Big Ten

Northwestern comes back to beat Columbia in OT


Northwestern comes back to beat Columbia in OT

It took a second-half surge and an extra period, but Northwestern was able to come back and beat Columbia on Friday night in Evanston.

Trailing by as many as 12 in the second half, the Cats were still down eight with three and a half minutes to play and chipped away from there. A Bryant McIntosh bucket and an Aaron Falzon 3-pointer made it a three-point game, but the gap accordioned out to six shortly there after. A Tre Demps layup and a Gavin Skelly dunk cut it to a two-point game, and McIntosh capped that six-point stretch with a game-tying bucket with 40 seconds left. Missed shots scattered the final half minute, forcing overtime.

All but three of the points from both teams in overtime came on free throws, Northwestern hitting four and Columbia hitting six. The difference was a Demps 3-pointer with a minute to play that extended a then-one-point lead to four. A McIntosh basket again made it a four-point lead, and the Cats held on for the comeback win to move to 3-0.

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Northwestern shot a terrific 52.5 percent from the field — including 62.1 percent in the second half — and made 13 3-pointers on the evening. McIntosh hit five of those triples, with Demps hitting four. The guard combo combined for 54 points, with McIntosh accounting for a career-high 32. The two combined for 12 assists and hardly came off the floor, with Demps playing all 45 minutes and McIntosh playing 41.

Alex Olah had eight points and seven rebounds, while Nathan Taphorn had six points, four rebounds, two assists and hit a pair of 3-pointers.

Next up is the Cats' stiffest non-conference challenge of the season, a date with No. 1 North Carolina on Monday night in Kansas City, Mo.

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.

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Weeks will separate a perfect 10-year anniversary where Northwestern will play at Wrigley Field for one of its regular season games in the upcoming years.

Back on Nov. 20, 2010, the Wildcats battled it out with Illinois, known as the “Wrigleyville Classic,” which saw the Illini take a 48-27 win.

Even though it’s still two years out, Northwestern still planned ahead and announced its opponent for its game at Wrigley Field on Nov. 7, 2020, against Big Ten rival Wisconsin.

“Obviously an exciting opportunity for our football program to come back to Wrigley Field, one of the Cathedrals of sporting venues in the world,” Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “When I announced it to our team, they were absolutely ecstatic.”

“The opportunity to play at Wrigley field is unique to us, being Chicago’s Big Ten team, and to have the chance to come down and play in an atmosphere like we did a few years back was a bowl game type atmosphere, and I look forward to this special opportunity.”

This game though will be a little different than it was back in 2010. Both the Wildcats and Illini played toward the west end zone due to a tight squeeze near the right field wall due to box seats that were added down the third base line.

Now, Northwestern and Wisconsin do not have to worry about that problem because the bullpens have since moved to the outfield.

Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney spoke at a news conference earlier on Tuesday at Wrigley.

“So excited to welcome back Northwestern to Wrigley Field to talk about football again,” Kenney said. “We had an incredible experience with them back in 2010."

Kenney also mentioned new seating is on a temporary platform that can all be removed and the dugout tops can be removed as well, and the field will expand west, to allow for a longer field.

With a sellout crowd in the last go around for the Wildcats, don’t be surprised for another sellout at the Friendly Confines.