Capitals

Top 25 Capsules

Top 25 Capsules

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) Travis Releford and Jeff Withey both scored 15 points and No. 2 Kansas nearly relinquished a double-digit lead before beating West Virginia 61-56 on Monday night to extend the nation's longest winning streak to 18 games.

Kansas (19-1, 7-0 Big 12) shot 54 percent from the field in the first-ever meeting between the schools. The Jayhawks have held their last six opponents under 60 points.

Ben McLemore added 13 points for Kansas, which is in the middle of a stretch of six of nine games on the road.

Aaric Murray had 17 points and Juwan Staten added 14 for the Mountaineers (9-11, 2-5), who fell to 0-4 against ranked opponents this season.

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No. 12 LOUISVILLE 64, PITTSBURGH 61

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Russ Smith and Gorgui Dieng combined for 34 points and sealed the game with four free throws in the final 12 seconds as Louisville ended a three-game losing streak.

Louisville, which has slumped since moving to No. 1 two weeks ago, saw an 11-point second-half lead cut to 60-58 on Tray Woodall's 3-pointer with 13.3 seconds remaining.

Dieng made two free throws with 12.7 seconds left for a four-point lead. After an air ball by Pitt, Smith followed with two more free throws for a 64-58 lead with 4.2 seconds left.

Woodall, who had 14 points, drained a long 3-pointer in the final second.

Smith finished with 20 points while Dieng had 14 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks for the Cardinals (17-4, 5-3 Big East).

Pittsburgh (17-5, 5-4) had its four-game winning streak stopped.

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No. 25 MARQUETTE 63, SOUTH FLORIDA 50

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Vander Blue scored a career-high 30 points to lead Marquette, which moved into a first-place tie with Syracuse in the Big East.

Blue, who came into the game as the Golden Eagles' leading scorer at 13.9 points per game, made 13 of 20 shots from the field and scored 11 points during the big run that spanned both halves.

The Golden Eagles (15-4, 6-1 Big East), who have won eight of nine games, returned to the Top 25 on Monday after being out of the rankings last week.

JaVontae Hawkins scored 14 points for South Florida (10-10, 1-7), which opened the season 9-3.

The Golden Eagles used a 21-4 run sandwiched around halftime to open a 38-24 lead on Blue's driving baseline layup with 15:18 left. Marquette ended the first half on an 11-4 run and scored the first 10 points of the second half. The Bulls couldn't get closer than eight points the rest of the way.

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Blackhawks fans tossed after directing racist remarks at Washington's Smith-Pelly

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NBC Sports Washington

Blackhawks fans tossed after directing racist remarks at Washington's Smith-Pelly

CHICAGO—Four fans were ejected from United Center on Saturday night for taunting Devante Smith-Pelly as the Capitals’ winger sat in the penalty box.

The fans, according to a team spokesman, yelled “basketball, basketball, basketball” at Smith-Pelly, who is black. Smith-Pelly was in the box for fighting in the third period of an eventual 7-1 loss to the Blackhawks.

The taunts were confirmed by an off-ice official, the spokesman said, and the fans were subsequently removed from the arena.

Smith-Pelly did not speak with reporters after the game but is expected to address the incident at the team’s next media availability. The team is scheduled to practice Sunday at KeyBank Center in Buffalo.

Caps Coach Barry Trotz did not hold back when asked about the fans' comments.

“There’s absolutely no place in the game of hockey or our country for racism,” Trotz said. “I think it’s disgusting, and there’s no place for it. …It just shows ignorance.”

The Blackhawks responded on Twitter with an apology to Smith-Pelly, who is one of roughly 30 black players in the NHL.

February is Hockey is For Everyone month in the NHL.

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3 stars of the game: Caps suffer ugly loss to scuffling Blackhawks

3 stars of the game: Caps suffer ugly loss to scuffling Blackhawks

Just about everything that could go wrong did for the Capitals on Saturday in a 7-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Caps were coming off a strong 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday, but none of that carried over in the trip to Chicago. The Caps took on a Blackhawks team that had lost eight in a row, but Chicago quickly took control in the first period and never looked back.

Washington gave up 21 shots on goal in the first period and found themselves down 3-1 after the opening frame. Things did not get much better from there as they gave up another three goals in the final four minutes of the second.

Here are the three stars of the game.

1. Jonathan Toews: Toews opened up the scoring in the first period with a quick shot from the corner that caught Braden Holtby by surprise.

Later in the first, he recorded an assist as his pass sparked a breakout that led to Brandon Saad's deal that gave Chicago back the lead. The Caps tried to make a game of it in the second period, but Toews intercepted a pass from Brooks Orpik that led to a 2-on-0 with himself and Patrick Kane that Kane netted to give the Blackhawks a 4-1 lead and signaled to everyone that the rout was on. Saturday was only the second three-point night of the season for Toews.

2. Patrick Kane: Toews helped the Blackhawks take control early, but Kane helped provide the knockout punches in the second period. A bad pass from Orpik was intercepted by Toews that led to a 2-on-0 with Kane. Holtby made the initial save on Toews, but Kane was able to knock in the rebound for the goal.

Kane also added an assist on Artem Anisimov's power play goal which extended Chicago's lead to 6-1.

3. Tom Wilson: Before this one got out of hand, it looked like Wilson had erased the tough start for the Caps as he deflected a shot from Matt Niskanen into the net to get Washington on the board.

Saturday's tally was his third goal in two games and his 10th of the season, marking the first time in his career he has reached double digits in goals.