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

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

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

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

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IHSA Football Semifinals

Class 1A:

 

Tuscoa 21, Athens 4, F

 

Class 2A:

 

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

Maroa-Forsyth 25, Shelbyville 14,F

 

Class 3A:

 

Elmhurst IC Catholic 7, Pleasant Plains 41, F

 

Class 4A:

 

Highland 14, Rochester 31, F

 

Class 5A:

 

Dunlap 21, Washington 0, F

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

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

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Boise State Routs Illinois State at Puerto Rico Tip Off

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

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Vermont Rallies Past Bradley

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

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Clinton Girls Topple Decatur LSA

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

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

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

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

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

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Illinois State Holds Off South Carolina

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

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Illinois At Ohio State

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

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Bears, Packers Home Sunday

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

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Blues Overcome Oilers

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

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Stanton, Altuve Baseball MVPs

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

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Blackhawks Double Up Rangers

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

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Pacers Win, Bulls Lose Wednesday

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

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Scherzer Wins NL Cy Young, Kluber Takes Home AL Award

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

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Mt. Pulaski High School Track Star Commits To Southern Illinois

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

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Mt. Pulaski Edges Riverton at Clinton Turkey Tussle

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

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Monticello Topples LeRoy In Girls Basketball Season Opener

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

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Bradley Rolls Delaware

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

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Miami, Oklahoma Enter CFP Rankings

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

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

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

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Monticello Lady Sages at LeRoy

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

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Monticello Girls Basketball Opens Season Tonight

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

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Blues Fall To Flames

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

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Bulls Mirotic Returns To Practice, Still Not Speaking To Portis

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

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Bellinger, Judge Win Rookie of the Year

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Indiana Drops Illinois, Western Wins Big; ISU Loses

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

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NFL: Packers Roll Bears

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

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NHL: Devils Outlast Blackhawks

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

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Rockets Throttle Pacers

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

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Miami Jumps in Polls After Win Over Notre Dame

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

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Cardinals Among Teams in on Giancarlo Stanton

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

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Chicago 4-Star Dosunmu Officially Signs With Illini

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

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Illini Baseball Adds Ten Signees

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

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Pistons Get By Pacers

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

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Report: Bulls Players Siding with Portis in Mirotic Beef

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

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Packers Cut TE Bennett

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

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Bulls, Pacers Lose Tuesday

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

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Blues Down Devils

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

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Bears Place TE Miller on IR

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

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Cubs Heyward Nabs Fifth Gold Glove

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

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Second College Football Playoff Rankings Released

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

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Illinois DC Takin Leave From Team

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

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Lions Topple Rodgers-less Packers

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

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Cubs, Cardinals Free Agency Notes

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

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

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

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Packers Return From Bye Week for MNF Matchup Against Detroit

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

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Knicks Rally Past Pacers

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

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Canadiens Blank Blackhawks

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

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Monticello Falls Short Against Byron

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

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Monticello Headed To Undefeated Byron For Second Round Playoff Matchup

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

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Illinois At Purdue, ISU Hosts Western, Eastern At Home

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

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NBA To Bring Lottery To Chicago in Spring

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

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Flyers Blank Blues

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

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Baseball Free Agency Notes

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

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Blackhawks Blank Flyers

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

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Houston Astros Win World Series

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

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Pacers Win, Bulls Lose Wednesday

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

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Duke No. 1 in Preseason AP Poll

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

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Bears Say TE Miller Progressing Well After Surgery

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

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Dodgers Rebound To Force Game 7 in World Series

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

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Pacers Down Kings

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

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Georgia No. 1 in First CFP Poll

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

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Blues Double Up Kings

Carl Gunnarsson scored the game-winning goal Monday night in a 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.
 
Vladimir Tarasenko and Jaden Schwartz each had a goal and an assist to lead the Blues in a matchup between two of the NHL's top squads, Vladimir Sobotka added an empty-netter for the Blues, who improved to 10-2-1 to match the franchise's best start set in 1997. 
 
Jake Allen made 26 saves as St. Louis remained the only unbeaten team on home ice this season (5-0).
 
Tanner Pearson and Dustin Brown scored for the Kings, who had their three-game winning streak snapped and fell to 9-2-1. Jonathan Quick made 26 saves.
 
Tarasenko and Schwartz continued their strong play against Los Angeles. Tarasenko has 14 points in 15 career games and Schwartz has six points in his last five games against the Kings.
 
Tarasenko gave the Blues a 1-0 lead and broke a five-game goal drought at 7:25 of the second period. Schwartz picked off Derek Forbort's pass at center ice and found Tarasenko streaking in on the left side.
 
Three minutes later, Schwartz cleaned up the rebound of Brayden Schenn's shot to make it 2-0.
 
Allen robbed Pearson with a glove save after Pearson found himself alone in front with 7:52 left in the second.
 
Pearson made good on his second chance, putting a backhand past Allen with 6:40 left in the second after he got behind Gunnarsson for a breakaway to cut the St. Louis lead to 2-1.
 
The Blues host the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday.

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Bears LB Freeman Suspended 10 Games for Violation of PED Policy

The NFL has suspended injured Chicago Bears linebacker Jerrell Freeman 10 games for violating the league's policy against performance-enhancing drugs.
It was the second PED suspension in as many years for Freeman, who received a four-week punishment last season. The league says he will begin serving this one immediately.
 
A sixth-year pro, Freeman is on injured reserve because of a pectoral injury he suffered in a season-opening loss to Atlanta.
 
Freeman led Chicago with 110 tackles - a team-high 86 solo - last season. He was with the Colts from 2012-2015.
 
>>Patriots Trade QB Garappolo to San Francisco
 
The San Francisco 49ers may have found their quarterback of the future. According to a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter, the 49ers acquired Jimmy Garoppolo from the New England Patriots in exchange for a 2018 second-round pick. 
 
Garoppolo, the Patriots' 2014 second-round pick, had a successful stint filling in for a suspended Tom Brady last season (68.3 completion percentage, four touchdowns, zero interceptions, 8.0 yards per attempt, 113.3 passer rating on 63 pass attempts), and subsequently became an incredibly hot trade commodity during the 2017 offseason, with rumors flying all over about several teams trying to acquire his services. 
 
He now heads to San Francisco, where quarterback guru Kyle Shanahan is the head coach. Shanahan guided the MVP season of Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan in 2016, which led to his being hired in San Francisco. 
 
He'll now attempt to mold Garoppolo into the kind of passer that leads the 49ers into the future. He appears to have the requisite talent based on what we've seen on the field, but it's important to remember that he has thrown a total of 94 passes in three years. 

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Saints Get By Bears

Drew Brees delivered accurate, aggressive throws downfield in tense moments, New Orleans' defense came up with a fourth-down stop and rookie Marshon Lattimore's interception on its final two series.
 
Kicker Wil Lutz hit from 45 and 49 yards in the second half, hitting the longer kick inside the 
final two minutes and the surging Saints to once again overcome some potentially disastrous mistakes and win their fifth straight, 20-12 over the feisty Chicago Bears on Sunday.
Running backs Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara each ran for touchdowns for New Orleans (5-2). Ingram finished with 99 yards from scrimmage, including 75 on the ground, but his two late fumbles kept the Bears (3-5) in the game into the final minutes.
 
Kamara had 76 yards from scrimmage - 48 receiving, including his 34-yard, back-shoulder catch along the sideline in the fourth quarter.
 
Chicago converted the first fumble into its only touchdown with 3:43 left on Tarik Cohen's short dive over a pile of players at the goal line. The second turnover occurred with a little more than two minutes left on the Bears 30, but Chicago was unable to get a first down as rookie Mitchell Trubisky's fourth-and-1 pass fell incomplete.
 
Trubisky completed 14 of 32 passes for 164 yards in his fourth start. Chicago's Jordan Howard had 102 yards rushing on 23 carries.
 
Chicago gets its bye week before hosting Green Bay on Nov. 12.

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Game Time Set For Monticello Second Round Playoff Matchup

The Monticello Sages will travel to Byron Saturday afternoon for a 2 pm kick off.
 
The Sages shut out North Boone in the second half en rout to a 35-14 victory in the first round of the IHSA football playoffs. 
Byron took care of Eureka 28-7 Friday night. 
 
Monticello tailback Lucas Lieb carried the ball 16 times for 157 yards and a score while Nathan Harman finished with a touchdown and 50 yards with a touchdown in the win.
 
Quarterback Braden Snyder finished 17 for 23 through the air with 252 yards and added 49 yards on the ground with two touchdowns. 
 
The Sages are 9-1 on the season.
 
Hear Saturday's action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Pacers Get By Spurs

Victor Oladipo knocked down a step-back 3-pointer with 10 seconds left to complete a late rally and give Indiana a rare 97-94 victory over San Antonio.
 
Oladipo finished with 23 points and five assists and led the Pacers in scoring for the sixth time in six games. Domantas Sabonis added 22 points and 12 rebounds, both career highs, while going 9 of 9 from the field.
They helped offset LaMarcus Aldridge, who finished with 26 points and eight rebounds, and Pau Gasol, who had 17 points, seven rebounds, five blocks and five assists.
 
But when the Spurs opened the fourth quarter on an 18-5 run to take an 82-73 lead with 6:44 left, it looked like the Spurs might run away.
 
Instead Sabonis and Oladipo spurred a 16-3 spurt that gave Indiana an 89-85 lead with 3:06 left and a couple of possessions later, Oladipo broke an 89-89 tie with a three-point play.
 
Danny Green answered with five straight to give the Spurs a 94-92 lead, but Oladipo hit the long jumper to put Indiana ahead for good.
 
The Pacers will seek a straight win in the Sacramento series Tuesday at home.

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Ohio State Up In This Week's Polls

The new college football rankings rolled out Sunday, starting with the Coaches Poll on Sunday. Alabama is still the No. 1 team in the country, but there's a change in the top five following Penn State's loss at Ohio State and TCU's defeat at the hands of Iowa State. 
 
The Buckeyes moved up three spots to No. 3 behind Georgia (the new No. 2) and ahead of Wisconsin. Penn State dropped five spots after the loss, but remained in the top 10 at No. 7 while TCU slid down eight spots to No. 12. Iowa State made the biggest move up in the poll after beating the Horned Frogs, jumping 11 spots up to No. 16. 
 
USF fell the furthest after suffering its first loss of the season at the hands of Houston, dropping nine spots to No. 23. 
 
Penn State and TCU were sure to be two of the top four teams when the first College Football Playoff rankings are released on Tuesday, but if the AP Top 25 poll is any indication, they could both start on the outside looking in after suffering their first losses of the season on Saturday. 
 
Penn State fell from No. 2 to No. 7 and TCU from No. 4 to No. 10 after Week 9 action, with Ohio State jumping up to No. 3 after beating the Nittany Lions, and Iowa State surging up 11 spots to No. 14 after defeating the Horned Frogs in Ames -- the Cyclones' second victory over a top-five team this season. 
 
Georgia moved up to No. 2 and in an interesting development also earned two first-place votes, making Alabama no longer the unanimous No. 1 in the land among the Associated Press Top 25 poll voters. 

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Astros Outlast Dodgers For Another Classic Win

Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve and the Astros kept hammering away in a wild slugfest that no one saw coming, rallying against Clayton Kershaw and rocking the Los Angeles Dodgers 13-12 in 10 thrilling innings Sunday night for a 3-2 lead.
 
In a tension-filled game of monster momentum swings at pulsating Minute Maid Park, the last one belonged to Alex Bregman . With the packed crowd still standing well past midnight, the 23-year-old third baseman hit an RBI single with two outs off Kenley Jansen.
Altuve, Correa, Yuli Gurriel, George Springer and Brian McCann homered for Houston , the highest-scoring team in the majors this season.
 
Cody Bellinger and Yasiel Puig went deep for the Dodgers, who scored three times in the ninth to make it 12-all.
 
Puig lined a two-run shot in the ninth, the record 22nd homer in a single Series, and Chris Taylor's two-out single off Chris Devenski tied it.
 
With two down in the 10th, Jansen hit McCann on the hand with a pitch and Springer walked.
 
Bregman, who homered off Jansen in Saturday night's loss, lined the next pitch over shortstop to score pinch-runner Derek Fisher, who slid home ahead of the throw from left fielder Andre Ethier.
 
Out of nowhere, the Astros climbed out of a four-run hole against Kershaw and then erased two more deficits later in the game, tying it each time on a homer.
 
Correa leaped and twirled after launching a two-run drive that made it 11-8 in the seventh. 
 
Much later, he hurdled the dugout railing the moment Bregman lined his winning single.
 
Bellinger hit a three-run drive in the fifth that made it 7-4 and seemed to swing things back in the Dodgers' favor. By the end of the mayhem on the mound, it was a mere afterthought.
 
Each team had 14 hits, eight for extra bases, and both used seven pitchers.
 
Kershaw has allowed a postseason-record eight home runs this year.
 
Game 6 will be Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium, where Justin Verlander will try to clinch the Astros' first championship and Rich Hill hopes to save Los Angeles' season.

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Illinois State Wins; Illinois, Eastern Illinois Lose Saturday

>>Illinois Can't Hang With No. 5 Wisconsin
 
Alec Ingold and Garrett Groshek scored on short runs in the first half, offensive lineman Michael Deiter added another touchdown on a trick play late in the game, and No. 5 Wisconsin beat Illinois 24-10 on Saturday to remain unbeaten.
 
Star running back Jonathan Taylor rushed for just 73 yards but didn't appear in the second half for Wisconsin because of a left leg injury. The freshman entered the game averaging 158.6 yards rushing.
 
Despite Taylor's absence, Alex Hornibrook made enough throws to get the team's eighth win. None was better than on the trick play that freed Deiter for his first career touchdown.
 
Hornibrook dropped back on third-and-goal from the 4 and rushed right before throwing a backward pass to Deiter on the other side. Deiter caught it and hustled his 328-pound frame in for the score.
 
Wisconsin (8-0, 5-0 Big Ten) gained 306 yards, well below its season average of 462.7 yards, but was able to overcome a sluggish performance for its 11th consecutive conference victory.
 
Jeff George Jr. and Cam Thomas both struggled passing, combining to go 9 of 31 for 152 yards. They were sacked five times. Thomas threw two interceptions.
 
The Illini (2-6, 0-5) finally scored a touchdown on a 3-yard run by Kendrick Foster late in the fourth periods, but Thomas threw his second interception that ended any hopes of a comeback.
 
Illinois hits the road to face Purdue next Saturday.
 
>>Illinois State Routs Youngstown State
 
James Robinson ran for 117 yards and a touchdown, Markel Smith had a career-high 124 yards and another score, and Illinois State dominated Youngstown State 35-0 on Saturday.
 
The Redbirds (6-2, 4-1 Missouri Valley Conference) piled up 299 yards on the ground and held the Penguins (3-5, 1-4) to 147 yards of total offense.
 
Robinson's first touchdown, an 11-yard scamper, ended Illinois State's first possession. Two snaps later, Tyree Horton sacked Nathan Mays and forced a fumble that Matt McCown returned 26 yards to make it 14-0.
 
Smith's 1-yard run with nine seconds left in the second quarter made it 21-0. Robinson had a pair of short touchdown runs in the second half.
 
Illinois State's four scoring drives were 72, 73, 55 and 80 yards and took between nine and 12 plays, leading to a 13-minute advantage in time of possession. The Redbirds forced two turnovers and had five sacks.
 
>>UT-Martin Topples Eastern Illinois
 
As heard on WHOW, Anthony Brown returned a strip-sack 17 yards for a touchdown and UT Martin used five turnovers to beat Eastern Illinois 27-10 on Saturday.
 
UT Martin scored 17 points off those turnovers. Brown's score made it 10-3. Four plays later, Tae Martin returned an interception 42 yards and Troy Cook connected with Donnell Williams for a 1-yard score.
 
Kahlid Hagens set up the Brown's TD with a sack and Hagens' 6-yard interception return ended Eastern Illinois' final drive of the first half.
 
James Gilleylen returned an interception 27 yards, leading to a field goal for a 27-10 lead, and Andrew Horton-Martindale made UT Martin's fourth interception.
 
UT Martin (4-4, 2-3 Ohio Valley Conference) only attempted 12 passes and gained 80 yards on 39 carries.
 
Bud Martin threw for 155 yards and three interceptions for Eastern Illinois (5-4, 4-2), which outgained UT Martin 275 yards to 192.

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