Big Ten

Northwestern collapses, still winless at Buckeyes since 1977

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Northwestern collapses, still winless at Buckeyes since 1977

The last time Northwestern beat Ohio State in Columbus, Jimmy Carter was president.

That fact didn't change Tuesday night, as despite the Wildcats holding a 10-point lead in the first half, the Buckeyes roared back to hand the Cats their 34th straight loss in Columbus, this one coming by a final score of 71-63.

Northwestern let that 10-point first-half edge dwindle to seven at the half, but the Cats got back-to-back 3-pointers from Bryant McIntosh to boost the lead back out to nine early in the period. Again that advantage shrunk all the way down to two as Ohio State scored seven straight, but again it expanded, Northwestern answering with a 7-0 spurt of its own. But a 48-39 Cats lead around the midway point of the second half was erased when the Buckeyes went on a 15-2 run that turned the game around. Northwestern scored just two points during a five-and-a-half-minute stretch, allowing Ohio State to go from down nine to up four.

Tre Demps answered that run with a 3-pointer to bring the Cats back within a point, and a Scottie Lindsey 3 tied the game at 56 with under four minutes to play. But the Buckeyes scored five straight from there and hit a bunch of free throws down the stretch to keep the Cats at bay and hold on for the win. The Buckeyes were 16-for-17 from the free-throw line over the final 20 minutes.

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Thanks to a 46.4-percent mark in the second half, Ohio State out-shot Northwestern on the evening, 41.1 percent to 38.9 percent. The Cats turned the ball over 14 times, leading to 18 Buckeye points. That stands out in comparison to just five turnovers by the Buckeyes. Northwestern hit 12 3-pointers, twice as many as Ohio State, but the Buckeyes held a large 24-10 advantage in points in the paint.

Northwestern did have four players score in double figures: McIntosh and Demps each scored 14, Alex Olah had 11 and Lindsey finished with 10. Four Cats hit multiple 3-pointers, with McIntosh and Demps combining for seven makes from behind the arc.

Ohio State had five players in double figures: JaQuan Lyle had a game-high 16, Marc Loving had 15, Trevor Thompson scored 12, Keita Bates-Diop had 11 and Jae'Sean Tate had 10.

The Cats fell to 16-9 overall and 4-8 in Big Ten play with the loss and have lost six of their last seven. Next up is a Saturday-night bout with Illinois.

The Buckeyes improved to 15-10 overall and 7-5 in league play with the victory. Next up is a Saturday trip to Rutgers.

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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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.