Agents: Wide receiver Brandon LaFell agrees to terms with Bengals

Published: Wednesday, March 08, 2017 @ 4:48 PM
Updated: Wednesday, March 08, 2017 @ 5:01 PM

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Brandon LaFell carries the ball during their 16-12 loss to the Buffalo Bills Sunday, Nov. 20 at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Brandon LaFell carries the ball during their 16-12 loss to the Buffalo Bills Sunday, Nov. 20 at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Wide receiver Brandon LaFell will be back with the Cincinnati Bengals.

LaFell agreed to terms with the team today, according to a tweet from his agents — Neil Schwartz and Jonathan Feinsod. The Bengals have not announced the deal.

LaFell caught 64 passes for 862 yards and six TDs last season as a complement to Pro-Bowl receiver A.J. Green. For his career, LaFell has 342 receptions for 4,715 yards and 26 TDs.

Prior to 2016 season season in Cincinnati, LaFell spent four seasons in Carolina and two with New England.

He was due to become a free agent at 4 p.m. Thursday when the new NFL season begins.

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Analysis: Duke basketball continues to win without Marvin Bagley III

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 6:19 PM

Grayson Allen drained outside shots, and Wendell Carter Jr. controlled the paint.

Fifth-ranked Duke has played so well lately that college basketball analysts have actually debated whether the Blue Devils (23-5, 11-4 ACC) are a better team without freshman phenom Marvin Bagley III. That might be a stretch.

Either way, Allen scored a game-high 28 points  as Duke built a 21-point first-half lead and cruised to its fourth consecutive with an 82-56 win over Louisville in Durham, N.C.

Bagley missed his fourth game in a row with a mild right knee sprain, but the Blue Devils didn’t need the ACC’s leading scorer and rebounder to easily get past the Cardinals (18-10, 8-7).

Allen drained 6  3-pointers, and with Carter not having to share the paint with Bagley, the freshman big man added 18 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists. He also defended the rim, blocking 3 shots and helping to hold Louisville to just 25 points in the first half.

With Bagley forced to sit on the bench, Duke has won its last four games in convincing fashion.

Grayson Allen’s growth

Allen has managed to overcome his shooting slump from a few weeks ago.

The 6-foot-5 senior continued to show his re-emergence, finding his shooting touch early on and not letting up against a Louisville defense that allowed him to get good looks at the basket.

Allen scored 10 of Duke’s first 26 points and made 5 of 11 shots in the first half, including 3 3-pointers. He finished 6 of 15 on 3-point attempts and 10 of 20 overall.

Allen has taken on a larger offensive role since Bagley suffered his knee injury. The guard entered Wednesday averaging 22.3 points over Duke’s previous three games.

He was even more of a factor against Louisville, scoring 15 points in the second half as the Blue Devils never gave the Cardinals any hope of pulling off a late comeback.

Attacking the boards

Duke had no trouble grabbing rebounds against Louisville.

With Carter playing around the basket and sophomore Javin DeLaurier starting in Bagley’s place, the Blue Devils outrebounded the Cardinals by a 44-30 margin.

DeLaurier grabbed 8 rebounds, including 4 offensive boards, to go along with 5 points. He used his size to give Duke another solid big man to take advantage of against an overmatched Louisville team.

Even backup center Marques Bolden got in on the action, scoring 8 points and grabbing 5 rebounds.

The Blue Devils shot 48.3 percent from the floor, and they benefitted from second-chance points that came off rebounds. They had 12  offensive boards.

Slowing down Louisville

Louisville scored 94 points in a win over struggling Pittsburgh on Feb. 11. The Cardinals didn’t come anywhere close to matching that against Duke.

Even with Bagley unable to defend the paint as he usual does, Louisville’s struggled to get into an offensive rhythm while starting four forwards. Turnovers mounted early on, and shots didn’t fall. It was a recipe for disaster.

Duke held the Cardinals to just 36.7 percent shooting in the first half, including 1 for 8 on 3-point attempts.

Junior Ray Spalding had 17 points to lead only 3 Louisville players in double figures. Making matters worse, the Cardinals committed 15 turnovers and attempted only 7 free throws compared to 16 by Duke.

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3 things from Tennessee basketball’s much-needed win over Florida

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 6:11 PM

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee remained in sole possession of second place in the SEC standings, staving off Florida by a 62-57 count late Wednesday night.

The No. 19-ranked Vols (20-7, 10-5) led throughout the game, their defense clamping down on Florida’s perimeter shooters. The Gators were just 6-of-24 from 3-point range.

Tennessee didn’t trail in the second half and went up by as many as 10 points on Florida (17-11, 8-7) with 5:04 left on a Jordan Bowden jumper.

Grant Williams scored 23 points o 8-of-13 shooting to lead Tennessee, which has won 20 games for the first time since 2013-14, when a Cuonzo Martin coached team reached the Sweet 16.

Admiral Schofield added 16 points for the Vols (7-of-17 shooting), even as Tennessee’s guards continued to struggle.

Jordan Bone (3-of-9), Lamonte Turner (2-of-4), James Daniel lll (1-of-3) and Jordan Bowden (2-of-5) combined for 23 points, nine assists and seven turnovers.

Tennessee held a 27-18 lead at the half on the strength of its defense.

The Vols shot just 37.9 percent from the floor in the opening half with seven assists and 10 turnovers.

Tennessee’s defense, however, was dialed in. Florida shot 26.9 percent and was outrebounded 23-17.

Auburn beat Alabama 90-71 to remain two games ahead of the Vols in the SEC standings. The Tide, like Florida, dropped to 8-7 in the league standings, now two games behind Tennessee.

Grant Williams’ impact

The Vols appeared to be in trouble when Grant Williams picked up his third foul and left the game less than a minute into the second half with Tennessee up 27-18.

The Vols’ lead was down to 35-34 when Williams checked back in at the 11:36 mark. Williams scored right away and Tennessee went on a 7-2 run to go back up 44-36 when Barnes took Williams out.

Williams checked back in with the lead down to 44-41, and again he scored immediately, the Vols pulling away for the win.

Sluggish shooting

Tennessee missed its first six attempts from beyond the 3-point arc before James Daniel lll connected at the 4:09 mark. The Vols closed the first half on an 11-1 run.

The second half perimeter shooting was more efficient. Tennessee made 2-of-3 shots from beyond the 3-point arc.

Fast start

Tennessee raced out to a 6-0 lead to open he game, and there was so much energy pulsating through Thompson-Boiing Arena that Florida called a timeout at the 18:04 mark.

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Florida basketball: Slide continues as Gators offense stalls at Tennessee

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 6:09 PM

It’s not that this was a must-win game Wednesday night for Florida, but at some point very soon, something has to change if the Gators are going to have any chance to make a postseason run this year.

Instead, the slide continued at Tennessee for the reeling Gators.

There was no second-half collapse this time, but only because Florida were never in a position of control after halftime.

No. 19 Tennessee pulled ahead late in the first half and never lost its lead the rest of the way, closing out 62-57 win at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tenn.

Florida (17-11, 8-7 SEC) has now lost three straight and six of its last eight conference games, continuing a frustrating stretch that is threatening to undo a season that once had a lot of potential and promise.

The Gators tried to reverse their recent script, whittling a 10-point second half deficit down to 1 several times. But that’s as close as it would get as Tennessee (20-7, 10-5) sealed the win.

A Dontay Bassett layup with 11:05 cut the Vols’ lead to 37-36, but a dunk by Jordan Bowden, a jumper from Admiral Schofield and a layup and free throw from Schofield quickly made it a 44-36 game.

And with 5:02 left, it was back to a 10-point game at 52-42.

Florida simply didn’t have the shooting Wednesday night that it normally needs to win.

The Gators started 3 of 19 from 3-point range before Jalen Hudson and Keith Stone hit back-to-back 3s to make it 54-48 and give the visitors some late life, but the game never got closer than 3 points the rest of the way.

 

Chris Chiozza made a quick layup and drew a foul with 24.5 seconds remaining, but he missed the free throw to keep it at 60-57 and two free throws from Bowden on the other end effectively sealed the game.

Florida shot just 35 percent from the field for the game and 25 percent (6 of 24) from 3-point range.

Hudson led the Gators with 13 points and 5 rebounds, Chiozza finished with 11 points, 9 assists and 6 rebounds and Stone had 11 points.

KeVaughn Allen was a non-factor again, taking just 3 shots and missing all 3 in 29 minutes, and Egor Koulechov struggled offensively while shooting 2-of-10 to finish with 7 points.

Grant Williams led the Vols with 23 points while Schofield chipped in 16 points and 8 boards.

Florida has just three regular-season games left to try to turn the tide and remain in the NCAA tournament picture.

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HS Roundup 2/21: Vine leads Bellbrook past CJ

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 10:56 PM

Bekah Vine scored 19 points to help Bellbrook hold off a Chaminade Julienne rally for a 68-64 win in a girls Division II sectional basketball game on Wednesday.

Vine led four players in double-digit scoring for Bellbrook. Maren Freudenchuss and Cassidy Hofacker each had 11 and Siera Ferguson tallied 10.

Dallas Jones paced CJ with 15 points.

Girls Basketball

Newton 47, Troy Christian 42: Tatum McBride poured in 29 points to lead Newton in a D-IV sectional. Lauryn Lavy and Kathryn Lee each tallied 11 for TC.

Tri-Village 57, Miami Valley 21: Maddie Downing and Emma Printz totaled 18 points apiece for Tri-Village in this D-IV sectional.

Houston 59, Triad 53: Jess Monnier scored 10 of her 26 points in the first quarter to help Houston get off to a quick start in this D-IV sectional. Cati Levan led Triad with 15.

New Bremen 46, Waynesfield-Goshen 22: Paige Jones put up 17 points and Kayla Bergman netted 12 for New Bremen in this D-IV sectional.

Fort Loramie 59, Lehman Catholic 33: Marissa Meiring finished with 17 points and Taylor Ratermann 12 for Fort Loramie in this D-IV sectional.

Coldwater 56, Paulding 33: Maura Hoying’s 18 points with four assists and six steals carried Coldwater in this D-IV sectional opener.

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