Big Ten

Hoosiers beat Hawkeyes to force three-way tie for first place in Big Ten

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Hoosiers beat Hawkeyes to force three-way tie for first place in Big Ten

Welcome to the three-way tie atop the Big Ten standings.

Indiana let a 16-point lead vanish Thursday night in Bloomington, but the Hoosiers roared back on the visiting Iowa Hawkeyes, charging in front thanks to a 19-6 second-half run that catapulted them to an 85-78 win.

The Hawkeyes' loss meant the Hoosiers joined them and the Maryland Terrapins at 10-2 and in a three-way tie for first place in the conference.

Indiana got off to a hot start, using its typical offensive explosiveness to build a double-digit lead before the midway point of the first half. Yogi Ferrell and Robert Johnson hit early 3-pointers, and when Nick Zeisloft started bombing in deep 3s off the bench, the lead really grew, hitting 15 a few times as the Hoosiers' offensive firepower allowed Indiana to blitz past an ineffective Iowa offense. Jarrod Uthoff helped worked the lead down to 10, but it was soon at 16 with six minutes until halftime thanks to back-to-back triples by Zeisloft and Collin Hartman. But that's when the Hawkeyes started figuring things out offensively, scoring eight straight to halve that lead, getting back-to-back 3s from Peter Jok during that stretch. Indiana answered a bit, but when the half was through, Iowa had closed on an 18-9 run, slicing the Hoosiers' lead to just seven at the break.

The Hawkeyes actually shot better in the opening 20 minutes, 51.7 percent compared to an equally sterling 50-percent mark by the Hoosiers. Indiana hit seven first-half 3s and had a huge edge in second-chance points, 17-8, holding a 21-11 rebounding advantage at the break.

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

Iowa had that deficit completely erased not three minutes into the second half, coming out of halftime with nine straight points to take a 47-45 lead. With both teams trading baskets, the Hawkeyes reached their largest lead of the game at just four with nine and a half minutes to play. From there, though, the Hoosiers awoke, going on a 19-6 run to sprint back in front by nine while the Hawkeyes couldn't do a thing offensively, scoring just one basket over a more than six-minute stretch. Iowa chopped that lead down to as small as three over the game's final minutes, but Indiana did a great job hitting free throws and got a back-breaking press-break dunk from Collin Hartman to seal the deal and hold serve on home court with a big win.

Both teams suffered offensive droughts over the final 20 minutes, and each team shot just 41 percent from the field after a hot-shooting first half. Iowa closed the gap on Indiana in the rebounding battle and in second-chance points by game's end, but it was at the free-throw line where the game might have been determined. The Hoosiers went 18-for-21 from the charity stripe, while the Hawkeyes were just 13-for-23. Iowa's bench was also non-existent, scoring zero points.

Indiana finished with five players in double figures. Ferrell led the way with 14 points despite a nasty 2-for-12 shooting performance. Troy Williams and Johnson each scored 13 points. Thomas Bryant and Max Bielfeldt each scored 10.

The five Iowa starters accounted for all the Iowa points. Uthoff finished with a game-high 24 points, Mike Gesell had 17 points, Adam Woodbury had a double-double with 13 points and 15 rebounds, and Jok and Anthony Clemmons each scored 12.

The win sent the Hoosiers to 20-5 overall and 10-2 in the league. It was just the second game they played against a ranked opponent all season, previously losing to a then-ranked Duke team in early December. Next up is another big one Sunday at Michigan State.

The Hawkeyes dropped to 19-5 overall and 10-2 in the conference, snapping a three-game winning streak. Iowa hosts Minnesota on Sunday.

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.