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December 4, 2020
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December 4, 2020
AP Sports



Update on the latest sports


Garza, Nunge lead No. 3 Iowa past Western Illinois, 99-58
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP)- Luka Garza scored 35 points, 30 in the first half, and Jack Nunge added 18 as No. 3 Iowa stayed undefeated with a 99-58 home win over Western Illinois. It was the second consecutive game in which Garza scored 30 or more points in the first half. The preseason All-American also pulled down 10 rebounds.
Nunge, who missed the Hawkeyes’ first two games this season because of his father’s death, matched his career scoring high.


In other college hoops action:
– Remy Martin produced another impressive performance on California’s home floor, finishing with 22 points, five assists and four rebounds as No. 25 Arizona State beat the Golden Bears 70-62 in the Pac-12 opener for both schools. Prized freshman Josh Christopher added 14 points for the Sun Devils, and Holland Woods knocked down a key 3-pointer with 2:24 remaining. Cal star Matt Bradley had 20 points and eight rebounds but was just 1 for 9 on 3-pointers.


– Keve Aluma had 17 points and 12 rebounds and No. 16 Virginia Tech won its 34th consecutive nonconference game at home, beating VMI 64-57 on Thursday night. Tyrece Radford added 13 points and Justyn Mutts had 10 points and nine rebounds for the Hokies. They led 30-23 at halftime and used a 9-0 run in the second half to take control. Radford had five points in the burst, including a three-point play to finish it. Myles Lewis had 13 points and 12 rebounds for VMI.


-David McCormack scored 17 points, Ochai Agbaji added 16 and Jalen Wilson had 12, helping seventh-ranked Kansas cruise to a 89-54 victory over lower-division Washburn in the Jayhawks’ long-delayed home opener. Kansas had opened with a pair of games in Florida and beat Kentucky in Indianapolis before returning to Allen Fieldhouse. But their first game played in the Phog since the COVID-19 pandemic began lacked much of the atmosphere that has made the building one of the toughest in college basketball. Levi Braun and Tyler Geiman scored nine points apiece to lead the Ichabods.


Agent: Anthony Davis inking 5-year deal to return to Lakers
UNDATED (AP) – Anthony Davis is finalizing a five-year contract worth up to $190 million to return to the Los Angeles Lakers, according to his agent.
One day after LeBron James agreed to a two-year, $85 million contract extension with the Lakers through 2022-23, Davis committed to the Lakers through the 2024-25 season. According to Davis’ agent, the deal includes an early termination clause prior to the fifth year, but the contract is still a clear declaration that the 27-year-old Davis sees his long-term future with the 17-time NBA champions.


In other NBA news:
– The Denver Nuggets have re-signed forward Paul Millsap to a one-year deal. The signing follows the departures of key frontcourt players Jerami Grant and Mason Plumlee in free agency. Millsap shot a career-best 43.5% from three-point range last season.


– Dallas Mavericks center Kristaps Porzingis (KRIHS’-tahps pohr-ZIHN’-gihs) is upbeat as he prepares for his start of the season to be delayed over another knee issue. Porzingis had surgery in October after injuring his right knee in his first career playoff game in August. The 7-foot-3 Latvian missed 20 months after tearing the ACL in his left knee in what ended up being his final game with the New York Knicks in early 2018. Porzingis is expected to miss two high-profile games to start the season. The Mavs say Luka Doncic’s European sidekick should be ready in January.


– Jrue Holiday says the Bucks’ big investment in him really, really made him feel like they wanted him to be here. The Bucks traded guards Eric Bledsoe and George Hill, first-round draft choice R.J. Hampton plus two future first-round selections as part of a four-team trade to pick up Holiday. The Bucks gave the New Orleans Hornets the right to swap two future first-round picks as well.


Steelers, Chiefs, Saints closing in on playoff spots
UNDATED (AP) – The unbeaten Pittsburgh Steelers and the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs are closing in on clinching their respective divisions going into Week 13.
The Steelers, who are 11-0, can wrap up the AFC North with a win over Washington on Monday night and a Browns loss against Tennessee on Sunday. The Steelers can clinch a playoff spot with a win or losses by the Raiders, Dolphins or Colts on Sunday.
The Chiefs can take the AFC West again with a win over the Broncos on Sunday night and a Raiders loss to the winless Jets. Or earn a playoff spot with a win.
And in the NFC, the Saints, who have won eight in a row, can clinch a playoff spot with a win and a loss by the reeling Bears.


Elsewhere around the NFL:
– Josh Gordon was conditionally reinstated by the NFL and can begin the process of joining the Seattle Seahawks roster as early as Friday after nearly a one-year suspension following his latest off-field transgression for violations of the league’s substance abuse policies. Gordon was suspended in December 2019. He tested positive for performance enhancers and “substances of abuse”. Seattle signed Gordon in September hoping he would be reinstated at some point during the 2020 season.


– Cincinnati Bengals rookie quarterback Joe Burrow had knee surgery and is expected to make a full recovery. Burrow’s season ended Nov. 22 when he was hit by Washington pass-rushers and his leg was bent severely. The structural damage in his left knee required surgery and extensive rehabilitation.


– Browns star Myles Garrett came through practice OK and is on track to play Sunday at Tennessee after missing two games with COVID-19. Garrett came back on Wednesday and coach Kevin Stefanski said the defensive end looked like himself. The 24-year-old was leading the NFL in sacks when he got sick.


– New York Jets coach Adam Gase says he hasn’t done a good enough job of helping quarterback Sam Darnold in their two seasons together. The 23-year-old Darnold has struggled with injuries and inconsistency this season. He has thrown just three touchdown passes and none in his past four-plus games. The Jets are 0-11 and are looking at having the No. 1 overall pick in April. That means both Darnold and Gase could be out after the season.


– Saquon (SAY’-kwahn) Barkley has no doubt he will get back on the field and play for the New York Giants once he’s finished rehabilitating the torn ACL in his right knee. However there is not a timetable on his return. The 2018 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year insists his goal is to improve 1% every day. The running back has now been hit with injuries two straight seasons. He missed three games last year because of a high ankle sprain.


– Thirty-two players have been nominated for the seventh annual Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award, from star quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes to standout center Jason Kelce (KEL’-see) to dynamic defensive end Joey Bosa (BOH’-sah). Each NFL team nominated one player for the award, which recognizes players who exemplify outstanding sportsmanship on the field. It is named for the late founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pro Football Hall of Famer Art Rooney Sr.


– San Francisco 49ers players are pleased with the setup the team has put together for their extended stay in Arizona. The team is staying at a hotel adjacent to the Arizona Cardinals’ stadium, where the Niners will play their next two games. They have set up a weight room and converted a 15,000-square-foot ballroom into a temporary locker room so the players can change at the hotel before going to the practice fields next to the stadium. The players will almost exclusively spend their time at the hotel, practice field and stadium, where they will have everything they need and won’t need to venture into the community.


Gatto gets Rangers’ one-year deal
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Right-hander Joe Gatto agreed to a one-year contract with the Texas Rangers, who brought back outfielder Scott Heineman with a one-year deal just one day after allowing him to become a free agent. Gatto would earn the $570,500 major league minimum if he is in the big leagues. Heineman would earn $595,000. The 25-year-old Gatto made two appearances during spring training this year and did not pitch after the coronavirus shutdown. He has never appeared in the major leagues. Heineman, who turns 28 on Friday, hit .154 with one homer and seven RBIs for the Rangers this year.


Elsewhere in the majors:
– The Minnesota Twins and closer Taylor Rogers have agreed to a $6 million, one-year contract, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the contract had not yet been finalized. Rogers compiled a 4.05 ERA in 21 appearances with nine saves and two blown chances in the abbreviated 60-game season. The left-hander was the last remaining Twins player eligible for arbitration. Rogers took a step back in 2020 after notching 30 saves with 90 strikeouts over 69 innings in 2019.


AP source: Michigan had at least 12 positive COVID-19 cases
UNDATED (AP) – Michigan canceled this weekend’s game against Maryland because it had at least 12 positive COVID-19 cases within the football program, according to a person familiar with the situation.
While outbreaks have disrupted more than 100 games across major college football since late August, the problems with the Wolverines are being closely watched in part because they could put next week’s rivalry game at No. 3 Ohio State in jeopardy.
Ohio State has missed two games already in this pandemic-shortened season because of COVID-19 issues. One more would leave the 4-0 Buckeyes unable to reach a conference-mandated minimum to be eligible for the Big Ten championship game and potentially hurt their resume for a playoff berth.


In other virus-related college sports news:
– No. 8 BYU will play at No. 14 Coastal Carolina on Saturday after the Chanticleers’ original opponent, No. 25 Liberty, was hit with COVID-19 issues. The Cougars have been looking to add another game to improve their case for a major bowl bid. The 9-0 Chanticleers have already earned a spot in the Sun Belt championship game, which will be played Dec. 19, but could still be in play to earn a spot in the major bowl game as College Football Playoff selection committee’s highest-ranked Group of Five conference champion. Independent BYU isn’t eligible for that spot and is ranked No. 13 by the committee. The Cougars will likely need to move up at least a spot or two to have a chance for a New Year’s bowl bid and the $4 million payday that comes with it.


– No. 12 Iowa State’s most remarkable accomplishment this season might be staying on the field in a season dominated by the pandemic. The Cyclones are one of three Big 12 teams set to finish their 10-game regular season Saturday. The others are Kansas State and Texas Tech. While the Big 12 has only had to reschedule three games so far, there are still the weekly and even daily COVID-19 issues for every team.


– Boise State’s football game at UNLV scheduled for Friday night has been canceled. The Mountain West Conference says the game will not be rescheduled. Boise State is scheduled to play at Wyoming next, while UNLV’s next game is scheduled to be at Hawaii, both on Dec. 12.


– The Las Vegas Bowl has been canceled because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The decision comes as Nevada state officials ordered a statewide pause that includes smaller public and private gatherings. The game was slated to be the first bowl game played in Allegiant Stadium and was to feature a new matchup between the Pac-12 Conference and Southeastern Conference as part of a rotating cycle that also includes the Big Ten.


– No spectators will be allowed at the Rose Bowl for the College Football Playoff semifinal on Jan. 1 because of state, county and city of Pasadena COVID-19 restrictions. The Tournament of Roses says it requested special permission but was denied.


– Vanderbilt has canceled its men’s basketball game at SMU on Tuesday, extending its pause on activities. The Commodores announced the cancellation Wednesday night, two days after pausing activities and withdrawing from a pair of games in Connecticut due to a positive test within its program.


– Purdue Fort Wayne men’s basketball team has suspended activities and canceled games for the next two weeks because of positive COVID-19 tests within the program. The team canceled Thursday’s game with Adrian, Saturday’s game at Dayton and games against Defiance on Dec. 12 and 13. The next scheduled game is Dec. 19 against Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.


– Conference USA has announced a change to this weekend’s football schedule. WKU at Charlotte, which had been previously scheduled to be played on Dec. 1, has been rescheduled for Sunday at noon at Richardson Stadium. Along with this schedule addition, the FIU at Charlotte game that was scheduled for Saturday has been canceled. A final determination of the matchups for the last weekend of the regular season, Dec. 10-12, will be made by Sunday.


– The University at Albany men’s and women’s basketball programs are on a temporary pause from team activities due to presumptive positive tests among individuals associated with both programs’ Tier 1 group. Tier 1 individuals include coaches, athletes, team managers, athletic trainers, and support staff.


– A positive COVID-19 test has caused Boston University’s men’s hockey team to pause all athletic activities and the school has canceled Saturday’s game at Connecticut.


Trump honors football coach Holtz as ‘one of the greatest’
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump calls Lou Holtz “one of the greatest coaches in American history” and has honored the college football Hall of Famer and political ally with the nation’s highest civilian honor.
Holtz received the Presidential Medal of Freedom during an Oval Office ceremony Thursday.
Holtz had a 34-year coaching career that included the 1988 national title at the University of Notre Dame.
The 83-year-old Holtz has been an outspoken backer of the president and spoke at this year’s Republican National Convention.


Russell Knox takes 1st-round lead in Mayakoba Golf Classic
PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico (AP) – Russell Knox shot a 6-under 65 Thursday at breezy and wet El Camaleon Golf Club to take the first-round lead in the PGA Tour’s Mayakoba Golf Classic.
The 35-year-old Scot birdied five of the last six holes on his opening nine, then played the final nine in 1 under with a bogey on the par-4 second and birdies on the par-5 fifth and par-4 sixth.
Chile’s Joaquin Niemann was a stroke back with Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo and American Tom Hoge.


Charley Hull takes LPGA Tour in chilly North Texas
THE COLONY, Texas (AP) – Charley Hull fought through cold and windy conditions to take the first-round lead Thursday in the LPGA Tour’s Volunteers of America Classic. The 24-year-old Englishwoman shot a 3-under 69, making six birdies and three bogeys at Old American Golf Club with the afternoon temperature only climbing into the high 40s.
Jessica Korda, Jennifer Kupcho and Pornanong Phatlum were a stroke back in the final event before the U.S. Women’s Open next week at Champions Golf Club in Houston.


Sorenstam elected president of International Golf Federation
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) – Annika Sorenstam has been elected president of the International Golf Federation, replacing the outgoing Peter Dawson.
Sorenstam, a 72-time winner on the LPGA Tour and former No. 1, will take up the position on Jan. 1.



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