Big Ten

McIntosh, Lindsey power Northwestern's comeback win over Loyola (Md.)

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McIntosh, Lindsey power Northwestern's comeback win over Loyola (Md.)

Northwestern announced some dreadful injury news before Sunday’s game. Then the Wildcats played a dreadful first half that had them trailing Loyola (Md.) by double digits at halftime.

The solution? Bryant McIntosh and Scottie Lindsey to the rescue.

The sophomore duo combined for 32 points in the final 20 minutes, guiding the Cats in a red-hot comeback that ended in a 74-59 win, Northwestern’s 12th of the season in 13 non-conference games.

The Cats trailed by as many as 14 points in the first half, 11 at the break and found themselves down by 12 not even three minutes into the second period. But a 23-6 run from there flipped the script, changing a 12-point deficit into a five-point lead. Aaron Falzon hit a pair of 3s during the stretch, with freshman big man Derek Pardon getting a couple buckets in his first action of the year. But it was McIntosh who provided the biggest spark, accounting for three baskets during the run, including a 3-pointer right before the half's midway point that gave Northwestern that five-point lead.

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After Loyola whittled that gap down to just a point, Lindsey and McIntosh splashed in back-to-back triples, followed by a layup apiece, part of 10 straight points that gave the Cats a double-digit advantage with more than seven minutes to play. The lead stayed big from there.

McIntosh finished with 33 points, Lindsey with 14. A total of 32 of those points came in the second half. The duo combined for the final 28 points Northwestern scored on the evening.

Northwestern shot a blistering 65.6 percent in the second half after scoring just 22 first-half points on 35-percent shooting. The Cats hit seven of 10 3-point attempts in the final 20 minutes after going 1-for-7 from deep in the opening 20. Northwestern held Loyola to 34.5-percent shooting and just 26 points in the second half.

The comeback victory was a solid consolation after some tough pregame injury news, the Cats announcing that senior center Alex Olah is out indefinitely with a foot injury.

The win wrapped Northwestern's non-conference schedule, with the Cats winning all but one of those games, that loss coming to North Carolina. Northwestern begins Big Ten play Wednesday at Nebraska.

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.