Seventeen straight(losses)for UIC, Oakland leaves Pavilion with easy win.

Travis Bader scored 28 points and Duke Mondy added 17 with eight assists and seven boards to pace Oakland past UIC 86-71 on Friday night.Bader went 4 of 6 from the perimeter and 12 of 13 from the foul line. Those four 3-pointers give him an NCAA-leading 130 on the season and pushed his NCAA all-time record to 487. He also moved into sole possession of the NCAA record for most 3-point field goal attempts in a career, now having 1,198. Former Saint Peter’s standout Keydren Clark had 1,192 in his career (2002-06).Oakland (11-18, 6-8 Horizon League) shot 56.3 percent from the field. Ralph Hill finished with 13 points.The Flames (5-23, 0-14), who dropped their 17th-straight game, were held to 22-of-59 shooting (37.3 percent). Hayden Humes scored 16 points, Marc Brown had 10 and Kelsey Barlow chipped in eight with eight assists.

Now Canada beats US Men to continue dominance. 1-0 win sents Canada against Sweden, Americans must play Finland for Bronze Saturday

2014 Sochi Olympics
SOCHI—Jamie Benn scored the game’s only goal in the second period as Canada defeated the United States 1-0 on Friday to earn a spot in the gold-medal game.In a rematch of the gold-medal game from the 2010 Olympics, the script followed a pretty similar path in Sochi. For the most part Canada was the team in control of play, reflected in the final shot total of 37 to the USA’s 31 but the Americans were kept in the game by solid goaltending. This time it was Jonathan Quick doing all he could.The one time that Quick wasn’t up to the challenge was in the second period when the Dallas Stars’ captain Benn redirected a shot/pass from Jay Bouwmeester to give the Canadians a lead. It was a rewarding moment for Benn, who was one of a few Canadian players who was all over the ice and noticeable from start to finish. Sidney Crosby was outstanding too even without producing a point as was his much-maligned teammate Chris Kunitz.With the way their defense was playing, that one goal proved to be insurmountable.Carey Price recorded the shutout and had to make a few great saves but on the whole wasn’t really tested in those 31 shots. The Canadian defense did an expert job at keeping the United States from generating any form of sustained pressure, it was pretty much all one-and-done for the US in the offensive zone.On the other end, Canada was using its forecheck very well and spending a lot of time in the American end. At times it looked like Canada was on the power play when they weren’t. They nearly had a few more goals than just Benn’s but Quick was in the proverbial zone.The game opened at a frenetic and even pace through the first 10 minutes but when Ryan Suter took the game’s first penalty, Canada seized momentum and never let go of it. The final score was just 1-0 but it was a relatively dominant performance by the gold-medal favorites.Canada will next face Sweden on Sunday for a chance to win the gold again. It’s a matchup of the last two gold-medal winners. The USA will return to the ice on Saturday against Finland with the bronze medal on the line, a game they don’t really want to play.

Shockers last remaining unbeaten team after 88-74 over Ramblers at packed Gentile Arena

Fred VanVleet attempted six shots from the field and made them all. He took 10 foul shots and every one of those went in, too.Just another perfect line for Wichita State on Wednesday night.VanVleet scored 22 points and the third-ranked Shockers beat Loyola 88-74 to remain the only unbeaten team in major college basketball.

“We want to be undefeated,” VanVleet said. “We don’t play the game to lose.”

Wichita State and top-ranked Syracuse began the day as the last Division I schools with perfect records. But the Orange lost 62-59 to Boston College in overtime, and the Shockers used an 11-2 run early in the second half to help close out the Ramblers.

“Every single night in college basketball when you’re playing another Division I program is a potential loss,” Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall said, “especially on the road. These guys find a way.”

Cleanthony Early scored 18 points as Wichita State became the 19th school to begin a season with 28 straight victories. VanVleet, who grew up in Rockford, also had eight rebounds and six assists with only one turnover.

“We’re going to have to talk about that one turnover,” Marshall cracked.

The Shockers (28-0, 15-0) can clinch the Missouri Valley Conference title with a victory at home against Drake on Saturday night.Milton Doyle scored 18 points and Jeff White had 14 for Loyola (9-18, 4-11), which has lost three straight and six of seven. Devon Turk finished with 13 points.

“They’re phenomenal at capitalizing on your mistakes,” Ramblers coach Porter Moser said. “They just don’t leave you much room for error.”

Boosted by a near-capacity crowd of 4,577 at cozy Gentile Arena, the Ramblers battled back each time the Shockers tried to pull away in their first visit to Loyola’s Rogers Park campus on the north side since a 79-77 win on Feb. 9, 1976. It was just the third visit by a top-five team to the Ramblers’ current home, joining No. 2 Michigan State in 2000 and No. 5 Kansas State in 2010.But every time Wichita State got a little push from Loyola, it just went back to its versatile group of athletic big men. The Shockers had a 41-24 rebounding advantage and went 31 for 34 from the free throw line, compared to 11 of 14 for Loyola.

“Plus 17 on the glass is huge,” Marshall said.

Chadrack Lufile had consecutive three-point plays to help Wichita State open a 52-36 lead with 15:43 to go. When the Ramblers pulled within 11 with 5 minutes left, Early made two foul shots and a 3-pointer to reach 1,000 career points and run the advantage back up to 16.Darius Carter added 13 points for Wichita State, which can close out a perfect regular season with three more wins. After the visit by the Bulldogs, the Shockers travel to Bradley before returning home for a tricky little finale against Missouri State.Wichita State trailed the Bears by 18 at halftime on Jan. 11, then rallied for a 72-69 overtime win.Early made each of his first three shots and had eight points when he picked up his second foul with 8:24 left in the first half, sending the senior star to the bench. Wichita State extended its lead to 35-24 before the Ramblers began to take advantage of Early’s absence inside.White drove for a three-point play and Christian Thomas had a basket and free throw to help Loyola pull within five with 1:28 remaining. Carter responded with a strong layup on the other end and Matt O’Leary missed two 3s for Loyola in the final 42 seconds, leaving the Shockers with a 39-32 lead at the break.Thomas finished with 12 points for Loyola, which trailed by as many as 17.

“They’re really solid, obviously. They have a bunch of guys that know their role,” Thomas said. “They’re very disciplined. They defend, rebound, take care of the ball, and that’s usually a recipe for good things.”

Bulls win 4th straight, move just 1/2 game behind Toronto

Chicago Bulls Logo - Red bull with script above head

TORONTO—Before his team faced the surging Bulls, Toronto coach Dwane Casey praised the Bulls for being “at the head of the class” when it comes to defense.Later on, with the outcome in the balance, Jimmy Butler showed why he’s one of the Bulls’ top students.Carlos Boozer scored 20 points, D.J. Augustin had 19 against his former team and the Bulls won their fourth consecutive game Wednesday night, edging the Raptors 94-92.Butler blocked DeMar DeRozan’s potential go-ahead jump shot with 2 seconds left in the fourth quarter and the Bulls clinging to a one-point lead.

“Jimmy had a great play basically to save the game for us,” Boozer said. “We needed one stop and Jimmy got it for us.”

Kirk Hinrich scored 19 points, Butler had 16 and Taj Gibson fouled out with 10 as the Bulls won for the fifth time in six games and halted Toronto’s winning streak at three. Joakim Noah added eight points and 13 assists for the Bulls.Tom Thibodeau called Butler “a big-time player” who has shown steady improvement in his three NBA seasons.

“Each year, I think, he’s improved significantly to the point where he’s as good as it gets,” Thibodeau said. “There’s constant pressure on you.”

Butler had one thought on his mind as he lined up to defend DeRozan after a Toronto timeout in the dying moments of the fourth.

“Whatever you do, do not let this guy get a basket,” Butler said he told himself.

He didn’t, rising up to block DeRozan’s shot, then swallowing the loose ball before being fouled by Kyle Lowry.DeRozan led the Raptors with 32 points, while Lowry fouled out with 16. Lowry, who had seven assists, failed to extend his career-best streak of double doubles to four games.Augustin, who was waived by Toronto in December before signing with the Bulls as a free agent, hit two 3-pointers early in the third as the Bulls took a 76-66 lead at 9:34.

“I don’t know what they were looking at but we picked up a gem,” Boozer said of Augustin. “He’s been playing as good as anybody in the league since he came to us, in my opinion.”

Noah also heaped praise on Augustin, who scored 13 in the final quarter.

“I don’t think I would have made the All-Star game if it wasn’t for D.J.,” Noah said. “He’s a quiet guy but he’s a good dude and he helps this ballclub a lot.”

Toronto trailed 76-66 after a 3 by Augustin at 9:34 of the fourth, but a free throw from DeRozan and a jumper by Terrence Ross brought the Raptors to within 86-82 with 3:23 remaining.After a timeout, Augustin hit his third 3 of the fourth and Gibson followed with a jump shot, putting the Bulls up 91-84 at 2:10. Toronto, however, wasn’t about to roll over.

“They didn’t go away,” Thibodeau said. “They kept coming.”

Lowry made a pair of free throws, then hit a 3 at 1:30 as Toronto cut it to 91-89. The 3 was Lowry’s 129th of the season, matching a career-high he set with Houston in 2010-11.Butler missed a jumper and Toronto called timeout with 1:03 left. The Raptors gave the ball to DeRozan, but his jump shot from the elbow missed the rim. Hinrich hit a jumper at the other end, putting the Bulls up 93-89 with 41 seconds left.Gibson fouled out as Amir Johnson hit a layup and converted his free throw, making it 93-92 with 34 seconds left. The Bulls called timeout with 1 second left on the shot clock, then couldn’t get a shot off, giving the Raptors possession with 10 seconds remaining. Toronto gave the ball to DeRozan again, but Butler came up with the pivotal block before being fouled by Lowry, his sixth. Butler made one of two with 2 seconds left, and DeRozan’s half-court heave bounced off the glass as the final buzzer sounded.Toronto’s Tyler Hansbrough and Nazr Mohammed had to be separated after Mohammed pushed Hansbrough down as the two battled for a rebound early in the second quarter. Mohammed was called for a personal foul on the play and both players were given technical fouls.Hansbrough was involved in a minor skirmish with Mike Dunleavy in the final minute of the third, resulting in a double foul.

“It was definitely high intensity tonight,” Noah said. “It felt like a playoff atmosphere.”

NOTES—Thibodeau and Lowry were both called for technical fouls in the first quarter, while Boozer and DeRozan both picked up technicals in the third. Augustin got a technical for arguing in the fourth. … Dunleavy led the Bulls with 11 rebounds. … Actors Kristian Nairn and Isaac Hempstead-Wright from the show Game of Thrones attended the game.

Illini get welcome win at Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS—Freshman guard Kendrick Nunn hit five 3-pointers and led Illinois with 19 points as the last-place Illini beat Minnesota 62-49 on Wednesday night, putting a damper on the Gophers’ hopes for an at-large NCAA Tournament bid.The Illini won for only the second time in their last 12 games thanks to some uncharacteristically good 3-point shooting and solid defense that helped them overcome a poor start. Nunn went 5-for-7 from 3-point range, and the Illini hit eight shots from behind the arc – their most so far in conference play.Nnanna Egwu had 14 points and Tracy Abrams added 13 for Illinois (15-12, 4-10 Big Ten), which entered the game ranking next-to-last in the Big Ten in 3-point field goal percentage (.308).Andre Hollins led Minnesota (17-10, 6-8) with 15 points, and Austin Hollins and Mo Walker each added 10. The Gophers have lost six of their last nine games.Fresh off a road win at Northwestern over the weekend, the Gophers were in prime position to give their NCAA Tournament odds a boost facing the Big Ten’s last-place team in front of their rowdy home fans. Instead, they struggled to hit shots and their defense allowed the Illini to overcome an early double-digit hole.The Gophers jumped out to a 14-3 lead before DeAndre Mathieu – Minnesota’s leading scorer in its previous seven games – was forced to sit with two early fouls. With the Gophers’ floor leader on the bench, the Illini steadily climbed their way back into the game by hitting six of their nine first-half 3-point attempts. Mathieu finished with three points.Illinois outscored the Gophers 21-13 over the final 11 minutes of the first half. Abrams’ three with 2:13 left in the half brought the Illini to 24-23. Minnesota led 27-24 at halftime, but Illinois outscored Minnesota 22-8 to open the second half. Nunn had 10 points during that stretch, including back-to-back threes and a fast-break dunk that put Illinois ahead 46-35 with just under eight minutes to play.Nunn scored 19 points for the second time this season, his first time coming Feb. 9 at Penn State. It was his second time scoring in double digits.

Cats dry spell in Columbus continues.

COLUMBUS—LaQuinton Ross apologized to his Ohio State teammates for getting involved in a scuffle that led to his ejection.Fortunately for them, he had already done his share to help them get a win before leaving.Ross scored 16 points to lead No. 24 Ohio State to a 76-60 victory over Northwestern on Wednesday night in a game interrupted by the late scrum.The fracas late in the game delayed play for several minutes while the officials deliberated penalties for the players. Northwestern’s Nikola Cerina also was ejected. The teams shot 10 free throws — a double foul, two technicals against Ross and one against Cerina — as a result of the shoving match.

“Things happen,” Cerina said. “I don’t really know. I have to look at the tape and see what actually happened.”

Cerina was subsequently suspended by the Big Ten for the Wildcats’ next game, Saturday at home against Indiana, for taking a swing with a closed hand at Ohio State’s Amir Williams. Ross was not suspended, but was disqualified for picking up two dead-ball contact technical fouls.Ross was not available to speak with reporters.Up until the skirmish, the Buckeyes overcame a slow start to take command.The victory was Ohio State’s 33rd consecutive win over Northwestern in Columbus, dating to an 83-72 loss on Feb. 24, 1977, at old St. John Arena.Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr. each added 14 points for Ohio State. Sam Thompson, who had not hit double figures in his last eight games, had 11 for the Buckeyes (21-6, 8-6 Big Ten), who have won five of their last six.

“If I didn’t know any better, I’d think I couldn’t shoot,” Thompson joked. “I just had open looks and was able to knock them down.”

The Buckeyes, up by four at the break, took control by starting the second half with a 9-0 run.Craft hit two foul shots on the first possession — an action that would be repeated as the Wildcats were called for five fouls in the opening 2:10 of the half. Ohio State was in the double-bonus for the final 10:46.They ended up making 23 of 29 free throws to Northwestern’s 9 of 14.At the other end, Crawford’s baseline jumper was blocked by Thompson, who then poured in a 3 from the wing off an assist from Smith. Northwestern’s Chris Collins called a quick timeout with just 56 seconds elapsed, but that didn’t change the momentum.raft stole a pass that went through Crawford’s hands, then flipped a long pass to Shannon Scott who passed up a layup to throw the ball back to Smith for an emphatic dunk.Moments later, Thompson flipped in a perimeter jumper for a 46-33 advantage.Northwestern went scoreless for the final 50 seconds of the opening half and the first 3:43 of the second until JerShon Cobb hit a jumper.Ohio State pulled away from there, with the lead never dipping below double figures.

“We did a pretty good job of getting inside the defense and attacking and we were finishing around there,” Buckeyes coach Thad Matta said.

Of the spurt in the middle of the game, Matta said it was as good as his team had played over a span in recent weeks.

“Yeah, with the consistency, no question,” he said. “We felt like we needed a run. We kept saying we needed to put a run on.”

The shoving took place at the 5:24 mark with the Buckeyes leading 66-50. It appeared that big men Cerina and Williams traded shoves, with Ross then shoving at least one player.Northwestern coach Chris Collins said it could have been much worse.

“I didn’t see it,” Collins said. “I saw a lot of bodies. Sometimes you see a lot of pushing and grabbing. I personally didn’t see any punches, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t any thrown. I trust what the referees said. They got the fouls on us, the fouls on them — and then we played on.”

Drew Crawford scored 22 points and Tre Demps 14 for the Wildcats (12-15, 5-9), who have lost four in a row.There was one more flare-up after the skirmish under the Ohio State basket. With 2:51 remaining, Craft was dribbling on a breakaway when Northwestern’s Cobb shoved him from behind. The officials ruled it was an intentional foul, but did not eject Cobb.The Wildcats went on a 13-1 spurt in the first half, with Crawford leading the way with five points on an 18-foot fadeaway under pressure and a long, high-arcing 3. That turned a 15-12 deficit into a 25-16 lead as the Buckeyes were scoreless for more than 4 minutes.But over the final 7 minutes of the half, Ohio State scored 21 of the 29 points to take a 37-33 lead. Ross was the main culprit, at one point scoring all the points in a 7-0 run.

Xavier, again too much for undermanned Blue Demons

CINCINNATI —Justin Martin scored 22 points and Dee Davis added 15 points and seven assists, lifting Xavier to an 83-64 victory over DePaul on Wednesday at Cintas Center.Semaj Christon contributed 15 points to help the Musketeers (18-8, 8-5) retain at least a share of third place in the Big East Conference.It was the most complete performance of the season for Davis who also had two steals, just one turnover, and went four of five from 3-point range.Freshman Billy Garrett Jr. scored 16 points and Forrest Robinson added 14 points off the bench for DePaul (10-17, 2-12), which lost for the ninth straight time.Brandon Young added 12 points for the Blue Demons who again played short-handed. For the third straight game DePaul played without star forward Cleveland Melvin who left the program for unspecified reasons after averaging 16.7 points in seven contests.Melvin scored 25 points on Jan. 20 in an 84-74 loss to Xavier in Rosemont, his last game prior to serving a four-game suspension for violating team rules.Sophomore guard Durrell McDonald made just his third start of the season.Although Xavier was a heavy favorite, head coach Chris Mack wanted a consistent defensive effort from his team, which it hadn’t done often this season.The Musketeers made things tough for the Blue Demons early, holding them to 1-of-11 shooting. DePaul went scoreless until Young’s layup with 15:37 left.The Blue Demons shot 30 percent in the first half, as compared to 60 percent for Xavier. But, DePaul also committed 10 turnovers resulting in 13 of XU’s points.Myles Davis’ 3-pointer put Xavier ahead 12-2.Christon, who scored 27 points in the first meeting, scored 10 points in the first hal, helping Xavier build a 12-point halftime lead.Despite being short-handed, the Blue Demons didn’t go quietly.Consecutive 3’s by Robinson helped them get within 10 points late in the first half. But, Xavier didn’t relent.

USA and Canada to meet again, Men AND Women!

2014 Sochi Olympics

SOCHI—The United States is on to the semifinals at the Olympics after defeating the Czech Republic 5-2 on Wednesday.The Americans got the scoring started early in the first period when James van Riemsdyk scored from in close on what can only be described as a soft goal against Czech starter Ondrej Pavelec. But the Czechs responded and put a lot of pressure on the Americans, evening the game at 1-1 three minutes later on Ales Hemsky’s goal. The puck was in the crease and Ryan McDonagh had the clear but when he tried to move the puck out it hit the skate of Ryan Suter and went into the American net.The American line of Dustin Brown, David Backes and Ryan Callahan then took over for the remainder of the first period, combining on a pair of goals. The first was a great cross-crease pass from Backes to Brown, who scored on the short angle. Then, with less than two seconds in the period, Backes hopped on a shot from Suter that went wide and put the puck past Pavelec on another tough goal to give the USA a 3-1 lead at the intermission, a crushing goal.Dan Bylsma’s team kept the pressure up to start the second period and got another goal, this one from Zach Parise when once again a shot from Suter went off the end boards and hopped back in the crease. After that goal Pavelec was pulled from the game after four goals on 12 shots, giving way to Alexander Salak. The Americans added the fifth goal in the third period when Phil Kessel added his fifth of these Games, giving the USA a 5-1 lead.Hemsky did add a second late tally for the Czechs but it was too little, too late as the Americans went on to win 5-2 in somewhat comfortable fashion.Quick stopped 21 of the 23 shots he faced and was all-around solid to good for the USA as the Czechs did get some pretty good chances throughout the game. The defense in front of him was doing a good job of limiting those chances though by jamming the crease or blocking shots before they reached Quick.Next up is a rematch of the 2010 gold-medal game against Canada, which snuck past Latvia in a game played right across the lot at the same time. —————————————————————————————————-
Canada survived the ultimate scare of their Olympics on Wednesday, getting a third-period power-play goal from Shea Weber to defeat the pesky Latvians by a final score of 2-1, setting up a semifinal matchup with the USA.From start to finish, Canada was in complete control of the game but there was one problem; they couldn’t get the puck past Latvian goalie Kristers Gudlevskis. The Canadians did get a goal early in the first period from the Blackhawks Patrick Sharp but that was all they would get for a while as their relentless assault on the Latvian defense was fruitless.Left to do little but try to counter-attack, Latvia was able to draw even before the close of the third period. With less than five minutes in the opening period, Lauris Darzins was sprung on a breakaway and he made a great deke to get Carey Price down to the ice before finishing with the backhand. That was just the start of the frustrations for Canada.In the second period Canada outshot Latvia 19-5 but the game remained even at one. Between shots hitting the post and Gudlevskis, they couldn’t break through, causing a small bit of consternation in Canada.

“I’m sure it was tense,” Sidney Crosby said after the game. “People would have been yelling at their TVs.”

The story was much the same in the third period as Canada kept coming and Gudlevskis kept stopping. It wasn’t until Canada’s 52nd shot of the game that they were able to get ahead of Latvia for good. With just a couple of seconds left on the power play, Shea Weber used his patented bomb from the blue line to beat Gudlevskis and give Canada a 2-1 lead with less than seven minutes to play. It was a bitter end to an otherwise sweet day for Gudlevskis.

“That was one of the best goaltending performances I’ve ever seen,” his counterpart Price said.

Latvia tried in the closing minutes to get some pressure on Canada but couldn’t do much to test Price, getting just a couple of good looks. They gave it all they had and pushed Canada to the brink but the talent disparity was evident and they just didn’t have enough to counter Canada’s late goal.Now Canada draws the United States in the semifinals, a rematch of the gold-medal game in 2010 that Canada won in overtime. It will be the latest installment of what has become a great hockey rivalry.

With USA and Canada meeting on Thursday in the women’s gold-medal game, it’s going to be a fun 48 hours in North America.

“This is what it’s all about. Canada-USA,” Jonathan Toews said afterward. “It’s becoming an even bigger rivalry than CAN-Russia. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

Flames drop 16th straight, 65-59 to Detroit

Juwan Howard Jr. scored 20 points and Jarod Williams added 17 as Detroit defeated UIC 65-59 on Tuesday night.UIC moved out to a nine-point lead at the midway mark in the first half, but the Titans closed the period on an 11-4 run sparked by a 3-pointer from Anton Wilson to make it 36-34 at halftime.Detroit maintained that momentum, opening the second half with a 10-0 surge. The Flames climbed back to tie the game at 57, but Williams answered with two free throws and a layup to lead 62-57 with 2:25 remaining.After Jordan Harks and Pat Birt each split a pair of free throws to pull within three, Howard drained two free throws with 12 seconds left to seal it.Carlton Brundidge scored 15 points for Detroit (13-15, 6-7 Horizon League).Kelsey Barlow finished with 17 points and Harks had 13 for the Flames (5-22, 0-13) who have lost 16 in a row.

ISU has enough to beat Missouri State

NORMAL—Daishon Knight scored 17 points to lead Illinois State past Missouri State 67-63 Tuesday night.Illinois State made just 4 of 19 (21.1 percent) from 3-point range but made 26 of a season-high 36 free throw attempts, while forcing 21 Missouri State turnovers.Illinois State (15-12, 8-7 Missouri Valley) improved to 13-1 when leading with 5 minutes to play this season.Austin Ruder’s 3 with 4:53 to play gave the Bears a 58-56 lead, but MSU would make only one more field goal – a 3-pointer by Gavin Thurman with 24 seconds to play.Illinois State’s Reggie Lynch tied the game with a layup 16 seconds later and the Redbirds never trailed again, hitting 10 of 13 free throws in the final 2:37 to seal the win.Bobby Hunter scored 14 and Nick Zeisloft added 11 for Illinois State.Jarmar Gulley led Missouri State (17-10, 7-8) with 24 points.