Big Ten

Big Ten basketball roundup: Purdue, Hawkeyes each drop 100-plus


Big Ten basketball roundup: Purdue, Hawkeyes each drop 100-plus

A roundup of Big Ten basketball action from this weekend, Saturday, Nov. 14, and Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.

Illinois 80, North Dakota State 74

The Illini trailed by as many as 14 in the second half but dominated the final 10 and a half minutes and staged a comeback to avoid the program’s first 0-2 start since the 1920s. Mike Thorne Jr. was excellent for the second straight game, scoring 21 points and grabbing a team-high eight rebounds. Malcolm Hill, Jalen Coleman-Lands and Maverick Morgan also scored in double figures as the Illini rebounded from that season-opening loss to North Florida.

Iowa 103, Coppin State 68

Going over 50 points in both the first and second half, the Hawkeyes poured in the points Sunday, shooting 55.6 percent from the field and hitting 12 3-pointers. Dom Uhl and Dale Jones combined for seven of those long balls, finishing with 18 and 16 points, respectively. But Brady Ellingson led all scorers with 20 points off the bench. As a team, the Hawkeyes handed out a whopping 31 assists on 40 made field goals.

Minnesota 67, Louisiana Monroe 56

Minnesota was actually outscored in the second half, and trailed at the end of a 16-4 Warhawks run midway through the final 20 minutes. But the Gophers followed that up with 11 straight points to pull away for the win. Joey King led the way with 20 points, nine of them coming from the free-throw line, where Minnesota was 20-for-22 on the day. Nate Mason and Kevin Dorsey also scored in double figures.

[MORE BIG TEN: Illini need second-half comeback, but rebound for win over NDSU]

Nebraska 97, Mississippi Valley State 51

After losing Terran Petteway this offseason, it was a wonder where the offense would come from for the Huskers. No worries Saturday, as Nebraska dropped nearly 100 on Mississippi Valley State. The Huskers shot 54.4 percent from the field and hit 10 3-pointers. Kansas transfer Andrew White led the way with 18 points in his first game as a Husker. Jack McVeigh, Shavon Shields and Nick Fuller also scored in double digits.

Ohio State 76, Mount St. Mary’s 54

Thad Matta got his 300th win at Ohio State as the Buckeyes rolled past the Mountaineers. Ohio State shot 50 percent from the field, led by the 21 points of Jae’Sean Tate. Marc Loving and Keita Bates-Diop both recorded double-doubles, Loving scoring 15 points and grabbing 11 rebounds and Bates-Diop scoring 10 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. JaQuan Lyle and Daniel Giddens also scored in double figures.

Penn State 62, VMI 50

It wasn’t exactly a blowout, but Penn State started the season with a win. The Lions held the Keydets to just 50 points and 36.7-percent shooting. Three Penn State players scored in double figures: Shep Garner scored 15, Brandon Taylor scored 13 and Payton Banks had 12. Despite forcing 14 turnovers, the Lions had just four assists as a team and only hit on five of their 19 3-point attempts.

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

Purdue 107, Vermont 79

The Boilermakers hit a school-record 18 3-pointers in a demolition of Vermont, scoring 60 first-half points and shooting 55.4 percent from the field. Dakota Mathias hit five, Vince Edwards had four and Kendall Stephens and Ryan Cline each had three. Mathias’ 17 points led the way for the Boilers, with Isaac Haas scoring 16. Caleb Swanigan got his second double-double in as many games, scoring 14 points and grabbing 13 rebounds.

Rutgers 82, Howard 70

The Knights didn’t exactly dominate Sunday, but they did hold the visiting Bison to just 27 first-half points. Howard actually shot better than Rutgers, 43.6 percent to 42.9 percent, and Rutgers hit just two of its 14 3-point attempts. But Deshawn Freeman finished with 17 points, three assists and three steals and was one of four Knights with at least six rebounds. Corey Sanders had 15 points off the bench, and D.J. Foreman was in double figures, too, with 11 points.

Wisconsin 92, Siena 65

The Badgers trailed for a few minutes in the first half, but this wasn’t about to be an 0-2 start for Wisconsin. Bronson Koenig poured in a career-high 23 points, going 8-for-14 from the field (3-for-6 from 3-point range) and adding five rebounds and four assists. Vitto Brown and Nigel Hayes combined for 30 points and 10 rebounds, and the Badgers shot a scorching 58.5 percent from the field.

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.