Big Ten

Big Ten basketball roundup: Weekend upsets galore


Big Ten basketball roundup: Weekend upsets galore

A roundup of Big Ten basketball action from Friday, Nov. 20, 2015:

Maryland 65, Rider 58

The Terps trailed by a bucket at the half, but a 12-0 Rider run to start the second half had Maryland down 14. The Terps went on an 18-7 run from there, with Robert Carter’s layup making it a one-point game. Shortly thereafter, Melo Trimble tied the game with a three-point play, and a Rasheed Sulaimon bucket gave Maryland the lead. The Terps hit their free throws down the stretch to win the game, but they were out-shot on the evening, missed eight free throws and went just 5-for-22 from 3-point range. Carter had 13 points, and Jake Layman had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Xavier 86, Michigan 70

Xavier pulled away from Michigan at the end of the first half, closing the period on a 17-5 run. Both teams shot just 40 percent from the field, but the Wolverines missed eight free throws and were crushed in the rebounding battle, the Musketeers finishing with a 47-29 advantage. Caris LeVert had a big scoring night with 29 points, 15 of those coming on five made 3-pointers to go along with seven rebounds and a pair of steals.

Michigan State 92, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 46

The Spartans followed up their big Champions Classic win with a pounding of the Golden Lions. Michigan State had a 46-19 scoring edge in the first half and didn’t slow, posting a 46-27 advantage in the second half. The Spartans shot nearly 58 percent from the field and won the rebounding battle, 45-14. Javon Bess was the high man with 16 points, and Bryn Forbes had 14 and four made 3-pointers. Matt Costello had a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards. Denzel Valentine had seven points and 11 rebounds.

Minnesota 74, Missouri State 69

The Gophers had a lead as big as 18 at the outset of the second half, but Minnesota made just one basket over an eight-minute stretch, during which Missouri State closed the lead to just three. The lead eventually reached double digits again, but the Bears brought it back down to three with three minutes left. Carlos Morris’ triple proved the dagger, as free throws held off the Bears. Joey King had 18 points and six made 3-pointers, while Morris had 12 points and seven rebounds.

Northwestern 83, Columbia 80

The Cats faced a 12-point deficit in the second half and an eight-point deficit with three and a half minutes left, but buckets from Bryant McIntosh, Aaron Falzon, Tre Demps and Gavin Skelly cut it to a two-point game, allowing McIntosh’s basket in the final minute to force overtime. Demos hit a 3-pointer in the extra period to get the win for Northwestern. The Cats shot better than 62 percent in the second half and made 13 3-pointers on the night. McIntosh scored 32 points, and Demps had 22.

UT-Arlington 73, Ohio State 68

UT-Arlington used a 12-2 run to open the second half to turn a two-point halftime deficit into an eight-point lead. That lead never reached double digits, but the Buckeyes wouldn’t lead again, despite slicing the gap to three a couple times in the final seconds. The difference? The Mavericks went 16-for-19 from the free-throw line in the second half, while the Buckeyes went just 9-for-18 from the stripe in the final 20 minutes. Keita Bates-Diop had 16 points, and Jaquan Lyle had 15 in the loss.

Duquesne 78, Penn State 62

The Lions managed just 26 points in each half as the Dukes cruised to victory. Duquesne shot 50 percent from the field and made 17 3-pointers, while Penn State shot just 29.7 percent and went just 5-for-21 from 3-point range. Brandon Taylor had 14 points, Payton Banks had 12 points, and Shep Garner had 12 points.

Georgetown 71, Wisconsin 61

The Badgers trailed by five at the half but sliced the lead to two only for the Hoyas to stage a 16-6 run that extended the lead to 12 as Wisconsin couldn’t get within striking distance from there. The Badgers shot just 31.7 percent from the field and turned the ball over 14 times. Nigel Hayes had 22 points but needed 17 shots to get there. Ethan Happ had 12 points. Bronson Koenig had just nine points on an ice-cold shooting night, going 2-for-12 from the field.

[MORE BIG TEN: Illini drop to 1-3 after another upset loss to Chattanooga]

A roundup of Big Ten basketball action from Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015:

Chattanooga 81, Illinois 77

After erasing a deficit as large as 15 in the first half and as large as 12 in the second half, the Illini had a nine-point lead with six and a half minutes to play. But a 21-12 run for Chattanooga to finish the game sent Illinois to another upset loss and to a 1-3 start for the first time in 50 years. Malcolm Hill scored 25 points, and Mike Thorne Jr. had another double-double. But the Illini defense allowed the Mocs to shoot 50 percent from the field and hit 12 3-pointers.

Purdue 61, Old Dominion 39

The Boilers defense was on point, holding the Monarchs to a hideous 23-percent shooting mark, going 14-for-61 from the field and 2-for-14 from 3-point range. A.J. Hammons had a big day for Purdue, scoring 18 points and grabbing six rebounds, while Isaac Haas had 10 points and eight rebounds. Kendall Stephens had 12 points, coming on four made 3-pointers, but he was just 4-for-11 from deep.

Rutgers 87, Central Arkansas 84

In a back-and-forth game of mini spurts, Rutgers trailed by four with three and a half minutes to play. But the Knights went on a 7-0 run over the next minute, the first of two Corey Sanders layups being the go-ahead bucket. Mike Williams hit a 3 to make it a four-point lead, and after Central Arkansas tied it again, DeShawn Freeman scored before Sanders put it away with four free throws. Williams finished with 25 points with five made 3-pointers, while Freeman had 23 plus right rebounds, four steals and four blocks.

[SHOP BIG TEN: Get your Fighting Illini gear right here]

A roundup of Big Ten basketball action from Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015:

Texas Tech 81, Minnesota 68

Former Minnesota head coach Tubby Smith’s current team took it to his old team, scoring the game’s first eight points to jump out to an early lead. After the Gophers tied the game at 20, the Raiders went on an 11-2 run to re-extend the edge. Minnesota fought it to a two-point game midway through the second half, but Texas Tech smacked back with a 15-4 run to pull away. Carlos Morris and Joey King each scored 15 points.

Nebraska 92, Southeastern Louisiana 65

The Huskers put up 90-plus for the second time in four games this season. Nebraska scorched Southeastern Louisiana on the boards, winning the rebounding battle, 52-31, and the Huskers scored 22 points from the free-throw line. Meanwhile, the visiting Lions were 0-for-14 from 3-point range. Glynn Watson Jr. had 14 points to lead the Huskers, while Tai Webster, Michael Jacobson, Ed Morrow and Benny Parker all scored in double figures.

Purdue 85, Florida 70

Purdue built an early lead, but Florida slashed it down to three on multiple occasions in the second half. After the Gators made it 63-60, the Boilers went on a 20–3 run to pull away and turn things into a blowout. Purdue shot 50 percent from the field, holding Florida to just 40-percent shooting. Five Boilermakers were in double figures, with Rapheal Davis’ 18 points leading the way. P.J. Thompson stuffed the stat sheet, scoring 15 points with three made 3-pointers, five rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Wisconsin 74, VCU 73

The Badgers trailed by six at halftime, but the Rams made just one field goal in the first seven and a half minutes of the second half, allowing Wisconsin to score 18 points in that span and take a four-point lead. The game stayed tight from there, but VCU caught fire with four minutes to go, tying the game at 71 with two and a half minutes to go. That’s where it stayed until Nigel Hayes hit a go-ahead free throw with 51 seconds left. A VCU bucket with half a minute left gave the Rams a one-point edge, but Bronson Koenig drove with time running out, spun away from a defender and laid one in with his left hand for the win. The Badgers shot 53.1 percent from the field but turned the ball over 17 times. Koenig led the way with 22 points, and Ethan Happ had a double-double with 12 points and 10 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.