NCAA Hoops: Notre Dame, Northwestern pick up wins

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NCAA Hoops: Notre Dame, Northwestern pick up wins

Connaughton leads ND over IPFW

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Pat Connaughton has been a steady performer for No. 22 Notre Dame so far this season. He took his game to another level Monday night in a 74-62 victory over IPFW.

Connaughton more than doubled his 7.9 points-per-game average and had six rebounds and five assists.

"I think it was just a matter of playing the whole game," Connaughton said, referring to the quality rather than quantity of his minutes. "It's something I've been waiting to do. Attacking the basketball. It's something people have been harping on me to do, and it's something that's going to help the team."

Connaughton was 7 of 9 from the field, repeatedly driving strong to the hoop and taking his defenders off the dribble with apparent ease.

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Northwestern tops Texas State behind strong finish

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) Dave Sobolewski scored 18 points, including a 3-pointer with 1:45 left to give Northwestern a lead, and the Wildcats closed the game on a 12-0 run to defeat Texas State 74-68 on Monday night.

The Bobcats led 68-62 with less than 4 minutes left, but five straight free throws, two each by Sobolewski and Reggie Hearn and one by Jared Swopshire, cut it to 68-67. After Sobolewski connected on his jump shot to put Northwestern (8-3) ahead 70-68, free throws by Alex Marcotullio, Sobolewski and Swopshire completed the scoring.

Hearn finished with 15 points and Tre Demps added 12.

Texas State's Joel Wright and Wesley Davis each had 19 points. The Bobcats (4-7) used an 8-0 run midway through the second half to take a 64-60 lead, capped by Matt Staff's layup with 5:56 left.

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Bradley rolls over Georgia Southern

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) Tyshon Pickett scored 17 points and pulled down a career-high 11 rebounds, and Bradley rode a pair of scoring runs to a 62-43 victory over Georgia Southern on Monday night in the opening round of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic.

Will Egolf added 12 points and eight rebounds for the Braves (7-2), who matched their win total from the entire 2011-12 season, when they were 7-25. Georgia Southern's 43 points were the fewest Bradley has allowed since a 52-42 win over Indiana State in 2004.

C.J. Reed led the Eagles (4-6) with 10 points and Cleon Roberts scored nine. Georgia Southern shot 35 percent from the field and made just three of its 11 free throws.

Bradley went on an 11-0 run midway through the first half en route to a 29-18 halftime lead. Later, the Braves scored 14 unanswered points to lead 59-40 and clinch the win.

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Daniels, SIU overtake New Orleans

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) Dantiel Daniels scored 20 points and Southern Illinois defeated New Orleans 74-61 Monday night.

Anthony Beane Jr. had 17 points, Jalen Pendleton scored 14 and Jeff Early had 12 points for the Salukis (6-2).

Lovell Cook led the Privateers (3-6) with 22 points. Corey Blake had 13 points and seven steals, and Rarlensee Nelson had 11 points and six assists.

SIU scored the game's first eight points, but New Orleans roared back to take a 26-13 lead with 6 12 minutes to play in the half. The Salukis followed that with a 17-2 run of their own with Beane's layup just before halftime giving them a 30-28 lead.

Both teams shot 59 percent from the field in the second half, but Southern Illinois never trailed after the break and its 13-point margin at the end matched its biggest lead of the game.

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AP Preps boys basketball poll: Week 13

AP Preps boys basketball poll: Week 13

Here are the latest rankings of Illinois high school basketball teams in each class, according to an Associated Press panel of sportswriters.

Class 4A

No. Team W-L Pts Prv
1 Edwardsville (8) 25-1 97 2
2 Bolingbrook (1) 23-1 75 1
3 Simeon 24-3 71 4
4 Evanston Township 23-3 66 T8
5 Fremd (1) 25-0 65 5
6 Curie 23-3 50 3
7 Wheaton Warrenville South 26-1 39 7
8 Whitney Young 20-7 27 6
9 Joliet West 22-3 21 10
10 East Moline United 22-6 9 NR

Others receiving votes: Rockford Boylan 7, East St. Louis 7, Geneva 6, Willowbrook 4, Algonquin (Jacobs) 2, Lincoln Way East 2, Lisle (Benet Academy) 1, Danville 1.

Class 3A

No. Team W-L Pts Prv
1 Morgan Park (6) 19-6 94 1
2 Fenwick (2) 23-4 90 2
3 Springfield Lanphier (2) 21-3 84 3
4 Bloomington 20-4 67 4
5 North Lawndale 20-6 58 5
6 Benton 27-2 43 6
7 Effingham 23-3 35 8
8 Washington 21-5 30 9
9 Breese Central 23-4 14 7
10 Bogan 16-7 12 10

Others receiving votes: Springfield Southeast 11, Cahokia 6, Farragut 3, Burlington Central 2, Aurora Central Catholic 1.

Class 2A

No. Team W-L Pts Prv
1 Quincy Notre Dame (7) 24-2 104 1
2 Chicago Uplift (2) 21-5 96 2
3 Orr (2) 16-5 93 3
4 Teutopolis 25-3 78 4
5 Alton Marquette 26-3 59 5
6 Pinckneyville 26-2 38 8
7 Tremont 23-3 34 6
8 Rockridge 19-5 31 10
9 Mt. Carmel 22-4 18 7
10 Pittsfield 24-2 14 NR

Other receiving votes: DePaul College Prep 9, Illini Bluffs 6, Pleasant Plains 5, Eldorado 5, Waterloo Gibault 3, Hoopeston 3, Sterling Newman 3, Petersburg PORTA 3, Williamsville 2, Chicago-University 1.

Class 1A

No. Team W-L Pts Prv
1 Colfax Ridgeview (7) 26-1 96 1
2 Okawville (2) 26-3 91 2
3 Chicago Hope Academy 23-4 71 4
4 Quest Academy (1) 25-4 67 3
5 Newark 23-3 57 5
6 Annawan 27-3 50 7
7 East Dubuque 27-2 45 6
8 DePue 24-3 27 9
9 Harvest Christian Academy 23-4 20 10
10 Effingham St. Anthony 23-5 9 8

Others receiving votes: Patoka 5, Nokomis 4, Freeport (Aquin) 3, Crab Orchard 2, Mendon Unity 2, Elverado 1.

Cubs: Miguel Montero and Joe Maddon finally make peace

Cubs: Miguel Montero and Joe Maddon finally make peace

MESA, Ariz. – Over red wine, Miguel Montero and Joe Maddon ended their cold war on Monday night, dining at Andreoli Italian Grocer and vowing to work together as the Cubs try to defend their World Series title.  
 
The Montero-Maddon dynamic had been one of the awkward, lingering storylines in a feel-good camp after the veteran catcher questioned the star manager's communication skills and in-game decisions during a WMVP-AM 1000 interview – on the same day as the championship parade and Grant Park rally.

"I got a lot off my chest," Montero said Tuesday. "I care so much for the game. I care so much for the team. I'm here to win. And it's hard when you have that (weight) on your shoulders.
 
"I've never been a cancer (anywhere) that I played for all these years. And I'm not planning to be one of those guys."
 
Maddon requested the dinner meeting – quality assurance coach/ex-player Henry Blanco joined the peace summit as a neutral third party – while Montero picked the Scottsdale restaurant and suggested posting a photo of them toasting drinks on his Twitter account.  
 
"I want to let the people know that it's going to be a great year," Montero said.  

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Montero said he slept so much better that night and showed up for work at the Sloan Park complex the next morning with a new energy level. Montero, a two-time All-Star, stressed that he understands his role as a $14 million backup and a mentor to young catcher Willson Contreras. Montero offered to continue helping police the clubhouse – in exchange for Maddon keeping him more in the loop.   
 
"Whatever it takes me to help him," Montero said. "I was true with him when I said: ‘If you feel Willson needs a break and it's (Clayton) Kershaw pitching for the other team, put me in, I'm fine.'
 
"That's my job and I accept it. Just count on me for whatever. If we need to send a message out there to the players, I'm here for you, too. I can help you on that.
 
"If I do something that you don't like, just let me know. Just chew me out, whatever, I don't care. I'll take it like a man. It was a great time."
 
Montero had already told reporters that his comments on the radio weren't simply complaining about his own individual situation. Montero also spoke up for teammates frustrated by a perceived lack of communication and uncertainty over roles, though those behind-the-scenes issues appear to be cooling for now.
 
"We have a special team," Montero said. "We have a legitimate chance to win another championship. So in order to do that, we need to be together here. And I think we are now – and we're going to stay that way."