a 3 just beyond the five-minute mark Cincinnati was up 14-4.

(14) MINNESOTA 100, ALABAMA A&M 57: Jordan Murphy had his fifth straight double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds as Minnesota (5-0) defeated Alabama A&M (0-4) at Minneapolis.

Four others scored in double figures for the Gophers. Davonte Fitzgerald had 13, Nate Mason scored 12, and Reggie Lynch and Jamir Harris each added 11.

(16) TEXAS A&M 98, PENN STATE 87: Robert Williams had 21 points and nine rebounds to lead Texas A&M (4-0) over Penn State (5-1) at New York.

Duane Wilson led the Aggies with 22 points.

(19) LOUISVILLE 84, SOUTHERN ILLINOIS 42: Reserve Jordan Nwora scored a career-high 18 points and Deng Adel had 16 points as Louisville (3-0) coasted past visiting Southern Illinois (2-1).

(23) UCLA 72, WISCONSIN 70: Aaron Holiday got a scooping layup to drop just before the final buzzer, giving UCLA (4-1) a victory over Wisconsin (3-2) at Kansas City, Missouri.


(15) MARYLAND 111, HOWARD 49: Stephanie Jones and Brianna Fraser scored 24 points apiece, and Blair Watson had 18, all career highs, as Maryland (3-2) coasted past Howard (0-4) at College Park, Maryland.

]]> 0 Jefferson of Texas Southern attempts to get around Devonte' Graham of Kansas during the first half of Kansas' 114-71 victory Tuesday night.Tue, 21 Nov 2017 22:57:21 +0000
Women’s basketball: Bowdoin’s in fine form in routing UNE, 91-59 Wed, 22 Nov 2017 02:50:19 +0000 BRUNSWICK — Bowdoin grabbed the momentum early to cruise to a 91-59 win Tuesday night over previously unbeaten University of New England in a nonconference Division III college women’s basketball game at Morrell Gymnasium.

The lopsided win over the Nor’easters came on the heels of the Polar Bears’ 80-68 win over the weekend against highly regarded University of Saint Thomas in the Skidmore Invitational.

“They look very impressive on film, but they look even better in person,” said UNE Coach Anthony Ewing. “They play really fast. They’ve got kids who go to the basket, kids that can shoot. They ‘D’ up, and they’re well coached. There’s not a lot of weaknesses there. You’ve got to kind of hope they don’t shoot real well to be in a game with them.”

The Polar Bears (3-0) shot the ball extremely well, making 46.9 percent of their 3-pointers (12 of 26) and 44.9 percent of their shots overall (35 of 78).

“There’s no one that we can say we can drop off her (and) we don’t have to guard her,” Ewing said, “and there is no one who can’t shoot the 3(-point shot) very well.”

The Polar Bears’ Taylor Choate, a junior guard, led all scorers with 22 points, all but six coming in the second half. Kate Kerrigan followed with 18 points. Laure Petit had 14 points.

Olivia Shaw, a senior forward from Saco, led UNE (3-1) with 17 points.

Sam MacDonald followed with 15 points. Ashley Coneys added 11 points.

Bowdoin took command early, stringing together a 21-0 run that started late in the first quarter and extended nearly five minutes into the second quarter. It ended with the Polar Bears holding a 38-15 lead. Buoyed by a 53 percent shooting percentage from 3-point range (8 of 15), they carried a 50-27 lead into the second half.

“The first home game is always fun and exciting,” said Kerrigan, a senior guard from Wellesley, Massachusetts, who scored 13 points during the first half to help propel the Polar Bears into their early 23-point lead. “We had a little bit of those nerves and it took us a little time to settle down, but once we did we rolled and we didn’t really stop rolling.”

“They’re a team that seizes momentum really well (and) they do a good job of holding on to it,” Ewing said. “We called a timeout to try to stem it, but they have such good enthusiasm, and it’s sort of contagious.”

Despite the accolades from Ewing, Bowdoin Coach Adrienne Shibles saw room for improvement.

“Our decision-making sometimes is a little sloppy,” she said. “I think we could look inside more. We’ve got some weapons inside, and we don’t use them enough.

“We’ve got some good people who can really score the ball inside, and I think if we have a little bit more balance inside-out that’s going to be good.”

“Tonight on the defensive end we let up way more points than we should have,” Kerrigan said. “We could have had some better box outs.”

]]> 0, 21 Nov 2017 23:40:50 +0000
College football notebook: Miami moves up to second, trails Alabama in rankings Wed, 22 Nov 2017 02:13:33 +0000 Miami moved up to No. 2 behind Alabama in the College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday night, with Clemson slipping one spot to three and Oklahoma holding at four.

Wisconsin and Auburn remained next up behind the top four in a week when the top half of the selection committee’s rankings were mostly unchanged.

Georgia, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State and Southern California followed in the same order as they did last week. Over the next two weeks, every team in the top nine will play another team ranked in the committee’s top 25, including four games matching top playoff contenders.

The Crimson Tide will play at Auburn on Saturday to decide a spot in the Southeastern Conference championship on Dec. 2. The winner plays Georgia.

The Atlantic Coast Conference championship will match Clemson and Miami on Dec. 2, and Wisconsin and Ohio State play in the Big Ten championship.

Miami’s move is small but potentially significant. The unbeaten Hurricanes play at Pitt on Friday and now seem to be better positioned to get into the playoff even with a loss to Clemson, depending on how things play out in other conferences.

Central Florida came in at No. 15 and Memphis is 20th, the highest ranked teams from outside the Power Five. The American Athletic Conference rivals could meet in the league title game in two weeks if UCF beats USF on Black Friday, setting up a game that would likely send the winner into a New Year’s Six bowl as the highest ranked Group of Five conference champion.

KANSAS STATE: Quarterback Jesse Ertz will need surgery on his ailing knee and miss the remainder of the season, while backup Alex Delton remains sidelined after sustaining two concussions.

Wildcats Coach Bill Snyder said it’s possible Delton could return for a bowl game.

That means the Wildcats, who are 6-5 after last week’s upset of Oklahoma State, will lean on freshman Skylar Thompson against Iowa State on Saturday.

KANSAS: Coach David Beaty announced that his captains – Dorance Armstrong Jr., Daniel Wise and Joe Dineen Jr. – were stripped of their status. The trio refused to shake Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield’s hand during the pregame coin-toss, which led to a game filled with vitriol.

Mayfield was hit several times after the whistle, once earning a personal foul on Kansas, while the Heisman Trophy front-runner was caught grabbing his crotch and cursing at the Jayhawks’ bench.

NORTHERN ARIZONA: The school has reversed course after announcing two months ago that Coach Jerome Souers was leaving.

The university now says Souers will continue as coach of the Lumberjacks to “ensure stability” for the football program.

University President Rita Cheng says stability is vital as the school begins a search for a new athletic director.

In September, the school said this would be Souers’ last season.

The 59-year-old is in his 20th season coaching the team.

He is the winningest coach in Big Sky Conference history with 112 wins and he has coached 84 FCS All-Americans.

TENNESSEE STATE: A former Tennessee State player has been charged with aggravated assault with serious bodily injury for punching a coach on the sideline during a game.

Latrelle Lee was arrested Monday and released on $7,500 bond.

According to the arrest affidavit, strength coach TJ Greenstone was trying to keep the Tigers behind the white line when Lee punched him several times around his face, knocking him to the ground. The incident was caught on video, and the affidavit says Greenstone has had medical issues from being hit.

Lee was kicked off the team and expelled from Tennessee State. He is due in court Dec. 8.

DUKE: Safety Jeremy McDuffie will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.

Team officials said McDuffie will have surgery on Nov. 27 to repair ligament damage in his right knee. McDuffie was hurt during the Blue Devils’ 43-20 victory over Georgia Tech last week.

He started all 11 games and had 58 tackles, three interceptions and nine passes broken up.

]]> 0 and quarterback Jalen Hurts will play Auburn on Saturday to decide a spot in the SEC championship on Dec. 2. The winner plays Georgia.Tue, 21 Nov 2017 23:38:52 +0000
NBA notebook: DeMarcus Cousins claims ejection was unfair Wed, 22 Nov 2017 01:27:02 +0000 METAIRIE, La. — New Orleans center DeMarcus Cousins said he was protecting a rebound the way all big men are taught when he was ejected for a flagrant foul Monday night in a game against Oklahoma City.

Cousins was called for a flagrant-two foul when he raised his right elbow near Thunder guard Russell Westbrook’s head during the third quarter of the Pelicans’ 114-107 victory.

Cousins, who didn’t speak about the play until after Tuesday’s practice, said Westbrook “did a good job of selling” the foul the way he fell, holding his head.

“It’s crazy. When you start playing the game of basketball as a big man, they tell you, ‘When you get a rebound, keep your elbows high and out,’ you know, to protect the ball from guards coming in stripping,” Cousins said. “All I did was use my fundamentals and I got punished for it.”

Cousins, who has a history of on-court emotional outbursts that draw a relatively high number of technical fouls, said he knew officials wouldn’t give him the benefit of the doubt when they reviewed the play on a video monitor before ejecting him.

“I’m DeMarcus. I expected the ejection. I knew,” said Cousins, who was assessed a league-high 18 technical fouls last season.

Cousins added he’s not sure what he can do differently going forward other than “send the refs a Christmas card – I don’t know – the league, too. Send Christmas cards, stuff like that.”

The play occurred under the Pelicans’ basket in the third quarter after Cousins secured a rebound. When Cousins raised his elbows near Westbrook’s face, Westbrook went down.

It wasn’t clear from replays whether Cousins caught Westbrook in the head or shoulder, or if the contact was significant.

The league office reviews such plays before deciding on fines or additional punishment.

BUCKS: Forward Mirza Teletovic is expected to miss four weeks following arthroscopic surgery to repair cartilage in his left knee. He’s missed the last six games.

RAY ALLEN, a retired NBA star, said he’s a victim of “catfishing,” and asked a court to throw out a case where he’s accused of stalking someone he met online.

Allen filed an emergency motion one day after Bryant Coleman told the court he’s being stalked by Allen, who said Coleman is the one who is stalking.

“Coleman pretended to be a number of attractive women interested in Ray Allen,” read the motion filed on Allen’s behalf. “Ray believed he was speaking with these women and communicated with them.”

]]> 0 City guard Russell Westbrook is fouled by New Orleans forward DeMarcus Cousins, right, during the Thunder's 118-110 win Sunday in Oklahoma City.Tue, 21 Nov 2017 20:56:36 +0000