OKPOSO'S OT GOAL LIFTS ISLANDERS OVER HAWKS: Kyle Okposo scored 58 seconds into overtime, and the New York Islanders beat the Blackhawks 3-2 after blowing a two-goal lead on Thursday night.
One day after Okposo was disappointed by not being chosen for the U.S. Olympic team, he snapped a drive past goalie Corey Crawford — drawing chants of "U-S-A! U-S-A!" as he was interviewed on the ice.
Casey Cizikas scored in his 100th NHL game, and Thomas Vanek added a goal for the Islanders.
Brent Seabrook, in the second period, and Ben Smith early in the third scored to help the defending Stanley Cup champions rally from a 2-0 deficit.
NOAH LEADS BULLS PAST CELTICS: Joakim Noah had 17 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists to help the Bulls beat the Boston Celtics 94-82 on Thursday night.
Carlos Boozer added 16 points, Luol Deng 14, Taj Gibson 12, Mike Dunleavy 11 and Jimmy Butler 10 as the balanced Bulls snapped a two-game skid at home.
The Bulls (13-18) passed the Celtics (13-19) for eighth place in the Eastern Conference. The top eight teams make the playoffs.
MCBRIDE, NO. 2 IRISH ROUT SOUTH DAKOTA ST.: Kayla McBride scored 18 points on 8-for-8 shooting from the field to help No. 2 Notre Dame cruise to a 94-51 victory over South Dakota State (9-7) on Thursday night.
McBride was also 2 for 2 from the free-throw line, and had four steals. Natalie Achonwa added 13 points and 13 rebounds for the Irish (12-0), and Jewell Loyd chipped in 14 points in Notre Dame's final nonconference matchup before making its Atlantic Coast Conference debut.
IU UPSETS NO. 22 IOWA: Larryn Brooks led Indiana with 20 points and nine assists as the Hoosiers (14-0) opened Big Ten conference play with an 86-84 victory over No. 22 Iowa.
The Hawkeyes (12-3, 0-1) outscored Indiana 8-3 in the final seconds to climb within two, but Brooks made 7 of 8 free throws in the final minute, and Simone Deloach and Taylor Agler each added one to stay ahead.
OHIO STATE KNOCKS OFF NO. 18 PURDUE: Martina Ellerbe drilled four straight free throws to start the second half to give Ohio State the lead for good and sparked an 89-78 win over No. 17 Purdue in a Big Ten Conference opener.
Ellerbe and Ameryst Alston each finished with 19 points to lead Ohio State (11-6, 1-0 Big Ten).
KK Houser scored 26 points to lead the Boilermakers (10-3, 0-1).
IPFW HOLDS OFF BOWLING GREEN: Steve Forbes scored 15 points to lift IPFW (11-5) to a 65-60 win over Bowling Green (6-7) on Thursday.
NO. 4 WISCONSIN CRUISES PAST NORTHWESTERN: Freshman reserve Nigel Hayes had a career-high 19 points, and No. 4 Wisconsin remained unbeaten with an easy 76-49 victory over Northwestern in its Big Ten opener.
Sam Dekker scored 15 points for the Badgers (14-0, 1-0), who earned their seventh consecutive win against the Wildcats.
Alex Olah had a career-high 23 points for Northwestern (7-7, 0-1).
NO. 8 WICHITA ST. HANDLES SIU: Fred VanVleet had 17 points, seven assists and two steals, and No. 8 Wichita State (14-0) remained unbeaten, opening Missouri Valley Conference play with an 82-67 victory over Southern Illinois.
Sean O'Brien and Desmar Jackson had 19 points apiece for Southern Illinois (4-10, 0-1).
COLTS, BENGALS, PACK GET EXTENSION TO SELL TICKETS: The NFL is giving the Colts, Bengals and Packers one more day to sell their remaining playoff tickets and avoid local television blackouts.
The Colts announced their extension on their website Thursday, about an hour before a previous extension was supposed to expire. Fewer than 3,500 tickets remained for Saturday's wild-card game against Kansas City (11-5). The team had said about 5,500 tickets were left Wednesday night.
The Bengals (11-5) also had tickets left for their game Sunday against San Diego (9-7). The Packers (8-7-1) had roughly 3,000 tickets left for the wild-card game Sunday against San Francisco (12-4).
Around the horn
Former Blackhawks great Dennis Hull will speak Wednesday at the Gary Old Timers Banquet. Tickets for the banquet are $35. Cocktails begin at 6 p.m. with dinner at 7 p.m. at Avalon Manor in Hobart. Anyone interested in buying tickets should call Dave Pishkur at (219) 887-5281, ext. 241.