Hawks return home, beat Blues 7-5, Kane and Toews each score a pair.

Back from a long and successful road trip and playing on home ice for the first time in 16 days, the Blackhawks were nearly lulled into a false sense of security. Looking strong with a 5-1 lead, the defending Stanley Cup champions eventually needed late goals from young stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews to hold off a determined rally by the St. Louis Blues for a 7-5 victory Tuesday night.Kane scored on a rebound off a shot by Viktor Stalberg with 6:18 left to put the Blackhawks up 6-4. Toews then added his second power-play goal of the night about 2 minutes later to give the Hawks a three-goal cushion on its way to a third straight win.Davod Backes scored for St. Louis with 2:39 left, but the Blues couldn’t come all the way back and lost their third consecutive game.Patrick Sharp got his team-leading 16th goal in the first period.That timeout came after the Blues scored three times to make it 5-4. Tomas Kopecky had a goal and three assists and Troy Brouwer also scored. Rookie goalie Corey Crawford ran his winning streak to five games, holding off the Blues’ rally. He made 21 saves.Patrik Berglund, Eric Brewer, Alex Pietrangelo and Brad Boyes scored goals for the Blues, while Backes and Vladimir Sobotka had three assists apiece.Playing without injured forward Marian Hossa, the Blackhawks appeared to build a comfortable lead with three second-period goals against Blues backup goalie Ty Conklin.But St. Louis, which did some switching with its top two lines to start the game, rallied with three goals in an 8:32 span of the second and third periods to make it a one-score game. Hossa is expected to miss two to three weeks with a lower-body injury after colliding with teammate Nick Boynton during practice Monday.Jeremy Morin, just called up from the minors with Hossa out, made an immediate impact. His hard check behind the net on Nikita Nikitin forced an errant pass, and Kopecky collected the puck in the right circle and rifled it past Conklin just 4:38 into the game.The Blues tied it with about 3 minutes to go in the opening period on some nice 3-on-2 passing. Backes skated in the center with the puck, moved it to Sobotka, who made a crossing pass to Berglund for the score.Just 2 minutes later, Sharp skated down the right side, faked a pass to get Pietrangelo off balance and then converted for his 16th goal of the season to make it 2-1.Morin got an assist on the Hawks third goal early in the second on a power play when the Blackhawks took advantage of a strange bounce. Morin dumped the puck in and when Conklin went behind the net to make a play, it bounded off the glass and came right out in front of the unguarded goal. Brouwer was there to tap it in for a 3-1 lead.Toews took a pass from Kane just to the right of the net and quickly stuffed a shot between a falling Conklin’s legs for a 4-1 lead. Kane scored the third goal of the period, poking in a shot from in front on a nice pass from Stalberg. Brewer’s shot from the slot late in the period eluded a screened Crawford and made it 5-2.Pietrangelo’s long slap shot from beyond the right circle made it 5-3 early in the third and Boyes’ rebound about 3 minutes later cut it to one, prompting the Blackhawks to take a timeout.

NOTES—Sharp, the Blackhawks’ leading scorer, has goals in five straight games.

Illini get past Tarheels in ACC-Big Ten Challenge


CHAMPAIGN -Mike Davis scored 20 points and No. 20 Illinois had five players finish in double figures in a 79-67 victory over North Carolina on Tuesday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Demetri McCamey had 17 points for the Illini (7-1) while Mike Tisdale had 14, Jereme Richmond 12 and D.J. Richardson 11.North Carolina center Tyler Zeller picked up three early fouls and spent more than 9 minutes of the first half on the bench while the Illini built a 37-30 halftime lead.Illinois opened the second half with an 8-2 run and never led by less than nine points the rest of the way.John Henson led the Tar Heels (4-3) with 16 points while Zeller finished with 10.

Cats rout Jackets in ACC-Big Ten Challenge

EVANSTON—John Shurna scored 21 points, Drew Crawford added 19 and Northwestern shot a blistering 64.6 percent in a 91-71 victory over Georgia Tech in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge on Tuesday night.The Wildcats (5-0) shot 31 of 48 overall and buried 12 of 19 3-pointers, with Shurna and Crawford leading the onslaught.Shurna hit 7 of 8 shots, including all 4 3s. Crawford converted 8 of 11 overall and 3 of 5 from long range. Michael Thompson added 14 points and four assists, giving him 403 in his career and making him the second Northwestern player to pass 400 assists.Alex Marcotullio hit 3 of 5 3-pointers while scoring 13, and the Wildcats matched the program record they set last year for wins in November.Glen Rice Jr. had 16 for the Yellow Jackets (4-3).

Bears beat Eagles as Cutler throws 4 TD passes. Back alone atop NFC North

The Bears knew before kickoff that with Green Bay losing to Atlanta 20-17,they the worst they could be at the day’s end was tied for the NFC Central Division lead.How about instead holding the Division lead all alone after knocking off the Philadelphia Eagles 31-26 as Jay Cutler threw for four touchdowns-two to Earl Bennett and the Bears did not turn the ball over the entire game.

Philadelphia won the coin toss and received.They started at their 27.Two running plays and a sack of Michael by Israel Idonije and Matt Toeaina forced a Sav Rocca punt of 46 yards that went out of bounds at the Bears 34.The Bears also went three and out with Cutler getting sacked by Trent Coles and Brad Maynard punted but DeSean Jackson broke around the right side to midfield.On a third and three,Vick overthrew TE Brent Celek and David Akers kicked a 45 yard field goal to give the Eagles a 3-0 lead with 8:52 left in the quarter.After Devin Hester returned the kickoff to his own 21,the Bears moved quickly.On second down Matt Forte ran around LE for 61 yards before being knocked out at the Philly 9.After a one yard loss by Forte,Cutler dropped back and found Bennett in the end zone and the ten yard TD pass gave the Bears a 7-3 lead.The Bears got another sack on Vick and in turn a three and out Hester returned the 36 yard Rocca punt 9 yards to his own 41.After a one yard loss by Chester Taylor, Cutler his Hester with a screen in which he broke to the left side for 39 yards to the Phila 21.After Taylor picked up a yard, Cutler bootlegged and hit a wide open Johnny Knox as Joselio Hanson slipped at the five. Knox just had to catch the ball ands did to complete the 20 yard TD pass to make it 14-3. Starting at their 35, Vick hit TE Clay Harbor at the Bears 41. On third down,Vick under pressure still hit Jason Avant at the Bears 19 as the first quarter ended with the Bears up 14-3.The Eagles got to the Bears 8 for a first and goal.After two incompleted passes, Vick found Jeremy Maclin at the one and he fell into the end zone to cut the Bears lead to 14-10 just 1:42 into the second quarter. Daniel Manning returned Akers kickoff 45 yards to the Bears 47.On a third a long, Cutler was sacked by DE Brandon Graham and Maynard punted to Jackson at his 36,but Corey Graham was called for stepping out of bounds,and coming back in,so a 15 yard penalty gave the Eagles the ball at their own 41.An 18 yard run up the middle by DeSean McCoy moved the ball to the Bears 41.Then Vick hit Jackson at the Bears 20.Vick then hit Maclin at the Bears ten.After an incompleted pass,Vick called his own number and ran to the Bears 3. Julius Peppers then caught Vick for a sack back at the 18 and Akers kicked a 36 yard field goal to trim the Bears lead to 14-13 with 8:08 left in the half. The kick return by Manning this time only got to the 19.This drive was wrecked by two sacks on Cutler which forced a fourth and 24 and a Maynard punt from his end zone which Maclin fair caught at the Bears 46. The Eagles moved the chains on a third down 5 yd pass to Maclin at the Bears 34. Vick hit Avant at the Bears 22.And a screen to McCoy got the ball to the 8 for a first and goal. A short pass to Jerome Harrison made it second and goal at the four.Vick then was intercepted for the first time this season when Tommy Harris tipped the throw and Chris Harris picked it off in the end zone, and ran it back to the Bears 37.Vick had thrown 244 passes before that first pick.The Bears quickly went 63 yards in six plays.Cutler hit Hester on a screen for 13 yards to midfield.Cutler then found Bennett who broke about three tackles and got to the Philly 20.Knox caught a pass over the middle and got to the Eagles 6 for a first and goal.Two plays later,Cutler bought a few seconds and hit Bennett at the two and he ran it in for his second TD of the game and with :38 left in the half,the Bears took a 21-13 lead which was also the halftime score.

The Bears received the second half kickoff and Hester returned it 46 yards to his own 46.Three plays later the Bears scored.The setup play was a Cutler pass on the right to Hester who was pushed out at and Phil 18 for a 34 yards gain and when Nate Allen was called for a Horse Collar Tackle,the ball was moved to the Eagles 9.Cutler then found Greg Olsen for his third TD pass of the game to make it 28-13 just 1:31 into the half.The Eagles were stopped in three plays and Pocca punted the ball dead at the Bears 12.After a holding call, Forte ran 28 yards around RE to his 34.Cutler scrambled 12 yards to his 46.Passes to Bennett and Hester moved the ball to the Philly 18 for a first down.Forte ran around the right side for six before being knocked out at the 12.He then powered to the ten for a third and two situation.Brandon Manumeleuna then took a screen pass to the four for a first and goal. Chester Taylor was stuffed by Cole for a two yard loss,then got one back to leave it at third and goal from the 5.Cutler hen threw one out of bounds with Knox triple covered and Robbie Gould kicked a 23 yard field goal to cap a drive of 10:05 and increase the Bears lead to 31-13 with 1:26 remaining in the third quarter.The Eagles who did not have the ball much in the quarter got a 24 yard pass play from Vick to Maclin and got to the Bears 40.Vick then fumbled and recovered himself as the third quarter ended.The Eagles got a first down at the Bears 29.Vick then hit McCoy with a screen and he got behind two blockers and ran to the Bears 8 for a first and goal.They got to a fourth and goal at the Bears 4 and Akers kicked a 22 yard field goal as the Bears lead was 31-16 with 11:51 left in the game.The kickoff was returned by Manning to his 28,but Nick Roach was called for holding,so the Bears series started at their 18.On first down, Cutler found Knox for 34 yards on a screen to the Eagles 47. This drive ended after an incompleted pass that was intended for Hester who appeared to be interfered with and Cutler was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for reading the riot act to the officials.The Maynard punt was caught and downed at the Philly 24.A scramble by Vick and a five yard penalty on the Bears got the ball to the 39,then he hit Riley Cooper at the Bears 10.After an incomplete pass, McCoy lost 8 on a screen as Idonije got him.Vick then ran to the 18 and it was fourth and goal. Akers was called in for a 36 yard field goal making him 4-4 on the day.The Bears lead was 31-19 with 4:47 to go.Rather than on side it, Akers kicked to Hester who returned twenty to his 25.Two running plays and an incompleted try to Hester,and Maynard punted 42 yards into a fair catch at the Phila 42.The Eagles with no timeouts left moved slowly into Bears territory and had a first down at the 43.Ten McCoy caught a 12 yarder to the Bears 31.Vick threw an incompletion on first down,and then Cooper was called for offensive pass interference.It became third and nine at the Bears 30 at the two minute warning.Vick overthrew McCoy leaving a fourth and 10 Vick found Celek just out of Brian Urlacher’s reach and with 1:48 to go the Eagles got the score down to 31-16. Aker’s on-side kick was caught by Knox on the fly at the Eagles 43 with 1:47 remaining.Cutler took three kneel downs to end the game

Authorities say a man died after falling at least 20 feet from a ledge at Soldier Field while attending the Bears game. Chicago police say the man fell around 4:55 p.m. Sunday during the NFL matchup between the Bears and the Philadelphia Eagles. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital.Chicago Fire Chief Joe Roccasalva says the man landed on a small rooftop on the outside of the stadium. Witnesses told authorities the man ran to a ledge and jumped. Roccasalva says the man was in his 20s, but his name hasn’t been released.It’s the second death in a week at a major sporting arena. On Nov. 21, a 2-year-old boy fell from a luxury box at the Staples Center during a Los Angeles Lakers game


NU starts 4-0 with 65-52 win over Creighton

EVANSTON—John Shurna scored 23 points and Juice Thompson added 18 as Northwestern won its fourth straight game, defeating Creighton 65-52 Sunday night.Thompson sank back-to-back 3-pointers and Shurna dunked off a feed from Thompson to give Northwestern its largest lead of the game at 55-39 with 8:35 remaining. The closest Creighton came after that was within 60-52 with 1:59 left.It’s the first 4-0 start for the Wildcats in 17 years.Antoine Young led Creighton with 18 points and a game-high five assists, while freshman Doug McDermott added 14 points. Kenny Lawson Jr. had 11 points and a game-high 12 rebounds for the Bluejays (4-2).NU built as much as a 13-point first-half lead on its way to a 40-32 advantage at intermission. Shurna had 14 points on 5-of-7 field goal shooting, which included two one-handed dunks, while Thompson was 5-for-5 for his 10 points.

ISU takes it’s own Tournament 60-47 over Jacksonville State

NORMAL—Justin Clark scored 11 points Sunday and Illinois State defeated Jacksonville State 60-47 to win the Global Sports Roundball Classic. Alex Rubin and Blake Mishler scored 10 points each for the Redbirds (5-1), who were 3-0 in the four-team round-robin tournament.Illinois State led 23-19 at halftime. Rubin did make two 3-pointers in the half, but overall the Redbirds were just 9-for-27. But Illinois State scored the first five points in the second half and eventually opened up a 46-34 lead.Nick Murphy led the Gamecocks (2-5) with 16 points, and Stephen Hall added 15. Jacksonville State shot 38 percent (17-of-45) from the field while ISU was 21-for-50 at 42 percent.

UIC beats Toledo for second time, 63-52 on Kreps three pointer

Robo Kreps’ 3-pointer with 9 seconds to play gave UIC a 63-62 victory over Toledo on Sunday.The Flames (4-3) led most of the second half but Toledo took a 60-58 lead on Delino Dear’s two free throws with 1:18 left. Paul Carter tied it with a layup for UIC with 1:07 left, but Malcolm Griffin made one of two free throws with 36 seconds to play and Dear made a free throw with 16 seconds left. But Dear missed the second and the Flames came down to set up Kreps’ game-winner.Griffin, who led the Rockets (0-7) with 18 points, missed a shot with 3 seconds left.Zavion Neely led UIC with 22 points. Carter had 11 points and 14 rebounds for the Flames, who owned a 37-20 advantage on the boards.

Demons lose in OT to Stanford in Anaheim

ANAHEIM—Jeremy Green scored 19 points and Stanford rallied to beat DePaul 81-74 in overtime Sunday at the 76 Classic.Green collapsed after the game and received attention from paramedics.

“As Jeremy was leaving the court following the game, he began to experience some dizziness and stomach pain due to exhaustion,” Stanford’s sports information department said in statement. “After receiving treatment at the arena, Jeremy was then transported to a local hospital for further treatment. Jeremy is currently in stable condition, and expected to travel back with the team later tonight.”

Anthony Brown added 14 points and Dwight Powell had 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Cardinal (4-2), who ended a two-game losing streak.Jimmy Drew came off the bench to score a season-high 17 points for the Blue Demons (1-4), who lost their third consecutive game. Brandon Young added 15 points.Stanford took a 71-67 lead in overtime before Young’s layup and free throw narrowed the margin to 71-70 with 2:31 left. Powell then made four three throws during a 6-0 spurt that extended the lead to 77-70 with 59 seconds remaining, and the Cardinal held on for the win.

Huge fourth quarter and return of Rose carries Bulls past Kings to end Circus Trip


SACRAMENTO—Derrick Rose’s neck still hurt him. Not that it was apparent on the court.Rose had 30 points, seven assists and seven rebounds for the Bulls, who rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the Sacramento Kings 96-85 Saturday night.The Bulls trailed by 13 at halftime, but held the Kings to 28 second-half points, outscoring them 27-9 in the fourth.Rose had a neck injury that forced him to sit out Friday’s game in Denver, a one-point loss.Deng had 22 points and nine rebounds,and Joakim Noah had 17 points and eight rebounds for the Bulls, who concluded their seven-game road trip that started Nov. 16 with a victory in Houston(4-3).Jason Thompson had 18 points and nine rebounds for the Kings, who have lost four straight and 10 of 11. Tyreke Evans had 17 points and nine assists for the Kings.Rose made consecutive baskets on two dazzling drives to the basket and put his team ahead 87-83. Noah followed with two free throws and a fastbreak layup for a 91-83 lead with 2:41 remaining.The Bulls scored the first nine points of the fourth quarter to take a 78-76 lead, but the Kings answered with Greene’s 3-pointer at the 7:40 mark.Sacramento wound up wasting the first halftime lead it had this season. The Kings led 57-44 at the break and were up 76-69 after three.

NOTES—Out with a broken hand all season, Bulls expensive free agent pickup Carlos Boozer is expected to practice for the first time on Monday. … Dalembert missed his first shot of the game, his 16th miss in 17 attempts over a six-game stretch. He made his next six shots. … Kings veteran Francisco Garcia missed his second straight game with the flu.


Hawks end Circus trip by beating slumping Kings

LOS ANGELES—Patrick Kane once again was bailed out by a favorable video review. Only this time, there wasn’t nearly as much at stake.Kane, who scored the Stanley Cup-winning goal in overtime last season after a lengthy video review, had to wait through another review before his fifth goal of this season was upheld. The insurance marker, along with Patrick Sharp’s fifth goal in six games, helped the Blackhawks beat the Los Angeles Kings 2-1 on Saturday.Tomas Kopecky made a blind backhanded pass toward the crease from the right corner, and the puck glanced off the oncoming Kane before caroming off the right post and across the goal line. The ruling was that Kane didn’t intentionally knock it in with his hand.Corey Crawford started consecutive games for the second time this season and made 21 saves, after stopping 26 shots Friday in a 5-2 victory in Anaheim. He lost his shutout bid with 5:02 remaining when Anze Kopitar beat him high to the glove side with a screened 45-foot slap shot in the slot during a 5-on-3 power play.This was the 25th time the Hawks played back-to-back road games against Kings and Ducks, and only the third time the Blackhawks have won both. It also happened March 9-11, 1994 and Feb. 4-6, 1996. They completed their annual “circus trip” 4-2-0.The Blackhawks capitalized on a fortuitous break to score their first goal. Los Angeles defenseman Jack Johnson attempted a one-timer from the high slot after one of his teammates’ shots was blocked in front of the net, but Johnson fanned on the puck and the Blackhawks took off on a 2-on-1 rush against Drew Doughty as Johnson was caught up ice.Kane held the puck as long as he could after drawing Doughty toward him, then slipped the puck to Sharp, who had a wide-open net to shoot at and easily one-timed it past Jonathan Quick’s glove at 10:36 of the second period.Sharp has 15 goals in his first 25 games. Last season, he didn’t get his 15th goal until his 45th game and finished with 25.

NOTES—Los Angeles has killed all 38 short-handed situations at Staples Center, and is the only team that hasn’t allowed a power-play goal at home this season. Sharp hit the right post with a 25-foot wrist shot from the slot while Michal Handzus was off serving an interference penalty early in the second period. … Kings C Jarret Stoll won 11 of 12 faceoffs, after coming in with an impressive 56.5 percentage. …The Hawks are 5-2-0 in the second game of back-to-back sets. Last season, the Blackhawks were 15-1-3.