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Nov. 23, 2012 at 11:00 PM   |   Comments

Nebraska clinches spot in Big Ten title game

IOWA CITY, Iowa, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Rex Burkhead scored on a short run and the Nebraska defense was strong throughout Friday in the No. 14 Cornhuskers' 13-7 win over the Iowa Hawkeyes.

The win locked up a Big Ten Championship game berth for Nebraska (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten) against Wisconsin. Nebraska beat Wisconsin 30-27 in Lincoln, Neb., this year.

Iowa completed its season 4-8 overall and 2-6 in the conference.

The game in eastern Iowa was played in a stiff wind, making offense hard to come by.

Nebraska broke through first with a 26-yard Brett Maher field goal midway through the first period. Quarterback James Vanderberg powered over from 1 yard out for Iowa with 28 seconds left in the first quarter but that proved to be the last time the Hawkeyes scored.

Maher, with the wind behind him, connected for a 52-yard field goal that got Nebraska within 7-6 early in the third period.

Burkhead, whose participation Friday was questionable due to a strained knee ligament, gave the Cornhuskers the lead, bulling over from the 3. He finished with 69 yards on 16 carries.


Green boosts Celtics over Oklahoma City

BOSTON, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Jeff Green keyed a run late in the third quarter Friday that launched Boston to a 108-100 triumph over Oklahoma City.

The Celtics snapped a two-game skid and ended the Thunder's winning streak at three. It was the first of two road games in as many nights for Oklahoma City, which will take on Philadelphia Saturday.

Boston overcame a seven-point deficit after one period, but held only a two-point lead with 3 minutes to go in the third quarter. The Celtics closed the quarter on an 11-1 run with Green scoring seven of those points.

The Boston lead grew to as many as 14 points in the fourth period.

Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 27 points. He made all seven of his foul shots and Boston went 21-of-24 as a team.

Kevin Garnett added 18 points and nine rebounds while Green had 17. Boston went 9-of-17 from 3-point range while Oklahoma City was only 6-of-24.

Kevin Durant had 29 points for the Thunder and Russell Westbrook contributed 26 to go with seven rebounds and eight assists.


Kentucky rolls past Long Island U.

LEXINGTON, Ky., Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Archie Goodwin and Alex Poythress both had 22 points and nine rebounds Friday in helping No. 7 Kentucky roll over Long Island-Brooklyn 104-75.

The Wildcats hit two out of every three shots they took from the field and shook off a slow start to put together their most solid showing of the season.

Goodwin and Poythress combined to hit 17-of-26 field goal attempts and Kentucky dominated the backboards 40-29.

Kentucky improved to 4-1 and kept the Blackbirds winless in their four outings. Nerlens Noel added 18 points for Kentucky and Julius Mays had 15.

Long Island had a three-point lead with 4 minutes left in the first half, but the Wildcats scored the final 15 points of the period and coasted from there.


Cutler not yet cleared to play for Bears

LAKE FOREST, Ill., Nov. 23 (UPI) -- The Chicago Bears announced Friday quarterback Jay Cutler is still awaiting clearance to play Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.

Cutler suffered a concussion two weeks ago in a game against Houston and missed last week's loss at San Francisco.

He is expected to undergo an evaluation with an independent neurologist on Saturday to determine if he can play on Sunday. He resumed practice on a limited basis Thursday.

"He's looking better," Chicago Coach Lovie Smith said Friday. "The last phase of his evaluation will be tomorrow."

The Bears totaled just 143 yards against San Francisco with backup quarterback Jason Campbell filling in for Cutler.

Chicago has lost two in a row and is tied for the lead with Green Bay in the NFC North, one game in front of Minnesota.

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