Brees sharp, Saints beat Panthers 31-13
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Drew Brees passed for 313 yards and four touchdowns and the New Orleans Saints beat Carolina 31-13 on Sunday night to regain sole possession of first place in the NFC South and snap the Panthers' winning streak at eight games.
The Panthers' defense had not allowed more than two touchdowns in a game this season until the Saints scored three in the second quarter alone, when Brees completed 14 of 16 passes for 159 yards.
The Saints also became the only team this season to score more than 24 points against Carolina, which entered the game No. 1 in scoring defense, allowing 13.1 points per game.
Brees' first two scoring strikes went to Marques Colston, who made nine catches for 125 yards. Jimmy Graham added two TD catches, his second making it 31-6 in the fourth quarter
New Orleans sacked Cam Newton five times and did not allow a touchdown until 5:15 remained.
No. 22 Duke-No. 20 Texas A&M in Chick-fil-A Bowl
ATLANTA (AP) - Johnny Manziel might play his final college game in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
No. 20 Texas A&M, led by Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, will face No. 22 Duke in the New Year's Eve bowl at the Georgia Dome.
The announcement was made Sunday night.
Manziel is a third-year sophomore, making him eligible to enter the 2014 NFL draft. He hasn't revealed his plans for next season after guiding Texas A&M to an 8-4 record. The Aggies lost their final two games to LSU and Missouri, losing out on a shot at playing in a Jan. 1 game.
Duke (10-3) was a surprising division winner in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Blue Devils were routed by top-ranked Florida State 45-7 in the league championship game Saturday night.
Cincinnati will face North Carolina in Belk Bowl
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - The Cincinnati Bearcats will look to defend their Belk Bowl title Dec. 28 against North Carolina.
The Bearcats will be making their second straight appearance in the game after defeating Duke 48-34 last year in Charlotte, Belk Bowl officials announced Sunday night.
Belk Bowl executive director Will Webb is excited about the matchup, saying in a release, "The Tar Heels finished the season very strong, as did Cincinnati, and it should provide a great matchup on the field."
Cincinnati (9-3) finished second place in the American Athletic Conference, winning six of their final seven games.
North Carolina (6-6) also finished the season strong, winning five of its last six games to become bowl eligible. It has lost its previous three appearances in the game by a combined six points.
BEEF 'O' BRADY'S BOWL
Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl matchup: Ohio-East Carolina
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Ohio University is headed to the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl to face East Carolina of Conference USA.
It's the second straight season that the Mid-American Conference will be represented in the pre-Christmas game held at Tropicana Field, home of baseball's Tampa Bay Rays. Ball State made the trip last December, receiving the bid when the Big East was unable to fulfill the league's bowl commitments.
This time, the American Athletic Conference was unable to supply a team, and Ohio (7-5) will face East Carolina (9-3) on Dec. 23.
It will be the fifth straight bowl trip for the Bobcats under coach Frank Solich.
East Carolina will be making its 19th bowl appearance. The Pirates last appeared in a Florida bowl in 1965, when they beat Maine in the Tangerine Bowl.
No. 2 Duke women beat No. 17 Oklahoma 94-85
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - Tricia Liston scored a season-high 23 points and No. 2 Duke gave coach Joanne P. McCallie her 500th career win, beating No. 17 Oklahoma 94-85 on Sunday.
Alexis Jones added 20 points and six assists and Haley Peters scored 18 points for Duke, which is 10-0 for the third time in the last four seasons and the seventh time in the program's history.
The Blue Devils, who are unbeaten in three games this season against ranked foes, face No. 1 Connecticut and No. 5 Kentucky before the end of the month.
McCallie, who previously coached at Maine and Michigan State, became the 30th active NCAA Division I coach to reach the 500-win mark. The win was her 175th in seven seasons at Duke.
Aaryn Ellenberg scored a season-high 28 points and Morgan Hook added a season-high 24 points for Oklahoma (6-3).
No. 12 South Carolina rolls past Charlotte 76-61
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Elem Ibiam scored 19 points and Aleighsa Welch added 18 to lead No. 12 South Carolina to its ninth straight win and a 76-61 victory over Charlotte on Sunday.
Welch was 7 of 9 from the floor (77.8 percent) while Ibiam shot 50 percent (7 of 14). Wilka Montout came off the bench to score the sole 3-pointer for South Carolina (9-0).
The Gamecocks scored 25 points from the free throw line after Charlotte stacked up 23 fouls. Tiffany Mitchell shot a perfect 7 of 7 from the line. Charlotte made 10 free throws on just 12 attempts.
The 49ers led by two points midway through the first, and trailed by just one point at the break. South Carolina made 15 points on free throws in the second half.
Ny Hammonds scored 14 and Kira Gordon finished with 13 for the 49ers (4-5).
MOUNT OLIVE-EAST CAROLINA
East Carolina wins 77-75 against Mount Olive
GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) - Akeem Richmond scored 16 points - 11 from the free throw line - to lead East Carolina to a 77-75 victory over Division II Mount Olive after a close contest on Sunday.
East Carolina trailed by one point with 1:19 left to play, but three different players got sent to the line in the final seconds. Despite each of them only making 1 of 2 free throws, the Pirates managed to take a two point lead and Mount Olive was unable to score after two missed shot attempts. East Carolina scored 31 points from the line off of 30 fouls by the Trojans.
East Carolina added 28 points from its bench with 15 from Antonio Robinson and 13 from Brandan Stith.
Dontrell Brite scored a game-high 30 points for Mount Olive and Kendall Hargrove added 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Charlotte beats Appalachian St. 77-59
BOONE, N.C. (AP) - Mike Thorne Jr. scored a career-high 26 points to lead Charlotte to a 77-59 victory over Appalachian State on Sunday.
Thorne scored 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds before the break to give the 49ers (7-2) a 15-point lead (37-22) at halftime. He shot 12 of 18 from the floor (66.7 percent) while the team finished at 50.8 percent.
The Mountaineers scored 37 points in the second half, but it wasn't enough to catch up to Charlotte. Mike Neal scored 17 points and was the only Appalachian State player to finish in double figures. The Mountaineers shot a dismal 16.7 percent from 3-point range after making four shots on 24 attempts.
Both teams combined for a total of 17 steals.
The 49ers had won five straight before losing to Davidson in overtime on Wednesday.
WOMEN'S COLLEGE CUP
UCLA wins NCAA women's soccer title in overtime
CARY, N.C. (AP) - Kodi Lavrusky gave UCLA its first NCAA women's soccer title Sunday, scoring in the 97th minute to lift the Bruins past Florida State 1-0 in overtime in cold and rainy conditions.
Making a run from the back, Megan Oyster brought the ball down the left side of the field before crossing over to the middle. She slipped a pass in front of the goal to Lavrusky, who left-footed the ball into the bottom right corner of the net past diving goalkeeper Kelsey Wys.
It was the first title game decided in overtime since 2002.
The Bruins (22-1-3) finished the season with a 21-game unbeaten streak. They had 15 shutouts during that span, including five of six matches in the NCAA tournament.
Florida State (23-2-3) had its nine-game winning streak snapped.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
322 Shipyard Boulevard