Big Ten

Big Ten basketball roundup: Terps hold off UConn, Michigan crushed by SMU


Big Ten basketball roundup: Terps hold off UConn, Michigan crushed by SMU

A roundup of Big Ten basketball action from Monday, Dec. 7, 2015:

Iowa 90, Western Illinois 56

The Hawkeyes dropped 53 points in the first half, shooting 50 percent in the blowout. Jarrod Uthoff had a huge game with 27 points, making four 3-pointers and grabbing nine rebounds. Dom Uhl had 15 points off the bench, and Adam Woodbury scored 10 points. Iowa came away with 10 steals, Anthony Clemmons recording three swipes in his stat-heavy night, also scoring nine points, handing out six assists and blocking a shot.

Purdue 80, IUPUI 53

The Boilers kept their record perfect at 9-0 with a runaway win. Purdue allowed just 23 second-half points, out-shooting IUPUI, 51.9 percent to 32.8 percent on the night. The Boilers came away with 10 steals -- four from Kendall Stephens -- and blocked nine shots -- Isaac Haas swatting three. A.J. Hammons led the way with 14 points, Stephens had 13 with three made 3s, and Caleb Swanigan, Haas and Vince Edwards also scored in double figures.

[MORE BIG TEN: Spartans allow just 33 points to Binghamton in improving to 9-0]

A roundup of Big Ten basketball action from Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015:

Maryland 76, Connecticut 66

The Terps, behind Melo Trimble and Diamond Stone, led from start to finish, but things got dicey as the lead shrank late. Maryland was up by 15 with a little less than eight minutes to play, but a 16-4 UConn run made it just a three-point margin inside of three minutes. But immediately following the 3 that cut it to three, UConn head coach Kevin Ollie was hit with a game-changing technical when he threw some papers on the court.

Three Trimble free throws and a Rasheed Sulaimon layup later, breathing room was reestablished and the Terps held on. Trimble was exceptional with 25 points, 14 of them coming from the charity stripe, and Diamond Stone was strong, too, with 16 points and nine rebounds.

Southern Methodist 82, Michigan 58

Michigan was hammered, as SMU shot 57.4 percent from the field compared to an ugly 35 percent for the Wolverines. Michigan missed 26 3-point attempts, made just six of its 12 free-throw tries and lost the rebounding battle by 25. Caris LeVert made just one basket, going 1-for-13 from the floor, and the lone make came in the final five minutes of the game. Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman and Duncan Robinson each had 15 points, Robinson hitting five 3s.

[MORE BIG TEN: Illini bounce back with win over Western Carolina]

South Dakota State 84, Minnesota 70

Shockingly, the Gophers finished with 70 points after scoring just 22 in the first 20 minutes, trailing the Jackrabbits, 45-22, at the break. SDSU shot nearly 50 percent from the field and hit 11 3-pointers on the night. Meanwhile, Minnesota shot just 36.8 percent from the field. Nate Mason scored 18 points, hitting three 3s, and Kevin Dorsey and Dupree McBrayer each were in double figures off the bench, McBrayer going 9-for-10 from the free-throw line. For the Gophers, it wasn’t the second home loss to a team from South Dakota in four days.

Ohio State 74, Air Force 50

The Buckeyes out-shot the Falcons, 47.4 percent to 33.3 percent, in a comfortable win. Air Force scored only 16 first-half points and turned the ball over 18 times. Marc Loving had 18 points to lead Ohio State, part of a double-double with 10 rebounds. JaQuan Lyle had 12 points, and Jae’Sean Tate had 11. Trevor Thompson blocked four shots.

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

Penn State 76, George Washington 66

The Lions missed 19 3-point attempts on the evening, scoring just 33 points in each half. And sending the Colonials to the free-throw line 28 times didn’t help much, either. Shep Garner scored 22 points to lead all scorers, and Brandon Taylor had 15. Payton Banks reached double figures with 10 points but was just 4-for-13 from the field, including 1-for-7 from 3-point range.

Rutgers 75, Central Connecticut 59

Both teams were under 30 points in the first half, but Rutgers nearly touched 50 in the second. The Knight shot 49.1 percent from the field, holding the visiting Blue Devils below 40 percent. The big edge came from the free-throw line, where Rutgers went 13-for-17. Corey Sanders had 18 points, going 4-for-4 from 3-point range. He also handed out six assists, grabbed five rebounds and came away with four steals. Bishop Daniels had 17 points off the bench, adding six rebounds and six assists.

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.