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December 8, 2020
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December 8, 2020
AP Sports

 

 

Update on the latest sports

 

NFL-STEELERS/REDSKINS
Washington ends Steelers’ perfect run
PITTSBURGH (AP) – The Pittsburgh Steelers are perfect no more.
The Washington Football Team erased a 14-3 halftime deficit and beat the Steelers, 23-17. Dustin Hopkins broke a deadlock by drilling a 45-yard field goal with 2:04 remaining. Montez Sweat clinched it by deflecting a Ben Roethlisberger (RAWTH’-lihs-bur-gur) pass into the hands of Jon Bostic for an interception that set up another Hopkins field goal
Alex Smith was 31 of 46 for 296 yards, including game-tying, 15-yard scoring strike to Logan Thomas with 9:08 to play. J.D. McKissic grabbed 10 passes for 70 yards, and Thomas gained 98 yards with nine receptions.
Roethlisberger completed 33 of his 53 passes for 305 yards and two touchdowns for the Steelers, who fell to 11-1.
The outcome leaves Washington in a virtual tie with the New York Giants for first place in the NFC East at 5-7. However, the Giants own the tiebreaker based on their season sweep of Washington.

 

NFL-BILLS/49ers
Bills beat Niners to stay ahead of Dolphins
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) – The Buffalo Bills are another step closer to ending the New England Patriots’ string of 11 consecutive AFC East titles.
Josh Allen was sharp in the Bills’ 34-24 win over the 49ers, completing 32 of 40 passes for 375 yards and four touchdowns. Cole Beasley caught nine passes for 130 yards and a touchdown to help the 9-3 Bills stay one game ahead of Miami and three in front of the Pats.
Dawson Knox, Isaiah McKenzie and Gabriel Davis also grabbed scoring passes from Allen, who tied a single game career high for TD throws.
Nick Mullens threw for 316 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions as the 49ers fell to 5-7, keeping them at the bottom of the NFC West.

 

NFL-NEWS
Jets fire defensive coordinator after much-criticized play
UNDATED (AP) – The New York Jets have fired defensive coordinator Gregg Williams a day after his stunning play call cost the team its first win of the season.
The still-winless Jets were seconds away from their first victory Sunday until Williams inexplicably called for an all-out blitz against Las Vegas. Derek Carr heaved a perfectly placed 46-yard touchdown pass to Henry Ruggs III with 5 seconds left to lift the Raiders to a 31-28 victory. Ruggs was in man-to-man coverage with rookie cornerback Lamar Jackson.

 

In other NFL news:
– The Panthers have shut down their facility for the next two days after multiple players either tested positive for COVID-19 or were exposed to someone with the virus during the team’s bye week. Rookie defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos was among the three players.

 

– The league is allowing only virtual interviews of candidates for coaches, general managers and various other football jobs until both teams have been eliminated from playoff contention. League Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent believes that will make for more opportunities for a diverse collection of candidates. Vincent stressed the importance of adhering to the spirit of the Rooney Rule. It was enacted in 2003 to enhance opportunities for minorities to be considered for coaching positions.

 

– The league has suspended Titans defensive end Teair Tart and Bengals strong safety Shawn Williams for unnecessarily stepping on opponents on Sunday. Tart will miss Tennessee’s game against Jacksonville and Williams will miss the Bengals’ game against Dallas next weekend.

 

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL-TOP 25 SCHEDULE
Spiders escape
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Richmond was the lone top-25 men’s basketball team in action on Monday, and the Spiders had to fight off an upset bid by Wofford.
Jacob Gilyard delivered 18 points, including a big 3-pointer with 19.5 seconds left in Richmond’s 77-72 victory. The 19th-ranked Spiders scored the game’s first 11 points and went on an 11-3 run that gave them a 56-44 lead. Wofford responded with a 20-7 spurt that gave the Terriers their first lead.
Tyler Burton scored in the lane to put Richmond ahead 73-72 with 1:09 left. After Jones missed for the Terriers, Gilyard hit his fourth 3-pointer of the game to give Richmond more of a cushion.

 

COLLEGE BASKETBALL-POLL
Gonzaga, Baylor remain on top
UNDATED (AP) – Gonzaga and Baylor remain atop the AP Top 25 men’s basketball poll after their hotly anticipated game in Indianapolis was called off about 90 minutes before tipoff last week because of positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing within the Bulldogs program.
Gonzaga received 54 of 61 first-place votes from a national media panel while the Bears had the other seven. Iowa, Michigan State and Kansas round out the top five.

 

VIRUS OUTBREAK-COLLEGE BASKETBALL-BAYLOR
Baylor looks for opponent
WACO, Texas (AP) – The No. 2 Baylor men’s basketball team is looking for a replacement opponent for its scheduled home opener. The Bears were supposed to play Nicholls State on Tuesday night, but the Colonels had positive COVID-19 tests in their program.
Baylor said it was trying to find another opponent to play before its Big 12 opener at home Sunday against No. 13 Texas.
The cancellation of the home opener comes two days after Baylor’s showdown with No. 1 Gonzaga was scrapped only 90 minutes before tip Saturday because a player and another person with the Bulldogs’ traveling team tested positive.

 

Elsewhere in college basketball:
– No. 13 Wisconsin’s men’s basketball game with No. 25 Louisville scheduled for Wednesday has been postponed. The announcement comes four days after Louisville announced it was pausing team-related activities indefinitely due to a positive COVID-19 test and contact tracing measures within its program. That already caused Louisville to cancel a scheduled Dec. 4 home game with UNC Greensboro.

 

– The UConn men’s basketball team has suspended team activities for a second time this fall following another positive coronavirus test in the program. The school said the move will force the postponement of Friday’s home game against St. John’s. That was to have been the first Big East game for the Huskies since returning to the conference after seven years in the American Athletic Conference.

 

VIRUS OUTBREAK-COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Michigan resumes workouts
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) – Michigan’s football team has resumed limited workouts, taking a step toward possibly playing No. 3 Ohio State on Saturday.
The Wolverines paused in-person activities last week after a COVID-19 outbreak within the program.
The Buckeyes, who have Big Ten and national title hopes, played through what coach Ryan Day called a “mini outbreak” on Saturday in a 52-12 win at Michigan State after he was relegated to watching the game from home.

 

ARMY-NAVY-TRUMP
President to attend Army-Navy game.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) – Outgoing President Donald Trump is scheduled to attend Saturday’s Army-Navy game at West Point. That’s according to Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk, who said he was informed today of Trump’s plans to attend his final Army-Navy game as Commander In Chief.
It will mark the first time the storied rivalry will be held at an academy’s field since 1943.

 

NBA-NEWS
Harden doesn’t report to Rockets
UNDATED (AP) – Houston Rockets All-Star guard James Harden hasn’t reported to training camp.
Head coach Stephen Silas said today that he is unaware of any timetable for Harden’s arrival and doesn’t know if the former NBA Most Valuable Player is in Houston. Silas added that the team hasn’t discussed any possible penalties for the superstar if Harden doesn’t report soon.

 

Also around the NBA:
– Warriors star Draymond Green and No. 2 overall draft pick James Wiseman are sidelined with the coronavirus. While coach Steve Kerr didn’t actually say the two players had positive results, he made it clear they were the only two to miss practice on Day 1 of training camp today. Kerr told reporters today that he couldn’t elaborate on what Green and Wiseman were able to do at the moment.

 

– Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts says a player was among the three people connected to the team who tested positive for the coronavirus. The team did not identify the player as it prepares to begin its four-game preseason schedule Friday against the Kings. The Blazers announced the positive tests yesterday but did not specify whether they were among players or staff members.

 

MLB-NEWS
Feared slugger Dick Allen dies
UNDATED (AP) – Former National League Rookie of the Year and 1972 American League MVP Dick Allen has died at 78, according to the Philadelphia Phillies.
Allen’s No. 15 was retired by the Phillies in September, 56 years after he was named the NL’s top rookie.
Allen batted .292 with 351 homers, 1,119 RBIs and .912 OPS in 15 seasons, playing first base, third base and left field.
Allen fell one vote shy of election to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the veterans committee in 2014. His fight against racism during a tumultuous time with the Phillies in the 1960s cost him on and off the field.

 

Elsewhere in the majors:
– The Angels have acquired closer Raisel Iglesias from the Reds for right-hander Noe Ramirez and a player to be named or cash. Iglesias has been the Reds’ closer for the past four seasons, racking up 100 saves in 114 opportunities over that stretch with a career 3.15 ERA. The 30-year-old Cuban right-hander is coming off a strong performance in the shortened season.

 

– Japanese star pitcher Tomoyuki Sugano has been posted by the Yomiuri Giants and is available for bidding to major league teams. The bidding can begin Tuesday and runs through Jan. 7. The 31-year-old right-hander was 14-2 with a 1.97 ERA and three shutouts in 20 games last season, striking out 131 and walking 25 in 137 1/3 innings.

 

– Mariners outfielder Mitch Haniger has accepted a one-year, $3.01 contract. Haniger did not play last season due to lingering issues from injuries suffered during the 2019 season. The 29-year-old Haniger had his best year in 2018, earning an All-Star berth and finishing the season hitting .285 with 26 home runs and 93 RBIs.

 

– Longtime Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright has won the Roberto Clemente Award, given annually by Major League Baseball for community involvement and philanthropy.

 

OBIT-AKERS
Former Longhorns coach Fred Akers dies
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Former Texas football coach Fred Akers has died at 82.
Akers coached the Longhorns’ first Heisman Trophy winner, Earl Campbell, and went 86-31-2 in 10 seasons with the Longhorns. But a bowl game rout in 1977 and a muffed punt six years later on the same Cotton Bowl field cost Akers and Texas a football national championship the Longhorns wouldn’t win for another 32 years. His daughter, Lesli says Akers died of complications from dementia.

 

TRUMP-MEDAL OF FREEDOM
Wrestler Gable receives Medal of Freedom
WASHINGTON (AP) – Olympic gold medal wrestler and Iowa head coach Dan Gable has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House.
Gable was a champion wrestler at Iowa State University, compiling a 117-1 record and winning two NCAA titles. He would go on to an incredibly successful coaching career at the University of Iowa, where his teams won 15 NCAA titles.

 

BRITISH OPEN-SCHEDULE
British Open venues confirmed for 2023 and 2024
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) – The R&A says that the British Open will be played at Royal Liverpool in 2023 and at Royal Troon in 2024.
The tournaments were rescheduled following the cancellation of this year’s Open at Royal St George’s because of the coronavirus pandemic. It was the first time since 1945 that the British Open was canceled.

 

NFL-BRADY-BUNDCHEN
Arrest after break-in at Tom Brady-Gisele Bundchen mansion
BROOKLINE, Mass. (AP) – Police have arrested a man they say broke into a suburban Boston mansion owned by Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen and made himself comfortable on a couch.
Police in Brookline responded early Monday after a security company reported alarms had gone off in the house. They reported seeing an intruder on a security camera. Police say a homeless man was found lying on a couch in the basement. No one was home.
The suspect faces charges of trespassing and breaking and entering.

 

OBIT-RALSTON
Grand Slams champ Ralston dead at age 78
NEW YORK (AP) – Five-time Grand Slam doubles champion Dennis Ralston has died at age 78.
Ralston was one of the initial players signed to the professional World Championship Tennis tour in the 1960s and a member of the sports’ Hall of Fame. Ralston reportedly died Sunday of cancer in Austin, Texas.

 

 

AP-WF-12-08-20 1349GMT