Norris Cole scored a game-high 22 points in Cleveland State’s 63-49 victory over UIC on Thursday night.The Vikings (19-3, 8-2 Horizon) trailed 31-29 at halftime but pulled ahead in the second half on 50 percent shooting from the field. The final score was their largest lead.Jeremy Montgomery added 13 points for Cleveland State.The Flames (5-16, 0-9) led by as many as nine points in the first half on 50 percent shooting from the field, but they fell off to 26.9 percent after the break. Brad Birton grabbed a double-double for UIC, scoring 14 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. Robo Kreps added 10 points for the Flames.
Antti Miettinen scored the go-ahead goal, Niklas Backstrom made 31 saves and the Minnesota Wild beat the Blackhawks 4-2 Tuesday in the teams’ final game before the All-Star break.The Wild go into the break on a roll, with four wins in five games after the comeback victory. The Hawks lost their second straight after a 5-0-1 stretch.Miettinen’s goal on a splendid tip-in of Andrew Brunette’s pass from the left circle broke a 2-all tie with 3:47 left in the second. Pierre-Marc Bouchard made it a two-goal lead in the third by scoring on a backhanded rebound over sprawling goalie Corey Crawford.Chuck Kobasew and Martin Havlat also scored for the Wild, while Patrick Sharp and Troy Brouwer had Hawk goals.With 4:33 left the Blackhawks got an apparent goal from Jonathan Toews that would have pulled them within one, but officials ruled the net had been knocked off its mooring before the puck crossed the line. But a replay showed that the puck went in before the net was knocked loose, drawing an angry reaction from the Blackhawks and the crowd at the United Center where some fans began chanting a profanity in protest. Minnesota has 14 road wins this season, one more than all of last season.Kobasew tied the game early in the second when he directed the puck between Crawford’s legs from in front of the goal after a shot from Jared Spurgeon hit both of the goalie’s pads.Havlat, the former Blackhawk who was added to the All-Star Game on Tuesday, wasted little time in burning his former team. He took a crossing pass from Kyle Broadziak after a Hawk turnover, gathered it off the boards and rifled a high shot from the right circle over Crawford’s glove just 1:47 into the game.But two minutes later, Sharp scored on the power play from the near left side — his 26th goal, one more than the All-Star had all of last season. The score came after a penalty against another former Blackhawk, defenseman Cam Barker.Backstrom’s fabulous diving stick save on Brouwer, who was wide open in front of the net, preserved the tie momentarily for the Wild.Brouwer came back a short time later and shoveled a puck around defenseman Greg Zanon — who had his back turned — and into the net to give the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead Minnesota had a two-man advantage for 47 seconds in the opening period but Crawford was able to fight off the power play and the Hawks held on for the one-goal lead after one.
NOTES—Marian Hossa was a scratch because he was not feeling well. He missed the morning skate. … The Blackhawks don’t play at the United Center again until Feb. 16, when Minnesota returns. They have a six-game road trip after the All-Star break, starting Feb. 1 against Columbus. The Wild’s next game is Feb. 1 at home against the Kings. … Nick Leddy, a first-round pick of the Wild before he was traded to the Blackhawks last February as part of the deal that sent Barker to Minnesota, played against the team that drafted him for the first time. Barker faced the Blackhawks for the first time. … It will be Havlat’s second All-Star appearance. He went in 2007 while with the Hawks. … The Blackhawks are 16-13 at home this season.
Kurt Thomas scored 22 points and Derrick Rose added 21 points and 10 assists to lead the Bulls to a 92-83 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night. Thomas scored his most points since Jan. 25, 2005. He also had nine rebounds and five assists in the win.Chris Douglas-Roberts scored a season-high 30 points, one shy of his career high, for the Bucks. Andrew Bogut had eight points and 18 rebounds and Ersan Ilyasova added 17 points.In the fourth quarter, Milwaukee’s Luc Mbah a Moute closed the deficit to eight points with a layup.However, Luol Deng answered with a layup and a 3-pointer, putting the Bulls up 75-62 with nine minutes left in the game.However, the Bucks twice cut the lead to seven as the Bulls once again fell into a fourth-quarter funk on the offensive end and Douglas-Roberts stayed hot for Milwaukee.Carlos Boozer responded with five of his 14 points down the stretch, pushing the lead to 88-77 with 1:52 to play. Milwaukee got no closer than seven points the rest of the way.Rose’s highlight-reel, twisting layup and subsequent free throw gave his team its biggest lead at 61-41 in the third quarter.Douglas-Roberts got hot for Milwaukee, scoring 15 points in the third as the Bucks closed within 68-58 entering the final period.The Bulls led 19-18 after a sluggish first quarter before Thomas scored eight points in the first three minutes of the second quarter, helping establish a lead.Thomas scored mostly off open jump shots that popped open after he set screens, as Milwaukee focused its defense elsewhere.Thomas played last season with the Bucks and he was the primary replacement at center for the Bucks after Bogut went down with a season-ending elbow injury.C.J. Watson’s basket off a goaltending call capped a 10-0 run that put the Bulls up 43-28. Rose finished the half with a layup at the buzzer, putting the winners up 48-32 at the break.The Bulls moved the ball well in the opening half and had 15 assists on their 17 first-half field goals. Bogut had 15 rebounds in the first half, 10 in the first quarter.
NOTES—Milwaukee’s Drew Gooden was a late scratch. He’s been battling plantar faciitis in his left foot for much of the season. John Salmons, a former Bull, missed his fourth straight game with a hip injury. The Bucks are hopeful that Brandon Jennings, who has been out since Dec. 18 with a left foot injury, will be cleared to practice on Tuesday. … The Bulls played their 21st straight game without center Joakim Noah, who had surgery to repair torn ligaments in his right hand. The Bulls are 15-6 in his absence. Noah is expected back after the All-Star break. … The Bulls improved to 10-0 against Central Division opponents. They are the league’s only team with a perfect mark against division opponents. … The Bulls are 26-1 when holding opponents to 95 points or fewer.
PITTSBURGH—The Pittsburgh Steelers advanced to their third Super Bowl in six years thanks to a big-play defense that returned a fumble for a touchdown and staged a late goal-line stand in a 24-19 victory over the New York Jets.Pittsburgh, which led 24-0 in the first half and held on, faces the Green Bay Packers in the Super Bowl in Dallas in two weeks. The Packers beat the Bears 21-14 earlier Sunday.William Gay went 22 yards after fellow defensive back Ike Taylor sacked Mark Sanchez and the ball came loose. Pittsburgh then stopped New York four times inside the 2 in hanging on.The Steelers (14-4) have won a record six Super Bowls. New York (13-5) has not been back since winning the most significant Super Bowl(III) in 1969, validating the AFL with a victory over the Baltimore Colts.
Third QB Caleb replaced Collins,who was at best ineffective and at worst, awful.Forte ran 12 yards to the 34.He then got 4 as the third quarter ended.With the running of Forte,the Bears drove to the GB 30 for a first down.Taylor lost three on a hand off behind the line.Hanie then hit Knox on the right side and was forced out at the 1 for a thirty two yard gain.Taylor then crashed over to finally get the Bears on the board with 12:02 to play.Gould kicked off to Starks who returned to his 24.A pass by Rodgers was well over thrown under Peppers pressure ,but McAulay called roughing the passer moving the ball to the 39. A false start put the ball back on the 34.A pass to Driver was over thrown and Tim Jennings was whistled for pass interference at the GB 49. It became third and 2 from the Bears 43, and Rodgers overthrew Driver. Masthay punted and the Packers were unable to down it before it crossed the plain of the goal line.The Bears took over at their twenty. After a no gainer and incompleted pass under pressure, Hanie threw one away to the West sideline forcing another Maynard punt,which he shanked to the left for just 24 net yards,dying at the Bears 44.Rodgers threw an incompletion, but then hit Jennings at the Bears 35.On third down, Rodgers was chased by Anthony Adams and had to throw it away.Masthay angled his punt out of bounds at the Bears 10.It ended up third and five from the 15, after the Bears used a time out, Hanie had his pass go right into the hands of B.J.Raji who had an easy 18 yard return for the dagger TD making it 21-7 with 6:04 left. The Bears would not go away however as Hanie then drove them down to the GB 35 and then hit Bennett on the left sideline and he took it in for a touchdown to make it 21-14 with 4:43 left. Gould’s kickoff to Charles Woodson was returned to the Packers 26. Starks was hit for no gain.He was then tossed out of bounds for a two yard loss.Rodgers then was forced to slide down on a scramble and Masthay punted to Hester who got it to his 29 with 2:53 left.A pass under a rush to Forte was off target and incomplete. A high snap was grabbed by Hanie and he hit Forte,but only for a one yard pickup. He then beat the blitz by hitting Olsen at the Bears 40 for a first down.A horrible intentional grounding call on a pass intended for Hester made it second and 20.Forte got back to the 41 with a screen pass.Forte then caught a pass and was downed just short of midfield,leaving a fourth and one at the two minute warning.Taylor kept the Bears alive with a 4 yard run to the GB 47.Then came a pass to Forte for 13 to the GB 34.After a throw away, Hanie hit Olsen at the 27.On third and two,Mike Martz did the same thing he did Jan 2nd in Green Bay by calling a quick time out,leaving the Bears with just one.Bennett was stuffed on an end around for a two yard loss to the 29. On fourth and five. shields then clinched it with his second interception with :37 left.
Jeff Carter had two goals and an assist, and rookie Sergei Bobrovsky made 29 saves in the Philadelphia Flyers’ 4-1 win over the the Blackhawks on Sunday.Nikolay Zherdev and Scott Hartnell added goals, and Claude Giroux had three assists for the Flyers in the the only regular-season rematch of last year’s Stanley Cup Finals.The 22-year-old Bobrovsky lost a bid for his first career shutout at 6:49 of the third period when Marian Hossa scored on a penalty shot. Philadelphia improved to a league-leading 69 points and is 9-2-0 in its last 11.The Hawks lost in regulation for the first time since Jan. 5 and had been on a 5-0-1 roll.Corey Crawford finished with 30 saves
EVANSTON—Jon Leuer scored 19 points to lead a balanced attack and No. 18 Wisconsin rolled to a 78-46 Big Ten victory over Northwestern on Sunday.Keaton Nankival had 16 points and Taylor Jordan added 14 as the Badgers (15-4, 5-2 Big Ten) won their third straight game to remain third in the conference standings.Wisconsin freshman Josh Gasser had a triple-double with 10 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.John Shurna and Luka Mirkovic scored 13 points apiece for the Wildcats (13-6, 3-5).The Badgers broke the game open midway through the opening quarter and put it out of reach early in the second half.The victory margin was Wisconsin’s most lopsided of the conference season and third largest of the year.
Geoff McCammon hit five 3-pointers among his 19 points to lead Loyola to a 68-59 victory over UIC on Saturday.Courtney Stanley scored 13 points and Ben Averkamp 12 for the Ramblers (12-8, 3-6 Horizon League), who won their second in a row. Andy Polka had 11 rebounds and four assists, and Stanley matched that assist total.Robo Kreps’ 19 points led the Flames (5-15, 0-8), who lost their eighth straight. Paul Carter had his eighth double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds, and K.C. Robbins scored 10 points.The Ramblers led 40-27 at halftime and stretched it to 53-33 with 12:52 to play. However, leading 62-50 with 5:47 left, Loyola missed its final seven shots, allowing UIC to climb within 62-57 with 1:34 left. But the Ramblers hit six free throws in the final minute to close it out.Loyola had nine turnovers but forced 18.