Big Ten

Hawkeyes storm back from 19-point deficit to beat Purdue


Hawkeyes storm back from 19-point deficit to beat Purdue

Two wins over two top-15 teams? Not a bad first week of Big Ten play for Iowa.

After a miserable first half, the Hawkeyes erased a 19-point deficit, scoring 50 points in the second half to storm back to beat Purdue, 70-63, in West Lafayette.

It was Iowa’s first win at Purdue since 2006, and the Hawkeyes became the second Big Ten team in the last 20 years to start conference play with two wins over ranked opponents.

But it sure didn’t look like any of that was going to happen, as the Hawkeyes couldn’t do a thing in a first half dominated by the Boilers. Iowa shot just 23.3 percent from the field, going 1-for-10 from 3-point range, and mustered just 20 points.

Jarrod Uthoff was the lone Iowa player producing anything, and he nearly produced it all, scoring 16 of the team’s 20 points. The rest of the team was 2-for-19 from the field for just four points.

Purdue, meanwhile, rained in seven 3-pointers in the first half and held a 26-0 edge in bench scoring. Kendall Stephens had 10 points and Dakota Mathias had nine as the two combined to hit five 3-pointers.

[MORE BIG TEN: Zak Showalter drops 21 as Badgers pull away from Rutgers]

But with the Boilers in front by 17 at halftime, the script completely flipped. Suddenly, it was Purdue that couldn’t do a thing offensively as Iowa poured in the points. The Hawkeyes made four of their first five shots of the half, and after an Isaac Haas basket gave Purdue a 15-point lead three and a half minutes into the second half, Iowa scored six straight to bring the lead down to single digits.

Back-to-back 3-pointers by Dom Uhl and Mike Gesell cut the deficit to five, and a Peter Jok layup had it at a one-possession game. With eight minutes to play, Uthoff made it a one-point game, and Uhl’s 3-pointer put the Hawkeyes in front for the first time since the early stages of the game.

A 7-2 Iowa spurt grew its lead to five with five minutes remaining, and the Hawkeyes kept scoring as Purdue didn’t get any closer than four in the final three minutes.

Iowa shot a stunning 64.3 percent in the second half, going 6-for-9 from behind the 3-point line in the final 20 minutes. Purdue had 10 turnovers in the second half and made just eight shots over the final 20 minutes.

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

Uthoff finished with 25 points, including 10 from the free-throw line. Jok had 11.

Stephens was the high man for Purdue with 12 points. A.J. Hammons finished with 11 points and seven rebounds.

Iowa improved to 11-3 overall and 2-0 in league play with the win. After beating a pair of teams ranked in the top 15 of the AP poll — Iowa scored a 13-point win over Michigan State earlier this week — the Hawkeyes should see a number in front of their name when the new rankings come out on Monday. Next up is a game against Nebraska on Tuesday.

Purdue, meanwhile, suffered just their second loss of the season, dropping to 13-2 overall and 1-1 in Big Ten play. The Boilermakers play host to Michigan on Thursday.

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.