Big Ten

Big Ten basketball roundup: Challenge still tied after thrilling Day 2


Big Ten basketball roundup: Challenge still tied after thrilling Day 2

A roundup of Big Ten basketball action from Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015:

North Carolina 89, Maryland 81

After facing a 13-point first-half deficit, the Terps fought back. A 10-2 Maryland run early in the second half was capped by a Rasheed Sulaimon game-tying 3-pointer. And Melo Trimble followed a game-tying 3-pointer of his own with a free throw to give the Terps their first lead. But Carolina snatched the lead right back, and despite tying the game twice more, Maryland couldn’t get back on top, as the Heels used a 14-5 run to pull away. Both teams shot terrifically, Carolina at 53.2 percent and Maryland at 50.8 percent. Trimble had a double-double with 23 points and a career-high 12 assists, and Sulaimon added 18 points with five made 3s.

Michigan 66, North Carolina State 59

Michigan held NC State to just 26 first-half points in this lower-scoring affair. The Wolverines shot 50 percent from the field compared to the Wolfpack’s 32.8-percent mark. NC State was just 4-for-17 from 3-point range and missed seven of the 24 free throws it attempted. Caris LeVert was close to a triple-double, scoring 18 points to lead Michigan to go along with nine rebounds and seven assists. Duncan Robinson hit five 3-pointers and finished with 17 off the bench.

Miami 77, Nebraska 72

The Hurricanes had an early nine-point lead, but that was answered by a 16-4 Huskers run. After a bit more lead trading, Nebraska went to the break down a point. It was an extremely close second half, the Huskers trailing for the majority of it, but Shavon Shields’ jumper gave Nebraska a one-point lead with four minutes to play. A minute later, Shields hit another go-ahead bucket. Andrew White put the Huskers back in front with a layup with 1:13 to play. Miami took the lead right back and turned a steal into a bucket to make it a three-point game with 30 seconds left, but Glynn Watson Jr. hit a game-tying 3 to force overtime. Nebraska missed six shots and two free throws in overtime as Miami won. Shields was huge with 28 points, White had 13 and Watson had 11 off the bench.

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Northwestern 81, Virginia Tech 79

The Cats had a nine-point halftime advantage after shooting 56.7 percent from the field and getting 13 points from Tre Demps. The Hokies chipped away at that lead, tying the game with nine minutes to play and keeping pace with the Cats, who were in front by just a modest amount, until tying the game at 73 in the final minute of regulation. Virginia Tech’s two buckets to start OT were answered by a Sanjay Lumpkin triple, and Bryant McIntosh’s 3 put the Cats back in front briefly. The Hokies tied the game at 79 before McIntosh’s acrobatic layup served as the game-winner. McIntosh finished with 19 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals. Demps had 17 points, Lumpkin had 12 and Nathan Taphorn had 11.

Virginia 64, Ohio State 58

The Buckeyes hung tough with a top-10 team, but they still couldn’t come out on top. The teams combined for just 50 points in the first half. The second half was closely contested, with the teams trading leads at the outset. Ohio State had a lead as late as 13 minutes to play. But the Buckeyes went more than four minutes without scoring during a crucial stretch, and though the Cavaliers only got five points in that span, it was enough to put the game out of reach. Ohio State lost despite shooting 50 percent from the field, turning the ball over 13 times and losing the rebounding battle. Marc Loving had 19 points to lead the Buckeyes, while Keita Bates-Diop had 15 points and Jae’Sean Tate had 12.

Purdue 72, Pitt 59

Purdue jumped out to a big lead early, using a 10-0 run to go up by 15 and leading by as many as 17 in the first half. But Pitt clawed its way back as the Boilers scored just three points on one basket over the final eight and a half minutes of the first half, holding just a three-point edge at the break. The game stayed real tight for the majority of the second half, but Purdue took advantage of a Pitt dry spell, Ryan Cline hitting three unanswered 3s to again make it a double-digit lead. Pitt got as close as six with three minutes to play, but Purdue hit its free throws and Pitt missed three 3s and turned the ball over three times in the final three minutes. A.J. Hammons had a huge game with 24 points and 12 rebounds. Cline finished with 12 points on four made 3s.

After two games, the Big Ten/ACC Challenge is tied at 4-4.

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


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


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.