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Weekend Sports In Brief

Weekend Sports In Brief

NFL

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Justin Herbert threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams with 2:17 remaining and the Los Angeles Chargers held off the Pittsburgh Steelers 41-37 on Sunday night.

Los Angeles (6-4) had a 27-10 lead going into the fourth quarter before the Steelers (5-4-1) rallied to take a 37-34 lead on Chris Boswell’s 45-yard field goal with 3:24 left. Los Angeles took over at the 25 and scored four plays later when Williams was wide open and went untouched up the left sideline.

Herbert was 30 of 41 for 382 yards and three touchdowns. He had 90 yards rushing, which is the most by a Chargers quarterback in a game. Keenan Allen had nine receptions for 112 yards, and Williams had 97 yards on five catches.

Austin Ekeler had a career-high four touchdowns. Ekeler, who had 115 scrimmage yards (65 receiving, 50 rushing), is the ninth player in the Super Bowl era with at least two rushing and two receiving scores in a game.

The Chargers generated 533 yards of offense, their fourth most since 2000. It is also tied for the eighth most that the Steelers have allowed in a game in franchise history.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Christian Koloko had 22 points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots in leading Arizona to a dominating 80-62 win over No. 4 Michigan in the Roman Main Event.

The Wildcats (5-0) had to grind out a win over Wichita State on Friday in their first true test of the season. They put together an impressive all-around performance in another measuring-stick game, leaving a top-five team in the desert dust.

Arizona was active defensively all night and used its free-flowing movement on offense to set up easy shots. The Wildcats made 4-of-21 from 3, but hit 64% of its 2-point shots, including several alley-oops or point-blank baskets off penetration.

Michigan bounced back from a two-point home loss to Seton Hall with a 13-point win over UNLV on Friday. The Wolverines (4-2) couldn’t back it up on Sunday, struggling against Arizona’s length inside and quick hands in passing lanes, leading to transition opportunities for the Wildcats.

UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) — Zach Edey scored 21 points and No. 6 Purdue overcame an 11-point second-half deficit to beat No. 5 Villanova 80-74 to win the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament.

Caleb Furst and Isaiah Thompson each added 12 points for the Boilermakers (5-0), who dominated underneath, outscoring the Wildcats 38-18 in the paint and outrebounding them 38-26.

Justin Moore had 19 points, Caleb Daniels added 17 and Collin Gillespie had 14 for Villanova (3-2).

The Wildcats led 33-31 at halftime, scored the first five points in the second half and were up 57-46 after a 3-pointer by Daniels. But Purdue outscored the Wildcats 34-17 over the last nine minutes.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

NEW YORK (AP) — Ohio State moved up to No. 2 in The Associated Press college football poll, surging three spots past No. 3 Alabama and No. 4 Cincinnati in a close vote.

Georgia was a unanimous No. 1 in the AP Top 25 presented by Regions Bank for the seventh consecutive week, but for the second week in a row, No. 2 changed.

Alabama slipped past Cincinnati last week and then Ohio State leapfrogged them both after routing Michigan State 56-7 on Saturday. The Buckeyes received 1,434 points from the media panel. The Crimson Tide had 1,423 and the Bearcats got 1,416.

Notre Dame is up to a season-high No. 5 and Michigan will go into its game against Ohio State next Saturday ranked No. 6. The winner of Buckeyes-Wolverines will play in the Big Ten championship game.

Oklahoma State moved to a season-high No. 7 and is one of three teams from the Big 12 residing in the back half of the top 10, along with No. 9 Baylor and No. 10 Oklahoma. Mississippi rounds out the top 10 at No. 8.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida fired coach Dan Mullen on Sunday, a day after his sixth loss in nine games, two months after the Gators went toe to toe with defending national champion Alabama and a year after they had a chance to make the College Football Playoff.

Mullen’s stunning downfall and not-so-surprising departure ends a tumultuous two seasons that included mounting losses, numerous public relation missteps, NCAA sanctions and a victory against lower-division Samford that didn’t seem like much for Gators fans to celebrate.

Mullen finished 34-15 over four seasons at Florida that included a trip to the Southeastern Conference championship game last year and three New Year’s Six bowls.

His final game was a 24-23 loss in overtime at Missouri that spotlighted Florida’s flaws: inconsistent quarterback play, a porous offensive line, a lack of playmakers on both sides of the ball and an inability to win close games.

NBA

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Sacramento Kings fired coach Luke Walton on Sunday after getting off to a disappointing start in his third season in charge.

Walton was informed of the decision a day after a 123-105 home loss to Utah that dropped the Kings to 6-11 on the season after their seventh loss in eight games.

Walton had a 68-93 record in two-plus seasons as coach, failing to get Sacramento back to the playoffs for the first time since the 2005-06 season.

Associate coach Alvin Gentry takes over on an interim basis. Gentry most recently served as head coach for the New Orleans Pelicans (2015-20). He has also had head coaching stops with Miami, Detroit, the Clippers and Phoenix. He has a career record of 510-595.

BASEBALL

NEW YORK (AP) — Japanese outfielder Seiya Suzuki will be posted by his Japanese club and will be available for bidding by the 30 Major League Baseball teams.

MLB told its teams on Sunday that the posting will start Monday morning and run through 5 p.m. EST on Dec. 22.

The 27-year-old, Japan’s 2019 Home Run Derby champion, has spent nine seasons with the Central League’s Hiroshima Toyo Carp. He hit .319 with 38 homers and 88 RBIs this season and has a .315 career average with 182 homers and 562 RBIs.

He won the 2019 Central League batting title, is a four-time All-Star and a three-time Gold Glove winner.

NAPLES, Fla. (AP) — Facing high stakes against her toughest opponent, Jin Young Ko delivered a performance that was close to perfect to win the richest prize in women’s golf and overtake Nelly Korda for LPGA player of the year.

Ko opened with a 25-foot birdie putt and never looked back in the CME Group Tour Championship. She shot 30 on the front nine Sunday and closed with the low round of the tournament at 9-under 63 for a one-shot victory over Nasa Hataoka of Japan.

This victory brought big spoils, beyond the $1.5 million to the winner. The 26-year-old South Korean had to win the tournament to claim the points-based LPGA player of the year, the second time in three years Ko has won the award.

Ko finished at 23-under 265 for her 12th career victory. She won five of the last nine tournaments she played on the LPGA Tour, and became the first five-time winner on the LPGA since 2016.

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. (AP) — Talor Gooch was playing too well to get fazed by anything in the final round of the RSM Classic, and it paid off with his first PGA Tour title when he closed with a 6-under 64 Sunday for a three-shot victory at Sea Island.

Gooch ran off three birdies in four holes to start the back nine and never let anyone get close to cap off a strong fall with the ultimate prize. The victory moved him to the top of the FedEx Cup standings, to No. 33 in the world ranking and to Augusta National in April for the Masters.

Gooch tied the tournament record of 22-under 260 set by Kevin Kisner in 2014. He became the seventh player in the 12-year history of the event to make the RSM Classic his first victory.

Mackenzie Hughes of Canada, who won the tournament in 2016, rallied from the group ahead of Gooch with four birdies among his last six holes, capped by a 20-foot putt at No. 18 for a 62 to finish second at 19-under 263.

NHL

NEW YORK (AP) — Nearly four years after winning the bid to build a new home next to Belmont Park, the Islanders opened the doors to UBS Arena on Saturday night. The Calgary Flames were the Islanders’ first home opponent this season after the team spent the first 5 1/2 weeks of the season playing 13 road games.

The Flames won 5-2 spoiling the debut of the new arena.

The $1.1 billion building is the culmination of a campaign that started more than a decade ago by previous Islanders owner Charles Wang. First came the proposed Lighthouse Project in 2007 that was part of redevelopment plan, but went nowhere. Then, Nassau County voters rejected an attempt to secure public financing for a new arena to replace the Nassau Coliseum four years later, and the unpopular move to Brooklyn in 2015 eventually saw the team splitting home games between Barclays Center and the Coliseum.