THOMAS HELPS SAINTS BEAT FALCONS: Drew Brees threw a pair of touchdown passes and the New Orleans Saints overcame a lackluster offensive showing, holding off the Atlanta Falcons 17-13 Thursday night.
Brees hooked up with Jimmy Graham on a 44-yard touchdown and Benjamin Watson on a 1-yard scoring play, both in the first half and good enough to give the first-place Saints (9-2) a sweep of their season series with their NFC South rivals.
T.F. South graduate Pierre Thomas rushed 10 times for 73 yards and caught five passes for 57 yards.
Atlanta (2-9) dropped its fifth straight game, clinched its first losing season since 2008 and was officially eliminated from the division race with five weeks remaining.
CALUMET COLLEGE POWERS PAST MOODY BIBLE: Merrillville grad Latoi Merriweather poured in 16 points to lead the Calumet College (3-3) to a 64-44 win over Moody Bible on Thursday.
Dominique Edwards (12 points), Rebecca Dill (11) and China Cordova (11) also entered double figures. The Crimson Wave out-rebounded Moody Bible 55-39, led by Edwards' 14 boards.
SIU CRUISES TO WIN: Desmar Jackson scored 24 points and pulled down 10 rebounds as Southern Illinois defeated Missouri Science & Technology 96-74 on Thursday night.
Southern Illinois (1-3) pulled away in the second half, outscoring Missouri S&T 60-45 after leading by seven at the break.
IU DOMINATES WASHINGTON: Freshman Troy Williams scored 22 points, and sophomore Yogi Ferrell had 20 to lead Indiana to a 102-84 victory over Washington on in the semifinals of the 2K Sports Classic Benefiting Wounded Warrior Project.
The Hoosiers (5-0) will play No. 18 Connecticut (5-0) for the championship on tonight at Madison Square Garden.
NO. 14 MICHIGAN RUNS PAST LONG BEACH ST.: Nik Stauskas finished with 23 points, Caris LeVert had 20 and No. 14 Michigan made a tournament-record 14 3-pointers in beating a scrappy Long Beach State 85-61 n the first round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
Glenn Robinson III (Lake Central) added 14 points, four assists and two rebounds for the Wolverines (3-1), while Mitch McGary (Chesterton) had six points, four rebounds, a steal and a block.
CRUSADERS SIGN FOUR: Valparaiso coach Brian Schmack has announced the signing of Daniel Delaney, Giovanni Garbella, Nolan Lodden and Luke Van Lanen to national letters of intent.
"We had some needs within our team, and we feel these four are great additions," Schmack said in a media release.
Delaney, a 5-foot-10 catcher-first baseman, graduated from Thousand Oaks (Calif.) H.S. before spending a year at Orange Coast College and Fresno State.
Garbella, a 6-1 outfielder, is a senior at LaJolla (Calif.) Cathedral Catholic, the top-ranked high school in the nation in 2013. He is a member of the Italian National team and led his team to a first-place finish at the U18 European Championship, where he was named tournament MVP.
Lodden, a 5-10 middle infielder from Des Moines, Iowa, played a season at Heartland Community College and George Washington University.
Van Lanen, a 6-2 right-handed pitcher from Pulaski (Wis.) H.S., is rated as a top-five prospect by both Prep Baseball Report and Perfect Game.
HOSSA SCORES IN HAWKS' WIN OVER JETS: Marian Hossa returned to the lineup and put the Blackhawks ahead for good with a third-period goal as Chicago beat the Winnipeg Jets 6-3 Thursday night.
Patrick Kane, Brandon Saad, Jonathan Toews and Ben Smith each scored for Chicago (15-4-4). Patrick Sharp had an empty-netter, helping the Blackhawks beat the Jets for the third time in three tries this season.
NIX UNDECIDED ON WHETHER HE'LL BE BACK FOR IRISH: Notre Dame nose guard Louis Nix III loves to have fun with people, so it's hard to tell how serious he is when he says he's considering returning for one more year.
Nix says it's at least something to consider as he prepares for what could be his last game at Notre Dame Stadium when the Irish (7-3) host BYU (7-3) on Saturday. Nix was the first player to commit to Notre Dame after Charlie Weis was fired, but did so before Brian Kelly was hired.
Nix is a senior who has one year of playing eligibility left.
LAWYER SAYS FSU'S WINSTON VOLUNTEERED DNA TO POLICE: The attorney for Florida State's Jameis Winston says the quarterback volunteered a DNA sample last week to the Tallahassee Police Department as part of the sexual assault investigation involving his client.
Tim Jansen said at a Thursday press conference that he is upset that the information was leaked and made public through the media. ESPN first reported Wednesday night that Winston's DNA matched a sample taken from the underwear of the accuser.
Jansen says he's surprised the DNA results were leaked out by law enforcement but, "This DNA has no impact whatsoever on this case. The two eyewitnesses that were present will exonerate" Winston.
Around the horn
Alan Karpick, president and publisher of the Purdue athletics print and web publication, "Gold & Black," is the guest on "Purdue Calumet Sports Insight" at 5:30 p.m. today on WJOB-AM (1230).