Big Ten

Big Ten hoops roundup: Cold shooting sinks Badgers, Michigan in Maui, South Carolina

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USA TODAY

Big Ten hoops roundup: Cold shooting sinks Badgers, Michigan in Maui, South Carolina

A roundup of Big Ten basketball games played on Wednesday, Nov. 23:

North Carolina 71, Wisconsin 56

It was a rough night offensively for the Badgers, who fell for the second time this season against a ranked opponent. This loss in the Maui Invitational title game saw Wisconsin score just 20 points in the first half and spend a good chunk of the second half — specifically a six-and-a-half-minute stretch — without a made basket. North Carolina had a big rebounding advantage and outscored Wisconsin in second-chance points, 10-1, and in points in the paint, 36-16. It was an atrocious night for Badger stars Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig, who combined for just 10 points on 4-for-24 shooting. Vitto Brown hit four 3s and finished with 15 points to lead the team, while Ethan Happ added 13 points, six rebounds and four assists.

South Carolina 61, Michigan 46

How ice cold can you get? Just ask the Wolverines, who were almost unbelievably off shooting the ball in this one, going 10-for-52 from the field (19.2 percent) and 2-for-26 from 3-point range (7.7 percent). This ugly-as-could-be-imagined offensive performance would normally result in a much bigger loss than only 15 points, but Michigan remained in relative striking distance thanks to going 24-for-32 from the free-throw line. But the horrendous shooting performance led to the first loss of the season for the newly ranked Wolverines. Just two Michigan players scored in double figures. Derrick Walton Jr. had 15 points, though he was 3-for-14 from the field and 2-for-9 from 3. Mark Donnal had 10 points off the bench. Zak Irvin only scored five points, going an ugly 2-for-13 from the field, and turned the ball over eight times.

Purdue 96, Auburn 71

The Boilermakers can sure pour in the points. Purdue splashed home a whopping 17 3-pointers to throttle Auburn by 25 and win the Cancun Challenge. The Boilers shot 64.3 percent from the field and 65.4 percent from 3-point range. Carsen Edwards had a huge 21-point performance off the bench, going 7-for-11 from the field and 4-for-5 from downtown, also coming away with three steals. Both Caleb Swanigan and Isaac Haas had double-doubles, with Swanigan scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 rebounds and Haas scoring 10 points and hauling in 10 rebounds. Vincent Edwards and P.J. Thompson each had three 3s and 15 points, while Dakota Mathias scored 12 points on four made 3s.

Michigan State 73, St. John’s 62

Sparty kicked off its trip to the Battle 4 Atlantis with a double-digit win over the Johnnies. Michigan State held St. John’s to just 30.8-percent shooting and dominated the rebounding battle, 53-33. Miles Bridges had a monster game with 22 points and 15 rebounds. Eron Harris had 14 points and Tum Tum Nairn had 13 points. That trio of scorers combined to hit eight 3-pointers. Nick Ward chipped in a near double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds off the bench.

Rutgers 66, North Texas 53

The Scarlet Knights are still undefeated and 5-0 for the first time in 16 years. Rutgers didn’t shoot well in this one but fared slightly better than North Texas, which made only a third of its shots. The Knights did much of their damage from the free-throw line, 17-for-22 from the stripe compared to just 6-for-6 by the Mean Green. Deshawn Freeman had a double-double with 13 points and 15 rebounds, while Nigel Johnson and Mike Williams each scored 10 points off the bench.

Ohio State 78, Jackson State 47

A 31-point victory pushed the Buckeyes to 5-0 on the season. Ohio State was hot from the field, shooting 55.3 percent including 13 makes from 3-point range. Meanwhile, the defense held the visitors to 29.5-percent shooting and forced 20 turnovers. Marc Loving had a team-high 19 points, with Kam Williams adding 15 and JaQuan Lyle adding 10.

Penn State 72, Colgate 59

The Nittany Lions shot just 33.8 percent from the field but won big in the rebounding (43-31) and turnover (17-9) battles en route to this win. Payton Banks had 20 points with four makes from 3-point range, with Terrence Samuel, Tony Carr and Shep Garner scoring 16, 14 and 10 points, respectively.

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

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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

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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.