Northwestern led by as much as 20 in the first half but had to hold off a late push to beat Missouri on Tuesday night in Kansas City, 67-62.
The Cats opened the game on a 28-9 run, Bryant McIntosh scoring the team's first 11 points, nine coming on a trio of made 3-pointers. Jordan Ash, Aaron Falzon and Sanjay Lumpkin also hit 3s as Northwestern had a 20-point lead with still almost eight minutes to play before halftime.
McIntosh scored all 13 of his points in the first half, and the Cats hit seven 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes, owning a 14-point lead at halftime after shooting 52 percent.
The Tigers went on a 15-9 run over the first eight minutes of the second half to trim the lead to eight, and two minutes later, they were within six. The lead was merely four with a little less than four minutes to play before four Northwestern free throws stretched it back to eight. But Mizzou went on another spurt, a bucket and three free throws making it a three-point game with 34 seconds remaining. Tre Demps and Sanjay Lumpkin each split a pair of free throws to give the Tigers an opportunity, but they missed a couple shots, and the Cats hung on for the win.
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Demps and McIntosh — the sophomore point guard ended up fouling out — finished with 13 points apiece, the only Northwestern players in double figures. Falzon, Alex Olah and Joey van Zegeren each ended with at least five rebounds.
The Cats shot 46.7 percent from the field on the night and held the Tigers to just 38.3-percent shooting.
It was a good rebound win for Northwestern after falling to No. 9 North Carolina on Monday night.
The Cats improved to 4-1 with the victory and return home to face New Orleans on Saturday.
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 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.