Bears, Cutler stun Pack at Lambeau on Brett Favre Night.

Jay Cutler crashes the party in Green Bay (via NBC)

GREEN BAY—Jay Cutler and the Bears spoiled Brett Favre’s big night back with the Green Bay Packers.Cutler threw for 200 yards and a score and the Bears held off the Packers on fourth-and-goal from the 8 with 22 seconds left for a 17-13 victory Thursday night.Aaron Rodgers’ throw to the end zone deflected off receiver Davante Adams’ hands in the cold rain. James Jones couldn’t hang on to a potential touchdown catch on third down.Cornerback Tracy Porter intercepted Rodgers’ pass with 3:19 left at the Bears 45 on the previous drive.The highlight of the night for Green Bay turned out to be the return of Favre, whose name and No. 4 was unveiled at halftime next to the team’s other retired numbers.The Bears (5-6) have won three of its last four. The Packers (7-4) lost a second straight home game.Jeremy Langford ran for 48 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries.Cutler finished 19 of 31. He outplayed Rodgers, who was 22 of 43 for 202 yards and a touchdown.Favre’s successor at quarterback stayed in the game after appearing to hurt his left arm in the third quarter after getting hit from behind near the elbow by linebacker Lamarr Houston while recovering a high snap.Rodgers said that he lost feeling in his hand after the hit for the rest of the quarter and into the fourth quarter. He said that he had regained full feeling in three fingers by the end of the game.
”It’s my left hand, I’ll be all right,” Rodgers said.
Cutler was a little better, somewhat of a surprise given how poorly he has played at Lambeau in his career with the Bears. In his four previous games at Lambeau, all losses, Cutler had thrown 12 interceptions. But with new coach John Fox and offensive coordinator Adam Gase, Cutler avoided throwing an interception.With driving rain drenching the field, Cutler calmly led the Bears on a clock-eating drive in the fourth quarter that kept Rodgers on the bench with the Bears leading 17-13.Cutler hit Marc Mariani on third-and-10 for a 21-yard gain to the Packers 44 with 7:38 left. Then the Packers caught a break after Cutler mishandled a shotgun snap on third-and-11 to set up a punt.The Packers couldn’t capitalize. They moved the quickly up the field on their final two drives only to come up short.Robbie Gould’s 21-yard field goal in the fourth quarter for the Bears was the only scoring for either team in the second half in a game played dreary conditions.It put ball security at a premium.Eddie Lacy fumbled deep in Bears territory in the second quarter after getting hit from behind. Cutler cashed in on the Bears next drive by finding Zack Miller for a 3-yard touchdown pass that tied it at 7 with 6:03 left in the half.Lacy ran for 105 yards on 17 carries, and also scored on a 25-yard catch-and-run.

Ramblers beat San Diego in Anchorage

Loyola-Chi. Ramblers logo

ANCHORAGE—Devon Turk scored 25 points with six rebounds and Loyola knocked off San Diego 67-57 in the Great Alaska Shootout.Turk was 10 of 15 from the floor, including five 3-pointers, and the Ramblers (4-1) shot 50 percent as a team. Earl Peterson added 13 points with six assists and Milton Doyle chipped in with 11 points and five helpers.Duda Sanadze’s 3-pointer with 12:10 left put San Diego up 44-42, but Loyola scored the next seven points – including a 3 by Turk – and never trailed again.There was one basket in the first 4 minutes of the game – a layup by Peterson. San Diego used an 11-4 run midway through the first to take its first lead and Sanadze’s 3-pointer with 49 seconds gave the Toreros a 28-25 lead at the break.Sanadze led San Diego (0-4) with 20 points and eight boards. Brett Bailey finished with 13 points.

Hawks beat Sharks, Kane extends scoring streak to 17 games

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SAN JOSE—Patrick Kane had two assists to extend his career-best scoring streak to 17 games, leading the Blackhawks to a 5-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday night.Kane set up Brent Seabrook on the first goal and also got a helper on Duncan Keith’s second-period goal to give him 28 points during the streak.Jonathan Toews and former Shark Andrew Desjardins also scored for the Hawks. Andrew Shaw added an empty-netter for the Blackhawks, who improved to 2-1-1 on their annual circus road trip. The six-game swing concludes this weekend with games in Anaheim and Los Angeles.Corey Crawford made 27 saves.Brent Burns and Patrick Marleau scored for the Sharks, who returned home from a 6-0 road trip to lose once again at the Shark Tank. San Jose fell to 3-6 at home this season after dropping 22 games here last season – their most since 1996-97. The Sharks had earned the most points at home in the NHL over the previous nine seasons.Martin Jones made 21 saves.After a slow start in their first game back from the perfect road trip, the Sharks found their legs late in the first period and tied the game at 1 when Burns scored on a one-timer from Joe Pavelski on the power play. It was San Jose’s first goal at home with the man advantage all season after 21 failed chances.But the tie lasted just 88 seconds before Ryan Garbutt sprung Toews on a 2-on-1 and the Captain beat Jones with a shot high to the glove side.The Blackhawks added to the lead midway through the second period when Keith sent what looked like an innocent shot in from the boards only to see it elude Jones to give the Visitors a 3-1 lead.The Blackhawks then killed off two power plays early in the third before Marleau made it a one-goal game when he beat Crawford with a wrist shot off a faceoff win in the offensive zone with 8:40 to play.Desjardins restored the two-goal lead 1:07 later when he scored his first of the season on a rebound.Fresh off their annual stop in Las Vegas during their November road trip when the circus is in town, the Blackhawks started fast. They got the first eight shots on goal and took a 1-0 lead midway through the period when Kane set up Seabrook with a one-timer that beat Jones.San Jose took more than 13 minutes before getting its first shot on goal.

NOTES—The Blackhawks have one regulation loss in their past 10 games against the Sharks. … Dainius Zubrus made his debut with San Jose on the fourth line after signing a contract Tuesday. … Sharks D Justin Braun was scratched with an upper-body injury.


AFC GAMES: Buff over KC, JAX over S.Diego, Mia over NYJ, Oak over TENN NFC GAMES: N.Y.Giants over WASH, Arz over SF INT CONF GAMES: HOU over N.Orl, CIN over Stl, INDY over T.Bay, SEAT over Pitt THUR: Car over DAL SUN NIGHT:N.Eng over DENV MON NIGHT: Balt over CLEVE NFC NORTH GAMES: Minn over ATL , DET over Phil, GB over Bears Teams listed in ALL CAPS are HOME TEAMS Last Week; Les 7-7, Producers 10-4, Total to date: Les 95-66,Producers 97-64

Bulls hold back Blazer rally

Chicago Bulls Logo - Red bull with script above head

PORTLAND—This visit to Portland ended on a much happier note for Derrick Rose than the last.Rose returned after missing two games with a sprained left ankle and scored 17 points in the Bulls‘ 93-88 victory over the Trail Blazers on Tuesday night.Rose hadn’t played in Portland since he tore the meniscus in his right knee against the Blazers in November 2013, ending his season. The disappointing injury came after he missed the entire previous season because of surgery on his left knee. ”I’m just happy I got off the court,” Rose joked afterward. ”I think we played an all-right game. We won so that’s the only thing that matters.” Jimmy Butler had 22 points for the Bulls, who have won five of their last six. Butler’s highlight came at the end of the first half, when he hit a half-court buzzer beater that put the Bulls in front 48-39.But the Blazers didn’t make it easy.Rose’s floating jumper stretched the Bulls lead to 78-65 early in the fourth quarter, but Portland rallied within 78-76 on Ed Davis‘ tip shot.Damian Lillard missed a 3-pointer to tie it for Portland with 2:25 left, then missed the second of a pair of free throws with 20.7 seconds left that would have also pulled the Blazers into a tie.CJ McCollum’s quick layup got Portland within 89-88 with 13 seconds to go. But after Butler made a pair of free throws, McCollum missed on a 3-point attempt and Taj Gibson hit free throws for the final margin.Lillard finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, but shot 4 of 22 from the field. McCollum added 18 points. ”I thought I got a lot of good looks at the rim, the shots just didn’t go in,” Lillard said. ”I was more disappointed with the free throw that kind of just went halfway down the basket and came out.” The Blazers had won two straight after a seven-game losing streak, including a 107-93 victory on the road against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday. Still without Meyers Leonard because of a dislocated left shoulder, the Blazers started Noah Vonleh to go against Nikola Mirotic.It was also the Bulls’ first win in Portland since 2007. Rose missed last year’s game in Portland because of a hamstring injury.Going into Tuesday night’s game, Rose said his minutes wouldn’t be restricted because of the ankle injury. His return came at an opportune time for the Bulls, who were without Aaron Brooks for the second game because of a sore hamstring. ”I felt all right. There were some plays where I had no lift on my shot as far as like driving the ball, but that’s going to come the more I play and the stronger it gets,” said Rose, who logged nearly 35 minutes. The Bulls pulled ahead 39-29 midway through the second quarter on Gibson’s 14-foot jumper. Portland pulled within six points before the break, but Butler’s 47-footer extended Chicago’s lead just before they left the court.Portland opened the second half with a 7-0 run and pulled within 48-46 on Vonleh’s 3-pointer followed by a layup. But the rally was short-lived and Butler’s reverse layup put the Bulls ahead 62-52.The game got chippy in the final minutes when Butler and Mason Plumlee got into it. In the aftermath, Plumlee was served with a flagrant foul, and Butler got a technical. After the game, Plumlee said he deserved the tech for hitting Butler hard through the screen.Pau Gasol had 12 points and 14 rebounds for the Bulls.

Cats hold off late Mizzou rally in KC

Northwestern Wildcats (1981 - Pres)

KANSAS CITY—Chris Collins watched helplessly from the sideline as Northwestern blew most of a 20-point first-half lead against Missouri in the consolation game of the CBE Classic.His first two years in charge, Collins would have ultimately been watching a loss.On Tuesday night, his guys proved just how far they’d come.Tre Demps and Bryant McIntosh scored 13 points apiece, and Northwestern held on through foul trouble and a tense closing stretch for a 67-62 victory over the Tigers.

”I thought the first half was fantastic, the way we executed, the defense. Then we just had to hold on for dear life,” Collins said. ”This is a game in the last couple of years we would have lost. There’s no question in my mind.”

The Wildcats (4-1), who lost to ninth-ranked North Carolina in the semifinals, did not make a field goal for the final 5 minutes, 41 seconds as the Tigers made one final run.Kevin Puryear’s basket with 1:43 left got Missouri (2-3) within 65-59, and Scottie Lindsey’s miss at the other end and two free throws by Wes Clark made things interesting. But after a Demps turnover, Puryear could only make the second of two free throws with 33.8 seconds left.Demps made one of two at the other end to give Northwestern a 66-62 advantage, and Clark’s 3-point try rattled out moments later, allowing the Wildcats to escape with the win.

”We knew we had to bring our own energy. We knew there weren’t going to be many fans in the stands,” said the Wildcats’ Sanjay Lumpkin. ”I mean, they made a lot of shots. They made their run and we were just fortunate to make big plays at the end of the game.”

Terrance Phillips had 16 points to lead Missouri. Puryear finished with 14.The Wildcats threatened to turn the game into a rout in the first half, knocking down just about every shot they took from the perimeter. By the time Lumpkin rattled in his 3-pointer with 7:45 remaining in the half, Northwestern had built a 31-11 advantage.The Tigers’ eventual comeback came in bits and pieces.Puryear got things started with back-to-back baskets, and Ryan Rosburg contributed a couple of nice plays in the paint. Slowly, the Wildcats’ lead began to erode, and four straight foul shots by Namon Wright to end the first half got Missouri within 38-24.

”I think once we got going,” Phillips said, ”a fire got lit under us.”

The Tigers kept coming out of the break, too. Phillips started to score in transition, the rest of the Tigers began getting to the basket for easy looks, and the lead was finally cut to 61-57 with 3:51 to go – the closest the game had been since the opening minutes.But while the Wildcats went cold from the field, they managed to create enough offense to get to the free-throw line, where they were able to eventually put the game away.

#2 Maryland pulls away from ISU in Mexico

PUERTO AVENTURAS, Mexico—Rasheed Sulaimon scored 16 points and Melo Trimble added 15 to help No. 2 Maryland beat Illinois State 77-66 on Tuesday night in the Cancun Challenge.With the game tied at 62, back-to-back 3-pointers by Jared Nickens and Sulaimon gave the Terrapins (4-0) a six-point cushion 3:45 left.The Redbirds (2-3) tried to rally, but too many turnovers (17) stifled them.MiKyle McIntosh scored 17 points and Paris Lee added 15 for ISU.Maryland will face Rhode Island for the Riviera Division title on Wednesday. Illinois State plays TCU in the consolation game.

NU gives N.Carolina battle, but falls 80-69 in KC

Northwestern Wildcats (1981 - Pres)

KANSAS CITY—Justin Jackson had 21 points and 13 rebounds to lead a balanced effort for ninth-ranked North Carolina, which bounced back from a surprising loss over the weekend to beat Northwestern 80-69 on Monday night in the CBE Classic semifinals.Kennedy Meeks and Joel Berry II added 12 points apiece, and Theo Pinson, Isaiah Hicks had Brice Johnson each had 10 for the Tar Heels (4-1), who tumbled from their top spot in the AP poll earlier in the day after their 71-67 loss at Northern Iowa.North Carolina will play Kansas State for the tournament title Tuesday night.Tre Demps led the Wildcats (3-1) with 21 points, including 10 straight for his team during a second-half charge that trimmed North Carolina’s lead to 48-46 with 17:20 left.But unlike their game against the Panthers, when the Tar Heels allowed a 29-8 second-half run to put them on the ropes, Jackson and Pinson made sure to answer the Northwestern salvo.Jackson started it off with a basket at the other end, and Pinson knocked down a 3, before Jackson made two foul shots. Nate Britt hit his own 3 moments later, and a basket by Berry capped a 12-2 run that forced Northwestern coach Chris Collins to call timeout.The Tar Heels stretched their lead to 20 later in the second half before Northwestern made a brief run in the closing minutes, making the final score look a bit more respectable.Alex Olah contributed 10 points for the Wildcats, while leading scorer Bryant McIntosh – who had a career-best 32 against Columbia – managed 14 points on just 3-for-15 shooting.The Tar Heels once again played without Marcus Paige, who broke a bone in his right hand on Nov. 3. The senior All-American has been sitting on the North Carolina bench, but the school has yet to indicate when he may be cleared to return to action.Not that they needed his steady hand Monday night. The Tar Heels only had nine turnovers, a big reason why they were able to answer every Northwestern run.

NOTES—The Wildcats have won once in five tries against North Carolina. This was the first meeting between the schools since Nov. 29, 1978. … McIntosh added eight assists. … The Wildcats were outrebounded 39-26 by the bigger, longer Tar Heels….Charles Scott, the first black scholarship athlete to play for the Tar Heels, was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame over the weekend. … Jackson was coming off a career-high 25 points against Northern Iowa. He also had four assists Monday night….NU takes on Missouri in the tournament’s third-place game.North Carolina plays Kansas State for its first CBE Classic championship.

Illinois escapes with win at buzzer over Chicago State

Illinois Fighting Illini (2004 - 2013)Related image

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.—Jalen Coleman-Lands sank a 3-pointer from the corner at the buzzer, allowing Illinois to escape with an 82-79 victory over Chicago State Monday night.Michael Finke scored 17 to lead Illinois (2-3). The Illini needed a 14-0 run in the second half to tie it the game at 66, and then needed the game’s final possession to steal the win.After Chicago State (3-2) was called for a shot clock violation with 4.6 seconds left, Illinois rushed the ball up the court to find Coleman-Lands open in the corner. Coleman-Lands, Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr. scored 12 apiece for the Illini.Elliott Cole had 21 points to lead Chicago State. The Cougars led by 14 in both halves.Illinois won all 11 previous meetings with Chicago State by an average of 29 points.The Illini weren’t too concerned with style points. They just needed a win. Illinois was already off to its worst start in 50 years. Another loss would have tied the school record for the worst start after five games.Chicago State made it difficult, building a 40-26 lead in the first half. The Cougars led the final 10 minutes of the opening half and didn’t trail again until the closing moments. Illinois grabbed a 77-75 lead on Thorne’s basket.

Demons salvage 7th place in Virgin Islands

ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands—Tommy Hamilton scored 20 points and blocked Norfolk State’s final shot to help DePaul take an 82-78 victory on Monday in the seventh-place game at the Paradise Jam.Zaynah Robinson scored to get the Spartans within 79-78 with 19 seconds to go. Aaron Simpson made a free throw for DePaul to make it 80-78. Robinson then drove to the hoop but Hamilton blocked his shot. Simpson came up with the ball, was fouled and made both free throws with three seconds remaining.Hamilton had tied the game with a basket and Billy Garrett’s 3-pointer gave the Blue Demons a 79-76 advantage.Garrett finished with 22 points and Simpson 12 for DePaul (2-3), which snapped a three-game losing streak.D’Shon Taylor had 23 points, Charles Oliver 20 and Jeff Short 16 for the Spartans (1-4), who made a school-record 14 3-pointers, 10 in the second half to erase a 14-point deficit.