CSN hires Susannah Collins as full-time reporteranchor

CSN hires Susannah Collins as full-time reporteranchor

COMCAST SPORTSNET HIRES SUSANNAH COLLINS AS FULL-TIME REPORTERANCHOR FOR SPORTSNET CENTRALAND ADDITIONAL ON-AIRONLINE INITIATIVES

Chicago, IL (September 18, 2012) Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox, today officially announced the full-time hiring of anchorreporter Susannah Collins as its newest on-air talent member (effective September 20) for the networks signature nightly sports news program, SportsNet Central. Collins will also handle on-site, post-game reporting duties throughout the year at home games for all four of CSNs pro team partners. In addition, Collins will frequently host viewer interactive studio segments on the networks post-game shows, along with a variety of digital initiatives that will be showcased on CSNChicago.com. Collins can also be followed via Twitter @SusannahCollins. The announcement was made by Charlie Schumacher, Senior News Director for Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

We are very pleased to bring someone of Susannahs experience and local sports enthusiasm to our network on a full-time basis, said Schumacher. Providing the very best live, daily local sports news coverage continues to be our focus and Susannah has certainly done an excellent job for us on a free-lance basis over the past several months and will no doubt be a terrific full-time addition to our already solid on-air team.

Currently the co-host of Comcast SportsNets popular Gas Money sports trivia show, Collins has already been handling post-game reporting duties for CSNs White Sox telecasts, along with reporting and anchoring on SportsNet Central. Previously, Collins gained national attention for her on-air work at Showtime Sports, where she appeared as a special correspondent for the networks weekly studios shows Inside the NFL and Inside NASCAR. At Showtime, Collins primarily reported on both topical and light-hearted stories, along with frequent on-set studio interaction with the programs hosts and analysts. Over the past two years at Showtime Sports, Collins reported from both Super Bowls in Dallas and Indianapolis interviewing numerous athletes and celebrities. Collins also covered MMA and boxing events for Showtime as a live event reporter and web-feature contributor.

In addition to her work at Showtime, Collins also served as a correspondentreporter for the NFL Network, NBC and CBS over the past two years. In 2011, Collins anchored the weekend sports broadcasts at WCBS-TV in New York. This past summer, Collins hosted numerous Fan Fest events for MLB.com at the 2012 All-Star Game in Kansas City.

Collins, who grew up in the Chicago western suburb of Downers Grove, IL, attended Downers Grove North H.S. She graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana in 2001, where, as an undergraduate, worked extensively on both ends of the microphone for student radio station WPGU-FM 107.1.

Northwestern holds off Ohio State for fifth Big Ten win, first win in Columbus in 40 years

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USA TODAY

Northwestern holds off Ohio State for fifth Big Ten win, first win in Columbus in 40 years

It's not something that's been said often over the decades, but Northwestern is one of the best teams in the Big Ten.

That's the story the standings tell, and with another week of the 2016-17 season in the books, the Wildcats sit at 5-2 in conference play, good for the second-best mark in the league.

That fifth conference win came Sunday afternoon with a 74-72 defeat of Ohio State. It was the first time Northwestern won in Columbus since 1977.

This is the first 5-2 start to Big Ten play for the Cats since 1968. So is this the first time ever the Cats get an invite to the NCAA tournament?

Of course that remains to be seen, but Chris Collins' squad sure seems to be setting itself up for inclusion in the field of 68. Sunday's win was just the latest to come away from Evanston, and in seven conference games, four of the team's five wins have come in road games, including three straight at Nebraska, Rutgers and Ohio State.

Northwestern had to find a way to win Sunday. A couple surges in the first half took the Cats from modest deficits to a lead that grew as big as eight. The halftime advantage was five, but that slipped away quickly as Northwestern shot poorly after halftime. Ice cold is a better descriptor, the Cats struggling to get their field-goal percentage above 30 percent over the final 20 minutes. It got there eventually, the team finishing shooting 32.3 percent in the second half, but it was the work from the free-throw line that made the win possible. Over the final 20 minutes, Northwestern was 14-for-16 from the charity stripe, including going 11-for-12 over the final minute and a half.

The key stretch came when a Scottie Lindsey 3-ball broke a 56-all tie with four and a half minutes to play. Ohio State countered with a bucket, but freshman point guard Isiah Brown turned in back-to-back scores of his own, the second a breakaway layup off a steal. That made it a five-point lead, and though the gap shrunk over the game's final three minutes, Northwestern's free-throw shooting allowed the Cats to hold that lead the rest of the way.

Meanwhile, the Buckeyes shot themselves in the foot at the free-throw line. They were 12-for-23 on the game, and all but one of the attempts came in the second half, making for 10 missed free throws over the game's final 20 minutes. Northwestern committed a lot of fouls, but Ohio State couldn't capitalize, something that has to be quite painful for the Buckeyes, considering they had edges in other statistical categories. They shot 45.6 percent from the field compared to the Cats shooting 37.5 percent. Ohio State also had 16 second-chance points and 28 points in the paint. But Northwestern had 17 points off 13 Ohio State turnovers.

Lindsey finished with a game-high 21 points and has scored in double figures in every game this season. Bryant McIntosh had 17 points, and Vic Law had 10. Jae'Sean Tate scored 14 points for Ohio State, with JaQuan Lyle adding 13, Trevor Thompson scoring 11 and Cam Williams putting in 10.

The win was Northwestern's fourth straight and boosted its overall record to 16-4 to go along with the 5-2 mark in the conference. The Cats next play Nebraska on Thursday.

The loss snapped a modest two-game win streak for Ohio State and dropped the Buckeyes' record to 12-8 overall and 2-5 in the Big Ten. They next play Minnesota on Wednesday.

Marcus Kruger 'pretty close' to returning for Blackhawks

Marcus Kruger 'pretty close' to returning for Blackhawks

Marcus Kruger has been sidelined a little longer than the originally expected three weeks with his right hand injury. Not that any missed time is enjoyable.

"I wanted to get back there probably a few weeks ago but unfortunately I couldn't," said Kruger, who suffered his injury on Dec. 30 against the Carolina Hurricanes. "I tried to listen to the doctors and do everything I can instead to be ready when I get cleared. That's my mindset."

Kruger is close, but not quite there, as the Blackhawks prepared for Sunday night's game against the Vancouver Canucks. Kruger skated with his teammates for the first time since being injured but wasn't among the line rushes. The center took faceoffs on his own at the end of practice. Kruger pronounced himself, "pretty close," to returning. Coach Joel Quenneville said the Blackhawks will see how Kruger is over the next few days. The Blackhawks play again Tuesday and Thursday before heading into the All-Star break this weekend.

The Blackhawks have missed Kruger's versatility and especially his play on the penalty kill. The Blackhawks' kill has been fine through Kruger's absence but he nevertheless is a big part of it when he's healthy.

"We have a lot of options and when he's out everyone gets a more important role, whether starting or faceoffs. And we have a rotation of five guys who are in there most of the time. But he definitely absorbs the most responsibility when he's playing in that area," Quenneville said of Kruger. "So it's nice you get to try some other guys and you get deeper as you go along."

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

One of the players who's emerged in Kruger's absence is Tanner Kero, who filled his third-line center void. Kero and linemates Vinnie Hinostroza and Marian Hossa clicked on the dads trip, coming up with big plays and points in the Blackhawks' victories over Colorado and Boston. As of now, Kero appears to have the hold on third-line center.

"I don't see too many things that would change his positioning because he really helped himself," Quenneville said.

Kruger said he's fine if that means returning to fourth-line center duties. Regardless, he'll help bolster the Blackhawks' forward lines. The last step is likely contact, which Kruger got a little of – outside of faceoffs – in Sunday's skate. Kruger's had to wait a little longer than expected on his injury but he's getting there.