Big Ten

Big Ten basketball roundup: Spartans, Terps win in exciting comeback fashion

matt-mcquaid-rasheed-sulaimon-1117.png

Big Ten basketball roundup: Spartans, Terps win in exciting comeback fashion

A roundup of Big Ten basketball action from Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015:

Maryland 75, Georgetown 71

The “rivalry resumed” lived up to the hype, as the Terps and Hoyas turned in a thriller. Maryland was trailing or tied most of the game and trailed by as many as seven in the second half, but Melo Trimble’s 3-pointer tied the game at 61 with four minutes to play. Jake Layman and Rasheed Sulaimon hit tie-breaking 3s in the game’s final minutes, Sulaimon’s pushing the score to 71-68 and proving to be the game-winning shot. Trimble had 24 points — including 13 from the free-throw line — to lead all scorers, and Layman had 15, all in the second half.

Michigan State 79, Kansas 73

Denzel Valentine turned in a performance for the ages, scoring 29 points, grabbing 12 rebounds and handing out 12 assists to become the fourth Spartan ever to record a triple-double. With Michigan State trailing by double digits midway through the second half, Valentine took over, scoring bucket after bucket to bring the Spartans back, put them in front and keep them there. He got help with big shots from Bryn Forbes and Matt McQuiad, the freshman hitting a pair of clutch 3-pointers in the final minutes. The Spartans were the lowest-ranked team at the Champions Classic but made perhaps the biggest impression.

[MORE BIG TEN: Denzel Valentine leads Spartans to brilliant comeback win over Kansas]

Villanova 87, Nebraska 63

The Huskers had a first-half lead as big as seven on the No. 11 team in the country, but the Wildcats turned it on midway through the first and ran away for the win. Nova outscored Nebraska, 22-2, after that seven-point gap until halftime, then had an 11-point second-half scoring edge. The Wildcats shot nearly 50 percent from the field, and the Huskers had a whopping 22 turnovers. Andrew White led Nebraska with 18 points, and Shavon Shields and Glynn Watson had 12 points apiece.

Ohio State 82, Grambling State 55

The Buckeyes allowed just 20 first-half points, cruising to a blowout win. They shot a sterling 58.8 percent from the field. Kam Williams led the way with 22 points (including three made 3-pointers), five rebounds, four steals and two assists. Keita Bates-Diop was close to a double-double with 14 points and eight rebounds, while Marc Loving had 14 points and five rebounds. Ohio State had an off night from the free-throw line, though, making just 11 of the 24 shots it took from the stripe.

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

Penn State 68, DePaul 62

DePaul had the Penn State lead at just three points with seven minutes to play, but the Blue Demons turned the ball over four times in the final seven minutes, allowing the Lions to keep the game at arm’s length. The lead was again just three with two and a half minutes left, but Shep Garner and Brandon Taylor hit back-to-back 3-pointers to prevent a late comeback. Taylor led the way for Penn State with 22 points and four made 3-pointers. Garner had 16 points.

Wisconsin 78, North Dakota 64

The points weren’t exactly coming in bunches and Wisconsin only outscored North Dakota by a point in the second half, but after allowing just 22 first-half points, the Badgers came away with an easy win. Wisconsin was actually out-shot, 48 percent to 43.9 percent, but held a 40-31 rebounding advantage and turned the ball over just six times while forcing 17 turnovers. All five starters scored in double figures, led by the 17 each for Bronson Koenig and Ethan Happ.

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

jeremy_larkin.jpg
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

anderson.jpg
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.