Northwestern beats Illinois for Land of Lincoln Trophy.

CHAMPAIGN—Northwestern quarterback Trevor Siemian threw for 414 yards and four touchdowns and Christian Jones caught 13 balls for 182 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Wildcats past Illinois 37-34 Saturday in the finale for both teams.Siemian was 31-44 and didn’t throw an interception.The win ended a seven-game losing streak for Northwestern (5-7, 1-7 Big Ten).The Wildcats gashed an Illinois defense that has given up big yards and points all season. Northwestern’s 560 total yards made it the fifth team to top 500 yards against Illinois (4-8, 1-7).Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase was 31-45 for 307 yards and two touchdowns in his last game at Illinois. Scheelhaase threw one interception in the game, but it was a game-changer.Down 30-27 with just over eight minutes to play in the game, Illinois was driving. On a first-and-10 at his own 45, Scheelhaase rolled right under pressure and, just before he stepped out of bounds, forced a ball down the sideline. The only player close to it was Northwestern defensive end Tyler Scott, who juggled the ball but held it with both hands as he went out of bounds.The play was upheld on review, a decision the sparse crowd howled loudly about and coach Tim Beckman argued over with the officials.The Wildcats made quick work of Illinois’ defense, driving to the 7-yard line where Siemian found Jones in the end zone for the touchdown that put the Wildcats up by 10, 37-27, with 8:07 left to play.Illinois pulled back to within three when Scheelhaase hit Miles Osei for an 11-yard touchdown with 2:23 left in the game.But Northwestern’s Cameron Dickerson came up with the onside kick and the Wildcats ran out the clock.Scheelhaase, a four-year starter, finished his career at Illinois with 10,634 total yards, No. 1 on the team’s all-time list. His 362 yards Saturday broke Juice Williams’ old record. Northwestern’s senior quarterback Kain Colter didn’t play after suffering a big hit a week earlier against Michigan State.But the Wildcats didn’t need him. Siemian’s passing yards and touchdown passes were both career highs for the junior.Illinois opened the second half with a blast from running back Josh Ferguson, a 55-yard touchdown run that gave the Illini the lead, 24-20.Ferguson finished Saturday with 110 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries.His run gave Illinois a solid shot of momentum that its defense put to good use.The Illini held the Wildcats to just a field goal in the third quarter, and late in the period buried Northwestern at its own 2-yard-line with a 66-yard Justin Duvernois punt, almost a third of it on a big roll.But Northwestern conjured up a ghost from one of Illinois’ worst losses of the season to jump back into the lead.Illinois’ 42-3 loss to Michigan State was close until the Spartans battered the Illini with a 99-yard second-half touchdown drive that changed the game.The Wildcats only had to go 98 yards, but they did. Siemian finished it with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Rashad Lawrence for a 30-27 lead with 14:55 left in the game.The Wildcats took an early 10-0 lead and appeared to be in control.Over a stretch of two and a half minutes early in the second quarter, though, Illinois stole the momentum and erased the lead.First Scheelhaase hit Steve Hull on the unlikeliest of 25-yard touchdown passes, jumping to launch the ball over the Wildcats’ defensive pressure and finding Steve Hull flat on his back in the front of the end zone. The receiver slipped as he appeared to adjust to the ball and fell, but the ball found him, landing right on top of him with 13:36 left in the first half.Hull finished with 13 catches for 155 yards and a touchdown.Then with 11:08 left in the half, Ferguson reached an arm into the end zone for another touchdown, hammering the ball to the ground as 300-pound defensive tackle Greg Kuhar pinned his body to the turf just shy of the goal line. Illinois was up 14-10.But NU came back and took a 20-17 lead into halftime.

Hawks beat Phoenix to end successful Circus Trip


GLENDALE—Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist in a dominant first period, Antti Raanta made 31 saves for his second NHL win, and the Blackhawks beat the Phoenix Coyotes 5-2 on Saturday night to complete an impressive road trip.After watching a 3-0 lead become 3-2 after a sloppy second period, Brandon Bollig’s goal with 9:11 left put it away for the Hawks. Andrew Shaw and Niklas Hjalmarsson also scored for the Blackhawks, and Marian Hossa added an empty-net goal in the Blackhawks sixth straight win to wrap up a seven-game, 13-day trip that saw them cement their status as one of the NHL’s top teams.Rob Klinkhammer and Martin Hanzal scored for the Coyotes, who lost for the fourth time in five games.On their annual, lengthy trip while the United Center hosts the circus, the Hawks played in Colorado, toured western Canada and stopped in Dallas on Friday night, where the Blackhawks prevailed in the 11th round of a shootout.After stopping 10 of 11 shots in the shootout less than 24 hours earlier, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville gave Corey Crawford the night off.Raanta, who secured his first NHL victory Wednesday in Calgary, stopped a Coyotes breakaway with just over 2 minutes remaining.The Blackhawks showed no fatigue early, while getting some help from the bumbling Coyotes.Phoenix was called for too many men on the ice 49 seconds into the game, and 25 seconds later Derek Morris was sent to the box for holding.The Hawks took advantage of the 5 on 3 against the league’s 27th-ranked penalty killing unit as Kane deflected Hossa’s shot from the point, beating goaltender Mike Smith high for Kane’s 16th goal of the season.The Blackhawks went up 2-0 when Shaw picked up the puck in a scramble in front of the net and sent a soft, bouncing backhand that squirted past Smith by the left post at 9:18.Less than two minutes later, Hjalmarsson’s took Kane’s pass off the boards and beat Smith from the corner and the Hawks had three goals on 12 shots.It marked the second time this week Phoenix, which has been outscored 28-16 in the first period this season, had fallen behind 3-0 in the opening 20 minutes.Phoenix got within 3-1 early in the second period when Michael Stone intentionally shot wide. The puck bounced off the boards directly to Klinkhammer, who poked it in the net by the near post for his fifth goal, while Stone got an assist.The Hawks parade to the penalty box allowed the Coyotes to make it a game.With Hjalmarsson serving four minutes for slashing and then complaining about it, Hanzal redirected Radim Vrbata’s pass in front of the net to make it 3-2 with 4:04 left in the second.Smith stopped 31 shots in a sour ending to a record-breaking night off the ice for the Coyotes.Despite competition in the area from the Arizona-Arizona State football game and the Jazz-Suns game, the Coyotes announced they broke a franchise record for single-game revenue, in part because all luxury suites were sold,there are a ton of Chicago Fans at any time the Hawks play there, and the team has cut down on ticket giveaways.The sellout crowd of 17,321 was a high point for the once-troubled franchise, which was under NHL control until a group led by George Gosbee took over this summer and committed to keep the team in Arizona.But the defending Stanley Cup champions proved too strong as the Hawks moved to 2-0 against Phoenix this season.

NOTES—Coyotes D Rusty Klesla, who was waived Tuesday, sent to the minors Wednesday and then recalled Friday so he could attend to a personal matter, was a healthy scratch. . The Blackhawks host Dallas on Tuesday in their first home game since Nov. 17. … The Coyotes begin a four-game road trip Tuesday at Edmonton.



Cavs beat Bulls as miserable Circus Trip winds down

Chicago Bulls Logo - Red bull with script above head

CLEVELAND—Andrew Bynum and Dion Waiters each scored 20 points, and the Cleveland Cavaliers held off a late rally by the Bulls for a 97-93 victory Saturday night.Cleveland, which had lost five straight and eight of nine, built a 12-point lead in fourth quarter, but the Bulls rallied for an 88-87 edge on Tony Snell’s basket with 3:59 remaining. Bynum’s jumper put Cleveland ahead again with 3:35 left, and Kyrie Irving scored after stealing the ball from Kirk Hinrich. Waiters converted another turnover into a layup to put the Cavaliers ahead 93-88 with 2:09 to play.Waiters scored again to give Cleveland a seven-point lead, but Luol Deng’s 3-pointer cut the lead to 95-91.Carlos Boozer’s basket with 40 seconds left cut the lead to 95-93. Following a miss by Bynum, the Bulls called timeout with 17 seconds remaining. Deng drove to the basket but his shot rolled off the rim and the Bulls missed three tip-in attempts.Tristan Thompson grabbed the rebound and made two free throws with 9 seconds remaining sealed the win.Deng scored 27 points for the Bulls, who finished 1-5 on their road trip in which they lost Derrick Rose for the season with a knee injury.Irving added 19 points for Cleveland.

Irish rally comes up short as Stanford wins 27-20

STANFORD—Wayne Lyons intercepted two passes from Tommy Rees late in the fourth quarter, and No. 8 Stanford held off No. 25 Notre Dame 27-20 on Saturday night in the regular-season finale for both teams.The Cardinal (10-2) overcame two interceptions from Kevin Hogan and a penalty that wiped away another touchdown to win their 16th consecutive home game. Stanford will play for its second straight Pac-12 title and Rose Bowl berth next week when it faces No. 13 Arizona State in the conference championship game.Tyler Gaffney ran for 189 yards and a touchdown, and Hogan threw for 158 yards and TD pass to Devon Cajuste to help the Cardinal take a 21-6 lead in the third quarter.Rees nearly rallied the Fighting Irish (8-4) by throwing two touchdown passes later in the quarter. But interceptions on Notre Dame’s final two drives dashed Notre Dame’s come back.

Hawks get by Stars in one of longest shootouts ever.

DALLAS—Ben Smith scored in the 11th round of a wild shootout and the Blackhawks finally beat the Dallas Stars 2-1 Friday night for their fifth straight victory.Patrick Sharp and Dallas’ Rich Peverley had the only goals through the first 10 rounds of the tiebreaker. Each of them scored in regulation, too.It was the longest shootout in the NHL since Tampa Bay beat the New York Rangers in 11 rounds on Dec. 23, 2010. The Lightning won that game 4-3 with a 3-2 edge in the tiebreaker.Sharp tied it 1-all at 7:21 of the third period. Peverley scored at 16:40 of the first.Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas  broke his right leg in the second period. He was wheeled off the ice on a stretcher and taken to the hospital.While helping to kill off a Dallas penalty, the 36-year-old Robidas,a former Hawk, slid hard into the boards beyond the goal line. He stayed down on the ice holding his leg just below the knee.Robidas is in his 11th season with the Stars, the longest tenure on the team, and his 14th NHL season. In his absence, Dallas played only five defensemen.The Hawks have won six straight against the Stars, outscoring them 27-9, and five in a row at Dallas dating to Oct. 7, 2011.Duncan Keith set up Sharp’s goal with his 21st assist.In the first period, Shawn Horcoff beat Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford to a loose puck behind the net and passed to Peverley skating down the slot.Crawford recovered from that goal, stopped Alex Chiasson on a penalty shot early in the second and blanked Dallas the rest of the way en route to his 100th NHL win.Crawford and Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen combined to stop 16 consecutive shootout attempts until Smith connected.The game was a defensive struggle.Neither team put a shot on goal until 2 minutes into the game. Lehtonen later stopped point-blank attempts by Brent Seabrook and Smith.Dallas’ best scoring chance was on a backhand by Jamie Benn at the 13-minute mark until Peverley put the Stars ahead.Dallas had an 11-9 advantage in shots during the first period.After the penalty shot, the Stars had another good chance 10 minutes into the second. Crawford reached up to catch Ryan Garbutt’s drive before it reached the upper right corner of the net.No one went to the penalty box until Peverley was called for tripping at 11:31 of the second.Each team had one shot on goal in overtime, which ended with Dallas shooting a puck wide right.
NOTES—Sharp’s goal was his fifth point in two games against the Stars this season. He had four assists at Dallas on Nov. 9. … At times, a large contingent of Chicago fans in the sold-out arena chanted “Let’s go Hawks!”

NU smoked by UCLA in first meeting since 1969.

LAS VEGAS—The way this one went, Northwestern might want to wait ANOTHER 44 years before facing UCLA again.Sharing the ball is paying dividends for thw No. 19 Bruins, who nearly scored 100 points for a third consecutive game as Jordan Adams, Zach LaVine and Bryce Alford scored 18 points apiece in a 95-79 win over Northwestern in the final round of the Las Vegas Invitational on Friday night.The Bruins (7-0) made 13 of 17 attempts from 3-point range to finish 4-0 in the round-robin tournament for a share of the crown with Missouri.Tournament MVP Kyle Anderson added 16 points, nine rebounds and nine assists as the Bruins shot 64 percent from the field (35 of 55).

”Guys were doing a great job sharing the ball,” coach Steve Alford said. ”We have to share the ball. We have a lot of room to improve. We’re a fun group to watch. We’re athletic and we like playing together. We’re a versatile group.”

Alford had to be proud of his freshman son, Bryce, who hit all four of his 3-point tries and set a career high for points.

”As we go, I feel a lot more comfortable,” Bryce Alford said. ”I’m settling into my role. I’m really starting to know the offense. My teammates got me really open shots today.”

Steve Alford became the first UCLA coach to win his first seven games. Hall of Famer John Wooden started his Bruins stint 6-1 in 1948-49.The Bruins made 76.5 percent of their 3-pointers, falling just short of the school record. They shot 76.9 percent (10 for 13) from long range at California on Jan. 21, 1990.JerShon Cobb led Northwestern (4-4) with 22 points.Northwestern’s leading scorer, Drew Crawford, did not play due to back spasms.Crawford is averaging 14.3 points and 6.9 rebounds. He played only 12 minutes Thursday in a loss Missouri, scoring just two points.

”Crawford is day-to-day,” said NU coach Chris Collins, whose team finished 2-2 at the Invitational. ”We tried to get him some treatment, but it just didn’t happen. Our next game is Wednesday so we’ll see.”

Kale Abrahamson added 19 and Tre Demps 15 for the Wildcats, who went 2-2 in the Invitational.

”Take away an 18-point game scorer and play one of the best teams in the country and they shoot 13 of 17 from 3, it’s going to be really tough,” Collins said. ”When you play these games, it is a great indicator of where you are. My guys fought for 40 minutes and I’m proud of that. The way UCLA shot tonight, we could have easily quit.”

The first half was a scoring fest for the Bruins, who went 19 of 25 from the field – including 9 for 11 from beyond the arc. They jumped out to a 12-1 lead and never trailed.UCLA was up 51-32 with 2 minutes left in the first half and the Bruins had their largest lead of 25 with 4:56 left in the game.

”I think we have a lot of guys that can shoot the basketball and stretch defenses,” Steve Alford said. ”And because of our lineups, there a lot of things we can do and how we play.”

The Wildcats went 12 of 32 from 3-point range and 21 of 27 at the free throw line.The tournament’s championship format was changed to round-robin this year to accommodate the Tigers and Bruins, who have a game scheduled for Dec. 7 at Missouri and didn’t want to play twice this season.The last time UCLA scored 100 points three straight games was during the 1971-72 season from Dec. 3-29. That team won the national championship, going 30-0.It was the first time the Bruins and Wildcats met since 1969, when UCLA won 81-67 at Chicago Stadium. Lew Alcindor led the Bruins with 35 points and 16 rebounds.UCLA now leads the series 4-1.

Cats go dry in the desert in second half, lose to Mizzou 78-67

LAS VEGAS—Northwestern could  not take theior first half momentum into the second stanza, and a huge dry spell early in the second half doomed the Wildcats against Missouri’s in the Las Vegas Invitational. Johnathan Williams and Ryan Rosburg, two of four Tigers scored in double figures in a 78-67 win over NU in the tournament’s opening round.Jordan Clarkson scored 13 of his 21 points in the second half to lead Missouri, while Williams and Rosburg each had 14.The Tigers, who outscored Northwestern in the paint 40-14, scored the first 14 points of the second half to erase a five-point halftime deficit and take a 48-39 lead at the 15:10 mark and never looked back.After Northwestern’s second-half drought was ended by JerShon Cobb, who scored a game-high 22 points, the Tigers extended their lead to 13, when Brown hit a 3-pointer to give them a 54-41 advantage. The 6-foot-5 junior guard wasn’t finished, as he scored five of his team’s next 10 points and dished a nifty backward pass to Clarkson, who finished with a one-handed slam dunk that exemplified the Tigers’ transition game.Missouri (6-0), which went from shooting 0-for-7 from the 3-point line in the first 20 minutes to shooting 4-of-7 in the second half, held Northwestern to just 36.4 percent shooting in the second half, compared with the Wildcats’ 50 percent shooting from the field in the first half.There were six ties and six lead changes in the first half, and the Wildcats connected on 6 of 13 jumpers from 3-point range. Cobb led the charge early, shooting 4 for 6 from the field (3-of-5 from 3-point range) en route to 16 points in the first half. After falling behind 19-13 midway through the first half, Northwestern went on a 26-15 run to take a 39-34 halftime lead.But it was Missouri’s defensive intensity in the second half that thwarted every effort by Northwestern, which missed its first six shots after halftime.Tre Demps and Nathan Taphorn each scored 11 for Northwestern (4-3).Missouri, which won by double digits for the fifth time this season, is now 13-4 on a neutral court under Haith. Since 2011, the Tigers are 17-1 in the month of November, and dating back to 2006 have won 44 of their 50 games in the month.The Tigers, who played on Thanksgiving Day for the second consecutive year, face Nevada on Friday, while Northwestern (4-3) will play No. 19 UCLA.


Thursday Thanksgiving Games—
Green Bay over DETROIT
DALLAS over Oakland
Pittsburgh over BALTIMORE

Sunday Games—
CAROLINA over Tampa Bay
Denver over KANSAS CITY
CLEVELAND over Jacksonville
Tennessee over INDIANAPOLIS
NY JETS over Miami
SAN DIEGO over Cincinnati
BUFFALO over Atlanta

Sunday Night
NY GIANTS over Washington

Monday Night
SEATTLE over New Orleans

Bears over MINNESOTA

Last Week:       LES 7-6-1          ADAM   9-4-1
Thru Week 12   LES 119-56-1     ADAM  120-95-1

LES 119-56-1                            ADAM  120-55-1

Hawks explode in third period for 3-2 comeback vs Flames

CALGARY—Patrick Kane scored twice, including the tiebreaking goal with 18 seconds left, and the Blackhawks rallied for three consecutive goals in the third period to beat the Calgary Flames 3-2 on Wednesday night.Patrick Sharp also scored for the Blackhawks (18-4-4), the top team in the NHL. The defending Stanley Cup champions improved to 4-1-0 with two stops to go on their seven-game road trip.Matt Stajan and Sean Monahan scored for the Flames, who are 1-5-2 in their past eight home games.After Sven Baertschi lost the puck at the Calgary blue line, a shot from Niklas Hjalmarsson caromed sharply off the skate of Flames defenseman Chris Butler. The puck went straight to Kane at the side of the net, where he spun and lifted a backhand over goalie Reto Berra.Just when it appeared the Hawks might be shut out for the first time in 93 games, the Blackhawks struck for two goals 56 seconds apart to tie the game and silence the crowd at the Scotiabank Saddledome.Kane dashed down the left wing and as he attempted to send a centering pass to Andrew Shaw in front, the puck deflected off the stick of Flames defenseman Kris Russell instead and beat a surprised Berra inside the post at 9:42 of the third.On the next shift, Marian Hossa sent a pass into the slot that Sharp redirected past Berra, and suddenly the teams were even.Ahead 1-0 entering the third period, Calgary added to its lead at 2:05 on Monahan’s ninth goal. Taking a drop pass from Jiri Hudler, the Flames’ rookie fired a shot just inside the post to beat Antti Raanta.Monahan is tied with Mike Cammalleri for the team lead in goals with nine.Raanta finished with 20 saves in his first NHL start. Recalled from the minors on Nov. 17 when Nikolai Khabibulin went on injured reserve, Raanta stopped 14 of 16 shots in his only previous appearance a week ago in Colorado in relief of Corey Crawford.Berra made his 10th start in the last 11 games for the Flames. He finished with 27 saves and fell to 3-5-2.It was Berra’s second start against the Hawks. In his memorable NHL debut on Nov. 3, he made 42 saves in a 3-2 overtime victory at the United Center.As is Bob Hartley’s style when he’s playing at home with the last line change, the Calgary coach matched top line against top line and got a great night from the Flames’ trio of Stajan, Lee Stempniak and Cammalleri.Up against Jonathan Toews, Hossa and Sharp for most of the game, the Flames’ unit stifled them offensively through the first two periods while creating several scoring chances for themselves.Calgary opened the scoring at 13:32 of the second. Stajan found himself some open space in the slot and one-timed a centering pass from Hudler for his fourth goal of the season.

NOTES—Hossa returned to the lineup after missing two games for personal reasons. … The Flames placed LW TJ Galiardi (back) on injured reserve and recalled forward Max Reinhart from Abbotsford (AHL). … Calgary D Mark Giordano (broken ankle) is back skating with the club, although it’s unclear when he will return. LW Curtis Glencross (knee) hopes to be back on the ice next week. The two veterans have missed 16 and nine games, respectively. … The Flames were coming off four days off. Other than the Olympic break, they will not go that long between games the rest of the season.

Bulls pull away from Pistons 99-79

Chicago Bulls Logo - Red bull with script above head

AUBURN HILLS—Taj Gibson had a career-high 23 points and the Bulls pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat the Detroit Pistons 99-79 Wednesday night.The Pistons stayed close for most of the game, but managed only seven points in the first 10 minutes of the fourth quarter. That allowed the Bulls to increase their lead to as many as 24 points as they ended a four-game losing streak.Luol Deng led the Bulls with 27 points. Rodney Stuckey finished with 25 off the bench for Detroit but no one else had more than 13. Josh Smith had 13 points and 11 rebounds and Andre Drummond had 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Pistons.