AP Sports

AP Scorecard
December 22, 2021
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December 22, 2021
AP Sports


Update on the latest sports


Davidson holds off No. 10 Alabama comeback, wins 79-78
UNDATED (AP) – Luka Brajkovic scored 22 points and made a late 3-pointer and Michael Jones scored 21 points to help lift Davidson to a 79-78 victory over No. 10 Alabama. The Wildcats rolled to a 13-point lead in the second half and held on for their eighth straight win in a game scheduled to fill sudden voids in their respective schedules because of COVID-19. The Crimson Tide have dropped two of three games but stayed in this one until Jahvon Quinerly missed a potential tying free throw with four seconds left. Alabama scored the final nine points after Brajkovic’s 3-pointer with 2:01 left pushed it back to 79-69. But Davidson was able to run out the final seconds.


Elsewhere in college basketball:
– Justin Moore scored 12 of his 17 points after halftime and Caleb Daniels added 16 points to lead No. 23 Villanova to a 71-58 victory over No. 18 Xavier. Collin Gillespie and Eric Dixon each had 15 points for the Wildcats (8-4, 1-1 Big East), who bounced back from consecutive blowout losses. Dwon Odom scored 13 points and Nate Johnson had 12 for Xavier (11-2, 1-1), which had won seven in a row.


– Izaiah Brockington had 20 points and 13 rebounds, Tristan Enaruna added 19 points and 10 rebounds, and No. 9 Iowa State rolled to a 79-48 win over Chicago State. The Cyclones came into the game limiting opponents to 56.8 points per game, 12th in the nation. They have now held nine teams to 60 or fewer points. Jahsean Corbett had 14 points and 11 rebounds for Chicago State. The Cougars shot just 28 percent, including 2 for 20 from 3-point range.


– Marcus Bingham had 17 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks and was one of five double-digit scorers for No. 11 Michigan State in a 90-78 win over Oakland University on Tuesday night. The Spartans have won five straight for a second time this season, bouncing back from losses to then-No. 3 Kansas to open the season and then-No. 6 Baylor last month. The Golden Grizzlies lost consecutive games for the first time this year in a season that includes a win over Oklahoma State. Oakland fell behind by 16 in the second half, but refused to get routed.


Jalen Hurts has 3 TDs, Eagles come back to beat Washington
UNDATED (AP) – Jalen Hurts ran for two touchdowns and threw for another to help the Philadelphia Eagles come back from an early deficit and beat virus-ravaged Washington 27-17 in a critical showdown with NFC playoff implications. In his first game back from an ankle injury, Hurts scored on a pair of 1-yard QB sneaks to set the single-season franchise record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with 10. He was 20 of 26 for 296 yards passing with a touchdown pass to Greg Ward and a bad-luck interception. Miles Sanders rushed for a career-high 131 yards. Washington struggled behind recently signed quarterback Garrett Gilbert and missing a handful of starters.


In other NFL action:
– Cooper Kupp caught two touchdown passes from Matthew Stafford in the second half, and the Los Angeles Rams held off the Seattle Seahawks 20-10 in a rescheduled game between two COVID-19-depleted teams. Kupp broke Isaac Bruce’s single-season Rams receptions record in the third quarter with a 6-yard TD catch that was also the 120th of his spectacular year. The NFL’s receiving leader then scored a tiebreaking 29-yard touchdown with 10:48 to play. DeeJay Dallas rushed for a touchdown for the Seahawks, whose streak of nine consecutive winning seasons under coach Pete Carroll ended. Seattle is still mathematically alive for the postseason.


Knicks beat Pistons 105-91 to end monthlong home woes
UNDATED (AP) – Evan Fournier scored 22 points, Julius Randle and Kemba Walker each had 21 and the New York Knicks won at home for the first time in almost a month, beating the Detroit Pistons 105-91. Mitchell Robinson had 17 points and 14 rebounds for the Knicks, who had dropped five straight at Madison Square Garden since beating the Los Angeles Lakers on Nov. 23. They are just 6-10 at home. Walker was out of the rotation entirely but started a second straight game with six players in health and safety protocols and Derrick Rose out again with ankle soreness. Saben Lee scored 16 points for the Pistons.


Elsewhere around the NBA:
– Devin Booker continued to distance himself from a hamstring injury that cost him seven games, scoring 24 points with nine rebounds and seven assists as the Phoenix Suns earned a 108-90 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. Booker played 32 minutes and went 8 of 16 from the field in his second game back from injury. Deandre Ayton had 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Mikal Bridges scored 14 as the Suns won their fourth consecutive game. LeBron James scored 34 points for the Lakers, who lost their third game in a row as coach Frank Vogel remained in health and safety protocols for the second straight.


– Brandon Ingram had 28 points, Nickeil Alexander-Walker scored 22 of his 27 in the second half and New Orleans beat Portland for its first three-game winning streak of the season. Josh Hart added 20 points for the Pelicans, who shot 52.5% while winning for the eighth time in 13 games following a 3-16 start – all while awaiting the return of All-Star forward Zion Williamsons from an offseason foot injury. Damian Lillard scored 39 for the Trail Blazers, who won their previous two games. Jusuf Nurkic added 17 points and Norman Powell had 16.


– Jalen Brunson had 26 points, Dorian Finney-Smith scored 15 of his 19 in the second half and Dallas defeated Minnesota. A total of nine players, including three starters, missed the game because they are in the NBA’s health and safety protocol. Brunson scored 16 points in the first half. Finney-Smith hit two 3-pointers during a 10-0 run in the fourth quarter that wiped out Minnesota’s last lead. Sterling Brown added 12 points and 11 rebounds in his first start this season. Karl-Anthony Towns led the Timberwolves with 26 points and 14 rebounds. D’Angelo Russell had 14 points and 12 assists.


– Tyler Herro scored 26 points in his return from a three-game absence with a bruised thigh, Duncan Robinson tied a season-high with 26 points and the Miami Heat rolled past the Indiana Pacers 125-96 on Tuesday night. Miami tied a franchise record with 22 made 3-pointers, the fourth time the Heat have made that many. Max Strus scored 18 points, KZ Okpala scored 16 and Kyle Lowry finished with eight points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists for Miami. Omer Yurtseven added 13 rebounds for the Heat. Chris Duarte and Caris LeVert each scored 17 for Indiana, which got 14 points from Oshae Brissett and 12 points from Domantas Sabonis.


Ginobili, Chambers, Whalen among 1st-time hoop hall nominees
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) – Former San Antonio Spurs star Manu Ginobili, SuperSonics and Suns forward Tom Chambers and Olympic and WNBA champion Lindsay Whalen are among the first-time nominees for the Basketball Hall of Fame. Among the returning nominees are 2004 NBA Finals MVP Chauncey Billups and former UConn and Detroit Shock star Swin Cash. More than 150 players, coaches and other contributors will be considered for induction in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame during the Sept. 9-10 enshrinement ceremonies. The full Class of 2022 will be announced during the NCAA Final Four in New Orleans in April.


In other NBA news:
– NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says there are no plans to pause the season, even as numbers of players entering the league’s health and safety protocols related to the coronavirus continues to rise. Silver says the league has examined multiple options but does not yet see a reason to stop play. Meanwhile, the 10 NBA teams with games scheduled on Christmas have been told by the league that shifting some game times is a possibility for the five-game slate planned for that day if virus-related issues affect the lineup. The NBA has said 97% of players are fully vaccinated and the NBPA said Tuesday night that 65% of eligible players are boosted, which they pointed to as better than twice the national average.


Lightning strike for 3 unanswered goals, top Vegas 4-3
LAS VEGAS (AP) – Steven Stamkos scored the tiebreaking goal on a third-period power play and the Tampa Bay Lightning rallied past the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 in the final NHL game before an extended holiday break.
Gabriel Fortier, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Anthony Cirelli also scored for the Lightning, who trailed 3-1 late in the second. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 36 saves as the Lightning won their third straight and ended Vegas’ five-game winning streak. Mark Stone scored twice for the Golden Knights.
It was the only NHL game played Tuesday night after nine others were postponed because of coronavirus concerns. The league will begin its annual Christmas break Wednesday, two days earlier than originally planned, due to a spike in COVID-19 cases that has shut down 10 of the 32 teams.


AP source: NHL to withdraw from Olympics after COVID surge
UNDATED (AP) – NHL players will not take part in the Winter Olympics after all. A person with direct knowledge of the decision tells The Associated Press the league is going to withdraw from the Beijing Olympics after its regular-season schedule was disrupted by coronavirus outbreaks.
The Washington Capitals-Philadelphia Flyers game scheduled for Tuesday night has been postponed. It’s the 50th NHL game postponed this season for coronavirus-related reasons. The league says COVID-19 issues with the Capitals prompted the postponement.
That left the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Vegas Golden Knights as the only game left in the NHL this week. The league and players’ association agreed to begin the annual holiday break early and push off the games that were scheduled for Thursday.


San Diego State beat No. 24 ISTA, Wyoming beats Kent St. 52-38
UNDATED (AP) – Lucas Johnson passed for a career-best 333 yards and three touchdowns, and ran for another score as San Diego State beat No. 24 UTSA 38-24 in the Frisco Bowl for the Aztecs’ program-record 12th win of the season. Jesse Matthews caught touchdown passes of 11 and 20 yards and set career marks with 11 catches and 175 yards receiving. Tyrell Shavers caught the other touchdown pass, a 24-yarder.
Greg Bell also scored on a 1-yard run for San Diego State. Frank Harris threw touchdown passes of 12 yards to De’Corian Clark and 4 yards to Zakhari Franklin, and Brenden Brady scored on a 2-yard run for UTSA.
And in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Levi Williams ran for 200 yards and four touchdowns and passed for 127 yards and another touchdown to lead Wyoming to a 52-38 win over Kent State. Williams, who set a career-best single-game rushing performance, tied the Potato Bowl record for most rushing touchdowns and was named the game’s MVP.
Wyoming scored 21 consecutive points to start the second half, including scoring runs of 27 and 80 yards by Williams, to build a 42-24 lead that proved to be too much for Kent State to overcome.


Miami officials say football team is now in virus protocols
UNDATED (AP) – The Miami Hurricanes’ plans to play in the Sun Bowl on Dec. 31 appear to be uncertain at best, after the school announced its football program has entered COVID-19 protocols.
COVID-19 concerns at Georgetown and Boston College have caused both schools’ basketball teams to suffer forfeits in their conference standings. Boston College’s game at Wake Forest scheduled for Wednesday is canceled in Atlantic Coast Conference play. Georgetown’s game also scheduled for Wednesday at No. 22 Providence is canceled in the Big East. In both cases, the forfeits will count only in the league standings and won’t affect the overall record.
Elsewhere, Michigan, Grand Canyon, Coppin State and Memphis called off games. On the women’s side, No. 8 Indiana’s game against Wright State for Tuesday is canceled.


In other college sports news:
– Kedon Slovis is trading USC for Pittsburgh. The former Trojans quarterback announced he is heading east to join the ACC champion Panthers, where he will get a chance to replace ACC Player of the Year Kenny Pickett.


Browns’ McKinley out for season, star Garrett hurts groin
CLEVELAND (AP) – The Cleveland Browns were dealt another tough blow when defensive end Takk McKinley tore his Achilles tendon in Monday night’s loss to the Las Vegas Raiders. He will miss the remainder of the season.
McKinley was carted off the field in the third quarter. The 26-year-old was emotional while being helped by medical staff and driven to the locker room, knowing his injury was serious.
The Browns are now hoping for better news on star defensive end Myles Garrett. He suffered a groin injury in the fourth quarter. The team is awaiting more test results. Garrett has a career-high 15 sacks.


Elsewhere in the NFL:
– The New York Jets placed rookie left guard Alijah Vera-Tucker and cornerback Michael Carter II on the COVID-19 list. The team activated backup quarterback Mike White from the COVID-19 list after he missed four games. The Jets have 13 players on the active and practice squad rosters in COVID-19 protocols. Tight end Ryan Griffin was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury. The Jets also claimed safety Will Parks off waivers from the Dolphins. Defensive lineman Freedom Akinmoladun was signed to practice squad.


Former gymnastics coach wins appeal
LANSING, Mich. (AP) – A Michigan appeals court has overturned the conviction of a former Michigan State University gymnastics coach Kathie Klages, who was sentenced to jail for lying to investigators about former sports doctor Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse.
Klages has maintained her innocence throughout. Klages’ attorney, Mary Chartier, says they are “thrilled” that she “has finally been vindicated.”


MLB payrolls drop 4%, back to 2015 level
NEW YORK (AP) – Major League Baseball payrolls dropped 4% in 2021 compared to the league’s last full season, and the $4.05 billion total was the lowest in a fully completed year since 2015.
Falling payrolls have sparked the labor unrest that led to the sport’s first work stoppage in more than a quarter-century this month, when the collective bargaining agreement expired and owners locked out the players Dec. 2.


Yankees finalize Boone’s coaching staff for 2022
UNDATED (AP) – The New York Yankees have finalized manager Aaron Boone’s coaching staff for 2022, including new additions at hitting coach, first base coach and third base coach. Bench coach Carlos Mendoza and pitching coach Matt Blake are back for their third seasons in pinstripes, while bullpen coach Mike Harkey returns for a 13th year, the club said Tuesday. New to the staff are hitting coach Dillon Lawson, assistant hitting coaches Eric Chavez and Casey Dykes, third base/outfield coach Luis Rojas, first base/infield coach Travis Chapman and assistant pitching coach Desi Druschel.


Elsewhere around the majors:
– The Oakland Athletics have named former outfielder Mark Kotsay their new manager to replace Bob Melvin, who departed earlier this offseason to manage the San Diego Padres. Kotsay receives a three-year contract through the 2024 season. That also includes a club option for the 2025 campaign.


Former MLB OF and Tigers 1B coach Kimera Bartee dies at 49
DETROIT (AP) – Former Major League Baseball outfielder and Detroit Tigers first base coach Kimera Bartee has died. He was 49. The Tigers made the announcement on Tuesday, saying Bartee died suddenly on Monday.
Bartee was an outfielder in Detroit from 1996 to 1999 and played the next two seasons with the Cincinnati Reds and Colorado Rockies. He was from Omaha, Nebraska, and played for his hometown Creighton University Bluejays.


South Korean Olympic champion suspended over text messages
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – Two-time Olympic short-track champion Shim Suk-hee has been suspended for two months over controversial text messages between her and her coach.
The penalty announced by the Korea Skating Union could bar Shim from competing at the Beijing Olympics which begin Feb. 4.
In October, Shim was cut from the team after local media reported what it described as text messages exchanged between her and her coach that insulted two teammates and suggested she might have deliberately tripped one of them, Choi Min-jeong, during the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games.