Hawks steamroll Bulls 113-90

Chicago Bulls Logo - Red bull with script above head

Al Horford set the tone with a strong start and got plenty of help. More important, Atlanta hit the All-Star break on a winning note after two tough losses.Horford scored 16 points, Jeff Teague had 17 points and eight assists, and the Hawks routed the struggling Bulls 113-90 on Wednesday night.Dennis Schroder had 18 points and made three of his team’s 13 3-pointers. Paul Millsap scored 15, and the Southeast Division leaders headed into the break with a win after back-to-back losses to last-place Orlando.

”We need the whole group,” coach Mike Budenholzer said. ”It can’t be Paul one night, Al one night, Jeff one night, Kyle (Korver). We need everybody to play well. And I think for the most part that was kind of how it was tonight.”

The Hawks led by five at halftime and broke it open in the third quarter, sending the sloppy Bulls to their fourth straight loss and 13th in 18 games.Pau Gasol had 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulls after being selected Tuesday to his sixth All-Star team as a replacement for injured Bulls teammate Jimmy Butler.Doug McDermott scored 17, but Derrick Rose was off target after missing a game because of soreness. The 2011 NBA MVP finished with 14 points on 6-of-18 shooting, and the Bulls dropped their fifth straight at home, matching their longest skid since March 2010.

”I challenge them to do whatever they need to over the break, look themselves in the mirror and find a way to get committed to this thing and go on a run,” coach Fred Hoiberg said.

It’s been quite a struggle for a team that saw itself as a threat to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers for supremacy in the Eastern Conference. Management thought bringing in Hoiberg and his fast-paced offense to replace the fired Tom Thibodeau would push the Bulls over the top. But the personnel and system have not meshed.Injuries are playing a role, and another one cropped up in this game. Taj Gibson exited because of a strained left foot, and the team announced late in the game that he would not return.The poor health does not completely explain the sloppy play. There was plenty of it in this game, with 19 turnovers leading to 25 points for the Hawks, and the crowd let the Bulls hear it, showering them with boos.

”Being able to come in here and win, it’s big for our team,” Horford said.

The Bulls inability to hang onto the ball, combined with Horford’s 13 points, led to a 53-48 halftime edge for Atlanta. The Hawks then put away the Bulls in the third, outscoring them 38-25.After Rose drained a 3-pointer 31 seconds into the second half, Atlanta went on a 15-2 run.Korver hit a pair of 3s and scored eight points during that stretch. Teague added five, and Millsap finished the run with a 16-foot turnaround jumper, making it 68-53.

NOTES—Gasol on whether the Bulls can regroup: ”I think we can be a lot better than we are. Hopefully this break helps us understand where we are, reflect on what we can do better.”….Nikola Mirotic had his stitches removed, and the team hopes to have him start working out in the pool in the next few days, Hoiberg said. Mirotic lost about 15 pounds following an appendectomy two weeks ago and the subsequent removal of a hemotoma. ”From the sound of things, it was the first complication that this particular doctor has ever had in an appendix removal,” Hoiberg said. ”It’s hard. It’s a tough blow for Niko. It’s a tough blow for (our team) because I thought he was playing good basketball.” … Hoiberg said Butler, sidelined by a strained left knee, will attend All-Star festivities in Toronto this weekend….The Bulls play at Cleveland on Feb. 18.

Ramblers down Bradley 54-43

PEORIA—Montel James scored 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds as Loyola beat Bradley 54-43 on Wednesday night.Milton Doyle added 10 points, Donte Ingram had eight points and Devon Turk had seven points for the Ramblers (12-13, 5-8 Missouri Valley Conference) who hit 19 of 51 (37.3 percent) from the field overall. The Braves (4-22, 2-11) managed just 17 of 59 (29.3 percent) and have lost seven of their last eight.The Ramblers took a 12-4 lead midway through the first half and never trailed on their way to a 25-18 advantage at the break.James hit a jumper and a dunk back-to-back early in the second half to extend the Ramblers lead to 32-21 with 15:02 to play. Bradley closed it to 48-43 with 1:22 remaining but did not score after that.Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye scored 18 points for the Braves.

DePaul no match for #1 Villanova

ROSEMONT—Jason Hart paced a balanced attack on offense. Darryl Reynolds and Daniel Ochefu patrolled the inside. Jalen Brunson and Kris Jenkins pitched in here and there.In its first game as the nation’s No. 1 team, Villanova looked the part in every way.Hart had 18 points and Reynolds scored 12 of his 14 in the second half, leading the Wildcats to an easy 86-59 victory over DePaul on Tuesday night.

”Everyone was talking yesterday about being No. 1 and we just wanted to talk about DePaul,” coach Jay Wright said. ”I really credit our two seniors, Ryan (Arcidiacono) and Daniel, for their leadership to keep our guys focused. I think we have a pretty mature team.”

Jenkins made three 3-pointers and finished with 13 points as the Wildcats (21-3, 11-1) rolled to their 13th win in their last 14 games. They moved two games clear of fifth-ranked Xavier for the Big East lead after the Musketeers lost 70-56 at Creighton.Villanova turned 19 DePaul turnovers into 19 points in its debut in the top spot of The Associated Press’ poll. The Wildcats had climbed to No. 2 on six occasions before Oklahoma and North Carolina lost last weekend, clearing the way for them to ascend to No. 1.

”It was kind of a good thing we got away from campus and that buzz,” Hart said. ”We’re a family on the road and we didn’t talk about it at all. We just focused on DePaul.”

Wright’s team looked quite comfortable on top of the heap, building a 36-16 advantage in points in the paint. Brunson, a freshman who starred at nearby Stevenson High School and heard lots of cheers all night long, had 11 points, and Ochefu scored 11 in his return after missing three games due to a concussion.Eli Cain had 15 points for DePaul (8-16, 2-10), which has dropped four of five. Myke Henry added nine points and 11 rebounds, but was 3 for 12 from the field.The Wildcats opened with a 16-2 run and led by at least seven points the rest of the way, turning in a very business-like performance in their 11th straight victory in the series.Mikal Bridges’ rebound basket made it 41-29 at halftime, and Villanova broke it open with 15 straight points at the start of the second half. The run began with three straight 3-pointers, two by Jenkins, and Brunson finished it off with six straight points.DePaul coach Dave Leitao said Villanova was the most efficient team the Blue Demons had played this season.

”We’re playing a program, and you can see it,” he said. ”All credit to Jay and obviously the 15 years of doing something at a high level. We played a program with a brand, and those guys believe wholeheartedly in that brand.”

Brunson, who led Stevenson to a state title last season, was 4 for 8 from the field in 23 minutes. The 6-foot-3 guard had four assists and a steal.

”It felt weird,” he said. ”I definitely miss it out here but as soon as I stepped off the plane I knew it was a business trip and we had to focus with the guys and get this win.”

Brunson’s father is former Bulls guard Rick Brunson, who also served as an assistant coach with the NBA team.Wright said he was surprised by Ochefu’s performance. Ochefu had six rebounds, four assists, two blocks and two steals.

”He only practiced one day,” Wright said. ”We said to him before the game to just `go as hard as you can and pace yourself.’ I was shocked at his conditioning. I thought he was in great shape. He played 24 minutes, that’s pretty good for being out that many days.”

NOTES—Hart’s jumper with 13:55 left made it 61-34 and moved the junior guard to 1,001 career points. He became the 61st player to reach the milestone with the Wildcats. … Villanova improved to 7-0 in Big East road games this season…..Billy Garrett Jr. connected with 12:14 left in the first half to make it 700 straight games for the Blue Demons with at least one 3-pointer. … DePaul dropped to 2-4 against ranked teams this season. … DePaul’s last victory over Villanova was an 84-76 win on Jan. 3, 2008……DePaul visits St. John’s on Feb. 17.

NU fails to hold 9 point lead, falls to OSU, again.

Northwestern Wildcats (1981 - Pres)

COLUMBUS—Ohio State coach Thad Matta pushed the right buttons during and after halftime to help his Buckeyes rally for a 71-63 win over Northwestern on Tuesday night.The Buckeyes trailed for most of the night but used a 15-2 run to erase a nine-point deficit and take the lead with six minutes to go in the second half.A move to a full-court press keyed Ohio State’s surge, but so did something Matta told his team at halftime with Northwestern leading 71-63.

”I feel like the biggest thing was we just had to wake up,” said Trevor Thompson, who scored 12 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the Buckeyes. ”Coach said we have to lose ourselves in playing for Ohio State and lose ourselves as a team. I feel like in the second half we did a really good job of having fun and enjoying ourselves and playing as a team.”

That’s a message Matta has tried to get across since he arrived in Columbus 12 years ago.

”When you lose yourself in just playing the game of basketball and whatever happens happens, we’re a lot better basketball team,” Matta said. ”I was very animated at halftime in terms of that. Just play the game. You guys work so hard in practice. This is the fun time, where you get the rewards to it. Fortunately we stuck with it and were able to finish it out.”

Thompson was one of five Buckeyes (15-10, 7-5) to score in double figures.Jaquan Lyle led all scorers with 16 points while Marc Loving had 15, Keita Bates-Diop had 11 and Jae’Sean Tate tallied 10.Tre Demps and Bryant McIntosh scored 14 points apiece, Alex Olah had 11 and Scottie Lindsey added 10 for Northwestern (16-9, 4-8).Ohio State snapped a two-game losing streak while Northwestern lost for the sixth time in its last seven games.The Wildcats were up 48-39 following Olah’s jumper at the 10:27 mark.Tate started the decisive run with a layup and Bates-Diop finished it with a jumper and a pair of free throws that put the Buckeyes on top 54-50 with five minutes left.Lindsey tied the game at 56 with a 3-pointer a little more than a minute later, but Lyle answered with his own trey to put the Buckeyes up for good

”Lyle hit the biggest shot of the game I thought,” Northwestern coach Chris Collins said. ”That’s not necessarily the strength of his game but give him credit. He stepped up and made a huge 3 when they needed it and we were never able to recover after that.”

Ohio native Gavin Skelly had seven rebounds for the Wildcats.

Hawks robbed again as legit goal was disallowed by Beavis’s Officials

The Blackhawks were robbed of a ‘good’ goal by an awful call,Martin Jones,the San Jose Sharks and NHL Officials did a good job of frustrating the Blackhawks.So did an apparent Hawk goal that was disallowed following a video review.Jones made 33 saves for his fifth shutout this season and Patrick Marleau scored a power-play goal in the second period to lead San Jose past the Hawks 2-0 on Tuesday night.Joe Thornton added a long empty-netter with 1:42 left.Marleau’s goal, on the Sharks’ only man advantage, ended his six-game drought and was just his second in his last 17. But it was all the offense San Jose needed to improve to 18-8-2 on the road, best in the Western Conference.The Sharks, who ended the Hawks three-game winning streak, are 10-2-2 in their last 14.

”We made them come through us,” San Jose’s Joe Pavelski said. ”We had some big blocks. It’s good to see.”

Jones rebounded to earn his 12th career shutout after allowing five goals on 29 shots in a 6-2 loss at Nashville on Saturday. He is 9-2-1 in his last 12 starts and 16-5-2 on the road.An apparent goal by Brandon Mashinter with 2:37 left in the first period would have put the Hawks ahead 1-0. But it was disallowed following DeBoer’s successful video challenge for goalie interference.Mashinter deflected in a bouncing puck off his right shinguard with no kicking motion, but Dennis Rasmussen was pushed into the crease and made contact with Jones.Following the game, Joel Quenneville was still fuming about the call.He was asked about the play in the first question of his postgame news conference and answered it, but then abruptly threw his arms in the air and left.

”I don’t know the rules anymore or something’s changed because my understanding – played a lot of hockey – that I don’t know,” Quenneville said. ”I think everyone has an interpretation of what’s a goal and what’s a bad goal, but I can’t believe it.”

Corey Crawford made 25 saves as the defending Stanley Cup champions were blanked for the sixth time this season.The Blackhawks came out flat off a 5-1 win at Dallas on Saturday night that strengthened their hold on first place in the Central Division.The Hawks never sustained pressure after the disallowed goal.

”Just got an unlucky bounce there pretty much,” Crawford said. ”We didn’t have the same jump that we usually do. It was just one of those games where the puck wasn’t going in.”

Artemi Panarin, who leads NHL rookies with 52 points, was ill and missed his first game this season. He was replaced by slumping Teuvo Teravainen at left wing on the Hawks top line with NHL leading scorer Patrick Kane and center Artem Anisimov.Teravainen entered with no goals in his last 14 games and only one in his last 23.Marleau opened the scoring with a power-play a goal at 9:09 of the second. His shot from the right point deflected off Jonathan Toews and ticked in off the right post with traffic in front of Crawford.The Sharks had the better chances in the second, but Jones made a point-blank save on Marian Hossa with 1:09 left to preserve San Jose’s 1-0 lead.The Sharks and Jones kept the Blackhawks at bay in the final 2 minutes after Crawford was pulled for an extra attacker.

NOTES—The Blackhawks played their first game at the United Center since Jan. 24 and started a run of four home games in seven nights. … The Sharks return home, where they are 10-12-2, for two games before heading out on a five-game trip. … Marleau appeared in his 512th straight game and is third on the NHL’s active ironman list.

#5 Hawkeyes outclass Illini 77-65

Illinois Fighting Illini (2004 - 2013)

CHAMPAIGN—Peter Jok scored 23 points and Jarrod Uthoff added 18 points and 12 rebounds to lead No. 5 Iowa past Illinois 77-65 on Sunday.Jok took over early in the second half, scoring seven of the first 10 points for Hawkeyes (19-4, 10-1 Big Ten) and led them to a 48-36 lead with 16:48 to play.Iowa would push the lead to as many as 20 points midway through the half.Adam Woodbury added a double-double for the Hawkeyes with 10 points and 14 rebounds.Iowa outrebounded the Illini 43-32. Illinois (11-13, 3-8) has been outrebounded in 10 of its 11 conference games.Jalen Coleman-Lands led Illinois with 17 points, going 5 of 11 from 3-point range.Jok’s dominant spell to open the second half was the difference in a game that Illinois had been finding a way to stay in.And his confidence was visibly high.Just under 5 minutes into the second half, he fired a low-trajectory 3-point attempt that somehow touched nothing but net. Jok flashed a big grin as he jogged back on defense and the Hawkeyes were up 53-38.When Jok wasn’t scoring, he was providing.Moments later he missed a jumper and the ball bounced away from the rim with Illinois’ Malcolm Hill close behind it, scrambling for the rebound.But Jok, laying on his back at the top of the key, found himself with the ball. Looking right, he saw Uthoff alone behind the 3-point line and fed him the ball.Uthoff buried the shot and the Hawkeyes went up 56-38.Iowa looked like the Big Ten title contender it is, and Illinois – which has settled into the back of the conference pack – did not.Even when the Hawkeyes were off, it didn’t matter.Dom Uhl took a long 3-point attempt with 11:24 to play that hit hard off the front of the rim, bounced up and fell through.He shrugged and smiled, and Iowa’s lead reached 65-45.Illinois closed within 73-63 with 2:03 to play on a layup by Michael Finke. But the Illini could get no closer.Hill finished with 14 points and eight rebounds.Finke returned to the lineup after missing the Rutgers game with a bruised knee he suffered against Wisconsin. He finished with five points and four rebounds….Illinois plays at Northwestern on Saturday.

Hawks jump on Stars and win 5-1

DALLAS—Artem Anisimov is the least-heralded player on his own line.But Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin took a backseat to Anisimov on Saturday night, though. Arnisimov had a short-handed goal and three assists, and the Western Conference-leading Blackhawks beat the second-place Dallas Stars 5-1.

”(Anisimov’s) been a very big part of our team this year,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. ”That line’s been tremendous, everybody does a little bit something different, but playing on the penalty kill and taking faceoffs, on the power play and making that line go, he’s been terrific in a lot of ways. Tonight he gets the production to show for it.”

Kane scored his NHL-leading 32nd goal, and Panarin had two assists to boost his point total to 52. The line combined for two goals and five assists. Corey Crawford made 36 saves for the Hawks, who moved five points ahead of Dallas in the Central Division.

”I was seeing the puck well,” Crawford said. ”A couple rebounds there that our guys were able to jump on and get it out of there. I thought our special teams was the difference. Two short-handed goals were pretty important tonight.”

The teams will meet three more times – twice in Chicago, including Thursday, and once in Dallas. They have split two games so far. ”They beat us handily (4-0) here last time, so we’re even,” Quenneville said.

Dallas defenseman Alex Goligoski was on the ice for the Blackhawks’ last four goals. ”They knew what happened here last time, and didn’t want that to happen again,” he said. ”It will be nice to get them again pretty quick, so it’s a chance to get them back.”

Brent Seabrook scored on the power play, Trevor van Riemsdyk got a 4-on-4 goal and Marian Hossa scored short-handed on Antti Niemi to give the Blackhawks a 3-1 lead after one period.Niemi made eight saves. Kari Lehtonen replaced Niemi in the second and had 13 saves while giving up two goals.

”We basically gave them four of their goals,” Dallas coach Lindy Ruff. ”Even the one late in the second” when Kane put in a rebound at even strength. Niklas Hjalmarsson also had two assists.Tyler Seguin scored the Stars’ goal at 17:46 of the first period. Dallas was unable to quiet the transplanted Blackhawks fans in a sellout crowd.

”They came to play their game,” Stars captain Jamie Benn said. ”They embarrassed us in front of our fans in our own building.” Stars defenseman John Klingberg was called for hooking just 29 seconds into the game. Anisimov won the faceoff, the puck went to Seabrook and he sent a slap shot past Niemi 34 seconds in. Van Riemsdyk gave the Hawks a 2-0 lead at 16:26. Panarin’s shot from inside the blue line rebounded high off Niemi’s chest, and van Riemsdyk gathered the puck low in the left circle and shot it into the net. At 12:39 of the second, Anisimov picked up a loose puck, beat two defenders across the blue line and sent a wrist shot in the lower left of the net past Lehtonen.

Bulls let another one slip away in fourth quarter, lose to T-Wolves who finished game on 12-0 run.

Chicago Bulls Logo - Red bull with script above head

MINNEAPOLIS—It didn’t take long for Andrew Wiggins to show the Bulls just how badly they’re going to miss Jimmy Butler.With the All-Star and defensive stopper back at home thanks to an injured knee, Wiggins torched the rest of the Bulls’ perimeter defense during a dazzling display down the stretch.Wiggins scored six of his 21 points in the final 90 seconds and the Minnesota Timberwolves closed the game with a 12-0 run to surge past the Bulls in a 112-105 victory on Saturday night.The Wolves were down five with 2:30 to play before kicking it into gear. Wiggins hit a pair of jumpers and a tough one in the paint after a quiet first three quarters. Karl-Anthony Towns had 26 points and 17 rebounds and Gorgui Dieng added a career-high 24 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists for the Wolves, who have won two in a row for the first time since Dec. 18-20.Pau Gasol had 25 points and eight rebounds and Derrick Rose had 18 points, 10 assists and five rebounds for the Bulls in their first game without Butler, how strained his left knee on Friday night against Denver.There is no timetable for Butler’s return, but the team was encouraged when an MRI showed no structural damage to his knee. ”They went to Wiggins. We had a smaller guy on him,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. ”Obviously Jimmy is missed in those types of situations, guarding a bigger wing like that.” Gasol missed the game against the Nuggets on Friday night and was questionable for the game with a sore left hand. But he played with a big black wrap to protect it. He showed no ill effects, making 8 of 16 shots to keep the Bulls in the game.The Timberwolves were missing Kevin Garnett (leg), Kevin Martin (wrist) and Nikola Pekovic (foot), but Dieng has blossomed since moving into the starting lineup for Garnett six games ago. He came into the night averaging 17 points and 10 rebounds on 64 percent shooting in those games, and he made 10 of 13 shots on Saturday night.The game was tight the whole way and included 10 lead changes in the fourth quarter before Bobby Portis‘s layup gave the Bulls a 105-100 lead with under three minutes to play.The Wolves found another gear after that and closed out their first season sweep of the Bulls since 2008-09.In addition to the relatively good news the Bulls got on Butler, they also saw Mike Dunleavy make his season debut after missing the first 49 games while recovering from back surgery. Dunleavy played 14 minutes and scored five points. ”Little late the party but good to be back,” he said. ”I felt quite honestly like I hadn’t played in eight months, but I got a little better rhythm in the second half.” Hoiberg spent seven years in Minnesota as a player and executive for the Timberwolves and still has a lake home in the area. About 600 fans made the trip up from Ames, Iowa to cheer on the former Iowa State player and coach and his wife, Carol, had a suite with many friends and family from the area. ”I’ve got great memories of my time here,” said Hoiberg, who was on the Timberwolves team that lost to the Lakers in the 2004 Western Conference finals. ”I truly believe if Sam Cassell would have stayed healthy and not forced me to play point guard that we would have won a championship.” E’Twaun Moore had 17 points and seven assists while starting for Butler. … The Bulls are 2-4 on their road trip with one more to go….Ricky Rubio had 14 points, six assists and five rebounds. … The Wolves out-rebounding the Bulls 45-31 to offset a 3-point shooting deficit. They were 1 for 12 from deep while the Bulls were 8 for 20….The Bulls visit Charlotte on Monday. ??

Irish rally past #2(for now)N.Carolina

SOUTH BEND–Notre Dame did it to North Carolina again.Demetrius Jackson scored 19 points, Bonzie Colson had 19 points and 10 rebounds, and the Fighting Irish rallied to beat the second-ranked Tar Heels 80-76 on Saturday night.Notre Dame (16-7, 7-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) trailed by 15 late in the first half. It was the first meeting between the schools since the Irish used a 26-3 run to erase a nine-point deficit during a 90-82 victory over the Tar Heels in the ACC tournament final last March. ”It feels great to beat a great team and it feels even better to do the things we had to do to win that game: Good things on the defensive end, which has been a struggle for us,” Jackson said. It was the second straight loss for the Tar Heels (19-4, 8-2), and Fighting Irish fans celebrated on the court.The Irish used an 11-2 run in the second half to get even, and a layup by Colson and a jumper for Jackson helped them open a 67-64 lead with 5:31 left. Notre Dame eventually extended the lead to 75-70 on a basket inside by Zach Auguste.The Tar Heels closed to 77-76 on a pair of free throws by Marcus Paige with 32 seconds left. But Jackson made a pair of free throws and Steve Vasturia added another to help the Irish hold on. ”It was a gritty one. They had to fight and do some tough stuff in the paint defensively,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. ”Bonzie and Zach were men tonight. They were pounding against four big bodies that kept coming at them all the time.” North Carolina coach Roy Williams, who had urged his team during practice to play with more intensity following a loss at Louisville, was disappointed in the effort by the Tar Heels. ”Their coach did a heck of a lot better job of getting his guys to play with a great deal of intensity than I did,” he said. ”I look down there at the stat sheet, 19 points off turnovers for them, zero for us. Twenty-three second-chance points for them, 13 for us. Thirty-eight foul shots for them, 21 for us. I have to do a heck of a lot better job of getting my club to play with a lot more intensity than we did.” Auguste added 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Irish (16-7, 7-4). Vasturia had 13 points, and V.J. Beachem finished with 10.Paige broke out of a six-game shooting slump, finishing with 21 points. Brice Johnson had 14 points and 14 rebounds for North Carolina.No. 1 Oklahoma also lost, falling 80-69 to Kansas State. It was the first time the top two teams in the country lost to unranked schools on the same day since Jan. 21, 2006, when No. 1 Duke lost to Georgetown and No. 2 Florida was defeated by Tennessee.Paige said Notre Dame’s smaller lineup caused matchup problems for the Tar Heels. ”We’d like to be able to impose our style on them, but we can’t do that if we can’t guard,” he said. ”Then they had 23 points off of offensive rebounds in the second half which is inexplicable and inexcusable for us.” Brey credited the crowd with helping the Irish pull off the upset. ”Our crowd was fabulous,” he said. ”That was one of the great nights in our building. You just never were tired and you believed because you had the crowd behind you.” ??

UIC’s one game winning streak ended by Valpo 73-55

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Alec Peters scored 15 points and added seven rebounds and Valparaiso had little trouble with UIC on Saturday in a 73-55 win.Darien Walker finished with 12 points, and Jubril Adekoya had 11 points and six boards for the Crusaders (20-4, 10-1 Horizon League), who have won four straight and 10 of 11.UIC (3-19, 1-10) has lost 14 consecutive meetings with the Crusaders, and have not beaten them since Feb. 2009.Dikembe Dixson led the Flames with 18 points and seven rebounds. Michael Kolawole added 16 points.Keith Carter hit a 3-pointer on the opening possession and added another to bookend a 19-9 Valparaiso run. The Crusaders led 41-21 at the half and never trailed.Dixson scored a layup to pull the Flames to 52-40 with 12:27 remaining, but six straight points pushed Valparaiso’s lead back to 18