Big Ten

Low-scoring Spartans blown away by Kentucky


Low-scoring Spartans blown away by Kentucky

Offense was in short supply for Michigan State on Tuesday night. And when you go up against the No. 2 team in the country, that's a problem.

The Spartans shot just 32.3 percent from the field and went just 5-for-26 from 3-point range, also turning the ball over 21 times, as the second-ranked Kentucky Wildcats delivered a 69-48 blowout as part of the Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden.

It was Michigan State's lowest-scoring performance since the 2013-14 season.

The Spartans were down eight at the half, the Cats sprinting away from a 12-all tie with a 9-0 run in the middle of the first half. The Kentucky lead got as high as 12 during the opening 20 minutes, and Michigan State actually battled it down to a four-point gap with two minutes left, but things extended back out to eight by the break.

The second half was all Cats, who reached a double-digit lead just four minutes in and leaped out to a 22-point advantage with a 12-0 run midway through the period.

Kentucky's offensive numbers weren't too pretty, either, the Cats shooting just 38.3 percent from the field and going 3-for-10 on 3-pointers. But for the second straight game, Michigan State was dominated at the free-throw line. Kentucky went 16-for-20 from the stripe, while Michigan State was a mere 3-for-9. The Cats also had a 15-5 advantage in points in the paint against the small Spartans, aching from the absences of big men Gavin Schilling and Ben Carter.

Michigan State had no double-figure scorers Tuesday night. Kenny Goins and Cassius Winston each had nine points and shot decently, making four field goals apiece. Miles Bridges was a big disappointment Tuesday, scoring only six points and turning the ball over nine times while going 2-for-11 from the field. Bridges did, though, haul in 12 rebounds and block three shots.

Kentucky had three scorers in double figures: Malik Monk leading the way with 23 points behind seven made triples, Isaiah Briscoe scoring 21 points and De'Aaron Fox adding 12 points.

The Spartans dropped to 0-2 with the loss, suffering their second defeat to a top-10 team in just five days.

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.