Capitals

Top 25 Capsules

Top 25 Capsules

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) Quinn Cook scored a career-high 27 points and No. 1 Duke held Clemson to its lowest-scoring half in 12 years in a 68-40 victory Tuesday night.

Ryan Kelly added 12 points in the first half but sat out the second with what team officials said was a right leg injury.

The Blue Devils (15-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) shot 48 percent, built a 42-31 rebounding advantage and pulled away down the stretch to improve to 58-4 at home against the Tigers.

Devin Booker had 12 points and 15 rebounds for Clemson (8-6, 0-2), which had season lows for points and shooting percentage (28 percent) and shot 12 percent in its brutal first half.

The Tigers had just 10 points at halftime, their fewest since scoring nine against Wake Forest in 2001.

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No. 10 MISSOURI 84, ALABAMA 68

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - Jabari Brown had career-bests of 22 points and five 3-pointers and Phil Pressey responded from a shaky first half with 11 points and 13 assists to lead Missouri in its Southeastern Conference debut.

Trevor Releford had a career-best 26 points for Alabama (8-6, 0-1), which has lost six of eight. Coach Anthony Grant lost for the first time in seven career conference openers, three at VCU and four at Alabama.

Brown was 7 for 11 overall, three days after making only one of nine attempts in a two-point victory over Bucknell. The Oregon transfer has scored in double figures four of five games since becoming eligible at the semester break.

Earnest Ross added a season-best 19 points for Missouri (12-2, 1-0) and Alex Oriakhi helped the Tigers pull away with 10 of his 16 points over the final 11 minutes. He grabbed 11 rebounds.

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No. 13 CREIGHTON 91, DRAKE 61

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Ethan Wragge matched career highs with 22 points and six 3-pointers for Creighton, which got off to a blistering start.

Doug McDermott added 16 points, Jahenns Manigat had 13 and Grant Gibbs 10 for the Bluejays (15-1, 4-0 Missouri Valley Conference), who won their ninth straight game.

Creighton has won 71 straight against opponents .500 or worse, and it was apparent early that the streak was in no jeopardy. The Bluejays, who made a season-high 16 3-pointers, led by 30 points in the first half and by 35 late in the second.

Joey King scored 17 points for Drake (6-9, 0-4).

Wragge, who had been averaging 9.0 points a game, went over 20 for the second time in three games.

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The Toronto Maple Leafs are not happy with Caps' Lars Eller

The Toronto Maple Leafs are not happy with Caps' Lars Eller

On Saturday, the defending Stanley Cup champion Capitals faced off against one of the hottest young teams in the NHL, the Toronto Maple Leafs. It was viewed as a marquee matchup and it certainly lived up to its billing with both teams battling in a tight, well-played game.

In the end, Toronto walked away as the 4-2 victors in one of their better wins of the young season, but not everyone left that game impressed.

A team that already boasted super-star talent Auston Matthews added John Tavares in the offseason as a free agent giving the Maple Leafs a formidable one, two punch at center. For most of the game, the Caps were able to shut down that center tandem.

Lars Eller was asked after the game how the Caps were able to keep the Leafs’ big stars in check and he indicated that perhaps Tavares and Matthews were not as formidable a pair as they had been made out to be.

“We’re used to playing against [Sidney Crosby] and [Evgeni Malkin],” Eller said. “Everything kind of drops from there so it’s not that special. It’s a good team like a lot of others. They’ll probably be a playoff team, I think.”

Not surprisingly, that quote caught Toronto’s attention, especially forward Nazem Kadri.

Per Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, Kadri called Eller’s comments “bulletin board material.”

With 12 points in seven games, the Maple Leafs currently boast the top record in the league. Toronto is far from perfect, however, and their defense remains a major question mark in whether this team is a true Stanley Cup contender.

But as to whether or not they are a playoff team? That seems like a pretty safe bet.

The Caps and Maple Leafs will meet twice more this season on Jan. 23 and Feb. 21. Both games are in Toronto.  

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Need to Know: Tandler’s Take—Dramatic improvement to Redskins rushing defense

Need to Know: Tandler’s Take—Dramatic improvement to Redskins rushing defense

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, October 16, five days before the Washington Redskins host the Dallas Cowboys.

Talking Points

A better 3-2

For the third straight year, the Redskins are 3-2 after five games. As you know, they did not make the playoffs after either of the last two seasons. But they are in better shape in the standings now than they were in 2016 or 2017. Last year they were in second place in the division, a game and a half behind the 5-1 Eagles. They were worse off two years ago as they were in third place behind the 3-1 Eagles and the Cowboys, who were 4-1. 

It’s still very early, but it’s better to be in first place nearly a third of the way into the season than it is to be in second or third place and being in a position where you have to chase one or two teams. 

Take it away

The Redskins had three takeaways against the Panthers—the fumble recovery on the punt, Josh Norman’s interception, and the fumble forced by Norman and recovered by Mason Foster. They did not give the ball away. The last time they got at least three takeaways without giving the ball up was on Christmas Eve, 2016 in Chicago. Perhaps not coincidentally, that is the last game in which Norman had an interception until Sunday. 

After being either even or in the positive in takeaway ratio in four of their five games this year, the Redskins are now tied for fourth in the NFL with a plus-four turnover margin. If they can stay on the even or plus side from week to week they will have a very good chance at being successful. 

Rushing D much improved

After finishing 32nd in the NFL in rushing yards allowed in 2017, the Redskins are currently sixth, giving up an average of 90.2 yards per game. The improvement has come even though they have faced premiere running backs David Johnson, Alvin Kamara, Mark Ingram, and Christian McCaffrey. They have allowed no more than 104 yards on the ground in any of their five games. Last year's opponents ran for 127 yards or more 10 times. Their defense will be tested on Sunday against the Cowboys, who average 147 rushing yards per game on the ground, second in the NFL. 

Looking in the mirror

When the Redskins take a look at the Cowboys they might feel like they are watching themselves. Both teams run the ball well, although Ezekiel Elliott is more consistent than Adrian Peterson. Alex Smith has better passing stats than Dak Prescott but both teams are in the bottom third of the league in passing yards. The defenses on both teams are strong. Washington is sixth in yardage allowed per game and the Cowboys are fifth. 

And both teams have started off the season alternating wins and losses. Dallas started with a loss to the Panthers then beat the Giants, lost to the Seahawks, won over the Lions, suffered an OT loss to the Texans and then thumped the Jaguars. It will be an interesting match up on Sunday.

The agenda

Today: Off day, no media availability

Upcoming: Cowboys @ Redskins 5; Redskins @ Giants 12; Redskins @ Eagles 48

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