Lynch runs for 321 yards, NIU beats W.Mich 33-14, finish 12-0 regular season.

DE KALB—P.J. Fleck helped recruit quarterback Jordan Lynch to Northern Illinois so the first-year Western Michigan coach had a good idea what the Broncos could expect Tuesday.No amount of preparation, however, could counter what the Huskies senior delivered on a wintery night.Lynch broke his single-game FBS rushing record for quarterbacks with 321 yards and No. 18 Northern Illinois completed its first unbeaten regular season in 50 years with a 33-14 victory against Western Michigan.

“Jordan Lynch is the best player in college football and that’s no disrespect to anyone else” said Fleck, a former Northern Illinois star receiver and assistant coach. “The reason is he makes every single guy around him better. He is what Northern Illinois is about. … And with all the pressure, he continues to perform.”

Lynch carried the ball 27 times in topping his previous record of 316 yards, set on Oct. 19 against Central Michigan. He established the mark with a 6-yard run with 13:49 to play. He scored on runs of 29, 36 and 37 yards and threw a 10-yard TD.

“It was fun,” said Lynch. “It was hard to throw the ball in those conditions and good thing we have a good running game.”

The Huskies (12-0, 8-0 Mid-American) shook off 17-degree temperature, brisk winds and occasional light snowfall to extend the nation’s longest active home winning streak to 26 games.

“The elements played a huge factor in the game, it was tough to throw and to kick,” Northern Illinois coach Rod Carey said. “But I’m real happy with the win — and how we ran the ball like we did in those conditions and scored the points. And our defense did a great job holding them to 14 points.”

The Broncos (1-11, 1-7) dropped their third straight. Running back Dareyon Chance scored one touchdown and Antoin Scriven scored another.The Huskies, No. 14 in the Bowl Championship Series rankings, also officially locked down their fourth straight West Division title on Tuesday with their 25th consecutive conference victory. They will meet Bowling Green or Buffalo in the Dec. 6 MAC title game at Detroit’s Ford Field.Northern Illinois’ only previous unbeaten season was the 1963 team that went 10-0 and won an NCAA College Division championship. The Huskies moved into the major college ranks in 1969.Running back Cameron Stingily ran 14 times for 49 yards and topped the 1,000 yard mark. It’s the first time Northern Illinois has had two 1,000-yard runners in a season. Lynch has 1,755 yards.

“He’s been important to us all year,” Carey said. “Just because he got 1,000 doesn’t validate him because he was already validated.”

The Huskies stalled deep in Broncos territory on their opening drive and kicker Matt Sims missed on a 34-yard field goal attempt.But on the next possession Lynch guided Northern Illinois on an 80-yard, 8-play scoring drive with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Jawan Brescacin for a 7-0 lead with 1:10 left in the first quarter.Western Michigan moved to the Northern Illinois 1 and survived a goal-line fumble early in the second quarter when Chance completed the 12-play, 63-yard drive with a run up the middle to tie it at 7.Lynch, a dark horse Heisman Trophy candidate, topped the 100-yard rushing mark early in the second quarter and later bolted 29 yards for his 18th rushing touchdown of the year and a 14-7 lead with 9:43 showing.Lynch struck again with 7:31 left in the half with a 36-yard sprint as he passed 200 yards. Sims’ extra point kick failed, leaving Northern Illinois with a 20-7 lead.Western Michigan was thwarted with 5 seconds showing as Andrew Haldeman’s 37-yard field goal try was blocked. On a previous drive Haldeman missed a 42-yard try.Northern Illinois opened a 23-7 lead on Sims’s 23-yard field goal into the wind with 5:38 left in the half.Lynch scored his third touchdown on a 37-yard run, surpassing 300 yards as the Huskies extended the led to 30-7.Sims hit a 32-yard field goal with 12:52 to play.Western Michigan broke a 50-minute scoring drought when Scriven’s 1-yard touchdown run cut the Northern Illinois lead to 33-14 with 4:40 to play.Tuesday’s game was the final home game for Lynch and 16 other Northern Illinois seniors. It was also the finale for Diesel, a 10-year-old purebred Husky who served team mascot for nine seasons.Northern Illinois beat Western Michigan for the fifth consecutive time but the Broncos still lead the overall series 23-16 and are 11-9 in DeKalb.

Without Rose, Bulls rally vs Jazz,,,,STILL LOSE in OT

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SALT LAKE CITY—Trey Burke made a key 3-pointer to help the Utah Jazz outlast the Bulls 89-83 in overtime Monday night — the Bulls’ first game since learning Derrick Rose would again be lost for the season.Burke, a rookie finally enjoying extensive playing time after spending most of the season recovering from finger surgery, had 14 points and six assists. He also had five turnovers and shot 5 for 17 but was on the court in clutch time directing the Jazz to their second win of the season.Carlos Boozer had 26 points and 16 rebounds and Luol Deng added 24 points for the Bulls, who were exhausted in their fourth game in five nights and still processing the loss of Rose for the season.Marvin Williams had 17 points and Gordon Hayward and Richard Jefferson each had 15 as the Jazz scored the first seven points of overtime.

Hawks get a pair from Shaw, shorty from Toews, beat Oilers 5-1

EDMONTON—Andrew Shaw scored a pair of goals, and Patrick Kane added a power-play tally to extend his point streak to 11 games in the Blackhawks’ 5-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night.Jonathan Toews and Johnny Oduya also scored for the Blackhawks (17-4-4), who have won three straight. The Hawks has gone 11-2-1 in its last 14 games.The Blackhawks moved ahead of Anaheim and into first place in the NHL standings with the victory.Justin Schultz had the lone goal for the Oilers (7-16-2), whose season-high, three-game winning streak was snapped.

NU awakens. beats Gardner-Webb 72-59

EVANSTON—Alex Olah scored a career-high 18 points to lead the Northwestern Wildcats to a 72-59 victory over the Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs Monday night.The 7-foot sophomore used his large frame to his advantage as Northwestern (4-2) won its third straight game.The Wildcats made 11 of their first 15 shots in the second half to break the game open.Junior JerShon Cobb, who hit the game-winner with 2.3 seconds left Friday against IUPUI, penetrated Gardner-Webb’s defense consistently to open things up for the Wildcats. He finished with 14 points and eight rebounds.Drew Crawford had 15 points and eight boards for Northwestern. The senior played the entire second half with three fouls. He was limited in the first half after committing two fouls in the first three minutes.Both teams were cold from the floor out of the gate.Northwestern hit just one of its first 10 3-point attempts in the first half until Tre Demps drained one from the corner with :07 left to give the Wildcats a 28-25 halftime advantage.Gardner-Webb (2-4) used an 11-2 run late in the first half to stay in the game, despite shooting just 29.2 percent from the floor and 58.8 from the free throw line in the first ever meeting between the two schools.The Runnin’ Bulldogs found a rhythm from the floor to keep the deficit around 10 points throughout the second half, but couldn’t make the extra push.Tyrell Nelson led Gardner-Webb with 14 points, 10 of which were scored in the second half.Senior Naji Hibbert, a Texas A&M transfer, had 13 points for Gardner-Webb. He has scored in double-digits his last four games.

#12 Wichita State outclasses DePaul

KANSAS CITY—Ron Baker scored 21 points, Tekele Cotton added 17 and No. 12 Wichita State seized control against DePaul with a big first-half run Monday night before cruising to a 90-72 victory in the semifinals of the CBE Classic.Cleanthony Early added 15 points for the Shockers (6-0), who knocked off the Blue Demons last year during a tournament in Cancun before marching all the way to the Final Four.They’re proving that inspired NCAA tournament run was no fluke, either. Wichita State has barely been tested this season, though that should change Tuesday night. The Shockers will face BYU, which held off Texas 86-82 earlier in the night, in the tournament title game.Brandon Young had 16 points and Tommy Hamilton scored 14 for DePaul (3-2), which has lost 44 consecutive games against Top 25 teams since beating Villanova in 2008.Cheered on by former Wichita State star Xavier McDaniel, who was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame on Sunday, the Shockers used a 16-0 first-half spree to take command.Baker started the run spanning about 5 minutes with a pair of free throws, and Early knocked down a 3-pointer. But for the most part, the Shockers did their damage by slicing through the lane, taking advantage of the slower DePaul perimeter players for some easy layups.Of course, they also took advantage of tighter rules against hand checking.Fred VanVleet went to the rim to make it 32-21 before Blue Demons coach Oliver Purnell called a timeout midway through the first half. Moments later, Baker did the same thing and Cotton was there to clean up his miss, prompting Purnell to burn another timeout with the lead 38-21.DePaul tried to get back into the game, trimming its deficit to 46-34 with about 2 minutes left in the first half, but the Shockers scored the final six points before the break. They capped the run with two free throws by Early with 2.4 seconds left following a foul about 90 feet from the basket.Purnell stalked after his team to the locker room, his jaw clenched tightly.The game turned into a sluggish, disjointed affair in the second half, and for a while the Blue Demons took advantage of it. Young’s basket with 10:56 left got DePaul to 64-51 and energized the few dozen fans wearing blue and red who’d been sitting most of the game.The Shockers made them slouch back down in short order.

UIC hands San Diego their first loss 74-70

ESTERO, Fla.—Kelsey Barlow scored a career-high 17 points as UIC ended San Diego’s five-game winning streak in a 74-70 battle in the opening round of the Gulf Coast Showcase on Monday.It was a see-saw affair, with 12 lead changes and neither team was up by more than seven points.UIC moves on to face Louisiana Tech on Tuesday.Barlow was just 3-of-13 shooting, making just one of his 7 3-pointers, but made 10 of 13 free throws for UIC (2-3). The Flames also got 13 points from Marc Brown, while Gabe Snider and Jake Wiegand added 11 apiece.The teams combined to shoot 59 free throws – UIC made 22 and the Toreros 20.San Diego (5-1) was led by Johnny Dee with 19, Duda Sanadze had 14 and Christopher Anderson, Dennis Kramer added 13 apiece.

Rose surgery done, OUT FOR THE YEAR!

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It’s Official. Derrick Rose underwent surgery to repair his torn medial meniscus in his right knee. He’s DONE for this season. It’s Groundhog Day-long before February 2. BASKETBALL HELL!!! This sucks, even worse than they played against the Clippers yesterday-and they got blown out by 39!!!

It would appear that the window for a possible Championship for this group has now closed.


Bears awful on both sides of ball, lose to Rams 42-21


ST. LOUIS—The only time the brother vs. brother subplot got really physical was when Chris Long played the role of peacemaker.Racing off the sideline where he’d taken a play off, the St. Louis Rams defensive end rescued a teammate and dragged  Bears guard Kyle Long out of a first-half fracas before it could escalate.

”One way to defuse that situation was to get everybody out of there,” Chris Long said. ”He happened to be a body I saw, so I grabbed him.”

Until they posed for photos after the game with Mom and Dad after the Rams outmuscled the Bears 42-21 on Sunday, it had been mostly just another game day. They lined up close to each other all day, and traded the occasional glancing blow.

“It’s not like we went head to head much,” Chris Long said. “I’m sure there’s some out there disappointed with it if they were glued to the TV looking for conflict between us.”

There was plenty between the Bears and Rams, though.Tavon Austin’s 65-yard touchdown run — his fourth straight this season from beyond midfield — jump-started a 21-point first quarter and the defense made some big plays, too.Coming off their bye, the Rams (5-6) followed up a 30-point rout of Indianapolis in front of their first capacity crowd of the season, about half of them clad Bears orange. Late scores by rookie backup running back Benny Cunningham and defensive end Robert Quinn helped finish off the Bears (6-5), who remained tied for the NFC North lead.

“Guys are fighting,” Quinn said. “We know we can make a run.”

Josh McCown passed for 352 yards and two touchdowns with an interception for the Bears, which had won four straight in the series. The Bears were dogged by penalties throughout, including a 62-yard punt return for touchdown by Devin Hester nullified by a holding call in the fourth quarter.On the play that ended with his big brother dragging him off the field, Kyle Long said he’d been reacting to a cheap shot in the back ”about 30 yards away from the play.” He had defensive end William Hayes down and delivered some forearm blows before Chris Long intervened.

“I still don’t know if there was a whistle. Some of the guys said there was,” Kyle Long said. “You can’t lose your cool, and I lost my cool.”

Kyle Long got a personal foul and there were two other major penalties declined on the play, intentional grounding on McCown and a facemask call on fullback Tony Fiammetta.Cunningham’s 9-yard run with 3:05 to play plus a 2-point conversion pass from Kellen Clemens to Isaiah Pead put the Rams up 35-21. Quinn stripped McCown on a sack and then scooped up the ball on a 31-yard return just before the 2-minute warning for his first career NFL touchdown.The Bears had first-and-goal at the 4 on their opening drive of the second half trailing 24-14 and got nothing when coach Marc Trestman decided against a field goal and Michael Bush was thrown for a 4-yard loss by Jo-Lonn Dunbar.Kyle Long took the blame, saying ”I didn’t pull far enough. That one falls on me.”

Cunningham rushed for 109 yards on 13 carries, most of it in the second half after Zac Stacy was sidelined with concussionlike symptoms. Cornerback Trumaine Johnson and guard Chris Williams also left following blows to the head.McCown’s passing yardage total was the third-best of his career and most since 2005.The Rams stunned the Bears early with two big plays and two touchdowns.Austin reversed field on a pitchout for a 65-yard run that gave them points on their opening possession the first time all year. Stacy’s 1-yard run capitalized on a lost fumble by Matt Forte at the 7 for a 14-0 cushion with 12:36 to go in the first quarter.Jared Cook added a 6-yard catch from Clemens late in the first for a 21-7 cushion, offsetting Martellus Bennett’s 7-yard reception from McCown.The Rams totaled 29 points in the first quarter during the first 10 games before surging against a defense that been on the upswing, allowing an average of 20 points the last three games.Brandon Marshall got free with a little push off Janoris Jenkins on a 3-yard catch that cut the gap to 21-14 with 5:19 to go in the half.

NOTES—Forte had 77 yards on 16 carries and has 6,178 with the Bears, passing Neal Anderson for second on the franchise career list behind Walter Payton, who had 16,726…..The previous best paid attendance for the Rams in St.Louis was 56,640 for the 49ers in a Thursday night loss on Sept. 26.

Rose heading home, Bulls creamed by Clippers

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LOS ANGELES—While Derrick Rose headed home to Chicago for knee surgery, the Bulls began life without their superstar guard again.The Los Angeles Clippers showed them just how ugly that life could be.Jared Dudley scored a season-high 21 points, Chris Paul added 16 points and 17 assists, and the Clippers jumped all over the Bulls in Rose’s absence for a 121-82 victory Sunday.J.J. Redick scored 19 points and Blake Griffin had 15 points and 12 rebounds in the Pacific Division-leading Clippers’ seventh win in nine games.This was no ordinary blowout, either: The Clippers’ 39-point margin of victory was the largest in franchise history.The Clippers figured Rose’s latest injury was weighing on the Bulls’ minds. Los Angeles led for all but the first two minutes, and even the reserves surged ahead by 42 points in the fourth quarter.

“We jumped on them so quickly that I thought it had to have had a mental effect,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “You don’t lose a D. Rose. … We came out and played unbelievable, and I just thought the mental part of that had to be difficult. Very few teams could have fought through that.”

Luol Deng scored 22 points as the Bulls flopped in their first game since Rose tore cartilage in his right knee Friday night in Portland.Carlos Boozer and Mike Dunleavy scored 14 points apiece, but the Bulls couldn’t keep up defensively with the Clippers — and the Chicago reserves fell apart while getting outscored 25-9 in the fourth quarter.

“It’s tough for all of us with Derrick being out like this,” said Joakim Noah, who had eight points. “We’re just hoping for the best with him, and see how it goes. Derrick is a big part of this team. I know how hard he rehabbed this whole time to be on the court.”

Kirk Hinrich had nine points and seven assists while starting in place of Rose, who missed last season after tearing a ligament in his left knee. Rose played in just 10 games before getting hurt again, but the Bulls are hoping he won’t be out as long this time.

“This is year No. 3 now, so we’ve got experience doing it,” he added. “But we’ve got to get the fight. That’s the first part of it — the determination, the fight and the will. The core of the team in there is the same core we had last year.”

While the Bulls foundered, Los Angeles finished strong in a stretch of four games in five days, surpassing a pair of 37-point wins by the Buffalo Braves during the late 1970s for the biggest margin of victory in franchise history.The Clippers played back-to-back afternoon home games this weekend, an occasional hazard of sharing a building with the Lakers and the NHL’s Kings. But a day after blowing a 20-point lead in a victory over Sacramento, the Clippers showed little fatigue from their packed schedule — and the starters got the fourth quarter off as a reward.

“It’s the best game this season, we got the opportunity to sit all quarter,” Paul said. “That’s huge for our team. This was our fourth game in five nights. We could have come in with a lot of excuses, but we did what we were supposed to do.”

Los Angeles got out to an early double-digit lead with sharp perimeter shooting from Redick and Dudley, who combined for 29 points in the first half. The Clippers got remarkable performances from the two new additions to their starting lineup, with Dudley and Redick combining to make 16 of their 21 shots.

NOTES—The Clippers surpassed their 33-point victory over the Bulls on Feb. 17, 1981, back when the club played in San Diego. … The Bulls have lost three straight to the Clippers. … Marquis Teague, designated by Thibodeau as Hinrich’s new backup, went scoreless with one assist in 20 minutes. … DeAndre Jordan didn’t attempt a shot until Paul found him with a half-court lob for a dramatic dunk with 3:41 left in the third quarter….Rose flew back to Chicago on Sunday and will undergo surgery on the torn medial meniscus in his right knee Monday, coach Tom Thibodeau said.The surgery will be performed by team physician Brian Cole, who also repaired Rose’s torn left anterior cruciate ligament.Thibodeau said how long Rose is out won’t be determined until Cole performs the surgery. But two sources close to the process indicated Rose’s camp is leaning toward having Rose’s meniscus reattached. While this is better for Rose’s long-term career, it also means a lengthier rehabilitation process of up to six months.That would mean Rose would miss the remainder of the regular season.

Torn Medial Meniscus for Rose. Surgery next, out estimated 4-8 weeks

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Rose reportedly tore his meniscus, will need surgery. (USATSI)

The news for Derrick Rose isn’t completely devastating but it’s also not good. When he went down with a right knee injury in the third quarter of the Bulls’ loss to the Portland Trail Blazers Friday night, it was immediately feared that he had torn his right ACL and would be done for the year. While the injury isn’t quite that serious, the team announced on Saturday that he has a meniscus tear in his right knee and will require surgery.He’s out indefinitely.Bulls guard Derrick Rose sustained an injury to his right knee against the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night.Subsequent examinations and an MRI confirmed a medial meniscus tear to his right knee, which will require surgery. Rose is out indefinitely, and will not accompany the team on the rest of its current road trip.Surgically repaired meniscus tears can keep players out anywhere from eight weeks to four months, depending on the severity of the tear and the type of repair done during the surgery. Some players have returned quickly from removing the damaged portion of the meniscus or the entire meniscus. However, that has long-term effects that can shorten the career of an athlete with the wear-and-tear from bone on bone rubbing in the knee.By repairing/re-attaching the meniscus, it can leave you sidelined for months much like we saw with Chase Budinger of the Minnesota Timberwolves last season. Until the doctors perform the surgery and see exactly what they’re dealing with and how they go about treating the injury, we won’t know the timetable of how long Rose is expected to be out.He missed all of the 2012-13 season after tearing his left ACL in the first game of the 2012 NBA playoffs. He was slow to round back into form in the early parts of this season after being away from real games for 18 months. The Bulls are currently 6-5 in the Eastern Conference and have struggled to regain their dominant form from the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons when Rose helped lead them to a record of 112-36.