Illinois State wins this latest War on I-74 from Bradley

PEORIA—This chapter of the “War on I-74” goes to Illinois State.Deontae Hawkins scored 20 points and ISU won its eighth straight game 69-49 over Bradley on Wednesday night.Hawkins hit four 3-pointers and added 10 rebounds. Paris Lee finished with 14 points for the Redbirds (15-4, 7-0 Missouri Valley), who sit alone atop the Missouri Valley standings for the first time since 1997-98. It is just the second time in school history the Redbirds have opened 7-0 in conference play since going 9-0 during the 1982-83 season.Antoine Pittman led Bradley (8-12, 3-4) with 11 points. The Braves, who have lost six straight to Illinois State, shot had just 15 field goals on 31.9 percent shooting.The Redbirds opened up a 20-8 lead and limited Bradley to only 17 first half points. Two MiKyle McIntosh free throws to open the second half pushed the Illinois State lead past 20, 38-17, and the Redbirds cruised the rest of the way

Northern Iowa outlasts Loyola in 2OT

CEDAR FALLS—Bennett Koch scored 21 points as Northern Iowa upended Loyola 72-69 in double overtime on Wednesday night.Jeremy Morgan added 17 points for the Panthers (7-11, 2-5 MVC) including a pair of free throws with eight seconds left in regulation that sent the game into the first overtime. Jordan Ashton and Luke McDonnell had 13 points apiece.A Koch three-point play put the Panthers on top for good, 67-63, with 1:29 remaining in the second overtime period and he sank two more foul shots to stretch it to 70-63 with 30 seconds left.UNI trailed by one, 58-57, with 1:09 to play in the first overtime when Ashton went to the line for two, making the first but missing the second, tying the game 58-58 and sending it into double overtime.Donte Ingram led the Ramblers (13-7, 3-4) with 19 points and nine boards.

Florida State holds off ND in key ACC showdown

TALLAHASSEE—Florida State hasn’t found itself in many close games late in the second half this season, but Wednesday night it was trailing No. 15 Notre Dame 64-62 with 5:40 remaining.The 10th-ranked Seminoles then showed that they were able to go on a late run and close out a game, going on an 11-1 run and holding on for an 83-80 victory to move into a three-way tie atop the Atlantic Coast Conference at the one-third mark in conference play.Jonathan Isaac scored nine of his 23 points during the run that put the Seminoles (17-2, 5-1) in the lead for good, including two 3-pointers.The talented 6-foot-10 freshman had 10 rebounds for his second straight game with a double-double and added seven blocked shots.

”I felt like I was in a good position. My teammates found me. I just stepped into them and shot,” said Isaac, who had 13 points in the final 6 minutes. ”I think it’s just my confidence level. I’m figuring out where I can pick my spots, where I can be aggressive. I’m just getting confident.”

Isaac is averaging 13.5 points and 8.8 rebounds since the start of conference play. Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said he was surprised that Isaac has developed into a reliable jump shooter.

”I knew he was active around the bucket, I knew he could block shots and fly and rebound,” Brey said. ”I didn’t think he could make shots. And that he made them when the game was on the line? I have a lot of respect for that young man.”

The Fighting Irish (16-3, 5-1), who had their seven-game winning streak snapped, were 15 of 21 from 3-point range and made nine in the second half to remain in the game. Rex Pfluegger brought Notre Dame within 79-77 with 17 seconds remaining with a 3-pointer but CJ Walker made two free throws to put the Seminoles up by four.Steve Vasturia (18 points) and V.J. Beachem (14 points) each made four 3-pointers for Notre Dame. Matt Farrell added 17.The Irish came into the game averaging the second-least amount of turnovers in the nation (9.4 per game). They committed a season-high 19, including 13 in the first half. Their previous season high was 13 in wins over Colgate and Saint Peter’s.On a night one of the starters (Terance Mann) was held scoreless and Michael Ojo’s lone points came on the opening dunk of the game, the bench came up big again as they outscored the Irish’s reserves 39-18. PJ Savoy led the way with 12 points, including eight straight during an 11-3 run in the first half, and Jarquez Smith added 10.Florida State is 4-1 in its run of facing six straight ranked teams. It is only the third team in ACC history to have that type of schedule in the regular season. Maryland was 0-6 in 1992-93 and North Carolina State was 1-5 in 1979-80.Vasturia became the fourth Notre Dame player to start 100 consecutive games, joining Pat Connaughton (139, 2012-15), Chris Thomas (128, 2001-05) and Pat Garrity (11, 1994-98). Vasturia’s streak started late in the 2013-14 season. … Dwayne Bacon (11 points) has scored in double figures in 28 straight games, which leads the ACC.

Two third period goals by Hinostroza lifts Hawks past Avs 6-4

DENVER—Vinnie Hinostroza scored twice in the third period, including the go-ahead goal with 11:49 remaining, and the Blackhawks rallied for a 6-4 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night.Tanner Kero had two goals and Nick Schmaltz and Brent Seabrook also scored for the Hawks, wo snapped a two-game skid.The Blackhawks switched around their line combinations, breaking up the Jonathan Toews-Marian Hossa tandem in an effort to spark the offense. It certainly worked with Hinostroza, Kero and Hossa combining for eight points. Hossa had three assists.Matt Duchene had two goals and Blake Comeau and Matt Nieto also scored for the last-place Avalanche, who wrapped up a four-game homestand with a 1-3 mark. This game felt more like a road game, though, with all the Blackhawk fans in attendance.The loudest cheer of the night came when Hinostroza scored the game-winner by tapping a shot past Semyon Varlamov.Colorado pulled Varlamov with around 35 seconds remaining, but couldn’t get anything past Corey Crawford. Kero added an empty-netter with 10.6 seconds left.Hinostroza tied the game at 4 early in the third period when he took a long pass from Seabrook and skated in all alone, lifting a wrist shot over Varlamov.The 22-year-old Hinostroza entered with four career goals.There were a combined four goals scored in a frenzied second period, with Colorado taking a 3-2 lead on Nieto’s first goal of the season. The advantage lasted all of 19 seconds as Kero answered.On the play, Hossa had his first assist of the night to give him 600 for his career. He’s the 32nd player in NHL history to record 500 goals and 600 assists.In the first period, Duchene scored a rare power-play goal for the Avalanche. They were 2 of 41 on the man advantage over the last 11 games before Duchene tipped Nathan MacKinnon’s shot past Crawford.Given how far they’re fallen, the Avalanche could soon be looking at a possible shake-up. Duchene, the team’s leading goal scorer, captain Gabriel Landeskog and defenseman Tyson Barrie have been frequently mentioned in trade rumors. The trio are part of the core that general manager Joe Sakic has been trying to build around for the last few seasons.

NOTES—Schmaltz scored his second goal of the season. The 20-year-old center was recalled from Rockford of the American Hockey League last Saturday. … Seabrook scored his first goal since Nov. 18 at Calgary. … F Rene Bourque played in his 700th NHL game…..The Blackhawks sre at Boston on Friday.

Late Matthews three pointer give Mavs wib over Bulls and 2 game series sweep.

Chicago Bulls Logo - Red bull with script above head

Wesley Matthews three pointer with 12 second left helped the Dallas Mavericks edge the Bulls 99-98 for their first three-game winning streak of the season.Six players scored in double figures for the Mavericks, including all five starters. Harrison Barnes had 20 points, Seth Curry added 18 and Dirk Nowitzki finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds.Dallas trailed 98-96 after Jimmy Butler made a long jumper over Matthews with 23 seconds left, but Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle decided against a timeout and Deron Williams drove into the lane before kicking out to Matthews for the 3, The Bulls had one last chance, but Dwyane Wade missed a potential game-winning jumper from the corner on his 35th birthday as time expired.

#21 Purdue routs Illini 91-68

Illinois Fighting Illini (2004 - 2013)

WEST LAFAYETTE—When Caleb Swanigan and Isaac Haas are in sync, it’s difficult trying to name a better power forward-center combination in college basketball.No. 21 Purdue’s two interior players certainly were in sync on Tuesday night against outmanned Illinois.Haas had 24 points and six rebounds, and power forward Swanigan added 22 points and 10 rebounds in the Boilermakers’ dominating 91-68 victory.Haas scored 13 points in the second half when the Boilermakers (15-4, 4-2 Big Ten) led by as many as 27. Swanigan had a four-point first half but was almost unstoppable during the second half, accounting for 18 points and five rebounds.

”It was Illinois’ game plan not to double us,” Swanigan said. ”You could hear their coaches yelling to them to pressure the ball. That was their game plan, and we had success with it.”

Purdue placed five players in double figures, also getting 14 from freshman guard Carsen Edwards, 11 from forward Vince Edwards – no relation – and 10 from point guard P.J. Thompson.

”We have to have balance, and we did that tonight,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. ”When Isaac got the ball deep like he did tonight, that’s hard to stop. When Isaac is good and efficient, it really puts the other team in a bind.”

Illinois (12-7, 2-4) got 15 points from Maverick Morgan and 12 from Malcolm Hill but had no answer for the Boilermakers’ two post players, each of whom had his way around the basket.With this victory, Purdue leads the all-time series with Illinois, 100-87.

Wesley Matthews made a go-ahead 3-pointer from the wing with 12 seconds left, and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Bulls 99-98 on Tuesday night for their first three-game winning streak of the season.Six players scored in double figures for the Mavericks, including all five starters. Harrison Barnes had 20 points, Seth Curry added 18 and Dirk Nowitzki finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds.Dallas trailed 98-96 after Jimmy Butler made a long jumper over Matthews with 23 seconds left, but Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle decided against a timeout and Deron Williams drove into the lane before kicking out to Matthews for the 3. The Bulls had one last chance, but Dwyane Wade missed a potential game-winning jumper from the corner on his 35th birthday as time expired.

Improving UIC beats down UW-Milwaukee 71-57

Tai Odiase scored 20 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and swatted away six shots as UIC defeated UW-Milwaukee 71-57 on Tuesday night, leading from start to finish.Odiase pulled down an offensive rebound and went back up for a lay-in to start the scoring with less than a minute gone, and later dunked after grabbing another offensive board. He blocked back-to-back layup tries by UWM’s Brock Stull to prevent the Panthers from getting closer than three.Stull, who averages 12.6 ppg, finished 3 of 11 from the field and scored six points. Odiase has 205 career blocks for the Flames (11-8, 4-2 Horizon League).Bryce Nze led UWM with 22 points on 10-for-12 shooting as the Panthers (5-14, 1-5) held a slim 38-34 edge on points in the paint, and Cody Wichmann added 11 points with three 3-pointers.UIC scored 18 points off 12 UWM turnovers.

Demons fall to St.Johns again, now 1-5 in Big East

NEW YORK—Malik Ellison hit 5 of 6 3-pointers and scored a career-high 23 points to help St. John’s end a four-game slide with a 78-68 victory over DePaul on Monday night.After Billy Garrett Jr. missed a long 3-pointer for DePaul with the shot clock winding down, Marcus LoVett grabbed the long rebound and made a contested layup in transition for a 67-56 lead. It was LoVett’s only made field goal of the game. Garrett hit two free throws on the other end but Ellison answered with a 3-pointer to make it 70-58.Shamorie Ponds and Bashir Ahmed each scored 14 points for St. John’s (9-11, 3-4 Big East). Ponds sank four of St. John’s 12 3-pointers as the Red Storm made 54.5 percent from distance. Tariq Owens had 10 points, nine rebounds and four blocks.Garrett scored 16 points for DePaul (8-11, 1-5) but he had six of the Blue Demons’ 16 turnovers. Eli Cain added 15 points, Tre’Darius McCallum had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Joe Hanel scored 12. The Blue Demons have lost seven of their last eight games.It was St. John’s final game on campus this season.

Butler rallies past Marquette 88-80

INDIANAPOLIS—Down by 16 points at the break, the No. 13 Butler Bulldogs got an earful from coach Chris Holtmann.
”At halftime, coach came in, he was very upset with our play defensively and offensively,” forward Kelan Martin said.

After a pair of free throws early in the second half put them down by 18, the Bulldogs rallied. Kelan Martin wound up with 22 points as they surged to beat Marquette 88-80 Monday.

”Whew,” Holtmann said. ”What an interesting game – a roller coaster in a lot of ways.”

A familiar one, in fact.On Nov. 23, 2011, Butler trailed by 15 at halftime before overcoming Gardner-Webb. The coach for Gardner-Webb on that trip to Hinkle Fieldhouse? Yep, Chris Holtmann.The Bulldogs (16-3, 5-2 Big East) quickly overtook Marquette (12-6, 3-3) with a 38-18 burst, with Martin’s jumper giving them their first lead of the game.Marquette regained the lead one final time with about five minutes remaining, but Martin’s shot started a 7-0 run that put Butler ahead for good.The Bulldogs outscored Marquette 63-39 in the second half, shooting an astounding 70 percent without a single turnover.Kamar Baldwin had 18 points and Martin added seven rebounds as the Bulldogs won their 14th in a row at home.Markus Howard scored 26 points for the Golden Eagles.

”Obviously, I got to do a lot better job. I take full responsibility for anything that happens with our team,” Marquette coach Steve Wojciechowski said.At times when teams have made a run on us in the second half where we have had leads, our answer is always `call my play and I’ll bail us out with the basket,”’ he said. ”Butler’s answer to adversity tonight was to play better defense. The way they answer adversity is the way you win. The way we try to answer adversity is the way you lose.”

The Bulldogs face DePaul and Seton Hall on the road before returning home to welcome Georgetown and No. 7 Creighton.After losing to Creighton on Jan. 11, the Bulldogs bounced back with a win over No. 22 Xavier on Saturday, then rallied to top Marquette.Butler travels to DePaul on Saturday.

McDermott’s career high 31 carries Bulls past Grizzlies


Chicago Bulls Logo - Red bull with script above head

MEMPHIS—Doug McDermott scored a career-high 31 points, Jimmy Butler had a pair of key baskets in the closing minute and the Bulls surprised the Memphis Grizzlies 108-104 on Sunday night.The Bulls broke a 104-all tie with 25 seconds left on a 15-footer from Butler and a pair of free throws by McDermott. Butler had 16 points to help the Bulls win their second straight.Taj Gibson finished with 18 points and eight rebounds for the Bulls.Mike Conley led Memphis with 28 points and eight assists, and Marc Gasol had 24 points and 11 rebounds.The Bulls were without second-leading scorer Dwyane Wade, who did not play on the second night of a back-to-back after the Bulls beat New Orleans at home Saturday.The game featured 16 lead changes and 11 ties, with neither team holding a double-digit lead.