Big Ten

Northwestern dominates in blowout win over lowly Gophers

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Northwestern dominates in blowout win over lowly Gophers

The best remedy for Northwestern's five-game losing streak? A date with bottom-feeding Minnesota.

Things haven't gone well for the Gophers this season, and they played like it Thursday night in Evanston, as the Wildcats shot the lights out en route to a 82-58 blowout win.

Northwestern took it to Minnesota, shooting 53.7 percent on the night — including a scorching 61.5 percent from the field in the second half — hitting a dozen 3-pointers and getting 43 combined points from Tre Demps and Bryant McIntosh.

The Cats were hot from the start, Aaron Falzon hitting back-to-back triples in the game's opening two minutes. Demps added a pair of 3s before five minutes had elapsed, and Sanjay Lumpkin added a triple to make it a 19-8 game early. The offense dropped off significantly from there, but McIntosh added a pair of 3s in the middle of the period and an 8-0 burst to close the half sent the Cats to the locker room with their biggest lead to that point at 14.

Then Northwestern's offense really got cooking in the final 20 minutes, the lead growing to 20 on a McIntosh triple not even three minutes into the second half. McIntosh and Demps went on a 10-0 run a few minutes later, stretching the lead to 27, and it stayed about there for the remainder, hitting 29 on a couple occasions.

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The Cats finished with that sparkling 53.7-percent shooting clip, even more impressive when compared with the ugly 33.3-percent shooting night for the Gophers. Northwestern's 12 triples were three times as many as Minnesota's four. And despite the Gophers visiting the free-throw line 30 times, the Cats had big edges in other categories, scoring 15 points off turnovers and 30 points in the paint.

Demps had 23 points to lead all scorers, also handing out eight assists. McIntosh finished with 20 points and made four 3-pointers. He only had three assists but became Northwestern's all-time single-season assists leader. It was the third time this season both Demps and McIntosh scored 20 points each in the same game.

Jordan Murphy led the Gophers with 14 points. Kevin Dorsey had 11.

The win, the first for Northwestern since Jan. 12, sent the Cats to 16-8 overall and 4-7 in conference play. Next up is a Tuesday trip to Ohio State.

The Gophers have now lost 12 in a row and remain winless in Big Ten play, 6-17 on the season and 0-11 in the league. Next up is a Wednesday game against Michigan.

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.