Falcons' DeCoud misses practice with concussion
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - Coach Mike Smith says he has not ruled out Atlanta Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud, who has not practiced this week, for Sunday's game against Washington.
DeCoud was held out again Thursday as he continues to recover from a concussion that knocked him out of last week's loss at Green Bay. Smith says if DeCoud has not made progress by Friday, he would then be declared out for this week.
Rookie Zeke Motta replaced DeCoud last week and is expected to start against the Redskins if DeCoud is held out. The Falcons are expected to start two more rookies, cornerbacks Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford, in the secondary.
Running back Antone Smith (knee) also was held out for the second straight day on Thursday.
Walden, Braves agree to $1.49M, 1-year contract
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) - Reliever Jordan Walden and the Atlanta Braves have agreed to a $1.49 million, one-year contract that avoided salary arbitration.
Walden would earn a $10,000 performance bonus under Thursday's deal if he has 30 games finished next season.
Acquired from the Los Angeles Angels in November 2012, Walden was 4-3 with a 3.45 ERA this year with 54 strikeouts in 47 innings. He made $541,500.
Eight Braves remain eligible to file for arbitration next month: right-handers Brandon Beachy, Craig Kimbrel and Kris Medlen; left-hander Mike Minor; first baseman Freddie Freeman; infielder Chris Johnson; and outfielders Jason Heyward and Jordan Schafer.
No. 16 Georgia scores 1st 18, beats Belmont 81-55
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tiaria Griffin scored 20 points on Thursday night and No. 16 Georgia returned from an 11-day layoff with no signs of rust in an easy victory over Belmont 81-55.
Georgia (9-0) opened the game with an 18-0 run, led 45-23 at half and never trailed in the contest.
Griffin was 7 of 11 from the field as the Lady Bulldogs shot 58.2 percent and made 8 of 18 3-pointers. Khaalidah Miller added 15 points, Merritt Hempe scored 13 and Krista Donald 10 for Georgia.
Georgia went to 3-0 all-time against Belmont with the win.
Belmont (3-7) made 18 of 19 free throws but missed its first nine shots from the field to remain scoreless until Katie Carroll connected with a 3-pointer 6:22 into the game.
Lauren Thompson led Belmont with 10 points and was the only Bruin to reach double figures.
Madden's career high lifts Arkansas in 2nd half
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) - Ky Madden scored a career-high 21 points and Bobby Portis added 10 points and 11 rebounds as Arkansas struggled early before pulling away from Savannah State for a 72-43 win.
The Razorbacks (7-2) played the first half without leading scorer Michael Qualls and led just 27-25 at halftime.
Madden, whose previous career-best was a 15-point effort against Grambling State in 2011, followed up a 14-point effort in a win over Clemson with an 8-of-11 shooting performance to help Arkansas extend its home winning streak to 20 games.
Portis' rebounds were a career high for the freshman, and the Razorbacks outscored the Tigers (2-9) 45-18 in the second half.
Alante Fenner and Deven Williams led Savannah State, which has lost seven straight games, with 10 points each.
Bowl president: 'No doubt' about No. 22 Duke
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - Chick-fil-A Bowl president Gary Stokan wants to set the record straight: His bowl always wanted No. 22 Duke.
Speaking Thursday during a news conference at the Blue Devils' team headquarters, Stokan shot down rumors that he would have preferred another ACC team in his bowl.
He says he "understands there's been some mention of politics" but adds that "there was no doubt in our minds" about Duke.
Stokan adds that "there was nothing that went on behind the scenes" about possibly choosing another ACC school - possibly Miami or Virginia Tech - ahead of Duke.
The Blue Devils (10-3) will play No. 20 Texas A&M (8-4) on Dec. 31 in the Atlanta-based bowl.
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