Big Ten

Big Ten basketball roundup: B1G goes 1-1 on first day of Challenge

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Big Ten basketball roundup: B1G goes 1-1 on first day of Challenge

A roundup of Big Ten basketball action from Monday, Nov. 30, 2015:

Indiana 112, Alcorn State 70

The Hoosiers dropped 53 in the first half, only to outdo themselves in the second half with 59 points. Indiana shot an eye-popping 67.2 percent from the field against hapless Alcorn State, hitting 15 3-pointers. James Blackmon Jr. scored 33 points, knocking down six 3-pointers and recording four steals. Five other Hoosiers were in double figures: Yogi Ferrell and Thomas Bryant each had 13 points, Robert Johnson scored 12, Troy Williams had 11 and Collin Hartman had 10.

Minnesota 89, Clemson 83

The Gophers trailed by as many as 10 in the first half and by four at the break before a big 53-point second half. Minnesota had runs of 10-0 and 12-1 early in the second half and held off Clemson charges the rest of the way, hitting seven free throws in the final minute to hang on for a win. Clemson outshot Minnesota and hit 14 3-pointers, but the Gophers held a rebounding advantage and only turned the ball over six times. Jordan Murphy had a monster game off the bench, scoring 24 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, also picking up a pair of steals and blocking a pair of shots. Joey King and Nate Mason each had 17 points, and Charles Buggs had 15, hitting three 3s.

[SHOP BIG TEN: Get your Gophers gear right here]

Wake Forest 69, Rutgers 68

Rutgers trailed by five at halftime but started the second half on a 17-8 run to take a modest lead. An 11-3 run in the middle of the half gave the Knights a 10-point lead, but that was answered by back-to-back Deacons triples, the start of a 16-2 run that put Wake back on top with a little more than four minutes to play. The two teams traded ties and leads over the next few minutes, with two free throws putting Rutgers up a point with 41 seconds left. But Wake's Cornelius Hudson got a bucket with 17 seconds left, and Rutgers missed two chances at go-ahead shots. The Knights shot an ugly 36.5 percent from the field, going just 3-for-15 from 3-point range. Corey Sanders had 17 points to lead Rutgers, while Greg Lewis and Jonathan Laurent were also in double figures.

After two games, the Big Ten/ACC Challenge is tied at 1-1.

Northwestern running back Jeremy Larkin diagnosed with cervical stenosis, will retire immediately

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USA TODAY

Northwestern running back Jeremy Larkin diagnosed with cervical stenosis, will retire immediately

Tough news out of Evanston this morning: Northwestern announced that running back Jeremy Larkin will retire immediately after being diagnosed with cervical stenosis.

Cervical stenois is the narrowing of the spinal canal in one's neck, according to Mayo Clinic. Larkin's condition is thankfully not life-threatening, though it does prevent him from continuing to participate in the game of football. 

"Football has been a lifelong passion and it has been a process to reconcile the fact I won't be on that field again, given I've played this game since I was five years old," Larkin said.

"I'm extremely appreciative of the Northwestern sports medicine and athletic training staffs for uncovering this condition, and for my coaches and the medical staff for always putting my health first.

"I came to this University to engage at the absolute highest level on the field and in the classroom, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to continue one of those while supporting my teammates from the sideline." 

Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald called the news "heartbreaking."

"This is heartbreaking because I see every day how much Jeremy loves the game, loves his teammates, and loves to compete," Fitzgerald said in a statement. "But this is the absolute best possible outcome for him.

"The discovery of this condition allowed Jeremy and his family to make an informed decision for his long-term health and well-being. For those of us who have known Jeremy Larkin since his high school days, his future is exceptionally bright. I can't wait to see the impact he makes in our world."

Larkin is a sophomore from Cincinnati. He finishes his Northwestern career with 156 carries for 849 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns.

Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal

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USA TODAY

Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal

Former University of Illinois tennis star Kevin Anderson completed a marathon upset against an all-time great on the highest stage of professional tennis.

Anderson came back from two sets down to beat Roger Federer in Wimbledon’s quarterfinals 2-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 13-11 on Wednesday morning. He will play in the semifinals of the tournament for the first time in his career.

As a native of South Africa, Anderson played three seasons with the Fighting Illini and won the NCAA doubles championship during the 2005-06 season as a sophomore. The 32-year-old was a three-time All-American in singles at Illinois.

Now, as the eighth ranked singles player on the ATP World Tour, Anderson is a force to be reckoned with at the professional level. He made it all the way to the US Open final in 2017.

The former Illini star will look to keep his recent success going when he represents Illinois in the semifinals of Wimbledon this Friday.