Washington Football

UNC Asheville beats St. John's 72-65

UNC Asheville beats St. John's 72-65

NEW YORK (AP) Jeremy Atkinson scored a career-high 31 points, 13 in UNC Asheville's game-turning 23-4 run, and grabbed nine rebounds as the Bulldogs rallied past St. John's 72-65 on Friday night

The Bulldogs (5-7) trailed by 17 points in the first half and were down 54-42 with 12:11 remaining.

Atkinson keyed the big burst, hitting all three of his 3-point field goals. He was 6 of 10 overall in the second half when Asheville shot 48.4 percent and made four of its nine 3-point attempts.

Keith Hornsby's breakaway dunk gave the Bulldogs a 65-58 lead with 4:10 to play. The Red Storm (8-4) answered with a 7-0 run to tie the game at 65 with 2:03 left.

Hornsby hit a 3 to break the tie with 1:30 left and that started the Bulldogs' game-closing 7-0 run.

Hornsby, the son of Grammy Award-winning singer Bruce Hornsby, had 14 points and Will Weeks added 10 points and nine rebounds. The Bulldogs beat a Big East team for the first time in 16 games.

Asheville, two-time defending Big South champions, outrebounded the Red Storm 40-30, including 13-7 on the offensive end.

D'Angelo Harrison had 24 points for the Red Storm, who had won six of seven. JaKarr Sampson had 17.

Asheville scored the last five points of the first half - all off St. John's turnovers - to get within 40-30. The Red Storm led 38-21 with 3:12 left on a fadeaway by Sampson.

This capped Asheville's three-game, eight-day trip that started with a loss at No. 7 Ohio State followed by a win over Northeastern.

Jamal Branch, a transfer from Texas A&M, made his debut with the Red Storm. The sophomore point guard had two points, two assists and four rebounds in 14 minutes.

The Red Storm start their Big East schedule with games at Villanova on Jan. 2 and No. 11 Cincinnati on Jan. 5.

This was the second meeting between the schools. St. John's won 105-50 on Nov. 16, 1998.

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Amari Cooper is confident — like, supremely confident — in the Cowboys receivers this year

Amari Cooper is confident — like, supremely confident — in the Cowboys receivers this year

The Washington Football Team would love to see a wide receiver eclipse 1,000 yards in 2020, especially considering they haven't had a pass catcher achieve that milestone since 2016.

Amari Cooper, meanwhile, believes the Cowboys could finish the year with a trio of players above the four-digit mark.

In speaking with Dallas' website recently, Cooper called his new teammate, CeeDee Lamb, the "best player on the board" when the franchise drafted Lamb 17th overall this past April. And Cooper's already adamant that Lamb will fit in quite well with himself and Michael Gallup.

"I think the expectation is to have three 1,000-yard receivers this year," Cooper said.

In the history of the sport, only five offenses have been able to pull off such a feat. The 2008 Cardinals, with Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston, were the last to do so. In 1989, Washington made it happen, thanks to contributions from Art Monk, Ricky Sanders and Gary Clark.

So, no pressure, dudes.

Perhaps Cooper forgot that Ezekiel Elliott is also on the roster, and he's someone that tends to be involved a decent amount on Sundays. Regardless, Cooper is clearly confident in the damage he and his fellow wideouts are capable of this season.

Hopefully he's wrong, though, because nobody likes it when anyone on the Cowboys is proven correct. 

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Kevin Durant gives his NBA Finals predictions

Kevin Durant gives his NBA Finals predictions

While a number of teams are fighting to be the favorite heading into the NBA Playoffs, the Los Angeles Clippers picked up a key endorsement from Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant.

When asked who he thought will win it all this year, Durant chose the Clippers defeating the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA Finals and upsetting the No. 1 seed Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals. 

"They're just so deep," Durant said of the Clippers on “Play For Keeps” podcast. "They haven't had their whole team together at once for a long period of time yet, and that talent is just undeniable. When you have [Paul George] and Kawhi [Leonard] at the wings, that's what you need to win is wings. You got those two at the wings, arguably top three, top four at the wing position on one team."

So far in Orlando, the Clippers have gone 1-2 after defeating the New Orleans Pelicans and falling to the Lakers and Phoenix Suns. As of now, they hold the two-seed in the Western Conference playoff picture and would face the Dallas Mavericks in the first round. However, they are currently just a half a game ahead of the Denver Nuggets with five seeding games remaining.

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The Lakers clinched the one-seed last week and are up six games in the standings over their cross-town rivals.

ESPN’s playoff odds gave the Clippers a 10% chance of winning it all. They ranked third behind the Bucks with a 49.7% chance and the Lakers at 18.7%. 

Durant chose Los Angeles over his own team, the Brooklyn Nets, who are also in a good position to make the playoffs as the current seven-seed in the East Conference. However, the Nets are playing in Orlando without eight players including a number of starters like Kyrie Irving, DeAndre Jordan, Spencer Dinwiddie and Durant, who missed the entire regular season after tearing his Achilles during the 2019 NBA Finals.

If his team retains the seven-seed heading into the playoffs, they would likely face the Toronto Raptors, who Durant projected would fall to Milwaukee in the Eastern Conference Finals.

But regardless of seeding, Durant acknowledged it’s still anyone’s game.

“I hate doing that s---,” he said about predicting a winner. “You never know what could happen – you seen that with us last year.”

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