Big Ten

Hawkeyes continue march through Big Ten with win over Purdue

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Hawkeyes continue march through Big Ten with win over Purdue

It's settled. The Hawkeyes don't just look like the Big Ten's best team. They are the Big Ten's best team.

Iowa's second-half surge lifted it past Purdue on Saturday, 83-71, a double-digit win over another ranked opponent, giving the Hawkeyes a season sweep of the Boilermakers not long after completing a season sweep of the Michigan State Spartans. Four of Iowa's seven wins to start the conference season have been against ranked competition, and the Hawkeyes — along with the unblemished Indiana Hoosiers — are one of just two undefeated Big Ten squads.

That enough proof for you?

Iowa was sensational Saturday. Trailing by three at the half, the Hawkeyes exploded out of the break on a 14-4 run, one that grew to 23-6, building a 15-point lead not even eight minutes into the second half. During that surge, the Hawkeyes made nine of the 12 shots they took, including 3-pointers by five different players. That stretch knocked out the Boilermakers, who didn't come within single digits until there were fewer than two minutes to play.

The Hawkeyes shot 60 percent from the field in the second half, looking like an unstoppable force as the lead reached as high as 19.

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

Iowa finished with a 50-percent shooting mark on the afternoon, going 11-for-20 from 3-point range. The Hawkeyes turned a whopping 17 Boilermaker turnovers into 24 points, and despite getting beat on the boards and in the points-in-the-paint department, they made 18 free throws, 10 more than the Boilers.

Four Hawkeyes finished in double figures, led by the 22 points of Jarrod Uthoff, who is emerging as the frontrunner for conference player of the year honors and a legitimate candidate for national player of the year honors. Adam Woodbury had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Peter Jok also had 13 points, and Anthony Clemmons added 10.

Vince Edwards led the way for Purdue with 19 points and eight rebounds. P.J. Thompson scored 16 points, hitting four 3-pointers. A.J. Hammons had 10 points.

The win, Iowa's ninth straight, sent the Hawkeyes to 16-3 overall and 7-0 in league play. Another win over a ranked opponent ought to dramatically boost Iowa's ranking within the top 10 of the AP poll, particularly after losses this week by seven of the eight teams ranked higher. Another huge game awaits, as next up is a Thursday trip to Maryland.

Purdue fell to 17-4 overall and 5-3 in the conference with the loss. Next up is a Wednesday trip to Minnesota.

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.