Ohio State beats Creighton 69-60 after blowing its big lead

By ERIC OLSON, AP Sports Writer
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A bunch of newcomers carried Ohio State for much of the game against Creighton. When the Buckeyes called on their longest-tenured player, he delivered.
C.J. Jackson took a cross-court pass from Keyshawn Woods and launched the go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:10 to play and made a hook shot in the lane in the final minute as the Buckeyes held off the Bluejays 69-60 after squandering a double-digit halftime lead Thursday night.
Jackson had been 0 for 7 from the field with five turnovers before coming up with two of the Buckeyes’ biggest baskets.
“We need him,” Woods said. “I told him to stay confident and that we needed him to come up big down the stretch, and that’s just what he did.”
Woods scored 15 of his game-high 19 points in the first half as the Buckeyes (3-0) got out to a 37-25 halftime lead, but Creighton (2-1) stormed back to take a four-point lead before fading and losing for the first time in 25 home nonconference games since December 2015.
Duane Washington Jr. added 12 points for the Buckeyes, who clinched the Big Ten’s fifth win in eight-game Gavitt Tipoff Games. The Big Ten and Big East went 4-4 against each other in the previous three Tipoff Games.
“A lot of credit to Creighton,” Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said. “We knew they would come out and respond in the second half and, boy, did they ever.”
The Bluejays wiped out their halftime deficit and led 55-54 on Martin Krampelj’s tip-in with 5:40 left, and it was 60-56 when Mitch Ballock hit a 3 from the corner.
But Washington answered with a 3 of his own, and after Krampelj missed a free throw, Jackson made his 3 from in front of the Buckeyes’ bench. Kyle Young dunked for a four-point lead with a minute to play. After Luther Muhammad swiped at the ball and it went out of bounds off Davion Mintz’s leg, Jackson floated through the lane to make his hook shot.
Ty-Shon Alexander led the Bluejays with 16 points and Mintz had 12.
“Really the end of the first half and end of the second half, those were two areas where they were extremely efficient and we weren’t,” Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. “If you take away those 12 possessions, defensively we were really good.”
Ohio State: Holtmann is still trying to figure out his best combinations after losing three starters from last season. The Buckeyes picked up a second straight quality road win. They won at Cincinnati last week.
Creighton: Creighton also has a lot of new faces, and it showed grit coming back after the Buckeyes took control of the game late in the first half.
“When I was a young coach,” McDermott said, “I judged progress on whether we won or lost. Been at this long enough, and you just can’t do that. While we’ve made mistakes, this team is progressing and the fight they showed the second half is what we have to have.”
Ohio State’s Holtmann was accustomed to coaching at the CHI Health Center, having been at Butler of the Big East from 2014-17. He was 3-3 against the Bluejays those years, 1-2 in Omaha. “I’m usually in a pretty bad mood when I’m in this seat,” Holtmann said as he sat down to start his postgame news conference.
Ohio State got impressive performances from freshmen Washington, Luther Muhammad and Jaedon LeDee. The three combined to go 8 for 14 from the floor for 20 points with nine rebounds and three steals.
“Our freshmen are dogs,” Woods said. “They’re gritty, they love defense, they love to win.”
Ohio State hosts South Carolina State on Sunday in the Buckeye Classic.
Creighton plays Boise State on Monday in the Cayman Islands Classic.
More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Former Ohio State students air claims of sex abuse by doctor

By JULIE CARR SMYTH, Associated Press
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Former students alleging sexual abuse by a former Ohio State University team doctor are pleading with the school’s trustees not to dismiss or minimize victims’ claims.
Seven accusers of Dr. Richard Strauss told trustees Friday his actions have caused them long-term harm. They described abuse during team physicals, while being treated for injuries or and routine medical exams at the student health center.
They blamed Ohio State for failing to act sooner.
Strauss killed himself in 2005. A law firm investigating Strauss says about 150 former students have given firsthand accounts of his alleged sexual misconduct between 1979 and 1997. Strauss’ relatives are cooperating. They’ve expressed shock at the allegations first raised in April.
The board told accusers their experiences are being taken seriously and action will follow the investigation.

Bradley Beal scores 20 points, Wizards rout Cavaliers 119-95

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Wizards caught the undermanned Cleveland Cavaliers on the second game of back-to-backs Wednesday night.
They seized the opportunity.
Bradley Beal scored 20 points, Otto Porter added 15 and the Wizards beat the Cavaliers 119-95 for their third straight victory. Washington never trailed and led by as many as 27 points.
“We did a good job of coming out there very aggressive on the defensive end,” Dwight Howard said. “We got a lot of stops early which allowed us to get a pretty good lead.”
The Wizards got 12 points from Austin Rivers and 11 from Markieff Morris.
Rookie Collin Sexton had a career-high 24 points for Cleveland, and David Nwaba added 11 points. Playing the second straight night after topping Charlotte on Tuesday, the Cavaliers are an NBA-worst 2-12.
In addition to forward Kevin Love (foot surgery), the Cavaliers were without starting point guard George Hill (hamstring), forward Sam Dekker (ankle) and forward Kyle Korver (sore right foot).
“On the second night of a back-to-back, you have to know they’re going to throw their punches,” Cavaliers forward Larry Nance, Jr. said. “You just have to weather the storm and ride the game out, and we didn’t weather storm.”
Washington pulled away with a 15-0 run early in the second quarter, and Kelly Oubre’s dunk made it 56-32. They led 73-52 at halftime. Cleveland had a 13-2 run to get to 82-69 in the third, but Morris hit a 3-pointer and the Wizards scored seven straight points.
Cleveland committed 24 turnovers that translated into 29 Wizards points.
“This building is a tough place to play, a tough place to win, especially if you turn the ball over,” Cavaliers coach Larry Drew said. “And bad shots are just as bad as a turnover.”
The Wizards made 13 of 40 3-point attempts, while Cleveland was 4 of 21 and missed 10 free throws. Cleveland’s 95 points tied a season-low for a Washington opponent.
“We still have a lot of work to do – we still have to get better. We’re still not content with where we are,” Beal said. “We put three (wins) together, but we still have a couple more at home that we have to take care of.”
In his 556th NBA game, Washington’s Ian Mahinmi hit his first career 3-pointer on his 11th career attempt. With a minute left in the first half, Mahinmi took pass from John Wall and successfully launched from the right corner.
“I talked to John right before the play and he told me ‘get to the corner.’ So, I get to the corner, I get behind the line and I’m like, ‘if the ball comes my way, I’m shooting it,'” Mahinmi said. “So, it happened. It went in. So, it was good.”
Cavaliers: F Cedi Osman returned after missing Tuesday’s game with back spasms and scored four points in 24 minutes. … Andrew Harrison scored a season-high 10 points.
Wizards: Wall shot 3 for 10 and scored a season-low eight points in 21 minutes. … Beal hit his 900th career 3-pointer in the first quarter. According to the Wizards, he’s the youngest person in NBA history to reach 900. … Beal has scored 20 or more points in three of his last four games. … Washington’s 73-point first half was its highest-scoring half of the season.
Magic: At Detroit on Monday night.
Wizards: Host Brooklyn on Friday night in the third game of a five-game homestand.
More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Short-handed Terps are Buckeyes’ last obstacle before ‘Game’

By ERIC OLSON, AP College Football Writer
Here’s what to watch in the Big Ten this week:
No. 8 Ohio State at Maryland
This season has been plain weird for the Buckeyes (9-1, 6-1, No. 10 CFP) with all the off-field distraction and uneven on-field performances. Yet they’re still in line to play for the Big Ten championship if they take care of business at Maryland (5-5, 3-4) and win “The Game” against Michigan for the seventh straight year. The two-touchdown-underdog Terrapins are short-handed. Tyrrell Pigrome will start at quarterback after Kasim Hill tore the ACL in his left knee last week against Indiana, and injured running backs Ty Johnson and Javon Leake are game-time decisions.
Nebraska run offense vs. Michigan State run defense
Devine Ozigbo is on the cusp of becoming Nebraska’s first 1,000-yard rusher since 2014 and combines with Adrian Martinez and Maurice Washington to average better than 200 yards a game. Michigan State is holding opponents to a nation-low 76.5 rushing yards per game and 2.6 yards per carry. Nebraska right tackle Matt Farniok figures to have his hands full with defensive end Kenny Willekes, who had career highs of 13 tackles and 3.5 for loss against Ohio State last week.
National rushing leader Jonathan Taylor of Wisconsin has gone over 100 yards in nine games, the most by an FBS player, and averages 154.8 yards per game. … Purdue goes into its game against Big Ten rushing leader Wisconsin having allowed a season-high 265 rushing yards to Minnesota. … Michigan, which hosts Indiana, hasn’t lost to the Hoosiers since 1987 and lead the series 57-9. … Michigan has outscored opponents 182-66 in first halves and 188-63 in second halves. … Penn State has clinched its 14th consecutive winning season and has won nine straight meetings with this week’s opponent, Rutgers. … Rutgers is yet to score more than 17 points against a power-five opponent. … In November games, Illinois leads the nation in rushing yards (813), yards per carry (9.68) and rushing touchdowns (10).
Minnesota, 2 1/2-point underdog at home to Northwestern
The Gophers (5-5, 2-5) are a bit of a mystery, beating Purdue by 31 points last week after getting beaten by 24 at Illinois the week before. Northwestern (6-4, 6-1) locked up the West Division title at Iowa last week. The Wildcats have had to grind to get where they are, and it will be interesting to see if there is some letdown now that they’re ticket is punched for the Big Ten title game. The Gophers have an opportunity to get bowl eligible before heading to Wisconsin to play for the Axe.
Iowa TE Noah Fant
Fant is at the center of the West Division’s biggest soap opera heading into the Hawkeyes’ game at Illinois. Arguably the nation’s best eight end, he inexplicably was on the sideline for all but eight snaps in the second half as the reeling Hawkeyes tried to come back against Northwestern. Unknown is what’s going on between Fant and the staff. What’s known is the junior is a projected early-round NFL draft pick if he chooses to leave school.
More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Happ scores 30 as Wisconsin pulls away from Xavier 77-68

By JOE KAY, AP Sports Writer
CINCINNATI (AP) — Ethan Happ flipped in a one-handed shot, and then drove past a defender for a dunk. With the game at a turning point, the 6-foot-10 forward did whatever he wanted and put Wisconsin in control.
Happ followed his triple-double in Wisconsin’s opener with another dominant performance Tuesday night, getting 30 points and 13 rebounds as the Badgers pulled away to a 77-68 victory over Xavier in the Gavitt Tipoff Games.
Wisconsin (2-0) opened the second half with an 18-4 run led by Happ , who drove inside for four baskets that set the tone. Xavier didn’t get closer than six points the rest of the way, snapping its streak of 41 straight nonconference victories at the Cintas Center.
“We just knew that we were capable of hitting shots and I was capable of finishing around the rim,” Happ said. “A lot of that didn’t go for us in the first half, but we knew if we stayed the course we’d end up on top.”
Xavier (2-1) hadn’t lost a nonconference game on its home court since a 56-55 defeat against Wofford on Dec. 22, 2012.
It was the third time the teams have played in the last four seasons. The Badgers upset the Musketeers 66-63 in the 2016 NCAA Tournament. Xavier won in Madison 80-70 last season.
Happ was coming off the second triple-double in Wisconsin history during an 85-63 win over Coppin State — 10 points, 11 rebounds, 12 assists. On Tuesday, he scored 18 in the second half as the Badgers blew open a close game .
“The key for us was to hold him down, and we did not do a great job of it,” Xavier forward Zach Hankins said. “We made him take a couple of tough shots, but he had a good night.”
D’Mitrik Trice added a career-high 22 points, making all five of his shots from beyond the arc.
Naji Marshall had a career-high 24 points and 13 rebounds for Xavier. Point guard Quentin Goodin played his second game since returning from a left shoulder injury during practice last month and scored 13 points, favoring the arm at times.
In its opening wins over IUPUI and Evansville, Xavier blew big leads with defensive lapses. The one at the start at the second half on Tuesday led to its first loss.
“We just lost focus on the defensive end, lost our intensity,” Marshall said. “That’s kind of been our deal since the season started. We’ve got to lock in and play the whole game.”
Wisconsin: Trice missed the last 23 games last season with a foot injury and has made a big impact in his return. He scored 21 points against Coppin State, going 5 of 9 from beyond the arc. Trice three early 3s helped the Badgers get comfortable on the road.
“He’s pushing the pace when it needs to be pushed,” coach Greg Gard said. “Having his energy back is helping this team.”
Xavier: Perimeter defense was the Musketeers’ focus after they allowed Evansville to hit 17 3-pointers during their 91-85 win last Wednesday, the most 3s allowed by a Xavier team. Wisconsin made only four 3s in the first half, and the Badgers took the ball inside to take control in the second half.
Xavier lost five of its top seven scorers from the team that won the Big East title last season. Wisconsin returned players that accounted for 95 percent of its points last season. The difference showed.
“Having these guys back, all those experiences we had last year — all those help in big ways, in little ways, in invisible ways,” Gard said. “There’s more chemistry and synergy with this group.”
Wisconsin is the second Big Ten team to win in Cincinnati in the last seven days. Ohio State opened Cincinnati’s renovated arena by beating the Bearcats 64-56 on Wednesday.
It was a gratifying visit for Trice, who grew up in nearby Huber Heights, Ohio.
“This means everything,” said Trice, who had more than two dozen relatives and friends in the stands. “Coming back to Ohio, an hour away from where I’m from — it’s just amazing.”
Wisconsin plays seven games away from home before New Year’s Day for the first time since the 2001-02 season. The Badgers are 63-35 away from home over last five seasons.
Wisconsin hosts Southern Baptist on Saturday.
Xavier plays Auburn on Monday at the Maui Invitational.
More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Clarkson scores 24, injury-riddled Cavaliers blast Hornets

By STEVE HERRICK, Associated Press
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Cavaliers are dealing with so many injuries they needed an assistant coach to suit up for practice Monday.
A little over 24 hours later they did just fine with their healthy players.
Jordan Clarkson scored 24 points, Tristan Thompson had 21 rebounds and 11 points, and Cleveland won for the second time this season, beating the Charlotte Hornets 113-89 on Tuesday night.
The Cavaliers (2-11) broke a five-game losing streak. Cleveland’s first win came against Atlanta on Oct. 30.
Cleveland’s injury list grew longer while the losses piled up. Forwards Kyle Korver (sore right foot) and Cedi Osman (back spasms) didn’t play Tuesday and are the most recent additions.
All-Star forward Kevin Love (foot surgery), starting point guard George Hill (hamstring) and forward Sam Dekker (ankle) have also been sidelined.
Cavaliers coach Larry Drew gave a rundown of the team’s injuries in his pregame media session and then asked, “Who’m I missing? Is that it?”
Thompson was a key member of the team that went to four straight NBA Finals and won the championship in 2016. Despite the injuries and early season drama that included coach Tyronn Lue being fired after an 0-6 start, he knows the players must keep their heads up.
“We’ve got to,” he said. “This is the NBA. We can’t feel sorry for ourselves. It’s a month into the season. We have to keep pushing and keep getting better.”
Kemba Walker, the league’s third-leading scorer, was held to a season-low seven points and was 2 for 16 from the field. The Hornets star guard was averaging 27.9 points going into the game.
“This was one of those nights,” Walker said. “I got to all my spots, was able to take all my shots. It was a rough night shooting the basketball.”
Thompson matched his career high in rebounds and didn’t play in the fourth quarter.
Rodney Hood scored 16 points for Cleveland, which built a double-figure lead midway through the first quarter and maintained that the rest of the game. Rookie point guard Collin Sexton had 16 points and five assists. David Nwaba scored 18 points off the bench.
Jeremy Lamb scored 22 points for Charlotte. The Hornets were 33 for 95 from the field and hit 8 of 41 of their 3-point attempts.
Cleveland’s past three losses were by a combined 12 points. The Cavaliers, who lost to the Hornets 126-94 on Nov. 3, led 63-42 late in the second quarter and were up 67-51 at the half, when Charlotte was 19 for 53 from the field.
“For the work we’ve been putting in and the tough times we’ve been through, tonight’s win kind of pays off,” Drew said.
The Hornets cut the lead to 78-67 in the third quarter, but scored two points over the final five minutes of the period. J.R. Smith and Nwaba helped Cleveland maintain the momentum by hitting 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions.
The Cavaliers built the lead to 25 points in the fourth quarter.
Hornets: Walker, an 87 percent shooter, missed two free throws in a trip to the line midway through the second quarter. … F Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (sprained right ankle) did not play after being injured Sunday at Detroit. He’s averaging 8.6 points in 13 games off the bench. … F Dwayne Bacon entered the rotation in his spot.
Cavaliers: Love had surgery Nov. 2 and is still wearing a walking boot on his left foot. …. Korver doesn’t believe his injury is serious and said that he’d be surprised if he isn’t ready play when the Cavaliers visit Detroit on Nov. 19. …. The 37-year-old Korver has been bothered by foot injuries the past two seasons. … Drew said Osman likely will miss his third straight game Wednesday.
Sexton, taken with the eighth pick in the draft, had four assists and five rebounds in 33 minutes. Drew said the 19-year-old will continue to play substantial minutes when Hill returns, but didn’t indicate whether the rookie will continue to start.
“I see growth in the last week and a half,” Drew said. “He’s starting to kind of figure it out.”
Charlotte won three of four going into the game, but didn’t play well in dropping to 7-7.
“Hopefully this gives us some fire,” coach James Borrego said. “There wasn’t a whole lot of good out there. We’re going to have to use this game as fuel for the next game.”
Hornets: Host Philadelphia on Saturday.
Cavaliers: Visit Washington on Wednesday.

Williams has career-high 15 in UC’s 73-51 win over NCCU

CINCINNATI (AP) — Keith Williams’s first career start was just what Cincinnati needed to jumpstart a sluggish offense.
Despite dealing with an illness that kept him away from post-game media sessions, Williams scored a career-high 15 points, three of his teammates also reached double figures and Cincinnati beat North Carolina Central 73-51 on Tuesday night.
Trevon Scott also set a career high with 12 points and Jarron Cumberland and Justin Jenifer each added 10 for Cincinnati (1-1), which led by as many as 29 points in the second half and improved to 3-0 in the series with the Eagles.
Scott believed Williams’ defense set the tone for the offense.
“He had 10 deflections,” Scott said of the sophomore, “He led us in deflections. He was active all over the court. He had the spark. Everybody else just followed.”
That was the kind of effort Mick Cronin saw in practice from Williams, who scored just four points against Ohio State in the opener.
“The real reason he started?” Cronin said, “Keith’s effort in practice the last three days. He cares so much, he gets jittery. As the game went on, he got calmer and calmer. We have to get him to focus on defense and rebounding and blocked shots and to take his time on offense.”
Williams’s previous career high was 10, which he reached twice as a freshman last season. Scott’s previous career high was 11 on Dec. 13, 2016, against Texas Southern.
Scott’s joy over his 12 points was obscured by finishing with just three rebounds.
“I had one offensive rebound,” he lamented. “I’ll be hearing about that all week.”
The Bearcats shook off shooting a chilly 27 percent on November 7 in a loss to Ohio State to go 31-of-53 (59 percent) from the field against the Eagles (0-2).
Randy Miller Jr. was the only player to reach double figures for NCCU, finishing with 21 points for the team that has reached the NCAA Tournament in three of the past five seasons.
Cronin also was impressed by the 13 turnovers forced by the Bearcats, which led to a 19-8 advantage in points off turnovers.
“Anything over 15 points off turnovers, it’s hard for the other team to win,” Cronin said. “I thought our energy and effort on defense was excellent. We still have mistakes we have to correct. I was really happy with the way the game went. I was surprised that we were able to pull away from them the way we did.”
The Bearcats went 1-for-8 over one stretch and 1-for-7 on 3-pointers in the first half but still shot 52 percent (16-of-31) on the way to a 34-19 halftime lead. They closed the half with a 16-5 run and led by as many as 18 points before halftime. Scott finished the first half with eight points, matching his total against the Buckeyes. Williams scored six points before halftime on Tuesday, two more than he scored against Ohio State.
Cumberland, who scored just four points in the first half, scored six on two 3-pointers as Cincinnati took control with an 13-2 run to open the second half.
The Bearcats blocked eight NCCU shots, led by the 6-foot-5 Williams with a career-high three. The Eagles finished with one.
NCCU still is looking for its first Division I win in the state of Ohio.
Cincinnati was 26-of-38 (67 percent) on shots inside the 3-point line.
NCCU: The Eagles are opening the season with three consecutive road games for the second straight season.
Cincinnati: The game was the second of four straight at home to open the season for the Bearcats.
NCCU: At Bowling Green on Thursday.
Cincinnati: Hosts Milwaukee on Friday.

Red Bulls beat Crew to advance, frees Berhalter for US

By RONALD BLUM, AP Sports Writer
HARRISON, N.J. (AP) — About 90 seconds remained in stoppage time when Columbus Crew coach Gregg Berhalter walked down the sideline to exchange a handshake and hug with New York counterpart Chris Armas. The Red Bulls are moving on, and it appears Berhalter is, too.
Daniel Royer scored twice in a 2:44 span late in the second half, and the Red Bulls advanced to Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference final with a 3-0 victory Sunday night.
Alex Muyl’s goal in the 17th minute overturned a first-leg deficit, and the Red Bulls went on to a 3-1 aggregate victory that likely will free Berhalter to be hired later this year as U.S. national team coach.
“If he’s the next national team manager, we’re behind him,” said Armas, Berhalter’s former U.S. teammate. “With another tier of players, it’d be fun to see what he can do. But he would do great.”
Armas took over the Red Bulls in July when Jesse Marsch left to become an assistant at the Bundesliga’s RB Leipzig, owned by the same parent company. Leipzig beat Bayer Leverkusen by the same 3-0 score Sunday, and Armas said Marsch had promised to stay up late to watch.
Seeking its first MLS title after setting a regular-season league record with 71 points, New York plays Atlanta United in a two-leg semifinal on Nov. 25 and 29. The Eastern winner will host Portland or Kansas City in the final Dec. 8.
Berhalter, Columbus’ coach for the past five seasons, deflected questions about his future. He is the favorite to replace U.S. interim coach Dave Sarachan, who has led the Americans for 13 months since Bruce Arena quit after they failed to qualify for this year’s World Cup.
In line to become the first player to appear in a World Cup for the U.S. and coach the national team, the 45-year-old Berhalter led low-budget Columbus to the playoffs four times, losing to Portland in the 2015 MLS final and getting eliminated in the conference final in 2014 and the conference semifinals in 2014 and this year.
“What’s in Columbus is an identity, a way to play, giving the players belief and making players better. That’s what we did for a long time,” he said.
In dark pants, sweater, jacket and shoes, a dark scarf slung around his neck, Berhalter dressed in the style of Pep Guardiola, And his shaved head also resembles the world soccer’s top coach.
“The reality of trying to break them down is not always so easy,” Armas said. “And then of course you can talk about with the ball how good they are. They can unbalance you and they can give you fits.”
Columbus, which beat the Red Bulls in the 2008 MLS final and the 2015 conference final, was in danger of being moved to Austin, Texas, for 2019 before MLS announced Oct. 12 that owner Precourt Sports Ventures intends to launch an expansion team in Austin and the league is working with the Haslam and Edwards families to keep the team in Columbus.
“To us it became more than that and blocking out distractions,” Berhalter said. “The guys stayed focused, didn’t make excuses for themselves and wanted to get better, and that’s all you can ask of them.”
While the announced crowd was 22,789, Red Bull Arena appeared two-thirds full on a night with a kickoff temperature in the low 40s, New York evened the aggregate after Sean Davis sent a free kick from 35 yards on the right flank into the penalty area. Royer headed the ball down and defender Aaron Long kicked it toward goalkeeper Zack Steffen from 7 yards. The ball deflected off Muyl’s right foot and in for the 23-year-old midfielder’s first playoff goal.
New York moved midfielder Tyler Adams higher to push its attack, giving Columbus difficulty, but the Crew started to have more chances in the second half. The Red Bulls took the aggregate lead in the 73rd minute following an eight-pass sequence on the left side that included Adams, Tim Parker, Davis and Alejandro Romero Gamarra. After Bradley Wright-Phillips played a long diagonal pass to Muyl in the penalty arc, Muyl spun, played the ball from his right foot to his left and passed through three defenders to Adams. He one-touched the ball to Royer, who had broken away from Jonathan Mensah 8 yards out, and beat Steffen with a right-footed shot.
“That was so quick,” said the Austrian winger, who had 11 goals during the regular season. “All of a sudden I was there all alone.”
When Davis knocked the ball away from Justin Meram in the Columbus half in the 76th, Michael Murillo played long pass to Gamarra, who sent the ball to Royer on the left flank. Royer drove toward the penalty area and from inside the arc put the ball just under the crossbar . As Royer did a front flip and then a back flip, more red flares went off from the Empires Supporters Club behind the goal.
Berhalter sounded wistful.
“Overall, not enough on the night,” he said.
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Brees passes Favre with 3 TDs, Saints crush Bengals 51-14

By JOE KAY, AP Sports Writer
CINCINNATI (AP) — Drew Brees and the Saints rocked Paul Brown Stadium from the opening drive, scoring every time they got the ball except for the last one.
Then they cranked up the music in the locker room until the cinderblock walls were vibrating, too.
For New Orleans, it was as much fun as it gets in the NFL.
Brees threw three touchdown passes in a blistering first half, moving ahead of Brett Favre for second place on the career list, and New Orleans rolled to its eighth straight victory Sunday, 51-14 over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Then they blasted the music.
“It’s a good time,” said Brees, who was 22 of 25 for 265 yards and a near-perfect passer rating of 150.4. “We know how to have fun when it’s time to have fun.”
Brees led the Saints to touchdowns on all five first-half possessions with a nearly perfect performance — only two incompletions. His 17-yard TD to Michael Thomas with 2 seconds left in the half gave him 509 career touchdown passes, one more than Favre.
Up next: Peyton Manning’s record 539.
“If you play long enough, I guess those things happen,” Brees said. “I consider myself very grateful, very blessed.
“Just take ’em one at a time, keep plugging along, and hopefully there’s more to go”
Brees had his way with the Bengals’ historically bad defense , even diving over the pile to score a 1-yard touchdown. Cincinnati (5-4) became the first team in the Super Bowl era to give up 500 yards in three consecutive games; New Orleans finished with 509.
The Bengals matched the most lopsided defeat in franchise history and gave up the second-most points in club history. In the first half alone, the Saints piled up 311 yards and had 21 first downs on 40 plays. Brees was 18 of 20 for 214 yards with three touchdowns in the opening half.
“I’m kind of in shock after a loss like that,” linebacker Jordan Evans said.
In the last four games, the Bengals have given up 481, 551, 576 and 509 yards. They’re on pace to give up the most yards in NFL history.
“Obviously, your confidence gets shaken,” coach Marvin Lewis said. “I just addressed that with them. They have to focus and get determined. It’s their job to do it right.”
Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara recognized Dez Bryant by crossing their arms after scoring touchdowns. The former Cowboys receiver signed with the Saints on Wednesday but tore an Achilles tendon in his second practice.
“Two days is not a lot of time, and yet there’s a lot of respect,” coach Sean Payton said.
The Saints sent the Rams to their first loss last week, 45-35, and kept the momentum with their highest-scoring game of the season. Ingram had 13 rushes for 104 yards, and Kamara scored twice as New Orleans picked up 244 yards on the ground.
“Look, this was a good game, but it wasn’t a perfect game,” Payton said.
Pretty close. The only time New Orleans failed to score was when it took a knee at the Bengals 31-yard line to end matters.
What’s it like playing in an offense like that?
“It’s heaven,” Kamara said.
Another encouraging sign for the Saints: Their struggling defense held in check a Bengals offense missing A.J. Green, out indefinitely with an injured toe on his right foot. Andy Dalton went 12 of 20 for 153 yards with two interceptions, including one that Marcus Williams returned 78 yards to set up Brees’ third touchdown throw.
“We all had a hand in it,” Dalton said.
It’s the fourth time the Bengals have lost a game by 37 points in their history. The club record for points allowed was 52 against Carolina in 2002. The 28 points allowed in the second quarter matched the club record.
New Orleans had allowed touchdowns on 20 of opponents’ 28 drives inside the 20-yard line, which ranked 28th out of 32 teams in red zone efficiency. The Bengals managed to get inside the 20-yard line only once, on their opening touchdown drive.
Brees has an 89 percent completion percentage when targeting Michael Thomas this season. Thomas finished with eight catches for 70 yards and two touchdowns, including a diving 7-yard catch in the end zone.
Thomas has 274 catches in 40 career games, surpassing Odell Beckham Jr., who held the mark for most receptions in NFL history through 40 outings.
Saints: LT Terron Armstead suffered a shoulder injury in the second quarter.
Bengals: CB Dre Kirkpatrick suffered a concussion in the second quarter and didn’t return.
Saints: host the Eagles next Sunday.
Bengals: play at Baltimore next Sunday. The beat the Ravens earlier this year.
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Second-half burst helps Buckeyes rout Purdue Fort Wayne

By MITCH STACY, AP Sports Writer
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State got coach Chris Holtmann a blowout win for his birthday, accompanied by a big bouquet of 3-pointers.
C.J. Jackson scored a career-high 25 points and the Buckeyes scored 45 points off 3-point shots on the way to a 107-61 rout of Purdue Fort Wayne on Sunday — which also happened to be Holtmann’s 47th birthday.
Jackson sparked it for Ohio State.
With the Buckeyes leading by just seven points at the intermission, he drained a trio of 3-pointers in the first four minutes of the second half. It wasn’t much of a contest from then on as Ohio State clamped down on defense and the Summit Conference team wilted.
Duane Washington Jr. scored 20 and Jaedon Ledee had 16 points on 12-of-14 free-throw shooting as Ohio State won for the second time in five days. The Buckeyes beat Cincinnati on the road Wednesday.
John Konchar and Kason Harrell each had 13 for the Mastodons (0-2), who shot just 34 percent from the field. They shot 30 percent in the second half as Ohio State smothered them on defense and the game got out of hand.
Ohio State led 41-34 at the end of the first half on the strength of a pair of late 3-pointers hit 23 seconds apart by Washington. Konchar hit a layup on a fast break as time ran out in the half to keep the deficit at seven points.
“We just weren’t making smart decisions defensively, and that kind of led to bad offense,” Jackson said. “We got a couple of silly turnovers in the first half, and that kind of slowed us down a little bit. We weren’t making as many shots. Later we started being a little smarter with the ball, knocking down those same shots we were taking earlier.”
The Buckeyes cleaned it up in the second half, putting up the team’s highest point total in nearly two years, then sang “Happy Birthday” to Holtmann in the locker room afterward.
The Buckeyes were 15 for 28 from beyond the arc, a 54-percent success rate. The parade was led by Washington, who hit 6 of 9, and Jackson, who was 4 for 7.
It was Ohio State’s best day from the 3-point line since making 17 of 29 attempts against Maryland in January.
Washington’s six 3-pointers tied a school record for a freshman. D’Angelo Russell did it in 2015.
Purdue Fort Wayne: The scrappy Mastodons managed to hang in there until Jackson started raining 3s and the Buckeyes pulled away.
Ohio State: Jackson, the only senior among the starters, is on fire, posting a career high despite leaving the game with about six minutes left. And Ohio State’s young players, particularly Muhammad and Washington, are looking more confident and meshing with the more experienced players — which is exactly why games against overmatched mid-majors are scheduled early in the season.
“Chris has got the Buckeyes playing really good defense right now,” Purdue Fort Wayne coach Jon Coffman said. “You play that kind of defense — and I know it’s only a couple games in — you’re going to have a lot of success. And I’ll attribute our lack of success in the second half to what Ohio State did today.”
Holtmann said even though his freshmen have been a major presence early, he doesn’t know yet exactly what he’s got.
“It’s way too early in the season to have any real idea where we’re at or make any statement about where we’re at or where another team we play is at,” he said. “We’re just trying to get better with every day in practice that’s in front of us.”
Purdue Fort Wayne: Hosts Manchester on Tuesday.
Ohio State: At Creighton Thursday night.
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