Duke beats Irish 84-74

SOUTH BEND—It’s been a bumpy ride for No. 21 Duke the past month. Now, interim coach Jeff Capel thinks the Blue Devils are coming together.Jayson Tatum had 19 points and a career-high 14 rebounds, Grayson Allen scored 21 points and Duke won on the road for the second time in three days, beating No. 20 Notre Dame 84-74 on Monday night.The Blue Devils hadn’t strung together consecutive wins since the first week of January, and just last week were banned from their locker room by coach Mike Krzyzewski after a disappointing loss to North Carolina State.

”I think we’re growing up, I think we’re becoming tougher,” said Capel, now 3-3 subbing for Krzyzewski, who is still recovering following back surgery. ”To be able to go on the road the past three days in two sold-out, hostile environments and to be able to get wins speaks volumes about our guys.”

Luke Kennard and Matt Jones each added 16 points for the Blue Devils (17-5, 5-4 Atlantic Coast Conference), who leaned heavily on their starting five, getting all but six points from that group. Kennard and Amile Jefferson both fouled out, and the teams combined for 48 fouls and 52 free throws.V.J. Beachem scored 20 points and Bonzie Colson had 17 points and nine rebounds for Notre Dame (17-6, 6-4), which has lost three straight.After the Irish cut Duke’s lead to six, Jones responded with a three-point play and scored five of the next seven points to push Duke ahead 63-50 with 9:34 left.The Irish weren’t done yet, reeling off 12 straight points to cut the lead to 63-62 with 6:25 to go, but again the Devils responded, with Allen hitting a 3-pointer and a pull-up jumper from atop the key.That sparked an 11-2 run that pushed the Devils lead back to double digits with 2:29 left.Despite being loudly booed the entire game, Allen had 10 points before the break and hit all four of his free throws down the stretch.The Blue Devils picked up just their second win against the Irish in the seven games they’ve played since Notre Dame joined the ACC. They have won three of four overall, including a win at Wake Forest on Saturday.

”I thought our game plan was really good,” Capel said. ”We played great at the end of the Wake Forest game, and I thought we had some carry over.”

Notre Dame: After opening ACC play with five straight wins, the Irish are struggling, losing four of their last five, including a buzzer-beater at Georgia Tech on Saturday.

”We are getting smacked hard right now,” Irish coach Mike Brey said. ”But we’re getting smacked together.”

Duke outscored the Irish 16-4 to end the first half and held them without a field goal for the final 8:41 to take a 12-point lead.Brey went to a five-guard lineup for much of the second half and suggested that he may have to alter his starting lineup for the first time this season.

”I liked our five-out in the second half,” Brey said. ”I think we’ve really got to consider starting small like we did in the second half.”

No player off of either team’s bench scored a point in the first half. … The Blue Devils outrebounded Notre Dame 21-10 in the second half. … Duke has run out eight different starting lineups this season, while Notre Dame has used the same one all season.The path doesn’t get any easier in the ACC for the Irish, who head to Tobacco Road to face No. 12 North Carolina on Saturday.

NU sins 6th straight in Big Ten for first time since 1933!

Northwestern Wildcats (1981 - Pres)

EVANSTON—No nerves for Bryant McIntosh this time around. Just a solid all-around performance against his family’s other favorite team.McIntosh had 21 points and eight assists, Sanjay Lumpkin scored 15 points and surging Northwestern beat Indiana 68-55 on Sunday.

”Just really proud of McIntosh,” coach Chris Collins said. ”I thought he controlled the game.”

The Wildcats (18-4, 7-2) held the Hoosiers to 32 percent shooting in their sixth consecutive victory. It’s their longest Big Ten win streak since the 1932-33 team matched a school record with seven in a row, and their 7-2 start in conference play is their best since the 1937-38 season.Heady stuff for a program that has never made it to the NCAA Tournament. But it sure looks as if this might be the year for the Wildcats.

”This isn’t the same Northwestern,” McIntosh said.

McIntosh, a junior guard from Greensburg in southeast Indiana, struggled in his only matchup with the Hoosiers last season, scoring four points on 2-for-12 shooting in an 89-57 loss at Assembly Hall last January. But he was much better this time around, going 7 for 13 from the field.

”Last year I just felt really jittery. … I just wanted to play well and got caught up in the emotion of that and not just playing the game,” McIntosh said. ”So this year I was just focused on trying to help my team win.”

Indiana (14-8, 4-5) committed 13 turnovers while playing without leading scorer James Blackmon Jr., who got hurt during Thursday night’s 90-60 loss at Michigan. The school announced Saturday the junior guard is out indefinitely with a lower leg injury.Blackmon, who is averaging 17.6 points, joins an impressive list of hurt Hoosiers, with forwards Collin Hartman and OG Anunoby already shelved by knee injuries.

”It’ll be just what we said yesterday and we’ll see how it goes,” coach Tom Crean said when asked for an update on Blackmon.

Northwestern missed its first seven shots and fell behind 10-1 before grabbing control with a 20-2 run. Lumpkin had a steal and a dunk, and Nathan Taphorn scored five straight points to make it 21-12 with 7:49 left.The Wildcats were never threatened again. They led 35-23 at the break, and McIntosh’s 3-pointer stretched the advantage to 56-38 with 7:28 left.

”All we did was just miss shots,” Indiana center Thomas Bryant said. ”It was more on us, not so much on the defense although they did play a great game. It falls on us.”

Bryant matched a career high with 23 points and also grabbed 12 rebounds for Indiana, which has split its last six games. Robert Johnson added 12 points on 4-for-13 shooting.Taphorn left near the end of the first half with an ankle injury.

”I think just a sprained ankle. Certainly we’ll get more tests and all that kind of stuff and figure out how long he’s going to be out,” Collins said.

NU saluted the World Series champion¬†Cubs with a highlight video during a first-half timeout, and Cubs owner Tom Ricketts got a huge ovation when he brought the Commissioner’s Trophy out to center court.Scottie Lindsey scored 12 points, and Vic Law finished with nine points and 12 rebounds.Northwestern visits Purdue on Wednesday night. The 17-5 Boilermakers are coming off an 83-80 loss at Nebraska.

 

 

11 Straight for ISU

EVANSVILLE—Phil Fayne had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Illinois State beat Evansville 69-59 on Sunday for its 11th straight win.The Redbirds (18-4, 10-0 Missouri Valley) have also won six straight road games, and its 10-0 MVC start is a program best. Evansville (10-13, 1-9) has lost eight in a row.Paris Lee had 15 points for Illinois State. Keyshawn Evans and Deontae Hawkins added 11 points apiece.Howard added 16 to lead the Purple Aces.The Redbirds led 50-40 with about 13 minutes left. Evansville pulled to 55-51 with 5:41 remaining before Tony Wills and Hawkins made back-to-back 3-pointers and Illinois State stretched its lead to 61-51 with five minutes to go. The Purple Aces pulled within six points but didn’t get closer.

Bulls bounce back vs Sixers

Chicago Bulls Logo - Red bull with script above head

Jimmy Butler scored 28 points and Robin Lopez added a season-high 21 points and had 10 rebounds as the Bulls defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 121-108 on Sunday night.After a week of tension, the Bulls bounced back from consecutive home defeats to Atlanta and Miami despite blowing a 20-point lead.Ersan Ilyasova scored a season-high 31 points for Philadelphia, and Robert Covington added 21 points and a season-high 12 rebounds. The 76ers have lost 12 straight to the Bulls.Butler and Dwyane Wade returned to the starting lineup after being benched as starters in Friday’s blowout loss to the Heat. Wade and Butler were critical of teammates after they blew a late double-digit lead in a loss to the Hawks on Wednesday. Rajon Rondo responded to his teammates’ criticism on an Instagram post on Thursday, taking multiple shots at the team leadership. Wade, Butler, and Rondo all were fined by the Bulls.

Super Bowl XX pregame hype

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The following is listed on Wikipedia with regard to the January 23 fake rumor about Bears QB Jim McMahon.

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Much of the Super Bowl pregame hype centered on Bears quarterback Jim McMahon. First, he was fined by the NFL during the playoffs for a violation of the league’s dress code, wearing a head band from Adidas. He then started to wear a head band where he hand-wrote “Rozelle”, after then-league commissioner Pete Rozelle.[8]

McMahon suffered a strained glute as the result of a hit taken in the NFC Championship Game and flew his acupuncturist into New Orleans to get treatment. During practice four days before the Super Bowl, he wore a headband reading “Acupuncture”. During a Bears practice before the Super Bowl, McMahon mooned a helicopter that was hovering over the practice.[8]

Another anecdote involving McMahon during the Super Bowl anticipation involved WDSU-TV reporting a quote attributed to McMahon, where he had allegedly referred to the women of New Orleans as “sluts” on a local morning sports talk show. This caused wide controversy among the women of New Orleans and McMahon began receiving calls from irate fans in his hotel. A groggy McMahon, who had not been able to sleep well because of all the calls he had gotten, was confronted by Mike Ditka later that morning and denied making the statement, saying he would not have even been awake to make the comment when he was said to have done so. He was supported in his claim by WLS reporter Les Grobstein, who was present when the alleged statements were made.[9] WDSU would later retract the statement and make an on-air apology.

Hawks blow another in the third period-Jets win 5-3

The Winnipeg Jets were just OK for most of the first part of the season. Except for their games against the Blackhawks.Against the Blackhawks, they were perfect.Andrew Copp and Bryan Little scored in a 32-second span in the third period, and Winnipeg continued its dominance against the Hawks with a 5-3 victory on Thursday on the final night before the NHL All-Star break.

”For some reason, we elevate our game when we play this team and we always give our best,” Little said. ”The big thing for us is having that confidence and having that energy and just will to win against other teams. For some reason, we just have these guys’ numbers.”

Winnipeg (23-25-4) improved to 4-0 against the Blackhawks (30-16-5), outscoring the Blackhawks 13-4. It had dropped four in a row against the Hawks coming into the season.Little, Copp, rookie Patrik Laine and Mark Scheifele each had a goal and an assist, helping the Jets to their third win in their last nine games.The Blackhawks had a 3-2 lead before Copp tipped Josh Morrissey‘s shot past Scott Darling with 4:03 left. Little then blasted a shot by Darling for his 13th of the season, silencing the crowd of 21,746.Scheifele added an empty-netter at 17:57 for his 22nd goal, moving the center into a tie with Laine for the team lead.

”I thought we had good control of the game,” Duncan Keith said. ”They were getting chances, but we were playing well. It was just two sets of two quick goals. It totally changed the game.”

Keith, Nick Schmaltz and Tanner Kero scored for the Blackhawks, who allowed four goals in the third period of a 5-2 loss to Tampa Bay on Tuesday. Darling finished with 28 stops.Winnipeg also scored two goals in a 42-second span in the first, continuing a disturbing trend for the Blackhawks, who allowed two in 46 seconds against Vancouver on Sunday, and then surrendered a pair of goals in 30 seconds against the Lightning.

”It’s hard to accept these two. Especially this one today,” defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson said. ”It’s going to kind of ruin the break a little bit. It’s going to take a little while to swallow the way we’ve lost this one.”

Winnipeg jumped in front in the first when Little made a great pass across the ice to Laine, who drove a one-timer by Darling for a power-play goal at 6:16. Laine returned Tuesday after missing eight games with a concussion.Jacob Trouba then had a big slap shot go off the right skate of Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell and past Darling, with Shawn Matthias getting his stick on the puck just before it crossed the line. It was Matthias’ seventh of the season.

”There were plays that could have been defended against for sure tonight,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. ”We always talk about important shifts. That’s the first shift after a goal, a key shift in games.”

The Blackhawks, who controlled much of the early action, then got one back after Nic Petan was whistled for hooking at 13:02. Just 5 seconds into the ensuing power play, Keith drove a slap shot by Hellebuyck from the left point with Artem Anisimov providing a perfect screen in front.Schmaltz got the tying goal 4 minutes into the second. While Winnipeg defenseman Mark Stuart repeatedly checked Marcus Kruger in the back while the two were on the ice, Schmaltz picked up the loose puck, skated in and beat Hellebuyck on the short side for his third of the season.

NOTES—Kruger played in his first game since Dec. 30. He was activated from injured reserve on Tuesday after being sidelined by a hand injury. … Blackhawks C Dennis Rasmussen, who is battling an illness, skated Thursday morning, but was scratched. … Hjalmarsson played in his 600th NHL game. …The Hawks visit Winnipeg on Feb. 10.

The Blackhawks start a six-game road trip at San Jose on Tuesday night.

 

Cats beat Nebraska again behind Pardon.

Northwestern Wildcats (1981 - Pres)

EVANSTON—Dererk Pardon dominated with 19 points and a career-high 22 rebounds to lead Northwestern to a 73-61 victory over struggling Nebraska on Thursday night.Pardon, a sophomore, had the first 20-rebound game for Northwestern since Evan Eschmeyer grabbed 21 against Penn State on Jan. 20, 1999.Vic Law scored 20, and the Wildcats (17-4, 6-2 Big Ten) won their fifth straight to match their longest streak in conference play since the 1965-66 season.Tai Webster led Nebraska with 23 points. Glynn Watson Jr. scored 14, but the Cornhuskers (9-11, 3-5) dropped their fifth in a row after a 3-0 start in the Big Ten.The Wildcats were leading 57-53 when Law hit two free throws with just under five minutes remaining in the game to start a 16-1 run.Bryant McIntosh stole a pass that hit Nebraska’s Evan Taylor and fed Law for an alley-oop. Cornhuskers coach Tim Miles picked up a technical after pointing to a spot where he thought Pardon stepped out of bounds after grabbing a defensive rebound. That led to two free throws for McIntosh, making it 63-53 with 4:12 remaining.Northwestern continued to pour it on with Sanjay Lumpkin nailing a 3 and Law getting fouled on a rebound dunk for a 3-point play with 1:17 left, making it 73-54. Pardon then exited to hugs from his teammates and ”MVP! MVP!” chants. The struggles continue for the Cornhuskers, who have lost five straight after a 3-0 start in conference play.NU, the program that hosted the first Final Four continues to inch toward its first NCAA appearance.The Wildcats host Indiana on Sunday.

Rondo rips Wade & Butler

Chicago Bulls Logo - Red bull with script above head

Bulls guard Rajon Rondo did not appreciate Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler lashing out at their younger teammates through the media Wednesday. In an Instagram post Wednesday evening, Rondo lamented that the Bulls’ leaders didn’t handle their frustration the way Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce would have with the Boston Celtics.

“My vets would never go to the media,” Rondo wrote. “They would come to the team. My vets didn’t pick and choose when they wanted to bring it. They brought it every time they stepped in the gym whether it was practice or a game. They didn’t take days off. My vets didn’t care about their numbers. My vets played for the team. When we lost, they wouldn’t blame us. They took responsibility and got in the gym. They showed the young guys what it meant to work. Even in Boston when we had the best record in the league, if we lost a game, you could hear a pin drop on the bus. They showed us the seriousness of the game.My vets didn’t have an influence on the coaching staff. They couldn’t change the plan because it didn’t work for them. I played under one of the greatest coaches, and he held everyone accountable. It takes 1-15 to win. When you isolate everyone, you can’t win consistently. I may be a lot of things, but I’m not a bad teammate. My goal is to pass what I learned along. The young guys work. They show up. They don’t deserve blame. If anything is questionable, it’s the leadership.”

Bulls outscored 19-4 to end game and lose to Atlanta 119-114, Wade & Butler blast teammates.

Chicago Bulls Logo - Red bull with script above head

Dennis Schroder scored 24 points, Paul Millsap added 21 and the Atlanta Hawks ended the game on a 19-4 run to beat the Bulls 119-114 on Wednesday night.Thabo Sefolosha scored 18 and Tim Hardaway Jr. added 17, hitting four of his team’s 17 3-pointers as the Hawks pulled out their seventh straight win against the Bulls.The Bulls are circling the drain. They keep finding wins here and there, but the chemistry is poisoned, the trust in coaching seems to have eroded, and the price tag is high. Don’t be surprised if changes come to the Bulls in some fashion before the trade deadline.Jimmy Butler led the Bulls with 40 points. Dwyane Wade scored 33, but the Bulls let a 10-point lead slip away down the stretch.It was 110-100 with less than three minutes remaining when Millsap, Schroder and Hardaway nailed 3s on consecutive possessions to start the game-ending run. Wade called out his teammates, saying they played like they dont care.Schroder gave Atlanta a one-point lead with a layup, and Dwight Howard made one of two free throws to make it 112-110 with 58.6 seconds left.After Butler banked in a pull-up shot, Howard threw down an alley-oop dunk on a pass from Kent Bazemore. Nikola Mirotic missed a 3 with 25.3 seconds left, and Schroder and Sefolosha combined to make five free throws in the final 20 seconds.The Hawks matched their longest win streak against the Bulls…Jerian Grant made his second straight start, with Rajon Rondo backing him up. Michael Carter-Williams remained on the bench for the second game in a row after starting the previous 12. … Rondo, who hadn’t made a free throw since Dec. 6, went 1 of 2 from the line. … The Bulls have not beaten the Hawks since April 15, 2015.

Bad third period does in Hawks vs Lightning

In the third period, Tyler Johnson and the Tampa Bay Lightning looked more like the slick-skating group that dashed to the 2015 Stanley Cup final than a team that’s been languishing near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings this season.Johnson scored two goals 30 seconds apart early in the third, leading Tampa Bay past the Blackhawks 5-2 on Tuesday night to end a three-game slide.Brian Boyle had a goal and an assist, and Nikita Nesterov and Nikita Kucherov also scored for the Lightning, who broke loose for three goals in a 3:57 span to erase a 2-1 deficit. Alex Killorn set up both of Johnson’s goals, and Valtteri Filppula had two assists to help Tampa Bay win for just the third time in 11 games.The Lightning have been battered by injuries this season, including a critical one to sniper Steven Stamkos, who hasn’t skated since sustaining a meniscal tear to his right knee in mid-November. But they rallied impressively against the Blackhawks, who beat Tampa Bay in six games for the 2015 NHL championship.
”It’s big for us,” Johnson said. ”Every point matters right now, so we needed to get that in the third period.
”It’s nice being back here and realizing we were two wins away from a Stanley Cup,” he added. ”Pretty much the exact same team. We know what we can do. It’s a matter of doing it.”
Killorn said the Lightning ”had a chat” about the 2015 final on Tuesday morning at United Center – and that might have made a difference.
”We have a lot of guys in this room that can play, a team that can do some special things,” he said. ”Once we were reminded of that, we played a lot better tonight.”
Jonathan Toews had a goal and an assist, and Duncan Keith also scored for the Blackhawks, who had their three-game winning streak stopped. The Hawks lost for only the third time in its last 10.Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy made 34 saves, getting the start and delivering a strong performance after he relieved Ben Bishop for the third period of the Lightning’s 5-3 loss at Arizona on Sunday.
”Their goalie was excellent tonight,” Joel Quenneville said. ”I think we’ve only generated as much offense in one or two games as we did tonight.”
Corey Crawford blocked 31 shots for the Blackhawks.After Nesterov tied it 2-all off a faceoff 2:47 into the third, Johnson put Tampa Bay ahead for the first time at 6:14. He beat Crawford with a rising shot from the right circle after taking Killorn’s feed.
Johnson made it 4-2 at 6:44 from the edge of the crease with his 15th goal after Killorn’s pass from behind the net. Killorn had fired wide, then retrieved the puck and dished in front.
”We just kept on going,” Johnson said. ”Wanted to use our speed, wanted to use our transition.”
Kucherov added an empty-netter – his team-leading 18th goal – with 2:05 left.Toews stayed hot after getting the game-winning goal and three assists Sunday in a 4-2 victory over Vancouver. In his previous six games, the Blackhawks’ captain had just two assists.Toews’ effort in this one was overshadowed by the Lightning’s late burst.
”You can expect a team like that to come at us the way they did in the third,” Toews said, ”but I think our answer just wasn’t there.”
Sharp goaltending at both ends limited the score to 1-1 after a freewheeling first period filled with chances.Toews opened the scoring at 10:23, completing a cross-ice give-and-go with Richard Panik. Toews got to the edge of the crease and tipped in Panik’s feed after slipping behind Lightning star defenseman Victor Hedman.Boyle tied it with 1:25 left in the period after taking Filppula’s long feed and plowing between the Hawks top defensive pairing of Keith and Niklas Hjalmarsson. Boyle broke in, faked Crawford to the ice and then slid the puck past him with a forehand move.Keith put the Hawks ahead 2-1 at 1:26 of the second on a shot from the left point that glanced in off Vasilevskiy’s glove.
NOTES—Tampa Bay RW J.T. Brown returned after missing seven games with an upper-body injury. … Lightning D Jason Garrison sat out his second game with an illness. … The Blackhawks activated C Marcus Kruger (hand) from injured reserve, but he didn’t play. Kruger was injured on Dec. 30 at Carolina. … C Dennis Rasmussen played despite missing the morning skate with an illness. … Blackhawks D Michal Kempny was back in the lineup after being benched in the third period on Sunday….The Blackhawks host the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night.