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Hawks come up short against Rangers. Stadium Series game at Solder Field next.

NEW YORK—Cam Talbot came within 12 seconds of shutting out the defending Stanley Cup champions. Before he could blink, he was nearly headed for overtime.The Rangers’ backup goalie gathered himself quickly after the Blackhawks cut their deficit in half and turned aside one final chance to seal New York’s 2-1, post-Olympic victory on Thursday night.Derick Brassard scored in the first period, and Rick Nash added an insurance goal in the third that became crucial when newcomer Peter Regin ended the shutout bid with 11.6 seconds remaining.

“It felt like the longest 11 seconds in the world,” Talbot said. “I didn’t think they were going to get down the ice that quick.”

They did.

“It is just kind of a hope play there with 11 seconds left,” Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith said. “We got a good prime scoring chance.”

Talbot denied Patrick Kane in tight to seal the win in relief of resting No. 1 goalie Henrik Lundqvist.Talbot got the starting nod after Lundqvist received extended work in Sweden’s run to the Olympics gold medal game. Talbot made the most of his opportunity, earning his 11th career victory in 18 NHL games — all this season.The starting lineups featured seven Olympians and four members of Canada’s gold-medal winning team. The Rangers and Blackhawks had been off since Feb. 7.

“To come out and beat the defending champs coming off a break like that is a good measuring stick for us,” Talbot said. “We know when we play our best hockey we can beat anyone.”

The Blackhawks came in with an NHL-best 202 goals and 3.37 goals-per-game average this season. They were nearly blanked for a second successive game after not being shut out in their first 59 games.Tha Hawks lost 2-0 at Phoenix in its last game before the Olympic break.

“We didn’t give up hardly anything in the two games and we don’t have much to show for it offensively, which is kind of disappointing,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said.

New York has won six of seven. Lundqvist is expected to play Saturday in Philadelphia when the Rangers start a back-to-back set. Talbot improved to 11-5 this season, giving the Rangers comfort in knowing they have a reliable backup.

“The difference was our goaltending,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. “Cam came up extremely big at key moments, especially at the end.”

Corey Crawford made 22 saves.The Rangers got off to a quick start and grabbed the lead 10:14 in on Brassard’s 12th goal and fourth in five games. Benoit Pouliot intercepted a clearing attempt in the middle of the Hawks zone and passed the puck left to Brassard for a shot from the slot. The puck bounced back to Brassard, who fired it in.New York took the only two penalties in the opening frame, but killed them in front of Talbot, who made his fourth start in 11 games. He denied Kane in close during the Hawks second power play with 2:06 left in the first period.The Blackhawks failed on their third advantage of the night late in the second after Rangers captain Ryan Callahan, the subject of trade rumors, was sent off for hooking.

“I didn’t think we played that bad,” Regin said. “We were down 1-0 against a good team. If we would’ve gotten the tying goal early on, it would’ve been a totally different game.”

Talbot kept the Blackhawks at bay during the scoreless second period — turning aside all eight shots in the frame and 19 through 40 minutes. His best stop came with 5:30 left in the second when he moved quickly to his right to deny a hard drive by Brandon Saad that appeared headed for the inside of the left post.The Hawks nearly got even 5:29 into the third, but multiple whacks at a loose puck amid six players in the crease weren’t enough to push it across the line. A video review confirmed the puck never entered the net.In the second, Crawford briefly let a long shot trickle behind him before he quickly reached back to cover it. He then blocked a deflected shot by Nash early in the third to keep the Blackhawks’ deficit at one goal, but Nash snapped his team-leading 19th goal past him late to seal New York’s win.

NOTES—Rangers D Marc Staal shook off back spasms and played. … Miller, recalled from the AHL this week, earned an assist on Brassard’s goal. He took the place of Mats Zuccarello, who broke a hand during the Olympics. …Marcus Kruger was struck by a puck in the second period and returned….The Hawks will workout at Soldier Field Friday night, then face the Pittsburgh Penguins Saturday night on the Lakefront.

Chicago State outlast’s Seattle U in 3OT’s

SEATTLE—Clarke Rosenberg scored six of his 17 points in triple overtime Thursday night to help lift Chicago State over Seattle University 84-77.Matt Ross also scored 17, Rahjan Muhammad 15, Nate Duhon 13, and Quinton Pippen 12, but Rosenberg’s four free throws and jumper in third overtime were key for the Cougars (12-16, 7-6 Western Athletic Conference).Johnny Griffin scored a layup and a dunk and Muhammad and Ross each made free throws as Chicago State outscored Seattle 14-7 in the third overtime.Chicago State led 27-21 at halftime, but a 3 by Seattle’s Isiah Umipig tied it at 55 at the end of regulation. Duhon tied it at 64 with a layup in overtime, and Umipig tied it at 70 in second overtime by hitting two free throws.Umipig finished with 23 for Seattle (12-14, 4-9), Jarell Flora had 15, Shore Adenekan 13, and Clarence Trent grabbed 12 rebounds.

Marquette on upward climb, edge Georgetown 75-73

MILWAUKEE—Some may have thought Marquette was out of contention for making the NCAA tournament this season, but Jake Thomas and his Golden Eagles teammates aren’t buying it.Thomas scored a career-high 22 points Thursday to help lead Marquette to a crucial 75-73 Big East Conference win over Georgetown and keep the team’s NCAA tournament hopes alive. The win was Marquette’s fifth in its last six games.Davante Gardner dominated inside to lead Marquette (17-11, 9-6) with 26 points and 7 rebounds.The Golden Eagles now face a tough two-game road trip at 8th ranked Villanova on March 2 and at Providence on March 4 before closing out the regular season at home against St. John’s March 8.

”Some people were saying we were out of it, but obviously we never felt that way,” Thomas said. ”We control our own destiny. We just have to keep winning and not worry about other teams.”

Marquette coach Buzz Williams said he is proud of the way his team has fought its way back into NCAA tournament contention.

”We have fought and scrapped and worked just to be in this position,” he said. ”Whatever you want to say, those guys could have shut it down. They never have. To be 9-6 and tied for third (in the conference), that speaks to their character.”

Marquette survived against Georgetown as the Hoyas missed two layups in the last 15 seconds.

”We were just trying not to foul,” Thomas said. ”They had called a really tight game the whole game so we were trying to keep our hands up on the drive and make them shoot a contested shot to win.”

Gardner took over late in the game, scoring nine straight points on inside moves, including a driving layup with 3:58 remaining. He was fouled on the play and hit the free throw to give Marquette a 72-66 lead.

”They stayed single coverage on me so I had to go at them and score,” Gardner said. ”It feels really good that my teammates believe in me and kept feeding me the ball.”

D’Vaunt Smith-Rivera hit a 3-pointer and Jabril Trawick scored on a dunk with 2:25 remaining to trim the lead to 72-71.After both teams missed a shot, Gardner rebounded his own miss and was fouled. He hit both free throws with 1:17 remaining to boost the lead to 74-71.Markel Starks was fouled as he drove to the basket and hit two free throws with 1:07 remaining to make the score 74-73.Gardner missed inside with 35 seconds remaining. After a timeout, Starks ran the clock down to 15 seconds, but missed a driving layup. Juan Anderson grabbed the rebound and was fouled. He hit one of two free throws with 10.8 seconds remaining to increase the lead to 75-73.Smith-Rivera missed a layup with 3 seconds to go and Marquette grabbed the rebound to secure the win.Smith-Rivera said the last shot felt good when it left his hand.

”I felt like it was going in, but it just rolled on the rim and just didn’t go my way,” he said.

Starks led Georgetown with 24 points and Smith-Rivera added 19 points.Georgetown (16-12, 7-9), which is also fighting to get an NCAA tournament bid, lost for the third time in its last four games. The Hoyas were done in by poor shooting, hitting just 7 of 26 shots in the second half.Hoyas coach John Thompson III said he was disappointed with the loss, especially with how his team defended Thomas.Trawick, who added 16 points, said the Hoyas do not have time to be down over the close loss, with tough games coming up against Creighton and Villanova.

Bulls,Hinrich,Butler shut down Curry and Warriors 103-83

Chicago Bulls Logo - Red bull with script above head

The Bulls are showing they can score points as well as limit them. And when they do both, they can make beating even a good team look easy.Taj Gibson scored 21 points, Carlos Boozer added 15 points and 13 rebounds, and the Bulls used a big third-quarter run to win for the seventh time in eight games, pounding the Golden State Warriors 103-83 Wednesday night.Jimmy Butler scored 16 points after missing two games with bruised ribs, Mike Dunleavy Jr. added 15, and Joakim Noah grabbed 17 rebounds. The Bulls dominated on the glass 56-41, forced 16 turnovers and held All-Star Stephen Curry in check while bringing Golden State’s four-game win streak to an emphatic end.

”I thought we were playing well before the break, and as a group, we talked about continuing to keep it going after the break,” Boozer said. ”Now’s the time to step on the gas pedal and really get ready for the playoffs.”

The Bulls hit the 100-point mark for the third time in four games and shut down a high-scoring team in the process.Jordan Crawford scored 16 points, but it was a rough night for the Warriors even though David Lee returned to the rotation.He came off the bench to score 11 points in 20 minutes after being hospitalized with a stomach flu and missing two games.

”Timing was a little off,” Lee said. ”I was definitely more winded quicker than I would have been. Twenty minutes felt like about 55 minutes tonight on the court, but that usually is going to happen the first game back. I’m glad I got that under my belt and I’m ready for the next one.”

Curry, meanwhile, tied a season low with five points on 2-of-10 shooting with Kirk Hinrich guarding him and the Warriors never found a rhythm.

”He always seems to keep a hand on you and never really gives a beat when his help isn’t there,” Curry said. ”He’s very consistent at funneling you where they want you to go. Tonight it was even difficult to get him off-balance and going the opposite way. They made adjustments from the first game (a home win over the Bulls on Feb. 6), and we were just a step slow on making our adjustments in the game. They just outplayed us from start to finish.”

The Warriors trailed by 11 at the half and were within eight in the third quarter when things got out of hand.Dunleavy blocked Andre Iguodala’s layup with 7:33 left to send the Bulls were on their way. Hinrich converted a three-point play, igniting a 14-2 run that sealed this one.Butler stole a pass by Lee, leading to a layup for Boozer, and scored on a putback that made it 66-51 with 5:52 remaining. After Dunleavy hit a free throw, Boozer capped the run with three straight baskets — a 15-footer, a short jumper and a 13-foot bank shot — that bumped the lead to 73-53 with 3:20 to go in the quarter.Afterward, Hinrich’s defense against one of the league’s top scorers drew heavy praise. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau acknowledged Curry missed a few shots he normally makes but was quick to praise his veteran guard.

”You never can measure his true value if you go by statistics,” Thibodeau said. ”If you go by what he is doing for your team, setting the tone for the defense with his ball pressure, his hustle plays, first to the floor, running your team – the things he does, it really ignites and inspires your team. And he plays to win. I think that it’s never lost on his teammates, and it’s certainly not lost on the coaches or the organization.”

NOTES—Derrick Rose has started running as he tries to work his way back from another season-ending knee injury, although Thibodeau said a return to practice remains a long way off. ”Nowhere close to practicing,” he said. ”He’s doing some running. He’s off the treadmill. Still on it at some times, but his full weight now, and doing lateral slides and things like that. Nowhere near practicing or anything like that.” He also reiterated that Rose will not return this season. … Warriors coach Mark Jackson praised Thibodeau, who was an assistant to Jeff Van Gundy when Jackson played for the New York Knicks. ”He was a guy you knew was going to be a very good coach,” Jackson said. ”Worked his tail off and was committed to his craft. I’m very happy for him.”

Illinois State shock’s Indiana State 77-59

NORMAL—Illinois State drained a 3-pointer just seconds into the game, connected on its first six shots and Daishon Knight scored five of his 20 points in the opening flurry that upended Indiana State 77-59 Wednesday night.The Redbirds (16-13, 9-8 Missouri Valley Conference) are mired in a cluster of four teams fighting for third place in the MVC, but are 8-1 at home against conference foes and had no trouble upending second-place Indiana State (21-8, 12-5) with Knight’s 20 and 16 points each by Reggie Lynch and Zach Lofton.Lynch went off for a career night in points as well as rebounds (8) and blocks (5). He extended his season blocked shots to 75, a school record for a frosh by more than 20.The Redbirds held Indiana State to just 20 field goals on 37-percent shooting and only Dawon Cummings reached double figures with 12 points.

SIU handled by Northern Iowa

CEDAR FALLS—Seth Tuttle scored 19 points with seven assists and seven rebounds as Northern Iowa crushed Southern Illinois 73-54 on Wednesday night.Matt Bohannon added 17 points for the Panthers (15-14, 9-8 Missouri Valley Conference). Jeremy Morgan scored 15 and Marvin Singleton had eight.The Panthers hit 49 percent from the field, 78.6 percent from the line and outrebounded the Salukis 35-24.Northern Iowa jumped to an early lead and led 32-25 at halftime. They went 14-8 to start the second half and Bohannon sank five 3-pointers in the period – including the final bucket of the game – to help the Panthers build an insurmountable lead.Northern Iowa has won four of its last five games and is now tied with Missouri State and Illinois State for third in the MVC.Anthony Beane led the Salukis (12-18, 8-9) with 17 points. Sean O’Brien added 11.

NIU surprises Toledo 74-66

DEKALB—Travon Baker scored 17 points and Jordan Threloff added 13 to lead Northern Illinois to a 74-66 victory over Toledo Wednesday night.Down 32-31 at the break, Aaron Armstead’s four points capped a 15-5 run to open the second half and give Northern Illinois a 46-37 lead with 13:01 to play. Rian Pearson scored to pull Toledo within one, 54-53 with 6:19 remaining. The Huskies answered with an 8-3 run, then went 12 of 16 from the line to seal it.Baker shot just 3 of 10 from the field but was 9 of 10 from the line. Threloff made 3 of 7 shots from the floor and was 7 of 8 from the line. Aksel Bolin added 11 points for Northern Illinois (13-14, 7-8 Mid-American).Pearson scored 27 points on 10-of-15 shooting to led Toledo (23-5, 11-4), which falls one back of Western Michigan atop the East Division.

Hinrich free throws help Bulls survive Atlanta 107-103


Chicago Bulls Logo - Red bull with script above head

ATLANTA—Kirk Hinrich made all the right moves for theĀ  Bulls in the final minute of the game.Not so much for Jeff Teague and the Atlanta Hawks.Hinrich buried six big free throws down the stretch and Teague had a couple of costly turnovers as the Bulls held on for a 107-103 victory at Atlanta on Tuesday night.Mike Dunleavy scored 22 points for the Bulls, who have won six of seven. Joakim Noah had 20 points and 12 rebounds, and Carlos Boozer finished with 17 points and 11 boards.Dunleavy also had eight rebounds and four assists. He was covered in ice bags as he sat slumped at his locker after playing all but nine seconds in the game.
”I appreciate [coach Tom Thibodeau] giving me that nine-second breather at the end of the half,” Dunleavy said with a laugh. ”That made a big difference.”
The Bulls won after trailing by 14 points in the first quarter.
”They put us in a hole; we fought out of it,” Dunleavy said. ”We just had to battle the whole game.”
Since Jan. 1, the Bulls are 12-1 when holding its opponent under 90 points. No other team in the league has kept as many opponents under 90 in that span.Teague had 26 points for the short-handed Hawks, who have lost nine of 10. Shelvin Mack scored 17.The Bulls led most of the second half but never pushed the advantage to double figures.
”I think they really wanted that game today,” Noah said of the Hawks. ”We really wanted that game, too. It wasn’t pretty at times. I’m just happy we were able to come out with the win.”
DeMarre Carroll’s fast-break basket gave Atlanta a 100-99 lead, but Dunleavy answered with a layup. With 1:03 remaining, Carroll sank a 3-pointer to give Atlanta a 103-101 lead.With 43.2 seconds remaining, officials reviewed and confirmed a questionable foul called on Carroll on Hinrich’s 3-point attempt. Hinrich made the three free throws to put the Bulls in front again.Noah’s steal from Teague got the ball back for the Bulls with 20 seconds remaining. Atlanta’s Kyle Korver stole the inbounds pass, giving the Hawks a chance to take the lead, but Teague stepped out of bounds behind the basket. Hinrich then made two free throws.Noah stripped Mike Scott of the ball on Atlanta’s next possession, setting up another foul shot by Hinrich. Coach Mike Budenholzer and the Hawks argued that Noah fouled Scott.Budenholzer also protested Carroll’s foul on Hinrich but said after watching the replay he agreed with that call.Hawks All-Star forward Paul Millsap missed his second straight game with a right knee contusion and also will be held out on Thursday at Boston.The Hawks also were without centers Pero Antic (stress fracture, right ankle) and Gustavo Ayon (right shoulder), who had filled in following Al Horford’s season-ending torn pectoral muscle.Budenholzer said morale isn’t a problem.
”I thought our group competed at a very high level for 48 minutes tonight,” Budenholzer said. ”That’s what we’re looking for, and that’s what is most important to us.”
Korver hit 3-pointers on Atlanta’s first two possessions, extending his NBA record to 125 straight games with a 3. Korver added a third trey a couple minutes later, and his strong start seemed to spark the Hawks, who jumped to a 26-12 lead.The Bulls closed the deficit with a 13-2 run in the final minutes of the opening period and start of the second quarter. The Bulls led 54-51 at halftime.Mack sank a short jumper with about 2 seconds remaining in the third period. D.J. Augustin, who had 10 points, then banked in a half-court shot, lifting the Bulls to an 80-75 lead heading to the final period.
Notes—Glenn Frey of the Eagles, who played at Philips Arena on Monday night, had a second-row seat near midcourt. … NBA Hall of Famer Julius Erving had a front-row seat and tipped his cap when called out by the P.A. announcer and cheered by fans. … Bulls guard Jimmy Butler missed his second straight game with bruised ribs. … Korver had 16 points and Carroll had 13.

Shockers now 30-0 after 69-49 win at Bradley

PEORIA—Wichita State is all alone in the record book.Again using a balanced offense and tenacious defense, the second-ranked Shockers became the first Division I team to reach 30-0 in the regular season with a 69-49 victory over Bradley on Tuesday night.

“To be the first and only team in college basketball to win 30 without a loss in the regular season,” Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall said when asked about his theme for the game. “I realize we’re playing more games … but it has never happened in the regular season.
“So it’s a first. And these guys like to be the first, and the best”

Ron Baker had 15 points to lead four Wichita State players in double figures as the Shockers became the 11th team to reach 30-0, the previous 10 all hitting the 30-win mark during postseason play. The last team to reach 30-0 was UNLV in 1990-91. The Runnin’ Rebels went 34-0 that season before losing to Duke in the national semifinals.The Shockers (30-0, 17-0 Missouri Valley Conference) have one more regular-season game, at home Saturday against Missouri State. The last team to finish a regular season unbeaten was Saint Joseph’s in 2003-04 at 27-0. The next season, Illinois got to 29-0 before losing its regular-season finale at Ohio State.A barrage of 3-pointers early in the second half broke it open for Wichita State, which beat Bradley (12-18, 7-10) for the 10th straight time and second this season.After Bradley trimmed a 10-point halftime deficit to eight, Shockers point guard Fred VanVleet made consecutive 3s for a 14-point lead, the visitors’ largest
to that point. By the 12:50 mark, Cleanthony Early had added a 3-pointer and Baker made two 3s off screens for a 50-32 lead.Wichita State finished the game 11 of 21 from beyond the arc, with four players making two or more. Bradley was 4 of 14.

“End-of-shot-clock 3s. That was it,” Bradley coach Geno Ford said. “I’m not saying we were going to win, but you hold them to seven offensive rebounds and have just six turnovers? I’ll take it.The difference was late-shot-clock 3s and their length at the basket.”
Ford went on to laud the Shockers’ defense.

“At the rim, they have unbelievable length,” Ford said. “It’s length and it comes from anywhere. Even [6-foot-3] Baker.They’re absolutely terrific at help and recover, and they deny [wing passes]. You can’t find five teams in the country with that [combination].”

Tyshon Pickett finished with 13 points and 15 rebounds for Bradley after nearly reaching a double-double in the first half with 10 points and nine rebounds. Pickett was just 5 of 20 from the field and leading scorer Walt Lemon Jr. was 6 for 20and had 18 points.

“I hate to get beat on the glass,” Marshall said of his team’s 37-36 rebound disadvantage. “But [Pickett] was a monster. He beasted us a little.”

Tekele Cotton scored 13 points, Early 12 and VanVleet had 11 for Wichita State, a Final Four participant a year ago. Reserve Darius Carter added nine points and seven rebounds and had one of the Shockers’ six blocked shots.Miserable shooting prevented Bradley from mounting much of a threat. The Braves were at 25 percent (11 for 44) through 30 minutes and finished 16 for 59 (27.1 percent).Bradley was playing host to its highest-ranked opponent since 1982, when then-No. 2 Wichita State lost 55-47 at old Robertson Field House to the Braves who went on to win the NIT.The Shockers led 35-25 at halftime after holding the Braves to 8-of-34 shooting (23.5 percent).

UIC gets first Conference win, and ends 17 game skid with win over UWM

MILWAUKEE—Kelsey Barlow scored 23 points and UIC snapped a 17-game losing streak, earning its first conference victory with an 80-58 win over UW-Milwaukee on Tuesday.UIC (6-23, 1-14 Horizon League) jumped to an early 9-4 lead, as Barlow scored seven consecutive points. The Flames continued to lead and stretched the advantage to double digits on a pair of free throws from Hayden Humes to make it 25-14. UWM (16-13, 6-9) was unable to cut the deficit to single digits the rest of the way.Barlow scored 18 of his points in the first half. Jordan Harks added 10 points for the Flames, who shot 51.9 percent from the field, and made 19 of 23 free throws. The Panthers shot just 31.6 percent and made 16 of 26 attempts at the line.Kyle Kelm led UWM with 12 points. Jordan Aaron and Matt Tiby both added 10.