>>Illinois Pummeled At Purdue
(West Lafayette, IN) — Illinois was no match for the 22nd-ranked Boilermakers, losing 91-68 at Purdue. Maverick Morgan had 15 points for the Fighting Illini. Purdue shot a sizzling 60-percent in the win. Illinois has lost three-of-four to fall to 12-and-7 overall and 2-and-4 in the Big Ten. The Illini play at Michigan on Saturday.
>>Blues Lose To Senators
(St. Louis, MO) — The Senators scored three straight goals in the third period to pull away for a 6-4 win over the Blues at Scottrade Center. Paul Stastny, Kevin Shattenkirk, Alexander Steen and Patrik Berglund scored for St. Louis, which is third in the Central Division with 51 points. The Blues host the Capitals tomorrow.
>>Blackhawks Sink Avs
(Denver, CO) — Vinnie Hinostroza scored the tying and go-ahead goals in the third period and the Blackhawks went on to beat the Avalanche, 6-4, in Colorado. Tanner Kero also scored twice for Chicago, which moved into a tie with Minnesota for the top spot in the West. The ‘Hawks visit the Bruins Friday.
>>Mavericks Hold On To Beat Bulls
(Chicago, IL) — Wesley Matthews drilled a three-pointer with 11 seconds left and the Mavericks hung on to beat the Bulls 99-98 at the United Center. Dwyane Wade missed a jumper at the buzzer for Chicago. Jimmy Butler had 24 points to pace the Bulls, who fell back below .500 at 21-and-22. The Bulls are at the Hawks Friday.
>>Clippers’ Paul Out With Thumb Injury
(Los Angeles, CA) — The Clippers are losing another All-Star. Chris Paul will be sidelined for six-to-eight weeks due to a thumb injury. Los Angeles is already without Blake Griffin, who has been out of action with a knee injury.
>>Report: 49ers To Offer Coaching Job To Falcons’ Shanahan
(Santa Clara, CA) — The 49ers are zeroing in on their next head coach. ESPN reports San Francisco plans to offer the job to Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan once Atlanta’s season ends. The Falcons face the Packers in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday.
>>Oregon Suspends Strength Coach After Players Hospitalized
(Eugene, OR) — Oregon is suspending its strength and conditioning coach after three football players were hospitalized following offseason workouts. Irele Oderinde has been suspended one month without pay following the incident.
>>Bautista Staying With Blue Jays
(Toronto, Ontario) — Jose Bautista is going back to Toronto. Multiple reports say the slugger and the Blue Jays have agreed to a one-year deal worth just over 17-million-dollars. The 36-year-old hit .234 with 22 homers and 69 RBI last season.
>>Serena Wins Aussie Open Opener
(Melbourne, Australia) — Serena Williams is off to a strong start at the Australian Open. The 35-year-old American started her quest for a record 23rd Grand Slam singles title with a straight-set win over Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic [[ BEN-sitch ]]. The second-seeded Williams is a six-time Aussie Open champion.