Big Ten

Big Ten hoops roundup: Hoosiers upset Jayhawks to open season with a bang


Big Ten hoops roundup: Hoosiers upset Jayhawks to open season with a bang

A roundup of Big Ten basketball games from Friday, Nov. 11, and Sunday, Nov. 13.

Friday, Nov. 11

Indiana 103, Kansas 99

The biggest win of the season’s opening weekend belonged to the Hoosiers, who pulled off an overtime upset of the third-ranked Jayhawks out in Hawaii. Kansas held a small lead at the half and grew it to nine in the early stages of the second half, but Indiana came back and kept things close throughout a back-and-forth final 20 minutes with an absolute barrage of 3-pointers. The Hoosiers hit nine of their 15 3s in the second half and overtime. Returning stars James Blackmon Jr., Thomas Bryant and OG Anunoby all produced well, scoring 26, 19 and 13 points, respectively. But it was freshman Curtis Jones who came up big with a 15-point performance off the bench. Jones scored seven points in overtime, hitting a huge 3 with under two minutes to play that gave the Hoosiers a four-point lead and twice coming up with two points to extend one-possession games to four-point leads in the game’s final 17 seconds. It was a huge win for Indiana, which scored an NCAA tournament resume-builder in the season’s first game.

Arizona 65, Michigan State 63

The Spartans weren’t as lucky as the Hoosiers, their conferecemates also playing in Honolulu, getting edged by the Wildcats. It was a closely contested game throughout, with freshman Miles Bridges giving Michigan State a one-point lead with three minutes to play. Lauri Markkanen put Arizona in front a minute and a half later with a bucket, and Parker Jackson-Cartwright’s jumper made it a three-point lead with 40 seconds to go. Tum-Tum Nairn’s 3-pointer with seven seconds left tied the game, only for Arizona’s Kadeem Allen to win it with a layup five seconds later. You can look at all the numbers you want, but there’s one that leaped off the stat sheet: the discrepancy at the free-throw line. Michigan State shot just nine free throws, making only five, while Arizona was 20-for-27 from the stripe. The Spartans shot better and limited the Wildcats to a shooting percentage under 40 percent. And Bridges had a noteworthy debut, the freshman scoring a game-high 21 points in his first collegiate game. But Bridges was the lone Michigan State scorer in double figures, and the Spartans turned the ball over 19 times.

Maryland 62, American 56

How does a ranked Maryland team only beat American by six? Good question. The Terps, full of fresh faces after losing four-fifths of its starting lineup from a year ago, led by no more than six in this one and trailed with six minutes to play. A mere four-point deficit was erased by the main leftover from 2015-16, Melo Trimble, who with back-to-back buckets made sure the Eagles wouldn’t pull some miraculous opening-night upset. Maryland outscored American, 19-9, over the game’s final seven and a half minutes. Trimble finished with 22 points in 34 minutes, going 9-for-19 from the field but 0-for-4 from 3-point range. The Terps benefited from a huge free-throw discrepancy, going 18-for-25 while the Eagles were just 4-for-5.

Wisconsin 79, Central Arkansas 47

No trouble for the preseason conference favorites in their opener, the Badgers getting 15 different guys onto the floor in this blowout win. Visiting Central Arkansas made just 15 baskets, shooting a dreadful 28.3 percent from the field, while Wisconsin shot 47.2 percent with 11 made 3-pointers. Bronson Koenig made four of those 3s and finished with a team-high 16 points. Nigel Hayes added 14 points, five assists and four rebounds. Zak Showalter scored 10, and Ethan Happ had eight points, nine rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block.

Purdue 109, McNeese State 65

Too bad for McNeese State that it had to be the first team Purdue’s seen in a game that counted since that embarrassing Round of 64 exit from the NCAA tournament. The Boilermakers crushed, nearly scoring 50 points in the first half before scoring 62 in the second half. Purdue shot 55.7 percent from the field and knocked down 22 free throws. But Caleb Swanigan was the star, putting up a monstrous 23-point, 20-rebound night, also handing out six assists for good measure. He wasn’t even the only guy on the team with a 20-plus-point game, Isaac Haas scoring 22 points. Vince Edwards also registered a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Carsen Edwards added 18 points off the bench. An all-around high-scoring evening for the Boilers.

Albany 87, Penn State 81

Not sure what the heck the Nittany Lions were doing, getting pretty much dominated by the Great Danes of Albany. Penn State was out-shot from the field, 49.2 percent to 42.9 percent, out-shot from 3-point range, 50 percent to 36 percent, and mauled on the boards, 43-26. Despite a 56-point second half from the Lions and just six points separating the teams in the final score, this one seemed pretty well over at the half, when Penn State trailed by 15 and had just 26 points. The Lions still managed five players in double figures, led by Shep Garner’s 25 points. Payton Banks came off the bench to splash home four triples and finished with 14 points.

Ohio State 78, Navy 68

The Buckeyes were en fuego shooting the ball in this one, hitting 57.4 percent of their shots from the field and 10 of their 18 3-point attempts. All this while Navy struggled with its shot, shooting just 37.7 percent from the field and an ugly 27.6 percent from deep. Kam Williams starred with 23 points off the bench, hitting five 3-pointers. Four other Buckeyes scored in double figures: Keita Bates-Diop had 14 points to go along with 14 rebounds and three blocks, Marc Loving had 13, Trevor Thompson had 11 and Jae’Sean Tate had 10.

Illinois 81, Southeast Missouri State 62

Malcolm Hill finished with 21 points in this one despite a slow start, stuffing the stat sheet with eight rebounds, four assists and a steal. Maverick Morgan also shouldered much of the load in this 19-point win, shooting a perfect 8-for-8 from the field and finishing with 16 points. In his first game since March 2014, point guard Tracy Abrams chipped in 13 points, and Michael Finke scored 12. Jalen Coleman-Lands had nine off the bench on three made 3-pointers, but he launched a total of 10 deep balls to get to that number.

Northwestern 94, Mississippi Valley State 63

Vic Law returned from missing the entirety of last season to score a career-high 18 points in the win, hitting three 3-pointers and also adding six rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals. Scottie Lindsey also had three makes from deep and finished with 17 points. Sanjay Lumpkin, Bryant McIntosh and Isiah Brown scored 11 points apiece. The Cats shot 50 percent from the field and won the rebounding battle, 50-32.

Michigan 76, Howard 58

It wasn’t the finest shooting night for the Wolverines, who missed 30 shots compared to 22 makes and went 9-for-24 from 3-point range. Zak Irvin was cold, going 4-for-13 from the field and 1-for-6 from 3, but he finished as one of three Michigan players with double-digit points. Irvin’s 11 complemented Derrick Walton Jr.’s 20-point night, the point guard hitting four 3-pointers and going a perfect 6-for-6 on free throws. Mark Donnal scored 12 off the bench.

Iowa 91, Kennesaw State 74

Up 18 at halftime, the Hawkeyes didn’t need to sweat a second half in which they got outscored. They shot 50 percent in this one and knocked down 24 free throws. Peter Jok led the way with 27 points, hitting three 3-pointers while going 11-for-19 from the field. Ahmad Wagner had 12 points off the bench and filled up the stat sheet with five rebounds, four assists, four blocks and two steals. Nicholas Baer and Cordell Pemsl each had 10 points.

Minnesota 86, Louisiana-Lafayette 74

Four Gophers made multiple 3-pointers in this one, a game in which the 50.9-percent shooting of Minnesota greatly outweighed the 31.9-percent shooting of the Ragin’ Cajuns. Five Gophers scored in double figures: Nate Mason had 15, Dupree McBrayer had 15, Amir Coffey had 13, Akeem Springs had 11 and Reggie Lynch had 10.

Rutgers 86, Molloy 57

What is Molloy? Well if you’ve never heard of the Division-II season-opening opponent of the Scarlet Knights, you’re not alone. And it turned out to be an easy win for Rutgers, which got double-digit scoring efforts from four different players. Deshawn Freeman had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Mike Williams hit five 3-pointers and scored 17 points off the bench. Nigel Johnson scored 14 points, and C.J. Gettys had 11.

Sunday, Nov. 13

Illinois 79, Northern Kentucky 64

Malcolm Hill went off for 40 points in this one, turning in just the seventh-ever 40-point game by an Illinois player. Hill shot 13-for-23 from the field, 5-for-8 from 3-point range and 9-for-12 from the free-throw line. He also grabbed 12 rebounds for a double-double, the first 40-point double-double by an Illini since 1968. Michael Finke registered a double-double of his own with 10 points and 11 rebounds, and Hill and Finke combined for most of the team’s points and an even greater portion of a paltry 32 rebounds. But the visiting Norse shot just 36.8 percent from the field and were 9-for-30 from 3-point range, turning the ball over 18 times leading to 21 Illinois points.

Iowa 116, Savannah State 84

How about the Hawkeyes hitting the century mark? Iowa blitzed Savannah State with a 3-point barrage, splashing home 18 of them and getting multiple deep-ball makes from six different players. Brady Ellingson accounted for four of those triples and scored a team-high 23 points. Peter Jok, Nicholas Baer and Isaiah Moss each hit three 3-pointers. Jok struggled with his shot, finishing with 13 points while going 5-for-15 from the field and 3-for-10 from deep. Iowa assisted on 33 of its 42 makes and had a 52-40 rebounding edge.

Michigan 77, IUPUI 65

The Wolverines are still searching for their shooting touch, following up a mild shooting performance in the opener with another in this one, shooting 45 percent from the field and hitting just seven of 21 3-point tries. A 40-31 rebounding advantage helped, and the team blocked seven shots, five coming from D.J. Wilson, who finished with seven points but grabbed 14 rebounds. Zak Irvin had 15 to lead the Wolverines, with Derrick Walton Jr. and Mo Wagner each scoring 13 and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman adding 12.

Penn State 82, Duquesne 74

The Nittany Lions rebounded from a season-opening loss to Albany, but this one wasn’t without its struggles. Penn State trailed in the second half, and the score was tied around the midway point of the second half. Thankfully for the Lions, a 19-9 run allowed them to pull away. Penn State was out-rebounded in this one and went just 7-for-21 from 3-point range, but Duquesne turned the ball over 18 times. Two Lions scored more than 20 points: Lamar Stevens had a team-high 24 points, with 12 coming from the free-throw line, and Tony Carr had 20 points.

Nebraska 83, Sacramento State 61

Glynn Watson Jr. and Tai Webster each went over 20 points as the Huskers opened their season with a win. Watson was 9-for-14 from the field with a team-high 23 points, also handing out six assists, grabbing five rebounds and coming away with three steals. Ed Morrow Jr. and Jack McVeigh also scored in double figures, with 15 and 14 points, respectively. Nebraska was efficient from behind the 3-point line, hitting six of its 11 shots, and won the rebounding battle, 43-29.

Rutgers 87, Drexel 66

The Knights slew the Dragons in a game that must’ve been scheduled solely to use that joke. Rutgers didn’t shoot much better than its opponent but held a big advantage from the free-throw line, going 19-for-27 while Drexel was 7-for-9. Six players scored in double figures, with Jonathan Laurent and Nigel Johnson leading the way with 15 points apiece. Laurent was 3-for-3 from 3-point range. C.J. Gettys had 13 points and nine rebounds, while Deshawn Freeman had a double-double with 10 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.