Big Ten

Michigan gets solid road win as Huskers see win streak snapped

derrick-walton-0123.png

Michigan gets solid road win as Huskers see win streak snapped

Michigan went into a raucous Pinnacle Bank Arena and shot the lights out.

The Wolverines shot 53.2 percent from the field on the game, including a scorching 68.2 percent in the second half, grabbing a solid 81-68 road win over the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Saturday.

The loss put an end to the Huskers' four-game winning streak.

Michigan flashed its hot shooting early on, at one point in the first half hitting four consecutive 3-pointers to turn a one-basket advantage into a double-digit lead. Nebraska did manage to chip that down, though. Zak Irvin's 3-pointer made it an 11-point game at the midway point of the first half, but the Wolverines only made two more baskets the rest of the period, the Huskers outscoring them 17-9 to make it just a three-point gap at the break.

[MORE BIG TEN: Blown out in Bloomington: Hoosiers crush Northwestern]

But Michigan's red-hot start to the second half decided the outcome. The Wolverines made their first nine shots out of halftime, three of which were 3-pointers, to open the half on a 21-6 run and build an 18-point lead. With that cushion, it looked like it would be smooth sailing from there, but Nebraska punched right back, the Huskers chopping that lead down to single digits with a 10-0 run of their own.

Again Nebraska spent a lengthy stretch chipping away at that margin. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Tai Webster and Shavon Shields made it a five-point game with about six and a half minutes left. And with three and a half minutes left, Webster turned back-to-back Michigan turnovers into fastbreak layups, one coming with a free throw for a mini 5-0 run that made it a two-point game at 66-64. But the Wolverines did exactly what they needed to do to hang on for the win, closing the game on a 15-4 run thanks to 10 made free throws, a Duncan Robinson dunk that really signaled the end of Nebraska's comeback hopes and a last-second 3 from Derrick Walton Jr.

Michigan's shooting numbers for the day were just ridiculous. The Wolverines shot 53.2 percent from the field and went 11-for-21 from behind the 3-point line. They were 15-for-22 from the field over the final 20 minutes and 5-for-10 from 3-point range during that span.

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

Nebraska stayed in the game thanks to some sloppy play by Michigan. The Wolverines turned the ball over 14 times, and the Huskers turned those into 20 points. Nebraska also outscored Michigan by a hefty margin in the paint, 40-24. But the Huskers couldn't keep up with the Wolverines' sharp shooting from distance, hitting just six of the 22 3-point shots they attempted.

Robinson led the way for Michigan with 21 points, hitting a trio of triples. Walton was stupendous with 19 points, four made 3s, 12 rebounds and six assists, hitting double digits in two stat categories for the third time this season. Mark Donnal was also in double figures with 14 points.

Andrew White and Glynn Watson Jr. both had big days for Nebraska, scoring 15 points apiece. Webster finished with 12, and Shields had 11.

The win sent the Wolverines to 15-5 overall and 5-2 in conference play. Next up is a Wednesday game against Rutgers.

With the loss, the Huskers fell to 12-9 overall and 4-4 in league play. They travel to play Purdue next Saturday.

Northwestern running back Jeremy Larkin diagnosed with cervical stenosis, will retire immediately

jeremy_larkin.jpg
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

anderson.jpg
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.