Big Ten

Big Ten basketball roundup: Illini survive, Hoosiers upset in Maui


Big Ten basketball roundup: Illini survive, Hoosiers upset in Maui

A roundup of Big Ten basketball action from Monday, Nov. 23, 2015:

Illinois 82, Chicago State 79

The Illini unbelievably trailed the Cougars by 14 on two separate occasions, but a 14-0 Illinois run erased the second. A Malcolm Hill 3 tied the game at 75, and a Mike Thorne Jr. layup gave the Illini a late 77-75 lead. Two straight Chicago State layups gave the Cougars a two-point lead before a Hill steal set up a game-tying bucket by Khalid Lewis. The Illini forced a shot-clock violation and got a buzzer-beating 3 from Jalen Coleman-Lands to escape with a last-second win. Michael Finke led the Illini with 17 points, as Illinois avoided suffering its first-ever loss to Chicago State.

Wake Forest 82, Indiana 78

After allowing the Demon Deacons to shoot better than 57 percent from the field in the first half, the Hoosiers went on two separate 9-0 runs in the second half, at one point leading by nine. But Wake cut that lead to just a point with under three minutes to play and scored in the final minute to take a 78-77 lead. Troy Williams split a pair of free throws to tie the game before the Deacons got another basket to pull ahead for good. Wake shot 51 percent on the game as the Indiana defense failed again. The Hoosiers missed 19 3-point attempts, were out-rebounded, 43-30, and were outscored in the paint, 52-32.

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Michigan State 89, Eastern Michigan 65

The Spartans allowed just 25 first-half points and just a 33.8-percent shooting mark for the game in this runaway. Deyonta Davis was the high man with 16 points, five rebounds and five blocks, while Denzel Valentine flirted with another triple-double, scoring 12 points, pulling down nine boards and handing out seven assists. Javon Bess, Bryn Forbes and Eron Harris also scored in double figures as new No. 3 Michigan State improved to 4-0.

North Carolina 80, Northwestern 69

The Cats had a good first half, for the most part, using a 9-0 run to come within a point of the Heels and taking a six-point lead in the first half. Even after North Carolina closed the first half on a 14-1 run, Tre Demps scored 10 points in two and a half minutes to make it just a two-point deficit. But a 12-0 Carolina blitz followed, allowing the Heels to pull away. Demps finished with 21 points, as Bryant McIntosh had a poor shooting night, going just 3-for-15 from the field.

Creighton 85, Rutgers 75

The Knights had a halftime lead but scored just 32 second-half points en route to the loss. Creighton out-shot Rutgers and won the rebounding battle, and the Knights sent the Jays to the free-throw line 26 times and turned the ball over 15 times. Corey Sanders had 21 points to lead Rutgers, with Bishop Daniels scoring 17 off the bench and Deshawn Freeman scoring 14 points to go along with seven rebounds.

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.