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Cats start slowly, then beat Brown 73-55, McIntosh injured.

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ROSEMONT—Northwestern is now set for the resumtion of Big Ten Play after they rallied from a seven point hole to beat the Ivy League’s Brown Bruins 73-55. The Wldcats(10-5, 1-1)started slowly, and led 42-37 at halftime. Brown(6-6)started getting long range shots from guards Brandon Anderson(26 points) and Desmond Cambridge(22)who each had a trio of three point buckets. Brown’s largest lead was 55-48 with 15:30 to play, but a steal and dunk by Scottie Lindsey started the Cats on the comeback trail. Bryant McIntosh suffered-likely a knee injury which the extent of which was not yet known. NU finshed the rest of the game on a 47-18 run. The play inside from Dererk Pardon and Gavin Skelly game NU a big boost. Pardon led the Wildcats with 18 points and 8 rebounds, Lindsey had 14. McIntosh had 13 before the injury. Vic Law, back after missing the Oklahome game, and Anthony Gaines each contributed 11.

NOTES—The Wildcats resume Big Ten Play with Nebraska Tuesday night here at Allstate Arena…..Attendance was 6006.


NU hold’s on against Kentucky in one of WORST officiated Bowl Games ever!

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NASHVILLE—Go ahead and question Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald’s decisions to go for it over and over on fourth down, even late in a move that nearly cost the Wildcats dearly.His defense had their coach’s back.The Wildcats broke up Kentucky’s 2-point conversion, and No. 20 Northwestern held off Kentucky 24-23 on Friday in a Music City Bowl that might be remembered more for injuries, ejections and a wild finish.

”I’m not sure words can describe that game,” Fitzgerald said. ”Wow. What a great job by our young men. We had to persevere through so much.”

Justin Jackson ran for 157 yards and two touchdowns as Northwestern (10-3) finished off back-to-back bowl wins in consecutive years for the first time in program history. The Wildcats notched their second 10-win season in three years and third in six under Fitzgerald. The senior class also won its 27th game for the best stretch in more than a decade.Both starting quarterbacks left in the first half with injuries, though Kentucky’s Stephen Johnson returned early in the third quarter. Kentucky lost running back Benny Snell Jr. to an ejection for contact with an official early in the second quarter, and NU lost leading tackler and linebacker Paddy Fisher before halftime when he was ejected for targeting.Kentucky (7-6) still had a chance to win after Fitzgerald tried to convert his fifth fourth down of the game only to turn it over for the fourth time on downs – this time at his own 39 with 2:31 left.

”Go for the win,” Fitzgerald said of his decision. ”We got it did you see the replay? I did. It is what it is, and somebody had to make a play. We went for the win right there.”

Johnson ran for his second TD of the second half with 37 seconds left. Kentucky coach Mark Stoops went for the 2-point conversion rather than play for overtime. Johnson couldn’t connect with Tavin Richardson on the pass. That cost Kentucky a chance at its best season since 2007 and a second straight bowl loss.

”We just lost a heartbreaker by inches,” Stoops said.

With quarterback Clayton Thorson knocked out early in the second with an injured right knee , Northwestern outran Kentucky 333-65. Safety Kyle Quiero provided the winning margin taking Northwestern’s second interception 26 yards for a TD with 7:49 left.Losing Jackson won’t be easy. He finished his career 10th among the NCAA’s leading rushers with 5,440 yards. But Jeremy Larkin is a redshirt freshman who ran for 112 yards, and he will be back in 2018. Thorson already planned to return for his senior season too. Fitzgerald said he told Jackson he’d better get a lot of yards.

”He’s coming for you, you know he’s coming for you,” Fitzgerald said.

Snell, who came in leading the SEC in rushing TDs, capped the opening drive of the game with a 3-yard TD that was his 19th this season and 32nd of his career. Both are school records, and he’ll be back for his junior season.Both teams lost key players in a wild second quarter. The Wildcats lost Snell when he was ejected with 13:01 left in for contact with referee Chris Coyte. Snell had just lost 7 yards on a run, and Coyte appeared to be trying to give Snell a hand up. Replays showed Snell perhaps pushing Coyte’s hands away as he got up. The referee then threw the flag immediately. Kentucky trailed 10-7 at the time.

”I was on top of the play,” Coyte told a pool reporter. ”And the player got up and grabbed my arms and pushed them away and contacted me. That’s a foul.”

Thorson hurt his right knee as he was tackled after making a 24-yard catch early in the second quarter. After handing off to Larkin, Thorson ran down the left sideline and was wide open for the catch before being tackled by Kentucky linebacker Jordan Jones. But Thorson, in his 38th career start, immediately grabbed at his right knee. He was carted off the field and replaced by senior Matt Alviti.Fitzgerald said Thorson will have an MRI exam when they return home.The Wildcats have to replace Jackson.

NOTES—The targeting Penalty callon Fisher on NU and the Touching an Official on Kentucky were horrible calls by over anxious Zebras. There were also some downright awful calls during the game too. Chris Coyte and his crew were from the Pac 12. 

Kane’s OT Goal gives Blackhawks 3-2 win in Edmonton

EDMONTON—Jeff Glass worked a long time for his NHL debut, playing 575 games for 11 teams ranging from the Western Hockey League to a stint in Russia.

”It’s something I’ve always dreamed of,” the 32-year-old said, ”but never thought it would actually come true.”

Now, he’s an NHL winner.Patrick Kane scored 50 seconds into overtime to give Glass a victory in his first game and lift the Blackhawks over the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 on Friday night.Kane deked around a defender then shoved in the rebound of his own shot past Cam Talbot. After scoring, he pointed toward the other end of the ice at Glass, and teammates quickly enveloped the journeyman goalie. The Calgary native made 42 saves.Glass is getting his shot after No. 1 goalie Corey Crawford went on injured reserve Wednesday with an upper body injury. Glass was recalled from the American Hockey League.

”Our star goalie is out, so my job is kind of to try to fill the gap right now,” Glass said. ”Tonight was just a step in the right direction.”

Hawk assistant captain Brent Seabrook was Glass’s roommate playing for Canada at the 2005 world junior championship, where the duo won gold.
”I didn’t really realize it was his first game. He’s 32,” Seabrook said with a laugh. ”I thought he would have played a couple. It was impressive to see.”

Ryan Hartman, Alex DeBrincat and Jordan Oesterle also scored for the Blackhawks, who snapped a three-game losing skid.Jesse Puljujarvi, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Leon Draisaitl scored for Edmonton, and Talbot stopped 32 shots.Puljujarvi’s power-play goal with 5:34 remaining in the first opened the scoring on Edmonton’s 17th shot on goal. The Blackhawks tied it with 55 seconds left in the first when Hartman swatted in a rebound.The Hawks took a 2-1 lead on the power play with six minutes left in the second as an Oilers miscue ended with DeBrincat putting a shot through Talbot’s legs for his 13th.The Blackhawks took a two-goal lead with another power-play goal at 8:28 of the third when Oesterle’s point shot hit the crossbar and caromed off Talbot’s back.Nugent-Hopkins scored with a shot off a defender with 2:19 left, and then Draisaitl got his 10th to tie it with 55 seconds left and Talbot pulled for an extra attacker.It was the second of three meetings between the teams this season. Edmonton beat the Hawks 2-1 in overtime on Oct. 19. … It was the first time this season the Oilers have had their projected six starting defenseman in the lineup at the same time.The Blackhawks are at Calgary on Sunday night

Bulls start early, beat Pacers to avenge earlier loss

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Nikola Mirotic came in and started firing away. Lauri Markkanen took over in the second half.The sharp-shooting big men just overwhelmed the Indiana Pacers.Markkanen scored a career-high 32 points, Mirotic finished with 28 and the surging Bulls beat the Pacers 119-107 on Friday night for their third consecutive win.

”We just keep believing in each other and playing for each other,” Markkanen said.

Led by Mirotic and Markkanen, the Bulls made 18 of 39 3-point attempts in its 10th win in 12 games. Robin Lopez and Bobby Portis each scored 12 points, helping the Bulls to their seventh straight victory at home for their longest such streak since a seven-game run spanning two seasons in 2013.It was the first meeting between the teams since Indiana erased a 16-point deficit in the fourth quarter of a 98-96 victory on Dec. 6. It was one of the low points so far this season for suddenly interesting Bulls (13-22), and they gained a measure of revenge by turning away another charge by the Pacers in the final period.

”Really since the last time we played Indiana on the road, when we had that devastating loss, our guys have really kind of found themselves, found each other,” coach Fred Hoiberg said.

Darren Collison scored 30 points for Indiana (19-17), which has dropped three in a row and four of six. Lance Stephenson had 18 points and nine rebounds, and Domantas Sabonis finished with 14 points and nine boards.

”The effort was there sometimes, it just wasn’t there for a whole 48 minutes,” Collison said. ”We’ve got to do better, but we can’t keep saying that. At some point we’ve got to just go out there and do it.”

Stephenson started in place of Victor Oladipo, who missed his second straight game because of a sore right knee and is doubtful for Sunday’s matchup with Minnesota. Oladipo, who is averaging a team-high 24.9 points in his first season with the Pacers, had an MRI that showed no structural damage.

”Basically what we’ve learned from that is that he needs some time,” coach Nate McMillan said. ”There’s some swelling.”

The Bulls also played without a key guard after Kris Dunn was scratched with left knee tendinitis. But Jerian Grant had 11 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds after he found out right before the game that he was in the starting lineup.

”I’ve started games before so it wasn’t too big of an adjustment,” Grant said. ”I was ready.”

The Bulls opened a 103-84 lead on David Nwaba’s layup with 7:46 left. Indiana then ripped off 11 of the next 14 points to close to 106-95 on Stephenson’s basket with 4:49 remaining.But Mirotic responded with a layup and Markkanen hit two free throws to run the Bulls’ lead back out to 15.

Giannis “out of bounds” but gets winning basket for Bucks in OKC

OKLAHOMA CITY—Even though he stepped out of bounds on the play, Giannis Antetokounmpo’s basket with 1.3 seconds left counted, and that’s all that mattered to the Milwaukee Bucks.Antetokounmpo scored 23 points – including what proved to be a questionable game-winning basket which he scored over Russell Westbrook- and the Bucks ended Oklahoma City’s six-game winning streak, beating the Thunder 97-95 on Friday night.Replays clearly showed Antetokounmpo stepped on the baseline on his drive. After a desperation heave by Westbrook fell short, Thunder coach Billy Donovan and several of his players pleaded for a review, but officials Derek Stafford, Ben Taylor and Leon Wood refused. Stafford later told a pool reporter that the play wasn’t reviewable.

”In any reviewable matter, there has to be a whistle called on the floor,” Stafford said. ”There was no whistle blown for the play, so we couldn’t review it.”

Donovan said the official told him they couldn’t’ review the play.Antetokounmpo said he hadn’t yet seen the replay and wasn’t aware that he’d stepped out of bounds.
”It was his ball to come up with a play for himself or make a play for someone else and we did the right thing,” Milwaukee coach Jason Kidd said of Antetokounmpo’s basket. ”I don’t understand the whole protest. I can only worry about the score and then them trying to put time on the clock, getting the guys prepared to have a last-second play.”

Illini earn Bragging Rights over Mizzou again


ST. LOUIS—Leron Black came up a double winner on Saturday.He scored 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds to help Illinois to a 70-64 win over Missouri in the 37th annual pre-Christmas showdown.Black capped off the strong performance by proposing to his longtime girlfriend Sheila Segura at courtside minutes after the contest. Segura happily accepted.Trent Frazier came off the bench to score a career-high 22 points for the Illini (9-5), who won their fifth successive game in the series.Kassius Robertson paced the Tigers (10-3) with 22 points. Jordan Barnett added 19 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
”It felt great to get the win, but it felt even better to get a yes from the person I want to spend the rest of my life with,” Black said. ”Obviously, this is a day I will never forget.”
Black decided to pop the question because the parents of both families were together and in town for the game.Black’s proposal came as a surprise to Illinois coach Brad Underwood, who surmised that Black kept it quiet in case Segura said no.
”That would have been embarrassing, wouldn’t it?” Underwood joked.
Black scored 13 points in the first half as the Illini used runs of 9-0 and 10-0 to bolt to a 20-point lead. Frazier capped off the near-perfect 20 minutes with a pair of 3-pointers in the final 57 seconds for a 42-22 cushion.
”We threw the first punch and got them on their heels with our defense,” Underwood said.
Missouri, which had a five-game winning streak snapped, climbed to within 66-62 in the final minute before Frazier hit two free throws with six seconds left to seal the victory.
”Trent was huge, he played like a veteran,” Underwood said.
The 6-foot-1 Frazier has scored 71 points over his last four games and has provided energy at both ends of the court.
”We look for him and we know he can make the plays,” Black said.
Mark Smith added 11 points for Illinois, which won its first six games before losing five of its next seven, and Michael Finke scored 10.Missouri missed 10 of its first 12 shots and committed turnovers on 14 of its first 29 possessions over the initial 16-plus minutes
”I thought they set the tone early the first half,” Missouri coach Cuonzo Martin said. ”We dug ourselves a hole; it was a tough one to get out of.”
Missouri missed 22 of 27 3-point attempts,
”For some reason we didn’t come out with the energy we did in the second half,” Robertson said. ”Why, I can’t tell you. But we could never fix it.”
Illinois is 25-12 in series games played in St. Louis.Missouri won the traditional Statue of Liberty cheerleader battle during a first-half time out. Three male-female duos from each school compete to see which can hold its partner aloft for the longest time.Sophomore Zoe Montgomery and junior Christian Gentile were the last pair standing for the Tigers.
”It was crazy just to win the whole thing,” Montgomery said.
A sellout crowd of 21,289 witnessed the 37th edition of the annual pre-Christmas rivalry game on Saturday. A series-low 12,409 fans saw last year’s contest.Illinois has held a second-half lead in all five of its losses this season. The Illini have had the ball and been either tied or held a lead in the final minute in three of those setbacks.The Illini grab some much-needed momentum heading into Big Ten Conference play. They dropped a 74-69 decision to New Mexico State on Dec. 16 and had lost five of their previous seven games heading into play on Saturday.Illinois will host Grand Canyon on Saturday before opening Big Ten Conference play at Minnesota (Jan. 3) and at Michigan (Jan. 6)

Cats overmatched by Young, Sooners 104-78

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NORMAN—After another dazzling performance, Oklahoma point guard Trae Young declared it the ”best time to be a Sooner.”
He might be right.The freshman guard had 31 points and 12 assists to help 17th- ranked Oklahoma roll past Northwestern 104-78 on Friday night.Trae Young, the nation’s leader in scoring and assists, tied an NCAA record with 22 assists in a 105-68 victory over Northwestern State on Tuesday night. On Friday, he made 9 of 16 shots, including 8 of 13 3-point attempts, and became the first Oklahoma player since Stacey King in 1988-89 to post at least 10 straight games with 20 or more points.Christian James matched a career high with 19 points, all in the first half. Brady Manek and Jamuni McNeace each added 11 for the Sooners (10-1), who won their eighth straight since losing to Arkansas on Nov. 23.All signs looked good for the Sooners as they closed their pre-Big 12 schedule. They shot 61 percent from the field and scored at least 90 points for the eighth time in 11 games.

”I feel good about where we are at, but yet we got to keep working at it,” Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said. ”We know how tough every night is going to be (in the Big 12). To be where we are right now is the guys playing with confidence, and that’s what you want, is guys playing with a high level of confidence and feeling good about what they are doing.”

Dererk Pardon had 17 points and nine rebounds for Northwestern (9-5), which had won four straight.The Sooners jumped to a 7-0 lead and forced NU to call a timeout 72 seconds into the game.It didn’t get much better for the Wildcats. Young got Sooners fans out of their seats with a lob to James for a dunk that gave the Sooners a 41-22 lead.Young hit a deep 3 in the final seconds of the first half to give the Sooners a 68-38 lead. He had 25 points and 10 assists before the break.Oklahoma made 14 of 20 3-point attempts in the first half.

”You have to put a lot of the attention on Trae because he’s so good, and the way those guys shoot, it’s hard,” Northwestern coach Chris Collins said. ”The spacing on the floor, they run good actions. Offensively, they’re a tremendous team.”
Kruger said it was a special first-half performance.
”That’s pretty rare of course,” Kruger said. ”You don’t plan on scoring 68 for sure. I liked the movement. They just took what came to them and they made good extra passes. They made shots. Trae and Christian that first half were unbelievable. Everybody stepped in and made good shots. A lot of confidence.”

Collins was reduced to trying to win the second half. Northwestern outscored the Sooners 40-36 after the break.

”It’s tough,” he said. ”At that point, you’re talking about pride more than anything. You’re down by 30, they’ve scored almost 70 points. You’re just trying to find your own pride in that second half. You have to come out and continue to compete and not roll over.”

: The Wildcats had no answer for Young, but no one has found one yet. Northwestern shot a respectable 45 percent and still got blown out.The Sooners entered the game leading the nation in scoring and upped their average.

For Bulls it’s close,,,,but….

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CLEVELAND—Once Isaiah Thomas slipped on his jersey and headband those familiar, warm feelings washed over him.His agonizing wait is almost over.After seven months away, countless days of rehab and wonder if he would play again, Thomas was again on an NBA court Thursday night. And although he only took part in the pregame layup lane, it was more than enough.

”It was everything,” he said. ”I felt like a basketball player again.”

Thomas dressed for the first time since coming to Cleveland in a trade and cheered from the bench on as LeBron James scored 34 points to lead the Cavaliers to their 12th straight home game, 115-112 over the Bulls.Kevin Love added 27 to help the Cavs improve to 19-2 since Nov. 11.But the biggest development for Cleveland was Thomas, who moved even closer to making his debut with the Cavs after injuring his right hip in the playoffs last May while with Boston. Earlier in the day, Thomas scrimmaged with the Canton Charge, the Cavs’ G-League affiliate, before coming to Quicken Loans Arena. Thomas then put on his uniform, joined his teammates in their pregame prayer and took the floor for a warmup he won’t forget.

”It just felt like I was a rookie again, like my first game,” Thomas said. ”I haven’t been in an arena like that where you’re warming up, you’re with teammates, that’s so new right now. I’ve been down since May so just being out there put a smile on my face.”

Thomas won’t play in Cleveland’s next game – a Christmas Day marquee matchup with Golden State – but the Cavs won’t be without the All-Star point guard much longer. Thomas said his workout with Canton went well, and he’ll wait for Cleveland’s medical staff to clear him to play in a game.Thomas said facing the Warriors was never his goal.

”No, that was a target for my kids,” he said. ”So they mad, but I’m fine with it. I have no rhythm, so there is no way I can play in an actual game right now and be very effective like I’m used to being. Slowly that will come back and I’ll get a feel for it. I also gotta get in some shape. That was probably the toughest part today, the going up and down constantly, being a little winded.”

Dwyane Wade had three steals and two blocks in the fourth quarter for Cleveland, which improved to 3-0 against the Bulls this season

Hawks crap out in Dallas

DALLAS–Ken Hitchcock’s 800th career win came against one of only two NHL coaches with more.Tyler Seguin scored two goals in the second period, Ben Bishop earned his 22nd career shutout and the Dallas Stars beat the Blackhawks 4-0 on Thursday night to help Hitchcock reach another milestone.After the game, he was quickly congratulated by Hawk counterpart Joel Quenneville, who ranks second on the career list with 868 coaching wins.”Congratulations from Joel means more than anything,” Hitchcock said. ”We’ve had so much mutual respect from each other and helped each other along the way when we were both kind of in the down and outs. Coming from him, it means more than the number.”

Bishop made 24 saves for his third shutout of the season. Jamie Benn scored the only goal of the first period, and Antoine Roussel scored barely a minute into the second before Seguin’s two goals made it 4-0.

”(Hitchcock) has coached so many games, you want to do good for him,” Roussel said, ”and you want to pick up as many things as you can from him. The details and the preparation from the game make us better.”

Dallas had lost its previous three games and the Hawks arrived with a five-game winning streak, but the Stars improved to 3-0 against the Blackhawks this season. Dallas moved two points ahead of Chicago in the Central Division.
”The other two were closer. It’s tough to lose in overtime or shootout, but tonight we just got embarrassed,” Brandon Saad said. ”These divisional games are huge.”
Corey Crawford stopped 18 shots. He won all five games during the Blackhawks’ streak, allowing only seven goals. Crawford hadn’t lost in regulation since Nov. 12.The Blackhawks dominated early. They had the best scoring chance at 11:44 of the first period when Connor Murphy’s wrist shot hit Bishop in the chest. On the rebound, the puck sat in the paint with an easy chance for Patrick Kane, but his tap-in hit the right post.

”Get some posts and some big blocks by the guys, especially, we were up 4-0 on the power play and we had four or five blocks,” Bishop said.

Quenneville viewed Benn’s goal at 17:11 of the first period as a turning point.

”We had a couple of really good looks in the first period. It really hurt us, two posts in the first period that could have put us in a better spot. I thought we lost a lot of gas when they did score,” he said.

The Stars blocked 29 shots. Dan Hamhuis led the team with five blocks and had two assists.

Demons bounce back with win over Red Hawks


Marin Maric scored 22 points in 24 minutes off the bench and Max Strus scored 21, 16 in the first half, to lead DePaul over Miami (Ohio) 83-66 on Thursday night.Maric, who scored 16 points in the second half, hit 6 of 8 shots and 9 of 10 from the free-throw line, while Strus made four 3-pointers. Eli Cain added 19 points, 15 in the second half, and Tre’Darius McCallum had 10 points and eight rebounds.The Blue Demons (7-5) bounced back from a two-point loss to Northwestern that ended a five-game winning streak.Nike Sibande scored 17 points, Darrian Ringo 15 and Jake Wright 12 for the RedHawks (7-5), who gave up 29 points off 25 turnovers.DePaul led by 17 with 11:17 left before Miami cut it to eight with 6 1/2 minutes to go. But Maric scored five points in a 10-0 run that extended the lead to 18.DePaul trailed by five midway through the first half but went on a 14-0 run that included eight points from Strus and five from Maric and led by nine at halftime.