Big Ten

Hawkeyes blow second-half lead but get buzzer-beating win in OT

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Hawkeyes blow second-half lead but get buzzer-beating win in OT

After stunning upsets handed out to Purdue and Michigan State in the first two days of the NCAA tournament, Iowa looked like it would be the next Big Ten team to collapse.

But Adam Woodbury came to the rescue.

After a double-digit second-half lead melted away, an inexplicable foul on a 3-point shooter allowed Temple to force overtime and Iowa actually trailed in the extra period, the Hawkeyes' senior center came up with the play of the game, putting back a missed shot before the buzzer to give Iowa a 72-70 overtime win and advancement to the Round of 32.

The Hawkeyes led by just a point at halftime, hot shooting drying up after Peter Jok and Jarrod Uthoff combined for 21 early points. But a 13-4 run in the first six and a half minutes of the second half had Iowa out in front by 10. The lead was still eight with five minutes to play, but Iowa went ice cold as Temple scored the next five points to come within three in the game's final minute. Jok split a pair of free throws to make it 62-58 with 18 seconds left, but Temple responded with a quick bucket to again slice it to a two-point game. Jok again split two free throws, leaving the deficit at three. Then, in an inexplicable occurrence, Anthony Clemmons fouled a 3-point shooter with just two seconds on the clock. Temple's Quenton DeCosey hit all three free throws to tie the game at 63 and force overtime. The Owls closed regulation on a 10-2 run over the final five minutes.

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Iowa started the scoring in overtime with three free throws, but Temple answered with five straight points, including a three-point play by DeCosey that put the Owls in front by two. Jok's three-point play put Iowa back on top, and Clemmons split a pair of free throws, making it 70-68 with a minute left. Temple got a game-tying basket and forced a stop, but Daniel Dingle missed the front end of a 1-and-1, giving Iowa the final possession. Mike Gesell took a jump shot that missed everything but landed right in the hands of Woodbury, who put it back as time ran out to give the Hawkeyes a thrilling win.

Iowa was lucky to come away with the win despite shooting 34.8 percent from the field. But the Hawkeyes were 17-for-22 from the free-throw line, while the Owls attempted just nine shots from the stripe on the day. Iowa was beat up on the boards, 49-38, but hit seven 3-pointers, almost twice as many as Temple's four. The Hawkeyes only had three turnovers in 45 minutes, while the Owls turned it over 12 times.

Uthoff finished with a team-high 23 points, Jok close behind with 16. However, the scoring duo went a combined 12-for-36 from the field, including 5-for-20 from 3-point range. Woodbury added 10 points, the only other Hawkeye in double figures.

Iowa now moves on to the Round of 32, where it will square off against second-seeded Villanova.

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

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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

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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.