Bengals quit…and Bears take advantage.

CINCINNATI—Rookie Mitchell Trubisky knew there would be plenty of openings against Cincinnati’s depleted defense.The Bears exploited every one of them for their most-lopsided victory in five years.The Bengals appeared disinterested from the start.Trubisky threw for a touchdown and ran for another in his best showing yet, and the Bears ended a five-game losing streak by routing the lackluster Cincinnati Bengals 33-7 on Sunday.

Jordan Howard ran for 147 yards and a pair of touchdowns as the Bears (4-9) dominated a matchup of the NFL’s worst offenses.Their rookie quarterback took full advantage of an aggressive game plan, completing a career-high 25 passes out of 32 attempts for 271 yards. He also ran 4 yards for a score.

”We just had fun doing it,” said Trubisky, who has completed 37 of 47 passes in the past two games without an interception. ”We trusted the plan, went out there and let it loose.”

The Bengals (5-8) were coming off a 23-20 loss to the Steelers on Monday night that crushed their playoff hopes and gutted their defense.

The Bears piled up a season-high 482 yards against a unit missing starting cornerbacks Adam ”Pacman” Jones and Dre Kirkpatrick as well as linebackers Vontaze Burfict and Nick Vigil.

Trubisky said.The Bengals described themselves as embarrassed by their worst home drubbing since a 34-3 loss to Baltimore in 2008. Many of the 52,002 fans headed for the exits early in the fourth quarter.

”I’m at a loss for words today,” said coach Marvin Lewis, whose contract is up at the end of the season.

Everyone in the NFL’s lowest-ranked offense had a big game. Tarik Cohen ran for 80 yards, and Kendall Wright caught 10 passes for 107 yards – the first Bears receiver to top 100 yards this season.Andy Dalton was picked off for the first time since Oct. 22 in Pittsburgh, ending his career-best streak of 193 attempts without an interception.The interception set up Trubisky’s 1-yard touchdown pass that put the Bears in control 26-7 early in the fourth quarter, their biggest lead of the season.

”Definitely embarrassing,” said Bengals receiver A.J. Green, who had a dozen passes thrown his way but managed only five catches for 64 yards. ”It’s been a strange season for me.”

Howard has rushed for 1,032 yards this season. He’s the first Bears running back to start their career with consecutive 1,000-yard seasons.The Bears signed kicker Mike Nugent after Cairo Santos went on injured reserve with a groin injury during the week. Nugent spent seven seasons with the Bengals, who released him last season after a streak of missed field goals and extra points. He was booed loudly whenever he came onto the field to kick.Nugent missed an extra-point attempt – he hit the right upright – after Chicago’s first touchdown, but was good on every other kick, including field goals of 34 and 27 yards.

”You’re going to think of some of the negative stuff, but I had a really good time playing here in Cincinnati,” Nugent said. ”I hated to see my run here end.”

The Bears’ big offensive game came on the heels of two of their worst. They managed only 140 and 147 yards in losses to the Eagles and 49ers the past two weeks.Green went in to play defense on a desperation pass at the end of the first half, which fell incomplete – Green wound up with the ball. Backup quarterback AJ McCarron got his first playing time of the season, filling in during the closing minutes. He was 4 of 8 for 47 yards with a sack.Bengals safety George Iloka initially was suspended one game for his hit to Antonio Brown’s head during the Steelers’ win on Monday. The suspension was overturned on appeal. Iloka had eight tackles, third on the team.

Hawks win second straight, 3-1 over Coyotes.

The Blackhawks staggered home last week in desperate need of some positive results.Enter goalie Corey Crawford – and a perfectly timed homestand against three of the worst teams in the NHL.Crawford made 31 saves, Artem Anisimov scored the go-ahead goal with 4:47 left in the third period and the Blackhawks beat the Arizona Coyotes 3-1 on Sunday night.Tommy Wingels and Nick Schmaltz also scored in the third as the Hawks (14-11-5) earned its second straight win after dropping five in a row. Patrick Kane had two assists to run his career total to 781 points, breaking a tie with Doug Wilson for fifth on the franchise scoring list.

”We could probably play a little bit better, but we found ways to win even when we probably haven’t had our best,” Kane said. ”Whether that’s goaltending or timely goals by the fourth line and Wingels, just finding ways to win, it’s huge points for us right now.”

Crawford was activated from injured reserve on Friday and stopped 26 shots in a 3-2 overtime win against Buffalo. He likely will start again when the Blackhawks host lowly Florida on Tuesday night.

”We had a lot of chances throughout the whole game,” Crawford said. ”The third was our best period. It was another good win for us at home, something to build off of and keep going with this.”

Kane found an open Anisimov in the right circle for the center’s team-high 13th goal , giving the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead. The connection occurred just 71 seconds after Anthony Duclair tied it at 1 with his seventh goal for Arizona, tipping home Alex Goligoski’s pass in front.Kane then set up Schmaltz with a slick pass for a one-timer with 3:02 left. It was Schmaltz’s first goal since Nov. 27 and No. 5 on the season.Scott Wedgewood made 34 saves for Arizona, which dropped its fourth straight game.Wedgewood and Crawford were locked in a scoreless duel when John Hayden made a nice pass to set up Wingels’ one-timer 7:36 into the third period. Wingels also scored a tying short-handed goal in the third during the Hawks overtime win Friday night.

”You get an opportunity in the third period to make a difference, every shift, whether it’s create energy, drawing a penalty or scoring a big goal,” Wingels said. ”Recently, our line’s been able to do that.”

The Coyotes (7-21-5) were coming off a 1-0 loss at Columbus on Saturday night, but they skated right with the Blackhawks for most of the game.Goligoski rattled the cage behind Crawford on a power-play shot in the second period. Kevin Connauton had an open backhander stopped by Crawford with about eight minutes left in the second.

NOTES—Cody Franson was scratched with an upper-body injury. D Jordan Oesterle made his first appearance since Nov. 12 and picked up an assist on Wingels’ goal. ”I thought he had a great game,” coach Joel Quenneville said. … F Christian Fischer played in his native Chicago for the first time in the NHL. The 20-year-old Fischer made his debut with the Coyotes last January. … Blackhawks forward Ryan Hartman was a healthy scratch for the second straight game. Hartman was whistled for three penalties in a 6-2 loss at Washington last Wednesday, including a double minor for high-sticking in the second period.

Ramblers stun #5 Florida with hot shooting.

GAINESVILLE—No. 5 Florida followed a performance coach Mike White called ”the epitome of soft” with an even bigger flop.Aundre Jackson scored 23 points, Cameron Krutwig added 14 and Loyola stunned the Gators 65-59 on Wednesday night, handing them a third consecutive loss.

”Hopefully we’ve been humbled a bit,” White said.

Florida hasn’t been the same since blowing a 17-point lead in the second half against top-ranked Duke on Nov. 26. The tailspin continued against rival Florida State on Monday and reached a new low against LU.

”I can’t put a word on it. It’s pretty embarrassing,” guard Jalen Hudson said. ”It’s so embarrassing.”

Another reality check could be ahead. The Gators (5-3) could fall out of The Associated Press Top 25, especially if they lose to 17th-ranked Cincinnati in New Jersey on Saturday. Arizona went from No. 2 to unranked earlier this season.Florida trailed by as many as 13 in the first half, but had a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds. KeVaughn Allen missed a driving layup, and Kevarrius Hayes’ ensuing tip-in was waved off because officials ruled the ball was on the rim when he touched it.Cameron Satterwhite closed it out with two free throws on the other end.

”It’s huge for us,” Loyola coach Porter Moser said. ”We’re just trying to turn the culture of the program. It’s huge for us because of Florida’s program. They’ve been to Final Fours. They were in the Elite Eight last year. They’re fifth in the country.I’m not going to undersell the importance. It was a really good win for us and I’m really proud of our guys. … Obviously, when you win a game like this, it’s a good spotlight on you. But you want that spotlight to burn even more inside as we prepare and get better as the season goes on.”

The Gators shot 36.9 percent from the field, missed 17 of 19 3-point attempts and finished with seven assists.The Ramblers (9-1) were much more efficient, shooting 52 percent from the field and making half their 12 shots from behind the arc.White tweaked several aspects of Florida’s approach: Deaundrae Ballard and Keith Stone replaced Hudson and Allen in the starting lineup, and the Gators pressed more than usual. Allen had started 68 consecutive games.But nothing White did fixed Florida’s shooting woes or the team’s defensive deficiencies.Allen was 3-of-11 shooting, including 1 of 5 from 3-point range. Hudson was 3 of 11 from the field and 0 of 5 from behind the arc. Egor Koulechov was 3 of 13, including 0 for 3 on treys. Chris Chiozza was 3 of 7 from the field, had a team-high nine points and finished with four assists.No Florida player reached double digits in scoring.The Gators also led just 93 seconds.
”This is the lowest we can get,” Hudson said. ”I don’t think we can get any lower than this. I’m sure we’re out of the rankings; none of that even matters. But we’re as low as we can get. We’ve got to completely change everything we’re doing and go back to the basics. … We’ve got to have a change of heart, a change of everything. It’s not working.”
The Ramblers have to feel good. They enjoyed their best start through nine games since the 1965-66 season and led Florida for most of the night. Moses has an experienced squad that’s playing without senior guard Ben Richardson (broken hand).

Slumping Hawks continue to get bad goaltending with Crawford’s absence.

WASHINGTON—Nicklas Backstrom ended a 21-game goal drought and had two assists, and Washington’s top-line trio of Backstrom, Alex Ovechkin and Tom Wilson combined for 11 points in a 6-2 victory over the free falling Blackhawks.Wilson had two goals and two assists for his first four-point game, and Ovechkin had a goal and three assists, and the duo made good on their plan to get Backstrom a goal.Backstrom ended his goal drought at 11:54 of the first when he finished a tic-tac-toe sequence by one-timing Ovechkin’s pass past Forsberg for his fourth of the season. Wilson had the other assist. Backstrom hadn’t scored since Oct. 14 in Philadelphia, matching the second-longest drought of his career.Wilson and Ovechkin soon scored to make it 3-0.Braden Holtby made 37 saves for Washington to help the Capitals win for the sixth time in seven games, a streak that started when the Ovechkin-Backstrom-Wilson line was formed.Brett Connolly scored in his third straight game, and Evgeny Kuznetsov added a goal. Ovechkin extended his goals streak to three games.Lance Bouma and Jonathan Toews scored for the Hawks, who outshot Washington 39-25. The Blackhawks are 0-3-2 in their last five.

”Not happy about tonight’s game,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. ”You can be misled by the shot (total) or maybe it looked like we had some looks there. The volume of our shots hit him right in the chest with no chance of getting a second opportunity whether there was some people at the net or not.”

Wilson’s spinning shot from the left circle eluded Forsberg with 5:07 to go in the first period.Anton Forsberg, starting in place of the injured Corey Crawford, was pulled after Ovechkin’s goal made it 3-0 with 4:38 left in the first. J.F Berube finished in goal.Washington has won seven of its last eight against the Blackhawks,who have lost seven in a row in Washington since January 2006.Wilson added an empty-netter to cap his career night.
NOTES—Washington forward T.J. Oshie missed the game after sustaining an upper-body injury Monday night against San Jose. Capitals coach Barry Trotz said he didn’t know if Oshie would resume skating Thursday. Trotz said forward Andre Burakovsky, out since October after surgery to repair his broken left thumb, could possibly play Friday against the New York Rangers. … Capitals F Chandler Stephenson returned after missing a game with an upper-body injury. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Crawford could return Sunday against Arizona. ”Right now I think maybe there’s hope on Friday,” Quenneville said, ”maybe the likelihood might be Sunday but we’ll see.” … Michal Kempny, C Tanner Kero and D Jordan Oesterle were healthy scratches for the 10th straight game.

Bulls blow 17 point second half lead–lose 10th straight.

Bulls Logo

INDIANAPOLIS—Victor Oladipo scored 27 points, including a clutch 3-pointer with 31.1 seconds left, and the Pacers beat the Bulls 98-96 on Wednesday night.Bojan Bogdanovic had 17 points for Indiana (14-11), and Darren Collison finished with 14. Myles Turner had 11 points and blocked four shots, and Thaddeus Young finished with 10 points and nine rebounds.The Pacers outscored the Bulls 29-13 in the fourth quarter.

”I was going out there and playing as hard as I could on both ends of the floor and trying to help us pull it out,” Oladipo said. ”We’ve got to learn to not put ourselves in that hole in the first place and try to make sure we avoid that. At the end of the day it was a big win for us and we can build on it.”

The lowly Bulls led by as many as 17, but couldn’t hold off the Pacers in the final moments. Oladipo’s 3 gave Indiana its first lead at 97-96, and he tacked on a free throw with 12.8 seconds left.Lauri Markkanen missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer in the final seconds of the Bulls 10th straight loss.

”This one, it stings a lot,” coach Fred Hoiberg said. ”It’s a really, really hard (loss) because we had control for the majority of it and played really good and hard unselfish basketball. The big message to our team is if we continue to play with that type of effort, if we continue to play the right way, and unselfish, we’re going to start winning games.”

Kris Dunn had 18 points, six rebounds and six assists for the Bulls (3-20), and Robin Lopez scored 16 points. Denzel Valentine finished with 15 points and eight boards.The Bulls looked pretty good for about 3 1/2 quarters. The Bulls went 7 for 15 from beyond the arc on their way to a 55-39 halftime lead.

Robbie Gould sticks it to Fox,Pace,,,Bears with five field goals, including gamer winner with :04 left.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robbie Gould kicked a 24-yard field goal in the closing seconds, Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 293 yards in his first San Francisco start, and the 49ers beat the Bears 15-14 on Sunday.Gould made five field goals in his first appearance at Soldier Field since the Bears cut him prior to the 2016 opener. The Bears’ all-time leader in points and field goals made, he shouted at their sideline after he nailed the winner.Jimmy Garoppolo’s first start with 49ers provides a win — and some hope-for them.Garoppolo’s starting debut for the 49ers wasn’t perfect, but he was able to guide the team to a winning field goal with the game on the line.John Fox and the Bears hit another low Sunday, when former Bears kicker Robbie Gould beat them in the final seconds with his fifth FG of the game.Garoppolo was solid in his first start since the 49ers (2-10) acquired him from New England before the trade deadline in October. The suburban Chicago product completed 26 of 37 passes with an interception. And the 49ers picked up the win after losing their first five road games.The pathetic Bears (3-9) dropped their fifth straight, and coach John Fox fell to 12-32 in three seasons with the Bears.Mitchell Trubisky was 12 of 15 for 102 yards and a touchdown.Tarik Cohen returned a punt 61 yards for a touchdown. That made him the first NFL rookie with rushing, receiving, passing and punt return TDs in a season since Gale Sayers in 1965.The 49ers were trailing 14-12 when Garoppolo connected with Trent Taylor on third down for a 33-yard pass to the Bear 18 with two minutes left. Kyle Juszczyk kept the drive going with a 3-yard run on third-and-2 at the 10.Garoppolo threw for 172 yards in the first half. But the 49ers committed six penalties and headed to the locker room trailing 14-9.The Bears grabbed a 7-3 lead in the closing seconds of the first quarter when Trubisky hit Dontrelle Inman in the back of the end zone for an 8-yard touchdown. Kyle Fuller set that up when he ripped the ball out of Louis Murphy’s hands for an interception at the Bears 41.Cohen made it 14-6 in the second quarter with his big punt return, racing to the end zone after he initially ran about 15 yards in the wrong direction.Pernell McPhee suffered a shoulder injury on the game’s opening drive. … DE Mitch Unrein (knee) was hurt in the second quarter. … RG Kyle Long (shoulder) sat out the second half. … LG Josh Sitton was active after being listed as questionable because of a concussion. … S Adrian Amos (hamstring) and his backup Deon Bush (ankle) were inactive

OSU hands Badgers first loss in Big Ten Title Game

 

Image result for big ten championship football game 2017 logo

INDIANAPOLIS—J.T. Barrett felt and played like his old self Saturday.The only thing that would make the Ohio State quarterback feel better would be making the playoffs.Six days after undergoing surgery on his right knee, Barrett started the game, threw two touchdown passes, ran for another and led No. 8 Ohio State to a 27-21 victory over previously unbeaten No. 3 Wisconsin for the Buckeyes’ first Big Ten title since their 2014 national championship run.
”We have two wins over two top-four team and another one over a team ranked 12th or 13th,” said coach Urban Meyer, who included a win over Penn State in his rundown. ”We’re a conference champion and we deserve a shot.”
All the Buckeyes (11-2, No. 8 CFP) can do now is wait to see if college football’s selection committee agrees.With one final chance to make an impression, Ohio State ended the Badgers’ perfect season and the nation’s longest active winning streak at 13 by winning their fourth in a row.And they did it behind a quarterback many expected to be watching.But unlike most athletes, who need at least two or three weeks to recover from minor knee surgery, Barrett told doctors and coaches he would be OK.After watching Barrett in pregame warmups with a protective brace around the injured knee, Meyer gave his three-time captain the starting nod. Barrett didn’t disappoint.He wound up 12 of 26 for 211 yards and two interceptions and ran 19 times for 60 yards including a crucial fourth-down conversion that set up the last field goal of the game.
”We expected to see the best and he was,” Badgers coach Paul Chryst said of Barrett. ”He’s a heck of a quarterback.”

Slumping Hawks lose to Stars again–this time in shootout.

DALLAS—Alexander Radulov cleared his head and took what Anton Forsberg gave him. Tyler Seguin just did like Radulov. That was enough for the Dallas Stars.Radulov and Seguin scored in the shootout to lift Dallas over the Blackhawks 3-2 on Saturday. It was Dallas’ second win in three nights against the Blackhawks,with both games stretching beyond regulation.Radulov skated in front of Forsberg on his shootout try and went to his forehand for a short shot along the ice.Seguin used a similar move, except his puck ended up on the backhand at nearly the same spot.Stars goalie Ben Bishop stopped shots by Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane with his pads. Bishop made 33 saves.Radulov also scored the game’s first goal with an assist from Seguin.Radek Faksa scored his fifth goal in the last three games for Dallas, which has won four in a row.Cody Franson and Brandon Saad each had a goal for the Hawks, who are 0-1-2 in the last three games. Forsberg had 32 saves in place of injured goalie Corey Crawford.

”He was good,” Joel Quenneville said. ”Gave us a chance. You get a 2-2 game on the road with a chance to win it in OT, you don’t mind a few chances.”

The shootout was preceded by a back-and-forth overtime, during which Forsberg made four saves.Radulov’s goal came on the power play at 5:57 of the first period.The Blackhawks tied it 2 1/2 minutes later when Franson scored from the right point for his first goal in 16 games with the Hawks since signing as a free agent in October.Faksa restored a one-goal lead for the Stars at 12:15 of the second.The Blackhawks came back again to tie it at 2 when Saad redirected Connor Murphy’s drive from above the left circle at 19:19.The third period was scoreless. In overtime, the Hawks had an excellent chance when Nick Schmaltz had a breakaway, but Bishop skated out to smother the puck in the left circle.

NOTES—Crawford allowed four goals in an overtime loss to Dallas on Thursday, then went on injured reserve Friday with an undisclosed injury. The Hawks recalled G J.F. Berube from Rockford of the AHL. … Forsberg has a 1-2-3 record this season, and 2-10-3 in his career. . The Stars had been 1 for 23 on the power play during the last eight games before Radulov scored, and they failed on their last four man advantages after that. … Dallas is 10-2 at home, where they have won five in a row and outscored opponents by 19 goals in 12 games. … The Stars have won all four games while wearing yellow skate laces to honor Jere Lehtinen since his number 26 was retired on Nov. 24.

Redbirds outlast Tulsa 65-58

NORMAL—Milik Yarbrough had 22 points, six rebounds and four assists, Phil Fayne added 17 points and eight boards, and Illinois State beat Tulsa 65-58 on Saturday night.Lawson Korita gave Tulsa its first lead, 49-47, since it was 4-2.Yarbrough made two free throws with 1:43 left to extend Illinois State’s lead to 60-51. After Sterling Taplin hit a 3-pointer to cut it to six, Phil Fayne dunked and ISU held on.Keyshawn Evans scored 12 points with five assists for Illinois State (4-4), which had 11 steals and forced 21 turnovers.Yarbrough had 15 points in the first half as the Redbirds led by four points.Junior Etou had 10 points and eight rebounds for Tulsa (4-4), which was held to 36 percent shooting. Jaleel Wheeler grabbed a team-high nine rebounds as Tulsa outrebounded the Redbirds 49-29.

Ramblers rout Flames 85-61 at Gentile Arena

Aundre Jackson was close to perfect with 23 points as Loyola jumped out to an early lead and roared to an 85-61 win over UIC on Saturday.Jackson hit 10 of 11 field-goal attempts, including two from distance, as Loyola(8-1) bounced back after dropping an 87-53 decision to Boise State Tuesday night. The Ramblers never trailed against the Flames, and took a 52-24 advantage into the break.Lucas Williamson came off the bench to score 14 points, drilling 3 of 4 from distance and Clayton Custer added 10 as 11 Ramblers put points on the board.The Ramblers hit 55 percent (34-62) from the floor while limiting UIC to 23-of-49 (47 percent) shooting. Loyola also hit 8 of 14 from beyond the arc.Marcus Ottey led the Flames (2-5), who have lost four straight, with 16 points. Dikembe Dixson and Dominique Matthews added 14 apiece.