NCAA Talk

Illini watch halftime lead evaporate in loss to Purdue

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Illini watch halftime lead evaporate in loss to Purdue

Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011
Posted: 2:36 p.m. Updated 9:27 p.m.

Associated Press
CHAMPAIGN -- JaJuan Johnson scored 24 points and E'Twaun Moore added 20 to lead No. 14 Purdue to an 81-70 comeback win over Illinois on Sunday.

The Illini (16-9, 6-6 Big Ten) led 32-27 at halftime. The Boilermakers (20-5, 9-3) opened the second half with a 10-4 run that gave them a 37-36 lead with just over 15 minutes to play.

It was only Purdue's second lead of the game, but the Boilermakers made it stick. The Illini never led again.

Johnson's jumper with 9:32 left gave Purdue a double-digit lead at 57-46.

After a first half of 28 percent shooting, the Boilermakers scored 54 in the second half.

Illinois was led by Brandon Paul's 23 points. Mike Davis added 16 and D.J. Richardson finished with 13.

Box Score

Penn State cruises past Northwestern 65-41

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Talor Battle scored 19 points to pass 2,000 for his career and Penn State overwhelmed poor-shooting Northwestern in a decisive second-half run for a 65-41 win Sunday.

Tim Frazier had 12 points and Jeff Brooks scored 14 in his first start since dislocating his right shoulder nearly two weeks ago to help the Nittany Lions (13-11, 6-7 Big Ten) snap a three-game losing streak.

JerShon Cobb had 10 points to lead Northwestern (14-10, 4-9), which started 0 for 15 from 3-point territory before Cobb hit from long range with 9:35 left.

But the game was all but decided by then with the Nittany Lions leading by as much as 25 after opening the second half with a 21-7 run.

Battle joined Wisconsin's Alando Tucker as the Big Ten's only 2,000-point scorers in the past decade. The Nittany Lions' guard shot 7 of 9 from the field, including 4 of 5 from 3-point range.

Box Score

Creighton routs Southern Illinois 69-50

OMAHA, Neb. - Gregory Echenique had 12 points and 14 rebounds to lead Creighton past Southern Illinois 69-50 on Sunday night.

Doug McDermott scored 15 points and Jahenns Manigat added 14 points for the Bluejays (16-11, 8-7 Missouri Valley), who never trailed in the game, led 31-19 at halftime and built their margin to 25 points late in the game.

It was Echenique's first double-double for Creighton; the 6-foot-9 sophomore transfer had eight when he played for Rutgers. He had 10 rebounds by halftime, compared to 13 for Southern Illinois. The Bluejays finished with a 37-23 edge on the boards.

Kendall Brown-Surles scored 15 points and Carlton Fay had 12 for the Salukis (11-15, 5-10), who were coming off a 69-66 upset at MVC co-leader Wichita State on Tuesday, but had lost their previous five games.

Box Score

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Say it ain't so: DePaul commit Tyger Campbell reopens recruitment

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AP

Say it ain't so: DePaul commit Tyger Campbell reopens recruitment

It looks like it was too good to be true.

Tyger Campbell shocked the recruiting world when he committed to DePaul on May 8.

Less than four months later, Campbell has reopened his recruitment.

The Rivals.com four-star point guard out of La Lumiere High School in Indiana, who is the No. 66 prospect in the 2018 Class, took to Twitter Friday night to explain his decision.

One of Campbell's original draws to the Blue Demons was DePaul hiring Shane Heirman as an assistant coach. Heirman coached Campbell for two seasons at La Lumiere.

"I like DePaul and honestly my coach (Shane Heirman) just went there and we have a great connection and he's always had my back," Campbell told Scout.com when he committed to the Blue Demons. "I like [DePaul] coach Dave Leitao, too. I like his program and he's an intelligent guy."

Campbell currently has offers from a handful of D1 schools, including Illinois, Michigan State, Ole Miss, Purdue, SMU, Memphis and Tennessee.

Upset alert? Why a confident UIC is challenging juggernaut Kentucky

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USA TODAY

Upset alert? Why a confident UIC is challenging juggernaut Kentucky

On the heels of a 12-win improvement, UIC basketball is riding confidently into the new season. 

And why shouldn't they be? Head coach Steve McClain returns a young, talented nucleus that's expected to challenge for a Horizon League championship and NCAA Tournament berth. 

In fact, the program is in such good shape that they thought: Let's play Kentucky. 

Yup, that's right. The UIC Flames will match up with the Kentucky Wildcats at Rupp Arena on Nov. 26, a necessary stage in development, according to McClain. 

“Every year you build your program, there’s steps you have to take," McClain said. "When we got the opportunity to go to Kentucky, I think that’s the next level of exposure for our program.

"When you're chasing trying to be great, you gotta show your kids and show people what greatness looks like. I don't think anyone can argue what Kentucky has done, so I want to put our kids in that environment so they see what it is." 

The contrast between programs is severe. UIC hasn't made an NCAA Tournament since 2004. The Wildcats have made 11 since then. UIC has never advanced out of the first round at the Big Dance. Kentucky has eight National Championships. 

Even this upcoming season, as the Flames boast one of their most skilled teams in school history, none of them were ever touted like Kentucky's freshman class, which ranks No. 2 in the nation per ESPN. 

But the disparities in past successes don't seem to bother UIC. Instead, players, who were likely snubbed by bigger schools in recruitment, are excited about the opportunity to compete on a national stage that the Flames rarely see. 

“First I was like, ‘It’s about time we got someone like (Kentucky) on our schedule,’" said center Tai Odiase, one of the few seniors on the roster. "We’ve been trying to play bigger teams to showcase what we’re made of."

“I don’t see why you go into a place like that without a chip on your shoulder. You don’t go in there just to play basketball, we’re trying to win."

UIC will be heavy, heavy underdogs. There's no way around that. But there are certain spots where they may not be at such a disadvantage. 

On the defensive end, Odiase continued to terrorize guards and big men alike, finishing fifth in the NCAA with 2.9 blocks per game. The dynamic guard duo from "The Six," Godwin Boahen and Marcus Ottey, are quick enough to hang and both took a huge step down the stretch last season. Then there's the return of 2015-2016 Horizon League Newcomer of the Year Dikembe Dixson, who is recovering from a torn ACL.

"The doctors at times thought he was a freak of nature because he was back as quick as he was," McClain said.  

Still, it's a tune-up game for Kentucky, who also scheduled Kansas, UCLA and Louisville on their non-conference slate. But one team's expected walk through is another team's vital experience. 

"Our guys can walk in and see that on a given night, you can compete with anyone," McClain said. 

Given new athletic director Garrett Klassy's comments at his introductory press conference, it doesn't seem as if games like this are a one-hit wonder for UIC. 

“I am an aggressive scheduler," Klassy said. "I helped with the scheduling at George Washington. We’ll play anyone, anytime, anywhere.

"You want to measure yourself against the best. We have a lot of returning starters. It’ll be nice to go on the road, play a tough game and maybe sneak out an upset."