Mann Paces Florida State Win
Terance Mann and Phil Cofer helped No. 9 Florida State keep its impressive start to the season going and finish its nonconference schedule nearly perfect.
Mann, a Lowell native, scored a season-high 22 points, Cofer added 14 and the Seminoles beat Winthrop, 87-76, Tuesday for their seventh straight victory. Florida State improved to 12-1 for the fourth time in school history.
“I’m glad that we got the non-conference part of the schedule out of the way,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. “The most positive thing I can say is that we can feel good about the fact that we’re 12-1 and I really believe we have still a lot of upside with this team.”
Mann shot 10 of 11 from the floor, scoring 14 second-half points and grabbing seven rebounds. Cofer made four of his five shots in the first half but missed all three in the second.
The Seminoles’ only blemish so far while matching its best start was a six-point loss to Villanova on Nov. 25.
Gambardella makes NHL debut
It was a special New Year’s Eve for three former UMass Lowell hockey stars.
In Edmonton, Joe Gambarella made his National Hockey League debut with the Oilers during a 4-3 loss to Winnipeg.
He played 10 shifts and saw 5 minutes and 57 seconds of ice time.
Across the ice, Winnipeg goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, a former UML standout, recorded his 100th career victory.
Over in Buffalo, one of Gambardella’s former linemates for three seasons, C.J. Smith, made his NHL season debut with the Sabres in a 3-1 loss to the Islanders.
Smith produced three shots on goal, played 19 shifts and saw 11:31 of ice time.
Sabres star Jack Eichel played only four shifts before leaving with an upper-body injury. Buffalo coach Phil Housley said the North Chelmsford native isn’t likely to miss much time.
Riley staying at Oklahoma
Oklahoma and Lincoln Riley have agreed to a contract extension, which should quell speculation about the second-year coach being lured away by an NFL team.
Oklahoma announced that contract terms were being finalized and would be subject to approval by the board of regents late this month.
The 35-year-old Riley has led the Sooners to consecutive Big 12 championships and College Football Playoff appearances. Oklahoma is 24-4 overall and 16-2 in the conference under Riley with two Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks -- Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray.
Riley was promoted from offensive coordinator at Oklahoma in the spring of 2017 after Bob Stoops retired. Oklahoma’s creative and prolific offenses have drawn attention of NFL teams and made Riley a potential candidate to fill coaching vacancies in the league.
Lions can offensive coordinator
The Detroit Lions are not renewing offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter’s contract.
The Lions announced their decision two days after finishing 6-10 in coach Matt Patricia’s first season at the helm. Cooter was a holdover from Jim Caldwell’s staff, but his first season with Patricia did not go well.
Only two teams in the NFC scored fewer points than Detroit’s 324.
Rookie running back Kerryon Johnson gave the Lions’ running game a bit of a boost before he was lost for the season with a knee injury. Quarterback Matthew Stafford took a step back, falling short of 4,000 yards passing for the first time since his injury-filled 2010 campaign.
Gregg Williams had his interview with the Browns, who were impressed by his leadership as coach in the second half this season.
Williams went 5-3 as Cleveland’s interim coach after taking over when Hue Jackson was fired on Oct. 29.
The 60-year-old Williams is the first candidate to meet with general manager John Dorsey.