BALL STATE TO FACE UCF IN BEEF 'O' BRADY'S BOWL: Central Florida's loss in the Conference USA championship game has the Knights staying close to home for the holidays against Ball State in the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl.
UCF (9-4) will make the 100-mile trek west from Orlando to St. Petersburg to face the Cardinals, who will take a six-game winning streak in the Dec. 21 matchup at Tropicana Field.
Ball State (9-3) received its first postseason berth since appearing in the 2008 GMAC Bowl, filling a slot for the Big East, which didn't have enough bowl-eligible teams to fill the league's commitments.
UCF lost the Conference USA championship game 33-27 in overtime on Saturday. Ball State went 6-2 in the Mid-American Conference.
The teams are former MAC rivals, with the Cardinals winning two of three meetings while the Knights were in the league from 2002 to 2004. They last met on Nov. 13, 2004, when Ball State rallied for a 21-17 victory at home.
"Ball State is a hot team right now winning six straight, including a road win over conference foe Toledo, which was ranked in the Top 25 at the time," bowl executive director Brett Dulaney said.
The Cardinals, who have never won a bowl game, scored at least 30 points in 10 of 12 games.
BULLS' HAMILTON TEARS FOOT: An MRI report Sunday confirmed Bulls guard Rip Hamilton has a torn plantar fascia in his left foot.
Hamilton's injury happened in the third quarter of Saturday night's 93-88 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. He returned to the game in the fourth quarter, making three of four free throws in a 20-second span to ensure the victory.
"As soon as I came up off my feet, I felt something on the bottom of my foot," Hamilton said after the game.
"I felt something pop."
Hamilton would return to the court as his symptoms permit, the team said.
Hamilton sat out 38 games last season due to various injuries. He played in just 28 games, averaging 11.6 points per game.
VU BOWLING FINISHES SEVENTH AT TRACK KAT KLASH: The Valparaiso women's bowling team closed out the weekend Sunday in Huntsville, Texas, finishing in seventh place.
In the tournament hosted by Sam Houston State, the Crusaders began play Sunday in a best-of-seven baker format. If not for a pair of tight losses, the Crusaders could have come out with a 4-0 sweep of the host Bearkats.
However, losses by two pins in game two and eight pins in game four put the Crusaders down 3-2 before the Bearkats rallied to win the series 4-3.
Valpo ended the day on a high note, taking a 4-3 win over Long Island University.
Alyssa Alvarez was named to the All-Tournament team for the Crusaders.
CALUMET COLLEGE MEN GRIND OUT ROAD WIN: Holy Cross held a 36-31 halftime lead, but the Crimson Wave (3-7, 2-5 CCAC) came back with a 46-point second half to win 77-70 on Saturday.
Javon Robinson scored 23 points and pulled down seven rebounds. James Hunt pitched in 21 points. Griffith grad Brian Brilmeyer scored nine points.
IUN MEN PULL AWAY IN SECOND HALF: Highland grad Brandon Reyes went 5-for-9 from 3-point range to pace IU Northwest with 23 points in a 103-89 win over visiting Indiana Dabney on Saturday. Adam White (14), Cody Artuso (14), Damon Wallace (13) and Matthew Edmonds (12) all reached double-figures for the RedHawks (4-8).
Indiana Dabney's Javan Linson had a game-high 29 points.
PUC WOMEN EXTEND WINNING STREAK TO FIVE GAMES: The Purdue Calumet women's basketball continued its winning ways Saturday night, routing Trinity International 93-69. Alex Starr had 25 points as all five starters reached double figures.
Brooklyn Short had 15 points and eight assists for the Peregrines (6-4, 5-1 CCAC).
CRIMSON WAVE PICK UP ROAD WIN: Raven Phillips poured in 22 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to lead Calumet College to a 70-63 win over Holy Cross on Saturday.
Phillips led four players in double figures. Karina Robinson had 14 points, Dominique Edwards scored 13 and China Cordova chipped in 11. Gia Ezell led the Crimson Wave with six assists.
IUN WOMEN COMEBACK FALLS SHORT: Val Zulevic led IU Northwest with 19 points and nine rebounds, but it wasn't enough as Robert Morris held on for a 79-73 win on Saturday.
The RedHawks fought back from a 43-24 halftime deficit with a very strong second half. Megan Holland had 14 points while AnnMarie Keller pitched in 11 points.
Robert Morris recorded 18 steals.