Update on the latest sports
Baylor breezes by Stephen F. Austin
UNDATED (AP) – Second-ranked Baylor had no trouble winning its pandemic-delayed home opener.
Adam Flagler scored 11 of his 14 points before halftime of the Bears’ 83-52 win over Stephen F. Austin. Flagler led five players in double figures for the 4-0 Bears, who played for the first time since an 82-69 win over then-No. 5 Illinois a week earlier.
Baylor scored 40 points off the Lumberjacks’ 35 turnovers.
Baylor was supposed to play its home opener Tuesday night against Nicholls State, but the Colonels canceled Monday because of virus issues.
Cameron Johnson had 11 points for Stephen F. Austin, the defending Southland Conference champion which had its 18-game winning streak snapped.
In Wednesday’s other top-25 action:
– Brad Davison scored 23 points and 13th-ranked Wisconsin dominated the first 29 minutes before holding off Rhode Island, 73-62. Michah Potter had 13 points for the Badgers, who led 33-16 at halftime and were up by 22 with 11:58 remaining.
– No. 13 Texas was a 74-53 winner over Texas State behind 18 points from freshman Greg Brown. Andrew Jones and Courtney Ramey each scored 11 points for the 5-1 Longhorns, who are off to a strong start and enjoy their highest ranking in six seasons under Shaka Smart.
– Kyler Edwards scored 19 points and No. 17 Texas Tech avoided a major upset before pulling out a 51-44 decision over Abilene Christian. The 5-1 Red Raiders trailed, 36-35 with seven minutes remaining before Edwards hit a free throw and Nimari Burnett added two more.
– Tyler Burton and Grant Golden each had double-doubles and helped 19th-ranked Richmond reel off a 21-6 run in the second half of a 78-68 downing of Northern Iowa. Burton delivered 21 points and 13 rebounds, while Golden added 17 points and 11 boards for the 4-0 Spiders.
– Scottie Barnes banked in a runner with two seconds left in overtime to give No. 20 Florida State a 69-67 victory over Indiana in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The freshman had nine points, five assists, four rebounds and four steals to lead the 2-0 Seminoles to their 25th consecutive home win.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-COLLEGE BASKETBALL
UConn postpones another
UNDATED (AP) – Connecticut has postponed a second men’s basketball game as it continues to deal with a player’s positive coronavirus test. The Big East Conference announced the Huskies will not travel to face Georgetown on Sunday. Georgetown now will host St. John’s on Sunday instead of UConn. The Huskies had already had postponed its planned Big East opener against St. John’s on Friday in Storrs after suspending team activities on Sunday.
In other virus-related developments in college basketball:
– Charleston Southern has paused its men’s basketball program and postponed its next two games, including a Saturday trip to No. 10 Duke due to a positive COVID-19 test. The school said Wednesday that a non-player tested positive and was immediately isolated.
– North Carolina State has paused men’s basketball activities amid positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing. That comes after the Wolfpack had to cancel a “Bubbleville” game against Connecticut in the Huskies’ home state last weekend as well as postpone Tuesday’s trip to Michigan for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
– Butler has postponed Monday’s men’s basketball game against St. John’s and will now open its Big East season on Dec. 16 at No. 9 Villanova. The Bulldogs haven’t played since Nov. 25 after a Tier 1 member of the program tested positive for COVID-19.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Indiana-Purdue game is canceled
UNDATED (AP) – Third-ranked Ohio State will be able to play in the Big Ten title game against Northwestern.
The conference has dropped the minimum six-game requirement instituted for the pandemic-shortened season. The unbeaten Buckeyes have played just five games, with three others canceled due to COVID-19 issues involving their opponents.
Ohio State was in line to meet the six-game requirement until Saturday’s game against Michigan was canceled.
The conference title game is slated for Dec. 19.
In other virus-related developments in college football:
– The SEC championship game between No. 1 Alabama and No. 6 Florida will be played before a socially distanced crowd of 16,500 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. This will be the largest crowd to attend a football game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium since the pandemic began.
– Indiana and Purdue have canceled Saturday’s football game because of an increase in COVID-19 cases at each school. It’s the first time since 1919 that the annual in-state rivalry will not be played. Both teams canceled practices Tuesday, pausing all team activities.
– Marshall says Friday’s regular-season football finale against Charlotte has been canceled due to injuries and a lack of available Thundering Herd players at key positions, which it attributed to COVID-19 issues.
– Washington has paused football activities after a rise in positive COVID-19 cases within the Huskies’ program, leaving Saturday’s game against Oregon in jeopardy.
– The Atlantic Coast Conference says it will allow limited fans to attend its football championship game between No. 2 Notre Dame and No. 4 Clemson on Dec. 19. The state of North Carolina previously issued public-gathering restrictions for outdoor venues because of the coronavirus pandemic, allowing schools to fill 7% of their stadium capacity for fans. Following that guidance, the ACC said Wednesday that capacity would be set at 5,240 for Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.
LSU bans self from 2020 postseason play
UNDATED (AP) – LSU is self-imposing a one-year ban on postseason play for this football season as part an effort to cooperate with an NCAA probe into rules violations.
Much of the NCAA’s investigation of LSU’s football program pre-dates the promotion of Ed Orgeron to head coach during the 2016 season and hiring of current athletic director Scott Woodward in 2019.
The bowl ban follows sanctions LSU already has self-imposed, including a reduction of four scholarships in each of the next two seasons.
Conner off COVID-list
UNDATED (AP) – The Pittsburgh Steelers’ struggling running game received a boost when James Conner was activated off the reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday. Conner ran for a team-high 645 yards and five touchdowns this season before missing each of the Steelers’ last two games, including Monday’s 23-17 loss to Washington. Pittsburgh ended its bid for a perfect season by running for just 21 yards on 14 carries, the team’s lowest rushing total since 1970.
Elsewhere around the NFL:
– Panthers All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey has a new injury that could put his comeback on hold. McCaffrey has a thigh injury after missing nine games this season with shoulder and ankle issues. McCaffrey has been terrific when healthy this season, running for 374 yards and six touchdowns in three games.
– The NFL’s medical director says all protocols were followed when Baltimore receiver Dez Bryant was pulled from the field before Tuesday’s 34-17 win over Dallas. Bryant initially had an inconclusive test for COVID-19 prior to warmups, but an ensuing test came up positive and caused him to sit out a game against his former team. Dr. Allen Sills said he made the final determination that there were no high-risk close contacts to the case, so there was no need to remove anyone else.
– The Packers will limit attendance at Lambeau Field games to team employees and their families for the remainder of the regular season. The team says the decision is based on a continued high rate of coronavirus activity in Brown County and many areas of the state. The Packers have two regular season home games remaining.
– The NFL has suspended Denver Broncos cornerback A.J. Bouye six games without pay for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. Bouye’s suspension means the Broncos have lost their top three cornerbacks since last week.
Abdul-Jabbar says he had cancer battle
NEW YORK (AP) – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has revealed he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008.
The NBA’s career scoring leader made the announcement in an article he wrote for Web-MD about health risks faced by Blacks. Abdul-Jabbar provided no other details about that illness. A publicist for the former Bucks and Lakers superstar says it’s the first time he has spoken publicly about his cancer.
In his article, titled “Black Lives Matter,” the 73-year-old Abdul-Jabbar writes that Blacks are at higher risk for heart problems and cancer, and said he also had heart bypass surgery. He said he’s been able to get better care than many Blacks, in part because of his celebrity and also because two sons work in the health care profession.
Former Alabama and NFL coach Ray Perkins dead at 79
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) – Former Alabama and New York Giants head coach Ray Perkins has died at 79.
Perkins won three bowl games at Alabama and was 32-15-1 over four seasons after replacing Bear Bryant. He also coached the 1981 Giants to the team’s first playoff berth in 18 years before leaving after the 1982 season to take over the Crimson Tide program.
Al Michaels to be honored at Baseball Hall
NEW YORK (AP) – Former ABC baseball play-by-play announcer Al Michaels has been voted the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcast excellence by the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Michaels became lead broadcaster on ABC’s “Monday Night Baseball” telecasts in 1983 and was in the booth when an earthquake struck at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park in 1989. Michaels also worked games for the Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants.
He will receive the award during induction weekend at Cooperstown next July.