Hossa OT goal extends Hawks streak to 19 straight with at least 1 point

Marian Hossa skated along the boards, pumping his right arm as the United Center roared its approval.That gave two more points to the streaking Blackhawks.Hossa scored 1:44 into overtime and the Blackhawks beat the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 on Monday night to stretch their NHL-record opening points streak to 19 games.atrick Sharp set up the winning goal with a quick turn along the boards and a drive to the goal that led to two stops by Nikolai Khabibulin. Hossa picked up the second rebound and was again stuffed by Khabibulin before he poked it in for his ninth goal of the season.
“It is a great feeling, obviously,” Hossa said. “It doesn’t matter who’s scoring and lately we have a lot of different guys scoring. We try to enjoy the streak, keep playing a simple game and try to find a way to win.”
Patrick Kane and Viktor Stalberg also scored for the Blackhawks (16-0-3), who have won six straight and nine of 10. Ray Emery made 17 saves to remain unbeaten in eight starts this season.The Blackhawks have earned 35 of 38 possible points so far this season.
“It was a great third period,” Joel Quenneville said. “We had the puck in overtime, too. Great pay by Sharpie going to the net, great patience and presence with Hossa to finish.”
Nail Yakupov and Jeff Petry had the goals for Edmonton, which carried a 2-1 lead into the third period but couldn’t hold on for its fourth consecutive victory against the Blackhawks. Khabibulin had 31 stops in the opener of the Oilers’ franchise-record, nine-game road trip.
“Of course you feel pain, having the lead going into the third period,” Edmonton coach Ralph Krueger said. “It’s definitely something you dream and believe you can close it. But they are an amazingly powerful team. They are very strong on the puck and they never, never let up, at all.”
Edmonton grabbed the lead for the last time in the second, taking advantage when Brandon Saad was sent off for high sticking. Yakupov, the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s draft, one-timed a pass from Sam Gagner into the right side of the net at 14:17 for his fourth power-play goal and sixth overall.The Hawks looked listless for much of the second, but rebounded quickly in the third. Michal Rozsival was behind the net when he sent a pass in front to Stalberg, who poked the puck into the mouth of goal as Khabibulin went to his knees to try for the stop.The call on the ice was no goal, but replays showed the puck crossed the line before Khabibulin could make the play and Stalberg was awarded his fifth goal of the season after a short review.The pace picked up after the tying goal, and each team had a couple of solid chances to move in front. Yakupov shot off the post on one power-play opportunity, and Khabibulin stopped Hossa on a short-handed chance.
“I think for us it would have been a big statement game if we were able to break the streak,” Gagner said. “But at the same time, once we didn’t do that, we wanted to find a way to get it in overtime and were unable to do that as well. So it was unfortunate we kind of squandered the lead there.”
Edmonton moved in front in the first period after Duncan Keith lost his footing and coughed up the puck deep in the Hawks end. Lennart Petrell picked it up and skated in all alone on Emery, who stopped his backhand attempt. The rebound went out to Petry, who sent it over the prone goalie at 4:28.Just over a minute later, Kane skated to the middle of the ice and beat Khabibulin with a slick backhander for his 10th goal of the season. It was his first goal since Feb. 10 at Nashville, ending a six-game drought.
“We keep finding ways to win,” said Sharp, who picked up his 400th career point on the assist in overtime. “That’s important at any time of the year. Those one-goal games, we’re on the right side of them. We were thankful to pull it out today.”

NOTES—The Blackhawks closed out a 6-0-1 homestand….Edmonton F Taylor Hall served the second of a two-game suspension for his hit on Minnesota’s Cal Clutterbuck on Thursday….. Dave Bolland missed his second successive game with an upper-body injury. The Hawks also scratched Sheldon Brookbank and Brandon Bollig for the second successive night…..Ryan Whitney and Theo Peckham were the other scratches for the Oilers…..The Blackhawks improved to 10-0-3 in one-goal games.

Marquette rallies past Syracuse 74-71

MILWAUKEE — It was regarded as the ultimate compliment paid by coaches, media and even the fans. Marquette’s Buzz Williams got his team to play hard. Really, really hard.However, now it’s almost become a sign of disrespect.

“I’m tired of it,” Williams said.

“It’s frustrating,” Golden Eagles big man Davante Gardner added. “It’s all we hear. They don’t look at the other things — that we’re smart, play together and do all the little things. It’s always just that we play hard.”

The truth, though, is that this program is built on toughness, effort and skill development. When Lazar Hayward arrived, he did so as a reach for then-coach Tom Crean. When Jimmy Butler got here, he did so as an anonymous junior college kid. Darius Johnson-Odom and Jae Crowder, both ex-Juco kids, both followed and were unheralded when they arrive in Milwaukee. All improved enough to hear their names called in the NBA Draft.There’s no future NBA guys on this year’s roster, but that doesn’t mean these guys haven’t developed. Look at 6-foot-8, 285-pound Davante Gardner, who ultimate chose Marquette over Norfolk State. He was the most dominant player on the floor on Monday night in the 74-71 victory against Syracuse. How about Chris Otule, the team’s starting big man who also happens to be blind in one eye. Junior Cadougan has turned into one of the most underrated point guards in America due to his ability to lead and make those around him better. Vander Blue has become the team’s leading scorer and turned into respectable shooter after filling a role in his first two seasons.These guys certainly don’t look the part of a team that sits all alone in second place in the Big East standings on Feb. 26.

Bulls toss up bricks in NBA’s worst shooting effort of season. Thunder win 102-72–ROUT!!!

Chicago Bulls Logo - Red bull with script above head

OKLAHOMA CITY—Russell Westbrook scored 23 points, Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka both contributed double-doubles and the Oklahoma City Thunder held the Bulls to the worst shooting performance in the NBA this season, beating the Bulls 102-72 on Sunday night.The Thunder, who had allowed an average of 113 points over their previous four games, broke out of a rough defensive patch by limiting the Bulls to 29.1 percent shooting.The Bulls also had their worst shooting performance of last season in Oklahoma City, when they connected on just 33 percent. Midway through the third quarter, The Bulls had missed 44 of its 55 shots and was on pace for the worst shooting night in franchise history.The Thunder led 61-39 at that point, and the margin reached 32 with both teams’ starters sitting out the fourth quarter.Nate Robinson and Luol Deng had 13 points apiece to lead the Bulls.Durant had 19 points, 16 rebounds and six assists and Ibaka had 17 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks as Oklahoma City won its second straight after losing three in a row for the first time this season. The Thunder also had the previous best defensive performance of the season by holding Charlotte to 29.11 percent shooting in a 114-69 blowout in November.The Bulls final percentage of 29.06, on 25 for 86 shooting, was a smidgen worse. Carlos Boozer had just two points, making one of his five shots, and Joakim Noah had eight points and nine rebounds. The Bulls came in as the third-lowest scoring team in the NBA and ranked 23rd in shooting percentage.Curiously, the Bulls also are responsible for the best shooting percentage by a team this season — making 63.8 percent against Cleveland in November.Each of the Thunder’s previous four opponents had made at least 46 percent from the field against a team that prides itself on being among the NBA’s best defenses – in addition to being the highest-scoring team. Oklahoma City was able to avoid giving up at least 100 points in a fifth straight game for the first time since January 2011.The Bulls had a match-up problem from the beginning with former MVP Derrick Rose (knee) and replacement Kirk Hinrich (elbow) both out, leaving the 5-foot-9 Robinson to man the point against the All-Star Westbrook.But the real problem was on the offensive end.The Bulls spent most of the first half shooting less than 20 percent from the field but stayed in the game by forcing the Thunder into turnovers. Oklahoma City created some cushion with an 8-0 run featuring transition layups by Westbrook and Thabo Sefolosha to go up 46-27 with 2 minutes left before halftime.The Bulls answered back with their highest-scoring stretch of the half, piecing together nine straight points – seven on free throws – to get back within 10 before Sefolosha’s three-point play made it 49-36 at halftime.Oklahoma City then used a 16-4 run highlighted by Westbrook’s soaring right-handed slam to go up 68-34 midway through the third quarter.

NOTES—Ronnie Brewer, acquired by Oklahoma City in a trade deadline deal with New York on Thursday, attended the game but did not play against his former Bulls teammates. “When I was in Chicago, it was a close-knit group. We thought we were so close to winning a championship,” Brewer said. Thunder coach Scott Brooks said he still hasn’t figured out how Brewer will fit into the team’s rotation. Brewer has played on teams that appeared in 10 playoff series, winning five. “This team has been able to go really far in the playoffs, had some success,” Brewer said. “I think those guys understand a play here, a play there, can be the difference between winning and losing – and winning a championship.” …The Bulls were not called for a foul in the first quarter. Oklahoma City had only two, one on offense. Each team then got whistled for 10 in the second. …Taj Gibson sprained his left knee in the fourth quarter and did not return. … The Bulls franchise-worst shooting percentage is 23.4 in a game against Miami in 1999.

Hawks roll on, edge Jackets 1-0-now 18 straight with at least one point.

Corey Crawford made 28 saves, and Andrew Shaw scored the only goal as the Blackhawks stretched their NHL-record, season-opening point streak to 18 games with a 1-0 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday night.Crawford earned his seventh NHL shutout and second this season in his first start since Feb. 12. He outdueled Columbus’ Steve Mason, who stopped 26 shots.Shaw provided all the offense in the second period for Blackhawks (15-0-3), who haven’t lost in regulation time this season and have earned 33 of 36 possible points. The Hawks have won nine straight against Columbus, dating to Feb. 18, 2011.The Blackhawks set the league record with at least one point in the first 17 games of a season when they beat San Jose 2-1 on Friday – topping the 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks, who started 12-0-4.

Free falling Wildcats blown out at Purdue

WEST LAFAYETTE—Terone Johnson scored 22 points to help Purdue defeat Northwestern 74-43 on Sunday night and snap a three-game losing streak.D.J. Byrd scored 13 points and Ronnie Johnson and Rapheal Davis added 10 each for the Boilermakers (13-14, 6-8 Big Ten), who shot 53 percent from the field and outrebounded the Wildcats 48-23. It was the second-largest victory margin of the season for Purdue and the worst loss of the season for NU. Purdue had lost five of six, and its last three losses had come by a combined 61 points. The Boilermakers were coming off an embarrassing 83-55 loss to No. 1 Indiana, and they had eight days to think about it.Tre Demps led Northwestern with nine points. Reggie Hearn, who scored 26 in Northwestern’s 75-60 win on Feb. 2, finished with eight. Northwestern (12-15, 5-9) has lost its past three games, all by 20 or more points.

Irish blow away Bearcats 62-41

SOUTH BEND—Notre Dame is hoping its stellar defense and rebounding can lead it to a Big East title.The 25th-ranked Irish once again dominated on the boards and held their opponent to a low shooting percentage in a 62-41 win Sunday over Cincinnati.
“I thought we did a great job staying in front of people who wanted to beat us off the dribble, and we did a great job keeping it to one-and-done,” said Notre Dame coach Mike Brey.

“Maybe we’re finding our identity here on that defensive end of the floor and rebounding the basketball.”

Notre Dame’s conference title hopes looked slim a month ago when team captain Scott Martin went out with a knee injury. But in his absence the team has gone 7-2, trailing conference leader Georgetown by two games, with tough road games remaining against Marquette and Louisville, both of whom are tied for second place.

“We’re in the middle of this thing, and let’s keep going,” Brey said.

The Irish (22-6, 10-5) had four players score in double figures. Jerian Grant led them with 13 points, followed by Tom Knight with 12, and Jack Cooley and Eric Atkins with 11.Grant shot just 2-of-9 from the field but was perfect from the free-throw line, hitting a season-high nine from the stripe.Unlike their last game against Pittsburgh, when they managed only one field goal over the first 9 minutes, the Irish started hot, hitting their first four attempts. Cincinnati, by contrast, converted just 3 of their first 15 shots, and finished the first half shooting 7-of-25, or 28 percent.The Bearcats (19-9, 7-8) weren’t much more accurate in the second half, finishing the game at 32 percent shooting.Notre Dame on Feb. 18 held No. 20 Pittsburgh to 35 percent from the field and outrebounded the Panthers 40-25 to key a 51-42 road win.On Sunday Pat Connaughton’s 3 from the corner, falling through the net just two seconds before the first-half buzzer, gave the Irish a 29-15 lead at the break.Notre Dame scored the first five points of the second half, off a fastbreak layup by Atkins and a 3 by the point guard, stretching their lead to 19, the largest of the game up to that point. That prompted another timeout by Cronin, and the Bearcats seemed poised for a rally. Coming out of the timeout, they reeled off a 9-0 run over a nearly four-minute span, including two layups and free throw by Parker, and reduced the lead to 11, at 39-28.But the Irish regained control with a 3 by freshman Cameron Biedscheid, launching into a 11-4 run punctuated by a two-handed flush by Cooley off an Atkins feed, and increasing their lead back to 18 at 50-32.JaQuon Parker led Cincinnati with 12 points.

#7 Michigan too strong in second half for Illini who see five game winning streak end.

ANN ARBOR—Trey Burke had 26 points and eight assists to help No. 7 Michigan bounce back from a slow start to beat Illinois 71-58 Sunday. The Wolverines (23-4, 10-4 Big Ten) shook off a sluggish first half with a strong second half to win consecutive games for the first time in nearly a month.The Fighting Illini (20-9, 7-8) had won five straight, a streak that started Feb. 7 by beating top-ranked Indiana.Michigan played for the first time in a week and looked rusty and sloppy early, turning the ball over the missing open shots. Illinois led by as much as eight points in the first half and didn’t trail until Tim Hardaway Jr. had a three-point play with 3:30 to go.Brandon Paul scored all 10 of points in the first half to help the Illini lead 31-28 at halftime. Paul didn’t attempt a shot in the second half.

NOTES—The Illini have three games left before the Big Ten Tournament starts March 14 at the United Center.The finale game of the season at the Assembley Hall is this coming Saturday against Nebraska, then they travel to Iowa March 5, and Ohio State March 10.

UConn’s big second half hands Demons another Big East loss

ROSEMONT—Shabazz Napier scored 28 points, Ryan Boatright and Omar Calhoun added 17 apiece, and Connecticut beat DePaul 81-69 on Saturday night.The Huskies (19-7, 9-5 Big East) got all they could handle from one of the league’s worst teams after squeezing by Cincinnati in overtime, but they still came away with their seventh win in nine games.They trailed by three points at the break and were down one early in the second half when they scored 13 straight to take control and send the Blue Demons (11-16, 2-12) to their 11th loss in 12 games.Napier, who scored 27 against Cincinnati, came up big again, hitting 5 of 7 3-pointers and keying the decisive rally.Calhoun delivered down the stretch, scoring all but two of his points in the second half. Not bad, considering he’s been bothered lately by a sprained right wrist.For the game, he and Boatright, who is from nearby Aurora, Ill., both shot 7 of 11 from the field, and the Huskies shot 60 percent. Even so, they were still trailing 47-46 about five minutes into the second half when they finally started to put this one away.Napier nailed a 3-pointer and converted a three-point play on a fast-break layup to start the decisive run. Niels Giffey added a corner 3 and finished it with a layup after Calhoun scored on the break, making it 59-47 with 11:28 to go.The Huskies stayed in control the rest of the way.DePaul got 20 points and 10 rebounds from Cleveland Melvin and shot 48 percent, but it was just 5 of 15 on 3-pointers. Brandon Young, who scored a career-high 35 in a loss at Connecticut last month, finished with 13 this time.The Blue Demons were in good shape at the half, taking a 37-34 lead to the locker room after they wiped out a 29-22 deficit.Melvin buried a 3 to start a 12-0 run and had an emphatic fast-break dunk. Charles McKinney had a layup and 3 during that stretch, and Donnavan Kirk finished it with a jumper to make it 34-29 with two minutes remaining.Then, after a jumper by Boatright and 3 by Napier to tie it, Young drove for a three-point play in the closing seconds to send DePaul to the locker room with the lead.UConn went on a run early in the second half to take a four-point lead, but Melvin tied it at 45 with a pair of dunks. He also hit a baseline jumper to put DePaul ahead 47-46 before the Huskies took control.

Cleveland State denys Western of 20th win.

MACOMB—In a meeting of former Conference Rivals(In the old Mid-Con),Bryn Forbes and Charlie Lee each scored 16 points and Cleveland State defeated Western Illinois 60-54 in a BracketBusters game on Saturday night.Western Illinois (19-7) led 29-27 at the half and had an advantage into the second, but Forbes put Cleveland State (14-16) ahead with a 3-pointer with 15:25 left in the game. Forbes and Lee each had two 3-pointers for the game.WIU hung around, and was within 44-42 on a layup by Ceola Clark with 8:39 left, but could not regain the lead.Adam Link scored 15 points to lead Western. Terell Parks scored 12 and grabbed eight rebounds, and Clark finished with 10 points.

BU beats UIC on basket with less than a second to play.


Jake Eastman’s basket with nine-tenths of a second to play Saturday gave Bradley a 63-62 nonconference victory over UIC.Walt Lemon Jr. led the Braves (16-13) with 22 points. He drove the lane and passed to Eastman for the winning shot.Gary Talton’s basket with 37 seconds to play had given the Flames (15-13) a 62-61 lead.Dyricus Simms-Edwards added 17 points and Tyshon Pickett scored 10 for Bradley of the Missouri Valley. Pickett and Shayok Shayok grabbed six rebounds to lead the Braves in that category.Daniel Barnes scored 18 and grabbed five boards to lead UIC of the Horizon League. Marc Brown scored 13.The game was part of the BracketBusters series.