Weekday Morning Sports – Tuesday 12/22/15

Sports Radio 1400 WSJM     @wsjmsports     wsjmsports.com     Tuesday, December 22, 2015

NFL – National Football League – Week 15
Last Night
Detroit Lions 35, New Orleans Saints 27

Lions 35, Saints 27 – Stafford leads Lions past Saints, 35-27
Matthew Stafford passed for 254 yards and three touchdowns, and the Detroit Lions held off a late surge by New Orleans to defeat the Saints 35-27 on Monday night.  Detroit (5-9) raced to a 28-3 lead, but Drew Brees threw a pair of touchdown passes _ one shortly after a Lions fumble _ to help New Orleans (5-9) pull to 28-20 with about 10 minutes left. Brees passed for 341 yards and three touchdowns, becoming only the fourth quarterback to surpass 60,000 yards in a career while also eclipsing the 4,000-yard mark for the 10th straight season. But New Orleans’ loss guaranteed consecutive losing seasons for the first time since Sean Payton became coach in 2006. Golden Tate caught two touchdown passes for Detroit. The Lions’ last-ranked running game accounted for 150 yards and two TDs against New Orleans’ last-ranked run defense.

NFL – Charles Woodson to retire after 18th season
Oakland Raiders safety Charles Woodson has announced he will retire after the season, saying he realized late last month that he couldn’t play another year. The 39-year-old Woodson is tied for fifth in NFL history with 65 interceptions and is still playing at a high level. He ranks second in the league with eight takeaways this season, intercepting five passes and recovering three fumbles.

NFL – NFL suspends Giants star
The NFL has suspended New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. for one game for his conduct in Sunday’s loss to Carolina in which he drew three personal foul penalties.  He tangled repeatedly with cornerback Josh Norman, at one point, delivering a diving helmet-to-helmet hit on Norman while blocking.

NCAA Men’s Basketball
Last Night
Notre Dame 87, Youngstown State 78
Eastern Michigan 73, Coppin State 62

Notre Dame 87, Youngstown State 78 – Jackson, Irish bounce back to beat Youngstown State 87-78
Demetrius Jackson scored 17 points Monday night and Notre Dame had to hold on late to beat Youngstown State 87-78. Jackson bounced back from a season-low, nine-point effort on 4-for-17 shooting in an 80-73 loss to Indiana on Saturday by hitting 8 of 12 shots from the field to go with four rebounds and four assists. V.J. Beachem scored 16 points for the Irish on 4-for-6 shooting from 3-point range. Zach Auguste also had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Bonzie Colson added 14 points and nine boards. Cameron Morse scored 22 points and Sidney Umude added 15 points and 11 rebounds for Youngstown State (5-8) which has lost four of its last five. Notre Dame (8-3) is off for the next eight days before a final nonconference game against Liberty on Dec. 29.

Eastern Michigan 73, Coppin State 62 – Eastern Michigan dispatches Coppin State 73-62
Freshman James Thompson IV notched his seventh-consecutive double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds to lead Eastern Michigan past Coppin State 73-62 on Monday night. The last EMU player to complete seven-straight double-doubles was George Gervin during the 1971-72 season.  Thompson entered the game averaging 14.7 points and 11.8 rebounds.

Tonight
(1) Michigan State vs. Oakland University, 7:00 p.m.   WCSY-FM 6:00           (@ The Palace Of Auburn Hills)
Howard at Central Michigan, 7:00 p.m.
IPFW at Western Michigan, 7:00 p.m.

NCAA Basketball – Men’s – Michigan State’s Valentine out 2-3 weeks with injury
No. 1 Michigan State’s top scorer, Denzel Valentine, will be out for two to three weeks with a knee injury. Coach Tom Izzo said Monday that Valentine had a piece of cartilage removed after an injury in practice Sunday. He calls it “very, very, very minor.” Valentine is averaging 18 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the Spartans (12-0), who play Oakland on Tuesday night. Izzo says Eron Harris will be added to the starting lineup. Valentine could return to play Illinois on Jan. 7.

NBA – National Basketball Association
Last Night
Brooklyn Nets 105, Chicago Bulls 102

Nets 105, Bulls 102 – Lopez, Young lead Nets to 105-102 victory over Bulls
Brook Lopez had 21 points and 12 rebounds, Thaddeus Young added 16 points and 13 rebounds and the Brooklyn Nets beat the Chicago Bulls 105-102 on Monday night to end a five-game losing streak. Chicago center Joakim Noah left the game late in the third quarter with an apparent left shoulder injury. Wayne Ellington had 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting off the bench for the Nets.  Jimmy Butler had 24 points, Pau Gasol added 20 points and the Bulls lost their third straight.  Butler said before the game that he didn’t regret his critical comments of first-year coach Fred Hoiberg two days earlier following a loss in New York. He was 11 for 20 from the field in this one.

Last Night
Detroit Pistons at Miami Heat, 7:30 p.m.

Basketball Hall of Fame – Hall hopefuls announced
Shaquille O’Neal, Allen Iverson and Yao Ming are among the first-time candidates on the ballot for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Michigan State coach Tom Izzo and former women’s star Sheryl Swoopes are also among the candidates announced Monday for the class of 2016.  The finalists will be announced on Feb. 12 during the NBA’s All-Star weekend.

NHL – National Hockey League
Tonight
New Jersey Devils at Detroit Red Wings, 7:30 p.m.
Chicago Blackhawks at Dallas Stars, 8:30 p.m.

NCAA Women’s Basketball
Yesterday
(3) Notre Dame 91, St. Joseph’s 55
(24) Michigan State 81, Detroit 42
Florida Gulf Coast 60, Western Michigan 42
Central Michigan 78, SIU-Evansville 65

(3) Notre Dame 91, St. Joseph’s 55 – No. 3 Notre Dame routs Saint Joseph’s 91-55
Lindsay Allen had 16 points, nine assists and seven rebounds to help the No. 3 Notre Dame women beat Saint Joseph’s 91-55 on Monday night. Marina Mabrey scored 18 points to lead the Irish. Ciara Andrews scored 13 points to lead Saint Joseph’s.

(24) Michigan State 81, Detroit 42 – Jankoska, No. 24 Michigan State women beat Detroit 81-42
Tori Jankoska had 28 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists to help No. 24 Michigan State beat Detroit 81-42 on Monday night. Jankoska was 9 of 11 from the field to reach double figures in her 11th straight game this season. Aerial Powers added 16 points and nine rebounds for Michigan State.

MLB – Pirates acquire pitcher Lobstein from Tigers for cash
The Pirates added Kyle Lobstein to the mix of starting pitchers looking for a rotation spot next season, acquiring the left-hander from the Detroit Tigers on Monday for cash. Detroit designated the 26-year-old for assignment on Dec. 18. Lobstein went 3-8 with a 5.94 ERA for the Tigers in 2015, starting 11 games and relieving in two. He is 4-10 with a 5.33 ERA in 20 big league appearances, all with Detroit. Jeff Locke and Ryan Vogelsong also among those competing for a rotation spot behind Gerrit Cole, Francisco Liriano and Jon Niese.

NCAA Football – Bowls
Last Night
Miami Beach Bowl – Marlins Park, Miami, FL
Western Kentucky 45, South Florida 35

WKU 45, USF 35 – Western Kentucky wins
Western Kentucky has completed the best college football season in school history by winning its bowl game. Brandon Doughty passed for 461 yards and three touchdowns in leading the 25th-ranked Hilltoppers to a 45-35 win over South Florida in the Miami Beach Bowl. Anthony Wales rushed for 105 yards and two touchdowns, including a 42-yarder with 5:05 left.  Western Kentucky trailed by 14 before earning its sixth straight win and ending the season 12-2.

Tonight
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl – Albertsons Stadium, Boise, ID
Western Kentucky vs. South Florida, 3:30 p.m.

Marmott Boca Raton Bowl – FAU Football Stadium, Boca Raton, FL
(24) Temple vs. Toledo, 7:00 p.m.

NCAA Football – Clemson’s Swinney takes coach honors
Clemson’s Dabo Swinney is The Associated Press college football coach of the year after leading the top-ranked Tigers to a 13-0 regular season. Swinney received 35 of 60 votes from the AP Top 25 media panel. Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz was second with 10.
 
NCAA Football – More Gators on the move
Florida coach Jim McElwain says that running back Kelvin Taylor, receiver Demarcus Robinson and defensive end Alex McCalister have decided to forgo their senior seasons and enter the NFL draft. They join All-American cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III, who declared his intentions to turn pro after the SEC championship game earlier this month. The decisions mean the 19th-ranked Gators will lose their leading rusher, leading receiver, best defensive back and one of their top pass rushers from this season.

FIFA – Blatter, Platini banned for 8 years
FIFA president Sepp Blatter and vice-president Michel Platini have each been banned for eight years by the ethics committee of soccer’s governing body in a stunning removal of the sport’s most powerful leaders. The bans stems from a $2 million payment deal that is also the subject of a criminal investigation in Switzerland.  Blatter and Platini say they will appeal.

AHL – American Hockey League
Tonight
Chicago Wolves 4, Manitoba Moose 1

MHSAA – High School Sports
Last Night
Boys Basketball
Kalamazoo Loy Norrix 69, Bloomingdale 31

Girls Basketball
Benton Harbor 58, Mishawaka Marian (IN) 51 – Kysre Gondrezick (BH) 48 points
South Haven 41, Holland 38
Kalamazoo Loy Norrix 47, Sturgis 43

Tonight
Girls Basketball
Benton Harbor at Kalamazoo Loy Norrix, 6:00 p.m.