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Biles capture honors

UNDATED (AP) — Simone (sih-MOHN') Biles has been named The Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year after a record-tying four-gold medal performance at the Olympics.

The gymnastic powerhouse also earned a bronze medal to help the U.S. women's team dominate at the Rio Summer Games.

That vaulted the 19-year old Biles to 31 of a possible 59 votes from a panel of U.S. editors and news directors.

U.S. swimmer Katie Ledecky finished second with 20 votes after a four-gold, one-silver performance in the pool in Brazil.

Wimbledon champ Serena Williams and women's NCAA basketball player of the year Breanna Stewart tied for with four votes each.


Story headline here

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Cowboys head into tonight's home game against the Lions without much to worry about.

Dallas has already wrapped up the NFC East title and home field advantage with their 12-2 record. The issue for coach Jason Garrett is how to keep a competitive edge while also protecting key players like fellow rookie stars quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott.

Elliott is just 258 yards shy of Eric Dickerson's rookie rushing record.

But there is something on the line for quarterback Matthew Stafford and the Lions, who can clinch a post-season spot with a victory. Regardless of the outcome tonight, the Lions will host the Packers next week with the winner claiming the NFC North title.


Seahawks Lockett has surgery on broken leg

UNDATED (AP) Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota (mar-ee-OH'-tah) will have surgery Wednesday for his broken right leg, and coach Mike Mularkey says the recovery process will take four to five months.

Mularkey says that Mariota will have a plate inserted over the break.

Mariota was hurt Saturday when sacked during the loss to Jacksonville.


— Seattle receiver Tyler Lockett has undergone surgery after breaking two bones in his lower right leg in Saturday's loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Coach Pete Carroll says Lockett has a chance to be up and moving in four to six weeks.

— Bryce Petty has been placed on injured reserve by the New York Jets, ending the second-year quarterback's short stint as the starting quarterback. He tore the labrum in his left shoulder against New England Saturday.

— Cincinnati has placed tight end Tyler Eifert (EYE'-furt) on injured reserve with a back injury. He missed the first six games of the season because of an ankle injury from last season's Pro Bowl.

— 49ers running back Carlos Hyde has a torn MCL in his left knee and will miss the season finale against Seattle. Hyde got hurt in Saturday's win over the Rams and coach Chip Kelly says Hyde will not need surgery. Hyde finishes the season 12 yards shy of his first career 1,000-yard rushing season.

— The Houston Texans are sticking with Tom Savage at quarterback for Sunday's game against the Titans. He made his first career start in place of Brock Osweiler (AHS'-wy-lur) in Saturday's win over the Bengals that allowed the Texans to clinch the AFC South.


Wildcats No. 1 in poll with little change

UNDATED (AP) — Villanova again tops The Associated Press college basketball poll this week.

A light week of non-conference action saw very little movement in the poll from last week.

The 12-0 Wildcats got 56 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel. UCLA stays second followed by Kansas, Baylor and Duke.

Louisville jumped four spots to No. 6 after its three-point win over Bluegrass State rival Kentucky. Gonzaga is seventh, while Kentucky falls to eighth.

North Carolina and Creighton round out the top ten.


Huskies are a unanimous pick

UNDATED (AP) — A stringer of 86 straight wins continues to earn UConn a unanimous vote as the No. 1 team in the week's Associated Press women's college basketball poll.

The 11-0 Huskies are four wins short of matching the NCAA record of 90 straight wins established by UConn from 2008-11.

The Huskies have a showdown with No. 4 Maryland on Thursday.

Notre Dame and Baylor are second and third this week and Mississippi State is ranked fifth.


Cavs back in action, LeBron could sit

UNDATED (AP) — No holiday rest for the Cavaliers, who eeked out a one-point win over Golden State on Christmas Day.

Eastern Conference leader Cleveland takes a five-game winning streak into their road game at Detroit tonight. Coach Tyronn Lue (LOO) might choose to sit LeBron James after the Cavaliers star played 41 minutes and scored 31 against the Warriors yesterday.

Detroit enters the game on a five-game losing streak.

Atlantic Division-leading Toronto continues its holiday road swing with a game at Portland. The Raptors have won six straight on the road. Toronto is 21-8 and is the only team in the NBA that hasn't lost by double digits this season. The Raptors are 13-0 in games decided by 10 points or more.

Southeast Division-leading Charlotte looks to improve on the road when they visit Brooklyn. The Hornets have lost four of their last five away from home.

There are 11 games on the NBA schedule.


Tide, Huskies arrive in Atlanta

UNDATED (AP) — Top-ranked Alabama and No. 4 Washington have both arrived in Atlanta to continue preparations for Saturday's Peach Bowl.

The 13-0 Crimson Tide are appearing in the FBC Playoff for the third consecutive year as they look to repeat as national champs. It's the first trip to the title series for the 12-1 Huskies.

Ohio State beat Alabama in the title game two years ago and Clemson lost to them for the championship last season. Those two teams are getting ready to battle for a spot in the title game when they face off in the Fiesta Bowl Saturday.


Blocked kicks help Bulldogs win St. Petersburg Bowl

UNDATED (AP) — Nelson Adams got a hand on Nick Dowd's potential game-winning 37-yard field goal with 5 seconds left preserving Mississippi State's 17-16 win over Miami of Ohio in the St. Petersburg Bowl.

That prevented the 6-7 RedHawks from completing a remarkable turnaround after opening the season with six straight losses.

Quarterback Nick Fitzgerald rushed for 142 yards and two scores for the 6-7 Bulldogs.

Dowd also had an extra point attempt blocked in the first half.

Boston College is facing Maryland in the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit. Both teams are 6-6.

The Independence Bowl also pits 6-6 teams with North Carolina State taking on Vanderbilt.


Sullivan gets extension

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Penguins coach Mike Sullivan has earned a three-year contract extension after taking over in mid-season and leading Pittsburgh to the Stanley Cup championship last season.

The deal keeps Sullivan with the team though 2019-20.

The 48-year-old Sullivan is 55-24-10 with Pittsburgh, the second-best point total in the NHL over that span. The Penguins are currently second in the Metropolitan Division, one point back of Columbus.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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