NCAA

Steelers suspend RB Rashard Mendenhall

Steelers suspend RB Rashard Mendenhall

PITTSBURGH (AP) When Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin demoted running back Rashard Mendenhall to third-string following a fumble in a loss to Cleveland last month, Tomlin stressed Mendenhall would have a chance to redeem himself.

Not this week.

The Steelers suspended the mercurial Mendenhall for their game Sunday at Dallas for conduct detrimental to the team. Pittsburgh promoted running back Baron Batch from the practice squad to take Mendenhall's place.

The suspension is the latest in a series of setbacks for the 25-year-old Mendenhall. He emerged as Pittsburgh's starter in 2009 and topped 1,000 yards in 2009 and 2010. He nearly reached the milestone again last winter but tore the ACL in his right knee in the regular- season finale against Cleveland.

Mendenhall returned Oct. 4 and had 101 total yards and a touchdown in a victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. He strained his right Achilles four days later against Tennessee and never regained a firm grip on the starting job.

Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman shined in Mendenhall's absence - with one or the other rushing for more than 100 yards in three straight games - and Mendenhall was dropped to third in the depth chart after he coughed up the ball in the first quarter against the Browns.

The Steelers (7-6) made Mendenhall inactive in a victory over Baltimore and last week's 34-24 loss at home to San Diego. Though the running game struggled - Dwyer led the Steelers with 32 yards - Tomlin said he had no plans to make a change as Pittsburgh heads into the final three weeks of the season.

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VCU loses fourth consecutive game to St. Louis

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VCU loses fourth consecutive game to St. Louis

ST. LOUIS -- Javonte Perkins had 25 points as Saint Louis topped VCU 80-62 on Friday night.

Hasahn French had 18 points for Saint Louis (19-8, 8-6 Atlantic 10 Conference). Terrence Hargrove Jr. added 11 points. Jordan Goodwin had 10 points.

Marcus Santos-Silva had 11 points for the Rams (17-10, 7-7), who have now lost four consecutive games. De'Riante Jenkins added 10 points.

Saint Louis plays Saint Joseph's at home on Wednesday. VCU faces UMass on the road on Wednesday.

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Tristan Thompson calls Bradley Beal one of the best shooting guards in the league

Tristan Thompson calls Bradley Beal one of the best shooting guards in the league

Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson spoke with reporters after the team's victory over the Wizards Friday night, praising Bradley Beal, who was snubbed from All-Star consideration this season despite averaging nearly 30 points-per-game.

The Cavaliers held the Wizards to just 21 points in the fourth quarter, and Thompson said their main focus was neutralizing Beal.

"The Wizards are really good offensively when they are making their runs," Thompson said postgame. "Bradley Beal is an All-Star in our league. One of the top-three two-guards in our league right now, so we were just trying to make it tough for him."

Beal finished the night with 26 points, but struggled from the floor. Beal shot 9-for-28 from the floor and the Cavaliers' stingy defense was clearly a factor.

Beal and the Wizards will have a chance to get back on track on Sunday night at Capital One Arena when they host the Chicago Bulls for the final time this season.

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