AP Sports Wrap From Sunday, Dec 13, 2015
UNDATED (AP) — The Carolina Panthers are just three wins away from becoming the second team in NFL history to record a perfect regular season in a 16-game schedule.
The Panthers remain the NFL's only unbeaten team, improving to 13-0 with a 38-0 dismantling of the reeling Atlanta Falcons. Cam Newton had another good day, completing 15 of 21 passes for 265 yards and three touchdowns as the Panthers clinched a first-round bye in the NFC playoffs. Carolina was so dominant that Newton was able to sit out the fourth quarter of what was the Panthers' 17th straight regular-season win.
However, Carolina tight end Greg Olsen and running back Jonathan Stewart left the game with injuries. Olsen injured his left knee and Stewart his left ankle, but neither appeared to be seriously injured.
Their next game for the Panthers is next Sunday against the Giants in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Elsewhere in the NFL:
— The 11-2 Patriots are the first AFC team to clinch a playoff berth. New England's two-game skid ended as Tom Brady completed 22 of his 30 passes for 226 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in a 27-6 win at Houston. Rob Gronkowski had four receptions for 86 yards and a touchdown in his first action since missing two games with a knee injury. Jabaal Sheard had a pair of strip sacks on Brian Hoyer after halftime, the second of which James White turned into a short TD run three plays later to cap the scoring in the fourth quarter.
— The Bengals failed to clinch the AFC North, and they lost quarterback Andy Dalton to a broken right thumb in a 33-20 loss to Pittsburgh. The Steelers hounded backup AJ McCarron after Dalton was injured while making a tackle on his interception. William Gay returned one of McCarron's passes 23 yards for a touchdown, and DeAngelo Williams ran for a pair of scores. Ben Roethlisberger (RAWTH'-lis-bur-gur) was 30 of 39 for 282 yards and an interception as the Steelers improved to 8-5 and dropped the Bengals to 10-3.
— Denver fell to 10-3 by blowing a 12-0 halftime lead in a 15-12 loss to Oakland. Khalil Mack had five sacks of Brock Osweiler, including one in the end zone for a safety. Derek Carr threw for two touchdowns, including a go-ahead, 16-yard pass to Mychal Rivera with 14:26 left. The Raiders are 6-7 after beating the Broncos for the first time since Sept. 12, 2011.
— Green Bay has taken over the NFC North lead at 9-4 with a 28-7 win over Dallas. Eddie Lacy ran for 124 yards and a touchdown, and fellow running back James Starks added two scores to help the Packers move a game ahead of second-place Minnesota in the division. The Packers racked up 29 first downs and 435 total yards, with Aaron Rodgers completing 22 of his 35 passes for 218 yards, one TD and no interceptions.
— The Jets have their first three-game winning streak since 2011 and are 8-5 following a 30-8 rout of the Titans. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw three touchdown passes and New York's defense stifled Titans' rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota (mar-ee-OH'-tah). Fitzpatrick finished 21 of 36 for 263 yards, with Brandon Marshall making six receptions for 125 yards and a TD.
— The Chiefs' seventh straight win keeps them in possession of an AFC wild-card berth at 8-5. They beat the Chargers 10-3 as Alex Smith passed for 191 yards and a score. He also threw his first interception after a franchise-record 312 attempts without one. Kansas City also allowed just 280 total yards and blanked the Chargers until late in the third quarter.
— The Seahawks strengthened their playoff hopes by winning for the sixth time in seven games, a 35-6 thumping of the Ravens in Baltimore. Russell Wilson was 23 of 32 for 292 yards and five touchdowns as the Seahawks improved to 8-5. The five TD throws match a career high set earlier this season against Pittsburgh. Doug Baldwin scored on passes of 14, 22 and 16 yards, and Tyler Lockett caught TD throws of 8 and 49 yards. Seattle also allowed just 28 rushing yards and clinched Baltimore's first losing season since coach John Harbaugh took over in 2008.
— The Andrew Luck-less Colts really took it on the chin as they were blasted by the Jaguars 51-16. It's the second straight lopsided loss for the Colts, who were crushed by the Steelers last week 45-10. The defeat also put an end to the longest division winning streak in NFL history as the Colts had won 16 straight AFC South games. Blake Bortles led the way for the Jags as he threw for three touchdowns and ran for a score.
— Washington still owns a share of the NFC East lead at 6-7 after Kirk Cousins threw for 300 yards and a touchdown in a 24-21 win at Chicago. Washington blew a 21-7 lead before Dustin Hopkins hit a 47-yard field goal early in the third quarter of the Skins' first victory in 10 road games. The Bears had a chance to force overtime until Robbie Gould (gohld) missed a 50-yard field goal in the rain with 1:22 left. Gould has missed three field-goal attempts in the Bears' last two games, including a potential game-winner last week.
— The Eagles kept their share of the NFC lead in beating the Bills 23-20. Caleb Sturgis secured the win with a 30-yard field goal with 3:26 left, and Ed Reynolds had an interception with 1:16 remaining to end Tyrod Taylor's streak of 222 passes without a pick. Eagles QB Sam Bradford threw for 247 yards, including a 53-yard TD to Nelson Agholor (AG'-oh-lohr). LeSean McCoy had 74 yards rushing and 35 receiving in his return to Philadelphia, but the 6-7 Bills fell two games out of an AFC playoff berth.
— Behind Johnny Manziel (man-ZEHL'), Cleveland got back on the winning track with a 24-10 win over the visiting 49ers. The win ended a seven-game losing skid for the 3-10 Browns. Isaiah Crowell rushed for 145 yards and two touchdowns to help the Browns drop the 49ers to 4-9.
— The Rams' five-game losing streak is over as they improved to 5-8 behind Todd Gurley's 140 yards rushing and two second-half touchdowns in a 21-14 triumph over the Lions. Trumaine Johnson's 58-yard interception return was the only score in the first half. Golden Tate caught two touchdown passes for the 4-9 Lions.
— New Orleans damaged Tampa Bay's playoff chances as Drew Brees (breez) threw a pair of touchdown passes in the Saints' 24-17 win over the Buccaneers. Brees completed 31 of 41 passes for 312 yards without an interception as the Saints improved to 5-8. The loss was the second in three games for the 6-7 Bucs.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-ALL AMERICA TEAM
AP names the best of the best
UNDATED (AP) — The Associated Press has released its annual All-America football team. Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry of Alabama and finalists Deshaun Watson of Clemson and Christian McCaffrey of Stanford lead the way.
The team features Henry and LSU's Leonard Fournette as first-team running backs. Watson is the quarterback on the first team, and McCaffrey made the squad after setting an NCAA record for all-purpose yards this season.
No. 2 Alabama and No. 18 Baylor have the most players on the first team with three apiece.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-EAST CAROLINA-COACH
East Carolina picks Duke coordinator as head coach
GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) — East Carolina has hired Duke offensive coordinator Scottie Montgomery as its head coach.
This is the first head coaching position for the 37-year-old Montgomery, who has served two stints at Duke with a three-year run on the Pittsburgh Steelers' staff in between. Duke's offense ranked third in the ACC this year with 431 yards per game.
Sixers fall again
UNDATED (AP) — The Philadelphia 76ers remain on pace to destroy their own NBA record for fewest victories in an 82-game season.
The Sixers have a 1-24 record and a six-game losing streak following Sunday's 96-76 loss at Toronto. DeMar DeRozan led all scorers with 25 points on 13 of 14 from the line. Luis Scola finished with 22 points on 10 of 14 from the field, and Kyle Lowry added 16 points as the Raptors won their fourth in a row to improve to 16-9.
Rookie Jahlil Okafor (jah-LIHL' OH'-kah-fohr) had team highs of 23 points and 14 rebounds for the 76ers, who shot just 33 percent.
In other NBA action:
— Oklahoma City erased a 13-point, halftime deficit and outscored Utah 8-2 in overtime to beat the Jazz 104-98. Kevin Durant scored 31 points on 10 of 17 shooting, including a driving dunk that tied the game with 15 seconds left in regulation. Russell Westbrook contributed 24 points and 11 rebounds to the Thunder's fifth consecutive win.
— Miami stormed back from a 16-point deficit as Dwyane (dwayn) Wade's jumper with 21.9 seconds left gave the Heat their only lead in the second half of a 100-97 victory against Memphis. Chris Bosh scored 22 points, Gerald Green added 16 and Luol Deng (LOO'-ul dehng) scored 15 to help the Heat improve to 11-4 at home.
— Brandon Knight drained seven 3-pointers and scored 25 points as Phoenix dumped Minnesota 108-101. The Suns scored 43 points off the Timberwolves' 24 turnovers.
T25 MEN'S BASKETBALL-SCHEDULE
Cyclones lead the way
UNDATED (AP) — The Iowa State Cyclones currently are fourth in The Associated Press men's basketball poll, but they will likely climb to third on Monday after staying unbeaten.
Jameel McKay scored 18 points and had eight rebounds as Iowa State topped Arkansas-Pine Bluff 78-64 to improve to 9-0. Matt Thomas had 17 points in his first start of the season for the Cyclones, who were in action a day after No. 3 North Carolina was beaten by Texas.
Checking out the rest of the top-25 finals:
— Josh Hart scored 18 points and Ryan Arcidiacono (ahr-chee-dee-AH'-kah-noh) had 14 to lead No. 9 Villanova past local rival La Salle 76-47. The 8-1 Wildcats hit 13 3-pointers in bouncing back from Monday's 23-point loss to seventh-ranked Oklahoma.
— Thirteenth-ranked Arizona crushed Missouri 88-52 as Mark Tollefsen scored 17 points and Gabe York chipped in 16. The Wildcats had a 44-27 rebounding advantage in winning their 44th straight home game, the longest streak in the nation.
— No. 14 West Virginia bounced back from its first loss of the season as Jevon Carter scored 21 points and Daxter Miles Jr. contributed 18 in a 100-58 blowout over Louisiana-Monroe. The Mountaineers shot 15-for-36 from 3-point range and scored in triple-digits for the third time this season.
Kane extends streak
UNDATED (AP) — Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane has added another game to his team-record point streak.
Kane ran the streak to 26 games with an assist on Duncan Keith's power-play goal in the first period of the Hawks' 4-0 shutout of Vancouver. Kane paces the NHL with 27 assists and 46 points after extending the NHL's longest scoring streak since Quebec's Mats Sundin (suhn-DEEN') opened the 1992-93 campaign with a 30-game run.
Andrew Shaw added an empty-net goal and an assist in the third period to support Corey Crawford, who stopped 30 shots in his second straight shutout, fourth of the season and 16th of his career.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
— Marek Zidlicky (zihd-LITS'-kee) scored twice and the New York Islanders improved to 8-0-2 in their last 10 games with a 4-0 shutout of New Jersey. John Tavares and Matt Martin also scored, and Thomas Greiss (grys) stopped 27 shots for his first shutout of the season and fourth of his career.
— Semyon Varlamov (SEHM'-yuhn vahr-LAH'-mahv) stopped 42 shots and Colorado jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead before completing a 3-1 triumph at St. Louis. Jack Skille (SKIH'-lee) and John Mitchell scored in the game's first 12 minutes to back Varlamov, who blanked the Blues until Vladimir Tarasenko netted his 18th goal of the season with 7:05 remaining.
MEN'S SOCCER-NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP
Stanford beats Clemson
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Jordan Morris scored twice and Stanford buried four of its five shots to win its first NCAA title in men's soccer, a 4-0 win over Clemson.
Stanford's four goals were the most in a College Cup final since St. John's had four in the 1996 title game. The Cardinal needed just 87 seconds to take the lead when Corey Baird and Eric Verso helped set up Morris' first goal.