Big Ten

Hoosiers shocked by Penn State in big-time upset

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Hoosiers shocked by Penn State in big-time upset

Despite sitting in a tie atop the Big Ten standings with the Iowa Hawkeyes, many still questioned if the Hoosiers were a real threat to win the Big Ten title.

Those questions will only get louder after Indiana was shocked Saturday night in Happy Valley, upset by Penn State, 68-63.

The normally high-powered Hoosiers shot poorly, a season-low 36.2 percent on the game and just 30.4 percent in the second half, and turned the ball over 15 times leading to 19 points for the Nittany Lions. The conference's highest-scoring team — Indiana came in averaging 84.1 points per game — was held to just 34 points in the first half and even lower total of 29 in the second half.

The game was extremely close throughout, neither side leading by more than six, and the two teams were tied for nearly 11 minutes of gameplay.

After playing tight for the entirety, Penn State had a five-point lead with six and a half minutes to play. Indiana then scored six straight, getting a 3-pointer from Nick Zeisloft during that stretch. Brandon Taylor hit a 3 to stop that run, giving the Lions back the lead at 58-56 with a little more than three minutes to play. About a minute later, Zeisloft hit two free throws to tie the game at 58, and the game was again tied after Thomas Bryant answered Payton Banks' triple with an old-fashioned three-point play with about a minute and a half to go.

[SHOP BIG TEN: Get your Penn State gear right here]

Julian Moore's three-point play at the 1:13 mark put Penn State ahead for good, but there was plenty of sweating still to be done. Bryant hit a pair of free throws before Shep Garner split a pair from the line, making it a one-point game. But Garner made three of his last four free throws as Indiana went the final minute and a half without a made field goal.

Taylor had a huge night for the Lions, scoring 24 points on 10 made shots. Devin Foster joined him in double figures with a career-high 13 points, and Garner finished with 12.

Zeisloft led the Hoosiers with 14 points, hitting a quartet of 3-pointers. Yogi Ferrell had 13 points but turned the ball over five times. Bryant finished with 10 points.

After straddling non-conference and conference play with a 12-game winning streak, Indiana has dropped two of its last four games to fall to 19-5 overall and 9-2 in the league. Next up is a huge game against conference-leading Iowa on Thursday in Bloomington.

Penn State stopped a four-game losing streak with the victory, moving to 12-12 overall and 3-8 in Big Ten play. Next up is a road trip to take on Nebraska next weekend.

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.