Depleted Gophers women start slow, rally to stop Eastern Illinois

Kadi Sissoko hadn’t played in a competitive game of basketball in nearly two years.

There was a knee injury, a decision to transfer from Syracuse to Minnesota, surgery, a year sitting out her transfer as her knee fully healed.

Finally, Wednesday:

With the Gophers playing with a skeleton crew, Sissoko was the key. Showing almost no rust, the 6-2 wing made nine of 16 shots, scored 24 points, grabbed eight rebounds and had two steals before fouling out in the final minute of Minnesota’s 72-68 season-opening victory over Eastern Illinois at Williams Arena.

The only downside was that, because of the pandemic, there were no fans to give her a standing ovation.

“It was really exciting to finally play,” Sissoko said. “And have fun on the court with my teammates. I’m really happy about this game.”

The Gophers needed all of it against the Panthers (1-1), who got 22 points from former St. Cloud Apollo star Lariah Washington.

It likely shouldn’t have been this close. But injury and illness limited Gophers coach Lindsay Whalen to just seven available players, three of whom — Justice Ross, Grace Cumming and Erin Hedman — were playing in their first college game.

But just about everyone contributed. Jasmine Powell bounced back from a difficult first half to score 21 points with eight assists.

Sophomore center Klarke Sconiers had 14 points and eight boards. Ross had a nice baseline drive and dish to Sconiers in the fourth quarter. In one crucial sequence Cumming had an offensive rebound, then a corner three with 3:12 left to put the Gophers up 68-60.

The game’s key stretch came from late in the first half into the third quarter. The Gophers trailed by seven with 3:09 left in the first half before finishing on a 7-2 run keyed by Sissoko’s three-pointer.

Then five players scored in a 16-5 run to start the third quarter, putting the Gophers up nine points on Gadiva Hubbard’s two free throws. In that 23-7 run over nine-plus minutes, Powell scored seven, Sissoko six. The Gophers never trailed again. Down seven, the Panthers rallied to within 68-65 on Abby Wahl’s basket in the paint with just over two minutes left.

But Sissoko hit two free throws. Then the Gophers forced a shot-clock violation with just over a minute left to maintain control.

Sissoko had really started coming on in the last week or so of practices, including a dominating performance in a team scrimmage Saturday, Whalen said.

“I felt she had really turned a corner,” Whalen said. “She had been unbelievable in the last two practices. She was incredibly efficient with what she did [Wednesday].”

The Gophers finish their two-game nonconference slate against Drake on Sunday afternoon in another home game. There is a chance Whalen could get another player or two back, but it’s not likely.

She still expects a full squad for the Dec. 9 conference opener at home against Michigan State, including starters Sara Scalia and Laura Bagwell-Katalinich and freshman guard Alexia

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5 tips to add style right now to your home: Start with something you love, says Portland designer

Even if we can’t invite family and friends over for the holidays, we still want our homes to sparkle. In this continuing series, we asked a style professional for advice.

Designer Ann McCulloch has been working with clients for 25 years to make rooms in their house reflect their tastes, desires and lifestyle.

The owner of Ann McCulloch Studio has a furniture, lighting and home goods shop in Uptown Shopping Center at 2351 N.W. Westover Road in Portland that showcases hard-to-find brands such as Currey and Company and Made Goods.

Also available are Legends of Asia ceramics, Kazi Goods baskets and Pom Pom at Home linens, as well as a selection of vintage pieces.

“My goal is to be able to assist customers who are looking for unique furniture and items for their home without them having to hire a designer,” says McCulloch.

Her projects range from subtle to rooms that make a statement.

At a client’s beach house, the goal was to create a contemplative area focused on the ocean view in a window-laden section of the great room as well as a seating near the fireplace devoted to conversation and watching TV. Sectionals upholstered in ocean-inspired blue stripes tie the areas together.

Here are Ann McCulloch’s five tips to making a home attractive, inviting and ready for a fresh new year:

Great design starts with a great floor plan. Create distinct areas for social interaction, work, cooking, dining, play and relaxing, and make sure that the circulation between them transitions easily.

She designed an elegant, efficient home office with a built-in bookcase to have areas within the floor plan dedicated to specific tasks.

Fall in love with something and let it lead the design. A family heirloom can create a focal point in a room and the rest of the elements can complement it.

A laundry room’s color scheme in another project was inspired by wild wallpaper the client requested. All materials and colors in the room were designed around the wallpaper.

Lighting is so important. First, determine the natural light source and make sure you are making the most of it. Next, make sure the ambient lighting in the room is sufficient, which means getting some light bouncing off the ceiling and walls. Lastly, make sure you have great task lighting such as a good reading light next to a chair or bed, and under-cabinet lighting in the kitchen.

In one master bedroom project, she selected a large drum shade that throws light on the vaulted ceiling, creating beautiful ambient light.

Don’t be afraid of color. Select both neutral and accent colors you love and use them throughout to unify your home.

A vignette in Ann McCulloch Studio & Shop reflects her approach to colors: A banquette upholstered in bold blue fabric and accented with patterned pillows fronts a neutral dining table.

Mix patterns to make a space more interesting. The designer likes to use a floral, a geometric and a stripe in coordinating colors and textures.

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Amazon just made a record start to the holiday shopping season as retail goes huge online

Amazon has reported a record-breaking start to the holiday shopping season, as the switch to online retail gathers pace.

The internet shopping giant said the period from the middle of October through to Cyber Monday has been “the largest holiday shopping season so far” in the company’s history.

Amazon did not reveal details of total spending across its operations, but it did offer some data on shopping habits so far.

The company said that independent businesses selling on Amazon — nearly all of which are small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) — saw worldwide sales growing by more than 60% year-over-year to $4.8 billion between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

The company said that over 71,000 SMBs worldwide have passed $100,000 in sales this holiday season to date, and that US SMBs have sold an average of 9,500 products per minute. In Europe, the European Commission recently said it believes that Amazon is breaching EU competition rules by unfairly using independent sellers’ data as part of its own planning “to the detriment of the other marketplace sellers”.

Amazon also said that US best-sellers during the holiday season so far include its Echo Dot device and Barack Obama’s book A Promised Land, and that more than twice as many customers asked its Alexa digital assistant for recipes and cooking advice this Thanksgiving compared to last year.

The COVID-19 crisis is expected to drive spending online, with record gains for e-commerce: Adobe recently predicted this year will see $189 billion in online sales — effectively two years’ worth of growth in e-commerce in one year.

Adobe is predicting Black Friday to reach $10 billion in online sales this year — up from just under $8 billion last year. And even though many will be shopping from home, that doesn’t mean all that spending will be done on a PC. Adobe predicts consumers will do 42 percent of their shopping from smartphones this holiday season, with an estimated $28 billion more spent using smartphones this year than during the 2019 holiday.

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Women investors start to address the gender gap

Women are signing up to investment platforms at faster rates than men, as investors flock to trading to take advantage of market volatility and lower prices.

Investors have registered on platforms in record numbers since March and trading volumes have remained heightened since the market sell-off earlier this year. Women are under-represented on investment platforms, but as new and younger customers sign up, they are making up a larger chunk of that base.

EToro, a DIY trading platform, reported a 366 per cent rise in the number of new women investors since the beginning of the year, compared with a 248 per cent increase for men.

Nutmeg, a UK online wealth manager, said customer sign-ups are up nearly one-third in 2020. Women ordinarily make up 36 per cent of its investors, but this year the female share of new customers rose to 40 per cent.

Bux, a European investment platform, said female customers signing up to its share trading app BuxZero grew six-fold over the year to date, compared with fourfold growth for men.

Nannette Hechler-Fayd’herbe, global head of economics and research at Credit Suisse, noted in a recent report that women’s emphasis on financial security can lead them to hold excess cash and lower returns later in life. Though women own 40 per cent of the world’s wealth in real terms, they represent a far lower proportion of those engaged with the stock market or wealth managers.

Customers of retail investment platforms and wealth management firms are typically heavily skewed towards men — on eToro the approximate breakdown is 85 male to 15 per cent female. Some 70 per cent of Interactive Investor’s customers are men, and the customer base of Hargreaves Lansdown, the UK’s largest investment platform, is two-thirds male.

Female investors are unfairly stereotyped as more risk averse and uninformed than men, advisers say. In reality, their financial strategies tend to reflect their goals — and a desire to keep cash safe, prioritising long-term financial stability. Women may be more likely to hold cash than men but as interest rates on cash savings and yields on lower-risk investments such as bonds have declined, investment has become more attractive, with more women seeing it as imperative to keep up with inflation.

“To see more women investing is incredibly positive,” said Kat Mann, savings and investment specialist at Nutmeg. “At a time when savings accounts and interests rates offer incredibly poor value, holding more money than is needed in cash could be having a long-term damaging effect on finances.”

The lockdown period has reduced spending, increased savings and expanded the amount of time women have to think about financial planning.

“Women are interested in investing, they’re just short on time, especially mothers,” said Becky O’Connor, head of pensions and savings at Interactive Investor. “They’re time poor, so rarely does investing make the top of the priority list.”

Another catalyst has been the emergence of low-cost, user- friendly investment platforms challenging the older investment providers, which traditionally catered to a

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Why you should start now

Some Americans may have extra money for holiday shopping. (Photo: Getty Images)

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Amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, experts have been predicting for months that the holiday shopping season will start much earlier this year, as retailers attempt to compensate for a decline in brick-and-mortar shopping and a change in consumer behavior. But now, as the number of confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the U.S. continues to surge, recently hitting one million in November alone, that prediction is quickly turning into reality—and it has many experts urging consumers to start their holiday shopping now to avoid inevitable shipping delays and product shortages. 

Not only will the current spike in COVID-19 cases likely increase demand for certain products—and thus impact shipping times and supply—but a Coresight Research survey also found that more than 25% of shoppers expect to start holiday shopping earlier than usual in 2020. Many retailers are pivoting to address the needs of shoppers by starting their Black Friday deals early. Amazon, for instance, has confirmed that its Black Friday deals will drop before the day itself, and other retailers are following suit, like Home Depot, whose holiday sales are already underway.

We, at Reviewed, are all about helping you buy the right things at the right prices at the right times. And that includes all of your holiday presents. If you want to get a jump on your gift giving this year, below is everything you need to know about holiday shopping during a pandemic, along with this year’s holiday shipping deadlines and what gifts are predicted to sell out.

While curating our gift guides (from the best gifts that don’t require shipping to the year’s most popular stocking stuffers), our experts have found that some things are already sold out or low in stock—like the Sonos Arc soundbar on Amazon or the wildly popular Golden Goose sneakers—so if there’s something specific you’ve had your eye on, you’ll want to order it ASAP.

Need help finding products? Sign up for our weekly newsletter. It’s free and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Why you should start holiday shopping early

Holiday shopping 2020 (Photo: Getty Images)

To avoid delayed gifts or sold-out stock, experts recommend starting your holiday shopping sooner rather than later. “With potential product shortages continuing, if you see something you know you want, go ahead and buy it,” Karl Haller, partner and retail industry expert at IBM Global Business Services, advises.

If you’ve bought anything online the last few months, you’ve probably experienced shipping delays—and that’s likely a trend that will continue into the holiday season. “We expect to see continued pressure on shipping, as more packages flow through the system. We have already seen some of the major carriers impose fees on package shipping in anticipation of this,” Haller says, adding that IBM also expects further increases in alternative delivery options like buy online, pick up in

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Taysom Hill played how the Saints wanted in 2nd start, even if style points were lacking | Saints

DENVER — Taysom Hill had to search for the right way to qualify start No. 2 as an NFL quarterback.

On one hand, his top priority is to ensure his team won, and the New Orleans Saints did just that, cruising to what felt like an easy 31-3 victory considering his Broncos counterpart was a receiver on the practice squad just a day before.

On the other hand, the Saints decided late — Saturday night, or early Sunday morning — that the best way to get to that end was to have Hill execute a conservative game plan.

Hill attempted only 16 passes against the Broncos, completing nine of them for 78 yards while adding 51 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. He was sacked three times, threw one interception and recovered his own fumble.

So Hill accomplished the most important part of his game day mission, but he was still left feeling unsatisfied at the end.

“It’s difficult thing to look at as an a competitor and feel really gratified about,” Hill said. “At the end of the day, through my conversations with coach (Sean Payton), I felt like my responsibility was to get us in and out of the huddle, make sure we are lined up properly, make sure we are targeting everything correctly.

“Overall, I was happy with the way I was able to manage the game plan.”

After the game, Payton seemed to sense the way Hill’s statistics would be weaponized against the quarterback, and he was ready to push back.

Hill, after all, is a highly polarizing figure for NFL talking heads and fans alike. Payton’s decision last week to start Hill over the more established Jameis Winston was met with both curiosity and argument among the NFL’s consumer class.

In his first start, Hill validated everything Payton has said about him in recent years. He ran a smooth and efficient offense, leading the Saints to a 24-9 win against the rival Falcons.

Sunday’s game against Denver was not that, but Payton said it was exactly what he wanted to see.

“Taysom played well,” Payton said. ”He played an entirely different type of game and that had a lot to do with me, relative to how we wanted to play this game. … I was in his ear 24/7 just about being smart with the football.

“… There are a few ways to lose a game like that and we weren’t interested in one of those.”

There is no telling if Hill would have turned in a similar performance against Denver if the circumstances were different.

The Saints had a game plan ready. As usual, they spent the entire week perfecting how to attack the Denver defense, paring down their play sheet until everyone felt comfortable and confident with everything they had. Then, Saturday night, the whole operation changed dramatically.

There was a lot of uncertainty the night before about how things would play out, Hill said, but after talking it through it ended

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Tesla (TSLA) secures tax exemption on new made-in-China Model Y ahead of production start

Tesla (TSLA) has secured tax exemptions for “new energy vehicles’ in China for its upcoming new Model Y made at Gigafactory Shanghai.

It’s one of the last step before the electric SUV can be delivered to customers in the country.

As we previously reported, Tesla has taken a new vehicle introduction strategy for Model Y. Unlike previous vehicle programs, which were launched in different markets with vehicles imported from Tesla’s Fremont factory in California, Tesla is only introducing Model Y in new markets once the vehicle is being produced there.

For the past 10 months, Tesla has been expanding Gigafactory Shanghai to prepare for the production of the electric SUV.

The plant has more than doubled in size.

Last month, Tesla released new pictures of the upcoming Model Y Shanghai factory

Earlier this month, the Chinese Ministry of Industry & Information Technology registered the made-in-China Model Y.

Now the ministry has included the Tesla Model Y in its 12th batch of recommended “new energy vehicles” – making the electric SUV eligible for electric vehicle incentives, including tax exemptions, in the country.

This is amongst the last steps for Tesla to start producing and selling the Model Y in China.

A camouflaged prototype Model Y was even spotted being tested at Gigafactory Shanghai last week as the automaker is gearing up to start production:

Tesla has been guiding a start of production and deliveries of the Model Y in China in “early 2021.”

Production is expected to start any day and ramp to higher volumes in the coming months for deliveries in Q1 2021.

The hype around the Model Y in China is high, and the vehicle is expected to make a big impact in the small SUV/crossover segment, which is hugely popular in China.

Startups like Nio and Xpeng have been quick to address it with their own first electric vehicles.

Last month, an analyst of the auto market in China estimated that Tesla could sell as many as 30,000 Model Y vehicles per month once the cheaper version of the electric SUV is available.

That’s about three times bigger than Tesla’s Model 3 sales, which is already dominating the electric vehicle market in the country.

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How to watch, start time, U.S. roster


Published 6:03 a.m. ET Nov. 27, 2020



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The U.S. women’s national soccer team is returning to action for the first time since March 11, when the team defeated Japan in the finale of the 2020 SheBelieves Cup, one of the last major sporting events before the coronavirus pandemic shut down sports around the world for months.

On Friday, in the team’s first match in 261 days, the USWNT will play the Netherlands, which it defeated in the final of the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France.

The 23-player roster includes 14 players who currently play in the National Women’s Soccer League, seven who are playing in Europe and two college players. Lindsey Horan of the NWSL’s Portland Thorns tested positive for COVID-19 and was replaced by Jaelin Howell, who plays for Florida State and became the second college player on the roster (following Stanford’s Catarina Macario).

USWNT coach Vlatko Andonovski, who replaced two-time World Cup-winning coach Jill Ellis, has won each of his first 10 games at the helm, tying a record for best start as U.S. women’s national team head coach.

TIME: 12:30 p.m. ET

TV CHANNEL: ESPN2 (Spanish language: UniMás)


LOCATION: Rat Verlegh Stadium, Breda, Netherlands

OPINION: After almost nine months off, USWNT will face major test Friday: the Netherlands

ALEX MORGAN: USWNT star makes Tottenham debut six months after giving birth to baby girl

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Goalkeepers (3): Aubrey Bledsoe (Washington Spirit; 0), Jane Campbell (Houston Dash; 3), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 63)

Defenders (8): Alana Cook (Paris Saint-Germain, FRA; 1), Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 61), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 26), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC; 104), Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals FC; 131), Margaret Purce (Sky Blue FC; 1), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC; 177), Emily Sonnett (Orlando Pride; 45)

Midfielders (6): Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 102), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 86), Jaelin Howell (Florida State; 0), Rose Lavelle (Manchester City, ENG; 45), Catarina Macario (Stanford; 0), Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash; 15), Samantha Mewis (Manchester City, ENG; 67)

Forwards (6): Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit; 2), Tobin Heath (Manchester United, ENG; 168), Alex Morgan (Tottenham Hotspur, ENG; 169), Christen Press (Manchester United, ENG; 138), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC; 0), Lynn Williams (NC Courage; 28)


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Want to buy a gift for a gamer? Start by reading this.

Odds are that any video game fan would appreciate the new PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X, if you can find one. The next-gen systems make an obvious-but-expensive gift for anyone who loves video games, but aside from tracking down the latest, greatest and priciest consoles, finding a good gift for a gamer can be tricky if you’re not familiar with gaming.

Yeah, sure, you could hedge and buy a gift card to let the recipient pick out whatever they want, but purchasing a specific gift for the game enthusiast in your life better shows you understand and care for their passion. And that can be a gift as valuable as the present itself.

So, Step 1: Engage with your gamer. Find out what platform they use (is it a PC or a console like a PlayStation? Or do they mainly play on their smartphones?) and what types of games they like to play. Once you know those key factors, you can start figuring out how your gift can make their experience better based on how they like to interact with games.

Identifying age-appropriate options is easy, but understanding how the player approaches their passion is a little more nuanced. The gifts they may enjoy most likely hinge on how they like to spend their time gaming. Below are some broad types and some specific characteristics to define different types of gamers, as well as some gift ideas that may fit well for those in that category. And if you do opt for the PS5/Series X/S route, the video below can help you decide which is the best fit.

PS5 vs Xbox Series X: Which next-gen console should you get?



Are they competitive?

If they approach gaming like they would a sport, you may want to look into adopting a similar take on gifting. Look into ways you can help them improve their skills and win through better equipment.


A customizable controller

There’s nothing bad about the standard controllers that ship with consoles — heck, the PS5′s DualSense is revolutionary — but truly competitive players may like a chance to shape their handset to best suit their play, whether in the form of a modified, re-mappable controller or an amped-up keyboard and mouse.

The first aspect to consider is the number of inputs. Modern games can be complex with more commands than there are buttons on standard controllers. A gaming mouse with buttons on side (in addition to the standard scroll wheel and left/right top buttons) puts more commands at your finger tips. Likewise, adding some back buttons to a console controller not only adds more moves to a player’s menu, it can put actions in an easier-to-reach position. Many of these options are also made with materials that tend to be more durable than stock hardware.

Be sure to check out the individual features for each controller, as they are not universal and your gamer may have a preference in how the buttons

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The Best Black Friday Deals You Can Start Shopping Now

Black Friday deals may be known for the rush into crowded stores to score the best discounts. Especially during the pandemic, there’s no need to join the crowds because retailers are offering great deals online that you can shop from the comfort and safety of your home that are as good as any you’d find in stores. Plus, Black Friday deals have gone well beyond single day events, with most companies offering sales from October through December.

We’re compiling some of our favorite deals that are happening now, most of which will run through Cyber Monday and beyond. We sorted through top retailers and brands across categories like home, tech, outdoor gear, and more to help you find the best discounted products for everyone on your shopping list—including yourself—this year.

Note: Deals are subject to change through Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday, but check back here for more updates as sales go live.


From November 19 through December 1, Ecobee is offering up to $80 off its smart thermostats and home security products.

Layla sleep
Get up to $300 off Layla Sleep mattresses, pillows, and other bedding products now through Cyber Monday.

Tempur-Pedic’s holiday deals last from November 15 through December 7, so you can save up to $500 on a new mattress, base, or other bedroom accessories.

Coral UV
This new UV-light sanitizer is 20 percent off from November 21 through December 1 on Amazon.

Nest Bedding
Nest Bedding is offering 25 percent off sitewide through December 6 if you use the code HIBERNATE.

Molekule’s innovative air purifiers are up to $200 off from November 22 through the 30.

Score 30 percent off Bulbrite’s Solana two-pack of smart LED light bulbs.

Take 30 percent off all Keurig brewers from November 23 through December 1.

Sheets & Giggles
Get 30 percent off a new set of cooling, eucalyptus sheets with Sheets & Giggles’ sitewide sale.’s Black Friday sale will take up to 70 to 80 percent off a ton of rugs, and the Cyber week sale will continue at 80 percent off through December 8.

Take between 15 and 40 percent off a new TV or computer monitor from Mount-It’s website.

Peet’s Coffee
Take 20 percent off sitewide at Peet’s Coffee using the coupon code BESTWEEKEVER for coffee, brewing supplies, and more.

Get 30 percent off the Hydros’ water filters with the code GRATEFUL.

Score 20 percent off sitewide at Brooklinen through December 1.

Parachute Home
From November 23 through November 30, you can also get 20 percent off sitewide at Parachute Home.


Best Buy
Best Buy also has deals all season long on tech like TVs, laptops, and monitors and home appliances.

Dell’s Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals started

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