Big Ten

Ohio State edges Illinois in overtime

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Ohio State edges Illinois in overtime

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- With 14 seconds left on the clock in overtime Thursday, Ohio State led Illinois by three points but the Buckeyes needed one last stop.

Illinois' Malcolm Hill lost the ball near the Buckeye basket, Keita Bates-Diop came up with it and fed Mickey Mitchell, who loped to the other end of the court for an easy layup with four seconds left that locked up a 68-63 win.

''I'm still trying to figure out how Mickey Mitchell came out of there with that basketball,'' Ohio State coach Thad Matta said. ''I've never seen anything like it. I'm glad he did.''

The end may not have made much sense to Matta, but the win was tough to figure out, too.

Both teams played sloppy. Ohio State (14-8, 6-3 Big Ten) hit 39 percent of its shots and Illinois just 32 percent.

''It wasn't always pretty, but both teams were going at it,'' Illinois coach John Groce said.

 

Trevor Thompson, who led Ohio State with 16 points, acknowledged that a month earlier the young Buckeyes might not have come out of the game with a win.

''I feel like we've definitely grown up,'' he said.

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JaQuan Lyle hit a pair of free throws, his only points of the night, with 14 seconds left in overtime to put the Buckeyes up 66-63 before Mitchell iced the game.

The Illini (10-11, 2-6) trailed by 13 with 6:34 to play but fought back and tied the game at 58-58 on a 3-pointer by Jalen Coleman-Lands with 56.9 seconds left in regulation.

But Illinois scored just five points in overtime

Bates-Diop finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds for Ohio State and Marc Loving scored 11 with 10 boards.

Kendrick Nunn led Illinois with 24 points, including five 3-pointers.

The Buckeyes used a big offensive rebounding edge, 13-5, to put away a dozen second-chance points. Illinois had just four.

In all, the Buckeyes grabbed 51 rebounds to Illinois' 34.

And the Illini were 18-31 from the free throw line.

Illinois opened the game with a 13-2 lead. But the Illini had just one field goal, a jumper by Nunn, between the 11:25 mark of the first half and halftime.

Hill finished with 12 points for the Illini and Coleman-Lands 11.

Ohio State's Jae'Sean Tate fouled out in overtime. He finished with nine points.

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

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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

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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.