Niners down Vikings; Ravens hosting Titans
UNDATED (AP) — The NFC championship game will be held in Santa Clara, California, next Sunday.
The San Francisco 49ers earned the right to host the conference title game by whipping the Minnesota Vikings, 27-10. Jimmy Garoppolo (gah-RAH’-poh-loh) threw a TD pass on his opening drive as a playoff starter before Tevin Coleman ran for a pair of short touchdowns.
The Niners’ defense came up big with two turnovers that were converted into 10 points. Richard Sherman set up Coleman's second scoring run of the game with an interception against Kirk Cousins in the third quarter. Marcus Sherels' fumbled punt led to a field goal that made it 27-10 early in the fourth.
San Francisco also limited Dalvin Cook to 18 yards on nine carries.
The 49ers were able to play ball control against the Vikings’ stout defense, with Coleman accounting for 105 of San Francisco’s 186 yards rushing. Kendrick Bourne grabbed a three-yard scoring pass from Garoppolo, who was 11 of 19 for 131 yards and one interception.
Cousins threw for 172 yards and couldn’t get the Vikes into the end zone after his 41-yard TD toss to Stefon Diggs tied the game 7-7 in the first quarter.
The second NFL playoff game of the day has the Tennessee Titans visiting the AFC’s top-seeded Baltimore Ravens. The Titans are threatening to pull off a surprise, leading 21-6 late in the third quarter.
Ryan Tannehill threw for a pair of first-half touchdowns, including a 45-yard scoring strike to Kalif Raymond one play after the Titans stopped the Ravens on downs.
Derrick Henry already has gone over 100 yards rushing for the game. Henry also tossed a pass to Chris Davis for a three-yard TD in the third quarter.
Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson ran for 70 yards on his first 14 carries, but he completed just 14 of his first 28 passes for no touchdowns and one interception.
Jason Tucker’s two field goals account for Baltimore’s scoring.
NFL-HALL OF FAME-COWHER
Cowher to be enshrined in Canton
NEW YORK (AP) — Former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher (COW’-ur) has been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The CBS studio analyst was surprised by the announcement made live on air in studio before the Titans-Ravens game on Saturday. Hall President and CEO David Baker delivered the news to Cowher during CBS’s “The NFL Today” pregame show broadcast.
Cowher was the coach of the Steelers for 15 seasons from 1992 to 2006, leading them to 10 playoff berths and two Super Bowl appearances. He was 161-99-1 with Pittsburgh, including a Super Bowl win over the Seahawks in 2006.
T25 MEN’S BASKETBALL-SCHEDULE
Baylor beats Kansas
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Fourth-ranked Baylor ended a host of losing streaks while improving to 13-1 this season.
Jared Butler scored 22 points and MaCio Teague added 16 as the Bears stifled No. 3 Kansas in Lawrence, 67-55. Freddie Gillespie had 13 points for Baylor, which held Kansas under 40% from the field and turned 14 Jayhawks turnovers into 21 points.
It’s the first victory by the Bears in 18 games at Allen Fieldhouse since the building opened in 1966. Baylor also beat a top-five team on the road for the first time in 22 attempts and won a fifth consecutive game against a ranked team for the first time in school history.
Isaiah Moss scored 15 points for the Jayhawks, who had won 28 straight home games.
In other top-25 games:
— Filip Petrusev scored 16 points and Corey Kispert added 15 in top-ranked Gonzaga’s 31st consecutive regular-season victory in West Coast Conference play, 87-62 victory over Loyola Marymount. Ryan Woolridge scored 13 and Admon Gilder added 12 as the Bulldogs won their 10th straight overall and 22nd consecutive against the Lions.
— Second-ranked Duke is 15-1 after Tre Jones dropped in 23 points and Cassius Stanley added 16 in the Blue Devils’ 90-59 thrashing of Wake Forest. The Blue Devils shot 11-for-23 from 3-point range and cruised to victory after a 26-9 run in the first half.
— Fifth-ranked Auburn Blew out Georgia, 82-60 behind a 40-13 run bridging the two halves. Samir Doughty had 17 points to help the Tigers remain one of two unbeaten teams in Division One.
— Ohio State absorbed its fourth consecutive loss as Devonte Green scored 19 points and Rob Phinisee added 13 in his first start of the season to help Indiana hold off the 11th-ranked Buckeyes, 66-54. The Hoosiers went cold at the start of the second half before a 12-0 run put them in control.
— Jordan Nwora (WOHR’-ah) led three Louisville players in double figures with 20 points in a 67-64 triumph over Notre Dame. Reserve guard Ryan McMahon scored 17 points and Dwayne Sutton had a double-double of 10 points and 14 rebounds for the 13th-ranked Cardinals.
— Kentucky picked up its 1,000 SEC victory as Immanuel Quickley scored the game's final five points and finished with 19 to send the 14th-ranked Wildcats past Alabama, 76-67. Ashton Hagans had 15 points, including a big 3 late after the Crimson Tide cut a 15-point, second-half deficit to 63-60.
— Obi Toppin scored 16 points before leaving with an ankle injury early in the second half of 15th-ranked Dayton’s 88-60 pounding of UMass. Toppin returned to the bench with a protective boot on his left foot and watched the final minutes.
— Saddiq Bey (sah-DEEK’ bay) hit eight 3-pointers and scored a career-high 33 points to lead No. 16 Villanova to an 80-66 win over Georgetown. Bey finished 10 of 15 from the floor and made five free throws to help the Wildcats move to 12-3.
— Miles McBride had a season-high 22 points as 17th-ranked West Virginia earned its seventh straight home win, 66-54 against No. 22 Texas Tech. The Red Raiders were held to a season-low 23 points in the second half.
— Joseph Girardi III furnished 19 points and six rebounds for unranked Syracuse in a 63-55 downing of No. 18 Virginia. Elijah Jones contributed 18 points and nine boards for the Orange, who had lost its previous two ACC games by a combined five points.
— Micah Potter scored 18 of his 24 points in the first half and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead Wisconsin over No. 20 Penn State 58-49. Brad Davison had 11 points and 13 rebounds for the 10-6 Badgers.
Harden gets milestone in Rockets rout
UNDATED (AP) — James Harden reached a scoring milestone while helping the Houston Rockets blow out the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Harden reached the 20,000-point plateau while scoring 32 in the Rockets’ 139-109 rout of the Wolves. He became the 45th player in NBA history and the seventh-youngest to reach the milestone.
Harden also had 12 rebounds and eight assists for the Rockets, who went on a 16-0 run in the third quarter to take an 89-56 lead.
Russell Westbrook added 30 points for Houston.
Checking out Saturday’s other NBA action:
— Jayson Tatum made six 3-pointers and poured in a career-high 41 points as the Celtics clobbered the Pelicans, 140-105. Enes Kanter added 22 points and Gordon Hayward had 19 as Boston halted a season-high, three-game losing streak.
— Zach LaVine (lah-VEEN’) scored 25 points and the Bulls snapped a six-game losing streak by holding off the Pistons, 108-99. Luke Kornet scored 15 points for the Bulls, who blew most of an 18-point lead in the fourth quarter before regaining control with an 11-3 run.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-FCS CHAMPIONSHIP
North Dakota St. wins 8th FCS title 28-20 over James Madison
FRISCO, Texas (AP) — North Dakota State has captured its eighth FCS national championship in nine years.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Trey Lance ran for 166 yards, including a clutch 44-yard touchdown to start the fourth quarter of the Bison’s 28-20 win over James Madison. James Hendricks preserved the victory with an interception at the goal line in the final seconds for the 16-0 Bison.
North Dakota State stretched its FCS-record winning streak to 37 in a row and completed the first 16-win season in any division since Yale in 1894.
Wake Forest QB Newman transferring to Georgia for final year
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Georgia is getting an experienced quarterback after losing Jake Fromm to the NFL draft.
Jamie Newman announced Saturday he will transfer to Georgia from Wake Forest for his final college season. Newman is coming off his first full year as the Demon Deacons' starter, completing 60.9% of his passes for 2,868 yards, with 26 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He also rushed for 574 yards and six TDs.
Bruins outlast Isles in OT
UNDATED (AP) — The Boston Bruins have struggled in games decided after regulation this season, but they picked up two points by playing extra hockey on Saturday.
Patrice Bergeron (pah-TREES’ BEHR’-zhuh-rahn) scored a power-play goal 93 seconds into overtime to complete the Bruins’ third straight win. Boston had been a combined 2-11 in overtime and shootout goals before Bergeron notched his 19th goal of the season.
Tuukka (TOO’-kuh) Rask stopped 35 shots for the Bruins, who have scored a power-play goal in 13 straight games.
Mat Barzal had a goal and an assist for the Islanders.
Meanwhile, the Lightning tied a team record with their 10th consecutive victory as Andrei Vasilevskiy (AHN’-dray va-sih-LEHV’-skee) posted his second straight shutout by stopping 23 shots in a 1-0 downing of the Flyers. Pat Maroon provided the only goal by beating Carter Hart 7:27 into the second period.
Tampa Bay was just four games over .500 before the streak, which ties the club mark set last February.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
— Nico Hischier (HEE’-shur) had a two-goal night and Louis Domingue (doh-MIHNG’) stopped 33 shots as the Devils knocked off the Capitals, 5-1 in Washington. Blake Coleman added a short-handed goal to make it 3-0 before New Jersey sent the Metropolitan Division leaders to their two straight loss since a three-game winning streak.
— The Hurricanes earned a 2-0 win over the Kings behind James Reimer’s 41-save performance. Nino Niederreiter (NEE’-dur-eye-tur) and Teuvo Teravainen (TOO’-voh tehr-ah-VY’-nehn) did the scoring to back Reimer’s third shutout of the season and 24th of his career.
— Brock Boeser (BEH’-sur) and Jake Virtanen (vur-TAN’-ehn) scored 1:24 apart in the third period of the Canucks’ 6-3 win at Buffalo. Boeser had two goals and Jacob Markstrom stopped 25 shots to improve to 7-1 in his past eight games.
— The Canadiens ended their second eight-game losing streak of the season by getting an overtime goal from newcomer Ilya Kovalchuk (KOH’-vul-chuhk) in a 2-1 victory against the Senators. Nick Suzuki also tallied and Carrey Price turned back 41 shots for Montreal.
Last Man winners announced
WASHINGTON (AP) — The NHL All-Star Game rosters are set after the league announced the winners of the “Last Man In” voting for each division.
Blues winger David Perron (peh-RAHN’) and former teammate T.J. Oshie (OH’-shee) were voted by fans as two of the final representatives for All-Star Weekend in St. Louis. Perron will be part of the Central Division team and Oshie takes a spot on the Metropolitan Division roster after helping the Capitals post the NHL’s best record in the first half of the season.
Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner and Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes were also voted in by fans.