Big Ten

Big Ten basketball roundup: Purdue suffers first loss, Buckeyes topple Kentucky


Big Ten basketball roundup: Purdue suffers first loss, Buckeyes topple Kentucky

A roundup of Big Ten basketball action from Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015:

Illinois 91, South Dakota 79

Malcolm Hill scored a career-high 34 points as the Illini had their best offensive day of the season, scoring a season-high 91 points and hitting a season-high 14 3-pointers. Hill recorded a double-double, adding 11 rebounds to his mountain of points, additionally handing out five assists, blocking three shots and coming away with a pair of steals. He made four 3-pointers on the game and scored 10 of his points from the free-throw line.

Indiana 80, Notre Dame 73

After an abysmal first half, Indiana staged an impressive comeback, erasing a 16-point second-half deficit in the win. The Hoosiers used a 13-4 run to tie the game at 71 with a little more than four minutes to play and hit nine free throws down the stretch as the Irish missed their last seven shots. Troy Williams led the comeback, scoring 16 of his 18 points in the second half and grabbing 10 rebounds for a double-double.

Iowa 70, Drake 64

The Hawkeyes were locked in a 30-all tie at the half. A 13-2 run in the middle of the second half opened up a double-digit lead for Iowa, but that edge was down to two with a minute and a half to play. Jarrod Uthoff and Mike Gesell had big buckets in the final minute to hold off Drake's comeback threat. Gesell finished with 17 points. Nicholas Baer had a big game off the bench, scoring 13 points, grabbing seven rebounds and blocking six shots.

Maryland 82, Princeton 61

The Terps shot 56.1 percent from the field in the runaway, hitting 12 3-pointers. Maryland had five players score in double figures. Jake Layman led the way with 19 points, hitting four 3s. Jaylen Brantley had 14 off the bench. Robert Carter scored 12 points, Rasheed Sulaimon scored 11, and Diamond Stone scored 11. Melo Trimble finished with just seven points but handed out 10 assists in the victory.

[MORE BIG TEN: Malcolm Hill scores 34 points in Illini win over South Dakota]

Michigan 105, Youngstown State 46

One game after Caris LeVert recorded the fourth triple-double in Michigan hoops history, Derrick Walton Jr. tallied No. 5 in this epic blowout. Walton finished with 10 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists — also grabbing four steals. Michigan shot 61.5 percent on the game, assisting on 29 of its 40 made field goals and doubling up Youngstown State in the rebounding battle. LeVert and Aubrey Dawkins each had 19 points in the rout.

Michigan State 78, Northeastern 58

Tom Izzo's team was oddly out-rebounded in this one, but that's one of few complaints from a 20-point win to stay undefeated. Sparty shot 55.9 percent from the field, getting a 17-point outing from Denzel Valentine, 12 points from Bryn Forbes and 11 points from Tun Tun Nairn. Ten Spartans logged at least 10 minutes of action, including Gavin Schilling, who played 11 minutes in his first game of the season.

Northwestern 78, DePaul 70

After some ugly shooting through 40 minutes, Northwestern battled back from a modest deficit and forced overtime, catching fire and hitting five of the seven shots it took in the extra period, outscoring DePaul, 17-9, after the end of regulation. Aaron Falzon's 3-pointer gave the Cats a lead they wouldn't relinquish. Tre Demps finished with a team-high 18 points, and Sanjay Lumpkin and Alex Olah each had 14 as the Cats got their 10th win of the season.

[MORE BIG TEN: Buckeyes score big upset win over No. 4 Kentucky]

Ohio State 74, Kentucky 67

The Buckeyes benefitted from some solid defense — and poor shooting by the Wildcats — to build a sizable lead in the first half, using a long 22-11 run to reach a 31-19 edge. Ohio State hit seven 3s in the first half and turned seven Kentucky turnovers into 11 points. The Wildcats made their charge in the second half, but the Buckeyes held on for a huge upset, their first win over Kentucky since 1987. Keita Bates-Diop finished with a team-high 14 points.

Penn State 63, Drexel 57

The Lions were in a 17-point hole in the first half but used a 12-0 run to cut that to five and went to the half trailing by seven. Down just four with six minutes to go, Penn State used a 14-6 run to take a four-point lead with two and a half minutes to play. Drexel made just one basket over the final three minutes, allowing Penn State to hold on. The Lions shot 39 percent, but the Dragons were far worse, shooting just 30.2 percent on the game. Payton Banks had 20 points for Penn State.

Butler 74, Purdue 68

Purdue's record is spotless no more. The Boilers out-shot and out-rebounded the Bulldogs, with Butler missing 10 free throws, but Purdue turned the ball over a whopping 18 times, leading to 21 Butler points. The Bulldogs had a modest lead through much of the first half but turned it into a double-digit advantage thanks to a 17-4 run in the second half. Purdue closed but ran out of time. Caleb Swanigan had a big double-double with 25 points and 11 rebounds in the loss.

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

A roundup of Big Ten basketball action from Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015:

Samford 69, Nebraska 58

Despite a better shooting mark and a 14-rebound advantage on the glass, Nebraska lost after turning the ball over 17 times and missing half its free-throw attempts. Samford outscored Nebraska, 23-6, over the first seven minutes of the second half, building a big lead that couldn't be erased. Shavon Shields had a big 25-point night for the Huskers, and Andrew White had a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds.

Monmouth 73, Rutgers 67

Rutgers couldn't hit a shot as Monmouth and its famous bench outshot the Knights, 46 percent to 30.2 percent. Rutgers sliced a six-point halftime deficit to one at the outset of the second half, but that was at double digits midway through the period. But Rutgers used a 10-0 run to make it a three-point game, and the score was 65-all with a little more than two minutes to play. But the Knights missed three shots down the stretch as Monmouth hit its free throws.

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.