Bulls

CSN to carry live coverage of the 2016 IHSA Girls Basketball State Championships Feb. 26-27 & Mar. 4-5

CSN to carry live coverage of the 2016 IHSA Girls Basketball State Championships Feb. 26-27 & Mar. 4-5

Comcast SportsNet & CSNChicago.com to carry LIVE coverage of the Class 1A-4A IHSA Girls Basketball State Championships from Redbird Arena in Normal, IL over the next two weekends

CSNChicago.com to also air highlight packages of all games throughout the weekend;

CSNChicago.com & IHSA.tv to also live stream every post-game press conference

Chicago, IL (February 23, 2016) -- Comcast SportsNet, the television home of the IHSA Championships, will be airing LIVE on-air/digital coverage of the 2016 Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Girls Basketball State Championshipson Friday, February 26 & Saturday, February 27 (Class 1A & 2A) and Friday, March 4 & Saturday, March 5 (Class 3A & 4A) from Illinois State University’s Redbird Arena in Normal, IL.  Over the next two weekends, Illinois preps hoops fans can look forward to seeing every action-packed semifinal, consolation and championship battle starting Friday at 12 NOON CT featuring four, live semifinal match-ups, along with a pair of consolation and two huge state championship title games on Saturday.  Plus – EVERY game will be telecast in a high-definition (HD) format.  The 2016 IHSA Girls Basketball State Championships will be produced by the IHSA & PlayOn! Sports.

IMPORTANT NOTES:

  • Several IHSA Girls Basketball State Championship telecasts will air on CSN+ (available in high-definition on Comcast/Xfinity ch. 201 in the Chicago area/South Bend, IN & on Comcast/Xfinity ch. 285 in the Peoria, Springfield, Rockford and Champaign markets, along with being made available in DIRECTV, DISH Network, AT&T U-verse, RCN, and WOW! homes among others; viewers are urged to visit CSNChicago.com’s CHANNEL FINDER or IHSA.org for complete channel location details for ALL games throughout the state. 
  • IHSA.tv will also provide a live stream of every IHSA Girls Basketball State Championship telecast.
  • Fans can interact via Twitter throughout the entire weekend by utilizing the hashtag #IHSA to share their comments and showcase their school spirit for their favorite teams.   In addition, fans are urged to visit Comcast SportsNet’s official preps Twitter handle (@CSNPreps) for up-to-the-minute tournament news, scores, and more 24/7.

CSNChicago.com & IHSA.tv will also be providing fans with a live stream of every IHSA Girls Basketball State Championship post-game press conference.  In addition, CSNChicago.com’s IHSA Preps section (csnchicago.com/preps) will feature highlight packages, game recaps, and more from all games over the next two weekends, plus – Comcast SportsNet viewers can look forward to a special championship editions of High School Lites on Friday, February 26 & Friday, March 4 (both nights live at 11:00 PM) for a complete rundown of every girls championship game, including expanded highlights and player/coaches interviews, along with the latest highlights and playoff scenarios for the upcoming IHSA Boys Basketball State Championships, taking place the weekends of March 11-12 & March 18-19 at Carver Arena in Peoria, IL.  (NOTE: Full schedule details regarding Comcast SportsNet’s live coverage of the 2016 Boys Basketball State Championships will be announced the week of March 9.)

The following schedule details Comcast SportsNet’s coverage of the 2016 IHSA Girls Basketball State Championships over the next two weekends (all times Central Time) (play-by-play/color analyst/sideline reporting teams are in parentheses):

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 26

12:00 PM –      Class 1A Semifinal #1: INDIAN CREEK (Shabbona) vs. CENTRAL A&M (Moweaqua) (Lee Hall/Kelly Burke/Zach Kerker)

2:00 PM –        Class 1A Semifinal #2: SETON ACADEMY (South Holland) vs. CALHOUN (Hardin) (Lee Hall/Kelly Burke/Zach Kerker)

6:30 PM –        Class 2A Semifinal #1: TEUTOPOLIS vs. ST. JOSEPH (Westchester) (Dave Bernhard/Patricia Babcock-McGraw/Kelly Burke) (NOTE: This game will air on CSN+HD; please visit CSNChicago.com’s CHANNEL FINDER for the exact channel location in your area)

8:30 PM –        Class 2A Semifinal #2: CENTRAL [Coop] (Camp Point) vs. BYRON (Dave Bernhard/Patricia Babcock-McGraw/Kelly Burke) (NOTE: This game will air on CSN+HD; please visit CSNChicago.com’s CHANNEL FINDER for the exact channel location in your area)

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 28

12:00 PM –      Class 1A: CONSOLATION GAME (Teams TBD) (Lee Hall/Kelly Burke/Zach Kerker)

2:00 PM –        Class 1A: CHAMPIONSHIP GAME (Teams TBD) (Lee Hall/Kelly Burke/Zach Kerker)

6:30 PM –        Class 2A: CONSOLATION GAME (Teams TBD) (Dave Bernhard/Patricia Babcock-McGraw/Zach Kerker)

8:30 PM –        Class 2A: CHAMPIONSHIP GAME (Teams TBD) (Dave Bernhard/Patricia Babcock-McGraw/Zach Kerker)

FRIDAY, MARCH 4

12:00 PM –      Class 3A: SEMIFINAL #1 (Teams TBD) (Dave Bernhard/Patricia Babcock-McGraw/Tori Clark) (NOTE: This game will air on CSN+HD; please visit CSNChicago.com’s CHANNEL FINDER for the exact channel location in your area)

2:00 PM –        Class 3A: SEMIFINAL #2 (Teams TBD) (Dave Bernhard/Patricia Babcock-McGraw/Tori Clark) (NOTE: This game will air on CSN+HD; please visit CSNChicago.com’s CHANNEL FINDER for the exact channel location in your area)

6:30 PM –        Class 4A: SEMIFINAL #1 (Teams TBD) (Matt Rodewald/Kristi Faulkner /Tori Clark) (NOTE: This game will air on CSN+HD; please visit CSNChicago.com’s CHANNEL FINDER for the exact channel location in your area)

8:30 PM –        Class 4A: SEMIFINAL #2 (Teams TBD) (Matt Rodewald/Kristi Faulkner /Tori Clark) (NOTE: This game will air on CSN+HD; please visit CSNChicago.com’s CHANNEL FINDER for the exact channel location in your area)

SATURDAY, MARCH 5

12:00 PM –      Class 3A: CONSOLATION GAME (Teams TBD) (Lee Hall/Caren Kemner/Tori Clark)

2:00 PM –        Class 3A: CHAMPIONSHIP GAME (Teams TBD) (Lee Hall/Caren Kemner/Tori Clark)

6:30 PM –        Class 4A: CONSOLATION GAME (Teams TBD) (Matt Rodewald/Kristi Faulkner /Tori Clark)

8:15 PM –        Class 4A: CHAMPIONSHIP GAME (Teams TBD) (Matt Rodewald/Kristi Faulkner /Tori Clark)

Bulls defense costs them late but showing 'competitive spirit' a step in right direction

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USA TODAY

Bulls defense costs them late but showing 'competitive spirit' a step in right direction

The Bulls defense is nowhere near where it needs to be, and it cost them dearly on Saturday night. But in a season that’s still about seeing progression both individually and collectively, the Bulls took a step in the right direction with their effort and what Fred Hoiberg called “competitive spirit.”

That won’t change the standings when they wake up Sunday morning, now facing an 0-2 hole in the early season. And while better effort and tougher defense helped them stage a second-half comeback they weren’t able to manage on Thursday, it was a defensive miscue that cost them the game.

Ish Smith split a double screen at the top of the key and sliced his way past Jabari Parker for a wide open go-ahead layup with 5.4 seconds left. Zach LaVine, who 20 seconds earlier had tied the game with the last of his 33 points, was unable to get a shot off after a timeout. Better than Thursday for 47 minutes and 50 seconds. But still costing them when it mattered most.

“We can’t give up a layup for the last play,” said LaVine, who was guarding Smith. “We just got to get our defense right. That’s why it’s really upsetting because we played so well, we came back but we can’t give up a layup. We at least have to make him take a tough one. That was as easy a layup as you can get. It’s really upsetting.”

Fred Hoiberg defended his decision to leave Parker in the game instead of inserting rookie Wendell Carter Jr. He opted to ride the group that helped the Bulls erase a fourth-quarter deficit when it appeared the Bulls were spiraling toward another double-digit loss.

But the Pistons were ready to find the weak link in the Bulls defense and expose it, like they did much of the fourth quarter while attacking Parker with Blake Griffin. As the screen was set Parker jumped outside to cut off Smith, who then made a cut inward and made a dash to the rim. Parker was a couple steps late, allowing the 5-foot-9 Smith to score with ease to give the Pistons their lead and the eventual game-winner.

Bobby Portis, whose shot wasn’t falling but played admirable defense against a talent like Griffin, was on the other side of the double screen and didn’t have a great view of the play. But he said allowing a layup with the game on the line is inexcusable.

“It’s a tough play but at the same time you don’t want to give up a layup at the end of the game,” he said. “You want to make him take a tough shot. That’s something we’ve got to work on, is late game execution on defense.”

But again, it’s about baby steps. The Bulls will want that final possession back, and Hoiberg might also want it back after leaving Parker in the game over Carter. But from where the Bulls were on Thursday, this was better. Granted, allowing 118 points and 18 3-pointers to the Pistons isn’t a recipe for success, it’s improvement nonetheless. Detroit got a career-high five triples from Griffin, four from Reggie Jackson (a career 32 percent 3-point shooter) and a pair from Stnaley Johnson (a career 29 percent 3-point shooter). The Bulls will be able to live with some of those makes.

On Thursday the Bulls trailed by just six early in the third quarter before the Sixers ripped off a 19-3 run to put the game out of reach. On Saturday the Pistons got out to a six-point lead on two different occasions, and then a seven-point lead with just 2:01 to play. All three times the Bulls came roaring back, using timely spots and clutch baskets from LaVine, Park and even Cameron Payne, who tied a career-high with 17 points.

Ultimately it wasn’t enough, but it’s a positive sign that they were able to battle back and show some fight defensively. They’ll certainly need that when they travel to Dallas to take on a Mavericks team that scored 140 points on the Jimmy Butler-less Timberwolves on Saturday. They should get Dunn back, which will help,  and now have a close contest under their belt on which to build. It didn’t result in a win, and the late-game cross-up was the cause, but the Bulls finished Saturday in a much better place than they were in on Thursday.

“Yeah but obviously we want to get the win. I feel like we fought hard,” Portis said. “Even when adversity hit everybody stuck together. We did our thing tonight. You want to win the game but I felt like we did our job tonight. We just gave up a bad play at the end of the game.”

Four takeaways: 'Vintage' Corey Crawford steals two points for Blackhawks

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AP

Four takeaways: 'Vintage' Corey Crawford steals two points for Blackhawks

COLUMBUS — Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena on Saturday:

1. Corey Crawford steals the show

The Blackhawks had no business winning this game. They were being outshot 28-15 through two periods, committed four penalties and gave up 18 high-danger chances in the game. 

But Crawford bailed out his team like he often has done in the past, and was zoned in from the moment the puck dropped. He finished with 37 saves on 38 shots for a save percentage of .974, picking up his first win since Dec. 17, 2017.

"Yeah, I felt good," Crawford said. "I think everyone was playing hard, rebounds, taking away sticks. That was a great effort by everyone."

"He was standing on his head for us," Patrick Kane said. "As Q would say, that’s a goalie win for us."

Said coach Joel Quenneville: "That was vintage Crow."

2. Tic-tac-toe leads to go-ahead goal

The Blue Jackets were clearly the better team through two periods. The Blackhawks were fortunate to go into second intermission with the game still tied at 1-1.

The next goal was crucial, and they got it thanks to a Marcus Kruger redirection goal. The next one was the dagger, a beautiful give-and-go play by Brent Seabrook and Kane, who buried home a wide open net to give the Blackhawks a 3-1 lead with 4:14 left in regulation.

Was Kane expecting Seabrook to pass it back?

"No. Not a chance," Kane said laughing. "That’s his wheelhouse, coming right down there. He scores a lot of goals from that area. Saw it was like a 2-on-2, he was coming late, he jumped in the play on the first goal, did a great job, jumped in the play on that goal. Made a great pass. When I saw it come back, I just tried to stay patient, settle it down and make sure I hit the net, because I knew I had the whole open net."

3. Busy night for PK

The Blackhawks penalty kill was very busy. It was also on it's A-game, partly because their best penalty killer was Crawford.

The Blackhawks spent 6:31 of the first 40 minutes killing penalties, allowing 11 shots total on it. But most importantly, they killed off all four penalties.

"We had some tough clears, but I thought we did some good things," Quenneville said. "We withstood some extended PK zone time there and found a way to keep us in the game. Obviously that next goal was huge and that second period was a big part of them having so much zone time, keeping us in our end. We'll say, hey good job, but Crow was the best penalty killer tonight."

4. Catching up with Kane on Artemi Panarin

Kane and Panarin spent only two seasons together, but they brought Blackhawks fans out of their seats on a nightly basis and it was amazing to watch the instant on-ice chemistry they shared. And most of it was non-verbal, which made it even more impressive. They were always on the same wavelength.

"Sometimes it takes time to build some chemistry but that was one of those things where it was like, I don't want to say instant chemistry, but after one or two preseason games we kind of new that maybe something special was going to happen," Kane told NBC Sports Chicago. "I think he scored in his first game in the NHL, we had a really good game, we had the puck a lot, we sensed that this could be a fun way to play hockey."

Off the ice, Kane said Panarin would use Google translate on his phone to communicate while Kane would try using a Russian accent while saying English words.

The two of them got a chance to hang out for a little bit on Friday and Kane still keeps tabs on his former linemate.

"I always really enjoy watching him," Kane said. "If we have an off night or something, he's a really fun player to watch."