Brindza misses tying FG, Irish fall to Louisville

SOUTH BEND—Louisville didn’t panic when Notre Dame, aided by a 61-yard punt return, scored two quick touchdowns early in the third quarter to take the lead.The Cardinals answered with a pair of touchdowns of their own, stopped Notre Dame at the 9-yard line and avoided overtime when Notre Dame’s Kyle Brindza missed a 32-yard field-goal attempt as the Cardinals held on for a 31-28 victory Saturday.

”Things were a bit rough there for a minute,” Louisville quarterback Reggie Bonnafon said. ”We just kept our composure and knew that we were going to turn it back around and keep executing our game plan and that’s what happened.”

Louisville coach Bobby Petrino said he was happy for his players.
”We knew it was going to be a fourth-quarter game,” Petrino said. ”They competed extremely hard. I think our assistant coaches on offense did a great job on the sideline of calming our guys down, keeping our poise.”

The Irish had a chance to force overtime but Brindza missed a 32-yard field goal wide right with 51 seconds left. It was the second straight time a missed field goal cost Notre Dame a game. Brindza missed a field goal in overtime a week earlier against Northwestern.

”We’ve lost back to back games because we couldn’t put down a ball and kick it 32 yards,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said.
Bonnafon ran for a pair of touchdowns and threw a 21-yard scoring pass to DeVante Parker for the Cardinals. Bonnafon was 8-of-31 passing for 180 yards with one interception.

Illini late field beats Penn State, keeps Bowl chances alive

Illinois Fighting Illini (2004 - 2013)

CHAMPAIGN—Late in the fourth quarter Saturday, Illinois kicker David Reisner lined up for a 50-yard field goal and watched as a hard wind pushed it wide left of the target.The sophomore said he never would have made the next one if he hadn’t missed the first.Reisner adjusted for the wind and, with eight seconds left in the game, hit from 36 yards for a 16-14 win over Penn State.

”I would have thought differently if we didn’t have that 50-yarder,” Reisner said. ”That was a (long) kick and you could really see the wind take it.”

Reisner’s game-winner finished off the seven-play, 54-yard drive that backup quarterback Reilly O’Toole led Illinois on.They made for two of the least likely heroes for a team fighting to take the pressure off coach Tim Beckman – the kicker on an Illinois team (5-6, 2-5 Big Ten) that almost never tries field goals, and the backup quarterback who seldom plays unless the starter is hurt. O’Toole came on for an ineffective Wes Lunt in the second quarter.Reisner made three field goals Saturday, one more than Illinois had made all season.Before the last one, Beckman gave his kicker a vote of confidence.

”I looked him in the eye, and told him `This is easy for you,”’ Beckman said.

Illinois has one game left, next Saturday at Northwestern, to try to get a sixth win and a potential bowl trip. Penn State closes the regular season at home against Michigan State.

Kane’s third period goal lifts Hawks past Flames 4-3

CALGARY—Patrick Kane scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period to lift the Blackhawks to a 4-3 victory over the Calgary Flames on Thursday night.With the game tied 3-3, Kane’s unassisted goal at 9:12 came after goalie Jonas Hiller turned over the puck behind his net.After straying out of the net, Hiller’s attempted backhand pass to Dennis Wideman took a sharp carom off the end boards allowing Kane to intercept it. After Kane tucked the puck through the skates of Sven Baertschi, he slipped a quick shot through Hiller’s pads.It was the seventh goal of the season for Kane, who has scored in three straight games. He had scored only four times in the first 16 games.Adam Clendening scored his first in the NHL, and Daniel Carcillo and Brent Seabrook added goals for the Hawks, who began a six-game road trip.Paul Byron, Wideman and Sean Monahan scored for Calgary, which had won seven of nine.Corey Crawford made 24 saves for the win. Hiller stopped 18 shots.Calgary had a chance to tie it when Johnny Gaudreau drew a penalty with 3:32 left. However, the Flames – having scored twice already on the NHL’s No. 1 ranked penalty-killing team – couldn’t score despite Curtis Glencross having a couple of chances in front.The Hawks took their second lead when Seabrook got the puck in the slot and slapped a shot past Hiller at 10:52 of the second period.The Flames answered less than two minutes later.Glencross set up a wide-open Monahan at the side of the net for his eighth goal, all scored in the last 12 games.Halfway through the second period, the Blackhawks led 2-0 and were outshooting Calgary 10-3. An interference penalty on Marcus Kruger turned around the momentum.Late in an effective power play, the Flames capitalized with Byron knocking in a rebound after Crawford made a pad stop off Josh Jooris.As the goal was scored, Niklas Hjalmarsson tripped Monahan, putting Calgary back onto the power play. The Flames scored again with Wideman’s slap shot from the blue line going in at 14:38.It was the eighth goal for Wideman, who had only four last season. He leads NHL defensemen.The two power-play goals in 54 seconds equaled the number of goals the Hawks penalty-killers had surrendered in the previous 14 games.Rookie Markus Granlund earned an assist, giving him five points in three games and nine in 10 games.The Hawks opened the scoring four minutes into the game when Glendening, in his second NHL shift, scored on a power play.Glendening was recalled from Rockford of the AHL on Tuesday when the Hawks lost defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk to a knee injury that will require surgery and keep the rookie out for three or four months.The Blackhawks made it 2-0 at 7:12 on Carcillo’s second of the season.

NOTES—The Flames are outscoring opponents 27-13 in the third period. The Hawks have a 22-7 edge. … Calgary LW Michael Ferland returned to the lineup after missing eight games with a concussion. He was injured on Oct. 31 in his NHL debut. … Andrew Shaw sat out for the Hawks and was replaced by Jeremy Morin. … Seabrook played in his 700th game.

Rose and Hoah still out as flat Bulls lose to Kings

Chicago Bulls Logo - Red bull with script above head

SACRAMENTO—DeMarcus Cousins had 22 points and 14 rebounds and Rudy Gay scored 20 points to help the Sacramento Kings beat the Bulls 103-88 Thursday night, snapping the Bulls’ six-game road winning streak.Darren Collison had 17 points and 12 assists for the Kings, who took the lead for good in the second quarter. Omri Casspi scored 14 points, Ben McLemore had 11 and Derrick Williams added 10.Jimmy Butler had 23 points and Taj Gibson, Mike Dunleavy and Aaron Brooks had 12 each for the Bulls. Joakim Noah had 10 points and 11 rebound despite foul trouble. The Bulls played the second game of a seven-game road trip, their longest of the season.The Bulls were trying to win their first seven road games for the first time in franchise history. Instead they joined the rest of the league with at least one road loss. The last team to start 7-0 on the road was San Antonio, which won its first eight road games in 2010-11.The Kings held an 88-77 lead when Cousins left the game with his fifth foul with 7:26 left to play. But the frustrated Bulls could never get closer than eight points.Sacramento has squandered big leads in its last three losses – Dallas (24), Memphis (26) and New Orleans (12), but outscored the Bulls 23-20 in the fourth.The Bulls played without starters Derrick Rose (strained left hamstring) and Pau Gasol (strained left calf) for the second straight game.Noah picked up his fifth foul at the 4:30 mark of the third quarter after fighting for rebound against Cousins. An incensed Noah stormed to the bench after also being called for a technical.The Kings promptly went on an 11-1 run to build a 13-point lead.Rose was running sprints at Thursday’s shootaround, but watched the game in street clothes with Gasol. Rose has missed seven of the Bulls’ 12 games. . Heinrich was called for a technical in the first quarter following an encounter with Cousins after making a basket.

NOTES—Ex-Kings standouts Mike Bibby and Chris Webber were introduced to the crowd along with video clips as part of the team honoring its ”legends.” Webber was the color commentator for the TNT-televised game and Bibby sat courtside. . The Kings outscored the Bulls 30-18 in the second quarter and held a 28-21 advantage in the third…..The Bulls are at Portland on Friday night.


BUFFALO over NY Jets
INDIANAPOLIS over Jacksonville
HOUSTON over Cincinnati
DENVER over Miami

SEATTLE over Arizona
SAN FRNACISCO over Washington

ATLANTA over Cleveland
PHILADELPHIA over Tennessee
SAN DIEGO over St.Louis

Kansas City over OAKLAND
Dallas over NY GIANTS
NEW ORLEANS over Baltimore

NEW ENGLAND opver Detroit
Green Bay over MINNESOTA
BEARS over Tampa Bay

WEEK 11 RESULTS: Les 9-5, Adam 11-3, Kevin 9-5, Zach 6-8
THROUGH 11 WEEKS: Les 108-56-1, Adam 105-59-1, 95-69-1, Kevin 100-64-1

No Rose(Hammstring),or Gasol(calf), but Bulls beat Clippers anyway.

Chicago Bulls Logo - Red bull with script above head

LOS ANGELES—Taj Gibson stole the ball from Jamal Crawford and passed to Jimmy Butler, who sank a 17-footer, got fouled and made the free throw with two-tenths of a second left in first half.Just like that the Bulls had erased all but two of a 14-point deficit, and sent the Clippers into a tailspin they never recovered from.Butler led six players in double figures with 22 points in a 105-89 win Monday night, helping the Bulls improve to 6-0 on the road for the first time since 1996-97. And they did it without Derrick Rose and Pau Gasol.With those two injured starters on the bench, the Bulls got contributions from nearly everyone else to remain the NBA’s only undefeated road team while opening a season-long, seven-game trip.

”You tame `em one at a time,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. ”In this league, when you start feeling good about yourself, that’s usually when you get knocked down. So we’ve got to keep that edge.”

Taj Gibson had 20 points starting in place of Gasol, Mike Dunleavy Jr. added 19 points and Joakim Noah had 11 points and 16 rebounds.

”We just proved what we’ve proven time and again with this team – it’s a pretty resilient group,” Dunleavy said. ”It doesn’t matter who’s out there for us. We’re going to come out and compete and give it everything we’ve got.”

The Bulls closed the second quarter with a 16-4 spurt to trail 50-48 at the half, highlighted by Gibson’s steal and Butler’s three-point play.

”I don’t know how I was able to get a steal on him (Crawford) because his dribble is so good,” Gibson said. ”I’m just happy Jimmy was aware I was able to make the steal.”

Butler was coming off a career-high 32-points in a loss to Indiana. He made 9 of 10 free throws, had eight assists and six rebounds.

”He’s having an All-Star season,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said of Butler, a fellow Marquette alum.

Jamal Crawford led the Clippers with 24 points off the bench, and Blake Griffin added 19 points and 10 rebounds. DeAndre Jordan had 10 points and 17 rebounds. Griffin was just 5 of 10 from the free throw line, where the Clippers were 10 of 22.

”We tried to force things,” Griffin said. ”I don’t think it was a selfish thing. We were just searching. We just didn’t have it going and we pressed a little bit too hard.”

The Bulls enjoyed a double-digit lead throughout the fourth that reached 18 points on a basket by Aaron Brooks. The Clippers got within seven with four minutes to go, but the Bulls got consecutive 3-pointers from Dunleavy and they held Los Angeles to just one field goal in the final 3:32.

”We take a lot of pride in going on the road and getting wins because you have to defend and rebound to do that,” Dunleavy said. ”That’s our calling card.”

NOTES—Rose missed his second straight game with a left hamstring injury. … Gasol, who has a left calf strain, leads the team with six double-doubles and is averaging 18.6 points and 10.6 rebounds. … It’s their longest road trip since a 14-game, nine-day streak in 2011-12….Glen Davis’ jumper in the second quarter was his 1,500th career field goal. … Former Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy was on hand to see his son Mike Jr. start for the Bulls. … Former Clipper Baron Davis, former Angel Gary Matthews Jr., Billy Crystal, and Penny Marshall attended…..Gasol missed his first game back in Los Angeles since leaving the Lakers…..”It’s definitely strange,” he said about being back in the city where he was the subject of trade rumors the last few years. ”I knew this was going to happen eventually, but I’m glad the first time is against the Clippers.”…..The Bulls return to play the Lakers on Jan. 29…..The Bulls are at Sacramento on Thursday.

NU 2-0 after road win at Brown

Northwestern Wildcats (1981 - Pres)

PROVIDENCE—JerShon Cobb and Sanjay Lumpkin combined for 31 points to help Northwestern beat Brown 69-56 on Monday night.Cobb scored 16 point and made 3 of 4 from 3-point range. Lumpkin, who had 15 points, pulled down 12 rebounds. Tre Demps contributed 11 points and Scottie Lindsey added 10.Northwestern (2-0) held a 36-26 halftime advantage and stretched that to 60-39 following a Cobb 3-point jumper with 9:53 remaining in the game. Rafael Maia made a layup, Tyler Williams hit a 3-point jumper and Leland King hit another 3-pointer as Brown (1-1) closed the gap to 67-54 with 1:01 remaining.King led the Bears with 17 points. Maia and JR Hobbie contributed 12 apiece.Cedric Kuakumensah, who was in foul trouble all night and fouled out, had one blocked shot, tying the career record at Brown of 163 blocks

Flames get first win, 67-64 over WIU

D’Juan Miller converted a pair of free throws with :13 left to preserve UIC’s 67-64 win over Western Michigan Monday night.Down by nine with under three minutes to play, the Leathernecks (0-2) reeled off a 10-2 run to make it a one-point game with :20 left, 65-64. Jamie Batish missed a three-point attempt at the buzzer to tie.Jake Wiegand scored 28 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead UIC (1-1). Paris Burns added 13 points for the Flames, who converted 24 of 29 attempts from the free throw line.J.C. Fuller came off the Western Illinois bench to score 14 points, the only Leatherneck to reach double figures.Western Illinois was 24 of 62 (38.7 percent) from the floor and 9 of 27 from three-point range (33.3 percent), but got to the free throw line for just 10 attempts

Ho Hum,,,,Bears get by hapless Vikes 21-13.

Jared Allen figured the Bears were bound to retaliate, that they could only take so much after getting knocked around.They didn’t exactly treat his former team as a punching bag. They just played well enough to put their implosion on hold.Jay Cutler threw for 330 yards and three touchdowns, and the Bears won for just the second time in seven games by beating the Minnesota Vikings 21-13 on Sunday.Ryan Mundy intercepted Teddy Bridgewater’s 29-yard pass in the end zone in the closing minute, and the Bears hung on for the win after suffering two of the worst blowout losses in franchise history.

”I think we kind of rallied around each other,” said Allen, the five-time Pro Bowl defensive end who signed with the Bears after spending six seasons with Minnesota. ”I think the sense of urgency was there. You can only get beat up so many times before you fight back. People questioned the character of the locker room. We know what we have.”

Alshon Jeffery had 135 yards receiving and a touchdown catch. Brandon Marshall added 90 yards and two TD receptions, including a 4-yarder in the fourth quarter that made it an 11-point game. Matt Forte ran for 117 yards.Allen had a sack against his former team, and the Bears (4-6) prevailed after joining the 1923 Rochester Jeffersons as the only teams to give up 50 or more points in consecutive games with blowouts at New England and Green Bay. But it was a different story against the Vikings (4-6).The Bears gave up a season-low 243 yards while racking up 468, and they picked up their first win at Soldier Field after dropping their first three there.Minnesota got a 48-yard end-around by Andrew Sendejo on a fake punt to set up an early touchdown but little else on the way to its seventh straight loss in Chicago.Bridgewater threw for just 158 yards and touchdown, and the Vikings came up short after winning two in a row.

”They have been under a lot of heat, they stepped up today, played a lot better than we’ve seen in the last couple of weeks,” Vikings center John Sullivan said.

Marshall made it an 11-point game when he posted Josh Robinson in the end zone like a basketball player and leaped to snag a 4-yard pass to make it 21-10. That capped a drive in which the Bears converted twice on a fourth-and-1 on runs by Forte- at the Minnesota 27 and at the 6.The Vikings then drove to the Bears 8 before settling for a 26-yard field goal by Blair Walsh with just over four minutes left.They were threatening to tie it again. But Mundy’s interception in the right side of the end zone on a pass intended for Charles Johnson sealed the win for the Bears on a day when there were issues with the scoreboard clock.Stadium officials were not sure what caused it to malfunction. The problems started late in the first half, although the clocks on the side were still working at that time. They were all out once the second half started, forcing the referees to keep time by hand, and stayed that way for most of the third quarter before coming back on. There were more issues in the closing minutes of the game, and Vikings coach Mike Zimmer was not happy.

”It’s another new experience. It’s hard to know because no one is telling you how much time is left,” he said.

Zimmer used an expletive to describe the clocks, and then apologized for his language.NFL spokesman Michael Signora said the protocol when game clocks at the stadium are not operational is for time to be kept on the field, with the side judge responsible for the game clock and the line judge also keeping the game time as a backup. The back judge is responsible for the play clock.As for what happened on the field, the Bears overcame an early 10-0 deficit to take a 14-10 halftime lead after being outscored a combined 94-7 in the first two quarters of the previous two games. They also won over a restless crowd.There were 6,472 no-shows and the 55,320 fans on hand were letting their team hear it after Bridgewater connected with Rhett Ellison for a 7-yard touchdown following Sendejo’s end-around with the Vikings lined up to punt late in the first quarter.But the Bears gave them something to cheer less than two minutes into the second. Jeffery caught a 27-yard touchdown from Cutler to make it a three-point game.The Bears took their first lead since their win at Atlanta on Oct. 12 with just under three minutes left in the half when Marshall hauled in Cutler’s 44-yard heave.

”Someone said that we’re probably not going to have the best home-field advantage today – and rightfully so,” Cutler said. ”We haven’t performed the way the fans think we should perform. We haven’t performed the way the players think we should.’

NOTES—Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph returned after missing six games with a sports hernia, but did not catch a pass. … Allen is 1-9 in his career at Soldier Field. … The 243 yards allowed were the fewest by the Bears since they held Houston to 215 on Nov. 11, 2012.

Six different Hawks score in win over Stars

Patrick Kane and Kris Versteeg helped trigger a big third period to give the Blackhawks a big send-off.Kane and Versteeg each had a goal in the final period, and added two assists for the game, as the Hawks rallied with four goals in the third to defeat the Dallas Stars 6-2 on Sunday night.Kane connected from a sharp angle early in the third to snap a 2-2 tie. Jonathan Toews, Versteeg, and Brandon Saad scored in a 2:55 span later in the period to put away the game.That’s the kind of finish the Blackhawks were looking for as they leave town while the circus takes over the United Center for two weeks. They start a six-game road trip on Thursday in Calgary and don’t play at home again until Dec. 3.

”Huge,” Kane said. ”It leaves the fans with a good taste in their mouth. Us too, knowing we can play better here at home.It seemed like we had a lot of control of the play, put a lot of shots on net.”

Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook scored in the first period as Hawks won for the third time in four games.The Blackhawks took over in the third when they fired off 23 of their 47 shots. But the Hawks, considered one of the NHL’s most talented teams, is 10-7-1 overall and hasn’t been consistent.

”We’ll try to string a few together, start playing the right way, start creating more chances and hopefully, some things evolve off that,” Kane said.

Dallas’ Curtis McKenzie recorded his first NHL goal and Shawn Horcoff also scored for the struggling Stars, who have dropped two straight and won just two of their last 11 (2-7-2).Corey Crawford made 22 saves and Dallas’ Kari Lehtonen finished with 41.While the Blackhawks surged in the third period, the Stars melted down in the final 20 minutes of game once again. Dallas has been outscored 27-11 in third periods this season.

”We got throught the first 40 (minutes) and actually created a couple of good opportunities and got a couple of key (penalty) kills, but then we just became unravelled,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. ”We can’t get any lower that that.”

Blackhawks center Brad Richards had two assists in his 1,000th game and was honored in a pre-game ceremony. The 34-year-old played 220 of those games with the Stars from 2008 to 2011 at the peak of his career.The Blackhawks are Richards’ fourth team in a 15-year career. He signed a one-year, $2 million free-agent deal with the Hawks last July and was envisioned as a No. 2 center, but has started slowly and averaged under 13 minutes of ice time entering Sunday’s game.Richards played a season high 18:20 on Sunday in what coach Joel Quenneville called ”his best game of the year.”

”A good game for me personally, but how the team responded to a little adversity, it was a good sign,” Richards said

NOTES—Blackhawks rookie D Trevor van Riemsdyk left the game in the first period with a leg injury. .Daniel Carcillo returned after missing 10 games with a lower-body injury. . Dallas F Jamie Benn has gone 11 games without a goal after scoring five in the first seven. . F Travis Moen played his first game with the Stars after being acquired from Montreal last week. .. Blackhawks rookie G Scott Darling was recalled from Rockford of the AHL and backed up Crawford. G Antti Raanta, who has appeared in just three games, was sent to Rockford for playing time. Coach Joel Quenneville said Raanta would rejoin the Blackhawks by Thursday in Calgary. . Long-time Blackhawks TV play-by-play announcer Pat Foley will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto on Monday.