Blackhawks shuffle lines, beat Blue Jackets 6-1
CHICAGO (AP) - Andrew Shaw and Jonathan Toews had two goals apiece, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-1 on Thursday night.
Brandon Bollig and Bryan Bickell also scored as Chicago bounced back from a 4-2 home loss to Colorado on Tuesday night. Corey Crawford made 22 saves for his 10th consecutive victory against Columbus.
Ryan Johansen scored his 25th goal for the Blue Jackets, who had won three in a row. Sergei Bobrovsky made 14 stops before he was pulled during the Blackhawks' three-goal second period.
The Stanley Cup champions had managed just eight goals while dropping three of four, and five of those came against Pittsburgh at Soldier Field on Saturday. That prompted coach Joel Quenneville to shuffle his lines, putting Shaw with Toews and Saad in the top group and moving Patrick Sharp to the second line with Michal Handzus and Patrick Kane.
Cole's goal, assist lead Blues over Predators 2-1
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Ian Cole had a goal and an assist to lead the St. Louis Blues to their third straight win, 2-1 win over the Nashville Predators on Thursday night.
Magnus Paajarvi had the other goal for the Blues, who have won all four of their games against Nashville this season.
Ryan Miller stopped 20 shots to win his third game in as many starts since being acquired from the Buffalo Sabres on Friday. Nick Spaling scored for the Predators, losers of six of seven.
Cole scored the game's first goal at 4:03 of the opening period after Steve Ott won a faceoff in the left circle and Cole beat Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne with a wrist shot high to the far side.
Ott's assist was his first point as a Blue.
Nashville drew even at 10:28 of the first on Spaling's 11th goal of the season.
MVC-LOYOLA OF CHICAGO-BRADLEY
Loyola of Chicago beats Bradley 74-72
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Milton Doyle's 3-pointer with 1 second to play lifted Loyola of Chicago 74-72 over Bradley Thursday night for a first-round Missouri Valley Conference tournament win.
The No. 10 seeded Ramblers, an MVC newcomer, advance to play No. 2 seeded Indiana State on Friday. The win snaps a six-game losing streak for Loyola.
Loyola led 43-35 at halftime, and went up by 11 in the second on a layup by Christian Thomas at 7:38. But No. 7 seeded Bradley rallied, and Walt Lemon cut the lead to 62-60 with a dunk, and hit two free throws with 5 seconds to play to put Bradley up 72-71. Doyle got the inbounds pass and made his game-winner with 1 second to go.
Doyle finished with 19, Jeff White and Devon Turk had 14 apiece, and Thomas had 12.
Tyshon Pickett had 25 for Bradley, Lemon 24 and Omari Grier 12.
Butler defeats DePaul 79-46
ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) - Alex Barlow scored a career-high 19 points to lead Butler to a 79-46 victory over DePaul on Thursday night.
Khyle Marshall added 18 points for Butler as the Bulldogs put an end to a season-high seven-game losing streak.
Brandon Young led DePaul with 24 points. The Blue Demons will end the Big East regular season with at least a share of last place for the sixth straight season.
DePaul finished 1 of 18 from 3-point range. Despite a game featuring the conference's bottom two teams, Butler dominated DePaul in every aspect. The Bulldogs opened the game with an 18-4 lead. Barlow scored eight points in the span and Marshall drove the lane for two uncontested dunks.
Butler outrebounded DePaul 46-29 for the game.
DePaul was held to a season-low scoring output in losing by its largest margin this season.
Hill paces Idaho to 79-76 win over Chicago State
CHICAGO (AP) - Connor Hill paced Idaho with 27 points and hit two key free throws with seconds remaining in helping Idaho edge Chicago State 79-76 on Thursday night.
Idaho broke out to a 44-30 halftime lead over the Cougars after landing seven 3-pointers in the half.
The Vandal long-range effort cooled in the second period and costly turnovers allowed Chicago State to narrow the Idaho lead to 68-63. Later, Chicago's Quinton Pippen hit a trey at 2:13 and the Cougars trailed Idaho by one, 72-71.
Idaho failed to score a field goal in the final 9:45 of the game but Sekou Wiggs and Stephen Madison hit 9-of-13 free throws down the stretch to help preserve the 3-point win.
Madison scored 17 along with 9 rebounds, while Wiggs recorded 16 points for the Vandals.
Matt Ross led Chicago State with 25 points and eight rebounds.
Penn State smothers Northwestern 59-32
EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) - D.J. Newbill scored 12 points and Penn State's zone defense stifled Northwestern in the Nittany Lions' 59-32 rout Thursday.
Penn State's 2-3 zone defense frustrated Northwestern the entire game. Northwestern shot 23.3 percent from the field and went 3 of 22 behind the arc, finishing with their lowest point total and 3-point percentage of the season.
Balanced scoring helped the Nittany Lions pick apart Northwestern's defense. Tim Frazier and Brandon Taylor, each of whom scored 11 points, were two of eight different players to score for Penn State. The Nittany Lions shot 50 percent from the field.
It didn't help that the Wildcats' two best shooters, Drew Crawford and Tre Demps, shot a combined 3 of 19 for 11 points. By halftime, Penn State built a 17-point lead, and Northwestern never threatened during the second half. Alex Olah led the Wildcats with 14 points.
Doolittle sparks no. 23 Iowa past Illinois 81-62
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Bethany Doolittle scored a career-high 26 points, hitting 10 of 14 shots, as fifth-seeded and 23rd-ranked Iowa defeat Illinois 81-62 in the first round of the Big Ten tournament on Thursday.
Melissa Dixon added 15 points and Ally Disterhoft 14 with 12 rebounds for the Hawkeyes, who face No. 17 Purdue, the fourth seed, in the quarterfinals Friday.
Amber Moore had 26 points for the Illini, who have lost 11 straight. Ivory Crawford had 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Iowa opened the game with an 11-2 run and after Illinois regrouped to take a 27-26 lead, the Hawkeyes closed the half with a 15-2 surge for a 41-29 lead.
Iowa shot 54 percent from the field, made 21 of 26 free throws and had a 45-31 rebounding edge to offset 24 turnovers. The Illini shot just 32 percent and got to the line 14 times, making 10.
Alston keys Ohio State 86-77 win over Northwestern
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Ameryst Alston scored 30 points and Darryce Moore and Martina Ellerbe had double-doubles as eighth-seeded Ohio State pulled away in the closing minutes on Thursday to defeat ninth-seeded Northwestern 86-77 in the opening game of the Big Ten Tournament.
Alston, who finished one point shy of matching her career-high, broke a 73-73 tie with a layup with 1:53 to play. Ellerbe followed with a steal that was turned into her 3-pointer at the 1:24 mark and, after a Northwestern miss, Alston made two free throws for an 80-72 lead with 51 seconds remaining.
Ellerbe finished with 16 points and a career-high 13 rebounds for the Buckeyes, who face top-seeded and 11th-ranked Penn State on Friday. Moore added 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Maggie Lyon led Northwestern with 25 points, Nia Coffey had 19 with 11 rebounds, Lauren Douglas had 15 points.
Jose Abreu homers for White Sox in tie with Royals
SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) - Cuban defector Jose Abreu hit his first home run as a Chicago White Sox split-squad and the Kansas City Royals tied 6-6 on Thursday.
The Cuban defector who signed with the White Sox for six years and $68 million in October, connected for a two-run shot into Chicago's bullpen in right field off Brad Penny in the fifth inning.
Alex Gordon led the Royals, going 3 for 3 with two runs and a RBI, while Pedro Ciriaco homered and doubled.
Royals left-hander Jason Vargas pitched three scoreless innings and has not allowed a run over five innings in his first two starts.
White Sox shortstop Alexi Ramirez, who was 0 for 8 in his first three games, went 3 for 3.
Montero helps Mariners beat White Sox 7-4
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Jesus Montero had two singles and an RBI and Scott Baker continued to make a good impression in his bid for winning a rotation spot Thursday as the Seattle Mariners beat a Chicago White Sox split-squad 7-4.
Montero's second hit came in the seventh to cap the Mariners' three-run, go-ahead rally. Montero is coming back from a 50-game suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal and season-ending knee surgery.
Baker allowed one earned run in his second spring start with hopes of making the rotation. He allowed three hits with no walks or strikeouts.
White Sox left-hander John Danks allowed one hit, walked two and struck out two in his first three innings of the spring as he looks to bounce back from going 4-14 in 2013.
Adam Eaton had three hits for the White Sox and Dyan Viciedo had a double and a run scored.
Wood goes 3 shutout innings, Cubs fall to Indians
GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) - Travis Wood gave up one hit and struck out three in three scoreless innings Thursday as the Chicago Cubs fell to the Cleveland Indians 1-0.
Wood, an All-Star in 2013, had his first scheduled start rained out last Saturday.
Indians starter Justin Masterson gave up three hits and a walk, striking out three in three shutout innings.
Masterson worked himself into a bases-loaded jam in the first by giving up one-out hits to Donnie Murphy and Anthony Rizzo and walking Nate Schierholtz. He got out of it by striking out Welington Castillo and getting Mike Olt on a flyball.
Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera drew a bases-loaded walk in the fourth to score Nick Swisher for the game's only run.
Rizzo got two hits. He is 5 for 10 with two doubles in four games.
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