Image result for northwestern wildcats logoIllinois Fighting Illini

ROSEMONT—Scottie Lindsey took a seat on the bench after going scoreless in Northwestern’s previous game.The Wildcats’ second-leading scorer still managed to play 39 minutes and come through in the clutch.Lindsey scored five of his game-high 22 points in overtime and Northwestern trailed for much of the evening before pulling out a 72-68 victory over Illinois on Friday in the Big Ten opener for both teams.The 6-foot-5 senior came in averaging 15.3 points but did not start after going 0 for 8 from the floor in Northwestern’s 52-51 loss to Georgia Tech on Tuesday night

”I knew the team needed me to bounce back from last game,” Lindsey said. ”I knew I played a really bad game. That was just motivation to come out and play. The guys that ended last game really showed great character and fight. That was rewarding them. I had to accept it and it worked out”

Vic Law added 16 points before fouling out in overtime and Bryant McIntosh had 14 points and six assists for Northwestern (5-3).Leron Black led Illinois (6-2) with 15 points, whle Te’Jon Lucas and Mark Alstork had 14 points apiece.

”We might have set a Guinness Book of World Records for the most travel calls tonight,” said Illinois coach Brad Underwood. ”And we’re traveling. We can’t have 11 of our turnovers from bigs.Those are self-inflicted. Those are mistakes you can’t make. Those are not Northwestern beating us … those are our mistakes that allowed them to have success.”

Illinois led twice in overtime before a pair of Lindsey free throws with 59 seconds left gave Northwestern the lead for good.Dererk Pardon blocked two shots in the final minute to preserve the victory.

”I was really proud of Scottie,” Northwestern coach Chris Collins said. ”Everyone knows he had a tough night the other night in Atlanta.”

The top four players from the first Northwestern team to reach the NCAA Tournament are back, but the Wildcats continued to look like a shell of last year’s team despite the victory. Northwestern committed turnovers on its final three possessions of regulation.The Illini went 19 for 37 on 2-point field goals and shot 81 percent from the foul line, but committed 19 turnovers and went just 3 for 18 from 3-point territory in producing their lowest scoring output of the season. Their previous low came in an 80-73 loss to Wake Forest on Tuesday night.It was the earliest Big Ten game in Illinois’ century-long history in the league.The Big Ten season was moved up because the league will hold its conference tournament a week early in order to stage it at Madison Square Garden in New York.

”I’m a fan of it right now because we’re 1-0,” Collins said. ”Overall, it is difficult. I just feel like you get into such a rhythm of using your nonconference to prepare for conference play. It is what it is.’

Orange-clad Illini fans outnumbered Wildcats fans in Northwestern’s temporary home 13 miles southwest of Welsh-Ryan Arena, which is undergoing major renovations and will not be used this season.Illinois will try to even its Big Ten record against Maryland on Sunday night. The Terrapins also dropped their Big Ten opener to Purdue.Northwestern will travel to play Purdue on Sunday afternoon in a battle of 1-0 Big Ten teams.

Hawks come out flat, lose to Stars in OT

Mattias Janmark has good days and bad days in his return from an unusual knee injury.This one was pretty nice.Janmark scored his second goal of the game 51 seconds into overtime and the Dallas Stars beat the Blackhawks 4-3 on Thursday night for their third consecutive victory.

”We played 55 good minutes today, which is a good sign, and we competed,” Dallas coach Ken Hitchcock said. ”Competed like heck. We deserved to win and you know for me we’re trying to build something, but you build it through the really tough times at the start of the year.”

Janmark made his NHL debut in 2015 and had 15 goals and 14 assists in 73 games during his rookie season. But the Swedish forward missed all of last year with a joint disorder in which the bone underneath the cartilage dies because of reduced blood flow, contributing to Dallas’ tumble down the standings.He looked just fine against the Hawks, stuffing home a wraparound in the first period and beating Corey Crawford with a little wrist shot over the goaltender’s right shoulder in overtime.Radek Faksa had a goal and an assist and Remi Elie also scored for Dallas, which has won five of six overall. Ben Bishop made 19 saves in the Stars’ first win against the Blackhawks since a 6-2 victory at the United Center on March 22, 2016.The Central Division rivals play again in Dallas on Saturday night.Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist for the Blackhawks, who dropped to 1-1-1 in a seven-day stretch with five games. Alex DeBrincat and Artem Anisimov also scored, and Nick Schmaltz had two assists.The Blackhawks trailed 3-2 before Kane redirected defenseman Gustav Forsling’s shot past Bishop at 4:34 of the third. Kane has at least one point in eight of his last nine games.

”Good first 10 minutes of the third,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. ”I thought we slowed down a bit again after we tied it up.”

Elie, who replaced an ailing Martin Hanzal in the lineup, had three good looks at a potential go-ahead score with about 5 1/2 minutes left, but Crawford turned him away each time. Crawford finished with 31 saves.The Blackhawks went 0 for 3 on the power play in the third and 1 for 7 with the man advantage overall.

”We lost momentum in the game with our power play tonight,” Quenneville said.

Dallas led 2-1 after a strange first period. The Stars jumped in front on Janmark’s fifth of the season at 14:46, but the Blackhawks responded nine seconds later on DeBrincat’s wrist shot by Bishop on the stick side.It was DeBrincat’s fourth goal in his last three games and 10th of November, making him the first rookie in franchise history with 10 goals in a calendar month.The Hawks had four power plays in the opening period and was still outscored by Dallas with the man advantage. Faksa buried his first career penalty shot after Kane was called for hooking on a short-handed breakaway, making it 2-1 at 17:20.Faksa has four goals in his last two games. He had a natural hat trick in Dallas’ 3-0 win at Vegas on Tuesday night.The Hawks fourth power-play opportunity carried over into the second, and it took advantage. With Elie in the box for slashing, Kane made a terrific pass to Anisimov in front for his ninth goal in November and team-leading 12th on the season.Elie made up for the costly penalty later in the second. He went in all alone on Crawford after a nice pass from Faksa and scored his third of the season with a nifty move, making it 3-2 at 14:04.

 

Bulls fail to get last second stop, fall to Nuggets 111-110

Bulls Logo

DENVER—Will Barton provided the early spark, then delivered in the final moments to help the Denver Nuggets escape with a narrow victory.Barton capped a career-high 37 points with a driving layup with 3.2 seconds left and the Nuggets overcame the loss of Nikola Jokic to beat the Bulls 111-110 on Thursday night.Gary Harris added 21 points, and Kenneth Faried had 14 points and 13 rebounds for Denver, which lost another big man to injury when Jokic was hurt.He joins Paul Millsap (wrist surgery) and Wilson Chandler (back injury) on the sidelines.

”We were already without Paul and Wilson, Joke goes down, it was like, `Man, we just can’t lose this game,”’ Barton said. ”I just wanted to step it up. It was definitely one of my biggest games here.”

Jokic went down with 44 seconds left in the second quarter when he drove to the basket and stepped on Jerian Grant’s foot. Jokic hit two free throws before heading to the locker room with an obvious limp. He didn’t return in the second half.Lauri Markanen and Robin Lopez had 20 points each and Kris Dunn added 19. The Bulls have lost seven straight to finish 2-13 in November and drop to 3-17 overall.The Bulls, who led for most of the game, took advantage of Jokic’s absence and led 108-105 in the final minute. Barton was fouled on a 3-point attempt and hit all three free throws to tie it, then made 1 of 2 to give Denver a one-point lead with 20 seconds left.Dunn gave the Bulls the lead with a layup with 9.6 seconds left, and it came down to Barton with the ball.

”I dreamed of those moments when I was young, having the ball in my hands at crunch time and delivering,” Barton said. ”I’m just thankful I could do that tonight.”

He brought the ball up, put a move on Justin Holiday and drove to the basket and hit the reverse layup after the ball hung on the rim.The Bulls missed an opportunity to get a rare road win.

”I didn’t do my job and I let my teammates down,” Holiday said. ”I just didn’t do what I was supposed to do in that situation, that’s pretty much it. I am very disappointed. We have that game in the bag. It just hurts that I let my teammates down.”

The Bulls led 68-62 at halftime but Denver rallied to briefly take the lead in the third quarter. Grant hit a 3-pointer at the end of the third to put the Bulls ahead 92-91.

”We took a step in the right direction tonight and we went out there and competed for 48 minutes,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. ”I thought we really had a competitive edge to our team. It’s hard to get over big emotional wins and it’s tough to get over devastating losses.”

Nikola Mirotic has increased his practice load and is close to returning. ”He’s really in training camp mode,” Hoiberg said. ”He’s had a lot of individual work but nothing simulates that playing up and down, 5-on-5 type action. Mirotic has been out since a preseason altercation with teammate Bobby Portis left him with several broken bones in his face as well as a concussion. … Zach LaVine (left ACL tear) will have a full practice Friday after going through individual drills Thursday. Mattias Janmark has good days and bad days in his return from an unusual knee injury.This one was pretty nice.Janmark scored his second goal of the game 51 seconds into overtime and the Dallas Stars beat the Blackhawks 4-3 on Thursday night for their third consecutive victory.

Hawks problems with Preds continue.

NASHVILLE—Filip Forsberg has scored on many different goalies, but Tuesday night was the first time he collected a goal against one with the same name on the back of his jersey.Forsberg opened Nashville’s scoring against goaltender Anton Forsberg, Pekka Rinne made 37 saves, and the Predators beat the Blackhawks 3-2.”Yeah, it was,” Filip Forsberg said with a laugh when asked if that was his first goal against another Forsberg. The two Swedish players are not related.Auston Watson and Roman Josi also scored goals for the Predators, who have won 10 of 12.

”It’s a division game, and we’ve kind of created a little bit of a rivalry for sure over the years,” Rinne said. ”It means a lot not only in this locker room but in the standings too. It’s a huge win.”

Tommy Wingels and Lance Bouma had the goals for the Hawks, who had their two-game winning streak snapped.The Hawks made its first appearance in Nashville since the Predators swept them in last spring’s opening round of the playoffs.With Nashville clinging to a one-goal lead late in the third, Rinne made his best save of the night when he denied Nick Schmaltz’s backhand from just outside the crease on a shorthanded breakaway. He later denied WIngels with the left pad in the game’s final minute.Watson also blocked three shots off the stick of former Predator Cody Franson in the game’s final six seconds.

”That was awesome,” Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. ”He’s a guy that the puck always seems to find him. … There’s an art to that, and it was on full display at the end of the game.”

Filip Forsberg scored at 3:16 of the first when Anton Forsberg stopped his initial attempt from the high slot, and the rebound deflected off the right skate of Arvidsson, who was stationed just outside the Hawk crease. The puck drifted to the right, where Nashville’s top goal scorer tapped in his 12th of the season.

”I shot it and it hit him in the stomach, I think, and obviously he tried to spin and it hit his skate and went right to me,” Fillip Forsberg said. ”It was fortunate, but at the same time, we were both in the good area where pucks might find us.”

The Hawks tied it nearly two minutes later when Alex DeBrincat sent a pass to Wingels skating through the slot, where he redirected the puck over the glove of a diving Rinne.

”For the most part, we played a pretty good road game. That being said, the only thing that matters is the two points,” Wingels said. ”While we are happy with some aspects, the biggest thing is we didn’t come away with two points.”

Anton Forsberg made 28 saves.Watson made it 2-1 at 3:48 of the second when Matt Irwin’s shot from the left point was off the mark but deflected off Watson’s body and into the Hawk net. Officials upheld the goal after a challenge by the Blackhawks, who thought Watson had interfered with Anton Forsberg.

”It’s close. I looked at it,” Joel Quenneville said. ”It could have gone either way, but it was one of those decisions that it could have gone our way too.”

Josi scored a power-play goal at 2:32 of the third with a slap shot from above the left faceoff circle.Nashville entered Tuesday with the league’s best home power play conversion rate at 41.5%. The Predators were 1-4 in the game with the man advantage.Bouma cut the lead to 3-2 midway through the third from the lower part of the right faceoff circle.

NOTES—Nashville has scored at least one power-play goal in each of its 11 home games. … The Predators are 9-1-1 at home. … Blackhawks RW Patrick Kane failed to record a point in the game, ending his point-scoring streak at seven games. … The Bulls 2-5-0 against fellow Central Division teams. … Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker attended the game.

Bulls 3-16 after loss to Suns

Bulls Logo

For all the big shots he hit, Devin Booker was most proud of the one he blocked.Booker scored 33 points, and the Phoenix Suns held off the Bulls for a 104-99 win on Tuesday night.Booker looked just fine after sitting out a game because of inflammation in his right big toe, nailing five 3-pointers and grabbing nine rebounds. But the play that most stood out to him came in the final minute.The Suns were leading by five with about 30 seconds left when Kris Dunn stole the ball from Tyler Ulis and went for a layup. Booker raced back to block him.

”That’s crunch time, so whatever I had to do to win,” he said.

T.J. Warren scored 25 for Phoenix. Alex Len had 13 points and tied a career high with 18 rebounds after not playing in two of the previous three games. The Suns dominated on the glass 57-41 while snapping a three-game losing streak.

”I’m proud of this team,” Booker said. ”We fought hard tonight. A lot of energy, talking on defense. Things that we needed to be working on, we did today.”

The rebuilding Bulls are a league-worst 3-16 after dropping their sixth straight.Justin Holiday made a career-high six 3-pointers on his way to 25 points. Dunn added a personal-best 24 points, hitting all four from long range, and eight assists.

Cats fall to Jackets at the buzzer

Image result for northwestern wildcats logoRelated image

ATLANTA—Tadric Jackson told Jose Alvarado coming out of a timeout to look for him if Ben Lammers wasn’t open.Alvarado did just that, and it all worked out for Georgia Tech.

”When I had the ball, I looked up and I saw 2 seconds,” Jackson said. ”I took a couple of dribbles and just focused on making the layup.”

Jackson hit a layup at the buzzer, Lammers scored 13 points and Georgia Tech rallied in the closing seconds to beat Northwestern 52-51 on Tuesday night.Jackson took a pass on the left side from Alvarado and drove through the lane past two defenders to score at the rim. His basket set off a wild celebration for Georgia Tech (4-1) and was a similar ending to last season’s win over Notre Dame when Jackson passed upcourt to Josh Okogie for a buzzer-beating layup.Jackson, in his second game back since serving a three-game suspension for receiving gifts in violation of NCAA rules, finished with 10 points on 4-for-13 shooting.

”I’m just trying to get going,” Jackson said. ”I feel like today I had a couple of mistakes, but I’m back in the groove.”

Bryant McIntosh scored 18 points, Vic Law added 12 and Dererk Pardon had 10 points and 12 rebounds for Northwestern (4-3). Scottie Lindsey began the game averaging a team-high 17.8 points, but he went scoreless, missing five 3-point attempts and three other shots.It didn’t help that Aaron Falzon went 1 for 8 from the field and missed seven 3s.

”When I look at the stat sheet and see my two best shooters 0 for 12 from 3 and I see us (outscored) 16-4 at the foul line, to lose a game by one at the buzzer, it shows a lot of grit in my guys,” Wildcats coach Chris Collins said. ”We hung in there and gave ourselves a chance.”

Illini suffer first loss…to Wake Forest in ACC-Big Ten Challenge

Illinois Fighting IlliniRelated image

WINSTON-SALEM—Bryant Crawford led four players in double figures with 20 points as Wake Forest knocked Illinois from the ranks of the undefeated in an 80-73 win in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge Tuesday night.Doral Moore, Mitchell Wilbekin, and Brandon Childress added 12 points apiece for Wake Forest (3-4), which held Illinois to 38.7 percent shooting using a stingy 2-3 zone defense.After watching several late leads slip away in earlier losses, Coach Danny Manning of Wake Forest was proud of the way his team finished against Illinois.

”I thought it was a top-dog game in terms of how we competed tonight,” Manning said. ”They had a physical presence all game, but we met that physicality and were strong with the ball. That put us in a situation to have some success. I think everyone that stepped on the court contributed something and it was a good team win for us, something that we can build upon.”

Aaron Jordan came off the bench to lead Illinois with 20 points, with Kipper Nichols adding 14 and Leron Black finishing with 10. Jordan, who entered the game leading the NCAA in 3-point percentage (15 of 23, 65.2 percent), made 4 of 6 against the Deacons.It was the first loss for the Illini (6-1), who played their first six games at home and sought their first non-conference road win since beating Boston University in the NIT on March 19, 2014.After grabbing a 27-20 lead with 8:56 left in the first half, Illinois went cold from the floor and endured a scoreless stretch of 5 minutes, 21 seconds as Wake Forest clawed back into the game.

”We had a bad stretch in the first half with three straight turnovers and we took two quick shots,” Illinois coach Brad Underwood said. ”We weren’t getting the ball to the interior of their zone and combine that with the turnovers and the fouls we were committing in the backcourt and they were parading to the free throw line.”

The Deacons were on a 13-2 run at the end of the first half, making 6 of 8 free throws during the stretch, before Nichols’ 3-pointer at the buzzer stopped the bleeding.Leading 35-34 at halftime, the Deacons used an 11-0 run early in the second half to take a 49-39 lead. Illinois closed to within 1 at 56-55 on a 3-pointer by Black with 9:25 left but could get no closer.The Deacons made 10 of 13 free throws in the second half and 19 of 23 for the game, something that was not lost on Manning.

”It’s one thing to get to the free throw line, but our guys are doing a pretty good job right now of making them as well,” Manning said. ”So, we’ve got to continue to reward ourselves when we get there by knocking them down.”

Despite the loss, Underwood said he saw some positive signs from his team.

”I liked our fight and I liked our competitiveness, but we probably shot too many 3’s tonight,” Underwood said. ”A lot of credit to Wake Forest as they continue to get better as the season goes on.

Wake Forest is now 12-5 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, tied with Virginia for second most wins.

Bears awful as ever in 31-3 listless loss to Eagles

PHILADELPHIA—Another strong performance by Carson Wentz.And another pathetic effort by the Bears who appeared to quit. Another dominant effort by the defense. Another lopsided win for the Philadelphia Eagles.Wentz tossed three touchdown passes and the NFL-leading Eagles beat the Bears 31-3 Sunday for their ninth straight win.The Eagles (10-1) reduced their magic number to clinch the NFC East to one with their fourth consecutive win by at least 23 points and third in a row by exactly 28. Philadelphia would secure its first division title since 2013 if the Cowboys (5-6) lose or tie Washington on Thursday night.

”We’re playing with a lot of momentum, a lot of energy, a lot of swagger,” Wentz said.

Wentz had 227 yards passing, LeGarrette Blount ran for 97 yards and Zach Ertz caught 10 passes for 103 yards and one TD.The defense shut down rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and the inept Bears (3-8), holding them to zero first downs in the first half and 140 total yards in the game.

”That’s the best defense I’ve ever played,” Kyle Long said.

The Bears won the turnover battle (3-2), but couldn’t do anything with excellent field position. They started consecutive drives at midfield and Philadelphia’s 42 but Cairo Santos missed a 54-yard field goal.

”We didn’t play well enough to compete,” Bears coach John Fox said. ”We needed to play really, really well in all three phases to beat that team.”

Wentz threw a 17-yard TD pass to Ertz to give the Eagles a 7-0 lead on their second drive. Jay Ajayi ran 2 yards on fourth-and-1 to keep the drive going and Wentz connected with Alshon Jeffery for 14 yards on third-and-8 one play before the TD.Wentz had a 15-yard TD pass to Nelson Agholor, who flipped over defenders into the end zone to make it 14-0 in the second quarter. Wentz spun away from a blitzer and ran 16 yards on third-and-9 to extend the drive. Then a holding penalty on Bears cornerback Prince Amukamara negated an incomplete pass on third-and-12, and the Eagles scored on the next play.Another holding penalty on Amukamara gave the Eagles a first down late in the second quarter. Wentz then lofted an 8-yard TD pass to Jeffery to extend the lead to 24-0.The Bears entered with the fifth-ranked rushing offense and finished with 6 yards on 14 attempts. They had negative yards before Trubisky scrambled for 12 yards late in the fourth.Ertz is the first player to have 100 yards receiving for the Eagles this season. … Jeffery had five receptions for 52 yards and one TD against his former team. … Wentz is five TD passes away from setting a single-season team record. Sonny Jurgensen had 32 TD passes in 1961. … Eagles are the only NFL team that hasn’t allowed a TD in the first quarter this season. … Bears were the first team not to get a first down in the first half of a game since the Chiefs against the Raiders in Week 15, 2012. … Eagles have three receivers – Ertz, Jeffery and Agholor – with six or more TD receptions.After his TD catch, Jeffery went bowling and his teammates lined up as the pins. Jeffery did a fake roll and all the players went down in the end zone for a strike. Josh Sitton entered concussion protocol. … S Adrian Amos injured a hamstring.The Bears host the San Francisco 49ers (1-9) next Sunday.

Cats keep Land of Lincoln Trophy, rout Illini 42-7

Image result for northwestern wildcats logoIllinois Fighting Illini

CHAMPAIGN—When Northwestern defensive end Samdup Miller stretched out his hands to push the football into Illinois’ end zone in the third quarter Saturday night, fellow defensive end Joe Gaziano danced wildly across the field, fists pumping.Gaziano’s sack had just forced the ball out of Illinois quarterback Cam Thomas’ hands. And, on a night when the crowd was quiet and small, the Wildcats’ offense had been sluggish, Miller’s score pushed No. 23 Northwestern to a 21-7 lead that even early in the third quarter felt like too much for the Illini to overcome.It was, and the Wildcats (9-3, 7-2 Big Ten) went on to finish off Illinois, 42-7, winning their seventh straight.

”The strip-sack touchdown was huge,” Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. ”In a sleepy building to get that kind of juice going, it was big. It was big. The sideline erupted.”

The bowl-bound Wildcats held Illinois scoreless after giving up a first-quarter touchdown, and put 42 straight points on the board. Justin Jackson ran for 144 yards and a touchdown.With bowl season ahead, Fitzgerald turned quickly to what he said he believes is a negative narrative about the Wildcats that followed their early 41-17 loss to Duke.

”I would prefer if that narrative gets changed. This is one of the hottest teams in the country, a team that’s dominated back to back weeks,” he said. ”I think this is a pretty attractive team, I hope we get to field a lot of calls. I’ll be disappointed if we don’t.”

The Illini (2-10, 0-9) lost their 10th straight and finished winless in the Big Ten for the first time since 2012. Lovie Smith said that, given his team’s youth, a difficult season was likely.

”You have to look at what we’re talking about, 15, 16 (freshman starters). Were you expecting a national championship? Probably not,” he said. ”We knew we had to rebuild our program, and that’s what we’ve been doing. And that’s what I think we will continue to do.”

Northwestern took the lead for good at 14-7 with 8:03 left in the second quarter on Jelani Roberts’ 5-yard touchdown run.When defensive end Joe Gaziano knocked the ball out of Illinois quarterback Cam Thomas’ hands and fellow defensive end Samdup Miller scooped it up and punched the ball across the goal line for a third-quarter touchdown and a 21-7 lead, the game was out of reach.Illinois opened up a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter on Thomas’ 23-yard keeper. The lead was Illinois’ first since the first quarter of its loss to Iowa on Oct. 7, six-plus games.The Illini rolled up almost 30 percent of their 239 yards of offense on their opening, 69-yard drive.Thomas, a freshman making his second start, finished 14-31 for 139 yards and two interceptions. He ran for 46 yards on 18 carries.A week after the Wildcats used 10 ball carriers in a blowout win over Minnesota, they let Jackson and Jeremy Larkin, who had 71 yards and a touchdown on nine carries, carry the load on Saturday. The two ground down a thin Illinois defense. The three turnovers forced by the Wildcats were big, too, leading to 14 points. Northwestern finishes second in the Big Ten West, behind undefeated Wisconsin.Season No. 2 of the Lovie Smith era came to an end with one fewer win than Illinois managed in its first season under the NFL veteran. On the final Saturday of their season, though, there were signs of life for the Illini. Thomas sparked the offense early and had 60 yards rushing at halftime (though he finished with less). And junior linebackers Tre Watson and Del’Shawn Phillips combined for 21 tackles. But the strain of a long season showed late in the game, when defensive tackle Tito Odenigbo threw a penalty flag back at an official following a Northwestern touchdown, and was ejected.Illinois and Thomas found room to run on their opening drive, but the Northwestern defense slowly closed the door the rest of the game, continuing a trend that started two games ago against Purdue. The Wildcats held the Boilermakers to just 13 points in that win, then shut out Minnesota before giving up just the single score against Illinois Saturday.But early Saturday, watching Thomas run, the Wildcats defense was uneasy, said freshman linebacker Paddy Fisher, who finished with a team-high 10 tackles and an interception.

”(We) just tried to calm everyone down. Everyone was freaking out a little bit,” he said.

Senior day at Illinois served as one last reminder of just how young the Illini were this season. The Illini only had nine total seniors, and only five started – three on offense and two on defense. Those freshman starters had a major impact Saturday. Thomas was starting his second game at quarterback and was the engine behind the early scoring drive. And freshman safety Bennett Williams had an interception in the second quarter on the Illinois goal line, his third of the season.The Wildcats will wait to learn which bowl they will be playing in, the third straight year Northwestern has left the Illini game knowing a bowl game was ahead. The Wildcats ended last season with a 31-24 Pinstripe Bowl win over Pittsburgh….With just two wins, Illinois’ season is over. The last bowl trip for the Illini was in 2014, a 35-18 loss to Louisiana Tech in the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl.

Bulls suffer third worst loss ever, get embarrassed by Warriors by 49!

Bulls Logo

OAKLAND—Two All-Stars down, the Splash Brothers took charge.Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson showed some patience coach Steve Kerr appreciated. They made the perfect pass. They were efficient. They lit it up from all spots on the floor.
”Kind of back to who we are, moving the ball,” Curry proclaimed.
Curry found his stroke from way back and breezed past a 7-footer in the paint with authority, putting on a thrilling display with 33 points Friday to lead the Golden State Warriors over the Bulls 143-94 on a night Kevin Durant and Draymond Green were out.
Curry and Thompson came to play with their fellow All-Stars out. NBA Finals MVP Durant was sidelined the second time in three games with a sprained left ankle, while Green didn’t play for rest.Two-time MVP Curry notched his seventh career 30-point half and 21st 20-point quarter, when he scored 26 in the second as the Warriors matched their biggest half of the season with a 74-53 lead at intermission. was feeling it, all right, following up a deep 3 in the second quarter with a high-step shuffle and chest pat before waving his hands in the air for the crowd to join the fun. And with Green’s muscle flexing absent on this night, Curry drove left and over 7-foot Robin Lopez for a layup late in the second and was fouled. On the floor beneath the basket, he flexed his biceps in celebration.Curry shot 10 for 18 with four 3-pointers, while Thompson added 29 points on 12-of-17 shooting with five 3s. Big man Zaza Pachulia had a season-best 11 points and career-high six assists.Rookie Jordan Bell made his first career start and had a quick one-handed slam – this after being inactive in four of the past five games. Omri Casspi also started for short-handed Golden State coming off a 108-91 loss at Oklahoma City on Wednesday night.Scurrying back on defense, Bell made a pretty block from behind against a driving Denzel Valentine midway through the third and finished with six blocked shots in 26 minutes.Jerian Grant scored 21 points off the bench, Lauri Markkanen scored 14, and Valentine added 10 in the Bulls’ fourth straight defeat and ninth in 10 as the Bulls concluded a winless four-game road swing out West.
”They were getting whatever they wanted,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. ”You have to find a way to fight through that. If we don’t learn that soon, we’re going to keep getting our (butts) kicked.”
Pachulia stole the ball from Lopez and drove to the basket as Lopez took him down with 4:25 remaining in the third and Pachulia hit his head on the padded base of the basket. The play went to official review and Lopez received a Flagrant 1 foul.Both teams shot 54 percent in the first quarter, but the Bulls were outscored 45-21 in the second quarter as they went 8 for 25 from the floor.The Bulls are 2-10 in November. … The Bulls last won at Oracle Arena 113-111 in overtime on Jan. 27, 2015, snapping Golden State’s 19-game home winning streak.The Bulls host Miami on Sunday